Say A Little Prayer For Me
Table of Contents

SUMMARY: an AI singing and chanting psychic messages of despair cloaked in religious ‘music’ from the ages causes mass murder and suicide on the MIT campus. This must be stopped before the AI summons forth Great Evil.

Briefing: “So, yeah. There has been a suicide cluster at MIT. 4 undergrads, 2 doctoral students, 2 professors, a Dean, and a custodian. Ten suicides in two weeks. Alpha’s radar got all perked up. Then, as you might’ve read, there was the mass shooting yesterday – 12 dead, 23 injured. There is some thought that these are all connected, that this isn’t just normal humanity being normal dickheads. So, we are asking you to head to MIT. You will be going in as the alphabet soup that visits the site of a mass shooting and pretends to come up with a palatable reason why The Horror visits itself upon nominally innocent people. You are all assigned to Task Force Mourning Dove, a quietly put together coalition of several agencies that investigate the aftermath of Mass Shootings for the DOJ. Good luck, Tango Cell.”

Tango Cell (PCs): academics, the more cerebral of agency resources; BAU, SigInt, Intelligence Analysts, etc. Agents should be more academically inclined than SpecOps and heavy weapons experts.

This is a Sandbox investigation. Every couple of days there will be another event, but this is player driven – the Agents must figure out what is going on, then stop it.

Easy Clue: The suicides and the shooter had the following in common.

  • Netflix, Prime, and HBOMax memberships {not important}
  • They all owned bicycles {not important, but add bicycles into scenes as a “new car syndrome” bit of weird - just casually mention a cyclists in passing}
  • More Difficult: They all worked, had classes, had offices in the Maclaurin Building. Also housed within the Maclaurin Building, the Dean’s office for the School of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, Audio Visual Service, Music and Theater Arts. The Dean, Mitchum Franks, was one of the suicides.

More Difficult Paths

  • Encrypted communications. The MIT students that killed themselves all used ‘Sup app to discuss “Prayer”. If phones examined and hacked will discover many messages between the Students, the Faculty regarding “Prayer”. Other than this communication, there doesn’t appear to be any connection between the suicides.
  • Environment observations. There are far more students than normal (esp. in a pandemic, and post shooting) in the public outdoor spaces. Milling about, talking in clusters (use the word ‘clusters’ to describe groups of students, reminder of the suicide cluster), eating lunch in clusters, or just sitting quietly in clusters. {They have been drawn to the area by the art instillation ‘Orison’, installed in the visual arts building adjacent to Maclaurin Building}
  • Journals and other personal items of suicides. One undergrad kept a blog; normal observations until 2 weeks prior to killing herself. Two weeks ago, she started discussing comparative religions. Going into deep and (often) nonsensical rants about the strings that connect us all. The Dean had a calendar that mentions several installations coming {three herrings, one actual – just referred to by the artists’ names, not the pieces – the name Deckland Staub is the real lead}.
  • The NEXT shooting. To take place during PC presence on campus. Upon being shot back at – Harold Messer, the current shooter, jumps on a bicycle and attempts to elude PCs, rather than shooting back. {Be as lenient or as harsh here as you like: shots fired on the quad, run to intervene or the head of an individual being interviewed explodes all over Agent as the shooting starts…opportunity for horror as you wish}.
  • IF Agents seem flummoxed or lost, have the shooting take place IN the visual arts building.

Investigating and Exposure

  • While the Agents poke about campus, they are being exposed to The Orison. For each two hours or fraction thereof of exposure, there is a chance they begin to suffer the infection.
    • Will Power Rolls (+40, +20, Flat, -20, -40 for each two hours, progressing down) or suffer Stage 1, followed by Stage 2, etc. for a failure. Critical Success gives the Agent Immunity for 24 hours. Critical Failure results in jumping a stage. {See Stages of Infection, below}
    • Psychotherapy or HumInt checks can be made to observe the changing behavior of fellow Agents
    • There will be noticeably greater affected MIT residents as time goes on.
    • The Shooting, possibly another suicide (jump from a tall building to land at the Agents feet for the bloody in your face, heard of far removed, for a subtler horror)
    • Slack eyed students sitting in the rain, ear cocked as if listening to something

Deckland Staub and “The Orison”

  • Deckland Staub is a brilliant, genius, engineer and programmer, using his gifts to create interactive art from Robots, AI, Tech. He was born in 1996, attended Karlshue Institute of Technology, graduating with a master’s in computer engineering at age 17. It was at KIT that he discovered the Black Texts. A set of blueprints which are actually a terrible mythos volume coded into engineering schematics. For the next five years Straub deciphered the Black Texts and unraveled the mysteries of Sho-Gath, discovering he could open the box and loose The God in The Box with enough prayers and sacrifices. Staub was a resident artist at The Musée Dubois in Paris for these five years. Staub then disappears from records for four years. {A deep and thorough search using computer abilities normally attributed to the NSA will find that he was in Nairobi, Mozambique, and Accra – living off of cash, he hired several different mercenaries and guides. During this time he was looking for The Box. He found it in Ghana}.
  • The Orison is an art-installation that tries to explore the supernatural through artificial intelligence. … The machine voices canonized prayers from most known religions as well as personal contemplations, using deep learning techniques such as AI based free text generation as well as AI text to speech generation. Within the more commonplace chants are those to release Sho-Gath, by convincing the listener that God is in a Box and must be sacrificed to so that true enlightenment may occur. This event is coming close and closer, as the number of sacrifices build.
    • Stage One of Exposure. After being in the presence of the Orison for a couple of hours the exposed may be infected with the Song. They will become filled with a lassitude, their base faith will begin to show through with greater examples of behavior (fingering rosary, wearing a yarmulke, praying before meals, etc – minor expressions of faith, but out of character for the person involved)
    • Stage Two Infection. Lassitude. The individual doesn’t want to do much beyond listen to the words and chants of The Orison. They may still act with free will but all rolls (except SAN) are made at -20. They will be vaguely belligerent or petty when pressed into activity.
    • Stage Three Infection. SAN Check. Failure results in appropriate disorders coming to the forefront and becoming acute. This may result in a psychotic break, suicidal ideation, or other destructive behavior. The Infected is now aware of The Orison on a conscious level and will endeavor to listen to it, protect it, or otherwise act in the best interests of The Orison.
    • Stage Four Infection. The individual is now a slave to the God in the Box. They will gather around the box and worship it, slowly cutting themselves and offering up their sanguine life to Their New God.
  • The Orison, location.
    • Found on the third floor of the Visual Arts Building, in a large room, the Orison is on a pedestal stand {The Box of Sho-Gath, found in Accra} encased in high impact plastic with speakers around the room softly playing the Song.
    • There are a six {modify to armed and killer minded of the Agents – should be a challenge, but not impossible to get past the victims: or easy to kill them all, SAN rolls all around!} or so still conscience sacrifices surrounding the instillation, they will do everything in their (weakened by slow blood loss) power to protect The Orison. There are also several unconscious or dead students and faculty in the room, making movement exceedingly difficult.
    • For each round the Agent is in the room, Will Power checks are required {Unless noise cancelling devices are worn!} as above.
    • If the Agents are successful in getting past the protectors of The Orison, the protectors will begin killing themselves…or the Agents kill them. 6 more deaths awaken Sho-Gath. Agents who are infected count toward those needed deaths.


This was an entry to the 2021 shotgun scenario contest. Written by Adam Seibert

The scenario can be seen in its original google docs form here

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