by Michael Daumen
The conspiracy wants the cell to participate in Grey Goose, a federally-sanctioned readiness drill simulating a terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant. This will take place in about a week, on the grounds of a decommissioned plant scheduled for eventual demolition (readers are invited to consider Oregon's Trojan Nuclear Power Plant for inspiration). Because of the timeliness of the operation, this drill has attracted significant public attention. Attendees consist of municipal, state and federal personnel from across the region.
Professor David Yeardley's experiments with temporal physics have led to the creation of a formula that can attract a Hound of Tindalos while estimating its date of arrival at the present. Having thus invited - and predicted - his doom, he has somehow gotten the attention of Delta Green and begged for help.
Why is DG involved? Perhaps A Cell has feelers out for problems like this, and received word from elsewhere. Someone with a personal connection to a DG agent may have referred the problem. Most problematically, someone could be seeking to draw out Delta Green for another purpose. It can be a ploy by MJ-12 to try and identify DG agents for the future. Or a third party has deduced the existence of an anti-Mythos agency from decades of unusual activities,
and needs an ally - or, eventually, a fall guy.
The cell members are to meet up with Professor Yeardley during the drill, and identify and dispose of his problem at that time. The Hound is set to materialize in the night between days two and three of the exercise. The Professor understands, especially if the cell does not, that the plant has several areas with a minimum of acute angles, making them appropriate for a standoff. This is why he has finagled a place in Grey Goose.
The Nuclear Family
The power plant occupies a roughly square ten acre parcel of land, which is wooded on three sides. Local wildlife (including several deer) teems in the undeveloped area, which is intersected with hiking trails.
The entire compound is surrounded by a high chain link fence topped with razor wire. The unwooded side is guarded by a security checkpoint with anti-vehicle barriers that have been moved aside for the drill.
Visitors immediately see the administration building across a parking lot, with the reactor/containment building and cooling tower visible behind it. A substantial percentage of the administration building has been converted into temporary living space, with cots and shower areas cordoned off by makeshift barriers. It also contains a press briefing suite and several conference rooms, as well as locations dedicated to the exercise. A catering tent and medical trailer (including a decontamination suite) sit in the lot next to Admin.
Just a Drill
Cell members or friendlies have clearance to attend from their agencies or through Delta Green, but their presence must be confirmed at the checkpoint into the site. There, the guards will insist that live ammunition be left with them for the duration of the event. This is kept under lock and key in the checkpoint, which will be manned constantly during the next three days.
The welcoming session and press briefing take place after lunch on the first day, in a large
conference room. At that time all PCs receive the schedule of planned events, as well as their roles in the drill. Agents with a medical specialty may be placed in a support role; otherwise, they are designated as plant employees, or part of the response team. Planning and discussion of logistics for the event fills up the rest of the afternoon, leaving the identification of Professor Yeardley for dinner or later that evening.
The second day is the meat of the drill. After breakfast, twenty-five attendees take the role of a well-organized assault force that will attack the plant in an unspecified fashion. For the next ten hours, the "defenders" are warned to expect nearly any contingency: from hostage negotiations to firefights to a meltdown. Anyone who is disqualified during the drill - whether as a casualty or otherwise removed from the plant - must remain in the catering tent until the
exercise ends. After any required cleanup, and dinner, the day's events are through.
At about 10:30 pm, the Hound of Tindalos will materialize in an acute angle near Yeardley. It will attack him as soon as possible, departing only after its prey is dead.
The third day consists of breakfast, followed by four hours allotted for debriefing. This ends the drill, and all participants are expected to leave at that time.
Professor Yeardley is part of the oversight committee, which will evaluate the results of the drill. Agents who ask around during the welcome sessions can make Luck rolls after each 30 minutes of conversation with other participants [succeed at a Gather Information skill check vs. DC15]. He will recognize any code phrase that uses the phrase "Delta State University," then suggest they meet in the evening in a secluded area on the plant grounds. It is only there
that he will explain his predicament.
This leaves approximately 24 hours to plan a response, while participating in the exercise. Anyone abandoning their post role during the exercise must make a halved Luck roll to not be noticed; clever agents who "die" make unmodified rolls in the parking lot to slip away unnoticed - of course, they run the risk of being mistaken for terrorists if they are found elsewhere!
- Unarmed and Dangerous: If the cell is found with live ammunition during a drill it will not look good on their record. In keeping with the high exposure and busy event, they will not be able to leave the premises for real weapons before the Hound arrives. Kind Keepers may decide that Professor Yeardley has smuggled in knives, a crowbar or two, and even some clips - not enough to make the party comfortable, if they are even chambered for weapons the cell has.
- Breaking News: The drill includes a press conference on day one, since many agencies are touting their readiness for attacks of this sort. Journalists (and civilian workers) will be present throughout the operation, which could bog down the works - especially if any cell members have previous notoriety.
- Radioactivity: DOE has already destroyed the dangerous parts of the reactor, and moved the spent fuel rods to a federal storage area. Still, it might be fun to presage the Hound's arrival with a spike in radiation levels, if the cell has a Geiger counter handy. Also, the brass may want to simulate contamination during the drill, forcing participants to don protective gear and declaring an electronics/cell phone ban.
- Improvised weapons. Many industrial chemicals and construction implements remain on site. Perhaps contractors have brought or left electrical equipment or explosives. The Keeper can allow Idea rolls to suggest useful strategies - the Hound may be blinded by the discharge of a fire extinguisher, for instance. The ammunition in the checkpoint might be tempting, too.
- Controlled Ground. By restricting the place of the Hound's entry, the cell can dictate some of the terms of the confrontation. The best areas include the cooling tower and containment building, both of which are round. Though they are unguarded, they are unlit at night and observable from the administration building; lights or loud noises might attract unwanted attention.
Anyone found with live ammo, or sustaining serious injury during the drill, will require a creative explanation to avoid scrutiny. This goes double for participants present at someone's death - the risk to a career in such cases is severe. The medical trailer in the parking lot might be used surreptitiously, if necessary. If the Hound kills Yeardley, his disappearance may be the only true loose end (although he is expected at the debriefing). If the agents trust each other, A Cell might even accept the excuse that the professor required silencing of a more permanent nature….
The Yeardley Formula
If asked, Professor Yeardley is happy to provide a copy of his research to agents who assist him. He will not have a physical copy on his person during the drill, but can easily access it with a remote computer and internet link, both of which are available during the exercise.
- In English, computer file.
- Examination Period: 2d4 hours by someone with Mathematics 70%/Physics 60% [a corresponding Knowledge skill check at DC 17]
- Sanity Loss: 1d2-1 initial, 1d4-1 upon completion.
- Contains one "spell," Attract Hound of Tindalos, which beckons a Hound from the dim recesses of time, while pinpointing its arrival in the present. It costs 1 SAN, plus 1 Magic Point per 20 percentiles of success [2 points of Wisdom damage], but the creature is under no compulsion to obey the caller.
- The formula calculates a Hound's travel time even if it has been summoned in another way, making it a useful tool for Delta Green regardless of the outcome of this particular operation.