Far Afield: Episode 01
The Man From Counter Possession
On this slow lazy Sunday afternoon, after binge watching the new series Stranger Things which I had described elsewhere as "totally a Laundry RPG scenario set in America, where Black Chamber operatives in the Department of Energy attempt to contain their screw up in a small town in Ohio", I thought I would sit down with Irfan to generate a Laundry RPG character. And if I had the time, then I would run a short, simple scenario for him.
The Laundry RPG is based on Charles Stross's The Laundry Files novel series, which is a delightful mashup of unspeakable horror and droll British humour, where the world of espionage meets the Cthulhu Mythos. It uses the Basic Role Playing (BRP) system used by Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, Pendragon and Stormbringer RPGs.
Irfan created a 25-year-old British grad student named Dustin Hopkins, a Capital Laundry Services operative from their Counter-possession Department, who is also a "thinker". Without a proper character sheet, we wrote everything with a pencil on a blank piece of paper, and will transfer the stats to a charsheet proper once I have one printed out.
The Taxi Ride to a Gate
Dusty Hopkins, a recently trained and appointed Laundry field agent, was travelling in a taxi near midnight when his Necronomiphone rang. He had been authorised to investigate a sudden burst of thaumic energy in the outskirts of London. He was given a GPS location on his phone.
Later, he was deposited by the cab several hundred metres away from a closed and locked gate. The gate was located along a fence that surrounded the grounds of a computer software company. A cargo container, converted into a security office, had been planted within the fenced area right beside the gate.
Hopkins drew his standard issue Glock-17 and made sure that the GPS had put him at the correct location. He sneaked up to the security office and peered into the windows facing him. It was dark within, and he could see nothing.
Before heading home, word circulated of a pot luck Hari Raya dinner at Iskandar's house on the first night of Aidilfitri.
I had not seen Iskandar since I was in school, so it felt like a great time to meet up with the entire crew, some I'd lost contact with when I transferred away from school when I was 16.
We brought the last of Ain's nasi dagang. The nasi lemak (contributed by the house) was delicious. Irfan, as per his modus operandi, attacked the pizza.
So we spent the night consuming organic matter and catching up while Irfan corralled and looked after the little children as he is wont to do.
The next day, Gnana and his eldest son came to visit and then we all went to Nazri's home where Iskandar had just arrived.
Apart from having some Hari Raya spaghetti which Irfan loved a little too much and a little too late, we were there to visit Nazri's newborn child. We would spend next Aidilfitri in Pasir Mas, so we might not see them altogether in Sitiawan next year.
On the day of our arrival in Sitiawan, we played some Coup.
By the end of the session, we were quite evenly matched. It's Tyrion. The ambassador is Tyrion.
The morning of Aidilfitri, Ain had her galaxy-famous nasi dagang prepared for eating and stuff.
Yada, yada, yada... Maaf Zahir Batin.
Atok and Opah pose for a photograph with their plants.
As usual, photographs such as this need more Adik, Yaya, Sila and Vin to make it complete.
Early Saturday morning we got into the car and headed out into the darkness towards Kelantan to avoid the festive season interstate traffic jam.
As usual when even when the sun began to rise we were thick in the middle of mountain mist.
The roads after Baling had pockets of very thick water particles which we had to dive into.
Meanwhile, Rania and her parents got in front of us and reached Pasir Mas first. For two days, we played with her. She liked to hold conversations with us. I even babysat a couple of times her parents had to go downtown.
Early Monday morning, we headed for Sitiawan. After sahur at Ayer Lanas, we stopped for Subuh at the last village after Jeli before the road went up the mountains again. The surau and its adjoining public restrooms seemed to be uninhabited and no other travellers stopped while we were there...
...except for some kitties.
At the top of the mountains, we took a photo of the surroundings. Although there was a gigantic prehistoric tree fern there, we failed to spot any spinosaurid theropods in the vicinity. Neither were there any squadrons of flying elephants.
All too soon, we had arrived in Sitiawan two days before Aidilfitri.