by Chris Crawshaw and Dave McAlister
Cell Phone Filtration Program
This a piece of computer software that is used to filter and restrict all cell phone communications signal traffic in a given area by taken control of the cells covering that region. Anyone attempting to initiate a call from within the restricted cell receives their usual network’s busy tone. Should someone outside of the restricted cell, or someone calling from a landline, call a cell phone that is within the restricted cell, they will hear an engaged tone. This restriction can be bypassed by adding a predetermined prefix to affected calls.
The software must be physically loaded into each cell’s control centre and properly configured prior to it’s effective use. To utilise this software correctly, an agent must make an INT check (this check can be modified by +10 if the agent has the Computer Aptitude advantage). Success means that the software has been successfully installed. Failure indicates that the software has not been correctly installed, thereby leaving a “window” through which calls may pass. The size of this window is determined by the amount by which the check is failed.
For example, Luther Stickle has an INT of 78 and also has the Computer Aptitude advantage. This gives him a 88% chance of correctly setting up the Filtration Program. Unfortunately, the player rolls a 94, this allows a 6% chance of a call getting through the program.
Forearm Mounted Grapnel
This is a small collapsible titanium alloy grapnel attached to an extremely thin 30′ nylon polymer line housed within a 1″ diameter, 8″ long tube. The tube is mounted on a forearm assembly also housing a small compressed gas cylinder and a small but powerful electric motor.
To use this wonderful contraption, the wearer snaps his wrist sharply into the receiving position and the grapnel tube slides forward into the palm of the hand. The outside of the tube has 3 buttons, the first fires the grapnel using a short burst of compressed gas. As the grapnel leaves the tube assembly and is clear of the users hand, three tines snap into place. The second button activates the winch motor. The motor is usually calibrated to the users bodyweight to a maximum of 200lbs. Towards the upper limits of the motor strength, ascent will be extremely slow. The strain on the motor can be relieved by the user assisting in the effort (i.e. running up a wall). The third button releases the grapnel into the users hand. This can then be attached to a suitable anchor point and the user can lower himself using the motors gearing to slow his descent. A second press, or first press if the grapnel has been fired, retracts the tines and reels in the line.
Due to its size (2″ long by 1/2″ diameter) the gas cylinder is only good for 2 uses although it is easily replaceable. The power cell, which is about the size of an average mobile phone battery pack, has a half-hour duration and a 5 minute recharge time or can simply be replaced with a fully charged spare.
GPS Vehicle Alarm System
This system can be fitted to any vehicle. On activation, the system takes a reading from the GPS network. If the vehicle is moved from this position an alert is sent to the nearest Orion facility. The tracking facility then has a number of options, track the vehicle to its destination, alert agents in the field allowing them to track via Orioncomm or immobilise the vehicle.
The system arms and disarms by detecting the presence of an Orioncomm. The system transmits a low power interrogation signal that can only be detected within 5′ of the vehicle. An Orioncomm detecting this signal will automatically transmit a return, disarming the system. If the agent doesn’t have the keys for the vehicle, it can be started by tuning the radio frequency to the agents number.
The tracking system can also be activated remotely via an Orion field office. This allows agents in unfamiliar territory to request a vehicle via Orioncomm and be directed straight to it.
With immediate effect, the Orioncomm SW3 replaces the Orioncomm SW2 as the standard watch piece. Although available in a number of differing styles the technology within each is the same. The different functions of the Orioncomm SW3 can be selected via a touch sensitive view screen. This screen is an extremely hi-resolution display, usually set to display a watch-face. In this mode it is indistinguishable from a standard watch. The face can display highly detailed information such as GPS navigation information (thanks to it’s link to the GPS system) and files downloaded from the Orion Global Network (Orion’s version of the World Wide Web). The watch-face is not the only modified part of the Orioncomm SW3. The wristband of the watch houses four removable tracer units (each approximately the size of a 5p piece). Due to their size the range of these locators is limited, although this range can be extended using more sensitive equipment. The transmitters have two modes. The first mode is continuous transmission. This is easier to locate but the continuous transmission runs a higher risk of detection. The second mode is a pulse transmission. In this mode the locator transmits information in short random bursts which are harder to locate for both parties.
The voice communications are handled by a dedicated, highly encrypted digital satellite channel. This channel can ‘piggyback’ on the GPS signal and therefore Orion secure communications are available wherever there is GPS coverage. The unit vibrates to give the agent a discreet notification of an incoming message. A small earpiece can be used in conjunction with the Orioncomm. The earpiece is virtually undetectable to anything but the closest scrutiny. The earpiece also picks up the users speech via vibrations in the mandible.
Finally, each Orioncomm SW3 is encoded to be used by one specific agent. It’s circuitry will be destroyed by any attempted unauthorised use or tampering.
Plastiskin Disguise System
Plastiskin is an ultra-thin polymer designed to look feel and behave just like human skin. It can be moulded into prosthetics or full head masks by a computer controlled injection moulding system. In the espionage world there are many who use this technology in order to complete their missions. Full head masks are most commonly used in this way.
Although the base technology is the same, there are two ways in which to create full head masks. If the subject to be copied is willing to co-operate, they can be scanned thoroughly by the computer to produce a perfect likeness. However, if the subject is unwilling or unaware, the required data can be extrapolated from other sources eg photographs, film etc. This method produces varying results depending on the amount of information available.
These masks however are not totally infallible. A mask copied from a willing subject will pass close scrutiny 80% of the time. A mask copied from an unwilling subject will pass close scrutiny 30%–70% of the time (the final figure is dependant on the amount of information available when the mask is created).
In addition to this, each level of the Disguise skill adds another 5% to this figure-symbolising the fact that the agent has perfected the walk, mannerisms etc of the subject.
Silencers can only be fitted to a pistol and submachine gun that does no more than 1d8 maximum damage. By increasing the amount of gas that is released when the trigger is pressed, a silencer reduces the amount of noise a firearm makes. In game terms, a silenced weapon can only be heard within a 50 feet radius. Within this radius, the shoot sounds like a muffled “pop”. The downside to this is that silenced weapons do less damage. Therefore a modifier of -2 is applied to all damage rolls with these weapons.
ULF Heartbeat Scanner
The original concept behind this scanner was the detection of survivors of avalanches and earthquakes who had been buried alive. The premise being that survivors could be found by scanning for the ULF electrical field generated by a beating heart.
Still in it’s development stage, the civilian unit was large, cumbersome and totally unsuited to field work. The G4 Branch obtained a prototype and worked on a way to scale it down into a practical size. This was completed earlier this year, but at a cost to the operational range and accuracy. In the last month or so this problem has been overcome by utilising a program designed to network a number of the scanners together with a laptop, thus allowing triangulation of data. This was then combined with maps and blueprints to provide an accurate picture of the area that was scanned.
Recent field trials have found that the units can also be used as proximity alarms, either individually (although this can be impractical due to the detection arc) or placed around a perimeter.
The units are 6″ x 3″ x 1″ in size and weight around 3 lbs. The top half of the unit contains a small 2″ x 2″ screen, which provides the information, while the bottom half contains the control buttons. The operational range of the unit is 50 metres, with a 45 degree arc of detection directly in front. To effectively operation this unit an agent requires the skill Electronics. Should an agent not have this skill, the units can be used on a successful 1/2 INT check.
Voice Modulation Circuit
The voice modulation circuit is a wafer-thin flexible circuit which is taped over the user’s larynx and hidden beneath a patch of Plastiskin. The circuit is pre-programmed with a digitised example of the subject’s voice pattern and adjusts the user’s voice pattern to match.
As with the Plastiskin disguise system, the voice modulation circuit is not totally infallible. A voice-print obtained from a willing subject will pass close scrutiny 80% of the time. A voice-print obtained from an unwilling subject will pass close scrutiny 30%–70% of the time (the final figure is dependant on the quality of the samples obtained).
In addition to this, each level of the Acting skill adds another 5% to this figure-symbolising the fact that the agent has perfected the tone, lilt etc of the subject.