The Spaces Between

The task is to transport subject Vladimir Kilkov, a man who has been proven to be criminally insane and extremely dangerous, to a maximum security facility, built for suspected agents of the aliens (witting or unwitting).

A simple enough task perhaps, but beneath the surface of this seemingly straightforward mission is an opportunity to be eaten by bats, blown into atoms by a nuclear explosion, and fail to avert an inter-dimensional alien invasion.

Vladimir Kilkov has demonstrated a dangerous psychic ability. Members of the transport team are advised to exercise extreme caution, as the subject has been able to manipulate his captors by direct mental control. Four agents previously charged with his transport are dead, having killed each other in rather horrible ways in the transport van before it started moving.

Vlad tends to rant about “the wings of the rift” and “the howling hounds of dissension” and how “the violence of emotion rips through the fabric and creates a golden path for the Others,” which is apparently “glorious.”

The team has been ordered to escort the prisoner to his cell, and before relinquishing control, to directly witness that the Vladimir is fully locked-down.

The team will doubtless experience some anxiety getting Vlad to the facility, as he will take every opportunity to sew psychic seeds of dissension. But being vigilant, the transport team will arrive at the facility alive, and with their sanity probably mostly intact.

By the time they arrive at the facility, the team has already found that when there is conflict, strange things happen. When faced with mild conflict, team members (failing a saving role) may experience feelings of being watched, or that someone is watching through them. It should be no great stretch for team members to deduce that they are experiencing some form of psychic assault or manipulation.

Vladimir is quick to try to amplify the slightest tension between team members. If he senses disharmony of any kind he may comment, “hard feelings bring the overlords,” or, “it seems like a small gap between us, but to Them it is a superhighway.” Witnessing a disagreement, he may say something like, “from your wounds will spring forth the messenger.”

The facility has five cells, four of which are filled by psychotic psychic inmates who have been affected by alien experiences. Vlad will complete the set.

There are signs that some of the guards, including the head of security, are already compromised, having fallen at least partly under the influence of the inmates.

Prisoners are “processed” with antipsychotic drugs (administered through the ventilation system) upon admission and regularly thereafter. The antipsychotics suppress 95% of the emotional range of a normal person, and have a suppressive effect on the inmates’ psychic abilities for a period of time, but some of the procedures have been neglected lately, and the facility head, Dr. Matherson, has begun experimenting on some of the inmates with other drugs.

The team will meet with resistance from facility security when they try to enter the building and accompany the subject to his cell. They will suffer verbal abuse from the head of security, as well as disdain and contempt from the facility head.

While the team will have to be persistent to gain access to the high security areas where the inmates are kept, team members will have unimpeded access to the lower security areas of the building, which are not well guarded. These areas include the offices of the Facility Head and Head of Security, as well as the lower level of the building where amongst other things the HVAC system is connected to massive canisters of the anti-psychotic agent, as well as other chemicals.

Dr. Sarah Matherson, Facility Head - a brilliant scientist, and probably a sociopath. She appears about 30 years old, but was born in 1908. She spent approximately 80 years as a brain in a can, a victim of a failed alien plot in the 1930s. In 2011, scientists figured out how to reincorporate her brain into a living body. Of her time in the canister she says, “It was very productive. There were no distracting bodily functions. I expanded my understanding of the universe a thousand-fold without the need for laboratories or research. I really recommend it for anyone with a serious interest in science.” She will admit to being contacted by Others while she was in the can, who helped her develop her theories, but that she “really didn’t need their help.” Pressed further she may admit that the site and design of the facility were their idea, but as she is smarter than they are, she has been using their ideas against them, creating the prison for human use.

Albert Cram, Head of Security is a depressive hammerhead who feels little hope in a world infested by aliens. He loves to tell people that the facility is powered by a nuclear generator with a self-destruct sequence, and that he’s looking forward to blowing the whole damn thing up. Every time he looks at the schematics for the facility’s systems, he begins to twitch and curse uncontrollably, and will confide that sometimes he sees them “glowing like neon signs” in his sleep.

Within minutes of Vlad’s admittance, it will become clear that something has changed. With Vlad’s contribution to the psychic pool, the inmates will achieve a critical mass of psychic potential. They may all begin laughing simultaneously, or show some sign that they can inter-communicate from their cells. They will be able to influence their guards (if the guards fail to make a saving role).

They will be able to progressively overcome the influence of the antipsychotics by collective psychic effort, and their abilities will increase unless suppressed by additional doses of the drug.

As the team struggles to deal with inmates who can manipulate guards to open their cells (or gas the facility, or kill each other, or nuke everyone), team members will find that the strange occurrences related to emotional rifts increase in severity, with increasingly tangible manifestations.

In the lower level and the command centre, the team should have no problem accessing the building’s electrical, communications, surveillance and security systems, at least until the hive-mind of the alien-controlled psychics begins to perceive them as a threat. Ultimately, a struggle for control of the facility is likely inevitable.

While Dr. Matherson believed she was working against the aliens, she was deluded by her captors (during her stint as a brain in a can) and has been duped into building an inter-dimensional transportation device, all shiny and equipped with a nuclear device sufficient to transport an assault force.

The location of the facility/device is over an inter-dimensional fault line. This weakness between the dimensions allows the Others to reach into our dimension, through rifts in the emotional fabric between humans.

Using the alien-controlled psychics as a medium, they can see through a mild rift or dissonance between people into our dimension, and know what is in the minds of the people in disagreement.

If there are hurt feelings or heightened emotions, team members may find themselves saying or doing unexpected things as the psychics assert control through the widening emotional gap.

In extreme emotional conflict (like the stress of fighting psychotic psychics), the emotional rift itself may manifest into a being or beings. As such, in moments of intense conflict or heightened tension, strange things may suddenly appear (poof!), like a swarm of angry bats, or a pack of terrified howling hounds.

As pressures mount, if there is conflict between team members, a naked newborn child will suddenly appear in the middle of the floor, maturing extremely quickly. The child will then seek to convince its “parents” (the players who were in conflict) that they must obtain the nuclear destruct codes. If the child is killed, another infant will appear instantly, manifesting out of the emotional rift created by the death of the previous child. This child will mature even more quickly, born ready to take drastic and violent measures to achieve its goal of nuking the facility.

The system schematics in the electrical room, or in Cram’s office, will be identifiable to experienced team members as arcane and powerful symbols (and may cause madness). If all of the facility’s cells (at the five points of a star shape) are populated by fully-active alien-compromised psychic psychotics, the psychic forces will conspire with the power in the electrical systems to activate the arcane symbols, initiating a gateway between our dimension and the alien dimension. (Team members may find it odd that the psychics don’t try to escape, but prefer to stay in their cells…)

If those symbols are further inspired by a nuclear blast, it will tear a massive portal through the cosmos (also destroying the neighboring town).

So, kill a psychic, shut off the power, gas everyone with anti-psychotics, or nuke everything before the psychics are up to full power, and you might stop the invasion.

Good luck.


This was an entry to the 2017 Delta Green shotgun scenario contest, written by Curtis Peters.

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