© 1997, Matt Cowger
Contagion is a short scenario designed to be played in 2-4 hours by a group of 3-6 investigators. While it is designed with Delta Green in mind it would be easy to adapt to Cthulhu Now or any other modern day role play game. The rest of the material here is KEEPERS EYES ONLY, if you plan to be a player in this scenario you would be advised to read no further.
Before Majestic 12 learned a few harsh lessons in discretion there was a period of open experimentation with the information contained in 'The Cookbook', the text given to them by the unearthly Greys. Many of these experiments ended in disaster, usually fatal. The experiment that spawned the bacteria in Contagion was one such failure. The bacteria claimed three lives before it was contained. A small amount was held for continued research, the rest was sealed in a steel container, buried in a forested lot and written off. With the passage of time and the movement of paperwork, the barrel and its contents were forgotten.
Eventually the city encroached on this forested lot and earthmovers partially uncovered and split the container. The colony, long dormant, awoke and slithered out of its container, after an attack on an unsuspecting surveyor, it took shelter in a nearby crevice. The next day it succeeded in taking an unsuspecting school boy, and its mass continues to grow.
The surveyor was taken to a nearby hospital in a state of shock. The CDC was notified due to the alarming and rapidly spreading bacteria that seemed to be literally devouring the victim. The staff was unable to identify the strange animal like gashes that seemed to be the source of the infection. The report came to the attention of Delta Green, through a friendly, and a group is sent to the hospital to investigate.
And so it starts…
Contagion starts with the investigators given their invites to the Night at The Opera in classic Delta Green style. Their ID’s are standard FBI issue and the hotel rooms offered as shabby as can be imagined. They have one rental car among them.The hospital is full of unfriendly and jaded staff and the people in the subdivision are unco-operative and have more concern about soccer practice then some sick construction worker.
Jimmy Davis, head of the local police investigation isn’t much help either. He’s got little clue as to what is going on and will quickly yield to the investigators badges. Frank Travers, head of surgery, could care less. His goals are to drink the night away at the local country club, and sign paperwork at the hospital.
The cell, on this job is truly alone. Follow the time line for events as the characters try to figure out what is going on.
8:00am parents of Zack Danvers report their child missing.
10:40am investigators show up at <name> Hospital.
10:50am Mitchell Haws’ body discovered missing, air ventilation system of containment room found badly damaged.
11:30am nurse calls security, reports man ‘lurking’ in ICU, fled when confronted, couldn’t be found.
1:50pm infant found missing.
3:30pm patient complains of banging in air ducts.
5:00pm news report of missing child, last seen in same area as the attack on Mitchell Haws.
2:40am visiting relative assaulted in restroom, severe cuts develop the infection.
3:15am visitor is put in isolation, doctor and investigators notified if not there.
9:45am visitor dies (if no action or ineffective action taken)
10:30am remains of infant found in basement maintenance area, bones have been scoured clean.
2:50pm police locate skeletal remains of a child near construction site, examination will show them to belong to Zack Danvers.
3:30pm Police cordon off end of lot, looking for more evidence. Finding none. They abandon the search by appx. 9pm.
5:15pm very upset nurse reports seeing ‘a large snake’ near the maternity ward, she is sent home for the evening (unless action is taken re: the small cut on her hand)
6:45pm intern complains of elevator ‘acting funny’ to maintenance.
9:50pm partial remains of cancer patient found hanging from air duct. The body, beyond the midsection, is not found.
10:20pm visitor rises as a new bacteria colony, this is observed by an on-duty nurse if the investigators aren’t there. Like the first colony, it attempts to break out through the ventilation containment system.
8:30am The two bacteria colonies merge in the tunnels under the hospital, attack and overpower a custodian, the (much larger) colony spends the rest of the day feeding on him.
10:30am A construction worker is attacked by what he describes as ‘a nest of snakes’ he is brought to the hospital with severe lacerations to his leg.
12:00pm CDC demands full report.
6:00am the massive colony assaults the maternity ward, attempting to drop out of the air duct and kill/eat anyone they encounter.
10:00am The source colony, starved, lashes out at a construction crew, injuring four (three become infected) and killing two.
…the contagion spreads, city must be quarantined…failure.
The main villain of Contagion is a semi-sentient, extremely voracious bacteria. It is an engineered organism, similar in some ways to the oil-eating microbe. It was a by product of Majestic 12 experiments, using some of the information found in 'The Cookbook'. It was found to be highly unstable and all the samples were sealed in a barrel and buried in the late eighties. MJ-12 wrote off the entire experiment and forgot about it. The barrel and its contents remained forgotten, until now.
Development on the edge of town unearthed the barrel and caused a breach in its side. The bacteria-colony escaped and seeped into a small crevice near the construction site. The colony is a bit of a picky eater, preferring human flesh to that of other organisms. The surveyor that was its first unfortunate victim was able to get away and was taken to a hospital in a state of shock. The curious school boy it captured next wasn't so lucky and it is on this unfortunate that it is feeding at the start of the scenario.
The bacteria-colony grows by infecting hosts and devouring the flesh on those it attacks, eventually turning the unfortunates into smaller colonies of the bacteria. An attack has a potential of infecting a victim. If the percentage is rolled under, the victim must make a CON. Vs. POT. roll to resist the infection. (The POT. of the Bacteria starts at a base of 15). If infected by the bacteria the victim has CON-1d8 hours of life remaining. A massive IV anti-biotic flush, as well as treating the wound has a chance of saving the victim. If untreated the infection kills the host and begins to render the flesh into a sort of protoplasm/bacteria like substance. The victim then rises as a smaller colony in SIZ-1d4 hours. The new colony operates under the same conditions as the first bacteria-colony, spread and devour.
A recently risen colony has the following stats:
STR:22 -|- CON:15 -|- DEX:13 -|- INT:8 -|- POW:10 -|- SIZ:(Same as before infection) -|- EDU:0
HP:25 -|- MP:10
It has three modes of attack-
Bite 1d4 & 15% chance of infection
Slash 1d6 & 15% chance of infection
Entangle 1d8/round 20% chance of infection. Victim must make a Str vs. Str test on the resistance table to break free.
It does not like bright sunlight and actively avoids it if possible. It takes the minimal damage inflicted by gunfire (i.e. a pistol that does 1d6 damage would only do one point of damage to it), but takes double damage from fire. Additionally, alcohol/peroxide/etc. is very toxic to the colony inflicting damage along the following scale:
1/2 Gallon: 1d8
Additionally multiple colonies can merge and divide, each additional colony that joins adds the following:
STR:+2 (Up to 35)
CON: +1 (Up to 25)
HP:+5 (Up to 60)
Add +1 to damage of each attack up to +15
Add +1% to chance of infection from attacks (Up to 40%)
Add +1 to the Potency of the bacteria in the CON. vs. POT. infection roll.
The colonies can form into vaguely humanoid forms or amorphous masses. While the mass itself can't move quickly, individual appendages can move with a whipcord like speed. It can ooze through small openings and possibly drop on the unwary.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This part was never posted on the original Contagion site. However, Matt has confirmed that he has these props 'somewhere' in his files. It'll be updated as soon as he gets his hands on them.