Operation Bloody Mary


4 stars


Operation Name O-459851

Codename "Bloody Mary"

Date: August 4, 2010

Objective: Infiltrate ALTR-7AH3, explore the area, and gather data.

MST: Oscar-12

Team Members: O12-Cap, O12-1, O12-2, O12-3, O12-4, O12-5

Forenote: On April 8, 2009, Site Director Thomas of Site-075 requested the exploration of ALTR-7AH3 due to rising concerns surrounding RPC-801's inactivity2. However, when taking the results of MST Belgrade-4's infiltration (see Exploration Log 801.1, attached to RPC-801's documentation), the initial request to explore ALTR-7AH3 for a second time was declined.

The operation was eventually approved by the Operations Department Council on July 31, 2009. MST Oscar-12 ("The Harbingers"), volunteered on part by Captain Peter Spruce (O12-Cap), was selected to carry out the expedition.

Exploration Log 801.2


O12-1: We in?

O12-Cap: We're in. Fourth of August, 2010. We're in. Hear us, Command?3

Command: You're good.

O12-4: Comms are coming in strong. AREC's in good shape. Cameras and audio operational. Waiting for Three and Two's confirmation.

O12-2: Good. Filters are on, functional, ALTRNE's4 working great. I think we should be about ready.

O12-3: Ditto.

O12-5: Nothing wrong on my end. Let's do this.

O12-Cap: Everything's in check. We're about ready. On your call, Lucy.

Command: Granted. Please provide a detailed description of your surroundings, for the transcription.

O12-Cap: Large structure, made entirely of stone bricks. It's like, a castle, I think. Pools of blood everywhere. There are white filaments hanging from the ceiling, too.

O12-2: Ain't this where Belgrade-4 landed?

O12-Cap: Yeah. We're in the same place.

Command: Good. Luckily, you gentlemen are more properly armed for the occasion. There's no need to worry. Please explore the structure. Feel free to comment on any abnormal sightings you may come across, for the transcript.

[The team nods to each other before venturing away from the AREC. They descend down the same staircase as seen in Exploration Log 801.1, as well as passing by the same statue. O12-5 stares at the statue for a moment before continuing.]

O12-5: Thing's ornate.

O12-3: What?

O12-5: That statue, I mean. It's lifelike. Weird. You think they used thaumaturgy?

O12-1: I bet.

O12-3: Wouldn't suprise m—

[O12-3 trips and yelps. He is able to prevent himself from falling. The team turns to the object that caused him to trip. It is a human arm with red skin, appearing to have been severed by the shoulder. Its hand twitches before resuming an inactive state.]

O12-3: Fucking hell!

O12-Cap: Careful.

O12-3: Yeah. Sorry, sir.

[O12-5 pokes the arm with the muzzle of her rifle before walking past it. Next 15 minutes cut for brevity.]

[Oscar-12 eventually exits the building. It resembles a medieval fortress in an advanced state of disrepair. Organic growths cover its outer walls and roof. The outside is flat, and a thick fog obscures the team's vision. There is no identifiable foliage on the ground. Next 5 minutes cut for brevity.]

O12-2: …and this guy was huge, remember. Uniform-7, I think. Practically rammed the gun up its ass.

[O12-3 and O12-5 laugh.]

O12-Cap: Wait, Jerry? No!

O12-2: Yeah it was Jerry! He fucking pried the goddamn door open with his bare hands and stored a slug up there for winter!

O12-Cap: No, no, I don't believe it. Jerry's a pussy.

O12-3: I dunno, Peter. You seen—

O12-4: Signal detected. Shut up.

O12-Cap: Hm? Oh! Lucy, we've got something.

Command: Affirmative. Signal detected two clicks west.

O12-Cap: Should we investigate?

Command: Granted. Oh, and another thing: try and keep your stories out of the record, Two. Thank you.

O12-2: Sorry.

O12-4: Listening in right now. Static. It's getting louder.

[The team approaches the source of the signal. As they cross over a hill, a hunched over figure is seen pulling a cart by a rope ahead. The entity is wearing a brown cloak, which covers its face.]

[The team gets closer. The unknown entity stops moving and turns toward Oscar-12. Its cart is composed of wood, and is also covered in organic growths, albeit to a lesser degree. It is filled entirely with books. O12-2 and O12-1 point their weapons at the entity. It bows at O12-Cap as he approaches. The signal originates from the cart.]

O12-Cap: [Speaking Lincos-III] Hello. Who are you?

[Entity does not respond.]

O12-Cap: Please respond.

Entity: [Speaking Catalan] Are you hurt?

O12-Cap: [Turns back to team] What's it saying? I don't understand.

O12-1: It's speaking Spanish.

Command: No, that's Catalan. Three speaks it.

O12-3: Righty-o. [O12-3 walks up next to O12-Cap]

Entity: Who are you?

O12-3: [Speaking Catalan] We are explorers. Who are you?

Entity: I am Abril Cardo. I am on my way back to my family in the city. Are you hurt?

O12-3: No, we are fine. What is in your cart?

Abril: Old books from the temple.

O12-5: Ask it what the signal is.

O12-3: There is a sound coming from your books. What is it?

[Abril laughs and lets go of the cart. It picks up a pile of books, forcibly placing them in O12-Cap's arms, and removes a small cube. The artifact appears to be composed of igneous rock, and is inscribed with various illegible writings. They appear to be written in Amharic.]

Abril: Sorry for interruption. It is a bad signal. I will get it fixed soon.

O12-3: What is it?

Abril: A special technology, a gift to my family from the blue-capes.

O12-3: Could you explain?

Abril: Yes, a blue-cape came to my father's home and gave him this gift. It helps us listen to the queen's teachings from far away.

O12-3: The queen?

Abril: Ah, you are foreign?

O12-3: Yes.

Abril: Our queen, Ineira. Last leader before the fall of Sanguiland.

O12-3: And you say you came from a temple?

Abril: Yes. It is north of Barcelona, very easy to see. It has a bright red, bulbous roof. It is old Ottoman architecture. There is a path leading to it.

[Abril takes back the pile of books in O12-Cap's arms.]

O12-3: Thank you. Be well!

Abril: Goodbye! Have a good journey!

O12-Cap: Well?

O12-3: It came from some sort of temple, apparently. Where all those books came from. I think we should give it a look.

O12-4: Sounds interesting.

O12-5: You're telling me you can't tell Spanish from Catalan?

O12-1: Nope. And I don't intend to.

[Cut for brevity.]

[Oscar-12 arrives at the temple. The structure has been built into a cave, and has a bright red roof made of what appears to be colored marble. O12-Cap walks up to the door and pushes it open. The inside is dark, and the team flicks on their helmet-mounted flashlights.]

Command: What do you guys see?

O12-3: Lots'a books. Lots of them. Everywhere. Place looks like it was built from the ground up with books.

[O12-2 picks up a tome. The cover reads "Ensenyaments Màgics de Sant Bilazina, Volum III: Mons Alternatius". He moves over to O12-3, taps him on the shoulder, and points to the book.]

O12-3: Erm, [clears throat]Magical Teachings of Saint Bilazina, Volume III: Alternative Worlds. That's what that says. Hey, Lucy, you think we should take some of this shit back to the base?

Command: Wait a second. Explore the rest of the structure before taking anything.

[Oscar-12 proceeds deeper into the library. O12-Cap spots a reddish candlelight behind a large bookshelf. He motions his team forward and they approach the source of the light. Behind the bookshelf are three small, vaguely humanoid mammalian entities. Their facial features represent those of Microtus agrestis5. One of the creatures is carrying a stack of books on its back using a device woven with a stiff, fibrous material. The machine is attached to its back by two straps tied around each shoulder, and a long, four-digit limb continues to stack books within the container. The entities turn to Oscar-12 and make clicking noises to each other.]

O12-4: We've got more aliens.

Command: Try to communicate.

[O12-Cap and O12-2 nod at O12-3.]

O12-3: [Speaking Catalan] Hello.

[All three entities laugh.]

Entity 1: More invaders, eh?

Entity 2: [Laughs, turns to O12-3] Take what you want, foreigner. These books are scheduled to be burnt. The queen is dead.

O12-3: Wait, you can speak English?

Entity 3: 'Course we can, you nonce! What was that back there, Spanish?

Entity 2: We can speak English too.

O12-Cap: Why?

[The three entities laugh.]

Entity 1: Why can you? Why aren't you lot speaking some other foreign tongue?

O12-3: Enough. We come in peace, and all we want are answers.

Entity 2: Ask away, old chap.

O12-3: Are you from Taured?

Entity 2: [Scowls] Heavens no! We come from Great Britain. Lands are uninhabitable thanks to the scarlet terror.

O12-4: "Scarlet terror"?

Entity 3: The three queens of Taurland. Homonculi crafted by the horrors of Al-Gahat.

O12-3: Wait— Homonculi? Al-Gahat?

[Entity 1 tosses a book at O12-3.]

Entity 1: We don't have all day. We've got work to do here, read up on it yourself. Take whatever you want.

O12-Cap: One more question?

Entity 3: Fine.

O12-Cap: What are you?

Entity 3: [Smiles] Dunno. Homonculi, maybe. The things down east call us vole-men. Our purpose is to clean up the messes of humans like you. And that is what we intend to do.

[All three entities produce primitive firearms from their robes.]

Entity 3: Now git.

[Oscar-12 withdraws their guns.]

O12-Cap: No need to get all pent up, gentlemen.

Entity 1: You heard him. If you don't want to get your eyes popped off, get out.

Command: Leave.

O12-Cap: Fine. We're collecting some books and leaving. Have a nice day.

Entity 2: As to you.

[The members of Oscar-12 store several books of interest in their rucksacks before leaving the temple.]

[Cut for brevity.]

[The team is at the front gate of the fortress.]

O12-Cap: What now?

Command: I think that will be all. Tom was hoping to find the entity that attacked Belgrade-4, but I guess you guys were lucky. Return to the baseline.

O12-Cap: Alright, team, time to head out.

O12-5: And you're sure those rat people won't get mad at us?

O12-4: They said they were burning them.

O12-3: Can't wait for the paycheck I'm getting for this haul. Let's get out of here.

O12-2: Ditto.


Closing Statement: MST Oscar-12 returned to baseline reality without any injuries or casualties. The books recovered from the temple have been stored in Site-075's Non-anomalous Objects of Interest Storage Barrack. Digital copies are stored in the Site-075 Info-storage Well.




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