The Pink Men Made Him Do It

Warn the players that this opera will be dangerous. Offer them a chance to create new characters specifically for the mission, if they don’t want to risk their Agents.

THE SECRET

Agents who were created specifically for this mission are Protomatter Simulacra with false memories. Do not tell them. They think that they are real human beings, with jobs, Bonds and lives. A phone call to a Simulacrum’s “parents” could reach a brain with a voice changer. Their badge might be a blank square that they see a shield on, or a flawless fake.

THE TRUTH

Conman Lyman Gauss-Wernstrom broke into an abandoned radio station in Redwing MT. He discovered an old Migo lab in the basement, stocked with Protomatter. He learned that it could be used to heal wounds. Anyone healed could then be controlled by the radio equipment.

Lyman became a faith healer, buying loyalty, money and sex from terminally ill patients. He got carried away. When a disciple refused his demands, Lyman remotely commanded the Protomatter to leave his body, leaving him critically ill.

BRIEFING

The Agents are called by a post office in Helena, MT. There is a package for them.

The package holds two envelopes and a box. Inside the first envelope:

  • While waiting at the MVD in White Sulfur Springs, MT, Tchitcherine Bergstrom vomited pinkish ooze and collapsed foaming at the mouth. He was hospitalized at Mountain View Medical Center and diagnosed with advanced terminal leukemia.

Inside the box is a spray bottle of clear fluid and instructions.

  • APPLY SOLUTION TO SURFACE
  • AVOID CONTACT WITH STAINED SURFACES
  • DESTROY STAINED TISSUE WITH FIRE OR STRONG ACID/SOLVENT
  • AVOID PROLONGED CONTACT WITH SOLUTION

The final envelope is labelled IN EVENT OF POSITIVE TEST. Inside:

  • DETERMINE SOURCE OF INFECTION
  • LIQUIDATE
  • CALL WHEN FINISHED
  • [Included is a phone number.]

The liquid in the bottle, from the Handler’s Guide:

“A clear colorless liquid that produces a vivid purple stain when it comes into contact with “neotissue,” a viscous, motile substance sometimes called Protomatter. The stain usually lasts two or three minutes. …the liquid is an aniline-dye solution that smells like rotten fish and is toxic to human flesh with prolonged contact.”

If the Simulacra are sprayed, they stain purple

BERGSTROM'S STORY

Agents can speak to the dying Bergstrom or his wife Helga, and look through their financials and communications to learn:

  • Bergstrom had terminal leukemia. He heard about a traveling preacher who could cure anything.
  • The Reverend gave Bergstrom communion and his Leukemia went into remission. Bergstrom made a substantial donation to the church: the Free-Life Temple
  • The Reverend became more demanding. In emails and phone calls he wanted more money, and sex with Mrs Bergstrom. He wanted her to move to his compound in Redwing, MT. The Bergstroms refused.

INVESTIGATION

The Free-Life Temple’s website has testimonies from people it has healed. It invites the reader to consult the tour schedule to see when the the Reverend is coming to town.

Accounting finds the Temple is supported by donations from ~100 people, around twenty of whom live at the compound. Law or Bureaucracy finds the compound residents have legally purchased many firearms.

Bergstrom’s leukemia is advanced, he shouldn’t have been able to walk at the time of the incident. He doesn’t stain.

The vomit was cleaned up by the MVD janitor. It “jiggled” until she lysed it. She does not stain. The ooze is in a trashbag in the dumpster. It’s a carbonized sludge now. Medicine or Science: Biology discovers its molecules were capable of recombining to form new cells and tissues. It also had organelles that picked up radio transmissions. It is not contagious unless ingested.

SIGINT or asking locals discovers the compound at Redwing runs a pirate radio station. It hasn’t been investigated by the FCC due to being a low priority. The show is unremarkable radio evangelism. Analyzing the signal shows sub/hypersonic gibberish in the background. (The Simulacra hear familiar music. If they focus, they recall confinement in a dark cocoon of strange resin, full of sweaty, pinkish ooze).

THE TEMPLE COMES TO TOWN

The Temple bus visits small towns across Montana to give communion to people in need of healing. It carries the Reverend, some disciples (including a cameraman and a couple bodyguards) and a plastic tupperware holding the “eucharist”. These pink, fleshy wafers are made of protomatter. At the ceremony, the Reverend feeds them to the injured petitioners. The pilgrims are healed. The collection plate goes around.

THE COMPOUND

A radio station in the hills outside Redwing (a rural community in Lewis and Clark National Forest). The Temple set up tents and improvised structures around the station - now a combined church and dormitory. There are lots of cars, some serving as dwellings. The Reverend converted the upstairs to an office and boudoir. The Deacon did the same with the maintenance outbuilding.

THE DISCIPLES

The Reverend selects disciples in need of salvation to live with him at the compound. This happens to include the most attractive women. Many carry holstered pistols or slung longarms. HUMINT shows that some would die for the Reverend, while others want to leave.

If the compound is raided, the Reverend commands them to defend him.

PROTOMATTER INFECTED DISCIPLES - About 6 diehards and 10 lukewarm cultists
STR 25, CON 13, DEX 10, INT 10, POW 10, CHA 10
HP 19, WP 10, SAN 40, Various Disorders
Skills: Alertness 40%, Athletics 40%, Firearms 40%, Unarmed 40%
Armor: See RESILIENT
Attacks: Smash (40%, 2D6)
AR15 (40%, D12, 3 AP) or Remington 870 (60%, 2D10, buckshot special rules)
RESILIENT: Protomatter infectees are not instantly killed by a lethality success, instead taking damage equal to the sum of the dice. They also heal D4 HP every round which they do not act. Any fire damage disables both of these abilities for the duration of the combat.
RELUCTANT: Even diehard disciples have trouble raising a hand against their fellow neotissue cultures - although the Agents might not realize it. If a disciple succeeds on an attack roll against a Simulacrum, and the attack roll is an odd number, the attack misses as the disciple stays their hand.

The diehards fight of their own volition. Others are compelled by the radio signal, begging and pleading as they attack the Agents. If the signal is disrupted or jammed, only the diehards fight. The rest flee or surrender.

The disciples stain.

THE REVEREND

If the Agents pose as curious pilgrims, the Reverend welcomes them. He gives them communion, or just something to eat/drink with Protomatter in it. He trusts his praetorians to keep them out of the basement.

If they visit with badges out, the Reverend is guarded. He forbids them from entering, claiming first amendment protections for everything, and offers to meet with a lawyer present.

REVEREND FATHER LYMAN GAUSS-WERNSTROM - Conman and cult leader
STR 25, CON 13, DEX 9, INT 13, POW 11, CHA 14
HP 19, WP 11, SAN 41, Megalomania
Skills: Alertness 50%, Criminology 60%, Dodge 40%, Drive 50%, Firearms 40%, HUMINT 50%, Law 40%, Melee Weapons 40%, Occult 50%, Persuade 50%, Stealth 50%, Unarmed Combat 50%
ON THE RADIO: The Reverend has a hand radio set, connected to the computer in the basement lab and the transmitter on top of the building. He can use the radio to issue commands to his Protomatter infected disciples.

If his praetorians can’t fend the Agents off, the Reverend runs for it. If caught, he claims he just wanted to help people. He doesn’t know about the Simulacra.

The Reverend stains.

DOUG

An asthmatic programmer and fraudster. Lyman brought “Deacon” Doug Kissinger in to figure out the computers in the basement. Doug enjoyed the engineering challenge, and now enjoys using his position in the “church hierarchy” to peel off a few of the Reverend’s groupies.

DEACON DOUG KISSINGER - Just here for the chicks
STR 25, CON 13, DEX 11, INT 15, POW 10, CHA 9
HP 19, WP 10, SAN 44
Skills: Accounting 50%, Bureaucracy 50%, Computer Science 60%, Craft (Electrician 30%, Mechanic 30%, Microelectronics 40%) Criminology 50%, Law 40%,, Science (Mathematics) 40%, SIGINT 40%

If the Agents assault the compound, they catch him with his pants down. He will inform on the Reverend, the signal, and the secret lab in exchange for clemency.

Doug stains.

THE BASEMENT

The basement lab is accessible through a hatch in the radio station, or a hidden tunnel in the hillside (which Doug, the Reverend, and a couple disciples know about).

The walls are made of resin. Random garbage is embedded in them. Photographs, toys, electronics, etc. (The Simulacra recognize these objects. A childhood stuffed animal. A picture of their parents)

THE LAB

The lab holds machines. Central is a tank of sweaty, pinkish ooze, which stains purple when squirted. Around the tank are alien computers. They cycle through displays of animals and people. The Simulacra are among these images.

A laptop sits connected to the computers. Doug used it to set up the system to command the infected followers with the broadcast system. Computer Science can use it to command the infected disciples. This includes Doug and the Reverend. It can also order them to purge the Protomatter, or to self destruct violently (inflicting a SAN cost equivalent to murder).

It’s obvious that, if the machines are destroyed, all the Protomatter both inside and outside the tank will die, regardless of whether the radio is broadcasting. This forces everyone infected to evacuate the Protomatter from their bodies, bringing back any terminal illnesses. It also kills all the Simulacra, who dissolve.

THE SIMULACRA

The Simulacra have a mental block, seeing their cells as normal. If forced to acknowledge reality, or medically examined by someone else: their “body” is a matrix of alien cells expertly imitating human tissue. Their “nervous system” is connected to organs which pick up radio transmissions.

If he discovers their origins, the Reverend may try to use the radio signal against the Protomatter Agents. Without the psychological priming of communion, the effects are different. They are immediately paralyzed, and must make a CON save each round. Once they pass, they may act normally. Being paralyzed is terrifying.

If they survive, the Simulacra can attend future operas. They have a choice about how they reconcile their false memories with reality (assuming they even discovered they were fake).

  • The Simulacra can live in denial and accept the false memories. This allows them to preserve their Bonds - who they now believe to be real.
  • The Simulacra can push through the mental blocks completely. This removes all Bonds they started the game with. Total the remaining number of points in those Bonds, and award the sum to the Agent as percentiles in Unnatural. They remember their origins in the corpus of Ubbo-Sathla at the dawn of the world.

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.