by Bret Kramer
Delta Green is more than just twenty-six cells of three agents each. Numerous unofficial members, the ‘friendlies’, have long played a part. There is a great deal of trust given to these unofficial agents. Sometimes that trust is misplaced, sometimes they themselves are.
This short scenario can be set wherever the keeper sees fits. It is nominally set during the winter months but that is not critical to its running.
Eight years ago Delta Green agents came into contact with Migdalia Valladares, an associate professor of mathematic at a small college. She proved herself a reliable contact with highly useful skills. On a few subsequent occasions Ms. Valladares was put to use by Delta Green. Unfortunately no one in the conspiracy noticed that her work on its behalf had damaged her sanity in dramatic ways.
The tipping point occurred two years previous when she assisted in decrypting an untitled 18th century text that dealt heavily with the astrological and topological secrets of gates and other magics. Intrigued by the author's uncanny insights, Valladares became obsessed with the document, eventually taking a sabbatical to further her work.
Delta Green was unaware anything was wrong until three weeks ago when she was reported missing by her family. The FBI was brought into the missing persons case but has only just begun to investigate it. Yesterday a clue to Valladares' whereabouts was discovered when she used a credit card to pay for a pizza delivery. A-cell has managed to "lose" this information for a short time, allowing its agents time to get to her first. Alternately, if the investigators include an FBI agent, have them assigned to the case.
One of the agents will be contacted by A-cell (method left to the keeper) with the following information:
- Ms. Valladares is a DG-friendly who recently disappeared.
- A-cell believes she is renting room 137 at Shirley's Motel, an establishment several hours' drive from the agent's current location.
- The agent is to determine Ms. Valladares current circumstances and if she is a danger to the conspiracy. They should report to A-cell for further instruction. This case is their top priority.
- A physical description of Valladares and her car are also provided. She is described as an exemplary ‘friendly’; a quiet, bright woman, lacking obvious vices or personal complications. A-cell can obtain more details about Valladares if requested and can relay questions to agents that have worked with her in previous ‘operas’.
Shirley's Motel, off a secondary highway in a run-down town, serves truckers and drifters. The dirty pink building smells tobacco, motor-oil, and failure. The office is staffed by Joginder Sohdi, a listless middle-aged Sikh, and a buzzing transistor radio. Sodhi is willing to allow investigators who produce the appropriate credentials or bribe into room 137. If asked about Valladares, he doesn't recognize the name but will identify her as from a description as "Mrs. Paully". She paid a month's rent in cash but her car has been gone since yesterday.
The door, marked "Do Not Disturb", is strong (STR 30) but the lock is of normal quality. A front window cannot be opened but around back a small (SIZ 8) bathroom window that can be forced (STR 20). Her room is an overheated, pungent mess. The bed has been stripped bare and covered with large regional map covered again by a clear plastic board upon which numerous lines and notations have been added with marker. All the electrical equipment, save the coffee pot, sits in the bathtub. A table by the front window sags under books and papers. Moldering delivery food is stacked atop the dresser.
Examining the table there are a mix of obscure journals, newspaper clipping, theoretical mathematics, pseudo-occult grimoires, and Valladares' own notes correlating them all. There is an almost overwhelming amount of reading material; it would take a full day just to sort and at least six months to fully read. A careful search (one hour) can uncover three items of particular interest:
- The heavily revised text of a computer program, written in C. A computer use roll can identify the purpose of the program is to solve a lengthy series of complex topological problems. Mathematicians and computer programmers will find the program unsettling, as it somehow solves paradoxes by creating even greater paradoxes,// Sanity loss 1/1d2//.
- A confoundingly convoluted and heavily annotated (in Valladares's hand) staple bound monograph claiming to record the "Wisdom of the Hyperboreans and their Magicks", specifically the creation of "Portals linking places many leagues distant and Higher Realms" (+3 points Cthulhu Mythos, -1d4/-2d4 points of Sanity, 24 weeks of study. Requires a read English and three successful mathematics rolls due to the archaic language and obscure concepts.)
- A dog-eared stack of photocopies, containing a portion of Wassermann's "The Occult Foundation" (+2 points Cthulhu Mythos,-1d2/-1d4 points of Sanity to read, 10 weeks of study). Highlighted portions discuss a theory that the ‘fabric’ of reality is weaker at specific "nexus" points.
With study and multiple skill checks in mathematics and computer use, Valladares' research can be reproduced, allowing the researcher to learn the spell ‘Create Gate’ if the keeper wishes. More likely such will work result in a mania similar to the one that claimed Ms. Valladares.
The map on the bed provides a clear clue to Valladares' destination. A point, about four miles from the motel and a few hundred yards off a rural road, where a number of lines merge is circled repeatedly in red marker and the words "THE SPOT" are written next to it, along with GPS coordinates.
A more general examination of the map will allow agents to detect some part of the mixture of method and madness in Valladares' work. While some of the lines follow relatively mundane features (radio towers, gravity fluctuations, and geomagnetic deviations), others map more esoteric ones (murder sites, a 1955 UFO sighting, or a specific chain restaurant's locales). Most psychiatrists would cite this object as proof of Valladares' insanity. Careful study might lead to some further revelation but will cost O/1 SAN.
Following the coordinates from Valladares' motel room, her car can be spotted parked in a wooded area twenty feet off the road. The frost-covered car is unlocked and as thoroughly messy as room 137. The back seat is clogged with empty fast food bags and plastic water bottles. In the passenger seat is an open highway map. Beneath it are directions to this location roughly sketched on a napkin and an empty laptop bag.
Due to the snow, Valladares' path is easy to follow. The erratic trail ends at a small natural clearing. A 20' diameter circle is marked in the snow by a powder (chemistry identifies silver, sulfur, and Yttrium). Just outside the circle sits a sextant, a cold thermos of coffee, and a commercial star-chart. Just inside the circle unknown symbols (Cthulhu Mythos identifies as the Tsath-Yo language) are drawn in powder at irregular points in the snow. The center of the circle has been trampled by booted feet; there are also several downed branches. It is otherwise empty. The scent of ozone lingers as well as an odd metallic taste.
Anyone making an idea roll will immediately realize that the zone within the circle is out of alignment with the surrounding area, having been rotated about 30 º. This can be confirmed with the discovery (spot hidden) that all of the downed branches have been exactly cut and that these cuts outline a perfect sphere or (idea roll) that Valladares footprints do not align. This discovery cost 1d2/1d4 Sanity.
All electronic equipment functions poorly in the vicinity of the circle, starting about forty feet from it, and fail completely inside it. This phenomenon will fade within another seventy-two hours. It is up to the keeper if permanent damage results from exposure. Certain instruments, like Geiger counters, will register unusual readings but nothing immediately dangerous for humans. Animals will
avoid the spot indefinitely.
Two possible complications: Something might have come through Valladares' gate and attack anyone in the vicinity. Possibilities include a desh, a ‘dimensional being’ (from Day of the Beast), a dimensional shambler, or something else of the keeper's choosing. Alternately Valladares might come back, in human or inhuman form (but certainly totally insane) and cause problems for the agents or for Delta Green itself.
Wrapping things up
Once informed of the situation, A-cell will instruct the investigators to remove any compromising materials and deal with the motel staff. Any texts are to be retained and stored in a new Green Box until they can be collected for further review. Once this has been accomplished the original lead will be passed on to the FBI. They will find no trace of Migdalia Valladares; her case will go cold
and eventually be forgotten.
+1 Sanity for locating "the Spot" and determining Valladares has