As much as I wanted Professor Award-Waver-One-Proud-Accomplishment-So-Flaunt-It-Until-I-Die to choke on his own vomit, some of the stupid habits stuck with me. Pen and paper help me think, so writing all this shit down. Working on this Serpent's Hand article for my boss. Everyone else is all over the shitstorm in North Korea, but that's behind the game. Good journalism is seeing what's happening now. They wanna write history, they can. My job is turning the low hanging fruit into gold.
So, ground work. Serpent's Hand: Some weird tree-hugger sounding group. What I can find from the Leak suggests they're basically human rights for the weird. Going to do some canvassing and interviews, see if anyone's seen them or knows about them on street level.
Interviews done, findings: Majority of people have seen them even less than these foundation goons. There was some sort of big conspiracy, but in the two months that've passed since, you can at least spot the occasional weirdo men in black type. It's making people nervous, and nervous people come in two varieties: talk to the press, or don't talk to the press. Right now I've got all of three people who, after a lot of legwork, could, would, and did produce anything more concrete than an opinion.
First guy claimed to have met a rep, looking into his son. Said they were investigating the possibility of his kid having some kind of powers or whatever. Didn't seem too impressed, the rep was apparently some Native American kook who spent some time burning incense and left empty handed. New age crap. Had a little card the guy gave him. A hand with a snake wrapped around it. Seemed to fit.
Other two had similar stories. Young kids, unusual stuff, representatives who looked like aging hippies or young college kids coming in and looking over their children. Not one had been a positive. Sounds like a complete load so far. Might have a stinker of a reveal for my editor, he loves those. Need to figure out a headline suggestion.
Found a 'cell' of the Hand. Got pointed to them by contact. Been selling my editor on the whole 'crock of shit' angle. He's happy. Wants me to wrap up the story so he can get more coverage on the North Korea clusterfuck. As if there weren't thirty thousand people covering that already.
These guys are based out of the local third tier college for underachievers. Going to see if I can't get some info out of them. They've got a website. Looks like most of the crazy kooks who believe in Bigfoot and want the age of Aquarius or some shit like that. Believing in the supernatural is all the rage with this reveal.
Plan to remain skeptical.
Met with the cell. Gotta say: /wow/. Just when I thought this couldn't get any more bullshit kook amateur hour, these guys show up. First off their 'headquarters' was just someone's dorm room, and it reeked of pot. Second, not one of them looked like he owned a shirt that didn't have wrinkles growing out of its wrinkles. Third, anime posters everywhere. Not exactly the kind of black ops group hinted at in the dossiers.
They said their names were Adam, Charoosh, and Morgan. I'm pretty sure Charoosh was trying to look impressive. The name, combined with the dreadlocks, pubic goatee, and general malaise, wasn't doing it. They spoke at length, got the interview recorded on MP3. General notes: They're morons.
Never met a bigger bunch of shysters in my life. Kept babbling on about some deeper cosmos and 'attunement to the universe' crap. Tried to be a little open minded, but it all was new-age hoodoo bullshit. Kept expecting one of them to try to give me a pamphlet and ask for a donation. Most of the talk was me trying to get any details of things they'd actually done, and them trying to frantically hide that they just used the name of the group to score pot and get laid.
As it stands, article is looking like satire will be the only thing to give it legs. Push for scathing, a little mockery, some clowns throwing pies, and call it a day. Going to go back for a followup with that in mind and see what turns up. Still need headline.
Back from followup. Got to get this written down and then hide it. Jesus fucking Christ. Don't know what I was thinking, but I'm in over my head. Way over. Fuck my hands are still shaking.
Okay, details: went back to the dorm room for the followup interview, but goons weren't in, despite saying they would be. Decided to kill a little time and wait in my car for an hour or two. Started getting dark and I was getting ready to leave when I heard breaking glass in the direction of the dorm. Few quiet thumps and some yelling, and suddenly the whole place went to shit. Some black SUV kicked on its highbeams and men in fatigues started piling out like a god damned clown car.
At this point, I had two options. Get out and investigate, or drive away. Both would lead to me getting spotted, so I was stuck. The decision ended up being made more or less for me. Gunfire started up, and the car shuddered when a bullet blew out my tire. Option C: run like a fucking bitch.
I was about thirty yards away from my car when it happened. Something hit the SUV and it exploded, shrapnel and a shockwave throwing me to the asphalt. Still hurt from where I hit. Saw them when I looked up.
One looked like a lizard. A honest to god knight holding a sword. Some THING which looked like it was wrapped up in skin. Some monkey-person. Black cat. All of them ran past me. When they saw me, one of the kids HISSED. Swear he had fangs. Did my best to look like I wasn't anything important. Soiled self.
Mailed article in, taking a leave of absence. Going to go cover North Korea. Can't be worse than here.
Document recovered from surveillance site Romero-Alpha-Tango-Sierra. Author missing, whereabouts unknown.