The evening’s meal goes down well in the Cook’s household. Ivan, Jack, and ‘Price’ (The Mysterious Stranger), all enjoy the company as well as the spread that was laid out before them. ‘Price’ stays more in the background during the meal, not wishing to talk much as his mind mulls over the days events, especially the attack he was thrown in to previously. Jack, at the end of the meal, asks to all who are listen but mainly to the Russian, what it is that is so important about this piece of paper they came to investigate, still unsure what is happening or what his involvement is in all of this. Ivan squirms in his chair slightly not sure what to say, especially with the Cooks still there, but Ivan explains how it may have something to do with his friend that had disappeared. Mrs Cook looks a little bothered by the talk and strange words that are being used by these guests of her husbands. She stands and quickly excuses herself, suggesting that her husband, along with his friends, go back to the lounge for their talk.
Mr William Cook stands and stops the conversation, asking his guests to follow him to his study/lounge room. Jack apologised if he had offended Mrs Cook in anyway. William Cook thanks him for his concern and admits to not understanding all that has been said either, a puzzled expression on his face. He asks them to sit and offers them each a cigar from his wooden box that was sat beside his armchair. ‘Price’ refuses, as do Ivan, but Jack accepts if somewhat unsure what it is, smell it and waits to see what Mr Cook does with his. Mr Cook lights his and then offers the flame to Jack. As Jack pulls on the flame through the cigar, the smoke invading his throat, he is taken back by the strength of the tobacco compared to what he is used to. Eventually Mrs Cook comes in and offers around a cup of coffee to all the guests and then to her husband. ‘Price’ asks Mrs Cook if she has anything to dunk in his drink. She looks perplexed by this and looks over at her husband before apologising and then leaving. ‘Price’ explains away by reminding Mr Cook that they are European.
Again the subject comes around to the document, and ‘Price’ asks what the words and drawings mean. William Cook regrets to inform them how he doesn’t know either. All he does know is how his friend doodles and makes notes for his work and fiction, pulling ideas together, and it was something that his dear friend no longer needed or wanted it around and offered it to him. “And I do so like his work, so I happily accepted to take it off his hands.”
“He no longer wanted it around. Hmm, did he say why?”
“No he didn’t, just mentioned how it bothered and no longer wanted it around him anymore.”
“And you have not had any concern or problems from this document?”
“No nothing wrong with it, I am only to happy to have this. And if at a later date he wishes to have it back then I will only be too happy to oblige.”
“Did you friend travel much?”
“No, not a lot. No he tends to keep himself to himself. He does tend to get himself worked up somewhat if he can’t seem to get his work out there. But I do think that he may have become a bit of a recluse of late. But now he does not travel all that much, probably mostly across state would be the furthest travelled. Not a lot really.”
“Oh I am looking forward to talking to this man. How intriguing and wondrous how these ideas came to him. Don’t you think?”
“If you say so.”
“Why don’t you feel how it almost seems like he has witnessed it all himself.”
“Well I do believe that he is a very talented guy, but unfortunately most people do not see and dismiss it.”
The evening draws on and Mr Cook excuses him and his wife, saying how it has been a long day. ‘Price’ thanks him for his hospitality and assistance and bids them a good evening. After leaving the Cook’s household, the three head back to the stranger’s plinth vehicle thing, known to ‘Price’ as a TARDIS. Neither Ivan nor Jack is aware of such a title for the craft; to them it is known as the plinth.
Once back onboard, Jack again asks why the document is so important. ‘Price’ answers this time, “Its incongruous. We found it, it had dropped out of someone’s pocket, during an attempted Cyberman’s invasion. That is pretty unlikely in itself.”
“Oh yes, the Siberians you had told me about.”
“Ah, I think I had better go in to a little more detail. Okay boys, girls, if you would like to sit around for a moment. Cybermen are dangerous, they are really, really dangerous. You can see the picture of what they look like there.” He holds up the document and points to the drawing to the right. “For you try to imagine they are people in full suits of armour, and all that remains is the brain within. They take people and put them in full suits of armour, whether they are willing or not. Generally when anyone sees them is to run away. Screaming if need be. That is an optional extra. You pick. Unfortunately they seem to have taken our friend’s friends.” He indicates to Ivan. He goes on to explain how they need to find out how someone back in this time knows about it, and the document was found in a pocket in the future. He also explains that if all fails and was a waste of time, then he will just go back to the time they original left, but five minutes later, nothing lost. Jack looks confused, and is probably not made any better by ‘Price’ continuing to try to explain the situation with time and location, pulling down maps and charts.
Jacks asks why no one has just punched and or knocked these men in full suits of armour over, especially as it would be overly heavy. ‘Price’ shares how as it is only the brain left within the suits, how the minds goes insane. Jack jumps at this word explaining to himself more than to the stranger how they must be Daemons. The stranger likes this analogy and agrees how that is exactly what they are. And as he walks over to the controls he reminds them, especially Ivan, that it is okay to run from the Cybermen as that would be the better plan of action.
The mysterious stranger, who seems to have adopted the name ‘Price’, for now, begins to hold his finger to the air, after pulling said finger from his mouth. Mutters how the wind is perfect, tells Ivan and Jack how it would be good for them to hold on to something, and then begins to slam levers and press buttons. Once again pilots this vessel of his to their next destination.
‘Price’ walks out from the vessel first, twirling his cane out in front of him in a frivolous fashion. This time around he has decided to have his TARDIS take the shape and appearance of an automobile from the period. He reminds his companions how they must be on their best behaviour, and say or do nothing that will agitate this Lewis Theobald. Jack sarcastically replies how they will not confuse the poor chap with their ‘European’ ways. And with that they head on over to the address they have been given, to meet this reclusive man and his notes.
‘Price’ uses the end of his cane to rap on the door of the house in Providence, announcing to the household that they are awaiting entrance. Eventually an elderly lady answers the call, pulling the door open and greeting them, asking how she may help them. ‘Price’ tips his black felt hat, and greets the old lady, introducing himself as Price and then his two friends. He explains how they are there to meet with a Lewis Theobald, as per the telegram. She looks puzzled by this name, and chews the name over and over on her tongue.
“I don’t think I know anyone by that name. No.” She pauses for a moment, and before anyone can reply she exclaims, “Oh hold on, I think that could be Howard. Yes it could be, let me see. Do, please come in.” She steps aside to allow them entrance to her house. Then she leads them all to her front room, offering them each a seat. Once seated she asks if they would like a cup of tea. ‘Price’ is very pleased with this offer and agrees whole heartedly, asking if she has anything to dunk with the beverage. The old lady ignores the last comment and turns to see if his two friends accept her offer too. They do, so she turns and waddles slowly off to the kitchen.
They hear her in the back room to the house, busy in the kitchen preparing the tea, pouring water and clanking object, all the while humming to herself. ‘Price’ quickly asks in a whisper, if one of his companion would run off and investigate the rest of the house, while he keeps her busy with talk. He shares how he is a little worried, believing how she may be a bit senile thinking Lewis and Howard are the same person. In the end he directs his suggestion to Jack, feeling it would suit his background more. Jack agrees standing and heading off out of the room, being careful not to be spotted from the kitchen down the hall. As he leaves he asks ‘Price’ what he is looking for. “Anything unusual.” Reminding him that they are in fact in a different time zone and needs to bear that in mind.
Jack sneaks across the hallway, hearing the old lady in the kitchen, seeing her busy moving around. He heads to the stairs and goes up, being very careful as he treads, becoming aware of a creaky step which he avoids. Once at the top of the stairs on the landing, he sees an open bathroom that he checks first. Nothing is out of place within here he believes and so leaves and moves down to the next room. This next room is a bedroom; a rather effeminate room that he feels is the old lady’s. An old dressing table sits against the window, a thin dust of sorts laying over the thin frilly lace and bottles of creams and perfumes sat on the top. He spends time checking over the room.
Downstairs the old lady walks back in to the room with her guests, carrying a pot of tea, jar of milk, and four cups with saucers, all on a warn but posh looking tray. She sits down and begins to pour out the tea, first offering a cup to ‘Price’, then to Ivan, and as they begins to pour a third she looks up a spots someone missing, so quickly looks to ‘Price’ for an answer. ‘Price’ quickly excuses his friend Jack; explain how the journey has caught him short, and so decided to go out for some fresh air, not wishing to disturb their host. The old lady looks concerned by this and stands, beginning to head to the front door. “Oh I hope he will be okay. He must go up and use the bathroom.” ‘Price’ quickly stands also, assuring the old lady that he will be fine, and was going to go for a casual stroll around the block while getting his fresh air. He then quickly changes the subject and asks her about Howard, and how she feels that this Lewis Theobald is the same person, admitting to her how this confused him. Asking if she would be so kind as to explain it, indicating for her to sit back down. She sits herself back in her chair, informing him how she will pour her friends tea when he comes back, and then pours her own cup of tea. She then hands over a small tray with sweet biscuits on, offering them around. ‘Price’ exclaims with joy, “Oh dunking things.” He leans closer to her, “I do believe you are the best host on this trip. The last host had a great spread of food, but no dunking things.” He taps his nose twice, “You’re in the lead.” The old lady blushes at this, still looking a little confused by the comment but chooses to ignore it and takes a biscuit for herself.
After asking ‘Price’ to ask his question again, the old lady begins to share how Howard is such a lovely and gentle man, but has difficulty getting his work published. And he really does like to share his work with everyone. She then leans over and pulls out a magazine from her bureau beside her chair, handing it over to ‘Price’. The title of the magazine is ‘Weird Tales’. As ‘Price’ takes this from her, she explain how Howard sometimes uses a pseudonym to get his work published, as he tries so many times, and just changing his name seems to work occasionally. It has been difficult for him, especially after being diagnosed as having a troubling illness. She shares how it has bothered Howard so, and he will spend days locked in his room, working on his next luminary. But once his magic with the words is done, he will come downstairs and be all fine. Then he goes off to see the publisher.
“Oh my poor, poor sister. It was her boy, God rest her soul. I am all that is left of his family now, and I do like to help him where I can. He is such a lovely man.”
“Upstairs you say. Is he up there now in his room?”
Jack shrugs, feeling that everything is odd to him, but believes there to be nothing to report in this room and leaves. He carries on down the landing to the final closed door, finding a small tray of untouched food on the floor beside the door. The food is all cold and been sat there for hours by the seems of it. Jack tries to strain his hearing, listening for any sounds coming from within, but comes up with nothing. He also takes a look through the keyhole, but spots no movement. Jack gently raps on the wooden door, waiting for several long seconds, lasting over a minute and gets no response. So Jack tries the handle, which turns but does not allow access within. The door is firmly locked. He tries his luck at picking the lock, but not having the correct tools, nor being familiar with the lock, he fails, only managing to hear a click of one tumbler.
‘Price’ asks the old lady if it would be proper to disturb Howard and go up to see him. She agrees that it will be good for him to see some friends/guests, especially as he doesn’t get the chance to see many now a days. He has correspondents he writes to, but he hasn’t been out in days. She shares how she hasn’t seen him in the past couple of days; sure he is busy doing something. She suggests that they head on up and knock on his door, while she puts the tea stuff away and come on up herself after. At this juncture Jack returns, sneaking back down the stairs unnoticed. ‘Price’ gives a thumbs up and a thumbs down in an optimistic fashion. Jack replies with his hand out flat, rippling it up and down slightly in an unsure manner. Could be good, could be bad. ‘Price’ then acts how it is nice to see Jack return feeling better and tells him how they are about to go and meet Howard upstairs, quickly turning him around and heading back.
As they head upstairs, ‘Price’ asks Jack in a whisper if he had found anything. Jack shares how he had found some untouched food, and the door was locked with no response. Nothing else he had found. ‘Price’ pulls out his small torch like object, known to him as his ‘Sonic Screwdriver’, and begins to toss it up and down in his hand for emphasis.
‘Price’ waves his Sonic Screwdriver a few times in the direction of the lock in the door, a slight hum and vibration coming from the torch like device. A click from the door can be heard, and Jack turns the door handle, allowing the door to open freely. ‘Price’ stands there with a slight satisfied and smug smile on his face as he puts the device away in side his jacket. He then steps forward and pokes his head in through the door. “Hello. Howard are you there?” He looks around the room.
A very quiet sound from a radio can be heard playing in the background to the room. There is an empty, and slightly ruffled bed on one side, and an opened writing bureau on the other with an empty chair before it. The window is closed and curtains open, and sat before the window is a simple telescope. And on the table beside is some simple astronomy notes and books.
‘Price’ takes another step in and takes a pan around the room, calling out Howard’s name. He then turns to Jack and asks if he had indeed stolen him, or not, asking if he can turn out his pockets. A smile crossing his face as he turns back to the room. Stepping fully in, ‘Price’ looks back at the door, from the inside, seeing how it would have been locked, noticing the key sat on a table beside the door.
“I do believe we have an actual genuine mystery.” ‘Price’ declares. Ivan and Jack soon follow in to the room. Ivan is taken aback by everything this old around him, able to see it in person instead of reading about or seeing in museums. Also distracted by the sound and voices coming from the radio.
The old lady soon begins her climb up the stairs, humming to herself as she goes. As she reaches the top, ‘Price’ steps out from the room asking, “Howard isn’t invisible is he?”
“What do you mean?” She replies stopping to take in what this stranger has declared. “What do you mean Howard’s invisible? You’re just playing with me now aren’t you? Howard is in there. Is he all well and not ill?” She notices the untouched tray outside the room. “Oh I see he hasn’t touched his food again. Oh dear, dear ,dear. I had better take that down stairs and wash it up.”
“Yes…He is perfectly fine.” ‘Price’ quickly replies and closes the door behind him, adding, “We will just have a word with Howard here.” He then quickly waves his Sonic Screwdriver, causing the lock in the door to bar the door from opening once again.
Jack raises his eyebrow at ‘Price’ asking why he had lied to the old woman. ‘Price’ explains how he did not wish to worry her so, just in case on the off-chance and slim odds that Howard had in fact been upgraded by those terrible suited daemons. “He probably has more than likely been dropped through time or something.” He then begins to organise his companions to begin a search for Howard, suggesting that he may be the voice within the radio, or even shrunk to the size of a pin, trapped between the edges. Suggesting how they think outside the box, ‘as it were’. Then ‘Price’ turns and focuses his attention to looking closely around him.
Jack instantly goes over to the window and takes a look just in case, finding indeed it is closed but not locked from within. Looking out it does not appear an easy way out. After this he goes on over to the bureau to take a look at what Howard has been writing. Ivan goes around the room knocking on the walls and doors trying to find some hidden doorway or some such.
Jack finds some interesting notes and doodles scatter amongst the writing on the desk, along with another copy of Weird Tales, this copy has been well-thumbed through. One of the documents has many scrawled notes and rushed drawings upon a fully opened envelope, while another has an odd drawing come photo of what appears to be two people looking through a tear in the wall. The third interesting item is that of three strange fish like humanoids standing around an object. Again this picture is drawn with more time and detail to it than the others.
Ivan goes tapping around the room and finds nothing that is satisfying to what he believed could have happened. There are no hidden secret doorways or passageways. No hollow sounds behind the walls. ‘Price’ waves another torch like device around in the air, pointing it this way and that, taking readings and seeing if there are any peculiarities within this room. And in one corner of the room, where three points meet in the shadows, he picks up an odd reading, that of a strong and strange mathematical equation. Totally invisible to the naked eye, sat and imposing itself there. ‘Price’ goes over to prod at this anomaly, but as he draws close he can feel an odd pulling and resistance from it. He quickly steps away berating himself for about to do a stupid thing without thought. He then quickly tells his companion to not go anywhere near the corner of the room where he is looking and pointing. Jack turns and asks why, lifting his head from the documents.
“How good are you at dimensional time science?” Jack clamps his mouth shut at this. “Imagine there is a ball of something you wouldn’t want to go near, but worse, and that is what is sat in the corner right now.” Ivan quickly steps away and joins the others.
Jack shows the other two what he has found on the desk, sharing the documents for the others to see. This distracts ‘Price’ briefly as he finds some socks and picks them up, screwing them in to a ball and begins to throw them at the oddity in the corner of the room. One and then the second become sucked in and disappear. Seeing this in the corner of his eye’ Price’ focuses back on the corner of the room, clapping his hands with joy. Talking to himself about sticking and not sticking his head in ‘it’. And how much he would like to stick his head in. Again Jack waves the documents in front of ‘Price’, drawing his attention back to the matter at hand.
‘Price’ pays more attention to the documents before him, seeing a creature he may be slightly familiar with. The fish like humanoid appear to be an alien race called Terileptil. “Oh now that explains… oh and that…and that. Oh why isn’t the Administrator here, she knows all of this so much better than me.” ‘Price’ thinks out loud, voicing his thoughts. Ivan looks at ‘Price’ and then over at Jack, shrugging his shoulders and rolling his eyes.
“These creatures,” he points at the picture, “are brilliant at maths. And that corner has some strange equations. If only I could work it out.” He goes quiet again as he peruses the documents.
“Okay what we have is, Howard has seen these aliens and drawn them. He has two looking through a tear in reality. So I can only assume this is how he saw the Cybermen.” ‘Price’ states.
“Alright so does that mean that Howard has gone to where the socks have gone?” Jack asks.
“Yes, he has gone to the sock’s place.”
“So now we know where all the socks have gone when they disappear in the washing machines.” Ivan adds.
“Yes that is…Wait what!? No.”
“What is a washing machine?”
‘Price’ shares what he is doing as he goes about it. Tying some string around a sock and proceeding to throw it at the corner. Again the sock quickly gets sucked in and disappears. A strong pull tugging on the string. ‘Price’ jams his foot against the beds legs so as to brace himself as he holds on to the string, calling for the others to help. Both Ivan and Jack leap to his rescue, using their added mite to help pull on the line. Suddenly there is a twang and the line flies from the corner, the end all torn, throwing them all to the floor. ‘Price’ quickly rolls up to a crossed legged locus sitting position, his hands resting under his chin. Muttering to himself again not to go running in. He looks longingly at the corner. He then pulls out his torch like device and begins to scan another sock as he tosses it at the corner. There is a beeping sound right up until the sock disappears, then nothing. He then stands up and walks over to near the corner, calling out to anyone who is listening, asking for a reply to the Gallifreyan treaty.
Having no response from the anomaly, ‘Price’ suggests they try an arts performance, something along the lines of a mime or such like, sharing how these aliens highly treasure such art, hoping this may encourage a reply. Ivan reluctantly agrees to join in, while Jack stands to the side and watch. They put on a great performance that even Jack is drawn in to and begins to tap along with, however there is still nothing coming from the corner of the room.
“Okay I am considering doing something that is completely stupid.” ‘Price’ announces longingly at the corner.
“Why break a habit of a life time.” Ivan chips in with a smile.
“Because last time it caused me to die. Next question.” ‘Price’ turns to look at Ivan with a very serious expression on his face.
“Look, no you didn’t. I can accept everything else, but you did not die.” Jack joins in.
“Yeah well technically I came very close to it, but that me is not here anymore.” A deadly silence comes over the three for long seconds before Jack asks another question, asking if these Terileptil live in the corner of this room. ‘Price’ looks back at the corner, telling Jack that his suggestion would be stupid. He stares longingly again, biting his lower lip slightly. Jack then asks if they are anything to do with the Cybermen. And without taking his eyes away from the corner, ‘Price’ states how the Cybermen work with no one.
Feeling how his TARDIS will have much better sensors for trying to work out what is going on, ‘Price’ informs the others how he will only be gone a few seconds, and will return shortly with his craft. He unlocks the door and then locks it behind him as he leaves.
What seems like no more than a minute, a strange sound begins and a waving of reality before their eyes. Both Ivan and Jack witness the materialisation of the stranger in his travelling craft. They have to move to the edges quickly as ‘Price’ has kept the same disguise of a car for the vessel, seeming odd at it appears before them taking up nearly all the space in the room. ‘Price’ steps out from the driver’s door, happy with himself. “She travels well does she not.” He states to those witnessing.
Using the sensors on his TARDIS, ‘Price’ finds out that this is some kind of dimensional gateway to another place, and it is indeed stable. Finding this out ‘Price’ leaps about for a moment with joy, punching the air with glee. “Its stable!” After calming down and standing before his bemused companions, ‘Price’ announces that he has some good news, and some great news. Jack asks for the good news first. He is told that it is stable, so Jack asks what that means then what the great news is. ‘It means that the corner gateway will not collapse on us. And the great news is that we get to go through it. Come on let’s go.” Jack stops him and asks if it will be easy to get back, more easy than for the socks. He is told no, and how difficult and complicated it will be. Ivan just looks oddly at this stranger called ‘Price’.
“Then why do we want to go through it?” Jack asks
“Because we haven’t seen the other side.” ‘Price’ spots their concerned expressions and adds how they need to find this Howard guy, and find the link to all of this, plus they haven’t been to the other side. He can’t help the excitement sounding in his voice.
“Don’t worry I have this.” He waves a small key fob like object in his hand, explaining how it will help them, making it able to call upon his craft remotely.
“Okay that’s settled. Last one through the anomaly is ….. not as much fun as the other person. Lets go. And ‘Price’ rushes off through the corner of the room. Both Ivan and Jack looking after him.
The end of Session 2.
The Doctor Who Role Playing Game (FASA) run by me
Mysterious Stranger/’Price’ – Chris (alcoholandaphorisms)
Companion Ivan – Jason (jymmijamz)
Companion Jack – Will