Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
The adventure begins with the player characters sitting at a conference table in the Project Anomaly section of the Home Office. It's the monthly meeting as the last couple of weeks have seen no Anomalies on the rise, and the characters have some more orientation. Captain Alexander Taylor (Tom) is wrapping matters up telling the others and their superior, Archibald Lowrie, that Jenny Hansford (Joanne) has completed her pistol and rifle training [she's spent some of her Experience Points to gain the Marksman skill]. The others are a bit surprised to learn of this, notably Amanda Tarrascon (Kathy), but Jenny tells them that she's felt that she really needed to do this, given some of the animals she's faced recently that have left her frightened out of her wits; this gives her back a little control, she hopes.
As the meeting comes to a close and the player characters are about to leave, Sally Waters, one of Lowrie's aides, comes into the conference room and hands him a newspaper. Lowrie looks at the headline, and tells the character they may have a new job to deal with after all. Taking the newspaper, Jessica Ransome (Angela) reads the article quickly and then summarises it for the rest of the player characters. It seems that an abandoned construction site has had some mysterious vandalism, but of more importance, several workmen who were cleaning away some of the equipment and tools that can be used at other construction sites have gone missing. Last night, a hobo by the name of Hairy Jack (Randall) swore he saw some sort of creature in the abandoned site, and that it attacked him with its claws. The description by Hairy Jack gives Harrison Williams (David) and Amanda very little to go on. With very little else to go on other than instinct, Lowrie tells the characters that he's sending them to investigate.
While Jenny does some more research on the construction company, Adelaide Construction Inc., and its site, Jessica goes about setting up the characters' cover - they're going to be part of Animal Control, a team that handles abandoned locations and the like. Meanwhile, Captain Taylor decides to take only three SAS soldiers with him - Hennessy, and two rookies who need some field experience, Matthews and Oxtend, who've become a bit better since the period when they first joined the squad at the Home Office and frustrated Alexander completely. The player characters and the squaddies set off for the Adelaide Construction site once they've kitted themselves out.
Arriving on the scene of the attacks, the characters find a highly dilapidated construction site, only rising up three stories with lots of loose girders in place, much trash lying around, and several vehicles that haven't yet been taken off the site. Jenny says she's not surprised, given that Adelaide has a reputation as being a lax company and doesn't have a very good safety record with the construction workers' union. Alexander tells Hennessy and the the other two soldiers to fan out around the perimeter of the construction site, and do their best to keep people out; he also asks them to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. Matthews asks how they're supposed to guard the entire construction site, but Alexander snaps they're to do their jobs as best they can. Hennessy apologises for Matthews and takes charge of them, moving off while berating the rookie soldier somewhat.
Alex tells the player characters that Matthews is a good soldier and will make a fine addition to the Home Office squad, but he's a bit green around the edges. Taking the lead, Alex moves off into the construction site along with Harrison, followed cautiously by the rest of the characters. They immediately come upon a small group of workmen, led by the foreman James Morrow. The construction workers are surprised to see the player characters, but Jessica works her magic and Morrow and the other workers from Adelaide accept their story about wild animals on the loose. David Bannister (Nick) sees that one of the workers has nasty gouge marks on his right arm, and asks him about them. The worker, Johnson, tells him that he was attacked at the site about two weeks ago while working an early evening shift cleaning out some of the bins near the main structure that was being built here - an office building. Amanda comes over and looks at the wounds. She asks him a few questions, and when the man moves off, she confers with David and Harrison. The marks were made by a tri-clawed limb, and the size of the marks indicates two to four centimetre claws, and a relatively strong creature.
Once the Adelaide construction workers leave the site, Alexander says they need to find the creature, and fast. As the characters start to move off deeper into the construction site, they are confronted with a group of irate citizens. Led by one Angus McMillan, the citizens want to know what's going on (the truth, really!) and why it's taken Animal Control so long to get to the matter, when several complaints have been raised, but now with the missing workmen. Jessica and Jenny talk to them, and are able to assuage their concerns, but Angus feels that there aren't enough of their "security men" to adequately deal with the menace of the creature that has been lurking thereabouts. Once more, Jessica works her PR magic and with the help of Amanda and Harrison reassures the civilians (who all live in the area) that the matter will be dealt with as soon as possible. Mollified, the citizens leave.
Once the player characters are able to get rid of the citizens and they depart, Alexander splits the characters up into three teams. Amanda and Jenny head for the rusty machinery and equipment sheds. Jessica and Alexander make for the main construction site itself. And finally, Harrison and David head to investigate the rubbish bins and some of the less savoury parts of the Adelaide construction site.
Harrison immediately spots a set of animal prints, and radios the information to Alexander. The latter tells him to be cautious, of which the tour guide reassures him that he will. Making their way close to the rubbish bins, the two find the animal scent much stronger in the area. As David does a bit of rooting around (taking as many sanitary measures as he can), they both hear a snuffling and snorting sound. Before either of them can react, they are both charged by what seems to be a very large boar! Barely managing to dodge out of the way, the two are somewhat stunned as the creature races away from them.
The charging boar lunges for Alexander and Jessica. At Jessica's suggestion, rather than firing his rifle at the boar, Alexander throws a piece of metal sheeting at the boar, stunning it for a short period of time, and then he is able to club it into unconsciousness as the somewhat dishevelled Harrison and David arrive on the scene, followed closely by Amanda and Jenny. Amanda cautiously examines the boar, and decides that it's an escapee from either a zoo or laboratory that has gone feral once more... but she, Harrison, and David conclude the same thing at the same time: This isn't the creature that injured the worker and that's been attacking people. So there's something else still at the construction site...
Had a rather enjoyable evening with the Friday night gaming group last night.
It was good to get back to gaming, of course, but the sheer pleasure of being lucid enough (though with some sinus blockage that my gamers commented on laughingly) to play and enjoy the gaming experience was quite wonderful in and of itself.
After the gaming group arrived last night, we talked about what they wanted to do, and everyone felt it would be easier to run a simpler game system, basing it on the idea that I wouldn't have to remember too many rules. :) So in the end, I ran the Primeval RPG on the gaming group last night.
I kept the plot relatively simple, with a single red herring, and a bit of having to deal with some unruly civilians who didn't like what was going on, but who couldn't be told the truth due to exposure of the facts. I set things up with a central location - a construction site - and something lurking there. The players did a good job, using teamwork and a decent plan on how to go about it, and still managed to get in a bit of roleplaying and all.
Overall, I had a good night of gaming with the Friday nighters and running the Primeval RPG, though I was totally exhausted when the group broke for the night.