[BPRD] Slaughterhouse, pt 1 [All 2.1]

edited October 2012 in In-Game
Blake, Joe, Penny and Dr. Eaton:

The four of you have been summoned to of the HQ conference rooms by former Army Captain Fred Ricker again. His father was Lt.General Ricker, an important founding member of the BPRD. He's in his late thirties, dark hair, dark eyes, still has a military crewcut, still looks, walks and talks like a soldier.

“An apparent ritual killing took place in the early morning house at the Willard InterContinental hotel in downtown Washington, DC. The victim is Theodore “Rusty” Mistaugh, head of Contracting and Procurement for the Central Intelligence Agency. It took some effort for the CIA to accept assistance from the BPRD, but due to the preliminary information on the murder, they accepted our expertise. Do not ruin this opportunity to build bridges with the one governmental agency that BPRD has lukewarm relations with.” Ricker pauses for a second as he tries to work out how not to have ended that sentence with a preposition, then gives up and moves on. He flicks up a picture onto the viewscreen in the middle of the table of an African American woman in her late thirties: sharp eyes, plain face, wavy long hair pulled back, dressed smartly. “Your contact will be Norah Brady, who is heading the investigation.” Blake, what have you heard about her?

“I’ve arranged for your flight, which is why I asked you to arrive at the conference room bags packed. There is a car outside HQ ready to take you to the airport. Your flight leaves within the hour. Casefiles that the CIA has provided, which isn’t much to be honest, have been intranet-mailed to your accounts for access on your laptops or tablets. Blake, you’re lead on this one, your work with the CIA should give you an edge on dealing with them. Do you have any questions?”
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Comments

  • Mainly that she's got a huge chip on her shoulder, but she's sharp and effective. The Company is very male dominated so that first part could be a load of crap.

    I look to the others to see if they have any questions.
  • Joe, who has been nervously shuffling his feet during the briefing and trying to steal glances at Penny, looks over to Blake and shrugs his shoulders to indicate he's without question so far.
  • edited October 2012
    "Not as yet."

    I privately wonder why we have these briefings at all, if we are simply to be told is that the information will be waiting in our email. In my day, a briefing was a briefing.
  • [Penny]

    I always have lots of questions. For one, I still don't know what color Captain Ricker's eyes are. Two, I'm not entirely sure why I am being put on this case if it’s so important to make the CIA like us. Agent Giffen is the only non-BPRD agent I’ve met who wasn’t entirely unnerved by my presence. Three, why is the new member of our team, Mr. Joe Wauneka, staring at me so much? I was hoping to be the one making secretive glances, but he is making that rather impossible. I’ve heard that he knows a lot of about magic, and I’m secretly hoping he might be able to help me with this new power I apparently have. But it appears that Mr. Wauneka has his own secrets, and they are incredibly tempting.

    But no one seems to like my questions very much, so I keep quiet, shaking my head in response to Captain Mysterious Eye Color and swinging my feet under my chair. They must assume all the BPRD agents are giants like Blake. My feet barely touch the floor.
  • Ricker nods, seeing that there are no questions, "Alright. car's outside. Good luck, agents."

    With his dismissal, you're free to head out to the car. Dr. Eaton, are you traveling with them again or winging it ahead? When you step outside, you see that there is a jet black Escalade already running. No driver, you'll park in short-term and someone will come along to pick it up later. Who drives?

    Who has a laptop or a tablet? The BPRD allows a requisition of one. Anyone up on technology?

    Any conversation on the drive to the airport?
  • As we step outside Joe will take his aviator sunglasses out of his jacket pocket and slip them on. He takes a few few seconds to look up at the sky the turns to take in Dr. Eaton. He lets out an audible digh and turns to Penny,
    "Hello, Ms. Snow. I'm Joe. "

    Joe swaps his cowboy hat from his right to left hand and offers to shake hands.
  • [Penny]

    I give Joe my best smile and debate doing a curtsey. Maybe it's the hat. He's holding his hat like an old-fashioned country western movie, so a curtsey feels appropriate. But he holds out his hand so I shake it firmly instead.

    "Hello, Joe." I say cheerfully. "I like your hat." I tilt my head, my eyes wide and owlish. "Do I have something on my face? Is that why you kept staring at me? I did have to eat my bagel rather quickly since my ghost cat, Beau, accidentally forgot to mention that we were being summoned to see Captain Mys–um, Ricker."
  • I see no reason to go ahead of the rest. Erm, except that, yes, I might just spare myself another economy-class plane ride. It has been some time since I spent any great deal of time in Washington ... I was a living man, in those days. I suppose that there will be only a few familiar places. Even the monuments will have changed. I have little enthusiasm for touring, however, so perhaps I will return to my office while the others fly over.

    Nonetheless, I will remain with the group during the drive and check in. But I do not take the wheel of the car, and computer devices disagree with me. And I also noticed Joe's attention on my granddaughter in the conference room.

    "You're lovely, my dear. I'm sure Mr. Wauneka was merely anxious to introduce himself."
  • Joe raises an eyebrow and mumbles, "ghostcat?" The sunglasses do little to conceal Joe's surprise.
    As the doctor talks Joe glances his way the back to Penny. A big smile crosses his face and, in a terrible immitation of The Duke, says" I'm very pleased to meet ya, Little Lady."
  • [Penny]

    I turn my smile in Dr. Eaton's direction. Despite his grave expression, he is always saying very nice things like that to me. I've decided that I'm very glad I know him, despite the fact that he left me in the insane asylum for so long. He did get me out in the long run, so I suppose that has to count for something. And I can tell he is trying to make up for it.

    I ignore Joe's surprise, most people react that way. But when he smiles (a real, big smile!) and starts talking with a sudden twang, I'm so delighted I'm speechless for a second. Then I beam at him, my mind immediately made up. I don't care if he has secrets that make him stare at me when he thinks I'm not looking. I like him.

    "I think we're going to be great friends." I tell him happily.

    I walk over to the car and pick up Beau where he was investigating some interesting smell on the tire, climbing into the back seat. I'm assuming either Blake or Joe will be driving. I do not even have a driver's license. But I do have a tablet in my bag, and I take that out and start pulling up the information that was sent to me.
  • This is a foolishly-large sports utility vehicle, yes? I will settle into one of the back seats, where I can peer over to see Penelope's tablet screen. These touch interfaces never work for me, no matter how much I concentrate.

    "Is there anything of use? 'Ritual killing', what do they mean by that?"
  • "Let's move, people."

    I slide into the driver's seat. I haven't said much. I know Joe, he's solid. But the twang thing is definitely getting on my nerves. Yeah... that's it, the twang. Of course I'm grouchy. I had to call last night and tell Annie that I can't take Samantha this weekend because of a mission. Then I had to tell Sam, and that was the heartbreaker.

    After I start up and Eaton asks his question:

    "Good call. Lay out what information we have for us, Penny."
  • [Penny]

    I grin secretly to myself when Blake says my name. It just sounds so nice when he says it. I have to hold the tablet a little awkwardly since Beau is in my lap, but I get the information pulled up pretty quickly. I start to skim it over, hoping that there aren't any gruesome photos included. "Umm...ok...let's see here..."
  • When you bring up the casefiles, the first thing you see is a crime scene photo of the deceased:


    There are a host of files and attachments for the report. Here's what you gather:
    * The hotel room has a significant amount of blood all over, concentrated in the bathroom. The bathtub is full of it.
    * Blood has been smeared in a geometric pattern on the wall behind the bedstead. The room's pictures were taken down and stacked in a corner to make room for the pattern.
    * The victim's nude body was found in the bathtub, sans hands, feet, heart, and head. All five appendages have been placed on the bed, which was stripped down to a white sheet. Each hand holds a silver knife, arranged so that it faces the head. The toes of both feet point toward the head as well. The heart was not found.
    * None of the victim's personal effects: blothing wallet, keys, etc. were in the room.
    * Estimated time of death was approximately 3 AM
    * The victim checked into the hotel room by himself, you have copies of the receipts (from the hotel).
  • edited October 2012
    "Hrm. This is fascinating, but why is the Bureau involved? I see nothing that could not have been performed by a common madman. What evidence is there that this is a paranormal case?"

    I point at the screen.

    "Penelope, find a photograph of the, ah, 'geometric pattern' on the wall."
  • [Penny]

    “Oh.” I say faintly, trying to scroll away from the bloody, gruesome mess in the photos, but more photos just keep coming. I’m breathing shallowly through my nose like that will help somehow, but I feel like I might be sick. It’s not like I react particularly badly to blood, but this is different. This is a real life person who has been hacked up into pieces.

    I try to listen to what Dr. Eaton is saying, but I’m starting to feel a little lightheaded, and I can’t look away from all the blood. There's just so much of it.
  • Using the Spooky Premonitions Move

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )

    [+1XP]
  • "Oh dear. Perhaps that was a little much."

    I lean over and take the tablet from you, Penelope. The screen turns odd bruise colors where I touch, and the infernal device resets to its home screen for some damned reason. How I loathe the paperless office.
  • Dr. Eaton,

    The tablet takes some futzing, but you discover why the Bureau is involved. You are able to take a closer look at the geometric pattern. The gory drawing above the bed mixes elements of hermetic magic, Voudoun, and Mayan blood sacrifice. The wild mix of elements from disparate cultures and traditions are deftly combined by someone with a deep knowledge of the occult. The knife left in the victim's hand indicates his complicity in the ritual. The feet pointing toward the face is symbolic of failure.
  • Penny,

    You look away from the blood and out of the SUV at the passing vehicles and buildings. your vision becomes a little cloudy, then you realize you're out of yourself somehow, but still in your seat. The seat has changed, it is later in the day, you're in another car. Blake is still driving, though. As you look at him trying to piece this together, you see a branch on his driver's side mirror, flapping away, tink tink against the car door. Then suddenly it grows into a tendril and pierces Blake's head through his ear. You watch in horror as faces and heads appear out of the ether in front of Blake, screaming in torture and pain at him. He jerks wildly, the car turns and then you veer off, heading straight for a telephone pole. You shut your eyes for a second, bracing for impact...

    Then open them again when it doesn't happen. You're back in the SUV, Dr. Eaton is still playing with your tablet.
  • Erm, I had no intention of using the thing, just giving my granddaughter a moment to gather herself.
  • But, what have you, the screen flickers and such and I find myself looking at the blood inscription.
  • red
    edited October 2012
    [Penny]

    There's a second where I can't make sense of anything that just happened. The telephone pole...Blake... My heart pounds loudly in my chest like everything is in slow motion. Am I here or am I there? What's real? That felt like one of my hallucinations, but they've never taken me out of where I am before. They always bring things in to me. My lungs feel tight again and I'm clutching the seat like it will anchor me to where I am right now.

    That one second feels like a hundred years long. But the next second finally ticks forward like a resounding gunshot and I come unglued like I'm at a foot race. I lunge forward in my seat where I'm sitting behind Blake, grabbing the back of his seat and trying to find his eyes in the rearview mirror. Beau shoots off my lap, somehow managing to land on his feet.

    "BLAKE! Are you ok? Are you hurt? Did it...did you see....did that...what was that?" I'm babbling frantically, my voice rising a little hysterically. I'm trying to understand what just happened. I don't see the faces or the branch/tendril anywhere....I'm not crazy, right?
  • edited October 2012
    A geometric design, is it? If you mention voodoo, that makes me think [i]v
  • I'll will throw a roll to investigate the mystery. Though Penelope has rather startlingly interrupted my commentary, I am certain that I will nonetheless get back to it.

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )

    If a hit, What was it going to do?
  • I actually brake suddenly when Penny calls out my name, causing us all to lurch forward. I feel the familiar rush of adreneline as I'm looking for... whatever.

    It takes me a minute to process the rest of her words, and realize there isn't any external threat, and put together some kind of spooky deal. She saw something happening to me? Her mother's clairvoyance record flashes through my head.

    I look over at Joe, and pick up our speed again.

    I glance in the mirror. "It's okay, Penny, I'm fine. Calm down. What did you... uh... sense?"
  • red
    edited October 2012
    [Penny]

    I sit back obediently like Dr. Eaton tells me to, but not before I scoop up Beau and hold him tightly against my chest. His tail is poofy. I’m sorry, Beau. I tell him numbly. I didn’t mean to.

    Holding Blake’s eyes in the mirror helps. He’s ok. Nothing hurt him. We didn’t run into a telephone pole. I start trying to explain what I just saw in a slightly shaky voice. Blake isn’t looking at me like I’m crazy. That helps a lot too.

    “I...I saw us in a different car. We were driving....you were driving. There was a branch tapping on your car door...but it wasn’t a branch. It was....I don’t know what it was....it was like a living thing. Like a snake, but it wasn’t an animal. It came shooting in through the window and....and into....your head. And then these faces were suddenly in front of you and they were all screaming and you...you swerved....and there was a telephone pole and we were about to hit it, and I closed my eyes....and then it was gone.”

    In the silence, I feel like I need to explain myself. I mean, none of them have sudden, random meltdowns. I don’t usually either. Well, I didn't before I came to the BPRD. Well, at least not like this. I glance in Joe’s direction. I don’t want him to think I’m completely off my rocker. I wanted to make a good impression.

    “I don’t...that’s never happened to me before. I don’t usually do that....I mean sometimes I see things that aren’t real, but I can usually figure that out. I mean, how often do you see elephants with chainsaw husks walk into your room when you’re trying to sleep? Or a pen that you can’t write with because it keeps turning into a giant worm? Or a man standing at the bus stop with a face that is dripping off? I know those things aren’t real. I just have to convince myself. Sometimes it takes a while, but I realize it eventually! This was different. I was...somewhere else.....or sometime else? It wasn’t....like that, it felt different, I promise! It was-”

    I close my mouth, cutting off the stream of pleading words pouring out of it. Oh dear, I just said way more than I meant to. Now my face is definitely red (oh don’t think about the blood), and I think I just made myself sound more crazy than not.
  • Well, yes, that does sound worryingly disturbed, but I adopt an even tone:

    "I think the first thing is to calm yourself, Penelope. The Bureau has been placing you under a great deal of pressure since you arrived, and these kinds of bloody messes cannot help. It may simply be a stress-induced hallucination ... I should not be surprised if your unconscious can construct terrors, considering the work you have been doing. Post-traumatic stress. Others, certainly, have experienced the same."

    There's a disapproving note, both for the Bureau, placing you in these situations, and for you, staying on as an investigator and subjecting yourself to same. I pause, then continue with a more speculative, scholarly attitude:

    "However, it is also worth mention that your mother, though she lacked some of your other talents, was a noted precient. That is, she experienced visions that would grant her some ability to predict - and sometimes prevent - future events. If you have some similar ability, it is conceivable that you would only be now experiencing its effects. You have been quite sheltered for some time, but the recent stresses in your life may be provoking a precient response."
  • What in the world?!
    With the sudden braking I instinctively brace. My sunglasses go flying down somewhere down by my feet. I glance over my shoulder to ensure that Penelope is alright. When offered the tablet I swivel to face forward, shoot a look of concern to Blake, and then lower the sun-visor to use the mirror to keep an eye on those in the back seat.

    My mind is racing over what a burden for someone so young it must be to have her...abilities? obligations?

    After a few minutes of contemplation I fish up my sunglasses from the floorboards and focus my attention on the photos with a few glances back to Penelope and Eaton.
  • red
    edited October 2012
    [Penny]

    “It wasn’t a hallucination.” I say quietly to no one in particular.

    I run my fingers through Beau’s cold fur and think about what Dr. Eaton said. I guess this is one way to find out more information about my mother. She could see the future? Is that what just happened? As crazy as that sounds, it does seem to fit better than a hallucination.

    Dr. Eaton’s tone is strange. I’ve learned that he often does not say what he’s thinking, which is terribly unfair. He dangles so many secrets in front of me that it almost seems as though he’s doing it on purpose. I’ve been good for a while, right? I haven’t peeked into anyone's head in, what, 5 days, 3 hours (rounding up of course)? One peek won’t hurt, right?
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