Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

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 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu May 24, 2018 2:40 pm

Julie examines the cup. This is not lipstick, but rather a black residue, dried on the rim of the cup. The only possible explanation she can come up with is that somebody sick, coughing up phlegm, drank from it. But the color is so dark...
"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 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri May 25, 2018 3:58 am

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"This isn't lipstick," says Julie. "It looks like someone sick and coughing up gunk drank from it, but it's so dark."
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby aine » Fri May 25, 2018 12:18 pm

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"Aha, a clue!" cries Nat from the backseat, silently thinking of Tobias, "Eat your heart out you grumpy old fart." "Maybe they were forcing someone to drink some vile brew in a dark ceremony. Does it smell of anything, Julie?"
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Fri May 25, 2018 7:58 pm

The smell of the substance reminds you of a hot summer day when the road paving melts under the cruel rays of the Sun.
"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 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat May 26, 2018 3:36 am

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"It smells like hot asphalt," says Julie, wrinkling her nose. "Kind of looks like it too."
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Cotton » Tue May 29, 2018 8:42 pm

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Ray continues driving back towards town. ”Phlegm? Tar? Either way it’s something to keep an eye out for. You never know what kind of crazy stuff these cults get up to. Nat if you start to feel sick speak up alright? Does anyone know of a way we could examine that gunk more in depth?
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed May 30, 2018 4:04 am

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"I'm not a chemist," says Julie, "but I guess we could find one back in the city to analyze it. Of course, that's a long way from here, and I don't know if we've got time for that."
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby aine » Wed May 30, 2018 7:05 pm

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Nat worridly takes stock of himself but he seems alright at present.
"I feel okay at the moment, Boss. It was hard to see much of the commune from the outside. Everything is in a real state of disrepair there, which is unusual 'cos most of these desert types are shit hot on make do and mend. Except for the swanky new hanger in the centre which was for meetings, so Sy said.
But why'd they spend so much money on that one building and nothing on the others?"

He looks out at the desert rolling by.
"I guess we gotta go back in. Else we stake out the outside; watch who's coming and going. But how long for and is that any help anyhow? Yeah, it's a long way back to the city and it might take days to get it analyzed.

How long do these cases normally take, Boss? Have we got days or weeks before it's, ur, too late, if you know what I mean. "
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu May 31, 2018 2:59 am

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"I'm worried we've waited too long already," says Julie. "I think I should go in as we planned, tomorrow. Once on the inside, I can look out for Elizabeth and keep you informed."
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu May 31, 2018 10:01 am

Nat indeed feels alright at the moment, physically, although psychologically the knowledge that he drank water from an unknown source from a phlegm-covered cup does bother him a bit...

Getting a different car for Julie should be no problem. Getting the wire equipment ate into the Investigators' budget, but there's still enough left for the cheapest options. Back at the Desert Flower motel, if asked, Mr. Horton tells you that there are both rentals and a used vehicle lot at Salton City, just 15 miles up North.

Spoiler:
Anything else you want to do today? Or just preparations and rest?
"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 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby HelplessBystander » Thu May 31, 2018 3:27 pm

Tobias plans on doing whatever the rest felt like doing.
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:26 am

Spoiler:
We should probably pick up the cheap rental car today. That way we can start early in the morning.
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby aine » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:20 pm

'Let's sort Julie's ride tonight; that's if you want to start first thing tomorrow, Julie? And then can we find somewhere decent to eat? I'm famished and I need a beer or six to wash my mouth out with.' Nat pulls out the map of town to look at the restaurant adverts.
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:29 am

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"Sounds good to me," says Julie. "I would like to get an early start tomorrow. A good meal would be nice too. Probably the best thing I'll eat for a while now that I'm going inside. If that's the sort of cup the cult drinks out of, I wouldn't expect their food to be any better."
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Cotton » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:58 pm

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Ray keeps drives toward the car rental place, but says, "All right, moving in the morning seems like the best option to me as well. I do wonder would Elizabeth find it suspicious if you showed up in a rental car? Maybe you could get Tobias to give you a ride, and just say that you hitchhiked?"
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:25 am

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"That's a thought," says Julie. "He does have his own vehicle, and they haven't seen it before."
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:09 pm

Technically, some members of the Church have seen Tobias' vehicle, but that was a couple of days ago. To be safe, Tobias can take Julie close to the compound, and then Julie can walk a few hundred yards.

For Julie's "last supper", the Investigators visit a local pizza parlor (pepperoni & pineapples, baby!)

The rest of the evening is spent resting, stocking up, preparing and checking stuff.

The wire works fine. Unless Julie is searched, the equipment will remain hidden and undetected. Julie, Nat and Ray spend a few hours testing and fine-tuning it. The signal can be received in a one mile radius. There is noise and hum and the rustling of clothes, but things spoken by Julie and anybody else closeby are audible. The battery provides for about 20 hours of use. Julie is able to switch the transmitter off to save power.
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby HelplessBystander » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:04 pm

"Perfect, this can work." Tobias said, with a hint of contentedness and satisfaction in his voice.
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Re: Chapter 3: Approaching the Unknown (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:38 am

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"I just hope the battery lasts long enough," says Julie. "I'll have to be careful to use it only when I need it, and I'll need to be able to flip the switch without anyone knowing what I'm doing."
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