Darkest Days and Longest Nights

...and boom goes the dynamite

Scratch one fuck-ugly spider cave, and one fuck-ugly spider warren in the middle of St. Paul!

Our little war party discovered a few things as of late. Sam discovered that the spiders were possibly spreading out from the cave and possibly attempting to start a new colony. Aaron perfected a time delay fuse for our dynamite bomb, and I ventured forth the suggestion to check out Drew’s place. And I am glad we did.

Apparently, these creatures go to nest in whatever location their host considered home, and went underground to start a nest. We exterminated Drew, and his spider infested captives. We then went to the main cave, and blew it high to hell. We managed to slay 3 more spider monstrosities on our way in, and had to avoid a swarm of spiders chasing us on our way out, but the place worked (to our knowledge). The lake drained, the cavern was filled, the spiders drowned, and the tunnels collapsed.

Score one for the good guys.

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Best laid plans
Sam Murphy

Or so we thought…
I think if we kept our head we could have gotten out scott free without any bullet holes for keepsakes. At least the job is done, but I’ll have to remember that playing the hero always has its drawbacks. Next time we coordinate and move in more quietly. We’re dealing with people, not monster, they are delicate but just as aggressive if pushed. At least we have what we came for, enough explosives to blow the Manganese mine to kingdom come. Now we need to wait for these pesky holes to heal before I can move back out. On the upside, we don’t have to pull any punches in Manganese, and I’ve been itching to shoot something since this weekend.

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Perhaps I am a bit rusty
Aaron Brandt

After a long and tedious return from Manganese, we finally got back to our normal lives for a bit. I worked a few days, tried to get back into the swing. It felt odd. It’s like going through the motions… going back to the mundane, pretending nothing is different. It is, you know. Different. Once you go forth and hunt, “normal life” isn’t. It’s bland. Pale. Unreal. A distraction. We grouped back up at Jim’s place. Met a new member of this odd cast of characters. Interesting guy, but he’s already bring in baggage.

After much debate, the decision was made to return to Manganese and seal that hole. Problem was, how would we do it. We decided to attempt to acquire some explosives. Plan was to raid a construction site and take what we needed. The rent-a-pigs were not a problem … until I got spotted. And here I thought I was sneaky. I tried leading them on a wild goose chase, and it worked fine until I tried the ol’ chloroform across the face trick. Damn near got myself shot. Sam came to my rescue and ended up taking a couple bullets himself. We finally got the rentals subdued but it took quite a toll on us. I was hoping we’d be a bit better at this by this stage in our lives, especially considering our various histories. Guess shit just happens. Hopefully it won’t continue to do so when we go back to that cave. Not looking forward to that. Must remember my bug spray. Maybe a flyswatter as well.

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Yeah...I stole it.
Jim Kingston

Well, the hunt took an odd turn. Apparently, Bubba is getting cyber stalked and his house broken into. Why he didn’t just shoot them is beyond me. We also had to do a little excursion to the local construction site to “liberate” some dynamite to take care of our little spider problem. All this while haggling over goods at my pawn shop. Business was booming.

All was going good until Aaron was spotted stalking about…and Sam got shot trying to help him out. We got out of there intact (well…mostly), with the goods. Stage 1, complete. Now, to plan stage 2 (flood the damn spiders) while Sam heals up.

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A Long Night Indeed
Aaron Brandt

That was a nasty piece of work, and I’m glad to have it behind us. Sam was definitely a surprise and a welcome addition to the crew. He seems to have some experience with this sort of business.

The tunnels were a bitch. I swear, I must be an arachnophobe. When that old man leaked spiders all over me, I though I might shit my pants I was so scared. Gods, but that sucked. Thankfully Sam was there to help me out. The sight of each new spidery monster was like a blow to my sanity. I almost didn’t pull it together in time. Thankfully, almost doesn’t count, and I was able to put some lead downrange to great effect.

We took care of the low level infected and the spider hybrid that attempted (succeeded?) to abduct Erik. Dropped it like panties on prom night. Sam and Jim really have their shit wired tight. The final beast we encountered should have been awful, was awful to behold. I thought Jim was done for. Thankfully, after a serious increase in the lead density of the air, we turned that bastard inside out. I was so pisses to see all those little spiders fleeing from the scene, I zapped all I could before they could make their escape. Makes me wonder if that was some form of defense and retreat. Hope I got enough to make a difference.

We took a lot of damage. Now that we’re holed up and static, I’ve started treating wounds as best I can. Drew is really messed up. He’s been transported to a hospital to receive some no-questions-asked care. Everyone else is under my care and I’m doing the best I can. Hopefully we’ll all make a rapid recovery. My only concern now is whether or not we’ve completed the job to the satisfaction of the leadership. Time will tell.

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The Mouse and the Lion
Jack McCallum

I’d love to say that I was a big damned hero. But I wasn’t. Let’s be honest, when whatever it was, when it was crawling around out in the woods, and Drew ran off screaming, all I could do was crawl into a car and sit with the sights trained on the window. Waiting for something, anything, to show it’s face so I could blow it off. While I’m damned happy I didn’t react like Drew did, I was locked up, terrified, in the back of the truck just waiting for that easy shot while my hands shook. I’m glad that Jim didn’t come up on that side, or I may’ve been cleaning his brains off the car next to us. I can only imagine what they felt like, down in that hole, in the thing’s lair. Don’t know where I’d rather have been, because at least they had big guns and a big group. Being stuck up here with an eerie hiss on the radio for hours on end seemed like the longest couple of hours in my life. I can understand now why more people just act like they never saw it. Convince themselves that there’s nothing more frightening out there than muggers and murderers. One well-placed bullet would fix either of those problems. It sounded like they spent a lot of brass underground to bring those things down.

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Something Old, Something New
Anton Zamojda

Old and new. It seems to me that these things are old and new. The one we fought last, big and nasty. Armor, the bite for paralyzing. Like it started as one of us. The others, seems like they are newer changes. The first one, he was two days. Two days, and spiders filled him up like… what is word for it? Mexican word. Party thing. Hit with sticks, get candy. Ah. Pinata. Spider pinata. If we had lost, or had lost Erik, that could be us. The old man, turning into big spider. Someone says he was from number of years ago. So it grows, does it? This thing crawls in you and grows. Like movie Alien. Well, not quite, but you get what I am saying. This place, is it cursed? Did these things crawl out of big hole? Does hole lead to Hell? Someone says that as we are heading back. I must sleep now, do not like to think so much about things of this type. Spins my thoughts.

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Of Consequences
Erika Mathers

Dues is dead. Brown is unaccounted for. Bisby is out of it. Drew is comatose. Helena is a hysterical mess, and before tonight I’d never seen her composure anywhere near slipping. Aaron is wounded, nasty spider bites dotting his neck and face. Jim has a huge wound at his shoulder, it’s bound to leave a scar. Still no word from BubbbaJay, I’m really starting to worry. This isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing… safe and sound, behind a computer screen, fighting the good fight from afar. That’s where I’m supposed to be. Not in the middle of what is, for all intents and purposes, a field hospital. Aaron’s been stitching up Jim, trying to get Erik and Bisby to snap out of their lapsed consciousness. If Sam didn’t have a connection with the CDC, or whatever, I’m sure Drew would die. There’s no guarantee he still won’t. I can’t tell them now that the first thing we need to do when we get back to Minneapolis is to look into where BubbaJay is. He hasn’t answered his cell, his Blackberry, his home phone or his e-mail. He hasn’t been on any of the chat programs, or logged in to Vortex. He hasn’t reviewed my incomplete code for SexySaintPaul. I think I’m starting to understand how this lifestyle can get to you so quickly. I have to try to sleep. I have to try to collect myself, because The Secret Frequency will be seeking information and I’m sure the team members are going to be looking to me for some direction. I can’t think straight right now, I haven’t slept since Helena didn’t come home and I’ve been living off of 5 Hour Energy and espresso for two days.

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Hive mined
Sam Murphy

It never ceases to amaze how like minds just seem to find a way together. From the moment I encountered the hunters in Manganese we were on the same page of the same book. This is what the vigil is, its people going what is the most human; building bonds that bind us together in the struggle for life. Its what allowed us to persevere as a fledgling species when monsters outnumbered us at every turn, and what allows us to continue to dominate our world. This ideal is the foundation to our perseverance, but every foundation has cracks that can erode and widen, this is what allows the evil in this world to thrive within the shadows of periphery.
Manganese was long forgotten, but a legend lived on. The “ghost town” was anything but, it was an infestation. Some horrible monstrosity had set up shop there, likely after the miners had dug a little too deep into the earth exposing some sort of…chasm. I’ve ran into all sorts of weird shit along my way, but I’ve never seen as shaken as when I saw that bottomless pit infront of me. I can only assume what lurked below was far worse that the spider monsters that lived within the mine itself. We were lucky to make it out, but we got what we came for. With only minimal casualties, we can almost close this case, permanently. Our only remaining step is to destroy the barrier thats keeping the local lake from flooding that hell hole to kingdom come. When thats done, maybe I can sleep. Until then, I’m counting the minutes until we go back down.

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Arachnophobia
Jim Kingston

Goddamn do I hate spiders now. Jesus lord and fuck, do I hate spiders. The mine is chock full of them…and I believe we ran into the real reason the mine shut down. Apparently, the miners managed to dig their way to a gigantic chasm, filled with reflective beady eyes. Definitely not a place to be.

Dues was turned into some walking bag of spiders. Some nameless vagrant was turned into a literal spider in human skin. Both were killed. We even managed to kill, or at least drive into retreating, a monstrosity of a spider-human thing. I got it all on video, so Ericka won’t bug me incessantly for all the details.

We did have casualities. Brown is MIA. Eric, the new Hell’s Angel wannabe, was about useless and was captured. Drew was bitten after panicking and running off like an idiot; our new friend Sam – apparently a sheriff that was chasing some supernatural serial killer from podunk Michigan – had a contact with the CDC that we dropped Drew off at. Hopefully they can fix him, or contain it. Pragmatically speaking it’s a win-win for us. Either Drew gets better, or he turns all spidery and now they have an incident to cover up or explain away.

We’re heading back to Deerville now. God I want some sleep…and tomorrow, we’ll see about flooding that area. Personally, I feel our job here is done. We rescued Helena and all we could. I want to sit back with a nice frosty cold one and watch some mundane news. Or listen to Bobby bitch about how many hours he’s working this week. Anything normal really. This is not my job any longer, I do not get paid to soldier about or be someone’s muscle.

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