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‘The New Age’ Playtest Transcript 5

Categories: Debriefing Transcripts

PREVIOUSLY: PART 4

Call of Cthulhu Online Game
Sponsored by Pagan Publishing
Transcript of fifth session — April 24th, 1993

Players:
The Gamer– Clarence Starbird, F.B.I. trainee
Don Rice– Gary Nedler, new age bookstore owner and long-time govt. consultant
Mr Shiny was not present for this game, and so his character (“Agent Fenemore”) is presumed to still be convalescing in the hospital after his brief coma.

Transcript:
24/4/93
11.48.58
Opening “DG Game 5” for recording.

Agent Starbird: I had a question about Delta Green…

Pagan Pub: Yes?

Agent Starbird: They have *no* official status, right? So as far as rules of conduct and procedure go, we get no special slack because we’re Delta Green…

Agent Starbird: It’s just that I’ve been thinking about what I’d do if I saw my bellhop buddy Rex again.

Agent Starbird: And it occurs to me that pulling out by 9mm and opening up on him wouldn’t exactly be good for my career.

Pagan Pub: Um, you’re right. Delta Green gives you no special authority in and of itself. BUT, what it *does* mean is that other DG-aware people may assist or cover for you. So if you blew away someone in a restaurant for DG reasons, if a DG guy were in charge of the case or something he could do whatever he could to explain what happened.

Agent Starbird: Yeah, but it would definitely be an iffy thing … what if a non-DG guy got involved and I got prosecuted? It would be “Bye, bye, Starbird…”

Pagan Pub: To the extent that a DG guy is or is not in a position to do something, yeah…

Pagan Pub: If the shit really hit the fan, someone would take care of it. But that wouldn’t necessarily be in a way you’d like.

Agent Starbird: Today’s moral dilemma: “Would Starbird sacrifice his career to save Life As We Know It? Stay Tuned…” Gary Nedler : In this storyline we’ve got a DG guy managing the case, right?

Pagan Pub: Right–Gaston is DG-aware, but only barely. He just wants help cuz he doesn’t have a clue. Gary Nedler : So he *isn’t* really a DG guy in the coverup sense.

Pagan Pub: If you made a big mess that wasn’t easy to clean up…well, it would depend on what good came of it. Ultimately, he wants to put a terrorist in jail.

Pagan Pub: Okay…

Pagan Pub: You wanted info about the scene at the hotel.

Agent Starbird: Yeah, lay it on us, boss.

Pagan Pub: The three agents in your hotel room were mauled by a large animal.

Gary Nedler: Bellhops are good for that. πŸ˜‰

Pagan Pub: The wounds suggest a canine, but one of substantial size and strength.

Pagan Pub: Larger than any known, I should say. Teeth marks suggest the animal’s head was larger than a human’s, closer to a large bear. Extended jaw, sharp teeth.

Pagan Pub: The assailant went for the throat on the first agent and took him down immediately.

Pagan Pub: The other agents apparently opened fire, but no blood on the scene was found other than the agents’.

Pagan Pub: The fight lasted less than a minute, from what witnesses have related (time of gunshots to time the other agent arrived).

Pagan Pub: Both agents were raked by claws in several places. The wounds in some places were an inch deep.

Pagan Pub: One of the two agents was gutted and mauled, and was still alive when found, but died before medical assistance arrived.

Pagan Pub: The other was bitten on the throat. The head was then torn off and bitten once as if the assailant meant to chew it.

Pagan Pub: Saliva in the wounds has been examined. It suggests a canine as well.

Pagan Pub: No idea yet of what exactly did this. A trained attack dog seems likely, but the size is a problem. There is conjecture about experiments with steroids and breeding programs (re: canines), but no real answer.

Pagan Pub: Questions? Things I haven’t addressed?

Gary Nedler: Did anyone see anyone or anything odd around the hotel right after the attack?

Pagan Pub: Guests questioned vaguely remember the bellhop riding up in the elevator, but that’s about it.

Pagan Pub: People in neighboring rooms heard the noise, etc. but that’s all.

Agent Starbird: Can they match up the spent casings with bullet holes and recovered slugs to determine if the thing was hit by gunfire?

Pagan Pub: Twelve shots were fired. Four slugs were found.

Gary Nedler: But no blood? Whoa.

Gary Nedler: Does all the blood found match the agents’ blood?

Pagan Pub: Blood? Yes, it’s all the agents’.

Agent Starbird: Can Gaston get me some silver bullets? πŸ˜‰

Pagan Pub: He probably could, if you really wanted to ask! πŸ˜‰

Agent Starbird: That’s OK … I might try and track some down on my own, though…

Gary Nedler: The hotel has no records of that bellhop, right? Who was actually on duty then, etc.

Pagan Pub: The employees on duty are being screened. Nothing yet.

Pagan Pub: A bellhop’s uniform is missing, apparently taken from a storage closet.

Gary Nedler: As I see it we’ve got two questions here:

Gary Nedler: 1. Why didn’t the bellhop just kill you when you opened the door?

Gary Nedler: 2. What did we have that he was after that the other agents in town didn’t?

Gary Nedler: Ideas?

Agent Starbird: [It could be a phenomenon known as “PC’s Luck”]

Gary Nedler: Let’s assume not for a minute. That implies it takes him a while to change form. We might be able to use that later.

Agent Starbird: Of course, we’re only assuming that Rex the bellhop and the killer dog are one and the same.

Agent Starbird: Not a bad assumption, admittedly…

Agent Starbird: Good. A decent working theory. But why did he reappear after we left?

Agent Starbird: How did he get into the locked room? What was he after, since he knew we weren’t there?

Agent Starbird: I mean, he wasn’t after *us* personally — I can only guess the crystal…

Gary Nedler: Right. What did we have that he wanted? Maybe he couldn’t detect the crystal in human form

Agent Starbird: And if that’s so, why didn’t Rex hit the science lab? Techies would be easier to hit than agents…

Gary Nedler: Pagan, I forgot. Was the hotel room door forced?

Pagan Pub: Nope.

Gary Nedler: Hmmm. Lab. Running water? Daytime? Mirrors?

Agent Starbird: Beats me…

Gary Nedler: Grasping at straws there.

Gary Nedler: Well, what’s our next step?

Agent Starbird: Does Rex have a third, undetectable form? Even as a bellhop, the agents wouldn’t have let him in the room…

Gary Nedler: No, but they might have opened the door. Good point.

Gary Nedler: But he would have had to change, then knock. Why didn’t he do it to us?

Pagan Pub: At the moment, the two of you are talking at the hospital. Your white-haired compatriot Agent Fenemore is in bed sedated and asleep; he’ll recuperate for a day or so.

Pagan Pub: Actually, I take that back–as I recall you were heading to bed (it was still very late) at a new hotel. So it’s now the next morning, unless you have comments. You sleep with guards outside, etc.

Gary Nedler: Pagan — could the hotel keys have been borrowed?

Pagan Pub: No keys are missing from the hotel, but the lock might have been picked or something.

Agent Starbird: Wait, wait… Did the guys securing the hall at both ends see a bellhop at any point during all this?

Pagan Pub: No. They think the creature was already in the room.

Agent Starbird: OK, Rex doubles back after I leave for the hospital (in bellhop form), uses a passkey to let himself in, tosses the suite. The agents show up, Rex changes to beast form, tears ’em up, and flees.

Agent Starbird: Then somewhere else (in the stairwell maybe?) he changes back to bellhop form and slips away….

Gary Nedler: As agents, how hard would it be to pick a hotel room door lock like this?

Pagan Pub: Not hard at all, really. Most criminals would force it, but with the right tools, no big deal.

Gary Nedler: Right tools = a credit card? Or more sophisticated?

Pagan Pub: No, lockpick set kind of stuff.

Gary Nedler: Was there a balcony or fire escape or similar entrance?

Pagan Pub: Um, just the stairs at the end of the hall and elevators.

Pagan Pub: Note that the agents in the hall reported a large dog-like creature…one was slashed by it but lived. It ran down the stairwell, and was not seen again.

Agent Starbird: Right…

Agent Starbird: That fits the scenario, certainly.

Gary Nedler: Does the stairwell go all the way to the basement?

Pagan Pub: Yes, it does. But the basement is pretty active (kitchen, laundry, etc.) and no one there noticed anything amiss.

Pagan Pub: Bellhops were seen on other floors, nothing unusual there. Descriptions varied.

Pagan Pub: Conceivably, “Rex” left the stairs a few floors above or below and then made his way out through elevators or something, perhaps with a change of clothes. Assuming he and the creature are the same.

Agent Starbird: assuming…

Gary Nedler: Oh, obviously. Duh! He went *up* the stairs. Check the hotel for other guests.

Gary Nedler: Laundry in the basement. Any clothes missing? Any bloodstains found?

Gary Nedler: Also, any bloodstains found on the roof?

Agent Starbird: Yeah, I can’t believe that this thing didn’t track some of the blood he was romping in…

Gary Nedler: Not to mention from the 8 slugs he was carrying in him …

Agent Starbird: not to mention…

Pagan Pub: Blood was found in the hallway leading to the stairs where the other agent was attacked.

Pagan Pub: Blood at the scene of the second fight, some on the stairs going up. At the next landing, trail ends. All blood found is, again, that of the agents’.

Agent Starbird: Great. Just great.

Agent Starbird: Time to get some sleep?

Gary Nedler: Is it possible to tell if the trail led out of the stairwell onto that floor?

Pagan Pub: By morning, sweeps of the stairwell and entryways at all floors have been done. No sign of blood, but it’s a BIG area to check.

Gary Nedler: Oh, duh. When he changes back to bellhop form, the stuff on the other form goes into extradimensional space. Hence the blood disappears. Maybe.

Agent Starbird: So, I guess we’re looking for “Rex the Were-Bellhop”…

Pagan Pub: (jeez, the poor bellhop! just trying to be helpful and you suspect he’s some sort of creature!)

Gary Nedler: At least it’s not “The Bellhop of Tindalos”.

Pagan Pub: By Frank Bellhop Long?

Gary Nedler: ROF,L

Agent Starbird: Don’t give us that, John … if he’s so innocent, why doesn’t anyone at the hotel remember him?

Pagan Pub: πŸ˜‰

Agent Starbird: I do a quick search through my computer database for similar manifestations of big doggies and obsequious bellhops…

Pagan Pub: Starbird, you can request a list of large-animal attacks from across the country, which may take a few days to assemble. (Other folks will do the work)

Agent Starbird: That would be helpful, but I was referring to my own private database (which I described in my character sheet), though it may not be complete enough to be helpful…

Pagan Pub: Mmm, you have some stories on file about alleged werewolf sightings. nothing conclusive, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for in the future.

Agent Starbird: OK. Worth a shot…

Pagan Pub: Anyway, come morning, you get this info and have your questions answered.

Pagan Pub: You’re both feeling much better in the morning, having finally gotten some rest.

Pagan Pub: Gaston meets you for breakfest with about a dozen other agents/techs/cops and you mob a Denny’s.

Gary Nedler: “Oh, no, man, this food’s not healthy. Do they have any wheatgrass juice.?”

Agent Starbird: “Extra nitrates on mine, please, miss…”

Agent Starbird: Any of our dozen or so breakfast buddies have anything useful to add?

Pagan Pub: Most of them look pretty tired…probably been up much of the night at the hotel crime scene.

Pagan Pub: Much of the information above came from their verbal reports.

Pagan Pub: Gaston in particular looks rumpled and tired, but still active.

Pagan Pub: From the major’s house, all of the victims have been identified.

Pagan Pub: Prostitutes all, plus the pimp. Senator DiTorrio is still under observation.

Pagan Pub: The autopsy of Major Daniels has been completed.

Pagan Pub: It has been determined (as asked) that he did in fact ejaculate shortly before death.

Agent Starbird: Did I get that report on DiTorrio’s doctor, Chichester or whatever?

Pagan Pub: Starbird: it’s waiting for you this morning. Just a Washington doc to the powerful. Notes suggest he may be a little loose in prescribing some pharmaceuticals, but nothing that would get him in real trouble.

Pagan Pub: For today, there’s more work at both crime scenes of course. Gaston would like some suggestions about helpful research that can be performed, since he’s running out of busy work for the assembled teams.

Gary Nedler: Should we check out the local red light district and interrogate some hookers.

Gary Nedler: Maybe *they* can interview the local hookers. Some R&R, sort of.

Pagan Pub: The St. Louis PD will look into the dealer/pimp and his girls, no problem.

Agent Starbird: The problem (it seems to me) is that we’re looking for supernatural phenomena that leave no physical trail. Not much for the fiber-and-dust guys to do…

Agent Starbird: I’d be interested in a thorough cataloging of the occult-oriented books in the Major’s library… plus his computer

Gary Nedler: “Good idea man. Does he have any good books on Tarot?”

Gary Nedler: Question: Did anyone see anything odd around the phone closet or whatever where the splice was put into the phone line?

Pagan Pub: Nothing unusual around the utility closet where the splice was made. But a bellhop in there wouldn’t draw attention.

Pagan Pub: As for the books in Daniels’ library, he doesn’t have a very broad selection. All are of recent publication. Gary, you’re familiar with some of them and in fact sell many of them in your shop.

Gary Nedler: “Some of these are fine reference works, man.”

Pagan Pub: They’re just run-of-the-mill new age texts. Several books from Enolsis are present as well, one of which is inscribed.

Agent Starbird: Really, Gary? You wouldn’t happen to own a bellhop uniform, do you? πŸ˜‰

Gary Nedler: “No, man, I don’t. Why?” :: πŸ˜‰ ::

Gary Nedler: What’s the inscription say?

Pagan Pub: “To Larry, from Eddie, for more than I can write.”

Agent Starbird: Larry is the major’s first name, right?

Pagan Pub: Yep.

Pagan Pub: The book is written by “The Living Power of the Enolsis Foundation.”

Agent Starbird: Definite clues we have:

Agent Starbird: OK. We’ve got the crystal pamphlet with the Tulsa address…

Agent Starbird: We’ve got the name “Valiant” that Kyle heard when he was tripping

Agent Starbird: And now we’ve got the name Eddie (I’m assuming Larry is the Major…)

Agent Starbird: And we’ve still got the crystal itself…

Agent Starbird: And we’ve got a possibly more coherent DiTorrio.

Gary Nedler: Does the book give the same address for Enolsis?

Pagan Pub: Yes, but Enolsis has chapters across the country.

Gary Nedler: Is there a local one? Where possibly some of these books were bought?

Pagan Pub: A quick look at the phone book shows that yes, there is a local chapter.

Gary Nedler: “Well, the local Enolsis outlet, or fly to Enolsis headquarters in Tulsa, man? It’s all the same.”

Agent Starbird: You’re the expert. If we can get the same info here, why travel?

Gary Nedler: “Let’s go man.”

Pagan Pub: (well, there’s always Frequent Flyer bonuses to consider πŸ˜‰ )

Agent Starbird: Fine. We’re wasting daylight. If this doesn’t pan out, we can alwasy hop a chopper to Tulsa.

Pagan Pub: Okay.

Agent Starbird: (It’s only 300 or so miles to Tulsa, right?)

Pagan Pub: A plane would be better, actually.

Gary Nedler: “No, man, that’s a tool of the military industrial complex. Umm, I mean …”

Agent Starbird: “Got news for you, Gary — Right now, so are you.”

Gary Nedler: :: looks confused ::

Pagan Pub: Anyway, the local chapter of Enolsis is in a storefront on Delmar. Surrounded by cafes, bookstores (new age and otherwise), clothing stores, etc.

Agent Starbird: Whatever. Let’s visit the local Enolsis-ians…

Pagan Pub: You take a Bureau sedan over. Want a driver? Guards? Or just you two?

Agent Starbird: How about one driver/guard…

Agent Starbird: Gary, would you feel more comfortable with extra backup?

Gary Nedler: “Well, man, if there were 5 with us, we’d be 7 total. Magic number, man.”

Agent Starbird: Seven seems a little like overkill. Also not very discreet.

Gary Nedler: “They could wait in the caravan, I mean, car, man.”

Pagan Pub: It’s up to you…you can take a swat team if you really feel like it.

Agent Starbird: Gary, are you armed?

Pagan Pub: (Gary’s checking with me about armaments)

Agent Starbird: Oh, good — I was afraid packing might be against his beliefs or something…

Pagan Pub: So will you be taking anyone along?

Agent Starbird: Let’s take two — split the difference…

Agent Starbird: OK with you, Gary?

Gary Nedler: “Sounds good, man. I’ve got this aerosal of Indonesian pepper. Goes 20 feet, man.”

Agent Starbird: “I feel safer already.”

Pagan Pub: Okay. Will they come in with you? Or stay in the car?

Agent Starbird: Let’s have them come in, but stay in the background… Don’t want to intimidate anybody with four suits right in their face.

Pagan Pub: Okay, no prob.

Pagan Pub: You guys arrive at the place. Park and get out.

Pagan Pub: The storefront has a glass front covered with posters. Images of people meditating, clouds, various restful scenes. Some fanciful paintings of people flying in the clouds and the like.

Gary Nedler: “Nice storefront, man. Who’s their artist?”

Pagan Pub: Inside, an open area has perhaps two dozen mats on the floor before a slightly raised platform.

Pagan Pub: Just to your right is a desk with a woman sitting behind it, obviously a receptionist of some sort.

Gary Nedler: Take off our shoes before entering? ;-_

Pagan Pub: “Good day! Welcome to Enolsis.”

Pagan Pub: (no, shoes are fine!)

Agent Starbird: “Good Day. Is this like your store, Gary?”

Gary Nedler: (Gary puts his sandals back on)

Gary Nedler: “Hello. I’m Gary from New Age Books & Crystals, Encino.”

Gary Nedler: “Nice store. Very restful.”

Pagan Pub: “Hi! Have you visited us before? In another place?”

Gary Nedler: “In another life, I think. Do you have the full line of Enolsis meditation instruction books?”

Pagan Pub: “Of course!” She leads you over to a display of materials…books, crystals, etc.

Pagan Pub: Videotapes and audiotapes as well. Several free brochures and the like too.

Gary Nedler: Any of the stuff Daniels had not here? This stuff goes in and out of print a lot.

Pagan Pub: No, you spot the items he had here. They have other stuff, too. In fact they carry works from non-Enolsis folks, but only a couple (mostly self-help books of various types).

Pagan Pub: (backup agents look a little uncomfortable)

Pagan Pub: Woman asks, “Are you familiar with Enolsis?”

Agent Starbird: “We’ve got a friend that recommended you. Said to ask for Eddie.”

Gary Nedler: “I was thinking of commisioning a line of pamphlets for my store.”

Gary Nedler: “Who does these ‘Living Power of the Enolsis Foundation’ books? They’re very well worded.”

Pagan Pub: “Oh, the Living Power does! Eddie? I don’t know an Eddie offhand, but we have a number of members here in town.”

Gary Nedler: “Might we speak with the Living Power’s representative? I was thinking of a line of coauthored transcendental meditation pamphlets.”

Pagan Pub: “Hmm, well let me give you a card of someone to contact at Enolsis in Tulsa.”

Agent Starbird: “No Eddie? Eddie Valiant?”

Pagan Pub: She thinks for a moment. “No, but let me check our records.”

Agent Starbird: “That would be very helpful. Thank you.”

Pagan Pub: She goes over to a computer on the desk and taps keys.

Gary Nedler: [Can we see what she’s typing in?]

Pagan Pub: [not without being obvious]

Pagan Pub: “No, no one named Eddie Valiant, I’m afraid.”

Agent Starbird: Tulsa? Is that where Eddie is these days?”

Pagan Pub: “Oh, no Tulsa is where the Living Power is. It’s the power center of all Enolsis.”

Gary Nedler: “I was thinking of getting a computer for my store, man. How does yours work?”

Gary Nedler: [goes over to look]

Pagan Pub: She doesn’t mind. “We use it to keep track of membership, sales, all kinds of stuff. It’s

Pagan Pub: very helpful.” You notice she is no longer displaying member records, however.

Agent Starbird: “Hmmm, that’s odd. Do you have any Valiant at all in there?”

Pagan Pub: “No, no Valiant.”

Agent Starbird: “Thanks. You’ve been very kind.”

Gary Nedler: “Do you cross-reference all your sales for mailing lists and things?”

Pagan Pub: “We really don’t sell that much stuff here, actually. Most sales are through mail order from Tulsa. We sell a few books a week, I guess.” [locally, that is]

Gary Nedler: “So, when you get a back-ordered item in, you don’t contact people who’ve asked for it before?”

Pagan Pub: “Oh, no actually if we’re out of something we just order it for them from Tulsa and it goes to their house, like a regular mail order. Tulsa handles that stuff. But we rarely sell out.”

Agent Starbird: [Any parts of the premises we haven’t seen yet? Any back rooms?]

Pagan Pub: Starbird: Yes, there are several doors about. This open area is perhaps 40’x20′.

Agent Starbird: [While Gary carries on his fascinating conversation, I’m going to mosey around and peek around a few corners and behind a few doors.]

Pagan Pub: Starbird: give me a d100 roll.
OnlineHost: Agent Starbird rolled 1 100-sided die: 15 [this is a function of AOL…by issuing a command in Chat, you can have the AOL computer give you a random die roll]

Pagan Pub: Hoo hoo!

Agent Starbird: [Thank You, OnlineHost!]

Gary Nedler: “So you’re online to Tulsa all the time?” [i.e., do they have a modem we could hack into?]

Pagan Pub: “Not all the time, but most of our communications are done by modem, yes. We get daily info and updates from Tulsa, and use it for email with other offices.”

Gary Nedler: “Do you do much ordering from other New Age Outlets? [blah blah, just keep her occupied while Starbird looks around]”

Pagan Pub: Nedler: you keep her busy. She seems bright and dedicated, but a bit naive. Her name is Diane.

Gary Nedler: [How old is she? Is she cute? I keep her talking.]

Pagan Pub: Early twenties, cute, yes.

Pagan Pub: Starbird: There are three doors. There are a number of posters on the walls, which you survey as you stroll about. Behind one door you pass, you hear talking and music; it sounds, actually, like a recorded videotape or something. A narrator talks about finding the inner self, etc.

Pagan Pub: A sign on the door says “Presentations.’

Pagan Pub: Starbird, do you want to poke your head in the door? Or another one?

Agent Starbird: I’m gonna case the other two doors first — frankly, this one sounds pretty mundane…

Gary Nedler: “What kind of events do you hold here? Ever have book signings?”

Pagan Pub: “Book signings? No, I don’t recall any. But we have weekly meetings here, and we have a meditation hour at 6pm daily. We also help with local festivals and psychic fairs, and we host the area’s monthly gathering.”

Pagan Pub: [die roll, starbird]
OnlineHost: Agent Starbird rolled 1 100-sided die: 61

Gary Nedler: “When’s the next monthly gathering? Maybe I can come by.”

Pagan Pub: “Well, the monthly gatherings are only for initiates, I’m afraid. But we’re having a weekly meeting day after tomorow at 8pm.”

Gary Nedler: “Will you be here? Then I’ll come by.” [smiles]

Pagan Pub: She smiles back. “Of course! I never miss a meeting. They’re wonderful.”

Gary Nedler: “Groovy, man.”

Gary Nedler: “Should I bring a prayer mat or anything? Incense?”

Gary Nedler: “How about bringing some books to have signed? I’ve got the complete Living Power series in my luggage.”

Pagan Pub: “Oh, the Living Power won’t be here. But come anyway!”

Gary Nedler: “Do you prefer the lotus position or Indian style for meditation?”

Pagan Pub: “Oh, I just do whatever feels comfortable at the moment. I stay in touch with my body’s needs and try to relax.”

Gary Nedler: “Do mantras help? I find them very peaceful.”

Pagan Pub: “I use them sometimes, but not always…see, Enolsis is about finding YOUR way to do things.”

Pagan Pub: Starbird: one door says “Private,” one says “Storage.”

Agent Starbird: [Still checking the other two doors]

Pagan Pub: (Nedler, you’re aware that the backup agents have moved over to where Starbird is standing.)

Gary Nedler: [If he’s not hurt I just keep distracting her. And get my aerosal ready to pull out.]

Pagan Pub: (seems okay)

Gary Nedler: “Would it be all right if I brought a friend or two? They wouldn’t get in the way.”

Pagan Pub: “Oh sure! Our weekly meetings are open to all!”

Gary Nedler: “They’re kind of square, man, but I’m trying to expand their minds a little.”

Pagan Pub: “Have you ever thought of joining us? I bet you’d find we have a lot to offer.”

Gary Nedler: “I do try to stay current with all the important meditation memberships.”

Pagan Pub: “Well, we have a lot to offer. Do come to the meeting, we’re always wanting to help new folks!”

Gary Nedler: “Have you tried yoga … [blah blah]” [Try and get her phone number, but we don’t really need to continue this, do we?]

Pagan Pub: [no, you keep on distracting her] [At this point, I informed Starbird by an instant message that he heard a low growl somewhere nearby, reminescent of the one he heard when he met the bellhop Rex at the hotel. He also began to feel queasy.]

Agent Starbird: I back out of the doorway, hoping the queasiness subsides, motion the other agents forward… How do they feel?

Pagan Pub: “Huh? I’m okay. You alright?”

Agent Starbird: [Take the crystal from my pocket, hand it to one of the other agents… any change?]

Pagan Pub: No, you still feel a bit off.

Agent Starbird: How does the other agent feel? And is this the door where I heard the growl?

Pagan Pub: Both agents feel okay. You were by this door when you heard it, but you couldn’t swear it came from inside.

Pagan Pub: We need to wrap up this session.

Agent Starbird: Great. Just great.

Agent Starbird: OK, take the crystal back, quietly close the door, and see you next week.

NEXT: PART 6

Shane Ivey runs Arc Dream Publishing and is the lead editor of the newest Delta Green projects.

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