[D20 CoC] Beyond the Mountains of Madness Campaign - Prologue

The Shaman

First Post
Paco...[sblock]“However I may of service, policía,” Paco replies to Supervisor Mills. On the table in front of the mountaineer are his passport and Starkweather’s letter, along with a glass of water he poured before he sat down. Paco listens attentively to the supervisor’s questions and responds truthfully.

“I was concerned for Señor Starkweather,” Paco answers Mills as the questions become more pointed. “I heard the other man - Señor LeBlanc, yes - call out and I tried to help as best I could.”

“I did not see the pistol in the man’s hand until we came upon him, me and Señor LeBlanc,” the Chilean continues. “We tried to pull it away. But we could not stop him.” His hands rest on the top of the table, palms down, as he looks to the questioner.

His brow furrows as he tries to recall when he first was introduced to the journalist. “I believe that Señor LeBlanc joined us at our table when the speeches began,” he replies thoughtfully. “I was speaking with a lady, Señora Broughton,” Paco continues, “and another of the expedition members, Peter Sykes. There were introductions,” he says, lightly tapping a finger absently on the tabletop, “but there were many people talking, many conversations. I don’t believe that Señor LeBlanc and I spoke.”

Paco shakes his head at the last question. “After...after the pistol went off, I...I helped Doctor Moore, assisting the other guests, and then excused myself to my room.” He pauses. “To clean off the blood.” This triggers a memory. “There was a young woman, with blood on her dress. I did not speak with her however.”

The mountaineer leans forward slightly, looking first at Mills and then at Hansen. “Please, if I may ask a question – who was that man?” Paco asks. “He was known of Señor Starkweather?”[/sblock]
 

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Taokan

First Post
[sBlock]I hate dealing with la police. They always think I'm some sort mad-ax murderer.

Briefly weighing the pros and cons of telling the truth, Camille opted for truth, having no desire to be deported before she spoke with Starkweather.

Pensively replaying the events of the night, Camille spoke slowly at first as things occurred to her, "I had not met either M. LeBlanc or M. Guerini, though I can assume by their actions that they are to be part of the expedition, correct? I had also never met Monsieur Longfellow before, either. And no, I did not see which of these persons had the gun, though I suspect it was Monsieur Longfellow. After all, one of the men fighting with him, er, M. Leblank, was it, said he did. Why would he lie?"

Blinking in puzzlement, Camille returned to the questions, "That is because I was not invited, monsieur. You see, I had applied to the expedition going to Antartica, but Monsieur Starkweather had denied my application on the basis that I was I woman. So, naturally, I wanted still desired to be a part of it, I just had to persuade him otherwise; thus, here I am. If you are wondering how I knew about this fundraiser if I was not invited..." Here Camille snorted in amusment. "It was in the paper."

"Now, keep in mind, M., I was at the ball for the express purpose of speaking with Starkweather. When the time wasn't right to offer my rebuttal letter, I simply waited to give it to him later."

Camille tries to recall more. "I myself did not help in the ensuing scuffle afterwards because Monsieur Starkweather was shouting orders M. Longfellow without worry of being shot, so I had concluded M. Longfellow wasn't a threat. If he was otherwise, Starkweather would undoubedly be doing something impressive or stupid, would he not? I believe that is why I was eating my dinner at that point. It was a decent selection, by the way."[/sblock]
 


Job

First Post
Additional Questions for Paco

The questioning of Paco contininues...[sblock]
The Shaman said:
“I heard the other man - Señor LeBlanc, yes - call out and I tried to help as best I could.”

“I did not see the pistol in the man’s hand until we came upon him, me and Señor LeBlanc,” the Chilean continues. “We tried to pull it away. But we could not stop him.” His hands rest on the top of the table, palms down, as he looks to the questioner.
Supervisor Mills studies Paco for a long moment after this response, his eyes briefly taking note of Paco's hands resting on the table, then he asks "Are you absolutely certain, Mr. Guerini, that Mr. Longfellow had the gun to begin with? We've heard conflicting reports from a number of individuals about this."


The Shaman said:
His brow furrows as he tries to recall when he first was introduced to the journalist. “I believe that Señor LeBlanc joined us at our table when the speeches began,” he replies thoughtfully.
...
"There were introductions,” he says, lightly tapping a finger absently on the tabletop, “but there were many people talking, many conversations. I don’t believe that Señor LeBlanc and I spoke.”
Supervisor Mills responds by sharply turning and leaning over the table towards Paco, forcefully asking, "So, Mr. Guerini, you'd never met Mr. LeBlanc prior to this evening, yet you follow the man into combat--UNARMED!--against another man who supposedly wields a gun? Is that normal behavior for people who attend dinner parties in South America?"


The Shaman said:
The mountaineer leans forward slightly, looking first at Mills and then at Hansen. “Please, if I may ask a question – who was that man?” Paco asks. “He was known of Señor Starkweather?”[/sblock]
Detective Hansen takes this opportunity to speak his first words of the session, saying "Lawrence Longfellow was to be a teammate of yours on the expedition. A mechanic. According to Mr. Starkweather, he was a quiet individual, very loyal, and his actions tonight were extremely out of character."
 

Job

First Post
Additional Questions for Camille

The questioning of Camille continues...
[sblock]
Taokan said:
Pensively replaying the events of the night, Camille spoke slowly at first as things occurred to her, "I had not met either M. LeBlanc or M. Guerini, though I can assume by their actions that they are to be part of the expedition, correct? I had also never met Monsieur Longfellow before, either. And no, I did not see which of these persons had the gun, though I suspect it was Monsieur Longfellow. After all, one of the men fighting with him, er, M. LeBlanc, was it, said he did. Why would he lie?"
Detective Hansen smiled and said, "I don't know why he would lie. I never hinted that he would lie. I'm simply attempting to determine exactly what happened and in what order. I'm hoping that you can help me do that."


Taokan said:
"...I was not invited, monsieur. You see, I had applied to the expedition going to Antartica, but Monsieur Starkweather had denied my application on the basis that I was I woman. So, naturally, I still desired to be a part of it, I just had to persuade him otherwise; thus, here I am."
...
"...I was at the ball for the express purpose of speaking with Starkweather. When the time wasn't right to offer my rebuttal letter, I simply waited to give it to him later."
The Detective looked puzzled for a moment, then said, "I'm still a bit confused Miss Bardier, so please be patient with me and help me to understand this. James Starkweather reviewed your application and turned you down. That must have upset you greatly, yes? In fact, it sounds as though you were downright angry. Angry enough that you would travel all the way from France to New York City?"


Taokan said:
"...I myself did not help in the ensuing scuffle afterwards because Monsieur Starkweather was shouting orders to M. Longfellow without worry of being shot, so I had concluded M. Longfellow wasn't a threat. If he was otherwise, Starkweather would undoubedly be doing something impressive or stupid, would he not? I believe that is why I was eating my dinner at that point. It was a decent selection, by the way."
"Mister Starkweather happened to be at the front of the room on the stage," said the Detective, "about 50 feet from Mr. Longfellow. But you, Miss Bardier, were within 15 feet of a man with a gun; a man who not only had a gun, but was violently struggling with two other men who obviously believed that the man would use it. It strikes me as very odd that you would not only ignore all of this, and not run for cover, but also that you would remain at your table eating your meal when the entire room of over 100 people were panicked!

Miss Bardier, your life was in danger, yet you remained calmly at your table. For someone who did not put much faith in Mr. Starkweather's decision making ability--and traveled over five thousand miles to tell him so--it seems especially odd to me that you'd assume he was making a correct decision in this life-threatening situation! Or am I missing something?"
[/sblock]
 

Taokan

First Post
[sblock] "I'm still a bit confused Miss Bardier, so please be patient with me and help me to understand this. James Starkweather reviewed your application and turned you down. That must have upset you greatly, yes? In fact, it sounds as though you were downright angry. Angry enough that you would travel all the way from France to New York City?"

Pausing briefly to put her thoughts together, Camille tried to word her thoughts in a way that would be understood. "I was not angry, as you put it, Monsieur. I was more... Wearied, perhaps, and frustrated. I am used to this sort of behavior from male pilots, so it wasn't enough to anger me; not much does." Tapping her front teeth pensively, an old habit of hers, the pilot continued, "I suppose, if I had to pinpoint why I came... It was to prove him wrong. After all, I know my capabilities, as well as my limits, which he does not. But the flying to America itself was not a problem; I have done it often enough."

"-It strikes me as very odd that you would not only ignore all of this, and not run for cover, but also that you would remain at your table eating your meal when the entire room of over 100 people were panicked! Miss Bardier, your life was in danger, yet you remained calmly at your table. For someone who did not put much faith in Mr. Starkweather's decision making ability--and traveled over five thousand miles to tell him so--it seems especially odd to me that you'd assume he was making a correct decision in this life-threatening situation! Or am I missing something?"

Camille smiled self-depracatingly at this. "I have never been a person to blindly follow panicked mobs. I do not trust what other people tell me I ought to feel, as I have always reacted on my... Gut instincts, you call them? I trust my own instincts more than the blind terror of approximately one hundred people."

"I had decided that my life was in no danger, so I stayed where I was. If I had gone with the mob, I could not have reacted quickly to any changes. If I had joined in the fight for the gun, there was a greater risk of someone being hurt."

Truly smiling for the first time she had crossed into that time zone, flashing a lone dimple, she added, "And I never said I did not trust his decision-making capabilities. I simply said that he is a sexist, bigoted pig. He has long since proven his worth as a leader. He has not and will not need to prove that worth to me. So as long as Monsieur Starkweather makes a decision that regards my welfare or that of others, I will trust it is the right one."

Placing her chin in a tiny palm, Camille finished drolly, "I trust you will not tell him I said such things. When he truly sees me as I am later, I want him to regard me as honestly as possible, if that is indeed possible for him. Is that all, messieurs, or do you require more? I did wish to find the honored Starkweather before the night is done."[/sblock]
 

Job

First Post
One Last Question for Camille

[sblock]
Taokan said:
Placing her chin in a tiny palm, Camille finished drolly, "I trust you will not tell him I said such things. When he truly sees me as I am later, I want him to regard me as honestly as possible, if that is indeed possible for him. Is that all, messieurs, or do you require more? I did wish to find the honored Starkweather before the night is done."
Detective Hansen smiled and said, "What you've said to me, Miss Bardier, will remain in strict confidence as Supervisor Mills and I continue our investigations. I do have one last question to ask of you: Is there anything that you can remember about Lawrence Longfellow that could explain what he did? Was there anything that he said, or any unusual quirks that stand out in your mind, that might give us a clue as to what might have motivated him to take his own life?"

OOC - From Camille's position in the room, and the bedlam which surrounded her, she could not hear Lawrence's last words to Paco and Martin.
[/sblock]
 

Morpheus

Exploring Ptolus
Here we go...

Job said:
Here follows some descriptions of the private questioning of Martin.
[sblock]
After you waited a fairly long period of time in the small room--you would guess at least an hour or more--you heard a single sharp rap on the door just before it opened. An elderly uniformed policeman briskly walked into your room followed by a man in a rumpled shirt, slacks, and overcoat. The detective seated himself in the leather couch without saying a word, looking disinterested. The policeman, standing ramrod straight with a crisp, military-like bearing, remained standing and began the questioning.

“Good evening Mr. LeBlanc. I am Supervisor Mills of the New York City Police Department. I need your help, Mr. LeBlanc, and I trust that you'll answer my questions truthfully and to the best of your ability?” As the policeman speaks, you become aware that he is carefully studying you, searching your face and taking notice of any body movements.

Apparently waiting for an acknowledgement from you, Supervisor Mills pauses and fishes in his jacket pocket to retrieve a cigarette case and box of matches, then puts a cigarette in his mouth, lights it while taking a deep pull, then forcefully blows the smoke towards the ceiling. After he puts the cigarette case and matches back in his pocket, he returns his attention to you.

OOC – To speed things up, I’m skipping some of the opening questions that we already know the answers to; for example, I’ll not trouble you to write an answer to Supervisor Mills’ general questions asking for your character’s descriptions about what happened. We now rejoin the questioning in progress.

Supervisor Mills continues his questioning: "Mr. LeBlanc, had you ever met Lawrence Longfellow, the individual who was walking towards the stage, before tonight?""I have never seen Monsieur Longfellow before this evening's events."

He follows that question with another: “And Mr. LeBlanc, how do you suppose that you were the only one in a crowd of well over 100 guests--the only one--to see a gun in the hand of Mr. Longfellow as he approached the stage?”"I am a photographer, sir, and as such, I have trained myself to notice small details that others would miss. It's my job."

Then he asks another: “Mr. LeBlanc, after you noticed the gun and yelled, why would you risk your life to chase down an individual who you knew had a gun?""I didn't want anyone to get hurt."

And another: “Mr. LeBlanc, do you know the woman who appeared to be calmly sitting, and eating, at a table near your struggle?”"I've seen her before at some of the Expedition's meetings. Her name is....ummm..Camille something-or-other I believe. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful."
[/sblock]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Job (the tortured one).
 

Taokan

First Post
[sblock]"Is there anything that you can remember about Lawrence Longfellow that could explain what he did? Was there anything that he said, or any unusual quirks that stand out in your mind, that might give us a clue as to what might have motivated him to take his own life?"

Casting back her thoughts to the period right before Longfellow's death, she found she could not recall any actual words spoken by him. The crowd had swallowed up anything he could have been saying. "No, Monsieur. I was not close enough to hear anything that was said by him. In fact, I only actually saw him briefly right before the gun episode. As I recall, he had looked ill, perhaps, and wobbly on his feet, as well. But he did not seem distressed, at least from my position. Pardonnez-moi for not being more helpful."[/sblock]
 

Job

First Post
Continued Questioning of Martin...

Continuing Questions...
[sblock]
Morpheus said:
Supervisor Mills follows that question with another: “And Mr. LeBlanc, how do you suppose that you were the only one in a crowd of well over 100 guests--the only one--to see a gun in the hand of Mr. Longfellow as he approached the stage?”

(Martin responds) "I am a photographer, sir, and as such, I have trained myself to notice small details that others would miss. It's my job."
Detective Mills responds, "And I assume that you'd be more than willing to show us the photos that you took this evening, Mr. LeBlanc?"

Morpheus said:
And (Supervisor Mills then asks) another: “Mr. LeBlanc, do you know the woman who appeared to be calmly sitting, and eating, at a table near your struggle?"

(Martin responds) "I've seen her before at some of the Expedition's meetings. Her name is....ummm..Camille something-or-other I believe. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful."
Supervisor Mills then asks, "Are you sure of this, Mr. LeBlanc? I assumed that Camille Bardier knew you since she put enough faith in your abilities that she could continue eating during a dangerous situation. And we can't seem to find her on any of the guest lists, or on the Expedition roster, so it would be important information for us if you could remember exactly where you've seen her."


When Supervisor Mills appears to be finished with his questions, the other plainclothes policeman who's been sitting quietly and patiently observing and listening, leans forward and asks, "Mr. LeBlanc, is there anything that you can remember about Lawrence Longfellow that could explain what he did? Was there anything that he said, or any unusual quirks that stand out in your mind, that might give us a clue as to what might have motivated him to take his own life?" [/sblock]
 

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