IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

At long last the Stars are almost Right. Soon Nyarlathotep's plans will come to fruition. Then the world will be changed irrevocably -- but not quite yet. Pesky human investigators have learned much, but can they survive long enough to make sense of what they know?

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IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Raiko »

Continuing from this post in the Ritz IC Thread.
Raiko wrote:The Lobby - The Ritz Hotel

Timour cradles his Browning as he watches Maks heading back out of the lobby, a slightly bemused look on his face. Then he turns and accompanies Andrei and Caroline out of the Hotel, hoping that nobody notices what's hidden under the blankets.

When he catches up with the others he grins, "I thought Maksim would just stash this in the Bentley, but he is right as usual. If Gavigan knows where they've taken Gwen we will need the fire-power. Or if your plan goes wrong Andrei."

To Caroline he asks, "Do you remember which subway trains you took to reach the Penhew Foundation?"
Spoiler:
[url=http://www.callofcthulhu.org.uk/viewtopic.php?p=36883#p36883]This post[/url] described the route that Elizabeth and Caroline took when they visited the Penhew Foundation the other day. I'll assume that you're getting there the same way. The journey takes a little longer in the evening.
Outside Grooge Street Station, Close to The Penhew Foundation - Bloomsbury, London
7:20pm - Thursday 29th January, 1925

Caroline and the two Russians emerge from the tube station onto Tottenham Court Road. The fog is patchy now, and not as thick as the night before. There are quite a few pedestrians moving about, but the pavements are nowhere near as crowded as during the day, or the recently ended rush hour.

Image
Grooge Street Station - Tottenham Court Road

The impressive Victorian building of the Penhew Foundation can be seen a hundred yards or so away from the station. Most of the lights have been switched off inside, but a few remain on. Unlike during the day, there is no doorman present outside the front entrance, the impressive iron fence is obviously still present.

Image
The Penhew Foundation
Spoiler:
Graster mentioned this, so I'll post it here again: The fence isn't in the photo, this is because the picture is of a real building that very closely resembles the description of the Penhew Foundation. I produced some sketchup views of the Penhew building for Grafster which I'll repost if you take a closer look around the building.
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Decrepit »

"This place looks more intimidating at night," Caroline mutters to no one in particular. "I think we should be looking for an alternate entrance to the main one. If I remember correctly, Johnny talked about a bricked-up room in the rear. That's likely where we want to end up at some point, but I don't think there's a direct entrance. I do sort of remember him saying there was a basement entrance to one side, though."
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by coffee demon »

Andrei nods, keeping a close eye on the windows where the lights are still on. Now that he's standing in front of the building, and there are people around, the idea of barging from room to room in a rage feels out of place. He reminds himself about the woman dead on the bed, and the threats to Elizabeth. If you stop whoever's doing this, and go to jail for it, that would be worth it.

"Maybe we should wait until a little later, when there are less people around. Timour, you look terrible with that roll of blankets. We can't saunter around here with that in your hands. Lets look around back, then maybe we can find a pub to wait in for a while."
Spoiler:
Can we tell anything about which rooms are lit up? Are they attached rooms? What floor are they on? If on the bottom floor, can we see what's in the rooms? Andrei will watch for movement inside the building as they circle around. We'll also glance around to see if there's a pub nearby.
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by coffee demon »

...after lagging behind for a few minutes with Timour, Andrei speeds up to walk next to Caroline. He is silent for a moment, then asks,

"Caroline. Do you think I'm crazy?"
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Decrepit »

Caroline, briefly taken aback at the absurd timing of the question, pauses for just a moment--hoping it wasn't a long enough moment to let Andrei think she was thinking about the answer, replies evenly and with a smile, "Well, Andrei, you know what they say--if you're sane enough to ask the question, you're not crazy."

In the best therapist voice she can summon up under the circumstances, she adds, "We've all been through a great deal lately."
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

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Andrei thinks for a moment as they continue towards the back of the building.

"You saw the Chimera, however, did you not? The glowing beast in the fog? What do you think that was, Caroline? Do you think it obeyed the laws of our world? I've certainly never heard of anything like that before, except in faerie-tale stories. How do you explain that to yourself?"

His speech is slow and thoughtful; genuinely curious and non-confrontational, although it does seem like he has a point to make.
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Decrepit »

"We certainly have encountered some strange and horrible things," Caroline concedes, "but I'm not yet ready to abandon science and rationality yet. Perhaps there are sane explanations for the seemingly insane, only we don't know them yet."
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

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"That's it, exactly! I mean, it's obvious that we've witnessed things that can't be explained by modern science. It's ridiculous to think that the Chimera was some... some combination of swamp gasses that was choking us. It's ridiculous.

We mustn't convince ourselves that... I mean..."


Andrei stops talking for a moment to gather his thoughts.

"What -is- sanity, anyways? I think we must accept that the world doesn't work how we thought it did. It would be insanity to pretend it's otherwise, would it not? To look the other way when we observe things that don't suit our concept of the world?

And I'm afraid to say that, yes, to open oneself to these new possibilities might eventually seem insane to an outside observer. It's much like the fellow to discovered the world was round. Copernicus. Surely he was thought insane at the time? But look now - we all know the world is round! Are we not the modern Copernicus? Discovering new things - why - the world will never be the same to us again, Caroline, we must accept that. Wouldn't you say?"
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Decrepit »

Caroline is genuinely struck by the profundity of Andrei's ruminations. She takes a glance around to make sure the group isn't being observed before responding. She looks troubled, perhaps because this was so clear and cogent, coming from the sometimes-headstrong, always-mercurial Russian.

"Andrei, I've never been one to put too much stock in the supernatural, whether it's organized religion or superstition. My world has been what I can see and touch; my beliefs have been based on what I can prove or reasonably hypothesize about. So far most of what I've seen is a product of simple human evil--the work of disturbed minds, yes, but explainable as mania or or mass hysteria or fetish-worship or something we don't know yet." She pats him on the arm. "Maybe there's . . . something else. I don't know. It's almost too much to contemplate, and right now we need to stay focused on the task ahead of us at the foundation."
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Raiko »

The foundation is surrounded on three sides by roads, with a small tree-lined park against the other side (the left hand side). The six foot high iron railings appear to completely enclose the building; the only visible break is the small front gate which is currently closed, but not chained. From Johnny's description of the building there should also be a second, larger gated entrance into a loading area at the rear of the building.

All of the first and second floor windows (ground and first floor to these Brits) are large rectangular French-style casements about ten feet high. None of the windows have been left open. The windows that are still lit are all downstairs, which Caroline remembers is mostly taken up with offices. The first floor which contains the exhibition room appears to be totally in darkness. Edward Gavigan's office is located around the right hand side of the building, so his windows are not currently visible.
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Decrepit »

Turning her attention back to the matter at hand, Caroline whispers, "Should we try for the unlocked gate? It looks like no one is around to watch us. The windows look impossible, and if the gate 'round the back is locked, I'm not sure we could pick it. I know can't. Besides, it might look less suspicious if we just try to act like we're lost if we get caught.

"My big worry--well, one of them--is that Gavigan knows who I am, so if he happens to spot us, he'll know something is afoot. Maybe I shouldn't have come after all?"
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by coffee demon »

Andrei looks frustrated at Caroline's response to his thoughts. He replies to her change of topic impatiently.

"Lets just walk around the building first. Maybe the rear gate will be open, or we'll see something in the back. I do think we'd be better off waiting until the people leave the Foundation and the streets were a little quieter. Timour, keep up, please!

Caroline, you're not paying attention to what your eyes are showing you. It's not fair... I mean, I know you probably think I'm crazy. However... if this keeps on, and you continue to reject the things you're seeing, I'm only going to seem more crazy. But it will be you who is the crazy one. You cannot delude, I mean, you cannot delude yourself forever. Do you know that I shot a giant bat tonight? Johnny and Elizabeth saw it. Ask them. Ask them what they believe. I think you will find yourself in the minority quite soon, Caroline."


Before he can raise himself into a pitch again, he stops.

"I apologize. I do not mean to slight you. I only mean that I can see what direction we are taking, and I forsee that you will judge me in the future, and I want you to understand, so... I mean... I'm not crazy. That's all."

He gives a weak smile and pats Caroline on the shoulder.

"Do you know what is in any of those rooms?"
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Decrepit »

"No, of course you're right," Caroline says. ". . . I mean about walking around, and waiting," she adds hurriedly, realizing the ambiguity of her first remark.

"I don't think you're crazy, Andrei. Maybe just a little tired, that's all. Who wouldn't be? Truly, though, you must hold yourself together, if only for Beth's sake. Try to put your mind to the work at hand. Stay as focused as you can. When we're back safe again, we can talk about this as long as you like."

Trying to steer the conversation in a less philosophical or psychotic direction, Caroline summarizes what she knows about the location of the offices, the exhibit space, and Gavigan's office. "Gavigan's office would seem to be a logical place to look, assuming it's unoccupied at the time, of course. And then there's the room in the basement with the bricked-up windows. The exhibit hall seems to be not worth much attention. Most anything that had to do with the Carlyle Expedition either never was there, as Gavigan said, or has been moved out on purpose of late."
Spoiler:
I think what she knows is summarized above in Raiko's post.
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by coffee demon »

Andrei lets out an exasperated snort.

"But I -AM- focussed! That's what I'm trying to tell you!"

Then he listens as Caroline describes the building.

"We need to get into that room with the bricked-up windows. If there's going to be proof of Gavigan's guilt, that's where we'll find it."

Andrei thrusts his hands deep into the pockets of his overcoat and lets his eyes wander over the rest of the neighbourhood, scanning for a warm-looking pub that has a view of the Penhew Foundation.
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Raiko »

Andrei looks around, but unfortunately the closest pub or cafe that he can see is too far back down Tottenham Court Road to offer a decent view of the building.

Strolling around the building the investigators see that the lights switched off in what Caroline thinks is Edward Gavigan's office. An adjacent office has lights on still, but the person inside appears to be a cleaning lady. They also spot the bricked up celler windows that Johnny noted, in the right-rear corner of the building, quite close to Gavigan's ground floor office.

The loading area at the rear of the building - a hive of illicit activity when Johnny scouted - is deserted this evening, neither trucks, nor workers are present. There are two doors here, a sliding/folding metal cargo entrance and a wooden door for people. There is also what appears to be a wooden hatch over a coal chute. The gates into the cargo area have been chained shut, but they look easy enough to climb over, and unlike the railings the gates do no have decorative spikes on top.

A little further around the building (at the rear-left) is a small set of stairs leading down to a cellar door, this is also within the railings and accessed most easily from the loading area.

There is a small park at this side of the building with a few trees and some wooden benches surrounding a deserted bandstand. The park is quite empty, but an elderly couple are walking their dogs along a path through the middle of it, and a young woman is sitting alone on one of the benches. She is crying.
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by coffee demon »

Andrei stops and frowns at the woman crying.

"Maybe you should go talk to her."

He pulls up his collar against the cold and fumbles in his pocket for a cigarette.

In Russian he mumbles, "Timour. Give me a light."
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Decrepit »

Nodding assent, Caroline looks around first to see who might be observing, and then she heads over to the young woman, not sure whether this is the sort of thing they should be bothering with at this point but nonetheless motivated to help.
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Raiko »

Caroline looks around, but doesn't notice anyone who would be able to observe her, other than the old couple walking their dog.

The crying lady notices Caroline approaching, she looks embarrassed and tries to wipe away her tears with pocket handkerchief, but her make-up is so badly smudged that it is obvious that she has been crying for some time. The lady is slim, with blond hair cut just above her shoulders, she looks to be in her mid-twenties.
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by Decrepit »

"Hello, dear," Caroline says soothingly, sitting down. "My name is Caroline. Is there ... is there something I can do to help?"
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Re: IC: The Penhew Foundation - Andrei, Caroline & Timour

Post by coffee demon »

Andrei stands a dozen feet away with Timour, smoking a cigarette and talking to him in Russian in a low voice. He casts the occasional glance at Caroline, and constantly eyes the neighborhood and passers-by to see if anyone is paying them special attention.

"I guess we can stand around here for a while until the streets clear. We sure stand out with that carpet, though, Timour..

So how do you think we should get in? I think we can smash in through the back pretty easily. Either through the coal chute or the shipping entrance."
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