Unsanitary Conditions


The trash compactor in the apartment building on 113 Parade Street Traverse City, Michigan have thus far claimed four victims. The first victim was Jonas Larsen, 14 years old, who threw himself head first down the trash chute from the fourth floor. The boy's father, Niels Larsen, was the second victim. His wife, Vivian Larsen, told the police that after the boy jumped, Niels started talking in tongues and prevented her from trying to rescue their son. After a few minutes Niels pushed himself into the trash chute, breaking or dislocating both his arms to do so, and fell down into the trash compactor. Vivian called the police. When the police arrived they contacted the building superintendent, John Guillermo, who opened the door to the room in the basement holding the trash compactor. The super opened up the compactor without turning it off and stuck his head into it, killing himself in front of the officers. Following this one of the two police officers on the scene, Aaron Freeman, started beating his head against the side of the compactor so violently that when paramedics arrived on the scene he had passed away. The incident was caught on a security camera and the surviving officer, Keira Thomson, has also described the circumstances of the two deaths. Local police have closed off the basement and the trash chute on all five floors of the building. This is where the agents arrive on the scene.

The building

113 Parade Street is owned by a company named ”Morin international” that owns several buildings in the city. The building has five floors.

On the first floor lives the Larsens in one apartment and Frank Reese in the other. Frank is recently divorced from his wife Brook after their only child, Mikael, died from cancer at the age of five. Frank is severely alcoholic and angry at the world.

On the second floor lives the Flores family and the recently married Freemans. The Flores are Marcos and Aida with their children Luka, Celia and Naia. The Flores are happy and normal. The Freemans are Chad and Mark. Mark is abusive and violent.

On the third floor lives the couple Frankie Little and Poppy Harper. They are semi-famous punk musicians. They have a large collection of occult paraphernalia because it looks cool. They know nothing of the actual occult or of the mythos. The other apartment on this floor is officially empty but if investigated there is a bed within and the apartment shows some signs of habitation. John Guillermo, the building super, have been using the empty apartment for encounters with sex workers.

On the fourth floor lives the Lambert and the Green families. The Lamberts are Leo and Matilda with their only child Fabian, 17 years old. Fabian is a gifted concert pianist. The Greens are Clare and Ruth with the small children Rowan and Bryce. Clare writes children's books in her spare time.

An art collective named ”Art Together” has rented the entire top floor of the building to use as studio/living space. The members of the collective are: Jakob Parker, Dulce Beach, Eve Sharp and Nadia Brock. They are focused on creating ”uplifting, optimistic and empowering” art.

The trash compactor

A centrally placed trash chute leads down into the oversized for the building trash compactor placed in a locked room in the basement. The compactor is oversized because Morin international got a deal on it. That it is oversized does not break the law or any regulations. The compactor is a ”Dean and Cox shredder compactor”, a model used all over the country.

Everyone who comes close to the trash compactor and who have an creative skill above the base value will try to commit suicide in or against the trash compactor. If they are physically restrained from doing so and removed from the compactor they will recover but suffer 1d6/1d10 sanity damage. Surviving this gives no immunity to the effect. This effect does not end if the compactor is destroyed and any part of the compactor, no matter how small, will cause the effect. If a single bolt from the machine were to be thrown into a painting class all the students would kill themselves after trampling each other in order to get as close to the bolt as possible. If the agents try to transport pieces of the compactor out of the city by car, creative people on the sidewalks will throw themselves in front of the vehicle. Creative motorists will crash their vehicles into the transport vehicles in attempted suicides.

What is going on?

Yesterday Dulce Beach went on a drug binge which triggered a psychotic episode that opened her mind to dimensions beyond our own. She created a piece of art so vile that it would drive anyone viewing it to places beyond all madness. She was protected by the worst of the effects by temporary madness and the drugs she had taken. When she started to sober up she decided to destroy the piece. She simply threw it down the trash chute. She then fell asleep and forgot the entire episode.

The piece of art was however so terrible that it corrupted and changed the trash compactor that destroyed it. This is why the compactor have become malevolent and drives people to suicide.

Solving the problem

To prevent the compactor from causing more deaths it must be dismantled down to the last piece and then the parts must be isolated from all contact with humans. The compactor parts are hard to transport since anyone creative coming at all close to them will commit suicide as close to them as possible. Tactics that might work is transporting them by night with the help of a helicopter or burying them underneath concrete below the basement. Justifying and getting the authority to use such solutions will however not be easy.

Traces of Dulce Beaches artwork can still be found inside the compactor. If the artwork is restored looking at it causes d10/d100 sanity damage. Even without restoring it the style can be identified as being Dulces, even if her ordinary subjects are a lot less disturbing. Dulce risks creating another abomination of an artwork the next time she uses drugs or has a mental health episode, to avoid this risk she needs to be assassinated.


Morin international does not need the bad press or the liability from people dying in their building. They have sent out one of their high powered lawyers, Victoria Elliot, who will hover over the agents and try to protect her employers. She will make the unorthodox measures and methods needed to solve the problem harder to carry out.

At an inopportune moment during the investigation one of the residents of the building and a member of the art collective, Jakob Parker, will use the trash chute. This is done out of convenience and an everyday kind of ”what’s the worst that can happen” thinking. He has stinky trash to throw away. However, after having opened the chute Parker will cram himself into it in an attempt to reach the compactor. He is a larger man than Niels Larsen and will get stuck in the chute. He will hang there, with his shoulders dislocated and his arms broken and scream nonsens loudly. Getting him out alive without endangering anybody else will not be easy, neither will it be easy to justify not letting anybody help him.


This was an entry to the 2021 shotgun scenario contest. Written by Sebastian Lindeberg

The scenario can be seen in its original google docs form here

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