Tuesday, October 18, 2016

CoC #39: Masks of Nyarlathotep #19 The Best Laid Plans

July 16, 1925 Tokyo, Japan
Professor Bob Wintermute awoke from his bed at the American embassy by the sound of a truck backfiring.  It was a restful sleep soon he was down to his first breakfast not behind bars in weeks.  The backfiring truck was the Japanese delivering his remaining possessions:  two large satchels of personal effects and forbidden tomes.

After freshening up, Wintermute was escorted by Marines to the harbor and physically placed onto the ocean liner for voyage to San Francisco through Hawaii.  Keeping a healthy level of paranoia, he carried the two satchels, plus a third bag with his spare clothes and books the Japanese gave him.
Fumbling with his key to the cabin, he opened the door, and came face to face with reporter David Kavida, and a quite bald, but very alive Steven O'Hara.

Steve's Story
When the Japanese Navy separated the investigators, Steven was placed in a far less posh cell located in an active warehouse.    Realizing that he would be safe if he answered the new interrogators with the same answers he gave Captain Taro, he sat at his provided table and waited for them.
  •   "What was your purpose on the island?"  To secure "the weapon" for the Japanese.
  •   "What was the purpose of the NCA on the island?"   To provide tactical support
  • "What was the purpose of the reading materials you had on your person/back at the warehouse?" Don't know...haven't been able to fully examine them yet. As a scholar, these items piqued my interest, and I picked them up to discern whether they had any value to the academic community.
  • "What are the workings of the rocket?"  How should I know? The Chinese specialize in rockets, not the Americans. Perhaps you should interrogate an actual "rocket scientist"
  • "What about the appearance of the fish men?"   Stumped on this one too - perhaps they tested earlier versions of the rocket and this was a side effect? Have you guys even been able to ascertain what therocket was even supposed to do?
  • "Who and What was the boat we fired upon in Shanghai harbor?"   We believe this boat served an integral part in the construction of the rocket. At the very least, it merely supplied the technicians building the rocket. At the most, it's role was far more sinister, perhaps housing backup plans or even a key scientist. At the time we noticed the boat escaping, we could not abort our current mission to go after it. We feared, that if it escaped, another weapon could be constructed later. So, if we could sink the boat, we could eliminate the threat. 
  • "Why was the explosion so catastrophic?"   I guess the boat was carrying an explosive payload for the rocket...how else would you explain it?
Steven had planned on feigning an illness to get transferred to a hospital and somehow contact anyone who wasn't part of the Japanese military.    Unfortunately, he didn't need to pretend as the morning of day two, he awoke to severe nausea and clumps of his hair falling out.  

Being familiar to "radium poisoning" from his time in the Dakotas, Steven was able to convince his captors to transfer him to a hospital and advise the doctors of the best course of action.  

For the rest of his stay in Japan, he resided in a hospital bed, under heavy guard.  Outside a few high ranking generals and admirals, who did not utter a word of English, his only other guest was Captain Taro during the last few days.  

He thanked O'Hara for not elaborating on the outrageous parts of the mission, keeping with the basic debriefing he had conducted with all the investigators.  He also thanked him for losing his hair, which allowed Taro to convince his superiors that more was on the island.  One additional sweep netted the Japanese all the half-broken equipment they had buried on the island.  Not a huge success, but a better start.  

One evening, Taro got O'Hara dressed, and escorted him to the train station.  There, they boarded a passenger train that took them to Tokyo.   Before leaving him aboard the ocean liner, Taro handed him a sizable wad of cash and a small bag, containing the futuristic tools he had found on the island. 

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