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Future/Perfect, Part 1: Hellbend, California

Categories: Previews

By Dennis Detwiller, © 2006

Future/Perfect is a series of investigations linked together to form a single unbroken campaign. However, each investigation is self-contained and can be run as a one-off adventure.

The campaign is a great way to introduce new players to the world of Delta Green. They can be brought in completely ignorant of the conspiracy, or with some foreknowledge.

Welcome to Hellbend, California, Population 82: A Nice Place to Die

Hellbend was once a vibrant town of nearly 3,500 souls, back when Hunt Electrodynamics ran the show. It was in the middle of nowhere, out past Beatty Junction near Death Valley, and no one knew why it was built there. In fact, no one cared.

In the late 1940s, Hellbend produced a third of the electronics found in fighter aircraft around the world. Hunt Electrodynamics ran everything from the schools, the town general store all the way down to the funeral parlor. The company provided everything, and the people liked it that way.

Then the explosion of 1952 happened and everything changed.

When the plant went up one August night, it took twenty-six locals with it, as well as the founder of Hunt Electrodynamics — the elusive Arthur Hunt.

In the midst of the destruction, Hunt Electrodynamics fell under new ownership and changed. Hellbend was left behind, crippled. The firm changed its name (Hunt Electronics) and shifted its attentions to the east coast — specifically to NASA and the Pentagon.

Without the leadership of Hunt, who lived and worked in Hellbend, the town dried up like the earth in Death Valley. People left, schools closed, things fell apart.

Today, the town is nearly dead. Only eighty-two people call the crumbling remains of Hellbend home anymore, and those few don’t look to the future. They get by on what they can, selling gas and goods to those on the way to the Death Valley National Park and biding their time. In another fifteen years, Hellbend will die a natural death, shriveling up in the 110o summer heat, leaving behind a skeleton of ruined buildings as a monument of some better time.

But in the last month, something else has been wearing away at the town, something decidedly unnatural. If the murder rate in Hellbend continues it’ll die a lot faster than fifteen years, and a lot more violently than just another victim of some dead industry.

Someone or something is killing the residents of Hellbend, California. No one knows who or what it is.

The Hellbend Investigation: Delta Green Moves In

The players are agents from the Bakersfield office of the FBI. They have been assigned the Hellbend case following the second murder of a resident of Hellbend.

The first murder occurred on March 5, 2005, on the outskirts of the town. Clifford Potter, a 53 year-old white male, was found mutilated less than four hundred yards from the remains of the ruins of the old Hunt Electrodynamics plant.

The county coroner from Independence, Abner White could not readily identify just how exactly he had died. No one doubts foul play of some sort — his body was torn to pieces — but no one can come up with a motive.

A nearby Bobcat light construction vehicle was tentatively identified as the murder weapon (since it was covered in his blood), but few can understand how such an event occurred. Potter had rented it at his own expense and was digging around on the abandoned lot at the ruins of the Hunt plant for some unknown reason.

He was known as a local treasure-hunter and was considered just a little bit crazy. Local investigation petered out after just a week.

The second victim, Lucille Mayer, a 36-year-old white female, was reported missing in Hellbend on the night of April 24th, and was discovered by state police over the border in Nevada fourteen days later when a local officer was drawn out into the desert by a gathering of buzzards. Very little to examine was left of Mayer, who was identified by her teeth. Serious blunt trauma had occurred, and portions of her skeleton were missing. Nevada FBI was called in, and the Las Vegas coroner placed cause of death as violent blunt and cutting trauma — in other words, murder.

The physical evidence — what there is of it — matches the marks found on Potter’s body.

Since it crossed state lines, the case was officially placed under federal jurisdiction along with the Mayer murder and reassigned to Bakersfield FBI.

Bakersfield is confident that someone is murdering people in and around Hellbend.

Future/Perfect is available for free download in two files: Parts 1-3 and Part 4.

Shane Ivey runs Arc Dream Publishing and is the lead editor of the newest Delta Green projects.