Modern/Delta Green - The Beginning of the End (COMPLETED) - Page 10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousOne
    Holy crap ... I love this story hour!

    My only complaint is: Who in their right mind takes a SIG 245 as a sidearm, it's a compact... only 6 shots. *sigh*
    Thanks!

    This is one of those rare occassions I'm going to have to lay the blame at the player's feet. Jeremy INSISTED Jim-Bean carry a SIG. I have no idea why. I think he was envisioning a James Bond-type character.

    Which is ironic, because Jim-Bean in practice turns out to be less suave and more violent than James Bond. Or maybe he's more like the modern James Bond...

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    Puppet Show and Shaow Plays: Part 4b – Santana’s Run

    The thrum of the helicopter pounded around the team’s earphones.

    “The car that it stole was found at this gas station,” said Hammer. The helicopter was coming to a landing nearby. It was one of the advantages of Arizona. The landscape was flat as far as the eye could see.

    “Ready?” asked Blade. Everyone had their pistols out. They nodded. “Go!”

    The team hopped out of the chopper. Confused gas station attendants and tourists screamed.

    “Everyone DOWN!” shouted Hammer, flashing his badge. “We’re federal agents! Down on your knees, hands on your head!”

    They corralled the people who were there. It was a large gas station along I-10 West, but it was the only gas station for miles around.

    “Is this everybody?” asked Blade.

    “Yep,” said Hammer.

    “Not quite,” said Jim-Bean. “There’s a corpse with his mouth open in the car over there.”

    Blade pointed at one of the attendants. “You’ve got video cameras here, right?”

    “Uh, yes sir?” asked the pimply-faced teenager.

    “Good. I want to see it.” Blade turned to the others. ““Find out what they saw. I want an inventory count of every car in this station. Nobody leaves until we check them out.”

    The attendant popped the tape into an old VCR. The footage was grainy.

    They had found Santana lying dead, with the tracks of a Ferrari nearby. He had feigned some sort of heart attack on I-10, they surmised, enough to make a good Samaritan pull over. And then whatever was in Santana abandoned him, taking over the driver of the Ferrari, one Joseph Guttierez, a plastic surgeon.

    Guttierez, in the black and white video camera, walked over to his car and mechanically plunged the gas spout into his tank. When they had entered the gas station, the Ferrari was in the same position Guttierez had left it.

    Then he walked off screen. A few seconds later he came back and collapsed. People ran over, concerned. There were eight of them in total, all chattering on their cell phones and kneeling down to look at Guttierez. Some of their heads bobbed out of the camera’s view.

    Then they all stood up and mechanically walked away from the corpse.

    “Guppy, check to see if there’s any gas in the car,” Blade said on his Cistron. He turned to the attendant. “Did you see anything?”

    The kid shook his head. “The man just stared around, like he was taking in the place while he was waiting for the car to gas up.”

    “You didn’t find that strange?” asked Blade.

    “Everyone does that,” muttered Hammer. “Hell, I do that.”

    Blade tapped his Cistron. “Any witnesses?”

    “Nobody remembers anything,” said Caprice. “They all have a moment of lost time where they’re not sure what happened.”

    “What about the body?” asked Blade.

    “Drained of blood,” said Hammer. “Missing some teeth too. Like something burst out of his throat…”

    ”How many people left since it was here?” asked Blade.

    “Eight,” came the reply.

    Guppy, still weak from his wound, huffed back his report. “He never filled the gas tank.”

    “So he never planned to leave with that car,” said Caprice. “It was looking to jump to a new body as soon as it got here.”

    Suddenly Blade punched the table near the monitor. The attendant jumped.

    “Damn it!” he snarled. “We lost it!”

    “This thing has an appetite for fast cars and fast women,” said Archive over the Cistron. “We’ll track the police band. It won’t be lost for long.”

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    Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays: Part 5a – Mouth to Mouth

    A day had passed before they picked up the trail. Guppy’s voice chirped over the Cistron. “Got him!”

    “Where?” Blade was on patrol in their van. Guppy was in the helicopter.

    “Jack DeVries. He robbed the Wells Fargo Bank in West Hollywood.”

    “That’s five hours from here.” Blade shifted into high gear. “I’m on my way.”

    “The chopper’s heading there as well. Take a look at this video.”

    Guppy brought up black and white security camera footage.

    A non-descript looking man in a trench coat walked in, surveying the room in much the same way the witnesses had described Gutierrez surveying the gas station. Then, as three armed guards carrying bags of money walked towards the exit, he unleashed a series of shotgun blasts. All three went down. A fourth guard came from behind, but DeVries whirled and shot him dead.

    People ran screaming, all silently in the world of video surveillance. DeVries nonchalantly picked up the money and then he turned to face the video camera.

    The face of DeVries stretched into a smile. Then he shot the camera.

    “The son of a bitch is toying with us,” snarled Hammer, in the seat next to Blade.

    “It knows we’re after it,” said Jim-Bean. “And it doesn’t care. It can just jump bodies again.”

    Blade hit the accelerator and the van lurched forward. “Not if I can help it.”

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    Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays: Part 5b – Mouth to Mouth

    The N- and C- teams arrived in West Hollywood in record time. They all converged on the van.

    “Where to?” shouted Blade to Guppy.

    Guppy and the others hopped into the back of the van. “St. Joseph’s Hospital!”

    “What? I thought he was robbing a bank?” asked Jim-Bean.

    “He was,” said Archive. “According to the reports, he rammed a police blockade and his car exploded in a hail of gunfire.”

    “He’s gonna jump,” said Hammer.

    St. Joseph’s wasn’t that far away. They screeched to a halt in front of the hospital and Blade ran in.

    After intimidating the nurse at the front desk with his badge, Blade skidded into a room.

    Both hospital beds were empty. Nurses stood around, staring at the floor. A doctor was rubbing his forehead.

    Blade flashed his badge again. “Federal agent. Where’s DeVries?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “What do you mean you don’t know?”

    “He’s dead,” blurted out one of the nurses, pointing between the two beds. Blade craned his neck to see DeVries’ badly burned body; its mouth stretched open, teeth lying on the floor in a halo of blood.

    Blade pointed at the nearby bed. “Where’s the person who was in this bed?”

    “Strangest thing,” said the nurse. “He left when I went after you.”

    The doctor shook his head. “Are you saying a man in his condition walked the hell out of here?”

    “His condition?” Blade looked back and forth between the nurse and the doctor. “What kind of condition?”

    The doctor ticked off his fingers. “Mister Miller has an extremely bad stomach condition, severe gastritis, and his heart deteriorated to the point where we had to schedule a triple bypass. Yesterday afternoon he had a massive coronary…”

    “And he just walked out, right?” said Jim-Bean as he entered the room.

    “Right.”

    “I need a picture of Miller,” snarled Blade. “Now.”

    Archive’s Cistron rang. He scanned the text.

    “Another robbery,” said Archive. “This time of a music store. A man in a hospital gown just bludgeoned the owner to death.”

    “Damn it!” shouted Blade. “He’s moving too fast.”

    “He took his clothes, an iPod, and the money in the register.”

    “Well, we know it likes music, at least,” muttered Jim-Bean.

    Blade turned to go. Guppy’s Cistron rang.

    Blade looked at him expectantly. “Now what?”

    “Three murders at a Ferrari dealership,” said Guppy.

    “Fast cars, loud music…” Jim-Bean snorted. “Just add in women to the mix and that could be me!”

    Blade shot him a glare as he stalked his way to the van.

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    Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays: Part 6a – I Want This Car

    They were watching another security camera video, this time of a car dealership. Jonathan P. Miller, the man who had fled St. Joseph’s Hospital, got into a Ferrari while two men were obviously conducting a sale. After the owner shoved the man out of the car and started to walk away, Miller got back in again. They exchanged words. Then the owner gestured to security to take care of the intruder.

    Miller instead grabbed the man’s arm, wrenched it behind his back, and frog-marched him towards the dealership.

    “That’s when this happened,” said Caprice.

    Three bodies lay on the floor.

    “Two were shot dead,” said Hammer. “The third, the thug, nearly had his arm wrenched out of his socket. Then he was shot in the stomach at point blank range.”

    “Where’d he get the pistol?” asked Blade.

    “It’s registered to the guy at the music store,” said Caprice.

    Blade swore. “Find out who they are and if anyone else was in this lot. And track if any cars are missing.”

    “Already on it,” said Guppy. He tapped some keys. “There is just one car missing.”

    “Don’t tell me,” said Jim-Bean. “A Ferrari.”

    “It’s a Ferrari dealership, so yes that would make sense,” repeated Guppy. “A red Mondial.”

    “That’s not the worst of it,” said Archive. “The dead guy in the white suit there is an arms dealer, Michael F. Buckley. He owns Anchor Imports.”

    Jim-Bean raised his hand. “Who wants to bet that’s an arms cache?”

    Guppy raised his hand, then slowly lowered it when he realized everyone was staring at him.

    “How’d he find that out?” asked Blade.

    “Miller took his wallet,” said Caprice.

    “Perfect,” said Hammer. “Now we’ve got him.”

    Blade arched an eyebrow. “How?”

    “Just wait for the credit card to flag,” said Hammer. “If this thing is as reckless as we think it is, it’s not going to bother to cover its tracks.”

    “Great idea,” said Blade.

    Jim-Bean rifled through the desk of the car dealer and picked up some tagged keys.

    “What are you doing?” asked Caprice.

    “The van’s too slow,” said Jim-Bean with a grin. “We’ll need something a bit faster.”

    Jim-Bean twirled the keys in his hand as he sauntered towards a sleek black Ferrari, whistling as he went.

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    Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays: Part 6b – I Want This Car

    The next time their Cistrons beeped, it was two in the morning.

    Everyone except Hammer and Jim-Bean stumbled out of the West Hollywood hotel and into the van.

    Archive took up his usual seat in the van’s central chair, with access to an array of keyboards and monitors. Guppy hopped in the passenger’s seat.

    “We’ve got a flag at the Harem Room,” said Archive. “It’s a strip club in a nasty part of Los Angeles.”

    “Have the police set up a perimeter a mile outside of that area,” said Blade. “I don’t want to spook it.”

    “We’re there already,” said Jim-Bean over his headset. “Having a Ferrari makes all things possible.”

    “Well?” asked Blade.

    There was some chatter on the other side. “I…ah crap, here’s Miller’s dead body. So he jumped.”

    “The Mondial’s here too,” added Hammer on the other line.

    There was a scream in the distance.

    “What was that?” asked Blade.

    “Some guy is dead in the parking lot with his pants down. Get this, he’s wearing a Ferrari jacket.”

    “So it dumped the Ferrari and the body and grabbed new wheels…” postulated Caprice.

    “And a stripper,” said Archive. “There’s one thing I didn’t tell you guys. This thing likes women. The prostitutes that Kenneth Braverman killed were sexually molested.”

    “Great,” said Blade. “As if this wasn’t disgusting enough.”

    “A blonde woman in a green sedan just smashed through the police blockade,” said Archive.

    “We’re on our way!” said Jim-Bean over the comm.

    “Us too.” Blade drove right past the Harem Room sign and kept driving.

    “What did she just throw out the window?” asked Hammer, his voice rising. They could hear Jim-Bean shifting the Ferrari’s gears.

    Jim-Bean started to say something but it was cut off by the sound of an explosion ahead of the van.

    A few seconds later, they caught sight of the flaming wreckage of Jim-Bean’s stolen Ferrari. The two agents were standing by the side of the road, waving their badges at oncoming cars.

    Ahead, the green sedan was struggling. The other agents had managed to shoot out one of its wheels.

    Blade hit the gas. He pulled up alongside the car.

    Guppy, who was in the passenger’s seat, peered out the window, only to see the barrel of an AK-47 pointing at him.

    “I think this was a bad idea!” He ducked just as the PANG! PANG! PANG! Of bullets dented the exterior of the bulletproof van.

    Blade yanked the wheel hard, sideswiping the rear axle of the car.

    The sedan spun out of control, smashing right through the store window of Neptune Mannequins.

    They screeched to a halt and everyone got out. Lights flickered inside.

    “Mannequins.” Blade took out his composite bow. “Of all the places to lose a stripper, it had to be mannequins.”

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    Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays: Part 6c – I Want This Car

    “My Ferrari!” wailed Jim-Bean. “My poor, beautiful Ferrari!”

    Hammer rolled his eyes. “It wasn’t yours to begin with.”

    “She had such a brief life!” sniffed Jim-Bean. “Oh well, it was a great fling.” He took out his badge and tried to make a vehicle stop.

    The driver peeled out around him.

    “Good luck finding a car at two in the morning,” muttered Hammer.

    A muscle car pulled up. It had tinted windows and music booming so loudly the agents could feel it in their chests.

    “Get out of the car,” shouted Jim-Bean, flashing his badge. “I’m a federal agent and I am commandeering your vehicle.”

    The electronic tinted window slipped down to reveal a man with a backwards cap and hooded sweatshirt. “Yo, homie. I feel bad for you man, but you are NOT takin’ mah car…”

    “I don’t have time for this,” said Jim-Bean. He unslung his HK-G36 from over his shoulder and pointed it at the man in the car. “Give me you car. Now.”

    The windows opened and suddenly Jim-Bean was facing down four pistols.

    “How ‘bout you give me yo wallet, mother-“

    Jim-Bean sprayed the air over the car with gunfire. The vehicle squealed and took off.

    “That was real smooth,” said Hammer. “Drake’s going to have our asses in a sling for sure.”

    “It’s all about finding a fast car,” sighed Jim-Bean. As if to punctuate his point, the wreckage of the Ferrari burst into even more flames.

    Hammer nodded in the direction of a green Volkswagen bug stopped. “Maybe that’s more your speed.”

    “Hey, those bugs run pretty fast. And it looks new.” Jim-Bean stepped out, flashing his badge.

    The bug stopped. The window slowly came down.

    Jim-Bean leaned in. “Federal agent! I’m going to have to commandeer…this…” the man who was driving it got out. “…vehicle.”

    Hammer slapped his forehead.

    The young man struggled to maintain his balance. “Hello officer. I shwear to you I wash NOT drinking…that mush…”

    Hammer got in the passengers’ seat. “From the smell of it, drinking is the least of his problems.”

    “Yeah, whatever.” Jim-Bean led the man to the side of the road. “Touch your nose, walk a yellow line, and prove that you’re not completely wasted, right? Tut, tut!”

    He hopped in the bug and hit the accelerator.

    “You know who that was, right?” asked Hammer.

    “Who?”

    “You ever see Home Alone?”

    Jim-Bean shook his head. “I don’t watch that much American television.”

    Hammer sighed. “I just hope it never gets back to Drake that we stole Macaulay Culkin’s car.”

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    Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays: Part 7a – A Body to Die For

    Caprice offered Guppy his interlaced hands as a step up. “Through the window on three. Ready?”

    Guppy looked at him uncertainly. Then, placing one foot on Caprice’s hand, he hoisted himself on.

    “One.” Guppy shattered the glass with his pistol.

    “Two.”

    “Three!”

    Guppy dove through the window and rolled, slamming into the door of the office on the other side.

    Archive opened the door from the other side of the hallway. “There’s a front door you know.”

    “I knew that!” shouted Guppy, dusting himself off.

    “She’s not in the car,” said Caprice, who had also gone through the front entrance after catapulting Guppy through the window. “So she’s in here somewhere.”

    “Where?” asked Guppy.

    Blade pointed past them. “In there.”

    Swinging double doors led to a warehouse with wall-to-wall mannequins. Blonde, shapely females in all sorts of revealing clothing were everywhere.

    “Great,” said Caprice. He had his pistol out. “Stay low, move slowly.”

    They crept towards the entryway. There was the sound of something large being fired. FOONT!

    “Down!” shouted Blade.

    They ducked backwards as an explosion rocked the warehouse, knocking mannequins everywhere.

    “Mother trucker!” shouted Guppy. “What was that, a rocket launcher?”

    “Close,” said Caprice. They dusted themselves off. The caught a glimpse of a shapely woman in striped red and white stockings climbing a metal ladder in red heels. “I think she’s on the roof.”

    They made their way through the pile of ruined mannequin limbs to the ladder. Caprice went first.

    He peeked his head out over the metal rim of the trap door to the roof.

    Automatic gunfire raked the entryway. “Yep,” said Caprice. “She’s on the roof.”

    The bullets kept coming. Caprice kept his head down until he heard clicking. “She’s out of ammo. Now!”

    He hopped up, firing. Guppy fired his hand-laser. The shot went wide, striking the huge NEPTUNE MANNEQUINS sign that faced the street behind her.

    “They gave you a hand laser?” asked Caprice.

    “Yes?” asked Guppy. “Doesn’t everybody have one?”

    Archive fired a few shots over the edge of the ladder but stayed in relative safety.

    They caught sight of the thing’s latest vessel. It was a blonde in a stripper outfit. She looked like a waitress at one of the old fifties drive-in movie theaters. The stripper dropped the AK-47 in her hands and reached for a large grenade launcher.

    “Get back!” shouted Blade.

    They dove down the entryway again as a grenade exploded around them. The roof partially collapsed, knocking them down the ladder. Fortunately, a soft pile of mannequins was at the bottom.

    There was a creaking sound as the support struts holding up the Neptune sign gave out. The sign teetered and then collapsed backwards, landing on the roof and blasting air outwards.

    Guppy struggled up from the pile of mannequin limbs to catch a glimpse of something red and white streak by the window.

    “Good news!” shouted Guppy. “She’s not on the roof anymore!”

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    Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays: Part 7b – A Body to Die For

    Hammer and Jim-Bean arrived a few minutes after the stripper fell to her death. The police had cordoned off the area.

    “This is very important!” shouted Hammer, flashing his badge. “Who’s in charge here?”

    A police lieutenant came forward. “I am. Lieutenant John Masterson.”

    “I want to know who touched this corpse!” shouted Jim-Bean. “Nobody leaves the area until I say so!”

    Masterson shrugged. “Fine. Not like we had anything else to do at three in the morning.”

    Guppy and Archive were investigating the vehicle. “Hey, I found something!” shouted Guppy over the comm.

    “What is it?” asked Blade. He was distracted, trying to eye every police officer at once, who were in turn glaring at him.

    “There’s this weird transparent basketball in the back of the car,” said Archive.

    “Probably the thing’s ship,” said Guppy. “Hey, wait…uh oh.”

    “Uh oh?” asked Caprice on the line. “What do you mean by uh oh?”

    “It’s beeping,” said Guppy.

    Blade spun to face Masterson. “Everybody out!”

    “What? I thought we were supposed to stay put…”

    “I know what I said! There’s a bomb in the car. Everybody OUT!”

    A second later, Guppy, Caprice and Archive sprinted past them.

    The beeping was louder, more insistent. They could hear even from several feet away. That was enough for the police who stopped what they were doing and ran.

    Blade dove for cover behind the van.

    Jim-Bean, who was closest to the sedan, sighed and took a cigarette out of his pocket. He was far too close to the blast to get away in time.

    The sphere kept beeping. Jim-Bean tapped the cigarette twice, drew it, and put it in his mouth.

    The beeping became a high-pitched whine. Then the blinking lights on the sphere shut off and it stopped beeping.

    “A distraction,” snarled Blade over the comm. “That was to fake us out. It jumped into somebody else.” He sought out Masterson again. “We’re taking that sphere.”

    “Oh no you’re not!” Masterson barked back at him. “I called in the bomb squad. I don’t care who the hell you are, no Fed is going to tell me to stay, then to leave, then take evidence critical to the investigation. If that’s a bomb, my boys will take care of it. If it isn’t, it’s evidence, and it goes back to the police station with us.”

    “Fine,” Blade growled back. “But we’re going with it.”

    “Suit yourself,” said Masterson. He swore under his breath and walked away to address the bomb squad team that had just arrived.

    Still alive, Jim-Bean looked around. With a shrug, he flipped out a lighter and lit his own cigarette.

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