The Return of Gary Martin

Part 3: Use the Gun, Luke!

Saturday, October 19, 1935
The summary of the inquiry into Company C's disappearance is perused (the summary keeps referring to attached documents, but Tommy only got sent the summary; he can see the transcripts and such in Washington). Eddie notes Dr. Schreber's appearance in the footnotes as a prisoner of war, and grumbles that this hadn't been mentioned before. Gerti thinks that Roderick should figure out what the mysterious equipment was that is mentioned in the report. Roderick is vastly unclear why this is his job.

Roderick, Eddie, and Gerti go to Miskatonic University to do library research. Gerti turns up some information on the Il Faqar area - it's prone to particularly bad sandstorms, people sometimes cross it oddly quickly or vanish into it, and it's reputed to be haunted. The group progresses into the closed stacks, where Gerti learns a little more about the sandstorms - they're apparently inhabited by some sort of presence (and there are other deserts with similar phenomena, such as the Mojave). Other research includes Roderick looking into aura descriptions to see if he can figure anything more about Gary's aura - one thing he finds is that rough, hacked damage (i.e. 'hacked with a machete' like many of the people in Whitewood) is generally due to environmental psychological damage, while more precise scalpel-like damage is due to deliberate damage (such as self-inflicted walling off of psyche, or possibly Emil Schergen's control of Robert Bascom). Perhaps he's walled off everything traumatic? Gerti looks up "famous mad scientists of Egypt" and turns up something on a lightning trapper from the 1600s, from the Nile region of Egypt, who apparently put lightning in jars and eventually vanished (turned into lightning?).

Gerti speculates that maybe Company C found the mystery guys doing a sand-demon appeasement ritual, and disrupted it, causing the sandstorm. This may be difficult to confirm, however. Roderick thinks that if the plan is to go out into the desert and get eaten by demons, then the group should go to the Mojave, which is more convenient. So instead the plan should be that they tell Mrs. Martin "Yes, it's really your husband. Be nice to him."

Sunday, October 20
Mrs. Martin calls Gerti to have her come in to interview to be a maid on Monday. Eddie follows Mr. Martin to the park again.

Monday, October 21
Gerti gets hired. Mrs. Martin has apparently convinced her housekeeper that now is the time to go visit her mother in New York, such that Mrs. Martin has to hire a temporary maid to fill in. Gerti interrogates Mr. Martin while dusting. Is he in between jobs? Is he in a profession? He says he was a soldier, and maybe he should think about getting a job (though he seems unsure of what he's suited for). He flees for his walk early. While he's out, Gerti searches his room and finds a roll of grubby bills totaling about $23 - recent American money, not pre-1919 or Turkish. Mr. Martin comes back again, and Gerti drops things behind him while he's eating, to see if he jumps (he does).

Charlie and Junior go out for ice cream (Junior needs cheering since Mommy won't take him to work). There's a policeman in the ice cream store! With a gun! How exiting! Sadly, the policeman won't take it out to show Junior (and, at Charlie's request, gives a short lecture on guns only being for bad guys).

A dinner is hosted at Chez Roderick at which people report. Lots of spicy Jamaican food, and interrogation of Dr. Schreber about his mention in the inquiry report (no, he doesn't know anything about Company C). Junior makes an attempt to sneak into the library, where Roderick's shotgun lives, but is captured by Mommy. Hot mojo peppers and coffee are provided to Eddie, who goes to stake out the Martin house in disguise, to see if Mr. Martin leaves. However, Eddie fails to spot anything for some time until he sees Mr. Martin coming back to the house, with a brisker walk than usual. Oops.

Tuesday, October 22
Eddie reports. Ahah, thinks Gerti - I can be meaner to him now that we know he's a bad guy! His mattress now has a stash of $37. That night, Eddie stakes out the house again, and this time sees Mr. Martin leaving. He follows him to an unmarked storefront in a slightly seedier section of town, where he knocks in a pattern and is admitted. Fifteen minutes, he leaves again and goes home. Eddie considers this for a while, then heads back to the storefront to see if anyone else interesting shows up. A little man in a grey suit goes into the building; a short while later, two large men converge on Eddie from either end of the street. They seem to know where they're going, and one of them spots Eddie when he tries to sneak off down the street. They give chase. He runs.

Eddie decides to head for the nearest possibly-more-populated area - at 2:30 am, that's the red-light district. There is much running, with the thugs having a slight advantage (and the rest of the party, safe in their beds, are dreaming to themselves "Draw your gun! Draw your gun!"). By the time Eddie reaches the Combat Zone, the thugs are barely seconds behind, so when Eddie attempts to duck around a corner and confuse himself with another guy, one of the thugs grabs him. Eddie manages to get his gun out of his holster, but by now his arms are pinned. The thug holding tells him to "drop the piece" while the second thug punches him. Eddie shoots the ground (about the only place he can aim). "Big mistake" says the thug, and Eddie gets punched again and knocked out. ("Junior sits bolt upright in bed, knowing that now is the time to grab Eddie's gun, if he only knew where it was." - Marleigh). He awakens in the morning, missing gun, shoes, wallet, and jacket.

Charlie investigates the storefront, and learns that it's a fence. He knows one of the guys who works as muscle there. ("This is the sort of thing you tell the client." - Gerti)

<-Part 2    Index     Part 4 ->