Blood Ties

Part 6: I'm Going Slightly Mad

May 1, 1937
Eddie is stashed again in a pasture near Esme's house, and told not to come near any corners. Everyone else discusses things over lunch. Roderick calls the Boston Better Business Bureau and pulls some strings, to get Henry Thornton's home address. The party proceeds there, where Tommy climbs a fire escape and peeks through a bedroom window - there's no one there, the bedroom is a little untidy, and a neighbor spots him and starts yelling.

Next, it's off to Maxwell Tandy's house. Having retrieved his keys from his body (which is still in the basement of the bookstore), they let themselves in and search the place. The desk is of the most interest, containing a calendar, an address book, and a bunch of manila folders containing notes for presentations for the "Elder Historians." The calendar indicates that every Thursday evening is Elder Historians night, but only the ones that Max was presenting at (every four or five weeks) seem to have topics listed. Topics include Nazca lines, the pyramids, New England settlement histories, the Rosetta Stone, and a number of other topics ranging from interesting to somewhat odd.

Roderick calls the reference desk at the Harvard Library, and talks to someone who has in fact heard of the Elder Historians; he knows Max (that's no help), but thinks one of the other Historians works for the Globe. Peter is miraculously at his desk at the Globe, and picks out the name George Pittman when Tommy runs through the address book. George is the political managing editor. However, now Peter knows something interesting is up, and dashes off to try and get pictures of it.

Roderick putters through the Globe offices "looking for someone", and happens to spot George through one of those big plate glass windows. He's shouting to someone on the phone, waving his hands about. The group then stakes out the parking garage, but misses him leaving.

Back to Thornton's bookstore, where they fail to pick the lock on the back door and look mournfully through the window. However, after staking the place out for a few hours, they hit pay dirt - someone has let himself in, and appears to be getting books. The group goes in after him. He has a gun, which he starts waving around in the general area of Tommy, telling them to stay back. Roderick *GRABS* him, and he's stuck, immobile in the grasp of nothing in particular. Tommy puts a duffel bag over his head, and the gun gets grabbed and pointed in another direction before he's released.

A rather incoherent conversation ensues, in which Tommy tells Henry (as this turns out to be) that he's in a lot of trouble, and he says he knows that. Esme shows up, having heard from someone that they're staking out the book store (though she's puzzled to discover that they appear to be doing so from the inside).

Henry explains that the book made them summon the thing, and since then they've been trying to trap it. They (where "they" appears to be the surviving Elder Historians) know it's going after insane people - so they've rounded up all the people who live in the apartment building with Joseph Whitburn (another Historian) and have chained them in the basement of the building, inside an almost-completed binding circle, where they are attempting, very hard, to drive them insane and attract the Servitor. It doesn't seem to be working very well, though, so Henry has returned to get some books on psychology.

It is pointed out that Dr. Schreber is a psychologist, and can help with this. Henry jumps to the conclusion that the party is a crack team of psychologists, and no one bothers to disabuse him of this. Checking out the bookstore basement, Roderick thinks that the Servitor tried to come through from wherever in the center of the circle, but it was prevented by the circle, and then it poked through just outside the circle, in a corner. This suggests that the circle has to be completed when the Servitor is actually present.

Henry leads the group to Joe's building, where he introduces the rest of the Elder Historians: Wilbur McIntyre, who appears to be rather paranoid, plus George and Joe. Everyone but George has a gun. Dr. Schreber explains that the Servitor is returning to the basement, so the hostages aren't actually necessary. There's some thought that all right, they can get rid of them then, but the group quickly backtracks - they should make sure that the bookstore basement plan works first, before shooting the hostages. Proceeding back to the bookstore (except Joe, who is watching the captives), a binding circle is drawn in chalk, and the Servitor is indeed spotted, but Esme is startled by seeing a flaming skeleton coming straight for her, and doesn't complete the circle in time.

The new plan is to repaint the circle again at noon, and meet at the bookstore then. The lunatics go off again, and the rest of the party tries to decide what to do about them.

May 2
Esme hires some lawyers, just in case there start being charges levied of "conspiracy to kidnap and torment a dozen or so people." More circles in paint get drawn, with Wilbur and Esme poised to complete them. The Servitor materializes (which not too many people can see), and heads straight for Roderick, who starts to smolder. Wilbur paints the circle closed, and it is gone. Roderick shows Henry the picture of the Hound, and he is briefly mesmerized by it. Then Wilbur, George, and Henry go off to get rid of the body, and agree to come back in the morning to confer about what to do with the circle. Meanwhile, the police are called on Joe and his hostages.

May 3
Tommy goes to talk to the police, and manages to spin a fairly good story that doesn't paint the party as actually evil accessories, just mavericks who are too foolish to call the police in when they should. Someone calls the bookstore in the afternoon, and the phone is answered, and then hung up. As this is clearly indicative that at least some of the lunatics are there, Dr. Schreber, Sheila, and Roderick head there to talk to them - it is in fact Henry, George, and Wilbur. They apparently passed by Joe's building while the emergency vehicles were there, and twigged that something was up. They're very worried. Roderick starts explaining that they need to head for Mexico to get out of trouble, when one of the corners between a bookshelf and the wall starts getting farther away...

Sheila steps between Dr. Schreber and the corner. Roderick dives behind Dr. Schreber. Dr. Schreber looks just long enough to see the corner fill with a sort of glutinous grey mist, from whence emerges a strange creature, reminiscent of a dog but much more angular and vicious looking, and then cowers behind Sheila as well. There's some screaming, and some gunshots, and George crashes out through the front door, also screaming. Then there's a slurping sound, and some more screaming. Eventually, the screaming stops.

Roderick asks what they should do. Don't catch its attention, Sheila suggests. Is it gone yet? No, it's not gone. <pause> Now it's gone.

Wilbur appears to be somewhat mangled, and Henry has a single unbleeding hole between his eyes, and is still breathing but nothing else. Both have a good deal of glutinous grey something on them, which Dr. Schreber takes a sample of.

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