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Delta Green One Shot Games (2008 – 2009)

A Night On Owlshead Mountain, Session 2

Scenario Author: Dennis Detwiller, published in Delta Green: Eyes Only
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: February 21, 2009
Game System: NEMESIS (One Roll Engine)
Conversion From BRP to ORE: Allan Goodall
Keeper: Allan Goodall
Characters: Chelsea Vander, ISOO analyst, Civil Work Group I, codename RAYA (Alana Goodall); Michael Blackstone, NSA field agent, codename REECE (Jason Gallagher)

Spoiler Warning: The adventure was published in the Delta Green: Eyes Only book. If you are a Delta Green player you may wish to ask your Keeper if they intend to run any scenarios in that book before reading this write-up, as pertinent scenario information will be revealed.

Notes About the BRP to ORE Conversion: The adventure was published in the Delta Green: Eyes Only book for the Call of Cthulhu game system (also known as the Basic Roleplay system, or "BRP). The adventure was converted for use with the NEMESIS version of the One Roll Engine game system. If you would like to read the conversion notes, you can find them on the Project NEMESIS web site. The two specific articles to read are "Delta Green to NEMESIS Conversion" and "ORE-version: A Night on Owlshead Mountain (Spoilers)".

Thursday, July 8, 1999, 14:14 EDT

Waterbury, VT

IRENE listened intently to the story of the mad man on the mountain. She volunteered that it didn't sound like this was the same threat I Cell encountered on Clastenbury Mountain three years ago. The agents weren't sure if this was a good thing or not, though IRENE seemed to relax ever so slightly.

RAYA asked IRENE about the "friendlies" from the last mission. IRENE suggested Old Thomas Waban, a native American of the Pennacook tribe living in the valley between Owlshead Mountain and Clastenbury Mountain. Old Tom was instrumental in aiding I Cell. She also mentioned Deputy Fitzgerald, though she made it clear that he wouldn't likely be as useful as Old Thomas.

The two R Cell agents went to see Old Thomas. They found his cabin easily enough, on a logging road just off Middlesex Notch Road, which runs past the eastern base of Owlshead Mountain. The cabin, though, was empty. The agents walked around, calling for Old Thomas. "Agent IRENE sent us!" called RAYA.

An aged native American walked from the woods, carrying a rifle. He looked to be pushing 80, but he was in great shape. He was also almost mystically attuned to the woods; neither Delta Green agent noticed him there. "So, how is Genie?" he asked.

They were soon sitting around Old Thomas' kitchen table as he made them coffee. He asked about Agent IRENE, whom he knew by her real name, Eugenia Carcaterra. They had continued to communicate after the mission in breach of Delta Green protocol. Nevertheless, Old Thomas seemed trustworthy.

Old Thomas described what had happened back in 1996, as well as he knew. They were tracking something in the woods of Clastenbury Mountain. He was with the same group as IRENE, which probably saved him. The second group encountered... something. Whatever it was, it killed all of the second group. Seven dead on the mountain, all of them law enforcement or first responders. Ever since, Old Thomas remained on vigil on the edge of the mountain. He had seen strange things, but nothing quite as deadly as that which decimated I Cell.

When asked about the things that he had seen, Old Thomas recalled some interesting stories. He told of people disappearing from the mountains, of unlucky hikers falling to their deaths, and of logging equipment sabotaged by unknown bands of "tree huggers". Strangest of all were the things he had seen near the tops of the mountains, from when he was a young man.

Old Thomas knew very well of the standing stones RAYA and REECE had stumbled upon. It was at those very same stones that he first encountered "them". The creatures were otherworldly. They looked like a diabolical cross between a lobster and a wasp. Called the "winged ones", the creatures appeared in the standing stone circle where they negotiated with the Old Thomas and other local natives, as they had for centuries. In exchange for protecting the standing stones, the creatures awarded them small miracles. Even though Old Thomas didn't trust them, he continued to commune with them off and on throughout his life.

The agents talked with Old Thomas for a good couple of hours. He grew fatigued, though not weary of their company. They bid him goodbye, but before leaving they asked if there was someone else present on the mountain in 1996 that they could talk to. He directed them to Deputy Warren Fitzgerald in Waterbury. "Handle him with care," said Old Thomas. "He survived the mountain, but lost more than most of us."

Thursday, July 8, 1999, 18:42 EDT

Waterbury, VT

The agents checked in at the Sheriffs Office and asked for the deputy. They gave no cover story, but none was asked. They were told he was on patrol in Waterbury. The agents drove around town until they found a deputy's car. It was parked outside of a shady bar in a rough part of town. The deputy came out just as they arrived. He smelled of alcohol, and his uniform hadn't been properly cleaned in days.

The agents approached the man. His name tag told them that they had the right deputy. REECE asked if they could speak with him a moment. The deputy was suspicious. He put a bag-wrapped bottle in his cruiser and turned to them. RAYA and REECE asked him if he knew anything about the men who had disappeared on the mountain. Deputy Fitzgerald answered in sentences of one world. "No". "Sorry." "Nope". He turned to leave.

"I understand you were involved in an investigation three years ago," stated REECE.

The man froze. He turned back to REECE. He had broken out in a cold sweat. His face was a combination of fear and rage. "I have nothing to say," he said, barely controlling the emotions within him. "You stay the hell away from me. If you come near me again..." He pointed at REECE and RAYA and shook his fist. Deputy Fitzgerald got into the cruiser, took a long swig of whatever was in the bag, and drove off.

"You just had to mention it," stated RAYA, "Didn't ya?"

REECE shrugged. "Uh, huh".

"'Handle him with care,' he said."

REECE got back into their car. "He wasn't giving us anything, so I thought we needed to shock him."

The agents went to dinner and plotted their next course of action. Old Thomas' story suggested that there was a history of strange things happening in the area. Before they went any further, they had to do some research, see if they could get a handle on what they were up against. The best options were all in Montpelier: the Brookfield Library was top of the list, but other options included the Vermont College of Norwich University, and the Vermont Historical Society Museum. They would drive to Montpelier the next morning, which wouldn't take long as it was only about 10 miles away. They informed IRENE and turned in early that evening.

Friday, July 9, 1999, 9:05 EDT

Brookfield Library, Montpelier, VT

RAYA and REECE arrived just as the library opened. RAYA concentrated on the history of the Waterbury area. REECE went through the microfiched newspaper archives.

They spent the entire day at the library. This wasn't because they had trouble finding information. On the contrary, this part of the country had an almost pathological need to record its history. The trick was to separate the wheat from the chaff.

REECE discovered several interesting articles in the Townshend Herald and the Mill Valley Reporter. He came across the "landslide" two years ago that was the cover story for the death of I Cell. There were short articles about people dying on the mountain: a logger in 1987, a scientist in 1973, a couple in 1963. Several times a "Thomas Waban" was noted by the authorities as an expert and resident of the mountain. Old Thomas had, indeed, seen some disturbing things up on Owlshead Mountain.

REECE didn't find anything definitive, and he was all set to dismiss the earlier stories until he came across the story of "Madman McGee".

McGee ("Cooter" McGee) escaped from an insane asylum in January, 1957. He was believed to have died of exposure, but his body was never found. McGee was arrested and thrown in the asylum after he killed two and injured five on the mountain with a hatchet. The newspaper actually used the term "hatchet-wielding maniac". That was strange enough, but going back even further, REECE found references to McGee — the same McGee — running bootleg liquor in the late 1920s. He was uncommonly fit, if crazy and in rags, when captured in 1956 while in his late 40s.

RAYA came up to REECE to share what she had found. REECE interrupted her and read her what he found.

"Hatchet-wielding maniac. That sounds familiar!" said RAYA.

"Did that man look like he was 90?" asked REECE.

RAYA shook her head. "No. He didn't run like he was 90, either."

RAYA found a book on the standing stones on the mountains. Several of the peaks had them, including Clastenbury and, of course, Owlshead mountains. The significance of the stones came when she uncovered a dissertation from the 1950s on native shamanistic practices. The dissertation mentioned a recording of a shaman's chant from 1933. The chant was to bring forth the "winged ones", and utilized plant pastes and a bonfire.

It was with the chant that RAYA had an idea from left field. These "winged ones" had some sort of pact with Old Thomas. What if they contacted them and asked for assistance? It was a strange idea, but one that might work. Otherwise, they would have to resort to beating through the mountains for a murderous, naked, hatchet-wielding nonagenarian. As weird as it was, contacting the "winged ones" might very well be their least insane option.

Friday, July 9, 1999, 19:26 EDT

Waterbury, VT

The agents arrived at Old Thomas' cabin. When Old Thomas greeted them, they told him their plan. They would go up to the standing stones that night and try to contact the winged ones. They played the recording for Old Thomas, a recording RAYA took using her laptop plugged into the library's tape recorder. He noted that part of the chant was missing, though most of it was there. He taught RAYA and REECE the missing parts. He also helped them gather plants and make the paste from other plants and animal fat.

As the sun was setting, the agents and Old Thomas climbed the mountain. Old Thomas would watch out for them, while the agents followed the chant. He asked them if they wanted him to actively participate, but they declined. If something untoward were to happen, they needed him to be able to jump in and assist.

They got to the standing stones. The started a fire nearby. They took the plants and the paste, and began the spell. Old Thomas watched their back as RAYA and REECE chanted. RAYA painted abstract symbols in the dirt with the paste.

For twenty minutes they chanted. Then, the chant complete, they sat on the ground, still and quiet.

There was a rush of air and a tearing sound. Something not quite animal, not quite insect, not quite real slid into our universe.

The sight was too much for RAYA, who started to babble incoherently as she stared unblinking at the thing.

The creature spoke in a strange buzzing, metallic voice as it faced (faced?) REECE. "We arrive! We arrive! We have achieved a physical manifestation at this six dimensional confluence! Intent is inferred from actions performed by the basic capability entities. Communications/data exchanges are desired, yes?" There was no inflection in the words.

REECE blinked, and then said, "Uh, yes," with little conviction.

"Describe your designations," the thing continued. "What is your hive status? Do the base entities currently manifest have command/decision functionality in your mammal collective?"

"Do I have authority to make decisions?" translated REECE. "Yes. Yes, I do."

REECE proceeded to tell the creature about "Cooter" McGee. He explained how this person has been alive for many, many years, killing people on the mountain. He added that the deaths are starting to arouse the suspicions of local law enforcement.

The thing had heard of Cooter. "Limited perception bipedal entity has communicated in a manner in which the us mind can utilise and map forward vectors in the there! Comprehension of intent and purpose has been achieved!" It stood silent for a moment, then said, "We calculate and conclude with high probabilities that the entity described was once a basic mind unit tasked to us with low complexity sub-routines. If it is disharmonious, the us can provide means to neutralise defective unit. Is this desired by the you entities?"

"Yes, it is desired." On a hunch, REECE asked the winged one about the thing that killed I Cell. He went into as much detail as possible, though it wasn't much, as IRENE had kept them "out of the loop". All he could say was that something killed a number of people on Clastenbury mountain three years ago, and that they feared it was still up there.

"Ah. You apprehend the presence in this co-terminous plane of a guest sentinel entity. It also performs sub-routines though is of superior functionality to the Cooter entity. We have means of terminating the sub-routines and their sentinel agent. Is this desired by the basic capability entities currently manifest at this nexus?"

"Yes," replied REECE.

"We must achieve co-manifestation at points further along these planes. The communication initiation sequence must be achieved again by the base state minds at one of the sphere cycles the base state minds currently use to regulate the efficiencies of bipedal organic mind vessels. This must be achieved at the construct similar to this one at the co-terminous location known to the base minds as Clastenbury Mountain."

"Understood".

The thing disappeared.

Old Thomas came out of the woods, and walked up to RAYA. She was still babbling, but it was quieter and slower. She stopped babbling and then she started to calm down. When she had regained her faculties, she said to REECE, "I hope you took notes."

They went back to Old Thomas' cabin. They bid him good night, got in their vehicle, and drove back to their hotel.

Saturday, July 10, 1999, 10:10 EDT

Waterbury, VT

The next morning RAYA was tired, as she hadn't slept well. They had a leisurely breakfast at Denny's, then went to talk to IRENE. They had an important break in the case, but they needed specifics as to what happened to I Cell.

At first, IRENE was still hesitant to tell them what happened. "It's on a need-to-know basis."

"I think we need to know!" countered RAYA.

IRENE sighed and told them what happened on Clastenbury Mountain, though the memories obviously pained her. "We disturbed something on the mountain." That something silently stalked I Cell late at night. Once half the team was sufficiently deep in the woods, it attacked. Her team heard the attack on the radio. They hurried to help. When they got there, they saw movement, heard screams, then all went quiet. She didn't get a good look at it, and doesn't remember exactly what happened. Her mind blocked the memories. She did remember something very big with ropey tree limbs and a distorted trunk. Her group ran away in terror, which was probably the only thing that saved them.

"We went back up there the next day. The rest of the team was dead, torn apart by whatever that thing was. We got off the mountain and contacted A Cell. We quarantined the area the best we could. We put out the false story of the mud slide. We really didn't know what we were up against, so it was decided that we would monitor the situation for more activity. Meanwhile we continued to search for clues as to how to deal with whatever was up there. Then these killings started happening on Owlshead Mountain. We had to find out if it was the same thing happening all over again."

She looked at REECE and RAYA, apologetically. "We needed you to investigate without any preconceptions. If you knew all about the deaths on Clastenbury Mountain, we feared you'd jump to the wrong conclusion. I always suspected that this was something different, and I was right."

IRENE's excuse did not make REECE and RAYA particularly happy. Yes, they had been warned that there was something dangerous on the mountain, but they didn't like feeling as though they were an experiment... or bait.

REECE cooly asked if she could tell them anything more about the thing on Clastenbury Mountain. "It was big. I don't remember much about what it looked like, but I do remember the prints it left behind. They were a good three or four feet in diameter, and roughly the same shape as a sheep's hoof. Cloven, I guess you'd say."

They discussed the thing on Clastenbury a bit more, then REECE described the crustacean/insect thing they encountered on Owlshead Mountain. IRENE was dumbfounded. It was REECE's belief that the creature he talked to wasn't from this Earth. "They're not from around here."

"If they are from here," said RAYA, "the people polluting the oceans have a lot to answer for!"

IRENE wasn't particularly happy with R Cell interacting with something from another plane of existence, but she agreed with REECE that they didn't seem to have much choice. "I hope they can help us," she said. "But don't trust them. Be very, very careful."