Saturday, September 1, 2007

A 3rd murder in New Babbage!

There has been a third murder. I find the whole case exciting- I'm in no danger, as I have no connections at all to any of the intrigue, and am a total outsider having to reconstruct the facts with no other reference.

The third victim was a Mr. Edler Reifsnider, a Mason, and someone on one side or the other searching for the mysterious device. The body was found in the theatre, hung and stabbed, which seems a touch excessive, but on the other hand the knives seem to be more of a system to ensure the letters do not blow away in all cases, and there hasn't been any blood on any of them since the first. Perhaps they were already dead some other way, for long enough to cease the flow of blood?

I'm in the Absinthe house next door, while assorted people mill about. I'm having a drink, to settle my nerves...well, truly, any excuse is a good excuse, and though there is a pool of blood under the body it isn't that gruesome, although some of the more excitable of the crowd have been speculating on seeing the corpse move. I believe the majority of the group started at a meeting earlier, which I tried to attend but as is the case in New Babbage, I simply get lagging out and can't even move, so I gave up. I suppose I ought to have said hello or whatnot, but I never do know how to call attention to myself in social situations. Regardless of what should or should not have been done, I'm taking the time to sort through the clues I have discovered to date, to attempt to organize things a touch.

At the first crime scene, where the deceased grandfather of Loki Eliot was discovered, there is a letter stating that he is going to be murdered by the Van Greed Society, and mention of both his grandson and another urchin who he refers to as "Ally Wunder." This letter is bloodstained and torn- the only letter in the series to be either, and written with urgency suggesting that he was interrupted by the killer during the writing of it. A second letter referred to the device, and the experiments on Sunrise, as well as one of the volunteers for his experiments, Jason, becoming psychotic, and performing experiments of his own upon the urchins (it has been theorized that Jason is one of the lycanthropes plaguing New Babbage currently). A third is a follow up to the disaster on Sunrise, and includes an ominous reference to "Suqare & compass"(?)- it is occasionally difficult to decypher the Professor's writing, and it could be a misspelling if he was in a rush, he occasionally dropped capitals most definitely. Possibly Square & compass, although still the actual source of the reference is still unclear. An experiment diary outlines the disaster itself and the explosion of the island, from what the Professor witnessed, which wasn't a great deal.

All of the letters are addressed "Dear Friends," so it is a mystery as for whom exactly the Professor was writing these unsent letters.

The second body, Giles Canning, was discovered not far from the scene of the first crime, although the body was brazenly left just off the street, behind some crates. He had a letter from The Thirteen upon his person, who he appeared to be working for, or otherwise associated with. They appear to also be interested in the Sunrise Device, and wished Canning to aid them in covering up the whole affair that was brought to the attention of the authorities with the first murder. Upon his person was also the infamous list:

Ally Wunder     Victor Wunderlich?
Loki Eliot     Grandson. where father?
Myrtil Igaly & Mckay Beck
Jason Moriarty
Nareth E. Nishi

I met Ms. Nishi at the site where the body had been, after escourting a doctor from Caledon there (I had stumbled across the body earlier that day, but it was removed before the arrival of the doctor by the Bow Street Police. The doctor attempted to persuade the Mayor to allow him to resurrect the victim, but he appeared to be having no luck). I met Myrtil Igaly at Sunrise, although I didn't know it was that island at the time, and she expressed fear for her life. The true associations of the list, whether they are all potential victims, whether the last two are conspirators, or whether it has different meaning entirely, has been a subject of much speculation. The first section is all composed of urchins and the second is not, so that could be the real reason for the split. Moriarty could, of course, be the psychotic Jason referred to by the Professor. Ms. Nishi seems to believe it is instead Canning's list of people to inquire as to the whereabouts of the device, but the killer still would have seen it, and does not appear to be adverse to murdering any in his way.

There was also a cylinder recording of the experiment, documenting the disaster, near the body, of what sounds to be an opening of a portal (or partial opening?) which had the horrifying repercussions. This murderer seems to have a very strange motive, leaving all of this evidence about the Sunrise Experiment on the bodies. He must want the authorities to find it? One wonders why one would go to all the trouble for something so simple (perhaps feeling it would be easier to steal then, but it has been safely ensconced within the Bow Street office for a fair amount of time now, and one would think it would be easier to simply find on one's own, without calling all this attention to one's actions. If one desired to use it, I should also think that the Professor, alive and captive, would be far more useful, as the device does not appear to function correctly as of the last reports. Perhaps it is simply the shortsightedness of villains, and those they choose to do their bidding, but that seems a bit of a facile answer). Especially as what purpose it would serve in the hands of the authorities is one of question as well. Will they attempt to use it? It appears to be something with devastatingly horrible potential, so perhaps the attempts by the Mason's to destroy it might be safest for everyone. Still, it would be a shame for the Professor's life work to be destroyed, and it might have potential for betterment for mankind as well.

Of course, the potential exists that red herrings are left in with real clues, to throw people off of the real story, and that the clues left in so melodramatic a manner are to encourage armchair detectives to join in and obfuscate matters. I am keeping myself to myself however, and do not believe I would be interfering with the investigations of the professionals in any way (beyond attempting to warn a couple on the list shortly after discovering it, just in case. Any involved with the device are potentially in danger at this point, regardless of whether they are actually targets, and it would be wise for them all to be aware of their surroundings, just in case).

(As an aside, Loki Eliot, Mckay Beck, and Nareth Nishi all were milling about the scene of the last crime looking at the body. Mckay was, I believe, the first speculating upon the corpse's movements. One must not find too much suspicious in their arrival, as it was rather obvious and well attended.)

I explored the island a little, and found some notes and drawings of what one assumes is the device. There is a device in the station set up by the Bow Stret Police, under glass, that appears to be it. The motives of the killer become even cloudier (if his intention was to drop the device into the laps of the constabulary, why then do the murders continue? And why would he desire to do such a thing anyway?). There was also reference to lycanthropy and the undead upon the island, and another reference to their activity in New Babbage since the Professor started his experiments. I've yet to personally witness any of either.

The newest letters confirm that the Van Greed Society is behind the string of murders, although there is also mention of the opposing force in search of the device, the Thirteen Club. The victim was apparently attempting to gain ownership of the theatre, forcing out the urchins who have made it their home, at the behest of the Masons- and meeting with much resistance from the residents of New Babbage. His Mason card was found under his body, next to a pool of blood. The Masons also have some interest in Ms. Nishi, although "her case" was not assigned to the victim. The victim was sent to destroy the Porta Terrarum, which appears to be an alternate name for the Sunrise Device (one must assume that the possibility exists that nothing is as it seems. However, the device has been stated as a method to open portals between our reality and others, so Porta Terrarum would be an apt name). There is an undisclosed (female) Masonic agent in New Babbage he was instructed to contact, as well as to attempt to involve the Mayor, although the suggestion seems against full disclosure of his intentions.

Regardless of speculation on the list, the Masonic agent that Mr. Reifsnider was to contact appears to be the most obvious next target, if the murderer can deduce her identity. One would find it unlikely she would be one of the urchins, in such a society, as well as it being unlikely that she would be Ms. Nishi. I had seen none of the victims about town before their untimely deaths though, so I assume I shall find out the identity of this mysterious agent after it is too late for her. That is the problem with secret societies, I suppose.

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