Sunday, May 22, 2016

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Unceasing Prophet Part One - Monster of the Week Campaign

This time the the operation was decided due to information coming from M-Com's official governmental connections. A tourist group heading into the mountains around Lake Kaindy in Kazakhstan was attacked by some sort of unidentified monster.  Two individuals were currently in the hospital, one still unconscious and in critical condition while the other was in recovery. The other tourists were being housed in a hotel. They were all at the nearest Kazakhstani city Almaty, about eighty miles to the Northwest of the site. Prior to the briefing, Thomas the Chosen had a dream beforehand where he found himself underwater and viewing bubbles.

Thomas and Kasper decided to try to get a team from command to take with them, a mix of techs and tacticals. The request went through without any problem and they ended up deciding to take two of the survivors from the previous mission, Sqauddie (formerly Rookie) Kallistos Daley; who had apparently been put into the psy-potential program after the last mission revealed that she had aptitudes for psionic empathy and mind control; and Rookie Crista Price. Along with them they took one of the divination team, Ginger Mills; an engineer, Dr. Marcia Campbell; and a doctor and biologist Dr. Katherine Richards. 

Upon arrival, the local police chief, Aslan Temir, was on hand to greet them. At first he walked right past Kasper's beaten up old Scout International and walked to the more high-tech portable lab van the team had brought with them. He started off addressing Daley who awkwardly redirected him toward Kasper. The chief then took a double-take as he saw the man in a perfect black suit stepping out of a beaten up old scout. Agent Sierzant attempted to use his questionable charm to lay the chief at ease and get the lay of the situation. Unfortunately, his casual and moderately uncaring attitude made the chief a little bit suspicious about why "Interpol" was investigating an animal attack.

After getting the basics of of where everything was. Kasper and Thomas set Campbell and Mills to look at the the evidence the police had while they took Daley and Richards to the hospital. Once there, they found a German twenty-something kid as the only conscious person of the two heavily injured people and he seemed to be very...put out, less concerned with his near death than the nature of the jello he was receiving.

There was a brief consideration as to whether they should have Daley use her newly developed "double dose" of mind control to force the unconscious kid to wake up but they were unable to convince her that it would be safe so they went right to the picky German kid. The German got very nervous when Kasper identified himself as Interpol. He got a little bit more nervous when Kasper directed Richards to look at the reports on the injuries and the Dr implied that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to undo his cast or bandages in a haphazard statement as she was walking out. Then Thomas launched into a barrage of energetic twelve-year old nonsense questions punctuated occasionally by questiong from Kasper, along with a quip predicting that the monster had a man-pony. Between what he said out loud due to the quick fire questions and what the confusion brought to the surface for the empath, they were able to realize that the German kid had been planning to sneak off from the group to look into getting some drugs. 

Analysis of the injuries and the kid's statements revealed that it was either one very fast monster or several decently fast monsters, about seven to nine feet tall and extremely hairy with long arms that had claws. The German was grabbed by the leg and flung like a ragdoll while the college kid still unconscious was grabbed about the torso with two hands and squeezed inward, crushing him before tossing him aside.

From there, they went to the hotel to question the other members of the tour group. Once again, Thomas acting as much like a normal kid as he could and using his youthful charm set things up for the tourists to casually relay their stories. At which point they realized that only foreigners were directly attacked. The tourists from other parts of Kazakhstan were largely left alone while the minor injuries and major injuries were all inflicted on foreigners. Aside from that, they managed to figure out that the creature came from the trees but escaped into the water when the rangers came to rescue the tourists. Daley also told them that it felt like there was an unreasonable, even for the situation, sense of fear underneath the entire situation. Also, while they each had their own travel agent, they all purchased slots on the same tour package.

Heading back to the police department, they checked with the rest of their team to confer on ideas about what the monster's capabilities. The techs were certain that there was only one very fast and very strong creature and that it showed signs of intelligence, diving into the water to escape from the bullets rather than going back to the woods. Theories were floated about whether it was more werewolf-like or gorilla like and the suggestion was made that it felt like one of those classes of creatures that were formerly human rather similar to the North American wendigo.

Then Mills and Thomas worked on a ritual to peek at the monster in its current place. Unfortunately, aside from a brief glimpse of a skull-like withdrawn face and a wrecked hunter's cabin, the only thing the ritual managed to produce was infecting Kasper with a sudden and extreme sense of xenophobia and hatred for all the non-Polish people around him. However, as soon as he started to settle into the tactical thoughts of analyzing weaknesses and positions, his rational mind kicked into gear and he fought down the unreasoning emotion.

After that near miss, Thomas and Kasper went off with Rookie Price to catch Captain America: Civil War while the police looked up some names in the area for them. Upon their return they found that the parking lot of the police station seemed rather light. They first went to the chief who seemed to be acting like nothing was out of the ordinary and when they questioned where their team was, they were told that everybody was fine. Getting to their team, Squaddie Daley informed them that about five off-road vehicles and maybe twenty cops had left the area about an hour ago causing Thomas and Kasper to go back to speak to the Chief of police. He was initially unhelpful stating that the information they had found from the witnesses and hospital was plenty and that his police would handle the problem.

Peeved that some idiot had unwittingly sent a load of people into danger he didn't understand, Thomas used his inhuman strength as the Chosen to destroy the chief's desk as a counter point to his assertions that his people were prepared for whatever animal it was. Kasper meanwhile connected with M-Com and requested tracking the GPS on some state vehicles. This ended up with a chewing out regarding tact from Commander Adrense followed by an assertion from Kasper that he was perfectly presentable and even had an Armani suit back home. Which resulted in Adrense commenting that perhaps they should be looking into his budget if he can afford Armani suits. However, the cops were tracked down to a position very close to the target area and Thomas had convinced the chief to direct the cops to the town rather than go immediately to the hunt.

While on the phone, however, despite being chewed out, Kasper did find himself assigned to leadership of a team. Indeed, the team he currently had with him (as well as Rookie Narciso Therese Valerio if the whole "rendered into a crystalline statue by an otherworldly giant insect" thing ever got resolved). So as they prepped to continue the long day by following the police, he gave a speech about how balanced a team they were and how he thought they were doing great and would be able to pull off great things and how they were all women except for the kid and as the only adult male he thought that was good. Dr. Richards commented that Commander Adrense was requesting he set up a time for sexual harassment training.

Along the way to the target area they learned that the police had been attacked and that the attack had had fatalities this time. They came on to the sight finding it guarded by two rangers but they were far too tired to get any really useful information from the site other than the fact that parts of the two over turned jeeps seemed to be melted. Thomas refused to leave the site, not trusting the two oddly eager rangers, and thus the team set up camp around the mobile lab with Thomas and Kasper on guard first. Thomas failed to remain awake but Kasper was still resisting nodding off when a weedy looking man started creeping up to the site and moved to knock on the door of the mobile lab. 

Stepping out of his sniper's nest in the tree, Kasper interviewed the man and found him to be the local radio jockey and resident conspiracy theorist, Aybek Inzhu. He relayed to them not to drink the water that something in the water is contaminated and that nobody has gone to sleep, except him, in maybe three-weeks. He points to the still brightly lit village not too far away to address his point. He relays that a geological survey team from a shell company called Erhlemeyer Industries had come to look for resources a couple of months back and after that everybody seemed to get more and more energetic around him until they seemed to just stop going to sleep. Thomas and Kasper woke Daley and Price to relieve them on guard duty and moved to escort Inzhu to his home, a radio station on an elevated area overlooking the town. 

They saw that, indeed, the town was completely lit up and people were moving around from place to place as if it was the middle of the day. The only exception being the hotel and small village medical center where the injured police had obviously been taken. They also noted that the old American TV movie Tommyknockers, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name was playing in the theater.

Walking back, they started discussing plans for the next day and then eventually moved on to talking about Civil War. At the point of Thomas repeating "I thought it was a water truck!" a monstrous form leapt down to attack the two of them. The creatures attempts to grab Kasper were interrupted by Thomas who met the monster head on, relying on his healing factor and supernatural toughness to weather the blows before trying to choke the monster into unconsciousness. Behind him, however, Kasper had taken a moment to read the situation and realized that with the creature so focused on Thomas he could take a free shot, and acting on that information, he used his sniper rifle to blow through its chest.

Unwilling to drag the possibly half-ton monster to the camp, they called Daley and convinced the team to come to them. Daley and Price reported that they had thought something was out there about five minutes before, but that it had gone. Under the assumption that the two had seen the monster. Then they took the chance to get some rest and set out to meet with Inzhu in the morning. Unfortunately, Inzhu's rambling and constant chiding them to not mess with his system made it hard for Kasper to weed out any information about the deeper secrets behind this. However, he was able to learn that Erhlemeyer had been expecting to find a "rift" but were disappointed when there wasn't one. This confused Inzhu who thought that rifts were the sort of thing that you only found in the ocean. He also noted that he tried to backtrack the ownership of Erhlemeyer but met a dead end at another shell company, this time in Japan. However, he was able to give them information about where to go to check where the geological survey team had done their investigations.

Collaboration with the team, especially Mills, Richards and Daley (somewhat), the theory was put forth that something had caused the creature to be mutated into basically an embodiment of his strongest emotion. In this case, xenophobia. Which made them curious as to the burn marks on the second attack site since fear is not really a "hot" emotion most of the time. 

Traveling to the point named by Inzhu, the team find the recently ruined hunter's cabin and find some pictures of some seemingly unhappy people, husband and wife. The husband does, indeed have a man-pony. They're were coming to the conclusion that hazmat suits might not protect anybody being inundated with the magical water and were working on coming up with a magical protection instead. While they were discussing that, Kasper noticed movement in the trees on the hillside above them and was moving to suggest assignments. Thomas protested being left on the shore and wanted to be the one to go into the water to look into what was up. Kasper responded that he thought if the monster on the hill were to attack then they'd need Thomas on the shore. At which point Thomas shouted loudly "Monster? Where?!" 

And the screen flashed "to be continued."

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