Black Box

Actions & Reactions

Every action causes an equal and opposite breakdown of the plan.

Crowded in the parking lot of Camp Dreamland, the group discusses what to do next. It is suggested that another crystalized brain might be on-site somewhere, but no one has any idea how to locate it. Eugene says the best way to figure out which, if any, of Dr. Cornelius’s experiments triggered the group’s psychic abilities is to try continuing the research currently being done with a new flock of subjects. Handily, there is already a half dozen people at Camp Dreamland. It is also suggested that the group tries to get their hands on Dr. Kennedy’s research notes.

Thus, a plan of action is put together: Eugene will position himself as a doctor on staff, Phia will act as Dr. Kennedy’s assistant, and the rest of the group will patrol the grounds to keep an eye out for intruders.

The group figures they have a week before the patients (Rachel, Amanda, Becca, John, Rodney, and Bill) would normally leave. To make things simpler, Phia implants a command in each of the patients to trust Pete, Suzie, Vanessa, and Terry. She doesn’t bother to give a specific reason, so the patients end up mostly disregarding the group’s presence.

After a few short hours with Dr. Kennedy, Phia is able to take a look at his notes. There appear to be several files missing, and when Phia asks to see them Dr. Kennedy gets very uncomfortable, muttering something about “the results were odd, there was no group D”. She eventually realizes that he’s trying to protect her by keeping the notes hidden, because he is afraid of what they say. Pushing harder, she eventually gets him to admit that he buried the files in the woods. On one of her breaks, Phia also takes some time to check her email and online store, only to find that both have been deleted.

In the meantime, Eugene enlists Suzie’s help to examine the experiments that are being conducted. She pulls Dr. Cornelius’ abilities as a neurologist, and is able to understand everything that is being done. Unfortunately, that does nothing to narrow down which experiment may have triggered a psychic episode.

With that lead dismissed, Phia gathers the group to discuss going after Dr. Kennedy’s notes. Rather than risk bringing the doctor with them to search, Suzie pulls the location from him. It is a fair distance into the woods, meaning if they left immediately it would be dark by the time they arrived. The group decides to wait until the following morning. As an added precaution, Phia reinforces her commands to trust the group – Dr. Cornelius’ command will last for a week, and Dr. Kennedy’s for two more days.

The group wakes early the next morning to find they’ve somehow been transplanted to the set of a horror movie. A heavy fog has rolled in, deadening sounds and limiting vision to no more than a few feet. They decide to set out anyway. Suzie borrows combat training from Terry, everyone puts up their shields, and they head into the woods. Suzie takes the lead, mentally reliving Dr. Kennedy’s panicked dash through the forest. Eventually they reach the correct spot. Digging into the ground, Suzie finds a bundle wrapped in cloth. At Phia’s suggestion they check to make sure it is in fact Dr. Kennedy’s notes, then head back to Camp Dreamland to review them.

As they approach the Camp, Vanessa hears a car moving out of the parking lot. As it is still very early in the morning, this puts everyone on edge. Phia suggests someone should go back to the Camp to see if anything has happened before deciding whether to flee. Pete agrees, and they head back to the Camp while the others go to get the car ready.

Back at the Camp, Pete and Phia find no one missing. They are told that the fire marshal just left, after conducting a routine surprise inspection. Although this may very well be true, they decide it’s too big of a coincidence. Time to leave the Camp.

While Pete drives, Suzie, Eugene and Phia look over the notes Dr. Kennedy tried so hard to forget. They appear to be a record of the group’s stay at Camp Dreamland. In notes taken during their last week at Camp Dreamland, just before Dr. Cornelius’ mental breakdown, they find a description of an experiment but no results. Thinking back, the group does indeed remember the experiment in question. It happened while another group was at the Camp, and they were all put under at the same time. In the pages that follow, they see that another experiment using the same equipment was done. Apparently something got the doctors’ attention; they were trying to reproduce an effect without knowing what had caused it. The names of the other patients are also listed, and it is suggested it might be worth tracking them down to see what has happened to them. Their contact information could probably be located in the TSI.

Having stopped for breakfast at a small roadside diner to discuss this, their conversation is interrupted by a buzzing from Terry’s cell phone. It’s a message from Blackwood, saying that Phia shouldn’t have checked her website. Shortly thereafter the group hears multiple helicopters passing overhead. Pete checks out the window, and sees that they are flying towards Camp Dreamland.

~

Quotes without context

“If anything unethical did happen, this is the best way to find out.”

“I’m on the roof.”

“A recipe for humus?”

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JCat Bootler

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