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Unlabeled VHS Cassette

Categories: Items of Mutual Interest

Physical Appearance

This is an unlabeled VHS tape cassette of the T-90 variety, with a black plastic shell.  Closer examination discovers a manufacturer’s mark from Heukgoni-E, now-defunct South Korean consumer electronics company.  The tape is in generally good condition, with limited signs of wear and tear on the cassette itself while the after-market green plastic box housing it appears brand new.  There are no indications as to the contents, origins, or intent of the cassette.

Investigating the cassette’s lot number determine that the cassette was manufactured in the fall of 1988, part of a shipment sold in Washington, Oregon, and portions of Idaho through numerous retail outlets.


Contents

The cassette appears to contain a several generations old copy of a video camera recording of a live peep-show taken from within a private viewing booth.  The recording begins with the conclusion of one dancer’s performance and contents proceed as follows

00:00 – 00:36 A dancer, a plain girl no older than 20, with bleached blonde hair and surgically exaggerated breasts, can be seen grinding her buttocks against the glass of viewing booth opposite the camera.  She then skips off the stage while an attendant gathers her clothing from the floor.  A muffled announcer identifies her as “Cheyenne” and reminders patrons that she will be available for private dances in the “Players’ Lounge”.

00:36 – 00:50 The shutter to the viewing room closes and the announcer reminds patrons to pay for the next dance with “Cherry”.  A moment later the shutter reopens.  The cameraman can be heard to laugh.

00:51 – 01:15 The lights on the peep-show stage dim and a woman can be seen to take the stage, standing next to the central pole.  The announcer invites applause for “Cherry” who had, apparently, been ill.  She is in her late twenties or early thirties, Asian, most likely Filipino, of medium height and slender build.  She is dressed in faux nurse’s uniform.

01:16 – 02:45 “Cherry” begins her performance backed by a muffled hard rock song (Billy Squire’s “The Stroke”.  The breathing of the unseen cameraman quickens.

02:46 – 03:00 While the dancer continues her performance, the unseen cameraman begins quietly speaking in what can be identified as prayer directed to “Père de la faim” and “Seigneur de la main bénie” (‘Father of Hunger’ and ‘Lord of the Blessed Hand’ respectively).

03:01 – 03:10 “Cherry” staggers and appears disoriented, clutching at her head.  The cameraman’s voice grows increasingly loud, crying out for “le sacrament de ‘I GO LON AK’”.

03:11 – 03:15 “Cherry” collapses to the stage while the cameraman continues chanting ‘I GO LON AK’.  A bouncer, a burly tattooed Latino, enters and bends over the stricken dancer.

03:16 The bouncer screams in agony as “Cherry” grabs hold of both sides of his head and pulls herself up from standing.  Blood can be seen pouring out from his head.

03:17 – 03:22 General commotion as “Cherry” can be seen to swell up as if being inflated.  After a few seconds she releases the visibly shrunken bouncer.  The side of his face is bloody and looks to have been badly bitten.

03:23 – 03:27 “Cherry”, or whatever is she is now, turns to face the cameraman.  She continues to swell, her clothes being snapped off with great force.  She has grown in height by at least two feet, her head rapidly disappearing into the great flabby white bulk of her torso.

03:28 – 03:31 The thing raises its arms and opens its bloody-covered hands, palms forward, toward the cameraman.  At the center of each is a gaping, sharp-toothed mouth. From one a sinuous tongue flicks forth, lapping at the blood on its hand.  The cameraman shouts ‘I GO LON AK’ and sounds as if he is weeping.

03:32 – 03:48 Gunfire can be heard coming from the right.  The bullets strike the creature, which continues to swell, in its pendulous abdomen but the wounds appear to spontaneously close with a few seconds.  Another bouncer, a ponytailed and mustachioed Caucasian in leather biker gear charges at the thing and stabs it in the shoulder with a bowie knife.  The thing bashes him in the shoulder, throwing him limply aside.  At this point “Cherry’s” head is no longer visible, having been subsumed into the monstrous, faintly luminous, white flesh of the entity.

03:49 – 07:02 The headless creature strides towards the cameraman, smashing the glass separating the booth from the stage area.  The cameraman drops the camera to the floor screaming out “I GO LON AK”; the camera lands facing a grimy wall.  The sound of sucking or slurping can be heard along with screams… though it is hard to tell if they are of pleasure or pain.  Sounds of shouts, weeping, and screaming can at times be heard, joined by as emergency vehicle sirens and the crackling of flame towards the end of the tape.   At just past the seven minute mark, as booth appears to be filling with smoke, the tape abruptly cuts off.

07:03 – 90:00 The remainder of the tape is blank.

Viewing the initial portions of the tape costs 1d3/2d5 points of Sanity and potential exposes viewers to the baleful influence of Y’golonac.

Research

With Library Use and using the clues to the location and era that the original recording was made in, researchers can locate a newspaper story about a fire that destroyed the Leopard Lounge in Corvallis Oregon, in the early morning hours of March 9, 1985.  The fire killed four patrons and five staff members and resulting in the total destruction of the club.

The deceased were:

  • Rosalia Perez aka “Cherry” (age 32), dancer
  • Javier Piscaro-Real (age 28), bouncer
  • Ramon Chance (age 43), bouncer
  • Paul Dunwoody (age 55), bartender
  • Aimee Pavelewski (age 19), dancer
  • Todd Mercer (age 66), patron
  • Roscoe Manners (age 48), patron
  • Travis Deinholz, (age 22), patron
  • Unidentified male (age uncertain, likely about 50), patron

Further investigation can uncover that Ms. Perez had been kidnapped by person or persons unknown after leaving work five days prior to the fire but had been found, unharmed, handcuffed to a radiator at a Salem-area motel the next day, claiming to have never seen her attacker or to have any memory of her kidnapping.  Dozens of survivors of the Leopard Lounge fire received medical treatment for burns, some serious, and smoke inhalation as well as shock and a few required psychiatric assistance with the traumas they suffered.

As the Keeper desires, survivors of the fire who witnessed some portion of the events at in the peep-show might be located but the identity of the cameraman will remain elusive, though a linguistic expert can identify the spoken language as Quebecois French.

As for the cassette itself, depending on the circumstances, some identifying evidence from its duplication might be uncovered; fingerprints can easily be lifted from its many flat surfaces if the tape’s copier was not careful.  The tape is generic enough that, without some solid forensic remains from the tape or its method of delivery (see below), it will not be enough to identify whoever duplicated it.

Investigators with connections or informants in the field of outsider, mondo, or outré cinema can hear about rumors of something similar to this recording, generally called “The Stripper Tape” Details of the contents beyond a few basic facts about the setting and circumstances vary widely, generally suggesting the eponymous stripper was poisoned and went berserk, was high on PCP or a similar drug, or (less commonly) was possessed by a demon.  No one is able to verify the “Stripper Tape’s” existence or locate a copy.  Rarely file-sharing sites host to what is claimed to be a copy of the tape, but these claims have so far proven bogus.

Forensic electronic examination of the recording can provide some tantalizing clues but this poses an increased risk for the examiner. The overscan area of the video catches sight of what appears to be the leg of a crawling naked infant, apparently crawling up the wall, at about the 05:45 minute mark; this discovery costs an addition 0/1 point of Sanity.  Likewise careful examination of the audio track discovers a nearly subsonic drone beginning at the 03:00 mark.  The droning sound resembles throat singing, though outside of normal human range.  Listening to this isolated audio track causes a feeling of discomfort in listeners and requires a successful INT x 4 roll to resist turning it off.  Animals flee from the sound if able.  Studying the tape in this fashion also increases the possible detrimental effects to one’s Sanity; see Effects of the Tape below.

Finally, a successful Cthulhu Mythos roll can identify the entity recorded as Y’golonac though the French honorifics and prayers recorded are not known in any of the traditional sources.

 

Effects

The cassette’s primary purpose is as a weapon, exposing victims to Y’golonac.  The Defiler may possess those who have been exposed to its invocation on the tape, though this is not as effective as reading from the 12th volume of the Revelations of Glaaki.  Those who solely view the tape may only be possessed if they fail a test of POWx10.  Repeated viewings, especially by those carefully studying the tape, lower this to a base of POWx5, as per the Keeper’s discretion.

Some viewers of the cassette may develop a psycho-sexual obsession, akin to a Phobia, depending on their predisposition to such neuroses.  They might obsessively view the tape or develope a sadistic urge, a desire to self-mutilate, or a sexual fixation upon Y’golonac itself.  Conversely victims might suffer from gynophobia, erotophobia, chirophobia (fear of hands), and transmorphophobia (fear of sudden transformation.

 

Scenario Seeds

The unlabeled VHS cassette can be used as a weapon against Agents, particularly if their identities are known by their enemies, especially sorcerers and other Mythos-aware human foes.  In this case the Agent (or their friends or families) will be sent the cassette from an unknown party (likely using a pseudonym).  In this case the sender will hope that the recipient will be tainted by the tape, exposed to the malign power of Y’golonac.  They may also attempt to summon Y’golonac using their victim as a conduit to the headless horror.  Alternately they might surreptitiously be shown the tape or even forced to view it while somehow restrained.

The tape might also serve as a scenario lead towards a Y’golonac cult or be recovered among the possessions of a sorcerer or cultist.  It might also found in a Green Box or among the items found in Clyde Baughman’s footlocker in the Shotgun scenario “Last Things Last” though one would hope it would be marked in some way to warn fellow Delta Green agents not to view it.

 

Statistics

Sanity cost 1d3/2d5 points of Sanity to view the recorded portion of the tape.  No points of Cthulhu Mythos are granted but the words for a French version of the spell Call Y’golonac can be learned; whether or not this is enough to learn the spell is left to the Keeper.

WinstonP (aka Bret Kramer) is a Call of Cthulhu author and Delta Green fan. He live in Lovecraft Country with his family, most of which are furred and four-legged, though he insists he unrelated to the Martenses.
  1. man of war
    Dammit! if these strippers would just graduate and become school teachers like they say none of this shit would happen!

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