Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:37 pm

"Sure, there is one outside," he says, and points to a small cabin between the two buildings.

Spoiler:
If you scroll back to the map, it's marked number 3.


"See you around!"

He rejoins his disciples, and the four of them head over to the elongated second building (4). They enter.

The outhouse is a small tin roofed wooden cabin. A barrel is standing next to it, probably with water. Inside the cabin it's extremely hot, but at least the smell is bareable.

If Julie checks the wire, she finds no visible changes. Its temperature is hard to gauge inside the cabin. The little light is blinking, so theoretically the device is still transmitting. One can only hope that the other Investigators are doing fine and listening!
"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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:34 am

Image

Julie does check the wire when she's in the outhouse. It disturbs her that it got warm, and she hopes it doesn't get too hot. She also takes the opportunity to relieve herself while she's here, as it's always a good idea not to pass up a chance to do so, especially when going into a potentially dangerous situation. While she has privacy, she speaks quietly into the microphone to fill in the others about what she's observed so far, giving them the layout of the place and describing the people she's met. "I got a weird vibe from Malcolm," she says. "When I first saw him, it was like I couldn't see his face, but then it became clear a few seconds later. He's very slick and smooth, but also a bit scary at first. The wire got warm when I was talking to him for some reason. I hope there's nothing wrong with it, and that it doesn't get unbearably hot or anything. Talk to you later." When she emerges from the outhouse and washes her hands, she tries to see if it seems warm.
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:34 pm

While Julie was in the outhouse, she heard briefly a car moving. Now the compound is silent and motionless in the awful heat. Malcolm seems to have retreated into the long house with Elizabeth and the other two. Nobody else is visible in the yard. The red car was indeed moved from the center of the courtyard, and is now parked alongside the church's pickup truck, between the house (4) and the hangar-like building (5).
"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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:19 am

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"Someone moved Malcolm's red car while I was in the outhouse," says Julie quietly, but with enough volume that the microphone can pick it up. "I'm going into the old house now, where Elizabeth and the others went." She heads inside.
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:52 am

Spoiler:
The red car is the one Malcolm arrived in. First he parked it in the middle of the compound. While Julie was in the toilet, someone moved and re-parked it in a different place. So it's not a new car arriving or anything, just a chamge of position.
"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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:54 am

Spoiler:
Thanks, I've edited it.
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:55 pm

Spoiler:
Sorry for the delay!


"...and rejoin the wider community, like Ro did yesterday. He was ready. I saw him shine like a beacon of life in the midst of the city of blank faceless crowds. And even if he doesn't change or save the world... Well, he already, himself, is a complete universe."

Julie catches the very end of Malcolm's monologue.

The door of the old house opens into a big room, which occupies most of the right half of the building. Some of the inner dividing walls were torn down to create such a space. There is absolutely no furniture inside. A group of six people is gathered inside, sitting on the bare concrete floor. Malcolm is in the middle. The rest are around, all facing him, listening.

Julie sees Elizabeth, right next to Malcolm. Her face is blissful...

A tall, thin, elfin girl sits on Malcolm's other side. She is pale, with deep set eyes. She nods at the end of Malcolm's speech, knowingly.

The long-haired young hippie is next to her. He looks more healthy, less malnourished than the others.

The desiccated woman who met Julie when she arrived, sits next to Elizabeth.

The sixth member of the group here is a shirt girl, almost bald - her hair is very short, perhaps recently buzz cut. Unlike the others (who sit in the Lotus pose or on their knees), she sits with her legs straight.

Some of them turn towards Julie, and greet her with nods. Sort of in a neutral, non committing way. Malcolm smiles at her.


The room has a door on the left hand side, currently closed. There is also a curtain, obscuring the far right corner of the space.
"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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:36 am

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"Hi," says Julie, waving. "Nice to meet everyone. I'm Julie. Don't feel you need to stop on my account."
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:59 pm

There are some murmured "hi's" in answer. There are some names as well, but Julie only catches the tall girl next to Malcolm introducing herself with one sound (not even a syllable!): "I'm 'N".

"We were just wrapping up, Julie. Take a seat! Why don't you tell us more about yourself?" offers Malcolm.
"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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:49 am

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"Sure," says Julie, sitting down near Elizabeth and crossing her legs as the others do. "Liz and I have been best friends since we were little. We grew up together in San Diego. She's always been the smart one. Me, I was never very good in school, but I've always been athletic, and a bit of a tomboy. My favorite sport is roller derby, and I'm pretty good at it."
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:46 pm

"Roller derby? Must be a great way to release tension, and to..." but here Malcolm is abruptly interrupted, as the girl with the very short buzzcut hair leans forward and throws up! Some members of the cult of the Church cough and scramble away, as the acrid smell of vomit fills the room instantly. The poor girl continues to make a retching sound.
"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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:58 am

Image

"Oh!" cries Julie, going over to help the girl. At least her hair is so short that there's no need to hold it back. "That looks bad. You should see a doctor."

Spoiler:
First Aid roll (50% skill) trying to help the girl:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
16
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:29 pm

Julie cannot do much, but the little she can is enough to at least "comfort" the sick girl. She is trembling, but stops retching. Julie holds her by the shoulders.

As she touches her, she notices that under the dirt, the girl's skin is flaking, dotted with rashes. From the distance, it seemed like sunburn, but now, up close, it looks more serious. Julie has a flashback: but strangely, not to the skating rink first aid instructions, but to the Civil Defense prep class back at school. A group of kids staring at a wall where the images of the horrible consequences of radiation poisoning are projected... But surely that cannot be? Julie is not certain, of course. With the blazing light out here in the desert, it might as well just be sunburns.

"Must have eaten something bad... Happened to Ria too a couple of days ago... We should really stop getting food from the dumpsters, go back to shoplifting," the girl called 'N muses.

"Do, Eli, please, help Sy. Take her back to her room, get her some water. I will bring around some pills soon," Cavendish says to Elizabeth and the hippie guy. "Me and 'N will clean up here."
"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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:41 am

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"Here, I'll help you with her," says Julie moving to assist Elizabeth. She looks at the sick girl. "Those are some bad burns on your skin. How did you get them?"
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:33 pm

Spoiler:
Oh and give me a Spot Hidden, please!


The hippie guy (who goes by the name Do) is happy to let Julie and Elizabeth take care of the sick girl. He follows as you three leave the building, and lead the girl towards the trailer (7) on the eastern edge of the compound. "It's alright, Sy. You just need some rest," Elizabeth says.

"I'm sensitive to the sun... it's only getting worse, I get these rashes lately, they itch..."

Julie can feel the girl tremble. She is still very weak from the sudden, violent sickness.

"...shouldn't work in the sun... but I want the plants to grow..." she adds when you pass by the little garden.

The trailer is old and rusty. The wheels are missing, and the chassis is propped up with bricks. Inside, it's not much better. A cramped, dark room, a small kitchenette (crawling with ants, no doubt...), a narrow bed. The only spot of color is an assortment of green kitchen herbs planted in pots.

"...Eli, wake me up later... I don't want to miss anything..." Sy mumbles as you lay her down 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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:18 am

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"I know what you mean, Sy," says Julie. "With my red hair, I turn into a lobster in the sun, so I always wear suntan lotion. I've seen my share of sunburns, and this doesn't look like that. It looks like descriptions I've heard of radiation burns. Is there an old nuclear test site out this way or something?"

Spoiler:
Spot Hidden roll (45% skill) in the trailer:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
79
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:19 pm

Sy snaps out of her haze for a couple of second, but doesn't say anything, just stares at Julie. Elizabeth is shocked, too, and concerned: "Radiation burns? Nuclear test site? No... no, I don't think so."

She inspects Sy's rashes.

"I though they were from, you know... bad hygiene," she says. "Like some of the people had at the shelter. But they do look a bit different. Still... radiation?"

There's a knock, and Cavendish enters the trailer. He comes bringing a blister of pills. Elizabeth pours a glass of water from a water tank hanging next to the entrance. "Here you go, Sy, drink this up. How are you doing, sister?"

"She is very tired..."
"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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:53 pm

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"What are those pills?" asks Julie.
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:50 am

"Just some painkillers," Cavendish says, and flips the blister: Julie recognizes the brand as a commonly available pain medicine. "And some activated charcoal," he adds, pulling out a plastic tube from his pocket.
"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 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:53 am

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"Oh," says Julie. "What's the charcoal for?" She doesn't know much about medicine or science, but she wonders if perhaps it's to absorb the radiation.
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