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Ficlit - The Road
Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Date: 2008-06-26 17:12
Subject: Ficlit
Security: Public
“Sergeant Hollister, when the frack did the barracks become a cat shelter?”
“Oh calm down boss, it’s only one cat and it’s the company mascot now. Mr. Jingles Jr. is good luck.”

Mission Report: Zone HOLLY Sortie 15 (Area B33-B34)
Capt. Rick Devos – DOG Team 23

We had just finished our sweep of Area B33 and recovered two unknown items from a group of 8 orcs and 1 cave-troll.
One was a metallic cylinder roughly the size of a roll or quarters with runes (Item HB-44), and the other was a silver ring with no markings (Item HB-45).
Per SOP, we secured a room (R34) for a forward base into the next area. Once the area was secured, we drew lots to field test the ring to see if it had any noticeable passive persistent effects on the wearer. Pvt. Jonas drew the short straw and put the ring on with no notable effects generated. Per SOP the ring was then removed and stored in an item retrieval bag with Pvt. Jonas.
As we were documenting item HB-44 with cameras the motion detector directed at the unexplored hallway (H34) was set off by an unknown xenomorph approaching. Xenomorph did not set off the proximity mines deployed in the forward area as it moved past them. [Tech note: DOG Team 23 equipped with proximity mines that use seismic detonators. Recommend new loadout for teams consist of mix of seismic and laser range detonators and both types be deployed when establishing a perimeter.]
The monster, designated XHB-14 “Smoke Octopus”, consisted of 6-8 black octopus tentacles 6” thick and up to 6’ long with hooks and acidic slime extending from central body that was either made of or occluded by a thick dense smoke. Monster appeared to fly with no means of locomotion visible and its movement was dubbed ‘hummingbird like’.
Pvt. Davison, on watch down that hall, sighted the monster and engaged with standard loadout, Pvt. Dawson did the same with new exploratory loadout C [Tech note: Loadout C consists of alternating silver, gold, lead, incendiary, rubber, plastic, ceramic, and ironwood flechette bullets] to no effect. One minute later the monster cleared the hallway and killed Davison and disabled Dawson. Jonas engaged the creature with his sword, severing two tentacles before being sprayed by the creature with an acid mixture that liquefied him almost instantly.
Object HB-44, which was being held by Pvt. Higg as our photography had been interrupted, then glowed with a blue light and a large glowing calico cat the size of a tiger appeared in a puff of white smoke and engaged the creature as the surviving members of our team withdrew. The cat seemed to kill the xenomorph, which dissolved into a pool of acid, and then the cat faded out of existence a few minutes later. Pvt. Higg maintains that it was his cat ‘Mr. Jingles’. This claim is supported by Pvt. Dawson who claims the cat had a collar and ID tag that had Mr. Jingles on it, although given the nature of his injuries and proximity to the battle his recollection of the battle may be impaired. [Intel note: Intel confirmed Pvt. Higg does indeed own a cat called ‘Mr. Jingles’ that resides at his mother’s home. Said cat’s location was unknown at the time of the incident and it was found later that night injured. Per Ms. Higg, Cat died of injuries sustained from an unknown animal attack the same day as the incident. Upon excavation of the burial site, no feline remains could be found for further investigation.] Due to multiple injuries, the squad gathered the dead and injured as best we could and retreated to the landing.
Attachment A: Medical report on wounded and dead from Sortie
Attachment B: Soldier’s drawings and descriptions of XHB-14
Attachment C: Artifact analysis report

Contribution to thread story on RPG Net (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=391379&page=6)
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