Men At Work


Agents are hastily called to a stretch of rural highway after workers turn up a strange discovery during the course of construction. It’s 5:45 pm on a Friday, and a line of cars is backed up along the single open lane.

Handler’s Notes

Please note that the agents will be entering this scenario with exceptionally-limited information due to the haste to which they were called on scene — Agents would most likely be mobilized from postings in Indianapolis, and only given a cursory briefing about the nature of the discovery, using such terms as “unusual remains,” but not outright mentioning their enormous and unnatural size.


Millenia ago, a race of giants settled much of the modern Midwest. Standing eight to ten feet tall, these ancient giants had died out before indigenous tribes settled these areas, leaving only strange artifacts, their enormous bones, and some permanent sites. They constructed great burial mounds, under which they buried their honored dead. Following European colonization, these sites were of interest to early pioneers and families, though many were razed during expansion of the frontier and the platting of the modern states. On the site of US 421 and East County Road 850 North in Boone County, Indiana, one of these mounds stood, and was hastily cleared in the late 19th century during the construction of the road — not fully, and the gigantic bones of the mound’s occupant remained undisturbed for over a century, as cars passed overhead. Following a decision to widen the state highway, contracted construction workers turn up the bones near the end of a working day, causing construction to grind to a halt as the workers stop to examine the remarkable discovery.

The remains are distinctly humanoid, though noticeably larger than a human. After some discussion between members of the crew, the foreman of the job site contacted the Indiana State Police due to the discovery — Agents will have been hastily contacted by a Friendly within the State Police, and ordered to document and manage the discovery.

The Scene

Agents will find the site along US 421 and East County Road 850 North, an isolated stretch of rural highway about 35 miles north of downtown Indianapolis, and about two miles south of the town of Kirklin. Traffic has been reduced to one lane, with flaggers at each end of the construction side, each placed ¼ mile away. Along the closed lane, workers have ripped up the existing pavement down to the dirt with the aid of an excavator, which is parked just off to the side, along with a dump truck and bulldozer. Upon arrival, about a dozen construction workers, a State Trooper, and a Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy are gathered in a rough circle, looking down at the massive skeleton. Work has ground to a halt.


Foreman: Tom Crawford, 46 years old, an experienced construction worker with almost 30 years on the job. He’s seen some strange things and has some good stories to go with them, but this has to beat it all.

Truck Driver: “Fat Roger” Woodward, 55, a long-time trucker contracted for short runs around Boone, Clinton, Hamilton, and Montgomery County areas. When he isn’t driving, he’s usually browsing all manner of conspiratorial and “hidden history” groups online. He’s got some thoughts about the skeleton, that’s for sure.

Excavator Operator: Antonio “Tony” Santos, 38, whose bucket first turned up the bones. He’s beginning to wish it was someone else’s problem, especially considering the crew should have gone home over an hour ago.

State Trooper: Dispatched from the Indianapolis District, Trooper Alex Hutchinson, 30, arrived on scene shortly before the Agents. He’s less concerned about the remains, but more agitated by the Agents’ presence and claims to authority over the site.

Sheriff’s Deputy: After responding to a call about human remains discovered at a construction site, Deputy Brett Moore, 36, didn’t quite find what he expected. In fact, he’s not sure what the department’s protocol is for this kind of thing. Best if he can wash his hands of the whole thing.

Laborers: It’s been a strange day at work for Bryan Cooper, Courtney Jackson, Gabriel Castro, Don Parsons, and Emanuel and Jose Perez. But hey, it’s better to stand around a hole in the ground than to have to dig one.

Possible Complications

Handlers should use the following as a way of guiding possible paths the scenario could take:

  1. Some people on site have taken photos of the skeleton and posted them on social media, possibly including a worker that has left the site.
  2. Some bones are missing — have they been taken as souvenirs and preemptively hidden from the Agents, or were they pulverized by the excavator as the earth was turned up?
  3. The Sheriff’s Deputy has contacted the county coroner to recover the remains and/or the county historian due to the presence of artifacts alongside the skeleton.
  4. Traffic is backing up and one or more irate drivers are getting out of their cars.


Possible outcomes to the scenario include:

  1. Recovery of the remains — Agents must secretly and quickly exhume the remains for future study or proper off-site disposal.
  2. Containment of information — Agents must make sure that no evidence of the skeleton is posted online, or exists in physical or digital form. They must also limit the amount of people who see the bones, and guarantee the silence of those that already have.
  3. Destruction of the remains — there is all manner of powerful machinery that would be more than sufficient to pound the bones into dust.
  4. Research of the site — was anything similar discovered nearby  in the recorded past?


Men at Work was written by Austin Rode and David Stucker for the 2023 Shotgun Scenario contest.

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