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Pandora's Box: Introduction.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Pandora's Box draws heavily on concepts from Delta Green, Delta Green COUNTDOWN, Delta Green Eyes Only Vol. III: Project Rainbow. Although it also draws on a wide variety of other sources from conspiracy theory, science fiction and history, the author recommends that Keepers intending to use Pandora's Box in their games have some familiarity with the Delta Green products listed above.
The field of Parapsychology has many challenges to overcome before it is accepted by the scientific community. Incredulous claims backed up by spurious research, biased statistical manipulation, and a subject matter hostile to repeatable experimentation all push the study of psychic powers to the fringes of science. Although there is not a single generally accepted overall theory to explain psychic phenomena, the Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh lists the major avenues of exploration threading their way through modern Paraphysics.
These theoretical models touch upon the origin of consciousness and hint at an underlying interaction between all things. For example, the Teleological Model of Psi postulates that Psi results from the manipulation of probabilities as the mind swims through infinite parallel universes, and the Quantum Mechanical Theory of Psi describes the human brain as a "complex superposition of waves." They all point towards a hidden order to the universe.
Electromagnetic theories about PSI state that there is a form of radiation involved in the phenomenon, and that it may involve the Earth's magnetic field to a large extent. In paraphysics, everything is inter-related and subjectivity becomes meaningless when the thoughts and emotions of supposedly impartial observers affect experimentation in a dramatic and significant fashion.
Psychic abilities have been a part of the world of Delta Green since the publication of COUNTDOWN. It can also be argued that many of the hypergeometrical formulae (magic spells) contained in the many tomes of the Mythos awaken powers hidden in the depths of the human mind. The Mythos has many suggestions of astonishing mental powers: the surreal abilities of the Kn'Yan, the strange perceptions unlocked by the Tillinghast Resonator, and the mild scratching at the surface of reality by mediums and psychics who are half-charlatan and half-oracle.
Furthermore, there are many organizations devoted to PSI in the conspiracy-laden literature of Delta Green. PISCES has had a long history with the "occulted secret service". The british scour the world for more talents, despite the risk of exposure such individuals present to the Insects from Shaggai. The Greys direct OUTLOOK in bizarre mental experimentation, possibly to force psychic powers to manifest under conditions of incredible psychological stress. New-Age Mi-Go influenced organizations such as the Enolsis Foundation, the Church of Scientology, and other pseudo-religious UFO cults undoubtedly explore hidden powers of the mind. Finally, it is a safe assumption that at some of the many and varied front organizations of the Cult of Transcendence delve into psychic abilities.
So far, the very real psychic research programs carried out by the Soviet Union and the United States have not been examined with an eye towards the Mythos. Other sources, such as Conspiracy-X and Dark Matter have made attempts to focus on the subject from a gaming perpsective. However, as far as Delta Green is concerned, the secrets of the American STARGATE remote viewing program, and the massive scale of the Soviet-era psychic warfare establishment have been well kept.
This is about to change.
In the decade following the official disbanding of Delta Green by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1970, the newly forged outlaw conspiracy faced a tremendous danger to the world. The Soviet Union appeared to be able to produce operatives with startling and revolutionary psychic powers, seemingly at will. Delta Green became convinced that the manufacture of these paranormal "human weapons", whose powers were as dangerous to themselves as they were to their targets, was related to the Mythos they had been fighting for decades.
The cowboy renegades of Delta Green were correct. During the 1950's and 1960's the Soviet Union had been engaged in an aggressive program of psychic research. The Soviet Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medical and Biological Research pursued many minor psychic talents, and found ways to drastically increase their meager abilities. The KGB applied psychic discoveries such as remote viewing to penetrate western secret projects like Majestic-12 and PISCES.For a few brief years during the Cold War, the Soviet Union maintained supremacy in the Astral Theatre of Conflict.
However, the enormous threat the Soviet Academy of Sciences unleashed with their psychic research has never been revealed, even to the current rank and file agents of Delta Green. What the Soviet Union produced was of vast scope, it revealed infinite dimensions of corruption and inflicted a permanent pollution upon reality itself. They had opened a Pandora's Box of suffering, pouring a stream of agony into the world. This industrial-age iteration of otherworldly terror originated within Nazi Germany, in the secret researches of an amoral scientist named Dr. Williem Eisenbien.
WALLS OF FIRE: The Vril Generator
"The Mind Has No Firewall" - Timothy L. Thomas
In the summer of 1937, during a trip to America, German acoustic scientist Williem Eisenbein obtained a prototype Tillinghast Resonator from Franklin Rathke. The resonator, invented by independent researcher and inventor Crawford Tillinghast in the early 1920's, was a device which somehow expanded human perception into other dimensions. It also allowed things from beyond to witness occurances in our own three dimensional space/time. Some have described the mechanism as an "inter-domain" process, melting dimesions together to forge a new unstable domain where two or more sets of natural law and physics could operate.
Regardless of the science involved, Rathke had inherited the device from Tillinghast and was addicted to it's pulsing, mind altering radiation. In order to finance a larger, more powerful resonator, the desperate Rathke was pawning it off to whomever he thought he could squeeze for cash. Eisenbein was one of those who fit the bill, paying Rathke $500 for a small prototype. The ultimate fate of Franklin Rathke is described in detail in Delta Green : Eyes Only Volume Three, Project RAINBOW.
Eisenbein quickly returned to England with the idea that he would patent the device and make his fortune. Upon further experimentation, he discovered the dangers of the device and resolved to make it safer. Combined with his work in advanced acoustics, Eisenbein was able to maintain strict control over the N-Space field and the manifestation of things from beyond revealed therein. Forced by circumstance to return to his beloved Germany late in 1939, he continued to develop the bizarre technology, and eventually attracted the attention of the Karotechia.
Upon obtaining the Resonator technology, the dark sorcerers of the Third Reich could hear the distant thunder of victory. The Karotechia concluded that Eisenbein's device was a reinvention of an ancient Atlantean mystic tradition that tapped into the invisible energies of the Black Sun (which they also knew as AZATHOTH) and the White Rays that permeated the unseen cosmos. The Nazi masters of the Karotechia were convinced that the Resonator generated the mystic energies of Vril. Exposure to this radiation could unlock hidden powers of the Secret Masters, the Vril-Ya, also known as the Kn'Yan in certain writings. Most of the so-called Aryan supermen exposed to the Vril generator died of massive brain hemorrhages as a result of the deadly T-Radiation literally expanding their minds. Undaunted, the researchers continued their program using victims pulled from the concentration camps.
Eventually, working with Dr. Eisenbein, the Karotechia continued to develop acoustic controls over the Vril field, hoping to minimize casualties and successfully mutate Aryan ubermenschen. The process was unpredictable and worked on only a very few exceptional individuals. Most of the Vrilfolk were jewish prisoners biologically related to each other in one way or another. This led the Nazis to the irrational belief that the device only worked on those with a specific racial and genetic heritage somehow linked to Atlantis and Ultima Thule.
The first victims successfully empowered by the device were all members of the Azarya family, a group of Czechoslovakian Orthodox Jews who had emigrated to Warsaw in 1925. The Azarya's were rounded up during the ghetto uprising and sent to the Treblinka concentration camp. There, they fell under Karotechia scrutiny when the Nazis discovered that Rabbi Yusef Azarya, the patriarch of the clan, was one of the Jewish world's foremost experts on the numerological secrets of Kabbalism, and a direct decendant of Rabbi Yehuda Low. Rabbi Low was a legendary figure in the occult history of Europe, and was reputed to have inscribed the secret name of God upon a crude clay statue, thereby animating the infamous Golem of Prague during the sixteenth century. For a time, the family was interrogated with ever increasing brutality by Karotechia sorcerers, but the clan resisted the supernatural torments of the Nazi madmen with suicidal zeal.
The Karotechia decided to send the strange Jewish family along with several hundred others to the Vril Laboratory of Williem Eisenbein, hoping to witness some measure of the Azarya's supernatural abilities and confirm the Nazi's suspicions about their "sub-human magic". Eisenbein was perfecting a supersonic weapon called the Donnerschlag, or "thunderclap". This device was to use the largest Vril Generator ever constructed on Earth to focus acoustic energy into a beam of immense destructive power. It was to be a hammer of the gods placed into the hands of man, capable of destroying ships, aircraft, and possibly even entire cities at incredible distances. Years later, Majestic-12 would build a radar powered version of the Donnerschlag that they would call the HAARP.
The first victim to display abilities granted by the Vril Generator was a wan, albino and newly orphaned 14 year old girl named Tatyana Azarya. She used her newfound powers to turn invisible and intangible, quietly slipping away from her parent's killers and fleeing into the countryside. At first, the Karotechia researchers thought that she had vanished into the netherworld, consumed by the Vril. But when she returned to her relatives with food and promises of future assistance, a Karotechia sorcerer named Gunter Jurgens stumbled upon her innocent act of goodwill.
He watched her undetected, allowing her to leave, then summoned a Dimensional Shambler which pursued the girl into a hellish nether dimension of green flames and fog. The creature seized her and returned the girl to the Vril laboratory where Gunter repeatedly raped and violated Tatyana in front of her imprisoned family. This savage display seemed to cow the Azarya's who for a time believed Tatyana to be a ghost. Jurgens further demonstrated his power over the wraith girl by rendering her visible and solid with the Powder of Ibn Ghazi.
The other Azarya's quickly developed abilities similar to Tatyana's without any sign of the cerebral hemorrhages or interdimensional accidents that marred previous experimentation. The rest of the Jewish subjects brought from Treblinka were not so fortunate, as the Vril Generator consumed them all with its abysmal radiance. Nazi scientists concluded that the Azarya bloodline was severely tainted by some sub-human impurity antithetical to the pure Thulian ubermenschen, and resistant to the influence of the Generator. The Thule became convinced that Eugenics was their key to unlocking the power of Vril.
Following these conclusions, Jurgens decided to exterminate the Azarya family, but when he went with a squad of SS-Totenkopf, men drawn from concentration camp guards, to the cells he found that the Azarya's were ready for him. They opened their collective third eye to the beyond and managed to activate the Donnerschlag via sympathetic vibration. The cliffs of Fecamp vanished into nothingness. Surrounded by the bleeding time and space between the geometries we know, the Nazi's were devoured by a malevolent menagerie of interdimensional horrors. The Azarya's, their spectral auras glowing with a foam of impossible unseen colours, transcended this reality and dissolved into the beyond. As the Jewish family vanished, their radiant forms were surrounded by rippling waves of iridescent spheres, a congery of globes that spilled open to reveal the future.
The Fecamp disaster did not deter the Nazi's. The majority of top researchers, including Willeim Eisenbein, had been called back to Berlin to report to the Nazi High Command, and were not present when the Azarya's made their escape. Work continued unabated on the Donnerschlag, using prisoners of war rather than concentration camp victims, until Delta Green arranged for the destruction of the superweapon by allied bombers in 1943. In other locations, the manufacture of Vril empowered ubermenschen continued at a more rapid pace, due to a daring occult coup…
The Karotechia began to screen possible candidates for empowerment with a Kn'Yan device recovered from a perilous expedition to the American Southwest. German saboteurs posing as archeologists had delved into the underworld and recovered an amazing artifact of the ancient world. This was the Vril Lens, which allowed those with the esoteric knowledge required for its operation to both view the auras of living beings and witness events in other dimensions. Experimentation with the lens' aura scanning powers led to the discovery of the "Atlantean Signature". This aura viewing made possible the selection of racially pure subjects who would not be overwhelmed by the Vril. The Karotechia eventually found several dozen such exceptional individuals among the ranks of the SS.
The newly empowered SS Vrilfolk were as uncontrollable and unpredictable as their Vril imbued abilities. The Karotechia relied upon sorcery to control or eliminate the Vril mutants, including a few Aryan volunteers driven insane by their immersion in other dimensions. By 1945, there were three Vril Ubermensch ready to fight against the allies at Castle Wevelsburg. Their fate remains unknown. The Vril researchers of the Karotechia informed the fuhrer that they were ready to begin the manufacture of an unstoppable army of gods, a new Germanic Pantheon.
Their research had nearly reached operational status when it was seized by Smersh. Delta Green sent a SUMMER BREEZE team to eliminate Dr. Eisenbein. They caught up to the fringe researcher, only to watch the scientist fade into a gossamer mist before their very eyes. He was never seen or heard from again. Unfortunately, the Soviets had obtained the Vril Generator along with Dr. Eisenbein's research files. The Communists put their new findings into practice over the course of the next few decades, shattering space and time with newfound powers of the mind.
Walls of Iron: The City of Science
The Devil's Bargain
The Andropov Directive
Operation SABER VALLEY
The Alchemists of Prague
Blue Light: Kn'Yan and the Black Stone
Walls of God: Astral America
MKULTRA and Operation Paperclip
The Hidden Intelligence Community: 1960-1980
The Secret Army
The Eight Martini Results
Human Radiation Experiments
Microwave Mind Control and Severn Aerospace
Better Living Through Neuropsychopharmacology
Epilogue: The Fungi From Yuggoth