Once in a Lifetime

The Hook

Unbeknownst to his family, the mind of software engineer Kevin Emrys has been occupied by a member of the Great Race of Yith for almost two decades. Recently, the Yithian succeeded in its inscrutable goals and exited Kevin, returning his consciousness to the modern-day. Mr. Emrys has spent the past weeks stumbling through modernity, straining to fathom the few glimpses of Pnakotis stuck in his memory. Kevin has finally had a psychotic break and is now holding his children hostage at gunpoint. The Program wants what he knows and needs him extracted unharmed.

The Truth

Kevin Emrys had an unremarkable upbringing in Hollins, Virginia. His adolescence was typical for suburbia: little league in elementary, marching band in junior-high, and a crappy punk band in high school. At the age of 17, the most remarkable event in his life was finding out his girlfriend Steph was pregnant. The second most remarkable was when he pealed out of Hollins a week later. Lying in a cold motel bed in Montana, his mind was launched through time to the Great Library in Pnakotis, freeing his body for use as a tool for a member of the Great Race.

The Yithian spent two years living on the streets of Bozeman, getting its bearings in the modern world. Needing a mundane cover to pursue its agenda, it followed the information in Kevin's wallet to Hollins, hoping to use the support network its vessel had back home. Stephanie, scraping by as a single mother raising her daughter Amber, soon learned of her ex-boyfriend's return and confronted the Yithian inhabiting Kevin. Knowing human society ostracizes neglectful genetic contributors, the Yithian pledged its assistance with raising the spawn, and Kevin and Steph married the following week. A second child, Tyler, was born four years later.

The Yithian found work as a software engineer, easily understanding the intricacies of humanity's simple technology. Though the relationship between the Yithian and its “family” was cold, it aptly performed all the duties expected of a human father. At work, Kevin was brilliant and hard-working, though reserved and humorless. The only strange behavior was the short-notice trips to obscure locales, called "family vacations" to work, and "business trips" to the family. However, he continued to meet deadlines and pay bills, so no mind was paid to Kevin's surprise absences.

24 days ago, Kevin Emrys's mind returned. The following weeks had Kevin making several internet searches containing keywords flagged by the Program, such as "Simaria", "Nakotiss", and "San Chan". The Program has little idea how Kevin gained this knowledge, but they suspect he may prove an invaluable source of unnatural history. To evaluate Kevin's potential as an asset, they assigned Tanya Moore, a local police corporal and agent of the Delta Green, to monitor him.

The Briefing

In the middle of the work day, the Program contacts the Agents through the usual secure channels. For unstated reasons, they're needed in Roanoke, Virginia immediately. High-speed transportation is provided. Upon reaching Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport at approximately 5 PM, they are brought into a meeting room and hastily briefed by a middle-aged African-American woman surrounded by empty disposable coffee cups. This is Tonya Moore, their Case Officer for the operation. She speaks firmly and impatiently, answering the Agents' questions in as few words as necessary. The lip of a coffee cup occupies her mouth every second she doesn't spend speaking. Despite the mass quantities of caffeine she is consuming, Mrs. Moore's demeanor is controlled and attentive.

The Hollins police department received a call about screams and gunshots from the Emrys household at 1:26 PM, and circumstances quickly escalated to the current hostage situation. Kevin has told the police he intends to kill his children then himself. Mrs. Moore is acting commander of the situation, and she emphasizes this has been extremely difficult with her driving to the airport to meet and transport the Agents. She has intentionally understaffed the crisis to have a reason to bring in the Agents, and she provides non-federal agents forged FBI identification. She's been instructed by the Program to apprehend Kevin alive.

If pressed about the Program's motivation, Mrs. Moore reveals they believe Kevin could prove an invaluable asset in regards to knowledge of extraterrestrial intelligences and repressed eras of ancient history. A week ago, they tasked her with watching Kevin. She started following him to his workplace, Initiative Systems, but they fired him on the second day of Moore's surveillance. Since then, he’s spent his time researching computer science and psychology at the library, shooting at a local firing range, and drinking expensive liquor in a 7/11 parking lot.

The Situation

The Agents are in a hurry, so Mrs. Moore gives them a ride to the hostage crisis in her police cruiser. With no detours, the ride takes just over thirty minutes During the drive, Mrs. Moore receives a phone call announcing Kevin Emrys has shot his daughter, Amber, in the leg. Unbeknownst to Moore and the Agents, this was an accident.

The Emrys household stands at the edge of a pine forest, located just over a mile from the nearest neighbor. The house itself is a two-story monstrosity of stucco and oak, barely too small to qualify as a McMansion. The driveway is currently a mob of TV cameras and police officers, with paramedics and SWAT standing by. Kevin's wife, Stephanie, who was out of the house on a grocery run when he came home with a gun, is sitting in the back of an ambulance, accompanied by a paramedic trying to console her.

Kevin Emrys is with his two children in the home's kitchen. The room is in the center of the house, and there is no line of sight to the room from outside. Communication has been established between Kevin’s cell phone and a Crisis Response Phone set up in the driveway. Kevin's primary demand is clemency to kill Tyler, his biological son, on the grounds that Tyler doesn't belong to him. He brings up a fear that Tyler may hurt the rest of the family, claiming that Tyler is "wrong" and "obviously not a human". Mr. Emrys is adamant that, if his demand for clemency is not met, he will kill himself and his children. Kevin carries an AR-15, a gun he’s used twice before at a shooting range. Until the Agents arrive, a local police officer has been trying to talk down Mr. Emrys, with no results.

The Negotiation

Between the shock of the modern world and possibly killing his family, Kevin is very unstable. He can be talked down, but the Agents must do it carefully. He will respond positively to information on his body’s activities from the past 17 years, especially if it makes him look like a bad father. Shaming is a surprisingly effective tactic, as ascertained with a successful HUMINT test or a HUMINT 40%, but if pushed too far, Kevin may kill himself.

Kevin hasn’t told his family about his experiences in the corridors of time or his lost job. He shows confusion about how to operate his smart phone and other new technology, and he will occasionally lapse into youth slang from the 90's. Kevin is essentially a teenage boy trapped in a man's body, and he acts with the appropriate degree of emotional maturity and worldliness. He will attempt to appear knowledgeable about his occupant's career, but an Agent with Science (Mathematics) or Computer Science 20% or HUMINT 50% will know he's lying.

Kevin plays up what he's capable of, using shooting his daughter as an example. He talks a big game, but guilt is eating away at him, even from the beginning. If an Agent gains his trust, Kevin will frequently talk about his feelings of confusion and guilt. If an Agent he trusts promises not to tell anyone, he will reveal shooting Amber was an accident. If he an agent reaches the point where he feels they're completely trustworthy, he will begin talking about his sparse memories of Pnakotis. He talks of learning bits of Latin from an officer who served in Iberia under the general Gaius Laelius (a name will be recognizable to anyone with a History 50% as a Roman general during the second century BC) and befriending a man claiming to be a sorcerer-priest from Atlantis. He still has dreams of seeing great cone-shaped creatures slithering across the granite floors of the Great Library. He remembers inhabiting a body that was not his and was not human. Learning this information grants an Agent +2% Unnatural.

Angering Kevin: Fail a Persuade test, refer to Tyler as “his son”, speak to him using an Agent who has already upset him, break agreements, present him with evidence of the Yithian’s positive behavior from his time possessed

Calming Down Kevin: Succeed a Persuade test, agree to one of his demands, present him with evidence of the Yithian’s negative behavior from his time possessed, offer to assist Kevin using expertise (such as Law) that will help Kevin's situation

If an Agent is successfully able to establish a rapport with Kevin, he will call for the first demand from the list below. When the Agents fulfill a demand, Kevin will ask for the next item on the list.


  1. 1. Burger King. Kevin’s hungry and so are the kids. The closest one is a twenty minute drive away.
  2. 2. An Old Latin textbook. During Kevin’s time at the library of Pnakotis cataloging his history, he learned early Latin from a Roman legionnaire. The nearest library is back in Hollins, a fifteen minute drive away.
  3. 3. A doctor or nurse for Amber. Agent’s are allowed in the house if they can convince Kevin of their medical knowledge with a successful First Aid, Medicine, or Surgery test, or a successful Persuade test at -20%.
  4. 4. A copy of the Pnakotic manuscripts. This name will be familiar to those with Occult 40%, History or Anthropology 70%, or Unnatural 10%. Mrs. Moore is able convince the Program to procure a copy, but it will take five hours.

The Bystanders

Stephanie Emrys
All things considered, Mrs. Emrys is taking the situation remarkably well. She appears collected, tears come infrequently, and she is mostly cooperative. If questioned about her marriage, she will say has been cold for a long time. Stephanie and Kevin sleep in separate beds, and she considers the marriage a partnership built from pragmatism more than love. Since they married, she and Kevin had sex once, to conceive Tyler. If the Agents about Kevin expressing any history of abusive behavior, Stephanie says he never hit the children but he rarely interacted with them, especially Amber, who is slightly scared of her father. Tyler, however, idolized the Yithian that he saw as his father, and he would sometimes go into Kevin's office in attempt to strike up conversation. She mentions that Kevin's had a noticeable change in behavior starting a few weeks ago, which she characterizes as a "sudden decrease in maturity." He's been spending recklessly, coming home drunk, avoiding Tyler, and trying to spend more time with Amber. Stephanie thinks this is an early onset midlife crisis, nothing more.

The lack of intimacy in her marriage eventually drove Stephanie to a six-year affair. Two months ago, she finally came clean about her affair to the Yithian in Kevin’s body The Yithian responded by staring at her for a few moments, saying "OK", and returning to the work at his computer. Kevin has no knowledge of this infidelity, but Stephanie believes the affair is the root of his breakdown and belief Tyler isn't his son. While talking with her, a HUMINT 60% notices Stephanie is hiding something, and a Psychotherapy 40% will identify that she is repressing a source of guilt. She will stoically hide her shame from this, but will totally break down and confess to the affair if pressed about hiding something.

Agent Tanya Moore
Moore will spend most of her time directing the police and paramedics on site, and working to keep the media from crossing the police line. She is available for questions, and as an intermediary to Program leadership, but she trusts the Agents to do their jobs without interference. Moore will do her best to work with the Program's instructions, but if the situation escalates to such a degree a choice must be made between recovering Kevin alive and getting his children out safely, she'll go with the latter. She will strongly advise the Agents to do the same, even working to interfere if it looks like they are going to let the children die. This may end up landing Moore, and the Agents alongside her, into hot water with the Program.

The SWAT Team doesn’t care about taking Kevin alive. They just want to make sure the kids are safe, and many would love an excuse to take him down. This puts them at natural conflict with the Agents trying to recover Kevin alive. Three hours after the Agents arrive, the SWAT begin heavily pushing for the call to go inside. Agents can convince them to step down with a Bureaucracy, Law, or Military Science (Land) 40% or a successful Persuade test. This repeats every three hours, each time the skill requirements increase by 20% and a -20% penalty is added to the Persuade test.

The Hostages

Amber Emrys
Amber is a 16 year-old girl who begins the scenario passed out from blood loss. Though the bullet in her leg missed the femoral artery,and she is still losing blood fast. Kevin has made a makeshift bandage out of kitchen towels and is doing what little he knows to care for her. Amber dies of her injury by 11 PM if the wound goes untreated. Her wound can be treated with a successful First Aid or Surgery test, which helps immensely to calm Kevin down.

Tyler Emrys
Tyler is a shy and frightened 12 year-old boy, terrified by the behavior being displayed by the father he idolizes. He pastimes are reading World War 2 history and playing Minecraft. Tyler wants to be a programmer because of his “dad”, but all attempts Tyler made to bond with him were spurned by the alien intelligence. Tyler only speaks if spoken to, but is forthcoming about his interests and loves discussing them. Tyler happily reveals the details of his home life if he likes the Agents, accomplished by discussing his interests (Computer Science, History, Military Science, or SIGINT 30%). Tyler says that Kevin's behavior abruptly changed about a month ago, switching from cold indifference to discomfort and fear. He also mentions he's been seeing his mom cry a lot the past few months.

Rewards and Penalties

One child dies - lose 1/1D6 SAN (Helplessness)
Two children die - lose 2/1D6 SAN (Helplessness)
Nobody dies - gain 1D4 SAN


Kevin Emrys

STR 10 CON 10 DEX 12 INT 9 POW 14 CHA 13
HP 10 WP 14 SAN 18 Breaking Point 14
SKILLS: Alertness 42%, Archaeology 23%, Athletics 36%, Art (Music) 21%, Computer Science 4%, Firearms 32%, History 27%, Melee Weapons 40%, Occult 53%, Search 40%, Unnatural 20%, Foreign Language (Latin) 40%
ATTACKS: AR-15 (32%, D12 or 10% lethality, 3 AP)
Unarmed 40%, damage 1D4–1


Art by Michel Scoppettone https://vorpos.carbonmade.com/

This is an entry to the 2018 Delta Green shotgun scenario contest, written by Andrew Boyd.

This scenario was last edited on April 22nd, 2019. Though it was originally part of the 2018 Shotgun Scenario Contest, it was edited and expanded to over 1500 words after the contest concluded.

The intellectual property known as Delta Green is ™ and © the Delta Green Partnership. The contents of this document are © their respective authors, excepting those elements that are components of the Delta Green intellectual property.