Monday, August 12, 2013

Recruitment #10 : Lacuna

Recruitment #10
Lacuna, Part I. The Birth of Mystery and the Girl from Blue City

New recruits.    Reception congratulates them all for successfully getting this far in the recruitment process.  They are all given the Employee Record Sheet to fill up and reminds them that if they are having any memory problems, they should not be alarmed.  "Memory loss is quite common in the Blue City."

The new recruits include:
Agent Hooper.
Agent Trapp.
Agent Taylor.
And Team Leader Agent Tillman.

"The time is 6:52.  You only have two hours to fulfill all the necessary mission parameters before you will be forcibly ejected from the Blue City. Do not respond if you contact Agent "

Before they are lead out to the slab, however, Team Leader Tillman was given a private message from Chief Wagner, the Mentor he trained under.   The message read:


They go under.


Agent Trapp is the first to wake up.  He finds himself in a room with bare walls and windows.  A bright billboard outside the window was the only source of light.  On the board is the image of a woman.  She smiles and waves at him.  Sadly, Trapp cannot read the text on the board.  He looks out of the window and realizes he is eight storeys up.

Agent Taylor wakes up and finds himself inside a bathtub half-filled with water.   As he pulls himself out of the water, he quickly moves towards the door to listen if there is anyone there.  Hearing nothing, he slides out of the room and takes the door to his left which brings him to a room with a Polaroid photo stabbed with a knife onto the headrest.  Moving closer, he sees the photo has a word written on it, and even if he was not a Reader, he realizes he can read the word.

The photo shows someone he recognizes.  He pockets the photo and slides the knife under his belt.    He approaches the other door and listen.  He hears a woman outside the door and from the sounds, he realizes she is loading a pistol while talking to someone about others being late.

Agent Hooper wakes up and finds himself in a classroom.  The room is empty, with no one else present save for one standing figure.  Hooper gasps in surprise but calms down as he realizes the figure isn't a person.  It is a mannequin.  And it was dressed in what looked like a military uniform, with pins on his chest.

He walks up to it and checks its pockets for anything useful.  What he finds is a broken Lacuna device.  Light gleams past the doorway, suggesting someone walking past it.  Hooper stealthily moves closer and leans in to listen in.

Agent Tillman wakes up and realizes he is lying on his back.  A light shines on his face, and as he sits up, the person shining the light warns him to do it slowly.  Tillman realizes she has a pistol trained at him.  Holding his hands up, he shows he is weaponless and tries to calm the other person down.

She maintained the gun at his direction, and told him, "I will ask you three questions and you will answer each one with a single word.    Lacuna device?"

Tillman checks his clothing.  He realizes he does not have one.   "None."


Tillman considers what to say next.

Agent Trapp finds the next room, and it is a room covered wall to wall with newspaper clippings.  He starts ripping a few off the wall and finds a red and black and white wallpaper that shows off a repeating eye pattern.

The group soon gathers, as Agent Tillman's encounter with the woman is the noise that draws them all to the same location.  The sound of a phone ringing reminds Tillman that he had not yet received the mission parameters.  He sends two of the agents to check the distant corridors at the end of the passageway, while the rest of them head back towards the earlier chambers to find the ringing phone.  Agent Trapp realizes he saw a phone in the other room.  The woman is paranoid, however, that one of them is a spider and trains the gun to test if the person is a spider.  When Agent Hooper is smacked with the butt of the gun to test for spiders, the woman admits that, "A real Spider would have emerged from the pain.  I guess you're all truly Agents.  Thankfully, Hooper has had training as a medic and treats the wound after pick up the fallen tooth.  
The end of the passageway continued into two corridors, giving the whole place a T-shape when viewed from above.  Taylor and Hooper move down separately to investigate and both notice how each corridor has eleven doors to check out.  Taylor notices one of the doors ajar and slowly approaches it to investigate.  He hears the sounds of someone inside, so he carefully reaches inside to find the light switch.

He finds a young girl in blue.  She stares at him.  But her words barely seem to reach him.  She seems to suggest danger.  But then vanishes as if she were just a ghost.

Agent Trapp shows Team leader Agent Tillman and the woman the room with the phone.   As Tillman moves to take the phone, the woman demands for their names.  She then uses her Caller ability to contact him directly and tells him she's the contact.  Tillman makes the call to Control and learns of the mission parameters:

Locate the Personality Frauen
Escort Personality to Extraction Zone 11 71 41
Once Frauen has Ejected, Activate Lacuna Devices.
Count to three and make a wish.

Taylor's eyes widen as a man emerges from the corridor.  As the bullet flies from the first shot, time seems to suddenly slow down to a crawl.  Taylor dodges out of the way, and Hooper slides forward to assist.  When the Spider attempts to shoot a second time, Hooper perfectly times his shot to parry the bullet with his own!  But more doors begin to open as more Spiders begin to emerge.  Even with Trapp rushes to help them out, it is starting to become clearer more and more that this might have been a trap!

Frauen tells Tillman that they have to go.  But Tillman continues to study the news paper articles to find the code of 11 71 41 to determine the location of the extraction point.  It takes him some time to find it.  He then asks Control to confirm the location of the Extraction Zone.  Noting it down, they make their way deeper into the chamber where Trapp first emerged from.  The others are hot on their heels behind them.  As they make their way down the stairs, Trapp recalls the room with the windows and noticed how there were vehicles outside the windows.  Trapp rushes ahead of them and soon finds one of the windows has a helicopter waiting outside.  He never remembered feeling so happy to be a Driver until today.

Lightning.  Rain begins to fall.  As the group starts making their way down, Taylor and Hooper hesitates.  Both find themselves questioning certain loyalties as the Spiders make their offers.   But with the confusion on whom to trust, the pounding rain separating  Agent Trapp from the others, and time ticking away, Frauen gets shot and everything seems to fall.



The group are at the reception area, informed of their failure in the mission to fulfill things within the mission parameter.  As the receptionist berates them for their failure, the phone rings.

"Officer Miner?"

They learn that if they cash in a total of ten Commendation Points, they would be allowed to return to the mission.  The group readily agrees to and dives back in.

11th of November

71 incidents so far

41st avenue

Fraulen mumbles in her wounded state,  "Your all expendable. Just memories. Nothing but memories."

Team Leader Tillman recalls the destination, and realizes that they are back at the very location before they were forcibly ejected.   Picking up the injured woman, the team leader tries to yell at everyone else to follow Agent Trapp, but he does not see Agent █ conversing with a Spider on a possible deal.  "I can tell you everything they have hidden from you.  I can tell you the truth about Lacuna.  About the Company.  About the Mystery Agents."  Agent  still remembers the clipping he had picked up, the one which seemed to show an image of him in a life he did not recall.

"Memory loss is common in the Blue City. What if they can add to your memory?"

Outside, Agent Trapp takes the helicopter up to the air as he notices more and more spiders clambering up the buildings.  He sees the Blue City from the sky and marvels at the massive letters that form the structures, and the color-tones that determine certain locations.  But then he hears the distant hissing of static and suddenly, the rain transforms into a pouring torrent of frogs.

Blood and bits splatter all around as the helicopter rotor blades slice them into shreds.  Worried that the others still have not shown up, and seeing the spiders clambering up the walls, and knowing the blades cannot withstand a constant torrent.. he decides to Eject.

A stand off.

Loyalties his the lowest point as Agent Taylor reveals to Agent Hooper the picture that he had found in the building.  The polaroid that was stabbed with a knife showed the image of Agent Tillman.  The word on the polaroid was "MOLE"

Tillman, however, insisted that he was not the Mole.  And even with the gun trained at him, demanded that the others listen to his orders.  "I knew there was something fishy. You're the same age as me and you're already team leader," Hooper mutters but before any of them can do more, the crashing helicopter tears through the wall!

As the dust settles, only Agent Hooper seems to have survived the crash.  The Spider walks up to him, congratulating him for doing so.  The Spider folds away its face and reveals the face of Officer Miner. "You will do," the man tells him.

And back in Reception, Agent Trapp is the only one awake.  The receptionist tells him that sadly the others did not Eject in time.   They were alive, but will definitely require some time to recover.  All save for Agent Hooper, however, who has seemingly gone brain dead on the slab.

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