The Contingent

Visiting Hours
early checkout

With concentrated effort Sir Nigel Mulberry, opened his eyes. Laying in bed, he tried to focus on the world above him. At this point in his life, hospital ceiling tiles were a familiar fixture. These were a bit different, they were covered with foam hexagons designed to absorb sounds. Nigel rolled to his left trying to take in the room. His right hand was caught, handcuffed to the bed. Light poured in from barred windows. Pain overwhelmed him, his mind interpreting it as green hues, followed by brown spots before blissfully fading to black dreamless sleep.

Dr. Julian Ekerot boldly approached the guard in front of the door to hospital room 2334, handing him the yellow padded envelope. “All the necessary precautions have been taken, Mr. Corbett?”

The stoic attendant handed NIgel Mulberry’s medical char to Dr. Ekerott. “All of your instructions have been carried to your exact details, while almost. We had to up the morphine dosage. Sir Nigel has developed a bit of a tolerance, given his history of pain and suffering. Still it may prudent to take some extra protection.” Devin Corbett extended a .45 to the archaeologist.

“I don’t think that will be necessary. I could hardly believe the reports that Mulberry was foolish enough to get back in the game.” Dr. Ekerot reached for the door, and then second guessing himself, and remembering a particularly embarrassing scar, accepted the pistol. Dr. Ekerot stepped into the room, mockingly singing “We’re only making plans for Nigel. Turning off the safety and adjusting the racking slide at “He has a future in British Steel …. Nigel’s whole future is good as sealed”.

Nigel awoke again, he didn’t have time to appreciate the painkillers were doing their job. “Young Julian, you shouldn’t have come. Still its touching to know you care. I was having the most wonderful dream, are you free Wednesday?”

“How disappointing to see you this way Sir Nigel, Hearing you were back in the game raised my hopes. Tricking our sacrifices into getting eaten by a lizard man, before the ascension could begin a cold but brilliant move. Finding one of Jack’s safe houses that we missed, even more impressive. I believed that our final encounter would be worthy of the legendary adventures of our youth, but alas you are still broken and enfeebled like the meat you are. I pity you. Let’s make a trade, I can arrange it so we can meet as equals once more. My benefactors would be willing to exchange a sample of the Elixir of Chay for the kaleidoscope. They will even release their hold on Corbett. We could die like Titans.”

Nigel tried to pull his hand free, shaking the hospital bed. “Kaleidoscope? What are you talking about? Sacrifices, you mean those kids from the University? I wasn’t fast enough to save them. Finding Jack’s safe-house was an accident. A cruel joke from fate. You’re wasting time, neither o’.f us has.” Nigel began laughing hysterically.

The laughter enraged Dr. Ekrot. He placed the gun to Nigel’s forehead. Finger on the trigger. “Lies, again with the lies. Just like when you swore you didn’t have the medallion of Bagdana.” With his off hand, he pulled the medallion out from under his collar. Proof an earlier victory against Eva and Nigel Mulberry.

“I didn’t have it.” Nigel’s hysteria simmered down to a chuckle.His free hand slipping to the other locked bracelet. “It was right behind your ear, just like she told you. It appears you never figured out how to make it work anyways. Thank God for letting evil be dumb on occasion.”

“The Kaleidoscope, now!” Dr. Ekrot’s finger was placed firmly on the trigger.

“Never. Put the gun down, if the kaleidoscope exists, its not what you think. The pronise land is a lie”

“Pity we could of been great.” Dr. Ekrot closed his eyes and pulled the trigger.

BANG! The smell of powdered gas and hexim, filled the room.

“Bloody hell, you actually shot me. Nigel deftly swung the now unlocked handcuff onto the suprised Dr. Ekrot’s wrist to his own and then rolled off of the bed, his weight pulling the wicked academic off balance onto the bed knocking over the iv in the process. Nigel then grabbed the syringe he had stashed under the bed and stabbed Dr. Ekrot in the gut. “Blanks courtesy of The Wundermarket Costume Shoppe and magic house. Please keep the rest as a free sample”.

Dr. Ekrot got to his feet pulling Nigel by the arm into the air. Both men being sprayed with blood from the open iv catheter.

The door opened, Corbett entered the room, pushing in Nigel’s wheelchair.

“But we had a deal”

Nigel, looked at Dr. Ekrot, pulling out the catheter. “Observe the hubris of Americans, they think all men can be bought at cheaply as they are. Remind me Mr Corbert, where are you from again?”

“Detroit sir, by way of Corktown” replied the valet.

Dr. Ekerot sleepily asked “What the fuck?” Dr. Ekrot’s eyes rolled into his head, and collapsed onto the floor. Taking Nigel with him. Nigel ripped the medallion off of Ekrot’s neck and reached it into the sunlight pouring in from the barred window chanting “”לשחרר את עצמך לגורלך.. The medallion crumbled to dust.

Nigel picked the lock on the cuff. Safariland was his favorite brand. He climbed into his wheelchair. “Corbett that’s another one off our list. I assume the appropriate law enforcement agencies and disaccreditation boards are on their way. Where to next?

Corbett pulled out his smartphone. “Back to New York Sir. It appears more Hunters have gone missing”.

“Destiny calls eh? Perhaps we can turn back tragedy at the dam. Still I expect its going to be a bumpy ride. See if you can requisition some of this fine morphine and a couple of cocktails.”

“Anything else sir?”

“Yes, open a file on John Miller, we may need to have him over for tea”.

View
HR: Denial and Acceptance

“HR, This is Graham, how may I help you?”, the bored slightly shakey voice responded over the line.

“Hi I’m Tyr Anasazi and sent a message to Elton a bit ago inquiring about our insurance. Now I’m running into problems with the claims stating that since it was a, quote, ‘Act of God or other Supernatural Entity’ I was denied. What’s the point in having insurance if they don’t cover it?”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Uh … Can you call them back to perhaps speak with another operator? Maybe the first one made a mistake?”, the voice quivered a slight bit more and was a little bit softer.

“I’ve already spent 5 hours trying to get this straight. I don’t think another 5 is going to matter. It’s been several months now and my credit is being ruined.”

“I… I’m not sure …. I could call …. but maybe it’d be better if you…. "

Tyr grimaced. This issue had been a constant bother to him for some time now. He normally was able to keep his composure and was the most even tempered person that anyone around him knew, however something about this weasel (silently, Tyr reproached himself for that viewpoint) irked him. "NO I WILL NOT CALL THEM BACK. I’ve already spent 10 hours on the phone with them just to get that stupid response. Is your boss in? "

“Uh, sir… the boss is not in …. At least I don’t think so…. Temperature’s normal….”, Graham trailed off weakly.

“D O S O M E T H I N G !!!!”

Silence followed, then by quiet sobbing. "I’m sorry… I’m sorry… "

Tyr sighed, This was not like him at all. This was not a time to act out of anger, Graham had not attacked him. His view of him was being colored by the prior 10 hours. Mentally trying to center himself, re-gain his composure that normally he held together so well. "Listen, I’m sorry – I shouldn’t have yelled… "

A moment later, Tyr spoke again, “Still there?”

“I… I’m here. No-one understands the job I do. The boss just appears, disappears, spooks the uh, blank, out of me… I just can’t take it anymore.”, more sobbing broke his speaking.

“Listen, I have to head into the office anyway… wanna grab a beer after I finish? Say in about 20 minutes?”

“Uh, me? Uh… yeah, sure.”


30 minutes later --

“So I called and uh… they said they’d take care of it… Complained about some paperwork mix-up. Funny … they didn’t do anything until I mentioned my bosses name.”

“Thank you… Thank you… You don’t know how much this means to me. " Tyr spoke up to the bartender, “Two beers”

“I don’t drink alcohol – just a diet coke. Last time I did I ended up crying uncontrollably”

“Imagine…”, Tyr smiled, "It’s ok.. more for me to donate to the orphanages. "

[ – snip – 2 pages of Tyr rambling on about the good that orphanages do and how everyone should contribute omitted for brevity and boredom’s sake. – snip – ]

Tyr closed, “I end up giving most of my money to them…. You wouldn’t be able to give me a raise would you?”

“Uh…. err… That’s Elton’s job to review people… ", Graham spluttered, nervous again. He did feel more at ease tho than he had in a while. Maybe he could find a friend in Tyr? A thought occurred to him, “We are looking for emissaries to go out and spread the good word,… You know you’ve been increasing the public’s good will towards the contingent. You can join and get paid for it. Uh, well, get paid every now and then. There’s a few groups who pay to have one of us come out and speak to them but it’s not that frequent and usually the longer term guys get first dibs on the paying ones.”

“Hmm, ", Tyr considered. He was used to being strapped for cash so while the payment part stung, it wasn’t something that he wasn’t already used to dealing with. Going and talking with people about the contingent, helping to recruit and raise awareness appealed to him.

“Lots of places however, do offer free food and lodging if you’re staying overnight so you can at least save on that Get to tour the country without fighting monsters.”

Tyr joked, “What’s the fun in that?”

“You like fighting monsters?”

“Not really, truth be told, I think most of them are just misunderstood… I like the idea of being an emissary. I’m in.”

View
Fragment: Junior; Rain. Op #3

When it rains, it pours, Junior thought, tucking the last pistol into the holder in the Beetle. He pressed the panel closed with a light click, the dashboard looking pretty well untouched with the compartment closed. It was the fifth of its kind he had hollowed out and camouflaged in the little vehicle. He had been planning these for awhile, both in the little VW and the Wagoneer, but he was sure going to need them with the charges he was facing. Can’t be caught cartin around this much firepower with that hangin over his head.

It hadn’t been a great month so far.

Another missed weekend, due to a jail stay this time. Beth was gonna fight to take em away at this point. It had been an uphill battle to begin with, what with the alcohol and all. She even moved states a year ago hoping he wouldn’t follow. Junior’d be damned if he wasn’t going to see Aiden whenever he could. He picked up and moved, found work. Now work was makin it worse.

The charge. Manslaughter. Well, he was defending his life, he knew that. Guy had already killed one girl, attacked others. Everyone saw how unnatural that was. But he was a cop, and Junior still didn’t know what possessed him to go after the damn beast without the full team. At least he hadn’t actually done the actual killing shot… But how was he gonna explain chewin on the dude? Lawyers gotta handle that part, he guessed.

Came home to a letter after that. Uncle Jeremy had passed. Junior had kept in touch when he could, but the man didn’t really have any other kin, what with his wife already passed, Junior’s dad dead, and no kids. Fell to Junior to take care of the funeral. He did always have a soft spot for the man. Jer’d taught him to shoot, told him stories, been a big part of his upbringin. Still, Junior’d gotten a big surprise when he showed up to the Lexington County Morgue to claim the body. He met his uncle’s lawyer.

‘Fuck You’ money. That’s what Junior thought of it like. Land. His uncle hadn’t been up to much the past decade or so, just sittin on his couple acres, livin easy. The simple life. Somethin he never told Junior or his pops was he had money. Stocks, bonds, pension. Junior’d done well for himself lately with some hard work and a few lucky antique car flip sales, but this was a windfall he’d never seen coming.

Junior’d held a quaint little ceremony, like what was in the will. Couple folks what were important to his uncle, then made a hike up far as he could the Maudlin mount nearby and scattered the ashes. Two weeks he spent down that way, gettin things in order, but also plannin, orderin, makin some calls.

See, Junior got to understandin, after the initial shock. He didn’t wanna take the money and do dumb things, or worse, nothin at all. He had a life, and he was findin, he had things he wanted to do.

Aiden was his priority, first, o’course. But that meant he had some things to wrangle, some legal fights coming. And damnsite, he was gonna try an make the world a safer place for his kid.

Junior pushed the door shut to the Beetle, comin out of the little thinkin he was doing. He checked the trunk compartment on the Wagoneer, where he was storin the long guns. Everything was sittin pretty, he thought, snapping it shut and throwin some clothes duffels into the back on top. Slammin the tailgate shut, swiping a hand across his forehead, he was thinkin he had more than a few hurdles comin up.

Tossin a rag into the bin, headin for the door into HQ proper, he was thinkin he just might be able to keep jumping.

View
Doomed to Walk the Earth as Slaves to the Lord of the Living Dead, Op. #3
Ethics of Non-Human Subject Research

Willard sat in this large windowless classroom brightly lit by several rows of track lighting. There were at least a handful more fixtures then was probably necessary for a room this size which Willard presumed was intentional considering the Hearst’s touted “green” decor. Dr. Buss had expected to be sitting here alone and that thought contributed additionally to the already significant amount of embarrassment. However when he learned that the Contingent HR classes were open to a number of local hospitals and businesses he was comforted more than a little. Even more so when he looked around to the half-full classroom as the instructor was starting.

Dr. Sandoval was not happy, to say the least. In fact, she and Mayo strongly recommended he attend this twenty-hour course on medical ethics and they went so far as to enroll him in the class personally. He quietly suffered the doctor’s admonishment, rescheduled a number of important business meetings and then arrived here promptly for the 8 am class.

“Dr. Buss?” a questioning voice pulled him from his revery.

“My apologies. Yes?”

The instructor repeated, “Dr. Buss, what are you hoping to get out of this course?”

Willard groaned on the inside and replied dumbly, “From this class?”

With a little less patience, “Yes, Dr. Buss. And please stand up and introduce yourself.”

Oh, Jesus Christ, he thought to himself as he stood up from his seat. He kept his irritation to himself though not wanting to embarrass Dr. Sandoval any more than he already had. I’m Dr. Willard Buss and I enjoy long walks on the… sorry yall, wrong meeting,” he said to a few furtive laughs.

“Seriously, for several years I was working for an organization that put advancement, patents, and accolades before ethics. I am proud of the work I did there. I am not proud of some of my actions or the use of my accomplishments. Fortunately, I’m now part of a new organization with a new culture. One I’m actually pretty proud to be part of.”

“Sometimes when you find yourself in a difficult situation you revert back to old bad habits." He paused, "Inexcusable? Yes, but that is what has brought me here today. Well, that and the enrollment fees.” Willard paused briefly for a handful of chuckles.

“What I hope to get from this class is that whatever embarrassment I feel right now will act as a reminder not to do anything that makes me have to give this speech again. I also hope that what I learn in this class will act as a base for better more ethical habits in the future. Most importantly, I hope for this to be the first step in restoring whatever trust I have lost with the people I most respect.”

“Well, if you don’t mind, I’m going to sit down before I embarrass myself any further.”

View
Sitting in Broad Daylight

For Gabrielle, her free time was in the daylight. Between Happiest Day and now working a few nights a week at The Contingent, she rarely went to bed before 3 AM, and woke at 10 AM every day. Honestly, she preferred it that way, especially after her first field mission for The Contingent.

Gabrielle sat at her desk, watching the sunlight pour in through her windows. That had been the sell for this place, all the windows letting in as much natural light as humanly possible in such a dim city, along with, hardwood floors, quiet neighbors, and a sufficient tub. The mix of clean lines, natural fibers, plants, and pops of soft pastel colors were what made it her home, her sanctuary.

Unfortunately, she couldn’t fully enjoy the solitude of 11 AM daylight on a Tuesday; because this had been the first time she had really had a chance to actually soak in the events of the prior weekend. She had planned her first contingent shift 48 hours before for the Knox-Rodriguez wedding. She had just assumed she would have been filling out forms and answering phones that night. Never before had she been so wrong, it was almost humbling. Running around trying to appease a terrifyingly tacky ghost of a board game was the furthest thing she’d imagine herself doing. She didn’t sleep, for as soon as the paperwork for the field mission was filled out, she had only a few hours to shower, change, prepare and be at the beck and call of Lola Knox.

Lola had been fantastic; a little nervous but a dream bride as far as Gabrielle had been concerned. Her colors had been Dark Coral, Sun Orange and Cream which reflect the bouquet of poppies. The ceremony was on St. Mary’s on 45th, and the reception took place at sunset. The groom was a crier; Gabrielle lived for the criers, the entire ceremony. Everyone who attended lived in a dream that day. Well, she didn’t; she saw the full reality. The MIL had been trying to steal the show at every turn, the cake was delivered 2 hours late, they had run out of rum for the wedding cocktail, and the DJ took a longer than usual break with the sister of the bride. At 2 AM she pushed the tipsy couple into their limo, after setting a few alarms on each of their phones so they would make their flight to Aruba the next morning. She was with the clean-up crew for breakdown the next few hours before finally collapsing into her bed as the sun rose.

She didn’t wake up until the sunset, where she went back to The Contingent for an actual night of phone duty. The first three hours were particularly tense, although it eased into boredom seamlessly. For as many times as she rather sharply corrected Derrick, she was relieved not to receive another urgent call and to have to brave the field. She once again fell into bed…and now she was here.

She stared at her laptop, her inbox slowly filling up, and a text messages from her clients and coordinators unanswered. Yet the only thing she could really see was the corpse of Jane screaming at her, mixed with the smell of gore from the scene. Tyr was holding her back and then he just let go. Why did he let her go? Was he trying to kill her? She saw the sterling silver knife as it pierced her side.

Buzzing from her phone broke her concentration as she stood straight up and simply muttered “Fuck”. Another text message briefly lit her screen: Thank u !!!

A smile crossed her lips, as she opened her phone. Mr. & Mrs. Knox-Rodriguez sent a picture of the two of them wrapped in each other arms, smiling in front of a sunset.

Gabrielle took a breath, thinking again of her fear and guilt so easily being used against her. Yet that was why she joined The Contingent. To make sure others didn’t hurt, to prevent others from having to see the nightmares for themselves. She could deal with the messiness of it. She ran a hand on her side where the knife had hit, still feeling the sting of pain. It was thankfully a flesh wound only; it would only leave an easily hidden scar. She looked back to the phone and hit reply: It was my pleasure to work with you!

Gabrielle sat back down at her desk; she had work to do.

View
Internal Memo

Sent 05/12/18
From: Meredith Cohn
To: Elton Mayo
CC: Vivian Chastain, Dr. Jacinta Sandoval
Subject: Good Samaritan Project

Mr. Mayo, Ms. Chastain, and Dr. Sandoval,

My name is Meredith. I’m a newer member of the Contingent, but I’m very excited to be joining the organization in a fuller capacity as a member of the HR team! I look forward to working with all three of you as an Emissary between the Contingent and the greater public.

To that point, I wanted to write regarding my most recent assignment. As I’m sure you all know, the mission involved investigation into the Good Samaritan app, developed by SoftWerks and funded by the New York City government. Essentially, the app acts as a quick line to emergency services such as police and fire departments, as well as recording and sending video, audio, and gps information. My team was able to help the vengeful spirit inside the app pass on; however, we also discovered that there are plans to involve the Contingent in future iterations of the project as one of the services the app can contact. I’m writing to request that the Contingent refuse any involvement with the Good Samaritan app.

There are plenty of ethical questions involved with the app, but I suspect that’s a discussion for another day. My chief concern is for the Contingent’s ability to operate as it needs to should it become involved with this project. Obviously, the Contingent applies different methods of investigation than the police or other emergency services. Becoming a Good Samaritan contact would mean working closely with law enforcement in a way we are not prepared for. While we have spent time building rapport with various police precincts in New York City, the Good Samaritan project would create an equivalence between law enforcement and the Contingent that would would likely lead the city to create severely restrictive guidelines with regards to our methods. I haven’t been a Contingent operative for long, but I know that this kind of scrutiny could make it nearly impossible for us to do our jobs. And that means more people getting killed.

I understand that there is a lot to consider with regards to the Good Samaritan project. Technological advancements like this have the potential to do enormous good. However, that advancement can only help us if we are able to use it in the ways we know to be best. There may come a day when the law is capable of accounting for the supernatural and we can work more closely with government agencies. That day has not come. Keeping a safe distance between law enforcement and ourselves allows the Contingent to do what it does best: save lives. For this reason, I would ask that we turn down any future involvement with the Good Samaritan project.

Thank you all very much for your time,
Meredith Cohn

View
Ghost in the Machines
Storyteller: Eric

“This is Detective Jason Bishop of the 6th precinct. I have several cases I’m being pressured to close that I think fit better in your realm than mine. In each case, the criminal died a gruesome death shortly after committing a crime. The whole thing defies explanation.

“I managed to get the approval of my direct superior to bring these cases to you. My guess is it’s their hopes that calling you will get me to drop this all together. As far as top brass is concerned it’s case closed.

“I’m concerned because these… events seem to be escalating in nature. The first few were violent felons, but the most recent one was some guy who boosted a car. We had a high speed chase to catch him, but he lost control and crashed into a trailer loaded with steel rebar. It was a fuckin’ mess, like dropping a nice roast on a bed of nails. Damndest thing is that the prelims from the lab came back and said the car’s collision avoidance feature kicked in right before the crash.”

Investigators

Zak Zimmerman
Maddy Summers
Meredith Cohn
Father Xander Court
Jack Mills

View
Doomed to Walk the Earth as Slaves to the Lord of the Living Dead
Storyteller: Evan

“Yeah, this is Charles Jordan, with Atlas Commercial Realty? I got a theatre I’m trying to sell for some clients out in Brooklyn, been freshly renovated, but I can’t get any buyers. Every time we show the place, something scares them off before I can close a deal. The guys that did the renovations kept complaining that the place is haunted, can you send somebody down to take a look?”

Investigators

Darren Knox
Morgan Lindsey
Kenny Crowder
Willard Buss
Eileen Fisher

Session Playlist

View
Man is the Warmest Place to Hide
Storyteller: Byerly

“Hey, this is Jerry with Moosetracks Charters. I, uh, I hope you can help me with this. Last night, while our bus was on its way up to Eagle Bay with a tour group for the weekend, one of the passengers went… well, went sorta nuts. He attacked another guest, biting and scratching and yelling something none of us understood. The attacker bit a huge chunk out of the poor guy’s face!

“Normally, we’re assume some drug head, maybe them bath salts that were on the news. But after the cops left one of our guests, s guy named George, approached me and said something about the guy being a spirit or a monster. Said something that sounded like Winnebago?

“Listen, I don’t know what’s going on up here, but this could ruin my company. Can you guys come check it out?”

Investigators

Junior
Dru Westing
Eugenia
Adam J. Weiss
Alexander Nolan

View
Time to Play
Storyteller: Richard

“Uhhhhhh, hello? This is Khalil Abdi…I’m, uh, third-key manager at All Play & No Work on 31st Street in Brooklyn, and uhh…look, some guys came in here earlier tonight with this weird vintage board game and went into one of our back rooms to play. They still weren’t done when I was closing the registers, and, uh, I went back there to check on them, and…and dude, they’re all DEAD. Like, SUPER dead. Like, there’s pieces of them ALL over the walls…there, uh, there’s blood EVERYWHERE. Listen, the cops are on their way, but if you hurry you might be able to beat them to it and check it out…’cuz, like, I really don’t think they’re as equipped to handle this as, uh, your organization. Help? Please?”

Investigators

Rebecca, Craig, Aaron, Tori, Ben
Fina Aquinas
Tyr Anasazi
Miles Jaggens
Gabrielle Ahern
Dr. Ryan Langston

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.