[BPRD] Makes My Skin Crawl, pt 2 [All 3.2]

edited December 2012 in In-Game
Joe, I assume you drive the truck with everyone aboard out to Canyon De Chelly (pronounced "deShay"). The place is huge and shutting it down is pretty much impossible. How did you talk your way past the park guards?

You park the truck, then follow the GPS coordinates and end up here.
image

There is police tape around an area in front of here, matches the pictures of the bodies found.
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  • edited December 2012
    The smell of the fine red dust through the open windows hits my nose, and I am taken back in time to being 14 and learning to drive an old stick shift truck on roads just like these. The twang and the static coming from the old am country music station and the warm breeze that brought in the dust magnified the feeling. As we roll up to the gates, though, I am completely in the present.

    I see the two guards are barely older than I was in my memory, and I am glad to see it. Young men of the tribe have not forgotten respect for their elders as it seems much of the rest of the world has, and this will be to our advantage. I flash my badge and speak in my native language. "We need to see the site right away." The taller of the young men nodded and replied in Navajo, "Yes, sir, right away," and nudged his companion who ran to the gate.
  • The site is one of the ancient buildings accredited to what the Navajo call the Anasazi, the ones who went away. The area taped off is between the road and the building, as if someone put it out as a warning.

    The taped-off area is about twenty feet in diameter, a large flat rock where the bodies were laid. While the corpses have been taken away, the blood pools have not been disturbed.
  • I don't see a blood trail, and that is quite a relief. Of course, I'm sure it's always a relief when a landscape is lacking a blood trail, but perhaps more so when you are expecting to find one. We do have blood pools however, and that is quite gruesome in and of itself.

    I stand on the outside of the tape looking down at the place where the bodies were. I keep glancing over my shoulder though, to the point where I'm sure it looks like I have a nervous twitch. I'm having no trouble at all imagining what these creatures might look like. It is in these scenarios that an abundance of imagination is not exactly comforting. My mind is whirling with images of some sort of large cat or wolf hybrid that can stand on it's hind legs like a man and open it's mouth wide like a snake to reveal rows upon rows of jagged teeth.

    Alright. That's quite enough imagination for one day. Let's see if I can find out anything helpful.
  • Investigate a Mystery

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • What sort of creature is it?
  • I will stop outside the tape and visually survey the scene, attempting to build a picture of the scene in my head.

    But meanwhile, Joe, I shall engage you in a conversation about how we might collaborate to magically peer into the past. To view the scene when it was, as it were, live. It should be simple enough ... if you have no particular objections, would you like to take the lead, or shall I? I suggest that you take the lead, considering that this is all your holy land and what have you.
  • I'll begin to investigate the mystery, as well:

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • edited December 2012
    NOPE!

    xp (5)
  • Dr. Eaton,

    How does Joe figure out something that can hurt you and what is it?
  • Penny,

    The creature is a trickster. These attacks were deliberate, used to sew chaos. To create panic, to scare people away. For a trickster, it isn't very sophisticated, however. This was a brutal set of attacks, not a quick kill.
  • I'm going to walk through the site up to the building and look around up there. The placing of the bodies seems very... deliberate.
  • I suppose I'm not quite sure. He is, of course, broadly familiar with the usual ways to hurt me, the salt, the iron, binding spells, and so forth. After all, he tried to destroy me once, and I assume he would not have done so without basic preparation.

    Well, I don't believe he has any evidence that Penelope and I are related, but perhaps he has observed us and noted our recent private conversations at the Bureau. He may suspect a relation, and he might now see that I have allowed myself to care about her enough that I would feel it if she came to harm.
  • "Trick or treat." I say almost sing-song, staring blankly at a spot on the ground. Then I blink.

    "They want to scare people away." I look out across the wide empty (lonely) expanse. "I think it worked."

    I catch Joe's eye. This is his place. His family. His home. It must be nice to have a place. "Tricky tricky tricksters. That's what they are. Not nice tricks though. Brutal slaughters that cause chaos and panic. That's what they like. I shouldn't want to meet one I don't think." I frown. "Although I am quite aware that is simply wishful thinking on my part."
  • "You are most likely correct, my dear."

    Indeed, I will have to have words with Director Corrigan upon our return. Do they not realize what they are doing, repeatedly sending a young psychic like you, Penelope, on combat missions?

    Well, perhaps I will take the lead on a bit of divination, after all.

    "... Let us see what can be seen of our tricksters."

    Of course I knew the general nature of this situation before we departed the main office, so I took a few moments to consult my library and take down some relevant texts. I retrieve one now, discuss the particulars with anyone who is interested, and begin the spell.

    It is simple enough. The tape surrounding the incident site serves well enough to delineate the boundaries of a ritual area, so I begin to pace around the perimeter, marking cardinal directions by means of a magnetic compass (complicated slightly by the magnet's tendency to misbehave when I am touching the thing).

    While Blake is investigating the structures (as you go, Blake, I remind you that they do constitute an irreplaceable cultural heritage site, and you should be careful of what you touch), I begin the frankly rather dry German incantations and processes of Mostin's Metagnostic Inquiry, attempting to force the past to reveal its secrets.

    Though I am entirely capable of modifying the ritual on the fly for compatibility with your own rituals, Joe, if you wish to collaborate here.
  • use magic

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+4 )

    On a hit, observe another time (showing activity within the area marked off by the tape).

    On a 7-9, it draws immediate unwelcome attention.
  • I step out of the car and look across the yellow crime scene tape to see one of the many ancient Anasazi buildings that dot the landscape in this area. Just in front of it were several flat rocks, the largest of which lay in the middle of the area cordoned off by the tape. Pools of blood seemed to indicate where the bodies had fallen or been placed.

    Dr. Eaton suggests performing a ritual to help make sense of what we're seeing. While I agree that that's a good idea I realize that I am too distracted to focus on magic. Too distracted even to respond to Dr. Eaton, as I am drawn to the pools of the blood that my companions have also noticed. Disturbing as it may be to them, to me, it feels like my own blood is congealing there, on land so close to my people. And some of that blood does belong to one of my people, which means it is my blood. Penny said that we would find a trail of blood, but all I see from here are seemingly random pools. I need to take a closer look.
     
  • edited December 2012
    Investigate A Mystery

    #DiceRoller(2d6+1)
  • edited December 2012
    Where did it go?

    XP (1)
  • Blake,

    You head past the tape and up towards the building far behind it. As you're walking, you spot a trail, marked off, roped trail up to the building. With the rocks around, it's quite a climb to get there otherwise, so unless you say so, I assume you take the path. The path curls around to the left of the picture above and then sweeps under the large rock overhang. It will take a few minutes to get up there.

    Penny, did you follow or stay with Joe and Dr. Eaton?
  • I notice Blake moving away from the rest of us, and I waffle for a second. (Doesn't a waffle sounds delightful right now? I do hope they have waffles at the continental breakfast). Grandfather is chanting and Joe looks preoccupied with studying the blood puddles. I don't feel like chanting (last time I participated in such a thing, I met a divine being who told really bad jokes) or studying blood puddles. So after few seconds, I start heading after Blake. He is my partner after all.
  • Dr. Eaton ,
    (and possibly Joe too? Or does this only appear for you?)

    You wind back time looking for something noteworthy, to find the point where these pools of blood were in people. The sun sets and rises three times before you see three people standing within your circle. One of them, an African-American male in his forties, is lighting up a cigarette while a waify thin blonde woman in her late thirties blinks furiously behind her glasses. The last is an overweight younger man in a sweaty button-up shirt and tie with an iPad.

    Chubby talks first, "...see how big that frickin wolf was? Thank God you carry that gun, Sally. I almost crapped myself when it jumped up out of that hole!" He's panting like he just jogged a mile, which for him would be a significant accomplishment.

    The bespectacled woman huffs out a breath and says, "Yeah... I, ya know, thought it was for rapists, but I guess it qualifies as, you know, self-protection..." She has a sheen of new perspiration, obviously she's still well within the fight or flight response.

    Smoker takes a big drag. Then exhaling, "Alright, I'm thinking that's enough excitement for one night, folks. Too bad our contract doesn't include danger pay." Chubby chuckles nervously, then Smoker continues, "We can come back in the morning, notify the park rangers or whatever-the-fuck these Navajo call them, get an escort. I don't give two shits how big that deposit might be..."

    Smoker is cut off when Chubby screams an alarm. With the tape barrier, you see an over-sized wolf just appear in mid-air coming like an apparition through the barrier and landing on the blonde woman, knocking her to the ground. In one quick motion, it tears open her throat, her heart pumping blood like crazy out onto the rock. Chubby turns to run, but a second creature, this one a coyote, dashes into your circle and hamstrings him with a quick clamp of her teeth. Smoker tries to flick his cigarette then run, but a third animal, this one a normal-sized wolf, comes two steps into your circle from a different angle, then takes a snap at him. He puts an arm up defensively and the wolf clamps down. He screams in pain and fear and tries to drag the wolf with him, away. But then the dire-wolf, for lack of a better term, rises with a bloody maw to leap onto him and both wolves tear and gnash at his flesh. Then they move to Chubby, who was feebly trying to crawl away. The dire wolf actually pulls him back into the circle before mauling him.

    The coyote pads back and away and watches as the pair of wolves rend all three of the people, tearing flesh and breaking bones in powerful jaws. You notice the wolves had very different coloration before the attack, but their furs are covered in blood now. After a few minutes, the coyote lopes off, out of the circle, followed by the smaller wolf. The dire wolf pads over to the smoker's corpse and places its mouth over the top of his head, then closes its jaws over the skin, ripping and pulling it away from the skull underneath. It doesn't come away clean.

    Then, scalp in its mouth, the dire wolf leaves the circle.
  • Blake and Penny,

    You head up the path towards the building, walking along a sandy ledge looking down at Dr. Eaton and Joe for a second. They disappear after about fifty feet. As you come within a hundred yards of the building, a crow circles down from above you and flies right past you, maybe five feet, like it was buzzing by you. The crow has a pretty good wingspan and in a few flaps, it gains some altitude and flits to land on top of the roof of the largest building, and bird-walks around to look down at you.

    As you continue walking to the building, the crow caws a few times, never taking its eyes off you. The building looks pretty well sanitized, this is one of the popular sites in the canyon, so there is a sign right outside the doorway describing the building, how it is attributed to the Anasazi by the Navajo, but archaeologists have identified it on Hopi origin.

    There's a small first aid station tent outside, currently the flaps are down and locked by a chain. Also, there is a path for handicap access. All in all, this is a pretty sanitized site.

    What do you do?
  • I stop next to the building, tilting my head up to look curiously at the crow. "Hello, Mr. Crow." I call up to it. "You have a lovely home." It is important to always be polite, you know.

    I walk over to Blake's side. "Are we looking for something in particular? I would like to help if I can, but it's terribly hard to play hide and seek if you don't know what you're seeking."
  • I think that the events play out visibly for Joe and I, within the area defined by the tape. It might not be perfectly clear ... I imagine it coming in and out of focus, perhaps drawn in banks of tinted fogs, rather than photo-real.

    I think Joe was looking for a blood trail, though?
  • Joe,

    Nope, no blood trail. However, you do see some tracks. They towards the building up there. If you want to head that way, you can follow it, come up near Blake and Penny. However, you do catch the rewind show courtesy your ghostly companion.
  • "Nah, I just though it would be a good place for us to make out."

    I say it without really thinking. Just kidding around, like I've done with other squads or partners. What? I have a sense of humor. It's dry as toast most of the time. It usually takes people a minute to figure out that I'm joking since my tone of voice changes not at all.

    But somehow it comes out sounding even less jokey than normal.

    "Um... Just looking for anything unusual. Thought maybe if the bodies were in front of this place it might be significant somehow. The bodies seemed like a warning. I'm not sure they were killed down there."

    I'll go through and check the building closely, mostly relying on instinct to tell me if somethings up.
  • Investigating a mystery

    #DiceRoller(2d6-1)
  • What is being concealed here?
  • Blake,

    You look around for a minute, Penny beside you. You get the feeling there's someone here, hiding inside the building.

    Penny,

    When you talk to the crow, it caws once, twitches its head side-to-side and hops a couple times, then bird-waddles back on the roof out of your line-of-sight.
  • I'm watching the crow disappear when Blake answers me. I swivel my head to look at him so fast, I almost give myself a crick in my neck. Was that a joke? Dangerous Blake makes jokes?

    Or was it a joke? His eyes are hiding between twin panes of impenetrable black shades.

    For five and a half seconds I stare at him in astonishment, but then I purse my lips and look around thoughtfully. "I would give this makeout location a five out of ten I think. It would be higher, but the pools of blood and threat of monster attacks are currently detracting points." My tone is lightly contemplative, but my cheeks are flushing just slightly.
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