In this pack of Adventure Hooks for ACE, we close out the chapter on the Hystead invasion by The Toxin and explore a new enemy coming to rise in other parts of the world, The Mask.
Similar names. Similar motives. Similar gear. Could they possibly be related? (I mean, yeah, obviously they’re related.)
The Agnan Courte
Deep under the cities of Hystead sit the twisted catacombs built during the French Revolution. Dark, ancient, and endlessly twisted, the Agnan Courte quarter of the catacombs was built in the vein of a church or monastery in order to keep the bodies preserved below close to a holy site and guarantee their safe passage through the afterlife. Currently however, the site is currently home to the last remnants of The Toxin.
Being beat out of The Dollhouse, The Toxin was left with one last Hail Mary type play. By taking control of the Agnan Courte quarter of the catacombs they could funnel gas upwards into the city from below. The Toxin have no escape route this time, and they’ve already started the slow burn on Hystead from the sewers. With such a huge head start, will ACE even have a chance?
Your players will be stuck in a claustrophobic, dark, toxin filled area. Forced out of their armor, and trapped in a winding maze of bone, the only bright side might be that The Toxin haven’t had much time to trap the place. With toxic gas filling an otherwise pitch black area, visibility will be low. The numerous hallways and tunnels will be lined with Toxin fighters who know their backs are against the wall. Nothing about this will be easy.
A new terroist cell has come to light in Metria. They’ve made bold threats and claims over TV after hacking news networks. Their motif seems to be taking control of wirelessly accesible networks and doing all the harm they can, which it turns out is a lot.
Still trying to get their feet on the ground, The Mask has let loose a team of hackers on the Neocium Mall in the city of Metria. In the middle of the day, and during extremely crowded hours, The Mask’s infiltrators are attempting to blend in, wearing simple hoodies and backpacks. They’re walking through the mall planting small hackboxes nearby all the security systems. Planning to disable the alarms so they can raid the mall at night performing an uninterrupted smash and grab.
ACE is going in to intervene, but cannot have a direct hand in this. Metria does not allow ACE operations in their city limits, however ACE cannot allow The Mask to accrue wealth to pursue their other harmful endeavors. The plan is to tail the hacker teams roaming the mall and watch where they leave the boxes. Then once the hackers are content that the gear works, the agents will sneak up and disable or destroy it. When The Mask comes in for their night raid, the alarms will trigger and local law enforcement will catch them easily.
Will your ACE team be capable of handling a high tension mission in a crowded area where they’re not legally permitted? How are they going to keep control if the hackers spot them? And what are they going to do when they learn about The Masks’ plan B, the massive bomb they’ve smuggled into the mall somewhere to detonate if things go awry?
It’s likely the events in Neocium Mall were a distraction to keep attention off The Mask successfully managing to acquire a nuclear submarine. Now armed with a mobile weapons platform, and pointing the biggest guns in the world straight at a city that ACE isn’t technically allowed to operate in, some agents will be asked to lay everything on the line to save some lives.
The Black Dawn left the drydock without authorization two nights ago. It’s a nuclear sub armed with ICBMs and its now currently sitting right outside of Metria with weapons hot. The Mask is keeping the city ransom knowing there’s nothing ACE can do about it. Your ACE team is going to have to find a way onto the submarine being remote controlled by Mask hackers nowhere near it, sneak past the (mostly) innocent Metria-based crew who may react with lethal force against ACE (who absolutely cannot react with lethal force in response or be tried for war crimes.) and find the inside agent who helped The Mask take over The Black Dawn in the first place.
Any small failure will result in an agent being shot on site by Metrian Militia, or worse, brought to trial in Metria with ACE denying all involvement and placing a burn notice on them. It’s a bleak situation, one that could result in an entire city being levelled if no one intervenes. But is it all worth it for a people who shun your agency and would just as soon allow you to suffer? On the Black Dawn, your agents will have to decide just how much they’re willing to risk to be the heroes.
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