Adventure Hook: Columbia Returns

To commemorate the 45th anniversary of man's first steps on the moon, here is an adventure hook for Moon Dust Men+Kenneth Hite's GUMSHOE campaign frame of government agents tasked with investigating and covering up alien activity on Earth.

Columbia Returns

On 21 July, 1979, at 23:41 UTC, NASA ground stations receive a transmission from lunar orbit. The message is the voice of the crew of Apollo 11, broadcast on the same frequency used 10 years before. Whatever is sending the transmission does not respond. It simply sends a recording of our historic journey. NASA tracks the transmission for the next 60 hours as it grows closer to earth along Apollo's original trajectory.

Your Project Moon Dust team is currently sitting on the USS Kitty Hawk, which is circling 13°19′N 169°9′W, waiting to see what lands. Radar has picked up some kind of craft making the course corrections expected from the return of the the original Columbia in 1969. Intelligence suggests the Russians know about the craft as well.

What will your team do when an exact replica of Columbia splashes down in the Pacific? And what will they do with the three seemingly healthy humans inside, identical in every measurable way to Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins as they were a decade ago?

This adventure hook could also serve as the secret history of a Night's Black Agents campaign that runs to the political thriller as much as the spy genre. What if the vampire lords at the top of your Conspyramid are three heroic astronauts?

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