Written by Simon RJB
The initial antagonists in Going Under are a group of culture-jammers, would-be anarchists and revolutionaries that form a larger network of friends, operating under the banner of UCoD. The acronym stands for ‘Under Cover of Darkness’ and has no agenda bar the current whim of those who ocassionally hide behind it. The pseudo-organisation has also developed their own logo, to mark their operations with.
Like many culture-jammers ‘Jimmy’ is into alternative culture and is well-read - this translates more into wit than wisdom. As a teenager he discovered the idea of an alternative Atlantis, called Mu, through an archaic pop group inspired by The Illuminatus! books of Shea and Wilson. Following up with study of the books themselves, he later stumbled across Unaussprechlichen Kulten with apparently genuine accounts of things he believed fiction. Thanks in part to comics he once read, he interpreted Ghatanothoa as a natural phenomenom through which man can evolve to become ‘The Lloigor’, energy beings that have transcended mortal forms and requirements. Jimmy’s affinity for music (in the past he has worked as asound engineer, although he is primarily a DJ) has pushed himt to find a method in which man can comprehend this phenomenom aurally rather than visually, as well as find a method of reversing the pretification process.
The second major figure is an ancient high priest of Ghatanothoa, who perhaps unwisely paid respects to his god in person. His mummy is part of an exhibition being shown in a major museum in a major city in the U.S.
Events occur at the museum too quickly for agents to respond to, unless they have some reason to be present. The museum is broken into, the alarms triggered and the sprinkler system set off. At the exhibition (of Pacific Ocean artefacts) certain items have been ‘liberated’, and the desicated husk of a mummy has been dropped. Where the tops of display cases are smashed open exhibits are now submerged in water from the sprinklers. Strange logos, mass produced in sticker form, are stuck up all over the exhibit, plus a sticker proclaiming The Mummy Walks! Loud, deep, ambient music plays from a cheap tape recorder tucked into an ornate grinning wooden mask (which may well have finished by the time the agents arrive). Security tapes show five men in black, wearing balaclavas, setting off the sprinklers (partially obscuring further details). Whilst they look very professional and stealthy they don’t act with any sort of military precision. Security guards set off the alarms, but were subsequently subdued by the group. One of them drops the mummy in the process of a confrontation with a security guard.
Assuming the agents miss the anarchists, the only real clues they have to go on are the logo and the music. The music isn’t something they’ll be able to trace - it’s a composition by Jimmy. The logo has made appearances at a number of anarchic culture jamming events, but it doesn’t give a direct lead to anyone. However, if searched for in conjunction with the music it leads the agents to a club where Jimmy regularly DJs, where amongst other counter culture motifs the UCoD logo is clearly displayed. Alternatively, a lot of time and effort may find a link to a well hidden UCoD forum and possible matches for the individuals from photos and film clips. None of them know each other by name (they used code-names), taking part in the prank through addiction to the adrenalin buzz rather than any darker motives. The raid was suggested and organised by ‘Sharkbait’ (Jimmy). The agents can close in on Jimmy via ISP addresses he’s posted from; alternatively one of the anarchists recognises him as a local DJ.
If studied closely, footage of the mummy being dropped reveal the inside still being fresh for a moment, seeming to writhe for a moment before collapsing under the sprinklers. The mummy is now just a mulchy water-logged mess, although forensics reveal that some of the cells therein have died only recently.
Jimmy is a regular DJ, frequently found in the rooms out back even when he’s not working. After the museum raid he hides here, convinced that his plans have gone wrong with the loss of the mummy. Whilst he begins to reconsider his next steps, he is visited by a being that offers some relief, as well as answers. It claims to be one of the Lloigor, an energy being recently birthed from the coccon that the mummified body had been. It has been guiding Jimmy’s musical experimentation via psychic processes it has had millenia to develop, creating music to be a catalyst to complete the process.
Now it has fully evolved it can plug directly into Jimmy’s desire and ability to further push the applications of his music. Whilst there are other coccoons out there to retrieve, the Neo-Lloigor believes it might be able to fine-tune this music to allow the human mind direct access with Ghatanothoa, helping push the evolution of mankind without resorting to millenia long incubation. Whilst he presents these ideas to Jimmy, he hides the fact that humanity would in essense become part of Ghatanothoa’s mind, not enlightened beings in their own right.
This process is likely to take some time, so the agents may catch up with Jimmy at the club. Jimmy has ‘tweaked’ his music but hasn’t quite perfected it - it establishes an empathic link with Ghatanothoa, but all other effects are random and unpredictable. Whilst the Neo-Lloiogr has abilities and strength much like a traditional Lloigor, Jimmy has plugged into Ghatanothoa’s mind but remained human (with the possibility of ‘psychic’ abilities). Since he’s now got unseen aid he should be able to escape, putting his plans into progress prematurely. They’ve already hatched a plan to hi-jack a popular tourist attraction, in order to evolve young fertile minds – Disneyland!
The erruption of energy that accompanied the birth of the Neo-Lloigor has whipped up a lot of activity on the astral plane. Astral beings, in particular traditional Lloigor, are keenly aware that something cataclismic has happened, many drawn to investigate. Psychics and sorcerers may also pick up on the priest’s sudden ascension and the subsequent activites.
Either by being close on Jimmy’s trail, by paying attention to UCoD activities or by learning about overworldly activities, the agents head towards Disneyland. Jimmy once worked at Disneyland as a sound engineer, and still knows people there. Using this and his new found powers he is able to get around security and behind the scenes, preparing his music to be played, either with or without allies amongst culture-jammers (depending on how much time he had to prepare). The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, opened in 2007, is located in the Tomorrowland area of Disneyland Park. Based on the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo, the ride takes people out in search of an active underwater volcano, via the ruins of ‘the ancient civilization of Easter Island’. Jimmy thought it appropriate that his music be rigged up to this attraction.
People visiting the attraction will be tuned into Ghatanothoa’s thoughts. The majority fall under his control; a small fraction are actually mummified. Eventually several Disney employees fall under Ghatanothoa’s control, and the operation steps up a gear. The music is duplicated and played over the sound systems of further attractions. More people are affected, tuned into the same deep thought patterns.
To begin with numbers affected will be minimal - over time Disneyland will be full of zombies. These people aren’t immediately threatening, and although they shuffle around like zombies they won’t attack (yet). Jimmy, any culture-jammers and the energy form of the priest will be the main source of conflict. Finally, with continuous exposure to the music (hours or days), mummified vicitms hatch out much as the priest has, although the artificial metamorphosis process creates entitities that have had less contact with Ghatanothoa are are more unstable. These cause further activity in the astral plane, possibly drawing in the angry reptilian Lloigor.
Destruction of Jimmy’s music is the best way to turn the tide. When the big guns come out Jimmy and the Neo-Lloigor are willing to step in the line of fire, though any culture-jammers are likely to run or hide. If the agents look like succeeding the zombies will finally react, instinctively, as an extention of Ghatanothoa’s rage, remaining psychotic for a few hours after the music has ended.
If the agents stop the music the affected public return to normal within hours. Some may, one day, seek to reclaim that feeling of being at one with something greater than themselves, one way or another. Only the new mummies retain any link to Ghatanothoa and without the music (or a similar stimulus) they pose no further threat.
Unless Jimmy himself is caught or killed, the Disneyland scenario has the potential to reappear elsewhere.
Much of the scenario is based upon ideas and questions I had about Ghatanothoa and those petrified by his visage. Some of the research had me tripping over great articles in The Black Seal magazine, which I’d recommend to flesh out the stories - in particular the article that speculates on standing stones, leylines and Lloigor (issue 1, p42), the Peruvian Mummy (issue 2, p66) and ISAS, the Atlantean cult (issue 3, p60). However, it can be run well without any understanding beyond the standard CoC depiction of these elements.
I’ve also made vague references to various cultural touchstones, so here's a list of Wikipedia links. These too can be used to flesh out scenes and develop the personalities of some of the antagonists a little better.
Finally, the antagonists in this piece have what might be considered a sign, symbol or sigil, if they were agenuine cult. As it is its more a logo. Here it is