BPRD - Giurescu's Shadow

Game Night 4/6/11

The team, including Chief Hitchens, continue hearing the banging noise coming from below decks and resolve to find it. They continue making their way back down, searching the ship as they go. As they walk down the halls, they hear a noise coming from an overhead vent. Raven gets a boost from Ichthus, and with her guns drawn pops her head into the vent. With a scream she falls back, both pistols firing wildly into the ventilation duct. A tentacles shoots out after her. Ichthus wrestles with the thing and he can swear he feels life force draining out of him. He finally hacks off the tentacle with his machete and the thing pulls back.

They continue on until they reach the engine room, which they find locked. They are unable to breach it, so they resolve to return with the portable oxy-acetylene torch to cut through the lock. On their way back up, they are confronted with a terrifying sight. As Ichthus comes up a flight of stairs, he sees the hallway absolutely filled with people in Navy uniforms. It appears to be the missing crew. They speak, but they speak as one and refer to themselves as one, as though they were all part of a single consciousness. It tells Ichthus to take it to the shore. Ichthus tries to negotiate, but he hears a yell from behind. He turns to see Chief Hitchens, clearly now one of them, or part of it, however you want to describe it, with one tentacle wrapped around Raven’s neck.

Priest attempts to attack Hitchens to free Raven, but the Hitchens-thing has the upper hand, and he knocks priest senseless against the bulkhead. Ichthus, feeling he has no choice, agrees to pilot the ship back to the coast. He figures he can try to draw the trip out as long as possible, and hopefully the BPRD chopper will arrive before they make it to shore, and hopefully with reinforcements.

So the team find themselves back on the bridge, and soon the ship is underway, and they are being watched by one of the things, or the thing, which first takes the form of Hitchens, then at Ichthus’ request, takes another form.


Game Night 3/23/11
Way late again.

While Chief Hitchens and Priest work on the computers on the bridge, Raven, Ichthus, and Gorgeous remain in the radio room. Raven confides in Ichthus that she doesn’t trust her ability to lead this team while she is worried about her brother, and she puts Ichthus in charge of the team.

On the bridge, Chief Hitchens is finally able to rescue an audio log file. It is mostly corrupted, but a small piece of it can be made out. It appears to be several seconds of chaos, including screams, gun shots, and some kind of inhuman wailing sound. It is terrifying to hear. The players are curious as to why gun shots and chaos can be heard on the log, but the ship appears to be unscathed, undamaged from any kind of battle.

Just then, a constant tapping is heard coming from belowdecks. The decision is made to do a fast door to door search of the entire ship. This time they take Chief Hitchens and Gorgeous with them. As they make their way through the ship, they continue experiencing power fluctuations, and the lights keep going out. They begin to hear voices telling them that they must get the ship back to shore. As the lights come on briefly, they think they glimpse a crewman down the hall, who just as quickly disappears. Priest hears a shuffling from above him, and notices a vent above his head, from which he gets the distinct impression that he is being watched. He uses his demon eyes to gaze into the spirit world, and is surprised to see nothing. Perhaps this isn’t a spiritual threat as they had previously assumed?

Behind the next door they check, they find who appears to be an injured, unconscious crewman. They revive him, and he tells them repeatedly that they must get the ship back to the shore. When they try to question him, his face distorts hideously as he repeats one more time that they must get the ship back to the shore, and then he disappears.

Ichthus hears a shuffling sound coming from an air vent in the room. He forces the grate off the vent and he hears a scuttling sound coming from further inside. They check several more vents with the same result. Finally, they stick a remote camera inside the vent and shoot down the vent that runs the length of the ship. Though they can’t quite make out what it is, they see that there is some kind of blockage in the vent.

They leave the camera in place and resolve to go check the corresponding vent on the far end of the ship, to see if they can see this blockage from the other side. As they make their way down the hall, Priest, watching his remote monitor, sees something that looks like a tentacle snake down the vent toward the camera, and the picture goes to static. They run back to the room and find the camera in pieces, and there is some unidentifiable viscous substance dripping from the vent. They take a sample and run it through the mass spectrometer they brought with them. The spectrometer is unable to classify the substance as anything terrestrial in origin.


Game Night, 3/16/11
A new adventure begins

The team is summoned to the briefing room at 8:30am. Ichthus looks like he stayed up too late doing some research, but Priest looks good as new. Raven still looks like she’s got a lot on her mind. The agents notice that Greensleeves is absent from the room.

Professor Corrigan starts off the briefing by talking about the situation regarding Vladimir Andronikov. She states that they are still working on determining his current location, and that, as soon as they do, they will act on it. In the meantime, the Navy has asked for the Bureau’s help with a derelict ship. A man in a US Navy uniform appears on the screen and Professor Corrigan identifies him as Admiral David Jones, and turns the briefing over to him.

Admiral Jones flashes a photo of a large research vessel on the screen. He identifies it as the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer. He explains that, despite the NOAA markings, the ship is actually a US Navy vessel conducting classified research. He won’t reveal what the ship has been doing, but he informs the team that the ship has essentially disappeared. They have been unable to contact the crew, and the ship has disappeared from radar, which more than likely means its transponder has been shut off or destroyed. Underwater microphones have not picked up the sound of a ship hitting the bottom, so they do not believe it has been sunk. The Navy is unwilling to send a Navy or NCIS team to the ship due to the classified nature of the ship’s mission. All things considered, the BPRD appears to be the best choice to get aboard the ship and find out what happened.

The team is equipped and underway almost immediately. They are flown to a New England naval base where they board an SH-60 Seahawk helicopter. Here they meet their US Navy “liaison,” Chief Petty Officer Hitchens, the helicopter’s payload specialist who has been pressed into last minute service as the team’s guide to Navy ships.

It is past sunset before they finally find the ship. Raven, Ichthus, Priest, and Hitchens are deposited on the foredeck with the team’s equipment, and the helicopter departs for land.

With the chopper’s landing lights and downwash now fading into the distance, they notice that the ship is completely silent and in near total darkness. Using flashlights they quickly set up their equipment in the ship’s radio room, just aft of the bridge. So far, they have seen no sign of life, but Hitchens thinks he sees light shining out of a porthole belowdecks, and for a moment is almost certain he sees a passing shadow. This will turn out to be the first of many unsettling events.

The team leaves Hitchens and Gorgeous (Ichthus’ dog) to watch the equipment while they go investigate the light belowdecks. Priest plants wireless CCTV cameras as he goes, but the deeper they go, the more they lose their radio signal, until they are eventually unable to make contact with Hitchens.

They find the source of the light, a crew lounge, but it is empty. The team quickly discovers that they are not alone on the ship, as lights and water taps turn themselves on and off, and some of them even hear voices.

They hear barking from upstairs, and quickly run up to find Gorgeous alone and backed into a corner, terrified. There is no sign of Hitchens. Priest reviews tape to find the cameras belowdecks are showing nothing but static. At the precise time when they heard barking, the tape from the camera showing the outside of the radio room shows a growing darkness, and then goes out completely. Out of the corner of his eye, Priest sees the picture come back on from the camera showing the outside of the crew lounge, and he sees Hitchens pass by the camera. Only seconds later, Hitchens returns to the radio room, claiming he had only been in the restroom. He denies that anything strange happened, or that anything or anyone entered the radio room before he left. Priest asks him what he was doing by the crew lounge, and Hitchens denies going anywhere near it. Priest attempts to show him the video of him walking past the crew lounge seconds before, but the recording shows only static.

To be continued…

A letter from a Ghost
A brief encounter between the first and second adventures

Upon returning from their first mission, Ichthus finds a letter in his room. It appears to be from Agent Lock, and almost reads like a GI death letter, like the last words of a man who knows he is going on his final mission.

Icthus takes the letter to his senior agent, Raven, who is deeply upset by it, and takes it to Professor Corrigan. There is a verbal exchange between them. Raven wants to go after Vlad, stating that “that son of a b—— killed my brother!” Professor Corrigan asks her to be patient, and says that they can discuss it in the morning. Raven storms off, still profoundly upset. This is Ichthus’ first indication that Lock is Raven’s brother.

Ichthus takes off after her and tries to comfort her, but Raven is inconsolable and slams her door shut behind her. Ichthus then takes the letter and heads to the infirmary where his teammate Priest is passed out, recovering from his injuries. Ichthus leaves the letter along with a note explaining the evening’s events on the night table, and goes to bed himself.

Game Night, 3/9/11
better late than never...

Picking up from last week’s adventure, the players had found Agent Hazel and were going to make their escape from the Zinco facility. Unfortunately for them, when they opened the door, they found themselves facing down four more zombie dobermans.


The door closed just in time. But now they had to analyze their situation and make some tough decisions. The last time they faced these dogs, they almost died. Granted, this time they had one more person in their party, but she might end up just being more collateral damage.

Finally, Raven spoke up.

“Guys, I’m not sure running away from this is the right thing to do. Right now there’s some kind of extra-dimensional creature running rampant in here, and if we don’t stop it, it could get loose in a more populated area. Do you really want that on your hands? I’m willing to risk my life to try to stop this thing. The ‘D’ in BPRD stands for Defense, right?”

The other agents reluctantly agreed. They took a moment to prepare themselves psychologically for the battle ahead, and then moved on.

Agent Hazel was able to use her knowledge of the facility to guide the team to the lab in the basement, the most likely place the being would have stepped through the gate. He might still be there.

In a stairwell, on the way down, they confronted more zombies, dispatching them quickly and efficiently now that they had a better feel for fighting the things. They soon found themselves right outside the main entrance to the security control center, which would be the most direct route to the lab. But Priest stopped the team dead in its tracks. His eyes allowed him to see into the spirit world to a small degree, and even now he could see that there was something otherworldly and hostile in the security room. It was big, it was mean, and it was really pissed off.

They staged themselves outside the double doors and prepared to do battle. When they were ready, they used their security key card to open the doors. They were unprepared for the horror of what awaited them.

It was easy to see how, in the past, things like these had somehow stumbled into our world, in those areas where the walls between worlds were thinnest, and had been mistaken for demons. It was clear where Judeo-Christian mythology had gotten its concept of what the devil looked like. This thing was no demon, but it certainly looked like one.

Towering eight feet tall, with horns, blazing red eyes, fangs, and enormous scythe-like claws for hands, it opened its hideous mouth and hissed in fury at having to fight its own battle. It had surrounded itself with six more zombies, but it knew they would not last against any team that had made it this far.

Priest, Greensleeves, and Hazel maintained their composure and opened up on the creature. Ichthus and Raven were terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought, and froze up. Thankfully, Gorgeous, Ichthus’ dog, was fearless, and immediately charged the beast and tore into its leathery skin, eliciting a howl of pain from the creature. Priest charged it and immediately laid into it with his staff. Greensleeves and Hazel opened fire on it as well.

It was only a few more seconds before Ichthus and Raven snapped out of it and joined the fray. Raven, seeing that her team was in trouble, brought her matched pistols to bear on the creature and, with several well-placed shots, was able to blow it to near oblivion, so that Hazel’s final shot dropped it for good. The remaining zombies, now devoid of their leader, were no match for the team and were promptly torn to ribbons by teeth, bullets, and blunt weapons.

The job decidedly done, they focused their attention on getting out before the cleanup crew arrived. They made their way to a rear door. Reasonably certain that the dogs were nowhere near the back of the facility, they made a break for the wall and, with a concerted team effort, everyone was able to climb and/or vault over the wall to safety.

Back in the van and on the way back to the airport, they were passed by an unmarked van very similar to theirs going in the opposite direction…

After a short flight, they were back at BPRD headquarters, where Priest got the medical attention he needed and the team retired to their quarters to get some badly needed sleep. But their next adventure began before they could even fall asleep, when Ichthus found a letter from a ghost…


Game Night 3/2/11

Picking up from last week, Ichthus and Priest (along with Ichthus’ police dog Gorgeous) were immediately engaged by four vicious zombie dobermans. They were outnumbered and it wasn’t going well for them. Just when they thought it might be the end, they hear gunshots and two of the dogs disappeared in a puff of fur, blood, and bone. Raven and Greensleeves rounded a corner and Raven opened up with her pair of FN Five-SeveNs, neutralizing half of the immediate threat. Priest and Ichthus were able to finish off the other two. Unfortunately, there were eight kennels…

With rapidly approaching barking and snarling in the background, they made their way to the front door and were able to use a found security badge to get in. In the lobby, they were confronted by two undead security guards. Between the five of them, they made short work of the guards, but heard more moaning and shambling in the next room. Had Zinco been dabbling in some sort of voodoo? Were they trying to create some kind of super soldier? Where did all these zombies come from???

Wisely, the team decided to head upstairs rather than deal with the brain-eaters in the next room. They conducted a quick sweep of the second, third, and fourth floors of the facility, hoping to find either Agent Hazel or some evidence of where she might have been. They were able to turn up a few files and notes which mentioned inter-dimensional gateways, but nothing necessarily having anything to do with undead, which deepened their confusion. Had Zinco opened up a portal to some kind of zombie dimension?

They found and dispatched five more of the living dead, this time four company executives and one more guard. Finally, on the top floor of the building, they opened a door and found themselves staring down the barrel of a Glock. Relieved to see fellow BPRD agents, Agent Hazel, still among the living, collapsed into their arms. Agent Hazel briefly explained that the facility had discovered a way to open a portal into another dimension, using a prototype Ragna Rok engine to power the gateway. She was not present at the time the event took place, so she could only guess that something, some malevolent entity, had stepped through the portal and taken control of the facility. Whatever it was, it seemed to have the power to raise the dead to use as mindless slaves. Whatever it was, it was still in the building somewhere.

The team decided that they didn’t want to find this thing. They reasoned that their primary objective was to find and extract Agent Hazel safely, and that whatever this thing was, the cleanup crew could deal with it.

They quickly made their way back down to the main entrance, and upon opening the front door to make their exit, found themselves staring down four more snarling zombie dobermans.

To be continued next week…

The story so far
Two sessions summarized

We’ve only had two rather brief sessions. We’re just getting started on what I hope turns out to be a long and exciting adventure.

The story so far:
Our heroes, green BPRD recruits fresh out of training, are currently the only trained field investigations team on site when an urgent situation comes up. The team, consisting of exorcist Jerome Freeman (codenamed Ichthus), former IRA brawler whose name I don’t know yet (codenamed Greensleeves), and paranormal investigator Paul Roxas (codenamed Priest), finds itself in the briefing room with Dr. Kate Corrigan and an as yet unidentified black haired woman armed with twin pistols and wearing fatigues.

The lady is introduced as Malka Ravenstein (yes, I borrowed the name from ZombieWorld), codenamed Raven, who is to be the team’s point-man. The agents are then briefed on their first mission.

It seems that an undercover agent (codenamed Hazel) has missed her check-in deadline. She was posted at a secret Zinco research facility located in the Santa Monica mountains. Zinco Corporation is believed to be using stolen Project Ragna Rok technology to open doors that are better left closed. Agent Hazel was undercover at the facility to report on their activities, but has failed to make her weekly check-in. The agents are to investigate, and, if necessary, extract Agent Hazel.

Their travel time passes uneventfully, and before long, the agents find themselves on a hill overlooking the facility. A sweep with binoculars reveals nothing unusual. Agents Greensleeves and Raven sneak around the rear of the facility to see if there is a way to sneak in, while Icthus and Priest decide to try the front door.

Ichthus and Priest try sweet-talking their way past the two extremely nervous guards with no success. They do discover that the guards have lost contact with their colleagues inside the fenceline, but are not permitted to enter the facility to investigate. They eventually allow Ichthus and Priest to enter the outer gate to investigate. Inside, they find another gate and another guard shack, this one empty and smeared with blood. They enter the inner courtyard through the guard shack where they are charged by a pack of zombie dobermans…

To be continued next week.


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