A Victim of the Art

The year is 1999. A group of agents with the FBI quickly discover a routine case is anything but. Thrust into a world that's as incomprehensible as it is deadly, can this team hope to hold back the darkness?

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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:08 am

Vanessa make sit about halfway up the long stairway before the voices become clear. She stops where she is for the moment and listens in.

The first thing she hears is a boyish scream.

"This can all end for you, Mr. Dengler." Someone says after the youth has stopped screaming.

'I don't know... I don't know what you want from me!"

"Thomas... may I call you Thomas? Look, you probably though you were being clever. You committed the perfect murder. No cop in the country could have figured out how you did it. But you got too cocky. And you have to understand, there are those of us in the know as to the things you're messing around with. When it kept happening we knew we had to investigate."

"I swear, you've got the wrong person! I don't know anything!"

A brief pause followed before another scream.

"It was quite simple to figure out, you know. Three of the victims were from your school. It only took a bit of interrogating to learn of their connection to you, and realize you had some sort of ability to summon the alien entity carrying these killings out. Son, all you need to do is summon it for us. We'll take it from there."

Senseless crying followed. And when the man next spoke, he sounded more frustrated.

"Look, Thomas. We need you alive to manifest this entity. But the state you're in at that point... that is up to you."

More screaming follows, and it seems the conversation has died out for the moment.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:13 am

Image

Vanessa returns silently down the stairs and rejoins her team. "They're torturing him to make him summon the creature," she whispers. "He's bound to do it in order to attack them with it, but they're talking like they can control it. If you still think it's best, we can start the fire right here, step outside, and jam the door shut to prevent anyone from getting out."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:14 am

"Let's do it" says Nik firmly.

Spoiler:
Now all we need is something to make a fire with! I'm assuming that we didn't have time to stop and pick up a can of gas or anything. Is their anything handy we can use? If the lighthouse is still functional, there is probably kerosene or something lying around.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:53 am

OOC:   Sure, I'll say there's a few kerosene cans, enough to start a nice fire for the agent's purposes, and if any of you smoke, I'm sure you have a lighter. I gather you want to start it at the entrance way and bug out? That has the side effect of not needing to bar the door, although you certainly still can. There's probably enough junk around inside the lighthouse that you can take some outside and put it against the door.

If this is your call, let me know, and I'll post the resolution tomorrow. No rolls necessary.  
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:01 pm

Spoiler:
The agents empty the contents of the kerosene cans around the bottom of the stairs as quickly as possible and spill a trail to the door, while Nik piles up flammable junk against it to block the entrance.

“Why don’t you two find some cover?” he tells the others. “I’ll light this thing up.”

He tries not to think about the fact that he is going to burn several people to death. He feels in his pocket for his matches, and strikes one, dropping it into the kerosene, and then turns and runs towards the others.

I hope this scenario is acceptable!
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:47 am

Spoiler:
Sounds good to me.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:00 am

By the time Nik is done the racket he's made has caused notice. The agent hears some of the men coming down the stairs, ready to investigate.

But it hardly matters. He is out the door before they can reach him, and the flames that erupt right after prevent any pursuit. Soon after the old lighthouse, the pride of the town and a monument for over a century, begins to go up. Nik and the others can just hear the scream from within. But maybe that's just the wind. Maybe.

As the building grows steadily more inflamed, it occurs to the agents that they may wish to leave, as surely the fire department would soon be here. This was going to be a tough situation to explain, but if they left the scene they'd at least not have to.

Before they can get far however, they notice something in the sky. It begins as a peculiar black dot, but it soon picks up the pace and begins a fast descent down to earth. It is at first identification a bird, but this quickly proves incorrect.

The creature is a large and hulking black shape with three massive wings. It has several forward reaching talons that end in hooks dripping with some sort of gray ichor. Six eyes lurk amongst its face, seemingly able to view every direction at once. It possesses a large beak, and its maw too is huge, its teeth resembling a great white shark's. It is barely identifiable as the creature in Kimberly's drawing, but even that hardly does it justice. The thing is utterly alien.

One of it's eyes seems to look down at the agents, but it thankfully does not pursue them. Instead the creature slams into the top of the lighthouse. Glass goes flying everywhere. Immediately after, screams are heard as well as the sound of automatic gunfire. This only lasts for a minute. Then the thing reemerges, blood and gore on it, but none of it looking like it's own.

And on its back, screaming at the top of his lungs, is Thomas Dengler.

OOC:   San loss time. As you may imagine this is rather extensive.

For burning five people alive, 1d6/1d10 for violence.

For seeing the Ai-Apa, 1/1d6. Remember your bonds for both of these, if you take more than you're comfortable with.

I'm pausing here to determine if any of you want to do anything, such as shoot at the creature. Right now it seems to be paying you no mind, and indeed looks set to fly up up and away.  
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:32 pm

Nik

"MOTHERFUCKER!" screams Nik, as he sees Thomas fly away on the al-apa. To have Thomas escape after everything they've just done fills him with utter despair. He sinks to his knees and wails like a child.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:39 am

Image

Vanessa feels somewhat guilty, but she knows there was no better choice. Had they let the agents continue to torture Thomas, he would have suffered worse, and they would have gotten control of the creature. Had they confronted the agents, a shootout would have ensued. At best, all of the NSA agents would have still been dead and they would have had a lot of awkward questions to answer. At worst, the three of them could have been killed, wounded, or captured. She tracks the creature with her shotgun, filled with revulsion. "We could still shoot it down," she says. "Or him..."

Spoiler:
Sanity roll (current level 67) for burning the NSA agents and Thomas:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
13

Sanity loss for burning the NSA agents and Thomas:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d6:
3

Sanity roll (current level 64) for seeing the creature:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
70

Sanity loss for seeing the creature:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d6:
2

What's the range?
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:12 am

Rue observes the creature as well.

Silver Priest rolled 1d100:
89


Silver Priest rolled 1d10:
2


Silver Priest rolled 1d100:
15


It does not seem to bother him as badly as the others, though he still looks quite shaken.

Nik finds himself coping with the matter by calling to mind his girlfriend. Thoughts of her center him, but he knows that he'll have trouble looking at her ever again without images of this creature coming to mind.

OOC:   No one has apparently hit a breaking point, so that's good. HoneyDog, subtract 4 from your bond with Nik's girlfriend if you haven't already. I'll leave it to you how the damage done to the relationship plays out. Maybe Nik starts to avoid her because he's afraid to get her involved in all this. Maybe he resents protecting people like her from this, and never being able to tell them of the sacrifices he makes on their behalf. (You'd also normally subtract 4 from your willpower, but it refreshes and we're close enough tot he end I'm going to say there's no need.  


As Vanessa tracks the creature, she realizes that it's too far away. Only Nik had a prayer of hitting it at this point.

Thomas continues to scream, seemingly frightened out of his mind. The Ai-Apa takes off back into the air. It moves impossibility quick and picks up speed as its wings flap faster, and climbs and climbs. Soon it is just a black dot. In another minute, it has ascended completely into the heavens. Thomas screamed the entire way. Unless he could breath in space, it seems unlikely this fate is any kinder to him.

The fire continues to burn, and the three agents now find themselves alone.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:42 am

Nik doesn’t try to open fire. The creature would likely make mincemeat out of them. He realizes that the creature hasn’t really enabled Thomas to escape, at least not in a way that will end well for him. Maybe it’s over. This calms him down a bit and he can begin to think clearly again.

He gets to his feet. “We should get to the car and get ready to help the local investigate the fire. An autopsy’s gonna show that the killer struck again, if any of the remains survive the fire. So we should be in the clear. If we help out, it will also account for any traces of our DNA being found. ”

He looks up at the sky, after the departed Thomas. "Hopefully those two won't be back."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:17 am

Image

"I doubt it," says Vanessa. "He's not in any condition to come back, and that thing took the necklace used to summon it with. Let's get out of here."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:32 am

OOC:   Alright, so what's your plan going forward? I assume you intend to leave the scene and return a suitable time later and assist the locals? And that you won't tell them of any connection you had with the events? You may also want to contact Delta Green and report on your success. If you do contact them, are you going to give a full report or omit any details?  
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:48 am

OOC:   Yes, help the locals with the fire / murder investigation - initially . But that should be it - officially the NSA took over the case anyway so we don't have to be involved . We can put forward the theory that the murderer killed the agents then torched the building, which should dispel any ideas that a third party was involved. Then get going before the rival group (they're obviously not really the NSA) begin to look more closely at us.

As far as telling DG, I guess we should inform them of everything.  
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:41 am

Spoiler:
I agree. I'll contact DG and give them a full report.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:22 am

The agents leave the scene of their crime, and Vanessa calls MARCUS. He listens in as she tells them of the team's adventures.

"I see. You actually saw the thing? It sounds as though your entire team kept their head as well. Well done.

"It would have been better had you had gotten your hands on the necklace so we could ensure it never was used by others again, but it sounds like the problem took care of itself. We'll closely monitor the situation, but I think this creature at least is gone for good, along with its summoner. From the sound of it he died screaming. Good.

"It's also good that the others did not get their hand on the necklace. They'd have tried to weaponize the creature. It wouldn't have ended well, even if it did for them. Killing them... well I can't say I'm opposed to it. They've taken down a few good friends of mine,and as far as I'm concerned each and every one of them is a traitor to humanity who deserves a bullet in the back of the head. But they also have considerable power and influence in Washington, and a war between our agencies would be a costly one. From the sound of it no one should suspect your involvement though. Get on the scene and pull rank if you have to to ensure nothing linking back to you is found. That would be a problem neither you nor us need.

"Continue as usual for the day. Tomorrow we'll send non affiliated agents to take over the investigation. We'll send you back home. You won't get any accolades for this one I'm afraid. I sure wish we could have solved this neat and tidy, but we're going to have to drag things out and hope the public eventually forgets about them. Unless you're willing to frame someone and have enough evidence linking them to this
. "He does not sound like he's joking.

If there's nothing else, the call ends, and the agents return to work. This one wouldn't be like the San Carlos case. There would be no slaps on the backs or hints of promotions. Only a cold case. But they at least knew they stopped the threat here, and maybe that was enough.


***
The investigation late into the night. The bodies found inside the mostly burnt out lighthouse have not yet been identified, but the NSA agents van was found near the scene, so most of the cops have a good idea as to who they may be. This leads to many more questions, and much complaining and cursing from the locals as to why the stubborn NSA team did not share whatever lead they were pursuing. The general consensus seems to be that they were glory hungry and led into a trap by the crafty killer.

A few hours before the agents retire, news of Thomas Dengler's disappearance breaks. combined with the earlier home invasion, police are treating this as yet anther of the Chiropractor's crimes. The only clue they had so far is that the school received a call that day from a man identifying himself as Thomas's father. He told the secretary there was an emergency and he needed to pick him up his son. Thomas was dismissed, and it was the last anyone had seen of him.

Detective Gregson looks very tired, like he's not slept for days. He also looks as though he does not expect to have a job much longer. He finally tells the agents they can leave and go back to their hotel, and they oblige. As they enter it, the receptionist catches their eye.

"Ah, excuse me, might you be the FBI Agents? Ah yes, phone call from you. It was from a, let me see here,ah yes, an associate of a Mr. Stephen Alzis. He has an offer he thinks may interest you, and gave you a number to call him back at if you are so interested."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:51 am

Nik thanks the receptionist and when the team are alone he raises the issue.

"Doctor Wu said Alzis is the leader of a crime syndicate, who could have helped us with our recent problem. Firstly, how did he know we were here, and why the fuck should we talk to him? Let's just get back to Arizona. I miss the desert. Never thought I'd say that."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:47 am

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"You're right," says Vanessa. "Dealing with him is likely to be very costly, and that's a price we don't need to pay. Everything here is over. Let's go home."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:23 am

Rue agrees, and the agents ignore the message. They are interrupted and return home the next day. With the death of the NSA agents, the case is officially out of their hands. And for a few weeks, the whole thing becomes a circus that rivals the OJ Simpson trial. But then a suspect is arrested. Hector Gutierrez was a handyman that worked at Glendridge High. He soon confesses to the crimes, and spins a lurid tale so convincingly that the agents almost find themselves believing it even though they know the truth. If contacted, Delta Green tells them to drop the matter and cease any inquiries. Immediately after his confession the news seems to lose interest, and the Glendridge story fades from the public consciousness.

Nik comes into his office one day and finds a bouquet of flowers. The card contains flowery handwriting.

In appreciation for all the assistance you gave me on the case. It was a clever bit of misdirection, sending me to San Carlos. I received sun burn and food sickness. Rest assured though, I found enough to spin a story out of it that kept my producers happy. But I won't forget the "kindness" you've shown me. If we ever meet again, i look forward to making your life a living hell.

Love,

Sonja Dewey.


It would seem he had made an enemy of a reporter. He was becoming a real FBI agent. Though it could prove an inconvenience to his other job in the time to come.

Other than that development though, the case ends, and the agents return to their normal lives. But consciously or not, they find themselves waiting for that next call or email.

Their next night at the opera.

OOC:   And the scenario is officially done! Thanks for sticking with it. I'll post some closing thoughts today or tomorrow, and we'll probably start the next one in a week or so if you're all available. Feel free to post any final character actions you may take, and I'll go ahead and close the thread.  
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:25 pm

Nik throws the flowers in the trash and makes a couple of calls to Glendridge. He first calls Kimberly, getting her number from the local PD. She witnessed Chad being taken by the monster. He tells her briefly that it is over; the creature is gone and won’t be back. He hopes that it will help her get on with her life.

He then calls the high school Principal, and tells him what they found about Thornton’s affair with Lauren, and that the teacher had admitted to it. Hopefully it will be enough for people to start asking questions about him.
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