Dr Beck’s Journal

From the Journal of Dr Rynhold Beck

Chang is dead. It was on a night such as this a mere six weeks ago that as I sat in this very chair and wrote in this very journal the bastard kicked in not only my door but very nearly my ribs as well, and now he lies here dead. And I say good. Damn my oath, he and his filthy Tong a disease eating away at this place. They are aggressive parasites bent on devouring their host, thy suck the blood, the very life itself out of the people here. And now one of them lays dead on my operating table. Again I say good. I don’t know who did it, maybe Chang’s killer is a thug every bit as cruel and vile as Chang himself, but tonight there is one less brute loose on the streets to prey upon the poor and weak and vulnerable.

One thing I will say about whoever did do this to Chang, he must have been very strong indeed for from the state of Chang I’d say that with Chang holding a knife, the killer grabbed his forearm and quite literally snapped the bones in two before twisting the ruined limb around and stabbing Chang with the knife he still held. It was a single, deliberate wound and the knife was buried up to its hilt in his chest where, whether by luck or design, the knife did not pierce the heart and kill him immediately, but rather sliced open a ventricle and caused the chest cavity to flood.. The pressure of the blood around the lungs was sufficient to stop them from expanding thereby causing Chang to die of asphyxiation as well as massive blood loss. A nasty, brutal and unpleasant death but, and may God forgive me for what I am about to write, one I’m almost happy to have befallen one such as Chang.

Still, I think I may well have rather bigger issues to ask God for forgiveness for, wouldn’t you agree? Oh I know I stopped believing a long time ago, but does one ever truly stop believing or is it closer to the truth to state that what drives non-believers such as myself is a desperate and furious need not to believe. After all, once life turns against you and conspires to present you with an event of such magnitude that the love you once had for the notion of a Creator laying behind all of life’s joy and happiness lies shattered in the deepest pits of your heart, do you really have any choice but to turn away from the face of cruel, uncaring God in disgust and hatred?

In truth I do not know the answer to this, but I feel sure that were God to exist my actions of late would have pushed me as far from him as Hell is deep. Suicide is said to be a mortal sin (although I’ve seen enough in my forty years to convince me it is, at times, a necessary one) but what then is reckoned of un-death? If taking one’s life is to steal from God, then is snatching it back from his capricious embrace yet another crime against him?

When I… well, when I did what I did two nights ago I wanted nothing more than the peace and silence of not being, but where I found myself afterwards was far worse than anything I have experienced anywhere on any version of Earth. The rage and the anger that lay on the other side from this world were a terrible thing to behold, indeed I scarcely even now bring myself to think about them, let alone put them down on paper. And yet despite that I can feel no joy at Miss Belfire’s actions, however well intentioned they were. To use such arcane knowledge, such hellish methods and dark secrets to pluck me from the grasp of the Reaper can not come without a price and I fear that price may yet prove to be very indeed.

To be continued…

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Links to other blogs and stories:
1) All Dr Beck’s Journal Entries can be read here.
2) All the “Gang War” posts can be read on my blog here and over on the Steelhead Ning here.
3) The latest “Gang Wars” Story So Far recap can be found here.
4) All my “Mutations” posts can be read here.
5) Chang was first encountered in Dr Beck’s surgery here.

Steal Head: The Story In Full.

The great thing about multi-participant roleplay is the sheer scope & inventiveness of posts and photos that people post to their blogs. Unfortunately it can mean that it’s hard to follow the ebb and flow of the tale and sometime you can miss whole chunks. To try and address this I maintained a record of everyone’s posts and listed them in a chronological order that made sense to the tale. If you’ve never read “Steal Head” before, or are returning to re-read it, I hope this guide helps you find your way through what proved to be an amazing four months of my life 🙂

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The tale begins…

All across Steelhead, people start having nightmares… ((An OOC call to join in the nightmares!))

Dr Beck writes to the Town Council for the first time…

A vandal paints graffiti around town

A message is revealed and the Sentinel is on the case!

Dr Beck writes to the Town Council for the second time…

Dr Beck writes to the Town Council for the third time & Capt Creighton delivers a photograph…

Steal Head Arrives in Town!

Lunar calls for an expedition to the site of the photograph.

Dr Beck writes to the Town Council for the fourth time & Capt Creighton delivers a photograph from the expedition…

More from around Steelhead on the spate of vicious murders! ((An OOC call to join in the murderous fun!))

Dr Beck falls to the creature and a rescue is undertaken.

The end of Steelhead’s nightmare, yet Ya Yiwama claims one final victim…

In the murky waters of Steelhead’s Shanghai port, the legacy of evil battles on…

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Steal Head: The End.

All “Steal Head” posts can be read on my blog here and on the Steelhead Ning here.

From the Journal of Dr Rynhold Beck: 17th September 18ζΞ

17th September 18ζΞ

Will this hellish week never end? I seem trapped between the monster and its vile murders on one side and the Tong’s endless violence on the other. I shall come to the Tong later, but for now the issue of the devil that is beheading people all across town looms large in my worries.

After the Town Hall Meeting I think people are finally waking up to the danger that confronts them. Who can blame them for not seeing it until the bodies began to pile up? Not I. I who was so convinced the dreams were mere mass hysteria caused by some unknown poison in the town’s water system. If only we – I – had listened to the sensitives in town, those folk who feel the subtle vibrations of things unseen and unheard. Maybe if we have all stopped and listened to their panicked cries and warnings we could have saved the lives of the poor wretches this monster so callously took. Mayor Lunar has ordered the setting up of a morgue next to my surgery so many are the dead. The last of the victims we have found, the poor girl everyone took for a nun, has moved me greatly. Out there in the town is a father grieving for a lost child, just as Xan & Xao grieved for their own and I for mine.

Xao… Oh god what do I do about Xao? She has lost everything and now, with the explosion that brought the Dragon Lady’s rail car crashing into the lagoon, she has lost her husband as well. How can there be a god looking down on all this loss and suffering? How can people like Xan & Xao find comfort in such the dream of such a god? I’ve given Xan’s sister, Meili, some extra sleeping draughts in the hope Xao will remain calm enough for her heart and mind to heal enough to be told about Xan.

Speaking of Meili I am sure she helped me back home from the den last night. I hadn’t realised it but she is one of the pipe girls, one of the Dragon Lady’s retinue who saw the explosion I hear. I was lost last night. I could not find the usual relief from my memories and instead my mind tormented me with things I’d rather forget. I breathed in deeply, too deeply, in an attempt to black out the whiteness and I remember nothing more until I awoke this morning to the scent of roses and fresh tea. I could have been in no fit state to get home myself and can only assume I had help. That, the scent and the fact my clothes had been removed and folded means I can only assume a kindly feminine hand was at work. That poor girl is all the family Xao has left now – and god help her, Xao is all she has left; less a family more a life sentence of domestic care. Maybe I can write and implore the Dragon Lady to release her into my employment? But then, what can I offer her? What little I earn flows out of the door in rent and supplies. If it weren’t for the kindness of some of the town’s folk I don’t know how I’d survive here at all. I have nothing – and that is what I have to offer Meili & the Dragon?

Talking of my survival here, and my anonymous benefactors, a very curious thing has happened. On my small table, by the new microscope I found outside my door a few weeks back, someone has left me a gift. A gift I am at a loss to explain. The kind soul who donated the microscope (and I know it to be the same person due the same calling card and wrapping paper) has left me a small, wooden box containing six precious or semi-precious stones. I have no idea how they got in without damaging my locked door or, more importantly, why they would leave me such things. What am I supposed to do with them? Pawn them? Sell them? What if it’s a mistake? What if they were meant for someone else and they ended up here? Should I tell the sheriff? Maybe I’ll run them by Miss Blackheart and seek a valuation first. God, can you imagine what the Tong scum would do if they knew I had something of worth here?

Ahhh the Tong. Why is it none of my entries can go without the Tong creeping in? They are a cancer at the heart of the slums and if the explosion was indeed an assassination attempt by them then the cancer is seeking to spread its malign influence out of the slums and into the rest of Shanghai. I wonder what the Dragon Lady’s next move will be, that is assuming the warehouse fire last night wasn’t it, of course. I must speak to my patients tomorrow, they know the street gossip and trust me enough to give me snippets and warnings, despite the risks they run. I need to know if the Tong and the Dragon Lady are about to go to war – if they do so whilst this Steal Head monster is prowling I fear the sheriff’s resources will be diverted and the creature will be free to kill again and again – and it must not be allowed to!

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To be continued…

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) All Dr Beck’s Journal Entries can be read here.
2) All my “Steal Head” posts can be read on my blog here and on the Steelhead Ning here.
3) The latest “Steal Head” Story So Far recap can be found here.
4) All my “Mutations” posts can be read here.
5) The gift of the stones is detailed here.
6) The Tong warehouse fire is detailed here.
7) A sensitive struggles with visions here.