Clockwork 1888 Date: Thursday, July 12, through Friday, July 27, 1888
Luc was handcuffed behind his back and laid on the floor of the room while the other police proceeded around the next corner in the hallway. “Haut les mains,” [hands up] the French police shouted as they saw the two remaining Les Guerriers. The Les Guerriers surrendered and the police rounded the corner to find Dracona and Evgenia. “Levez les mains en l’air,” [put your hands up, in the air] the officer shouted, seeing Evgenia with her gun out.
Dracona didn’t understand so she dropped to the floor. Evgenia laid her gun down and put her hands up as she told them that she was on the rescue team. Adoline came around the corner and talked to the French officers a moment. “Vous pouvez obtenir jusqu’à,” the one officer indicated. “You can get up,” Adoline and Evgenia translated for Dracona.
On the stage, Archibald. Priscilla, Remy and Fredryck finished off the ghouls as they heard the police shouting from down the hallway. Remy gathered them together around the woman in the chair. “I don’t know who you are, but thank you,” she said as Priscilla checked the bound woman. “Your friend, Inspector Norrington of Scotland Yard, sent us to find you,” Fredryck answered. “She’s dead,” Priscilla announced, “but not from her wounds. I think she died of heart failure.” “So, she won’t become one of these creatures,” Remy said, indicating the dead ghouls.
“These creatures,” Remy continued, “the police shouldn’t be told what they really are. All they should know is that they’re sick, twisted humans from some cult, Culte des Ghoules. They live underground and pretend to be ghoulish undead, eating the flesh of the living in evil rituals like what was going on tonight. The police have to believe that they’re really not ghouls – undead abominations that crave living flesh – even if we know different.”
“We’ve encountered unnatural things, before,” Fredryck informed. “We know that the general population needs some kind of logical explanation,” Priscilla added. “Good,” Remy acknowledged. “I’m going to go let Manon and the other women out,” Archibald said as he exited the stage.
Archibald was cleared by police as Adoline informed them that he was with the rescuers. He unlocked the door to the cell that housed Manon and the other women. Police moved in to assist the women at the orders of the obvious ranking officer. Evgenia told the ranking officer about the audience that had exited via the back of the seating area. The ranking officer sent two men to check it out.
Fredryck, Priscilla and Remy joined the others just as the two officers were leaving. Adoline vouched for them with the police as she rushed to Fredryck to make sure he was okay. One of the two policemen saw the carved up woman on the table in front of the stage and moved closer to it. He vomited before he pulled himself together enough to continue with his orders. Priscilla said about the deceased on the stage and the ranking officer had them lead him there.
They spent some time on the stage, explaining what had occurred there and how they rescued Remy from the cultists. Priscilla gave her preliminary findings on the dead woman. The ranking officer cut the bonds of woman’s body and Fredryck reverently let her slip gently to the stage floor. The ranking officer examined one of the ghoul bodies. “These fanatics sharpen their teeth and live underground,” Remy explained. “Lunatics,” the ranking officer said, shaking his head.
As the ranking officer was examining the ghoul bodies, Fredryck noticed some fine lines in the wall. The fine lines were a secret door that opened to a tunnel sloping downward. The ranking officer joined in checking the tunnel. It ended in the ghoul’s lair, complete with human bones and skulls from uncounted lost souls.
A thorough search of the entire area turned up a trove of francs and jewelry. The jewelry was most likely from the victims and Manon and Remy identified some of the pieces that were their belongings. But, some of the coins, some silver Ecu, dated back to the 17th century, when no denominations were struck on the coins. “Rumors of this cult date back to 1648,” Remy informed.
Still, after taking the time to heal and give the story to the French police, they finally finished. “I’d like to speak to your people,” Remy informed when she was alone with Fredrcyk, “about possibly joining the Fellowship of the White Star.” Remy indicated Adoline, “is she with you?” “I’m courting her,” Fredryck informed, “but she can’t get involved in things like this. She’s going to Oxford in September.” “I understand,” Remy answered.
“When the rest of you get some time, do visit me at my place of business. Olivier Lacroix, the man who portrays me to outsiders that I’m certain you’ve met, knows nothing of the Fellowship. Still, I can induct you into the Fellowship. It’s quite hush-hush because the unnatural forces we oppose should not know too much about us.” “I understand,” Fredryck nodded. “I do think you people will make fine additions to the Fellowship, though.”
Adoline insisted they stay at the manor. She’d already instructed the staff to make up rooms for them. Arriving at that late hour, they found Lady Clemenceau waiting for them in an irked mood. But, Adoline calmed her down, explained that they had important business that ran late and that all was well.
Adoline insisted on taking them all to the Louvre for a quiet day. After all, they were visiting France and the art there was something that nobody should miss. After spending a day at the Louvre, they decided to stop and get something to eat at a restaurant. Adoline had just the place in mind so they headed out in the L’Obeissant.
“Oh,” Adoline suddenly exclaimed as she veered the L’Obeissante off the road and into a vacant place near a large wagon with men preparing to roll a strange three-wheeled carriage into the nearby building. Leaping from the L’Obeissante, she ran up to the three-wheeled carriage. “It’s beautiful!” Adoline exclaimed, “what is it?” One of the men stepped up to her, “Please, miss, allow us to work. I’ll discuss this with you as soon as we’re finished here.” A woman who had been standing near the large door to the building came to Adoline. “Come with me, dear. We’ll wait over here.” The woman guided Adoline to where she was near the large door.
“Bertha Benz,” the beautiful woman, probably near 40 years old, introduced herself with a definite German accent to her French. “That man,” she pointed to one man, “is my husband, Karl, and the other is Emile Roger.” “That’s the Benz Patent Motorwagen,” she explained, “and Emile will be selling it, here, in Paris.” “Adoline Clemenceau,” Adoline introduced. “Related to the politician?” Bertha questioned. “My father,” Adoline answered. “Can it be driven by only one operator? I’m looking for a mode of transport that doesn’t need so much assistance to drive,” she indicated the L’Obeissante with its driver and steamer.
“Ah,” Bertha answered, “the Benz Patent Motorwagen is what you seek, then. What do you plan to use it for?” “Well,” Adoline beamed and motioned for Fredryck to come over to her, “Sir Fredryck Stanley, this is Bertha Benz,” she introduced. Proper pleasantries were exchanged before she continued. “We’re courting,” she informed Bertha. “He’s from England and I’ll be attending Oxford starting September. I wanted some kind of transport that would allow me to regularly visit with him in London.”
Bertha thought for a moment. “That’s quite a journey, isn’t it?” “About 57 miles,” Adoline answered, “I think that’s about 92 kilometers.” Bertha thought more. “I’m certain this vehicle can do that. But we’ve not tested it, yet,” Bertha answered. “I’ll let my father know about this. Can I get one by September?” Adoline questioned with anticipation. “Emile can answer that but I don’t see why not,” Bertha answered. (Side Note: On August 5, 1888, Bertha Benz and her two sons set out on a 104 km journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim to visit her mother. They returned via a 90 km route. Bertha’s goal was to show that the Benz Patent Motorwagen III could make such a long journey.)