‘The Mind of Evil’ expands the duties of UNIT to oversee the first World Peace Conference and the disposal of an illegal nerve gas missile. This allows for a UNIT campaign to branch out into espionage, allowing for a more Bondian feel.
At the end of the story the missile is destroyed but there is surprisingly little fallout. An investigation reveals that the Thunderbolt was decoy. A week before UNIT took possession of it the military site where it was held was visited by inspectors, supposedly preparing the missile for transport.
It would appear that they switched the missile, meaning that there is another Thunderbolt out there, a Thunderbolt II. The PCs are assigned the task of find out who has it and preventing its use.
There first clue comes in the description of the inspectors and their use of military jargon. They are revealed to all be former UNIT soldiers. Each were discharged after encounter with previous alien species, either due to post-traumatic stress or behaviour that their commanding officers found unacceptable (for example the torture of captured Cybermen or Silurians).
These former officers are hard to trace, their homes sold and their family and friends claiming they’ve dropped off the Earth. One officer, Gary Fines, always visits the grave of his mother on the anniversary of her death which is only a few days away. If the PCs lay in wait they’ll have a chance to either capture him or tail him.
Either way Fines leads them to his new employer, Lord Justin Sudfield. A former minister Lord Sudfield was privy to classified information about aliens he decided that the country would never fall into enemy hands.
Leading a shadowy organisation known as Scorched Earth he plans to use Thunderbolt II to render the UK uninhabitable should aliens attempt to conquer them. The former UNIT soldiers are his own private army and he has supporters in both the government and in UNIT.
The Thunderbolt II is being kept in a recently constructed installation on his manor, close to his family crypt. The manor is surrounded by fields, where his horses roam free during the day, making a stealthy approach difficult (although not impossible).
The PCs can either lead a full UNIT raid (although this maybe hampered by traitors within their ranks) or go in at night, attempting avoid Scorched Earth guards patrolling the ground.
At some point the PCs should encounter Lord Sudfield (either they are captured and brought before him or he confronts them as they sabotage the missile). He’ll make a well reasoned and impassioned plea to leave the missile in his hands, attempting to convince them that he will only use it as a last resort and surely they wouldn’t want to see their homeland fall into the hands of the monsters they fight.
If they either take possession of the missile or render it useless Lord Sudfield will promise that they’ll regret it. One day they won’t stop the alien invasion and people will suffer because they took away the only means to stop the enemy from winning.
If they are swayed the PCs have sold a little piece of their soul. They’ll have to lie to superior officers and Scorched Earth will have a hold over them. That being said the organisation believes in their goal and their anti-alien agenda isn’t exactly at odds with UNIT.
The original idea for ‘The Mind of Evil’ was that the Keller Machine actually was just that, a device that removed evil impulses. In this adventure the PCs explore just such a scenario.
Following the events of this story the government funded a project to produce a device that would do what the Keller Machine promised. The Pandora box was the result, a white rubik cube sized device. Placed against the forehead of a subject it drains their darkest impulses and thoughts, turning pitch black in the process.
The Doctor can verify that it does indeed work, although the concept sickens him. Yet the public supports the use of the Pandora box in all major prisons, seriously reducing the number of repeat offenders.
There are two problems. Firstly the used Pandora Box are mentally toxic once used. Anyone going near a black Pandora Box begins to have dark thoughts and feel a desire to act on their worst impulses. The more Pandora boxes there are the greater the influence.
Secondly while subjects are drained of evil impulses they are also drained of any good impulses. They become apathetic, standing by while others are hurt or worse. They feel nothing for anyone else, good or bad.
The PCs are affected by these events as society changes around them. They can get caught up in the debate about whether it is better to change the nature of evil men versus the nature of free will. Is someone good just because they can’t be evil?
Their UNIT duties could also be affected by the Pandora boxes. They might be given the task of disposing of the black Pandora boxes, perhaps taking them to lead lined caverns deep underground, while feeling their effect of being in their proximity.
Maybe there is a black market for the Pandora boxes. People could gain a thrill from experiencing pure evil. Particularly twisted individuals could even get their kicks by using a black Pandora box to turn a good person evil.
Come the next alien invasion what will the PCs do when they are ordered to test a Pandora box on a captured alien prisoner? How will the galactic community respond if they learn that Earth is using such a device on other species if they go through with their orders?
If the PCs disobey orders and take a stand against the Pandora box they might be sentence to have their own impulses removed. This could force them to go on the run and take drastic measures to end the use of the technology.
All of which raises questions about the true identity of the inventor of the Pandora box. It can’t be the Master this time but that doesn’t mean it can’t be someone with their own agenda. Someone that the Doctor knows has a tendency to meddle in the affairs of others.