Just Like Clockwork: Scene I -- Ilkin, Caelan, Rakesh

   
Just Like Clockwork: Scene I -- Ilkin, Caelan, Rakesh

10:35 PM, Monday, November 10th, 2003

The sign said, Museum of the Industrial Revolution. It was a sign that had seen better days, and likely better decades for that matter. The bronze-colored paint was chipped and peeling, and one of the lights which illuminated the sign flickered wildly. It should have been cheerful. After all, who didn't want to learn about steam engines, James Watt, and the exploitation of the working class? In practice however, it was more desperate. It radiated an aggressive cheer, the kind of happiness one associated with door-to-door salesmen, or the kinds of very intense young people who handed out pamphlets on street corners.

A smaller sign, black paint on a large piece of cardboard, proclaimed that the museum was Closed For Filming.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No one was home at the apartment when the phone rang. Ilkin was working on a review for the Times, one whose deadline was coming entirely too close. His roommate, Benjamin Dranias, was at rugby practice. The phone rang, once, twice, a third and even fourth time before the answering machine picked it up.

"Jason? This is Robert Hammond. I need you to call me back as soon as you can." It was a distinctive voice. Low, rather morose-sounding, which spoke slowly and with utterly perfect diction. A very precise kind of voice. "Something's happened, and I'm not sure I'm quite qualified to handle this. It's about the film shoot I've been working on,
Day of the Devourer. Someone's disappeared."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Robert Hammond was waiting just outside the museum. He was a tall, rather moody looking man, with dark coloring - black hair, dark-grey eyes, skin that was just perhaps a little greyish - dressed in a turtleneck and jeans, a good watch on one wrist. He had elegant hands, with long fingers rather like those of a pianist. He had the look, on the whole, of a certain kind of very depressed poet, though as a matter of fact Robert Hammond was one of the best production designers in the South English film scene. He made sets, he made props, he particularly specialized in creating mechanical contraptions and creations on a tight budget. Hammond was, on the whole, very good at his job. He was also a Changeling, one of the Wizened.

"Jason, thank you for coming." He offered his hand to the mage, and then to the rest of you as well. He had a very firm handshake, if perhaps not as warm as it could be. "All of you, thank you very much."

"Not at all, Mr. Hammond." Rakesh said, looking behind Hammond and gazing at the museum. "We're always happy to help a friend. Now, can you tell us what happened?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"His name is Colin Meade. He is, or perhaps was, one of the electric crew with Day of the Devourer. Nice enough young man, knew his business and went about it without much fanfare. Except approximately six days ago, he failed to come into work. While not in and of itself a cause for concern, when he failed to come in the next two days, some of us in the production crew became concerned."

"I took it upon myself to visit Colin's flat. It turns out Colin hadn't been home since he disappeared. As a matter of fact, no one has seen him since he left here last Tuesday. We've contacted the police... but Jason, something about this is making me nervous. Please, call me back as soon as you can."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"...Our director, Gary Fletcher, says that there's nothing to worry about and that the police will handle everything." Hammond finished his brief summary, opening the door into the Museum proper. "Unfortunately, I am less confident."

The Museum of the Industrial Revolution was, whatever else could be said about it, large. It was housed in a former factor from the 19th century, and still maintained the echoing halls and tall roofs. Bits of early industrial history lined the walls of the entry hall. An old steam engine, with a mechanical thresher next to it, in front of large-scale designs which showed elaborate machinery in exacting detail. Amid this, the various detritus of the film-making business could be found. Generators, cameras, and of course, wires running everywhere.

The entry hall was largely deserted though, except for a rather tall, rather broad-shouldered man in a sweater and jeans, who stood near a wall and scowled at you when you entered.

"Do you think you can help? You do have a talent for finding things out." Hammond said, being a bit more circumspect in his language given that there was company, however large and unfriendly looking. "I would... appreciate it."

Cae shook hands with Robert Hammond, only because she was aware that he was aware of their special conditions. Sometimes she could force warmth into her extremities, but it took a distracting amount of effort.

She eyed the beefy bloke for a moment. Bodyguard? His gaze made her slightly wary. Self-consciousness always arose in introductions, when people would notice how young she was to be working in...whatever it was she did. She liked saying "paranormal investigator" sometimes, but the setting wasn't appropriate today.

"We are investigators, after all." Cae smiled and added below her breath, "Of a sort."

"Investigative journalism is a time honored tradition indeed." The way Hammond said it, he was the kind of man to appreciate time honored traditions. He spoke quietly and carefully, though a part of that was out of sheer ingrained habit. He continued to lie smoothly, for such public consumption as there was. "That's why I thought perhaps you could help. Or at least look at things from a different perspective from the police."

The large man in the sweater cast another grim looking scowl your way, but it didn't seem to be directed at anyone in particular. He just didn't seem fond of people. Still, that established, he returned to watching the entrance of the museum.

Ilkin smiled warmly and shook Robert's hand. "A pleasure to see you again, my friend," he said before the heavier discussions began.

"Given your associations, I was surprised you called," he said in a low voice, "Something large must be happening if it makes Autumn nervous."

The mage took quick stock of his surroundings. It made an excellent set for a horror flick. It could also work as a location for the right kind of action movie. His film-trained mind began analyzing all manner of different locations and scenes he could shoot here with the right movie in mind.

"Who's your friend?" he asked, gesturing vaguely at the large man, "And tell me about this movie of yours. How was your other friend involved?"




"He's..." Robert peered at the big man for a moment, sorting through his memory for information not often called upon. "That's Sergei, I think. He and Aleksander are working security."

"Come on, let's go to my room where we can talk in some comfort, I'll make coffee." Hammond said, then turned on his heels, gesturing for you to follow. "I'll tell you about the movie along the way."

The big man in the sweater watched you as you left.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Sorry about that." Robert said as you emerged into the corridor. It was deserted, as far as you could tell, but even then the Wizened changeling peered into the darkness in suspicion. In a very low voice, he continued. "I sometimes feel like this isn't a set so much as a prison."

"Is it usual to have security guards?" Rakesh asked as you padded through the dimly lit corridors. You passed by a set of large thresher blades, following by an engine of some sort. The doors were closed on all sides, and in the distance you could hear echoes of other conversations. The museum echoed very well.

"On larger projects, certainly." Robert answered. He shrugged. "But we've only got thirty people on the payroll, so you'd have to ask Gary why he wants so much security."

"Interesting." Was all that Rakesh said.

"In any case... Day of the Devourer is a horror-film about what our esteemed director calls the worship of the machine and the subservience of humanity." Hammond was very good at projecting an utterly emotionless and unironic voice. "The gist of the plot is about a group of young men and women who are captured by a cult calling itself the Golden Architects which worships a mechanical god."

"Great deal of blood and gore before the survivors escape and bring down the Golden Architect's underground lair." Hammond waved a hand at the surrounding corridor with it's antique engines and bits of industrial age memorabilia. "My job is to get the mechanical god, the titular Devourer, working. Colin was one of my assistants, and also helped with the lighting department, which consists of exactly two people. Big budget blockbuster, this is not."

At the synopsis, Cae thought the title completely misleading. Devourers were supposed to be great beasties with mouths for eyes or something. Could a bloke get so stressed over a bad film that he'd turn tail and run? What if this was one of those mundane missing persons?

"Right, but about your Meade friend? Why's he so special?" She matched her volume with Robert's.

They had called Ilkin, anyway. Someone was assuming something out of the ordinary. She eyed the Changeling up and down. She wondered...

Intelligence + Empathy + Auspex – subject’s Composure:
Dice Roll:
8d10s8e10
d10 Results: 10, 4, 3, 9, 4, 7, 10, 4, 5, 4 (Total Successes = 3)
Aura Perception

Ilkin concentrated. His perception of Fate became more poignant. If there was something important being said about Colin, the Day of the Devourer, or this museum, he'd key into the resonance somehow.

"A prison indeed," Ilkin mused, "Does this place have a history of hauntings or have you built something too big?" The mage smiled at Robert and then turned serious again.

"Where was Colin last seen?" the mage asked, then paused as Cae's supernatural power caused the hairs on the back of his neck to raise.

"Also, 'so much security?' You've more than Sergei and Aleksander?"

The Mage tapped his chin. "What exactly gives you the impression this is something more than a mundane disappearance? You wouldn't have called me otherwise. Is it something your fae nature picks up better than a normal human's?"

Ilkin stopped and stared at a model of a steam engine and then looked back at Robert. "If you would be so kind, when we're finished please introduce me to the head director." The mage smiled slyly, "Let him know exactly who I am. I'd say a chance at a good preview in the Times will grease the wheels a bit."

Dice Roll: 6d10s8e10
d10 Results: 4, 1, 2, 4, 10, 2, 7 (Total Successes = 1)
Sybil's Sight



Quote:
Originally Posted by Caelan
"Right, but about your Meade friend? Why's he so special?" She matched her volume with Robert's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilkin
The Mage tapped his chin. "What exactly gives you the impression this is something more than a mundane disappearance? You wouldn't have called me otherwise. Is it something your fae nature picks up better than a normal human's?"
Robert blew out a long breath, pausing for rather longer than was strictly necessary before speaking. His aura was ragged and shredded, like that of all changelings, but even then a distinctly orange tint came through, an autumnal color. But there was something more to it than mere Court allegiances. Robert was afraid. "Something like that."

"I've been getting dreams." Hammond said. He gritted his teeth. "Which does not happen to me. I like being human. I like making things that work. I serve my Court but I do not go in for Autumn's arcane gobbledegook and ominous prophecy. No offense to those present." Hammond said, a brief, teasing smile flashing across his face.

"Unfortunately, someone has forgotten to inform my subconscious of the fact." The Changeling continued. "Since I've started working here, I've been getting the same dream, every night, regular as clockwork. I'm walking through the Museum, or running, or hiding, and I know that something is stalking me... the night Colin disappeared, the dream was so vicious I woke screaming."

"I don't know what's going on." Robert said, drawing in a deep breath once more. "But if Colin just decided to skip town, or hells, even if he got hit by a car and just hasn't been found yet... then why's the Wyrd doing this to me? Something's going on here. And it's not over."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilkin
"Does this place have a history of hauntings or have you built something too big?" The mage smiled at Robert and then turned serious again.
"Not that I know of, and I resent the implications of that statement." Robert smiled for half a second. "Though I will admit that the budget is rather nice. Remind me to show you the Devourer I've made. I'm moderately proud of it."

There was a sound like a bell ringing in the back of Ilkin's mind. A low, hollow sound, like churchbells in the distance. The Sybil's Sight made note of Robert's statement, though important how or why was another question altogether.

"But I haven't done too much research on this as of yet. I've been pretty much working all day and all night getting the machinery working."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilkin
"Where was Colin last seen?" the mage asked, then paused as Cae's supernatural power caused the hairs on the back of his neck to raise.
"Last time anyone saw him was when we were filming in the Curio Room." Hammond said. "I can show it to you if you'd like. It's a rather... peculiar room, we're going to be using it for the grand finale of the movie."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilkin
"Also, 'so much security?' You've more than Sergei and Aleksander?"
"Not exactly." Hammond pointed up towards a corner of the corridor. There, a closed-circuit camera was panning slowly across the area. A rather advanced looking piece of machinery, as a matter of fact. "Don't worry, it's visual only. But first thing those two did was rig up a camera system in every room of the building. One of them's usually in the security office watching the tapes, the other's roaming around."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilkin
"If you would be so kind, when we're finished please introduce me to the head director." The mage smiled slyly, "Let him know exactly who I am. I'd say a chance at a good preview in the Times will grease the wheels a bit."
"Not a problem." Hammond said. He smiled. "I'm sure our esteemed and honorable director would be thrilled to make your acquaintance.

"You'll have to show me the room, then," Ilkin said, "But after I've gotten to speak with the director. It should be much easier for us once he knows why I'm snooping around his sets. If you can give me a timeline of Colin's whereabouts before he disappeared, I might be able to postcog some clues. I'll also want to see the Devourer. There's something about it that seems important to all of this."

The mage smiled. It was actually refreshing to work with Robert again. The Wizened was businesslike and very efficient. There was no need to beat around the bush or play politics. Robert was direct and he appreciated straightforwardness in kind.

"I don't feel like anything's amiss," Ilkin continued, "Not here, anyway. Rakesh can sweep the place for spirits and I'll see if any other Council members have ideas for distracting security cameras." The mage took out his phone and began typing notes. "I don't know much about dreams but perhaps I can get another changeling to visit your dreams and see if he knows more."

The mage typed a bit longer and then slipped his phone back in his pocket. "Shall we go see the director, then?" he asked brightly.

Robert, frightened of his own dreams. And reporting something purely on his intuition. Though if Caelan knew anything, it was to believe a Changeling on his intuition.

Cae glanced at Ilkin woodenly. Had he forgotten or did she fail to tell him about this?

"Hiring out won't be necessary," she said business-like. "That is, if I have your permission to enter, Mr. Hammond." Her hands squeezed together behind her back, the only sign of a girl nervously acting the part.




 

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Myth-Weavers Status