We finally got to what we assumed was the mi-go lab. We were all half nuts by now, just seeing the damn things. Frickin’ wasp, lobster, crab, whatever the hell. Getting electrocuted and half frozen to death by their weaponry didn’t help much either.—Charles McPherson, Captain, United States Marine Corps (Ret.), Security and Combat Specialist for the Manchester Foundation.
We’d already lost the Professor, and our team Wizard. The rest of us were pretty beat up too.
Getting in was easy enough. A door just slid open, silently, as we walked up. The thing didn’t look like much at first: a big, black, metal cylinder with some sort of rollers, supported by braces attached to the sides. They had varying amounts of some sort of fabric on them, like rolled carpet. The place smelled bad, like chemicals and ham.
On top of the thing was a brain in a glass jar, typical.
The cylinder had metal beds attached all around, covered with glass domes. They looked kind of like escape pods, or cryo-crypts.
Then I got close to one. Inside, there was a woman, nude, floating in some sort of pink-tinged solution. She had a mask over her face, like a scuba mask. It had a tube, and a bunch of wires running into the cylinder. But that wasn’t the bad part.
Extending from the cylinder into the tank, was a little mechanical arm, with a tiny tip that could rotate in any direction.
The arm was running that tip all over her body, damn fast, pulling off her skin in strands, like yarn, which was being drawn into the cylinder. Most of her muscle tissue was exposed, and completely intact. She didn’t react at all, and I think that was the worst part of it.
I snapped, I know what that feels like. I leveled Suzy up and started firing. One already under the hammer, five more in the chamber. The stuff sure wasn’t glass, at first I didn’t even scratch it. Twelve gauge at point blank range.
Then, I got some chips, then little cracks. On my last round the thing blew open. The fluid was slick, I fell when it got under my feet. She started convulsing, the mask pulled off, the breathing tube drew out of her throat, a bunch of wires jerked out of her skull, and she landed right on me.
She was screaming, screaming like I never heard anyone do before, and still thrashing around like hell. I tried to get hold of her, keep her from hurting herself, but the damn pink stuff was so slick, and it got all over me as well. It tasted salty.
She finally calmed down. Her head drooped onto my shoulder, and my gaze fixed on her dead eyes.
The Weaver is a 6′ diameter, black metal cylinder, with a smooth, flat top. From the edge extends, seamlessly and at regular intervals, five 3′ wide by 8′ long rectangular beds, of the same black metal. Each bed has a rounded, sealed lid of a glass-like material. The top surface of the cylinder is 4′ high, with the beds resting on legs at their ends. The lids, which resemble rounded, glass butter dish lids, rise one foot above the cylinder’s surface. Hinges may be seen inside the lids.
Centered atop the cylinder is a dome 2′ wide by 2′ tall. In this dome, a brain floats in a clear, pink-tinged liquid. From the brain extend various tubes and wires, downward into the cylinder.
In the lids, filled with the same clear, pink-tinged liquid, float nude humans of various races. The faces of the humans are covered with scuba-like masks, from which extend tubes and wires into the central cylinder. There is also a patch of some sort on their chests, with wires extending into the central cylinder. Emerging from the cylinder, into these tanks, are one half inch diameter, multi-jointed, mechanical arms, with omni-directional, pointed tips.
These arms rapidly play the tips over the bodies of the humans, drawing their skin into yarn-like strands, which are drawn into the cylinder. This process exposes muscle tissue. A Regular Success on Spot Hidden will show the skin is slowly growing back, as small as yarn, moving from the oldest exposed area to the most recent.
Near the top of the wall of the cylinder are five, horizontal top to bottom, slots, each one half inch high and five feet wide. From these, very slowly, emerge sheets of skin, one quarter inch thick, like paper feeding out from a computer printer. These are then spooled onto horizontal rods, held in place by support arms extending from the two sides of the cylinder, creating essentially rolls of skin carpet. The “printer” is located between the support arms.
These sheets of living skin are then removed and stored, in the clear, pink-tinged liquid, for whatever purposes the mi-go require.
The Keeper should feel free to generate their own list, but suggested uses are included near the end of this document.
Beneath the feed slots is a panel, ten inches on a side, with no visible hinges. To one side is a small hole, which is a lock mechanism requiring a specialized key. An Extreme success on Spot Hidden, or simply pushing a malleable substance into the hole and retracting it, will reveal the need for a key with two shapes, one for the top, where the key first inserts, then another for the most recessed area. The initial opening is simply a square. The second, more recessed area, is a dodecagon (twelve sided).
With access to a machine shop, an Investigator may make such a key with a successful Mechanical Repair check. The controls behind the panel are discussed below.
The clear, pink-tinged liquid is a protein and nutrient-rich solution, which keeps the brain and the humans alive and healthy. Examined in a laboratory setting, it is mostly just that. However, it contains microscopic objects moving of their own accord. Depending upon the era of the game, it may be discovered these are nanites, or at least astonishingly small machines.
Destroying the Weaver: The Weaver has no external power source. The dome over the brain has 20 points of armor, and 10 hit points. The same is true of the lids over the beds. The brain itself has 4 hit points.
However the brain dies, it will twitch jerkily. If the bed lids are broken, the slick, clear, pink tinged liquid gushes out. The humans are comatose.
Beneath the masks, the humans each have a tube down their throat, providing oxygen. They also have several wires inserted into their brains, and held in place to their skulls by electrodes. The breathing tubes remove easily. However, extracting the wires from their brains causes them to thrash violently, scream terribly, and clutch wildly at anything they can, including investigators. This lasts several seconds, and the humans remain comatose.
Causing and witnessing this reaction causes a Sanity check for 1/1D4 Sanity Points.
If they receive medical treatment in a hospital environment, they can be awakened. However, they are indefinitely insane, with 3D6 Sanity, 3D4 Cthulhu Mythos, and 1D6+6 in both INT and EDU. During periods of lucidity, they can describe their experiences with the machine and wasp/crustacean creatures, which can give the Keeper future adventure hooks. Remember they are skinless to varying degrees. That hurts.
The Cylinder: The Cylinder, to which magnets will barely stick, has a Mohs rating of 9. Upon metallurgical examination, it will be found to be tungsten carbide. It would require extraordinary measures to destroy it. A Mohs test involves attempting to scratch one material with another to determine which is harder. Sample Mohs scales may be found at the end of this document.
Opening the Panel: The panel is, of course, perfectly flush with the Cylinder wall, and there is only the thinnest space between; plus it’s made of tungsten carbide. It is impossible to pry open.
With the proper key, the panel opens easily, revealing unmarked controls. Inside, at the top, are two dials (or rheostats) with small blue lights above them, essentially LEDs. The one to the left controls heart rate, while the one to the right controls breathing. If either of these are turned all the way to the left for a few seconds, the corresponding human will die. If it is the right dial, they will jerk about violently for several seconds prior to death.
Beneath there are two more buttons, each of which is also a dial, partially surrounded by three dots, impressed in the metal. Each dot correlates to one of the humans, though only trial and error can determine which.
When pressed, the one to the left sends an electrical current to the patch over the chest of one of the humans, acting as a defibrillator, and causing them to spasm. If the corresponding human’s heart is already working properly, there is a 50% chance it will stop, causing the blue light above the left of the top most dials to go out.
The dots around the lower right dial correspond to the humans in the same way as the one to the left. When pressed, it opens the corresponding lid, via the internal hinges. (See the paragraph beginning with “Beneath the masks,” under Destroying the Weaver, above.)
Causing the deaths of one or more of these human in this manner results in a Sanity check for 1/1D4 Sanity Points. This is a total, not per human.
Sanity Loss: 1D6/2D6 for viewing the Weaver in operation. 1/1D6 if it is powered down, but contains the brain and humans. Viewing the machine itself does not cause any Sanity loss.
Suggested Uses For the Skin
- Coating the floor, walls, and ceiling of the inside a building, attaching living brains to it in various places, and running braided nervous tissue between them all, thus creating a huge and powerful organic computer. Viewing this, and being immersed in a tidal wave of thoughts from the brains, results in a Sanity check for 1D6/3D4.
- Covering Mi-Go created androids, meant to incorporate into human society. Patching and healing injuries sustained by human collaborators.
Partial Mohs Scale for Metals
Hardened Steel: 7–8
Tungsten Carbide: 8.5–9
Partial Mohs Scale for Gems
My name is CthulhuBob Lovely. I help run MisCon, which occurs each year on Memorial Day Weekend in Missoula, Montana, thanks to the wonderful people who make it happen. I also help out, however I can, at RadCon, SpoCon, The Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous, the GAMA Trade Show and the Origins Game Fair.
Always a dreamer and very imaginative, I began playing Dungeons and Dragons at the age of 13. Prior to this, I had seen H.P. Lovecraft’s books in the collection of my older brother, Brian, who is also responsible for introducing me to Monty Python, Star Wars and many other things geek.
When Call of Cthulhu was first published I immediately fell in love with the game, and the system, and have been running Call of Cthulhu ever since. I am a Missionary for Chaosium, a MIB for Steve Jackson Games and a Demo Monkey for Cheapass games.