Out To Sea

Part 4: Peter Takes A Hand

Saturday, March 22, 1930
Gerti enumerates the options she sees as available to the party: sick the Mafia on all of Innsmouth, investigate more, or blow up the Esoteric Order of Dagon. There are four suspects - are they sufficient for the names to give the Mafia? It probably depends on whether they're right or not.

Charlie and Eddie are, alas, a bit under the weather when it comes to being able to break and enter, though Eddie is at least out of the wheelchair. It's too bad Peter isn't around - he was really good at that. Roderick points out repeatedly that he doesn't want to go back to Innsmouth - a whole town full of demonic fish-men is just no good!

Peter shows up! Sadly, his options for stories he can write are slim; Charlie is not keen on his writing about the Mafia's smuggling trade, and speculation about demonic fish-men is unlikely to pass the editor's scrutiny. The group fills Peter in on the plot, and continues to argue.

"Can we talk about how we're going to break into the Temple of Dagon?" -Gerti
"Day-gah? What?" -Peter
"Dagon is an evil god. Degas is a French painter." -Tommy
Roderick continues to be dubious about anything having to do with Innsmouth. Peter is dubious about who the good guys are in this particular story, and isn't entirely convinced that the seaweed the party has collected is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of any great supernatural evil.

"Imagine a Masonic lodge with less of a Masonic overtone and more of a demonic fish-man aura" -Roderick
"Oh, as long as we're not annoying any *Masons*." -Peter
Peter researches back articles at the Boston Globe, and comes up with the wedding announcement for the Washburns, in addition to more information about the inheritance wrangle. The witnesses who testified that Jason had been accepted as Franklin's son were Tricia Albert (the waitress at the Diner), and Martin Cox (who Dr. Schreber notes has moved out of Innsmouth; he and his wife are probably the "young couple" that the minister mentioned).

Dr. Schreber and Roderick head to the Miskatonic University library in order to do some further research on Innsmouth and Dagon. Apparently there are other known cults of Dagon in the South Pacific, in the Louisiana bayous, and in the Carolinas. It's unclear whether this is helpful, but it's interesting. Upon returning to Innsmouth, Dr. Schreber notes that his house has been (subtly) searched.

"What's the point of being attacked by demonic fish men if I can't bring my camera?" -Peter
Gerti talks Peter into visiting Innsmouth, ostensibly to check out the Order of Dagon and talk to Tricia, the witness. Esme borrows a car that she can loan them. Eddie disguises them as an older dowdy lady and, well, as Peter. Roderick calls Dr. Schreber and warns him that the two are on their way.

Posing as a reporter, Peter talks to Tricia. He asks some about the trial, which she happily tells him about (Franklin and Jason had come into the diner and Jason had been introduced as Franklin's son, which Franklin was inordinately pleased about). However, the topic soon turns to Innsmouth's own German spy, Dr. Schriebler. He was here to watch for submarines during the Great War! And he has prisoners of war in his basement! She also tells him about the Mafia hit that happened last week, where a bunch of Mafia goons and a moll went out in a sailboat and shot each other. Not only that, but the boat arrived on its own - it must have been a remote-controlled automatic sailboat.

Of all the possible stories, Peter finds the ones about Dr. Schriebler most interesting, so he takes Tricia up on her offer to take him to the German spy's house to show him the POWs. The three sneaks through the woods behind the house (Peter notices that there's a trodden-down area as if someone else had been hanging about back there) to the back of the house and the cellar door. Peter does, in fact, hear "eeh! eeh! eeh!" noises coming from the cellar, which rather unnerves him. Dr. Schreber, meanwhile, has heard someone approaching the house. Expecting his doom, he straightens his jacket, puts on an expression of calm resignation, and opens the back door. Tricia screams and flees, quickly followed by Peter and Gerti. Dr. Schreber sighs, shuts the door, and makes himself some nice relaxing tea.

Once Tricia has calmed down, she cajoles a ride in Peter's car out of him, before heading back to the diner for the dinner shift. Gerti and Peter get rooms at Mrs. Cooper's (her husband is explained to be a fisherman, who isn't home yet. This is deemed to be slightly suspicious). At dinner, Tricia is noticeably more reserved - Gerti deduces she was yelled at and is now Not Answering Questions.

Back in Boston, Charlie talks to Sam MacNeil, and determines that Sam does, in fact, think the Innsmouth guys are somehow behind the disappearances but is too scared and creeped out to talk about it.

Peter now really wants to break into Dr. Schreber's basement to see what was making the noise. At about midnight, he and Gerti head to behind his house again (though they are less than perceptive when wondering if they're being followed). However, they're not the only ones there now - there's a guy in the woods (about where the tramped-down section was) also staking the house out. Peter attempts to sneak up on him, but is not entirely successful, and the guy points a shotgun at him. Peter dives behind a bush as the guy fires, and Peter is tagged by some pellets, but not seriously injured. Peter sets off his camera, surprising the man with the flash, and he and Gerti flee. Dr. Schreber is awakened by the gunfire, and looks out the window in time to see the flash.

"You just had a narrow escape, and your friends saved you. Isn't that nicer to believe than the truth?" -Andy

"It's not an interesting story if you don't get shot at at least once." -Peter

Dr. Schreber calls Roderick.
"What's wrong?"
Dr. Schreber tries to be subtle: "That Globe reporter and a woman were here..."
"Peter? Why are Peter and Gerti poking around?"
"Well, someone just shot at them with a shotgun."
Roderick takes off for Innsmouth around midnight, telling his Scottish manservant "We have to go before the fish men eat Dr. Schreber."

Meanwhile, at Mrs. Cooper's (whose husband has, in fact, returned home), Peter watches out the window for people watching the place. Though he doesn't see any people, he does see something odd and unreflective in the sea. He heads for the beach to investigate. Triggering the flash, he sees the dark, cavernous eyes and wide flat mouth of something large and froglike - a demonic-fishman! It quickly submerges (and Peter curses to realize that his thumb was over the lens), but moments later Peter hears a lot of splashing as if many things are quickly coming ashore. He runs for the car, shouting for Gerti (who was watching from her window). They jump in the car and leave Innsmouth as fast as the small winding roads will permit.

About four in the morning, Roderick notices, as he and the manservant are driving hell-bent for Innsmouth, that the car passing them at equally unsafe speeds contains Peter (and some dowdy lady). After some wild honking, the cars are pulled over and the two groups confer.

"You're going to Innsmouth? Do you have a gun?"
"Yes, my hunting rifle."
"Just *one* gun? There were dozens of them!"
"Dozens of what?"
"Demonic fish-men! Haven't you been paying attention?!"
Sunday, March 23, 1930
Reaching Innsmouth about dawn, Roderick bangs on Dr. Schreber's door. After having been awakened in the middle of the night, however, Dr. Schreber has dosed himself with more Very Calming Tea, and fallen asleep in a chair. Still asleep, he fails to wake at the knock. Sure that something is terribly wrong, Roderick shoots the lock off the front door, and charges in. Again, Dr. Schreber awakens to the sound of gunshots, this time nearly in the house instead of outside. Roderick grabs Dr. Schreber and drags him to the car. In the interim, several Innsmouth residents have gathered outside in response to the noise. Someone calls out "What's going on?" and Dr. Schreber looks terrified, saying nothing as he's stuffed into the car. Someone shouts to tell George.

As the car heads out of Innsmouth, the previously seen (though not by Roderick) Guy With Shotgun, also known as George, steps into the road and levels the shotgun at the car. The manservant attempts to go around/through him, and George shoots the car and dodges. The manservant keeps the car from going in a ditch, but it slowly comes to a halt. George tells everyone to get out of the car, and then tells Dr. Schreber to get behind him. The doctor's psychology skill tells him that as far as George is concerned, he's being rescued from a kidnaper. George and Dr. Schreber leave through the woods.

Roderick and the manservant patch up the car as best they can, and head back to Dr. Schreber's house to offer to rescue him again. He's had enough rescuing and doesn't want to be rescued any more, thank you very much. Somewhat dispiritedly, Roderick and the manservant head back to Boston again.

Meanwhile, Peter has been trying to equip for an assault on the demonic forces of fishhood, but is unable to figure out where to buy guns on a Sunday. He calls Tommy.

"You guys are detectives, you have guns, right? Do you have any extra? We have to go rescue Dr. Schreber and Roderick!" -Peter
Rather than drive pell-mell to Innsmouth, Tommy calls Dr. Schreber, waking him up yet again to ask if he needs rescuing. Perfecting his long-suffering air, he explains that no, he's fine, he doesn't need to be rescued, really. Tommy asks if everything is calm, like the old days back in Khuweilfe (the battle where they first met). No, no, says Dr. Schreber, not like that at all. Well, like Cowra, then? (the hospital they ended up in later). Yes, like that. Well, all right, then. (Later, Tommy realizes that at the hospital, Dr. Schreber was a prisoner...)
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