Mission Brief: Anomaly #0091 Ghost Ship: The Queen Anne's Revenge

Agent Zero paced the tile floor of the Ready Room as one by one his team assembled, falling into a squad line. Agent Spartan arrived first, loaded for bear. Damon Lyons fell in line next. Barbara Sanders followed him, pushing her glasses up, then folding her hands behind her. SCA Redhawk joined Zero at the front of the room, folding his arms as he faced the team. And finally, F6A Charon entered. The team looked over at him in unison.

"What's going on, Criss Angel?" Spartan said kind-heartedly ribbing Charon a little.

"Yeah, yeah," Charon grinned back. "Is it about performance or is it about looks? If it was about looks, I think we'd both be doing something else."

Charon didn't look like a special agent of any kind. His gothic appearance seemed more like it belonged at a Slayer concert than TSS. Dressed in a black leather jacket, black pants and black boots, and with long black hair, Charon stood out. The black makeup around his eyes didn't help camouflage him either.

"Let me settle this once and for all, gentlemen. I'm the best looking guy in the entire Syndicate. I wear the mask so I don't embarrass the rest of you," Agent Zero said, grinning behind his mask. The team chuckled a little.

"Nice to meet you, man," Agent Spartan said looking at his teammate at the opposite end of the line. "I'm anxious to learn about your specialty."

Charon said nothing, but focused his gaze intently on his left palm, extended in front of him. Suddenly a small flame sparked.

"Flash paper?" Spartan asked.

"None."

"Gentlemen, if we could focus on the task at hand, that would be great," Zero admonished.

Play time was over, and the team focused their attention on the Chief.

"There is an anomaly off the coast of North Carolina, here in the United States. It is recurring, and is of unknown material and origin. You all know SCA Redhawk. He's going to provide you with further information. Redhawk?"

Zero stepped back as Redhawk stepped forward to address the team.

"The anomaly is a ghost ship, belonging to the famous pirate Blackbeard," Redhawk began.

"The Queen Anne's Revenge," Charon said with little emotion.

"Precisely," Redhawk grinned. "It was revealed to me during a shamanic journey that it is indeed The Queen Anne's Revenge."

"I can feel it too," Charon said, looking down a little.

"Excellent, Charon. I figured you would. Team, as some of you know, the spiritual world can sometimes blur with the physical. We believe this is the case in regard to the ghost ship. Blackbeard's wreck was located in this area, and still rests at the bottom of the ocean."

"Wasn't Blackbeard killed on land?" Sanders asked a little timidly. "I thought the Brits caught him and..."

"That is indeed the official story, Ms. Sanders," Redhawk answered. "My vision suggests otherwise; that Blackbeard remains with his ship, the victim of a horrific storm."

"What's the ghost ship trying to accomplish, Redhawk?" Spartan asked.

"That's a good question. Maybe just trying to successfully navigate the storm and rewrite its ill-fated history. Maybe there's something more sinister to it. Maybe it's just a harmless 'ghost loop.'"

"Ghost loop?" Spartan inquired.

"Yes. A ghost loop can occur when a spirit or spirits suffer a tragic or particularly horrific death. The spirits can remain 'trapped,' doomed to repeat the scenario over and over again."

"That's brutal. Can it be stopped? Can the spirits be helped to find peace?"

"May I?" Charon spoke up.

"Please," Zero said, motioning for him to take a position in front of the team.

"My name is F6A Charon. I am a spiritual sensitive, and somewhat of an expert at helping souls 'cross over' to the other side."

"Like Charon the Ferryman of Greek mythological fame. He ferried the souls of the dead across the River Styx to the Underworld," the well-read Ms. Sanders offered.

"And now you know why I chose my name," Charon said, cracking a slight smile. "Exactly right. I will be accompanying the team for this very reason. If Blackbeard and his crew can be helped to cross, I will be there to assist them."

Charon fell back in line and Zero stepped forward.

"Team, we don't know exactly what we're going to find. The anomaly registers on our sensor equipment. Generally speaking, that indicates some kind of actual matter. Our equipment often fails to pick up purely spiritual activity. As Redhawk told you, there can be a blur between spiritual and physical. We're not sure how much of each we're going to encounter."

"Questions?"

The team remained quiet and poised.

"Sanders, you will remain here at HQ. You will monitor communications from the team and provide all requested information."

"Copy, Chief," Sanders said with a serious look. She took a step back and exited the room.

"Spartan."

"Chief?"

"You'll be the balls the operation. I want you loaded down like you could face anything from a squirrel to the entire Spanish Armada."

"You know I love the bang-bangs!" Spartan smiled.

"Pack for three days. Dismissed."

Spartan exited quickly, anxious to get to work.

"Lyons."

"Sir?"

"You're going to deploy with us this time in case we need any materials identified or examined. Again, we don't know quite what we're dealing with here. Three days gear. Go."

Lyons exited.

"Charon. Looks like you may get to meet one of the most infamous spirits of the high seas. You will help him cross if possible, and if not, you will assist and support the team in anyway possible, while scaring Spartan. Three days. Go."

Charon left.

Zero turned to Redhawk.

"I'm gonna switch things up."

"I know you are," Redhawk smirked. "I'm going to stay here with Sanders and provide any info I can. Charon can handle the spiritual side this time."

"I really hate how well you read me sometimes," Zero said.

"You have a soul too, Zero. I can communicate with them all."

"Seems like dirty pool to me," Zero laughed. "If I ever get to retire and find a wife, you'll have to teach me how to communicate with hers."

"Even the ancients can't do that," Redhawk said a little mockingly. "Be safe, Chief."

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