Interlude Prior to Season 3
His stomach was rolling along with the pitch and sway of the deck. Jordan kept telling himself to look at the
horizon, but the damn thing kept moving too. He just had to face it; the deck of a freighter, in the North Pacific,
in the fall, just wasn't a good environment for the human gastrointestinal system. Five hundred years of human
progress had done much to advance human sea travel, but even the finest in hover technology couldn't change the
fact that a ten foot swell was a ten foot swell.
The team had transferred from the immanently more stable TNS Houston to this Colombian registered freighter just less than six hours earlier. Jean was on board as well as some guy who calls himself Adam. No last name, just Adam. They were here to debrief them they said, but the only information exchanged so far had been one way. They'd spent the last five hours listening to Kepler justify his actions, followed by one of the most thorough grillings Jordan had ever been witness to. And he'd been involved in some pretty thorough ones himself back on Neravax. The good news was it had illuminated the facts that the team had found themselves investigating every since they were hired by that crazy bastard Kercinkov.
Kepler had spelled it all out in black and white better than Jordan had ever heard it explained before. He outlined; there is a super secret faction within the Orion government called MJ12. They have had dealings with an undocumented external group called the "Greys" for at least the last 50 years. MJ12 has done some "testing" on the unwitting public, presumably with technology provided by these "Greys". One of these experiments involved the dreaming man drug; another was the Morton Bionetics fiasco, which almost killed Elsworth, where they were experimenting with some sort of parasitic external life form. Not to be outdone though, VoidCorp, who went to so much effort to get this team to look into MJ12, had their own little pet freaks. What had Kepler called them? Oh yeah, Gardhyi. The mysterious "Men in Black". With a long coat and a pair of sunglasses they could pass for humans. That made them very dangerous according to Kepler. Externals, drugs and parasites were just the beginning though. Two distinct types of ancient sites had been discovered so far on Terra-Sol. There were the virus spraying cannon types, like they had run into on King William Island and on Borneo. These seemed designed to alter the human species, but in arguably an advantageous manner. From information the team had developed, these sites were somehow tied to the Evening Star asteroid cluster. The second type was the monolith's, like the one the team had just dealt with in Panama. Kepler said they didn't have definitive proof yet, but believed that MJ12's "Greys" were very interested in these sites. Of the two he considered these sites far more insidious. Surprisingly, neither Adam nor Jean was upset with Kepler for his use of the mini-nuke on the site in Panama. They seemed far more interested in how to control the political fallout, and keeping the trail from leading back to them. Kepler summed it up saying, "We've got four distinct groups of aliens, the two who are responsible for what we call the ancient sites. We've never gotten a look at either one of these. There are also the "greys" and the "Gardhyi", both nosing around and infiltrating human culture. The "greys" at least appear to have superior technology, and I think we can assume the same for the "Gardhyi". For what purpose these externals are doing or did any of this, we have no idea."
"Shit", Jordan thought. "That doesn't even include those fucking fish guys we saw in Massachusetts, or the Tikara, who ate their way through Kansas City! Jesus," he thought as he headed out towards the deck, "I need a tube (cigarette)" he thought."
(Here's the second part of the interlude or as I like to call it, "Billy gets nekked." Not a pretty sight.)
Billy felt a knot in the pit of his stomach, and it wasn't from the rocking of this damn ship. He was sitting
in the crew mess, which they'd been using as a conference room, waiting for everyone to get back from the lunch
break Jean had called. The smell of real brewed coffee permeated the air. This Adam guy seemed to go through a
pot of the stuff an hour and the hours were piling up. Hey, that guy never took a pee break during the whole first
session, did he? Shit, that was five hours! DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!! He had to quit thinking about this trivial bullshit.
One question though kept going through his mind. How the hell were any of them going to get out of this alive?
Those MJ12 thugs were after them, and he was sure they'd send in the A team, after that shit Kepler pulled in Panama.
He had no doubts that MJ12 would connect them with that whole abortion. If they went back to KC, they'd be sitting
ducks. Every mother with a baby stroller would look suspicious. Surely Jean realized this! She must have a plan;
she'd never let them down before.
This wasn't doing him any good he thought. He wasn't hungry, he was nervous as a cat, and he still had a half hour before they were scheduled to meet again. Probably take that son-of-a-bitch Adam that long to drain the snake. Billy stood up, stripping off his shirt and shoes he went over to the corner of the room opposite the door. Sitting cross-legged on the floor with his back to the wall, he pulled out the pipe Chris had given him and started to pack it with tobacco.
(Attached is the latest installment. It contains an offer from Jean and the mysterious Adam. If any of your characters elect to decline the offer, let me know. It will mean that your characters are not available to participate in the events of Season Three, but your characters may be able to participate further on in the campaigns future.)
Jesus, Jean looked like shit. At least as much as Jean could look like shit. After all she was still Jean, but
she had dark circles under her eyes, and the look of someone who hadn't slept in two days. Stone knew the feeling,
he'd only gotten a couple of hours himself since they'd left Panama, and those had been dream filled, all about
Zombies and sweat. Where was that Adam bastard? He was ready to get going again, and he really didn't have any
small talk skills. Social interaction had never been his strong point. He looked around the table to distract himself.
The Fox twins were both sitting across from him, blank stares on their faces. That crazy Indian had at least put
his shirt back on, but no one but Jean had attempted conversation, no matter how rudimentary. Nerves were definitely
frayed, and he couldn't remember if he'd taken his medication or not.
When Adam finally returned, Jean cleared her throat and began; "I know you're all worried about what happens next. First I want to be honest with you. If you go back to Kansas City you're dead. It may not happen right away, it may not happen to all of you at once, but it will happen. There'll be a terrible traffic grid accident. Somebody will keel over dead with a rare heart disease, or some deranged killer will blow you away in the line of duty. That doesn't even contemplate the chances that they'll just say to hell with it and send out the first team to introduce you to their 9mm retirement plan." Fixing Stone with a long hard stare she says, "Stone is fully aware of the wetworks assets of these people." She pauses to take a long drink from a water tube. "I'm not trying to scare you here. You're all smart and can add this up for yourselves. All is not hopeless though. I have a proposal for you, but I'll need your answer by the time we dock in Seattle in four hours. You'll only get this offer once. If you turn it down we'll expect that you'll have the good sense to never mention it again. To anyone. Any other course of action by you would double your enemies." Once again she pauses for effect, then stands up to walk around the table and stand behind Adam.
"Adam and I are members of an illegal conspiracy. If our membership were discovered we would be subject to government prosecution as well as face the same sanctions from our friends at MJ12 that you all are facing. Today I'm, no we, are inviting you to join this conspiracy. It won't make you rich, your contributions will never be recognized and you will always be looking over your shoulder for the OSS with an arrest warrant. What you'll gain is the knowledge that you've contributed to the survival of your species."
"By way of explanation let me relate a little history to you. In 2316, between GWI and GWII, the Orion government established an Agency within the OSS, called the Bureau of External affairs. Its clandestine arm was code named Delta Green. The Bureau was charged with "investigating para-normal affairs." Most of these were presumably of external origin, and thus the rational for the Agencies name. The impetus for the creation of the Agency was the 2312 Office of Naval Intelligence raid on Talmoth. Talmoth was a relatively newly settled agrarian world. Investigations had revealed some extremely unusual changes occurring to the population of the world, and alien influence was suspected. After agents investigating the situation disappeared and a naval frigate disappeared without a trace, the President ordered the raid. The raid against the planets main settlement of Innhome, was far more than the Marines, who where the main participants, had anticipated. Three crack marine-ranger companies numbering approximately 740 individuals suffered over 300 casualties when they attempted to occupy the place. The natives, of whom there were no more than a thousand in Innhome, resisted them. Many had become some sort of human/alien hybrid. The incident was quickly hushed up of course, but it caused a lot of consternation among the high mucky-mucks in the government and just four years later The Bureau and Delta Green was born. With the opening of GWII some 30 years latter, The Bureau of External Affairs found some new adversaries among the enemies of Orion. You'll probably remember from your middle school history classes that The Sultanate of Fornalhaut was a religious dictatorship and a VoidCorp ally. This made them part of the Expansion Pentad. The Sultanate shared a border with Orion and suffered badly for it. They were a racist, expansionist and brutal totalitarian regime, which was paranoid and superstitious to boot. They developed a group within their military to study the occult. Sort of a last straw, trying to save their butts. The crazy thing is, they had some success. Not necessarily the kind they thought they were having though. It is our belief that External Aliens answered their unholy prayers, and as such they became quite a headache for us. We still uncover the remnants of the Karotechia today. That's the Sultanate government agency, which was responsible for their occult research. Those were our hay days. We were riding high with official government sanction and were continually looked to, to deal with problems presented by inimical aliens, which crop up a lot more frequently than any of the Stellar governments would like you to believe. But of course there was a fall. After all we wouldn't be part of an illegal conspiracy if there hadn't been a fall would we? Some of you are veterans of Neravax, and that's where Delta Green's problems began. It was apparent to us that the Nariac had picked up some of the Karotechia playbook. As you guys who were on Neravax know, the OSS was ass deep in that little police action. Even though the Bureau was a part of the OSS, there were other sub-agencies within the OSS as well. And as so often happens there is rivalry and animosity between the different parts of the same government bureaucracy. Well the intelligence wing of the OSS found themselves in bed with some very questionable allies in the opinion of Delta Green. Delta Green even began to suspect that certain elements within the OSS were dealing with the aliens. Which you guys have discovered for yourselves is true. Back on Neravax at that time though, a rouge marine colonel affiliated with Delta Green ordered an action against a group that it later became known was an OSS ally. They got pissed off and in the bureaucratic infighting that followed, The Bureau of External Affairs was disbanded and it's functions transferred to the intelligence arm of the OSS. A part of that arm we now know, thanks to your good work, is called MJ12, and they're the bastards dealing with those alien pukes. Some of those who had been affiliated with Delta Green still believed in the work. Many were transferred to other government agencies or even other parts of the OSS. They formed a loose network which still got together to discuss things they found out through their positions relating to their old work. After a time some of them began to take clandestine action on some of the more "pressing" problems. After a time an informal hierarchy emerged. Because of the illegal nature of most of this work it quickly became apparent that it would be necessary to insulate the various components of the organization from each other. If one guy or group were caught and indicted, we didn't want them to be able to take the whole organization down with them. So we reorganized into a cell structure. That's what were asking you to become. A cell of Delta Green."
My Head is Swimming
(You guys need to choose a code name that starts with the letter C.)
Stone looked around the table, each head nodding in turn until it came to him. He paused for a second but nodded
just the same, sure it would spell his doom.
Jean began again after all had consented, but Stone was having trouble following, his mind was in another place, trying to take all the disjointed pieces that were being flung his way and make them fit together. She was telling the team that they would be a cell within Delta Green. They would be cell C, and each of them should think of a common first name that starts with the letter C and let her know before they docked at Seattle. That would be their code name from that time forward. Damn! That was it, if they were a cell what the hell was this Adam guy doing here. Adam, obviously from Cell A, did that mean the first cell? The control cell? Was he the boss? If he was from another cell what was he doing here showing his face? Wouldn't that be exposing one cell to another? Just what you weren't supposed to do in a cell based organization. Jean was talking but Stone found himself staring at Adam. He was the key to if this thing was fracked or not. Maybe it was his heightened senses maybe it was just staring at him for so long, but Stone was sure he saw Adam flicker! He struggled for a moment to figure out what it meant, but it dawned on him all at once. Adam was a hologram! But wait, he had been drinking coffee. So had Stone, so the coffee was real. Maybe he had a hologram being projected over him. God the processing power that would take was incredible. It would have to be an AI, and a good one at that! Jesus, these guys were as Machiavellian as his former employers. It these were the underdogs the opposition must be incredible.
Retendrol if a powerful anti-psychotic. It also tastes like shit if you chew it. But Stone found the taste helped to relax him for some strange reason, and slipped a tab into his mouth and began to chew. He could certainly use some relaxing he thought; right now he was wound up tight enough to fit up a chiggers butt.
Bright Lights, Big Rocket
The docks in Seattle are huge. Rising behind them and disappearing into the hills, is a virtual army of warehouses.
All nondescript, all about ten stories tall, most taking up an entire city block. It was dark when they arrived,
the lights of the city shown brightly but still couldn't seem to illuminate the pervasive darkness of the industrial
area. It wasn't black mind you, just dark. The kind of dark that's like a stain you can't get out of your favorite
white pants. It matched Elsworth's mood. This wasn't how he imagined his life going. First it was Julia, then his
mother, now he was slinking off planet like some common criminal. He'd always wanted to be in law enforcement,
but it was safe to say that since he'd joined the KBI his life really sucked.
A short flight later in the back of a blacked out skyvan found them in a hanger at some nondescript industrial spaceport. Through the partially open hanger door, Elsworth could clearly see an orbital shuttle warming up. It was huge, one of those big industrial jobs. Jean and Adam as well as a couple of pointedly unintroduced workers were busily opening up big octagonal shaped crates. Elsworth recognized the guts of the crates as cryogenic units. So they were leaving as corpseicle's, how appropriate. Jean came over walking just a little to fast; her eyes firmly fixed on the ground. She began talking as fast as she had been walking. "Remember I'll still be your contact. Make sure to check in every month on the secure grid-box address I gave you. The address will change every month, so don't be late. You'll get the new address there the last 10 days of the month, just use the code I gave you. You guys need to do a thorough job on the system surveys. We need to have every bit of information we can get on what's really out their…" There was a long pause, Jeans eyes never left the ground. Elsworth reached out his hand and placed it comfortingly on Jean's shoulder. "I'm not crying, damn it. Just get your ass in the box already." She made a quick pivot and almost ran from the hanger. Elsworth heard a softly mumbled, "Be careful" as she hurried away. He watched her back till she disappeared around the hanger door. Then he turned and slowly made his way towards his crate.
Sergeant Hahn was in a surly mood. The old Dorlinean (a native of Dorlass) had been pushing you hard on zero-g
training and wasn't liking the results. "You fucking sissies are gonna be blowin chow when the bad guys come
to cut your balls off?" Rusty had just lost his lunch in the zero-g sim again. He couldn't get his inner ear
plugs adjusted correctly. Humans had been having trouble with zero-g and nausea since they first left old mother
earth, but Rusty seemed to be having more than his share of problems. He was what the old space dogs here called
a landlubber, but the plugs were supposed to help. If, you could get them adjusted to the right setting that is.
This was proving easier said than done, Rusty was finding out.
Rusty in no better mood than Sergeant Hahn muttered under his breath, "Can't be any more sissy than we are already." The Sergeant displaying his typical radar like hearing, bolted across the ready room, past Stephanie and Billy, to put himself nose to nose with Rusty. In a voice that was almost a growl he asked, "What is your fraggin problem Knuckols? What the hell do you think you're here for? This was just a little too much for Rusty. The whole semi militaristic nature of space camp wasn't at all to his liking, and this bastard getting in his face like some kind of drill sergeant was more than he could put up with. "We're here cause we're fraggin running. MJ12 kicked our pussy little asses, and we're going to run away and hide. Well, I've had enough of this frak. I'd rather go back home and take as many of the fuckers with me as I can." Sergeant Hahn paused for an inordinately long time. You could almost see the pressure building up behind his eyes. Stephanie wondered if his head was going to explode. When he finally spoke again however it was in a low calm voice, but with an edge to it. "So you're running are ya. MJ12 is the big bad bogeyman, and you're a bunch of whipped dogs running with your tails between your legs. What the hell Delta Green sees in you fucks I sure don't. Are you even using your heads?" The Sergeant backing away from Rusty turned to face everyone else in the room. "You goddammed Terrans are some fuckin parochial bastards. You think if it ain't happenin on Terra, it damn well can't be important. Where the hell do you think the Greys come from? Oh, I forgot you're Terrans you must Assume, they came from Terra. Well I got a little grid flash for ya. THEY DIDN'T. They came from out there somewhere"; he says pointing to the roof and presumably out towards deep space. "Until we find the answers out there, humanity ain't even in this game! You're not running from a fight, you're just heading out to kick the ass of the bastard causing all the trouble. Now if you girls are ready to get back to work…"
GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)