Issue 08 - The Cuban Parcel Crisis Affair, Part 3 "Monkey Business"

Last time, while exploring the forest – a crashed truck! Attacked by mysterious creatures … chimps, but with odd features, like some sort of camouflage field. Strong. And smart – tried to snatch a tablet.

So we split the party.

Hope and Benedict to track the apes.
Dr. A and Alex helicopter back to town.

Let’s Track Down Some Apes!

Contest: apes trying to escape, running back to lair.

Apes use Sneaky Creatures - Troop Coordination ==> 9 Legendary+
Hope uses Notice to track, esp. as one of them is bleeding.
Benedict creates Advantage (vs Good) with Athletics. ==> 7 Epic, by style.
Aspect “Take to the Trees” with two free invokes.
Hope ==> 7 Epic. + Take to the Trees to tie + Take to the Trees again ==> 11
Beats them. + Second Story Woman ==? 13, so with style, so 2 points.

Whirleybird, go!

Back in town.

Dr A - Get the tablet fixed!
But it’s a unique and secured tablet. So …
Finding someone: a Great Difficulty.
So he delegates to the Intern. Alex takes it over.
→ Fair + Stubborn College Intern.
Tie, so minor cost.
So … yeah, nobody here can work on it. Only in ABQ … but there’s a guy who happens to be coming up here for another reason and will take the tablet to ABQ, too.
Dr A invokes Useful … will throw money at it, and will have the tech work on hit here.

The company phone rings. It’s the home office. Director Sinclair.

Handed off to Dr A. The British Columbia folk are already in Wyoming. Cannot afford to look bad – just made Senior Director. And you have to find this thing, nobody else.
Provoke “Senior Director” Bureaucracy ==> 6 Fantastic.
Respond with Will ==> 5 Superb + If You Push Me ==> 7 Epic
Your status is safe in us.

Injured guy – sent to the hospital.

Also … dead apes. Dr A will deal with. Tesladyne resources.

More Ape Pursuit

Let Hope Notice them more, by using I Got Top Marks(men)
Apes sneak ==> 4 Great
Benedict ==> 5 Superb ==> Blood Trail!
So Troop Coordination ==> 7 Epic
Hope Noticing ==> 8 Legendary.

1 more point. We win the contest!

As we get to the hills, into one of the cliffsides we can see large iron doors. Warning symbols. Some of which are bunkum.

That’s not the door the aps went to. Rocky outcropping, instead.

Meanwhile, back at the ape corpses …

Use Tesladyne resources, esp. Intel. Limited effectiveness.
Any of the usual suspects?
Dr A - Intel role vs 2 Fair ==> 4 Great
The low quality of the web cam is an advantage because the encoding doesn’t work with downgraded video. Definitely genetically modified – coat is naturally grown, with some additional post-processing. Challenge.

Alex - checking on guy in hospital. He should be away in a few hours.

Meanwhile, back at the live monkeys …

We mark the place to confirm its location, then had back to the pickup zone. Any surveillance?
Hope - Burglary ==> 5 Superb. Cameras around the entrance. We’re probably not made. Notes the system.

Exfil to a convenient spot. Signal the team.

Get to the Choppah!

Tech was able to recover a couple of things – but the tablet was broken in mid-wipe. Hands over a flash drive with what recovered. Alex analyzes the files. Dr A flies the copter.

Alex: highlights: data that’s part of a daily log, incomplete. The one file most intact, email in the sent folder, stuff in it. Very haphazard writing, lots of typos.

“… the genetic markers have jumped species, test subjects to others, fear that it might jump even further … scrubbing the lab.” Dated this morning.
Puzzle out more?
Alex - Science ==> 4 Great vs 4 Great. Will give an answer with minor cost: 5 details, 1 of them wrong. Sure.

  1. The test subjects are most likely monkeys. They have more than just monkeys, though.
  2. The genetic markers and switching test subjects means they have a host of types of subjects. The apes, with coats, are hard to look at. Other versions?
  3. Saying genetic markers are passing between subjects means its airborne, could pass between different species by being in contact.
  4. The fact the chimps aren’t that far from humans means that could be the jump.
  5. If all of this is airborne, there are things we oculd try to use to protect, i.e., protecting any mucous membraines (mask and goggles).

Hmmm. “Airborne” seems dubious.

Reunited, and it feels so good

The chopper lands.

Alex’s summary:

  1. Never let Dr A fly the helicopter.
  2. Never trust Dr A or get into a conversation with him.
  3. Feel bad for Director Sinclair.
  4. More than one species, can shift between species, more than one type of mutation, possibly airborne, protective gear.

Hope: talk to the guy we saved. Yup, say all. Head back to town and talk to the guy.

Then maybe some overflight.

Searching on previously hidden bases that were sold off.

Benedict will research on the history of hidden albs in the area.
Some will check out the guy in the hospital.

Benedict - In general, or this one in particular?
Secret Base aspect of “Secret Base” so is a 6 Fantastic.
Olds School Ties for Advantage ==> 2 Fair vs Average.
History ==> 4 Great + Contact ==> 6 + Those Who Forget History Will Get A Recap By Me ==> 8. Info!

At the hospital.

Guy has woken back up, but wants to get discharged right away. Someone needs to talk him out of it.
Dr A wants to convince them into putting him in quarantine as suffering from something very contagious.
Guy absolutely wants to get out of here.
“Sir, we are aware of the recent monkey business you’ve been involved in.”
Guy takes a swing at Dr A.
Dr A uses TK, while Hope is looking at what meds he’s on.
Guy ==> 4
Dr A, assisted by Hope ==> 6 Fantastic
Tries to reassure the guy, calm him down.
Guy - will ==> 4
Dr A Rapport ==> 3 + ==> 5
“It’s a lost cause. Just get far away, far away as you can.”

Dr A with the carrot. - Rapport
Hope with the stick (“We don’t want to have to sedate you.”) - Deceive
Resist with 5 Superb.
Hope ==> 0 Mediocre + Violence is a Last Resort … reroll ==> 4 Great
Guy wants to be gone when this all goes down.
“The apes already got Nick.” The other guy in the truck.

Benedict – lots of notes about this lab. That entire area belongs to a group known as the XP Group “Expanded Progress.” “Better Living through Genetic Modification”. What started as boutique genmod – helping in the 90s rich parents get a smart kid. Alas, that had limited effect, and legislation largely shut them down. Business drying up. So research military aspect – animal research is much less regulated. No buyers lined up yet, but definitely putting out feelers.

They would have moved into this site in the late 80s.
XP – owned by a rich investor.

Aaron is more open to talking, but is scared of the apes and trying not to implicate himself.
They can do basic problem-solving. The biggest issue is they are really hard to look at.
Lab’s burned down. Thermite charges should have cleansed everything in there.
What else is at the lab?
Standard assassins. Some foot soldiers. Of course, Dr Peterson’s special project, but they’re harmless.

Benedict calls, to find out more about Dr Peterson.
Dr Peterson – minorly known character in genetics. Bad traits that got him thrown out of decent orgs. Alcoholism, gambling, minor history of violence, likes animal pit fighting. But don’t know his animal of choice.

So Advantage with Aaron.
But not many more questions. He’s kind of a mook.
Peterson, though, died. That’s why closed up. Just Aaron and Nick, some scientists on business travel.

Get him discharged to us?

Just as Dr A is taking their leave – the team coming to quarantine the room shows up, and plan to include all of them in that quarantine!

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