WHITE - Day of the DAC

by Simon Naylor

Mr Daniels from the Inch From Eden BPN returns to the squad after their (presumed) success previously with more cleanup work for Karma.


The huge corporate machine that is Karma is vulnerable to bureaucracy based mistakes, but is also very adept at covering them up. One such mistake has led to a shipment of Shatter destined for the R&D labs (since the drug has been found to contain some form of mutagen to create its effects) accidentally being sent to a DAC Chow factory in Lower Downtown. The wretched, overworked and underpaid staff dutifully add the container to the mix, leading to a batch of food which causes DACs that consume it to go on a haywire killing spree. Lucky it wasn’t Stormer Spam, although not for the factory workers who keep their Low-Waves running on the DAC meat.


Mr Daniels has had a tip-off that there have been dozens of reports coming in from Suburbia of DACs killing their owners. The incidents have started suddenly over the last 8 hours or so, and Daniels is frantically trying to limit the PR damage to Karma. His hands are full keeping the Shivers quiet, so he hires a few trustworthy squads for some damage limitation. The players, after their (hopefully good) performance in An Inch From Eden, are highly thought of, so while the other squads on the BPN are racing Shivers to scenes and intimidating curious reporters, the players’ squad are tasked to try to find the cause. Daniels supplies a list of incidents reported so far – 46 at the start of the BPN. The characters will need to start by investigating a few of the more useful ones.

Scenes of the Crime

It doesn’t much matter how the players decide to choose their scenes to visit – closest, most recent, most interesting, or whatever they like. The ones they choose will be the ones with the interesting clues.

Scene 1

An Uptown apartment in an expensive building, owned by a low ranking executive. The body of the owner is crumpled in the corner of the lounge. There are signs of a long struggle, blood spatters and smears all over the room and furniture tipped and broken. The victim has dozens of bite and slash wounds. The Shivers at the scene report that a squad of Operatives on an unrelated BPN broke in when they heard screaming and found a moderately sized DAC trying to eat the head of the executive. The squad’s gunner shot it with a Hotline round to try to capture it, but it fried the thing. A detect roll will reveal a freshly opened box of DAC Chow on the counter, several discarded packages from DAC doggie-clothes in the rubbish, and the unread instructions for the pet in a kitchen drawer.

Scene 2

The Shivers responded to this scene, finding the victim slouched on the sofa with bite wounds to the face and neck. By the look of the corpse, not to mention the amount of Flip scattered about, the victim barely reacted until it was too late. The DAC, a small and yappy variety, was shot by the Shivers when they entered after it attacked them. Its bruised and broken body is lying in a corner amid a pile of Browbeater rounds. The rest of the room also seems to have taken significant BB damage too, it looks like the Shivers hosed everything to be on the safe side. Ops searching with a passive Detect of 5 will find a torn open DAC food packet in a floor-level cupboard. It looks like the little fella had a mini-feast from the amount of wrappers in there. There’s also a bin full of Flip butts and empty mini-syringes of PI in the kitchen.

Scene 3

The unfortunate corporate victim was in bed asleep when his DAC decided to chew out both his eyes. It then proceeded to bite off his nose before trashing the apartment. A neighbour called building security on hearing the ruckus, and the guard got a bitten shin for his efforts. In retaliation he beat the DAC to death with his pacifier baton. The guard says the thing was rabid with frenzy and rage. This DAC has its own little room, complete with TV and music system. A straight detect roll will reveal a wall-mounted timed food dispenser filled with packets of the same type of DAC Chow as the other scenes.

The Ops should by now have made the connection that the food is to blame. It’s not a great feat of thinking since it’s pretty much the only thing the attacks have in common. Feel free to add more similar scenes until they do make the connection, there’s plenty of victims and more happening all the time. Contacting Daniels will reveal that his own investigations have led him to the same conclusion. He’s trying to track down the batch so that he can recall them and put a stop to the killings, but he’ll get other squads to do the donkey work. He wants the Ops to get to the source once he finds it, but in the meantime he has a more menial distraction.

Rapid Reaction

Daniels will task the squad to get to a nearby mall to investigate a Karma outlet. A reporter has been getting increasingly vocal, not to mention unnervingly close to coming to the right conclusion. Normally Daniels wouldn’t bother the squad with this sort of thing, but since they have nothing better to do while he tracks the batch he’ll give them a taste of what the other squads are up to. Of course savvy characters may point out that this isn’t part of the BPN they signed up for, and they’d be right. He won’t make them do it if they point this out, but will offer them a 50c/Op bonus if it looks like they won’t do it for free.

When (or if) they reach the outlet they find it closed, which is unusual in Mort. The Manta Security guards have closed off the shop and already there’s a crowd of curious onlookers around the entrance. Inside all appears to be quiet. Upon arriving one of the guards will strut over. He’s wearing non-standard body armour with all manner of tactical attachments, pouches and pockets, and is sporting a large handgun with as many attachments as can be fitted to it. Characters with 3+ points in Weapons maintenance will spot that the handgun is in actual fact a CAF 5mm piece that has been modified and upgraded with laser painter, tactical flashlight and silencer. The guard hefts his mighty peashooter upright and addresses the squad;

“Ahh, glad you’re here guys, thanks for coming. Looks like we’ve had some of the biogenetics go rogue in there. One came out clawing and biting at the customers. Luckily I was nearby and I terminated it before it could cause any injuries.”

With that he holsters his weapon and looks smug. None of the guards know anything more than that, but none of the staff were on the shop floor when it was evacuated and if asked a couple of the customers will say they heard some screaming from the staff area.

Inside the shop the Ops will quickly find the dead DAC, lying amongst a display of little doggy hats. It’s full of bulletholes, probably about eight to the torso and another to the head. There’s not a great deal of it left. There are a few more live DACs and DAFs around in glass cases which start begging and making cute noises if the Ops approach them. They don’t appear to be in a murderous rage. At the rear of the shop is a set of staff doors with a code lock. The lock is only a strength 1 electronic, and a straight electronic locks roll will pop it open. Alternatively anyone with strength 6+ can just kick it open. Through the doors there is a short, wide corridor with double doors at the other end and single doors either side. The single doors lead to an office and a staff room, both empty, and the double doors lead to the store room. Again, the store room doors are code locked, but conveniently someone has written the code above it in marker pen.

The store room is quite large, with racks of shelves stretching along its length and a large freezer-like room at the end. The shelves contain huge amounts of Karma products, mainly DAC/DAF stuff but also some drugs and clothing. Among the shelves there’s carnage. Dozens of DACs litter the ground in various states of dismemberment. Blood is spattered everywhere, and gory drag marks lead to the freezer room, its door slightly ajar and covered in tiny bloody pawprints. The freezer room is actually held at above freezing temperature, and contains a couple of dozen small cryogenic cylinders for storing biogenetics. In this case they’re all empty, the fluid from them mingling with the gore from yet more DAC corpses as well as three dead humans. Should the Ops examine the scene they probably won’t be surprised by now to find an empty box of DAC Chow among the corpses in the freezer, the wrappers of its contents littered among the carnage. From the looks of the damage it would appear there was a DAC Battle Royale in here, and the unfortunate store staff were not among the winners. When the Ops report back to Daniels he will ask them to hang fire and keep the reporters out until the Shivers arrive.

The Reporter

The reporters don’t want to stay out of the Karma outlet, and the Ops will have to get a little heavy handed to keep them out. The mall security who should be doing it are more interested in getting on TV, although a little bullying will get them on side. Once the Shivers arrive the squad will presumably contact Daniels again. It seems one of the reporters has been particularly troublesome, and Daniels wants the squad to lean on him a little. Marty Morris is an up and coming young field reporter, and along with his slightly overweight, moustachioed cameraman, Jack Parow, has been making a nuisance of himself. Most reporters know better than to push a big subsidiary like Karma too hard, especially if the result is detrimental to SLA as a whole. But not Marty. His angle is to be a man of the people, but his attitude is a little too sleazy for Downtowners. In fact his main fans are bored housewives.

Marty isn’t far, taking a break after a hard morning’s harassing Shivers and Ops by grabbing a sushi in the food court. Jack, is sat with him wolfing down a greasy chilli burger. He has little interest in the Ops as they will have made it pretty clear to him and his like that they are in no way interested in giving an interview. He treats them with over exaggerated boredom. Convincing Marty to stay clear is a matter for the players to roleplay, but he is going to be more receptive to threats than persuasion. An intimidate roll at -3 will prompt him into agreeing to drop it, as will a persuade roll at -5. However, unless the roll is made at -4 or -6 respectively he will change his mind shortly afterwards and discreetly track the squad’s progress.

The Source

Once the squad have finished with cleanup and reporter duty, Daniels will have had time to track the bad batch of DAC Chow to a factory in Downtown. The boffins, as he calls them, are still undecided as to what ingredient is causing this, but the leading theory is that somehow a combat drug has got into the food. The implications of this extending to Stormer Spam don’t bear thinking about, and Daniels avoids that particular subject unless prompted. They can’t rule it out though. The factory is semi-manned and on the edge of the transition between upper and lower Downtown. There’s not much in the way of remote diagnostics to it, but from what his engineers have told him Daniels thinks it’s still running. An armoured van was down there last four days ago to drop ingredients and pick up produce, and nothing strange was reported. There hasn’t been a daily production report sent in for a few days, but the terminals down there don’t have reliable comms so that’s not unusual. Since this place is looking like a likely culprit though, Daniels tasks the squad to investigate.


The factory, buried as it is in the belly of Upper Downtown and not far from the edge of Cannibal Sector 5, may take the squad a while to get to. Occupying three levels below ground, 8 to 10, the area around it is dark, damp, and decrepit. Fortunately for most residents of Mort not many people live down here, it’s mostly old factories (some functioning, others abandoned as beyond economical repair). Unfortunately for the workers in the mostly automatic factories, they do live down here. The local population are a pale, malnourished and skitterish lot. Hardly surprising considering the conditions they live in and the threat of horrible nasties coming under the CS5 wall. Should some locals be cornered and pressed a couple might have known some of the workers from the factory and have noticed them not being around lately. However, that’s not unusual – people take any chance they get to leave the area for better living, and occasionally they fall foul of the pigs and carriens who sometimes seep through.

There are two entrances to the factory. On the upper level there is a large cargo door, a snug fit for the back of an armoured box-back, allowing goods to be loaded in and out. This leads only to a large cargo elevator that leads from the top of the facility to the bottom two levels below, opening out onto the factory floor where the crates of DAC Chow are held for transport. The other entrance is on the floor below, an armoured pedestrian entrance with a keypad and camera to allow entry. This leads into a locker room which makes half an attempt to be sterile and contains a mix of ragged and worn clothes and cheap disposable plastic boiler suits. Further in is an airlock of sorts made from strips of plastic sheeting hanging from two door frames, and then a short corridor with a narrow box staircase at the end. Off this corridor are two rooms. One is a fairly large office with dirty and worn furniture, filing cabinets and an ancient and couple of tobacco stained computer terminals. One terminal has a dial up connection to Karma in Central and is used by the foremen to submit the production reports. Hacking it reveals nothing unusual (as far as an Op with no idea of the production process can see) apart from the reports not being created for a few days. The other terminal is simply used as a monitor for the camera on the door.

Up the stairs, the next floor is a warehouse. Most of it is given over to the vacuum sealed crates of raw biogenetic ‘meat’ which form the basis of the food. At the back are three rooms, one with racks of machine parts and a few basic tools, one with shelves of various chemicals used as ingredients, and the third as a receipt and dispatch office. The latter two rooms are significant. In the chemical store there is a trolley into which empty packaging is tossed after the chemicals are unpacked for use. Digging around it will reveal the numbers of several batches of various additives sent from Karma. A detect roll while searching through will show that one has the wrong address on it, and is instead intended for a research lab elsewhere in the city. It doesn’t say what the contents were. The R&D office has a terminal used for tracking the incoming and outgoing goods, and using the batch number from the affected food in conjunction with the receipt number of the mis-labelled package will reveal a link. Two dozen canisters of what was supposed to be a preservative had the correct package been used.
The top floor is occupied by the control and monitoring equipment for the production lines. Ancient equipment boxes and panels line the walls, meaning little to the Ops. Nothing is making warning noises or flashing red though. One wall of this room is made from grimy Perspex and overlooks the production lines. A door leads through it to a zig-zagging set of metal grille stairs which descend again to the bottom of the lowest floor where the production line sits. The production facility occupies half of the building and spans all three levels. It snakes around itself to create a maze of conveyor belts, pipes, and machinery, extending upwards to include narrow walkways with no railings which also thread through the machinery.

The Workers

All the workers in the facility are on the factory floor. Unfortunately for the human workers, the feed the four Low Waves there the food they produce. The effects were spectacular, and the Doglies, as the workers call them, quickly tore the floor staff apart. When the supervisors went down to investigate the fact they hadn’t seen any of the workers for a while, expecting to find them playing cards, they met a similar fate. Each of the Low Waves has a large DNA tattoo of a number, 1 to 4, on their back and chest. Number 4 is hanging around the bottom of the metal stars from the control room, gnawing on the remains of the supervisors, 2 and 3 are both piling up a gruesome mixture of DAC Chow and squashed workers in the clear area at the end of the production line, and 1 is wandering around ready to stumble upon stray Operatives. The Shatter-crazed Low-Waves are a terrifying example of brute force and rage, but fortunately for the Ops aren’t proficient at directing their violence.

Shatter-crazed Low-Wave
Shatter works much the same way as Ultra-Violence does on the Low Waves, making them faster and tougher, and also putting them on a kill-frenzy. The Low-Waves take half damage and do not take PHYS or COOL rolls (not that they have the intelligence to be scared). They have gone from mindless load lifters to mindless killers.

Hits: 47
Phases: 1, 3, 5
Skills: None (-3 to hit)
Equipment: Huge club

Huge Club
Each of the Low-Waves has torn a piece of machinery out to use as an improvised club. The huge pieces of metal will knock any character they hit back and, unless they can make a DEX check, off their feet. Fortunately for the Ops they aren’t likely to make contact.
20 DAM (including damage bonus), 0 PEN, 6 AD

The Cover Up

Once the crazy Doglies have been dispatched the Ops will have time to investigate the plant. The production line is still running, and boxes of DAC Chow are piling up. The Low-Waves have been following a rage-warped pattern of programming, mashing the boxes into a pile along with the mangled corpses of the workers, then eating the results. Examination of the production line will reveal a few hoppers of chemical additives which are filled occasionally by the staff using partly empty nearby containers. Checking these containers will reveal that one is labelled as “RESEARCH USE ONLY – SHATTER”. Alas, the Lower Downtowners who work here can’t read (and probably wouldn’t have checked even if they could), so the Shatter went into the production line.

When Daniels learns of this (although he already pretty much knew what had happened) he will raise his concerns to the squad. The publicity for Karma would be bad if this were to get out, and he will stress that bad publicity for Karma is bad publicity for SLA. So he challenges the squad to use whatever local resources they have to come up with a cover story. This is a chance for the players to exercise their creativity, and the GM should reward that creativity with success or failure accordingly. The worst case scenario is that the cover-up is completely implausible or insultingly bad. In this case Daniels will pay up for the BPN, as the Ops have investigated as required, but will withhold any further bonus. The squad will also suffer a -1 reputation penalty with Karma (and possibly Public Image if they really balls things up). Similarly, a sparkling performance can raise both reputations by one.

There are several potential leads in the area. Asking around a little will reveal that there is a small but well known DarkNight operation in the area, selling black market equipment (although not Shatter). This could be manipulated into being blamed for the contamination. It is also fairly well known that none of the workers were particularly happy with their working environment (although compared to being unemployed in Lower Downtown they were very well off, but nobody’s ever happy). It wouldn’t take much rumour-mongering and publicity to put the blame onto a dead worker. Whatever way the players come up with, bear in mind the results of putting off the reporter earlier – if they didn’t do it or failed to put him off sufficiently this will be harder to achieve as he works against them.


Daniels will consider the BPN complete once the Shatter has been found in the factory, confirming what he already suspected. He will send a clean-up crew to destroy the evidence and get the facility repaired. Bonus credits can be earned by doing some of the optional objectives he asks for though:

50c/Op – Investigating the Mall
50c/Op – Not damaging the factory
100c/Op – Capturing a raging Low-Wave
0-100c/Op – Preventing bad publicity / getting good publicity out of the incident.