Look to the Future

New York, New York!

Once those Investigations who had been badly injured at the Lodge had been discharged from hospital, Dr Call issued an invite to join him for dinner once again. As they relaxed with cigars and a rather excellent brandy he told them he had received a letter from a friend of his, David Lee, a businessman in New York and he believed it may be connected to the activities of the Order and whatever nefarious deeds they were up to!

Lee had been a member of businessman's self-help group called Look to the Future. He had become particularly concerned at the monthly meeting where the leader of the group a Mr. Lostalus Black held special meetings where he begins by reciting some sort of invocation in nonsense syllables. He says that these syllables have been carefully chosen to elicit the proper subconscious response from the attendees. As he
chants, he begins to gesticulate wildly, and then those present are all signalled to begin to chant a simple litany.

Ong D’acta Linka,
Neblod Zin, Neblod Zin,
Ong D’acta Linka,
Yog-Sothoth, Yog-Sothoth,
Ong D’acta Linka,
Yarl M’ten, Yarl M’ten.

This nonsense chant is repeated for forty-five minutes to an hour. Mr. Black continues to energetically gesticulate and emit strange noises until he seems to reach some sort of finale, and he does a bit of stage magic — always the same trick - causing someone to disappear then reappear allegedly from the future. Whatever he does the organization has for sale many extraordinary artefacts, which are freely available to purchase. Lee did not become concerned till he notices that after each meeting in which they do the chanting, he feels head-achy and sick for some hours. Since joining the group he has noticed that he have lost some of his former vitality and force,and feel as if his health may be deteriorating. The mention of "Yog-Sothoth" stuck a chord with the Investigators and they agreed to investigate, agreeing to take a train for New York the very next day.

Arriving in New York they took rooms in a hotel and met with Mr. Lee that evening where he showed them the "extraordinary artefact" he had purchased which he referred to as a "calculating box". They also learned that recently two of the members had died recently from a mysterious fever. Next morning, being a Sunday, they headed down to the lower east side for a quiet reconnaissance.

The Meeting Hall Meeting Hall resembled a fortified bunker, entirely of poured concrete reinforced with steel. The corners of the building were rounded, and it had but one entrance, and no windows. Behind it, the other side of a vacant lot was a three storey brick town-house. They maintained surveillance for some time but other than seeing some people move between the house and the Meeting Hall, saw little of interest.

Monday morning they resolved to attend the daily meeting. Entrance was achieved simply by paying a five dollar joining fee, there were about a hundred or so businessmen in attendance, though the Investigators also noticed several foreign-looking types clad in military-style jerkins topped off with a fez who were obviously security guards. They were treated to a rousing motivational speech from the guest speaker Billy Booford, who had been introduced by none other than Carl Stanford! After the speech there was coffee, doughnuts, and an opportunity to mingle and purchase not only Mr Booford's latest book but various futuristic gewgaws from retail tables along the stage. Dan and Virgil both availed themselves of the opportunity to purchase miraculous pens with no nib where the writing "ball" retracted inside!

The next few day were spent in research, by which they found nothing much, either about the Look to the Future organisation or in their efforts to discover what had happened to the two members who had recently died of a mysterious fever. A couple of the morning meetings were attended with nothing significant occurring until they attend the Monthly lunchtime meeting. Things proceeded pretty much a Mr Lee had advised up to the point James was forcibly ejected from the meeting for refusing to take part!Antiwar demo

Matthew somehow got himself elected to replace James and he and one of the security guards found themselves in from of the mysterious Lostalus Black as the chanting began around them. As the chanting rose to a crescendo Matthew suddenly found himself standing outside on a warm sunny day. His companion darted off heading into the streets nearby while Matthew gazed at what looked like a large demonstration outside some kind of public building, a young, though strangely clad young woman bearing a hand-painted sign saying "Hell No - We Wont Go!", grabbed him by the arm saying "Come on Padre, if we wanna end the war and stuff we need to be there!" Matthew let himself be dragged into the crowd, most of whom he noticed were young people, though strangely many of the men had beards and long unkempt hair!

The "demo" lasted several hours, many police and even military units arriving to surround the protesters and also many reporters and what looked like movie film crews. Eventually the police moved in to break up the protesters and Matthew found himself alone. He decided to head into the building - Miskatonic University apparently, and consult the library, but as he approached the door he abruptly found himself, shaken and disturbed back in the Meeting Hall, the guard who had accompanied him standing next to him bearing a bulging sack!

The meeting broke up swiftly after that and the Investigator's returned to their hotel to decide their next move. At James's urging, they decided on direct action and the next morning at 2 A.M. they found themselves outside the Meeting Hall, James with his crowbar in hand!  

The Thing in the Basement

The Meeting Hall was eerily silent as the Investigators entered, dark and shadowed. For a brief second Matthew thought he saw a tall, swarthy man who somehow made him think of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh standing behind the podium regarding them silently, but it proved to be a trick of the light as Virgil moved forward, his torch clearly showing the stage to be empty.

R'lyeh DiskSearching the podium, Virgil found a dust book pushed back on the lower shelf, the leather-bound volume entitled "In Old California" had a page marked with a scrap of paper. Vigil opened the page to find it was a description of the practices of the Hotethk tribe. As he held the scrap of paper Dan noticed that someone had scrawled a somewhat fanciful drawing of a vaguely Egyptian looking disk.There being nothing else of interest, Matthew jemmied the door behind the podium to reveal a short passageway and stairs leading down.

Virgil led the way cautiously, warning the others as he heard voices speaking in some foreign language below them. As they moved down they discovered the voices belonged to two of the guards. The guards were swiftly dealt with, Virgil grappling one and bashing his head against the wall, while the other took both barrels of Matthew's shotgun after firing at them with a strange looking machine gun! As they searched the area they noticed what appeared to be an alarm button near the foot of the steps and above them a six-inch wide metal strip in the ceiling, which Virgil speculated was some kind of emergency door to seal the area if it was raided by police.

Moving on they began to explore the basement which was dimly lit by electric lights. The first door they tried was full of strange metal cabinets with flashing lights and whirring spools of tape. Occasionally a card punched with holes spilled out into a box to one side.In front of one of the cabinets was a desk on whihc a strange-looking typewriter sat in front of a glass screen. A flashing blob blinked on the screen next t the words "Awaiting Input" after a brief discussion, Dan typed in "Who is Lostalus Black?" The reaction was immediate - an alarm sounded and a red light began flashing on the ceiling!Shoggoth

The Investigators dashed into the corridor into a brief firefight with a couple of guards who seemed to be rather poor shots and were quickly dealt with. Continuing their search they discovered a large refrigerator room from which Dan filched a stoppered vial of muddy-brown liquid, and what was clearly an armoury - along with another couple of guards!

The final room in the basement was perhaps the oddest of all it had a strange, organic smell to it and a large steel tank filled one end f the room surrounded by dials and levers. Deciding this was a good place to sabotage the bad guy's operations, Dan and Virgil began randomly pulling levers and spinning dials.

Suddenly all the lights went off and there was a crash as the lid of the  tank hit the floor. In the dim light of their torches they saw a terrible, indescribable thing emerge - a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the room. Not surprisingly they turned on their heels and fled, Virgil screaming in incoherent terror!

Vincente and Matthew waiting outside also fled, especially on seeing the loathsome form that chased their colleges. As he fled up the stairway, Matthew made a valiant attempt to slam the emergency button but was unable to quite reach it from that position, and being somewhat reluctant to head back down continued up the stairs.

As they emerged out into the street they heard a crashing sound as whatever it was pursued. As it emerged out of the front of the Meeting Hall, it seemed to have grown, but somehow flowed through the entrance that was now too small for it. As the few passers-by screamed in horror at the sight, Virgil and dan fired a couple of shots, to no seeming avail. Lights in nearby buildings went on - shortly followed by more screams as those peering out saw the horror that had invaded their neighbourhood.

As police sirens started sounding out nearby, the Investigators decided to leave things to the authorities and departed for their hotel. The creature fortunately did not pursue them but slithered off towards the nearby East River.

Next morning, the papers were full of stories of an outbreak of mass-hysteria in the lower east side, presumably spurred by mysterious series of explosions that demolished the Look To The Future Meeting Hall. The fact that the mass-hysteria happened before the reported explosions did not seem to trouble the journalists.