- Keith Craig(kbclac)United States
Keeper's note: Only 2 players were available so we did a low key session
Wednesday, 7 November, 1928: Last night was a long night after explaining to the bobbies why Jenny felt she had to defend herself and kill Peter Morrison. Jenny feeling more remorse at having lost her machete (“It was Billy Black’s”) than the fact she had killed…again. Morning couldn’t come soon enough, with a letter delivered from Mr. Grahame Roby authorizing his PI Vincent Tuck to show his files detailing his 1925 research of Alexander’s activities and contacts. But that will have to wait as Oliver calls Dr. Highsmith to announce his coming visit to check on Alex. “Remember, no meds as I want to see him as he’d be released.” But Oliver fails to convince the doctor [failed Persuade 92; failed Push 96]. Dr. H insisting on half-meds. Oliver dejected as he and Jen board the 10:20am train for their trip to St. Agnes asylum. The long 5-hour trip…enough time for Oliver to try enlisting other passengers to support his position on no meds. A long medical summary to his trapped audience, “If you’d but show up at the asylum to support my position. Yes, yes. The steps of St. Agnes asylum.” The passengers saying anything to get the madman out of their face. Them not able to get off the train fast enough when it pulls into the Weobley station near 4pm.
A taxi ride to the Red Lion Pub to secure rooms before heading out to the asylum. But instead, they find Dr. Charles Highsmith and nurse Price waiting in the pub, “I thought it best to talk here first before your visit with patient W.” Oliver surprised, “Had I known you’d be here, I would have told my backers to join us to express their support of no meds.” Oliver doesn’t notice a few of those train passengers stepping into the pub only to quickly turn and exit once they hear and see Oliver, “Oh hell no! That man is insane and should be locked up himself. There’s gotta be other lodging.”
Obviously stressed, Charles offers, “The 2nd nurse killing just days ago has everyone on edge. I’ve learned you’re a serial-killer profiler for Scotland Yard; I was hoping to get your take on what has been happening.” The details: nurse Frederick Long killed 4 days ago in the kitchen in the middle of the night. The butcher knife recovered. Blood everywhere. Two blood types identified (O and A). Nurse Price confirming there were two blood types identified at nurse Yates’ murder within Lucius’ cell. But Yates was killed in a padded cell with a barred window and locked door. Long was killed in the kitchen with easy access. “Long’s truncheon was still hanging from his belt; he must have known his assailant and thus caught by surprise. The doors were locked which has the police and myself wondering if these could be an inside job. Thus, we’ve ordered the nurses to pair up on shifts.” Oliver and Jen ask more questions without answers.
They all climb into a car for the 20-minute drive to St. Agnes. Where a bobbie mans the gated access; officer Jones. Inside the asylum; again, no weapons. And the still noticeable smell of ammonia failing to hide the foul stench of human waste. Corridors and stairs to the 3rd floor and 4th door of Alex’s cell. But this time, Alex without a straight-jacket as he sits on his bed. More coherent and a feeble effort to shake hands with his limp grip. Jen reluctant to offer her hand even though she feels drawn by his powerful presence. An aura about him. Calm, “Have we met? Sorry, I don’t remember. I spoke of Delia? I haven’t seen her for years; we went our separate ways. Is it nice outside? I wonder, could I get the shutters open? Ah yes, few clouds. I see the hunter is out, chasing the bull.” Casual conversation with no spikes in emotional outbursts.
Oliver tries to rattle him, “Edwards sends his regards.” Alex still relaxed, “How is he? I haven’t seen him for years; since that terrible night when we lost many a man. Does he still believe he can convince Quarrie we were on the right path? Path? Why the path of the 9 teeth for me to return to paradise.” Alex becoming excited when Oliver mentions, “You mean Carcosa. So, tell me, what went wrong?” Alex explaining, “I believe Edwards and Quarrie didn’t say the words right. Yes, they practiced. As written in my book.” Alex acting out the scene as his hands sketch curves before him as if drawing runes while speaking a rhythmic German cadence. Oliver and Jen (both having read the book) joining in. Dr. Highsmith and Price stand stunned in the background observing the others in some kind of trance. Little do they know of both Jen and Oliver’s vision: they stand in a copse of trees. The 9 pillars lie on the ground. They look up to see a man frozen in fear and thus dropping his shotgun. Just before a horrific beast swoops in to chomp him in half!
Oliver staggers backwards as he comes to his senses, finding Alex starring out the window. “What, what was that?!” Alex still looking at the stars, “I know not what you saw, but that was your future. A winged creature? Those were the angels.” Jen joining in, “You say you lost men that night. To these angels?!” Alex correcting, “Something else. Constantly changing. Fear drove the men mad; they died of fright. Their hearts stopping. Even some people in the village. Monte [Edwards] was initially pleased but soon became angered at Malcolm [Quarrie]. The gate didn’t open; we’d done something wrong. Lawrence Bacon was our antique dealer who provided our focus…the chime. He felt we needed more people…that we needed the white acolyte [the pallid mask man].”
Oliver steers the conversation to the Roby double-homicide. Alex speaking matter-of-factly, “It was my fault. I wanted father gone as he wanted me put away. I asked for help. I called down …one of the guardians. I couldn’t control it. It killed sister too.” Alex now starting to babble; thus, Oliver using Hypnosis to calm Alex, directing his thoughts to happy places …paradise for now. As they exit the cell, Dr. Highsmith is already changing his tune, “I have no idea what you were talking about, but it concerns me what Mr. Roby was saying. Rest assured that I will support whatever decision you recommend to the Medical Release Board later this month.”
Thursday, 8 November: Both Jen and Oliver awaken in soaked beds with no memories of their fitful nightmares. Thank goodness! The conversation quiet during breakfast till Jen expresses her impatience to get her machete back, “You sure there is only the 6pm train? Nothing earlier? Do you think the London police station will still be open so I can get my machete?” Oliver doing a poor job trying to calm her, “Aren’t you concerned they might match your blade to slashes found on Talbot Estes? Since you can’t do anything about it now, why not call Mr. Tuck to setup an interview tomorrow.” Jen calls and doesn’t correct the private investigator who assumes, “Yes mame, noon is fine. I can follow your cheating husband. Pictures will cost extra.”
Friday, 9 November: At Jen’s insistence, Oliver arrives early to drive her to the police station. [failed Credit Rating] “Sorry mame but we’ll need another day to finish processing it. Might I suggest buying a replacement at the local hardware store?” The smile on Jen’s face stretched as she clenches her teeth, “No thanks. I’ll wait for MINE.”
Noon finds the pair on the building steps in Wapping, East London. The placard listing Tuck’s Investigative Services on the 2nd floor. Silence when they press the doorbell to his office (broken). No answer to their knock on the door. They enter the unlocked door and proceed to the 2nd floor office with peeling paint label. Knock. “Come in.” Feet propped on his desk. A fighter’s broken nose. Heavyweight dressed in wrinkled tie and jacket. The smell of sweat and alcohol waft about the cramped room. Vincent asking, “You must be my client. So, tell me, is this your sorry excuse for a husband?” Jen smiles as Oliver pulls out Grahame’s letter, “You misunderstood …Rita (aka Jen). Mr. Roby authorized us to see your files regarding the investigation of his brother Alexander.”
Vincent stands to search his cabinets for the files. Each drawer home to an empty gin bottle, till he finds the Roby files that he plops on his cluttered desk.
“Lawrence Bacon. Antique dealer. Middle class; 60ish. Tall, heavy build. 112 Liverpool Road. He’d meet clients in his yard to transact purchases. Blackmarket. Throughout November and December, Alex would join him inside the house, along with Edwards and Quarrie. Alex and Edwards would stay the night; Quarrie always left. Could never get close enough to eavesdrop. House surrounded by stone wall topped with broken glass to discourage climbers.”
Vincent continues, “Malcolm Quarrie. Worked at the Royal Society on Pickadilly Road. 35, 5’10”, slender, clean shaven. 12 Morten Street.”
Next, “Montgomery Edwards. Aka Monte. 40ish; upper class. Hard man to figure out. Short-term resident, hopping around. Last residence …50 Barian Road. Spent most if his time in the library on Seven-Sister’s Road. I couldn’t enter since you need a readers’ ticket.”
Finally, “Alexander spent most of his time in the British Museum reading room. I got close, but never close enough to determine what he was reading.”
Most disturbing is Vincent’s strange report having followed Mr. Bacon. “15 Nov, 1925. 3am and full moon. Followed him from his house to the Regent’s Canal where he scoured alleys with his electric torch. Stopped before a sleeping tramp. As he raised his arms, I suddenly heard a whistling noise. The tramp now screaming as if in pain although Bacon never touched him. Silence. Bacon squatting over the man before returning my way as I hid in shadows. I approached tramp. Poor sod died in terror and pain. Mouth agape; face frozen in fear. Corpse dry as dust. Bacon must be a black magician!”
Over an hour going through his notes, Vincent was obviously antsy, “If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got another appointment. I’ll be right back. Yes, you can keep reading.” Jen peers out the window to watch him walk down the sidewalk, into the local pub. Oliver is busy scouring the Roby files and thus fails to hear Jen crack her fingers nor see her lockpick the other file cabinets. Almost a half hour till the office door rattles open, quickly followed with the clunk of a file drawer, with Oliver looking quizzical at the extra noise. Pleasant goodbyes with Vincent’s offer for them to see the files anytime.
Jen and Oliver drive to the museum, luckily finding the same curator who helped Alexander back in 1925. “He was researching books on astronomy. Constellations mostly. He asked for specifics on the Pleaides. Best I could offer was a general book that describes them as the Seven-Sister; a cluster of stars within the Taurus constellation.” Satisfied, Oliver suggests contacting John to visit the library on Seven-Sister’s Road. “Seven Sisters constellation and road. Could there be a connection?”
Thus, Oliver drops Jen at her apartment as he returns home. Where he finds a mysterious letter. From a “W. Gresty.” Introducing himself as “friend.” From the sound of it, an acquaintance of Alex, Edwards, Quarry, and Bacon. Describing Bacon as a wicked man to be wary of. In fact, warning how Bacon will step out on the night of November 27th. How we should follow. “Take friends and weapons.” Coombs too is a wicked man but has his own plans. Both should be stopped.
Meanwhile, Jen leaves her apartment to ride the tube to Delia’s house. “I know it’s only been a few days but I wanted to check in. How are you doing? Did you get the money I sent you? Here’s my P.O. Box # if you ever want to contact me.”
- [+] Dice rolls