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Delta Green M Cell Campaign (2003 – 2010)

Winds of Change, Session 1

Scenario Author: Allan Goodall
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: February 18, 2006
Game System: Chaosium's Basic RolePlaying (BRP)
Keeper: Allan Goodall
Characters: Gabriel Dodge, codename MALCOLM (Jason Gallagher); Joshua Frost, codename MORGAN (Jimmy Pope); Carson Kovac, codename MAYA (Alana Goodall)

Note: Hurricane Katrina timeline items were taken from the Hurricane Katrina Timeline article on Wikipedia.

Sunday, June 26, 2005, 6:41 p.m. EDT

Every Delta Green agent received the following e-mail:

From: Adam [Cell A] <adam@delta-green.gov>
To: All Delta Green Agents
Subject: Alphonse
Date: Sunday, June 26, 2005, 23:41 GMT

It is with deep regret and much sadness that I must report the death of Agent Alphonse. Agent Alphonse passed away this morning of natural causes after a brief illness.

Alphonse had been with Delta Green for longer than any other agent. He was the heart and soul of our organization. His knowledge, expertise and -- for those of us who knew him personally -- his wonderful wit and self-sacrifice will be sorely missed.

He knew that eventually the day would come when he would be unable to perform his duties as the head of A Cell. To that end, he personally selected his replacement, Agent Alex. Agent Alex has been brought up to speed on all ongoing Delta Green operations. Alex will take over from Alphonse effective immediately.

It was Alphonse's last wish that the transition from him to Agent Alex be as smooth and transparent as possible. I know all of you will honor that wish.

Agent Andrea and I will continue in our present roles. All queries to Alphonse have been forwarded to Alex. Our server is re-routing Alphonse's e-mail to Alex. In the future, please contact Alex using the alex@delta-green.gov e-mail address.

Sunday, June 26, 2005, 5:47 p.m. CDT

Undisclosed Location, Garden District, New Orleans, Louisiana

Agent MAYA read her Delta Green e-mail. The news of Agent ALPHONSE's death shocked her. The first thing she thought was, I bet that bitch ANDREA poisoned his food! She read the e-mail a second time. I wonder what this ALEX dude will be like? And since when did ALPHONSE have wit? After reading the e-mail a third time, MAYA went back to remodelling the bathroom of her house.

Sunday, June 26, 2005, 6:51 p.m. EDT

Undisclosed Location, Atlanta, Georgia

Agent MORGAN's jaw dropped as he read the e-mail. He let out a gasp and read it a second time. He met ALPHONSE exactly one year ago that day. ALPHONSE was quite spry for an octogenerian, but it didn't surprise the CDC investigator that he succumbed to something like pneumonia. That didn't lessen MORGAN's grief.

MORGAN pulled up his web browser. He did a Google search of obituaries for someone of ALPHONSE's age. One of the first links was to an obituary that he was sure was ALPHONSE's:

Obituary

Dr. Joseph Camp, 87, Conservation Officer for the Library of Congress, died June 26 of heart failure due to complications from pneumonia. A conservation administrator, researcher, and linguist, he was probably best known for his restoration efforts following major floods in Florence, Italy in 1966 and in Lisbon, Portugal the following year. As a result of knowledge gained during those experiences, he wrote "Procedures for Salvage of Water Damaged Library Materials" in 1975. The work was later translated into Spanish, French, and Japanese.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during World War II Camp served in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the CIA. He worked for 22 years with noted English bookbinder Roger Powell. Together, they restored such rare volumes as the Book of Durrow, the Books of Dimma and Armagh, the Lichfield Gospel (the Book of Chad), and the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan.

During his tenure at the Library of Congress from 1971 until his death, Camp inaugurated new concepts and programs relating to the conservation of the Library's extensive collection. He is credited with developing the Library's world-class, professionally trained conservation staff and a conservation internship program. Other innovations credited to Camp include the introduction of photographic conservation to the Library's preservation program and customized boxing of damaged materials to buy time for later conservation treatment.

Camp was a fellow of the International Institute for Conservation and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and held many consultancy positions dealing with recovery of fire and water-damaged collections. He worked full time at the Library of Congress until 1994, when he went into semi-retirement.

The obituary's last line caught MORGAN's attention. Dr. Camp's semi-retirement in 1994 tied in perfectly with the death of General Fairfield (at the hands of Majestic-12, or so went the rumor) and the formation of Delta Green in its modern incarnation.

MORGAN picked up his Delta Green cell phone and called MAYA. When she answered, he said, "Did you get the e-mail concerning ALPHONSE?"

"Yeah, I saw that," she said, in somber tones.

"I Googled 'deaths' for that time period, and I got something. I found his obituary."

"Well, they said he was dead."

Ignoring her, he said, "ALPHONSE was a Dr. Joseph Camp." MORGAN e-mailed the obituary to both MAYA and MALCOLM.

She read it while she remained on the phone. MORGAN called MALCOLM and asked him if he had read his e-mail. MALCOLM said, "Yeah, that's awful!"

MORGAN did a quick check and found that Dr. Camp was scheduled to be buried in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Wednesday, June 29. The service would begin at the chapel of the Mount Auburn Funeral Home at 10:00 a.m. then continue at the grave site.

After a quick discussion all three agents decided to go to the funeral. For MALCOLM, it gave him an excuse to visit his parents in nearby Wellesley. MAYA said she wanted to go for the clam chowder.

The three agents made their travel plans online. MALCOLM would fly in on the 27th and stay with his parents. MORGAN and MAYA would fly in on the 28th. They made reservations at the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Somerville, MA, which was only a couple of miles away from Cambridge.

Wednesday, June 28, 2005, 5:57 p.m. EDT

La Quinta Inn and Suites, Somerville, Massachusetts

The first thing MAYA did after checking into her hotel room was to log on and check her e-mail. There was a new message from A Cell on the secure Delta Green server.

From: Alex [Cell A] <alex@delta-green.gov>
To: All Delta Green Agents
Subject: New Telephone Communication Protocol
Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2005, 14:11 GMT

Effective immediately, all direct communication with other cells via telephone (land line, mobile, satellite) will cease.

The preferred method of communicating with other cells is through the secure Delta Green e-mail server.

If time sensitive contact is necessary, telephones can be used but with the following stipulations.

1. Communication by telephone with cells other than A Cell will be allowed, provided that it is required for a mission. These calls will be through the secure Delta Green telephone exchanges by way of secure cell phones or Delta Green issued telephone cards, and preferably both.

2. All telephone calls directly to A Cell will now terminate at a secure voicemail service. Leave a message and A Cell will return the call as soon as possible.

3. In cases of extreme haste, leave the message "*34" or text message "*34" to the A Cell telephone number.

This new protocol is part of a series of security improvements. Further security bulletins will be issued in the future.

After reading the e-mail, MAYA went up a floor to visit MORGAN. "Did you read the latest e-mail?" asked MAYA.

MORGAN nodded. "ALEX sounds like an ass."

"I'm not terribly impressed with our new fearless leader."

"Nor am I," replied MORGAN. "I understand if you don't like the protocols. I don't like them myself. But we will follow them... until we find reason not to."

A half an hour later, MALCOLM met the agents at their hotel for supper. As soon as he saw them, he said, "Hey, did you get an e-mail?" The others nodded.

They discussed the e-mail over supper. "It's just a change in procedure," said MORGAN.

"Change is bad," replied MALCOLM.

They joked about some Mythos beastie chasing them down, about to eat them, and all they could get for support was A Cell's voice mail. It was unanimous: the new protocol put a layer between the agents and A Cell that could result in a life-threatening delay, and none of them liked it.

MORGAN looked at his watch. They had to hurry if they wanted to get to the funeral home in time for the visitation. "We have to pay our last respects to Dr. Camp."

"Yes, the last of our leaders worthy of our respect," said MALCOLM.

They finished their meals and drove to the funeral home. They signed the guest book as Morgan Freeman, Malcolm McDowell, and Maya Angelou. A large number of people had came by to see Dr. Camp. MORGAN thought he recognized the name of a politician or two in the guest book, but he didn't detect any Delta Green presence. They mingled with the current group of mourners, all of whom were colleagues of the good doctor. The agents left the funeral home after spending a respectful twenty minutes weeping over Camp's body.

Thursday, June 29, 2005, 11:20 a.m. EDT

Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The agents stood near the back of a group of mourners in Mount Auburn Cemetery. The sky was overcast and looked like it was threatening to rain. The cloud cover didn't reduce the temperature. It was already over 80°F. The only thing that kept it from being uncomfortable was a stiff breeze.

A dozen chairs sat beside an open grave. Over top of the grave was Dr. Camp's casket, suspended on green straps that were attached to a metal frame. The chairs, which faced the funeral home's chaplain, were occupied by Camp's family. The rest of the mourners stood behind the chairs. Camp was a veteran of World War II, so he was being buried with military honors. Five soldiers in dress uniforms stood beside the chaplain; three of the soldiers were armed with bolt action rifles.

Dr. Camp never married and had no children. He did have a sister, now deceased. His only remaining family was Michelle Houston, a niece in her late 50s and her children. Judging by the genuine grief on the face of his family, Camp was loved. Most of the remaining mourners knew Dr. Camp in his capacity as a preservationist and a researcher.

Not all of those present were colleagues or family. One of the mourners was a tall, attractive brunette in a black suit, with her hair pulled under a wide-brimmed hat. The look would have been grotesquely old-fashioned, bordering on ridiculous, if someone else had attempted it, but on this woman it worked. The woman studiously avoided eye contact with MORGAN. MORGAN nudged MALCOLM and discreetly pointed to her. "ANDREA," he whispered.

MALCOLM squinted. "You mean the bitch in cheap shoes over there?" whispered MALCOLM. MORGAN nodded.

MORGAN recognized a gorgeous blonde woman in her mid-twenties wearing a tasteful, and expensive, green dress. He and MICHAEL met her once. She was Agent NANCY, an FBI profiler with extraordinary gifts of perception. Standing three rows behind her was Agent LARRY.

The chaplain finished the eulogy. The honor guard fired their weapons, and a folded flag was handed to Camp's niece. The chaplain led the crowd in a final prayer, and then the crowd dispersed.

As they were leaving, they found themselves in the path of the niece. "Thank you for coming," she said. "Did you know Uncle Joseph very well?"

"Only from work," said MORGAN. "I consulted with him a lot, over the phone. I always liked working with Dr. Camp. He was a pleasant man."

"Unlike his co-workers," whispered MAYA to MALCOLM.

"I didn't know he was ill," continued MORGAN, trying hard not to scowl at MAYA.

"It was sudden. He caught a cold a couple of weeks ago and it developed into pneumonia. He was unable to fight the infection." Ms. Houston shook their hand, thanked them once more, and walked away.

The other Delta Green agents made a point of not addressing each other. They were supposed to be strangers, after all. M Cell walked back to MAYA's rental car, as they had arrived in one vehicle.

As they approached the car, MAYA noticed a black sedan parked on a parallel road about twenty feet away. The sedan's window was down, and what looked like a camera lens was sticking out. In a second the lens was gone and the car crawled away. MAYA squinted and just managed to get the license plate number. It was a Maryland plate. She recited the number to herself as she pulled a scrap piece of paper from her purse and wrote down the number.

She turned to the other agents. "Did either of you just see that car, that just drove away... there was something inside... never mind, I got the license plate number." She paused for a couple of seconds and then said, "The car looked suspicious."

"It was probably members of whatever organization killed ALPHONSE," said MALCOLM.

"Or someone who wanted to see how many D.G. agents they can snag," added MORGAN.

They got into the car. MAYA put on her seatbelt. She started the engine as the others buckled up. She drove out of the cemetery and onto a busy road. MORGAN asked, "Did y'all see LARRY, NANCY, and ANDREA?"

"I saw LARRY," answered MALCOLM.

"And Moe, and Curly, yeah," replied MAYA.

MAYA drove back to the hotel where she and MORGAN were staying. MALCOLM had taken a taxi cab to the hotel so that he could go to the funeral with the other two agents. They asked him to join them in MORGAN's room and he accepted. Once they were in MORGAN's room, MORGAN called FBI Special Agent Louis Gaston. He got Gaston's voice mail. He left a message, then hung up.

Gaston phoned MORGAN a half an hour later, while the agents were drinking coffee. MORGAN asked the FBI agent if he could run a license plate number for them. Gaston said it would be no problem. MORGAN gave Gaston the number MAYA had noted. He heard Gaston type something in the background. In a couple of minutes he had MORGAN's information.

"It's a government plate. It's registered to the motor pool at Andrews Air Force Base."

MORGAN thanked Gaston and hung up. "Majestic-12," said MORGAN.

"It's registered to Majestic-12?" asked MALCOLM.

"No. Andrews Air Force Base."

"That's Majestic-12's headquarters, isn't it?" said MALCOLM with a smirk. "How do you know it's Majestic-12?"

"Once you've been strapped down to a table, and threatened, and had your mind erased, you tend to learn these things."

MALCOLM was confused. "Having your mind erased gave you insight?"

"No. MAYA's mind was erased."

MORGAN pulled out his laptop. He connected to a secure Delta Green server. He sent an e-mail to Agent ALEX, copying LARRY, NANCY, and ANDREA, telling them about the car and where it was registered. He asked for advice.

Less than an hour later, he received ALEX's reply. The e-mail was short but scathing, saying that the attendance of so many agents at Dr. Camp's funeral without first informing A Cell was a potentially severe security breach. ALEX told them to maintain vigilance. "It's possible they haven't managed to identify you," said the e-mail. "Inform A Cell immediately of any surveillance directed against you."

MORGAN read the e-mail to the other agents. "Send them an e-mail," said MALCOLM. "Ask them if I can go to the bathroom."

"I'm going to ask them to suck my hairy ass," replied MORGAN.

Soon after, MALCOLM left the agents and took a cab back to his parents' place. He didn't notice anyone following him. The next day MORGAN and MAYA flew home. MALCOLM flew back to New Mexico at the end of the week.

* * *

Me debunk an American myth?
And take my life in my hands?
   - The Tragically Hip, "At the Hundredth Meridian" (1993)

Thursday, August 25, 2005, 9 p.m. CDT

Undisclosed Location, New Orleans, Louisiana

Agent MAYA drove home late from her day job as an IRS investigator. She parked her Mini Cooper in the garage, kicked off her shoes, and crashed in front of the TV. Since The Daily Show wouldn't begin for an hour, she turned on the Weather Channel. The hurricane was moving south over Florida and was projected to clear the state later that night. It would likely drop to tropical storm strength before dawn.

MAYA changed the channel to the Home Shopping Network. It looked like she wouldn't have to make a run to Wal-Mart for bottled water and batteries after all.

Friday, August 26, 2005, 1:25 p.m. CDT

Undisclosed Location, New Orleans, Louisiana

MAYA left the office and headed for her home in New Orleans' Garden District. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco had ordered a state of emergency for her state. Hurricane Katrina was gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico as it hit warm water. There was a chance that the hurricane would make landfall in Louisiana. That was enough for federal government agencies to send their workers home early to prepare for the storm. There were advantages to working for the feds.

When she got home she changed into jeans and a t-shirt, pulled out her tool box, grabbed the plywood in the rafters of her garage, and began nailing the plywood over her windows. When that was done, she picked up everything in her yard that could be used as a projectile in high winds. It was now five o'clock. MAYA didn't feel like driving to the nearest Wal-Mart, so she went to a nearby grocery store instead. She bought a shopping cart load of bottled water, lantern and D-cell batteries, bottles of bleach, and snacks — lots, and lots of snacks. On her way to the checkout line she came across a display with flashlights. Although she was almost certain she had several flashlights in her house, she bought two more. It was just something you did in the Deep South during a hurricane watch.

Saturday, August 27, 2005, 8:15 a.m. CDT

Undisclosed Location, New Orleans, Louisiana

MAYA got up the next morning and immediately turned on the television. The hurricane was gaining strength in the warm Gulf water. All the news channels and The Weather Channel were projecting landfall sometime Monday morning on the coast of Louisiana. While the hurricane would likely hit east of the New Orleans, the probability cone showed it landing as far east as Alabama and as far west as Lafayette, Louisiana. It was the potential western swing that worried MAYA. Hurricanes in this part of the world are stronger on the eastern edge. If the hurricane landed west of New Orleans, the eastern edge would hit the city. That was not good news. The storm surge could overtop the levees, which were only designed to handle a Category 3 hurricane.

As she watched the news, she saw that St. Charles Parish and Plaquemines Parish had ordered mandatory evacuations. St. Tamannay Parish was declaring a state of emergency. Jefferson Parish declared a voluntary evacuation except for some of the more exposed towns, which were given mandatory evacuation orders.

The city of New Orleans wasn't calling for a mandatory evacuation.

MAYA had been in hurricanes before. She decided she would ride out the hurricane. Besides, where would she go? All the hotels and motels from New Orleans to probably Little Rock would be booked solid. The roads would be clogged. The Garden District was one of the oldest parts of the city and sat on some of New Orleans highest ground (which, admittedly, wasn't saying much). She might get some flooding in the first floor if the rain was bad and the sewers backed up. She had car stands in the garage. She could park her beloved Mini Cooper on the stands, keeping it safe. She set up the car stands and drove the car onto them. She then went back inside to watch the news.

At noon the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, declared that the Louisiana Superdome would be opened as a "shelter of last resort". Even this ominous news didn't deter the Delta Green agent.

Shortly after noon, the phone rang. She answered it. It was MORGAN. "Where are you?" asked MORGAN.

"In my living room."

"You do know a hurricane is coming to suck you away, huh?"

"Well, yeah, but..."

"And you're not leaving?"

"Where would I go?" she asked.

"Come to Atlanta!" offered MORGAN.

"That's a long drive," she replied. "It's just a hurricane!"

MORGAN sighed. "Pack a bag."

"Why? Do we have a case?"

"Just pack a bag," he said. He hung up.

MAYA did as she was told. She grabbed a toiletry bag, threw in some deodorant and tooth paste, and called it packed. She went to her garage to fill up the reservoir on her kerosene lantern.

Saturday, August 27, 2005, 1:20 p.m. EDT

Undisclosed Location, Atlanta, Georgia

MORGAN was worried about MAYA. He had been watching the news. The talking heads on the cable channels kept talking about how the levees could only handle a Category 3 storm, and that if Katrina hit west of New Orleans there was a good chance the storm surge would top the levees.

The M Cell leader paced back and forth in his living room. He made a decision.

MORGAN had been studying The Revelations of Hali, a book they found in Tampa, Florida the year before. The book contained three magic spells. In the last few months he had been studying one of them called "Converge Time and Space". Early in August he managed to successfully cast the spell for the first time. It created an interdimensional gate like the one they found in New York in 2003. MORGAN had used one of the crystals they had taken from Enolsis when creating the gate. Energy flowed out of the crystal and through him when he created his test gate. He believed that a part of him must be invested in the creation of a gate; using the crystal saved him from that sacrifice.

He looked for a permanent marker. When he found one, he walked to his garage. His car was parked outside in the driveway; the garage was essentially empty, except for a couple of boxes, a lawn mower, and some other lawn care items. MORGAN drew lines on a side wall with the marker. The lines were precisely formed, based on the instructions he gleaned from Revelations of Hali. At various times in the process he picked up the crystal and chanted an invocation. When the drawing was complete, he picked up the crystal once more and recited the final invocation. In honor of MICHAEL, MORGAN constructed the gate in such a way that the phrase "mini sub" had to be invoked before the gate could be used. Energy slid through his body from the crystal and into the drawing. For a brief moment the lines glowed, then they returned to flat black.

MORGAN took a deep breath, touch the drawing, and said, "Mini sub".

One moment he was standing in his garage in Atlanta, the next he was in MAYA's living room in New Orleans, which he recognized from his visit in 2003. He shuddered. He didn't think he'd ever get used to going through a gate. He looked around. MAYA was not in the room. Behind him, a pale blue oval of lightning hung in mid air.

"MAYA...!" he called.

"Hang on," replied MAYA. "Washing kerosene off my hands." There was a short pause. "MORGAN??? Where are you?"

"I'm in your living room."

"How...? Why...?"

"Got that bag packed?"

MAYA entered the room. Her hands were still wet. "What are you doing here?"

"Getting you!"

"How? Why?"

"I made a gate."

She put her hands on her hips. "When did you learn how to do that?"

"I figured it out the other day," said MORGAN with a grin.

"So we're experimenting... well, I guess you made it through okay."

"I'm here to take you back to Atlanta." He told her he made a gate in his garage. He wanted to take her to safety, what with the hurricane bearing down on her.

MAYA thought for a moment. It would be nice if she get her car to safety. "Can you make one big enough to drive through?"

MORGAN grimaced and held up the crystal. "I don't know how many charges it has in it."

MORGAN's offer of rescue unsettled her a little bit. "I hate to leave the house here when almost everyone is out of the city. There may be looters, unrest..."

"You can come back and look in on it." He explained how the gate worked. "You have to use a password. Not anyone can use it."

"What's the password?"

"Mini sub."

MAYA laughed. "MICHAEL would be pleased."

MORGAN nodded. "We finally have a mini sub."

MAYA was convinced. She went upstairs and actually packed a suitcase. MORGAN went up to help her.

"Don't forget your important papers," he said.

MAYA shook her head. "We're good. We've been through hurricanes here before. We just mix drinks, and we lose power for a while, then it's all okay. That's the way it's been for years. This is what people do during hurricanes."

MORGAN stared at her. "Category fiiiiiive!" he said.

"Biiiiig hurricane!" she said, nodding and smiling.

MORGAN held his hand in the air about shoulder height, palm down. "Water here..." he said. He lowered his hand about a foot. "New Orleans here. Water come over the top. MAYA swim," he said, making swimming motions.

"I have floaties!" she said.

MORGAN shook his head. "Disease. Dead bodies, dead animals. Chemical spills..."

"You've been with the CDC too long."

"Your feet will become infected and rot off! You will never find another pair of shoes that will fit again."

"Okay, okay! You're paranoid, but I will come with you."

MAYA finished her packing by adding her favorite shoes and her guns to the luggage. They walked back downstairs, MAYA trailing her suitcase and MORGAN carrying his crystal.

MORGAN put his hand up to the middle of the oval of blue light in the middle of MAYA's living room. "Mini sub," he said. He disappeared.

MAYA stepped back, startled. "Who's going to carry my bag?" she asked. She stepped forward, put her hand out like MORGAN, and said, "Mini sub". The next thing she knew, she and her piece of luggage were in a garage. MORGAN stood beside her. A shiver ran up her back as a disoriented feeling washed over her.

MAYA looked around the mostly empty garage. She told MORGAN that she wished there was some way for them to get her car to Atlanta. MORGAN told her not to worry. The car would be okay. He reminded her that she was going to stay in New Orleans with her car anyway.

"And we would have been fine," she said. "I just came here to humor you."

"Well, if you want to go back through, you know the way."

She shook her head. "I'm feeling a little bit loopy right now."

They headed into his house. The agents had an enjoyable evening together, talking, watching TV and drinking hurricanes.

Sunday, August 28, 2005, 12:49 p.m. MDT

Undisclosed Location, Socorro, New Mexico

MALCOLM spent a quiet day at home. He spent much of his spare time watching TV for news about the hurricane. He knew Agent MAYA lived in New Orleans and he was getting worried.

With the television on in the background, he checked his Delta Green e-mail account. There was a message from A Cell, which was sent just a few minutes before. The message was addressed to everyone in M Cell.

From: Alex [Cell A] <alex@delta-green.gov>
To: Morgan <morgan@delta-green.gov>; Maya <maya@delta-green.gov>; Malcolm <malcolm@delta-green.gov>
Subject: Mission
Date: Sunday, August 28, 2005, 19:37 GMT

We received this information from Agent Larry. Delta Green friendly Julia Winters contacted him with a fax from an anonymous contact. We understand that M Cell had contact with Ms. Winters and in the past. We believe this is the same anonymous contact that gave her information about Majestic-12 activity in the fall of 2003.

We are transmitting this message to you. Please text message *34 to the A Cell contact number in order to receive this fax.

Your team was chosen due to your previous connection with Ms. Winters, and because Agent Maya is a native of New Orleans.

Investigate the information in the fax and determine its veracity. If it turns out to be true, learn as much as you can about Majestic-12's activities. Take extreme care when dealing with MJ-12. If feasible, disrupt their activities.

This is top priority. We will be available to assist you in any way we can.

Alex

MALCOLM gasped as he read the second last paragraph. He remembered M Cell's case file on Majestic-12 in Rumford, Maine. He turned on his fax machine, and then he picked up his cell phone and text-messaged "*34" to the Delta Green contact number.

A few moments later, a fax came through from A Cell. He read the pages one at a time as the fax machine spit them out. The first page was a fax cover sheet addressed to Julia Winters. The sender was "A Friend". The comment on the cover sheet said "This document is genuine. I risked a lot getting this to you. Make sure your 'friends' see this!". The date and time of the fax was earlier that day at 1:37 p.m.; presumably that was Eastern time, as Winters lived in Boston.

The second page was stamped "Top Secret" and "Contains Special Intelligence Material". The clearance level for the document was something called "Majic". The document was dated August 26, at 17:31 Zulu Time (12:31 p.m. EDT). The text of the message was as follows:

JMF TRANSMISSION 3714909
CLASSIFICATION TOP SECRET / MAJIC
CIRCULATION WITHIN RESTRICTED CHANNELS ONLY
DO NOT COPY
PAGE 1 OF 2
PRIORITY: IMMEDIATE

DTG RELEASE: 173123Z 26 AUG 2005

PREPARED FOR: MJ-1 by MJ-6

SUMMARY:
Impending storm offers ideal conditions for Sub-Project BOUNCE and Sub-Project RICOCHET experimentation. Priority 2A.

BEGIN TEXT:
MJ-9 Project OVERVIEW reports that a Category 3 hurricane will strike southern Louisiana on 29 AUG. Landfall will be near Buras, Louisiana, with the storm continuing NE into Mississippi and Alabama. MJ-9 modeling indicates that the storm surge will overwhelm the New Orleans levees. Further MJ-9 modeling suggests wide scale damage and social breakdown in the metropolitan New Orleans area in the immediate aftermath.

As per memorandum of 17 MAY 2001, the expectant social breakdown within New Orleans would create the ideal conditions for Sub-Project BOUNCE and Sub-Project RICOCHET field trials. This offers an opportunity missed during the terrorist attacks of 11 SEP 2001.

MJ-6 Project PLUTO formally requests the immediate implementation of Operation JACKHAMMER, per 17 MAY 2001 memorandum.

Sub-Project RICOCHET field trials will commence under Dr. Gregory Musgrave. Dr. Musgrave will report to the OUTLOOK Group.

Sub-Project BOUNCE field trials will continue under by Dr. Cynthia Jorgansen. Dr. Jorgansen will report directly to Sub-Project ARC DREAM.

PAGE 2 OF 2

Sub-Project ARC DREAM and the OUTLOOK Group will deliver their initial findings to MJ-12 Project DELPHI upon completion of JACKHAMMER.

Dr. Musgrave is on standby. Dr. Jorgansen is already in the field.

As per 17 MAY 2001 memorandum and 09 NOV 2003 addendum, JACKHAMMER will require the activation of assets within a number of departments and offices, including but not limited to DHS, NWS, FEMA, and HHS.

Operational security will be provided by NRO DELTA. In accordance with the 17 MAY 2001 memorandum, MJ-6 formally requests the inclusion of Sub-Project CATALYST operatives in the NRO DELTA contingent.

Immediate approval is necessary to implement JACKHAMMER within the window of opportunity.

END TEXT

(Click here to see an Adobe Acrobat version of the fax cover sheet and the document.)

MALCOLM wiped the sweat off his brow, then erased the memory buffer on his fax machine.

Sunday, August 28, 2005, 3:11 p.m. EDT

Undisclosed Location, Atlanta, Georgia

MAYA and MORGAN were sitting in MORGAN's living room drinking hurricanes and eating Little Debbie's snacks. MORGAN's cell phone beeped. He was receiving a text message. "I don't have text message minutes!" cried MORGAN. The message was from MALCOLM. "What the hell's he doing???" MORGAN calmed down a second later when he realized the text message was on his Delta Green cell phone.

The text message read: "We have a mission. Do U know? Have U activ8d cell?"

"Huh?" said MORGAN. He dialed MALCOLM's number.

"This is agent MALCOLM speaking," answered the person on the other end.

"MALCOLM? MORGAN. You texted?"

"Yes. How's MAYA?"

MORGAN looked over at MAYA, who smiled and waved back at him. "She's fine. She's on her third hurricane."

"MAYA is riding out her third hurricane...? Where is she?"

"She's sitting on my couch."

"Oh, okay, so she's safe. In theory."

MALCOLM told MORGAN about the A Cell e-mail. MAYA pulled up her laptop and logged onto the e-mail server. She read the same message as MALCOLM. She grabbed her Delta Green cell phone and sent the "*34" text message to the Delta Green number. Then she realized that wasn't going to do her any good, as they would only send the fax to her fax machine at home. She told MORGAN that he would have to send the text message from his phone. MORGAN hung up. While he sent the text message, MAYA phoned MALCOLM.

MORGAN's fax machine spit out the document sent to Julia Winters. MORGAN read it. Without hesitation, he picked up his regular phone and called his supervisor at the CDC, Dr. Peter Dern. He and Dern agreed that if the water topped the levees in New Orleans the risk of disease was severe. MORGAN wanted to get a CDC team down to New Orleans. Dern authorized him to put a team together. MORGAN said he had just the people in mind, Mia Jackson and Michael Connor. Dern okayed the team without knowing that Jackson and Connor were aliases MORGAN had created for MAYA and MICHAEL over a year ago.

As MORGAN talked to his boss, MAYA and MALCOLM discussed the alphabet soup of acronyms on the fax. DHS was probably the Department of Homeland Security. NWS was most likely the National Weather Service. FEMA was easy, that was the Federal Emergency Management Agency. MAYA thought that HHS was the Department of Health and Human Services.

When MORGAN got off the phone, he and MAYA told MALCOLM to get to Atlanta as soon as possible. MALCOLM said he would call them back when he made his arrangements.

Almost an hour later they received a call from MALCOLM. There was a flight leaving Albuquerque at 6:30 Mountain Time, but there was no way he could get to the airport in time since he didn't drive. He would have to make his way to Albuquerque that night. Since Greyhound couldn't get him there, he would take a cab. He booked a 7:00 a.m. flight. MAYA asked him if there was anything he needed from Wal-Mart. They were planning to go on a pre-mission shopping expedition the next day. He said he would e-mail them later with a list.

While MALCOLM waited for a cab to pick him up to take him to Albuquerque, MORGAN pulled out a couple of steaks from the freezer. Later in the afternoon he grilled the steaks. They had a lovely meal, while MALCOLM — still in New Mexico — contemplated eating dinner at Denny's.

After their meal, MORGAN pulled out the Mia Jackson and Michael Connor ID badges. He gave the Jackson one to MAYA. The other ID still had MICHAEL's picture on it. The two agents sniffled a little at MICHAEL's picture, and then MORGAN carefully slit open the lamination and set about replacing MICHAEL's picture with a picture of MALCOLM. After the change was made, they drank a toast to Agent MICHAEL.

They watched the news until about 10 p.m., then they went to bed, with MAYA staying in the guest room.

Monday, August 29, 2005, 7:30 a.m. EDT

Undisclosed Location, Atlanta, Georgia

MAYA and MORGAN got up early the next morning. They showered, dressed, and then watched the news. The storm hit the Gulf Coast and was lashing it with terrible winds and heavy rain. MAYA was relieved to learn that the storm hit east of New Orleans. There would be extensive damage, but it appeared that it would not be the storm everyone feared. The news was reporting that the storm hit as a weak Category 4, which was bad enough but not the Category 5 monster they were predicting earlier. [Editor's note: Katrina was actually Category 3 when it made landfall in Louisiana, but this fact wasn't known for a couple of months.]

MORGAN made arrangements for a cab to meet MALCOLM at the airport. He told the cab driver that the man he was supposed to pick up was "Malcolm D. Green". The agents then left MORGAN's house and drove to the nearest Wal-Mart. They didn't have an e-mail from MALCOLM so they decided to get the supplies they thought they needed.

Monday, August 29, 2005, 12:30 p.m. EDT

Wal-Mart Superstore, Atlanta, Georgia

MAYA dropped an arm load of batteries and snack cakes on the floor at Wal-Mart. She was in front of a bank of televisions in the electronics department. They were all tuned to CNN, which was announcing unconfirmed reports that water was flooding into New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward. They didn't know if the water was due to the storm surge topping the levees, or if there had been a levee breach.

MORGAN put his arm around MAYA's shoulder. "Okay, MAYA, we need to get focused here. I know you're shocked."

She pointed to the televisions. "I am. I am focused. We have to go back," she whispered. "We have to stop it. My car!"

Eventually MAYA snapped out of it. She dragged MORGAN to the sporting goods section. "We need an inflatable raft!" she cried. They found an inflatable raft with plastic oars. They also picked up a couple of backpacks and three sets of hip waders. They pushed their buggy full of supplies to the checkout counter.

MORGAN received a text message on his cell phone. It was MALCOLM. The message said, "Did u send a car?" MORGAN replied with a text message of his own: "Y"

Miraculously, they made it through the checkout line in under a half an hour. When they got back to MORGAN's place, they took the supplies to the garage and closed the garage door. They laid everything out in front of the wall with the gate.

The doorbell rang. MORGAN went to the front door. Agent MALCOLM was standing there with his bags as a taxi cab drove off. MORGAN opened the door and let the agent in. He offered him coffee, which MALCOLM readily accepted. MALCOLM said, "You might have warned me about the car."

"Sorry," said MORGAN. "It was an afterthought and you were in the air."

"I was wondering if I was seeing a Majestic-12 agent, sitting there with a sign saying 'Malcolm D. Green' written in green magic marker, to lure me into the car..."

MORGAN offered MALCOLM a chair in his kitchen. "Sit down and relax for a moment. As soon as you're ready, we're leaving for New Orleans."

"How are we getting there?"

"Through the garage."

"Our transportation is in the garage?"

MORGAN said nothing.

MALCOLM turned to MAYA. "When did you get here, MAYA?"

"Saturday," she said. "It was an unexpected trip."

"When I saw it was a Category 3 I called her, and told her to come up."

"And then he showed up... and here I am!"

"He showed up?" asked MALCOLM, not comprehending. "You flew all the way to New Orleans to pick her up?"

"No, I walked," said MORGAN.

MALCOLM laughed a little at what he assumed was a lame joke.

"You didn't tell him about the gate?" asked MAYA. She turned to MALCOLM. "He learned a new spell."

MALCOLM stared at her for a moment, then turned to MORGAN. "You teleported...?"

"Well... created a gate."

"You can do that?"

MORGAN nodded. "Yeah, figured it out."

"You mean like the one you took after the Plum Island fiasco?"

"Yes."

"Not like the one you took from satellite to satellite?"

"No. Well, yes. Sort of like that."

"That's weird," said MALCOLM.

They took MALCOLM into the garage and showed him the lines drawn on the wall. "And this goes straight to New Orleans?" he asked.

"Right into MAYA's living room."

"Has someone been through since the hurricane hit?"

MORGAN shook his head. "Multiple trips through the gate probably wouldn't be a good idea."

MORGAN gave MALCOLM his identification card. He pointed to their supplies: hip waders, the inflatable boat, food, water, two sets of walkie-talkies and their weapons. MALCOLM asked when they were going through, since there were probably still heavy winds in New Orleans.

MORGAN said, "Whenever you are ready."

"Who is going first?" asked MALCOLM.

"I will," said MORGAN. They packed their backpacks and then donned their hipwaders. MORGAN shrugged on his backpack. He put one of the Enolsis crystals in his manpurse, and pulled the manpurse over his shoulder. He picked up another crystal. MORGAN touched the wall and said, "Mini sub!"

MORGAN disappeared.

MALCOLM grabbed his luggage, touched the wall, and uttered, "Mini sub." He, too, disappeared. MAYA pulled on her backpack, touched the wall, and said, "Mini sub". MAYA disappeared from Atlanta.