22: Shanghai Notes 2

15th April 1925

Carl Stanford
Carl Stanford

Shanghai, China:

18:45 PM:

Somewhere in Nevada, 1938:


“Mr., ahem – I mean, sorry, – Professor – Fock, I would now like to ask you about what happened on the evening in Shanghai following the poisoning incident at the hotel. What do you recall?”


“I remember many things that happened in Shanghai. Discoveries were made which confirmed many long-standing theories and predictions I had held for a long time. The so-called cultists of “The Bloated Woman” had made a number of key scientific breakthroughs and were already far in advance of anything which conventional science had thus far developed. They had developed a method of breaking down atomic and sub-atomic particles to generate a power more destructive than anything humanity to this point was capable of imagining. All of my worst fears were confirmed. Of all the apocalyptic scenarios we had witnessed, this was the one. This was the one that would spell the end. The end of us all. Nuclear transmutation: The fission of heavy elements and the release of neutrons and photons in the form of gamma rays. Electromagnetic radiation and kinetic energy generating a self-sustaining chain reaction with limitless destructive potential.”


“I am assuming that the blank expression on your face indicates your fundamental incomprehension of the simple scientific concepts I am describing.”


Professor, please just answer the question. What happened that evening?”


“Very well. I see which way this is going. Since I am now forced to sit here with an entity that not only does not register on the Kardeschev scale, but also is clearly on the verge of inverting the evolutionary scale I will attempt to use descriptive terms that are comprehensible to “Homo sapiens” in the earlier stages of their development. I suggest you call for some hot milk, cookies, a blanket, and a pacifier; and I will attempt to recount to you WHY YOU STILL EXIST. Oh, and please remind them to send up an ashtray.”

Shanghai 1925:

18:51 PM:

The interminable and relentless pace of a city where the struggle for survival is played out in its purest, most chaotic and barbarous forms and where there is little attempt to spread even a thin veneer of civility and order across the cruellest and crassest rituals of exploitation and depravity is beginning to take its toll on the investigators. Another day of chasing leads that simply add more layers of mystery and confusion, the feeling of utter hopelessness and confusion of trying to navigate the madness of a completely alien culture and language through the channel of a single (but excellent) interpreter has proved to be more exhausting than battling through hordes of cultists, travel ling to distant stars and even to the singular Dreamlands.

“A few brief moments of respite are offered in one of the hotel lounges, where cigars and brandy are available in addition to a small but welcoming occidental menu of light snacks before the evening begins in earnest. The investigators take full advantage of the opportunity presented, and the privacy of the lounge quickly fills with smoke, the aroma of cooked food and whispered discussions about whether or not to risk the party at the Shanghai Club, how best to protect Mu Tsien and the potential whereabouts of the enigmatic Jack Brady.”

Without warning, Trixie and Joe suddenly adopt a state of alarm. Have they spotted someone about to attack us?

Trix Hisses: “I have seen someone watching us!”

Trix: “They have… strange skin… possibly ghouls? Or deep ones? Perhaps we should try and contact them using, y’know, the spell?”

Gaidar is already reaching for his doctor’s bag and Joe has clearly also spotted someone. Wesley, Trixie, Joe and Yegor begin to make their way up the broad staircase to one of the rooms. Entering the room there is the muffled sound of one of Joe’s shoes scuffing the doorframe followed by his unexpected collapse and hysterically screaming in pain.

Joe: “Moy foot! Moy feckin’ foot!!!! Jesus, Mary, the Holy feckin’ Ghost and all the feckin’ Saints!”

The pain is clearly excruciating but closer examination by Doctor Gaidar reveals no noticeably serious injury.

Gaidar: “It could be a spell? Or a curse?”

Professor Fock contemplates casting the Ritual of Cleansing on Donelly but catches a glimpse of something in Joe’s eyes that make him hesitate.

Wes: “Doctor Gaidar, look at his eyes: The pupils are dilated! He’s been poisoned! Probably Madame La Belle too!”

Gaidar wastes no time administering medical salts and the investigators in the room are treated to a traditional Irish projectile vomiting. Wesley grabs the phone and calls down to the bar in the hotel lounge where the others are.

The languid voice of the barman eventually answers the call and promises to ask for Mr. Gupta Singh. Professor Fock grows increasingly impatient, but eventually Singh reaches the phone and calmly listens to the instructions to get Trixie upstairs as quickly as possible.

Between bursts of projectile vomiting, Joseph Donelly attempts to share his suspicions:


Back in the lounge, Trixie’s eyes are transfixed on the window, looking up into the evening sky:

Trix: “Oh my god! Look at that! Will ya take a look at that! The stars! I can see a supernova! I think it’s Fomalhaut? Can you see this too?!”

Returning the telephone to the barman, Gupta Singh makes his way across the lounge to Trixie, blocking her way to the window, to which she seems magnetically drawn.

Gupta: “Madame La Belle, we have to go upstairs now. We know what it is! Doctor Gaidar can help you.”

Trix: “Jeez you men are all the same! Why dontcha just take a look outta the window? Can you see that too?”

Gupta: “Yes Madame, but I think we have to go upstairs right now.”

Looking towards the stairs, Gupta notices that a number of curious eyes are now watching the scene.

Gupta: “Oh, don’t worry Madame; it is just one of your funny turns.”

Gupta gets closer to Trixie and whispers: “Madame, you have been poisoned: Mr. Donelly too. We think it was the bloody potatoes. You have to go upstairs now!”

Meanwhile Simon, Trent and Irma waste no time and run into the kitchen in search of the poisoner:

Irma: “Where’s the lad who served the potatoes?”

Kitchen Staff: “Kwan?”

Kwan suddenly hurls a cleaver! And shouts something in Mandarin. Simon fails to dodge the cleaver, which impales into his shoulder. Chaos ensues as kitchen staff either freeze in shock and horror or try and flee in panic. Duxford pulls out a pistol and tries to take aim at Kwan but Irma is now already between him and his target as Irma leaps over the cold starters to try to punch the waiting boy we now know is called Kwan.

A waitress enters the kitchen, sees the gun and screams. Irma deflects an attack on him by Kwan armed with a rolling pin. Taking a punch from Irma, Kwan is rocked but still not down. With a cleaver still embedded in his shoulder, Simon Grand has closed the distance between himself and his assailant and is able to put his entire body weight into a single arcing head-butt into the side of the temple of the already stunned Kwan. Something has to give, and luckily for Simon it is the head of the waiter as he collapses like a rag doll with blood streaming from his eyes, ears and nose.

Trent checks Kwan’s pockets and produces a bottle of the poison used on Trixie and Joseph. The waitress has fainted, and other staff attempt to revive her as the hotel manager and two of his assistants charge into the kitchen, ashen faced:

Hotel Manager: “What has happened here?!?”

Kitchen staff who are not too shocked to speak confirm the investigators’ version of events. The police are on their way.

Hotel Manager: “I am so sorry that this should happen to guests of my hotel! I will do whatever I can to recompense any damage or injury!”

The manager’s eyes suddenly fall on Grand’s shoulder with the meat cleaver still lodged in it. Grand is nibbling on a cold starter when he notices the manager staring at him.

Simon: “Oh, that! Why I forgot all about it in the excitement. Jolly lucky it missed my good eye! My compliments to the cook on these fine canapés!”

Satisfied there is nothing of interest left in Kwan’s pockets, Duxford lets his lifeless body drop to the floor like sack full of livers:

Trent: “I guess we ain’t going to no party at the Shanghai Club, buddies – Simon needs to get that suit to the cleaners.”

Satisfied that Donelly and Madame La Belle will recover from the poisoning incident, Fock, Gaidar and Singh head to the nearest apothecary to examine the poison used. It is an organic compound, possibly a flower, greenish in colour.

The apothecary needs some time before delivering his verdict:

Apothecary: Ah poison make very sensitive to pain! Large dose could kill! Rare plant, flower! Blue petals of the ineffable path! Very rare!!!!”

Apothecary: “No antidote! Lasts one to two hours!”

Meanwhile a Swedish and a Chinese police officer come by and question us about what happened. They suggest we be more careful. Greg suspects we were being watched as we left.

Gupta, Irma, Joe and Greg go to the warehouse on the way to Mu Tsien. Followed in another car by the others. Turning into the street where the warehouse is located, the presence of a van and several armed men standing outside indicates that something is seriously amiss…

Joe shoots a guy who runs round the corner after we get out of the car and try and sneak up on them. The guy on the roof with our BAR stood up and tried to hit Irma as he ran for cover. He is killed by Joe.

Irma shoots another from under the car and hits him in the leg and he falls to the ground.…

Gupta’s Tommy gun jams!!! Changes to pistol. There are still lots of them around. One jumps around from the back of the car right next to Gupta – bang bang point blank range not much of his head left.

Inside the warehouse there are more of them!

Joe climbed the wall of the warehouse and sees another man with a Tommy Gun, Our Tommy Gun,and shots him dead.

Trent rushed in through the gates and is confronted by 3 other men who he takes out with his Trench Gun.

They are all gunned down.

Excellent work by Trent with a trench gun!

Sickening to see them all with OUR weapons!!

But where is all our other gear?

McChum is dead. His body was dumped here as a warning. Gupta finds him.

Most of them have their own crappy weapons. But they have been armed. We take the truck. They have taken SOME OF our special items. Including the Yithian communicator. And the mist projector.

Time for revenge. We head to Ho Fong’s residence. In the truck disguised as the cronies.

Irma and Gupta, hiding in the foot well, in the front. We drive up to the gate. The house is surrounded with high walls. All the drains have been blocked up. We drive into the courtyard. 3 on the gate, 2 in the courtyard. One walks up to Irma’s side of the truck. He shoots him with the silenced gun. He’s not dead and calls out. Irma finishes him. Puts the truck into reverse. A bullet hits the truck. Fired from a bolt action mauser. Irma bangs the door to open the rear doors. We are in a compound.

They are wearing gas-masks! Ready for us! Carl Stanford? One is out the back and he is gunned down. We all jump out. The compound is now in full alert.

Out of the truck Trent shoots three of them with trench gun, but one is up and shoots back. He then makes his way to cover the main corridor into the compound.

Gupta and Trixie cover one of the doors which was suddenly opened and out came a cook with a cleaver. Trixie shoots another with a pot of boiling water. Donelly moves behind one of the columns and sees more running towards him from a side corridor.

Gupta then shoots the maid who was in the kitchen area.

The 3 men at the main gate try to shot back but Joe fires and keeps them under cover.

A Grenade is thrown down a corridor by Simon takes out a few. Joe moves towards the area and is attacked by a man and loses his skin of sedefkar.

Trixie goes into the kitchen and shoots someone else in there but he gets punched and also looses her skin.

Gupta shoots another one in the kitchen area. Then Wes shoots another with the M16 who comes round the corner while trying to attack Joe.

New Round:

Irma reverses the van so the back is facing the double doors. Greg behind the machine gun. Trixie to belt feed. Where Joe sees more of them are coming. Wes gets a grenade ready while Joe. fires his B.A.R. There is a spell caster who casts “Hands of Cthulhu” on Donelly who is immobilized. Wes’ grenade kills the priest and maybe some more behind him.

Meanwhile Gupta opens the double doors for the mounted maxim… The four guys in formation with rifles drawn behind the door are in trouble. Deep trouble…

Joseph shouts out:

Joe: “You didn’t expect that did you!”

More follow. Gupta backs off while Greg mows them down.

Joe, still held by the spell, spots a stick of dynamite fall from the sky, out of the corner of his eye, by the truck!!!!

Fist of Yog Sothoth cast by Simon blasts it away! It explodes harmlessly!

We scream in pretence that we have been hit. Wesley sees that it is Carl Stanford levitating above us wearing a bullet proof jacket and holding his cane!!!

Gupta sees that there are double doors across the other side of the kitchen area. No one else can be seen.

Stanford: “I’ll make you a deal. All I want is what Brady’s got! I’m not interested in anything else here. I do not have a quarrel with you! I serve my master!”

Irma’s places the bar on both gates to prevent the guards from entering.

Gaidar: “I won’t make the same mistake with you this time: Scum!”

Two badly injured cultists lean on each other for support to try and get to Joe and kill him… Wes shoots them. Irma climbs onto the roof and sees all the carnage where the grenades went off. He thinks there is another courtyard further across.

Irma sees that Stanford is trying to escape into the street. Wes shoots two cultists trying to get over the gate…


Journal Wesley

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