Glasgow Nights (Doctor Who RPG)

Episode #7: The Zygon(s) War

4th – 5th December, 2016

Having filled Dr. Grassi’s loft with surveillance devices, the team set Neuromancer to the task of monitoring the footage. Grassi had returned home from the Kelvingrove at around 0300, following the team’s failed break-in of the museum, and sat immediately to work for about an hour in her small art studio on the stone sculpture that, while still far from complete, bore a definite resemblance to the Evolution Artifact. One part of the sculpture was quite detailed—the socket for the Williams Necklace—and Grassi seemed content to leave that part alone. While sculpting, she seemed to have almost trance-like focus. But she did finally go to bed at around 0400.

Elizabeth Davies tossed and turned that night, almost grasping at the strands of the events her team was investigating. Finally, a solution came to her. The usual Torchwood strategy in the past was one of intimidation and mystery. So the team would use that to gain entry into the as-yet-unseen bowels of the Kelvingrove, where Elizabeth felt sure some villainy was afoot.

At 0700, Grassi’s alarm went off. Still tired from the night before, she hit snooze until 0715. After dressing and having a light breakfast of tea and scone, she was at the Kelvingrove before 0900.

That morning, Elizabeth set Trevor Rothberry to the task of forging some MI-5 credentials for the team, and she pitched her idea. The team would simply walk in as if they belonged there and would brook no interference, presenting their new MI-5 credentials if intercepted. They would count on Henry Taylor to do any talking, Charlie Williams would provide armed backup, and Alice Kingston would provide her extensive knowledge of strange events as the touchpoint to her internet forum. At last, a direct plan of action began to take shape, and the team rolled out.

The five agents of Torchwood Two, decked out in trenchcoats and black suits, walked into the front door of the Kelvingrove and straight toward one of the employee-only areas. When intercepted by a security guard, only Henry broke stride to give a gruff response, “Government business,” as he flashed his MI-5 credential. The guard was stunned by what was going on, and he only snapped out of it once Henry had joined the rest of the team on the other side of the employee-only door. Beyond the door was a hallway, with a small restroom on one side and a stairwell door on the other. The stairwell led down to the basement.

Trevor checked to find the restroom empty and then posted at its door in case someone followed, and then the rest of the team headed downstairs. As they rounded the corner, the door opened at the bottom of the stairs and Agnes Worley stepped into the doorway. “You shouldn’t be here,” she croaked ominously. When Elizabeth and Henry both stared into her mind, they found she was a Zygon. Knowing the jig was up, Agnes stepped backward, allowing the powered door to begin closing, and then hit an alarm.

Before the door could close, Charlie popped off a double-tap, blowing off part of Agnes’ head and killing her. But although the team thought Agnes was a Zygon, she did not revert to Zygon form. However, Elizabeth thought the brain matter might look different from a human brain.

Alice held the door open and poked her head through the doorway and into the middle of a hallway with two doors at each end. To her left, Alice saw movement as Dr. Grassi ducked into the closest doorway on the left. Alice and Charlie immediately ran toward that door, but by the time they got there, all they saw was an empty interrogation room. There was an open door in the back of the room, and a recently-discarded set of handcuffs laying on the floor behind the far chair. Henry dashed past Charlie and Alice and through that far door, to see Grassi chasing another woman.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth disabled the alarm, which wasn’t a fire alarm but had been confined to the basement. However, two security guards popped out of the far doorway to the right and threatened to attack the team. Elizabeth brandished her pistol and MI-5 credential, but she really was concentrating on reading one of the guards. Time seemed to slow around her with this deep psychic connection, in which she then discovered the guard was another Zygon but had not snatched a human corresponding to the face he wore. These Zygons were unusual.

The two guards finally pulled out tasers and shot at Elizabeth and Alice, but both missed their targets. Alice started to duck into the interrogation room, but she noticed the woman being chased by Grassi run past the door at the end of the hall, so she darted toward her. Henry continued in pursuit of Grassi, while Charlie and Elizabeth engaged the two guards in a short firefight. They warned Trevor that Grassi was running for a fire exit in back of the museum, so he ran toward it on the ground level.

Alice caught up with the other woman just as she hit the fire exit, sounding the fire alarm. Charlie downed her target, but the second guard jumped Elizabeth and stung her with something on the back of her neck. Finally, Charlie ran back to the melee and knocked out the second guard.

Alice grabbed the hand of the unidentified woman as the two of them ran from the building, but it seemed they wanted to flee in different directions. Finally, the other relented and allowed Alice to escort her to the team’s Land Rover. Alice introduced herself as they were getting in, and the other finally introduced herself as Sally Sparrow, MI-5.

Trevor arrived at the fire exit just in time to greet Dr. Grassi, who kept running. Trevor and Henry both opened fire on her, but whereas Trevor shot to disable rather than kill, Henry just shot and instead hit her in the neck. Grassi dropped and began to bleed out. Trevor set Henry to the task of slowing the bleeding, but he knew time was short, both before Grassi would bleed out and before first responders would arrive. He called Neuromancer, who had been monitoring the situation and responded, “Ambulance will arrive in thirty seconds.”

As Charlie came outside, Trevor realized Elizabeth was now searching the basement alone and decided he should join her. When he found her, she was in what appeared to be Grassi’s office, which had a number of trinkets Elizabeth found familiar. But Elizabeth picked up what appeared to be an identification case, much like the team’s own MI-5 credentials, and slipped it into her pocket. Trevor confiscated the laptop from the office and the team left.

Elizabeth gave the identification case to Henry before leaving with Trevor and Grassi in the ambulance. Charlie took over driving, while Henry, Alice, and Sally rode in the Land Rover. Henry looked at the object Elizabeth had given him, but it seemed more like a small book to him, as his psychic powers somehow interacted with the object. The book was titled The Sideways Book, written by Jackson Lake. Alice took the book and looked at it, but only found it to be a MI-5 credential with Sally’s name and picture, so she gave it to Sally. Henry introduced himself and held out his hand for Sally, but she refused to shake it, either because she feared he might somehow be involved with the Zygons or because he still had Grassi’s blood all over him.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Trevor arrived with the ambulance at the same hospital they had recently visited. Sure enough, Dr. Susan Pham was still monitoring the condition of Amy Rothberry. Trevor immediately began talking with Dr. Pham. He told her about the “investigation at the Kelvingrove” and advised her to dispatch a UNIT team post-haste. He also suggested that a MRI scan might reveal neurological differences that might help distinguish a Zygon from a Human. Dr. Pham told Trevor that Amy was still unconscious but in stable condition, which was probably connected with her exposure to Artron radiation. Trevor warned her that Grassi, who had just arrived at the hospital, might in fact be a Zygon. They agreed to test Trevor’s theories by performing the MRI scan on Grassi after her surgery for the gunshot wounds sustained at the Kelvingrove. The MRI confirmed a definitely non-human brain structure in Grassi, which further confirmed both of Trevor’s theories.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team arrived with Sally Sparrow at HQ. Henry and Charlie took the knocked-out guard to a holding cell and then cleaned up, while Alice took Sally across the street to get curry for the team. Finally, Sally, Alice, Henry, Charlie, Melanie, and Fiona sat down for a silent meal. Fiona was the first to speak, “So you met the Doctor? What was he like?” After a bit of bonding with Alice over their respective meetings with the Doctor, Fiona brought them all back to topic. “I’m sorry, Henry was about to say something.”

While Henry had perhaps been thinking to lock Sally up and keep the Sideways Book, he seemed to settle for her letting him thumb through it for a few minutes. Inside, he found what appeared to be a handwritten (or perhaps psychically transferred) record of the Doctor as Jackson Lake knew him. Jackson Lake had called himself the Doctor around Christmas of 1851, during an attempted invasion by the Cybermen, after having accidentally downloaded an infostamp database of the Doctor into his head. Henry found that while he was able to read the book he could not seem to transfer any of the information therein, either by reading aloud or by writing. Somehow, the spoken words became gibberish, and the written words became the flowing circular patterns of Gallifreyan.

At the hospital, Elizabeth collapsed as a result of the poison from the sting she had received during her fight. Upon finding out Elizabeth had been stung by a Zygon, Dr. Pham’s stepped out for a moment to retrieve something. Her UNIT connections (or her own experimentation) had apparently gained an antidote for the venom, which saved Elizabeth’s life. Then Dr. Pham suggested a MRI scan just in case something else had happened.

Once Elizabeth began to recover, she was released into Trevor’s care. On the way out, Trevor received a message from Dr. Pham: THOUGHT YOU MIGHT WANT TO CLEAR THIS UP IN-HOUSE. Attached was a copy of Elizabeth’s MRI scan…a Zygon. He kept this to himself in awkward silence during the drive back to HQ.

Elizabeth went for curry before rejoining the group, and Trevor went in to take Melanie out for a drink so the rest of the team could discuss serious business.

Sally began to disclose the information she had discovered. She had worked in a video shop in London until a few days ago, when an older black woman entered, shifted into “cone head and suckers mode” (as she put it), and attacked. Sally did what she could—she ran. In the days that followed, she had discovered that there seemed to be two factions of Zygons: the “cone head and suckers” type and a faction that stayed human-looking no matter what. She had the vague indication that one faction perhaps was from a parallel universe, which she thought sounded implausible but suddenly explained some things to the team. She had heard of the Cult of Durdin operating out of the church in Ayr, but she hadn’t yet paid a visit.

Trevor returned, and the conversation turned to speculation of the nature of Zygons and whether some might not know they were Zygons. Elizabeth asked how that might even be possible, and Trevor responded, “I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me?”


RobertLoper RobertLoper

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