Irregular Bereavement Protocols


On the 18th of September in Spokane, crematorium operator Yolanda Martins’ day took a turn toward the weird, as she discovered a strange object (the Reactant) in the cremated remains of Tobias Dougenis, a young Caucausian male. Thinking it was an unusual medical implant, she consulted the coroner's office via email, triggering an automatic monitoring DG algorithm.

The Briefing

The Agents are invited via the usual channels for an Opera in Spokane. Once on site, they are briefed in a small, nondescript office downtown by their handler. The directives are to assess and contain the object as well as investigate its origin and remove any vectors. The object is still in the crematorium, basic hazmat equipment is available.

The Crematorium

The small facility has been closed off since the incident. The Reactant is still in the cremation chamber. Yolanda Martins is outside and available for questioning but will reveal nothing important besides finding the object in the otherwise ordinary ashes of Tobias Dougenis.

Optional: To kickstart the investigation, have the Reactant already producing a slime-mold when the Agents arrive. If undisturbed, it will hatch a severely premature infant within four hours (a Simulacrum based on a late stage miscarrige Yolanda Martins suffered four years ago).

The Victim

The 23-year-old welder Tobias Dougenis expired after being hit by a drunk driver (Harold Lee, currently in custody and irrelevant for the investigation) on the 23rd of August. He is survived by his parents, Maria and Yannis Dougenis, residents of Spokane. Tobias’ life was extremely ordinary until about four months ago when he was the subject of a major search effort in the wilderness outside Joseph, Oregon. Tobias was part of a working crew assigned to renovate a freshwater pipeline, and was reported lost on the 5th of April when an unexpected (but natural) snowstorm hit the area. The search effort went on for several days, and his parents participated. Tobias was encountered naked and confused by his father early in the morning on the 9th.

Tobias had since then taken up an interest in the family church (Greek Orthodox) and his career. Both the church and his parents will mention the rescue in April, if questioned. Church members will mention that Tobias was rather absent-minded and might suffer from PTSD since the incident.
The Truth
Tobias Dougenis got lost during the storm on the 5th and perished under a fir tree. His remains are still there. During the search effort, his father and several others, including Marcus Nichols and Amanda Little, dozed off in a Search and Rescue vehicle, parked close to the hatchery. Yannis, Marcus and Amanda all have atypical Alpha brain waves. Their presence activated the Reactant. The Tobias-Simulacrum was “born” first and shambled disoriented to the vehicle, ending the search. Two other Simulacrums were born the following day and eventually found their way to Joseph and their next of kin.

The Reactant

The Reactant is approximately 4 inches long and oblong in shape. It consists of anarchic coiling strands of a white, bonelike material unknown to science. The Reactant is cool to touch and virtually indestructible. When active it emits weak Beta-radiation which is easily detectable with a geiger counter.

The Reactant is an old Mi-Go device. Its primary purpose is unfathomable. However, it interacts with certain humans in a strange way. The Reactant affects people with atypical Alpha brain waves (a natural, harmless recessive genetic mutation) and creates physical Simulacrums (clones) of its victim’s strongest imprinted memory.

The Reactant continuously scans the surrounding area for anyone with atypical Alpha waves (range: 300 feet). The survey can be blocked by a lead casing. If a person with atypical Alpha waves remains inside the Reactant’s range for more than 1 hour, the Reactant picks up the strongest mournful memory imprint that person has of another human. It will then construct a physical copy of the memory imprint by extruding a slime-mold like substance. The slime-mold forcefully seeks out any available carbon close by, creating an amniotic sac. After 7-18 hours the Simulacrum is “born”.

The Simulacrums are not malevolent. They are molded by their memory imprint, often emphasizing positive traits. Memory gaps are common. Superficially, they are identical to their original. They have no recollection of their “birth” and truly believe they are the person they are imitating. They will become confused and eventually suicidal if confronted with their real nature. Each Simulacrum has a copy of the Reactant buried within their lower occipital lobe. It activates once the Simulacrum dies. Once born, the Simulacrum will wander off in a dazed state. Inactive Reactants are difficult to detect with X-ray. Putting a Simulacrum in an MRI machine is fatal, as the Reactant reacts violently to the magnetic field. Each Reactant can create seven Simulacrums, after which it rapidly crumbles into dust.

Spending prolonged time in close proximity to a Simulacrum or Reactant is mentally harmful (equivalent to 1 SAN loss/week). Symptoms include headaches, dizziness and fatigue followed by a deteriorating Altzheimer-like illness.

Hitting Close To Home

If an Agent spends more than 3 hours in proximity to an unshielded, active Reactant, there is a 50 % chance that they have atypical Alpha waves and will activate the Reactant (an NPC has a 15 % chance). Pick a person, living or dead, that the Agent has lost (for instance one of the Agent's previous Bonds). The Simulacrum will be confused and naked, believing that it really is the Agent's loved one. Executing them should be traumatizing.

Joseph, Oregon

Joseph is a small rural town in Northern Oregon, 200 miles south of Spokane. With a population of 1 200, it subsists mainly on tourism. Fall is the low season. The MacMillan Ridge Ski Resort is the town's primary employer. Due to negligence, the resort was closed down temporarily last winter as their freshwater pipeline was lead-contaminated.

Points of interest in Joseph are:

  • Local sheriff's office, unfamiliar with anything beyond domestic violence, lost tourists and the occasional burglary. Led by the old-fashioned Sheriff Elijah Miller, and Deputy Marcus Nichols. The office has 5 constables who are fiercely loyal to Sheriff Miller.
  • Joseph United Methodist Church (workplace of Amanda Little, age 42).
  • MacMillan Ridge Ski Resort. Located 4 miles southwest of Joseph and owned by Michella Fernandez. Mrs. Fernandez has no love for the authorities since the forced shutdown last winter. She will not cooperate with any investigations unless forced to.

The Hatchery

The hatchery lies 3 miles east of the ski resort. It’s located in a small woodland clearing and contains three shallow, circular holes arranged in a semicircle. Each hole contains dried residue of the slime-mold. At the center of the semicircle there is a buried, disintegrating corpse containing an active Reactant. It can create four more Simulacrums. Forensics will show that the corpse was a middle-aged man. He has been buried for around 70-90 years. His identity and how he ended up buried here is a mystery.

The dessicated corpse of the real Tobias Dougenis lies under a large fir tree 2 miles to the southeast of the hatchery. He expired from hypothermia.

The Returned

Besides Tobias Dougenis, two other Simulacrums have been “born”. Both Simulacrums carry inactive Reactants inside their skulls.

The first is Elisabeth Nichols, age 34, who is police Deputy Marcus Nichols' estranged wife. The real Elisabeth is not dead, but left Marcus three years ago due to his drinking problem. She currently lives in an art commune in Conway, Arkansas and wants nothing to do with him. Simulacrum Elisabeth is back together with Marcus and lives with him. She is the ideal reflection of Marcus' memories of his wife and he doesn’t suspect that she is a Simulacrum. Marcus is very protective of Elisabeth and overjoyed that she has returned. Their reunion is known around town and many are happy for their reconciliation.

The second returned is George Little, age 73, father of Amanda Little. The real George died five years ago and is buried in the local cemetery. Amanda works as a deacon for the local Methodist church. She is conflicted regarding George's return but sees it as a divine miracle. Under the pretense of a national pandemic, she has convinced George that he must isolate himself in her house. George accepts this but is concerned for Amanda's mental health. During the last couple of months she has become reclusive and fervently religious. Members of her congregation and her neighbors have noted her shift in behavior. If the agents confront her or George, she becomes unhinged and strikes out. She owns a 9mm Glock pistol.


To successfully finish the assignment, the Agents need to shield the two active Reactants (both Tobias’ and the hatchery). They also need to neutralize the Simulacrums of George and Elisabeth and contain their Reactants, as well as any other Simulacrums created during the scenario.

If any Simulacrums escape they will eventually die, either from deteriorating mental health or old age. Their Reactants will then activate, recreating the cycle once more.


Amanda Little, age 48
STR 9 CON 10 DEX 12 INT 10 POW 9 CHA 14
HP 9 WP 9 SAN 45 Breaking Point 36
DISORDER: Paranoia.
SKILLS: Alertness 40 %, Drive 30 %, Firearms 40 %, HUMINT 30 %, Persuade 30 % Psychotherapy 20 %.
ATTACKS: 9mm pistol 40 %, damage 1D10.
Unarmed 20 %, damage 1D4–1.

George Little, age 76 (SIMULACRUM)
STR 7 CON 7 DEX 8 INT 11 POW 10 CHA 10
SKILLS: Accounting 30 %, HUMINT 30 %.
ATTACKS: Unarmed 20 %, damage 1D4−1.

Police Deputy Marcus Nichols, age 36
STR 14 CON 13 DEX 11 INT 10 POW 12 CHA 10
DISORDER: Addiction (Alcoholism).
ARMOR: Light kevlar vest (Armor 3).
SKILLS: Alertness 50 %, Athletics 50 %, Firearms 50 %, HUMINT 30 %, Law 30 %, Navigate 50 %, Search 40 %, Survival 30 %, Unarmed Combat 50 %.
ATTACKS: SIG Sauer P228 pistol 50 %, damage 1D10.
Remington Model 870 shotgun 50 %, damage 2D8 (or 1D8 beyond base range).
FN M16A2 rifle 50 %, damage 1D12, Armor Piercing 3.
Unarmed 50 %, damage 1D4−1.

Elisabeth Nichols, age 34 (SIMULACRUM)
STR 10 CON 10 DEX 12 INT 10 POW 10 CHA 13
SKILLS: Alertness 30 %, Art (pottery) 40 %, Athletics 40 %.
ATTACKS: Unarmed 30 %, damage 1D4−1.
Pocket knife 30 %, damage 1D4.

Michella Fernandez, age 49
STR 9 CON 10 DEX 10 INT 14 POW 9 CHA 13
SKILLS: Accounting 40 %, Bureaucracy 40 %, HUMINT 40 %, Law 30 %, Persuade 40 %.
ATTACKS: Unarmed 30 %, damage 1D4−1.

Sheriff Elijah Miller, age 53
STR 11 CON 11 DEX 9 INT 13 POW 10 CHA 12
ARMOR: Light kevlar vest (Armor 3).
SKILLS: Alertness 30 %, Athletics 30 %, Bureaucracy 40 %, Firearms 50 %,
HUMINT 50 %, Law 40 %, Search 40 %, Unarmed Combat 40 %.
ATTACKS: Smith & Wesson Model 15 50 %, damage 1d8+1.
Remington Model 870 shotgun 50 %, damage 2D8 (or 1D8 beyond base range).
FN M16A2 rifle 50 %, damage 1D12, Armor Piercing 3.
Unarmed 50 %, damage 1D4−1.


This was an entry to the 2021 shotgun scenario contest. Written by Erik Ahlin

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