(Call of Cthulhu) Do Gods Dream of Digital Drugs by 秒針, Japonism(2021年更新版) by INT の犠牲者卓, 2021/12/22

Do Gods Dream of Digital Drugs? Day 2 Narrative Replay – Call of Cthulhu

This is Part 2 of a narrative replay for the Japanese Call of Cthulhu scenario Do Gods Dream of Digital Drugs? written by Byoushin, of the Victims of INT Table, for the Japonism scenario pack. You can find the written version of this replay mjrrpg.com.

This is part 2 of the narrative replay for the Japanese Call of Cthulhu Scenario, 神々は電⼦ドラッグの夢を⾒るか, or Do Gods Dream of Digital Drugs, written by 秒針 of the INT の犠牲者卓 , or Victims of Int group. If you haven’t read or listened to Day 1, I would suggest doing so here.

If you’re a player, or just don’t want to know everything about the scenario ahead of time, you can read or listen to the first, spoiler-lite section of my review of it here. You can find the Japonism bundle with this scenario in it on booth.pm

Onto Day 2 of Do Gods Dream of Digital Drugs?




Call of Cthulhu Spoilers




A jittery Akira fast walked to the hospital. He’d barely slept and cruised on a litre of coffee. It had taken most of the night, and morning, to recover any data at all from Masahi’s phone. But he’d done it. Itsumi likewise felt a tad haggard on his commute, having spent more time than planned the night before researching the four deceased and their organisations. True, fresh clarity never greeted Daiki in the morning anymore, but he also didn’t feel like death, so he took that as a sign of a good sleep.

When Majima left the hospital, an eye patch covering the mess that still itched despite the painkillers, he found his companions outside comparing notes, already planning their routes for the day. Majima shook off any suggestions he rest and leave it to them. Without further ado, Itsumi laid out what he’d learned of the victims, and they decided who would go where.

The first body, found a full month ago, had been that of Sakurako Akasawa, a professor at Yogoshi University, and a leading member of their artificial intelligence lab. While the university had campuses all over Tokyo, the AI lab was near Jinnbochou Station. The second to die had been Chikura Takuto, a sound engineer at Messiaen Record, an audio equipment manufacturer located next to Ueno Park. After that was Baden Thalman, a German national, and Japan representative for the international investment company Penture Co., Ltd., headquartered in a tower attached to Shinjuku Station. Kanakura Saya had been the last victim, before Masahi, a senior employee of the Shibuya-based event-planning agency Chala Inc.

Akira obviously knew the most about computers, and had even attended Yugoshi for a short time, so he volunteered to visit the AI lab. It likewise made sense for Majima, as a musician, to ask around Messiaen Record. Itsumi took Penture, and Daiki Chala, to finish things off. Before they parted ways, agreeing to keep in touch and sharing anything they discovered in a group chat, Akira shared what he’d recovered from Masahi’s phone. Not much, just message history. But among the texts was one an anonymous message, telling him to be careful around the ‘nonbelievers’ until the ‘reveal.’

On his way to the Yugoshi AI lab, Akira searched a bit more into Professor Akasawa, learning that she had been the lead developer of a project called ‘Partita,’ billed as a deep-learning AI set to autonomously seek out the answer to the question ‘what is good music?’ Assistant-Professor Eai was now listed as the project lead.

Arriving at the lab, Akira simply asked a student where the Partita lab was, then walked with purpose through the halls, counting on his confident stride to convince others he belonged there. When he entered the lab room the engineers, programmers, and assistants looked up at him, and once again Akira bulled ahead, asking for Assistant-Professor Eai. A solidly-built middle-aged man popped his head out an office. Keeping up the facade, Akira said he was here for maintenance, and taking him at his word, Eai invited Akira into his office.

Eai asked some light questions about who Akira was and what sort of maintenance, and Akira said he’d worked with Professor Akasawa on server maintenance a few months ago. A risky lie, as Eai might have been working closely-enough with Akasawa at that time to know anyone on the team, but the assistant-professor made some affirmative noises and sighed at Akasawa’s name, saying he missed working with the professor.

Akira probed a bit further, and Eai seemed more than happy to reminisce about Professor Akasawa, saying she’d been a genius, and that Partita would have never pulled through without her leadership and talent. He’d taken her suicide hard. In fact, this had been her desk, and the desk where she’d killed herself. With pens.

To pull the assistant-professor out of his darkening mood, Akira prompted him about Partita’s ‘work,’ and Eai quickly lightened up, beaming with pride and said Partita was hard at work on a follow up piece already. In a lower, jokingly-conspiratorial voice, Eai said he shouldn’t be sharing that, but Tristan, the first piece composed by Partita, would be revealed very soon at HMF anyways. Asked if he’d heard Tristan, Eai sadly admitted he had not, and that Akasawa had expressly forbid anyone from the lab from listening to it. As far as he knew, only Akasawa and other members of the HMF committee had heard it. With a slight grin, Akira asked if there was perhaps a copy of Tristan still in the lab, but Eai laughed and said it had been wiped from Partita. He had no idea if Akasawa had other copies made, or where they might be.

Deciding that was as far as Akira would learn, he excused himself and went to the server room, once again without any trouble. With the servers humming around him, Akira plugged in his laptop. Even a brief glance at Partita boggled the mind with its complexity. And indeed, it was learning, and creating. Normally this would fascinate Akira, enough to make him contemplate applying to work at Yugoshi right this minute, but he’d seen what Partita’s creations had done. Tristan killed Masahi, blinded Majima, and quite possibly killed this professor Akasawa as well. Akira got to work.

Before heading into Chala Inc. Daiki checked their website, finding that the company had been contracted to plan and coordinate the HMF. Seeing that appointments were required. Daki made one through the site. Outside the Shibuya office, Daiki noticed that posters were pasted to the windows, reading ‘Cancel HMF,’ and bearing a logo he recognised from Masahi’s condo as being that of the Church of Serialism.

As soon as he entered the office a receptionist guided him to a small conference room. Another minute later, and a bleached-haired young man sauntered in, silver earnings flashing almost as brightly as his slightly-vacant smile. He introduced himself as Kenji Charashima with an aloof bow and settled sideways into a chair next to Daiki.

Kenji proved more than happy to explain anything to Daiki, being one of the few employees not incredibly busy with preparing for HMF, especially after Kanakura passed away. Kenji’s mouth turned into an almost comical frown. Daiki asked how Kanakura was involved with HMF, and Kenji said that a few months ago Kanakura had gotten a call regarding an AI project. Weird, he’d thought at the time, as Chala had never really been involved with anything like that before. But Kanakura said it would turn HMF into an event never to be forgotten, and no doubt guarantee Chala steady contracts for decades.

Speaking of HMF, Kenji asked, ‘Are you like, going? It’s gonna be crazy, there’s a special event, you know? Real secret’ He waggled his eyebrows until Daiki asked what the secret was. ‘When you put it like that I just GOTTA tell ya! There’s gonna be a gig, a song made by an AI! They call it ‘Tristan,’ right? Weird.’ With a secretive glance around the room – the tiny, single-closed-door room – he continued ‘No one’s heard it here besides Kanakura.’

Daiki replied that he indeed was going to HMF, and that he really needed to get access to Tristan, there was something dangerous going on. Kenji, the gentle soul that he was, trusted Daiki immediately, and quickly gave him Chala-branded backstage passes, saying they’d help him get around the event without any difficulty. Regarding Tristan, it was with a different department, and Kenji honestly had no idea where or with whom. With so many staff busy he couldn’t promise anything, but he’d look into it right away and call Daiki if he found anything. Daiki thanked him and left for a smoke.

Itsumi bussed to Penture’s Shinjuku office. On the way he checked some news releases regarding the investment company, finding that it generally involved itself in tech-related ventures. Notably, it had funded the Yugoshi University AI lab, publicly endorsing the AI music composer program ‘Partiti,’ hoping it would usher in a new era of both music and AI generated content.

Penture’s office took up a full floor of the office building, and stepping out of the elevator Itsumi found a short hallway with a code-locked door and an elderly security guard. The pentioner apologised, saying that Itsumi would need an appointment, and that likely wouldn’t happen any time soon. When asked about Partita, the silver-haired guard said that the person in charge of that project was swamped with handling complaints due to all the threats. With a little extra pressing, he admitted that the staff member went home just before the last train each day, and might be able to talk briefly on the walk from the office to the station proper.

With little else to do but wait, Itsumi decided to go check out the Church of Serialism, supposedly located near Jiyuugaoka Station. Waiting for the train, he found that the Church’s website said it was devoted to worshipping ‘The God of Music.’ Business registry sites also showed the Church financed various live houses, concert halls, as well as sound equipment and recording companies. Altogether, the Church seemed to be entirely peaceful, and even a rather successful business, with no history of incidents up until the threats against the HMF.

And just as he got seated in the train, a news article dropped in his feed. Two hours earlier police had raided the Church, arresting the whole of the congregation. By the time Itsumi got there, an altogether nondescript building that fit in with the offices around it, only a pair of officers stood outside. After telling them he was off-duty doing some extra curricular work for Detective Gakuto, they let him in.

The wide worship hall was empty, scattered papers on the floor, and there was only a single door at the back of the hall. Itsumi rifled through the papers, finding them to be scriptures. Most detailed Serialism’s devotion to the God of Music and promoting musical art among all of humanity. Harmless. But there were also freshly printed pamphlets, prophesizing the descent of the God of Music to earth to banish the Devil’s Music. The writing was sloppy and nearly incoherent in places, but Itsumi pieced together that the Serialists thought Tristan represented the Devil’s Music, and the congregation had to defeat it. There also seemed to be some division among the Church, with the new scriptures denouncing heretics.

Stacks of sheet music stood near pews. Itsumi couldn’t work out the notes, they seemed absurdly complicated, so he snapped a picture and put it in the group chat. He went through the back door, finding a small office littered with binders and records. Pouring through well-laid out finances and registration papers, Itsumi found that he recognised many of the Church’s members as popular musicians. Others were listed as HMF staff – moles. There had been plans for Church members to attend HMF at 1:00pm and conduct a performance. Like a flashmob, he thought with a smirk. But the mass arrests did not bode well for the Serialists plan. He also dug through a member list, finding a dozen or so names crossed out and marked as ‘excommunicated.’ Masahi Hamamatsu, among them.

Majima sat in the waiting room of Messaien Record. The receptionist had said their employees were all quite busy at the time. While keeping tabs on the others’ progress, he’d passed the time searching about Messaien. Right on the corporate family page the Church of Serialism was listed as a majority shareholder, the rest of the company being either family or employee held.

The picture of the Serialists’ sheet music in the group chat caught Majima’s eye. The notes fell into place, and he could hear it in his mind’s ear. Mysterious, beautiful and terrible, echoes from the end of the universe, disrupting his thoughts, ambitions, his very sense of being, until Majima was not Majima, only more notes drifting in the eternal song.

He hummed.

The receptionists scream snapped him out of it. She stood, her chair tipped over, hands covering her ears, eyes bugging out. They stared for a minute, then Majima awkwardly shrugged an apology. New song. Rough draft.

A man in a black ACDC shirt stretched by bulging muscles, his head glistening-bald, strode into the room. He looked at the receptionist as she shakily took her seat, then with a frown walked over to Majima and bowing, introducing himself as Ren Otoishi. He apologised for the wait, he was busy with HMF prep.

Pretending to be interested in purchasing equipment, Majima told Ren he was a pianist, intriguing the big man, who suggested they jam sometime. He shredded. With assurance they would, for sure, soon, someday, Majima then worked into some more pressing questions, firstly about the Church of Serialism. Ren said the Serlialists didn’t involve themselves in Messaien’s operations, and none of them worked for the company. Ren had never even met one of them. Dream shareholders, really, never complaining or making demands.

When asked about Takumi Chikura, Ren clammed up for a second, but eventually let out a deluge. He didn’t know how to feel. He’d liked Takumi, certainly never wished any harm to the guy, but now that he was gone, Ren had been promoted. But he was also so much busier now having to handle HMF. But he got payed so much more now though! But he still had nightmares. Takumi at his desk, nodding along to whatever played in his earbuds, all the while stuffing pen after pen into his eyes, mouth, ears.

Asked about the music, Ren shrugged. The people from Chala had collected it. Confidentiality, or something, but Ren still thought the music had something to do with Takumi’s death. Majima thanked Ren for his time and promised to call in the jam session. Ren shredded his air guitar.

The four met up as it was nearing midnight, Akira coming in last. He’d left a virus in Partita that would cause the program to cannibalize itself. If all went as planned, no one would notice until the crippled Partita ceased up, and without Professor Akasawa, they shouldn’t be able to repair or rebuild it. After some talk of what to do next, they decided to first catch the Penture employee, Kyouko Shachikuda. They ran into her as she hustled to the station, trying to ignore them until Daiki caught her attention as a fellow over-worked soul, used to catching the last train. Kyouko said she’d answer some questions, as long as he could keep up and she wouldn’t miss her damn train. In the end they didn’t learn much new from her. Penture invested in all manner of projects around the world, and dozens in Japan. She didn’t know much about Baden’s death, just rumours he’d done it with his own finger nails. Too tired to care, too busy. Kyouko’d been dealing with constant claims, complaints, and threats from that damned church – at least that should get easier now that the bastards had been arrested.

Midnight approached. They had some idea what would happen tomorrow. Tristan would play at HMF. All those in attendance, all those watching it across Japan, all those streaming it internationally, they would all hear Tristan, and no doubt react just like Sakurako Akasawa, Takumi Chikura, Baden Thalman, Saya Kanakura, Masahi Hamamatsu, and Majima. They didn’t know where Tristan was, or if any of the Serialist heretics were still out there. But they knew one thing.

They had to stop Tristan.



This was Day Two of three. I hope you’ll come back for the final day.

If you’d like to see how it turns out for your group, you can purchase the scenario from booth.pm, but the scenario is currently only available in Japanese.

Before you go, though, maybe take a look at some more scenario replays?

Seeds of Terror: The Mummy of Pemberley Grange, Endless Light, One Less Grave.

Chasioum: Amidst the Ancient Trees

Japonism: Do Gods Dream of Digital Drugs?

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