Scenario Author: Adam Scott Glancy and John Tynes
Scenario Publisher: Pagan Publishing, in the Delta Green rule book
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: June 4, 2005
Game System: Chaosium's Basic RolePlaying (BRP)
Keeper: Allan Goodall
Characters: Nicholas Connelly a.k.a. Robert Benson, codename MICHAEL (Jason Gallagher); Joshua Frost a.k.a. Morgan Lancaster, codename MORGAN (Jimmy Pope); Carson Kovac a.k.a. Maya Angelou, 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.
Agent MORGAN received a telephone call on his encrypted Delta Green cell phone at his home in Atlanta, Georgia. When he answered it, a male voice said, "You are cordially invited to a night at the opera. Arrangements have been made for you to meet your escort at Lambert Airport, St. Louis, Missouri. Be seeing you." A short while later Agent MAYA in New Orleans, Louisiana and Agent MICHAEL in Washington, D.C. received the same message. When MAYA received the message, she hung up the phone as the voice on the other end was saying, "Be see..."
They went online and checked their encrypted Delta Green e-mail accounts. A cell had e-mailed them their itinerary, complete with e-ticket. Agent MORGAN was booked on a Delta Airlines flight for St. Louis, leaving at 7:57 a.m. and arriving at 8:35 a.m. St. Louis time. Agent MAYA was also booked on Delta, leaving New Orleans at 6:20 a.m. and arriving in St. Louis at 9:57 a.m. Agent MICHAEL had the longest trip. He had an American Airlines flight, leaving Dulles International Airport at 7:27 a.m. and arriving in St. Louis at 11:50 a.m. St. Louis time, after a stop in Chicago.
MAYA phoned MORGAN to find out when he would arrive in St. Louis. She asked the CDC investigator where they should meet. "Meet you in the bar," said MORGAN.
"Sounds like a winner!" replied MAYA.
After MAYA hung up, MORGAN contacted MICHAEL to find out when he would arrive. MICHAEL grumbled that he wouldn't get there until about noon. MAYA and MORGAN would have to kill a couple of hours at the airport.
The agents packed their bags, made arrangements for taxi pickups, and went to bed cursing the short notice they were given.
It took MAYA forty minutes to get off the plane and retrieve her luggage. Once clear of the arrivals gate, she looked for the nearest bar. Sitting there was Agent MORGAN. They greeted each other with a friendly hug. MAYA settled down with a drink. It was early in the morning, but she had been awake for more than six and a half hours.
Forty-five minutes later, they noticed a tall African-American man wandering around looking for someone. He wore a well made business suit. MORGAN noticed that the suit couldn't quite hide the bulge of a firearm under his left arm. MORGAN also noticed that his footwear was the thick-soled, practical shoe of a cop. He suspected that this was their contact. MORGAN got up from the table and walked over to the man. MORGAN said, "Hi, I just got in on Delta."
The man smiled and said, "You must be one of the people I was looking for." He showed his FBI identification. "I'm Special Agent Louis Gaston," he said in a faint Creole accent. "I will be your escort to this evening's opera."
MORGAN confirmed that he was part of the group Gaston was sent to meet. He introduced himself as "Morgan Lancaster". MORGAN brought Gaston over to meet Agent MAYA.
The FBI agent shook her hand, "Special Agent Louis Gaston."
She hadn't prepared a cover identity for herself. She shook the man's hand. "Maya Angelou," she said, with a noticeable Cajun accent. Gaston said nothing, though he did raise an eyebrow.
They made small talk for more than half an hour; Gaston was careful not to discuss the case out in the open. MAYA discovered that he was born in New Orleans and grew up not far from where she lived. The FBI moved him around the country, and he had now been with the St. Louis office for almost ten years, but he still hadn't quite lost his south Louisiana accent.
Agent MORGAN was the first to notice Agent MICHAEL approaching the bar. "Ah, MICHAEL's here," he said.
MICHAEL walked up to the table. MORGAN introduced Special Agent Louis Gaston. Without missing a beat, MICHAEL said, "I'm Robert Benson."
Gaston raised another eyebrow, but simply shook MICHAEL's hand and repeated, "I will be your escort for this evening's opera."
Louis Gaston walked them out of the terminal. Parked in a "no parking" spot was a stretch limo guarded by two men in sporty windbreakers who looked very much like FBI agents. One of the FBI agents opened the limo's trunk and stowed the Delta Green agents' luggage. Gaston opened the passenger door for the Delta Green agents and they slipped inside. MICHAEL and MORGAN sat beside each other, facing the front of the car. MAYA sat facing MICHAEL, and Gaston sat beside her. The two other FBI agents got into the front seat. The car pulled out of its spot and left the airport. Gaston touched a button and raised the partition between the driver's compartment and the passenger area.
Now that they had some privacy, Gaston partially explained why they were there. They were en route to "the opera house", a mansion owned by Colonel Larry Daniels, U.S. Air Force, retired. Daniels was on the board of directors of McDonnell Douglas, the aerospace giant. Daniels threw a party — an orgy, actually — the night before. Nine people at the party died in an explosion. The only survivor was Antony DiTorrio... United States Senator Antony DiTorrio.
"Do we know why the senator was there?" asked MICHAEL.
"Yes," said Gaston. "Since his divorce, the senator had developed a taste for 'party girls'. There were several such 'girls' at the party. The forensics people found small traces of illicit drugs, too, though we don't have the tox screen back on DiTorrio."
A U.S. senator involved in a sex-and-drugs party where nine people died was big news, but MORGAN didn't see the Delta Green connection. "That's the senator's problem," he said. "What's our problem."
"I prefer to wait until we get there, and let you see for yourself," replied Gaston.
The dead were Larry Daniels, St. Louis Commissioner Stanley Cable, Neal Beagley, and six women. Gaston described Beagley as a "procurer of refreshments and entertainers". MICHAEL wrote in his notebook, Neal Beagley - pimp and drug dealer. The women were all "party girls". MICHAEL wrote, 6 ho's in his notebook. Half a dozen of Daniels' servants survived because they were in a different wing of the mansion when the explosion took place. DiTorrio was in the hospital with a broken arm and a concussion. He was slipping in and out of consciousness the last time Gaston checked.
MORGAN asked for more information about the explosion, but Gaston said that he wanted to wait until they got to the mansion, so that they could see for themselves.
The FBI agent pulled out a thick file folder and handed it to MICHAEL. The folder was a dossier on Antony DiTorrio. DiTorrio, a Republican, was the senior senator for the great state of Missouri. Although he liked to tell people he was 50 years old, he was actually 58. He got his start in St. Louis politics, having been in the U.S. Congress for 21 years, the last 11 as a senator. He was due for re-election in 2006. DiTorrio was quite influential in the Bush administration; he was appointed Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2001. As far as corruption went, he was clean, though like many senators in both parties he pushed campaign finance restrictions to the limit. His personal life wasn't so clean. Since his quiet, and generous, divorce settlement, DiTorrio developed a taste for high priced call girls. His marriage produced no children. In the folder was a picture of a slim, jowly man, with dyed brown hair. As MICHAEL finished reading a section, he passed the folder to the other agents.
Gaston gave MICHAEL a second folder. This was Larry Daniels' dossier. Daniels went to the Air Force Academy when he was 18, but bad eyesight prevented him from becoming a pilot. Instead, his career took him into administration and procurement, sometimes involving covert operations. After 20 years in the Air Force, Daniels resigned in favor of a lucrative position with McDonnell Douglas. His procurement knowledge helped the company secure a number of important contracts. Eventually Daniels made it to the company's board of directors. There was some suspicion that his black ops work involved running weapons to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, perhaps even after the Soviet pull out, but there was no evidence of anything illegal. Outwardly, Daniels was a model citizen, though there wasn't much documented information on his life post-Air Force.
The car pulled up to a large, walled property in the University City area of west St. Louis. Local police kept throngs of reporters and rubberneckers beyond the property's gates. The limousine was waved through. The grounds were teaming with federal agents from the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, searching for evidence.
"We don't know what caused the explosion," said Gaston. "So far we haven't found any residue of nitrates or synthetic explosives. Because of the people involved, we are treating it as a probable terrorist attack."
The limousine pulled up to the front door of the mansion. Two FBI agents guarded the door. The interior of the house was dim, illuminated only by what little light leaked in through the draperies. "We closed the drapes and blinds throughout most of the house," explained Gaston. "We didn't want anyone with long camera lenses and a treetop perch seeing what was inside. You will understand why when we get inside."
MICHAEL leaned over to MORGAN and asked him for a pair of plastic booties.
"Why?" asked MORGAN.
"We're walking into a crime scene!" replied MICHAEL.
MORGAN pulled booties out of his manpurse and handed them to the Delta Green agents. They slipped them over their shoes, and got out of the limo.
As the agents walked past the door guards and into the mansion's foyer, they detected the smell of burned electrical insulation. When asked about it, Gaston said, "The explosion shorted out a number of appliances and a couple of fuse boxes. This started several small electrical fires, and knocked out the power. The explosion didn't start any fires on its own."
Federal agents inside the mansion walked around with flashlights. Gaston began to ask a nearby FBI agent for flashlights for each of the Delta Green operatives, but when MICHAEL, MORGAN, and MAYA pulled out their own he canceled his request.
M cell played their lights around the foyer. It was a large, open area mostly devoid of furniture. Two sets of curved stairways linked the foyer to either side of a balcony. Several rooms were accessible from the balcony. The floor of the foyer was littered with debris. The debris consisted mostly of glass, furniture bits, and pieces of electronic equipment. Below the balcony was a tape outline on the floor.
MICHAEL asked Gaston about the outline. "That's where we found the senator and his escort. We figure the explosion threw them off the balcony. He landed on top of her, which was probably the only thing that saved his life. He broker her neck."
"Lucky for the senator," said MORGAN. "Not so lucky for the escort."
"Perhaps the escort was the lucky one," commented MICHAEL. He noticed that the balcony's rail was completely intact.
Gaston led the agents to the balcony by way of the left-hand stairway. There was more debris on the balcony, but still no evidence of an explosion. They carefully walked along the balcony as a forensics expert photographed debris and collected samples. Outside the second room was a puddle of vomit. "One of the local cops did that when he saw inside this room," said Gaston. He opened the door for them.
The room was littered with debris. The wall to their right was bowed inward. Hanging in the center of the room was a naked woman. Her right wrist was embedded in the ceiling, as though her wrist and the ceiling were one, seemingly fused together. Her arm had been wrenched violently from its socket. She was dead. There was no immediate sign of what killed her; there were no lacerations or contusions.
"That's why I called your organization," said Gaston.
"Well, this looks familiar," said MAYA.
"Remember the New York case?" asked MICHAEL.
MORGAN nodded. "I remember New York."
Gaston said, "You've seen this sort of thing before? Looks like they sent the right people." He gestured to the door. "There's more to see next door."
As they walked out of the room, memories of past cases reminded MAYA of the sonic gun they found in Rumford, Maine. She asked MICHAEL if he had any luck making it work. He shook his head and told her it was destroyed. "Your junior science kit gave out on you, did it?" MICHAEL only scowled in response.
"This was the epicenter of the blast," said Gaston, as he ushered them into the next room. There wasn't a stick of furniture left intact. The room had little in the way of glass, plastic, or wood fragments. Apparently the force of the blast destroyed the contents of the room, unleashing the hail of shrapnel found elsewhere. In the center of the room was a tape outline of where they found another body. Embedded in the wall was the body of a naked woman. Her arms and head hung limp from the top half of a lifeless torso. The rest of the woman was, presumably, somewhere on the other side of the wall. She looked like the wall and her flesh had melted together.
"Drywall hoola-hoop," said MICHAEL, as he stared at the woman.
Gaston pointed to the tape outline. "That's where we found Daniel's body. He was kneeling on the floor, naked. He was burned almost beyond recognition. As you can see, there are no scorch marks on the floor. He was holding onto a crystal. The crystal was about the diameter of a quarter, and about six inches long."
"Where is the crystal?" asked MICHAEL.
"It's at Washington University. We're having it analyzed."
MICHAEL looked around the room. He voiced his opinion that they were seeing some sort of "extradimensional impingement". He went about studying the walls to prove or disprove this hunch.
MORGAN asked Gaston to call the morgue and put a halt on the autopsies until he had a chance to attend. Gaston agreed and called the morgue.
MAYA went over to the tape outline. Using a knife, she cut away a sizable chunk of the carpet as evidence. While she was doing that, MORGAN circled the room looking for anything especially "odd".
As he walked around the room, MICHAEL noticed that nothing had penetrated the walls. There were no holes, or tears where the items in the room were flung. It was as though they shot through the walls without touching them. He also discovered that the walls were bowed outward from the force of the explosion. They weren't broken, though. It was more like the drywall had stretched, or melted. There was no sign of the heat that would have been necessary to do that. When he told the other agents about this, MORGAN asked Gaston to have one of their CSIs take away a piece of the wall as evidence.
MICHAEL found the remnants of a stereo pushed up against the wall separating the room from the balcony. Once again, there were no holes in the wall. He asked Gaston to have one of his people cut a hole in the wall. MICHAEL wanted to see between the sheets of drywall.
MAYA walked out of the room and looked around. The next room was Daniels' bedroom. She stepped into it. The room contained a large, four-poster bed, a night table, and a trunk at the foot of the bed. One wall of the bedroom was covered in photographs and certificates. On the night table was a pamphlet. MAYA picked it up with gloved hands. The pamphlet was slickly made. It was titled Your Realizer and You. It was published by the Enolsis Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma. On the cover was a picture of a crystal sitting in cupped hands. She immediately bagged the pamphlet as evidence.
The trunk opened easily. Inside were sets of handcuffs, leather manacles, several floggers, chains, d-rings, colored cotton rope, duct tape, plastic wrap and a particularly large whip. MAYA smiled and closed the trunk. She looked at the bed and found marks, suggesting that handcuffs and/or chains had been used on it.
While MAYA was searching the bedroom, an FBI agent cut a hole in the party-room's wall with a reciprocating saw. MICHAEL looked inside with a flashlight. Stuck on the inside surface of the drywall was a small piece of what appeared to be a circuit board. MICHAEL had the agent cut the drywall around the piece. It looked like it was melted into the drywall. There was no sign of an entrance hole. MICHAEL had his proof of "extradimensional impingement".
As MAYA continued to search Daniels' bedroom, MORGAN joined her. A couple of minutes later MICHAEL walked in with the circuit board. Holding it up, he said, "It's not just people who went through the walls." This explained how the party room's debris got into the rest of the house while leaving the walls intact.
The agents determined there was nothing else of interest in the bedroom. MORGAN moved on to Daniels' study, followed by MAYA and MICHAEL. This was a room they had already passed when Gaston escorted them to the party room. The study was lined with bookshelves. In the center of the study was a desk with a computer on it. Two men in U.S. Air Force uniforms were going through the computer. A stack of writable CDs sat on the desk beside the computer's mouse pad. Gaston followed the agents into the room. He explained that the Air Force men were looking for sensitive information that Daniels might have left in his house as an employee of McDonnell Douglas. The Air Force officers looked up for a moment as Gaston said this, and then went back to work. MICHAEL noted that they weren't wearing gloves or plastic booties. "Amateurs," he whispered to no one in particular.
The Air Force investigators didn't seem the least bit interested in any of Daniels' books. The Delta Green agents knew that was a potentially grave mistake. They each took a different wall and went looking through Daniels' book collection. The collection was, coincidentally, divided into three sections. One section contained classics like Moby Dick and the collected works of Ernest Hemingway. These were mostly unread. Another section contained works of military history. These books were well-thumbed. The third section contained New Age and occult books. These included Aleister Crowley's The Book of the Law, and the Marquis de Sade's One Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom. These books were several years old, but beside them MAYA found several new books about crystals and crystal-related magic. MORGAN remembered The Book of the Law from his "trip" to Austria in 1928; he slipped the book into an evidence bag. MAYA took One Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodom and did the same thing with it.
MICHAEL found another New Age book. This one was titled Inner Science: A Guide to Modern Reality. The author was one Herbert Price, and the book was copyrighted 1962. This edition was only a couple of years old, with a forward written by, "The Living Power of the Enolsis Foundation". It was published by the foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. MICHAEL flipped through the first couple of pages. One page bore an inscription: "To Larry, for more than I can write. – Ron, June 12, 1999". Taped to the page was an old photograph. The photo showed two men, one of indeterminate middle age wearing civilian khakis, a polo shirt, and a Middle Eastern turban, the other in his late twenties and clad in "chocolate chip" desert camouflage fatigues. The younger man had his arm around the older man. MICHAEL recognized the older man from the photographs in Daniels' bedroom. It was likely Daniels himself, only from a decade ago. MICHAEL suspected that the younger man was "Ron". There was a name tag on "Ron's" fatigues but MICHAEL couldn't make it out. Perhaps an FBI forensics expert could enhance the photograph. MICHAEL took the book and the photograph.
The agents spent the better part of the next hour searching the rest of the mansion. They found more debris in the attic and in the basement. They also discovered another bedroom. In there was a pile of clothing where the party-goers had apparently left their clothes as the orgy commenced. The agents matched up the clothes. There were items for four men and six women. There was also an extra pair of women's panties and men's pants. They immediately suspected that two other party-goers survived the blast. The agents looked through wallets and purses, but they didn't find any additional information.
They slipped the extra clothes in large evidence bags. They went back to the study and saw that the Air Force officers were gone. They unhooked the computer tower and slipped all remaining CDs into evidence bags. MICHAEL picked up the computer tower while MORGAN and MAYA carried the other evidence bags.
By this time Gaston was back in the party room directing his people. The agents asked him if he could book a rental car for them. Gaston smiled and said that wouldn't be necessary. He had already requisitioned an FBI car from the motor pool. It was waiting for them downstairs. He booked them hotel rooms, too. Gaston gave them his business card with his cell phone number on it. He told them to contact him, and him alone, whenever they found anything. None of his people knew of M cell's "organization" and he wanted to keep it that way.
Before they left, MICHAEL asked Gaston if he knew who belonged to the extra clothes. Gaston didn't know there was extra clothing, as his people hadn't done anything more than photograph the room. He asked that they hand over the evidence they collected when they were done, as he would need it for any criminal indictments.
The agents stashed the evidence they collected in the trunk of their FBI car. They went back and inspected Daniels' vehicles. He had three cars in the four car garage. MAYA suggested that they do a Department of Motor Vehicles search on Daniels to see how many cars he owned. MICHAEL called it in. In short order they were informed that Daniels owned four vehicles. Missing was a late model, black Mercedes S-class sedan. The agents went back into the mansion.
Daniels' house staff were in another wing of the mansion when the explosion happened. Evidently they weren't invited to the orgy. MICHAEL asked one of the maids where Daniels kept the keys to his cars. She said he kept them in an antique table at the front of the house. In the table's drawer were three sets of keys. The Mercedes' set was not one of them. MICHAEL went upstairs and told Gaston about the car. Gaston phoned in an all-points bulletin on the Mercedes.
Before they climbed into the car, MAYA asked if anyone had a "bug sweeper". None of them did. MAYA wrote a quick note on a piece of paper and passed it around the car. The paper said, "We need a bug sweeper. We need to change rooms. Gaston is nice, but I don't trust him."
As MICHAEL was the most knowledgable member of the cell when it came to "tradecraft", he searched the car for bugs by hand. He didn't find any. MICHAEL phoned the FBI and asked about spy stores in St. Louis. The nearest one was the Q5 Counter Spy Store on Market Street. MICHAEL phoned them. They were open until 7 p.m. that evening. He thanked them and hung up. The agents climbed into the car, and MAYA drove them to the spy store.
They arrived at the store fifteen minutes before closing time. MORGAN walked up to the man behind the counter and said, "Hi. I know you're about to close, but we will be here for a while. We have plastic, and it's good."
The man behind the counter smiled and told them to take their time. They spent more than half an hour browsing the store, but in the end all they bought was a high quality bug sweeper.
MICHAEL went out to the car with the bug sweeper. After an intense search, he found nothing. The car was clean. They got back into the car and MAYA drove them to the hotel. Once they checked into the hotel, MICHAEL swept their rooms for bugs. He didn't find any. Even still, they didn't like the idea of staying in a room that they hadn't booked. They went back downstairs and traded the three rooms for a two-room suite. The clerk was happy to oblige. They went upstairs to their new suite and MICHAEL swept it for bugs. He didn't find any.
MICHAEL was the only agent with a firearm. The others decided to leave theirs behind as they didn't have time to get clearance to fly with their guns. MICHAEL tapped out an e-mail to A cell, requesting the key to the St. Louis green box. With luck they would have it in the morning.
MAYA hooked up Daniels' computer, using one of their laptops as a monitor. She searched the computer, but didn't find anything interesting or worthwhile. While she was searching the computer, MORGAN read the pamphlet they found in Daniels' bedroom. The pamphlet contained instructions on meditation exercises involving a crystal known as a "realizer". The pamphlet promised that the exercises and the crystal would help the meditator "Find your true light".
By this time it was after 9 p.m. and the agents were starving. They drove to the nearest Denny's. While they were eating, MICHAEL received a phone call on his Delta Green phone.
"MICHAEL," he answered.
"Uh, Robert Benson, please?" said someone who sounded a lot like Gaston.
"Speaking," said MICHAEL, without a pause.
It was Gaston. He told MICHAEL that the local police found Daniels' car in a parking spot in an alley in East St. Louis. MICHAEL thanked him and hung up. They wolfed down the rest of their food and drove to the address Gaston gave them. Considering East St. Louis' reputation, MORGAN and MAYA did not appreciate driving there unarmed.
When they arrived at the scene, they saw CSIs photographing the car. Gaston greeted them with a wave. The car was in an alley behind a couple of brick warehouses, with only a dumpster for a companion. Gaston told them that there was no direct line-of-sight from the car to the street, but local cops knew it as a rendezvous point for drug dealers and patrolled it often. The car had been stripped bare of wheels, rims, and anything else that wasn't screwed into the frame. Any evidence the car might have had was long gone, or tainted.
Since there was little else they could do, the agents searched the dumpster. In the beam of MICHAEL's flashlight they saw a woman's leg, which was just barely visible underneath a bunch of garbage bags. They quickly shifted bags to get to her. Her face was a bloody pulp, as though someone had hit her very hard with a large, blunt object. Evidently this blow killed her, because she wasn't breathing. MORGAN realized that she would have worn panties of about the same size as those they found at Daniels' mansion. A quick check proved that she wasn't currently wearing any. MORGAN surmised that this was one of the two people who had escaped the explosion.
MICHAEL noticed something on a nearby wall. It was dried blood. The blood was in a roughly oval pattern. He suspected the woman had been thrown face first against the brick wall with tremendous force. The mark was a little bit higher than eye-level for MICHAEL. Since he was taller than the dead woman, it seemed as though something picked her up and threw her at the wall.
MICHAEL asked Gaston if they could have the body sent to the morgue in St. Louis, Missouri instead of leaving it for the East St. Louis authorities to deal with. East St. Louis was across the Mississippi River in Illinois. This woman was connected with the deaths in St. Louis. By crossing state lines the case was most definitely in the FBI's jurisdiction. Gaston promised to have the body taken to the St. Louis morgue.
The agents left the crime scene. They were exhausted from a busy day with little sleep. They fell asleep almost as soon as they got to their rooms.
As the agents passed the hotel desk on the way out for breakfast, MICHAEL checked to see if he had any mail. An overnight FedEx envelope was waiting for him. He showed it to MORGAN and MAYA as they left the hotel.
"To Hell with food," cried MAYA, "let's find out if we have guns!"
"I have a gun," replied MICHAEL. "Let's eat!"
In the end, the agents went for breakfast first. Then they drove to a storage place in St. Louis where the local green box was located. This green box was a small five foot by five foot storage locker with an expensive, heavy lock. Inside were three Glock 23s with the serial numbers filed off, three boxes of ammunition, six ABC fire extinguishers, three gasoline cans full of gasoline, one flare gun, and a box of road flares (the box originally contained 12, but there were only eight remaining). Each agent took a gun and a box of ammunition. They left everything else where they found it.
MAYA drove them to the university. Their first order of business was to check out the crystal. "We've had the crystal out of our hands for too long," she said. "If they haven't blown out a lab, we'll be lucky."