By Mark Edwards
Colour Designation: Grey
Minimum SCL: 9
Training Package Recommended: Any (Investigation & Kick Murder recommended, Media training may be useful but not necessary)
Consolidated Pay: 300c per Operative
Contact: Quest, Cloak Division, The mausoleum, 05551-4277849-666
Coverage: Station Analysis
Summary: Operative(s) needed immediately to investigate the current activities of Third Eye TV show "It's a Wonderful Slice". Possible subversive activities have been recently linked to this show. These activities must be uncovered and eliminated.
GM Background - "It's a Wonderful Slice"
The TV show - "It's a Wonderful Slice" (Tag - Death with a slice of Humour) has been popular in the homes of Mort's citizens since its first showing two years ago. The show revolves around "Caitlin Brice" a SLA executive with the interesting hobby of serial killing. The show never takes itself seriously and if full of amusing (some times painfully) one-liners, odd situations and some slapstick comedy. (It best envisioned as a show like "Bewitched" or "I Dream of Genie" - slightly dated, sometimes annoying but childishly amusing at times). The show follows Caitlin as a serious businesswoman during the day - working hard at the office, shopping, having drinks with friends and then as "Medusa" at night, a image conscious killer who is more interested in how she looks in her dark coloured (usually black) cat-suit and mask. The character Caitlin is plagued with the idea that she doesn't look good (too fat, breast too small, wrong hair colour, wrong nose, eyes that don't twinkle enough or twinkle too much, and on..... In fact nothing is right in her eyes even though she is a very beautiful woman (played by the noted ex-New Paris Human model, Clarice (Clareece)). It is up to Medusa to make things right. At night she hunts through Uptown and kills any woman that looks better than she is (in her mind this can be human woman that looks at her - "what, doesn't this shade of lip gloss go, and you standing there with your something sparkle and perfect nails"). Medusa always puts her victims through her "pretty test", comparing herself with her victim, asking for fashion tips and opinions before accusing the victim of saying something nasty (What are you saying, I look fat") and killing them with her patented - Miss M's ladies straight razor ("Hair today, gone tomorrow - Miss M's lady blade"). Medusa then cuts off an offending bit of the victim (that nose is just too pretty) and always finishes by telling the corpse "everyone should sacrifice something for fashion". This BPN begins as Third Eye is filming the next series of the show - Caitlin has just started dating dishy Operative Jack "Danger-Man" Bennett - what will happen when Jack gets the White BPN to track down Medusa, is Patsy really the mild mannered coffee girl or the escaped lunatic Brain Waster - Chaos wearing heavy make up and will Mr Harris, Caitlin's boss ever date Ms Wadley, the middle aged typist from floor 4 or will they just snatch glimpses and smiles over the photocopier forever.
This BPN takes place within the confines of Uptown and Central. All of the day shoots are in Central with night shoots being in "upper" Uptown.
GM Notes & Storyline synopsis
The basic plot line for this BPN is the investigation into the TV show and all involved. There is a list of the major NPCs below, feel free to add, take away or change it as you want to make it fit into your own WoP or character story arc. The TV show is indeed being used by DarkNight, but not for broadcasts but for a hideous experiment. DarkNight have developed a new drug called "Dark Angel". Dark Angel is a highly addictive pleasure drug. It bolsters the users body, making them stronger, faster and less tired. It has the ability to confuse the pleasure/pain centres of the brain making everything more intense and. These are just the aspects of the drug that DarkNight are going to advertised, but it has a more frightening side.
Dark Angel was primarily designed to turn "normal" people into killers. The psychotropic aspects of the drug fracture a users mind and though horrific and terrifying hallucinations create a completely separate personality (causing the user to have multiple personalities). This secret self feeds on the users own angers, hates, pain and unhappiness and when told strikes out at the world. The drug in essence creates killers like those on UV - no fear, no pain, only rage and death. During the killer creation stage the user becomes highly suggestible to the spoken word and pictures. These are combined to become a trigger that will suppress the primary personality and allows the "dark angel" to emerge. The person then becomes a predator; hunting anything its twisted mind believes needs to be removed from nature - instant serial killer. The dark angel will only emerge for a short time (lab tests show up to 6 hours) and although will have full access to the primary personalities memories it will suppress any memories of its or it "life" from the primary personality.
In this story Dr Melvin Orpheus, the resident physician, is using Clarice as a "live" experiment for the drug. The good doctor is helped by his DarkNight colleague and minder - Brandon (Clarice's personal bodyguard). Brandon has "seeded" the show with DN converts (Morgan and Dion). The experiment has gone well so far and Clarice is now ready to be triggered. Unfortunately Morgan has been attempting to feed DarkNight transmissions into the programmes feed. His plan is to integrate DN propaganda into the show without the need to externally break the feed from Third Eye. His first tries with episodes in the previous series seem to have worked well but has made Cloak Division suspicious of the programme.
Cast and Crew - including GM notes
- Clarice - Star (Clareece) (SCL 8B) - Actress/model who plays Caitlin Brice/Medusa - acts like a spoilt child when not in the presence of Terrance but is a cute, lovable daughter type when he's around (the term butter wouldn't melt...is an apt description) [unknowing victim of Dark Angel]
- Brandon Prester - bodyguard (SCL 9A) - Ex-Operative that handles security for Clarice and show - Gruff and manly (nothing is beyond his talents, according to him), can be suspicious of new comers and defensive if questioned. Apparently very protective of Clarice but seems to keep watchful eye on the Doctor likes, to use his custom made Blitzer and MAC knife.[DarkNight interceptor sent to protect the Doctor and to help with the experiment. A DN zealot will die for the cause without question, sacrificing himself and those under his command for his leaders]
- Doctor Melvin Orpheus - physician (SCL 9) - Downtown doctor who failed Operative training in his younger years, but managed to get the job on the show after buying his way back into Uptown - always busy reading from one journal or another, smiles with the mouth but never with the eyes. Evades any questions and quickly moved conversations onto mundane subjects like the weather! [DarkNight scientist, one of the original developers of Dark Angel, currently running field tests of the drug on Clarice. Completely loyal to DN - semi-fanatical but will save his skin at the expense of others]
- Terrance Dudley - Director (SCL 8) - Directs the show and anything else around him. This show took him from short films and new broadcasts and threw him into the bright lights of fame - good mannered and very fatherly (or would be motherly - mother hen like). Constantly organising, reorganising and trying to improve his surroundings [simply the director of the show, he has no suspicions]
- Morgan Farrell - Technician (SCL 10A) - Keeps all the lighting, microphones, camera and sound equipment in working order. Checks and edits the show after filming using a portable computer film studio. Always overstressed and will mention it constantly if asked, doesn't about the show, only knows his "toys", tries not to mingle with the others but flinches every time Brandon shouts [DarkNight convert used by Brandon. Unknown to the others he has been trying to integrate DN propaganda into the show, which has alerted Cloak of a problem. Morgan is a full DN convert and believes what he is doing is right and for the best, he may not like what the doctor is up to]
- Harry Jonas - Technician (SCL 10) - Keeps all the lighting, microphones, camera and sound equipment in working order. Occasionally helps Morgan with the editing but prefers to tinker with the equipment - a pleasant man that like to socialise but finds the other cast and crew a bit off putting, a simple man with ideas of one day inventing or researching new technology for SLA [simply a technician - has no knowledge of what the doctor or Morgan has done]
- Dion Sinclair - Camera Operator (Dee'on Sinclair) (SCL 9) - A spirited artiste with enough energy to run the length of Mort. She is constantly trying to improve her work, either changing angles or working with different filters or techniques - she has no time for anyone or any questions only for her work [DarkNight convert used by Brandon. She doesn't know that the doctors involved but suspects that he too works for DN as he seems to be able to tell Brandon what to do. She knows that Morgan has tampered with the film (she helped) but thinks that's their primary mission from DN. She is only working for DN to express her talents, if she could she would leave but Brandon makes that hard]
- Sena - Media Operative that handles the shows PR (Seenar) (SCL 8) - Sena lives for fame and fortune. She left Meny with honours and began to immediately to work for Third Eye. After donning armour and "toughing it out" with other Ops in the field, she found that it was a different beast that she loved to stalk - respect and ratings. She is a consummate spin-doctor and it widely said that she could successful defend a murder found with the knife in hand, standing over the body and quoted as saying "I'm glad I killed the bastard". She always has time, comments, smiles for all [Sena is DarkNight interceptor that is unknown to the others, she is secretly watching their progress, if they screw up she will not hesitate to turn them into SLA and have them all killed. She is not pleased that Morgan has been tampering with the film and knows immediately why the PCs are there. She is ready to drop clues pointing to Morgan and have him killed quickly. Unfortunately she has not anticipated the ferocity of Medusa and panics at the blatant murders that point straight back to the show. She tries to extract the Doctor and kill Clarice but fails and reveals the true nature of the show to everyone]
Plot Time line
Please play though the story as you see fit - the main events and their locations are below.
This is the meeting with Quest and Albion Ave - you the scenes as you like (notes below)
Play this as you like. All Cast and crew are currently staying at the "Paradise" 5 stars Hotel in Central. The PCs will be given rooms (1 each). Being Security they will be needed to patrol the lobby and the two floors reserved for any one with the crew.
Second day of shooting in Central. This is a café scene with Caitlin meeting "Danger-man" - It is in this scene he tells her of his big BPN to catch and kill the Medusa. Security will be needed around the café (Café mocha). Also as extras in the scene.
Back at the hotel the crew get ready for the move to Uptown. Morgan is in the editing APC most of the night with the film shot so far. The PCs will have an invite to Sena's room. She will inform the PCs of her suspicions of Morgan (she thinks he is selling copies of the show on the Black Market). If the PCs search is rather messy room they will find a roll of 5000 Uni and a Data Slug. The slug is encrypted. It can be decoded but it will take until Day 4 to decode. The PCs can decode it using computer hacking and the right tools or have Harry do it (he will want to know why). They may even manage to get it to Cloak to decode but this will not go down well with Cloak - too unprofessional. Morgan will deny the money and slug is his if confronted - The PCs have no proof at this time - the slug and money have no prints
Moving to Uptown Sector 438. The PCs are required to ride shotgun with the APCs and a Romulus Car carrying Brandon, Clarice and Terrance. You can have them mobbed by adoring fans or left alone - its up to you. They will arrive at the "Billinger" 4 stars Hotel, where they will stay for the Uptown shoots.
First Night shoot. The PCs are to secure the set, which is a street in Uptown Sector 438 (Barnaby Rd). Have them swamped by fans and media. They are introduced to Candy Walker a young human woman who is the victim in tonight's scene. She is a native born Model/Actress. In the scene Medusa ties the young woman up with black cord and covers her eyes, mouth and ears with black electrical tape. After cutting the woman's throat, she will remove her nose ("too pretty, pretty for your pouting lips"). After the shoot everyone will return to the Hotel.
If the PCs are snooping around at night they may see a dark figure leaving the Hotel and quickly disappear (this is Medusa off to kill Candy). They will be unable to stop the figure that will escape any attempts of capture.
Shiver arrive early in the morning. The man in charge - lieutenant Berne will interview everyone - asking what they are doing with show and what they were doing the night before. The PCs will be informed that a young woman was found murdered not far from the Hotel on Barnaby Rd. A picture will show that it is Candy Walker. She has been murdered in the exact way that her character is killed on the show. After the Shiver have gone; Brandon will tell the PCs to make sure nobody disturbs the crew - Clarice is not well and wants no problems. About 5 minutes after the Shiver leave, media crews will start to arrive. It's up to the PCs to turn them away.
About 14:00 the slug is decoded
The Data Slug holds a small report by a young woman sitting in front of a DarkNight logo. She speaks of the unspeakable horrors perpetrated by SLA. The scene will shift to a small group of SLA Operatives storming a run down apartment block. The Camera operator follows the SLOPs as they kick down doors and shoot anyone inside. The film is only on about 30 seconds but ends with the gleeful face of an Operative as his shoots a dirt covered 6 year old girl in the face with his Blitzer and turns to the camera, speaking and moving on. The words have been deliberately blanked out but a lip reading roll (standard) will reveal that the Op was saying - "Let's Go Dion, gotta get some"
If they go looking for Morgan they will find that he has gone. Dion will run to Brandon if the PCs question her. She will deny that the film is hers. The PCs can check Dion's past and will receive an answer after the shoot on Night 4.
This is just like Night 3 - the victim this night is the model Debbie McGee, a young Frother. This time Medusa wants her eyes. Clarice being ill and the disappearance of Morgan cuts this night's shoot short. If the PCs ask for information about Dion they will get clarification that she did indeed take the footage of the squad "Devils Desperados" who she worked with on a number of SLA sanctioned BPNs
If asked again, Dion will admit to taking the SLA footage and giving it to Morgan. She states she didn't know why he wanted it but is shocked at how he is twisting the truth. An hour later Dion will turn up dead in her room - she has been stabbed and all her footage has been taken. Brandon will state that he saw Morgan earlier on in the evening, nut he fled when he was confronted. Brandon will instruct the PCs to find Morgan and bring him back. He thinks that he used to go to a bar in Uptown Sector 322 - "The Peeping Parrot", he will inform SLA.
It will be easy to find Morgan - He sits nursing a large drink in the empty bar. When confronted he freely admits to using the footage for DN to over turn the corrupt oppressor SLA but is visibly shocked at the news of Dion's murder. He will deny killing her and says that they had both worked together as a part of a DN team for a while and he cared deeply for her. He states his life depressing for him to fight for it and will freely go with the PCs to SLA. Before the PCs can leave or shoot Morgan (provided they have the right extermination warrant to hand), the door will be kicked in by Brandon and two Shiver (DN in disguise). Brandon will put two Blitzer rounds into the startled Morgan before he can say a word and through an extermination warrant (a very good fake) on the dead body. If asked he will explain that he was immediately authorised to terminate Morgan by Cloak and the two shiver will take care of the body - its time to get back to Hotel.
Meanwhile back at the Hotel, the next murder has taken place. Clarice was sent by the Doctor to visit Debbie and while she was there the trigger was sent in a break though DN broadcast. Medusa emerged and killed the girl and left to return to her room. Unfortunately it is at this time that Sena has decided to abduct he Doctor. Medusa walks in on Sena subduing the doctor and immediately attacks. The PCs arrive with Brandon just as the Hotel staff is fleeing the area.
Run this scene, as you want using the notes below.
- The staff doesn't know what's going on but they have heard gun fire.
- Brandon will want the PCs to investigate while he checks on Clarice - he suggests they search the 1st floor then meet him on the 2nd.
- Medusa is now in control of the 2nd floor. She has locked the Doctor, Harry and Terrance in her room and dragged a badly injured Sena to the Doctors for more medicine.
- The body of Debbie is still in her room on the 1st floor. She has been killed just like Candy but this time her eyes have been removed. In her hand is an empty drug vial. The rooms TV is on showing an uninteresting shopping show (and there are two empty glassed, both with lipstick on them.
- Once on the 2nd floor Brandon will free the Doctor but keep the others locked up for disposal later on. The Doctor will brief him and they will go to get Medusa. The Doctor will "turn off" Medusa while Brandon prepare to shoot the injured Wraith. AT THIS TIME THE PCS SHOULD ARRIVE ON THE SCENE. (SEE MEDUSA'S PARTY TIME)
Note 1 - Cloak Division
If the PCs ring the number for Quest they will be politely informed that they must make an appointment to see him in person. They will be instructed to come to the Cloak building that is mentioned on the BPN.
The mausoleum is a huge black stone building in Central. Two huge statues of armoured men stranding to attention and resting their hands on the pommel of the sword that points down between their legs flank the Main doors. Although they face front anyone walking past them has the distinct feeling that the guardians are in fact watching them. The doorframe is covered with glowing Ebb Glyphs that constantly scan for any active ebb abilities and count the people that come into and out of the building. Just inside the door stand two Cloak security guards. Dressed in black Powercell armour with a stylised SLA logo embossed in crimson on there right breast, they casually hold FEN "Sure-kill" 17mm rifles and again seem to see all that enter the building. A reception made of black marble surrounds 4 very helpful, young and good-looking Cloak employees that will direct the PCs to Quests office.
Quest's office is set in a corridor of other identical doors, only the names distinguish between the rooms contents. Quest's personal aid - Marcus Davis, a young black human in an expensive suit and SCL of 5b badge will greet the PCs friendly as if he has known them all their lives but hasn't seen them for a while. The will be directed to Quest without any delay. Quest sits behind a table of dark wood covered with folders, files, papers and trays. His office has no window but is instead covered from wall to wall with video boards that constantly flicker and change to various scenes through out Mort central and Uptown. If any PCs seems to dwell on the screens Quest will politely but sternly ask them what they find so interesting that it has to interrupt their meeting.
Quest himself looks very young but has a gaze that seems to cut through armour, flesh and bone into the very hearts and minds of the PCs. His grey eyes seem to hold more that his own sight, but give the impression that SLA itself looks through the man and out into the world. He has a quick and friendly smile, much like his assistant but is not overly friendly, more business like. A SCL badge showing a clearance of 3a is worn with pride on his light grey pin striped double-breasted suit. He will begin the meeting something like this -
"Welcome, please be seated, would you like any refreshments, coffee, tea?
Well down to the task at hand. I would like for you to infiltrate and investigate a Third Eye TV programme - "It's a Wonderful Slice". They are currently shooting their next series in Uptown and Central, Marcus will give you their current location. You shouldn't have any problems getting on set, as they are always needing more security, especially since they have been plagued by a recent rash of copy cat murders that seem to follow them around
Now for some time we have monitored the show, as it has a high number of DarkNight breakthroughs. When these have been analysed we have found no external leads or trails. This leads me to two conclusions; either the hacking is so good that it leaves no trail at all, which I think you will agree it highly unlikely or that the programme is being tainted at the source. It is the latter that you will be investigating. Find out if there is a DarkNight Infiltrator within the main cast or crew, determine their objectives and terminate their activities. Extermination warrants are available; all I need is the name or names.
On the way out Marcus will provide the PCs with the current location of the show - Central sector 173, Albion Avenue.
Note 2 - Albion Avenue
Albion Avenue is a shopper's paradise. It is lined with fashion stores, entrances to shopping malls, coffee bars and cafes.
"It's a Wonderful Slice" is currently shooting a shopping scene in which Caitlin browses the fashion displays talking to herself about the merits and flaws of "Gravois's" new Dante camo line of clothing and footwear. A large crowd has gathered, pushing each other to be the next to walk past Caitlin or for her to stop and ask for opinions. Security is handled by Brandon who seems to be having trouble and has had to use a passing Shiver patrol of 4 men to hold the crowd back. The Shiver green is visibly swamped by the umbrellas and suits of the crowd, there is a slight tension in the air and Brandon feels that a possible riot is close and is contemplating calling for Shiver back up. Terrance is directing any and everyone within his field of vision, extras, Clarice and passer-bys all fall under his all-encompassing command. The two technicians fly around the set changing lighting and microphones. Dion continually searches for the best angle or shooting point. PR as normal is handled by Sena. The Wraith practically purrs to a small group of Third Eye reporters that hang on her every word. Three large Third Eye APCs stand idle near the shoot - the title and tag line of the show sprayed on the side of each one.
Note 3 - Medusa's party time
The Doctors room is a shambles. A cabinet has been over turned and small drug vials litter the floor (General Detect 3 will show they are the same on the body of Debbie). Clarice is sobbing in a huddle beside the Doctor and Brandon is beside a crumpled Sena.
The PCs should turn up just as it seems that the Doctor is tending to Clarice and Brandon is standing over a very bloodied Sena, his gun at her head. Sena will see the PCs arrive before the others and will scream that Clarice is being used by the Doctor and Brandon to kill people. Brandon will kick her and turn to smile at the PCs. He will glance once at the Doctor and calming tell the PCs that "obviously Sena is the killer and he has just stopped her from murdering Clarice. They should all just wait for the Shiver to turn up"
It now up to the PCs to decide with the following notes to help.
- Evaluate Opponent will show that Brandon is preparing for a fight.
- Both Sena and Clarice are covered in blood. Where Sena look visibly injured and in pain, Clarice is only sobbing.
- Wraith Raiders don't were lipstick - not good for the fur.
- A standard detect roll will show that the Doctor is carrying a small TV display unit - Why?>
- A detect roll of 20 or more will show that Clarice is holding a bloodied "Ladies Blade" in her hand. This difficult to see as she is huddled side the Doctor.
This scene is split into two outcomes.
If the PCs are quick or already suspect the Doctor and Brandon they can attack first and may stop the Doctor from triggering Medusa by shooting or distracting him and will only need to deal with Brandon.
If the PCs go along with Brandon or pause too long he will open fire and drop behind the body of Sena as cover. The Doctor will trigger Medusa and fall back behind the room's bed. Medusa will attack the nearest PC in a fit of rage.
Run the attack as standard. - If you have the Karma book use the details below for stats, otherwise make them up as you see fit.
Use serial killer stats for Medusa, but increase Strength & Dexterity by 3 points. Medusa also gets 2 extra actions and can ignore all Cool and Phys checks. Her blade uses the same stats as a MAC knife when wielded by her.
Hopefully the PCs will only subdue her so she can be studied (she can hardly be a threat to them in their armour).
The Doctor will use DN Convert stats but will not put up much of a fight (he does have a DN pistol (DN74) and a DN bodysuit (PV 6)). He will try to escape if he gets a chance (through the door or even out the window)
Use DN Infiltrator stats for Brandon but increase the Strength, Dexterity by 3 (Karma nuke & shock tendon implants) and increase pistol & blade 1H by 2 points each. Brandon wears Powercell armour (no helmet unless you want him to (he has just came from outside)) and carries a custom made BLA046 (+ 2 to hit & clip of 8), he uses HEAP rounds in the first clip and has 4 other clips (HEAP x1 HEAP x2 STD x1). He also carries a MAC knife. Brandon doesn't normally use drugs but can if you want him to - probably Blaze UV & Kick Start Solo.
Shiver units quickly arrive on the scene and the PCs find the other crewmembers have been locked in Clarice's room If they search the rooms of the DN agents they will find proof of their propaganda dealings (left by Sena) but only empty vials in the Doctors room. In Clarice's room they find a small display unit that is continually playing a news report with the same DN reporter they saw before. This time the quality isn't very good, as the screen seems to intermittently pulse with an orange glow (the trigger). It is being played from a Data Slug and is the same on the Doctors portable display
The PCs will be sent for by Quest who will want a full debrief. He will inform them that Clarice seemed to have been using an unknown drug; possibly supplied by the DN agents and the same agents seemed to be trying to influence the programme material to show DN Propaganda.
They will be rewarded and sent away - if Clarice is saved and they ask about her they are point blankly told it not their concern and to let the matter drop.