Episode 1: The Liver-EaterEdit
It has been 6 long months since the events of the Rave at Paradise. The team have had little opportunity to speak since then.
Bishop has been held up in hospital recovering from a serious set of burns.
Burl was away in Afghanistan acting as a driver in order to build up the capital needed to open his own business.
Whittle meanwhilst has been active in local politics and gotten himself a new office.
Burl invites Bishop for a drink and Bishop in turn invites Whittle, they agree to meet up at Sloppy Joes Diner in Switchtrack Alley. The area is still a stink-hole and nobody has cleaned the streets since they organised the community drive months ago, but at least people don't seem to be cowering in fear.
Emotions run high when they meet, because Whittle passed the blame for the botched night at the club onto Kane, which caused him to lose his job, whilst Whittle got off scot-free. They order some coffee and fried food, only to notice that the server behind the bar is looking rather yellow and unwell. Brushing it off they sit down to chat, only to notice a new figure enter.
Daniel Clark Truscott is a Federal Agent who has completed his assignment early, unfortunately his flight bookings are inflexible and he will not be able to go home until later the following day. He clocks the cops and orders himself some food. However the yellow-faced man behind the counter finally collapses on his way to the kitchen. His leg gives out underneath him and he cracks his head against the metal corner of the counter.
Rushing over to help, Bishop and Kane try and assess his injuries but the head-injury seems superficial compared to the sickly yellow complection, so they call in an ambulance.
Harriet Stockwell shows up with her crew of Ambulance 160 and quickly takes over the casualty. She mentions darkly that this is not the first person she has encountered with these symptoms and that she heard some of the medical doctors talking about a poor prognosis for the other victims. She asks Bishop to look into it as he's now in Homicide.
They decide to investigate the Agent Truscott as he was the last person seen speaking to the victim. Truscott has by now left the scene and headed over the road to enjoy a meal there instead and is very reluctant to get involved. After hastily brushing the ex-cops off, he lets them go.
Kane, Whittle and Bishop make their way to the hospital only to discover that out of the three victims, 2 are already dead and the server at the diner (Sam Jackquard) is still in Intensive care undergoing exploratory surgery. Only Margot Keller is able to speak about her experiences.
Speaking with the Doctors, they discover that each of the victims has had their liver removed. There is almost no sign of external injury, the person performing the opperation would have had to be using impossibly sharp blades at blinding speeds with no loss of precision in order to get such near-invisible Scars.
They are allowed to speak to Margot, who is deeply distressed, she reveals that her only chance is a transplant, but the odds of a suitable donor are impossibly slim in the time she has left. Her husband can only see her infrequently as he is working himself to an early grave trying to afford the payments on her treatment as she lacks insurance. When pressed she mentions about her schedule earlier in the week. Laundry on Tuesday, visiting a book store on Wednesday and getting the sewing machine repaired on Thursday which is when she started feeling sick. She was baffled as why somebody would do this to her and held a very bleak outlook.
Leaving the hospital they bump into Agent Truscott, who informs them that he has been asked to liase on the case.
They discuss the information they have found so far when a woman in her mid-thirties dressed like a Noir detective approaches them. She reveals that Mr Keller (A raging conspiracy theorist) has hired her to investigate what happened to his wife's liver. However given the medical bills, she is nolonger certain he can pay and offers to give the officers what they want in exchange for $250 to cover her expenses so far.
Whittle and Bishop scrape the money together between them and she shows them the leg-work she has done thus far.
- The victims at the estimated time of the attack were all within about a mile radius of each other.
- The attacks have been happening one per day.
- The other two victims are a student (from New York, hence the FBI involvement) and a train opperator.
- One of the locations that Margot visited prior to her attack was the Painted Page, an occult bookshop (She had a friend who worked there and enjoyed the presence of cats as well as buying the odd new-age trinket that she thought looked pretty.
They part on good terms and she gets a leaflet advertising for the opening of Kane's gun shop.
Truscott and Bishop want to investigate the personal effects of the victim, but even after Whittle broke into the cell phone of one of the victims, it had precious little data. Whilst at the station they spoke with Evidence officer Richard Bucknell and learned a little about how their repuatations had changed at the precinct. Because of the evidence at the investigation Sgt. Kane was demonized heavily. He was shouldered with much of the blame for the shootings at the club and earned a great deal of resentment from the local cops and the public as a result. Bishop was fondly thought of due to his serious injuries in the line of duty and his family connections to senior officers. (Rumour has it that he was given the detective roll because of favouritism rather than merit). Whittle was considered a bit weak in the eyes of his peers, the fact that he left the force after the incident implied that he didn't have the guts to be a real officer. Cleaning up they took some copies of the phone data and headed out.
They decided to investigate the Painted Page. Outside the site were Officers Wade Whiteman and Sgt. Stewart Green, who were much happier to see Kane than anybody else, firmly believing that he was set up. They had arrived to secure the scene of the previous nights fire. The fire department concluded that this was a routine fire caused by the many lit candles the shop had burning even overnight. However even a cursory investigation revealed remains of a square glass bottle, likely a perfume.used as an accelerant to enhance the flamability of a second substance.
The two officers were called away on a priority call. Leaving the group free to investigate the scene. The stand-alone building was recessed back from the sidewalk and surrounded by a canopy of trees, many of which had either sucumbed to the winter frost or had been caught by the fire.
Inside they found the building was barely a frame, but there were pieces of paper flying around. Bishop picked up a piece that caught his eye and screamed for no discernable reason. However he thought the piece of paper significant. It was a book order by a Wanahton Janus on the topic of Cherokee Spirits, although the exact title was incomplete.
From the entranceway to the ruined building they saw an old bent woman with long grey straight hair. She spoke with them for a moment before a complete change of temper. She warned them off this investigation and struck out at the group violently. She injured Bishop and Kane, whilst demonstrating the ease with which she could have slit Whittle's throat if she wanted to. She moved with grace and speed and when she was struck by bullets they almost ricoched off her body leaving stony splinters behind. She fled the scene ducking behind Whittle and fleeing into the crowd. Nobody saw an old woman leave, but several people reported seeing a young asian child flee.
An ambulance arrived and helped patch everybody up, even though the ambulance crew were reluctant and advised that the wounds taken needed treating professionally.
They looked around the only real clue to their mysterious attacker was the name of one Wanahton Janus.
Episode 2: SpearfingerEdit
Standing in the blackened shell of the book store the team tried to decide what to do next.
Agent Truscott is clearly spooked and discusses with Burl about getting a bigger gun for the task at hand. He brushes off his superiors request for a detailed report. He sets up a film camera in the area and agrees to purchase a high-powered rifle from Kane.
Kane searches the area looking for other clues. But finds little beyond charred rubble.
Whittle reports in but keeps Truscott informed about his statement, so that the accounts will not show large discrepancies. He then. decides he needs to get back to work, whilst Bishop goes to the hospital to get his injuries checked and the back to the office to complete his report about being attacked by an older woman and an asian youth.
Agent Friendly calls up and talks to Burl on a secured line. She suggests that she might be able to form a task force with the team as it stands being the core element, but she is quite clear that criminals need to be captured alive and lawfully in order for such a task-force to work. Suggesting that Burls business could be given favoured status as a local supplier of guns to government agencies.
They get together, Bishop reveals a drawing that he drew instead of his normal report, showing a number of faces including his own, Lay-Z and Rev Isiah Neely.
Bishop made a break-through when searching the internet on Cheroke myths about liver-eating creatures. He foudn a notable hit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spearfinger
Whittle searched Network Zero, but despite finding several sites about stone creatures and shape shifters found only one that was even vaguely similar. A story about a stone man glanced only briefly as it fled the scene.
They discussed various strategies for dealing with U'tlun'ta, and it was revealed that her weakness was in her right hand which contained her heart.
However they still had no idea on how to track her.or what the connection (if any) was with Lay-Z.
They decided to eventually follow-up on the Native American connection. Catching Aaron Agawam (The Curator of the Hasamato Cultural Center) at a nightclub on his phone he confesses that he doesn't know many Cherokee, but that he would check back in the morning.)
So instead they decide to investigate Wanahton Janus, the person whose name they found in the book shop. They debate the risks involved and whether he could be the summoner. It seems unlikely but there is a fear that Spearfinger might show up, so they go about purchasing a light anti-materiel rifle from Kane just in case.
They consider staking out his place of business or giving him a call under false pretenses.
Truscott even tries to call in a SWAT team as backup, but the Bureau refuses to send any backup until he tells them why he considers a middle-manager of a stationary store to be a significant threat and why he is considered a witness..
However in the end they just drive over there, in time to hear that another victim of liver failure has been reported. Bringing the number of known victims upto 5 (With a 6th likely already harvested who won't start showing symptoms for another day)
Arriving at Janus's house it is in a minor suburb of Midway, one of a number of cookie cutter bundalows for professionals with at least one previous mortgage under their belts.
He already has tea prepared for all four of the team when they arrive and assures them that Spearfinger should be unable to disturb them here.
He's somewhat disparaging about the public perception of how native americans are perceived, but becomes more serious regarding Spearfinger.
He says he can offer help in finding her and defeating her. He can find where she has been most active (It turns out to have been in Lay-Z's area) and he can help kill her, by using the Stone-Man, another liver-eating monster. But he warns that the later will have a price (Likely the liver of the killer)
By piecing together the clues they make some sense of Bishop's drawing.
They suspect Lay-Z has summoned the creature to protect himself from them (although it is hard to see why as they were not active in pursuing him until now and Lay-Z seemed to be using cheap tricks last time they met. Summoning a big nasty creature like this sounds too advanced for him). They identify Ruben "Wash" Wahte, a half-Cheroke armed robber who Lay-Z shared a cell with as well as the officer who arrested him and a former cell-mate of Wahte (A full blooded Cheroke Shaman called Hatowa) as well as the person who arrested them both (An officer from Boston called Sgt. Campbell, now near to retirement). There is also a depiction of a spirit-monster named Wendigo
Janus asked for a favour in exchange for helping to locate Spearfinger's most frequent location.
He vanished into a basement and came back a little later with the answer on google maps.
The team bid him a good night and left to get some sleep meeting up in the morning with a plan to go and raid Lay-Z's place with or without a warrant.
Episode 3: The Cabin in the WoodsEdit
They met up later at sloppy Joe's to discuss tactics.
They tried to trace the book that Janus ordered which led to the Boston Athenaeum, a private library in Boston open to members only. They discussed going there, but Burl didn't see the point and instead attention was focused on investigating the link with Lay-Z.
The group was torn between going in heavy-handed and trying to lure Lay-Z out of hiding. They tried to get the private detective (Ana Zawadzki) to report Lay-Z for a criminal act, so they could get a pretense to arrest, question and search him, but the detective refused..
Eventually Bishop called up a prostitute friend named Ruby and asked her to hang around and try to distract Lay-Z when he came out of his home. This took longer than expected and they (or rather Whitle who was on the stake-out) had to wait until 5pm, when Lay-Z and four of his friends came out and visited the bar. Ruby dutifully went to keep them occupied.
Meanwhile Kane was back at the gun shop putting up shelves. When Hank came upto him and asked if he knew anything about a beretta that he had found in the firing range.
The gun is an original Beretta 92S made in 1976, in blued steel with black rubberized grips. At first glance, the gun’s nothing special, but on a second glance people tend to focus on the skull etched on the slide. When a person actually carries the gun, it sits comfortingly in his hand. The grip’s slightly worn, fitting to his hand. Occasionally, in the right wind, the gun carriesa faint air of bourbon and cigar smoke. It always feels like it’s at the wielder’s body temperature, and the whole effect of carrying the gun is like giving a handshake to an old friend—often, the wielder’s only remaining friend.
Not wanting to be dirrectly involved Bishop and Whitle stayed out, whilst Kane snuck in. Ringing a neighbours buzzer he got inside (and noticed a smell from the basement but didn't have time to investigate) and tried to pry the heavily locked door open with a small prybar. He got in but found very little to suggest Lay-Z was anything other than a gang-leader. Most of the Native American trappings had been put away in boxes and he trashed Lay'Z's copy of GTA-V and stole a laptop.
Going back to the range Whitle cracked the laptop and began searching through things. There was little unusual activity, except for a search for properties in the hills surrounding the area that were up for sale or rent.
This particular property was an empty summer lodge that had been sealed up for the season.
They went upto the lodge that night in the dark in Burls car because it has the best off-road abilities.
They approached the cabin carefully, noting that there were lights on and that hay was burnt in a circle around the cabin recently (Something that would have caused a lot of smoke)
Going inside they found signs of recent habitation and some form of ritualistic circle but nobody was home. The Shaman, Washt, had fled when he saw the lights of the car coming up the hill.
Fearing an ambush they went back out to their car, intent on leaving and coming back from another direction. However the fuel tank had been destroyed. Fearing for their lives they retreated back into the cabin.
Inside there was a haunting chant heard and the storm lanterns illuminating the place began to die almost at once.
Washt contacted them via radio telling them to leave without their weapons, they would not be harmed and the Spearfinger would be banished as he had what he came for the "Ulun'suti"
Burl used the conversation as a way of finding him. He quickly ran out in the direction of the chanting, and managed to catch a whisper of the radio chatter.
Whitle and Bishop kept him occupied until Kane was almost on top of him.
Burl struck, finding the shaman hidden in the hollow of a nearby tree in the pitch black and attacked with a fierce rain of boxing blows, knocking the wind from the shaman.
Bishop and Whitle meanwhile went from the cabin to the car to get some cover. Only to be ambushed by spearfinger, who savagely cut the back of Whitle's leg and took a nasty shotgun blast to the chest from Bishoo, before leaping over Bishop slicing at his back.
Bishop tried to turn and take aim at her, but she had already fled. Impersonating Bishop she approached Burl, but her speech was not a good immitation of Bishops mannerisms, so Kane took a shot at her. He had by this time beaten Washt into submission and made him promise to banish her at gunpoint. Washt picked up the gem and the book. When his own shot failed to have the desired effect Washt used the large red gem to blast her into fragments. In the intense white hot blast the Shaman himself also vanished.
Unable to hotwire the car they patched themselves up as best they could and called in Agent Friendly for support.
The Cover Story:
Talking to Agent friendly she organised a pick-up for the team, asking Agent Truscott to drive out and bring them to a nearby military hospital.(Handcom Airforce Base home of the 66th Medical Squadron).
Officially Bishop and Truscott were investigating a Chinese Triad, who were running an organ-harvesting opperation out of Midway. They used a varient of Rhohipnol to drug and abduct their victims late at night then using a cabin in the woods outside the city, they removed the victums livers and sewed them back up. Sending them back out into the world to obfuscate their crimes. They called in Mr Whittle for his expertise in Chinese languages and to act as a translator. Unfortunately they were discovered and both Whittle ha and Bishop were caught in Razor-wire that the Tong used in a crude trap. Truscott drove off the attackers valiently managing to rescue them all alive, where they were removed to a military hospital to recouperate..
Episode 4: Breathing RoomEdit
After Special Agent Truscott picked them up, the team convalessed for a few days in an Airforce base hospital. James will be limited to a wheelchair with only short periods of walking for a few more days followed by the use of crutches, whilst Burl has limited movement in one arm and John Bishop has slight injuries to his back.
They were visited by Agent Friendly (and Truscott was contacted seperately with similar information) and invited to join the Dossier. She gave a bit of information about the organisation.
- They are primarily Federal Agents and associated individuals opperating primarily in the margins of their official duties.
- They use a cell structure so that infiltration by a single each cell is in dirrect contact with only one or two other cells. Meaning that if one cell is captured or compromised, they will not be able to compromise the entire opperation.
- Her real name is Not Sarah Friendly, her name is actually Elizabeth.
- She gave the group contacts for herself, Agent Graham Cadbury, Agent Pamela Swift and a "Dire Emergency only" contact who goes by the name "Adam".
- The stated aim of the Dossier is to investigate the supernatural and build up a detailed case file of information so that when/if such things come to light, the government can be rapidly briefed and is able to give an informed response. They also deal with investigating supernatural crimes and have a system in place for giving those accused of supernatural crimes, a fair trial.
- She knows a few rumours, it is believed that the organisation was started under Hoover. It has been around since at least the 60's and can in exceptional circumstances wield formidable power. (There are two towns which do not exist any more)
- She gave them the locations of a number of "dropboxes" where agents can store evidence, weapons, dangerous items and so on along with the keys and codes to access them. She also mentioned that the
The group agreed to join and she said she would investigate the potential to get them working back together again as the 13th Precinct Organised Crime Taskforce.
There was news that Vanessa Birch (formerly a Vice Detective) has finally been sentenced to 8 years for Voluntary Manslaughter.
A couple of days later Burl and Hank were ready to open their new shop.
There were a few issues, the rain was pouring down, Moses and some of the local homeless had heard about the free deer roast and there was a brief scuffle between some of the customers with very different politicial views. However thanks to John canvassing the local Neighbourhood watch (and talking down a fight before it escalated), Ira baking a large range of baked goods to go with the roast and Burl managing to impress the customers (and paying off Moses and her friends to go elsewhere) the day was moderately successful, although it was not as profitable as they had at first hoped.
Bishop drew a sketch of a pair of hands wringing a human liver (Or a sponge, he's not a great artist) out over a bucket which has a gemstone in the bottom.
After that they decided as a group to go an investigate the mysterious Drop-boxes that they had been shown.
They Investigated Box Alpha
Burl examined the guns and found a cavalry saber he liked the look of.
Digging around some of the strange items Bishop played with the silver rod, which just seemed to cause agony when he pressed the various buttons and examined a neatly wrapped mirror..
Whittle found the DVD marked "DO NOT WATCH" and immediately burnt a copy onto his hard-drive. He debated posting it online and got into a brief fight with Kane about it, but eventually decided to watch it himself. (It turned out to be a pornographic film about 30 minutes long, which grew progressively stranger over time, leaving him filled with disquieting but arousing images. Toward the end of the film he drifted off into a daze. He tried viewing individual frames from the end of the video which had the same effect and eventually passed the first 25 minutes on to Network Zero.
Episode 5: New DigsEdit
Meeting up in the evening to settle into the new organised crime offices. They did have a few other Drop-boxes that they could investigate, but they decided to leave that for another day.
There they found a set of case files, some of them very old, some much more recent.
- Details of Three main people of interest suspected of having picked up the ruins of a catestrophic turf war that left the two sides (The Genovese and the Istacia families) of a mob war disorganised and leaderless.
- Peter O'Malley - Notable local businessman who runs one of the three legal cassinos in the state. The Agawam Lounge. (Suspected of Money Laundering, organising distribution of class 3 narcotics and prostitution.)
- Conrad O'Malley - A union representative working the freight train yards near Switchtrack Alley. (Suspected of organising the racketeering of businesses.
- Sgt. Joshua Genovese - A cop in Precinct 1 (Suspected of Corruption and Evidence Tampering)
- A report of a missing person named Rebecca Hanlon
- Details about suspicious deliveries from a Chinese Freighter named Hanjin Venezia
- Came under scrutiny of the Coastguard when a surprise inspection was interupted by one of the investigators becoming very ill. When the container was found the computer components listed were found to have been replaced with potatoes.
- Details of infrequent animal attacks against children (Mostly against children of poorer families)
They began investigating Rebecca Hanlons disappearance. Visiting her home Kane opted to stay outside and rummage through the trash, where he found a large swathe of jobs that had been circled and then crossed out.
Inside they spoke with her sister Susan and her partner Greg. Who said that she left the house in a hurry yesterday evening, she tried to speak but was drowned out by the baby at the time. She had not responded to phone calls or text messages. She had been unemployed for over 2 years. Investigating her room, the draws had been turfed out and the room was untidy but this was indicative of a messy person leaving in a hurry rather than a ransacking. In the printer buffer they found a boarding pass that had been printed with SeaTac as the destination airport..
Burl came back in with a piece of paper found in the garbage, a small slip of paper advertising for a lab assistant.
Just as they concluded that she had infact gone for a last minute job across the country Rebecca herself called in and explained things to her sister. The team left with some harsh words about wasting police time.
Then went to investigate the homeless abductions, crusing up the waterfront in Bishops cheap-looking police issue Ford. Cruising through the busy industrialised docks, they came across a small coffee van parked outside one of the port authority buildings. The owner griped about Moses attacking his van with a baseball bat until he gave her coffee. Describing her as a menace. They purchased some coffee and sandwiches to act as a small bribe.
Th first group was sandwiched between two buildings in an alley 3 homeless people around an oil drum - Bishop spooked them by being too forward. They thought that he was trying to plant evidence on them to get evidence so he could arrest them and boost his "quota". they finally got spooked when Kane drummed on the roof of the patrol car in which Whittle was sitting.
The next stop worked a little better, they found five homeless people under a bridge led by a black dreadlocked man in a battered brown coat who called himself Thomas.- Whitle took the lead this time and came on agressively, but with booze and cigarettes in hand he eventually won them over. They told him about the vans that came around occasionally, never the same place. The licence plate covered in mud to obscure it. The people were all young, smartly dressed and compulsively clean. They carried alcohol hand gel which they used to wash up when entering or leaving the van. One of them was called Bhari and was described as a "Paki". Whittle offered $200 if they would report on the As they gave up their supply of coffee, sandwiches, booze and tobacco Moses was seen closing in on the cornucopia at speed. This seemed to be as far as they could take it in one night, so they decided since they were in the neighbourhood, they would check out the mysterious freighter that was flagged in the report.
Then spoke to the Harbour Master about the Hanjin Venezia, checking the original manifest (for the shipment of computer chips that turned out to be potatoes when searched) they discovered that the original manifest is accurate, but the English translation was done incorrectly and misidentified the original owner of the cargo. The name matched that of a cult associated with the Crimson drug dealers. The ship is due back in, in two weeks time
They also investigated Doug Morgan (20 year old son of Richard Morgan) and the apparent blackmail images sent to his father.
Doug was fiercelty uncooperative and was eventually lured out of his dorm room by threats and promises. he revealed that the photos could have been taken at one of any number of local clubs, but it was done from less than 10 feet away. So he was cautioned to watch his friends and Whitle advised him to keep his drug habit more discrete.
Episode 6: Connecting the dotsEdit
Whittle received a phone call from his client Richard Morgan. Apparently his conversation from the previous night had been recorded and the pictures of Doug taking the drugs had been dug up from Tumbler.
The embarasement of this revelation and the fact that a cover-up had been attempted has basically ruined Morgan's chances of getting the governorship this year (Along with any other republican).
As a result Whittles customers have deserted en-masse and he was forced to close the office and fire his employees.
Connecting back up with the others, he realises that even his own father is not going to shelter him from this. So he buries himself in his work, looking at university students named Bhari. As he does so he notices a familiar face, Bhari was one of the research team behind the blood substitute research, he gets a picture and visits Thomas ask him if it was the same. Thomas isn't certain, but says it certainly looked similar, throwing in some casual racism..
Bishop goes to visit Janessa Burch in prison. She has researched the subject and some drugs can cause the symptoms she experienced, but unless the culpret can be found she has no grouds to appeal on.
Kane gets a visit from the local news station (West-Mass News) who are doing a journalistic piece about the economy and interview him as a new small business owner. They give a very possitive spin on events.
Public defender Katy Garigga calls up Bishop upset.and says she needs to drown her sorrows and so meets up with the others. She complains that she was asked to defend a man named Jimmy McPherson who admit to her in private that he abused his girlfriend with a weapon, but with the girlfriend being too intimidated to appear and poor quality evidence, he was let off and she helped him escape justice. That is her job. She was hard to console and tried to drown her sorrows.
After their third or fourth round they get a call from Thomas, who has spotted the white van. He urges them to hurry over as they seldom stay long. So hastily they tried to get Katy home safely. They got Sgt. Arthur Delgado to escort her back and they took a taxi to the docklands to see Thomas.
They turned up late, the van had been gone several minutes by the time they arrived, taking with it two local homeless people.
They followed the road along which the white van had moved and scoured it for clues. Fortuantely they found the white van not too far away parked outside the street-facing side of a large warehouse. There were two sets of doors. Whittle quickly spotted that one of them had been forced. They disabled the van and took its plated before moving in.
Inside the place was immaculately clean, but showed some signs of violence. the remains of a flashbang grenade, signs of shotguns and tasers having been used and so on. However the door on the other side of the warehouse closed as they approached.
Whittle just saw two black vans travelling in convoy from the other side of the building.
The majority of the place was given over to alcoves in which incredibly basic scientific tests were being replicated. At the far end were some bunk beds. In a basement area there was some more specialised medical equipment and a blood transfusion rig. They took a sample of the OTSBII and put it in a cool bag as evidence and photographed the notes. (The medical charts that remained detailed an effort to keep somebody medically dead for exactally 16 minutes and 40 seconds and then restoring them to life without brain damage)
They concluded that a second group had broken in and abducted the people who had been abducting the homeless people. The only constant was the nearly insane degree of cleanliness of the adbductors and the professionalism of the group that took them.
Episode 7: The Allegra GroupEdit
Following their investigation they spoke to homeless witnesses who described being abducted only 5 minutes after arriving at the science compound. They saw people who looked like the students from Midway University as well as formerly homeless people. On their way out they pinched the shift's doughnuts.
Back at home Ira Kane told burl a little about her disappearance and asked him to promise not to visit Florida or California.
They cleaned up and got some sleep. In the morning they went to Hank and Burls gun shop in order to meet up with Agent Cadbury. He asked the team to recount what they knew about the supernatural in the area to be included in the Dossier. He also gave each of them a small piece of equipment. (Burl got the 9mm Ectoplasmic ammo - Warning - May explode, Whittle got an invitation that will allow you to be waved in to anywhere as long as it's not scrutinized and Bishop got a literal skeleton key. Warning: Fragile).
They were interupted by a report of an explosion at the house of Wanahaton Janus (which was originally reported as a terrorist attack, but was quickly downgraded from arson to gas-explosion).
The Fire department people indicated that the house exploded probably due to a gas build-up and that a number of people who were outside the house at the time had been rushed away by a fleet of non-standard ambulances.
Talking to the witnesses and on the scene cops, they found that there were 6 suspects, 2 of them seemed to be walking away, four were taken by the ambulances with burn and concusion related injuries.
They traced the Ambulances back to a Hospital called Waypoint run by the Allegra group. The very sleek chrome and white modern hospital was private with a security guard by the gate. Whittle used his invitation to get past and park in the staff car park.
Bishop used his badge to get in with Kane and together they were told a representative would meet them in reception where dynamic advertisements promoted their advancement in various cutting edge medical fields.
They were greeted by a flambouyant researcher dressed in a blue suit with tails and an energetic demenour. Who basically told them that they would need a warrant to see the people currently in the ICU. He then went outside to do some calesthenics whilst his assistant bought his tea out to him. Whittle went for a walk-around the site.
The team was left in the canteen. Burl went into the bathroom and pulled the fire alarm, Whittle was accosted by guards asking him to leave. The invitation did not seem good at disuading them. When the fire alarm sounded he was moved to the exit. Bishop tried to get into the ICU whilst the fire alarm was sounded, but guards pointedly denied him access. Kane hid in the bathroom and assaulted a fire marshall who came in to check the area. He then stole the hi-vis vest and snuck into ICU after everybody had left. He found medical charts for the explosion victims, but took too long searching and a security team closed in on his possition. He hid in a cupboard and when they drew close to that, he found an access panel that led to a lift shaft. Some guards found the loose panel and looked down, but Kane was too well hidden in the dark. He tried to get down to investigate the bottom level of the 5 storeys of sub-basement. However he remembers little else as he emerged later thuroughly drugged.
They left (Bishop gave Burl a drugs test which showed up some uncommon drug), Whittle got his car back after signing a waiver promising not to take any further legal action if they returned it.
They met up at Burl's place for burritos. Where they discussed what to do. Whittle uncovered that the Allegra group was part of a much larger multinational organization called that Chairon group, a large biomedical consertium.
Episode 8: The Meet-upEdit
The evening before the Hanjin Venezia arrived in port, the team got together in Sloppy Joes in Switchtrack alley, where agent Graham Cadbury introduced a new member of the Organised Crime Task force. Agent Stephen Whitaker an expert in human trafficking.
Whittle has a job starting on Monday, he made a few dozen copies of the "Do not watch" DVD and considered dropping them around town before reconsidering. He also tried to get somebody from Network Zero to have a look at the video and film themselves doing so, but they asked him why he wasn't doing it himself, and eventually Whittle relented, volountarily filming himself. When he did so, he noticed that he was mouthing words. The words appeared to be Arameic. Translated they appeared to be a summoning or invocation chant for something called Al-Hasim.
Burl found some items going missing from the gun store. He also discovered that he was being sued for his assault on the fire warden, by Allegra on behalf of their employee. To which he replied with a counter sue. Also the house numbers on his home were switched with that of the neighbours. Sarah decided to spend the night shift examining the docks and met the Harbour master who was happy enough to see her.
Agent Whitaker just spent some time acclimatising to the city.
Bishop discovered that he had drawn something. He was unable to make much sense of it, until he spoke with Whittle about it, who ran it through an image comparison programme. He matched it approximately to a map of the Midway sewer system from about 60 years ago. The x on the map corresponded with an older suburban area of the city that has since been swallowed up by the city proper.
Together they discussed the problem of the Chinese vessel. They suspected that it was being used to smuggle Crimson into the city, but would not be able to tell in which of the hundreds of crates it was being hidden. So they recruited Sammy Atkinson and spoke with the Port Authorities about being allowed to search the unloading docks.
The next day they put their plan into action with Agent Whitaker watching the people as they disembarked (the crew did not seem too unusual, but a group of passengers stuck together and were greeted by a sedan. One of these people looked like they were carrying a briefcase that was more expensive than his suit and looked like a possible courier.
Whitaker followed the sedan out from the Port Authority building, but was quickly identified as a tail. He called in for help and Burl eventually managed to pick-up the trail.
Agent Whitaker arrived first parking outside the area, and approaching on foot. Followed by Burl and Sarah. As Burl and Sarah snuck out and tried to get themselves in possition to target the people in the sedan, a second vehicle showed up.
Finally once they were in possition they called in Bishop and Whittle. who arrived at the other end of the alleyway and stayed back as support.
A black van with what looked like an armed security force and a man in a suit pulled up. The two groups got out and greeted each other warmly. The suit from the black van, shook hands with the old man from the sedan. They were about to make an exchange
Special Agent Whitaker managed to spot the subtle mark of a rifle barrel protruding from a nearby building and approached it silently. The sniper on the rooftop had balanced a glass bottle on the edge of the fire escape that would fall and smash if it was disturbed, but he was able to catch it before it fell. He then snuck up on the sniper from behind, but the sniper managed to hear him and rolled over to bring up a pistol. When he was cornered, the sniper dropped his pistol, but loudly proclaimed "Fuck" at a volume that was easy enough to hear.
Then Burl shot his pistol in the air, to try and cause the mexican stand-off to turn violent. However they seemed to be more concerned about the threat coming from outside and refused to rise to the bait, turning their attention outward. The old man shot himself with some sort of syringe, whilst the yellow anorak fiddled with something infront of his face.
As a result a second sniper shot him with a high velocity round that easily penetrated his vest and nearly crippled him. Fortunately with the gun aimed so close to the first snipers head, the shot caused him to fire and kill the sniper in a single shot.
When the police siren sounded by Whittle went off, all of the people from the freighter except the old man, jumped back inside and drove off at high speed. Whilst the old man and three of the guards from the black van advanced toward their snipers possition.
The battle on the ground became dangerously intense as Burl pulled out the highly dangerous Beretta and started to fire it with the glock in his other hand. Every shot was dead on target as the targets stopped, looked at him and mouthed the word "Shoot", almost throwing themselves into the path of the bullets.
Whittle attempted to run down one of the paramilitary squad advancing on Bishops location, but missed and the sniper took out the engine block of the car, causing it to roll to a stop.
Eventually Whitaker managed to crawl over to the sniper rifle and tried to take out the rival sniper, who had just given their possition away. The shot hit but there was no confirmation of a kill.
Finally after being shot at from several directions, the black van pulled out and escaped with the remaining people.
Burl however was still under the influence of the sinister gun, he shot the passenger of the van as it fled (Bishop tried to take out the tyres) then turned his gun on Bishop (who also mouthed the word "shoot"). fortunately he was able to force his aim downward, aiming at the chest instead of his head, blowing Bishop off his feat. Finally as the only person left standing, the gun pointed its self at his own head and he pulled the trigger, but he managed to jerk his head to one side leaving him injured and mildly deafened but alive.
So bloodied, but alive, they waited for the ambulances and backup to arrive.
The people from the docks, driving a black sedan, were apparently armed with cheap knock-off handguns and drugs:
There were 6 in total (The courier (who Escaped), the yellow anorak (who also escaped), the old guy (Killed), 3 bodyguards (all escaped in the sedan)
The people from the Black Van, were armed with MP7's, whilst the snipers were armed with KAC SR-25’s with a full supressor sleeve.
There were 8 of them in total (2 snipers (One killed, one escaped with a serious injury), the suit (escaped), the driver (escaped), 4 guards (2 killed, 1 seriously injured, 1 escaped with injuries)).
Burl has a graze-burn across his face and temporary deafness in one ear due to the discharge of the Beretta gun. Sarah had a burst of SMG fire hit her in the vest, cracking a rib, but thankfully the sniper who shot at her missed. Bishop was hit by the Beretta square in the chest and thankfully his vest also took the bulk of the damage, he also took a couple of bullets from the SMG, one of which hit his arm. Only Whittle managed to escape any physical injury (although his car was wreecked in the process)
Episode 9: The Morning AfterEdit
In the Immediate Aftermath of the shoot-out, Sarah Long went up to the roof to help Agent Whitaker who was bleeding badly and she called in the paramedics.
On the ground Bishop, Whitle and Kane noticed that the people shot by Kane had a blue-residue from their wounds, including Burl and John themselves. The blue stuff was corrosive to an extend eating through the Kevlar vest a little and leaving a small stain on Bishop's chest.
Checking, they could not find anybody obviously alive. So they cleaned up, Burl made himself scarce and they concocted the story that the blue junk was fired at them by the dealers who came from the freighter.
The Paramedic and backup cops arrived. They went hunting for the (presumably) injured sniper in the other building, but were unable to find anything.
As Bishop recooperated in hospital, he discovered that he had written out the words of a conversation. Between one voice who spoke about loosing members of their team and the need to get everybody to stand-down until the "patron" of their attackers had been dealt with.
Burl went home where Ira, immediately lept on him and tended to his injuries. He said that the facial burns (and the remaining bits of blue residue) were caused by an accidental discharge. She cleaned him up and sent him to bed alone for being so careless.
Whittle took the recordings he made earlier of the encrypted radio transmission and managed to decrypt it, the encryption clearly linked it with the Chiron Group and the conversations indicated that the people from the freighter had tipped the paramilitary group off to their tail, but they decided to press on with the meeting. It also indicated that they thought they would likely be moved out soon because the local "resources" were not as abundant as previously expected.
They met up at Sloppy Joe's to discuss what they had found. Joe had recently installed a deep-fat frier and was serving a selection of food, all of it greasy.
Sammy Atkinson reported back that they had found guns that were being illegally exported (Shotguns, pistols and a crate of dragons-breath rounds, all with incorrect serial numbers that made them hard to trace.) these were marked up bound for the return leg rather than incomming. No drugs were found. As there was no evidence linking the Chinese Captain and crew to the shipment of weapons, the ship was allowed to depart on time (Without the weapons obviously).
The dead ex-military people could be traced back to a shell company called Aegis security that employed several more people. It also had records of a generous series of life-insurance policies behind them.
The vans licence plates were likewise switched with an older, now scrapped vehicle.
One member of their attackers was found to have been critically injured rather than dead, but they were swapped around at the hospital, and disappeared.
Knowing that the Black Vans had visited local neighbourhood gangster Lay-Z, Burl and James decided to pay him a visit. The climbed up onto the fire escape at 09:30 in the morning and using tape to muffle the sound of breaking glass, they broke the window to gain access. Unfortunately they came into Lay-Z's bedroom, where he had pulled a piece on Burl. Burl tried to close the distance, but because of the small entrance and the untidy room was shot twice before being able to take a swing at Lay-Z, by which time Lay-Z cold-cocked him with the butt of his pistol, laying him out cold. Meanwhile James Whittle faced off against one of Lay-Z's friends who had entered the room, pulled out a gun and threatened James, who backed-down not wanting to escalate the issue to a case of murder. Lay-Z let James take the prone Burl away, but only after pilfering his clothes and weapons. Leving Burl to be dragged out nearly naked from Lay-Z's home.
They called Bishop who picked them up, unfortunately this time Burl was coughing up some blood, so was taken to the hospital. (Thankfully he has a plentiful supply of weapons and armour in the form of a small armoury, so he will not be seriously inconvenienced by this, except that he's lost his favourite hat.)
Session ends with:
- Sarah needing to work a few night shifts leaving her unavailable,
- Agent Whitaker having spent some time recovering from his gunshot wound.
- Bishop needing to fill in a lot of dull paperwork,
- Burl putting in hours at his shop.
- Whittle mending bridges with his family and settling into his new job.
- What did the Black Vans want with Lay-Z?
- Who do the Paramilitary types think is the groups "Patron"?
- Chasing up on the other military types recruited and employed by Aegis Security
- Tapping the Dossier for further information on Chiron.
- Other things:
- The Blurs and the mysterious drawing of a house
- Jimmy McPherson's death
- The Statue in Mungford Park
- The Ascending Ones (Alchemist Cult?)
Episode 10: The OutbreakEdit
Bishop took ownership of some papers for Burl's counter-suit against the Alegra Group's personal injury suit and tried to gather everybody together to investigate further.
Once Whittle noticed that Network Zero was down and checked the recent news, he realized that he may have been the cause of the "infection" so they called in to request help from the Dosier.
Bishop and Whittle decided to go check on the bodies of the black van squad who attacked them and spoke to the corroner.
She mentioned that the bullets that killed the three soldiers were of a very strange composition and potentially very explosive under significant heat. Meanwhile the soldiers themselves had numerous transplants. One had a transplanted eye, another an enlarged liver and the third had several areas of muscle and sinew replaced. All three of them had an area of necrotized skin on the shoulder. They also saw the very strange booklets that each of them carried: "Field Agents Manual V5.2".
Burl found more things going missing from his store and decided to camp out overnight to catch the thief accidentally ambushing his surprised wife when she came to give him some food. The Dossier arrived the next day, seeking out Bishop and Kane first the driving around to Whittle's home, they found that when Agent Friendly tried to enter his home that she was entranced. Eventually they were distracted enough that they looked at each other. Then closed their eyes and walked out. The Dossier staff administed what they called a Class 5 Amnesiac. Bishop caught up with Kane to give him the legal papers only to find that they had been opened and he had written on them. From the papers he deduced that four keys were due to be abducted. One was Moses, another was Police Commissioner Richard C Howard. They suspected that the third could be Charles Middleton a noted local historian and the fourth could be Bishop himself.
The group briefly discussed the idea of hiding out somewhere and waiting for the black vans to come for them, but decided against the idea..
Captain Jacques called up and chewed out Bishop for dragging his heels over the investigation into the shootings of the FBI agent.
After checking out the other two Drop-boxes (one in a public train station and one in a self-storage lock-up and finding little of use except a report on one of the dead paramilitary types that suggested that he had a supernatural encounter before he became a soldier.) they decided to pay a visit to the surviving relatives of the dead paramilitary types. Two of those they visited confirmed links with the Wayside Hospital and the Alegra group as well as mentioning that their loved ones seemed to strongly believe in what they were doing and did have some transplant surgery.
The Captain called back, confirming that Bishops anonymous tip-off about the Commisioner panned out as.Charles Middleton and Commisioner Howard were both missing presumed abducted. Moses could not be found (but that is not unusual) and there was a gun battle at the Dockworkers Union building. The Captain was pleased with the progress in finding a link to Alegra but suggested that they were being protected politically. So he would authorize a strike against the hospital, only if they could get a judge to approve and sign the warrant as he knew they had Federal level connections.
They submitted the request to the Dossier who said they could get a signature, but it would take a few hours.
They stood by ready to go in, specifically making sure that in addition to two Emergency Response Units (ERU's) out of the three that the city has, that they also had an air unit on standby and Sammy Atkinson with his Dog Kita.
So everybody ended up back at Precinct 1 ready for the raid.
Episode 11: The EndEdit
Waiting on the paperwork for the raid took longer than expected. Worse still, half of the ERU forces scheduled to turn up ended up getting diverted to a riot that sprung up downtown seemingly from nowhere.
Burl paced outside having a good smoke.
Whitaker fresh from the hospital numbed the pain with whiskey waiting for the call to come in.
Sarah, always the professional spent some time down on the shooting range, sighting, stripping and cleaning her weapon in preparation for the opperation.
Whittle did a bit of research on the Hospital beavering away at his laptop.
Bishop spent time mulling over the meanings of his last set of scrawled notes.
Finally the Captain Jacques came down, signed warrant in hand.
The team piled into their respective marked police vans. The plan was simply to go in, and try and secure any evidence before the people responsible for shooting Whitaker tried to shred or burn it. It took just under half an hour to cover the distance from Precinct 1 to the Wayside Hospital.
Radio chatter from Team Red (The Emergency Response Unit assigned to the mission) suggested that there were signs of violence and that the guard booth at the entrance to the carpark was empty.
Piling out of the van they fanned out and approached the building behind the SWAT team, spotting the dead guard at the carpark gate booth. Unfortunately the lobby televisions were broadcasting the viral image of That-Which-Lives-In-The-Knowledge-Of-Itself, Whitakers glasses seemed able to block out the harmful images and he took a shotgun to the offending screens. After a few minutes the staff, patients and ERU members snapped out of it, but the ERU had lost momentum. The ERU decided to do a door-to-door sweep of the ground floor starting from the East end of the Building. Meanwhile the Organized Crime Taskforce took the East side along with Rupert, one of the ERU members who came equipped with a descent harness.
Realizing the the televisions on the hospitals needed to be shut down to make any progress, Whittle pointed out that the hospital must have a backup generator somewhere and that he saw something that could have been an exhaust last time he was here. So they split up.
Whitaker and Kane returned to the store room where Kane had last gained access to the lift shaft. Burl climbed down the ladder, Rupert descended on ropes, but Whitaker was not having a good day and managed to let the rope slip, causing him to fall awkwardly onto the elevator. They jumped down into the elevator letting Rupert take the lead and found a scientist, who was immediately compliant and was on the ground with her hands on her head from the moment she saw Rupert. Deciding that they couldn't risk walking into a trap Kane violently interrogated her, but she was simply a bio-chemist studying the chemical structure of anomalous ligaments. She knew that there were 3 floors on the sub-basement and that she only had clearance for this floor. She pointed up the corridoor where some "strange people" were posted last week. They beat her unconcious and left her plasticuffed up in the coridoor.
Long and Bishop decided to take out the power generators. Which was easy enough, they grabbed the cicuit breakers to ensure nobody could turn it back on and went to catch up with Whitaker and Kane.
Whittle went upto the VIP suites on the top floor, where he found a luxurious room that had recently been used by somebody sloppy. He also noticed scratches on the bed-side table that were likely caused by the red gem they had last seen carried by Washte. Finding little else of value he went down to rejoin the others.
Meeting up, the group went through the floor toward where the scientist had indicated. There was a glass-walled cubicle where several figures wer performing experiments in the dark. When they spoke, their voices were flat and uninflected and they were only interested in restoring power so that they can continue working. These were the university students and the homeless people taken from the docks. Deciding them to be harmless, the group proceeded over to an exit sign.
Here they found a set of stairs going up and down. with a dead guard laying face down on the stairs dripping blood.
The floor below was accessed by a single metal door, which had been bashed open. A guard stumbled through and was immediately killed by Whittle, they did not spot the Wendigo victim until it was almost on-top of them. It jumped at took a chunk out of Whitakers good shoulder before Burl swung a fire extinguisher at it and the others put it down with gunfire. Beyond the metal door was a small guard post and access area. The staff were dead and the bullet-resistant window, smashed out of its frame.
They found a flare and threw it into the room. The flare did little but highlight the rest of the darkness and they heard a menacing growl.Too late they realized that something was already upon them. A nearly silent black carpet of chitinous insectoids swarmed into the guard post and tried to devour anything it could touch, Sarah came off the worst. In a panic, Whitaker tried a tear-gas grenade he picked up at the station. He had a gas mask, Burl and Whittle quickly acquired some from a fire emergency locker (The area presumably used Halon for fire supression)
Fighting against the swarm, they fell back, Burl using the extinguisher to drive off the insects standing atop a fallen guards body..
Sarah panicked by the situation fled the room and hid in the stair well, out of the way of the bugs.
Strangely when Bishop tried to tell the swarm that they were enemies of the Chiron group, it listened and sped past them, up the stairs and outside.
Deciding that the area was too dangerous they headed down the stairs to the bottom of the facility where they found a large sealed blast door marked "high threat contaiment". Whittle tried to open it, but tripped the anti-tamper alarm and sealed it. Special Agent Whitaker revealed that he had some breaching charges with him, but didn't exactally know how to use them. Unsure of if the charges would be enough, they considered breaking through from the rooms above and went back up the stairs, where the gas was still thick in the air, so Whittle and Long sayed behind.
As they went in they found Rupert, who had become separated from the group, curled up sharing his gas mask with two women in smocks.
He had been badly exposed to the gas and made his way back to the surface escorting the two patients.
The smoke badly affected visibility, but now that the door was open something large wolf-like and strong, bounded into Burl, scratched him up badly and vaulted to the exit.
Together they cleared the last of the cells, finding seemingly normal people locked in some, monsters in others. Fortunately one of the dead guards was carrying a level 3 key-card that would let them in through the blast doors.
Joining up with the rest of the team downstairs they debated how to approach the door and eventually just got Whittle to re-wire the door and use the swipe card.
The bulky door slowly opened revealing 5 cylindrical transparent cells. One empty, One with a suave looking male.sat impassively just watching them. One with a giant centipede. One with a corpse-like figure and one with a simple desk inside it. Off to each side are security stations, but badly depleted on manpower there is only one guard, who quickly surrenders in the face of overwhelming firepower.
He tried to tell the group that Cheiron are not the bad-guys, they capture supernaturals and experiment on them to extract valuable bio-medical data allowing them to create cures and designer biochemicals.
He mentions that the next room, beyond another blast door is guarded by the remains of Delta squad and he recognizes by sight the fearsome gun that Kane carries. They also have Jason Varrick the regional director of research, Washte and the four keys.
They lock him in a cell, but the guard is given brief access to the computer and so types a warning to the next room.
Then they open up the Citadel. Bishop tries to talk it out with Varrick, who says that by controlling the Genius Loci (the City spirit Coyote) Washte is trying to cut power to the TV station and thus limit this viral infection, in contradiction to what he said several days ago, but Burls face ruins any chance of diplomacy, as the remains of the squad that he almost single-handedly killed see him they attack. After a brief bit of gunfire, one is dead, the other wounded, but the two hidden in ambush throw grenades, which concuss, injure and deafen everybody.Advancing through the smoke, they take down the two grenade throwers and the remaining Delta squad member. Whittle saves the day when a grenade lands at the possessed Kane's feet and he kicks it away and Bishop shoots Washte. Whitaker faces one of the grenadiers and they shoot each other at the same time, causing Whitaker to go down as he takes out his enemy at point blank range.
However when the smoke clears and all of the hostiles are dead, Kane is still shooting, He takes careful aim at the Police commisioner, still tied to a chair.
Whittle tries to subdue Kane with a baton, but the gun keeps his badly injured frame upright despite the injuries it has suffered.
Bishop tries to minimise the damage and bypass Kane's armour by shooting him in the arse, it does take him down, but the bullet shatters his hip causing catastrophic lacerations to a dense cluster of veins and arteries, ending his life.
The team clear up as best they can, The Coyote spirit escapes but is badly injured as a result.
When they reach the surface the ERU team are gone, and their radios are filled with screams and reports of fires and massed bodies guarding the television station.
Unable to carry on, the team disburses.
Whittle goes on to his family home, where he finds his family in the throws of withdrawal, lacking the drugs that unnaturally sustained their lives and he is forced to kill some of them. He then moves out and tries to take command of some of the surviving human resistance.
Sarah takes a bike laden with supplies and drives down south to find Jenny and they eventually they reunite happily make for the refuge of the mountains away from society.
Burls Wife Ira Kane, steps out of the world never to return.
Whitaker is evacuated to DC for medical care and eventually rejoins the rest of the Dosier agents there. Where they persuade the president to detonate a neutron bomb over the DC area, killing off all electrical broadcasting equipment in the North East of America and they hold up creating one of the last bastions of human civilization.
Bishop remains in the city he loves, fighting back the inevitable tide of the possessed. In time people tell stories of the Burned man, his clothes marked with words of prophecy and bearing Coyote's mark.