Create public artifacts of your efforts.
The Spycraft campaign I participated in from 2006 to 2007 ended with unanswered questions regarding the motivation, actions and current whereabouts of my character, Vincent Dashing. This post retells parts of that campaign, inserting some details that were not present when we originally played. This new information is used to shed some light on Vincent’s motivation and actions during the last mission and to set the stage for telling what happened to him after the campaign ended.
During the first mission, the team is sent to Geneva, Switzerland, to investigate the activities of the Consus Consortium at an international science convention. On mission, Vincent “befriends” a local hotel employee, Audry, and continues his relationship with her during his time in Geneva. He takes her to a cafe, shopping, and eventually as his date to a reception at the science convention. However, the evening is cut short when the team must make a quick escape, and Audry is given a glimpse into his dangerous and exciting life.
Not surprisingly, the Consortium is aware of the team’s presence in Geneva, and their interest in the Consortium’s activities. While the AISA team is scouting Consus, they, in turn, are monitoring the activities of the AISA team. Hawk’s relationship with Audry is not unnoticed.
Initially, Audry was only seduced to be used as a tool to complete the mission. Hawk, however, develops feelings for the girl during their brief time together. From the Consus perspective, it appears they are in a legitimate relationship – a weak spot for the AISA team, one that Consus will soon choose to act upon.
After returning to San Diego, they are summoned to AISA headquarters and told that the Consus scientists are on board a cruise ship that has recently departed from Portugal. The team quickly moves to intercept the cruise ship at sea, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
On the cruise ship, searching for Consus scientists, AISA operatives are often separated from one another, especially with Vincent charming and manipulating many of the crew and passengers on his own. It is during one of these periods of separation that Vincent is confronted by Consus operatives. He is informed that they are holding Audry, and in order to save her life, Hawk must assassinate his fellow team members. He is told that Consus is watching them, and Audry will be released when his fellow team members are dead and AISA surrenders their interest in Consus activities.
Distraught, Vincent helps the team to complete their mission on the cruise ship, planning his course of action in the back of his mind, knowing all the while that Consus is watching his movements.
“Brilliant. By having me kill my team members, that will turn AISA’s attention from Consus to hunting me. And, should I fail, that will destroy team solidarity, as they drop the Consus case in order to pursue me. If I die attempting to kill them, then Consus still wins, as our team suffers the loss of a crucial member, not to mention the chaos that will come following my ‘betrayal’ of the others. I care for Audry, but I can’t kill them to save her. If I sound the alarm, I forfeit her life. I must do something…”
Team Bedevere departs for Kenya to investigate an abandoned oil platform. The team splits up, one unit heading towards the platform, and another heading inland to investigate the possibility of a hidden mountain base. After a deadly firefight at the oil platform during which Rufus dies, the platform team follows the path of their team members in hopes of catching up.
Chaos surrounds the mountain base area. Fighters are called in for support, and the other members of the platform team, riding in the cargo helicopter, are preparing to descend to the landing area. Hawk moves the Apache into position, and fires at his teammates. Rockets sail pass the cargo helicopter and explode into the side of the mountain base. All of Hawk’s shots miss his team members, and they escape into the safety of the base fortifications. The assassination attempt appears to have failed. After firing at communication equipment located outside of the base, Hawk jettisons the damaged Apache and the detached cockpit descends to the ground, about to be shot out of the sky by the approaching air support. Hawk appears to be dead.
Rewind. The Apache and the cargo helicopter are hovering above the landing pad of the mountain base. Hawk puts his plan into action. Hawk begins firing at the cargo helicopter, intentionally missing his “target.” The attack is a ruse, designed to look like an actual strike at the AISA team. Consus’ blackmail seems to be a success. However, Hawk fails to kill any of the AISA team. Once they are safely in the mountain base, he destroys the communication equipment to hamper Consus’ ability to track the helicopter, and interferes with their radio signal reception. He abandons the crippled Apache, watching it crash into the mountain. From the outside, it appears that Hawk has failed to kill his team members and died in the process.
Hawk escapes the detection of special AISA operatives around the mountain base, sent to investigate the recent betrayal aftermath. He has succeeded in making it appear that he attempted to betray his team, failed, and died in the attempt. With Consus no longer monitoring his actions, he hurries to save Audry.
“Since I am believed to be dead, she is no longer useful to Consus as blackmail, so she will likely be killed. However, since they don’t believe I am an immediate threat, killing her probably won’t be a priority. That gives me some time.”
Hawk underestimated the ruthlessness of the Consortium. After a few days of tracking, he learns the worst. Audry is dead. At her grave, he speaks his last words to her.
“A dreary Christmas, indeed. Heading to warmer climates soon. It was good to see you again.”
With nothing left and AISA in pursuit, Hawk disappears in the tropics of South America.
During my senior in college I participated in a role-playing game called Spycraft. It was much like D&D, but instead of the typical fantasy setting, dungeons and dragons, the scene was based in the near future, and our characters assumed the roles of various characters that might appear in a James Bond or Bourne film. My character, Vincent Dashing (codename: Hawk), fulfilled the driver (Wheelman) and social (Faceman) character roles.
Hawk’s primary responsibility was to be the most skilled character behind the wheel. As the charcter evolved, however, it became obvious that I was interested in the narrative aspects of role-playing, and my character took every opportunity to talk his way into or out of situations, manipulate people, and seduce the lady NPCs.
For a few months, this worked out well. I had a great time playing my character; I was an imaginary playboy, spending money I didn’t have and living large while I had but pennies to my name and no vitality to back up my words if it came to throwing punches. Eventually, I secured a job (in real life) that was to take me away from my role-playing companions, which means I would not be around to play my character. Suddenly, I was confronted with a conundrum: I didn’t want my character to simply disappear from the story, but how could I stay involved? Or, at least, how could my character exit in a blaze of glory? And then, the night that I walked into our final session, I realized what I must do. I must kill everyone in my party.
Alas, even the best last-minute plans don’t always go as intended. Despite his best efforts, my character was unable to kill any of the other party members. Fortunately, he escaped at the last minute, jettisoning his helicopter cockpit and disappearing into the African savannah. But, what happened to Vincent Dashing after that last session? Why did he try to kill the party? Where did he go and what did he do? Would any resolution ever be reached?
I didn’t think I would be given the opportunity to explore the answers to these questions until Colin, our game master, contacted me and asked me if I had any interest in reprising the role of Hawk in a new campaign. I still loved my character and jumped at the opportunity to dive once again into the immersive world I enjoyed so much the first time around, eager to continue writing the incomplete narrative of the first campaign. Now that I was given the opportunity to explore what happened to Hawk after the last session, I had to make some decisions…