Review of “Good Night, Bach Ma, Good-Bye” (2001)
Benjamin Adams (writer).
Read in Dark Theatres (2001).
Over the sound of drummer birds and a cup of artichoke tea, a Delta Green agent who barely speaks the local language and an unaffiliated mostly-hostile expert on Pnakotic are in Vietnam together with the objective of determining whether there might be something there that the evidently resource-strapped organization might have to secretly monitor forever. If Delta Green had done a background check on the linguist, they would have found out her father was a probable wizard.
Delta Green’s attitude to threats outside the US was not explored in the contemporary canon. This story suggests a vague answer, and it’s a bad one. It’s an extremely thin setup, but a welcome break from the more common scenario of arriving just in time to stop the cult. The “cult” here is actually the most interesting part, using a kind of double isolation: leprosy and a hereditary responsibility to guard a temple that cannot be safely demolished, by maintaining its cheesy “elder sign” wards. Although it takes place on the Vietnam-Laos border, the story does not mention OBSIDIAN or any other canonical events in the area.