The Laundry RP (Entry #3)

Bear in mind that this entry is being written up about a week later than it should have been (mostly because my dissertation and other work got in the way) – as such: the overall accuracy of this particular story is highly suspect. Here is the next entry in the Laundry RP series… I like to call it “HOW NOT TO DO A MISSION” for obvious reasons:

It was an early morning for the Charnwood Laundry Branch. All the members of the group slowly dragged themselves out of their beds and to their workplace underneath the town’s monument. Ethel welcomed two new members to the group: Jemerald Smith, a reasonably attractive young woman, and Lesley Bian, a huge woman who was ‘built like a brick shit-house’.

After a quick coffee to wake themselves up, Reginald called the group into this office. He thanked them all for coming along at such short notice and started to explain what was going on:

“Recently we’ve been contacted by head-office to investigate some suspicious activity in Wales. I’ve not been told much be I know that you’re all being sent to investigate what’s going on. Oh, and Penelope is off on another mission right now – she’ll be dropped in via parachute as and when she becomes free.”

Reluctantly the group left the building and walked to the train station… caught the early train to East Midlands Parkway and then walked into the airport to await a flight across to their destination. It was at this point that most of the guys went and bought some duty-free junk: Bruce bought matches and deodorant, Jemerald bought a giant packet of Smarties and Dr. Smedley grabbed himself a bottle of very strong alcohol.

Bruce was rather unsettled by airports – his simple mind could not fathom that not everyone in the world was a terrorist. He glimpsed a shifty-looking man loading a black duffle bag into a nearby storage bay for their plane. Reacting instantly: Bruce yelled “Bomb!” and ran at the man… rugby tackling him to the ground. The poor man turned to Bruce and said “I’m one of you guys! I was just loading the damn plane!”

After a few minutes of calming down the airport security with various warrant cards and fast-talking, the group of Laundry operatives wandered onto the jet and took off towards Wales. Inside the plane the group opened up the duffle bag and pulled out some interesting equipment: a tillinghast resonator (a machine that shows magical energies to those around it) a few bags of the powder of Ibn-Ghazi (a powder that shows up invisible things) and a black plastic bag with some kind of gun inside it (attached to which were orders that it was not to be opened unless the team were specifically told to).

The team landed in Wales and were picked up by a man named Rennie. Rennie was a grumpy looking man with messy hair, wild eyes and dirty-looking hunting clothes. The group sat awkwardly inside the welshman’s four-by-four as it drove off into the middle of nowhere.

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Eventually after an hour or so the car stopped and the group got out. They had arrived at a restricted military testing area, similar to Salisbury Plain. Rennie took them to some strange looking tracks near the edge of a forest, he mumbled that there were ‘strange things’ in the forest. The group turned on the tillinghast resonator – a strange feeling of nausea hit the group hard as the world warped around them, they could see a creepy glowing trail into the forest: they decided to follow it.

After a few minutes the group turned off the resonator due to it making them feel too sick. They continued to follow strange tracks in the ground – which Rennie identified as mostly sheep… Eventually the group came across a field, in the corner a bunch of sheep were huddled together in fear.

It was at this moment that Penelope Tittington drifted down into the field, behind her a giant union-jack parachute billowed in the wind. She probably should have said something bad-ass at this point, but she couldn’t think of anything.

The group noticed that three of the sheep were dead, drained of their organs through nasty-looking slits on the back of their necks. They were shocked to see this but decided to continue following the tracks on the ground. Rennie continued to mutter to himself, but he was interrupted by the sound of a little girl singing.

Following the sound of singing the operatives came across a small clearing in which a girl was sitting. Jemerald walked up to the girl and offered her a Smartie; the girl said she loved Smarties and her invisible friend would love them too. Lesley (or as she preferred to be called “Lez”) asked the girl what she meant by ‘invisible friend’ to which the child replied “My invisible friend: Yog-Snuffles… he’ll be here again soon.”

Almost instantly Bruce went into action mode – he picked up the girl and punched her in the face to try and knock her out. The group looked on in confusion as their fellow agent span back around with the girl in his arms, an inane grin on his face.

Bruce’s grin dropped quickly as a loud roar from seemingly nowhere echoed through the forest. In an instant poor Rennie was lifted off the ground by an invisible force, he neck was slit open and the group watched as his body was drained of its organs.

The group pleaded with Bruce to let the girl go before the invisible creature killed all of them. Bruce refused so an irritated Dr. Smedley shot him in the leg with his pistol. Bruce fell over and dropped the girl, she ran off into the forest without the team’s notice.

In a moment of genius, Smedley ripped a piece of Penelope’s shirt off, stuffed it into his bottle of powerful alcohol and lit the end with one of Bruce’s matches. This makeshift molotov splashed all across the invisible monster before them, making it run off screaming into the forest.

The group spotted a large concrete bunker nearby and ran into it for safeties sake. Bruce refused to go into the bunker with Smedley, so he stood outside in the cold, wet air. He was fed up of Dr. Smedley shooting at him every time he did something silly.

The rest of the group investigated in insides of the facility. It was completely abandoned… it looked as if there had been a break out by one of the experiments. Upon turning on the resonator, the group were shown images of ghostly shadows experimenting on long-forgotten experiments: tentacles growing from petri dishes and people running from something down a corridor.

At this moment Bruce was still waiting outside despite hearing the sounds of the approaching monster. As the monster approached Bruce attempted to burn it again using his deodorant and matches – but due to taking far too long to think about it… he ended up losing his arm to the creature’s attack.

Jemerald dragged Bruce kicking and screaming into the bunker before the monster could devour him. She left him by a wall and went back to the main group to see what was going on.

The operatives all entered a large summoning chamber in the center of the complex. Inside a man and a woman were chanting in an unknown language: they appeared to be opening a portal to another universe. A tear in space-time floated in the center of the room, inside  which unspeakable horrors laid in wait.

Smedley pulled out his pistol and shot the man in the head, Ernie Nybble followed suit and shot the woman. With both the people dead, the portal closed quickly, but not before something behind it could speak:

“You will not stop the coming of me and my kind, Laundry. The walls grow thin and we shall feast upon mankind! The girl still lives and she will summon us through! My creature will find her!”

Upon searching the bodies the team realised that the child that Bruce had maliciously attacked earlier was the daughter of these two people. After feeling bad for a few minutes the group moved back to Bruce.

Penelope ripped another piece of her shirt off and used it to bandage Bruce’s wounds. Lez then picked up Bruce and carried him for the rest of the mission as he groaned in pain.

Ernie deduced that the girl would head to the nearby hill in order to summon the portal once again. He partly guessed this based on a book he’d read and the fact that there was a dark spinning hole in the clouds above said nearby hill.

The group reached the top of the hill and destroyed the chalk summoning circle that had been drawn there… it was here they rang Reginald: they weren’t happy with the lack of information they’d been given for this mission.

Reginald apologised, he didn’t realise that the creature that had been created years ago by the Laundry scientists was still alive. He asked the team to take out the bag with the gun inside, he explained that it was a marking device that would call in an rail-gun strike.

Armed with this new weapon… the team came up with a couple of plans:

  1. Kill a bunch of sheep and wear their bodies as camouflage, then mark the creature as and when it comes to try and eat them. (Lez’s idea…)
  2. Use Bruce as bait to lure the creature to the summoning circle, then blow the both of them to kingdom-come (Bruce was heavily against this idea.)
  3. Lure the girl into the bunker and hope that the creature follows her – then blow them all up using the rail gun marker. (Lez’s other idea…)
  4. Re-open the portal and fire the rail gun through it, just to piss of the creatures on the other side. (Smedley’s idea…)

They chose plan number three. Using the large bag of Smarties that Jemerald had bought at the airport the team created a trail from the hill to the bunker. The group then hid and watched as the girl followed the trail into the bunker. They saw the grass around the bunker move as the creature moved in towards the girl.

Jemerald protested as the team pulled out the marker and pointed it at the bunker, she didn’t want to kill the girl. Smedley said that they’d already killed her parents, so it wasn’t exactly fair not to finish the job.

The rail-gun strike came quickly. A bright light decimating the area around the bunker and leaving a massive crater. Bits of the monster lay strewn across the landscape along with crushed pieces of concrete bunker.

Reginald congratulated the group on a successful mission. He asked if the group had seen a family at any point during the mission, as several soldiers had come across a people-carrier stuck in the mud in the restricted area. Robert replied with a simple “No.”

Guilt weighed heavily on the operatives as they boarded their plane for home. They hoped never to have such a botched mission again. Bruce sat in the corner grumbling, holding the stump of his arm and glaring angrily at Dr. Smedley.

What will happen next time? Will Bruce get his revenge on Smedley for the loss of his arm? Will he actually do something that doesn’t involve rugby tackling everyone he sees? Find out next time!

The Laundry RP (Entry #1)

Thus begins a new set of entries for my website: I’ll be chronicling the storyline of  a Laundry tabletop role-playing game that I’m  running as a game master. What is The Laundry? It’s basically the British version of the Men in Black… with more bureaucratic red-tape and a heavy heaping of tongue-in-cheek Britishness. Today I ran a little practice mission with two of the players… here’s how it panned out:

Dr. Robert Maria Smedley and Bruce Campbell reported for their first day on her majesties secret service, not fully knowing what their new job entailed or what the future had in store for them. All they knew was that they were now both plumbers, working at The Laundry: Charnwood Division. The two men walked into the Carillon, a local monument in the town of Loughborough, and through a door that was hidden behind a wall of shelving.

After walking down a flight of stairs, the two men were greeted by an old woman at a desk in a clinically grey room. They looked around the area and read through a few leaflets on a nearby wall, Bruce gained a deeper understanding of things to come by reading a leaflet on “Counter Possession and You“, Robert attempted to snatch the leaflet from him, but failed miserably.

The old woman, named Ethel, greeted the two men with surprising excitement for someone of her age. She signed the two men up and then pointed them down the corridor to the head of the Charnwood Division’s activities, Reginald Burton.

Robert, (who was irritated by Bruce not giving him the leaflet from earlier) attempted to trip Bruce up when they were walking down the corridor, Bruce avoided his attack and then lifted Dr. Smedley over his shoulder. Smedley grumbled in annoyance as they both entered Reginald’s office.

The head of activities ordered Bruce to put down his co-worker, he then went on to explain what their job was in its basic terms. Reginald was very reluctant to send the two men on a mission without them having been through basic training, but the division was relatively low on agents after an accident in the local leisure centre involving a rather angry shoggoth.

Robert and Bruce were tasked with investigating a paranormal disturbance at the nearby Wetherspoons public house: “The Moon and Bell”. They walked to the pub and Bruce attempted to talk to a rather shaken-looking man at the bar, unfortunately his lack of social skills left the man threatening to call the police, so Robert took over to try and calm the situation whilst Bruce went to get a pint and a curry.

Robert learnt that recently the pub had been experiencing strange occurrences from the scared man, these claims were backed up by the barman. Both then went on to say that a group of students had been recently frequenting the bar – about the same time as the paranormal activity started.

Meanwhile, Bruce overheard a group of students from the LUPS (Loughborough University Paranormal Society) chatting about a cool book that they had found in the archives at the library. Bruce went over to investigate, but was shrugged off by the group. It was at this point the ‘leader’ of the group left the table and walked off to the toilet – Bruce tailed him.

Robert sat down at the table with the student group and managed to convince them after a long debate to give him the book. He was unable to discern the origins of the damaged-looking book, but he could tell it was missing a great deal of its pages.

Meanwhile, the leader of the group of students had noticed Bruce tailing him, so he assaulted him in the bathroom with a knife whilst yelling out possessed cries of madness. Bruce was stabbed in the shoulder, but managed to knock out the possessed student with his fists. He picked up the young man and carried him out of the pub, “He drank a little too much, I’m taking him home.”

Robert awkwardly followed his co-worker out of the pub, the students glaring at him as he left.

As the two walked back to the carillon Dr. Smedley decided to read the scraps of book a little more closely, unfortunately for him the knowledge he gained from the papers caused him to lose a considerable amount of sanity… he had accidentally stumbled across some excerpts from the Necronomicon.

Reginald congratulated the two men for a job well done and waved them on their way – telling them to get some rest before they headed to Dunwich for basic training. Robert went for a spell of therapy over the coming week and Bruce read up on some esoteric history.

Hopefully you liked this entry… I’ll be continuing this story on into the near future based on how the RP continues into the future. I’m sure things will get even more strange and twisted as I introduce more elements, characters and stories! What will happen next? Who knows?! Who cares?! We shall see!