Q Cell Future/Perfect

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Introduction to Future/Perfect


Q Cell Future/Perfect

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Apr 7, 2013
Posted by: Keith
The darkness drops again but now I know,
That twenty centuries of stoney sleep
Were vexed to a nightmare by rocking cradle,
And what rough beast its hour come round at last
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born
Yeats – The Second Coming

 To:  Agent Carmichael

From:  Samantha Ryan

Re:  Death Valley Days

For the record, and just in the event that any other agent ever needs to know, bullets suck when used on dinosaurs. (AC: I did mention that in the previous email.)

My last report covered the time up to FattyB’s return to Death Valley.  As our usual stellar luck would have it, FattyB managed to fly back on the helicopter that delivered the radiation suits.  Side note:  Any time that I as for material that needs hazardous materials warning labels on the outside of containers visible to FattyB, do me a favor and conceal those labels.  The helicopter pilot told me that FattyB was somewhat disinclined to complete the trip when he spotted them.   You would think that he didn’t trust me or something. (AC: Noted. But to be fair, they are standard labels. Perhaps a refesher training on MSDS and warning labels are in order.

As the helicopter was landing, FattyB spotted a human moving across the desert within 200 yards of our position.  After determining where to look for the figure (another thank you to the Charles Xavier school for wayward agents), I used the sniper scope on my rifle to spot what appeared to be a teenage boy wandering across the desert toward a culvert that was apparently a drain leading out of what used to be the Hunt Electronics plant.  As quickly as we were able, we loaded the radiation suits into my vehicle and drove toward the figure.  And that is when everything began to go so very wrong.

We had almost gotten to the boy, and in fact, I had stopped the car and yelled, to the fulfillment of my childhood dreams, “Freeze! FBI!”  I cannot begin to describe how surprised I was, shocked even, when that magical phrase had absolutely no effect on the situation. Of course, even then the bad guys never listened.

My last sentence is not entirely accurate.  There was an immediate effect.  The boy turned, and fired what appeared to be a lightning bolt at the car.  The subsequent smell of ozone and dead car proved this to be the case.  FattyB and I were able to roll out of the vehicle without electrocuting ourselves, he with his shotgun and me with the dart gun in hand.  I hoped that a live captive would provide more information than a corpse.  Plus, as with all things FBI, the paperwork for killing someone must surely be a nightmare.

We all managed to get a shot off.  Boom Boom Barbie winged him, and neither FattyB nor I managed to hit him.  He fired more lightning, and it appeared to be coming from a device he held, rather than magic, and he was starting to get our range.  In what I am willing to concede was certainly not the most brilliant move of my career, I charged him, figuring that I could get to him and get the device away from him before he could fire another blast.  I’m pleased to report that it worked, and after a brief struggle, we had a captive. (AC: Eventhough it worked out, the paperwork can be managed.)

By this time, I am sure that you have read the reports about the captive, and have either found out what he knows/knew or decided, like we did, that he possesses no information that would have been of value to our mission.  FattyB threatened him quite ably, using his shotgun as a prop, and after that there was no further point in finding anything out—as terrified as the kid was, he was either going to tell us what he knew, or decide to die with it, and we just didn’t have the time.  Besides, interrogating witnesses with a shotgun in the middle of a field with a dinosaur lurking around is not the best of times or places.  Of course, we didn’t know that it was a dinosaur at the time. We checked the kid’s lightning device, and the other thing that he was carrying.  I suppose the struggle rendered it all useless, though it looked like trash to me. (AC: TechOps is analyzing the 'Lightning Gun'. We have seen similar items before. Quite deadly, if it hits.)

A firm believer in Murphy ’s Law, I was unhappy delaying so far away from the car, and having a prisoner made it worse.   The situation was making the tiny hairs on my neck tingle.  Either that, or it was an allergic reaction to the dinosaur—I’ll check on that later.  Spidey senses indicated that something very large was circling around us, and since you’ve seen either the corpse and/or the measurements by now, you know exactly how large.  We managed to get to the still non-functioning vehicle (I think this is the 4th vehicle that I’ve officially trashed in the last year. (AC: Fifth, and I think you are due for a defensive driving refresher. Either that, or you pay the insurance premiums.) I do not count the trucks in Moscow and the Himalayas.  I never signed any forms for those.  Maybe something along the line of Hummer H2s in the future should be specified. Certainly 4-wheel drive is a requirement). 

In any case, the predator was looping around, and struck from the rear of the vehicle.  We managed to get the kid in the car for safety, though how safe that really was is anyone’s guess.  Boom Boom Barbie managed to throw a grenade, and I threw a flash bang.  Frankly, I was hoping to scare the thing off, but of course that didn’t work.  Suffice it to say, it was now wounded and angry.  It took after Boom Boom Barbie like a dog on a meat wagon.  More shots were fired, and Boom Boom managed to get under the car, which probably saved her life.  Of course, at that point, it was my turn to be the chew toy.  Eventually, and many rounds later, we killed it.  I’ll have some interesting scars from the fight, though FattyB did a very creditable job patching up the damage.

Finally we were clear to find the culvert that the kid was heading to.  We figured that it must be what we were looking for, because really, what the hell was Jr. Lightning Man doing way out in the middle of nowhere if not to find the same thing that we were looking for. 

It ended up being a drainage (I prefer not to think about what, exactly was being drained) tunnel from the old Hunt Plant.  A rudimentary homemade Geiger counter indicated that Clifford Potter had indeed been there.  There were several non-functional devices nearby.  Listening to the clicks gave us the idea that there was an ebb and flow of radiation, and we had approximately a 15 minute window to investigate.  So we donned the suits and went deeper into the tunnel.  After climbing a collapsed portion (Note the holes and rips in the suits we returned), we found ourselves in a cavern.  There was a gate, similar to what was pictured in Potter’s notes, buried in rubble.  As we said before, it seemed to be a portal, and no one was foolish enough to attempt to cross over to the other side.  We’d already dumped the golden cube that we found at Potter’s place in the green box, so attempting to figure out the proper code to close the portal wasn’t going to happen.

That’s when we called, and asked for options vis-à-vis blowing it to smithereens.  That was more my doing than Boom Boom, who seemed to have a pretty good grasp on what she needed to do to destroy the portal.  I just couldn’t see saving the world from being blown to hell by the asteroid just to let it end with a radioactive wimper at that portal to the past (I am aware that I’m leaping to a conclusion here, but the foot long dragonfly from before the stone age, and the people eating dinosaur would seem to indicate that my conclusion isn’t too far afield).

Boom Boom did her job.  I waited near the entrance to the tunnel.  A fall on the way in the last time made me realize that if we had to hurry out, well, I wouldn’t be fast enough.

As you know, it blew up.  Hopefully, that’s the last we will hear of trouble in Death Valley.  I’ve got the paperwork about Ohio, and am reading it.  FattyB is a little pissy about the time line.  I’m ok with it, since at least Ohio isn’t a desert yet. 

This leads me to my final notes:
We need to replace Dr. M.  I think the missions are taking a toll on all of us, but especially FattyB.  Additionally, I’ve noted a few areas where we could use some additional skills (see attachment).   Hopefully someone can be found that isn't too pedantic and who can help out in the areas where we are lacking.  Also, I will be submitting a form detailing our now non-functional electronic devices that were destroyed in the cavern.  Please note that the 3 new phones are a priority.  FattyB says to get the ones with the A13 bios. ( AC: New phones are already on the way and charged to your cell's account. Next conference call, remind me to show you how to access your cell's budget sheets. There has been more than enough time and you should be familiar with the proceedures.)



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