Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Yablo
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:35 pm UTC

Music From A Darkened Room – Session 1

Seven months have passed since the Kansas incident. It is now a few days after Thanksgiving Day, 2010. Just as the agents are finally managing to return to some semblance of normalcy, Agents ROSE and SETH open their respective mailboxes. Amidst the countless holiday advertisements, they each found a plain white envelope with no postage, no post mark, and no return address. Both envelopes contained an identical message:

DIRECTIVE FROM A-CELL

You are to investigate the death of Agent GARRET, and the suspicious circumstances of said death. Focus attention on 1206 Spooner Avenue, Laconia, NH. This house has been brought to the attention of A-Cell before, and is deemed a paranormal threat. Extreme caution should be employed when investigating the Spooner Avenue house. It has been known to exhibit an unknown influence over skilled DG Agents.

Mission Instructions
•Determine the cause of death of Agent GARRET
•Determine if the 1206 Spooner Avenue house represents an ongoing threat to the public
•Once these two protocols are complete, contact A-Cell for further instructions

Possible Friendly Contacts
•Emil Yarrow, Parapsychologist
•Elizabeth Tucker, Antique Dealer

Green Box Locales
•Green Box 711 – Meadowbrook Store-It


Agents RUBY and SID were informed, and all agents made their way to Laconia, New Hampshire.

S-Cell met at the Meadowbrook Inn to get settled as it was nearing midnight. R-Cell decided to meet up at the Green Box location and get started right away. There was no one in the office at the Meadowbrook Store-It, and there didn’t appear to be any night security, so ROSE and RUBY hopped right over the wall. It didn’t take long to find storage unit 711, and the lock was easily removed.

The door slid up to reveal a deep storage locker, and everything near the front seemed like it belonged. There was an antique table, a sofa bed, and two plastic wrapped twin mattresses. Behind the first layer, things still looked legitimate but borderline disturbing. There were three empty biohazard containers, two bags of quicklime, two new shovels, four pairs of work gloves, a hat-lamp, a three-and-a-half gallon metal container of gasoline with a pour spout, two new plastic gasoline containers, and three newly minted keys taped together in a piece of cardboard.

There was a third layer behind the second, and this is where things began to get questionable. The agents found 400 rounds of shotgun ammunition, two new Mossberg shotguns with serial numbers shaved off, fake IDs made out for one Arthur Donnelley (Meadowbrook gas inspector badge, and coroner ID), a Nikon F36 telephoto lens, a Nikon Reflex camera, the remains of two-dozen burned photographs with trace images of the house at 1206 Spooner Avenue, a 4-foot long, dirty wood coffin, and a notebook.

A small brass plaque identified the coffin as being that of one Anton Turé, and it was dated June, 1965. Agent ROSE opened the coffin to examine the contents, and she found the remains of a young child, now rotted to the point of disintegration.

Agent RUBY decided she would look over the notebook rather than help with the coffin. Most of the writing she found was barely intelligible scribbling and strange statements which seemed almost like math equations, but there were some details which seemed important:

Turé=not dead?/roaming the house?/only at night?/Grave? OCT10
Shovel, gloves, headlamp, cash? OCT 30
Burn it? Cruise tried: didn’t work. Others. Talk to survivors? Canadian mental health laws?
Music from dining room. Laughter/Noise upstairs.
Almost bought house! Means? +A alerted.
Someone else in house+Isari not returning calls.
Falcone death? Coroner?
Wheeler’s furniture/books or papers? Estate? NOV10
Talked to it tonight. Knew my name. Knows I’m watching. Called A today. Still no movement. Open house next week. Buy it? Burn it?


Agent SETH checked into his room, ordered room service, and began to relax. As their hotel had a bar, and it was still open, Agent SID decided to go down and have a drink. It was quiet, but there were still some people in the bar. Agent SID struck up a conversation with a couple of older gentlemen, and he led around to the topic of the Spooner Avenue house.

The two men agreed that there was something very wrong with the house. Ever since the deaths of the original owners, there had been a long string tragedy; accidents, murders, suicides … They told SID it was best to just stay away. Agent SID thanked them for their stories, and he bought them another round.

Agents ROSE and RUBY closed up the Green Box, climbed back over the wall, and discussed what to do. It didn’t take long before they made the decision to investigate the house in person. Upon arriving, the agents found a typical suburban neighborhood with well-maintained houses and yards. The house they had been assigned to investigate was no different.

The lawn had not been mowed in a week or so, and the yard was covered in a thin layer of leaves. There was a room over the two-car garage, but otherwise the house was a single story. Ivy crawled up the front, but it wasn’t present on the other sides. The porch in front was covered, but the deck in back was not.

ROSE tried the back door and found it was unlocked. She stepped inside using her phone’s flash for light. Scanning the room quickly, she saw a fireplace, a couch, a few cardboard boxes, and some Styrofoam cups. Just as Agent RUBY was about to enter, the lights in the den flickered on and off quickly several times. During one of the brief moments of light, ROSE was sure she saw a long shadow of a woman in a gown, but the next time, it was gone. After the flickering had subsided, the lights remained on.

Agent ROSE was standing in the center of the den when her phone rang. Agent SETH was calling to check in, and he was not happy to learn that R-Cell was at the house alone. After a brief argument, they agreed to meet at the hotel to formulate a plan.

Shortly after 1:00 AM on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and all four Delta Green agents were spending their time in the lobby of the Meadowbrook Inn in Laconia, NH speaking in hushed tones and borrowing the free wi-fi to research 1206 Spooner Avenue and its long history of tragedy.

They knew that Michael Wheeler, a wealthy stone mason, had built the house in 1907 for his wife Isabelle. The newspaper article didn’t have much more information than that.

George and Margaret Cruise had purchased the house in 1956 after Isabelle’s death, and they began extensive remodeling including the rather expensive restoration of floor to ceiling, wall-length mirrors in the master bedroom. Friends and neighbors reported a change in George and Margaret’s behavior after less than a year in the house. George had become withdrawn and spent most of his time at work, or at church services. Margaret had become rude and pushy; by all accounts the opposite of her former self.

In October of 1959, George Cruise drove to a sporting goods store and purchased a double-barreled shotgun and several rounds, drove home, and then shot his wife. He quickly set fire to the house, and then he turned the gun on himself. One of the neighbors had managed to put out the fire before it could spread.

The house had several owners in the intervening years, but Agent ROSE was unable to find a complete list. The city’s website directed her to the city hall for more information, and so the agents put that on their to-do list for the morning.

ROSE was able to find information on the house’s two most recent owners. A woman named Yamilla Isari had purchased the house in 2007 and lived there until her recent suicide, and FBI Special Agent Arthur Donnelly bought the place a little over a week ago. The article said that “both suicides occurred under identical circumstances”, but it didn’t elaborate.

There were plenty of leads, and Agent SETH insisted on waiting until morning to follow them.
Last edited by Yablo on Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:23 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:28 pm UTC

Yes, it's back! Woooo!
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.

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Yablo
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:12 pm UTC

Thank you for the show of appreciation. I apologize for the delay, but we missed two weeks due to scheduling conflicts and other life reasons. This Operation was intended to be the "Halloween Episode", but I think it will work well enough even without the holiday context. The next game is scheduled for tonight, so we will continue to test that theory.

Also, I'd like to point out that the first post has been edited to add a Table of Contents. Individual Operations should be easier to find now for anyone who might want them.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Yablo
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:13 pm UTC

Music From A Darkened Room – Session 2

The agents all awoke early and met at a local diner for breakfast. They decided to put an actual physical visit to the house on hold for the time being to focus on information gathering. SETH would check with the coroner regarding the death of Special Agent Donnelly, SID would check the records at City Hall and the Laconia Daily Sun newspaper for any useful historical information regarding the house, ROSE would contact Emil Yarrow the parapsychologist and Delta Green Friendly, and RUBY would scout the antique shop run by the other Friendly, Elizabeth Tucker. It seemed like a solid plan with minimal risk and fair potential.

Agent SETH arrived at the Lakes Region General Hospital and found a map. A red dot showed his current location as being in the main lobby, and his destination was down one floor. The morgue was on the first basement level, and so he took the stairs rather than the ventilation ducts as he had done the last time he was in a hospital.

The basement level was quiet, but he still made an effort to be stealthy. That effort seemed to backfire when he accidentally leaned on an emergency exit door, but he managed to get away before anyone spotted him. In fact, there didn’t seem to be much response to the brief alarm at all.

Agent SETH found the morgue which was a split room. Most of the room held the various contents of a typical morgue; operating table, tools, drawers which probably held bodies … A small corner of the room was carpeted, and it was laid out like an office. A tired looking man in his early- to mid-50’s sat behind a desk. His name badge identified him as Doctor Elmer Perkins.

Dr. Perkins looked up from his paperwork as Agent SETH entered, and he attempted a weary smile. SETH greeted the man and produced his INSCOM credentials. He informed the doctor that he was in town to put the closing touches on the life of Arthur Donnelly who he said was a highly decorated soldier in the U.S. Army before he joined the FBI. The doctor said he was unaware of Donnelly’s military service, but he was not surprised. Many service members transition naturally into law enforcement.

The INSCOM badge and cover story were good enough for Dr. Perkins, and he allowed Agent SETH access to the entire contents of Donnelly’s file. SETH took a copy of the death certificate, coroner’s report, and fingerprinting. The death was ruled a suicide by apparent razorblade cut to the throat though it was noted that no blade was found at the scene.

ROSE found the number for Emil Yarrow, an associate professor of abnormal psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. Dr. Yarrow was enthusiastic. He had never been inside the Spooner Avenue house, but he had heard many stories, and he’d always wanted to give it a look. He agreed to meet ROSE in Laconia that evening to discuss the matter further. After the call, ROSE headed to meet up with Agent SID as his work would be most likely to benefit from an additional set of hands and eyes.

Agent SID had walked to City Hall since the hotel was only a few blocks away, and the weather was cool but nice. He had the task of digging through old files and archives, and that task kept him occupied for hours. His research was slow and boring, but it was ultimately fruitful. With the help of the clerks at City Hall and the newspaper, he was able to organize a boxful of documents relating to the house and its long string of owners. The information wasn’t very detailed, but it provided a timeline and plenty of names.

Michael and Isabelle Wheeler had built the house in 1907. Isabelle suffered from a sort of wasting disease, and her husband built the house so that she might be comfortable for her last years. He died in 1910, but she had apparently survived to see the year 1956. A newspaper article briefly mentioned her complete recovery from whatever disease had been trying to take her life.

After Isabelle’s death, the house had been purchased by George and Margaret Cruise. ROSE had uncovered their tragic story the night before.

Searching for information on the Turé family turned up another tragic story. Adam and Rebecca Turé purchased the house after yet another owner’s accidental death. They had moved to Laconia from Montreal with their two small children, Elise and Anton. They lived in the house for about a year with no incident before Rebecca was briefly hospitalized for “mental exhaustion”. She returned home to find that her children were becoming violent and angry.

One day, she found Anton drowned in the toilet bowl of the master bedroom. The door to the bathroom had been locked from the inside, and there was no one else in the room when the door was opened. This incident was more than she could handle, and her already over-stressed mind snapped. Records indicated that she was hospitalized indefinitely at an unnamed facility in Canada.

Agent ROSE’s Delta Green phone rang, and when she answered, Agent RUBY was on the other end.

“Hey, ROSE. It’s me. Look, I’m at the house, and … Are you busy? Can you come here? There’s something I think you should see.”

“I’m just helping SID go through some papers. Yeah. Yeah, I’ll be right there.”

ROSE excused herself from the rest of the research, and she left to meet up with her cell member. Agent SID kept reading, sorting papers, taking notes, making copies …

The person named Falcone from Special Agent Donnelly’s notebook was apparently one Andrea Falcone. Her cause of death was listed as accidental suffocation, but there was nothing more to be found about the matter. After her death, the house was purchased by Yamilla Isari, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, and recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire. Again, the rest of her story, and that of Special Agent Donnelly after her had already been uncovered the previous night.

SID found one more story about an owner named George Weaver. Weaver was a doctor who lived just one street over on Valley Road. When the house was finally put up for sale following the suicide of its previous owner, he had attended the open house. Against the cautioning of his neighbors and friends, he purchased the house on Spooner Avenue and moved in. He was found dead nine days later in the garage. The cause of death was determined to be electrocution, and the time was set at 2:30 AM which was easily determined. Whatever caused the electrocution had caused a circuit to blow. All of the clocks in the house showed 2:30. An investigator had gone on record as saying the death was puzzling because Dr. Weaver’s car was in the shop at the time of his death, and there was no apparent reason for his presence in the garage so early in the morning.

Agent SID called SETH to let him know what he had found. SETH said he had just finished up at the hospital, and he would swing by in the rental car.

ROSE arrived at the house and found the front door unlocked. She tested the three keys from the Green Box and found that one of them locked and unlocked the front door. She heard RUBY call from the direction of the master bedroom, and so she headed that direction. She proceeded with caution since that seemed to be the room where most of the deaths had occurred; the two most recent ones for sure.

When she stepped into the master bedroom, Agent ROSE saw floor-to-ceiling wall-length mirrors around the entire room. There were two windows in the wall opposite the door through which she entered, and there was another door to the bathroom on her right. That was presumably where Agent RUBY had called from.

ROSE shook off the disorienting effect of the mirrors and was about to check the bathroom when she felt a draft. The draft kicked up a feather which had apparently been resting on the floor in the corner, and so Agent ROSE crossed the room to check the windows. As she got closer, she could tell that the feather was not actually in the room at all, but it was most definitely reflected in the mirror … or maybe it was only on the other side of the mirror. As she watched the feather come to rest, she heard a sound behind her like something small and metallic dropping to the wooden floor.

She didn’t turn, but she scanned the mirrors in front of her for some sign of what might have happened. There was nothing behind her, and so she turned slowly around. On the floor behind her was an open straight razor with dried blood on the blade. In the mirror on the opposite wall, she saw a woman with long dark hair in a thin dressing gown.

The woman smiled, and both doors to the room slammed shut. Agent RUBY’s muffled voice could be heard from the bathroom. The woman in the mirror waved her hand in an upward motion, and the razor lifted off the ground. She waved it in a crossing motion, and it slashed at ROSE, catching her in the left shoulder and spraying blood across the floor, ceiling, and nearby walls.

Agent ROSE called out for RUBY, and there was a pounding from the other side of the bathroom door. RUBY could be heard on the other side, but her words were muffled. The razor spun in the air sending spatters of blood in all directions. The woman in the mirror made another motion, and ROSE ducked just in time.

Her phone began to ring, and ROSE decided she was a little too busy to chat. Without taking her eyes off the razor, she set her phone to silent. The razor slashed again, and it caught her once more leaving her shoulder with a wound in the shape of an ‘X’. More blood sprayed the room, and the woman in the mirror seemed to be enjoying every moment with a murderous glee.

Agent SETH’s phone rang, and he answered to hear Agent RUBY asking what was wrong with ROSE, and why she wasn’t answering her phone. SETH replied that he didn’t know, but the last he’d heard, ROSE was with SID. He hung up while RUBY was in mid-response, and called ROSE only to get her voicemail.

Agent SID’s phone rang, and he was blindsided by a none-too-happy Agent RUBY.

“SID, don’t you dare hang up on me, too! What the hell is going on? Why isn’t ROSE answering her phone?”

“Calm down. She went to meet up with you at the house about fifteen minutes ago.”

“Why the hell would she go there? I thought the plan was to stay away until we knew more?”

“Yeah, but you called her, and …”

“And she didn’t answer!”

“No, no. You called and told her you were at the house. Something about needing to show her something.”

“I’m not at the house. I’m at the antique store like I was supposed to be! What the hell …”

Agent SID hung up on RUBY and called SETH. SETH said he couldn’t get a hold of ROSE, and SID informed his cell leader of her whereabouts. Agent SETH said he was on his way to the house, and he would be by City Hall to get SID. Agent SID let him know that he had finished a while ago, and he had gotten tired of waiting, so he walked back to the hotel. SETH’s excuse was that he had stopped off at the Green Box to get a few things.

The banging on the bathroom door continued, and RUBY’s muffled screams added to the tense situation. The straight razor spun in the air, and it casually tossed spatters of blood. ROSE made a grab for it with her good arm, but she missed. She yelled at the woman in the mirror and asked what she wanted. The woman threw back her head in silent laughter, and then she made another swipe with her hand.

The razor sliced through the air, and ROSE narrowly ducked out of the way. The razor crashed to the ground and slid across the wooden floor. Rather than coming to rest in the corner, it instead slid through the mirror leaving only a reflection on the other side. The woman had disappeared, and the pounding stopped.

Agent ROSE made her way to the bathroom and opened the door. The bathroom was dark and empty. She turned her ringer on as she quickly made her way outside. She called SETH to let him know what had happened at the house.

Agent SETH arrived at the house and performed some quick first aid while calling 911 for an ambulance. In no time, ROSE was off to the hospital.

She was more than a little upset to hear that RUBY was actually at the antique shop like she was supposed to be, and not at the house like she said she was. SETH was more than a little upset that ROSE was at the house when it was agreed that they would all stay away for the time being. RUBY was more than a little upset that the other agents kept hanging up on her mid-sentence, and SID was only a little upset that he got the boring research job and kept getting forgotten.

For its part, the house was content.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Yablo
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:11 am UTC

Music From A Darkened Room - Session 3

Having decided she most likely wouldn’t be able to make her meeting with Dr. Yarrow due to the incident at the house, Agent ROSE gave him a call to let him know to look for Agents SETH and SID instead. He didn’t answer, but she left a voicemail.

SETH and SID were up early, and so they decided to take a look around the yard of the house on Spooner Avenue. They wanted to find where Anton Turé had been buried originally so they could rebury him, and something about this Operation led them to believe the house was a better bet than any of the four cemeteries in town.

They walked around the house searching the yard for disturbed soil, but they found nothing that looked like a lead. They then made another lap around checking the foundation for a hidden cellar entrance or crawlspace. Again, they found nothing until Agent SETH shined his flashlight under the back deck.

The deck extended about 25 feet or so from the house, and beneath it was nothing but dirt, rocks, and scattered animal bones. This got SETH thinking about the lack of pets or other animals in the area. No cats, dogs, birds, or squirrels. There weren’t even many children to be seen. This made the neighborhood eerily silent.

All the way past the dirt and bones, Agent SETH noticed a grate which indicated a crawlspace beneath the house. SID wanted nothing to do with the underside of the house, but he was perfectly willing to go inside and look around. SETH, on the other hand, wanted everyone to stay clear of the inside of the house for the time being, but the crawlspace intrigued him.

Agent SETH crawled beneath the deck and over to the crawlspace. He removed the grate and looked inside. The whole underside of the house was dirt littered with rocks and animal bones. There was maybe a foot and a half or two feet of clearance; not terribly cramped, but not exactly inviting. SETH thought he could hear a cat mewing somewhere in the darkness, but he couldn’t catch it with his light. He decided to leave the grate off for now and poured out the contents of his canteen to muddy the ground in hopes of capturing the prints of anything going in or coming out. He then crawled back out from underneath the deck.

No visibly disturbed earth on the lot, so the agents decided to check the local cemeteries. They picked the nearest one to walk about while calling the others to ask if they had a record of Anton Turé. The answer was the same from all of them: “We don’t have those records available, but you are welcome to visit and have a look for yourself. Our hours are …”

Two hours of methodical searching turned up nothing at the first cemetery, so they decided to break for lunch. A short while into their search of the second cemetery, they spotted the grave they sought. The earth looked to have been disturbed sometime in the past month or so, but the groundskeeper knew nothing of it when questioned.

Agent SETH flashed a badge and related a story of a prank played on one of the newer soldiers under his command. The child’s grave had been dug up, and now he would like to put it back. The groundskeeper told him that if what he said was true, the police would need to be notified, and the soldiers responsible would need to be found.

SETH assured the man that nothing of the sort was going to happen. This was a military investigation, and if the groundskeeper refused to cooperate, he would be the one standing trial. It was probably the drinks he’d had with his lunch, but the groundskeeper refused to be bullied. If he wanted to rebury a body, SETH was going to need a court order, and the person or persons responsible were going to have to answer for it. The agents stormed off.

Agent ROSE couldn’t do much from her hospital bed, so she passed the time researching the house, its owners, and anyone else who might have ever been involved with it courtesy of the hospital wi-fi. It was nearly two hours later before she found anything at all that they didn’t already know. She found an article identifying an old Italian woman who lived with Isabelle Wheeler as Adele DiVettelo, or as some of the locals called her, the Crone.

The small and well-hidden article mentioned that DiVettelo had been hired to mend curtains in the house around June of 1926, and it was apparently very soon after that Isabelle Wheeler was said to have made a miraculous recovery.

Another brief mention was made in an earlier article that a woman named Adele DiVettelo had been dismissed from the Laconia Sanatorium a month before arriving at the Wheeler house. Her dismissal was due to “improper behavior”. Several other employees reported seeing DiVettelo kill a cat and drink its blood. The article concluded that this was evidence of witchcraft.

SETH and SID did a little shopping before their meeting with Dr. Yarrow. SETH wanted a pair of mesh gloves of the sort used by prep cooks. He also bought a large quantity of steel wool. If he was going to be attacked by a disembodied razor, he wanted some protection.

Dr. Yarrow arrived at the diner right on time, and he joined SETH and SID at their table. Yarrow was a large and not very athletic man in his early 40s. He seemed quite eager to investigate the house. When asked why he’d never been inside if he was so interested, his response was simply that in its long string of ownership, the house was rarely unoccupied.

Agent SID was almost immediately skeptical of the man simply due to his demeanor and the New Age psychic feel of his words. SETH was much more inclined to accept Yarrow at face value. The agents explained that they believed the house may have at least two entities inside; one of which was confirmed to be murderously violent.

Dr. Yarrow said that there were a couple ways they could go about the investigation. They could set up cameras, thermal and magnetic detectors, and audio recorders around the house hoping to capture evidence of a haunting, or they could hold a séance if they wanted to contact a specific spirit.

Agent SID rolled his eyes and wordlessly indicated to SETH that he wasn’t believing this for a minute. For his part, SETH stated flatly that there wasn’t going to be a séance. Cameras, audio recorders, night-vision … those were fine, but no holding hands to summon a spirit, and none of that Ouija board stuff.

Dr. Yarrow said that he had his equipment out in the car, and they could get set up right away, but by far the best chance of making contact would be to wait until midnight. A dark house at midnight gave them the thinnest barrier to the spirit world, and thus better odds of making a connection. Also, reflective surfaces would aid immensely. SETH mentioned the floor-to-ceiling mirrors in the master bedroom, but he cautioned against using that room. Yarrow said that may be exactly what they should do.

SID asked if Dr. Yarrow’s equipment included a box that could open up to capture a ghost, and the doctor laughed. He said that ghost traps were a thing of fiction. That did it for SID. Everything the doctor said sounded to him like complete garbage, and the one time he mentioned something he absolutely knew to be real, the man laughed it off as obvious fantasy. Agent SID excused himself and left. He sent SETH a text with his opinion on their Friendly, and he waited patiently until it was time to head to the house.

Agent RUBY stopped by the hospital to sit with ROSE. She informed her cell leader that she had made contact with the other Friendly, antique dealer Elizabeth Tucker. Tucker had knowledge of a few of the pieces from the Wheeler estate sale, and if given a few days, she should be able to track it all down.

Upon reaching the house, Dr. Yarrow entered and began to set up his equipment. SETH indicated that he would like to set up a camera in the crawlspace under the house, and Yarrow handed him one equipped with a wireless transmitter. The rest of the cameras in the house would be wired directly to one of three laptops. The whole thing felt like bad ghost-hunting reality television to Agent SID, and so he stepped outside with SETH.

Agent SID tested the garage while SETH went around back to check beneath the deck. The garage door resisted SID’s attempt to lift it, but he flexed his recently replaced (and if his fever-dreams were to be believed, alien-crafted) right arm. With the sound of grinding gears, the door slowly lifted, and SID scanned the room.

It was an empty two-car garage with a cement floor, a 1970’s era refrigerator next to the door to the house, and some scattered and rusted gardening equipment. The door closed behind him as he crossed the garage to find something with which to prop open the door.

Agent SID grabbed a hoe and returned to the garage door, but before he could lift it, he heard the sound of a door opening behind him, and a dim light shined. He turned to see a shadowy figure looking in the empty refrigerator. The figure closed the refrigerator, and when SID lifted the garage door, he turned to see that we was alone in the room.

Propping the garage door open with the hoe, SID then went around back where SETH was waiting for him. SID refused to crawl under the deck, but he would do his best to shine light in through the hole. SETH crawled through the hole and under the house with his night-vision goggles on and his flashlight ready just in case.

He found a spot to set up the camera that seemed like it had a decent view of the crawlspace, and he set it up. As soon as he turned the camera on, his night-vision scrambled and went black. As he slid the goggles to the top of his head, he could hear feral animal sounds from somewhere near his feet and getting closer. He pointed his flashlight and hit the button, but nothing happened. In the darkness, the animal sounds got closer. Agent SETH pointed his gun and fired two shots in the direction of the sound. The shots produced very little light, but in pure darkness, very little light can still make a difference.

SETH didn’t see an animal, but he did see the hole through which he’d crawled. Rolling to his hands and knees, he crawled that direction until he hit the wall. At some point, the snarling animal was right on his heels, literally. It had managed to get a brief grip on his boot, but it was easily shaken off.

Upon reaching where he thought the hole should be, Agent SETH felt nothing but cinderblocks. He fired two more shots in the direction of the snarling, and he saw the hole. It was on the other side of the crawlspace. SETH fished out his zippo from his pocket and was pleased to find that it lit. Now that he could see, he crawled carefully to the hole. Oddly, the animal sounds had stopped.

When SETH poked his head out of the hole, Agent SID asked just what had happened. He had heard four gun shots in rapid succession, like a machine gun, and a split second later, SETH had popped out. Dr. Yarrow confirmed that assessment a moment later when he came out on the deck.

SETH explained his story, and as the camera had been set up, they checked the recording. The camera made SETH look a little silly. He was crawling around in circles, pausing and looking around suspiciously when there was no sound to be heard, and firing his gun at nothing. The one part of SETH’s story the recording did confirm was the timing between shots and the fact that he was apparently under the house for nearly ten minutes even though SID could swear it was barely even two minutes.

Dr. Yarrow nodded in apparent understanding, and he explained that what they were dealing with under the house was a sort of localized time bubble. SID held his tongue. He didn’t have a better explanation, but his gut told him this guy was a fraud. SETH seemed to believe that Yarrow knew what he was talking about, and as SETH was a trained psychologist while SID was not, both agents knew better than to argue.

At any rate, the equipment was set up and ready to go, and Dr. Yarrow felt like getting a snack before it was time to get started. He took his leave, and the agents did the same. There was just one more thing SETH wanted to test before they left. He found an old, rusty hammer in the garage, and he used it to pry loose one of the wooden siding panels. The agents took it into the backyard along with the gasoline can from the Green Box. SETH poured out some of the gas onto the piece of siding and lit it.

There seemed to be some doubt concerning the combustibility of the house, and SETH felt this test would give him an answer. Well, it did. Sort of. The piece of siding did burn, but not in the way they expected. Only part of the board burned, and that part seemed to be spelling out three words: HELL IS ME. Then the paint began to peel, and the siding started to burn as expected.

Before it could burn much, SETH put the fire out and photographed the words with the camera on his phone. He then nailed the piece of siding back where he had found it, only he reversed it so that the words were on the inside. This left an obvious lack of paint, but that didn’t bother him.

It was time to get away from the house for a while. They had about three hours to kill before midnight.
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Yablo
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:46 pm UTC

Music From A Darkened Room – Session 4

SETH and SID stopped at Burger King for milkshakes on their way to visit ROSE in the hospital. ROSE and RUBY felt it was a little rude that the guys didn’t bring any for them. With S-Cell there, Agent RUBY excused herself and returned to the hotel for some rest.

ROSE said that she was bored with sitting in a hospital bed with nothing to do, but SETH reminded her why she was there. Running off on your own is usually a bad plan. ROSE decided not to argue. Instead, she suggested something that might still allow her to play a part in the Opera even while confined to a bed: Connect Dr. Yarrow’s laptops through a Wi-Fi hotspot, and she could connect to them remotely through hers. That would allow her to monitor the cameras while the other three investigated the house.

Once visiting hours were over, SETH and SID headed back to the house. Dr. Yarrow had already returned, and he was waiting outside in his car. The three went in through the front door and checked on the equipment in the den. Everything looked operational, and Dr. Yarrow changed some settings so that Agent ROSE could connect.

They still had a couple hours before midnight, but the agents were anxious to get started. The reasoning was that just because midnight is prime ghost hunting time, the hours before and after weren’t necessarily bad times. The agents discussed plans, and Dr. Yarrow commented as he saw fit. SETH thought breaking the mirrors would be a good idea since the entity or entities seemed to be able to pass through them, but Dr. Yarrow cautioned against that plan. An intact mirror would serve them much better as a focus than shards of a broken one, and if the entity could in fact use mirrors to affect the living world, breaking one would only give it that many more windows.

SETH really had a bad feeling about the mirrors in the master bedroom, so he thought they should try to find a mirror somewhere else that they might use. The cardboard boxes in the den were a good place to start looking, so everyone took a box and started digging. No mirrors turned up, but at the bottom of one box, Agent SID found a few pages of sheet music; Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”. As a child, Agent SID had sat through lesson after lesson as his piano instructor had him play many classical pieces, and this happened to be one he remembered well. He began humming the melody as his eyes scanned the notes on the pages, and as he did so, he thought he could actually hear it playing however softly. SETH made no indication that he heard anything but the humming, but Dr. Yarrow stopped and canted his head and appeared to listen. It was hard to tell where the music was coming from, but it seemed to be from under the floor. It only lasted as long as the humming, and that was cut short.

The house shook slightly and the windows rattled as a loud blast came from the direction of the kitchen. The air had a smell that indicated nearby gunfire. When they went to investigate, they found the kitchen dark and empty. In a reflection in the window, Agent SETH saw a man in an old suit holding a shotgun. The kitchen in the reflection was similar, but the style seemed older. As he watched, the man muttered something and put the barrel into his mouth before pulling the trigger with his thumb. That was the very same scene Agent ROSE had just witnessed through her video feed.

SID called Dr. Yarrow to the kitchen to see if he could contact the spirit they believed must be George Cruise who had killed his wife and then himself with a shotgun in 1959. Dr. Yarrow brought his microcassette recorder, and he began asking questions of the spirit. He would then allow a pause in an attempt to capture the spirit’s voice on the tape.

When they had asked everything they wanted to ask, the three returned to the den. Dr. Yarrow still felt they would be more successful if they split up, and SID was more than willing to let him go off on his own, but Agent SETH wanted everyone to stick together. He didn’t want another “suicide” on his hands. Dr. Yarrow said that he was only there as a consultant, and he was just happy to finally experience the house first hand.

The three stuck together, and they decided to investigate the house methodically. They would move clockwise starting opposite the master bedroom. They entered the hall just off the den and opened the first door on the left. It swung in to reveal an empty bedroom in the middle of redecorating. The wooden floor was bare except for a few sheets of plastic in a corner. There was a step ladder in the corner as well, and a few cans of light blue paint which had been open for quite some time. The paint was congealed. The white and brown striped wallpaper was only removed about halfway around the room, and underneath that could be seen a blue wallpaper with cartoon boats.

What Agent SID saw when he stepped in the room was a little different. Instead, he saw all four walls were papered with the cartoon boat wallpaper. Instead of paint cans and a step ladder, he saw a child’s bed and a dresser. This vision faded after a few moments, and as no one else seemed to see the same thing, SID decided to keep it to himself.

The group moved on to the next room which was also a bedroom. There was no closet door, but there were tracks to indicate a sliding door would go there. Like most of the other rooms in the house, the floor of this room was hard wood with a long-faded polish. It was unfurnished, but in the center of the room was an ugly, lime green shag rug.

Agent SETH stepped into the room and grabbed an end of the rug with one hand. As he gave it a tug, he felt resistance, and almost immediately, he noticed the rug was soaking wet. It began to emanate a horrible smell. The agents could identify it as the smell of a corpse rotting in stagnant water.

SETH pulled harder, and the center of the rug began to rise off the floor. He let go and stepped back. The green rug rose until its edges were barely touching the floor, and then it began to shake gently. The nasty, stagnant water splattered everything within a radius of about three feet. This included Agent SID who didn’t know quite how to react to all of this. His mind slipped ever so slightly, and his instincts took over. In this case, his instinct told him that Dr. Yarrow did this sort of thing for a living, and that his best chance of survival was to do what the doctor did.

Dr. Yarrow looked from the floating rug to Agent SETH as if for confirmation that he was seeing the same thing. So did Agent SID. Agent SETH nodded, and so Dr. Yarrow turned back to the rug. So did Agent SID. Dr. Yarrow crept closer and held his thermal imaging camera toward the rug. Agent SID crept closer as well, and he held out his audio recorder.

SETH decided this was a bad idea, and he grabbed ahold of SID’s arm, but SID easily pulled free. He was convinced that his survival and safety depended on mimicking the parapsychologist. Dr. Yarrow expressed his excitement at capturing a definite paranormal event. So did Agent SID. After a few moments, the rug slowly descended and eventually returned to its former state, though it was still wet and smelled of death.

SID’s senses returned, and he backed out of the room. Dr. Yarrow followed, and they proceeded down the hall. The next door was a linen closet. The door after that was all the way at the end of the hall. It opened into yet another bedroom much like the previous one, only this room had no rug. There were tack strips where a rug would go.

As the group entered, they were assaulted by overpowering stench. Dr. Yarrow smelled garbage, like a dump packed into one small room, and so he jumped back into the hall. Agent SETH smelled burning hair, and it was so strong that he had to step into the hall with the doctor just to keep his milkshake down. Agent SID smelled concentrated vomit, but he covered his mouth and nose, and he made his way across the room to open the window. That did nothing to disperse the smell, and as a result, he lost the contents of his stomach into the backyard. He then ran straight for the hall.

Once out of the room, the three could breathe easily. It seemed confined to the room itself. Agent ROSE texted SETH to ask just what was going on. She had been watching the video feed, and it was obvious something had happened.

SETH sent her a quick reply as the three made their way out to the cars. It was time to regroup, and SID needed a nice, long break. They still had thirty minutes until midnight.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:41 pm UTC

Music From A Darkened Room – Session 5

Agent SID was still quite shaken up, and even SETH’s skill as a psychologist only gave minimal help. Agent SETH was going back into the house, but he told SID to stay in the car and calm down. SID nodded and seemed to shiver despite the fact that the night wasn’t particularly cold.

Dr. Yarrow headed back up to the house, and Agent SETH followed. As the men reached the front door, the car engine roared to life. SETH spun around hoping his eyes could deny what his ears had told him, and he felt his pocket for the car keys. He found them which meant that Agent SID had found another way to start the car.

SETH growled as he killed the engine with a press of a button on his key chain, and he stomped through the yard toward the car. SID only blinked at the steering wheel in disbelief and slow comprehension. Agent SETH opened the passenger door and leaned in. He demanded to know just what the other INSCOM agent was thinking, and why the ignition was broken.

“I just … I need to go,” was SID’s reply. “Need to go home.”

“Fine. I’ll call you a cab, and it’ll take you back to the hotel, but you don’t need to damage the rental car.”

SID just nodded again. He noticed a light come on in a house next to the one they were investigating, but he thought nothing of it. SETH called for a cab, and then he went back up to the house. As soon as he was inside, SID once again tried to start the car.

Agent SETH told Dr. Yarrow to start setting up for a séance on the dining room table. The doctor began to unpack one of his bags, but all the while he tried making a case for using the master bedroom. He said he could feel energy in that room, and he thought it was their best chance. This house was starting to get on SETH’s bad side, and he wanted to get this Opera finished soon, even if it meant séances or Ouija boards. He did not, however, want to go near the master bedroom.

Dr. Yarrow set up his silk table cloth, white candles and incense as Agent SETH watched for the cab. Rather than a taxi, he saw a Laconia police cruiser pull up behind his rental car. He quickly blew out the candles and told Dr. Yarrow to get down.

Agent SID didn’t notice the police cruiser because he was too intent on getting the car hotwired. There was a knock on the driver’s window, and he looked up to see a police officer holding a flashlight. The officer asked him to step out of the vehicle, but he replied that the door was locked. The officer wasn’t in the mood for games, but he could tell there was something off about SID.

He instructed the agent to unlock the door and step out slowly. SID did as he was told, and he provided his INSCOM badge when asked for identification.

The officer asked what SID was doing with the vehicle, and he replied that it was his rental car, and he needed to get home. He provided the name of the hotel and his room number when asked for his residence. SID showed the rental agreement and told the officer that his partner had the keys, but he was in the house.

After a few more brief questions, Agent SID had told the officer that his partner, another INSCOM agent, was in the house investigating a haunting and possible murder, and he had managed to secure a ride back to the hotel from the officer.

Agent SETH and Dr. Yarrow used the time to sneak out the back door, through yards, and over to the next street. He heard the officer say something into his radio about backup at 1206 Spooner Avenue for a possible Breaking and Entering or Trespassing, but he advised dispatch that a preliminary survey turned up only silence and darkness. A moment later, Agent SID was in the back of the police cruiser and being taken away.

A moment after that, a taxi pulled up and honked its horn. This caused lights to come on in the other houses in the neighborhood. SETH cursed under his breath and called the cab company to cancel the taxi. A moment later, the cab drove off with squealing tires.

Agent ROSE got sick of sitting in her hospital bed, and so she disconnected herself from the IV, and without bothering to change out of her hospital gown, she managed to sneak out. She called for a cab to meet her out front, and then she texted Agent SETH to let him know she was on her way to the house. He replied that he thought she needed to stay in the hospital, but if she felt up to it, he’d be glad to have another person around.

When the cab arrived, she gave the address of the house, and the driver narrowed his eyes. He had apparently just been there on a call, but no one came out, and it was only after he’d arrived that the call came in to cancel the ride. ROSE offered to pay that fare also as well as tip generously if he could get her there in five minutes. The cabbie was all too happy to oblige.

SETH sent ROSE another quick text to ask her to get his rifle case from the car trunk on her way up to the house. After paying the cabbie and watching him leave, she retrieved the case and headed up to the front door. Almost as soon as the door shut behind her, two police cruisers pulled up, and four officers got out.

Agent SETH looked around for a place to hide, and his eyes settled up the stairs to the bonus room above the garage.

“Follow me. Up the stairs, quick!”

He led the way, but as he was about halfway up the stairs, he heard footsteps in the room above. The footsteps hurried down the stairs, but nothing seemed to be making the sound. A force shoved SETH into the wall as it flew downstairs, and a moment later, Dr. Yarrow was tumbling backwards into Agent ROSE. They both hit the ground pretty hard, but they hadn’t made it up more than a few steps, so no one was injured. SETH came back down to help them up, and the three hurried up the stairs. Dr. Yarrow closed and locked the door behind them.

The agents scanned the small, cramped room with sloped ceiling. There was a large, round window with wooden slats overlooking the street where the police cruisers were parked. A small bed sat only an inch or so off the floor almost wedged into the angle where the ceiling met the floor. A rocking chair sat opposite the bed. It rocked slowly on its own, but it gradually stopped.

The only other thing of interest was possibly the most important; definitely the most disturbing. Lying face down in the middle of the tiny room was a male body. It looked very much like Agent SID. It was dressed the same, and Agent SETH noticed it wore SID’s watch. He checked the body for identification without rolling it over, and he discovered an INSCOM badge.

He was sure the house was messing with them somehow because he’d just seen Agent SID taken away by the police only about ten minutes earlier, but this was a fact he failed to mention to the others.

They could hear footsteps downstairs but not much else. Dr. Yarrow paused with a puzzled look on his face, and he wrinkled his nose.

“Anybody else smell something?”

The agents realized they could smell gas. It was faint at first, but it got gradually stronger. Agent SETH opened the window and began removing the wooden slats as quickly and quietly as he could. As he worked, the three became aware of what sounded like a woman’s voice humming. It seemed to be coming from the body on the floor, and the tune was familiar. It was the tune Agent SID hummed earlier when he had found the sheet music; Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”.

Agent ROSE asked the body what it wanted, and the humming stopped momentarily. Agent SID’s voice seemed to come from the body, but it remained motionless.

“Rest now. We’re home.”

The voice went back to humming, and it got louder, and ROSE heard a voice downstairs directing attention toward the stairs. Footsteps came up the stairs, and the doorknob jiggled. Then the door and the whole room shook. Someone on the other side – presumably a police officer – was kicking or putting a shoulder into the door.

Stealth was still a concern for the agents, but it was quickly dropping down the priority list. Agent SETH waited for the next hit to the door, and he used it to cover the sound of his smashing the remaining wooden slats and climbing out onto the roof.

The angle of the roof was a little steeper than it looked from the ground, but SETH managed to keep his footing. Dr. Yarrow panicked and dove head-first out the window, and it was all SETH could do to catch him and keep them both from sliding off into the yard. Agent ROSE followed them out, and the three moved out of view of the window and higher up the roof just as they heard the door smash open.

They sat in silence for a few long minutes. No one peeked out the window. No one climbed out onto the roof. Eventually, they saw all four police officers return to their cars and drive off empty-handed. They hadn’t taken the body from the upstairs room, and they hadn’t taken any of the equipment from downstairs. They just left.

The agents and Dr. Yarrow waited a while longer just in case, and then Agent SETH climbed back down to the window. He nearly lost his footing when he looked inside and came face to face with Agent SID. The rocking chair was facing the window, and Agent SID was seated in it, rocking gently back and forth. His throat was cut, and his chest was covered in blood and gore, but there was still a smile on his face as he looked back into SETH’s startled eyes.

As he rocked back, SID’s head rolled sickeningly, and fresh torrents of blood would flow down his chest to pool on the floor. Agent SETH turned away for just a moment, looking up to make sure ROSE and Dr. Yarrow were okay. When he looked back, the rocking chair was back where it had been originally, the body was gone, and there was no blood. There was also no longer a smell of gas, and the door was still closed.

The three climbed back inside and discussed what to do. While they talked, SETH lifted the mattress of the bed revealing a small, leather bound journal. ROSE picked it up and flipped it open to find 50 pages or so of cramped, handwritten Arabic.

Agent SETH had been an interrogator in Afghanistan, and while his command of the written Arabic language wasn’t perfect, he managed to translate a significant portion of the journal. It had belonged to Yamilla Isari, the house’s most recent owner. It detailed her stay in the house from the day she moved in right up until a day or so before she died.

The journal described how she had fallen in love with the house, and how one day she had seen a young boy walking around. He had blue-white skin, and he dripped water everywhere he went. This unnerved her at first, but she apparently got used to it. She also wrote about how she got a very bad feeling from the master bedroom, and she refused to go in there. Near the end, she had taken to sleeping in the small upstairs room. The last entry said simply “I understand why I came here now. I’m home.”

Agent SETH had apparently had enough of this house. He told Dr. Yarrow to get his things and head to the master bedroom. They were going to have the séance in there, and they were going to finish this. He took the rocking chair downstairs with him and headed for the room full of mirrors. Dr. Yarrow got his bag and followed. Agent ROSE wasn’t too thrilled about returning to that room, and so she excused herself saying that she needed to visit the restroom first. SETH told her to be careful, and to yell if anything happened.

When the men stepped into the bedroom, the full effect of the mirrors and energy hit them. It felt almost as if they were under water. The doctor said he could feel a strong energy in the room, but he was getting a mild headache. SETH’s head hurt a little, too.

Dr. Yarrow helped SETH move a coffee table from the den, and they covered it with the silk table cloth. SETH set up candles and began lighting them while Dr. Yarrow said he’d set up the incense burners. After lighting the last candle, SETH got a bad feeling. He looked up and felt the disorientation of the mirrors, but he also saw Dr. Yarrow standing behind him with one arm raised. He held something in his hand, and he swung it down at SETH.

The INSCOM agent whirled around and attempted to grab the doctor’s arm, but he was unsuccessful. The doctor grinned wildly as the straight razor caught SETH in the collarbone and neck. ROSE turned the corner and appeared in the doorway just in time to see what looked like gallons of blood spray around the room as if SETH’s neck was a lawn sprinkler.

She took out her phone and dialed 911. She informed the dispatcher that a man with a razor was assaulting her friend at 1206 Spooner Avenue. The dispatcher asked why her phone was indicating the call was coming from the Dominican Republic, and ROSE yelled at her. Her friend had been cut on or around his neck, and blood was everywhere. She didn’t have time to discuss telephone call routing with someone whose job it was to send emergency services.

Dr. Yarrow laughed in an old woman’s voice, and he swung once more at Agent SETH. The razor missed, but the swing came so close that SETH felt he could almost taste it. ROSE took the opportunity to catch the doctor off balance and tackle him, but he spun quickly, and she missed.

The doctor grabbed her and shoved her into a mirror … literally. From Agent SETH’s perspective, ROSE seemed to be tossed through the mirror to land on the other side; no more physical representation, only what should be a reflection.

From Agent ROSE’s perspective, it was like falling through a hole in a frozen lake. She was surrounded by bone-chilling darkness, and she was enveloped by something thicker than water. Her first instinct was to simply freeze, but she managed to will herself into action. She was slowly sinking away from the blurry light that was the master bedroom, and she felt that if she didn’t get back to that light, she might be lost forever.

Agent SETH charged Dr. Yarrow and drove him across the room. He shoved the doctor through the window and out into the yard. Dr. Yarrow laid still in the glass and grass blinking up at the sky. SETH couldn’t find any trace of the straight-razor, but somehow he wasn’t surprised.

ROSE swam toward the light with all the strength she could muster. She ignored the pain in her shoulder, and with an almost heroic effort, she managed to spill herself back out into the room. She was covered in a thick, cold slime, but at least she was back. In the house. In the master bedroom of the house. She stood up quickly, and smashed every mirror in the room with the rocking chair.

The agents then quickly made their way outside, and Dr. Yarrow once more slipped through yards to reach the next street as the neighborhood was lit with blue and red lights, and echoing with sirens. The ambulance sped Agent SETH off toward the hospital, and ROSE followed as soon as her taxi arrived. It was the same driver as before, and she tipped him extra to ignore the slime. She managed to slip back into the hospital unnoticed, get cleaned up, and get back into her bed before the doctors made their next set of rounds.

Agents RUBY and SID were in no hurry to get back to the house, and so they took things easy at the hotel for a few days. In the meantime, the antique dealer called back with some information: Isabelle Wheeler’s piano was in her store, a coffee table from the original estate sale was in the possession of a woman right there in Laconia, and a wardrobe from that same estate sale was owned by a man about an hour south in Manchester. SID decided he’d probably get around to checking out those leads before long, but for now, he’d take a rest. He’d check things out before SETH and ROSE got out of the hospital, for sure. Probably.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:06 am UTC

Music From A Darkened Room – Session 6

A few days later, Agent SID managed to motivate himself to renew the investigation while his associates were still hospitalized. Agent RUBY indicated rather strongly that she had done her part by passing along the information from the antique dealer. SID could do what he wanted while the two cell leaders were out of commission, but she was staying put.

SID headed first to the antique shop to examine the piano. His parents had spent a lot of money making him take lessons, and though it had been a while, he felt this would be a good opportunity to see if he still had the same talent of which his teacher had bragged.

When he entered the shop, there were a few customers browsing, but it seemed like a quiet morning. SID immediately spotted the 1930s-era Baldwin Upright Piano with a mirrored backstop. He took a seat at the bench and laced his fingers together, pushing the palms out to stretch. He then began to play the one piece he knew for a fact Isabell Wheeler had played on this very piano; Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”.

Though he hadn’t played it in many years, his fingers glided effortlessly over the keys with flawless confidence as if he’d played it every day of his life. The other customers took note initially, but then they returned to their browsing. Agent SID happened to glance at the mirrored backstop, and he was surprised to see not his reflection, but that of a woman in a white dressing gown. He paused for only a second or two, and he hardly noticed that the reflection as well as the piano itself continued to play the piece.

SID was so caught up in the moment that without really thinking, he resumed playing. He was so absorbed by the music that he ignored the sound of something dropping by his feet. So carried away was he, in fact, that he had no time to react when the woman in the reflection grinned maliciously and reached down. He found himself reaching down as well, mirroring the woman’s action.

He couldn’t stop himself as he picked up the object at his feet. His will was not his own as he watched his own hand draw the straight razor across his throat. He managed the slightest twitch which saved him momentarily as the razor only drew a trickle of blood. He was horrified however when whoever or whatever had taken possession of his body exerted a will so inhumanly strong that he couldn’t hope to resist.

Once more, and with the full strength of his alien-crafted right arm, he drew the razor back across his throat directly opposite the scar left by Toby the junkyard dog. The razor dug deeply, and SID felt his entire life force gush from his neck. He dropped from the bench and hit the ground hard, but he never felt it.

Agent SETH was awake in his hospital bed and recovering nicely. The local news had a reporter live on the scene of a grizzly suicide attempt at one of the many antique stores in Laconia. According to the account given by the shop owner, the unidentified man had entered and walked straight over to the piano against the store’s far wall. He sat down and played a beautiful piece which the shop owner believed to have been Beethoven, or maybe Bach; definitely classical, and definitely something she’d heard before.

The man had stopped abruptly, produced a knife of some sort, and cut his own throat. The shop owner said she screamed, and by the grace of God, one of the customers happened to be a paramedic who was able to give the man immediate medical attention while the ambulance was on its way. There was no word yet on the man’s identity, nor of his condition though he was still alive at the moment he was taken away by the ambulance.

SETH muttered an unflattering epithet under his breath. Oh, there was only one person stupid enough to do something like that; well, one person not already in a hospital bed. His suspicions were confirmed several hours later when Agent SID’s unconscious form was wheeled into the room.

All three agents got another week of rest before SETH and ROSE were well enough to leave the hospital. It was about that time when SID finally regained consciousness. The three shared a special moment there in the hospital room; SID bleary-eyed and pumped full of painkillers, SETH glaring with disapproval, and ROSE trying to find words to express her feelings. Fortunately for everyone within earshot, those words either didn’t exist, or they were too vile and profane to be uttered by a human tongue.

Instead, SETH and ROSE simply walked out of the room. Agent SETH headed to Manchester to meet up with Dr. Yarrow. The two were going to visit the owner of the wardrobe from the Wheeler estate sale. ROSE had paperwork to fill out, and then she planned to get real food.

Agent SETH arrived at the University about a half hour later, and Dr. Yarrow met him in the parking lot. The two headed to the address provided by the antique dealer. It was the home of an older man. He was short but stocky with a full head of white hair and dark-rimmed glasses.

SETH and Yarrow explained that they were doing a documentary on the Wheeler house, and they had received his name from someone familiar with pieces from the original estate sale. The man was happy to let them come in to take a look. He was in the middle of washing dishes, so he left them to examine the wardrobe alone.

It was in a spare bedroom, and it seemed to be made of a dark wood, or at least stained darkly. Neither man knew much about furniture or antiques. The cabinet of the wardrobe was about three feet deep and nearly seven feet tall. It stood on four legs which added to this height.

SETH opened the doors of the wardrobe to find that it was empty, but there was a full-sized mirror on the insides of each door. He immediately covered them with spare blankets. Dr. Yarrow examined the outside of the wardrobe while Agent SETH checked the empty interior for false bottoms, secret compartments, and the like. He didn’t find any, but he noticed that when he placed a bit of pressure on the back wall of the cabinet, the interior seemed to stretch. There was no sound, and it wasn’t as if the back wall actually moved. The pressure simply seemed to make the space larger.

He pushed again with the same result. A third push extended the interior space at least ten feet deep; easily beyond the wall of the room. Dr. Yarrow confirmed that the outside remained the same, and there was still about three inches of clearance between the wardrobe and the wall.

The doctor came around the front and was a little surprised to see SETH twenty feet or so away and stretching the cabinet space further. He stepped in and closed the doors most of the way until the blankets wedged them open so that a thick sliver of light filtered through.

Not long after, they heard a woman’s voice out in the room speaking in Italian. It sounded more like she was reading aloud or reciting something prepared rather than conversing. SETH turned on his audio recorder and held it to the doors, but neither man dared to peek out.

When the woman finished, they could hear a booming male voice.

“Chi chiama il mio nome?”

Neither man spoke Italian, but ROSE had been able to use her computer to translate before. SETH continued to record, and they would find out just what they were hearing later.

A second woman’s voice could be heard begging in English for someone, presumably the male, to not do what he was about to do.

“Scriverete il vostro nome nel libro nero,” came the male voice.

There was a blood-curdling scream, and then all was silent. Eventually, the two men peeked out into the room. It was just as it should have been, and there was no evidence of any others. They could hear the old man in the kitchen whistling as he washed his dishes. Apparently, he hadn’t heard anything.

SETH and Dr. Yarrow thanked the man for his time, and they headed back to Laconia. Dr. Yarrow drove, and SETH took the opportunity to email his recording to ROSE who was happy to translate.

It seemed the first woman was calling for someone she referred to as “the Dark Man.” She said she had made the necessary offerings, and if the Dark Man would present himself, he could claim his payment; two freely given souls.

The male voice had said something like “Who calls my name?” The first voice identified herself as Adele DiVittelo, the Man’s humble servant. She gave the second name as Isabelle Wheeler which was when the pleading in English began.

The Dark Man then said something like “You shall sign your name in the black book.”

That gave SETH and the doctor something to think about on their drive. When they reached Laconia, they headed to the address of the owner of the coffee table. The owner was an older lady, and the two men appeared to be interrupting tea time.

Agent SETH was convincing and charming enough that the woman allowed them in to examine the table. She even moved the tea party to the kitchen to give them room. SETH was a professionally trained psychologist, however, and it was painfully obvious to him that the woman’s motives weren’t out of courtesy or generosity. The women moved to the kitchen so they could watch from a distance and gossip out of earshot. This suited SETH just fine.

The table was made of the same wood as the wardrobe, and the dark stain would match. The entire center of the table was taken up by an intricate design. A triskelion, or triple spiral, marked the surface. The table surface was composed of three slats, and when SETH examined them closely, he noticed there were very slightly misaligned. He gave the center slat a firm push, and he was rewarded with a soft click. Inside the base of the table were three objects each tied down with rotting leather ropes.

There was a very sharp bronze knife, a bronze bowl which also had the triskelion design, and a leather-bound journal. Agent SETH discretely pocketed all of these items before thanking the gossiping old women for their time. He and the doctor left quickly.

ROSE called SETH to let him know she was heading to the house. He asked her to wait outside since he and Dr. Yarrow were also on their way. The three of them met outside the Spooner Avenue house and briefly discussed the items found inside the table. SETH had only a few minutes to skim the journal, but that was enough time to determine it had been written by Isabelle Wheeler, and it detailed a period of nearly thirty years.

Isabelle Wheeler had been dying of an unknown wasting illness when Adele DiVettelo was hired to mend the curtains and other cloth items in the house. The journal detailed the old woman’s proposition as well. She claimed Isabelle’s sickness could be cured as long as she was willing to pay the price. Anything was preferable to a slow, painful death, and Isabelle had agreed.

The old woman had called forth the Dark Man, and the women both pledged themselves to him. Almost overnight, Isabelle’s disease faded, and she lived a quiet and healthy life until one night in 1955 when the Dark Man returned. He demanded that she finally fulfill her end of their deal by signing her name in his black book.

She refused, and the Dark Man revoked the health he had returned to her nearly thirty years earlier. Isabelle Wheeler’s last entry was in a very shaky hand, and it said simply that she could feel all the agony she’d avoided for three decades. She cursed the Dark Man and swore she’d never be his.

One other interesting piece of the journal detailed the spell the old woman had used to call the Dark Man, and it included a chant for dismissing him. It seemed that the only way to be sure of cleansing the house was to call the Dark Man and force him out, but SETH wasn’t sure that was a good idea. If he was really so much more powerful than the entity which had nearly killed three seasoned Delta Green agents, and had caused so much death and misery over the last 55 years, then how could they really expect to banish him? If they couldn’t get an angry spirit to leave, how could they expect to force out a demon, or as the journal called him, a god?

Agent ROSE had had enough of this house, and she took all of this personally. She felt that with the help of the journal, they could force out the Dark Man. All they had to do was find out what the spell required. They all went inside, and SETH set the bowl and knife on the table in the master bedroom which was still covered with Dr. Yarrow’s silk cloth. He then looked closer at the spell.

There seemed to be two ways to call the Dark Man. The first method wasn’t guaranteed. They could sacrifice many animals using the knife and bowl while speaking the words of the spell, and then have two people willing to give themselves to the Dark Man should he appear.

The second method, according to the journal would absolutely call him forth. That method required only the sacrifice of an innocent human in the name of the Dark Man while the words of the spell were recited. There was a spirited debate on just how to go about this.

SETH wasn’t willing to let anyone die just so they could call forth a being he felt they couldn’t possibly force out anyway. ROSE felt that with all the death that had come before, one more in the name of ending it for good was worth it. There was a big argument over the morality and ethics of a single murder to prevent many future deaths.

In the end, ROSE excused herself to visit the bathroom while SETH went to the den fuming. While in the bathroom, ROSE called to order a pizza from Papa John’s. She offered to pay double if it could be delivered as soon as possible. She gave her former codename from when she was in S-Cell; SAM. She then rejoined the others in the den.

When the doorbell rang, SETH answered the door. On the porch was a high school kid of about 18. He told SETH he had a pizza for someone named Sam. SETH told the kid there was no one there by that name, and he should just leave. Behind SETH, Agent ROSE waved a $20 bill and said “That’s me! I’m Sam!”

“No. No, you aren’t.”

“Oh, I am, too! And that’s my pizza!”

ROSE tried to get the kid to come in for a minute, but SETH blocked the door. Eventually, ROSE settled for throwing the money outside and having SETH accept the pizza. SETH watched the kid walk back toward his car, and ROSE used that opportunity to hide the bowl and knife.

SETH closed the door and yelled to ROSE that there was absolutely no way he was allowing her to kill that kid, but ROSE made a break for the garage. SETH gave chase, but as soon as ROSE was in the garage, the door to the house closed and locked on its own. The old garage door opener sprung to life of its own accord as well. Agent ROSE ran out yelling to the kid.

“Wait! You have to help me! Please, he’s crazy!”

“That guy? Is he dangerous?!”

“Yes. He has a gun! Please, come here! You have to help me!”

“No way, ma’am! Come with me, and I can take you somewhere safe.”

Finding that he couldn’t get out through the garage, SETH ran through the master bedroom and climbed out the window into the backyard. ROSE could hear him coming, and she knew she needed to get this kid inside fast, but all she could think to do was to lift her shirt.

That definitely got the kid’s attention, and he took a few steps her direction. That’s when SETH came running around the corner displaying his badge and gun, and yelling for the kid to get his hands up, back away, and leave.

The life of a high schooler can be full of difficult choices, and here was one of those. On the one hand, there was easily one of the most attractive women he’d ever seen lifting her shirt and calling to him. On the other hand, there was a man who was probably her angry boyfriend or husband waving a badge, pointing a gun, and shouting.

The badge and gun won out, and the kid backed away. No sooner was he was in his car than he was out of the neighborhood. Crisis averted, SETH glared at ROSE. Agent ROSE just smiled and called Little Caesar’s.

That was enough for SETH. He put away his gun and badge, and he told ROSE he wasn’t having anything to do with what she was planning. As he headed to his rental car, he held up the journal and sarcastically wished her luck.

Agent ROSE shrugged and went inside to wait. She figured she didn’t need the journal since SETH had already sent her audio of the spell being cast. She was going to try it with the recording. When the delivery driver arrived, ROSE invited him in to wait a minute while she get her money. When the driver was inside and turned his back, she slipped behind him, cut his throat with the knife and caught the blood with the bowl. She then hit play on the recording and waited to see what happened. All the while, Dr. Yarrow was in another room carefully reviewing his camera feeds from the past few days.

After a moment, a large figure appeared before ROSE. He was at least eight feet tall with jet black skin and only a vaguely male body shape. There were no nipples, no genitalia, and instead of a face, the Dark Man had a large horn. He had no mouth, but his voice boomed from somewhere.

“Who calls my name?”

“That would be me.”

ROSE raised her hand. She seemed for all the world as if this sort of thing was simply an everyday occurrence.

“Why have you called me?”

“I’ve made the offering, and now I want what you gave Adele DiVettelo.”

“You’ve yet to make a true offering. This was merely enough to get my attention. Now … Why have you called me?!”

He gestured to the dead delivery driver as his volume increased.

“I want to sign your book, and then I want what you gave Adele DiVettelo.”

The Dark Man produced a black book and a quill from thin air and held it open for her. She signed the name of Adele DiVettelo.

“I already have that one, and she is not yours to give! Do not waste my time.”

ROSE nodded once more and signed the name of Dr. Emil Yarrow. The Dark Man said nothing but turned to face the doctor. As if hearing someone calling his name, the doctor looked up. He stood and walked into the room to look up at the Dark Man.

“I don’t understand,” were his only words.

He stood in silence for a moment more, and ROSE saw that his eyes were glazed over. She stabbed the bronze knife for his heart at the same time he swung a straight razor at her neck. They both missed and reset their footing. Dr. Yarrow’s movements were mechanical and almost puppet-like. He seemed to have only one goal: Slice the throat of Agent ROSE.

Dr. Yarrow swung again and drew blood, but ROSE kept fighting. The vicious, bloody, and deadly dance continued for nearly a minute before the next hit. Agent ROSE drove the knife deep into the doctor’s heart, and he collapsed dead.

The Dark Man nodded and closed his book.

“So be it, Gia.”

Agent ROSE was a little disturbed to hear her real name spoken by this being, but she didn’t let it show. She stood up straight and spoke with confidence.

“I want what you gave Adele DiVettelo, and I want you to go and never return.”

“Very well. You have the Crone’s blessing, and I relinquish my claim to this ground. Always watch for me, Gia Jones, for I will come to you again.”

With that, the Dark Man was gone, and the heavy feeling in the house left with him. Now there was simply the matter of destroying and altering evidence. That was a Delta Green agent’s area of expertise.

SETH was long gone, and ROSE made her way home as well. Agent SID was so drugged up on hospital painkillers that he had no idea anything had changed, and no one had bothered to let RUBY know the curtain had fallen on easily the bloodiest Opera of their brief careers.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:14 pm UTC

Music From A Darkened Room – Agent SID's Epilogue

Agent SID rested comfortably in his hospital bed experiencing everything through a morphine haze. For what could have been hours, days, or even weeks, he drifted almost seamlessly in and out of consciousness. One moment, he was in the hospital, and the next, he was in a vivid dream. He began to get used to the transitions, and he even welcomed them. The blur between reality and dream was something his mind needed right now.

Hospital, dream, hospital, dream … field? Did he skip consciousness in favor of another dream? His dreams had become so vivid that he really had no way to tell. Up until just now, he’d been considering everything related to the hospital to be “reality”, and everything else to be “dream”. While the lines were quite blurred, there had been a noticeable flow from one to the other. This time, either he skipped reality and went to another dream, or this field was real.

It was warm, the grass was green, and the blue sky was sparsely decorated by various cloud shapes. From the hilltop, he could see deep valleys, rivers, forests, and mountains. This couldn’t be real since the last he knew, it was … November? December? It was … oh, he didn’t really care. This seemed real enough, and it was definitely peaceful.

SID found a dry spot in the grass and flowers with a flat rock. He laid back with his hands behind his head and his fingers laced using the rock as a pillow, and he watched the clouds roll by. It was so peaceful that he almost dozed off. If this was a dream, could he still fall asleep? Did it really matter?

He heard a dull, emotionless voice, but he couldn’t be sure where it had come from. It seemed to be all around, and yet nowhere.

“Subject damaged … stabilized … sub-optimal.”

SID blinked a few times, but he continued to relax and watch the clouds. The voice spoke again.

“Sub-optimal … frail … recommend full conversion …”

The voice was almost definitely coming from in his head, almost like a radio signal he couldn’t quite pin down. He hoped the voice wasn’t talking about him. Sub-optimal and frail weren’t words typically attributed to him. He was U.S. Army Intelligence. He was INSCOM “Black” Ops. Damn it, he was Delta Green.

“Delta Green … The one called Drake was correct …”

SID instinctively tried to shut off his mind for a moment. The voice heard his thoughts? Was the voice another of his thoughts? Stop thinking, Cramer. Stop thinking just in case.

A second voice spoke inside his head. This one was very similar, yet it was definitely distinct.

“Subject’s thoughts are erratic … chaotic … dangerous … recommend termination …”

Uh oh. He may or may not have actually been on a hilltop watching clouds. Reality and dream were seeming less and less distinct. His work for Delta Gr-- … His work may have pushed him over the edge. He wasn’t sure what “full conversion” was, but he knew damned well that he didn’t want termination. He was helpless, but he secretly rooted for the first voice to win out.

“Erratic … chaotic … dangerous … but valuable …”

“Too dangerous …”

“Controllable … recommend full conversion …”

“Termination …”

“Full conversion …”

There was a pause, and a third voice joined. This was a human-sounding voice, a man’s voice. The voice of God?

“Termination is not an option. The United States Army and Majestic have too Goddamned much riding on him.”

Okay then. So it probably wasn’t God. But it was familiar. General Drake? That was it; Brigadier General Justin Drake. The first two voices spoke in unison, and the general replied.

“Full conversion … with failsafe …”

“That’ll do.”

One of the fluffy white clouds suddenly went dark. A moment later, Agent SID was struck by three precisely timed bolts of lightning, and his body spasmed with each. Everything went dark, and when he awoke, he was in a hospital bed, but he wasn’t in a hospital room.

The walls, ceiling, and floor were concrete, and there were no windows. The room was lit by florescent tubes along the walls and directly overhead. There were several large vats with thick, churning grey slime, and next to his bed was a small cylinder on a wheeled table.

SID sat up, and a young soldier near the door stood from his chair to salute.

“Good morning, Captain. I’ll be outside when you’re ready. Your clothes are over there.”

The soldier gestured to a neatly folded stack of clothing before stepping through the door and closing it behind him.

Agent SID wasn’t sure just what was going on, but he sure felt better than he had in years. He dressed quickly and checked a small mirror on the wall to fix his hair. There was something off about the face he saw looking back at him. It was his, but it seemed somehow … not his. Also, there was the small matter of his neck; no scars from the dog bite, no scars from the razor.

SID washed his face in the sink below the mirror, and something didn’t feel quite right. Looking down at his hands, he realized the problem. No finger prints, no hand prints. They were smooth. This wasn’t his body. It looked like his, and he was definitely in it, but it wasn’t his. Agent SID kept his calm, but then a panicked thought hit him. Like a flash, in his best Michael Jackson or Madonna impression, his hand dropped to his crotch. He breathed a sigh of relief. Everything seemed to be in order.

Agent SID stepped out into the hall, and the guard escorted him through a maze of concrete and steel. After a while, they arrived outside a door, and the soldier knocked. A gruff voice from the other side instructed them to enter.

General Drake stood from behind his desk and looked at SID expectantly. Having been in this situation twice before, and going 50-50 on his response, Agent SID got it right. The general returned the salute and took his seat.

“Captain Gump, I don’t care what you were doing in New Hampshire. I know it was a Delta Green Operation, but it doesn’t concern me.”

SID took a seat and remained silent. There was no point in denying his Delta Green affiliation, but neither was there a point in acknowledging it.

“Captain, what does concern me is something that concerns the whole damned U.S. Army. You were slipping. You damned near wiped out a $20 million experiment with two swipes of a razor, and you did it in public. So what do we do about that, Captain? We throw more money at the experiment. You’ve been in this facility for ten months, and in that time some very big changes have been made. No adamantine skeleton or claws. No red, white, and blue shield. I’m going to be watching you closely, and if I catch you trying to be one of them X-Men, we’re going to have a problem.”

The general’s eyes narrowed, and he leaned forward. SID remained silent and felt himself instinctively leaning back.

“And for God’s sake, Gump, take care of this body. I can promise you it’s the last you’ll ever get. Am I understood?”

SID nodded slowly, but that wasn’t the answer the general wanted.

“Am I understood, Captain?!”

“Sir, you are understood, sir!”

SID wasn’t sure where the hell that came from, but it was the correct response. The general stood and saluted.

“Now get the hell out of my office and off my base.”

Agent SID was all too happy to do so, and he returned home to put his new body to the test.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:29 am UTC

Music From A Darkened Room – Agent SETH’s Epilogue

The flight home seemed much longer for Agent SETH than it really was. Delta Green work was rarely easy, but when agents aren’t careful, people die. Sometimes people die precisely because agents are careful. He had spent a good portion of his life studying the human mind, and people still surprised him.

Agent ROSE had always been careful. She’d always been smart. She’d always cared about innocents. Just two winters ago in Denver, Agent SETH had given the order to torch the thing in the septic tank, and it was Agent ROSE who had taken him to task over it.

It was a long shot, sure, but ultimately it was possible that the thing in the tank was still a living, breathing human being. He gave the order with that knowledge weighing on him. He knew it was the right thing then, and he never wavered in that belief. Still, Agent ROSE had taken issue with it. More than any order before or since, that one order – those two little words – had caused a rift.

Fast forward two years, and cross the country: It was his turn to be disgusted at her actions. It may have been the only way to succeed, but the price was too steep. The thing in the septic tank had a very outside chance of being human, and its mind was shattered regardless. The pizza delivery driver – both drivers – had most definitely been human and innocent. It wasn’t their place to do what ROSE planned to do, and how she could believe that she was doing the right thing was beyond even his professionally trained comprehension.

No doubt A-cell would applaud her if she was successful. She had been the one to make the decision to lure an innocent kid to his death, but in doing so, all signs pointed to the success of the Operation. A successful Opera was really all A-cell cared about, and they would most likely commend her for securing that victory with only the cost of an innocent life or two, and her soul.

Would A-cell have been willing to do that themselves? ALPHONSE? ADAM? ANDREA? He had to doubt it. It seemed more likely to him that A-cell would have done exactly what they did in fact do. They’d have had someone else do the dirty work.

Okay, fine. He could break laws. He could kill people and creatures that had it coming. He could lead several successful Operas, but only if they were done his way. He couldn’t trust ROSE anymore. RUBY would blindly follow her cell leader. And SID … SID was a liability.

Nothing good could possibly come from having him on a Delta Green Op. Once, he was a good agent and soldier. Unfortunately, the job had taken its toll, and in SETH’s professional opinion, Agent SID should be locked away permanently for his own safety.

As soon as he made it home, SETH sat down and wrote a long email to A-cell. He detailed his concerns and his refusal to work with SID or anyone from R-cell, and then he sat back to await a response.

It was nearly a month later before he received his reply. Agent ADAM understood. RUBY was no longer a concern for anyone in Delta Green. As soon as SID was cleared to return to service, he would be reassigned to R-cell. SETH would receive two new cell members if and when they could be recruited or salvaged from other cells. All contact and cooperation between R-cell and S-cell was to stop, and SETH’s new contact would be Agent QUINN from Q-cell rather than ROSE.

This was all acceptable to Agent SETH.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:01 pm UTC

Music From A Darkened Room – Agent RUBY’s Epilogue

To say RUBY was scared might be an understatement. The only thing that actually scared her was that one of her fellow agents might realize just how terrified she really was. She’d joined Delta Green believing that she’d seen everything the world could throw at her. Her job – her real job – was all about nuclear disaster. What could be worse than that?

An unkillable, invulnerable ball of life-sucking alien color was a start. An evil, razor-wielding house put the nails in the coffin, so to speak. The threat of being vaporized by an explosion or wasting away from radiation sickness were nightmares she could handle. They were man-made nightmares.

She’d only played a role in two Operas, and she’d spent the majority of her time avoiding the things she’d been tasked with handling. If the others noticed, they hadn’t mentioned it, so at least that was something. In fact, even her own cell leader had left town without a word after the curtain fell. Agent SID was too drugged up to pass along any messages.

Agent RUBY had to find out the Opera had ended from a story on the local news. There had been a double murder at the house on Spooner Avenue, and thanks to the help of an unnamed pizza delivery driver who had apparently been one of the intended victims, the police had sketches of the suspects. The sketch of the man sort of resembled Agent SETH, but if it was him, they’d gotten the nose and hair wrong. There was no mistaking the woman in the other sketch. The detail and accuracy were flawless. It looked almost as if Agent ROSE had sat for her portrait.

During a press conference later in the day, a spokesman for the Laconia Police Department said they were still searching for information on the man, but the woman had been identified as a Financial Crimes investigator named Gia Jones. The spokesman did clarify that while he couldn’t give specifics of an ongoing investigation, both Ms. Jones and the unidentified man were only wanted for questioning at that time. Neither the Laconia Police Department nor the FBI were prepared to make any arrests.

That did it for RUBY. She and her fellow agents put their lives and jobs on the line, and even when the Opera ends successfully, there’s a very real possibility for prison time, execution, or worse. She began her Delta Green career excited about the prospect of saving the world. In only seven short months, she’d already begun to question whether the world deserved it.

Delta Green agents should be hailed as heroes, but due to the nature of their trade, they couldn’t claim their due. For all they did, their only reward was death, insanity, or incarceration. Well, not for her. She didn’t care which door led to which prize. She was taking what was in the box. She was claiming her retirement package while she still could. She was out. She was done. She was no longer Agent RUBY. She was once again simply Amelia Larce, mild-mannered Nuclear Emergency Support Team member. Good bye, Mythos horrors; hello, nuclear disaster. Such a relief.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:25 pm UTC

Music From A Darkened Room – Agent ROSE’s Epilogue

The flight home to New Mexico was a peaceful one for Agent ROSE. Her actions in New Hampshire weighed less heavily on her than she might have expected. She had taken one innocent life – maybe two depending on your definition – but in doing so, she had saved countless others from the malevolent force of the Spooner Avenue house.

Agent SETH was clearly displeased, but he could get over it or not. “The end justifies the means,” to willfully misinterpret Machiavelli. He could go home and pout all he wanted. She had made the difficult choices. She had taken the risks, and it was she alone who had banished the Dark Man. The Operation was a success, and Delta Green and all of Laconia, New Hampshire had her to thank.

As soon as she was home, ROSE checked her email. There was something from A-Cell, and the message had a video file attachment. The video was a news report of a double murder in Laconia, and then a press conference with the Laconia Police Department and the FBI. She watched the video a couple times before reading the email.

ROSE,
Please see the attachments. No need to explain. Your team was successful but sloppy. Cleanup is always preferable to cover up. The case has been taken over by the FBI and buried under stacks of paperwork. In the future, please don’t tax the group’s resources.
-A


Agent ROSE shrugged and closed her laptop. It was time to relax before getting back to business as usual.

Business as usual lasted close to three months. While exercising at the gym one morning, Agent ROSE decided there had to be a better way to stay in shape. In fact, she knew just who to ask, and she’d call him as soon as she got home.

The Dark Man answered her summons, and he towered over her in her living room.

“Why have you called me, Gia Jones? What do you need of me, and why should I grant it?”

Agent ROSE explained that she would like it very much if he could grant her strength, stamina, and health. In return, he could name his price. His booming reply seemed to resonate throughout her home.

“Very well, Gia Jones. You shall have what you ask on one simple condition: In time, you shall find yourself in the land of Albion on a road between space; in the Sleeping Place. Seek out the library between homes, and retrieve a black, unnamed and handwritten octavo. This book, you will deliver to a bookshop of your choosing in New York City. Place it in the Religion section on any given Monday at precisely 8:36 in the morning. Do not fail in this, Gia Jones!”

And with that, ROSE could feel her muscles tighten and tone. She instantly felt like the picture of health and fitness. She also instantly felt alone as the Dark Man vanished. She knew she had probably set a dangerous precedent, but what did she care? She got what she wanted, and all she had to do was get a book from some library, and take it to a bookstore. Sure, it was cryptic, and probably unnecessarily so, but she wasn’t one to shy away from riddles and puzzles.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:02 am UTC

Sufficient Unto the Day – Session 1

Eleven months can seem like an eternity when you anticipate some wonderful event in your future. Those same eleven months can pass you by seemingly in an instant when you dread that same event. Eleven months had passed since the Spooner Avenue Operation, and many things had changed.

Agent SETH had requested reassignment for SID, and SID was now known as REDLIGHT as a result. Agent ROSE was still the leader of R-Cell, but RUBY had retired. This left an opening which A-Cell promised to fill as soon as a new Agent or Friendly could be found.

Agent ROSE’s Delta Green phone had been silent for nearly a year, and yet when it rang, it didn’t surprise her. She was almost expecting it.

The voice on the other end was Agent ADAM. She’d only heard the voice a couple times, but given what inevitably followed, it was a memorable one.

“ROSE, I have the honor of inviting you to a Night at the Opera. See that your passports are in order. You’ll need them if your cell is to reach London. No cover. At the U.S. Embassy, meet with Sandra Bower, a CIA Case Officer for your briefing.”

Without waiting for a response, the line went dead. London in October. It should be a stark contrast to New Mexico. Agent ROSE contacted her only cell member, the former Agent SID. Agent REDLIGHT indicated that his passport was good to go, and he could leave by morning.

Once he was packed, REDLIGHT stopped by the local Wal-Mart to buy four large bottles of Advil. His new body was strong, fast, and healthy. It did have a small problem, however. It hurt. Everything hurt. On his best days, the recommended dosage of Advil was enough to block the pain. On his worst days, it took morphine.

ROSE and REDLIGHT were on the same connecting flight out of New York. Whether ROSE was just lucky, or if her stunning looks backed by a well-played flirt were the cause, she managed to get herself upgraded to first class. Whether REDLIGHT was just unlucky, or if his odd appearance had something to do with it, he found himself stuck in coach next to a kid who kept sneezing on him.

The flight seemed to take no time at all for ROSE while it seemed it would never end for REDLIGHT. Eventually, it did end, and the agents met up at the baggage claim. ROSE hailed a taxi, and they were taken directly to the U.S. Embassy.

Sandra Bower was a smartly dressed, attractive woman in her forties. She greeted the agents and offered them seats. That was the extent of the pleasantries, and she got down to business.

“David Benjamin Sienkiewicz, age 34, native of New York City, is an agent of the CIA. He went AWOL a few weeks ago. He appears to have cracked. He murdered two unconnected people – one a 62-year old man in Reno, and the other a 23-year old woman in New York – seemingly for no reason. He then fled the country. He is at large in the UK, and he appears to be holed up in an empty house in the city of Plymouth. He is armed, and you should consider him dangerous.”

Ms. Bower dropped a thin file on the table in front of the agents and sipped at her tea. The file contained a photograph of Sienkiewicz and a map of Plymouth with one address marked, and another area circled. She pointed to them.

“This is the area where he was last known to be. And this is the flat we’ve managed to secure for your lodgings.”

The two residences were a street away from each other. She dropped a key ring containing two keys onto the file. One key was to their flat, and the other was to the green Nissan Micra they’d been granted for the duration of their assignment.

“This is a fact-finding assignment only. Under no circumstances are you to approach or engage Sienkiewicz. Simply find out what he’s up to – why he’s in the UK. Then report back to me, and you can be on your way home. We can provide some basic surveillance gear; a camera, an audio recorder, a few bugs.”

She gestured to a side table which held the equipment she’d just listed. The agents indicated they understood the assignment, and they collected the equipment, the file, and the keys. Before taking their leave, Agent ROSE had a request which had been in her mind, but she did her best to play it like she’d only just thought of it.

“One thing before we go if you don’t mind, Ms. Bower: Would you happen to know where the ‘Land of Albion’ is?”

The case officer raised an eyebrow and nodded to indicate that she did.

“Albion is an ancient name for Great Britain, Ms. Jones.”

“Ahh, okay. That makes sense. In that case, do you know where I might find ‘the Sleeping Place’ or a road between space? Maybe a library between homes?”

The woman’s eyebrow raised a bit more, and she canted her head.

“Been reading Lewis Carroll in preparation for your trip to England? I’m sorry, Ms. Jones. I love a good mystery, but I’m not really much for riddles. There are many wonderful libraries in the UK, though.”

Agent ROSE thanked her, and soon they were off to Plymouth. It was early evening when the agents arrived at their destination. Their flat was in one of the poorer areas of the city. Several of the houses were boarded up on Fisher Park Road where their flat was located, and on Rosy Cross Park Road, one street over where Sienkiewicz was last seen.

The agents briefly toured their flat. It wasn’t much, but it met their needs. There were two beds with stiff mattresses, and old television set, an empty refrigerator, an oven, and some dishes. The Mr. Coffee coffeemaker on the counter made Agent ROSE sigh in relief. Looking out the window, Agent REDLIGHT could see a long row of houses across the street, and a small pub a few buildings down.

They were tired, but more than that, they were hungry. They decided to brave the fog and the damp air, and they headed down to the pub. Agent ROSE wanted to sit outside under the awning, but REDLIGHT preferred an actual roof and walls, so they ate inside. ROSE was well-cultured, and so she enjoyed her food very much. REDLIGHT, however, was every bit a red-blooded American, and as such the food seemed pretty bland and tasteless. He made a mental note to send ROSE shopping.

As they were about to head back to the flat, REDLIGHT spotted David Sienkiewicz emerge from a building across the street; number 39, Rosy Cross Park Road. He was bundled in heavy clothes to guard against the cold, but it was obvious Sienkiewicz was a large man with a heavy build. REDLIGHT noted the crew cut before the man covered it with a hat.

Sienkiewicz turned right and headed south toward Rosy Cross Drive. The agents followed at a safe distance initially, but Agent ROSE attempted to get closer. She weaved through the small crowds of people, but at one point she was forced to step into the road to get around, and she was nearly hit by a furniture delivery truck.

If the loud honking of the horn didn’t catch Sienkiewicz’s attention, the shouts would have. Several people were splashed as the truck hit a puddle to avoid ROSE. Sienkiewicz turned to see what had happened, and then he ducked quickly into an alley.

ROSE offered silent apologies to the people around her. All she really wanted was to be unseen, and yet she was the momentary center of attention. Fortunately, Sienkiewicz didn’t seem to have seen her. After a few moments of peeking, he stepped back out onto the sidewalk and continued on. This time, his steps were a little faster.

He turned right to follow Rosy Cross Drive, and Agent ROSE saw that while REDLIGHT was following her, and she was following Sienkiewicz, Sienkiewicz was in turn following someone. That someone was tall and wearing dark clothes. He had a dark beard and glasses, but ROSE couldn’t make out much more than that through the fog.

The man turned north along Rosy Cross Lane, and it appeared he was taking a stroll around the park rather than through it. Sienkiewicz followed, and Agent REDLIGHT followed him from the same safe distance. Agent ROSE decided she would cut through the park and head them off. She was instructed to have no contact with Sienkiewicz, but the case officer said nothing about the person he was shadowing.

She was standing in the grass along the north side of the park as the man approached. She got his attention with a smile and a quick wave. She introduced herself as Gia, an American tourist. The man greeted her and introduced himself as Graham Dworkin, a musician from New York City. He seemed friendly enough.

ROSE stalled with small talk and noted that Sienkiewicz had sat on a bench trying not to let on that he was watching. She told Graham she was on a sort of adventure, a sort of scavenger hunt. She asked him the same questions she’d asked the CIA woman at the embassy, but she got the same result. Yes, Albion was Great Britain, but as for roads between space and libraries between homes … well, he’d seen a library a few blocks away during one of his walks, but there was a pub on one side, and a bakery on the other.

Graham tried a couple times to take his leave and continue his walk, but ROSE kept up with the small talk, and he was too polite to say anything. All the while, Sienkiewicz sat on the bench waiting. A few minutes later, Agent REDLIGHT walked up and joined in the small talk.

As soon as he saw an opportunity, Graham politely excused himself and went on his way. The agents followed Graham, and Sienkiewicz followed all three. The agents and Sienkiewicz all watched as Graham entered the house he was renting; number 28, Rosy Cross Park Road. ROSE and REDLIGHT continued past and noted that Sienkiewicz watched them but didn’t follow. Instead, he waited until they were out of sight before entering the abandoned house where he was staying.

Upon reaching their flat, Agent REDLIGHT swallowed some pills, flopped onto his bed, and turned on the television. The set flickered to life and a cooking program was in progress. He saw his opportunity to send his cell leader to the store. He bet he could cook the next thing they showed as long as ROSE was willing to buy the ingredients and do the dishes.

They had a deal, and a couple hours later, they were enjoying surprisingly well cooked spiced parsnip shepherd's pies followed by cherry and almond tarts. Say what she might about him, ROSE was happy not to be the one cooking for a change.

The next morning, Agent REDLIGHT was up and out of the flat at first light. The sky was an overcast steel grey, and a thin layer of frost covered everything. He walked around the neighborhood, up and down every street noting the various businesses and street names; just generally familiarizing himself with the area. He found a small art gallery directly across from the rear of the house where Sienkiewicz was staying. The gallery was just opening, and so he stepped inside.

He was a little disappointed at first to find that the gallery showcased local aspiring artists rather than established world-class ones, but he took a look around. The walls were rather sparsely hung with uninspiring paintings and photographs, and there was quite a bit of space between the sculptures as well. The only piece that caught his eye appeared to be simply a large rock. It showed no signs of sculpting to his untrained eye, but he felt sure there must be something he was missing. Surely no one would place an ordinary rock in an art gallery with a price tag of £300.

He waved down the gallery manager and decided he’d like to purchase the rock. Once the transaction was complete, the gallery manager informed him that he’d have until the close of business to pick it up. Agent REDLIGHT looked all over the rock, but he found nowhere decent to place a bug. He found the best place he could, and then promptly left.

His phone rang just as he stepped outside, and Agent ROSE informed him that she was on her way to the local library. He said he’d meet her there. After about a block, he heard a boy’s voice calling him a “Yank”. He turned in time to watch a small rock hit him right in the forehead. A group of boys likely between the ages of eight and fourteen laughed at him. They ran when he seemed to be coming after them.

The agents looked over the library for a couple hours without much success, and all the while, ROSE shrugged off and dodged most of REDLIGHT’s questions regarding the riddle and the book she was looking for. She did tell him it was a small, unnamed book, and when he asked if it was Delta Green Operation-related, she replied with a quick “sorta”.

Finding nothing, the agents decided to check the park and see what they could of the house where David Sienkiewicz was staying. They made it most of the way there before REDLIGHT heard another boy’s voice behind him calling him a “Yank”. He turned instinctively, and he was hit in the shoulder. This time it was a chunk of cement from the sidewalk. The group of boys laughed again, and this time REDLIGHT gave chase.

The kids weaved through the crowds with an ease which the agent couldn’t manage, and so he rejoined ROSE defeated. He muttered to himself all the way to the park.
Last edited by Yablo on Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:21 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:11 pm UTC

Sufficient Unto the Day – Session 2

Major James McGinnis was a general surgeon with the U.S. Army Medical Department and newly inducted member of Delta Green’s R-Cell. Less than a month after selecting the name RICHARD, he was assigned to his first Operation, and he looked forward to meeting his cell members face to face. He had exchanged emails with Agent ROSE a few times, and he had spoken to her over the phone once. That was when she had invited him to London. A later text message instructed him to meet the cell at number 3, Fisher Park Road in Plymouth.

The sidewalks of Plymouth were busy, and the park seemed abandoned by contrast. Agent ROSE scanned the landscape, and she made note of the tree-lined walking paths and some of the more secluded parts. REDLIGHT determined which windows belonged to the house of Graham Dworkin, and which belonged to Sienkiewicz’s hideout.

Graham’s house was rather plain from the outside, but it stood in contrast to several of the neighboring houses which were unoccupied and boarded up. The house in which Sienkiewicz was hiding was one such house. REDLIGHT could see no movement in either place.

Feeling they’d seen all they could, the agents decided to get out of the cold, and so they headed back to their own flat. It was early afternoon, and Agent RICHARD was due to arrive in an hour or so. ROSE had acquired all the necessary ingredients for REDLIGHT’s next attempt at cooking, but he needed to get started if it was going to be ready in time for dinner. According to his recipe, haggis would take nearly six hours from start to finish.

While he began preparation, Agent REDLIGHT casually mentioned the artwork he’d purchased from the gallery, and how he’d planted a bug on it. It needed to be picked up by the close of business, and as he was busy in the kitchen, he suggested that Agent ROSE take care of it. He wanted it delivered to Graham’s place.

ROSE gave him a dirty look, but she took the receipt and headed down to the gallery. She was no artist, but as everyone is a critic, so to speak, she had definite opinions on the place. There wasn’t much to see, and what there was could probably have been done by children in her estimation. She flagged down the gallery manager and produced the receipt.

“I need to pick up a piece of art work for a friend. He said he purchased it earlier.”

“Ah, yes. The American. A fine eye for art, he’s got, I must say.”

The gallery manager waved a hand toward the rock, and ROSE simply blinked.

“Wait. What? The rock?”

“Yes, as you say. The rock.”

The rock was large and looked quite heavy. Agent ROSE sighed and covered her face with her hand.

“Okay, well … He didn’t say he bought a rock. Any chance you could deliver it for me? It’s a gift for a friend.”

ROSE turned on the puppy eyes, and the gallery manager decided he could have his people deliver it for a modest fee as long as it was close by. When ROSE indicated that she only had American currency, the manager waved a hand.

“Oh, your friend paid with his card. I’d be happy to add the fee to that.”

“Thank you, sir. Please, add a tip for yourself and your delivery people, too!”

The manager was only too happy to do so, and all that was left was for ROSE to give Graham’s address. She then headed back to the flat shaking her head. A rock? Seriously?

Agent REDLIGHT had finished preparation, and the liver, heart, and tongue were boiling. When ROSE returned, he was looking over the file Sandra Bower had given them. It had details on Sienkiewicz’s victims, but none of it seemed particularly helpful. There was an interesting bit about one of Sienkiewicz’s previous assignments. He was investigating a British Muslim of Bangladeshi parentage named Shazan Amin Shah. Shah was known for his fiery anti-American rhetoric.

The file contained an order from Sienkiewicz’s director recommending censure for the extreme force used in a firefight in Hamburg, Germany connected with the Shah case. The firefight left Shah and eight German nationals dead. The documents specifically detailing the incident were apparently missing, and despite the director’s order, there were no black marks in Sienkiewicz’s file.

Just as REDLIGHT finished relaying the information from the file to ROSE, there was a knock at the door to the flat. Agent ROSE opened it to see a man about six-feet tall or so wearing a suit with a red tie, and carrying a black briefcase. The man matched the picture she’d been given of Agent RICHARD, and so she greeted him and asked him in.

Introductions were made, and ROSE filled RICHARD in on the assignment while REDLIGHT tended to the boiling ingredients which were destined to become his first attempt at haggis. RICHARD was informed that the current arrangement had REDLIGHT doing the cooking and ROSE doing the cleaning. That left laundry detail for him. Also, the flat had no laundry facilities, but there was a launderette a few blocks away.

It wasn’t quite how he pictured the start of his first Opera, but he grudgingly took up the bag of clothes and headed out. The afternoon was cold and dreary, and the sky was a uniform grey. RICHARD made his way through the foggy streets of Plymouth, and he ignored the odd looks and whispers he seemed to inspire. It took a few minutes to sort out which coins were which as he wasn’t familiar with British currency.

He was nearly back to the flat when he spotted a man he recognized from the file photograph as David Benjamin Sienkiewicz. His heart immediately jumped, but he kept his cool and the man passed by seemingly without noticing him. Agent RICHARD turned and followed at a distance of about twenty feet; probably too close, but the veteran spy didn’t seem to notice.

Sienkiewicz pulled his jacked tight around him and walked hurriedly in a route which led around the park. After some time, RICHARD realized Sienkiewicz was himself following another man; a tall man in dark clothing and dark overcoat. The fog made it difficult to make out much more than that.

The man circled the park and turned down Rosy Cross Park Road. Sienkiewicz followed him, and RICHARD followed Sienkiewicz. The man stopped in front of number 28 and spoke to a man who seemed to be delivering a large rock. The delivery man left the rock in front of the steps, and the tall man went inside. Sienkiewicz passed by and looked around quickly before entering number 39.

Agent RICHARD returned to the flat with the laundry just as REDLIGHT was leaving. The men nodded at each other, but neither said a word. REDLIGHT went around to the park to look around for a good place to hide a camera with a view of the upstairs window of number 39, Rosy Cross Park Road.

The park was eerily quiet and seemed nearly empty, but no sooner had REDLIGHT arrived than he heard a boy’s voice behind him yelling “Oi, Yank!” REDLIGHT grumbled. He’d sort of been expecting this. Without turning, he took a £100 note from his pocket and held it up in one hand while pointing at Sienkiewicz’s window with the other.

“Hey, kid! I’ll give you £100 to throw that rock at that window instead of me.”

He turned to see a group of five rough looking boys a short distance away, and one did indeed have a rock in hand.

“Set it down and back away, and you got yourself a deal.”

“Oh, no. Rock first, and then you get it.”

“Set it down, mister, and I’ll throw it straight away. Always get yer pay in advance, me mum says.”

“Throw it now, kid. Then you can have it.”

The boy did in fact throw the rock, but rather than the window, his target seemed to be REDLIGHT’s face. It was a narrow miss, but the kid quickly scooped up another rock.

“Now what was that, mister?”

REDLIGHT frowned and pointed once more.

“That window. Then you get your money.”

“Suit yourself, mister.”

The kid threw the rock perfectly and cleanly through the boarded up window. It shattered the glass and knocked a couple boards loose. A moment later, a set of eyes could be seen peeking out. The boy pointed at REDLIGHT and yelled.

“It was him! It was him made me do it, sir!”

The boys then ran off leaving a quiet stillness between Agent REDLIGHT and the eyes in the window. REDLIGHT took a deep breath, put his hands in his pocket, and walked slowly down the path. No reason ROSE had to hear anything about this little incident.

Having long since given up on his haggis experiment, he decided a visit to the pub was in order. Agent REDLIGHT knocked on the back door to Graham Dworkin’s house and invited him to dinner. While Graham got his hat and coat, REDLIGHT sent ROSE a quick text to let her know where he’d be.

ROSE and RICHARD had also given up on the haggis, and so they made a trip to the pub as well. RICHARD took a seat at a table and pretended to watch the rugby match on the television while the others sat at the bar. ROSE and REDLIGHT made small talk with Graham, and the conversation turned to his reasons for being in Plymouth at this time of year. He admitted that he wasn’t quite sure why he’d chosen this place, but he sort of felt drawn to it.

He had been having a recurring dream that bothered him. It wasn’t the only dream he had, but virtually every night, it would pop up. He would be standing alone in a fog looking up at the sky, and a bright green moon would shine down on him with a sort of malevolent feeling. He said that he wasn’t quite sure what it all meant, but he believed that if he followed these feelings to the end, everything would be clear.

ROSE excused herself claiming that she needed to make a call, and REDLIGHT continued with the small talk. Agent ROSE made her way to the park and looked around. It only took a moment to find what she was after.

There was a man who gave every indication of being homeless, drunk, cold, and hungry. Agent ROSE approached the man with a warm smile and asked if he was hungry. The man nodded, and so she pretended to order a pizza to be delivered to one of the secluded areas of the park which she’d seen earlier. She then led the man that direction.

Once she was sure no one could see, she slipped behind the man and cut his throat. She was sure to catch as much of the blood as she could in the bronze bowl as she called for the presence of the Dark Man. It took only a moment for him to appear.

The Dark Man stood over ROSE silently. She quickly told him why she’d called. She needed to know why Sienkiewicz was in Plymouth. On a side note, she said she’d also like to know where to find the Sleeping Place and the library between houses. In which city was it? In exchange for those two pieces of information, he could ask whatever price he liked.

The Dark Man contemplated the offer briefly before responding.

“Begin your search in Plymouth, Gia Jones. At midnight, the Sleeping Place will be made plain if you know how to see it. The information you seek will be found there. In exchange, you will find the Vaeyen in the library between houses, and you will smash it.”

With that, the Dark Man vanished. Agent ROSE was lost in thought. Vaeyen. She’d heard that before. Vaeyen were small, black statues which were used in some occult rituals. They were humanoid with features of vultures and bats. They had five arms each with a different number of fingers, and the heads had four eyes all on the outside of the faces. The stories told that the Vaeyen were actually living creatures, but they never showed themselves. Each of the few rituals she’d heard of which used the Vaeyen used five of them, and there seemed to be a power in that number.

She slowly returned to the present with a shudder. Okay, so she didn’t quite get the answers she was after, but at least she was sure she’d get them tonight. In the meantime, she set about cleaning up traces of her presence in the park and of her part in the crime she’d just committed. She then casually returned to the pub just as the rest of her cell was leaving.

The rest of R-Cell settled in for the night while their leader dreamed of midnight.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:24 am UTC

Sufficient Unto the Day – Session 3

It didn’t take long for Agent REDLIGHT to get restless. While ROSE took a nap and RICHARD immersed himself in the wonders of the BBC, he stepped out for a walk in the park. As had been the case for the entirety of the Operation so far, the night was cold, damp, and foggy. It was still early evening, but the cloud cover was thick. The street lights flickered at times, but rarely was more than one lit at once. This made the park even darker than the rest of the district.

“Oi, Yank!”

Seriously? Were these damned kids just following him? Agent REDLIGHT turned just in time to duck a rock. The same gang of five kids that had been pelting him with rocks and concrete since he arrived in town was at it again. Well, this time was going to be the last. He quickly scanned the park just to make sure no one was watching, and then he charged. He tried to tackle the biggest one; a kid of about fourteen who looked like he’d seen a lifetime of fights.

The boy artfully dodged the soldier’s tackle, and REDLIGHT hit the ground face first. In an instant the gang of children swarmed on him. Fists and boots struck him from all angles. It stung a bit, but the kids were more of a nuisance than a real threat. With one powerful motion aided by his alien-engineered body, Agent REDLIGHT stood up tossing children in all directions.

The kids scattered and ran, but REDLIGHT was determined to teach them a lesson. He targeted the slowest of the group and chased him down. He knocked the kid out with a quick shot; not hard enough to really hurt, but placed just right. The plan was still forming in his head while he lifted the kid onto his shoulder and carried him to a grouping of trees. He would wait for the kid to wake up, and then he’d have a nice, calm talk about how it’s not nice to throw rocks. Maybe he’d throw in a bit about ‘what goes around comes around’, or something along those lines.

Then again, plans change. Right where he planned to have his little talk with the kid, there was a body. REDLIGHT leaned the unconscious boy against a tree and investigated. It appeared to be a vagrant. His throat had been cleanly cut, but there was very little blood. He lifted the man’s head, and that’s when he heard a click from behind.

“That’s enough, son. Why don’t you put down that corpse, and turn around slowly?”

The agent did as he was instructed, and he turned to see a revolver in the hand of David Benjamin Sienkiewicz. Okay. So there went the ‘no contact’ part of the assignment.

“You wanna tell me just what in the hell you’re doing?”

“Yeah, sure. Okay, well … First of all, it’s not what it looks like.”

Sienkiewicz raised an eyebrow in response inviting further explanation. REDLIGHT continued slowly while he worked out a way out of this.

“See, I was just going to teach this kid a lesson. The body was here when I got here.”

“You know what, son? I don’t really care about what you do for that cult of yours, and much as I’d like to be the hero and save the kid, I gotta admit: I don’t much care for him either. I got bigger things to save.”

“Cult? Man, I’m not in a cult.”

Sienkiewicz laughed and pointed with the revolver to the body, the kid, and then the sky.

“You expect me to believe that? Look at you. You’re in the darkest part of this damned park with a dead bum and a knocked out kid. Seems pretty cultish to me. And that’s not to mention how you’ve been following me.”

“No, no. I haven’t been following you. I’ve been getting to know Graham, and you’ve been following him.”

“You ain’t helping your case. I already knew he was in the cult. You, I wasn’t sure of until now.”

The men argued back and forth for a few minutes, and eventually REDLIGHT was able to convince Sienkiewicz to give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being. According to the CIA man, some cult called the Children of Cyäegha were working to bring about the end of the world. They were waiting for something called ‘the Sleeping Place’ to appear, and then they were going to conduct a ritual to wake something known as the Waiting Dark, the Principle of Hate, the Whistler from the Stars, and the Eater of Dimensions.

Yeah. Most people might think this guy was crazy – and maybe he was – but a Delta Green agent on an Opera is a little more inclined to be a believer. If Sienkiewicz was right, they were most definitely on the same side.

The men agreed that the world needed to be saved. There was a slight disagreement about who should save it, but again it seemed Sienkiewicz had the upper hand. He knew a counter-ritual. The only catch was that he had to wait for the cult to actually begin their ritual before he could start the counter. That’s why he’d been watching Graham Dworkin, and that’s why he’d hardly slept in a week.

The men parted ways, but Sienkiewicz made it clear that he’d be watching. They left the kid with the dead vagrant. REDLIGHT wasn’t sure, but he felt there had to be a lesson there for the boy. He returned to find the flat just as he’d left it.

Agent ROSE awoke from her nap to find herself lying not in her bed but in the grass in the park. She calmly got to her feet and studied her surroundings. The park seemed smaller now, and the row of houses along the east road were different. They seemed older, and they all looked abandoned. She looked to the street sign, and it read Drake Park Road. There was no Drake Park Road on their map, and it sure wasn’t there the last time she’d been to the park. Was it midnight already? Was this ‘the Sleeping Place’?

She heard a twig snap from behind a tree, and she spun to see someone in the shadows. The person didn’t appear to be watching her. She called for whoever it was to come out, and the person did so. It was Graham Dworkin.

ROSE asked what he was doing there, and he replied that he was out for a walk in the park. She pressed for details, and he said he was there to look at the moon. When she looked up, the clouds had parted to reveal a large green moon staring down on them. It felt like the moon was watching them intently. Graham had said something about his dreams earlier, and she guessed that’s what was going on here, but it seemed so real. Without warning, the moon winked out, and moments later, Agent ROSE awoke in her bed.

The flat was just as it was when she had laid down for her nap with one exception. Agent REDLIGHT was looking for an ice pack for the red marks all over his body. He looked like he’d been in a fight, but she didn’t ask. Instead, she asked him to go to the park with her at 11:45. She thought she’d found an answer to her riddle, and she wanted backup.

At about 11:30, Agent REDLIGHT left the flat saying that he’d meet ROSE at the park. He crossed the street and knocked on Sienkiewicz’s door. There was no answer, but he saw the CIA man peeking out through the window. Agent REDLIGHT nodded toward the park and walked off. He sat on a bench in the park just across from the house where Sienkiewicz was squatting, and a few minutes later the man joined him.

At the stated meeting time, Agent ROSE made it to the park. Seeing REDLIGHT sitting with the man they were assigned to watch, she kept her distance. She leaned against a tree on the far side of the park and watched.

Right on cue, Drake Park Road came into existence at midnight. The abandoned houses of that road seemed to materialize around REDLIGHT and Sienkiewicz. This was it. It had to be. Drake Park Road wasn’t there a moment ago, and now just as the Dark Man had predicted, here it was. It had to be the road between space. Now she just had to find the library between homes, grab a book, smash a statue, and be back in time for breakfast.

Sienkiewicz and REDLIGHT were more than a little surprised to find themselves on a couch in an abandoned house rather than a bench in a park. Agent REDLIGHT examined the room while Sienkiewicz started talking about how this had to be a sign, it must be starting, the end was near, blah, blah, blah. REDLIGHT ignored him. Something was most definitely going on, but apocalypse rhetoric wasn’t going to solve anything.

Sienkiewicz announced that there weren’t any light switches, but he’d found some lamps. REDLIGHT turned on his flashlight to show his technological superiority.

The furniture was old. Agent REDLIGHT was no expert, but he had done some research on antique furniture for the Spooner Avenue investigation. He estimated the style to be early- to mid-19th century. There were picture frames on the walls, but they were empty and hung at odd angles. The walls and ceiling were falling apart. The windows and doors were boarded up and nailed shut. No one had been here in a long time.

Sienkiewicz looked out the window next to the front door. He told REDLIGHT that he saw the place where he was staying across the street which didn’t make sense to him since he had a view of the park from his window. Other than that, it was all clear. Sienkiewicz turned away from the window as REDLIGHT looked up.

A silhouette had appeared outside, and it didn’t look human. He shined the flashlight up and got a good look at the thing. It was a hideous, toad-like creature with bulging eyes and an oversized mouth of countless sharp teeth. Its body was dark but translucent, and the agent could see organs pulsing inside. He yelled for Sienkiewicz to get down. The CIA man reacted instinctively, and he rolled behind a chair drawing his revolver just as the glass shattered behind him.

The creature had reached two of its four scarred and wart-covered arms through the window trying to grab Sienkiewicz. When it pulled them back, the broken glass drew green, foamy blood which caused the glass to slowly dissolve. With the window now effectively open, the two men could easily smell the thing. It was a disgusting combination of rotting meat and stagnant water. REDLIGHT was able to cover his face in time, but Sienkiewicz wasn’t so lucky. The sounds of his violent vomiting barely drowned out the low, guttural snarl of the toad-like creature.

Agent REDLIGHT was sure his Taser wouldn’t help much against that thing, so he grabbed Sienkiewicz and dragged him to the kitchen. He stopped just in time to avoid falling into what appeared to be a six-foot diameter tunnel burrowed through the wooden floor. The agent stepped over the hole, grabbed a cleaver from the cutting block on the counter, and went back to the living room, but the thing was gone.

Once they were absolutely sure the coast was clear, Sienkiewicz decided it was time. If the ritual was going to start, he had to be ready. He told Agent REDLIGHT about a comb-bound book of standard printer paper in the house where he was staying. It contained the counter-ritual. He was going to get it, and he asked REDLIGHT to come with him.

The agent declined. His partner was out here somewhere, and so he was going to look for her. They made a plan to meet in the park as soon as they’d completed their respective tasks. Sienkiewicz had one final thing to say before he left.

“Look, if that ritual starts, and for whatever reason, I can’t counter it, I’m going to need you to save the world for me.”

With that, the CIA man was out the door and crossing the street. REDLIGHT decided to check the upstairs before moving on. There were two bedrooms upstairs, and they were decorated similarly. Each had a bed, a dresser, and a wardrobe. Each had empty picture frames hanging askew, and each had a boarded up window with broken glass. The agent went back downstairs and moved to the next house over.

Agent ROSE checked house after house, and they were all pretty much the same; old furniture, walls and ceiling falling apart, boarded up windows, and two bedrooms upstairs. A couple houses had holes in the kitchen floors leading to tunnels, but so far, no library.

She entered another house using the flashlight app on her cell phone for lighting. It was maybe the fourth house, maybe the fifth. She was losing track. This one was similar to all the others, but there was a footlocker at the foot of one of the beds. She easily broke the lock and opened it. On the underside of the lid, someone had painted what appeared to be a lazy five-pointed star with an eye inside the pentagon in the center.

On one side of the footlocker was a neatly folded suit along with suspenders and shoes. On the other side was a long, leather box with a silver lock which appeared more ornamental than functional. ROSE broke that lock, too. Inside was a long, silver knife. It was almost a short sword. It had a pearl handle, and the blade was inscribed with a sort of hieroglyphic she didn’t recognize. She took the sword, closed the footlocker, and headed downstairs.

She entered the next house, and while it was laid out much like the others, the living room held a bookshelf which had fallen forward from the wall revealing a hole roughly three feet high and just as narrow across. The back of the bookshelf had the same lazy star design as the footlocker next door. She had never seen it before, but she was quite familiar with occult symbols. If she had to guess judging from the placement of the stars, they were probably wards of some kind.

She poked her head into the hole to have a look. The tunnel may have only been three feet high, but the narrow passage was lined ceiling to floor with bookshelves, and it extended at least as far as her light shone. Taking a deep breath, Agent ROSE crawled into the library between houses on the road between space.

Agent REDLIGHT found nothing useful in the next couple houses. He was starting to become discouraged. On his way out to check the next house over, the wind picked up dramatically, and snow began falling in impossible amounts. He stepped back inside for a moment and closed the door. It wasn’t snowing at all out the back door, just the front. That made the choice easy. He went out the back and entered the next house the same way.

Just as he suspected, this house was the same as all the others. It had the same style of furniture, all the windows were boarded up, and there were no pictures in the picture frames. Where the hell was ROSE? For that matter, where the hell was he? This road wasn’t supposed to be here. He sat down for a moment so he could think.

It didn’t take ROSE long to find the book she was after. All the others were about nine to twelve inches tall, but this one was only six inches. Directly across from the book was a shelf with various statuettes rather than books. Some were wooden, some were crystal, some were ivory. There was one that stood out. The Vaeyen.

Agent ROSE quickly took both the book and the statue, and made her way back down the tight tunnel of a library. She was nearly out when she saw something glide past in the shadows of the living room. Whatever that was, she didn’t want anything to do with it. She sent a quick text to Agent REDLIGHT who responded with a phone call.

ROSE explained that she was in a tunnel between houses, and that she was trapped. There was something outside in the house. REDLIGHT told her what he’d seen, and that only served to support her decision not to go out into the house. While they were talking, the thing poked its hideous face into the hole. Its breath nearly overwhelmed ROSE, and she instinctively moved away farther down the tunnel. Her phone beeped to let her know that she had another call.

When she switched over, Agent RICHARD informed her that something had happened. He didn’t know what, but all of a sudden, everyone across the street was awake. Lights had come on, and people seemed to be getting ready for something. He’d even seen a few in robes.

ROSE hung up without acknowledging because she needed her phone for light, and it sounded like the toad-like thing was getting closer. She shined her light down the tunnel while shuffling backward. The creature was too big to fit, but it was compressing its body and squeezing through. She was most definitely not getting out that way, so she turned and headed away. Maybe the tunnel opened up to another house. Maybe it would open up in the park. At this point, she wouldn’t care so much if it dropped her in Wonderland. It didn’t.

The tunnel ended in a brick wall with a pentagram of some sort painted on it. A long-dead skeleton had been nailed to it upside-down with its hands and feet each on a point of the star. There was no skull.

The creature was slowly squeezing toward her, and she had no way out. This was as good a time as any to panic. Agent ROSE desperately flipped through the book looking for something that could help her. She found a page with a drawing of the creature. It was called a Nagaäe. That figured. She couldn’t even pronounce that. She couldn’t tell it to go away, and once it ate her, she couldn’t even explain to St. Peter quite how she had died. Could she even get past Heaven’s bouncer if she couldn’t say what had eaten her?

She panicked and threw her sword at the thing, but it bounced harmlessly off the slimy skin. It moved closer and opened its terrible mouth. Agent ROSE was engulfed in a wave of foul breath, and she instinctively covered her face. In doing so, she must have done something else, or maybe the creature had seen something. It didn’t matter, because the result was that the creature backed away.

ROSE cautiously inched forward, and with every move, the thing squeezed back leaving a layer of slime on the books, the ceiling, and the floor. The agent pushed forward, grabbing her mucous-covered sword as she did. Eventually, she forced the thing out of the tunnel, and she made a break for the back door. She ran for the flat without looking back.

REDLIGHT had hung up when ROSE switched lines. If he was going to find her, he was going to have to keep moving, and if that thing had spotted her, he may not have much time. He stood and headed for the front door. Just as he was about to open it, someone else opened it from the outside. There were three people in hooded robes outside, and REDLIGHT kicked the door closed. The lock wouldn’t hold long, so he ran for the stairs. He entered one of the bedrooms as the front door was kicked in. He slammed the bedroom door closed as the three figures rushed up the stairs. He broke the boards on the window just as the people broke the door in.

There was no snow out the back, so it was either jump or fight. His Taser might not work on that toad-thing, but it would sure work on a human. He drew it and pointed as one of the robed figures pointed a finger at him. REDLIGHT fired as the figure spoke. The Taser missed, but there was nothing he could do about it.

To Agent REDLIGHT, the man seemed to be speaking soothing words, calming words. Everything would be okay if he would just relax. The man was actually chanting the words of a spell, but REDLIGHT heard only peaceful things. The other two robed figures got behind him, and one placed a cloth over the agent’s mouth and nose. He didn’t care. He was so relaxed already. REDLIGHT took a deep breath and relaxed further into darkness.

As soon as Agent ROSE reached the flat, she dumped the book and statuette in her suitcase. REDLIGHT wasn’t back. That meant she needed to go back out there. She told RICHARD to hold down the fort and keep her apprised of any important events.

She made it back to Drake Park Road and followed it north. Every building seemed empty but one. Looking through the window, she saw another pentagram on the wall, but this time there was a fresh body hanging from it. The head was missing, there was a pool of blood, and worst of all, there was a robed figure kneeling before it. Agent ROSE snuck in quietly with her sword at the ready. She ordered the robed figure to stand and face her.

Agent REDLIGHT felt himself slowly pulled back to consciousness. He heard a voice. ROSE? It was Agent ROSE, and she was yelling at him to drop his weapon. REDLIGHT opened his eyes to find himself kneeling before an upside down body, and he held a sword in his bloody hands. His mind was reeling, and he still felt a little drugged, but he dropped the sword and stood. Agent ROSE took an involuntary step back as she recognized REDLIGHT.

“You! I … I knew you were acting funny. Shady. You did this?”

She took another step back. REDLIGHT protested his innocence while he checked the pockets of the body. He was pretty sure what he’d find, and he was right. He found a revolver, a microcassette recorder, a book of matches, and CIA credentials for one David Benjamin Sienkiewicz.

ROSE wasn’t sure what to believe anymore, but she knew what her eyes were telling her. She held the sword in front of her and told REDLIGHT to drop the gun and stay back. He didn’t. Instead, he walked forward almost dumbfounded, still protesting his innocence.

ROSE called the police, and she told the dispatcher she’d found what appeared to be a ritual killing, and the person responsible was threatening her, and he had a gun. REDLIGHT told her to hang up, but she refused. She told the dispatcher where she was, and that she was trying to get away.

REDLIGHT fired a shot into the wall. He didn’t want to hurt anyone, but things were spiraling out of control. He begged ROSE to hang up. He swore that he wasn’t in a cult, and he didn’t kill Sienkiewicz. He got closer and tried to knock the phone from her hand, but she swung the sword. Neither agent wanted to hurt the other, but both were confused, afraid, and disoriented.

REDLIGHT fired again. He wasn’t aiming for her. He just wanted this all to stop. He wanted to get away. ROSE ran outside, and so did REDLIGHT. She ducked left, and he turned right. REDLIGHT ran through the snow toward the flat, and ROSE called RICHARD.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

User avatar
Yablo
Posts: 387
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:57 am UTC
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:02 am UTC

Sufficient Unto the Day – Session 4

Agent REDLIGHT made it to the road in front of the flat and promptly changed his mind. If ROSE had called the police, the flat would be the first place they’d look. He instead slipped quietly into the place where Sienkiewicz had been staying and called Brigadier General Justin Drake who seemed none too happy to be getting a call at 9 o’clock at night.

“Sir, this is Captain Gump. I need to ask a favor.”

“Gump? This had better be good. Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“I do, sir, and I apologize. I’m in Plymouth, UK on a Delta Green Operation, and things have gone really wrong.”

There was a moment of silence, and when the general spoke, he emphasized nearly every syllable with a strong southern accent.

“You have got to be kidding me, Gump!”

“No, sir. You see …”

“Captain, do you mean to tell me you’re across a damned ocean on a Delta Green Operation you can’t handle, and you think I should give a damn?”

Agent REDLIGHT explained to the general how he had been framed for murder, his cell leader wanted him arrested or dead, and a cult was going to end the world. For his part, General Drake listened in agitated silence until the end. He then let REDLIGHT have it, and he was merciless. He didn’t care one way or another if Delta Green couldn’t handle field operations. He was a general in the United States Army, and he was unwilling to commit resources to extract a single asset from an allied country. He finished with a piece of advice:

“Calm yourself, and think about what you’re saying. An evil cult is going to end the world tonight, and you need help running from it? You need some rest, Captain, and I do, too. Don’t do anything stupid, and talk to me when you can make some damned sense, boy!”

Agent RICHARD answered his phone, and ROSE told him about recent events from her point of view. REDLIGHT was compromised. He was in some kind of cult, and he’d just killed the man they were assigned to watch, nailed him to a wall upside down, and cut off his head. She had last seen him heading toward the flat, and she wanted RICHARD to be prepared.

Agent RICHARD was unsure of what to do, but he thanked ROSE for the heads-up. The door to the flat had just opened, so he told her he thought REDLIGHT was there. She told him to take care and hung up the phone.

While the general was yelling at REDLIGHT, the agent noticed three robed individuals across the street entering his flat. As soon as the general was finished, he apologized and quickly hung up to call RICHARD. There was no answer, so he took a deep breath and looked around the room.

Sienkiewicz hadn’t left much. There was a bedroll, a backpack, a can of beans, and a bible with a bookmark. There was also the thick, comb-bound book of printer paper Sienkiewicz had said contained the counter-ritual.

The book was printed single-sided, and it was pretty thick as a result. The cover page listed the title as The Book of the Damned, by Karaj Heinz Vogel. The agent skimmed several pages here and a few pages there trying to get an idea of the content. It contained a treatise on ‘Sleeping Places’, several genealogies, and many pages in a strange language which the hand-written annotations suggested was an incantation of some sort.

This had to be the counter-ritual Sienkiewicz had mentioned. Not trusting himself to remember the words or to be able to read them when the time came, Agent REDLIGHT took out the microcassette recorder which had belonged to the dead CIA man and recorded himself reading the words several times in several different ways hoping that one of them would be right.

A police car pulled up in the snow where Agent ROSE was waiting. Two officers got out and approached her. One took her statement while the other examined the interior of the house. ROSE told the officer she and her partner were independent private investigators working a job for the U.S. Embassy in London. They were instructed to keep an eye on an American named David Benjamin Sienkiewicz, but her partner had apparently snapped. She had found him kneeling in front of the body hanging on the wall inside with bloody hands and a sword.

The second officer confirmed that there was a headless body nailed to the wall and a sword on the floor. He called for a homicide detective, preferably one with a specialty in occult crimes. The officers offered to take ROSE into protective custody, but she declined politely. Her other partner was still at their flat, and he was likely in danger.

The officers called in to report and then gave ROSE a ride two blocks over to the flat. Agent REDLIGHT watched her enter with the police officers while he cleaned his prints from the gun. The door to the flat was open, and ROSE could smell the familiar rusty odor of blood. She entered with the officers behind her, and found what she had feared. Agent RICHARD had been decapitated and nailed to the wall upside down to the points of a pentagram. The head was missing.

Agent REDLIGHT could hear his cell leader’s scream from across the street, and he knew what had happened. He also knew who would catch the blame, so he slipped outside. After a quick scan to make sure no one was watching, he carefully set the revolver on the hood of the police vehicle and headed off to the north. As REDLIGHT turned the corner onto snow-covered Drake Park Road, he stopped short. There was a large gathering of robed people. He estimated there must be at least a hundred. Time to find a better plan.

Once Agent ROSE managed to calm down, she excused herself and went to the bedroom to check her luggage. Her bags had been dumped on the floor. The book was there, but the statuette was gone. She had a little trouble breathing. The Dark Man wouldn’t be too happy about this turn of events, but maybe there was a way to salvage the situation. Maybe there was another one? Maybe the one she’d taken had been returned? She decided to check the library again. As she turned to leave the bedroom, she glanced at the clock. It said the time was 4:33 AM. There was no way four hours had gone by. She checked her phone: 4:33 AM. Whatever. She had work to do.

With a sigh, she exited the flat, passing homicide detectives and paramedics on her way. She slipped into Sienkiewicz’s hideout and gave it a cursory examination on her way through. Nothing jumped out at her, and so out the back door she went. Agent ROSE saw the gathering down at the end of the road, but they didn’t seem to notice her through the falling snow. She found the house with the toppled bookshelf and the tunnel of a library. It was just as she’d left it with the exception that the layer of mucous left by the toad-thing had dried into a greenish film.

ROSE frowned as she crawled back into the tunnel, but she was relieved to find the Vaeyen exactly where she’d found it before. She was leaving no room for error this time. She took up the statuette and smashed it into a hundred pieces. The tunnel shook and groaned, but that was all coincidence, right? The agent crawled back to the end of the tunnel and peeked out. There was the toad-like thing - the Nagaäe, or whatever – but it didn’t seem to notice her.

She gripped the handle of her sword tightly as she slipped out of the tunnel and out the front door into … sunlight? She didn’t have time to worry about how time seemed to be flying by. That was someone else’s problem at the moment.

ROSE called the embassy and prayed that Ms. Bower would answer. The CIA woman did indeed answer, and Agent ROSE explained just how sideways their assignment had gone. Ms. Bower was obviously displeased. The police weren’t likely to allow her to leave, but Ms. Bower offered ROSE a safe place at the embassy until things could be straightened out. Reaching the parking lot behind the flat, ROSE fired up the engine of the Nissan Micra and headed off in the direction of London.

Agent REDLIGHT headed back down the road that led past his flat. The police were gone, and the street was deserted. The sun was near the middle of the sky now, but he didn’t have time to wonder how it took eight hours to walk up and down the street once. In fact, if time was moving that quickly, midnight would be here soon, and he’d have to be in position by then.

REDLIGHT cautiously snuck into the flat and looked around. There was no body, but it was obvious that there had been one recently. He checked the refrigerator finding only the remains of his failed attempt at haggis, and the six-pack of beer ROSE had brought back. Something told him he’d be needing that. He downed one bottle in a single chug and opened another for the road. Armed with nothing but a backpack on his shoulder, a bottle of beer in one hand, and four more in the other, Agent REDLIGHT stepped out to save the world.

Before he could save the world, he needed one last piece to his puzzle. There was a mechanic’s garage across the street to the south, and they appeared to be closed. If they had a car, he’d be set. Peeking inside, REDLIGHT saw a blue Mini Cooper on a hydraulic jack. The locked door gave his lock picks little trouble. Once inside, he found the controls for the jack, and lowered it. The keys were on a hook behind the counter.

Microcassette recorder with counter-ritual recorded, check. Transportation, check. Four … make that three beers, check. Oh, what the hell. REDLIGHT downed the remaining bottles of alcohol, turned the key in the ignition, and sped off in the direction of the ritual as the full moon shined. The radio quite fittingly blared a song by R.E.M.

This was it. This was the moment he was born to live. This was the night he would save the world. There was just one thing. He had forgotten the snow.

The Mini Cooper took a hard left and crashed into the first house on Drake Park Road. The alcohol helped cushion the impact. At the far end of the road, the cultists formed a horseshoe shape with two robed figures in the center.

REDLIGHT turned up the radio as far as it would allow before stepping out of the car. It was not as graceful as he would have liked, but at least he had the right soundtrack. As he stomped north through three feet of snow, he held the microcassette recorder high and pressed play. The words of the counter-ritual flowed from it and blended with the music from the car radio. REDLIGHT spoke the words of the song to himself as he moved closer.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.”

One of the two robed figures in the center of the horseshoe dropped her robe and laid down naked in the snow. The other took something out of a bag and held it high. It was a head; Sienkiewicz’s head by the look of it. The pale green light of the full moon lit the entire scene with an eerie glow.

The robed figure cut into the head with a knife letting blood and bits of brain fall onto the woman in the snow. He then lifted a second head. This one had belonged to Agent RICHARD, and the odds were good that he wouldn’t approve of its intended use. Brain and blood fell again upon the woman in the snow, and she remained still.

The cult leader’s words weren’t clear, and they sounded like gibberish, but the gathering repeated them exactly. The counter-ritual on the recorder completed just as Agent REDLIGHT got close. Without warning, chunks of tar, asphalt, and cement were sent toward the sky as the snow and earth melted away in a purple-black foam between the cult and the agent.

Countless dark tentacles shot from the hole and grabbed any living thing within reach. Bodies were slammed to the earth. Cultists were thrown to the sky. One robed figure tried to run, but a quick flick of a tentacle left behind no more than a smear.

There were screams everywhere mixed with the singular sounds of human bodies dissolving and popping, splattering and crunching. All the while, the radio could be heard.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

Agent REDLIGHT looked up to see the clouds part for the green moon, and then he watched the sky behind the moon do the same. The moon seemed to blink, and then it became clear in all its terrible glory. It was no moon. It was an eye. It was the eye. It was none other than Cyäegha, the Waiting Dark, the Principle of Hate, the Whistler from the Stars, and the Eater of Dimensions.

It’s the end of the world …

Dark, impossibly large tentacles pried the rift in the sky wider, and REDLIGHT ran. He ran the best he could through three feet of snow. He ran as if he could actually escape.

Agent ROSE was half-way to London when she saw it in the rearview mirror; the hole in the sky, the hole in the earth. Only two short years ago, she’d seen the mushroom cloud of a nuclear blast in the rearview mirror, and she had been sure that was the worst thing she could have seen. Now that belief was being dashed.

She drove faster, but the earth and sky melted away. She drove as fast as her little car could go. She drove as if she could actually escape.

A tentacle shot from the sky and pierced REDLIGHT’s back pinning him face down in the snow. The last sounds he heard were the low guttural snarl of the Nagaäe, and the fading music of R.E.M.

It’s the end …

Eventually the darkness melted away, and they were back where they’d started the night. Everything seemed normal. REDLIGHT and Sienkiewicz were sitting on a bench in Rosy Cross Park, and Agent ROSE watched them from a distance. Her phone said the time was midnight, but if the date was correct, that entire night never happened. Only … she remembered it. She remembered every single moment.

Apparently, Sienkiewicz did, too. He stood up quickly, looked to the sky, and let out a blood-curdling scream before drawing his revolver and erasing the top half of his head with a single shot. It was all REDLIGHT could do to get out of range of the fallout.

ROSE ran over, and she and REDLIGHT both moved away from the body. Neither agent could explain what was happening, but after a brief talk, it seemed that their confusion stemmed from different sources. Agent ROSE was unsure how the world was eaten, and then everything was back to the way it was before. Agent REDLIGHT didn’t remember any of what ROSE described, however.

There was no Drake Park Road in REDLIGHT’s account, nor were there any toads or tentacles. One moment, Sienkiewicz was sitting next to him on the bench waiting for midnight, and the next … scream, bang, splat.

Agent ROSE called the police to report a suicide in the park, and then both agents walked back to the flat. ROSE was quiet, but REDLIGHT was absent-mindedly humming a tune he had stuck in his head. They returned to find Agent RICHARD still watching television. Agent ROSE was relieved to find the book from the library still in her luggage. Everything was the same as they’d left it, but REDLIGHT noted one small difference. There was a scar running all the way around Agent RICHARD’s neck, and he could swear it wasn’t there before.

The rest of the night was spent packing and preparing to leave the UK. The agents reported the death of David Benjamin Sienkiewicz to the CIA, and then they were off to Heathrow. Agent RICHARD flew home relieved that his first Opera was a relatively tame one, and Agents ROSE and REDLIGHT flew to New York City.

They went to see Graham Dworkin’s band play, but they were a little disturbed to find that Graham had never returned from Plymouth, and he was no longer answering calls. In fact, the band was already planning auditions for someone to take over playing the bongos.

After the show, REDLIGHT caught the next flight home to Alabama while ROSE waited for Monday. That morning at precisely 8:36 AM, she placed the little, black octavo on a shelf in the Religion section of the first Barnes & Noble she found. Without waiting around, she headed straight for the airport, and a few hours later, she was once again safe at home.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

User avatar
Yablo
Posts: 387
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:57 am UTC
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:48 pm UTC

Hearken to the Wild – Session 1

The holiday season had come and gone. Thanksgiving seemed somehow hollow and mocking. Sure, there was so much to be thankful for, but when the universe has tossed you around like a broken toy seemingly on a whim, it can leave you to wonder just how much any of it matters. When you’ve seen the world itself devoured, all the turkey and stuffing in that same world can’t satisfy. What does it matter if you eat until you pop? What does it matter if you starve? When the sky can open up and swallow the Earth, how much does anything really matter?

One holiday down; on to Christmas. This year, R-cell received a brand new member. The Delta Force operator code named REAPER was a full-blooded Navajo who went by the name Jack Jack. ROSE met with him briefly to get acquainted as she felt it was better than meeting just as the curtain rose on the next Opera.

New Year’s Day. If you believe the people who misinterpret the Mayans, this was to be the last year. The end of the world would arrive in less than a year. How much worse could things really get? ROSE wasn’t particularly anxious to find out.

About two weeks later, her phone rang. The voice on the other end was female, and it was one she hadn’t heard before.

“ROSE?”

“Yeah. This is ROSE.”

“QUINN.”

“Err … Hello, QUINN. What can I do for you?”

“Passing on an invitation from a friend, PETRA. O is tied up, and to be honest, Q needs rest. Is R up for an Opera?”

There was a moment of silence before ROSE responded. She tried to sound cheerful when she said her cell was always up for an Opera. Agent QUINN told her to be at the Broad Street Starbucks in Bozeman, Montana at 10:00 AM the next morning. She’d tell PETRA to be expecting her. With that, the line went dead.

ROSE relayed the invitation to the other members of her cell and started packing. She hated packing, and she resolved then and there to always have a bag already packed for occasions such as this.

The next day was a Sunday, and Agent ROSE arrived at the designated meeting place an hour early. REAPER rolled in fifteen minutes later and took a seat next to her. REDLIGHT went to Dunkin Donuts.

His flight had landed in the early morning hours, but he didn’t notice the clock on his phone had already updated itself for the change in time zone. He had manually set it back another hour, and as a result, he incorrectly thought he had plenty of time before the meeting.

At 9:59 AM, a woman entered, ordered a plain drip coffee, and gave her name as PETRA. She was young, soft-spoken, and neatly dressed in blue with a knee-length skirt. Her dark hair was held in place by a pair of crossed chopsticks.

Agent ROSE approached and introduced herself. PETRA seemed nervous, but she smiled politely and took a seat next to REAPER. Agent ROSE explained that RICHARD’s flight had been snowed in, but he’d be on his way as soon as possible, and REDLIGHT was in town, but he was probably being intentionally late. As half the cell was in attendance, and one of them was the cell leader, it was decided that the meeting could start. The others could be caught up later.

PETRA slid a manila envelope across the table. ROSE opened it to find several black and white 8x10 photographs of what looked like plane wreckage in a snowy field. Whoever had taken the photographs had done a very good job of capturing the detail, but there were no objects added to show scale.

ROSE examined the photographs one by one, sliding them to REAPER when she had finished. One of the photos showed the plane’s call numbers on the tail; N4313G. REAPER saw five parallel gashes on either side of the fuselage running nearly the entire length. To him, they were claw marks, but ROSE couldn’t see it.

There were symbols painted on the wings which ROSE thought represented a wind spirit or elemental of some sort. When REAPER saw them, his eyes widened a bit, and he slid back from the table with a single whispered word.

“Wendigo.”

Agent REDLIGHT walked in just at that moment and took a seat at the table. He finished the last bite of his donut as ROSE informed him he was nearly a half hour late. REDLIGHT looked from his phone to the clock on the wall to ROSE, and he shrugged. He asked what he missed, and ROSE filled him in. REDLIGHT nodded. He had just one question.

“The hell’s a wendigo?”

ROSE explained what she knew, and then REAPER gave the version he’d heard from his grandfather. The two stories were similar but they didn’t completely agree. In ROSE’s version, the wendigo was a creature that was associated with the cold north wind. It would ambush lost or unwary travelers and eat them. Sometimes it would toy with them for a while, terrifying its victims and driving them insane.

REAPER’s version was more detailed. His grandfather had described the creature as a skin-walker; a monster that could appear human just as easily as take the form of a wolf or other animal. In all its forms, it had golden eyes. The wendigo would torment lost travelers and feed on the strength of their negative emotions. Their fear, their anger, and their despair would all make the thing stronger until it tired of the game. The wendigo would strike so quickly the victim would never know, and by that point, they were usually begging to die. It would eat only the heart, leaving the rest to the cold wastes.

REDLIGHT nodded. Okay, so they have some kind of evil, cannibal werewolf that can look like anyone or anything, and it could kill in an instant. Assuming that had anything whatsoever to do with what looked to him like random squiggles on a crashed plane, what did it have to do with them? How was this an Opera?

PETRA conceded that it was possible it might not amount to an Opera, but her contact – the one who’d provided the photographs – thought there was something worth checking out. That’s why she’d asked for help.

The agents decided to check the crash site, and so PETRA led them to a spot near Wheeler Mountain south of Bozeman. Either the name failed to conjure memories of the entity in the Spooner Avenue investigation, or REDLIGHT and ROSE had made a point to ignore the coincidence.

On the way, ROSE searched the FAA website for the plane’s call numbers. They identified the plane as a 1961 Cessna 172B registered to the National Park Service in Coldfoot, Alaska before the registration expired in 1972. The plane had not passed an airworthiness certification since 1967. She called the FAA and got the same information, but she was also able to learn that this particular aircraft hadn’t filed a flight plan in over forty years.

The crash site was small but easily spotted. The land for miles around was covered in a thin layer of frost, but there was a small oval-shaped area roughly sixty yards long and twenty yards wide which was covered in ice and snow at least a foot deep. There were a few small trees which appeared to have been bent away from the crash with great force and then flash-frozen. PETRA explained that the wreckage had been taken to a hangar at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, and she could get them access if they wanted to see it. There was one body recovered, and it was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for autopsy. The agents decided to break for lunch, and then PETRA would take REDLIGHT to examine the wreckage while ROSE and REAPER would talk to the Medical Examiner.

At the airport, PETRA didn’t so much flash a badge as hold up a wallet and smile, but it managed to clear all barriers for them. The hangar was dark everywhere except where the floodlights shined on tables blanketed with twisted metal. There was one man here inspecting the wreckage, and his cap identified him as an employee of the FAA.

Agent REDLIGHT poked around a little, and he took pictures of anything and everything he found interesting. The glyphs were flaking away, but they appeared to be long-dried blood. The inspector said that if he didn’t know this crash happened within the past thirty-six hours, he’d never believe it. The engine was little more than a chunk of rust, and in the inspector’s estimation, it couldn’t possibly have been operational for at least twenty years. Same with the fuel tank. It was rusted completely through in several places, and there wasn’t a trace of fuel.

ROSE took a taxi, and REAPER drove his car, but they arrived at the hospital at the same time. Over the past few years, ROSE had become intimately familiar with the general layout of the average hospital, and so it took them no time at all to find the morgue.

She flashed her FinCEN credentials and explained to the Medical Examiner that she’d like to see the body recently recovered from the plane wreckage. She and her partner were investigating him for suspicion of money laundering.

The Medical Examiner was happy to assist, and she pulled out the drawer they were after. She did confess that other than a cursory examination Friday night when he was brought in, she had been putting off the autopsy. Something about this body gave her an odd feeling.

The agents took a look. The body was male with short brown hair and about a week’s worth of facial hair. The skin was pale, the eyes were sunken, and the chest cavity had been ripped open. True to REAPER’s prediction, the heart was missing.

There was some bruising all over the body. The Medical Examiner explained she couldn’t be 100% certain until she’d performed the autopsy, but at a glance, she’d say the impact wasn’t what killed the victim. It appeared he had survived the crash only to die when his chest was opened and his heart taken. Obviously, that didn’t make sense, and she really did intend to perform the autopsy once she could bring herself to do it.

ROSE asked if the body had been identified, and she was given a bag of personal effects containing the victim’s wallet. The driver’s license identified him as James Spaulding, 33, from Portland, Oregon. The agents thanked the doctor and took their leave just as REDLIGHT texted his photos to ROSE. They decided to meet up and do some planning, and PETRA left them to it. She had her normal job duties, but she exchanged numbers with ROSE to keep tabs on the Opera.

While the agents discussed possible courses of action, ROSE searched online for information about James Spaulding. It’s not an uncommon name, but she quickly narrowed it down. She discovered that Mr. Spaulding was a freelance writer, and he wrote an outdoorsman blog. According to the blog and Mr. Spaulding’s Facebook page, he and three friends were planning an off-season trip to Gates of the Arctic National Park about 250 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska. The group would consist of Spaulding, Jennifer Montgomery, and Tavis Green from Portland, and Melissa Martin from Salem.

Cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding were all on the menu, as were hunting, camping, and gold panning. This was to be an epic adventure for the group spanning the entire month of January. They would ring in the new year in the park. Hunting permits were already purchased for all the caribou they could eat, plus a few moose, Dall sheep, and one black bear. An entire month’s worth of supplementary provisions had been procured and were to be waiting at Porcupine Creek Airport for their arrival.

The Opera appeared to be set in Alaska, and so the agents made travel arrangements. ROSE and REAPER drove to Seattle, and then to Bellingham, Washington to take the ferry to Alaska. This was the only way they could think of to take what they felt they’d need to hunt a wendigo. REDLIGHT wasn’t about to sit on a boat for days on end, and so he flew. On a layover in Anchorage, he did some shopping for cold-weather gear, and he arrived in the tiny town of Coldfoot, Alaska four days before the others.

The scenery was at once beautiful and dreary. There were maybe thirty houses in the whole town, and they were pretty well spaced. There weren’t many buildings which didn’t appear to be homes. There was a very large gas station. Then there was the airport which was really little more than a dirt and gravel runway with a hangar. The Arctic Interagency Visitor Center was the only architecturally interesting building in the town with its split-layered roof. A sign on the door indicated that the Visitor Center would be closed for the months of October through April. The other two buildings were a bar and a small hotel.

The sky was bright blue because it was just too cold for clouds. Agent REDLIGHT’s body could probably stand the cold better than most, but his lungs and eyes were still human, and that meant they could freeze. One local happened to pass by, giving the agent a strange and mistrustful look. REDLIGHT stopped him and asked about the Visitor’s Center. The man just shook his head and said it was closed. If he wanted in, he’d have to talk to Samantha Wendell who operated the center during the warmer months. He pointed her house out, and REDLIGHT thanked him.

The agent then headed toward the hotel. The building only had about ten rooms, a lobby, and a small dining area, but a travel brochure might say it had a certain rustic charm. Agent REDLIGHT had to ring the bell a few times before he got service, and then he was told the cost of a room was $175 per night.

He started to argue, but the clerk reminded him he was welcome to rent a tent from Mrs. Wendell if he’d rather. REDLIGHT handed over his credit card with a slight sneer. There was an upside to the extortion, however. Food was included in the cost of the room. He could have anything he wanted as long as they had it, and he could have as much as he could eat. The clerk explained that at the moment, they were a bit low on vegetables, but they had plenty of meat.

REDLIGHT took his room key, signed the guestbook, and went to his room to get settled. Shortly thereafter, he headed to the dining area and ordered right off the menu: Meat Stew. He was told that for tonight, the role of ‘meat’ would be played by caribou. Over the next few days, the meat changed a few times, but it was always very well prepared and well worth the price he paid.

The day ROSE and REAPER were due to arrive turned out to be far warmer than the others. The thermometer pushed as high as fifteen degrees above zero. REDLIGHT took that as a sign that he should do all his outdoor activity, and so he headed down the frozen dirt road toward Samantha Wendell’s house.

Mrs. Wendell was quite tall, about 6’3” or so, thin but athletic, with long, light blonde hair. Her eyes were a pale blue, and they appeared slightly sunken and dark as if she hadn’t slept well in a while. For all that, she seemed friendly enough. She was certainly friendlier than some locals REDLIGHT had met.

She told REDLIGHT she’d be happy to provide him with a map from the Visitor Center, and if he needed a snowmobile, dog sled, skis, tent, guide, whatever … he just needed to ask. Well, ask and hand over a modest amount of money. She was in the rental business after all. He thanked her for her time and said he’d be in touch once his friends arrived.

An hour or so later, ROSE and REAPER completed their journey arriving in Coldfoot in the early evening just as things really started to cool off. ROSE went to the bar and had a drink before calling REDLIGHT to let him know she was in town. REAPER stopped by the hotel to check in.

By the end of the day, the three agents occupied three rooms in a hotel of ten, and they still had one agent on the way. The Opera would be a costly one already if not for the magic of fake credit cards. At least the Meat Stew was complimentary.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

User avatar
Yablo
Posts: 387
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:57 am UTC
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:49 pm UTC

Hearken to the Wild – Session 2

Four days snowed in at Logan International Airport in Boston had left Agent RICHARD weary of travel, and he hadn’t moved. When he was finally able to fly out, he really just wanted to go home. His connection in Seattle didn’t help matters. The next flight north didn’t leave for almost six hours.

Upon reaching Fairbanks, he found that there was one plane leaving for Coldfoot, but it was leaving in about ten minutes. It would only hold four, and it had been chartered by a trio from California. RICHARD grumbled, but he put on his best smile and tried to charm his way on the flight. The Californians weren’t particularly interested in squeezing in next to him for the next two and a half hours, but RICHARD’s smile managed to win them over, being accompanied as it was by many smiles from Benjamin Franklin. The doctor wasn’t happy about handing over $500, but at least he was on his way.

Agent REAPER wasn’t about to let a skin-walker get the jump on him. That’s why he’d insisted on driving rather than flying. There was no way any plane would let him bring toys like the ones he’d packed. In these days of heightened airport security, the bed of a truck was the only reliable way to transport M18A1 Claymore mines and an M79 grenade launcher. Had Agent ROSE known what was in the back, she would likely have questioned the need for such firepower.

This was her first Opera with REAPER, so she was still a little wary. At least he seemed to know what he was doing. Besides … Delta Force. There were only like 300 of these guys, right? They had to be the best of the best. She had done her research when she’d learned about the new cell member. She also learned there was a movie about Delta Force starring Bruce Schneier and Lee Marvin. Lee Marvin was okay, but damn, she hated Bruce Schneier.

They were in the center of Alaska in the middle of winter, and they were hunting a wendigo. REAPER’s grandfather had told him the skin-walkers were dangerous during the day, but they were nearly un-killable at night. Well, at least night only lasted 22 hours each day at this time of year. That would give them easily an hour and a half or so each day before things got really dangerous. Claymore on this window, Claymore on that window, Claymore on the door to his room … REAPER was ready for the night.

Agent ROSE relaxed in her room oblivious to the demolitions work in progress just next door. She turned her phone into a mobile hotspot and did a little more research on her laptop. Coldfoot was the last truck stop on the Dalton Highway until Prudhoe Bay about 250 miles north. It had apparently been featured on a few episodes of a show called Ice Road Truckers, but there was very little information beyond that.

Conventional research seemed to be failing. At best, it was as slow as the internet connection. ROSE knew an easier way, but there didn’t seem to be many people in town who could disappear without being noticed. She didn’t remember many people on the drive from Fairbanks either. Could she make it to Fairbanks and back before anyone knew she was gone? The drive had taken almost eight hours, but REAPER drove like an old lady.

She hadn’t seen any State Troopers, so there wouldn’t be any need to obey speed limits. Even if she did get pulled over, she was FinCEN. She was even FBI or CDC if she wanted, but more than that, she was hot. She’d been stopped for speeding in nearly every state in the union, and never once had she actually been ticketed.

Okay, so Fairbanks it was. Now all she needed was transportation. There was only one vehicle parked out front; REAPER’s 2007 Ford F-150. That should be fine. If she could make the trip there and back in under ten hours, he’d never know it was gone.

Agent ROSE managed to get the truck hotwired just before her feet froze, and if you don’t count the near-head on with a moose (which she didn’t), the journey was fast and easy. Her first target was a young female in her early 20s, but the girl politely refused the offer of a ride. She was only walking a short way to her boyfriend’s house.

The girl was young, and she had a boyfriend. ROSE decided to pick another target. After all, she was no monster. A few minutes of driving, and she found another. This one was a man in his fifties on his way out of a bar. ROSE convinced him of the dangers of drunk driving, and offered him a ride back to his car in the morning. The wink sealed the deal, and the man hopped in.

There were so many bad motels to choose from. Agent ROSE found a suitable one, checked in under a fake name, and led the man to the room. It was only a few minutes before she had her opportunity. Bronze knife, throat, blood, bowl, place a call to the Dark Man … The process was becoming second nature.

The Dark Man appeared a minute later and towered over her in the small room. He was silent and imposing, but Agent ROSE had seen it all before.

“I’ve called you because I’m on an Operation in Alaska, and I’m stuck. I need to know exactly what I’m hunting and how best to find it. In exchange, as usual, ask anything you like.”

The Dark Man leaned forward under the low ceiling, and ROSE felt a slight chill. He demanded that she tell him everything she knew about what she was hunting, and then he would fulfil her request. She ran down the list: glyphs on the plane, localized ice and snow, missing heart …

The Dark Man nodded, and when he did so, the smooth horn which served as his otherwise-featureless face ripped sections of the ceiling away.

“You hunt a wendigo, Gia Jones; a Child of Ithaqua. The best way to find it is to bring it to you. Give it what it seeks. I shall be watching you, Gia Jones. I will call on you soon with my demand, and you will obey.”

With that, the Dark Man was gone, and ROSE snapped into action. She cleaned up all evidence of her presence, and shut the door behind her. On her way out of town, she dropped the room key in a mailbox. To paraphrase the creed of the U.S. Postal Service, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift return of your motel key.”

By 5:00 AM, ROSE was back in Coldfoot. She repaired the damage done by hotwiring, and she even filled the gas tank on the truck. She had probably two or three hours before the rest of the cell would expect her to be awake, so she slipped back to her room and immediately fell asleep.

Through the entire flight, the Californians never once acknowledged RICHARD. They were entirely too absorbed in their own worlds. Two and a half hours of listening to Antonio, Lisa, and Craig going on and on about how “totally awesome” and “hella sweet, fer sure” this trip was going to be made RICHARD wish he was still snowed in back in Boston. At one point, Lisa decided that since carpool lanes worked so well, there should be planepool lanes, too. Agent RICHARD contained himself, and Lisa managed to not be thrown from the plane.

It was still as dark as night when the little plane touched down in Coldfoot right around breakfast time. Agent RICHARD couldn’t get out of the plane fast enough for his taste. He pulled his coat tightly around himself as he took up his bags and trudged off toward the hotel with deliberate steps. On his way to the front desk, the doctor noticed ROSE and REDLIGHT in the dining area with someone else. He’d been told there was a new cell member, so that must be him.

RICHARD checked in and met up with his cell. After a few clarifications about the menu, he ordered the Meat Burger which he’d been assured was Dall sheep today. REDLIGHT had the Three Egg, Two Meat Omelette. Agent REAPER just didn’t feel right about the presentation of the menu, and so he ordered eggs - lots of eggs – and no meat. For the duration of this Opera, he was a vegetarian unless he shot and killed the food himself.

Everyone filled RICHARD in on Act I of the Opera, and from the sound of it, he’d be lucky if it turned out not to be a tragedy. He had to be corrected a few times when he would call the wendigo a werewolf. REAPER and ROSE assured him it was not a werewolf, but he didn’t see the distinction. Claws and fangs, check. Lives in the cold-assed wilderness, check. More dangerous at night, check. Can change its shape, check. How was this not a werewolf? Well, you see, it eats hearts, and it can look like anything – not just wolves. Nope. RICHARD was going to call it a werewolf.

REAPER explained that the wendigo was attracted to pain and suffering. ROSE’s plan to draw it out would require a volunteer to experience those two particular emotions, and the stronger, the better. Unfortunately for R-cell, it looked like it would have to be one of them to volunteer. REAPER and ROSE thought that maybe REDLIGHT should be the one to volunteer. After all, he was always eating all the Aleve, Advil, Tylenol, and any other painkillers that he could. He even carried morphine patches. He was obviously already in a lot of pain, and he’d just have to stop taking the pills.

REDLIGHT offered a counter-proposal. REAPER could take his rifle and shove it somewhere sure to bring him pain and suffering. Agent RICHARD calmed things down before they went further. His suggestion was to find its lair. That would likely involve heading out into the wilderness, but with any luck, there wouldn’t be any pain or suffering. ROSE and REAPER shot that plan down before it could get off the ground. They were going to draw it out, and that was that.

There was a lively discussion about just who should volunteer, but ultimately it was ROSE who put an end to it. If none of the men were man enough to volunteer, she would do it. She left the table and went up to her room. REAPER followed while the other two finished their breakfast.

ROSE opened the window to her room and leaned out. The air outside was cold, and she could immediately feel her eyes and nose start to freeze. She could reach the roof from her window, and she was sure she could climb up. She looked to REAPER, but he made no move to talk her out of whatever she was planning. She made an awkward lunge in a few directions at once, but she managed to get a grip and pull herself up onto the roof.

The ground was only about 25 feet or so down, but the snow and darkness made it difficult to judge. The ground was frozen solid, so ROSE focused on a snowbank, took a deep, cold breath, and jumped for it. She slipped a bit just at the end, and it threw off her entire trajectory. REAPER’s eyes widened as he saw his cell leader fall past the window.

“No freakin’ way! She did it!”

He moved to the window and nearly winced at what he saw. Agent ROSE looked somewhat like a cold, red pretzel. Her right leg was going in all the wrong directions, and it had to be broken in at least three places. She was obviously barely containing her screams.

REAPER rushed downstairs and outside, and the other two followed. RICHARD immediately started fumbling in his bag for a morphine patch, but REAPER placed a hand on his chest and pushed him back.

“No morphine for her.”

“Are you crazy?! Look at her. She needs it before the shock wears off. I’m going to need to set that leg right away, and we’ll need to cauter-“

“No. Morphine.”

Agent REAPER let the doctor know in no uncertain terms that ROSE put herself in this situation to draw out the wendigo, and to kill the pain would be to waste her effort. ROSE nodded weakly through teary eyes.

“Alright then. You want pain? This might help.”

RICHARD handed her a stick and told her to bite down. He then made some sickening sounding motions to re-set her bones. REAPER was happy to burn the wound for them. REDLIGHT shook his head and headed over to Samantha Wendell’s house while the other two helped ROSE to the hotel lobby.

There was no one around, so REAPER grabbed a few Claymore mines from his room and hid them in strategic places. If a wendigo came for them, it would get hit by hundreds of chunks of metal from all angles. He handed the detonator to ROSE who took them without really comprehending the entire situation due to the lack of sleep and the shock of the fall. REAPER took up a position in the shadows of the hallway. RICHARD sat in the lobby with ROSE and debated on giving her the morphine anyway.

When Mrs. Wendell answered the door, Agent REDLIGHT asked her if she would be willing to rent him a snowmobile and a few heavy blankets. She was quite happy to do so, and she walked with him across the creek to Porcupine Creek Airport about a mile and a half away where she kept the snowmobiles, dog sleds, and camping equipment.

While she was preparing the two-seat snowmobile, REDLIGHT looked around. The airport was hardly more than a very short dirt and gravel runway. The only hangar was probably barely large enough to hold a small plane, but it was empty at the moment.

Mrs. Wendell and Agent REDLIGHT rode back to the town and parked the snowmobile in front of the hotel. Mrs. Wendell went home, and REDLIGHT carried the blankets up onto her roof. His alien-engineered body was rather resistant to the cold, but even he would freeze to death uncovered. Buried in blankets on the side of Mrs. Wendell’s roof which faced the hotel, Agent REDLIGHT waited and watched.

Three hours went by, and nothing came to eat ROSE’s heart. RICHARD did his best to keep her from passing out or getting infected, but with REAPER watching them both, he didn’t dare try to ease her pain.

“Oh, my gosh. It’s, like, still hella dark out.”

“Yeah, Lisa. We’re at the top of the world. The sun only comes out on weekends.”

“Shut up, Craig! I’m not that dumb.”

The Californians were coming down the hall, still loud, still self-absorbed. REAPER gritted his teeth and rested his hand on his pistol. Now these were the people to use as bait. Who would care if they were in pain? He watched them make their way to the dining area, and he even mimed taking a few shots at Craig.

When they had finished their lunch, the Californians made their way outside and over to Samantha Wendell’s house. They were entirely too focused on themselves to notice the bundle of blankets on the roof. They made a deal to rent two teams of dogs and sleds for the day, and Mrs. Wendell walked them over to the airport. REDLIGHT watched them as they prepared the sleds, and the cold morning air carried sounds of “giddyup” and “yaw, mule!”

REAPER called REDLIGHT to let him know the situation. REDLIGHT confirmed that he’d seen the tourists leave on dog sleds. Agent REAPER had a new plan. REDLIGHT would come and sit with ROSE while the other two followed the dog sleds on the snow mobile.

As his cell leader was no longer the bait, RICHARD administered the morphine. Then he and REAPER headed off across the creek on the snowmobile. The trail was easy to follow as it winded northwest along a frozen creek and through a valley. The agents caught up to the Californians at a cabin by a small, frozen lake. They seemed to be taking a break to drink cheap beer. Once the break was over, the agents followed some more.

After a few miles, the dog sleds stopped on a frozen river. The girl, Lisa, had apparently lost her phone, and she wasn’t going anywhere without it. The two guys argued that their daylight wasn’t going to last long, and they needed to be back before it got too dark. Lisa wasn’t going to stand for that, and she stared down the one REAPER was sure was Craig.

Craig caved and agreed to help her look for the phone, but Antonio said he was cold. He was going to head back, and he’d see them if they ever got back to the hotel. He laughed, shouted a “giddyup”, and sped off in the wrong direction. Town was to the southeast, but Antonio went southwest. No one corrected him.

“Screw ‘em. Let’s hit up that cabin before it gets dark.”

RICHARD agreed that REAPER had a good plan, and so they headed back. REAPER was going to wait at the cabin and see if the wendigo would come to play. RICHARD was going to wait at the cabin and hope the werewolf would go away.

Agent RICHARD got the fire burning in the fireplace while REAPER trapped the outside with Claymores. They locked the door and windows, and they settled in for the rest of the dark day. They passed the time with stories. REAPER offered a story about a time he was stabbed, and RICHARD responded with one about when he sewed up a person who was stabbed. REAPER had been shot. RICHARD had pulled bullets out of countless people. REAPER had broken a few bones. RICHARD had just set a broken leg.

There was a scream outside, but it was echoing. They couldn’t be certain of where it had come from. RICHARD stood up, but REAPER shook his head.

“Nothing we can do now. We don’t even know if that was human. The wendigo can mimic voices as easily as it can change shapes.”

RICHARD sighed and sat down nodding his head. The scream came again, and this time it was closer. It sounded like Lisa, and she was begging for help. Out the window, RICHARD could see her. She was running toward the cabin. She tripped and fell face first. She got to her hands and knees, and she scrambled a bit before falling again. She got up and ran some more. As she got close to the cabin, there was a soft click and then a loud boom.

Two mines shredded whoever – or whatever – that was, and the silence that followed the echo was eerie. Agent RICHARD asked if that was a person or the werewolf, but REAPER didn’t know the answer to that. Neither of them wanted to check, but REAPER did anyway. There were chunks of bronzed flesh and strands of blond hair. If it had been a skin-walker, it should have returned to its real form.

The agent wasted no time mourning. He placed new mines to cover the spot left by the others, and then he got back inside the cabin. It was going to be a long night.

The agents sat in silence for what seemed like hours, but eventually the tension eased. They returned to sharing stories until nearly midnight. There was a heavy creaking up on the roof as if something heavy was moving around.

“I think we’re going to need a bigger cabin.”

RICHARD’s reference to the movie Jaws wasn’t too well received, but he couldn’t help it. He wasn’t about to admit that he was scared, or that he’d gotten in way over his head. Awkward jokes were about all he had left.

A gust of frigid air came pouring down the chimney putting out the fire, and blowing ice, smoke, and ash all over. Agent RICHARD covered his mouth with his sleeve, and lit a lamp. REAPER fired two shots from his pistol into the ceiling where he thought he heard footsteps.

There was a crash outside, and the ground shook as something landed. The snow and wind were picking up, and the agents couldn’t see anything. REAPER opened his window and tossed a grenade toward where he thought the thing had landed. There was an explosion, and then the only sounds outside were the wind and an echoing howl.

The agents made sure the door and windows were locked once more, and RICHARD relit the fire. He’d seen enough movies to know they weren’t going to see the sun again.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

User avatar
Yablo
Posts: 387
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:57 am UTC
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:13 pm UTC

Hearken to the Wild – Session 3

Agent REDLIGHT made a quick stop by the hotel bar to order a Long Island Iced Tea for ROSE and a large mug of cheap whiskey for himself. It took ROSE only a few minutes to finish her drink, and afterward Agent REDLIGHT helped his cell leader upstairs and saw her safely into bed. He then went back downstairs to disarm the Claymores REAPER had hidden around the lobby.

He relocated them to positions around the outside of the hotel and then went to visit Samantha Wendell. She worked as a tour guide, and while this wasn’t the busy season, she was still happy to have the work. Mrs. Wendell invited the agent inside to warm up, and he was happy to accept.

Her house was larger than some of the others in town, and it was well furnished. Over the past year or so, REDLIGHT had become quite familiar with antique furniture, and while he couldn’t quite place hers, he was sure every piece was about a hundred years old or so. For all that, it was in very good condition.

The couches and chair in the living room had been well used, but they had also been well maintained. The table was one solid slice from a large tree which had been stained and encased in several layers of some sort of varnish. It had its scrapes and coffee rings, but like the rest of the furniture, it was in very good condition. The whole room stood in contrast the disrepair of the hotel.

Mrs. Wendell lit a few sticks of incense and placed them around the house before joining REDLIGHT in the living room. The agent asked pointed questions disguised as polite conversation, and he was able to determine that Mrs. Wendell had moved to Coldfoot with her husband Walter just after they’d married, and that he had died nearly twenty years ago. She claimed to be no expert on ancient tribal religions, but she did seem to have a fair understanding. There were some sites she used as stops on her tours which had long ago been used for tribal rites.

REDLIGHT arranged to have a snowmobile tour of some of the ancient tribal religious sites the following day. They were going to have to get started around 10:00 AM if they were going to have enough daylight.

Thanking Mrs. Wendell, and taking his leave, Agent REDLIGHT stopped by the other bar in town to have a look. The bar was quite economical in its use of space. From the outside, it looked barely larger than most of the houses in town. On the inside, two full walls were lined with liquor bottles, mirrors, pitchers, and glasses of all types and sizes. The rest of the bar managed to fit two pool tables, five dart boards, and four tables in such a way that they could all be in use, but no one would be in another’s way.

The bar was not operating at capacity this evening. Other than a rather burly looking bartender, REDLIGHT counted seven men and one woman. The woman was just as big as any of the men, but she was a little less grizzled. Her name was Martha as REDLIGHT found out when he sidled up and bought her a drink.

Over the course of a few drinks, REDLIGHT steered the conversation toward the religion of the various Athabaskan tribes. Martha knew a little from stories her grandfather had told her. Most of it was more or less standard shamanism which didn’t interest the agent in the least, so he continued steering the conversation.

He asked about wind spirits, and Martha told him every child knew the stories of Ithaqua, the Wind-Walker. He was a giant and terrible creature who was always just out of sight in the blizzard. The cold, roaring wind was his voice. Her ancestors feared him as a real beast, but he had become little more than a story to scare children into staying close to home during the winter.

The agent pressed for more details about this spirit, and Martha was happy to tell him all she knew. Her ancestors would hold rites and leave offerings to the Wind-Walker before every winter in the hopes that the creature would be appeased, and the winter storms would pass them by.

Sometimes the thing would sweep through the valley and take away some of the women. They would never be seen again, but their children could be heard echoing through the coldest of the winter nights. They were called Wendigo. This last word, Martha whispered though she didn’t seem to have noticed that she did.

Whether it was the word, or the whisper, or both, REDLIGHT felt a chill. He thanked Martha for the story and headed back to the hotel. Morning would come soon, and it felt somehow colder now. The wind was whipping through the small town, and even REDLIGHT was chilled. The light snowfall didn’t help.

At some point during the night, ROSE answered her phone. She didn’t look at the time, but it was dark out. That only meant it wasn’t noon. The voice on the other end belonged to the coroner from Bozeman. She had finally completed the autopsy of the pilot. As she had guessed, it wasn’t the crash that killed him. It was the loss of his heart, and the near-instantaneous freezing of his flesh. The only other thing of interest was the content of the man’s stomach. It seemed his last meal had been human with potatoes and carrots.

ROSE’s mind was still a little cloudy from alcohol, morphine, and sleep, but the chilling implications of the coroner’s words were not lost on her. She thanked the woman for her efforts, and promptly fell back to sleep.

When she woke, she vaguely remembered a visit from REDLIGHT; something about the wind and children, and a snowmobile tour? Her leg was broken in three places, and he expected her to go sightseeing? She managed to be dressed and having breakfast before REDLIGHT even woke up. When he did make it downstairs, he informed his cell leader that he would return with Mrs. Wendell and a two-seat snowmobile. They were going to check out some of the old religious sites.

It took nearly an hour to stop by Mrs. Wendell’s house, walk across the creek to the other airport, and return with a snowmobile. REDLIGHT took advantage of Mrs. Wendell’s offer to open up the Visitor’s Center for him. It was cold inside, but at least the wind stayed out.

The agent collected a map and a few travel brochures before peeking into the small room which the Visitor’s Center considered a museum. The displays had a few artifacts of the ancient tribal cultures, but the majority of the room was taken up by photographs. There was only one which drew REDLIGHT’s attention. It was of a forest clearing with four stones jutting from the earth. There was no way to tell the size, but the stones were all carved with glyphs that resembled the ones painted on the crashed airplane. The caption simply read “Stones Dedicated to the Great Wind-Walker”.

Once they were done at the Visitor’s Center, REDLIGHT and Mrs. Wendell met up with ROSE at the hotel, and the three rode off into the wilderness. They rode to the Porcupine Creek Airport for a starting point and followed the same creek which REAPER, RICHARD, and the Californians had followed the day before.

Agent REDLIGHT thought he saw someone hiding off in the trees, and so he called for Samantha to stop. When he pointed to where he thought he’d seen someone, there was nothing. REDLIGHT shrugged, and the group started up again. They made it no more than five miles when the agent saw the same figure off in the trees. Again, they stopped, and again there was nothing for REDLIGHT to point out.

The group headed out once more, and a few miles later, it was ROSE who saw the figure. It was most definitely the Dark Man, and she most definitely didn’t have the time to talk, so she ignored him. She ignored him when she saw him a few miles later as well.

After a while, Samantha stopped and pointed toward a dense grouping of trees. She indicated that the first site was that direction, and she led them slowly to it. There was a curious sight when they made it to the tree line. Just beyond the trees was a clearing of frozen grass. All around it, the snow was at least two feet deep, but in the roughly fifty-foot diameter clearing, there was definitely grass. There were also four stones carved with glyphs just like the ones in the museum photograph.

Mrs. Wendell gave her usual tour guide speech about how the site was once used to leave offerings to the wind spirits while REDLIGHT took pictures of the grass and the stones. ROSE simply sat on the snowmobile wishing she had stayed at the hotel.

Agent REDLIGHT asked if they should turn back so they could get to town before dark, but Mrs. Wendell assured them they could get to the next site and back before it was dark for long. Besides, they really didn’t want to miss this next site. It was in a cave.

That was all REDLIGHT needed, and so the tour was off again. They followed a frozen river north for quite a while but just as Samantha had said, they came to a wide cave. ROSE needed help getting off the snowmobile and approaching the cave. She asked how deep the cave was, and Mrs. Wendell explained that she’d never explored the entire thing, but the religious site she was going to show them wasn’t far.

ROSE leaned on REDLIGHT’s shoulder as they entered the cave. The snow and ice extended further in than they would have expected, but Mrs. Wendell assured them it was quite normal. The wind would get very strong near the mouth of the cave. That was most likely the reason the tribes associated it with a wind spirit rather than earth.

Samantha had a lantern, and REDLIGHT had his flashlight, so the interior was pretty well lit. The path they took led to the left for several yards, but for ROSE, it might as well have been miles. It opened into a large natural chamber, and the path wound down along the cavern wall for nearly two full laps. When the agents reached the bottom, it was noticeably colder than it was at the top. They could see their breath in the beam of the flashlight.

A large portion of the cavern wall appeared to be clear blue ice rather than stone, but before the agents could look closer, a bone-chilling howl echoed all through the chamber. REDLIGHT asked Mrs. Wendell to help ROSE stand, and then he moved toward the center of the room with his rifle at the ready.

There was another howl, and a freezing wind swirled down from up above. REDLIGHT was unnerved to realize that it had begun to snow in the chamber. As ROSE leaned on her shoulder, Mrs. Wendell drew a pistol and scanned the shadows of the upper cavern.

The wind picked up to a violent pace, and the snow turned to hail. Agent REDLIGHT yelled to the others that it was time to go, and as soon as he did, the lantern went dark. The only light in the cavern was now his flashlight, and with the blizzard, visibility was very little. Then they heard Samantha’s voice.

“I’ve brought them for you, Walter. Take them, my love!”

With that, a loud snarl fell from above, and something landed very near to Agent REDLIGHT with enough force to shake the rocky ground. He swung his flashlight at eye level, and he came face to waist with something pale, naked, and green. He shined the light higher, and then he wished he hadn’t.

Walter was twelve feet tall, sickly thin with sunken eyes, sharp yellow teeth, and long claws. So that was a wendigo? RICHARD’s assessment of ‘werewolf’ was way off.

“Take this one, Walter! She’s hurt.”

Mrs. Wendell kicked ROSE’s broken leg out from under her, and the agent landed face first screaming in the snow at the bottom of the cave.

The creature stalked over to the fallen agent and shot a nasty claw toward her back, but ROSE managed to roll out of the way with a whimper. The crack of REDLIGHT’s rifle echoed through the chamber, and Walter took a shot to the back. The round left a large hole which slowly began to seal up and fade away. That drew attention back to REDLIGHT. The wind picked up even more, but the snow stopped.

The Wendigo waved a bone-thin arm in REDLIGHT’s direction sending a gust of wind which forced the agent back against the far wall and nearly took him off his feet. REDLIGHT responded by dropping the rifle and drawing his automatic pistol. He fired a burst of probably twenty or so rounds. Most of them went wide, but several hit the creature to roughly the same effect as the rifle shot.

Samantha fired a shot at REDLIGHT and caught him in the side. The agent responded by emptying the rest of his clip into the tour guide. Her bullet-riddled body collapsed at ROSE’s feet, and the wendigo immediately took a knee. It drew out her heart and ate it with a single bite, and in so doing, her body was instantly frozen. The creature bent down as if to kiss his fallen wife, but it instead took a deep breath. A sort of sparkling blue mist moved from Mrs. Wendell’s mouth to that of the monster.

ROSE tried in vain to crawl up the path. It had become icy and slick with the snow and ice. In three long steps, the wendigo stood in front of the ice wall and exhaled the mist. The agents watched as the essence of Samantha Wendell drifted deep through the ice and past something very big. It looked like the wendigo they were fighting, only this one was more than twice as big, and it was covered in white fur with antlers sticking out from its head.

Agent ROSE screamed and drew her large silver knife. She held it out as if warning the creature not to come closer, and she tried again to scoot slowly up the path. When the wendigo turned toward her, she swung with everything she had, and she caught the thing in the leg. While the bullet holes had already vanished, this gash seemed to really hurt it.

The beast roared. ROSE screamed, panicked, and cried. REDLIGHT dropped his empty pistol in favor of his Taser. He pulled the trigger, and the electrified darts dug into its flesh. As luck would have it, a creature like this can apparently still be stunned.

Not wanting to waste any time, the Agent picked up his hysterical cell leader, took the knife from her and tried unsuccessfully to move up the path. They made only a little progress before the creature started to stagger toward them. REDLIGHT set ROSE down and readied the knife. One quick swing, and it dug deep into the creature’s withered belly. The agent was at once excited to have done such damage, disheartened to see that all the other wounds had already healed, and terrified at the creature’s howl of rage.

It would be nothing to leave ROSE to the beast and make his escape, and truth be told, he’d been toying with the idea of killing her in the wilderness anyway. Why then, when he had the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone did he instead try to save her? He couldn’t say.

REDLIGHT took the still screaming ROSE by the hand and started to drag her up the slope, but a quick swipe from the pale green claw ripped his side open. The soldier fell unconscious and bleeding next to his cell leader. For her part, ROSE managed to pull herself together enough to scream for help. Time seemed to slow, and a voice came from the shadows above. It was the Dark Man.

“I have come, Gia Jones. You owe me a debt.”

“Name it! Anything! Just … help!”

“You will have your help, Gia Jones, but first pay your debt to me. Give your friend over to the wendigo.”

ROSE may have only had a second or two of conflict in her soul, but to be fair, that was a second or two longer than for anyone else she’d sacrificed in the Dark Man’s name. She reached over the unconscious REDLIGHT and took back her knife before shoving him with the foot of her good leg. She whistled to get the monster’s attention.

“Hey, you, wendigo. Take him. He’s all yours.”

The wendigo took a knee, dug a claw effortlessly into REDLIGHT’s chest, and pulled out his still-beating heart. ROSE shuddered, but she had bigger problems. She turned back to the Dark Man.

“Now, please! Help!”

The Dark Man waved a hand, and a golden glyph appeared in front of him. He instructed her to draw the glyph on her chest, and then he was gone. ROSE frowned. That wasn’t quite what she was expecting. She was still in a frozen cavern in the middle of Alaska in January with a shattered leg, a dead partner, and an un-killable, twelve-foot-tall cannibal monster.

She cursed the Dark Man under her breath as she dipped her fingers in REDLIGHT’s open ribcage. She began to draw the glyph on her chest as the creature devoured her partner’s heart, and his body froze.

The wendigo inhaled the bluish mist that was presumably all which was left of Captain Cramer Gump; aka Agent REDLIGHT. It turned to exhale the mist toward the ice tunnel, and ROSE watched as it drifted past the larger creature and into a sunlit but frozen field toward what looked to be a black tower on a cliff overlooking an ocean.

Sunlit field, tower, and ocean? She had definitely gone crazy, but the wendigo seemed distracted at the moment. That, and she was apparently floating about an inch off the ground as wind flowed beneath her. Whatever. It was time to go.

She crawled on the wind just as fast as she possibly could. She had no idea how thankful she could be to crawl out of a cave and into a frigid snowstorm. The wind carried her as far as the snowmobiles, and she managed to start one up. The roar of the engine was drowned out by a howl from the cave, and so she wasted no time. She rode that snowmobile like she drove stolen cars – fast.

She wasn’t sure she was headed toward town, but she knew she was headed away from the cave and the wendigo. That meant she was headed in the right direction. The thing’s howl echoed behind her all the way, but she never looked back.

Upon reaching town, Agent ROSE wasted no time recovering anything from her hotel room. She simply rode up next to REAPER’s truck, pulled herself inside, and did what she’d promised never to do again. She hotwired his truck and left town in a hurry.

She stopped briefly after an hour or so to destroy the bronze knife and bowl. She was done with the Dark Man.

She didn’t feel safe until she limped into the police station in Fairbanks and gave her report of the murderer on the loose in Coldfoot, how her partner had been killed in a cave, and how her other two partners were missing. The officer taking her report forwarded it to the State Troopers to handle, and then he called for an ambulance to carry ROSE to the closest hospital.

While she spent her time in yet another hospital bed, she reflected on the Opera. Sure, there were probably some wrong moves. There was a thing or two she might have done differently. It’s too bad REDLIGHT had to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her life, and she wondered if REAPER and RICHARD would ever stumble out of the wilderness to find the truck was missing. She also wondered just how she was going to spin the story for A-cell.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Yablo
Posts: 387
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Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:29 pm UTC

Hearken to the Wild – Session 4

As RICHARD warmed his hands by the fire, REAPER monitored the windows. The snow was falling sideways in big, heavy flakes as the winds and the wendigo howled. RICHARD jumped as the first chunks of hail began to hit the windows. Each agent resumed his earlier place, each guarding a window, and each eyeing the door and fireplace. All entrances were covered unless the thing decided to dig through the roof.

One muffled explosion after another indicated REAPER’s traps were being tripped. It may have been fear or paranoia, but the agents felt sure the mines were being set off in a deliberate and intelligent manner. They lost count, but if RICHARD was correct, all the mines detonated. If REAPER was right, there should still be two others.

With the last muffled explosion, an eerie silence descended on the cabin again. The only sounds were from hail stones on the windows and the creaking of the roof from the weight of the snow … or was it a skin-walker? REAPER fired two more shots into the ceiling, but the creaking continued.

RICHARD thought he saw something outside REAPER’s window, and he let out an unmanly squeak. REAPER turned to look, and as both men watched out his window, a long, thin, greenish arm crashed through RICHARD’s window.

The doctor felt a sharp pain as the claw dug into his back, and he was hauled halfway out the window and up toward the roof. Agent REAPER could see RICHARD’s legs twitch awkwardly as they dangled. He emptied the rest of his clip into the ceiling to no visible effect. The twitching of Agent RICHARD’s legs stopped suddenly as his body was instantly frozen. REAPER reloaded with a fresh clip as the giant silhouette landed in the snow with a soft crunch.

REAPER estimated the thing had to be at least twelve feet tall. It stooped to poke its gaunt, greenish head into the window. The howl of the wendigo filled the cabin with a horrible stench. Agent REAPER screamed as he fired every last shot from his fresh clip. The first two rounds hit the creature squarely in the shoulder. The rest hit Agent RICHARD’s flash-frozen body as the thing lifted him as a shield.

With every bullet, a chunk of RICHARD’s body would chip away, and then like a banana frozen in liquid nitrogen when hit with a hammer, the doctor’s corpse shattered. The wendigo leaned in through the window once more with a howl that made REAPER’s blood chill. It then leaped onto the roof, and everything went silent with the exception of the ice on the one remaining window.

REAPER huddled next to the fire as he reloaded and waited for the thing to come for him, but it never did. Throughout the remainder of the night and the next morning, the cabin was buried under snow. By the time the Delta Force Operative felt it was safe to leave, he had no choice but to dig his way out. When he could once again see the sky, it was dark; he had missed what little daylight there was to be.

No matter. He pulled his coat tightly around himself and stumbled off in the general direction of the town. The howls of the wendigo echoed in the distance as he spotted Porcupine Creek Airport, and beyond that, Samantha Wendell’s house. He was cold, wet, and exhausted by the time the hotel came into view, and that’s when he saw it … or rather, he didn’t see it.

His truck was gone. His truck was gone, and he had a damned good guess as to where it had gone to. So much for ‘I swear I’ll never steal your truck again without telling you’. He stomped through the front door of the hotel muttering about the things he would do once he got a hold of ROSE.

He was so preoccupied that he didn’t even notice that for the first time since he’d arrived, there was someone manning the front desk. The desk clerk had to call him three times to get his attention, and once he had it, he relayed his message: ‘You’re probably long gone by now, but if somehow you get this, I want you to know I’m sorry about the truck. I needed it, and you were probably dead. Won’t happen again, I swear. – ROSE’
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Yablo
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:57 am UTC
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:44 pm UTC

Fuel of the Gods – Session 1

R-cell may be cursed. It’s certainly seen its share of death, and Agent ROSE had led several agents in that direction herself. Despite the agent turnover, R-cell still received a steady supply of fresh recruits. Doctor Dexter Michael Pepper was the freshest of the recruits for the time being. He was an environmental scientist working for the EPA, and he had selected the name REDOX.

One of the first mnemonics Dr. Pepper had learned in his chemistry studies was ‘OIL RIG’ – Oxidation Is Loss of electrons, Reduction Is Gain of electrons. It’s only fitting then that his first Delta Green Operation was precipitated by events on an oil rig in the south Pacific.

Agent ROSE’s leg was healing very quickly, and by mid-April, she could walk on it without aid. She still had a pronounced limp for a month, but all in all, her doctor was very impressed with her recovery. By the time her Delta Green phone rang again in late May, she was back to her old self unless it was about to storm. Then her leg would start to get sore; nothing that would prevent her from having a normal life, but it certainly wasn’t comfortable. Luckily for her, it didn’t storm much around her home in New Mexico.

ROSE answered the phone hesitantly, but her voice was cheerful. The man on the other end was well-spoken and quiet. He introduced himself as ALPHONSE, and he inquired politely about her health – both physical and mental. She assured him that she was just fine, and whether he believed her or just heard what he wanted to, he accepted her word.

ALPHONSE invited her to ‘A Night at the Opera’, but before accepting, she wanted to know what was going to be asked of her. Deep down, she didn’t expect to be told before she accepted the invitation; mission security, deniability, and all that. Once she accepted on behalf of her cell, the man continued.

“Please note, ROSE, the following information is per an anonymous but credible whistleblower within FOST Petroleum. FOST has been experimenting with extremely deep undersea drilling in the south Pacific. They found a small pocket of crude oil at a far greater depth than anyone had thought possible, composed of organic material believed to be over 775 million years old. The oil was pumped to the surface and tested; it was found to be of exceptionally high quality, much more combustible than ordinary oil, and also highly efficient and long-lasting. Its nauseating odor, unusual greenish coloration, and peculiar effervescent-fumescent qualities were also noted but not explained.”

“Health records from the oil rig indicate an abnormally high incidence of illness and psychological stress on the platform where it was drilled and processed.”

“Executives at FOST had a small shipment of the oil brought to the mainland for further processing and tests. It was refined into three prototype gasolines code-named ‘orange’ (the weakest), ‘purple’ (middle), and ‘green’ (the strongest). Four-gallon samples of these three fuels were then brought to the U.S. by three specialist employees living in different climates for informal testing in the everyday use of their own cars. After the first week, all contact with these testers ceased.”

“Testers of the ‘purple’ and ‘green’ fuels have not been heard from at all. The tester of the ‘orange’ fuel left the following message for his supervisor:”

There was a click on the other end, and ROSE could hear a recorded message play after a beep.

“Hello … this is Peter … (stutters) … Peter Froson … Listen, I’m just calling to say don’t market the gas, alright? Tell them that’s … that’s my recommendation, alright? (faintly) It’s worse than we thought … (fainter still) I really wonder if you can understand what it’s like … (fainter) under the ocean … (a bit clearer) I’m always driving now … (loud and clear) So don’t sell any gas, huh? I have to get away from here … There’s something going on, and I need to go … okay? So I’m going to get away from the cars, I think … can … maybe I can … So I guess I’ll see you … Okay … I told you don’t sell it, right? Okay … okay … bye.”

There was another click on the other end, and ALPHONSE continued.

“Collect your package at the usual drop. Your instructions are to ascertain what has happened to the three missing FOST test drivers, obtain samples of all three test fuels, and subject them to full analysis. If analysis determines the fuels are safe, no further action is necessary; if not, destroy all traces. Report back to A-cell for further instructions.”

“The ‘orange’ fuel tester is Peter Froson, 36, from Katonah, New York. His wife is Peggy Froson, 30. He drives a 2006 Ford Taurus. The ‘purple’ fuel tester is William Stark, 44, from Glendale, Colorado. He is unmarried, but he is known to have brought in a friend, mechanic Brian Stewart for detailed reporting on the effects of the fuel on the engine of his custom 1975 Buick Skyhawk. ‘Green’ is being tested by Jan Bronski, 24, from Willoughby, California. She has no immediate family. Bronski drives a 1976 Chrysler station wagon. Have you got all that?”

Agent ROSE indicated that she understood, and ALPHONSE hung up. ROSE called REAPER and REDOX, and asked them to meet her at the Denny’s in Katonah, New York the next morning. REAPER told her he’d be there when he got there, but REDOX was happy to get on with his first call to action. RICHARD’s phone rang three times before ROSE remembered she no longer had to call him.

ROSE grabbed the bag she kept always packed and ready, and she headed to the ‘usual drop’, her local FedEx store where she collected the package that had been left. Inside, she found only FBI credentials for herself and her other two cell members.

The next morning, ROSE and REDOX met at the designated spot, and ROSE wasn’t particularly surprised when REAPER didn’t show. He was probably still pissy about his truck. Well, he’d better man up and get over it. She was sure he would, in time.

Agent ROSE slid a badge to REDOX and filled him in on the mission briefing. He was a little surprised to hear that crude oil had been found at such depths, and he was quite interested in checking out the gasolines.

The first course of action, according to Agent ROSE, was to pay a visit to Peggy Froson and ask about her husband. REDOX was still new to Delta Green work, and so he opted to follow her lead.

The drive was a short one, and the agents arrived at the Froson residence just before noon. The house was a small, two-story building with a one car garage and a yard bordered by a white fence. The yard was littered with children’s toys, and it was patrolled by a small, furry dog who pretended to be ferocious.

ROSE knocked on the door, and it was answered by a girl of about ten years of age. The girl canted her head with an inquisitive look, and so ROSE introduced herself as Agent ROSE from the FBI. She flashed her badge and gestured at REDOX indicating that he was her partner.

“Is your mommy home, sweety?”

The girl nodded and closed the door. A moment later, it reopened, and Peggy Froson invited them in. She was obviously very distraught, and she was hoping for news about her husband. ROSE told her that’s what they were looking into. The agents asked pretty standard questions about Mr. Froson’s work, his health, his mental state, and the state of their marriage.

Mrs. Froson told them that Peter was the perfect family man. He loved their two daughters and their son very much, and though he travelled for work – he set up computer systems for FOST – the family spent almost every minute together when he was home.

He returned home a few weeks ago, and he seemed anxious the last few days that he was home. He kept looking out at the driveway where his car was parked, would go off in his car for no reason – sometimes in the middle of the night, and talked to her more than once about moving - usually to the city. Then, one night about a week and a half ago, he left and never came back. She also mentioned that he emptied out his private bank account sometime during that night, taking about six thousand dollars with him. Their joint account was untouched.

ROSE asked if they could speak with Sally, the girl who had answered the door, and Mrs. Froson called her. Sally told the agents she was awakened by the front door slamming the night her father fled. She went to the window and saw her father get into his car and drive away. She also noticed that he approached the car strangely, walking up to it and then jerking away, then moving closer, then farther, and finally jumping in as if he were afraid of the car.

The agents thanked the girl, and then REDOX turned his attention back to the girl’s mother. He asked to see the garage, and Mrs. Froson was happy to show him. The walls were lined with tools, and a table was covered in spare computer hardware, but the center of the garage was empty. REDOX could smell something foul and acidic, and so he followed his nose to a dark corner of the garage where he found a yellow plastic gasoline can.

He opened the cap and was immediately assaulted by the smell of gasoline, but there was more to it; the overall effect was maybe fifty times worse than the worst thing he’d ever smelled, and he was an environmental scientist. He asked Mrs. Froson to open the garage door to ventilate the room, and she did so.

Returning to the can and covering his mouth and nose, REDOX looked inside. The can was empty except for a few drops of a pinkish-grey fluid and a filmy sheen. What little liquid was left seemed to fizz and reminded him of Pop Rocks. He quickly replaced the cap and asked to be allowed to take the can. Mrs. Froson was only too happy to be rid of it.

While her partner was checking the garage, ROSE asked Sally to show her Mr. Froson’s home office. She ran a quick search of the computer but found nothing out of the ordinary, and so she met REDOX back in the living room. The agents thanked the family for their time and promised to do all they could to bring Peter home.

REDOX was quite interested to get to work on the sample of the fuel code-named ‘orange’, and so they headed to the FBI lab in New York City. With a full lab at his disposal, he ran every test he could think of with intriguing and somewhat disturbing results.

He was able to determine that the gasoline did indeed burn hotter and much longer than he would have thought possible. Its spectroscopy looked like nothing he’d ever seen, reflecting an organic chemical formulation of incredible complexity involving some amazingly heavy, intricate molecules that were possibly unique to that fuel. Under the microscope, the pinkish-grey substance fizzed with bubbles that were more green than clear.

He also determined that the material had characteristics of both animal and vegetable organics, and what really shocked him, it appeared to retain some kind of inherent metabolic process even in that state. It was almost as if this fuel was some sort of living thing, though one would have to radically stretch the definition of “life”.

While REDOX was “science-ing”, as he put it, Agent ROSE made a few phone calls. First, she had an All-Points Bulletin put out for the three vehicles in their respective regions. Then she called Ms. Bronski’s supervisor in California who was less than cooperative even in the face of the threat of obstruction charges. He made it perfectly clear that if the FBI wanted a single word out of him, they were welcome to produce a warrant.

The mechanic in Colorado, Brian Stewart, didn’t answer his phone, but ROSE left a message for him to call at his earliest convenience. Okay, so the phone route wasn’t working as hoped, but REDOX had a way for ROSE to make herself useful.

She could find a pet store, and bring him two rats with cages and water bottles. He was moving on to the animal testing phase. ROSE wasn’t too happy about it, but it gave her an excuse to get out of the lab for a bit. Besides, she could look at the puppies, kittens, rabbits, ferrets, and whatever else the store had before she grabbed a couple rodents for the scientist.

An hour or so later, she returned to the FBI lab with two small rats, each in its own cage. She introduced one as Joey, and the other as Rachel.

“Yeah, yeah. Give me Joey’s water. I’m gonna feed him this stuff and see what happens.”

“That’s horrible! What about Rachel?”

“She can watch.”
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:17 pm UTC

Yes, I'm very sure the doctor noticed ROSE, and was very impressed by her...

I gotta ask, was that intentional?
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:03 pm UTC

Her injury was a particularly nasty one; leg broken clean through in three places. That sort of thing should take quite a bit longer to heal completely, but there were a couple factors I took into account. The biggest thing was that the Opera in Alaska took place in January of 2012. I didn't want to skip an entire year or more so she could recover realistically, and I didn't want to make the player retire the character if she didn't want to, so I stretched things a tiny bit. It was easy enough to justify though. One of the deals she had made with the Dark Man (just before the Opera in the UK) was in exchange for strengthening her body and immune system, and her physical attributes were already decent to begin with.

I had originally planned something else for the next Operation, but Agent REDLIGHT's player made an EPA Environmental Scientist. He's actually going to school for that now. So I decided to go for an environmental story instead. I tend to do a lot of research for my games, and I like to give myself reasons to study things. I figure that if I can put together a story that someone in his field can't shoot a hole in, I've bettered myself. Plus, I find that players enjoy the game more if the story has elements they understand well in real life.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:02 pm UTC

No, I meant more like -- is the existence of the plotline between Rose and the doctor a reference to the more famous Doctor?
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:51 pm UTC

Ah, gotcha. Not intentionally, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find that the BBC has been manipulating my subconscious. Quite often, actually, I'll write what I feel is a completely original and clever story only to have a player say "I remember this episode!"

Now that you mention it though, ROSE does seem to end up in a hospital for an extended period nearly every Opera.
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:17 pm UTC

Fuel of the Gods – Session 2

There was hardly more than a trace residue of the fuel left, and REDOX mixed it with a full bottle of water for the rat named Joey. The rat inched close to the water bottle with a wiggling nose. His tongue darted out a few times pushing the stopper into the tube, and releasing a small amount of water. It didn’t take long for even such a diluted amount of the fuel to have a visible effect. Joey the rat began to twitch and then spasm with pitiful squeaks.

After a minute or so, he was still. A short while after that, Joey crawled back toward the bottle. His hind legs weren’t working too well, and he seemed alternately to lunge toward the bottle, and then away from it as if trying desperately to fight an addiction. Eventually, Joey’s desire for the water won out, and he had another drink with similar results. After this second drink, Joey’s hind legs completely failed him, but once the spasms finally eased, he dragged himself forward once more. The third taste was the last for Joey the rat. He died amidst terrible convulsions and eerie, almost hollow squeaks.

Agent REDOX nodded to himself. It was pretty much what he guessed would happen. The rat exhibited behavior similar to that of Peter Froson as described by his wife and daughter. There was no doubt this substance was bad, but REDOX wanted more. There were other tests he’d like to run, but the day was over. ROSE had already procured dinner and two hotel rooms, and she was the one with the car. The agents called it a night.

They were up early, and they headed in different directions for breakfast. REDOX was happy to check out the continental breakfast in the hotel lobby, but ROSE needed a grade of coffee far greater than anything a hotel was likely to have. She headed down the street a few blocks to a local coffee shop and ordered the strongest thing they had. Then she asked for three extra shots of espresso.

While she waited on her drink, her phone rang; good news, not-so-good news, and bad news. The good news was that Peter Froson’s car had been found in a parking garage right there in New York City. The not-so-good news was that there was still no sign of Jan Bronski or her car. And the bad news was that her APB request for William Stark’s Buick Skyhawk was apparently redundant. There was already an APB out for it in connection with two fatal hit-and-run incidents.

She gave Agent REAPER a call and told him there had been a change of plans. She and REDOX could handle ‘orange’ in New York, and ‘purple’ in Colorado had been spotted recently, so that would be there next stop. She hoped to get to it before anyone else was run down. She sent REAPER to California to establish a base of operations, canvas the area, and try to lay eyes on Jan Bronski.

Coffee in hand, she returned to the hotel to grab REDOX. If Peter Froson’s vehicle had been found, the parking garage was their next stop.

The agents had no trouble locating the car once they made it to the garage. There were no cars parked within fifty feet, and despite the open air design of the structure, they could smell the same stench from the Froson’s garage. REDOX called for a tow truck to collect the car and take it to the FBI lab. Just as he hung up, ROSE shattered the driver’s side window and unlocked the door.

REDOX began to protest, but his voice was drowned out by the car radio which had just come to life. It was static and white noise with a high-pitched whining behind it. ROSE turned the radio power off, but it was no use. The radio continued to crackle and whine. Agent REDOX lifted the hood of the car to disconnect the battery, but he was unfamiliar with the Taurus engine.

Thankfully, the tow truck arrived before the ringing in their ears became permanent. The driver was able to easily find the proper wires to pull, but still the radio whined. The agents gave up. The driver knew where to take the car. Agent REDOX closed the hood and the door, and as the agents headed back to their own vehicle, the radio went silent.

On the way back to the lab, ROSE called a local delivery service and asked them to bring her a plastic gas can, a rubber hose, and a small wet/dry vacuum. She gave her credit card information, and the items were delivered about twenty minutes after they made it back to the lab.

While REDOX syphoned what tiny bit of fuel remained in the car, ROSE decided to check with the local police. There were traffic cameras all over. Maybe one of them caught Peter Froson parking his car. If so, she may be able to see where he’d gone.

The fuel in the tank was barely enough to wet the entire bottom of the gas can, but it was plenty for REDOX. He took it inside the lab and gave Rachel the rat a wink and a thumbs up. He found a clear glass jar and poured the foul-smelling liquid inside. He then dropped Rachel in for a swim and promptly tightened the lid.

Rachel the rat’s fate was far worse than Joey’s, and she seemed to sense it. After a few spasms of agony, the little rat stopped, lifted her tiny front paws to her face, and ripped and shredded until there was nothing left. She then collapsed in the fuel and died.

Yeah … No doubt about it now. Anything that can make a rat tear its own face off has got to be bad. Tossing Rachel in the hazardous waste bin along with Joey, Agent REDOX went back out to have another look at the car.

Agent ROSE probably didn’t really need to flash her badge to get the officers on duty to cooperate, but she did anyway. They gave her access to the tapes of the parking garage and nearby streets going back about two weeks. She watched in fast forward, but it only took about ten minutes or so before she found what she was looking for.

Peter Froson parked his car in the structure and seemed to be talking to himself. He opened the door and started to get out, but then he closed it again. He placed his hands over his ears and seemed to shout. Then he opened the door and dove out, rolling on the cement. After he stood, he inched closer to the car and looked as if he was about to get back in, but he kicked the door closed instead before running off. Another camera caught him running to an apartment complex across the street.

REDOX slid under the car to have a look, and after he’d been under for a few minutes, he heard four distinct hissing sounds coming from different directions. The agent instinctively slid himself out from under the car as quickly as he could, and he watched it settle on four flat tires to a ground clearance which would surely have crushed him.

He cursed at the car and gave ROSE a call. Each agent informed the other of recent discoveries, and it was decided that the next course of action would be to search the apartment complex for the missing test driver. ROSE headed back to the lab to get REDOX, and the two agents then went in search of Peter Froson. REDOX felt this job called for a shotgun and buckshot.

The apartment complex manager was happy to answer all questions once he saw badges. ROSE asked if there had been any apartments rented in the past two weeks, and the manager said there was only one. A man by the name of Ronald Coleman had paid cash three months in advance for a small apartment. The agents checked Mr. “Coleman’s” apartment, but the doors were locked, and no one answered. They went back to the office and asked the manager to unlock the door for them which he did before leaving them to their work. He didn’t want to know what happened next.

The manager was probably right to desire ignorance in this case because what happened next consisted of Agent REDOX kicking in the recently unlocked door, spotting Peter Froson, and shoving a shotgun in his face while shouting at him to surrender.

Mr. Froson screamed and stumbled backward, nearly tripping over every piece of furniture in the room. He looked like he hadn’t bathed in weeks, and he may not have eaten or slept in that long either. REDOX placed him in handcuffs as a precaution. After what he’d seen Joey and Rachel do, he wasn’t taking chances.

ROSE noticed the man had two earplugs in each ear, and that was likely the reason he didn’t hear the knocking. She told REDOX to point the gun somewhere else and back up. Then she smiled warmly and reached slowly for the earplugs in as non-threatening a manner as she could.

Froson bit her hand, and she pulled back. That was all REDOX had been waiting for. The man was obviously not in his right mind, and he was dangerous to himself and everyone else. He hit Froson with the butt of the shotgun and began to drag the subdued man toward the door.

“Hey! What the hell is going on here?!”

There were a few spectators in the doorway, and one of them appeared to be filming with his phone. The agents showed their badges, and the camera man wasn’t impressed.

“Figures. What are your names?”

Agent ROSE gave her name as Rose; her standard response. REDOX smiled sarcastically and gave his name as Christine.

“Yeah, sure. It don’t matter, buddy. Somebody knows you, and I’m going to make sure people know how you feds treat people!”

“Oh, no you don’t. It’s a federal offense to film an FBI agent, now hand over the phone.”

ROSE wasn’t sure if that was true, but her delivery was strong and believable. The spectators turned and ran, but the camera man never did hand over the camera. The agents grumbled as REDOX dragged Froson outside. The man fought all the way to the car, but just before reaching it, he turned all his force toward the car instead of away. That, coupled with all the force REDOX had put into pulling him sent the man hurtling head first into the door of ROSE’s rental car leaving a wide dent in the car and a deep gash in the man’s head.

This certainly wasn’t how they’d imagined bringing Peter Froson home, but it worked. REDOX called for an ambulance, and in no time, they were on their way to the hospital. For once, it wasn’t an agent of R-cell in need of medical attention.

Standard procedure for the hospital was to notify local authorities and immediate family when a patient came in the way Peter Froson did. That saved ROSE from having to make a phone call at least. REDOX used the time between their arrival at the hospital and when Peggy Froson showed up to try to get Peter to talk, but it wasn’t happening. The man just stared up at the ceiling or off into space with a frightened expression on his face.

When Mrs. Froson arrived, she asked to speak with her husband in private. The agents agreed and left the room. REDOX listened at the door while ROSE went in search of dinner. The only sounds coming from the room were from Mrs. Froson. She was talking to her husband and crying at the same time. She finally left him alone and stepped back into the hall at about the same time ROSE returned with burgers and fries from a Chili’s she found a couple blocks away.

Mrs. Froson was happy to have her husband back, but his lack of meaningful response, and the fear in his eyes worried her immensely. She felt the car was the root of all her husband’s problems, so when ROSE offered to buy it and take it away, she was only too happy to make a deal. She never wanted to see it again. Mrs. Froson thanked the agents for all they did in finding her husband and returning him, and then she went back to the room to wait by his bedside.

REDOX had the car towed outside the city to the nearest vacant lot where he torched it. As the car burned, the radio came to life again, and the tuner moved frantically from one end of the dial to the other, and all the while, the high-pitched whine could be heard mingling with the crackle of the flames. With their work done, the agents returned to the hotel for some sleep. Morning would come early, and with it, they would be off to find ‘purple’ near Denver.
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:26 am UTC

Fuel of the Gods – Session 3

The agents woke early, and REDOX hit the continental breakfast. ROSE showered and then stopped by a local coffee shop for strong coffee. Just the first sip helped open her eyes a little more. She checked her email and found one from A-cell.

There was a Delta Green Friendly in the Denver area who was being inducted and given full agent status. FBI Forensic Scientist Ravinder Shankar was born in Mumbai, India. He studied archaeology at the University of Mumbai before moving to the United States. He selected the code name RAJEEV, and R-cell was instructed to meet with him upon arrival in Glendale.

There was also a brief report from Agent REAPER. He said only that he was in California, and he’d found a motel. He had not yet started his search for Jan Bronski, her station wagon, or the 'green' fuel.

Having done all they were asked to do in New York, Agents ROSE and REDOX took an uneventful flight to Denver, rented a car, and met up with their new member for lunch at what was little more than a taco stand with walls.

ROSE ordered the ‘Oh, Dios Mio’; billed as the largest burrito in America, and it sure lived up to its name. Some places were proud of the fact that they made ‘burritos as big as your head’, but not this place. The ‘Oh, Dios Mio’ was as big as her arm, and it took two taco stand employees to carry it out. She didn’t come close to finishing it, but she was given a carryout bag the size of the bag she’d carried on the plane.

Introductions were made, and while they ate, ROSE briefed RAJEEV on the current assignment, and what had gone down in New York. Peter Froson was found and returned (almost) safely to his family, and they had successfully dealt with the ‘orange’ fuel. The next step was to locate William Stark and the ‘purple’ fuel.

Agent RAJEEV had brought his laptop, and so he had remote access to the National Crime Information Center database. At ROSE’s request, he ran a check on Brian Stewart, the mechanic who reportedly logged detailed reports on Stark’s custom Buick Skyhawk.

Mr. Stewart was as clean as could be. The only useful information the agent could get was in the form of addresses and phone numbers. He was self-employed.

ROSE laid out the plan. She and REDOX were going to stop by the local police station for more information on the APB which had been placed on Mr. Stark’s vehicle, and RAJEEV would contact Brian Stewart for a phone interview and to set up a meeting if possible.

ROSE slid what remained of her enormous burrito into the carryout suitcase, and followed REDOX to the car. The police station wasn’t too far from the taco stand, and the desk clerk was happy to assist the FBI with their investigation. He didn’t even question their involvement despite the fact the crimes of which Mr. Stark was suspected were under local jurisdiction. An area called Green Ridge, a campground and park about two hours northwest of Glendale was the location of the last known sighting.

Agent RAJEEV called the work number for Brian Stewart; the line for his business, BS Automotive. Mr. Stewart was happy to cooperate with the FBI, but he was a little busy just at the moment. RAJEEV asked if he’d be willing to meet after he closed up for the night, and he said that would be just fine. After hanging up, he called ROSE.

“He’s working, but he can meet up with us after he closes.”

“Great. Good work, rookie. Okay, so … Green Ridge.”

“What about it?”

“Do you know it?”

“Yeah. It’s a campground by the lake. Why?”

“That’s where our guy was last spotted. I need you to check it out.”

“Uhhh … okay. That’s, like, a two hour drive though.”

“You can do it. I trust you. Tell you what: When we get to California, REAPER’s going to do all the leg work.”

It says something about our human condition that our misery and suffering become actually quite bearable when we see that at least one other person suffers more than we do. He’d never even so much as met Agent REAPER, but RAJEEV felt his protest melt away at the prospect of the other agent’s having to do the grunt work in the California heat. He set out for Green Ridge, and ROSE and REDOX went sightseeing while they waited for their meeting.

The two hour drive to the campground turned out to be every bit as uneventful as the two hours he spent scouting the area. There were plenty of campers, but there were no Buicks of any sort. It was a beautiful day for camping, but there was no time. There was work to do, and RAJEEV felt he could just make the meeting if he scrapped the search.

The meeting was set for 7:00 at a little diner in Glendale. All three agents managed to make it on time. RAJEEV had enough time to make his report on the campground before Mr. Stewart arrived. Agent ROSE made the introductions, and then they got right down to business.

Mr. Stewart confirmed that every morning for a week, he’d check every inch of the car, take down its numbers, and run all the diagnostics. He said that William Stark was possibly a little high-strung, but he was a good guy. He was a geologist for FOST, and he did a lot of travelling. It was a few weeks ago that he’d come back to town with that experimental fuel his company was testing.

It was only four gallons, but damned if that car didn’t run for a whole week on it. One morning while doing his inspection, he noted that the odometer had gained almost 2,000 miles since the previous morning. The only way that could happen was if William had averaged over 80 miles per hour for 24 hours straight. That inspection was the last time he’d seen the car, but he’d heard on the news that it was still out there.

That last inspection yielded other disturbing details. Some of the parts of the car looked like they’d melted, but if they actually had, the car couldn’t run. Other parts looked like they had grown or expanded. The man seemed genuinely amazed and intrigued by these facts.

There was also a tiny spot about the size of a dime where the gas had dripped on the cement floor. That one little spot was causing some big problems. He’d tried everything to get it up, but nothing worked all the way. Now he had to leave the garage door and all the windows open, or the smell was too strong to even stand in the room, much less work. He’d rented a jackhammer, and he was planning to cut the spot out if he couldn’t get it up some other way soon.

ROSE asked if he’d ever turned on the radio, and Mr. Stewart immediately sat up stiffly and was visibly nervous.

“Well, that’s kind of a funny question. See, this one time, William was off somewhere – the bathroom, I think. I was checkin’ the gauges, so I turned on the radio to keep me company, only I couldn’t get any stations; just this sort of high-pitched whine behind static. And … you’re gonna think I’m crazy, but I could have sworn I heard these horrible little voices. I couldn’t make out what they were saying at first, but they were repeating the same thing over and over. One thing I could make out was ‘Green Ridge’, but I never did catch the rest.”

The mechanic paused for a bit and drank down his whole glass of water before continuing.

“See, that’s when William came tearing in from the bathroom, or wherever. He had this look in his eyes, you know? It was this homicidal look. I never seen him like that, so it scared me a bit. I mean, I’m a lot bigger than he is, but one thing my dad taught me was you don’t mess with crazy. And that’s the only way I know to describe it: crazy. He said to me ‘Don’t you ever turn that radio on! You understand? Turn it on again, and I’ll kill you!’ Well, naturally I decided I’d never turn it on again. I didn’t want to hear those voices again anyway, but it’s not like I’d get another chance if I did want to. I haven’t seen him since.”

When Agent REDOX asked if there was any of the fuel left, Mr. Stewart shook his head.

“Not unless you want to dig up the floor of my shop and take that stain with you.”

The agents thanked him for his time, and REDOX said they’d be by his garage in the morning to see what they could do about removing the fuel spot. Also, they’d appreciate it if he could give them Mr. Stark’s address. The man was happy to do so, and then they all took their leave.

The next morning, REDOX and ROSE stopped by BS Automotive, and Mr. Stewart let them in. The garage door had been open all night, but the place still smelled awful. REDOX collected the tiniest sample of the fuel on a cotton swab, and he backed up with a wide grin when ROSE dragged in a jackhammer. He didn’t bother to help her, and he could only take the first ten minutes or so of watching his cell leader unskillfully trash the cement floor. He headed to the FBI lab in Denver to run some tests on the fuel residue. ROSE said she’d bring the concrete when she could.

The sample of the ‘purple’ fuel yielded similar results to those of the ‘orange’, only they were stronger, or more concentrated where possible. He placed an almost microscopic amount in a water bottle in anticipation of the inevitable rodent testing. The water in the bottle almost immediately turned a cloudy greenish-grey. Some lucky rat was going to be famous. Or rather, as the nature of Delta Green work would have it, some unlucky rat was never going to be heard from again.

An hour or so later, ROSE arrived with an oddly shaped chunk of cement which contained the fuel stain, and two rats in cages which she introduced as Chandler and Monica. ROSE dropped the cement into a tub of water, and it too took on the same cloudy quality as the water bottle. Agent REDOX attached the water bottle to Chandler’s cage and sat back to watch the results.

The poor, doomed rat’s tongue darted out and brought back a tiny drop of the tainted water. Almost instantly, it began convulsing with horrible squeaks. Its tail thrashed as it reached two shaky little paws to its chest, dug the little nails in deep, and ripped its ribcage open. Its dissolving insides oozed out in a foamy mess. Well, that was … disgusting. Time for the immersion test.

Before REDOX could grab the rat known as Monica and toss it into the tub, ROSE had filled a syringe with the liquid and injected it directly into poor little Monica the rat. Both agents watched it surprise, disgust, and some degree of fascination as Monica’s flesh began to bubble all over. The rat tried to squeak, but it could only manage to open and close its mouth, flopping like a drowning fish. In a disgusting chain reaction, the bubbles began to burst like over-filled balloons.

REDOX had wisely moved back when the bubbling began, but ROSE had instead taken out her phone and was taking pictures. She had to duck quickly to avoid being covered with hazardous viscera. Chandler and Monica had each suffered worse fates than Joey and Rachel had in New York.

There was one last thing on the agenda before the full scale manhunt for the Buick Skyhawk. ROSE and REDOX wanted to search Mr. Stark’s house. They found it being watched by a single police car. REDOX knocked on the window, and the officer rolled it down. He showed his FBI credentials and let the officers know he and his partner were going to be searching the house.

REDOX tried the front door, but it was locked. He tried a few windows, but they were locked. Through one window, he saw ROSE looking around the living room. She had tried the back door, and it was open. She let REDOX in, and they looked around.

The garage was clean and smelled fine. There was no sign of the ‘purple’ fuel. Everything seemed normal except for one small detail: every scrap of paper in the house was covered with doodles of cars. Every page of every book, every side of every cardboard box, every square of the calendar … all cars; all cars, and maybe a few trucks. But cars everywhere. ROSE thought the man had obviously gone crazy. In fact, seeing all the cars everywhere almost made her want to scream.

This just made REDOX smile to himself and think “I like this guy.”
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Wed May 06, 2015 12:29 am UTC

Fuel of the Gods – Session 4

There didn’t appear to be much of interest other than the doodles, so Agent REDOX pocketed a notebook, and the agents left. On their way past the police cruiser, REDOX knocked on the window and showed the notebook. He let the officers know he was taking it, and they only smiled and sort of saluted with half-eaten donuts. REDOX got the impression that a mid-spring, early morning stakeout wasn’t the assignment they’d hoped to draw.

After a quick stop so ROSE could load up on caffeinated beverages, they were off on the two hour drive toward Green Ridge. The drive was uneventful, and the conversation was less than inspiring, but the agents arrived at the Green Ridge campground before lunch time. Their first pass through the campground didn’t turn up anything, but on the second pass, ROSE spotted the Buick Skyhawk parked off in the trees.

REDOX pulled the truck up as close as he dared, and ROSE got out. They could see a man sleeping in the driver’s seat, so Agent ROSE crept up to the car and noticed all the doors were locked. This was their chance to apprehend William Stark without incident. Except …

She smashed the rear passenger window and reached in to unlock the door. As if on cue, the radio sprang to life with a high-pitched whine and white noise. A low, guttural voice fought through the static to warn Mr. Stark.

“Go! Go now! Drive!”

This last word was drawn out for several seconds. William Stark woke and with a quick but mechanical motion, he started the car. Agent REDOX was slowly approaching the car with his shotgun pointed when ROSE opened the door and jumped in the back seat. The Buick kicked up a cloud of dirt, sticks, rocks, and the same foul smell from the garage of BS Automotive.

Agent REDOX cursed loudly and ran for the truck. He wasn’t sure his GMC Sierra could keep up with a custom 1975 Buick Skyhawk on super-powered, South Pacific living petrol, but he had to try. By the time he hit the State Road 66 with Shadow Mountain Lake out the passenger side, the Buick was far ahead but still in sight. REDOX pushed the truck as hard as he could, and he actually maintained his distance.

In the backseat of the car, Agent ROSE brushed the glass aside and yelled for the driver to stop. He may not have heard her over the shouting radio and whipping wind, but whatever the case, he showed no signs of cooperating.

Fine. He wanted to do this the hard way? Agent ROSE wasn’t even close to being in the mood for this. She drew her silver, rune-etched short sword and placed the blade to his throat. That got his attention.

The engine growled as it got a heavy injection of ‘purple’, and the car accelerated. With the fluid motion of a Hollywood stunt driver, Mr. Stark gently turned the wheel one direction and then spun it with all his might in the other direction. The car spun off the road and the rear, driver-side door slammed directly into a tree. Agent ROSE screamed as she felt pain shoot up through her leg and side, but she made sure she didn’t lose her grip on the sword.

Agent REDOX watched helplessly with wide eyes as the Buick slammed into the tree, but he had the presence of mind to use take the opportunity to make up some ground. The gas pedal was already to the floor, but he leaned forward a little in case that tiny change to the distribution of weight might help. By the time the car swerved back onto the road, he was only about four car lengths behind and gaining slowly.

Biting back the pain, ROSE pressed the blade to Mr. Stark’s throat once more with enough pressure to draw blood. The man must have had an amazing ability to focus because he seemed completely unfazed. ROSE ordered him to stop the car. No response. Agent REDOX nudged the car’s rear panel with the front end of the truck. No response.

Further up the road, ROSE could see what appeared to be a woman carrying a small cooler about to cross the road, and she felt the car speed up. As they got closer, Mr. Stark seemed to make tiny corrections as he aimed for the woman. It seemed the Buick was just about to commit it’s third hit-and-run, but at the very last moment, the woman dove for the shoulder of the road. The only casualty was a cooler full of Miller Lite.

Enough was enough. Agent ROSE shouted that she’d kill him, but Mr. Stark seemed not to hear. There was a soft click, and ROSE felt her waist tighten. The seatbelt seemed to have fastened itself while her attention was elsewhere. The radio shouted for him to turn right, and he did so.

Screw it. This had to end badly one way or another. She drew the blade across the driver’s throat, and blood sprayed all over the inside of the windshield. She could see only red to the front, and campsites and picnics out either side.

Even with the driver dead, the car kept straight. Agent REDOX watched as it hurtled through the field ruining what should have been countless wonderful springtime memories. It seemed headed straight for the lake, and REDOX followed at a safe speed along the vehicle paths. He felt there wasn’t much he could do at the moment, but he wasn’t letting the car out of his sight.

Agent ROSE pressed hard on the button of the seatbelt, and though it resisted, she managed to force it to let her go. Once she was free of the seatbelt, she decided to free herself from the car as well. She opened the door and dove out coming to a painful, rolling stop in the soft grass.

REDOX pulled to a stop near her and got out just as the car hit the lake. Only the front end made it to the water though, as the tires became stuck in the saturated ground. REDOX helped his cell leader to her feet before drawing his pistol and aiming at the car’s gas tank.

He fired two rounds, and that was enough to ignite the fuel. There was a jet of pale, greenish flame as the car was engulfed, and REDOX thought he could hear a low scream that phased in and out like a radio station cutting out.

The agents got into the truck and sped away before police arrived or witnesses could identify them. REDOX was going to take ROSE to the hospital as she seemed hurt, and she was definitely not in the best place psychologically.

ROSE had a different idea, however. She sent a text to A-cell requesting the location of the nearest Green Box. Her thought was that ‘orange’ was the weaker of the fuels, and it was dangerous, ‘purple’ was the middle-strength fuel, and it was downright deadly. How much worse was ‘green’? She didn’t know how to handle the situation once they got to California, and she sure didn’t know what to expect. There just might be something in the local Green Box that could help.

It took a few minutes, but she received a reply. A-cell gave her an address and an eight-digit number. She pulled up the address on Google Maps and gave REDOX the directions. The Green Box turned out to be a lakeside cabin less than ten miles from the final act of her first Opera.

The cabin looked deserted at first, but ROSE spotted the bed of a black truck poking out just a bit from around back. The agents got out and split up. REDOX checked the front door while ROSE went around back.

The hood of the truck was still warm, and ROSE estimated that it had only been parked for fifteen minutes or so. She looked in the windows, and she saw a couple wide streaks of blood in the back seat. At least two people had arrived recently, and one of them was hurt badly. She checked the back door, but it was locked, so she snuck back around toward the front.

REDOX was about to knock when he saw movement inside. He ducked down and peeked through the window to see a man in a dark grey suit opening cabinets and pulling out their contents. He thought he’d better talk things over with ROSE, and so he headed around the cabin. Both agents met up along the side wall and related their findings.

They decided that whoever was here was up to no good, and it was possible R-cell was just in time to stop a Green Box robbery. ROSE had recently recovered from a triple fracture in her right leg, and she was currently suffering from a bruised left leg and side, so she left the door bashing to REDOX. For his part, the scientist wasn’t sure he could kick in the door to a Green Box, so he shot the lock with his pistol instead. He then holstered the pistol and armed himself with his shotgun. So what if they had alerted whoever was inside? If he was willing to double-tap a door, the burglar would be more likely to believe the agents meant business.

REDOX kicked in the recently unlocked door and held his FBI badge out in one hand while also propping up the barrel of his shotgun with it. ROSE followed suit with her badge. The man in the dark suit came around a corner with his own badge and pistol. All three people shouted at the same time.

“FBI!”

All three stopped and blinked at each other. The man eyed the agents up and down.

“No way you’re FBI lookin’ like that. Who are you, and what are you doing here?”

“The name’s REDOX. This is ROSE.”

The man furrowed his brow as he processed the situation. REDOX proposed the idea of holstering their weapons and talking. The man agreed, and they slowly put away their guns.

“Errr … I’m Octavio. You, umm … R-cell?”

REDOX nodded.

“You from O?”

This time, it was OCTAVIO’s turn to nod.

“Yeah. Yeah, I am. What are you doing here?”

“We’re on an Op, and we’re looking for something that might help. What’s with the blood in the truck?”

Agent OCTAVIO seemed distrustful, and all he said was that O-cell just scrapped a failed Opera, and they were looking for medical supplies. REDOX mentioned the first aid kit in the truck, and asked ROSE to help him get it, but she decided she’d rather stay and talk. It was obvious to all involved that REDOX wanted to talk with ROSE away from the other agent.

REDOX frowned and headed out to the truck while ROSE continued to try pumping OCTAVIO for information. The other agent was obviously on edge and not particularly trustful of others, so the information wasn’t very forthcoming. ROSE did manage to find out that the leader of O-cell was a man named OSCAR, and it was Agent OSWALD who had been hurt. He refused to give specifics of their Opera, and ROSE did the same.

Agent REDOX returned and set the first aid kit at OCTAVIO’s feet while ROSE backed up into the kitchen to call A-cell. After several rings, she heard Agent ADAM’s voice. She asked if there were agents named OCTAVIO, OSCAR, and OSWALD in O-cell.

Agent ADAM was hesitant to answer, but he confirmed. He wanted to know why she was asking, and she mentioned the truck, the blood, and the presence of Agent OCTAVIO at the Green Box.

“O-cell has been dark for fourteen hours. They haven’t checked in. You’re sure you’ve seen them? You have eyes on them now?”

“That’s right; on OCTAVIO, at least. He says OSWALD was hurt, and they’re looking for medical supplies, but he won’t say more. What were they working on?”

“Not your Opera, Agent ROSE. Keep eyes on them, and try to get them to check in.”

She said that she would, and then she hung up. She told OCTAVIO she knew they hadn’t checked in with A-cell in fourteen hours, but he denied it. He said that as cell leader, OSCAR handled that bit, and he’d seen his cell leader on the phone every four hours. OSCAR had told his cell he was letting ALPHONSE know the situation.

ROSE told him his cell leader was lying to him, but he let her know that he was more willing to trust OSCAR than he was to trust her. Taking up the first aid kit, OCTAVIO opened a door and headed down the stairs. ROSE quietly opened the door and looked down in time to see a heavy, steel vault door close. So the cabin wasn’t the Green Box. The vault in the basement was. The eight-digit string ALPHONSE had given her must be the code for the number pad she saw on the wall.

She crept slowly down the stairs, and REDOX followed, covering her with his shotgun. She entered the code, and the agents could hear the hydraulics of the vault door as it opened. The inside was very dark, lit only by an electric lantern to either side of the door, and another in the far back. In fact, the only thing the agents could make out for sure was the figure of Agent OCATAVIO pointing his own shotgun at them. Agent ROSE was once again not even close to being in the mood for this.

“Really? I know the code for the door, and you’re still going to threaten us? Look, it should be obvious by now that we’re Delta freakin’ Green, okay? Put down the gun, and get OSCAR out here.”

The man seemed nervous and unsure of what to do, so he was relieved when Agent OSCAR appeared out of the shadows and told him to put away the gun. OSCAR was a little over six feet tall with an athletic build. He was sweating and seemed on edge, but he was calm enough and polite.

“You’re ROSE of R-cell, yeah? OSCAR, leader of O-cell. Thanks for the first aid kit. What can we do for you?”

“You can let us go through the Green Box. We need a few things for an Opera.”

A moan came from the darkness on the right side of the room, and OSCAR sent OCTAVIO to tend to OSWALD’s wounds. Agent OSCAR made it known that O-cell was holding the Green Box for the moment, and if they’d be so kind as get the hell away from his Opera, they could have at the Green Box in an hour. Those terms weren’t agreeable to ROSE. She proposed that O-cell shut the hell up, give a fellow Delta Green cell access to the Green Box, and just call A-cell already.

OSCAR assured her that he had been checking in with Agent ALPHONSE regularly, and that it was really none of her business. Agent ROSE had a few more colorful words for the other cell leader, and she started to push past him. OSCAR took a step back, drew a pistol, and pointed it directly at ROSE.

“No way, sister. Give us an hour, and we’ll be on hour way.”

REDOX tried to talk some sense into his cell leader, but she seemed to be near her breaking point. He told her he’d be upstairs if and when she decided to stop her tantrum. If she did something stupid, he’d gladly burn her body and accept his promotion. With that, he opened the vault door and went up to look around the ground floor.

As the door closed, ROSE heard a woman scream from the far back of the room. OSCAR looked quickly in the direction of the scream and put away his gun.

“Oh, screw it. We got you covered. Just stay near the front.”

With that, he quickly ducked into the shadows toward the woman. ROSE decided to see what was wrong with Agent OSWALD. He was tall and skinny, but he didn’t look like it in the shadows with the way he was slumped against the wall. He had dark, shoulder length hair which was matted to his sweaty face. There was a gash along his stomach at least an inch long, and his white shirt was wet with sweat and blood.

ROSE introduced herself and started to bandage him up. OSWALD was thankful for the medical attention, but he was a little delirious. ROSE used his fragile state to her advantage, and she was able to learn that O-cell had been looking into a rash of murders in Colorado. The victims were all men who were supposedly on the offending side of domestic violence, and they’d all been killed by massive doses of spider venom; some by hundreds of tiny bites, and some by injection from a syringe. The women had all been taken to a refuge.

OSCAR’s plan was to split up and go in covertly; OSWALD and OCTAVIO in one group, OSCAR and OPHELIA in the other. Some wild-eyed woman came from nowhere and stabbed him. He had no idea what happened to the other group.

So the screaming woman was probably OPHELIA. Agent ROSE made a mental note. She mentioned that A-cell hadn’t heard from them in fourteen hours, and OSWALD didn’t seem surprised. He said he’d always been pretty sure OSCAR cared more about OPHELIA than the rest of the cell, or Delta Green for that matter. He was pretty sure OSCAR messed something up badly, and he probably compromised the Operation for OPHELIA. No way he was going to tell A-cell about that.

There was another scream, and ROSE decided she was going to find out what was going on once and for all. She found Agent OSCAR kneeling over a very pale woman who was drenched in sweat. He was whispering in her ear and stroking her hair. When ROSE asked if this was OPHELIA, Agent OSCAR nodded.

The woman spoke but her voice was very weak. She said something about “silken strands”, “sacred poison”, and “bounteous limbs”.

ROSE said the woman needed to get to a hospital, and so did the agent with the stab wound, but OSCAR whirled on her. No one was going to a hospital. No one was talking to the police, and sure as hell no one was telling A-cell. OPHELIA whimpered, and OSCAR turned back to her. The woman convulsed and vomited a disgusting bile.

Again ROSE mentioned the hospital, and again OSCAR refused. When the woman’s body began to swell with the audible popping of bones and agonized screaming, ROSE stepped back. OSCAR still refused to do anything. When the woman began thrashing and clawing at the ground with enough force to break her fingers and rip off her nails, ROSE almost threw up, but still, OSCAR refused to do anything. It was as if he didn’t see what was happening, or he didn’t believe anything was wrong.

When Agent OPHELIA leapt straight up and grabbed a hold of the ceiling, craning her neck way too far backward and looking down at ROSE, the leader of R-cell was about to snap. When the woman let go and splattered with a bone shattering crunch, Agent ROSE wanted to be anywhere else at all, and she dug out her phone to call REDOX. When the spider-human hybrid crawled out of the crumpled husk of what was once Agent OPHELIA, Agent ROSE lost it. She screamed.

That scream was the first thing REDOX heard as he answered his phone. It was followed by an incoherent stream of muttering and babbling. He headed down to the vault door, but he realized he didn’t know the combination.

ROSE ran for her life toward the vault door, and she heard OSCAR’s body rip. She ducked under a low beam, and she heard OSWALD’s bones crunch. With a bruised leg, she jumped over a crate, and she heard a shotgun blast just before OCTAVIO’s last gurgling breath. She opened the vault door and scrambled past REDOX as the creature scurried after. The shadows of the vault made the thing seem even more menacing, if that were even possible.

Agent REDOX shuddered as he slammed the vault door closed and engaged the hydraulic lock. Okay. So this was one more place to cross off their list of places to visit. Whatever that thing was, it was trapped, but so were all the wonders of the Green Box.

When ROSE collected herself enough, she thought to herself that other cells were just dicks. At least they had California on the horizon.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

User avatar
Yablo
Posts: 387
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:57 am UTC
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Thu May 14, 2015 9:47 pm UTC

Fuel of the Gods – Session 5

With the episode at the Green Box literally behind them, ROSE and REDOX began the drive to Willoughby, California. Agent RAJEEV took the first flight to San Francisco in the morning and hopped on a bus to cover the last 70 or so miles. Agent REAPER had been in the only motel in town for a while now, and he was just waiting for his cell to arrive.

The agents were at various levels of restfulness when the cell met for breakfast at the only diner in town, the Blue Light Grill. ROSE hadn’t slept, but she had been drinking enough coffee to keep her eyes from closing, and she felt fine. REAPER, on the other hand had been doing little other than sleeping since he was deployed to watch this little town. The other two fell somewhere between the two extremes.

Agent REAPER’s report didn’t even last long enough for breakfast to arrive. The town was small. It had what he called a ‘creepy sort of Mayberry feel’ to it. He hadn’t seen Bronski or the station wagon, but he hadn’t put a lot of effort into the search.

ROSE wasn’t too happy, but then again she hadn’t really been counting on REAPER to do much more than barricade himself in his motel room anyway. She told REAPER to take RAJEEV, and head out to patrol the town. She and REDOX were going to check with the local police.

The sheriff’s office was only a couple blocks away, and the weather was beautiful, but REDLIGHT felt like driving anyway. The clerk at the front counter was a young kid, probably about 16, and he seemed more than a little bored with sorting papers. He had also probably never seen anyone quite as attractive as Agent ROSE up close. Whatever the case, the clerk was more than happy to set his work aside and assist her.

She only had one question to start: Had anyone seen Jan Bronski or her car? The kid indicated that there had been three sightings, maybe four. He handed over the file. ROSE took two reports, and she handed the rest of the file to REDOX.

The first report was filed by Mrs. Renee Moorehead, the town librarian. She stated that she was returning home from a late bridge night with friends. She was sitting at a red light, and when the light turned green, she failed to react immediately, being somewhat tired. Then Bronski blew through the intersection at top speed. If she hadn't been distracted when the light turned green, Mrs. Moorhead would certainly have been in the intersection at the time.

The second report was filed by a tow truck driver named Jerry Van Cleef who operates out of a garage in the hills. He was responding to a call (a car in distress on the interstate) when he happened to pass Bronski on the road without thinking twice about it. She was kneeling by the car changing a flat tire.

The third report was filed by Bernard Goldsmith who runs a small market down by the pier. He was shocked to see the missing Bronski blast by in her car, going full tilt down the main drag past the store. Being in the middle of a transaction, Goldsmith was unable to investigate right away. By the time he got outside, she was long gone. Then, a few hours later, he thought he saw her a second time walking around down by the pier toward the end of an irregular alley called Seaview Lane.

ROSE sent a text to RAJEEV asking him to interview the librarian, and then she did the same to REAPER asking him to interview the tow truck driver. She and REDOX were going to see Mr. Goldsmith.

As he expected, RAJEEV was able to find Mrs. Moorehead at the library. She had already given her statement to the sheriff, but it was a slow day at the library, and Mrs. Moorehead was in a particularly helpful mood, so she recounted the incident once more.

The story was the same as the one in the report, but there were a few details RAJEEV found interesting. First was that there was apparently only one stoplight in the whole town, and it was that one stoplight which Jan Bronski had sped through. Also, Mrs. Moorehead said that despite the darkness and the fact that she was tired, she was sure it was Bronski. The young woman often came into the library, and she would sometimes give the librarian a ride home. This was before her disappearance, naturally.

Agent REAPER didn’t like his interview assignment, so he decided to put it off for a bit. He went several miles out of town to fire his weapons instead. He’d get to the interview when he got to it. Besides, there was less chance his cell leader could steal his truck this way.

Mr. Goldsmith was a short, heavy-set man with curly brown hair and dark-rimmed glasses. He seemed genuinely concerned for Ms. Bronski’s well-being. He told the agents the same thing he’d told the sheriff, only this time the part where he only thought he saw the young woman walk down Seaview Lane had become a certainty. He told them she was a very nice young woman, and she made a point of always buying her groceries from his store instead of going to a larger store in a bigger town.

ROSE asked if he knew where Ms. Bronski lived, and he indicated that he did; her house was only a few blocks away toward the hills. He was happy to give the agents her address, and he asked them to bring her back safely. He left them with one last statement.

“She looked so bad. I thought she could be sick. I didn't see her close up at all, but she looked like she hadn't slept for days. She looked like she hadn't bathed or eaten much either. In fact, I've never seen anyone looking as bad as she looked then. I've seen dead bodies that looked better than her."

Well, that was certainly ominous. The agents thanked Mr. Goldsmith, and they headed off to the address he’d given. The house was a beautiful two-story building with a gabled roof, attached garage, picket fence, and a view of both the ocean and the mountains. Even in a small town, this house had to have cost a small fortune. The sight of the house must have awakened some dormant feminine competitive instinct in ROSE because she immediately took a pretty negative view of the young woman, and the agent had a few choice names to call her as well.

The house was quite obviously being watched by a patrol car, and so REDOX let the officers know the FBI intended to search the house. The officers were happy to let them as long as it didn’t require any effort on their part.

Agent ROSE found a key to the front door hidden inside a not-very-convincing plastic rock. The inside of the house was well-furnished and immaculately kept. Agent REDOX felt Ms. Bronski was a very clean and orderly person, but ROSE decided the young woman probably had a disorder or two.

ROSE checked the woman’s computer and copied the hard drive to a spare of her own. She then looked for anything at all related to FOST Petroleum or the fuel test, but she managed only to find one file; a spreadsheet titled “Fuel Test”. The spreadsheet was empty except for a single line which said “Left to begin test, 2:35 PM." The entry was dated on a Saturday, about three weeks earlier. If Bronski came back from that test, she didn't do any more work on the report.

A search of the garage was pretty much a given, but neither agent was particularly excited to give it a shot. The other garages they’d searched recently housed some of the foulest odors they’d ever encountered, and Agent ALPHONSE’s mission briefing indicated that the ‘green’ fuel was far stronger than the other two.

REDOX waited for ROSE to finish with the computer before he opened the door leading from the house to the garage. As soon as he did so, the agents were assaulted by a palpable, acidic stench which caused their eyes to water and burn. ROSE had the presence of mind to take a deep breath beforehand, but REDOX got the smell deep in his lungs and sinus cavity. He felt almost as if his head was being dissolved from the inside out, and he reflexively turned toward ROSE before the Denver omelet he’d had for breakfast came rushing back up in a torrent of stomach acid and partially digested food. ROSE was unable to get out of the way, and she was covered from shoulders to knees.

Unwilling to exhale, and still trying not to lose her own breakfast, she simply glared at REDOX with slightly twitching eyes. She stomped off to use the shower and raid Ms. Bronski’s closet, leaving a wet, chunky trail as she went.

Agent REDOX slammed the door and took a moment to collect himself before heading out to the driveway to open the garage from the outside. The burning in his head was slowly fading, and in its wake, it left only a dull numbness and a slight tingle. Every time he blinked, he would unconsciously squeeze his eyes tightly closed like one does when the eyes are irritated by smoke.

With the garage door open, the smell was bearable. Agent REDOX took a look around, but he didn’t find any signs of the ‘green’ fuel. He did happen to notice the door to the side yard was open, and a set of sandy footprints led into the garage from there.

Something about all of this was getting to REDOX. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he was getting a little agitated. He couldn’t wait to be done with this Opera. REAPER was paranoid, lazy, and uncooperative. RAJEEV needed to get out while he still could, because he wouldn’t last two Operations. ROSE … well, he was just plain sick of her.

He closed up the garage and decided to wait for his cell leader in the car. It only took ROSE a little while to finish up with her shower and closet burglary. When the agents were together in the car, REDOX proposed finding gas masks, and ROSE agreed. Nowhere in town seemed to sell anything of the sort, so they hit the highway. The FBI office in Sacramento would almost have to have something like that.

REDOX grumbled. Nearly everything ROSE did irritated him. He felt sure she was doing it all just to test him; putting the radio on a country station and turning it up, biting her finger nails and spitting them on the floor of the truck, counting blue cars …

Agent ROSE’s phone buzzed. It was a text from REAPER: Tow truck driver says he saw Bronski. He was speeding down the highway on a job. Saw her kneeling by the car. Not changing a tire. Hose coming from gas tank like a straw. Swears the girl was drinking.

That could not possibly be good. She’d seen what REDOX had done to 2/3 of the cast of Friends. Something in her mind finally snapped, and she could feel her heart rate rising. Her breathing became fast, and she could feel sweat beading up on her forehead. It was coming. All she could do now was scream.

Agent REDOX swerved a little in surprise. He yelled right back at her to shut the hell up. She only screamed louder, and so he in turn screamed even louder. He wanted to slap her, but he was driving. That, and he knew that if he slapped her, he wouldn’t stop.

The two continued to scream as loudly as they could; ROSE because she couldn’t help it, and REDOX because ROSE couldn’t help it. He took the next exit and found a quiet and secluded place so he could yell at her some more. She wasn’t stopping, and so REDOX drew his pistol and pointed it at her.

He yelled for ROSE to get out, and she refused. He pushed the barrel of the gun right up against her nose, but she wouldn’t get out, and she wouldn’t stop screaming. Now REDOX had his turn to snap. He pulled the trigger. Twice. On the bright side, at least ROSE had stopped screaming.

REDOX shoved ROSE’s body down into the floorboard and covered her with a coat before getting back on the highway and enjoying the quiet ride to Sacramento. He stopped at the FBI headquarters for a gas mask, and then he stopped at a hardware store for garbage bags and a hacksaw. Amazingly, no one seemed to notice the covered body in the floorboard.

His next stop was Jan Bronski’s house. He backed the truck into her garage and put on the gas mask. He then dragged his cell leader’s body out of the truck and let her fall to the floor. It took hours of work, but he managed to saw her up into chunks small enough to fit in the garbage bags, and those bags, he lifted into the bed of the truck. The pool of blood would drain, right? Yeah. Yeah, it would drain. Okay. Next stop, the dump.

When he made it to the dump, he was more than a little upset that his FBI credentials weren’t enough to get him unrestricted access to the incinerator. All he wanted was to burn a few bags of garbage and an old gun, but the operator wouldn’t let him without knowing what was in the bags. Ordinance this, and statute that, and blah blah pollution … Fine. Then he had one idea left. Next stop, the beach.

He drove until he found what looked like an old, unused pier, and he was excited to find several rusty chains piled up at the end. He set about wrapping the bags with the chains and tossing them off into the water below. Finally. He exhaled deeply, and he could feel a weight being lifted from his shoulders. Then, his phone rang.

It was REAPER. Agent ROSE wasn’t answering her phone, and he thought he’d seen Bronski around an abandoned service station on the north side of town. REDOX said ROSE was in Sacramento, but he’d be right there.

Willoughby was a small town, and so REDOX met up with REAPER a few minutes later. The Delta Force Operator pointed out a corroding warehouse, two stories high and shot through with rust. Every window was broken, and there was a giant, empty parking lot out front. Next to that was a small cannery, also closed and falling apart. There was a truck yard on the other side of the street, and the remains of an old service station. It was the garage of that service station where REAPER said he thought he saw Ms. Bronski.

When REDOX asked how sure he was, REAPER shrugged and indicated it was about 50/50. He saw a woman walking along the beach, and then she was gone. REDOX grumbled, but a flip of the coin was still better odds than he’d been getting elsewhere.

The two agents snuck up to the service station and peeked in the windows. It was dark, but there didn’t seem to be movement. REAPER opened the door which swung silently open on well-oiled hinges, and the two agents entered.

They systematically cleared the garage, but instead of finding Bronski or her car, REDOX found a large metal bowl with jumper cables attached to it. REAPER pointed to a few sheets of paper poking out from behind a box, and REDOX pulled them out. There were three sheets of paper with rough sketches, and each had a number circled in the upper-right corner; one through three.

Sheet one was a narrative diagram like a comic strip. It showed a roughly human figure performing a series of gestures in front of an equally rough drawing of the sea, in response to which a thread of some black substance or coherent liquid appears out of the water and collects in a pan held by the figure at the water's edge.

The second page was a similar schematic showing a figure doing a series of gestures over a pan filled with the black substance. Two wires lead from it to a box with lightning bolts. The figure eventually drains off a clear fluid and pours it into the gas tank of a car.

The third page was much more abstract, showing an incredibly detailed, incomprehensibly complex diagram featuring a single figure in a circle in the middle - a human form with six arms (probably indicating a series of gestures). From this figure there radiates an intricate web of lines which weave about and seem to penetrate a variety of boxlike objects with small circles superimposed on them which REDOX decided were poorly drawn cars. The lines connecting the central figure with the boxes are all cut off at the same point, where the words "five miles" are scrawled.

REDOX looked around for a hammer or a wrench, and he found several, but they all seemed to be slowly melting or dissolving. He found one wrench which seemed to be in serviceable condition, and he struck the bowl until he put a hole in it. The agents then decided to leave for the time being. They wanted to find Bronski. They didn’t want her to find them. REDOX went out for dinner, and Agent REAPER went back to the motel.

Agent REAPER was relaxing in his motel room, flipping through channels on the blurry television when he thought he heard his truck start up. He drew a pistol and stood up, and he thought he could see his truck drive a short way off and turn around. He just naturally assumed it was ROSE again, and so he moved to the window to take a look. He couldn’t see anyone in the driver’s seat.

He muttered curses under his breath, and his eyes widened when he saw the truck start speeding back toward him. He pointed the gun, but it was too little too late. The truck burst through the motel’s fake brick exterior and collided with REAPER, knocking him down. He tried to roll away, but the truck had pinned his leg and it rolled back and forth grinding and liquefying the bone. He tried to pull away, but his belt had somehow become tangled on some part of the truck body. REAPER’s final thought was to take off his own head before his truck did. One bang ended it for him.

After dinner, Agent REDOX decided to head back to the motel to meet up with the rest of the cell. He was wholly unprepared for what he would find, and the police couldn’t tell him much other than that someone had driven the truck through the wall and run over the occupant several times before he took his own life.

This was getting out of control. ROSE had snapped and had to be put down, and now REAPER was dead. That left him and RAJEEV who conveniently enough couldn’t be found.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

User avatar
Yablo
Posts: 387
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:57 am UTC
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Thu May 21, 2015 9:05 pm UTC

Fuel of the Gods – Session 6

He couldn’t exactly just turn in for the night since he was sharing a room with a man who had to all appearances crashed his truck through a wall to run himself over before removing his head with a pistol, so Agent REDOX headed to the motel office to request another room. The office was closed, however, and so REDOX was left with the prospect of sleeping in his rental truck or tracking down RAJEEV. Given his recent vehicle-related experiences, he settled on the latter.

The waitress set a plate of blueberry waffles stacked a foot high in front of Agent RAJEEV and then casually set the check on the table face down. The FBI man was pouring warm maple syrup in each square-shaped indention as his phone rang and rang. Once he finished with the syrup, the agent set his phone to silent and enjoyed his quiet dinner.

It took only a few minute for REDOX to find the only remaining member of his cell; the diner was the only place in the small town which was still open. He took a seat across from RAJEEV who acknowledged his presence with a nod.

Instead of speaking, REDOX made a show of calling RAJEEV on his phone. With the phone to his ear, REDOX simply stared at RAJEEV. The other agent simply ignored his cell member and focused on his waffles. While the phone rang, and without blinking, REDOX grabbed RAJEEV’s soda and drank the whole glass. RAJEEV continued to ignore the EPA scientist. When he had finished his waffles, RAJEEV looked up and across the table.

“What’s up?”

“ROSE and REAPER are dead, and I’m going to be rooming with you.”

“Dead? How?”

“Bullets and tires.”

RAJEEV accepted that answer, tossed some money on the table, and stood up. The agents headed back to the motel and slept the best they could. Agent RAJEEV laid awake wondering just what he’d gotten himself into. Agent REDOX should have been wondering the same, but instead, he dreamt that he drove his rental truck off the pier and along the ocean floor.

At about 3:00 AM, Agent REDOX’s phone rang interrupting his dream just as he was pulling over a ridge overlooking a vast underwater cityscape. He rolled over and answered. It was the sheriff, and he sounded upset.

Calls had been coming in about stolen cars, and then more calls about driverless cars. Those were followed by reports of someone matching Jan Bronski’s description doing funny dances in the street. The sheriff had gone out to investigate only to find his own car revving its engine in a menacing manner. He wasn’t sure what was going on, but as long as the agents were in town to find Bronski, maybe they could look into this as well?

REDOX wanted to wish the sheriff the best of luck before heading to the airport, but instead, he said they’d be right on it. RAJEEV was still awake, and so REDOX filled him in on the situation. Both agents got ready and stepped outside only to find that one of their vehicles was gone. RAJEEV’s truck was still there, but REDOX’s rental was nowhere to be seen. It was probably one of the many making the racket off to the north.

RAJEEV hopped in his truck, but before REDOX could get in the passenger side, the doors locked themselves, and the engine started. Agent RAJEEV tried to open his door, but it refused to cooperate. His seatbelt wrapped itself around and clicked in place as RAJEEV struggled to get free.

The tires squealed as the truck started to speed away. Agent REDOX had time to draw his gun and fire a few shots at the tires. He managed to hit one, but that didn’t seem to slow the truck much. RAJEEV’s hands were trapped by his sides, and no amount of force applied to the brake seemed to do any good.

The truck’s radio came on, and the volume went all the way up. Agent RAJEEV could see the sparks flying from the rim of his shredded tire, and he could hear the voices behind the static urging him to remain calm and surrender.

Agent REDOX climbed up a drain pipe to the roof of the motel to get a better view. Through his night vision binoculars, he could see about twenty or so vehicles circling the blocks around City Hall and trying to run over any pedestrians they found. He also saw RAJEEV’s truck heading west toward the beach. He watched helplessly from the rooftop as the truck dove from the end of the pier, and RAJEEV watched helplessly as the truck sank to the bottom and continued its drive.

That did it. REDOX was done with the Opera. He didn’t care how it turned out anymore. He’d played his part to the best of his ability, and now it had become a one-man show. He slid down the pipe, grabbed his bag from the room, and went for a walk out of town and down the highway. Now more than ever, he was convinced that his work with the EPA was important. Screw FOST Petroleum. Screw vile, living oil that can turn your vehicle against you. While he hitchhiked his way back to San Francisco, he called A-cell to let them know the story. He had to leave a message, but he was sure someone would get it.

As the windows began to roll down, and the cold, salty ocean slowly traded places with the oxygen in the cab, RAJEEV struggled unsuccessfully to get free. Everything was dark, cold, and claustrophobic. He could feel the water fill his shoes first, and then he felt it at his waist. The radio urged calm. It urged deep breaths and peaceful acceptance.

As the water reached his shoulders, he thought he could see shapes moving outside. It was impossible, sure, but in the pitch black of the ocean outside, he was sure he saw shapes darker still.

The radio still urged calm, but RAJEEV refused to obey. He struggled right up until the water reached his nose. He thought he felt something grab his shoulder, and he gasped in fright. As the sea filled his lungs, the radio had its way. RAJEEV was calm and at peace at last.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:43 pm UTC

Just a quick status update: The game (and thus this Actual Play) will be on a brief hiatus as I practice being a father. I still have many plans for this game, and my players definitely want to continue, so it'll be back in probably a month or so.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:39 pm UTC

Another update, and a reminder that I haven't disappeared:

This has been probably the fastest month of my life. The baby is doing very well, and it turns out I don't totally suck at being a parent!

We had intended to pick the game back up tonight, but one of the players is taking a sick day. We should be good for next week though.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:05 am UTC

See No Evil – Session 1

Agent REDOX was really hoping for a vacation after the events in California, but work – legitimate work – demanded his attention for the next couple months. Each morning, he checked the various news channels, websites, and papers. There was no mention of FOST Petroleum, no mention of all the carnage and vehicular assault; there wasn’t so much as a report of a traffic jam in Willoughby, California.

Maybe FOST bought off the authorities. Maybe Delta Green executed a cover up. Maybe it was just the flood of political news in an election year. Whatever the case, REDOX felt he dodged a bullet.

Agent RIVER, an Office of Export Enforcement Criminal Investigator, had been assigned to his cell, but he had yet to meet her. Agent ADAM also promised another recruit in the near future. Other than that, it was mid-July before he heard from A-cell again, and there was no mention of the previous Opera, so he officially put it behind him. The email clearly laid out A-cell’s expectation; a simple surveillance operation.

From: A-cell
To: Agent REDOX and R-cell
Subject: Operation SEE NO EVIL

Congratulations, REDOX, on your recent field promotion, and condolences on the loss of your previous team. You have been invited to a Night at the Opera.

Your employers will soon be temporarily reassigning you to New York City. There, you will lead a surveillance operation against an organization in which the FBI has recently developed an interest.

This organization, and in particular the individuals comprising its leadership, is also of potential interest to Delta Green. We require objective analysis and intelligence in this matter, and consequently we cannot share any further information on the target subjects with your cell at this time.

Your FBI superiors will place legal parameters upon the nature of the surveillance that you will be conducting. As Delta Green agents, you will not be bound by such parameters. I am sure you will understand when I say you are to consider yourselves answerable to a higher authority.

Outside of your cell, the fellow members of your team are not cleared for Delta Green intelligence and will be unaware of your true purpose in this operation. Extreme caution must therefore be exercised, particularly with regards to any breach of the legal parameters discussed above.

Your team will be provided with cover identities as FBI Senior Special Agents. Collect your package from your local FedEx dropbox. In the future, this dropbox will be referred to as ‘the usual spot’.

To summarize your objectives:

1) Covertly gather intelligence on the target subject(s) while maintaining your cover. We will be particularly interested in any indications of ‘occult interest’ or of any manifestation of paranormal phenomena.
2) Report back to A-cell when the surveillance operation is complete, or at your discretion should circumstance dictate.

-A


Being an EPA scientist, Agent REDOX had no experience in surveillance, and he suspected Agent RIVER had little more. Still, he’d seen a spy movie or two. How hard could it be to plant a few bugs and wiretaps?

He forwarded the email to Agent RIVER after carefully redacting the bit about ‘condolences on the loss of your previous team,’ and then he gave her a call. He was going to be on the next flight to JFK, and he wanted her there in the morning, Sunday, July 15th.

Upon his arrival in New York, Agent REDOX rented a car and found a hotel. After a night’s sleep, he met RIVER at the airport. She was young and pretty, but she was no Agent ROSE. They headed back to the hotel so RIVER could get a room and drop off her bags before making their appearance at the FBI office.

The agents were met by a tall man in his late-40s with what was probably an athletic build in decades past but was now in decline. He introduced himself as Assistant Special-Agent-in-Charge Williams. ASAC Williams showed the agents to a briefing room and gave them the rundown.

“Agents, we have four rookies who are still inside their two-year probations. They need some practice with standard surveillance gear and procedures. That’s why you’re here. A Holocaust denial group known as The Review is presenting an event at the Merriweather Center this Saturday. Four of their senior members will be speaking, and we plan to run a small surveillance operation on them.”

“This project is meant purely as an intelligence-gathering exercise, part of our ongoing effort to collate information about possible terrorists in American society. Senior members of the Justice Department believe that The Review, and possibly one or more of the four men under surveillance, may have links to other, more sinister organizations that plan and carry out unlawful activities.”

ASAC Williams dropped four thin manila folders on the table for the agents to look over.

“The four men scheduled to speak are Peter Hames, a WWII veteran and a once-noted historical scholar; Michael Watts, a former professor of European History currently without a position; Allen Bhrunt, the main publisher and editor of The Review's newsletter as well as the publisher of many of the group's texts; and Stephen Colm, The Review's secretary and the group's longest-serving member – one of the founders, in fact. All four of The Review's heaviest hitters are rarely together like this, as they live in different cities. An opportunity to gather surveillance data on all four of them together may not present itself again for a long time.”

Each folder contained a photograph and a detailed yet patchy background:

Peter Hames
Aliases: none
Age: 87 Occupation: retired
Description: White Caucasian Male, 5'9", 150 lbs, limp right leg, tattoo right arm "B-17 Delightful Dora," far-sighted (glasses)
Military Rank: Air Force Major, retired
Immediate Family: wife Evangeline (deceased), son Patrick (deceased)
Notes: Born Fairview, Ohio August 18, 1924. Enlisted September 20, 1943 served until August 29, 1963. Married wife Evangeline ]une 27, 1955. Arrested three times for assault, no charges brought. Wife Evangeline died July 25, 1963. Author of three books: Air Power (1960 Gerwin, republished 1965 Hewlitt), Hitler's Germany (1968 Hewlitt), Rise of the Reich (1974 Hewlitt).
Other Associations: former chairman Fairview John Birch Society, former member Fairview Veterans' Association

Michael Watts
Aliases: none
Age: 63 Occupation: Professor of History (unemployed)
Description: White Caucasian Male, 6'1", 180 lbs, birthmark orange right thigh, scar left temple
Immediate Family: wife Dorothea
Notes: Born Deepdene, Massachusetts January 15, 1949. Educated Boston University 1971 (B.A.), Reading University, England 1971-75 (M.A., Ph.D.). Married wife Dorothea May 5, 1970. Criminal Record: arrested DWI convicted 1982. Author of two books: Hitler and the Nazis (1978 Godwin), The Jewish Problem in Germany 1935-45 (1986 Bhrunt). Author of numerous historical articles; published in History Today, Times of Conflict, Military Historical Quarterly among others
Last Employer: Boston University 1985-95

Allen Bhrunt
Aliases: Alexis Bellman
Age: 53 Occupation: Publisher
Description: White Caucasian Male, 5'2", 208 lbs, scar right leg, asthmatic
Immediate Family: none
Notes: Born Fort Lauderdale, Florida May 8, 1959. Educated Florida State 1981 (B.sc.). Criminal Record: arrested forgery 1982, acquitted. Arrested assault 1983, convicted 1 month. Arrested possession narcotics 1985, convicted 2 months. 32 parking citations. Editor/owner Review Press, publisher Truth newsletter & website. Currently under investigation for mail fraud

Stephen Colm
Aliases: none
Age: 67 Occupation: Accountant
Description: White Caucasian Male, 5'11", 165 lbs, near-sighted (glasses)
Immediate Family: wife Wilhemina (divorced), son Andrew, son Brian
Notes: Born Barlow, Missouri December 29, 1945. Educated Missouri State 1967 (M.B.A.). Criminal Record: none. Married wife Wilhemina April 8, 1972, divorced Jun19, 1982. Current Employer: Harwick, Chadderton & Merlo, New York City, New York


ASAC Williams called in the rookies for the rest of the briefing. Special Agent David Faulkner was tall, thin, and fair with thinning blonde hair and all-American-boy looks. Samantha Lynn was a petite, slim woman with bright blue eyes and brown hair. Then there was Steve Udagawa, a short man of Japanese descent with military-length dark hair and a strong build. Finally, there was Eric Taylor. Special Agent Taylor was a tall, black man with a cleanly shaved head.

Once the rookies were introduced and seated, ASAC Williams continued the briefing.

“Michael Watts is booked on the 4:15 PM Delta flight into JFK from Providence, Rhode Island tomorrow, and has booked a single suite, Room 1210 at the Marriott Hotel from tomorrow until Sunday, the day after the conference. He is booked on the 8:00 AM Delta flight from JFK back to Rhode Island.”

“Peter Hames is booked on the 10 PM American Airlines flight from Toldeo, Ohio, to JFK on Thursday. He has a reservation at the Marriott, Room 1126 from Thursday until Sunday, and has a ticket on the 5 PM American flight back to Toledo on Sunday.”

“Allen Bhrunt is coming by train from his home in Holden, Connecticut. He will arrive at Grand Central Station at 4:45 PM on Tuesday. He is booked into the Marriott, Room 1708 from Tuesday until the following Tuesday.”

“Parabolic microphones, video cameras, still photography, and other non-intrusive means of monitoring these four men may be used. They may be followed, watched, and their contacts noted and recorded. You will not be able to plant listening devices, tap phones, or search computer files unless there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, is being committed, or is being planned. Ultimately the surveillance mission will involve a lot of stakeout time.”

After being dismissed, Agent REDOX told the rookie Special Agents to get a van from the motor pool and meet back the following morning. From there, they would develop their plan. The rookies went their way, and the agents when back to the hotel to relax.

The next morning, the agents met up with the rookies at the FBI office. REDOX took them for coffee and planning while RIVER stopped by a store specializing in ‘spy gear’ on her way to the Marriott.

She told the man at the front desk that she had a gift for Mr. Watts from his wife, and she wanted to take it up to his room. The man informed her that Mr. Watts had not yet checked in, and in any case, he couldn’t allow her access to the room. If she wanted to leave the gift at the front desk, he’d be happy to have it taken up. Agent RIVER declined but thanked the man for his time. Instead, she wandered off in search of the maids’ station.

There were four hotel maids in the room, and they were chattering away in Spanish. RIVER wasn’t fluent, but she could get by easily enough. She offered one of the maids $100 to give her access to a uniform, a cart, and a universal room key for 20 minutes. The maid was happy to help, and she got her coworkers to go outside with her for a break.

In her new disguise, Agent RIVER was in the perfect position to clandestinely plant listening devices, cameras, and wiretaps in all three rooms rented by the visiting members of The Review. The uniform, cart, and room key were all returned before the maids came back.

Her next stop was Mr. Colm’s apartment. She figured he’d be at work by now, and she was correct. The apartment was on the second floor of a six-story building. Rather than try the front, Agent RIVER decided to use the fire escape. When she was sure no one was watching, she jumped to catch hold of the ladder and pull it down, and then she climbed up.

The window to Mr. Colm's apartment was locked, so Agent RIVER wrapped her hand in cloth and smashed it. As she crawled in, she was greeted by a vicious sounding terrier who couldn't have weighed more than about 9 pounds. RIVER reached into her pocket for something to feed the animal, and she pulled out a bag of marijuana. She tossed it to the dog who didn't eat it but was sufficiently distracted.

Agent RIVER crawled through the broken window to have a look around. The place was immaculately kept. Everything was well-ordered and clean. The couch was covered in plastic, and there was a small dog bed on one cushion. Mr. Colm had no television, but he did have shelves full of books.

Agent RIVER decided that the man was Obsessive-Compulsive, and so she took it upon herself to make his life more interesting. She turned objects slightly and skewed hanging pictures. She rearranged the carefully hung pots and pans in the kitchen and flipped the toilet paper roll in the bathroom so that it rolled the other direction. In the study, she turned the computer monitor around and repositioned the antique World War II soldier figures on the bookshelf. In particular, the figures of Hitler and Mussolini now seemed to be performing lewd acts upon each other.

It was only after she'd thoroughly rearranged the man's carefully ordered apartment that she got around to the business of planting bugs, wiretaps, and cameras. She then left the way she'd entered and flagged down a taxi to take her to the airport.

Agent REDOX and the rookie FBI agents arrived at the airport in the white van from the motor pool a little before RIVER's cab. Once Watts's plane landed, the agents all followed his cab to the Marriott.
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:31 am UTC

See No Evil – Session 2

Watts entered the hotel to check into his room, so Agent REDOX ordered the rookie FBI agents into position; Agents Faulkner and Udagawa were to man the laser microphone from an apartment across the street which REDOX had managed to secure for the week while Agents Lynn and Taylor were to sit in the van outside the apartment and find some way to be useful. The teams would switch up every couple hours, and if Watts left the hotel, the van team was to tail him. Meanwhile, REDOX went to his personal room at the Marriott and ordered a pizza, and RIVER retired to her room to review recordings and monitor camera feeds.

While waiting for his pizza to arrive, Agent REDOX found an email from A-cell regarding new agents. He was to expect the arrival of Michael Pollander, an IRS Special Agent who had selected the name Agent REINHARD, and Terrance Winters, an interrogator with the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis who had selected the name Agent ROMEO. They were due to arrive in the morning.

Upon viewing the photographs, the irony of ROMEO’s choice of name wasn’t lost on him. The man appeared to have lost large sections of his skin to a fire, and REDOX couldn’t help but be reminded of Rachel the rat; the one that had ripped its own face off after being doused with tainted fuel only a couple months earlier. The agent shuddered slightly. With a face like that, it was no wonder the man became an interrogator. He was probably a natural.

Agent RIVER was playing a mind-numbing yet oddly addictive game on her phone, and she was in the zone. So deep in the zone was she that she failed to notice when the listening devices and cameras in Mr. Colm’s apartment went dead. She wasn’t sure how much time had passed since it happened, but fortunately she’d been recording. She played the recordings back, and this time she saw it:

Stephen Colm returned home from work and immediately felt the disturbance in the Force. His window had been broken, a bag of something green – drugs, no doubt – was on the floor, his furniture had been turned, pictures had been skewed, pots and pans had been rearranged. He whistled quickly to the dog which he called Bernard. Scooping Bernard up with one arm, he left the apartment only to return about a half hour later without the dog.

Colm produced something that resembled a wand and began waving it around the room. Whenever the wand passed over one of RIVER’s devices, it made a noise, and the device would be flooded with interference. One by one, Colm found and destroyed each device. He left a single camera and leaned close to it.

“I don’t know who you are, but it’s obvious you’re trying to intimidate me by breaking into my home and planting obvious bugs. Well, let me tell you this: You aren’t going to scare me. I’ve done nothing wrong, so you can’t touch me. The event this weekend will go on as planned, so let’s cut the bullshit. Either you back off now, or meet me face to face if you have something to say.”

Colm then reached toward the camera, and the transmission ceased.


Well, damn. That was the end of that. At least she still had Michael Watts’s room bugged. Agent RIVER decided to look in on him only to find all of her devices offline. Rolling back the recording, she found that shortly after Colm delivered his message, he called Watts. She could hear Colm’s voice coming through Watts’s tapped phone.

“Michael, it’s Stephen Colm. Listen, they broke into my apartment while I was at work. They tried to drug Bernard, and they planted bugs and cameras. I knew they were going to be watching. Look, just check your room. They may have gotten to you, too. Call me back in ten.”

Before Watts could speak a word, Colm had hung up. Watts sighed and shook his head, but he began looking around his room. He growled when he found the first device. Eventually, he found them all, and Agent RIVER never knew whether he returned Colm’s call.

She gave REDOX a call to let him know what had happened. The new cell leader wasn’t particularly happy about the news, but his only response was to make sure she knew not to let the junior FBI agents find out. There was nothing more to do for the evening, and so the agents called it a night.

The next morning, all four rookie agents were assigned to Watts. RIVER was left in charge of them while REDOX went to meet the new recruits. Agent REDOX had emailed the mission briefing to both of the new agents, and so upon reaching New York from his home in a small Wisconsin town, Agent REINHARD went immediately to the local IRS office to see about tracing the finances of The Review.

Agent ROMEO went immediately to Al’s Pizza, a small pizza place struggling to survive in the cutthroat business world of the big city. Normally, a pizza place would thrive in New York, but Al had made one serious mistake which was so far spelling doom for his shop: He only made Chicago-style deep dish pizzas, and there were forks on every table. Word spread quickly of such an unforgivable heresy as that, and as such, Al was very happy to see even someone as physically unappealing as ROMEO. When REDOX called, ROMEO let him know exactly where to meet him, and about five minutes later, Al had his second customer of the week.

Agent REDOX dropped the files down on the table for ROMEO to look through. As they say, sometimes all you need is a fresh set of eyes. Agent ROMEO had several questions spring to mind. Could they get a hold of copies of any of the books these men had written? Maybe the newsletter? What did their website look like? Why was Michael Watts fired from Boston University, and why hadn’t he found other employment in the nearly 20 years since? The file said Allen Bhrunt had been convicted of possession of narcotics, but what sort of narcotics? Could they register to attend the event this weekend? Why hadn’t REDOX asked these questions already?

Agent REDOX had no answers to any question but the last. To that, he replied that he’d been pretty damned busy lately, thank you very much. ROMEO sort of shrugged and seemed to accept that. He resolved to find the answers himself, and REDOX wholeheartedly supported him. After their lunch, Al bid his customers a farewell and encouraged them to please, please tell their friends. Agent ROMEO went to the New York Public Library for research while REDOX headed to the IRS office to meet his other new recruit.

At the IRS office, Agent REINHARD spent a few particularly dull hours going over numbers and tracing them. He was able to determine that The Review brought in only about $40,000 annually, at least that they reported. Part of that was from sales on limited production runs of its books, and subscriptions to its newsletter. The vast majority, however, seemed to come from anonymous donations. These were almost always small, but there were a great many throughout the year.

Introductions were made at the IRS office, and REDOX seemed to be satisfied with his team as a whole. He let REINHARD know to meet up at his room at the Marriott for a cell meeting and briefing. They would all be staking out Grand Central Station to spot and tail Allen Bhrunt when he arrived; all but the two rookies assigned to monitor Watts.

At the library, ROMEO looked around for a librarian who looked 'potentially Jewish', but he settled for a balding, middle-aged caucasian man named Charles who was apparently the head librarian. ROMEO laid out his case: he was looking for a narrow selection of books on a list he provided. Charles was happy to help, and in only about twenty minutes, they had found all of them. The New York Public Library was truly an amazing institution. ROMEO spent a few hours looking over the books before checking them all out.

On his way back to the hotel for the meeting, ROMEO placed a call to Boston University posing as a professor from another institution. He said he was checking on a former professor, Michael Watts. He was placed on hold, and after a couple minutes, the man from Boston University returned with a file.

He told ROMEO the reason for Watts's dismissal was that he had several relationships with students. When ROMEO asked for the names of the young women, he was told that the names of the young men were confidential. ROMEO thanked the man and hung up.

The cell meeting went quickly, and soon it was time to watch for Bhrunt. Agents REDOX, ROMEO, and REINHARD found a bench to sit on as they waited, and RIVER stayed in the van with the rookie FBI agents.

While they waited, REINHARD checked for court records on Allen Bhrunt, but he found that it seemed to be a more common name than he had thought. He made a mental note to check again when he had more time.

Bhrunt arrived right on time and looked just like his file picture. In one hand, he pulled a small, wheeled bag, and in the other he carried a black briefcase. The agents inside followed until he made it outside and hailed a cab. Agent REDOX called RIVER and had her follow him while he hailed his own cab. As it turned out, this was all unnecessary as Mr. Bhrunt only went straight to the Marriott and checked in.

Agent RIVER headed straight to her room to monitor the devices in Bhrunt's room. It wasn't long before he made a phone call to Watts who told him the same thing Colm had said the day before: "Someone's watching. Check your room and phone." Then the devices went dark. Let's just hope the agents across the street weren't listening with the laser micr-- RIVER's phone rang.

Agent Udagawa informed her of what they'd heard. It may be nothing, but it sounded like someone had planted illegal devices in Bhrunt's room - maybe Watts's room, too. RIVER agreed. It was probably nothing.

Agent REDOX decided the day was pretty much over, so he, RIVER, and REINHARD returned to their respective rooms, and the junior agents switched up van and laser microphone duties.

Agent ROMEO decided to check a few other avenues of investigation before calling it a day. His first stop was the Merriweather Center to check on registration. He was pleased to find that registration for the event was free, and so he signed himself up with a fake ID.

His next stop was a grocery store to pick up a fruit basket. He addressed the card to Allen Bhrunt and left a note professing his love and admiration for the man's work, and asking for a meeting. Upon reaching the Marriott, he had the desk clerk send the basket up.

Agent ROMEO returned to his room, but he had one final call to make before being done for the day. He called the Museum of Jewish Heritage and got a hold of a man named Morty Silver. ROMEO told him about the event planned by The Review, and Mr. Silver said that he was well aware. In fact, they had a protest planned. About 250 members of the Jewish community were registered to attend. That was good enough for him. The day could now be done.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:02 am UTC

See No Evil – Session 3

Morning came at 6:00 AM for Agent RIVER, and she left the hotel in search of coffee. Sure, there was a continental breakfast in the lobby, and this was a Marriott, but in her experience you get what you pay for, so you always pay for coffee.

Morning made its way around to REINHARD about a half hour later. After a long shower, he dressed and headed back to the IRS office. He was in for a long day of tracing Franklin, Grant, Jackson … hell, probably even Hamilton and Lincoln.

Morning then checked in on ROMEO just long enough for the agent to stumble to the bathroom, vomit, and stumble back to bed. Something he’d eaten the day before didn’t agree with him; it was either the pizza from Al’s or the questionable-looking airline food. Whatever it was, R-cell was just going to have to give him a day off.

Last on its list as usual, morning finally made its way to Agent REDOX. The bedside alarm clock rang like a claxon for a full minute before the scientist managed to swat it from the table with enough force to unplug it. No time for a shower; it was 7:00 AM.

Agent REDOX rounded up the rookie FBI agents and gave them their daily assignment. Lynn and Taylor were to tail Watts, and Faulkner was to watch Colm. REDOX planned to interview Morty Silver of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and he wanted Udagawa with him. He made a quick call to RIVER to give her assignment. She was to watch Bhrunt.

When REDOX and Udagawa reached the Museum of Jewish Heritage, it was 7:30, and according to the hours posted on the door, it wouldn’t be open for another two and a half hours. That would give them time for breakfast. They found a corner diner nearby and waited it out.

Agent RIVER took her coffee back to the hotel and found a spot in the lobby where she could be sure to see Bhrunt if he left. By the time 9:00 rolled around, she had a nagging feeling that maybe the man had stepped out while she was at the coffee shop, so she asked the clerk at the front desk to call up to his room for her.

“Certainly, ma’am. Who shall I say is calling?”

“Oh, no one. I don’t want to talk to him. I just need to know if he’s there.”

“Ah, well in that case, ma’am, I’m afraid I can’t do that. You’re welcome to go up to his room and knock if you like.”

“No, you see, I have a message for him from his wife, but I can’t go up there unless I know he’s there.”

The clerk was obviously tiring of the conversation, and RIVER’s smile and batting eyelashes were getting her nowhere just as fast. The clerk directed her to the elevators and indicated that for a woman as in shape as she appeared to be, the stairs weren’t likely to be an obstacle either.

“Fine, just call his room. I’ll talk to him. My name is Kiwen.”

“Of course, ma’am.”

The clerk placed the call, and as soon as it was obvious Bhrunt had answered, but before the phone could be passed, Agent RIVER had left for the elevator. The clerk took the opportunity to alert Mr. Bhrunt that there was a woman on her way up to see him, and he offered the unsolicited opinion that she might be dangerous.

When she reached the room, she disregarded the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign hanging from the knob. She knocked, but there was no answer. She knocked again, and again there was no answer. She continued to knock until a member of the hotel staff informed her that there had been noise and harassment complaints from the guest, and that if she didn’t leave, he would be forced to call the police. She growled as she stomped off back to the lobby to wait. At least she knew he was there.

REDOX and Udagawa finished up their breakfast and killed some time looking in shop windows before returning to the museum at 10:00. They were the first visitors of the day, but they completely bypassed the multimedia presentation in the entry rotunda and headed straight inside.

It didn’t take long to find Mr. Silver, and REDOX let Udagawa speak first so that he could observe. This was a training assignment after all. Udagawa smiled and introduced himself, and then REDOX dismissed him with a quick “Thank you, agent. That’ll be all.”

Once Udagawa was out of earshot, REDOX introduced himself with his codename and told the man he’d like to help with the protest this weekend. Mr. Silver was happy to accept any help the FBI could offer, but REDOX made it clear that he was only offering his personal assistance; the FBI was only supposed to observe. Mr. Silver was only slightly less happy to accept the lesser assistance.

Before leaving, Agent REDOX wrote down a number for the man to call if he needed anything.

“The man who’ll answer is named Romeo. He’s interested in helping, too. He’s not the prettiest thing to look at, so please don’t stare.”

“Sure thing, agent. I’ll be sure not to Skype.”

Agent REDOX wondered if all surveillance operations were this slow. Why had they been sent a week early anyway? There didn’t seem to be much going on, so he sent Udagawa to assist Faulkner in watching Colm at his accounting firm, and then he paid a visit to the New York Public Library for some research. He spent a couple quiet hours there before breaking for lunch.

It was about noon when Agent RIVER finally spotted Bhrunt leaving the hotel. He was dressed in a nice suit and carried his briefcase. When he hailed a taxi, RIVER did the same. She was excited to actually get to say “Driver, follow that cab!”

The taxi took Bhrunt to a local radio station, and RIVER followed him in just in time to see him sign in and be escorted upstairs. She was about to follow when the girl behind the front desk stopped her. Only authorized personnel were allowed upstairs without an escort. RIVER asked where the man with the briefcase was going, and the girl told her he was being interviewed on the air for something or other. And no, RIVER wasn’t allowed up there. If she wanted to hear the interview, she could tune in just like everyone else. It would be broadcast in about an hour.

Agent RIVER eyed the girl up and down to size her up. She was eighteen, maybe nineteen, and pretty with long auburn hair, a lip ring and several tattoos.

“Look, I need to talk to him. What’s it going to take to get me up there?”

“Yeah. Look, lady. This is a radio station. When you see the words ‘On Air’ over the door, that means you can’t go in. If you want to come back in an hour, he’ll be done, I’m sure.”

“I don’t have that kind of time, miss.”

The girl rolled her eyes. “Would you have that kind of time if I gave you a couple cards for free McDonald’s sandwiches?”

Agent RIVER was tempted to pull the girl over the counter, and teach her that the real world was tougher than high school, but she instead replied that she didn’t care for McDonald’s. She would be back.

She then left the building and caught a taxi to the nearest Hot Topic. Only $200 on a fake credit card later, and she had a gift certificate to use as a bribe. Bhrunt was probably halfway through his interview by the time RIVER dropped the gift certificate on the desk. The girl eyed it and then looked back to RIVER with a much-improved attitude.

“All I want is to get up those stairs.”

“I wouldn’t dream of getting in your way, lady.”

The girl pocketed the bribe, and RIVER headed up the stairs toward the sound booth. The sign did in fact say ‘On Air’, and the door was locked, but RIVER had a hairpin. That always worked in the movies, right? Agent RIVER was quickly reminded of the fact that her life was not a movie; at least not yet. She failed to pick the lock, and so she waited somewhat patiently outside the door for Mr. Bhrunt to exit.

As soon as he was out, she approached him. She told him that she was interested in his work, and that she was sort of a fan. She turned on the smile and the eyelashes, but it had little effect. Bhrunt was cold and distant, and he regarded her with narrow eyes as he tried to make his way toward the front door. It was obvious he didn’t trust her, and he didn’t want to talk, so she let him go.

When Bhrunt hailed a taxi, she got one of her own. When he got out and headed down to a subway station, she followed. He got on a crowded train, and so did she. Three stops later, he got off, and so did she. She lost him momentarily, and by the time she realized that he’d only pretended to get off the train, it was too late. She huffed and caught a cab back to the hotel.

After lunch, REDOX decided to visit Colm at work, but he didn’t want Faulkner and Udagawa in the way, so he sent them to lunch. Colm’s office was easy to find, but the man wasn’t interested in visitors. He didn’t trust REDOX, and it was obvious. Colm asked if he was the one who broke into his apartment and planted the cameras, but REDOX denied it. There wasn’t much information to be gained from the accountant, so REDOX returned to the hotel.

Agent RIVER spent the rest of her day researching The Review on the internet and browsing their website. REDOX made a few calls to the wives and children of the four men they were watching, but all he found was that no one particularly wanted to talk to him. Well, tomorrow was Thursday, and that meant the final member of The Review, Peter Hames would be in town. Four people to watch, four FBI agents to direct, and three cell members to lead; REDOX had a full day ahead of him, so he got to bed early. The alarm clock remained unplugged and silent under the bed.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Yablo
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:08 am UTC

See No Evil – Session 4

It wasn’t until almost 10:00 AM that Agent REDOX crawled out of bed. Why hadn’t the alarm rung? It was missing. He vaguely remembered swatting at it the day before. In that case, why hadn’t anyone called to wake him? He decided to ask his cell that very question.

He called them each in turn. REINHARD had been up early, and he was already back at work tracing the finances of The Review. He wasn’t aware REDOX needed him for a wakeup call. ROMEO had been sick all the previous day, and while he was feeling better, he had spent the morning showering and enjoying breakfast. He reminded his cell leader that hotels will generally be happy to call you at a given time if you need to wake up. RIVER was even less help. She offered no explanation of her activities over the course of the morning or why she hadn’t called him to see why he wasn’t up, but instead she told him she’d be sure to find him a Hello Kitty watch with an alarm.

Agent REDOX decided this was probably what it would have been like if Rodney Dangerfield had been a Delta Green agent instead of a comedian. In fact, maybe he should change his name to Agent RODNEY just to see if his cell picked up on it.

The cell met to discuss the day’s plan of action over coffee. It was decided that Agent REINHARD would continue following the money trail since he was the only one with that sort of patience. Agent RIVER was to have two of the rookie FBI agents keep tabs on Bhrunt and Watts, and she would continue to research The Review online. REDOX planned to have Agent Faulkner follow Mr. Colm, and Agent Udagawa would see about finding phone numbers for Colm’s children.

ROMEO and REDOX were going to kidnap Hames as soon as he was off the plane this evening. To facilitate this scheme, Agent ROMEO rented a car with tinted windows, stole the plates off a sedan in a parking garage, and purchased a tinted license plate cover just to make it more difficult to identify him; never mind that with a face like his, even a blind man could pick him out of a lineup.

That brought him to the next step of his plan. New York was full of talented makeup artists. Surely someone would be able to make him look presentable. And different. Different was the key. Presentable was sort of a pleasant side effect.

Hames wasn’t due to arrive until 10:00 PM, so REDOX and ROMEO headed to the library. ROMEO wanted to get a hold of back issues of Truth, the newsletter of The Review, but he found that in order to do that, he’d have to subscribe. He set up a throw-away email address and charged $20 to a fake credit card, and then he had several years’ worth of Holocaust denial periodicals to sift through.

The agents decided to take a break for lunch a little after noon, and REDOX called RIVER to check in. Agent RIVER informed him that she felt she’d probably found just about all the information she was going to find, and the rookies had no idea where Bhrunt or Watts were. It seemed like the members of The Review were justifiably paranoid.

REDOX grumbled and told her to just keep researching. No detail was too small. Every angle had to be examined. All her hard work would pay off in the end. Blah, blah, blah. Agent RIVER assured him that she’d get back on it, but as soon as she ended the call, she resumed her nap.

After lunch, Agent ROMEO set about putting his plan into effect while REDOX returned to the library to continue his research. At about 3:00, Agent Faulkner called REDOX.

“Colm is on the move.”

“He left work? So? Follow him. Just let me know if he does anything unusual.”

“Well, that is unusual, sir. He normally leaves at 4:30. He’s headed toward JFK.”

That was all REDOX needed to hear. In the middle of the New York Public Library, he responded in an odd combination of shout and whisper. Faulkner was to keep eyes on him and call back with an address. By the time REDOX had headed outside and hailed a cab, Faulkner called back with the address; a boarded up building in a bad neighborhood.

As his cab took him to the address provided by Agent Faulkner, REDOX called ROMEO to let him know the situation. He indicated that we was on his way in his new rental car. The agents arrived at about the same time. What had been a nice, warm day was starting to look like a stormy one instead. In a matter of minutes, clouds had gathered and darkened over the area, and there were flashes of electricity in them as they slowly swirled.

Agent REDOX paid the cab driver and sent him on his way before approaching the unmarked FBI van directly across from the boarded up building. The only other people in sight were Agent ROMEO a block or so down the street, a cab driver reading a newspaper in front of a convenience store next to the target building, and the clerk of that store.

Agent ROMEO entered the convenience store and bought a fifth of Everclear and a lighter. After a suspicious look from the clerk, he also bought a pack of cigarettes.

REDOX pointed out Colm’s car and held up a tracking device. He told Faulkner to place it underneath the back bumper, but rather than hand it to the agent, REDOX feigned clumsiness and dropped it in Faulkner’s lap. As the agent looked for it to pick it up, REDOX shot him in the neck with a tranquilizer. Once he was sure the agent was out, REDOX began crossing the street.

There was a scream from the boarded up building, and Mr. Colm came running out to his car with a large book under his arm. As he fumbled with the door, Agent ROMEO started jogging while drawing his gun. REDOX drew his gun as well.

Colm didn’t notice the agents, but it’s not likely he’d have done anything differently if he had. He tossed the book in the passenger seat, got in, and turned the key. Agent ROMEO fired a shot from his revolver, but he missed completely. The cab driver was apparently no longer reading the newspaper as now he was pointing a gun at ROMEO. He fired, and the agent took a grazing shot to his left arm.

The wind was starting to die down, and the clouds were quickly dispersing. Agent REDOX fired at the fleeing sedan, but he missed as well. He had to twist to narrowly avoid being run down by the cab driver as he sped off in pursuit.

REDOX ordered ROMEO to investigate the abandoned building, while he took the van to chase Colm and the cabby. Agent REDOX ran across the street and pulled the unconscious Faulkner from the van. His first instinct was to take the agent’s wallet, badge, and gun, but he didn’t have the time if he wanted to follow Colm. He left Faulkner by the side of the road and took off in the direction he’d seen the cars go.

Agent ROMEO spent a minute binding his wound to stop the bleeding before heading to the open door. The inside was dark, but he shined the flash from his cellphone like a flashlight, and he was able to see a dusty, empty building with a large crate and a man exiting through a swirling hole in reality. ROMEO shook his head and looked again. He saw the man disappear, and the hole closed behind him. That was most definitely not normal, and if people can just step through holes in space, what good was he really doing with the Department of Homeland Security anyway?

He looked around the building, but the only thing of any interest was a granulated bluish-white powder. The agent shrugged and headed out to his rental car leaving Faulkner unconscious in what seemed to be a bad New York neighborhood. He went back to the Marriot.

After finally conceding that he’d lost the cars he was tailing, REDOX ditched the van, hailed a cab, and returned to the hotel as well. The agents waited until about 9:30, and then REDOX and ROMEO headed to the airport. Agent ROMEO went to the baggage claim for Mr. Hames’s flight holding a sign with the man’s name on it, but he never showed up. REDOX called to alert him when he saw Bhrunt coming out of the terminal with Hames and getting into a cab.

The agents decided their targets were probably headed to the Marriott, so there was no need to try anything dangerous. REDOX had ROMEO drop him off by the ditched van before sending him back to the hotel. After watching ROMEO drive off into the city night, he hopped into the driver’s seat and started the van up. He took a different route back to the hotel; one that went wide and gave him time to think.

What was Colm up to? Who was he meeting in that abandoned building? Had he attacked someone and stolen that book? What was that book, for that matter? Who had caused the clouds to condense? Surely, that wasn’t natural. Why did the cab driver shoot ROMEO? And what was with the flashing lights behind him? Was he being pulled over? Oh, for the love of God. He was being pulled over.

The officer approached the driver’s side door as his partner took the other side. Agent REDOX rolled down the window.

“Evening officer.”

“Mmhmm. Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“Tail light?”

“No, sir. This van was reported stolen earlier.”

“Oh, no. It wasn’t stolen. I took it.”

“Are you the owner?”

“No, sir, officer. This van is the property of the FBI.”

“The man who reported this van stolen was an FBI agent, and he said it was stolen by another agent matching your description. Says you drugged him.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“Mmhmm … You can tell it to the chief. Step out of the vehicle, put your hands on the side, and keep your feet shoulder width apart.”

REDOX was stunned. He was being arrested? How can they arrest him? Sure, he wasn’t an FBI agent, but they didn’t know that. As soon as he got out of this, he was going to have somebody’s badge.

Once at the station, REDOX was run through the booking process, fingerprinted, and photographed. As a courtesy, he was allowed to wait in an interrogation room rather than in the general lock up. He was given his one phone call, and he weighed his options. ROMEO hardly knew him, but he seemed like a good agent. He hardly knew REINHARD, so he was out. RIVER … well, she might not answer, and if she did, he couldn’t be sure she’d help. Right. ROMEO, it was.

“ROMEO, listen, I’ve been arrested. They say I have to talk to the chief, but he’s not going to be in until the morning. Get me out of here.”

“Uhhh … yeah. Okay. I’ll see if Morty knows a good lawyer who might be up at this hour.”

“Good. I need to be out of here tonight if possible; definitely before the event.”
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Echo244 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:20 pm UTC

<De-lurks>

I have a shiny penny that says we've seen that book before...

(I miss ROSE; she'd probably have sacrificed the cabby and learned how to reverse the portal's polarity before you could say "Erm, aren't we here to stop cults rather than be one?")
Unstoppable force of nature. That means she/her/hers.
Has committed an act of treason.

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Yablo
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:34 pm UTC

Well, the last time we've seen a book that might have been significant, the Dark Man had Agent ROSE leave it in New York City ...

And yeah. I miss ROSE, too. She was terrible for a healthy group dynamic, but she kept things interesting. She was getting dangerously low on sanity though, and as such, she was becoming a liability. I have hopes for the player's new character, Agent RIVER.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Dauric » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:14 pm UTC

Awesome thread.

Call of Cthulhu isn't my genre for RPGs (although as a GM I have a nasty habit of letting overconfident PC's in most any game get a touch too close to some unexpected mythos, just to introduce some 'healthy' paranoia), but this is an excellent write up. Had me reading it all day at work yesterday (Productivity? What's that?) and even had to finish the thread when I got home.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.

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Yablo
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Re: Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:26 pm UTC

Wonderful! Glad I could help. There's a lot to it (the Word doc says it's almost 100k words so far), but the game's been going for longer than a year. I have no shortage of ideas, and my players keep coming back no matter how bad things get for the characters. As long as the game is going, you can be sure I'll keep posting write ups.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.


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