Operatives: Aamir, Kwasniewski, Lynch, Oliver, Townsley, Vasquez
Primary Objective: Capture or Kill Esfandiar Rahim Mashai
Primary Objective Status: Completed
Summary: In the aftermath of the riots and protests of the Green Movement in Iran, the conservative factions in that country were forced to close ranks to successfully crush the protesters. This placed the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Khameini and his faction in a position of overt support for President Ahamdinejad and his faction notwithstanding tensions between the two. One source of these tensions is President Ahamdinejad’s brother-in-law Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, named as Vice President only to have himself removed from that post by Khameini only to then be instated as the President’s chief of staff. Mashai has expressed the belief that he hears the will of the occluded twelfth Imam of Shia theology and therefore needn’t pay any heed to Iran’s clerical establishment which rules under the principle of the “Guardianship of the Jurist,” the notion that so long as the occluded Imam remains hidden by God, that clerics should rule the state.
Such statements from such a high-ranked and powerful person have fostered splits in the conservative factions of Iran and permitted President Ahamdinejad to further his own ambitions and parallel power structures to the Guardianship Council and the clerical establishment. All of this would remain an internal matter of little more than political or diplomatic concern until Mashai showed flashes of extreme Talent manifestation. The pattern of these manifestations, however, were extremely odd. At most times, Mashai appears to Talent observers to be entirely mundane. Occasionally, however, Talent power on the level of an Omega class Talent fills him for brief moments as he speaks with the “voice of the Occluded Imam.” At the conclusion of whatever statement he makes, the power vanishes and he appears to be entirely normal once more.
Israel is already aiming nuclear weapons at Iran in preparation for a pre-emptive strike should Iran achieve nuclear capability. The sudden re-appearance of the “messiah” of Shia Islam within the political faction of the President would be disastrous. Operations Team was sent to Caracas, Venezuela where Mashai, as Chief of Staff, was due to continue diplomatic negotiations on behalf of President Ahamdinejad with President Hugo Chavez. Their orders were to investigate and monitor Mashai, learn all they could about his unusual “mad” Talent manifestation, and capture him. If capture was deemed impossible, they were to ensure his death. The diplomatic outcry was deemed an acceptable risk to the alternative of Talent and nuclear war in the Middle East.
Operations Team arrived in Caracas in advance of Mashai and his Talent bodyguard. Operations Team set up a base of operations and, with the help of Nephilim Operative Hanna Kwasniewski, initiated surveillance on Venezuelan computer systems to monitor local knowledge of Mashai’s intended movements and itinerary. Operative Vasquez and Operator Mitchell narrowed down those elements of Caracas’ underworld likely to be tapped in supplying Mashai with the necessary entertainments in the evenings after his official duties. Operatives Kwasniewski and Townsley then monitored Mashai and his bodyguards and their movements, along with President Chavez’s own resources delegated to security.
In the evening of Mashai’s first day in Venezuela, he was taken to a high-end club where entertainments had been procured. Upon entering the establishment, his Talent filled him for about thirty seconds. In that time period, he spoke to one of his Talent bodyguards. Within moments of that, one of the young women in a back room getting ready was struck by seizures and taken to the hospital. Operative Townsley determined that she was HIV Positive, and Operations team surmised that the “Hidden Imam” somehow warned Mashai that one there was a threat to him. This changed the Team’s plans, knowing that mad-Talent level prophecy might interfere with their plans.
Team engaged in a “snatch and grab” from Mashai’s limousine at 2am as he was inebriated and heading home. They brought him to their base while simultaneously sabotaging the limousine and otherwise distracting his bodyguards. Mashai’s mad Talent manifested immediately, but not in any defensive or offensive fashion. He, in fact, did nothing more than speak in classical Arabic to the Operations Team, specifically Operatives Aamir and Oliver, who had assumed her Samael persona, as his body was filled with lethal amounts of bullets. He continued to speak long after he should have died, but ultimately relinquished the body as an “unworthy vessel.” His statements in those few seconds were mostly religious references to the historical Battle of Karbala where Sunni Muslims ambushed the Imam Husayn and assassinated him. Operative Townsley sensed small flares of Talent activity flitting from one to another of his otherwise-occupied bodyguards, but settling in none of them. Operations Team then evacuated via Transport Operative Caravaggio.