The Contingent

Operation Mortimer
Table 1 - Allie

Grace Valentine is looking for a small group of The Contingent to assist her in a covert mission. She would prefer to meet in person to discuss the details. This should only ideally take two to three days and she suggests you pack light civilian clothing. And sun screen. Don’t forget sunscreen.

Writeups

A Game of Find the Hidden Mickey – written by Ed
It’s a Magical Place – written by Alex
The First Step is a Blue Slurpee – written by Mal

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Someone Had to Say It
Passing time between game seasons

The snow had been falling since the previous evening. Ed had left the cabin earlier in the day to run in for some supplies and Alex had spent most of her time staring at the blinking cursor on the screen. She walked down to the kitchen and stared out the window. Deadlines were stuck to the fridge with magnets and post its, all of it hers. Due dates to keep her thesis on schedule were constant reminders that the real world wasn’t stopping to accommodate her personal issues.

It was her only complaint since Ed and Skaar had convinced her that staying here would be the safest option; there was too much free time to think about things. Retrieving a glass from the cabinet, Alex glanced out the window into the forest. There were too many things that she needed to say, but every time she thought about it, she had talked herself out of actually opening her mouth. She cracked open the seal on the bottle of whiskey and poured a good measure into the glass. “Here’s to being honest about shit,” Her eyes watered as she swallowed the first drink. The burning got worse as she coughed her way over to the sofa and sat down to wait.

45 minutes later, Ed came through the door, “Hey, I’m back…” His eyes fell on the half empty bottle on the table, it was the expensive one, and then on the girl sitting on the sofa in the same pair of sweats and tshirt that she had been wearing the night before. “Alex?”

She shushed him as she tripped standing up and took the bags out of his hands. “Go sit, and don’t say anything, ok? I need to do the talking here for a minute.” The bags made it as far as the kitchen table and then she was back, pulling him over to sit on the sofa. “You just need to sit here and listen. I know that’s hard for you to do, but just do it.” Alex sat back down in a wobbling cross legged position and poured the glass to almost full.

“I’ve done some really stupid things since I met you, Ed McLaughlin, mostly because I have no idea what I’m doing, but also because I’ve always been the smart kid and people just think I know things.” Alex took a big drink from the glass and handed it over to Ed. “All the mess back in Atlanta with Josh made me realize some things.” she squirmed around a bit trying to find a comfortable position. “I owe you an apology so big that I don’t even know where to start. All those stupid things that I did screwed things up and you had to make them right.”

While she spoke, Alex traced the fading scar on the inside of her left arm. “I know that you and Adrian both worry about me sprouting a third eye or horns or something worse, don’t try and deny it. I have some mad southern woman skills, I know everything. No secrets are safe. It’s a genetic thing on my grandmother’s side.” She leaned over resting her head on his shoulder. “I haven’t had any bad dreams since we got here,” her words were starting to slur as she stretched out across Ed and the rest of the couch that he wasn’t occupying. “That’s because you won’t let anything happen to me. I didn’t get that soon enough, and I made you make choices for both of us.”

She pulled the worn quilt from the back of the sofa and curled up beneath it, her voice trailing to a whisper as she fell asleep “I just needed to say that I get it now, and I love you too.”

Ed sat there in dumb silence, listening to the snow fall, the groceries settling, and Alex’s drunken snores. “I love you.” he whispered. “And you’re damn right nothing’s happening to you.”

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Welcome to the Death Star
Table 2 - John Knight

When Vampire Jack assaulted the Safe House, he was forced to flee sans clothing. In those clothes, the Contingent found an ID passcard to a local military installation, the New Boston Air Force Station. After some research and planning, Chester reveals that he believes this is the facility that Lilly came from, and has requested that a group infiltrate the base, discover what the vampire was doing there, and prevent or stop any vampires found there—with extreme prejudice. This is a scenario for planning, stealth, and action, hopefully with guns, wooden stakes, fire, and some explosions.

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Welcome to Littleville
Table 1 - Allie Hardy

From what scant information you have been able to glean about this place, Littleville seems like an idyllic small town just north of Silicon Valley. It is entirely owned by Enhanced Environment Simulations, which is owned by Ethan Little, CEO. EES is known for its extremely detailed first-person simulation games. Clues have led our investigators to this hamlet—but will they finally get the answers they are looking for within these walls?

Hunters

Edward McLaughlin
Melanie Bradiff
Alex Lathem
Doctor Adrian Skaar
Ophelia

Session Writeup – Ed

For July, Ed ignored Chester’s call. The events with Alex and Kennedy still weighed too heavily on his mind. Come August, he decided to give the enigmatic man another shot. At Chester’s request, Ed headed out to Silicon Valley to pick up his regular crew. Someone odd was happening in the newly-founded town of Littleville and Chester wants details.

Well, the first problem came up quickly. The road dead-ends into Littleville and no one visits or leaves. The city is walled off and there are rumors about people going missing and re-appearing miles away who try to infiltrate. However, there are steady streams of delivery trucks going into the town.

Melanie is able to track the dubious shipping company used by Littleville and the group make the 3 hr drive to a local distribution center. Little more than warehouses and a truck stop, the group get a lucky break and find an inbound semi driven by a rather dim-witted trucker. Ed’s able to distract him by impersonating a safety officer while Melanie sneaks on board and snoops in his laptop. The group confirm he’s heading out tomorrow to Littleville, so they break into the trailer (using the ID card lifted off of the trucker) and ride the long trip back.

The entry is rather uneventful. No one seems to notice their trojan horse approach and they make it into the town and to the loading docks. There’s a bit of trouble in the warehouse proper, thanks to Alex knocking over some boxes, but a few tranq darts solve the problem. The group find the shipping office and again Melanie is able to work her magic. The group are now a bunch of new-hire interns and make their way to the corp HQ to scope the place out.

HQ is majorly unsettling with how perfect it seems. Ed never speaks, leaving everything to Skaar and company. Finally they’re taken to their corporate housing to prepare for the night’s Founder’s day celebration. This is where everything goes wrong.

Alex is feverish. At Ed’s insistence, she’s willing to show him her arm in private. Ed instantly goes through the roof. Her arm is infected again – the worms have returned. Ed demands abandoning the mission and leaving town for Alex’s sake, while she insists they should stay and complete the mission. Ed’s not having it.

While they argue, an ambulance pulls up, offering medical assistance to Alex. Everything about the situation is wrong, but Ed insists Alex go with the medics and that he’s going with her. The two are whisked off to the hospital, leaving Dr. Skaar, Melanie, and Ophelia to deal with Chester’s mission.

Alex is nearly delusional by the point they reach the hospital. Ed is agitated and becoming violent. Finally a man identifying himself as Dr Wu comes into Alex’s room and offers a remedy to Alex’s predicament.

“There might be side effects.” he tells Ed.

“What are they?” he asks.

The doctor looks over his spectacles at Ed. “Do you really care?”

“No.” Ed deadpans. “Do whatever you need to save her.”

Wu starts an IV of some shimmery clear liquid and Alex is soon barely aware of her surroundings. Ed refuses to leave her side, his hand remaining on his .357 the entire while. Unbeknownst to them, a m,age suspected as being Ironwick is present in the town and Melanie infiltrated his home. Things go sour there and a mind-controlled child sets off a boobytrap, killing himself and Melanie.

The detonation cracks the facade of the town. An orderly tries to attack Ed, but he’s been ready for this. He guns down the orderly and makes a break for it, pushing Alex’s bed for the ER’s ambulance entrance. Another orderly and a nurse attack, but Ed shoots them both. They make it to the ambulances and Ed’s loading Alex in when his luck runs out. His gun jams and a security guard gives him a nasty flesh-wound. Bleeding, but still upright, he pulls the doors shut and the ambulance roars out of the hospital ER.

Skaar and Ophelia had a terrible scene with the entire town going hive-mind in an instant on them. They bugged out to the hospital to try to meet back with Ed and Alex. Luckily , they arrive right as Ed is leaving the parking lot. The duo pile in and they make their escape from Littleville and into the desert.

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Red Wire or Blue Wire?
Table 2 - Melissa Moritz

Ümph the energy drink’s unintended side effects are considered well within corporate safety parameters. Three more trucks are scheduled to leave the bottling plant this week. Chester needs your help. The shipments must be stopped to protect innocent consumers. The test product is only being produced from one location. Destroy the facility and the secret recipe.

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Field of Screams
Table 2: Tom King

Over the last year several campers have gone missing in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho. Reports of strange sounds, shambling beasts, and bloody trails have been reported. However, as is usually the case, by the time park authorities arrive there is little evidence left. There is a warning of mountain lions and grizzly bears being issued. Chester though fears the worst, he’s stumbled into information of an abandoned government facility in the area of the disappearances. What lurks the woods, and can the Contingent stop it?

Hunters

Edward McLaughlin
Doctor Adrian Skaar
Kennedy Mason-Langer
Alex Lathem
(Phil’s Character)

Session Writeup – Ed

June was not a good month for Ed. Chester called (yes, called) to ask him to go to Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho to look into several missing hikers. The locals are claiming grizzly bear attacks, but the details don’t add up.

Chester’s involvement confirms it’s not grizzly bears. He clearly references blacklisted abandoned FDA labs in the area. But that’s not the worst of what Chester has to say. A safe house of The Contingent became compromised in May and it seems a number of the creatures Ed’s helped capture are again on the loose. Lives were also lost. Chester seems to be taking a harder line, and sends Ed a key labeled Purge for use on this mission. Chester mentions it as a last resort, similar to using fire to fight a much larger forest fire. This rattles Ed a bit, but he keeps the key close.

Expecting a wild animal, Ed gathers his gear, plus enough extra to help outfit the rest of his team. Tranq darts and guns, along with actual long-arms in case it’s something bigger. He drives cross-country and picks up the rest of his team from the local airport. Dr Skaar, Kennedy, and Alex are familiar faces, and a PI from New York has tagged along with Kennedy. Ed’s concerned for the city-dwellers, but at least Alex has spent some time practicing with her pistol.

They spend the night at a run-down local inn. The locals make mention of a frightening presence in the forests a night like a feeling of being prey to a much more dangerous predator. This re-affirms Ed’s concerns that they’re dealing with some sort of supernatural monster. And after Ed speaks with the local head park ranger named Tes, Alex seems confident it matches the legend of the Wendigo. And with a map of unsurveyed sections of the new park acquisition, the group head out in broad daylight to investigate.

Immediately on reaching the first sight, everyone can feel the terror in the air. Alex, in great wisdom, refuses to have anything to do with what’s beyond the gate. But wisdom and heroism are rarely related – the group forges on after calming her.

The area consists of a small outbuilding and a burn in the landscape hiding the rest of the clearing. While investigating the outbuilding, Ed and Dr Skaar notice the little girl sitting at the mouth of a ramp on the other side of the burn. Things go sideways – the girl is missing part of her skull and starts to shamble towards the group. Much to the horror of everyone else, Ed and Skaar open fire. And before the group can even recover, another of the missing campers shambles out of the forest and attacks. When the two zombies stop moving, Dr Skaar carefully examines the corpses and finds them full of small white worms, about the size of silkworms, and ‘fresh’ – not decayed. The group opts to burn the bodies and then head down into the darkness.

What they find is an underground compound. A rolling gate keep another obvious zombie at bay. Determined to end the threat (and use the Purge key), the group return power to the gate and make preparations to fire on whatever they find inside.

At first, things are tense, but go according to plan. Even when two other zombies surprise the group from behind, things are still managed. Of course, then shit eventually hits the fan. Kennedy makes a break for the lab’s interior and her PI friend follows trying to protect her. Alex takes a bite to the hand. Suddenly, the zombies only care about Ed and Dr. Skaar. And with the death of the PI, another zombie is added to the mix. Kennedy and Alex fight on, trying to help their friends while knowing the worst is happening to them.

Rifles and dead bodies litter the floor by the time the fight ends. Dr Skaar and Ed race to try and save Kennedy and Alex. Ed snatches a snake-bite kit from his EMT kit and manages to save Alex, but not before seriously injuring her hand and arm. Tragically, it’s too late for Kennedy and Dr Skaar elects to end her life quickly instead of watching her suffer and change. While Alex rests in the SUV, Skaar and Ed explore the carnage of the secret lab. They grab basic research data and activate the Purge system. Warning lights and sirens scream at the duo. And as they race from the underground facility, it seals and loud rumble shakes the ground. The compound is no more.

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The People In The Walls
Table 1: Richard Moore

The new owners of an historic mansion in Southern Pennsylvania have contacted Chester for help. Their daughter has been having night terrors ever since they moved in, and she claims to have seen something in the house. Her parents didn’t believe her at first—but then contractors started dying in horrible accidents during renovations, and that’s when the noises began. Savvy paranormal investigators and ghost hunters are direly needed to put a stop to this before more people die, so grab your infrared cameras and your PKE meters… and maybe some holy water, too, while you’re at it.

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Safe House
Table 2 - John Knight

The last few months have been very busy for the Contingent. Prometheans, Mages, Vampires, and Werewolves, oh my. Sometimes a monster dies and sometimes they get away, but what about the ones that have been captured? Send them to Chester for interrogation and holding and you hope to never see them again. But somebody has to guard them, bring them food, ask them questions. The Contingent is a large group of individuals, but everybody gets safehouse duty eventually. Sitting in a building for days on end with the creatures that hate you and you despise in return, what could possibly go wrong?

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Energy to Spare
Table 1 – Melissa Moritz

The high school kids are raving about a new energy drink, Ümph. However the teachers and administrators have banned the drink from all school property in the district. They’re claiming Ümph makes some kids act out and cause trouble. Security will be tight at tonight’s homecoming game. Let’s hope nothing terrible happens.

Hunters

Edward McLaughlin
Melanie Bradiff
Alex Lathem
Doctor Adrian Skaar
Kennedy Mason-Langer

Session Writeup – Ed

May takes Ed back to Red Wing. Chester wants the Contingent to look into the energy drink Ümph that’s coming out the bottling plant there. Ed, already being in the state, heads down to the Minneapolis air port to pick up his regular compatriots.

Fearing that it’s the same group as before, Ed and company check out the original holding cells for the 6 youth under downtown. Finding it exactly as they left it, the group then split their focus on the bottling plant, local water table records, and local rumors. Eventually, they meet back up and decide the bottling company is worth a check, with the exception of one member who opts to talk to local high school kids.

The bottling plant has only recently started bottling again, and exclusively makes Ümph. Under the cover of darkness, they sneak in and look around. In a secure room, they find a similar ornated iron pump as before, but this time in the shape of an eagle’s head. Next to it is a stainless steel pipe that carries water into the bottling plant itself. The room is covered in more arcane characters and the group identifies at least part of it as magic to prevent scrying. Disrupting those portion, they grab a water sample and head out.

Talking to the high school kids turns up a lead of a strange purple-haired girl named Whim that says she’ll see us again at the homecoming game. Naturally, this draws the group in. In the midst of some supernatural fit by a cheerleader, things spiral into chaos. Ed tranqs 2 kids he fears are selling Ümph to others, only to discover they’re common high school junkies. He tries a bit of “Scared Straight” therapy before rushing to help subdue Whim.

The group discovered that Whim is actually Elsa, the first child kidnapped back in 2005. She shows a lot of signs of mental disorder and seems intent on pushing Ümph on children to see if they awaken as well, even after told how it can seriously injure them. The group take a sedated Whim to Chester, hoping he can help the girl.

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Promethean Sex Dolls From Planet 9!
Table 2 - Richard Moore

A well-secluded mansion in the woods near Catoctin Mountain Park is home to the eccentric and reclusive scientist Dr. Berg von Hamner. This Friday, the good doctor is hosting a party for an elite group of unconventional conventionists, during which he will unveil his newest creation: a revolutionary recreational product beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings. As moguls and representatives from the upper crust of Maryland society flock to the mansion, you have managed to secure an invitation from an interested party who’d like you to attend this special affair and figure out exactly what Dr. von Hamner is selling to his exclusive cadre of clients. So, come up to the lab… and see what’s on the slab!

Hunters

Doctor Adrian Skaar
Alex Lathem
Kennedy Mason-Langer
Melanie Bradiff
Edward McLaughlin

Session Writeup – Ed

In April, Chester directs Ed to a private party held at a secluded estate near Camp David. Sounds like Chester’s figured out the origin of the girl they met in Meredith, New Hampshire back in February. Chester wants them to pose as investors, get as much info as they can, and get out.

The party turns out to be a sales pitch for a new version 2.0 sex-bot that morph into your perfect sexual partner. During the private demonstrations, something goes wrong and the bots start shocking and sucking the life out of their partners. The group rescues their own, as well as a Mexican gentleman of questionable profession named Santiago. During the resulting chaos, when both versions of the sex bots attack the patrons, the group manage to find Dr Von Hamner’s lab. The doctor is despondent and takes his own life despite the Dr Skaar’s (another player) attempts to talk him down. There’s no time to mourn however, as the last remaining version 2 sex-bot, now 40 ft tall, punches through the 3rd story windows in attempts to drain the group. Dr Skaar grabs Dr Von Hamner’s mad-science ray-gun and eventually slays the monster. Wasting no more time, the group snatch computer hard drives journals, and odd materials and make their escape. But not being Ed fires a flare into the old mansion with the intent of burning it to the ground.

The info recovered from the Von Hamner estate ties several elements together:

Project Chimera

Notes point to Dr Von Hamner working with Project Chimera, a group that harvests supernatural energies and technologies for the betterment of mankind. Notes link them to the following products:

  • Glimmer Cream: a product made by Rejuvidine from the stolen essence of street urchins. One of the group had experience with this.
  • Ümph: an energy drink bottled in Red Wing, MN. This lines up with Ed’s investigations in Red Wing.
  • Filexa: an anti-STD drug produced by GesChem. A group member explained this was used to make the blood of the patient uneatable for Vampires in the DC area.
  • Nightshade: Sunglasses to be worn at night. No one has heard of this product.

Operation Gestalt

While Project Chimera seemed mostly harmless, the notes also mentioned another organization named Operation Gestalt. It’s actions seemed far more sinister. The group found less info on Operation Gestalt, but it was enough to identify shell companies and manufacturing sites across the US.

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