Just Like Clockwork: Scene VIII - Caelan, Erin, Ilkin, Rakesh, Rose

Originally Posted by Erin
"Sorry..." the changeling's antenna drooped, and her shoulders slumped, somehow making her look even smaller.

"You could take his shirt," she suggested. Or the armor he's wearing under his shirt, she thought.
“This has got to be one of the weirder assignments I've been on, and that is saying something.” Whim commented, guiding the unresisting Aleksander through the Ghost Gate and then putting a ward around him. The green-haired girl looked at Rose. “Mind if I borrow the handcuffs? I'll give them back later.”

Assuming the handcuffs are forthcoming, Whim cuffed the Russian to a bit of shadow, testing the bond. Then she emerged and closed the Ghost Gate.

"Here. Give me your hand." Cuchulainn said once Aleksander was gone, taking Rose by the hand. The grizzled man concentrated for a moment, and the Sin-Eater felt the flesh around the wound itch and then begin to run together, as though so much melted wax. It felt like it should hurt, and quite a bit at that. But at the most, it just... itched. It was with a queer, fluttery feeling that the healing finished, but at least Rose was no longer bleeding.

Originally Posted by Caelan
That's right. She wasn't a mindless zombie. She finally glanced to Rakesh's sharp eyes. "I'll be okay," she muttered. Sorry, Cae added silently.
“Everything will be alright. This will be over soon enough.” Rakesh said softly, holding Cae close for a moment. Then without a word, he let her go, an inscrutable expression on his face. “Let's go find Robert.”

Originally Posted by Ilkin
Then he looked back at Seventeen. "Can you or one of yours head off the police?" he asked, "They have no idea what is going on and will likely go insane if they try to get involved."
“Whim, be a dear and keep us from serving a term at Her Majesty's Pleasure?” Seventeen said breezily, quickly regaining his balance. “Or London's Finest from being eaten by Wormwood.”

“Innocent girl involved in drug trouble, gotcha.” Whim made a face, which made her look rather younger than her years. The green-haired girl sighed. “Good luck. Try not to get killed.”

“Always, Whim.” Seventeen said with a strained laugh. The Guardian looked at the Museum of the Industrial Revolution, now turned to something altogether more alien. “See you in fifteen minutes.”


Schäfer's laboratory stank. The sharp tang of formaldehyde, the sickly-sweet smell of decaying flesh, the coppery smell of blood. It was a veritable stew of odors, haphazardly mixed in the memories of a long-dead mage, and then thrown out into the modern world to create this simulacrum of a laboratory.

It wasn't real. Not even in the sense of having once existed. The twisted corridors you passed through never existed in Geneva or anywhere outside of Schäfer's mechanical memory. You passed by things that were never made. Bottles and beakers with no openings, merely glass bubbles full of some noxiously-colored liquid. Operating tables with too many straps, too many knives and saws all stuffed into pockets on the side. Paradoxical windows that opened in the middle of the building, tiny and high above you, showing the snowy street of some Swiss winter centuries ago.

“It's like a house of mirrors.” Rakesh said after a moment, the werewolf tense as a coiled spring. “Reality deformed.”

“More irritatingly, corridors deformed as well.” Seventeen said airily, tapping his cane against the wood before pointing straight ahead. “But unless they've moved, the curio room would be down that corridor.”

“And Robert is below us.” Rakesh responded, looking at the wood as well. “Assuming there's even a modicum of congruence with the real museum, the stairs should be to the left of us. Where should we go first?”

"Down, let's go down," Cae urged from Rakesh's side. "I don't want anything to do with Wormwood if those Changelings show up. Come on."

Thinking about this was a nice distraction from her personal problems. Also the smell.

She headed to the left, hoping to find stairs.

"I don't want Wormwood to get away," Erin said, with a fierce intensity. She petted the sniper rifle lovingly, as if it were some kind of animal.

"I don't want to leave Mr. Hammond," she countered herself, biting her lip and looking frightened. She looked at Seventeen and Cuchulainn, then to Rakesh, her loyalties and desires sorely torn.

"To Robert first," Ilkin agreed, "I won't leave him to whatever fate Wormwood and Schafer have for him. I got him into this and I'm going to get him out."

Dice Roll: 6d10s8e
d10 Results: 4, 10, 4, 4, 5, 10, 9, 7 (Total Successes = 3)
Searching for Basement

Rose frisked the Russian taking all his wonderful goods and then some. "No wallet... no credit cards..." she pursed her lips squinting against the hurt from beign shot while holding Aleksanders shirt as a basket full of goodies with his shotgun tucked under her arm. "You seriously suck..." she muttered to him while slipping the forty euros into her pocket. This would at least pay for the shirt. Still, other then that, she had at least gotten a pair of handcuffs she could use. That bitch Courtney Cummz thought she was so awesome with her cop routine! Lets see how she did when her handcuffs were switched and she didn't have a key to open them with!

"Mind if I borrow the handcuffs? I'll give them back later."
And with that, the only good thing about this evening so far was taken away by the green haired chick who came out of no where. "Whatever." she mumbled like a spoiled brat who's parents just told them they couldn't keep the 20 bucks they found on the floor.

"Here. Give me your hand." Cuchulainn said.
Now Rose had been touched by many men, for some reason the 'look but don't touch' rule about strippers didn't really click to well in most men brains, but when the Cuchu guy touched her hand it was completely different. There were various ways in which a man could make a woman feel like she was melting but the way this guy did it was much more literal. GeGe's razor sharp smile disappeared for a moment while he contemplated what was going on, he didn't seem to know if he enjoyed this guys advances but he didn't disapprove either.

"What did-" Rose shifted the items in her hands to try and get a better view of where she had been shot and almost dropped everything, which probably wouldn't have been good, to see no gaping gross hole. "Oh!" she took the moment to place everything down as quickly as she and stood back up lifting her shirt. No bodily bullet hole! Her shirt was still ruined but her insides were no longer coming outside! "Sweet!" she used both hands to itch furiously at the spot and scratch away dried blood.

Listening to the distance she started to peal her shirt off. Stripper + bloodied shirt + cop sirens = not good. It didn't matter though, she had the Russians crap right there. While wiggling into the kevlar vest, no point in getting shot again, and over sized gray sweater, which was long enough to fit to mid thigh, Rose turned to watch the museum. "Aw come on!" she rolled her eyes and finished getting dressed while GeGe's grin returned wider and brighter every other finger changing to a heart so he had a lovely arrangement of heart, skull, heart, skull. "Yeah, I know, your girlfriends in there." she sighed and turned to the others while adjusting herself.

"Roberts the dude from the other night, right?" she asked no one in particular but was just checking with herself and it sounded about right. Rose tugged at her temporary oversize sweater dress and while she wasn't in the mood to go find more trouble she felt a bit better being in a group of other people. "I would prefer no one die to night, its to much hassle to clean up after." Since she was involved in this she would feel responsible for making sure anyone who died didn't linger around as a ghost. GeGe was to busy fluffing out excitement emotions which in return made her slightly excited even though the situation called for more care then anything else.

"Alright campers, lets get this show on the road." she verbally nudged not sure what Whim was going to do or how it would pause the police but she wanted to get away from the pile of goods she had placed on the ground. The Russian Mafia could keep there crap, except for the vest, which she was borrowing, and that was only because they had already shot her once!

"I suppose it will give Wormwood someone else to try and murder when we confront him." Seventeen said mildly, then shrugged. "It's poor form to ignore the eldritch evil, but why not? Lay on, Macduff."


It was colder in the basement. The air was still heavy with the smells of preservation and decay, but it was lessened. The air had a crisp quality to it, something neat and precise. It was the only thing that was.

There was a corpse outside the door to what would have been the security room in a sane world. It's chest was mangled into a bloody pulp, a sharpened length of steel having turned the front part of the body into minced cubes. The steel rectangle was still wedged between the corpses' ribs. The head had been sliced open the top of the skull removed and the brain extracted, replaced with a mechanism of erratically ticking clockwork. It wasn't Robert.

....tick.... tick-tock.... tock....

"That's one." Rakesh said quietly, stooping to pick up the steel. It looked like the covering from some kind of machinery, swiftly turned into an improvised blade. "I may have underestimated Hammond."

"Scrappy fellow, I take it?" Seventeen said, his voice possessed of a somewhat abstracted tone just now. He entered the security room and motioned for the rest of you to come.

In the mundane realm, the security room consisted of a bare room with a single table and a row of videomonitors. To this recently had been added a giant grandfather clock. In Schafer's twisted demesnes, however, the table and clock were still there, but the monitors were replaced with preserved brains in row upon row of jars. Each one was marked with a white tag and a meaningless series of numbers, letters, and Atlantean symbols.

There was a hole in the ceiling. It was about a yard across and looked rather like a chimney or chute of some kind. A ladder of cast iron led up two floors, and up above one could hear a wretched, infernal ticking. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tick. Tock. Tock. Tick. Tick. Tock. Tock. Regular and constant as a metronome.

"Look. My clock is still here," Erin said quietly aside to Rakesh. "Perhaps the one above us is yours, Mr. Rakesh."

Erin walked over to the erratically ticking brain, pulling it loose with a sickening schlortch of ripping metal and meat. She turned it this way and that in her hands, lifting it up to get a better look at how it was moving, and then set to work. The scalpels and knives arranged about the demesne made for sufficient screwdrivers and levers; a few minutes work and the brain was ticking steadily. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

She nodded, satisfied, then walked over and handed the brain to Ilkin.

"He's setting traps," she noted. "We should be careful following him. Can you tell where he's gone, Mr. Rakesh? The chute and the ladder might be another trap."

Rose grimaced. People being shredded to pieces always tended to upset her stomach horribly.

Erin walk over to the body and lean over "Eh! Don't-.... oh... ewww..." she squinted in disgust . Dealing with ghosts, fine, dealing with meat cubed people and taking out there fake brain with your bare hands and no sanitizing gel around, not fine. Rose touched a hand to the top of her head instinctively and took half a step back as the other chick poked and prodded the mechanical brain until it started ticking.

"I really hope she washes her hands before eating anything." The comment made her feel better, if she just assumed everyone would be out in time for breakfast and just acted like everything was normal she could force herself to get through this emotionally. With GeGe's building every second like he was waiting for Santa to come, she grew more and more anxious. "Your not getting any presents you realize." she muttered nervously as she followed the dead mental prostitutes gaze and stared uncomfortably at the hole where more clock sounds were coming from.

"What if the ticking and tocking are like talking and now the brains are having a conversation." it was a stupid question but when you were stuck in a transformed museum with a bunch of strangers and clock brained zombies running around, it was to late to start worrying about stupidity.


Ilkin's head throbbed. He was tired, dealing with a supernatural rupture, and feeling spread thin.


All around him the brains ticked and tocked. His Awakened mind sensed the presence of others all around.


The Acanthus's eyes darkened and went distant. His head throbbed again and he gritted his teeth.


Suddenly he had a brain thrust in his hands. He jumped, startled, and nearly dropped it. "What, I, huh?" he said intelligently.


It was hard to focus. His magic pinged constantly in his brain. His awareness extended up the tunnel and there were things above them.

"They're up there," he said quietly, "Stay away from the tunnel. Five minds. One human, one ghost, one mostly human but with something alien. One distant, barely human, and broken. And one completely inhuman and alien."

Kertenkele poked Ilkin in the shoulder. "Are you all right?"

"No!" the mage retorted, "My head is throbbing from all this bloody ticking! I can't tell what they're doing up there but I know they're spread apart. The ghost's off by itself. The broken mind and the mostly human mind are in another corner. The alien and the human are in a third. Perhaps those two are Wormwood and Sergei? Wormwood's not human, is he?"

He shook his head and sighed. This night kept getting worse and more bizarre. He stared down at the brain in his hands and frowned. "Robert is a clever man and the best mechanical genius I know," he said, "If we can follow his trail, I can sense his presence. Now, ah, what am I to do with this brain? Do I need to use Mind magic?"

"Let me see." Kertenkele scrambled down Ilkin's arm and gave the brain a clinical once-over.

Dice Roll: 7d10s8e
d10 Results: 2, 8, 3, 4, 6, 3, 7 (Total Successes = 1)

"Mr. Sergei is gone," Erin said from where she was staring at the ladder.

She furrowed her brow in thought. "But we do know who else is supposed to be here, don't we? Mr. Hammond, Mr. Isengrim and his lady-friend, Schäfer's ghost, two more of the clockwork men, and Wormwood."

"They don't match up. Even if Mr. Hammond broke another one of the clockwork men, we're still missing one." Erin frowned. "I do not think Wormwood is human..."

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