Just Like Clockwork: Scene II/VI -- Rose, Ilkin, Erin, Caelan, Rakesh

   
Just Like Clockwork: Scene II/VI -- Rose, Ilkin, Erin, Caelan, Rakesh

11:02 PM, Monday, November 10th, 2003

A cold, autumn wind blew through the streets of London. The Museum of the Industrial Revolution, the old sign said, a faded and dismal sign on a faded and dismal brick building. There was a smell of age around it, but not the kind of age that a museum should have had. It smelled desperate and lost, trying very hard to maintain relevancy in a modern world that cared little for it. A smaller sign said Closed for Filming

This ought to be fun, don't you think? The whisper spoke in the back of Rose's mind as the bus rolled to a stop. A sound like the rattle of bones, or perhaps the rattle of dice, echoed in her ear. I always wanted to be in the movies.

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In Rose's apartment, a small cooking journal was laid out on a table, turned to an inside page. It was not a very important magazine, nothing like the Daily Telegraph or the Times. A small, mom-and-pop newsletter, really, which came out once a week, regular as clockwork, and was read by only a few thousand devoted afficianados of food and wine. It was open to an inside page, buried deeply, where a special article nestled between an ad for a grill and a report on the 29th Steakhouse Festival. It was an obituary, though the journal used the more modern euphemistic word 'Appreciation' for it. Some words had been underlined in pencil.
"Samantha I. Nourgatten was one of London's most refined gourmands, an eater of fine food and a drinker of good wine, a person to be remembered, and who's death people will take note of. With something always stirring near at hand, Nourgatten was was ever able to quiet even the most hostile critics....

...Her famous 1951 cooking of a full, triple layer chocolate cake in only 31 minutes and 36.84 seconds... Nourgatten's "Under 11 Minutes" recipe with just 2.47 seconds to go...
SIN eater take note
something stirring hostile
Latitude: 51N 31' 36.84''
Longitude: 0W 11' 2.47''

A search of an atlas revealed that standing at those coordinates was an old, 19th century factory, which now housed the privately-owned Museum of the Industrial Revolution.


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The entry hall of the museum was deserted when Rose entered, not a soul in sight. It was rather messy, on the whole, with various pieces of film equipment lying on the floor. Spare cameras, bipods, duffel bags full of other things, a wide range of stranger equipment of lights and microphones and miscellanea. Bits of early industrial history likewise 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.

It had sounded so reasonable earlier. See what the disturbance was. Find out what was going on. Assuage the geist's oversized curiosity, and maybe find something interesting in the process. The Gambling Gigolo wouldn't let it rest, as only the dead knew how to pressure. It was an adventure. It would be exciting. It would be an experience.

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Highgate Cemetery was quiet this time of night, but it didn't take Rose long to find the tombstone in question. The name had long since faded away to the elements, if anyone had ever been buried there in the first place, but the marks on the stone were still visible, touched up and kept up to date by person or persons unknown.

A series of dots along three bars, the opening notes from Mozart's Requiem, to signify this as a Twilight Network message. A double-spiral, like a whirlpool in chalk and dust, which meant that there was something wrong, an anomaly or bizarrity. A crude cogwheel, surrounded by a set of lines that drew together an old greek temple, the stereotypical museum, for the Museum of the Industrial Revolution. And finally a death's head skull, with a vertical line through it like a knife, to signify danger.


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Echoes sounded through the museum, conversations and footsteps oddly distorted by the corridors and tall walls of the old, converted factory. Rose heard the sounds of shuffling cards as well, though this spectral sound came from inside her own head and not from anywhere in the museum. Let's cut the cards and see what we have... aces and eights, the dead man's hand. Go on, take a look around, live a little, let's see if we draw a king or a joker.

Why did they have to make it so complicated? Without Gege, better known as The Gambling Gigolo, in her head to help pin point the key words, Rose was pretty sure she would never find half of the Twilight Networks messages.

"Honestly now, Samantha I Nourgatten? Where the hell did they drag that name up? If people ever get bored with Sudoku and Crosswords these people could make a fortune with there cryptic message system." She didn't need to speak out loud to get her message across to her half dismembered companion but it helped. Talking to no one tended to make others think you were crazy but after dieing once, you tend to stop caring about how others view you.

"Latitude and Longitude... You sure on this?" a nodding sensation came to her as a frustrated Rose searched the internet trying to find a way to convert these nonsense points into a place. Fifteen minutes and twelve baby carrot sticks later, she came to find the location to be a Museum. Before this moment she hadn't even known people cared about the Industrial Revolution let alone enough to make a whole museum about it.

When you had the dead in your head it seemed that trouble looked for you. The magazine had been at the market, the place with the great baby carrot stick sale, in that free section right by the exit. A twist of fate had put it directly behind the "Most Wanted" paper and she had taken both on accident. At least with Most Wanted you had something interesting to look at, sometimes you even swore that you knew some of these, and sometimes your really did. A food magazine wasn't the least bit interesting so she had flopped it down and ignored it until noticing an article on the Steakhouse Festival! She had been there! Right in the middle of it, Steakhouses form all over competing for customers, attention and prizes. A whole festival devoted to free samples of steak, it was better then Christmas! If there were pictures she could try and spot herself, kind of like a Wheres Waldo except more exciting. Unfortunately as she skimmed the picture on the top right Gege and he happend to find the one obituary in a magazine of food.

One thing had lead to another and before she realized what she was underlining she had her hands on a Twilight Network warning. Didn't these people realizing that warnings just made dead people more curious?

"I'm going, I'm going." she mumbled to the nagging pressure in her head. Excitement started to build up inside, if it was her own or GeGe's no one could be sure of. They were curious, both of them, be it for different reasons. GeGe had his own, probably something to do with the word hostile, that always riled him up. Rose on the other hand, was just plain curious what they could possibly have inside this Museum to make it worth peoples interest.

Armed with her fur hooded red sweater jacket, longer then her shorts which made it give the illusion she might not be wearing anything under it, and after having to change her shoes twice, GeGe insisted on the purple boots for this one but changed his mind to black after thinking it clashed with the red, she was ready to go!

Oh the joys of having a fashion contentious stripper in the back of your mind!

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The bus was filled with the usual crowd of people you would expect to see at night, whores, nuns, thugs, and a homeless man sleeping in the back. Rose entered and got the attention of everyone except the homeless man for a split moment. The whores thought she was competition, the nuns probably wanted to pray for her soul or sensed an evil about her, and the thugs were probably thinking of less decent things.

"Like I give a shit what they think." she spoke again to GeGe but no one else knew that.

Most people left the bus before they arrived anywhere near the museum. This could be due to one of two factors. First they actually found there exit, or two they were really creeped out by listening to the crazy woman in the back talk and laugh to herself with comments like "Yeah, no I know what you mean. Nuns are supposed to smack you on the hand with rulers not shove them up there ass to get better posture." or "How many STD's do you think the one on the left has? Really?" and such.

Finally she arrived at her destination and it might have just been her imagination but the buss seemed to drive away faster then it should have.

"What a creepy building.. people pay money to go in here?" it had to be all brick of course, all dismal horrible buildings tended to be brick and smelt like old phlegm.

Closed for Filming

"Yeah, that small sign is really going to stop us." on her way past she ripped it down at GeGe's urgings. Destruction of property, 2 points to keeping her Geist happy.

This ought to be fun, don't you think? I always wanted to be in the movies.

"I swear, if you brought me to another kinky ass porno set I'm going to bath in holy water tomorrow." Not like it would be the first time, about the porno set, not the holy water. Holy water was alot harder to come by then you would think.

She entered to silence. No one was around, at least no in the immediate area. The place was covered in spare cameras, bipods, and just plane crap. All of it looked expensive though, whoever was making movie here had a high budget and was very messy. "Well at least that cuts out the porn..." those things usually didn't spend so much on the equipment, or at least not the mechanical kind. Walking slowly the echos of her heals seemed to click painfully loud.

"So this is it?" she stopped to stare at a giant old steam engine. "Geez, how boring can you get."

The whole museum thing had sounded a lot more interesting. Poking her nose here and there looking for anyone, alive or dead, she spotted the most curious thing. A sign that said Wardrobe with an arrow.

A deck of cards shuffled in her mind, Aces and eights, the dead man's hand. Go on, take a look around, live a little, let's see if we draw a king or a joker.

"What the **** are you talking about?" she hissed, this place seemed to call for indoor voice since she could hear noise in the far off distance. Rose hated when this guy got all gambling and card metaphorical. She had actually briefly tried to learn about poker and card games when she had first gotten GeGe but that had been such a bad idea. The Geist knew everything there was to know and he didn't want to sit around waiting for her to learn, after all she had him and he had knowledge. After that she had been pressured into taking a swim at noon in a fountain, oddly enough that had been quite fun.

The wardrobe area was divided by curtains and there racks of clothing on the side. Almost all typical teenage movie crap.

Curiosity nagged her attention to the left, like a tapping on her shoulder. He was so bossy today!

"Keep your pants on!" the sarcasm was lost on her legless companion.

The rack he was indicating had a ton of robes. "Oh these are horrendous." she slid through the rack until she found what had to be the head honcho robe, deep purple with gold tassels and designs all over it with a squiggle hostess cupcake trim on the edging.

A grin spread on her face as well as her Geist. "Well if were going to be searching around anyway, and it is a movie set, we may as well blend in. We totally should have gone with the purple boots don't you think?" For a split moment she felt the announce that resonated through out.

Purple had been the original pick. You should always go with your instinct, what a stupid blunder!

Rose struggled into the robe and peeked around to find a mirror. She turned to check how she looked on each side before lifting the hood to cover her head. "That's just great, we'll totally blend in, like the leader of Barney the Dinosaurs cult club." The hood even had eyes in the same gold trim so when it was up it gave the illusion that a giant purple squid man was looking around. The only skin that showed was her hands and from her nose to her neck. "This is probably the most clothing Ive warn since we met."

The mummers and talking seemed closer, she could almost understand them but not quite.

The talking came ever closer as Rose finished dressing, and soon enough it was possible to actually discern the different sounds. Only one person was talking, a rough, masculine voice that sounded vaguely like someone who either gargled with broken glass, or alternatively drank a great deal of alcohol. He was pausing from time to time, though no responding voice sounded. Someone talking to himself, then, or on a phone of some sort. Rose could hear his voice quite clearly now, though unfortunately she could derive no meaning from his words, for the simple reason that they were most definitely not in English. A periodic opening and closing of doors punctuated the one-sided conversation.

"Redkei morasm... kak budto ktoto bu grabil etat sklad..." The voice was saying, before opening the door to the wardrobe. "Pogodika... ktoto tut."

The man stood framed in the doorway, a big brute of a man in jeans and a green sweater. Tall, broad-shouldered, looking decidedly unshaven by this time of the night, if he was ever well-shaved. He wore a kind of half-headset on his head, with a single bead in his left ear and a microphone near his mouth, the explanation for the one-sided conversation.

"What are you doing around this of night?" The man asked, his voice rather accented.


Oh, there was someone! Yes, he was a big beefy bruit of a man who would never get a job as a phone sex operator, but he still classified as someone.

"What are you doing around this of night?" the horendous voice asked.

Rose hated accents. They were always so... accented. "Subtitles wouldn't hurt..." she muttered under her breath. With the purple dino hood down she had the better visual advantage and took a moment to give him a once over. Placing one long sleeved hand on where her hip was, not that you could see much with this purple sack on, she did her best to just her hip and stand up strait. "Do you realize you have a stain on the bottom of your sweater? If its recent you should probably wash it with warm water and soap, preferably bar soap, but, if its old your screwed. Nothing ruins a party like a stain. Or at least that's what I'm supposed to tell you." She motioned to her head vagly as if waving away a usless train of thought. It was times like these and information like this that made her think GeGe must have been a flamer when he was still tickin.

Pausing Rose pursed her lips in contemplation to the question she had forgotten he asked, "And what am I doing here? Do you think these glorious, marvelous bobs of fabric and trim are just going to hem themselves? Do you think the elves come out at night and fix all the little odds and ends? Hate to break it to you buddy but Keebler laid off all the elf's, that just means its up to the rest of us to make our own adjustments when we can. Its so much easyer to work without people breathing down your neck or stepping in your way, yah know?" She raised an eye brow which was completely useless considering her eyes couldn't be seen.

Dice Roll: 5d10s8e
d10 Results: 4, 4, 6, 1, 9 (Total Successes = 1)

"Riiiight." The big man said, looking at Rose with a certain amount of dubiousness. He did not improve in appearance up close. He wasn't ugly, not exactly, but there was something unpleasant in his face. Something cold. "So you're our local fashion designer, is it?"

"Well, I have a break coming up, so if you want, I can help you with making adjustments. Can't sue to save my life, but I can hold stuff while you do it." The large man said, then twisted his lip into something that was not quite a smile. "How does that sound?"

Rose crossed her arms in front of her and jutted her hip more to the side thinking.

"Come on, hold stuff? What a usefull boy you must be. Your mothers neighbors must all just love you to pieces, they probably used to pinch your cheeks as a kid. Im done over here now anyway." she paused lifting a finger to her lips in contemplation. "Unless..." they had been looking for someone, dead or alive, and this vaguely classified as someone. "Do you know where a girl like me could find some fun?" again she raised her eyebrows while trying to give him a seductive look but, again there was no point, the hood covered most of her face ruining the attempt.

Now if you took that one sentence and changed it to match her attire it could have drastically different meanings

What she meant was:
"Do you know where a Sin Eater like me could find some hostiles?"

What it looked like she meant if she didn't have the robe on and was just in her normal cloths:
"Do you know where a prostitute like me could find some easy sex money?"

And of course she DID have that robe on so it sorta looked like
"Do you know where a wanna- be cultist could find someone to sacrifice or a heroes to stop?"

Rose was oblivious to her alternate meanings.

"Hah!" This was not quite a laugh. In order for it to be a laugh, there would have had to be at least some humor in it. As it was, it more resembled the kind of satisfied half-growl a dog might make upon catching a tender rabbit. It sounded predatory. "Thought so."

"Tell you what, so I'll give you grand tour of place. No one else is around at this time of night, so you came at right time." The large man pulled off his headset and stuffed it into his pocket, muttering something quickly into the reciever as he did so. He grinned up towards Rose. He had good teeth, at least. Pearly white, nice and sharp. "Good, now I am on break. My name is Aleksander, also."

Rose was not impressed. She saw guys like this almost ever day, low creepy voices, large nasty pawing hands. Her and Gege had done a fine job so far of taking care of themselfs. "Its your call..." she muttered in a bearly audiable wisper.

Gege, being the dead guy with a twisted sense of humor that he was, gave a thumbs up. This thumb of course wasn't really a thumb, today it happend to be a skull card. Every so often it would change, sometimes it was a skull, sometimes a bird, sometimes something random all together. Since he had five fingers and there were only four card suits he tended to mix things up with his extra didget. Rose had yet to figure out if the symbols actually held any segnificant meaning.

"Aleksander." she said the name trying it out on her tongue. "Right then, I'm Rose." there was no point in hiding it, all and all it didn't really mater, people who remembered her didn't do so because of her name. "Since your on break we may as well take a stroll." she motioned her hand towards the exit that she had originally come through.

"If you don't mind me asking, I didn't quite catch the language you were talking with you were-" she mimicked a telephone using her thumb and pinky, putting it against her head.

"Russian. I am from Odessa." The big man said with a shrug. He held the door open for Rose, then flicked on a flashlight that hung on his belt. Well, flashlight baton, more like it, one of those many-times reinforced things that could be used as a club in a pinch. He grinned again. "I am here on job, earning money before I go home. It is not too bad. Money is great, but weather is lousy."

"Follow me. I will show you something, maybe you find it interesting." Aleksander grinned again, showing pearly teeth. He lead the way, humming a little tune as he illuminated the path.

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The plaque beside the large, oaken double-doors read Curio Room. Aleksander opened the door and held it for Rose, still smiling. "After you, Miss Rose."

The room beyond... was like something out of a particularly strange novel. The room was richly upholstered in red-brown velvet, a fleur-de-lys pattern on the walls. Dark hardwood covered the floor, and the display cases were set upon pieces of black marble. It was as though whoever had run the museum had taken all of the money that should have been spent on upkeep for the rest of the building, and had instead splurged it on this one room. The exhibits alone were something unique.

There was an organ. A massive pipe organ, that would not have looked out of place within Captain Nemo's submarine or beneath the Paris Opera House. The pipes were polished brass, and numbered in the hundreds, perhaps even thousands. There were three rows of keys, and the organ itself was crafted of rich cherrywood. It was a simply beautiful machine.

There was a mechanical brain. It nestled on a pillow within a glass case, an elaborate clockwork mechanism of polished brass and steel. Although its mechanisms are more or less open, the brass panels that separate the layers of cog wheels and divide
it into two halves, left and right, confine it into a rough egg-shape, about seven inches at its longest point and six at its widest. It looked for all the world like an artist's impression of a human brain.

There was a powered loom. A small thing, as such devices went, crafted of cast iron and wood, fit for just a single person to sit in. Spools of thread were attached in all the right places above, making it seem almost like a grand spiderweb in a rainbow of colors hung above the machine. Below, the threads were being woven into an elaborate, multi-colored tapestry. Rose couldn't make out the design quite yet, but there was certainly a method to the loom's many-colored madness.


Was he trying to make small talk about the weather? Rose stayed quiet not knowing if she was supposed to respond.

"Follow me. I will show you something, maybe you find it interesting."

Good idea, lets go with the thickly accented Russian into unknown areas to see his 'interesting things'. This is so right up GeGe's alley.

No mater what anyone tells you, walking in a long cult robe while wearing high healed hoochie boots is NOT an easy task. Rose had to take each step carefully which made it look like she was lingering and looking around when all she was really worried about was falling on her face.

"After you, Miss Rose."

Miss? Well that was a first, she had never been called a Miss during the whole time she had been Rose, though there was that one time she had been called Mistress Rose for one evening but she didn't want to go into that memory right now.

A sudden overwhelming urge came over her when she saw the organ, its massive pipes glistening in the fake illumination. "Damn it!" she muttered her fingers itching desperately to break the silence. When was the last time someone probably played the thing? It was grand enough and the Museum was big enough that the sound would echo BRILLIANTLY!

Resisting the feeling didn't stop her from slowly walking towards it while looking around at the other contents of the room, though she did have to push the hood back a bit to see clearly.

There was some boring mechanical brain that probably was really fascinating to a scientific type but was probably the most boring thing in the room. And then, there was powered loom.

Oh! That looked much more fun and destructive to touch. Her initial feeling of wanting to blast her hands on the organ switched to focus now on this. She hovered her hand near it but not daring to touch it in case Aleksander said anything, they weren't ready to be stopped yet, not till GeGe found whatever he was looking for.

"What exactly is this room used for?" she feigned interest still searching. Red, Gege was partial to red. Ever so lightly she ran the tip of her fake nails, silk tips of course not acrylic, against a strand of red trying to follow its origin and where it wove into the tapestry. Someone was in the middle of making... something, colors were everywhere, it looked like a rainbow had vomited, there was simply with no pattern to them. "Martha Stewart would have a heart attack, this is going to clash with everything." Rose was still absentmindedly stroking the thread.

She knew, slightly in her head, he liked being disruptive. A Gamble was way more fun then just leaving things alone. The easy thing to do would be to move on but she was to busy being distracted by the not finished tapestry. The dice sound tingled through her mind briefly.

"If you do it were so going to get kicked out of here before we can find you a hostile friend." she muttered to GeGe hopping to dissuade him. She didn't necessarily feel messing around with a piece of museum equipment was a good idea. At least with the organ she could pretend to fall and land on it, there was no guarantee it would work considering it might just be fore show but still. These thoughts she drifted towards her energetic Geist again trying to distract him, this thing probably cost more then the entire sum of piece of money she had ever earned in her entire life!




 

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