A Gathering & Understanding

Session 1

CHAPTER 1

London, England.  In the year 2412, when the Olympic games came to London once more.  Unfortunately during the final ceremonies, with all the fireworks and fanfare, an attack by cybernectically enhanced humanoids, known as the Cybermen, timed their assault on Earth once again.  Using the gathering of nations as a staging ground for a larger scale assault, relying on taking victims and ‘upgrading’ them to a higher purpose.

However a strange mysterious man seemed to have had prior knowledge of what was about to transpire, and manages to thwart the Cybermen’s plans, nipping their attack in the bud and sending them off.  But he wasn’t alone, a few, and only a select few of the athletes present fought back.  Unfortunately only one still remains with any fight left in him, standing amongst the debris of a once great stadium, many dead around, spectators and competitors alike.  Still in his nation’s athletic uniform, this Russian man standing 5’8” tall, looking to be in his early twenties.  His eyes are dark the same as his hair, with a slight athletic build.  He clutches in his closed fist a track suit jacket which matches his own, and he looks around him as if looking for something or someone lost.

The strange young gentleman walks through the chaos all about, heading towards this Russian athlete.  The guy looks very calm and relaxed in all of this as he walks with a purpose.  He stands out yet fits in, dressed as he is in his mauve thrilled shirt, which he wears under an opened double-breasted black jacket, a bright yellow handkerchief stuck neatly out from one of the many pockets.  A black felt peaked cap fitting perfectly on his head, and a black walking cane in hand, topped with an image of a raven.  This mysterious stranger who had foiled the plan of these invaders, without it seems causing a crease in his superfluous clothes, now stops in front of the Russian man.

“Well thank you my good man.  It was of the most use.”  After thanking him once again, the stranger asks after the jacket in the Russians closed hand, enquiring if it is a spare in case the other got dirty.  The Russian explains that it is his team-mate and close friend’s jacket.  They had both been captured near the start.  However since then he has not seen him since.  The strange pulls out his bright yellow handkerchief and proffer it to the Russian.  The Russian thanks him and carries on explaining that he hasn’t even seen any of his team mates since then either.  Last he saw was them all being herded off to one of the big processing plants, by the metal men.

“Considering you took on the Cybermen without a blink of an eye or second thought, why just stand there now.  Come on, onwards and forwards. Come on, come on.”  The Russians just stands there, jacket in one hand, bright handkerchief in the other, looking in to the middle distance, before turning his gaze back to this strange man.

“Are you going to use that handkerchief or not?  Look if you are not going to use it then I would like it back, as you can see it is a very important part of my ensemble.”  The Russian hands back the bright yellow handkerchief, stating that he believes all his friends to now be dead, dead or transformed.  The stranger places his hand on the Russian’s shoulder.

“Look my friend.  What you believe to be, and what actual exists, are two very different things.  And I mean this to nearly everything that you know exists in your life.  But I reckon we should go look in to it anyway.  Lets face it, they put me here to keep me from doing anything important anyway, so I feel we should go do the most interesting thing I can find.  Come on lad, where did you last see them?  Let’s go.”  And with that the strange walks off, “Come on.”

As they walk off in the direction of where the Russian last saw his friends, which happens to be the correct direction where the stranger was heading.  The strange mentions how stoic the Russian is with all things considered.

“You’ll be surprised how you get used to things over time.”  The Russian points out.

“Trust me, I know exactly what you mean.  So how long have you been around?  How long has it taken to wear you down?”

“Oh a few decades.”

“A few…..ew.. Really!” He pauses before repeating his last word. “Really!?  Two decades.  It took that long to grind you down.  What did you go through?  It wasn’t one of those genocide transdimensional torture cameras was it?”  The Russian is totally lost by this point; a puzzled look across his face as he tries to mouth what the stranger just said, then gives up.  But the stranger carries on, saying how this device can really get you down, and understands completely.

“What?”  The Russian finally voices.  The stranger stops and looks back at him, only then noticing the Russian logo on his shirt.  The stranger then gives a knowing look and exclamation, then goes on to explain about a saying he knows, pulling out his bright yellow handkerchief once more, folding it this way and that.  “Handkerchief.  It is a square piece of cloth.  Small, held to cover up the lack of tears at funerals.  Is that bad taste right now?  I really can’t tell.”  The Russian gives him an askance look.

As the view of destruction comes in to sight before them, the Russian stops to look at where he had last saw his friends, a distant look to his eyes.  The stranger carried on for several steps before stopping and turning around, and simply asking with the word ‘yes’.  They then both notice that a scrap of paper falls out from the friend’s jacket pocket.

Sketch

The piece of paper is a crumpled up, old copy of an even older document.  The copy is not a very good reproduction, and has no colour except for age.  It is purely black & white, and is difficult to read the text or make out if the original had any colour or not.  The Russian picks the paper up from the floor, unfolding it and looking upon it quizzically.  By this time the stranger has walked over, so the Russian hands it to him to see if he can understand any of it.  Instantly the stranger can see that the picture shows a Cyberman clearly, and shares this much, asking if this did indeed come from his friends jacket pocket.  The copy looks like it was reproduced around the late 20th century, where as the original could be from the early 1900s.  The stranger talking out loud as he studies the paper and sharing his thoughts.

“I believe we need to find your friend and ask him where he came upon this piece of paper.”  He then begins to head off once more towards the carnage, leaving the Russian to follow him.

They spend some time searching around the debris, finding only dead bodies and broken machinery, both Manmade or of Cyberman construction.  Not finding anyone left alive in this mess, nor any sign of the Russian’s friend.  He looks about him and says to anyone listening, “It doesn’t look like anyone survived.  Or those that have, have been chased off with the Cybermen.”

“No, no.  What we see is that there is nobody here.  We don’t know if anyone survived or changed, just that they are not here.”  The stranger then whips out from an inside pocket, an object resembling a fancy screwdriver/torch, which he produces to wave about in the air around them, the object giving off a faint humming sounds.  He then gives it a quick flick, spinning it back before his eyes and studies it briefly, muttering a rejected humph, then turns back to the piece of paper and the Russian, suggesting that it may be wise for them to concentrate on that.

“You… What was your name again?”  The stranger asks, as if he had already asked that question before.

“Ivan”

“Ivan.  That was it.  I feel we should go find a library and see what we can discover about this.” He holds up the piece of paper for emphasis.  “Don’t you?”  The Russian, Ivan just stands there looking at him lost for words, but not given enough time to reply before the stranger continues.  “I believe we need to find the original to see what we can read from it, in the hope of discovering more on this attack.  Are you coming?”  Bit a taken by this, and not sure how to reply or act right now, Ivan just agrees and follows the stranger.

As they walk off, the stranger explains how they need to find a large library.  He feels they need to begin their search there, and then work backwards to see where it takes them.  “I have my craft near here.  Try not to get too worried.”  He leads Ivan towards the athlete’s changing rooms, directing him to a secluded corner where a small barred off room is sat, closed with an ‘OUT OF ORDER’ sign hanging in front, across the closed big curtains.  The stranger removes the sign and indicates for Ivan to step in.  Ivan just stands there looking perplexed at this offer, hesitant to the instructions and what it could mean.  The stranger waves his hand in a gesture to enter, assuring him that he will follow right behind him.  “Don’t worry there is plenty of room inside.  Trust me it is bigger than you think.  It may look small from here, but once inside it will look massive.  Its funny, the Administrator always said mine looked bigger than most once inside.”  Ivan doesn’t look relaxed by this strangers reassurances, but slowly and cautiously edges his way towards the opening, keeping his back towards the wall and facing the man.  He almost walks crab like in through the curtains, the stranger asking if anything is wrong behind him.

Once stepped through, Ivan stops and just stands there his jaw open and his eyes wide at what he sees.  “I told you it was big.  Come on lets get going.”  The stranger steps in and around him to a control desk before them.  The surrounding decor in this room is very Romanesque and foppish, with stone looking pillars and bright coloured drapes of purples and greens strewn about.    Ivan’s brain not taking in this unbelievable sight, where within in is so much bigger than what it appeared outside, he slowly walks on in, the door closing behind him.  From this side it is in fact a door and not curtains as it was from the outside.  His mouth still open and eyes wide in disbelief.  By this time the stranger has already leapt to the controls with excitement of the coming adventure, muttering as he twiddles knobs and pulls levers.  He mentions that the 1960s should be a good place to start, and turns to check if Ivan is in agreement.

“It may get a little rough from now.  It is not really meant to be piloted by one but…  Well there has been things, and other things shall we say.  And things were heard and done, but it is all in the past, or the future, but we will get to that another time.  The important thing to remember during all this is to not panic, it doesn’t help.”  He flicks a switch.

An unease happens to Ivan as a strange noise echoes around him.  His mind and stomach feeling detached from him as a motion happens without.  The stranger adjusts some other knobs as he ‘pilots’ his craft.  Soon the strange sensation stops, even though it had been going on for only a few minutes.  The mysterious stranger tweaks a few more levers and switches on the control panel, before stepping out the main door with eager anticipation.

CHAPTER 2

A very tall, over six feet in height, and very thin, average looking guy, in his late twenties, sits on his horse in the woods, awaiting his next victim to travel by.  As he sits patiently waiting like he has done so many times before, checking the edge of his sword, and making sure his guns are loaded and ready, he hears a most peculiar of sounds near by but can see nothing.  The sound does last that long before stopping as abruptly as it started, a not very loud sound but one that can be heard by his trained ear out here in the country.  He sheaths his sword and taps his foot for his horse to move out, drawing one of his guns as his other hand holds the rain.

Just to one side of the muddy trail that is used as the highway through this wooded area of the country, sits an odd sight that wasn’t there before, and really doesn’t seem to fit in with the surroundings.  A statue of an ordinary looking male angel figure standing on top of a large plinth.  Then these two odd dressed gentlemen walk from behind the object.

The mysterious stranger stands just outside from the statue on the plinth, he twirls his cane in hand before placing it in his hand behind his back.  “Ah!  Well I think we may get some very early books her if we look. Look, look.”  He turns back to Ivan as he joins him outside.  And as they convene on the highway, the stranger explaining himself and their location, they are suddenly aware of a man dressed all in black with a plain black tricorne hat and dirty black scarf around his mouth, sitting upon a horse, guns in hand looking at them oddly.  This man on horseback aims one of his guns at Ivan demanding them to hand over their valuables.  The stranger begins to walk about looking around, when the man demands for him to stop moving.

“Ah.  You must be the Librarian, could you be so kind as to point us in the direction of the rarer texts.”  The man on horseback fires on of his guns at the stranger’s feet, which produces a question.  “Why do the Librarians have guns?”

“Hand over your valuables!” He asks again.  Ivan takes this opportunity to leap for the man on horseback while he is distracted, knocking him off the horse and hitting the ground hard on his rump, dropping the both guns from his hands.  This causes the horse to be between both him and Ivan.  The highwayman draws his rapier as he stands, Ivan making sure to keep the horse between them.

“Why did you attack the Librarian?  He isn’t going to help us find the books now.”

“I don’t think this is a Librarian.”  Ivan argues back, not wishing to take his eyes from the highwayman.

“Excuse me, excuse me.  Are you a Librarian?  You have the attitude for one.  That feeling of hating humanity.  I, I just wondered.”

“I am not a Librarian.”  The highwayman answers annoyed by this agitating strange garbed man.

“Ivan you were right.”  The highwayman then points out that this is in fact not a Library at all, to which the stranger agrees to begin to feel that was the reality of it.

“This is in fact a kind of bank, and you are here to make a deposit.”  The stranger asks him what the actual year is.  The highwayman pauses unsure of the question before answering tentatively that it is 1732.

“Oh well in that case, you really don’t want to trust the banks in this day and age, they are like highway robbers.”  The stranger pauses upon stating this and then looks at the highwayman.  “Oh…I see.  In retrospect that was remarkable obvious.”  The highwayman is beginning to get agitated by this stranger who talks nonsense, demanding that they hand over all their valuables.  This encourages the stranger to pull his bright yellow handkerchief out and hand it over, informing him that it is in fact quite valuable.

“What else do you have?”

“Oh what else…Hmm.  Um I have a bag of Jelly Babies, they are quite valuable you know.  Come, come in, and let me show you.  But do you mind leaving that sword outside if you could be so kind.  I don’t want you to scratch anything.”

“Well isn’t that the point of a sword, to scratch things.”

“I don’t want you to damage anything, and I am really sorry about attacking you.  Ivan will not do that again.  I feel really awkward about it.  Please come on in to my…plinth here.”  He says turning and gesturing with his hand towards the statue.

“No! Stop!”  He then turns to Ivan.  “Your Ivan right?  Why don’t you go on in there and get the valuable like he said, or else I will stab him.”

“Ah, well there is a problem with that.  Only I can go in.  A security measure you see.”  The stranger interrupts.

The highwayman lunges forward swinging his sword at the stranger.  But as he does this, Ivan leaps at him knocking him aside and making him stumble past the stranger and towards the door to the plinth, causing his sword tip to nick the side of the stranger, tearing through the fabric but luckily not the flesh.  Quickly the stranger holds his hands up and steps back. “Wow, wow, wow.  If you kill me then you will never get inside to retrieve any valuables.”  So the strange plies his silver tongue on the highwayman, convincing him that there are many riches that he will not get if he kills him.  The highwayman then turns his sword upon Ivan, and informs the stranger that he had better go get money and gold, something that can be exchanged for vast amounts of money.  Again the stranger brings up the subject of Jelly Babies, suggesting they are a fine commodity that can be exchanged for monetary value in all the places he has been, of which there have been many.  He carries on by unlocking the door to the plinth as he talks.

“What colour would you prefer?”

“Guess!”

“I would rather not, especially as you have a stabby implement at my companions neck.”

“Look just get them all.  What ever is most valuable.”

The stranger steps in to the plinth and disappears for a few seconds, almost a minute before opening the door once more and pointing a torch like object at the highwayman.  “Well I do have this.”  And with that the stranger presses a button on the device, feeling a vibration run through his hand, as he makes the highwayman’s sword fall apart in his hand, causing the electrons within the sword at a sub atomic level to separate the metals.

“Oops. Can we talk now?”  The highwayman looks at his empty hand in disbelief.

“I really do have Jelly Babies, so please do come in.  I just didn’t want you to stab my companion.”  Taken by this and unsure what to do except find out what had happened, the highwayman steps to the door of the plinth and walks in.  Ivan brings up the rear, keeping his distance just in case.

Upon crossing the threshold of the plinth and seeing within, the highwayman’s stomach flips with unease, his mind blanking and refusing to believe what his eyes are seeing.  He wavers and takes a step back outside, bumping in to Ivan, which causes him to spin around and stumble back inside.  Ivan walks in and the door closes behind them.

“So now you are inside and can see the value, what do you say to having a hot meal made for you?  He then asks out loud to the control panel it seems, to make several hot beverages, and soon presses steaming hot mugs in to both Ivan’s and the highwayman’s hands.  It appears to be a type of Cup-a-Soup meal.  One mug as the slogan ‘Worlds greatest driver’ and the other ‘If you can read this then you’re too close’.

The highwayman goes over to Ivan and places a hand upon his shoulder.  “Who are you and what is this place?  Why are you travelling with this idiot?”

“What do you mean idiot?  I’ll have you know I wasn’t the one with the sword in their hand.”  The highwayman holds his hand up in the air and waves it about in a dismissive fashion as if to silence the stranger.

“I am Ivan Ivonovic. A Russian athlete.  And as to who this strange man is, well you guess is as good as mine.  I have only known him for a few hours.”  This is a surprise to the highwayman who introduces himself as Jack Brann, confused to discover this information, and the fact they have travelled from London in this stranger’s vehicle.  The stranger tries to explain how the plinth doesn’t belong him, only that he is allowed to use and operate it.

“Oh so did you steal it?”  Jack asks.

“No I didn’t steal it.  I don’t know this always comes up, you try to explain it and because one person goes and steals, then suddenly we are all thieves.  It’s the stereotyping that gets to me.”

“So it was given to you?”

“Yes I was allocated it and sent to this harmless place where I couldn’t get myself in to trouble.  That worked quite well didn’t it.”

“Allocated from where?”

“Ah well that is a long story, and you don’t seem to have the temperament for long stories.  So lets just keep it short and say my bosses allowed me to use it.”  They then go on to explain how they were looking for a library, to which Jack suggests that he has a horse and offers to drag the plinth to London.  The stranger thinks for a bit then wonders why they had come here, so pulls out the piece of paper with the drawing and text, showing it to Jack and seeing if it means anything to him.  Jack looks and looks again, finding no meaning to it at all.  He has seen nothing like it before.  And so the stranger explains what they know and what they are trying to do.  Jack still looks confused and wonders how something can exist when it hasn’t been written yet.  The stranger tries to explain which only confuses and makes matters worse, even for Ivan.  So the stranger asks Jack if he would like to come along and see.  Jack wonders if he is being offered a job as a hired sword, to which the stranger agrees, only asking for him to not go stabbing people, and assuring him that they will get him another sword.

“Look just one thing, could you not tell anyone that I am a highwayman?  I really don’t want to be hung and die.”

“Oh no, I completely understand.  I know what it is like to die and it is very painful, and I wouldn’t want to go through that again.”  He pats Jack on the back.  And with that the stranger turns and begins to do his dance around the control panel, pulling levers and twiddling knobs.

CHAPTER 3

The large plinth with the statue stood upon it stealthily materialises on the street near to a large building that may house a library.  The time seems to be correct, arriving in the late 1930s, and location seems promising but on a different continent.

The stranger announces to his new companions that they have indeed landed in the early 20th century, and being an ‘expert’ in history will happily fill them in on anything they need to know, like etiquette, dress sense, or mannerisms etc.  Jack looks confused again, so the stranger explains with a little more detail, checking his sensors on his craft.  He tells them that they have arrived in early 1937, in the good ‘ol U.S of A.  Jack check to confirm if in fact they are no longer in the 1700s, or how they look upon highwaymen.  The stranger installs in his companions how there is no need for violence or death, and how everything can be obtained with out it or stealing.

Eventually after making sure everything will be okay, and minds settled to the idea, the stranger throws open the door and announces, ‘Welcome to…’  He pauses and turns to a passer-by, asking them where exactly they are.  The passer-by looks confused at him, so the stranger quickly makes up a story of them being plinth repairmen, and how they have been in there so long, and go all over the country.  The female passer-by still looks at odds with this and quickly hurries on, wishing to ignore this odd gentleman in strange clothes.  The stranger twirls his cane and mutters how he should have offered a Jelly Baby, as this often helps in such situations.  None of them dress for the location or time, the stranger keeping his ‘normal’ clothes on, Jack keeps his highwayman clothes on but with the scarf around his neck, and Ivan is still dressed in his athletic attire.

The stranger, unfazed by circumstance walks on and asks another person where the library can be found.  Explaining how much they love such places of knowledge.  The man looks puzzled at the speech, and the attire both the stranger and his colleague seem to be wearing.  He then turns to point down the street, sharing how they will find the library just further on down and to the right at the corner.  The strange pulls out his white paper bag and offers the gentleman a Jelly Baby.  The man refuses, wishing to be on his way when the stranger asks where they are.  The guy looks confused and suggests the name of the street, ‘Bull Street’, and then adds Savannah, Georgia to the look the strange gives as if expecting more.  The stranger then asks one more question of the guy, “And who is the current president?”

“Franklin D. Roosevelt.”  Then the guy hurries away making sure there is distance between him and those strangers.

“Oh that is good, we are not in an alternative time line.”  The stranger mutters aloud to himself.

“What is a time line?” Jack asks curious.

“Well you know what a line is right. And you know what time is okay.”  Jack nods to the first and mentions how he thought he knew to the second.  “Well you see…” The stranger trails off as he turns to head to the library building.

Upon entering the library, they can indeed see shelves upon shelves of many and various books, there are no trees or highwaymen to worry about, and there is a help desk before them with a female assistant busy sorting paperwork behind it.  The stranger goes up to the desk and greets the woman with miss, asking if she would be able to assist them.  He asks Ivan if he could show the woman the piece of paper.  He then explains to the woman how the three of them are working on a research paper, trying to find the original source of the document.  The woman looks at the three of them, a quizzical expression crossing her face; she then looks back down at the paper shaking her head.  The stranger quickly adds how he understands and explains that they are in fact European.  She nods along to his explanation but not really listening as she studies the paper.

The woman explains how she believes the original would have been hand drawn and written, even though this paper looks printed, and suggests trying the exotic section, but believes how there will probably be nothing there.  She then apologised for not being of much help to them.  The stranger then asks if she knows of someone who may specialise in such things that they can talk with.  She thinks for a moment then suggests a gentleman by the name of Mr. Cook, William Cook.  Believing he may be of help as he deals with strange fiction and peculiarities.  The stranger thanks her and asks if she could let Mr. Cook know that they wish to talk with him.  He then takes off his hat and gives a very big and deep bow with a flair of his hat in hand.

The three spend a few hours searching around the library, researching for anything that may give them a lead to the document.  During the time, Jack asks the stranger, “So what do I call you, what is your name strange travelling man?”

“Who…what.  Who me?”  The stranger asks looking around him at the names on the spines of the books, buying for time.  “What would be an appropriate one as I wouldn’t want to cause a disturbance around here?”

“Well, your name.”

“Ah your name, umm….yes.  How about Price?”  Jack gives in and agrees to call him Price.  Jack then asks Ivan to share what he knows of this piece of paper.  Ivan can’t give him much but shares what they know so far.  About the attack by Cybermen and how the paper depicts one.  And how him, Price, (Ivan nods his head in the direction of Price,) knows more and filled in the gaps.  Which of course this all just confuses poor Jack, with an attack by metal men that hasn’t but will happen.

In the end they are unable to find anything that leads them on a trail of investigation, so with ‘Price’ suggesting and taking the lead, they go back to the female librarian to after Mr. William Cook.  The woman looks up at them as they stand before her.  ‘Price’ speaks for the three, saying how much of a great library they stand within, but regret to say are unable to find anything amongst the books that are of any help.  He then proceeds to ask how to find the fellow Cook, William Cook.  Then he babbles on more to himself than to the woman, of how the proper way would be to address such a fine fellow.  She patiently waits, roller her eyes when he finishes, looking at him at odds but then politely informs him that in fact, it just so happens that Mr. Cook had not long walked in to the library and adjourned to a section, to which she points out, hoping that the three would soon leave her presence.  ‘Price’ thanks her most deeply and walks away, the woman reminding him to not disturb the other patrons, and to remain quiet.

As they walk over to the pointed out section, ‘Price’ asks if one of them would be so kind as to take the lead in this endeavour, as he tends to get carried away and confuse the locals.  Ivan volunteers,  pulling out the piece of paper from his pocket and then slips it back in.  As they approach the gentlemen they believe to be Mr. Cook, Ivan steps forward with a friendly smile.  Mr. Cook is sat at a table, dressed like everyone else they have met there, very smart in his pressed suit, a hat by his side on the table.  A folded up magazine sat next to the hat with the title ‘Weird Tales’, and glasses perched on the end of his nose as he looks down reading.

“Mr. Cook I presume?”  States Ivan as he thrusts out his hand in greeting.  Mr. Cook looks up on hearing his name, seeing this hand before him, and then noticing the odd dressed gentleman before him.  He looks back at the hand before him and stands, taking the hand in his and giving it a good hearty handshake.  As he does so he focuses back on the odd dress sense, asking to whom he has the pleasure of meeting, and how he may know him.  Ivan states that the friendly librarian suggested they have a word with him, and quickly adds that he is from Europe hoping this will excuse his attire.  ‘Price’ leans over and whispers audibly a reminder of how polite it is to give a name.  Ivan quickly adds, ‘Steven’.

“Oh, Mr. Steven, please join me.  What seems to be the problem?”  Ivan steps closer and pulls the paper from his pocket stating how the librarian believed he may be able to help them with it, as it was found amongst his friend’s belongings.  “We are curious to figure out what it is.”  Cook takes the piece of paper and unfolds it, a shocked blank expression crossing his face before looking like he recognises the document.

“Where did you get this from?  How did you get this?”

“As I said it was my friend’s.”

“And who is your friend?  How did he get it?”

“Well that is it.  That is what we are trying to find out.  But my friend is missing.”  Cook looks over at Ivan at odds, turning to notice the attire his colleagues wear also.  ‘Price’ quickly excuses themselves as European too.  Cook just shakes his head and turns back to the paper and then looks at ‘Steven’.  Cook explains how most odd all of this is, especially how what he holds is a reproduction of a piece of work that was personally made and given to him by a dear friend.  No copies were made, or even produced and published.  “I find it most odd how this personal artefact got copied and found in the possession of a friend of yours, in such a form.”  Ivan asks if Cook’s friend may have made a copy, but Cook assures him that there was none made, and the one he owns was the only one.  It was some ideas and doodles that his friend had made while writing one of his many articles he tries to get published, and felt it no longer served a purpose so gave it to him as a memento to a life long friend.  “Purely a curiosity and that is all.  Sometimes he manages to get a piece of work published in here.”  Cook taps the magazine beside him, “But it is not where he wishes to be, or feels his work deserves to be.”  Hearing all of this, ‘Price’ steps forward and carries on with how fascinating it all is, how such a thing got so interwoven in all of them.  He asks Cook if it would be possible to meet up with his friend to talk more on the matter.  Cook feels that it could be a possibility, looking at ‘Price’ and asking to know his name.  ‘Price’ squirms a little trying to look for the book with the name on that he used.  “Umm, yes my name is Mr. Rice. PRICE. Mr. Price.  Sorry a problem with the letters sometimes.  European don’t you know.”  Cook stands and offers his hand to ‘Price’ greeting him properly.  Cook then asks to the remaining gentleman would be.  ‘Price’ apologises and says that it is their good friend; he then makes a slight gesture and face in the hopes of Jack introducing himself.

“I am Jack Brann.”  Cook greets him and offers his hand.

Once the greetings are all out of the way, Cook sits back down and explains how there may be a little difficulty.  He explains that his friend is a shy and quiet individual who tends to keep himself to himself.  “A recluse you could almost say.”  Cook suggests how he could make introductions by sending his friend a telegram, seeing if he is indeed willing to meet with them.  He warns them how they will have to travel across country to meet with him as he lives in Rhode Island.  Cook gives the friend’s name as Lewis Theobald, and he lives with his Aunt.  ‘Price’ thanks him heartily for all the help he is offering.  He then asks if they could press their luck and Cook’s kindness by asking if they could take a look at the original document, not wishing to intrude.  Cook thinks for a moment and then suggests that if they could leave him to his work for the rest of the day, then they could come back to his in the early evening for a meal, that his wife would be only too happy to lay on extra.

During the time they have to waste before the evening meal, ‘Price’ rummages around his craft, looking for something appropriate to give a lady as a thank you gift.  He manages to find a shiny rock from an odd planet somewhere deep in space and time, which he can no longer remember the name of but feels it should be more than ideal.  Ivan asks to have some change of clothes as he is beginning to feel out of place, also taking a swagger stick to finish the look.  Jack goes off on his own to find a store where he can trade for a blade.  He feels it odd that he has not noticed anyone carrying or wearing a sword or gun.  ‘Price’ stops him from leaving with items that are not from the planet or time zone, offering him suggestions as he pulls items out and about.  Jack eventually comes back, somewhat pleased with himself, trading all of ‘his’ goods for a simple sheathed knife and a blackjack.  ‘Price’ aware how the merchant came off better in the deal.

That evening the three arrive at Mr. Cook’s residence, knocking upon the door and waiting patiently.  Soon the door is answered by the lady of the house as she holds the door open, straightening her apron as she stands there greeting them, and asking if they are the Europeans which are expected.  ‘Price’ takes the lead once again, stating how perceptive of her and offers her a small gift as a thank you for all the extra work she had to do. She takes the gift with a thank you, a slight blush crossing her cheeks.  She then asks them all in and leads them to the lounge, finding William Cook already sat within.  He stands and greets them all holding out his hand, asking them to please sit.  Mrs. Cook excuses herself and leaves.

The group exchange in some small talk, and Mr. Cook shares how he managed to find time to draft a telegram and send it to his friend as an introduction for them.  It soon turns to the document, and Mr. Cook reveals his original to them for all to see.  And as he does so Mrs. Cook steps in to announce that dinner is served.

Colour Sketch

The Doctor Who Role Playing Game (FASA) run by me

Mysterious Stranger – Chris (alcoholandaphorisms)

Companion Ivan – Jason (jymmijamz)

Companion Jack – Will

2 thoughts on “A Gathering & Understanding

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