Dark Matter

The World keeps on Turning
Its been a while

Its been 18 month since you were told by the Hoffmann Institute that investigation of the intercepted drone communication was out of your hands. It would be conducted by the Cairo branch without your assistance due to an increasingly volatile climate in the middle-East and Pan-Asia. The Cairo branch had trouble enough trying to navigate the social/political upheaval without having American agents involved too. In spite of the best efforts of the assigned agents, the case has since gone cold.

The work load of the Minneapolis branch of the Hoffmann Institute has been inexplicably light in the interim and you have had time to work on you social life between a handful of unremarkable cases.
You’ve been able to pursue personal interests in the down time and have gotten better at some skills while losing a step in others that have gone untested.

But now there is a change in the air; everyone can feel it. The Dark Tide is rising and along with it, the stakes…

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October 3rd - 5th

Finally get a text today about a major operation. At first it was nice to have some extra time for the gym, but as much as I love training the missions lately haven’t really been a challenge. Not that I want things to go badly for people, but helping, really helping people…

Anyway, we are off to Dubai to meet with the Cairo Branch’s Field Director Benjamin Graham. One of his agents Waharu Fazul has gone missing after finally tracking down more info on that drone transmission. That whole Arab Spring thing really fucked up their investigation. It’s good to hear they have it back under control.

The flight to Dubai takes a long time. I mainly just try to sleep, re-read the mission briefing and focus on how the hell I am going to survive some backwards ass bullshit in armpit of the world. The only bright spot is their crack down on booze. Maybe drying out a little will be good for certain members of the team.

We meet up with Field Director Graham. He seems quite progressive and maybe even a little ashamed of the situation in regards to Mia and I, but I fear my being on edge about the whole culture has me looking a bit like a bitch during the meeting. He suggests a place to get a headdress and after dinner Mia and I head over. The lady at the shop is pleasant enough and I got to admit I kind of like the whole hair covered and no make-up deal. That just seems like a time saver. I will just ignore the ignorance that is the reason for it and focus on it’s practical benefits.

Of course just as I start getting to a good head space we are thrown into a smaller terminal for our flight out to Kabul. It smells… bad… really fucking bad actually. Like a stale gym bag somebody shit in then left in the sun for a week. Jack seems to be finding it impossible to hide his disgust. Sal tried to help with some little magic deal that fizzles out, then just gives the guy some of that obnoxious breath spray.

On the plane we get separated into men and women. Mia and I get a row together and she insists on the isle seat, which I don’t really care. I just want to stare out the window and try to ignore the rest of the passengers anyway. My daydreams of a fresh cool breeze are interrupted by the voice of little girl talking excitedly at us. I turn and try to give her a polite, but dismissive smile but the little thing just gets more excited. Chatting away. I have no freakin’ idea what she is on about at first, but soon and to my horror I realize she is talking about how we are dressed and our… assets. I fold my hands in my lap and stare down at my feet.

Everyone else seems certain I will cause a scene, but fuck that. I will rise above this culture’s bullshit and do my job. The plane bounces suddenly and the little girl yelps and dives into Mia’s lap and grabs my hand. I just sort of.. quietly freak out. I know I am not supposed to touch men, but this one I have idea on this. I gently try to pull my hand away but she has that sort of death grip little kids can get. The little girl’s mother arrives and at first I am pleased, but this bitch lays into us. I don’t know what she is saying, but the tone is easy enough to get. She smacks the girls hand hard enough I am sure it will leave a bruise. I bite my lip damn near to the point of drawing blood and try my best to look apologetic to the woman. It’s impossible to read her reaction as her whole face is covered, but she keeps going off loudly in Arabic or whatever.

After that situation calms down, I notice an attempt at some sort psychic connection or attack. Mia seems to have noticed something but is oblivious to the extent. I focus try to push back a little and look around to see if i get a reaction. The little girl is staring at Mia and I. i look back at her, locking eyes and drop my defenses. I get sent s string of horrifying images that show her mother beating her for being inquisitive. Always making sure to not bring “shame” and leaving bruises where no one will see. Without think I ask Mia how to say “Allah knows you beat your child.” and Mia refuses.. which is probably the better course. But I can’t shake the feeling of needing to do something despite the danger it could place me and the team in. I focus on a victory in the ring and moments when the men in the team rely on me and try to use the little girls latent connection to send those thoughts to her. I think it works because after a moment of confusion she looks newly resolved. I try to take comfort in that.

We finally arrive in Kabul. The best way to describe this place is smelly, brown and hot. Our point of contact, John Smith, makes himself known quickly. We head to immigration. I am doing my best to just stare at the ground and being respectful, but the son of a bitch at the desk seems to enjoy abusing his moderate amount of power. He starts asking me what my hair color is, which I have no idea how to respond to in a way that doesn’t end up with me being stoned to death in the town square. Luckily Jack covers by putting his arm around me and giving a cover story of me being his wife. I just stare at ground and try to not make something nasty happen to this officer. The attention shifts to a bribe from John Smith and the guards focus goes to Mia, who manages an exit without a fight.

On the road we go through a couple of check points. It seems these can be somewhat identified by the consistency of gear and uniforms and bearing of the soldiers stationed there. Dickie kinda starts to lose his shit at one of them, but Sal works a little bit of his thing and we move on through. We pass a truck on the side of the road that seems to be having problems. Dickie and Smith seem to be on the same page about blowing past and I am relieved to not have to deal with more social interaction. Jack wants to stop and help and Smith points out that no-one is actually working on the truck even though it just appears to be a flat tire and there are numerous though seemingly unarmed men around it.

We go through a series of sharp turns and end up at another check point. This one seems far more haphazard than the rest and the soldiers are all dressed a little differently. Smith mumbles that this check point was not there on the way in.The tension in the truck grows as we are motioned to pull over. Sal tells him to step on it if the chain drops. I think we should slow play it and see what happens the safety briefing mentioned the terrorists or whatever up here are generally persuaded by money and bribe seems a lot better than a fight at this point. But the chain drops and Smith guns it. I look back and see the main guy kneeling and taking aim. I attempt to spark off a round in the magazine, but Sal starts going bat-shit crazy wailing about mother earth to help protect him and bullets smack into the side of the car. I start checking for hits and find I am alright… everyone is. The body of the truck must be armored and I duck down to take advantage of that. I look up quickly and notice a rock-slide has taken out one of the gunmen… Maybe Sal has learned some new tricks. I also notice the previously stranded truck tearing down the road after us, the men now visibly armed. Luckily Smith has gotten us to a bit of a lead.
- Natalie

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Oct3-5th

We finally got a real mission. It’s a follow up to a previous mission we weren’t allowed to go on. Some video of a guy getting chased by some people and torn apart. I know Hoffmann thinks this is textbook “supernatural” and I admit it looks that way. But I have seen too many of these videos posted to youtube that wound up being hoaxes. Either way, we’re getting on a plan and heading to the Middle East. Anna has been very nervous about something ever since this came through. I finally asked her what was bothering her. Turns out she’s just very worried about this mission and is afraid we may not be ready for it. We’re never ready for it. We just take it as it comes.

We get on the plane and 24 hours later we’re in Stanstanistan or wherever. I know I should pay more attention to the mission briefings when it comes to places and names but at this point it’s all “Get person A away form Situation B in Place C”. It could be a mission to get Jimmy Hoffa’s body out of Detroit. It’s all the same. Get there and start asking questions. everything before that is just a guess. When we got to Dubai we met up with Graham from Hoffmann/Egypt. I remember him from when we picked up his political refugee in Minneapolis, the guy that turned out to be a “zombie” according to Jade before she went full blown ape shit and shot the guy in the head as he was dying on the floor. For the record, I don’t miss her. If by any chance she hacked the database and reads this, Jade, put the gun down, sweetie. You’re a danger to humanity.

Graham has a limp and a cane now. New since I last saw him. Hoffmann had trouble with Arab Spring in Egypt and he paid for it. Tough hop. He seems like a good guy. At least he’s still in the game. He briefed us on the where/when/who stuff and we get on a shitty little plane to Afghanistan. I say shitty little plane because that is what it smelled like. I am a little concerned about the backwards ass laws here. It’s going to be tough on Nat. She has to be all demure and subservient and that’s not her. She not going to look for trouble but she can only be pushed so far. And the jackasses this country seems to be filled with like to push. Best of luck to them. It didn’t take long either. We got off the plane and met our contact, a merc named Jon Smith. He’s been here a while and is going to get us out in country and geared up. But when we got to customs some jerk starts pushing Nat’s buttons asking what color her hair is. I told him to leave my wife alone and it got a little sticky. Smith paid the guy a bribe and we walked on through.

We took Smith’s Hummer through some checkpoints. He’s not real talkative but he seems to know his stuff. The only mistake he made was trying suggest we may not know what we are doing based on the little bribe he had to pay the Customs guy who quite frankly is lucky to still have arms. I told Smith I’m not going to go for this let-me-tell-you-something-son kind of bullshit lecture from some guy who we don’t know. I don’t know what he’s done, can do or won’t. But I know our team is as good as it gets. I’ve dealt with biker gangs, werewolves, vampires, drugged out commandos with full arsenals, “spider-cats”, Dickie Baldwin and Luke Sterling. There’s going to be very little we can’t handle at this point.

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The Babysitting Begins

Today I spent the morning in Kabul’s International Airport sipping Afghani sweet tea. I was waiting for a flight from Cario with a team from the Hoffmann Institute. They needed a guide for a rescue mission. Strange, since when does an organization that is supposed to be fostering the spread of green energy conduct rescue missions? Usually that’s CIA, FBI, or special forces; not tree hugging organizations. Figuring that, I did some research and lo-and-behold; its not just a rescue mission, but a rescue mission for somebody who knows about extremists with possible WMDs. Awesome, gotta love it when they don’t mention the little details.

After several hours and several cups of tea, the flight from Cario had arrived. Now, normally I don’t accept such babysitting contracts, but the Hoffmann Institute was paying well and had assured that they were experts. Experts all right, expert misfits from LA. They’re not even through customs and they try causing trouble. After I bribed the guard, we came across a blockade. Most likely just a local gang looking to get some bribe money. Ended up plowing through it, cause apparently the experts were getting agitated, instead of just letting me work things out.

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October 5th - October 6th
Natalie's Version

Jack climbs over the seat with a sub-machine gun that Smith had stashed in the car. He fires through our back window and scares the shit out of everyone, but one of the chase vehicles slows down and swerves. Dickie gets Smith’s firearm and also fires at our attackers. With the volley from our side we regain and increase our lead.

We get to the site and Sal points out a guy on one of the cliffs. Then decides to start screaming and generally going fucking bananas again, this time screaming about fire. I try to make it bigger but I don’t notice a god damn thing from my end. Jack gets out and tears off, body checking the guy attempting to enter the passenger side. I climb out of the car and activate a psy blade. Dickie runs off. The guy on fire drops into the bed of the truck. Before I can put the fucker out he floats up. I assume that was Mia but I am happy I don’t have to waste the effort. Sal yells out that there are more up front. Dickie and Jack seem to have the two by the truck covered so I run up behind the truck and pop a tire, then rummage around the back for some gear. I find armor, some pistols and flashlights first. I don’t know how I managed it but I got the vest on fast as hell. This damn vest better stop a round, seems hard as shit to move in. Happy as shit I got it on quick as not too long gun fire sounds out and I manage to catch the location of the muzzle flash. I rip off two rounds just expecting it to be covering fire, but my trigger pulls are quickly followed by some screams. After a few beats Smith yells out in a few languages. Dickie lays down a full magazine into the cave.

Mia and Sal let us know the area is clear. I go to hand Jack two of the pistols and notice he’s hurt. I check the truck and find a med kit. All I can really do is bandage it up. Mia heals him up. Not sure if Smith caught that or if it even matters.

Jack, Smith, Dickie and I gear up and head into the cave. Dickie calls out in a English and what the fuck ever middle east thing he knows. We get yelling back and it doesn’t sound like he gives a shit he is cornered. Dickie walks up closer as the rest of us go to cover. The guy stands and lunges at Dickie, Jack fires off a few rounds and I run to tackle Dickie. I think I yell “get down” or some other action movie sounding bullshit. He figures it out quick and moves with me. We hit the ground prone. I keep scooting around a corner and hear more gun fire. Just when I think I may have over-reacted it detonates.

After a bit Mia enters to see if we are ok. Other than a bit of splatter on the guys, we are surprisingly fine as the poor son-of-a-bitch landed on his grenade before it exploded. Smith and Dickie advise we head off at first light. We divvy up the gear and setup watches for the night. I pass the fuck out in the cave until I get woken up for my shift.

We take off for the town to meet up with the local guide to lead us to the compound. It’s slow going as there are so many god damn explosives. Dickie gets the ones disarmed we can’t otherwise bypass. We finally get close to the tiny village and Smith halts us since apparently no activity is odd. Smith gets his toy out and recons the area and Jack looks through the sniper scope.

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October 5-6th

Smith blasted through the roadblock and we were off. There were at least two trucks chasing us and I don’t know how many men. I jumped in the back between Nat and Mya and fired a three round burst at the driver of the truck immediately behind us. I don’t know if I killed him but I know I hit him high. Dickie fired a pistol and blew out one of their tires. That truck swerved and pulled over to the side of the road. Smith then started putting distance between us and the bad guys.

Eventually we came to Smith’s hidey hole only to find a couple of guys loading up a truck with what I assumed was Smith’s gear. I don’t know for sure because he didn’t say anything. Nex tthing I know Sal is yelling something about dark fire and I hear screaming up on a ledge above us. Some poor bastard up there apparently caught on fire. I have no idea who did that. It could have been Nat or maybe Mya but the way Sal was carrying on I am guessing it was him. I jumped out of the truck and ran to the guy on the passenger side of the other truck. I plowed into him just as he was pulling an AK out of the seat. I knocked him back about 5 feet and the gun landed in between us. I would have figured he’d give up right there but he went for the gun again. He wound up tied up on the ground.

Nat jumped out to secure the back of the truck. She blow out one of the tires with a knife she must have hidden on her. Good call. Last thing we needed was the bad guys managing to take off in the middle of this. Dickie ran out of the jeep and yelled something in another language and the guy on the driver side of the truck ducked for cover. As Dickie and Smith went after him the body of what I assume was the burning guy up on the ledge dropped right into the back of the truck. Ok. Then all of the sudden it’s floating 4 ft above the truck bed. Yeah. I keep thinking Smith is going to flip out or something. This is a little too much for most people. Took me months to get a grip on it.

As Dickie chases the driver around the truck he gets away and heads for a cave up ahead. Then as I am securing the guy on the ground I hear a shot and know I am hit. Not bad, but I still fucking hate getting shot. Nat pops off a couple of rounds and that’s it for the shooter. After that we secure the gear and pass it out. No one is going in that cave until we are outfitted and ready in case those guys chasing us show up. Mya healed my GSW. It’s weird when she does that but I am thankful nonetheless.

Once we get set up with some tac vests, night vision goggles and weaponry we entered the cave. We found the guy Nat shot bleeding out on the floor. Just then a guy comes running out at Dickie holding something in his hands and screaming. We light him up but not before he falls over on a live grenade. We got very lucky there and I don’t want to have anything to do with any more guys coming at us with those things.

After all of the shouting dies down we get set up defensively and wait for morning. Dickie says he can drive us out of here in the dark and I’m just too tired to object. I still keep waiting for Smith to go all “WHAT THE FUCK?!” but he doesn’t say a word. I take the first watch with him and ask him about it. He says he’s seen “lot’s of weird shit before”. Then he tells me he’s a tech guy who can use a gun or knife well enough. He doesn’t ask much about us if anything. This guy just seems “off” to me. I can Anna and tell her everything is fine. Nothing going on. We’re still on task and things are going smoothly. She probably knows I am lying but at least she knows it’s me talking to her. Maybe I should have Nat make the next call. Anna tells me to call her back in the morning and I do. Same lies. I feel bad but I figured it was better than telling her I’m on the other side of the world and have been shot and almost blown up. Yeah, Nat gets to call next time. I am no sort of smooth.

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October 6th - 7th

Smith returns the UAV after a while but didn’t see anything. Jack decides that me, Dickie and him will ride through the town quickly to see if we draw any attention. It’s an… interesting ride through the buildings at high speed, all I notice is a collection of flies around a building. We regroup and head back into town to clear it on foot. I head to where I saw the flies and find a pile of bones. There are no shell casing in the vicinity… actually no shell casings anywhere. Sal and Jack notice multiple calibers of automatic gun fire hits on the buildings so either that firefight is really old news, or the area has been scrubbed thoroughly.

Sal gets me apart from Smith and lets me know there are ghosts re-enacting an apparent ambush of the town. Smith says we are near the northern border and there are many villages near by, but nothing that we can narrow down to a particular location. Sal mentions he can attempt a seance to communicate with the guide if he died here. After talking quick to Jack about Smith, it’s decided to just let Sal go ahead and try his thing. Sal goes to give Smith the heads up attempting to get more info on the contact whom will be the target of seance and to make sure he does not get interrupted.

As he begins the ritual Smith goes and watches from the shade looking amused, but I lose track when the temperature drops and I can see my breath. It doesn’t take long for the sounds of the dead to send me running for cover. I head to the truck thinking we might need to regroup… Fuck it was terrified. Sals never called down anything like that we weren’t at least somewhat expecting. I tear open the drivers side door and dive into the bed of the pickup truck staying down under the dash. I hear some pounding on the door and look up to see Dickie, a look of terror on his face… I should have probably felt bad… but I laugh a little as he screams for me to unlock the door. It’s just weird as shit and we have actually handled worse. As I move to get out of the truck I see MIa flying through air and it appears Jack threw her. I climb out of the truck trying to get Jack’s attention as he looks like he’s gone berserk. I can’t get an answer from him as he wheels around finding what he was looking for. It appears to be Smith… Jack tenses like he is going to bolt, but seems stuck briefly. The struggle seems to clear his mind and he shakes out of it.

Sal recovers and we start to follow the ghost,.. well I follow Sal he follows the ghost. We get back to where I was first with the bodies. Sal tells me Farzan’s ghost want me to touch some bones in the pile. I lean in and immediate get thrown into a vision.

Muffled blast, gun fire… The gun fire gets closer and I hear screams. I am on a lumpy mattress… I roll off and feel my way to a door. I am in this same village at night. People are running past… I try to see who’s comming. Someone I recognize as a relative tries to get me to follow, I tell them I will follow but stay, trying to get a view. I keep looking but see nothing and end up taking a few rounds. I pull back into the hut and check my wounds. I can’t really do anything right about that right now. Peeking out the window I see a clean shaven shoulder in organized military gear and uniform. He enters the room, I try to pop a psy blade our of reflex, but nothing happens. The soldier grins and moves in and stabs me with a newly formed claw. His mouth has grown longer with jagged teeth. I pass out in the vision and wake up back in the world.

Smith is asking whats wrong.. I can only gasp for air trying to recover. I get the sensation… of.. what I imagine an orange feels like when it gets peeled. I fight it off and start feeling better. Of course Sal tells me I need to let Farzan poses me, so that’s what that was… I grit me teeth… I really really don’t want to do this but I say “He can try again”, telling Sal, but in case the ghost can understand me. Sal starts to explain, I just need him to try before I lose my nerve. So I tell him again to try. He poses me, I am still mostly in control but his inner monologue takes over briefly as I blurt out phrases in Farsi.

We head off with me navigating using Farzan’s knowledge of the area. It is hours of driving. I can still zone out a little bit so that’s good. This shit is always boring. The electronics in the up armored truck go to shit. Smith barley keeps the hog in check with the sudden loss controls. Dickie gets out of the follow vehicle and looks like shit. Smith mentions heat exhaustion and I agree. I get him situated while the truck gets looked at Dickie manages to recover a bit. Smith is worried about it getting dark, but Dickie insists we push forward. It doesn’t take long to find a good spot for a camp, but it’s occupied. Smith is about to head out and Jack stops him. Suggesting we get a team and plan together, though not quite as nice as all that.

I take off with Smith sneaking to the outcropping. I outpace him pretty easily, but no one is around to watch my smirk. I take a peek around the rock wall past the fire and see an old man poking a fire. Stepping out as I call out a greeting and tell him we have had trouble with our caravan and are looking to camp. He says we may join but warns if we mean to kill him is curse will become ours. I ask him what his curse is. He brushes it off asking if we mean to harm him. I tell him no and he says we have nothing to fear. He invites us to sit by the fire and I go join him. We eat and chat. He tries to get our names. Dickie and Smith give out names. Mia just gives her first name. He asks a few times why we are out there, Smith gives out some kinda weird lie about traveling with family and friends. I don’t know much about the area, but that seems like some obvious bullshit slinging. I tell him the truth. He picks up on believing me. I am hoping he has some intel for us on the compound or troops I saw in the vision.

The old man goes to “make water”. Sal sends Spot to watch and soon calls out about him casting a spell. I take off out of the cave with Sal yelling out directions to the man. I get there a beat past Spot and tackle him but he doesn’t break his spell. I start to choke him out as Mia yells at him while pointing a gun in his face. I choke him stopping the spell. He struggles, but does not attempt to talk more. I let up an he spits out a threat. I resume chocking him telling him I will bury him with pork. As he passes out I hear Sal yelling in the cave.

- Natalie

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October 7th

I choke the son of a bitch out and run to the truck for some of the rope. As I am rooting around for it I hear a yell and a short burst of automatic gun fire. I run back past the cave looking over quickly and it seems Jack and Dickie have it under control, which is good cause I need to make sure the sorcerer is out of play. I rush back and tie him up, I go to gag him and find he is sinking into the earth…. I yell for Sal then start recording it with my cell phone. He says the guy probably has a spell in place to have the earth protect him if he is in knocked out or otherwise in danger. Sal starts casting a crazy yelling spell, I step back and draw my pistol in case it doesn’t work… it does.. it’s weird. After a bit of an earthquake the ground sort of… spits him out. I pick the bad guy up and take him to the truck hoping separation from the earth will stop his protection plan. Mia wonders why we don’t just kill him Sal kinda agrees saying a demon summoner is crossing the line. I do see that, but I didn’t know he was into that sort of shit and killing him now even if he is evil does not sit right with me.

Sal and I interrogate the guy. He is not worried about the village or the soldiers, kinda happy to hear about all the death actually. He asks Sal who he serves and Sal’s evades the question… which is interesting. I know Sal has some powers, but just assumed it was all from books… The bad guy says he serves “the dark one”. The interrogation hits a dead end as he doesn’t know/care about the compound or werewolf soldiers. We then get into a long discussion about what to do with the guy. We finally decide to take him to a village Smith knows about and name drop a Imam that Dickie knows. Trying to gauge their belief of the situation/willingness to comply.

The next day Jack has me call Anna. The conversation goes well. It was nice to talk to her again. I manage to answer all her questions to her satisfaction without lying, which makes me feel great. She is a good friend and I would hate lying to her, but freaking her out wouldn’t do us any good and might throw Jack off his game… which given our mission would be really fucking bad.

We head off to the village. I stay in the truck, assuming just my presence would be bad for the situation. Sal and Smith go and talk to the village holy man. It doesn’t go well at first, but surprisingly, Dickie helps the situation. Not sure what all went down, but I think I need to start cutting the guy some slack. He might have a different method I don’t always agree with, but he can be quite effective.

Leaving the village it’s another long boring fucking drive. Along the way the electronic devices start going bat shit again. Dickie looks like shit. We get him feeling better then hit the… dessert again. Not too long after setting out again we can’t drive any further. I get the feeling it’s pretty close and we head out on foot. We come up to a cliff. The ghost leaves me. Sal ends up sending Spot down to recon. He comes back having been injured. Jack works through Sal some questions trying to figure out what the fuck is going on and Sal decides it’s likely a ward.

We get the the place and I mumble some stuff in Farsi from the guide. I feel myself losing his knowledge and… other things go threw my head.. Some part of my brain is tempted to just fall back, but luckily a bigger part screams that would be a bad idea. I blink a second and look back at the drop from the cliff face. Luckily no one notices my shudder.

After a bit of… discussion we decide to repel down the wall as a team and make a break for the compound. Most of us make it down pretty quick and easy. Sal get’s tangled up and ends up upside down about half way. If it wasn’t such a dangerous situation it would be pretty hilarious. Smith and Dickie go and rescue the poor guy. We group up and head out.

We reach the side of the building without incident and Smith and I head around the front to deal with the door. They have some complicated electronic lock on the garage door Smith is pretty confident he can hack it which is great. I have no fucking clue. My B&E experience is limited to good old fashioned tumblers. I cover him. The intercom by the door squelches to life letting out a warning in a few languages. I tense ready for the shit to hit the fan, but it stops and nothing greets us… thank fucking god. I am not terrible excited about running into well organized werewolf soldiers. I tried to relate them well, but I don’t think I quite captured how horrifying the things are to the group.

Smith works the door open i hustle back and get the group. Soon after we hear what is quickly identified as a drone in the air. Smith opens the door quick and we enter. Smith shuts the door in the dimming light I try to quickly get my bearings. The garage is empty and a door on the far end. Then it’s pitch fucking black. My heart races a little with some deep seated primal fear then a flashlight and another clicks on and I work start breathing again.

A light switch is found, but does nothing. A sweep of flashlight reveals the bulbs are missing from the fixtures. Searching finds the place has been pretty thourughly gutted. Some lockers and such, but no tools or even trash. It couldn’t have been vacant too long as there isn’t any dust to tell us if there is anything still here.

We make our way to the only other door. It’s a hallway ending in a turn. Smith takes point and I follow. There is a hum from the otherside of the door. I pop the lock and we enter. It’s empty and a makeshift generator room. We discuss waiting for someone to refil, but it could be hours. I suggest draining the gas to speed it up. While that gets handled Jack and I take up ambush positions buy the door we assume the gas jockey will enter through.

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Oct 7

Sal, Smith and I are in the cave. Mia and Nat are off tracking the old man while he wandered off. Suddenly there is some weird snake-like sound and the pile of rotten blanket the old coot was sleeping on start to stir. While I am trying to understand what’s going on Sal yells something about something coming and a weird looking demon-type woman crawls out of the pile of blankets. She’s human sized but has wings and huge claws. She has some kind of quick exchange with Sal and next thing I know Dickie is running in to the cave with his gun out. He runs right up to her and blows a couple of little chunks off of her. Pieces actually flew off. But she’s unfazed and slices at him with some nasty looking claws. I don’t know how she missed him. I thought about grabbing her to keep her busy so Sal can work his voodoo but I notice that she’s actually smoldering. Grabbing her is not an option. I draw and realize Dickie has put himself right in my line of fire. I fire, figuring I am pretty unlikely to hit him. Two rounds smash right into the middle of the thing’s skull taking part her head clean off. She gets knocked back against the wall missing the top right half of her face, including an eye. It didn’t seem to do much other than make her mad. I snap off two more rounds hitting her square in what’s left of her face and the rest of her head falls off. Just to be sure I put a couple more rounds into the body and the wings turn to smoke and go away. What’s left is the body of what appears to be a woman. Dickie tells us something about succubus from a movie set he was on and Sal just tells him to shut up. I don’t know what any of this is about but it freaked the hell out of me. I liked it better when I could explain this stuff away.

Outside Nat is yelling for Sal. They grab the old man and put him in the back of the truck. Nat ties him up and she and Sal start interrogating the guy. Mia is translating the Farsii part of for me. From what she is telling me about his aura he’s a really bad dude, long lived, angry and just plain evil. She says hatred and murder are keeping him alive. That’s got to be a figure of speech but lately I am not sure. If it’s not then….damn.

From what I can get from the questioning is that the guy is cursed to live here forever, killing people all the time. He’s beaten but not broken and we aren’t sure what to do with him. If we kill him there is a chance one of us gets his curse. Maybe he’s lying. But if he isn’t that’s to ugly to think about. For a second I suggest maybe the Hollow Man can handle this for us. Everyone looks at me like that’s stupid. Mostly because it is. Finally I suggest we dump this guy off on a local Imam and let local justice figure it out. That seems to be the best solution and Smith tells us about a nearby village that might work. Dickie says he knows a guy who knows a guy…so we head out.

When we get to the village Smith and Sal try to work out a deal with one of the locals. It’s not happening and Dickie has to come in and make it work. We leave the bad guy and head out. Eventually we get to a bunker type building that looks abandoned. Sal says Spot can’t get in there without getting hurt, which I don’t get but it is what it is. We watch the place for twelve hours and get some sleep. Once we decide to approach the plan we agree on is to repel down one f the three sides of the box canyon and sneak up. We manage to get that done and Nat and Smith get the door open and we go inside to find a huge, empty and dark building. There is no sign of anyone and plenty of signs of no one. Sal says there is magic in here someplace keeping Spot out. This is getting really weird. It gets even weirder when we find a jury rigged generator room down the hall. The generators are running and someone has to fill them. But the lights here don’t even have bulbs. Someone suggests syphoning off the gas and stopping the generators. After about 15 minutes they stop running. Now we wait to see what happens…

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October 7th pt 3

The generators die down and the waiting begins. We hear some talking in the hallway, it sounds like one person on a walkee-talkee. The door opens and I quickly grab his wrist he sprawls out face first and I fall forward with him keeping him pinned. Dickie comes up and attempts to kick the guy, but his now spirling flash light I can’t make out what happens. I don’t hear any contact or feel the force through the guard. I am distracted by an elbow to the sternum but shake it off. He used that distraction the go for his pistol. I disarmed him quickly. Dickie kicks again and connects. the guy goes a little boneless, but he’s not quite out. Jack comes over and gets him in a hold. I am able to see his uniform is not the same as the transforming soldiers from the vision. Which is good… really fucking good. We get him secured, I gag and blindfold him. His radio squelches and it seems it’s time for check in. We don’t respond. I say we should get moving as the clock has just started ticking.

We leave the generator room and head down the hall. I struggle at the door but get it open just as Mia starts getting tense. She starts whispering to enter the room and I do. We get sorted Mia taking a knee and I stand ready to go. I draw the pistol in one hand and the knife from the soldier in the other. A low shadow rushes past and a light clicks on in time for me to see it is a dog. A volly from our side and a thud. We wait another second or two and Mia shuts the door, she telegraphs it enough that it doesn’t startle me. I wonder what the issue is then hear a loud bang and a bright flash from under the door. We hear boots approaching fast. Gun fire from both sides sounds off. Our radios squelch and I hear Dickie say “Nat 11 o’clock." I look to Mia, grab the handle and open the door crossing with it. Mia fires. A guy runs up to take the wounded guard to saftey. I take a shot at the duo aiming for the one doing the rescue, it’s a solid hit, but it he shrugs it off through the vest. He keeps working back as he gets hit a from Mia as well. He keeps going back down the hallway and cover fire smacks into the walls around us. I stay out of sight and put the knife away and grab a grenade. Another burst of gunfire. The rest of the group has been moving up. I check quickly and it’s clear so I throw the grenade and yell “frag out” while taking cover back behind the wall. It explodes and there is no return fire.

Smith runs up and slashes the throats of the guys still caught in the hallway. I look down quick, I can’t help it… they are pretty torn up… such a horrible mess… I move down and stop at the first door and keep an eye down the hall. We work down clearing an old computer room. Then an armory. I give Dickie a shotgun and tell him “Merry Christmas”. The last room is a walk in freezer. It’s got some rotted food with english and french labels. I swap out my pistols for a smaller one with more rounds. We go down the stairs and start clearing rooms. Smith opens a computer room and starts poking around. It’s clear so Dickie and I check the next room on the left. It’s a bathroom. I clear the stalls while Dickie covers. The last stall has a guy in a lab coat. I start questioning him. He says there are 4 guards and 4 doctors. We interrogate the guy. Dickie does not believe the guy. I don’t give a shit. I am not buying everything the guy is saying but I’ll use it as a guide. Timor the prisoner, asks if we where seen by a drone. He says we should go now… He does seem really nervous. I suggest we just secure the agent and his team and get the fuck out of here.

We head down to the holding cells. Timor’s badge does not work. I call on the radio to Mia and Sal and ask one of them to bring down a security guards badge. Sal brings back a card and we free the Agent and most of his team. Based on his info we check the lab.

Timor points out that one gurney holds a Dr. pretending to be a prisoner. I walk in and rush him. I go to turn the gurney over and fail… but I do slam the gurney into the wall and play it off telling him he isn’t fooling anyone. I start getting him pinned. He slashes out with a scalpel, misses and I disarm him. He starts talking about how the power needs to be back on and he needs to keep working. It’s revealed that another Dr. is destroying evidence next door. Part of the team breaks off to deal with that. Sal stays back and I finish strapping the previously pretending Dr. down and Sal asks where the other prisoner is. The Dr. quickly glances to a door. I grab his key and head to the door.

I open it the door the Dr. nervously glances at and it stinks worse than even that god damn airport terminal. Everything is smeared in blood.. a gurney is knocked over. There is some weird creature in the corner. I can’t tell if it’s part of the human or coming out of it. I fire the shotgun and it splatters on the wall. We start to leave and realize that the jamming needs to stop. Timor tells us where the runes are and Sal goes to work. We get set up to head back out for extraction. Mounting up and preparing for possible resitance from the “Wolf Squad” the Dr. was starting to spout off about as Jack knocked him out.

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