{Modern Setting} Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

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{Modern Setting} Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by patransom » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:01 pm

After the long drive from D.C., the Gamma Team arrives at Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital around 2 pm. In the backwaters of West Virginia, finding the hospital would have been nearly impossible without the black van's GPS, but the place is a surpisingly modern-looking facility. Fortunately, there is still an hour or so before visiting hours end and the woman at the information desk is able to direct you to Professor Alan Stanley's room.

Professor Stanley has a private room. On entering, you see him lying on the bed in an awkward position: his left leg is in a temporary cast, raised up in traction, but his body is turned sideways so that he can access a laptop on the table to the right of the bed. He appears to be playing chess on the computer.

He looks up from the laptop when you enter and says, Who the hell are you?
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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by CGM3 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:00 pm

Eric Lightner will display his Gamma Team/Department-7 ID
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(assuming we have Gamma Team/Department-7 ID's; why is it we always think of these things in retrospect?)

 

and declare, Celeste Fellowes sent us to follow up your findings in Coal City.
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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by patransom » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:40 pm

OUT OF CHARACTER
[quote="CGM3"]...(assuming we have Gamma Team/Department-7 ID's; why is it we always think of these things in retrospect?)...[/quote]

It's not an assumption, you got your ID right before you met Celeste:

[quote]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...[/quote]

 

Oh, good! Why didn't you say so right away! Professor Stanley turns away from his laptop into a more comfortable position lying on the bed, So you're here to investigate the Tomb?
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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by klakxor » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:03 am

Tomb? We were told you were looking into a cave. Apparently you found more then was reported back or actually put on file. Sahid looks at the professor. Were you able to decipher the meaning of any of the drawings or paintings?

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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by tdsprouse » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:20 pm

Also, do you know anything about anyone else who might be looking into the, uh... Tomb?
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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by CGM3 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:17 am

All we were told was that you'd found a cave near Coal City with carvings that you think were made before any known human occupation of the area, as well as Sorian indications, and that you have reason to believe a Seeker is in the town, Eric explains as he tucks his identification cards away. Essentially, we were sent here to verify your findings and make the formal report your accident kept you from submitting. But like Mister Khan says, it seems there's more to this than headquarters realized. I sugest you give us the whole story, Professor, from the beginning, to get us up to speed.
"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] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by patransom » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:33 pm

Professor Stanley nods as you ask your questions. I'm sure Headquarters realizes quite a bit of what's going on. I've been keeping them apprised of my research over the years. It's just that they don't always relate all of the details to the Gamma Teams when time is of the essence. I imagine it's a combination of their silly need-to-know attitude, bureaucratic incompetence, and a sense of urgency.

To start from the beginning and tell the whole story would take an exquisitely long time… and your eyes would likely start to glaze over like I see happening with my undergraduate students so often. So I'll try to give you the important background, without all of the detailed history. Although the history is quite interesting. Ask me sometime when we aren't so pressed for time and I'll gladly give you the full lecture series…

So, I'm sure you've heard of several so-called fictional prehistoric civilizations, like Atlantis, Lemuria, Mu? Well, those civilizations, and many others, were quite real. They existed in a period when manifestations of Shadow were much more common and accepted than they are today. That's part of the reason history has forgotten them and written them off as fiction. It's also sheer academic laziness on the part of conventional historians; they dismiss anything that doesn't fit accepted theories. Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft were much closer to right than conventional history books, you know. But I digress…

Professor Stanley begins to wax a bit poetic, Many thousands of years ago, certainly before Native American habitation of this continent and possibly before human existence, the earth was the location of a long-running conflict between two such lost civilizations. On one side was a primal being called the Queen of Chaos, a tentacled horror from an age before ages. Against her stood the rigid legions of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa, the a highly cultured humanoid civilization, who controlled an empire that spanned worlds. After centuries of war, these two armies met in a pivotal battle in a place known as the Fields of Pesh. There the Wind Dukes of Aaqa were victorious and sent the demonic forces of the Queen of Chaos back from whence they came. But hundreds of Wind Dukes remained at Pesh, many dead or dying from wounds sustained in the final battle. By ancient tradition, these soldiers would be buried on the where they died, in elaborate tombs forever recalling the brave sacrifice of the heroes of Aaqa and serving as testament to the reach of their empire. It is my theory, strongly supported by other discoveries I've made, that the ancient Fields of Pesh are, in the present geologic time, the Appalachian Mountains. I've spent the latter part of my career searching for the indisputable proof – one of those glorious Wind Duke tombs in a well-preserved condition. And I'm quite certain from my initial investigation that I've found it this time!

He takes a long breath, I should back up a bit here and provide some more context to my explanation. West Virginia, you might be aware, is absolutely riddled with caves and mines. And, of course, local folklore is filled with stories about these caves. Strange happenings, spooky sounds, mysterious disappearances, that sort of thing. I've spent the better part of a decade following up on those stories. Many times they're hogwash, sometimes they're the result of a legitimate, but recent Shadow infestation. But, in either case, usually what I turn up is a natural cave system, a Native American burial cairn, or an abandoned mine. This one is different.

The locals call the place a cave – the Whispering Cave, in fact. Sometimes a few brave locals make the hike to the entrance to hear the sounds it makes. Before the turn of the century, children used to dare each other to spend a night in the cave, using the place as a test of mettle. These visits tapered off about six years ago, when a local girl vanished while sleeping there. As usual, local law enforcement didn't turn up anything and decided she left town as a runaway; normals never see anything other than what they want to see. But that's the story that led me to this particular site.

Professor Stanley becomes visibly excited at this point, On my visit to the cave, I found what I've been looking for all along! I'm sure you saw the pictures of the wall carvings and paintings -- headquarters never leaves out the pictures. Those etchings are absolutely Aaqan in design! The place isn't a cave at all, it's ancient construction! And the Sorian readings make sense, the only way a tomb from that long ago could be preserved so well is by magic!

He looks around at you to make sure you're still listening, So I suppose you're wondering why I'm not still there documenting my find. Well, it was late by the time I found the entrance and, after making my initial survey, I heard some growling sounds from deeper inside. I wasn't armed or really ready to deal with guardians, so I high-tailed it out, planning to come back in the morning with a hunting rifle, in case it was a bear or something, and some other things, in case it was something more arcane. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a steep part on the way back to the car and you see the result… He indicates his leg.

Now, ordinarily, this is something I'd absolutely want to handle myself, but there's the Seeker problem. I imagine you just got here and haven't seen the local news, but there are definitely Seekers in town. I recognized them from some lectures I've given and conferences I've attended. I'm sure they are onto the same lead that I found. We can't risk them plundering the tomb, making off with the important artifacts, and generally messing the place up!

And that's why I contacted Headquarters and where you come in. You've got to get up to the tomb, deal with whatever's inside, and retrieve anything that isn't nailed down that the Seekers could possibly make off with. Try not to damage the structure too badly and, if you have time, document conditions as best you can. I know you're not archeology experts, but photographs of anything important that you can't carry out will be helpful to my research. In case, you know, the Seekers get in there before my leg heals up and deface the place.

So, any questions? I'd love to give you more of a history lesson, but I can already tell you're reaching the saturation point…
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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by valinor » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:42 pm

Dr. Alexander records the lecture and says, Well, we better be prepared then. So, I'll go ahead and unpack some of my medical gears in case of injuries. This sounds dangerous and am more than happy to patch any of you up, provided I am not distracted by anything else. as he looks around to the others.

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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by tdsprouse » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:43 pm

well professor, that is quite a bit of info. Is there anything in particular that we should be looking for? Artifiacts or drawings? and do you know the names of the Seekers that are here?
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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by patransom » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:34 pm

The Professor replies, Yes, yes, look for artifacts, writings, artwork, sculptures. Anything like that will be of great benefit to my research. If you can't carry it out with you, take pictures. Of course, the artifacts, anything magical, will be most important. That's what the Seekers are most likely to steal.

As for the Seekers, I saw them on the local news the night I arrived in town, just before I went out to the Tomb. The one on the news was somebody named Eric Gold. Apparently some sort of celebrity athlete or something. I don't really follow that sort of thing. He's not the one I recognized, but from the company he keeps, he might very well be a Seeker. It's two others in his entourage that are definitely Seekers. There's a fellow my age named Kevin Lecky. He's fairly well known in the internet parapsychology community. A complete amatuer, of course, like all of them, but I suspect he's a mage, so he must have stumbled on to some accurate lore somewhere. And the young woman with them. I don't know her name, but I've seen her skulking about the conferences.

Turns out all three of them are staying at the same motel I was in before the hospital. Not surprising, given that it's the only motel in town, but it's too close to the Tomb to be a coincidence.
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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by klakxor » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:24 am

Well, I have my camera to help photograph anything we find. Eric and Brad are good marksmen and should be able to handle any unforeseen problems. With Linda and Dr Alexander here to help with documentation, I think we should be able to take care of things quickly. Sahid's white teeth are clearly visible against his dark skin as he smiles at the thought of finding more information about what he has just heard.

Have you heard or seen any more of the Seeker's movements since you have been here?

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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by CGM3 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:23 am

Let's not be quite so ready t' solve those unforeseen problems by shootin' 'em out of hand, Tex, Eric cautions Sahid dryly. Your average local law enforcement really frowns on indiscriminate gunplay, even in West Virginia, not to mention superfluous corpses; we'll want to try less, ah, intensive methods before resorting to violence.

And the professor's got a point about that Eric Gold character, he's the current champ, for what it's worth, in something called Extreme Team Combat, that's gotten pretty popular in some circles. I've heard it described as sort of like professional wrestling with medieval weapons thrown into the mix, though I'm not sure how much is staged and how much is the real deal. But perforatin' this guy without a real good justification, or even gettin' into a fight with him in public, could cause trouble we don't need.

I kind of doubt the professor's had a chance to keep tabs on anybody from a hospital bed, he adds. Could be our best bet would be to get to Coal City as soon as possible and have some of us keep an eye on Misters Gold 'n' Lecky 'n' their mysterious girl friend while the rest scoot out to this cave and harvest whatever they can. Maybe we can use our Smithsonian credentials and say we're lookin' into it as a possible historic site.
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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by klakxor » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:46 am

I expect problems with the seekers Eric, however bears and the like in the woods could be dangerous. And where I have never actually seen a shadow, I am guessing that if this place holds these kinds of secrets, then it is quite possible that we might have a first hand introduction. These are the things I would like to have our marksmen available for.

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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by valinor » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:23 am

Eric is right, and that should also lessen the amount of troubles we run into. adds the doctor.

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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by patransom » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:34 am

Professor Stanley says, I only know the Seekers are here because they were all over the news. And I saw the news van camped in front of the motel. I guess a visit from a professional athlete is the biggest thing that's happened in this area in years.

My advice is to proceed to Coal City without delay. It might be reasonable to spy on Lecky and his friends to determine if they are close to finding the Tomb yet, but I doubt you will be able to dissuade them from their investigation by invoking the Smithsonian. Seekers have little respect for proper academic channels. It might be better to simply beat them to the Tomb, since you already know where it is.

One last thing: I know it's a deviation from standard procedure, but I would love to see whatever you recover before you send it on to Washington. ESP will end up sending the artifacts and data back to me for analysis anyway, but everything will spend months in some warehouse or bureacrat's office before it gets to me.
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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by valinor » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:00 am

First, lets find the tomb and if any artifacts, we can discuss it there and see if it is possible to be taken or studied. suggests Dr. Alexander.

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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by CGM3 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:28 pm

Eric blinks at the professor's remarks. I was thinking more of dealing with any local authority that might object to our presence, he elaborates. I don't expect Seekers to play well with others. Sounds like we'd better be on our way, pronto.
"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] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by patransom » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:02 am

The Professor replies, Ah, yes... Investigating the tomb shouldn't raise any issues with the local authorities. I doubt anyone will even notice you hiking out there. I'm not sure who owns the land it's on, but there are no houses nearby and it isn't posted 'no trespassing' or anything. On the off chance anyone questions you, I'm sure your credentials will assuage any concerns.
OUT OF CHARACTER
So, to the Whispering Cave or to seek the Seekers? Or some combination thereof?

 

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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by CGM3 » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:33 am

OUT OF CHARACTER
I vote for the Whispering Cave, with a lookout for Seekers.

 

"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] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by klakxor » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:28 am

OUT OF CHARACTER
Whispering Cave

 


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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by tdsprouse » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:53 am

OUT OF CHARACTER
cave

 

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Re: [Active Thread] Beckley Appalachian Region Hospital

Post by valinor » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:37 pm

OUT OF CHARACTER
Cave it is.

 


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