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Secrets. Betrayal. Desperate choices. Glimpses of infinity, then more than glimpses. The award-winning fiction of DELTA GREEN returns.
346 backers pledged $27,032 to help bring this project to life.

'Through a Glass, Darkly' Preview 4

Posted by Arc Dream Publishing (Creator)

Robot Viking has the latest excerpt from Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly.

One hundred and fifteen 10mm rounds were recovered at the scene by the police, including four from two of their own men―the general consensus was that there were more rounds laying about, waiting to be found. One had been located over a quarter mile away in a tree across the highway, reported by a person standing at the bus stop nearby when it hit. An MP5/10SSD in full automatic mode was the main culprit. Silenced, suppressed. Poe had changed nothing about his modus operandi except to upgrade his weaponry. The last time they had clashed, the old man had been humping it with an MP5 in the usual 9mm; Lepus knew because that time, they had pulled slugs from two of his men’s heads.

Poe had been using anti-personnel grenades. He didn’t need a report in the field to know they were M61’s, Vietnam vintage. How could he forget? It was how Lepus had lost his teeth.

A clear picture of Donald Poe, sweaty and crazed, smiling a madman’s smile. A feeling of helplessness, the taste of metal in his mouth.

“You say nothing, Lepus. You say nothing. You say nothing or the birds will be picking you out of the grass for weeks.”

Spread the word! Only six days left to reserve a copy of the hardcover limited edition of Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly!

Now available: "Intelligences," a Delta Green story by Dennis Detwiller

Posted by Arc Dream Publishing (Creator)

The fundraiser for Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly has topped the $15,000 milestone! 

As our thanks to the supporters of Through a Glass, Darkly, we are proud to present "Intelligences," a story of Delta Green and the Cthulhu Mythos by Through a Glass, Darkly author Dennis Detwiller. 

Click here to read the full text of "Intelligences" free at the website of our Cthulhu gaming magazine The Unspeakable Oath.

As of June 2, 2011, Through a Glass, Darkly is still heading toward its fundraising goal with 17 days remaining. Sign up here to reserve a limited edition hardback copy for yourself.

'Through a Glass, Darkly' Preview 3

Posted by Arc Dream Publishing (Creator)

Flames Rising has a new preview of Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly, the new novel from Dennis Detwiller and Arc Dream Publishing.

They had paid their debts, or so he liked to imagine. But it was never over, once you were in; it was never over until you were over. It had taken McRay nine years to learn that. Poe had taught him by example. Donald A. Poe — “Charlie” to those within the conspiracy — was the model agent of Delta Green.

“I don’t see how you could have shot me,” Poe replied quietly, in a gravelly voice. The burn scar on his cheek rippled in time with the words. “I shot you first.”

Read more here, and support Through a Glass, Darkly here.

'Through a Glass, Darkly' Preview 2

Posted by Arc Dream Publishing (Creator)

Here's another look inside Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly, the new novel by Dennis Detwiller. As of May 17, 2011, we're not quite halfway to the deadline and a little over halfway to the goal. Thank you for your support!

By Dennis Detwiller, (c) 2011.

“Like a Deep Sea Diver”

Class Two paranormal event: Tesoro Station, Seattle, Washington. 47.61 N/122.34 W latitude/longitude. Approximately 2,391 miles from New Brunswick: Wednesday, January 26, 2001, 2:37 A.M. PST

Tim Moriarity sat in the Tesoro gas station behind three inches of bulletproof glass and watched the lights on the highway, feeling something move through him like defeat. With it, the same old disbelief and nostalgia rose up in his throat. How had he arrived here? What had he done to deserve this job? This life? It all seemed unfair. He could not locate any event on which he could pin the blame. Any particular event would do—some memory under which he could sweep the crap away and label: THE MISTAKE. He wasn’t picky, really.

            Anything.

            His whole life seemed like one prolonged mistake. Maybe that’s why he couldn’t localize it.

            His life was scattered across the western half of the United States like the contents of a ransacked apartment, from its starting point in Philadelphia to its apparent finish line: Seattle, where he now occupied a booth at two A.M., enduring the ass end of a swing shift like the last months of a twenty-year prison sentence.

            His life was composed of equal parts distrust, hate and boredom. All the necessary components for a Jerry Springer show (hell, a half a dozen of them) were there. Two ex-wives (only one of whom knew where he was), four children he never saw, several abandoned pets, apartments full of crap (along with months’ and months’ worth of overdue rent at each) and three cars (one of them new). Now all of these things, people and possessions were gone, each and every one. All sucked somewhere into the endless expanse of the country. He had no phone numbers, no addresses, no paperwork, no keys and no attachments. He couldn’t locate any of them now and he no longer tried. He had left, after all. Who would want to hear from him?

            Hell, he didn’t even want to hear from himself. Isn’t that what this boredom was all about?

            He probably couldn’t even pick his kids out of a police lineup—which is where they would turn up anyway in a couple of years, after the way he had destroyed them. Didn’t he know how it felt? Hadn’t his dad done the same thing to him?

            Once this life had seemed ideal. No connection to the past, an endless open future. But now, as he hit the end of the country it seemed he also had hit the end of what passed for a life. Seattle was it—as far west as he could go without swimming, as his dad used to say. It pulled him in. He had a good apartment, a shitty job, a terrible boss and no real friends. All in all, a normal life, a normal existence. But why then did he—

            There was a knock at the window.

            Moriarity jumped, and a lancing pain shot across his lap as coffee spilled over his legs. A steaming trail had traced a river across the sports pages of the Seattle Times and off the counter. Scooping up the wet newspaper, Moriarity dammed the coffee off and wiped it back into a messy pile of wet newsprint until only a few streaks remained on the counter. He rapidly righted the cup and stared out the glass window, his face set in an exasperated frown.

            Though he could not be sure, for a moment Moriarity could swear that the figure beyond the glass looked somehow blurred. Shaky, as if viewed from underwater, like it was rising out of the air itself, solid but indistinct. Just as suddenly it was all right. He was looking at a rather plain man in a beaten denim jacket and jogging pants. The stranger's hair was neatly combed, his face clean and pleasant.

            The stranger’s long and thin face split in a self-deprecating smile, embarrassed and a little bit sad.

            Moriarity depressed the speaker button.

            “What can I do for you?”

            He was expecting a request for change (Tesoro’s prices were not very competitive at the moment) or maybe even a small amount of gas from Pump 1 (super unleaded, the cheapest). Instead the man squinted, fixing him with a confused stare, the look of someone trying to good-naturedly puzzle something out. Moriarity noticed for the first time that there were no cars at either of the pump islands. Moriarity unlocked the cash drawer and looked down at the pistol in it.

            “Tim?” the man asked. He had a shy, retiring voice that was nonetheless full of some kind of good humor. For no reason he could place, Tim Moriarity thought of sneakers. The image rose clearly in his mind, but it meant nothing.

            “Yeah?” Moriarity barked back through the speaker, voice distant and full of suspicion.

            “Tim Moriarity?” the man reiterated.

            “Yeah?”

            “It’s me. Bob Lumsden. We went to high school together.”

            “Bob . . . ” Tim said, considering. It had been a long time, after all—ten years—something like that. Thomas Jefferson High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, class of ’89.

            “Lumsden? Bob . . . I remember you! We had gym together!” Moriarity shouted, his voice full of the first bit of real pleasure he had felt in many months. Bobby Lumsden had been a . . . well, he had been a wimp. Someone Tim and the football crew picked on pretty heavily; but that was a long time ago. It seemed like a lifetime ago, now, like it had happened to another person.

            Hopefully Lumsden felt the same.

            “That’s me.” Lumsden modestly smiled.

            “So . . . ” Moriarity began, and then found himself at a loss. So what? What did he have to say to Lumsden? Not much. Still, here he was, a connection to his past, even if it was technically speaking a bad one. Lumsden was all he knew in Seattle that could lay claim to his own existence before his arrival. Lumsden was the only proof in this town that Moriarity had led a life before arriving at this gas station. Suddenly it seemed terribly important to talk to Bob Lumsden, but the words wouldn’t come.

            “What have you been doing with yourself?” Lumsden inserted, filling the awkward silence that had spun out.

            “Oh, nothing much,” Tim replied, smiling as if to say, You know, the same old stuff. He shrugged.

            “Still raping teenage girls?” Lumsden asked, in the same tone one would use to ask a stranger for the time.

            Silence spun out again.

            “I think you better get out of here, shithead,” Moriarity finally hissed through clenched teeth.

            Lumsden looked at Moriarity and shook his head sadly.

            “I’m going to tell you something, Tim. Something not many people ever get to know. You see, it gets hard to think clearly when the time comes. It gets hard to think, when you go through. But I learned the trick. I went through and I came back, and you know what I learned?”

            Moriarity said nothing; instead he picked up the receiver of the telephone and began dialing 911. He stopped after two digits and glanced down at the half-open cash drawer. Lumsden had obviously waltzed off the deep end a long time ago. But what could he do? Call the police and open a whole new can of worms? What the hell was the girl’s name anyway? Sarah . . . something. Beer, cigarettes and some pointless Eighties tune rose up at the thought of her name. Pinning her down and covering her mouth. To him, it would never be rape.

            Tim Moriarity was drawn back to the present by a tapping at the window. The madman stared at him mildly through the Plexiglas. The expression on Lumsden’s face was one of an exuberant teacher, one who was not content to let anybody slip by without learning their lesson.

            “It’s this I want to tell you, Tim, and listen carefully, because I won’t repeat it. ‘Whatever you’re thinking about in the last second of your life is what you think about forever.’ I think, Tim—well, hell—I know you’ll be thinking of Sarah.”

            That was it. Something inside him white hot and deadly leapt up and took control. Moriarity retrieved the snub-nose revolver from the cash drawer and fumbled to unlock the booth, feeling like both actions were performed in slow motion. He stepped into the wet Seattle night waving the pistol around like a frightened idiot, trying to prove his resolve through action. Moriarity attempted to gain a foothold on the situation. Events were rapidly spiraling out of control. Hadn’t he been quietly reading the sports pages and drinking coffee just a minute ago?

            He said, “You just shut up, Lumsden, you don’t know anything. I could shoot you right now and tell the cops you threatened to rob me.” But his voice sounded scared and weak. Still, something was growing in him. Hate? Disbelief? He didn’t know. It was big and it felt strong, but jittery and out of control at the same time.

            Moriarity grinned unsteadily, his equilibrium somewhat restored. The natural balance of things had gone askew with Lumsden’s accusation, but it seemed corrected now that the shithead was on the business end of the pistol.

            “What would you shoot me with, Tim?” Lumsden idiotically asked. Was he blind as well as crazy? What the—

            Moriarity’s eyes bulged.

            The gun was gone from his hand. His fingers were still poised as if they held a gun. His calloused index finger was still curled around a non-existent trigger. His arm was foolishly raised from his hip and pointed at Lumsden, as if it could actually do something other than point. His hand felt warm and tingly. Strange, but not hot. In the January air a thin, wispy cloud of steam seemed to flow for a moment from the cup of his palm.

            “Oops,” Lumsden laughed.

            “What the fuck—” Moriarity whispered, the first hint of fear creeping into his voice.

            “It’s like this, Tim. It’s like I can see all this happening, it’s like I can see everything happening. On the other side . . . this whole world is so clear. But I can’t affect it from there. But when I come back through, well, that’s a different story. I can’t see half as well, but I can do things. I can do things.” Lumsden clapped his hands, pleased with himself. There was a sudden metallic clatter from the right. Moriarity jumped at the sound and spun. Over at the nearest pump he saw the snub-nose .38 lying on the cement, lit in the harsh lamps. It was more than twenty feet on the other side of Lumsden.

            It was the gun Moriarty had been holding a second before. But there was no way that could have just happened. A thin wisp of steam curled up from the grip of the pistol and was lost in the lights.

            “What the hell—” Moriarity choked out. He began to backpedal toward the booth’s door.

            “Good trick, huh?” Lumsden offered, smiling a sly smile.

            “How did you do that?” Moriarity wheezed. The world seemed to swim before his eyes. It faded for a moment into a gray haze, only to return to crystal clarity, lit by colors that seemed to burn his eyes. It hit him like a slap, the reality of the situation. He realized Lumsden had been speaking the whole time, but he caught only the last half of the speech over the pounding of his heart.

            “—coming back isn’t that pleasant. Like I said, most, well, almost all people can’t do it, but I can. It’s like I’m a deep-sea diver. I put on my gear and come on through. This body, these forms, they’re nothing more than a container for something so big you can’t even begin to get it. They’re like fuckin’ Tinkertoys, fuckin’ Legos. But I came back to set some things straight. To fulfill some promises. This one’s for Sarah.”

            When Moriarity turned to step back into the safety of the booth he froze. His jaw dropped. His eyes, which had seemed up to be open as wide as possible, bulged wider in their sockets. A single clear line of drool spilled from his lips and struck his collar.

            The door that had once been behind him—the door he had just come through—was gone, replaced by an expanse of tile with steam pouring from the grout. It was as if the door itself was a wound that the building had naturally scabbed over and healed. The booth appeared to have no entrance at all, just the Plexiglas window.

            Moriarity placed his palms against the smooth, slightly wet surface of the wall and began to cry. It was real.

            “Not fair. It’s not fair,” he wept.

            “No, Tim. For the first time in a really long time, things are going to be fair.”

            Moriarity turned to look at Lumsden as the man’s brow furrowed. Something gathered in the air, humming like an electrical charge. Like a train approaching a station at top speed.

            “For my next trick . . . ”

            The screaming went on for a long time.

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'Through a Glass, Darkly' Bonuses: New Stories!

Posted by Arc Dream Publishing (Creator)

Through a Glass, Darkly author Dennis Detwiller -- co-creator of the multiple award-winning Delta Green setting for the Cthulhu Mythos -- is mostly finished with another book, a short story collection called Delta Green: Failed Anatomies.

As the Through a Glass, Darkly fundraiser gets closer to its goal, we will release original stories from Failed Anatomies to celebrate.

First up is "Intelligences," a story dealing with the immediate aftermath of the 1928 Innsmouth operation that led to the founding of Delta Green.

When the Through a Glass, Darkly fundraiser hits $15,000, we'll post "Intelligences" in its entirety. We'll follow that with another complete story at $20,000 and another at $25,000. At $26,000, of course, you get Through a Glass, Darkly itself!

Here's a preview.

Delta Green: Intelligences

By Dennis Detwiller, © 2011

Albert Syme is an odd sort who keeps to himself. Floppy and dire, he looks like a clerk, and that’s what he is; one of the thousands that haunt the lunch carts on Washington Avenue at noon. Syme’s glasses hang on the end of his nose like a man poised at the edge of a cliff. His eyes look at you precisely like those of a gecko sunning itself. They are blank and green and flat, and he stares for too long. People don’t look at him. It’s not because he’s imposing. He’s precisely the opposite, small and long-armed and bulging in the middle. It’s not because he seems dangerous. He looks somewhat simple, slick like he was dolloped in a thin grease, and empty in the face.

The reason people don’t look at him is that he’s forgettable.

At this moment, Albert Syme is as close to normal as he ever will be.

Syme works for the Office of Naval Intelligence. Precisely four people know this, and only his boss and the one other person in his office know his name. The two ladies who sit in the Navy desk opposite the ONI collation room know he’s there but don’t know who he is. He supposes the bank might know—his pay draft being supplied by the Office of the Navy, after all. He says nothing to anyone else. His barber. His landlady. To them, he is a receipt. He has no family (they gave him up in Boston) and no friends.

Such things worry Syme. Sometimes, at work, he plays a game where he draws lines, like pipes, from name to name in his mind, connecting all who might know the secret. It doesn’t really matter, he supposes, but he still worries. He imagines his name filling with water, sees the liquid moving in the dark of the pipes, drowning the names of those connected to him. He pictures the people in their tubes, drowning as the water rushes in, in the dark.

He smiles when he thinks these things. His secret, his job, is the most important thing in his life.

The job is his life, though he couldn’t tell you why.

Now, July 19, 1928, he eats a hot dog in the summer sun, grasping it in one ink-stained hand while holding his hat down to keep it from catching the breeze and tumbling up the walk. He is surrounded by hundreds of people who fail to see him, lost in their own lunches, conversations, lives. He eats with the conviction and blankness of an animal. He does this every day when the weather is fine.

When he finishes, he crumples up the hot dog’s wax paper wrapper and drops it to the cement. He glances at the ink on his hand and heads back up the steps of the huge, stone building, crossing from the light of the sun into the shadow of the portico. As he crosses from outside to in, the wind catches his hat but he snatches it from the air before it can get away.

He goes inside and continues the last day of his daily routine.

Δ

If Syme had left ten minutes later, he would have seen the officers arrive. Three men in Navy dress, one with a handcuffed valise on his arm. In this building that is not unusual, but this man was a rear admiral. His name tag read WELLES. Syme would have recognized him from the photo on the wall next to the hot pot. He stares at it every day. The two men with the rear admiral were built in the exact way Syme is not. They were human walls with legs, wearing truncheons and pistols on their hips. They did not smile or speak.

These men entered the ONI collation room and the rear admiral spoke with Syme’s supervisor, Templeton Mears, a man who always looks as if he had just survived some near disaster. Mears listened to the description of the job the rear admiral had in mind, and before he could finish Mears swung a hand towards Syme’s desk. Mears barely contained the black terror he felt speaking to the Director of Naval Intelligence. As they spoke, it looked as if Mears’ eyes would continue to grow until they engulfed his whole face.

When the rear admiral was done, the valise was opened and papers were removed, as well as two manilla envelopes which stank of photographic chemicals. They were placed squarely in the center of Syme’s desk. Mears signed a paper for them, and the men left. Immediately Mears fell into his wood chair, which squeaked under his weight. He covered his eyes with his hands.

The room fell back into the drone of the electric clock ticking time.

If he had been there, Syme would have seen all of this. Instead, he was outside, eating his hot dog.

Δ

Syme does not like his boss. Mr. Mears is a slack man. He fails to do what is required by the job. He slinks in and out at odd hours. He piles work on Syme’s desk. He reads funny books and sports annuals and flips through the encyclopedias which line the wood-grained walls, leaving Syme and the other man in the office, Norman, to finish the collation. Norman is not efficient, but cares about his work. Syme does not hate Norman. Instead, he feels about Norman the way he feels about the people who ride the #13 bus with him on the way to work. They are there the reason he is there, and as long as they don’t bother him, he will not bother them.

What they do in the room, besides being secret, is boring. They pull Navy files, type and collate copies, staple photographs, cross-check ID numbers and collect them for closed envelope reports. They hand-duplicate files, sometimes many times over. These reports are numbered and are picked up once a week by an armed Navy officer. Where they go from there, no one in the room has any idea. For Norman it is a source of endless speculation. For Mears it is a unconsidered question. For Syme it is an indication that what they do here, in the ONI Collation Office, room 3118, is important.

Syme enters and finds Mears’ desk empty. Norman sits at his smaller, steel desk, hunched over it, his jacket off, sweat on his thick brow and in his thinning brown hair. Norman leans over a sheet of graphing paper and draws a careful line on it with a mechanical pencil. He does this with his tongue pinched between his yellow teeth. Norman often has to hand-draw maps. It is something Syme does not have an eye for.

“What is this document?” Syme asks the room, his back to Norman’s back.

Norman’s pencil stops on the sheet and he turns. His face is round and red and Irish. His mouth hangs open. His empty blue eyes stare at Syme’s back without any recognition of the fact that Syme was speaking to him.

Syme hefts the folders and holds them up without turning around.

“Some big wheel brought that down from the Chief of Naval Operations. I wasn’t here. Just Mears. Mears told me.”

“Where is Mears?”

Norman laughs, repeats the question in a whisper as if it were a joke, and goes back to work.

Syme removes his jacket, catching a whiff of his body odor in the process, folds the coat and drops it over the edge of his chair. He sits, pulls in his chair, carefully arranges his tools on the table—his typewriter, his India ink, his fountain pen, his mechanical pencil, stapler, eraser, ink eraser, paperclips and onionskins.

When this is done, he opens the photographic envelopes first. This has become a habit for him. He likes to guess what the report might be by looking at the photos. Photographs of wreckage usually mean foreign technology intelligence; bodies usually mean accidents; grainy photos are often spy shots of foreign fleets; photos of people usually mean suspected spies. There will be the original and for each original a copy.

Today when he looks at the first image, he has no idea what the report might contain.

The photograph is of an eye in extreme close-up. It is huge, bulbous and black, hanging on the skin of some creature, skin which looks like it is flaking off in diamond-shaped chunks. A human hand is barely visible in the upper right corner, out of focus, holding a wooden ruler with large hash-marks. The ruler indicates the eye is three and a quarter inches across. Even though the whole creature is not visible, Syme can see it is dead. He is not precisely sure why he knows this.

Something pulled from the ocean by some Navy destroyer?

Syme blinks, staring at the photo, and adjusts his glasses as if that might somehow help.

Finally, in an attempt to jumpstart his work, he unshuffles the stack of photos and papers in a fan on his desk, like a deck of cards.

He sits still for a long time.

Then he reads.

 

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