Fire In The Sky

Lone Star, Part II
Damned Pastors...

Having decided to work up a psychological profile on Chris Roberts, Brian Gall decided to do some digging into the teen on social media. Nothing stood out except a Facebook reference to a “weird church service” that his parents made him attend. A quick Google search found two churches in the area: First Baptist of Abbott and Immaculate Heart Catholic Church. Gall also consulted CODIS about juvenile offenders at the school to aid in their cover story. In the morning, Lance Boone disguised Brian Gall as a social worker, and the two drove 15 minutes north to Hillsboro High School to observe Chris Roberts. Gall easily persuaded the principal to let them observe, only to find that Chris was not in class. Upon asking why, the principal said that his mother had called and reported him sick. Boone and Gall then went to the Robert’s residence, and finding it locked and apparently vacant, decided to visit the police station and inquire about the Roberts family. They learned his mother stayed at home, while his father worked for the local oil refinery. The team decided to investigate the Roberts’ residence further but after making some more phone calls, which revealed that Chris had not checked in to any health clinics, but that Jim Roberts was on shift at the refinery.

On a hunch, Joel Gregory decided to stop at the First Baptist Church. While Malcom Reading made some information gathering phone calls, Pastor J.D. Friedland greeted Gregory at the door and let him into the church. After giving Friedland an obvious pseudonym, Gregory accepted the offer of coffee and searched the room, finding a trap door leading down stone stairs in the back storeroom of the church. Unfortunately, Friedland saw this and cast a paralyzing spell on Gregory, disarmed, handcuffed and brought him down into the cellar where Gregory passed out.

Meanwhile, Malcom Reading grew worried after 30 minutes had passed with no word from Joel Gregory. Having called Gregory’s cell phone and getting no answer, he called Lance Boone to let them know about the situation. Boone advised Reading to wait for backup, but Reading knocked on the chapel door and demanded that Gregory be released. When his attempt at intimidation failed, Reading attempted to kneecap Frieland – however, the pastor avoided the shot and defeated Reading in a gunfight waged inside the church, in which Tchaikovsky was also wounded or killed. Lance Boone and Brian Gall heard the conversation and battle over the cell phone connection, but arrived to late to aid Reading, who was also carried into the subterranean prison.

Gall and Boone contacted Nunez, who was only able to scramble one agent: Delta Green Cell C sniper Cal. After waiting for a few hours, Cal arrived and the three agents planned their assault, aware that area law enforcement was mobilizing. Local law enforcement was already in the church, apparently having come from an unknown location within the building. Cal covered the windows while Boone set fire to the back of the church with gasoline impregnated rope and trash, and threw an improvised Molotov cocktail into the Pastor’s office. The fire spread rapidly, and two police officers came out of the front door. After running a few yards, they were simultaneously gunned down by Cal and Lance Boone, who coordinated their assault with deadly precision. J.D. Frieland followed close behind, and was immediately shot through the throat by Cal’s Berretta .50 sniper rifle and critically hit by Boone, who once again coordinated with Cal to deal massive damage to the enemy. Although apparently mortally wounded, Frieland defied death and managed to shoot Lance Boone with his Desert Eagle. Cal and Boone then executed Frieland with multiple shots to the head, revealing the pastor to be a heavily mechanically augmented humanoid.

The immediate threats neutralized, Cal and Boone quickly swept the rooms of the church but realized that the fire was too intense to stay long enough to rescue Gregory and Reading, especially with law enforcement rapidly closing in. They captured Frieland’s body and Gall attempted to psychically scan the area for other intelligences, which resulted in an apparent Grand Mal seizure. Although near death, Cal “The Magic Negro” saved Brian Gall’s life.

Black helicopters approached, and Boone and Cal decided to leave the area. Brian Gall’s Curse struck again as a train blocked the only exit out of town for precious minutes. Boone called Nunez at the post office pay phone, having decided to surrender himself with Brian Gall as Cal attempted to escape in a stolen USPS truck, but Nunez urged Boone to escape if at all possible. Fortunately, the train passed and the three remaining members were able to escape Abbott. They reported in to Nunez, who arranged an extraction deep in Texas farmland and revealed that Majestic 12 had captured Joel Gregory and Malcolm Reading.

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Lone Star, Part I

In the first of the four weeks between missions, Brian Gall suffered a fall down many flights of stairs, caused by a push from invisible hands. He recovered in the hospital, where he received an enchanted ring of protection and letter from Thessaly mentioning a Pinacottic Manuscript that may have details on a ritual to break the curse of the Goddess of Death. Upon request from Gall, Ned Icecave scoured online journals and listings of rare texts and found only one known copy, in the possession of Professor Friedrich Zimmer of Harvard University.

Ned Icecave attempted to find more information on the Gall’s curse by looking into the book, “The History of the Greek Islands”. The author turned out not to have any relevant information about the statue or occult, so Icecave looked into “The Pearl of Great Price”, which was a translation of D’aleel Qocytas. There are three known copies at Miskatonic University Rare Books Collection, The University of Chicago’s Oriental Studies (with professor Gil Stein) and one with Nadia Fulanie (spelling?) at UC Berkley.

Lance Boone wrapped up the previous encounter with DeLong, suggesting that the government will help to pay for damages to the mansion caused by the battle. He learned that DeLong was likely unaware of the statue’s true power, and is planning on selling the fake at auction. Boone notified Nunez, who plans to have someone in place to buy it when it comes up for sale. Boone and DeLong then candidly discussed their awareness of the occult, with DeLong agreeing to work as part of Delta Green if he is needed in the future.

Jared Silverstein examined the alien corpses and found a few notable anomalies, including apparent lack of a reproductive organs despite sharing extreme similarity to human physiology. He also looked at the plasma pistols and determined their grips are made of a living fungus type organism which regenerates when damaged. This organism interacts with a chemical present on the Grey’s skin to create an electric current which in turn powers the weapon. Silverstein was able to synthesize the active chemical and provided a small vial to all four of the team members who are headed to Abbot, TX.

Nunez briefed Delta Green Cell K on their latest mission. A video had been uploaded to Youtube that showed a landed saucer with blinking light. A noise is heard on the video, and the videographer appears to turn and run while exclaiming in a male voice. The video was taken down at Delta Green’s request, but the team’s mission is to 1. Destroy all copies of the video and prevent it from reappearing on the Internet and 2. Investigate the Grey’s activity and seize their technology.

Icecave wasted no time in finding the IP address for the upload, and traced it to Terminal 1 of the Abbot public library. Other activity at the terminal around the same time revealed no other leads. Lance Boone, Brian Gall, Malcom Reading and newbie Joel Gregory flew in to Texas and took rented two black SUVs to the tiny town of Abbot, TX.

Upon arrival, Boone traveled to the nearest ICE office to acquire badges for the group’s cover: Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Afterwards, he introduced the group and its cover to the local sheriff, Jim Spurlock. Spurlock was won over by Lance’s friendly xenophobia and told Boone that agents from the Department of Forestry had set up a restricted area north of Abbot. A call to the Forestry Department confirmed the identity of the workers: Gerald Darcy, John Mason and Lynn Walden.

Gall and Reading visited the library, where they were able to determine that the video was uploaded from the account “Throwawayacct” and had no other information. Gall found metadata in the video file which indicated the video was shot on a Galaxy 5 belonging to 16 year old local Chris Roberts. Reading’s chat with the librarian confirmed that Roberts and his friend Alex Underwood had been using the library’s computer on Saturday, the day of the upload. A local lot lizard Maria Reyes also uses the computers, as well as a middle aged man smelling of smoke and alcohol.

Upon returning to the hotel, Brian Gall noticed a falling ceiling fan soon enough to dive out of the way, cheating Goddess of Death for a third time. Lance Boone went to have BBQ and whiskey with Sheriff Spurlock, while Reading went looking for Maria Reyes, and Gregory drove out to the Forestry site. Gregory encountered John Mason, who took his badge and took nearly 20 minutes to check, and made at least one phone call. Gregory lost patience and requested back his badge and left, but not before volunteering his phone number to Mason.

Upon returning to the Motel 6, the group debated the best way to get to Chris Roberts. Reading wanted to begin with a strong stick, while Gall advocated offering carrots at first. Gregory was undecided, but attempting to directly scare Roberts appeared to be the best way to avoid unnecessary complications that would arise from telling multiple stories and weaving intricate threads of deception, as well as the most likely at achieving the desired result. Boone came around as well, and outvoted 3 to 1, Brian Gall agreed to work up a psychological profile on Chris Roberts to help Mr. Reading’s interrogation.

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The Woman From Lemb, Part III
The Amazing Denouement

As the session opened, the group raced to round up as many cultists as they could before the others went to ground. They started by searching the houses of each of the dead cultists. Using Ned Icecave’s technical expertise, they hacked into the personal computer of one of the cultists and, using his email, determined the identity of several others. Calling in the FBI and DHS, they arranged a roundup of the remaining cultists, and managed to arrest three of them.

Malcolm Reading went to the police station to interrogate the arrested cultists, and wasted no time moving them into individual cells. and proceeding with three of the most vicious police interrogations in the history of the profession. With the force of a thousand bad cops, Reading tore into the cultists, one by one reducing them to simpering wrecks, spilling their guts about the cult’s plan to assault DeLong’s mansion the next day by landing their byakhee on the roof and breaking in to steal the Woman from Lemb. When he was done, Reading left the prisoners to local law enforcement and returned to the group to plan how to foil the cult’s attack.

After some deliberating, the PCs decided to allow the cult to break into the mansion and make their way to the basement. Then Thessaly would use her magic to banish the Byakhee, and the rest of the group, gathered in a fortified position in the basement, would engage and subdue the cultists. If all else failed, Thessaly was given a large block of C4 with orders to use it to blow up the byakhee if necessary. A swat team would be standing ready to assist the group if needed, but would remain out of sight until called in by the group to avoid spooking the cult. Then, during the chaos of battle with the cultists, Reading would spray the cult leader’s juju bag with acid, destroying it and removing his magical protection and making him vulnerable to the group’s guns. Meanwhile, Brian Gall would sneak into the glass case and swap the real Woman from Lemb statue with a fake that the group had specially produced for that purpose, and would take a truck and drive it to a safe house while the dust of combat was settling.

Their preparations complete, the group bided their time until the cult arrived. Ned Icecave‘s drone spotted the byakhee as it approached, the group made ready. As the cultists landed on the roof, their first move was to cut the power lines, plunging the house into darkness. DeLong’s men waited for the backup generator to kick in, but within a minute or two it became clear that it had been sabotaged. The group, deciding that the darkness was to their advantage, decided not to send anyone to try to fix the generator. Instead, they had Thessaly begin the banishment ritual, and instructed Icecave, who was hanging out in the security room, to make his way to the basement.

Things got rocky quick. The cultists realized that the banishment ritual was beginning, and sent two cultists on the byakhee’s back up to the second floor to attack Thessaly and end her spell before it was finished. The three FBI agents guarding her were no match for the well-armed cultists and the byakhee’s claws and teeth – one lost his nerve immediately upon seeing the byakhee, curling up in the fetal position in a corner, while the other two met their fate at the end of the byakhee’s claws. One of the cultists even shot Thessaly in the chest, but she managed to keep her concentration on the spell despite the flesh wound.

Meanwhile Icecave ran into the cult leader and four of the other cultists as he tried to make his way to the basement, and a firefight ensued, killing an FBI agent and one of DeLong’s men who were accompanying him. The PCs decided to change plans on the fly, ordering everyone to rush up from the basement and assist Icecave.

Meanwhile Thessaly had two rounds to go before the spell completed, and was in dire straits, with a bullet wound and a byakhee bearing down on her. She continued to cast the spell as she made her way back into the smallest possible corner, wedged between a glass display case and the wall. Lance Boone, certain that she wasn’t going to make it (and perhaps jumping at a chance to rid himself of someone he hated and a supernatural monster at the same time), ordered her to detonate the C4, sacrificing herself to destroy the byakhee! However she disregarded his pleas, instead choosing to continue with casting the spell. Icecave sent his drone up to support her, but its shots went wide and the cultists continued to fire at her, narrowly missing. Meanwhile Gall got on the headset and applied a little battlefield psychotherapy to the FBI agent who had lost his nerve. Somehow, the doctor succeeded in talking him out of his panic, and the agent stood up and immediately shot one of the cultists dead! The byakhee bore down on Thessaly as quickly as it could, but unfortunately for it, the display case stood between it and her, and it was too big to fit into the tiny space she had squeezed into, leaving its only option to smash the display case before tearing her apart, but this took one round too long. As the glass shattered around her, Thessaly completed her spell and the byakhee was consumed in a pyre of grey flames, banishing it back to the distant star from whence it came. With the help of the FBI agent, she was able to subdue the remaining cultist, emerging victorious from her tribulation.

Down below, the PCs were engaged in a firefight with the cult leader and his remaining followers. However the battle turned out to be a bit of a disappointment (or a rout) as Ned Icecave’s expertly thrown flash bang grenades incapacitated most of the cultists including the cult leader. This gave Reading a chance to douse the cult leader with his acid sprayer, destroying his juju bag and causing him to immediately age hundreds of years in a matter of seconds, ending his life. The PCs and their FBI allies moved in and arrested the remaining blind and deafened cultists, and thus the cult’s plot was foiled.

Down in the basement, Brian Gall prepared to swap the Woman from Lemb with the forged statue. But before he could do so, he had to contend with the one remaining security guard in the basement. Drawing his taser, Gall took aim at the unsuspecting guard from behind his back, but suffered a critical miss and the probes lodged themselves in the wall next to him! The guard drew his pistol, but fired and also missed. Gall drew his own sidearm and shot the guard dead with a critical hit a moment later!

Smashing the glass, Gall swapped the real statue with a fake one, but no sooner had he done so than the backup generator shuddered to life, restoring power to the mansion. With the security systems restored, the broken display case triggered a steel security door to slam into place, trapping Gall in the basement! His pounding at the door for help drew the attention of another guard, who came down into the basement and entered the passcode to re-open the door. He asked Gall what had happened, and Gall told him the security guard had tried to steal the statue, but that Gall had shot him to stop him. The guard then noticed that there were two copies of the statue – one in the display case and one in Gall’s hands, and realized what had really happened. He reached for his pistol, but Gall shot first and struck him with a second critical hit, killing him instantly.

Taking the statue, Gall made his way to the truck that the team had readied for him and pulled it onto the freeway. He meant to make his way to the safe house, but as he drew closer he felt an ominous sense of dread. The crushing pressure of the curse bore down on him as he watched a semi truck swerve into his lane, running his car off the road!

Losing control of his vehicle, Gall careened into a tree, and although he was grievously injured, he managed to survive the crash. He woke up in the hospital with Thessaly standing over him. She told him she was glad he was aright, and that he was a good man. She said she believed the curse of the Woman from Lemb would follow him even after he was no longer carrying the statue, and told him to read the legend of the statue again. Then she turned and told Boone that she wouldn’t forget his willingness to sacrifice her, and then took her leave of the group. With that, the mission concluded. The PCs successfully recovered the statue, but Gall was afflicted with a terrible curse, and one which the PCs have no idea how to break. Pondering these questions, the group adjourned for the night.

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The Woman From Lemb, Part II

As the session opened, our heroes, still unsure where the Woman From Lemb was located or who the mysterious men they encountered at Adam DeLong’s mansion were, decided they needed to do a little more investigating. First, they searched the recorder of deeds and discovered that DeLong owned a pair of investment properties in other Massachusetts towns. Then, they pulled the building permits and learned that DeLong’s mansion and one of the properties were built by the same contractor, DLG Construction. Brian Gall decided to go examine DeLong’s other properties, and Thessaly volunteered to go with him (much to his chagrin). On the way, she began pointedly questioning him about why the group didn’t trust her, and an argument ensued.

Meanwhile, Lance Boone called Nunez and told him that Thessaly had disappeared during their examination of DeLong’s mansion and had then emailed photographs of a strange book, De Vermis Mysteriis, to an unknown email address. Nunez replied that while she hadn’t told the rest of the group, Thessaly had reported her secret photographs to him. She had seen an opportunity to go after the book, and hadn’t told the group because she knew it was dangerous and she didn’t want to expose them to danger. And in any event, it didn’t matter because the photographs were of an inferior translation of a translation and contained little knowledge of use. Checked, if not exactly mollified, Boone concluded that Thessaly was clean, this time at least.

The group then decided to follow one of the delivery trucks they had seen at DeLong’s mansion while Brian Gall and Thessaly were out. Piling into a rental car, they launched Ned Icecave‘s drone and had it follow the truck with its camera, while they drove several blocks behind it. The truck led them to a leased warehouse on the other side of town, but along the way the group realized that they weren’t the only ones following the truck – a mysterious white van was also in pursuit!

When the truck arrived at the warehouse, the workers began unloading some crates, then loaded the truck with new crates, and then they drove away. As soon as the truck was gone, the van pulled up and five armed men in ski masks got out and broke into the warehouse! The PCs called an anonymous tip into the police, and within a ten minutes the warehouse was surrounded by patrol cars. The police breached the front door to the warehouse, but immediately came under heavy fire from inside, and a pitched gunfight ensued. As Boone, Icecave and Mark Hart raced towards the warehouse to help the police officers, they heard a hideous screech and a mass of writhing tentacles burst out of the ground, grabbing a pair of officers and strangling them!

While Boone and Hart were certainly shocked by the tentacles, Icecave lost his shit and began to shiver and hallucinate, being driven temporarily insane by the sight of the arcane monstrosity. Nevertheless, he managed to fight back the hallucinations and join the battle. The police fared poorly, beginning to drop like flies to the onslaught of bullets, tentacles that seemed to burst from the ground at every turn, and a mysterious blast of energy from the leader of the burglars, which stripped the flesh from their bones, leaving a mutilated husk in its wake! A howling, vacuous shriek filled the warehouse, growing louder with every passing moment. To make matters worse, the masked leader of the burglars seemed almost immune to bullets, his wounds healing as quickly as they were inflicted!

Boone took a bullet to the shoulder, but somehow he was able to rally the officers, who pressed the assault and began to gain an edge on their foes despite their magical firepower. The masked leader, sensing the tide of battle turning against him, ordered his remaining two men to the roof, although an ace shot from Hart killed one as he raced for the stairs. The other man made his way onto the warehouse roof, dragging the body of one of his slain comrades with him.

The leader cast a final spell and a screech rang out from the sky above, then charged at the PCs, heedless of his own personal safety! It was then that they discovered the source of the howling sound inside the warehouse – a mysterious aura of airless vacuum surrounding him. Boone and Icecave, who were the closest to the leader as he charged into them, immediately felt their lungs begin to wrench and tear as the pressure difference between the air in their lungs and the vacuum around them threatened to rip them apart. Faced with a choice to hold their breath and risk fatal lung damage, or exhale and risk suffocation, both chose to hold their breath, feeling their lungs lacerating and filling with blood. Icecave was badly wounded, and Boone was nearly killed, falling unconscious and bleeding from his mouth and nose.

Fortunately for the PCs, a winged beast dove out of the sky, slamming into the pavement before the masked leader, who climbed onto its dark-furred back, and it then leapt onto the roof to recover the last burglar and the corpse he carried with him. Together, the men soared into the sky, sparing Boone and Icecave from almost certain death in the vacuum. Icecave managed to stabilize Boone and another police officer, who had nearly died of a gunshot to the heart, and he kept them both alive long enough for paramedics to arrive on the scene.

With the immediate threat vanished, the group decided to search the warehouse, which was full of archaeological artifacts from DeLong’s collection. It appeared that while the burglars had torn through the warehouse, they hadn’t actually taken anything – apparently whatever they were looking for, it wasn’t to be found. However, the PCs did find a book, Archaeological Finds of the Greek Islands, which contained the origin story and some additional information about the Woman From Lemb.

The group showed Thessaly the tape of the gunfight from the police car cameras and Icecave’s drone. She was able to identify the source of the masked leader’s seeming invincibility – a juju bag around his neck, containing his own severed finger together with a mixture of herbs and personal effects,. Part of a powerful voodoo spell, the juju bag holds its wearer’s soul, preventing him from aging normally and making him highly resistant to bodily damage. Thessaly said if the bag were ever destroyed, his true age would catch up with him. She added that given how powerful he appeared, he could have lived for countless decades by now, and destroying the bag may be sufficient to kill him outright. Even if he survived, it would remove his magical protection. Armed with new knowledge of the threat but licking some serious wounds, the group decided to adjourn for the night.

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The Woman From Lemb - Part I

Our adventure begins with the PCs being called back before Nunez for a new assignment. The Woman from Lemb, a mysterious statue rumored to have occult powers, had been purchased by an American collector, Alexander DeLong, and was being hosted at his private collection in Amherst, Massachusetts. Nunez pointed out that the artifact was coveted by any number of cults, and that Delta Green needed to seize it before it fell into the wrong hands.

And to help on the mission, he was bringing in one of Delta Green’s foremost cult specialists, Agent Thessaly of Cell T. She gave a rundown of how the Woman From Lemb was found by archaeologists in a mass grave in Cyprus, and how it passed from owner to owner, usually by means of the tragic death of the previous owner.

The group sprang into action immediately, purchasing disposable cell phones for everyone. Ned Icecave decided it would be a good idea to hack Thessaly’s phone so he could keep a surreptitious eye on her.

The PCs tried to research the Woman From Lemb, but there was a general dearth of knowledge on both the internet and in Delta Green’s files. Armed with only a little knowledge of the artifact, they set out for Amherst, to try to dig up more clues at the DeLong compound. They discovered upon arriving at Amherst that DeLong hosted a public exhibition of his collection once a month, and that the next exhibition was the very next day.

The group showed up at the exhibition, intent on doing some recon on DeLong’s compound as well as seeing if they could get any information from him about the statue or where he was keeping it. Brian Gall came up with a plan to pose as a graduate student interested in DeLong’s relics, but he faltered in his conversation with DeLong and had to be bailed out by the timely intervention of Lance Boone, who was able to get on DeLong’s good side and was invited upstairs to view his most rare and valuable pieces in private. Much to his surprise, however, the Woman From Lemb was not among them.

Meanwhile Icecave and the others were watching the other guests at the Exhibition, and it became immediately clear that the group wasn’t the only ones scoping out DeLong’s security – another team of operatives was clearly casing the compound. Additionally, Thessaly slipped off into a back room at the compound while the rest of the group wasn’t watching. However hacking into her phone revealed that she was trying to get a copy of a rare book, De Vermis Mysteriis, from DeLong’s office, and that she had successfully made off with the book. With that revelation, and with the knowledge that another group was also after the Woman From Lemb, the group adjourned for the night.

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Light O'er The Sierras, Part IV
The Thrilling Conclusion!

When we left our intrepid agents, they had conquered the proverbial demons of group infighting and were finally prepared to head out into the woods. For good measure, the group loaded up on some heavier ordinance, in the form of a box of flash bang grenades, tazers for all, and Ned Icecave even had Nunez issue him a flamethrower. Their preparation complete, they rented out a new pair of SUVs (good thing they bought the insurance on the last pair!), and descended back into the woods once more.

They made their way towards the second well drilling site. Arriving around midday, they immediately spread out and began looking for signs of the grays. It wasn’t long before Malcolm Reading uncovered a set of suspicious tracks, leading south and slightly east. They couldn’t have been more than a day old. Hopping into the SUVs, the group took off in hot pursuit.

They followed the tracks until almost nightfall, and made the fatal decision to continue tracking rather than heading back so as not to spend the night in the woods. The search became even more complicated when the group realized that the paranormal investigators from the other day were following them. Rather than attempt to convince them to turn back, the group chose to ignore them, with Ned Icecave remarking, “If they want to get murdered by aliens, that’s their business.”

Reading’s expert tracking soon traced the trail a narrow cleft in the rock between two cliffs, purposefully covered by vegetation. Following the trail inside, our heroes discovered a secluded valley, with an alien compound set up. Walls of smooth gray metal formed a loose figure eight, with an enormous gray gate. As the group approached, the gate slid open, revealing a complex assembly of alien machinery and row after row of stasis pods, with the captured loggers inside! Unfortunately, the open gate also revealed a cadre of hostile grays, plasma pistols at the ready!

A heated firefight ensued. The regular grays were flanked by a tall, slender compatriot with telekinetic powers, and they also activated a powerful flying drone with twin automatic plasma cannons. Pinned down by heavy fire, things appeared to be going badly for the group, at first. Reading took a serious wound, and Lance Boone was hit by a salvo of plasma fire that left him in critical condition and unable to fight. The plasma fire even ignited the nearby vegetation, and soon a forest fire was raging around them!

Once again, Ned Icecave rose to the challenge, taking advantage of the Jared Silverstein’s flash bang to charge in and lambaste the grays with his flamethrower. Jared Silverstein and Malcolm Reading rushed in afterwards, tazing several grays and giving Icecave time to destroy the drone and finish the rest of the ordinary grays off. Attempting to capture the slender gray alive, the group bound its hands and feet in zip ties and covered its head with a cloth in an attempt to keep it from using its telekinesis.

While the rest of the group set to work trying to beat back the forest fire, phoning Nunez for an evac and trying to salvage what alien artifacts they could, Silverstein was left with the dubious task of guarding the slender gray. But he was almost killed when it used its telekinesis to tear the cloth from its head and hurl a massive alien machine at him, crushing him! It was only Icecave and Reading shooting it in the head that spared his life. They were relieved when Nunez’s black helicopter swooped in, allowing them to make off with most of the loggers alive, along with numerous gray corpses and a ton of alien equipment. The group had survived and the grays’ plans had been foiled… for now.

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Light over the Sierras, Part III

In the aftermath of the battle with the grays, the PCs called Nunez and reported that they had taken one casualty and captured four gray corpses. He sent in a black helicopter to pick up the bodies as well as the artifact recovered from the bottom of the well and take them back to a secure facility. Aboard the helicopter was none other than Jared Silverstein, who had been called in by Nunez to treat the wounded, particularly Brian Gall, who took his leave to go to the hospital for his grievous injuries, being replaced on the team by Silverstein. The group loaded the gray corpses and the artifact into the chopper and then caught a ride back to Scotia.

In the morning they were awakened by another news broadcast announcing that the California Paranormal Investigators and their leader, Brandon Hall, had uncovered a badly burned body in the woods west of Scotia. Notably, they were quite a bit afield of the empty wilderness the PCs had tried to steer them towards. Hall said to the interviewer “If the men in black tell us to go south, we’re heading north!” The PCs discussed the incident briefly and settled on a strategy of allowing the CPI to go wherever they wanted. Ned Icecave summed up the group attitude as “If they want to get murdered by aliens, that’s their business.”

A transfer also arrived in the form of Lance Boone, Rowan Boone’s son who had been called in to collect his father’s body and to help finish his father’s last mission. Lance explained that he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney who had been dealing with Delta Green for a long while, although he had never gotten as deep in as his father. He immediately tried to take charge of the investigation, demonstrating an aggressive streak unseen in his father. This did not go over well with Ned Icecave and Mark Hart, although Malcolm Reading was unusually diplomatic, attempting to resolve the group’s differences. Nevertheless, the group spent the remainder of their time bickering over what to do next. They finally decided to request some additional equipment from Nunez and venture back into the woods east of Scotia, but that was where the group adjourned for the night.

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Light over the Sierras, Part II

At the beginning of their second day in Scotia, Brian Gall noticed on the news that an organization called the California Paranormal Investigators had arrived in Scotia and announced that they would be investigating the disappearances and strange sightings in the woods. To avoid threats to their cover, the PCs had Malcolm Reading contact the CPI’s lead investigator Brandon Hall and give him a false tip that something strange had been sighted far to the south of where the loggers had disappeared. The ruse worked and Hall and his camera crew headed off into the woods to the southeast, leaving the group with free run of the area of the disappearances.

Having exhausted their leads in the town of Scotia itself, the PCs decided to take their two rented SUVs and begin exploring the woods east of Scotia, where the loggers had last been seen before they disappeared. Unfortunately due to Peter’s absence the group was without Mark Hart, but nonetheless they took the SUVS and drove out to the site of one of the Scotia Water Reclamation District’s well drilling operations.

At the site they found plenty of abandoned well-drilling equipment, but seemingly no clues until Malcolm Reading thought to look down the well, where he spotted a faint greenish light. After some efforts, the group was able to lower a bucket on a rope down the hole and fish up the source of the light, a sphere made of a strange black metal, with a single translucent hole that emitted a faint green light. The group spent some time examining the sphere, but was unable to determine much about its properties, so they decided to move on to the next well.

Unfortunately, darkness had begun to fall, so the PCs decided to rest for the night. They decided that it would be safest if everyone slept in one SUV and they left the sphere in the other empty vehicle. They then set a night’s watch and went to sleep.

Brian Gall was the first to spot the strange lights emerging from the woods and moving slowly towards their cars. He immediately roused the others. For a tense moment the observed the lights, which seemed to move slowly closer but made no other hostile action. Finally, unwilling to wait to see what the lights did, the PCs decided to send Malcolm Reading and Rowan Boone to go get the other SUV, secure the alien sphere, and then flee from the lights at top speed. Brian Gall and Ned Icecave would cover them until they got to the car.

However as soon as they emerged from the SUV, Reading and Boone came under fire by strange unidentified projectiles from the lights. To make matters worse, several gray aliens emerged from the bushes and began to fire energy weapons, concentrating most of their fire on the SUV with the sphere inside, apparently trying to render it inoperable. While Reading raced for the SUV and started it up, Boone, Gall and Icecave opened fire, injuring two of the aliens and destroying one of the lights.

The aliens soon returned fire, and tragically Rowan Boone took a direct hit from one of their energy weapons, killing him instantly. Reeling from the loss of their friend, the group decided to retreat as soon as possible. Malcolm Reading started up the second SUV and gunned the engine, still under heavy fire from the alien weapons, which were trained mostly on the SUV’s engine block. Unfortunately he hit a tree and lost control of the vehicle, which swerved through the forest and skidded to a stop when it collided with another tree. Somehow, he was only lightly injured in the crash, and the SUV remained barely operable.

Meanwhile Brian Gall and Ned Icecave were still taking heavy fire themselves. Icecave made an executive decision, telling Gall to cover him from the passenger’s seat as he started the other SUV and sped straight towards the aliens! Swerving recklessly around trees, he ran over two of them in a single pass, killing them before turning the vehicle on another. The startled grays were only able to inflict light damage on the vehicle with their weapons before Icecave had ran over a third, and the fourth fled into the woods. Nonplussed, Ned Icecave turned the vehicle about and scanned the woods using the high beams. After a bit of looking, he was able to locate the final alien and run him down.

The group hastily gathered up two Plasma Pistols, the others having been destroyed when the aliens were run over, as well as the body of Rowan Boone, and promptly adjourned for the night.

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Light Over the Sierras, Part I

The second mission began with the PCs each getting a written invitation from Nunez on Department of Homeland Security stationary, directing them to meet him at a New York city office building for a special assignment. He signs it as “Christopher Nunez, Director, Office of Special Inquiry.” The group found the address to be a nondescript office building, across the street from the Weiss Federal Building, but the elevator had a strange numerical keypad set up inside. Upon entering the passcode supplied by Nunez, the elevator shuddered into motion, descending down deep beneath the surface of the city.

When it came to a halt, the PCs found themselves in an underground office building, with desks and filing cabinets arranged in a semi-circle around a large screen. Nunez was waiting for them. He explained that the characters were now members of Cell K of Delta Green, and that this office, built as an underground evacuation center during the Cold War, would be their base of operations. On paper, they would be members of the FBI Office of Special Inquiry, but in reality they would answer to Nunez directly, and above him, to the heads of Delta Green – the anonymous members of the mysterious Cell A. He gave them a brief history of Delta Green, and then began briefing them on the specifics of their first official mission.

He explained that loggers had been disappearing in the forests around Scotia, California. He added that Delta Green had received reliable information that the disappearances might be paranormal in nature, but further investigation was needed. He instructed the group to find out the cause of the disappearances, and if it was a threat to national security, neutralize it.

The PCs embarked immediately, and arrived in town about ten hours later, driving up California’s Highway 101 and off a ramp onto main street. They found Scotia to be a sleepy town, with most of its economy centered around the logging industry. The Pacific Lumber Company had set up a large mill in town in the 1950s. The mill and its attached log pool took up one side of main street, with numerous small businesses, the visitor’s center, and city hall on the other. An old wooden carving of Smokey the Bear holding a sign that says “Dry Conditions! Forest Fire Warning – High” stood on one side of the road.

The group immediately began laying the groundwork for their investigation. Rowan Boone contacted the local EPA branch and got the PCs issued IDs as EPA inspectors under the pretense that they would be investigating the Pacific Lumber Company sites for logging permit violations. Brian Gall did some digging and discovered that the Scotia Water Reclamation district had also been in the area on a well-digging project, and that a couple of their employees had gone missing as well. They had recalled everyone and put the well-drilling on hold, even being so hasty as to abandon some of their drilling equipment in the field.

Rowan Boone and Brian Gall went to visit a representative of Pacific Lumber Company, a PR Director named Sara Winston, who told them that the logging company was taking the disappearances seriously, but that sometimes their loggers went out into the woods on multi-day assignments, and that they might just have become lost in the woods. She said they wanted to be careful that the incident was not blown out of proportion and that logging activity was not suspended by the feds over nothing. She did divulge a List of Missing Loggers, however.

Meanwhile, Mark Hart and Malcolm Reading went to investigate the homes of several of the missing loggers themselves. While some of them had family members who would talk to the agents, some of the loggers had lived alone and left no way to get inside of their houses. Eager to look for clues, Hart and Reading decided to break into several of the residences. While their search was fruitful in a sense – they uncovered one of the loggers’ phones, which contained a picture of something he had spotted in the woods, their break-in attracted the unwanted attention of the Scotia PD. They ended up getting arrested and had to call Nunez to bail them out, alienating most of the Scotia police in the process, who viewed the PCs as arrogant, overzealous FBI agents. Brian Gall went down to the station himself to try to do damage control, but only succeeded in making the situation worse. The PCs reputation was only slightly salvaged by the later intervention of Rowan Boone, who managed to speak with the chief of police and calm him down somewhat. However, much of the damage could not be undone, and the majority of the Scotia police force now views the characters with suspicion and contempt. At that point, the group adjourned for the evening.

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Shepard's Creek, Part III

The game opened with the group being airlifted away from the chapel in the woods by Nunez’s black helicopter. With him was Jared Silverstein, who offered the group medical treatment, and informed them that Brian Gall would be in quarantine a little longer than expected. Something about him having a close encounter with an alien insect…

Reading promptly got up in Nunez’s face because he viewed the burning of the chapel as reckless destruction of evidence, while Nunez viewed it as sterilizing a potentially infested area to prevent anyone else from coming in contact with it. A brief argument ensued, while in the background Matt was carefully deciphering The Pearl of Great Price, and discovered that it contained instructions to cast three spells: “Calling the Outer Darkness,” “Call Reeya,” and “Presence of the Reeya.” Ned Icecave began studying the spell “Bringing Down the Outer Darkness,” but it will take him two weeks of study to fully learn it.

Nunez then explained that he was part of a top-secret Federal organization tasked with protecting the world from paranormal threats. He said that he had been brought in to the Shepard’s Creek investigation to determine if there was paranormal activity going on or not, and that he needed the PC’s help to take out the remaining cultists before they had a chance to escape or summon another Shepard. In exchange, he said that he would recruit the PCs into his organization if they made it out alive.

The group returned to police headquarters, where they immediately began looking into the identity of Jamie Waldron, who is mentioned in the Pearl’s margins as one of the chosen ones. A scan of government records revealed him to be a 12-year-old boy who was still residing at the address mentioned in the Pearl. Mark Hart and Malcolm Reading headed over to the house immediately to investigate, while the rest stayed back.

They discovered that the house was locked up, with the shades drawn, and all the windows were thoroughly covered with black paint. Suspicious, they called for the rest of the group, prompting Ned Icecave and Jared Silverstein to come as backup, while Rowan Boone remained behind, fearing that his injuries were too great for another potentially dangerous situation.

Making their way inside, the group was swiftly ambushed by shotgun-wielding cultists from all sides. Worse still, they discovered that certain rooms of the house were filled with a supernatural darkness that was impenetrable to all forms of light. As they battled the cultists in the darkness, they heard arcane sounds from upstairs, and the house shifted and shook beneath the weight of unknown forces. When it seemed things couldn’t get any worse, alien spiders poured out of the upper level of the house, attacking the PCs from out of the darkness. Malcolm Reading was paralyzed by their venom, but was saved by Jared Silverstein, who dragged him out of the darkness, fought back the alien insects, and administered a strong dose of anti-venom, which brought him back to consciousness. Meanwhile, Mark Hart and Ned Icecave made their way slowly and carefully in through the back, where they discovered Jamie Waldron’s parents, both dead and missing parts of their brains.

When they had cleared the first floor, the group headed upstairs, where they were attacked by more spiders and cultists. While the others fought to clear the cultists out room by room Mark Hart discovered a trapdoor leading into the attic. Venturing up, he discovered the cult leader, Angela Rhodes, standing over Jamie Waldron, standing over him and chanting a ritual. Hart attacked her immediately, scoring a critical hit and killed her instantly, ending the ritual and allowing the rest of the group to make short work of the remaining cultists.

Jared Silverstein wanted to examine Jamie Waldron quickly to determine how far the Shepard infesting his body had progressed. He discovered a pearly growth on the back of the boy’s neck, about the size of a golf ball, and with a writhing organism visible within. Working quickly, he prepped the boy for operation, lancing and cutting away the growth and carefully removing the insect parts wrapped around the boy’s spinal cord. Although the boy’s heart stopped mid-operation, Silverstein was able to shock it back into operation and finish the operation, which appears to have been successful. Waldron left the operating table alive and apparently no longer infested, albeit with some nerve damage. The PCs turned him over to the Department of Children and Family Services, as his parents had both been killed by the cult. Thus ended the mission.

Malcolm Reading, Mark Hart, and Ned Icecave received 1000 XP each. Rowan Boone received 500 XP because he sat the last battle out. Brian Gall received 500 XP because he was in quarantine for the last battle. Jared Silverstein received 500 XP because he was part of the last battle only.

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