Pinehearst - Chapter 1 (NBC Heroes iStory) (Datamined and archived, as their website is down)

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Pinehearst - Chapter 1 (NBC Heroes iStory) (Datamined and archived, as their website is down)

New postby 3ICE on Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:28 am

This is one of many such short story adventures.

Taken from http://wayback.archive.org/web/20100409162926/http://www.nbc.com/heroes/iStory/chapters/201/UEgxMTA2MC1k

I followed every possible route, eliminating duplicates and killing threads where two or more story lines meet in the same graph node.

Save what you can, they (nbc) nuked the whole Heroes website :(

Note: Base64 decode the end of the URL (UEgxMTA2MC1k) and you get a unique identifier (PH11060-d). This can be used to reach secret pages. Except archive.org only knows about those secret pages that someone else found (and archived) already.

Story archive follows. Alternatively here is a downloadable attachment:
Pinehearst - Chapter 1.txt
(20 KiB) Downloaded 308 times



THE WAREHOUSE

Whoever is using this warehouse, they just moved in, and they did it in a hurry.

The old, sagging building is surrounded by abandoned structures. A shiny chain-link and barbed-wire fence circles the lot. Packing materials lie scattered around the doors. Before the sun set, workers were boarding up shattered windows.

You wander around the outer fence, pretending to be a lost drunk, and consider your options.

A temporary guard shack stands at the front gate, and you can see a cigarette flaring occasionally in the twilight. You think you could get close to the guard before he sees you.

There's also a window in the back that hasn't been boarded up yet. The shadows are deep on that side of the building. You may be able to cut the fence and get to the window without being seen by the guard at the front gate.

Sneak through the broken window...
Attack the guard...
Bribe the guard...

----------

THE BROKEN WINDOW

You snip through the fence and run for the window. The shadows are deep here, and the window is within easy reach. All in all, very convenient. Too convenient. Even as you pull yourself into the building, your sixth sense tells you that nobody would leave a hole this big unguarded.

Sure enough, you hear the guard's feet scrape a second before he steps out of the shadows behind you.

"Freeze," he says.

"People still say that?" you say, turning.

Bribe the guard...
Run!...

----------

RUN!

You throw yourself out the window. A shot rings out, shattering glass. You land on the concrete and feel something pop in your shoulder.

You manage to squeeze through the hole in the fence just before the guard from the front gate shows up. Another shot rings out. You dart into an alley and hide.

After an hour, the shouts and running stop.

Return to the warehouse...

----------

BRIBING THE GUARD

You stroll toward the guard shack, keeping your hands visible. The guard watches you from his stool, a paperback novel in one hand, his other hand out of sight.

"Heck of a way to spend a night," you say.

"It's a living."

You pull out a roll of bills and count it in front of him.

"How would you like to take a couple hours off?" you say.

"Not that much, since the story ends with my employers dumping my body in the river. Primatech doesn't play nice."

"I'm here for one file. No one will know I was here."

The guard considers.

"There's another guy inside," he says.

"He'll never see me," you say.

The guard slides off his stool and opens the gate.

Head inside...

----------

WAREHOUSE INTERIOR

You pull out a roll of bills and count it in front of him.

"How would you like to take a couple hours off?" you say.

"Not that much, since the story ends with my employers dumping my body in the river. Primatech doesn't play nice."

"Neither do my people. Look, I'm here for one file. No one will know I was here."

"Why wouldn't I just take that roll from you?"

"I told you, my people play rough too."

The guard considers.

"There's another guy outside."

"He'll never see me."

The guard takes the roll out of your hand.

"Make it quick."

Look for the file...

----------

THE GUARD

You pull your hood up over your head and shuffle toward the front gate, muttering to yourself like a refugee from the local pub. Down at your side, you pull your taser free from your pocket.

You reach the guard shack. It stands about six feet inside the front gate. The guard watches you from his stool, a paperback novel in one hand, his other hand out of sight.

"Hey," you slur. "Where am I?"

"Nowhere, buddy," the guard says. "Keep walking."

"Got a phone?"

"No."

"Does that guy?"

You point beyond guard shack. Puzzled, the guard stands up and looks around the edge of the shack. You stick the taser through the chain-link fence and zap him.

A minute later, you've cut through the fence and are headed into the building.

Search for the file...

THE WAREHOUSE INTERIOR

The inside of the warehouse is dark and cavernous, smelling of ancient mildew and fresh sawdust. Construction lamps are the only illumination, pools of light over haphazardly stacked cardboard file boxes. You slip through the crooked aisles between boxes until you find one with the right number.

The box contains only an envelope with a USB flash drive. You could read it with your laptop, back in your car.

View the files on the flash drive...

THE PRIMATECH VIDEO

The only file saved on the drive is a video. The words "Primatech Level 5" appear in the file properties.

The video is security footage of a prisoner in a cell. Something strange happens with his eyes. Click here to download the video.

You copy the file to your laptop for Pinehearst to look at.

Report back to Lloyd Collins...

THE MEDICAL CLINIC

Lloyd is dressed and packing a bag. He looks pale and very alert.

"You're looking better," you say.

"Yeah, I think they slipped something in my IV. They aren't really fond of people hanging out here too long. It tends to attract undesirables like you. I'll probably fall over dead when I step out the door. What did you find?"

"This," you say, handing over the flash drive.

"Did you look at it?" he says.

"Yes," you say.

"Honest. I like that. But no more peeking."

"Fine. I just want to be on the team," you say.

"We're getting there. I need you to do two more things. First, I want you to clean up a building that we don't need any more."

"Clean it up?"

"Don't worry, you won't need a mop. There's a van outside full of explosives. It's already wired, just gotta drop it off and walk away."

"You want me to blow up a building?"

"We based there for the ambush on that Elle girl. We left in a hurry. There might be stuff we don't want found. Wipe that place out. Nobody should be around."

"Okay, fine. What was the second thing you needed?"

"What? Oh, yeah. Give me your arm. There's no way I'm making it out to the taxi myself."

Head for the hideout...

----------

THE HIDEOUT

The building that you are supposed to blow up is an ugly, boxy apartment tower that looks like it was built in a hurry after World War 2. The place appears empty: a chipped, faded "space available" sign droops from a nearby post.

There is a gang of teenagers hanging out at the end of the block, out of blast range. Still, they might ID you. You park the van in an alley next to the building, just out of sight.

You check the timer. You have twenty minutes. Time to check out what you're erasing inside. You head around to the front door.

If the name "Robert Greene" is familiar to you...
Otherwise...

----------

ROBERT GREENE

You are opening the front door when something catches your eye: on a nearby bank of mailboxes is a name tag reading "Robert Greene." That's the alias that Lloyd was using in the medical clinic.

You check the apartment number and head inside...

ROBERT GREENE'S APARTMENT

Robert Greene's apartment is on the fourth floor. The door's lock is easily to pick.

Inside, it's obvious that a bunch of guys crashed here for at least a week. Food wrappers and crumpled sleeping bags are the only furnishings. A mouse darts back out of sight.

In one of the bedrooms, you find a giant street map of New York City. Circles are drawn around buildings and intersections. There's also a surveillance photo of the interior of a studio apartment, taken through a grimy outer window. You've seen diagrams like this before: someone is planning an assassination. The rest of the apartment seems clean. You roll up the map and photo and head back downstairs.

You are about to step out onto the bottom floor again when you hear footsteps in the hallway. You freeze. When the sound fades, you stick your head out. One of the apartment doors is now open.

You tiptoe toward the exit. As you pass the apartment door, you sneak a peek. And stop in surprise. Inside, piles of guns and ammunition lie scattered across the floor. Either Lloyd wasn't telling you something big, or this apartment has magically attracted two heavy players. You see a shipping label on one of the boxes, and squint: PRIMATECH PAPER COMPANY.

Suddenly, a figure steps out into view. You see each other at the same time.

"Stop!"

You dive out of the way just in time. The gunshot is deafening in the small quarters. You bolt for the exit, but you hear them burst out into the hallway behind you and have to dive into a side hallway.

Gunfight!...

THE APARTMENT BUILDING

You start your search on the ground floor, and score immediately.

Next to one of the apartment doors is a loosened flap of wallpaper. Underneath is a keypad. Fancy stuff for a rundown dump of an apartment building. You put one ear to the door and listen. Inside, you hear a one-sided conversation: someone on the phone.

"Rifles and remote detonators. That's all that they stole. I think the Kill Squad is planning a long-range assassination ... Right, that's not their style. So I think it's clear who they're going after ... Exactly, Maya would take them all out if they got too close."

You lean forward, and an old floorboard creaks under your foot. Someone curses inside. Footsteps run toward the door. You turn and bolt. You only make it about halfway back down the hallway when a gunshot sends you diving into a side hallway.

Gunfight!...

GUNFIGHT!

You stick your head out into the hallway. Your opponent is hiding in a doorway. Shots ring out, and you duck back into cover.

Somewhere deeper in the building, a woman is shouting. Doors slam. Looks like people live here after all. Damn Lloyd.

You won't have long before your opponent figures out that you are not armed. And this place is scheduled to be blown into splinters in minutes.

The main entrance isn't far. Your opponent will have a couple great shots at you, but you might make it.

There's also a window at the end of your hallway, but there's a chance that your opponent could reach the corner before you can get out.

Negotiate...
Run for the door...
Run for window...

----------

NEGOTIATION

"This place is going to be a crater in a few minutes," you call out. "What do you think about maybe settling this outside?"

"You mean the bomb in the van?" you hear back.

Well, so much for that. Lloyd won't be happy, you think. But right now, you've got your own skin to think about.

"We know all about your group," the voice goes on. "You should surrender to me now. The others will be here any minute, and they play for keeps."

"Oh? And what do you know about our group?" you say.

"We know your names, at least of your original group. We know your targets. We know your agenda. We know that you're a bunch of murderers who have killed dozens and will keep killing unless stopped."

You don't hear the rest, because you've sneaked down to the window at the end of the hallway. You hear a shout as you pull it open, but you're already out on the ground before the first shot goes off.

If you found a map in the building...
If you overheard a woman's name in the apartment ...

----------

THE FRONT DOOR

You take a deep breath, rise to your feet, and sprint out into the main hallway.

You hear gunfire, and then nothing.

The next day's newspapers report that police broke up a terrorist ring responsible for a recent London car-bombing. Police discovered a massive cache of weapons and an unexploded car bomb in an apartment building on the outskirts of London. A single suspect was killed, although police hinted that the suspect may have been murdered before they arrived. Efforts at identifying the suspect were hampered by a break-in at the morgue during which all the victim's personal effects were stolen.

Somewhere across the country, another contractor's phone rings...

----------

THE WINDOW

You take a deep breath, rise to your feet, and sprint for the window. You hear a shout behind you, and then a bullet slams into the wall near you. The window sticks for a second, then loosens, and you roll out onto the ground.

You land running.

If you found a map in the building...
If you overheard a woman's name in the apartment...

----------

REPORTING TO LLOYD COLLINS

Even over the phone, Lloyd sounds in pain. He doesn't bring it up.

"Wait, they defused the bomb?" Lloyd says. "That's not going to make Sean happy."

"Well, there's some good news," you say. "I searched your apartment. I have everything they could have used against you. "

A long silence on the other end. You hold your breath.

"That was some quick thinking," Lloyd says. "Listen, our next mission is coming up. You free for the next couple weeks?"

"I'm free," you say.

"Hang tight for now. I'll call you."

The line goes dead.

Congratulations. First contract completed....

REPORTING TO LLOYD COLLINS

Even over the phone, Lloyd sounds in pain, but he doesn't bring it up.

"Wait, they defused the bomb?" Lloyd says. "That's not going to make Sean happy."

"Well, there's some good news," you say. "I heard them talking. They know your next target. A woman named Maya."

A long silence on the other end. You hold your breath.

"I need to call Sean. Listen, our next mission is going to happen in the next couple weeks. Are you available if we need you?"

"I'm available."

"Hang tight for now. I'll call you."

The line goes dead.

Congratulations. First contract completed....

----------

OPERATION BAD BLOOD

The University of England's main campus is a maze of ancient, stone structures and rolling green lawns. Pinehearst's email points you to a building tucked onto the edge of campus.

Inside, you pick through knots of students until you reach a skinny, frosted-glass door labeled "PROFESSOR PRISCILLA VAN CLEEF." The door opens at your knock, and there stands the chairwoman of Pinehearst's Strategic Human Initiatives Committee.

"You look surprised," Priscilla Van Cleef says.

"I didn't expect you to answer your own door," you say.

"Why not? Good exercise. Come in."

"Professor Van Cleef?" a student asks, eyes on you. "I had a question."

"After my meeting, dear," Priscilla says.

"Are you really a professor?" you ask as you enter the dim, book-crammed office. Dust hovers in the air like cigarette smoke.

"Mostly," Priscilla says.

"That student had a taser under his jacket," you say.

"We live in dangerous times, my dear. Please, sit down."

Priscilla settles behind her antique, wood-paneled desk.

"As you know, Pinehearst recruits talented people with abilities," she says. "We recently made contact with a young woman named Elle Bishop. Elle was in quite a pickle, although she didn't know it. A small group of heavily armed and very determined individuals was planning to murder her. One of our RARU tactical teams was able to divert her mysterious attackers before she was even aware of them."

"And now you want me to track the rest of the group down?" you say.

"No," she says. "I'd like you to join them."

"Sorry?"

"They have intelligence and resources far beyond their means. Infiltrate them. Find out who they work for. Find out what their long-range intentions are."

Priscilla stands.

"Find out if we're at war," she says.

She hands you a slip of paper with an address.

"One of their operatives was wounded during the attack. He is hiding in an underground medical clinic in the city. Go there. Convince him to recruit you."

Head to the medical clinic...

THE MEDICAL CLINIC

Someone would have to be really desperate to come here, you think.

You're on a side street, London traffic roaring behind you. The clinic is disguised as a liquor store. Bottles of rum and faded posters are shadows behind dirty windows. Inside, you can see a guy built like a dump truck, sitting behind the counter and reading a glossy magazine.

There's an garbage-stacked alley beside the store. You might be able to sneak in from the back. Or you could go for the frontal approach.

Walk in the main entrance...
Sneak around back...

THE MEDICAL CLINIC'S LOBBY

A big, iron bell rings like a fire alarm over your head as you step inside. The big guy at the counter stares at you.

"What do you want?" he says.

"Maybe I want a bottle of gin," you say.

"You aren't here for gin."

"No. I'm looking for a patient."

"Don't know what you're talking about."

"I just want to talk to him."

"Well, then, I hope you got his phone number?"

"Or I'm calling the cops."

"In regards to what?"

"Harboring a terrorist. Watched the news lately? This guy did the car bomb downtown."

"You don't say? Well, just me here, sorry."

A side door opens, and a skinny woman with big, bleached hair pops in with a crumpled white bag.

"Here's the meds for Robert Greene," she says.

She sees you and stops short.

"Oopsie," she says.

"Did you not hear the bell?" the man says to her. "The giant bell. The bell that means we got company."

"Sorry, Mick. Didn't hear," she says.

Mick grabs the bag from her. He holds it out to you.

"Hey. You want to see the guy so bad? Take this downstairs. Give it to the guy with the baseball bat. Tell him to take you to the recovery room."

Go downstairs...

----------

THE MEDICAL CLINIC'S BACK ENTRANCE

The alleyway reeks like a landfill and crawls with rodents. You try not to think about what medical refuse might have found its way into the piles. You tiptoe around to a back door, pick the door lock, and slip inside.

You find yourself in a hallway so narrow, your shoulders brush both walls. You squeeze down to a doorway and stop to listen.

A man's voice, weak: "You don't understand, I've got a flight to catch soon."

A woman's voice: "Well, that's great, mate, but you're still leaking from a half-dozen holes. Airport security doesn't like blood."

"Can't you give me something?"

"How about a good dose of common sense? Look, how long is your flight?"

"New York City."

"I'll see what I can do."

Footsteps retreat. You go through the door and find a flight of stairs down to a new, larger hallway, painted a clinical green. The voices were coming from the first room on the right.

Go into the recovery room...

----------

THE RECOVERY ROOM

The room looks like someone turned a prison cell into a dorm room. An IV bag and tray of dirty bandages are the only clue as to the true purpose.


The man in the bed seems to be asleep. But when you take a step inside the room, he throws aside his sheet and raises a pistol. He is pale and sweating, but the gun is steady on your chest.

"I'm a friend!" you say, hands raised.

"Of course you are," the man says.

"If not, I'd be with a SWAT team, right?" you say.

"SWAT?" the man laughs. "SWAT is least of my worries."

"Well, so am I. I'm here to join you."

"You're going to join me in having a bullet in your chest," he says. "How did you find me?"

"I was following Elle Bishop. I saw you when they killed your friend."

"Not a friend. Just a local hire," he says. "What do you want?"

"I told you. I want to join you."

"What do you think we are, a club? Pay your dues and get a nice little membership card for your wallet?"

"I want to kill them," you say.

The man looks at you a long moment.

"Who?" he says.

"You know who. Them. Things like Elle Bishop," you say.

The man considers. The pistol dips a little.

"Sean might like you," the man says. "Or he might kill you. Stand in the hallway where I can still see you. I need to make a call."

Wait in the hallway...

The man puts his phone down and beckons you back into the room. The pistol lies on the bed beside him now. He falls back on his pillow, almost as white as his sheets.


"My name is Lloyd," he says. "Here's how Sean says this is going to work. We're going to run a background check on you. In the meantime, you're going to prove yourself to us."

"How?" you say.

"There's a warehouse. Belongs to some former friends of ours. They have a file that we want. Here's the file number. Get the file. Bring it to me."

"Thank you for the chance," you say.

"Oh, believe me, this is Sean's way of punishing me for getting found. I hope you're for real, friend. For both our sakes."

Head to the warehouse...
(Story restarts)
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