By Simon RJB
The games stats and 'truths' behind the various elements will be revealled in the addendum - not all of them as obvious as they might seem. There's at least one red herring in there…
This scenario finds the agents at the end of an assignment that has them in New York on Christmas Eve. The only prerequisite is that the characters have recently worked with a 'Friendly' in the medical/biochemical field, in the New York area. He is a thirty-something year old doctor called Dr Martin Dowe, whose passion is the field of genetics and related chemistry. Aside from his talents in this area he is relatively quiet and unremarkable, and can be tailored as you see fit. The players should be familiar enough with the character that they should actually care about the character enough to want to help him.
The players' previous experiences with the doctor should have allowed them to recognise his amazing knack for recognising and manufacturing chemicals that can be used to stabalise the typical 'disintegration process' often associated with the Mythos. In this regard the doctor has proved invaluable in securing forensics evidence. However, these 'treatments' are assessed as and when - there are currently no pre-packed problem-solvers that the characters can pick up in his absense.
Those who get to know the doctor a little better learn that he came to Delta Green's attention during a rare sighting of a Deep One at New York Harbour, where agents had to step in when it attacked him.
Regardless of what individual agents are planning, their evening will be interrupted by a phone call. They'll be asked to meet outside the St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan - anyone who stated previously that they're watching TV or are out on the streets of New York can make a Luck Roll to have learnt about the Midnight Mass at the maginificent Cathedral, due to be
televised on a local network.
The senior agent will also be told the nature of the assignment. There has been a security breach - someone matching the decription of Dr Martin Dowe has emptied a little-used Green Box in New York of its contents. These items are an old tome (its exact nature is not important) and a Mask (photos of which can be supplied if the character is near a computer or fax).
The doctor entered St Patrick's at around eight this evening, confirmed by a police officer. He was carrying a briefcase that contained an old book, though the policeman didn't search him beyond that.
The agents have been secured entry, the police warned of an FBI operation concerning the 'dangerous fugitive' Martin Dowe. The most important thing is to get him out of the Cathedral without alerting the public, and to secure the stolen items.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
It's an hour or so before midnight when the characters arrive. There seems to be a small police and media presence outside, a van with a local TV network's logo on the side parked just outside. Within the van are a few monitors showing the camera angles within the Cathedral, as well as an external shot, although at the moment none of this is going out live. The main entrance to the Cathedral is secured by a policewoman, who'll let them in once they reveal their operative names. They will be ushered in quietly, and asked not to interrupt the service. The Cathedral is impressive, the massive main hall an awesome sight, especially with a full house.
The Archbishop of New York is most likely leading the service. A number of cameras have
been set up at the back, plus a number in higher galleries.
The agents are free to explore, but it turns out that Dr Dowe is sitting in an aisle seat a couple of rows from the front. You can play this out as long as you want, but even once the doctor is spotted it should still be hard to get to him. He hasn't actually got any plans until midnight, when the cameras will go live, but if the agents act too hastily, however, he will act ahead of schedule.
What's Going On
For one reason or another, the Dr Martin Dowe has snapped. His exposure to the Mythos has simply made him have to face up to some dark truths. With his world falling apart, he plans to expose the Christian teachings that he held so dear as illusions that hide the horrible truth. He plans to hold the Archbishop and congregation at gunpoint and recite from the stolen tome. If the cameras are running he'll address them (and the Delta Green conspiracy), demanding that
they tell the world the truth. In reality whilst the cameras are still running, the live link will be cut
at the first sign of any trouble. That doesn't make it any less terrifying for those present.
Dr Dowe doesn't really plan to use the gun - he wants the threat of violence to buy him enough time to tell the world the truth. However, should the agents use guns of their own, he'll retaliate, even if they're standing near innocent by-standers. He's not violent, but neither is he completely sane.
Essentially, however, he's here to deliver a message, and there's more than one way to do that. If subdued but still conscious he'll be able to play his trump card. He'll bend his head down, hiding his face momentarily, before suddenly tensing up. Then, in a matter of seconds, his clothes will shred as his skin bursts open, falling apart as the slick red muscles beneath expand, bubble, and turn dark, warping him into a horrific monster. Anyone making a Spot Hidden roll sees his human face falling away like a perfectly intact mask. The transformation costs all those who
see it 1/1D10 SAN. This includes the whole congregation and anyone watching on camera.
Anyone right next to the doctor when he changes is covered in blood and ruptured skin, making a further SAN roll or else losing a further 1D6 SAN. In any case, the agents need to deal with both the monster and the panicking crowd.
If killed or knocked out before he changed it becomes apparent that he wears a mask, not disimiliar to the one they've been asked to collect, but undoubtedly featuring the face of Dr Dowe, and solid despite the fact the agents have all seen the face talking and blinking mere moments before. SAN cost 1/1D6.
Retrieving the Stolen Items
Anyone who picks up the Mask is subject to a vivid vision that no-one else sees. The agent must make a SAN roll as they pick up the almost perfect replica of the doctor's face with its eyes closed, cast in what appears to be porcelain. Failing costs the character another 1 SAN.
As they study the Mask, they become aware that the Cathedral has become silent. Turning to look around them they see the congregation are, once more, seated, their faces all hidden behind white masks, eyes closed. The agent's companions sit in the front row, wearing the same masks. The character must make a further SAN roll or lose 1D6 SAN. Whatever the
result of this roll, the character hears someone clapping, slow but constant, with obvious sarcastic.
It takes little time to locate the source, a finely dressed gentleman without a mask seated near the back of the assembled church-goers. He offers a smug smile seconds before the vision ends, and the agent finds himself staring once more towards a panicking crowd, his hand holding thin air where it previously held the Mask.
The agent's companions all see their friend bending down, then turning to face the crowd, the blood draining from his face as if he's seen a ghost. His hand holds out slightly, as if reaching for something no-one else can see. It requires a Spot Hidden roll to notice the Mask disappear almost the second the character touches it.
The tome can be retrieved from the stand, where the doctor was reading from it.
The agents must, of course, arrange for the dead or unconscious doctor to be removed from the premises. They must also tend to the bystanders. The whole episode will have to be kept under wraps by Delta Green for fear of exposing one of the world's most terrible secrets. The characters should also confiscate any recordings of the event.
Finally, if the agents search the Cathedral at any point later, they will find a box wrapped in glittery green paper, sitting on the pew where the unmasked gentleman appeared. A tag ddresses the gift to the agents by their code-names, with the message 'Many Happy Returns'. Unwrapping it reveals the mask, now reverted to its original more sculpted appearance, a
faint smile upon its lips.