Clockwork 1888 Date: Wednesday, March 2, 1892
The address from Mori Qian, the note in Mori Chun’s apartment and the police led to Thorn’s apartment. Dracona sent Athro up to listen at the door. Voices inside seemed to be convincing a person that their help was needed to save Britain. Because Athro had spied on one of the people in the room before, he recognized the one voice as Nero.
Reporting back, they decided to approach the door. Bartley used a spell to look like Mori Chun’s sergeant from the police station while the others went just down the hall from the door. Then Bartley knocked on the door at 9 Kensington Garden Apartments and announced himself as Mori Chun’s Sergeant.
They could hear some shuffling beyond the door. Then, the person that answered the door was not the same Kevin Thorn that they met in March of 1889. Because the person they knew as Kevin Thron was dead, it was not unexpected.
“May I come in,” Bartley inquired in his best Sergeant voice. The man who answered the door looked back to somebody else in the room, apparently gaining approval to admit them. Stepping away to admit them, Thorn commented, “Did you bring the whole squad?”
As they moved in, Archibald stayed back as they noticed Nero standing by Mori Chun. “Please, all of you come in,” Nero suggested, “so we can close the door and discuss thing.” Archibald moved in but Evgenia stayed in the doorway. Expecting to close the door, Thorn looked to Nero, again. “Please, let us close the door so we can talk privately,” Nero suggested.
“No need to talk, I just need Officer Mori to come with me,” Bartley insisted. “But,” Nero surmised, “you are not who you appear to be and Mori is needed by his country.”
“That’s what I’m here for,” Bartley continued to insist. “I need you to come to the yard with me,” he said stepping closer to Mori Chun. “Let’s go, Mori,” he said.
“Mori, your country needs you,” Nero rebutted. “That’s what I’m here for,” Bartley answered. “I’ll explain back at the station.” “Honestly, Sergeant, I believe that I need to help this man and his associates for the sake of Britain,” Mori decided.
They could tell that Mori was not under a spell. He was totally convinced that he needed to help Nero and that it was for Britain. But, Mori seemed to have decided as he reached into his pocket and handed his badge to Bartley. “I’m sorry sir, but I really must do this.”
“What do you have to do?” Bartley questioned. “I don’t know but I’m convinced I must help them for Britain,” Mori answered. “Come with me,” Bartley insisted. “You give me no choice but to take you in,” Bartley tried to grab Mori’s arm.
“I have already explained it to Mori and he is convinced that we need his help to protect Britain. If you will just let me explain everything to you then we won’t have to do any of this,” Nero insisted, “in private, of course.” Thorn motioned that Evgenia could control the door and she closed it.
“I am saving people. I am reuniting children with their parents, reuniting orphans with their families. Is that so bad? The value of family cannot be measured by money or faith. It is something that transcends morality. It is a calling that I can only hope to live up to,” Nero explained.
“Many years ago, the children of the Knightsbridge Orphan Asylum were tricked into consuming the flesh of a demon,” Nero paused to let that sink in. “I have to gather those children together in order to destroy the creature once and for all. Otherwise, it will release itself little by little as they die.”
“The death of Drew McIntyre was unfortunate. He refused to join me. Of course, someone who is not my ally is a potential enemy. I regret that I had to kill McIntyre but,” he stressed, “I wouldn’t have killed him without good reason. If I killed him without cause, I’d be insane.”
“If you will join me,” he concluded his pitch, “I will promise to contact you to help me deliver the final blow to the demon.” Nero seemed pleased with himself, as if that were enough to convince them of the purity of his intentions. “Will you join me, like Chun has?”
They could tell that Nero was absolutely telling the truth. He was trying to find all the orphans and use them to permanently kill the demon. He did intend to kill the demon, not imprison or use it. And he doesn’t want to kill any of the children he seeks, although he has no morals and would do so with no hesitation if they refuse to cooperate.
Chun began, “Nero told me his life story and we have reached an understanding. Britain needs us for an upcoming challenge. I don’t particularly like the way he operates, but saving Britain has narrowly edged out attacking Nero for his misdeeds. Narrowly,” Chun added as he stepped closer to Nero.
As silence fell upon the room, Nero drew Mori closer to him. Apparently, their thinking about his offer was taking too long for Nero to wait because he ushered Mori into the bedroom. “I’ll wait for your answer in here,” Nero indicated as he signaled something to Kevin Thorn.
But, they knew he wouldn’t be back when skeletons came pouring out of the bedroom.
Archibald rushed Thorn and shoved him back 10 feet. Bartley cast a spell and moved as the skeletons moved in and attacked. They could hear Morbius ask Nero, “You don’t really need me for this, do you?” Nero responded, “As a matter of fact, I don’t need me for this either.”
Thorn attacked Archibald but missed. Archibald inspired his allies as Evgenia shot a skeleton and Dracona blasted a line of fire upon four of the skeletons wiping out two of them. Within a short time, the skeletons and Kevin Thorn were destroyed.
Reporting back, Lawrence Bloom was interested in Nero’s claim about a demon. He promised to turn that information over to the Oracles to see if it was even possible that Nero’s claim was true.
They told Bloom about Kevin Thorn and that he was a different Kevin Thorn back in America. He was very interested because Bloom also knew about a Kevin Thorn in Ipswich who claimed to be a reporter for the London Times, but whose credentials turned out to be forged. That man turned up dead in the Thames last February. But, so far as Bloom knows, no one named Nero was involved.