A Cell instructs the agents to investigate a number of mysterious deaths of unrelated individuals living within a few miles of each other in a single suburban area. Delta Green became aware of something unusual by the pattern in the reports showing all of those involved showed similar unusual symptoms: sleeplessness, strange behavior and sexual mania. Also included in the investigation is another individual who is being held at a local hospital with similar symptoms and other irregularities.
Individuals affected (known to date):
- Rachel Simms, a psychology student and community activist. Raped and then killed by her attacker (Sean Bradley) three nights ago, the suspect being held in custody by local police.
- Alex Broden, an investment banker. Crashed his convertible on the highway, was apparently engaged in coitus with a prostitute (DeShae Williams) while driving the vehicle and lost control.
- Ahadu Zerezgi, an Ethiopian immigrant and security guard at a local factory, killed by his wife Genet Ammanuel while attempting to molest his teenage daughter Lielit.
- Julia Eddings, a young housewife and artist. She is alive and three months pregnant, but is being held under doctor's orders at a local hospital.
Investigation of the witnesses yields the following information:
Sean Bradley is a local fraternity member, being held and charged with rape and murder. He claims that not only did Rachel willingly have sex with him, but also that he killed her by accident because she refused to let him leave, demanding he have sex with her again. This defense is weak considering that he has been under suspicion of rape attempts before in the past, but he was able to use his father's political connections to put pressure on the victims to bury the story, and also that during the autopsy Rachel was found to have Rohypnol in her system, as well as some as yet unidentified mutagenic chemicals.
Rachel's friends and classmates reveal that she was a smart and involved student, but had been acting strangely for several weeks, staying late in the library and spending a lot of time reading strange and obscure texts on sexual psychology and comparative mythology, but also going to parties and clubs and meeting strange men on a regular basis. Inspecting her dorm room will find it filled with piles of written text, which if sorted through reveal a thesis relating analyzing fertility goddesses from “pre-human myth cycles” with Freudian and Jungian theory. (1 week to study, 0/1d2 SAN, +2% Cthulhu Mythos)
Alex Broden's colleagues are reticent at first, but they reveal that for several weeks Broden had been exhibiting signs of mania, staying in the office late into the night and only leaving to visit clubs and brothels. Despite his odd behavior, his success rate had almost quadrupled and he was making so much money for the firm that they decided to wait the period out. Colleagues of DeShae Williams identify Broden as a regular, big-spending customer, who seemed erratic and hated having to use a condom. They also suggest that Williams may have been HIV positive.
Ahadu's wife, Genet, is being charged with murder but she is willing to talk to investigators (though this requires an interpreter, she is a first generation immigrant). A highly religious Ethiopian Orthodox woman, she claims that her husband was possessed by an evil 'Zar' spirit that forced him to commit vile acts on her and her daughter, and drink excessive amounts of coffee. She blames a neighbor, a young Sudanese woman who is a recent immigrant and speaks only limited English. The Zar spirit angle is a red herring, but might be interesting to explore.
The daughter, Lielit (she prefers Layla), is upset but a more lucid interviewee, though currently staying with an over-protective aunt. She claims her father became increasingly odd and obsessed with pornography over the last few weeks, before resorting to incest, but before this began he had never shown any such tendencies before.
Julia Edding's husband is upset, claiming over the past few weeks his wife had become sexually insatiable and her artwork, previously mostly landscapes, increasingly bizarre. If investigators enter her workshop they are confronted by disconcertingly realistic oil paintings of black goats riddled with maggot like fetuses, pregnant ewes given birth to monstrosities, disturbingly realistic depictions of vagina dentata and such (good for 0/1 SAN loss).
Finding Julia at hospital, they are prevented from interviewing her by doctors, who claim she is too unstable. Intimidate and the flashing of badges can get them through, particularly if there is an investigator linked with the CDC or with medical experience. The doctors report that despite being only 3 months pregnant, she is apparently far more advanced. Further pushing will result in the doctors reluctantly showing an ultrasound shot of the unborn child. The shot shows the child to be fabulously deformed, with multiple limbs that are clearly visible as tentacles.
OPTIONAL: While the Investigators are in the hospital, an alarm sounds and doctors and nurses rush to the room where Julia is being held. If the investigators push their way through, the doctors are bewilderedly shouting that she is going into labor and she is screaming “HE IS COMING! THE SON OF THE BLACK MOTHER WITH A THOUSAND YOUNG! IA! IA!” She will give birth, but the child will be a blasphemous spawn of Shub-Niggurath (Stats up to the Keeper, but it is a squalling bloody fetus with tentacles) that will proceed to attack the medical staff. The DG agents can do their thing, with expected collateral damage, SAN loss and cleanup.
Further investigation, either of searching the places of residence or financial records of the individuals involved, eventually reveal that each recently purchased a brand of organic coffee called Maya Mother Coffee from the health goods store One Earth Foods. Eddings, Simms and Zerezgi chose to purchase the coffee for political reasons to support indigenous farmers, while Broden merely bought it to show off his faux concern for the environment and developing world. If inspected, the coffee beans will be oddly shaped, three-lobed, a shade of blue-green and extremely odorous. Merely inhaling can result in a slight buzz. Further analysis will show a variety of strange mutations in the structure. Anyone silly enough to brew and drink it will discover that it makes it impossible to sleep for 1d3x10 hours per cup, is highly addictive and each successive cup creates an extreme urge to have procreative sex.
Maya Mother Coffee is made by a Zapatista coffee cooperative known as Ssit Lem Lum in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. The Ssit Lem Lum cooperative is run by Tzoltil and Tzeltil Maya peoples as an indigenous production collective, and One Earth Foods has a license for a limited run of the coffee beans as a prelude to their distribution at health food stores and coffee shops nation-wide (including Starbucks), as well as a similar expansion into Europe and Canada through the RedProZapa network. Investigation of the operation will indicate that the cooperative was suffering from operational difficulties in production and poor crop yield before a so-called "organic specialist" from the United States arrived. Their website claims “Traditional agricultural techniques from the Chaucha People of South-east Asia have been brought to the Maya heartland, showing the power of the solidarity of the world's indigenous peoples and the strength of traditional non-capitalist techniques”.
In reality, the “organic specialist” is a former Tcho-tcho employee of Genetic Agricultural Products, Inc. (see Tiger Transit in Countdown), who has introduced Mother's Milk into the coffee farming process, which resulted in a boost in growth but corrupted the coffee with the influence of Shub-Niggurath. The cooperative has been transformed into Shub-Niggurath cult and though it is feared and despised by many of the local Maya villagers, it is protected by the local Zapatistas in particular and their global support networks in general.
It is up to the PCs to eliminate this threat without creating a disastrous PR nightmare for Delta Green. This could involve a dangerous infiltration operation in Chiapas, dodging Zapatista militia and Mythos entities to eliminate the source of the problem (or at least the Mother's Milk). However, this would be an extremely dangerous operation, difficult logistically and potentially catastrophic if the Zapatista support networks can wind of US forces
destroying a cooperative farm in Mexico.
If this proves a bridge too far, a smaller scale operation to prevent the shipment entering the United States may be sufficient. This could involve something as simple as a legal barrier due to the health risks posed by the coffee, or a more complicated operation of destroying the shipment on an incoming cargo vessel while it's still in international waters. On this other hand, this would do nothing to prevent the spread of the coffee to Europe and Canada.