Operation In Media Res

This scenario was inspired by The Temple of Mysteries: In Media Res (Malhavoc Press).


The Agents investigate a UFO landing in small-town Nebraska and are seemingly possessed by the spirits of those who’ve died aboard the alien craft. Who can escape from the ship — and who will they remember being when they do?


The Agents are invited to a Night at the Opera in Contour, Nebraska, population 3,161. Reports came in two days ago that an alien spacecraft touched down on the outskirts of town, obscured from the highway.

The Agents are on reconnaissance duty: inspect the craft, determine point of origin and any inhabitants, assess the threat to the local populace, and report back to Delta Green.

Have the Agents introduce themselves to each other on their way to Contour, a model of small-town Americana. With no known witnesses, the Agents make their way through town and approach the craft.

The UFO is a large, dark grey, oblong disc, about ninety feet long, thirty feet tall, and perfectly uniform in every way, except for a six-foot-wide, eight-foot-tall opening in the center of one of the long edges. Nothing is visible within; it’s a black square in the side of the craft. The Agents conduct what little investigation they can, but, with nothing else to go on, they enter through the square opening. As soon as they’re inside, the opening closes behind them, and a bright blue light flashes in the darkness, triggering a 1/1d4 Sanity check.

Then, the scenario proper begins.

First Secret

Give each Agent the following note, making sure no one is able to see each other’s notes. Play this up like everyone is getting different information; take a moment to reread each note before handing it over, as though you’re keeping track of who’s getting what. If some players failed their Sanity checks while others passed, act as though that also makes a difference to who’s getting what.

Secret Identity

This is secret information that only your Agent knows. Do not allow the other Agents to see.

You are not who you think you are. Your name is Emily Traynor. In 1999, you were abducted from Illinois by aliens and subjected to unspeakable experiments. When you finally succumbed to this torture, your spirit was trapped within this alien spaceship, unable to escape.

In a flash of light, you have taken control of this body. You understand their background, knowledge, and skills, enough to impersonate them, although your own memories have long since deteriorated. You bear them and their companions no ill will, but if any of them find out that you are possessing their friend, they will almost certainly turn against you.

You must find a way to escape this ship with your new body. Once you’re out, you can negotiate the release of this…Agent…in return for their help finding you a new host.

The players will probably have questions. Answer as vaguely as possible, or tell them not to worry — all will become clear in time.

Once everyone has read their secret note, describe the Hangar as the lights rise.


USEFUL SKILLS: Anthropology, Science: Exogeology, SIGINT

The Hangar is a large room, taking up about a quarter of the craft’s volume. The source of the blue light was a crystalline polyhedron hanging from a corrugated tube. The polyhedron fades and remains dormant after the flash.

In the Hangar are five scoutcraft, resembling snowmobile-sized teardrops made of the same material as the ship. They are inaccessible without an approved biosignature (see Bridge).

The wall behind the agents is completely blank. The other walls are decorated with sparse alien sigils that correspond to the scoutcraft, and occasional blinking green and pink lights, with no obvious exits or entrances.

Agents who know the alien language (because they’re self-aware shapeshifters or they touched the monolith in the Engine Room) are able to read the wall sigils. The sigils identify the scoutcraft as “Recon Vessels” and note that all but one are functional.

Sections of the walls fade away when approached, revealing exits to the Spine (east) and Engine Room (south).

Engine Room

USEFUL SKILLS: Computer Science, Craft: Mechanic, Forensics, Medicine, Occult, Science: Mathematics

The Engine Room is circular, built around a central, shimmering, cylindrical monolith. Exits lead to the Hangar and the Spine.

Intricate geometric patterns inscribed on the monolith pulse with a teal glow. The patterns change with each pulse; they’re safe at a glance, but close inspection requires a 1/1d4 Sanity check, and touching it requires another (1d4/1d6), as impossible mathematics flood the Agent’s mind. Whether or not they succeed, any Agent who touches the monolith is imbued with knowledge of the alien language, and can read it elsewhere.

The rest of the room is a maze of more corrugated tubing and glasslike polyhedrons that smoke like dry ice. Successful checks can determine that the monolith somehow powers the ship’s flight; that its geometric patterns are a reflection of math from a higher plane of reality; that the polyhedrons are hyper-compressed organic matter (triggers a 1d4/1d6 Sanity check); and that the tubing is oxygenating the room.


USEFUL SKILLS: Athletics, Computer Science, Dodge, Heavy Weapons, Military Science: Land, Search, Stealth

The Spine is a long, semicircular corridor, 14 feet wide and 8 feet tall, that runs along the span of the ship, connecting the Bridge to the Engine Room. Opposite the Hangar, but closer to the Bridge, is the Observatory. Waist-high black discs jut out of the floor every 7 feet (7 in total).

A turret hangs from the ceiling in front of the Bridge door. The turret targets intruders with human brain waves, but is slow to charge each shot. Agents can navigate the Spine with good timing or quick dodges, using the discs as cover.

The turret ignores Agents who are both freed from the Traynor delusion and know themselves to be shapeshifters.


USEFUL SKILLS: Computer Science, Forensics, Medicine, Psychotherapy, Science: Biology, Search, Surgery

This room has many more blinking green and pink lights on the walls. In the center is a raised black slab with a perfectly preserved naked human corpse on it, triggering a 1/1d4 Sanity check. The corpse is another abductee who will eventually be compressed into another polyhedron. Imply through vague familiarity that it could even be the corpse of Emily Traynor (it’s not).

Alcoves in the walls hold more crystalline polyhedrons and one brain wave-reading device, resembling a temperature scanner. Successfully manipulating the device (requires a check or knowledge of the alien language) and pointing it at an Agent under the Traynor delusion causes its readout to flash green. Touching the device’s operational end to an Agent removes the Traynor delusion (see Second Secret), triggering a 1d4/1d6 Sanity check. It can do this twice, after which it hums, flashes pink, and becomes nonfunctional.

Second Secret

Give any Agent freed from the Emily Traynor delusion one of these secrets. Hand them out randomly, or secretly determine the shapeshifter(s) beforehand. ~1/3 or 2/5 of the Agents should be shapeshifters.

Not-So-Secret Identity

You’re…not Emily Traynor. Of course not. That was a false identity implanted in your mind by the ship, as a security measure. You have full control over your faculties once again. Time to get out of here!

Doubly Secret Identity

You’re…not Emily Traynor. Of course not. You created that delusion as a security measure. You are a shapeshifter who killed this Agent and took their form. The others don’t know yet. Get to the Bridge and get this ship off the ground before your new specimens can escape!


USEFUL SKILLS: Computer Science, Heavy Machinery, Science: Astronomy/Astrophysics, Search

The bridge is similar to the Engine Room, but instead of a monolith, there is a waist-high hexagonal column that acts as a command console. Self-aware shapeshifters can use the console to pilot the ship, while human Agents who understand the alien language can use it to open the door in the Hangar or program their bio-signatures to be recognized by the scoutcraft.

Additionally, in a corner, there is a dead human clutching another brain wave-reading device. Describe the corpse as looking like one of the Agents who is secretly a shapeshifter, whether or not they know they are. The corpse has no visible wounds, but inspection reveals that their brain and nervous system have dissolved due to unidentified radiation.


After reaching the Bridge, there should be enough confusion and suspicion to set off the powder keg, especially if any shapeshifter(s) have been revealed. If not, reveal the dead Agent to be a shapeshifter setting up an ambush!

The Agents can still escape in the scoutcraft if the shapeshifter(s) get the ship to take off, but they might be too late to return to Earth, or they might even still think they’re Emily Traynor — the delusion persists forever if not removed.


Operation IN MEDIA RES was written by Jonas Tintenseher for the 2022 Shotgun Scenario contest. Source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NR7VfboG9gmIDoUprIy7g_m8vKNQBLjv6njiWBd9jAQ/edit#.

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.