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    Default Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    The King of Chicago

    OoC Thread

    _______


    investigating lanzetti murder stop onto something big need your assistance stop come to chicago with investigative team as soon as possible stop regards sullivan

    _______

    Well, that was an odd telegram. It's not like Sullivan to contact Dr. Lowry out of the blue like that, or to be so abrupt or secretive about his requests. Still, if he's asking for help, the case has got to be interesting, it's been a while since the doctor saw Sullivan, and besides, he always pays well.

    It was in the news only lately, so most people are aware that a Chicago mobster by the name of Bruno Lanzetti was brutally murdered a few weeks ago. Consulting the recent newspapers brings up an article with what few details there are:

    _______

    Brutal Gangland Murder
    ________________
    Motive Remains a Mystery
    ________________
    Chicago (INS) The mutilated body of gangster Bruno Lanzetti was pulled from a drainage canal early yesterday morning.
    A milkman making his rounds just before dawn discovered the body of Lanzetti, aged 31, a member of the notorious Marquette Park Gang.
    Police have no leads at this time, but they are linking Lanzetti's murder to the violent power struggle that has developed between rival gangs since the indictment earlier this year of celebrated crime boss Al Capone.
    According to Ralph MacTeague, a spokesman for the Cook County Sheriff's Office, this bloody gangland feud is likely to claim many more lives before it is finally settled.


    _______

    So, naturally, the doctor's rounded up the old investigation squad, shoved them into a couple of cars and had them drive cross-country to Illinois. A motley bunch to be sure: a rum-runner, a nervous wreck who was once a rugby-playing medic, a drunken petty criminal who used to be a priest; but they all have their talents. There's been plenty of time to get reacquainted, the Lincoln Highway's proved its worth, and apart from a few pit stops, it's been constant progress.

    Come the afternoon of Friday, November 6th, the cars enter the commercial, cultural, financial and industrial capital of the Midwest, the centre for mob activity, the Windy City. The wind in question is a strongish, cold, northeasterly one today, coming from over Lake Michigan and bringing with it the first few snowflakes of the season.

    The population of metropolitan Chicago at this point is over three million, and the city itself sprawls over two hundred square miles, occupying about twenty miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, so that it is a port on a Great Lake. Add this to its being a vital rail hub, linking the Eastern and Western railways, and a dynamic city in its own right, and you can begin to imagine the noise and bustle of the streets.

    There's a brief pause to find somewhere to park so that everyone can get out of the cars, stretch their legs, regroup, and be sure that the drivers remember that Sullivan's office is on the corner of Halsted and 35th Streets, in Bridgeport, a predominately Irish neighbourhood, and then it's back into the cars to finish the last little bit of the drive.

    Approaching the intersection of Halsted and 35th Streets, the occupants of the cars gradually notice that they seem to be heading towards an ominous great pillar of smoke. As the cars close in on the intersection they find themselves unable to reach it; the road is totally blocked with fire engines and police cars, all wailing sirens and flashing lights. What once used to be Sullivan's office has been gutted by fire, reduced to a smouldering ruin. The soot-blackened bricks still radiate tangible waves of heat, and debris and shattered glass litter the sidewalk and the road. The firemen continue to spray water onto the wreck. The jets of water explode into steam whenever they touch anything.

    A number of police officers have cordoned off the building to prevent anyone in the large crowd that has gathered from advancing any closer than about twenty yards. The policemen stand within the cordon to enforce it.
    Last edited by Xsesiv; 2012-07-08 at 10:41 AM.



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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    Of the two cars in the caravan, Clive's is certainly the beastliest. On the highway, the sandy-haired, red-nosed man was prone to getting up to unsettling speeds approaching seventy miles per hour, accompanied by whoops and cackling with maniac glee. Why he has invested in such a powerful automobile seems to be an easy enough question to answer, if his claims to being an experienced rum-runner hold any truth.

    To whomever rode alongside him, they found Mr. Chartreux's company to be energetic, and certainly a little eccentric. His accent is laced with a certain Southern drawl, with a dash of Cajun for spice. Not a very attractive man by any stretch, his nose is bulbous and red with broken veins. He has big ears, acne-scarred cheeks, and sports a bit of a pot belly. His clothes consist of shabby trousers, scuffed shoes, a few sweat-stained shirts, and a ratty coat. He keeps a battered newsboy cap atop his head, the better to hide his receding hairline. Despite his appearance, his car is in lovely condition: painstakingly well-cared for, with freshly-waxed maroon paint job, the box of greasy tools in the trunk seem well-used, and account for the engine's smooth running.

    During the trip and on the few pit stops, Clive was want to share cheap cigars and a nip of 'shine with anyone so inclined. He seemed generally lighthearted and in high spirits, despite the potentially grizzly nature of the summons. The closer the party got to the Mississippi, the more he waxed nostalgic.
    "Old Man River, eh? He's calling me back, he is. Know every muddy bend in it. Can't keep away from it. You'll have to tie a rope 'round my waist, so's you can pull me back out when I wind up in the water again!"

    He seems to know the streets of Chicago pretty well; he's been through the Windy City a few times, a fact he repeats often. However, when the group finally reaches the smouldering ruin of Sullivan's office, he lets out a low whistle.
    "That's not good. This wasn't what I meant when I said I was hoping for a warm welcome."

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    To keep so happy and chummy when talking to the vortex of negativity and hoplessness in the passenger seat of the car, John Paseldon reckoned that Mr. Charterux had either the patience of a saint or the ear of the Devil. He had sat, or rather more accurately slumped comatose, for most of the early part of the trip, waking up around the halfway mark to discover that the old set of glasses he kept in his old coat pocket were now completely bereft of glass. The mumbled curses that filled the car at this point were probably entirely run of the mill to the wheelman by now.

    The frankly pathetic figure, slouched like a feckless zombie adorned in quite possibly pre-War clothing, grunted when Chatereux waxed nostalgic and barely managed to raise himself and stow away his 'turpentine' afterwards. However, as soon as the police and fire services came into view, Paseldon seemed to sober up by about 3 whole arbritary degrees of sobriety as he was suddenly head forward and mildly alert at the sight of the blockade.

    "Mrrh... Lookin' like someone stirred up one hornet's nest too many." he said, before sitting back down again. "I don't rightly remember my way around these parts, but I'm pretty sure there's a way 'round that blockade." John racked his brains to try and remember his way around the old town, but three bottles of moonshine are not that easy to shake off. Clutching his gun under his frankly prehistoric coat, John peered expectantly out the car's front window.
    Last edited by Steilos; 2012-07-08 at 01:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    As Mr. Paseldon leans out of the window, he recognises first that this is not so much a blockade as a traffic jam. Further, he sees that emergency vehicles have converged on this intersection from all four sides to deal with the fire, so that even if the cars were to drive all the way around the block and approach it from a different direction, they could still get no closer. Anyone wishing to get past the vehicles blocking the road is going to have get out of their cars and walk past.

    While leaning out of the window, he also hears a snatch of speech, as two young women wander past. They, like many others, seem to be leaving the crowd because the fire has been all but put out. "...sure I heard an explosion, but when I got there, they only ever said there was a fire," says one of the girls, the fairer of the two, to her friend.
    Last edited by Xsesiv; 2012-07-10 at 01:18 AM.



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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    Oscar Lowry had never been happier to be a car owner. His Ford was by no means slow, but the speed at which Mr. Chartreux had raced ahead brought him to recall all the irresponsible drivers and their passengers whose shredded remains had passed through Bellevue.

    As his hand reached for his cigarette case, it brushed past the lump caused by the snubnosed revolver in his jacket pocket. He was still a bit uncomfortable with carrying it, but Louie Farina knew what he was talking about. You never know when you gonna need it, doc.

    At least it was good to see the crew together again. Sure, their previous investigation never turned up anything interesting, but it had been a welcome distraction. Lowry made sure to enjoy the journey to Chicago, taking in the landscape at length, making new acquaintances at stops, and never failing to find a new subject to chat about.

    When the cars arrive at the intersection, Lowry is driving in front. He pulls up to the mass of emergency vehicles and parks the car behind them. "Looks like we won't be getting any closer. We'd better get out and see if we can find out what happened to our friend," he says to his passenger.
    Last edited by JaaSwb; 2012-07-11 at 06:43 AM.
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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    Clive parks behind Dr. Lowry, and hops out, stretching a bit. He stares after the two girls who passed by a little bit longer than is seemly, before turning his attention back to his companions and the fire.
    "An explosion, eh? Smells fishy to me. It's too much of a coincidence the office of the guy we came to see was blown to Kingdom Come the day we show up in town."

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    Are there any firemen or police officers nearby that don't look terribly occupied with more immediate tasks?

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    "FAR too much of a coincidence." a voice cut in behind Clive, before its source clambered out of the car a few minutes later. "We need to check out wha's left the office for ourselves sometime - but it's too hot right now, no pun intended o'course."

    He waved his arm generally to cover the whole area behind him, making an effort to keep his voice down a little. "Sooo... we gotta find somewhere to hole up and plan somethin'. Plenty of holes around, if you know where to look." He seems to have been revived somewhat by the tension in the air, although it was clear to all assembled that he still wasn't quite with it.
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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    Lowry, having parked his car, climbs out, various joints cracking as he stretches. He puts his hat on and walks straight to the nearest policeman, missing the conversation entirely. "Good morning, officer," he says, a worried expression on his face. "A friend of mine works in that building. Would you happen to know if anyone was injured?"
    The fish are watching.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    "There was one occupant," says the policeman, a lanky redhead with a jut chin, in a husky, clipped voice. "It was a man, middle-aged, fairly solid build. There aren't any personal details because he was unconscious when the fire brigade got him out, but the gentleman's alive, and he's been rushed to hospital."

    "You're his friend, you say? He's been taken to Chicago General. It's on the corner of Lake Shore Drive and 31st Street. No, just a fire,"
    he says, turning away from the doctor to talk to a very tall man.



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    A rude awakening awaited Niel Fairbanks on the eve of Dr. Oscar Lowry's arrival. One that could've been averted had the good doctor's employer was more attentive to what preluded their present predicament. But those should or could haves will be forgotten when it shall come to pass. Indeed, so only the most relevant to the present shall be accounted for.

    At the time, more pressing issues were present for Niel to notice his coworkers invitations until it was too late. By then they were able to pinpoint the safe house Niel found refuge in spite of how he persuaded its owner to insure his... discretion. Niel rested his head in a spartan Arkham apartment bedroom. After learning first hand why he should cooperate, the super led Lowry up the stairs towards Niel's room.Whatever patience Oscar had left was in short supply, due to losing much time in this pursuit. A little more and we'll be behind schedule, Oscar Lowry thought to himself as he entered Fairbanks's room.

    *Crunch.* Beneath Oscar's soles lies a mess of news paper articles, some relating to their mutual acquaintance's demise or another supposedly gang related criminal murders from New Hampshire. Evidently Niel assumed it was the prelude for another gang war , one that would ensnare him and his colleagues, so he fled to whatever secluded corner of the world he could find on such short notice.

    Finding a nearby canteen to fill with tap water, Lowry spilled its contents to Niel to stir him from his sleep. Needless to say Niel reacted poorly from the shock and nearly strangled the one whom waked him if he hadn't recognized him in time. Fortunately for Niel, Oscar Lowry was more forgiving than he gave himself credit for when he calmly explained why he wished to recruit him. Afterwards he brought him to his car where they would drive towards their destination.

    Hopefully this investigation shall be like its predecessor: a open and shut case. At least Niel could take comfort in the fact that their trip was relatively uneventful, a welcome change compared to those sleepless nights he endured lest the demons of his past find him. This time he was lucky that only Doc could find him... it will be unlikely for Niel to be that fortunate twice.
    Last edited by ocel; 2012-07-17 at 11:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    After thanking the policeman, Lowry returns to the others, his head spinning with theories. "Sullivan may have survived the fire," he says, his face without any hint of his usual cheer. "A man was taken to Chicago General from here. If malice was involved, he could still be in danger."
    The fish are watching.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    Your theory has merit, but we should get some more evidence before concluding how he fell. Granted, Fairbanks had no place to offer such advice to his mentor after falling to the same pitfalls of paranoia. Still he had to finish what he spoke of with a suggestion of some value, "Do we have any contacts who knew the deceased?" Afterwards he bit his tongue to insure he wouldn't make anymore interjections.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    "I'm not saying someone did cause this, but it's a possibility we cannot afford to ignore. Either way, we should find out if that man is Sullivan, and if so, arrange for him to have protection until we know more about what happened."
    The fish are watching.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    Clive scratches his sporadic chin whiskers, frowning.
    "Well, we can't really go rooting around in the ashes right now. I'm up for scoping out the hospital."

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    The Chicago General Hospital is a long-established medical centre. From its seat on Lake Shore Drive and 31st Street, not too far of a drive from Halsted and 35th Streets, it looks over Lake Michigan.

    The emergency department, as is to be expected in a city with this amount of gang violence, is fairly busy, and more than once an orderly or nurse demands that everyone get out of the way of a gurney. The whole department is regrettably too small and understaffed. The emergency desk is manned by only one person; a bespectacled, flustered-looking woman in her thirties, with her dirty-blonde hair coming out of its bun.



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    "Excuse me", called Niel to a member of the hospital's staff walking by them, "could you direct us to your chief supervisor? An a acquainted of ours has either been injured or died in the past few weeks and we wish to learn more so that we can properly pay our respects to him."
    Last edited by ocel; 2012-07-18 at 01:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    "We've got a reception desk for this kind of thing," says the staff member, a prematurely bald orderly, who is walking very quickly. Looking irate, he shouts the majority of the sentence over his shoulder, walking straight past Neil and not looking twice at him. "Don't waste my time. I'm very busy."
    Last edited by Xsesiv; 2012-07-18 at 02:14 PM.



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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    John remained quiet after blurting out his suggestion, and gave only a nod to the suggestion of checking the hospital. Walking after the others with only a slight stumble every now and then, he managed a reasonable facsimile of a man with a bad leg. Got to hide the influence somehow...

    Upon reaching the hospital, John straightened slightly and faded into the background, beginning to regret drinking so much. Either way, it'd pay to keep a low profile around here.
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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    The doctor smiles as he looks around the room. Such activity, such urgency, so much running and shouting. Good times.

    "Well, let's head there," he says to Niels after his encounter with the orderly. Adjusting his tie, he walks over to the lady behind the desk. "Good morning. Did a Mr. Jack Sullivan come through here by any chance? Sullivan."
    The fish are watching.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    John remained quiet after blurting out his suggestion, and gave only a nod to the suggestion of checking the hospital. Walking after the others with only a slight stumble every now and then, he managed a reasonable facsimile of a man with a bad leg. Got to hide the influence somehow...

    Upon reaching the hospital, John straightened slightly and faded into the background, beginning to regret drinking so much. Either way, it'd pay to keep a low profile around here.
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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    "Sullivan..."

    The woman briefly consults her book. "Yes, someone by that name has just been admitted. Under no circumstances are visitors allowed further than the waiting room," and she indicates a door beside her desk, which leads through to a small but fairly nicely-furnished room. This fact can be seen because a large window is in the wall between reception room and waiting room, behind the desk.

    She looks up, and apparently deciding Dr. Lowry's trustworthy enough to hear it, continues: "Mr. Sullivan's in critical condition."



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    Clive pulls at the collar of his shirt after the receptionist speaks. He looks to his companions and shrugs.
    "Yeesh. That doesn't sound good. Well, I guess we gotta wait?"

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    Niel chose to ignore the orderly's ill temperament lest their confrontation erupt into brawl. Besides both of them had justifications for not having patience with the other, so why distract themselves when more pressing issues are in need of their time.

    "Unfortunate," Niel summarized before asking the nurse in charge, "did the physicians report anything unusual about this man's injuries?"
    Last edited by ocel; 2012-07-18 at 06:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    "In case you hadn't noticed, sir, this is the emergency desk. We're generally more concerned with patching people up than taking a comprehensive stock of their injuries when they first come in. Even if I knew what was wrong, I'm not at liberty to say, sir," says the lady at the desk. "If you'll step into the waiting room, the doctors will be with you shortly, and you can ask them firsthand."



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    "Ah, my apologies we'll head to the waiting room in a moment." Niel turns his head towards the rest of the gang and asks, "do you wish to do anything before we wait or no?"

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    There's really not much else to do hanging around a hospital, so soon everyone is in the waiting room. Only a couple of minutes later, through the window between waiting room and reception room, a distraught-looking woman can be seen to rush up to the emergency desk. The woman is tall, robust and healthy-looking, blonde, and well-dressed in a green business outfit with matching hat.

    She exchanges a few words with the duty nurse before being directed to the waiting room, which she reluctantly enters. She gives a polite but distracted nod to the men already in here. Her eyes are a startlingly bright shade of green, and the suit she wears has clearly been chosen to match. She sits down on a chair, but quickly stands up again, pacing the room in anxiety, restlessly wringing her hands. The room is quite cramped, so her pacing looks quite uncomfortable.



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    Best mind our own business lest her troubles be added to our own. With his decision to not interfere with the new newcomer affairs made, he stuck with it by remaining in his seat for the duration of their wait. Occasionally he shifted his eyes to the other rooms should one of the orderlies arrive with more news.
    Last edited by ocel; 2012-07-22 at 10:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    On entering the waiting room, Lowry hangs his hat and coat on the stand in the corner and seats himself with a Chicago Daily Times from the table. When the woman enters, he greets her with a nod, and continues reading.
    The fish are watching.

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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    About half an hour later, during which time the woman has been alternately pacing around and around and sitting in a chair, squirming and biting her nails in anxiety, into the reception room comes a tall, dark, bespectacled man from the emergency ward, dressed in a doctor's coat and drying his hands on it. He speaks briefly with the duty nurse, before entering the waiting room.

    "Gentlemen, lady," he says, unable to meet anyone's eyes. "I'm Dr. Marshall. The lady said you're all here waiting for news on Mr. Sullivan, is that right?"

    "Yes," squeaks the woman, shooting to her feet. "At least, I am."

    Doctor Marshall shakes his head. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but Jack Sullivan has died."

    The woman begins to weep, then collapses in a chair, convulsed with uncontrollable sobs.
    Last edited by Xsesiv; 2012-07-21 at 09:56 PM.



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    Default Re: Call of Cthulhu: The King of Chicago

    Clive visibly pales. His mouth flaps open and closed several times, like a fish gasping out of water. He takes off his hat after a moment, and bows his head in silence.

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