Acquisitions Incorporated Presents Call of Cthulhu – PAX Aus 2019

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Ai-Media (THUNDER) (Applause) KRIS STRAUB: Welcome to… Is this
audible? Oh there is it. Welcome to Acquisitions
Incorporated: Call of Cthulhu! (CHEERING) KRIS STRAUB: I was Kris Straub, but
tonight I am your Keeper, and here to introduce my victims!
(Giggles) Table order… Playing the part of
Omin Dran, Jerry Holkins. (Applause) KRIS STRAUB: And as Donald Bleeker,
Ryan Hartman! (Applause)
RYAN HARTMAN: (Duck Noises) KRIS STRAUB: As actor Charles Priest,
Arnie Niecamp. (Applause) KRIS STRAUB: And as Evelyn Madison,
Anna Prosser. (Applause) KRIS STRAUB: Now, let’s begin. (Page Rustling)
KRIS STRAUB: It’s the first time I’ve done it We start our story in, as I said before,
Helgrammite, a small fishing town in Massachusetts. It is the name of the most popular
lure, there. Donald, you have been called back
home. You do not live there because it
is a small, yucky town and you are a big city boy.
RYAN HARTMAN: A fancy boy. Back because of a family tragedy.
TABLE: (Gasp) KRIS STRAUB: It’s true, it’s true. Let’s set the scene. Outside the Bleeker pig company
head office, where we see Omin Dran. I believe you’re also there,
Donald, and Charles. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am here to do some
research on an upcoming silent film. JERRY HOLKINS: The production house
believes that if you are able to observe my private investigations
that it will create a more realistic interpretation of these
events the picture? ARNIE NIEKAMP: Every one of my silent
films has a focus on some common man and some occupation, and that I
come in and do some goose and do it badly. I like to know how to do it well
before doing a bad one. KRIS STRAUB: How do you feel about this? RYAN HARTMAN: Are you the private dick
that I hired? Twenties slang. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I write that down. Oh! “Private Dick.” JERRY HOLKINS: Yes, Mr Bleeker. RYAN HARTMAN: Everything seems to be in
order. Who the hell are you? ARNIE NIEKAMP: I’m Charlies Priest, beloved
international silent film superstar – JERRY HOLKINS: He is my assistant. RYAN HARTMAN: A janitor? ARNIE NIEKAMP: No, I am just a fly on
the, here to observe. RYAN HARTMAN: Like a janitor? JERRY HOLKINS: Discretion is assured. ARNIE NIEKAMP: Your family is in pork,
you are familiar with flies on the wall! RYAN HARTMAN: You are a smart janitor! There is a little matter
we have to look into. JERRY HOLKINS: It’s a small matter.
Should I get my magnifying glass? RYAN HARTMAN: Yes, please. KRIS STRAUB: An officer of the law
emerges from the front steps of the office building and is tucking a
magnifying glass back into his pocket and shaking his head, he
approaches you, Donald, and says Are you the boy? RYAN HARTMAN: I’m the man. KRIS STRAUB: You are the pork on the
fork boy? RYAN HARTMAN: Yes. I am big, now! KRIS STRAUB: I can’t resist! I need to give you a little poke
in your tummy! RYAN HARTMAN: I giggle! God help me, I giggle! ARNIE NIEKAMP: I recognise you from the
other can that has you as a baby with a pig pulling on your diaper! RYAN HARTMAN: Coppertone, yes. KRIS STRAUB: That image on the can,
every can is a feast! Are these gentlemen with you? I have something important to show
you. RYAN HARTMAN: Yes, he is. And he is with him. But he is not with me! And I need… That has been made
very clear. KRIS STRAUB: Only to follow some kind
of protocol. _ RYAN HARTMAN: You go in, I will follow
you, he will follow him and he will follow him. KRIS STRAUB: Same old boy! He leads you up the stairs of this
office that you have spent some time in as a child, less as a rowdy
grown-up. It is in a lot of disrepair. He takes you up the steps, the
velvet of this carpet, the sheen is worn down with tracks. He takes you up to your father’s
office, opens the door, but before that he says, “I have to warn you,
are you afraid of the sight of a dead father? RYAN HARTMAN: It’s true, and you do
have your magnifying glass. JERRY HOLKINS: I come prepared. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I pull out a comically
large magnifying glass. RYAN HARTMAN: Holy shit! I am seeing you in an entirely new
light, now. This guy is a real detective! Get out of here, you! I go, “Maybe you should go first. There’s what you’re here for.” JERRY HOLKINS: I would be happy to take
this on. KRIS STRAUB: You open the door. Inside… Forgive me, outside in the
hallway, now coming in this direction is Evelyn. You are having an argument with Mr
Bleeker’s senior assistant, who is not able to answer the questions
you are asking. ANNA PROSSER: I am sorry to be
pestering at a time like this, but you know that horse welfare waits
for no-one, and we believe it is so important that we all take the time
to consider our fellow animals well-being, and I just feel like it
is not a very hard question to answer whether there might be a few
horse bits mixed in with the pork! KRIS STRAUB: Like I already told you,
all of our pork is ethically sourced. ANNA PROSSER: As long as it’s not… As
long as it’s sourced and not horse-d, you know what I mean? KRIS STRAUB: I get it! ANNA PROSSER: And then I guess I would
see these two? Oh, it’s the pork can boy! I am so sorry for your loss! She runs over and presses your
hand. I’m so glad you are here to
oversee operations. I’m sure you will continue to run
the company in an ethical way, and I am sorry to hear about the loss
of your father, and have you heard about L. A. Thander’s Society for Equine
Welfare? May I tell you about it? RYAN HARTMAN: I know who he is! Is anyone else going to come look
at my dad’s dead body? Or? Everyone keeps telling me about
it! KRIS STRAUB: I have work to do. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I poked my head in to say
don’t mind me, I’m not here. I’m internationally famous, I
know. ANNA PROSSER: I know who you are!
I am a little overcome! Would you do here? ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am researching for a
new silent film. ANNA PROSSER:
Oh… ARNIE NIEKAMP: I show her the giant
magnifying glass. RYAN HARTMAN: You know how it is! ARNIE NIEKAMP: It’s funny, it’s too big! ANNA PROSSER: I totally see it now you
have explained it. I get why that’s hilarious. You are shadowing Mr…? JERRY HOLKINS: Mr Dran. I don’t believe we’ve met before. More the pity. ANNA PROSSER: Certainly. I am sorry to interrupt your
investigation, although… If you’re already shadowing, would you mind
if I shadowed the shadow? ARNIE NIEKAMP: If you want to shadow me. JERRY HOLKINS: I’m not opposed to a
double shadow. Whether he goes, I will follow him
and then shortly after me, followed by him, and then there is an
opportunity, a shadow opportunity following him. ANNA PROSSER: I have always dreamt of
knowing what it was like to be a movie star, so I would love to…
Maybe they could help me make some connections in a Hollywood world
for our acting equine friends? ARNIE NIEKAMP: You are looking for roles
for the horses? ANNA PROSSER: No, they have plenty of
roles. They are quite charming and
charismatic themselves… I want to make sure that in movies they are
paid in full wages and have reasonable work hours, of course… I
am sure that you would always treat any horse in your picture with the
most impeccable kindness. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I’m looking into my giant
magnifying glass… Look at this, what’s up there? RYAN HARTMAN: I hate to interrupt the
conversation and I hope the smell of my father’s corpse isn’t making
this weird… I go to the detective or the cop and I’m just like, can
we get this over with? Can we get the money? I mean… So I can grieve? JERRY HOLKINS: I would be happy to
handle the grieving for you as well. It is a fee that we can attach to
the rest of it. I should emphasise that is not a
real magnifying glass. I have a real magnifying glass. If you ever needed to look at a
small thing. ANNA PROSSER: Thank you! She just starts looking at
everything. JERRY HOLKINS: Clues could be anywhere. ARNIE NIEKAMP: This one is not real. Like all art, it is just
exaggerating to make us think about, What is a magnifying glass? ANNA PROSSER: Like a metaphor? JERRY HOLKINS: You could look at his
magnifying glass with your magnifying glass, and after I set
that up, I walk into the room! KRIS STRAUB: The police officer says,
if you want to answer as well, please don’t – have a little
propriety. This man’s father is dead in
there. Very dead, quite some time. RYAN HARTMAN: I am torn up about it! ARNIE NIEKAMP: I let my pants dropped my
ankles and I kind of… RYAN HARTMAN: Comically sad face! KRIS STRAUB: You enter the room. Crammed office with a large desk,
filing cabinets, not a lot of organisation. You get the sense not that it was
tossed, but maybe tracks you remember of your father. He was a hairy man. The constant shaving made him very
busy. There, at the desk, in the chair,
you see a form of your father, who is dead. There is quite clearly a revolver
on the desk in front of him. He doesn’t look that dead. I mean, it’s not like putrefied. RYAN HARTMAN: He’s alive? KRIS STRAUB: No. RYAN HARTMAN: I go, daddy! And we embrace! KRIS STRAUB: No, we have seen this
before! That doesn’t work! Nothing works. The officer says, we found him
just like this. Wanted somebody to come and
identify it RYAN HARTMAN: Standard police
procedure! So here slumped over the desk,
everything was locked, gun next to his hand, single gunshot wound. This like you said on the phone. This is literally a murder, which
is why I hired you. You are going to solve this
murder. JERRY HOLKINS: It’s a murder? RYAN HARTMAN: If it’s not, I don’t get
the money. JERRY HOLKINS: It’s a murder. RYAN HARTMAN: Case closed! KRIS STRAUB: You said all of that out
loud? RYAN HARTMAN: Yes. Really loud. KRIS STRAUB: The officer stopped you
and says, “I didn’t say anything about a gunshot wound.” If you look
at the body, there is no blood. JERRY HOLKINS: There is a revolver and a
dead person, but the dead person was not shot? KRIS STRAUB: That is correct. JERRY HOLKINS: I guess this is only Act
1! ARNIE NIEKAMP: It’s like a time gun! ANNA PROSSER: Are we still outside,
looking at things through magnifying glasses? RYAN HARTMAN: Hearing them yelling
about murder! KRIS STRAUB: Murder, dad, murder, dad! JERRY HOLKINS: I am going to get up
close here and examined. Now I am curious. Now that he has said there was no
gunshot but there is a gun, but there is a dead person, I don’t
have all the information here. I feel like the math is missing a
few variables. KRIS STRAUB: In common police force
protocol, he says we took all the pictures we need. Feel free to mess all this up if
you want! Have at it! What would you like to investigate? JERRY HOLKINS: I say, Mr Bleeker, and I
have my hand on the back of a chair… RYAN HARTMAN: I am jimmying to get into
a desk… JERRY HOLKINS: I will grab the back of
the chair and pull it to a 3 feet away from the desk. KRIS STRAUB: OK, let’s see some of
these dang rules… I think this would be a perception or
equivalent. Some of this terminology is
foreign to me. JERRY HOLKINS: I’m trying to find hidden
thing, basically? KRIS STRAUB: That would work. JERRY HOLKINS: Spot Hidden, I can do
that. I will roll… I don’t do it at all. KRIS STRAUB: You do not? JERRY HOLKINS: Not at all. But I assume as I pull back out, the body just collapses to the
floor. KRIS STRAUB: Is it the looking you did
poorly, or the pulling? JERRY HOLKINS: It’s possible things
might have gone differently for me, but as I am new to this, private
investigation is a relatively recent career change for me, and so
there is a lot I am still learning and I ask for your patience at this
time. KRIS STRAUB: You look so poorly that
upon pulling out the chair, you don’t see a body, but the weight
and the force you have to pull out with informs you that there is
indeed something in the chair that is a body. JERRY HOLKINS: I nod. Much as I thought. KRIS STRAUB: The officer goes… Interesting technique! Never thought of doing that! JERRY HOLKINS: I am just getting
started. ARNIE NIEKAMP: In the hall, I say I am
vertically trained when I hear something funny is happening, so I
heard a funny noise in the other room. If you want to shadow me… ANNA PROSSER: Absolutely. She holds up the magnifying glass
and walks behind you. KRIS STRAUB: Is that how you enter? ARNIE ARNIE NIEKAMP: And then we remember that
there is a dead body in here so we try to just do a bit more slowly. KRIS STRAUB: Had you feel about the
dead body? Shall we have a sanity check,
perhaps? ANNA PROSSER: Both of us? KRIS STRAUB: Yes. ANNA PROSSER: 41. KRIS STRAUB: It’s percentile dice. ANNA PROSSER: I think my sanity is 35
and I rolled higher than that, which meant I failed, correct? KRIS STRAUB: Yes. ANNA PROSSER: I have seen many horrible
things in horse g here are a the whole your eye on the glue factories,
nothing quite as bad as this. KRIS STRAUB: Can you roll a d4?
ANNA PROSSER: 2. KRIS STRAUB: You take that many sanity
points off and you emit a gasp and stagger backwards, despite
yourself. JERRY HOLKINS: For five seconds it was
all very funny. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I also rolled very badly
into being insane. 65 sanity. KRIS STRAUB: Really bad. Go ahead and roll a d4 as well. Let me also remind you that you
have luck points on your sheet, and if you really screw up on a roll,
you are allowed to take your luck points and add them to that roll to
make a difference. So, maybe you did a good job – if
you want. JERRY HOLKINS: Retroactively, you can
have succeeded in the past. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I rolled 4. KRIS STRAUB: Me offer now your pants
fall down again, but from terror. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I take so much joy out of
comically dropping my bad, but the terror drop is awful. JERRY HOLKINS: Mournful. KRIS STRAUB: It is like a flag going to
half-mast. All a call to respect it. JERRY HOLKINS: I am going to roll him
over heavily. KRIS STRAUB: What is your medicine? JERRY HOLKINS: Bad. 1%. Total. (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: You could try, anyway. JERRY HOLKINS: It was higher. It was higher. KRIS STRAUB: The officer sees the two
of you, shocked and dropping your magnifying glasses, and says “Oh,
my goodness, I’m sorry. The other investigators are here,
you can borrow mine if you wish.” A piece of paper dropped out of his
pocket and he says, “Ridiculous. This case is so easy, open and
shut, that I almost forgot about the suicide note.” (Laughter) RYAN HARTMAN: The murder note? KRIS STRAUB: Sure, that makes some
sense, I guess. He handed to you and put a hand on
your shoulder, and says, “I am very sorry. I will read it to you. Unless you want to read! culprit.” KRIS STRAUB: All my life, I believed I
have found salvation many times – in wealth, status, and to a minor
degree, family. (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: I have learned the
capacities of modern life of a rest a piece of mind. This wretched whorehouse is a
prison of my own design. I sought a road no longer travelled
shown to me by those who know the bliss at its end. KRIS STRAUB: But truly… (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: What is happening? I will change it to “whorehouse”. JERRY HOLKINS: A whorehouse for pigs. ANNA PROSSER: I have to report to the
animal welfare society! Immediately! Take a picture of that. JERRY HOLKINS: This is the best thing
that ever happened. KRIS STRAUB: I didn’t think that being
a GM when it goes of the rails that would be by technology. RYAN HARTMAN: (inaudible) (Laughter) RYAN HARTMAN: How much laughter do you
have to get for it to qualify as laughter? JERRY HOLKINS: What is the threshold? KRIS STRAUB: Where were we? Oh, suicide note. RYAN HARTMAN: That old chestnut. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am trying to slowly but
respectfully pull my pants back up. KRIS STRAUB: As you do that, the
officer takes off his hat, of course. I saw the solace of a road no
longer travelled, shown to me by those in the bliss at it and are
truly on the final step I have been found unworthy of the glorious
destination. There is not now, nor can there
ever be, salvation for me for I am unable to dwell in the city on the
hill. Pigs off to you… Walter Bleeker. ANNA PROSSER: The city on a hill? JERRY HOLKINS: Would it be possible for
me to parse, trade using my background in religion or the cult,
parse some of that? He does not sound like language
typically associated with meatpacking. RYAN HARTMAN: What do you know about
meats? KRIS STRAUB: You can try to do a
Religion check. JERRY HOLKINS: Watch me do it, this
time. This time, it’s going to happen. KRIS STRAUB: This is the one. JERRY HOLKINS: No. No, I did. I actually know that, I passed the
Religion check stop KRIS STRAUB: How good? JERRY HOLKINS: Is a total of (inaudible) KRIS STRAUB: I would say that you have
heard, particularly on this coast for some reason, that there are
some elements here that fit the belief set of… You wouldn’t call it
a cult, necessarily, but making a wealthy person feel bad seems to be
a keystone of certain industries. Looking to take advantage of them. JERRY HOLKINS: Preparing them for
extraction. I see. Maybe there is some element that
has a religious glory and at that is now deriving value. KRIS STRAUB: Yes. There is something that guilt
brings in the mind… But then plays with it, yes. Ross act do you say any of this
out loud? JERRY HOLKINS: No, I am just back there,
just bodily standing over this corpse, just listening to this. Then I looked down and I resume
manipulate in the body for my own pleasure. (Laughter) JERRY HOLKINS: It is a full on “Weekend
at Bernie’s” scenario down there. I am doing it all as though it is
right from the manual. A very serious face as this is
happening. KRIS STRAUB: I would say that having
rolled the body over and moving it about, it is clear to you that the
body… First of all, there is no blood. No trace of any gunshot wound or
any wound, for that matter. It seems for a man of his size, it
is oddly straightforward, weirdly easy to move. JERRY HOLKINS: Like he does not have the
full contents? KRIS STRAUB: Perhaps. JERRY HOLKINS: I don’t like that. (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: You shouldn’t. JERRY HOLKINS: I say, Mr Bleeker, I have
two questions. These are derived from my practice
as a private investigator. The first, was your father a
deeply religious man? Happy recently started going,
perhaps, to a new place of worship? RYAN RYAN HARTMAN:He… I stand up from
behind the desk. He wasn’t the same since Mother
died, and I have not seen him in a while and that was a couple of
years ago. JERRY HOLKINS: When you knew him, did
he have all of his insides? 100%? RYAN HARTMAN: As far as I could tell. I could see in his mouth and his
ear, beyond that… Who is to say? JERRY HOLKINS: You are discovering to me
a scenario where a grown man, but like 60-80 pounds? KRIS STRAUB: Not as dramatic as that
but dramatic enough that it makes a difference. Here sabotaging my words, my
beautiful words! JERRY HOLKINS: This is very serious. ANNA PROSSER: When you said place of
worship, it looked like she got a lightbulb. Is that where I know you from? The Sisters of the Morning Light,
that boarding school? You look a lot like the priest
over there. Are you related? SPEAKER: Possibly. ANNA PROSSER: I am sure I have seen you
there! JERRY HOLKINS: I look out the window and
see a bird! RYAN HARTMAN: A real killer! Stop it, get that bird! JERRY HOLKINS: I open his shirt. KRIS STRAUB: Just pulling away at it? You see, again… JERRY HOLKINS: I am not trying to be
cool. I take the two parts of the shirt
and go like this. KRIS STRAUB: The officer goes, “Oh.”
You see that his torso is oddly sunken in various places. JERRY HOLKINS: I am going to stand up
and look away at that from a little while. (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: You may want to have a
little Sanity check. Just a taste. JERRY HOLKINS: I say, “He was trampled
by horses.” ANNA ANNA PROSSER:I heard of, horses,
and that immediately brought me back. ARNIE NIEKAMP: Would we visually notice
this as well? JERRY HOLKINS: I am on the far side of
the table, and at this point… KRIS STRAUB: The hunched, the back, and
occasionally the top of the head rises up. You don’t know what he is doing. JERRY HOLKINS: I would love to have a
second opinion on this. Mr Bleeker, was your father a
military man? Did he suffer some kind of serious
injury? Did the Peter Tatum? RYAN HARTMAN: Yes. (Laughter) RYAN HARTMAN: We had a lifelong war. ANNA PROSSER: Maybe you need a bigger
magnifying glass? ARNIE NIEKAMP: I take out my big
magnifying glass. I noticed the magnifying glass I
got from the detective is almost comically small. JERRY HOLKINS: We may have to use all
three of these magnifying glasses at once. ANNA PROSSER: How do you do that? Sit them in a row? KRIS STRAUB: The officer is a little
bit perturbed. I wouldn’t do that. JERRY HOLKINS: I am bringing over Mr
Bleeker, just to look at this. Is a weird place. KRIS STRAUB: Other three of you looking
at his body? You’re all just magnifying glass
in? ANNA ANNA PROSSER:We’re going to magnify
that sunken torso three times. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am trying really hard
to emote like… ANNA PROSSER: I am trying to emote
whatever he does. RYAN HARTMAN: I need him to be murdered
for the insurance money, they don’t pay on suicides. I say, “Whichever one of you three
knuckleheads can declare a murder gets the money.” ARNIE NIEKAMP: how much may what I get
if I say you murdered him? RYAN HARTMAN: What? I was in another city! ANNA PROSSER: We don’t want to shut
down the artistic process. ARNIE NIEKAMP: No bad ideas here. ANNA PROSSER: This could buy so many
oats! JERRY HOLKINS: 20. It seems like we should be to
compare it with some of the other documents here. KRIS STRAUB: Of course you can. If you are looking on the desk it
doesn’t take you long to find his ledgers and so forth. There is no difference in these
handwritings. It is the same. ANNA PROSSER: I am going to keep the
five dollars. JERRY HOLKINS: Still a good idea. KRIS STRAUB: Maybe you can find a
couple of versions of the note when he stopped in the middle, just
getting the ideas down. JERRY HOLKINS: Maybe the same letter
with a slightly different sendoff at the end? A smiley face? KRIS STRAUB: Yeah. Who is looking at the desk right
now? JERRY HOLKINS: I think we’re both
looking at it. RYAN HARTMAN: I am not on the body. KRIS STRAUB: I love that I get to say
this. Make an Accounting check. (Laughter) RYAN HARTMAN: I put a little bit into
Accounting. JERRY HOLKINS: Do you have to be the by
the body site? ARNIE NIEKAMP: I feel like we are on the
right side of the table. JERRY HOLKINS: We can look at these
documents. Can I toss it? 68? RYAN HARTMAN: I need less than my
number, but Sanity I need over? KRIS STRAUB: Always less. JERRY HOLKINS: This is going to be OK. It’s fine. I am going to spend six points of
luck. KRIS STRAUB: It’s not good. Instead of just looking at the
handwriting you are looking at the numbers, and this company has been
in trouble for some time. They have no cash left,
essentially. JERRY HOLKINS: They are wrung out? Can I tell when it started? I try to ascertain the dates
around that. I am the to run these dates by the
Bleeker scion here. KRIS STRAUB: It happened just a month
ago. JERRY HOLKINS: Really? KRIS STRAUB: It seems that’s when
things bottomed out. JERRY HOLKINS: Can you tell where it
went? KRIS KRIS STRAUB:No, it is just
miscellaneous in the column. JERRY HOLKINS: That’s your problem,
right here. ‘Not’ cult fees. So, I have incredibly bad news for
you, Mr Bleeker. It is only compound it by the fact
this news is also very, very bad for me. (Laughter) RYAN RYAN HARTMAN:I know that means it
is probably trickling down into being bad for me, as well. JERRY HOLKINS: Ultimately, yes. I am sure he will be asking for
this five dollars back very soon. ANNA PROSSER: No! I have already spent it in my
heart. JERRY HOLKINS: Mr Bleeker, your fortune
is gone. RYAN HARTMAN: Impossible. JERRY HOLKINS: Deeply possible. I spin the ledger around and
explained that about a month ago, all the cool life that was waiting
for you evaporated. It is possible that it is soon
enough that you might be able to track some of it down, by paying me
will be very difficult so I’m going to leave… RYAN HARTMAN: Way and! (Laughter) RYAN HARTMAN: Are you saying I’m not
rich? JERRY HOLKINS: I am saying I have more
money than you, and I have not very much money. ARNIE NIEKAMP: Am I now the richest
person in the room? Because I’m only an actor. ANNA PROSSER: I am going to need a job. You think they would put you in
the picture? ARNIE NIEKAMP: Let’s see some facial
expressions. Happy, sad, surprised? ANNA PROSSER: I was surprised you asked
me that, so! He is good, too. SPEAKER: I don’t know about that! RYAN HARTMAN: I am rich. You’re wrong. JERRY HOLKINS: OK, that’s… Yes. Let’s proceed with that
assumption. RYAN HARTMAN: Just solve the murder. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am going to use one of
the few skills I have, which is Charm… JERRY HOLKINS: I like this! ARNIE NIEKAMP: And I’m going to charm
the detective. I don’t know if you know, I am
internationally famous. What are the things you don’t tell
people about? Like, what’s the inside scoop of
murder-suicide? ANNA PROSSER: You asking for the VIP
experience? (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: Let’s roll for it,
actually. He knows who you are. He has been playing it close to
the vest. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I have a Charm of 65. Oh, God! 2 Luck points! JERRY HOLKINS: Let’s just burn them all. What is required to use a Luck is
a smile that it is a tiny bit glib at the end, goes a little bit too
wide? ANNA PROSSER: It’s a (inaudible) facial
is written. KRIS STRAUB: The (inaudible) in the
officer’s face… This famous comedian. We don’t get many murders like RYAN HARTMAN:He said murder! It’s official! KRIS STRAUB: The only murder I see
happening here is me, killing you for misquoting me! That is how we deal with things
here. ARNIE NIEKAMP: If we are murdering
people for misquoting, someone else might be in danger. (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB:The business did not
seem to be doing too good these past couple of weeks. (inaudible) around at night, going
into places of bootleg liquor. It is frowned upon here! As it is Prohibition. He doesn’t say it that way, he
says it the regular way. The officer says, “He was clearly
troubled. He has been looking at various
ways to alleviate that here.” He scootches stuff around on the deck. It looks like a pamphlet and it
reads “The Path to Clarity”. RYAN HARTMAN: Is this propaganda to get
rich people? Because I am the richest person in
the room, so I might be the most lips as JERRY HOLKINS: We will know very
quickly. What are you look at the first
couple of pages and we will see if you are struck by a desire to leak
wealth. SPEAKER: Alright. Do I have to roll anything
against… KRIS STRAUB: Against this one, this
infernal pamphlet. It is specifically towards men of
industry. It is a hectic life, and a return
to a peace of mind is possible, a kind of serenity. It can be achieved simply with a
simple program of rest and meditation. JERRY HOLKINS: Fibre. KRIS STRAUB: Especially in a town like
this, a lot of pork and fish. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I share what I read in
the rest of the group. If I found serenity I would be
less funny! JERRY HOLKINS: This pamphlet is almost
certainly going to have information about contacting the group. That is the key. KRIS STRAUB: If you look on the back…
Niecamp hold on, there is a back! KRIS STRAUB: You are startled! Two sided paper. Any time I hear tittering… JERRY HOLKINS: Yeah, no it is good. (Laughter) JERRY HOLKINS: You are good. KRIS STRAUB: I am so afraid to speak. JERRY HOLKINS: For a little while it
said ‘tit’ and we were all worried… KRIS STRAUB: And then the parser was
like… That can’t be right. RYAN HARTMAN: This could go on forever. KRIS STRAUB: To sign up and find out
more information, weekly meetings held here in town at Paastor
University. (Laughter) JERRY HOLKINS: I asked the detective or
the policeman if he knows, and obviously it is deeply, deeply
wrong to drink, and I tell him, “Is the worst, and I don’t support its
consumption, “But we might be able to find out more information if we
knew where to find one of these local (inaudible) just as a point
to touch on, possibly. After which we will go to the
University. KRIS STRAUB: Round here we call it
Hastur University. JERRY HOLKINS: Is there a sporting
aspect? KRIS STRAUB: No. You might want to check out
Fraternity Row while you are down there, Wake up some of those boys. ANNA PROSSER: There are such nice young
men down there. KRIS STRAUB: That has not been my
experience. Give them a drink, even on the
Lord’s day, which he does not exist… ANNA PROSSER: Oh, heavens no! RYAN HARTMAN: The Lord’s Day doesn’t
exist to? KRIS STRAUB: We could not decide which
day ti make it, so we just gave up. JERRY HOLKINS: We have an interesting
angle here to investigate. RYAN RYAN HARTMAN:They are blatantly the
killers of this blatant non-suicide. JERRY HOLKINS: Bare minimum, they took
what seemed like some of his best bits. RYAN HARTMAN:Life? JERRY HOLKINS: I poked the tip of my
polished shoe in the holes that he has in his chest. This is all good eating in here
and it is all gone! KRIS STRAUB: I like the sound of that. It is a good time to trot on down
to Fraternity Row. You came by car, perhaps? Or by horse, maybe? ANNA PROSSER: No, I would never! KRIS STRAUB: What’s the opposite of a
horse? That you would take? ANNA PROSSER: I think I am an
accomplished driver. No, she is not. She is an accomplished rider, that
is what it is. No, I drove. She didn’t drive well. JERRY HOLKINS: Where is her car? Where is the car at? ANNA PROSSER: It is parked… But you
know… It is stopped! If it should be this way, it is
maybe a little this way… Maybe the wheel is just a little bit… JERRY HOLKINS: It is jaunty! ANNA PROSSER: Exactly, like my hat! You have to keep in fashion! I could drive, though, if you want
to hop in my car? RYAN HARTMAN: I could drive. ANNA PROSSER: If you want to. JERRY HOLKINS: I see the car and I look
over to Mr Bleeker and say, let’s go. RYAN HARTMAN: OK, I have a really nice
car and we walked past it. Like, in the ’20s it is more
impressive to drive yourself, right? And have a driver? I point out the car to you… You
like a car like that, new money? ARNIE NIEKAMP: I have a couple… I don’t
how to drive any of them! RYAN HARTMAN: That’s a thing! KRIS STRAUB: That wins! You take this vehicle. The roads here don’t seem like
they were thought out for a modern vehicle. Deep wagon wheel ruts… Something
from the Industrial Revolution. They forgot to do part of it here. JERRY HOLKINS: They did their best, ran
out of money and said OK. KRIS STRAUB: Good enough, we have light
and running water sometimes. We’re good! You park in front of one of the
streets along the University… ANNA PROSSER: Are we on fraternity row? Yes, you’ve anyway. ANNA PROSSER: If we need, I’m sure we
can talk to some of the boys and some of the fraternities I know. Right here is Theta Epsilon Theta. KRIS STRAUB: I won’t wait for that. Yes! You are correct! ARNIE NIEKAMP: TIT? ? ANNA PROSSER: That’s the one. KRIS STRAUB: Writ large above the
rowhouse are those very letters. ANNA PROSSER: As though they were right
above your head! KRIS STRAUB: Indeed! What a blessing! JERRY HOLKINS: It sounds like you have
some affiliations with these youths? ANNA PROSSER: If by affiliation you
mean friendly acquaintance, of course! JERRY HOLKINS: You may be best to ask if
Mr Bleeker spent much time down here. ANNA PROSSER: I wouldn’t presume to
lead first and then have you follow and then you follow him and him
follow you! JERRY HOLKINS: Let’s try this one time
and see how it goes? ARNIE NIEKAMP: I have a lot of charm,
maybe I should talk to these TIT boys. Really, you know them! JERRY HOLKINS: You have been following
me for a while, it’s time to put that observation to work. ANNA PROSSER: I wouldn’t compare charms,
but I feel like we are similar inability, so… I knock on the door. Theodore! Bernardo! Other names that fit the era! KRIS STRAUB: The door opens. Theodore, Benard, my name is Chet. ANNA PROSSER: I met you last time, you
probably don’t remember! KRIS STRAUB: I drink all the time! ANNA PROSSER: If you remember anyone,
it will be hard for you to help us. Is there anyone in the house who
does remember things? We have a couple of tiny
questions. KRIS STRAUB: The only one here at the
moment, because classes are in session, that is where the boys
like to drink. ANNA PROSSER: There is no one at all? KRIS STRAUB: Just me for now. This is the middle of the
afternoon. ANNA PROSSER: Well, I suppose we could
ask you if you think you might be able to remember something… KRIS STRAUB: Are you guys cool? ANNA PROSSER: I think so. You might recognise this person
right here from the films? ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am internationally
famous. KRIS STRAUB: This is crazy! My dad loves your movies! This is amazing! ARNIE NIEKAMP: I might have to roll a
Sanity check! KRIS STRAUB: Go ahead! ARNIE NIEKAMP: 8%. A lot of people love me! KRIS STRAUB: What you doing here? Are you working here? ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am doing research for
an upcoming silent film. KRIS STRAUB: Know you are not! That is incredible! ANNA PROSSER: He might even put me in
the movie! KRIS STRAUB: Silent film? Like the one my dad likes? Any of those? ARNIE NIEKAMP: Well… KRIS STRAUB: I saw some of the talkies,
it’s like they were talking! To me! In the audience! Can you imagine it? I didn’t have to imagine the words,
they are no longer showing up written on screen! That is the way of the past! ARNIE NIEKAMP: They are a fad and silent
films of the true art and I think that seeing things out loud is one
thing, but the true art is writing them down… Whoever does that is
doing a great job. (Applause) I would have to imagine in a moment
like this they would write really big applause… REALLY BIG APPLAUSE! KRIS STRAUB: I tell you what, I hate
reading! That’s not why I go to movies. I can’t wait to see what they make
talk next. What next will sound come out of? When I’m in a theatre? This is crazy! ANNA PROSSER: I think we could talk
movies all day, but we are here because we are looking for
information about this young man’s father, Mr Bleeker. Maybe you could describe him and
see if he remembers anything at all? RYAN HARTMAN: He would have to know me…
The Bleeker family is the Ford of pigs. Hellgrammite is a small town, and
if this is where they are originally from… KRIS STRAUB: He absolutely knows the
name. He recognises you as Pork Boy. What are you doing around here? RYAN HARTMAN: “Pork Man! I giggle really hard.
0:59:46,774 –>0:59:48,774
KRIS STRAUB:  You’re talking about his
dad? RYAN HARTMAN:  Have you seen him lately? KRIS STRAUB:  Why, did he die? RYAN HARTMAN:  No! (Multiple speakers) KRIS STRAUB:  He says I heard stories
about him, that he would often go out late at night canoodling, if
you were mean. But in a sad way. A depressed way! ANNA PROSSER:  Where did he go? On-campus? KRIS STRAUB:  Yes, basically staggering
around campus with a paper bag. Any given location. RYAN HARTMAN:  Was it a can of noodles? (LAUGHTER) KRIS STRAUB:  I don’t know any one spot
that he would go to, but it seems to me he probably went to all of
them. ANNA PROSSER:  Nomadic carouser! KRIS STRAUB:  I’m glad you came to ask
about that, that sounds like a good time to me. Not at his age, but… How was the
old man? RYAN HARTMAN:  He has been better! (LAUGHTER) KRIS STRAUB:  That is tough to hear. You are lucky I even came to the
door in the first place. Typically I just got interrupted
by some lady handing out pamphlets. I took one and slammed the door
and was about to take a bath. ANNA PROSSER:  Pamphlets? We really like them. Would you mind if we borrowed it? KRIS STRAUB:  He reaches down the side
the door on the floor where he threw it when you shut it and
handed over. It is the same pamphlet. SPEAKER:  You know anything about
these guys? KRIS STRAUB:  Only that I get one of
these pamphlets every other week. ANNA PROSSER:  Is it the same person
every time? KRIS STRAUB:  This is one of the times I
happened to be here. ARNIE NIEKAMP:  How recently? It sounds like the woman was just
here? KRIS STRAUB:  Pretty recently stopped
about an hour ago. JERRY HOLKINS:  Did it seem like she had
all her organs? (LAUGHTER) RYAN HARTMAN:  Or extra organs? ARNIE NIEKAMP:  Someone else’s organ
inside her? JERRY HOLKINS:  Here is the norm, too
many organs, not enough organs. Something like that? KRIS STRAUB:  I am not a biology major. I don’t know. ANNA PROSSER:  What did she look like? Maybe we could find her? KRIS STRAUB:  She had about your height,
dark hair, kind of all-black clothes, which I thought was kind
of weird, because there are no graduations at this time of year. RYAN HARTMAN:  Which direction did you
go? Did she hit every fraternity? KRIS STRAUB:  Typically, yes. As far as I know. What does a pamphlet cost? Eight dollars? ARNIE NIEKAMP:  We would have to make an
Accounting roll! KRIS STRAUB:  There might be a table in
the back for this. It is very thorough. JERRY HOLKINS:  I wonder if he spent all
his time drinking and came across one of these pamphlets just on his
If he came across a pamphlet just because he was down here getting
fucked up all the time? ANNA PROSSER:  We could probably ask why
he wouldn’t have felt worthy? No offence, but why would Chet be
deemed more worthy? JERRY HOLKINS:  I have to say, Evelyn
Virginia Margaret Madison, I think we have a rather delicious target
perhaps for this strange church and its interests, right here with us. ANNA PROSSER:  Who? This is my knowing facial
expression. Is it good? JERRY HOLKINS:  Are you interested in a
spot of acting, maybe? This afternoon? ARNIE NIEKAMP:  I get maybe too excited! ANNA PROSSER:  Doing vocal warm-ups! ARNIE NIEKAMP:  Spinning around in a
circle a couple of times. RYAN HARTMAN:  I usually can do it? It might require talking! ARNIE NIEKAMP:  Oh, shit! (LAUGHTER) (Applause) KRIS STRAUB:  Watching you do that, felt
just like my dad. JERRY HOLKINS:  The role I have in mind
is that of a sort of manchild dilettante with more money than
sense. (LAUGHTER) ANNA PROSSER:  You’re offended! RYAN HARTMAN:  Some pork magnate heir? ARNIE NIEKAMP:  We might have do
something drastic where I am the face of this target and maybe
someone else provides the voice? JERRY HOLKINS:  I don’t think that that
is going to happen. I feel like that is not going to
work, just because of how the physical law works. But, we can be very near. We can
be your entourage. We will be very close, no doubt
the young Bleeker scion at the ready. I say we attend one of these
meetings and see if they take the bait. ARNIE NIEKAMP:  Let’s do it! I’m up for it! ANNA PROSSER:  I could play the role of
assistant and I could pass you notes if you don’t want to say. ARNIE NIEKAMP:  That’s perfect! JERRY HOLKINS:  Exquisite. (Multiple speakers) KRIS STRAUB:  Let’s go! Chet throws the towel down. No
bath for me tonight! ARNIE NIEKAMP:  Does it matter that my
own language score for English is 35? That seems low! KRIS STRAUB:  How we understanding you
now? ANNA PROSSER:  That is the problem with
the talkies, isn’t it? JERRY HOLKINS:  The inability to speak! It seems like we know how to get
set up with these meetings. If we can go and get a sense of
this place we will be able to learn a lot, I suspect, very quickly. KRIS STRAUB:  They are talking about
finding out more about campus. JERRY HOLKINS:    They are trying to get
us to do what we want to do… ANNA PROSSER:  Let’s go find a woman and
asked when the meeting is. ARNIE NIEKAMP:    What direction did the
woman leave in? KRIS STRAUB:  Since we are the last
house on Fraternity Row, she took off directly into the campus. There is one lecture hall, one
building here and it continues on. There is a few of them. It is a small school. JERRY HOLKINS:  The pamphlet also tells
us where we can find information about the meeting. KRIS STRAUB:  The pamphlet indicates the
quadrangle, the central area. JERRY HOLKINS:  They have been doing it
right out in the open? KRIS STRAUB:  There may be postings or
something. JERRY HOLKINS:  On a pork board? KRIS STRAUB:  They have to do something
with the remnants! ANNA PROSSER:  I know the way, I hang
out there all the time. Let’s go! KRIS STRAUB:  You go to the quadrangle
through the newest lecture hall because it is the most direct
route. Through the science building, some
classes are in session. You see students listening to
their teachers. Small experiments in vials, pools
of liquid boiling above the green flame. RYAN HARTMAN:  Oh, is that a thing? KRIS STRAUB:  You hear as you are
approaching the exit into the quad area, you hear from one of the
classrooms a shout. Somebody yelling, no, no! And a door slamming. But nobody is entering into the
hallway. ANNA PROSSER:  That sounds like someone
in trouble! Humans have as many rights as
horses, we should protect them! (LAUGHTER) KRIS STRAUB:  What say you, adventurers? JERRY HOLKINS:  On our way through I
think we can make a quick detour. KRIS STRAUB:  To investigate an
afternoon shout? JERRY HOLKINS:  Listen-at-the-door type
situation. KRIS STRAUB:  You hear… You don’t hear
any scuttling or anything, but you hear what sounds like a grown man
crying, or in some sort of turmoil. JERRY HOLKINS:  In the closet? KRIS STRAUB:  No, this is the door of a
lecture hall. JERRY HOLKINS:  Alone in there? ANNA PROSSER:  I’m imagining that Evelyn
spends a lot of time on this campus. Can I roll to see if she knows
whose classroom this is? Or if she would have connection to
this person? KRIS STRAUB:  You can, yes. Let’s say there is a door in the
window at this distance, perhaps you can period. ANNA PROSSER:  Do I know this person? KRIS STRAUB:  Let’s see, what would you roll… ANNA PROSSER:  I have… You would
probably use the library, that is an help me out if I person. KRIS STRAUB:  I would allow that roll. ANNA PROSSER:  Libraries, she loves the
library… That is a 49. I fail. I have a 40 in Library Use. I will spend nine. I know. KRIS STRAUB:  All your characters are
going to die at the end, so it doesn’t matter. JERRY HOLKINS:  What was that? KRIS STRAUB:  You recognise… You don’t know his name, but you
have seen him in the library at the University. ANNA PROSSER:  A student? KRIS STRAUB:  No, a professor, a
teacher. RYAN HARTMAN:  Professor Crybaby! ANNA PROSSER:  To annuity teachers? (Multiple speakers) RYAN HARTMAN: 
KRIS STRAUB:  The art. Sciences! You associate him with liberal
arts, history and things like that. ANNA PROSSER:  This strange, I have
never seen Prof Hamilton. I don’t know! I have never seen this professor
weeping like this before, openly in his classroom. I think we should cheer him up or
ask if everything is OK. She opens the door and does just
that! RYAN HARTMAN:  We’re not here to solve
everyone’s problems just because they are crying! We don’t have time for that! ARNIE NIEKAMP:  I have a giant magnifying
glass! JERRY HOLKINS:  A little softshoe. KRIS STRAUB:  Unless a belly full of
pork would get a smile on the face! RYAN HARTMAN:  Got to move some product! KRIS STRAUB:  You push the door open and
notice that piece of papers skid across the floor, it is a pamphlet. ANNA PROSSER:  She picks it up and tucks
away and says excuse me Prof, you alright there? KRIS STRAUB:  What are you doing here? I’m sorry! I thought that was her! ANNA PROSSER:  Who? ANNA PROSSER:  Someone about my height
in a cloak? KRIS STRAUB:  Yes, yes. JERRY HOLKINS:  Was she dusky? KRIS STRAUB:    Yes she was. ANNA PROSSER:  What did she want? RYAN HARTMAN:  I will duck out to look
down the hallway. KRIS STRAUB:  There is another door at
the bottom of the lecture hall, there is nobody there. She always comes around with these
pamphlets, these lies. ANNA PROSSER:  What kind of lies? It says it offers comfort, does it
not? KRIS STRAUB:  As far as I’m concerned,
no. It has given me, personally,
nothing the pain. ANNA PROSSER:  What causes pain about it? SPEAKER:  Paper cuts! KRIS STRAUB:  Who are you? RYAN HARTMAN:  We are here to make you
feel better! KRIS STRAUB:  Oh, good! I could use some of that! I am Dr (inaudible). You may call me doctor. Good luck! (LAUGHTER) ANNA PROSSER:  Doctor, which couldn’t
help but notice you crying and we are thinking these pamphlets are
causing quite a stir, and it may have even been involved in this
poor young man’s father’s death. RYAN HARTMAN:  Murder! KRIS STRAUB:  Murder? RYAN HARTMAN:  Most foul! KRIS STRAUB:  Most of the fowl? But if all of the fowl died… RYAN HARTMAN:  This has far-reaching
ramifications! KRIS STRAUB:  Who knows how far this
goes? RYAN HARTMAN:  This is a deep state
conspiracy. KRIS STRAUB:  You are cheering me up,
pork boy! RYAN HARTMAN:  Pork man! I just put my belly out. Get it over with! Giggling! KRIS STRAUB:  Murder? JERRY HOLKINS:  Keep working this angle,
I think this is– ANNA PROSSER:  Am I being a detective? JERRY HOLKINS:  Most certainly. ANNA PROSSER:  Well, As we are on this
angle, I would love to ask you, with a serious expression, a
Question — HEAVY BREATHING — I should roll for this for performance. KRIS STRAUB:  You have Acting! ANNA PROSSER:  Let’s see, Arts and
Crafts, Persuasion, Let’s see how she does? KRIS STRAUB:  Or Swimming! RYAN HARTMAN:  I have dump stats! ANNA PROSSER:  I am rolling horribly, I
failed by 14. She asks, Do you like horses? KRIS STRAUB:  Yes. It is a noble beast. ANNA PROSSER:  She is writing it down as
though it is very important. JERRY HOLKINS:  Can you help me
understand how this pamphlet came to create so much torment? Because we don’t believe you are
the only one who has had this experience. KRIS STRAUB:  I have seen this pamphlet
before. But after a time, I refused to
read it because of what it did to my colleague. JERRY HOLKINS:  Your colleague? KRIS STRAUB:  Yes, Dr Carter. JERRY HOLKINS:  Let me write this down. KRIS STRAUB:  I see writing it, yes. That’s it! RYAN HARTMAN:  Why are you getting
pamphlets? You don’t look rich! KRIS STRAUB:  He takes a little offence
at that. I work in Egyptology. These terms are filled with
treasures that I may keep! RYAN HARTMAN: Now I am impressed! ARNIE NIEKAMP:  Can I ask THE DOCTOR what
he said? What kind of treasures do you have? KRIS STRAUB:  The treasures I study are
from– (LAUGHTER) KRIS STRAUB:  … RYAN HARTMAN:  It is Dr A-Z-I-M! ANNA PROSSER:  What happened to Dr
Carter? (LAUGHTER) KRIS STRAUB: I apologise, for some
reason I thought it was an AI parser, listening. JERRY HOLKINS:  No, it is a human being! ARNIE NIEKAMP:  A human being with
emotions! JERRY HOLKINS: Let’s be clear, this
person has gotten the biggest laughs of the night! We are talking about a true
collaborator. (CHEERING) JERRY HOLKINS:  There are six people
performing on the stage tonight! KRIS STRAUB: We need them on our side! ANNA PROSSER:  You’re welcome! (LAUGHTER) KRIS STRAUB:  That seems a little
editorial to me, an exclamation point. There is no end to this! I am lost now. ANNA PROSSER:  Dr Carter! What happened to Dr Carter? KRIS STRAUB:  Dr Carter worked with me
in the necrosociology department. JERRY HOLKINS: I raise my eyebrows very
high! KRIS STRAUB: With your hand? JERRY HOLKINS:  When it reaches its
zenith, I raise hands to assist it even further. ARNIE NIEKAMP:  I normally get
necrosociology and necroanthropology mixed up! KRIS STRAUB:  The doctor was under a lot
of stress and was seeking ways to calm himself on his nerves. Related to some of the research he
was doing… I just want to know! I want that on a monitor so I can
look at it! JERRY HOLKINS: It is so good! (Inaudible.) (Inaudible.) ANNA PROSSER: He didn’t feel good? He had promised her? KRIS STRAUB: Thank you, thank you. ANNA PROSSER: It seemed like you are
under a lot of stress. KRIS STRAUB: You are putting me back on
track. ANNA PROSSER: It seems like you are
hearing voices or reading something from your mind? KRIS STRAUB: He looks about… Not me,
but that would describe how I believe Dr Carter felt. He had gone deeper and deeper into
this program. Even though he has gone missing…
They still tried to convince others. It is a… How do you say it… A
predatory practice. It is bad business. ANNA PROSSER: What happened that was
negative in the program? KRIS STRAUB: He takes on an ashen
appearance. I could not say. I could not say. I refused to say. ANNA PROSSER: I want to take his hands
gently and try to persuade him, you are safe here with the pork boy/man
and this newly appointed detective and this international superstar. ARNIE NIEKAMP: Thank you! It is working on me! JERRY HOLKINS: I already feel great! KRIS STRAUB: This is such a weird group! ANNA PROSSER: I passed with flying
colours on that one! KRIS STRAUB: He feels the warmth of
your hand and looks about at this actor who he clearly recognises
from these famous comedies, the pork boy who gave him so much joy… RYAN HARTMAN: So many full bellies,
contented. KRIS STRAUB: And this detective who was
here. There is a sense of official
propriety about it. You are here to help! You are not the enemy. And Dr Azim says, I refused to
follow him. He wanted me to join, but when he
went missing I kept his things. SPEAKER: Kept his things? KRIS STRAUB: I kept his things only so
they would not fall into the hands of others. But I have not looked at them
since. Here… He walks over to a storage closet
in the lecture hall, opens it, retrieves a small leather satchel,
and with reverence places it on the table in front of you… It is
clearly difficult for him to even be around it because there is a lot
of emotions here. He was a good man. He did not deserve it they did
him… JERRY HOLKINS: He went missing, we don’t
have any idea where he went? What did they did him? ANNA PROSSER: Does he have all his
organs? (LAUGHTER) KRIS STRAUB: This upsets him greatly! ARNIE NIEKAMP: I think that might be no! ANNA PROSSER: I motion towards the bag
and your magnifying glass, holds up… KRIS STRAUB: It is filled with organs! No! In the bag you see a number of his
artefacts like glasses, a pocket watch… All personal effects. Personal effects for sure. Great effects! RYAN HARTMAN: These glasses! KRIS STRAUB: Plastic glasses! Better than any magnifier. You also see a small book which
you pull out and look at with your eyes… RYAN HARTMAN: Should you roll? KRIS STRAUB: It is called ‘Animal
Citizenship’. ANNA PROSSER: That sounds fascinating! KRIS STRAUB: It is a worn, old book,
like a vanity press. It is well made. ARNIE NIEKAMP: Is it in English? I only have a 35 on that! KRIS STRAUB: You can’t tell. JERRY HOLKINS: There is a lot of shapes
on the front. I am going to… I will gingerly
remove it and flip through it… I will identify and try to figure out
what is useful before I continue to look inside the satchel. KRIS STRAUB: OK… Let’s see here… JERRY HOLKINS: I have weird stuff that I
could try to do in terms of research, library use type stuff…
Psychology? I have all the ones I could be
good at, let’s do one of those… KRIS STRAUB: I see you have jump! JERRY HOLKINS: Jump! I can jump like crazy! ARNIE NIEKAMP: Not to be outdone, I jump
over the book as well! KRIS STRAUB: He is not looking at what
you are doing. When you took the book out of the
bag, he grabbed and a little tighter and refuses to look at it. JERRY HOLKINS: I can handle this part. KRIS STRAUB: The front of the book, you
read… It is like a tract, a treatise. A lot of the elements in there
talk about clarification… Not clarity, but clarification, is the
term they use. JERRY HOLKINS: Is being used in
something like a similar way? The same body of thoughts? KRIS STRAUB: For sure, yeah. You are seeing mention of how it
is a road that leads places… JERRY HOLKINS: OK. Doesn’t mention the city on the
hill? KRIS STRAUB: Oh, yes. You find a passage… JERRY HOLKINS: Almost identical? KRIS STRAUB: It describes the city on
the hill in the way that seems to track with a suicide note. JERRY HOLKINS: It has a religious
origin. KRIS STRAUB: You see where that
originates and how that might resonate with somebody in the same
way that you would consider the lilies of the field… JERRY HOLKINS: Baseline philosophy. KRIS STRAUB: They don’t worry about
anything. As it goes on, as you read deeper,
you are noticing it is not been discussed as metaphorical but more
like an actual city or someplace to go, they be in a metaphysical way,
but still. It is very reverently handled. They have not deviated from that
terminology. ANNA PROSSER: is there an index? Can you look at what makes someone
worthy? JERRY HOLKINS: Does it say the author? SPEAKER: Ayn Rand. KRIS STRAUB: ‘Animal Citizenship’. JERRY HOLKINS: On the outside it says
that but inside there is all this weird shit? KRIS STRAUB: Early on in the book it
discusses, in the context of all this, how humans, people, we suffer
because of the lives that we lead that are overly complex – that no
animal would endure this. We have created these misery for
ourselves and since the animals are truly free, because they do not
worry. In fact, there is a specific
passage that catches your eye about how the animal does not possess
consciousness. We are animals. We should not possess
consciousness. JERRY HOLKINS: Jesus Christ. OK. KRIS STRAUB: Do you flip further? JERRY HOLKINS: Now I have connected the
major ideas. We are animals but we diverged
from true animals, realer, purer animals, because we are burdened by
this false consciousness. At first I was like, “I should
show this to Evelyn.” Now I am like… I basically skip to the end. KRIS STRAUB: OK. JERRY HOLKINS: I can spend quality time
with this later… KRIS STRAUB: For sure. JERRY HOLKINS: I have two points on the
line, and I want to see where this gets to in the end. Where this leads that results in
is damaged, ruined men. KRIS STRAUB: As you flip through the
book you noticed fewer and fewer portions are in English. They start to revert to a
smattering is of Latin… JERRY HOLKINS: I know Latin. KRIS STRAUB: You know some Latin. And then other phrases in
languages you don’t recognise. Then straight up schedules, glyphs,
diagrams. JERRY HOLKINS: The book basically melts
down while I am reading it? KRIS STRAUB: Right. JERRY HOLKINS: I can’t show this to Dr
Azim. KRIS STRAUB: As you come upon some of
those diagrams in the back which seem to be describing a version of
a person that is… JERRY HOLKINS: Without consciousness? KRIS STRAUB: ‘Perfected’ in some way is
the books term. JERRY HOLKINS: Do any of these diagrams
show the human body modified in such a way that it would map to
what I saw for the Elder Mr Bleeker? KRIS STRAUB: Yes. JERRY HOLKINS: Is that part of the
process of perfection, that some of it must be removed? KRIS STRAUB: Make a Sanity check. ANNA PROSSER: (Exlaims) KRIS STRAUB: Is anyone else looking? JERRY HOLKINS: I make it. I close it. He was some way along this path. I indicate that to everyone else. I say, “Mr Bleeker, your father
was… Your father was into these people. He was way, way into these
people.” ANNA PROSSER: They could be responsible
for his death! JERRY HOLKINS: I say, “I think that the
case for murder is robust.” But it’s nothing like… If he had been
shot, it would have been a blessing. (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: This upsets Dr Azim. RYAN HARTMAN: And Donald Bleeker. KRIS STRAUB: Sanity check, please. RYAN HARTMAN: I am too dumb to go
insane. JERRY HOLKINS: There are two things we
need to do. The first is that we can attend
this meeting… We know the meetings happen every week or every two
weeks, something like that, in the Quad. When is the next meeting relative
to right now? STRAUB: That is not given and the
pamphlet does not say. JERRY HOLKINS: I kneeled down next to
Doctor Azim. XCan I use my Psychology to
determine what I think might be the right way to prep him? KRIS STRAUB: Yeah, OK. JERRY HOLKINS might not even close. I say, “When do they hold these
meetings? Mac and then I around in his These cultus… These monsters.” He
would use the word ‘cultist’. It is ‘monsters’ for sure. He doesn’t know… Lovecraftia
cultist have a certain events to… JERRY HOLKINS: These motherfuckers… I just read their book, it is a
cold! ANNA PROSSER: If you just tell us when
they next meeting, maybe we can do
something about it. KRIS STRAUB: I know Doctor Carter had
tendency to go through long periods on Wednesday nights, typically. SPEAKER: What a day? KRIS STRAUB: It is Wednesday. JERRY HOLKINS: Monday? KRIS STRAUB: Wednesday. ANNA PROSSER: Why, that’s tonight! JERRY HOLKINS: How many hours do we
have… KRIS STRAUB: It is late afternoon. JERRY HOLKINS: I would like to… Before
we come back… I would like to perform last rites on Mr Bleeker. I just think it’s a good idea. RYAN HARTMAN: Go back to the house? JERRY HOLKINS: We can come back later
tonight, maybe with guns… (Laughter) ARNIE NIEKAMP: Can I ask, do detectives
usually perform last rites? JERRY HOLKINS: It is one of the common
services that they provide, yes. There is a lot about this
profession you don’t know! Stick with me, you are going to
figure it all out. ANNA PROSSER: Can I use Library Use to
check on that.? I got a 1
detectives from that. The Cammack why am I following him? ANNA PROSSER: Detectives do not perform
last right. Surprised face! JERRY HOLKINS: I offer a routine
service. It is comprehensive. You want me to do this. (Laughter) JERRY HOLKINS: I will throw it in for
free. RYAN HARTMAN: Roll to Persuade? ANNA PROSSER: I just think there is
something the detective is not telling us, and if we are
detectives we should detect the
detective JERRY HOLKINS: It is too high, much too
high for my skill in that. The main thing is that it is not
going to cost you anything. Your father is so far in… I shake
the book in my left hand and I’d say, he has travelled so far into
this program of theirs that… I think that it would be safest if we
were to just perform the basic, the most simple holy obeisances… JERRY HOLKINS: I think that he is one of
many… ARNIE NIEKAMP: You had me at
obeisances… KRIS STRAUB: But your English is so bad! JERRY HOLKINS: It echoes and emptiness. I think it would be good. Also, if you have done or rifle,
something like that, we should
bring it. RYAN HARTMAN: We have a lot of rifles
in our old house. We used to go skeet shooting… For pigs. We had a lot of pigs! When all you have is a hammer,
everything looks like a nail! JERRY HOLKINS: They are just like us! KRIS STRAUB: When all you have is a
hammer, everything looks like a pig skull! JERRY HOLKINS: Let’s come back and keep
the guns in the car. STRAUB: What would you wish to do
for the next few hours before the
stakeout occurs? JERRY HOLKINS: For my part, I will go
back and know how to do it. RYAN HARTMAN: We go back, we perform
rites on the body in case there are some occult thing… Mimic in the background. RYAN HARTMAN: And then get the guns. JERRY HOLKINS: I definitely ask them, it
is a 30 fine, they should see it, but they have too… It is something
they can watch from 15 or 20 feet away KRIS STRAUB: Such that they soak in to
just the one, it doesn’t take… JERRY HOLKINS: I don’t want either of
you to be to be rited inadvertently. ARNIE NIEKAMP: We know our rights! I am an internationally famous
comedian! KRIS STRAUB: Ears! JERRY HOLKINS: Now I have read the rest
of it, I don’t know what happens next. If he was unable to make it all
the way through to the end of this and there is no bullet, I don’t
actually know about this, but I
feel like it is good. We will have a little holy
inoculation, it is a stability. KRIS STRAUB: Enjoy it, you may return
to the site to the scene. RYAN HARTMAN: I confer quickly, is it
worth bringing Dr Azim? He seems to know the stuff. JERRY HOLKINS: I think he is not
prepared for that. KRIS STRAUB: He is not.
I can tell you from experience. JERRY HOLKINS: By the same token, it may
be better for him to come, because if they continue to press him, I
think it might be a good idea for him to be with us, for his own
protection. RYAN HARTMAN: Yes. KRIS STRAUB: Yes, considering
everything you have said, and that this is happened again and will
continue to happen, Dr Azim kind of… Short, sharp breaths… I am
ready. I will join you. JERRY HOLKINS: Perfect. We have room. We’ll go back… KRIS STRAUB: Do you have room in your
car? ANNA PROSSER: Certainly.
I fit at least 10 people from
Theta… The boys just pile in the back and
we go on all sorts of adventures. It’s fine! JERRY HOLKINS: On top, the whole thing. KRIS STRAUB: Was that a thing back then? Yes, you return to the Bleeker
building and there is still a police car out front and a few
officers are conferring. It has been an hour and a half
since… As you pull up, you see, descending the stairs, the officer
that you spoke with before, and he sees you approach and says, “Back
so soon? Body’s still up there, waiting on
the coroner to take it away. Anything else you would like to do
with it, Mr Bleeker, I would do it now before it heads down to the morgue.”
RYAN HARTMAN: I will! KRIS STRAUB: As is your right…
Technically, the body is yours will
stop that is how that works. ANNA PROSSER: I take Dr Azim’s hand and
say no matter what you see, you should keep all your internal organs. JERRY HOLKINS: It is like an
after-school special. Hey kids… ANNA PROSSER: Don’t let anyone convince
you those are better out than in. KRIS STRAUB: Every day, I do my best. JERRY HOLKINS: The campaign is called
‘The In Crowd’. ANNA PROSSER: Hey, kids, want to be
part of The In Crowd? KRIS STRAUB: Let me get those guts!
OK! Stop! RYAN HARTMAN: First thing Timmy did
wrong! JERRY HOLKINS: I proceed into the office,
take off my jacket, put on my collar… KRIS STRAUB: Oh, OK, the full deal?
JERRY HOLKINS: End to end.
I cannot leave this to chance. RYAN HARTMAN: I was to say, that takes
me back! Oh, that takes me back!
The good old days! ANNA PROSSER: I just… I just find it
very strange… I just keep seeing this priest that I saw and you keep
telling me you are not that priest, and I would never stoop to
contradict someone’s word that I just met, but I just really feel
like there is some priest… JERRY HOLKINS: Without looking back, I
produce my crucifix out of my shirt and I say I heard he retired… STRAUB: Seeing this familiar face,
this familiar priest in priest garb really seems to stick in that
memory. It doesn’t fit. ANNA PROSSER: I consider myself a
polite person. I do want to make a sceptical face at him …
ARNIE NIEKAMP: From any of you, your
instincts are usually right on. He is dressed as a priest, which
makes him seem very honest, so I have to believe him when he says he
is not a priest! (LAUGHTER) (Applause) ANNA PROSSER: That is true.
If he was the priest, I remember
he would never lie. I don’t know.
I will make a thoughtful face about it. JERRY HOLKINS: I do it correctly, but
quickly. KRIS STRAUB: The dressing? JERRY HOLKINS: The ritual. KRIS STRAUB: You come into the room, by
now the body is tastefully covered with a white sheet… Still sunken in
some places… JERRY HOLKINS: Just the depressions? KRIS STRAUB: How the rites performed?
Are reading over the body? JERRY HOLKINS: It is something he knows
how to do. I am not a priest. KRIS STRAUB: You Jerry are not a
priest. The character is how to do it, right.
I just want to figure out how long it is. It’s pretty short, as I recall.? I read it super fast stop this mac
just rifle through it. JERRY HOLKINS: Just give it a medley. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus RYAN HARTMAN: SPEAKS ITALIAN? KRIS STRAUB: As you perform these
rights… (LAUGHTER) (Applause)
KRIS STRAUB: I want to meet this person! Doing the captions! JERRY HOLKINS: If you want to drink
tonight, let me know! KRIS STRAUB: As you perform these last
rights in as expedient away as you
can, is it from fear? JERRY HOLKINS: Once I have figured out
it was the same thing… Once I matched this to that, I… And the
fact that the way we’re looking at it, there is no pulse, there is no
heartbeat, but they are not killed with the gun or murdered… I don’t
know what happens next. KRIS STRAUB: for the first time ever
doing this, you feel like the rites
are just words. You feel as much conviction as
riveted, but there is something cheap about them, or meaningless. In the room, you sense, each of
you senses, like… It is almost like the edges of the room are lit, in a
way, at the corner and at the seams. That light dances, as would
perhaps a green flame. AUDIENCE: GREEN FLAME! ANNA PROSSER: Evelyn steps in front of
Dr Azim protectively. STRAUB: Charles, you begin to see
a vision… JERRY HOLKINS: what THE FUCK? You see yourself in the future
trying to tell this story as a movie of your own. KRIS STRAUB: Silence. Heaven. Nothing. The executives are staring that
make standing saying nothing… The words that appear in front of you
that you have said, the executive has refused to read it full stop
they are not reading it. They are waiting to hear something
They are around you. You see them devilishly laughing.
Buster Keaton.
Laurel and Hardy! They are both laughing!
Derisively! Not because they enjoy your work,
but because you are a fool! Roll for sanity.
ANNA PROSSER: That is so sad! ARNIE NIEKAMP: Just sanity. With a little luck, I can handle
this. ANNA PROSSER: One deep breath, and you
are good. KRIS STRAUB: The vision of this dancing
greenlight persists. This is new.
I think so! You tell me, this is your
territory, you’re the priest. This happen every time?
What will you do? JERRY HOLKINS: The light… KRIS STRAUB: It seems to diminish, but
not down to 0. JERRY HOLKINS: I pull the top of the
sheet down. KRIS STRAUB:You grasp the top of
the sheet? JERRY HOLKINS: I want to see these
things are connected.
I want to perform a kind of science. KRIS STRAUB: You grasp the sheet, pull
it back, and for a moment there is the body of WN Bleeker. JERRY HOLKINS: I am relieved. KRIS STRAUB: As you pull it back, the
body just sinks into the floor and, you know, clips the plane of the
rug, of the carpeted ground, and just travels downward until it is
not in the room anymore. Everybody roll sanity check. ANNA PROSSER: That is not how bodies
work! (LAUGHTER)
ANNA PROSSER: I fail miserably. KRIS STRAUB: Now we’re getting into the
business! ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am just barely sane. RYAN HARTMAN: I was going to be like,
problem solved! KRIS STRAUB: Roll a D4 for me, please. ANNA PROSSER: Three! I failed by almost 60 points. KRIS STRAUB: That is a high failure.
What was the actual roll? ANNA PROSSER: I think I rolled 61 and
my Sanity is 33. I lose another sanity, to make
that 32. KRIS STRAUB: Dr Azim yelps and just
runs from the room, down the stairs. JERRY HOLKINS: That makes sense. If the body disappears I’m gonna
get very close to one of these (inaudible)… With trepidation, I
want to see it up close. KRIS STRAUB: As you turn to approach,
the light is now gone. You had seen it in your peripheral
as you watched the body descends, and it seems to you that it stopped
when the body was gone. As though sated! ANNA PROSSER: Oh, the body is probably
just down on the level below is! ARNIE NIEKAMP: How many floors is this
building? JERRY HOLKINS: six! KRIS STRAUB: If you know anything about
1920s architecture, you know that you could only build five floors
for a long time. ANNA PROSSER: What was that? JERRY HOLKINS: The sheet is there. KRIS STRAUB: Sheet is still there,
yeah. ANNA ANNA PROSSER:Is this why you
You make bodies fall through the floor? (Laughter) JERRY HOLKINS: This isn’t my doing. ANNA PROSSER:Are you sure? JERRY HOLKINS: This is definitely not
how it works. ANNA PROSSER: Well, what is doing it? JERRY HOLKINS:I produce the book. I say, “It’s these people, it’s
this university.” KRIS STRAUB: Do you all? Does the book all open to any of
these pages? JERRY HOLKINS: I don’t expose anyone
else to these pages. I just say, “It’s these people. This is not a health fad, this is
not… These are not good people.” KRIS STRAUB: You know that there is a
floor below here because you came
up through you, a reception area. RYAN HARTMAN: I am freaked out because
with stuff is happening. Is the gun still here or did the
police take it? KRIS STRAUB:The gun is still here
on the desk. RYAN HARTMAN: I try to pocket the gun. KRIS STRAUB: Role to pocket. Successful pocketing. RYAN HARTMAN: Is that jump? I can jump like a mother. From the ground, like a six-foot
vertical. I’m trying to intimidate the gun,
like “Get in my pocket! I have great Intimidates that.
saw a body disappear! I’m freaking out over here! ARNIE NIEKAMP: What happened when the
sheet went down? We don’t want that to happen to us! We could get sheet phased! KRIS STRAUB: You run downstairs… You
that is right. (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: You run downstairs and it
is an open area. A reception, chairs and that. JERRY HOLKINS: Open floor plan, nice. RYAN HARTMAN: Spared no expense. KRIS STRAUB: Tasteful, natural
lighting. Who is at the front of the stairs? JERRY HOLKINS: I am running from here. ANNA PROSSER: Evelyn walks with a cane
so it takes a second. JERRY HOLKINS: And she can provide the
extra support to Dr Azim. ANNA PROSSER: He already ran away.
RYAN HARTMAN: You are running around my
house? ARNIE NIEKAMP: If we are going to be
running back and forth around a whole, we have to remember the
order. KRIS STRAUB: You are first, right?
JERRY HOLKINS: Yes. KRIS STRAUB: You will need to make a
Sanity check because what you see is, at the same angle that are
descended, you just make out the shoulders and the head descending
through the plane of this floor. By the time the others make it
down, it is not in the room anymore. JERRY HOLKINS: I found the edge of my
Sanity on this one. KRIS STRAUB: Why don’t you roll a
little D4? Try one of them. Doing pretty healthy, though, as
far as I am concerned. JERRY HOLKINS: I am sorry you are
disappointed. KRIS STRAUB: I hate this! It’s gone. The police are not here. RYAN HARTMAN: Omin Dran saw it go down
another level, but we didn’t because we are one step behind him? ANNA PROSSER: You didn’t install a lift
of any kind? RYAN HARTMAN: You just saw a bunch of
servers running around, handing us guns… You don’t have a gun servant? There’s no bell you can ring? KRIS STRAUB: You know the layout of
this building. The refinery… Rendering, that is
the word. Hog rendering. RYAN HARTMAN: (inaudible) KRIS
STRAUB: It has never been that, these
are offices. JERRY HOLKINS: This just gets worse and
worse, doesn’t it? The deeper we get in. RYAN HARTMAN: Let’s go down together. Do is spell the creosote? KRIS STRAUB: Oh, yeah, and it comforts you.
You love it. You grew up in and around it. RYAN HARTMAN: It smells like money. KRIS STRAUB: You were born to it. You know the layout of this
building, these are offices and the
reception. Further down, there is packaging… JERRY HOLKINS: Functional, industrial… ARNIE NIEKAMP: The killing floor. KRIS STRAUB: Precisely. JERRY HOLKINS: We have to see how far
down this goes. ANNA PROSSER: The humane killing floor… SPEAKER: It is not really a floor,
it is a great that catches the blood in the meat. SPEAKER: It is like a torture room.
SPEAKER: A torture room. ANNA PROSSER: Evelyn taking notes
again. Dear Mr L.A. Thander…
Animal welfare, animal
welfare, animal welfare… KRIS STRAUB: You would identify with
this work. You JERRY HOLKINS:Or SPEAKER: The R&D department studies, picks have more emotions than humans.
They feel it worse. ANNA PROSSER:I feel like (inaudible) KRIS STRAUB: I would be delighted. ANNA PROSSER: Not that I want to, that
if it is true to the character… I fail my Sanity check. KRIS STRAUB: OK. A little sprinkling so far. ANNA PROSSER: A little sprinkle! ARNIE NIEKAMP: Are we close to the
dolphin torture room? STRAUB: There are stairs towards
the back of this area, the equivalent of the mudroom to
protect the offices from any thing… JERRY HOLKINS: Aromas. Essentially, we are following this
thing down? KRIS STRAUB: Yeah. You descend the stairs. You are struck that, at this time
of day, number one there is no light down here. There is no outer windows. It is the early evening, too early
for it to be closing time. But there is no sense that workers
were here and were told to leave because of the incident, or
anything like that. There are no lights on down here on
the killing floor. You see, in this expanse, which is
maybe the size of an aircraft hangar, there is the glint of hooks
on the ceiling, what you assume is the conveyor belt on either side of
the room. It descends into darkness at the
far side. ANNA PROSSER: This is a bit like a
nightmare I had once. KRIS STRAUB: Thank you. (Laughter) ARNIE NIEKAMP: Do you read this space
out for parties? RYAN HARTMAN: Yeah.
Pig parties. ANNA PROSSER: Oh, parties for the pigs. At least you take care of their
entertainment. RYAN HARTMAN: It is all part of the
psychological treatment. You have to mess with their heads! JERRY HOLKINS: You start with the
parties? RYAN HARTMAN: Yes, they think it is
fine… And then it’s not! (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: In the darkness, as you
are peering down there, and you are unsure of where exactly the vector
lines up… You are not quite sure where that is in space. You can see at the far edge
another glint along the seam, that
green flame. AUDIENCE: GREEN FLAME! JERRY HOLKINS: Travelling between two
spaces, somehow. KRISKRIS STRAUB:Upon it being dark
again, you hear something like… Like a plodding, a footfall. ANNA PROSSER: I think we can all agree
‘no’ on that. JERRY HOLKINS: We should get the lights
on. RYAN HARTMAN: I go for the lights. KRIS STRAUB: You die!
RYAN HARTMAN: Oh, man! I should have investigated! KRIS STRAUB: You are back alive again! You reach around the wall we you
know where the switches are, and the lights overhead nearest to you
to turn on and cast a glow, there is much more light than there was
before. At the far back, you now see two
small… Two human figures in the darkness. Near them is a beast. ANNA PROSSER: I feel like the super
frown emoji right now. KRIS STRAUB: A shape in the dark that
is maybe twice as tall as either of them. JERRY HOLKINS: Old, God! ANNA PROSSER: Oh, no, no, no. JERRY HOLKINS: Did you draw this?
KRIS STRAUB: Yes. ANNA PROSSER: You did? KRIS STRAUB: It is my greatest creation! ANNA PROSSER: We all see this? KRIS STRAUB: Yes, in this light… ANNA PROSSER: I am more bothered by
this than by animal welfare. Apparently. JERRY HOLKINS: (inaudible) KRIS
STRAUB: What you can see this difference it is very tall, has one
too many legs, too many joints. These are, they look like a rib
cage, protruding. Then at the back of the thing
there is like a large, almost a sac. These didn’t exist back then but
you know those plasma balls? It is like that. There are structures inside the
thing to terminate down at what looks like a head of a person
thrown back. What was your Sanity check? JERRY HOLKINS: It was bad. What do I roll? KRIS STRAUB: How about a D10? JERRY HOLKINS: Jesus! KRIS STRAUB: At this point… JERRY
pretty sure I shit my pants! (Laughter) KRIS STRAUB: This is a special case, a
technical term in the book for ‘pants shit. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I just pray that my pants
don’t fall down again. (Laughter)
ANNA PROSSER: The slow fall. KRIS STRAUB: I don’t think you take
more. JERRY HOLKINS: If you roll 100… ARNIE RYAN HARTMAN: I know if you roll 100… KRIS STRAUB: Roll a d10. ARNIE NIEKAMP: 4. JERRY HOLKINS: I am trying to get round
up here. ANNA PROSSER: That doesn’t look like a
normal animal. JERRY HOLKINS: Not anymore. ANNA PROSSER: It was a human. That is sad, but… KRIS STRAUB: At the turning on of the
light, you see this creature loping
sort of like a giraffe, it has that gait. It seems to start a bit of the
light and the two roped figures, as well, they start, and you hear one
of them shout to the other, Protect the Threnodite! They both reach into their robes
and draw small, glinting blades. ANNA PROSSER: What! ? RYAN HARTMAN: You love them and say,
You are trespassing! With all the energy of a trust
SPEAKER: What Mac SPEAKER: We checked in at the
front desk… ARNIE NIEKAMP: Can I hold them back with
my giant magnifying glass? RYAN HARTMAN: You put it over my face
so my scowl looks bigger. KRIS STRAUB: Now they have to roll for
sanity. RYAN HARTMAN:5
I intimidate the shit out of them. JERRY HOLKINS: All the way down here, if
you are under 30… (inaudible) RYAN HARTMAN: They are scared! JERRY HOLKINS: To the extent it matters… RYAN HARTMAN: How he acted towards the
threnodite, they act towards me. KRIS STRAUB: They were starting to run
at the party, but upon you saying that… RYAN HARTMAN: Get out of my factory! KRIS STRAUB:They stop in their
tracks holding the knife and say, The pork boy knows! (Laughter) RYAN HARTMAN: I go, “Pork man!
I am a pork man! And I stomp.
inevitable. There is nothing for you to do
here! The work is done already! And if you stop us, it will just
be done again…”
SPEAKER: I shoot him! KRIS STRAUB: Good. Let’s see, how that work? RYAN HARTMAN: My handgun skill is not
as good as my shotgun skill. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am in extra room,
playing with the guns. RYAN HARTMAN: Like Charlie Chaplin! KRIS STRAUB: The classic routine! ARNIE NIEKAMP: But I hear the gunshot
and think shit, we forgot! (Multiple speakers) RYAN HARTMAN: 93! All right, warning shot! Shut up!
KRIS STRAUB: He doesn’t even flinch.
It doesn’t bother him. ANNA PROSSER: What you mean the work is
done? And it will be done again?
What you mean? KRIS STRAUB: We are but the merest
forepaw of a much larger beast. ANNA PROSSER: That beast? STRAUB: Oh no, oh no… This is
merely one of these… This blessing, this return to natural order that
was stolen from us? JERRY HOLKINS: It is pure.
I say that out loud.
It is pure, it is perfect. It is without consciousness stop
this is their plan? This is your plan? KRIS STRAUB: He is almost pleading now,
he is saying, consciousness is for
gods! Not for us!
Never for us! The Threnodite again be a sound.
I request another sanity check. ARNIE NIEKAMP: I have run back in with
the gun.
I am just in time to see… STRAUB: You don’t catch the edge
of that one. RYAN HARTMAN: Only to spend 20 more
like to beat that one. So I do! You’ll never get me!
I aim to live forever! JERRY HOLKINS: I get back on… I regain
my psychological footing in this moment KRIS STRAUB: OK, good for you. ANNA PROSSER: I am almost sobered by
the assassination and by what is happening with the creature, and
it’s like she just comes to a decision of this won’t do, and she
unscrews the top of her cane, which is actually a revolver, takes aim
and shoots at the monster. Just, no. KRIS STRAUB: How does that work?
Roll that. She…
KRIS STRAUB: I like what is happening! ANNA PROSSER: She would miss, but I am just as
committed to my shot as Ryan was to his sanity,
so I will spend the luck points. I will spend nine luck points to
hit it with my revolver, which does 1d10 +2 damage.
That is 10 damage. (Applause) KRIS STRAUB: You spent points to make
the threshold? OK. That is not like a focused shot,
but you do hit it square in the body. You see that rib cage there and
the large structure behind… Your shot manages to pierce at the rib
cage, upon which you hear a sharp cry that sounds human, and you
notice that within there is in fact
another head. Looking closer at it now, you
believe that there are perhaps four
heads in a row. Stored here.
JERRY HOLKINS: Inside? KRIS STRAUB: Like a psychic battery
that needs these people to do its
work. JERRY HOLKINS: It is a plenty pack! RYAN HARTMAN: Head-ipede! ANNA PROSSER: I don’t like it. Not one bit.
I have been told it does not have
consciousness and I see it is an abomination, so I am shooting without reservation.
KRIS STRAUB: You are just going… ANNA PROSSER: She made the decision… KRIS STRAUB: The cultist closest cries
out and says, “No! And he runs up… Let’s see, where The problem is, I don’t have know I do. (Multiple speakers) ANNA PROSSER: I have a handgun.
KRIS STRAUB: Let see what we have got. RYAN HARTMAN: I am going to hit!
Let’s just skip this step. No need to roll.
KRIS STRAUB: Just roll for… RYAN HARTMAN: Killed it! I am the greatest person who has
ever lived. KRIS STRAUB: What kind of rifle is it? A lot of different kinds here. RYAN HARTMAN: Whatever is the
(LAUGHTER) RYAN HARTMAN: An elephant gun! ANNA PROSSER: Whatever rich people have
lying around. RYAN HARTMAN: They just explode in a
pink mist, the pigs! It’s just nuggets! We gather it all up.
Who are you to judge?
We’re rich! KRIS STRAUB: Given that you use this
for skeet shooting, I am going to
say this is a lever action rifle. RYAN HARTMAN: If that. I hit. Where was I heading? At the other praying cultist. JERRY HOLKINS: Cleaning up all the cult
action. Also, this thing is weird. It is some kind of larval version
of whatever it is. Without the cultist to take care
of it, what is capable of? ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am sort of just seeing
it. JERRY HOLKINS: It’s new for you! KRIS STRAUB: I think you should take a
sanity check. RYAN HARTMAN: What is the damage on the
KRIS STRAUB: 2d6 ANNA PROSSER: That would be 99! ARNIE NIEKAMP: I shit my pants again, I
guess? There was MORE? JERRY HOLKINS: It’s filled to the brim!
ARNIE NIEKAMP: Got to say, good pants! RYAN HARTMAN: I do 8 points. ANNA PROSSER: I imagine you turning to
the camera with, like… KRIS STRAUB: You capture the cultist,
right? JERRY HOLKINS: The one praying.
You didn’t even know. KRIS STRAUB: He screams out, even amid
whatever words he is uttering, and even though you tagged him, he did
not stop praying. You hear those, that strange
language which he started in agony instead, and he continues… When he
gets it, you see the beast’s sac again, and the light at the edges
of the room flares as if in
response to this… ARNIE NIEKAMP: Is a 10?
Four? KRIS STRAUB: You are not doing too hot
on Sanity! ARNIE NIEKAMP: I am OK, 37. SPEAKER: It is relative. KRIS STRAUB: Is stressful.
Let’s do a d10. This is big stuff. Hey, not bad! ARNIE NIEKAMP: Better than you would
guess, seeing what I am seeing. Also freaks me out, I am like,
there are four heads in this thing? And there are four of us?
That concerns me a little bit. KRIS STRAUB: The right number may be to
make another one of these! The creature looks as though it is
going to pulse again, but instead, it has punched down to address the
harmed cultist. It does not feed. It has a set of four arms… They do
look like human arms. This thing is composed of
repurposed people. Almost like in disgust, it just
bats the injured cultist away, who
collapses to the ground. And then… Almost as if in worship,
itself, it brings those two hands together, and the green flame… AUDIENCE: Green flame! KRIS STRAUB: ..grows ever brighter.
A black begins to descend and
cover the services. Each of you are possessed of a
sense of cold numbness as you are
carried elsewhere. SPEAKER: What? RYAN HARTMAN: Guys, we need to get back
to the quad! KRIS STRAUB: You each awaken on a cold,
hard ground. Rocky. Your eyes are adjusting to the dim
light. You are on a vast, featureless
plane that is only lit from an odd
structure in the centre. It could be a mile away, it could
be 20 miles away. It resembles a brutalist series of
cubes descending from the sky. As you adjust to the scene, you
hear various barks and yips and movement around you, the sounds of
people… You can see in the dim light that they are scavenging,
fighting… Not conversing… No longer with us as we would recognise a
human. Each of you do a sanity check,
please. ANNA PROSSER: I am whispering, animal
welfare! I fail again… SPEAKER: 62? Not great. That is the thing about sanity, as
it gets lower, it is harder and
harder. ANNA PROSSER: Sure is!
KRIS STRAUB: They will get you! JERRY HOLKINS: I failed as well, so let
me how things look over me. STRAUB: At this point, if you
failed, I would love you to take a d20… JERRY HOLKINS: Maybe we will spend a
little luck on that one! You know, we will spend five
points of luck. KRIS STRAUB: I think that is wise! JERRY HOLKINS: OK… I like that, and I
don’t like this! I don’t like those! RYAN HARTMAN: I agree. JERRY HOLKINS: And I like that less than
the first time I saw it. Do we have… (Multiple speakers)
SPEAKER: I hate myself! JERRY HOLKINS: I hate this creature! RYAN HARTMAN: What’s with this coat? We don’t have guns, I assume? KRIS STRAUB: You have them, still. ANNA PROSSER: Some of us have failed
our sanity! RYAN HARTMAN: What happens when you go
insane? Do we have to put you down? KRIS STRAUB: Is anybody actually
insane? ANNA PROSSER: Not quite… KRIS
KRIS STRAUB: I will take care of that. ANNA PROSSER: But close. KRIS STRAUB: God, you are good! RYAN HARTMAN: He’s too dumb to be
scared and insane.
STRAUB: That makes a lot of sense! Each of you, you have all looked up
at this structure and it strikes you that it could be a city, if
looked at in the right light. It appears to be…
SPEAKER: A place? KRIS STRAUB: Yes, those could be
skyscrapers, of a kind. There are no windows or anything.
ANNA PROSSER: Is it on a hill?
KRIS STRAUB: Not on a hill. As far as you can see, it is not
connected to the ground. You don’t know where it comes from
in the sky, you don’t even know
that this is sky that you are observing. But you… You are aware that the
fortunate ones here who have been called to this place were people
once that now live as animals, as beasts. JERRY HOLKINS: As beasts without
consciousness? I think you’re right, I think that
is the city on the hill, just inverted somehow. ANNA PROSSER: Do we have any idea how
we came to be here? We certainly still have
consciousness KRIS STRAUB: No, you do not know, but
you do have a sense that you are
needed here. This is a good place to be. JERRY HOLKINS: I don’t have that sense!
I usually have that sense? KRIS STRAUB: And yet you do… ANNA
ANNA PROSSER: I feel needed here! RYAN HARTMAN: This is a good place to
be. KRIS STRAUB: Actually, you don’t think
that! You don’t believe that is the case. This sucks. You don’t like this a bit. ANNA PROSSER: I just feel something…
JERRY HOLKINS: Is it possible that some
scrap of occult knowledge might be fruitful here? KRIS STRAUB: Yes, I think so.
That is valid. JERRY HOLKINS: I don’t have it. I don’t have that much luck. KRIS STRAUB: There is another mechanic
in here called pushing the roll. In certain circumstances when it
is important, you may attempt the same again to see if you succeed. However, if you fail, then the
consequences are dire, and at my
discretion. JERRY HOLKINS: I am definitely doing it!
(Applause) JERRY HOLKINS: I’m definitely doing it. This is like the dynamic we have,
the one where you go to a bar and you just tell the bartender to fuck
you up. (LAUGHTER) (Applause)
JERRY HOLKINS: 90. I am looking at this inverse,
bizarre, mechanical city contraption, and I am racking my
brain trying to see if there is anything that I have read or
anything that would connect to it, and I must… Something must come
loose. KRIS STRAUB: You focus on it, trying to
see if you remember anything that would describe this or would relate
to this, and in exploring, internally…
In looking, trying to remember, something about that brings it to the surface, and
before you can perform a cohesive thought of it, it just sort of
leaves you. You can tell it has gone toward the
structure, but it was called by the
structure. The idea itself, the knowledge. And you have a good sense about
that. This knowledge didn’t belong to
you. It was transient. This is where it should be. JERRY HOLKINS: It’s being collected
there? ANNA PROSSER: The consciousness.
KRIS STRAUB: Yes, it needs more of it. The act of recalling and having
learned this, and thinking pleases it It wants more.
You want to give it more. You begin to walk toward it. JERRY HOLKINS: I say follow me! (LAUGHTER) (Applause)
ANNA PROSSER: I think I remember that
was the order, he goes first and then him and then I follow you! (Applause) (CHEERING) ARNIE NIEKAMP: As an international
celebrity, I am a little bit worried about intellectual property
theft! SPEAKER: A reasonable position. KRIS STRAUB: I think you are looking at
an incredible scenario. This is a place
where intellect is property. This is safer than Fort Knox. JERRY HOLKINS: But intellect can
literally be stolen here! ARNIE NIEKAMP: Can I use my skill… I
feel like I’ve been avoiding my greatest skill, which is acting. I am going to roll to act like I
am under the thrall of the thing. JERRY HOLKINS: That is so cool!
ARNIE NIEKAMP: But also make it kinda
funny! JERRY HOLKINS: So you just en-dumben
yourself? KRIS STRAUB: Some nearby cannibals that
are feasting on a slain brother look up at you and go… That’s funny! They return to their meal. JERRY HOLKINS: They return to their
fever. KRIS STRAUB: And then the knowledge of
how to act is removed. You are no longer burdened by it. SPEAKER: What a relief!
What a blessing it is to be here, friends! What joy! So near. ANNA PROSSER: Can I offer up the
knowledge of how pigs are murdered in the Bleeker family? JERRY HOLKINS: Now we can just prune
your consciousness. ANNA PROSSER: Here, take this!
KRIS STRAUB: You have only to think of
it and all these horrible images are gone. ANNA PROSSER: I don’t even remember!
KRIS STRAUB: Whistle, incredible. How do you feel? RYAN HARTMAN: You tell me, is it
affecting… KRIS STRAUB: You do now see that three
of them are beginning to… Not march towards the light under the city,
but they are… Their bottling which
is deferential. RYAN HARTMAN: In terms of everything
around, there is this spire or tower far off in the distance, we are surrounded by deformed
animals, is there anything in any other
direction? This is the only point? STRAUB: This is it. You have a lot of reason to
believe it is more of this in every direction, there is just no light
source. RYAN HARTMAN: I would like to think he
is too dumb to have any real thoughts other than like what is my
next meal? Money. Money, food, sleep!
Instinct. He is an animal, as much as you
can be an animal. JERRY HOLKINS: It already likes him
fine. RYAN HARTMAN: The cultists should be
worshipping him! RYAN HARTMAN: With no other impetus or
stimulus, all right! JERRY HOLKINS: There isn’t any
stimulation here except for these
creatures trying to murder and eat it. RYAN HARTMAN: He’s not going because it
is affecting him, he is going because it is something to do. KRIS STRAUB: See you are all walking,
maybe in marching order. RYAN HARTMAN: I am going last now,
silly. JERRY HOLKINS: I am leading the pack.
It is all in there. Everything we need is in there, so
once we get there should be fine. RYAN HARTMAN: I am all about the gun,
rifle in hand. KRIS STRAUB: As the four of you march
towards that, these brutalist structures in the sky… You begin to feel
each of the three of you, you begin to
feel more things being taken from you. More things that you once thought
you needed, but as soon as they are gone, you never knew you had them
in the first place. You don’t miss them. ANNA PROSSER: Driving, frat boys… KRIS STRAUB: Every one of these skills
here in alphabetical order. RYAN HARTMAN: I’m looking around and
scratching my butt… Everyone
feeling alright? Everyone good? KRIS STRAUB: The three of you begin to
move with a slightly more affected gait, until such time as you feel
comfortable to maybe drop to your hands, as well, and use them for
motion. Use them to walk forward.
To crawl, perhaps? Donald, you feel pulls at certain
ideas… Skeet shooting, pigs… Beverages… They seem to be put delicately back.
RYAN HARTMAN: I am walking with you
three is your on all fours. This is weird, guys, but I mean… ANNA PROSSER: If everybody is doing it… KRIS STRAUB: At this point, who the
three of you are are no longer in these bodies. They have been repurposed, almost
like subroutines in a larger program. The storehouse. The three of your forms scamper
off in various directions….
SPEAKER: What? RYAN HARTMAN: I go wait! KRIS STRAUB: Donald, you are there on
this barren plane clutching your gun… ANNA PROSSER: This horrifying! KRIS STRAUB: And that is the end! (CHEERING) KRIS STRAUB: Thank you so much. I appreciate each of you. SPEAKER: Nice work, man! JERRY HOLKINS: KRIS STRAUB, everybody! (CHEERING)
KRIS STRAUB: Good night! JERRY HOLKINS: Before you leave, if you
thought that was fun, you can cook truly gruesome adventures like this
at home with the call of Cthulhu
starter set. It is available here at the show.
10% off call of Cthulhu products
with the code that will materialise very very soon on the screen… And of course, acquisitions
incorporated products are available
at the merge booth if you are interested. Thank you so much for the inaugural
episode of acquisitions incorporated call of Cthulhu! Good night! (CHEERING)


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