December 7 (Wednesday)
The men in Prof Clarkson’s home are apparently the newly appointed New York University professor of Mathematics (gentleman with short black hair wearing suit jacket and slacks) and Benjamin (nicely dressed black man). They are looking for Prof Clarkson’s lecture notes and research papers. They assumed the professor’s notes would be at his home since there are no classes right now, but will search his study since they did not find them here.
The chalk board in the study contains mathematical drawing and calculations.
Angus discovers several items hidden in the study: manila envelope containing an oddly marked-up global map, and business card for Dr. Michelle Lightener; envelope with several keys and a strange symbol and mathematical-looking formula; a Celtic-cross key chain with two keys; one thick and one thin silver band ring; birth certificate for Kenneth Victor Clarkson, death certificate for Miriam Stance Clarkson, and death certificate for Kenneth William Clarkson.
Among the mess of papers scattered on the floor are a collection of taxi receipts:
- 20 cents with "Cab 9 JB; Location = MI”: Sun Aug 21, Sat Oct 22, Sat Oct 29, Sun Nov 13, Thur Nov 24.
- 20 cents with "Cab 3 KL; Location = WB”: Sun Aug 21, Sun Nov 13.
- 20 cents with "Cab 7 DG; Location = WB”: Sat Oct 22, Sat Oct 29.
- 15 cents with "Cab 13 P Croft; Location = LM”: Thurs Nov 24.
- 35 cents with "Cab 5 FH; Location = LM”: Mon Aug 15, Mon Oct 10.
- 35 cents with "Cab 13 P Croft; Location = LM”: Tues July 5, Mon July 18, Mon Aug 1, Mon Aug 29, Mon Sep 12, Mon Sep 26, Mon Oct 24, Mon Oct 31, Mon Nov 7, Mon Nov 21.
- 35 cents with "Cab 18 S Smith; Location = WB”: Tues July 5, Mon Aug 15, Mon Aug 29, Mon Sep 12, Mon Oct 24.
- 35 cents with "Cab 21 RNT; Location = WB”: Mon July 18, Mon Aug 1, Mon Sep 26, Mon Oct 10, Mon Oct 31, Mon Nov 7, Mon Nov 21, Thur Nov 24.
Angus spent several hours searching the house for something that the key Simon had given them would unlock, or anything else of importance, but eventually left to meet the others at the Pat Obrien Pub.
As Elmer waits for Detective Collier to leave for lunch, he hears a disturbance from a hot dog vendor that is short-changing customers. He notices a small creature peering at him from beneath one of the cart’s wheels that looks like a small, 2 1/2 foot tall old man. He tries to wave the vendor over to him, but after noticing the cart cannot easily be moved, he heads over to the vendor. At that time the tiny old man pulls something from the wheel which causes the cart to crash over, spilling hot dogs, buns, and condiments everywhere (and scalding the vendor with hot liquid). The tiny old man runs away, and Elmer chases after him – no one else seems to notice the little old man, but are certainly startled by Elmer charging across the street and into an alley.
The tiny old man explains that the vendor “is a bad man; very naughty”. Elmer asks for the wooden pin that he had pulled from the wheel, and the tiny old man tells Elmer that he is “very nice” and that “we might see each other again”.
Elmer helps the vendor repair the wagon, and then rushes to meet Detective Collier as he is exiting the police station. Elmer explains that he is a researcher of Native American Indian affairs and also interested in native wildlife, and was intrigued by what kind of animals could have been responsible in the professors’ and judge’s deaths.
Elmer is so charming that Detective Collier forgets himself and begins disclosing confidential information. He tells him, in an exasperated tone, that the professors were not killed by wild animal attacks, and how it’s so frustrating that someone keeps reporting false statements to the press. After more friendly prodding, Collier discloses that Judge Riddle was also not killed by wild animals, and neither was the man found dead in the Station’s holding cell. He describes the horrific, bloody crime scenes and terrible lacerations that both of them suffered. He is very disgruntled about the Commissioner releasing false information to the press, even if it is to keep the public from panicking. He agrees to allow Elmer’s associates to help investigate Judge Riddle’s home and the holding cell because he can’t explain what could possibly have killed them.
Three women are sitting up in their beds and chatting inside the hospital room. In his standard, charming fashion, Nikoli asks the women questions to determine the Judge’s motives and any clues to his death.
Two of the women are homeless, and one is a prostitute of Madam Lucy’s House. They explain that the judge lured them with the promise of a meal and money in exchange for sex. But when he got them into his home, he knocked them unconscious and they found themselves chained up in his basement.
Bambi Tuchin was abducted on Mon Nov 21; Annabelle Harp was abducted on Wed Nov 23; Missy Stern was adbucted on Fri Dec 2 – the night of the Judge’s death. Missy recounts seeing something hiding behind a couch, and then realized it was a large black cat. But when she asked about the cat, the Judge exclaimed that he had no cat, and then knocked her unconscious.
Regarding the night of the Judge’s death, the girls told a chilling tale: “It was late night, I think. We were all sleeping and were awakened by a strange noise that sounded like howling wind. The sound got louder and fiercer, and then it started to get cold. The ceiling froze over with a sheet of ice, and we could see our breath. And then the screaming and stomping started. It was horrible and seemed to last forever. It was like something huge was stomping on the ceiling, and there was giggling and horrific screams. Then, suddenly, it ended. It started to warm a bit, and the ceiling started to thaw and drip. We huddled together to keep warm. It must have been hours, and we all fell asleep again, waking to think it had been some sort of nightmare, and yet still feeling the cold drip of the melting ice on the ceiling. And then we heard the trap door open again. We were terrified and slightly blinded when the lights came on, but then we saw a young police officer. He told us that everything was going to be alright, to not be afraid, and that he was going to get help. It was only a matter of minutes before several police officers were there.”
Annie and Douglas
The cabbie drops them off at the Museum of Natural History across the street from an entrance to Central Park. He explains that they should follow the path in and pass by two major crossing paths, and soon after should take the path to the right. To their left and up ahead they will see a large hill with a castle on top. If they are nearing the castle, they have gone too far. He charges them 20 cents for the trip.
As they walk through the path, they see that the snow is not so bad here – merely a foot or two deep. In addition, water is running down from the large hill helping to melt the ice and snow. Up ahead, at what appears to be the other end of Central Park, they see the top of a tall Egyptian style obelisk that must be at least 100 feet tall. Continuing on, they soon see a marker for “The Rambles” and take the path, following the directions that Randall Crimini gave them. Upon reaching the area where the professors were found dead, Annie spots tracks in the snow further down the path. She follows the human footprints to a mass of shrubbery where a homeless man is sleeping. “Hey, what do you want! What are you doing in my home!”
Through penny-piece coercement, the man provides details of the day the professors were found dead.
- A man with a great, bushy, white beard and a black man were pushing a large cart.
- They unloaded 5 dead men from the cart, placing them near each other some distance away.
- They pulled out knives and began cutting and tearing at the men’s clothing
- He looked in the wagon, and found several pairs of goat leggings and long dark gray robes
- He took the cleanest and best pair of leggings, but did not take a robe because they were all torn up and covered with blood and gore
- The two men left with the wagon
- A few hours later he heard horns and loud bells. When he came back to look, he saw several police officers, so he left
When Annie searched the area where the man said the cart had rested, she found a strange and mystical looking amulet. Douglas purchased the man’s goat leggings so they could further investigate them.
Elmer headed to the hospital so he could speak with the coroner to get the names of the 5 (not 6) professors that had been found dead in The Rambles of Central Park.
Nikoli found Elmer waiting outside, and they were soon joined by Annie and Douglas. Douglas handed the goat leggings to Nikoli, and immediately got visions: he felt cold, especially a blast of freezing cold wind and an incredible numbness on one side of his face; he heard screams of several men in agony, and then felt two sharp daggers or claws tearing into his chest. He threw the leggings to the ground, and had difficulty explaining his experience.
The group attempted to talk to Coroner Oakley, but found that he had left for the day. So, they made an appointment to speak to him the following morning and headed off to the Pat Obrien Pub.
As the investigators were heading to the pub, they heard a loud crackling noise. An electrical charge filled the air and their hair stood on end. As the sound became louder, they began to smell something metallic, and a small spot in mid-air seemed to sparkle and erratically undulate. Suddenly, the spot expanded into a large, swirling vortex of purplish-white gaseous vapor circling inside an oval portal that hung in the air. A long, chitinous leg stepped through the portal, followed by the body of a massive spider. Its body was dark purple with splotches of black. It turned its head quickly from side to side, glancing back and forth at Douglas, Annie, Nikoli, and Elmer. From a side road, Angus watched as the spider suddenly leaped forward, charging at Douglas. Elmer stepped back in fright, while Annie and Nikoli screamed at Douglas to beware. But Douglas simply responded: “What are you guys so freaked out about. It’s just a strange portal or something.”
Obviously, Douglas could not see the horrible beast that was charging toward him.