Delta Green needs its agents, even the broken ones… some more broken than most. In the case of the psychologically fragile or physically disabled, they make use of "Theta Cell", a temporary assignment for a still viable agent who needs some ‘down time’. The Keeper is presented several options as to the ultimate purpose of the assignment.
This scenario is meant to be played between sessions for an Agent who has suffered a serious Sanity loss or critical injury, allowing them something to do while recuperating.
Enrolling the Agent
The Agent receives a coded message from A Cell stating that despite recent events Delta Green has use for them. They are assigned to Theta Cell, a repository for unnaturally disabled Agents and Friendlies. Instructions for retrieving a magnetic pass-card and directions to the facility from a drop box are provided.
The “holding cell”
Theta Cell is contained beneath a large parking deck. The directions provided lead to pass-card locked door in the sub-basement. Beyond the first door is another door keyed to a thumbprint reader.
The room itself is large but unremarkable – concrete walls and industrial lighting. There is a desk and chair, a 1970s-era remotely linked terminal, an empty mini-fridge, a chemical toilet, and a cot. The room is also visibly rigged with military-grade explosives, wired to the door, the walls, to the "residents", and a covered switch on the wall labeled "FUBAR". A Demolitions roll determines that the charges are designed to destroy the cotents of the room but not cause a collapse. The charges are expertly placed and can only be disengaged with a halved Demolitions roll.
A message is displayed on the terminal – DO NOT INSPECT RESIDENTS UNLESS INSTRUCTED. FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS VIA THIS TERMINAL. GATHER INTEL AS REQUIRED. IF BREACH/CRISIS/BUGOUT HIT SWITCH, 60 SEC DELAY.
The room contains five ‘residents’
A weird metal cylinder covered by a sheet. The cylinder is inscribed with an unknown script and filled with an unknown liquid and a human brain. A jury-rigged set of speakers and a headset microphone are nearby. If connected, a constant stream of synthesized human speech is heard. A quartered Know roll identifies it as a form of K'iche', the spoken language of the modern Maya. It is in fact an archaic form of Ch'olan, not spoken for over 1000 years. Sanity cost 0/1 unless speaker attached then 0/1d2 or 1/1d3 if language identified.
A sheet-draped "mummified" human female in modern dress. The "mummy" is grimacing as if in pain, hands raised as if to block the eyes. A series of wires and probes connect her head to a laptop computer running an unknown program. A Medicine roll identifies the setup as a partially invasive Brain-Computer Interface, with electrodes inserted into the skull but not the brain. The laptop will display either the words YES or NO seemingly at random. Sanity cost to view the "mummy" is 1/1d3, 1/1d6 if the Agent realizes the subject's brain remains alive.
Draped with a green plastic tarp is a water-filled 20 gallon fish-tank containing a complete human nervous system (including brain) attached to an intact pair of eyes. The nerve tissue is stained blue. Careful examination determines that the eyes dilate in response to light. An unused EKG machine is beside the tank. Sanity cost of 0/1 to discover the nervous system is still alive.
A shut wooden crate about three feet on a side stamped with shipping invoices from Morocco. Within appears to be a translucent three-foot diameter sphere containing an Indian or Arabic male head and portions of the torso and arms, all severed perfectly along the exterior of the sphere. The right hand is outstretched, touching a curious sinuous symbol chalked onto a fragment of dry-wall. A Spot Hidden roll will notice that the symbol is very slowly changing shape. While the sphere appears solid, handling reveals a weird rough texture caused by microscopic fluctuations in the stasis field severing off molecule thick layers of skin. Examining the sphere costs 1/1d2 points of Sanity, 1/1d4 if the nature of the sphere is realized with an Idea roll.
A perfectly executed statue of a human male, roughly in his mid-forties and dressed in clothing of the 1940s or 50s. The statue appears to be peering around an absent corner and holding something in the right hand, though several fingers have broken off. Careful examination discovers that the statue is perfect to a microscopic level, including body hair, skin texture, and, if examined microscopically, individual cells. Sanity cost to discover this is 0/1 points.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Five minutes after the Agent arrives, the terminal will flash a set of instructions. The Agent is to question resident B, who is identified as Jennifer Hsiao, a CDC physician Friendly who was assisting a Delta Green cell four months previous when she disappeared. She was recovered five days later in this condition. The Agent is instructed to tell Ms. Hsiao that she should think of running up stairs for "Yes" and singing for "No" and that they are monitoring her brain and can understand her. If she can understand these instructions she is to use Morse code (Yes for Dot, No for Dash) and answer further questions.
The Agent is then given a list of questions that suggest whatever Op Ms. Hsiao was involved with went very badly and that at least two of the Agents involved are still missing; it is left to the Keeper to create questions as desired. Questioning Ms. Hsiao will cost 1/1d6 points of Sanity as it establishes her brain remains alive within its withered shell. A successful Persuade or Psychology roll will allow questioning to begin though it is clear she is in a state of extreme mental distress. Additionally rolls are required for each additional hour of questioning due to her instability; engaging in this distasteful interaction costs 0/1 points per hour. Her answers are ultimately unimportant unless the Keeper wishes to draw their players into a campaign against a Ghatanothoa cult. Save with the aid of a Great Old One or greater power, Ms. Hsiao is doomed. Ultimately the interview's purpose depends on what the Keeper desires the function of the scenario:
A Cell is simply trying anything to find their missing Agents, including this rather unconventional interview. Many hours of questioning will be required to draw out what little she knows about the investigation or the cultist who left her in this state. When questions turn towards the process by which she was petrified, Hsiao will become wholly unresponsive and unless the Agent makes a successful Psychology roll she will refuse to answer any questions. All she can remember is that it was horrible.
After a time Hsiao will, even with successful Psychology or Persuade rolls, refuse to answer any questions and demand that the Agent end her unnatural existence. A Cell will instruct Agents that she is to be kept alive. Refusing to kill Hsiao will cost 1/1d4 points of Sanity. Repercussions, if any, from A Cell are left to the Keeper. Her death or her refusal to answer more questions will result in the end of the Agent's assignment to Theta Cell.
In this case, A Cell is concerned about the stability of the Agent and Theta Cell is a ruse (using some actual "disabled" agents) designed to monitor their sanity. Events will proceed as above until Hsiao (her responses programmed into the laptop) requests to be killed. At her refusal, A Cell will instruct the Agent to punish her in increasingly cruel ways including threats, electrical shocks, physical torture, and even a chemical solution that activates the pain receptors in her brain. She will always refuse, ever pleading for mercy and release. The Agent will be removed from Theta Cell after when they either refuse to torture or complete their assignment… possibly to the waiting arms of another cell tasked with lobotomizing or executing them.
Again as before, but in this case there is no assignment, no Theta Cell at all. The Agent has had a complete psychological breakdown and imagines the whole affair. If tailed they can be observed to enter an empty store room in a parking garage, then sitting silently for hours in a chair, then finally departing. How this plays out for the Agent is left to the Keeper.
In any circumstance, an assignment to Theta Cell is not a desirable one. If Hsiao and her plight are real, an Agent who ends her suffering might be granted a Sanity reward of 1d3 points though they may suffer the displeasure of A Cell… it should also give the Agent pause to consider the depths to which Delta Green will descend to complete its mission. If nothing else, even the most damaged Agent might take some small comfort in the fact that there are far worse fates than death.