Sunday, October 9, 2016

CoC #38: Masks of Nyarlathotep #18 "The Tokko Sends Their Regards"

June 26, 1925, Hiroshima Naval Base, Japan
It had been two days since Professor Bob Wintermute had seen his compatriots, Steven O'Hara and David Kavida. All three were survivors of a bizarre raid on an unmarked island by Chinese Communists and the Japanese Imperial Navy. The Communists appeared to be slaughtered to the man, save a wise old Chinese sage named Mu Hsien. The Imperial Navy still had many questions to debrief the trio, and thus far, were not satisfied with the answers.

Despite providing their contact, Captain Isoge Taro, a thorough debriefing, he informed them that they were to be transported back to Japan so higher ranking members of the Imperial government could ask additional questions. 

Before the ship arrived at port, the group was separated to different portions of the ship, then escorted off individually. It appeared to be a naval base of some sort. 

While the fourth wall of their room were the steel bars of a prison cells, the amenities provided to Wintermute seemed at least... congenial. A bowl of fresh fruit and a clear picture of ice water on a table with two chairs. A writing desk sat next beneath the lone -barred window. A full-size bed with actual linens was up against the corner. 

The "interrogators" did not seem to be quite qualified. They attempted to discuss matters with Wintermute in this holding cell, but outside some basic information, he kept to his guns, demanding three simple requests before talking with

I demand to see a representative of the United States Embassy.

I demand to see a representative of the United Kingdom Embassy.

I demand an immediate opportunity to send a telegram to Ambrose Mogens outlining my situation.

June 27, 1925, Hiroshima Naval Base, Japan
The Japanese allowed for telegram to Mogens. In the afternoon a tailor arrived in his building and took measurements of the professor, "For your meeting with the Embassy."

June 30, 1925, Hiroshima Naval Base, Japan
New suit arrived in the morning and he was transported under armed guard to a local government office of some sort to meet with Luke Beecher, Consulate-General of Osaka.  Beecher was quite accommodating in contact Miskatonic University regarding Wintermute's class coverage for the Fall.   Beecher was more intrigued as to how he had arrived in the custody of the Japanese.  The government had only declared that they had discovered him in a secure area of naval operations and had detained him until his threat could be ascertained.   Dr Bob managed to slip him a note explaining that he and his comrades were being held against our will after observing the catastrophe that struck Shanghai, and that the Imperial Japanese Navy was convinced that they were involved. He also had reason to believe their lives were in danger, and that they must be released post-haste.  After a lovely dinner in the Consulate-General, Wintermute was returned to IJN custody with the promise that "There's obviously a misunderstanding.  We will work things out."

July 14, 1925 Hiroshima Station, Japan
For two weeks, Wintermute was kept in his homey cell.  Agents for whatever Ministry wanted questions answered would come in, ask an almost random range of questions pertaining to his knowledge of the events in Shanghai and Grey Dragon Island, and when the professor largely rebuffed them, would leave a few English language books on history and leave with their tail between their legs.  Every few days was correspondence from Beecher on official-looking parchment.  the Consulate could not confirm the presence of O'Hara or Kavida on Japanese soil, and politely implored with Wintermute that providing a bare minimum of truthful cooperation with the authorities would speed up his release.  After that particular note, the questioning was almost insulting.  "Where in Shanghai?"  "Did you assist the Imperial Japanese Navy in removing revolutionaries from Japanese soil?"  "Is Professor Forrester at Miskatonic an adequate replacement until you are released?"

On the 14th, Wintermute and a bag of meager possessions (including the small library he accumulated) was loaded onto a train ride in the early evening. He occupied a single parlor car with six heavily armed Japanese military personnel.

July 15, 1925 Tokyo, Japan
In the morning the train arrived in Tokyo, and Wintermute was escorted directly to the US Embassy.  There he met with Ambassador Edgar Bancroft and a number of aides.   After apologizing for the delays in his release, and a few racial slurs mixed in.  He inquired about the vague note provided to Beecher, and feeling a wee bit safer, Wintermute provided a sugar-coated account of his time in Shanghai.  He and his friends were searching for a mutual friend, a John Partridge.  Partridge had dealings with some Chinese mobsters and they were trying to get him out of China.  A member of Japanese Naval Intelligence threatened them with cooperating.   For what little information they had on this gang, they had been detained while the Japanese instituted a reign of terror on Shanghai.    "They claimed that we were much more involved, but all three of us are writers, academics.  None of us had the slightest idea about crime and true corruption."

The Ambassador thanked him for this statement, dispatching a few aides and sending a few more in.

"According to the Japanese, David Kavida has never set foot in Japan since 1922.  He did submit an article on the New China Army and the chaos in Shanghai two weeks ago, but that was by telegraph in Hangzhou China.  According to a recent record, he arrived in San Francisco yesterday." The Japanese also expressed regret that your friend Steven O'Hara, succumbed to injuries sustained while in the water.  According to records, His body was already being transported on private passenger steamer for delivery to his ex-wife. 
Ambassador Bancroft
Wintermute was informed that he would take residence in the embassy overnight and would be immediately escorted by American personnel to ship to take him home via San Francisco.  He was also provided enough cash to purchase rail tickets and the necessary incidentals.  The Japanese were delivering all his remaining possessions to embassy that morning.

Next:  Episode #19 The Best Laid Plans

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