Part 33: Logan's ConfusionUpdate 33 - Logan's Confusion
Syphon Filter Logan's Shadow Episode 5 - Syria
The Agency is no more. With no resources, Teresa gets Gabe back into the field for one purpose: find Lian. The trail takes him straight to Bitar's desert compound where Cordell is trying to destroy it utterly, hopefully silencing both Bitar and Lian. Working with beleaguered Army Rangers, Gabe reunites with Lian in the penultimate chapter of Syphon Filter.
Next week, with luck, the final update of SF happens. Bring booze!
Dog-tag. Ive seen a lot of special forces die the last two weeks due to Cordells deception and ineptitude. Desert Scorpions are an elite Army Ranger division, meant to be the tip of the spear in the advance on al-Jamils hidden bunker. Night time air-drops provide an element of stealth and surprise, but in Cordells haste, he ordered the paratroopers to jump in broad daylight. Enemy anti-aircraft guns killed this scorpion before he hit the ground. Gabe Logan
Anti-tank mine. The desert scorpions had the element of surprise, numbers, and military superiority. Even if you discount Cordells ineptitude out of the equation, we should have easily destroyed the al-Jamil defenses. But they had the support of a strong benefactor. For years, the Syrian government has denied accusations they supported or harbored terrorists. The markings on these anti-tank mines are hard proof that maybe they arent so distant from groups like al-Jamil as they would have us believe. Gabe Logan
Leaflet. Written in Arabic, the leaflet dropped over the battlefield was written by a cultural specialist, and was intended to discourage the entrenched al-Jamil soldiers, get them to abandon their posts or risk dying. Cordell would have never allowed this message to be dropped, but since it had been standard procedure since airplanes had first been used in warfare, the Army didnt bother to tell him. I hate to say that I agree with Cordell, but this cultural specialist didnt understand the al-Jamil warrior mentality. They lived for this day, and would never surrender. All this letter did was give them fair warning that we were coming. Gabe Logan
Behind the Scenes
How good a level looks is a combination of textures, mesh, and lighting. Without great textures, objects wont have enough detail to be believable. Making great textures is not easy: they have to have detail without being repetitive, and they have to tile without seams.
A Radiosity Simulation Engine is used to create realistic lighting and shadows. Once the artist is done placing lights throughout the level, radiosity is used to bounce the light off objects in realistic ways. This process creates highly realistic lighting and shadows.
All mesh is built to a specific grid size. Artists must follow specific rules and guidelines when creating level art so that the 3D spaces will work for both player actions and gameplay mechanics. Objects and ledges, for example, must be specific heights and distances.
Lyrics to Logans Shadow by Azam Ali:
Like the faded spark of stars that pass
I stand scarred, in your shadow
Love is but a faint trace of a memory
So how can I speak of loves dream
In this shell, in this dark, a needed faith, a needed spark.
Yet I long, that youll still come
So I try to outrun my past
Now between us like a shoreless sea
Can you still love me
Waiting for you to come and save me, waiting for you to come and save me
Will we stray in this doubt
in the remains of this light
Lyrics to Secrets Lament by Azam Ali:
In sorrows flood, I found my bliss
Shone splendidly in the light of your gaze
How faint sound of love concealed, of unspoken words
Unlived dreams, unloved love.
Caravans freighted with heroes of lost days
Bound silently heavenward where the heart waits
How faint the sound of love concealed of unspoken words
Unlived dreams, unlived love.
Green beret tattoo. The dead Courier had a tattoo from his prior military service. Cordell hires only former intelligence agents or Special Forces soldiers; hardcore patriots afraid of nothing and willing to do anything in the name of national security. Ive found many of them who have done just that and sacrificed their lives to recover the X-Z-2. As an employer, you couldnt ask for more from your men. But these couriers didnt die for national security. They died trying to cover up Cordells mess.
Code: D7V N8T H2WM Gabe Logan
Dog-tag. This was an aggressive operation, but the coordinated ground and air assaults would help soften enemy positions so that ground troops could advance. Desert Scorpions would recon enemy positions, and then radio for air support to destroy those targets. Computers guide modern missiles, but theres still a degree of error, and this GI suffered for it. Stone used to tell me his own horror stories, and most always closed with, There aint nothin friendly about friendly fire! Gabe Logan
Letter from Rhamani. Brother Ghassan, I wanted to congratulate you on al-Jamils recent victories defending our homeland. Good fortune has blessed my business interest, and it is my duty to provide al-Jamil from its fruit.
Do not despise my dealings with the westerners. I vow that my stomach turns in disgust, but I am setting them up to use their blind lust for our oil as a means to silently fleece and then public destroy them. For that, I need your assistance.
Enclosed you will find the sum of seven million Pounds to fund al-Jamil operations. Please spend them on the finest equipment and firepower that will assist yourno, our cause. You are commanding the last of the faithful. Fawzi Rhamani
Shell casings. These automatic cannons were un-manned, heavy caliber machine guns designed for combat against armored vehicles such as tanks, APCs, or helicopters. But these were leveled at light infantry units. Alpha Company had been decimated. If I ever make it out of this desert, Ive got spent shell casings we can trace back to the manufacturer. And from there, to whoever supplied al-Jamil with their fortified weapons. Gabe Logan
AIT Shipping Invoices. The last shipment of arms I tracked from Red Section were sold to Middle Eastern arms dealers Black Freedom, and then purchased by al-Jamil with funds given to them by Fawzi Rhamani, an Egyptian oil magnate and terrorism financier. Rhamani was killed by Bitar once al-Jamils zealousness encroached on his own business interests.
Although I had been tracking the shipments, I never confirmed the contents until now. Thankfully, none of Singularitys chemical or biological weapons are listed here, but I am concerned to see a number of AIT AS-4 armored suites on the invoice. When I discovered these on the St. Helens, I figured they belonged to Cordells men, but this proves that Bitar had taken them onboard.
Mujari says the AS-4 is the next grade of Singularitys FCS Armor I encountered at Aerospace Integrated Technologies. That generation of electrical armor was tough enough. What the hell am I in for this time?
FAX. Cordell was in a race to secure Shen before France, Britain, or Russia could. Its acceptable US policy to contract with Pakistani tribal leaders; Cordell did nothing wrong by hiring local mercenaries to secure Shen and hold him until NIOC forces could arrive. This FAX sent to al-Jamil via satellite phone from the Himalayas shows where things began to go south for Cordell. Even then, he still hadnt done anything wrong. But he panicked, and set this entire chain of events into motion. He should have known that its not the original crime, but the cover-up that gets you into trouble. Gabe Logan
Letter. I had it backwards, figuring that Lian had run out on Shen when I recruited her away from CSS. Based on this letter, Shen ended their relationship, choosing work over a personal life, I felt guilty reading through their personal correspondence, but something occurred to me, a piece of the puzzle falling into place: The letter was addressed simply to Lian Xing, at the American Embassy in Beijing. This means Shen had no means to get in contact with Lian, and neither did the embassy. I have no doubt Cordell intercepted the letter, passed it to Lian, and then sat back and waited for her to lead them to Shen. Gabe Logan
X-Z-2 schematics. Looking at the charcoal sketch, even I could appreciate the simple elegance of Shens device. It was small, fragile, and harmless looking, but had the potential to explode like an atom bomb. Shen grew up poor in a remote Chinese village and spent most of his adult life insulated from people by his government handlers. Mujari tells me that Shens innocence, naiveté, and brilliance were the perfect storm of genius necessary to design such a paradoxical device. Gabe Logan