Fractional Credit Scams And The Isb

The Lifestyle, the Colonel, and the Big Credit Job

Participating Characters (Players):
“Greaser” and Cecilia (Kevin Hess) – Tech with his amazing wrench
Endro Epstein (Scott Brooks) – Popular with the ladies and perhaps your wife
Androsta (Jim Medley) – Pho’Phenian Force Adept
Torridan (Robert “Smitty” Smith ) – Human Bounty Hunter
Mrvyyn (Jim Page) – Togorian honorable warrior
“Slik” (Stephen Tucker) – Con man and experienced freelance operator (hacker)
“Pistolwhip” (Darrell Hird) – Blaster expert

As the mission selections went up this group felt best qualified for the listed hunting of ISB Colonel Josef Nightall and reclaim some stolen funds in his possession.

ISB Colonel Josef Nightall has been causing some problems recently in the Crucible Sector. One of his projects was the brainwashing facility hidden at the polar base on Mindor that we recently raided for information. He has been delving into other projects and generally making a nuisance of himself.

Our current mission profile outlined that Colonel Nightall has recently uncovered some of Lans Garner’s personal bank accounts. He has been skimming the money from these accounts slowly to prevent detection and possible investigation into his operations. If he drained them quickly (all at once), it would throw up flags and draw unwanted attention to his actions. Intelligence showed that what funds they have identified were withdrawn from the accounts on planet LS4 (Sparks #107: This Droid’s Army), a world known for high profile business conglomerates. We were to travel to LS4, and
(1) Find out what Nightall is doing with the funds.
(2) Capture ISB Colonel Josef Nightall, if present on planet.
(3) Reclaim the funds still in the Lans Garner personal accounts to prevent any more skimming from the ISB or other Imperial operations teams.

Prior to heading out we wanted to make some preparations. “Slik” made false ID’s for the entire team. He also made false facial masks, fingerprints, and retinal contacts for those that did not want to be recognized or those that were easily identifiable. We all decided to travel relatively light on the weapons. Torridan and “Pistolwhip” brought a few bigger guns, but everything was covered with weapon or bounty hunter permits. For the heavy hacking expected “Slik” brought a high grade portable computer disguised in a low grade computer shell for himself and provided one for “Greaser”.

When it came to ships available, we considered a loaner, but ended up going with “Pistolwhip’s” relatively stock vessel, The Plancton. “Slik” had a ship available, but it was just involved in a big televised race and would definitely invite too much unwanted scrutiny. “Pistolwhip” set about to find a reasonable cover cargo, but somehow (I don’t know how) he ended up with a load of manure. To save some time on planet we commed ahead for a buyer and actually made a reasonable deal. With much surprise to all of us the manure was a decent cargo for the agriculture businesses outside of the major cities. They actually were disappointed in the small quantity that we were shipping, which lead to an interesting comment by “Greaser”.

“Greaser” – “They weren’t mad that we were carrying shit. They were mad we did not have enough.”

The trip to LS4 was relatively uneventful. But the in system landing got a little complicated, like a Bantha is a little hairy. Endro volunteers to take the controls. The planet was swarming with ships inbound, outbound, being inspected, and generally milling about waiting for their turn in rotation. An Imperial customs vessel hailed us and everything was going fine until “Pistolwhip” remembered that besides the new cargo of manure with valid documentation he had some old cargo of Shvash gas with no documentation. Now it was time to scramble. “Slik” immediately starts working on whipping out the quick and dirty forged documentation for the cargo. In the meantime Endro is trying to “fly casual” like nothing is wrong. Unfortunately he is approaching the other ships in the landing pattern. No problem for an experienced pilot, but apparently Endro got his license through the repeater network. Well he bumped another ship. Now the Imps are starting to get impatient with our stalling and start transmitting fines for landing violations. “Slik” is trying to stall them on the comms by asking them what the forms look like, “is that the G47 form with the green logo in the corner, or is it the H9 memo”, all the while frantically making the forged documents. Mrvyyn decides to boot Endro off the controls and attempts the steer the ship back into some open lanes. But with all of the screaming going on in the cabin, he must have gotten distracted and bumped another vessel. This damaged the passenger compartment which caused it to decompress, and all personal belongings stored there were spaced. As the forged flimsy feeds out of the printer, “Slik” feeds it directly into the transmitter. The Imps are getting frantic and barking orders over the comms as more and more fines continue to print out. “Slik” simply passes the fines over to “Pistolwhip” as he whispers in Mrvyyn’s ear, “I think someone is messing with your sword down in the cargo bay”. This sends Mrvyyn racing out of the cockpit. “Slik” finally takes the controls and gets the ship clear of traffic, but the fines keep printing. We eventually received permission to land, I believe only so they could collect on their fines.

Once down several officials were waiting at the ramp. “Slik” exited first and inquired about fees if you intend to abandon the ship. They claimed there were indeed fees, so he told them, “Well then we won’t do that. Just ignore all of the people offloading with most of their belongings”, with a smile as he walked away. We ended up getting a hotel suite in a four star hotel, The Winchester Arms, for 1500 credits a night, and dropped off our excess equipment before heading out to begin investigating.

The team split up to gather information on their objectives approaching them from two opposite sides. Then further planning could be accomplished when the teams meet in the middle.

One team consisting of (IIRC) Androsta, “Slik”, and Endro decide to head off to track down Colonel Nightall and find out where he has been going, what he has been doing, and where he is located currently. “Slik”, having the distinction of being the only team member to have been to LS4 before, remembered a popular high class yuppie style bar in the business district. After buying a few rounds and chatting up the locals we learned that Nightall has been visiting with many of the major businesses in the district. Apparently he was laundering the skimmed money through investing in many other companies. We learned that he was utilizing a standard MO. He would arrive at the chosen company in a very distinct repulsor limo exactly at 0800 in the morning. We were able to compile a pretty decent list of the companies he has already visited, but were still unable to find where Nightall was staying. We suspected he was staying at the Imperial garrison outside of the city, but this would be a long ride in each morning. We ended up calling around to the repulsor limo rental companies to see if the limo he was using was rented. Androsta looked for signs of the Limo by talking to several Taxi drivers around town. We confirmed that it was not rented, but with a few credits spread around their drivers eventually passed along that the limo was coming from a seven star hotel in the high class district. A quick follow-up pinpointed Nightall was staying in the seven star hotel. His repulsor limo was parked in the hotels garage.

The other team consisting of (IIRC) “Greaser”, Torridan, Mrvyyn, and “Pistolwhip” decide to start investigating the paper trail with the account information to learn the account numbers, account values, as well as other local companies and general information. I do not have too many details on this team’s actions, because I was not there. I do know they got a list of the Lans Garner account numbers along with a decent list of what companies and businesses operated on LS4.

Both teams joined up back at our hotel suite to review the information. We realized we needed some more specific information on the seven star hotel and Nightall’s movement in and around hotel to plan our snatch. “Slik” set up to hack from our hotel through the city grid into the seven star hotel with “Greaser” assisting on another portable computer to avoid any security flags. The initial incursion went well and we learned that Nightall had some huge suite worth 150,000 credits (we never asked if that was a night or not, but whatever it was ridiculously high. We learned that the limo was not only in the hotel’s garage, but in a secure section that would be difficult to approach. We started to hack into the security footage to examine his movements and see how he makes his way to the garage, when “Slik” got a little sloppy and triggered a security flag. Luckily “Greaser” was assisting, so it gave us an indication we were in trouble and hopefully a slight edge to stay ahead of their trace. “Slik” killed the connection and started a counter connection, so when the trace led back to our hotel it would lead to a different room. “Slik” quickly picked a room a couple of floors up in the hotel that he thought was empty, because it was one of our original options for a room. The problem was that the room was empty, but had a tenant claim it when we were out on the town. Once that false trace was implanted, “Slik” knew that the opposition back hack would have their hands full and chose to set up a second hack back into the seven star hotel right under their nose again with “Greaser’s” assistance. So oblivious to the fact that the authorities were moving in on an innocent man a couple of floors up, “Slik” downloaded all of the security camera files for the hotel for group review. Some of the other members of the team noticed a few of the local authority vehicles arrive out front and then saw them all leaving moments later with some unknown man in restraints. Apparently the team did not want to distract “Slik” and “Greaser” with this information. Hopefully he only got an overnight stay.

We all sat down and reviewed the security footage of Nightall heading from his room to his limo over several days. Each day the procedure was identical which showed the professional nature of him and his four accompanying bodyguards. They would move as a group from the room to the turbolift and take it down to the garage as an express with no stops. Upon arrival in the garage guard one (blaster expert) would step out with a heavy blaster pistol in each hand already pointing forward and then swinging out to point left and right as he stepped forward. Once the area was secured and covered, he would move to the side still covering the area on overwatch. Next guard number (driver) two emerges from the turbolift and makes his way to the limo and opens the passenger side door. He then walks around the limo opens the driver’s door, gets in, and starts the limo while performing a cursory onboard check for problems or tampering. Next guard number three (strong brawler) emerges and he is the big tough looking guard. He heads to the rear driver side door, opens it, and stands overwatch in the crook of the door. Next guard number four (either martial artist or melee combat specialist) emerges and heads to the rear passenger side door, opens it, steps back to leave the door open and available, and stands overwatch. Next Colonel Nightall emerges from the turbolift and beelines straight to the rear passenger side door and enters the vehicle. Then guard number four steps into the rear passenger side door crook, and both guard number three and four enter the vehicle as they close the door. Then guard number one, still on overwatch outside the turbolift, heads to the open passenger side front door, enters, and closes the door. Finally the limo pulls out with everyone loaded. It was like watching a precision ballet.

Our group begins to discuss the difficult nature of this capture. Obviously they are prepared for trouble with experienced guards who are probably excellent at their respective combat styles. I personally wouldn’t be worried about this confrontation with someone like Kastor to throw at their heavies or if we could sneak in a decksweeper, but both of these are not viable options. The discussion continues about coming up with other options or locations to make the grab when Androsta makes a statement that shocked me.

Androsta – “What are you talking about? This will be easy.”

The rest of the group looked at Androsta like he better share whatever he was taking. But then he clarified the statement.

Androsta – “All of the guards exit the turbolift and leave the Colonel inside…all alone.”

The light comes on in all of our minds at the same time and smiles spread across our faces. “You are right. This will be easy.”

{OOC: We cannot control the laughter at this point. That is quite honestly the single best observation of a bad tactical position I have ever seen. This is the part where I had to get out of my chair and go over to bow down to Jim’s superior tactics. It took quite a while to calm down and get back into character.}

We all decide on a snatch by closing the turbolift and sending it to another floor after all of the guards are out of the turbolift and the Colonel is all alone. To accomplish the turbolift overrides, along with some camera rerouting, and onsite reconnaissance, we decide to get a room in the seven star hotel. Even the smaller 2-person rooms run 35,000 credits per night. I know I never stayed in a hotel that nice. This is where a personal side mission is added to the agenda. As we are working out the details “Slik” makes a comment about how nice the hotel room is, and indicates that he will steal the towels, bath robes, and anything else not attached. That is when “Greaser” chimes in holding up Cecilia with a smile on his face, “Why stop with things being attached? I am going to steal some fittings in the room.” Then “Slik” got a little silly and suggested stealing everything in the room. Everyone else chuckled at that, but “Slik” was serious and began planning to steal the entire hotel room. With an idea to recreate/reassemble the room later and complete the feel, “Slik” set up recording rods to scan every detail of the room as well as some at the windows to scan a skyline and lighting throughout the day. We’ll get back to what we did to the room a little later.

The group spent a couple of days to set up the snatch. Torridan swipes some hotel busboy uniforms. Androsta is set up plant a security distraction. Everyone is set to jump Nightall at the turbolift. And “Slik” and “Greaser” design a set of specifically programmed override and security protocols that can be implemented at the proper time by remote. We hacked the seven star hotel systems by hacking out to the city grid into our previous hotel and back into the seven star hotel. Even though this would make the task more difficult, it basically provided added security that if discovered we could kill the final connection and it would look like someone outside was doing the hack. Mryvven, Torridan, “Pistolwhip”, and Endro make preparations to set up one of the undesirable businesses on their listing, because it has heavy ties to slavers. They role-play out the grab in covered outfits, but one of the jackets of the ‘attackers’ is open and reveals the company logo on who we want to pin the grab. They also move through the stair wells and other on camera spots to help with the fake footage we plan to use. With the couple of days of planning done, the snatch was ready to go.

First we looped the camera footage so none of us would appear anywhere. Androsta headed up a few floors and planted a security spike to act as a distraction to the security forces and keep them busy with a false intrusion. This would make the real hack a little easier. They cannot counter our intrusion if they are busy tracking false leads. I heard later that Androsta had a run in with someone in the hall, but some quick thinking and an even quicker tongue he got out of the mess. We then headed to the 27th floor, just a random pick, while monitoring the garage feed. When guard number four stepped out and was about half way to the limo, we triggered our program. The program overrode the turbolift, closed the doors, deactivated the auto open if the door closing is blocked as well as the button call reopen features, and brought the turbolift up to the floor on which we were waiting. The whole time we were not seen, the turbolift camera was “showing” the turbolift heading to a different (higher) floor than where we were waiting, and finally was showing our fake footage of another company waiting to grab the Colonel. The fake footage showed the fake company team stun the Colonel when the doors opened and when one of the members leaned in you could see the company logo on the shirt through the unzipped jacket. Then it showed them drag the Colonel into the stairwell and head to the roof. At that point the cameras and all surveillance cut out. Actually during this time we waited for the turbolift to open. “Slik” was in the back monitoring the program runs and keeping an eye on security response. The rest of the team was spread out in front of the turbolift. When the doors opened, some of the team shot in on stun, some tried hitting the Colonel. Even though several shots and blows landed, the Colonel seemed to handle all of them except Cecilia being swung by “Greaser”. That blow definitely rang his bell, but he was still standing. He was dazed enough that “Slik” was able to step forward and deliver a Stunning blow (Instant Stun) and the Colonel was down. We packed him up and took him down to our room to hide him while security and everyone else went up to the roof to find the assailants.

Security and apparently the ISB were convinced that the Colonel was taken to the roof and removed from the hotel, so they did not search the hotel for him. We put our room into lockdown with a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door, but maintained our standard routine with going out and hitting bars and being visible. We knew that we would have to work on the Colonel to get the account information. Some people believe that threats and torture gets you the information you need, but usually that just gets you the quickest lie to stop the pain. For true information gathering you have to break down their will and resistance. So we restrained and blindfolded the Colonel in the room and continued to chat with him for the next couple of weeks. Letting him know how the ISB was hunting everywhere else for him. We also told him that due to the information trail we planted the ISB was looking for him in the not so good way. They would not like his betrayal and theft of the account funds. But if he told us all of the account numbers and holdings, we would be nice and not let him go for surely they would kill him on site. He started wearing down into week number three, but he still did not break. That is when Torridan hit upon an excellent plan to break the Colonel. Torridan suited up in a hotel room service outfit and came to pay a visit with the colonel in a rare moment without his blindfold where nobody was in the room. Torridan came in and started cleaning the room.

Colonel – “Hey you work for the hotel. I am an ISB Colonel. I have been captured by Rebels. Let me go!”

Torridan – “I am sorry sir. I cannot do that.” Continuing to straighten up the room.

Colonel – “What? I am an Imperial! Untie me!”

Torridan – “I am sorry sir. I cannot do that.” Making the beds.

Colonel – “I have a lot of credits. I will pay you anything. Just let me go!”

Torridan – In a very snooty voice. “Sir perhaps you are unaware, but this is a seven star hotel. That means our guests get whatever they request, and we meet all of their needs.”

Colonel – “I was a guest in this hotel, so let me go.”

Torridan – “But sir you are not registered to this room and those that were insisted upon not releasing you. Since they are the guests for this room, there wishes must be adhered to. Now please be quiet, so I can finish cleaning the room.”

After this encounter it took only a couple more days to break the Colonel, and get all of the account information. Then to deliver on our threats we set about to frame the Colonel. “Slik” made up a Colonel Nightall disguise and sent a few communiqués. The first was to the bank of Muunilinst. The conversation outlined setting up a secret bank account to funnel in all of the funds from the Garner accounts. Since we wanted to attract attention and raise flags, we dumped all of the funds from the accounts. The communiqué inquired about setting up transfer accounts to the Ubiqtorate for their payoff and assistance in hiding the Colonel prior to him moving to the outer rim and retiring, and to private accounts that I, the Colonel, could access from any regional bank system on the outer rim through Munnilinst. We then commed back and transferred all of the funds to a secondary account number that “would then transfer the funds to the other accounts”. As soon as the account was activated online, we transferred the funds to other accounts multiple times through the banks encrypted (even the best hackers wouldn’t have a chance) computer lines. And even if they were hacked, the sheer number of transfers would lose the credits in the mix. And since even the Empire does not have pull with the banks on Muunilinst (if the Empire invades, they delete the accounts and the richest Imperials lose all of their money as well…not going to happen), the funds should be effectively laundered to Rebellion accounts to be determined later.

Now that all of the work was done, we set up to have some fun and began ordering big shipping boxes to the room (some conveniently big enough to hold mattresses and anything else in the room that could not be broken down). We considered shipping the Colonel to the ship, but Androsta ended up buying a medical Air Speeder. It made transporting him to the ship much easier, and we kept the speeder. We then started shipping EVERYTHING in the room. With “Greaser” working Cecilia overtime we stripped the entire room. We took the light fixtures, bath sinks, shower stalls, desk, vids, beds, mattresses, outlet covers, etc. The ONLY thing we did not take was the wallpaper (it would be difficult to rehang after taking it down), but we got it on recording rod so we could buy some to match later. We ended up with the entire room on the ship and split town.

So we headed out to drop the Colonel off on the Discovery. The final toll on the stripped accounts appeared to be some astronomical amount (Lans really was a rich guy…who knew). We covered the hotel, docking fees, and other miscellaneous expenses off of the top and kept a small piece for all of our effort. We decided on 50,000 credits a piece (imagine that). We gave the Crucible Sector Council the final account numbers and even suggested a few more transfers (mainly so the team would not get tempted to dip into the funds). These credits could fund the rank pay for the Crucible operatives for several years to come. Also the fleet rebuild has been taking a long time due to lack of funds. Operatives found several obsolete and run down old ships a while back, but it has still been very costly to refit them and add them to the fleet. One possibility was to purchase a couple of Mon Calamari cruisers from our new allies.

Another perk for the Crucible Rebellion was that since the expenses bought the medical Air Speeder, we agreed to donate it The Hope as it was originally intended, an ambulance speeder. For our generosity we each received a favor for some medical assistance that may fall outside the standard line of duty.

“Slik” suggested setting up the seven star hotel room in a corner of the scout ship docking bay on the Discovery (much quieter than the main bays), because he still had not purchased a wedding gift for Lyta and Fenn. So with a quick purchase of wallpaper and a couple of days to reassemble the room, our group presented a one week stay in a seven star hotel room as a wedding gift. With the recording rods set up to show window features and atmosphere, with the hotel uniforms and a paid off private to deliver room service the mood is perfect as long as they don’t leave the room during the week. I don’t think that will be a problem.

Mastercard Commercial –
Ship fines upon system entry 5000 credits
4 star hotel for the night 1500 credits
7 star hotel for the night 35000 credits
Capturing an ISB Colonel, recovering
exorbitant credits, stealing a hotel room
and still only getting 4 character points Priceless

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