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Friday, July 9, 2010

Shadow living - Part 5 - Who you may run into & what to expect

The Enemy


As an operative, it is important to remember that you are not alone in the shadows. You will inevitably run into other people, and every one of them offers their own unique problem. Here are the assorted types of people you will find, what problems they present, and what you can do to avoid trouble.

Bacon

"Bacon" comes in two flavors - city and state. The city bacon is more of a concern as there is usually more of it in any given area. When dealing with the bacon, there are numerous things to keep in mind.

The first thing is that their sirens attract all kinds of attention. Anyone awake nearby may decide to look around to see what is going on and possibly give some tips to the police. The second is that they have spotlights. This can eliminate just about every hiding tactic not involving solid cover, and can reach out a ways. Don't bother trying to outrun them, dodge them. The third, and most serious threat, is they always have back-up. They can use this back-up to have other units cut you off, K9 units hunt you, or even have a chopper follow you if they see you as a serious threat. The key to defeating their network is to act quickly and efficiently before they can react. This is a major reason for all of your escape plans you made. The fourth threat is that they generally have superior equipment. This gives them a technological edge over you.

First of all, any vehicles you see prowling around small areas late at night are subject to suspicion. Assume any vehicles you see fitting this profile wreak of bacon, unless you personally learn otherwise. When stationary, remember that the police will probably have their lights off. Even if they are required to keep them on in your area, assume the worst. Because of this, scan every alley and driveway carefully before, during, and after entering their vicinities.

If they suspect something may be wrong in an area, but aren't sure, they may decide to use their spotlight. In this case, you must get out of the line of sight. Anything solid will cover you, including tall grasses. Do not try to run away however, because if the spotlight hits a running person, the bacon will surely report to the entire hog and pursue.

If you trip an alarm, bacon is also the first thing you will "smell". Almost invariably, this smell will come from the front of a given area, eventually drifting to the rear. Hence, if you "smell" bacon, move away from the front of the area and escape quickly.

One thing you have working to your advantage is that the majority of the time, the bacon is exposed to lights, making dark areas good hiding places. Use some common sense and adhere to Rule 7 at all times, and the bacon shouldn't become a problem.

Guards

Guards are hired hands who either patrol an area or survey a specific location. They may or may not be armed, but they will always be trouble if they spot you. Assuming the worst is especially important with these. They are generally not as observant as a police officer as they rarely see any action, and thus tend to slack off on the job. Operative at your best around these guys, and there should be no problem.

If you spot a guard patrolling an area, keep track of his movements and keep a note of when he comes by. Also take note of what items he is carrying, especially a weapon or radio. Keep in mind that even if you see no weapon, that doesn't mean it's not hidden. If you see a radio, and have you own 2-way, you may get lucky and be able to pick up on the talking.

Stationary guards are often found sitting around doing something of their own, and glancing at monitors now and then. While seemingly harmless, you must consider two things. The first is that the times he looks at the monitors is random, he could look at any given moment. The second is that if you cause enough motion on screen, he may pick you up with his peripheral vision, sound an alarm, and/or confront you personally. Remember, when dressed in full gear that you aren't approached like a normal pedestrian, you are approached as though you are a combatant. If he decides to chase and you suspect he's going to tackle you and mace/stun gun you, get cheap! Throw some powder or soil at his face and leg it in the opposite direction, or push him to the ground and run past him if you've blinded him.

Also keep in mind that guards are not tied directly to police, but they can get a hold of them quicker than your normal civilian. This means that if you confront a guard, you can expect the boys in blue to arrive shortly thereafter.

Civilian

Anyone who isn't actively looking for intruders could be considered a civilian. While they usually aren't found walking the streets at night, they are often inside of their homes, doing something like watching TV. The good news is that you can use this to your advantage since their windows will act as mirrors. The bad news is that these are usually the paranoid ones who will call the police and/or grab a weapon to fight you. If you may eye contact with anyone, and you have a good reason to suspect that they have seen you, abort your mission immediately, take evasive action, and make your way discreetly to base.

If a civilian attempts to confront you, run, even if you know you can defeat them in a fight. You can try to throw something at their face to blind them, and then run if you can do so without risking yourself in the process.

As civilians are tuned in to their surroundings, they are a constant threat. Even asleep, a noise may wake them up in a panic.

Party Animals

At night, there are always parties. People running around, getting drunk, having fun. The problems are that they sometimes stumble outside to puke, piss, sleep on the lawn, etc. Don't interact with them. You may think it's fun and games walking up to a drunkard and making them think you're a ninja, but what happens if they go inside and describe you to a sober person? They might take a look outside, or they may laugh, but Murphy's Law may bite you in the ass if you assume nothing of it. Remember Rule 10 and remain out of sight.

Alternatively, parties may present a good target of opportunity. You may find a lot of unlocked vehicles parked outside, which may harvest more than you can carry. You may also get lucky and find some booze for celebrating later, or use as a trade item if you aren't into that sort of thing.

Gangs

Should you begin to operate where a group of people hang out, intentionally or unintentionally, then you most certainly should learn how to deal with them. Don't bother trying to interact with them, I highly doubt they'll be up for talking to you. If they notice you, they may mistake your intentions and try to attack you. In this case, run and hide where they cannot find you, fast! Try not to bother them, because you don't want to waste the time involved. If they are in an area you need passage through, either wait them out or go around them. Female operatives - you have some obvious problems that guys don't around certain groups of people.

Alternatively, you could consider this a possible target of opportunity. You may be able to skim some good information off of them or watch them stash something. Just make sure you don't go after the stash until you are certain they have left the area. Unlikely, but possible.

Operatives

If you run in the shadows often enough, you may happen upon another night operative running around. First and foremost, you can evaluate yourself using him or her. If the operative cannot see you, you are doing a good job. Similarly, since you can see the operative, try to figure out why you were able to, and add his or her mistake to your list of don'ts.

Now, once the shock of seeing someone else running around has subsided, you may be tempted to contact them. This is a huge no-no. You might think "Hey cool, someone else like me", and try to hit them up for a discussion on ops. Consider though; you have no idea who they are, and what they will do. Even if you do know them, they may not recognize you. They may decide to attack you, make a huge racket to get you busted, turn you in, whatever. Furthermore, you are taking jobs away that he or she wants, and the same applies visa-versa.

If you run into someone, the first thing you should do is remain still and observe. If the operative does something stupid like puts himself into a position that is slow to get out of, hurl a rock into a window near it and get his ass busted! Remember, he's messing around where you don't want him, and he's likely to get caught. Take advantage.

If the operative has seen you and will not run from the scene, a fight is possible. If he doesn't have a firearm or other powerful ranged weapon, a great way to break the ice might be to, once more, send a rock through a nearby window. That will make him run for sure, and you should follow suit.

For the operative feeling bold, a devious plan may be to track him around and wait for him to try to enter somewhere. When he does, hide as close to the entrance as possible, and mug him as soon as he comes out so you can take all of his goods. If you want to really be a pain in the ass, you could take a chance and drag him in front of a window, break it, cause a commotion, and haul ass. As long as he wasn't obviously mugged, it will look like he broke in and tried to leave by jumping out of a window, but he somehow got knocked out. Either way, the cops aren't going to care. If they think he had a partner turn against him, your info can't come out anyhow.

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