Written by James Hicks
The Place: Anywhere.
The Hook: Something is up. The agents have been on more ops in the last few weeks than they usually go on in six months. There doesn’t seem to be any increased WEB activity, because the operations seem relatively routine — meeting with contacts and double agents, testing security measures, etc. On top of that, the agents have been feeling a little under the weather lately…. must be the flu.
The Beginning: ORION sends the agents on yet another routine operation — a visit to an ORION office that they have been to before and are familiar with. They are to inspect all parts of the facility that they have been to before and check the security measures in place.
To complete the mission, the agents will locate the ORION office and go through all of the security measures needed to get inside the various areas. Throughout the mission, they will have an unshakable feeling that something is “wrong”, but will not know exactly what. Then something very disconcerting will happen — a wall appears where there was none before, only to disappear when the character asks about it (or something similar).
Then, for only a second, the world seems to fade away and go black. The agents dimly see a bearded man wearing glasses who seems to be sitting next to him, but looks like he’s far away. The man looks at the agents and pushes a button, then the world comes back into focus. They get a sense of deja vous… they’ve seen that happen before. Several times. But they don’t know when or where, nor do they know who the man is.
The Twist: The characters are not in the real world at all. They were captured during their last mission (a routine operation of minor importance that they do not remember) and are now undergoing a WEB interrogation via a combination of hypnosis and mind-altering drugs. For the past several weeks, they have unwittingly been feeding WEB information about ORION security procedures, passwords, and access codes. They have also disclosed the names of a number of contacts and double-agents.
The man who they saw is their interrogator — an Austrian man named Franz Denker.
It is important that the Admin doesn’t give this information to the players right away — most of the adventure should be spent in this “dreamworld” that Denker has put them in. But the PCs have built up a resistance to the drugs. This means that as time goes by, more strange events will happen (nothing totally weird, like talking dogs or anything). Gradually, the players should come to realize what is happening.
To play this scenario effectively, the Admin must take the role of the interrogator, without letting the players know it. There will come a point where the Admin will start dictating that the character must do something that the player refuses to have his PC do (go into a certain room, etc). The Admin should be pushy, but should not declare that the character does it, but instead that the player declares that he does it. If the player refuses, the character loses 10 CON points (in other words, the Admin should act like a pushy, railroading GM).
Here’s a sample script:
Admin: “On your way to the director’s office, you come to the doorway leading to the arsenal.”
Player: “I’ll keep going to see the director.”
Admin: “Why don’t you check out the arsenal first.”
Player: “Huh? No, dude. I’ll do it later. But first I wanna talk to the director.”
Admin: “Check it out now.”
Player: “Wha-? Fine. Whatever. I’ll go to the arsenal.”
Admin: “What access code do you enter?”
Player: “Man, I don’t have time for this BS. I’ll see the director and come back here.”
Admin: “Fine. Your character loses ten CON points.”
Since players don’t like to be told how to run their characters, this won’t set well with them. But as the game progresses, things like this will happen more often, with a -10 CON loss every time the player disobeys the GM.
The Outcome: Eventually, one of the characters will be reduced to 0 CON. Once again, the world fades away and goes black. Again, they see the bearded man, and again he pushes the button. But this time he doesn’t go away — the character has awakened.
The rest of the characters wake up shortly thereafter, but the first character must take care of Denker, who tries to summon the WEB thugs in the next room when he realizes that the chracter won’t go back to sleep. Unfortunately, all of the PCs are still under the effects of the drugs, and all attributes are reduced by half.
To escape, the PCs must deal with the WEB thugs. Their number is roughly half the number of PCs (there were more initially, but the PCs proved to be docile), but the PCs are unarmed and at half strength. They must also confiscate Denker’s notebook, which contains all of the information that the PCs have given him over the last few weeks. Fortunately, Denker has not given any of this information to WEB.
They must also capture or kill Denker, as he will remember much of what was told to him and will reveal it to WEB.