C(T)U

Snacks on a Train!
Let the monkeys begin

You are all crazy with excitement. Sure, a two day train ride in coach is gonna suck, but you are going to Comicon, and not just any Comicon: the big one in San Diego. A plane would have been faster, but you couldn’t all afford it and you want to go together. The good thing about it is that you don’t have to stay in your seats, and you haven’t been.

You are in the lounge car where they sell pop, snacks and beer, if you’re old enough, for outrageous prices. Hopefully, you brought some food of your own. You are on the bottom floor of your lounge car. You are all playing D&D and interrupting the game regularly with comments about weird things you’ve seen in pictures of other comicons.

Your backpacks are above your seats two cars away on the upper level. Your suitcases are on the lower level of that same car.

Pugge4ktipit sw qpu xo j3b

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Desert Exposure
Insane Mormon Cultists

Everything was going well on the trip to ComiCon, San Diego. The party were in the lounge car on Amtrak rolling up some characters for a table-top board game when everything went wrong. A pair of people, dressed like Mormon missionaries, but with much larger name tags attacked. They shot the guy running the snack bar and ordered everyone back to their seats. Fellah ran and hid in the bathroom. Angela hid under the table. Clyde got out his cell phone and dialed 911 (an important decision in future games).

Liam would have none of it, and despite the fact that he was only armed with a pair of brass knuckles he attacked the Tec-9 machine gun wielding terrorists. He punched one so hard in the face that that he almost killed him, but when your enemy has a machine gun, almost isn’t good enough. The Mormons filled him so full of lead that it is a miracle he still walks the earth. Certainly, he wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for the aid that Fellah gave him when they returned to their seats as the Mormon Thugs demanded.

While at the seats, a man appeared with a bull horn. He explained that his name was Kody Brown and that he was the reincarnation of Joseph Smith. He explained that everyone on the train was to be converted to his religion: The Church of the New Reformed Church of Latter Day Saints, Apostles and Prophets. The name garnered much mocking from the party.

Kody explained that Mormon men who had been sealed in the Temple would be allowed to join immediately. Women would also be allowed to join and would be assigned a husband from among one of the prophets once they arrived at their destination. Men who were not already Mormons sealed in the Temple would have to be castrated before they were allowed to join. He explained that they would never be able to become gods, but would, instead become angels and do Kody’a will.

Both men claimed to be Mormons sealed in the Temple and were told that they would have to go to the rear car to prove it. Fellah went with them in order to keep Liam on his feet. The Mormon thugs who were guarding the back door were not inclined to let Fellah in. Liam claimed that Fellah was “his” and kissed her in an to persuade them to allow it. They accepted his argument, but said that women couldn’t go back there. He cajoled them a bit more CRITICAL PERSUADE and got them to let them all go back there.

Once back there, Liam and Clyde knew that they were screwed because they learned that they were going to have to prove that they had been sealed in the temple. Liam hurriedly attempted to forge his underwear into Mormon underwear, but really looked like a crazy guy attempting to write on his drawers with a felt-tip marker.

The jig was up. All three were sent back to their seats no worse for wear, but somewhat embarrassed. Kody informed them that the reason they had lied was because they had not been perfected. Once he had trained them, they would never sin again. The day had been crazy and the party slept fitfully in their seats.

Their sleep was awakened when a crash was heard through the window and the place was filled with a noxious smoke. Bullets began firing both too and from the train. Taking advantage of the confusion, Clyde threw his knife at Kody. Hit by a knife and scared by the events, Kody ran and hid in the bathroom.

In the gun fire at least two of the cultists died, but the train began to speed up. It began to be too powerful to stay on the track and lurched to the side. In the resulting crash, Fellah was slightly hurt, but everyone else in the party made it okay. The crash ripped the back end off the train, and the party was able to venture forth.

They saw immediately that the SWAT team that had come to fight the cultists were dead, crushed by the train. A couple party members looted 9mm from the SWAT teams’s bodies, but most of the larger weapons were destroyed. Fellah and Angela tended to the wounded while Kody came out and declared that he had performed a miracle and destroyed the SWAT team by causing the train to land on them. He said they had caused it to happen near one of his camps and invited all the survivors to come to a feast.

The party declined and chose instead to look through the train. They found plenty of food and drinks in the wreck of the lounge car. One of the party had a GPS and found that they were now in SE Utah, and decided to head to the nearest town they saw, Bluff, a small town at the intersection of highway 191 and state highway 162.

We left the party walking through the desert to bluff . . .

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Breakout

Group escapes from cultist jail, testicles remain intact

Who knew that the simple town of Bluff, Utah was a haven for raving lunatic Mormon cultists? A group of several college students found that out the hard way.
On August 11, 2011, Liam McReid, Fellah Al Farooqi, Angela Montoya, and Clyde Jormun, along with a host of others, began a perilous trek across the cracked dirt of the Utah desert after surviving a train crash the previous night when a group of Mormon terrorists hijacked it and fended off the SWAT team sent to take them out.
After the group gathered supplies and headed out, the survivors had nearly reached the highway when they saw a Black Hawk helicopter fly overhead, only to be shot down by a missile from the east, indicating that the Mormon terrorists were far more organized and monied than previously believed.
McReid decided to take matters into his hands by calling the police department and explaining the situation. After an indeterminate amount of time waiting, the police and some EMTs arrived. The EMTs aided the wounded, and the police asked McReid, Al Farooqi, Montoya, and Jormun to come with them to make a report.
The group quickly found out that the “police” were not actually the defenders of the peace, but rather undercover Mormon terrorists. When they had arrived at their destinations, McReid and Jormun had passed out from sleeping gas, but the two women, Montoya and Al Farooqi, made a stand against their captors. However, despite tasing one of the officers into submission and wounding another, the two were overwhelmed when their captors took out guns and opened fire. No one was killed, but Al Farooqi took a bullet before submitting.
Everyone was imprisoned in the police station most of that night, but when Jormun and McReid regained consciousness, Jormun began to heckle the guard. Oddly enough, instead of attempting to attack Jormun or ignoring him, the guard left to cool off, indicating he probably was new to the job.
While he was gone, a man named Jack Bauer, also imprisoned in the cells, expelled a small piece of metal from his body and picked his lock. Before he could undo anyone else’s cell, however, the guard came back and Bauer had to subdue the guard with his bare hands. He managed to accomplish this feat and took the guard’s gun and key ring, releasing the rest of the prisoners.
Once everyone was out, Bauer led them up to the next floor, where their equipment and a significant amount of weaponry awaited them.
Thus geared up, Bauer began to explain a plan of attack to the group, but Jormun and McReid grew impatient with a plan they had already assumed was going to happen: Run out of the building and shoot anyone in their way.
For the most part, the group followed the plan. Jormun threw a can of Pepsi under a table and yelled that it was a grenade, which the “officers” believed, ducking for cover in the process. Bauer was shot at several times during the escape, as he was the first one in and the last one out. However, he was only grazed by a few bullets and never severely wounded. No one else took any damage, and everyone managed to escape out the front door to Bauer’s awaiting vehicle.
After a short bout of deciding who should drive, Jormun took the wheel so that Bauer could shoot at any pursuit.
Pursuit did come in the form of a police vehicle, but some suppressing fire from Bauer and an ineffective Pepsi can from McReid managed to allow Jormun to leave the pursuit behind.
Sources say that the group is currently heading to Bauer’s hideaway.
We will keep you updated with further information about the group’s fate and the story behind the terrorists as information comes in. The whereabouts of the other train crash survivors is currently unknown.

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At the Cabin
Where we learn some history

As Angela stitches up his wounds, Jack begins to explain what ’s going on;

“The problem with the briefing I received before being sent out here,” Jack explains, “Is that it was brief. It is possible that you three have more ‘on the ground’ information than I do, but I’ll tell you what I know.”

“The Church of the New Reformed Church of Latter Day Saints, Apostles and Prophets. Separated themselves from the fundamentalist LDS sect known as the Apostolic United Brethren about six years ago. Because both sects are polygamist, they have been on the watch-list for the FBI. Neither group seem particularly dangerous as polygamist sects go. They don’t force or arrange marriages and no one under the age of 18 is brought into sexual relationships.”

“Still, all polygamist sects in America have a problem. In times and places where polygamy works as a social order, there are constant wars continually reducing the number of marriageable males. In America more males die young because boys do dangerous things, but not in the numbers necessary to produce a polygamist culture. Perhaps one of the greatest advances of The Church of the New Reformed Church of Latter Day Saints, Apostles and Prophets was the advent of ritual castration for certain members of their sect. In a lot of ways, the government groups watching them, liked this better. It doesn’t produce the ‘lost boys’ phenomenon that we see too often in western states. In fact, the castrated males are called ‘angels on earth’ and are cared for by the community.”

“So, the government watched them, but wasn’t too worried. Then their prophet, a man named Eugene Zolowski, who now goes by the name ‘Kody Brown’ began telling members that they needed to more actively recruit and that they needed to arm themselves. Well, the buying of large numbers of guns and stockpiles of ammunition eventually attracted the attention of the ATF. The government wanted to be careful here. We didn’t want another Waco or Ruby Ridge fiasco. We wanted to keep it from the cultists and from the press”

“So, they sent in under cover agents, all of whom converted. Many of them sent back glowing ‘reports’ of how wonderful life is without testicles, how Kody’s teaching ‘has changed their life’ and inviting other members to come and ‘come to understand true love and true freedom.’ Now, you’ve got to understand this. It wasn’t that some of the undercover agents converted. All of them did. Every person they sent in converted. If we had stayed in that jail, in a few days we’d have been loaded into a van, taken to one of Kody’s ‘feasts’ and come back calling our families and telling them about this amazing prophet. We men would be so proud of our lack of testicles. You women would be married into a harem of anywhere from 3 to 15 women and you would be insanely in love with your new ‘husband.’ You might be thinking, ‘no, not me,’ but you’re wrong.”

“The violence really started last year. Kody’s men would attack high-school football games or community dinners. There would be a blood bath, after which most of the community, far from hating Kody for his violence, converted. It is so weird.”

“There are communities throughout the western United States affiliated with The Church of the New Reformed Church of Latter Day Saints, Apostles and Prophets now. They seem to be in constant and immediate contact with each other. They use the phones, mostly, we think, but they must have some other means of communicating as well. We heard about the reroute of the train too late to stop it. Still, we activated SWAT out of Albuquerque and sent in my team, part of a secret government organization known as CTU, Counter Terrorism Unit. My team parachuted in around the area. The SWAT team went at the train full blast. The SWAT team was to stop Kody if possible. My team was to provide support, assess the situation. If we didn’t come out in 12 hours, a helicopter was to be sent in to get us. I was already imprisoned by the rescue time. Our contingency was to meet at this cabin and assess our options if we missed the rescue. I plan to wait here for a few days and see if any other members of my team show up. I’m keeping the SUV, but you can stay with me, or you can leave.”
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@#$% in' Mormon Biker Gang!?!!?
Liams drunk Sotry telling...

@#$%!!!!! We were just sitting there minding our business. I was actually having a pretty plesant chat with Jack while Clyde went off scouting and Fellah was killing Scorpions… Like a deadly amazonian queen… Then once we had finally given up on there being any survivors from the helicopter crash we are stopped by the @#$%ing CNRCLDSAP lackeys on @#$%in Crotch rockets trying to steal away Fellah and Angela. @#$% THAT!!! I ran up and punched one dead right away and then we took the rest out. Fellah even shot one right in the face. It was @#$%in glorious. Clyde did not do bad with his shooting either taking out the gas tanks on one of the bikes even and eventually we got all of them.. because of Angela’s tazer we were even able to keep one alive to try and interrogate him or take him with us to Jacks base.. oh yeah that’s where we were going when we went to leave.. to Jacks base.. or I guess the CTU base more accurately.

(Takes a Long Drink)
@#$% where was I?
Oh right we were going to take the guy with us.. he was a damn good singer but not my style of music.. too soft and slow.. any way we were about to go but he told us the SUV was broken.. so when we went outside to look we ran into more of the @#$%in lackeys and this time Mother @#$%ING Kody Brown his @#$%ing Self!!! There were more of them this time so we decided escape was the best option. So since there were still Motorcycles around we decided to hop on and ride away.. easier said than @#$%in done though. We we able to get fellah and Angela away first but there was only one other bike available that wasn’t behind lackeys or under lackeys. I was not about to leave jack there so as soon as he threw some sort of Fire grenade Clyde ran to get on his bike and I ran as hard as I could and lowered my should in my best rugby block to knock two of the mormons off their bikes which gave me and Jack time to get on and ride away.. even though I had never ridden a motorcycle before I guess the adrenaline made me do it well enough to get away.

(takes another long drink)
At least we thought we were away.. turns out somehow the @#$%ers followed us with a tracking device or something and they came and stole Angela away while she was on watch. @#$$!!!!! How could we not hear anything. She wouldn’t have just gone Quietly.. Would she? no @#$% NO!!! (sobs alittle then Recovers) it doesn’t @#$%in matter we WILL get her back.. Maybe the @#$%in CTU can teach me Karate or some $#!% then I’ll show that Kody Brown. @#$% it I am tried of talking about this lets just drink some more.

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CTUHQ
The most boring time of your life.

As you ride your bikes into Los Angeles, you realize that Counter Terrorism Headquarters is not just something you can type into the GPS. It doesn’t matter, because Jack leads the way. He leads you to one of the many high-rise parking garages. He converses for a while with the security guard out front, the gate is raised and Jack gestures to where you can park your bike. As you walk away from the bikes, they are descended upon by a group of men in blue coveralls who begin disassembling them. Jack walks over to the elevator which opens when he puts his hand on an electric pad. Once you are all inside Jack states his name and then a series of numbers and letters including Greek letters which also contain the words “authorization” “port” and “priority level” Otherwise, it is meaningless.

You feel a lightness, like the elevator is going down, fast. Jack gives some advice. “You are going to be asked a lot of questions. Most people will be polite, but, as you know, this is serious. So, some people will be abrupt. We are going to get Angela back, and when I say we, I mean you three and me. You are already too involved; it is already too personal; and the fact is that you are too good for me to leave you out.”

Jack continues, “You have my word on this. I don’t care if I have to call in a favor with the President. You are going to be read in to every aspect of this mission. To make it easier on me, however, I need you to trust me. Do what the people in here say. Answer every question truthfully as you can. Follow their directions. It might seem like we’re wasting valuable time, but everyone here is on your team.”

If he muttered the words “I hope” at the end of the phrase, you might never be certain. The elevator slowed and stopped. As you stepped out, there were three men of athletic build, all wearing black suits, white shirts and ties, standing near a desk at the front of a long white hall lit by florescent lights. Beside the desk, the rectangular arch of a metal detector was plainly visible.

“Jack,” one of them says with a brief head nod by way of greeting.

“Jim” Jack replied.

Pleasantries finished, one of the other men says, “I need you to take off anything metal, belts. shoes, piercings, weapons, everything and place it on the table.”

Liam was the first to comply, reluctantly removing his belt and gun and attempting transfer his booze from a metal flask to an empty plastic water bottle and put all the metal things on the table, and saying to Jack “we will get everything back right?”

“I can’t be sure about the gun,” Jack replies, “We stole it, so it’s evidence. But what is yours, will be returned.”

The men at the table love the belt buckle. They show it to each other, laughing. “I need one of these” one man says.

“I don’t think it will go with your outfit” Says another.

“Not today,” the first replies, “but you should see me on a Saturday night.”

Clyde is the next to respond: “Dude. Your security’s so tight here, I couldn’t press a button on a suicide jacket before I’d be gunned down. Or at least, it better be if you don’t wanna get infiltrated by those Mormons. They’re good.” Immediately walking around the metal detector. This results in immediately being tackled by all three men. They pulled off all his weapons and set them on the table (hide check when we play). The spirit of levity created by the belt buckle was gone.

Finally, Fellah calmly removed her metal objects and went through.

A woman appears from one of the doors in the hall, carrying a tablet computer. Her high heels click on the tile floor and echo in the hall. She says, “step this way” and leads the group through a series of hallways. In many ways, it looks like any other group of basement office suites. The doors are better, made of solid metal and sometimes an office worker typing away inside was wearing battle fatigues.

Eventually, the three of you are led into a room. It looks like a nice apartment. It is decorated in beiges and whites and. The furniture has a modern feel.
2010 05 simple modern furniture style apartment interior design2010 05 simple modern furniture style modern and cozy apartment interior design2010 05 simple modern furniture style bedroom design

“There is a room here for each of you to rest and a set of clean clothes for you. That are your sizes, if not your styles.” The last said with look of amuzement and possible condescension at the boys.

“The refrigerator is stocked.” She points out, opening the door to reveal a number of good things to eat and drink.

“But feel free to use the ‘menu’ ap on this,” she sets down her tablet on the counter, “to order whatever else you’d like.”

While questions abound in your mind, it appears there is no time to ask them as she walks out the door. The door has no knob and no visible means of opening it.

Thus begins the most boring week of your life. The tablet has Internet, which is somehow configured so that you can surf, but not post. There is a television with access to hundreds of movies. There is everything you’d need to eat or drink. The clothes appear to be business attire.

Every day, you are taken separately to interrogation chambers. At first you are asked quite reasonable questions about your experience. Eventually, the questions get stranger. You are asked about your religious beliefs. You are asked about your sexual histories. You are asked about hobbies and families and home towns. You are asked what you decide in consultation with each other later were the questions of a Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. You are given tests that seem to be IQ tests and things that remind you of those stupid “what kind of Greek Goddess are you” tests from Facebook. At one point a man who you’d swear was George Lucas but who insisted his name is Luke Danger grilled you on knowledge of Star Wars, Star Trek and X-Files trivia. You are shown slides of pornographic images, kittens, and war ravaged bodies and asked to tell how they make you feel. All the time you keep Jack’s admonition to honesty in mind, but this is ridiculous and a person can only resist trolling so much.

Finally you are brought as a group into an office. There is a black man sitting behind a desk. He is one of those people who you are almost certain was a linebacker in college, a large strong build covered in a layer of adult fat. He is wearing the suit and tie. he has a mustache and a few of the black hairs on his head are grey. Behind him stands jack. There are four seats. You are invited to sit down and do so or not as your choice.

The man begins. “My name is Director Scalper. I guess you could say I am in charge here at CTU. First, I want to apologize for my delay in bringing you into my office. We needed to look at your records, which was difficult because they are international and [glancing at Liam] colorful. Anyway, here is what I can tell you.”

“It seems that there are six people in the world who have had extended interactions with The Church of the New Reformed Church of Latter Day Saints, Apostles and Prophets who have not ended up converted or dead. You kids are half of them. Jack is another. You may meet the other two shortly, depending on what you decide.”

“Here’s what I can offer. We switch your visas from student visas to E-1 priority workers visas. That won’t prevent you from going to school, in case you’re worried. It means that you have special skills and will make better money. Then we will give you a job here. Not only will the pay be pretty good Investigative occupation, but I am willing to offer you a couple other benefits too. You will have Collateral Secret level of clearance and if you stay with us, we will have you on the fast track to Top Secret levels. You will be issued a license to carry concealed weapons in all states and territories of our republic and a badge. We will work with Colorado University to have your work count as “internships” and “independent studies” for specific classes, for which we will pay. We want you to get your degrees. Finally, we will allow you to work with Jack to recover Angela Montoya, hopefully before the brainwashing is complete."

“Or, we can give you an armed escort back to Boulder, CO. We will leave you alone, unless you encounter more terrorists, for the rest of your life.”

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oone of the worst and best days of my life...
It all started out when jack introduced me to liam fellah and clyde, a bunch of pretty cool cats. Anyway we were sent on a mission to investigate a compound in c alifornia that the mormoms were using. but before that I got THE GREATEST BIKE I;VE EVER HAD!!! anywho, we started out searching in the rocks coming to find out that they were THE Rocks that they “gulp” castrated me in. as we searched around for some sort of secret entrance we uhhh….didn’t find one. so we decided to attempt to sneak in the base although sneaking wasn’t really needed at all though we searched around finding this really $#%^in heavy….toy gun? that’s what it looks like at least. anywho fellah and clyde searched around inside the base and found this blue rod, it looked to be a battery of some sort but who knows and then they found this metal bar with some sort of puzzle words on it honestly I wasn’t paying attention I was thinking about my new bike and lack of testicles. and then out of nowhere(it seemed to me I have like a 8 wis) there were these 2 mormons that came up from the fireplace and I started shooting and then I realized it was michael and james… my two best friends*sniff* there is apparently a second stage of "conversion whih we learned about from “obi wan” that these guys went through, instead of subjecting them to testing we decided to just kill them a decision that whether the right or the wrong, I will have to live with the rest of my life… sniff then we climbed down to the bottom…which is where we are now.
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Two more bloodbaths.
It is interesting how life never seems to wish to go the route you choose for it. One can make plans, and those plans can be very good, solid plans, but in the end, they will still be held at the mercy of fate. The Americans are very fond of inventing technological fixes to things. I wonder if anyone is working on a machine that will divulge all the mysteries of fate? It would be the height of convenience, for certain.


One of the reasons I chose to attend school in this country was because I thought this was a safer country than Pakistan. And I suppose it is, in a way, so I do not think I was wrong in that regard. But even in safe countries, there is still a chance you can get caught up in a terrorist attack on a train. There are violent people everywhere.

These are very philosophical thoughts, I am aware. I believe it was our coming back to our home of so many years in Boulder that triggered them. It just seemed so strange. Only a short time ago, we were in a hidden basement of a rundown shack in the desert, battling a crazed woman with a Japanese longarm because she did not want us to rescue her sister from a device that is more at place in a Star Trek movie than in real life. We found strange machines, strange passageways that led to nowhere, strange metals, and discovered that our adversaries had the power of instantaneous teleportation by way of these metals.

And then we went home.

The contrast is enough to make one go mad. And perhaps we would have, if that old adage coined by Mr. Wolfe wasn’t true. What was it? Ah, yes: “You can’t go home again.” It is a peculiarity of life that one can find some small degree of comfort in finding armed Mormon terrorists ransacking your kidnapped friend’s dresser to bring her clothes to her, then battling them to the death right beside her beautifully made bed. I believe the colloquial term for it these days is, ‘the new normal’.

There was a woman in the bathroom during this fight, one of similar power to the lady with the naginata. I know not exactly the method these men use to convert each other, but it does seem to create very strong female counterparts. After taking a powerful hit with her pistol, Clyde resorted to burying her under Angie’s bed and having all the men sit on it. I added the dresser once my head cleared enough to think, and Liam somehow managed to bind her hands so she could not teleport or access her weapon again. Thankfully, she did decide to give up. I was worried that she wouldn’t, and that I would have had to continuously shock her with my taser to make her stop.

Sometimes the new normal can seem very strange, I suppose.

CTU took a long time in getting the police to come take her into custody. I was able to practice my medical training in repairing Clyde’s rather rough state of being. I may need to change the comforter on my bed. When the police did finally come, we stalled them even more by verifying their identity. It may have been caution, but I believe we also were simply annoyed by the slow response time and felt like being a bit petty. We were all very tired. Perhaps it was immature, but at least was an immaturity justified by the line of work.

We had another lead at that point, but professional judgment about our mental state kept us from investigating immediately that night. The large woman we crushed under the bed told us her men were heading to Angie’s church, an old gothic style cathedral with a mostly Hispanic congregation. I may be telling myself this as a justification for doing something wrong, but I believe that had we gone to this church and taken part in the ensuing gun fight in our state of physical and mental exhaustion, things might have turned out even worse than they did.

I suppose the only surprising part about what happened in this church was that Angie had actually been there. The Mormons who kidnapped her brought her along in an attempt to convince the priest there to join their cult, the logic being that if he converted, Angie would no longer have any shred of doubt in her about becoming Kody’s bride and their icon. So from my point of view, there were only two possible outcomes: that the priest would convert, or that there would be another bloodbath. The police arrived on scene before the former could happen, so you may infer which outcome was true.

Thankfully, the priest was left unharmed (physically, at least), and so we managed to console him and get him to a safe location. All that was left was to finish up the work the police had not done at the crime scene and collect evidence. Once again, we discovered many things, but most are still cryptic. A journal written in Korean? Burn marks shaped like all-seeing eyes? The fact that the badges are made out of the teleportation metal? I know of no way to connect these things right now.

And so we went back home and had some coffee, awaiting our next destination: a public colloquium by our dear friend Kody, which he has been advertising with flyers for the past several weeks. I expect there will be more gunfire, and more people will die.

I may just pop the Legend of Zelda into the old NES in the living room and see how far I can get before the big show.

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Two Breakfasts
When one is not enough

Fellah runs across the grass to take care of Jack. She is hurt, limping from the bullet in her shin, but Jack is hurt worse. The blood trickles from multiple wounds and his breathing is labored and ragged as Fellah pulls out her med-kit and labors heroically to save Jack’s life.

Clyde sits in the darkness of the armored hummer. He’d never seen himself as a killer, but the realization rolls over him as to how many people are dead at his hands. What lies does he need to tell himself to get forgiveness? Right now, the irony doesn’t seem funny.

Liam also contemplates his hands. His brass knuckles are covered in blood. How much of it is his own? How much belongs to these things, these cultists, who lie on the ground in the gun-smoke mist that surrounds him? Religious warfare, with the conflicts he’d known as a child so long ago and so far away, could it happen here? The bottle of grain alcohol tucked into his vest, to be used as a Molotov cocktail if necessary, finds instead use as a salve to restore Liam’s shaky sanity.

The early September breeze begins to clear the gun smoke from the air and points to the fact that autumn comes early to the Rockies. Where had summer gone? A few days in jail, a few days at a cabin, a week in the virtual jail of the CTU offices and travelling, travelling, travelling: hotels and truck-stops and Liam’s empty beer bottles filled with his cigarette butts. It all adds up. It is a cliché, but in some ways it felt like summer, with all its naïve promises of fun adventure was just days ago. But the passing of summer, with its harrying, real life adventure seems like a lifetime has passed.

Men in uniform, run around, picking up the bodies of the dead, tending to the wounded. As they pick up the bodies of these new, strange members of the cult, the bodies crumble into dust. Kody and his wives are well and truly dead, zipped up in bags, and hauled off. Most of the cultists are dead as well, medics care for the others.
One of these medics takes over working on Jack from Fellah, while another begins to tend to Fellah. The press is coming. Of course the press is coming. That had been the point of provoking the attack. Kody could be exposed as the mad man that he is . . . that he was. Kody is in a zippered bag now.

The military personal rush Liam, Fellah and Jack back to the hummer ahead of the onslaught of cameras and questions. They sit in silence.

“Where to?” the voice comes from a camouflage and armor clad woman in the driver’s seat.
It is unclear who responds, but the words “donuts” and “waffles” come from somewhere in the party.

“I know just the place” the woman says. The hummer moves.

*******

In a roadside diner a combination of carbs, fats and caffeine bring the party back to their old selves. There is good natured teasing and laughter. Kody is gone, and even though they have been through Hell to get there, this is a really, really good thing. There is hope. Evil is being defeated. There is good reason to celebrate, and 24 hour breakfast is as good a means as any holiday feast.

Over the diner’s wi-fi, they get in touch with Director Scalper. He congratulates them on their victory, and has even more great news. The Korean diary that Fellah found on the body of the dead Mormon in the Catholic church building in Boulder Colorado has been translated and decoded.
“It appears to be the diary of a Sulsa, and it looks like they’ve been dealing with people a lot like our cultists for years. When you feel ready, go back home. I’ll meet you there and we’ll talk about the next phase of our plan.” Director Scalper says before logging out.

“Salsa,” says Liam, “What the @#$% does Mexican food have to do with this.”

“Sulsa,” Clyde corrects him, “sort of a like ninja.”

“Seriously,” Liam says, “That was a ninja book that Fellah found!”

“Not exactly” Clyde says. “I heard about the Sulsa when I was looking into eastern religions for a while. They occupy a place in Korean culture similar to the place that ninjas have in Japan or the Thuggee in Hindu cultures.”

Fellah sucks in air through her teeth at the mention of the Thuggee, a group not well liked in Pakistan, “So they are murderers and hitmen,” she says.

“Assassins,” Clyde shrugs. “But they have this whole religious thing built up around it. It has to do with the ying-yang and Daoism. They practice something the call ‘the way of darkness’ which they say is balanced by people who practice ‘the way of the true sword.’”

“Jeong dō,” Liam says, not looking at anyone.

Jack, Clyde and Fellah look at Liam with shock, as though he has just begun speaking Korean, which he has.

When Liam looks up and notices their faces he continues incredulously, “What the @$%& do you think CTU was teaching me while you two were @$%&ing around at the farmstead? It was a bunch of martial arts and $#!*. ‘The way of the true sword’ is ‘Jeong dō’ it’s a part of that Korean Tae Kwan Do $#!%. I don’t know anything about this @$%&ing ‘way of darkness’ $#!% though.”

“I don’t really know any more about it than what I just said.” Clyde slumps back in the restaurant booth.

“We were NOT @$%&ing around at the farmstead,” Fellah says firmly.

*******

It is late at night when they finally get back to Boulder. There is a car in the driveway, and the party enters cautiously, feeling a little sick that they feel like they have to enter their own home that way. It appears that the police have removed the bodies, but there are still blood stains on the carpet and bullet holes in the wall. Director Scalper is there. He has found a blanket and pillow and appears to be sleeping on the couch. Some discussion is made about waking him, but Jack recommends letting him sleep.

While the excitement of the past two days, indeed, of the whole summer, might have keep them from sleeping, fatigue, and in Liam’s case half a fifth of Jim Beam, win out. In the morning the smell of bacon and coffee awaken them. The party comes into the kitchen to see Director Scalper in Angela’s apron, cooking. Due to his massive muscles and layers of fat, the apron is much too small for him, but he seems to have found some string to make the straps longer. He appears to be humming, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and shaking his ample buttocks as he pours pancake batter onto a griddle.

He turns his head and smiles, “Breakfast will be ready in 15 minutes if you can wait.”
Liam pours himself a cup of coffee and steps outside for his morning cigarette. As he takes in the smoke and early autumn air he hears a “thump” coming from the trunk of Scalper’s car. He yells in the door, “You got something pounding in your boot, Scalper.”

Everyone rushes outside, armed. Scalper gestures for everyone to circle round the back of the car, weapons aimed, as he pops the trunk, and the man who called himself Obi-Wan last time the party met him climes out.

Scalper slaps his head, “How in Sam Hill did you get out of your cell again, and how did you get in my trunk.”

The old man looks seriously at Scalper, “Why, Captain Picard, I climbed into an escape pod before the Death Star was destroyed. I can only hope that the Daleks have made peace with the Romulans and that Mr. Spock here,” gesturing toward Clyde, “has learned to use the Force for something besides aiming photon torpedoes at Lex Luthor.”

“Well,” says Scalper, “I don’t have time to take you back right now, so why don’t you come inside and have some breakfast.”

“Delightful,” Obi-Wan says.

Breakfast is good: crisp turkey bacon, eggs, pancakes, fresh melons, grapes and strawberries, orange juice, coffee and milk. As everyone eats, Director Scalper talks between his own mouthfuls:
“Here’s the situation. The diary was from a sulsa. Apparently, his sect or clan or whatever have been fighting people like this Mormon sect for decades, maybe longer. They’ve been fighting people who can teleport in blue light, who steal women and castrate men, who sometimes have these weird weapons, like you saw in the park. Even the name tags and white shirts seem to have shown up in the last two or three years. Here’s the good news. It looks like this particular group of sulsa know where they take people they kidnap and how to reverse the brainwashing process.”

“Yes,” says Obi-Wan, “Sulu knows the location of the hidden Rebel base, but if he tells Darth Vader, the Klingons will send in sentinels to flush out the mutant children. Then how will Drizzt get to Oz? The yellow brick road would have to be disintegrated.”

“So here’s what I think we should do” Scalper recommends, “You will fly to Seol and try to find this particular group of Sulsa. Hopefully they can help you get to Angela, and whatever other Americans might be under the sway of these freaks.”

“Just as Yoda foresaw in the Mirror of Galadriel!” Says Obi-Wan enthusiastically.

“But none of us speak Korean,” Fellah says.

“And I can’t go.” Jack says grimly.

“Why not?” Clyde asks.

“Because when Frodo threw the ring into the main reactor, it was a direct hit, and the crystal was shattered and the Mystics and the Skeksies were born.” Obi-Wan says, by way of explanation.

“I’m afraid that’s classified above my level to discuss,” says Jack, looking sideways at Obi-Wan as though he almost understands him, “but one time I prevented World War 3 and most of eastern Asia has ‘shoot on sight’ orders for me now.”

“I’ll have another partner for you.” Says Scalper.

“Who?” Jack demands.

“Müller,” Says Scalper.

“Wolfgang Müller?” Jack settles back into his chair thoughtfully. “He’s perfect, but he is so strange and he’s not part of CTU. Can we trust him?”

“What Han Solo did with Arwen and Kitty Pryde in the cargo bay of the Enterprise still causes the Vogons to lust after the Aes Sedai when they watch the tapes,” Obi-Wan giggles.

“He’s with the CIA now. They’ve got him in South Korea. He speaks Korean and will believe every insane word that these kids tell him.” Skinner replies.

“It all has to do with Fox Mulder’s sister,” Obi-Wan says, sadly, “But Skully is the one who got pregnant, not Padme Amidala.”

“Just watch his hands and don’t believe everything he says,” Jack said, looking directly at Fellah.

Obi-Wan also looks at Fellah, “When Captain Kirk was Baron Administrator of Cloud City, Princess Leia was his pleasure servant.”

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