Billy gets a call from an old research colleague, Dr. Liu. Dr. Liu tells Billy that he’s been working on a new line of research that he thinks Billy will be very interested in. He doesn’t want to say much over the phone, but from the rumours he’s heard, Dr. Liu believes that he and Billy might be performing research along similar lines.
Billy remembers Dr. Liu, but doesn’t dislike him any more than he dislikes most people. Dr, Liu was, however, the type to build on other people’s work, then take as much credit as possible, and his methods were such that he spent more time in front of the Ethics Committee than Billy did.
The address that Dr. Liu gives them is to a retired prison deep in the mountains of Colorado. It was built a long time ago, and closed soon after when it became apparent that running such a small prison, so far away from the nearest community was more trouble than it was worth.
The hunters find the prison, and drive past the wrought iron outer gates to the building itself. Dr. Liu gives them a short tour of the facility and some examples of what he’s been working on, including Holy Water Polyacrylamides and an Iron/Salt solution that can be applied as a paste, and dries like paint.
Dr. Liu then tells them the real reason he contacted Billy – he recently acquired a “test subject.” He wants Billy to assist him with the research, as he has tested some of the materials that have been rumored to work, (salt, iron) and they seem to have no effect. He’s hoping that Billy might be able to tell him exactly what he’s dealing with. When the hunters asked for more details, Dr. Liu simply alluded to something wrong with it’s eyes, and insists that the hunters judge for themselves.
He takes the hunters to the cell block to show them the subject, and they find the cell empty. The cell door is open, and the light bulb from the fixture inside the cell has been broken. The hunters realise that the monster broke the bulb and used the filaments to pick the lock.
Dr. Liu suggests locking down the facility to the control room and leads them there, showing the players the monitor indicating the door status. of the front and rear doors.
Saasha and Billy stay in the control room with Dr. Liu while Xander and Mandy go to search the prison. Xander and Mandy get separated, and Xander is attacked from behind, falling unconscious.
Xander soon returns to the control room, and begins fiddling with the lockdown controls. The other hunters think, at first, that it is another one of his personality traits, but when he manages to “accidentally” end the lockdown, the others get suspicious. Xander runs, and Dr. Liu is able to reinstate the lockdown.
Saasha goes with Mandy to find Xander, while the Billy stays with Dr. Liu. When Saasha and Mandy find Xander’s unconscious body, they realise that they’re dealing with a shifter.
Mandy and Saasha are attacked, the shifter knocking the valves from two CO2 Canisters and sending they cart they are on flying at the two of them. They make it out ok, and decide to revive Xander instead of pursuing the shifter.
Once Xander is revived (and after he attacks Mandy in his disgruntled confusion) they hear an explosion from the front of the building, and Billy sees that the front door is now showing as open. The hunters all rush to the front door to find only a small char on the floor, and a card obstructing the door sensor so that it would show as open.
They continue their search, and hear a sharp sound, as though something were knocked over, coming from the cell block. They rush to investigate, and find that the sound was a small lever with a bag of water used as a “timer” that dropped a wrench in one of the cells. Luckily, Mandy thought to stay outside the cell block and watch from a far, preventing the Shifter from locking the entire team in the block.
Xander puts on his night vision goggles, correctly surmising that because they work using an infrared camera, they would show the retinal flash of a shifter if they encountered it.
The hunters return to the control room to check on Dr. Liu, when Xander notices from the tell-tale retinal flash that the shifter has now replaced the Doctor. Xander opens fire.
The shifter flees, but is quickly cornered, Xander shoots again, greatly wounding the shifter, when he the shifter turns to Mandy, “You’d got me, ok? I give up! Stop shooting! Come on – I gave you a box!”
As further evidence, he advises the hunters to check the security camera from the control room, where Billy sees Dr. Liu falling from what appears to be a heart attack, and the shifter attempting to revive him before dragging him out of the room. Billy is kind of a dick about the whole thing, and first attempts to convince the other hunters that the tape showed the shifter killing Dr. Liu. But I’m not bitter, or anything.
The shifter reveals his name, McRayveg. Saasha recognises the name – she never met him, but he was practically famous in the IRA. It was said that he could infiltrate any organization, and that he never went into a mission armed, or even carrying any gear. Some time before she left the organization however, the stories stopped. Many believed that he was dead, and some even said that considering the fantastic stories about his exploits, he may never have existed at all.
McRayveg admits that was him. He was in the IRA for years, but when his superiors discovered what he was, they turned on him. He was forced to disappear, and he’s now a member of an organization known as the Abnormal Risk Management Service, a U.S. government agency created in the 1930s when it was discovered that a member of Roosevelt’s secret service has been replaced by a shifter in Hitler’s employ. With civilian oversight of government expenditures these days, the effectiveness of the organization is severely limited (“Ever seen a government expense report? $20,000 to install a toilet, do you really think the contractor gets that? No, that’s us – and it’s all we get.”) All they have the funding for is dealing with direct threats from other governments; and occasionally running resistance for “freelancers” such as the Hunters, although they prefer to keep a low profile.
“Speaking of which, I’d appreciate it if you’d try to blow up less stuff…it’s getting harder to get our own guys before the investigators to plant evidence of gas leaks, or whatever. Eventually, it’s just not going to work any more.”
He was captured by Dr. Liu when both were looking into a different matter, and Dr. Liu caught a glimpse of his retinal flare in a nearby security camera. McRayveg hadn’t hurt anyone, but has spent the last few weeks getting prodded and tortured by Dr. Liu.
McRayveg tells the hunters that he’s already jury-rigged some equipment in the lab to send a distress signal, and there should be a chopper on the way to extract him as they speak. He’s willing to make a deal with them – The locals have long forgotten this prison even exists. If the hunters let him go peacefully, he’s willing to make sure the local and federal property assessors won’t remember either.