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"Come now my child, if we were planning to harm you, do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path in the very darkest part of the forest..." - Kenneth Patchen, "Even So."


THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT STORIES AND STORYTELLING; some are true, some are false, and some are a matter of perspective. Herein the brave traveller shall find dark musings on horror, explorations of the occult, and wild flights of fantasy.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

THE DRACULA DOSSIER: DAYS OF DISHONORABLE PEACE, SESSION 5

The records of sessions 1-3 are here.

The record of session 4 is here.

If you are totally new here, read the review first.



WITH THE POLICE CLOSING IN on the shooting, Reid and Richter attempt to flee the scene, wary of London's ubiquitous CCTV cameras.  No sooner do they begin to escape than they realize the assassins had back-up.  After a brief running gun fight, the pair lose their pursuers and looking like nothing more than a grandfather and granddaughter, slip on to a bus.

When the pair fails to check in, McPherson follows protocol and begins breaking everything down to change safe houses.  He is almost through when he gets confirmation from Reid that things went south.  Lacey is still stunned from her ordeal in the Faraday cage and the severing of her connection to Dracula (?), but he pushes her to revive herself so they can clear out and meet the others at a new location.  In mid-transit, he receives another message from Hopkins; "That didn't go so well."  Whoever Hopkins is, he is tracking their every move.

The gunfight is all over the news, and while the police are seeking a man and a little girl for questioning, it doesn't seem the CCTVs got a good shot of their faces.  The team regroups at a new safe house in Slough, where McPherson rebuilds his Faraday cage, in case Lacey falls under the influence again.  In case anyone else is under the influence, they decide to each take turns in it.

When Luna Richter goes inside, there is a flash of electrical discharge and the powerful smell of ozone.  The little girl collapses, and when she comes to, all the memories and abilities of her sister Saskia are gone.  Whatever the girl's psychic abilities are, they seem to operate along the same lines as the opposition.  Stranger still, as she comes out of the cage, Saskia's memories and abilities come flooding back.  This raises a shocking suspicion...Luna didn't receive her sister's memories, she is receiving them.  Saskia Richter may not be dead, despite what they saw in Berlin.

They decide to take a page from the dossier and hypnotize Luna just before dawn.  She is able to contact Saskia...who is being held in a makeshift clinic in a warehouse somewhere.  She is in a hospital bed with an IV drip in her arm.  The doctors speak English and German.  Once every few months, though, a woman comes to see her.  A pretty woman who smells of lilacs and speaks German in a soft, musical voice, the phrasing from a century ago.  Luna pushes for more and the connection begins to change...

...suddenly she is pulling memories from Douglas, who is the one hypnotizing her.  Painfully memories of he and his wife.  She starts taking his abilities, speaking Greek, when he attempts to sever the connection.  She comes out of the trance.  For a moment there, she seemed to lose control of her talents.

McPherson and Lacey go into research mode...anything they can track down on mythology and telluric iron.  They find a book by a Rosicrucian eccentric alleging that telluric iron is the only thing that can kill dragons, or as he terms them, the "wyrms of the earth."  He suggests that the nails used to fix Jesus Christ to the cross were telluric iron, as was Excalibur and the lance St. George used to kill the dragon.  He also claims that the Catholic Church hordes telluric iron as a precious resource.

They begin to wonder about the dossier.  Was Quincey's knife "meteor" iron as the text suggests, or was that a blind for "telluric?"  And what of the khukri knife Harder cut the Count's head off with?  Is telluric iron what Vambrey and the Church was providing Van Helsing with?  It makes sense given the traces they found in Lucy's bones and in the "red liquid" used to seal her tomb.

Douglas, meanwhile, becomes suspicious of Luna and Saskia.  He starts digging.  He discovers that both were adopted from a Romanian orphanage, one with ties to an orphanage nearby in Exeter.  Digging deeper, he discovers there birth parents died of AIDS, though neither of the girls was infected.

Having previous located "Seward's" asylum in Plaistow (now an NHS Hematology Research Center), the team regroups and decides penetrating it must be the next order of business.  They hack into its systems first.

The security level is high, under MI5 jurisdiction.  Clearly this is more than a clinic.  There are no records of the institution before when Seward ran it.  However they do manage to break into encrypted floor plans, including tunnels running from under the place to the basements of neighboring Carfax.  Dracula's old London house is long gone, but the basements remain, including something the floor plans label as "the Red Room."  It further appears that the people who work at the clinic know there is more to it than what it appears to be, but seem to think it is HIV research of perhaps biological warfare research.

They decide to physically go in.

They mount an operation and under the cover of darkness break in through an alleyway door.  The security system is impressive.  Inside, they head for the research division and break into the computers there (these are on a local network not connected to the internet).

"Hopkins" seems nervous, immediately texting McPherson to "get out now."  They ignore their mysterious contact.  

In a high security room (101) there is a "Patient Zero."   Digging deeper, they find out his name is William Wynn Wescott, and that apparently he has been held in this facility since at least before the Second World War.  McPherson recognizes the name from his research, however.  Wescott was one of the founders of the Victorian "Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn," a society founded the same year as the Ripper killings (1888).  He has to be 170 years old.  His file labels him a "zoophagus," with a mania for ingesting living things.  This must be the dossier's "Renfield." His room, it seems, is sheathed in "t. iron," and the only man with full access to it is "Dr. Dee."

Is this "Dee" the same "D" that runs Edom?  And is there a connection to the Elizabethan magus Dr. John Dee?

As they continue to probe messages from "Hopkins" keep coming, warnings to "get out" and "they are tracking you."  "You are exposed."  "Cut and run."  They dig just a little more, coming across records of some experimental drug called the "Seward Serum."  "GO NOW.  GET OUT OR I AM BURNING YOU."  Hopkins warns.  They ignore the warnings an hit pay dirt.

The main project here is over something called "Dust."  Wescott is "Dust Infected #1."  There are records of nearly a century of Dust experiments at orphanages, including the one in Romania where Saskia and Luna came from, and from a "St George's" in Exeter.  

As they make their escape, Hopkins reaches out.  "Conditions have changed.  They will be hunting you now.  We need to meet."  A meeting is set up the next day near the British Museum.

Lacey and Douglas hang back, providing cover and keeping an eye out.  Luna and McPherson go into the cafe where the meeting is planned.  A woman signals them, and Luna recognizes her from Saskia's memories.  This is the "lilac" woman who has been visiting Saskia in her hospital.  She tries to reach out with her abilities only to be slapped down, hard, by a much more powerful talent.

"You almost got yourselves killed last night, and the dogs will now be in pursuit.  I have been watching you for a long time," she tells them, "and I feel protective.  My name is Genevieve Harper."  

As the pair recognize the name as "Mina Harper" from the dossier she nods.  "Yes.  I am 148 years old." 



      


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