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Author Topic: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)  (Read 829 times)

monbvol

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Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« on: 13 September 2020, 23:02:25 »
[Author] Since there is a real possibility I will not be able to continue You Can Never Go Home Again anytime soon and Cannonshop is encouraging me to embrace a really terrible idea of turning a superpower/superscience/aliens RPG campaign I was trying to put together some time ago but abandoned because I kept shifting which system I wanted to use and wasn't getting much of anywhere.  Fair warnings the entire premise was stupid, juvinile, and full of tropes.  I'm leaving all that in.  :P  [/Author]

Location classified but somewhere in the United States
May 7 20XX


Agent Jack Koo slumped in the elevator with his box of stuff from his desk.  He had been assigned witness protection and had really screwed up by sleeping with the witness.

The only reason he was being transferred instead of fired is him being in the bed with the witness at the time a hitman tried breaking in and arresting him actually wound up sealing the case.

But he still had to be punished.

Where he was being transferred to was an unusual government branch that was so obscure and irrelevant that even the conspiracy nuts didn't bother with it allowing it to go completely unnoticed by most everyone.

The few people that he used to work with that knew of it considered it a place where careers went to die.

Supposedly there was a betting pool for when the government would close it down for it costing them money and not providing something more useful in return.

Jack had a feeling that he wouldn't have to wait long.

The elevator stopped finally.

He walked down the hall in the high rise to his new office.

"Welcome Jack."  A slightly overweight black man much older than Jack dressed like the quintessential M.I.T. 1950's nerd trope held the door for him.

"Hello.  Sebastian isn't it?"  Jack was given a file to memorize before his life was forcibly uprooted and him being put on a plane to where he didn't even know yet.

"Yes indeed.  We're pretty informal here.  Especially since we're all aware of what everybody says about us and the rumors about our fate.  Let's get you into your office first and foremost.  They get your new apartment setup for you?"  Sebastian said as he led Jack into the suite.

"I'm not sure.  They just tossed me on a plane and I slept through the whole thing and when I got here there was someone waiting for me that stuffed me in a car before I could get any questions out.  I only had the car ride to read the file I was given on this place."  Jack admitted.

"Well I'll make sure you have a place to stay while this outfit exists."  Sebastian smiled.

"Thanks.  I still don't know what I am supposed to do here yet."  Jack was led into a small simple office with something of a view.

"Well that is part of why I met you myself.  Let me tell you a bit about the Combined Agency Directorate Multidicipline Undercover Service.  We got our start under F.D.R. in the mid 30's as a response to how fast technology was changing the world and it was recognized that an agency that could bring together a diverse array of skills and specialties might be useful to deal with some of the more unusual incidents.  I could tell you some doozies we've had to help clean up after but that'll probably have to wait.  You're here because sometimes the scientists we have on staff need protecting and a man capable of executing their plans in a crises.  As you can imagine as the various agencies evolved and new ones created we've become rather redundant now."  Sebastian was obviously well rehearsed but his delivery was still magnificent.

"So I'm basically the rebooted Jack Dalton to the rebooted MacGuyver.  Could be worse I suppose."  Jack sat in his new chair.

"They rebooted MacGuyver?  Damned Hollywood can't just let things lie can they?"  Sebastian shook his head.

"Guess you don't get much time to watch TV here.  You know what I'm not saying that name all the time.  Besides someone really wanted the acronym to be Cadmus and it'd be a shame not to use it."  Jack wished he had a bottle of booze right now.

"That's the spirit.  For now settle in.  We're the only two who'll be in the office the next couple of days.  Satori is still trying to transfer back to her previous DARPA gig and will probably get it once we're shut down for good.  Carolina is taking refresher courses in hopes to land on her feet when the time comes.  What about you?  Any thoughts on what you'll do when this place finally gets shut down?"  Sebastian looked out the window at the skyline.

"It'd help if I knew where the hell I was."  Jack also studied the unfamiliar skyline.

"Oh.  Right.  That's easy...  Oh I have to get this.  This only rings if it is really important."  Sebastian got cut off when his cell phone rang.

Sebastian left Jack's new office as he answered his phone closing the door behind him.

Jack stared at his computer realizing he didn't know his login credentials for this place yet and cursed himself for wasting so much time sleeping on the plane.

There was something about flying that always put him to sleep.

As Jack placed his stuff on his desk so he could dig out the folder again to see if he could find his new credentials Sebastian came back into his office obviously excited.

"Sorry about not letting you settle in Jack but looks like we have an incident.  I think it might be another '47.  It is too weird not to be.  Look on the bright side though, you're going to get to go to Hawaii on the government's dime.  We're relevant again!"  Sebastian couldn't contain himself.

"I don't know where my go bag is at."  Jack had to admit.

"I think I might.  We've got a little time before our flight will be ready anyway."  Sebastian grabbed his cell phone.

"Relocation assistance.  Yeah which agent was assigned to my new agent.  Great.  He'll need his go bag A.S.A.P.  We have direct orders from the president himself on this one.  Satori I know you're dealing with your housing situation but we've got a priority assignment.  Airbase as soon as you can.  Carolina you know I wouldn't call you from this number unless we had a real assignment for once.  Airbase A.S.A.P."  Jack overheard as Sebastian motioned for him to follow.

"For now you're still a Marshal if anyone asks and for dealing with local LEOs.  I'm FBI if it comes up.  Come on your bag and our car should be waiting for us."  Sebastian said as he retrieved his side arm and go bag from his office.

Jack used adjusting his jacket to hide that he was making sure he hadn't set down or misplaced his badge or side arm.

Well at least Jack was paying enough attention now to figure out where he was.  Not that it mattered anymore for the immediate future.

Ttw1

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Re: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« Reply #1 on: 13 September 2020, 23:18:29 »
TAGed.
The Mother Doctrine was good. Change My Mind.

monbvol

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Re: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« Reply #2 on: 14 September 2020, 01:23:51 »
[Author]  For some reason part of why I didn't just keep going was the thought of nearing the forum post length limit was approaching kept going through my head.  And I needed a momentary break anyway and didn't want to trust my luck that what I had typed up wouldn't some how go away before I hit submit.  [/Author]

The local FBI office nor was Homeland happy to let the scene go to Cadmus but it seemed Cadmus had persisted as long as it had by handling the really weird shit.  Most of the time it was actually rather explainable even if a bit weird but this one was really out there.

Jack still wanted to believe that this was just some sort of elaborate prank.  Some college student dumping liquid nitrogen or liquid oxygen in the pool to get it to freeze up enough to explain how on this warm spring day that the damn pool was still thawing out.

"Running the math on how much super cool liquid it would take to freeze solid a pool this size...  Well I don't think a college student could get a hold of enough without somebody hearing about it.  So somebody went through a lot of trouble to make sure they didn't get caught."  Satori said standing a bit away from the pool.

Jack was glad that she seemed downright ordinary.  He wasn't sure if he could deal with another person who seemed determined to live up to a stereotype like Sebastian did.

Short, Japanese, female, and fortunately no glasses or contacts.

Carolina on the other hand was a big girl.  Jack wondered why they needed a bodyguard with her around until Sebastian showed him a video of her trying to fight and shoot guns.

It was painful to watch.

Finally Sebastian came over and handed Jack a list of names.

"Producer confirms it.  We have 12 missing women on top of this weirdness.  Security cameras don't show any of them leaving or going back to their rooms but it wouldn't be hard to avoid them if someone wanted to."  Sebastian said as Jack started studying the list.

"Figures.  They go for security by obscurity for this year's Guns and Cammo calendar shoot and all the models go missing."  Jack shook his head.

"Models sneaking out to have fun, especially as a shoot nears completion is nothing new but all 12 and still not back yet?  Yeah something's not right.  Producer confirms all the women were last together in the pool yesterday before this happened.  Being this time of the year in Hawaii a bunch of women in skimpy swimwear roaming the street doesn't draw as much attention as it probably should."  Sebastian nodded.

"Of course they rented out the whole hotel to make sure the women had their privacy."  Jack almost laughed at the stupidity on display here.

"We do have one lead.  Police found this in the trash can by the pool over there.  I would have dismissed it as ordinary trash if not for the odd markings on it.  Not any language or symbology I'm familiar with."  Carolina held up a small vial with some odd markings on it in an evidence bag.

"I am.  I was right.  We have our own '47.  Let's talk privately inside."  Sebastian gathered his team and went into a hotel conference room.

"Okay Sebastian what are we looking at."  Jack said as he examined the vial himself.

"An old legend of Cadmus.  Said legend has it Cadmus was involved in the Roswell, New Mexico incident of 1947.  Anyone working for Cadmus at the time dismissed it even after retiring.  A suspicious fire taking out Cadmus' records of the time and a bunch of other odd coincidences kept the legend alive with my mentor.  He didn't start working for Cadmus until '69 so he never knew for sure if aliens really were involved or not but he did get a hold of some copies of that weird symbology found on the wreck.  It matches what is on this vial.  I know aliens still seem a stretch but any other explanation involves a really long con or elaborate prank."  Sebastian was again having trouble concealing his excitement.

"Ugh.  Aliens.  I never got why anyone would think they'd bother with us.  By the time you have practical interstellar spaceflight technology anything this solar system has to offer would be trivial for them to get without having to deal with us and even if there was something they needed it'd still be a trivial matter for them to get it without giving as even a remote chance at a fair fight."  Carolina rolled her eyes.

"There is one point that lends some support to this notion.  Roswell and the odd script on the wreckage happened so long ago that it becomes a good question of who would even think of using that?"  Satori countered.

"Someone else who happens to know the legend and is a bit of a historian.  Could either be an opponent hoping we finally prove how pointless we are in this modern era or one of our few remaining supporters rigging things to keep us relevant.  Either way is more likely than aliens."  Carolina scoffed.

"As much as I hope aliens I have to agree with Carolina.  This seems entirely too suspicious when I think about it rationally."  Sebastian sighed.

Jack saw the disappointment on Sebatian and Satori's faces as that truth settled in.

A knock on the door broke the silence.

"Come in."  Sebastian bellowed.

"Special Agent Owens?"  Another FBI agent entered the room.

"That is me."  Sebastian answered.

"While making another sweep of the scene this was found.  I was told one of your team is a botanist and given the situation I was hoping we could get a preliminary ID on it.  It doesn't match any plants on the hotel grounds or near by I know that much."  The man held out an evidence bag.

Carolina grabbed the bag and began looking at the portion of a plant leaf in the bag.

"I'd have to get it to a lab to be sure but I think this is a protected plant that only grows out in the national forests on this island.  A bit of a trek for it to get here but not impossible.  Didn't the producer say that they were shooting near the national forest for backdrops?"  Carolina scowled.

"He did.  Could one of the models or crew have tracked it back with them then?"  Sebastian questioned.

"It'd be pretty unlikely.  Their site was on the outskirts and this plant tends to like the deeper parts of the forest."  Carolina offered.

"So more likely someone was camped out in the forest and followed the women from their photoshoot.  Which just leaves the pool freezing over.  Maybe covering up their tracks somehow?  Or an unrelated crime with some incredible timing?"  Jack mused.

"Well seems like we have our first real lead.  Jack this is more your area of expertise so I'd like you to work with the locals to see what we can find out about someone camping in the national forest and tracking them down.  Satori I know it is a bit of a long shot but if you can analyze the pool water to see if we can at least figure out what was used to freeze it.  Carolina go ahead and find a lab to see if you can get a more precise location for Jack to head to since the forest is big and even with eyes in the sky helping anything that can narrow the field would be good.  I'd like to go over all the police reports from the area for the past week.  Maybe there is something there that can help us figure out where they got whatever was used to freeze the pool."  Sebastian grumbled.

rewinding to May 7 20XX
Hau'ula Forest Preserve


Fatiama had accomplished her mission.

She was ready to return home.

Then she heard a branch snap behind her.

"You've gotten sloppy Fatiama.  It used to be you'd never let me get this close before we started fighting.  You know what this means though don't you?  Let me live and I will find a way to report your interference and this world will burn.  Kill or incapacitate me and this becomes a one way mission for you as you'll have to then keep the next scout from learning the truth and the scout after that.  Creating a cycle until our main force arrives."  An armored figure spoke.

"Or I grow tired of the dance and wish to finish it kithiken."  Fatiama spat.

She wasn't sure which truth bothered her more.  That she should have been aware of him much sooner or that he was right that she couldn't risk him reporting back or the next scout finding his body.  She also couldn't let the locals.  The craft she came in was only big enough for one and that was her only absolutely certain option for how to deal with the body.  Scouts like him were always sent one way.

"Someone is angry."  The armored figure fired his weapon as Fatiama charged.

She felt the impacts on her skin, the weapon ineffective against her.

In a flash she shoved her spear in the neck joint of his armor.

It was only primitive in appearance but obviously quite effective.

"Bet you thought you finally found a weapon that would hurt me.  Yes the tip is Axium.  Made by my cousin.  Shaft is his work too.  Must admit even I am rather impressed."  Fatiama said as she waited for her foe to bleed out.

Fatiam removed her spear and grabbed the body before it could fall.

It took some effort but she hefted the body into her pod.

She wanted to leave a message in the pod for it to transmit once it was far enough away but she knew where she would have to send it instead would make it entirely too possible for such a message to be picked up by who was coming and that would be just as bad.

She tossed anything technological she had brought with her into the pod.  She paused to look at the spear as that too could count due to what the tip was made out of.

Fatiama decided it was a risk she'd have to take as she'd need something to combat any future scouts if she had to.

Punching in an autpilot course for the local sun Fatiama closed the pod and watched it lift away.

Any mission away from the homeworld carried the possibility of being a one way mission but knowing she'd never see home again still weighed heavily on her.

Cannonshop

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Re: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« Reply #3 on: 14 September 2020, 09:27:52 »
monitoring
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Brother Jim

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Re: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« Reply #4 on: 14 September 2020, 11:52:26 »
I wish to know more!

monbvol

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Re: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« Reply #5 on: 14 September 2020, 14:26:56 »
[Author]  Fair warning I'll not be getting too graphic but a dsiclaimer that a certain part of this section of the story may not be suitable for all audiences.  [/Author]

mid-day May 9 20XX
Hau'ula Forest Preserve


Fatiama was washing her clothes in a stream she had found when she heard them.

There was no denying it.  She didn't know this alien forest like she did her native one.  And as she had been warned despite how similar the atmospheric composition and their medicine making native disease a non-issue the prolonged time here was effecting her.

Wet clothes were better than no clothes and she didn't have time to go get her spares.  Seconds mattered with how close they sounded.

She did not know who they were or what they were looking for but she recognized a search party when she saw one.

Not wanting to interact with the natives she looked around to see what she could work with for cover.

She found a depression in the ground next to a bush that would work.

Quickly she grabbed some dead fall and started burying herself as best she could, smearing dirt and mud on what she couldn't cover.  The contorted position she had to take for best effect wasn't comfortable but with any luck they would just pass her by.

Then one of the natives stepped up to the bush.

Shrilanken you bastard.  He's going to relieve himself on me. Fatiama silently thought to herself.

If she moved there was no way he wouldn't notice.  Stay still and he'd very likely ruin her cover.

Jack's point of view

Jack had snuck away from the others.  He was too deep in the forest to get back to a port a potty and he needed to piss badly.

He found a good bush that would give him some privacy in case one of the others managed to find him.

At first he thought he had revealed a root or branch but then he realized the texture and shape looked a lot like a buried body.

"I got something over here."  Jack shouted as he zipped up his pants.

Then the form sprang up.

It took all of Jack's reflexes to block the three rapid blows thrown at him.

Jack was glad his parents made him take martial arts classes as a kid and that the Army had taught him more hand to hand.

The exchange of blows quickly became a chaotic blur.  Jack didn't have a chance to form a plan or study his opponents technique.  He was largely operating on instinct just to keep up and even then his opponent was winning.

Right before blood blinded his left eye he saw an opening to strike one last blow.

He hit his opponent with all his might.  It staggered them just enough that he was able to follow it up with a pair of rapid strikes to the head of his foe.

As the adrenaline started to fade just enough Jack's brain finally registered he was fighting a woman.

"I don't know who you are but you are well trained lady."  Jack said as he snapped cuffs on the unconscious woman.

Jack knew he was going to hurt like hell later but for now he was glad the adrenaline was working it's magic to keep him from noticing.

A couple hours later
Honolulu FBI office interrogation room


Fatiama felt the restraints as she regained consciousness.  It had been a long time since someone had beaten her in hand to hand combat.  Even as hindered as she was by this alien environment she still had to admit she was still impressed.  Perhaps more than that?

Yes she would have to find a way to face this foe again.  Unhindered.  If he still impressed that would be quite remarkable.

"You are quite an interesting specimen young lady.  Our needles couldn't draw your blood and the swab for DNA really confused Carolina.  Yet somehow Jack was able to knock you out.  Do you even understand me?"  Sebastian sat across from Fatiama.

"I know English.  Not my native tongue so I may misspeak now and again."  Fatiama settled into the chair.

She wasn't seriously hurt as far as she could tell.

"Interesting.  You're either one hell of a genetic freak according to what tests we can run on you or you're not from this planet.  Just looking at you makes the second option seem ridiculous.  But what you can do while still looking like a supermodel that would fuel an untold number of teenage fantasies still lends some credibility to the later.  Either way it seems way too much of a coincidence for you to be here with what you can do with what has been happening on this island for you to not be involved."  Sebastian leaned back in his chair.

"I am no fool.  Answering your questions or not seems to offer little difference to my fate at this point.  To yours?  Depends on who you tell and who they tell."  Fatiama answered.

"Okay I'll play ball.  To everyone in the observation room, check your procedure manuals for the code word Gilgamesh and proceed accordingly."  Sebastian straightened up in his chair.

"I take it that means we now speak privately just the two of us?"  Fatiama seemed more interested.

"Not strictly the two of us but anyone who is not one of my agents should be out of the room and not listening here shortly."  Sebastian answered.

"Is the one who defeated me one of your agents?"  Fatiama was pretty sure he was but the confirmation would be nice.

"Yes."  Sebastian let the beginning of a smile creep on his face.

"Good.  I can salvage a little honor that way at least."  Fatiama visibly relaxed a little.

A knock on the mirror let Sebastion know that they were no longer being monitored by non-Cadmus personnel.

"Okay take it from the top then."  Sebastian prodded.

"The best place to begin is with my species' last war.  Like your species ours has different ideologies, even what you'd call religions.  One such group are those we call kithikens.  They follow a ideology of conquest, conflict, and the accompanying expansion of our race's holdings,  Because of our differences it was rare for our species to have a unified world government but we had one again and long enough to establish six colonies on different worlds.  The kithikens learned of a race we hadn't had contact with before via one of our few allies.  On the surface this new race looked weak and ripe for the picking.  So they engineered a war with them by getting involved with what should have only ever been a small border skirmish involving one of our allies and an ally of this new race.  At first things went well for us.  Then this new race showed us their true power.  It took every trick we had to drag the conflict out to two years but in the end it wasn't enough.  All six of our colonies were invaded and our homeworld under alien occupation.  The kithikens tried to resist.  It actually escalated to a civil war among my people as the truth of their starting the war hadn't been known until after our occupiers proved it to us.  With no recourse they took what ships they could and slipped away into regions none had charted."  Fatiama explained.

"Let me guess these Kithikens are coming here?"  Sebastian spoke up.

"Yes."  Fatiama sighed.

"Why?"  Sebastian questioned.

"As you have seen my people have abilities.  These abilities are largely determined by whose ideology we follow and our family lines.  Yes there was once a Kithiken.  He had enough power that he was a god for all intents and purposes.  His fate is unknown but his philosophies and abilities that he passed on to others are still around obviously.  For why humans and their interest in you?  That is because of a lost race.  Our scientists don't know if they brought you to our region of space or if they brought you to ours.  Either way humans were not unknown to us.  About two decades as you measure them the leader of one of our great Clans, Lorinar Aku, successfully mated with a human woman.  The abilities of this hybrid were quite spectacular and defied the usual patterns.  It was investigated and the combination of our DNAs was found to be quite unpredictable in what abilities would manifest and to what amplitude but would always be superior to what we normally produced in our own species.  So to give you a fighting chance against them it was decided I would be sent and introduce an engineered virus that would convert a small number of your existing population.  The kithikens have alreay sent one scout to gather basic data.  They will soon send another to start testing your technological abilities, especially in the realm of combat.  Their philosophy makes them very adverse to rebuilding your cities and they will want as much intact as possible to help them rebuild and redeem their honor in combat.  Also wiping out too much of your population goes against their goals."  Fatiama continued after sipping some water.

"So who did you introduce this engineered virus to?"  Sebastian was pretty sure he already knew the answer.

"Twelve of your great warriors.  I found them purely by chance doing what I assumed was some form of morale building event.  Yes that was one of them"  Fatiama answered as Sebastian slid over a photo of a model in a skimpy digital camo getup packing a SAW.

Sebastion was pretty sure he could hear someone face palming through the glass and he wanted to join them.

monbvol

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Re: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« Reply #6 on: 16 September 2020, 15:10:27 »
Yeah I think I'm pulling the plug on this one.  Every time I've tried to write more on this the past couple of days I've just been finding myself unhappy with a few things I have established and unable to proceed because of it.

The mistake I made was introducing the first scout way too soon.  I shouldn't have.  I could have left him out and still made a lot of this work without getting myself trapped the way I have.

I probably should also have not gone in so heavy on Cadmus is a dying organization.  It was something I came up with pretty much because I know what kind of characters my players tend to play and that would have been the best way to explain why they were working for Cadmus.

Cannonshop

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Re: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« Reply #7 on: 19 September 2020, 00:07:48 »
A noble effort sir. I can see some pretty good potential in the core ideas you've got out on the table, my gut instinct is to suggest that you might've gotten away with delaying the alien POV a while longer and shown more of their impact ala "The X-Files".
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

monbvol

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Re: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« Reply #8 on: 19 September 2020, 01:14:44 »
A noble effort sir. I can see some pretty good potential in the core ideas you've got out on the table, my gut instinct is to suggest that you might've gotten away with delaying the alien POV a while longer and shown more of their impact ala "The X-Files".

*nod*

I felt like I was getting the characters and the basic stage set fairly well but yeah that was a pretty big mistake going in on the aliens that soon.  Also not giving a little more manpower to Cadmus and making it a little less of a dying organization pretty much set myself up for getting stuck.

If I ever circle back around to this I'd also work on the plan Fatiama was sent to execute a bit more so the plan makes some sense but still present some concerns that the truth behind it could still ruin things for Fatiama and the humans of Earth if the incoming invaders learn it.

DOC_Agren

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Re: Universal Truths(Non-Battletech)
« Reply #9 on: 16 October 2020, 14:58:32 »
It was interesting I kinda saw CADMUS as kinda of a Bureau 13 agency

too bad there was not more
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

 

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