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Old 09-18-2017, 12:51 AM   #235
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default Re: The First Interbellum (1918-1939)


While McCord and his men were working to remove the contents of the hidden cache under the ruined warehouse, Conners and his men, and Bingham and his men, were investigating the various clues and strange things occurring in Harrystown, trying to get a 'hold' on what was happening. They did not lack for information, if anything they had too much information to deal with, too many clues and leads to put together coherently.

This is part of why the hasty removal of the contents of the warehouse went undetected by the Seven Aces and the Bingham Agency, their personnel were simply occupied elsewhere at the time. In that sense, it might be said that Henry McCord simply got lucky.

By the time the Aces and the B-Jones men reached the site of the 'encounter' with the creatures in the woods, the police had already gone over the site. This information was available to the men, albeit semi-illegally, but there was little left of the site to study by the time they arrived. It had been raining, and whatever tracks might have existed had been obscured by both the rain itself and the police (and others) already on the site.

Still, the Aces and the B-Jones men tried to find what they could, and they had some resources the local and State police lacked. The B-Jones men, in particular, had extensive experience in finding 'unusual' clues on sites that the conventional authorities might not recognize or understand if they recognized.

One thing they found was a set of hairs that, trapped where something heavy and strong had broken a large branch. When examined closely, those hairs did not look like most animal fur. Moreover, not too far from the site of the supposed encounter, a B-Jones man found a place where something large had apparently passed, breaking a strong young tree in the process. The police had found this too, but credited to an animal.

A careful examination of the break point, though, convinced the B-Jones people that whatever had broken the tree had been bipedal.

The effect was complicated by the presence of many civilians in the area as well. By now a number of locals were sufficiently alarmed that groups of men were scouring the woods around the city, most of them armed, looking for whatever it was they thought they were looking to find. After everything that had happened over the previous weeks, there was by now a hint of panic to be sensed in the city of Harrystown.

The suspicion on the part of the Aces/B-Jones men that whatever those hunters had encountered was the same whatever that had destroyed the car led them search the area between the site of the destruction of the car, and the 'encounter', and as they did, they began to discover more signs of something very strange having passed between those two locations. There were broken trees and brush in just enough places along a rough line between the two sites, occasional odd markings and tracks in the rain-soft soil, and now and then, bits of hair that seemed unlike the animals of the region. Some of the broken brush was broken in a way that seemed more like what would happen if an impossibly large and strong human had passed through.

Then one of the B-Jones men found something else very strange along the track: a place in the wooded slopes of the hills where some tracks, very like the tracks near the wrecked car, were found to lead up to a blank exposed face of rock...and vanish, as if whatever had made them had walked right through a solid rock barrier, leaving no opening or mark.

Neither Conners nor Bingham believed for a moment that any such thing had happened, they were sure that some sort of concealed opening existed in the cliff face. It was easily tall enough, a good four meters, to conceal such a door, and after two days of examination they found the opening. It was well concealed; even after they found the door, the gap between the door and the surrounding rock was almost imperceptibly narrow. Someone had expended an enormous amount of effort and skill in concealing the doorway, disguising it to look like a bare expanse of exposed limestone.

The 'door' was roughly halfway between the place where the car had been destroyed, and the site where the hunters reported their encounter.

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