The Post-Modern Masks of Nyarlathotep

Episode XI: Tonight That's Where I'll Be (Part 3)

Thursday, 30 June 1925

Freddie awakens with a start. There is a loud knocking…somewhere.

He tries to look around, but everything is absolutely black. The air is stuffy. He tries to move his hands, but soon discovers that he is in an uncomfortably coffin-shaped area.

There is a ripping noise as nails pop free. A prybar bashes through the boards of…and nearly smashes his noise. The bar swings down, and the lid to the box is pulled away.

“Hallo Mr. Freddie, hello Mr. Freddie, hello Mr. Freddie!” says Billy. “Miss M said I’m to take care of you.”

“Oh good. Where are we?”

“In the Red Sea, sir. Approaching the Somali coast, I should think. Billy’s kept your cabin nice and ship-shape, he has.”

“Does this mean you work for Miss M?”

“No sir! Miss M made me better. Billy’s much better now!”

In ship’s saloon, Jimmy is poring over several textbooks on mathematics, psychology, and history. He glances up as Fritz Krakauer enters the room from the deck. Behind him, Freddie Blakely stumbles in.

“Scotty. Felix. What ho.”

“Jimmy?” says Fritz.

“Freddie!” says Jimmy.

“I’m off to my cabin, I’m knackered,” says Freddie. “Billy, do I have a passport?”

“No sir! That’s why we had to put you in the box, sir!”

Freddie enters his cabin. Gilbert is sitting in the corner, smoking. He has already laid out clothes for Freddie.

“Gilbert, I understand I’ve been fired and you’ve been recruited. Do you have any idea what I’m supposed to do?”

“Can’t talk about that.”

“I see.”

Someone pounds on the other side of the cabin wall. “Keep it down in there!” shouts Francis. “I’m trying to brood.”

They all meet later in the saloon. Francis plunks down a bottle of whiskey. “Gavigan’s buying,” he says.

“I suppose you’re in on the great assassination plans,” says Freddie to Fritz.

“No, I don’t know anything about that,” says Fritz, “although I’m sure I will hear about it soon. I’ve been around the block.”

“Right, Austrians and assassinations,” says Freddie. “Say, could you provide me with something to get me into Zanzibar?”

“A Czech passport would be difficult. But let me see…” Fritz grabs a suitcase, opens it, and shakes his head. He opens a second suitcase, looks through it, and then closes it. He opens a third suitcase. “Ah. Finland. There’s like eight people in the country, it should be easy.”

Freddie checks with his man of business via telegraph. He discovers that what liquid wealth that could be moved has been shifted into the American stock market. “Safe as houses! We’ll make a mint!”

Jimmy is poring over a package sent to him by Bradley Grey, his lawyer employer back in New York. They include some transcripts of psychotherapy sessions Roger Carlyle had with Dr. Robert Huston, fellow member of the Carlyle Expedition, and some notes taken by Jackson Elias during her stay in Zanzibar that Jonah Kensington had forwarded to him.

He also has succeeded in decrypting the message he found in the ruins of the Fondation Aubrey Penhew, using the notebook he found in Gavigan’s Venetian villa. Francis had to help him with the final translation:

Avez-vous des changements pour Lovelace? J’espère qu’elle sera fini en Août. Le baronnet m’a dit que Babbage projet a été achevé la semaine dernière, il n’attend plus que les systèmes de guidage. Nos amis les ont détruits. C’est bête – ils ont fait des problèmes pour nous depuis trop longtemps. Je me suis dit que le plan de M’Weru est trop risqué. Certes, si la situation ne s’aggrave, je vais prendre les choses en mains propres.


Do you have any changes for LOVELACE? I hope that it will be finished in August. The baronet told me that project BABBAGE was finished last week; he waits only for the guidance systems. Our friends have destroyed them. It’s stupid—they have made problems for us for too long. I have said to myself that M’Weru’s plan is too risky. Certainly, if the situation gets any worse, I will take matters into my own hands.

[I also have the notes from Jackson but I’ll have to scan them in. Writing the Huston sessions was a lot of fun.

“Dr. Mwimbe,” says Jimmy, “Do you know anything about someone named M’Weru?”

“M’Weru? It is a Gikuyu word that means white. Should I know who this person is?”

“Just wondering. Jax mentioned her name.”



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