Synchronized Watches

Overview

A crew of hapless bank robbers steal from a Green Box and reap the consequences.

Briefing

Yesterday, a crew of four masked gunmen attacked a Bank of America branch in Victorville, California. They had impeccable timing: the vault was open to transfer bullion from an armored car, en route from Los Angeles to a private buyer. The robbers accounted for silent alarm response time and bagged the gold ahead of schedule. As a crime of opportunity, they forced bank manager Cynthia Ramos to open deposit boxes while loading their bags onto a trolley.

Shortly thereafter, witnesses describe a powerful humming noise emanating from the vault, accompanied by the flickering of lights and electronic devices. The noise dimmed as the disoriented robbers stumbled out of the vault, but they had to re-enter to retrieve the trolley. This delayed them long enough for two San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies to arrive. A running battle to the robbers’ truck claimed one deputy’s life and wounded the other.

As police backup flooded in, the robbers seemed cornered, but unlikely saviors arrived: themselves. Witnesses and security footage corroborate that apparently identical men - without their masks, panicked and bloody - ran out of the empty vault firing wildly in all directions. In the mayhem that ensued, all four "new" robbers were killed and nine more police officers were wounded. The "old" robbers successfully escaped, due South.

The County Sheriff’s investigation has produced baffling anomalies. The bodies, identified as career criminals Joseph Madriano, David Haliday, and Todd and Lester Leyden, sported severe, seemingly unrelated injuries. The armaments of both groups include an unmistakable gun. Most confusingly, the gold was found sitting in the vault, perfectly untouched despite footage and testimony of the first group leaving with heavy duffel bags. There is no camera in the vault and Cynthia Ramos was made to lie face-down, so details of what exactly happened remain unclear.

Synchronized Watches can be used as a beginner scenario for personnel from federal law enforcement, or as part of an ongoing Delta Green campaign. In the former case, the Agents are fresh on the scene and presumably just as confused as the cops. In the latter, they are afforded a bit more information: Ramos, the bank manager, is a Delta Green Friendly. She called in as soon as she could get privacy. The safe deposit box she was forced to open was a Green Box.

Keeper’s Information

The Green Box comprises a row of deposit boxes owned by Delta Green. The first and only box opened contains a device resembling a bulky police radio with superfluous dials and knobs. It is a Tillinghast Resonator, an old prototype based on incomplete data stolen from MJ-12’s Project WELLS. This bootleg Resonator, powered by arcane arrangements of circuitry that cannot work (SAN 0/1 to Agents looking inside) is far more powerful for its size than any MAJESTIC model. Upon activation, the device bombards its surroundings with Tillinghast Radiation, an atomic vibration that allows humans to see and interact with a parallel dimension. This “Aether,” which is filled with voracious alien predators, can in turn be used to access N-Space, a superdimensional causeway that bypasses space and time. Kept stable, a powerful Resonator could theoretically be used to time-travel.

This Resonator is not, however, stable. When Lester Leyden turned it on while trying to determine its function, he filled the bank vault with interdimensional vibrations. These vibrations were not sufficient to contaminate those present with more than trace T-Radiation before Lester turned the machine back off, but they did thoroughly suffuse the gold. Each gold bar carries a charge substantial enough to transport people and objects through time to the moment that the Resonator briefly entered N-Space: yesterday, during a blazing gun battle.

The Gold

The Resonator is harmless unless the Agents turn it on. The real threat is the gold, sitting in the center of the vault. When Lester activated the Resonator its N-Space presence attuned to the precious metal, creating a spacetime recall point.

Each of the gold bars has a tPOW score of 10, and can impart 1D3 tPOW on skin contact with a successful tPOW vs POW contest. This works identically to the rules presented in Delta Green: Eyes Only, save that those whose tPOW exceeds their POW do not permanently vanish, but travel through spacetime to the vault during the robbery.

The Manager

Cynthia Ramos is a rotund, middle-aged Mexican-American who has worked with Delta Green for decades under the impression that it is a secret division within the Treasury Department. She is a model Friendly, coolheaded and private. Normally safe-deposit keys are kept with their renters, but she carries the Green Box keys personally.

Cynthia is squirrely about law enforcement accessing the deposit boxes. She demands a warrant to see the Resonator (or other Green Boxes) unless the Agents imply that they are investigating the Unnatural.

Agents silly enough to insist that Cynthia open the other deposit boxes should be exposed to miscellaneous supernatural weirdness.

The Police Investigation

The county mortician is amazed at the rapid decomposition of the bodies. All four stink of ozone and are dissolving into nothing (SAN 0/1). This is the work of the Consumer Swarms, which can still "see" the corpses as their brains put off low-grade Resonance. Investigators lingering near the corpses - for instance, during an autopsy - will begin to see the Swarms (SAN 0/1d3), which may divert to attack.

The confiscated gear is generic, save Haliday's Norinco: an AK-style monstrosity with an aftermarket stock, picatinny rail and red dot sight. All metal components carry a T-Radiation charge of 1 tPOW, though the police will destroy the guns in a few days. The Leydens carried a number of fake IDs, and folded in Madriano's wallet is the no-smoking agreement to the rental cabin in Big Bear Lake.

The robbers' watches are also an oddity. They are highly accurate digital models, yet display times several minutes apart. The receipt from a sporting goods store near to the cabin was crammed in Todd's pocket.

The Cabin

The robbery crew consists of two “pros” supplemented with local color. Todd and Lester Leyden are twin ex-Infantrymen and serial bank robbers. Madriano has been in and out of gang life for years. Haliday is a complete nutjob. It was Haliday who initially opened fire on the Sheriff’s deputies, and it is Haliday’s ridiculous Norinco that was identified twice in the bank’s security footage.

The robbers fled to a cabin in a secluded patch of Big Bear Lake, on a trail off Mill Creek Road. The cabin is being rented by Madriano for the weekend.

The robbers were initially elated at their escape. It was only the following morning, as they rapidly gained tPOW from handling the gold, that the weirdness started. The four became increasingly paranoid as they saw strange shapes moving in the woods. The media reports of the robbers' own deaths did nothing to preserve their sanity before the shapes attacked.

When the Agents arrive, the cabin is under siege by Consuming Swarms that only the robbers can see. The robbers are armed and hostile, firing at both the Swarms and anyone taking cover in the forest. The gold piled onto the coffee table has begun returning to the bank vault yesterday and soon, so will they.

Resolution

Regardless of how the cabin gunfight resolves, the Agents should get to see the last of the gold vanishing into thin air (SAN 0/1), just like the robbers did. The loop has closed.

Agents from the Group or mundane law enforcement returning to the bank will find “Treasury Agents” electrifying the gold bars with a portable generator. This is a Program team purging the T-Radiation, which can be done with an ungrounded current exceeding 50,000 volts.

If the Agents are from the Program, their case officer informs them of one final mission objective and issues them a portable generator.

If an Agent accrues enough tPOW to get sent back to the robbery, it’s not the end. They now need to quietly escape and avoid disrupting causality. Purging their tPOW may be painful, though.

Expanding the Scope

Synchronized Watches does not need to happen in California. It can be anywhere with a city bordering a large metropolitan area and a forest. The Boston or Louisville metro areas would both work, for instance.

In addition to the cabin gunfight and the T-Radiation, here are a few optional additional threats:

  • Madriano was taken alive and rants about the Cabin before he is devoured by Consuming Swarms in his holding cell (SAN 1/1d8).
  • A Yithian inhabits the body of a deputy, builds a lightning gun out of hospital defibrillators, and goes about purging the trace T-Radiation from witnesses to preserve the timeline.
  • Attracted by time anomalies in the bank vault, a Hound of Angles hunts those involved.
  • A corrupt cop sells the robbers’ T-Radiation-tainted firearms on the black market.

Statistics

Cynthia Ramos, Bank Manager

STR 8 CON 12 DEX 10 INT 16 POW 15 CHA 13
HP 10 WP 15 SAN 68 Breaking Point 60
SKILLS: Accounting 75%, Bureaucracy 70%, Computer Science 60%, Firearms 40%, Foreign Language (Spanish) 60%, HUMINT 54%, Law 68%, Persuade 50%, Melee Weapons 40%, Unarmed 44%
ATTACKS: Stun Gun 60% (Range 1m, Ammo 10, imposes a cumulative penalty to all skills as detailed on page 93 of the Agents’ Handbook)
Unarmed 44% (Damage 1D4–1)

Todd Leyden, Twin Gunman

STR 16 CON 16 DEX 12 INT 10 POW 14 CHA 10
HP 16 WP 14 SAN 63 Breaking Point 56
ARMOR: Body Armor (Armor 5)
SKILLS: Alertness 55%, Athletics 60%, Criminology 44%, Demolitions 40%, Dodge 56%, Drive 40%, Firearms 60%, First Aid 32%, Heavy Weapons 41%, Melee Weapons 45%, Military Science (Land) 30%, Navigate 30%, Search 40%, Stealth 44% Swim 41%, Unarmed Combat 55%
ATTACKS: Bushmaster M4-Type Carbine 60% (Range 100m, Damage 1D12, Lethality 10%, Ammo 30, Armor Piercing 3)
Beretta 92 60%, (Range 15m, Damage 1D10, Ammo 15)
Combat Knife 45%, damage 1D6+1, Armor Piercing 3.
Unarmed 60%, damage 1D4–1.
DISORDERS AND ADAPTATIONS:
Adapted to Violence
T-RADIOACTIVE: The bank robbers are T-Radioactive with a tPOW equal to their POW. Agents making skin contact must succeed at a POW vs tPOW contest or gain 1d3 tPOW.
MENTAL RESONATOR: Extended exposure to the gold has turned all four robbers’ brains into biological Tillinghast Resonators. When first perceived, they roll a combined tPOW contest (tPOW 42) against the Agents’ POW. Affected Agents can in turn perceive the Consuming Swarms as long as they remain in visual and audible contact with the robbers. Agents who succeed cannot see the Swarms, but may still be attacked by them.
BORROWED TIME: All four robbers are on the threshold to N-Space. Each time a robber takes damage, he must roll a LUCK. Failure indicates he immediately vanishes into the past (SAN 0/1d3). Whenever a robber would take enough damage to die, he suffers no damage but automatically vanishes to maintain causality. If the robbers are merely incapacitated or made to stand down, they vanish in a matter of minutes.

Lester Leyden, Twin Gunman

STR 16 CON 16 DEX 12 INT 14 POW 10 CHA 10
HP 16 WP 10 SAN 40 Breaking Point 32
ARMOR: Body Armor (Armor 5)
SKILLS: Alertness 60%, Athletics 55%, Craft (Locksmith) 44% Criminology 48%, Dodge 52%, Drive 40%, Firearms 60%, First Aid 38%, Heavy Weapons 30%, Melee Weapons 37%, Military Science (Land) 45%, Navigate 30%, Search 40%, Stealth 50% Swim 43%, Unarmed Combat 55%
DISORDERS AND ADAPTATIONS:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Adapted to Violence
ATTACKS:
Bushmaster M4-Type Carbine 60% (Range 100m, Damage 1D12, Lethality 10%, Ammo 30, Armor Piercing 3)
Beretta 92 60%, (Range 15m, Damage 1D10, Ammo 15)
Combat Knife 37%, damage 1D6+1, Armor Piercing 3.
Unarmed 60%, damage 1D4–1.
T-RADIOACTIVE: As Todd Leyden
MENTAL RESONATOR: As Todd Leyden
BORROWED TIME: As Todd Leyden

Joseph Madriano, Gang Veteran

STR 14 CON 10 DEX 17 INT 08 POW 10 CHA 14
HP 12 WP 10 SAN 43 Breaking Point 40
ARMOR: Body Armor (Armor 5)
SKILLS: Alertness 50%, Athletics 65%, Craft (Locksmith) 60% Criminology 30%, Dodge 50%, Drive 70%, Firearms 45%, Melee Weapons 40%, Search 40%, Stealth 60% Swim 40%, Unarmed Combat 40%
ATTACKS:
Ithaca Type 37 Shotgun 45% (Range 50m, Damage 2d10/1d10/1d6, Ammo 5)
Colt .38 Special 45%, (Range 10m, Damage 1D8, Ammo 6)
Combat Knife 40%, damage 1D6+1, Armor Piercing 3.
Unarmed 40%, damage 1D4–1.
T-RADIOACTIVE: As Todd Leyden
MENTAL RESONATOR: As Todd Leyden
BORROWED TIME: As Todd Leyden

David Haliday, Violent Lunatic

STR 14 CON 12 DEX 10 INT 14 POW 06 CHA 08
HP 13 WP 6 SAN 13 Breaking Point 12
ARMOR: Body Armor (Armor 5)
SKILLS: Alertness 60%, Athletics 30%, Conspiracy Theories 80%, Demolitions 70%, Dodge 35%, Drive 30%, Firearms 50%, Heavy Weapons 20%, Melee Weapons 35%, Occult 60%, Unarmed Combat 50%
DISORDERS AND ADAPTATIONS:
Psychopathic
Paranoid
Sleep Disorder
ATTACKS: Norinco Type 84S Custom 50% (Range 100m, Damage 1D12, Lethality 10%, Ammo 30, Armor Piercing 3)
Taurus Raging Bull 50%, (Range 20m, Damage 1D12, Ammo 6)
Combat Knife 35%, damage 1D6+1, Armor Piercing 3.
Unarmed 50%, damage 1D4–1.
T-RADIOACTIVE: As Todd Leyden
MENTAL RESONATOR: As Todd Leyden
BORROWED TIME: As Todd Leyden
RED DOT SIGHT: David has a red dot sight mounted on his Norinco Type 84S. He receives a +20% to his Firearms skill to attack with it, provided he has taken no damage since last round.

Consumer Swarms, Interdimensional Devourers

HP 7
ATTACKS: Stings/Bites 100% (Damage *)
*Roll 1D6 each round of attack; see STINGS AND BITES. Attacks last 1D4+1 rounds, or indefinitely if the subject does not fight back.
FLIGHT: The Consumer Swarms are large masses of small, shrimp-like flying creatures. They can move at human running speed in all directions, like piranhas swimming through the air.
INTERDIMENSIONAL SWARM: The Consumer Swarms exist in a parallel dimension between our dimension and N-Space. They can only attack or be attacked by humans standing in a Tillinghast Field. Due to their swarm composition, blades or projectile weapons only deal minimum damage. Explosives, hypergeometry, and weapons with a large surface area like a shovel or axe swung sideways deal full damage. Swarms are flighty and will disperse and flee on their own 1d4+1 rounds after taking any damage.
STINGS AND BITES: Victims under attack from the swarm are at -30% to all skills from the severe distraction. The swarms roll a 1d6 to determine their damage on every attack, as detailed below.
1: 1D3-1
2: 1D3
3: 1D4
4: 1D5
5: 1D6
6: 1D8
SAN LOSS: 0/1D3 when seen, 1/1d8 to witness an attack on a human
 

Credits

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

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.