Jason put in a call to Ralf Singleton’s law office to see if he could get an appointment on behalf of Helouise Havershaum. While they had lunch from the hospital cafeteria, Singleton’s office called back and offered them a 2:30 appointment the same day!
As they drove to his downtown office, Terry updated Amelia on the story thus far, including speculation as to the nature of the fomori threat and Singleton’s role in the story.
They got in through security, heading up to the 40th floor (of 60) and taking in the windowless earth-tone art deco with fountain atmosphere. They met with Singleton in an opulent meeting room with a black stone table. (While waiting, Truc helped himself to the fancy chocolate truffles, nervously eating, while Jason tried out the tea infuser.)
One of the Men Behind the Curtain
Singleton joined them, looking trim and expensive. He admitted that he was behind their peculiar luck; he had tracked each of them down after the Sears ruin incident and pulled strings to arrange for them to end up in different jobs. He had a spy keeping close tabs on Ghoulaxis/Gunderson, so he knew that Ghoulaxis would be targeting Helouise, and he knew when and where. He arranged for those from the Sears ruin incident (who rescued him) to be on hand to thwart the assault.
Back in 1998, he was a lowly enforcer. His people were attacking Ghoulaxis’ operation, and Singleton was the one who shot and killed the monster; the body shriveled, but the blood of the immensely powerful creature flowed into that pothole, and unknown to anyone, created a dimensional pocket or kellipot or whatever term you want to use. There, Ghoulaxis held on, neither living nor dying.
Decades later, Gunderson’s nearby dreaming roused him, and he got into Gunderson. That’s when all this trouble started. The Gangplank connects to his pocket dimension and allows his energy minions to take human bodies, if those taking the drug are strong enough dreamers. He’s now force-feeding massive doses to those who proved susceptible during the “recreational” testing phase, creating more monsters for his army.
Ghoulaxis was burning through Gunderson, the host body, and he needed Helouise as a new host. The host had to be a powerful dreamer. If he was denied his host, his presence would wither and he would be forced out of the dimension. His connection to Singleton was that he resented Singleton shooting and killing him almost 20 years ago, and wanted to make him suffer and eventually die because of that.
Singleton wanted to use Terry, Truc, and Jason (and now Emilia) to keep Ghoulaxis off balance and wary of an unrevealed foe. He was reluctant to involve more of the Powers, whatever that means. He already involved one other.
He provided them with detailed schematic plans of the Sears ruin where Ghoulaxis still lurked, showing where he had his drugged victims who were mutating into monsters, and the armored hard point of the pothole, which he zealously protected. Ghoulaxis projected energy from his home dimension through the pothole to control a body and act in this dimension, and he didn’t want anyone interfering with it.
Singleton left them with Frank, his underling, who could provide them with assistance. After Singleton left, they strategized next moves, and Frank chimed in from time to time. He offered them two assault teams of four men each, as well as access to military grade hardware.
They went down to the basement, to Armory Annex A, where there were many guns, melee weapons, explosives, and body armor. They loaded up with what seemed like a good fit, including customized body armor for Truc and Jason. Terry flirted with the thin woman who ran the armory, and she got handsy with him.
Since a battle at the hospital would be disastrous, they decided to strike at the Sears ruin and draw down his forces. Team A would use a heavy machine gun and flamethrower to attack the front of the ruin to attract security, then Team B would take a stolen semi truck and drive through the back wall to get at the sleepers; they were so poisoned and traumatized death would be a mercy, and cut the lifeline of reinforcement monsters for Ghoulaxis. Then Team C (the PCs) would cover Team B and act opportunistically if they saw an opening to hurt Ghoulaxis more. If Ghoulaxis showed up, they were to retreat.
Assaulting the Ruin
Team A was in position, and Team B split into a pair to steal the truck and a pair to get in position with Team C. They were spotted on the approach, and a flying monster crushed one of the commandos. They opened fire on it, downing it eventually, but a ball of meat came up out of its back and twirled, streaking some of them in a sort of amniotic mucus. Shotgun blasts brought the monster down, and the meaty ball was shot open to reveal many grub-like squirming things.
The stolen truck trundled towards the back of the building and was attacked by two more bug monsters; Team C managed to bring one down more or less, and the other got on the truck roof. The driver used an explosive to kill himself and hit the monster at close range, and the flaming truck drove into the wall.
As they approached the breach, a missile streaked down out of the dark night sky, penetrating a sky light and going deep into the Sears ruin. The explosion was massive. They held back, unsure about proceeding, and there was another strike. It seemed like someone was using a drone to drop military-grade missiles on the building!
The last commando with them took his flamethrower and headed up to the breach, spraying napalm inside. He jogged back and reported that there was a chemical tank (it exploded) and the dreamers were likely toast. They retreated.
After a couple hours driving around losing any possible tail, they rendezvoused in the Winsteads parking lot and got back into their vehicle. (No one asked them to give the guns and armor back.) They went their separate ways, sobered by the implications of a new faction getting involved and firebombing the Sears ruin.