Subsection: Wednesday 30 October 2019 Up Section: 1.08 Left-Hand Twist Subsection: Friday 1 November 2019 

Thursday 31 October 2019

(10 March 2021)
Among other discussion, Natasha works magic to find out just how old Juan is. Twenty-seven, or about a year, depending… and he seems to have been assembled out of smaller-than-fist-sized pieces, though this doesn’t appear to have compromised bone strength at all. The epidermal layer is genetically human, but the inner bits are genetically… different. She’s able to work out some of how his breath-holding ability works; maybe all the small metabolic tweaks would be enough to produce that, maybe there’s something else that she’s missing.
Scanning backwards through Juan’s missing memories finds a lot of extreme endurance testing, as well as what seems to be an attempt to evaluate what skills he has (shooting, hand-to-hand, and so on) – and ultimately being assembled by something like centipedes in what can only really be described as a black stone coffin full of goo. The markings on the coffin are writing of some sort, but not a sort that’s familiar to any of the group.
Tracing back the body can go further, though it’s been in very small pieces. The procedure starts with a reasonably healthy man who doesn’t look a lot like Juan doing a lot of saluting and signing bits of paper; he’s then anaesthetised and painstakingly dissected (by humans with conventional surgical tools), with the bits then put into the goo. He doesn’t now seem to have any post-hypnotic triggers, not even as many strong memory-associations as most people.
Jesus tries to trace those coffin symbols. Definitely nothing that people know about. There are some vague similarities to early writing systems, but only very vague.
The team returns to Miami and sets up in a motel about twenty miles from the site (on the edge of town). That evening, Natasha scries for the room that had the coffin in it; the medical equipment is still there (with some minor changes, but it’s all good high-end kit), the coffin is not. Moving into the viewing room, which isn’t a sterile area, there’s a bit of documentation – on a project called Have Raptor, something to do with implantation. It’s “not to be removed from facility” but doesn’t have a formal government-level classification. With a new spell, she copies the contents onto a stack of copier paper.
This is mostly medical-technical detail of things being implanted into “the subjects”, which clearly aren’t human; there are cameras and microphones, and something tapping into the brain. Judging from size and head shape, they’re thinking of Jurassic Park rather than birds of prey. The controls seem to involve designating things in the visual field as “prey” or “not prey” rather than fine detail work on the muscles.
Outside in the corridor there are one or two people moving about – a few lab coats, more fatigues. Across the corridor is an animal pen, containing a deinonychus (or very good imitation) that’s clearly undergone recent surgery; there’s a cone to stop it scratching its bandages.
Widening the area shows three entrances, only one of which has a helipad; two platoons of troops total; about thirty scientific staff; and the coffin is closed, and surrounded with symbols warding against undead. There’s only the one deinonychus, and it’s not particularly obvious where it came from; and a couple of actual velociraptors that seem to be pets (though they have control devices too).
Looking at filing cabinets and safes (not everything is on computer) it appears that the coffin is Atlantean; and whatever is inside it is something really useful, but that they’re quite scared of. This place, ”Left Hand Twist”, is clearly an organisation that does a lot of government contracting, but they freelance too – the Cake Batter thing seems to have been a test of a mechanism for “we will supply a terrorist incident in your city”, while there’s some hope of a bidding war between Army and Marines for the raptors.
This facility seems to be the main place the organisation has; they have a postal address for their minimal “normal” correspondence, but it’s a very minor presence.
(24 March 2021)
Power appears to come from a medium-large RTG, which also drives the water treatment.
Everything here seems to flow from that coffin – either actual materials, or knowledge, though the means of that latter isn’t documented. Cake Batter production worked off a captured vampire, having its un-blood removed while it was fed human blood to keep it alive. “Dr Gresham” seems to be the person who has knowledge of this, and he’s not writing it down, though Natasha can get his appearance from the personnel files.
This looks like a tough nut to crack. The team considers calling on “Orange SUV”, but that might be a step too far. If Juan and Jade form a spearhead, and Natasha suppresses firearms, they reckon they should be able to get in to the coffin – but how to destroy it and kill what’s inside? Something like the anti-locust charm, and a fertiliser bomb, perhaps.
Natasha sacrifices some of the anti-vampire bullets to make undead-destroying and primer-nullifying charms, as well as stopping Juan from smelling like food. Jesus cobbles together a couple of sets of night-vision goggles for Natasha and himself as well as an improvised flamethrower, and works out how he can sabotage any vehicles he meets; the best bet looks like small limpet mines to be carried by Juan and Jade.
The team goes in by swamp boat, paddling for the last mile or so.
 Subsection: Wednesday 30 October 2019 Up Section: 1.08 Left-Hand Twist Subsection: Friday 1 November 2019