Operation: Man of Stone
|Operation: Man of Stone|
|Dates run:||September 16-21, 2009|
|Read the logs:||Man of Stone|
"Man of Stone. That's what they called you. The only man crueler than the mujahideen."
Following up on a mutant weaponisation program leads X-Force to an encounter with the Russian underworld.
Prompted by a vision and a number of disappearances of young mutants in Russia, Marie-Ange and Doug researched further, uncovering the Krasnoe Dinamo project which had outfitted SIROCCO. The program was an old Russian weaponisation experiment, an attempt to augment mutant powers with cybernetic enhancements. There was only limited success, as they had few volunteers of decent strength to work on, and the crude nature of Russian cybertechnology often created multiple complications with most mutations. It was headed by a Professor Piotr Phobos, a talented but sloppy Russian robotics engineer and designer, who spent more than a decade working on the 'Krasnoe Dinamo' program before it was shut down by the Russian military.
Emma and Sarah tracked down Phobos in Switzerland and after some 'persuasion', learned that he sold the results of the program to a General Nikolai Alexandrovich Zakharov for a substantial sum, allowing him to retire to Switzerland and enjoy a comfortable existence. Phobos seemed more terrified of Zakharov than of Emma, which didn't bode well. Zakharov was something of a legend in Soviet Russia; he was the only Soviet commander actually feared by the Afghanis. A major at the time, he earned his nickname "Man of Stone" during a village raid, in which the male fighters had hidden themselves from the Soviet troops in the surrounding hills. To lure them out, Zukharov had the women and children rounded up, and marched to the edge of a cliff. He began to force the women and children over the edge, falling to their deaths. At the sight of him dangling a swaddled infant over the cliff, the fighters emerged from their hidden spots to attack. Three Hindi anti-personnel helicopters, waiting for the fighters to emerge, swooped in and slaughtered the men in minutes, whiile Zakharov dropped the baby over the cliff. His troops called him ‘Man of Stone’ following that. General Zakharov was retired by the Russian military at the turn of the century, and started a mercenary group based in Symkaria soon after. His acquisition of the 'Krasnoe Dinamo' information was the first step in a potential military coup to take over Russia and restore a Soviet-like state.
Jubilee and Jake collected more information by bugging various Russian underworld figures specialising in mutant smuggling, eventually getting a lead and Sofia and Bishop successfully locating Zakharov's headquarters in Symkaria. Amanda and Morgan used the oldest technique in the book to get security codes into Zakharov's base - Morgan mimicked the 'pimp' of one of Zakharov's higher-ups, sent to procure company for the night and while Amanda provided that company, stole the codes. North and Wanda led the assault on the stronghold, with the subjects of the program, the scientists and their guards being terminated. Zakharov escaped, however, although not for long - he was tracked down by Remy, who finished the job.
Trivia and Meta
Remy returned to X-Force following his assassination of Zakharov after six weeks' absence with The Mengo Brothers.
This was the last Operation for Jake and North: Jake left X-Force to go it alone and North went deep undercover in Europe to avoid any potential repercussions.
Amanda and Angelo's relationship ended by mutual decision after she confessed what she had done to get the information.
The plot was created using this wallpaper, created by Nute as a base, and most of the cut-tags are lines from the poster. It was meant to orignally signal Pete's return, however Alasdair had to drop the chracter due to lack of time for playing and it was adapted for Remy's return instead.