Sushi in Chartreuse
An Adventure for GURPS Illuminati
As is my practice with adventures for Illuminati, the title of this adventure has nothing to do with the subject of the adventure.
This adventure works well to get characters introduced to the weirdness of the campaign. No overtly Illuminated events are witnessed by the PCs, but something strange is certainly going on. It works best if the PCs are some kind of investigators, either police, private eyes, or some other group that might have the resources to investigate a missing person.
Karl Rogers: worried fiancé, accountant at General Mills.
Mary Renhart: missing fiancée, travel agent at Twin City Travel.
Larry King: radio talk-show host.
David 'Stretch' Hoskins: airport parking lot attendant.
Sean Hunter: Stretch's roommate.
In the early evening on a Thursday, a man named Karl Rogers contacts the character with the closest ties to the police. His fiancé¥, Mary Renhart, has been missing for 24 hours, but the police won't investigate the case until the person has been gone at least three days. Karl got the character's name from the character's friend in the police, who said that the character could help. "Is there anything you can do?" pleads Karl.
Facts of the Case
Karl was supposed to pick Mary up after work Wednesday to go out to eat. He arrived at her apartment at 6:30 p.m. as planned, but Mary wasn't there. He called her from his cell phone, but no one was home. This is very unlike Mary -- she's usually very prompt. Karl was a little worried, but, after waiting for 90 minutes, went home to wait for her call. She never called. This morning, he tried calling her at work, but she hadn't arrived at 10 a.m. She didn't show up all day. He called the police, and then he called you.
Mary works as a travel agent and tour guide for Twin City Travel, a small local agency. She organizes and leads tour groups all over the world, but especially Europe. Tuesday night, she returned from leading a tour group to Venice. Karl gives the address of the travel agency, and he also gives the investigators a key to Mary's condo in Saint Louis Park, a suburb of Minneapolis.
Karl is an accountant at General Mills. He lives in Golden Valley, a suburb adjacent to Saint Louis Park.
If the investigators check with Mary's coworkers at the agency, they'll get the following information: Mary's luggage was delayed from the trip to Venice. She left work early yesterday, about 3 p.m., to go to the Hubert H. Humphrey charter terminal to pick them up. This was the last she has been heard from by Karl or anyone at the agency.
A search of her condo reveals no relevant clues. Mary and Karl have no prior criminal records. Karl can't think of anyone who would want Mary dead.
The investigators have many things they can do at this point. Checking with police for her car will turn up nothing. Metro Traffic Control, which tracks all accidents on the freeways via video cameras, has no record of an accident involving a car matching the description during the period in question.
The security cameras at the charter terminal can be checked. This takes about three hours. They will show her in the terminal, going through customs, and leaving the terminal. They also show crowds of people and news crews waiting for something. If anybody who works in the terminal is asked about the crowds, they will say that Larry King came in yesterday on a charter plane for a book signing appearance. The only other information at the airport is that the parking lot attendant, David 'Stretch' Hoskins, didn't showed up for work today.
Checking hospitals and clinics will turn up no Mary Renharts registered. Six Jane Does at widely separated hospitals (Abbot-Northwestern Hospital, North-Memorial Hospital, Ramsey County Medical Center, Blaine Medical Center, East Side Medical Center, Apple Valley Medical Center) need to be checked separately, which will take several hours.
If the PCs want to check on Hoskins, they'll find he lives at 14th Street and Chicago Avenue, a bad neighborhood for Minneapolis. He lives in a cheap, rundown apartment building. The caretaker will let the PCs through the security door, if they show some kind of semi-official identification. A private investigator's license or a faked police ID is sufficient. If they knock on Hoskins' door during the day, no one will be there. At night, they'll hear scrambling, and then shuffling, and the door will open. A scraggly twenty-something Caucasian man will answer the door. The place reeks of marijuana smoke. He acts paranoid and stoned. If the PCs are police, he won't cooperate without some pushing. If they aren't police, he'll relax noticeably and let them in.
This is Hoskins' roommate, Sean Hunter. He hasn't seen Stretch since he left for work on Wednesday, but maybe he met a girl or something. The PCs can get a description of Hoskins' car and the license number, or they can get it from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The PCs can either hand this off to the police or handle it themselves, if they are part of the department or have close ties.
A search for the car comes up with an abandoned car in the river flats parking lot on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. The search for the vehicle took about eight hours. It has numerous parking tickets on the windshield. The first ticket is dated Wednesday evening. Police put out an APB on Hoskins. They are now involved in the case, since there is enough evidence to warrant a criminal investigation. If the PCs are cops, or private investigators with good relations with the department, the police will let them continue on the case.
About a day later, a body matching Hoskins' description surfaces in the Mississippi River nearby. He looks rather beat up, his wrists and ankles are bound. He has a single bullet in the head. Forensics can find nothing in the car or the body.
A call to Larry King's agent reveals that his book signing was cancelled, and he left Wednesday night. The agent doesn't know the reason for the cancellation.
Checking all the Jane Does at the six hospitals is rather time-consuming, as hospitals won't give patient information over the phone. They each need to be visited, and they are rather widely separated. At the last hospital, North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, the PCs hit pay dirt just a little too late. She checked out about two hours before the PCs arrive.
Talking to the nurses, the following information is gathered:
- A confused woman was found in the Emergency Room waiting room on Wednesday night. She was suffering from amnesia. She doesn't know how she got there. She has no identification. Doctors admitted her for tests.
- Doctors can find nothing wrong with her. No head trauma, no evidence of drug or alcohol abuse, no neurological problems, nothing.
- Four hours ago, a man comes to the hospital looking for a Mary Renhart, stating that he's her brother, Jack Renhart. He has them check the Jane Does, and she's the one. He produces a Minnesota driver's license, and three photos with the two of them in it. He also produces a letter to him from her starting 'Dear Brother'. He pays the hospital bill in cash, and they release her to him.
- The nurses give you a description: Caucasian, about six feet tall, medium-length brown hair, blue eyes, somewhat muscular, five o'clock shadow, and a moustache.
- They give you the address from his license: 16 Phalen Park Road, St. Paul. They also give you the license number.
Running the driver's license makes the PCs jaws drop, collectively. No such name, no such address, no such license. This is unusual, because Minnesota has a high-tech driver's license, that is supposed to be difficult, if not impossible, to fake. Like a credit card, but with a better hologram.
About this time, the PCs get a call on their cell phone. Karl tells them that he just got a call from Mary! She's at her apartment, wondering why he hasn't come to pick her up for their date.
The PCs meet Karl at Mary's apartment and get let by a confused Mary. After they hug, Karl asks, "Where've you been? I've been sick with worry." Mary replies, "I just got home from work. I've been waiting for you to pick me up." The information that comes out in the ensuing conversation is as follows:
- Mary thinks it is Wednesday night. She has no memory of the last few days.
- When the PCs mention her brother, Jack, both Mary and Karl say that she has no brother. She has a sister in Connecticut.
- She appears to be uninjured. She'll submit to a medical exam, if the PCs request it. Doctors find nothing.
At this point, there's not a lot of avenues to pursue. Karl will pay the PCs, if they are private investigators. They can choose to drop the case or continue with no pay. If they decide to pursue, it is up to the GM to come up with more clues.
What Really Happened
When Mary went to the charter terminal to pick up her bags, she had to go through customs again. She cleared customs, and went out to her car the parking lot.
While she was in the lot, she witnessed an attempted hit on Larry King by cyber-assassins (experiments of the Evil Geniuses) while his limo was driving away after getting off his charter plane. They stopped the car, broke the window and fired into the car. Larry King seemed to be surrounded by a red glow during the attack, and the bullets seemed to bounce off harmlessly. She hurried to her car, terrified and confused.
As she got to her car, two men dressed in dark suits and sunglasses approached her and squirted something into her face. She collapsed and they put her into the car, driving out of the parking lot. Other than the people in the limo, she and the parking lot attendant were the only witnesses to the assassination attempt.
The men in black were secret backup to King's entourage and were protecting Mary from the opposition. They had to make a choice between Mary and Stretch, and Mary won.
Agents for the Evil Geniuses grabbed Stretch, put a replacement in the toll booth, took him and his car, and killed him.
The MiBs took Mary in her car to the hospital and left her in the waiting room. They timed it so noone would see them. The spray they used causes amnesia. They figured she'd be safe there until they could deal with the Evil Geniuses and their agents.
When Karl contacted the PCs, the MiBs kept track of them from a distance. They just wanted to make sure the PCs didn't spoil anything. By the time the PCs were about to find Mary, the threat had been dealt with, so they got her out of the hospital (the MiBs can fakeany ID), took her home, and gave her the antidote nasal spray.
New World Order
INWO Cards drawn to generate this scenario: Gordo Remora, Cyborg Soldiers, Talisman of Ahrimanes, Men in Black, and Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow.
Map of Minneapolis / Saint Paul
Points of Interest:
Airport -- large white area near the '5' near Inver Grove Heights.
Hoskins' apartment -- just below the star.
River flats park - between the star and the '280'.
Mary's apartment - near the dot above the '100'.
North Memorial Hospital - just above New Hope.