Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

A student has gone missing and the investigators have been tasked to find him. What is the connection to the mysterious abandoned railway tunnel at Chapochaug, which is rumoured to be haunted?

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Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:52 pm

Friday November 23rd, 1928 9.30am
Miskatonic University, Arkham

Alice is busy typing a letter to the Dean of Sciences at another East Coast University, and thinking about the turn of events that brought her here. She was surprised to get a call from Dr. Conrad Miller, but not displeased. The chief of the Department of Biology at Miskatonic University intimated that she was held in regard among the faculty, who had been disappointed that there had not been any suitable positions for her after the death of her mentor, Professor Putnam. When a place became available as his new assistant, the opportunity, and the good pay raise that came with it, proved irresistible, and he said yes to Dr. Miller’s offer. It feels good again to walk through the hallowed halls of Miskatonic, whose very walls seem to reverberate with learned thought.

Through the door behind her, she can hear the voice of Dr. Miller, who has been on a call with Dr. Homer Winside, the senior member of the Botany faculty for the last fifteen minutes. As she knows that the two men possess a mutual dislike (but grudging respect) of each other, she wonders what might be going on between them. Her thoughts are suddenly interrupted by the appearance of Henry Glynn, who has entered the admin offices of the department and is heading towards her. He stops before her desk.
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby innsmouth » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:15 pm

Henry Glynn

"Can't stop long - on my way to the library - but I've just come by to tell you that the engagement announcement will be in the paper on Monday. Oh, and a postcard arrived from Balzac."
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:34 am

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"That's great, and it's good to see you!" says Alice with a smile. "How is Dr. Balzac doing? Any better?"
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby innsmouth » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:45 am

Henry Glynn

"Indeed, your cousin Emily has made a perfect match and I was happy to take care of the notice. Do you think it will be a Spring wedding?"

"As for Balzac, no idea, I never could read his writing!"
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:06 pm

These happy asides are suddenly interrupted by Dr. Miller, who has finished his call. Exiting his private office and intent on speaking to Alice, he gives a start when suddenly looking at Henry. Yet the information he conveys is too urgent to worry about the prying ears of strangers.

Alice” says Dr. Miller in a soft but concerned voice. “Would you mind going to see Dr. Winside? He has an urgent matter to talk to you about. I’d very much appreciate you hearing him out.” His eye falls again on Henry, and he shuffles his feet uncomfortably. He bends closer to Alice.

“Don’t let Homer talk you into anything you don’t want to do” he warns.
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:20 am

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Alice nods. "I'll go talk to him right away, Dr. Miller," she says, rising. "If you'll excuse me," she adds to Henry, heading out of the office.
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby HoneyDog » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:22 pm

Alice makes the short distance to Dr. Winside’s office. She knocks, and a voice invites her in.

Homer Winside is standing behind his desk, and invites Alice to sit down by indicating the chair opposite. He is of medium height, and is entering middle age. A man of modest appearance, his rather average features are offset with a shock of blond hair which seems to stick up directly from his head. Many people seem to get their eyes drawn to it when conversing with him, but he never seems to notice.

He is an expert on tropical plants, and is known for having a rather gruesome side, being very knowledgeable about plant toxins and their effects. The room is artificially hot due to the large number of orchids which dot the room, and Alice finds herself starting to sweat.

“Thanks for coming, Alice he says, in a deep voice, as she sits down. “I want to get right to the point”.

He sits down and puts his hands on his desk, looking Alice straight in the eye.

“I want to ask for your help in finding one of my graduate students. He’s been gone since last week, when he went to do fieldwork to collect some fungal samples, but he had an important paper due three days ago, and should have been back for that. It’s behavior which is completely out of character for Albert, who takes his studies very seriously, and so naturally I became concerned.”

He pauses. “I know that this request may seem a little odd, but we know about your success in finding that missing journalist in Vermont last summer. We were all very impressed. I’m wondering if you could help me now. I contacted the police of course, but their attitudes were less than enthusiastic when they learned about Albert’s German nationality. There’s still a lot of bad feeling for some people, it seems.”

He leans forward suddenly.

“I must ask you to keep this in strictest confidence, Alice. Are you familiar with the name of Herbert West?”
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby innsmouth » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:23 pm

Henry Glynn

Henry heads to the library to research primitive instruments for his new book The Music of Dr Cazlab. He hopes to catch Alice later to hear about her meeting.
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:07 am

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"I think I've heard his name before," says Alice. "He's with the Department of Medicine, isn't he? Thank you for your compliments on my abilities, Dr. Winside, but I did not do it alone. I have friends who helped me find the missing journalist, and I'd need to enlist their help again if I'm to find Albert."
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby HoneyDog » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:29 am

“Certainly” says Winside. “But we’ll come to that later. West is no longer at the university, I have no idea where he might be now, I doubt anyone does. But his apparent research is what concerns most. Apparently, he was of the notion that dead tissue can be reanimated, and conducted experiments accordingly. Preposterous of course, but there is always a smattering of interest in his theories amongst some of the students when they get to hear about him”.

He stops and taps his fingers on the table. “I fear that Albert might have developed an interest in that regard. One of the ingredients of West’s supposed re-animation solution was a fungal spore, and that is Albert’s research interest. It may be a coincidence, but I feel I need to keep an eye on him. I know that he has heard about the rumours about West, and was making more enquiries.”

He sighs and leans back. Albert’s not a bad chap, far from it, he’s just… single-minded. Research interests take precedence over other aspects of life. I’m sure you’ve encountered the type.”

He looks at Alice again. “So there you have it. I want to know where Albert is, mainly just because I’m concerned about him, but I don’t want him to end up in trouble. Will you help me? Miller has given his permission, and all your expenses will be paid, plus a commission for your trouble. Of course, please get any help you need, although I’m not sure that our budget can stretch very far.”
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:23 am

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"I'll do what I can," says Alice, not wanting to leave Albert in possible danger. "Do you know who was the last to see him, and where or when that was? Where would he have gone to collect the samples?"
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby HoneyDog » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:40 am

“Splendid!” Winside beams, but then frowns. “Honestly I’m sorry to say, in response to your questions, I don’t know, only that it was in Massachusetts. Albert is quite guarded about his research, he believes he is onto some exciting new discovery. He wanted to make a full disclosure when he had all the information. Likewise, having his head buried in books and papers, he doesn’t seem to have much of a social life as far as I can tell. The library was a favoured haunt of course.”

He hands Alice a piece of paper. “This is the address of his rooming house here in Arkham. I’ve already contacted his landlady and she has given permission for us to search it for any indication as to where he is. His last name is Baumgartner. Here, I have a photo.”

He hands Alice a group photo which contains himself and several other people. Albert is the tall one in the back, with glasses.” He indicate a studious –looking young man in his early twenties with blond hair and slim figure.

He stands up and walks to the door. “This is much appreciated Alice. Please keep me informed as to what you find. Unless you have any more questions, I wish you the best of luck.”
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:07 am

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"Thank you," says Alice, taking the paper and the photograph. "This should be enough to get started. I'll let you know what we find." She heads to the library next to fill in Henry.
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby HoneyDog » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:25 am

Henry is in the university library, to which Alice has managed to get him granted visitor’s privileges. He is deeply engrossed in a book when she approaches him, but he stops and listens intently when she relates her conversation with Dr. Winside.
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby innsmouth » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:38 am

Henry Glynn

"Well if you want us to get involved in this I suppose we should call Isadora. She won't forgive us if she misses out on one of our adventures!"

Henry studies the photo.

"He does look familiar - maybe I've seen him here in the library. Say what do think would make spookier music - a digeridoo or some bongos?"
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:16 pm

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"Bongos, I suppose," says Alice, "but nothing could be spookier than that trumpet..." She shivers. "I still have nightmares. We should ask about Albert Baumgartner here in the library. He spent a lot of time here, so I'm sure the librarians remember him. And you're right, we should call Isadora. I'll also need to go back to Dr. Miller to let him know I've taken up Dr. Winside's offer."
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby innsmouth » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:31 pm

Henry Glynn

"Good idea. Let's speak to the Librarian and then call Isadora. And don't worry about that wretched trumpet - it's safely locked away from any use."
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby HoneyDog » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:42 pm

The intrepid pair approach the Library desk and show the photo to the librarian on duty.

Spoiler:
Roll Luck.
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:51 am

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Fortunately, the librarian does seem to recognize Albert.

Spoiler:
Luck roll (65% stat) to see if the librarian recognizes Albert:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
34
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Re: Chapter 1b: A Request for Help (Alice & Henry)

Postby HoneyDog » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:51 am

“Yes, I do know him” says the librarian. “German lad, I think. Likes to get stuck into the books and journals. What do you want him for?”
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