2. Scream in the Mountains

After a few weeks of licking our wounds, Sentry Jjason received a letter and map from Howard’s old teacher (and fellow Sentry) eXu. eXu also happens to be a member of The Council, an organization believed to be in conflict with Chorazos Cult. The more we studied what eXu sent us, the more we learned that the map was not about the migration patterns of swans, but more about the migration pattern of a radio telescope and possible military movements associated with The Council. Most importantly, the map clued us into the area of the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ) which houses the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and is the site of an yearly occurrence known as The Scream.

There is not a lot known about The Scream. We know that it takes place each year around October 31 and that it manifests itself in both the physical world and in the psychic realm. It is also believed that this is one of the main points of interest for the Chorazo Cult. Most importantly for the Sentries, and specifically for Howard, it is believed that The Scream was responsible for the Miskatonic Massacre that took place in the Taylor Run Cave System (in the NRQZ) on October 31, 1999.

As we were processing all of this information, we stumbled upon a group of Dreamers: people who could access the same Dreamscape as B.A., yet always appeared as cats. Despite acquiring a sensitivity to technology once they start Dreaming, several of the Dreamers are able to use the internet briefly to keep in contact with each other and share their stories. One such Dreamer, named sploit, created his own blog and blog for the Dreamers. We were able to learn a bit more about what was looming on the horizon. The Dreamers all seemed to know about The Scream and often talked about a mysterious man named Emmet who was seen as a sort of guide or mentor to anyone who be affected by The Scream.

All of this research of The Scream proved to be a big help since it didn’t remain just an academic study for us. We received an invitation from the Harrisonburg Man (now known as Devon Conrad) to join in him, B.A., some Dreamers and Emmet in the NRQZ for “The Feast Before The Scream”. Five Sentries (including yours truly) made the long drive out to Cass, WV where we are introduced to Devon, B.A. (now known as Bridget), JD and Dee (both Dreamers) and set off to camp for the night in an extremely isolated mountain top cabin.

One person whom we didn’t meet was Emmet. That is because learned over dinner that Emmet is not a part of the physical realm. He only appears in the Dreamscape where he imparts knowledge on all of the Dreamers who have gathered, and then reminds them to leave the area before The Scream. Except this year turned out to be different: he didn’t come at all. In her Dream that night, Bridget found a note from him saying “It’s your turn.” Racing through the Dreamscape, Bridget finds the Angel Hope (whose finger had been broken off and left for us in the real world) suddenly whole. Hope flies away and Bridget is left with the feeling that the cosmos was staring at her, making her feel small and insignificant. Devon, JD, and Dee have a similar Dream. They see Bridget making her way through the Dreamscape, but they do not see Hope fly away or the cosmos looking back at them, but instead an unknown woman whispering in Bridget’s ear.

Upon waking and relating the Dream to the five of us who were just sleeping like normal people, Bridget declares she must stay in the area for The Scream. Arguments are made by Devon, JD and Dee that it is suicide, but Sentries start plotting ways to allow Bridget to stay in the area for The Scream while forcing the Dreamers out of the area for their own safety. Arriving back in town, we distracted the Dreamers long enough for Bridget to slip away. Our actions are looked upon with sadness and distrust, and the Dreamers leave feeling upset.

Due to lack of communication between the WV Sentries and the ones who stayed at home, the worst was feared and the stay-at-home Sentries contacted Art Lydney, who was in the area for a Forsythe Security conference. Art tried to help out, but ended up making a mess of things. Peter Severn was called in to clean up the mess, and part of his clean-up involved the kidnapping of Devon before the horrified eyes of the WV Sentries. As it turned out, Devon was a low level courier for the Chorazos Cult, and Forsythe decided it was best to interrogate him on their own terms.

By the time the WV Sentries returned home and had their debriefings, it was time for The Scream. Bridget did stay in the area, and as The Scream hit, became psychically linked with her website. We could only sit helplessly and watch as her website filled with images from her past and the pain from her present. When it was all over, she had survived.

We also received one additional piece of information about The Scream through Bridget. One of the files that uploaded to her site was oblation.mp3. Embedded within the mp3 was an image of a young boy with a black swan behind him. Since none of the Sentries recognized the boy, additional inquiries were made, and Peter Severn identified him as Spukhafte Fernwirkung, the leader of the Chorazos Cult. And with that revelation, we decided that we needed another break to recharge – especially if we were going to have to stop another ritual in just a few short months.

Persons of Interest

Persons

  • Bridget Anne Buttermore / B.A. St. Feline – Psychic. Has the website BSeeingU and communicates her dreams through Missed Connections Craigslists with the tag “bseeingu”.
  • Devon Conrad – Previously known as DC or Harrisonburg Man. Dreamer and low level Chorazos Cult member. Arranged for Bridget, Dreamers and Sentries to meet for The Feast.
  • Dee – Dreamer who attended the WV Feast.
  • eXu – Sentry, member of The Council, and Howard’s old professor at Miskatonic University. Tends to be overly enigmatic in his writings
  • JD – Dreamer who attended the WV Feast.
  • Arthur LydneyForsythe Security employee who lives in Boulder, Colorado.
  • Howard Phillips (HPhack) – Resident Emo Sentry. Works as a programmer in Boston, Massachusetts. Attended Miskatonic University in Arkham, MA until he dropped out after the Miskatonic Massacre.
  • Peter Severn – CEO of Forsythe Security. Known to the Sentries as being a bit of a prick.
  • sploit – Dreamer and video game designer with a crush on Bridget. Runs two blogs: his own and a site for the Dreamers.
  • Spukhafte Fernwirkung – Leader of the Chorazos Cult. The name is German for “spooky action at a distance”.

Organizations

  • Chorazos Cult – Ancient cult who worships Yog-Sothoth. Believed to be responsible for the Miksatonic Massacre, the server infections on Sentry Outpost and for the Lucky 5 malware.
  • The Council – “White hat” organization opposed to the Chorazos Cult.
  • Dreamers – Group of individuals who can access the Dreamscape in the form of cats. All seem to develop an aversion to technology, although they can still use it if they must.
  • Forsythe Security – Threat Assessment company of Peter Severn and Art Lydney. Believed to be the internet watchdog for The Council.
  • Sentries – All of those who post (or posted) at the website Sentry Outpost.