Blood Ties

Part 1: The Tree of Life

April 19, 1937
Esme, back from Europe, hosts another dinner, at which she tries to interrogate everyone about what they've been up to. They tell her about the Gary Martin stuff, and she notes that Tommy has aquired a kid, but the story behind that is a little fuzzy. She later pries more of the details out of him, and then asks Gerti (I think) for the bits that Tommy didn't mention (such as Tommy actually dating Adele, in some sense).

Roderick has acquired a ritual from the Miskatonic University. He shows it to Dr. Schreber, who can't decide yet whether it's Just The Thing or an utter abomination. Well, clearly using a human sacrifice is out - maybe a horse? Roderick buys a number of anatomy books on horses, cows, and dogs, though he doesn't think he can do the surgical parts of the ritual himself (hence the need for Dr. Schreber). After much dithering, they acquire a St. Bernard named Percival.

Dr. Schreber does the surgical bits (which, astonishingly, don't kill the dog), Roderick spends magic points and drips blood into the thing. The limbs sort of fold back and under to look like a curved sword plant (albeit one made of meet), and the whole thing gets slightly coated with white fungus-like filaments as well. Underneath the body of the dog/plant, veins and roots quest hungrily, and Roderick feeds it about a pint of blood. About an hour later, the outer membrane of the plant's heart dries and crackles off, revealing a rasberry-like fruit, which Roderick eats. He says it tastes good.

April 23 or so

Over the course of the next week, Roderick's missing pinky finger begins to grow back. Towards the end of the week, it's complete (if a little pale). That night, there's a terrible storm, mostly just over Boston - Sheila shows up and tells Dr. Schreber that Roderick has gotten something peeved at him. He tries to call Roderick, but lightning has already struck the house and knocked out power and phone, so Dr. Schreber heads for Boston with Sheila. By the time they they get there, Roderick's finger has gone all blackish green and boneless, and the greenish tinge is spreading. The finger is removed before the corruption spreads much further; by that point, it's mostly just a little bag of skin with some goo in it which drains out. A leaf falls off the plant.

Roderick scolds the plant (which is impassive), and gathers the scraps of finger and leaf to throw into the ocean later. Over the course of future days, Roderick will discover that he has to keep trimming his finger stub (though that makes it convenient to feed the plant blood).

Simultaneously, call it April 22
A woman in a fur wrap and trailing a six-year-old behind her shows up at the Walker house. Upon pressing by Gerti, she gives her name as Juliana. She is not impressed by the idea of Gerti as Charlie's wife, but Gerti does manage to shoo her away again. Gerti also notes that she has some long scars along the sides of her face, which Gerti finds ominous. Juliana returns later that evening, basically stating that she's come back for Charlie. (Gerti sends Junior to bed). Charlie is somewhat taken aback, and says he thought Juliana was dead.
"I'm married now!" -Charlie
"A mistake, easily remedied." -Juliana
Charlie wants mostly nothing to do with her or her son, asking if she's sure it's his - she slaps him. After a bit more posturing all around, Juliana leaves again.

Charlie confesses shamefacedly to Gerti about a not-entirely-remembered interlude with Juliana Ficorelli before the Innsmouth incident. Gerti is serene and sends Charlie to bed too. Gerti also asks if Charlie noticed the weird scars - he didn't.

April 22
Vincenzio (Juliana's father) stops by the docks to talk to Charlie. He's not happy that Charlie dissed his girl. He also doesn't seem to think that the current (and temporary) existence of one wife is necessarily a great impediment to Charlie's marrying Juliana. Charlie is given three days to take care of the problem, before Vincenzio takes care of it for him. Charlie also notices that Vincenzio has the strange scars too.

Gerti asks Eddie to look into hotels and such to see if there are some Ficorellis staying in Boston, but none turn up under that name, at least. Gerti also instructs Charlie to tell the Giottis that Vincenzio and Juliana are back in town, to let them take care of it. Charlie starts thinking about taking Gerti and Junior and skipping town.

Part 2 ->