Author Topic: Tandara Cell: Kaedweni-Achkerinese Joint Intelligence  (Read 275 times)

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Offline Dijel

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Tandara Cell: Kaedweni-Achkerinese Joint Intelligence
« on: November 19, 2020, 10:12:02 PM »
Neils Brandt; Tandara House, Menae, Kaedwen

The old Tandara house was not so grand a setting as the name suggested, though neither was the place without its charms. Perched on a rocky hillside amongst the semi-wild bushland south of Menae, the original buildings, aptly enough, had been built by a wealthy Achkaerinese family in the days when Kaedwen had been an integral part of the Empire; the architecture was certainly period, but well preserved, and Neils wondered if their new guests would find it familiar at all. The Office of Defense Intelligence, or ODI, were the Kaedweni secret service, and as a general rule did not do international exchanges - well, not like this - though on the back of successful talks between the Kaedweni Premier and Achkerinese Emperor it had been agreed to put together a joint intelligence working group. So, here they were, a team of ODI spooks and Foreign Ministry personnel settling into their new surroundings, even while renovation work continued around the periphery of the house and its manifold outbuildings.

Neils sat in the shade of the house's handsome front porch; it was barely mid-morning, yet already the heat of the day had started to build, though a mild sea breeze was keeping the shade cool thus far. He appeared every inch the caricature of a Kaedweni man a 'certain age', complete with khaki shorts of a length abandoned in more sensible countries at the end of the 1980's, and a ruddy outdoorsman's complexion. A well-thumbed paperback book kept him company - an elderly novel set in a much less fractious Merina, entirely intentionally - as he waited, quite happy to have the morning off before the new neighbours arrived.

Regrettably, at some length, a great cloud of dust heralded the arrival of the car carrying their Achkerinese counterparts. Rural Kaedweni roads, doing as sterling a job as ever, had coated the slightly battered old ODI ute which cruised in through the gate and trundled to a halt below the porch. Neils put his book down as the dust could began to dissipate, greeting the driver with a cheery smile and a nod as a similarly poorly dressed and sunburned gentleman dashed to hold open the back door of the ute, before making for the luggage stowed in the bed behind the cab.

"G'day" Neils smiled cheerily, as their new guests emerged, blinking, into the sunlight "You right?"

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Re: Tandara Cell: Kaedweni-Achkerinese Joint Intelligence
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2020, 10:44:50 PM »
This was a case of just what the doctor ordered for Achkaerinese Intelligence, this was the way they preferred to operate keep things nice and contained keep everything well under the radar. Like similar intelligence agencies Achkaerinese Intelligence employed an army of analysts, cryptographers and so on but they also oversaw the two other agencies - well agency and cell was perhaps a better description, the other agency was the Military Defence Initiative they were lesser known but had had a fair bit of publicity recently with the Kirby Report on Rokkenjima's Anausa. The cell so to speak were the Justicars, the group known to exist but the identities of its members were one of the most closely guarded secrets in Achkaerin, in fact only East Moreland and Seaforthian intelligence counterparts knew who they were and even then they didn't know the whole list.

Tandara House was known to the Achkaerinese as an old haunt of the Elsif family, a family that had been disowned within the nobility for many many years until the current Emperor had pardoned the current head of the house as having no part in her families crimes. The lead Achkaerinese operative for this exchange was Tim Patterson, a Justicar with the codename of 'Lionheart' a former special forces soldier with a good strategic knowledge but a specialist man hunter. Second was another Justicar Michelle Frost with a codename of 'Shuffle' she was the profiler, the target identifier, which usually translated into her figuring out who to go after and then people like Tim going and getting them, Michelle was best known within some intelligence circles as the person behind the Marseilles Deck of 52. Finally there was a member of the Military Defence Initiative Sarah Culshaw, a captain in the Achkaerinese Army and the MDI's senior strategist, her grandparents had been significant to Achkaerin's Great War contributions. All three were dressed as if they were tourists - Tim in jeans and a dark blue t-shirt, Michelle in black jeans a red t-shirt and white hoodie which she wore unzipped and Sarah in black shorts and a red tank top and that was without accounting for the sunglasses.

"Sat nav almost had us drive into a river but no complaints otherwise." Tim said looking at Neils "I'm Tim, this is Michelle and Sarah. You picked an appropriate venue I see."

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Re: Tandara Cell: Kaedweni-Achkerinese Joint Intelligence
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2021, 10:09:58 PM »
Neils Brandt; Tandara House, Menae, Kaedwen

"Glad you pulled through" Neils grinned, before glancing about the courtyard and adding: "She's a beaut, true enough. Well, no use gawping, come on in I'll give you the tour. Stop off at your digs too, c'mon, we'll give Verno a hand with your kit. Anything in there we shouldn't touch? Asking for a friend" He chuckled, hefting a proffered bag with surprising ease, before turning about and leading the group back up the short flight of steps to the front door.

Inside, the space opened out into a generous foyer, with a white marble staircase opposite leading up to the first floor. The fittings and fixtures could, generously, be described as 'period' - the place had been little better than derelict under the previous stewardship - complete with a smattering of dusty portraits from the Elsif family history gazing down at them from the walls. A great chandelier hung above the space, though the once state-of-the-art electric lights were long since degraded, though in daylight the foyer was bright with daylight streaming through the generously sized windows.

"Main foyer's here" Neils stated the obvious, gesticulating around the space at large "Accommodation's up those stairs, south wing on the left's yours, north's ours"

Up the stairs, and the layout of the complex became a little more clear. The front entrance, through which they had arrived, faced east, towards the sea, whilst the two main wings flanked this, making best use of the striking views of the coast. Out the back on the landward side, meanwhile, a gaggle of outbuildings were clustered amidst the rocky scrub. An old stable block, reclaimed from the weeds, had been co-opted as a garage for the cell's vehicles, whilst a group of Kaedweni men were even now sweating to fix a great satellite dish onto the roof of a second outbuilding nearby.

"Gotta make sure its up in time for the footie" Neils quipped as they passed a window "There's a pool out there somewhere, too... or so they say"

Turning off to the left, the south wing branched out with a series of generously-sized bedrooms arrayed either side of a central corridor, while at the far end this opened out again into a small solarium, replete with antique recliners. Neils pushed open the door to one of the bedrooms, apparently at random. Inside, the quarters had clearly once been luxurious: a four-poster double bed sat in the middle of the room, each post carved with artful scenes of fruits and vines along with, conspicuously at eye-height, a large Eslif family crest; the back wall, behind the bed, was paneled with similarly carved walnut, though an open door close to the bed betrayed the extensive wardrobe concealed within. A door on the left led through to a comparatively modest en-suite, while the far wall was generously glazed, each window flanked by a pair of heavy, but faded, curtains in red velvet.

"This is home, there're all more or less the same, take your pick" Neils nodded, taking a few steps inside so all present could appreciate the space "Showers should run hot, though best not drink the water if its not been boiled, word of advice. Apologies for the slight lack of amenities, we've been picking over the good furnishings the last few days, due a trip into town to make up the shortfall in the near future, though"

Baggage suitably decanted, Neils ushered the group back downstairs and to the left, into the ground floor of the north wing, beneath the Kaedweni accommodations. A big, old fashioned kitchen was the main attraction here, complete with a huge range in black iron, inside which a pilot light was already lit. Otherwise, the rooms were mostly staff accommodations, stores, or a myriad of other dull-but-functional affairs. Reversing course, he led them back through the foyer, past the foot of the great staircase, through into the ground floor of the south wing. The space here was open on the left side - facing towards the sea - forming what had once clearly been quite an impressive function area, while on the right a number of smaller rooms were nestled, each fitted out as an independent little office space. A long, polished wooden table had been maneuvered into the centre of the main space, along with an ornate set of carved chairs and a disappointingly modern projector screen.

"Offices down the right here" Neils nodded generally down the row of doors, producing a trio of large, solid-looking iron keys and handing these to Tim "Three on the end are yours, there's a desk and a filing cabinet to each already, we'll get some extras in as needed, just say the word. Bit short on plugs, old place that it is, so feel free to grab some extension leads from the box... wherever that bugger's gone... So, yeah, that's us, welcome to your new home-from-home, mates. Any questions? If you guys need a couple hours to wash up and get your bearings, we'll look to have a fuller catch-up down here in an hour or two - sound good?"

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Re: Tandara Cell: Kaedweni-Achkerinese Joint Intelligence
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2021, 01:33:22 PM »
"Sounds good to me." Tim said looking around at Michelle and Sarah who both nodded "What do you think Sarah can we squeeze the 'chessboard' into one of those offices?"
"Let's find out." Sarah grinned
"All right lets get ourselves set up, freshen up and then we'll get ourselves together." Tim said

Setting up the offices was a bit more of a fun exercise, if one could described threading cables around desk feet as fun, Michelle and Tim wired the three offices with the leads they'd need setting up the computers and phones in two of them before Tim grabbed one or two of the locals and removed the furniture from what was going to be Sarah's office before bringing in the pieces of what was called the 'chessboard' within the vocabulary of Achkaerin's military and intelligence circles, most commonly found on the bridge of an Achkaerinese naval vessel, in command centres, meeting rooms in Ashai Castle but here was a more portable version, it was essentially a reinforced table frame with a heavy top with a surface that was entirely a touch screen and securely wired into the network. It was a very intricate thing to set up so the portable version didn't get used much unless it was for something long term such as this. Sarah smiled when she came down after taking a shower and found it sat waiting for her.

"Catch." Tim said throwing a bottle of water to Sarah
"Thanks." Sarah said smiling
"How many times have you read the report?" Tim asked
"About as many times as Michelle's read Nguessa's biography I suspect." Sarah said
"I heard that." Michelle said grinning "So nice to not be in the cold."
"Says the person with the last name Frost." Tim said "All right let's go."

The trio made their way into a room where Neils was standing. "So." Sarah said "Where would you like to start?"