Since the VIP (Anastasia Mangonnel) is willing, and we have a means of regular covert communication, we model this as a prisoner/hostage scenario, not a kidnapping, for tactical purposes.
We have three possible areas for extraction: the ISV Provident Throne, the guild hall (which guild?), and the convoys between the two.
- We have the numerically superior military force, and can potentially take the Throne with crews from the Nails and the Attitude Adjuster. However, this tips our hand, can potentially lead to full scale war, there are many other forces in play which may react unpredictably, and the risk to the VIP would be high, we reject this option.
- While we can easily identify the real convoy from the decoys with the VIP’s help, an attack on the convoy introduces lots uncontrolled variables… moving vehicles, an inevitable firefight, and a possible response from a Mangonnel QReF (quick response force). This introduces risk to the VIP. Convoy attacks are ideal for assassinations, not for extractions. We reject this option as well.
- The guild hall affords us an opportunity to isolate the VIP, and use a combination of stealth, surprise, subterfuge, and rapid action to keep Mangonnel forces off-balance, and retain the initiative throughout the operation. We will focus on this option.
Any plan to extract the VIP from the guild hall must address a number of factors: access, diversion, extraction, evasion, and misdirection.
- Access : we must attain entry to the guild hall and access the VIP
- Diversion: we must divert any Mangonnel security forces and continue to occupy their attention, maintaining the initiative from the first moment they are aware of a threat until all contact is broken.
- Extraction: we must extract the VIP safely
- Evasion: we must break contact with all Mangonnel security, observers, and other pursuit.
- Misdirection: we must conceal the identity of House Autumnhall as the sponsor of this action at least until all Autumnhall forces depart Footfall. The Attitude Adjuster can outrun any cruiser, outguns anything lighter, and has advanced stealth capabilities. We consider the risk of naval engagement to be small given a reasonable head start.
This is the simplest part of the problem. While elements of the team can approach covertly, there no reason not to avail ourselves of the very nature of the event. While we cannot present a viable matrimonial candidate for the VIP (Commander Armengarde, and Lord Captain Autumnhall are both compromised for that role, Lady Orleans is of the wrong sex, and all others lack the requisite status), the precedent has been established that non-viable candidates can reasonably go through the ceremonial process in order to pay a social visit and their respects. Edmund Armengarde can insert a small team as his retinue with no reasonable grounds for suspicion.
As an alternative, a tradecraft expert such as Spectre can pose as Harlan Autumnhall, since only his person, and not his family name, is compromised.
Intelligence: Ulrich Malmstein and staff to explore possibilities for setting up a meet.
Planning: Spectre to select and train team for disguised insertion. R. Vermagnussen to select and train stealth approach team.
This is the key element. We must not give Mangonnel security time to think or investigate… we need to give them some immediate pressing concern to react to from the moment of “go”. A single diversion will likely not be enough as security forces are trained to expect such.
A stronger possibility is a triple assault consisting of diversion meant to be detected as such, a fake extraction attempt/method, and the true operation. The first should be as simple as possible and be extremely overt, demanding a response whether or not it is believed to be the main operation. The second should reveal the true objective (we will be unable to hide this) but with a false plan of attack or method. The actual extract should involve as much stealth and misdirection as possible, to avoid exposing the VIP to crossfire or other hazards.
Intelligence: Selena Veltenstone to gather intelligence on convoys and guild hall from VIP. Alrick and staff to gather intelligence on guild and facilities. Lord Autumnhall to brief team on House Mangonnel security personnel training, procedures, and equipment.
Planning: Ragnar Vermagnussen and Edholt Cipriare to develop tactical plan options for diversionary attack.
The VIP is motivated and extremely intelligent, but has no tactical training. This precludes a tactical/loud extraction. Escape routes must rely on misdirection.
Additionally, the VIP will be wearing several layers of ceremonial dress so elaborate as to be sewn, rather than simply fastened, in place, which she must be cut out of for mobility, including inner layers down to underwear, and quickly changed in nondescript utilitarian clothing. While this may be possible in privacy before a diversion is launched, it precludes any option of leaving decoy personnel dressed as the VIP. The VIP also has distinct long pale blonde hair which will be elaborately styled… this must also be quickly cut away, covered, or hidden.
Proposed plans include:
- Cutting in with shaped charges or melta weapons, if an adjacent exterior wall, floor, or ceiling is available, to create an escape route.
- Concealing the VIP with Eldar-derived holofield armour (sized for Selena Veltenstone, similar to VIP), and effecting a stealth extraction after security forces have been diverted.
- Extracting VIP disguised as Selena Veltenstone during a diversionary attack.
- Providing a “safe route” for a Mangonnel security team into an ambush using flash and stun grenades + overwhelming numbers.
- Replace the driver of a convoy escape vehicle prior to a diversionary attack, or otherwise hijack or control vehicle.
In keeping with the plan for multiple diversions, more than one of these plans should be developed.
Intelligence: Alrick and Spectre to obtain floorplans for guild hall. Lord Autumnhall to provide exact make and model of Mangonnel armoured vehicles. Magos Holt to obtain specs for same, suggest weaknesses, technomantic possibilities.
Planning: Lord Autumnhall, R. Vergmagnussen, and K. Nakamura to assess and develop plan options.
If an exit using subterfuge is successful, little may be required beyond giving security forces something to chase. A greater problem may be posed by Kroot watchers. While Kroot are unlikely to have the detailed security training and briefing necessary to intervene in an extraction, Kroot eyesight is extremely keen, and observers may provide guidance for pursuit or search teams.
Investigate the possibility of drawing Kroot presence off with a staged appearance by Tau personnel (ERIS) elsewhere on the station.
Escape routes should be mapped in advance, watched and kept clear by QReF reserves, and prepared with cached ammunition, medical supplies, and equipment.
Intelligence and Planning: Observation teams to scout escape routes.
Attempting to frame a specific party for the “kidnapping” may be a bridge too far, and create enemies on failure.
Stronger possibilities include simple concealment of intent and movements, creating a fake ransom demand to spread suspicion beyond the company of present rogue traders, and the VIP overtly claiming asylum with House Autumnhall or an ally (Orleans or Forsellis).