Category Archives: Cthulhu Rising

Surface Tension Mission Briefing (6/20/2014)

CLASSIFIED BRIEFING MATERIALS – ICM WOLNAVOPSEC CLEARANCE ONLY

82 Eridani II

SitRep

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2nd Lt. Drummond (Surface Tension)

The debriefing by PsiCorp personnel was excruciating. For nineteen days, 2nd Lt.  Drummond was interrogated, polygraphed, dosed with truth drugs, and examined using the most sophisticated and secret neuro-diagnostic equipment available. Much of this probing proved more devastating to his fragile, battered psyche than the original trauma it sought to illuminate. When finally his tormentors determined he had nothing else of value regarding the phenomena he experienced on Tornia hidden in either his conscious or subconscious mind, and pains had been taken to wipe his memory of any sensitive procedures to which he’d been subjected, he was remanded into the care of the military psychiatric facility on Earth’s moon.  Not however, before being given a case number and assigned to a “case manager”; agent somebody who would be checking in with him periodically to monitor his condition and progress.
The mission had seemed routine. Radical elements among a largely Indonesian/Malay population of miners on Tornia had risen against their supervisors, seized a mine and the associated barracks and commercial colony, and gruesomely slaughtered (and, it is rumored, cooked and ate) any opposing personnel, effectively halting operations and consequently profits.
The spark which ignited this conflagration appeared to be religious in nature. A “Mahdi” had risen from the ranks of miners, preaching some sort of salvation ideology and promising his followers that his “Barrakah” was powerful and would render the weapons of the oppressors useless while burning the oppressors’ soul s from their bodies. The faithful would experience the cleansing “as though being bathed in warm milk.” No coherent demands were made on the part of the miners, making negotiation difficult.
The multi-national mining interests in charge of the mine asked for the assistance of the Interstellar Colonial Marine Corps in putting down the uprising.  Three platoons were dispatched (including one under Drummond’s command) with orders to: contact the miners, neutralize any hostile elements, take prisoner or neutralize the Mahdi and any leaders, secure the  mine and facilities so that production could resume and any employees willing to work could be returned to the job as soon as possible. Drummond had successfully led his platoon on several similar missions and was considered by his superiors to be rock solid and practical, perhaps more likely to neutralize than take prisoners (a trait appreciated by most of the corporate interests he had been assigned to assist in the past).
Drummond’s platoon landed and was deployed near the main employee barracks. First contact with hostiles was made when Ist Squad fireteams entered the barracks through the main entrance and were confronted in a large common area by approximately forty crazed, tattooed, naked Malays wielding makeshift spears and machetes. Upon being ordered to drop their weapons and surrender, the Malays retreated down a hallway into the bowels of the building, returning minutes later, a tightly wrapped bundle borne on the shoulders of the leading individuals. Standing the bundle upright before them, the naked phalanx spread out to the left and right, chanting rhythmically and cutting themselves on their chests and faces with the machetes and spear points. From Drummond’s vantage, he could see that the bundle was in fact a young man, about six feet tall, tightly wrapped with arms at his side in white linen. Mouth gaping and eyes rolled back in his head, he was apparently in some trance state. The hostile’s chanting intensified and their gestures with their weapons became increasingly aggressive. The frontline, their bodies glistening with their own blood, surged forward ignoring the marines’ commands to halt. A first volley of fire cut through the onrushing hostiles having no effect, as did a second before they were on the marines cutting, jabbing, and grappling.
Initially, the marines held their positions, but as the melee intensified and the assault grew increasingly fierce, the realization dawned on them that their weapons were having no effect on the hostiles; bullets and concussion from grenade blasts passing through tattooed and bloodied bodies like a breeze through tall grass. Marines began to fall under the savage blows of machetes and thrusts from spears. Over run, Drummond ordered a retreat from the barrack, but as the surviving fireteam members broke and chaotically fled toward the doors, a piercing wail shattered the air, rupturing eardrums and dropping the marines to their knees. The hostiles had turned to face the linen wrapped Mahdi, some genuflecting, some kneeling and reaching toward him in adoration. The Mahdi, Drummond could see from the ground where he writhed, was the source of the sonic assault. He stood where he had been placed, head thrown far back far enough to touch his spine, his jaws had opened impossibly wide and his tongue and uvula flapped toward the ceiling in the current of noise and breath erupting skyward. Drummond felt the hot blood running from his ears filling his helmet seep down the neck of his armor. His last conscious impression before he blacked out was of his innermost self being forcibly drawn from his body.
As his sense of himself slowly began to re-coalesce, Drummond found himself bound to a gurney and connected to diagnostic equipment; the loving embrace of PsiCorp’s research and investigation division. He was never provided with details of his escape or rescue from Tornia. He was told he was the only survivor of the action and he would learn only after release from PsiCorp’s care that the mine and facilities on Tornia had been destroyed from orbit after being deemed too costly and dangerous to liberate from the hostiles with deployed personnel.
His recovery was slow and incomplete. It was clear to him that parts had been drawn out of his psyche which would never be restored.  After two years of drug therapy, intense counseling, and occupational therapy, Drummond’s physicians reluctantly signed off on a return to limited duties. After another year, he was trusted again with command of an active platoon.

After Action Reports from Gamma Leporis CS 402

alien-hieroglyphics-robert-g-kernodleAfter Action Report: Warrant Officer Alfonso Aviz
Dropship Pilot aboard the Romulus

We arrived at the research facility at 1200 hours EST. I flew the Kara and away team over the main facility entrance to scout for possible hostiles and gauge the safety of the immediate area. I found a suitable landing site 100m from the main facility doors. Once the away crew left the Kara, I monitored audio channels. Initially I parked the Kara about 1.7 km away from the landing site on a sheltered ice shelf.

The away team lead by 2LT Bint began its search which was mostly routine. They traversed the facility making their way through lab space and residential quarters. They found a containment lab which was smashed and a trail of blood at some point. Further into the facility they found what would be the first in a series of downward shafts. There is probably more to learn by careful examination of the upper lab facility.

Each time they traversed a lift downwards (typically 300m), the radio signal got a little worse. They discovered grand rooms with alien glyphs and statues, and more downward shafts. By the time the crew was on their fourth or fifth descent I had to maneuver the Kara atop the facility so I could make radio contact with them. I was able to maintain partial contact with them throughout the exploration and subsequent fire fight.

At the team’s lowest point in the descent they began to spread out in a vast chamber with 5 pillars and matching exit halls. The team had recovered a sketch or a map outlining this chamber from the lab facility. Almost as soon as the team spread across the room in a standard search pattern they were beset upon by xenomorphs. From what I could pick up over audio, these xenomorphs were incredibly strong, exhibiting about twice the ground speed of a marine in armor and capable of at least short bursts of flight. Each was protected by a thick exoskeleton which rendered all but the most direct of hits upon their carapace ineffective.

Our team was sent in on a simple rescue mission, and to quell a labor disruption before that. My assessment based on the audio and resulting casualties is that the next team needs to be far more equipped with armor piercing rounds and area effect weapons. Small arms fire and simple M29 rifles will not cut it. It is my opinion that the team was simply over run by superior numbers of hostiles and had inadequate armament to withstand such a foe. A retreat was called for but by that time many of the team were flat out dead or almost incapacitated. It is also my opinion that the team did the best they could under the circumstances, being confronted with a malicious alien form with superior physical abilities.

The retreat action resulted in the escape of Pte Bronislav Galerkin and Leroy Williams. All the crews actions should be commended, but two deserve special mention. Leroy Williams physically dragged Pte Miles Davis and Pte Galerkin through much of the upper temple complex risking his own life. At one point however, it was Pte Miles Davis who insisted on fighting from a prone position one of the pursuiing xenomorphs giving Galerkin and Williams time to escape. Williams had the wherewithal to knock a hole in the temple weather shroud extending from the lab facility, and that’s where I picked them up.

All future encounters here should be treated as hostile, and drop ships should not linger on the surface, given the xenomorphs ability to fly. It is unknown how the aliens would fare on the surface of the planet, but extreme caution should be exercised. If its not abundantly clear: Bring more firepower and self contained power units to the next mission here. WO A. Avis.

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After Action Report: Pvt Bronislav Galerkin

After personnel recovering from encounter with alien entity aboard the Carl Sagan were deemed fit for action, Lt. Bint chose an away team and disembarked for the research station on Gamma Leporis CS-402.

The away team was comprised of 2nd Lt. Bint, Cpl Quill, PFC Munch, Pte Davis, Leroy Williams, Pt Galerkin (myself) and was transported to the research station in shuttle piloted by WO Aviz.

The shuttle arrived at the research station on planet surface at approx.. 1200hrs EST. After a recognizance overflight of the research station, WO Aviz set the shuttle down on the station landing pad. The away team disembarked and made its way to the entrance of the research station and WO Aviz moved the shuttle off to a safe location approx. 1.5 km away.

The team entered the facility via a vehicle bay. Inside an ATV in the bay, the team discovered blood, subsequent analysis of which confirmed to be that of Prof. Guggenheim, the research team leader.

Entering the facility proper, the team discovered the station’s power and environmental systems inoperative. A cursory investigation of the facility was performed revealing evidence of violent conflict: a trail of blood was discovered leading to the eviscerated remains of Dr. Ashley Young at the threshold of the research team’s quarters; investigation of the facility’s laboratories revealed that entities and/or materials had breached/escaped containment and environmental chambers; and the curiously aged and withered body of Joshua Oblier was discovered slumped over a console in the command and control center. Closer inspection of the laboratory’s breached containment chamber uncovered shards of an apparently igneous, obsidian like stone, samples of which were packaged by Leroy Williams for later transport, but were not collected during our subsequent emergency retreat from the facility.

Once the command and control center was reached and facility environmental and power systems were restored, the team moved on to search crew living quarters. The search was cursorily performed, the only items of interest uncovered being: Psi enhancing drugs concealed in a footlocker belonging to Dr. Black; photographs of a structure of apparently alien design (we would shortly discover to have been taken in the underground structure the research team was investigating); diagrams or drawings in an unidentified script; and a couple texts of a quasi-scientific and theosophical nature.

Exiting the facility, the team proceeded along the covered causeway to the mobile mining platform and entrance to the underground research site. The research site itself is an enormous underground structure of apparently alien design and construction, comprised of a 6(?) levels extending perhaps 2000(?) meters below ground. Levels are linked to each other by vertical shafts and accessed by lifts installed by the research team.

The team descended the first two levels easily on the lift and on the second level reached found itself in a large chamber, one wall of which was dominated by a large stylized frieze representing a centipede-like creature. The lift to lower levels was found to be inoperative. Cpl Quill and PFC Munch descended on ropes another two levels to find and repair the lift’s power source. On this level, they discovered a partially destroyed portable field laboratory housing the remains of Alexander Gooding, eviscerated in similar fashion to those discovered previously. Once power was restored to the lifts, the remaining team members descended and the entire team continued to the level below.

This level was made up of multiple chambers, two of which, accessed by narrow passages extending from each side of a large central chamber, housed what appeared to be statues of alien life forms. One, situated in a seated position in a large depression in the chamber floor, was squat and Buddha-like with a grotesque, tentacled, cephalopoid head, and seemed to be made of some dark and very hard stone. The statue in the other chamber resembled a cluster of tentacles or vines, reaching upward toward the ceiling of the chamber. The impression created by this image was disturbing and visually confusing, appearing to grow, reach, and move in unnatural fashion before one’s eyes.

Descending one more level, the team found itself in pentagonal chamber dominated by 5 massive stone cylinders suspended from the chamber’s ceiling and ending approximately 3 meters above the chamber floor. Inscribed on the floor beneath each pillar was a sort of pentacle design. In each corner of the chamber was a passageway. The pillar closest to the lift had come loose from the ceiling and lay broken in half lengthwise on the floor of the chamber. Stretched on the flat surface of one half of the pillar was the disemboweled body of Prof. Guggenheim, the research team leader.

No sooner had the team spread out to search the chamber, there appeared an entity, whose form we recognized as that of Dr. Black. This entity, however, was no human being. Opening its mouth as if to speak, it intoned a sort of booming, inhuman exhortation audible through our helmets and armor and seeming to actually resonate inside our heads. The words (if they can be described as such) were unrecognizable as human speech, but were strangely compelling on some very base level. The affect was temporarily incapacitating; PFC Munch had vomited in his helmet and was struggling to remove it. At this point, the creature’s body began to either emit or become enveloped by some sort of energy field resembling a swarm of tiny fireflies.

Simultaneously, emerging in groups from each of the passageways, we were set upon and attacked by centipede-like creatures similar to that depicted in the frieze on the upper level. The creatures moved very rapidly both running and flying. Cpl Quill and PFC Munch went down immediately. Munch was decapitated and Quill continued to fight from the ground until he was incapacitated.

Initially, our attacks on these aliens did little damage, most of which was simply absorbed or deflected by their thick exoskeletons. As the battle progressed, we began to focus fire, aiming shots at their heads, thoraxes, and abdomens producing greater effect. Gas grenades also proved useful, neutralizing several of the aliens.

At one point, I believe the energy field or entity which had enveloped the Dr. Black-like creature moved off to attack us. Pte Davis and Lt. Bint unleashed withering fire upon Dr. Black apparently killing him at which point I believe the energy field was neutralized. We managed to kill or incapacitate all of the aliens in the chamber, but the damage to ourselves was devastating. As the last alien hit the floor, only Leroy Williams and myself were left standing. We hastily gathered all team members (excepting PFC Munch) on the lift and ascended. We did our best to stabilize our comrades while ascending on the lift.

When we reached the level directly above we needed to traverse a large chamber to reach the next lift. Williams carried two of our wounded while I dragged/carried another. As we crossed the chamber, we encountered emerging from one of the side passageways, the squatting octopoid headed creature we initially believed to be a statue. We were able to avoid this indescribably detestable creature as it appeared to move groggily as if just waking , seemingly constrained by its disgusting corpulence as it dragged itself through the narrow passageway.

On a level above we were attacked by a couple of the pursuing centipede creatures which we managed to destroy, but as our own injuries mounted, a difficult decision was made to abandon Lt Bint and Cpl Quill as they would likely not survive the remaining ascent to the surface. We continued our ascent closely pursued by more centipede creatures. One level higher, Pte Davis heroically sacrificed himself by remaining to fight pursuing aliens from a prone position, buying Williams and me valuable time and enabling our escape. On gaining the top level we shot our way through the covered corridor and emerged onto the planet surface to be picked up by WO Aviz.

The entire team, God have mercy on them, performed heroically. I regret and will never forgive myself for abandoning my comrades and accept whatever judgment is to come regarding my conduct. Both Williams and Aviz performed heroically and professionally and should commended.

If future action is pursued on Gamma Leporis CS-402, I recommend every attempt at sterilization (biological or nuclear) of the research facilities and research site be made prior to deployment of personnel. While valuable information undoubtedly remains on that planet, I implore decision makers to not embark on further investigations lightly and consider the implications of what might be found there. Something ancient, powerful, and detestable lurks there, knowledge of which may do more to harm and debase humanity than to improve it.

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After Action Report: PsiCorps Officer Leroy Williams

This is Leroy Williams, PsiCorps reporting.

I was awoken from deep sleep above Gamma Leporis CS-402, and given a briefing of events filed on record. A rescue and investigation team was put together by 2nd Lt. Bint. The team consisted of 2nd Lt. Bint, Crpral Quill, PFC Munch, Pte Davis, warrent officer Aviz, Pte Galerkin and myself. Warrant officer Aviz transported us down to the surface landing us at the docking pad on Gamma Leporis CS-402. The team proceeded to make our way through the station room by room. We determined the station outer sections had been partially breached and the atmosphere had been compromised. The intersection still retained pressure but had been shifted into a low-power state. We found several members of the station in various states of decay. I investigated the med lab and found some broken up artifacts. The artifacts felt strange. Psychically they emanated some sort of only what I can describe as Evil. Not wanting the artifacts to influence my abilities, I bagged a sample and placed them aside for later retrieval upon leaving the facility. We searched the rest of the station and found no other survivors.

Upon entering the dome at the rear of the station the team discovered an elevator leading down. The team proceeded downward; the distance being around 300 m.

We emerged in a large chamber with a pit at the center. On one wall was a statue. The Statue was centipede like in resemblance. It gave me an odd feeling, it seemed somewhat real yet clearly carved stone. One could tell it was constructed by some non-human designer. Yet, I would hypothesize that I was looking at an artifact with some sort of religious or highly cultural significant meaning. The statue points towards the pit as if ready to receive or engulf it. I’ve included photos taken from my pad of the room and the pit, and of the following rooms I describe, save for the last.

Corporal Quill and PFC Munch proceeded to descend down the pit using climbing gear. One level down they were able to get generators working to power the lift. The lift took us another 300 m downward.

The team alighted on a large plateau. Off its edge was another lift and 300m downward we went.

The area, vast and open, contained more alien architecture off to our left. A platform with four pillars with carvings of unusual statues surrounded the lift. Several deep holes, (Air vents perhaps?), leading downward were placed around the columns. This level appeared To be the base camp for the scientific team. We proceeded down another lift continuing 300 m more.

This room had two different halls leading to the same area. Here the floor was polished black as night, very smooth and was slippery. This opened up into a corridor with three entries. Here’s where things begin getting fuzzy. I have no memory of what happened next. Perhaps I blacked out, perhaps I just blocked something from my memory, maybe there was damage from a psi attack, I can’t be sure. It could have been bad air, but I don’t believe it, not after what I remember next.

When next my sense is cleared we were in a room pentagon in shape. At it center was some sort of unusual pentagram carved in the floor, almost culturally human, but different, wrong. It gave off a vibe that rattled me. But not as much as what I experienced next. The team was in the thick of battle with some sort of things, alien things.

Dr. Black was near the center of them, the aliens, seeming to be directing them. They were everywhere. It happened so quickly. 2nd Lt. Bint was being assaulted by what I can only call ghostly fire. Directly to my left coming fast was a group of crab like creatures with six legs and arms. I fired a baton grenade into one as I mentally struggled to push another; compelling it to simply leave. Even briefly touching it’s mind gave me a sense of an unreal, un-easiness a total loss of a sense of balance and reality for me. It was all I could do to simply make it just go away.

From the corner of my eye to the right I saw Black go down. The ghastly fire apparition was descending upon 2nd Lt. Bint. Other team members had switched to gas grenades which seem to have some effect on the crab like creatures. I swapped out grenade rounds at this point to gas. I fired one gas grenade to far group attacking one of our team members. I couldn’t tell who it was, maybe PFC Munch? They were all over him. This took down some the creatures around him.

It was at this point that I begin to realize 2nd Lt. Bint was in trouble. The teams ammunition was having no effect on the ghastly fire entity.

With great mental concentration and effort I pushed at that… that… thing. Forcing it back forcing it to retreat. It took the last of my mental effort and drained me. I can’t describe it’s mind. It was something that just didn’t belong.

I remember firing several more gas grenades. Corporal Quill, PFC Munch and 2nd Lt. Bint were down at this point I think. I started to go after the one I identified as PFC Munch, to bring him back to the lift. He was the furthest away and immobile. But these things suddenly landed upon me, the crab creatures and then… I was on the lift. Recovering from another blackout.

Pte Galerkin was over me tending to my wounds. Pte Davis was there nearby and in bad shape. As were 2nd Lt. Bint and Corporal Quill.

When we reach the next level up, something I can only describe as stony and squid like came from one of the halls. It seemed unreal. Maybe it was. It felt wrong. I had recovered enough to drag 2nd Lt. Bint and Pte Davis along back to the next lift. I didn’t look back I just kept going, going, going. These things will haunt me in my nightmares, They are something that should never be. Even in my dreams I can’t quit running.

Somehow we got back to the level of the four pillars. Then we heard them coming up to those holes, those vents. Some of those crab creatures just came pouring out. Pte Davis yell something about them going after the generator. We concentrated our fire power and somehow managed to take down the lead … thing, before it could take out the power. I was hit at some point. We had to leave 2nd Lt. Bint and Corporal Quill they were unconscious, maybe dead I could no longer drag them. I crawled on to the elevator. Again we went up. They kept coming.

Pte Davis was a heroic man. He made a stand while Pte Galerkin carried me to the next lift. But he was overrun before we even got there. I shall never forget his determination nor his Sacrifice. We would not of made it if it wasn’t for him.

Two more levels we climbed and finally made the surface. We radioed warrant officer Aviz for immediate evac outside the dome.

I don’t know exactly what we walked into but I never seen a better team make it more courageous stand. I commend them all.

Given my memories, and nightmares I feel that I am suffering from physical and mental shock from the incident. The details of my report may have inaccuracies as a result, and I recommend a third party memory probe be scheduled to be preformed on myself by PsiCorps at the convenience of the core.

I Leroy Williams (PsiCorps) hereby certify this report.