13: The Intrepid Aviators Arrive

4th February 1925

London, England
London, England

London, England:

15:00 PM:

Trixie, Simon and Gupta arrive to considerable fanfare. Air travel is still very rare, air travel across the Atlantic exceedingly so.

There are some complications with customs but we are eventually allowed to unload all our cargo providing it all remains as items of transit. They send a telegram to their fellow investigators saying that they hope to arrive in London at lunchtime on Thursday.

A press conference is called. The trio tell the excited journalists that London is absolutely not the end of the journey. The end to this journey must remain secret but they promise it to be hugely exciting. Look out for Irma Bloomberg’s epic serialisation coming shortly.

5th February 1925

London Docks
London Docks

Aftermath Of Raid On The Ivory Wind:

00:00 PM:

After some debate we decide to bind and gag the crew. We then we call Tommy Hays of Scotland Yard and ask him to help us out. He says that he can get them locked up as possible gun runners or foreign agitators. He thinks he can hold them without charge for about 3 days.

We don’t want to lose our handcuffs but bind and gag the sailors before stowing them in the hold, being prepared for combat we have all cast Skin of Sedefkar so we resolve to continue on the offensive. We will raid the premises of the Penhew Foundation to try to locate evidence of Gavigan’s occult activities.

After previous misadventures we all wear balaclavas and hats and gloves. We are also hidden in the remnants of the London Peculiars which help to cover our approach.

On the way over to Tottenham Court Road Wesley recalls that he saw pipes leading from an intake on the roof down to the basement. We recall the bunker we attacked with gas during our action against the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight in New York. Then we piped German Mustard gas into the bunker. We don’t have any of that now but we have smuggled canisters of tear gas with our “Scientific Equipment”. We have some in the car.

The Raid On The Penhew Foundation:

01:00 AM:

Greg, Joseph, Natalja, Trent and Wesley head over to the Penhew Foundation building in London’s Tottenham Court Road. First we make a circuit around the building. Joseph espies torchlight from a top floor window. Either someone else has a similar plan to us or Gavigan has employed a watchman. We also check over the pipes. It is indeed an air intake of some kind. Air would appear to be being pumped into the basement. There are cables and water pipes going into the floor also but this air intake is separate and enters into a separate part of the building.

Under cover of the last of the fog we unpack a couple of canisters of tear gas. We then feed them into the intake. Then we have to wait a few minutes before heading to the rear of the building. Although it is late the street is quite busy despite the fog. London is a bustling metropolis after all so we must bide our time to wait for a quiet moment to break in at the back of the building where we have seen a gated loading area secured by two heavy padlocks.

Trent sets to work picking them. He does so with ease and swiftly and silently ushers the others inside. Probably the last thing he does well on this caper.

Inside the padlocked gate a goods lift allows access to a loading bay.

From there a flight of stairs go up to the main gallery floors. Joseph sneaks to the bottom of the stairs and listens at the door. He can hear movement but it’s coming from the floor above. He then goes up the stairs with Trent following close behind. Joseph has Greg’s chloroform. As they ascend, Trent suddenly stumbles sending his large heavy frame crashing into the wall with a loud thud.

Dealing with the Guard

A cockney voice shouts “Oi!” and Joseph hears his rapid footsteps as he approaches the stairs. Trent and Joseph run up to meet the watchman. It’s not Trent’s night. Maybe he’s still groggy from his stumble, maybe he’s just a clown, in any event his attempts to grab the watchman directly in front of him fail miserably. Joseph saves the day swiftly applying the readied Chloroform to the guards face knocking him out after a short chase.

With the guard upstairs dealt with, amateurishly it must be said, but still dealt with all the same; Wesley and Natalja can search Gavigan’s office on the same floor. The door is locked and Natalja is unable to pick the lock. They have to shoulder it. Curtains are drawn so it’s safe to switch on the lights to have a proper look around. There is a safe prominently left open in the wall opposite the desk. A stack of banknotes is clearly seen within it, 100 £5 Notes. Blatantly a trap.

Having in his own deluded viewpoint, assisted in securing the threat from upstairs, Trent comes back down with Joseph. The pair then check the room next door to Gavigan’s office. It’s a storeroom full of Egyptian knick-knacks, broken chairs and an old sarcophagus.

Back in the office, the banknotes are quickly examined and found to all be real but they all have the same consecutive serial numbers, easy to trace and Obvious a trap then.

Continuing her search, Natalja finds a hidden catch and activates it. A concealed door is revealed leading into the same storeroom occupied by Trent and Joseph. Guns are raised but the password is given before any the investigators can kill each other.

Joseph has a brainwave. He spots tracks around the Sarcophagus then just after he spies a second concealed catch next to it. He activates it and reveals a trapdoor in the floor showing a near vertical tunnel going down traversed by a set of steep stairs. He looks down with his torch seeing that the tunnel leads into a chamber at the bottom of the steep stairs. He can also smell tear-gas quite strongly so it is a good job he has his gas mask.

Exploring Gavigan’s Hideout:

Ever the optimist, Joseph descends allowing the clumsy galoot Trent to follow after him. Hope he doesn’t fall on top of Joseph. Trent is very heavy. He is also having a really bad night. Clown!

In the chamber there is a large crate. Nearby is another smaller one. There is also a bookshelf containing three books and a stack of 15 papyrus scrolls. By the bookshelf is an ornate chest.

All sides of the chamber walls are adorned with pictures of creatures from the dreaded Mythos. Some the pair recognise, some they don’t. Gavigan is clearly wrong and a senior cultist to boot. He must be killed, preferably most painfully.

The large crate is marked “Ho Fong“. A further address tag reads:

“Attn. Honourable Ho Fong 15 Kow Yang Street Shanghai“.

The pair crowbar it. They see contained within it a large quite corroded brass statue of a hideous, monstrous woman. The female is vastly bloated with tentacles instead of arms wearing a Chinese style hat. Her face is a mass of gibbering maws. It is very heavy.

The smaller crate is marked:

“Randolph Shipping Company, Port Darwin, Northern Territory, Dominion of Australia”.

We don’t have time to check it.

On one of the shelves is a small chest inside which are:

“Two Ornately Inscribed Silver Daggers”.

We know these are used in the spell that summons Dimensional Shamblers.

There is also a jar of powder which we recognise as “Powder of Ibn Ghazi”. A handful of this powder can be used to see the invisible for ten heartbeats. We estimate 5 doses of this powder are present.

Looking on the bookcase we see a French copy of the Livre d’Eibonis – or the book of Eibon. It is a translation of the notes of the powerful Hyperborean wizard, Eibon. In prehistory Eibon made a pact with the evil God Tsathoggua in return for arcane knowledge. Both Greg and Natalja have read this Tome.

However we should compare the contents of our Latin version with this French one to see if there are any differences between the two. But that is for later. We have no time now.

Also on the bookshelf is a book marked:

“G’Haarne Fragments”.

The third book is entitled:

“Ye Book of Communications with ye Angel Dyzan”.

The 15 Scrolls are dry and very delicate. Don’t let Trent near them.

They are in various languages, Hieroglyphs, Latin or Arabic. They are carefully bagged and taken with us. We also take the Chest with Silver Daggers, the three books and the powder. We note down the addresses in Australia and Shanghai.

As a passing shot Trent lights a flare and burns and defaces as many of the ancient Mythos paintings as he can. Finesse may not be his strong point, but he is a good vandal.

Joseph is unnerved by the brass statue so we don’t leave that for Gavigan either. We manhandle it out of the chamber and take it with us wrapped in a tarpaulin.

We take all the occult goods with us along with the £500 worth of New Bank Notes. We load the car without incident and drive back to the Mews House Greg has rented. On the way we make a detour and drop the large bronze statue off a bridge and into the Thames. Hope it doesn’t pollute the disgusting river any more than it already is. One of us has an insight believing this is an artifact of the Cult of the Bloated Woman.

It must be getting on for 3am or later now.

We open the smaller crate marked for Australia. We find that it houses a small but incredibly lifelike statue of Cthulhu made of some kind of unidentified blue stone.

We also managed to find some information on the Clive Expedition while looking though the Penhew Foundations records. The Penhew Foundation is backing the Clive Expedition which is currently excavating in Memphis.

There is a five person team, three of whom we could find out about and two unknowns.

The Raid On Gavigan’s Flat:

03:00 AM:

We choose to raid Gavigan’s apartment and the spice shop of Tewfik al Said.

On the way we head to the boat and stow the £5 notes in the captain’s cabin. Maybe the additional contraband will help Tommy of Scotland Yard keep the sailors locked up for a while longer.

We head to Gavigan’s Mayfair apartment. Trent picks the lock and enters with Wes, Joseph and Natalja accompanying him. It is impeccably appointed. We find no evidence of anything unusual. A safe is discovered but when opened is found to contain only a small amount of cash. Nothing useful.

Discovering nothing of note we leave.

The Raid On Tewfik’s Spice Shop:

04:00 AM:

Trying a different approach at the Spice shop due to Trent’s colossal ineptitude with his lock picks, we knock and ring the bell. No lights are on and we get no answer so we break in.

Joseph, Trent, Wesley and Natalja enter, leaving Greg in the car.

There is nothing in the shop. A look behind the counter shows nothing of interest. The door at the back opens onto a storeroom for spices and a small empty yard.

We head upstairs to his apartment. Natalja notices the heater in the main room is still warm so we haven’t missed him by much. On the wall a picture is missing. About 2 feet wide or so, so more than man-portable. Natalja finds a hidden compartment in Tewfik’s desk drawer but it is empty. He has cleared out.

In the ashtray are two types of cigarette, one Turkish the other English. No hint of lipstick so the visitor wasn’t female unless then used a cigarette holder of course.

Tewfik’s passport is conspicuous by its absence. There is also a shortage of clothes in his wardrobe. His Fez is gone too. Like him. For good order, Joseph looks for tracks outside but finds none. Natalja notices flecks of red residue on the carpet of the upstairs apartment. It is viscous like syrup and under a space on the wall where something was hanging but had been removed.

Not sure what to do next. But then it dawns on us that we are rumbled. We will have to raid Misr House now. No time to check out the Blue Pyramid club.

How did Gavigan, if indeed it was he, know to warn Tewfik of our approach?

Was there a silent alarm at the Penhew building in Tottenham Court Road or did the guard come to and raise the alarm? Are we being followed? Greg was his usual paranoid self, double backing and driving in circles and never saw any pursuit.

Did the sailors get freed by a returning confederate and warn Ponchi Chabout or Gavigan?

We need to know. But it seems like the cultists will be ready for us at Misr House. Can we wait for the three aviators or should we go now?

Things are getting complicated again.

Yegor Gaidar

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