Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

1976, South California
The Sandoval couple is worried sick: their daughter, Elizabeth, ran off and joined a cult, the Temple of Concordance. They had no contact with her until recently, when she called them, clearly in a state of distress. The call ended abruptly, without any answer from Elizabeth about her status. The police checked up on the Temple, but found everything to be in order: Elizabeth is 21, practicing her right to worship as she wishes. The Sandovals decide to take matters into their own hands...

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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby Cotton » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:37 am

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Ray steps out of the car as well, straightening his clothes as he does so. He smiles and says, "Nice to meet you ma'am, my name's Ray Tovar. Apologies for my friend, he can get mighty testy in the heat like this. I don't see why there'd be any reason you couldn't take some samples, after all its not like we own the rock. But do you think it would take very long though?" As he speaks, Ray's two companions may notice that he stresses his southern accent more than usual, a trick he employs when he wants people to underestimate him.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby HelplessBystander » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:10 am

Tobias nodded, and stepped behind Ray.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:38 am

"Okay, okay. No offence taken. Thank you. I'm Dr. Corman," she says. The name rings a bell: the owner of your motel mentioned it in connection with the Kane Springs exhibition hall.

Dr. Corman walks over to the boulder, and starts working on it with a set of chisels and a small hammer.

---

The conversation between Elizabeth and Julie continues. Nat listens.

"Here, let me help you get the fire going. Don't they ever clean up around here? There are insects all over the table, eating the leftover food there," Julie says. Her voice is coming over crisp and clean.

"The fridge isn't working anyways," comes Elizabeth's faint answer.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby aine » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:19 am

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Nat grimaces as he listens in, "That's no way to run a place." He thinks, sitting up straighter now that the woman has moved over to the rock. "Hey, Boss, I can't hear anyone else down there; just Julie and Elizebeth at the moment. Sounds like a right dive; why anyone would want to stay there, I don't know."
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby HelplessBystander » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:42 pm

“Pleasure to meet you, doc. Eh, you connected to the Kane Springs exhibition hall, by any chance? Because I remember there’s a guided tour for Dino fossils and rocks back there, so you happen to be that tour guide?” Tobias said, looking at the woman.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:17 am

Dr. Corman places some rock fragments in a plastic baggie and seals it shut. Then turns to Tobias.

"First and foremost, I'm a researcher with the University of California," she explains. "Secondly, I curate the exhibit at Kane Springs. And occasionally do guided tours. Outreach and popularization of scientific knowledge, that's the pretty name for that torture.

"There are no Dinos, though. Our most interesting finds are Devonian."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby HelplessBystander » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:20 am

"Ah, an alumnae of the University of California and a museum curator as well? It is an impressive track record, Dr. Corman. I'm not sure what Devonians necessarily are, but I suppose I'll have the chance find out the next I visit the museum." Tobias said, eyeing the radio receiver that Nat was holding.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby Cotton » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:02 am

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Ray leans back into the car to talk to Nat, "You can't hear anyone else meaning there aren't many people around? Or that there's something up with the equipment?" He hopes that the poor conditions of the compound are a result of there being only a small number of believers there, but part of Ray worries that the place may be "too quiet".
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:50 pm

HelplessBystander wrote:"Ah, an alumnae of the University of California and a museum curator as well? It is an impressive track record, Dr. Corman. I'm not sure what Devonians necessarily are, but I suppose I'll have the chance find out the next I visit the museum." Tobias said, eyeing the radio receiver that Nat was holding.


"The Devonian is a period in the geographical history of our Earth," Dr. Corman explains in a much calmer voice than before. "To put it simple, the dinosaurs are 60 to 200 million years ago, the Devonian is even earlier: about 350-400 millions of years ago. Unfortunately, the creatures of the Devonian are not as marketable and cute as the dinosaurs.

"I offered the exhibition hall directorate to put the Eurypterus on mugs or t-shirts, but they weren't into that."


---

Nat hears through the wire:

"Are you okay? You touched the metal part of the kettle. Did you burn your fingers?" Julie asks of Elizabeth.

"Oh! It happened too fast, probably. I didn't even feel the pain," Elizabeth answers.

Cotton wrote:Ray leans back into the car to talk to Nat, "You can't hear anyone else meaning there aren't many people around? Or that there's something up with the equipment?" He hopes that the poor conditions of the compound are a result of there being only a small number of believers there, but part of Ray worries that the place may be "too quiet".

The microphone's range is limited. It only picks up sounds clearly in the vicinity.

But Ray is right about how the Temple of Concordance seems to be a very small outfit.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby HelplessBystander » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:39 pm

"Well, why not? They managed to sell raptors and those T-rex things to the kids; I'm sure they can spin any horrific natural beastie into something marketable. Mugs and t-shirts sounds lovely!" Tobias crowed, "I truly think that's a brilliant idea, doctor, it's such a shame that the museum staffers can't see eye-to-eye with you on that."
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:29 pm

HelplessBystander wrote:"Well, why not? They managed to sell raptors and those T-rex things to the kids; I'm sure they can spin any horrific natural beastie into something marketable. Mugs and t-shirts sounds lovely!" Tobias crowed, "I truly think that's a brilliant idea, doctor, it's such a shame that the museum staffers can't see eye-to-eye with you on that."


"I'm not sure anymore. I just hate it that the true significance of our work and this place is not recognized. I've spent almost a decade now studying the Kane Springs area. Sure, there are many other Devon sites all over the US of A, but this one here," she waves her hands around, "is special. There are many idiosyncrasies that differentiate it from your typical Devonian picture. The flora, the fauna, the landscape - it was changed by something. So I'm taking extra samples, trying all sorts of methodologies and technologies to learn more about just what went on around here 400 million years ago!"

She stops to catch her breath. The talking is putting a strain on her voice, you can hear that.

"It's fascinating. Annoying, too. Lack of funding... Lack of support... Lack of access to certain areas, due to them being private property or whatnot. Seriously, why would you want to set up out here in the desert?"
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby HelplessBystander » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:24 am

“Well, from what we gathered, the people on the compound aren’t up to anything good; that’s...sorta the reason why we’re tagging them. Truly, it’s a pity that you aren’t being taken seriously.” Tobias sighed. “This might surprise you, miss, but despite how old I look; I have no idea what went on 400 million years ago! I’m afraid there’s little us PIs and ex-blue boys can do in ways of scientific help that could aid you, as much as we would like to.”
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:25 am

Dr. Corman is not paying much attention to Tobias at first - she is busy labeling samples. But then Tobias starts talking about PIs and other matters...

"Hold it, hold it! You are PIs? Staking out those folks at the compound?"

She stares with disbelief.

"That is indeed one of the places I cannot get samples from... But what's your interest in them?"
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby HelplessBystander » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:56 am

“Can’t say much about the why regarding that, client confidentiality and all that. However, with all due respect, they’re driving dingy abominations that are an insult to cars right alongside the fancy Fords and stuff. You think there would be something legit about a compound in the desert with wealthy, shiny cars parked next to hunks of tin an’ copper barely held together by & prayer, miss?” Tobias said, jabbing his thumb toward the general direction of compound with a look of slight disdain.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby aine » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:42 pm

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Nat whispers to Ray, "No, it sounds empty to me. Just the two girls. Elizebeth has jus burnt herself; she sounds ill or drugged; not good anyhow. Maybe this would be a good time to bring her out?"
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:07 am

HelplessBystander wrote:“Can’t say much about the why regarding that, client confidentiality and all that. However, with all due respect, they’re driving dingy abominations that are an insult to cars right alongside the fancy Fords and stuff. You think there would be something legit about a compound in the desert with wealthy, shiny cars parked next to hunks of tin an’ copper barely held together by & prayer, miss?” Tobias said, jabbing his thumb toward the general direction of compound with a look of slight disdain.

"I don't care about cars. I just hope they didn't destroy any of the rocks on their property. Before the area was fenced off, a colleague of mine, Dr. Villar, surveyed the area, noted some irregularities in the rock formations. I really wanted to examine them myself, but wasn't let inside the compound. I know they did some construction works... So there is a possibility they simply destroyed the boulders."

---

Nat continues listening to the radio while discussing plans with Ray.

"So... are you, uh, staying in town?" Elizabeth asks.

"Yeah, I am," says Julie. "I'm here for a while yet. I haven't seen you in so long, and I want to spend more time with you, like we used to. How are things here? Is everything all right?"

"Like we used to..." Elizabeth echoes. "Those times... it wasn't that long ago. But it seems to me that it was all a dream. I was... not aware of myself. I was just drifting. Without purpose. Pointlessly wandering in a faceless crowd. I needed an anchor. I live a simple life here. I think you would find it boring. Work, meditation, prayer. Sometimes alone, sometimes together... Communion. We learn."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby aine » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:36 am

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"Wow!" mouths Nat to Ray and he circles his index finger at his forehead, "She's a looney!"
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby HelplessBystander » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:50 am

"Yeah, well, would you mind if you leave some contact details for your colleague 'Dr. Villar'? We would like to follow up with him regarding hat he saw there." Tobias enquired, his ears perked up the minute another name of interested was uttered by the woman.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:40 pm

HelplessBystander wrote:"Yeah, well, would you mind if you leave some contact details for your colleague 'Dr. Villar'? We would like to follow up with him regarding hat he saw there." Tobias enquired, his ears perked up the minute another name of interested was uttered by the woman.


"Mount Hope Cemetery, plot 629/A..." Dr. Corman says and averts her face. "Dr. Villar passed away last year."

There is an awkward pause.

"But his survey documentation is back in my office at Kane Springs. I'm not sure what could you possibly learn from them, though. There are some photos and sketches, but mostly technical details, sample analysis, scientific data."

---

Nat hears the following conversation:

"It's never boring when you're around, Liz," says Julie.

"Thanks. You are always so nice to me... I miss that, sometimes. The other people here are nice, too. But everybody is tired to be friendly. We have a connection, but it is not about friendship."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby HelplessBystander » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:23 am

“I’m sorry for your loss. Perhaps another time, then.” Tobias said, trying to sound sympathetic.
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