Scenario Author: John Tynes
Scenario Publisher: Pagan Publishing, in the Delta Green rule book
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: February 21, 2004
Game System: Arc Dream's One Role Engine (ORE)
Keeper: Allan Goodall
Characters: Nicholas Connelly, codename MICHAEL (Jason Gallagher); Joshua Frost, codename MORGAN (Jimmy Pope); Carson Kovac, codename MAYA (Alana Goodall)
Spoiler Warning: This scenario is taken from the Delta Green rule 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.
Important note: As an experiment, the group was using a different set of rules for this scenario. The One Roll Engine (ORE) is the game system used in Arc Dream Publishing's Godlike and Wild Talents games. Godlike is a gritty, "realistic" superhero roleplaying game set in World War II. It is written by Greg Stoltz (Atlas Games' Unknown Armies) and Dennis Detwiller (lots of Pagan Publishing stuff, including Delta Green). Wild Talents is a modern superhero roleplaying game, with the standard background set in the Godlike universe. (Full disclosure: Allan Goodall writes for Arc Dream.)
ORE is a dice pool system, with an elegant combat subsystem that resolves gunfire, damage, and hit locations in a single die roll. A set of conversion rules for Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green, called Cthulhulike and written by Shane Ivey, are available on the Godlike web site. Dennis Detwiller wrote NEMESIS, a modern horror game using the ORE, and has conversion information for Call of Cthulhu. NEMESIS came out after Cthulhulike, though both are compatable and Cthulhulike is useful for converting existing Call of Cthulhu scenarios. NEMESIS is available as a free download.
The phone call from ALPHONSE was short and simple, "You are cordially invited to a night at the opera. A room has been booked for you at the Wyndham hotel in Nashville, Tennessee for tomorrow evening." An invitation to "a night at the opera" was the Delta Green code phrase for a new mission, telling the agent when ALPHONSE would contact them with more information. All three agents, MICHAEL, MORGAN, and MAYA, received this message within a half hour of each other. They packed that night and headed out the next day.
MICHAEL flew from Washington to Nashville, arriving at the hotel just after 2:30 in the afternoon. MORGAN drove from Atlanta and joined him about an hour later. The last to arrive was MAYA, who drove all the way from New Orleans in her Mini Cooper. She got to the hotel at almost exactly 5:00 p.m. As they arrived, each agent was given a key to the room. They were sharing a single room with two double beds and a couch. They would have to flip a coin to see who slept on the couch.
ALPHONSE phoned the room at precisely 7:00 p.m. They were to go the next day to the Knoxville, Tennessee, FBI field office. They were to meet with Special-Agent-in-Charge James Derringer. Derringer was a Delta Green "friendly". He had come across something he thought was of interest to Delta Green. After he hung up, MICHAEL complained that the trip to Knoxville was another 3 hours and that it would have been more efficient to send them there in the first place. ALPHONSE had given them no indication as to why he had sent them to Nashville.
They arrived at the Knoxville FBI headquarters shortly before lunch. MAYA had her beloved Mini stored away in long term parking at the airport in Nashville. They took MORGAN's sedan, but he allowed MAYA to drive.
They walked up to the reception area of the FBI office and MICHAEL introduced himself. Derringer came out shortly thereafter and shook hands with the agents. He took them back to an interrogation room. The room was empty except for a table, several chairs, and a VCR. The room's vide camera had been disconnected, so that their session would be private. Derringer picked up a video tape and slipped it into the machine.
"This is a gas station surveillance tape. It was taken at a station outside Huntsville, Alabama, six days ago." He warned the agents that what they were about to see was disturbing. He started the tape, and an image appeared on the 21 inch television screen.
The silent, grainy picture showed the counter of a gas station with an attendant behind it. Someone walked up to the counter. There was a short conversation and then the attendant held up his hands in an "I can't help you" gesture. The person before him was a young adult male. He seemed to be in some discomfort. He spoke. He became agitated. He threw a punch to the attendant's head. The young man's fist crumpled the attendant's skull and ripped it from the attendant's shoulders. The decapitated body stood for a second, pumping arterial blood from the neck, then collapsed. The young man stood, stunned. A few seconds went by before he moved. He ripped open the cash register and took the money. He ran out of the picture. Less than a minute later he reappeared carrying several bottles of Tylenol, aspirin and ibuprofen. He ran out of the building. Derringer stopped the tape.
He explained that the suspect was Billy Ray Spivey, an eighteen year old from Groversville, Tennessee, a town half way between Nashville and Knoxville. He was captured three days ago, on March 15. Spivey was in the interrogation room next door, under armed guard. A Georgia state trooper apprehended him after coming across the suspect at a gas station in western Georgia. Spivey wrecked the trooper's riot gun before the officer shot him four times point-blank in the chest with his pistol. It was barely enough to drop Spivey.
Derringer was able to piece together some of what happened before Spivey's crime spree. The young man disappeared from his home in Groversville on March 1. He reappeared two days later, with no memory of what happened. On March 5 he had some sort of seizure. His father attempted to hold down the younger Spivey. The boy lashed out, punching his father in the chest. His fist went right through his father's chest cavity, killing him instantly. Distraught, Spivey fled his house and ran down the street towards downtown Groversville.
In Groversville Spivey robbed the Sinclair gas station. He took $65 and several bottles of aspirin. The attendant said that Spivey wasn't armed, but he was intimidated after Spivey destroyed the counter with his bare hands. Spivey stole the attendants car and took off down highway 135.
Spivey went on a minor crime spree over the next several days. He robbed gas stations in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, taking money, painkillers, and food. Those he robbed said he was manic, that he had no real sense of what he was doing. He seemed to be in considerable pain.
The FBI was called in when the Spivey killed the gas station attendant in Georgia. Since he had crossed state lines, the FBI was called in. That's when Derringer took over the case. Derringer didn't explain how he knew about Delta Green, but he knew enough to contact the organization after he saw the gas station video tape. An FBI agent was on the scene shortly after the Georgia state trooper wounded Spivey. Spivey was taken in, drugged, and examined.
X-rays, blood and spinal fluid samples appeared normal, except for elevated levels of adrenelin in Spivey's blood stream. However tissue samples told a far different story. Muscle tissue in his arms, legs, and chest had been replaced by something... strange. The strange material looked outwardly like muscle tissue, but it possessed a number of non-human characteristics. It was unusually resistant to damage and capable of rapid regeneration. It gave Spivey incredible strength, though that strength was somewhat limited as his skeleton appeared to be normal. Further examination of his body showed that Spivey had been operated upon, extensively. There were numerous scars. They were impossible to see with the naked eye, as the incisions were made close to the strange tissue.
It was obvious why Derringer called in Delta Green, but MICHAEL was curious as to why their cell was given the mission. Derringer said that Groversville was the site of some well publicized stories of strange lights in the sky and reports of cattle mutilations. Derringer was told that the agents had some experience in this area.
The agents went to see Spivey. He was chained and manacled to a strong, metal chair. He was obviously drugged. Three FBI agents with M16A2 assault rifles stood guard. MICHAEL, MAYA, MORGAN and Derringer squeezed into the room.
MAYA began questioning him. Spivey answered from a drug haze, slipping from subject to subject. He was sorry about his dad, he didn't mean to hurt his dad. He was sorry if he hurt anyone. He wanted the pain to stop. MORGAN joined in the interrogation and conducted a physical examination of Spivey. MORGAN found out that Spivey hadn't urinated or defecated since he returned from his disappearence. Though he was relatively lucid, given his condition and the drugs, Spivey couldn't tell them anything about what happened to him during his period of "missing time".
MORGAN applied a strong local anesthetic to Spivey's arm. It did nothing to ease his pain.
The questioning took on a decidedly unorthodox tone, at least compared to the usual FBI interogation. MAYA asked, "Has anyone been talking to you, or telling you what to do... have you seen any doors?"
MICHAEL added, "Have you felt compelled to count common objects?"
They asked him about the cattle mutilations in Groversville. He shook his head to each of these questions, and muttered once more about wanting the pain to go away.
The agents decided to show Spivey the gas station video tape. Derringer didn't think it was a good idea, but he relented. They played the tape. Spivey watched and became agitated, crying that he didn't mean to hurt anyone. His chains began to bend. He was starting to break free! As the FBI guard levelled their assault rifles, MORGAN injected Spivey. Spivey calmed down and slipped into unconsciousness. The M-cell agents left the room, followed by Derringer.
MORGAN asked for Spivey's medical records. Derringer handed them over. MORGAN looked through them. There was nothing foreign — like metal, plastics, or ceramics — in Spivey's body. He appeared normal, except for the strange tissue.
Derringer suggested that the Delta Green agents should head to Groversville to begin the investigation right away. If asked, they could say they were FBI agents investigating a drug ring in the town. Derringer would send them any information he found out on his end. The agents shook his hand and headed to Groversville.