Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

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Delta Green - All Part of the Job (Call of Cthulhu AP)

Postby Yablo » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:40 pm UTC

I've recently started a tabletop game of Call of Cthulhu with the Delta Green setting, and I thought I'd write the games up for anyone interested. Call of Cthulhu is a horror role playing game based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and others, and it really plays up humanity's insignificance and the futility of our existence. In the Delta Green setting, players are federal agents of various government agencies and military branches who form a sort of unofficial and illegal cell-structure conspiracy which investigates supernatural horrors with the intent to destroy, suppress, and hide them from the rest of humanity. I welcome any and all questions and comments.

Delta Green - All Part of the Job

Table of Contents
Last Things Last
Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays
Handful of Dust
Good Intentions
Contagion
Killer Out of Space
Music From A Darkened Room
Sufficient Unto the Day
Hearken to the Wild
Fuel of the Gods
See No Evil
Night Floors
Convergence

Current Agents
Special Agent Curtis Atwood, FBI IOSS Behavioral Analyst

Former Agents
Doctor Michael Pepper (deceased) - EPA Scientist – AKA REDOX
Ranger Thomas Lakefield (deceased) - National Park Service

RAPSCALLION (deceased) - Tatom Merzos, U.S. Marshall Special Operations
RAPUNZEL (deceased) – Yuki Anderson, FBI Forensic Pathologist
RASPUTIN (retired) – Grigori Ruspokov, CDC Researcher/Surgeon – Russian-born naturalized citizen
REAPER (deceased) - Master Sergeant Jack Jack, Delta Force Operator
REDLIGHT (deceased) – Captain Cramer Gump, INSCOM “Black” Ops (formerly Agent SID)
REINHARD (reassigned) – Michael Pollander, IRS Special Agent
RICHARD (deceased) - Major James McGinnis, AMEDD General Surgeon
RIVER (deceased) - Kiwen Doucette, Office of Export Enforcement, Criminal Investigator
ROBIN (deceased) – Chika Takahashi, EPA Biologist and Environmental Scientist – Japanese-born naturalized citizen
ROCHE (deceased) - Mortimer Koch, US Postal Service - Postal Inspector
ROMEO (deceased) - Terrance Winters, Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis - Interrogator
RON (reassigned) – Dimitri Benedict Salazar, Secret Service
ROSE (deceased) – Gia Jones, FinCEN Investigator, Leader of R-Cell – Computer crimes specialist (formerly Agent SAM)
RUBY (retired) - Amelia Larce, DoE Nuclear Emergency Search Team
SÁBADO (deceased) – Marcus Hernandez, IRS Investigator – Computer crimes specialist
SERGE (missing) - Ferdinand Bazinet, Federal Research Division, French-language occult documents specialist
SETH (reassigned) – Ian Trotter, INSCOM Special Agent, Leader of S-Cell – Army Intelligence criminal psychologist
SLEEPLESS (deceased) - Reginald Longbottom, NSA Cult Infiltration Specialist
Last edited by Yablo on Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:48 pm UTC, edited 23 times in total.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:55 pm UTC

Last Things Last – Session 1

As this was our first session, the first bit was taken up by character creation which left a short role playing session.
The first Opera takes place in December of 2008, just before Christmas.
Standard procedure would have been for A-Cell to contact the cell leaders with an invitation to a Night at the Opera, and the cell leaders would have assembled their teams. This Opera was an urgent one, however, and so standard procedure was waived. All agents of R-Cell and S-Cell received the same encrypted email with the same attachment. Agent SETH also received a locker number and passcode.

Subject: You are invited to a Night at the Opera

Proceed to residence of Charles Berman (deceased). Remove any evidence of our activities. Report security breaches. Heirs are expected within 48 hours. Make sure everything is clean by then. No friendlies! Contact info, support material attached.

Attachment:

Charles Berman

DOB: 3/28/1941

Family: Wife, Marlene (8/20/1944 – 11/2/1995)
Daughter, Sharon (9/12/1967)
Son, Michael (7/28/1970)

Employed: Bureau of Internal Revenue/IRS (6/11/1965 – 9/1/1996)
Retired as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Operational Support
Active: 1968 – 1979, taking part in 11+ operations. Numerous consultations as friendly with a specialty in taxation and property confiscations. No current association with group.


The attachment also gave the home address of Charles Berman, an apartment in Denver, CO. Agent RAPUNZEL was unable to attend the Opera, but she did coordinate her cell’s rendezvous with Agent SETH. Agent SETH requested all cell members meet at a small bar and grill near by the deceased’s apartment.

All agents quickly headed for Denver from their various home cities, and they met up at the bar and grill shortly before 8 o’clock that same evening. Agent SETH had the farthest to travel, coming as he did from Virginia. He also had to stop to check the airport locker (which contained only a key which most likely fit a lock on a door), and then to rent a van for the operation. Once the cells were assembled, SETH proposed a simple plan: Drive to the apartment, search for any and all evidence, and leave without being detected. Agent SÁBADO pulled up a Streetview of the address on his phone courtesy of Google. It wasn’t what might be considered “the Projects”, but neither was it a particularly welcoming looking area.

It was a cold, clear night in Denver, but the ground showed evidence of recent snowfall. The roads were clear but a little wet; nothing an experienced driver should worry about. Agent SETH however was in a hurry. After a couple minor sliding or braking incidents, he decided to slow it down. Agent RASPUTIN didn’t help much.

“You drive like maniac. Drive like this in Russia, you get shot.”

A few minutes later, the van pulled into a snow-covered parking lot and found a parking spot within sight of the apartment. Half of the parking lot lights were out, but the snow reflected the moonlight well enough. Agent ROBIN stayed in the van to keep an outside watch while the rest of the agents headed to the apartment.

Agent SETH’s key opened the front door which squeaked softly open. The place was dark, but moonlight shown through every window. SETH slipped in quickly and closed the curtains on each window in turn. He ordered only flashlights be used for lighting. The living room and kitchen were rather Spartan. The kitchen table was small, pushed into a corner, and had only a single chair which faced a window. A magnet on the refrigerator held a drawing of a crayon stick-figure in place. The living room consisted of a desk and very old looking computer, a couch with a box of crossword magazines next to it, a clean coffee table, and an old television resting upon a small bookshelf of books on outdated tax code.

Agents SÁBADO and SAM went through the living room while SETH and RASPUTIN headed down the hall to check the rest of the apartment. Agent SAM booted up the computer only to find it was running DOS 6.0. A little surprised, she instead shutdown the computer and swapped its hard drive for a blank spare from her kit. She connected it to her laptop and went through every file one by one. There was nothing particularly interesting; mostly just a few family pictures. Satisfied, she switched the hard drives back.

SÁBADO held each book in turn by their covers and gave them a quick shake. This effort was rewarded with a yellowed sheet of folded notebook paper which fell out and fluttered to the floor. The blue ink on the paper seemed to show a list of assets. Each item on the list had a name written next to it in pencil, either Sharon or Michael. There was one item on the list without a name by it. It said only “Cabin”.

The first door SETH and RASPUTIN checked led to a clean bathroom with an open medicine cabinet. RASPUTIN identified the contents of the prescription bottle as a generic medication to treat a heart condition. The bottle contained ten pills and indicated the patient had two refills remaining.

“Looks like he expected to live while longer,” was his comment.

Oh, Agent ROBIN … all alone in a dark van in a dark parking lot on a dark, Colorado winter night. What could possibly go wrong? A man in a heavy coat walked past the van with a small dog on a leash, but he didn’t seem to notice her. So far, so good.

Agents SETH and RASPUTIN moved on to the first bedroom, while SÁBADO and SAM took the other. The first bedroom was just that. Nothing more interesting than a few family photographs and a shoebox of postcards and more photos. The postcards were all from Mr. Berman’s children, all from warm places around the country and world, and all expressing the same “Wish you were here”, and “I don’t know why you want to stay there where it’s so cold” sentiments.

SÁBADO and SAM found their chosen room to be devoid of furniture, and instead full of boxes; boxes of papers. This obviously had hours of enjoyment written all over it. They each took a box and started to sift through the mostly uninteresting papers. After almost an hour, they’d only made it through about a fifth of the boxes, but SÁBADO made a discovery. In a college-ruled spiral notebook, one page indicated an address in a small rural area about four hours away.

Agent SETH ordered the van to be backed up to the front door of the apartment. Agent ROBIN waited until the man with the dog passed again and disappeared around the corner of a building before putting the plan into effect. The agents loaded the van with boxes to search on the way to the new address while Agent RASPUTIN carried the box of crossword magazines and grabbed the key ring from the wall next to the front door.

On the way, Agent SAM ran a search for Michael Berman’s phone number and found it was a San Diego area code. She gave him a call and pretended to be a former co-worker of the deceased.

“May I speak with Michael Berman, please?”

“This is Michael.” The voice on the other end sounded a little tired and not at all interested in talking.

“Hi, Michael. My name is Sam. I used to work with your father for the IRS. I just had a few questions, if you don’t mind.”

“You know, he died a few days ago. This isn’t really the best time.”

“I know that, and I’m sorry for your loss. This really won’t take long, if you wouldn’t mind. We’re setting up a memorial for your father.”

“A memorial? Why? He retired a long time ago.”

Agent SAM wasn’t able to get much out of Michael, but it was interesting to note that he had no knowledge of his father’s cabin. That, and apparently Charles was a workaholic. He was rarely home, and Michael and Sharon weren’t very close with him as a result though in the later years, they did make attempts.

The drive to the cabin was a long one, and Agent RASPUTIN voiced what some of the others were thinking.

“We maybe stop at McDonald’s or Denny’s? Yeah, Denny’s. Good, old-fashioned American food.”

SETH decided time was still of the essence, and as a result, they skipped food and arrived at the frozen lakeside cabin around 1 o’clock in the morning.
Last edited by Yablo on Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:01 am UTC, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:59 pm UTC

Last Things Last – Session 2

We missed a week due to a rather severe illness on my part, but we managed to meet this week. Agent RAPUNZEL’s player made it this time, but RASPUTIN’s player was out.

The cabin was quite secluded, being at least two miles from its nearest neighbor. The snowfall was even and about a foot and a half deep. As the van crept down the driveway toward the cabin, Agent SETH killed the headlights. The moonlight reflected well enough off the snow that everyone could see after a moment of adjustment.

As they neared the cabin, they could make out an outhouse and a shed around back, and the frozen lake a little ways in the distance. The van pulled to a stop near the front door, and the members of S-Cell piled out. Agents ROBIN and RASPUTIN anchored the van and monitored the exterior.

There were windows around the building, and all the curtains appeared to be open. Agent SÁBADO took up a position to the side of the door and silently checked the knob. It was locked. SAM drew her pistol and stood behind him. Agent SETH shined his flashlight through the window for a quick scan. The cabin was one large room with a loft. There didn’t appear to be any movement inside, and no sounds could be heard.

Agent SÁBADO methodically checked the keys on the ring until he found the one which opened the front door. He pushed gently, and it creaked slowly open. Agent SETH covered the entrance with his gun while the rest of his team entered, and then he followed. The cabin was deserted.

SETH flipped a switch near the door, and the whole place was lit. There was electric lighting, and from the looks of the kitchen area, there was running water. The floors were all wood except for in the kitchen where it was concrete. There was a stone fireplace with half-burnt logs which looked to have long since gone cold. There was no bathroom; not odd necessarily, given the outhouse, but if there was running water, most people would prefer an indoor toilet and shower.

All three agents ascended the ladder to the loft. There was a twin bed, and not much else. Under the bed, shoved far into the darkest part of the corner, Agent SAM found a large lockbox. Pulling it out, Agent SÁBADO tried the smaller of the two keys on the ring which obviously didn’t go to a door or a car. The box opened easily.

Immediately noticeable were a neatly folded, but quite bloody suit and an envelope placed neatly on top. Written on it was the name Mr. Green. Agent SAM took the envelope while Agent SETH took the suit. This left the rest of the box for SÁBADO.

SAM read the contents of the envelope quietly to herself before reading it aloud:

“If you are reading this note, I can assume I have died or become incapacitated before I had the courage to complete my final mission for the group. You will find about twenty gallons of gas in the shed behind this cabin. Pour them into the septic tank beside the cabin, and ignite it. You'd be happier if you didn't look inside. Please make sure that the remains are kept from my children. I am so sorry. God, please forgive me.

Charles Berman”


This raised eyebrows, but it had little other effect. The suit which Agent SETH examined was plain, brown, and somewhat outdated. There was a hole through the front of the jacket where the wearer’s heart would be, and no hole through the back. The wound caused by this hole seemed to be the source of all the blood, and it was most likely not a survivable one.

Beneath the suit, the box contained two canisters containing reel-to-reel tapes. The masking tape labels were dated 8/15/72 – 9/29/72. There were three grenades which Agent SETH identified as tear gas, a .357 revolver with the serial number filed away, and a baseball-sized glass sphere which appeared to be highly magnetized. Agent SETH was a bit disturbed by this, but he kept it to himself as the other two agents thought nothing of it.

Okay, so there’s a septic tank out back and twenty gallons of gasoline in the shed. Whatever this was about, it seemed to be the main point of the Opera. S-Cell descended the ladder, exited the cabin, and walked cautiously around back. Seeing this, Agent ROBIN decided to see what was up. RASPUTIN remained in the van while she joined the other agents in the back.

Now that they were close, they could definitely make out the ventilation pipe from the septic tank. Agent SAM thought she heard something and called for quiet. No one else could make anything out, but SAM felt sure she could hear a woman’s voice coming from the pipe.

“Hello? Is someone down there?” She drew worried and confused looks from the others. Then they all heard it.

“Charles? Charles, is that you?”

A shiver ran through all the agents. That was definitely a female voice, and it was definitely coming from this pipe.

“Who’s down there?” SAM asked.

Agent SÁBADO’s eyes widened. “No! Don’t talk to it.”

“It’s me, Marlene; your wife,” came the voice. “Please let me out, Charles. Please? It’s so cold and dark.”

Agent SETH asked a few questions designed to prove the identity and test for intelligence. All the while, SÁBADO protested. The voice answered the questions slowly but correctly with a few exceptions. Whoever was down there certainly seemed to be Marlene, but she had no sense of time, stating that she was 51 years old, and that she’d been down there “since you left me, Charles.” Between answers, she continued her pleas for release and warmth.

Being a professionally trained psychologist, it was obvious to SETH that whoever this was believed she was Marlene, believed she was the same age Marlene was when she had died, and believed that whatever voice she heard, whether male or female, was her husband Charles. She also desperately and pitifully wanted out of her prison and to be somewhere bright and warm.

There was a very lively debate between the members of S-Cell about just what was or might be down there, and what to do about it.

SAM felt that somehow, Marlene had been trapped here for years and should be rescued. At the very least, they should confirm that she was actually no longer alive. After all, the undead were just fiction.

SÁBADO felt that no one could survive down there, Marlene was officially believed to be dead, and maybe the undead were fiction, but demon possession was a documented fact. It was his duty as a devout Catholic to rid the Earth of whatever abomination was in that tank.

SETH wasn’t sure what to believe. Sure, it was possible she was still alive, but if so, she was still hopelessly insane. Sure, it was possible she was undead or possessed. By A-Cell’s account, Charles was an impeccable agent, and he obviously loved his wife. Ultimately, right and wrong had nothing whatsoever to do with this. There was a mission to accomplish. They were tasked to remove all evidence. Whoever, or whatever, was in that tank was evidence. Over SAM’s protest, he gave the nod to SÁBADO who headed for the shed and returned with two large cans of gasoline and a matchbook.

SAM threw her hands in the air and stomped off toward the van shouting “If there’s a chance, a decent human being would take it!”

Agent SETH whispered to SÁBADO “Do it.” He then followed SAM. Agent SÁBADO made the sign of the cross and began to empty the jugs down the ventilation pipe. ROBIN simply stared at the ground. The pleading could still be heard.

“Please, Charles. Whatever I did, I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. Please just let me out. It’s so cold and dark.”

Agent SÁBADO couldn’t bring himself to light a match, but he held the book to ROBIN who took it greedily. Without hesitation, she lit a match and giggled softly as it fell down the pipe.

There was a jet of flame, and shrieking rang out through the night with an eerie echo. When silence finally returned, the two remaining agents quietly returned to the van. They drove slowly back to Denver with a quick stop at the local Green Box to ditch what evidence they found and didn’t keep for themselves. The Green Box was a long term storage shed on a fairly secluded lot. No one really had much of an appetite, and so they simply caught the next flights and trains back to their home cities. After tonight, a little office time was welcome.
Last edited by Yablo on Fri Oct 31, 2014 6:48 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:03 pm UTC

Can.. can we offer suggestions on where to take them next?
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:05 pm UTC

Sure thing. I have lots of things planned or at least readied, but I'm always happy to have suggestions. We started the next Opera the same night, and I'll post that as soon as I get it written up.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:30 am UTC

This part was during the same session as the end of the previous Operation, and we used the time to get Agent RAPUNZEL involved, and to set up the next investigation. This is sort of a low-key FBI/serial killer style investigation, so there's a lot of detail and information up front, and it might get a little dry. I apologize if I get too long winded. I'll try to summarize where possible while still providing a story you can follow.

Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays – Session 1

Roughly eight months have passed since the cold winter night in Colorado. In contrast, it was now a hot August night. Agent RAPUNZEL’s phone rang; not her personal phone, but her special phone. Each agent had a cell phone which they used for Delta Green-sensitive purposes. It would connect to a secure server and establish an encrypted link. It wasn’t 100% foolproof, but it was as close as Federal money could get.

“RAPUNZEL.”

The voice on the other end was soft yet commanding. It was a voice she’d heard nowhere but from the other end of this phone. It was Agent ADAM from A-Cell.

“This is RAPUNZEL,” the pathologist said in her own quiet voice, a trait inherited from her Japanese ancestry.

“I have the honor of inviting you to a Night at the Opera. I do hope you’ll be able to attend this time as it’s in your neck of the woods.”

RAPUNZEL’s “neck of the woods” was Phoenix, AZ. She was a forensic pathologist for the FBI there. The voice didn’t wait for her to accept.

“Assemble your cell. You’ll want to stop by the FedEX drop box on your way to work in the morning. FBI credentials and identification have been provided for the other members of your team. Your team only. These credentials will be invalidated upon the final curtain of this Opera, and they should be destroyed at such time. Should you choose to involve S-Cell, they will be operating in an unofficial capacity. Recommend you go overt, they go covert or clandestine. SAC Hobbson will give you your briefing.”

The line went dead, and so she hung up the phone. SAC Hobbson was Special-Agent-in-Charge Patrick Hobbson, her immediate superior.

Agent RAPUNZEL did as she was asked, stopping at the local FedEX office on her way in to the office in the morning. Each cell leader had a key to a box at a FedEX, UPS, or similar office in his or her home town. In the box, she found a package. Waiting to open the package until she was safely in her car, Agent RAPUNZEL found just what ADAM had promised; credentials and ID badges with the names and personal information of her other cell members. They were to pose as FBI Special Agents on loan from the Seattle office.

When she arrived at the office, she found Agents RASPUTIN and ROBIN waiting for her in the parking lot dressed quite professionally, although Agent RASPUTIN seemed a little out of place. RAPUNZEL handed out the contents of the package, briefly tested their cover story, and then led them inside.

SAC Hobbson was already waiting. He was a heavy-set man with short white hair, and as cliché as it may have seemed, it was obvious he had the “one year from retirement, and getting too old for this” thing going on.

“Ah, the help from Seattle,” he remarked with a tired smile as he directed the group to a briefing room.

The briefing room held a large table around which the agents seated themselves, a desk at the front, and a whiteboard behind it. SAC Hobbson got right to the point.

“We’ve got trouble in San Carlos,” he stated flatly as he dropped a manila folder on the table. “Trouble at the Indian Reservation.”

Agent RAPUNZEL examined the folder. It contained a map of the area with areas circled and numbered, a newspaper clipping, and a list of dates and names which more or less mirrored SAC Hobbson’s speech.

“Thirteen people in the last month have disappeared off State Road 70 that goes through there. They were last seen near the southern edge of the San Carlos Indian reservation. They include the following:”

SAC Hobbson went on to list the names and information of the missing persons. The first to go missing were a middle-aged white couple from New Mexico, the Curtleys. Their abandoned car was found a half mile off the road. Next was a Hispanic gas station attendant in his early 20s, Felix Royce. He stepped behind the building for a smoke and never returned. Third was the camp of a couple fishermen near the reservoir, Ed Stoltz and Chris Martin. It was deserted. Following the fishermen were the disappearances of two foreign couples approximately two days apart. The first couple were young German tourists, and the second couple were Dutch citizens out to enjoy their retirement. Their rental cars were also found about a half mile from the road. Finally was a family of four, the Begays. They were successful ranchers who lived on the southern end of the reservation, close to Route 70.

According to the markings on the map, the disappearances were moving more or less in a Northwesterly direction. With the exception of the fishermen and the Begay family, each disappearance was right from the road. The newspaper article reiterated SAC Hobbson’s speech, but it did so in a more sensationalized manner.

“As these people have disappeared, and no bodies have been found, these are considered kidnapping and not homicides. Everyone disappeared on State Road 70 between Peridot and Geronimo.

“You’ll be working with Major Frank Garrett, liaison with the state patrol, and with Sheriff Mangas Colorados. He’s the Apache Tribal Police liaison.

“You’re going to aid the investigation. It’s still under the jurisdiction of the state police and the Apache Police. You can get their assistance, and you are to assist in return. You’re going to have the freedom to do your jobs, but you can’t order them around. They don’t have authority to order you either. Lend the local police all possible assistance, but do not take over the case.”

With the briefing concluded, R-Cell left to meet up with their liaisons and check on the whereabouts of S-Cell. As it turns out, the members of S-Cell had arrived in Phoenix and met up for lunch at a Denny’s. R-Cell stopped in to quickly relay the finer points of the mission briefing and coordinate a plan.

As the investigation seemed to be centered on Route 70 through the reservation, Agent SETH booked a few rooms at the Apache Gold Hotel and Casino so as to be centrally located. RASPUTIN and ROBIN were also to stay at the Apache Gold. RAPUNZEL would be about an hour away in her own home in Phoenix.

S-Cell went to the hotel to work possible leads from there, though if the Arizona State Police, Apache Tribal Police, and FBI all had nothing, their chances seemed slim. Agent SAM scoured the internet and financial databases for more information on the people who had disappeared, but she turned up little. Agent SÁBADO called all major car rental companies to see if any other vehicles failed to be returned; only the two currently in impound. Agent SETH looked up Felix Royce’s brother. He was in prison in New York for multiple felonies.

While SAM worked the computer angle, SETH and SÁBADO decided to check the Chevron station where Mr. Royce went missing. There were no other customers, so SETH engaged the clerk, a young Apache man named Steven, in conversation. He was able to get a quick picture of the emergency contact list behind the register, but otherwise there was nothing. Agent SÁBADO checked the perimeter for cameras. They all faced the front of the store, but the smoking area appeared to be around back; no buildings in sight from that side. Eventually, they headed back to the hotel for the night.

Meanwhile, R-Cell met with Major Garrett of the State Police in Phoenix. He was a nice enough man, stocky, in his mid-30s, and wore a cowboy hat and spurs on his hiking boots. This was mostly just a preliminary meeting to get acquainted, and it was apparent the state police had no real leads either. Major Garrett offered the support of his men, and the use of his equipment including the police helicopter, but he did make sure everyone was on the same page regarding jurisdiction.

The meeting with Sherriff Colorados went about the same. He was an older Apache, but his hair was still long, thick, and dark. There was a profound sorrow in his eyes, and a hint of worry. The agents briefly discussed the case with him, and as they were about to leave, he told them they were planning to check the area of the Begay ranch in the morning. The Federal agents were welcome to tag along. Agent RAPUNZEL happily accepted. A tribal police escort might be a good thing given historical tensions between Native Americans and the Federal government.

Satisfied with their day of work, RAPUNZEL headed home while RASPUTIN and ROBIN made their way to the hotel.
Last edited by Yablo on Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:01 pm UTC, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Biliboy » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:09 pm UTC

Tabletop games in our vidja game forum!?


Enjoying this, keep it up please :D The septic tank thing was creeeepy.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:29 pm UTC

Unless it's a spoiler for something coming later, mind if I ask what would have happened had they looked in the septic tank?
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:06 pm UTC

heh, Not much chance to spoil anything coming later, given the fire-bomb. If they'd opened the tank, it would have been very dark with an echoing slosh sound. The pleading would have continued until they let her climb out, or they went in to look. She was pretty much a water-logged, dripping zombie to all outward appearance. I was trying to give the players a moral dilemma. She was supposed to be dead. She would have looked very dead. She also retained some semblance of identity and intelligence, but her mind was shot.

What's the right move? Do you kill her because she's a zombie? Do you rescue her because she didn't ask for what she got, and she'd suffered enough? Do you walk away and try to forget her like her husband did? This is my first time playing with most of these players, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but they surprised me pleasantly.

I had run this before, and I was pleased with the previous group too, though they were a little more predictable. They were mostly Dungeons and Dragons players, so they had a more military bent. When they opened the tank, the Army Special Forces and the SWAT officer dropped down. They shined their flashlights around as they advanced. When they saw her, they both failed their sanity rolls. The SWAT member dropped to his knees and covered his head, crying. The Special Forces guy unloaded a full clip from his gun at any shadow that moved. The rest of the group heard all that, dumped the gas, dropped the match, and locked everything back up.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:27 pm UTC

Man...I've always really wanted to play Call of Cthulhu (or even the card game...), but I'm the only one I know who does.

So jelly.
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.

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Yablo
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:40 pm UTC

Agent RASPUTIN’s player was out for this game as well, so I decided he was laid up in bed with a bad case of food poisoning. Never buy the last dried up, cracked hot dog from the gas station deli hot dog warmer no matter how “American” it makes you feel. As we’ve been playing in a semi-public place, it seems we’ve gathered a following, and so despite the fact that we have twice as many players as my typical Call of Cthulhu games, we added another. I hand-waived a few details for the sake of expediency, and so we just assumed that Agent RAPSCALLION had always been a member of R-Cell. He just missed the previous Opera and arrived a day late for the current one. He is an American of Cuban descent working out of the U.S. Marshall’s Special Operations office. This session was mostly role playing and standard investigation. All the real action should happen next time.

Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays – Session 2

Agent SAM was up at sunrise. She didn’t care for anything the hotel restaurant had on the menu, so she headed to a diner a couple miles down the road. She enjoyed a nice, quiet breakfast and returned to the hotel with coffee for her colleagues who were just waking.

Agent SETH took his coffee and asked her to collect phone records linked to the cell phone of Felix Royce, the gas station attendant who had apparently wandered off in the middle of the night shift. This took her a little while, but by 11:00, she had the list. It seemed he only called one number, a land line, and there had been no activity since the night of his disappearance. The land line was registered in his name, and the address was on the reservation. Agent SÁBADO questioned why a young Hispanic male would have a residence on an Apache reservation, and who he might have been calling, so he and Agent SETH went for a drive. SETH’s cover story would be that he had done time with Felix’s brother, and had just been released. He was asked to deliver a message.

Around this time, R-Cell was set to head out to the Begay ranch with the tribal police. RAPUNZEL met up with her cell at the Apache Gold, and briefed Agent RAPSCALLION before they went out. Upon arriving at the station, they saw Sheriff Colorados was ready. The Jeep was running, and there was a deputy in the driver’s seat ready to lead them out to the ranch.

The drive was quick and uneventful. They passed a neighbor’s house, and about a mile later they arrived in front of the Begay ranch. It was a good sized one story house, and a large barn with a corral could be seen behind it. Agent RAPUNZEL checked the front door, and it was locked. Agent RAPSCALLION knocked while RAPUNZEL and ROBIN went around back. There was no answer at the front door, but the back door was unlocked. The house seemed well cared for. It was tidy, but it did seem no one had been here in a while. They headed to the barn, but they didn’t find much. There were twenty or so sheep inside, and the large double-doors which led to the corral were open. Sheep and horses could be seen out there.

RAPSCALLION examined the corral fence which appeared to be very sturdy and well-maintained. RAPUNZEL occupied herself with counting sheep and horses while ROBIN just stared off into the distance watching the birds fly in a circle. It took a moment, but then it clicked. Circling birds in a desert meant dead things, right? She called out to her cell members, and they decided to drive out and take a look.

SETH and SÁBADO arrived at Felix’s house only to find it locked. SÁBADO questioned a neighbor and learned that Felix’s girlfriend, an Apache girl named Maria was at work at the diner down the road. He lived with an Apache. That explained how he was living on the reservation.

Upon arriving at the diner, Agent Seth introduced himself using his cover story, and he asked to have a few words with Maria. She took her break, and stepped outside. She told them that Felix was a good hard-working guy. It wasn’t like him to just wander off, and she was afraid something bad had happened. She wasn’t able to give them much information, but she did agree to call if anything turned up.

As R-Cell pulled up to where the birds seemed to be circling, they found a rocky embankment which led down to some brush and a small tree. Carefully, they walked down to the tree to take a look, and they were rewarded with scattered bones, and a few dead sheep. RAPUNZEL photographed the scene, and then examined the bones. A few were sheep bones, but most were human. She identified four complete skeletons, one adult male, one adult female, and two male children. All of the bones appeared to have bite marks. She radioed Sheriff Colorados to inform him of the discovery, and soon the bones were on their way to the Medical Examiner in Phoenix.

They decided their next stop would be to re-examine the area around the gas station. About an hour’s worth of searching in the desert heat produced a spot of disturbed dirt. Digging, they uncovered another full skeleton about two feet down. It also showed signs of bite marks. So now this was a murder investigation. RAPUNZEL texted SETH what she had learned, and so SETH and SÁBADO headed to the reservoir campsite to see if they could turn up anything more.

They spent the early evening hours poking around outside the campsite where investigators might not have checked, and after a while they found two skeletons buried about two feet down. SETH texted RAPUNZEL what they found, and she said to cover it back up. She then called Major Garrett and Sheriff Colorados to advise them to check the other disappearance sites for shallow graves. Major Garrett informed her that the state patrol helicopter pilot had just radioed in that he spotted something along Route 70. R-Cell agreed to meet the state police at the site.

What the pilot had spotted turned out to be an overturned car with Texas plates at the bottom of a steep embankment and shielded from view of the road. The police ran the plates while Agent RAPUNZEL took the hands-on approach. Opening the door, she was assaulted by a horrible stench. A man’s body was in there, and had been for quite some time. There appeared to be no blood, but his belly had been sliced, and his intestines had fallen out. RAPUNZEL and a couple officers had to turn and vomit. Everyone else just covered their noses. A search of the man’s wallet turned up a name. He was Kenneth Braverman from Houston, TX. There were also zip-ties in the trunk which had been used to bind something, but they had been cut.

Agent RAPUNZEL muttered something about a long night for the Medical Examiner as they returned to the car. She headed home for the night, and the rest of her cell went to the hotel to share their findings with S-Cell. Agent SETH asked SAM to find everything she could about Kenneth Braverman, and then everyone else headed for bed.

RAPUNZEL was awoken in the middle of the night by a call from the Medical Examiner. He had completed his examination of the five skeletons and the two dead sheep. Dental records confirmed their identities as the Begay family and Felix Royce. The bones showed signs of having been gnawed by what was most likely a human. The sheep had three tiny punctures in their necks, spaced roughly in an equilateral triangular shape. On the side opposite the punctures was an incision which is where all the blood had drained. The sheep showed evidence of having been tranquilized, but the examiner had never seen a tranquilizer quite like it. Maybe the FBI lab would like to analyze it? RAPUNZEL indicated that they would, and she’d be in early in the morning to collect the samples.

Agent SAM found a memo from the Houston FBI office in pretty short order and shared it with her team before they turned in for bed. The memo gave a description of Braverman and indicated that he is wanted in connection with the murders of his two children, and he is the main suspect in connection with a series recent prostitute murders involving dismemberment and mutilation in the Houston area. He is also believed to have kidnapped his wife Elaine Braverman. He was a serving officer with the Houston PD.

Agent SÁBADO was from Houston, and he vaguely remembered hearing about the story on the news a couple months back. He relayed this information to SAM before heading to bed. Agent SAM used the rest of the night to search for those stories and anything related, and she was well rewarded. Upon waking in the morning, the other agents were welcomed with news story after news story which seemed to be linked in bizarre ways.

Sometime before the prostitute killings, there was a story of a Mr. David Charles, an architect from New Orleans who was found dead in his Houston apartment from multiple chest and stomach wounds. The first officer on the scene had been Kenneth Braverman. Mr. Charles had apparently moved to Houston a week earlier after having shot an intruder in self-defense who later turned out to have been wanted for murder and cannibalism. His last known address was St. Bartholomew’s Shelter for the Homeless in Nashville, TN.

An earlier article regarding St. Bartholomew’s reported that a Father Willard Franklin had gutted himself with a kitchen knife after being questioned by police in relation to the disappearance of as many as twenty-one people who were known to use the Shelter’s services regularly.

A search for earlier stories related to Nashville and disembowelment led to an article about a Doctor Brenton Clark who had been found dead in his newly rented home. He had recently moved from Lowery, WV where he served as the local Medical Examiner. He had unexpectedly resigned his post after fourteen years without notifying his employers in writing.

This led back to an even earlier article about a resident of Tecumseh County, WV named Mack Tooley who had shot himself in the head when police arrived at his cabin to arrest him in connection with the murder of an unidentified man whose bloodless corpse was found on his property. Dr. Clark had performed the autopsy.

Okay then. That was a lot of information to have thrown at you before coffee. The agents sat down to discuss the implications, and several theories were thrown out. None made much sense to any rational person, but they’d seen some strange things so they didn’t want to rule anything out. There were theories of aliens, demons, cults, and diseases. None really stuck, but they figured whatever was going on, their best bet was to find the missing Elaine Braverman as she was their only suspect.
Last edited by Yablo on Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:29 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:18 pm UTC

Sadly, Agent RASPUTIN’s player has bowed out of the game citing life reasons. As he hadn’t actually taken part in the current Opera, he has been hand-waved out. He will retire from active Delta Green service, but he will continue to act as a friendly contact within the CDC Seattle office. Fortunately, Agent RAPSCALLION’s player seems to fill out the group nicely, and we still have our two standard three-agent cells. We picked up right where we had left off; 10:30 AM at the Apache Gold Hotel & Casino with the agents together discussing Agent SAM’s findings.

Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays – Session 3

Agent RAPUNZEL ordered an immediate APB on Elaine Braverman, and she sent a photograph to all major news outlets in Arizona. A short while later, her phone rang. It was her boss, SAC Hobbson.

“Agent Anderson, this is Hobbson. Just want to give you a heads up.” The man was clearly tired as well as irritated; pretty much his standard morning demeanor. “Had a few guys in black suits in my office this morning flashing badges. Apparently the NSA is interested in something about the investigation. National security, and all that. Listen, I want you to cooperate fully, and turn over any evidence you have. Make sure you keep copies, or you can’t exactly do your job, but they’re going to want to think they have it all.”

All she could manage was a quiet “Err … Yes, sir.”

“Good. Thank you, Agent Anderson. I don’t want any trouble with the NSA. I just want to get through this last miserable year, collect my pension, and drink myself to sleep somewhere without so much dirt. Oh, one more thing. They’re heading to the hospital now. Said something about chemical samples and autopsies.”

RAPUNZEL hung up the phone and let out an audible growl. This must be how local police feel when the FBI takes over. It seems there’s always someone bigger. Like it or not – trust it or not – national security always trumps homicide.

She had just enough time to inform the other agents of the new development before her phone rang once more. This time it was the Apache Tribal Police. Sheriff Colorados informed her that several days ago, three elders went into the mountains to a sacred cave to perform a ritual. They were due back yesterday, but they did not return. He had sent an acolyte to check on them, and he too failed to return. The sheriff was taking three deputies out to investigate, and he asked if the FBI would like to go as well.

Agent RAPUNZEL indicated that she would be happy to help, and that if it was alright, she may bring additional backup. Colorados said that they hope nothing has happened, but any additional FBI agents would be welcome.

The plan then was for R-Cell to meet with Colorados at the Apache Police Station and follow them out to the cave, and S-Cell was going to tail at a safe distance so as to be close enough to respond in the event that things went poorly.

The Apache Police were ready to go when R-Cell arrived. Sheriff Colorados and a deputy took one jeep, two other deputies took a second jeep, and R-Cell followed in RAPUNZEL’s pink SUV. It took about an hour down a dirt road, and eventually they arrived at a large, round dirt area blocked by three boulders and shaded on the sides by light tree cover. This was obviously the end of the road, but a boulder-lined dirt trail wound its way up to a cave.

The Apache police parked their jeeps and got out as the SUV pulled up behind. One deputy quickly stood stiffly upright, and fell backward over the side of the jeep. Almost immediately after, they could hear a loud crack echo through the mesas. The deputy had been shot in the heart from the direction of the cave which was easily 250 yards away.

The sheriff and two remaining deputies each ducked behind a boulder while R-Cell took up position behind the SUV, and Colorados called for backup over his radio. Of course, help would be an hour away. No one could see much of anything. The cave was dark, and the intervening space was very bright. The sun was almost directly overhead, and it was nearing 90 degrees everywhere but the shade. One deputy tried to sneak out to pull the body behind the boulder, but another shot rang out, and the dead deputy took another round to the torso.

RAPSCALLION scanned the terrain between their position and the cave. It was all uphill and wide open with the exception of about eight boulders along the path roughly 30 yards apart. He decided he was going to make a break for the first boulder, and so RAPUNZEL asked the police for covering fire. The deputies popped up to shoot a few rounds, but before Agent RAPSCALLION actually made his break, another deputy had taken a round to the heart. Whoever was up there had a hell of an aim and could pick off a target quickly.

Be that as it may, RAPSCALLION ran for all he was worth, rolling behind the first boulder as a bullet kicked up a cloud of dirt only a few feet behind him. He wasn’t sure his luck would hold out another seven times, and so he decided to hold his position for the time being.

RAPUNZEL sent Agent SETH a text: Sniper in cave. Two deputies down. S-Cell moved up, stopping their jeep several yards behind the others. Sheriff Colorados didn’t question the new arrivals. He was just happy to see any reinforcements so soon.

Agents SETH and RAPUNZEL talked things over for a moment, and they decided on a plan. They would split up and go way around to flank the cave using the trees as cover. Then they would skirt the base of the mountain and climb up. It would take about an hour, but it would minimize their risk of getting shot. RAPUNZEL called RAPSCALLION back, and so once again, he ran for his life. This time there was no shot, but he didn’t care a bit.

After regrouping, the agents split to flank the cave. It took a while, but they all reached the cave entrance without further incident. They all drew their pistols and entered one by one. The scene just inside the mouth of the cave was gruesome. Two skeletons, picked clean, and showing signs of bite marks in the bones; one body, skeleton from the waist down, chewed carcass from the waist up with a face twisted in horror; and a young Apache boy, face down and dead.

Everyone had to look away for a moment, but Agent SÁBADO took it worse than the rest. He let out a scream, and began shouting in a strange mixture of Latin, Spanish, and English as he unloaded his entire clip into the body of the Apache child. His gun clicked several times before agent SETH was able to calm him down. When the initial shock had passed, Agents RAPUNZEL and RAPSCALLION began examining the bodies while ROBIN and S-Cell scanned the cave.

The cave was dark, and it split in two directions. ROBIN watched the cave entrance while S-Cell checked the right branch. This led only a short distance to a small chamber. The only thing of interest in the room was a green canvas duffel bag. SÁBADO slowly unzipped the bag to reveal a smooth sphere a little larger than a basketball and dark grey in color like heavily tinted glass. It was semi-transparent, but the interior was difficult to make out. It seemed to be filled with swirling smoke, and every so often a tiny light would emerge in a seemingly random pattern of frequency, location, and duration. He zipped up the bag, and Agent SETH slid the strap over his shoulder.

RAPUNZEL and RAPSCALLION were able to pull bloody finger prints from the half-eaten corpse, and they bagged four shell casings from the cave floor. The Apache child had three small punctures in one side of his neck, and a small incision on the other. He was completely bloodless, and he had been shot six times at close range several hours after death.

ROBIN continued to watch the cave entrance as the rest of the agents checked the other branch of the cave. It too led a short distance to a wall with natural handholds forming a ladder leading to a smallish opening. Sunlight peeked in through the hole. SÁBADO climbed up and out to take a look. It was rocky for several yards, and then the tree cover began. It got denser the farther into it he looked. If someone who knew the area and had an hour or so head start, there would be no hope of finding them. He decided to head back down just as ROBIN raised the alert. The sheriff and deputy were headed up the path.

Agent SETH met them at the entrance and advised them not to enter. “It’s pretty ugly in there, but we have forensics going over everything.”

Colorados frowned with a nod. “Bodies?”

SETH nodded. “Two skeletons, a half-eaten corpse, and a child.”

Colorados sighed heavily. This was his worst fear, but somehow he knew it. Glancing at the bag over SETH’s shoulder, he asked “What’s that?”

“My equipment” was SETH’s reply.

“You didn’t have it with you when you went up. Did you find it in the cave? Is that evidence? If that’s evidence, I’m going to have to ask you to turn it over.”

Agent SETH glanced around nervously, took a step back, and reached for a tear gas grenade on his belt. The two Apache officers were already on edge, and they had their guns drawn and pointed at his nose before he could.

“Drop it, son,” the sheriff ordered.

Agent SETH allowed himself to be disarmed while RAPUNZEL apologized profusely. This was obviously a misunderstanding, and everyone was on edge. The sheriff said he hoped that was all, and turned the weapons over to her, reminding her that she was responsible for the actions of everyone here.

The deputy took the bag and ordered SETH up against the wall. RAPUNZEL showed the sheriff the opening and asked where it led. Colorados didn’t know, but he guessed it led further into the mountains.

With the sheriff down the tunnel, SETH gave RAPSCALLION a wink. They both jumped at the deputy, SETH trying to choke him, and RAPSCALLION attempting to punch him. The deputy dodged both attacks, yelled for the sheriff, and backed out of the cave.

RAPUNZEL grumbled, and she and ROBIN both pulled their guns, pointing them at the sheriff. SÁBADO decided everyone had gone crazy, and they were all going to be shot, so he quietly snuck down the tunnel, up the ladder, and out the hole.

Sheriff Colorados put his hands up and backed up against the wall. “You’re making a big mistake here, Agent Anderson. You know that.”

She cursed SETH under her breath. She knew this was all going wrong, and she didn’t see a way out of it, but she kept her gun pointed.

“We need that bag, Sheriff. Look inside, and you’ll see what I mean.”

The sheriff told her that it was evidence in a murder investigation, and it would be inspected at the station. The FBI would have access to it, but it fell under Apache Tribal jurisdiction. Meanwhile, the deputy was still backing down the path, gun in one hand, and walkie-talkie in the other. “Request immediate backup. The FBI is attacking us!”

Yeah … That wasn’t going to look good in the official report. The sheriff took a deep breath, and in the most confident, imposing manner he could muster, he spoke. “You really don’t want to do this, Agent Anderson. Neither of us wants this, and it’s not worth it. Put down your guns. We’ll all head to our vehicles, and return to our respective homes, headquarters, or where the hell ever, and we’ll calm down. We can forget this ever happened, and after that bag has been checked into evidence, you are welcome to examine it.”

That was a better deal than she could have hoped for, and it seemed like the only way out without totally botching the investigation, their careers, and their lives. She agreed, and everyone put away their weapons. It was a tense walk back down to the vehicles, but everyone drove away safely; everyone but SÁBADO.

Agent SÁBADO had decided his best chance at survival was to walk back to civilization. He looked around for a moment, and then he proceeded in exactly the wrong direction. The forest got denser around him, and after a while he paused, took stock of his situation, and again chose exactly the wrong direction. Then it happened. A twig snapped. Something tightened around his ankle, and he quickly found himself dangling upside down from a tree.

It wasn’t long after that when he heard something behind the tree from which he was suspended. He saw something out of the corner of his eye climbing the tree, and he twisted to see. There he saw the largest Apache he’d ever seen, covered in mud and grinning at him. Something whipped from the man’s mouth and pierced SÁBADO’s neck. He felt himself weaken, but he fought off the tranquilizer.

Agent SÁBADO instinctively grasped for the tentacle-like tongue and got a firm grip. The Apache growled, and holding the tree with his legs, he drew a large, serrated hunting knife. SÁBADO punched at the man, but he missed. For his part, the Apache swung the knife at the dangling agent, but he too missed. Apparently, knife fighting with your legs wrapped around a tree and someone holding your tongue makes things a little difficult.

Agent SÁBADO knew he was in a jam, but he remembered his gun. It was still in its holster, and so he drew it and fired. At point blank range with a heavy pistol, half the Apache’s head splattered away. The IRS agent was only a little shocked when the man shook off its wound, sending gore and brain matter flying.

The large Apache swung his knife once more, catching SÁBADO in the collar, and leaving a deep, nasty gash. The agent screamed a curse in a mix of Latin and Spanish, biting back the pain. A second shot from his pistol removed the rest of the Apache’s head. There was now nothing above the jaw, and yet he continued to fight after a brief stun. The tongue jerked free and retreated down the exposed wind pipe, and Agent SÁBADO fired again, catching the man square in the chest.

The headless Apache dropped from the tree, rolled, and stumbled off into the woods as SÁBADO struggled to stay conscious. He tried in vain to pull himself up, and the best he could manage was to swing over to the trunk of the tree, and hold on. He muttered quiet prayers as his blood poured forth from his wound. It was getting so cold, and he just wanted to sleep, but he kept himself going with his prayers.

At some point, Agent RAPUNZEL thought to text Agent SETH: You have SÁBADO, yes?

SETH’s reply: No. Thought he was with you.

RAPUNZEL swung the pink SUV around and headed back for the cave. It occurred to her that she hadn’t seen him since they were all up there, and he hadn’t left with them. He must have gone out the back. Once at the cave, R-Cell headed up the ladder and out the hole. Looking around, they tried to think of where SÁBADO may have gone. RAPUNZEL decided she was sure he’d have gone back to civilization, and so she headed off … in exactly the wrong direction. This happened to be good, however, as it was the same direction the IRS agent had gone.

They eventually came across him, still up in the tree, still struggling to stay awake. RAPSCALLION climbed quickly up, and cut him down. ROBIN did some quick patch work, and they moved him back to the SUV as quickly as possible. It took a while to get him to the hospital, but he was still alive when they made it. He was immediately admitted to the ER and taken for surgery.

RAPUNZEL texted SETH to bring him up to speed. The reply was this: Keep him under observation. He may be our suspect now.

On this revelation, Agent RAPUNZEL called Major Garrett to arrange for a State Police guard. SÁBADO was handcuffed to his bed despite the fact that he was heavily sedated, and RAPUNZEL had him officially listed as a person of interest.

RAPSCALLION stayed with SÁBADO in the hospital, and ROBIN and RAPUNZEL went to the FBI lab to send the fingerprints and shells for analysis. Everyone else returned to the hotel to calm down and relax.

It was about 3:00 AM when RAPUNZEL got the results from the FBI lab. The shells were casings from a Lee Enfield Mark III rifle, a sniper rifle of British make. The prints belonged to one Master Sergeant Emmanuel Santana, an Apache. Santana was Delta Force and he served in Afghanistan and Iraq before going AWOL in 2004. He hadn’t been heard from since.

Agent RAPUNZEL cursed, and then she called SETH to inform him that they were up against an Apache Rambo.

Shortly after that, she received a call from the Apache Tribal Police. It was Sheriff Colorados, and he sounded shaken. He told her he hoped everyone had cooled off a bit, and though he was still not ready to trust her, he needed her. The station had been hit. It was in flames. There were three dead deputies and another body, headless from the jaw down. The evidence from the cave was missing. He had salvaged the security camera tape but hadn’t watched it yet. She said she was on her way.

RAPUNZEL alerted Agent SETH, and both cells sped to the Apache Tribal Police headquarters; all but SÁBADO who was drugged and under guard, and RAPSCALLION who was sitting with him. When they got to the scene, it was just as the sheriff had described it. The three deputies had been scalped, and the scalps were in the possession of the headless man. He was most definitely dead.

RAPUNZEL asked if her team could watch the tape, and Colorados agreed. He was busy with disaster control, so he would trust her to handle things carefully. She agreed they would. They took the tape back to the hotel, and watched it in the VCR in the hotel conference room.

The headless Apache stumbled in, feeling around with one hand, and carrying a hunting knife in the other. He found a deputy, cut his throat, and scalped him. He repeated the process with the other two. As he was finishing off the third, a black SUV pulled up out front, and three men in black suits stepped out. They entered the station to see the scene. One shouted, drew his gun, and fired. The headless Apache turned and stumbled their direction. One black suited man dove at the headless thing, tackling it. They rolled around a bit, and things got a little confused. Agent RAPUNZEL clearly saw something come out of the headless thing’s neck and force its way into the black suited man’s mouth. The body then went limp and collapsed as the black suited man rose and attacked his former allies. It was obvious they were going to lose the fight, so the other two men fled to the SUV, driving off at a quick pace. The one remaining man calmly put on his sunglasses and walked into the evidence locker, emerging with a green canvas bag over his shoulder. He walked off into the night.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:02 pm UTC

I think it’s a sign of a good game when you have a character death, and the player can’t wait to make a new one and jump back in. That’s what we had this session. We got an amazing amount done, and we managed to finish this Opera in time to get the next one started.

Puppet Shows and Shadow Plays – Session 4

Agent SÁBADO awoke still handcuffed to the rail of his hospital bed. He was still heavily sedated, numb, and unable to move without great effort. Agent RAPSCALLION slept in a chair at the foot of the bed snoring softly. The room was dimly lit from somewhere in the corner, and a thick line of light peeked in from under the door. SÁBADO’s vision was blurry as well, but slowly he focused his eyes on the clock. The hands came into focus before the numbers, but he didn’t need the numbers to read the clock. It indicated the time was 1:38, and the darkness outside the window implied it was early morning.

The door to the room opened quietly, and out of the corner of his eye, the IRS agent could barely make out the silhouette of a man. As the man approached, SÁBADO could see that he wore a black suit and carried a green canvas bag over one shoulder. The man leaned over Agent SÁBADO, and a whip-like tentacle shot from his mouth striking the seemingly helpless agent. Before the tranquilizer could flow, SÁBADO managed to flail an arm up to push the tentacle away.

The man simply grinned and dropped his bag in a nearby chair. Drawing a serrated hunting knife, the man in the black suit approached the sleeping and snoring Agent RAPSCALLION. With a quick motion, the Marshall’s throat was cut, and blood sprayed. Agent SÁBADO tried to scream, but all he could manage was a forceful exhale.

The man then took what appeared to be a plastic or foil pouch from the bag on the chair. He moved to pull down the neck of SÁBADO’s gown, but the agent again managed to flail an arm wildly to block the attempt. Every pathetic attempt at resistance only seemed to amuse the man in the black suit even more. Again the man moved to pull down the neck of the gown, and this time he was successful.

With SÁBADO’s chest exposed, the man placed the pouch over the agent’s heart. The sensation it produced was immediately one of intense cold which then became a numb, dull pain. When the pouch was removed, the area was a pale blue-white. The man drew his knife across the pale area easily parting the flesh and cutting into the bone. Setting the knife aside, he then reached into the wound with both hands, ripping flesh and bone apart to expose Agent SÁBADO’s rapidly beating heart. The process caused a strong but numb and dull physical pain, but it was the psychological pain that really hurt. The poor IRS agent was powerless to do anything but watch as the man drew a pocket watch-sized, grey object with many twitching legs from his jacket pocket. He placed it directly on SÁBADO’s beating heart, and it burrowed in.

The man in the black suit grinned as he forced the bone and flesh back into roughly the right places. He then applied the pouch to the area once more, and after the intense cold, the wound was sealed. The area remained the same pale blue-white.

As the man stood over the bed grinning, the door silently opened once more, and a nurse entered. She was very tall – nearly seven feet – and she was very thin. It seemed as if a regular person had somehow been stretched out. She walked over to the man in the black suit, placed a hand on his shoulder, and said simply “You don’t belong here.”

The man turned to look at her, and as he did so, she began to glow with a pale white light. The light seemed to slowly intensify, and as it did, everything outside about a three-foot radius seemed to get darker. It was as if either she was pulling all the light from the room to surround her, or the light emanating from her was pushing back the darkness and condensing it. Either way, the effect was the same; total darkness everywhere but around the nurse and the man in the black suit. As she became too bright to look at, the man reached into a pocket inside his jacket and took out his sunglasses. He grinned as he put them on. The nurse then began to crackle with energy, and the room exploded. Everything was vaporized – including SÁBADO.

After he died, Agent SÁBADO experienced a long period of darkness. He then awoke in his hospital bed, still handcuffed, and still sedated. Agent RAPSCALLION still slept in the chair at the foot of the bed, and the clock still said 1:38. He could vaguely remember something from the period of darkness. He could remember … numbers? Yes; a seemingly random series of numbers.

Then the door opened, and out of the corner of his eye, Agent SÁBADO could barely make out the silhouette of a man. The previous scene again played itself out, and SÁBADO’s mind was having real difficulty holding itself together. His Catholic faith filtered the horrible semi-reality for him, and he began to regard the nurse as something of a guardian angel.

After the period of darkness, he again awoke, and once more, he could remember bits and pieces. This time, the number string broke off, and the voice had “spoken”. It was really more like words forming in his head, but regardless of their nature, he could make out the phrase “subject response sub-optimal”.

The scene with the nurse played out once more, and this time SÁBADO decided he was either dreaming, or he was in Hell. Praying silently that it was the former, he tried to wake himself, but it didn’t work. Well, that was a bad sign.

This time however, when everything went dark, he could actually hear. It wasn’t like waking and remembering. This seemed to be actually happening. The voice said “Subject status invalid. Sensory error. Correction.” The darkness began to fade, and though he was completely immobilized, be could still make out a stone wall lined with metal racks which held jars, wickedly shaped tools, and metallic cylinders of various sizes. There was also a large vat of some sort of churning grey slime. He had only a brief period to take this in before something humanoid, but definitely not human appeared over him. It was short, grey, impossibly thin with a large head, tiny mouth, and very large, black eyes. It looked very much like what Hollywood and various rural Americans have said for years that aliens looked like.

The mouth didn’t move, but Agent SÁBADO could hear the voice all the same. “Remain calm, subject. Adjustments are in progress to restore equilibrium. Fixed state … status error … correction.” There was a shock to his heart, and SÁBADO again awoke in his hospital bed, handcuffed to the rail and still sedated. Agent RAPSCALLION still slept in the chair at the foot of the bed, but this time the clock read 5:43.

The door slowly opened, and the man in the black suit entered. SÁBADO’s heart began to beat faster. With every step the man took, the agent’s heart rate increased. The man leaned over the helpless IRS agent, and the whip-like tentacle shot out striking him in the neck. As it did so, Agent SÁBADO’s heart began to beat impossibly fast, and finally it exploded. The heart exploded, SÁBADO exploded, the man in black dropped dead on the floor, and Agent RAPSCALLION was knocked out of his chair.

He rubbed his eyes and opened them to see an arm handcuffed to a bed rail and feet poking out from under the blanket, but there was only blood and gore to connect them. He barely held back a scream as he stood and quickly exited the room. He sent Agent RAPUNZEL a quick text; only two words: SÁBADO exploded.

All agents but SAM scrambled to get to the hospital. Agent SAM stayed at the hotel to hold down the fort, so to speak. She also got in a little slot machine action. Agent SETH called the State Police to request helicopter transport, and soon they were on the way.

Once in the hall, RAPSCALLION took stock of the situation. There were two unconscious Arizona State Police officers slumped against the wall, a front desk far to one end of the hall, and emergency exit doors nearby to the other end. He had started for the exit when he heard a wet, scurrying sound behind him. Turning, he saw what he could only describe as a grey slime with four tentacles slide out from under the door, slither onto an officer, and start to crawl into his mouth.

The Marshall drew his pistol and fired at it, but he hit the officer in the shoulder instead. He fired again, and hit the officer in the other shoulder. While unfortunate, this had the effect of causing the creature to think better of things, and go for the other officer instead. The second officer began to gag as the creature tried to burrow down his throat. RAPSCALLION fired twice more, hitting the creature, but apparently the bullets didn’t emerge from the other side because the officer vomited the rest of the slime out onto his immobilized lap.

Agent RAPSCALLION grabbed bandages and began to patch up the injured officer as a nurse came around the corner to investigate the shots. Her eyes were immediately drawn to the creature, and with a scream, she stumbled backwards. She tripped over herself and began crawling back behind the front desk. RAPSCALLION grabbed the creature and tossed it down the hall toward the desk, and he then began dragging the officers that direction.

Around this time, the other agents arrived. The only outer doors open at this hour were the ones to the ER, and the inner doors they needed to get through were locked. There was a button with a plaque that said to ring for assistance. Agent SETH decided this was no time for formalities. Drawing his pistol, he fired two shots through the windows on the doors. He then reached through and opened them.

Gunshots only served to make the poor nurse’s night worse. She held her knees, rocked, and whimpered behind the desk. The other agents rounded the corner as the emergency exit doors at the end of the hall were forced open. The alarm rang out as two men in black suits walked in. Both groups eyed each other for a moment, and then Agent SETH identified himself by his real name and informed them that he was from INSCOM, Army Intelligence. The men in black nodded, and one identified them as NSA, but he gave no names. As a matter of national security, they were taking all evidence. Agent SETH told them they might not want to look in SÁBADO’s room.

The man in the black suit who had spoken before shook his head and informed SETH that as NSA field agents, it was all part of the job. The other man opened the door and immediately turned to vomit. The first man growled, rolled his eyes, and entered the room. While no one was looking, Agent SETH grabbed the remains of the creature and ran for the stairs. He found the incinerator, and stuffed the thing inside. After a few moments and wet, popping sounds, the job was done.

Curiosity and her morbid side got the better of Agent ROBIN who decided she just had to see what was so bad an NSA agent couldn’t keep down his dinner. She looked in to see the blood and gore all over the walls, floor and ceiling. She was only mildly disturbed as she turned back to the hall.

Agent RAPUNZEL asked the nurse where the security room was, and the poor woman pointed. RAPUNZEL asked her to open the door, but the nurse only ripped off her ID badge, threw it on the floor, and ran for the emergency exit. RAPUNZEL took the badge, and used it to gain access to the security room. She quickly got a hold of the security camera footage and erased it.

The man who entered the room emerged with the green canvas bag over his shoulder, and both NSA agents left the way they entered. It was then that Agent ROBIN smelled the smoke and … burning flesh? The sprinkler system kicked on as ROBIN looked in to confirm that the body on the floor was in deed on fire.

Their mission accomplished, the agents all fled the hospital before they had to answer uncomfortable questions from State Police, the Phoenix Fire Department, local news media, and anyone else who might be on the way.

Agent SETH reported the results of the mission to A-Cell through the secure, encrypted e-mail system, and he also informed them of the loss of Agent SÁBADO. For their part, whichever member of A-Cell who responded thanked the agents for successfully handling the Operation and stated that SÁBADO’s replacement should be ready in about a month. While it can be hard to analyze intent behind text-based communication, Agent SETH was a trained psychologist. He found it interesting that A-Cell thanked them for their work but didn’t congratulate them on success. It was also interesting, and mildly disturbing that A-Cell gave only a business-like response to the loss of an agent.

Both cells were glad to be done here in Arizona, and they all quickly returned to their home cities to get back to the comparatively safe business of Federal law enforcement.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Yablo
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:16 pm UTC

We had some time after finishing up the last Operation, so we got this one started during the same session. This marks the first appearance of Agent SÁBADO’s replacement. Agent SLEEPLESS – so named because he suffers from insomnia and a fear of dreams – is an NSA field agent specializing in cult infiltration and dismantling. He is a small man, not particularly strong, and not particularly attractive; pretty much your perfect cultist. This Operation takes place after the agents have had a few months to relax and recover. It is mid-October.

Handful of Dust – Session 1

Agents SETH and RAPUNZEL each received a phone call on their Delta Green phones. The voice on the other end identified herself as Section Chief Jane Turner of the FBI in Washington, DC. Their cells had been recommended to her by A-Cell, and she was instructed to invite them to a Night at the Opera. It was obvious she had never been on this end of an Opera invitation, but she handled the situation with authority. They were to contact their cells and instruct them to pack for about five days in the southwest, but first all agents were to meet her at the J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington the following day.

The agents all met up in Washington on the steps of the J. Edgar Hoover building and entered together. The inside was impressive, and the giant FBI logo on the floor drew their attention for a moment. An unremarkable man at the front desk asked if he could direct them. His badge identified him as Michael Bullen.

Agent SETH indicated that they had been summoned by Section Chief Turner, and the man nodded. He led them to a secure debriefing room and tossed a thin manila folder on the conference table.

“You may want to look that over first. Chief Turner will be with you shortly.”

Agent SAM took up the folder and examined its contents before passing it along. Inside was a single document; an FBI report detailing the New Coven of Salem. The original Coven was an old coven of witches supposedly descended from actual witches who had been executed during the Salem witch trials in the 17th Century. The Coven, based in Arkham, Massachusetts, had been eradicated in the late ‘30s by the Arkham Police Department. It consisted of about eighty members with an inner circle of thirteen. It was suspected that the New Coven of Salem consisted of about thirty members. The only known pattern of membership in the New Coven seemed to be that some of the members seemed to be grouping together in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and then moving to Arkham. It was suspected that the Coven restructuring was being coordinated in or near Alamogordo.

Just as the agents finished reading the report, a woman in her mid-30s entered the room. She was reasonably attractive with shoulder-length brown hair which was tied back, and she wore a black suit with a knee-length skirt. She introduced herself as Section Chief Jane Turner. Chief Turner apologized for the brevity of the meeting, but she was actually quite busy and had a meeting in about ten minutes. She got right down to business.

“I trust you’ve read the report? This case landed on my official desk yesterday, and I’m far too busy to handle it myself, so I’m being forced to hand it off. You come highly recommended. Recently, the Planning Committee decided that the New Mexico branch of the New Coven of Salem needed investigating. Well, five days ago, Boston police picked up a vagrant on charges of assaulting two women in a park.

“The man has claimed that he is Donald Allen McLeod, but his identity has yet to be verified. When questioned, the man said he had travelled to Boston from Powell, New Mexico. Powell is a small town about fifty miles north of Alamogordo, near the U.S. Military’s White Sands Missile Range. Bus ticket stubs in his pocket and several eye witnesses have confirmed this. He said he was travelling to Arkham to find the New Coven of Salem, but little more has been learned from him, even after repeated interviews.”

Agents SETH and SLEEPLESS expressed interest in interviewing the man themselves, and Section Chief Turner said that could be arranged. She mentioned that FBI Psychiatrist Doctor Aaron Fairbanks had interviewed McLeod, and was convinced that the man was incurably insane. His prognosis was delusion and psychosis. Chief Turner went on to say that the agents were booked on an overnight flight to Alamogordo at 11:00 PM.

“There you will be met by Detective Ferrell of the Alamogordo Police Department. He will provide a police vehicle, and you will proceed immediately to Powell to conduct a preliminary investigation into the status of the cult. Officially, you are not to take any action, but to report back to Washington once you have any conclusive evidence of illegal activities. Unofficially, however …”

She paused briefly, biting her lip.

“I understand this is a Delta Green operation, and so obviously you will have to do what you have to do. If things go very wrong, I’ll do my best to provide covering paperwork. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I really must go. You’ll have about seven hours to conduct investigation and inquiry here before your flight leaves from Ronald Regan National. The evidence lockers, and the prisoner are located downstairs.”

She then quickly turned and exited. Okay then. The agents had a few things to look into. They all headed down to the evidence locker, and Agent RAPUNZEL signed for the evidence. The guard placed a tray on the table and then left them to examine it. The contents of the tray were as follows:

Three tubes of toothpaste: two empty, one full; two dead cockroaches; twenty-three bus tickets documenting trips between various towns between Powell, New Mexico and Boston, Massachusetts; $53.25 in various bills and coins; and a yellowed birth certificate for Donald Allen McLeod, born in Danver’s General Hospital in Massachusetts on April 23rd, 1893.

Agent SETH quickly did the math. That would make the man 116 years old. He decided it was time to pay Mr. McLeod a visit. Agents SETH and SLEEPLESS went to the man’s cell, and they were allowed in. The other agents took the evidence to the FBI laboratory to run some quick tests.

Agent RAPUNZEL used every piece of equipment at her disposal to determine just how the cockroaches died. They weren’t poisoned, and it wasn’t physical trauma. The only tool that gave any clue was the Geiger counter. Apparently, the cockroaches had died from too much radiation. This realization made her a little apprehensive about a trip to a town near a former nuclear testing site.

The agents also determines that the two empty tubes of toothpaste had traces of saliva. It seemed Mr. McLeod had eaten the contents. This was also mildly disturbing, but it wasn’t anything compared to what they’d seen only a few months earlier.

SETH and SLEEPLESS examined the man, and the condition of his cell. McLeod looked like a common hobo in his late-40s or early-50s. He wore an old suit and dirty shirt, and his hair and beard were unkempt. The man himself, as well as the floor, walls, and ceiling were all covered in a grainy dust. They asked him several questions, but they were unable to get much out of him other than that he felt the wind was blowing him to pieces.

Agent SETH called for the guards and Doctor Fairbanks. He demanded to know how the prisoner could be left in this condition. Doctor Fairbanks said simply “Touch him.”

Agent SETH touched McLeod’s arm, and the grainy dust stuck to his hand. As he brushed it away, he and Agent SLEEPLESS noticed that the dust slowly flowed back to cover the clean spot on the man’s arm.

The doctor informed them that the first day, the guards washed the man down every couple hours, but it did no good. Likewise, thoroughly cleaning the cell did no good. Agent SETH asked if McLeod had been weighed when he was brought in. The doctor indicated that all his measurements and prints were taken upon his arrest five days ago. He was 143 lbs.

SETH asked for a scale to be brought in, and they weighed the man. He had apparently lost four pounds in five days. The agents demanded to know what the prisoner was being fed, and how much he was eating. The doctor replied that McLeod would eat nothing but toothpaste because he believed it helped keep him from blowing away.

They decided they had enough for now, and they joined the other agents in the laboratory to discuss the evidence.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Yablo
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:42 pm UTC

Handful of Dust – Session 2

Upon hearing about the dust, Agents RAPUNZEL and ROBIN were very interested in running some tests. Agent SETH got them a sample of the dust which appeared pale blue – almost white – under the microscope or when enough of it was piled together.

During chemical analysis, Agent RAPUNZEL managed to thoroughly contaminate and then destroy the sample, so Agent SETH got her another. On the second try, they managed to determine its composition. The dust contained exactly the same elements in the same proportions as would be found in the typical human body – with one exception. There was no hydrogen or oxygen at all. It seemed all traces of water had been removed somehow.

It was quickly getting to be time to head to the airport. Agent SLEEPLESS stopped for coffee, but everyone made the flight on time. The layover in Memphis took an hour or so longer than expected, and so they didn’t land in Alamogordo until 9:00 AM.

Detective Farrell was there to meet them, and after a warm greeting, and a bit of small talk, he led them to the vehicle provided by the Alamogordo Police Department. It was a white Ford Explorer. Detective Farrell offered them the use of the police station facilities and equipment if they needed it, and then he wished them luck as they drove off with Agent SETH behind the wheel. They made it to a nearby hotel before realizing that this vehicle just wasn’t going to meet their needs. It may have been free, but the air-conditioning didn’t work, and RAPUNZEL’s seatbelt wouldn’t latch. This meant that if she didn’t hold the buckle in place, the dashboard would beep at her for the entire trip. SETH dropped everyone off at the hotel, and then he and Agent RAPSCALLION returned to the airport to ditch the Explorer in favor of two rental cars.

As Agent SAM was from Santa Fe, and RAPSCALLION wanted to hit up the green box there, they took a short road trip. Agent SAM stopped at her house to grab extra clothes while RAPSCALLION headed for Unit #35 at the Extra Space Storage facility. As he raised the garage-style door, he noticed the unit was fairly empty. There were three paperback books; The Nephilim Chronicles: Fallen Angels in the Ohio Valley, Nuclear Weapons: A Very Short Introduction, and S&M: The Last Taboo; ten brown office envelopes tied with string; a Crown Royal bag of what appeared to be homemade caltrops; a Nintendo 64 controller; a glass blob containing several human teeth; a surgical glove filled with dead red ants; and a wooden case lined with felt padding and containing two small glass spheres filled with silvery powder. Agent RAPSCALLION grabbed the books, envelopes, and wooden case before locking the unit up and heading back to get Agent SAM.

Once the agents were back together, they piled into the vehicles for the trip to Powell. It was a long, boring drive down a very straight desert highway, and somehow both SETH and RAPSCALLION both missed the dirt road to Powell, and they only realized this when they saw the sign welcoming them to Colorado. They were already about five hours behind schedule. What harm could another hour do?

On their way back south, they found the little dirt road leading to Powell. It was quite bumpy, and about half-way to town, Agent RAPSCALLION got a flat tire. It was easily changed, and by about 5:00 PM, they rolled into town. Powell was a small town, and it strongly resembled a town from a spaghetti Western which had been modernized sometime around the turn of the century. The roads were dirt, the buildings were wooden, and every so often, a tumbleweed would roll down the street. There weren’t many vehicles, and for that matter, there weren’t many people out walking either.

The first thing they passed on their way into town was an old, stone well. Next to the well laid the body of a man with a large hole through the heart of his suit and a matching one out the back. He was quite obviously dead, and there was a cloud of flies around him. The agents got out of their vehicles to examine the body. Agent SAM found a stick, and despite SETH’s protest, she poked the body in several places. This had two mildly disgusting effects. First, the body released gases, and second, the mouth opened to reveal swarming maggots.

Agent RAPUNZEL checked the pockets while SETH questioned a couple of guys who were casually strolling past. They didn’t even seem to notice the body until it was pointed out to them, and even then they seemed reasonably sure the man was just resting. The man had a wallet containing a photo ID, a $5 bill, a credit card, and two library cards. The cards identified the man as Simon Horn of Chicago. He was also carrying a hotel key labelled ‘#3’.

The wind picked up, and a tumbleweed rolled past. Agent ROBIN thought she could hear whispering, but she couldn’t be sure.

After examining the body, the cells split up. S-Cell went to investigate the saloon/hotel, and R-Cell paid a visit to the sheriff to inform him of the body by the well. As S-Cell approached the saloon, they could hear a song by Conway Twitty playing on the jukebox in the corner, and several citizens were inside talking. As they entered, the talking stopped briefly, and when it resumed, it was in more hushed tones. Agent SAM engaged the bartender in conversation. She had noticed that her phone wasn’t getting reception, and she couldn’t find an internet signal, so she asked the bartender about it. He didn’t know anything about the internet, but if she wanted to use the phone, she was welcome to do so. She tried this, but the phone was very old with no dial, and when she picked up the ear piece, there was no dial tone or operator. She decided to order a couple drinks instead. It took her all of ten minutes to drink her Rum and Coke, and her Long Island Iced Tea.

Meanwhile, Agent SETH had slipped upstairs to find four doors; three with numbers, and one unmarked. He tried the key in door three, and it opened. The room was dark and rather sparsely decorated. There was a bed, and an end table with a kerosene lamp, and a bible. He noticed a faint clicking sound and followed it to its source. Prying up the floorboard with his knife, Agent SETH found a hollow space with a clicking Geiger counter which was reading about 85 or so clicks per minute, a bundle of sticks with a black feather, and a note pad with some mildly disturbing notes. The note pad said things like “the sheriff and wife don’t seem trustworthy”, “to run is to die”, “Jack Pena has answers”, and “he says the answers are in ‘THE RANCH’”. Agent SETH headed back downstairs and shared his findings with the rest of his cell.

R-Cell drove the two blocks or so to the sheriff’s office and parked outside. The inside looked like something out of the Andy Griffith show. The sheriff was tall and well-built, and if not for the sunglasses, he could easily have stepped right from an old Western movie. RAPUNZEL and RAPSCALLION both noticed the gun rack behind the sheriff’s desk. It had room for two rifles, but there was only one there at the moment. Agent RAPUNZEL notified the sheriff of the body near the well, and he didn’t seem surprised. He stated that he’d have someone get right on that as soon as things settled down a bit. He said he was quite busy with all the paperwork, and he waved a hand to indicate his rather uncluttered desk. He also warned them not to touch the body, or he’d have to arrest them for interfering with an investigation.

Agent RAPSCALLION informed the sheriff that he was a U.S. Marshall, and he showed his badge. For his part, the sheriff was quite unimpressed. He simply grinned and pointed to the badge on his chest.

“I have one, too. Mine’s a star, and it says ‘sheriff’. That means I’m in charge here, so if you’ll kindly allow me to do my job …?”

He leaned back in his chair, and his spurs jangled a bit as he put his feet up on the desk. He placed his hands behind his head and yawned.

The agents of R-Cell bid the sheriff good day, and they exited the office to find that all the air had been let out of their tires. Agent RAPSCALLION drove the vehicle anyway, and about two blocks later, they arrived at the gas station. They were irritated to find that there was no air pump, and there were no spare tires for sale. They gathered their gear and walked back to S-Cell’s vehicle.

Agent SETH wanted to interview the Jack Pena mentioned in the notebook, and so RAPSCALLION guarded the vehicle as the other agents headed to Mr. Pena’s camp. On their way, they passed a poorly maintained graveyard and a small stone chapel in the colonial Spanish style.

Agent SAM decided to take a closer look at the chapel despite SETH’s protest that it was unimportant compared to interviewing Mr. Pena, and that there would be plenty of time later. Again the wind picked up, and this time SETH and SLEEPLESS both thought they could hear whispering of some sort, but Agent SAM was sure she could. She could actually make out at least three whispered voices on the wind. She couldn’t tell if they were male or female, but they seemed to be pleading for her to help them, and to “destroy that which dwells in the well”. One voice called her by name. She informed Agent SETH of what she heard, and the agents all decided to head back to the well they passed on the way into town.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:07 pm UTC

Agent SETH’s player was out for this game, so for the first bit, I had him just sleeping in the one remaining vehicle. That should have been fine for the entire session, but my players don’t like to make anything easy.

Handful of Dust – Session 3

There was a brief discussion about how to proceed. Given the whispers she’d just heard on the wind, Agent SAM wanted to go take a second look at the well they passed when they first arrived in town. It was eventually decided that Agents SETH and RAPSCALLION should guard the group’s other rental car while everyone else checked on the well. They all headed back to the vehicle since it was on the way to the well, but before they split up, the agents saw a truck pull up in front of the well down the street. There were two men in the cab and three in the bed. The three in the back hopped out and just stood around the body which had apparently not yet been collected.

Agent SETH got in the passenger side of the vehicle while the other five agents stood outside keeping an eye on the well. Not long after, the sheriff could be heard whistling as he walked down the street. As he passed the agents, he tipped his hat in a friendly manner. A child of about ten or eleven came running out of the saloon yelling and waving, and so the sheriff tipped his hat once again, took a coin from his pocket, and flipped it to the kid. For his part, the kid caught the coin and ran back inside happily.

The agents watched all of this with a mix of interest and suspicion. The sheriff continued on until he reached the men by the well. They had a brief conversation which ended with the sheriff tipping his hat and turning to return to the office while the men tossed the body in the back of the truck, hopped in with it, and sped off out of town to the northwest. Another brief discussion followed, and RAPSCALLION ended up watching the vehicle while SETH slept, and the others left to interview Jack Pena.

Jack Pena’s camp wasn’t much to look at; several junked cars forming a circle, and tarps elevated by trees, posts, and ropes to act like tents. At one end of the camp was a very old Navajo woman with thick glasses who was busy painting pottery. In the center was a Navajo man of about 80 years sitting in a lawn chair and tending a small camp fire. There was a television on a table nearby which was plugged in to a generator which was not running at the moment. Quick questioning confirmed that this man was indeed Jack Pena.

Agent ROBIN decided the old woman was more interesting, and so she approached to see what was being painted. The woman didn’t seem to notice ROBIN’s approach, but when the agent spoke up to compliment the pottery work, the old woman turned. The lenses of her glasses were quite thick, and even at this distance, the woman squinted and leaned forward to see who had spoken.

Agent ROBIN and the old woman had a friendly discussion about the artwork on her pottery; she had been painting T-shaped totem poles with animals dangling from them. Apparently, these totem poles were outside “the Ranch”, and though the woman seemed like she never went far from camp, she said she sees the poles “most nights”.

Jack Pena was quite helpful as well. He seemed happy to answer questions, but he warned them that the Ranch was a dangerous place. He said “the key to releasing Rhagorthua” could be found there. Agent RAPUNZEL recognized the name from somewhere – a book, a television show, a half-heard conversation. Where she’d heard the name wasn’t particularly important at the moment. What was important was that the name belonged to a spirit creature of some sort – a demon-god – who had taken over the entrance to the underworld. Jack Pena confirmed this, and he added that this demon-god dwelt in a bottomless well somewhere in the desert.

Sometime in the late 1940’s, Jack told them, a couple of detectives passed through the area on the trail of some magic or other which could help in their investigation in New England. The investigators were searching for eternal life, but instead they stumbled into Rhagorthua’s well and their bodies were consumed. Their spirits supposedly still wandered the desert in search of their elusive magic.

Jack was also able to confirm that the Ranch was northwest of town; the same direction the truck had gone after collecting the body by the well. It seemed the next step was to investigate this Ranch. The agents headed back to the vehicle to discuss their findings with RAPSCALLION and SETH, but they only made it into visual range of the vehicle before they saw something which would change the entire course of the night, and probably not for the better.

Agent RAPSCALLION had been quietly reading a book from the green box while standing outside the driver’s side door. There was a loud thud across the street, and he looked up just in time to see a rock bounce into the dirt road, apparently after having hit the building. As he was watching the rock, there were two loud hisses from behind him, and the vehicle settled much lower on the passenger side. As he turned, RAPSCALLION saw the kid from the saloon running down the street in the direction of the sheriff’s office, or maybe the general store. He had slashed the passenger side tires.

This was their only remaining vehicle, and apparently there wasn’t a spare tire to be found in the whole town, so Agent RAPSCALLION wasn’t about to let this go. He dropped the book and took a few steps in the direction of the running child while drawing his pistol! He took aim, and though it was getting dark, he took one shot. Part of the child’s head blew off, and the body hit the dirt. RAPSCALLION approached the body, and it was then that the other agents rounded the corner to see about ten people with shotguns, rifles, and handguns running out of the saloon to see what had just happened. The people raised their guns and aimed them at Agent RAPSCALLION, but before they could fire, Agent SLEEPLESS (who was living up to his name by currently operating on about 40 hours without sleep) decided that the “cultists” needed to die, and he drew his own gun.

SLEEPLESS fired his Glock-18 on auto into the crowd, and seconds later, only two were left standing. Most ordinary small-town citizens would probably dive for cover, cower, play dead … Not these citizens. The two left standing turned and fired their rifles at Agent SLEEPLESS. Just as quickly as he had thinned their group, they thinned him. His lifeless body dropped right at RAPUNZEL’s feet.

Agent ROBIN ran for the vehicle, Agent SAM ran for the SALOON, Agent RAPSCALLION dove for the alley, and Agent RAPUNZEL fired her pistol wildly and only managed to kill a bottle of some blue liquor inside the saloon. Before the two remaining men could fire their rifles at RAPUNZEL, Agent RAPSCALLION peeked around the corner and fired his pistol, killing both men.

All of this gunfire had apparently drawn the sheriff’s attention as he was now jogging down the street in their direction. He had seen RAPSCALLION firing his gun, and so he spoke into the walkie-talkie he was carrying, and he pointed down the alley. Agent RAPUNZEL fired at the sheriff and knocked the hat off his head. The sheriff spoke into his walkie-talkie again, and this time he pointed at RAPUNZEL. Agent RAPSCALLION could hear him clearly by now, and he heard the sheriff say “Scratch that. Get her!”

Agent ROBIN had started the car, rolled down the power window, and fired a couple of meaningless shots, and she now decided that a better course of action would be to drive as quickly as possible down the road toward the sheriff. Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t much of a driver. She was worse under this kind of pressure, and she was totally unprepared for driving a vehicle of this size with two slashed tires. As she floored the accelerator, the Ford Explorer veered hard to the right, and instead of flying down the dirt road like she had pictured, she flew through the door of the saloon. This took the dozen or so citizens on their way out completely by surprise, and about two-thirds of them were dragged along under the vehicle as it plowed through the bar and over the bartender. As the wall of booze crashed to the floor, Agent SAM hopped into the car. Through all of this, Agent SETH managed to snore.

Agent RAPUNZEL was dead on her feet and falling when the shot was heard. It seemed a sniper had caught her right in the heart. This was a bit too much for Agent RAPSCALLION, and so he snuck away down the alley looking for an escape route. Reaching the rear of the buildings, he scanned the area. To the right was the well, and the road back to the highway. Straight ahead across a wide open space was the old church with the poorly maintained graveyard. To the left was the sheriff’s car, parked quietly in the dark.

Nodding to himself, Agent RAPSCALLION ran toward the sheriff’s car. As he ran, dirt kicked up near his feet, and a shot could be heard. This was his second Opera, and this was his second Opera being narrowly missed by a sniper as he ran. He didn’t have much time to enjoy his good fortune, however. A few seconds later, there was a ringing in his ears, and his vision went red. His face felt wet and warm. Upon reaching the sheriff’s car, a mirror confirmed his suspicion. The sniper had put a round directly into his face, but by some small miracle, it had passed clean through seemingly without damaging anything more vital than his profile.

ROBIN threw the car into reverse and floored it again, but all this did was throw up glass, alcohol, and bloody gore. Fortunately for everyone in the vehicle, things were so chaotic, and the lighting was bad enough that it wasn’t immediately obvious that eight or nine people were being ground to a pulp under the vehicle. Instead, what was immediately obvious was that the car wasn't going anywhere any time soon. The agents (including the recently awakened Agent SETH) exited the vehicle.

The ladies checked the bathroom for an exit, and Agent SETH just ran for the front door and out into the night. Like the rest of the downstairs in the hotel/saloon, the bathrooms had no windows. Agent SAM tested the wall with her shoulder, but it was solid. SAM and ROBIN decided to head upstairs, and opening the first door they found, they looked out the window. Maybe fifteen feet away, there was a tree. SAM jumped first, and she barely grabbed a branch which broke under her weight, but it slowed her enough that she landed uninjured. ROBIN followed, and she experienced similar results. They looked around and saw the same things Agent RAPSCALLION had seen. They also made the same decision, and they ran for the sheriff’s car.

When they reached it, they saw RAPSCALLION fumbling around, apparently trying to steal the car stereo. When SAM asked what he was doing, he admitted that he was trying to hotwire the car, but he wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Agent SAM smiled and told him to move over. This was a particular specialty of hers. It took a bit of doing, but she got the car started. Meanwhile, Agent ROBIN had been keeping watch. She noticed the same truck from the well pull up and grab two bodies from the street before driving off to the northwest. Two bodies from where Agent SLEEPLESS was shot … That must mean Agent RAPUNZEL had died as well.

With SLEEPLESS and RAPUNZEL dead, and SETH missing, that meant only half of their team remained not even ten minutes after the first shots had been fired. The general consensus seemed to be something along the lines of “screw this town”. With the car started, Agent SAM announced her plan to storm the Ranch. RAPSCALLION then announced his plan to completely avoid SAM’s plan. He then got out of the car, and ROBIN took his place. She didn’t like the idea of going to the Ranch, but she liked the idea of staying here even less. Agents SAM and ROBIN sped off to the northwest without an argument.

RAPSCALLION looked through the back door of the sheriff’s office. There was a light on somewhere inside, and the door was locked anyway, so he moved on to the next building. As luck would have it, the next building was the general store, and the door was easily forced open. Luck turned out to be a merciless bitch, however, because it was soon obvious that there wasn’t much in here that could be salvaged. There was no order to the shelves, and even if there had been, the place was so poorly kept that no sane customer would ever shop here. Dog food cans spilled onto toothpaste tubes and boxes of tea, the refrigerated section had flickering lights, but judging by the smell, it had no refrigeration. There were no bandages or paper towels. There were only matches and a grill-lighter with a trigger.

The U.S. Marshall knew he needed to stop the bleeding, and he knew fire could do that. He wasn’t excited about putting a lighter to his cheek, but that last thing he wanted right now was to pass out from loss of blood. Plus, after cauterizing the wound, these matches and the lighter could be put to further use. This hell-hole of a town was almost completely made of very dry wood.

Agents RAPUNZEL and SLEEPLESS awoke in a poorly lit jail or dungeon cell. Yeah, they each felt sure they’d been shot dead, and their clothes had the holes and still-wet blood to prove it, and yet here they were. RAPUNZEL had a very difficult time handling this, and her body seemed to twitch periodically. She also had uncontrollable urges to scream, curse, or just make random noises. Agent SLEEPLESS looked calmly around the cell, but this only lasted a moment. As soon as he realized he was trapped in a room of stone and iron with no caffeine, amphetamines, energy drinks, B-Vitamins … The ugly specter of inevitable sleep was obvious. His screams were louder and more disturbing than those of his fellow agent.

RAPUNZEL looked around for a way out, but all she could see were walls, bars, and Jack Pena in a cell across from them. Well, that was something at least. She called to him, and he lifted his head to look at her. He was sitting cross-legged, and he had his arms crossed over his chest with his hands on his shoulders.

She asked what he was doing here, and his reply was that he had been brought to witness the end. The old Navajo offered what he felt were words of comfort.

“Our pain will be short. Rhagorthua will soon destroy all. Nothing is forever except the earth, and the mountains, and the Great Old Ones which live beneath them.”

SLEEPLESS continued to scream and look around desperately for any caffeine at all; it had only been a few minutes, but in his current situation, he would probably even have settled for a flat Diet Pepsi. Agent RAPUNZEL had her own problems, but with the exception of uncontrollable tics, twitches, and noises, she did a good job of keeping her cool.

She asked Jack if he knew of a way out, and the old man nodded slowly. “Your cell has a tunnel, but it won’t do you much good. Rhagorthua will arrive soon, and he will consume the world. It is too late.”

When she asked where this tunnel was, Jack nodded and pointed with his eyes. Neither agent was able to follow his gaze, but it was apparent that he was unable to point with anything else. He explained that when he woke in his cell, his hands and feet were stuck to his shoulders and knees. He couldn’t move, but it was just as well. The demon-god was coming.

The agents looked around their cell and soon found a loose stone in the floor. They were both relatively small and weak, however, and so it took all they had to lift the stone enough to prop open the tunnel. After a short rest, they pushed the stone further out of the way. Now here was the part where being small could pay off. The tunnel was dark and narrow, but the agents felt sure they could fit. RAPUNZEL went first, and SLEEPLESS followed. After what seemed like several minutes, the tunnel let out into a large, dark room which felt like a freezer. They didn’t have a thermometer, but RAPUNZEL decided that if she were to guess, she’d say it was probably below zero. As their eyes had pretty much adjusted to the dark, they looked around the room to see twenty or so mostly-naked bodies hanging by chains from hooks in the stone ceiling.

The sheriff’s car approached the Ranch, and slivers of light could be seen through boarded up windows. There was a rusting iron fence leaning at unsafe angles around the Ranch, but that wasn’t going to stop Agent SAM. She hit the gas and crashed right through the fence sending iron and dirt flying. The car came to a stop at the base of a large T-shaped totem pole which held a dead raven hanging by its feet. This totem pole was one of four which were visible under the light of the radiated New Mexico moon. ROBIN and SAM saw a porch swing up on the front porch, and now deciding it was time for the stealthy approach, they snuck up to the front door.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:36 pm UTC

There was no game last week because it happened to be my wife’s birthday. As for this week, my new goddaughter was thoughtful enough to hold off on being born until almost the end of the game. This week, I accomplished a feat I hardly thought possible. I managed to get a group of six characters in a horror roleplaying game split into six pieces. There was a period of roughly ten in-game minutes where each agent was completely alone.

Handful of Dust – Session 4

Agents RAPUNZEL and SLEEPLESS made their way through the freezer of hanging bodies to the large metal door on the other side. Pushing it open, they emerged into a hallway lit only sporadically by flickering fluorescent lights. There were a few doors to choose from, and the hall led a couple directions as well. The walls, floor, and ceiling were all stone, and the architecture didn’t seem to follow general standards. Rooms and halls were oddly shaped and angled.

The agents opted for the door more or less straight across from them, and it led to a diesel generator and several steel drums. Neither agent had the faintest idea how to operate or shut down the generator, so they made note of the fuel, and left. They passed a few doors and a spiral staircase leading up as they continued down the poorly lit hall. After a few twists and turns, it let out into the dungeon from which they’d just escaped. RAPUNZEL briefly considered freeing the old Navajo, but considering that he couldn’t move on his own, and he’d pretty much accepted the end of everything, she thought better of it. She did get a close look at the man however, and when she did, she realized that not only were his hands and feet fused to the rest of his body, but he also had holes; holes that should probably have killed him. One hole was clean through where one of his lungs should have been. Without a word to Agent SLEEPLESS, she screamed and ran as fast as she could back down the hallway.

Agent SETH had slept through the slashing of the tires. He had slept through the gunfire. Rhagorthua’s dreams and whispers kept him in a deep sleep, but even a Great Old One couldn’t make a Delta Green agent sleep through the rampage and wreck in the saloon. He had run off into the night and found a dark quiet place to collect his thoughts. Once he was sure he was back in control, he decided he needed to find his fellow agents, and the Opera seemed to be calling them all in the direction of the Ranch.

He made his way to the old church and up to the bell tower to get a view of the area. With his night-vision binoculars, he could do just that. Everything was green, but at least he could see. He scanned the horizon and found a ranch house to the northwest. Scanning the town, the only movement he saw came from the rear of the general store. He couldn’t make out who the person was, but he decided to keep watching.

Agent RAPSCALLION had just emerged from the general store after cauterizing the hole in his face with a grill lighter. He snuck through the darkest patches until he made it to the front door of the saloon. He entered and looked for any alcohol he could use for fuel. All he found was a bottle of cheap beer, and various liquors pooling with blood on the floor of the bar. He drank the beer, lit a rag on fire, dipped it in the bloody alcohol mixture, and waited for it to ignite. Once he was satisfied that the fire would spread, he left the building through the front door. Agent SETH watched as RAPSCALLION then made his way to the sheriff’s office.

Agents SAM and ROBIN approached the front door of the Ranch. It was a heavy double-door. One side appeared barred, but the other side opened easily. They stepped inside to find a small entry room. There were a few doors to choose from, a hallway leading to the left, and a staircase straight ahead. They took the hall, and it wound around in an odd way. There were several doors they didn’t try, but the one they did led to a kitchen and a pantry. Poking around in the pantry revealed a hidden door in the wall which opened into another hallway.

It was upon passing through this door that they heard a voice shouting profanity in what seemed to be alphabetical order. The agents decided to follow the sound of the voice, and when they made it back to the entryway of the ranch, there was a loud thud behind one of the doors. Agent SAM opened the door to see Agent RAPUNZEL. Agents SAM and ROBIN had seen RAPUNZEL gunned down by sniper fire in the town, and they had seen her body tossed carelessly in the back of a truck. Now, here she was breathing, smiling, swearing. Agent ROBIN went for her gun shouting “She’s dead! Why are you taking this form?!”, and so RAPUNZEL slammed the door and put all her weight against it. For her part, Agent SAM turned away from the door looking for another direction to take. She saw a figure in the dark hall, and when the flickering lights cooperated, the hallway lit to reveal what appeared to be a cactus with human features wearing a suit. She approached the figure, and as the lights went back out, it seemed to run away down the hall. Agent SAM followed while ROBIN tried unsuccessfully to force open the door.

Just around the corner, Agent SAM caught up with the cactus man and questioned him. He said his name was Simon Horn. That was the name of the corpse they’d found near the well upon reaching Powell, and now that she thought about it, the cactus man did resemble the body. He didn’t seem to know he had become half cactus, and when SAM pointed this out, he didn’t seem to believe her. Agent SAM made it clear that she didn’t trust him, but she agreed to show him to the front door. When they got to the entryway, Agent ROBIN stopped beating against the door, blinked at the cactus man, screamed, and ran up the stairs. That’s when RAPUNZEL opened the door and stepped through.

Agent SLEEPLESS followed the direction RAPUNZEL had run, but he took his time. The first room he checked seemed to be a torture room of some sort. The second room held a giant mass of flesh, faces, and limbs. SLEEPLESS calmly shut the door and walked on down the hall. He found another freezer room, and this one actually held frozen foods. Once all the doors had been checked, he headed up the same stairs RAPUNZEL had taken.

Agent SETH watched the figure through his night-vision binoculars. That figure snuck up to the front door of the sheriff’s office and shot the lock with two rounds from a pistol. With the lock destroyed, the figure entered. SETH decided to climb down from the bell tower and check out the sheriff’s office. Agent RAPSCALLION turned as SETH entered, and they recognized each other. After a brief discussion, they decided to make their way to the Ranch as quickly as they could.

Agent RAPUNZEL could almost feel her skin moving, and it felt scratchy. Seeing the cactus man made her pause. Was she turning into a cactus? Was she turning into something else? Was she blowing away like Donald Allen McLeod? Should she be adding toothpaste to her diet?

She asked the man how he came to be a cactus, and he seemed sure the two agents were playing some cruel joke on him. He explained that he was no cactus; he was a reporter from Chicago. RAPUNZEL commented that he was a man getting in touch with his inner tequila.

Agent SLEEPLESS took the first door he saw upon reaching the ground floor. The room was a dark computer room with four terminals along a wall. The room had a broken, barred, and shuttered window through which the wind blew. Anyone but SLEEPLESS and RAPUNZEL would feel the breeze as gentle. Agent SLEEPLESS only felt as if his skin was being scraped away with sandpaper. He didn’t remain in the room long.

ROBIN made it to the top of the stairs, and she was still pretty disturbed by all she’d seen lately. The night was not about to let up, however. The landing at the top of the stairs was as poorly lit as the rest of the Ranch. The flickering lights didn’t do much to help her mood, and neither did the two men playing dominos. They wore what looked to be old fashioned suits, but in this light, it was hard to tell. They didn’t take much notice of her until she raised her gun.

When the lights came on for a moment, she could easily see through the men and the table. This helped her mood even less than the lighting situation. She screamed again, and yelled “Why do you take these forms?!” before rushing through the first door she found.

This door led to a room which might have really disturbed any sane individual, but given Agent ROBIN’s current state of mind and her secret love of taxidermy, she felt oddly at ease. The dog with ostrich feet for legs and an ant-eater’s snout for a head didn’t bother her. Neither did the calf with the monkey’s head and human arms instead of legs. She decided her personal favorite was the two bobcats sewn together at the side. One had a man’s head, and the other a woman’s. Everything outside was crazy. This felt right.

Agents SETH and RAPSCALLION finally made it to the Ranch, and they found the sheriff’s vehicle in the yard. SETH was able to re-hotwire the car easily, and once it started up, he turned on the lights and held down the horn. It was a good bet that everyone and everything in the immediate area was now alerted, but in SETH’s estimation, that didn’t matter. What mattered was getting the agents as far away from Powell, New Mexico as possible.

Agent SAM was the first out the door, and she was the first in the car. ROBIN had finally calmed herself down, and now that she could think straight, she ran out of the room and down the stairs only to find the cactus man still in the entry way. She screamed and shot the cactus man in the chest. He slumped against the wall as she ran out the door.

This left Agent RAPUNZEL in the entry way and SLEEPLESS on his way to see what the shooting was about. When they came face to face, the two formerly dead agents drew and fired their guns. SLEEPLESS missed, and RAPUNZEL dropped him with the single shot. As she ran out the front door, SLEEPLESS hit the ground and began to disintegrate rapidly.

The other four agents were already in the car, and there was some debate as to whether or not to let RAPUNZEL join them. Ultimately, she was allowed in. The car sped off into the desert night, but it didn’t go far before RAPUNZEL and ROBIN both wanted out. There was something to the north that was calling to them. SETH slammed on the brakes, and let them know just what he thought of their plan. Agent RAPSCALLION had faith in his Cell leader, and so he too got out of the car. The wind had been picking up recently, and it was now pretty strongly blowing to the north. Agents SETH and SAM sped off to the east knowing that soon they’d find the highway.

R-Cell walked north, and soon the wind was so strong that they could only see what was right in front of them. They heard a sound, and then they saw lights. A truck sped past them, and a few moments later, there was a sound of breaking, twisting metal. They eventually came upon the wrecked truck, but there was no driver. They continued walking north, and RAPUNZEL decided not to bother anyone with the fact that she was literally blowing away with the wind.

Eventually, they came upon two men playing dominos. There was a faint chanting in the distance, and after a brief conversation with the two men, all three agents of R-Cell realized what was happening. The well was out there. Rhagorthua was in the well. Someone from the Ranch was at the well and trying to resurrect Rhagorthua.

R-Cell ran off to the north with the sandstorm at their backs only to find the sheriff and a tall woman with long black hair and an assault rifle standing in their way. Deciding there was no time to talk, they opened fire, missing completely. The sheriff and the woman fired back, and the agents hit the ground. Only RAPSCALLION had the nerves to fight under these conditions, and he was effective. He quickly and easily killed both targets.

The agents continued toward the now feverish chanting. What they found was a large, heavyset man with his arms in the air. It was difficult to see much more with the wind and sand as bad as they were. Agent ROBIN was the only one close enough to do anything, and so she ran to the edge of the well. She looked down into infinity with a wild smile, and in that instant, the wind stopped blowing into the well. Another instant later, it all came blowing back up. Everything went white, and the agents of R-Cell never even felt their flesh melt.

Agents SETH and SAM were speeding south toward Alamogordo when they noticed the mushroom cloud in the rearview mirror. SETH quietly said “A-Cell is gonna be pissed.” With that, he turned on the radio and headed for the airport.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:47 pm UTC

That escalated quickly.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:11 pm UTC

Very. That happens sometimes. I wasn't expecting things to go quite the way they did, but it works. I try to be fair and uncaring at the same time with my games. Personally, I expected the other agents to shoot or arrest RAPSCALLION for the murder of the kid in the street, and if Agent SETH's player had been there for that game, that's most likely how it would have gone down.

Delta Green agents break Federal laws every day when they're on an Operation. The key is to not get caught, and if you do get caught, make sure you throw someone under the bus. I thought the ending was rather cinematic though. Only 1/3 of the group alive and sane, driving down an old State road in a stolen police vehicle in the middle of the night, mushroom cloud in the rearview ...

Yeah, things can go absolutely, perfectly wrong on zero notice when you play around with the Cthulhu mythos.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:13 pm UTC

For clarification though: was the mushroom cloud the work of Rhagorthua emerging (apocalypse), or ROBIN making a kamikaze attack with some secret nuke (Pyrrhic)?
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:32 pm UTC

Agent ROBIN had lost enough sanity in a short period that she was quite unhinged at the time. She seemed to believe that Rhagorthua needed to be released, and as she won the foot race to the well, she tipped things just enough for Rhagorthua to awaken fully. What the agents never managed to find out was that during the Trinity blast in the days of the Manhattan Project, Rhagorthua absorbed a large portion of the energy released by the detonation. That's what caused it to become semi-conscious in the first place. It then learned that it could be woken fully by the Resurrection spell, and it manipulated the Coven of New Salem into researching the spell. Once freed, it no longer needed the stored nuclear energy to keep it going, and so it released it all in one large blast.

A Great Old One on the loose could very easily cause an apocalypse, but fortunately, they're totally alien. I can have it fade into the background and be totally forgotten until I need it. As I said before, I try to be fair and uncaring at the same time. That means don't destroy the world because of something this small, but at the same time, a nuke in mainland USA is going to cause concern worldwide. You don't cover up something like that.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:46 am UTC

Ah, so this was a comprehensive defeat then. Darn, I was kinda hoping there was at least a glimmer of hope here.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:12 pm UTC

In Call of Cthulhu?! Ha! Actually, 1/3 of the group survived intact and sane. They may have scrapped the mission, but survival is often considered a win in a game like this. Lovecraft wasn't the happy, optimistic sort. It takes a special mindset to play this game. You can never truly save humanity, but you can stall its inevitable destruction. You're much better off if the things you do to save the world are never discovered, and there are often times where humanity makes you question whether they deserve your efforts anyway. I do see your point though, and this Operation could have gone much more smoothly. The Call of Cthulhu world has to be unforgiving and uncaring, or it loses what makes it special. Call of Cthulhu players are some of the most intelligent and clever players I've gamed with, and they have to be. Anyone can get by in D&D.

It may be depressing, and it may not seem as heroic as D&D, but this game offers a rewarding experience in a completely different direction. To put it in perspective, say you have a D&D game where the six character party is tasked with investigating the cult of an evil deity. Things go wrong, and an NPC is killed prompting the town to get up in arms. The party probably fights its way through the townsfolk until it reaches the fortress of the cult leader who is intent on bringing the evil deity to this plane. Now, say they don't stop the cult leader in time, and the evil deity is released, immediately killing four characters with no saving throw, no initiative, no attacks or damage; just death to 2/3 of the group. The only characters to survive are the two who fled early enough.

How many of those six players come back next week? How many of them ever play in one of my games again? Now, look at Call of Cthulhu. The same exact situation, and the four players who lost characters basically said "Yeah ... We pretty much saw that coming." Three of the four said "I think my next character is going to be <insert government agency/military branch>", and the fourth said "Here's my backup character."
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:16 pm UTC

One player is away for two weeks, and two others were out this week, but two of the three players who were available were the survivors from the last Operation, and the third already had a character prepared. Since we had three players, and that’s really your typical Delta Green group size anyway, we decided to play. For this game and the next, I wanted short Operations – ones that could each be finished up in one session. I prefer not to have new characters jump in mid-Operation if it can be helped.

This week, we had the two surviving Agents, SETH and SAM, and Agent RAPSCALLION’s player came in with Master Sergeant Cramer Gump, INSCOM “Black” Ops Agent and Delta Green Friendly.

Good Intentions

Sergeant Gump’s official assignment was to track and capture Garrett Duncan, an AWOL Army Electronic Warfare Technician who was believed to be responsible for extensive anti-government, anti-military rants in various online forums and blogs. Sergeant Gump’s investigation led him to downtown Phoenix, AZ. He believed Duncan had an apartment there.

Sergeant Gump’s plane landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport just before midnight, and so he caught a cab to the hotel nearest his target destination, checked in and ordered room service, and then turned in for the night.

That same night, Agents SETH and SAM were headed south toward Alamogordo in a stolen police cruiser. It was about 45 minutes after the desert was nuked that Agent SETH’s secure DG phone rang. He pulled the car over to the shoulder of the road and answered the phone.

“Agent SETH.”

“Mind telling me just what the hell happened?” It was Agent ADAM, and it turned out that SETH was right. A-Cell was indeed pissed.

Agent SETH explained that he couldn’t be expected to run a smooth Operation when 2/3 of his team were insane or incompetent. He started to give ADAM a rundown of the day’s activities, but he was cut short. He only managed to relay the information that, to his knowledge, he and Agent SAM were the only survivors.

“Agent SETH, this is the biggest screw up in Delta Green history. Your team is sent to investigate a possible recruitment outpost for a coven of witches, and later that night, the entire damned U.S. Border is closed!” Agent ADAM took a deep breath before continuing. It was almost as if he waited for Agent SETH to start to say something just so he could cut SETH off.

“No one cares about what happened in Powell right now, because the whole damned world is wondering how the U.S. got nuked, who was responsible, and if and when we’ll retaliate. This could be the luckiest night of your life. Instead of a ‘meeting’ with ANDREA, instead you get to drive to Phoenix, Arizona. We’ll do our best to cover our involvement in New Mexico.

“Proceed immediately to Phoenix, Arizona. There has been a security breach at a STOR-MOR facility. Someone has broken into the Green Box. Find out who, recover all stolen contents, deal with the thief, and then move the entire contents of the Box to a new location.”

The line went dead before Agent SETH could respond. He informed SAM that they were off to Arizona, but first they needed to ditch the police cruiser and rent another car. Almost as an afterthought, be noted that she’d have to rent the car as he was the one who rented the other two earlier that morning, and they might not be too keen on renting him a third until the others were returned.

Driving a little over the speed limit, it was still a little more than a six hour drive, and the agents arrived in Phoenix around 3:00 AM. They went immediately to the STOR-MOR facility to have a look around. There was a ten-foot wall around the place. The only entrance seemed to be an iron gate out front. The sign indicated the facility would open again at 8:00 AM, but Agent SETH didn’t feel like they had that much time. He noticed there was a light on in the office, and so he yelled to get someone’s attention.

Judging from the barking, he first managed to get the attention of a couple large dogs, but that led to his indirectly gaining the attention of a tired-looking young man in his early 20s. After a bit of talking, the agents learned that there had in fact been a storage locker break in some time before the clerk’s shift began at 8:00 PM. The police had checked everything out and found nothing useful. Supposedly, the security cameras showed nothing useful either which was believable. Given their poor placement, the cameras were probably more for a deterrent than for actual security.

A quick flash of SETH’s badge, and the agents were allowed inside and shown to the locker. The lock had been cut. Upon rolling up the door, the agents scanned the room. Without knowing what was in the Green Box originally, it would be tough to tell what was missing. The only obvious thing would be the square, dust free patch near the entrance. There had probably been a box or crate of some sort there recently.

Agent SETH closed up the locker and asked to see the tapes. It seemed the only way to figure out what had happened was to find out who was responsible. The clerk reminded them that the police had failed to find anything useful on the tapes, but they were welcome to try it themselves. After several minutes of boring fast-forward, they found something. At 7:06 PM, a van had pulled up blocking the camera view. Two men in jeans and hoodies got out, but if they’d done anything with the locker, it couldn’t be seen. After about ten minutes, the men got back into the van and drove away.

The agents were able to get the license plate number of the van, and some quick computer magic from Agent SAM produced a name and address: Ronald Schumacher, Apt. 329 of a building in downtown Phoenix. That would be their first stop after booking a hotel room. They arrived outside the apartment building at about 6:45 AM.

It was a warm but quiet morning. There seemed to be no activity in either of the two buildings forming the three-story apartment complex. Needing an excuse to enter the apartment, Agent SAM stripped down and wrapped herself in nothing but a sheet. The plan was something along the lines of ‘beautiful woman locked out of apartment and in need of phone’. Agent SETH waited around the corner with his gun ready while SAM rang the doorbell. No answer. She rang again. Still no answer, but she could hear running water coming from inside. She banged on the door as loudly as she could. There was a muffled voice which seemed to be shouting, but she couldn’t quite make out the words.

The door was locked, so she peeked in through the window. The curtain was drawn, but it was a very thin material, and she could see through well enough. All she could make out was a kitchen, a couch, a coffee table with a laptop powered on, papers and other items strewn about the floor, and a hallway.

About this time, Sergeant Gump was awake, and he had just purchased a shiny, new Taser. As his hotel was close by, he chose to walk. He arrived just in time to see Agent SAM lift the unlocked window and climb through. Sergeant Gump decided to wait and see what happened.

Agent SETH followed SAM, and he poked his gun through the open window before deciding it was safe to climb through. With both agents inside, Sergeant Gump approached the window to observe. The webcam on the laptop was apparently recording, and so Agent SAM stopped it and replayed the video.

A man in a Guy Fawkes mask sitting on the couch and talking as he took items out of a cardboard STOR-MOR box for the camera to see. One of the items was a necklace or amulet with what seemed to be a poorly carved humanoid figure. Within moments of lifting the amulet, what seemed to be inky-black moths appeared fluttering all over his arms, and spreading toward his head. He dropped the amulet, screaming and trying to brush away the darkness. Another man rushed from off screen to try to help, but he was immediately covered in the blackness as well. The first man fled down the hall, while the second stumbled to the kitchen and collapsed. Shortly thereafter, the shower began to run.

Agent SETH found the body of the second man in the kitchen. He was covered in a thin, dark film, and he appeared to have died in considerable pain. A quick search produced a wallet with a driver’s license identifying the man as Ronald Schumacher.

SAM ducked into one of the bedrooms, grabbed a pair of jeans and a hoodie that would fit her, and dressed quickly. Agent SETH told SAM to collect all the evidence from the living room. Once she was dressed, she took her sheet and began tossing the spilled contents of the box into it. She was careful not to touch anything with her skin.

Sergeant Gump climbed through the window with his Taser drawn, and he made his presence known. There was a brief two-way interrogation with both Agent SAM and Sergeant Gump demanding to know what the other was doing in the apartment. Agent SAM tried to disarm the Sergeant, but she was unsuccessful. They identified themselves; Agent SAM used her code name but gave her actual agency, and Sergeant Gump simply showed his badge. Recognizing a fellow INSCOM investigator, Agent SETH was a little more inclined to play nice, but he was still not going to let anything compromise the mission.

As SETH entered the bathroom, he saw a man in jeans and a hoodie sitting in the bath tub, and hugging his knees. The shower was on, and the man was soaking wet. He looked up at Agent SETH with an expression that was vacant, and yet still terrified. SETH pointed his gun at the man and asked for identification. He said his name was Garrett Duncan. Agent SETH interrogated Duncan at gunpoint, and the man admitted to breaking in to the STOR-MOR locker. He said some government agents – “a Patriot Act Wet-Works Team” – had murdered a shopkeeper and stolen a box of items. He followed them to the storage facility, and then later that night, he and his roommate decided to see just what was so important to the government that they felt the need to assassinate a law-abiding small business owner.

Mr. Duncan was obviously not completely in his right mind, but he seemed aware of his situation. Agent SETH advised him that he was under arrest, and asked him to come quietly, but Duncan only laughed. SETH threatened him with the gun, but Duncan laughed again. He said he wasn’t going anywhere, and he challenged SETH to shoot. If Duncan didn’t make a few important calls in the morning to let some people know he was fine, a very dangerous video would be released all over the internet, and the government would be powerless to cover it up.

He may have been bluffing, but even with his background in Psychology, Agent SETH couldn’t be sure. The man had been recently traumatized. He was most likely harmless on his own, so SETH left him. Recovering the stolen objects, and destroying the video evidence would be enough.

He opened the door to find Sergeant Gump. Yelling to SAM to grab the items and laptop, and run, Agent SETH pushed past the Sergeant and headed down the hall. He didn’t listen when he was told to stop, and so Sergeant Gump fired his Taser. Agent SETH must have been expecting it because he easily sidestepped and made it to the living room. Agent SAM scooped up the sheet full of recovered items, and she ran out the front door. SETH made a move for the laptop, but the Sergeant tackled him. The struggle was a brief one, and Agent SETH won it handily. Once back on his feet, he grabbed the laptop and followed SAM. They hopped into the rental car and headed back to the storage facility.

Sergeant Gump took his turn at interrogating the man in the bath tub, but his results were similar to those of Agent SETH. He called his commanding officer to report. Upon hearing that the target’s apartment was broken into by an INSCOM Special Agent and a FinCEN investigator named “Agent SAM”, the commanding officer asked for a description of the INSCOM agent. He instructed Sergeant Gump to leave the target, and return to base as soon as possible. He did as ordered.

Agents SETH and SAM moved everything from the STOR-MOR facility to a new location, and then they parted ways. They’d had a rough couple days, and it was time to go home and relax. They’d only been home a few days when SETH was contacted by Agent TIMOTHY of T-Cell asking him to meet a potential DG recruit at his local Olive Garden in a couple days. He agreed, and he passed the invitation along to Agent SAM, or Agent ROSE as she was now known. She’d been offered leadership of a new R-Cell, and with a new cell comes a new name.

Agents SAM and ROSE met up at the designated spot, and it wasn’t long before they recognized their potential recruit; Master Sergeant Cramer Gump. Lunch went well, and the sales pitch didn’t take long. About an hour later, S-Cell had replaced SAM with a new agent; Agent SID.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:01 am UTC

This week, only RAPUNZEL’s player was out. My cousin was in town for the week, and so he sat in to fill out the table. He played an epidemiologist, and the point of contact for the agents. The action in this session takes place a little more than four months later, in early March of 2010.

Contagion – Session 1

Agents ROSE and SETH received encrypted emails from A-Cell instructing them to visit drop-boxes at their respective local FedEx stores, meet at the airport in Nashville, and head north to Bowling Green, KY. Their contact, Doctor Eustace Carrington of the Greenview Regional Hospital, would brief them. This was expected to be more of a training operation than an actual Opera. In the drop-boxes, they found ID badges for their cells, including new cell members. R-Cell’s badges were standard FBI, while S-Cell’s were CDC.

The agents all arrived safely in Nashville within about a half hour of each other. After confirming the new agents’ identities, they all exchanged superficial pleasantries on the way to the car rental desks. Agents ROSE and SETH each rented a vehicle for their respective cells, and an hour later they arrived at the hospital in Kentucky. The weather was nice, and the drive was pleasant.

It took little time to find Dr. Carrington. A woman at the front desk directed them to a lab down the hall. The doctor looked to be in his early 50s and of average build with short, brown hair. He was examining pictures of what appeared to be badly infected lacerations. Another monitor showed a patient in a hospital bed. The patient was connected to an IV and a few other beeping and pinging machines.

The doctor accepted S-Cell’s CDC credentials, but he questioned why the FBI had been called in. To his knowledge, there was no evidence of criminal activity, and even if there was, he thought the FBI only had jurisdiction over cases which crossed state lines. None of the agents really knew the law well enough to fast talk, but a simple “you watch too much television” seemed to ease his concern.

He related his knowledge of the situation. The patient is one Mitchell Haws, a surveyor. He was brought in the previous evening by a couple who had said they found him stumbling onto the road a few miles out of town. He had unidentified animal-like gashes which seemed to be the source of a fast-spreading bacterial infection which was literally devouring him. Dr. Carrington reported this to the CDC, and he was pleased that they had responded so quickly.

The agents examined the pictures, but they too were unable to identify the cause of the wounds. The bruises which accompanied the lacerations in some places led Agent SID to believe they were caused by something like a bear. There was a sound of twisting metal which sounded close by. The monitor which had been showing the patient now showed an empty bed, and a ventilation duct ripped open and hanging down.

Agent SETH immediately ran out of the lab waving his CDC credentials, and shouting for security to block all exits as there was a highly contagious patient on the loose. Fortunately, there were no patients and few hospital staff in the area, or the shouting might have started a panic. Dr. Carrington left to get a Hazmat suit. The new agents, RED and SERGE followed SETH as he took the stairs going up. Agent SID headed for the basement and underground parking garage, and ROSE remained in the lab to copy relevant files to her laptop and delete the hospital copies.

SID needed security to let him through the door at the bottom of the stairs, and after a quick flash of the badge, he was through. He looked around quickly, but he found nothing of immediate interest, and so he went back upstairs.

The three agents heading upstairs were stopped on the top floor by security. Apparently this floor housed mental patients and other potentially dangerous individuals. Agent SETH flashed his badge, shouted something about a contagious patient on the loose, and demanded roof access. The security guards were quick to comply.

Stepping through the hatch to the roof, Agent SETH looked around. There were several industrial air conditioners, but not much else. The agents looked over the edge of the roof to examine the outer walls, but there was nothing interesting to be found.

Dr. Carrington put on the Hazmat suit and then headed in the direction of the patient’s room. He was stopped by a nurse coming around the corner. She seemed panicked, and she told the doctor someone was lurking outside ICU. Dr. Carrington told her to get security, and have them page Agent Service (which was the name given by Agent SETH upon their initial meeting).

The hospital soon rang out with a call for “Agent Service” to report to ICU. The three rooftop agents, and Agent SID all headed for the ICU. When they arrived, everything looked normal, and the doctor on duty assured them that he hadn’t seen anything unusual. They looked around a bit, but they didn’t find anything.

It wasn’t too long before “Agent Service” was being paged once more; this time to the maternity ward. Agents SETH and SID headed up to the third floor and spoke to a nurse in the maternity ward. She was very disturbed. She hadn’t seen or heard anything, but in the course of her rounds, she discovered a newborn was missing. All of the infants were in their basinets on her last round, but this time, one was missing. The nurse had heard that there was a contagious patient on the loose, and she was quite worried. Agent SETH pulled the vent off the wall and squeezed himself inside the duct, which didn’t go a long way toward calming the nurse.

Agent SERGE decided to examine the patient’s room. It wasn’t much different from any other hospital room except that it had no windows and extra machines. Then there was the fact that the ventilation duct was ripped and hanging. He couldn’t tell just what had ripped the duct, but it was apparently done from the outside since the metal was bent inward.

Agent SID headed down the hall and found the Radiology labs. He looked around a bit, but it wasn’t until he was about to leave that he saw something. It was dark, but he was sure he saw something like smoke, or maybe pudding, filter itself from the room, through the vent, and into the duct. He immediately took out his phone and alerted Agent SETH who reacted to the news by drawing his gun and crawling deeper into the vent.

He came to the sort of intersection you really only find in ventilation ducts, space stations, and M.C. Escher artwork. He could continue straight, turn right, go back the way he’d come, go up, or go down. Before he could decide, something slow but nearly silent came from around the corner to the right. They were face to “face”, and SETH could barely make it out in the beam from his flashlight. It was a dark creature; in some ways like a human, in others like a snake, but it gave the impression it could change its shape easily. It opened a mouth full of sharp teeth and putrid breath before diving down the ventilation shaft.

Agent SETH fired two shots. He felt sure he’d hit the thing, but all he’d heard was the sound of a gun in an enclosed space, and a high-pitched ringing. Most of the rest of the hospital could hear the gunshots as well. When SETH had recovered his senses, he worked his way carefully down the shaft until he reached the second floor. He pulled himself a little way through the duct so that he wouldn’t fall.

Agent RED ran up the stairs to the second floor. He looked around, but he didn’t see anything suspicious. Dr. Carrington took the elevator which slowed and jerked to a halt halfway between the first and second floors. RED shouted that the doctor was on the elevator, but it had stopped. SID ran down the stairs to try to pry open the doors.

The lights went out, and the red emergency lighting came on. He pushed buttons, and though they lit up, they seemed to have little other effect. He didn’t see or hear the darkness filter through the ceiling behind him, but he smelled it. That caught his attention. He shouldn’t smell anything in that suit, but he was definitely smelling something akin to rotting flesh. Then he saw two thick but ropey arms wrap around him and felt them squeeze. He couldn’t muster the lung power to scream or the arm strength to break free. One rib cracked, then two, then three … Then his entire ribcage popped and crunched.

When Agent SID finally got the doors open, he saw the doctor’s crumpled form, he smelled rotting flesh, and he heard an instrumental version of Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator” coming from the speakers. He slowly got out his phone and called Agent SETH.

“Hey, SETH … We’ve got a problem.”
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:30 pm UTC

Agent RAPUNZEL’s player was out for a third straight week which worked fine for me. It gave us a chance to finish up the current Opera without having to rush or make unrealistic accommodations.

Contagion – Session 2

“The doctor’s dead. He’s in the elevator.”

Agent SETH kicked out the vent and climbed into the elevator shaft. He gently dropped down onto the elevator and opened the emergency hatch. Agent SID pointed to the doctor’s twisted body, and SETH dropped down. Another doctor was passing by, and noticed the open elevator stuck between floors. Upon taking a closer look, he asked the agents what was going on. Agent SID explained that Doctor Carrington had been attacked while helping to search for the escaped patient. The doctor checked Carrington’s vitals and declared him dead. He flagged down some hospital staff, and they took the body away.

Agent SETH called for all the agents to meet on the first floor to form a plan. It was decided that as this person or thing seemed to like the ventilation system, Agents SETH and SID would enter the vents on opposite sides of the third floor and sort of patrol; just circle around and listen for anything. ROSE and SERGE would keep an eye on the maternity ward while RED watched ICU.

SETH and SID crawled around in the vents for a while without seeing or hearing much of value. SETH got stuck for a moment at one point, but he managed to tighten himself up enough to move. The agents in the ventilation system eventually moved down a floor and tried the plan again with similar results. Then it was down to the first floor where they overheard someone talking about Doctor Carrington. Apparently, the Hazmat suit was still on the bed, but the body was missing.

SETH grumbled, and he headed down to the basement and kicked out the vent so that he could drop down. Agent SID followed. The basement was dark, and Agent SETH’s flashlight didn’t help enough. This was the floor with the incinerator and the morgue. Agent SETH’s flashlight passed over something against the wall, and SID called attention to it. Shining the light back in that direction and taking a closer look, the agents found the clean-picked bones of a tiny human.

Agent SETH declared the remains to be evidence, and so he promptly ordered Agent SID to throw them in the incinerator. There was a brief discussion about legality and morality, and apparently SID won. It wasn’t the moral victory he’d hoped for, but at least he didn’t have to incinerate the bones of a small murder victim. Agent SETH handled that part.

Back in the maternity ward, a television in the waiting room was running a local news story about a missing child. Eight-year-old Zachary Danvers had gone missing early in the morning, and he was last seen riding his bicycle through a construction area near where the escaped patient, Mr. Haws, had originally been found. Agents ROSE and SERGE were discussing the story when SETH and SID returned from the basement. There was no mention of the bones found in the basement, but Agent ROSE pointed out the news story. Though it would be getting dark soon, she and Agent SID decided to head out to the construction site to look around.

It was a short drive, and the search area was easy to spot. There were a few police cars along the side of the road, some officers were standing around. ROSE flashed her FBI badge quickly, and no one questioned it. SID followed without showing identification, and this wasn’t questioned either.

The lot was lightly wooded at first, and it opened to a large field of dirt which was in the process of being cleared and levelled by heavy machinery. The construction crew had all gone for the evening, so the agents were free to poke around. Their search turned up nothing around the machinery, but Agent ROSE’s smartphone flashlight app caught a glimpse of something in the woods.

Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a rusted oil drum or a barrel of some sort, but it had been ripped open by something large. The agents decided it had probably been hidden in the woods, or even buried, and then one of the construction vehicles must have torn it open.

ROSE looked around some more, and she managed to find a bicycle not too far from the barrel, and near that, a skeleton. Agent ROSE suspected this was the missing child, and she told SID to put the bones in his duffel bag. Again the questions of legality and morality, but this time SID lost. He did as he was asked, and they headed back to the car.

An officer asked if they’d found anything, and ROSE started to say it was too dark, but SID volunteered that they’d found a bicycle in the woods, and not much else. Agent ROSE flashed him a dirty look in the dying sunlight, and they got into the car. Next stop: the hospital.

They headed up to the maternity ward to find that Agent SETH had covered all the vents with plastic sheeting. While SID told SETH and SERGE about what they’d found, Agent ROSE went down to the first floor and found a security guard to let her into the basement. She found the morgue, and began poking around. She flipped through the rolodex on the small desk looking for the name of a bone specialist, or the number for the medical examiner. Before she could find what she was after, a cloud of roiling darkness coalesced into a vaguely humanoid shape behind her. She didn’t hear it or see it, but she could feel a wet breath on her neck, and there was an awful stench of decaying food or flesh.

Agent ROSE dropped the rolodex, and turned around to see the creature. It was like a dense, dark vapor one moment, and a thick pudding the next. It could be humanoid, and then snakelike a moment later. Its movements were slow but deliberate and fluid. It created an arm for itself, and on that arm, it grew talons.

The creature clawed at ROSE, but she narrowly avoided it. She struggled to pull out her phone and dial while still ducking, dodging, and avoiding the thing. She managed to get a call placed to Agent SETH, but there was only time to say “Basement. Now! It’s here.” SETH and SID were on their way. SERGE and RED held their positions.

Agent ROSE avoided the thing for what seemed like long minutes. It scratched her lightly on the arm, but nothing worse. SETH and SID made it to the morgue, and they fired their weapons. SID’s Taser connected and discharged, but the thing barely noticed. It seemed to be only partially solid. ROSE swung the bag full of bones, and she hit it, but the bag passed through slowly like it was being dragged through water. SETH fired two rounds from his handgun, but neither bullet seemed to hurt the thing substantially.

It did, however, turn around, or rather, it moved its mouth from one side of its body to the other. The creature morphed into a snakelike creature, and it wrapped around Agent SETH’s legs. It pulled tight, and SETH hit the ground hard. SID kicked, SETH shot, and ROSE sliced with a scalpel, but nothing seemed to affect it.

It was slowly moving up SETH’s body forming a sort of cocoon around him. ROSE looked around for something – anything – and what she found was a sheet. She grabbed it and ran for the incinerator. She returned with a flaming sheet, and tossed it on the thing. The patches near the flame seemed to burn away, and the creature roared. It continued to engulf Agent SETH, and he could feel bones cracking.

ROSE grabbed a can of some aerosol or other, and combined it with her lighter for a makeshift flame thrower. Her first shot wasn’t very accurate, but it didn’t really need to be. It was enough to get the creature to leave SETH alone and flee. SID ducked into a janitorial closet to look for chemicals, and he lucked out with a can of Lysol. He doused what remained of the thing, and then ran back to check on Agent SETH. The leader of S-Cell was in really bad shape. He was broken, bleeding, and bruised, but he was alive. ROSE called for emergency help, and in a few minutes, SETH was already in the Emergency Room.

The other agents quietly slipped away and returned to their normal lives. In just over three weeks, Agent SETH was released from the hospital, and he left for home. With the exception of three missing persons cases, and the theft of a corpse, the incident had largely been forgotten.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:31 am UTC

We had all six players for this game. Agent RAPUNZEL’s player showed up with her next character already made, so it was easy to insert her into R-Cell during the three weeks or so of downtime. Amelia Larce is just one of those people you can easily overlook in a crowd. She works for the U.S. Department of Energy as a member of their Nuclear Emergency Search Team, and she has selected the code name RUBY.

I was looking for a slightly different introduction to this Operation than the ones I’ve used so far, and so we moved back to just before Agent SETH was released from the hospital. Agent ROSE was visiting, and they were both watching a news report about the Space Shuttle Discovery. Space Shuttle Mission STS-131 has been under way for a week, and so that puts the game date at April 12th, 2010.

Killer Out of Space – Session 1

Agent SETH was no longer confined to his bed, and though he still had not regained 100% of his strength, he felt he was just about ready to leave the hospital. He and Agent ROSE were discussing that between comments about the space shuttle mission that had been in the news for the past week.

The second day of the mission, Commander Alan Poindexter reported that the shuttle had passed through a ‘glowing cloud’. There was a slight jump in external radiation, but nothing dangerous. NASA refused to comment, but there was no shortage of speculation from the rest of the scientific community. The general consensus seemed to be that a cloud of gas or ions was pulled from the Van Allen Belt, and maintained as a glowing cloud of radiation. No one was particularly alarmed.

CNN had obtained footage from a NASA live-feed of day three of the mission. This footage showed Commander Poindexter performing an Extra-Vehicular Activity. He lost his grip on a tool which then floated slowly away. The camera panned to follow the tool, and it picked up a brief glow emanating from the shuttle’s side, and then its bay. The glow moved toward the airlock, and it passed from the camera’s view. A voice from off camera mentioned higher than normal levels of radiation. As Commander Poindexter headed back toward the airlock door, voice communication broke, and the camera winked out.

Over the next few days, mainstream news outlets parroted NASA’s statements that a serious malfunction aboard Discovery was preventing voice and image communication, but that telemetric communication continued, and the flight of Discovery was not threatened. The less-mainstream media, as well as many blogs and internet forums were full of talk of conspiracy and cover up. Iran accused the U.S. of fabricating reports of communication breakdown in order to test a nuclear targeting device over the Persian Gulf, and riots broke out all over the Middle East.

The space shuttle wasn’t the only thing in the news, of course. The President of Poland had been killed in a plane crash; a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Qinghai, China; and volcanic ash from beneath an ice cap in Iceland disrupted European air traffic. Still, the flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery was being discussed seemingly everywhere.

It was during one of these news broadcasts that Agent SETH’s Delta Green phone rang. A man’s voice on the other end asked for an Agent STUART. SETH gave his code name, and said that he knew of no Agent STUART. The voice said that it had been a long time since he’d called this number, but that STUART was his contact. He gave his name as Doctor Malcom Harris.

“Listen, I don’t know what you’ve heard – what the news is saying – but you need to know … the quarantine … not CDC … nor anthrax … the shuttle must have brought it down … it sucks and burns.”

The line stayed open, but there were no further sounds from the other end. Agent SETH asked ROSE to look up the number on the caller ID, and that turned up a dummy number for an offshore relay which is what would be expected for a call from a DG phone. She then looked up Doctor Malcom Harris, and that identified him as a retired NASA doctor living in the town of Gove, Kansas; population 80. On a hunch, Agent SETH asked ROSE to check out reports of UFO sightings in Kansas. There was indeed a surge in UFO sightings over the past couple days, but the Air Force had already discredited the vast majority of them.

The agents decided to mobilize their cells, and everyone was to meet at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. Once everyone was together, Agent RUBY was introduced. ROSE and SETH each rented a car for their respective cells, and it was about 8:30 PM when the agents left for Gove. Agent SETH obeyed speed limits, but ROSE kept her car over 100 MPH for the two hours it took to reach the road block set up by the Kansas National Guard. There were two Humvees blocking the road, and a man was yelling at a young soldier. Not willing to wait her turn, Agent ROSE approached and lifted her shirt. Once she had everyone’s attention, she demanded to know why the road was being blocked.

The soldier informed her that by order of the CDC and the Governor of Kansas, the area was under quarantine to contain an outbreak of anthrax. ROSE knew their CDC credentials had been invalidated after the previous Operation, but she still had a badge. She produced it, and handed it to the soldier. He took it to one of the Humvees and compared it to a paper on a clipboard. When he returned, he handed her the badge.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. You’re not on the list.”

“What list? I’m with the CDC.”

“I can see that.”

“So let me through.”

“Can’t do that, ma’am. You’re not on the list.”

She demanded to see the person in charge, and the Lieutenant gave her the same response. She tried flirting, but she knew that was getting her nowhere when he held up his hand to show his wedding ring. She argued with the National Guardsmen for an hour and a half before S-Cell arrived.

Agent SETH approached and asked what was going on. When ROSE explained, he showed his CDC credentials, and tried the same line. He got the same result. They decided to talk to the man who had been there first. He introduced himself as Doctor Pete Watson. He was trying to get to a friend of his in Gove, Malcom Harris.

He told the agents he’d spoken with his friend most recently about three days ago. They’d spoken of many things, but mostly the space shuttle, religion, and the unrest in the Middle East. Doctor Harris had invited him to visit, and he was on his way when he found the road blocked, and was informed of the quarantine. He didn’t believe the anthrax story. Anthrax was primarily a disease of herbivores, and while dangerous, it was treatable, and rarely deadly. No outbreak justified a quarantine of this magnitude. Agent SETH remarked that he’d been thinking something similar.

As they were talking and deciding what to do, Agent SID saw helicopters patrolling with searchlights, while Agents ROSE and RUBY noticed a third Humvee pull up slowly and stop several yards off. Two men in camouflage uniforms and blue berets got out and approached the Lieutenant. They discussed something briefly, and then the men headed back to their vehicle. As the Humvee drove off, Agent Rose asked the soldiers at the road block who the men in the berets were. The soldiers told her it was their job to keep the people inside in, and the people outside out. They were not operating an information booth.

Agent SETH emailed A-Cell to let them know everything that had happened so far, and what his suspicions were. He received a nearly immediate response, but it was short:

You’re certain of the blue berets? Please confirm.

Agent SETH replied that they had indeed been soldiers in blue berets, and that when asked about them, the National Guardsmen refused to answer. The next reply took quite some time to come in, and so the agents decided to return to Wichita, and regroup. Agent ROSE was upset, but she didn’t let that interfere with her driving habits. She still had her rental car over 100 MPH all the way back. At one point, R-Cell flew off the road, and into a corn field to avoid hitting a cow which had wandered into the road. They flew into the hotel parking lot just after 1:30 AM, and S-Cell arrived about an hour and a half later.

Late the next morning, A-Cell’s reply came through:

No CDC activity in Kansas. U.S. Army, and NASA. Blue berets may mean Majestic-12 BLUEFLY. If so, they’ll be looking for alien life forms. Proceed with caution.

Well, that explained a few things, and confirmed some suspicions, but more than anything else, it set a tone of danger and paranoia. Just what happened to the shuttle? What did the government know that it didn’t want getting out? The agents spent the remainder of the day discussing plans to infiltrate the quarantine zone, and acquiring necessary equipment. The first thing Agent SID wanted to do was find a good set of walkie-talkies. The hospital ventilation crawl had made him shy away from the constant use of cell phones for communication.

Later that night, Agent ROSE headed back out to the road block, once again making the three and a half hour drive in about two hours. She proceeded to distract the National Guardsmen for as long as it would take Agents SETH and SID to arrive, and sneak through. An hour and a half later, they did just that. Dressed in all black, they walked slowly through the corn fields north of the quarantine zone. Every time a helicopter would pass overhead, they would hit the ground and remain still. It was slow going, but eventually they emerged to find two farms straight ahead. One was totally dark and looked abandoned. The other was overgrown, and the barn and house looked to have burned and collapsed.

Beyond the farms, they could see several lighting structures keeping a large area well lit. They couldn’t tell from this distance just what it was, but if SETH’s calculations were correct, the tiny community of Gove, Kansas should be only a few miles past those lights.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:43 pm UTC

The hell was the hospital monster?
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.

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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:59 pm UTC

It was a semi-sentient bacteria colony. The people who had developed it couldn't control it or destroy it, so they contained it, buried it, and forgot about it. The construction crew inadvertently ripped the drum open in the course of clearing the site, and the colony attacked the first worker it found; the patient in quarantine. He escaped it, but not before being infected. He was eventually devoured by the colony which then escaped into the ventilation system. It was moving about the hospital, eating and assimilating easy targets until it was strong enough to just eat everyone indiscriminately.

The doctor in the elevator became infected as well before he died. That's why his body disappeared, but the Hazmat suit remained. That doctor-colony met up with the original patient-colony, and they merged. The agents managed to corral and destroy it earlier than I expected. Agent SETH was very close to becoming a new colony, but he managed to pass his resistance roll.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:00 pm UTC

Killer Out of Space – Session 2

Her distraction done, Agent ROSE headed back to the car. She and Agent RED drove out of sight, and then got out. They doubled back through a wheat field, and went far south of the road block. They emerged from the field southeast of town at about the same time SETH and SID came out northeast of town.

Agents SERGE and RUBY remained at the hotel in Wichita. A-Cell would have NASA credentials for them some time the next day. In the meantime, they reviewed what little evidence they currently had, and tried to piece together a coherent theory. At the same time, they prepared several bowls of popcorn and watched TV. First up was the movie Armageddon, followed by the 20th Anniversary version of E.T. where federal agents had their guns digitally replaced with walkie-talkies. Finally, one of the local television stations played an edited version of The Wizard of Oz they called “the Kansas edition”. This version was exactly the same, except the tornado tore through Oklahoma instead. Dialogue had been edited to reflect the change in location.

Agents SETH and SID moved quietly and cautiously toward the back door of the farmhouse. The windows were dark, and the door was locked. Agent SID smiled as he took out his lock picks. His smile faded well before he actually managed to get the door open. The lock was sturdy, and it resisted his attempts for about a half hour. Eventually, Agent SID succeeded, and the door opened slowly. SETH and SID entered and had a look around. They opted for the use of their night-vision equipment rather than flipping a light switch. Ultimately, the choice didn’t matter. No one was home, and the house had most likely been evacuated.

The barn didn’t offer much of use either. It housed a single horse which to SID’s untrained eye appeared to be healthy. They decided the farm across the street was unlikely to have anything of interest either. Both the house and barn were in ruins, and the whole area was heavily overgrown.

They proceeded cautiously through a wheat field toward the area lit by floodlights and patrolled by helicopters. They had both been trained by the U.S. Army for this sort of stealth, and so they had no difficulty remaining unseen even as they got close enough to see what was in the lit area.

There were six generator-powered floodlight towers set up around the perimeter of the area, and a paved road in disrepair passed through it. Mostly on the road, and with its nose in a wheat field was the Space Shuttle Discovery; or rather, it was the Space Shuttle Disco. The “-very” was missing, and where it should have been, there was a large hole instead.

There was a white van with a NASA logo parked on the shoulder of the road, and there were eight people in NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) suits. Two of the people seemed to be guards, and they were holding assault rifles. The other six were examining the shuttle from all angles.

Agents ROSE and RED stepped out of the wheat field and onto a recently mowed lawn. There was a single tree in the backyard and a junkyard just across the street. According to her research, Agent ROSE believed this was the house of Doctor Malcom Harris, the man who had called Agent SETH.

There was a humming or buzzing sound being carried on the night air, and it seemed to be coming from the junkyard. It was about midnight, and the humming was loud enough to keep most people awake. The bright lights over the junkyard wouldn’t help much either. ROSE found the back door to be unlocked, and so she and RED entered quietly. They split up to search the house; ROSE took the ground floor, and RED checked the basement.

The upstairs was tidy but not overly so. The back door entered into the kitchen, and just off from there was the living room. There was a hall leading to two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a study. The only thing of interest to ROSE was the computer in the study, but that would have to wait until the house was definitely clear.

Agent RED hadn’t reported back, and so ROSE went downstairs to check. The basement was cooler than the ground floor, and it served as a pantry. It was well stocked with bread, rice, and canned foods. There was no sign of Agent RED, but he had to have come this way. ROSE poked around, and she eventually found a latch which allowed part of the wall to swing open. The other side of the wall appeared to be a bomb shelter of some sort, and Agent RED had found a bed. He was snoring quietly, but there appeared to be no danger, so ROSE just rolled her eyes, grumbled, and left him there.

Once upstairs, she heard a vehicle pull up outside the junkyard across the street. It was a military jeep with a machine gun mounted to the back. Four people in NBC suits got out. Two held assault rifles and remained by the jeep. The other two approached the gate to the chain link fence which surrounded the yard. Two snarling Dobermans greeted them, and a man emerged from a small building in the center of the yard.

“Toby! Ripper! Down,” was all Agent ROSE could make out. The dogs sat where they were, but they were still on alert. The man from the junkyard talked for a moment with the two people in NBC suits, and then he got into the jeep. The two guards with assault rifles also got into the jeep, and they drove off toward town. The other two headed across the street toward Doctor Harris’s house. A black sedan pulled up right where the jeep had been, but no one got out.

Agent ROSE snuck out the back door, ducked into the wheat field, and circled around the back of the junkyard. She climbed the chain link fence and looked around. Toby and Ripper were focused on the car out front, and so they didn’t seem to notice the intruder. ROSE found that the humming was coming from three electromagnets. Each one was suspended about twenty feet or so off the ground by a crane. She checked the controls for the closest crane and magnet, and she found that they had been intentionally broken in the ‘ON’ position. The crane was inoperable, and the magnet couldn’t be turned off without destroying most of the internal workings of the control box.

While the dogs were still distracted, she checked the office. There was nothing of interest other than a ledger book and very large bin of dog food. She looked over the ledger, but she couldn’t make heads or tails of it. It was obvious that the business involved the purchase and sale of junked vehicles, farm equipment, and parts, but she was no accountant.

The people in NBC suits were apparently finished with their search of the Harris residence. They got in the back seat of the sedan, and it drove off. The good news was that they apparently hadn’t found the bomb shelter or Agent RED. The bad news was that she didn’t have much time before Toby and Ripper turned their attention back to guarding the junkyard.

Agent ROSE took a large scoop of dog food from the bin and threw it out over a wide area of the yard as a distraction, and then she quickly snuck away the same way she’d snuck in. There was no one to hide from at the moment, and so she just crossed the road straight back over to Doctor Harris’s house.

As Agents SETH and SID watched the scene around the downed shuttle, a helicopter made a low pass only about ten feet or so over the top of the wheat. Agent SID thought he saw a dull glow from the wheat, and about ten seconds later, the helicopter started to fly erratically. It began to spin, and it crashed into the field. The blades continued to spin, kicking up dirt and wheat, and creating the perfect opportunity for the agents to run.

It was a mile or so to the doctor’s house through a soybean field, and they covered it in an impressively short time. They avoided the junkyard, but they made note of the humming. Finding the front door locked, they tried the back. Agent ROSE had been on her way down the dark hallway to take a look at the doctor’s computer when she heard the back door open. Cursing herself for having left it unlocked, she began to sneak back toward the kitchen.

SETH and SID were using their night-vision equipment, and they were being extra careful to stay quiet. That’s why Agents SETH and ROSE were both startled to hear a breaking glass. SID had accidentally knocked it from the counter. SETH spun around with his hand on his gun, but no one seemed to have been alerted. Turning back to the rest of the house, he saw someone in the hall, and then he recognized her.

“ROSE? What the hell are you doing here?” Agent SETH was whispering loudly.

The agents moved to the study to regroup and discuss. Agent ROSE reported the cranes with electromagnets over at the junkyard, and the bomb shelter in the basement. She also wanted to go on record as hating the Kansas National Guard. SETH and SID told ROSE about the downed shuttle and NASA crew, and the glowing wheat that apparently crashed a helicopter.

While they talked, Agent SETH examined the books on the shelves. They were all about space, medicine, or both; very technical, and not the sort of books for a casual reader. One of the books held a folded piece of parchment. The writing at the top said “This might be useful.” The writing at the bottom said “Agent WINSTON”. Between the two bits of writing was a drawing of a five-pointed star with an eye in the center. The star itself leaned and curved a bit, like it was drunk or lazy.

“That’ll look good hidden in a Green Box,” Agent SETH said with a shrug.

Agent ROSE wanted to go over the doctor’s computer, and while she was doing that, SID and SETH would do their own search of the junkyard.

The computer was an inexpensive, newer model. All the important internals were integrated. It seemed that Doctor Harris knew his way around a computer, but he wasn’t what you might call a “computer guy”. Agent ROSE checked everything, but all she found that might be of any interest were an unfinished manuscript for an untitled book on space medicine, and a program for mapping the night sky. She decided to play it safe, and so she switched the doctor’s hard drive for a blank one from her kit.

Agent SETH found a steak in the refrigerator, and he took it as a canine distraction. After tossing the steak to Toby and Ripper, SETH and SID went around back, and climbed over the fence. The results of their search were similar to ROSE’s results. They found the cranes with the electromagnets. The crane they examined was the same one ROSE had checked, and neither agent could determine an easy way to move the crane, or shut off the magnet.

SETH tested the magnet by tossing up a piece of scrap metal. He tossed it a little hard, and the piece bounced off the magnet. It didn’t bounce far enough, and it was pulled back to stick to the magnet. The agents then checked the office. Neither agent could get anything from the ledger other than the basic workings of the business.

The dogs had finished the steak in pretty short order, and so they were waiting when the agents decided it was time to leave. Agent SID stepped out of the office, and he was immediately attacked by both Dobermans. He fired his Taser at one, but even at such short range, the electrified darts missed their target. Agent SETH drew his knife and stepped out to even the odds. He stabbed, and caught Ripper with a nice slash. That only served to make the animal angry.

Toby jumped for Agent SID’s throat and got him. Blood started gushing from SID’s neck at a disturbing rate. He wasn’t dead, or even mortally wounded, but they needed to win this fight fast, and get out the first aid kit, or there would be trouble. Ripper tried to do the same to Agent SETH, but the soldier was quick enough to avoid being hit.

The quiet approach wasn’t going to win this fight for them, and so the agents reluctantly drew their guns. SID put one bullet into Toby, and then SETH added two more. Toby was down, but they still had to deal with Ripper. Two more bullets did the trick.

At the first gunshot, Agent ROSE looked out the window. She wasn’t expecting to see what she saw. A dimly glowing, kaleidoscopic ball of light bobbed along, paused near the junkyard, and then went around it in a wide arc. It floated off through the wheat field to the north. When she heard the other four gunshots, she ran out of the house and across the street to the junkyard.

Agent SETH found a roll of paper towels, and along with his belt to add pressure to SID’s neck, he performed field first aid. SID was stable for now, but he was weak. SETH looked around, and found the junkyard owner’s mint green 1958 Edsel. The keys were hanging in the office. SID laid down in the back seat, and SETH drove the car through the front gate. He stopped long enough for Agent ROSE to hop in, and they drove off a little way down the road before turning into a wheat field.

As Agent SETH went about trying to hide the car, he noticed a helicopter arrive and circle over the junkyard and immediate area. Shortly after that, a military jeep drove up, and people equipped with NBC suits and assault rifles searched the junkyard. The agents laid low until the jeep and helicopter left.

Agent ROSE leaned over the seat to have a look at SID.

“Does it hurt?” she asked.

SID’s reply was more of a gurgle than anything, but the twitching motion of his head seemed to indicate that his response was “yes”.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:32 pm UTC

Killer Out of Space – Session 3

It was decided that Agent SID would remain in the back seat of the car while SETH and ROSE took the toolbox back to the junkyard to attempt repairs on the damaged electromagnets and cranes. SID held his pistol to his chest, and laid back to get some rest. SETH locked the car doors, and then he and ROSE headed back the mile or so to the junkyard.

The front gate was still wide open, but they decided it would be best to go around back, and climb the fence. Once inside, ROSE set to work on the repairs while SETH looked for a way to shut off the lights. He found the switch box just as ROSE shut down the magnet. Everything went dark, and while SETH put on his night-vision goggles, ROSE started the flashlight app on her phone, and moved on to the other two magnets.

It was about 3:00 AM by the time she’d finished. The early Kansas morning was eerily quiet. The tips of the wheat glowed faintly. The agents decided to head back to the doctor’s house. They both needed some sleep, but SETH took watch until sunrise.

At some point during the night, Agent SID awoke to shattering glass and someone in an NBC suit pointing an assault rifle at him. The person in the suit ordered him to drop his gun, and asked who he was. Agent SID did as he was asked, and then he produced his INSCOM badge. It was obvious he was in need of medical attention, so the person in the suit escorted him to a jeep. SID was taken to the town a short distance away.

There was a parking lot which was currently serving as a mobile headquarters. There was several trailers and tents; most of them were olive colored with U.S. Army markings, but some were plain white with NASA logos. Agent SID was escorted to a nearby building which had been converted into a makeshift infirmary. He gave his full cooperation, and soon he was in a bed with an IV running fluids, antibiotics, and painkillers into his arm. He drifted back to sleep.

Early the next morning, Agent RUBY was awoken by a knock on her hotel room door. She looked through the peephole, but she didn’t see anyone. She readied her gun, and opened the door to find a plain, unmarked cardboard box on the ground. When she opened it, she found NASA identification for herself, and most of the other agents. There was nothing for Agents ROSE or RED. Agent RUBY went back to bed.

Agents SETH, ROSE, and RED spent the daylight hours at the doctor’s house watching the news, and waiting for nightfall. Their day was fairly uneventful, but they did learn that the news stations were still reporting that the Space Shuttle Discovery was proceeding with its mission, and despite lack of visual and audio communication, everything was apparently going well.

When Agents RUBY and SERGE finally got up, they gathered their things together, and headed outside. RUBY was frustrated to find both rental cars were gone, and so they had to get another. They made the drive to the quarantined zone, and around 2:00 PM, they found both rental cars abandoned about a mile from the roadblock. Abandoning their own car along with the others, RUBY and SERGE stepped into the corn field, and made their way toward Gove. When they emerged from the corn, they saw the same overgrown farmland, charred foundation, and collapsed barn that SETH and SID had found.

SERGE stayed out of the way, and kept watch while RUBY took a look around. The grass and other plants were thick and rather wild. Stumbling her way through the field, she came upon an old well which looked like it once had a cover. She dropped a rock to see how deep it was, and when it hit the bottom, it sounded more like it landed in mud than water. She judged it to be probably thirty or forty feet down.

Agent RUBY shined her flashlight down into the well, and she saw several multi-colored rocks in the mud at the bottom. She went to the collapsed barn to look for something that might reach the bottom of the well. She managed to find a very long board, and an unsafe-looking but possibly serviceable wooden ladder. She took both back to the well and tried the board first.

The board was long enough to reach the bottom of the well, and it sunk a little in the mud. RUBY fished around with it, trying to scoop up one of the multi-colored objects, but she crushed one against the side of the well. Apparently, they were fragile. When it smashed, the colors leaked out and into the mud.

She pulled the board back out, and lowered the ladder instead. It was old and brittle, but she managed to get down to the bottom of the well. The mud was about a foot deep, and pretty thick. She could feel more of the objects under the mud. She picked one up for a closer look. It was a little larger than a softball, and it was more or less spherical. The shell was sort of milky, but translucent. The inside seemed to swirl or pulse with dim color like a sort of psychedelic snow globe.

Agent RUBY climbed the ladder without incident, and once she had reached the surface, she began to cover the well with boards. Placing the ball/rock/egg/snow globe thing gently in her purse, she moved on to the south where she could hear helicopters. Agent SERGE followed.

The agents came upon the downed space shuttle, and they watched it for a moment before approaching. There were eight people in NBC suits in the area; six were inspecting and/or repairing the shuttle, and two were standing guard. The two guards approached, and demanded to know who the agents were. They showed their brand new NASA credentials, and the guards seemed satisfied. They instructed the agents to get their NBC suits out of the NASA van, and get to work. They would have to be decontaminated when they got back to town.

The agents shrugged, and suited up. Neither of them knew much about astronomy, physics, chemistry, or most other sciences, but they did their best to fit in. Agent RUBY was able to determine that the hole in the side of the shuttle wasn’t caused by something forcing through from the inside, or the outside. It looked like a portion of the hull just stopped existing. One of the other NASA scientists mentioned that it couldn’t have happened in space, nor during re-entry. The shuttle would have been destroyed. The hole could only have been created once the shuttle was close to the ground, or after landing. The scientist said that didn’t make a lot of sense at the moment, and so NASA was choosing to ignore it until they knew more.

When agent SID woke up, he noticed a soldier in a blue beret watching him. The stood up when SID opened his eyes. He asked if SID could walk, and if he was ready to talk to the general. The agent nodded in answer to both questions, and so the soldier led him out of the building, and to a large trailer in the parking lot. As the door opened, he saw a man in his mid to late fifties sitting behind a desk. His uniform indicated his rank was Brigadier General, and the name said Drake. SID entered, and stood in front of the desk. The General remained seated, and the two men looked at each other in silence for a moment. General Drake was the first to break the silence.

“What in the hell is the matter with you, Sergeant Gump? Don’t you recognize a General when you see one?”

Agent SID nodded.

“Well …?” The General seemed already at the end of his patience.

Agent SID looked around for a moment, and then he remembered to salute.

“That’s much better, son. I’m going to let that slide this time because you’re probably high as a damned kite with all them painkillers. Do not let it happen again.” The General put heavy emphasis on most of those final words.

SID nodded, and tried to look apologetic. General Drake asked him what he was doing in the quarantine zone, why he wasn’t informed that INSCOM was sending an agent, and if there were any others. Agent SID couldn’t speak without some difficulty, so he was allowed to write on a large whiteboard.

He indicated that he was instructed to assist the army investigation, he had assumed his superiors had contacted everyone who needed to know, and there were in fact two others. When the General asked where the other two were, Agent SID told him. The General nodded, and leaned forward in his chair.

“You can leave us, Lieutenant. I’ll let you know when I need you.”

The man in the blue beret saluted and stepped outside. When they were alone, the General narrowed his eyes and spoke.

“I know who you are, and I know what you do. What I don’t know is what Delta Green thinks it’s going to find here.”

Agent SID stiffened a bit, and then he wrote a single question mark on the whiteboard. General Drake snorted.

“That’s about what I thought. We’re done here, Master Sergeant.”

The General stood, and moved to the door. He knocked gently, and the man in the blue beret entered. General Drake told the soldier that he was done with the interview. The Lieutenant escorted Agent SID back to his hospital bed, and one of the doctors replaced his IV.

When it began to get dark, a short, white bus arrived at the shuttle site. People in NBC suits got off, and took over for the NASA scientists who were finishing their shifts. Agents RUBY and SERGE got on the bus along with the others, and they were taken to town. The bus stopped at the Gove Motel where NASA and the Army had apparently rented out all the rooms. All of the scientists went to their rooms, but RUBY and SERGE were directed to the makeshift infirmary so the medical staff could give them something to prevent infection.

The agents did as they were instructed. After he received a shot of what the nurse said was penicillin, Agent SERGE went to see about a room. As RUBY was getting her shot, she noticed Agent SID in a hospital bed. She pointed him out, and asked the nurse what happened to him. She was told that he was “Army Intelligence, or something”. From the looks of it, he’d nearly lost a fight with a dog, and he was found unconscious and bleeding in the back of a stolen car. Agent RUBY nodded. That sounded just about right.

Agent ROSE was making dinner with whatever she could find in the doctor’s house, and SETH was watching out the windows. While he watched, the wheat on the other side of the junkyard glowed; not just the tips, but the whole plants. It was still a faint sparkle, but it was definitely not reflected moonlight. It was kaleidoscopic, and it hardly seemed natural. After a while, the pulsing ball of swirling color drifted out of the field, paused outside the junkyard, and then continued through it. It headed straight for the doctor’s house, but it stopped out in the front yard. Agent SID called for ROSE, and she confirmed that it was the same thing she’d seen the night before.

The light then floated away at a high rate of speed. It seemed to be headed in the general direction of Gove, but it was weaving. Once it was gone, SETH and ROSE went out to examine the wheat field. It was definitely glowing with its own faint light, and it seemed to be blowing in the wind, except there was no wind. SETH cut a few handfuls with his knife, and they went to the junkyard. He dropped the wheat on the ground, and it continued to sway in the non-existent wind. They switched on the magnet, but it didn’t have a noticeable effect. They switched the magnet back off, and went back to the doctor’s house to discuss their options. Agent SID wasn’t answering the radio, and that must mean he’d been captured, or he died.

After her shot, Agent RUBY slipped off down a hall. No one seemed to notice or care as she stole a set of new scrubs with a paisley design. She put on her disguise, and went over to check on Agent SID. He was conscious, and though he was obviously medicated, he seemed to be in control. She undid the locks on the wheels of the bed, and she saw a flash out of the corner of her eye. When she heard the muted scream outside, she began to push the bed. When she heard the three gun shots, she pushed faster.

Out the double doors, and into the parking lot, she pushed Agent SID’s bed. They made it to a NASA van, and both agents hopped in. Agent RUBY broke off the ignition and began to hotwire the van. Just as she got it started, SID found the keys in the console. RUBY rolled her eyes, and they drove slowly out of the parking lot. They stopped a block or so away, in a dark area, and they watched the building to see what was happening.

As they watched, an elderly woman came out of her house to see why there was a van outside. The woman made it to the end of her driveway before the ball of colors came zipping out from behind the infirmary. It floated up to her, and she just stared at it as it pulsed. When she could finally manage a scream, it was too late. She made hardly a noise as the ball of lights drained all her life force.

Her skin cracked and turned gray. Her hair became brittle, and broke off in chunks. Eventually, her whole body crumpled and dropped to the ground. The agents watched, horrified and unable to do anything to help. Soon, the colored ball floated off into the night. Agent RUBY sat in silence, but SID jumped at imagined sounds and hallucinated flashes. He was having real difficulty remaining calm.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:15 pm UTC

There was no game last week, and we had only three agents this week. Agent RUBY’s player was out, and unfortunately Agents SERGE’s and RED’s players are bowing out of the game. SERGE and RED will be on autopilot until the story allows for a decent transition. This will leave us with four agents which is much closer to my typical Call of Cthulhu games, but Delta Green’s cell structure leaves two openings we can easily fill if we want.

Killer Out of Space – Session 4

Agent RUBY threw the van in reverse, and cut the wheel hard to the right. With the van now pointing directly away from the light, she put the accelerator to the floorboard. It took only a couple minutes to reach the house which the agents were using as a base of operations. RUBY parked the white van with the NASA logo out front, and she left it running as she and Agent SID got out. The front door was locked, and so they went around back.

The back door opened quietly, and RUBY immediately headed for a bedroom. She fell onto the bed and was asleep before she landed. Agent SID followed and waited for a moment. As soon as he heard snoring, he gently relieved RUBY of her gun.

From the junkyard across the street, Agent SETH saw the van pull up. He watched through night-vision binoculars as RUBY and SID got out. He whispered for ROSE to sit tight, and then he made a dash out of the junkyard and over to the house. The other agents were inside already by the time he got there.

After a brief exchange accusations and denials regarding the alleged abandonment of an injured agent, SETH and SID managed to agree that it was good that they were both alive. SID only wanted to curl up and get some sleep, but SETH had other plans – plans that required three agents. First thing was to hide the van. SETH moved it into the wheat field behind the house and covered it with a tarp.

That’s when they heard the hum of an electromagnet coming from across the street. The floating ball of colors had returned, and ROSE had hit her button. The thing pulsed and swirled for a moment, hovering in place. As SETH came running with SID stumbling behind, they saw the light float away to the north.

The agents each took up a spot by a different magnet, and they waited for the light to return. After about an hour, SID had already nodded off a few times, only to startle himself awake. He thought he saw something in the field behind ROSE, and so he shouted as he drew his newly borrowed gun. ROSE looked his direction, and SID fired a shot over her shoulder. She gave him a dirty look, and then she turned to see what he was shooting at. He’d been jumping at shadows for quite some time now, but it turned out that this time he’d actually seen something. A man stumbled out of the field, coming in her direction. He hadn’t made it ten feet out of the field before he fell forward and hit the ground. The man crawled through the grass toward the fence that separated them, and it appeared to ROSE that he had lost part of his right leg when he fell.

The man reached the fence, but it was dark, and his face was in the dirt, so she couldn’t see him well. He reached a shaky hand up toward her, and his fingers grasped at the fence. His skin was grey and cracked, and as the man clutched at the fence his arm fell to the ground. His fingers had literally broken off and fallen at ROSE’s feet.

She asked who he was, and he struggled to lift his face. She gasped when she realized it was Pete Watson, the doctor she’d met at the roadblock. SETH narrowed his eyes upon learning the man’s identity, but he wasn’t nearly as shaken as Agent ROSE was. His attitude was more of an ‘I told you so’, or maybe a ‘That’s why we follow orders’. He had advised the doctor to stay out of the quarantine zone.

It was nearly sunrise, and so SID and ROSE went back to the house for some sleep. SETH decided to scout for a bit first, and he headed toward the site of the downed shuttle. When he arrived, he was interested to note that the shuttle was gone. NASA must have found everything they needed and transported the incapacitated craft. Agent SETH scanned his surroundings with his night-vision binoculars, and he found some activity to the north. There were people in NBC suits moving through the fields surrounding the two farm houses he’d seen upon first arriving in the area. They seemed to be moving in a grid pattern and taking readings with electronic equipment.

He made a note of this, and headed back to the house. The sun was just starting to rise as he made it back. SETH took a spot on the couch, abut before he could fall fully asleep, he heard what sounded like two helicopters outside. Peeking out the window, he saw a large transport helicopter heading toward town. Then sleep caught up with him.

Early that evening, the house was full of the smells of bacon and coffee. RUBY was awake and cooking, and that roused the others. They could hear some activity across the street at the junkyard, and so SETH decided to see what was going on. There were four Humvees parked there, and he counted ten people in NBC suits; six of them lowering a large object into a hole dug in the center of the yard, and four standing guard with assault rifles.

Agent SETH went out to the van hoping to find some NBC suits. There were in fact two suits, and so he took them. He also found a satellite phone. When he got back to the house, he tossed a suit to a semi-conscious Agent SID and told him to get dressed. He also handed the satellite phone to ROSE and asked her to see what she could do with it.

Once they were in the NBC suits, SETH and SID started for the junkyard. As they left the house, there was a commotion across the street. Everyone was looking all around, pointing and shouting. The four with rifles stood in the center of the yard, and the ball of pulsing color zipped out from behind a stack of junked cars. It paused in the center of the yard with the soldiers surrounding it. All four aimed their rifles, shouted, and fired. All four fell dead. Either the bullets had passed through the thing without effect, or they had all taken unlucky ricochets. Regardless of the truth, the end result was the same.

As the swirling ball of light headed off toward town, SETH and SID made it to the junkyard. SETH used the chaos to get close to the hole and take a few pictures of the object with his phone. It was a large, metal object with no writing or obvious markings that he could see. It looked like a grey Tylenol pill roughly eight feet long by four feet in diameter. There were cables running from one end of it into the dirt. The hole was just deep enough to hold the object which he guessed was probably a large bomb of some sort, and it was loosely covered and disguised with scraps of metal.

Before he was spotted, SETH put away his phone and slipped away toward the house. Agent SID wasn’t quite so lucky. Before he could make an escape, someone pointed at him and barked an order. He was instructed to man one of the magnets in case the ball of light came back. He did as he was told, and it was several hours before the color was spotted. Someone ordered the lights turned out, and then everyone waited.

The ball of pulsing, kaleidoscopic light made its way to the center of the yard, and the order was given to switch on the magnets. Only Agent SID managed to get his operational. The other two people were huddled behind their respective cranes. The ball of light immediately withdrew from SID’s magnet, pulsed a bit, and then sped off through the field to the north.

With dawn on its way, replacements arrived to stand guard during the day. Everyone else loaded up the dead and rode back to town. Agent SID went along. The pain in his throat was getting stronger, and he was hoping to get back to the makeshift infirmary from which Agent RUBY had kidnapped him the previous day.

Agent ROSE explained to Agent SETH how the satellite phone operated, and he traded his phone for it. ROSE looked over the pictures of the object while SETH called his commanding officer.

The pictures weren’t bad at all given the poor lighting, chaotic conditions, and the fact that they were taken on a cell phone by someone with no photography training. She could make out a groove in the top of the thing which appeared to indicate that it opened. As for what it may or may not contain, she couldn’t be certain. She was pretty sure it wasn’t a bomb, despite the cables coming out of the side.

SETH explained to his commanding officer that he was in Kansas, on his way to Los Angeles, but there was a quarantine zone in his way. He hoped someone could give him a number to reach the person in charge of the area. His commanding officer told him the person in charge was Brigadier General Justin Drake, and that the General had actually called recently to ask about him.

Agent SETH was told that the quarantine zone was in place for a good reason, and he should respect it. If he wanted to get to Los Angeles, his best bet would be to fly, but if he insisted on driving, he should go around. SETH thanked his commanding officer for his help, and he hung up.

The next day was rather uneventful. Agent SID was in the infirmary receiving medical attention. Agents ROSE, RUBY, and SETH were waiting until nightfall, and no one had heard from RED or SERGE in days. That night, the agents in the house decided to play it safe and watch the junkyard from their base. Just as the night before, the glowing ball of colors came from the north, and it seemed to avoid the junkyard on its way to the town. Just as the night before, it came back to the junkyard on its way back.

This time, two of the magnets were switched on, but the operator of the third seemed to have missed his cue. The color fled the two magnets and floated through the field to the north as quickly as it could. None of these details were lost on the agents, and they set to work on their plan.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:58 pm UTC

Killer Out of Space – Session 5

The agents seem to have settled into a passive role. The next day was spent waiting for nightfall, but there was some discussion about the nature of the light they were seeing each evening, what effect the magnets seemed to have, and what was going on in the junkyard.

Agent SID checked himself out of the infirmary and went to see General Drake. The lieutenant admitted him, and the general remained quiet until he received a salute.

“What can I do for you, master sergeant?” The general seemed tired but not particularly busy.

“I’m feeling a lot better, and I’d like to go to the junkyard.”

“And just why in the hell would I want you out there, Sergeant Gump?” The general seemed almost amused by the request.

Agent SID explained that he and his friends had been watching the ball of light for a week now, and while he personally didn’t know much about it, the others did. The general asked where the others were, and Agent SID’s response was simply that they were in the area of the junkyard. General Drake ordered his lieutenant to gather a few soldiers and escort Sergeant Gump to the junkyard like he had asked.

Once it began to get dark, Agent SETH took up a position in the wheat field north of the junkyard and watched. There were nine people in NBC suits; one manning each of the three magnets, four with assault rifles, and two who seemed to be escorting a man who was not in an NBC suit. This man seemed to be in his late 30’s, and of roughly average height with a light build. He wore a dark suit with an ID badge clipped to his jacket.

The man seemed to be the one in charge. He spoke very little, and he kept his hands behind his back and his eyes to the north. After a while, a Humvee arrived, and Agent SID got out. He was accompanied by three soldiers in blue berets. None of them were in NBC suits, and they didn’t particularly seem to care.

They hardly had time to exit the vehicle before there was a glow in the field to the north. The man in the dark suit raised his hand without a word, and the whole yard fell silent. A moment later, the all too familiar ball of light emerged and floated toward the center of the junkyard. The man in the suit quickly lowered his hand in a sweeping gesture, like he was waving a flag to start a race.

One magnet hummed as it powered up, and then a second magnet did the same. The operator of the third magnet missed his cue because he was too busy hitting the dirt and covering his head. The ball of light pulsed and swirled for only a moment before flying off toward the town.

The agents maintained their positions through the night; SETH in the field, SID in the junkyard, and ROSE and RUBY in the farm house. Shortly before dawn, the light returned from the direction of town. Again, only two magnets were activated, and the color fled to the north. Agent SETH headed back to the farm house, and SID followed as soon as he managed to sneak away.

Agent RUBY remembered the orb she’d found in the well, and she gently removed it from her purse and placed it on the kitchen table for ROSE to see. She explained that it had been buried in the mud at the bottom of a well at the ruined farm house, and she offered her theory that it might be an egg containing a young version of the light that was terrorizing the small town.

The agents decided to rest until noon, and then they walked the two miles or so through the fields until they arrived at the collapsed farm with the overgrown fields and nearly hidden well. They looked into the well, but all they saw was mud. Agent SETH hammered a spike into the ground to anchor a rope, and SID climbed down. He sunk in the mud until it was a few inches over his ankles. He scanned the well, but he didn’t see anything. Before SID could feel under the surface of the mud, Agent SETH thought he saw a faint glow poke through and sounded the alarm.

SID climbed the rope as quickly as he could, and all four agents fled through the field and across the street to the abandoned farm house. Once inside, they caught their breath and discussed how to handle this new development.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:13 pm UTC

Dang, that light is kind of a jerk.

I don't know if it's just me, or a consequence of the medium, but I hope it's helpful. With this story, I've been having some slight trouble understanding where people are/where they're moving to. The various locations aren't staying very clear in my head, though I suppose that might be because I'm not the one playing. Still, everything else about the story is very good.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:46 pm UTC

Oh, the light most definitely is a jerk, but for the most part, it's been minding its own business; murdering townsfolk, soldiers, and scientists in horrible ways (as alien lifeforms tend to do). I appreciate the input. This Operation has lasted about twice as long as I expected, and most of the posts have been pretty long, so I may have inadvertently confused the setting. I'll see if I can clarify:

All of the action is taking place within a more or less rectangular quarantine zone in rural Kansas. There isn't much in the area other than farm houses, farm land, and a town of about 80 60 people. Most of the action has been in the area of one farm house, and a junkyard across the dirt road. They are both surrounded by wheat/corn/soy bean fields. The town is a few miles west down the dirt road. The shuttle had crash landed about a mile north of the junkyard, and about a mile north of that is where the ruined farm with the well is. The makeshift infirmary and Army/NASA headquarters are in the center of the town.

Every evening, the light comes from the direction of the ruined farmhouse, through or around the junkyard, and west toward town. As dawn approaches, it retraces the path.

I had expected to wrap everything up last time, but we had to cut the session short. Next week should finish it off (for better or worse), and then we can say good bye to Kansas, and hello to New Hampshire. With Halloween on the horizon, I have something special lined up.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:25 pm UTC

I guess my main confusion is -- the area is quarantined, but in my head, the still-active junkyard is right next to the farmhouse. Is that right? And if I remember correctly, the agents are setting up camp in an abandoned house within the quarantine zone, but somehow aren't being caught?

I may have just completely misunderstood what's going on, and for that I apologize.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:35 pm UTC

That's right for the most part. The quarantined area is rather large. The owner of the junkyard was evacuated to the town, so it's not exactly active as a business at the moment. It is directly across from the house where the agents are holed up, but it had been cleared by the army prior to the agents' arrival, so as far as they're concerned the area is secure. The agents are taking precautions to remain hidden (leaving lights off, coming and going by the back door, going through wheat and corn fields to stay out of sight, etc ...), so they haven't aroused suspicion yet. Agent SID did tell the general in charge of the army side of things that his friends were nearby the junkyard, so that may change. Fortunately for the agents, the government presence at the junkyard seems to be focused solely on the ball of light.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:11 pm UTC

Ooooooooh! Okay. I had somehow gotten it into my head that the junkyard owner was still at his junkyard, still hanging out and being ornery, and that the agents were driving a car to their hideout. Not sure how that happened. This makes much more sense now.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:01 pm UTC

From Session 2:
Yablo wrote:“Toby! Ripper! Down,” was all Agent ROSE could make out. The dogs sat where they were, but they were still on alert. The man from the junkyard talked for a moment with the two people in NBC suits, and then he got into the jeep. The two guards with assault rifles also got into the jeep, and they drove off toward town. The other two headed across the street toward Doctor Harris’s house. A black sedan pulled up right where the jeep had been, but no one got out.

I knew it happened because I ran the game, but I had to go back to make sure I'd put it in the write-up. It's a small brick in a wall of text a month and a half old, so yeah ... easily missed.

After Agent RUBY kidnapped SID from the infirmary and stole the NASA van, she drove it right up in front of the house and left it running. She and SID had been pretty thoroughly traumatized for the night, so they weren't thinking clearly. Fortunately, the government people hadn't claimed the junkyard yet, so it was still empty. SETH went out right away to hide the van in the field behind the house, too.

The agents have caught a few breaks, but despite their dwindling sanity and a few miscalculations, they've actually been reasonably smart and cautious.
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Re: [Delta Green] Call of Cthulhu Actual Play - some spoiler

Postby Yablo » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:27 pm UTC

Killer Out of Space – Session 6

The decision was made to wait until nightfall and watch the well. As it was early afternoon, the agents had some waiting to do, and time passed rather uneventfully. Night did eventually fall, and when it did, the ball of kaleidoscopic light rose from the well as they had predicted. They watched as it floated through the wheat field to the south. Once it was out of sight, they made their move.

The agents quickly crossed the dirt road and hiked through the overgrown field to the well. Just as they had done earlier that day, Agent SETH set the rope, and Agent SID slid down into the well, sinking into the mud. RUBY held a flashlight, and ROSE kept watch.

SID felt around beneath the mud with his hands, and he felt several of the softball-sized orbs. He scooped one into his backpack, but the second one cracked in his hand. As the vivid, colorful insides leaked out onto his skin, he began to feel an intense burning with an odd sucking sensation. The contents of the orb soaked into his skin, and almost immediately his hand began turning grey. His flesh dried and cracked as he watched, and it was slowly moving up his arm. It was past his wrist before he managed to start climbing the rope with his left hand. He was right-handed, and he’d already lost the use of it.

Once he was back on ground level, Agent SID showed the others what was happening. ROSE and SETH paused with wide eyes, and RUBY held out her knife in a no-nonsense, “you know what to do” sort of manner. Agent SID took the knife with his left hand and looked at the spreading death of his dominant arm. It was half-way to his elbow.

SETH discouraged him from actually attempting to cut off his own arm, and for his part, SID was relieved. He sincerely doubted he had what it would take to go through with the operation. Instead, he pointed to the southwest with his good arm and announced his intention to return once more to the makeshift infirmary in Gove. RUBY was already on her way down the rope, and ROSE was lighting her way, but SETH wished him luck.

Agent RUBY’s feet sank in the thick mud at the bottom of the well, and she immediately set to work gently fishing the orbs out with a board and rolling them into her purse and two backpacks. There were still many left when her containers were full, but she left them. Climbing as carefully as she could, she made it back to the surface. She set the bags down about twenty feet or so from the well and motioned for ROSE to follow her.

The two members of R-Cell headed for the ruins of the barn to search for anything which could be used as an object of destruction; sledgehammer, explosives, tractor … They managed to find a rake and a ten-gallon gas can which was nearly full. RUBY carried the gas can back to the well and began casually dumping the contents to the bottom. She made sure to coat the entirety of the rope before lighting it and stepping back. The fire burned for quite a while, and the night air was filled with crackling, sizzling, popping, and whistling. Once the job was done, the agents each took up a bag and headed back toward the junkyard.

Agent SID stumbled for what seemed like miles through a dark corn field, and he hoped he was headed in the right direction. The fact that he found the edge of the field was a good sign, and the dirt road he saw was an even better one.

It was hard to see but easy to feel the progress of the creeping death of his arm. It was now past his elbow. He knew he didn’t have much more time, and his mind was already preparing him. That’s why he wasn’t surprised when he saw the ball of color coming down the road toward him followed by an odd rumbling sound.

The rumbling quieted as the ball stopped in front of him and spoke. In English.

“You there! This area is under quarantine. Come on out.”

Agent SID did as the rumbling ball of kaleidoscopic light ordered, and he put his hands in the air. As he did so, his right hand simply crumbled into dust. The ball of light then spoke in two different voices.

“Jesus! Did you see that?”

“Yeah! That’s messed up!”

“Damn it, man! Get in the jeep!”

The ball of light grabbed him … somehow, and the rumbling started back up as it sped him off toward town. He must have passed out because the trip was almost instantaneous, and when he regained his senses, two people in NBC suits were lifting him out of a jeep. They carried him into a building, and he once again lost consciousness.

The other three agents arrived at the junkyard to see what had become usual activity; one person in an NBC suit at each of the three magnets, four people in NBC suits with rifles patrolling, and two people in NBC suits standing next to a man in a dark suit with a NASA badge.

SETH took up his usual observational spot in the field while RUBY and ROSE simply walked right through the front gate. One of the guards saw them and headed them off.

“Who are you? What are you doing here? This area is restricted.”

Agent RUBY flashed her fake NASA credentials while Agent ROSE tried to look like she belonged.

“You’ll need to talk to Dr. Hudson.”

The guard motioned toward the man in the dark suit and led them over.

Dr. Hudson looked at them as if he expected them to explain their presence. Agent RUBY once again flashed her NASA credentials while Agent ROSE just fit in.

“Amelia Larce, NASA.”

The man raised his eyebrow.

“Doctor Morris Hudson, also NASA. You no doubt know I’m the head of field operations here, but I don’t believe I know your role.”

Agent RUBY explained that she knew about the ball of color, where it rested during the day, and what it did at night. She also explained that she and her team had found what they believed to be the creature’s eggs. To emphasize this, she gently lifted one from her purse.

Dr. Hudson made a thoughtful sound as he nodded slowly.

“Assuming this is in fact an egg, what were you planning to do with it?”

“I know you and your team have been having trouble capturing this thing, so I thought I would help. We can use them as bait.” She smiled to indicate that she was really only questioning his competency in a friendly manner.

Dr. Hudson sighed and nodded. One of the people standing next to him took the orb from her and looked at it for a moment. RUBY told him to be careful with it just as he squeezed a little too hard. The orb cracked. When the colorful contents oozed out, it dissolved a hole through his glove. The man in the NBC suit held up his arm and screamed as he dropped to one knee. He then rolled over onto his side, flailing and eventually only twitching.

Dr. Hudson barked an order, and one of the guards ended the man’s suffering with a single bullet. The doctor then turned a disapproving look toward Agent RUBY. She simply shrugged and reminded him the orbs were dangerous. The doctor told her to place the rest herself, and she did so.

Agent SETH had used the distraction to climb the fence and place the two backpacks in the trunk of a junked car. RUBY saw him, and he held a finger to his lips. No one else seemed to have noticed him, and so he climbed back over the fence to watch from the field.

While RUBY didn’t exactly call out Agent SETH, she did indicate to Dr. Hudson that she had another associate in the area. She suggested that part of the problem might be that there was only one person manning each magnet, and that she and her team might be able to serve as fail-safes. Dr. Hudson agreed, and so Agent RUBY called SETH over. Each agent took up a spot next to a person manning a magnet, and all that was left was to wait.

Agent SID awoke in a hospital bed and immediately noticed his right arm had been removed just below the shoulder. A soldier in a blue beret was watching him from a chair next to the bed. As soon as the soldier saw that SID was awake, he stood.

“Ready to see the general?”

Agent SID nodded and made an effort to stand. There was a crutch leaning against the bed, and this helped a lot. The soldier escorted him outside and to the general’s trailer. He left SID alone with the general. General Drake leaned forward in his chair.

“I’ll understand if you don’t salute, Master Sergeant. Sit.”

The general indicated a chair on the other side of his desk, and Agent SID did as he was asked.

“I think today is your lucky day, soldier.”

SID didn’t seem so sure, and he let the general know.

“Well now, son. We just might be able to fix that. Can you sign your name with your other hand?”

Agent SID said he thought he might be able to, but he wondered why he would want to test the theory. General Drake slid some official looking papers across the desk. SID didn’t understand everything in the document, but it seemed to be some sort of medical release form for experimental surgery. He signed as best he could, and the general nodded.

“Of course this means you’ll need a promotion, soldier. If we put this kind of money into you, you’re going to owe your life to the United States Army. With any luck, I’ll shake your hand in a month or two, Captain Gump. And I’ll be expecting that salute as well.”

The general called, and two soldiers in blue berets entered to escort Agent SID to a helicopter. They took off in short order, and they headed east. From the ground, the other agents noticed the helicopter pass over the junkyard, but they were unaware that Agent SID was aboard.

Dawn finally neared, and with it, the ball of swirling color. It headed out of town and down the road toward the junkyard. The creature floated into the junkyard, and it didn’t take long for it to notice the two orbs resting on the pile of junk in the center of the yard.

The color hovered in the air just above the orbs, and it began to pulse and swirl furiously. Dr. Hudson shouted for the magnets, and with two people at each station, all three magnets were engaged. The creature seemed to bounce back and forth in a sort of force field, but it was unable to escape.

Dr. Hudson raised his hand and then dropped it quickly. As he did so, the capsule in the pit opened, and a bright light with a pale blue tint shot out. The ball of color seemed to flicker and fade before being pulled down into the pit. Once it was gone, the capsule closed.

There was cheering all around from everyone but Dr. Hudson and the agents. The doctor simply made a quick call on a satellite phone, and several minutes later, a white NASA van arrived. The people in NBC suits lifted the capsule out of the pit and placed it in the back of the van. Once the doors were closed, the van headed off toward town.

Amid all the celebration, the agents slipped away; ROSE and RUBY went to the farm house, and SETH ran to the field behind the house where he had left the other van. He quickly got it started and attempted to follow, but the van with the capsule had a head start. He arrived in town just in time to see the capsule loaded onto a transport helicopter.

He headed back to the farm house, called A-Cell to make his report, and then returned to the junkyard. He retrieved the two backpacks full of orbs and dropped them in a barrel. A liberal amount of gasoline and one match later, and there was no evidence left in the quarantine zone.

Mission accomplished. It may not have gone as well as he had hoped. He may not have ever found a trace of the man who called his Delta Green phone when he was still in the hospital. Agent SID may be dust in a corn field … It was still a victory. The “anthrax outbreak” was over, and the quarantine over western Kansas could be lifted. The American people would never know the truth.

The agents spent one final night in the farm house before making their way back to Wichita, and from there to their respective homes. A few weeks passed before Agent SID returned SETH’s call, but all was well.

SID had a new arm, and it didn’t just look and feel real. It was real. Not only that, but it was much stronger than it used to be. The only lingering side effect was that he periodically had blurry, fevered flashbacks; visions or dreams of his operation. There had been four doctors, but he was only ever sure that two of them were human. Whether it was the drugs or the stress, he had the distinct impression that the other two were very thin with grey skin and large black eyes.

Regardless of the truth, all four agents had survived, and they could finally say they were not in Kansas anymore.
If you like Call of Cthulhu and modern government conspiracy, check out my Delta Green thread.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments.


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