V - Standing Stones.   Posted by The Keeper.Group: 0
The Keeper
 GM, 294 posts
Fri 28 Oct 2016
at 02:46
V - Standing Stones
Dr. Winston Botterill, Professor of Biology and Zoology at Tulane University, along with two of his most promising graduate students, arrives at the Colonel's residence at noon, driving a wooden bedded Dodge truck on loan from from one of the engineering faculty. One of the students, a freckle faced young man in his mid-twenties, becomes momentarily light headed and is forced to retire to Travis' kitchen for a few moments to regain his senses after seeing the creature in the bathtub. His response has no impact on Dr. Botterill's enthusiasm. The professor takes prodigious notes, marveling at the fact that the beast shows elements of mammalian, reptilian, and crustacean composition in its varied anatomy. "Astounding, Colonel. Simply astounding." The doctor is quick to theorize that the monster is some sort of prehistoric holdover, perhaps from Cretaceous Period. Botterill indicates that he intends to perform extensive tests on the specimen, including, ultimately, a full dissection. He assures Travis that he will keep him informed of everything that he and his students discover.

With some effort, Botterill and the two students manage to move the carcass, wrapped in a pair of canvas tarpaulins, to the truck. Botterill provides the Colonel with his business card, which has his home phone written on the back, inviting him to call at anytime for updates on the investigation.

Once the academics have departed, the Colonel settles into a chair in his study to make some phone calls. His patient inquiries lead him to Nicholas Cattaneo, a now retired Army Sergeant who now works as a builder along the Mississippi coast, residing in Pass Christian. Cattaneo is knowledgeable about explosives and when Travis requests his help, the man is quick to oblige his former commander. "I can be there as early as tonight, Colonel. Whatever you need done."


d'Anjou is able to see Miss Hodges to Elizabeth Simmons without incident. The bookkeeper, her eyes still somewhat unfocused, grins and waves at the private detective as her friend leads her to her rooms on Saint Philip.

The detective attends an early afternoon mass, then delivers his film to a reliable shop on Canal Street. The proprietor assures him that the photographs will be ready early tomorrow afternoon.

Afterward, d'Anjou returns to his flat and confirms that his cat is well, though mildly offended by his extended absence. After seeing to his domestic concerns, the detective makes his way back to the Quarter to rendezvous with his fellow investigators.

Throughout his travels, he inverts every Krewe of Swords poster he can find, each one demonstrating the same effect as the one he pulled down on Royal Street, transitioning from eye catching to primitive and ugly with a single turn.


Hackett's errands take up a good portion of his afternoon. Traveling to hardware stores in the business district, the Irish Channel, and the Marigny, the writer is able to accumulate enough dynamite to destroy the standing stones without arousing any suspicions from the shopkeepers. After retrieving his firearms from his half-shotgun on Conti, Hackett returns to Travis' home, to await the individual deliveries.  After arrival, the explosives are temporarily stored in one of the empty slave quarter apartments in the courtyard.

Afterward, the two men head out to meet d'Anjou.


The early dinner crowd at Arnaud's is light, the popular restaurant only beginning to come to life for another evening of Mardi Gras revelry. The owner, Arnaud Cazenave, knows the Colonel, one of his favorite customers, by sight and ushers him and Hackett to the Toulouse Room, where they can dine privately. d'Anjou joins them in short order.

After bringing drinks and taking each investigators' dinner order, the unobtrusive waiter steps out, leaving the three men to converse about their upcoming course of action.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:47, Fri 28 Oct 2016.

Simon d'Anjou
 player, 362 posts
Fri 28 Oct 2016
at 07:55
V - Standing Stones
"I still think we're blowing up the wrong thing, you know. If we're worried about the prospect of their suceeding in summoning a demon, surely blowing it up would be the saner course?" d'Anjou leans back to regard the others, then looks to the Colonel.

"What did the zoologists make of the sky alligator? I should have those pictures for de Marigny late tomorrow - and the one with you two standing victorious, which I think the Colonel should frame if it comes out well."
Kirby Hackett
 player, 241 posts
Fri 28 Oct 2016
at 13:53
Re: V - Standing Stones
Simon d'Anjou:
"I still think we're blowing up the wrong thing, you know. If we're worried about the prospect of their suceeding in summoning a demon, surely blowing it up would be the saner course?"


Kirby counts off his points on his fingers:
"One, Screech and his boys aren't going to be there when we blow up their temple.
"Two, the stones are going to just sit there while the Colonel's friend Nick rigs the explosives.
"Three, Nick will know just how much to use to bring them down.
"Four, What makes you think the demon would even be hurt by something as mundane as dynamite?

"Nope, those stones are their weak point and that's where we have to hit 'em."


He chews and swallows another forkful of veal.

"Tell me, Colonel, your man, Nick? Is he going to be okay with the passage to the swamp and blowing up a bunch of stones standing out in the bayous?

"And how will we transport the stuff to Fowler's?"

This message was last edited by the player at 13:55, Fri 28 Oct 2016.

Colonel Travis
 player, 289 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Fri 28 Oct 2016
at 18:42
Re: V - Standing Stones
"When I was a young first Lieutenant, I received a present from my Captain in the form a book of writings from an Chinese general and philosopher named Sun Tzu who lived five hundred years before the birth of Christ. There is a lot of wisdom in that work that I've applied in the battlefield and otherwise, but something that I read in there comes to mind now:  'In war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak,'" the Colonel said.

 

"What Kirby outlined just now is common sense wrapped in ancient wisdom. If we can strike when we expect them to be absent, when our only target is a bunch of stones, we will have the best chance of success. Those stones are somehow crucial to their ritual, I think it will be a tremendous setback to their plans. Besides, I don't think they're calling up some simple sky alligators. Whatever's next, they worship as a god, and if it has any kinda powers in line with that word, I think we're best heading them off at the pass, so to speak."

 

"As to the zoologist, he was quite fascinated by the creature, and has promised to keep me updated on his inquiries into its nature. Some of his assistants had a reaction similar to the young lady last night, but the Professor stood firm and was able to really appreciate the unique find. I do think that I will frame that photo, by the by. This will be one of my more memorable retirement activities, I dare say."

 

"Kirby, I think I'll let my man Nick speak to the demolitions. I've invited him to join us, and he should be here in a little time. He's a good man - trustworthy, loyal, and knows his business. But I imagine that he doesn't necessarily need to accompany us if he prepares the blasting caps and fuses in advance. I'll let him offer his professional opinion on the matter. As for getting there, Simon - you hoofed it back last time while Kirby and I came through the entrance from Fowler's house. If we can get Nick's advice on whether we'd be able to safely transport dynamite over that distance, then we can go that route. If not, I guess we'll have to cart it into Fowler's place if we can."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:43, Tue 01 Nov 2016.

Simon d'Anjou
 player, 363 posts
Sat 29 Oct 2016
at 10:12
Re: V - Standing Stones
d'Anjou still looks dubious. "Then we get the full strength of Screech's gang hounding us afterwards, however. I don't relish the idea of being driven out of my home by sky alligators and possibly zombis at all hours," he complains, drumming the table as he tries to think of some better plan. "It's not like we haven't...been a little pre-emptive before."
Colonel Travis
 player, 290 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Tue 1 Nov 2016
at 00:53
Re: V - Standing Stones
"Too many fronts otherwise. We've got the stones ritual, the yellow signs they've got plastered all about town - you can't have gotten to all of 'em, and whatever they have planned at that ball. If we take out the stones, we at least cut down their options," he said.

"And if the three are linked, if they all depend one on the other, then we can maybe shut down his whole operation with just one demolitions job. Not that I think Screech will have left his place unguarded. Thinking about it, he must have somehow detected that we were out there in the swamps. Why else send the sky alligator at us? We've done as he asked and have refrained from contacting Fowler. I think we may face some resistance there."

"But if you have another plan in mind, I'm keen to hear it."
Kirby Hackett
 player, 242 posts
Tue 1 Nov 2016
at 13:01
Re: V - Standing Stones
Kirby nods at the Colonel's words.

"To my way of thinking, the big question is whether they figured out someone used their secret passage to get there. If they did, coming through again could mean walking into an ambush."

He's quiet a moment, thinking, then grins.

"Say, Colonel, have your man make up an extra little bomb, maybe enough to blow a shack to smithereens. Maybe we can close that door from Fowler's place to the camp."
The Keeper
 GM, 296 posts
Tue 1 Nov 2016
at 20:53
Re: V - Standing Stones
Outside the closed door of the Toulouse Room, the three investigators hear the sound of two voices arguing, a noise that is unusual for the normally tranquil restaurant. After a moment, a meaty impact is heard, much like that of a well landed right cross, followed by the crash of dishes and silverware.
Simon d'Anjou
 player, 364 posts
Wed 2 Nov 2016
at 08:44
Re: V - Standing Stones
"The sky alligator may have been my fault, since they only seem to have your address. They may, in fact, blame certain contacts of mine for the disappearance of their comrades - which I have alerted said contacts to the prospect of - and simply aimed at you through aiming at me as their primary problem."

"If you're unwilling to blow them up, or their favoured demon up...perhaps we could drop in on Fowler and someone offer him entirely too much rum whilst I go and change the little squiggles on the corners of the magic door? Or I know a couple of guys who perfected the dubious art of rapidly bundling the unsuspecting into cars for pranks at college - we could have Fowler removed from the equation for a bit, since he seems important."
d'Anjou sighs at the commotion and tips his chair back a little to see if there's a whirly sign he's missed anywhere in sight.
Colonel Travis
 player, 291 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Wed 2 Nov 2016
at 19:43
Re: V - Standing Stones
"Do you think Fowler himself is important to the ceremony? I always guessed he was just a money man, a pawn that gave these people the funds that they need to do their dirty work and plaster flyers all over the goddamn place. But if you think that getting him drunk and kidnapping him has some value, I don't suppose it could hurt. Unless he decided to take us to court after the whole mess blows over," he said.

"Still, there is some wisdom in the notion that Screech and company might prove dangerous should we attempt to ruin their plans," he said. "Do you suggest we lure them out to the swamps and take care of business out there?"

"What's this about?" he asked rhetorically. He turned his head at the commotion, getting up to go get a better look at the situation.
The Keeper
 GM, 297 posts
Fri 4 Nov 2016
at 02:26
Re: V - Standing Stones
As the Colonel moves to the door, he is met by Arnaud Cazenave. Behind the restaurant's owner, Travis can see a young woman out in the hall, picking up a few fallen dishes and utensils. A couple of dollops of a tomato based sauce mar the wallpaper. From somewhere deeper in the restaurant, the kitchen he suspects, the Colonel can hear several muffled voices.

Cazenave smiles. "Colonel, I am so sorry. As you know, I take great pride in the professional conduct of our staff here. The young men you just heard, a pair of waiters, they allowed a personal conflict to lead them into some unacceptable behavior. It will not be tolerated, I assure you. Please, sit. Enjoy the rest of your meal. It will be gratis, on the house this evening. Please accept my sincerest apologies for the disturbance."

Glancing around, d'Anjou doesn't spy any Yellow Signs anywhere in the Toulouse Room or in what he can see of the adjoining hallway.
Colonel Travis
 player, 292 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Fri 4 Nov 2016
at 03:01
Re: V - Standing Stones
He smiled at the owner.

"I just wanted to make sure that everything was alright here. I know this wasn't the sort of place where that kinda thing is the norm, so I thought I'd come and see if you needed a hand dealing with any unruly types," he offered.

"But hey, there's been something goin' around, people reading strange books and fighting a lot more. If that's still going on in the back there, I'd suggest separating the two men before one of them does the other in. I've seen it happen earlier today, and I suppose it's just in my thoughts. I'll head back to my table and not bother you any more."