Special Agent Files

The Box

Cover by Bryan Donihue “Danger! Do Not OPEN!” was scrawled in thick black marker across the top of the brown cardboard box–twice. The man in the stained lab coat muttered to himself as he examined the strange container. Plastered across one side of the medium-sized box was a large red biohazard symbol, and a glowing script written in ancient Enochian lit up both ends of the rectangular box. The top of the box had the hand-scrawled messages plastered across it. A neatly printed address label proclaimed that the package was to be delivered to the Office of Transhuman Affairs, to the attention of Norbert Guffy in Logistics/Esoteric Interdiction, and an OTA seal was placed opposite the address label.  Norbert Guffy carefully examined the box without actually touching it. It rested on the stainless steel exam table in one of the secure rooms inside the Warehouse. When it was delivered earlier that day by a special courier, Norbert had been in a meeting with the Logistics management team. It had sat unattended for a while on his desk until someone noticed that it was leaking a strange purple liquid. When Norbert finally saw the package, he had immediately ordered it moved to one of the secure rooms in the Warehouse, and had ordered a low-level esoteric cleansing of his desk.  The strange lab coat wearing head of the Esoteric Interdiction desk in the Logistics Division looked all around the box in an attempt to determine who had sent it, and where it had originated. His gloved finger absently pushed his thick, black-rimmed glasses up and he squinted at the box. Norbert tapped the side of his glasses with a finger in a particular sequence and holographic displays seemed to come alive in his vision. Scanning and detection sensors built into his glasses began running a thorough sweep over the container and various readings flashed into his sight. “Hmmm. Thaum reading is off the chart. What’s that? It shouldn’t have that energy signal.” Norbert muttered and murmured to himself as he observed the readouts. Another touch to his glasses and the readings expanded, almost as if they were projecting on the table top itself. He reached out and began waving his hands. The esoteric genius began manipulating the various holographic displays and readings. As soon as he focused on one and drilled down to the available data, he waved, dismissing that display for another. Connected to the Sanctuary mainframe, Norbert’s enhanced glasses allowed him to manipulate the sensor readings and data in real time. The virtual data was able to be manipulated with simple gestures, programmed around Norbert’s movements, and the scientist was able to weed through vast amounts of information very quickly. To the observer in the room, it looked like Norbert was being attacked by a swarm of bees. Assistant Director Ericksmoen, the head of Logistics spoke up, “Any idea what it is, Norbert?” The scientist never bothered to look up. Concentrating on the information in front of him, Norbert muttered, “There’s something in there. Something… extra-dimensional. Possibly from the Great Old Ones. I’m not sure what it is, yet.” Ericksmoen looked at the head of the stranger side of division. If Norbert did not know what it was, or where it came from, they were dealing with something frightening. “Do we need to evacuate? Do we need to alert an Action Team?” There was a long, pregnant pause, with Norbert diligently studying the box, as if Norbert had not heard the question. As Ericksmoen opened his mouth to ask again, Norbert grunted. “I don’t think we need to evacuate. This room is warded heavily.” The scientist grunted and focused on one of the corners of the package. “Although you should probably step outside and observe through the window. This might get–” There was a ripping sound and the corner of the box nearest Norbert tore open, and a muted squeal burst from the opening. Norbert stared at the box. Not looking at his boss, the scientist addressed the head of Logistics with a carefully measured tone. “I may have been wrong. Activate the alarm and call an action team. We’re going to need backup.” Under his breath, Norbert muttered, “Oh my, yes. We are going to need so much backup.” Realizing that he could no longer leave the room, Ericksmoen took a slow, measured step toward the panel on the wall by the door. Not taking his eyes off of the hole in the corner of the box, he reached back and fumbled around for the panel. Finding the panel, his fingers scrabbled over the surface, looking for that one particular button–the panic button.  Finally feeling the round, raised button underneath his fingertips, Ericksmoen breathed a small sigh of relief and pushed it. Loud clanking noises told the man that the interior bulkhead locks had engaged on the door, doubling its holding strength. The walls flared a faint green as the wards went from passive response to active response, and the wail of an alarm outside the room began to sound.  A small purple and green mottled tentacle emerged hesitantly from the opening. Norbert’s eyes widened as he saw the energy readings flicker in front of him. The scientist took a careful step back. Then another. Slowly backing away, Norbert startled slightly when he bumped into his boss. Two more tentacles emerged from the torn corner of the box, bringing with them a thick mucus-like substance. This purple slime glowed with a faint internal luminescence as it oozed across the table.  Norbert began searching his pockets for something as he stared in rapt attention to the emerging… thing. Finally finding what he was looking for, the mad genius brought a small golden rod from his right pocket. Ericksmoen looked at the rod as Norbert lifted and held it vertically in front of the men. He could make out some form of inscription wrapping around the rod, and the symbols began to glow with a sickly blue-green light as Norbert began muttering odd-sounding phrases. Special Agent Parkinson “Park” Boldt was on the weapons range working with her favorite rifle. Park dropped the magazine out of her customized Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Competition rifle. Setting the rifle down on the bench, the young agent touched the controls to the side and the target began to work its way back to her.  Park Boldt was among the youngest to have been accepted into the OTA. While other young women were playing sports after school, the petite young woman with short, pixie-like hair was busy competing in IDPA and 3-Gun shooting matches. The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) matches allowed her to hone her skill with her favorite pistol, an STI 2011 in 9mm. A lot of older competitors, especially the older men, underestimated the teenager’s prowess, only to lose to the young woman during the matches. Her skills also crushed the competition in 3-gun matches. Park wielded her pistol with finesse, and outshot other competitors with her competition rifle and shotgun. Those skills were put to good use when two creatures attacked her home while she and her father were eating dinner.  It was an early winter evening, the sun having set a short while before in West Michigan. The family’s dog started barking outside, and then stopped with a startled yelp. Then the growling started right outside the door. Park’s father had stood and walked toward the door, telling her to get his shotgun from the cabinet. She stood and ran toward the family room to retrieve the shotgun.  As she opened the cabinet, Park heard her father yell out for her to hurry. She quickly grabbed her father’s pump-action twelve gauge, and ran a speed loader into the tube. This loaded six rounds into the tubular magazine. Leaning the Mossberg  500 against the cabinet, she then grabbed her rifle. Slamming a magazine into the receiver, Park slung her rifle and grabbed her father’s shotgun, quickly returning to find him by the front door, looking out at the front lawn.  She handed the shotgun to her father and asked, “What is it?” Her father never turned from the window, racking the slide to chamber a round in the Mossberg. He said, “All I see are two huge wolves. But they are waiting, right outside the door.” He turned back to his daughter, “I’ve never seen any wolves this large.” A quick glance at the rifle in her hands, and a raised eyebrow. “Do you think that’s necessary?” Park gave a bemused grin at her father, “I hope not. But you taught me to be prepared.”  He nodded and looked back out the window. Then started looking from side to side. “They’re gone.”  A deep throated growl sounded from the kitchen at the back of the house. Inside the house. Park and her father turned as one, looking down the hallway toward the kitchen. At the end of the hall crouched a large black wolf-like creature. Coarse black hair covered the canine snout on the overgrown wolf head and coarsened over the large wolf-like body. This wolf was easily twice as large as a regular wolf, and it stared at them with glowing red eyes. The creature’s lips pulled up in a snarl, showing large fangs.  Being a competition shooter, Park’s father was fast. She was faster. She dropped the bolt closed, chambering the first round in her rifle as she raised it to her shoulder. The diminutive teen watched the red dot target reticle cover the creature’s head, and she pulled the trigger twice. The staccato hammer of the two rounds echoed in the confines of the hallway, and Park watched both rounds land on target, snapping the creature’s head back before it collapsed onto the floor, lifeless. An enraged howl resounded from the kitchen and another large black shape slammed around the corner. As it barreled down the hallway, Park’s father was the first to get the shot off. The roar fo the twelve gauge drowned out the howls of the creature, and her dad got off three quick shots, racking the pump to reload each time. Park refocused her aim, pulling the trigger four times, her rifle’s report adding to the cacophony of sound.  The creature slammed into Park and her father, knocking them both back and into the front door. As Park scrambled to bring her gun to bear on the wolf, she realized the creature was barely moving. It growled and snapped ineffectually, unable to move its massive body due to the trauma from the gunshots. Its malevolent red eyes blazed into Park’s, almost daring her to pull the trigger. Park nodded, her mouth set firm as she raised the muzzle of her rifle to almost touch the forehead of the creature. Two shots and the creature finally grew still. Once the OTA had arrived to cover and clean the scene of the barghest attack, Park and her father had both received an offer to join the Office of Transhuman Affairs. Reluctantly, they both accepted. Park was immediately sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to complete her training to become a Special Agent for the department. Park’s father had remained behind, training at Sanctuary to fill an internal security role for the department. Back on the range, the target shuttle approached Special Agent Park. She heard a male voice behind her, “Nice job, Park. Looks like you got the bugs out of it.” Park turned to see her father, Eric Boldt standing behind her.  He continued, “ What did you do to it?” The man was just under six feet tall, thin, and balding on top. His glasses made him look like an accountant in a mid-size firm. Underneath the unassuming facade was a competitor just as fierce as his daughter.  Park gestured to her rifle. “I had to clean the protoplasm out of the barrel and chamber. Regular gun cleaner wasn’t cutting it, so I had to get some special cleaner from Russel…....

This content is for Section 28 Special Agent, Interdiction Support Specialist, Operations Support Specialist, Operations Division Leader, and Esoteric Support Specialist members only.
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