Interlude I): Stealing the Stone.   Posted by The Keeper of Secrets.Group: 0
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 33 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Sun 1 Oct 2017
at 17:48
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn." The words echo off the cavern walls. Jack remembers when he first joined the Order of the Ancient Stone. These words seemed incomprehensible, scrambling his mind and causing bouts of nausea. His tongue struggled to form the syllables, the sounds catching in his throat. But now they can as natural as breathing. "In his house at R'lyeh, Cthulhu waits dreaming." Jack chants as his mind seamlessly translates the words into an understandable medium.

The wet stone is cold on his forehead as he bows to the altar of the elder gods, joined in unison by dozens of other hooded supplicants. A lone figure stands upon the raised alter, hands clasped and head bowed in prayer. Lance Blake. The guardian of the stone. He is the charismatic figure that drew Jack into his world. Away from the light and into the darkness, with promises of enlightenment and truth. But all he brings is annihilation.

Blake raises his hand and the chanting crowd falls silent. “Children of the Stone, I beseech you, hear my words,” cries Blake from the altar. “We have worked tirelessly to bring about the return of the elder gods, those who wait behind the wall. While the rest of the world corrupts themselves with the evils of technology… with medicine… with science…. We know the truth!”
Chants of “Cthulhu fhtagn” rise like a wave from the crowd, crashing into the stone walls and reverberating back.
Blake raises his hand and once again silence fills the cavern. “But there are dangers at every turn. Our enemies work against us. They attempt to stymy us at every turn. Thwart our attempts to restore the stone. That is why, as guardian, I have decided to name protectors.”
Jack’s heart begins to race. This was the moment he had been waiting for. Years of devotion have lead to this. What if they know of my plan?

Chants sweep the cavern, only to be calmed once again. “These five I shall anoint, naming them protector, their sacred duty to be safeguarding their fragment of the stone.” From the shadows emerge indescribable forms, carrying pieces of stone that seem to absorb all they light that touches them.

“And I name the first protector…” Blake’s words are lost in the thumping of Jack's pulse. One by one, member of the crowd rise and accept the fragments. When the fifth name is called, Jack don’t need to hear it to know that he has been bestowed a great honor.
He walks through the crowds towards the altar, his steps heavy as if to resist the path he has chosen. Once at the altar, Father Blake gentle clasps him on the shoulder, a smile spread across his beautiful face. “Of all my children, I trust you the most” he says placing the stone fragment in Jack's hand. Tears run down his checks and he can’t quite understand why. “I love you Father Blake,” he whispers.

The recoil of the pistol seems more real than the echoing boom of the pistol Jack had hidden up his sleeve. In almost slow motion he watches as Father Blake falls to the ground, holding his stomach as blood streams between his fingers. As one the crowd raises up in a howl of anger and outrage.

With the speed of a man attempting to outrun death, Jack heads to the tunnel that leads back to the surface, a teeming mass of fury chasing him.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:14, Mon 02 Oct 2017.

Jrodimus
 player, 24 posts
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 08:56
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 1):

Mike wakes up with fleeting memories dreams still floating in the back of his mind. Something dark dragging itself slickly across a slime covered floor, glistening in its dank inhuman form.

Shelley lays looking at him. "Were you dreaming?"

"I think so," he replies, his mouth dry.

"You were talking in your sleep. Mumbling something. I couldn't quite catch it." She sits up and stretches her arms over her head.

Remembering his day's tasks, "I've got to head up to Maine tomorrow. Got to get the car looked at first. Call the guys if you need any help."

"I thought so. Well be safe."

After getting some coffee in him, he heads out to the mechanic to get his brakes looked at.
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 34 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 09:41
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 2):

Hank's Body Shop serves Arkham as both the local auto garage and salvage yard. As you pull up you are waved into one of the open stalls. Never one for words, Hank exchanges perfunctory greetings with you, seemingly unaware of the grease stains decorating his face and hands. In minutes he has your truck up on the automotive lift and is removing the tires. You grab yourself a cup of coffee from Hank's waiting room as he goes about his business. The whirl of steel and the pounding of metal against metal fill the air. A short time later Hank comes back, wiping his hands on a grease rag.

"Well, she's got herself a few problems Mike," he says around a seemingly impossibly large wad of chewing tobacco which renders his words nearly indecipherable. "Them bearings is shot. I can get ya a set of new brakes in a jiff, but them bearings are gonna give out soon. I'll have to keep her here for a couple of days. But I can have one of my boys give you a lift if you need."
Jrodimus
 player, 25 posts
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 09:47
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 3):

Mike sat with his hands in his pockets, "The thing is Hank, I gotta' take a trip up North tomorrow. How long you think we got left on the bearings?"

Mike hopes he can make the trip with new brake pads alone, he doesn't want to delay further. Something unsettling sits in his gut.
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 35 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 10:01
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to Jrodimus (msg # 4):

"Well it looks like ya been driving in them swamps. Yall need to really to clean out all that gunk each time else it eats at them bearings. I'd say its safe to drive on but don't be entering any races. She's gonna get harder and harder to steer." He ends his statement with a hocking tobacco spit. "We can just do the breaks if that's what ya want?"

OOC: Changing all four breaks will cost Mike 10 dollars.
Jrodimus
 player, 26 posts
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 11:42
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 5):

Mike agreed to getting the brakes changed and handed Hank 10 dollars. After the pads are changed he gives Hank a bottle as a tip then drives off to pickup Clarke and Byron.
trahernwithglasses
 player, 29 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 12:12
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 5):

"Got a new deck of cards?" Zoe asked as Clarke stared at the white of the ceiling. "Shuffled them too by the locks of it. Really, really well shuffled."

"I was better," he said as he sat up. "Bought a lot of things during that time." A small triangular window at the top of the room let dawn's light in. Clarke looked down at his watch. It was barely past six.

Zoe bounced onto the bed next to him. "But now you're not. I bet that makes you a little bit happy. Just a teensy bit."

"No. Just tireder." He rose, his legs hurting from the walk last night. He should've taken his bicycle, but walking sometimes put things in perspective. And sometimes it didn't.

"So what are we solving this time? A murder mystery? Death by ancient incantation? Maybe something modern? A gangster on the run with his moll?"

He forced himself to the bathroom and listened to the quiet of the house. He loved how even the floorboards didn't creak when Zoe showed up. "Monster visions," Clarke said after relieving himself. "And an old friend needs help."

"That's a bit boring."

"Arkham is boring. Probably why you haven't shown up since I've been here."

"No," she kissed him. "You were getting better. That's why I didn't show up. There's no ghosts, remember? Only desperation and delusion." She twirled around, her nightdress turning into a silk one that clung to her body. A wicker hat sat on her head. "I am excited about this though. I can't tell if I'm more enthused about you unraveling in a single night, or how close to death this journey will take us."

"Maybe all the way?"

He turned and looked at her. Her lips were red, crimson, the way they had been when they'd danced at the Officer's ball. How he'd had to feign reluctance about partnering with the prettiest woman in the whole room. How it had hurt his modesty so. How he was going to pray to God so many times for forgiveness. All lies he'd told other people.

"Snap, snap, young man," she said to break him out of his nostalgia. "Time's wastin'. What do we need?"

"Revolver, notepad, bullets, glasses," he repeated as if in a trance. "And my bike. I'm going to visit Mr. Wick. I'll be his first damn customer."

Zoe coughed.

"And my pack of cards."

"Cause you're sick, remember?"

He did remember. He remembered while he packed his knapsack and got dressed. He remembered as he had breakfast and checked the bike, making sure he had enough time to make it back home by three. He remembered all the way to town.

This message was last edited by the player at 12:20, Mon 02 Oct 2017.

The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 36 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 12:52
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 7):

You find Unconsidered Trifles on the corner of Lich Street and Peabody Avenue. A small unassuming building, the only way you're able to distinguish it for the surroundings is by its large crimson sign depicting an eye with a burning pupil enclosed by a star. Despite the early hour the shop is clearly open. As you walk up the steps you hear two muffled voices that seem to be arguing. With a deep breath you check your revolver and shoulder the door open. Inside you find a room literally crammed with shelves containing the wildest variety of antiques. You see everything from musical instruments to dried herbs to dusty leather-bound tomes. There is barely room to walk between shelves as their contents spill into the aisle. You are able to navigate your way to the back of the store where you find two people, a man and a woman, arguing with each other.

"Well forgive me if I'm trying to class up the place Carla. I just think great art deserves to be proudly displayed!" In his arms the man holds a grotesque portrait of a man being broken upon a medieval torture rack. The author had gone to great lengths to depict all the details of the scene, creating something so realistic you can almost see the wheel moving, the sinew stretching and snapping.

"It's just gonna scare away customers Hector!" says the women. Strangely the two seem nearly identical, the same person but genders swapped. Both have a sallow countenance and raven black hair. "We don't want people to think this is some sort of dungeon," she says brushing a long single braid over her shoulder. As you round a shelf she spots you. "Oh! Its unusual to have a customer so early. If you will excuse the mess, we are still setting up shop. Welcome Unconsidered Trifles!."

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:58, Mon 02 Oct 2017.

trahernwithglasses
 player, 30 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 13:07
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 8):

"We should buy it and take it home!" Zoe gushed waving her phantom fingers over the lifelike figure. "A monument to man's brutality and eternal sin!"

Clarke coughed, focusing on Carla. "What an interesting piece." (He tries to remember what the item is. Roll of 9: History)

"Unfortunately, might not be the the thing I'm looking for today." He pulled out Abner's cigarette stub from the previous night.

"You been stealing again?" Zoe commented, taking a deep whiff of the brown object.

"I noticed Mr. Wick smoking these last night and, well, I haven't seen a cigar like it. I was hoping I could buy three. My friend's party is coming up and ... we love a good smoking session."
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 37 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 13:16
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 9):

As you place the used cigar on the counter, you can barely keep your hand from shaking. You recognize the painting as a work by Hieronymus Bosch, the Dutch artist known especially for his macabre and nightmarish depictions of hell. The hundreds of years old
painting must be of unfathomable value and one of the few outside of Europe.

Your attention is brought back to Carla as she picks up the cigar and sniffs it. "Oh! This is from Mr. Wick's personal store, I've never known him to give one out. How did you come across it?" Her tone seems nonchalant but you can feel Hector stiffen behind you.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:19, Mon 02 Oct 2017.

trahernwithglasses
 player, 31 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 13:30
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 10):

"We were playing poker last night and he left it behind. Had some urgent business with Anthony Flinders apparently."

"Buy the painting. Buy the painting. Buy the painting," Zoe repeated bouncing up and down.

"I've never seen such an incredible cigar before, so naturally I wanted to know more. Of course I'd love to share them with my friends, but if not that then perhaps you could tell me a little about them?" As he noticed the man stiffen, Clarke tried to appraise the cigar while he put it on the counter. (Roll of 51 for Appraise)

"And also, if you'll further indulge a man rapidly heading towards a mid-life crisis, what are you selling that painting for?" He turned to Hector. "It has started to grow on me."
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 38 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 13:46
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 11):

As you appraise the cigar, you can tell that it is hand rolled and of an unparalleled quality. You could easily imagine this as something that the highest classes of society enjoy in parlors that smelled of a rich mahogany and contained many leather bound books.

"I'm afraid Mr. Wick makes those himself. He is a bit of a cigar sommelier. Says he has crafted the perfect blend." She hands back to you the used cigar. "Unfortunately, despite our motto, those are not for sale."

Hefting the painting, Hector walks towards an empty space on the wall where you can sense he intends on hanging it. "Some might say this painting is priceless. But I'm always keen to make a deal," he says with a toothy grin.
trahernwithglasses
 player, 32 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 13:57
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 12):

"I think ... they're lying," Zoe said, tapping Carla's head. "This is much more interesting than anything we've done before. What have you gotten yourself into Clarke?"

Clarke rubbed his forehead, trying to feign disappointment in the news rather than the deep terror he had started to feel. "Well, not quite the outcome I had hoped for. You wouldn't happen to have three other high quality cigars sitting around? I am afraid my friends will be bitterly disappointed otherwise."

He pocketed the cigar and smiled bemusedly at Hector. "Priceless is such a funny word. It means so many things to so many people. Your customers for example, might agree with Carla and not appreciate that painting's pricelessness. How about you though? Should I come back when I am landed gentry, or is the price within the meager means of a humble antique mediator?"
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 39 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 14:28
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 13):

Hanging the painting on a nail driven into the wall, Hector stands back and examines his handy work. "I agree with you wholeheartedly sir," he says without looking your way. "Everything has a price. The ancients knew that. In their mythology, crossroads held great significance. These were the places where our two realms touched and therefore represented a liminality, a place literally neither here nor there, betwixt and between. And this is where bargain were struck." He spins and grabs a book off the shelf. You are able to see the title De Falsis Deis scrawled across the spine. Flipping thorough pages he says, "at the crossroads, truly nothing was priceless." He stops at a page and thrusts it towards you although the illegible script might as well have been gibberish for all you can decipher. Running his finger across the lines Hector reads, "there was also a man called Mercury, he was very crafty and deceitful in deed and trickeries, though his speech was fully plausible. The heathens made him a renowned god for themselves; at crossroads they offered sacrifices to him frequently and they often erringly brought praise-offerings to hilltops. This false god was honored among the heathens in that day, and he is also called by the name Odin in the Danish manner." With a snap he closes the book. "So you see Mr. Walsh, I agree... Nothing is priceless. It just matters if its worth the price you're paying."

Something about the man's manner has you shaken. And while he doesn't seem threatening... something is different about him. He moves like a storybook character flirting from spot to spot, and endless blur of movement and smiles. You turn back to Carla who has opened a small humidor and brought out a selection of cigars. "I'm sure these will be to your liking," she says with the same toothy grin of her brother.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:36, Mon 02 Oct 2017.

trahernwithglasses
 player, 33 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 14:57
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 14):

Clarke picked up a cigar from the humidor and inspected it. He made a show of his action, feeling the grain and sniffing along the side. "I've never been on the customer end of your store; I must say it lives upto and beyond the reputation I have heard. I will take three." He pointed to the high-end ones. "You have saved me three disappointed friends."

Zoe rolled her eyes. "The PAINTING! What are you going to to do about this amazing thing? Who sees these except in books?"

"Hector, you have been so kind in dashing my hopes. Just seeing it on this fine day has been an unexpected pleasure." Clarke opened his wallet. Zoe looked in and gave a reasonable nod to show he had done better than she'd expected. "However, if it does scare most of your customers away, you can be sure that there will always be a home for it at my house. Even if you need a place to store it for a while."

"How much do I owe you, Carla, was it?"
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 40 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 15:06
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to trahernwithglasses (msg # 15):

"That will be six dollars friend," she says as she wraps the cigars in wax paper and hands them to you. "If there is anything you ever need feel free to call on us." As you turn to walk away Carla stops you. "Oh! I almost forgot, let me give you our business card." From a small tin case she draws out a parchment card and hands it to you. As you leave you examine it. On one side is the shops information, business hours, telephone number, etc. On the other you see the name of the twins. In bold black letters it reads Carla and Hector Faust. A small bell chimes as you exit the front.
trahernwithglasses
 player, 34 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Mon 2 Oct 2017
at 15:21
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 16):

Clarke strolled a few paces away from the store, until he was certain he could no longer be seen by the store clerks in Unconsidered Trifles, and then strode briskly for a hundred steps. Zoe and him counted each one.

"That was the greatest thing out of a fairy tale I have ever seen!" Zoe screamed when he stopped. "I can see why you are going all the way around the fence. How are you not out of here already? How are you not on that bike peddling as fast as those aged legs can carry you? This is wild! This is pagan and dark and dank and everything parents read to you when you're a child and hope you sob yourself to bed."

Clarke looked around to make sure no one was watching and then hissed, "We do not leave friends."

"You left me."

Propping his bike up, he felt the morning heat dissipate and his body turn cold. He checked his pockets, making sure he had everything and got on the bike in silence. Zoe tapped a foot impatiently.

As he headed back to his house, his home, he heard her tapping fade into the distance. His heart pounded. He didn't know how fast, or how fast it could go before it burst, but he had no way of slowing it down. Everything was slipping away.

"Some feminist you turned out to be," Zoe whispered to him. She sat on the back of the bike, her legs crossed, bouncing up and down with each poorly filled pot hole they went over.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:24, Mon 02 Oct 2017.

novissimo
 player, 9 posts
Tue 3 Oct 2017
at 03:06
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 1):

Byron wakes from a deep, dreamless sleep. The hour is unusually early and he feels as if he didn’t sleep at all. He gets up for his morning routine.

He lives alone. His apartment is small and his things are kept tidy, but there is a grime to the walls and tile work.

He puts the kettle on for his coffee and goes to shave as he waits for it to boil.

He opens the medicine cabinet to retrieve his shave kit. As he closes it, he is startled momentarily by his reflection.

For half a moment, in the dimness of the early morning, he perceives his own reflection as that of a corpse, with grey ashen skin and glazed eyes. A second later and his reflection is normal. Disturbed, he decides not to shave.

Instead he goes to his night stand and retrieves a brand new journal. He begins to log all the strange recent occurrences. He’ll use this as a reference for any future academic paper he’ll write about all this paranormal phenomena. He’ll keep it with him to log future occurrences  as well.

After hastily dressing and breaking fast with a meal of black coffee and dry toast , he sets out for the university library.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:10, Tue 03 Oct 2017.

The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 41 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Tue 3 Oct 2017
at 05:35
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to novissimo (msg # 18):

The walk from your apartment to the Miskatonic campus isn't overly long but to your mind it seems to take ages. The streets are surprisingly barren and you feel exposed to some unknown danger. You make it safely to the campus without incident, although you can't say if that's by chance or by design. It being the weekend, the hallways are empty as many students are still sleeping off last night.

You find the library deserted as you expected. Not exactly sure where you start, you head to the occult section in the poorly lit back section of the room. While most of the books here seem to do nothing more than gather dust, you disappointing notice that Professor Roach's book show signs of being quite popular. Wandering the shelves you aimlessly browse the titles. Magic: History, Theory and Practice...The Focus of Life... The Life and Teachings of the Master's for the Far East... Three Books of Occult Philosophy... The last catches your eye. You've heard of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's work before but haven't read much of it. As you pull the book from the shelf, it leaves an empty space and you see a set of eyes gazing back at you. Jumping in shock, you loudly slam into the shelf behind you. As soon as you blink the eyes are gone and you see a shadowy figure darting down the aisle. "Wait, stop!" you shout as you set off in pursuit.

Arms pumping  and running at full tilt you round the corner to a loud crash as you run into a book cart and tumble over the top. You feel the wind rush from your lungs as you hit the floor. "Byron! Are you ok?" the visage of the bespectacled girl from your class swims into view as she leans over your prone form.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:07, Tue 03 Oct 2017.

novissimo
 player, 10 posts
Tue 3 Oct 2017
at 16:34
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 19):

"I'm fine" Byron wheezes through his teeth. He is more in shock than pain. He unsteadily wobbles to his feet.

"Did you see anyone go by just now?"

He recognizes the girl from the peculiar episode from yesterday's lesson. Given that his perception of reality has been severely tested recently, he can't be sure if her odd behavior had been genuine or imagined. Either way he did not feel he could entirely trust her, despite experiencing sudden heart palpitations near her.
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 42 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Tue 3 Oct 2017
at 17:20
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to novissimo (msg # 20):

"I think it's only me here Byron," she says. "Although I'm happy to see you." A rosy blush colors her cheeks. "Can I help you find something?"
novissimo
 player, 11 posts
Wed 4 Oct 2017
at 05:37
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 21):

 Byron recalls her reaction yesterday when he asked her about the Order of the Ancient Stone. But she seemed to be passing between two states of consciousness at the time. He doubts she would or could help him in a specific way. He decides to inquire anyway. If she is unwittingly under the influence of some super natural power, she may have some sub concious knowledge of it. It he questions her, he may trigger a recollection that brings her awareness to the surface. Then he might get real answers.

“Maybe you can help me. You are taking Prof Roach’s class on mysticism and mythology? Have you also studied foreign languages? Or perhaps Ancient or dead languages? Specifically phrases chanted during pagan cult rituals?”
The Keeper of Secrets
 GM, 43 posts
 Harbinger of Doom
Wed 4 Oct 2017
at 08:07
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to novissimo (msg # 22):

"Well I don't really know much about that. To be honest I'm really only taking Professor Roach's course for the credits". She pauses for a moment and then suddenly brightens. "I know something that might help!" She turns around and after a few moments of searching, pulls a book from the shelf and hands it to you. "It was lying on the floor and I just put in back on the shelf," she says smiling.

In your hands you hold a copy Ancient Legends and Myths by Dr. L. Prescott. You settle yourself at a nearby table and start leafing through the pages. Surprisingly, you find the information you are looking for almost right away under a section entitled The Elder God Myth.

"Cthulhu Fhtagn is a plea to an 'elder god', a staple of many pageant belief systems. The phrase itself is derived from the longer prayer: Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn - which roughly translates to, "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming." Its purpose is to call forth the attention of the slumbering aforementioned deity"

You break out in a cold sweat and feel as if a yawning chasm has opened around you. You feel as if you've mired yourself in a situation you can't even begin to fathom...
novissimo
 player, 12 posts
Wed 4 Oct 2017
at 14:31
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to The Keeper of Secrets (msg # 23):

Byron is totally gripped by intense and debilitating fear. His heart rate increases to an unbearable pace and loses his breathe. He latches his arms to the reading table as the room feels as if it is spinning out of control. Unable to move, he stares across the room, wide eyed and and mindless.

After ten agonizing minutes, the episode subsides and he begins to relax.

“A panic attack” Byron says, in an almost inaudible huff. Even after all his years of psychology training, he wasn’t prepared for it to happen to him.

“It was bound to happen sooner or later, with all the stress and strangeness I’ve been experiencing” he thought to himself.

“The problem is... once they occur, panic attacks tend to... reoccur.” Byron recalls.

He takes a moment to orient himself. He needs to meet his friends this afternoon, he remembers. He also decides to check out this book for future reference.

He logs the time and duration of his attack in his journal despite it not seeming paranormal.

He takes a deep breathe, rises from his seat, collects the book and heads to the check out counter.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 14:56, Wed 04 Oct 2017.

trahernwithglasses
 player, 36 posts
 Heirloom Specialist
Wed 4 Oct 2017
at 16:33
Interlude #1: Stealing the Stone
In reply to novissimo (msg # 24):

Clarke heard the honk outside the front of his house. He wasn't ready for this. If he was being honest with himself, he hadn't been ready for anything since they'd shipped him to Egypt. But Clarke never was honest with himself, that's what kept him from putting the revolver to his chin and letting a god play dice with his soul.

"Got everything?" Zoe asked. She wore khakis like a portrait of a classic British colonizer. A monocle rested in front of her left eye. "Off to save the world are we?"

"I only really wanted to save you," he said as he checked through everything he'd need. Even though he was wearing his suit, he'd taken the knapsack anyway. He wanted to conceal the lantern and matches he was carrying. Plus, the lock-pick kit. And the extra bullets he'd stashed away. People had started to lie to him, for no reason, and he didn't like it when that happened. It meant sneaking into buildings, it meant bullets in the leg. It meant bloodied fists and bribes.

It meant Egypt all over again. For the third time.

"You got your notebook? Pencils? Cards? Sketchpad? Map?"

"Yes."

"Courage?"

"Never had any to pack."

She kissed him on the forehead as he opened the door. "You're still an honorable man Clarke Walsh. Don't let anyone else know that."