False in Some Sense

Extraction; Chapter 1

Sunday, May 17, 2009, around 7:30 AM (and throughout the following week)

Agatha is awakened by a persistent knocking on the front door of Chuck’s house. When the knocking continues, she grabs her shotgun and goes downstairs without changing out of her shirt and underpants. By the time she gets downstairs, the knocking stops. She looks to see if she can see anybody at all, and when she cannot, she calls Agent Sklar, reporting what happened. She further indicates that she doesn’t feel as though someone so insistent would just leave. Keeping him on the phone, she does a sweep of the house. Finally, she makes her way back upstairs…just in the time for the knocking to resume. Agent Sklar says he will start making his way over, but to keep him on the phone. As she returns downstairs, the knocking stops again, and Agatha doesn’t manage to see anybody. Finally, Sklar tells her to open the front door to see what it could be.

Agatha finds a strange knife stabbed into the door jamb. A note is wrapped around it. After reporting this to Agent Sklar, she carefully unrolls the note without touch the knife. The note reads “Use me.” Still somewhat confused, goes to turn around when she senses movement behind her. She grabs the knife and tucks it into her underpants before she wheels around.

Sitting in a chair is a tall, thin man. His limbs are too long, and his fedora shadows his face, revealing only a grin that is too wide. He asks her where the dancer is and she replies that she does not know. He asks again, standing as she does so. She continues to insist, and this is when he starts to move.

Lightning fast he clears the hallway and rakes his long fingers across her stomach, drawing blood. She discharges the shotgun but the shot goes wide as the man sidesteps the blast, embedding pellets into Chuck’s wall. The tall fellow then manages to grab and restrain her. After attempting to pull the knife free, he knocks it out of her grip and manages to subdue her. Steely fingers at her throat, he allows her to get an arm free and tells her to hang up on her friend and call the dancer, and to find out where she is. Pretend that nothing is wrong. She does so, calling Katrina under the pretense of a morning jog, but manages to act so cheerful that Katrina infers that something is wrong. She says that she and “James” will be over. As the conversation ends, Agatha hears sirens nearing.

After Agatha hangs up, the tall man throws her to the ground and gathers the weapons. He then tells her to move just as a car arrives and Agent Sklar steps out. He draws his weapon, takes aim, and fires just as the thing turns around. With the same speed, it starts to run at Sklar, tagging him with its claw-like fingers. Sklar backpedals and fires, sending another bullet into the thing. Agatha discharges a shot and strikes it in the back. It strikes Sklar again before he puts another bullet into it, dropping it.

Agatha comes outside and the two decide to drag the thing into the house to figure out what to do with it. Finally, Agatha grabs an iron bar and caves its head in. The fissure reveals an inky black ooze and the corpse dissipates into glittering, golden dust, which dissipates. Some few of the black bloodstains remain. Agatha opens the backdoor and the back gate to imply that the thing ran away. Then, another knock sounds on the door, and Agatha sees a policeman outside. She opens the door and the last thing she recalls is the figure saying, “Sleep now,” before falling asleep.

Katrina and “James” arrive to find the chaos of the previous melee, and Agatha and Sklar unconscious. She manages to awaken them both and the group sweeps the house, finding nothing other than the strange knife missing. The note, however, remains. After Katrina applies some first aid, everybody travels to the hospital for treatment.

Over the course of the week, Janet Cook asks Chuck, Elena, and William if they approve of the use of an experimental serum which should prompt faster recuperation. All agree, and everyone is out of the hospital within the week. Janet lets them know that she would like to meet with them when they are available.

On Sunday, May 24, Janet calls Chuck Storm to set up a meeting. He says he will call everyone and get back to her in the hour. After talking to everyone, they decide to meet the following evening at the “Lake House” at 5:00 PM. He then calls Janet and gives her the address. Elena also calls Paul and Agent Sklar to let them know, though Sklar says he will probably not make it.

The next day, everyone goes to work or school — for many of them, it is the first time they have returned since the events of prom. Elena finds that her schoolmates react with a mixture of shock, respect, and fear. The members of her own clique seem somewhat afraid of her, while most of the other students look at her with a newfound respect for her actions at prom.

For most others, their days are fairly quiet. That evening, everyone goes to the “Lake House.” Much to the others’ chagrin, they find William Puckett attends wearing a dashiki, Africa pendant, and wearing blackface. Chuck points out that Agent Cook is an African-American, and that blackface is illegal in some places, but William Puckett insists that this is how he is supposed to be. Then, the knock at the door announces Janet Cook’s presence. Chuck slips outside and quietly warns her about William’s condition. She says that it should be all right, but she is quite glad for the warning. She and Chuck then enter.

After initial pleasantries, and trying to keep William under control, Janet Cook explains that it is her understanding that the clones that took Anatoly Kournikova are under the control of Perkona, existing in Terra Lake as Phoenix Chemicals. Around this time, a second knock on the door announces the presence of Agent Sklar, who decided to attend after all.

After discussion resumes, it becomes apparent that Perkona only has two locations — the main facility in San Francisco, and the branch in Terra Lake. Janet Cook indicates that if Anatoly Kournikova cannot be found in Terra Lake, her people will take over operations in San Francisco. She further indicates that the operation at Perkona needs to happen soon, and is an extraction, though if Anatoly cannot be found, any information they can uncover would be appreciated. After further discussion, Janet agrees to outfit everyone with body armor and firearms — specifically high-capacity shotguns, sidearms, and some stun weapon. She will also outfit them with cameras to gather evidence, and radios for communication. Agent Sklar indicates that he will not accompany them personally, but he can attempt to delay police if law enforcement is called.

Sklar also takes the opportunity to make certain everybody knows about the Agatha’s encounter. When asked, he indicates that the police officer was not Hayward; in fact, it was someone he did not recognize at all, which is strange considering his months of working with local police.

After further deliberation, and after Janet Cook indicates that Agatha will have a place at the FBI even if her position at Perkona is soured, it is decided that “James” will likely stay in the car while Agatha, Chuck, Elena, Katrina, Paul, and William will enter the building. Janet will be on stand-by in case they require additional backup. They agree to meet at the same time tomorrow so Janet can deliver the equipment she promised. From there, everybody parts company to prepare for the following evening.

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