I didn't know who Hansen was until someone pointed out the novel character, but I do now choose to think that's who he was. I'm not saying his death isn't the case, I mean Reed was wiping out the good guys, so maybe. I'm just saying it doesn't make much sense to me to bother with it, unless it was a hint at the coming betrayal of A&K, in that their Handler was removed specifically to allow for Reed's Handler to send the Kill Order....
.....I think I argued your point for you there.
I've posted a good bit on this point in particular. I was initially, and still am, FOR a new protagonist. New fresh and with plenty of TIME to keep on doing it. I don't want Sam dead, I'd prefer his continued involvement in the 3E program, or even better, his own SC type PMC.
I think a recurring new protagonist would be essential, but I don't see a problem with several new protagonists either. I refer back to the PC Rainbow days, when you had a roster of Operatives to assign missions to at your discretion. We would of course need a main story player, but I think surrounding him/her with other operatives would broaden the scope of the deal a bit, and add some variety.
I really like the idea of multi national operatives. The PMC deal would really facilitate that angle. We could have the likes of Archer, Kestrel, Sam, Koshka, Pak, Price, etc, all under one banner. A great entity to go toe to toe with the Multi National Meggido.
If Sam HAS to bow out, I'm not sure how I would want it to go down. The obvious choice is super heroism in the line of duty, but maybe realishness would allow for an execution after being captured or many other harsh reality versions.
I think it best to just stay away from that completely. Sam is down with the Prez on a face to face level now, he and Grim defended the White House from a coup, he is now number one on the most trusted asset list. THAT angle allows for Sam to move into Executive role alongside Grim. Or he goes and lives in the country I suppose.
However it goes, if progressive time lines are followed I can't help but think SC6 is Sam's last outing as far as field work is concerned.