Whichever She Was

There's been an unexplainable disappearance of a suspect inside a police station. The story goes that a woman recently arrested for fencing antiques got a guard to let her out of her cell in the middle of the night, then made her way alone to an evidence room which she entered by punching in a correct six-digit code. She immediately located a weapon to be used as evidence in her case, as if she already knew where it was, and then she vanished into thin air.

In a best-case situation, one of the cops involved is a friendly and has kept the weirder details under wraps, claiming the woman simply snuck out. (The scenario could easily be adapted as a first contact with the supernatural for pre-DG investigators, obviating the need for a motive in bringing DG to the scene. A possible, indirect path to a motive is mentioned below.)

Those weirder details

The 34-year-old black female was “not conclusively identified” at the time of her arrest, but she was definitely one of two identical twin sisters: Shauna and Tiyah Mullins, both wanted on identical charges of fencing. She was arrested in a state of unconsciousness, in the twin couple's shop. The ornate double-bladed knife she would later take from the evidence locker was found in the shop and presumed to be stolen. The woman spent two days in a hospital, with gradually improving life signs, until she regained consciousness and was taken to the police station, where she remained calm and absolutely uncooperative. Her sister has not been found.

Witnesses and clues

Officer Kate Pérez was knocking on the door of the antiques shop and saw one of the sisters inside. The woman retreated out of sight into the back of the shop, but there was no other way out. A sudden bright haze within prompted suspicion of a fire, so Pérez and her partner broke into the store and found the unconscious woman. The haze quickly dissipated.The knife lay next to the woman's body. Police have found no record of how the sisters obtained it, but it was duly photographed before it vanished with the woman. The hilt is a little translucent but could almost be ivory, and the steel blades have a subtle green tint. Vague patterns on the hilt could be construed as stylized snakes or alligators. An experienced investigator may recognize the worn lettering among those patterns as Aklo, or similar to that language in a syllabaric form.

In recent questionings (or interrogations by PCs), all but one burglar suspected of having dealt with the sisters have claimed not to recognize the knife. The exception is one P.K. Geoola, who whispered that the knife may be what a crackhead called Whiterock took from somewhere a week before; Geoola suspects this because Whiterock suffered a rather unwholesome implosion in an alley after bragging about some mysterious coup. The authorities have made no headway with regard to the addict's death, and the only thing preventing them from writing it off as “natural” is sheer absurdity. (Here's a possible indirect point of entry for DG.)

Officer Carl Munroe, who let the woman out of her cell, has been suspended without pay pending a full investigation. The truth is that Munroe likes little boys and has spent every second of his suspension so far at home, destroying pornography and praying to become a better man. He let the woman out of her cell because she told him exactly where he hid his stash, and she said she would disappear without telling anyone. Candy and Beatrice, who were in the same cell when Munroe let the woman out, only heard her whisper something to him through the bars. Munroe became pale and nervous, “like he paid for pussy and got hisself a pre-op”.

The whole “escape” is on surveillance tapes, but these have already been snatched up by internal affairs, specifically Annie “Poker” Peterson. She's been staring at these tapes looking for signs that they may have been tampered with, and of course there is no other possible explanation. The tapes aren't tampered with, but the interesting evidence is not where Peterson is looking for it. Hours before the escape, a faint shadowy presence stands barely moving in the corridor outside the evidence room, until several people have punched in the code. Then, the shadow follows one of them into the room and back out, apparently without being noticed, although a couple of people turn their heads as if they think they see something. The same shadow leaves the evidence room after the woman vanishes, almost as if she became the shadow, but because of dim lighting, the shadow is only possible to make out when it's back in the corridor, and then only barely.

The truth of the twins

Mrs. Mullins will say that Shauna and Tiyah never really had any friends, except for one another. They chose the same career to stay together. Shauna haggled with thieves and smooth-talked buyers, while Tiyah handled bookkeeping and appraisal. Unbeknownst to everyone else, they shared all money and all men, as they were physically indistinguishable and never formed a complete image of the self as separate from the sister. One day, Tiyah fell in love with Shawn Moles, a real-estate agent. She wanted him for herself. Sensing trouble, Shauna impersonated Tiyah to drive the man away forever.

Tiyah accepted rejection and fell into a forlorn depression. Shauna had no choice but to fall with her. They began to take unnecessary risks, and soon gained the attention of the authorities. With cops at the door, the sisters tried to end their misery. They both grabbed for the hilt of a knife, but the knife did not kill them. It only brought them closer, with a little sacrifice. Shauna and Tiyah are now telepathically linked, able to hear one another's strongest thoughts at all times. At each given moment, one of them is a wraith, and the other one has a body.

The wraith is gaseous and almost completely translucent, but retains the approximate form of a naked human at all times. The surface of this form will reflect strong light sources, resulting in the appearance of gloss. The wraith is able to fly and can pass through almost any obstacle with an opening, though any deformingly tight squeeze requires energy. The wraith has a tiny amount of mass with which to influence the physical world, but it can only be injured by magical means and cannot communicate. Science will not be able to identify the trace amounts of non-baryonic substances left behind if it is killed.

The other sister has the physical body, which functions exactly as normal. At any time, at the expense of a little energy (1 magic point, 1 plot point, or whatever you're using), the body trades places and minds with the wraith. This happens by the psychic command of the sister who's got the body, and it requires her to be holding the knife. All items touching the skin of the body at the moment of transfer go with it, as
do any wounds and so forth.

Something's gotta give

With their power, the sisters could have anything they want. However, Tiyah wants only Shawn, who is now living quite happily with another, pregnant, real-estate agent. The guilt of having destroyed Shawn's and Tiyah's relationship is eating away at Shauna's sanity and cannot stay hidden for long. She will begin to “self-medicate” in order to dull her feelings, which requires the use of the body, which frees Tiyah to keep spying on Shawn, which will eventually result in the secret getting out anyway as Shawn sometimes talks about his previous relationships. So the sisters switch back and forth, sharing the same rapidly growing drug addiction and multiple self-loathing.

Perhaps DG agents get wind of a bizarre theft of drugs where a woman appears inside a pharmacy and disappears with her arms full of pill bottles and a knife. Perhaps the original owner of the knife tracks it down through DG, or through the Fate. Perhaps DG finds Shauna, who is not very good at staying off the grid, resulting in Tiyah suddenly having a body and a knife in the apartment of the man who left her for no apparent reason, while he is snuggling with his new girl. Perhaps someone uses the knife to hurt herself, resulting in a portal resonance effect that lets very bad stuff in through the wound. In any event, there are few if any humans who could possibly repeat the intuitive spell that united the sisters forever.


This is a shotgun scenario for the 2007 contest, by Viktor Eikman. It was inspired by the movie Dead Ringers (1988) and the “Shadow Soul” card from the board game Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2005).

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