margaret_walsh: (mommy issues - jess)
The restore from draft option is an excellent idea. I was offered this option on opening my journal and I clicked it from curiousity. It immediately restored an entry that I do not remember making - nor had I remembered the chocolates, until I re-read what follows.

I received an anonymous box of chocolates on February 14th, with a card saying that they were a token of someone's appreciation. I am psychologist, not a psychiatrist, and I am most certainly not a psychic, but I had a feeling of suspicion about the motives of the donor, whoever they were. (The writing was nothing like Agent Murphy's. I could read it quite clearly.)

Oddly enough Agent Riley Finn seemed to have obtained an identical box for the object of his infatuation. It was not particularly difficult to switch the boxes while he was instructing Gates on the areas to be patrolled during and after full moon. It would have been interesting to see what effect, if any, they might have had on the indestructible slayer... So far I have heard nothing.

I had expected Agent Finn to try to avoid duty on Valentines Day, but the roster is unchanged. I could not put my finger on what was bothering me until I realized that there are were very few social activities. The Bronze had a Valentines Day dance on the preceding Saturday but the Inn did not.

There is something - I can't put my finger on it, but it bothers me. Did something happen at that time?
margaret_walsh: (nights like this)
I have returned to work early, having endured the kind of Christmas that is documented to produce agitated depression in grinches (with a characteristic bi-polar reversal in that subspecies.)

The period in confinement also appears to have had a deleterious effect on HST28. It appears to be finding anticipation more stressful than the testing procedures themselves and has gone into full moult. The beard-like projections now look extremely scruffy and the characteristic "laughing cry" is absent under most stimuli.

I have decided to design a series of tests based on the penultimate lecture last term to ascertain how much knowledge the students have retained.

I am also setting up a priority list of HSTs in a release and recapture experiment.

Christmas

Dec. 26th, 2005 08:54 pm
margaret_walsh: (nights like this)
It has not been a pleasant Christmas. I could certainly have omitted myself from the duty rota, but there was a good deal to be done. It has been a disheartening month. Initially I was simply trying to obtain the talons and poison-sac from a Tyrlock demon. It should have been a fairly simple operation, but unfortunately Agents Murphy and Masterton seem to have underestimated the risk involved.

(Firewalled; perhaps it might be better to send out Ms Summers, next time. She seems to have an extraordinary success rate, and if she did fail - in effect, that could be a win-win situation.) As it was, Murphy and Masterton failed to obtain the material, expended one Tyrlock with a Magnum, reducing it to useless organic slurry. These HSTs usually travel in pairs, of course, but, incredibly, the Agents then claimed to have found the other Tyrlock dismembered, with the required material beyond salvage, under circumstances that make it seem probable that it was killed by HST 17, a "vampire" who escaped from custody some time ago after being successfully chipped.

They shot the HST with a tracer and pursued it for some distance before Masterton became too incapacitated. HST 17 evaded capture until a clear signal was picked up by Agent Gates as he was going off duty. He immediately called the relief officer. (Murphy again, unfortunately,)and they pursued HST 17 into the town.

They were working from the signal and state that they did not catch sight of the HST himself. This raises the question of exactly what did take place. The Agents lost the tracer for a short period, apparently due to radio interference. They then picked up a clear signal approaching them.

There was still no sighting of the HST and they realized that the signal must be coming from under the road. They entered the sewers themselves at a point near the Art Gallery and then pursued what they believed to be HST 17 for a considerable distance. Their "quarry" eventually paused - and they found the tracer, knotted firmly into two condoms, one over the other, with just enough air to make the thing buoyant! Gates is threatening plain and fancy murder if he ever lays hands on anyone involved in this. (/firewall.)

This is a remarkable discovery. I can imagine no reason for HST 17 to carry condoms and it seems more likely that he both had assistance and that this false trail was laid with the deliberate intent of putting my Agents at risk. Since the condoms were layered there does seem a possibility that some traces may be found. I have sent them to the laboritory for fingerprinting and any other investigations thought necessary. (Firewalled; even thought there the situation is frustrating the mental picture of Murphy pursuing a fleeing condom through the Sunnydale sewers might brighten my mood - but not tonight.)

Agent Masterton responded well to alkaline antidotes, at first. I believe that the medics really thought that there was a chance. However, it has proven to be correct that there is no long-term remedy for Tyrlock venom.

I cannot delegate the duty of writing to his parents. This is not a pleasant Christmas.
margaret_walsh: (Default)
Agents Masterton and Murphy reported in by cellphone while I was still examining the reports on the "Demon Lures" and making notes for improvements in quality and technique. One disc may be faulty. The recording of the car crash stuck on repeat; the machine was unfamiliar and I found the controls difficult. (Murphy might have been expected to use something non-regulation, of course.)

I had mentally tuned out the sound by the time my phone vibrated. Then I heard Masterton's voice shouting
"What the fu..? What's happening there? What the ... Murphy, it's coming through the pad! Base? Base??" I silenced the player by sweeping it off the desktop into a drawer before proceeding with the de-briefing.

{Firewall} Masterton sounded uncharacteristically hysterical and for a moment I hoped wondered if Murphy was a casualty. {/firewall} After some moments I was able to debrief the Agents.

They had taken down the smaller Tyrlock. They had seen the largest HST first, Masterton had drawn a bead on it with the trank gun - and the smaller HST had charged out from cover and attacked before the Agents were aware of it. The trank gun was slammed out of Masterton's hands. There was a struggle and Murphy had then shot the HST.

(He had, of course, used the Magnum. {F}Sometimes I feel very tired.(/f) It was clear that the required material is no longer in a usable state. The Agents may not have intended to use that gun but they clearly took little care not to do so. They must both have been wearing ear-plugs when it was discharged. If they thought ahead to that extent why didn't they think it through ?)

The larger Tyrlock had escaped unharmed. It is now the only source for the required teeth, mandible and sac. I can't remember whether it could be expected to seek revenge but the Patrol may have an easier job if it does. We must have that specimen, preferably undamaged. I ordered the Agents to take the magazine out of the Magnum, take the remaining Trank gun and arm themselves with the tracer rifles and to either bring in the Tyrlock or tag it for a larger Team to deal with.

Murphy immediately claimed to have seen Hostile 17 just outside the Cemetery. If my memory serves me, that was a blood-drinking HST; very distinctive appearance. It escaped some time ago but has been implanted with a C346 chip. These have been very successful in the laboratory. However, if HST 17 is hunting for screaming girls in the cemetery it raises questions.

I ordered the Agents to bring in HST 17 if possible but to give it a lower priority than the Tyrlock. They were clearly reluctant to pursue the Tyrlock but I reassured them that I am sending out more suitably armed reinforcements, at once.

{f} The danger of the mission may be almost immaterial, now. Both Masterton and Murphy reiterated that Murphy had saved Masterton by shooting the HST, but Masterton has a large bleeding wound on the upper arm. He and Murphy applied a pad soaked in that general purpose stuff. At this point much would normally depend on whether the wound was inflicted by the HST's talons or the poisoned teeth. However, he was very close when Murphy "Blew the HST away." There is a high probability that his wound is contaminated, although he should remain functional for the duration of this mission.(/F}

HST lures.

Nov. 9th, 2005 09:46 pm
margaret_walsh: (Default)
The patrol reports seemed to contain very little that was note-worthy until I discovered that Agent Murphy claims to have invented a lure for demons. I expected something complex and chemical, perhaps relying on hormones and pheromones, especially since he noted that it was more likely to attract the males.

In fact, his device is almost laughably simple. He has made three recordings of women screaming. He also has human males singing drunkenly, a recording of a couple quarreling and a car crash. These "lures" carry the promise of easy prey and he believed that they would attract the most dangerous HSTs. Agent Gates confirms that they do work, up to a point.

(Agent Murphy recorded most of the material from the TV. The playback mechanism may be too limited and the car crash does not attract the number of HSTs that the patrols hoped. That recording has been left here in the file. On playing it I noticed that it is quite distinctive. There is a squeal of brakes as a car skids, a solid thud mixed with the sound of breaking glass and then a small, tinkling thud. It might fool a HST, but not if it heard the same recording twice.

Sometimes the newer recruits seem to regard the patrols as analogous to hunting animals, however, HSTs do communicate and can warn each other. If these lures are worth long-term use we should replace the recordings after a set number of stake-outs. Recorded accidents would need more powerful playback equipment and should be replaced after one use. They are likely to prove uneconomic.

Agents note that the recording of the quarreling couple works very well under the right conditions. It attracted three of a carnivorous subspecies of HST when played in a closed car - possibly because muffling the voices disguised any flaws in the recording[? Test?] However, one recording of a drunken man singing has already attracted more HSTs than both the others. The Agents have been unable to determine whether Sylvan Demons are attracted to baritones or to "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen."

It is also noted that by far the most successful lure is a recording of a young girl screaming. Murphy and Masterton have taken it with them on a patrol through the largest cemetary. They are hoping to capture a pair of Tyrloch Demons who are rumored to be denning there and hunting in the surrounding streets.

So Murphy's patrol outline states. That is their putative objective and they have taken trank guns and a sharpshooter rifle that fires tracer bullets. If they can put one of those into a Tyrloch it might well lead them to the nest. However, they have also signed out a 44 Magnum and, while they may appreciate the stopping power, a direct hit could leave very little to examine.
margaret_walsh: (Default)
I attended a series of seminars at classified and returned late yesterday on the instructions of my superiors.

(Firewalled)
Somebody should tell the General the facts of life. (It won’t be me. It would be unrealistic to hope for that level of promotion until 314 and his “descendants” are completely functional, viable and accepted as a solution to the problems of sending personnel into environments which are not survivable for humans. )

I had considerable success in presenting my ideas and inviting input into the problems with the rejection syndrome. Dr Steinenfrenk felt that demon stem-cells might be the route to take and had invited me out to dinner and to see his projected developments.

However, the General intervened to order me to return to Sunnydale for Halloween. He stated that Sunnydale does have a reputation for demonic activity that would imply that my Agents should be under supervision during that holiday. On my pointing out that there is, historically, very little HST activity on that day he asked if I was claiming that Sunnydale becomes so dangerous on Halloween that the forces of evil are afraid to go out.

Sometimes I wonder if I really have the military mindset but one does not tell one’s superior officer that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit (and that, in his case, sarcasm is a substitute for wit) if one wishes to advance one’s career. (/end firewall.)

I am checking the patrol reports before turning in for the night.

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