Session Date: 13 September 2012
Players: Brad, Braon, Lenora, Lex, TJ
Location: Atlanta (TRU Echo Safehouse)
Game Date: 25 September 2011
- After returning to Atlanta from their most recent mission, TRU Echo takes a few days of rest and relaxation. They meet back up in a safehouse Adrian used in her former life. The safehouse is in Atlanta, not far from the Department of Homeland Security field office, where the secret Department B office is located. However, the members of TRU Echo agreed not to reveal the location of the safehouse to Department B.
- The group gathers to discuss their next course of action. They have begun to suspect Agent Dolos – their new agent in charge at Department B – may not be trustworthy. During their most recent mission, the idea of investigating Dolos was even raised.
- Adrian is interested in investigating the disappearance of her brother, Andrew, especially in light of the unusual recent contact by their former handler, Shepherd.
- Christine Roberts, an intelligence officer who previously served with IARPA, has agreed to stay with TRU Echo and live in the safehouse for the immediate future. Christine has been helpful in the group’s search for clues about the Basement, and she has valuable contacts in the CIA and FBI.
- The group has also discussed going out on their own to see if they can learn more about the Basement and what happened to Shepherd.
- As the group discusses their options, the Atlanta Falcons game is on in the background. The Falcons are struggling in Tampa Bay. The roar of the crowd during a big play draws the attention of the group to the TV. Suddenly the video and audio feeds fade to static. A familiar voice breaks into the static:
- Adrian, it’s Shepherd. Need static find out about Andrew static trouble static Starbucks on Camp Creek static contact static
- The group instantly recognizes the reference as a Starbucks only minutes from the safehouse and the Department B office. Martin toys around with the idea of checking out the TV for a few minutes, but then quickly changes his mind and joins the group as they leave for Starbucks.
- The group staggers their arrival. Lincoln gets out of the car early, walks the last quarter mile to Starbucks, and takes up a position outside where he can monitor everyone who comes and goes.
- Adrian and Christine go in first, grab a couple drinks and then sit down together. Martin, Jack, and Hawkeye all go in separately. Each member of the group is alert, and studies the Starbucks employees and the patrons. The staff are all young adults, dressed in eclectic clothes and sporting the latest teen fashions. At one table, a group of teenagers is playing Magic: the Gathering. Elsewhere, a young mother struggles keeping her two children from destroying the place, a group of business men are gathered around a table studying some architectural drawings, and an elderly man sips his coffee.
- After ordering his drink, Jack takes up a spot near the cream and sugar stand. When a young, attractive woman orders her drink and then walks near Jack, Jack tries to strike up a conversation. The woman is immediately put off and makes a huge production about how she is being sexually harassed and how it is impossible for her to go anywhere without being bothered. Hawkeye quickly joins the conversation, plays the role of defender and quickly wins the woman’s interest. As soon as the woman shows interest, Hawkeye turns the table, telling the woman that he is married and that he didn’t appreciate her advances. The woman storms out.
- Lincoln watches as the woman angrily storms out of the Starbucks, slams the door to her car, and speeds off. He wonders what has her so wound up.
- Jack and Hawkeye take their coffee and sat outside, while Christine, Adrian, and Martin stay inside.
- A few minutes later, Lincoln, Jack, and Hawkeye all notice a delivery truck pull up. It appears to be a UPS truck, except Jack notices the detailing is a little off – as if it was a UPS before, the detailing was removed, and then reapplied.
- The UPS, a young, thin, pale woman with wispy brown hair and a pimply face, walks inside, goes to the counter, and asks the Starbucks employees if they known a woman named “Adrian Ashe.” The employees shrug, but then the UPS driver looks around the Starbucks, and her eyes settle on Adrian. The young girl walks over and asks Adrian, “Excuse me, are you Adrian Ashe?” In the girl’s hand is a standard priority-style envelope.
- On guard, but a little confused, Adrian responds “Yes.” The UPS girl hands over the envelope and immediately leaves. Adrian quickly scans the envelope. It’s addressed to Adrian Ashe, 3507 Camp Creek Parkway, Atlanta, GA; however, there is no return address label.
- Adrian moves to the door, trying to catch the woman as fast as possible without running to alert the other patrons.
- The other members of TRU Echo notice what’s going on and all go on the alert.
- When Adrian gets to the door she’s only a few feet behind the UPS girl. Adrian calls out, “Hey wait.” In response, the UPS girl breaks into a run.
- Adrian and Lincoln give chase on foot, Hawkeye and Jack run for their SUV to drive after the woman, Martin moves to leave the Starbucks but makes sure to scan the crowd to gauge everyone’s reaction, and Christine is surprised for a moment – not sure what to do.
- Adrian is the first to catch the girl. Adrian tries to grab her, but the girl expertly deflects the grapple; it is clear to Adrian that the UPS girl is an extremely well trained physical combatant. Lincoln arrives a moment later, and he too is unsuccessful in pinning the woman. People in Starbucks are staring at the scene, not sure what to make of it. From their viewpoint, it seems as if the UPS girl is being attacked. Martin considers the crowd for a moment, but moves up to help his friends. Christine follows.
- A moment later, Hawkeye and Jack pull up in the SUV. Adrian pulls off one her her stiletto heels and uses it as an improvised weapon, trying anything to slow the woman down. The UPS girl realizes she’s surrounded, pulls out something tiny from her pocket, and swallows it. Realizing that she’s probably trying to kill herself, the group gets desperate. Finally, Jack jumps out of the SUV, successfully grapples with the woman using his cain, and – with the help of the other members of the group – pulls her into the SUV.
- Hawkeye speeds off. The UPS girl is foaming at the mouth and convulsing, while Jack works furiously to stop her from dying. Just a few seconds later, as the group is pulling away from the Starbucks, Adrian finally opens the envelope. Inside is a manilla folder with a typed label on the tab that says, “Initial Contact.” Inside the folder is a single yellow sticky with a handwritten note. The note reads, “*BOMB*”
- As if on queue, the fake UPS truck suddenly explodes, sending shrapnel and debris everywhere. Hawkeye turns the SUV around, drives back to the explosion, and he and Lincoln get out to inspect the damage. The rest of the group heads back to their safehouse with the UPS girl.
- A quick inspection of the explosion reveals the facade of the Starbucks was damaged, but no one was seriously injured. The UPS truck is a mess, but inside, under the wreckage of what was apparently the bomb, is a case. Hawkeye grabs the case, and starts out on foot back to the safehouse.
- Meanwhile, Lincoln waits for the police to arrive, hoping to misdirect their attention away from the group. He concocts a story about the UPS girl announcing that she had a bomb, and a group of civilians moving to stop her. The police officer – an officer that recognizes Lincoln through their shared contacts – seems little suspicious of the story, but doesn’t push the issue too much with Lincoln, apparently torn between Lincoln’s reputation and his suspicious recount of what happened. The officer does tell Lincoln he’ll probably be back in touch.
- Eventually the entire group rendezvous back at the safehouse. Jack has worked furiously to keep the girl alive. After the convulsions, the woman’s physical appearance mutates and transforms into a human-Basement hybrid creature. She has the general appearance of a human, but with stark white skin, slits for her mouth and eyes, small openings for her nose and ears, and elongated hands and feet. Based on what the group knows about the Basement, Jack wonders if the hybrid’s physiology would respond to electromagnetic or perhaps nuclear stimuli. The girl is barely alive and fading fast, so the group comes up with a desperate plan. They expose her to the radiated ash from the monster they defeated at the McLeod family lakehouse, and then put the woman in the radiation proof suit they recovered from one of the Ming-fu agents. Jacks listens carefully and believes he can hear a faint heartbeat.
- With that settled, the group turns its attention to the case Lincoln and Hawkeye recovered from the destroyed UPS van. Inside, they find seven folders. Five of the folders have the characters’ full names on them. Inside is a dossier on each character. The dossier contains their full name, code names, places and dates of birth, family members, and photos, to include some images from recent missions.
- One folder is labeled Andrew Ashe and has this file:
- The last folder is labeled A Friendly Message. Inside the folder is a handwritten note: Sometimes those who you believe to be enemies are your closest friends, and those who you believe to be friends are the true enemy