Let Me Be Frank…
The important thing to know is that Mobile Task Force Alpha-44 had no nickname. The crisis that had erupted over the last few years had left precious little time to develop unit cohesion and the camaraderie that led to the formation of a common identity - Agents were thrown together haphazardly, given the barest minimums of equipment and training, and told to hunt down and contain the outbreak by any means necessary.
The Task Force leader, a 'senior' agent no older than thirty, spoke tersely to the assembled group. "Our mission is simple. The skip is located somewhere in this ten-block radius, according to Espionage. Forty-three and Forty-five are also on-task to make sure this area gets canvassed fast. Don't worry - you'll know her when you see her. Early teenage girl, minor psychic-sympathetic influence combined with spatial anomalies. Almost certainly embedded with the local populace, turning them against us. Keep a good head on your shoulders and we'll all get out of this fine. Espionage says these… creepy-ass sigils are good at dampening her influence, so make sure you tag her with one if you get the chance." Nodding to the table, the Agent indicated a pile of cloth hexagrams. "Just press it against her, we'll stitch them on later."
Solemn-faced, the Agents filed forward, collecting their tokens. 43 had started an hour ago; 45 would start an hour from now. Morale was low. The teams were already well-recognized in their current duty station of Amsterdam, and the prospect of another set of raids had no one particularly eager to move. All of them knew their duty, however, and the thought of shirking never crossed their minds.
The Task Force lead was all business as he sent them about their work. "You know your orders. You're expected out there in five minutes. Forty-four, dismissed."
The drizzle of rain and the cool evening air did nothing to lift the team's spirits as they knocked at the first door. A wary eye peeked out from a crack, looking at the agents in uniform. "Can I help you?"
The squad lead nodded to the older woman, rattling off the cover story that they had used hundreds of times before.
"Evening, ma'am. We're with the constabulary-" he flashed a badge, "-and we've reason to suspect that there's a violent criminal hiding in the vicinity. We'll just be coming in for a quick inspection, if you don't mind?"
The tone of his voice left no room for refusal, and after a few long moments in the rain, the door opened and the team entered. The sweep was conducted quickly, and finding nothing, the team was back out in the rain.
Alexander piped up, his tone conversational. "Chief, not sure if I'm disappointed or not, no lie."
The lead (44-1 according to mission documents, 'Chief' to everyone else) raised a brow. "Oh?"
Realizing he may have overstepped, Alex was hesitant to continue. "Just… not gonna cry if 43 finds her first, that's all."
Chief chewed on this for a moment, pondering it. His reply was stern."I don't like bagging and tagging skips any better than you do, Agent, but I can tell you that you sure as hell don't want to explain to Command why we covered a third as many households as 43 or 45."
"Oh, right. Right. No, I didn't mean to say-" Alex's furious backpedaling was cut off by the senior agent's tense conclusion to the discussion.
"Of course you didn't, Agent. Let's keep moving."
Rain and cold were oppressive, to be sure, but far worse was the reception Amsterdam gave the agents on patrol. Windows closed, children were pulled from windows, and lights winked out as the team rounded corners. The team closed ranks as they continued down the dimly lit streets, bunching together less for heat than for warmth. The task force had been assembled three weeks ago - they hardly knew each others' names, but out here tonight? They were the only friends they had in the world.
The lead spoke up, and the rest of the team's shoulders sagged with relief - anything to break the godforsaken silence. "Hey, Jake." The lead's voice was nothing like the tense, angry words he had used earlier… now it was the voice of a man twice his age, full of a defeated sort of regret.
The chipper response was forced and everyone knew it. "What's up, Chief?"
Chief's mood was downcast, but he looked Jacob dead in the eyes when he spoke. "Sorry for biting your head off there earlier. Shouldn't have done it."
Jacob's response came automatically. "No, Chief, mission comes first, you're-"
The Chief cut him off with a wave of his hand. "Naw, son. This is shitty and you know it. I know it. It's not the same."
Jacob shifted his weight from foot to foot awkwardly, pausing a few seconds before replying."Well, uh… apology accepted, Chief." Another pause. "We still gotta check these houses."
"I know, I know," the Chief replied, his tone resigned. "Let's get to it."
Chief stepped into a doorway, a slight overhang sheltering the team from the rain as they took a short breather. The fatal resignation to complete their task, the dogged insistence that this mission - as all others prior- be seen through to its completion weighed on them like a cross. The lead raised his hand to rap on the door and paused. Breaking this moment of respite seemed almost a crime.
Tap tap tap. "Sir? Ma'am? Anyone home?"
Silence. "Give 'em a minute, they're probably asleep or somethin'."
"Shut up, Alex." Chief's tone was weary, monotone, and utterly lacking in malice, as if he were reading off a script. In the three weeks they'd been working together, this had become Chief's favorite phrase. The others had taken to running a tally of how many times Alexander was told to 'shut up' during a given mission. Tonight, though, it elicited none of the usual laughs.
"Yessir." Alex grinned nervously, looking back and forth between his team members. None of them mirrored his grin.
Another unanswered knock at the door. "HELLO? IS ANYONE HOME? THIS IS THE CONSTABULARY."
Only silence replied.
"Arright, Four, get the picks, we're goin' in."
Wolfgang - the poor bastard went by 'Wolf', and no one was willing to call him that - nodded assent and slipped forward, quickly plying his trade with the door.
"Wolf's" face screwed up with concentration as he worked. "Gotcha, Chief. It'll be just… a… sec-*click*- got it."
The door swung open to pitch black silence. Inside the building, the sound of the pattering rain outside was muted, and only the sound of boots striking the hardwood floor filled the room. Peering around anxiously with their flashlights in tow, they began to search. "I don't think we're gonna find nobody here, chief."
"Shut up, Alex." This time the tone held a bit of steel behind it.
"Yessir." Alexander's usual grin was gone, and his contrite reply put an end to the discussion as they searched.
Alexander was right. Half an hour wasted looking for a hiding place in that house and not a thing to show for it, Chief cursed to himself. They should've been in and out, got this damn mission over with a half-hour sooner.
Jacob chirped, far too cheerily for the gloomy evening, "How much we got left, Chief?"
Chief's tone was sullen, resigned. "We got five more blocks to cover."
Hopefully, Jacob pressed. "Think 43 or 45've found her yet?"
"Naw. We would've been radioed."
Alexander and Wolfgang shook their heads at each other as Jacob continued to needle. "Chief, last time they did-"
Cutting him short, Chief's temper finally snapped. "Jake, God help me, we're gonna check the damn houses even /if/ they find her. We're doin' this right. Stop hopin' and get to workin'."
"Sorry, Chief. Sorry."
"Damn right. Now come on."
Four blocks remained when they came to the house. A courteous knock at a door, and a suspicious eye peering out. "Sir, we're with the constab—"
"I haven't seen anything tonight, sirs, and I can't help you."
"There's nothing I can help you with. Have a good evening."
Only Chief's boot in the doorway prevented it from closing.
"We'll be inspecting the premises now, sir."
"I- I- of course."
Shouldering into the door, it opened with only token resistance as the team brusquely strode past the man. The terseness of the initial conversation spoke volumes, and muscles tensed as the small squad prepared for a confrontation.
The confrontation never came. It was anticlimax defined, as they searched the house. The spatial anomaly was textbook - a bookcase pushed in front of a door, hiding an extension to the house that never could have fit. A terrified little girl, huddled in the corner, sobbing helplessly as Chief picked her up. The rest of the team screened the family out - they would be processed as well, screened for potential abnormalities, but in all likelihood they would simply be dosed with amnesiacs and released, Alex told himself as he pushed the defeated-looking father away.
"We've been looking for you for some time, young lady."
She didn't respond, but her father did. His voice was almost disbelieving, each word exacting its brutal toll on him. "Two years, now. Two years we've been hiding."
Jacob spoke up. "That's over now, sir. I'm sorry it had to be this way."
Chief cut in before the father had a chance to formulate a reply. "We are too. Four, hit the radio, let 43 and 45 know what the situation is."
Wolfgang shrugged apologetically. "Can't, Chief, they don't speak German, only Dutch and English."
"Get Alex to do it, then, I don't give a shit."
"Got it, Chief."
The father stepped back, hit a wall, and slowly began to sink down. Rather than speak, his chest began to heave with sobs. While Alexander contacted MTF-A-43 and 45, the Chief carried the young woman out.
AFTER ACTION REPORT
SUBJECT (HEREAFTER DESIGNATED SCP-1177) SUCCESSFULLY CAPTURED. TRANSFERRED TO SITE 73 ('BERGEN-BELSEN'). CONTAINMENT REPORT FOLLOWS.
1 ADULT, MALE, 57: ADMINISTERED AMNESIACS AND RETURNED TO SOCIETY
1 ADULT, FEMALE, 49: DECEASED; REMAINS CONSIGNED TO RESEARCH
Item #: SCP-XXX-J
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: Copies of SCP-XXX-J must be created and retained by Doctors Wilker, Roald, and Li. No other personnel on Site 33 are to have write access to XXX-J on local data storage units. Any individuals mentioned by SCP-XXX-J are to be provided with copies of the material, and other individuals at Site 33 may be provided with copies at their request. Director Carrington is not to be informed of the existence of SCP-XXX-J.
Description: SCP-XXX-J is the personal log of Wilbur K. Chesterson (hereafter referred to as SCP-XXX-J-1), a junior researcher disgusting man-child at Site 33. The log contains a psychic threat memetic hazards embarrassingly low-quality self-insert fan fiction of his own life. In it, Mr. Chesterson is a field agent rather than Director Carrington's administrative assistant, is nicknamed "Turbo" (not even kidding, we swear- he collects American Gladiators memorabilia -Dr. Wilker), and is a senior staff member at Site 33- which has become a sprawling, multi-level research facility rather than a small observation post. Additonally, Mr. Chesterson has graphically depicted himself engaging in sexual relations with more than half the women in the Site, including Dr. Li's wife.
Addendum: SCP-XXX-J has been added to the Artifact Listing after Dr. Roald's discovery that SCP-XXX-J-1 lacks permissions to modify the copy of the Artifact Listings on Site 33's servers. Attempts to retain the data elsewhere on local servers resulted in sabotage by the individual in question.
"So, you can come with me quiet-like, or I can give you back your teeth at the end of the lesson. Your choice."
- Max Lombardi, Agent
Skills: 4 + INT modifier per level
Skill List: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Diplomacy, Disguise, Drive, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gamble, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Investigate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Navigate, Pilot, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble.
Defense: +1 at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
Starting Feats: Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Weapon Proficiency (Personal Firearms), Weapon Proficiency (Advanced Firearms), Weapon Proficiency (Improvised)
If subjected to an attack that allows a Reflex save for half damage, the Agent takes no damage on a successful save.
An Agent knows how to size up an area and get the lay of the land in a single sweep of his or her eyes. This sweep provides a +4 circumstance bonus on Spot checks and covers an area out to 30 feet away from the Agent (but not behind him or her). The Agent can use this bonus at the start of an encounter. Anything not concealed can be spotted in a sweep with a successful check (DC 10). The DC for concealed or less obvious threats is equal to their Hide check result.
Improvised Weapon Damage:
At 2nd level, an Agent’s attacks with improvised weapons deal more damage. The Agent treats an improvised weapon as one size category larger than it is for the purpose of determining the damage it deals.
An Agent is adept at keeping their opponents disoriented and off-guard through the use of rapid movement in combat. Beyond that, they are skilled in taking advantage of that disorientation to inflict brutal damage to their enemies. By moving more than 10 ft. in a combat round, the Agent may add +1d8 to their damage roll and +1 to their Defense until the beginning of their next turn. The bonus damage is considered precision damage, and is negated by any ability which grants immunity to critical hits or sneak attacks.
The bonuses granted by Reposition increase to +2d8 damage/+2 Defense.
If subjected to an attack that allows a Reflex save for half damage, the Agent takes no damage on a successful save. On a failed save, the Agent takes only half damage.
At 8th level, an Agent’s ability to get the lay of the land improves. Now the Agent not only spots potential perils with a successful check, he or she can determine the relative strength of these dangers. A successful check relates the danger’s strength compared to the Agent: stronger (higher level or Hit Dice), on par (same level or HD), or weaker (lower level or HD).
The bonuses granted by Reposition increase to +3d8 damage/+3 Defense.
[Note: Designed originally under the moniker: Field Specialist or Field Agent. This is a mix of a couple of prestige classes I've seen and the Marshall from 3.0]
(Wisdom Dude) fights with his gut. He's carefully honed his sense over the years, learning to trust them like a close friend. Additionally, he is well trained in leading his friends and compatriots into combat (and getting them out of it).
(Wisdom Dude) Hit Dice (1d8 d6?)
|Level||B.A.B.||Saves||Ability||Defense Bonus||Maneuvers (Known and Per Day)|
|1||+1||1/0/1||Nice Save! 1/Day||+2||2|
|2||+2||2/0/2||Gut Reaction 1/Day||+2||3|
|4||+3||2/1/2||Nice Save! 2/Day||+3||4|
|5||+4||3/1/3||Bonus Feat: Improved Initiative||+4||4|
|6||+5||3/2/3||Gut Reaction 2/Day||+4||5|
|7||+6/1||4/2/4||Nice Save 3/Day||+5||5|
|8||+6/1||4/2/4||Fool Me Once…||+5||6|
|9||+7/2||4/4/3||Something Isn't Right||+6||6|
|10||+8/3||5/5/3||Nice Save! 4/Day||+6||7|
Skills: (4 + Int) Gamble, Listen, Spot, Survival, Sense Motive, Knowledge: Warfare Tactics, Profession, Diplomacy
Nice Save!: A (Wisdom Dude) may, as an action, provide any character within line of sight with "fair warning" of an incoming attack, trap, explosion, etc. They may grant a +1 Bonus (increasing to +2 at level four, +3 at level seven, and +4 at level 10) to any Fortitude, Reflex, or Will save against a threat they perceive.
Gut Reaction: At level two, a (Wisdom Dude) may once per day (2/day at Level 6) re-roll a skill check or saving throw, keeping the higher result. If the same total is rolled both times, apply a bonus of +1 to the original role.
Gotcha!: At level three, a (Wisdom Dude) chooses either Spot or Listen. They gain a +4 inherent bonus to that skill. At level eight, they gain the inherent bonus to the skill they did not choose.
Bonus Feat: Improved Initiative: At level five, a (Wisdom Dude) gains Improved Initiative as a bonus feat.
Fool Me Once…: At level eight, a (Wisdom Dude) may ask a target a point blank question and know if they are telling the truth or lying. They may not force a target to tell the truth, but they will know if the truth is being obfuscated in some way. This ability may be used a number of times per day equal to (Wisdom Guy)'s Wisdom modifier.
Something Isn't Right: At level nine, a (Wisdom Dude) can no longer be caught flatfooted and adds their Wisdom bonus, if any, to Initiative checks.
Maneuvers are an expression of the (Wisdom Dude)'s natural intuition and cleverness going into action quickly. The (Wisdom Dude) can grant special effects or temporary feats to those around him. To benefit from a maneuver, the target must be within 40ft of the (Wisdom Dude) and able to hear him.
Evasive!: (Wisdom Dude) may grant the Evasion ability for a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom Modifier. Character already possessing the Evasion instead temporarily gain Improved Evasion. Characters already with Improved Evasion get +2 on their Reflex Save.
Take Cover!: (Wisdom Dude) may warn his allies of incoming danger, giving them time to take cover or dodge. All allies get a cover bonus equal to 10% per point of Wisdom Modifier (so someone with a +3 would grant 30%) for one round.
Run, You Idiot! Run! and GO GET EM!: (Wisdom Dude) may encourage his allies to flee or fight, granting them a move speed of +10 ft/point of Wisdom modifier for one round and immunity from attacks of opportunity.
One for shooting/one for flanking/one for ambushes/one for being surrounded/etc