Written by James Hicks
The Place: The PCs’ home city.
The Hook: This scenario should be used when one of the PCs screws up and compromises a mission. Unbeknownst to him, the CEO of the company that employs the PC for his cover occupation has long been suspected of being a WEB operative, but there has been no hard evidence as of yet. But the PCs’ involvement with the company, along with his recent foul-up, has brought doubts as to the PC’s loyalty. To make matters worse, during the next pay period the PC is overpaid by $10,000 deposited directly into his bank account. That’s all ORION needs to declare the PC and his companions rogue agents.
The Beginning: Though the overpayment was an honest mistake, ORION doesn’t see it that way. It is obvious — or at least somewhat likely — to them that the PC was paid by the CEO to compromise that last mission. They send a group of agents to take the PCs into custody.
To make matters worse, WEB gets word of what is going on (via a mole) and decides to have a little fun. As the ORION agents make their way to the PC’s home, they are ambushed by masked gunmen. All but two are killed, but the survivors report that their attackers, though masked, were of the same race, height, and build of the PCs, used the same sort of weapons, and afterward they fled in a vehicle identical to the one most often used by the PC agents. It is now clear to ORION that the agents have gone bad and must be dealt with.
At this point, the PCs won’t know any of this (even the WEB agents know more about what is going on then they do). All that they know is that one of their number found an extra ten grand in his bank account, and the next thing they knew, agents that they know and trust are trying to kill them.
What follows should be a string of ambushes, car bombings, covert assassination attempts, etc. both by ORION agents hot on the warpath to avenge the murder of their fellows by the “rogue” agents; and by WEB agents posing as the good guys, keeping the fires burning while their masters chuckle and watch ORION turn on itself. Gradually, the PCs should learn about the suspect CEO — by calling in favors, interrogating captured WEB or ORION agents, or by calling a trusted contact within ORION who is willing to stick his neck out for them.
During this time, the PCs won’t know who is ORION and who is WEB. If at any time they attempt to give themselves up, the enemy agents will be WEB (perhaps with some of them disguised as known ORION agents, just to confuse things).
The Twist: Capturing and interrogating the CEO is not a viable option. He will not admit to being a WEB operative, and will assert again and again that he knows absolutely nothing. He may confess under torture or threat of death, but won’t confess to anything specific. Because he is not a WEB operative.
The real WEB agent is his secretary.
The Outcome: The climax of the adventure really depends upon the PCs actions. They must clear their names, which should lead them to the CEO. Somewhere along the line, the secretary reveals herself, leading a band of thugs who want to finish off the PCs. WEB is having fun, but enough is enough.
An ORION investigation is going on behind the scenes that will eventually exonerate the PC for the overpayment (they will find it was a simple clerical error) and the original ambush (the ballistics won’t match the PCs’ weapons), so the outcome will depend upon how the PCs have been acting. If the PCs have been doing a lot of running, very little fighting, and haven’t killed any ORION agents, then ORION will send out a liaison to find the PCs and defuse the situation. If the PCs have killed their fellows, the same thing will happen, but there will surely be an inquest.