Operation: Tower of Babble
|Tower of Babble|
|Dates run:||March 11-13, 2007|
|Read the logs:||Tower of Babble|
"We are the 17th Guards border patrol. We do not cede the border to the UN or any American puppets! You cannot keep us from stopping what ever nonsense is being set against us."
Snow Valley's first 'official' fact-finding mission turns out to be a lot more complicated when they encounter complete communications breakdown on the border between Syria and Iraq.
During 2006, a series of ancient ruins was unearthed on the border of Syria and Iraq. Initial archaeological investigation determined the site was pre-Biblical, although the exact age was hard to determine. An American university got permission to excavate the site with a group of grad students. They were hoping for a Persian village site. Instead, they uncovered the elements of a bigger ruin. Rumours then began claiming it was the site of the Tower of Babel, although this claim was not been endorsed by anyone credible. The governments of both Syria and Iraq then sent troops in to 'monitor' the situation. A UN observation team of Australian and Pakistani troops was also sent to keep the peace, due to the controversial nature of the site and rising tensions.
Things took a turn for the worse when all communication with the site was suddenly lost. Agatha Harkness, a former archaeology lecturer of Wanda's and professional meddler in things, contacted her former pupil when she too lost contact with the team on the dig site. Using Agatha's contacts, they managed to wrangle an official research team, under the auspices of the Snow Valley Center. Pete and Remy, not officially on the think tank's books, decided to use their own particular brand of 'research' to discover if there was some kind of political angle, taking Mark with them for further field experience.
Upon arriving at the site, the Snow Valley team - Wanda, Sofia, Doug, Marie-Ange and Amanda - discovered that something was literally interfering with the ability to communicate; all languages turned to gibberish. Only Doug, with his mutant power, was able to understand and make himself understood. It was decided that he and Sofia would do their best to control rising tension on the site, whilst the other three investigated the ruins in order to determine the cause. It wasn't to be a walk in the park, as they discovered the ruins had been booby trapped.
Meanwhile, Mark found himself on the wrong end of the Syrian military when they found an Iraqi beret he'd bought from a soldier and arrested him as a spy. Due to the delicate nature of the situation, Pete and Remy weren't able to break him out, leaving him to rely on his own resources. An a-cappella version of a Beatles song provided him with the power impetus to break out, but not after he'd received some rough treatment from the soldiers.
Remy, using a Mossad contact, discovered that the original funding for the research team had been cut and the shortfall covered by fundamentalist Christians who had ties a group whose aim was to bring about Armageddon via the fall of the Middle East, as per Biblical prophecy. Further investigation led him to discover that the cult had an inside man who had set off an ancient device, and who was to trigger a bomb on the site should the disruption to communication be stopped. Remy warned Doug of the bomb, who in turn warned Wanda, only to find that she and Marie-Ange had taken care of the fundamentalist already. Whilst they were engaged with him, Amanda destroyed the device, restoring communication.
That just left the bomb - having located it, Doug called Forge on his cell to help him disarm it. The resumption of coherent communication eased tensions, and the provision of a scapegoat in the form of the fundamentalists distracted attention away from the region.
Trivia and Meta
Mark spent the following week wearing his beret.
Amanda nearly drowned when one of the booby traps filled the tunnel with water, mostly due to her being a poor swimmer.