SLIDE INTO METROPOLIS, By Peter Delaney Thacker

The scenario below is more of a systemless one than anything else, and I won't be giving stats for any of it's occupants....but it owes more to Kult than anything else, I guess. (Except possibly the sf story that gave me the initial idea....Simak maybe? I'd actually like to know who wrote it, as it's bugging me that I can't remember! The one about next weeks newspapers....)

It is very freeflowing, aside from the odd constraint here and there, and can probably be considered hard to GM, but worth it in the end....


The Characters

The players and principal NPCs are all normal folks (no dark secrets, nothing out of the normal like that at all) who live on the same street in suburbia in some American city. I'm sure you've seen it before - nice houses, front lawns with low fences or hedges....upper middle class. Exactly what the players do, and what they are like is up to the individual GM, but some examples are given below :

The Cop - a desk job detective, fairly tough, very dependable guy. He has two young kids, and a pleasant wife.

The Minister - from a progressive church, very mild in his religion, living with a housekeeper.

The Spinster - an elderly woman, who shares a house with her disabled brother.

The Lawyer - she is somewhat antisocial with the other inhabitants of the street, and lives with her lover.

The Accountant - he has been happily married for years, three children, and his biggest worries involve the next account.

....and so on and so forth. Ideally, the street should have prehaps twelve houses and occupants. This may look like a lot of work to GM, but a thumbnail sketch of each person is all that is needed for the GM to represent them credibly.

It is best if each player has some partner or dependants to live with - all the better to threaten them with later! Also, get each player to select one or two other occupants of the street with whom they are closer friends. (Optionally, have them select someone they don't like as well). Ask for their reasons behind the likes and dislikes - it helps both the players and GM to properly flesh out this street full of people.

Each player should also decide on two 'contacts' - people they happen to know and will be useful to them. A few examples are given below....

The Pathologist - a middle-aged woman with a dry sense of humour, working at a city hospital or the morgue.

The Journalist - a sceptical guy, but always ready to listen.

The Amateur Occultist - who, of course, should have no clue as to what is really going on.

The Gun Store Owner - another one with a dry sense of humour - goes with the job, I guess.

....and so on - I'm sure you can think up a few more on your own.

The Start

It's an autumn morning in the character's suburb, and they wake up as normal. The papers have been delivered....but the date on the papers is next weeks. The events detailed in the papers have yet to happen, but they will.... The letters received on that day are also from the future. [Needless to say, the characters will never have seen the mailboy].

Things detailed in the papers :

A popular politician is assassinated elsewhere in the US. *Lots* of racing results, and other things that can be gambled on. In the obituary column of a local paper, one of the obituaries is for one of the older NPCs in the street. (This one may take a few days to find....) A gas explosion killed 43 people in that city three days before the date of the paper (ie 5 days into the future).

Things detailed in the letters :

One player should get a letter dated 4 days into the future, from a hospital in the next state informing them of their father's death. [To the best of their knowledge, he is still alive].

Another player gets some official letters before they've even been drafted, let alone sent.

Player reactions/actions, and possible GM options :

Firstly, the players are either going to assume it's a joke, or panic and try to find out what day it is. They will easily be able to find out that the day is right (from the TV, radio, etc), but the paper is wrong. The paper delivery service and post office know nothing, and will assume that a joke of some kind has been played.

Inquiries in the streets around will discover that they are the only street to have received the newspaper from next week.

Depending on how many people the players, and other people in the street, tell about this, they may get a visit the next day from a local reporter looking for a 'weird' column-filler.

If the players don't organise it, one of the NPCs will ask everyone to a meeting later to talk about the paper & mail. He will have received a letter from work which he saw that day on his bosses desk waiting to be mailed. He sneaked a look, and it was the same letter....

At the meeting, the general opinion will be of scepticism, and that someone is playing a sick joke at their expense. The meeting should be a chance for the players to get into character, and establish links with other characters in the street. It is improbable that much will be achieved.

So What Is Happening Here?

A time/spaceslip is just beginning. The area of reality that is the player's street is slowly losing it's Illusion, allowing fragments of the future and the metropolis to come through. Although minor at first, it will increase....

The Next Week

The players are really free to do what they like for this week - they should gradually come to realise that the events detailed in the paper are not a joke, and are actually happening. There is however, nothing they can do that will change them. Allow them to concoct elaborate schemes to prevent these things from happening, but they will happen way or another. The large challenge for the GM is to make sure that the players stay in the street at least until a day or two before the week is up (by then, let them leave - it'll be too late....).

Events During The First Half Of The Week

These events should happen more or less in the order they are described in....

The Night View - one or two of the players are awoken in the middle of the night for no easily discernable reason, and when they look outside, they can see an enormous green-lit black skyscraper, many miles away over the autumn night mists. Of course, in this city, there is no such building there.

Shots In The Dark - people are awakened in the night by a single burst of automatic fire (some characters may not recognise it for such, though). When they check outside/phone 911/do whatever, there is nothing to be found. By daylight, however, one or two ~2cm casings may be found in the middle of the road. They have script which looks like Mandarin around the base, but it isn't any recognised language. Anyone with sufficient experience in the gun trade could tell that there is no commercial weapon which could use these rounds.

Radio/TV Interference - during the day, those at home in the afternoon have their radio/TV interrupted, with static and a high pitched whine, followed by snatches of military-style radio communications - asking for support, increasingly desperately, getting no reply, sounds of heavy fire and screams getting close, and finally nothing except a heavy, unhuman breathing. Then there is static again. Of couse, nobody outside the street had this interferance at all.

Night View II - driving home in the dark, a player sees the mists clear enough to see a huge green-lit black office-building in the distance. There are flashes of explosions and gunfire on the top floors, as if a firefight is in progress there. Needless to say, this building doesn't exist in 'reality' either.

Screaming TV - a player will be awoken by noise from downstairs, static and something else. As they go down to investigate, the light from the TV will seem as if images are being shown, but when they actually see the screen, it just shows static. The other noise is a heavy breathing, sounding as if the breather has a throat blocked with liquid. The TV itself is switched off, but if touched will go dead. [The next day, two of the NPCs will throw their TVs out into the trash].

Backwards Time - during the day, all the timepieces in the street run backwards for an hour, and the forwards twice as fast as normal for two hours. Nothing can be found wrong with them if they are checked.

Night View III - again, a player is woken at night, and the night is perfectly clear, allowing him or her to see huge black buildings towering all around the street, lit by green floods, obviously falling apart in places, and all seem deserted.

[By this stage, the players may be taking photographs of this - they will come out fine, and show exactly what the players see, which can only worry them further].

Phone Call - in the early evening, a player will get a phone call. When they answer the phone, all they can hear is radio static, overlaid with a heavy, laboured breathing.

Ethereal Crying - again at night, a player will be woken by the sound of a child crying in their house. The crying ceases when they go to investigate.

The Videotape - one of the players will have a videotape waiting for them one morning. It sits on a table downstairs, in an plain envelope. The tape itself is also unmarked. If played, an indistinct face appears, wreathed in static on the screen, and a hard to hear voice whispers of walls to reality, things falling, the necropolis, the city of the Dead, how They come back when the walls fall. Then there is just static. If the tape is left untended for more than a few moments, it will vanish.

The First To Go - one of the NPCs vanishes, early on a very misty morning. They went out to get the mail, and never came back. Their spouse/lover is beyond consolation, and the police are called. Players may get asked a few friendly questions, and may end up late for work in the end.

The Gas Explosion - the one mentioned in the paper actually happens. Big thing on the local channels, even gets national mention.

Needless to say, the NPCs are suffering much the same sorts of things as the PC's are....the events after this point begin to be more serious, and involve nastier things, so should be saved for after the fourth day in the week. If the GM is feeling nasty (or has players that were weaned on CoC, and so like to run for the nearest library when things get strange), then he can throw in the following red (and not so red) herrings - some of the information would be harder to find out about than other parts.

Library Information :

The street itself in built atop an old cemetary (dating back to colonial days), where the victims of a massacre by native american tribesmen (or was it....?) were buried. Before this, the ground was sacred to the the native americans, as a place of spirits.

In the last century, there have been twenty murders and disappearances in this street, half of them unsolved. The last were fifteen years previously in a house that has now been pulled down - a son killed both his ageing parents, before threatening other residents with a gun and running off. He was never seen again, despite a large manhunt.

The Latter Part Of The Week

The Next To Go - The players, and the rest of the street, are woken at night by bursts of heavy automatic gunfire, which continues for a number on minutes. The night is heavily misted, and it's hard to see more than twenty feet or so. The light outside is green-tinged, lit up by the flashes of automatic weapons from part of the street. By the time anyone gets ouside, it has gone quiet again. If anyone attempts to use a phone before it goes quiet, they will find the phone dead, except for the sound of someone whispering too quietly to be made out. After the gunfire has finished, the phones will start working again, and the police will not be long in arriving in force. Meanwhile, anyone who goes out to look around will find that one of the NPC's houses was the centre of whatever happened. There are holes from high-calibre rounds all over it, and the doors and windows are all destroyed....inside is worse, and the bodies of any of the occupants will be found torn apart by automatic fire. The house and garden and street outside are littered with hundreds of casings, similar but different to the ones found earlier in the week. The back of the house is untouched, except for the one door to the back yard which is broken down. The yard itself is untouched. No-one in the street will get any sleep that night, there will be police taking statements, the whole area will be sealed off, sirens and flashing lights everywhere. All of the NPC's will be in shock to some degree from the night's events. Of course, one of the dead NPC's will be the one whose obituary appeared in the paper....

More Police - The police will keep the street sealed for the whole of the next day, and interviews will be made. People will be allowed out to their jobs, should they wish to go. The Press will be out in force from early morning, hassling residents from behind police lines for comments. They won't slacken off until evening, or until they get something juicy to broadcast. After the police have mostly packed up and left, every resident will get a visit from one or two of the Press, looking for comments.

A Reappearance - the next night, one of the players will hear a loud slow knocking on their back door, which persists until just before they open it. On the step, with no sign of how they got there, and dressed in tatters of some unusual cloth is the NPC who vanished earlier. They appear (and in fact, actually are) three decades older. Their hair is white, their skin wrinkled and calloused, and they are incapable of anything other than moaning and drooling.

Night View IV - in similar circumstances to the last Night View, except others in the street will see it as well, at the same time. The night is misted lightly, but is lit up by a greenish glow, almost as bright as moonlight. Looming over the street is what appears as a huge church, black and green-lit. The view persists for a while. While it is visible, all the clocks in the street stop, phones go dead, TVs and radios stop working....for an unknown time, or until anyone leaves the street. Then everything starts up again, exactly where it left off - in the outside world, no time passed at all.

The Assassination - that popular politician gets shot, right on schedule, according to the paper, and despite anything the players may have done to try and stop it.

Gone Visiting - two of the NPC families decide to leave, at least temporarily, to relatives. They won't be keen to say exactly why they are leaving, but will probably blame the shootings. If any players want to leave after this point, let them....they'll be coming back soon enough.

Firefight And Corpse - on the seventh day, the papers arrive as normal, the same as the ones the players already have. During the day nothing wierd or strange will happen at all, and the weather will be pleasant and clear. As night falls, though, the mist will start to hang in the air again, getting thicker as the night goes on. As the middle of the night approaches, anyone sleeping will be woken by heavy automatic gunfire, close by. This will quickly increase in volume, with many different weapons adding to the noise - a whole firefight, in fact. The view outside is green-tinged with mist clouding the street, but from top floors the view is of huge black decaying skyscrapers in every direction, lit by green floods. In some of them, gunfire can be clearly seen on some floors. Added to this are flashes of gunfire seen from the street as dimly glimpsed figures fight a retreating action away from other figures that are never clearly seen. Large calibre rounds will be slamming into (and in some cases, through) walls. Anyone going outside and not acting as though they are in a warzone should get injured, if not killed - otherwise they may get dim glimpses of men in thick metallic armour, and less identifiable figures walking slowly down the street towards them. These figures occasionally stagger, or fall, but always get up and continue. These figures fire back erratically and with seemingly little heart, but never stop their advance. Anyone trying to get closer than this is obviously asking to get messily killed. Anyone checking clocks will find they have stopped. Electricity doesn't work, and phones are dead, with not even any static. A little while later, the firing will stop, and the only sound will be a low wind. The street is still seemingly isolated in this thick low mist, surrounded by decaying black skyscrapers. If and when people come out to investigate, they will discover that one of the minor NPCs has been injured, quite seriously (prehaps somebody's wife), by a stray round. The silence and mist and buildings will persist for some the occupants of the street have time to get panicked and worried. The street is littered with casings, all similar to those found before. Crumpled half under a front hedge is a corpse. This is a man, wearing full articulated body armour of some plastic or ceramic material. There are identifying marks on the armour which bear resemblance to those on the casings, and has four holes punched through the chest. The back has been completely shattered open, and the corpse lies in the centre of an area of ceramic shards, bone chips, and shreds of flesh, all blood soaked. What the players or NPCs do with this corpse is up to them, but it is worth noting where it ends up.... If anyone leaves the street, they will find themselves in amongst the apparently endless mist-bound city, deserted except for distant echoes of gunfire - a section of the Metropolis. Everywhere are shell-scrapes, small craters, and bullet-scars or holes, but no other signs of conflict. If anyone looks too far into this section of the Metropolis, they are likely to get lost, and not turn up again until later....much later. They are also likely to run into the same sort of encounter as anyone leaving into Metropolis at the next opportunity will find. Many hours later - no-one can be sure how many, as none of the clocks are working - the buildings will vanish, as the street returns to the Illusion in time to catch the dawn. If anyone has worked out a way of guessing elapsed time outside the Illusion, then it will by no means be the same as the amount of time that has passed for the rest of the world.... Shortly after this, Colonel Johnson's command will arrive.

The Command

Just after dawn, half a dozen US Army trucks pull up into the street, and efficient and tough looking soldiers start to set up barricades and seal off the area. They are all armed with assault rifles. They work with serious expressions on their faces, and don't talk amongst themselves. They will only talk to any of the occupants of the street under provocation - e.g. somebody who won't get out of their way until they get an answer - in which case all they will do is refer the troublemaker to their Lietenant. All he will say is that the Colonel will be there in due course, and will answer their questions. No-one will be allowed to leave the street once the soldiers are there - they will set up a perimeter and prevent anyone from leaving, using force if necessary....but only as much as is required. For now. The NPC injured the previous night will not be treated by these soldiers - they will just ignore requests for help. Anyone who has left the street that morning, just before the soldiers arrived will have an RV and four tough-looking soldiers come to escort them back to the street. These men will behave as the others, talking very little, if at all. Again, they will use what force is required to bring anyone back to the street. Those who left the street in previous days will have been stopped on freeways, or picked up wherever they got to by a truckload of the same soldiers. These trucks will arrive just before noon, containing at least the two families that decided to leave, and in addition any of the players that took the same course. This will have been a scary ride for anyone taking it, in the back of a truck with a dozen silent and tough-looking soldiers for hours, with no reasons given, especially as the soldiers may have had to be rough in order to bring the occupants back. In all, none of the players will learn anything from these unnaturally quiet soldiers. They will notice that none of them seem anything but perfectly fit and healthy, and all perform their jobs with practiced skill, including any 'necessary force'. They all have varying unit badges, no two the same. Shortly after mid-morning, reporters will start to arrive, but the soldiers will keep them back from any of the occupants. After a little while of the reporters shouting questions, the Lieutenant will tell any of the occupants of the street to stay inside. Again, force will be used by the soldiers if necessary. The phones will not be cut off until just after this point, so enterprising players or NPCs with the right connections may have been able to find out that the police have been told that the area is out of their hands due to a matter of national security, and that any nearby regular army units know nothing about this. However, orders have been given in the right places.... They will begin to move people out from the houses in streets adjoining the player's street about the same time they cut the phones. They will also move away the reporters. The players may get the impression of an outer perimeter being set up, but the street itself still remains sealed off.

The Colonel

Colonel Johnson will arrrive by RV, with a command post vehicle (a metal office on wheels, in essence) and a further truckload of soldiers accompanying him. He will arrive an hour after noon, an immediately require that the occupants of the street be assembled so that he may address them.

So Just Who Are These People Anyhow?

Well - they aren't human, that's for sure. Quite who or what they really are is something that the players should never find out. What they will quite possibly find out during the course of events is that none of these soldiers can be killed. Damaged, shot, dismembered, yes. But definately not killed. They won't get angry, or show pain, or laugh, or even talk unless absolutely necessary. In fact, it is entirely likely that all of these soldiers are merely being 'inhabited' by other things. Or prehaps they actually are the other things. Who knows, and who wants to stick around to ask?

The Colonel's Address

Once the occupants of the street are assembled, the colonel will stand on the front of an RV to talk to them. Or rather, at them. The colonel is simply like a more communicative version of the soldiers - very impassive, peak of condition, very cold. He will say that he and his command are there to 'contain and control' events in the area, and that his orders come from the 'highest places' [who knows? it might even be true....]. In order to achieve this end, it will be necessary to impose a curfew on the residents of the street, and to restrict their comings and goings. He is sure that they will see that it is in their best interests to cause him no problems. Under the circumstances, 'troublemakers will be treated accordingly'. Those occupants who work will be allowed to work outside the street from 8am until 6pm, provided that a member of their household stays in the street during this time. After 9pm, all occupants of the street are to remain in their houses until 7am the next morning. Should anyone persistantly interrupt the colonel's address, he will indicate towards one of the soldiers, who will slam a rifle butt into the offender's back. The colonel will finish by saying that he will expect to interview everyone in the street over the next day, individually in his command vehicle. In addition, no-one in the street may consider themselves at liberty to discuss any of the events in the street with anyone except the colonel or each other.

After this point, the colonel will step down, ignoring any questions, and head to his command vehicle. The soldiers will select the first to be interviewed - an NPC - and escort them to see the colonel. Anyone trying to make trouble will probably meet with a rifle-butt for their pains.

The Interviews

Over the rest of the day, the occupants will be fetched from wherever they are, one by one, to talk to the colonel. When they come back, they will say that he just wanted to know what had happened over the past week, and what they had done. He will get through prehaps ten people before his curfew comes into effect, and none of those should be players. Anyone leaving the street that day may do so, driving or walking out past the barricades and into the earily deserted streets around. Beyond that, nothing seems out of the ordinary - no groups of reporters or the like. Anyone watching TV or listening to the radio that day will note that nothing is mentioned on local or national news about this. The phones remain dead.

The Next To Go

One of the NPC's who was interviewed early that day, a man living with his girlfriend, drove out of the street 'to work' afterwards. He doesn't come back by 6pm, and his girlfriend will call on one of the players, distraught, as she is worried about everything - especially his not coming back. Shortly after this, the colonel will have his men find her. They will take her out into the middle of the street, and the colonel will shoot her dead. Just like that. No warning, emotion, or appeal. There is in essence nothing that anyone else can do to prevent it - anyone making a serious attempt to intervene will be beaten down by expressionless soldiers. Her corpse will be zipped into a body bag and placed beside the command vehicle.

That Night

People in the street are frightened, very frightened. There are these impassive soldiers guarding every side of the street as night falls, as it begins to mist over again. For most, this will be a quiet, if sleepless and strained, night. The NPC injured in the previous night's firefight will die during the night, despite the best attempts of whoever is with them. One of the players will be woken up during the night by a green glow from outside. Standing at the foot of their bed is the corpse found after the previous night's firefight, green-lit and bloody. It whispers 'show me the way', those parts of its body that have been rent open moving inside it. The only other thing it will say is 'the Legions call, Necropolis calls'. Whatever the player does, it will walk silently out of his/her room a little later and out into the night. The player will find no signs of its presence in the room afterwards. Outside, the green-lit decaying black buildings loom closer over the street. TVs and radios are dead, giving only static. Anyone leaving the street tonight, if they manage to get past the soldiers, will probably end up in the same section of Metropolis as mentioned earlier, and encounter much the same things.

An Abrupt Dawn

Anyone asleep in the early dawn will be woken as if they have fallen a little way, with a shock, and pounding heartbeat. Anyone awake will feel a sudden drop, as though the ground moved, but nothing inanimate is disturbed. Looking out onto the street, the impassive soldiers are stil there as if nothing happened, but one of the NPC's houses (and the people in it) has simply vanished as though it never existed. A huge black pit, exactly the shape of the house, has taken its place. [If anyone later manages to get a closer look a this pit, they will be unable to see a bottom to it, and a horrible smell of burning drifts up from it]. Before the curfew ends, soldiers will have moved to take up position around it, preventing any of the residents getting close. Today, no-one will be allowed to leave the street at all. Arguing will of course be futile. At the end of the curfew, the colonel's interviews will begin again. The first interviewee of the day should be a man prepared to stand up for himself, who goes in shouting - angry about the way the colonel is treating them, and especially about the woman shot the previous day. Anyone present in the street near the colonel's command vehicle will hear the shouting and then a little later a single shot. The man's body is dragged out of the command vehicle, leaving a trail of blood down the steps and onto the concrete, and put into a body bag beside the woman shot the previous day. No-one cleans this up as the interviews continue. At least some of the players should be interviewed today, a terrifying experience. The colonel should give the impression of a man not to be crossed or trifled with, absolutely cold and unemotional. If any player is stupid enough to cause trouble in the interview, then they will be shot and killed, and their body will be dragged out to lie alongside the the other two. The colonel will ask the players the same questions as the NPCs - what has happened and what they have done. Providing the players answer reasonably, then they can go. [NB The colonel has no way of knowing if they are lying, but he has talked to a dozen people before them, so any major deviations from the truth will be noticed - he should give the impression that he *knows* if they have lied, though]. The day passes interminably slowly....escape is impossible past the soldiers, and there is nothing to do but wait. And no-one is telling what they are waiting for.

Night, Mist, and an Ending

As night falls, so does the thick mist, blacketing the streetlights and making it hard to see a dozen yards. The soldiers stand impassively around the street, guarding. The military vehicles are shapes in the mist. At about 10PM the house with the most players in it is roused by a soft knocking on a door. Outside is the woman killed two days ago, with a bloody and gaping in her chest where she was shot. She is crying and in pain and hardly coherent, begging for help. She crawled from the body-bag in the mist. Anyone with even a basic medical knowledge can see that she shouldn't be alive. [NB if a player was shot by the colonel, then this person knocking should be the player instead - even death is no escape from this....]. How the players deal with her is up to them. She is cold to the touch. An hour after this, soldiers will come to each house on the street, banging on the front doors, and smashing them in if not answered. They will begin to search for the walking dead (not being communicative of course - if a player gives away that they may know where they are, then one may demand 'where are they'). Their search will be cursory, and if the woman (or player) is hidden in a good enough place, then they will not be found. Later in the night, the greenish light will begin to pervade the street again. Clocks stop, and the TVs and radios give only static. Lights fail for 30 seconds or so, flickering before coming back on. The mist is too thick to see anything much outside. This state of continues for a little while, and then the firing starts outside, sustained and long. Automatic rifles and some heavier weapons by the sounds made. Anyone looking outside will see very little other than the diffuse flashes. Random rounds hit houses and punch holes in walls. The firing continues for ten minutes or so, travelling the length of the street as some half-seen shapes cradling huge guns slowly advance along it. Anyone going outside while this is going on is asking for trouble, and will in all likelihood be torn apart by automatic fire. Anyone staying close to an exterior wall or window is taking a chance, and may be injured or killed. However, death is not the end. Even if ripped apart or caught by a stray round, wracked with pain and loosing blood, they will be counscious and aware of their predicament. It is quiet afterwards as the sounds of firing fade away. Someone (something) away in the dense mist is screaming, the sound muffled by distance. There is a loud noise in the distance, as though something fell to earth, shaking it. Another will follow it, closer. The lights flicker each time this happens. Anyone turning on a TV or radio now will hear, over the static, the sound of a large beast breathing. There is another sound of something falling, louder and closer still. The ground noticably shakes. At the next sound of falling, the screaming ceases abrubtly. Those who do not leave now will die. In some horrible way too nasty to detail, and which shouldn't be detailed. Some things are best left to the imagination.

Into the Metropolis

The players, and those they have with them must flee away from the street into the mist - into cratered, huge, streets running between decayed black buildings rising into the mist. The green light is everywhere, and there is no sign of anything living.

[Deliberate open ending - what happens next is up to your campaign. I had the players find their way relatively safely back into the Illusion in Bonn, 18 months later - a journey that had seemed to take them only half an hour through the war-torn and misted streets of Metropolis. After the initial triumph, they found that the player shot the previous day was now truely dead, bleeding anew over the misty street in Bonn....]



The most difficult part of this scenario to handle is probably the latter section, after the colonel and his men have arrived. There is so much the players can do, after all. This section should hopefully be contrived to turn out with the maximum of *implied* threat and the *minimum* of applied threat on the part of the colonel and his men. The colonel is a central part of the flavour of this scenario, and should be played with extreme coldness as a truely frightening individual. [As if I need to tell you that :) ]

I mentioned encounters in the Metropolis earlier - should one or more players manage to escape into the Metropolis before the end of the scenario (while the colonels men are there), then they should probably meet with the following encounter. The streets of the Metropolis are wide and torn up by past explosions or upheavals. The building fronts are tattered, lumps torn off and no glass remains. Every building is huge and rears up into the mist. Inside they are derelict and equally war-damaged. The player(s) will see something moving in the mist, a large humanoid shape. The heavy thuds as its feet touch the ground are the only sound through the mist. Others will be near. A beam of light will occasionally sweep around through the mist from the head of the shape. Whether the player(s) avoid these things is up to the GM - if they run back to the street thay should be fine. If they try to explore further, they are bound to run into one at close quarters where it was waiting for them to come around a corner or out of a doorway. They will be transfixed by the light, coming from the top of a man-shaped tank, a huge powered suit of armour. Behind the faceplate, the suggestions of a grim, expressionless man. From the armouur, the sound of a radio conversation

Armour : 'Control. Two contacts, holding.' Control : 'Five. Clear field. Terminate.'

The player(s) will be ripped apart by automatic fire and left lying in the mist as the armour moves on. If they run straight away, the same fate awaits them as the armour units close in on them (unless they come up with something very ingenious of course). Any players killed in this enounter should turn up back at the street, tatter and torn open, bloody and repulsive, the next night, in pain and torment.

One last comment - this has been written from a fairly 'cthulhuesque' point of view. The players are not meant to be able to win or even beat anything they meet. They are along for the ride and should consider it a triumph at the end if they escaped with their lives.

I suppose I should append my name - not that I mind if you alter it in any way ;), I just like to keep my name to my don't repost without my name!

Peter Thacker