An Adventure for GURPS Black Ops
by Rik Kershaw-Moore
What follows is a short GURPS Black Ops scenario designed for a mixed departmental party. It is written to be a one off scenario, but it is open ended enough to either be added as a little side scenario to an existing campaign against the Greys, or as the starting point for a new campaign.
Art by andi jones
Stop me if you have heard it . . .
A man walks into the Universal Underwriters Office in Lima, Peru. He introduces himself to the receptionist as John Drake and explains that he has an appointment with the business manager, Fernando Chavez. The receptionist directs him to a chair and pages Senor Chavez. Three minutes later everyone within the Universal Underwriters Offices is dead, killed by an unknown and highly lethal Prion.
Twelve hours before, the Agents are assigned to a brief stint in the Company Offices in Peru for a mountain survival refresher-training course. They arrive on site about 30 minutes after the last person has died and are the first people on the scene.
GM Eyes Only: What's Going OnJohn Drake was an ex-agent, with the emphasis on ex. He and the rest of his squad were listed KIA after a seek and destroy mission went sour in Madagascar nine months ago. Since the company could find no trace of the squad, and no signals were being received from their Omicron implants, it was assumed that the entire team had been killed.
What actually happened was the Greys they were hunting somehow captured the squad alive. These sinister aliens spirited the Agents away to an underground base where the Omicron signals could not reach. Once secure, the aliens went to work. Using their advanced mind control and surgical techniques, they not only managed to disable the Agent's Omicron devices but also learned the location of the company's front office in Peru. During these interrogations, all but one the agents were reduced to mindless vegetables. The last agent, John Drake, was successfully brainwashed by the Greys and became a carrier for a new bio-weapon designed to kill only Company members.
This weapon is a wonderful example of Grey biotechnology. Using their advanced molecular manipulation technology they have crafted a Prion that attacks the protein coating of the Omicron poison sacs, causing them to break down and release the Omicron poison. Because of the Prion's small size, it can easily pass through the HEPA III air filtration system as used by the Company. Once released the Prion has a life span of only one hour before it is rendered harmless by UV light, thereby making it nearly untraceable.
[Note: Prions are small protein particles with no nucleic acid genome, which makes them unlike other pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, which contain nucleic acids. Naturally occurring Prions cause neuro degenerative diseases such as BSE in cattle and CJD in humans.]
The Grey plan is to use John Drake to sanitize the Lima Operation, thus allowing them access to the Lima BlackNet Node so that they can discover the locations of the other Company bases. If this plan works, the Greys intend to use the Prion to eliminate the Company. What the Greys did not factor into their equation was a squad arriving in the brief window between the neutralization of the Prion and their own arrival.
Character IntroductionThis scenario starts with the usual Omicron call to action. Calling in, the agents are ordered to Peru to take part in an Academy Mountain Survival refresher course. The Agents are to travel by commercial transport, under an assumed name to Lima where they are to report to the Universal Underwriters Offices in Lima. Once there, they are to ask for Mr. Fernando Chavez who will brief them further.
The Lima FacilityThe trip to Lima can either be mundane or exciting, depending on your own ideas. In the mundane version, the Agents fly coach, have a nice meal and arrive at the airport refreshed and perfectly relaxed.
In the semi-mundane version, the plane is hijacked in mid-air by your favorite NPC and the Agents can either decide to wait things out or to take things into their own hands. Bear in mind, as the Agents are flying coach they should not be carrying any weapons of any kind, so it could be an interesting challenge.
Finally, there is the white-knuckle version, where just as the plane carrying the Agents crosses into Peruvian airspace it has a close encounter with a Grey Spider craft. The resulting electromagnetic and gravitronic disruption will cause the plane to almost, but not quite, plummet out of the sky. Time to run your favorite airplane disaster movie cliches complete with airsickness, hysteria and panic.
Whatever happens, the agents will eventually get into a taxi driving along a wide modern highway that snakes along next to the ocean towards the Lima Operation.
The Universal Underwriters offices are located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a little district known as Miraflores. The office is a small two-story red brick building located in a tiny business park, next to a small carpet manufacturer.
Standing there, in the Universal Underwriters carpark, the world seems to be normal. Birds sing in the early evening air, cars drive slowly along the cliff top roads and a refreshing sea breeze blows off the ocean while the sun sinks slowly towards the horizon.
Reception AreaAlas, this impression does not last for long. Opening the door to the office, the agents are confronted by death. There in the reception area are two bodies. The first is a woman slumped back in her chair behind the reception desk. The second is the corpse of a man in his early 30s. This man is wearing a visitors badge and has slid forward off the small sofa in reception and sprawled on the floor. A quick examination of the bodies reveals them warm to the touch, with no obvious signs of external trauma such as bullet wounds or the like. (This will be true of all the bodies found in the building.)
The receptionist is wearing a badge that identifies her as Gloria Ordonez, while the man on the floor carries no identification whatsoever. The visitor's book in reception identifies the man as John Drake. Checking through the reception desk drawers will turn up a key to the front door. Agents who open the man's briefcase will be surprised to discover that it is totally empty.
The Ground FloorPushing open the door that leads into the back of the building, the agents will find themselves in a short corridor. On their right are three doors, the first of which has a sign that says Damas (Ladies). The next door carries a sign that proclaims it to be Hombres (Gents) and the third door has a sign on it marked La Cocina (Kitchen). To the left is a single doorway that leads into the typing pool.
Inside the typing pool are the bodies of two women in their late 20s. One woman is lying on the floor behind her desk and her identity card says her name is Leticia Cavazos. The second woman, identified as Monica Quintana, has collapsed onto the platen of the office photocopier, which is mindlessly making copies of her face.
Both toilets are empty, but behind the third door lies the body of a man, a smashed cup of coffee by his out stretched fingers. He is lying in a small kitchen area that contains a sink, a fridge and a large double walk in cupboard. Anyone walking in to this cupboard will find themselves in an elevator. This elevator has three buttons marked 0, 1 and 2. The man's identity card identifies him as Fernando Chavez, their contact. Anyone searching his body will find in his wallet a smart card with the company logo printed on it. This card opens the door to the armory on sublevel 2.
The Upper FloorThe upper floor is accessed via an antique looking spiral staircase in the reception area. The front half of the upper floor is used up with two large meeting rooms, while the back half is divided into three offices and a small file storage area.
Each office door has a small plastic nameplate attached. One office belongs to Fernando Chavez, while the other two belong to an Ignacio Suarez and a Teresa Cortes respectively. The last two contain the bodies of their deceased owners. The file storage room contains row upon row of box files containing records of the firm's transactions, and a small locked safe. The safe contains $2000 US and a Beretta 92F Automatic Pistol.
Sub Level 1Sub Level 1 is reached by taking the lift in the Kitchen. When the doors open, the Agents find themselves inside a standard Company concrete bunker that is the Operation's living quarters. In front of them there is a latrine facility that has wash basins, toilets and shower stalls, a sleeping area with two sets of three tier bunk beds, and a small canteen complete with kitchen and food store. On this sublevel, there are the bodies of three men and one woman. The woman lies curled up on the floor in the canteen, while the men are found lying the bunk beds.
Sub Level 2This level contains the real heart of the Lima Operation. Here is the small but powerful computer center and workstations that are used to gather information on the situation in Peru. There is also a compact yet well equipped medical bay designed to provide front line medical aid to agents wounded in the course of their duties.
Next to the medical center is the armored bunker that contains the facilities armory. Swiping the correct smart card will open the door. Chavez has this card in his wallet. Inside the 4' x 6' space are the following weapons:
1 x Castor '97 MG
2 x Castor '94 Assault Carbines
4 x Beretta 92F Automatic Pistols
1 x M79 40mm Grenade Launcher
100 rnds 9mm Hollow Points
100 rnds 10.1mm APS for Castor '97 MG
400 rnds APS for Castor '94 Assault Carbine.
2 x Blackout Grenades
2 x Prism Grenades
6 x 40mm Concussion Grenades
1 x Experimental Cistron Fingerprint Interface Unit
Opposite the armory is the small nuclear reactor that powers the facility. The door to the reactor space is marked with Danger of Death and Radiation Hazard signs. In the reactor space is one of the two bodies on this level. The man is slumped on the floor next to the computer control console that monitors the reactor functions. A successful Engineering (Mechanical) or Mechanical (Fuel Cell) roll is needed to detect that the control rods have been partially withdrawn from the reactor core and the reactor is slowly going critical. It will take another successful roll to correct this situation. If left alone, the reactor will eventually go critical and explode in 1d days.
The final room on this sublevel is the communications center. This center is linked to all the major telecoms networks in South America as well as having a direct link to the Company. The second body on this level is here, collapsed over the main communications console, her fingers millimeters away from the facility's panic button.
What Happens NextAfter checking the building over, it should be apparent to even the thickest Combat agent that something serious has happened here. It therefore follows that they ought to be doing something about it, and probably the smartest thing they can do is to report the situation to the Company. If they do they will be told to secure the building, leave everything intact and await reinforcements. If they don't report what they've found then a full assault squad will arrive the next day to secure the facility, and boy will the SecOps have some very pointed questions for the Agents.
Waiting AroundWhile they wait for reinforcements, the agents can perform any of the following departmental specific actions:
Science Ops can try to find out what killed the agents inside the facility. Probably the fastest way to do this is to perform an autopsy on the bodies. Each body will take 1d hours to fully autopsy, and the finding will be identical in each case. The victim died of heart failure caused by the Omicron toxin. No matter how hard the Science Op looks, they will not be able to detect what caused the toxin to be released.
If an autopsy is done on the man called John Drake, they will find that he, too, died of heart failure. Another interesting discovery is the presence of two chips in the man's neck. The first is a standard Omicron device, while the other is slightly larger and of a design not of this earth.
Intelligence & SecOps can fill in the time by examining the recordings made by the facility's surveillance cameras, or by trying to work out the identity of John Drake. Examining the security tapes does not really shine any light on what happened except to give an accurate time of death.
At 15:39 hours Zulu, John Drake walks in through the main door and marches quickly over to the reception desk. Here he puts down his briefcase before spending a few moments talking to the receptionist. She reaches over and says something into an intercom before handing him a visitors badge and pointing at the sofa. The man nods to her, picks up his briefcase and walks over to the sofa, where he puts it down beside him. At 15:43 hours Zulu, he suddenly keels forward off the sofa and sprawls on the floor. From that point until the time the characters arrive, about an hour or so later, no one either enters or leaves the building.
The best method of discovering the identity of John Drake is to use the new Cistron Fingerprint Interface Unit. A successful result will identify the man as one Preston Mentzer, a Black Op who was listed KIA in Madagascar nine months ago.
Tech Ops can spend their time working on gadgets to help secure the facility such as motion sensors and the like, while Combat Ops will probably just start patrolling the perimeter or sit there being bored and listless. Don't worry guys, your time is sure to come.
Cistron Fingerprint Interface UnitThis small wedge-shaped black plastic unit, with a clear glass top, is designed to fit onto a standard issue Cistron. Once connected, it directly interfaces the Cistron to the BlackNet fingerprint archive. It is simple to use -- take the finger of the person you want to identify, and press it lightly against the glass panel (Note: the finger does not need to be attached to the rest of the person). A small LED laser then scans across the finger and the Cistron searches through the fingerprint archive until it finds a match. Well, that is the theory, it is after all totally experimental.
Every time it is used, the GM should roll a die. If the roll is a 5 or 6, then the device has malfunctioned. In case of this happening, the GM ought to roll another 1d and consult the table below:
1. The device picks up a latent fingerprint from the last person who used it. Normally this is the agent who fitted the Interface Unit to the Cistron. This can lead to some very interesting results.
2. The LED laser goes at little awry and does 1d-3 burn damage to the finger of the test subject.
3. The interface unit drops off the Cistron and breaks into three small components. It will take a successful Electronic Engineering roll to put the thing back together.
4. The interface unit causes the Cistron to crash. The Cistron will take 1d minutes to reboot.
5. Due to a programming error the Interface picks up the closest TV station and the LED displays a red light version of whatever happens to be on TV at the time.
6. The glass cover over the LED breaks, causing 1d-3 cut damage to the person who is being tested.
In the Middle of the NightAt around 2 am, a Grey flyer gently flits down from the skies and lands in the darkened carpark outside the facility. The flier disgorges three Greys, two Gammas and a Beta, before it quietly slips into the air once more. In all the flier is on the ground for less than 30 seconds. The Greys are not expecting any trouble since everyone inside should be dead, so they are only lightly armed, with only the Beta carrying a ranged weapon.
Their agenda is simple, to locate and hack into the facility's BlackNet link using the knowledge they have gained from their interrogation of the captured Black Ops.
Assuming no one is there to greet them, the Greys will quickly penetrate the facility, using an Electrolaser to melt the front door. Once inside the building they will begin to search slowly and methodically through the upper levels, looking for a way down to the sublevels.
At some point, the Greys will encounter the agents, and then all hell will break loose. It is possible that the Greys could sneak in without being noticed or by tripping any alarms that the agents have set, in which case the Greys automatically have the initiative in the first combat round.
If things get too hot for the Greys, they will summon their flier to come and pick them up and then start to work their way back towards the exit. If all three aliens make it back to their flier successfully, then the saucer will just simply leave. If the agents have killed one or more Greys, then the saucer will turn its Scorcher ray on the building before it swoops off into the sky. The Agents do not have anything that is even remotely capable of putting even a dent in the saucer so there is not much they can do about it.
Grey Beta (Squad Leader)ST: 25
Weight: 129 lbs.
Weapon(s): Electrolaser, Forcerod
Grey Gamma (Squad Member)ST: 25
Weight: 132 lbs.
Note: The terms Beta and Gamma denote intellectual ranking. These are simple names designed to allow GMs to assign status with a group of identical looking Greys.
Cleaning UpWith the cold light of morning comes help in the form of three large Company helicopters stuffed to the gills with Combat, SecOps and Science Ops just itching to find out what happened here. These guys will quickly relieve the Agents and secure the building. The dead bodies will be efficiently loaded onto one of the Choppers, while any alien bodies and artifacts will be loaded onto another chopper destined for the Lab. Finally the agents will be piled into the last chopper and there they will be debriefed on route to the Academy where they are to join another refresher course in the more demanding Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
After this training course, who knows? Perhaps the Company desperately wants to know what happened to the Lima Personnel and makes it a top priority to locate the source of the infection, and since the Agents have first-hand experience they get the job. I leave it up to you to decide.
Article publication date: September 10, 1999
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