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Aberrant - the Expedition, episode 2

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Anonymous
July 22, 2004 8:52:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

Well, the player we were missing finally returned from Canada, so we got
another session of Aberrant underway. Last time we played I posted a
summary of events here, and it was well-received, so without further ado:

Having recovered from their carouse through the pubs of Ireland, Jack Smith
and Jacques le Vert return to Expedition HQ, and shortly after their return
are requested to attend a mission briefing. Awaiting them in the Briefing
Room are Professor Bond (their previous contact) and a man in a long
trenchcoat. The Professor informs them that Ian Nottingham has been
seconded elsewhere, and that a replacement has been found for him. The
newcomer is introduced as one Daniel Greaves.



Professor Bond explains that the Expedition has detected massive quantum
surges in a small town in Scotland, and that the team are being sent to
investigate their cause. The location of the surges has been determined to
be Fort Augustus - a town at the south end of Loch Ness. This gives rise to
speculation amongst the trio as to the possibility of encountering the Loch
Ness Monster.



A private plane is arranged to fly them as far as Inverness, near the
northernmost point of Loch Ness, where they will once again make use of a
rental car, and drive down the east side of the loch to Fort Augustus.
During the automobile travel, Greaves reveals his leathery, batlike wings,
and seems somewhat disappointed when his companions are somewhat blasé about
his appearance. Also during this journey, Jacques le Vert attenots to make
use of his (serum-enhanced) senses to detect quantum forces, and believes he
senses something. However, it turns out to be a false alarm, and the team
narrowly avoid seriously alarming some innocent tourists.



It's evening when they reach the outskirts of Fort Augustus. Greaves
suggests that he separate from the other two, so that the residents won't
immediately link the three of them together. He'll make his way to their
room later on - Smith says he'll hang a jacket up in their window as a
signal.



Smith and le Vert head into the centre of town and book a room in the hotel.
At the hotel reception, le Vert again senses traces of quantum energies.
They ask for a room facing the loch, and as high up as possible, and receive
one on the third (top) floor. Their first move once the proprietress has
left them alone in the room is to check it for surveillance devices. Le
Vert is convinced he has found one in the electronics of the television, and
dismantles said television. Smith plans to snaffle the television from next
door, but is set back by the occupant, one Piers Morrison by name, being
within. He heads over to the next room, listens at the door and hears
nothing. Mustering his energies, he teleports into the room, hefts the
television and teleports to his own room. Upon doing so, he discovers an
intact television, and one less chair. Jacques le Vert, scientist and
molecular manipulator, has turned the chair into a fully working television.
Later, they head down to dinner and eat with Piers, who is a fisherman with
a yen for night-time fishing on the loch.



Meanwhile, Greaves has entered a nearby pub and is nursing his drinks and
paying attention to the room around him. Making small talk with a couple of
locals, he discovers that as far as they know, nothing out of the ordinary
has happened in the last few days. Once it grows dark, he heads out to the
street, where he wanders alone for a while, waiting for a cloud to cover the
full moon before spreading his wings and flying up to the hotel room, where
the jacket awaits him in the window. The group share the information they
have thus far gained, and Greaves decides to tail Piers on his night-time
fishing trip. While Greaves assumes a gaseous consistency and glides like a
shadow above the loch, Smith sneaks downstairs and investigates the hotel
guestbook, taking pictures with his cellphone. He then forwards the details
to the Expedition, who will be able to check the bona fides of the guests.
Jacques le Vert, for security purposes (and also because there are only two
beds in the room), assumes the form of a titanium lamp with a kevlar
lampshade, and extraordinary perceptual abilities for the night.



Greaves reports back that Morrison did nothing out of the ordinary for a
night fisherman, except perhaps head out a bit further into the loch than
most.



The next morning dawns, and, as the others head to breakfast, Greaves sneaks
out of the hotel, then returns to check in himself, while being careful to
avoid giving away that he knows Smith and le Vert, who are breakfasting once
again with the jovial Piers. After breakfast, Greaves lurks in the hotel
lobby for a while, waiting to see if there are any new arrivals. Smith and
le Vert head out and chat to locals, who don't provide any useful
information.



While Greaves is in the lobby reading a magazine, a bright yellow sports car
pulls up outside, and a large man and a small, dapper man get out. The new
arrivals check in as Callum Murray, a potential Olympic swimmer, and Hayden
Weaver, his coach/manager. They're here on a sort of working holiday -
Murray plans to train in the loch. Greaves alerts the others to the new
arrivals via cellphone, and they return to the hotel. Greaves approaches
Murray and Weaver, and lunches with them in the hotel restaurant. While he
does so, Smith teleports into their room and searches it for confirmation as
to their identity. He finds a couple of pistols among their belongings,
which arouses his suspicions, but nothing else informative. He sabotages
the pistols and teleports back to his own room.



The trio stay in their room for the afternoon, discussing plans for
accomplishing their mission, and also the possible identities of their
suspects. As evening approaches, Greaves sits with Murray and Weaver for
the evning meal, until he sees the hotel owners leaving. He finds it
unusual that they both would leave at such a busy time, and tails them down
the road to the very pub he'd been at the previous night (the 'Monster').
They head into a back room where he can't follow without being detected, so
he chooses a table close to the room's door and listens. He can't make out
much over the noisy patrons, but hears phrases like "Sons of Man" and
"suspicious newcomers", and decides to call Jacques le Vert, whose
shapeshifting powers allow him incredible hearing, as well as the ability to
assume a form that would not be regarded as suspicious. Le Vert discovers
that the people in the back room are all members of a baseline anti-nova
organisation that calls themselves the "Sons of Man". They're observing not
only the trio from the Expedition, but also Murray, Weaver and Morrison, and
their intentions, should they discover a nova, are lethal. They don't go
for face-to-face confrontation, but rather catching their targets unawares.
They also talk about the nova they ran out of town a few days back. Le Vert
immediately connects this with the massive quantum surges that he'd been
investigating, and, after he's certain he won't hear any more of use, heads
back to the hotel.



Later in the evening, Smith and le Vert (in owl form) head out to
investigate the abbey that towers over the town. As far as they can tell,
it's devoid of duplicity. Le Vert spots Piers heading out in his boat
again, and follows him carefully, avoiding notice. When a large, mainly
submerged creature appears above the water briefly, and Piers pursues it, le
Vert returns to the hotel room at speeds far beyond those of any ordinary
owl and alerts Greaves. Greaves calls Smith via cellphone and briefly fills
him in, then flits across the lake after le Vert, who headed back after
delivering his message.



Smith teleporting and the other two flying, they arrive at the lakeshore and
discover that Piers has somehow felled the enormous creature and is dragging
it out of the water. While le Vert roosts in a tree nearby, Smith attempts
to telekinetically steal Piers' weapon. Piers, unfortunately, notices and
is alerted to the presence of others. At this pint, Greaves confronts
Piers, while Smith carefully aims his own sniper's rifle. Piers attempts to
mesmerise Greaves, but the latter proves resistant, and, unsheathing the
steel blades in his arms, proceeds to beat Piers senseless. As Greaves
begins to tie the erstwhile fisherman to a tree, there is a noise from the
loch. Le Vert's superior vision determines that the approaching figures are
Murray and Weaver, the one swimming, and the other riding on his back.



Murray and Weaver step ashore, and claim to be agents of the British
government. Greaves is initially suspicious, but Weaver is incredibly
convincing, and the former soon spills what little he knows of Piers. It
becomes apparent that Weaver, Murray and Piers were all likewise in search
of the cause of the quantum disturbances, and that said source is almost
certainly the enormous plesiosaur-like beast lying senseless (not dead, it
transpires) on the shore.



The new arrivals attempt to interrogate Piers, but it becomes apparent that
his mesmeric powers are far too dangerous, and Smith eliminates the risk
with one carefully placed shot from his rifle. This accomplished, the
groups return to investigating each other and the monster itself. Le Vert
reveals himself and applies his medical knowledge (such as it is) to the
beast, which he determines to be only sleeping. More important are his
quantum perceptions, which reveal that the quantum flows around the monster
are enormous, but static, unlike the energies of his own shapeshifting. He
realises that the monster must be a nova, somehow stuck in its shapeshifted
form. Investigation of Piers' boat produces the sedative that immobilised
the monster in the first place, and also a dangerous drug that reduces the
quantum capability of a nova. Le Vert carefully applies a little of this
drug to the monster, and it begins to shrink and assume a more humanoid
form. They prop the youth thus revealed up on the shore, and le Vert (the
practice of traditional medicine taking too much of a strain on him)
produces his briefcase and some of his green serum, which he administers to
the young man as a stimulant.



Jamie Campbell, as his name turns out to be, is a nova who erupted recently
in Fort Augustus. When the Sons of Man realised he was a nova, he was set
upon and nearly killed - he survived only by assuming the largest, scariest
form he could (a form normally far beyond his powers), diving into the canal
and swimming into the loch.



All present realise that returning Jamie to his home town would constitute a
death sentence, although they cannot agree on who should assume his custody.
They decide that escape is the first priority and that they'll negotiate
Jamie's fate later.



Smith teleports back to the hotel, collects their important belongings and
sets a fire to distract the townsfolk. He then 'ports to the edge of town,
teleports inside an unattended farm truck, hotwires it, uses some tear gas
given him by le Vert to incapacitate a couple of locals who move to accost
him, and drives down the loch-side road to pick up his teammates, the UK
government operatives and Jamie.



Further down the road, it turns out that the Sons of Man have gotten word
out, as two tractors are moving to block the road. Greaves takes to the air
with his rifle and manages to dispatch the drivers. Meanwhile, Smith
teleports to the nearby field where a few more armed men are heading towards
the road and dispatches them with a couple of punches that would fell an ox.
Callum Murray then proves to be useful by hefting a tractor in each arm and
hurling them off the road. (The UK agents held back during the
confrontation to protect Jamie, in case the road attack was merely a
distraction)



As they reach the Expedition's airfield in Inverness, the argument about
Jamie's fate begins again. The boy is in no position to choose for himself,
being still at least partially in shock. Essentially, both groups agree
that Jamie should be taken somewhere safe and protected, but neither thinks
that the other is capable of it. Eventually a compromise is reached,
wherein Jamie is taken to a government safehouse, but Smith will go with
him, and observe it so that he can teleport there later and make sure Jamie
is all right. Once Jamie's recovered from his ordeal, he'll be able to
choose whether he wants to serve the government, the Expedition or neither.
This agreed, they all fly back to London. Greaves and le Vert head back for
debriefing, while Smith observes Jamie's location and gives the boy an
Expedition cellphone, allowing them to track him later. He then teleports
to the Expedition base to join the others for debriefing.



Professor Bond is reasonably pleased with what he hears. The quantum surges
are explained, the opposition foiled. The communication with the UK service
was, under the circumstances, unavoidable and forgivable.



The Sons of Man, however, are proving to be more widespread and numerous
than previous reports indicate, and something may have to be done.



Cheers,

Grant
Anonymous
July 22, 2004 8:52:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.whitewolf (More info?)

On Thu, 22 Jul 2004 16:52:23 +1200, "Grant Anderson"
<gpsanderson@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Well, the player we were missing finally returned from Canada, so we got
>another session of Aberrant underway. Last time we played I posted a
>summary of events here, and it was well-received, so without further ado:

I love these posts !

Guillaume
!