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Forum Bug

Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:18 am by Sentinel

Hi all,

We're aware of a peculiar forum glitch that's causing some subforums to be locked.

Due to the lateness at this time, it might be a while before the glitch can be remedied, because despite my best efforts and as far as I can tell, everything seems to be working fine admin-side. It may have …

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Discord News/Update Test

Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:35 am by Sentinel

Just a news, update test. Trying to get this thing to work.

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Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Other religious holidays!

Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:56 pm by Sentinel

*wipes sweat from brow* Whew, political correctness is a lot of hard work. But it has to be done.

ANYWAYS, we did it - we (almost) survived 2016 which, I think we can all agree, was pretty damn terrible in many ways.

Regardless, it was a good year on the forums - we've met some new faces, set out …

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Harwell's Institute: Resonance

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Harwell's Institute: Resonance

Post by Sentinel on Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:14 am





"Even a week after central Calloway County was evacuated, travelers found themselves taking long, infuriating detours around the townships of Fulton and Reform. The most common rumor was a potentially catastrophic error at the nuclear reactor. After all, Chernobyl had only been 12 years ago.

But despite the presence of high levels of radiation in the area, which prompted the barriers blocking highways and routes in and out of the city, initial investigation proved that the Callaway County Nuclear Plant was never in danger of a meltdown.

In fact, the radiation came from something much stranger - something much more dangerous."


- Conspiracies of the United States, 1950-2000
by Todd Berger




State Highway CC
Reform, MO
September 5, 1999


"Dude, these weathermen suck ass."

A red-haired young man scowled at the night sky as a beat-up pick-up truck hurtled up the highway, windshield wipers squeaking away mercilessly at the barrage of raindrops. The 1990 Chevy Silverado carried two individuals - both were star athletes at Westminster College, but within mere months they would be no more than a distant memory.

For now, they were on their way back to Fulton after a night of debauchery. They had just achieved an outstanding win over Illinois College, and what better way to celebrate than by partying, of course? But now, it was 1 in the morning. It was time to return home.

It was also the time for a massive thunderstorm to pop up.

"For real. I didn't see a single fucking cloud in the sky earlier," the driver commented. His rolled-down window granted them bursts of wind from the storm, causing his bangs to drive wildly across his forehead.

"Well, you know Missouri weather," Red-Head quipped. "It's freaking bipolar."

"Yeah, but still. Storms don't just appear like this. This is nuts."

"What, are you gonna complain that it's the government seeding clouds or some shit?" Red-Head let out a chuckle. "If you need me to, I can drive us home."

"It's my truck," Bangs muttered, leaning forward to see better. His seat belt locked, catching him, and he let out an annoyed grunt.

"It's your dad's truck, and I'm sure he'd agree with me. I am the better driver, after all," Red-Head boasted.

"Shut up, man." Bangs rolled his eyes at his friend. Thunder shook the cab of the truck, causing him to clutch the steering wheel tighter.

Red-Head let out a laugh, apparently oblivious to the rolling thunderstorm above the two. "You're such a pussy. You sure you don't want me to drive?"

Bangs ignored the question. "Holy- What's with the sirens?" A caravan of red and blue lights flashed on the horizon, heading in the direction of the Calloway Plant. Even with the rain and lightning, their piercing cries broke through the night.

"No clue," Red-Head muttered. "Maybe some drunk asshole lost control. Wouldn't be surprised on a night like this..."

The row of cruisers turned onto Highway CC, in the direction of the Silverado. Bangs pulled over onto the shoulder and let them pass. He counted at least 20 of them.

"Okay," Red-Head began as the last siren passed. "I have to admit, that's seriously fishy. Maybe we should just..."

He was cut off when Bangs whipped the steering wheel to the left, making a hard U-turn. Red-Head was thrown into the passenger door from the force. His seat belt didn't seem to catch much of his fall.

"Hey!" Rubbing his head from the sudden collision, the young man glared at his friend. "What the hell are you-"

"Investigating." Bangs cut him off, dead set on following the cruisers. "You know, unless you're too scared..."

"This is different!" Red-Head hissed at him. "This is, like, official cop shit! We could get in trouble for obstructing justice, or something like that. Let's just go home, dude."

Bangs threw his friend a stare that could pierce through diamond. "My parents work at that plant. If something's going on, I want to be sure they're okay."

"If there's something going on with the reactor, don't you think it'd be a good idea to stay away from it?" Red-Head scratched his already-tousled hair.

Bangs sighed. "David... I don't know how to explain it, but..." The driver trailed off, trying to find his train of thought. "Ever since I was a kid, I've always had a bad feeling that-"

A white-hot light filled their view and suddenly, in the eyes of the United States government, Bangs and Red-Head were no more.




"Mr. President I..."

"No, no, let's try that again. *ahem* Mr. President, I... shit, no. C'mon, Wilkerson, pull it together..."

White House, West Wing
Washington, D.C.
September 5, 1999


A young, blonded man paced back and forth within a currently-vacant section of the West Wing, sweat beginning to drip from his matting hair. The situation in Fulton, Missouri, was not something to be taken lightly - any update from the investigative team was to be handled with the utmost composure by White House aides.

Unfortunately, Wilkerson was hired only a month ago.

The newest update was, in his words, "fucking wild." A baby. An actual, newborn baby was found at ground zero. And not only was it alive - it was completely unharmed. As if the President didn't believe the situation already...

"Leroy?"

Wilkerson cringed at the mention of his name - he hated it, and was glad that a majority of the people he worked with referred to him by his last name. But as he turned around, he was relieved to see it was none other than Holly Grayfield. Though the two were hired on the same day, Grayfield had proven herself to be much more adept in her work, and as a result Wilkerson more than respected her.

"Hol-oh, uh, Grayfield," Wilkerson nodded, and more sweat drops fell from his face. "Is there something you need?"

To his surprise, and against the gravity of the situation, Grayfield laughed. The Fulton crisis was confidential - of the two, only Wilkerson knew about each and every update, so Grayfield was oblivious to the accident. Regardless, her calm, heartfelt laugh seemed to neutralize Wilkerson, and Grayfield took his shivering hands. Her dark skin was warm to the touch.

"My God," she muttered. "What are they telling you?"

Wilkerson shrugged. "It's confidential, Grayfield."

"As long as it doesn't risk national security, right?"

"I..." Wilkerson began, but cut himself off as Grayfield shot him an inquisitive look. "Can't say. Confidential."

"Right," she said, letting him go. "Well, whatever it is, I hope it's not too bad. Lord knows we need some superheroes right now."

"That ain't no kidding," Wilkerson muttered, wiping the moisture from his brow. Grayfield watched the movement intently.

"I'm not gonna lie, I've been hearing things all day," Grayfield admitted, staring down at her shoes. "Whatever is going on in the Midwest, I'm sure it's hard to believe for everyone."

Grayfield embraced Wilkerson, pulling him in tight. "Don't be too hard on yourself. This isn't an easy job for anyone, even me."

"Huh," Wilkerson scoffed. "I would never have guessed."

Grayfield released him, but took a hold of her friend's shoulders. "Hey, it isn't. I thought about quitting about 40 times since I got here. You know what stopped me?"

Leroy Wilkerson stared back at Grayfield and waited for the answer, though he already knew it.

"Thank you for sticking with me, Leroy," Grayfield said, letting go of his shoulders. "I mean it. Promise me you'll do the same."

Wilkerson nodded. "Of course, Holly." The two aides turned and continued on to their destinations. But as Holly Grayfield turned the corner, Wilkerson had one look back, taking an almost longing glance at the silver ring on Grayfield's finger.




"Isaiah Vanderbrook and David Lester of Fulton, MO passed away on September 5, 1999 at Capital Region Medical Center after an automobile accident. Upon investigation, neither Vanderbrook nor Lester were wearing seat belts."

Fulton Sun Obituaries
September 6, 1999





Coming Soon

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Re: Harwell's Institute: Resonance

Post by Comrade Squid on Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:08 pm

Creepy and to the point... definitely leaves me wanting more.

The baby thing makes me wonder if this is a character origin story? Vincent is 18 right now, the right age for being discovered in 1999...

I can't wait for the next entry!

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Re: Harwell's Institute: Resonance

Post by Sentinel on Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:02 pm




“It hurts, knowing that I can’t bring my fiance back. Two weeks is not enough time to spend with someone you’re meant to be with forever. And ever since the Fulton incident, I haven’t seen or heard from Leroy once.

I need him now more than ever.”


-Diary of Holly Grayfield
October 1, 1999



"Yes, sir? You wanted to see me?"

"Have a seat, son."

Washington, D.C.
September 30, 1999


Leroy Wilkerson had never seen a room like this before. For one, it was ice cold. Like, no reasonable human being would want to be here. Leroy couldn't stop his teeth from chattering - meanwhile, the imposing man sitting on the other side of the table had the calmest look on his face, as if he was enjoying a nice mimosa on the beach.

Or he was on quaaludes.

Nevertheless, there was something about him that was slightly unsettling. Mr. Wilkerson suddenly felt an overwhelming wave of inferiority as he sat down in the stiff armchair, and, almost in reaction, the man smiled.

"I hope it's not too chilly for you," the man quipped. "It's a bit colder, where I come from."

"And where's that?" Leroy asked, attempting to make light of the situation.

"Not important." The man waved his hand, and the inferiority wave rushed over Leroy once more. "I've called you here for different matters - more pressing matters. Perhaps you know of them by now?"

I don't even know your name, Leroy muttered in his head. But all the same, he knew exactly what the man was talking about.

"Fulton."

The man across the table nodded. "As I see it, you're one of a few people left who know about what happened in central Missouri."

Wait... "left?" What had happened to everyone else involved in the cover-up? But it was the government, of course. When they're trying to conceal their tracks, they spare nothing, dead or alive. The question was-

"Mr. Wilkerson." The man stared daggers at Leroy, who snapped out of his train of thought.

"Right. Sorry. I-I mean, yes, sir, I still know," Leroy stammered. He glanced around the room, wondering what his upcoming obituary would read. Leroy Wilkerson, age 24, passed away on September 30, 1999. He was discovered with 3 bullet wounds to the back of his head. Police have ruled his death a suicide.

"Well, I don't know the full details," Leroy went on, "So I mean, I won't be of any use to anyone. Honestly I might just forget about it in a few more weeks, I'm sure the government has stranger things to attend to..."

To Leroy's great displeasure, the man across the table laughed. His booming voice almost rattled his bones. "Relax, Leroy. We're not going to kill you."

Mr. Wilkerson froze. "Oh. You're... not?"

"No, no." The man leaned back in his chair. Even in the dim light, his gray hair seemed to glimmer a bit. "In fact, I have an exclusive job offer for you. The Oval Office just passed an executive order today."

"Really? I didn't see it on the news," Leroy exclaimed.

The man sighed. "That's because it - as far as I know, anyways - is the only one that's been kept secret. It involves what happened in Fulton. Mr. President just created a nice little project that hopes to figure out what exactly happened in the Midwest, and he wants 25 people to investigate."

"And..." Leroy trailed off a bit. "...You want me to be one of those 25 people?"

"Mr. Wilkerson, you have quite a knack for gathering information." The mysterious man leaned forward in his chair once more. "Plus, you out of everyone else put in charge of the reports coming in from Fulton have the most understanding of what happened."

"Okay..." Leroy just stared at the man. Something about him felt vague and murky, as if he wasn't letting on more than he was thinking - then again, this whole scenario was shady as hell. But if it meant not getting shot in the back of the head...

"What exactly will this job involve?" Leroy asked. If he was going to get himself into something there was no way out of, he might as well learn what it is.

"It's nothing you signed up for when you became a White House aide," the man grumbled. "It'll require you to give up a lot of things - your name, your family, your friends. This is perhaps one of the most secretive government projects since Roswell."

Leroy raised his eyebrows. "Oh, so Roswell is real?"

The man shrugged. "Damned if I know. There's more the government is hiding than just the Fulton crisis, though. My point is, Project ASSITI will likely involve stuff the world just isn't ready for, and that requires some sacrifices to be made on our part if we want to keep things 'normal.' Mr. Wilkerson, are you willing to take on this task?"

"One question - why is it called Project ASSITI?"

"I'm afraid I can't answer that until you accept the offer." The man clasped his hands on the desk.

Leroy Wilkerson sat back in his chair. What would be worse, he thought to himself. Ending your life with a government execution and forged obituary, or living out your days off the grid with nobody else knowing who you were or where you went?

Either way, I'd be dead to everyone I know. Might as well only be dead in paper than in real life.

Leroy rose from his seat and held out his hand. "I accept... um, sorry. What's your name?"

The man stood and took Leroy's hand. "You can call me Foxtrot," he said with a smile.




East St. Louis, Illinois
November 2, 1999


Twenty-five people sat around a circular table of medium size, within a nondescript underground complex. Lining the walls were monitors and computer systems of varying types - the glow of screens and blinking lights complemented the halogen bulbs that lit up the room. Foxtrot entered the room, carrying a stack of manila envelopes.

"Welcome to Project ASSITI," he began, passing out the envelopes. "Before you are a collection of files that will brief you of your purpose while taking part in this mission, including your new name for the next 20 years. Or more, depending on how this goes."

A middle-aged woman with lightly-tanned skin looked up. "My new name is Lima. Is that because I'm Peruvian?"

Foxtrot's eyes widened. "Odd coincidence. Your names are based off the NATO phonetic alphabet, and are completely randomized. No attempt at racism is intended."

A young man sitting next to Foxtrot smiled at Lima. "If it helps, my new name is India, and I'm not Indian at all."

"It doesn't help," Lima muttered. "But thanks."

"Ahem." Foxtrot cleared his throat. "You'll notice that there is one name that was left out - Victor. That is no coincidence." He pulled out a clicker from his pocket and aimed at the overhead projector hanging from above the table. The wall next to them flickered to show an image of a newborn baby.

Echo raised his hand. "That was the baby found in Fulton, wasn't it?"

Foxtrot nodded. "Very good. This is who we will refer to as 'Victor.' He is at present the only known survivor of the Fulton crisis - an incident of catastrophic proportions that shut down the Fulton nuclear reactor for a good week. We don't yet understand how he managed to survive, nor where he came from, but we do have some grasp of what happened in Missouri thanks to initial studies."

Foxtrot clicked to the next slide. "There are two goals of Project ASSITI - or, the Active Search and Study of Interdimensional Incidents. The first goal, obviously, is to further study the origins of Fulton crisis, as well as any other similar events that have happened in Earth's history. Among us are some scientists who believe what happened may have to do with physics beyond our understanding.” He smiled. “Or, at least mine. At any rate, they're calling the 'explosion' at Fulton a resonance cascade - something that, from what I could discern, occasionally happens when a universe undergoes catastrophe."

Golf blinked a few times. "I'm sorry, what? When a universe what?"

"It's hard to explain," November began, "But we found evidence at the site near Fulton that may shed some light on what we call reality. We'll explain more later."

Foxtrot clicked to the next slide. "Our second task is to keep track of Victor. He's been released to the public and adopted by a suitable family, but the fact remains that he survived levels of radiation that physically shouldn't even be possible on Earth. Project ASSITI has been tasked with keeping tabs on Victor until we know for sure he's a normal boy. More information about him is outlined in your folders."

"What if he's not, you know, 'normal?'" Echo asked. "What will we do then?"

Foxtrot stared at his subordinate in stony silence. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. As it stands, the lab in Chicago had detected superhuman abilities present in Victor, but predicted a 96% possibility that such powers would fade away over time. As always, we should be wary of the 4% chance that they remain present."

"Any questions?"

The 24 members of the table said nothing as they pored over the contents of their manila folders.

"Very well," Foxtrot declared, apparently content with the answer of silence. "I'll be assigning duties momentarily. Thank you all for being here."




Project ASSITI File #3892
Historical Resonance Sites

Fulton, MO is not the first site of a resonance cascade on the planet, though it is, in a sense, the most prolific. Project historians have found evidence of other possible events that have occurred throughout history, such as Mecca in 847 (the oldest known event), Catania in 1669, Akureyri in 1723, and Yellowknife in 1949. All these events, including the one in Fulton, have been associated with natural disasters at that exact point in time – a sandstorm, volcano, blizzard, and thunderstorms respectively. However, there has been only one event thus far that has produced a living person from its effects.




Coming Soon

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Re: Harwell's Institute: Resonance

Post by WritingBookworm on Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:37 am

Why hello there, Foxtrot. Nice to meet your acquaintance again.

Great chapter! The plot continues to thicken.

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