Delta Green - All Part of the Job


Music From A Darkened Room - Session 3a

Having decided she most likely wouldn’t be able to make her meeting with Dr. Yarrow due to the incident at the house, Agent ROSE gave him a call to let him know to look for Agents SETH and SID instead. He didn’t answer, but she left a voicemail.

SETH and SID were up early, and so they decided to take a look around the yard of the house on Spooner Avenue. They wanted to find where Anton Turé had been buried originally so they could rebury him, and something about this Operation led them to believe the house was a better bet than any of the four cemeteries in town.

They walked around the house searching the yard for disturbed soil, but they found nothing that looked like a lead. They then made another lap around checking the foundation for a hidden cellar entrance or crawlspace. Again, they found nothing until Agent SETH shined his flashlight under the back deck.

The deck extended about 25 feet or so from the house, and beneath it was nothing but dirt, rocks, and scattered animal bones. This got SETH thinking about the lack of pets or other animals in the area. No cats, dogs, birds, or squirrels. There weren’t even many children to be seen. This made the neighborhood eerily silent.

All the way past the dirt and bones, Agent SETH noticed a grate which indicated a crawlspace beneath the house. SID wanted nothing to do with the underside of the house, but he was perfectly willing to go inside and look around. SETH, on the other hand, wanted everyone to stay clear of the inside of the house for the time being, but the crawlspace intrigued him.

Agent SETH crawled beneath the deck and over to the crawlspace. He removed the grate and looked inside. The whole underside of the house was dirt littered with rocks and animal bones. There was maybe a foot and a half or two feet of clearance; not terribly cramped, but not exactly inviting. SETH thought he could hear a cat mewing somewhere in the darkness, but he couldn’t catch it with his light. He decided to leave the grate off for now and poured out the contents of his canteen to muddy the ground in hopes of capturing the prints of anything going in or coming out. He then crawled back out from underneath the deck.

No visibly disturbed earth on the lot, so the agents decided to check the local cemeteries. They picked the nearest one to walk about while calling the others to ask if they had a record of Anton Turé. The answer was the same from all of them: “We don’t have those records available, but you are welcome to visit and have a look for yourself. Our hours are …”

Two hours of methodical searching turned up nothing at the first cemetery, so they decided to break for lunch. A short while into their search of the second cemetery, they spotted the grave they sought. The earth looked to have been disturbed sometime in the past month or so, but the groundskeeper knew nothing of it when questioned.

Agent SETH flashed a badge and related a story of a prank played on one of the newer soldiers under his command. The child’s grave had been dug up, and now he would like to put it back. The groundskeeper told him that if what he said was true, the police would need to be notified, and the soldiers responsible would need to be found.

SETH assured the man that nothing of the sort was going to happen. This was a military investigation, and if the groundskeeper refused to cooperate, he would be the one standing trial. It was probably the drinks he’d had with his lunch, but the groundskeeper refused to be bullied. If he wanted to rebury a body, SETH was going to need a court order, and the person or persons responsible were going to have to answer for it. The agents stormed off.

Agent ROSE couldn’t do much from her hospital bed, so she passed the time researching the house, its owners, and anyone else who might have ever been involved with it courtesy of the hospital wi-fi. It was nearly two hours later before she found anything at all that they didn’t already know. She found an article identifying an old Italian woman who lived with Isabelle Wheeler as Adele DiVettelo, or as some of the locals called her, the Crone.

The small and well-hidden article mentioned that DiVettelo had been hired to mend curtains in the house around June of 1926, and it was apparently very soon after that Isabelle Wheeler was said to have made a miraculous recovery.

Another brief mention was made in an earlier article that a woman named Adele DiVettelo had been dismissed from the Laconia Sanatorium a month before arriving at the Wheeler house. Her dismissal was due to “improper behavior”. Several other employees reported seeing DiVettelo kill a cat and drink its blood. The article concluded that this was evidence of witchcraft.

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Music From A Darkened Room - Session 3b

SETH and SID did a little shopping before their meeting with Dr. Yarrow. SETH wanted a pair of mesh gloves of the sort used by prep cooks. He also bought a large quantity of steel wool. If he was going to be attacked by a disembodied razor, he wanted some protection.

Dr. Yarrow arrived at the diner right on time, and he joined SETH and SID at their table. Yarrow was a large and not very athletic man in his early 40s. He seemed quite eager to investigate the house. When asked why he’d never been inside if he was so interested, his response was simply that in its long string of ownership, the house was rarely unoccupied.

Agent SID was almost immediately skeptical of the man simply due to his demeanor and the New Age psychic feel of his words. SETH was much more inclined to accept Yarrow at face value. The agents explained that they believed the house may have at least two entities inside; one of which was confirmed to be murderously violent.

Dr. Yarrow said that there were a couple ways they could go about the investigation. They could set up cameras, thermal and magnetic detectors, and audio recorders around the house hoping to capture evidence of a haunting, or they could hold a séance if they wanted to contact a specific spirit.

Agent SID rolled his eyes and wordlessly indicated to SETH that he wasn’t believing this for a minute. For his part, SETH stated flatly that there wasn’t going to be a séance. Cameras, audio recorders, night-vision … those were fine, but no holding hands to summon a spirit, and none of that Ouija board stuff.

Dr. Yarrow said that he had his equipment out in the car, and they could get set up right away, but by far the best chance of making contact would be to wait until midnight. A dark house at midnight gave them the thinnest barrier to the spirit world, and thus better odds of making a connection. Also, reflective surfaces would aid immensely. SETH mentioned the floor-to-ceiling mirrors in the master bedroom, but he cautioned against using that room. Yarrow said that may be exactly what they should do.

SID asked if Dr. Yarrow’s equipment included a box that could open up to capture a ghost, and the doctor laughed. He said that ghost traps were a thing of fiction. That did it for SID. Everything the doctor said sounded to him like complete garbage, and the one time he mentioned something he absolutely knew to be real, the man laughed it off as obvious fantasy. Agent SID excused himself and left. He sent SETH a text with his opinion on their Friendly, and he waited patiently until it was time to head to the house.

Agent RUBY stopped by the hospital to sit with ROSE. She informed her cell leader that she had made contact with the other Friendly, antique dealer Elizabeth Tucker. Tucker had knowledge of a few of the pieces from the Wheeler estate sale, and if given a few days, she should be able to track it all down.

Upon reaching the house, Dr. Yarrow entered and began to set up his equipment. SETH indicated that he would like to set up a camera in the crawlspace under the house, and Yarrow handed him one equipped with a wireless transmitter. The rest of the cameras in the house would be wired directly to one of three laptops. The whole thing felt like bad ghost-hunting reality television to Agent SID, and so he stepped outside with SETH.

Agent SID tested the garage while SETH went around back to check beneath the deck. The garage door resisted SID’s attempt to lift it, but he flexed his recently replaced (and if his fever-dreams were to be believed, alien-crafted) right arm. With the sound of grinding gears, the door slowly lifted, and SID scanned the room.

It was an empty two-car garage with a cement floor, a 1970’s era refrigerator next to the door to the house, and some scattered and rusted gardening equipment. The door closed behind him as he crossed the garage to find something with which to prop open the door.

Agent SID grabbed a hoe and returned to the garage door, but before he could lift it, he heard the sound of a door opening behind him, and a dim light shined. He turned to see a shadowy figure looking in the empty refrigerator. The figure closed the refrigerator, and when SID lifted the garage door, he turned to see that we was alone in the room.


Music From A Darkened Room - Session 3c

Propping the garage door open with the hoe, SID then went around back where SETH was waiting for him. SID refused to crawl under the deck, but he would do his best to shine light in through the hole. SETH crawled through the hole and under the house with his night-vision goggles on and his flashlight ready just in case.

He found a spot to set up the camera that seemed like it had a decent view of the crawlspace, and he set it up. As soon as he turned the camera on, his night-vision scrambled and went black. As he slid the goggles to the top of his head, he could hear feral animal sounds from somewhere near his feet and getting closer. He pointed his flashlight and hit the button, but nothing happened. In the darkness, the animal sounds got closer. Agent SETH pointed his gun and fired two shots in the direction of the sound. The shots produced very little light, but in pure darkness, very little light can still make a difference.

SETH didn’t see an animal, but he did see the hole through which he’d crawled. Rolling to his hands and knees, he crawled that direction until he hit the wall. At some point, the snarling animal was right on his heels, literally. It had managed to get a brief grip on his boot, but it was easily shaken off.

Upon reaching where he thought the hole should be, Agent SETH felt nothing but cinderblocks. He fired two more shots in the direction of the snarling, and he saw the hole. It was on the other side of the crawlspace. SETH fished out his zippo from his pocket and was pleased to find that it lit. Now that he could see, he crawled carefully to the hole. Oddly, the animal sounds had stopped.

When SETH poked his head out of the hole, Agent SID asked just what had happened. He had heard four gun shots in rapid succession, like a machine gun, and a split second later, SETH had popped out. Dr. Yarrow confirmed that assessment a moment later when he came out on the deck.

SETH explained his story, and as the camera had been set up, they checked the recording. The camera made SETH look a little silly. He was crawling around in circles, pausing and looking around suspiciously when there was no sound to be heard, and firing his gun at nothing. The one part of SETH’s story the recording did confirm was the timing between shots and the fact that he was apparently under the house for nearly ten minutes even though SID could swear it was barely even two minutes.

Dr. Yarrow nodded in apparent understanding, and he explained that what they were dealing with under the house was a sort of localized time bubble. SID held his tongue. He didn’t have a better explanation, but his gut told him this guy was a fraud. SETH seemed to believe that Yarrow knew what he was talking about, and as SETH was a trained psychologist while SID was not, both agents knew better than to argue.

At any rate, the equipment was set up and ready to go, and Dr. Yarrow felt like getting a snack before it was time to get started. He took his leave, and the agents did the same. There was just one more thing SETH wanted to test before they left. He found an old, rusty hammer in the garage, and he used it to pry loose one of the wooden siding panels. The agents took it into the backyard along with the gasoline can from the Green Box. SETH poured out some of the gas onto the piece of siding and lit it.

There seemed to be some doubt concerning the combustibility of the house, and SETH felt this test would give him an answer. Well, it did. Sort of. The piece of siding did burn, but not in the way they expected. Only part of the board burned, and that part seemed to be spelling out three words: HELL IS ME. Then the paint began to peel, and the siding started to burn as expected.

Before it could burn much, SETH put the fire out and photographed the words with the camera on his phone. He then nailed the piece of siding back where he had found it, only he reversed it so that the words were on the inside. This left an obvious lack of paint, but that didn’t bother him.

It was time to get away from the house for a while. They had about three hours to kill before midnight.
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Music From A Darkened Room - Session 4a

SETH and SID stopped at Burger King for milkshakes on their way to visit ROSE in the hospital. ROSE and RUBY felt it was a little rude that the guys didn’t bring any for them. With S-Cell there, Agent RUBY excused herself and returned to the hotel for some rest.

ROSE said that she was bored with sitting in a hospital bed with nothing to do, but SETH reminded her why she was there. Running off on your own is usually a bad plan. ROSE decided not to argue. Instead, she suggested something that might still allow her to play a part in the Opera even while confined to a bed: Connect Dr. Yarrow’s laptops through a Wi-Fi hotspot, and she could connect to them remotely through hers. That would allow her to monitor the cameras while the other three investigated the house.

Once visiting hours were over, SETH and SID headed back to the house. Dr. Yarrow had already returned, and he was waiting outside in his car. The three went in through the front door and checked on the equipment in the den. Everything looked operational, and Dr. Yarrow changed some settings so that Agent ROSE could connect.

They still had a couple hours before midnight, but the agents were anxious to get started. The reasoning was that just because midnight is prime ghost hunting time, the hours before and after weren’t necessarily bad times. The agents discussed plans, and Dr. Yarrow commented as he saw fit. SETH thought breaking the mirrors would be a good idea since the entity or entities seemed to be able to pass through them, but Dr. Yarrow cautioned against that plan. An intact mirror would serve them much better as a focus than shards of a broken one, and if the entity could in fact use mirrors to affect the living world, breaking one would only give it that many more windows.

SETH really had a bad feeling about the mirrors in the master bedroom, so he thought they should try to find a mirror somewhere else that they might use. The cardboard boxes in the den were a good place to start looking, so everyone took a box and started digging. No mirrors turned up, but at the bottom of one box, Agent SID found a few pages of sheet music; Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”. As a child, Agent SID had sat through lesson after lesson as his piano instructor had him play many classical pieces, and this happened to be one he remembered well. He began humming the melody as his eyes scanned the notes on the pages, and as he did so, he thought he could actually hear it playing however softly. SETH made no indication that he heard anything but the humming, but Dr. Yarrow stopped and canted his head and appeared to listen. It was hard to tell where the music was coming from, but it seemed to be from under the floor. It only lasted as long as the humming, and that was cut short.

The house shook slightly and the windows rattled as a loud blast came from the direction of the kitchen. The air had a smell that indicated nearby gunfire. When they went to investigate, they found the kitchen dark and empty. In a reflection in the window, Agent SETH saw a man in an old suit holding a shotgun. The kitchen in the reflection was similar, but the style seemed older. As he watched, the man muttered something and put the barrel into his mouth before pulling the trigger with his thumb. That was the very same scene Agent ROSE had just witnessed through her video feed.

SID called Dr. Yarrow to the kitchen to see if he could contact the spirit they believed must be George Cruise who had killed his wife and then himself with a shotgun in 1959. Dr. Yarrow brought his microcassette recorder, and he began asking questions of the spirit. He would then allow a pause in an attempt to capture the spirit’s voice on the tape.

When they had asked everything they wanted to ask, the three returned to the den. Dr. Yarrow still felt they would be more successful if they split up, and SID was more than willing to let him go off on his own, but Agent SETH wanted everyone to stick together. He didn’t want another “suicide” on his hands. Dr. Yarrow said that he was only there as a consultant, and he was just happy to finally experience the house first hand.


Music From A Darkened Room - Session 4b

The three stuck together, and they decided to investigate the house methodically. They would move clockwise starting opposite the master bedroom. They entered the hall just off the den and opened the first door on the left. It swung in to reveal an empty bedroom in the middle of redecorating. The wooden floor was bare except for a few sheets of plastic in a corner. There was a step ladder in the corner as well, and a few cans of light blue paint which had been open for quite some time. The paint was congealed. The white and brown striped wallpaper was only removed about halfway around the room, and underneath that could be seen a blue wallpaper with cartoon boats.

What Agent SID saw when he stepped in the room was a little different. Instead, he saw all four walls were papered with the cartoon boat wallpaper. Instead of paint cans and a step ladder, he saw a child’s bed and a dresser. This vision faded after a few moments, and as no one else seemed to see the same thing, SID decided to keep it to himself.

The group moved on to the next room which was also a bedroom. There was no closet door, but there were tracks to indicate a sliding door would go there. Like most of the other rooms in the house, the floor of this room was hard wood with a long-faded polish. It was unfurnished, but in the center of the room was an ugly, lime green shag rug.

Agent SETH stepped into the room and grabbed an end of the rug with one hand. As he gave it a tug, he felt resistance, and almost immediately, he noticed the rug was soaking wet. It began to emanate a horrible smell. The agents could identify it as the smell of a corpse rotting in stagnant water.

SETH pulled harder, and the center of the rug began to rise off the floor. He let go and stepped back. The green rug rose until its edges were barely touching the floor, and then it began to shake gently. The nasty, stagnant water splattered everything within a radius of about three feet. This included Agent SID who didn’t know quite how to react to all of this. His mind slipped ever so slightly, and his instincts took over. In this case, his instinct told him that Dr. Yarrow did this sort of thing for a living, and that his best chance of survival was to do what the doctor did.

Dr. Yarrow looked from the floating rug to Agent SETH as if for confirmation that he was seeing the same thing. So did Agent SID. Agent SETH nodded, and so Dr. Yarrow turned back to the rug. So did Agent SID. Dr. Yarrow crept closer and held his thermal imaging camera toward the rug. Agent SID crept closer as well, and he held out his audio recorder.

SETH decided this was a bad idea, and he grabbed ahold of SID’s arm, but SID easily pulled free. He was convinced that his survival and safety depended on mimicking the parapsychologist. Dr. Yarrow expressed his excitement at capturing a definite paranormal event. So did Agent SID. After a few moments, the rug slowly descended and eventually returned to its former state, though it was still wet and smelled of death.

SID’s senses returned, and he backed out of the room. Dr. Yarrow followed, and they proceeded down the hall. The next door was a linen closet. The door after that was all the way at the end of the hall. It opened into yet another bedroom much like the previous one, only this room had no rug. There were tack strips where a rug would go.

As the group entered, they were assaulted by overpowering stench. Dr. Yarrow smelled garbage, like a dump packed into one small room, and so he jumped back into the hall. Agent SETH smelled burning hair, and it was so strong that he had to step into the hall with the doctor just to keep his milkshake down. Agent SID smelled concentrated vomit, but he covered his mouth and nose, and he made his way across the room to open the window. That did nothing to disperse the smell, and as a result, he lost the contents of his stomach into the backyard. He then ran straight for the hall.

Once out of the room, the three could breathe easily. It seemed confined to the room itself. Agent ROSE texted SETH to ask just what was going on. She had been watching the video feed, and it was obvious something had happened.

SETH sent her a quick reply as the three made their way out to the cars. It was time to regroup, and SID needed a nice, long break. They still had thirty minutes until midnight.


Music From A Darkened Room - Session 5a

Agent SID was still quite shaken up, and even SETH’s skill as a psychologist only gave minimal help. Agent SETH was going back into the house, but he told SID to stay in the car and calm down. SID nodded and seemed to shiver despite the fact that the night wasn’t particularly cold.

Dr. Yarrow headed back up to the house, and Agent SETH followed. As the men reached the front door, the car engine roared to life. SETH spun around hoping his eyes could deny what his ears had told him, and he felt his pocket for the car keys. He found them which meant that Agent SID had found another way to start the car.

SETH growled as he killed the engine with a press of a button on his key chain, and he stomped through the yard toward the car. SID only blinked at the steering wheel in disbelief and slow comprehension. Agent SETH opened the passenger door and leaned in. He demanded to know just what the other INSCOM agent was thinking, and why the ignition was broken.

“I just … I need to go,” was SID’s reply. “Need to go home.”

“Fine. I’ll call you a cab, and it’ll take you back to the hotel, but you don’t need to damage the rental car.”

SID just nodded again. He noticed a light come on in a house next to the one they were investigating, but he thought nothing of it. SETH called for a cab, and then he went back up to the house. As soon as he was inside, SID once again tried to start the car.

Agent SETH told Dr. Yarrow to start setting up for a séance on the dining room table. The doctor began to unpack one of his bags, but all the while he tried making a case for using the master bedroom. He said he could feel energy in that room, and he thought it was their best chance. This house was starting to get on SETH’s bad side, and he wanted to get this Opera finished soon, even if it meant séances or Ouija boards. He did not, however, want to go near the master bedroom.

Dr. Yarrow set up his silk table cloth, white candles and incense as Agent SETH watched for the cab. Rather than a taxi, he saw a Laconia police cruiser pull up behind his rental car. He quickly blew out the candles and told Dr. Yarrow to get down.

Agent SID didn’t notice the police cruiser because he was too intent on getting the car hotwired. There was a knock on the driver’s window, and he looked up to see a police officer holding a flashlight. The officer asked him to step out of the vehicle, but he replied that the door was locked. The officer wasn’t in the mood for games, but he could tell there was something off about SID.

He instructed the agent to unlock the door and step out slowly. SID did as he was told, and he provided his INSCOM badge when asked for identification.

The officer asked what SID was doing with the vehicle, and he replied that it was his rental car, and he needed to get home. He provided the name of the hotel and his room number when asked for his residence. SID showed the rental agreement and told the officer that his partner had the keys, but he was in the house.

After a few more brief questions, Agent SID had told the officer that his partner, another INSCOM agent, was in the house investigating a haunting and possible murder, and he had managed to secure a ride back to the hotel from the officer.

Agent SETH and Dr. Yarrow used the time to sneak out the back door, through yards, and over to the next street. He heard the officer say something into his radio about backup at 1206 Spooner Avenue for a possible Breaking and Entering or Trespassing, but he advised dispatch that a preliminary survey turned up only silence and darkness. A moment later, Agent SID was in the back of the police cruiser and being taken away.

A moment after that, a taxi pulled up and honked its horn. This caused lights to come on in the other houses in the neighborhood. SETH cursed under his breath and called the cab company to cancel the taxi. A moment later, the cab drove off with squealing tires.


Music From A Darkened Room - Session 5b

Agent ROSE got sick of sitting in her hospital bed, and so she disconnected herself from the IV, and without bothering to change out of her hospital gown, she managed to sneak out. She called for a cab to meet her out front, and then she texted Agent SETH to let him know she was on her way to the house. He replied that he thought she needed to stay in the hospital, but if she felt up to it, he’d be glad to have another person around.

When the cab arrived, she gave the address of the house, and the driver narrowed his eyes. He had apparently just been there on a call, but no one came out, and it was only after he’d arrived that the call came in to cancel the ride. ROSE offered to pay that fare also as well as tip generously if he could get her there in five minutes. The cabbie was all too happy to oblige.

SETH sent ROSE another quick text to ask her to get his rifle case from the car trunk on her way up to the house. After paying the cabbie and watching him leave, she retrieved the case and headed up to the front door. Almost as soon as the door shut behind her, two police cruisers pulled up, and four officers got out.

Agent SETH looked around for a place to hide, and his eyes settled up the stairs to the bonus room above the garage.

“Follow me. Up the stairs, quick!”

He led the way, but as he was about halfway up the stairs, he heard footsteps in the room above. The footsteps hurried down the stairs, but nothing seemed to be making the sound. A force shoved SETH into the wall as it flew downstairs, and a moment later, Dr. Yarrow was tumbling backwards into Agent ROSE. They both hit the ground pretty hard, but they hadn’t made it up more than a few steps, so no one was injured. SETH came back down to help them up, and the three hurried up the stairs. Dr. Yarrow closed and locked the door behind them.

The agents scanned the small, cramped room with sloped ceiling. There was a large, round window with wooden slats overlooking the street where the police cruisers were parked. A small bed sat only an inch or so off the floor almost wedged into the angle where the ceiling met the floor. A rocking chair sat opposite the bed. It rocked slowly on its own, but it gradually stopped.

The only other thing of interest was possibly the most important; definitely the most disturbing. Lying face down in the middle of the tiny room was a male body. It looked very much like Agent SID. It was dressed the same, and Agent SETH noticed it wore SID’s watch. He checked the body for identification without rolling it over, and he discovered an INSCOM badge.

He was sure the house was messing with them somehow because he’d just seen Agent SID taken away by the police only about ten minutes earlier, but this was a fact he failed to mention to the others.

They could hear footsteps downstairs but not much else. Dr. Yarrow paused with a puzzled look on his face, and he wrinkled his nose.

“Anybody else smell something?”

The agents realized they could smell gas. It was faint at first, but it got gradually stronger. Agent SETH opened the window and began removing the wooden slats as quickly and quietly as he could. As he worked, the three became aware of what sounded like a woman’s voice humming. It seemed to be coming from the body on the floor, and the tune was familiar. It was the tune Agent SID hummed earlier when he had found the sheet music; Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”.

Agent ROSE asked the body what it wanted, and the humming stopped momentarily. Agent SID’s voice seemed to come from the body, but it remained motionless.

“Rest now. We’re home.”

The voice went back to humming, and it got louder, and ROSE heard a voice downstairs directing attention toward the stairs. Footsteps came up the stairs, and the doorknob jiggled. Then the door and the whole room shook. Someone on the other side – presumably a police officer – was kicking or putting a shoulder into the door.


Music From A Darkened Room - Session 5c

Stealth was still a concern for the agents, but it was quickly dropping down the priority list. Agent SETH waited for the next hit to the door, and he used it to cover the sound of his smashing the remaining wooden slats and climbing out onto the roof.

The angle of the roof was a little steeper than it looked from the ground, but SETH managed to keep his footing. Dr. Yarrow panicked and dove head-first out the window, and it was all SETH could do to catch him and keep them both from sliding off into the yard. Agent ROSE followed them out, and the three moved out of view of the window and higher up the roof just as they heard the door smash open.

They sat in silence for a few long minutes. No one peeked out the window. No one climbed out onto the roof. Eventually, they saw all four police officers return to their cars and drive off empty-handed. They hadn’t taken the body from the upstairs room, and they hadn’t taken any of the equipment from downstairs. They just left.

The agents and Dr. Yarrow waited a while longer just in case, and then Agent SETH climbed back down to the window. He nearly lost his footing when he looked inside and came face to face with Agent SID. The rocking chair was facing the window, and Agent SID was seated in it, rocking gently back and forth. His throat was cut, and his chest was covered in blood and gore, but there was still a smile on his face as he looked back into SETH’s startled eyes.

As he rocked back, SID’s head rolled sickeningly, and fresh torrents of blood would flow down his chest to pool on the floor. Agent SETH turned away for just a moment, looking up to make sure ROSE and Dr. Yarrow were okay. When he looked back, the rocking chair was back where it had been originally, the body was gone, and there was no blood. There was also no longer a smell of gas, and the door was still closed.

The three climbed back inside and discussed what to do. While they talked, SETH lifted the mattress of the bed revealing a small, leather bound journal. ROSE picked it up and flipped it open to find 50 pages or so of cramped, handwritten Arabic.

Agent SETH had been an interrogator in Afghanistan, and while his command of the written Arabic language wasn’t perfect, he managed to translate a significant portion of the journal. It had belonged to Yamilla Isari, the house’s most recent owner. It detailed her stay in the house from the day she moved in right up until a day or so before she died.

The journal described how she had fallen in love with the house, and how one day she had seen a young boy walking around. He had blue-white skin, and he dripped water everywhere he went. This unnerved her at first, but she apparently got used to it. She also wrote about how she got a very bad feeling from the master bedroom, and she refused to go in there. Near the end, she had taken to sleeping in the small upstairs room. The last entry said simply “I understand why I came here now. I’m home.”

Agent SETH had apparently had enough of this house. He told Dr. Yarrow to get his things and head to the master bedroom. They were going to have the séance in there, and they were going to finish this. He took the rocking chair downstairs with him and headed for the room full of mirrors. Dr. Yarrow got his bag and followed. Agent ROSE wasn’t too thrilled about returning to that room, and so she excused herself saying that she needed to visit the restroom first. SETH told her to be careful, and to yell if anything happened.

When the men stepped into the bedroom, the full effect of the mirrors and energy hit them. It felt almost as if they were under water. The doctor said he could feel a strong energy in the room, but he was getting a mild headache. SETH’s head hurt a little, too.


Music From A Darkened Room - Session 5d

Dr. Yarrow helped SETH move a coffee table from the den, and they covered it with the silk table cloth. SETH set up candles and began lighting them while Dr. Yarrow said he’d set up the incense burners. After lighting the last candle, SETH got a bad feeling. He looked up and felt the disorientation of the mirrors, but he also saw Dr. Yarrow standing behind him with one arm raised. He held something in his hand, and he swung it down at SETH.

The INSCOM agent whirled around and attempted to grab the doctor’s arm, but he was unsuccessful. The doctor grinned wildly as the straight razor caught SETH in the collarbone and neck. ROSE turned the corner and appeared in the doorway just in time to see what looked like gallons of blood spray around the room as if SETH’s neck was a lawn sprinkler.

She took out her phone and dialed 911. She informed the dispatcher that a man with a razor was assaulting her friend at 1206 Spooner Avenue. The dispatcher asked why her phone was indicating the call was coming from the Dominican Republic, and ROSE yelled at her. Her friend had been cut on or around his neck, and blood was everywhere. She didn’t have time to discuss telephone call routing with someone whose job it was to send emergency services.

Dr. Yarrow laughed in an old woman’s voice, and he swung once more at Agent SETH. The razor missed, but the swing came so close that SETH felt he could almost taste it. ROSE took the opportunity to catch the doctor off balance and tackle him, but he spun quickly, and she missed.

The doctor grabbed her and shoved her into a mirror … literally. From Agent SETH’s perspective, ROSE seemed to be tossed through the mirror to land on the other side; no more physical representation, only what should be a reflection.

From Agent ROSE’s perspective, it was like falling through a hole in a frozen lake. She was surrounded by bone-chilling darkness, and she was enveloped by something thicker than water. Her first instinct was to simply freeze, but she managed to will herself into action. She was slowly sinking away from the blurry light that was the master bedroom, and she felt that if she didn’t get back to that light, she might be lost forever.

Agent SETH charged Dr. Yarrow and drove him across the room. He shoved the doctor through the window and out into the yard. Dr. Yarrow laid still in the glass and grass blinking up at the sky. SETH couldn’t find any trace of the straight-razor, but somehow he wasn’t surprised.

ROSE swam toward the light with all the strength she could muster. She ignored the pain in her shoulder, and with an almost heroic effort, she managed to spill herself back out into the room. She was covered in a thick, cold slime, but at least she was back. In the house. In the master bedroom of the house. She stood up quickly, and smashed every mirror in the room with the rocking chair.

The agents then quickly made their way outside, and Dr. Yarrow once more slipped through yards to reach the next street as the neighborhood was lit with blue and red lights, and echoing with sirens. The ambulance sped Agent SETH off toward the hospital, and ROSE followed as soon as her taxi arrived. It was the same driver as before, and she tipped him extra to ignore the slime. She managed to slip back into the hospital unnoticed, get cleaned up, and get back into her bed before the doctors made their next set of rounds.

Agents RUBY and SID were in no hurry to get back to the house, and so they took things easy at the hotel for a few days. In the meantime, the antique dealer called back with some information: Isabelle Wheeler’s piano was in her store, a coffee table from the original estate sale was in the possession of a woman right there in Laconia, and a wardrobe from that same estate sale was owned by a man about an hour south in Manchester. SID decided he’d probably get around to checking out those leads before long, but for now, he’d take a rest. He’d check things out before SETH and ROSE got out of the hospital, for sure. Probably.


Music From A Darkened Room - Session 6a

A few days later, Agent SID managed to motivate himself to renew the investigation while his associates were still hospitalized. Agent RUBY indicated rather strongly that she had done her part by passing along the information from the antique dealer. SID could do what he wanted while the two cell leaders were out of commission, but she was staying put.

SID headed first to the antique shop to examine the piano. His parents had spent a lot of money making him take lessons, and though it had been a while, he felt this would be a good opportunity to see if he still had the same talent of which his teacher had bragged.

When he entered the shop, there were a few customers browsing, but it seemed like a quiet morning. SID immediately spotted the 1930s-era Baldwin Upright Piano with a mirrored backstop. He took a seat at the bench and laced his fingers together, pushing the palms out to stretch. He then began to play the one piece he knew for a fact Isabelle Wheeler had played on this very piano; Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”.

Though he hadn’t played it in many years, his fingers glided effortlessly over the keys with flawless confidence as if he’d played it every day of his life. The other customers took note initially, but then they returned to their browsing. Agent SID happened to glance at the mirrored backstop, and he was surprised to see not his reflection, but that of a woman in a white dressing gown. He paused for only a second or two, and he hardly noticed that the reflection as well as the piano itself continued to play the piece.

SID was so caught up in the moment that without really thinking, he resumed playing. He was so absorbed by the music that he ignored the sound of something dropping by his feet. So carried away was he, in fact, that he had no time to react when the woman in the reflection grinned maliciously and reached down. He found himself reaching down as well, mirroring the woman’s action.

He couldn’t stop himself as he picked up the object at his feet. His will was not his own as he watched his own hand draw the straight razor across his throat. He managed the slightest twitch which saved him momentarily as the razor only drew a trickle of blood. He was horrified however when whoever or whatever had taken possession of his body exerted a will so inhumanly strong that he couldn’t hope to resist.

Once more, and with the full strength of his alien-crafted right arm, he drew the razor back across his throat directly opposite the scar left by Toby the junkyard dog. The razor dug deeply, and SID felt his entire life force gush from his neck. He dropped from the bench and hit the ground hard, but he never felt it.

Agent SETH was awake in his hospital bed and recovering nicely. The local news had a reporter live on the scene of a grizzly suicide attempt at one of the many antique stores in Laconia. According to the account given by the shop owner, the unidentified man had entered and walked straight over to the piano against the store’s far wall. He sat down and played a beautiful piece which the shop owner believed to have been Beethoven, or maybe Bach; definitely classical, and definitely something she’d heard before.

The man had stopped abruptly, produced a knife of some sort, and cut his own throat. The shop owner said she screamed, and by the grace of God, one of the customers happened to be a paramedic who was able to give the man immediate medical attention while the ambulance was on its way. There was no word yet on the man’s identity, nor of his condition though he was still alive at the moment he was taken away by the ambulance.

SETH muttered an unflattering epithet under his breath. Oh, there was only one person stupid enough to do something like that; well, one person not already in a hospital bed. His suspicions were confirmed several hours later when Agent SID’s unconscious form was wheeled into the room.

All three agents got another week of rest before SETH and ROSE were well enough to leave the hospital. It was about that time when SID finally regained consciousness. The three shared a special moment there in the hospital room; SID bleary-eyed and pumped full of painkillers, SETH glaring with disapproval, and ROSE trying to find words to express her feelings. Fortunately for everyone within earshot, those words either didn’t exist, or they were too vile and profane to be uttered by a human tongue.

Instead, SETH and ROSE simply walked out of the room. Agent SETH headed to Manchester to meet up with Dr. Yarrow. The two were going to visit the owner of the wardrobe from the Wheeler estate sale. ROSE had paperwork to fill out, and then she planned to get real food.
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Music From A Darkened Room - Session 6b

Agent SETH arrived at the University about a half hour later, and Dr. Yarrow met him in the parking lot. The two headed to the address provided by the antique dealer. It was the home of an older man. He was short but stocky with a full head of white hair and dark-rimmed glasses.

SETH and Yarrow explained that they were doing a documentary on the Wheeler house, and they had received his name from someone familiar with pieces from the original estate sale. The man was happy to let them come in to take a look. He was in the middle of washing dishes, so he left them to examine the wardrobe alone.

It was in a spare bedroom, and it seemed to be made of a dark wood, or at least stained darkly. Neither man knew much about furniture or antiques. The cabinet of the wardrobe was about three feet deep and nearly seven feet tall. It stood on four legs which added to this height.

SETH opened the doors of the wardrobe to find that it was empty, but there was a full-sized mirror on the insides of each door. He immediately covered them with spare blankets. Dr. Yarrow examined the outside of the wardrobe while Agent SETH checked the empty interior for false bottoms, secret compartments, and the like. He didn’t find any, but he noticed that when he placed a bit of pressure on the back wall of the cabinet, the interior seemed to stretch. There was no sound, and it wasn’t as if the back wall actually moved. The pressure simply seemed to make the space larger.

He pushed again with the same result. A third push extended the interior space at least ten feet deep; easily beyond the wall of the room. Dr. Yarrow confirmed that the outside remained the same, and there was still about three inches of clearance between the wardrobe and the wall.

The doctor came around the front and was a little surprised to see SETH twenty feet or so away and stretching the cabinet space further. He stepped in and closed the doors most of the way until the blankets wedged them open so that a thick sliver of light filtered through.

Not long after, they heard a woman’s voice out in the room speaking in Italian. It sounded more like she was reading aloud or reciting something prepared rather than conversing. SETH turned on his audio recorder and held it to the doors, but neither man dared to peek out.

When the woman finished, they could hear a booming male voice.

“Chi chiama il mio nome?”

Neither man spoke Italian, but ROSE had been able to use her computer to translate before. SETH continued to record, and they would find out just what they were hearing later.

A second woman’s voice could be heard begging in English for someone, presumably the male, to not do what he was about to do.

“Scriverete il vostro nome nel libro nero,” came the male voice.

There was a blood-curdling scream, and then all was silent. Eventually, the two men peeked out into the room. It was just as it should have been, and there was no evidence of any others. They could hear the old man in the kitchen whistling as he washed his dishes. Apparently, he hadn’t heard anything.

SETH and Dr. Yarrow thanked the man for his time, and they headed back to Laconia. Dr. Yarrow drove, and SETH took the opportunity to email his recording to ROSE who was happy to translate.

It seemed the first woman was calling for someone she referred to as “the Dark Man.” She said she had made the necessary offerings, and if the Dark Man would present himself, he could claim his payment; two freely given souls.

The male voice had said something like “Who calls my name?” The first voice identified herself as Adele DiVittelo, the Man’s humble servant. She gave the second name as Isabelle Wheeler which was when the pleading in English began.

The Dark Man then said something like “You shall sign your name in the black book.”

That gave SETH and the doctor something to think about on their drive. When they reached Laconia, they headed to the address of the owner of the coffee table. The owner was an older lady, and the two men appeared to be interrupting tea time.

Agent SETH was convincing and charming enough that the woman allowed them in to examine the table. She even moved the tea party to the kitchen to give them room. SETH was a professionally trained psychologist, however, and it was painfully obvious to him that the woman’s motives weren’t out of courtesy or generosity. The women moved to the kitchen so they could watch from a distance and gossip out of earshot. This suited SETH just fine.

The table was made of the same wood as the wardrobe, and the dark stain would match. The entire center of the table was taken up by an intricate design. A triskelion, or triple spiral, marked the surface. The table surface was composed of three slats, and when SETH examined them closely, he noticed there were very slightly misaligned. He gave the center slat a firm push, and he was rewarded with a soft click. Inside the base of the table were three objects each tied down with rotting leather ropes.

There was a very sharp bronze knife, a bronze bowl which also had the triskelion design, and a leather-bound journal. Agent SETH discretely pocketed all of these items before thanking the gossiping old women for their time. He and the doctor left quickly.


Music From A Darkened Room - Session 6c

ROSE called SETH to let him know she was heading to the house. He asked her to wait outside since he and Dr. Yarrow were also on their way. The three of them met outside the Spooner Avenue house and briefly discussed the items found inside the table. SETH had only a few minutes to skim the journal, but that was enough time to determine it had been written by Isabelle Wheeler, and it detailed a period of nearly thirty years.

Isabelle Wheeler had been dying of an unknown wasting illness when Adele DiVettelo was hired to mend the curtains and other cloth items in the house. The journal detailed the old woman’s proposition as well. She claimed Isabelle’s sickness could be cured as long as she was willing to pay the price. Anything was preferable to a slow, painful death, and Isabelle had agreed.

The old woman had called forth the Dark Man, and the women both pledged themselves to him. Almost overnight, Isabelle’s disease faded, and she lived a quiet and healthy life until one night in 1955 when the Dark Man returned. He demanded that she finally fulfill her end of their deal by signing her name in his black book.

She refused, and the Dark Man revoked the health he had returned to her nearly thirty years earlier. Isabelle Wheeler’s last entry was in a very shaky hand, and it said simply that she could feel all the agony she’d avoided for three decades. She cursed the Dark Man and swore she’d never be his.

One other interesting piece of the journal detailed the spell the old woman had used to call the Dark Man, and it included a chant for dismissing him. It seemed that the only way to be sure of cleansing the house was to call the Dark Man and force him out, but SETH wasn’t sure that was a good idea. If he was really so much more powerful than the entity which had nearly killed three seasoned Delta Green agents, and had caused so much death and misery over the last 55 years, then how could they really expect to banish him? If they couldn’t get an angry spirit to leave, how could they expect to force out a demon, or as the journal called him, a god?

Agent ROSE had had enough of this house, and she took all of this personally. She felt that with the help of the journal, they could force out the Dark Man. All they had to do was find out what the spell required. They all went inside, and SETH set the bowl and knife on the table in the master bedroom which was still covered with Dr. Yarrow’s silk cloth. He then looked closer at the spell.

There seemed to be two ways to call the Dark Man. The first method wasn’t guaranteed. They could sacrifice many animals using the knife and bowl while speaking the words of the spell, and then have two people willing to give themselves to the Dark Man should he appear.

The second method, according to the journal would absolutely call him forth. That method required only the sacrifice of an innocent human in the name of the Dark Man while the words of the spell were recited. There was a spirited debate on just how to go about this.

SETH wasn’t willing to let anyone die just so they could call forth a being he felt they couldn’t possibly force out anyway. ROSE felt that with all the death that had come before, one more in the name of ending it for good was worth it. There was a big argument over the morality and ethics of a single murder to prevent many future deaths.

In the end, ROSE excused herself to visit the bathroom while SETH went to the den fuming. While in the bathroom, ROSE called to order a pizza from Papa John’s. She offered to pay double if it could be delivered as soon as possible. She gave her former codename from when she was in S-Cell; SAM. She then rejoined the others in the den.

When the doorbell rang, SETH answered the door. On the porch was a high school kid of about 18. He told SETH he had a pizza for someone named Sam. SETH told the kid there was no one there by that name, and he should just leave. Behind SETH, Agent ROSE waved a $20 bill and said “That’s me! I’m Sam!”

“No. No, you aren’t.”

“Oh, I am, too! And that’s my pizza!”

ROSE tried to get the kid to come in for a minute, but SETH blocked the door. Eventually, ROSE settled for throwing the money outside and having SETH accept the pizza. SETH watched the kid walk back toward his car, and ROSE used that opportunity to hide the bowl and knife.

SETH closed the door and yelled to ROSE that there was absolutely no way he was allowing her to kill that kid, but ROSE made a break for the garage. SETH gave chase, but as soon as ROSE was in the garage, the door to the house closed and locked on its own. The old garage door opener sprung to life of its own accord as well. Agent ROSE ran out yelling to the kid.

“Wait! You have to help me! Please, he’s crazy!”

“That guy? Is he dangerous?!”

“Yes. He has a gun! Please, come here! You have to help me!”

“No way, ma’am! Come with me, and I can take you somewhere safe.”
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Music From A Darkened Room - Session 6d

Finding that he couldn’t get out through the garage, SETH ran through the master bedroom and climbed out the window into the backyard. ROSE could hear him coming, and she knew she needed to get this kid inside fast, but all she could think to do was to lift her shirt.

That definitely got the kid’s attention, and he took a few steps her direction. That’s when SETH came running around the corner displaying his badge and gun, and yelling for the kid to get his hands up, back away, and leave.

The life of a high schooler can be full of difficult choices, and here was one of those. On the one hand, there was easily one of the most attractive women he’d ever seen lifting her shirt and calling to him. On the other hand, there was a man who was probably her angry boyfriend or husband waving a badge, pointing a gun, and shouting.

The badge and gun won out, and the kid backed away. No sooner was he was in his car than he was out of the neighborhood. Crisis averted, SETH glared at ROSE. Agent ROSE just smiled and called Little Caesar’s.

That was enough for SETH. He put away his gun and badge, and he told ROSE he wasn’t having anything to do with what she was planning. As he headed to his rental car, he held up the journal and sarcastically wished her luck.

Agent ROSE shrugged and went inside to wait. She figured she didn’t need the journal since SETH had already sent her audio of the spell being cast. She was going to try it with the recording. When the delivery driver arrived, ROSE invited him in to wait a minute while she got her money. When the driver was inside and turned his back, she slipped behind him, cut his throat with the knife and caught the blood with the bowl. She then hit play on the recording and waited to see what happened. All the while, Dr. Yarrow was in another room carefully reviewing his camera feeds from the past few days.

After a moment, a large figure appeared before ROSE. He was at least eight feet tall with jet black skin and only a vaguely male body shape. There were no nipples, no genitalia, and instead of a face, the Dark Man had a large horn. He had no mouth, but his voice boomed from somewhere.

“Who calls my name?”

“That would be me.”

ROSE raised her hand. She seemed for all the world as if this sort of thing was simply an everyday occurrence.

“Why have you called me?”

“I’ve made the offering, and now I want what you gave Adele DiVettelo.”

“You’ve yet to make a true offering. This was merely enough to get my attention. Now … Why have you called me?!”

He gestured to the dead delivery driver as his volume increased.

“I want to sign your book, and then I want what you gave Adele DiVettelo.”

The Dark Man produced a black book and a quill from thin air and held it open for her. She signed the name of Adele DiVettelo.

“I already have that one, and she is not yours to give! Do not waste my time.”

ROSE nodded once more and signed the name of Dr. Emil Yarrow. The Dark Man said nothing but turned to face the doctor. As if hearing someone calling his name, the doctor looked up. He stood and walked into the room to look up at the Dark Man.

“I don’t understand,” were his only words.

He stood in silence for a moment more, and ROSE saw that his eyes were glazed over. She stabbed the bronze knife for his heart at the same time he swung a straight razor at her neck. They both missed and reset their footing. Dr. Yarrow’s movements were mechanical and almost puppet-like. He seemed to have only one goal: Slice the throat of Agent ROSE.

Dr. Yarrow swung again and drew blood, but ROSE kept fighting. The vicious, bloody, and deadly dance continued for nearly a minute before the next hit. Agent ROSE drove the knife deep into the doctor’s heart, and he collapsed dead.

The Dark Man nodded and closed his book.

“So be it, Gia.”

Agent ROSE was a little disturbed to hear her real name spoken by this being, but she didn’t let it show. She stood up straight and spoke with confidence.

“I want what you gave Adele DiVettelo, and I want you to go and never return.”

“Very well. You have the Crone’s blessing, and I relinquish my claim to this ground. Always watch for me, Gia Jones, for I will come to you again.”

With that, the Dark Man was gone, and the heavy feeling in the house left with him. Now there was simply the matter of destroying and altering evidence. That was a Delta Green agent’s area of expertise.

SETH was long gone, and ROSE made her way home as well. Agent SID was so drugged up on hospital painkillers that he had no idea anything had changed, and no one had bothered to let RUBY know the curtain had fallen on easily the bloodiest Opera of their brief careers.
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Wow! I've read this entire thread and it reads like a great game. I have not picked up Delta Green, but I have heard gushing reviews and your story hour has definitely got me interested. I have a few questions, if you do not mind the intrusion on your story flow:

1. Do you create these adventures or are you running published materials? If it is published, would you mind sharing the name of it? If it is your own design would you mind talking a bit about how you create scenarios?

2. It seems like your PCs go off the beaten (intended) path constantly. Do you find yourself ad-libbing regularly? How much familiarity do you have with the areas where the adventures take place?

3. The PCs die on a regular basis, not something I mind - just an observation. What is character creation like - is it very involved? Do PCs act fatalistic or cavalier towards the dangers they face?

4. How do you encourage your PCs to be proactive - if there's a lull in the game do you just throw more things at them or do you let them stew and try to figure it out?

5. Your profile says you are from Alaska. Are there a lot of gamers up there? Is getting folks together to play a non-mainstream game difficult? I'm in the middle of Illinois and it would be a little bit of challenge for me to find the right players for a game like this.

Finally, I mostly wanted to say good job on spinning a very enjoyable story hour. You know, ten years ago this story would have had tons of comments and lots of encouraging posts, but sadly in the last few years this forum has faded into the background largely. I hope you keep writing, because this is really fun stuff and I find your game fascinating.


I don't mind the intrusion at all. In fact, I welcome it. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it. Call of Cthulhu has always been a favorite of mine, and Delta Green is an amazing setting. To answer your questions:

1. What I've run so far has been published material with moderate to heavy modification in some cases. The Operation titles are the actual scenario titles, and I can give you the sources if you're interested. I have written plenty of scenarios for previous groups, and I'll probably use them with this one soon. I haven't so far because Agent SETH's player has played in previous Delta Green games of mine, and he'd likely recognize some things. As of the end of Music From A Darkened Room, he is dropping out, and we have at least one new player to take his place.

When I run completely original scenarios, they are usually pretty heavily improvised. I tend to start with an idea like a particular entity, location, or theme. I then lead the characters toward an event, whether it's placing them at the actual event, having them stumble across evidence, or (as is the case with most Delta Green Operas), a mission briefing of some sort. I find that if I don't know what happened, my players will usually write the story for me as long as I listen to them. They like to develop theories and bounce them around, and a lot of the time, I'll pick something that sounds good and go with it.

At the same time, I do like tight, well-developed plots, too, so I do actually write some things out. I've found that my players love handouts like newspaper clippings, sample journal entries, etc ... and so I'll work those up when I have a chance. The Killer Out of Space is one where I did quite a lot of that. I wrote up lots of newspaper and magazine articles to set up the space shuttle story.

2. My players are very creative. They also play their sanity well. SETH and RUBY have high sanity, and they act reasonably calm, serious, and practical. SID and ROSE used to have decent sanity, and when they did, they were the same. As their scores dropped, they began to play their characters more chaotically and out of the box. I keep a spreadsheet with a chart to track the sanity of the group.

I tend to do quite a bit of ad-libbing, but that's something I've done for a long time, and I'm quite comfortable with it. As long as I know my NPCs and my setting, I'm good. Most of the time, my players can't tell the written bits from the parts made up on the spot. Before every Opera, I decide on a location, and I do a fair amount of research. The more it seems I know about the location, the more realistic the game seems, and realism is an important part of horror role playing.

3. I make sure all of my players understand that Call of Cthulhu is in a cold and uncaring universe, and as such I am very fair but also uncaring. They know I won't actively try to kill them, but I won't save them either. That adds to the realism, but it also builds their trust in me. At the end of the Opera in New Mexico where four of the six characters died, three of the players immediately said "My next character is going to be <insert government agency/military branch>", and the fourth said "Here's my backup character." If that was a D&D game, the players may not have come back the next week.

The mechanics of character creation are pretty quick, but my players like to put some effort into character and background. They absolutely want their characters to survive and to win, and so they don't generally act quickly or take unnecessary risks except when roleplaying low sanity.

4. With this game, I like to let them take their time and think, but every once in a while, they need a little kick. In those cases, I might have an NPC say something off-handedly, but I prefer to let bad things start to happen so they feel urgency.

5. There is a pretty decent pool of players up here. The GM pool is a little thin, but I've always preferred that side of things anyway, and I generally get positive feedback. There are tons of Pathfinder games going around, so players look to me for something different. Agent SID's player moved here from Illinois just a little before joining the group, actually. And this is his first tabletop game.

Thank you very much for your readership and support. I do appreciate it. I'm not sure my players would let me quit running this game if I wanted to, and as long as I'm running it, you can be sure I'll keep writing it up. Please feel free to comment or ask questions any time.


Music From A Darkened Room - Agent SID's Epilogue

Agent SID rested comfortably in his hospital bed experiencing everything through a morphine haze. For what could have been hours, days, or even weeks, he drifted almost seamlessly in and out of consciousness. One moment, he was in the hospital, and the next, he was in a vivid dream. He began to get used to the transitions, and he even welcomed them. The blur between reality and dream was something his mind needed right now.

Hospital, dream, hospital, dream … field? Did he skip consciousness in favor of another dream? His dreams had become so vivid that he really had no way to tell. Up until just now, he’d been considering everything related to the hospital to be “reality”, and everything else to be “dream”. While the lines were quite blurred, there had been a noticeable flow from one to the other. This time, either he skipped reality and went to another dream, or this field was real.

It was warm, the grass was green, and the blue sky was sparsely decorated by various cloud shapes. From the hilltop, he could see deep valleys, rivers, forests, and mountains. This couldn’t be real since the last he knew, it was … November? December? It was … oh, he didn’t really care. This seemed real enough, and it was definitely peaceful.

SID found a dry spot in the grass and flowers with a flat rock. He laid back with his hands behind his head and his fingers laced using the rock as a pillow, and he watched the clouds roll by. It was so peaceful that he almost dozed off. If this was a dream, could he still fall asleep? Did it really matter?

He heard a dull, emotionless voice, but he couldn’t be sure where it had come from. It seemed to be all around, and yet nowhere.

“Subject damaged … stabilized … sub-optimal.”

SID blinked a few times, but he continued to relax and watch the clouds. The voice spoke again.

“Sub-optimal … frail … recommend full conversion …”

The voice was almost definitely coming from in his head, almost like a radio signal he couldn’t quite pin down. He hoped the voice wasn’t talking about him. Sub-optimal and frail weren’t words typically attributed to him. He was U.S. Army Intelligence. He was INSCOM “Black” Ops. Damn it, he was Delta Green.

“Delta Green … The one called Drake was correct …”

SID instinctively tried to shut off his mind for a moment. The voice heard his thoughts? Was the voice another of his thoughts? Stop thinking, Cramer. Stop thinking just in case.

A second voice spoke inside his head. This one was very similar, yet it was definitely distinct.

“Subject’s thoughts are erratic … chaotic … dangerous … recommend termination …”

Uh oh. He may or may not have actually been on a hilltop watching clouds. Reality and dream were seeming less and less distinct. His work for Delta Gr-- … His work may have pushed him over the edge. He wasn’t sure what “full conversion” was, but he knew damned well that he didn’t want termination. He was helpless, but he secretly rooted for the first voice to win out.

“Erratic … chaotic … dangerous … but valuable …”

“Too dangerous …”

“Controllable … recommend full conversion …”

“Termination …”

“Full conversion …”

There was a pause, and a third voice joined. This was a human-sounding voice, a man’s voice. The voice of God?

“Termination is not an option. The United States Army and Majestic have too Goddamned much riding on him.”

Okay then. So it probably wasn’t God. But it was familiar. General Drake? That was it; Brigadier General Justin Drake. The first two voices spoke in unison, and the general replied.

“Full conversion … with failsafe …”

“That’ll do.”

One of the fluffy white clouds suddenly went dark. A moment later, Agent SID was struck by three precisely timed bolts of lightning, and his body spasmed with each. Everything went dark, and when he awoke, he was in a hospital bed, but he wasn’t in a hospital room.

The walls, ceiling, and floor were concrete, and there were no windows. The room was lit by florescent tubes along the walls and directly overhead. There were several large vats with thick, churning grey slime, and next to his bed was a small cylinder on a wheeled table.

SID sat up, and a young soldier near the door stood from his chair to salute.

“Good morning, Captain. I’ll be outside when you’re ready. Your clothes are over there.”

The soldier gestured to a neatly folded stack of clothing before stepping through the door and closing it behind him.

Agent SID wasn’t sure just what was going on, but he sure felt better than he had in years. He dressed quickly and checked a small mirror on the wall to fix his hair. There was something off about the face he saw looking back at him. It was his, but it seemed somehow … not his. Also, there was the small matter of his neck; no scars from the dog bite, no scars from the razor.

SID washed his face in the sink below the mirror, and something didn’t feel quite right. Looking down at his hands, he realized the problem. No finger prints, no hand prints. They were smooth. This wasn’t his body. It looked like his, and he was definitely in it, but it wasn’t his. Agent SID kept his calm, but then a panicked thought hit him. Like a flash, in his best Michael Jackson or Madonna impression, his hand dropped to his crotch. He breathed a sigh of relief. Everything seemed to be in order.

Agent SID stepped out into the hall, and the guard escorted him through a maze of concrete and steel. After a while, they arrived outside a door, and the soldier knocked. A gruff voice from the other side instructed them to enter.

General Drake stood from behind his desk and looked at SID expectantly. Having been in this situation twice before, and going 50-50 on his response, Agent SID got it right. The general returned the salute and took his seat.

“Captain Gump, I don’t care what you were doing in New Hampshire. I know it was a Delta Green Operation, but it doesn’t concern me.”

SID took a seat and remained silent. There was no point in denying his Delta Green affiliation, but neither was there a point in acknowledging it.

“Captain, what does concern me is something that concerns the whole damned U.S. Army. You were slipping. You damned near wiped out a $20 million experiment with two swipes of a razor, and you did it in public. So what do we do about that, Captain? We throw more money at the experiment. You’ve been in this facility for ten months, and in that time some very big changes have been made. No adamantine skeleton or claws. No red, white, and blue shield. I’m going to be watching you closely, and if I catch you trying to be one of them X-Men, we’re going to have a problem.”

The general’s eyes narrowed, and he leaned forward. SID remained silent and felt himself instinctively leaning back.

“And for God’s sake, Gump, take care of this body. I can promise you it’s the last you’ll ever get. Am I understood?”

SID nodded slowly, but that wasn’t the answer the general wanted.

“Am I understood, Captain?!”

“Sir, you are understood, sir!”

SID wasn’t sure where the hell that came from, but it was the correct response. The general stood and saluted.

“Now get the hell out of my office and off my base.”

Agent SID was all too happy to do so, and he returned home to put his new body to the test.
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Music From A Darkened Room - Agent SETH's Epilogue

The flight home seemed much longer for Agent SETH than it really was. Delta Green work was rarely easy, but when agents aren’t careful, people die. Sometimes people die precisely because agents are careful. He had spent a good portion of his life studying the human mind, and people still surprised him.

Agent ROSE had always been careful. She’d always been smart. She’d always cared about innocents. Just two winters ago in Denver, Agent SETH had given the order to torch the thing in the septic tank, and it was Agent ROSE who had taken him to task over it.

It was a long shot, sure, but ultimately it was possible that the thing in the tank was still a living, breathing human being. He gave the order with that knowledge weighing on him. He knew it was the right thing then, and he never wavered in that belief. Still, Agent ROSE had taken issue with it. More than any order before or since, that one order – those two little words – had caused a rift.

Fast forward two years, and cross the country: It was his turn to be disgusted at her actions. It may have been the only way to succeed, but the price was too steep. The thing in the septic tank had a very outside chance of being human, and its mind was shattered regardless. The pizza delivery driver – both drivers – had most definitely been human and innocent. It wasn’t their place to do what ROSE planned to do, and how she could believe that she was doing the right thing was beyond even his professionally trained comprehension.

No doubt A-cell would applaud her if she was successful. She had been the one to make the decision to lure an innocent kid to his death, but in doing so, all signs pointed to the success of the Operation. A successful Opera was really all A-cell cared about, and they would most likely commend her for securing that victory with only the cost of an innocent life or two, and her soul.

Would A-cell have been willing to do that themselves? ALPHONSE? ADAM? ANDREA? He had to doubt it. It seemed more likely to him that A-cell would have done exactly what they did in fact do. They’d have had someone else do the dirty work.

Okay, fine. He could break laws. He could kill people and creatures that had it coming. He could lead several successful Operas, but only if they were done his way. He couldn’t trust ROSE anymore. RUBY would blindly follow her cell leader. And SID … SID was a liability.

Nothing good could possibly come from having him on a Delta Green Op. Once, he was a good agent and soldier. Unfortunately, the job had taken its toll, and in SETH’s professional opinion, Agent SID should be locked away permanently for his own safety.

As soon as he made it home, SETH sat down and wrote a long email to A-cell. He detailed his concerns and his refusal to work with SID or anyone from R-cell, and then he sat back to await a response.

It was nearly a month later before he received his reply. Agent ADAM understood. RUBY was no longer a concern for anyone in Delta Green. As soon as SID was cleared to return to service, he would be reassigned to R-cell. SETH would receive two new cell members if and when they could be recruited or salvaged from other cells. All contact and cooperation between R-cell and S-cell was to stop, and SETH’s new contact would be Agent QUINN from Q-cell rather than ROSE.

This was all acceptable to Agent SETH.
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Music From A Darkened Room - Agent RUBY's Epilogue

To say RUBY was scared might be an understatement. The only thing that actually scared her was that one of her fellow agents might realize just how terrified she really was. She’d joined Delta Green believing that she’d seen everything the world could throw at her. Her job – her real job – was all about nuclear disaster. What could be worse than that?

An unkillable, invulnerable ball of life-sucking alien color was a start. An evil, razor-wielding house put the nails in the coffin, so to speak. The threat of being vaporized by an explosion or wasting away from radiation sickness were nightmares she could handle. They were man-made nightmares.

She’d only played a role in two Operas, and she’d spent the majority of her time avoiding the things she’d been tasked with handling. If the others noticed, they hadn’t mentioned it, so at least that was something. In fact, even her own cell leader had left town without a word after the curtain fell. Agent SID was too drugged up to pass along any messages.

Agent RUBY had to find out the Opera had ended from a story on the local news. There had been a double murder at the house on Spooner Avenue, and thanks to the help of an unnamed pizza delivery driver who had apparently been one of the intended victims, the police had sketches of the suspects. The sketch of the man sort of resembled Agent SETH, but if it was him, they’d gotten the nose and hair wrong. There was no mistaking the woman in the other sketch. The detail and accuracy were flawless. It looked almost as if Agent ROSE had sat for her portrait.

During a press conference later in the day, a spokesman for the Laconia Police Department said they were still searching for information on the man, but the woman had been identified as a Financial Crimes investigator named Gia Jones. The spokesman did clarify that while he couldn’t give specifics of an ongoing investigation, both Ms. Jones and the unidentified man were only wanted for questioning at that time. Neither the Laconia Police Department nor the FBI were prepared to make any arrests.

That did it for RUBY. She and her fellow agents put their lives and jobs on the line, and even when the Opera ends successfully, there’s a very real possibility for prison time, execution, or worse. She began her Delta Green career excited about the prospect of saving the world. In only seven short months, she’d already begun to question whether the world deserved it.

Delta Green agents should be hailed as heroes, but due to the nature of their trade, they couldn’t claim their due. For all they did, their only reward was death, insanity, or incarceration. Well, not for her. She didn’t care which door led to which prize. She was taking what was in the box. She was claiming her retirement package while she still could. She was out. She was done. She was no longer Agent RUBY. She was once again simply Amelia Larce, mild-mannered Nuclear Emergency Support Team member. Good bye, Mythos horrors; hello, nuclear disaster. Such a relief.


Music From A Darkened Room - Agent ROSE's Epilogue

The flight home to New Mexico was a peaceful one for Agent ROSE. Her actions in New Hampshire weighed less heavily on her than she might have expected. She had taken one innocent life – maybe two depending on your definition – but in doing so, she had saved countless others from the malevolent force of the Spooner Avenue house.

Agent SETH was clearly displeased, but he could get over it or not. “The end justifies the means,” to willfully misinterpret Machiavelli. He could go home and pout all he wanted. She had made the difficult choices. She had taken the risks, and it was she alone who had banished the Dark Man. The Operation was a success, and Delta Green and all of Laconia, New Hampshire had her to thank.

As soon as she was home, ROSE checked her email. There was something from A-Cell, and the message had a video file attachment. The video was a news report of a double murder in Laconia, and then a press conference with the Laconia Police Department and the FBI. She watched the video a couple times before reading the email.

Please see the attachments. No need to explain. Your team was successful but sloppy. Cleanup is always preferable to cover up. The case has been taken over by the FBI and buried under stacks of paperwork. In the future, please don’t tax the group’s resources.

Agent ROSE shrugged and closed her laptop. It was time to relax before getting back to business as usual.

Business as usual lasted close to three months. While exercising at the gym one morning, Agent ROSE decided there had to be a better way to stay in shape. In fact, she knew just who to ask, and she’d call him as soon as she got home.

The Dark Man answered her summons, and he towered over her in her living room.

“Why have you called me, Gia Jones? What do you need of me, and why should I grant it?”

Agent ROSE explained that she would like it very much if he could grant her strength, stamina, and health. In return, he could name his price. His booming reply seemed to resonate throughout her home.

“Very well, Gia Jones. You shall have what you ask on one simple condition: In time, you shall find yourself in the land of Albion on a road between space; in the Sleeping Place. Seek out the library between homes, and retrieve a black, unnamed and handwritten octavo. This book, you will deliver to a bookshop of your choosing in New York City. Place it in the Religion section on any given Monday at precisely 8:36 in the morning. Do not fail in this, Gia Jones!”

And with that, ROSE could feel her muscles tighten and tone. She instantly felt like the picture of health and fitness. She also instantly felt alone as the Dark Man vanished. She knew she had probably set a dangerous precedent, but what did she care? She got what she wanted, and all she had to do was get a book from some library, and take it to a bookstore. Sure, it was cryptic, and probably unnecessarily so, but she wasn’t one to shy away from riddles and puzzles.


Is Gia Jones still under the control of a player? If so, how did you manage to keep the other players from strangling Gia's player?

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