Saturday, September 24, 2016

M-Com Mission Report - Operation Secret Game - Part Two - Monster of the Week Campaign

M-Com Campaign

Upon waking up after the previous night's activities, Thomas and Kasper decide to head over and investigate the earliest victim of this series of murders, Konstantin Stasiuk, who was ambushed by a supernatural predator of some sort two weeks ago. Upon arrival they found the area still had some fragments of police tape around it but that the police had lost interest in the site resulting in the fact that it had been subjected to a small parade of curiosity seekers over the past week or more. 

Despite this, Kasper was still able to find traces of a man tracking some other entity leaving the area and heading off into the forests at the edge of the city. Thomas takes a bit more of a magical tack and decides to compare some of the extradimensional residue he'd found on the body of the victim so that he could track down the creature that way. He manages to catch a hint of the monster's presence but trying to perform another ritual of farseeing he finds himself getting drawn off into a summoning circle. He turns to Kasper and says "Find me" moments before vanishing.

Deciding that it would be better for all involved (except maybe the hunter) if the next summoned monster was him, Thomas let himself be summoned where he found himself facing a bare-chested Belarusan man performing a ritual to create a barrier holding his summons inside. The man had an assistant who seemed vaguely African, but his manner of dress and appearance wasn't really correct for anything Thomas could narrow things down to. The hunter expressed some surprise for Thomas's presence and began to explain that he was going to give the boy a head start before he started the hunt. Instead, Thomas sat down to begin to meditate on the structure of the circle imprisoning him and the structure protecting the hunter, ignoring the man's speech and warnings.

Meanwhile Kasper cursed under his breath and immediately called M-Com's base to deal with the agency and get help tracking the signal of Thomas's phone. To be precise he states "Please find the kid's GPS and forget the please, just do it." He is quite successful at browbeating his way through the bureaucracy to discover that Thomas's GPS isn't tracking at all, however, one of the private lands that they had asked the agency to investigate happens to be in a large cell phone dead zone. Apparently it belongs to one Albert Stanislov. Kasper gets with Daley and Price and starts rushing out to the noted area driving his Scout roughly and recklessly in the effort to get to Thomas in time to help him.

Meanwhile, Thomas has been focusing on analyzing the magic he's trapped in and listening to the hunter gloat about the hunt that was about to happen. However, remembering a lecture from Katkemat on the structure and theory of circle design, he manages to identify multiple areas of weakness in the circle prison. Looking up and smiling at Stanislov he starts to pour his power as the Chosen into the circle and flooding its structure with far too much power. The hunter begins to realize what is about to happen and turns to the strange witch-doctor like assistant asking for his gun. Unfortunately, Stanislov is not anywhere near fast enough and the circle explodes with a brilliant blast of bizarre lightning striking up into the sky.

Nearby, Kasper catches sight of the fireworks and looks aside at the wrong time resulting in Price calling out a warning just moments before they slam into the tree, leaving the Scout in dire need of repair. Thankfully, it is a tough old vehicle and isn't totaled. Getting out of the car, shaken and bruised, the three soldiers shake their heads clear and Kasper orients them to head for the house not too far away on the logic that Stanislov will likely make for his home and whatever defenses he has there.

At the site of the ritual, Stanislov's stand has been blown asunder and his attempts to raise his weapon to attack are ruined when Thomas uses his chain sword to rip it out of his hands, tearing it apart in the process. Calling out for his ally to get clear, Stanislov vanishes into the trees, breaking line of sight with Thomas even as the Assistant fades away. He moves some distance away and starts trying to perform a ritual of some kind, unfortunately, his magic is interrupted as Kasper comes over a rise and catches the man in his sights. The silenced sniper rifle fires and shatters the hunter's shoulder causing his spell to go wild as Thomas comes on scene and finding a massive blue fire-elemental.

Kasper decides that Thomas has things under control and remembers seeing two men the night before in the treeline so he turns to Daley and Price saying that "fire elementals are more a Thomas thing, so let's find this guy's help." As he begins to lay out a strategy for what he wants to do, Daley shivers and her face lights up in a creepy manner as the scary spirit girl's voice comes out of her mouth. "Sorry to borrow your friend, but you haven't summoned me so I have to talk this way. The thing you want is over there. You'll find a cave, a hole down into the ground really. I'm not really sure how far, it's hard to have a sense for such things without a body. Well, see you later." Then Daley shivered and looked around, somewhat freaked out as Kasper focused her in on getting directed back to the hunt, following the Scary Girl's advice.

Thomas makes an attempt with his sword to channel in the elemental's power, but the effort backfires, causing a blast of heat to travel up the sword's length and sear him, forcing him to drop the sword. A moment later, the elemental is going on a rampage as he turns the surrounding area into an inferno and the hunter is maneuvering about trying to find a way to get the advantage back.

Meanwhile, Kasper and his team locate the cave the Scary Girl mentioned and find that it is, indeed a hole in the earth. A large amount of dirt surrounding a hole in the bedrock of the region giving access to a dark hole the depth of which they're unsure of. They decide to drop some flashbangs into the cave ahead of them before dropping. While this succeeds in dazzling the Assistant, there attempt to drop down turns disastrous as the flashes of light and deep darkness left them with an erroneous idea of what the bottom of the cave was like. Price landed badly, cracking her head and going unconscious while Kasper felt like he cracked his leg and Daley likewise had a rough landing. 

Despite the pain, he does manage to locate and shoot the Assistant with his rifle and does so without further aggravating his injuries though a shock of pain causes him to lose grip of the sniper rifle which clatters off somewhere into the darkness. The bullet blows a hole clear through the Assistant's chest and out the other side, but the rather vaguely witch-doctor like man of unclear ethnicity grimaces as the skin starts to heal back together. "Well, that's a bit inconvenient he says." Then he draws forth a knife and starts to stalk forward toward the team as he's still blinking his eyes.

Back at the fight with the fire elemental, the hunter acquires a pistol with his good arm, but is too slow to get a good aim on Thomas as the young Chosen manages to recover his sword and use it like a swingline to propel him into a double-legged kick knocking the hunter out into the elemental. The elemental itself charged forward, managing to sear the young man somewhat and then the Chosen decided to address the developing forest fire and his opponent by applying another of Katkemat's lectures and summoning a great storm overhead. Almost instantly the inferno begins to dwindle and the fiery blue animated spell begins to seem less powerful.

A sudden peal of lightning from overhead announces the arrival of the supernatural storm to Kasper and Daley just moments before an unnaturally heavy downpour starts descending upon them, pouring down into the cave as if a dam had been destroyed. The Assistant starts forward to the team, grinning and knife in hand as Daley starts to raise her weapon until Kasper calls out to remind her that "you're a damn psychic, use that instead of the bullets!"

Freeing up her left hand from holding her gun, Daley starts rapidly tapping out the rhythm of Depeche Mode's "People are People" against the cave walls as she focuses her will on the Assistant. Her breath immediately catches as she and the Assistant freeze with expressions of effort plastered onto their faces. She starts calling out with effort "It's not human! It's not human! Do something sir!" As Kasper moves forward to attack it again, blowing another hole in him with the pistol. The Assistant frowns and retreats from his combat with Daley saying "this shell is too conspicuous anyway." Then he raises the knife to his throat and cuts it. Daley collapses breathing heavily and swallowing as she tries to get a hold of herself and Kasper starts moving about to administer first aid to first Price and then himself and Daley, managing to stabilize his own wounds and Prices and mostly recover Daley's small injuries.

Back at the fighting with the fire elemental, lightning begins to crash down all about the scene. Thomas leads the elemental on a merry sort of hit and run chase through the rain. While the elemental itself is quickly becoming less and less of a danger, the heavy clouds of boiling hot steam in the air create a wonderfully dangerous conductor for the lightning strikes which Thomas has to endure as he waits for the monster to get weak enough for him to strike. Finally, after several points of near electrocution, he uses his sword to catch upon one of the crashing bolts of lightning and swings it about lashing outward to direct the electrified lightning against the elemental causing it to dissipate in a sudden burst of power.

Back at the cave, Daley and Kasper discover that the now mud in the cave above won't hold their grapples. In desperation, they take some of the demolition kits from Price's gear and start rigging up an explosion against one of the walls, hoping to get a ramp they can easily get out of before the cavern starts to really flood and endanger them all. Holding tight behind a round in the cave, the explosives go off perfectly and Daley and Kasper are soon exiting the cave and heading back to join Thomas as he gets control of the storm he'd summoned and forces it to fade away before too much broad scale damage is done.

An investigation of the house provides lots of evidence and information to clear up the current case, but only very little information about the Assistant who seemed to be directing Stanislov. Thomas recognizes from his lectures with Katkemat and examining the various evidence of rituals about the area that the man's magic isn't just sloppy, but that he seems to have been deliberately taught dangerous and inefficient methods of performing various rituals.

A consultation with Katkemat reveals that she knows of the sort of demon that the Assistant is. They apparently appear and teach individuals dangerous sorts of magic for their own purposes. However, the demons can't completely appear in the world and the physical shell they create to interact is only able to teach others without being able to perform magic itself despite the obvious physical advantages it has. She says that her own nemesis, Hikozaemon, had one of these demons as an advisor cannot say with any certainty whether or not there is only one such demon or if there are many.

M-Com Campaign

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