Campaign Log – Session Four

Real date: 27 June 2009

Game date: 18-24 April 2112

On the morning of April 18th the 9th Squad is given their next case by Captain Alexander. Over the past month there have been a series of disappearances and murders in the Beta Sector that, due to their unusual nature, are believed to be entity related. Normally simple serial kidnappings and murders would be handled by the APD, but in this case each victim was drained of blood by unknown means. Thus far there have been five incidents involving; a volunteer fireman, a local food bank operator, a teacher, a street missionary, and most recently a local APD officer.

The APD has been unable to correlate the crimes to any single suspect or gang activity and with the murder of one of their own they have finally gotten desperate enough to ask for aid from XSWAT. In fact murder of APD Officer Nicholas Lamakowski occurred last night and the crime scene is currently active. The 9th Squad is told to head for the crime scene immediately before the APD cleans up the any evidence. They’re APD contact on the scene will be Lt. Ray Marlow.

At the crime scene the 9th Squad introduces themselves and treats the APD officers as politely as possible since they realize the local police are likely to be resentful of their taking over the case. The fact that the victim is an APD officer only makes the situation more delicate. Fortunately Officer Rachel O’Shea does most of the talking and her manor puts the APD as much as ease as can be hoped for.

The body of Officer Lamakowski is in a metal storage shed in the modest backyard of a residence. The occupants of the home have already talked to the APD and claim not to have seen and heard anything. The corpse is surrounded by a pool of blood and the bare footprint of child is evident by the door of the shed. Shilo and Rachel enter the shed to study the crime scene since they are the two most adept in the fields of criminology and forensic medicine. The body has been drained of blood, though a lot of it was spilled as well, but there are no obvious wounds on the body. It is as if the body was drained of blood through the pours or other orifices. Mirko also enters the shed in an effort to detect any magical traces. A quick study of the dimensions and shape of the footprint leads the team to believe that it was left by a young girl no more than ten years of age.

Meanwhile Sergeant Thomas remains outside talking with Lt. Marlow and some of the other APD officers to gather as much background information on the crimes as he can. Officer Thanatos studies the surrounding yard seeing if he can sense any traces of an entity’s passing.

The officers inside the shed become aware that a section of the wall of the shed has started to bleed! It is not much, only a few small rivulets, but it is certainly blood. Officer Mokushi gathers a few drops in a specimen bottle for later analysis. As the group watches the area of the wall that bleeds seems to shift slowly first it is a section of the north wall, it moves to the east wall and finally to the south wall. With a little investigation they discover that the area of bleeding wall corresponds to where Rhonin is outside and close to the wall. Rachel has Rhonin come inside the shed and upon his entry all of the interior walls begin to bleed. This is a matter of concern for Rachel and an embarrassment for Rhonin.

Mirko creates a magical circle inside the shed and surrounding body so he can carry out a ceremonial spell allowing him to contact the spirit of the Officer Lamakowski. He manages to contact the spirit but is able to glean little more information that what they already suspect. Officer Lamakowski thought he was aiding a young, homeless-looking child in her effort to hide from attackers but once within the shed the child turned out to be something horribly different. As a courtesy Mirko offers to pass on any last messages that the dead man has for his family and then accompanies Lt. Marlow to inform the family of the deceased.

After the initial investigation the remaining members of the 9th Squad spread out to canvass the neighborhood. Among the things they will be asking about are any homeless or unescorted little girls that have been seen in the area lately. Ultimately it is Rachel who finds out that a homeless girl had been seen following around the owner of a local food bank (one of the previous victims).

Mirko decides to call his Grandma Lilly, fishing for suggestions about what sort of entity they might be dealing with. The rest of the group brainstorms in an effort to deduce what they can about the MO of the entity. They know that each victim was a morally upstanding male in his thirties. The interval between attacks has been six days in each case. Plotting out the crimes on a map they realize that the five crime scenes are perfectly aligned to be the points of a pentagram (five-pointed star). A residential area that is slated for renovation, and therefore currently unoccupied, lies in the center.

The squad members all feel that the center (the residential block) is the most likely hiding spot for the entity, but they decide that the other crime scenes should be checked out first to see if any additional information can be gained.

The squad splits up to re-examine the previous crime scenes since they feel that there will be little danger. Inspecting the other crime scenes the squad members note that in each case the victim was slain while in an area that provided cover. Apparently the entity chooses to carry out the murders when it believes it is concealed from the eyes of witnesses. It is noted that the presence of Rhonin makes the walls bleed at the crime scenes he visits, which causes more concern for Rachel.

They get a break of sorts when Sergeant Thomas, Officer Thanatos and Officer O’Shea visit the crime scene at which the missionary’s body was found. The street preacher was found in a dumpster in an ally just off of a main street. Rhonin’s presence causes the usual blood to seep from the walls of the trash receptacle. Of more interest is a security camera for a pawn shop that Rachel notices at the end of the alley and across the street. They go over the digital recordings of this camera and, after a few hours work, manage to find a recording of the missionary.

The victim is seen late at night running in to the field of view. He abruptly stops upon arriving at the intersection with the ally and seems to be talking downward to a shorter person who is not visible. He then seems to panic, stoop to pickup an unseen burden and then run down the alley to the dumpster. He then sets down his imaginary burden, opens the lid, assists an unseen small person into the dumpster, jumps in himself and closes the lid. He never emerges and was presumably slain shortly thereafter.

- - -

The next morning (April 19th), the squad heads out to search the deserted residential area to search for the possible lair of the entity. Knowing that a spinner would draw attention the squad decides to walk into the area and search it house by house if needed. They wear their uniforms since the area is deserted and stealth rather than anonymity is their goal.

The search for the entity here bears little fruit. The sensitive members of the squad reach a consensus that this is indeed the home of an entity but that it isn’t home right now. Unfortunately the squad does draw the attention of a street gang (calling themselves the Street Demons) who consider this deserted area to be their turf. The gang does not take kindly to the coppers snooping around in their territory and a confrontation takes place.

After a few threats fail to cow the XSWAT squad the street gang attacks. The five XSWAT officers are out-numbered at least four to one by gun wielding, but unarmored and unskilled attackers. Several of the squad members carry weapons other than Masers so they are able to fight back without much fear of violating regulations. Fortunately only a few of the, mostly teenage, punks are injured before Mirko ends the fight with a single spell.

Calling forth a column of fire and levitating in the midst of the firestorm Mirko’s voice seems to echo throughout the empty buildings like some fire deity that has been aroused. “Foolish younglings! You are naught to us but fodder for the body bags. I despise the paperwork your deaths would bring. Force me to unleash my arcane might at your peril. Surrender or prepare for the afterlife.”

The spell boosted PRE attack has its desired effect. Those who can run… Those who can’t cower in fear… The squad holds the captured thugs for the APD to pickup. No one is killed or seriously injured.

The squad now realizes that if they are to end the spree of this entity their best bet is to set a trap. They know when the next attack will likely take place. The mystical and occult knowledge of the squad has led them to believe they know the approximate location that the next attack will occur as well. They even have suitable bait since Sergeant Thomas is about the right profile (male, age, morally correct). The squad spends the next four days waiting for the day of the next attack.

Late on the night of April 24th, the trap is set. Sergeant Thomas wears plain clothes though underneath his generic rain slicker he has a pair of Maser pistols concealed. He loiters around a bus stop on an empty street corner. The rest of the 9th Squad is hidden inside a closed up store where they have a clear view of their sergeant. As the hour nears midnight things start to happen.

JT sees a small girl running up to him as Maser fire strikes the ground around her. The shooting seems to be coming from the direction of his hidden companions. The girl cries out to him, “Help me mister the bad men are after me.” JT realizes that this is what he has been waiting for and that in all likelihood he is the only one seeing the girl or the incoming maser shots, but he plays along to keep from blowing the operation. JT scoops up the girl and starts to run across the street to an alleyway, all the while hoping that the remainder of the squad will be on his heels and ready to act once the creature reveals itself.  

The rest of the squad sees JT suddenly react to a phantom and then he seemingly picks up someone who isn’t there and runs across the street and down the alleyway. The other squad members pour out of the closed shop in pursuit. It is apparent to Rhonin that something is there that he can’t see. At the same time Rachel is sure that a point of evil is clearly here and in close proximity to Sergeant Thomas.

The chase leads them to a rear entrance of a small local grocer. When they open the door they see JT with a small girl standing on the ground beside him. The girl looks at the group entering and stares directly at Rhonin and says in a coldly serious voice, “how thoughtful you brought some more to share.”

Mirko hesitates for fear that this could be an innocent girl possessed by some foul entity and his first action is to cast a spell to discern just for certain what they are up against. Soon there is no doubt that despite the appearance this is an entity.

The battle rages in the close confines of the back room of the grocer. By the time it is ended Rhonin is pale from blood loss for when the girl grasped him a ghastly amount of blood simply oozed from his skin. Rachel is worse off since the girl’s fingers at one point grew into long thin spears and several pierced her armor and all. Rachel will be in the hospital for some time.

The entity is slain but to show for it there is merely the small horribly abused looking corpse of an eight year old girl. It is very unsettling but Mirko assures them it is not really a human, it was something akin to a homunculus. Later examination in the XSWAT labs will reveal a simple lump of flesh that was devoid of internal organs and indeed was something that could not possibly have been alive except through supernatural means.

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