Saturday, December 29, 2012

Recruitment #05 : Lacuna Part I

12/27/2012
Recruitment #05
Lacuna Part I. The Creation of Mystery and the Girl from Blue City.

With two new players and one returning player, it was time to throw another wrench into the story of Lacuna as the two recruits visited the Blue City for the very first time, while the older Mystery Agent acted as their Lead Agent.  Mystery Agent Mason had joined the two recruits just as they were finalizing the details on their Agent Record Sheet.  Mystery Agent Heard was Bulletproof.   Mystery Agent Dyer, on the other hand, was a Writer.

The dive went smooth, with all three Mystery Agents inserted into the Blue City without a hitch.  Or so they thought. Heard found himself in an empty parking lot, surrounded by lots of buildings.  A car was approaching from the distance.  He decided to stay where he was as he tried to get his bearings.  Dyer was on a rooftop, with a massive billboard behind him.  The billboard showed a house wife holding a tray of cookies, and her huge smile seemed to be in contrast to the message which Dyer could read:  We do not want your kind here.  Mason opened his eyes to find himself in a room.  A moment of panic surged as he recalled the events of his previous jaunt into the Blue City.  But thankfully there were no "eyes" and there was a door behind him.   Being a Caller, Mystery Agent Mason quickly contacted Control to get the Mission Parameters.  They sounded pretty simple:

1) Locate the Personality named Kindness
2) Escort Kindness to rendevzous point with Contact.
3) Protect Kindress
4) Place Lacuna Device on Kindness
5) Eject from Blue City

Mason asked for identifying features of the Personality Kindness and was told she has the Lacuna symbol on her belly.  He then requisitioned for three extra Lacuna devices, as well as for a pistol.  Control informed him they would be found in the mailbox outside the door.  "Number four.   Seven."  Mason then inquired for Intel and learned that Heard was a number of meters away.  Dyer, on the other hand, was further, but the count was getting closer.

Heard saw the car approach, and opted to stay hidden in the shadows.  When he could see the driver step down from the car, then reach back inside for something, he decided to take the opportunity to rush forward and take him down.  A few crushing blows to the man's chest and slamming his throat against the car door, and he was down.  Heard reached inside the car and took the shotgun that the man had in the driver's seat. He then searched the man for anything he carried.

Dyer headed down the stairs, learning from Mason (who called him) that they were in the same building.  He stopped however, somewhere in the upper levels, when he heard the sound of a ringing phone.  Following the sound lead him to a corridor of doors with a single open door.  A woman, silhouetted by the lights, stepped into the door and the phone went silent.  He snuck close and overheard her talking about, "Yes, Dyer should be here.  I'm not sure about the others."  Instead of returning to the route Mason directed him, Dyer waited by the shadows to assault the woman.

Mason stepped out to find a large set of iron boxes.  It was like the mailing box system of a hotel.  He tried counting from the upper left corner what most likely was box number forty seven, but instead found three cellular phones inside.  He then tried counting from the lower right corner, and found the box he needed.  Pocketing the gun, he took the Lacuna device and slid it beside his.  Calling out to check on Heard, he learns of the unconscious man.  Heard found a Lacuna device on him as well.   Calling out to Dyer, he hears the fight that ensures as Dyer steals from the woman forcibly her gun, then gets her to admit her name.  She turns out to be Agent Currier (although not the Agent Currier that Agent Mason had met before) and claims to be here to go under Cover as a Personality named Kindness.  Dyer watches as she "mends" the injured finger that was twisted when he took the gun away from her.   Mason learns from them their updates and suggests they all meet up at the ground level near the car.

Agent Currier informs them the unconscious man was Agent Foster, her companion, and that they were given a mission to meet with individuals in the Zoo.  They were supposed to wait for their Escort, who were to be composed of Agents Dyer, Heard and Mason.  Realizing their team just beat up on the mission team, Mason decides to still push forward with the tasks and starts the car.  Currier steps into the back seat with Agent Heard and the unconscious Foster while Dyer sits on the passenger side.  As Currier changes, folding her clothes, hair and skin as if they were silly putty, she explains she has Cover Techniques, specifically Identity and Documents, and that she is supposed to assume the personality of Kindness.  Mason asks her to lift her shirt, worried that the mission might have been compromised, and true enough Currier does not have the mark on her belly.  When she sees their agitation, she tears open her belly to reveal a second layer of skin underneath that has the Lacuna symbol tattoo.  "Cover Identities," Currier reminds them, "Remember?"

The drive takes them to the Zoo, a massive place with arching fences and tall trees.  Animals could be heard from the outside, although the location seemed to be closed.  As they entered the parking lot in front of the zoo, the team could see the lot had only two areas where the lamp posts were working.  In the one further away, a car was parked.  "That is the contact," Kindness to them in a voice that seemed now heavy with an accent.  "You," she pointed to Heard and Dyer, "Will escort me as my companions.  You will not speak a word.  While you," she then motioned to Mason, "Will stay in the car and be ready to drive."  Kindness took the shotgun from Heard, and somehow it had vanished under the folds of her clothing.  Thunder rumbled above.  Mason parked the car under the other lamp post.

Kindness stepped down, with Heard and Dyer walking a few steps ahead of her.  Mason watched nervously and decided to try waking Currier's partner, Agent Foster.  As the three approached the second car, the two inhabitants of the car stepped down.   Dressed in what looked like cold-war soviet military uniforms, the men had clearly monstrous features, with black reflective bulging eyes and strange mandibles.  Mason's eyes widened in horror as he recognized what they talked about.  "Spiders."

The spiders drew out pistols.  Dyer and Heard tried to stay calm, trusting in the mission.  But when Kindness suddenly speaks up about delivering the agents as discussed, the two suddenly worry that things aren't going as they should be.  Mason succeeds in waking Foster up enough to hear him mutter about things being a trap.  About the third agent being dead.  About him hoping to reach Agent Currier in time to save her.    Mason guns the engine and calls out to both agents to get ready to leap back into the car.  Kindness plants each hand on each agent, as if to usher them forward, but to everyone's surprise the Spider shoots her in the chest.  As Kindness drops, Dyer turns to help her.  But instead of staying down, Kindness' body convulses and the muzzle of the shotgun emerges  from the wound.  A spindly hand emerges, followed by a humanoid spider from inside Agent Currier's body.  Dyer leaps out of the way and instead runs for the car.  Agent Heard on the other hand charges forward, slamming a fist into the spider's chest, then ripping the pistol from its hand.  As Agent Dyer leaps for the car's open window, Agent Mason steers the vehicle straight into Kindness.  Running the former agent over, Mason then steered the car towards Heard.  Agent Heard grabbed the second Spider, leapt with it in his arms, and slammed into the incoming car with the Spider acting as the padding.

Agent Heard kicks the battered Spider to the floor, and quickly slides into the car.  Mason pedals the gas and steers the car out of the parking lot.  Calling out to Control, he in instructed to head for the exit point at the docks.  They are warned that the spiders might piggybank with them out of the Blue City, so they need to find a safer route out.  They drive for ten minutes, searching for a safe place to park and try to calm down.  Eventually they find a massive parking lot facing a Mall, and they drive in and kill the engine.  Taking a moment to try to bring down their heartrates, Mason calls again but discovers the voice that has been answering them might not have been Control all this time.

"We've been thinking you've been off the grid for almost two and a half hours, Lead Agent.  What had just happened?"

Scared of what to do next, the team drives to the docks anyway in hopes of finding a hard line they can access.  They arrive to find the docks are crawling with spiders.  Parking the car at the curb, they slip into a nearby museum and hunt for the hard line telephone inside.  What they find catches them all off-guard.  Special Agent Miner tells them their only way out is to trust him.  And warns them that it would mean having to break the rules. "We need to go deeper."

When the team agrees, they are given Cover Identities to wear while in the deeper level.  Each Agent shudders as they realize the disguises make them look like Spiders.  They follow Agent Miner's instructions to head for the Garden, and meet with a Personality named Scarlet.  "Whatever she asks for, just agree, and I'll help you get back home."  The journey to the Garden thankfully is uneventful, save for the growing signs of a coming storm.  Mason recalls reports about frogs that talk and fears what to expect if the weather turns.  They find the Garden soon enough, with green arches and bushes sculpted in the form of animals.  Agent Miner goes ahead, as per the plan, and the Agents are to pretend to demand access to "the room."  Scarlet turns out to be an incredibly sassy blonde in a red dress.  She watches as the "Spiders" approach, Agent Miner looks up to them as if he had never seem them before.  When they ask about the room, however, Scarlet asks for an unexpected demand.  "Kill him," she says without a care, and her gaze motions at Agent Miner.  Agent Heard grabs hold of the Special Agent and ponders on how to fake it, but Miner tells him, "Just kill me.  You can do it."

As Agent Miner's body hits the ground, Scarlet motions towards a massive Orchid that is sprawled in the Garden.  "You will find the room there, " she tells them.  Lightning flashes again.  The three quickly walk into the orchid, feeling its razor-sharp edges tear away the Cover they wear.   They emerge in a white room with a single phone hard line.  As Mason reaches for the phone and calls Control, light patterns begin to dance on the walls.  Agent Dyer realizes the lights are words and begins reading them out to the others.  The lights insist the phone should be placed down, and that Control has been compromised.  Mason, however, asks Control if its time to Eject and Control asks if they still have their Lacuna devices.  Dyer reads out the messages again, and reveals the messages are supposedly from someone named Kira.  And once she confirms that Agent Miner sent them, she offers more information.  Mason decides to trust the lights and drops the phone.  Kira's messages inform them on how to Eject as well as warns them to pretend they remember nothing.   The team holds their Lacuna devices together, and activate them to Eject.

*

Agent Heard leaves the Blue City without a hitch.
Agent Dyer slips into another place for a brief moment, seeing numerous bodies strapped to tubes and wires, before finally awakening.
Agent Mason sees glimpses of a moment in time he cannot connect to his life.  He sees people watching, staring at him.  A priest shakes his head.  Policemen stare with anger in their eyes.  Then a curtain is drawn to cover them from view.    Mason thinks it was some kind of execution scene, but he is unable to see more.

The three are back in the conference room, and the Control interviewer congratulates them all for surviving the jaunt.  She does state that Static has been intensifying through the months and many jumps have been experiencing issues.  She is happy however to tell them that Special Agent Miner's office has a post-dated document assigning them Commendation Points.   And a special guest steps into the office to meet them:  Vice-Director Pope.  Pope asks them many questions, but all of them reply with statements suggesting memory loss.  Mason, however, throws in some key lines hinting on the events that happened, including a request to get some rest since he is, "Having a killer migraine, like some miner is digging in my head."

Agent Dyer quietly ponders on the words "Kira" has shared with them.


CAN YOU READ ME
CAN YOU READ ME
I CANNOT SEE YOU
BUT I CAN HEAR YOU
GOOD
IS AGENT MASON AMONG YOU
DO YOU TRUST HIM
TELL HIM TO PUT THE PHONE DOWN
IT IS NOT CONTROL
PUT THE PHONE DOWN
THAT IS NOT CONTROL
TRUST ME
TELL HIM TO STOP
TELL HIM ITS KIRA
TELL HIM IM KIRA
TELL HIM MY NAME IS KIRA
I SPOKE WITH HIM BEFORE
HE SPOKE WITH ME BEFORE
THREATENED TO EXPOSE ME
TO CONTROL
BECAUSE HE OVERHEARD ME
HE OVERHEARD ME TALKING TO CONTROL
HE IS A CALLER
I DIDNT KNOW HE WAS LISTENING
FORCED ME TO HELP HIM
BUT I WAS TOLD TO SHUT DOWN COMMUNICATIONS
SOMEONE ELSE TOOK OVER
HOW MANY WHAT?
I CAN ONLY HEAR YOU
NOT THE OTHERS
WHAT IS HE SAYING
HOW MANY WHAT
EYES?
EYES?
ELEVEN
TWELVE IF YOU COUNT
THE ONE
IN THE SCREEN
I SAW
I WAS  SENT IN
I WAS SENT IN FOR BREACHING CLEARANCE
DID SENIOR AGENT M  SEND YOU
THEN YES I CAN
BUT YOU HAVE TO DO AS I SAY
YOUR LACUNA DEVICES
SWITCH THEM ON AS YOU NORMALLY DO
TO EJECT
BUT
AT THE SAME TIME
BOOSTS THE SIGNAL
SAME TIME EQUALS STRONGER SIGNAL
DO YOU HAVE AN EXTRA ONE
A STRONGER SIGNAL WOULD BE BETTER
I KNOW
HE DIDNT HAVE TO
THEY CAUGHT ME
POPE  CAUGHT ME
THEY WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU
WHEN YOU ALL EJECT
BUT YOU HAVE TO PRETEND NOT TO RECALL ANYTHING
HURRY
THE WINDOW ONLY LASTS FOR SO LONG
POPE CAN ONLY BE TRUSTED
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN TRUST YOURSELVES
POPE
LIKE YOU ALL
USED TO BE  ALL IN THE FACILITY
YOU ALL WERE THERE
LONG TERM
RESIDENTS




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