Ma Nightshade
A Scenerio Seed for Call of Cthulhu/Delta Green

From: Morrigan (
Date: Sunday November 9th , 2003
In the 1960s, Lillian Pierce was a notorious 'black widow' in Washington DC. She had romanced - even married - close to two dozen wealthy Washington area bachelors, all of who m had died under mysterious circumstances. Lillian earned her moniker "Ma Nightshade" because roughly a third of these unfortunates died of poisoning, and usually from a poison connected with the plant kingdom, like ricin, belladonna, or digitalis. More ominously, another third died from causes unknown. They were simply dead. There was never enough evidence to convict Pierce, who bore an eerie resemblance to Wallace Simpson, even though it was a widely known 'secret' that she was murdering husbands and lovers for monetary inheritance.
Pierce lived ostentatiously, and, after her 22nd victim's money ran out, she became desperate. She made contacts with Russian military intelligence agents, who handled technical spying, in Washington DC, offering to use her proven methods to find secrets for them, in addition to money for her. As a demonstration of good faith, she began plucking Donald Devoe, a technician on the Navy's Global Tracking Project.
What neither Pierce nor the GRU knew was that the GTP was Devoe's cover assignment. In reality, he was working on the continuance of the Philadelphia Experiment. Lillian's knowledge of technical matters was minimal, and, when the smitten Devoe offered to deliver to her a package from his work, she readily accepted, thinking that something really juicy was going to come into her hands, which she could turn over to the GRU for a tidy profit.
Somehow, the GRU realized what Lillian certainly, and Devoe possibly, didn't know: that the technological item he intended to turn over to her was inherently dangerous, and they sought to prevent delivery. When word of the GRU's newfound lack of interest reached Pierce and Devoe, they offered the item to the East Germans instead. On the night of the delivery, at Pierce's opulent Arlington home, a shoot out erupted between the GRU and the Stasi. Devoe was killed and Lillian was forced to flee. Within her house, Lillian opened the package, which had been damaged in the shoot out, to find out just what the furor was all about. Whatever the technological marvel actually was, it promptly exploded, and Lillian disappeared.
Lillian's house was seized by the FBI under an early version of the RICO statutes, then put up for auction. Lillian's reputation, as well as a reputation the house itself had acquired, prevented sale. The estate fell into ruins. In the late 1980s, a new realtor acquired the property and tried to make the sale. However, he had the same poor luck, since the house now appeared to be spectacularly haunted, literally besieged by poltergeist phenomena. A storm of chaos would invariably erupt whenever living person spent any length of time within the house. Further attempts to sell the house ended by 1990.
Interest in Lillian's house was only renewed in 2004 when Duane Miller, another Navy electromagnetic technician like Devoe, disappeared. Miller's interest in Devoe's work was well known from his quest to learn as much about Devoe as he could. Some felt that he had been disappeared by a hostile intelligence agency after being coerced into giving up his secrets, but what had actually happened was this: Lillian Pierce's consciousness had survived the destruction of her body by Donald Devoe's device. Driven utterly insane by discorporation, the storm of poltergeist- like chaos was, for the longest time, her only way to interact with the physical universe. For much of the time between her physical demise in the mid-60s and 2004, Lillian floundered about in her madness as a sort of post-modern ghost.
Then Duane Miller visited the house as he sought information on Don Devoe. From Miller, Lillian learned that the technology Devoe was working on was being further perfected, and this offered her the slender hope, at least to her deranged mind, of recovering her corporeal existence. Lillian confined Miller within her mansion, and, by tormenting him, learned the names of other innovators in the field of electromagnetic field theory. Then, either through control of Miller's actions when she temporarily released him to act as a lure, or by extending her own influence out of the mansion, she gathered these innovators in her dilapidated abode, where she hoped to harangue them into re-embodying her.
Of course her mad plan could never work. Scientists require laboratories and experimental equipment to explore esoteric phenomena, especially to find out why Lillian Pierce lost her body. Further, it is the rare scientist that can perform meaningful work whilst being harangued by a mad ghost. The CIA became convinced that these vanishing scientists were being spirited off to other countries, particularly Russia. As part of their efforts to stop the disappearances, they sought a common thread linking all the missing scientists together, and were quickly led to first Donald Devoe, then to Duane Miller, and finally to Lillian Pierce's dilapidated mansion.
A haunted house type adventure ensued, with Lillian playing cat-and-mouse with the agents involved. When they succeeded in freeing her scientist captors, the despair-spawned psychokinetic maelstrom which ensued leveled the old house. Later, Pierce made another attempt, using an expensive DC mansion as her killing jar. She was again thwarted. Sometime later, Lillian was encountered as a physical woman on the streets of New York, and another adventure followed as they sought to determine how she had regained her