London to Paris.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 61 posts
Tue 3 Apr 2018
at 19:50
London to Paris
You spend the Tuesday attending to your own tasks before meeting again at Victoria station bright and early on the Wednesday morning. Thankfully Tuesday passes uneventfully for all of you and there are no mysterious goings-on or meetings with fez wearing thugs.

Professor Smith attends the station with you in the morning but regretfully informs you that he cannot travel East with you. He ran afoul of a cult last time he was in Constantinople and he is informed by his contacts out there that his life would still be at risk should he return. Instead he presses the hat box containing the cursed headwear into your hands and waves you off as you board the 10.00am to Dover.

Once out of the polluted environs of London the journey through Kent is calming and picturesque full of rolling green hills and passing through quaint towns. Upon arrival at Dover you are loaded onto coaches and taken over to the docks where you are provided with a light lunch and then loaded onto a steamer headed for Calais where the next train awaits you in the early afternooon.

It is while on the steamer, halfway across the Channel, that Amelia takes you all to one side and lets you know that she has noticed something strange. The man from outside Matthew Pook's apartment is on the steamer with you!

It takes a fair amount of wandering up and down and a few furtive glances but, at least for those of you who were at Pook's home, you do recognise the short, fat man still clad in a rumpled suit though this time bereft of hat. He doesn't appear to be paying any of you any particular mind but the coincidence is surprising...

OOC: Don't feel that you have to do anything at this point if you don't want to - I just thought I would pause things here for a second in case anybody wanted to take any particular actions in light of this unexpected fellow passenger.
Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 16 posts
Wed 4 Apr 2018
at 08:52
London to Paris
In reply to GM (msg # 1):

"So what do we know about this man? Since I've not encountered him before, what are your take on him? Is he an enemy or perhaps an ally?"
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 36 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Wed 4 Apr 2018
at 11:51
London to Paris
In reply to Captain Roderick Barrington (msg # 2):

Saroch pursed his lips as he considered the question, then replied.

"He was lurking about the hosue where Matthew Pook had rooms. After we left, he searched the place. Then he departed.

"He knew we were there when he arrived, but did not make contact. I believe the wisest course is to regard him as hostile."

Professor Harold Worth
 player, 50 posts
Wed 4 Apr 2018
at 13:25
London to Paris
In reply to Dr Jean-Louis Saroch (msg # 3):

"Hmm, although he may be hostile, an agent of Menkaph even, do you think it is best to just keep our eyes open and alert, but leave him be still?"
George Banks
 player, 31 posts
 Slip me some
 Jib
Wed 4 Apr 2018
at 23:02
London to Paris
George eyes the fat little man with loathing.  “Say the word, and I’ll put him over the side like he’s a sack of moldy potatoes.  I don’t fancy his looks.”
Professor Harold Worth
 player, 51 posts
Thu 5 Apr 2018
at 08:23
London to Paris
Professor Worth eyes George a little incredulously, not quite sure whether to take his last statement too seriously or not. It honestly can sometimes be hard to tell. He considers for a moment whether to remain silent, or whether it would be best to respond. In the end, he decides to speak to the man, the words quite possibly coming over with a little fatherly concern - or a condescending tone - depending on how any listeners may decide to interpret it.

"Now, George, I would say unless it comes to that out of necessity, that drawing the least attention to ourselves from the authorities - or whoever may be trailing us for that matter - is the top priority at this point."
Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 17 posts
Thu 5 Apr 2018
at 12:46
London to Paris
In reply to Professor Harold Worth (msg # 6):

"I agree with the Professor. I do not want to kill a man in cold blood even if he looks dispicable unless I know what his intentions are." The captain pauses thinking. "But perhaps we should try to figure out more about him and his motives?"
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 37 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Thu 5 Apr 2018
at 19:07
London to Paris
"Having marked him down as a foe, we can indeed, keep our eyes on him. Eliminate him and we have no idea who might be watching us."
Professor Harold Worth
 player, 52 posts
Thu 5 Apr 2018
at 22:11
London to Paris
The good professor nodded at Dr Jean's last statement. Very true, very true indeed...
George Banks
 player, 32 posts
 Slip me some
 Jib
Fri 6 Apr 2018
at 00:29
London to Paris
George smiles.  “Never fear, Professor.  I would never do such a thing on my own initiative.  Besides, you might prefer for me to administer a good flogging first, on your behalf.  I would not presume to deny you this pleasure.”
GM
 GM, 62 posts
Wed 11 Apr 2018
at 09:31
London to Paris
Choosing not to confront the man the rest of the ferry trip passes fairly uneventfully. You keep an eye on your shadow but he continues to show little interest in you for the rest of the journey. You keep sight of him for the crossing but there is no further sign of him after you arrive in France.

You dock in Calais at a little after 1.30pm where you have a short wait before a connecting train takes you to the large town of Chalons-Sur-Marne outside of Paris– the main railway hub in eastern France and the first stop for the Orient Express after it leaves the centre of Paris. You enjoy a light dinner, up to the traditional standards of French cuisine, on the train and roll in to the station in good time to board the Orient Express for it's departure at 10.26pm precisely.

As it pulls into the station you are taken aback by the sheer quality of the thing. By far the most fabulous vehicle you ever seen and certainly one of the biggest you've seen on land. Six carriages long behind the locomotive with each as ornate and finely decorated as the last.

After showing your tickets you are quickly attended to by what feels like a small army of smartly uniformed staff. Your larger luggage is tagged and then swiftly whisked away to the luggage car at the back of the train while smaller items are taken from you and borne off to your rooms and you are shown on board. Inside is as opulent and spectacular, if not moreso, than the exterior. Clearly no expense has been spared on the design and it's luxury seeps out of every piece of wood panelling, immaculate fabric and finely cut glassware.

You board at the second carriage (the first carriage, behind the locomotive, being for staff only) which is the restaurant car – currently dimly lit and unoccupied as dinner was dealt with some hours previously. There you are greeted warmly by one Henri Peeters – a rail thin, dark haired Belgian in a crisply pressed uniform and unfailing smile. He explains that he is the 'conducteur' for your carriage and will be on hand to render any assistance you may require. You have been allocated three rooms on the first sleeping car which is for passengers going to Constantinople – the second sleeping car is for those getting off at earlier stops. The gentleman are sharing two compartments and Ms Meadowcroft has been given her own – unattached women are not expected to have to share with a man.

Henri apologies that the dining car has closed but he is aware that you dined on the way here (he's impressively well informed for someone on a train which only arrived but moments ago). The salon car is through the two sleeping cars – the last carriage save for the luggage car which guests are discouraged from entering – and will be open throughout the night to provide liquid refreshment and light snacks. Finally as he shows you to your rooms he explains that most of the other guests have already retired so he will carry out introductions, if you wish, in the morning. However, he knows some of the others are still up and enjoying the services of the salon car should you wish to do likewise this evening.

The rooms  allocated to you are themselves are all identical and all perfect in pretty much every way. Currently all set up for sleeping they have bunk beds on one side and a table on the other with a wash basin, currently filled with steaming hot water, by the window.

OOC: Again I've left it slightly open in that you might just want to go to bed and meet your fellow passengers in the morning or you might want to do a little bit of exploring straight away.

When I get some time (probably at the weekend) I'll try to do a little map of the layout of the carriages as that might assist. Don't expect too much – an artist I am not!

George Banks
 player, 33 posts
 Slip me some
 Jib
Thu 12 Apr 2018
at 02:11
London to Paris
George wonders how Henri knows so much about their eating habits.  He’ll try to find out a thing or two about him, if he gets the opportunity.

For now, he’ll head to the salon car.
Dr Jean-Louis Saroch
 player, 38 posts
 Physician & Surgeon
Fri 13 Apr 2018
at 15:56
London to Paris
Saroch secures space for his valet Alan (he cannot be the only one travelling with a servant). He washes up in his compartment, then makes his way to the salon for a nightcap, a Benedictine, he thinks.
Captain Roderick Barrington
 player, 18 posts
Fri 13 Apr 2018
at 20:57
London to Paris
In reply to Dr Jean-Louis Saroch (msg # 13):

Roderick freshens up and then joins the other for a drink.
GM
 GM, 63 posts
Tue 17 Apr 2018
at 20:22
London to Paris
After taking a few minutes to settle into your cabins and freshen up you make your way down to the salon car – the bright lighting inside giving a sharp contrast to the dimly lit sleeping cabins. As you open the door you are greeted by the sound of laughter and clinking glasses.

Your eyes are immediately drawn to the two men making the noise. Sat at a table near the door the men are finely dressed, of noble bearing and seemingly the better part of their way through a bottle of spirits. The older man, probably in his fifties, seems to be holding forth with some anecdote which his younger companion is finding extremely entertaining, or at least appears to. They periodically stop to raise their glasses and down another shot of whatever it is that they're drinking.

Sat a short distance away, and occasionally shooting a dirty glass at the loud men, is a young woman busily scribbling things down in a journal. A half empty glass of something sits, seemingly forgotten, off to one side. She is quite plainly dressed in serviceable, travelling clothes and exudes very much an aura that she wishes to be left alone.

The final passengers in the salon car occupy a booth at the very far end, somewhat in the shadows from the otherwise bright lighting. Two men sit, deep in conversation, and a third man stands looming over them. You immediately recognise one of the seated men as your shadow from London – he sits with his back to you but you've seen him enough now to immediately recognise his profile (not to mention his rumpled suit). The man he speaks to looks like nothing so much as a vaudeville villain – complete with long twirling moustache and an opera cape. He looks up briefly as you enter but then immediately goes back to his conversation. The standing man is tall and wiry with the tanned skin and features of a native of the Middle East. He stands with his hands clasped tighylu behind his back and has a clear field of vision along the entire carriage.

Besides a few members of staff taking orders and serving drinks there is nobody else present – the other passengers must already have retired.
George Banks
 player, 34 posts
 Slip me some
 Jib
Wed 18 Apr 2018
at 04:05
London to Paris
George casually orders straight rum, and looks to his companions for a hint of how they wish to proceed.  Meanwhile, he forces himself to relax, which is difficult to do in the presence of their ‘shadow.’