{Modern Setting} Prologue

A game that seems to change settings every couple of years; currently following the Age of Worms Adventure Path.

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{Modern Setting} Prologue

Post by patransom » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:53 am

OUT OF CHARACTER
Still waiting on final equipment decisions from Linda Thompson, but we'll begin anyway. You might want to make some adjustments after you find out your first assignment.

 

After completion of your Esoteric Studies Program training, you are finally given your two federal government identification cards – one that indicates you are an employee of the Smithsonian Institution, Office of Protective Services and another that indicates you are an agent of the Department of Homeland Security, Department-7 – and assigned to a Gamma Team. It is possible that some of you interacted with each other during training, but, on the whole, your new teammates are still relative strangers to you.

Your team's Control Officer, the person responsible for handing out your assignments, is Celeste Fellowes. From what you've heard, she is a tough, no-nonsense sort of woman who prefers that her teams figure things out for themselves, with minimum waste of ESP resources. You won't get a lot of coddling or sympathy from her, but you won't get any micromanagement either.

Her office is accessed via a secret door behind the exhibition of First Ladies' Gowns at the National Museum of American History. Rumor has it that Ms. Fellowes finds this location infuriating – the frilly gowns really aren't her style – but her superiors refuse to give her an office in a place more suited to her personality.

After the Museum of American History closes for the day, you make your way to the First Ladies' Collection and through the secret door to Ms. Fellowes office. You immediately believe the rumors: seated behind a black oak desk is a severe, almost Goth-looking woman with short blonde hair and a lip ring, dressed all in black. The walls are also painted black and only a single, flickering florescent desk lamp lights the office. There are no other chairs in the room, so you are all forced to stand.
celeste fellowes.jpg
Celeste Fellowes looks up from the files she's reviewing, So you're the new Gamma Team? I am Celeste Fellowes. I will be your Control Officer. Call me Ms. Fellowes. Do not call me Celeste. Do not ask me questions about the First Ladies' Collection.

My emergency contact number is 202-555-0666. Do not become an emergency.

First order of business: tell me who you are and a little about your skills and experience. These personnel files are completely inadequate; the people who write them have no idea what makes a good field agent. After that, I'll give you your mission assignment.
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by tdsprouse » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:31 am

Well, good to finally meet you Ms. Fellowes, i've heard a bit about you. Brad Laskin, I'm a fast mover and a good shooter. If you need high-end documents 'created', I'm your man. I know a thing or two about the street, how to be quiet and not be seen. I can collect evidence at a crime scene with out screwing it up, and if needed, i could probably setup a crime scene to make it look however you wanted.


Oh, I'm also pretty good with cards. He quickly produces a deck of cards with a jerk of his sleeve, does a nice one handed cut, and puts the deck in his pocket.



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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by CGM3 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:03 pm

"I'm Eric Lightner, ma'am, and I guess I overlap Mister Laskin's skills, 'cause I'm a fair shot myself, as well as pretty good at getting the lay of a crime scene. I can track paper trails and ferret out information, and if the occasion calls for it I can handle myself in a brawl. But I don't do card tricks."
"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, for if you hit a man with a plowshare, he's going to know he's been hit." - The Wisdom of Nodwick
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by klakxor » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:56 pm

The dark skinned gentleman towards the back of the room adjusts his glasses on the brim of his nose. Sahid Khan at your service, Ms Fellowes. I specialize in information. I have many areas of knowldge from arcane lore to biology to psychology and even some computer programming and research skills. I am a fair shot with a gun, although I doubt I am the most skilled here.

He gives a sideways look and smile to Eric and Brad Sorry, I don't do card tricks either.

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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by valinor » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:06 am

Walking behind everyone carrying a cup of water and finishing it, I am Dr. Alexander, I apologize in coming a tid bit late operating to save someone's life is a bit time consuming, although I think they're probably glad about it. He smiles and jots down something on his small notepad.

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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by shai-hulud » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:34 pm

Linda says with a happy smile, Well, Ms. Elbows, I am Linda Thompson, the well known apothecary. Perhaps I'm a bit slow today, but I don't have any clue what you are talking about. I don't know what a First Ladies' Collection is, so I wouldn't have any questions about it. Also, I don't have any personal ads posted. I have no trouble meeting men. So, mine is not only incomplete, it is nonexistent.

As for my experience, I hope you mean professional, as I don't like to kiss and tell. In addition to being an apothecary, I am also well versed in the workings of magical and supernatural items. I have even been placed in charge of identifying several of the magical items discovered by our organization. I have not completed my analysis yet, but I will report back to you as soon as I have completed the identification.


THINKING: First Ladies' Collection... First Ladies' Collection... nope, doesn't ring a bell. Maybe it is some secret organization that I am supposed to know about. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that I didn't know what it is. Crap! I bet it was a test! And I just failed!

...And I was just joking about the First Ladies' Collection. Of course I know all about it...

THINKING: But we aren't suppose to mention it! Crap again!

...but of course I would never discuss it.

Linda seems completely oblivious to the large First Ladies' Collection display just outside Ms. Fellowes office.
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by CGM3 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:57 pm

OUT OF CHARACTER
Eric Lightner will try to move as unobtrsively as possible to one side, so as not to get any blood splattered on himself. :wink:

 

"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, for if you hit a man with a plowshare, he's going to know he's been hit." - The Wisdom of Nodwick
"Nothing says love like two hundred feet of parachute cable and a cargo net." - Fred Jones, Scooby Doo: Mystery Inc.
"I know, the first rule of Robot Fight Club is, you don't talk about Robot Fight Club." - Jack Darby, Transformers Prime
"Always. Expect. Ninjas." - Sydney Scoville, Grrl Power
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by patransom » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:59 am

Celeste glares at Linda, who suddenly feels the onset of a headache. This feeling fades quickly, though, and Linda's head does not explode, making Eric's precautions unnecessary.

Celeste makes some notes, muttering, Guns and card tricks, guns and fists, information, doctor, insane woman… As usual, most of that isn't in the personnel files. She looks up, Alright. I have an assignment that should fit your skill set. Or at least I don't see an obvious way you could screw it up too badly…

She holds up a picture, This is Professor Alan Stanley of West Virginia University. He's one of us: a sensitive working for ESP. He's also an accomplished Mage. His graduate students at WVU know him as a Professor of Anthropology, specializing in the folklore of the Appalachian Region. And, really, that's what he researches for us. Except that folklore sometimes isn't mythical. Folk stories are often the result of manifestations of Shadow. Professor Stanley knows this and, for ESP and the Smithsonian, has been instrumental in rooting out a number of infestations and in recovering a number of artifacts in and around West Virginia.
professor stanley.jpg
Professor Stanley's made another find: some kind of cave outside a little town called Coal City, West Virginia. The Professor's initial investigation inside the cave found carvings that he believes predate even Native American habitation of the region. He also picked up some faint Sorian readings. So the cave's obviously connected to Shadow.

Here's the problem: on the hike out to make his initial report, Professor Stanley took a fall and broke an ankle. He's laid up in the hospital and in no condition to continue the exploration. Now, there are no signs of a serious Shadow infestation in Coal City, so this wouldn't normally be urgent. But Professor Stanley says there's a Seeker in town. Given that Coal City hardly sounds like a tourist destination, the idiot's probably on the trail of the same cave. So it's important that we get in there, document whatever's inside, and recover any useful artifacts before the Seeker has a chance to find the place and mess everything up.

So, your mission is pretty simple. Get to Coal City. Find this cave. Take pictures. Document everything. Remove any artifacts that look useful. Eliminate any dangerous Shadow creatures, if there are any. You might want to talk to Professor Stanley first, but that's up to you. He's at Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital somewhere nearby.

Celeste asks, Any questions? Then she hands a manila folder to Sahid. The folder contains:
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by tdsprouse » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:51 pm

Brad looks around... So. Who's got a car?
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by klakxor » Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:00 pm

Looks like the drive out to Coal City will take about 5 hours. I am thinking perhaps a van would be more appropriate since there are 5 of us going.

Turning to their commander Ms Fellowes. Would it be possible for us to requisition the use of a van for this trip?

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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by shai-hulud » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:00 pm

Linda says, Oh! Personnel files! I'm sorry, I misheard you. I get what you were asking now. I am an apothecary who is extremely skilled with magic. No, I don't have any questions. To the others, she says, Perhaps we can take some form of public transportation, like a bus. A private vehicle wastes too much gasoline.
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by CGM3 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:59 pm

Having our own vehicle will give us a mobility we wouldn't have using public transportation, which could be an important advantage. You never see Batman waitin' for a taxi t' chase down the Joker, Eric observes with a smile. And Miz Fellowes' suggestion that we talk with Professor Stanley first is a good one. After all, he is the man on the spot, with first hand information not only on what's about, but what he thinks or feels or believes may be happening. I assume we're to contact you if the situation seems more serious or perilous than expected, ma'am? he addresses Celeste deferentially.
"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, for if you hit a man with a plowshare, he's going to know he's been hit." - The Wisdom of Nodwick
"Nothing says love like two hundred feet of parachute cable and a cargo net." - Fred Jones, Scooby Doo: Mystery Inc.
"I know, the first rule of Robot Fight Club is, you don't talk about Robot Fight Club." - Jack Darby, Transformers Prime
"Always. Expect. Ninjas." - Sydney Scoville, Grrl Power
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by valinor » Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:05 pm

Rent one then. states the doctor.

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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by patransom » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:36 pm

Brad Laskin wrote:So. Who's got a car?
Sayid Kahn wrote:Ms Fellowes. Would it be possible for us to requisition the use of a van for this trip?
Linda Thompson wrote:Perhaps we can take some form of public transportation, like a bus. A private vehicle wastes too much gasoline.
Celeste rolls her eyes briefly. No one has a car? Figures. She writes something on a small piece of paper, which she hands to Sayid. Take this to the parking garage at Union Station. They'll give you some kind of transportation. Try not to wreck it.
Eric Lightner wrote:I assume we're to contact you if the situation seems more serious or perilous than expected, ma'am?
Celeste looks at Eric quite seriously, Yes, but try to apply some judgment as to whether additional help is really required before deciding it's an emergency. Investigating Shadow is always dangerous, but unless there's a full-scale invasion of monsters into this little town -- an invasion that we are somehow completely unaware of -- you should be perfectly capable of handling whatever you run into out there. Unless your trainers are completely wrong about your capabilities, that is.

So, was there anything else? If not, I suggest you go pick up your vehicle, collect your gear, and head for West Viriginia.
OUT OF CHARACTER
If there are no further questions for Celeste, it is about a 20 minute walk or subway ride to Union Station. At the parking garage there, you will find a valet. Which is odd, because they don't normally have valet parking there. When you hand him the paper from Celeste, he leaves and returns driving a black van with government plates. The vehicle looks to be about 15 years old and smells of stale donuts, but it is in working order and has a brand-new GPS system attached to the dash.

Those of you who have more equipment than you can carry (Dr. Alexander, Linda), let me know what you are bringing with you on the trip and what you will generally carry on your person, versus leave in the van. The whole group should also decide whether the first stop is Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital, the location of the cave that Professor Stanley found, or somewhere else...

 

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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by tdsprouse » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:45 pm

Well, now that the ride is set... we should talk to the Prof first, right?
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by valinor » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:33 pm

Mind, I get some equipment we could possibly need since I'd rather be prepared in administering some bandages, if I have the right tools for the job. smiles the doctor.

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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by patransom » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:24 pm

valinor wrote:Mind, I get some equipment we could possibly need since I'd rather be prepared in administering some bandages, if I have the right tools for the job. smiles the doctor.
OUT OF CHARACTER
Yes, I'm assuming the group takes the time to pick up whatever equipment people have stashed away at their home or office or whatever. Just send me a list or update your character file so that it shows what's on your person, what's stored in the van, what's left back at home, etc.

 

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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by klakxor » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:52 pm

Once the group has its equipment packed, in the van and are on the road, Sahid looks to the others.

Definately we should pay a visit to the hospital before we investigate any further. Looks like this will be a long drive, so we should get to know each other a little better.

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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by CGM3 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:02 am

I 'spect I could take great umbrage at that suggestion, if I were so inclined, Eric Lightner observes dryly with a smile. But I'll assume you're interested in our backgrounds and forego the exercise in high dudgeon.

Me, I've always enjoyed solvin' puzzles and mysteries, and I'm good enough t' make a modest livin' out of it. I was lookin' into a questionable death for an insurance claim when the strange dreams I'd been havin' pointed me to the possibility that it might've been a murder commited by a guy who'd been dead for years. Sounded crazy, but I followed it up and found that it was the truth, poor yutz had been raised as a real, live, undead zombie by a nut-job who fancied himself a necromancer and was settlin' some scores. When the smoke cleared, I had two dead bodies on my hands, one fresh and one not so, and if the Institution hadn't taken an interest I'd've prolly wound up in deep sushi. They figured I'd make a passable Department Seven op, so here I am.
"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, for if you hit a man with a plowshare, he's going to know he's been hit." - The Wisdom of Nodwick
"Nothing says love like two hundred feet of parachute cable and a cargo net." - Fred Jones, Scooby Doo: Mystery Inc.
"I know, the first rule of Robot Fight Club is, you don't talk about Robot Fight Club." - Jack Darby, Transformers Prime
"Always. Expect. Ninjas." - Sydney Scoville, Grrl Power
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by patransom » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:50 pm

The next morning, after scooting around D.C. for an hour or two, picking up various equipment from people's residences, the new Gamma Team sets out in its black van for West Virginia. Although scenic, the trip is quite boring and the only radio stations available south of Charlottesville play county and/or western music. The 70 mph speed limit on I64 once across the West Virginia border is somewhat refreshing, but the group finds itself down to one radio station at that point, which seems to have a playlist consisting entirely of banjo music.
OUT OF CHARACTER
I'll leave this thread open a while in case anyone else wants to tell stories during the 5+ hour drive. A new thread will cover your arrival at the hospital...

 

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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by tdsprouse » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:34 pm

yeah, like i said back there, i'm mostly an investgator, but good with guns. Sometimes those two things go hand in hand. Of course, that not as much fun as cards, anyone else play? as he holds up a deck of cards...
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Re: [Active Thread] Prologue

Post by klakxor » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:57 am

Sahid winks at Eric. Just kidding there buddy. Actually, I am an accomplished Professor. I have extensive research skills. I don't know a lot about guns, but do know how to shoot them. I guess I will be looking to you guys to make sure that I don't get shot up too badly.

Strange dreams, huh. Interestlingly enough, that is how I came to be employed here as well. Strange visions of otherworldly creatures. Humanlike creatures with enlarged craniums, carrying shotguns in a desolate wasteland. Researching these dreams, I was invited to the Smithsonian and asked about the ESP program.

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