Earth: Rest Stop, Body Shop
Author(s): John D. Kennedy
Appears in: Bride of Halloween Horror
Mankind has sought for centuries to determine its own worth. Philosophers and priests have spent countless hours arguing about man’s spiritual worth, or the worth of its deeds. The one question that few have touched upon however, is what is man’s worth — as resources. In the more remote places in the galaxy, there exists a predator which exists to use its prey to its fullest.
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An alien invasion story in which the "Nal", a Mythos race of aliens apparently created for this scenario, make an emergency landing on Earth in order for the crew to make repairs to its organic technology using spare parts from Earth: human beings. A human con-man has been conspiring with the aliens to enslave the town sherriff and inflict fates worse than death on the conspirator's enemies in the town by turning them into hideous mutant "thralls" and organic machinery on the ship. The investigators may get involved in many ways, but the most likely reason probably involves the many suspicious disappearances and other sinister goings-on occurring in the town, which has lost most of its population to the Nal by the time the investigators arrive.
Player Handouts: (none, though maps of the town and ship might have been useful)
- Polassi Creek, Michigan
- Alien Spaceship, Interior
- Nal’sych’krik’tik ("Nal")
- Nal Thralls (effectively, a sort of mutant/surgical Zombie)
- Town Sherriff (a human "drone" servant of the Nal)
- Human Conspirator/Con-Man
Tomes and Artifacts:
- Murals on the Nal Ship (portrays scenes associated with the sci-fi aspects of the Mythos)
Campaigns / Scenarios: (none)
"A traveler stops by a nearby town to pick up spare parts. The traveler? Something otherworldly and completely inhuman. The spare parts? Man!" - unattributed epigraph at beginning of story, presumably by the author John D. Kennedy
Comments to Keepers about this scenario; Possibly how to run it successfully. Keep general DISCUSSION on the talk page.
Setting: Nominally in Polassi Creek, Michigan, though any isolated rural town on Earth would work as well (and perhaps even a colony in space or even a Dreamlands setting might work with minimal rewriting effort). No era is specified, the modern era is assumed (and implied by off-hand references to "Team Building Exercises" and "an Earth-first attitude" in the background information), though this scenario has so much in common with paranoid 1950s alien invasion-in-an-isolated-area movies like Invaders From Mars (1953), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Thing From Another World (1951), Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), It Came From Outer Space (1953), It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958), countless episodes of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, etc., that it should easily be worth the "effort" to set this specifically in the 1950s (so little background information is provided on the setting, that really no effort is required to change the setting to almost any time in the 20th or 21st Century, and almost nothing in the background information, character and location descriptions, and plot would be anachronistic to this era). Other settings, such as historical periods such as the Dark Ages or even the future might work too, with little effort.
Special Notes: Tie-ins to the Mythos are minimal, appearing in blink-and-you-miss-them references in some background information, and in throw-away descriptions of murals inside the alien ship, so this could fit the bill for keepers who prefer mythos-light scenarios. No maps are provided for the town or for the alien ship; enterprising keepers may benefit from preparing some. Unfortunately, there seems to really be no clear way to defeat the aliens in the scenario as-written, except through combat; this scenario could probably have used alternative ways to defeat the aliens, though shows of force or a hopeless ending probably fit the paranoid 1950s B-Movie aesthetic better than traditional CoC investigations might; with that in mind, this scenario might fit well in a Delta Green type campaign.
Dependence on Halloween: Almost non-existent. Halloween gives the hideous mutant zombie thralls a chance to lurk creepily in the background while wearing costumes, but that's about it. Halloween could easily be ignored by keepers, and the only effect would be an added touch of weirdness to sinister figures in masks standing around in the background, watching.