Visions Too Real

The Brain Shake

Larry Bills is a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry. He is trying to develop new compounds with antidepressant activity. He believes to have found one. Animal testing suggests the drug enhances serotonin and dopamine neurotransmission. Commercial success is possible, as this combination of actions is not currently available. One day, he dosed himself with the compound. He felt intensely focused, but also experienced synesthesia: he started seeing colors in letters and numbers.

Shannon Sturmer is Larry's former girlfriend. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Engineering. She also tried the new drug. It enhanced her ability to work, as colored letters and numbers made it easier to code. Mentioning it to a few colleagues, they were also hooked up. She and Larry developed a powdered form of the drug to be sold as The Brain Shake.

Smooth Breathing

Bruce Towsend is an app creator. Using what he knows from Buddhism and Neurosciences, he developed a relaxation app, Smooth Breathing. It isn't selling as well as he wanted, but it is not a complete failure, as an unexpected use arose from the app. Bruce uses Smooth Breathing basic algorithm to program the lighting effects when he works as a DJ. Combined with trance music, it has a good effect on the crowd.

Where it all comes together

The Mind's Eye Club is one of Shannon's favourites. She takes The Brain Shake's orders there on Thursday nights. Orders are delivered during the week by bike couriers. To enhance sales, she intends to do a “free trial night” next Thursday, the same night when Bruce will be the DJ.

The problem

On their own, The Brain Shake and the Smooth Breating App are not dangerous. The trouble is: if someone uses the app while under the effect of the shake, the person's consciouness is taken to Azatoth's Court, resulting in instant insanity and violent behavior. It ends up in suicide.

How Delta Green got involved

Stanley Ruhr, 26 years old, single, was a software developer for Visionary Systems. He was found dead after wrecking his house. In the whirlwind of destruction, the only undisturbed place was where his cell phone was. He had the app instaled on it, but that was not noticed by the police.

Mario Ruiz, 29 years old, lived with girlfriend, Jenny Santos. He was a software developer for the Bank of America. Jenny found him dead amid a lot of chaos. Again the cell phone was in the center of the mess and ha the app installed. Jenny is a junkie, but said all drug paraphernalia belonged to him. The police had no proof against her.

Linda Stevens, 22 years old, single, lived in the university dorm. She was a Computer Science Senior. Some The Brain Shake envelopes were found in her trash. Her body was found by her roommate, Mary Tomlinson. Again, the room was trashed, but the cell phone was safe in the eye of the storm. If interviewed, Mary will say Linda was drinking some form of powdered shake. She believes it was to lose weight.

Frances Turing is a Delta Green friendly. She works at the morgue. Three people that worked with computers were found dead in the same week under similar circunstances. She contacted Delta Green. The GM can decide under which agency the PCs will be disguised under. One possibility is the DEA, as violent behavior can be explained by drug use and will also make it easier for the players to think about the drug angle.

During Delta Green's investigation

Nancy Wilson, 25 years old, is an Art student at the university. She becomes violent while at The Mind's Eye Club on a Saturday. She took The Brain Shake before going to the club, and Bruce is covering that shift for a fellow DJ. The other partygoers mentioned she was screming something like “Azatoth Iä Iä. Urugh Turan!”. She didn't have the app on her phone, but the club's lighting did the trick as she had taken The Brain Shake before.

Alternately, if the agents put any of the witnesses (Jenny or Mary) under surveillance, they see the witness taking a dose of The Brain Shake and opening some app on her cell. She starts hallucinating and wrecking things in a moment.

Also, when investigating the places where the victims died, they find flyers mentioning Bruce Towsend's DJing at the Mind's Eye Club next Thursday. For a clearer hint, the date is circled and “S. will be there” or “get stuff from Shannon” will point the agents to the club.

Endgame

Shannon will be at the club. She wants to sell The Brain Shake. Will willingly tell people how it was developed.

Bruce will also be there. He is still backstage. Will willingly tell people how he used the algorithm to program his show's lighting effects. Or, alternately, he will be starting his performance and will only be able to tell about the algorithm later.

The trouble is: Shannon has already distributed the drug to a few customers. And the lighting effects are already being played. A circle of five people thrashing aroud will form on the dance floor. A faint image of Azatoth's Court will form in the circle's center. The people under the drug's effect will start attacking the other. After each attacker is taken out, the image will grow fainter.

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.