Scenario Author: Adam Scott Glancy and John Tynes
Scenario Publisher: Pagan Publishing, in the Delta Green rule book
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: September 3 and 4, 2005
Game System: Chaosium's Basic RolePlaying (BRP)
Keeper: Allan Goodall
Characters: Nicholas Connelly a.k.a. Robert Benson, codename MICHAEL (Jason Gallagher); Joshua Frost a.k.a. Morgan Lancaster, codename MORGAN (Jimmy Pope); Carson Kovac a.k.a. Maya Angelou, codename MAYA (Alana Goodall)
Note: This session was spread across two days, September 3 and September 4. The September 3 session was very late in starting because Alana was working at the Monroe Civic Center, working for the State of Louisiana helping the hurricane Katrina evacuees in Monroe, LA.
Spoiler Warning: This scenario is taken from the Delta Green rule book. If you are a Delta Green player you may wish to ask your Keeper if they intend to run any scenarios in that book before reading this write-up, as pertinent scenario information will be revealed.
The following account was pieced together from the debriefing reports of the surviving members of M cell, and from eyewitness accounts.
The agents drove to the hospital in order to interview Senator DiTorrio. They parked the car and marched into the hospital single file. They took the elevator to the senator's floor. Two police officers guarded his room.
As they approached, one of the guards stood up and said, "Excuse me. May I see your hands?" He proceeded to spray leucopararosaniline on their hands. The fluid did not turn purple. "May I see identification, please?" MICHAEL showed his ID. They were ushered into DiTorrio's room. The police officer closed the door behind them.
The senator was in much better shape than the last time they saw him. He was sitting up in bed with a pair of reading glasses perched on his nose. Instead of the standard hospital gown he wore a set of expensive, satin pyjamas. His left arm was in a cast. He was perusing official-looking papers when they walked in. He looked at the agents over his glasses. "Who the hell are you?"
MICHAEL flashed his ID at the senator. "Special Agent Nicholas Connelly, FBI. Can you tell us about the incident at the Larry Daniels residence?" Beside him, MORGAN picked up the senator's chart and read it.
"I can't tell you much of anything," he answered. "My memory of that night is a haze." He focused on MICHAEL. "What office do you work out of?"
"Terrorism," replied MICHAEL.
"Who's your supervisor?"
"Deputy Director Robert Spencer." MICHAEL ignored the implication of DiTorrio's question. "Tell us what you do remember," he said, bringing the conversation back on topic.
"I don't remember much at all."
MORGAN looked up from the chart. The chart showed that DiTorrio was recovering well. He had suffered a concussion, and he had a broken arm, but he was doing better than could be expected. The hospital wanted him to remain for observation, but he could be released into the care of his personal physician at any time.
MORGAN said to DiTorrio, "Any information you could provide us would be useful. There were some illegal activities that were going on there. We found some illegal substances." He stared at DiTorrio so there was no mistaking what he said next. "And the other information we have, you probably would not want to get out. So the more information you provide us, the more likely it is to stay 'in house'."
DiTorrio leaned forward in the bed, "What are you implying?!"
MORGAN put it bluntly. "I don't think your constituents would like to know that you were involved in an orgy with prostitutes that had illegal substances present."
"Are you threatening me? I'm a United States senator, for God's sake! I could have breakfast with the Attorney General tomorrow morning and have all of your badges by lunch!" DiTorrio paused for a breath, then continued. "God damn it, I'm not going to stand for this! If you want to talk to me, you can do it through my lawyer."
MORGAN tried to smooth the senator's ruffled feathers. "Senator, we understand you've been through an ordeal, and we sympathize with the trauma you have suffered."
"The trauma you are going to suffer," muttered MAYA, who had been quietly observing in the back of the room.
"But," continued MORGAN, "we have an open case here that requires information. If you provide us with information, we may be able to keep you out of this entirely. We're not here to blemish your reputation."
"I don't know what the hell you're talking about," said DiTorrio. "I'm through talking."
"Cool," replied MAYA. "We'll just take it to the press." She walked to the door. "See ya later." She stormed out of the room.
The idea of them going to the papers worried the senator, but he wasn't going to cave. MORGAN and MICHAEL saw that further questioning was futile. They followed MAYA into the hall.
"That could have gone better," said MICHAEL. "This man has been a senator for 20 years. He's on the senate Armed Services Committee, and he will weather anything we can throw at him. The question is, can we stand up to what he can do to us?"
The agents discussed what they were going to do about the senator, and what the senator could do to their investigation. MORGAN suggested using the power of the CDC to quarantine DiTorrio. MICHAEL explained that even if he's quarantined DiTorrio still had rights. "In fact," continued MICHAEL, "as a U.S. senator he has more rights than us!"
"I've dealt with 'frog men'," said MORGAN. "I'm not afraid of some U.S. senator."
"A 'frog man' can not have you dismissed from the CDC," said MICHAEL.
"A 'frog man' can just dismiss you from life," added MAYA.
MICHAEL tried to explain his point of view more clearly. "If he tells any division of the State Department — the FBI or whatever — to identify you, and finds out that you are actually Joshua Frost of the CDC, then you are going to be in a shitstorm the likes of which we have not seen since Tampa."
An argument ensued. MORGAN wanted to lean heavily on DiTorrio, while MICHAEL insisted on treating the senator more carefully. The days of tension and sleepless nights caught up with the team as recriminations flew back and forth. It was MAYA who broke the tension by saying to MICHAEL, "You're our leader. You should make sure we take our medication!"
Eventually they decided their most immediate course of action was to replenish their supply of acid, in case they came across the neotissue woman again. MICHAEL told MORGAN to see if there was acid he could "requisition" somewhere in the hospital. He sent MAYA with the doctor. After they left, he slipped back into DiTorrio's room.
DiTorrio looked up at MICHAEL as the FBI agent walked into the room. He seemed shocked to see the officer. "I would like to apologize," said MICHAEL.
"Go on." DiTorrio put down his papers.
"My colleagues were a bit over-zealous," he explained. "They're rookies. I have some questions. I've sent them on an errand. I would just like to say that we do not have any reason to believe that you have any involvement in any wrong doing. We would like to try and piece together some bits of information that we have that don't quite fit."
DiTorrio seemed more tired than annoyed. He looked right at MICHAEL and said, "I don't remember a thing." He sighed. "Honestly... look, I've had it with the questions. If you're going to charge me, then charge me."
"Absolutely no charges," said MICHAEL. "We wouldn't dream of of bringing charges against you."
"Then get out."
"Very well." MICHAEL left the room. Though he didn't get any information, he did feel that he had calmed down DiTorrio. He was sure the senator felt he had the upper hand. With luck the senator would not cause any problems for the agents.
After MORGAN and MAYA returned, empty handed, the agents took the elevator to the ground floor. They still needed acid, so MORGAN suggested they look for a local chemical supply place. There was a bank of three pay phones in the main admittance area. The phones had telephone books. MORGAN pulled one out and leafed through the yellow pages. There were four places that looked promising. MORGAN phoned them, in order. The second company, Missouri Elecrochem, had the acid he wanted. They were located at 10958 Lin Valle Drive, St. Louis.
MICHAEL thought to check the restrooms used by the police officers guarding the senators for the presence of neotissue. MORGAN went back upstairs and sprayed the restroom with the fluid. The fluid remained clear. There was no sign of neotissue. He returned to the other agents.
They got into their car and headed for Interstate 55, which would take them to Lin Valle Drive. On the way, MICHAEL mentioned a lead they had not explored. Valiant had a girl friend serving time in jail, Angel O'Roarke. Perhaps she could give them a clue as to where they might find Valiant. They would contact Angel O'Roarke after they picked up the acid.
MORGAN and MICHAEL entered the building, a warehouse with adjoining office in an industrial park, while MAYA kept the car running. MORGAN flashed his CDC badge and asked for a case of 24 molar hydrochloric acid. The salesman at the front desk was most impressed with his CDC credentials and happily returned with a case of 12 flasks of acid. It was all he had in stock.
As MORGAN paid for the acid, MICHAEL's Delta Green cell phone rang. He stepped away from the desk and answered it. "MICHAEL."
"Uh, yes, may I speak to Robert Benson, please?"
MICHAEL recognized the voice. It was Louis Gaston. "Speaking," he replied.
"Senator DiTorrio just checked out of the hospital," explained Gaston.
"Well, I'm glad to see he's making a good recovery."
"Yeah, well he's headed for the airport. I just thought I'd let you know. He's just on his way out. I was wondering if you wanted him tailed or anything."
"Yeah," said MICHAEL. "Make sure he gets on the plane. If he makes a detour somewhere to cover his tracks, we want to know. He might try to contact Walters/Valiant."
MORGAN overheard MICHAEL. Considering that they finished talking to DiTorrio a little over an hour ago, the senator was making a very fast exit from the hospital. He was definitely running away... or running somewhere. MORGAN mentioned this to MICHAEL after MICHAEL hung up with Gaston. MICHAEL figured that perhaps it would be best if they were involved in tailing DiTorrio, too. They got into the car and MAYA sped off for the interstate. With luck they could intercept DiTorrio on the way to the airport, assuming he was actually headed there.
They got on I-55 southbound (which actually swung southwest), and then took the I-270 northbound. They were on the second interstate for less than 10 minutes when MICHAEL's phone rang again. "MICHAEL."
"This is Gaston. I've got a car following DiTorrio. He just pulled off. He's at a gas station, at a pay phone."
"Can you listen in?" asked MICHAEL.
"As a matter of fact, we can. We've got a parabolic mike on him right now. We're going to try and record him. Thought you'd want to know." After MICHAEL thanked him, Gaston hung up.
A semi truck with a double-stack automobile transport trailer pulled past MAYA in the left lane. On the trailer were 10 new Chrysler Sebrings. The truck slowly shifted lanes, without signalling, so that it was just ahead of the agents' FBI-supplied car.
The almond-colored Sebring at the end of the upper deck slipped backward and fell off the trailer. It crashed to the road, upside down, crumpling like an aluminum can. MAYA let out a squeal and jerked the car into the left lane. She narrowly missed a car sitting in her blind spot. The driver slammed on the brakes and laid on the horn simultaneously. A second Sebring fell off the trailer. The trailer swerved into the left lane so that it was in front of the agents' car. Another Sebring rolled backwards. Before it could fall off the trailer, MAYA dropped the FBI car into a lower gear, hit the gas, and accelerated past the truck on the left-hand breakdown lane.
MICHAEL pulled out his Glock. MORGAN grabbed for his pistol with his right hand as he speed-dialed 9-1-1 on his cell phone with his left. MORGAN pulled the phone up to his ear and stared out the window at the cab of the truck as they passed. The driver was a middle-aged man, heavy set, with a moustache. He was awake; he wasn't asleep or slumped over the wheel as MORGAN half expected. The driver didn't look at them as he struggled to keep his rig from jacknifing, but he didn't seem panicked, either. If anything, he seemed to be in the grip of grim determination. MICHAEL also noticed the driver. It seemed to both MICHAEL and MORGAN that the driver was purposely trying to kill them.
MAYA pulled the car in front of the truck. MICHAEL and MORGAN leaned out the windows of the car. MICHAEL fired his pistol at the truck's front, driver-side tire. MORGAN fired at the tractor's radiator. MICHAEL's shot punctured the tire. MORGAN's shots hit the radiator. The driver started to lose control as the tire went flat and gouts of steam rose from the radiator grill.
Something slammed onto the roof of the agents' car. MORGAN stuck his head out the window. Clinging to the roof was a blonde woman. MORGAN assumed this was the woman the homeless man saw outside their hotel. He ducked back down. "There's a blonde chick on the car!"
MICHAEL was still hanging out the window. The woman's left arm extended unnaturally toward him. She just missed grabbing hold of the FBI agent as he ducked back into the car.
A car pulled up on the right hand side of the agents' car. The driver honked the horn and pointed up at their roof. MAYA ignored the other car. She swerved back and forth, making the woman's perch unstable.
MICHAEL grabbed a bottle of acid. MORGAN grabbed a bottle of acid. A hand reached into the car, squeezing between the driver side window and the window seal, Mr. Fantastic-style, and tried to seize the steering wheel. MAYA swerved the car to the right. The hand missed the wheel and smacked into the driver's side window.
The truck, behind them, let out a loud, metallic grinding sound as the tire gave way and the wheel's rim hit the asphalt. The driver tried to maintain control but the tractor had a mind of its own. The tractor lurched to the right, jacknifing the trailer.
MAYA released the grip her left hand had on the wheel. She bent down, reaching for her pistol, holding onto the wheel only with her right hand. MICHAEL leaned out the window and lobbed his acid bottle at the woman on the roof. The bottle soared over the roof and hit the asphalt on the other side. The woman grabbed the steering wheel with her extended arm. MORGAN lobbed his bottle. It landed square on her back.
The woman let out a scream. She yanked hard on the steering wheel. MAYA lost her grip as she continued to fish for her gun. The car swerved to the left. It skidded 90 degrees to the direction of travel. It slid down the highway sideways. MAYA tried to gain control but she couldn't fight the inhuman strength of the neotissue woman/thing.
The car rolled onto its passenger side. MICHAEL and MORGAN were not buckled in. MICHAEL tried to brace himself. The car rolled over onto its roof. It threw up sparks as it skidded out of the lane and into the breakdown lane. It smacked into the guard rail. It ran upside down for a couple of hundred feet before it came to a stop.
MICHAEL and MORGAN were banged up, but neither had suffered major injury. MICHAEL found himself feet first on the ceiling of the car. MAYA was unhurt as she was belted in, but she was now suspended upside down. Deflated air bags blocked her view out the front of the car. MICHAEL saw the tractor trailer blocking two of the interstate's three lanes behind them. The trailer itself had lost four of the five upper deck cars. Drivers were slowly making their way around the wreckage on the far right lane. A couple of cars had stopped, their occupants cautiously moving to the FBI car to see if anyone had survived.
MICHAEL grabbed the case of acid, which had miraculously survived the car flipping over. He threw open his door and pulled the case out behind him. MORGAN's door was ruined beyond the point of opening, so he dragged himself out the window. MAYA unbuckled herself, fell to the car's ceiling and opened the driver's door.
"Everyone okay?" yelled MICHAEL, as he pulled up his pistol — which he had managed to hold onto all this time — and surveyed the scene. The trunk lid had opened about the time the car came to a stop. Strewn under the trunk were the guns they had seized from Valiant's apartment, and the flare gun and road flares. There was no sign of the woman.
The truck driver was still in the cab of the tractor. MICHAEL pulled out a bottle of acid. "Deal with the bitch if you see her!" He ran for the truck.
As MICHAEL reached the truck, MORGAN saw the neotissue female on top of the cab. "MICHAEL!" he yelled. "Look out! She's going to pounce!" MAYA had just pulled herself out of the car. She looked up and saw the woman. Both MAYA and MORGAN fired at her as MICHAEL — who didn't know where she was — jumped out of the way, reflexively. The bullets missed the woman as she landed where MICHAEL was last standing. MAYA had the woman in her sights. She pulled the trigger. Her pistol clicked, but did not fire. It had jammed!
MAYA threw her pistol down and looked around for the flare gun. MORGAN picked up a bottle of acid and ran for the woman. MICHAEL rolled onto his feet and threw the acid at the neotissue woman/thing. The acid flew wide. MORGAN ran up beside the truck. He didn't see the truck driver leaping for him until the driver crashed into him and dragged him to the ground. As he fell, MORGAN rolled, protectively cradling the bottle of acid. The neotissue woman extended her arms toward MICHAEL, but the M cell leader rolled out of her way.
MAYA pointed the flare gun at the blonde woman. She pulled the trigger. The flare shot out of the gun and, with a soft thud, embedded itself in the woman's back. The woman spun around to face MAYA just as the flare ignited with a sputter. The woman let out a high-pitched scream as gouts of flame and smoke shot from her back. MAYA bent down and grabbed a road flare.
The woman's eyes widened. She took a step toward MAYA, then another, and then broke into a trot. At the same time, MICHAEL jumped over to MORGAN and kicked the truck driver in the head. The driver collapsed.
The woman, now in a full, bounding run, was almost on MAYA. MICHAEL and MORGAN followed. Both male agents threw their bottles at the woman. MICHAEL's bottle flew over the woman and almost hit MAYA. MORGAN's went wide and smashed against a guard rail. MAYA ignited the road flare.
The woman slowed down as she got to MAYA. MAYA swung the road flare at the woman, but missed. The woman flung her left fist out at MAYA while she bent her right arm back around her to try and pull out the flare. MAYA ducked as the woman's fist lashed out at her head. Momentum carried the woman's fist into the ruined remains of the FBI car, collapsing the rear passenger side quarter panel.
MICHAEL scooped up another road flare and struck it against the ground. As the woman pulled back to lash out at MAYA again, MICHAEL shoved the flare into her lower back, just below where she had been hit with the flare gun. The neotissue woman/thing screamed in pain and fear as red flames burst from her. The fire spread, igniting her flesh. She flung her arms around in pain. One arm slammed into MICHAEL's left arm, the other just clipped MAYA's skull, knocking her to the ground. The thing, now totally engulfed in flame, cried out once more then crashed to the ground. The fire burned brightly, consuming the neotissue in an ever brightening flame.
The woman stopped moving. Within a minute the flames had used up their neotissue fuel. What was left was the form of a human woman, a form charred black from the heat.
MICHAEL and MAYA were both hurt, but they were conscious. MORGAN began treating MICHAEL when he caught some motion out of the corner of his eye. He saw the driver sit up, roll onto his knees and heave. MICHAEL and MAYA saw this too. The driver vomited up a flesh colored substance with the consistency of thick soup. He rolled back over and sat upright. A lost expression swept over his face. He shook his head, in apparent shock.
MAYA grabbed a flask of acid. She limped over to the vomited mass. She pulled the stopper and poured acid over the stuff. It hissed and popped as the acid hit it. It evaporated to almost nothing. MORGAN looked over at the charred mass that was the neotissue woman. He picked up a flask of acid himself and poured acid on the corpse, just to be safe.
MICHAEL was badly bruised from the crash and had a minor fracture of his left arm from his encounter with the woman, but was otherwise okay. He stood and pulled out his Delta Green cell phone. It hadn't been damaged in the melée. He phoned Gaston.
"This is Robert Benson," he said, after Gaston answered the call. "There's been a terrible accident on I-270. We are the cause of it. We need containment." He described the carnage, including the charred corpse. "We need a federal presence here, now, to cordon off the area and keep the local police out."
"And the media!" added MORGAN.
"And the media." MICHAEL gave Gaston their location based on the nearest mile marker.
MAYA walked back to the men. She stumbled a little, woozy. She bent over and threw up. She had a concussion, but she had no idea how severe. MORGAN was bruised in the crash, but the bruise wasn't severe. The pain was already fading away.
Traffic on the interstate crawled in both directions as drivers passed the site of the wrecks. Several people stopped and asked if they could help, but most drove on after getting a good look at the crash. A couple of cars had collided with cars that fell off the trailer, causing a chain reaction. The tractor trailer blocked two of the three lanes. MICHAEL waved the cars along. MORGAN sat with MAYA near their upside down car. Beside MORGAN was a garbage bag. The barrels of the guns they recovered from Valiant's apartment stuck out the top of the bag. MORGAN had scooped up the weapons that had been in their trunk and put them in the bag, along with the remaining road flares.
Two helicopters flew overhead, one a local police chopper, the other a news copter. MORGAN went about treating MAYA with a white bandage. He pulled up her hair and wrapped the bandage around her head. He put an eye patch on her. He explained that he was obscuring her features. He hoped that it would be difficult for the news people to get a good picture of MAYA.
"Your best bet for keeping me unrecognizable," said MAYA, "is to stuff gauze in my mouth."
MORGAN took out a bottle of iodine and smeared some on his face. He hoped that his rough attempt at camouflage would obscure his features. He then slipped the garbage bag inside the overturned car.
The agents heard sirens approaching.
MORGAN remembered the truck driver. He went over to check on him. The truck driver was suffering from a concussion. "Wha... what happened?" asked the driver. "How did I get here?"
"You blew a tire, and then you jacknifed," said MORGAN.
"What was I doing in my truck?"
"I don't know sir."
The driver slowly shook his head. "Oh, man, I don't remember anything."
MORGAN asked for the driver's ID. The driver pulled out his license. MORGAN jotted down the driver's name and license number. Meanwhile, MICHAEL wandered over to him and sprayed the back of the driver's neck with leucopararosaniline. The fluid turned slightly purple, suggesting that he was infected with neotissue, but he seemed to be recovering from that. MORGAN thought about the stuff the driver threw up and figured that was the source of the infection.
Gaston arrived at the site by way of the southbound lanes, along with a couple of other FBI cars. Behind them were the local police, fire engines and an ambulance. He walked over to MICHAEL. "What the hell happened?!"
"Do you want details," asked MICHAEL?
"Yeah," he sighed, "I better."
"Okay. This charred corpse right here," he pointed to the woman's corpse, "leapt onto our car as we were trying to get away from the truck that was dropping cars off the back. She wrested control of the steering wheel from our driver, and we flipped over, skidded to a halt after we took out the truck, causing it to jacknife. That's when we battled this woman with road flares and acid, but not before she knocked her," he pointed to MAYA, "unconscious and broke my arm."
"Okay, I was wrong, I didn't want the details."
The ambulance EMTs treated the driver, as the firemen discussed the best method of clearing up the traffic. Local police started taking down statements from witnesses. A second TV news helicopter joined the first.
"How the hell do we explain this," asked Gaston.
Without missing a beat, MORGAN said, "A tire blew out. The driver lost control. Multi-lane pile-up."
One of the FBI agents walked up to Gaston. "Geez, you've got to hear this. We've got a couple of witnesses that said some chick was..." He saw the corpse lying on the asphalt. "Christ, was that a woman?" He stared for a second and looked back at Gaston. "Anyway, some woman was on the truck, letting loose the cars."
"See???" said MAYA.
One ambulance drove away with the driver. A second ambulance appeared. The agents had the crew take MAYA to St. Louis University Hospital. On Gaston's order, one of his agents took the bag of guns and tossed it into Gaston's car. Gaston told MORGAN and MICHAEL to get into the car. A minute later he was heading south on I-270, on the tail of the ambulance carrying MAYA. Along the way, Gaston told the Delta Green agents that his team managed to tape DiTorrio's conversation. One of his men had the tape. Gaston called up that agent and told him to meet them at the hospital.
The hospital treated MAYA then released her. They wanted her to stay overnight for observation, but she wouldn't have it. They gave her a pamphlet on caring for someone with a concussion and allowed her to leave. MICHAEL had his arm splinted while they waited for MAYA.
Gaston asked the agents come with him to his office where he could take down their formal statements. Since they didn't have a vehicle at the moment, they had little choice but to do as he requested.
For the record, they stated that they were driving on the interstate when they noticed a woman on the tractor trailer. They had no idea how she got on the trailer without the driver noticing. Then she started releasing cars when they were behind the trailer. They tried to stop the truck, but at that point the woman jumped on their car. MORGAN explained that the woman committed suicide; she preferred to immolate herself rather than be captured by the police. MAYA explained that her gun was damaged in the crash, so when the woman charged her she picked up a flare gun and told the woman to halt. When the woman continued to charge, MAYA fired the flare gun, not realizing the woman was soaked in gasoline. "But not before she whacked me on the head, the bitch!" said MAYA.
After he took down their statements, he took them into another room. The room was roughly furnished, but it contained an expensive sound system. Gaston pulled out the tape dropped off by one of his men. He put the tape in the player, and played it.
This is what they heard:
Sound of the parabolic mike being moved into position. Sound of wind. Sound of coins dropped into the phone.
DiTorrio: Fucking jerks. Bugged my fucking phone. Bugged my fucking car.
Sound of DiTorrio hitting touch tone phone buttons. He punched in a seven digit number.
Amplified voice of a woman: Enolsis Foundation. What can I do for you today?
DiTorrio: Doug Walters, please.
Amplified voice over from a canned recording: Let the Enolsis Foundation help you find your true path. Our meditations are designed...
Amplified voice of a man: Hello?
DiTorrio: What the fuck happened, boy?
Amplified voice of a man: Shit, Dad, where the hell have you been?
DiTorrio: Up to my fucking ass in fucking feds while I was laid up in the hospital, that's what. What they hell happened?
Amplified voice of a man: I don't know. I don't! You know I wasn't there when it happened. I cut out early!
DiTorrio: So help me, if I find out you had anything to do with what happened. If you had anything to do with what happened to Larry, I'll kick your fucking ass!
Amplified voice of a man: Calm down. Christ, Dad, I don't know what happened!
DiTorrio: Look, son, the feds want to talk to you. They've been coming around asking questions, asking about Valiant.
Amplified voice of a man: Shit.
DiTorrio: Yeah, no kidding, bright boy. I got you out of Afghanistan. I got you a new life. I got you a new face. Now I'm telling you I can't cover for you this time. You better get out of town.
Amplified voice of a man: Dad, I can't. I can't give this up.
DiTorrio: You don't have a choice, mister. Ditch this New Age crap and blow town while you still can. Now!
Amplified voice of a man: Fuck you! I built this! I made this! No feebs are going to take it away!
DiTorrio: God damn it, you make me mad! [Pause.] I've done all I can for you. Now blow.
Amplified voice of a man: Wait, Dad. Tell me one last thing.
Amplified voice of a man: What are the names of the feds who were leaning on you.
DiTorrio: Why do you want to know?
Amplified voice of a man: Just tell me. [Pause.] Come on, damn it! I need to know! It might help keep me out of jail.
DiTorrio: I can't remember.
Amplified voice of a man: Jesus, this is my ass on the line here! How am I going to keep an eye out for them when I don't know who they are???
DiTorrio: Alright. There was some black guy asking me most of the questions. His name was... uh... Gaston. He's a local guy.
Amplified voice of a man: Okay.
DiTorrio: Three others came by today. Two men and a woman, all FBI. Don't know what the female's name was, but the guy who did most of the questioning was Nicholas Connelly. And the other FBI guy... um, Lancaster was his name.
Amplified voice of a man: Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for them.
DiTorrio: Damn it, boy, get your ass out of town, now!
Sound of the line disconnecting.
DiTorrio: Hello, Ronnie? Damn it!
Sound of DiTorrio slamming the phone down on the cradle.
"So, Gaston," said MICHAEL, "what do you make of that?"
"You think this Valiant is Walters?"
"He is Doug Walters."
"According to this, it sounds like Walters is DiTorrio's son. Shit."
"Whether his real name is Valiant or Walters or DiTorrio, illegitimate or stepson, or something like that..." said MICHAEL.
"I'm willing to bet it was illegitimate," added MAYA before popping a couple of Tylenols.
They asked Gaston if he could get them another car. In a few minutes he had requisitioned one from the motor pool, but this one was older and more beat up than the one they had previously. They piled into the car with their weapons, the flares, and the remaining acid. They thanked Gaston, and then headed for the nearest Wal-Mart.
By this time they were hungry. MORGAN suggested getting some beef jerky. "No," said MAYA, "Get me some Oreos. Something nutritious!" He found some double-stuffed, fudge-covered Oreos. They also bought funnels, a gas can, Super Soakers, and lots of paper towels. They drove over to the Wal-Mart/Murphy Oil gas station. They filled the car, and the gas can, with gasoline. They climbed back into the car.
They drove three blocks away. MAYA pulled into a parking lot. They got out of the car and filled their Super Soakers with gasoline. They got back into the car. With the stink of gasoline around them, they drove to the Enolsis Foundation office.
They intended to drive to the parking lot three blocks away from the Enolsis office, where they met up with Gaston the previous evening. MICHAEL suggested that they drive past the Enolsis office first, just to scope it out. As they drove past, they didn't see anyone inside. There was a piece of paper taped to the front door. MAYA circled the block. She pulled into a parking spot across the street from the store front. MICHAEL and MORGAN pulled out binoculars to try and read the sign from a distance, but they had trouble focusing on the paper. Tired of them waisting time, MAYA got out of the car and ran for the front door. She read the sign and ran back to the car. The sign said there was a special meeting that night at 7 p.m. It gave an address on Lin Valle Drive.
MAYA went back to the door and tried to pick the lock, while MORGAN and MICHAEL acted as look outs. After five minutes the door opened and the agents rushed inside. They quickly searched the main floor but no one was there. They trotted over to the door leading to Valiant's apartment. MICHAEL kicked the door. On his second try, the door flung open and crashed into the drywall. The agents ran upstairs, their guns drawn. No one was there. It looked exactly as they had left it the night before.
The agents ran downstairs. They opened the door to the storage room. The extra realizers were missing. "This doesn't look good," said MAYA. "They're having a real freaky party, again."
They ran back to the car and climbed in. They headed for the address on Lin Valle drive.
The address was in the same industrial park as Missouri Electrochem, where manufacturing facilities sat beside warehouses. The address they were looking for was in a block of warehouses. MORGAN and MAYA heard distant police sirens. As they approached the warehouse they saw people milling about outside. There were as many as five dozen people standing in the street. As MAYA drove closer they saw Diane and Sarah. They recognized some of the other people as members of Enolsis. A few of the people were in tears, some of them were clustered together, hugging; most of them appeared to be in shock, and a couple were throwing up.
MAYA parked the car. The agents put on their crystals and got out of the car. They approached Diane and Sarah. The other two were empty handed, but MORGAN carried a Super Soaker full of gasoline, hidden behind his back.
Sarah glanced at them as they approached, and then looked back at the warehouse. "They... they... they're dead... Oh, my God, they're dead..."
"Who?" asked MICHAEL and MAYA, simultaneously.
As a reply, Sarah pointed at the warehouse.
The side door to the warehouse lay wide open. MORGAN and MICHAEL walked up to the door. They entered. The warehouse was mostly bare. Overhead fluorescents flooded the room with light. A dais stood at one end of the room. Mats covered the space between the dais and the door. On two dozen mats were dessicated bodies. Several of them had limbs that had snapped off when they fell over. MORGAN counted 23 corpses in all. Each body clasped a half-sized realizer, just like Larry Daniels. He surmised that they died just like Larry Daniels. No one else was in the warehouse. There was no sign of Valiant.
Diane wandered over to MAYA. MAYA asked her what happened. "We were praying..." explained Diane. "Doug was conducting the... the session. He was talking, telling us how the authorities were trying to get rid of us. He was right. This was it. They were going to close down the foundation." She looked into MAYA's eyes. "They were going to take away our tax free status. They were going to close the chapter. We were all praying for guidance. He even pulled out our spiritual reservoir. We all prayed... he prayed, as he held the reservoir... and then... Oh, God! Things started to happen! People started to cry, and convulse. And then they... Oh, God!"
MAYA consoled the hysterical woman, hugging her. When Diane had regained a little composure she asked Diane what a "spiritual reservoir" was. Diane held out her hands like she was holding an invisible bowling ball. "It's... it's a crystal. It's the main crystal. It holds our spiritual energy."
Inside the warehouse, MICHAEL found no evidence of "extradimensional impingement". The cut-down realizers had all failed, but not as catastrophically as Daniels' realizer. The male Delta Green agents left the warehouse.
They walked over to MAYA, who was still talking to Diane. Diane said that "Doug" had ordered a meeting of all the members of Enolsis. They were all to meet at the warehouse for prayer. All of them, except the three new members. "He told me not to call you. He didn't want you here."
"Why?" asked MAYA, in an innocent tone of voice.
"He said that you were police."
"No," replied MAYA, "not exactly."
"He said that he would take care of this," added Sarah. "He got into his car and drove off."
A police cruiser arrived. The sole police officer got out of the cruiser and asked the nearest person, "What's going on here?"
"They're dead!" cried one of the Enolsis members. She pointed to the warehouse.
As the police officer rushed over to the warehouse door, the Delta Green agents ran for their own car. They tore down the street while the cop was still in the warehouse.
They called Gaston. MICHAEL asked for the plate number for Walters' car. Gaston gave it to them. MICHAEL told Gaston to put out an all-points bulletin for the car. He then explained what had happened at the warehouse. MICHAEL hung up the phone.
MAYA pulled over when they came to a busy intersection. They debated where they should go next. MICHAEL's cell phone rang. It was Gaston. "We found Walters," stated Gaston.
"Where," asked MICHAEL.
"He's at a La Quinta near the airport."
"Oh, dear," said MAYA, when MICHAEL relayed the information.
"He's going after you?" asked Gaston. Gaston knew where they had been staying.
"Perhaps," replied MICHAEL. Gaston gave MICHAEL the address. It was the same address as their hotel. Valiant must have been going after them. "We've got him now!" cried MICHAEL.
MAYA peeled into traffic. She headed for the La Quinta.
When they got to the hotel they saw that the police had cordoned off the street. MAYA parked next to two local police cruisers. They got out of the car.
MICHAEL flashed his badge at an approaching cop. He asked what happened. The cop explained that a suspect had charged into the hotel, hurting two of the staff in the process. One cruiser was on the scene when the APB came in from Gaston. Two police officers from that first cruiser went in to apprehend the suspect. Shots had been fired.
MICHAEL saw Gaston. The FBI agent was talking to a local sergeant while a couple of his FBI agents stood beside him. MICHAEL and MORGAN went back to their car and pulled out their Super Soakers filled with gasoline. MAYA grabbed her flare gun. "We're loaded for neotissue!" said MICHAEL. They walked over to the Delta Green "friendly".
A SWAT van arrived. Men dressed in black coveralls, black kevlar vests and helmets, and automatic weapons jumped out of the van. Just then a man walked out the lobby entrance. He was wearing a ceremonial robe of red and gold. MICHAEL recognized him from a photograph and from Daniels' memory; it was Doug Walters, also known as Ron Valiant. He was holding onto what must have been the chapter's spiritual reservoir. A faint blue aura emanated from his body. He looked around at the police, grinning. The SWAT team took up positions behind the police cruisers.
"Snipers!" cried MICHAEL. "We need snipers!"
"But he hasn't done anything," said Gaston.
"The crystal in his possession!" explained MICHAEL. "We need to shatter it! Look at him, he's glowing, he's charged."
MORGAN stared at Valiant and concentrated. He began casting the Bloat spell while he stared at Valiant. The first part of the spell prepared the subject to accept the spell. MORGAN felt the spell subtly alter Valiant... and then the alteration stopped. There was a sudden backlash. MORGAN poured more of his magic power into the spell. He slipped his hand into his pocket. His fingers wrapped around the African fetish he kept with him, the same fetish he found in Vienna in 1928. He concentrated harder.
Valiant looked around at the crowd of police. He focused on MORGAN. He stretched his arm out in MORGAN's direction. Valiant pulled his arm back, and flung it out like he was throwing an invisible baseball. Some form of supernatural force struck MORGAN and threw him backwards twenty feet. MORGAN slammed hard against the side of a police cruiser, and crumpled to the ground.
MICHAEL and MAYA fired their pistols at Valiant's crystal. A cop near MICHAEL yelled, "Fire!" Pistol bullets flew through the air. The SWAT team added their submachine gun fire to the fusillade. MICHAEL's shot hit the crystal, cracking it. MAYA's shot missed completely. Several other bullets struck the crystal, cracking it further. None of the bullets aimed at Valiant's body hit him. Instead, they bounced off the glowing blue aura.
The blue glow around Valiant's body increased. The hail of bullets struck the glowing boundary and bounced off, ricocheting in unpredictable angles. He slipped the globe into his robe and closed his eyes. He took two deep breaths as the bullets continued to fly toward him. The aura extended further from his body. He walked toward the police cruisers.
MAYA put away her pistol and pulled out her flare gun. MICHAEL set his pistol on the roof of the car and drew up his Super Soaker. MICHAEL soaked the ground in front of Valiant, then picked up his Glock. MAYA fired the flare gun at Valiant. The flare struck the glowing aura and bounced off.
Valiant walked up to the police car and grabbed hold of it with both hands. Bullets continued to bounce off the blue light that surrounded him. He picked the car up and flung it at a group of cops. The police officers scattered as the cruiser crashed into another police car.
MAYA reloaded the flare gun and fired at the puddle of gasoline. The gasoline ignited, sending flames along the ground to Valiant's feet. Valiant jumped into the air... and stayed there! He flew around in a circle as most of the police stopped firing and simply looked on in awe. He landed back on the ground, in a spot where there was no gasoline. He made a sweeping gesture with both arms. A cruiser slid sideways across the road. Another police cruiser tumbled down the street.
Valiant was now on their side of the police car barrier, so MAYA and MICHAEL ran around the other side. They ducked out of sight behind the cars. MICHAEL popped his head up to take a look. Valiant was scanning the police. He saw MICHAEL but his gaze passed over him.
"Come out, Connelly!" yelled Valiant. "Come out, Lancaster! Make it easy on yourselves! Or at least make it easier on the rest of these puny mortals!"
A police officer beside MAYA said, "Who the hell is Connelly?"
Valiant walked toward the car where MICHAEL was hidden. Valiant reached for the car and picked it up. MICHAEL and a couple of other cops scrambled out of the way. MICHAEL swung up behind Valiant, hoping to get inside the man's aura.
MAYA ran for their car. She jumped inside and started it. She looked around for something she could use to jam the accelerator peddle.
Valiant threw the car he was holding into the front of the La Quinta, smashing the glass doors and and knocking loose a column of bricks.
MICHAEL ran up to Valiant. As he got to the aura surrounding the ex-Marine, he bounced off, landing on his posterior. Another shower of bullets bounced off the aura. Either the bullets distracted Valiant or he didn't even notice MICHAEL. Either way he ignored the Delta Green agent and advanced on the police. MICHAEL got up and ran for the relative safety of another cruiser. Sirens wailed in the distance.
MAYA found a police baton on the ground. She swung the car so it faced Valiant. She threw the car into park, then she levered the baton into place, gunning the car's engine. She slipped out of the car, then leaned in. She threw the car into gear. The wheels squawked as MAYA jumped clear. The tires gripped and the car headed straight for Valiant.
The ex-Marine saw the car heading his way. He turned to face it. Just before the car hit him, he slammed his fists into the car's trunk. The car's front tires burst at the same time the car slammed into Valiant's aura. The car crumpled as though it had collided with a concrete wall.
After viewing her futile attack, she caught sight of MORGAN's still form on the concrete. She ran over to see if he was alive, and if she could help him.
Out of the corner of his eye, MICHAEL saw a woman standing in the middle of the road. He didn't recognize her. She was an attractive brunette, dressed in civilian clothes. She appeared to be caught in the horror of the moment. Valiant picked up another police car. The woman walked slowly down the street toward him. She was 10 yards away from MICHAEL. He ran for her, to get her out of the way. Before he could grab hold of her, the woman started to run at Valiant. She leaped into the air and struck him in the chest. Instead of bouncing off his aura, her arms stretched and wrapped around him. She was another neotissue creature, like the one that attacked the agents on the highway and in their hotel room.
The woman and Valiant wrestled. He peeled her off and threw her into a wall. She bounced off the wall, shook her head, and then ran at him again. She ran past him, stretching out her right arm. She caught him unaware and flipped him to the ground.
He grabbed her arm and flung her into a wall. She jumped on him and started pummelling him. The two were locked in a battle that looked like something out of a comic book.
MAYA saw the two grappling. She reached into MORGAN's padded pouch and extracted a bottle of acid. She threw the acid at Valiant and the woman, hitting Valiant but showering both with glass and acid. Valiant seemed unfazed, his aura protecting him from the attack. The woman, on the other hand, screamed in terror and pain.
"Damn it, you just wounded our champion!" yelled MICHAEL.
The two continued to fight, though the neotissue woman was badly injured, both from the acid on her arm and from Valiant's blows. Valiant didn't look the least bit hurt from her attacks.
MICHAEL aimed his pistol at Valiant and fired. He pulled the trigger every time he thought he could get off a well placed shot. After firing four times MICHAEL saw that Valiant's aura was less intense than it had been.
"Concentrate all fire on Walters!" cried MICHAEL. All of the cops fired at Valiant at once. Valiant's aura not only dulled but began to shrink.
Valiant grabbed hold of the woman by the arm and flung her up against the building. She hit the wall with a sickening crack, and fell to the ground. She didn't move. He turned to the cops and picked up two cars at the same time. He threw one of the cars at MICHAEL. MICHAEL tried to dodge out of the way, but the car clipped his leg. The force of the car hitting him threw him to the ground. Valiant threw the other car in the direction of MAYA and MORGAN. MAYA threw herself over MORGAN, but the car creased the side of her head. She fell motionless.
MICHAEL looked around for his Super Soaker. He saw his or MORGAN's squirt gun lying on the ground. He ran over to it and picked it up. It was still full of gasoline. He patted his jacket. He still had a road flare.
The neotissue woman stirred, slowly crawled to her feet, and then leaped at Valiant. Valiant had his back to her and didn't see her. She slapped and stabbed at him with her arms. Valiant grabbed her by one arm, swung her around in a big circle, and threw her into the air and over a building.
His blue glow was almost gone.
MICHAEL ran forward and fired his Super Soaker into Valiant, point blank. This time the gasoline did not bounce off his aura. Instead, the fuel soaked into Valiant's robe and pants. Valiant thrust his arm out at MICHAEL, bouncing MICHAEL into a car. He made the same gesture again, but this time nothing seemed to happen.
The Delta Green agent ran at Valiant. He reached into his coat while he ran, pulled out the road flare and tugged on the end. The flare ignited. Valiant thrust his arm out at MICHAEL again, but nothing happened. MICHAEL was almost on top of Valiant. "Is that gasoline I smell?" he yelled. He thrust the road flare at Valiant's face. MICHAEL's aim was off. He missed.
Valiant, the ex-Marine, dropped into a tae kwon do stance. He faked a kick and then punched MICHAEL in the face. MICHAEL wasn't able to dodge in time. He fell backward and landed heavily on the ground. His eyes rolled up. MICHAEL fell unconscious.
With MICHAEL on the ground, the police had a clear line of sight on Valiant. A dozen officers fired at the ex-Marine/drug dealer with pistols and submachine guns. This time the bullets didn't bounce.
As the bullets struck him, a surprised look washed over Valiant's face. He crumpled to the ground. His gasoline soaked robe touched the road flare, which had fallen from MICHAEL's hand and rolled toward Valiant. The flare ignited the gasoline. Valiant's corpse was consumed by the flame.