Sunday, April 2nd, 2007
Approximately an hour later, Gwendolyn Thorpe (Tammy), Tim Carson (SteveR), James Black (Doug), Dr. Jennifer Dorchester, Alexander Valentine, Denby, Kirby, Johnson, and two other SAS soldiers set out for the Anomaly. As they travel, Denby talks to Gwen and tells her his views on Tim, whom he considers an incompetent scientist.
An hour later, the group of characters arrive at the site of the Anomaly. Jennifer sees blood everywhere, and Gwen finds the tracks of what appear to be the creatures in the area - lots of tracks. Denby assigns his soldiers in groups of two to do some recce. Jimmy finds and tears a stout branch off a tree for use as a weapon. Tim goes up to the Anomaly, and takes some readings using "Helen" (his magnetometer). He finds a magnetic wave pattern, and notices that the Anomaly is the same size as the others they've encountered - and not overly large.
Jennifer and Gwen return to Denby, and tell the SAS man that they are definitely dinofelis tracks, Gwen adding that there appear to be around five (5) of them, and they are larger than the creatures they encountered before. Denby asks where the Gigantopithecus Blacki is. Gwen checks the area, but there are no large prints to be found. Jennifer says that the G. Blacki didn't come through the Anomaly, but perhaps it came through a previous Anomaly, or even perhaps through a *different* Anomaly. She talks about the myths and legends that pertain to yeti and the like, as well as the myths about trolls and troll bridges. Tim offers up a comment about the size of the Gigantopithecus and the Anomaly size differences, but Jennifer points out there's no way to figure out a correlation. He needs to analyse the data. Tim says he has no idea what the data will tell him, or how to close the time portal he needs to be to take the readings.
Denby asks them if they know what happened to the missing SAS soldiers' bodies. His two groups of soldiers return, no wiser on the matter. Denby has Gwen determine whether MacKenzie and the other two SAS soldiers were bodily dragged through the Anomaly, and the evidence indicates they were. He wants to pursue them, but Jennifer says that the time portal leads to the Pleistocene, a dangerous time, and that they could potentially change history. The rest of the characters defer to Jennifer, and Gwen believes they have to concentrate on the Dinofelis cats, then the Gigantopithecus Blacki, and hopefully no one else will die.
Note: The rest of this journal entry is told from the notes written by Tammy Powers, and her character Gwendolyn Thorpe.
The player characters and the SAS soldiers start tracking the Dinofelis, Gwen and one of the soldiers leading the way. They unexpectedly come upon the cats, and the savage battle between the player characters/SAS soldiers against the giant cats begins. Johnson is attacked by a cat, but Gwen comes up with an idea, and uses an air horn [at a cost of 2 Story Points to have it], causing one cat to flee, but the cat attacking Johnson turns towards her and snarls. Johnson kills the cat that had gone down earlier. Another dinofelis jumps out at Johnson and Gwen. Johnson is killed by the giant cat, and Gwen takes a blow to the head that leaves her ears ringing. Kirby gives as good as she gets, but is eviscerated by one of the great cats as well.
The dinofelis fighting Jimmy flees as well, after he injures it, but another takes its place and guts Jimmy. The dinofelis that killed Kirby is shot dead by another of the SAS soldiers, Danvers. With three of the Dinofelis left, Gwen and Jennifer notice that the Anomaly is starting to pulse.
She is so distracted that Gwen doesn't notice as one of the giant cats lunges at her. There is an ape-like shriek, and the dinofelis is slapped away by a massive ape-like hand. Gwen and Alex are paralysed with fear, as are Jennifer and Tim. While Denby is all right, despite some injuries, another of the SAS soldiers is paralysed with fear as well. The giant ape-like creature screams once more, intimidating the dinofelis, and the large cats make a last ditch effort to run into the Anomaly.
Gwen, Tim, Jennifer, and Alex recover their senses, and Denby says that he's never seen anything like the creature before. The Gigantopithecus Blacki actually blends into the background, and is only seen when it wants to be. He says he now knows why the legends of bigfoot and sasquatch still persist. That said, he doesn't know why the creature saved Gwen, but she says that she's glad it did! They notice that all the dinofelis have managed to escape through the Anomaly, except for the cat struck by the giant ape-like creature. Gwen looks around and sees a kit limping towards the pulsating Anomaly; she realises the portal will close before it reaches it. She sprints towards it and scoops it up, almost tripping if not for Tim's shouted warning, though she stumbles over another root, tossing the kit through the Anomaly just before it implodes on itself and vanishes without a trace. She begs the question of whether it made it through the Anomaly in time, and collapses to the ground in relief when she learns that she was successful.
Some two days later (April 4th), the player characters are sitting around a conference table at the Home Office facing Franklin Cartwright. He offers Alex some kudos for the cover story - an April Fool's joke gone totally wrong. The story has not only enhanced the myth and legend of the Nottingham troll, but Kensington Tours has added two addition tours to their schedule. They offered Gwen a salary increase, but she turned them down to take the job with the Home Office. Part of it may have had to do with the fact that Caroline Spencer blames her for the "accident", and is not returning any calls, though Gwen learns that Dave Hargrove is currently under psychiatric care. The reporter, Daniel Hayden, is still a problem. He knows too much. During the course of the earlier debriefing, Tim told Cartwright and the others about Hayden's predictions about Jimmy's death. An additional problem is Derek Hobson - they're not sure about him, and he seems to have gone missing.
There's a sharp rap on the door, and Sir James Lester enters the conference room. He tells them that he heads up the Home Office Anomaly project and department. He discusses forming a second team, and tells them that it will include a salary. The others all have good reasons for joining the team, and Gwen thinks that it's an amazing opportunity to see the myths and legends come to life. Lester tells them, when asked, that there's no hazard pay. Their job, based on the mandate placed on the Home Office project by Professor Nick Cutter (who heads up the main team) is to try and return the creatures back to their proper time periods. The SAS soldiers assigned to them will be there to protect them - not the creatures. He informs them that Dr. Martindale will be assigned to them part-time. He also informs them that Professor Cutter and Abby Maitland are thinking of some form of containment and holding for the animals and creatures that they can't return home. Finally, Lester informs them that Franklin Cartwright will be in charge of them, but that he answers to Lester. The group is assigned lockers downstairs, and then get a tour of the Home Office facilities.
The characters also learn that Corporal Denby has been promoted to Sergeant after his work in the field with the player characters. Denby is now under the command of Captain Nathaniel Price, a crisp by-the-book man who is a stickler for the rules. After Price is introduced to the characters, he leaves.
When she gets a chance, Gwen looks up the files that are available on Helen Cutter. She learns that she had gone through an Anomaly eight years (!) ago, but that she's also come back. Tim confides that he thinks he saw Helen Cutter in the commissary, but shrugs this off as his imagination playing tricks.
The afternoon gaming session of the Sunday group (if two can be called a "group") went...well. Not great, but well. spross and Tammy wrapped up their fourth Primeval RPG scenario, and I'm actually glad that it's over. The scenario was one or two sessions longer than it should have been, as all of the sub-plot that I set up with Douglas (who has left the group) went to waste, and a couple of other sequences went way too long. The scenario ended on a relatively positive note, spoiled only by a couple of things during the handing out Experience Points bit at the very end. I was able to put a final stamp on James "Jimmy" Black, Douglas's character, as he died during the final, climactic fight scene with the creatures near the end of the adventure.