Friday, November 4, 2022

Pulp Cthulhu - The Two Headed Serpent (New York Part #2 / Oklahoma Part #1)


Zeke Broda (Grease Monkey / Mechanic)
Ivy Guinness (Outsider / Nurse) 
Oz the All Knowing (Mystic / Entertainer)
[Nigel Thorne, VC, DSC (Thrill Seeker / Explorer)]

Over the course of the four days flying back to New York, Ivy spends time studying the sketch Pangea map from the serpent person outpost. She  locates four of the red dots on the current map of the world; North Borneo, Iceland, Belgian Congo and New York. Meanwhile, Zeke begins to air his doubts about their employer with the rest of the team. He gets everyone in line with his thinking, that there are many  more secrets under the Caduceus cover, and they need to find out more so they know what they are getting themselves into on these missions. And if they're really working for the good guys. 

As such, on arrival back in New York, they report to the Meadham Building for debrief. And this time push back, demanding to be told more information, pushing the fact they need to know more if they're putting their necks on the line. Their interviewer, a stuffed shirt named John Adams,  tells them nothing. And they figure out quickly he doesn't know anything to tell them.  But the push does get Ms. Parville, Mr. Meadham's personal secretary, involved. She agrees to arrange a meeting with her boss, and let's it slip to Nigel that Mr. Meadham has already expressed interest in meeting the team. 

Left with many days to spare before their meeting with the head of Caduceus, the team spends some time digging for more information. A trip to the New York City Library uncovered some more information on Rose Meadham. It seems she is still alive, but estranged from her father and somehow changed (both physically and mentally). Attempts to learn more about Joshua Meadham turned up nothing they didn't' already know. But they did find building permits for his Connecticut estate that dated from about the time he sold his pharmaceutical business and started Caduceus. In seems he built some sort of  unusual structure around that time, but details were unclear. 

Ivy then turned to her street contacts, but likewise was unable to learn anything new. But did learn that people had been asking about her. And that she was right now being tailed, her contact pointing out a trenchcoated man standing in a doorway just down the street. When she informed the rest of the team, tthey quickly realized they were being followed as well. 

After about a week, the team is summoned to the Meadham Building. Arriving by cab, they have a curious encounter. As Zeke is about the pay the cabbie, a man steps out of the crowd and pays instead. The man then simply says "Fugetaboutit. Let your friends take care of this one for you" before disappearing  into the crowd.

The team is led into a 7th floor meeting room, and are seated at a table opposite two men. One they recognize as Dr. Goncalves, the Caduceus head of research. The other is a 7' tall giant of a man who simply stares unblinkingly at the party, making them feel increasingly uncomfortable. Relief arrives in the form of Joshua Meadham, a white haired old man with a cane who sits between the other two.  He begins by praising the team and their efforts in Bolivia and North Borneo, somewhat callously noting the success of their recent mission and seemingly unconcerned with the loss of innocent life involved. He also made some snide comments' about their ability to kill off team leads, before appointing Nigel as their new lead. Zeke and the others try to pry more information out of Mr. Meadham, but the presence of the huge bodyguard (Canning) throws them off their game. They do draw out a promise to provide more information on missions when possible. But there is a sense of urgency. When asked how far advanced the serpent person plans are, Joshua Meadham is unhesitant when he says they are very close to completion and time is critical.  But it is not clear which to which plans he refers, and when Oz uses his clairvoyance on the meeting room table, he is troubled by the sense that the last meeting in here involved creatures of the Mythos! 

But for now, they turn to the briefing for their next mission. A cult worshipping Yig, the Father of Snakes, has come to light. They are situated in a small town in Oklahoma and are using the guise of a Christian church. A heavy-handed approach is not needed at least, not to begin with. Caduceus needs to find out the root cause of all this. Find out how this backwater town has turned to worshipping this particular god. Be on the lookout for serpent people. Remember the Inner Night is dangerous and can appear just like a human! Mr. Medaham and Canning then leave, and Dr Goncalves takes over the briefing. He plays them a recording from Radio KFOC in Oklahoma City. It's a broadcast by the preacher from the little town of Bigham, a man by the name Kornfield. It seems at first to be a standard radio sermon, but when Dr. Goncalves makes a few adjustments on the record player, a second recording is heard praising Yig instead. 

The team draws some equipment (including a serpent person listening device) and hops the train to the dustbowl of Oklahoma. Dropped on the platform in the town of Bingham, they make their way to the only hotel and get rooms. Using as a cover story that they have been drawn by the reverend's preaching on the radio, they hear nothing but praise for the Kornfield. The hotel co-owner, Delbert Adams, tells them how the reverend was always a good man, but some months ago went into the wilderness to fast and pray, and returned a new man. A few other folks they talk too likewise have nothing but good to say about the Rev. Kornfield ... 

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