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 CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'

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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:29 am


Frankie emerged from the steaming bathroom naked but for a white towel wrapped snugly around his thin waist. He ran another towel over his damp, dark hair, then draped it around his neck as he flopped down on the one bed in the small Egyptian hotel room.

The room was dark. An unbalanced ceiling fan spun menacingly above the content Irishman and aside from it's rhythmic squeaks the only other sound in the room was Callum typing on his laptop. Even though he had enough sand in his shorts to fill an ashtray the professor couldn't resist ceasing the opportunity to utilize the internet connection and check in with the university. He sent brief but detailed email to his supervising professor, Abner Ravenwood, then had proceeded to document the events of the past two months which for he and Frankie were but a couple of days.

Callum looked over his shoulder at the slick Irishman who had remained in his bathroom tunic while awaiting the maid to return with his clothes whom he had sent out for cleaning while he showered up. When he found out the hotel offered the service he waisted little time getting his garments laundered. Even though they had gotten a little tattered, he'd rather them clean and pressed if had to wear them for another day or so.

The professor finished up his journal and offered its use to Frankie while he took his turn in the bathroom.

"Dun be download'n any pornography, Frankie."
He told him in fun.

Callum stripped down. He wiped away the steam off of the bathroom mirror and inspected the bruise on his sternum from the boot of the big Russian he tangled with. Really only a day had elapsed, but that night on the pier and meeting Frankie actually did feel like it was months ago.

Before he stepped into the shower, Callum shook his clothes and let the particles wash down the drain. As the hot water ran across his skin washing away the dirt and sand the professor couldn't help but wonder what had happened to Miss Chadwick that would have made her react so to the ancient Egyptian text he carried. He had seen such a response before by others when exposed to relics of the Mythos but he was curious as to what she had specifically encountered. He himself had never encountered anything out of the ordinary, but that didn't mean he doubted the stories he heard. Why even, Frankie had seemed convinced that something unnatural had actually chased them into that tower but he couldn't recollect what exactly had happened, to which he most thankful.

By the time, Callum was dried and dressed, Frankie's clothes had arrived and the Irishman was looking more like his usual dapper self. They both checked their looks one last time, then the professor gathered up his computer and tucked it back in his bag. He locked up the room, and he and the Irishman made their way down to the lobby from which they found the directions to the bar.

The hotel pub wasn't exactly what Callum was expecting. It was modern and clean and reminiscent of a typical American bar. There were only a few other patrons so it was very apparent the ladies had not yet arrived so, Callum placed a few pounds down and ordered the first round. Thankfully, they accepted the currency and the bartender promptly brought them each a bottle of a Middle Eastern beer.

"Here's to the heath, the hill and the heather, the bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather!" Toasted Callum.

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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:56 am


Bea hadn’t talked about anything that happened to her in Guatemala since she had been released from the hospital and as she retold her experience to Maddie, she felt her skin crawl as she recalled the details of her nightmarish encounter with what ever those things were. There were a few times her eyes took on a terrified, far away look as she told Maddie about how the horrific things seemed to find her where ever she went. But in the end, she was glad she was able to share it with the young woman. Even if she did seem like some sort of paranoid, delusional escapee from a mental ward.

After gathering some things she would need for a much needed shower, Bea disappeared into the bathroom and didn’t emerge for a good 30 minutes. When she stepped out of the shower she saw how steamed up the mirror was and stood staring at it for a long time. Finally she hesitantly lifted her hand and wiped the fog from the reflective glass and held her breath. Certain she would have seen one of those terrifying things looking over her shoulder from behind or looking at her from the other side, she was relieved to see that wasn’t the case. Once she was fully dressed and had brushed out her damp hair, she looked to Maddie and gave her a small smile.

”Thank you, Maddie. For not abandoning me back there. I owe you. I believe it won’t be the last time you’ll have to do something like that. Perhaps knowing I’m not alone anymore you won’t have to do it too often. But if at anytime you find you can’t take my episodes, I completely understand. In fact, I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you decided to just up and leave now. In all honesty, I have to tell you things are going to get…..interesting…from here on out.”

Maddie could see Bea’s mind was already working at putting things together.

”The fact Caulderwood and the Irish ended up here, in our location is no coincidence. I knew all along the artifacts we were uncovering were different than any other artifacts I’ve dug up before. Now I believe I know what they are. I’ll know for certain tomorrow. And I can assure you, those two are going to go with us were ever we go from now on. Rather they like it or not, they’re a part of this now. And as far as I’m concerned, we’d have a much better chance sticking together than trying to go this alone.”

”Bea….I’d never leave you to face them alone. And now, things are starting to make sense. Should be interesting to see where this is all going to lead. And now, I’m beginning to understand why Shankar introduced us. Seems as though we may have a few things in common.”

As Maddie explained her Uncle Aaron’s journal and let Bea skim through it, both women realized they were somehow connected to something neither one could explain. And now, it appeared as though the two men who suddenly appeared from basically thin air now had something to do with it all.

With a renewed sense of direction settling about her, Bea smiled at Maddie and hugged the young woman. The few months they had spent together had brought them closer but now, Bea felt as though she had a real connection with the American. As the hug ended, Bea gave Maddie a smile and nodded.

”Shall we go share a drink…or five….with our new companions? We’ll look into getting new rooms as well. I imagine Shankar won’t mind too terribly much. It will still be only two rooms but with two beds each now. I’ll leave a message for him so he will be aware of what we’re doing and let him know of the arrival of the men.”

Maddie smiled and nodded. Stepping out of the room, Bea looked in both directions down the corridor, closed her door and locked it, tucking the key into her pocket for safe keeping. When the women reached the bar area, the men were into their second drinks.

”Well, gentlemen, it’s good to see you’ve freshened up a bit. And it appears as though we’re a bit behind on the drinks. What do you say to ordering some more drinks and getting a table in the restaurant? They serve some of the best food in the city in here. Not to mention the intimate setting will allow us to exchange information as it appears as though all of us have now been set upon the same path.”

As Bea studied the men, she glanced at the Irish and tilted her head slightly.

”I’m still trying to figure where you fit into all of this but it’s of little importance now. Like it or not, I believe you are part of this by proxy.”

____________________________________________________________________________________
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 Jun 17, 2010 1:09 am


Callum slapped Frankie on the shoulder.

"I'm afraid this ol' man's not representative o' anything but himself," He answered in reply to Beatrice's statement which was posed to the Irishman, "and for the matter neither am I." the professor finished while motioning with the amber contents of his old fashioned glass.

He and Frankie then shared a toast to the professor's pointless comment to which the Irish gun runner was just being sportive of out a sense of camaraderie. They had only polished off three drinks a piece and already the professor's judgement was being effected by the liquor.

Callum recognized that he was already inebriated. He wasn't slurring his word or anything so blatant but he was extremely relaxed and so too were his usual inhibitions.

"Pardon my good man." Callum said to the bartender, "Might we 'ave another round, and can ye have the drinks sent to that table over there."

Callum pointed to a nice secluded table near to the open french doors that lined the western wall of the establishment and entered to a court yard with a fountain and more tables.

"Very well, sir." Replied the bar keep, in a thick middle eastern accent, glancing over to where the Scotsman had pointed.

Once they were seated a waitress came by with their drinks and provided some menus. It was only then did Callum realize how hungry he was.

"I dunna know whether or not ye two 'ave ad yer supper, but I'm famished. How 'bout you, Frankie?"

The Irishman nodded then leaned across the table with a curious expression on his face.

"Callum." He said in a hushed tone, but naturally still audible to their guests, "So...", he paused, thinking of how to say what he wanted without letting the cat out of the bag, "... shall I pay or are you pickin' up the tab?"

It was obvious then what Frankie was alluding to. They had both been declared missing, and that meant that their accounts and credit cards were probably frozen, but Callum was worried. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a credit card and placed on the table in front of the Irishman. It read Omenwich University Anthropological Department.

"I've an expense account with the University, and I expect I've been rather lenient these past few months, don't ya think?"

The Irishman's mind was put at ease. At least now he knew they had access to funds until they both got this whole mess sorted out. The hardest thing to explain, was how in the hell they ended up in Egypt. There would no flight records or any paper trail to verify their travel, but in Frankie's case such information probably wouldn't matter as much as he was used to hiding his tracks. Callum on the other hand would have some explaining to do.

When they had all sat down, Callum had tried to maneuver himself next to Beatrice but even since long before he was a college freshman he has always lacked what he deemed a 'skill', to sit next the person he wanted to. Instead he had ended up next to Madelin whom he figured would be a waste of being within ear shot with. Perhaps she would pleasantly surprise him, he considered, but instead the inquisitive girl started out by asking 'why he still had his satchel hung across his shoulder?'

Callum only became aware that he was still carrying it when the girl mentioned it.

"Oh, well I'd rather keep the manual with me. It's irreplaceable and probably worth a fortune."


Just then the food arrived and the waitress placed the various dishes in the middle of the table.

"So, Beatrice... if I may use your first name. What are you excavating if I might inquire?" Callum asked, changing the subject.


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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:55 am


It was obvious to Bea the good professor was not able to hold his liquor very well. Rather it was the lack of drinking skills or the fact he was drinking on an empty stomach had yet to be proven the cause. Bea thought perhaps it would be both. He didn’t seem like the drinking sort. Now the Irish on the other hand…..Bea knew they were practically weaned on whiskey.

As they made their way to the table, Bea sat next to Maddie who sat next to Callum and Frankie was on her other side. As they ordered the food and Bea heard the men discussing how they were going to pay for things, she cleared her throat softly and let her gaze settle on Callum’s.

”You don’t need to worry about any of that. We’ll discuss the finer details of repayment later. Right now it’s more important we get you a room, some clothes and some water to drink.”

Giving the professor a polite smile, she ordered her food and instructed the server to put it all on her tab in flawless Egyptian. Sharing glances with Maddie she and the young woman knew the men were a part of the reason they were both in Egypt. While they both came for different reasons, the women knew the root cause of those reasons was the same.

When Maddie asked the professor why he had the satchel and he told her he wanted to keep the manual with her, Bea snorted rather unladylike. This, of course, brought a look from the Irish the ended in a grin. When Callum turned his attention to her, Bea quirked a delicate brow at him.

”Well, Professor, since you’re already using my first name, I suppose that would be quite alright.”

Maddie started to answer for Bea wanting to strike up conversation again.

”Well…it seems we’ve stumbled onto a tomb of…”

Before she could finish, Bea interrupted.

”….A tomb that belonged to a high priest of a lesser Pharaoh. Nothing significant. You know….the usual sort of artifacts. Vases. Wine decanters. Urns. Statues of the Egyptian Gods. Nothing to really write home about.”

She glanced at Maddie once more and gave her a strange look that said ‘don’t tell them anything’. Maddie gave her a confused look but didn’t refute anything Bea had told her. Obviously the woman had her reasons why she didn’t want to divulge anything to the men just yet and Maddie would respect that.

”Perhaps tomorrow we’ll go over some of the finer details with you and compare notes. Who knows what we may find.”

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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'   Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:55 am


"That sounds delightful. Thank you so much for your hospitality." Callum responded.

'Stumbled onto a tomb of who, exactly?', Callum wondered to himself. There was most certainly nothing 'lesser' about her dig. Beatrice's younger assistant's enthusiasm denoted otherwise but the professor knew enough not to pry. Seems he would find out soon enough anyway and so he was content just to have the company of a fellow scientist while he enjoyed a good meal.

Her Egyptian was impeccable, but his was less than so. He possessed a good grasp of many ancient languages but more than often ignored the modern ones, although he was hardly without the knowledge of other tongues. The ancient tome he had acquired was primarily written in Aramaic, and being fluent in the dead language gave the professor a working knowledge of Egyptian but smoothly conversing was entirely another matter. He would have a far better chance communicating with a native through writing rather than speech and so it would be nice to have a translator instead of being forced to fumble and bumble with the language.

As Callum curiously probed about the contents of his koshary (a traditional Egyptian dish that was combination of macaroni, spaghetti, rice, black lentils, chick peas, garlic sauce and a spicy tomato chili sauce, all topped with fried onions) he pondered the significance of their ending up so near this tomb that coincidentally Miss Chadwick was studying. The tome had been open to a particular incantation that had initiated the wheel in the ritual room, and the everything had obviously been set to transport someone to Egypt, but why? They had ended up in the middle of the desert and could have very well died, but then again had they been able to bring the proper supplies the trek to Beatrice's dig site would not have been such a difficult hike. Perhaps the 'teleportation' or whatever it was that transported them, was not precise and so those using it had to be prepared for some inaccuracy.

Beatrice also seemed very sensitive to the nature of the book. He felt it too. The manual also possessed many passages written in a language he had only seen one time before. A cuneiform-pictographic combination of strange symbols unlike no other documented form of writing, the same language that had been documented in the Miskatonic's copy of the Necronomicon. A language that a lesser known part of the scientific community referred to as Mythonic, a generic term used to describe these strange runic symbols that communicated more than one form of language; at least three had been discovered to date. The name of one in particular had been translated as 'Cthonian', but linguists had only been able to piece together fragments and so very little was known. What Callum did know, however, was that any book or item that possessed some form of a Mythonic language, harbored a mystery and dark forces seem to surround them. Forces, Callum figured, that Beatrice had encountered before. In truth, until a day ago, he had always taken all the research and theories with a grain of salt, but now he knew that the Mythos was definitely real and along with this revelation came a paranoia.

Callum took a few more bites of his koshary, which was delicious, then asked, "So have either o'ye taken note of anything strange about here of late?"

The professor could not have been more blunt with his strange inquiry, but he had no idea how else he could have put it. He realized the question probably made him out to be a bit of a nutter, but he'd rather be aware if there was anything sinister about than not.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:23 am


Bea’s appetite wasn’t as hardy as the Professor or the Irishman’s so she mainly nibbled at her meal. For the most part it was a quiet meal with Maddie and Frankie conversing most between the two of them. From time to time Bea’s gaze would dart around the restaurant, particularly when she heard a sudden noise. In fact, she seemed down right jumpy at times and looked as if she would run away at any moment much like a rabbit would.

Watching the Professor enjoy his meal, she tried to relax a little. He was obviously glad to be here and perhaps she should be as well. Still, Bea couldn’t prevent her gaze from slipping to his satchel from time to time where she knew the book was within.

She recognized the strange runic like symbols and other drawings in the book enough to know it had something to do with that dig she discovered in Guatemala and now this dig here in Egypt. While the dig in Guatemala wasn’t near as big as this one, she was soon discovering this sort of….cult….was spread throughout the globe. And she wasn’t sure if it were the horrid images she’d seen that frightened her most or the fact she couldn’t go anywhere in the world to escape any of them.

Her mind was also trying to figure out what to do when the good Professor discovered the dig she and Maddie were working on was indeed something to do with the ancient society that had most likely written the manual he had in his possession. Obviously Bea hadn’t figured that out yet but she knew something would present itself. Hopefully sooner than later.

She was just getting ready to take another bite of her food when the Professor asked his question about anything strange and she stopped her fork before it reached her mouth. Glancing at Maddie then setting her fork down, she took a sip of her drink then dapped the corners of her mouth with the linen napkin from her lap.

”Well…now that you mention it yes. There has been something rather strange occur just recently. It seems a man who was reported missing two months ago has suddenly shown up on the door step to my dig. With a book containing what appears to be written in Mythonic. And it seems he brought a friend along with him but I haven’t heard any reports of an Irishman gone missing. Now, perhaps I’m being a bit judgmental here, but I for one certainly call that….strange.”

Her dark hazel eyes seemed to bore into the Professor’s gaze. There was a sudden tension in the air and Maddie blinked as she looked from Bea to Callum then back to Bea. Finally the young woman leaned closer to Bea and lowered her voice.

”Bea….it seems this has taken them a bit as strange as well. Maybe we should at least give them a chance. Like you always said, there’s no such thing as coincidence. And it was obvious they were about as nervous as anyone would be arriving the way they did.”

Bea blinked. Maddie was right. She’d been particularly harsh for no other reason than she was frightened and paranoid again. She had to get a grip on herself or she was going to wind up in another mental institution and here in Egypt they wouldn’t be as nice to her as they had been in Guatemala. Finally she apologized softly then stood up, excusing herself.

”Forgive me, gentlemen. It’s been a long day in the desert heat. I need some fresh air. Please….enjoy your meals. I need to secure a room for you anyway.”

As Maddie began to get up, Bea put her hand up for the young woman to stop.

”No, no…Maddie…please. Continue your meal. I promise. I’ll return shortly. I just need…..a moment.”

Bea turned and walked away then and not a moment too soon. She felt as if her world was crashing in around her again and she desperately needed a moment to collect her composure. She was acting like a paranoid mental patient. How ironic. That’s exactly what she was. Walking through the hotel she quickly made her way to the gardens in the rear of the facility. It was dark outside but the lights in the garden gave off a comforting glow and as she stepped out into the night air, she paused and closed her eyes as she took several deep breaths.

Already she could feel herself calming and she instantly started berating herself. She had been down right rude to the good Professor. What would her dear mother think of her manners? God rest her soul. She needed to apologize to the men and hopefully explain she was just overly tired. And that wasn’t too far of a stretch.

Taking a few more minutes to collect herself and get her thoughts in order, she turned to rejoin the others when she nearly ran into a man. Giving a small yelp of surprise, she felt strong but gentle arms clasp her upper arms and a soothing voice calm her fear.

“I’m sorry, Beatrice. I did not mean to frighten you. Are you….OK?”


When Bea recovered she stepped back and blinked. Standing there before her was Shankar Mahmoud. His concerned look made her realize she must have had quite a frightened look upon her face. Placing her left hand on her upper chest, she took several deep breaths once more and nodded.

”Mr. Mahmoud. I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize you were here. Yes. I’m fine. I just….needed a moment is all. How are you, sir? You’ll be happy to know the dig has turned out to be quite the find.”

Shankar’s kind smile grew and his eyes seemed to twinkle.

“Ah. I had an idea there was more to it than what met the eye. I take it Maddie is working out for you?”

Bea was calming even more now and she smiled, nodding again.

”Absolutely. I can’t thank you enough for introducing us, She’s been quite the helpful assistant and she’s very interested in what we’re doing.”

Shankar glanced over his shoulder then back to Bea.

“Is that Professor Caulderwood I saw you conversing with at your table? I thought he was reported as missing.”

His brows furrowed when he turned back to look at her. Bea’s eyes glanced towards the restaurant then back up to Shankar.

”Yes. He just….showed up today. Apparently he’s been quite involved in studying something.”

Shankar was silent for a moment as he studied Bea then his face lit up in a smile.

“Well, seems as though he arrived here at a good time for you. I believe his area of expertise will come in handy for you. I’ve already taken the liberty of securing him and the other gentleman a room. I hope they don’t mind doubling up. Seems the hotel was unable to get four rooms in the same location. If you need anything else, by all means, don’t hesitate to use the spending account I’ve set up for you. Well. If you will excuse me. I have to be going.”

He stepped closer and clasped Bea’s shoulders gently then leaned in and kissed her forehead before stepping back again and giving her a warm smile.

“Everything will work out, Beatrice. You just have to believe.”

With a final nod, Shankar slipped past her and walked further into the lush garden disappearing in the thick foliage and brightly colored blooms. Bea watched him for as long as she could see him. When he had faded from view, she turned to look at the hotel once more and took a deep breath. She needed to return to the others before they thought she’d run away.

Making her way back to the restaurant Bea thought she saw something out of the corner of her eye but when she turned her head, she didn’t see anything. Berating herself for being paranoid again, she shook her head and walked back to the table and sat down. Smiling, she nodded to Callum and Frankie.

”Sorry about that. And please forgive my actions earlier. It’s been a while since Maddie and I had any company other than each other and it causes one to grow suspicious especially when working on digs. Someone is always trying to swoop in and take what is yours to claim it for their own. Anyway….you’ll be happy to know a room has been secured for you. We’ll stop by the front desk after we finish here and pick up the key. Unfortunately, you’ll have to share one with each other until a fourth room comes available in the same location of the hotel.”

____________________________________________________________________________________
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:24 pm



Frankie picked at the hodgepodge of noodles and veg in front of him, the Irishman did not have much of an appetite, but the beers were nice and cold and went down quickly. Frankie was pleased to have his beloved black jacket cleaned and pressed, the hotel laundry had even mended the bullet hole in the cuff of the Armani coat, it looked good as new.

Frankie was enjoying speaking with Maddie and Beatrice although Mrs. Chadwick seemed curt and agitated at times. Frankie chalked it up to two things, the desert heat and English nerves. Frankie was very pleased to see Callum unwind and enjoy the eastern beers, the Scotsman was proving to be much more than a tightly wound egghead, Frankie thought that the professor was a fine bloke.

Across the room a few members of the local law enforcement were sitting and enjoying some food, Frankie could see that they were most likely just getting off duty and had hit up the tavern in the hotel for the good local cuisine. The men ate and talked and even enjoyed a few drinks.

Frankie watched intently out of the corner of his eye as the men relaxed and enjoyed each others company. He was not worried about the men giving them trouble, he was much more interested in something else.

When Beatrice excused herself and left the table in a bit of a huff Frankie shrugged and finished another beer.

"The heat here will make ye mad Callum..." Frankie mumbled as he emptied his beer bottle.

"It's my turn to run for the drinks mate." Frankie said with a wink as he walked to the bar and asked for another round, this time with liquor and beer. Frankie then walked past the table where Maddie and Callum were and walked to the men's room. One of the local policemen had left his table and had gone into the bathroom as well just a few seconds before Frankie.

The Irishman's timing was spot-on as he entered the washroom just as the uniformed man was closing a stall to use the toilet. The man's heavy shoulder belt with gun holster hung on the door of the stall. The man did not hear Frankie enter, and the Irishman was quiet as a cat as he walked to the man's closed stall. Frankie peered over the stall, the cop had his back to Frankie as he was tending to his business. Frankie took advantage of the peeing man and slipped his arm over the top of the stall and took the man's pistol from it's holster and and palmed it and quickly exited the restroom, his hurried footsteps making almost no sound.

The Irishman had become quite good at moving around quietly, it suited him in his line of work and was something the gunrunner prided himself on. Frankie walked quickly back to the table where everyone was at, as he did he passed a few beautiful and lush plant arrangements, Frankie dropped the gun into one of the lush arrangements and calmly returned to the table and sipped another beer.

Frankie was quick enough that most likely no one would have spotted his drop, but it was possible that someone among his table took notice.

The cop emerged from the restroom and seemed agitated, he briefly spoke to his fellow officers, they pointed over to Frankie and the man came over and began to speak angrily to Frankie and the rest.

The man was speaking Egyptian and speaking it fast, he pointed at Frankie .

Frankie shrugged and remained calm.

"He thinks you stole his gun..." The barman said as he brought the round of drinks to the table.

"I have done no such thing." Frankie said slowly standing and holding his arms out to his sides with a beer in his hand still. Frankie stood and walked close to the man his body language practically inviting the man to search him. There was no gun to be seen, Frankie's white shirt was tucked neatly into his trousers and his jacket rested on the back of his chair.

The man snatched the black jacket from the back of the chair and patted it with his hands. He was still very agitated but seemed to be rethinking his suspicions. His friends called out to him, they seemed to be ribbing him, after all he was about to be known as the one that lost his gun in bar off duty.

The officer replaced the jacket and eyed Frankie, he then stomped away shaking his head and began retracing his steps in the bar. The big dark haired man entered the bathroom a few times and each time came out empty handed and a little more miffed. Eventually he returned to his mates, they bought him a few drinks and did their best to console him.

"Well that was unexpected." Frankie said casually as he drank his beer.
"The heat is getting to everyone here..." He said smiling.

It was shortly after this that Bea returned with an earnest apology and news about the room.
"No worries Mrs. Chadwick, or is it Professor Chadwick?, I am unsure of the proper titles, I do not spend much time among degreed professionals."

Frankie spoke a little flippantly, maybe it was the drink or maybe it was the rush of the fine lift he executed with the copper's gun, needless to say Frankie was feeling a lot less useless and more at ease. Frankie had felt almost naked since he was forced to leave his own gun back in the strange hidden tower before he and Callum had been transported. Now he had secured a replacement and as far as he knew no one was the wiser. It was simply a matter of not drinking so much that he would forget to retrieve it from the plant now, if it was discovered there all eyes would be on him.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:46 am


Callum swirled the ice round in his glass in an attempt to take his mind off of Miss Chadwick's statement and grinned at his new found friend's comment about the heat and madness. True madness, however, would be attempting to explain how he and Frankie came to be in Egypt to woman that already seemed to be a little unstable. Of course he himself still had a hard time believing it, and the more time that passed, the more the professor was beginning to believe that he and Frankie had been somehow drugged and dropped in the desert. It was possible. It would explain their loss of two months of time but it just seemed too needlessly complicated, which is why he chose to hold on to the more fantastic reason. That, and the book was genuine. He would bet his life on that.

Callum was watching Beatrice over the rim of his glass when, Frankie went off for another round of drinks leaving the Scotsman alone with the American girl. They exchanged polite smiles, followed by an uncomfortable silence. The professor was actually far more interested in the older gentleman that Miss Chadwick was speaking with than small talk. The man briefly looked over toward, Callum as if he had recognized him then went on speaking with the edgy woman.

"Who's that speaking with Beatrice?" Callum Asked Maddie.

The girl looked over her shoulder then turned back to Callum. "Oh, that's Mr. Mahmoud. Shankar Mahmoud." She answered idly, "I guess he would be like our employer."

Callum nodded.

Mahmoud?. Why was that name so familiar to him? Callum was mulling over its significance when, Frankie returned and looking rather chipper he thought, which was why the professor was all the more nervous when the off duty Egyptian police officers wandered over to their table. Knowing what, Frankie was, Callum was literally pissing in his pants but the Irishman, he was perfectly calm, so he put on his best straight face and casually moved a his foot to the outside of the table, just in case. Not that he had any idea what he would actually do if the situation go heated, he just figured he'd rather be prepared.

Callum had made out the words, 'stolen' and 'gun' as clear as a bell before the bartender had translated the officer's words and at that uncharacteristically gulped back the remaining contents of his existing drink and collected the new ones that were brought over. He had NO DOUBT, Frankie had done something. Stealing an officer's gun! Now that was ballsy. Stupid, but ballsy.

When the officers made their way back to their table, somewhat convinced that, Frankie couldn't be the thief, Callum began to breath much easier.

"I think we've had more than enough heat for one day, Frankie." Replied Callum to the Irishman's comment.

Though their time together had been brief, Callum was already becoming quite attuned to the gun runner's moods. His tongue-in-cheek behavior was definitely a sign that something that was up and one didn't need a degree to figure it out.

When, Frankie's eyes at last flashed toward his, Callum cast him a serious stare but did nothing else that might attract attention.

"Haven't had a roommate since I was a student. Be like ol' tymes." Commented Callum in regards to the sleeping arrangements, "And please dun be apologizing fer yer behavior," he said to Beatrice, "We DID drop in on ye quite unexpectedly, or one might even say, strangely."

Callum paused, sat back and pondered just how to explain how he and Frankie had come to be in Egypt. He had been missing for two months, and eventually more people were going to demand an explanation but while Ravenwood would accept the truth most others would require something more concrete and realistic. Where did Beatrice Chadwick and her assistant stand on such matters? He scratched his head and glanced over at, Frankie whom he pretty much considered his partner at this point and time, then turned back to Beatrice.

"So, how long have ye been working for, Shankar Mahmoud?" Asked Callum, changing the subject.


From the far side of the restaurant the dark brooding eyes of an Egyptian man watched the eclectic four from behind a low wall topped with tropical ferns. He kept a close eye on the one called Chadwick, especially but was also very curious of these two newcomers. Who were they? How much did they know? Nassor did not like unanswered questions and he disliked surprises all the more. He had a good nose for trouble, and these two men wreaked of it.

"Mister Nassor Ubaid Tarik?" Asked a server in Egyptian.

"Yes." The man answered in English with a pleasant middle eastern accent.

"Your presence has been requested in the garden."

"By whom?" Nassor asked curiously.

"He said that were you to ask to give you this."

The server presented, Nassor, with a business card, blank accept for the picture of blue lotus on one side. He studied it, pondering the significance of the water lilly native to the nile.

"Thank you." Said Nassor as he tipped the server.

He then stood up, fixed his suit jacket and strolled out into the garden casting a glance one last time toward the table as he exited through the foyer and out into the lush atrium at the center of the hotel.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:41 am

[quote="RPMistress"]

Bea missed the whole exchange with the police officer and Frankie but if she had been there, she would have no doubt found some humor in all of it. While she noticed the looks on their faces, she figured it was from her abrupt departure. As Frankie struggled with her name, she chuckled softly as she retook her seat and took a sip of her drink.

”It’s Miss Chadwick, Frankie. And I’m no professor. So you can just call me Beatrice, or as I prefer, Bea.”

When Callum asked how long she’d been working for Shankar, Bea glanced at Maddie then smiled at Callum.

”A few months. He’s the one who requested I take over this dig. Apparently the former archeologist ran out of funding and had to abandon the dig. They did all the hard work for us. Once we arrived on scene with our equipment we didn’t have to dig much more before we discovered the true depth of the tomb. He’s a kind man who seems to show up at the right times. If not for him, I don’t know where I would be. And Maddie and I wouldn't have become such good friends etiher.”

Bea gave the young woman a kind smile then looked over at Frankie and Callum.

”So, tell me Professor. How did you and Frankie come to be a team? And more importantly, where have you been hiding for the last two months that made others report you as missing?”

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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:07 am


Miss Chadwick's question could not be anymore direct and Callum struggled with the answer. Could she handle the truth? Would she believe it? He had no idea, but he honestly was dying to tell someone else what had happened to he and Frankie so he thought he would take a chance.

"Do you know what this book is?" Said Callum pointing to his bag, "It is the Fifth Book of Hsan, there are Seven. It's very existence proves that the late Randolf Carter was not a mad man! Just what if... what if the temple of the Elder Ones in the city of Ulthar really exists?"

Realizing his voice had began to excitedly climb, the professor very consciously lowered it and looked around him for eavesdroppers but all he was only met by the scowling face of some rather angry woman sitting adjacent to them. He smiled apologetically then ignored her as he continued much more quietly.

"Now, what I am about to tell ye, is true, although if'n ye find it too difficult to fathom we'll jus' chalk up this wild story to me havin' one to many then. So, here we go." Callum said rubbing his hands together nervously, "A day ago, we were in, New York City, but what was a day was really two months."

It became immediately clear to the professor that he wasn't explaining himself right so he got a little more specific. "We... my..." Callum didn't want to expose Frankie so he quickly thought up a reasonable story for him, "...assistant and I, Frankie here, stumbled upon some sort of cult and the situation got a little tense. We ended up in a ritual chamber, with a large 'fortune wheel' and the book was there. It was open to a certain passage, written in a form of Aramaic which a read and somehow we traveled two months into the future and ended up in an Egyptian desert."

Callum leaned back, clasped his hands together and placed them on the table. As he was telling the story it became apparent just how insane it sounded and he was expecting now that, Beatrice and her assistant just might up and make a break for it. Perhaps he should have kept his mouth shut, but it was too late now.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:41 am



Callum had just dropped quite the bomb, a real corker of a story and for the first time in a long time Frankie found himself speechless. Callum's words still hung in the air and crazy as they were Frankie had his friend's back. As Callum finished his wacky tale Frankie nodded as if to say "That about covers it."

Still the tale was hard to hear, the Irishman was having no trouble believing that they had traveled from New York to Egypt, clearly they were in Egypt. Frankie looked to the potted plant for a second hoping this all was not a dream and that the pistol was indeed waiting for him there.

Frankie turned back and stared down at the table trying to recall the moment when they crossed the rune marks on the floor of the tower and came to be in the blistering desert. "Two months..." Frankie mumbled almost silently.

It was a strange feeling to try and set your mind to the information that you have lost two months. Surely now all of Frankie's business connections had given him up for dead, he would most likely not be able to return to his old life, no more fast money, but on the bright side no more Russians and other tough characters shooting at you with automatic weapons. It was at that moment that Frankie began to look at the life of a Professor's 'assistant' with some optimism.

But try as he might Frankie could not hold onto all the memory of the things he and Callum had experienced, parts of it seemed already forgotten or simply gone from his mind. Frankie could recall some true fear that he had felt in the passages and in the tower back in New York but the Irishman could not recall their source. Had they been followed by the Russians? Or were there far scarier things that sought them out in the underground there. For the moment the Irishman decided to chalk it up to 'jet lag' and the heat of Egypt.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:16 am

[quote="RPMistress"]

As Callum told the story of how he and Frankie ended up where they were, Bea and Maddie exchanged looks with each other that spoke volumes of the fact they knew all too well what the professor was referring to. No doubt their arrival was directly connected to the same sort of mechanism they had uncovered by accident just a few weeks ago.

When the professor got done and the silence fell over the foursome like a wet blanket, Bea watched the look on both of the men’s faces. It was obvious something incredible had happened and who the hell was she to refute their story as hogwash? After all, she had spent time in a mental facility in a third world country. Somehow the old adage of pot and kettle resounded in her mind.

Finally she cleared her throat and glanced around to see if there was anyone hanging around she really didn’t feel comfortable with. Finally, she leaned forward and lowered her voice.

”Gentlemen. I believe there’s something I need to show you. Let’s retire to my room for a little bit. It’s not good to discuss this in public.”

As Frankie and Callum exchanged looks, so did Maddie and Bea. Dapping her mouth with her linen napkin, she got up from the table and gestured to the server to put everything on her tab. With a nod, the server smiled and watched the four leave the restaurant. When they were out of sight, he took out his cell phone and punched in something, waited a few seconds then slipped the cell phone back in his jacket pocket.

Bea stopped by the front desk to secure a key for the room that was situated next to the room that was Maddie’s. Handing the key to Callum, she instructed them to come with her to her room. When they reached the hallway, Bea checked both directions as she stood at the door to her room. Inserting the key and seeing the light turn green, she stepped in, clicked on the light and ushered the others into her room.

Once inside, she closed the door and locked it then walked over and closed all of the heavy curtains for privacy. Flipping open the laptop she used, she clicked on a few things then brought up her detailed report to date on the dig she and Maddie were working on.

”Professor….perhaps you should read about what we’ve discovered. I believe you’ll find the similarities you described to us to be remarkable with what we are working on. And I’ve also brought up the report I made on the dig I was working in Guatemala before…..”

Before what? You went insane from seeing….boogey men? Hell, Bea couldn’t remember some of the things she saw now only that they had been horrid and she was terrified of seeing them again.

”….before I had to leave the country. Anyway….please….take a look and tell me what you think. I would be most interested to know.”

As she left Callum to read for himself, she walked over to the liquor cart and poured four glasses of scotch, handing one to Frankie, Maddie and Callum before taking her own. Looking over at Callum as he became engrossed in her report, he would find she had discovered several artifacts that predated many digs in the area but the sort of hieroglyphics and depictions of occurrences were slightly different. Imbedded in the hieroglyphics were runes and other symbols that resembled the Mythotic. As he flipped through the pictures she had cataloged, he would see the form of Aramaic language he had mentioned. There was also a similar book with the same language written on it as well as the wheel sort of contraption they described. There was no doubt they were connected in some way.

As he brought up her report from Guatemala, he would see similarities there as well but more along the lines of something that was trying to prevent some sort of cataclysmic event from occurring. Before she had made any significant discovery, her last journal entry read simply, “They’re everywhere. I can’t close my eyes without seeing them. If I don’t stop what I’m doing they will come back for me. I have to get away from them. Some how. Some way.”

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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:36 am



Frankie sipped the last of his cold beer, next to it at the table sat a small shot of some sweet local liquor, Frankie tossed it back as everyone got up from their seats. The Irishman took a second to put his jacket on, giving him a second or so to trail behind the rest of the group. As everyone left the table and walked back to the grand and beautiful lobby Frankie walked close to the colorful plant arrangement and quickly retrieved his ill gotten gun and slipped into his jacket pocket.

On the way out the four of them passed the off duty policemen, Frankie leaned in close to the men seated at the bar and patted the big officer who had lost his gun right on the back.

"Good luck mate." Frankie said with a grin and turned to catch up with the others.

They all gathered in Bea's suite and soon Frankie was looking over Callum's shoulder at a very similar 'fortune wheel' and a very familiar looking book. Frankie was no expert on these things but it made sense to him that there would be a matching set of magic artifacts at the other end of their mysterious teleportation.

"Sure enough Callum, we've seen something like this before..." Frankie said sipping his scotch over the professor's shoulder, slurping it right in his ear.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:50 am


Frankie was right. The man was no academic, but Calderwood was a far cry from the stuffy old professors who believed their higher education gave them merit. The Irishman among his many other, more street wise talents, had an eye for detail and saw the similarity between the book they had alleviated from the cult and the one that Bea had a picture of in her document.

The drinking by his ear was entirely other matter but one that, Callum had learned to ignore. Professor Ravenwood quite often sipped his tea away while watching his young prodigy work away and so he had gotten used to it. He actually, in fact, found the sound kind of relaxing as it reminded him of his cozy, safe office back home.

"You're right, Frankie. They are the same, in fact I have little doubt it is not another book of Hsan."

Callum took out their copy and thumbed through the pages until he found the section that described the 'brass traveling wheel'. It was only partly written in Aramaic, the other parts were written in a mish-mash of heiroglyphics and one of the unknow languages of the Mythos. He could only partly make it out. He could translate the ancient Egyptian symbols, but even they were unlike anything else that was known to exist. What he could make out was that the wheel was made to spin through sacrifice and that it allowed doorways to open.

Callum relayed his translation to everyone in the room.

"Beatrice. Where is this other book?" Anxiously inquired Callum.

There was low rumble then and the wind picked up tossing the curtains of the patio doors wildly about. Outside a dark storm approached, blotting out the stars in the night sky.
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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:29 am

[quote="RPMistress"]

Bea was just about to let them know when the wind picked up and caused a stir in the room. When one of the French doors that led to the patio banged against the wall she literally jumped and got that frightful look in her eyes. Almost frozen to the spot, she suddenly felt very parched and swallowed hard to try and regain the moisture in her throat so she could at least scream if she needed to.

Maddie, God love her, quickly took action and walked over to the doors and closed them after inspecting the sky. Furrowing her brows, she turned to the others and thumbed over her shoulder as she walked back to them.

”There’s quite a storm brewing out there.”

Bea’s eyes were trained on the French doors and the soon to be raging storm outside. While it wasn’t all that rare a storm like that could occur here, somehow she knew it was related to what they were discussing in this room. Finally, when Maddie touched her arm, Bea blinked and glanced at the others. Seeing the way they were looking at her, she gave them a puzzled look.

”I’m sorry. What did you say, Professor?”

When Callum repeated the question, she glanced at Maddie then back to Callum then back to Maddie and nodded. The young woman walked to the far side of Bea’s room and picked up a similar satchel to the one Callum was carrying. Opening the satchel, Maddie produced the ancient book and held it out for Callum.

”Bea didn’t think it was such a good idea to leave it in the tomb. We decided to bring it back here, with us, for safe keeping.”

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PostSubject: Re: CTHULHU - Chapter I - 'Dark Shadows'   Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:34 am


Calderwood reached out and graciously took the book from Maddie. He cradled it in his hands as if it were crafted of the finest crystal and placed it carefully beside the copy he and Frankie had procured in New York.

"Incredible." The professor exclaimed in a whispering voice, as if proclaiming the existence of the books would somehow cause him to awake from a dream. As he compared them there was mistaking it, they were two of the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan and Callum began to shake he was so overwhelmed by the discovery. All doubts had now been removed and accepting the reality of the tomes literally turned his world upside down.

Outside the storm began to rumble. Distant thunder began to boom in a steady rhythm as if a great Titan was slowly making it's away toward them.

"Honestly, I truly didn't accept they were real, until now. Seeing the two books, side by side there is no disputing it!"

Callum's final words were drowned by a colossal eruption that shook the room! His wide eyes darted toward the open door as if expecting to see something, but what, he could not say. It was apparent though that the professor was relieved to see the wind tossing the curtains and the flash of lightning illuminating the empty balcony.

Turning back to the others it was obvious to Callum that none of them, not even Beatrice clearly understood what the authenticity of the books really meant.

"These are two of the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan. The very same ones kept in the temple of the Elder Ones in the city of Ulthar." Callum explained and still noting the confusion on their faces went on to tell them where this city existed, "In the Dream Lands... THE Dream Lands. Never in my wildest fantasies did I ever consider them to exist in some shape or form."

To further clarify, Callum took his laptop out of his satchel and put it next to Beatrice's. He booted it up and opened a graphic of a map.


"This is a representation of the Dream Lands of Earth focusing on the Six Kingdoms. My mentor, Professor Ravenwood told me all about it. Now what I believe we have here is proof that there is a source to these fantastical stories, perhaps it may even be here in Egypt. This could be one of the greatest discoveries the world has ever seen!"

Calderwood continued to study the books, browsing through them, comparing the pages while he was still processing their find. Not for one moment did he actually believe that the 'Dream Lands' themselves actually existed (he honestly wasn't that crazy) but he was convinced that they were on to locating some kind of representation of what ancient people might have misinterpreted as being another world.

As quickly scanned the books, the professor found something interesting. A reoccurring page near the beginning which was the plans for constructing some kind of sport light lantern able to concentrate light into a small powerful beam, but for what? It was then that Callum turned both books over and realized that they each had gem embedded in their back covers. Out of curiousity he took out his small flashlight which he always carried for emergencies and shone it through the jewel of the book from New York.

Callum gasped as the image of a map was projected onto the hotel room wall. It was an image of North America's east coast and the symbols (the same ones that appeared in various pages of book) were beside a location that was obviously the original home of the book. He then shone his light through the other book and it revealed an ancient map of Egypt, but there was no landmark. Then, the professor decided to try overlapping the two gems in the backs of the covers and a location appeared on the Egyptian map. Quickly he cross-refrenced it with a map of Egypt he brought up on Bea's computer, and after some checking was certain that whatever the destination was it was nothing but desert.

"We dun 'ave time to excavate." Said Callum, then something became apparent to him and he turned to his fellow researcher, "Say, Beatrice. Did ye say that there was another 'wheel' back at your site?"
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