The Signal Smugglers

Inspired by Mad Magic by Illuminated

Table of Contents

THE INTRO
Players begin as POLICE, outside an apartment. Television static, breaking furniture and shouting are audible inside.

Inside are Vito and Mike, trying to escape the WORM growing out Ted’s mouth, as he lies seizing on the floor.

The worm is blind, gigantic, and has sharp teeth. It is the source of the static. Its is stuck to Ted’s body. Ted’s movements gradually become more coordinated. Eventually he crawls, allowing the worm to reach its prey.

The worm is immune to damage, but killing the host body kills it. Ted cannot be saved - his nervous system is overwritten.

Vito has been bitten. The wound “fizzes” with a staticky sound.

(End the intro when the police kill the host, or flee the apartment).

DELTA GREEN ARRIVES
Delta Green hears about the case, the Agents are deployed to investigate.

If the police killed Ted, the place is a crime scene. If they ran away, it’s sealed as a biohazard, worm still inside. Police can explain whatever happened during the intro to the Agents.

If Ted died, the worm is gone - dissipated into cosmic rays. Medicine finds his nerve channels scrambled, repurposed by alien signals. Autopsy with Biology or SIGINT identifies a “radar organ” in his pineal gland, which broadcast signals.

THE JUNKIES
The junkies are university students with no criminal record or knowledge of the supernatural. They heard about the drug at STONE BURNER and bought it there.

They call it “pink” or “fuzz”. It gives you visions of other worlds. This was Ted’s third time. He yelled “it” could “see him”. Then his voice turned to static and the worm came out.

THE PATIENT(S)
Vito, and anyone else bit by the worm, is in the hospital with seizures. Between bouts of uncontrolled movement, patients report hearing music, voices, and static.

The wound is infected. The swelling is mysterious new tissue. Biology or Medicine reveals it has metastasized across the body, precluding surgery. Physics or SIGINT discovers the tissue is radiosensitive, receiving signals which are amplified in the brain.

If cut off from all radio signals, the tissue dies and the patient recovers. Otherwise, symptoms get worse. The organs switch from receiving to broadcasting. A new WORM manifests.

THE DRUGS
There are a couple doses still in the apartment.

The drug comes in ampoules filled with luminescent pink liquid. Heavy Machinery or a Craft skill notes the containers look more like industrial components than drug dispensers.

Archaeology tests reveal the ampoules do not contain any radionuclides - unlike every manmade object created after 1945.

Pharmacy suggests the drug is a nootropic which heightens the senses.

(The drug is fuel for a Borderworld communication device, not meant to be ingested. It opens the user’s mind to unnatural signals. Agents who take the drug lose D6 SAN and make an INT*5 roll. On a pass, they gain Unnatural equal to the SAN lost, their mind opens to new horizons of information. On a failure, they learn nothing. On a critical failure, they catch an infohazard and manifest a WORM.

Taking the drug allows the user to weakly sense the presence of other drug ampoules. The strongest concentration is the stash at THE APARTMENT)

STONE BURNER
Stone Burner Comics and Games. The Dealers arrange trades using the signup sheet for the game room. Customers book half hour slots for dead CCGs (Magi Nation, Jyhad, etc). The Dealers show up to make the exchange. It’s easy for the Agents to set up a buy, if the Dealers aren’t alerted already.

The old signup sheets could be used to track down everyone who bought the drugs.

THE DEALERS
Mu and Voi, low rent sorcerers from the Borderworld. Normally, Borderworld sorcerers trade quality goods with knowledgeable earth wizards. The Dealers sell magical reagents as street drugs. They are not popular back home.

MU is 7’, but has horrible posture. He’s used to lower gravity, 1G leaves his body sore. Instead of hair, he has fine feathery protrusions, like fronds of a sea lilly. There’s a bald patch on his neck where the skin was peeled as punishment. He is expressive and talks a lot.

VOI is 5’, all muscles all the time. She’s from a high gravity world, 1G makes her nauseous. She is bald. Her skin is transparent, giving her a reddish appearance. Her forehead is crudely branded with a glyph. She is grim, but laughs easily.

They wear disguises - fleshy layers of skin that they pull on over their faces, changing color according to the will of the wearer. Stress causes the disguise to slip. They talk like stroke victims, substituting or misusing words.

They sell the drug because it’s cheap. They buy earth goods to resell in the Borderworld. They are not upset that the drug kills people. They come from a violent place, where life is cheap and sorcery means survival. Earth technology like firearms costs them SAN.

They are cowards who run from danger, but kill without remorse if cornered. They would rather cut a deal. If all else fails, they flee through the Gate.

THE APARTMENT
The Dealers’ apartment is rented to a couple fictitious people the property management company didn’t investigate too closely.

The interior is lit with pink lanterns.

Living Room
There’s a clay skull on the coffee table, amid takeout containers and bottles. If anyone besides the Dealers enters, it screams like a death whistle.

The couch is bowed, frame broken. Someone put too much weight on it. (The Dealers use it for sex. It’s the only surface they both agree on)

There’s a pile of laundry behind the couch. It smells oily. (Voi sleeps here)

There’s a blue-gray metal gong on the wall. (It stops sound from leaving the apartment)

Kitchen
The oven is filled with wood boxes of drug ampoules.

The fridge is filled with sheets of fatty skin, in plastic bags like marinating meat. The skin is alive, and changes color in response to light. (These are spare disguises)

The cabinets hold items that didn’t sell well. Lighters that generate sparks from distant stars. Incense that cancels smells by numbing the nose. Crystal necklaces from white dwarf cores.

Bedroom
The bed is stacked with earth goods: Handguns, medications, blood and semen samples, candy, colored lamps shaped like Pusheen the Cat. (The Dealers resell these in the Borderworld).

The wardrobe has a harness inside it, designed to suspend a human. (Mu sleeps here, standing up).

There’s a McDonald’s cashier who nobody has reported missing in the closet, sans several organs. The walls are smeared with no-scent incense to stop the corpse from stinking.

Bathroom
There are two helmets on the towel hooks, with gorgets and shoulder pads. While worn, the wearer cannot move their neck. (They prevent the MONITOR from snapping the wearer’s neck).

The shower is scribed with glyphs. SIGINT or Occult can decipher the instructions: When the curtain is drawn from one side to the other, the Gate opens. Air rushes through into the void. A pink smear is visible in the blackness.

THE BORDERWORLD
The Gate leads to a featureless plane, so cold the air freezes. Pinpricks of light glint in the dark, like stars (other universes).

Anyone who enters is snatched by a MONITOR and carried swiftly to the Borderworld. The whiplash is fatal without neck protection. Survivors are deposited in a city of wavering peaks, lit hazy pink by a million lanterns. They are greeted by hordes of merchants and slavers and cutthroats. Firing a gun drives them off - they’ve never seen one. Otherwise, they tear newcomers to shreds.

The Borderworld is a city in Leng, created by extinct aliens. A violent place populated by ill adjusted refugees from worlds destroyed by the Great Old Ones. Sorcerers, slavers and pirates who ply their trade through Gates.

Unless they are powerful sorcerers themselves, Agents who survive the rush are caught by the INQUISITORS. These red hooded servants of the Elk interrogate, blank their memories, and deposit them back on earth, sans 1/D10 SAN.

THE CONSEQUENCES
The Dealers can simply be killed, the Gate disabled by defacing the glyphs.

The Dealers will sell alien technology to Delta Green, in exchange for protection. They greatly exaggerate their own importance and ability to procure the good shit.

If everyone (~20 people) who took the drug isn’t tracked down, someone eventually has a bad trip and spawns another worm. By the time the Agents catch up, it’s a seething kugelblitz of radio waves, massive with power. It can be destroyed by a powerful broadcast, or by going through the Gate to get the INQUISITORS.

The Borderworld survives by avoiding attention from other universes. If the INQUISITORS learn the Dealers are drawing attention, they hunt down and kill them. They may also hunt down anyone who bought things from the Dealers. Don’t do this as a “fuck-you” to Agents who spare the Dealers. Save it for when they abuse their ability to smuggle magic items.
NPCS

POLICE - The Player Characters in the Introduction
STR 11, CON 11, DEX 11, INT 11, POW 11, CHA 11
HP 11, WP 11, SAN 55, BP 44
SKILLS: Alertness 60%, Bureaucracy 40%, Criminology 40%, Drive 50%, Firearms 40%, First Aid 30%, HUMINT 50%, Law 30%, Melee Weapons 50%, Navigate 40%, Persuade 40%, Search 40%, Unarmed Combat 60%
ARMOR: 4 points of reinforced Kevlar
ATTACKS: Medium Pistol (40%, D10)
TASER (55%, Stun)
Baton (50%, D6)
Shotguns (60%, 2D10) and First Aid Kit (+20% to First Aid rolls) in car

THE WORM - Information Parasite Propagated by Alien Signals
DEX 13, INT 3, POW 5
SKILLS: Detect Electromagnetism 90%
ATTACKS: Bite (50%, D6 Damage, INFORMATION PLAGUE)
ARMOR: The worm is made of concentric information and is immune to physical attacks. Killing the host kills the worm.
INFORMATION PLAGUE: Bites inflicted by the worm begin to supperate as a baby wormlet grows in the wound. The infection can be starved by isolating the victim from all radio waves. Otherwise, it grows into a new worm over the next day, erasing the patient’s mind and starting the process over.
SAN LOSS: 1/D6

MU - Feathery Low Gravity Magic Drug Dealer
STR 8, CON 11, DEX 14, INT 13, POW 10, CHA 10
HP 10, WP 10, SAN 30, Aichmophobia, Adapted to Helplessness and Violence
SKILLS: Alertness 60%, Art: Singing 50%, Craft: Stonework 50%, HUMINT 60%, Unnatural 18%
ATTACKS: Sting Ring (70%, 1, 5 AP)
Collapsable Baton (50%, D6-1)

SENSE HAIRS: The “feathers” on Mu’s body warn him when someone is about to kill him. Sneak attacks against him do not gain the bonus chance to hit or automatic critical effects.
DISGUISE: If Mu fails a SAN test and the roll is odd, his flesh disguise slips. He can re-adjust it as an action, but until he does so, something is obviously wrong with his face.

STING RING: Mu wears a ring on his right knuckle that can shoot a stream of high velocity iron shavings. This can blind a target if the cloud of shavings gets into their eyes, requiring a First Aid test or a magnet to clear their vision.
SEIZURE SONG: As his action, Mu can sing a tune that stuns anyone who listens to it. After the first round, he can continue to sing while taking other actions, but must pass a CON save to continue without stopping to breathe

RITUALS: Create Gate, Dho-Hna Formula
BONDS: Voi (partner in crime) 9
SAN LOSS: 0/1

VOI - Thin Skinned High Gravity Magic Drug Dealer
STR 17, CON 13, DEX 8, INT 12, POW 10, CHA 7
HP 15, WP 10, SAN 29, Pyrophobia, Adapted to Helplessness and Violence
SKILLS: Athletics 60%, Occult 60%, Pharmacy 50%, Science: Chemistry 50%, Unnatural 17%
ARMOR: See AUTOCALCIFICATION
ATTACKS: Push Dagger (60%, D6+2, 3 AP)
Liquid Limestone (See LIQUID LIMESTONE)

AUTOCALCIFICATION: If Voi swallows the lozenge-shaped amulet around her neck, she gains 10 points of armor, as the outer layer of her skin hardens into a stony integument. This halves her DEX. Vomiting up the amulet causes the stone to painfully “shed”, revealing new skin beneath and giving her the lost DEX back.

LIQUID LIMESTONE: Voi carries a pair of stone eggs which act like gas grenades, dispensing an aerosolized version of the petrification formula when thrown. A single round of exposure stuns everyone in the cloud on a failed CON save. Subsequent rounds deal 10% lethality damage (or half on a successful save) as the particles calcify the target’s airway and lungs. The flesh disguises protect Mu and Voi from the gas’ effects, as long as they’re masked up.

DISGUISE: If Voi fails a SAN test and the roll is odd, her flesh disguise slips. She can re-adjust it as an action, but until she does so, something is obviously wrong with her face.

RITUALS: Dust of the Thresholds, Petrification, Powder of Ibn-Ghazi
BONDS: Mu (partner in crime) 6
SAN LOSS: 0/1

MONITORS - Mechanical Ushers With an Iron Grip
STR 25, CON 25, DEX 15, INT 5, POW 3
SKILLS: Fly 90%, Navigate 90%
ARMOR: 10 points of an unknown coral or wood which hardens when struck
ATTACKS: Grapple and Accidentally Snap Neck (75%, 4D6, ignores armor, negated by neck brace)
SAN LOSS: 0/D4

INQUISITORS - Also “Coneheads”, “Cones” or “Laughing Magicians”
STR 12, CON 12, DEX 9, INT 9, POW 9, CHA 9
HP 12, WP 9, SAN 48, Pseudobulbar affect, Adapted to Helplessness and Violence
SKILLS: Alertness 50%, Athletics 50%, Criminology 50%, Occult 50%, Unnatural 10%
ARMOR: See DEFENSIVE WARD
ATTACKS: Sign of Power (Automatic Hit, 2D6)

DEFENSIVE WARD: The first attack that hits an Inquisitor does no damage, but dissipates their defensive ward, leaving them with no armor. The exception is Lethality attacks with multiple projectiles, which do half damage. They can restore the ward with a minute-long ritual.
PSYCHIC PSEUDOLOBOTOMY: Inquisitors undergo radical brain surgery which makes them immune to psychic powers.

SIGN OF POWER: With a gesture, an Inquisitor can cause a single person to be flung backwards with extreme force, inflicting 2D6 damage.
SIGN OF THE ELK: As an action, an Inquisitor can raise a flaming brand of You And Day the Elk, negating the magic of any Borderworld sorcerer whom they defeat in an opposed POW test. Multiple Inquisitors can combine their power in such a fashion to overcome a single mage. The dampening is broken if the inquisitors are driven away or slain.

PSEUDOBULBAR AFFECT: The pseudolobotomy excises part of the corticobulbar tract, inhibiting the Inquisitors’ ability to regulate their emotions. When something funny happens, they laugh uncontrollably. When something upsets them, they weep. And when one of them does it, they all do it.

RITUALS: Obscure Memory

Credits

This was an entry to the 2020 Delta Green shotgun scenario contest, written by mellonbread

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.