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

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:53 am

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The following morning Tobias takes Julie as close to the compound as possible.

Ray and Nat take the car and drive into the desert. They are looking for a good place in range of the wire's transmitter, where they can set up camp. They settle on the area to the west of the Temple's compound, where the desert is peppered with sizable rock boulders. They stop the car behind one that's enough to cover it from the side of the compound.

It is only 10 in the morning, but the temperature is already rising. The air vibrates. Luckily, this time the Investigators are prepared: there is plenty of water and food in their car. They are ready for a long stake-out.

Nat tunes the receiver. Right now, the wire is only picking up the rustling of Julie's clothes. There is also a faint, rhythmic thumping - Julie's quickening heartbeat?
"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 evil_scientist » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:34 am

The transmission starts coming in.

"Hello!" Julie calls out loudly.

There is a long pause, then finally an answer: "Hi! Can I... help you with anything?" It's a woman's voice. Judging by the volume, she is standing a couple of steps away from Julie.
"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 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:02 pm

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"Well, she's got there okay. And we're picking her up loud and clear." Nat listens to the transission. "Hey Boss, what do we do if it sounds like she's getting into trouble?"
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby Cotton » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:24 am

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Ray shifts where he is sitting trying to be in the shade as much as possible, but unable to get entirely comfortable. "Let's just hope it doesn't come to that." He smiles trying to assure Nat that it won't, "but if we were to hear something worrying then it'd be up to us to rush over there."
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby aine » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:10 pm

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Nat fiddles with the dials, trying to hit the optimum gain.
Spoiler:
or what ever it is!
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:36 am

Nat hears Julie. "Hi! I'm looking for Elizabeth Sandoval. Do you know where I might find her?"

And after a pause, an answer: "Elizabeth... Oh you mean Eli? She's around here, yes."

Another pause...

"I think she is resting. Why are you looking for her?"
"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 evil_scientist » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:15 am

Over the wire, you here Julie explaining the reason of her visit: "I'm her friend Julie. I haven't seen her in a long time, so I thought I'd drop in and visit her."

The other woman voice answers: "I see. I don't want to wake her up if she is asleep. But..." there's a mid-sentence pause here. "...let's go and check."

The sound of footsteps follows, then the woman speaks: "Just wait here, okay? I don't want to wake the others."

---

Nat is focusing on the gear, Ray and Tobias hang around, sticking to the shadows in the growing heat. They notice dust rising in the distance, possibly caused by a vehicle. It is to the West, so not from the side of the compound. Ray checks with his binoculars, and sees a slowly moving jeep, headed in their general direction. It will pass by in the vicinity of the Investigators' outpost in about a minute.
"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 Jun 26, 2018 12:06 pm

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Nat looks up from the radio, "Hey, sounds like Elizebeth is there, that's great! She's sleeping; bit odd for this time of day, don't you think?"
Spoiler:
Roll to catch dust storm out the corner of his eye (as he's concentrating on the radio):
Spot hidden (25%) roll: 85

He keeps listening, "Julie's gone inside...waiting for her."
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:31 pm

Nat hears a creaky door opening and closing, then there's a long pause...

Ray and Tobias warn Nat about the incoming vehicle.
"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 Cotton » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:23 am

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Ray tries to make the group's vehicle look like one of the broke down and abandoned cars that tend to dot more highly populated roads, and sticks out of sight of the road.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:50 am

The place you are at is off-roads, in the desert. The road is miles away.

Ray and the rest of the Investigators can easily hide from the passing jeep by ducking, laying low.

The sounds draws nearer. Then it stops! Ray sneaks a peak, and sees that the other vehicle came to a halt hundred yards away from the Investigators, next to a cluster of boulders. The drive cuts the engine, and gets out of the car. From the distance, the driver seems to be a tall woman. Her clothes are khaki, blending with the desert, and she is wearing a Stetson hat. She walks over to the rocks she stopped next to, and starts examining them? Or maybe she is looking for something on the ground?

She doesn't seem to notice or care about the Investiagtors at this point.

---

In the meantime, while laying low, Nat continues to listen in on Julie.

There is a pause after Julie agrees to "wait here". Then Nat hears the sound of a door opening.

"Eli, this girl says she is here to see you," the unknown woman says.

A new voice joins, and simply says "Hi"... Is that Elizabeth?

There's a shuffling sound as Julie moves forward, and some crackle as her clothes brush against the microphone. "It's good to see you, Lizzie! I've really missed you. How have you been? I can see you've lost some weight," Julie says.

"It's good to see you too," Elizabeth answers.

"I'll let you two catch up," the first woman says.

"I'm working a lot. Working on myself," Elizabeth answers Julie's question.
"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 Cotton » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:50 am

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Ray will stay out of sight, but keep an eye on the tall woman. Do her khakis seem to be a uniform or is she just dressed practically for working outside?
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:23 am

Nat hears Julie conversing with Elizabeth.

"Working on yourself?" asks Julie. "What do you mean by that?"

"I want to help others. You know that. But I cannot help others if I cannot help myself. I have to become stronger. I know, I know, I don't look strong. But this is just a stage,"
Elizabeth answers.

---

Cotton wrote:Ray will stay out of sight, but keep an eye on the tall woman. Do her khakis seem to be a uniform or is she just dressed practically for working outside?


The khakis seem to be for practical reasons. However, Ray does notice a logo painted on the door of the jeep. It is faded and partially obscured by dust, but through the binoculars Ray makes out the word "university" written next to the image of a book and a star -- the emblem of the University of California.

The woman picks up something from the ground, examines it, and drops it. She heads back to the car and starts the engine. The vehicle backs up a bit, then turns, and comes right towards your location!
"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 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:20 pm

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"Cripes." Mutters Nat. "Elizebeth sounds just like that woman Sy; totally bonkers. He shuffles round to hide the equipment with his body as much as possible whilst still listening in. "They're not coming this way are they?" He looks up in the direction of the other car.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:44 am

aine wrote:
"Working on yourself?" asks Julie. "What do you mean by that?"

"I want to help others. You know that. But I cannot help others if I cannot help myself. I have to become stronger. I know, I know, I don't look strong. But this is just a stage," Elizabeth answers.

"Cripes." Mutters Nat. "Elizebeth sounds just like that woman Sy; totally bonkers.

The following answers are even more bonkers...

"A stage towards what? What's supposed to happen next?" Julie asks.

"My rebirth," Elizabeth says. "But I cannot talk about this, I'm sorry. I'm not supposed to talk about it."

"I don't understand," says Julie. "Why can't you talk about it?"

"Well, exactly, you wouldn't understand!" Elizabeth snaps, then reverts to the dreamy state she was in before. "At that stage, words fail us. Words cannot describe what's to come."

---

aine wrote:Nat shuffles round to hide the equipment with his body as much as possible whilst still listening in. "They're not coming this way are they?" He looks up in the direction of the other car.

Spoiler:
This wasn't discussed, but the way I imagine it, the radio equipment is connected to the car battery? That's the most obvious power source. So you have some power chords running out from the engine block (but the hood doesn't have to be open). The receiver equipment is a box the size of a big home radio. It can be inside the car, on one of the seats, or outside on the ground -- it's your choice!

Nat positions himself to hide the equipment. Hopefully, to a casual observer it will look the young man is just listening to some hot grooves on the radio.

---

The car stops a dozen yards short of the Investigators. The woman gets out from the drivers seat, and starts walking towards you.

She is tall, broad-shouldered, sinewy. Her skin is suntanned. With the khakis and the darker skin tone, she looks like she was created from the very soil... the only contrast is provided by the red kerchief that's tied around her neck.

She is in her fifties, with wavy locks of grey hair showing from under her hat. She is carrying a toolbox. She is also wearing a tool-belt, with an assortment of chisels, small hammers, brushes hooked on it.

She stops a few steps away.

"Good morning," she says casually. Her voice is raspy, sore, weak. "Sorry to disturb you. I just wanted to take a couple of samples from that rock." She points at the huge boulder you are parked next to.
"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 03, 2018 9:48 pm

Spoiler:
I guess it would be natural for Nat to be in the shade in the car but with the windows and doors open.
Nat sits in the car with the radio on his lap. He looks up briefly at the woman, thinking it's blooming typical timing turning up right now; but dismisses her as a Science-type - much more up Ray's street. And goes back to tuning the radio.
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby HelplessBystander » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:36 pm

"Apologies, miss, but this do seem a tad random, perchance you mind explaining why that particular boulder? You could just as well take a sample form any other source, I assume?" Tobias, the old detective, said, looking at the scientist. He was sitting in the back, and shook his head as he carried on.

OOC:   Alright, sorry for dropping out so abruptly. I'm back now. :)  
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby evil_scientist » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:20 am

HelplessBystander wrote:"Apologies, miss, but this do seem a tad random, perchance you mind explaining why that particular boulder? You could just as well take a sample form any other source, I assume?" Tobias, the old detective, said, looking at the scientist. He was sitting in the back, and shook his head as he carried on.

The woman clenches her fist. You can see her take a deep breath and count to ten. Finally, she just raises an eyebrow.

"I'm looking for certain types of sedimentary rocks," she explains slowly, pronouncing each word separately. She still struggles with anger.


---

Nat continues listening to the conversation between Julie and Elizabeth.

"I want to understand, Liz. Could you show me, walk me through it?" asks Julie.

"No. I'm sorry, but I cannot. There are steps... stages... one cannot be revealed without the other," Elizabeth answers, then breaks out in coughing. "I need some water. Do you, uh, want something? I can't really offer you anything, really. Water. Maybe there is some coffee."

"Sure, thanks," says Julie. "Coffee would really hit the spot."

Then there's a prolonged pause, as the two enter a building, and start fiddling around with things.
"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 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:49 pm

evil_scientist wrote:
HelplessBystander wrote:"Apologies, miss, but this do seem a tad random, perchance you mind explaining why that particular boulder? You could just as well take a sample form any other source, I assume?" Tobias, the old detective, said, looking at the scientist. He was sitting in the back, and shook his head as he carried on.

The woman clenches her fist. You can see her take a deep breath and count to ten. Finally, she just raises an eyebrow.

"I'm looking for certain types of sedimentary rocks," she explains slowly, pronouncing each word separately. She still struggles with anger.


“Is that right? Well, apologies, then, we were...animalspotting, I suppose. Tobias Jerkins, Private Investigator and ex-attorney at law, I take it that you wouldn’t be so impolite as to fail to reciprocate the introduction, then?” Tobias said, observing the woman’s tense body language and stepped off out of the car, ready to de-escalate the situation should it get violent and to observe her reactions; as far as he knows, the woman could be lying. “I leave my friend to their own introductions.”

Tobias smiled at the woman.

Spoiler:
HelplessBystander rolled 1d100:
99

Spoiler:
HelplessBystander rolled 1d100:
36
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Re: Chapter 4b: Listening in (Ray, Nat, Tobias)

Postby aine » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:15 pm

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Nat waves his hand vaguely in the direction of the woman and smiles but concentrates on listening to the radio.
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