Friday, April 17, 2009

The Missing; Pt 6

I am beginning to believe with the death of Mr. Jones and all of the other occurrences within the past week, that all of this is somehow connected. I have few clues to go on, but the clues I have are disturbing.

One, the theft of mechanical equipment from around the city occuring at around the same time; Though I do not know what this equipment might be used to build, I am certain they are to be used as components for some singular purpose.

Two, the Aetheric energies at the home of one of the theives, Mr. Jones; Apart from the Aetheric energies surrounding his body, there should have been no significant energies present. The only conclusioon I can draw from their presence is some form of necromancy. I seriously doubt that the late Mr. Jones was even capable of understanding the delicate intriciacies of such an art, which leaves me the conclusion that whomever killed Mr. Jones took the time to conjure spirits afterwards, but for what purpose?

The body itself was too fresh to have allowed any time for that, as a proper summoning of that magnitude would take a skilled practicioner a long time to complete successfully.

Which leaves only one possibility. Whatever left the Aetheric residue must have also killed Mr. Jones. Perhapse someone summoned the spirits to assassinate him? Such an act would be almost too hideous and terrifying to be believed, but as I said, it is the only probable conclusion I can come up with.

Then there is the fact of Mr. Jones' death itself. I do not believe in coincidence. It would seem to connect logically that whoever paid Mr. Jones to steal the equipment from my storehouse is the same person who summoned the spirits that later killed him. Why? To silence him? To keep him from figuring out the plan? Most likely the former, as the latter would imply intelligence that I do not believe he would have possessed. If he was killed to keep him from divulging his employer's secrets, then that would imply a conspiracy.

I shall have to tread carefully, as I'm sure anyone investigating this will also become a target. I will have to be sure to wear some of my more potent protection charms just to be safe.
In the meantime, I am looking forward to the World's Faire. It will do me good to get out and see new technologies, and to speak with old friends.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Missing; Pt. 5

During my time downtown, I happened into a bar quaintly called the "Black river" in which I stood out like a moose at a dinner party. The majority of the people seemed oblivious to my presence, completely enthralled in their drunken pleasure. I walked up to the bar and asked the bartender if he had ever heard of Mr. Derick Jones. He hadn't.

The slovenly fellow next to me, however, had. "For a price" he slurred, the overpowering smell of whiskey wafted around us with each word, "I'll tell you all about him." I smiled and offered to buy him a drink. "It's a deal," he said happily.

A few rounds of alcohol later, and I had the address at which I could locate Mr. Jones - who apparently owed this drunkard some money from a badly played game of dice.

It was a short walk from the bar, and as I approached, I noticed several things at once; One, the state of the house was awful. It appeared to be made in mismatched styles, and was long since in need of a good paint job. Second, the mailbox had several days mail in it, and Third, the door was ajar.

I armed myself with my cane and cautiously opened the door. The darkness inside was eerie, but I entered nonetheless, as quietly as I could. I located the switch for the lamps, but it just clicked quietly and did nothing else. Apparently the electricity was not working correctly. I had suspected this before I even tried the switch because my cane was pitch black. If there were any electrical current in the walls, the electromagnetic fields would cause my cane to glow a soft blue.

A shiver ran through my spine as I made my way up the main hall. I was certain what I would find, just not where I would find it. The darkness made it nearly impossible to move with any speed, and I had to keep my hand on the wall as I moved. I cringed as I bumped into a small table, knocking it to the floor. I listened for any sign that I might have alerted someone to my presence, but after several moments of deep silence, I realized that either there was no one here to hear me or that it might not have been as loud as I had thought.

I came at last upon an old wooden door, and next to it, a gas lamp in the wall, reminiscent of the old gas lighting that the house must have had before they installed electricity. I doubted it would work, but they often kept the old gas lines running, since the electricity was still notoriously sporadic and unreliable. I did my best to open the lamp in the dark, but finally managed it. dug out some matches, struck one, and suddenly realized that if the gas lines were in the same shape as the rest of this house, I might end up getting blown to bits.

I had no choice, however, and so I slowly brought the match to the lamp, ready to jump back if it showed any sign of exploding, but I was in luck. It lit with a subtle *Fwoosh* of igniting gas, revealing the hall in which I stood, with it's peeling wallpaper, old wood that at one time had been nicely varnished but now was rubbed bare from age, and what appeared to be the body of a man lying face down in the doorway at the end of the hall, confirming my suspicions.

I quickly examined the body, the cause of death was most likely either the four stab wounds in the back or the bludgeoning to the head. He had obviously been attacked by more than one person.

I looked in the room from which it appeared he had been coming out of when he was attacked, and found it to be completely ransacked, though not from any attempt at thieving, but from a struggle. Apparently this man had put up quite a fight. I found a curious object underneath the man's left arm, and picked it up for a closer look. it was part of a very small gear mechanism. I quickly put it in my pocket and had another look around.

My hat began tickling my head, and I knew it was seeing something that I could not. I closed my eyes and focused, and a bluish image of the room began to appear in my mind. I was seeing the room through the eyes and perception of the creature in my hat. I noticed that as the image became clearer, there were several areas within the room of intense aetheric energy, which is odd to say the least. residues of this sort are typically found in graveyards, and mainly at fresh graves or at the most haunted of houses, which I knew this was not.

Curiouser and curiouser.

I left the house and informed the police of the body. At this point, I was ready for a shower and some sleep. It had been quite an evening and I was going to need my rest.

The missing; Pt. 4

I spent a long time downtown looking for any leads as to the location of Mr. Jones, but have so far had no luck. I also spent a long time explaining to the police the nature of the missing items from my storehouse. As a general rule, I do not usually involve them, as they tend to get in the way, being as technologically primitive as they are, they are terribly inneficient, but in this case, It might lead to some useful information, and with a theft of this nature, they will inevitably get themselves involved.

I told them about the scrap of cloth and the information I got from the proprieter of the upscale clothing store. For their general inneficiency, they do have manpower and can cover a lot more ground than I can by myself, though thanks to a job I did once for a high ranking investigator in New York who found himself in a situation beyond his capacity, I have been able to convince them that I have some authority, and they are being very cooperative.

So if they find Mr. Jones, I will be the first to know.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Missing; Pt. 3

After having had a chance to examine the material torn from the theif's shirt, I was surprised to find that it was not from a cheap shirt as I had initially expected, but is actually from a very expensive shirt. That means one of two things, either someone wealthy broke into my storehouse, which I doubt, or more likely the theif was paid beforehand to steal what they did and, if that is the case, the thief is not someone used to having expensive clothes or they would not have worn such an expensive shirt while burgling.

I visited several high class clothing stores to verify my thoughts about the cloth, and found that in the third such store I visited, the proprieter not only knew the material well, he also knew the exact shirt the peice came from, since it is such a rare material, and he had sold the shirt as part of a more expensive custom made suit not five days before.

It took a bit of circular talking before I managed to get the name of the customer from him; one Derick Jones, a tall, lanky fellow by the clerk's description, a man who has probably never owned a suit before in his life. It will be far easier now to find out what's going on. I just have to track down Mr. Jones and get some answers, and maybe even retrieve the missing items if they havn't been sold or given to someone.

The Missing; Pt. 2

I had a wonderful dinner with Ms Angelica Boron, though I was quite late and I fear my hat might have been a bit ill behaved. She is extremely curious, as are most intellectuals, and I found myself having to dodge a few rather pointed questions that I did not feel the need to answer just yet, especially as to the nature of my phase-locked hat, which would be difficult to explain to even the most schooled proffessors of the physical sciences.

Overall, I found her to be an intruiging person, very knowledgeable in Alchemy, though I must admit, my own expertise lies in other fields and I am not as well versed in the field of alchemy as I would like, though I have dabbled in it occasionally- usually to the chagrin of my landlords who inevitably end up posting an eviction notice for excess damages.

I went to the storehouse from which my equipment had been stolen, and found little useful information. They took several sections of copper tubing, some vaccume tubes, several boxes of wires, coils, springs, gears, and a largish electrical circuit box. Looking around the dark musty storeroom, I managed to deduce the method of entry as being a small window nearly ten feet off the ground that had been forced open with a prybar. Outside, there were ladder imprints in the earth underneath the window, so my deduction was correct. Opening the door to remove the equipment from the inside would have been simple enough.

I pulled some crates over and stacked them so that I could climb up to get a better look at the window itself. Apparently one of the intruders had torn their sleeve on the window latch as they climbed in. I put the scrap of cloth in my pocket and climbed back down.

I visited several of the other storerooms that had been also been robbed, and found the entry method to be similar in each one, though except for a few barely visible shoe prints I could discern no other clues. By the size and shape of the print, I can guess that the robber was around 5'8" and male. Beyond that I appear to have hit a dead end.

I may have to write this up as a loss, not that the equipment was all that important to me, I had after all forgotten about it almost completely.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Missing; Pt. 1

The world's faire is a wonderful place to go to see a whole lot of new creations and crafts, and luckily it is being held in St. Louis this year. As it turns out, an old teacher of mine, Dr. Freidrich Van Horn, is going to be there unveiling his latest design, and by happenstance I've run into one of his colleagues - a Mr. Jebediah Crane, who was in a store purchasing some supplies.

We spoke at length about the faire, and after learning of my connection to Dr. Van Horn has invited me to attend the faire with him. I will have a chance to speak with my old professor personally, though I doubt he would remember me.

Things do seem to coincide quite nicely sometimes, as I am actually in the area on other business, specifically the dissapearance from several storehouses of some very specific equipment, some of which was my own. I don't know exactly what all of the missing components and equipment would be used for, most of it was just junk really. I had almost forgotten about the storehouse, as it has been several years since I originally paid for it, and I've been doing a lot of travelling since then.

My own involvement as owner of some of the missing parts aside, what has peaqued my curiosity is the singular fact that all of these break-ins and thefts occurred at relatively the same time on the same day. For now, I have just arrived and am weary from my journey and have a dinner date to attend so I will have to put off my investigation of this matter until the morning.

At the same shop where I was speaking with Mr. Crane, shortly after he left I met a charming woman with more than a passing interest in Alchemy named Angelica Boron. It's always nice to meet intelligent people. I find her intriguing, and tired as I am, I am quite looking forward to dinner - as long as I havn't lost the note with her adress on it. I'm pretty sure I put it in my pocket, but finding it could be a bit difficult.