The Agents are called in to intervene in a FBI hostage situation involving a children’s author and a deranged archaeology professor. Naturally, things are not that simple. In fact, the Agents will likely end up eventually assassinating the very person that the FBI was called in to rescue.
At 9:30 AM Eastern Time this morning, a man tentatively identified as Dr. Anthony W. Thurston, Professor of Archaeology for Princeton University, entered a beachfront restaurant in Belmar, NJ. He then proceeded to fatally shoot two customers and a cashier, then take hostage a woman tentatively identified as local children’s author/illustrated T. Kingfisher. Interestingly, the other customers and staff were permitted to flee the scene: Thurston clearly was fixated on Kingfisher. The FBI has taken command of the scene and are currently investigating Thurston’s home and office: a Delta Green Friendly passed along the tip that materials definitely related to Unnatural activities were found at both places.
The Agents will not constitute the hostage rescue team, although both the head negotiator and the sniper assigned to it are Delta Green assets (the Agents will not be told about the latter). They will instead get the cover of extra FBI agents brought in to keep the media frenzy under control. If Dr. Thurston is taken alive, it will be the Agents’ job to intercept his transfer and instead bring him to a Delta Green black site for interrogation. If Ms. Kingfisher survives the encounter, it will also be the Agents’ job to determine how infected she was by the proceedings. If neutralization ends up being necessary, the Agents must come up with a method that does not cause interest in the occult; Kingfisher is already starting to become famous on social reasons, for very ghastly reasons.
In 1860, the American explorer Isaac Israel Hayes led an Arctic expedition now remembered mostly for its odd and possibly deliberately flawed navigational findings; the death of his party’s astronomers from a still-mysterious form of rabies and the report of open sea in an area where no sea existed. All in all, it was possibly best for Dr. Hayes’ reputation that he returned to America just as the Civil War was heating up. Hayes would make one more trip to Greenland in 1869, but otherwise remained in New York as a science popularizer and state politician until his sudden death in 1881.
This is important because it was the Hayes Expedition that Professor William Canning Webb of Princeton University participated in, and in the process ‘encountered a singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux whose religion, a curious form of devil-worship, chilled him with its deliberate bloodthirstiness and repulsiveness.’ Professor Webb’s disgust with the Greenland Cthulhu Cult did not prevent him from stealthily acquiring a set of cast-off, worn-out shamanic tools. In reality, the cult permitted Professor Webb to steal the tools; the intention was to use them and their wicked influence to subtly corrupt men of learning in the warm lands below the ice.
Fortunately, the Spanish Flu intervened, killing Professor Webb - by now thoroughly corrupted - before he could ensure that the shaman’s tools would be placed in a suitably accessible institution of learning. Instead, they spent over eighty years in a broken filing cabinet in the basement of Princeton’s Department of Anthropology. And they might still be there yet if a professor hadn’t found them.
Anthony W. Thurston discovered the tools as part of the 2005 renovation of Aaron Burr Hall (known, locally and darkly, as ‘The Assassin’s Building’); workers had found the tools, the tools were brought to Dr. Thurston for assessment, and the unholy spirit bound to the tools wasted no time in dominating the professor’s mind. In fairness, Thurston had already dabbled extensively in certain metaphysical matters; he made no real attempt to resist the domination.
Eleven years of domination have eliminated the last traces of Thurston’s old personality; all that remains is the bound spirit of the tools. The spirit is still dedicated to its original mission, but has concluded that there are much easier ways to reach people besides academia. It thus decided to find a children’s author, drive him or her him suitably mad, and then comfortably retire to an insane asylum while its new acolyte spreads a message of terror and rage and the glories of Great Cthulhu.
The Hostage Situation
Dr. Thurston has taken T. Kingfisher hostage in the lobby of a beachside fast-food restaurant in the seasonal coastal town of Belmar, NJ. The building is a converted wooden building from the 19th Century: it has one main restaurant/kitchen floor, a basement used for storage, and a sunken area in back for loading and perishable storage. There are seven possible entrances: the front and back restaurant doors, the main worker entrance on one side, a front and back walk-up window, an access hatch to the basement, and a rear door for deliveries. The back walk-up window and rear delivery door are the only entrances that are not visible from the lobby. Dr. Thurston is neatly dressed (except for the blood), in his mid fifties, and is armed with an unloaded shotgun. T. Kingfisher is in her late thirties, has been securely but not viciously tied up with duct tape, and has been given a fairly powerful sedative to keep her docile.
When the Agents arrive on the scene Thurston is genially negotiating, via cell phone, various odd conditions for Kingfisher’s release. The goal here for Thurston is to eat up an hour, which should be enough time to allow a ritual that will bind the victim’s heart and soul to the Great Old Ones to activate. It’s up to the Handler to decide whether this would involve the Yellow Sign, learning key words of Aklo, activating Kingfisher’s latent Deep One genes, or something else similarly appropriate to the campaign. The important thing here is, should there be no intervention, after an hour Thurston will surreptitiously activate the ritual, and then calmly give himself up. Ironically, simply going in with guns blazing will disrupt the ritual thoroughly, at minimal risk to the hostage: Thurston did not bother to reload the shotgun after killing his victims and will not offer resistance.
Once captured, Dr. Thurston of course expects to be eventually sent to a psychiatric hospital for the remainder of the vessel’s natural life; it is, after all, incurably insane by any human standard. It will come as a bit of a surprise when it is diverted instead to a Delta Green black site, but Thurston will not become violent or aggressive as long as it still thinks that it will survive the interrogation. A HUMINT roll will, in fact, cause Thurston to casually describe its history, although it’s not going to reveal - except under actual torture - what the plan is with regard to Kingfisher. It knows nothing about any version of Delta Green, and is actually fairly easy to kill safely. The shaman tools are likewise fairly easy to destroy, although of course a Handler may choose to make doing that as complicated as he likes.
Once Thurston is disposed of, the problem becomes: what to do with Kingfisher? Her old work is already starting to skyrocket in popularity, and her future art will break new ground in complexity, nuance, and subtle exposure to mind-shattering Unnatural imagery. If the Agents did not disrupt the original ceremony, it will become necessary to either quietly assassinate her, or at the very least keep her from ever writing or drawing again. If they did disrupt it, they would still need to watch Kingfisher for the rest of her life. Delta Green does not have those kind of resources; it would be up to the Agents to decide how
Exceptionally kind Handlers, on the other hand, might decide to give the Agents a chance to reverse the ritual completely. The is a painting called Aurora Borealis that was painted based on Dr. Isaac Hayes’ sketches from the 1860 Expedition; the curved lines found in that painting are actually the sigils to be used in a counter-spell to the original ritual. A print of the picture can be found in Dr. Thurston’s office, as is a half-written monograph comparing the image to the images found in certain Inuit and Chinese texts. Translating and preparing the sigils is easily worth at least one point of Unnatural; actually performing it is worth a 0/1 SAN check.
• Killing Thurston: 1d4, 1d6 if the shaman tools are also destroyed.
• Burning Thurston’s library: 1 SAN
• Realizing that Thurston’s ritual worked: - 1d4/1d6 SAN
• Killing/maiming Kingfisher: - 1d6/1d10 SAN
• Reversing Thurston’s Ritual: 1d6 SAN
This is an entry to the 2016 shotgun scenario contest. Written by Moe Lane.