Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
[In flashback] David Bannister (Nick) and Christine Foster have an extended discussion about where their relationship is going. They both admit to loving each other, but she doesn't want to deal with their relationship worrying about whether he's being eaten by a dinosaur. She says that since he's decided to work for the Home Office, she's going to join him and become part of the team. He's worried about this. Cut To: David and Christine sitting with Archibald Lowrie, the team's handler at the Home Office. He agrees to allow Foster to become part of Operation Anomaly, but says that they won't be able to work together. She is somewhat...surprised at this, but tells him she won't go back on this decision. David is non-plussed about the matter.
Amanda Tarrascon (Kathy) starts to settle in at her new digs at the Home Office. While she doesn't have a decent lab, she's pleased that Kathy Blaine has accompanied her, and is now her research assistant. The two are talking about the state of the art equipment they have for use. The relationship is somewhat strained between the two, for reasons that are unclear.
Captain Alexander Taylor (Tom) is in the Home Office training grounds, and extremely frustrated. A group of five new recruits for the SAS squads assigned to Project Anomaly are proving too raw, too young for their training. He berates two of them, Matthews and Oxtend, and is grateful that Hennessy will be taking over for the next few days.
Jenny Hansford (Joanne) is considering changing her hair style and colour, as she's been feeling conspicuous of late in her new duties as computer geek for Project Anomaly. Charlie Harris, who's been living with her (and off her) for several months, tells her that he thinks she's mad to change her look. Dana James, one of Jenny's best friends from the old computer shoppe, comes by to pay her a visit. She's a bit surprised at her decision to change hair colour and style (she was cutting edge), but become even more suspicious when she won't tell them what her new job is. The two begin to rib her about a love interest.
At the offices of BBC3, Jessica Ransome (Angela) pays a visit to David Ford, the head of news programming. She tells him that she's giving him notice that she's quitting her job. Ford is shocked, given the raise he gave her less than two months ago to go along with her new job and title, but Jessica says that she's gotten a better offer. Seeing she's adamant about matters, Ford wishes her well.
Harrison Williams (David) leaves Tammy Dobson's house, and heads home. After cleaning himself up, Harrison heads to the offices of Kensington Tours. He's told that two of the tours he was scheduled to head up have been cancelled due to poor sales (there's a recession on, after all), but isn't all that deterred. Joanne Harper, the Kensington Tours field coordinator, tells him to cheer up. There will be a job for him soon enough.
Each of the player characters receives a call or is told that Archibald Lowrie wants to see them as soon as possible. There's a possible Anomaly that may have opened. Once the player characters are all assembled, Lowrie congratulates Amanda, Harrison, and Jenny on their recent "to-do" at the London Zoo. Amanda asks how Olivia Hamilton (Ellie) is, and Lowrie says they're continuing to keep an eye on her. David, Alexander, and Jenny want to know more, but Harrison says they'll tell them what happened later. Once the pleasantries are out of the way, Lowrie gets down to business.
It seems that an Anomaly may have opened in the small community of Westbury. Some Home Office contacts have informed them that a child in Westbury may have been attacked by a "monster". Lowrie shows them an article in the Westbury Herald from two days ago. The characters glean that a young boy, Wally Trainor, was attacked and bitten by some sort of "monster" while he was playing in the family's back yard. The newspaper report doesn't describe the monster, but the photo of the boy's injuries would indicate some sort of wild animal attack. Amanda comments that the wounds look "odd", but she's not sure how as it's difficult to tell from the grainy newspaper photo. That clinches it for Lowrie. He tells the characters to get their gear together, and head for Westbury in the heart of England.
The player characters make the arrangements that they need to make, and the group heads for the wilds of middle England. Jessica has consulted with Archibald Lowrie, and has concocted the cover story and IDs and documents that they are from Animal Control, sent to investigate the possibility of wild animal attacks. Captain Alexander Taylor is put in charge of a group of men, and he takes half a squad with him (just in case). "I don't need more men than this, I'm perfectly capable of handling it myself, but just in case..." he reassures the other player characters. Jessica and Jenny do a bit of research before they set out, and learn of the legends of the "Westbury Monster", with the highlights of events surrounding the creature(s) in 1912, 1963, 1964, and 1997. Jenny comments to the others that Westbury Wood is quite large; this could be like searching for a needle in a haystack. The characters also learn of a corporation called GCL that deals in experimenting with foodstuffs and new agricultural products, and that they have a small experimental farm near the village.
The player characters and the SAS soldiers roll into Westbury in the two black and white 4x4s, attracting the attention of the villagers almost immediately. Amanda and Jenny are not pleased about this, but Jessica says it was to be expected due to military intelligence. All part of the plan, she hopes. Near the entrance road to the village proper, David spots the flashing blue lights of an ambulance; it is parked outside a small house on the edge of the forest. Jessica orders that the vehicles stop, as they need to investigate.
Jessica learns from the police officers present that the young boy of the house, Henry Smith, has been injured by a wild animal. A paramedic is with him now. David says he's a medical expert on animal bites, and the officers let him go inside based on the false ID. Amanda joins him, as she's something of an animal expert herself. Jessica says that she'll go inside as well, and exerting her authority over the local constabulary, tells the others to go about their business, while suggesting that Harrison and Alexander take a look around and see what they can find. Alexander tells Hennessy to keep the SAS men near the vehicles, while he and Harrison look around the exterior of the house and the edge of the forest.
Inside the house, David has convinced the paramedic to let him look at the boy's injuries, just in case. Henry's wound is a bad bruise mostly, but there are two sets of puncture marks at the side caused by flat teeth, similar to those used for grinding up plants. A duck-billed herbivorous dinosaur with flat teeth, Amanda suggests to David quietly.
Outside, Harrison and Alexander conduct a quiet search of the area around the house. They find tracks in the garden at the back of the house that suggest an ornithopod dinosaur weighing around 40 kilos. Harrison notices that some of the garden plants have been eaten, including some odd, purple-tinged ferns that he doesn't immediately recognise. Just as they start to turn back and head into the back entrance of the house, there is a rustling of the bushes, and a dark, tawny creature launches itself at them!
I spent a good evening with the Friday night gaming group, continuing to run the Primeval RPG. I went out to the West End of Ottawa to play, and had a good time chatting over pizza with the gamers before we got into it.
The game session went pretty well. I had decided that I would finally run the adventure out of the Primeval RPG rulebook on the group, and while they recognised the adventure, it was fun watching the players go through it in a campaign setting. The players had a good time, and Kathy commented at the end of the session that this was most relaxed she's seen me since at least three months of gaming. I guess it's amazing what exercising one's dinosaurs can do for the spirit and the soul! :) I stopped the game session around 11:45 pm, as I was just too exhausted. And I still had to drive back to the house. Still, it was a fun game session, and I think most of the Friday night crew was glad to break up somewhat early.
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to next Friday's game session. :)