When we last saw our intrepid adventurers, Ashford had vaulted the farmyard fence and flung open the lid on a can of uber-plants. He stands, momentarily paralysed, as the tentacular thingies lurch out toward him...
And far away, sensing the danger to his friends, Eric peels a banana.
Ashford is already making his own moves when Carter snatches him from the evil grasp of the orchids that fell out when the door was opened.
THE GREENHOUSE is overgrown, and untended for some time. We leave it safely alone for now.
THE TOOLSHED contains ... tools! Broken glass and pottery. A generator and gasoline to fuel it.
Green eyes stare threateningly from THE BARN loft, hissing. Cat. And hay. Attached on the outside of the barn is a chicken coop, the wire torn outward. Empty, but feathers caught in the wire and scattered about are maybe a week old.
- Kitchen: jar of chutney smashed on floor.
- Fridge: manky, having been off for about a week.
- Lounge: the paper is from about 10 days ago.
- Master bedroom: lived in by one (apparently normal) guy.
- Main power: switched off.
- Small red flowers dotted about, growing from animal carcasses.
- Animal carcasses so dense they crunch with every step.
- Hypothesis: Something killed the animals; the flowers are taking advantage.
- Really Disturbing Hypothesis: The flowers kill animals so they can grow in the dead bodies.
Margolis walks through to the back of the wonderfully atmospheric greenhouse. A ripple runs through the leaves; a fern leaf falls down on her. The side room at the back has benches and stuff around the sides, and is very overgrown. The plants have hybridised and self-grafted into a single structure. She takes soil samples from inside and out.
The plants seem to move out of the way to let her out...
Margolis plucks a dozen flowers for analysis. A dog skeleton bites her hand. She prizes it off and bags it for analysis too. Something claws at her ankle.
["You'll be wanting a rabies/tetanus shot!"]
As we're walking out on the long driveway, a horse comes galloping toward us. A horse with bits dropping off it. A dead horse. Only Margolis doesn't run away from it immediately, a nearly fatal mistake. Day and Carter open fire while Traxler discovers the farmhouse door's still open. But the animated creature catches Margolis before they can drop it, trampling her but causing only a broken ulna and fractured thigh.
Day drives her to hospital - a four hour trip back to SanFran - taking our samples for analysis too. That includes a chunk of newly re-dead horse. Later, she recalls Day asking "Who are you?" over and over. She gets rabies and tetanus immunisations.
The rest of us hotel for the night.
[Erin arives. "Has she had her rabies shot?"]
Morning bulletin says some FBI dudes turned up and took custody of our evidence from Day. Since Margolis is out of it, we'd have no idea if these were 'us'-dudes, or 'them'-dudes.
Ashford, Traxler and Carter resume their investigation by daylight.
- The fields are deeply red with a profusion of flowers. It stops abruptly at the fence.
- Take samples from the haystack. Who knows what it really is.
- The cat in the barn is scrawny and hungry - but hasn't left.
Another horse lurches upright in the field, [Someone remind me what we were doing at the time...] and we hastily adjourn for lunch. Clearly, some people's stomachs are unenriched by emotional life.
You call this a plan? Petrol, shotties, flares, two eskys, a trowel, a hatchet, a camera, a shopping list. And paranoia. Let's go.
Quick detour to K-Mart for a few suplies first.
A couple of locals in a ute stop in concern at the scene - Traxler not quite choking Ashford at the front fence before he hatchets an extra gateway. We get rid of them. Reckon they'll forget about the encounter with the psychos in suits?
We drive in, do our shopping amid the shards, douse the greenhouse. A cow shows up, and that's gotta be bad news. A skylight in the car should help though. We pour petrol along the west side of the farm and light it, trusting the breeze to do the rest.
It's 6pm, and a shower seems in order. We each smell of incendiaries. Then go back to admire the damage. The CFA (or equiv) seems to be taking care of it - we get diverted well away from the scene. Why? Touch of forest fire.
Drive back to S.F., there's forest fire on the radio, on the TV. Let's not get famous. Traxler tapes the car roof, should be good enough we don't have to dump it.
With the eskys stowed in Traxler's room, we head for bed.
Full Wilderness was into animal stuff. Tait was into Full Wilderness. The farm was an animal graveyard. Did it have anything to do with Biozyme at all?
Good thing the barman at the pub, and the guys in the ute, won't think twice about the odd men in suits and scientist disguises.
Published by arrangement with the Delta Green Partnership. The intellectual property known as Delta Green is and © the Delta Green Partnership, who has licensed its use here. The contents of this document are © Tim Betz;, excepting those elements that are components of the Delta Green intellectual property.