By Matt Seaborn

Dr. Deurges is a vet, he is an extremely good vet, he is also quite, quite mad.

Word6 PDF Text 'The Copycat Killers' in Word 6, postscript and space delimited text formats


Dr. Deurges is a vet, he is an extremely good vet, he is also quite, quite mad. A few years ago he began getting annoyed that he was unable to fully cure some of his patients and began searching for a solution. Roughly two years ago he came upon the idea of replacing the injured animals, cloning them and giving the clones to the customer. He began his theoretical work. Within six months he began experimenting. Initially he cloned a rat he had caught. Upon releasing the clone it attacked it's original counterpart, viciously ripping it apart. Deurges found this both fascinating and annoying. So he continued the experiments, slowly making progress but never quite solving the need of the clone to destroy it's original counterpart. After about a year he decided that it was due to the animals feral nature and decided to move onto intelligent creatures, humans. To avoid the psychopathic behaviour he decided to clone the most rational person he knew. Himself. This, he thought, would create a clear thinking clone who could control his urges ... he was wrong. Upon awakening the clone stabbed him to death with a scalpel. The clone then continued on with the experiment, cloning himself again, reasoning that the original is already dead, this time he was right. The awakening clone decided to help the current Deurges in his work. There are today 20 copies of Deurges. Deurges then decided to begin experimenting on other human subjects. From the fact that the second clone was stable has lead

The Clones

The cloning process takes approximately 5 days of accelerated growth. All clones awaken with a psychopathic need to kill the original. The reason for this is unclear. After this they return to normal. The Deurges clones, to avoid discovery, have all had installed in themselves an incendiary device that will entirely combust the body 10 minutes after death to prevent identification.

Present Activity

Deurges is locating people who won't be missed, usually people passing through. He is then 'mugging' them. He holds a scalpel to their throat while he injects them with a knockout serum. He then takes a sample of brain tissue using a syringe and some flesh. Then leaves them. To date all cloned people have been slaughtered, with the exception of those who have left before the release of the clone.

Historical Clues

Due to his previous past experiments there is evidence of them in the library of past newspapers.

About a year and half ago a 'strange disease' spread through the local animals, causing them to attack each other. To locate this takes a WITS + ACADEMIA roll, with a modifier of -4. 2VP identifies that the animals only attack animals of the same type. 4 VPs results in the researcher noting that the animal population had increased around this time. 6 VPs and the researcher discovers that many of the animals were pets of the locals.

In the last 6 months the crime rate in the area has increased dramatically. To locate this takes a WITS + ACADEMIA roll. On 2 VPs will identify that both muggings and murders have increased. 4 VPs will locate the fact that they began about the same time. 6 VPs will identify the fact that many of the mugged victims were murdered.

Other Clues

Spotting a friend of Flavius murdered in the newspaper. See two animals (cats, rats etc) fighting. One kills the other. Spotting the clone of a murder victim walking about. (last resort)

Base of Operations

The vets is a simple 'pestle & mortar' townhouse. The surgery is on the ground floor, he lives on the two floors above. His secret research lab is in an extended cellar below the house and garden. The entrance is in the kitchen. One of the tall cupboards (empty) has a false back (PERCEPTION + SEARCH at -2) that leads to stairs. The normal entrance to the cellar has been bricked up (behind the door). There is also another entrance at the end of the garden, in the shed (PERCEPTION + SEARCH at -2). Deurges (all of them) is armed with a palm laser and a scalpel (knife). If he is discovered he will release any and all clones under development at that time (twice as many as the players + ones from the game). They all have average stats and are animal like due to their underdeveloped brains. Deurges will then attempt to escape.

The Adventure

The ship, 'The Discover' experiences engine failures upon setting down on Rampart, requiring a few days to fix. Tuti states that the players should go and enjoy the shore leave.

The city in which they land , 'Nikina', is not big, in fact is a spaceport, and a transport park. Surrounding the spaceport, a few miles away, are numerous small towns that contain inns, hotels, shops etc. It is suggested by Tuti that they stay at one of these for the next few days. Assuming they agree they go to a large town called 'Tellata' where they find somewhere to stay. That night, they are told, is a small carnival celebrating the beginning of the Harvest season. This involves a parade and colourful floats and music, the usual. One of them notes that the local headlines are that murders have recently (over the last few weeks) increased dramatically, usually multiple stabbings, if Quintuss sees it he will recognise one of the names on a Wits + Observe roll, if he gets 2 Vps as an old friend of his brother's, on a Perception + Observe of 2 Vps he will also note that muggings are up, 2 VPs and he will note that they are 'odd'. If they venture out that night have one of them experience a pick pocket. Regardless of whether he goes out or not, Quintuss should witness the brutal murder of someone down an alley. He should make a Perception + Observe roll.

Assuming he investigates the body he will recognise the body as a friend of his brother. He fits the above description. He has been stabbed 30-40 times. Quintuss should make a Wits + Observe roll.

If he doesn't follow this up another man will die the next day, one he again recognises as a friend of his brother's. If he still doesn't follow it up he will see the next day an article about the twin brother of yesterdays murder victim (the clone went back to kill Deurges and failed, and had his throat slit). To the best of Quintuss' knowledge he had no twin brother, or sibling of any sort. He should now realise that his brother's group of friends, and possibly his brother, is in the area and in trouble. When he follows it up using the relevant skills; Empathy, Inquiry, Lore, Streetwise. They should make one roll for every hour of searching, using the relevant skills. A total of 20VP's should be obtained. If Quintuss tries out logical places (i.e., the more decadent pubs, groups etc. he should have a +2 to his goal roll, and an additional +/- 2 for good questions/role-play).

Flavius and his 3 remaining friends (originally 6), Yeam, Herietus and Illicus had come to this place to have fun and cause trouble. Not telling anyone where they went to avoid getting found out. Now 3 of them have been brutally killed and the friends are beginning to get scared, but won't admit it. Flavius doesn't like Quintuss and will be disrespectful to the church. He will almost certainly be drugged up. The will act unafraid of the fact that 3 of his group have died. If the group attempts to enter the house Flavius' group will attempt to get them to leave, forcefully if necessary. Unless Quintuss and the group get 20 Vps on Extrovert + Charm/Oratory then they will be ignored and Flavius' group will go out partying.

Deurges has chosen Flavius's group as he overheard them say that no-one knew they were here, although he has experimented on others. He then releases the clones to see what they do. He is trying to create a stable clone. Upon the loss of his last clone he will attempt to get another new DNA/RNA sample from Falvius' group using the same method as always. If he is foiled he/another will try again on another subject. Note that if the players catch/kill him the next attempt will also be performed by a Deurges, regardless. If someone read/reads the newspapers they will remember about the muggings on a Wits + Observe roll.

If the players catch/kill a Deurges they may be able to identify him. Depending on what method they use. Taking a living prisoner to the police will require a Extrovert + Charm at -2 to get information out of them

To prevent dead bodies being identified the clones will spontaneously combusting 10 minutes after death using a device implanted inside them that monitors their bodily condition. Attempting to find Deurges only required 5 VPs (one roll and hour) with modifier of -2, using Empathy, Inquiry, Lore, Streetwise. Use the previous roll as complimentary. He runs a Vet's in town. This is his base of operations.