Out To Sea

Part 3: Something Of A Plan

Sunday, March 16, 1930
Sunday starts with a roaring argument between Eddie and Dr. Schreber as to whether or not Eddie is confined to a wheelchair or may get around on crutches. Dr. Schreber pulls rank as the Eddie's Physician Damn It, and Eddie sulkily subsides into Dr. Schreber's spare (and rather unwieldy) wheelchair. Charlie is given a sling and painkillers.

Everyone heads to the sermon at the little Episcopalian church - in addition to the party, there is Isaiah Coot, and two other locals (identified by Dr. Schreber as being only pawns in the Great Game of Innsmouth Politics). Dr. Schreber tries to pretend that he doesn't know the rest of the party ("I am going to have to move..."), but the locals are not convinced. After the sermon, the party regroups at the doctor's house, where Roderick attempts to convince everyone that heading back to Boston is in order.

"Really, Roderick, what else could happen?" -Dr. Schreber
"Are you familiar with the Gutenberg possession of 1857? Fish were involved." -Roderick
Is it possible to learn anything else in Innsmouth? Can anyone try to buy booze or opium? Eddie wants to send Charlie and Tommy. Charlie thinks this is a stupid idea, but is overruled. They head to the building that Dr. Schreber indicated, and knock on the door. A greasy, sallow-looking man opens it a crack. The pair indicate that they heard that people might be able to get liquor here. He's dubious. Tommy points out that Charlie is injured, and Tommy owes him a drink. The man, apparently sensing an interesting yarn, lets them in, saying that he'll give them a drink if they tell him the whole story of the shark and who shot who.

Somewhat unwashed-looking glasses of gin are provided, but Charlie is able to spot that the bottle is the sort described by the Family. The guy wants to know whether the shark breathed on Tommy, whether he inhaled its hot breath (insert creepy wild-eyed tone here). Tommy is a little uncomfortable and won't sit down. The guy keeps standing closer and closer to Tommy. When Tommy admits that he shot Charlie, the guy nods knowingly, and offers them a special drink. He pours some viscous green liquid from a hip flask into all three of their drinks. Tommy, who is getting seriously weirded out, doesn't drink it. Charlie, who's getting pretty high from the combination of gin and painkillers, and never turns down anything mind-altering, does. Tommy starts trying to hustle Charlie out the door, as Charlie begins to decide that he's a fish and paddles his fins aimlessly. Tommy gets the door open as the guy grabs his wrist - he's remarkably strong. The paddling Charlie is flung out the door; the guy lifts Tommy's wrist to his face and takes a long, deep smell, before releasing him. Tommy flees, Charlie in tow.

They return to Dr. Schreber's house, and Tommy demonstrates Charlie's odd fishlike condition. Roderick's psychometry and second sight mostly indicate that the miasmic aura of Innsmouth is concentrated and stronger in Charlie, but that he's not possessed by a fish ghost or anything excessively weird. Charlie is glad to see that everyone else is a fish too.

"I think he needs an emetic and an exorcism." -Roderick
Charlie and Dr. Schreber play in the bathtub, and with several purgatives Charlie returns at least mostly to normal. Well, at least the operation was a success, and the gin seems likely to be the missing stuff.
"We have gathered another fact without knowing what to do with it." -Roderick
Off everyone goes to Boston. Tomorrow morning, the boat will head to Canada, and there's much discussion of what to do next. Poison the next shipment? Well, it's possible that not everyone drinking it is a demonic fishman.
"We could rent a boat and shadow the other boat, ah, through shark-infested waters." -Tommy
"We could find someone from North Ashfield to dress up as a Surani to go talk to the Order of Dagon." -Gerti, I think

Monday, March 17, 1930
They talk to Captain Fleetwell before the boat leaves, and suggest that he lock down the crates in the smuggler's hold, and that he take a wider path around Devil's Reef. These precautions will add about half a day to the return trip, so he's not overjoyed, but if it'll solve the problem, he's willing to try anything "rather than end up in a barrel of concrete in the bottom of the harbor." Everyone at the dock wants to know what happened to Charlie.

The ship leaves. Tommy and Esme and Gerti go to talk to Jason Washburn. They give him Tommy's card for the Valiant Detective Agency. He has a little bit of time for them now ("He owns one boat! How busy could he possibly be? -Gerti) He's glad that they're looking into it, and is sure that everything will work out satisfactorily. They make an appointment for Wednesday, ask a few questions about his reconciliation with his father, and leave, convinced that he's an idiot, though he doesn't look like he has the Innsmouth Look.

Eddie, Roderick, and Dr. Schreber research Innsmouth and Polynesian were-sharks, but don't find out a lot useful.

Dr. Schreber starts weaning Charlie off of painkillers. Charlie talks to various dock workers about members of the crew, and comes up with four suspicious Innsmouth names. Clayton and Joseph are in a boarding house together, Max and Barrett are in separate houses. Max's landlady is Berta Cooper, who is very talkative. She's thrilled to meet real detectives (Tommy and Eddie) and puts them in charge of finding out who's stealing her silverware. A search of the rooms turns up a gouged table in Max's room, with a knife-scratched caricature of the captain, plus stab marks for that knife-and-fingers game. Mrs Cooper is not pleased. They do find the silverware thief, though.

Iterating this process over the other rooms, they find that Joseph's room is pretty bare, and that Clayton is molting swaths of his skin, and has a nasty looking little fish in a scummy fish bowl. Eddie takes a sample of the water for Roderick to analyze, which he refuses to do ("IT'S JUST FISH TANK WATER!"). Dr. Schreber identifies the peeling skin as a commoner skin condition in older Innsmouth residents.

Friday, March 21, 1930
The boat arrives. Captain Fleetwell gives them a thumbs-up from the bow - the smuggled crates are all still aboard. The Family is pleased with Charlie's "preliminary progress" though they still want a name.

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