Scenario Author: Allan Goodall
Write-up Author: Allan Goodall
Run Date: May 28 and 29, 2006
Game System: Chaosium's Basic RolePlaying (BRP)
Keeper: Allan Goodall
Characters: Gabriel Dodge, codename MALCOLM (Jason Gallagher); Joshua Frost, codename MORGAN (Jimmy Pope); Carson Kovac, codename MAYA (Alana Goodall)
Note: Hurricane Katrina timeline items were taken from the Hurricane Katrina Timeline article on the Shreveport Times web site (no longer available) and from Salon's Katrina Timeline article.
He said, "Bring on a brand new renaissance
Cause I think I'm ready
I've been shaking all night long
But my hands are steady."
- The Tragically Hip, "Three Pistols" (1991)
The Delta Green agents scrambled down the side of the levee. They climbed onto the state police boat. It was only then that Agent MORGAN realized he'd been shot. MAYA found a first aid kit in the boat. She opened it and put a bandage around MORGAN's arm. The wound didn't look too serious. She would look at it later, when the boat wasn't moving. Right now, they needed to get out of there. MORGAN didn't seem to be in too much pain, which he attributed to shock. MAYA found some local anesthetic in MORGAN's manpurse and administered it.
MALCOLM fired up the engine and reversed the boat from the levee. He turned the shallow draught boat around and headed back to the Superdome. MAYA steered him along the submerged streets of her home town.
MALCOLM piloted the boat to the same Superdome entrance they had been using since the hurricane. He misjudged his speed, throttled down too late, and crashed the bow into a concrete wall with an ominous crunch. The force of the crash hurled the agents forward. MORGAN slammed his shoulder against the cowling around the boat's controls. He let out a cry; it was the same arm that had been shot. The boat began to list as it took on water. The agents picked up there things and climbed onto the concrete plaza surrounding the stadium.
MAYA sat MORGAN down on the concrete. They could hear people talking and moving around in the darkness, but no one came over to see the source of the crashing noise. MAYA carefully removed one arm of the dry suit with a scalpel, so that she could see the gunshot wound. MORGAN was lucky; as she suspected, the bullet had simply grazed his arm. The bleeding had already stopped. MAYA removed the earlier bandage, cleaned the wound, and wrapped the his arm with fresh gauze and a new bandage.
Belatedly, two National Guardsmen walked over to them. The agents stood and turned to the guardsmen. The oldest soldier — who looked like he was maybe in his late twenties — nodded to the boat and asked what happened. MORGAN explained that they had been given the boat by the police because of the epidemic.
The guardsmen looked at each other, then asked in unison, "What epidemic?"
MORGAN didn't give them time to think. He barked orders for them to set up a quarantine. The older soldier said that they would need orders from their lieutenant to do that. "You do that!" cried MORGAN. The guardsmen radioed in to their superior officer while the three Delta Green agents marched purposefully into the stadium.
The Superdome was dark and fetid. The agents gagged as they entered. Although the need to wretch disappeared within a few minutes, the reek of the place hung around them like a cloud. They walked carefully along a concrete floor strewn with garbage, filth, and slime. They heard people talking, some in quiet, soothing tones, some in streams of loud expletives. It felt like they were trapped in a huge 19th century insane asylum.
Using flashlights, they found the ramp up to 300 level. They turned off their flashlights when they got to the top of the ramp. They walked casually, but quietly, around toward section 305. As the agents neared the section, they ducked into the stands. The stands were deserted. Everyone staying at the Superdome was either on the floor of the dome in cots, or in the hallways, or lying outside where they could at least escape some of the stench. People were hudding together for protection. The agents walked down a row of seats, and then into the section 305 feeder aisle. They slowly crept to where they could see the area they believed was used by Majestic-12.
Across the wide walkway was a folding table set up in front of a short corridor. On the table was a battery operated lantern. The agents could make out a form sitting in a chair behind the table. The young man, some sort of guard they supposed, appeared to be asleep. A half-eaten sandwich lay on the floor near his outstretched hand.
They saw that the corridor had several doors. MORGAN motioned to the door closest to the table on the left side of the corridor. He whispered to MAYA, "Go see if the door's locked."
MAYA quietly padded up to the table and past it. The guard did not move. Apparently the tranquilizers with which MORGAN had drugged the food had done their job. She got to the first door and turned the door handle. She rattled the handle and then walked back to MORGAN.
"I could have done that myself, Miss Lockpick!"
"I'm not going to pick a lock just to find out it was open!" replied MAYA.
MORGAN walked over to the guard and searched him for keys. MAYA went back to the door. MALCOLM followed a short distance back, watching for anyone coming up behind them. MORGAN found a set of keys. He looked up and saw MAYA at the door. There were a total of four single doors on the left, and two single doors and a double door on the right. He walked up to the door where MAYA was standing. Before he could tell her that he had keys, MAYA pulled her picks out of the door lock and slowly opened the door.
It was once a conference room, but now the large table was pushed up to the far wall. Scattered on the table were several baggies containing the agents' doped sandwiches. A dozen cots took up the available floor space. A heavy grey blanket lay on each of the cots. Three of the cots were occupied by people who were apparently asleep, two men, one woman, all of them in their twenties. Also in the room were cases of bottled water and boxes of MREs, the military's Meals, Ready to Eat. In one corner was a stack of magazines. Evidently it was a quiet place for the volunteers to crash. MORGAN's sandwiches just allowed them to crash a little harder.
MAYA suggested that they restrain the guard and the people on the cots. She looked around but didn't see anything they could use as restraints. She suggested that they tear up blankets. MALCOLM argued that it would take too long. MORGAN shook and nodded his head, non-commitally.
"Oh, you are so going to regret this if they come up from behind us and attack us!" said MAYA>
MORGAN suggested that they just kill all the guard and the people in the room. He was operating on the assumption that everyone here was a Majestic-12 agent.
MALCOLM asked, "What if these are just local volunteers?"
MORGAN shrugged. "Casualties."
MALCOLM's jaw dropped open as he stood speechless. When he finally spoke it was to say, "Oh, that's right. You're a pathologist." He stormed out of the room. He looked up and down the corridor, then crossed over to the opposite door. The door was unlocked. Inside were ten backpacks, along with sleeping bags, bed rolls, and other camping items. They were piled up among a desk, a computer, and several filing cabinets. Evidently this was someone's office. MALCOLM searched the bags for something incriminating, something to tie the volunteers with Majestic-12. He didn't find anything incriminating, and the only thing useful was a Swiss Army knife. The backpacks were full of innocuous items, like clothes, bottled water, and paperback novels. MALCOLM slipped the knife into a pants pocket.
MAYA ignored the others. She pulled out a knife, grabbed a blanket, and tore off four long strips. She tied the unconscious woman to her cot. Seeing that this would work, she tore the blanket into more strips. MORGAN helped her restrain the other two people and the guard. MALCOLM had finished looking through the backpacks by the time MORGAN and MAYA were finished.
They went to the next room on the left. It was full of very expensive exercise equipment. It was a weight room, possibly for the New Orleans Saints football team, but — given that there was nothing overtly mentioning the Saints — it was just as likely that the equipment was for visiting teams to use. It may even have been for local football teams, since the Superdome was the site of Louisiana's high school championship football game. It would not be this year, though...
The room opposite the weight room was also unlocked. It was an office with two tables back-to-back, three lockers set into the wall, and a small bathroom — complete with shower — attached. Right now it was full of medical supplies. There were bandages, first aid kits, splints, and similar items you'd expect in a stadium. There were also several trachea kits, a dozen IV stands, and containers of blood and blood plasma. The agents went back to the room with the backpacks. They each emptied a pack and then returned to the supply room where they filled their backpacks with medical supplies. Along with first aid kits, MAYA took a unit of O-type blood and MORGAN took two units. They did not find any of the "tetanus" vaccine with the brown dot, the stuff that they had taken from this area the day before.
The agents pulled on their backpacks and crossed the corridor. There were two single doors near each other. MAYA slowly turned the handle of the first door. It was locked. MORGAN checked the next door. It, too, was locked. He pulled out the set of keys. After some trial and error, he found the key that unlocked the door. He slowly turned the handle. Behind the door was a large room with lockers set into the walls and a partition running down the middle. The other locked door also opened into this room. The light from their flashlights reflected off the metal tubes of four hospital gurneys. Three people, a white man, a white woman, and a black man were strapped to their gurneys. They did not move, and only the very faintest of motion from their chests indicated that they were still alive. On the fourth gurney was a middle-aged Asian man. His eyes were rolling around, unfocused, and his head lolled back and forth. In spite of his head movement, he was no more responsive to the entry of the agents than the other three people.
Each gurney had a chart mounted on the foot railing. MORGAN read the chart of the Asian man. It indicated that he had been injected by something called "Brown". The chart listed the dosage of "Brown" administered over the course of several hours. MORGAN went to the other people and found the same notations. Only the dosages differed, and usually by no more than two or three cc's. MORGAN went back to the Asian man. He examined the man but didn't see anything physically wrong with him except for an injection site in the man's arm.
MAYA was standing near the door they had come through. To her right she noticed the door to a restroom. She went to this door and pushed it open. There was considerable resistance. It felt like the door was dragging on the floor. Screwed to the bottom of the door was a piece of rubber. She pushed harder. A cold draught wafted out of the room.
The restroom was tiled from floor to ceiling in green ceramic tiles. A partition wall divided the room in half. Nearest the door were a row of sinks. Behind the sinks, on the other side of the partition, were toilets and urinals. Off to the right was a set of double doors. On the left was an open archway separated the sinks from a communal shower. A refrigeration unit powered by a gasoline generator chugged away under the sinks. A flexible conduit snaked from the unit to an air conditioning duct, probably for venting the heat. The temperature in the room was positively frigid compared to the rest of the city, though it was still above freezing. The agents carefully entered the restroom.
MORGAN was the first to see the bodies in the shower area. There were five people lying side-by-side on the floor, three women and two men. MORGAN confirmed that all five of them were dead. He took tissue samples and swabbed the mouth of one of the men while MALCOLM took photographs. MORGAN inspected the bodies and found that they all had injection marks on their arms. There were marks on their arms and legs suggesting the use of restraints prior to death, but there were no other obvious signs of trauma.
"How do you feel about killing those people in the other room, now?" asked MORGAN.
"I don't know, doctor," said MALCOLM, scowling. "How do you feel about cold-blooded murder? You don't even know who those people are. They could be innocent volunteers."
"In this instance, with the situation we've got here?" replied MORGAN. "I'm cool with it."
They moved out of the shower, past the sinks, and over to the double doors. MAYA pushed them open; they were not locked. The sole piece of furniture in the room was a table with four backpacks lying on it. The ends of electrical leads lay on the table, with the other ends disappearing under a wall to their right. In the middle of the room the leads were covered by rubber strips, the kind designed to prevent the unwary from tripping over exposed electrical cords.
The wall on their right and the wall directly in front of them were made of two-foot by two-foot grey foam panels. This room was originally another locker room, so it was easy to tell that the paneled wall did not belong here. MORGAN stuck his scalpel into one of the panels but couldn't drive it deep enough to get to anything solid. MALCOLM had a similar lack of success with the Swiss Army knife. MAYA kicked it and it wobbled a little bit, in spite of being anchored to the ceiling and the floor. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to cordon off the room with these panels. They theorized that the double doors in the corridor would take them into the area on the other side of the panels.
They left the room, went back into the "morgue" and quietly exited the locker room. They crossed over to the double-doors. They were locked. MORGAN found a key that fit the lock and quietly opened the door. Light bathed the corridor.
It was so bright that it took them a second for their eyes to adjust. They closed the door behind them. On the left was a grey paneled wall. The panels were of oddly shaped sound-dampening foam, the kind you would find in a recording studio. About two-thirds along the paneled wall was a door. Opposite the paneled wall was a bank of four computer monitors and keyboards sitting on a table. Behind the table were four office chairs.
Two of the monitors displayed the Windows XP logo. The other two monitors showed what looked to be feeds from a video camera. The camera angles were different — one was aimed at the front of the subject, the other was off to the side and eight feet from the ground — but they both showed the same thing: a young black man strapped to padded chair. The man thrashed about in terror. A set of headphones lay on the table. Even without putting them on, the agents could hear the man's screams through the headphones.
They recognized the man. He was the guy Klemmer and Devereaux brought to section 330 to be treated after he had been in a fight. Evidently Klemmer and Devereaux had marked him as a likely candidate for Majestic-12's experiments.
MAYA opened the door in the paneled wall. They were assaulted by the sound of people shouting, peppered by the sound of gunfire. Over this aural bombardment were the screams of the young man strapped to the couch. In front of the man, projected on screens, were New Orleans street scenes superimposed with images of mobs, looting, rape, killing and pandemonium. It didn't look very realistic — some of the overlaid images were static photographs, and the images were splashed with a progression of psychadelic colours. Nevertheless, the disturbing images were having an effect on the young man. He yelled in reaction to every new image. Around the room were boxes and tubes made of the same reflective material as the projection screens. A sophisticated set of projectors from the ceiling. All four corners housed a bank of speakers.
MORGAN attended the man, to see if he could bring him out of his hallucinatory trance. MAYA and MALCOLM looked around to see what plugs they could pull to stop the projector.
MORGAN walked around the back of the chair to inspect the man. Motion out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. MORGAN turned to see the head of a man peer from behind a box. MORGAN drew his pistol from his manpurse as the man stood. MORGAN saw a pistol in the other man's hand. MORGAN snapped off a quick shot, striking the man in the shoulder. In this room, his gun sounded strangely muted.
The gunman returned fire, hitting MORGAN in the upper arm.
MAYA saw MORGAN fire his gun. MALCOLM saw the gunman. MAYA and MALCOLM both reached for their weapons.
MORGAN fired again, missing the gunman. The gunman fired back. A bullet struck MORGAN, and he collapsed to the ground. MAYA made a diving leap in front of the padded chair. She somersaulted on landing, rolled into a crouching position, brought her gun to bear, and squeezed off a shot. The bullet hit the gunman in the forehead. Blood and brains jetted out of the exit wound and spattered the acoustic paneling behind him. He was dead before his body had settled to the ground.
MAYA rushed over to MORGAN. She pulled off her backpack and tore it open. MALCOLM guarded them with his pistol drawn. MAYA cleaned MORGAN's wound with some antiseptic and applied a pressure bandage.
MORGAN grabbed hold of her sleeve. "MAYA," he gasped. "Safety box... four, three, one, two... the key is on my key ring... computer code... six, seven, four, nine. It has everything we've done... Use it... to keep yourself safe..."
MALCOLM and MAYA were focused on what MORGAN was saying, so they didn't see the second man stand up from behind one of the room's props. There was a muffled gunshot. The bullet, aimed at MALCOLM, went wide. MALCOLM spun around. The man with the gun was Dr. Bierman.
Bierman and MALCOLM fired at each other, simultaneously. Bierman's shot missed. MALCOLM's shot hit Bierman in the chest. Bierman went limp, dropping his gun as he collapsed. A big stain of blood appeared over Bierman's heart.
MALCOLM rushed around behind the screen, checking for any more surprises. A guy in his late twenties or early thirties stood there, shaking. He was holding a gun, but it was aimed at the floor.
"Drop the gun!" yelled MALCOLM.
The guy said something, but MALCOLM couldn't make it out. MALCOLM fired. His bullet nicked the man's shoulder.
"I'm so sorry..." muttered the man just loud enough for MALCOLM to hear. He brought the gun up to his face, stuck the barrel in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. Gore from the exit wound sprayed into the ceiling panels.
As MALCOLM put his gun away, he said to himself, "Well, can't be charged for that one."
MAYA told MALCOLM that they needed to get MORGAN out of there. MALCOLM shoved his gun into his waist band and ran out of the room. He crossed to the locker room with the gurneys. He wheeled an empty gurney out of the room. He didn't hear any commotion, so presumably no one had heard the gunshots in the soundproof room.
Out of the corner of his eye MALCOLM saw a pair of feet sticking out of the room with the backpacks. There was no one in that room the last time they were in it! He shoved the gurney into the room with the monitors. He told MAYA what he saw. MALCOLM and MAYA helped MORGAN onto the gurney, then MALCOLM told the others to wait there, as he drew his gun.
As soon as MALCOLM left the room, MORGAN gasped, "Blood. Give. Lost."
"Well, I'm not your phlobotamist, but I'll see what I can do." She pulled out a unit of type O blood they had taken from the medical supply room. She found a vein in MORGAN's arm and stuck him with the IV needle. She held the blood up above him.
MALCOLM carefully padded down the corridor to the room with the backpacks. Lying in the doorway was the guard who had been sitting at the table in front of the corridor. His throat had been ripped open, and blood pooled underneath him. A piece of paper was folded neatly on his chest. MALCOLM grabbed the paper. The door to the room with the sleeping volunteers was open. He shone the flashlight around that room. The two men on the cots were dead; their throats had been ripped out, just like the guard's. The third cot was empty. The shredded remains of the woman's restraints lay beneath the cot. The woman was gone.
Another note lay on the chest of the nearest corpse. MALCOLM picked up the note. He unfolded it and the original note. The notes were scrawled in blood. They both said the same thing:
Gabriel Dodge, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Tonight.
A shiver ran down MALCOLM's back. "Gabriel Dodge" was his real name.
He rushed back to MORGAN and MAYA. He told them about the other victims. MAYA told him that MORGAN needed a doctor. She would go and get Dr. Slone in section 232.
MALCOLM escorted her to the end of the corridor. After she was gone, MALCOLM dragged the body of the guard into the room with the backpacks. He closed that door, and then closed the door to the room with the cots and the other two corpses. He went back to the monitor room and turned off the projection equipment. The man who was restrained on the couch collapsed into a stupor after the sound and images were turned off.
MAYA found Dr. Slone lying on a cot in section 232, reading a paperback book with the help of a flashlight. She told him that the CDC agent had been shot and that Slone was needed right away. Slone grabbed a bag of medical instruments. "We need to get the police!" said Slone.
"No, there's no time for that! We'll get the police after you save his life! Move it! Move it!"
Slone handed MAYA a red and white box full of supplies, and the two rushed back up to the 300 level. When they got to section 305, MAYA saw that MALCOLM had pushed MORGAN's gurney into the main walkway.
Slone injected MORGAN with a local anesthetic to ease the pain. The bullet was lodged in MORGAN's right bicep. Using a scalpel he cut the other arm off MORGAN's dry suit. Slone found the intact bullet and removed it. He cleaned out the wound and sewed it up. He rebandaged the wound and rechecked MORGAN's vital signs. "He needs to be moved to a more sanitary environment," said Slone. "He needs to be airlifted out of the city."
A near delirious MORGAN said, "Get me a Magic Marker!" as he looked around for a nearby wall.
"He's delusional," said MAYA with a smile.
"I'll bring you your colouring books later," added MALCOLM.
MAYA persuaded the doctor not to file a formal report, that they would file one with the FBI and the state police along with their statements. She thanked the doctor profusely and shooed him away. Slone was hesitant to leave, but MAYA convinced him that MORGAN would be fine in their capable hands.
MORGAN was feeling better by the time the unit of blood was empty. He still hurt and felt woozy, but he could move. The agents discussed their next steps. MALCOLM showed them the note again. Someone in New Orleans recognized him and knew his real name, someone who had killed the people that the agents had drugged. Presumably if they wanted the agents dead they could have done it. They needed to get to Lafayette Cemetery Number One and meet with the person who had left the notes.
They walked down the ramp to the first floor. MALCOLM went to the maintenance closet where he had stashed their rubber boat. Miraculously, the boat was still there. He pulled it out, and he and MAYA carried it outside. It wasn't a whole lot cooler in the Louisiana night than in the Superdome, but it smelled a whole lot better.
They walked into the water surrounding the Superdome. They dragged the boat along until the water was more than a foot deep, then the climbed in. MORGAN winced as he rolled into the boat. MALCOLM used the motor to propel them along S. Claiborne Ave, where the water was about three feet deep. MAYA directed them south on Jackson Ave.
The water levels dropped as they approached St. Charles Avenue. This was one of the oldest parts of the city and it had had been built above the level of the river and Lake Pontchartrain. By the time they got to Brainard Street the water level was so low that they had to get out of the boat. St. Charles was dry, forcing MALCOLM and MAYA to carry the boat. They turned right onto Prytania Street. Except for the occasional puddle, the road was dry, though tree limbs and wind debris made the going difficult. Finally their flashlights played over the wall to Lafayette Cemetery Number One.