Modern/Delta Green - The Beginning of the End (COMPLETED) - Page 81


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    Wonderful! I'm always happy to hear of a campaigns successful conclusion. I'm looking forward to more installments. forgive the typos, I'm postig from a phone.
    “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

 

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    Curse of the Bone: Conclusion

    All right, time to wrap this campaign up before the end of the year. Unfortunately I've moved on to other writing projects so I can't write out in full fiction form the entire campaign like I used to. I'm already on to something else. But I feel I owe it to Red Tonic to actually finish this, so I'll post what I do have (several chapters to go of fiction), and then summarize what happened to the end of the campaign so at least we get some closure.

    Thank you for reading!

    =======

    Hammer's phone rang.

    "Yeah?"

    "It's me. Listen, I found the cult's headquarters. I want ya to take it out."

    "We're not assassins, Cornwell. I told you that."

    "I know. Which is why I sent the Grove brothers to do it. But ya saw how that worked out, right?"

    "Yeah," said Hammer. "I saw."

    "Then you'll want to do this. These bastards killed me kin. They're gonna pay."

    "Are you?"

    "I'll play ya in explosives. Big ones. Whatever you need, it's yours, after this."

    Hammer relayed the message to Archive and Jim-Bean. They agreed. They were going to need more firepower with the number of eldritch abominations they were facing after the Nightmare Wave.

    "Okay. We'll help—"

    "One other thing."

    "Yeah?"

    "I'm coming with ya."

    Cornwell hung up before Hammer could protest.
    Mike "Talien" Tresca

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    Chapter 61: Live Evil - Introduction

    This story hour is from "Live Evil" by Dave S. Moore. You can read more about Delta Green at http://www.delta-green.com. Please note: This story hour contains spoilers!

    Our cast of characters includes:
    • Game Master: Michael Tresca (http://michael.tresca.net)
    • Joseph “Archive” Fontaine (Dedicated Hero/Acolyte) played by Joe Lalumia
    • Jim “Jim-Bean” Baxter (Charismatic Hero/Telepath) played by Jeremy Ortiz (Jeremy Robert Ortiz)
    • Kurtis “Hammer” Grange (Fast/Dedicated Hero/Gunslinger) played by George Webster

    Live Evil is an interesting con scenario that's very difficult to survive. The characters play a camera crew following another camera crew's disappearance on Halloween. The story involves an entire village full of cultists with no rules on adjudicating an attack, an assumption that one of the characters will end up making Eihort's bargain, and a lot of dramatic but ultimately forced narrative that puts the investigators on a road to hell.

    I tweaked it, but only slightly. Capable agents with firepower have a fighting chance. I also put the rules for mobs to good use, which helped turn the village cult into a formidable but quantifiable foe. The rest of the scenario played out pretty much as expected, although I fleshed out a few additional beasts to spice things up.

    The agents demonstrated their powers are now far beyond mortal man. Jim-Bean in particular can levitate himself and others, and that ability alone changes the tactics significantly.

    Defining Moment: Cornwell decides to go out with a bang.

    Relevant Media
    • Live Evil by Dave S. Moore: Halloween. A busy time of year for employees of the Sci-Fi channel, such as yourselves. However, on this particular night of the dead, a camera crew have gone missing in a creepy little village in Wales? Can you find them before...things that definitely should not be...find you? YSDC Files - Modern Day Scenarios - Live Evil - Yog-Sothoth
    • Meet Your Master by Nine Inch Nails: [ame=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VZTJ0G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=michaeltresca&linkCode =as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000VZ TJ0G]Amazon.com: Meet Your Master: Nine Inch Nails: MP3 Downloads[/ame]
    Mike "Talien" Tresca

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    Live Evil: Prologue

    You want to play a new game
    You put on this blindfold
    You do what we tell you
    You do as you're told

    --Meet Your Master by Nine Inch Nails
    LLANGORSE, WALES— Night blanketed the tiny village of Llangorse as they finally arrived.

    "I sent a camera crew here," explained Cornwell, decked out in full combat gear complete with a tactical vest, shotgun shells draped over one shoulder, an Uzi, and a belt of grenades. "They never reported back."

    "A camera crew?" asked Jim-Bean. "You own a television station?"

    "I got a lotta contacts," said Cornwell. "They were supposed to be filmin' a documentary about the place. I do it all the time, send in reporters to scope the opposition out."

    Hammer drove down the tiny and twisting main street. "And send innocents into danger."

    Patches of fog crept across the light from their headlamps, no doubt sweeping in from the nearby lake. Its pale curtain enshrouded the village, giving it a ghostly death like quality, an impression not helped by the lack of activity.

    "I've never sent a man to his death that didn't deserve it," said Cornwell. "The gangs won't off a journalist – most of 'em would welcome the publicity. But these kooks – they don't play by any rules. 'sides, this may well be a rescue mission too. If they're still alive."

    Archive looked out the passenger side window. "I don't think there's much life here."

    Indeed, the only activity seemed to be a few stragglers making their way to and from the village pub, which was lit by the only streetlight in the village.

    "Maiden Manor is the place they were investigatin', the place I thought was the cult's lair."

    As they reached the other end of the village, the large, dark silhouette of Maiden Manor loomed. There was no sign of life – there were no lights on.

    Leaving the road, and pulling into the driveway, their headlamps illuminated the Tudor facade of the manor house. The darkness in the windows confirmed the impression of complete inactivity.

    The 4x4 came to rest by the cement steps leading up to the grand oaken front door. When Hammer switch the engine off the encroaching fog muffled all sound, leaving only the deathly quiet of the Welsh countryside. The subdued light from the rising moon cresting distant hills added to the isolation.

    Jim-Bean got out of the 4x4 and stretched his legs. "Okay Cornwell, have you dealt with the supernatural before?"

    Cornwell snorted, checking his shotgun. "I'm from Brichester. I know how to deal with it. Why?"

    Jim-Bean's voice echoed in all their heads. "Because you're going to deal with it right now."

    Cornwell blinked. "Blimey! That's a neat trick. Better'n headsets that's for sure."

    Jim-Bean grinned. It was refreshing to meet someone who didn't scream or shoot at psychic phenomena. "I think we'll get along just fine."

    "Speaking of your abilities, can you scan the house Jimmy?" Hammer spoke out loud out of habit.

    "Scan the house?" asked Cornwell.

    Jim-Bean nodded and turned to face the house. He put one hand to his temple and stretched the other towards the front of the manor house, scanning each room as if he were holding a laser microphone.

    After a few minutes he shook his head. "Static. There's definitely some psychic phenomena in there."

    Hammer cracked his knuckles. "Looks like we're going in. Be ready for anything."

    Cornwell clutched his shotgun a little tighter.
    Mike "Talien" Tresca

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    Live Evil: Part 1 – Ground Floor

    After jimmying the lock they entered the manor proper, a large hall with a high-beamed ceiling. The floor was polished and lacquered wood and the walls were wood paneling. The walls were decorated with tapestries and paintings showing scenes from every-day life in the 17th century. There were various mahogany cabinets, dressers and drawers scattered about the periphery of the room. In the middle of the room was a large plain rug. The windows were stained glass and filled with various heraldic symbols and a large curved wooden banister and staircase led up to the first floor. In the middle of the ceiling was an extremely expensive-looking and impressive crystal chandelier. Various doors led off to other parts of the ground floor.

    Jim-Bean focused. "There was a camera here. Someone smashed it." He pointed at the rug. "They swept the pieces under the rug."

    Cornwell looked crestfallen. "So they were here."

    "And they weren't alone," said Jim-Bean. "There's something in the lounge."

    He made his way over to the lounge. The room was decorated in a similar fashion to the study, but there were several old sagging couches and sofas scattered about the room. Mounted on the wall opposite the window, and looking rather out of place was a shiny silver crucifix.

    Archive froze, transfixed, staring.

    The room darkened suddenly. The crucifix on the wall glowed with a bright light and then burst into flames. They flared for a moment and then subsided, as quickly as they started. The darkness fled and the rest of the room returned to normal.

    "Did you guys see that?" asked Archive, gasping. "The crucifix is burning!"

    Jim-Bean and Hammer exchanged glances. "Uh, no?"

    The crucifix hung on the wall, unburnt and seemingly untouched…

    Archive touched it. It was cool. He pulled the cross off the wall.

    "Hey!" protested Cornwell, a God-fearing Catholic. "That's a symbol of our Lord yer playing with there…"

    His protest was interrupted by the SHING! of a sword drawn from its sheath. A glistening blade protruded from the cross held aloft in Archive's hand, the other filled with the sheath that was formerly the bottom of the cross. He looked like a Templar called to service.

    "Looks like you had that vision for a reason." Jim-Bean, unimpressed, was already on to the next room.

    "The last time we saw that was on an OCCULUS agent from PISCES," said Hammer. "So be careful."

    Archive nodded and sheathed the blade.
    Mike "Talien" Tresca

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    Live Evil: Part 2 – The Master Bedroom

    It took awhile for the other agents to catch up to Jim-Bean. He was silent, head cocked.

    "What?" asked Cornwell. The others knew better than to interrupt Jim-Bean when he was in a trance.

    Jim-Bean put one finger to his lips. "Shh. I'm listening."

    Cornwell looked around. "To what?"

    "To history."

    A female voice whispered, "I I have a bad feeling about this. Something isn’t right."

    "Quiet Emma," said a male voice. "It is vitally important that nothing disturbs Chris."

    There was a pause. Long silence was followed by a dull thump.

    "Is it me or is it getting cold in here?" asked the female.

    "Yes it is, isn’t it?" replied the male.

    "Do you think—" the woman was interrupted by an exclamation from another woman, by the window.

    "$#!+! Look out there… what are those lights?"

    "Hold on a moment, this tape is coming to an end," said the male. "I’ll need to change tapes."

    "No damn it!" shouted the second woman. "Look at all those lights outside!"

    "Crap…you’re right. What are they?"

    There was a muffled bang. Several of the people in the room shouted in unison.

    Sounds of running feet were followed by another loud bang.

    "Oh $#!+! What are those things?"

    More footsteps followed by a dull thud. Silence.

    The female shrieked, "They’re all over me!" followed by a burst of staccato screams, then a curious gurgling noise.
    Jim-Bean took a deep breath, snapping out of his trance. "Something very bad went down here," he said. "And I don't suggest we stick around to find out what it is."
    Mike "Talien" Tresca

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    Live Evil: Part 3 – Gone Daffyd

    Just outside the manor house, a fog-veiled figure was silhouetted by the pale moonlight. Some six-foot high and wearing a long black coat, it stood with its back to them, unaware of their presence.

    Jim-Bean crept up to him, pistol at the ready. "Turn around slowly."

    "Wha?!" The man spun and a spray of urine nearly spattered Jim-Bean.

    The man had a careworn grimy face. Two glistening blue eyes stared out from beneath a full beard and moustache. The eyes were unfocused and initially uncomprehending. Jim-Bean knew the smell of a drunk, back when he still ate and drank.

    “Who…who are you?” he stuttered, in a thick Welsh accent, before shrugging his shoulders in protest.

    "More importantly," asked Hammer menacingly. "Who are you?"

    “Leave me alone! I don’t want anything to do with whatever it is you want!”

    "I think you can take some time to chat with us." Jim-Bean took a flask out of his pocket. "Here."

    The man's eyes followed the flask like a fish desperate to plunge into water. He snatched it out of Jim-Bean's hand and took a swig. "Yer very kind, stranger."

    "As my friend was saying…"

    "Th' name's Daffyd James Jones. I grew up around here."

    Cornwell grabbed him by the collar to get the drunk's attention. "And did ya see a camera team here?"

    "Aye. There was a camera team in the village for the last couple of days – I don't know where they went though. I'd ask at the Merry Maiden if I were you."

    And with that he slowly stumbled his way to the pub.

    "Well, guess we should go with him," said Hammer. "Jimmy, you're with me. Archive, Cornwell, you take point outside."

    The fog lifted somewhat as they started to make their way towards the center of the village. From up ahead came a shrill whistle, blasting through the fog, followed by a roar. Ghostly lights appeared, dulled and softened by the pale foggy curtain still hanging in the air.

    Then suddenly, as if by some supernatural hand, the fog cleared. A group of people holding bottles and pint glasses were standing outside the pub, surrounding a large grey shire horse, draped in a saddle covered with garlands of flowers. The horse seemed unbothered by the drinking and dancing of the villagers. Indeed, they could hear their cheers and songs, most of which are unintelligible due to intoxication. One lonely street light, mounted on the wall of the pub, illuminated the scene, casting a gentle orange glow on the whole area.

    The horse was guarded by four large and burly villagers dressed in black and green capes, who stood facing outward, staring into the night and not partaking in the general festivities. One of them was holding the bit and bridle of the horse.

    "Hey," said Hammer. "What are you doing with that horse?"

    "It is a symbolic sacrifice to the spirits of the dead, to prepare for the forthcoming Winter. This is all cleared by Constable Pritchard.”

    Jim-Bean shook his head. "I don't like this. This looks cult-like to me."

    "Of course it is," said Hammer nonchalantly. Marching to their doom, they made their way to the Merry Maiden.
    Mike "Talien" Tresca

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    Live Evil: Part 4 – Maiden Merry

    Entering the pub was like stepping backward into the 17th century. The ceiling was low, dominated by large wooden beams. The atmosphere was smoky, making it nearly impossible to see the long low bar on the other side of the room.

    The smoke was produced by a dozen tables worth of villagers, talking amongst themselves whilst sipping their drinks. Some of them were wearing costumes of garlands of flowers and long capes. A few glanced up as the agents entered before returning their attention to their drinks and the conversations they were having.

    The only concession to the modern era was a fruit machine standing lonely in one corner, multi-colored lights flashing away, ignored by the rest of the pub.

    "We're looking for Pritchard," said Hammer.

    "Ya mean Constable Pritchard of the South Wales Police”, corrected a hook-nosed villager. He pointed to a large gentleman sitting in the corner, deep in conversation with another villager.

    Constable Pritchard was a youngish man with blond hair. Judging by his farming clothes he was off-duty. He cheerfully waved them over. The thin man with sallow features got up and left without saying a word.

    "What kin I do fer ya gentlemen?"

    Hammer didn't sit, his stance aggressive, hands at the ready to reach for his pistols if need be. "We're looking for a camera crew that was at the manor house. Have you seen them?"

    "Oh aye. They were in the village, but left this morning to go film somewhere outside of the village. They are due back sometime this evening when they will be filming the Ceremony on the mountain."

    "Hammer," said Jim-Bean, one hand inching under his overcoat.

    Hammer waved him off. "That the ceremony that involves the horse. Going to slaughter it or something?"

    Pritchard looked indignant. "The Ceremony is a time-honored village tradition, stretching back hundreds of years. Every Halloween, a straw man is burnt on the mountain as a respectful nod to our Celtic ancestors. The horse is not going to be sacrificed in reality but only symbolically."

    "That's when the giant straw man comes to life and kills everybody," whispered Jim-Bean. "I say we torch the place."

    "In fact, the Ceremony is just about to start. Would you like to accompany me?"

    Hammer and Jim-Bean exchanged glances. "Sure."

    Pritchard gathered up a bulging rucksack from beneath the table and left. The pub emptied soon after.

    Outside, a gaggle of villagers, some of which were wielding flaming torches, milled about. Constable Pritchard produced a whistle and blew on it shrilly. The villagers formed up into a drunken approximation of a military procession with the horse at the front. Out of nowhere appeared Jones, manhandled by two villagers, and he was lifted up onto the horse

    The fog lifted, leaving a crisp, clear Autumn night with the stars sparkling brightly above. The whole convoy of over sixty villagers staggered off out the village and slowly up the hill on foot, chanting and singing Welsh folk songs.

    Following the procession, Jim-Bean and Hammer, trailed by Archive and Cornwell, made their way to the ritual site on top of Givenny Hill.
    Mike "Talien" Tresca

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    Live Evil: Part 5 – The Fool on the Hill

    A gently winding road led up Givenny Hill for approximately half-a-mile at a fairly steep angle. The villagers made surprisingly good time up the hill, sobering up.

    The top of the hill was deserted and in darkness. From that height the countryside could be viewed for miles around. Nestled immediately at the foot of the hill was the village of Llangorse, a few sparse lights the only sign of its presence.

    Coming up the hill the torches in the winding column of villagers were visible. To the west, Llangorse Lake stretched out into the darkness, the weak moonlight reflected off the surface and gave it a curious grey tint – it appeared like a thin sheet of grey silk stretched between the hills.

    The lake itself was interrupted by several small heavily wooded islands rising out of the water like blackened pimples. The hilltop itself was bare and covered in short grass.

    A gigantic wicker behemoth stood at the very highest point of the hill. Some thirty feet tall, its feet surrounded by piles of firewood and kindling, it reinforced how insignificant and puny man was. It rose up into the darkness, seemingly built by the hands of giants and not mortal men.

    The villagers spread out and formed a circle around the statue. Pritchard started putting on some black robes that he produced from a rucksack.

    Jim-Bean was just shy of pulling his guns out. "Wait. Did he really just put on cultist robes?"

    Pritchard, masked and robed, strode forward to address the crowd. His voice was surprisingly low.

    “Brethren”, he said, “tonight marks the final triumph. We have gathered here every year for decades, and our fathers before that, and our forefathers before that. We have fought the infidels and their foreign idols, and we have triumphed!”

    His voice grew louder. “But brothers and sisters – we have a new threat. You all know of whom we speak, and the Lord of the Labyrinth is not pleased. Therefore another sacrifice is required. Behold!”

    He reached up and pulled down Jones from the horse. Strong hands from behind seized him and several burly villagers wearing capes and garlands brought him forward and held him in front of Pritchard.

    Pritchard spoke again. “Ah brother Daffyd…for too long you have refused to join us, instead seeking comfort in the solace of the bottle. But no longer. My gift to you is revealed.”

    There was a strange retching noise, as Pritchard bent over double and stumbled. Even in the weak moonlight, glistening arcs of a steaming black liquid emerge from his body. He collapsed with a curious gurgling noise.

    It was answered by a piercing scream as Pritchard's cloak ruffled, as if there was a wind, and several white spider-like creatures emerged from beneath it.

    "That's it!" Jim-Bean threw back his overcoat to reveal his firearm. "I'm torching this place!"

    The spiders swarmed over Pritchard for a moment, and then leaped towards Jones, still held fast. They clamber up his body. He let out a scream as they burrowed their way into his face, their tiny repulsive white limbs forcing apart his mouth.

    A red hole appeared in his forehead as Hammer put Daffyd out of his misery.

    Daffyd collapsed to his knees for a moment…then gradually stood up.

    Daffyd spoke in a very different voice than his usual drunken slur. Strong and commanding, he shouted with the strength of a man unburdened by years of alcohol abuse.

    “The time is at hand! The Shambler below demands obedience. Time for the ceremony to begin!” he said with a flourish.

    With that signal, there was an orgasmic moan from all the assembled villagers. They converged on Hammer and Jim-Bean.

    Jim-Bean levitated both of them up into the night sky. "Cornwell," he telepathically transmitted, "if you've got some grenades, now would be a great time to use them!"

    "No, wait—" shouted Hammer, helpless in the grip of Jim-Bean's telekinesis.

    FOONT! A grenade struck the base of the wicker man. The wicker statue lit up almost immediately, sending a torrent of flames into the night sky. As if in response, the sky itself seemed to catch fire. Several large shooting stars suddenly passed overhead, and headed over the lake. Stunningly, a series of motes of light rose from an island in the middle of the lake and rise up into the night sky. Somehow, they met the shooting stars and there was an almighty flash and a loud bang.

    The mob let out a low roar as they surged towards the source of the grenade. Archive stood before them, arm outstretched, chanting. The end result was a white hot column of flame that shrieked downwards, instantly incinerating several villagers and setting fire to others nearby.

    FOONT! Another grenade from Cornwell blew up a piece of the countryside. The burning wicker man threatened to topple.

    "You want your sacrifice?" snarled Jim-Bean, eyes flickering from the bonfire. "Here it is!" He pointed at the burning statue and the blazing head detached. It bounced and rolled down the hill, crushing some villagers and igniting still more.

    "Put me down!" shouted Hammer. "I see something we can use!"

    The mob reorganized itself, spreading out to attack the area where Archive and Cornwell were holed up. Jim-Bean tossed Hammer near a farmhouse. He landed on a haystack in its loft…

    …and left driving a thresher. The thresher smashed through the double doors and kept going. Villagers dove out of the way.

    "Where's Daffyd?" Hammer thought into the mindlink that connected the agents and Cornwell. "We've got to take out the leader!"

    "They're done," said Jim-Bean. "The villagers are running for the hills."

    "Andrews?" asked Cornwell, involuntarily shouting his thoughts to the others. "It's John Andrews, one of the camera crew!"

    Jim-Bean landed next to Cornwell, who was comforting the panicked man. "Should I shoot him now or later?"
    Mike "Talien" Tresca

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    Live Evil: Part 6 – The Itsy Bitsy Spider

    John Andrews eyes were wide with terror and he was breathing very hard as he struggled to get some words out. When they did come out, it was a quick torrent of pleas…

    "Please...go and find the others….the villagers took us out to the lake…I don’t know if they are still alive… I managed to escape…Please! Hurry up and find them…there are caverns beneath the lake…"

    "How did you escape?" asked Cornwell.

    "I…I don't know. I don't remember anything but the caverns beneath the lake."

    "And the others?"

    "I remember seeing Chris Chavez, Tony Adimeju, and Jenny Butler, but not Emma McFarland."

    "Calm down," said Hammer. "Take a deep breath and tell us what happened.

    Andrews shuddered from the adrenaline rush, but he was finally able to regain some measure of control.

    "We arrived in the village three days ago. We were wrapping up our shoot when a mob of villagers suddenly surrounded and stormed the manor house. They were led by the local policeman, a Constable Pritchard. What happened after that I can’t remember, apart from some odd flashes of random memories – a journey over the lake by boat, some caverns beneath the lake, and some memories of spiders crawling over me…"

    Suddenly, Andrews’ eyes opened wide, and his face transformed into a mask of utter horror. He bent over double, holding his stomach, gasping in pain. Blood started to trickle down his face, pouring out if his eyes and ears. He collapsed, squirming.

    BLAM! Cornwell stood with a smoking pistol over Andrews' head. "Sorry lad. It was fer the best."

    But large bumps swelled on Andrews' skin around his face and hands as if out of nowhere. Great rents opened up in his skin. Blood poured from the open wounds, crimson arcs splattering his whole body and the area around it.

    Andrews whole body convulsed, and a dozen small, translucent, spider-like creatures crawled out of his wounds.

    Tearing the pin off a thermite grenade, Cornwell dropped it on the corpse. "So that's what happens to the poor bastards," he whispered.

    "Told you to shoot him," said Jim-Bean.
    Mike "Talien" Tresca

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