Doctor Kilroy is absolutely not an Agent for an agency that doesn't exist named Delta Green, one of many such phantoms defending the world against things that shouldn't exist.
April, Spring 2006
We get the call for a night at the opera from Jacobs, and meet up at the Four Seasons in the mounds of Chester, Ohio.
I'm new to the party, but the rest of the operatives have met previously. Jacobs, "Colin" and "Sully Zark"
We're here for Cell F; they've been operating in Chester for a while, but something happened, and they've gone quiet. We're here to check up on the remaining operatives, a DEA officer Rigoberto R. Young, and a police sergeant Steven Marino, make sure they're still alive and sane.
Our cover is DEA; we've been supplied IDs by a sponsor higher up, so keeping this clean is imperative to prevent blowback.
We pile into Jacobs' black SUV and roll on to the Chester courthouse. Our search is relatively short and we find Marino; he leads us into the conference room.
Marino's looking okay, but he clearly hasn't been sleeping well for a few weeks... probably coincides with Cell F's mishap. We sit down, exchange names on badges. Ask about Young. Marino realizes we're here about their night at the opera, and proposes a meet time of 9:45pm at a train yard on the edge of town. We agree, and part ways for the day.
Jacobs notes the holstered, but unsecured gun. Advises we don't want to make any fast moves, he's on edge.
I suggest we stake the meet out from about 6pm onwards. Until then, we have time to kill.
Jacobs and Colin go check out the Mounds.
Zark and I go to the Arthur Hunt museum; Zark's interested because Hunt pioneered some technology. I've no particular interest, but go along anyway.
The Museum is a bit neglected, very quiet. Our arrival's heralded by a small bell over the door, an old woman emerges to give us the tour. Hunt was born to an unmarried Emily Harris in 1906. He lived just outside of town with his aunt, Margaret Harris. He never really knew his mother, she left pretty sharpish. He had a bit of a rough upbringing with his aunt, but the tour guide glosses over it a bit.
He was very studious, liked reading. In 1924, he was one of the first people to have a fully-lit house. He incorporated Hunt Electrodynamics in that year, and on the same day, filed a bunch of patents, and quickly accumulated business opportunities with Westinghouse and Consolidated Edison. In 1930, he produced the Hunt Mk 1 Resistor, which is what made his name, and opened an electrical plant.
He began to travel, and expand business out of Chester / Ohio, such as a facility at Hellbent, California, where he died in an explosion.
We're getting hustled through the displays pretty quick, but I notice a display, Hunt's Toolset -- there's all sorts of regular tools, but there's two stained metal funnels that don't seem to belong... made out of bronze? We arrive in the gift shop, and I understand where she's been trying to drive us. I pick up a replica of his patent application for shits and giggles. And possible future bluffs, as it's a rather dense document.
As I'm walking out, I recall one of Hunt's pictures; of him when he was young, just doing menial labor. Not much at first glance, but there was one of him up a flagpole without pants, and... I head back into the museum to take a look, the tour guide stays with Zark to make sure he doesn't steal shit.
Now unsupervised, I am free to quickly ransack books and other display items. I'm seeing him in pictures with other people. Scribbly drawing, surprisingly crude. I notice there seems to be a rather drastic change around the 1920s; afterwards, every photo of him, he's not smiling at all... a stern, lifeless expression. (Versus before, he was a happy, jolly sort.) From Around march-april 1922 to 1923, a year later, there's no scribbly drawings at all, and that's when he started getting into books.
I feel like there's a conspiracy here. Hunt found something man was not meant to know. Possibly died for it. A DG progenitor? Or a DG target?
Outside, we see two weirdos in a black SUV. Our weirdos.
They learned all about The Ohio River Killer. Back in '99, there was a man who had a run-in with a deputy. Records are uncharacteristically murky. Allegedly, the deputy shot the man 5 times, but he escaped anyway. It triggered a huge manhunt. In summer 2000, the fugitive returned, and the records get even murkier. Apparently the entire department opened up on this guy... and he was still alive to be arrested. He was held for 36 hours before vanishing, along with the sherriff, Arthur Feldstaff. There were disappearances for over a year, bones turning up. In 2001, bones of a Douglas Yale turned up. They were damaged in the same way, but... this was the guy who had been arrested and vanished.
Strange stuff's been going on in this town for a real long time.
Other possible leads involve an local author, John Mascoje, and a local cult, the Church of the New Star Crusade, who have a commune outside of town and a fervent belief in someone called Ignis.
We want to get the meeting out of the way, so we skip to the meet.
We're waiting at the train yard when a Chester PD cop car rolls up; two guys get out, Marino and presumably our DEA agent. Marino's drinking a starbucks, but he's ready for a fight if it comes to it.
We introduce ourselves. Marino asks why we'd be here.
"You're asking why we're here? Aren't there usually more people in a cell?"
Marino and Young go pale. Marino chugs his coffee. I smell Vodka from Marino. "Zachariah's dead. But we got him."
"Who, the Ohio River Killer?"
"What? No, the Sourcerer of Hemlock Grove."
Marino covers the basics. It was some nutjob, a rogue worshipper of Ignis sacrificing things. They knocked on the door, but just weren't prepared for it. There's really no way you can be, so that's fair.
There's not much else to say, so we part ways. We discuss the outcome -- we've confirmed what happpened to Cell F, and they're possibly still fit for service; broken, but hardly in "terminate" territory.
We'll call this a successful op.
I do some research on Hunt's death. The plant at Hellbend didn't so much explode as it imploded, almost erased, fallen into the ground. A sinkhole. Or a black hole. The town basically collapsed after that, with the jobs going with the plant. There's like 82 people left there, and the town's never going to get bigger probably.
The death rate just spiked in May, and I think I know where our next night at the opera's going to be.