Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (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 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:09 am

Image

"Yeah, I met Cavendish," says Julie. "He's really creepy, but it wouldn't surprise me if N' is the real leader. I went into the entryway of the hangar, but only Ray looked behind the veil. I didn't realize you could feel the extra weight. I thought it was all in my head. Maybe I should weigh myself on a scale here."
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:56 am

Julie's physical examination included weighing. If anything, her body weight got slightly less then usual, probably from the physical stress.

The only thing Nat can think of is that when Julie felt heavy, it wasn't as much her weight, but perhaps Nat had to combat another force, that was pulling Julie's body in the opposite direction.

When Julie theorizes about 'N being the real leader, Nat recalls that after the "meditation" session in the hangar, 'N had to physically support Cavendish, who seemed weakened and spent.


Spoiler:
Sorry, I'm still very busy at work and in general in life!

Next, I want to move on to the next scene, which will be your night-time vigil over Elizabeth's sickbed!

Stay tuned!
"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 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby aine » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:01 pm

Nat sits down and ponders last night.
"Whatever they were doing inside the hanger seemed to drain their energy; maybe it was just the effects of the radiation. But then that weight on you, some sort of force pulling you back towards N; that was energy sapping too, no wonder you felt weak afterwards. It was totally weird, man.
Look, we've got another long night ahead of us, why don't you get some sleep and then I'll have a nap too." He has a rummage through the magazines and pounces on a copy of 'Easyriders' lurking under all the Readers' Digest.
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:41 am

Image

"Thanks, I could do with a good crash," says Julie. She gets in the other bed next to Elizabeth's, pulls the blanket up, and shuts her eyes.
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:41 am

Julie lies down, and falls asleep quickly. Exhaustion and, what now seems the literal draining of her strength, knock her out.

Spoiler:
Julie cannot resist the uncanny gravity, and falls forward --- she sees the black void closing in --- then the blackness extends, it becomes malleable, a warm, tar-like substance, and takes Julie in its welcoming embrace.

Then there is no more ground or up or down, just a lightless void.

Elizabeth stands there.

"The guiding light is gone. The others are all gone too. I've never been alone here before," Elizabeth whispers. Her lips don't move. Her eyes - glassy, unblinking. "Have I crossed the threshold? Is this the final stage? Am I to proceed alone?"

She is just an arm's reach away. Julie is paralyzed - or her body is not even present. But perhaps if she talks, or thinks hard enough, Elizabeth might hear her...


Nat takes a chair, and keeps watch over Elizabeth and Julie.

Spoiler:
Nat thumbs through the journal, and tries to concentrate on the fascinating world of motorcycles and the occasional topless model.

In this issue of Easyriders ("Bikers protest mandatory helmet laws!!!"), a young lady called Valerie is posing in the desert, next to a shiny chrome chopper. She holds up the skull of a bull (complete with horns) against her chest, and stares into the camera with hazy eyes. There is something menacing about the whole scenery. Nat's attention is drawn towards the rocks in the background. The cracks in the rocks call out to him, vibrate before his eyes---

No, no! His eyes are just fine, and the magazine isn't spiked with LSD either.

But the lights in the room start to flicker.

The dimmed overhead lamps go out then come back in quick succession.

The indicators on the artificial respiration unit standing next Elizabeth's bed blink out of rhythm.

All the wires in the room start buzzing, and the noise grows louder every second...

Elizabeth's body thrashes on the bed --- Julie's body thrashes on the bed ---
"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 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:54 am

Spoiler:
Image

"You're not alone, Liz," says Julie. "It's me, Julie. I'm right here with you. Come with me."
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:02 pm

Spoiler:
Elizabeth's silhouette vibrates against the darkness.

"J-Julie? Here? But how? Without initiation? Without going through the steps?

"Where do you want to take me?"
"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 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby aine » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:54 pm

Spoiler:
Nat leaps to his feet, the magazine falling to the floor. His first thought is that a bad electrical storm is hitting the hospital but why are the girls thrashing on their beds?
"Nurse! Doctor!" He shouts. He grabs first Liz and then Julie, "Julie, wake up!" He holds her by the shoulders but also watches Liz trying to ensure they don't fall off the beds and hurt themselves.

Spoiler:
And Nat was just getting into that magazine too!
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:52 pm

Spoiler:
Image

"I don't know how I got here," says Julie. "I want to take you home, Liz. Your family misses you. I miss you."
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:28 am

OOC:   Read the spoiler with your name first, then the "Everybody" section!  


Spoiler:
"No. I want to know what's further, even if the others didn't make it. Or maybe I will meet them on the other side. I worked so much to get here ---"

A ripple runs through the void and distorts Elizabeth's image. Her head and hands seem bloated, like in a funhouse mirror. Her voice (or thoughts?) reach Julie's consciousness in distorted, jumbled echoes.

" --- this must this this this this must be the inner inner this must be the inner this be the inner wake sea up inner WAKE sea UP sea --- "

" --- WAKE UP!"

There is a sudden shock, and Julie is yanked out of the void's embrace.

Her mind is reeling, and she feels the pull of the void; she sees the blackness on the edge of her vision...

She is back in the hospital room. Nat is leaning over her, holding her by the shoulders, trying to wake her up. Julie instinctively glances to her right: Elizabeth is there, on her bed, her body shaking and thrashing around in convulsions!

---

Make a Sanity (1/1d3) roll for the crash-like transition between the unknown void and the unstable real world...

Void.jpg
Void.jpg (10.23 KiB) Viewed 144 times


Spoiler:
When Nat grabs Elizabeth, a sudden current or electric static runs through his body. The girl does not respond. Her seizure intensifies.

Nat jumps over to Julie, shakes her by the shoulder ---

--- and Julie's eyes pop open, and Nat can swear that he sees a weird black oily film dissolving on the surface of her eyeball ---

"...the inner sea!" Julie blurts out, heaving, then looks at Nat with bewildered eyes - luckily, these eyes are hers... Then she looks to her left, where Elizabeth is struggling on her bed...

---

Make a Sanity (0/1) roll for the weirdness...

Void Eyes.jpg


Spoiler:
The emergency care unit is becoming a nest of chaos. The dim overhead lights are flickering, and there is a growing hum coming from the medical machinery.

Dr. Jacobson comes running in, followed by the orderly. They go straight to Elizabeth's bed, and try to restrain her. The poor girl's body is still shaking. "Elizabeth, can you hear me?" he shouts, but there is no response. Dr. Jacobson barks a few commands, calls for a tranquilizer, and the orderly hastily starts preparing an injection.

Elizabeth starts coughing violently, and there is a burst of dark vomit out of her mouth. The substance splatters Dr. Jacobson's coat and the floor between Elizabeth and Julie's beds.

"No, no," Dr. Jacobson mutters, and tries to hold Elizabeth's head so that she doesn't choke. Then he suddenly pulls back, startled. "What is this?!"

He looks at Elizabeth's arm.

In the flickering lights, you all see black drops forming on her skin, the same pitch black substance oozing out of her pores...

Dr. Jacobson stares at the drops in disbelief.

The orderly stands next to the bed, with a loaded needle in hand. He is frozen by the shock.

---

Make a Sanity (1/2) roll for seeing the black substance...

Spoiler:
NPC rolls,Dr. Jacobson SAN 50
evil_scientist rolled 1d100:
91

Orderly SAN 40
evil_scientist rolled 1d100:
85
"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 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby aine » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:50 pm

Spoiler:
San:60 Roll: 87,27 sanity loss:1+1 Nat is horrified and sickened to see that Julie has somehow been affected too- does this mean she's going to become an automaton like the cultists? And then he pulled into the present by the rush of medical staff."

Nat's ears are buzzing from all the crazy electronics. He sees the orderly just standing there but Nat's seen this black ooze before. He tries to grab the needle and inject Liz's arm at the same time shouting, "We need to get her out of here; away from the electronics- into the corridor! Julie, are you with me?" Nat looks to see if Julie is coherent and aware of what's happening.
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:19 pm

Image

"Liz!" cries Julie, springing out of bed and trying to help Nat with her.

Spoiler:
Sanity roll (current level 46) for the transition:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
25

Sanity roll (current level 45) for seeing the black substance:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
68
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:07 am

With the medics in shock, Nat takes matters into his own hands. He grabs the syringe and plunges it into Elizabeth's arm without hesitation. Nat feels a strange prickling sensation on his skin. He looks down to find that while administering the tranquilizer, the black substance got on his hands. The drops stick to him in perfect little spheres like dark, dark quicksilver...

The hospital bed is heavy and screwed to the ground... So Julie and Nat try to lift Elizabeth to move her, but she is still connected to the machines by wires and a breathing tube. Nat knocks over the IV stand.

"Wait! Careful, damn it!" Dr. Jacobson shouts. He finally snapped out of the shock. For a split second he hesitates: on the one hand, Elizabeth is hooked on to the life support equipment for a reason. On the other, the machines are clearly unstable... He finally removes the tube from Elizabeth's nose - its end is covered in the black slime.

The orderly regains control too, and grabs the stretcher that's next to one of the walls. The four of you quickly transfer Elizabeth and wheel her out of the emergency unit... The girls is still shaking, but maybe her convulsions are getting less violent?

Outside in the corridor... the neon tubes on the ceiling start flickering...
"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 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby aine » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:56 pm

Nat tries to wipe the ooze onto the bed sheet. As He helps push Liz into the corridor he looks at the light and mutters, "I thought the power was somehow causing Liz to convulse but it looks like it's the other way round - Liz is causing a power surge!"

He reaches over and lifts her eyelid: what are her eyes like? Is she still Liz even with a body full of black pus?
"Doc, can you monitor her lifesigns without the machines? Julie, do you think she is better off without the electronics? How are you feeling by the way?"
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:42 pm

aine wrote:Nat tries to wipe the ooze onto the bed sheet. As He helps push Liz into the corridor he looks at the light and mutters, "I thought the power was somehow causing Liz to convulse but it looks like it's the other way round - Liz is causing a power surge!"

"Wait, what? What do you mean she is causing the power surges?" Dr. Jacobson stares at Nat - but it looks like that after the eruption of the black substance he is likely to accept this theory.

Nat wipes off the ooze -- but the sickening feeling of its touch is not going away...

The orderly starts cleaning off the still trembling Elizabeth's skin with a towel.

aine wrote:He reaches over and lifts her eyelid: what are her eyes like? Is she still Liz even with a body full of black pus?
"Doc, can you monitor her lifesigns without the machines? Julie, do you think she is better off without the electronics? How are you feeling by the way?"

"Monitoring is one thing, I always have this..." he lifts his stethoscope. "But I can't risk keeping her off the artificial respiration too long. Especially after the injection of the tranquilizer."

The tranquilizer starts taking effect. Elizabeth's convulsions turn into trembling. Her muscles contract and relax in quick succession.

Julie is feeling nauseous and weak.

When Nat lifts Elizabeth's eyelid, Dr. Jacobson leans over right away, and shines a small penlight into her eyes...

...which are covered by an oily black film...

"What on Earth?!" Dr. Jacobson gasps.

---

Roll Sanity (0/1) for seeing the black eyes!

Spoiler:
Dr. Jacobson SAN 48
evil_scientist rolled 1d100:
10


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"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 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:22 am

Image

Julie gasps when she sees Elizabeth's eyes. "I don't know if the machines are making things worse or not," she says. "I still feel weak, and like I have to throw up. I had this dream. Liz and I were on the edge of the void. It reminded me of N's face. I couldn't do anything, but I could still talk. I tried to convince her to come back with me, but she wanted to keep going into the void."

Spoiler:
Sanity roll (current level 43) for seeing the black eyes:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
87
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby aine » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:05 pm

Nat sees Liz's eyes, "Liz's eyes too!" He mutters and then casts a guilty glance at Julie. "Er look, hopefully you can hook her up again once she's quietened down, Doc, she seems a bit better already." He goes to rub his eyes and then remembers the ooze that was on his hands and doesn't.
"Julie, did Liz actually step into the void or is she still standing there, do you think? Your dream could symbolise a point of no return for Liz's health; it sounds fantastic, I know, but you seem to be connected to her somehow."
Spoiler:
(58) roll:53... lose 1 point.
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby evil_scientist » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:25 pm

There is a final electric discharge, and one of the neon tubes on the ceiling fizzles out... But then power stabilizes, and the lights stop flickering. The hum goes away, too.

Elizabeth's condition seems to normalize, at least for the time being. The black substance stops oozing forth from her pores... But her body is still trembling, as if she's indeed seeing nightmares.

Dr. Jacobson gives a strange look when Nat and Julie start discussing dreams and other rather obscure matters. "I don't think I follow," he says. "And I have a feeling you have been hiding something from me."

He double-checks Elizabeth's eyes - the blackness is there, unchanged.

Dr. Jacobson turns once more towards the investigators, and wants to ask them more questions, but he is interrupted by the assistant from the front desk, who approaches them. She is surprised to see the patient wheeled out into the corridor, but instead of asking, just relays a message: "I've got Mr. Nolasquez on the line. He says it's urgent."

Dr. Jacobson pauses for a second. "It is the head of the emergency services," he explains to Julie and Nat. "I'll be back soon." He commands the orderly to push back Elizabeth into the room, and reattach the IV (but not the artificial respiration). The orderly gets this done, then leaves Nat and Julie alone in the room once more.


Spoiler:
If you rolled 53 under 58, you are not losing any SAN! The roll was a 0/1.
"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 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:32 am

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"I didn't see her touch the void, no," says Julie, "but it might have happened after I woke up. Maybe if I go back to sleep, I can get back into the dream and help her."
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Re: Chapter 6: Echoes of a Nightmare (everybody)

Postby aine » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:49 pm

"This is some weird shit, Jules." Nat shakes his head and sits down. "Do you really think you can reach out to her in a dream? I mean, it doesn't seem possible and yet..."
He looks at Liz and then Julie, "You know, you had those same black eyes, just for a moment as you woke up. It scared the bejeezers out of me."
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