Scenario Author: John Tynes
Scenario Publisher: Pagan Publishing, in the Delta Green rule book
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: March 6, 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.
The Delta Green agents talked to Special Agent James Derringer on the way out of the Knoxville, TN FBI office. Derringer reiterated that they could call on him for help if they needed it. As a courtesy, he would phone Sheriff Dan Oakley, of the town of Groversville, and tell him to expect the agents. Derringer would add credence to the agent's cover story that they were investigating a drug ring in the small northern Tennessee town. They thanked Derringer and left.
They jumped into Agent MORGAN's car, with Agent MAYA driving. Before leaving Knoxville they headed to the U-Stor-It public storage facility in the city's outskirts. Agent ALPHONSE had overnighted a key to storage unit #129. This was the Knoxville "green box".
A "green box" is a location containing supplies left over from previous Delta Green missions. Instead of disposing of items purchased specially for an operation, or taking them home with them — which, in any case, would be prohibitive if they didn't drive to the city — agents would put the items into storage for other agents to use. Many cities in the country, maybe even throughout the world, had a "green box". When a "green box" is created, the key or locker combination is forwarded to ALPHONSE, who in turn made sure that the rental for the storage was paid. The "green box" could be as small as a bus station locker or as large as a garage. There was no telling what could be inside one.
U-Stor-It Public Storage was protected by a chain link fence topped with razor wire in a commercial part of town. A keypad code, also provided by ALPHONSE, was needed to enter the facility. Unit #129 was in an air conditioned part of the storage facility, located near the back of the single large building. The Knoxville "green box" was a 5 foot by 10 foot unit with a roll-up metal door. The key fit into a good quality metal padlock. The agents opened the "green box".
Inside they found a stash tucked into the corner of the mostly empty unit. The stash consisted of five boxes of 9mm hollow-point ammunition, a dissection kit, a first aid kit with all of the gauze and most of the adhesive tape missing, and a box of glass flasks filled with clear liquid. The label on the flasks, and the box, said that they contained 18 molar hydrochloric acid. The box originally held 6 flasks. Five flasks remained. The agents decided to take the ammunition and the acid. MORGAN already had a dissection kit and the group had a better stocked first aid kit. They locked the "green box". On the way to the interstate, they stopped at a Wal-Mart. MORGAN found a large padded fanny pack — specifically designed for carrying digital cameras — that would allow him to carry a flask of acid with relative safety. They jumped back in the car and headed to Groversville.
Groversville was a little under two hours away. They took the I-40 westbound towards Nashville. On the west side of Cookeville they got off the interstate and headed north on highway 135. Highway 135 wound past several farms before it topped a high ridge overlooking a small town. This was Groversville, just inside the Jackson County line.
MAYA drove into town. The first business they passed inside the town limits was Sinclair Gas, the first stop on Billy Ray Spivey's robbery spree. They drove around the town, which didn't take long. They found the town hall, which also housed the local library. Nearby was the sheriff's office. The only place to stay in town was Merle's Shut Eye, a bare bones motor inn that looked to be roughly equivalent to a Motel 6. They briefly discussed staying in Cookeville but decided on the Shut Eye. It wasn't the Hyatt Regency, but it wasn't the Bates Motel, either. They went into the office and asked for two rooms. Agents MICHAEL and MORGAN would stay in room #5, which had two double beds, and agent MAYA would stay next door in room #6, which had a single queen-sized bed. It was about 3:30 p.m. when they headed for the sheriff's office.
The administrative assistant seemed a little ditzy, but efficient. The sheriff was in his office, so she showed them in. Dan Oakley was an affable man, perhaps slightly more at home glad-handing the local constituents than arresting the local miscreants. His midsection suggested that he hadn't done anything more strenuous than arresting drunken teenagers after Friday night football games in several years. He greeted the agents warmly enough, but with enough distance to ensure that they understood that Groversville was his town.
MICHAEL introduced the Delta Green members as agents Connelly, Frost, and Kovac, implying that the latter two were from the FBI, and not the CDC and IRS, respectively. There were two visitors chairs in his office. Sheriff Oakley motioned them to sit, but the agents preferred to stand. Oakley settled into his comfortable leather chair. He told them about Derringer's call. MICHAEL reiterated that they were in town investigating a local drug ring. Oakley wished them luck, but didn't believe their investigation would find anything. While he admitted that the death of Spivey's father was mysterious and that he attributed Spivey's unnatural strength to PCP, he denied that there was a drug ring operating in his town.
It wasn't long before MORGAN turned the conversation to the topic of local cattle mutilations. Oakley failed to see a connection between dead cows and drug rings. MORGAN stated that they were planning to check out all the angles. Oakley said that there wasn't much to it and that the stories were overblown. He figured the dead animals were the work of feral dogs. MORGAN pushed him for more information.
"I suppose if you want to waste your time," said the sheriff, "I can give you the name of some farmers." He suggested that they talk to Jeff Owens and Margaret Allison, farm owners that lived just outside of the town limits.
The agents sensed that the sheriff was a dead end. They asked if they could see his copy of the file on Billy Ray Spivey, just in case any details were overlooked. Oakley said he would have it for them in the morning. They thanked him for his time and left the sheriff's office. On the way out of the building they passed by one of the deputies, who greeted them with a friendly, "Howya doin."
The next stop was the town library. MICHAEL wanted to check local newspapers for reports of cattle mutilations and lights in the sky. The library was small, but well stocked for a town of its size. There wasn't much to do in Groversville, so the townsfolk made sure that the library was reasonably funded. Groversville didn't have a paper of its own, but there was a month's supply of Cookeville and Nashville papers on hand.
It was MORGAN that first uncovered something of interest. In the entertainment section of a Cookeville paper he found a heading that said, "Local Town Roasted by Letterman". The story explained that, once again, the town of Groversville was the butt of jokes on Late Night with David Letterman. According to the short article, Groversville had achieved some minor national fame for being the home of UFO kooks and bigfoot hunters. The term Letterman used was a "town of mooks". Curiously, there was no mention of strange or paranormal activity in the local and regional news sections. "This town covers itself up," muttered MORGAN.
MORGAN went to the front desk and asked the middle-aged librarian, Cynthia West, if she knew anything about the weird occurrences in the town. She immediately grew suspicious of MORGAN's motives. He explained that he was a federal agent investigating the town. Surprisingly, she was relieved to hear this. A number of local farmers had been the victims of animal mutilations. Others had seen strange lights in the sky. The sheriff had investigated the incidents, but nothing came of them. Telephone calls to newspapers were met with derision, the callers openly laughed at by the people on the other end of the phone. Eventually the Nashville newspapers picked up the story of a video — purportedly made by Groversville residents — making its way around the Internet. It was this video that gave rise to the jokes on late night television. West had a collection of videotapes, as she was documenting the town's defamation in the media.
MORGAN sat down and watched a tape of the Letterman episode. It began with a clip from the "Groversville UFO video". Two stereotypical hicks talked about seeing a UFO. They then showed the images they "captured" with their video camera. The UFO in the video was laughably bad, in the tradition of silver-painted pie plates on a string. The only reason the video made any stir at all was that the hicks seemed honestly certain that the nation would take them seriously. Letterman traded jokes with Paul Schaffer at Groversville's expense. The tape ended with Letterman calling the hicks a "couple of mooks", and referred to Groversville as a "town of mooks".
MORGAN asked West if she recognized any of the people on the tape. She said she didn't. Given the small, intimate nature of Groversville, MORGAN doubted that the people on the tape were local. West explained that ever since the video aired they had received visits from snickering college students and fringe UFO buffs. Serious news media gave the town a wide berth.
The librarian was visibly upset about the town being the butt of national jokes. By this point MORGAN was joined by MICHAEL and MAYA, who heard MORGAN talking to the librarian. (MAYA also found reference to the Letterman jokes in another paper, but nothing else.) Ms. West gave them the names of Margaret Allison and Jeremy Dark, two farm families that had mutilated animals. She also mentioned that there was someone else investigating the matter, but she wasn't sure of his reliability. The investigator was Scott Adams, an editor for a Nashville UFO newsletter called Watch the Skies!. He had been in town for a couple of weeks investigating the story. At first she didn't trust him, but he seemed to be a genuine reporter. She hadn't seen him in three days. She still had a copy of his business card, which she copied for them. The agents thanked her for her time, and promised to investigate the matter thoroughly.
MORGAN called the number on Adams' business card. He got a cell phone voice mailbox. He didn't leave a message. MICHAEL looked at him and asked him why he didn't say anything.
"I don't leave messages," replied MORGAN.
MICHAEL sighed and called the number himself. He asked Adams to call him as soon as possible, and gave Adams his FBI cell phone number. MORGAN called ALPHONSE and asked him to look up information about this Scott Adams. ALPHONSE asked if it was urgent, but MORGAN told him no, that receiving the information the next day would be fine.
The agents discussed the Groversville incidents and the lack of serious media coverage. MICHAEL spoke for all of them when he said, "I suspect this is disinformation."
It wasn't quite evening yet, so they decided to drive out to Margaret Allison's farm. A couple of pickups were parked in the yard. They were greeted at the kitchen door by a young man. He turned out to be Michael Allison, Margaret's son. He showed them in. Margaret was fixing supper. The agents asked her about her animal mutilations. It was only one animal, a goat, found cut open on January 2, 2004. What made the incident noteworthy was the surgical precision of the cuts and the comparative lack of blood. The agents asked her if she had seen any lights in the sky. She and her son looked at each other. Michael Allison admitted that he had seen lights, but he hadn't reported it because he was sure no one would believe them.
Agent MICHAEL reassured them by saying, "The FBI takes it seriously."
The young man said he saw lights in the sky that night, flying by at a fairly low altitude, soon after New Year. MICHAEL asked if the lights were flying below 500 feet, the FAA minimum altitude. The young man wasn't sure, but he didn't think so.
Margaret Allison mentioned that a reporter, Scott Adams, had stopped by to see them. They gave him the same information about a week ago, but they hadn't seen them since. The agents asked if they had seen the Letterman episode. They had. Apparently no one in town recognized the two "Groversville residents" on the video. When asked if they knew of any other farmers that had problems, the Allisons mentioned Jeff Owens and Jeremy Dark. Owens raised cows, Dark raised chickens. The Allisons grew soy beans and had a small goat herd. All of the farmers were steamed that no one, including the sheriff, seemed to take them seriously. The Delta Green agents thanked them, and MICHAEL gave the Allisons his FBI telephone number.
By this point it was 6:30 p.m. and the agents were hungry. They drove to the R. R. Diner and ate supper there. About the best thing that could be said about the meal was that the sweetened iced tea was sweet and the water that came with the meal was free.
They went back to their rooms. MAYA did an Internet search on Watch The Skies! Sure enough, it was an actual UFO newsletter out of Nashville. It was atypical of the genre as it stayed clear of bold statements and adopted a "you decide" writing style. MAYA googled Groversville, TN in connection with UFO sightings. All she found were more references to the obviously hoax video and more laughter at the town's expense. Apparently "serious" UFO journals were completely ignoring the town.
It was night, now, and the agents decided to search for lights in the sky themselves, at least until it was time to hit the sack. They drove out to a field near a farm, taking their video camera, field glasses, and a camouflage-painted telescope.
At 11 p.m. they were rewarded by spotting three lights moving from west to east, low on the horizon. These lights were reminiscent of the UFO they saw in Maine in late autumn of 2003. MORGAN captured the lights on video tape. They took to the road and tried to follow the lights. Two hours of fruitless searching left them tired and lost. They would have to look for the lights another night. It took then an hour to find their way back to Groversville. MORGAN copied the images onto his laptop and e-mailed them to ALPHONSE. The agents went to bed. MICHAEL set the alarm for early the next morning.
MICHAEL got the agents up early the next morning. They showered, dressed, and headed out to Jeff Owens' farm at 8:00 a.m.
They drove up the dirt road and knocked at the door of the farm house. Owens' wife answered the door and told them that her husband was over in the cow shed. They headed for the shed, walking through mud and worse. MAYA complained the whole way that she was ruining her shoes. "What is this crap?" she asked.
The two men answered, "Yes!" in unison.
Owens was in his late forties. He was more practically dressed in boots and bib overalls. The agents identified themselves and asked him about his dead cows. He readily answered their questions. He had three cows mutilated on his farm. One was found New Year's Day, another on January 4, and the third on January 8 of this year. Neither he nor his wife had heard anything, as they tended to go to bed fairly early. He hadn't seen any lights in the sky, but heard that others had. He was hesitant to name names, due to the bad press the town was getting. He didn't see the Letterman video, but talk around the town told him that the people in it weren't from around there. Some folks tried calling and e-mailing CBS to get the facts straightened out, but nothing ever came of it.
Owens said that the UFO reporter, Scott Adams, had been by to see him about a week ago. He last saw Adams in town four days ago, on March 14. Adams told Owens to contact him in town if he had any more information. Adams was staying at Merle's Shut Eye Motel, room #9. MORGAN pulled out the video of the flying lights that they shot the previous night. Owens watched the video, shrugged, and said that they looked like lights. He hadn't seen anything like that himself. When asked about drug rings, Owens said that kids in town might smoke the occasional weed, but their drug of choice was beer. The agents thanked him for his time and left.
They drove back to Merle's Shut Eye and entered the office. MICHAEL introduced himself to the woman at the desk and asked if she knew anything about the man in room #9. She knew only that his name was Scott Adams and that she hadn't seen him in four days. His room had a "do not disturb" sign on it, which had been there for three days. He was paid up until the end of the week, so she wasn't too concerned as yet. MICHAEL asked her for a key to the room. She told him that she would need to see a search warrant. MICHAEL explained that since she was the manager, she could let him in without a warrant. While true, she remained unconvinced and nervously asked, once more, for a warrant. MICHAEL sighed and said he'd be back later after he went to see the sheriff. They politely thanked her for her time.
MICHAEL had no intention of obtaining a search warrant. Noting that the office did not have a direct line of sight to room #9, he had MAYA pick the lock while MORGAN acted as look out. While MAYA fiddled with the lock, MICHAEL inspected the door and the window. He couldn't see in the room at all, as something was covering the window. Five minutes went past and MAYA still couldn't budge the door. MORGAN took a break from lookout duty and searched the front of the motel room. He could just barely smell an unpleasant odour emanating from beneath the door. MAYA finally realized that she had unlocked the door a couple of minutes earlier but the door wouldn't budge because something was blocking it. MICHAEL helped her push it open. and the three agents slipped inside.
The room was filled with the smell of decaying flesh. The door had been blocked by a towel that sealed the crack between the bottom of the door and the carpet. MICHAEL tried flicking the light switch, but the lights wouldn't come on. They pulled out flashlights. MORGAN shifted the fanny pack with the flask of acid, and pulled out rubber gloves, a plastic bag, and tongs from his CDC kit. He bagged the towel. MAYA and MICHAEL closed the door behind them and searched the room from the area of the closed door, guns drawn.
The room was typical of those at the Shut Eye. There was a single queen-sized bed on the right hand side of the room, facing a short set of drawers and a TV along the left wall. At the back of the room was a counter with a coffee maker. Above and as wide as the counter was a mirror. To the left of the counter was the door to the bathroom. On the bed sat an Apple Powerbook laptop. One wire ran to a power outlet and another ran to the telephone jack. Strewn about the floor were junk food containers. A set of clothes had been thrown into a corner. MICHAEL saw that towels had been duct taped to the window. He pulled down the towels. The curtains still gave them privacy, but the windows now let in a little more diffuse light.
MORGAN pulled out a set of plastic surgical booties for each of the investigators and had them slip them onto their shoes. MAYA looked at him, incredulously. "Why couldn't you have pulled these out when we were at the farm?"
"These are for crime scene investigations," answered MORGAN, "not walking out to the barn."
"Ruining a pair of shoes is a crime!"
"Let's just find the body and worry about the shoes later," said MICHAEL. "There's an expense account. Write them off."
"Gucci, here we come," giggled MAYA. "Hello, Prada! Bad FBI agent!"
The agents searched the room. There was no sign of a dead body in the living area. MORGAN and MICHAEL peaked around the corner into the bathroom. The remains of Scott Adams lay in the bathtub. MORGAN and MICHAEL moved up to the bathtub, while MAYA stayed in the other room and checked out the laptop.
Adams had apparently committed suicide. His wrists were slit. Dried blood ran down the side of the tub and into the murky water. There was no sign of whatever cut open his wrists, but it probably fell into the tub. It was obvious from the condition of the body that he'd been there for at least a couple of days. MORGAN inspected the corpse without touching it. He looked at the corpse's head. There was a bulge on it. A closer look showed that it was the same colour and texture as the strange tissue on Billy Ray Spivey's chest. MORGAN looked closer. The bulge moved. He and MICHAEL quickly jumped out of the bathroom. MORGAN contacted the CDC and called for a containment team.
MAYA, meanwhile, checked Adams' laptop. He had uploaded a file to the Watch the Skies! FTP server. She found the file on the laptop. MAYA and MICHAEL read it while MORGAN talked to his colleagues in Atlanta. The file was labelled "Groversville Notebook". It had several sections, each with it's own heading:
The CDC team was mobilizing. MORGAN hung up his cell phone and walked back into the bathroom. He inspected the corpse. Something moved in the water. He called for the other agents. Out of the corner of his eye he saw that the bulge on Adams' head was missing. MICHAEL and MAYA came into the bathroom. Looking around the tub, MORGAN saw the mass of strange tissue that had been the bulge on Adams' head slither into the tub.
MICHAEL saw the water ripple in the tub as something substantial shifted. He let out a warning as a large mass of tissue rose up from the water. It expanded all the way up to the ceiling, an ever shifting blob of flesh-coloured matter. It had no definite shape. One moment it was almost spherical, the next it was a pillar that exuded thick pseudopods.
MICHAEL, his pistol already out, fired at the centre of the mass. The bullet apparently had no effect. MAYA screamed, and ran for the other room. She ducked behind the bed, and lay in a fetal position. MICHAEL fired again. The bullet bounced off the creature. MORGAN reached for the flask of acid in his fanny pack.
The tissue creature swung a massive pseudopod at MICHAEL's head. MICHAEL dodged out of the way. MORGAN uncorked the flask and sprayed some acid at the thing in the tub. The acid missed and hit the wall above the tub. MICHAEL fired two more shots, with no visible effect. A pseudopod sliced toward him, but he slipped out of the way.
MORGAN threw more acid. The liquid hit the mass of flesh squarely in the middle. The surface of the creature steamed, and it thrashed in apparent agony. MICHAEL kept the thing's attention focused on him. It thrashed out a pseudopod at MICHAEL, but the agent ducked out of the way. MORGAN hit it with more acid. The mass of flesh seemed to shrink. It extruded a long pseudopod and tried to hit both agents. It missed MORGAN. MICHAEL avoided a blow that hit the wall, smashing a large hole in the sheetrock.
MORGAN threw the last of his acid. The tissue mass writhed, then collapsed onto the floor and into the tub. It twitched a few times before it stopped moving altogether. It still steamed from the acid.
While MORGAN inspected the tissue, MICHAEL went into the other room. He grabbed MAYA as she sobbed, dragged her to her feet, and pulled her out of the room. The daylight started to bring her to her senses.
MICHAEL looked around and saw a TV news crew deploying from a white van. The crew were scanning the rooms of the motel, filming. MICHAEL recognized the logo on the television camera and the talking head with the microphone. They were from the tabloid paranormal cable show, Phenomen-X. He dragged MAYA back into the room. MICHAEL slammed the door behind them. MORGAN came out of the bathroom, and MICHAEL told him about Phenomen-X
MAYA regained her senses, if not her composure. "How long is it going to take this fucking containment team to get here?" she cried.
MICHAEL grabbed his Delta Green cell phone and called ALPHONSE. He quickly explained their situation. He told ALPHONSE about the file they found on the laptop. "We haven't had time to deliberate over the meaning of the file," explained MICHAEL.
"Due to being attacked by an octopus from a bloody bath tub!" cried MAYA.
ALPHONSE asked if the situation had stabilized, and MICHAEL said that it had. ALPHONSE suggested that they call off the CDC for the time being. MORGAN got on his cell phone and called off the containment team, explaining that it had been a false alarm. His people sounded less than pleased. MORGAN nevertheless had them stand down, though he kept them on alert.
ALPHONSE finished his conversation with MICHAEL by saying he was FedEx-ing a package to them. A lab tech working for Delta Green was still analyzing the tissue sample. The tech did, however, isolate a chemical that could detect the presence of the tissue. ALPHONSE was sending them a package with the chemical. MICHAEL relayed this information to the other agents.
"Well, we're pretty sure it's here! Thanks for the help," said MAYA, tersely.
"Sorry, but MAYA is still a bit incoherent since the attack of the creature," explained MICHAEL.
"I can cohere these things just fine!" argued MAYA.
MICHAEL signed off with ALPHONSE as MORGAN went over to MAYA and administered an intravenous sedative.
The wail of approaching sirens caught their attention.