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When It Happened (Chronicle Time): January 15-17, 2008

Who Was There: Mark Donovin (Eric), Yukio Ohta(Bob), Bruce (Matt)

What It Was

Katsoulakis' lack of interest in New York's sex industry gives acolytes of Y'golonac a chance to hatch a plot around a horrific video file stored on a USB drive.

The Full Horror

[Adapted from the scenario "Super 8" in World of Cthulhu #2]

The holidays pass quietly in New York. Ishida is still recovering from an unfortunate grounding a few months before, but Michel Borsavin is enjoying a steady rise in audience share as he takes over the local paranormal program, Spooks On!, after its disastrous "special Halloween episode" at Winfield Hall. Meanwhile, Bruce is learning Japanese by watching a frightening number of hours of Anime Madness.

Mark, Bruce, and Yukio gather for a strategy session to prepare the next appearance of Thomas Donnelly. The Renny's Orgone field is unhealthy for Bruce, so they meet instead at the nearby Soul Nut Hole. They agree the Renaissance is the most likely target (a relief to Yukio, since the Marble Arch lacks an Orgone field), and Mark gives Bruce a profile of Donnelly so Joaquin Guzman can have the droogs and their informants keep a look out for him. A joke about bullets makes Yukio wonder if he might be able to use the Orikalk and crystal sculpture he recovered an archaeological dig to make Orikalk-tipped bullets to use against the Saints. Mark agrees to help him with that.

By meeting's end, they agree to have Bruce pose as a trafficker (not much of a stretch) and try to set up a meeting with Donnelly. Mark will be there too, watching from the best sniping position he can find.

A Different Underground

Demetrius Katsoulakis may dominate the occult circles of New York, but that doesn't mean he maintains a grip over every kind of criminal activity. Bruce's empire is proof of that, and it turns out Katsoulakis hasn't been paying much attention to human trafficking and the sex industry. Mark and Bruce have both heard rumors of trafficking rings, but lately there has been talk of a new one based around a black market brand called COIL DVD.

Now Mark is contacted, via Carla Madajewicz, by a bounty hunter named Luke Stanford, who is badly shaken up after an investigation led him straight into the making of a sex film that ended with a young woman dead—and worse. Mark arranges a meeting in Central Park that evening, and when Stanford shows up, he looks physically ill as well as traumatized.

While Bruce and Yukio watch from a distance (Yukio bearing an eggbeater Bruce insists will be important), Stanford briefs Mark about his investigation and tries to explain how the woman was devoured by a horrific creature with mouths in its hands. Stanford then gives Mark a USB drive which he says he found when he recovered from having passed out in his hotel room (he has no memory of how he even got back to it). Stanford believes the drive contains a video file of the session.

Stanford's wet coughs are getting worse, so the three men usher him into a cab in the hope of getting him to a hospital. He never gets there. Instead, Stanford cries out, "I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too much," and he transforms into a bloated, slimy horror. When Mark shoots it, the monstrosity collapses into a vile muck of slime and bodily fluids.

Following Leads

That leaves them with the USB drive and the names of the two men Stanford interviewed before he found himself on the set of the film. But the drive was damaged while Stanford was making his escape, and the file's content is almost certainly dangerous for anyone to see other than Bruce.

Bruce examines the badly pixilated remains and easily identifies the creature as a "Child" of the Great Old One, Y'golonac. The woman clearly wasn't expecting the shoot to take the turn it did, and there are several frames displaying text from a Mythos-related book. Given the presence of Y'golonac, Bruce strongly suspects the text is from the Revelations of Glaaki.

Bruce, pretending to be an underground filmmaker, visits the first of Stanford's interviews, a man named Dick Bergman. Joaquin Guzman recognizes Bergman as the owner of Woodside News and Cigars and also as a potential low-level informant whom the droogs have been trying to cultivate. Bergman is not home, but his wife is, and she tells Bruce that her husband must be at the Red Rose, an upscale brothel catering to the darkest impulses of whoever can afford its services.

Yukio recons the Red Rose with Death Projection, and Bruce shares a couple of drinks with the charming "Chelsea," but while what goes on in the basement is decidedly unpleasant, it's not obviously related to the Mad Gods. But pictures Yukio's seen in Bergman's place allow him to identify the man in one of the basement rooms.

The next day they corner Bergman in his cigar store, but he doesn't know a thing about the film. As soon as they leave, though, a Projection by Yukio reveals Bergman frantically calling Lloyd Stockwell (whom Stanford also questioned) about the "crazy people" who just roughed him up. The men head for Stockwell's place.

Bruce again goes in first, but when he tells Stockwell about Stanford's gruesome end, the man simply shrugs and begins closing the door, perhaps dismissing Bruce as the crazy nut Bergman warned him about. Before the door shuts, Bruce hears a woman's muffled shouts, and that's just the excuse he needs to barge in through the door. The other men rush in to join him.

When they open the basement door, they are attacked by Evie, a very irate call girl who would probably have met a grim end at Stockwell's hands ,though not without one hell of a fight. They quickly usher the woman out the door before she can bring mayhem down on Stockwell, and then start working him over themselves. Stockwell clearly knows quite a lot about the film, and he is craven enough to give up the name Brendan MacKenzie—the owner of the Red Rose—as part of the trafficking ring. But soon after that, he goes through the same transformation as Stanford, nearly becoming a Child of Y'golonac, but Mark takes him out first.

Next stop, MacKenzie's house, where they break in through the back door and find themselves in a kitchen facing five fully formed Children of Y'golonac. After a quick but fierce battle, the men search the house and find a calendar and notes describing a rave scheduled for the Old North Church, not far away, the following evening. A blinking light indicates a voice mail, left by MacKenzie's brother, Liam, who says a second woman has been found so another film can be made.

The men contact Alan Wingate, who joins them at MacKenzie's house, views the remains of the children of Y'golonac (apparently, when fully formed, they don't dissolve when killed), and takes in their brief on the trafficking ring. He agrees to trace the number left by Liam, which leads them to his cellphone. Wingate goes to get a warrant, while the other men follow Liam's cellphone to the Red Hook Container Center, where the first film was made.

When they get there, they find Liam going into a shipping container with buckets and cleansers. Yukio Projects into the container and finds blood everywhere. It takes Liam quite a while to clean it all up. The men check his car, a real beater, but find only a Red Rose match book and a well-used baseball bat. There's no hope of helping the second woman now, so Mark suggests they focus on the Old North Church the following night.

Movie Night

When they case the Old North Church, the men find a large hall for the rave. Right next to it is a smaller space including a long, narrow room with a screen at one end and a small projection room at the other. A projector is positioned at a hole in the wall between the two rooms. That space is filled with a clear, high-impact plastic so the projectionist will be sealed off from the outside once the door closes (which says a lot about what effect the video is expected to have on those who see it). The ravers will be there as convenient victims for the transformed audience.

Mark retrieves an explosive from their nondescript white van and rigs it inside the projection room. Then they wait for the ringleaders to show up. Yukio stays in the white van, while Mark passes himself off as one of the security detail and Bruce and his droogs join the rave.

Brendan shows up first, and welcomes a small crowd of middle-aged and wealthy men and women who are excited at the prospect of viewing the film. Liam arrives soon after and takes charge of directing the equally excited ravers into the main hall.

The MacKenzie brothers are amateurs at this, so when the bulb burns out in the projector, Brendan calls on Liam to help. Liam goes into the projection room with Brendon to take a look, but when he shuts the door behind them, so Mark hits the button. Boom.

Right after the explosion, Bruce and his droogs storm the audience room and bring a swift, brutal end to the would-be cult of Y'golonac.

The ravers next door are allowed to enjoy an excellent night, and once the last of them have stumbled their way home, the Old North Church "mysteriously" burns right to the ground. Meanwhile, Wingate leads a raid on the Red Rose, shutting it down for good. He also promises to look through the Red Rose's records for any mention of a "Thomas Donnelly." And with that, Mark, Yukio, and Bruce head home.

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