Lover In The Ice: Background and Lambert Airport

Lafontaine, Missouri, is paralyzed by an ice storm. Delta Green has received a silent alarm from a storage unit in the city and needs eyes on the ground. (Content warning: body horror and sexual violence.)

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Lover In The Ice: Background and Lambert Airport

Postby leestriter » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:09 am

It’s the first week of January, 2018. An apocalyptic ice storm struck Lafontaine, Missouri on Jan. 2. An extreme cold front from the northeast caused a 30˚ drop in ground temperature over a matter of hours. Simultaneously, humidity reached 100% and a thunderstorm blanketed the region. The rain, already barely above freezing, coated everything in layer upon layer of ice. Roofs collapsed under four-inch sheets. Trees exploded as sap flash-froze in the trunks. Transformers shorted out and fell flaming from their posts. Cars not crushed by falling debris skidded off impassible roads or froze up. Flights in and out of the area were cancelled. The governor declared the city a disaster area, but the ice and continuing winter weather prevented dispatch of services.

Inside Lafontaine, a mothballed Green Box—a storage facility rented by the conspiracy in the old days—sent a silent alarm to Delta Green on the night of the storm. The contents of the box were never inventoried after the organizational restructuring in 2001, and the Friendly caretaker on site is not responding. Delta Green doesn’t know what caused the breach or what potential threats might now be in the field. They need eyes on the ground.

The nearest available operatives—the players’ Agents—each get a call from a known Delta Green case officer the afternoon of Jan. 5. The call comes in the usual way, from one of half a dozen numbers arranged ahead of time but which frequently change. The caller did his best to sound like he was confirming an ordinary dinner or business meeting. He gave a time and place: a private TSA conference room at Lambert Airport, St. Louis, Missouri, 11:45 P.M. that night. It was up to each Agent to make personal arrangements and get a last-minute flight to Lambert. Whether the Agents have cash or debit cards provided earlier by Delta Green, or have to use their own money. As always, traveling by plane in the U.S. restricts the kind of gear they can carry. Federal law enforcement officers are allowed their duty sidearms, but no one can carry personal weapons aboard. Delta Green Agents are often expected to equip themselves to suit the mission after they arrive.

TSA agents at Lambert allow the Agents into the conference room. Inside is a balding man in his early fifties, with a heavy paunch and deep circles under his eyes. He does not offer his name here but the Agents know him as DHS Special Agent Patrick Hill. They have met him before. He’s a Delta Green case officer. He arranges missions. He is the go-between and cut-out between the Agents on the ground and the rest of Delta Green. The mission is the Agents’ job; the Agents are his job. If the Agents worry about eavesdropping, he waves off their concerns. Maybe he already handled it. “Let’s get this out of the way. “Back before 9/11, people did our group’s work out in the cold. Then we got activated, or reactivated anyway. During the transition…decisions were made. I didn’t make those decisions, and I don’t know the people who did. But they were made, and now we’re here. “I don’t know more. I can’t know more. We’re all only here because we were closest. I’m not going with you because I’ve been up for two days trying to find you a ride into the goddamn mission area. Got it?"

“So…sometime around 2002, some team or another was tasked with repurposing assets from the old group into the new program. At least the ones we knew about. To my understanding, it was a cost/risk analysis based on the needs of the moment and the current budget. “Lo and behold, they tended to report that moving things out of unsecure private storage to secure, official locations wasn’t worth it. I don’t know if it was because the contents were too volatile, or someone couldn’t be bothered to find a truck, or if they didn’t trust the transition...I don’t know, OK? Wasn’t there. But one of those storage sites was in Lafontaine. “Yeah. That Lafontaine. The one from the news. “They installed an alarm on the door. They got some Friendly from the utility company—one Skip Mills—to keep an eye on the place. Gave him some bullshit about maintaining a secret counter-terrorism storage site or something. Do it for God and country—the typical patriotic, make-your-life-matter spiel. He was strictly observe-and-report. Guy never had a key, far as I can tell. The idea was to come back to the box in a few months when things settled down. “Well, it’s been a few months. “The storage unit is at an Earl’s Rent-A-Space, unit 0171—I know; OPSEC clusterfuck. You’re preaching to the choir. Anyway, the site is designated GB 224. Ice storm hits the city hard the night of the 2nd, and the parrot box—the security system—sends a silent alarm to someplace above my pay grade and reports a breach. This shit is so far buried in the shuffle that nobody in signals picks up on the damn thing until two days later. That’s when they drag my ass out of bed. “So we have nothing on the ground. I don’t know if this Mills was on the silent alarm’s call list or not. All I know is that I can’t get a hold of him. But then I can’t get a hold of anyone. Phone lines are down across the entire city and most of the cell towers are dead. Something like 70% of buildings are without power still. “Anyway, we’re blind down there. All we know is that the door to GB 224 has been open for going on a week. We don’t know what’s inside. We don’t know if this Mills guy is on the level. We just don’t know, and you have to find out.

“I got you a ride on a National Guard disaster-relief convoy. It leaves in a few minutes. You’re on an oversight group working for FEMA. Don’t abuse the cover. The legend is paper-thin and I can’t for the life of me think why anyone would put y’all in the same room together. But it’s the best I can do on short notice. Paperwork is on the table. “I got you some office space squared away at the City Utilities company. Fuck knows I spent enough time on the radio trying to find their boss. From there, find out where this Mills guy is and what he knows. Head out to GB 224 and inventory the contents. See if you can tell if anything is missing. “And if something’s out there? Do what needs to be done. Text me if you need something, but keep those messages clean and coded. I’ll do what I can from here, but…well, there’s a hundred miles of solid ice around you in every direction and more alphabet-soup agencies and media in the theater than you can shake a stick at. Don’t expect miracles. “Hell, don’t expect anything. “You’re on your own.” In short, the mission is to find the Skip Mills, discover why he hasn’t reported in, inventory the Green Box, and report and eliminate any threats in the area.

The Agents enter Lafontaine in the back of a Navistar Defense 7000-MV troop transport stuffed with blankets, clothing, and food. The ride is freezing and uncomfortable, but the disaster relief convoy has the only military vehicles capable of getting anyone across the icy Midwestern plains.
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