Have You Packed Your Raincoat?

By: Daiyu Tang

Photos: Taken from CCTV footage obtained during raid and stills recovered from flash drives ((Faces of all except Daiyu and Raincoat staff blurred))

My dear readers, I wasn’t sure I would be able to write this story and tell you about how a group of friends became heroes. How they drew strength from each other to achieve what might be considered the impossible and rescued their other friends from the clutches of some of the evil that resides in Hathian and the Backwaters. Why wasn’t I sure?

Well, because the risk of death meant that I had left a scrabbled will behind in the desk drawer of the Observer and I had set as much in order as I could before I left. I was euphemistically calling this an ‘adventure’, but in reality was some students, with a bare minimum of training, attempting to be cops, or more.

But why did I, and our friends do this? Because it was the right thing, the moral thing… And we don’t leave our friends behind.

Shella, Odette, Myself, Ellie & Others – Victims

Four photos, comprising some, but not all, of the missing women that had disappeared over the last few months. Of them only I had managed to get back to Hathian, along with another women who shall remain unnamed at her request, before the adventure you will now read about. My release, after what I understood was a substantial payment from an unknown benefactor was perhaps a tactical error on the part of those who had took me. As I understood it they thought I was being taken for evil purposes elsewhere, or at the very least I would be too frightened to ever be a thorn in their side again. But my benefactor wasn’t evil, or malicious and despite a scary outwards appearance has been nothing but helpful since then. My captors also underestimated one thing… morals. Could I leave Shella, Odette and Ellie to their fate while I somehow escaped? No and nor could my friends. Brave and true women all of them.

Odette. Shella. Ellie & Myself. Three still captured, and now we needed to do something about it.

An Instigator

Contacts at CUPD were helpful and I understand they even attempted to track down my trash kidnapper Xena, who despite getting positive coverage in this paper, decided to try and make some ‘easy’ money by sending me to these criminals in the Corporation we’re about to tell you about. Her part is but a cog in the journey and she is not affiliated with the ‘Big Bad’ that is Raincoat. but still, how many bridges does one woman need to burn? Apparently A LOT. But that’s ok, she’s $30,000 richer thanks to kidnapping me, I hope all that wealth brings her lots of joy protecting it down Backwaters way. Bank Robbery, who needs to do anything that complex?

Anyway, enough about the small parts, let’s focus on the big parts.

What was Raincoat?

Unbeknownst to Hathian, beneath the ground somewhere near the Backwaters, close to a pier for the easy ingress and egress of supplies and equipment, an entity called ‘Raincoat’ had found what we believe was an abandoned nuclear fallout shelter.

This logo, which we’re reproduced from the stolen files from their bunker adorned the walls of the facility and while, visually, I cannot see a link to a ‘Raincoat’, it never-the-less seems a perversion of some kind of medical logo wreathed in Roman imagery perhaps. Whatever the significance behind it, this corporation built up a formidable operation beneath the ground near our fair city.

You might have seen references to ‘gas’ in the picture above, I’ll tell you about that soon enough, but for now, hopefully the images give you some idea of the nature of the beast. But perhaps a little more is appropriate:

Raincoat, they were kidnapping students and others for experiments. ‘Medical’ in name only, these were unsanctioned drugs, experiments on the human psyche, torture to see a pain threshold or amputations and disfigurement to test pain relief or other substances on. This is Hathian, we’ve seen mass terrorism, murder-basements and there is a potential somewhat cannibal cult lurking in old Churches, yet what binds them (even Tori) were human needs and drives and bonds. This… This Raincoat? Money. Money… Money… Money. Thugs in suits. A woman in a suit… (more like a bondage camp suit, but…)

Meet ‘V’

V for Vendetta? No. V for Vicious. V for Violent. V for villainous. What position V occupies in the organisation ‘Raincoat’ is not clear.

Has she been punished for the incredible lapse of security that allowed us to retrieve our friends? Maybe she died from wounds sustained…

All we do know is that helicopters were spotted leaving the vicinity of the bunker and we know it is now empty and voided of everything.

Logs & a Threat

All through the logs, there were photos of abuse. People in Hathian say I’ve used their photos in this paper without consent, but sometimes shock is required and perhaps a few of these images, of me included, will help put into perspective their sophistication and torture. Maybe HPD had the same contractor fit their basement out as well according to sources. But whatever the nature of their build, it was undeniable focused on the most awful experiments and lack of ethics.

It’s not needed to share more of this, we (the survivors) know what they did, but we also know that we’re stronger and despite them perhaps escaping, they should know (if they’re reading this) that we know a bit about them. That that information is in a safe place and that if we hear sight or sound of Raincoat around Hathian again, we’ll make sure that everything is exposed. Everything. Even your money won’t be able to prevent eventual justice.

Send in the Drones

So, myself and my friends, who for the purpose of this article will remain nameless (and while Raincoat probably knows who they are, this is more for general protection of identities), had to find the bunker and rescue our friends. How do you even plan for let alone do this? I had been released blindfolded in a prisoner transfer, so other than a vague idea of where I was when I was allowed to take the blindfold off, all I had to rely on was… Xena… yeah, she transported me there and didn’t do a great job of stopping me see roughly where I ended up being dumped at. $30,000 well spent their Raincoat. *slow clap*

But a general location wasn’t enough, so we used the brains of our operation. She used various topographical maps, cross referenced against what I could remember to get us down to some search areas and then it was a case for myself and our other friends to use drones to try and find landmarks I would recognise.

Bingo. We were well supplied of course and this meant the four of us were armed. Now, why do we have a picture of the scene on the left? As evidence that the dude was alive. No one teaches you how to pistol whip people, but you kinda hit them until they fall over and don’t call for reinforcements. Am I admitting to violence against a guard? Yes. If we had assaulted a poor farmer, would I get myself arrested? Yes. But we had struck gold.

One of the group takes position by the ventilation system after a guard has been subdued.

Ventilation Systems

Remember I mentioned gas in photos above? Well, that’s where our chemical ‘expert’ came in. With supplies obtained legally she had mixed together something that she ‘mostly’ assured us would have the effect of knocking out those inside. If we could find the ventilation ducts to the surface, then we just had to pour the gas in. She assured us that it wasn’t lethal. That dear reader is why you see so many sleeping guards and scientists in the earlier photos.

We had no way of knowing whether it worked before we entered the place, but science had again paid off and even in the guardroom, despite clearly someone tripping an alarm, they were flat out. With one of us staying to guard the surface, myself and two others went forwards…

Confrontation & Extraction

As our cover image shows (and apologies for blurring out the faces of my friends, but you know…) we did what we could, wearing gas masks, some cheap (and thankfully not tested) body armour for two of us and a eclectic selection of firearms.

There’s a reason any good heist needs brains and one of our number, good with computer systems was able to get into their systems, get this CCTV footage and other evidence you see in this article and also work out a route through the facility. This was critically important as when we entered a room with two of our friends in it and then found that the facility’s main antagonist, V had worn her own gas mask and bargained with us, with a knife over the throat of our friend.

Through brains and a lucky shot, V was disarmed via the element of surprise.

Who would have thought it? Amateurs doing the work of professionals. Maybe only those who think and believe in love, trust and respect. We did what we did for our friends.

No one left behind.

Endings (for now)

“It was fucked up beyond repair. Traffickers operating openly. A pharmaceutical company hiring psychopaths to conduct experiments on humans. Excessive bureaucracy (or sabotage?) in police ranks. Civilians doing the job of SWAT… This case is yet another reminder that the swamps of South Louisiana have become a den of corruption and crime, neglected by the government. If any feds are reading this: Wake Up!

One of our team members, interviewed afterwards.

We ran, or rather we dragged our friends from that lab, not finding Ellie there, but at least rescuing Odette and Shella. We know Raincoat killed people in the past, but we also know that I and another were released for cash payments; perhaps she is safe somewhere… We can only hope.

What have I learned? I’ve learned that friends are the rarest thing; those that without payment or coercion or anything other than their hearts will go into danger for you or work with you to do the right thing. This is what Hathian needs. Family. Love.

And for Raincoat and those like it? You weren’t the end of us. Make sure we don’t need to be the end of you… And sometimes at the end of the day, you find allies in surprising places… Sometimes they walk unseen and help and for that we are forever grateful as the sun set over the bayou.

((With love to all involved in the RP across the plot, especially Zofia!))

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