- Ma Nightshade
- A Scenerio Seed for Call
of Cthulhu/Delta Green
From: Morrigan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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
- 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