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  #1  
Old Apr 19th, 2021, 08:37 AM
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To the Call of Cthulhu:Horror on the Orient Express-Dancers in an Evening Fog

London 1923
The sound of clinking glasses echoes in your mind for months after the events of Phinizy Swamp. Soon, the strange spirit realm and horrifying twisted alligator demons seem dream-like. Did that ever really happen? A letter from the Oriental Society three months after the time in America serves as a ground for the electricity that is the strange world around you. In the next few months, your mind's eye is open to the strange, the arcane, the occult. There is more out there than you ever knew.

To break the maliase, an invitation arrives from the Oriental Club that draws you to London, England. A new room at the British Museum opens on January 1st, 1923 containing the Maudslay Collection, an exhibition of ancient stone sculptures from the early Maya tribes of Southern Mexico and Central America. Archaeologist Dr.Alfred P. Maudslay recovered the exhibits from ruined jungle temples during expeditions in the 1880s, and will be present to open the exhibition.

Of particular note, A Professor Julius Arthur Smith will be giving the Challenger Lecture a formal affair hosted by the Challenger Trustees. That group is closely affiliated with the Oriental Club, and presents this annual lecture as an interface between P.T. Barnum and Sir Isaac Newton. A hand scribbled note from your acquaintance, Prof. Smith says, Just a social call. Come visit me in London. You had received a number of invitations before, but no note. Smith seemed to be going out of his way to have you come for this lecture.

You pack your travel bag and prepare to be in London on New Years' Eve, 1922-23. Regardless of his intentions, your curiosity is getting the best of you. The dark must be held at bay.
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Last edited by Bluejack; Apr 19th, 2021 at 08:38 AM.
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Old Apr 20th, 2021, 03:21 PM
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Henrietta Smythe-Porter – a long awaited party
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”Clarice – be sure to fill the decanters in the gentlemen’s rooms.” Henrietta wanted to get things just right for her house guests. ”some Salmiakki for Mr Hiltunen – the small crystal and some water. And I think our forty year Talisker for Taketsuru-san – just the round bottom tumblers so he can get the benefit of the Isle-peat.”

The hostess fussed the flower arrangement on the mantle – the gilded invitation sat besides the vase. Two days. Tomorrow she would see that the gentlemen saw the new year in at the Café Royal ballroom. Then, after a reviving breakfast, it would be down to Bloomsbury to the British Museum and Professor Smith.

She picked up the invitation, her heart skipping with excitement Come visit me in London it said in his hand.








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”John!” she called.

In no time her suited driver was in the hallway ”Ma’am”

”Its about time you were off to Paddington. The 12.32 from Southampton. Our guests will be tired after their journey – take some coppers for the porters, they’ll have plenty of luggage."



Henrietta brushed some pollen that hand gathered on her sleeve. ”Just enough time for some tea Clarice” she said ”I’ll take it in the drawing room”


OOC



 
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Old Apr 20th, 2021, 09:49 PM
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Ale Hiltunen
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A commotion at the door signals the arrival of guests, and when Henrietta steps into the front hall she is greeted by a wall of humanity and luggage. Ale has brought his whole family.

The mechanic brings up the rear, his worn duffel over one shoulder, a little girl holding one hand and a bag in the other. A woman who is a perfect match for Ale leads the way, berating a young boy in what is presumably Finnish. John holds the door open, looking bemused and doing his best to stay out of the way. As the group crams into the hallway Ale catches sight of Henrietta and his face splits into a grin.

"Henrietta! How are you? Thank you for having us. This is my wife, Lempi, my son, Tarmo, and this is my little Ada."

Tarmo tries to brush past Henrietta but Lempi grabs the boy by the shoulder without looking. She smiles warmly at their hostess and extends her hand, trading a strong grip with Henrietta.

"It is a pleasure to finally meet you, and I cannot thank you enough for inviting us into your home."

Tarmo finally breaks free of his mother's grip and takes off into the house, eager to explore, and Ada is not far behind. Ale follows in their wake and folds Henrietta in a hug then winces at the loud crash that marks the kids' progress.

"It is good to see you again."

OOC

 

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Old Apr 22nd, 2021, 01:34 PM
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Masataka 'Nikka' Taketsuru
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Life continued after the death of Abraham Bull. Nikka returned with his Scottish wife, Jessie Roberta, to Japan and the plan was to rejoin Settsu Shuzo, the company which invested in Masataka to learn in Scotland. To Masataka’s dismay, Settsu had to abandon its plan to produce genuine whisky in Japan due to the harsh recession after effects of World War I.

Nikka’s financial situation was not ideal but he had a truly marketable skill, being the only Japanese who knew how to produce whisky at the time. Nikka’s job search continued… his patient wife dealing with her overbearing mother in law with aplomb. The invitation to return to Europe… to England… is first seen as an unwanted intrusion… a reminder of darker times. But as Nikka takes stock of his situation… his wife’s unrelenting burden… he tells himself that seeing Henrietta… Ale... they had formed a bond cemented by the celestial.

Nikka arrives in London, well aware of the growing anti-Japanese sentiment in America and expecting much the same in England. His wife… Rita… is a force to be reckoned with and she meets any side glances she sees with loud challenges of possible violence. Nikka is a quiet man and he is able to be so because his wife says enough for both of them.

Arriving at Henriatta’s home, not long after Ale, Nikka and Rita walk to the front door carrying their insubstantial luggage and placing it down. Rita turns to Nikka, her thick accent drawing a smile from her husband. “Weel... 'ere we ur Nikka... Best be yin hell o' a pairtie!”

OOC
 

 
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Old Apr 23rd, 2021, 01:13 PM
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Henrietta Smythe-Porter – a long awaited party
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If the hostess had under-catered her face would not have shown it … but in the back of her head she was freshening up the other guest rooms and moving the maids to share a room up in the eaves to make a temporary nursery.

”Why Ale! Its so good to see you … Lempi? Pleased to meet you – I hope the London air is not too thick for you.” Henrietta took her hand lightly, surprised to find another lady who knew how to shake a hand.

Then kneeling down to the children she added ”Tarmo … let me look at you. Why yes, so have your father’s look. You are lucky to have such a fine man as your father …

… and let me look at you – my goodness, aren’t you as cute as a button. Ada you say.”
Henrietta straightened up again facing Ale and his wife ”What a handsome family you are – you’ll be the toast of the ball!”.


And close behind them Nikka arrived with John behind them hauling yet more luggage – but more to the point, there was Rita who filled the room both physically and metaphorical with her Scottish drawl ”Weel… ‘ree we ur Nikka … Best be yin hell o’ a pairtie!” she boomed.

”I beg your pardon?” Henrietta said for a moment forgetting her manners, then ”Oh you’ll have to forgive me – you must be Rita?” Henrietta smiled with half-disbelief ”Its been a while since I had the pleasure of some time in Scotland and I’ve quite lost the knack of accent. Just given me an evening though dear and I shall be right there with you.” she held her hand out to greet them before turning to Nikka ”Nikka, welcome to my home – I hope that you will be comfortable here.”


Stepping back from the throng, she gestured towards the drawing room. ”You are all most welcome – please, let’s retire to the drawing room. Clarice will get cook to serve us some afternoon tea – you must be famished. In the meanwhile John will see to your things. John – the Taketsurus are in the front room and the Hiturnens are in the garden room please see to their things. Oh and Clarice, remember we said the children could take the room adjacent to the garden room. Now we know just how tall they are we can get the bedding right.” she looked Clarice in the eye, passing the tacit instructions prepare the third room and make sure the other rooms are fit for their wives too
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Henrietta led them to the drawing room – a well appointed place with china laid out, plates, cakes and biscuits placed just so on the mahogany table.

”Now you must tell me about your journey’s here – and what you have all been up to.” she chatted away ”Come on, please don’t stand on ceremony. Help yourself.” she patted Tarmo and Ada on the back encouraging them to tuck into the sweet goods.



OOC



 
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Old Apr 25th, 2021, 05:03 AM
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Henrietta Smythe-Porter – New years
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So it turns out that Henrietta can Charleston like a demon.




The night started serene enough. The Henrietta had arranged for her cousin’s nanny to take care of the children at their house in Eaton Square Your very own New Year’s jamboree she promised the little ones.


In the meanwhile, the adults dressed and took a cocktail in the drawing room before the car drove them all to Piccadilly Circus.

Here they joined the swelling throng excited to welcome the new year in. ”So nice to see so many people together again …” she chatted to Ale and Nikka and their wives ”… the terrible ‘flu but somewhat of a kibosh on last year’s do. And now look!” she said leading them to the Air Street entrance to the ballroom. ”Here we are!”





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Inside she handed her furs to the attendants, revealing a beautifully fitted beaded gold number, whose movements revealed a figure that Henrietta’s normal tailoring conspired to hide.

”That’s right …” she said as the party divested themselves of their outer garments. ”The ballroom is just down here … she pointed to the grand stairs down to the where the night’s party was set.”



The evening then progressed from polite decorum, through lively making merry to near debauchery as the champagne flowed and the band’s music swelled and its tempo quickened.

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Henrietta was in her element – she delighted in the company and took care to see her guests were introduced and at ease at the ball.

But when the beat of the Charleston struck, her eye’s whipped to the well dressed man in serious debate at the adjacent table, saying ”Winnie, you promised!” before dragging him off to the dance floor.



If it is true that gentlemen perspire while ladies glow – Henrietta was positively glowing as the evening passed from midnight to one o’clock to two to three AM …

”Well ladies – gentleman …” she said finally resting her feet ”… I believe we have a lecture to attend tomorrow. It may be time to call it a night.”



OOC
Quick montage through the evening for others to bounce off as they like.

Oh yes – and Winnie is a certain Mr Churchill … why not?!


 
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Old Apr 25th, 2021, 03:04 PM
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Masataka 'Nikka' Taketsuru
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Nikka did not know what to expect when Henrietta had said that they would be going to a new year’s celebration… out on the town, she had said. At first the quiet Japanese man had demurred, not being particularly comfortable in large groups on a normal basis… and certainly not during a raucous celebration. Plus… Nikka felt guilty not being home with his family partaking in the annual oosouji. The family would be cleaning away the ghosts of the year past… and he more than anyone else… needed to be part of that time honored tradition.

Nikka wore his regret on his face until Rita put an end to it in her patented scottish fashion in front of everyone. “A'richt nikka... Enough o` yer nonsense. Ye drag me hauf wey aroond th' world 'n' ye think a'm aff tae sit wi' yer depressed bahookie instead o' partying wi' th' rich folk... Ye picked th' wrong wifie!”

Masataka looked at his wife in astonishment… not sure if he was more embarrassed to be called out in such a manner in front of his friends… or of the fact that she was right.

“C'moan bairn... Ye kin tell me howfur mingin' th' drinks ur while ah drown in thaim,” she said as she gave him a quick peck on the cheek before turning to Henrietta. “Henrietta... Fix me up sae ah keek lik' ah belong wi' th' braw folk.”

The party was certainly not Nikka’s cup of tea… not at all… and he spent a bit of time analyzing the different liquors available as Rita sampled them all. But before long Rita, looking resplendent in a borrowed dress from their host, had dragged Masataka onto the dance floor. To everyone’s surprise, the small man proved to be quite nimble, using his martial arts dexterity to make up for what he lacked in technique. If nothing else, no one in the room could kick as high as Nikka!

OocPassed a Dex check

OOC
 

 
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Old Apr 26th, 2021, 10:14 PM
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Ale Hiltunen
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Ale and Lempi happily hug and kiss Tarmo and Ada out the door. The kids, decked out in we borrowed finery, rush out the front door and into the waiting car, thrilled by the luxury and the chance to see more of the big city.

Thus relieved of their responsibilities for a few hours, Ale and Lempi also borrow some fitting attire for the evening. They are undeniably small town folk but that just means that they know how to enjoy themselves.The couple breeze through ballroom, dancing to the live music, making friends, annoying others, and making the most of their time together. Somehow, amidst all the finery, Ale even manages to find a pint.

Beneath it all, though, is the thought of tomorrow and the uncertainty that it will bring. Their world is a harsh one, all the more so for the terrible truths Ale has shared with his wife, but they enjoy themselves, at least for the night. The party finally winds down and Lempi has to throw Ale's arm over her shoulder to get him out of his chair. She shares a look with Henrietta and Rita, the three women bursting with fits of laughter at the sorry state of the mechanic. Ale manages a dozy smile. He has never attended a lecture in his life, how bad could tomorrow be?

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Last edited by OldSchool; Apr 26th, 2021 at 10:15 PM.
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Old May 13th, 2021, 08:38 AM
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Professor Smith Professor Julius Arthur Smith, Litt.D., Ph.D., is 59, a heavy-set Englishman, a scholar who now devotes himself entirely to research. He is famed for his whiskers and great curling moustaches that give him the air of a friendly walrus. His disgusting preferences in tobaccos (especially his favorite, a foul, obsidian-hued Balkan Sobranje), his erudite after-dinner stories, and his hearty laugh are trademarks. Dr. Smith has lived and traveled extensively on the Continent, His specialties are European languages and archaeology; his Litt.D. was conferred by the University of Vienna. Recently, he has aided you in rendering difficult translations involving strange cults. Now his attention has shifted to matters parapsychological, with excellent results.

The professor maintains a town house in St. John’s Wood, where he resides when in London. At present it is undergoing renovation, to enlarge his library, and so the investigators must stay with their good friend Henrietta.When in London, Smith spends most of his time lecturing at the University of London or reading at the British Museum library. He is a member at the Oriental Club, but does not get there as often as he would like. His country home is an estate not far from Cambridge. Margaret, his wife, died in 1919. These days his manservant Beddows, who is at once friend, assistant, and confidant, is his only companion


The Challenger Lecture
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The scene is festive as the team of investigators arrived dressed to the nines for the Challenger Lecture. As a showcase, a new room at the British Museum has opened on January 1st, 1923 containing the Maudslay Collection, an exhibition of ancient stone sculptures from the early Maya tribes of Southern Mexico and Central America. Archaeologist Dr. Alfred P. Maudslay recovered the exhibits from ruined jungle temples during expeditions in the 1880s, and is present to open the exhibition. The Challenger Trust has used the Maudslay Collection as a draw for their ever-entertaining lecture.

Professor Smith has invited you to the latest Challenger Trust Banquet-Lecture, a formal affair hosted by the trustees, who select speakers of clear voice, sound mind, and impeccable credentials to report on original researches or inventions of theoretical or practical importance. These evenings are held roughly once a year, though some years see two or three such events, while in other years none occur. The trustees, true to their charter and no doubt chuckling in discussion over cigars and port, encourage idiosyncratic and even amusing studies, but by individuals nonetheless able to convey proofs either inherently astonishing or startling in implication. In collective effect, the trustees judge nominees by Barnum’s criterion, “Amaze me.” The speakers ran the gamut from hard scientists to nigh stage magicians.

Nominees need not be subjects of the Crown; Curie and Marconi spoke here, as did Count von Zeppelin and Edison. Though the event was semi-secret then, Dr. Cavor is rumored to have lectured some months before his disturbing disappearance, levitating a raisin made luminous for purposes of demonstration. A few years from now the trustees will select an American astronomer, who demonstrates that the matter of the universe is scattering out like pellets from a fowling piece.

The great formal dinner awaits on the evening of Wednesday January 3rd, 1923 in the Imperial Institute, in Kensington to occur after the reveal of the Maudslay Collection. The Upper East gallery’s stultifying reference collection of standard commercial products is put away in favor of tuxedos, gowns, splendid dress uniforms, glittering jewels, gleaming sabres, and waxed moustaches. Tonight the speaker is Dr. Julius Smith. His rigorous skepticism and methodical analysis earn him high reputation as a debunker of mediums, spiritualists, fortune-tellers, prophets, holy sites, apparitions, and so on. He has stead fastly refused to give the investigators any hint of his topic for tonight.
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Last edited by Bluejack; May 13th, 2021 at 08:39 AM.
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Old May 15th, 2021, 06:00 AM
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Henrietta Smythe-Porter – The lecture
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New Years day was wipe out. Of course it was – any good New Year’s Eve was followed by a very quiet New Years day. Henrietta took her breakfast in bed and saw to it that her guests could do the same if they so chose.

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It was the children that spurred her into action. She’d arranged for them to be brought back after a luncheon of cold meats, pickles and bread. The staff were clearing the table when the excitable hub-bub of the young home from a sleepover began to echo in the porch.

”Did you have a good time with Robert and Susan?” she asked, smiling at the little ones ”I hope so, I’ve invited them the join us at the zoo tomorrow? I’ve arranged for a trip for us all there tomorrow. They have polar bears from the icy north you know?!”

So it was that the little knot of families had an adventure in Regents Park and the Zoo that was growing at the north end of the park beneath Primrose Hill. ”Too bad its not a little later in the year … you see those chaps over there?” she pointed to the group of labourers laying concrete foundations ”The Society has acquired some lizards for display – I hear they have one of those dragons … what are they? Yes Komodo dragons, nasty bite.” the chatted away as a hostess should.



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So by the time of the evening of the Professor’s lecture, the seven of them were a happy rolling community. Henrietta appeared downstairs, dressed in a manner more fitting a lecture than a dance – a simple straight black dress adorned with a string of pearls. Clarice handed her her full-length fur against the cold of a January evening.

”Shall we?” she said, directing their troupe to the are that would take them to the Imperial Institute.

”This area here …” she said as the car turned from Kensington Gore into the broad promenade of Exhibition Road ”… is a gift the Great Exhibition – the 1852 committee has charge of it and are dedicating it to the pursuit of knowledge and learning. They have great ambition for the place.” she continued ”You know the great Crystal Palace they built in the gardens we just passed, that was large enough for fit St Pauls Cathedral in three times over. Can you imagine? They moved it all to South London now, near Sydenham Hill …”


And so they had arrived. The carriages of the visiting dignitaries and the well-to-do in this the first opportunity to be see in the new year were despoiling the great and the good onto the streets. Henrietta took her place in the gathering crowd. She nodded to and greeted those she knew as she weaved her way to the entrance – but she kept her real attention for her guests.

”So …” she said as they were handing their furs to the attendants ”… what do you think the Professor has in store for us? By the look of the crowd here, he has no trouble filling the hall.”


OOC


 
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Old May 16th, 2021, 09:29 AM
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Masataka 'Nikka' Taketsuru
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Nikka woke up the next morning quite sore. He was a highly trained athlete, but he was a specialist and so any novel stress and strain on his muscles was bound to result in a bodily protest. He groaned throughout the morning stretching routine but he perked up as he heard the sounds of returning children to the home.

He rushed to their rooms and deposited fukubukuro bags containing small origami animals on each of their pillows. Upon returning to his room, Rita gave him a wry look and shook her head as she hid her smile.

The night to come promised to be interesting and he would have been lying if he said he wasn’t profoundly nervous. He was, in no way, simple… but he was certainly out of his element amongst the cultured and lettered. Again, he was stuffed into a suit he did not enjoy but he bore it all out with a grin as his wife was certainly looking forward to the affair.

“Och... This is aff tae be splendid. Mak' sure ye bring th' whiskey... Juist in trial ah git stoogied.”

Once the group was on their way, Nikka could only shrug his shoulders in response to Henrietta’s question. “I am particularly interested in the Mayan exhibits. Their culture is the equivalent of aliens from another world. Their culture had developed in isolation for thousands of years… until, yet again, Europeans invited themselves to their table… a nasty and still continuing habit.”

Nikka frowned as he spoke and then turned to Henrietta and Ale, “I do not trust Smith… not in the least.”

"Nikka... Ye dinnae trust na yin ye boring twit."


OOC
 

 
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Old May 18th, 2021, 05:55 PM
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Jimmy Mott
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A Jail Cell in London
October 28, 1922

"Wew, look wot va cat dragged in," said the first guard, a stout man with a perpetually sweaty face, as he approached the locked and occupied jail cell. A naked and dimly lit light bulb swayed from the ceiling of the cell, casting weird shadows throughout the tight space. He slapped the second guard's arm with the back of his fat hand. "Get a load a fis, Charlie. Good 'ole Jimmy Mott 'ere again. Fiff time now innit, Jimmy? Or innit six? Har har! Made anuva promise ya cowent keep, dinya? Har har!"

For whatever reason, the second guard didn't seem very pleased. His long, thin face showed no signs of pleasure or excitement in seeing the young man who sat on the blue and white striped mattress that was too thin to really be called a mattress. "'Ello, Jimmy," the second guard said. "'Ow's ya mum?"

The young man who sat within the cell was impeccably dressed, especially for the East End of London. He turned his head to show his tired looking face to the guards and replied, "'Ello, Charlie. Awww, me mum's not doin' so good."
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James "Jimmy", "Little Jimmy" Mott

The first guard chuckled as Charlie said, "Sorry ta 'ear vat, Jimmy. Ya ain't gonna be no 'elp to 'er bein' in 'ere vough."

Jimmy didn't reply to that. He knew Charlie was right.

Charlie then said, "Ya be goin' in fron' va judge shtriaght away vis time. In va mornin'."

"Wew, vat's somefin'," Jimmy said and then looked away.

Charlie paused for one brief second before replying. "Yeah, Jimmy...vat's somefin'."

...

Early the next morning, the first guard approached Jimmy's cell with a dented metal tray in his hand; Charlie followed behind. On top of the tray were four different pieces of food, all the same dull color of gray. When he approached Jimmy's cell, he continued yanking and fighting the large ring of keys that was latched to his right hip. He looked down yet again in an attempt to see why he was having so much trouble.

"Awigh', Jimmy. Up and at 'em, boy." He looked away from the key ring and into the cell where the swaying light bulb was still casting shadows in the dark cell. He looked at the mattress, then the toilet, then the far right corner of the cell.

There was no Jimmy. He was gone.

"Wha?" said the first guard.

Charlie stood there and didn't say a word.



January 3, 1923

Jimmy Mott stood within the Imperial Institute looking here and there, examining those present who had just arrived for the formal dinner, studying their words and movements. He was completely out of his element...a hack from the East End who had gotten really lucky and somehow received an invitation to the event that was swirling around him (he had been very lucky). But, that was his talent, wasn't it? Smooth talking here, a promise there...those were the types of skills that put him near the money, the action. But they were also skills that occasionally put him in jail.

Jimmy pushed the bad thoughts out of his mind, though. He pushed them out all of the time. And so he continued to look and listen, look again, listen again...

And then he heard a sweet, female voice. His heart began pounding as he turned around to see its source.

"So...what do you think the Professor has in store for us? By the look of the crowd here, he has no trouble filling the hall." The voice belonged to a striking, beautiful lady and Jimmy almost dropped his stolen drink. He took a sip of that drink and swallowed hard before walking straight up to the woman. She had many well kept companions by her side, but Jimmy was somehow not intimidated. He kept on walking.

"Excuse me, madam," Jimmy said in a voice that was not his own. "I could not help but overhear your question about the Professor's plans for tonight. I can quite assure you that it will be most entertaining, but I shall not ruin the surprise, my dear. Oh, no. That would not be very nice." Jimmy smiled and suddenly realized that he was looking up at the woman. His face became flushed upon realizing she was looking down at him. An attempt at recovery then. "Ahem, my apologies...my name is James Talbot and I am pleased to meet your acquaintance. And you are...?"

OOCJon: Please forgive the poor Cockney accents at the beginning. I need more practice.


 


 
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Last edited by Warson; Jul 6th, 2021 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Grammar.
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  #13  
Old May 18th, 2021, 09:37 PM
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Ale Hiltunen
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Ale's slumber comes to an abrupt end as his two children bounce into the room, babbling about their grand adventures and totally oblivious to the site state their father is in. The mechanic dutifully rises, finds a wash basin, fills it with cold water, then dunks his head. And again. The haze around his thoughts recedes ever so slightly, and a cup of tea seems to help, so he downs another. The breakfast suits his as well, and thus fortified, Ale manages to enjoy the day out on the town.

By the time evening rolls around and Ale is sorting out a other borrowed suit, the Finn feels more like himself. Indeed, the prospect of a formal lecture actually intrigues him; though he has had no formal schooling, Ale has always been an avid reader and solver of puzzles.

As the group loiters amongst the growing crowd, Ale finds himself next to Nikka. The solemn martial artist seems ill at ease, a feeling that Ale shares.

"We know better now, Nikka. About Smith. But we all need his help, I think. It is enough we trust one another."

The mechanic pats Nikka's shoulder with a calloused hand and is about to say something more when a young, smartly dressed Brit approaches Henrietta. The brash young man makes a few cryptic comments and thrusts a hand towards their companion. Ale exchanges a look with Nikka, both men knowing full well that Henrietta can look after herself.

OOC

 

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Old May 19th, 2021, 03:09 PM
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Henrietta Smythe-Porter – The lecture
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”I’m sorry?” Henrietta said, looking down at this strange young man who hard barged into their conversation.


Society. It’s a hard thing to get right – and so many things to get wrong. In a blink she’d sized this man up. Not one of us. His suit was badly adjusted … she wondered if it had even been made for him. Hair scraped back in a way that smacked of trade – or even worse, labour. And then the way he held the glass – hand cradling the glass, not holding the stem, warming the wine before he’d tasted it.

But it takes all sorts – Henrietta would get on with them all. Its fine to be clumsy, gauche even. But rudeness that was something else. The man had simply blundered into their conversation – no introduction, not even a by-your-leave. Henrietta cleared her throat, the limit of her expressed anger.


”Oh – you were talking to me …” she said.

”I could not help but overhear your question … “ the man continued with his imposition – feigning knowledge of the Professor’s talk ”… my name is James Talbot and I am pleased to meet your acquaintance. And you are …?”

Henrietta stood for a few beats – quite cornered by the man’s presumption. ”Henrietta” she said finally ”Smythe-Porter” she added. ”Do I know you?”

She took a step back from the man, her eyes flicking to her companions who better deserved her attention as hostess.



OOC


 
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Old May 21st, 2021, 03:04 PM
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Chance Meetings
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"Eh-hem! Ms. Smythe-Porter, Mr. Hiltunen, Mr. Taketsura. " A tall, ruddy man in coat and tails came forward. His shoulders sunk a bit, and his face was expressionless. Henrietta knew him as the butler to Professor Smith, and his longtime companion. The butler served tirelessly, and the London socialite knew the butler was 'in-the-know' regarding the Oriental Club.

"This is a great honor for Professor Smith. Yes, indeed. He wanted you all here, his colleagues, you see. There are others in the audience. Others, hrm, of our ilk. In fact, he asked your group here about another matter, but he though this talk might be of great interest to you given a 'Miss Emily.' He said you would know what that meant." Burrows gave a short bow, ready to excuse himself.

"Nearly time for the Lecture! A smashing show. I have helped with the slide films. Wonderful. I see Mr. Mott is here, as well! Professor Smith's connections have been helpful, I see. Good man! Good show!" Burrow's look lingered long and hard on Mott, then he turned back to the stage.

"There will be one more, a fifth. But where did the time go? Off to help the Professor for his program. Wonderful! Just amazing! You will see. He holds you all in high, regard. Such high regard." Burrows wandered of, meandering through the well-dressed folk at the Lecture. They gave him an odd deference, unlike the other servants here. Eventually he made the side of the stage where Professor Smith waited.

Ale and Nikka took a step back and stared when they saw him. He looked more obese than Augusta, and despite obvious trouble breathing the man puffed away at a large pipe. His suit was new, and hid some of the ill health, but the investigators could see he was turning to goop over the last two years. Smith caught there gaze, and gave a smiling nod. In a few minutes the Lecture would begin.

Afterwards the true reason for their assembly would become more clear-they hoped.
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