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 CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'

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Tiphereth

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PostSubject: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:40 pm


The ominous gothic structures of Omenwich University turned majestic in the morning light. Eight bells resonated across the picturesque grounds as students made their way to one of the many libraries or pre-arranged meetings with their professors. It was Saturday after all and while weekend evening classes had been introduced the strictly traditional institution would not bend to providing day programs, especially on Sunday. It was this rigid adherence to tradition that had particularly attracted Callum Calderwood to the ancient university, that and their anthropological department was the most prominent in the world. Only the Miskatonic and Oxford compared, but the latter paled in comparison where the occult was concerned. The university had always embraced paganism. It survived the countless assaults of Christianity and had always been a sanctuary for the open-minded. The perfect haven for the young assistant professor whose extra-curriclear activities delved into areas that other institutes would frown upon. At Omenwich his eccentricities were protected and strange ideologies nurtured.


Callum merrily strolled down the lane. His home was only a mere fifteen minutes from the university, a relaxing walk across the Kingsmede bridge from his two story flat that over looked the river. He breathed in the fresh Spring air and took a few extra minutes to watch a few boaters as they meandered down the historic River Stour. He positively loved his home, but it seemed as if his work would be taking him away for undetermined amount of time.

Late last night, Callum had received a most disturbing email from a colleague at the Miskatonic University. He often collaborated with Professor Tyler M. Freeborn, both of them sharing the same passion to decipher the mystery of an ancient writing that had recently been discovered in America. Naturally the stuffy scientific community would not even consider its validity and so they had become each other's counsel on the matter.

Tyler's email had been, to say the least, shocking and Callum was still trying to get the images out of his mind. He was the assistant to Professor Ravenwood and part of the job included Saturday morning meetings with his students. Thankfully he only had a few as what he had seen lingered on his mind and he feared that he would be distracted at best for the better part of the day.


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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:11 pm

Elsewhere, in Central America....



It was hot and humid. Of course she couldn’t remember a time when it wasn’t uncomfortable but when you are doing manual labor in the middle of a rain forest in the middle of the summer season, what could you expect?

Beatrice Chadwick was wearing light, cotton, khaki, cargo pants, a matching tank top, hiking boots and a wide brimmed hat to protect her head from the blaring sun. The Guatemalan heat was making her sweat rivers but she refused to give into the urge to go jump in the cool, refreshing waters of the river just down from where she was working. She was close….very close to something. She could just feel it. IT was the same feeling she got all the other times she discovered another artifact.

The local hired help didn’t seem to be in all that big of a hurry and Bea worked circles around them. She knew they thought she was some crazy English woman, barking orders at them in the dialect she had learned since her arrival a few months ago. They would just look at her, glance at each other, shrug and eventually get around to doing what she needed them to do on their own time. It was frustrating as hell, but at least she wasn’t alone.

As each five gallon bucket of fresh dug dirt was taken away, Bea tried not to let her frustration get the better of her. Patience, she had been told, is a virtue. So if patience was a virtue, if she slapped the shit out of the hired help, did that mean she had sinned? Oh bloody hell…like I have time to think such crazy things.

Bea always carried on conversations with herself, both verbally and mentally. After all, most of the time she didn’t have anyone with much intelligence to talk to when she was out in the thick of a dig. Who in the hell in their right minds would WANT to do something like this and like it?

She did.

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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:39 pm


Francis finished his whiskey, it was his fifth..or was it the sixth? As the Irishman set the empty highboy back on the bar the barkeep came right away and scooped the glass up and began to wash and rinse it.

Isn't that enough Irish? Isn't it time for you to go home?
Frankie eyed the American and put a hundred dollar bill on the bar.

Isn't it time for you to shut yer gob and pour me another drink...
The drunk Irishman growled.
Whiskey..again, if that's alright with ye Ma.
Frankie grunted as the bartender walked away.

Frankie loved to visit in America but this trip had been a headache. Frankie was runner of guns and had not yet made his delivery yet. His connections here in New York had been stringing him along for a solid week and Frankie was eager to offload his illegal goods and get paid. Frankie always traveled alone for business and when things got complicated like they had this time Frankie wondered if it was time to retire.

He had some faith left that the deal would be made after all American's love their guns don't they? Frankie had several dozen AK 47s and several cases of home pressed ammunition, untraceable and unstamped. He had stashed the hardware in a self-storage facility on the grungy part of town and was staying in a filthy cheap motel. Needless to say the stress of the job was getting to the Irishman.

He did not even look at the bartender as he brought another tall glass of whiskey. Frankie was chugging the drink down when his cell phone vibrated in his jacket. He held the phone to his glassy eyes.

MEETING SET FOR TONIGHT. 3 AM PIER 15.
It was the message he had been waiting for. Frankie looked to the clock over the bar, it was 11:30 pm, plenty of time before the meet.

Oi barkeep, I'll 'ave another if it doesn't offend yer delicate sensibilities...
Frankie barked as he began his long night.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:31 am



Callum raised his collar against the cool wind blowing off the waterfront. He checked his watch and noted that it was now five minutes past two in the morning. Where the hell was that guy? His contact was supposed to have met him an hour ago and his patience was starting to wear thin, not to mention his nerves. Those sounds common to a ship yard were beginning to play on his mind, and he was starting to spook himself. It had been a week since he had received Professor Freeborn's email and though he hadn't dared to look at the images again they were still fresh in his mind. Honestly, if whomever had murdered those people hadn't written those characters in blood along the warehouse wall there is no way he'd be standing about, alone, in the middle of the night on some spooky pier. Unfortunately there was no way that Callum could get near the crime scene without some help and the security guard who had discovered the grizzly scene just so happened to be the friend of Freeborn's younger brother. That was how he caught wind of the strange murder that the New York police department had labeled the work of a serial killer.

It was important that Callum saw the crime scene for himself, but to do that he needed to get into the warehouse which he was beginning to think wasn't going to happen. Reaching into his satchel slung across his shoulder, he took out his 'pda' and checked his emails to pass the time. Three days ago he had sent a message to an archaeologist recommended by Professor Ravenwood to be well versed in Aztec history but had yet to received a reply.

Callum had noticed in one of the pictures obtained by Freeborn, that one of the murdered victims was wearing a rather odd necklace. The security guard who had taken the illegal photos had actually had the presence of mind to take a close up of the neck piece and allowed Callum and Ravenwood to identify it as Mesoamerican but could not tell whether or not it was Aztec. He had sent the picture to Beatrice Chadwick, currently on a dig somewhere in Central America in hopes that she could shed some more light on the subject. Unfortunately the neck piece was considered evidence in the ongoing investigation and hadn't been able to get in touch with the detectives so that he could take a look at it. Maybe with a specialist backing him up, they together could get a closer look, but that would rely on everything going to plan which just didn't seem to be happening.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:24 am



The clock on the dashboard of Frankie's rented minivan blinked a quarter to 3, the Irishman drove it slowly past the grand boats and stacked containers around pier 15. Frankie was always a bit early to meets, he thought it was good business and he hated surprises. Frankie put the van in park and shut off the engine, now came the waiting.

Frankie was looking forward to concluding this shady business and going back home to Belfast. Ah Belfast, friendly people, welcoming pubs and paramilitary partisans. Yeah New York had it's charms but nothing beats home sweet home.

Frankie's ears pricked up as the sound of footsteps was echoing off the many stacked containers. Strange, it sounded like a single set. Frankie was sure there would be 2 or 3 men at this meet. Frankie reached across to the next seat and scooped up his pistol, he slipped it with it's attached silencer into his jacket and exited the vehicle.

Frankie walked in the darkness along a row of containers, barely making any sound. The footfalls were fairly loud, if this was his contact they sure were not being very discreet.

Frankie stood still the footsteps seemed to be coming to him! The Irishman pressed himself as flat as possible against the steel boxes at his back. The footsteps persisted and the figure came into view. Frankie was surprised to see a rather unassuming man dressed casually with a bag slung over his shoulder, you know the type of bag one carries when they are at University.

Frankie stepped from the advanced darkness of the row of containers and into the paler shadows.

It's a bit late for studies innit it? Frankie said to the stranger. His words were relaxed but the stranger could see that Frankie was in no mood for humor.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:09 pm

Elsewhere, in Central America....



Bea was tired. Dog tired. Another day of fruitless digging had left her frustrated. She was CERTAIN she was close to finding some more artifacts that supported her theory that the occult had been around for as long as society had believed in higher beings. How else would that explain some of the strange things she had discovered? Tomorrow, she told herself. Tomorrow would be the day she found them. The same thing she told herself the day before and the day before that and the day before that.

As the sticky, humid air settled about Bea like a wet, wool blanket, she got up from her cot in her tent and walked over to the small, camp sized desk and flipped up the lid to her laptop. Booting the machine up, she waited for the machine to get done it’s usual processing when she clicked open her mail.

Several new items occupied her inbox, mostly investors wanting to know when they would see some payment on their investment, but one of them, from a Callum Calderwood, caught her eye. She didn’t know anyone by that name but from what she read on the subject line, “MESOAMERICA”, he was a fellow who had some inclination of her work.

Flipping the e-mail open, she read the contents and furrowed her brows. When she opened the attached image, her brows raised and she whispered softly to herself in the quietness of her tent.

”Well, I’ll be damned.”

Enlarging the photo all she could so she could get more details of the item, she studied it for a few more minutes before she brought up the e-mail sent to her and hit the REPLY button and began typing in her response.

Professor Calderwood,

It appears as though you have in your possession an artifact that predates any known, previously recorded artifact. I would be most interested to know where you discovered it and if I could be permitted to look at it, in person, for myself to authenticate its origin. I am currently in Guatemala and will be returning to London in two weeks. Please let me know when and where I can meet you and I shall be there.

Respectfully,
Beatrice


Clicking the SEND button, she waited for the e-mail to go through before she shut the laptop down and closed the lid to try and once more get some much needed rest before she traveled back to the dig site. Of course, with the tid bit of information she just recedived, she doubted she would be able to get much sleep, but at least now she would have pleasant dreams instead of nightmares of failure.

Or so she hoped.

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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:24 am



Callum froze when the man slipped out of shadow before him. He felt he was about to become yet another American murder statistic until the man spoke. He knew a thing or two about the different accents and dialects of Ireland and recognized the man's. Purely Belfast. Of course this hardly put him at ease, since the Irish weren't any better when it came to being 'blanked' or worse.

"Studies?". Callum blurted out in his typical Scottish timbre as he considered the Irishman's choice of words. Was he really such a stereotype? If he didn't get his arse shot off he'd have to remedy that.

"Look mate." he said innocently, "I haven't got anything worth nick'n, but you're welcome to the few yankee greens in me wallet. I'm just out...", Callum paused to come up with an explanation for his present whereabouts in the the dark hours of the morn and came up with the worst one, "... site-seeing."

He visibly winced after the words fumbled out of his mouth as he nervously awaited the man's response.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:04 pm



"Site seeing...indeed, well listen up Scottie if you're carrying a shooter you best bring it out slow and give 'er over to me." The Irishman glared.

Frankie now had his gun in his hand, but he had not raised it, it hung in his hand at his side. As Frankie spoke he and Callum could hear muffled footsteps approaching. Frankie was beginning to think that this Scot had nothing to do with his meet after all. Frankie pulled Callum into the deep shadow of the stacked container.

"Quiet as a mouse now Scottie or I'll pop ye one." Frankie waved his gun in front of the man. Frankie shuffled sideways to the end of the long shipping box. The Irishman could not see anyone but he could hear.

What Frankie heard did not make him happy at all. In the darkness just beyond where he and Callum were hiding Frankie could discern the distinct sound of men whispering in Russian.

The last few times Frankie had done business in America he was aware of the Russians displeasure with him, the Irishman and his contacts refused to deal with them, opting to sell to their well established Irish-American contacts only. The Ruskies did not like this and had vowed to relieve Frankie of his goods the next time they found him in New York.

"Ah hell, it's the reds..." Frankie mumbled to himself. He quietly shuffled back to where Callum was.
"There are some bad geezers coming this way Scottie, if ye know a quiet way out then be on yer way. I have a vehicle near here I've got to get to..."

The footsteps were coming nearer, there were four men, they walked slowly and deliberately between the rows of containers. Frankie knew that they would be armed for war, ironically they would probably have the very kind of guns that Frankie was attempting to sell.

"They're too close now, ye best come with me..." Frankie grabbed Callum by the collar and shoved him out of the shadows, the Irishman pushed the bookish man in front of him as he quickly made for his rented van.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:28 pm



Callum spun around driving his elbow into the Irishman's throat, chopped the gun out his hand and drove him backward with a spectacular spinning back kick. Well, that's what he did in his mind. In reality he tried to be as compliant as he possibly could with the gun man at his back. Even though, subterfuge seemed to be the name of the game, he was not about to bet his life on the fact that the man wouldn't pop him if he had to, despite the fact that it would alert his Russian competitors.

If he lived through this ordeal he was definitely going to give Freeborn an ear full! All he wanted to do was investigate the scene of the ritualistic murder that had occurred at this pier over a week ago and now it seemed that he had walked into the middle of some shady deal gone awry.

As the Irishman pushed him along, Callum made sure he kept his mouth shut, but his eyes alone relayed the obscenities running though his mind. It was then that the email message of Beatrice Chadwick set off his PDA, and the professor's eyes widened with fear as 'King of Pain', by the Police broke into the still quiet of the night.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:02 pm


...There's a little black spot on the sun today... The song sounded loudly in the quiet of the shipyard, the Russians hearing it too moved quickly to the sound. Stealth was off the table now, the Russians were yelling to one another as they came near Frankie and Callum.

Frankie heard the bolts on several automatic rifles click, the Irishman could see his van it was just 30 yards or so in front of them.
"Run!" Frankie yelped as he hauled arse towards the waiting minivan. Frankie had just reached the van as the Russians opened fire. As Frankie reached the van there was no time to get inside, the Irishman slid on his knees behind the van for cover. The Scotsman was doing a fine job of keeping up, he was just behind Frankie as they reached the cover of the van.

The Russians were fanning out, they fired sporadically as they spread out trying to get all around the van. Frankie shot at them a few times, more to keep them at bay then to hit them, Frankie could not see the men from the rear of the van.

"I thought this was the city that was so nice they named it twice..." Frankie snorted as he fired at the muzzle flashes of the Russians' guns.

"We want the guns Ireesh, we do not want to keel you." One of the men yelled from the darkness.

"Come out with hands up and we no shoot, we only want guns." Their guns were silent, waiting for an answer.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Nov 27, 2009 6:00 pm



Callum didn't have any troubles keeping up with Irishman he had always been able to run. In his day he had been a damn good winger, and would have still been on the rugby field if his academics had not taken priority. As he sprinted along with the gunman it suddenly dawned on him that he should just keep on going but instinct told him to stick with the guy returning fire. It also occurred to him that the Russians would simply assume by his accent that he was with his Irish cousin, rather than accept the coincidence.

"Bloody hell!" screamed Callum as he ducked behind the van, the horrific sounds of bullets penetrating the side of the vehicle trailing right behind him.

Callum pressed his back against the van and hugged his bag tightly. For the life of him he couldn't come up with a response to the Irishman's little New York joke, other than to acknowledge him with a frantic nod. He had never been shot at before, and it was honestly a thousand times more frightening than how they depicted it on the tele.

When the Russians screamed out their ultimatum, giving up sounded pretty good to Callum. "That sound's fair." he commented, "How's about we just give them the..." he thought about it then for second, "... guns? You're a gun runner? Oh, bloody hell. We're flamin' dead."

Callum could then over hear one of the men shouting something in his native tongue, a Georgian dialect. "They're going to flank us." the Scotsman translated, as he peeked round the other side of the van looking for the two men they sent to make their way around the warehouse behind them.

A little calmer now, Callum mustered the courage to ask the gun runner a rhetorical question, "So I take it that surrendering isn't an option?". It was his way of telling the criminal that he was on board with what ever plan he could come with up to ensure their, specifically HIS survival.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:10 pm


"I've been giving it some thought Scottish..."
Frankie said as he reached down the sleeve of his black Armani jacket and tore a long piece of his white shirt off.
"The Ruskies 'ave the advantage, let's give' em what they want..."
Frankie reached up and opened the small hatch to the van's gas cap, the Irishman unscrewed the gas cap and stuffed the piece of shirt inside the gas tank opening. Frankie then produced a zippo lighter and lit the piece of shirt and stood up. Frankie put his hands in the air and began walking back towards the Russians.

"Ye best come along Scottish.
Frankie mumbled as he walked.

"We surrender comrades, don't shoot we'll give over the shooters for safe passage."
Frankie shouted as he moved further from the van and more towards the Russians. The men came at Frankie and Callum as they walked, they pushed the two men to their knees.

"Karl, Sasha go and get guns." The man in charge barked, the two men slung their rifles on their backs and sprinted to the van. They opened the sliding door and found the 4 large crates of AKs. They shouted something in Russian to the other two men, they seemed pleased with their find.

"Go and help." The older man said to a third man he sprinted to the van to help the others offload the guns. The three thugs were just pulling the first two boxes out of the van when it exploded.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:19 pm



When the Irish gun runner pushed the material into the van's fuel opening he almost said "D' ya know what you're doin'?", but of course the man knew what he was doing, "The man was a flamin' gun runner y' ponce." he told himself. Best to just follow his lead and so that's just what he did.

Kneeling on the ground, Callum couldn't believe he trusted the bleedin' Irishman. These guys were bloody well going to shoot them in the backs! Looking over at the gun runner, he couldn't believe how cool the man was, he wanted to hit him and that's when the older Russian, glanced over at the professor and gloated. He snickered, then turned his eyes back to Irishman, "Your friend, he is, how do you say, 'spineless'." he said to Frankie.

The older man grinned with delight, when he saw the boxes of guns in the arms of his men, then his expression turned to cold and he looked back down to the two prone Kelts. He waved his gun back and forth between the two.

"So which is one who gets it first?" Asked the Russian and that's when, Callum saw Frankie glance over at him and with a very slight gesture of his eyes signaled him to hit the ground. Next thing, the Irishman was falling forward and as Callum did the same a wave of heat rushed over them from the exploding van, knocking to older man off his feet, landing hard on the ground in front of them.

Callum looked back, drawn to the blood curdling scream of a man being burned alive. One was on the ground futily attempting to extinguish the flames by rolling, but he was covered with petrol and unless he rolled himself off the pier the fire wasn't going to go out. Another was dead, his smoldering corpse lying still, a good forty feet from the wreckage that was the Irishman's van, and the third man miraculously was putting out the flames on his jacket and staggering over to one of the fallen guns.

Ahead of them the older Russian was starting to get up, his gun still in his grasp, while the other who was off to the side would reach a weapon in a few more strides. Callum looked to the Irishman, seeking direction. He was fast and could intercept the weapon, but he didn't know how to use a gun and was pretty sure he would be out matched physically by the Russian thug.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:39 pm



Frankie shook his head, it was humming from the blast. As the Irishman got to his knees he could see that there was still two of the Russians to deal with. Callum was just a few yards from the small Ingram machine gun on the ground, one of the Russians was coming quick to scoop it up. The old man was shaking off the effects of the blast in front of Frankie and the Professor, it would only be a second or so before he used his gun.

"Get that shooter Scottish, I'll have at the old man!" Frankie barked as he got to his feet and flung himself towards the older Russian. The old man got off a shot as Frankie collided with him, the bullet passed through Frankie's coat without injuring the Irishman.

"That's fughing Armani you bastard!" Frankie shouted as he tumbled into the old Russian.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:05 pm



If Callum had given himself even half a second to think about what he was going to do, he would of froze. As the Irishman charged the leader, he tore off toward the machine gun, the other Russian was slowly staggering toward. He seemed to be suffering from some severe concussion damage, but he didn't doubt that even in his weakened state the big man could kick his arse up and down the pier. His only chance was to beat him to the gun and that's just what he did. Sprinting like a mad man, fighting the weight of his school bag, he moved faster than he had in years, his legs fueled by the adrenaline pumping through his body.

As the Russian bent down to pick up the weapon, Callum intercepted it with a dive and slide across the pavement. The big man then swore something in his native tongue, a word that the linguist was unfamiliar with since his knowledge of the language did not extend into its profane use.

Flipping onto his back and sitting up, Callum thrust the gun into the Russian's face and it was that moment that he heard the gun shot. "Christ!" he exclaimed and couldn't tell whether or not the gun runner had been shot or not. Then the big man smiled, not exactly the reaction he wanted to see and his eyes quickly scanned over the gun searching for something that might not be turned on, rendering the gun useless. A safety! Yes, that was it. Now what the hell did the safety look like?

The big man loomed over him, taking a glance back to his boss struggling with the Irish gun runner, then he thrust his cold, dark eyes back to the smaller Scotsman. "Give the gun liddle man, and maybe I let you live." he demanded.

"Shit!" Callum cursed under his breath. He looked over at the gun runner who seemed pretty energetic for a man who was just shot. Maybe he wasn't hit after all?

The Russian was confident and casually reached into this jacket and pulled out a vicious looking knife. "Da gun!" he demanded once more.

Callum had no idea, if the gun would work and there was only one way to find out. He scrambled backward and managed to get to his feet, pointed the gun at the ground and squeezed the trigger. Nothing.

"Shit!" Screamed Callum as he back peddled away from the advancing Russian, "How does this bloody thing work?" he shouted to the Irish gun runner.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:42 pm



The old man was much stronger than he appeared, Frankie was barely keeping up with him as they fought.

"Jesus and Mary!..." Frankie cursed as he grabbed at the gray haired Russian's pistol. Both the Irishman and the old man now had hands on the gun, each was trying to point it at the other.

"Die you Irish dog!" The old man scowled.

Over his shoulder Frankie heard Callum's pleas.
"...a small lever near the trigger on the guard, push it and shoot!" Frankie wheezed.

Frankie and the Russian rolled over and over on the cool concrete, Frankie managed to bring a knee up into the old man's groin. The old man howled in pain, Russian curses flowed from his lips as he let go of the pistol and fell to his side. Frankie almost dropped the gun as it popped free, but he quickly got his hands on it. He pistol whipped the older man with it a few times as he got to his feet huffing and puffing. The Irishman was beginning to regret leaving his gun near the van when they 'surrendered'. Frankie stood up and turned to see how Callum was faring, Frankie could feel a steady stream of blood running from his nose.

Frankie raised his gun but Callum was between him and the Russian, Frankie moved quickly to one side angling for a clear shot. But it looked like the Scotsman was making a move.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:00 am



The Irishman's directions must have been spot on, since the big Russian desperately lunged at Callum as his eyes searched the trigger area of the gun. He leapt back as the blade cut through the air, then 'snap', pushed the safety off and pointed the gun at the advancing man.

"Hold it right there!" Threatened Callum.

The professor tried to be as threatening as possible, but he was unable to stop the tremor in his hands. He had never shot a gun before, let alone a person and even though the Russian seemed bent on killing him he didn't know if he had the stomach to pull the trigger. The thug read the Scotsman like a book and saw his opportunity. While his boss and Frankie struggled, he charged forward, thrusting his knife into Callum's abdomen, but it never reached the flesh. Unable to shoot the man, Callum blocked the blade with the gun, unfortunately once he engaged in melee with the experienced Russian fighter the big man hooked his knife round the gun and drove his boot into the Scotsman's chest. Callum felt the wind rush out of his lungs as the forceful kick knocked him off his feet and onto his arse. Now the Russian had the machine gun, but Frankie only came into view when the Scotsman went down. Quickly the thug fumbled with the weapon as he struggled to quickly get his finger on the trigger when he saw the gun runner aiming his pistol.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:58 pm



For second the Scotsman had the upper hand, he clicked the safety and pointed the gun at the large Russian. The thug still came at Callum with his knife, it was then that Frankie thought that not everyone was built to pull a trigger, perhaps the Professor was cut from a different cloth. Frankie watched in horror as Callum went down, the Russian had his gun now, he stood over the Scotsman grinning.

Without thinking Frankie squeezed the trigger on the pistol he was holding, two bullets ripped through the upper thigh/kneecap area of the Russian's legs. The large man smacked hard into the concrete as his wounded legs crumpled beneath him. The Ingram machine gun clacked onto the ground out of reach of the bleeding Russian. The man hissed and cursed but was unable to stand without aid.

Frankie looked behind him briefly, the old man was still unconscious from Frankie's pistol whipping and this man in front of them was not going anywhere soon. Frankie moved to give Callum a hand getting up.

"You alright? He didn't git ye did 'e?" Frankie slipped the gun into his waistband and offered Callum a hand up.

In the distance. just across the pier police sirens were sounding as the NYPD was entering the shipyard to investigate the gunshots and car fire.

"We best be on our way Scottish, the only thing more prickly than the Russians is the NYPD..."
Frankie smiled at Callum, the Irishman pulled a comb out and ran it through his hair he then pulled a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and wiped the blood from his nose and face.

"That's better then, me name is Francis, Francis Behan, me friends call me Frankie only me Ma calls me Francis."
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:08 pm

Elsewhere, in Central America....



Bea had just drifted off to sleep, or so she thought, when her rest became less than optimal. She had the distinct feeling she was being watched, but that was impossible. She was in a small tent in the middle of the Guatemalan rain forest and it was pitch black outside.

Pitch black?

Opening her eyes, Bea confirmed she was indeed in the middle of a pitch black night. And that struck her as very, very odd. There was always the glow of the fire in the middle of the camp she could see on the walls of the thick canvas of her tent. Not to mention the glow of the full moon. And right now, it was full moon and she should have at least been able to see THAT.

But something else struck Bea as very odd. It was deathly silent. No tree frogs. No night creatures from the forest making sounds. No soft talking of the locals as they took turns standing guard over the camp. What the hell was going on? Daring to see for herself, Bea swallowed hard and slowly sat up in her cot before easing her feet onto the earthen floor.

With as much care as she could, considering she had enough foresight to be just a little frightened, Bea forced herself up off the cot. The thing creaked and groaned as her weight was lifted from the canvas and wood frame and she cursed silently at the sound. Each step she took closer to the flap, she was certain she could hear her heart pounding in her ears and knew someone else could hear it as well.

When she reached the flap, Bea’s trembling hand reached forward to grab the inside flap and ease it open. As the flap parted and the outside world was revealed to her, Bea found herself in a horrific place. Strange creatures moved all around. Screams of horror and sheer fright deafened her. The sky was blood red. The ground around her literally crawled with strange and deadly looking insects. In the distance she could see a horrid looking creature that dwarfed all the others. It was humungous with barbed tentacle like appendages and it seemed to be boring its death giving gaze right at her. Her ears were suddenly filled with a sound that made her feel as though her ear drums were going to explode.

“CEASE. CEASE OR DIE.”

Just when she thought the pain couldn’t be any worse, Bea heard a screeching sound that ripped though her very soul. At the same time, she felt her legs crawl and incredible pain began to fill her lower extremities. Bea had to let go of the flap and she felt herself falling backwards.

Beatrice Chadwick awoke with a strangled scream on her lips as she sat bolt right up in her cot. Sweat dampened her hair and put a sheen on her face and arms. Her heart pounded wildly and her whole body trembled. She could still feel the pain in her legs and she hurriedly kicked off her thin blanket as she reached for her flashlight and clicked it on. Nothing covered her legs. No insects. No wounds. Nothing but skin. But Bea could still feel the horrible pain and tears sprang to her eyes as she tried to forget it only to find she most likely never would.

Outside Bea could see the sun was almost up. In a rush, she flung herself out of bed and began packing as quickly as she could. She received the message loud and clear. Who was she to rebuke such an order? Besides, it wasn’t like this place was all that fruitful. Reaching for her laptop to pack it, she remembered she had agreed to meet with Professor Calderwood. Opening the machine back up, she practically cried when it took so long to come to life. Trembling fingers quickly opened the e-mail program and she typed as quickly as she could to send him a cryptic message that would make him think she had lost her mind.

Prof Caldrwd,

Must leave dig now. Best you forget artifact. Bad mojo. Forget me.


Bea didn’t even take the time to type her name at the bottom of the message, she simply clicked send then closed the lid and shoved it in a backpack. When she emerged from her tent, she barked orders at the locals telling them to leave what ever they couldn’t carry and they were getting the hell out of there now. Thinking she had lost her mind, the locals packed what they could and helped guide Bea away from the dig site thinking the Brit had come down with some sort of jungle fever they wanted no parts of and the sooner they got rid of her, the better.

Exactly where Bea was going to go she hadn’t decided yet. She would figure that out on her way to the airport. In the meantime, she just wanted to get as far away from this place as she could. And yesterday wouldn’t have been soon enough for her.

____________________________________________________________________________________
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:30 pm



Callum reached up and grasped the Irishman's hand. His eyes never left sight of the crippled Russian as he stood, horrified at the amount of blood that poured from the man's wounds. It took a while for him to register what the gun runner was saying, but he eventually nodded to acknowledge that he hadn't been wounded.

The approaching sound of police sirens snapped Callum back to his senses as it became apparent then that he was not going to be able to investigate what he had traveled all the way to American for.

Callum extended his hand after the Irishman was done fixing his hair. "Pleased to meet you, Frankie." he politely greeted with an automatic response and after considering his words really didn't find anything at all pleasing about their meeting, "I'm Callum Calderwood."

Callum then considered the amount of time that they had and thought he take a stab in the dark and see if the Irishman was game for a wee bit more of an adventure. "Look, I know you'd probably rather high tail it outta 'ere, but I've just traveled abroad for one purpose and that's to get inside that warehouse."

Callum pointed at a warehouse a ways from burning van. "I'm not exactly adept in picking locks, but I expect that a man of your talents may be able to accomplish such a task rather easily. Now before ya refuse, I'm pretty sure that once we get i' there, I can find us a place that the coppers would never find. We may even be able to acquire sum compensation fer your current losses. Ye game?"

While Callum awaited Frankie's response his PDA went off again, but this time he checked it and saw that he had two unread messages from Beatrice Chadwick. Not to be rude, he tucked the device back into his pocket and would read them as soon as he could. Hopefully she had some insights.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:06 am



Listening to Callum's proposition Frankie looked to the burning van, the guns were gone and he had already been on thin ice with his contacts back home. It was then in that moment that Frankie made his mind.

"Lead on Callum I am officially now on Holiday."

Frankie followed the professor to the warehouse building, the cops were coming near but they stopped at the burning van.

"Sometimes if ye just give these old locksets a twist..."
Frankie gripped the door lever with two hands and jerked it upwards without turning it, the door clicked and popped open. The two men slipped inside and closed it behind them. Instinctively Frankie pulled his pistol from his waistband and held it at his side as they navigated the large warehouse. The Irishman may have just been forced into retirement but he still did not like surprises.

"What'er we lookin for Callum?" Frankie whispered.


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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:42 pm



Callum pulled an extra torch out of his bag and tossed it to Frankie, then he pulled the door closed as quietly as possible. Turning on his second torch he immediately began to scan the area, oblivious of any dangers that may be lurking about.

The warehouse was empty except for an green coloured SUV on the far side of the building that appeared to have been under tarp. Yellow police tape had been wrapped around all the doors and more of the 'do not cross' lines had been stretched around the corner closest to them. That was where Callum immediately gravitated to and found three outlines of bodies traced onto the bloodied floor.

"These three men, were killed by something that the police cannot yet identify." Relayed the Scotsman as he pulled out his camera and began to flash away.

Callum then quickly moved to the center of the warehouse, pulled out a spray bottle and began to lay a mist across the floor. "Put your light over here, Frankie." he asked and as he continued to spray the concoction before their eyes, ornate black markings, of a circular sigil as wide as the average man was tall appeared. It then disappeared just as quickly when the solution dried, but it was proof enough for Callum.

"I knew it!" he exclaimed triumphantly, and reading Frankie's look that said, 'knew what?', clarified the discovery for him, "They were performing a summoning ritual and I believe it worked. They brought something into this world!"

Callum then hastened to the walls of the warehouse and began spraying them at about eye level. He worked his way around and when he neared the vehicle excitedly called Frankie over, "It's here!"

The professor revealed to Frankie a fading symbol:



"The Yellow Sign." he announced, then he bent down and began feeling around the floor for edges and found them. They were well hidden, and beneath a tile that sat perfectly flush with the floor, Callum also found a pull ring. With little hesitation he grabbed it and pulled open the concealed door way revealing beneath it an old tunnel with a new aluminum ladder bolted to it's side. The hole seemed to be about twenty feet deep and the light of the torches illuminated a dirt floor.

Callum leaned back. He was positively bursting with elation. "I researched the history of this warehouse and found that it was built and the ruins of another building which was destroyed in a rather odd fashion that was never explained. I believe that our answers lie down there. If my suspicions are correct this will lead us to a piece of history unknown to this world, a remnant of the Mythos; the reason that this place possesses power."

Without thinking Callum took a step onto the ladder, then common sense kicked in and stepped back out. "Perhaps you should go first." he said to Frankie, "I expect that there would be some man-made tunnels dug about a century ago, but what they offer access to I cannot say. I do know that it may be as old as the planet itself, perhaps something that may give us a point in the right direction."
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:05 pm



Frankie followed the Professor to the covered SUV, the outlines of the dead men were still clear on the ground. Frankie looked at the area near the outlines, there were no bullet holes, no sign of gunplay. Frankie nodded and took the torch from Callum and clicked it on.

When the professor's spraying revealed the strange symbols Frankie was shocked. Hadn't his old uncle and auntie rattled on about secret symbols and a scary and forbidden world of dark magic and monsters? It was many, many years ago but what the professor was chattering about seemed very similar to his conversations with his old relatives. Frankie put these thoughts out of his head, he was a practical man, a 'gun guy'- one coincidence was not going to turn him into some jumpy true believer.

When Callum discovered the hidden hatch and asked Frankie to go first Frankie was happy to oblige.
"Callum, the only thing that has come into this warehouse was the same thing that brought me here...GREED. I think these blokes were holding something some other blokes had an eye for and put 'em down is all. It happens all the time."

Frankie climbed onto the ladder rungs and began to climb down, one hand on the rungs, the other on his pistol and the torch in his mouth. The smell of earth and stale air hit Frankie like a smack to the face. The Irishman coughed a little as he breathed the thick air. Frankie climbed to the end of the rungs and stepped onto the dirt floor. The Irishman felt like he had entered another world, a far older world. The night's revelations were beginning to wear on Frankie's usually steely nerves. The Irishman shined his light around him and stood still waiting for the professor to join him.

"At your leisure my friend..." Frankie said anxiously.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:39 am

Elsewhere, in Central America....



Beatrice Chadwick couldn’t get out of Guatemala fast enough. To make matters worse, when she arrived at the airport, the deep rooted fear she had developed was like a tidal wave threatening to crash over her. The lines at the ticket counters were long. The people waiting in line either didn’t have their documents prepared and were taking an excruciatingly long time or the airline employees weren’t all that concerned if they gave good customer service or not.

When Bea could take no more, she marched herself to the front of the line, butting in front of the next customer. The ticket agent gave her a cross look and informed her she had to go back in line and wait her turn. That’s when things began to go sour for the normally quiet Archeologist.

”Look….I’ve waited in line for over an hour and I’m no closer to leaving this God forsaken country than I was when I arrived. I just want to get the hell out of here and never come back. Is that too much to ask?”

“Ma’am….you need to return to your place in line.”

The customers behind her were starting to protest but Bea turned a hateful glare upon all of them.

”Oh shut up, the lot of you. If you had things ready when you were called, we wouldn’t be standing in line for ever and a day.”

Turning back to the ticket agent, she smiled as sweetly as she could.

”Now….please allow me to purchase a ticket to….anywhere. I wish to leave immediately and get as far away from here as I can.”

The customers started protesting even louder and the ticket agent wasn’t being very cooperative.

“Ma’am….you can’t butt in line. You must return to your place in line or I will refuse to wait on you.”

Needless to say, this didn’t set well with Bea and she glared at the ticket agent.

”I beg your pardon? All you have to do is give me a ticket and send me on my way and you won’t be bothered with me again. It’s that simple. You have something I need and I have something you want and that’s money.”

The ticket agent ignored Bea and looked beyond her to the person who should have been next inline.

“NEXT!”

Bea glanced behind her then at the ticket agent. That’s when all hell broke lose. Bea lunged across the counter at the ticket agent.

”You BITCH! Sell me a ticket or I’ll rip your eyes out of their sockets, you disrespectful louse!”

Bea had just grabbed a hold of the ticket agent’s shirt when she was roughly pulled away. She managed to slither out of the grasp of who grabbed her and whirled around to face her attacker to see several uniformed police officers standing there staring at her. Holding her flashlight before her in a threatening manner, she yelled at them.

”DON’T TOUCH ME! I know what all of you are and I know what you’re trying to do to me. I saw that thing and you are trying to prevent me from getting away from it and telling others about it. Well it’s not going to work!”

Her wild eyes looked at the quickly growing crowd that was gathering around her.

”You people are all doomed! Those things will find a way to get here and when they do….you better pray they don’t get a hold of you! Their puss oozing bodies will devour you slowly and painfully! I’ve heard their victims screams and believe me, it’s not pretty. It’s a sound that will stay with you forever….”

Beyond the crowd a man stopped to observe the crazy British woman and for a moment, his eyes locked onto Bea’s. Rather it was a hallucination or real, Bea saw his face distort and for a split second she saw the grotesque, puss oozing face of one of the horrible creatures from her nightmare looking back at her.

Bea’s wild eyes grew even wilder and she pointed an accusing finger at the man causing the crowd to turn and look at him as she yelled at him.

”There! SEE! There’s one of them now! KILL IT! KILL IT BEFORE IT CAN DO ANYTHING!”

Bea made a move to lunge at someone when one of the officers pulled out his tazor gun and shot the electrodes at Bea then pulled the trigger. Bea dropped like a ton of bricks and convulsed as the current was forced through her body.

Still unable to move as she was scooped up and loaded into an ambulance, Bea looked out through the crowd and saw the man she had accused of being a demon staring at her with pity in his eyes. Knowing she was acting irrationally due to what happened in her nightmare, Bea could imagine where they were taking her. Perhaps that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. At least she would be protected within those walls, right?

____________________________________________________________________________________
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.


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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:25 am



Callum made his way down the ladder and scanned his surroundings with his torch light. He positively ready to burst with excitement when he spied the workmanship of the two ancient tunnels before them.

"Impossible!" Callum stated as he quickly followed his beam to the key-stone it marked, "This is Egyptian! Perhaps a knock-off, but why would one go to the trouble?"

Wandering over to his partner his eyes transfixed on anything but the ground, he nearly tripped over the crouched down man. "Sorry, mate. What are you doing?" he asked, but he answered his own question when he added his light to Frankie's and saw that he was checking out the amount of traffic going through each of the tunnels. The tunnels to the right was more trodden and so that was the direction Frankie went, and without question Callum followed a few paces behind.

They wound their way beneath the earth, parallel to the waterfront, and every so often they could hear the sound of drips from sea water seeping into the ground. It did not take long for the unaccustomed sounds to put Callum on edge, and he began to, every so often flash his light behind him.

After about a ten minute walk or so, they could see another passage in the distance. To their left, was an archway supported by two elaborate columns, that even the gun runner's untrained eye could make out as being something along the lines of Aztec, Toltec or Mayan, one of those ancient cultures.

"Interesting." Callum commented but said little else as they neared the side passage, which after Frankie's cautious investigation turned out to be a chamber, a storage room to be precise. Modern shelves lined the ancient stone walls, and upon them were dry goods and other non-perishable food stuffs, enough to keep a couple of men alive for months. They also found a couple of lanterns, and swapped them for their torches in order to preserve the batteries as they weren't sure just how long they would actually be. Before they carried on, Callum also filled his bag and pockets with granola bars and such, and few bottles of water.

"Better safe than sorry." Stated the professor.

They walked for another fifteen minutes and then the sound of rushing water began to echo though the passage. Walking a little further then, the passage opened up into a vast chamber, a gorge through which ran a small river and traversing it was an old wooden bridge, suspended on chains anchored to the low ceiling.

"Long way down." Callum commented as he peeked over the side, then he ever so gently tested the first board of the suspended bridge. It seemed strong, but Callum was still leery. "What d'ya, thin' thar Frankie?", he considered, "It must be safe if'n the people who tend to this place use it, right?"
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