Culturally Inappropriate Hand Grenade

Playlist: Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights) - Pat Travers Band

House of Bihari Abdekar, Bombay, India 17th October 1940, 00:30

Keeper Note: No Ric tonight, as without a Sat-Nav he couldn't get from Chorlton to Eccles. Youth of today, eh? Pfah.

Cautiously approaching the doors, Birapeer noted that, though they were carved with intricate mythological patterns involving elephants, they resembled no illustrations of Ganesh that he had ever seen. Reaching forward he pulled on the doors - and they swung open. He rolled his eyes; maybe they should have checked that first... None the less, he stepped forward into the large room beyond.

Keeper Note: This takes place in the penultimate round of Joe, Anné and Cyril's fight with the thing in the bedroom. As Jenni and Arthur were present this evening, it was ruled that Lucky Jake and Jimmy Wispa were outside on watch with Marcus, and jogged forward to follow Birapeer in as he came round the building.

This was the largest part of the building, a magnificent atrium decorated lavishly in traditional Indian style with carvings and hangings, brassware and tables. To the east, the ceiling was open to a skylight in the roof. Stairs ahead of him spiraled up towards the upper floor. From above he could still hear the crashing and shouting of Joe and Anné fighting the monster he'd fled.

Mills 34 Hand Grenade

As he stepped further in, he became aware of two large statues of what appeared to be dark stone, nearly 7’ tall, standing flanking the entrance. In the dimness he peered at one, his heart racing. Yes, it was very reminiscent of the blasted thing. By the time the statues moved, he was already sprinting for the stairs ahead of him. "ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਫਿਰ ਫੇਰੋ!" ("Fuck that again!") he bellowed, dashing onto the steps. Slipping his sawn-off into his left hand, he pulled a grenade off his belt, stuck the ring over one finger of his left hand, and tore the pin out. Without breaking stride, he tipped it over his shoulder as he bounced off the wall and into the first 90-degree turn of the flight of stairs.

Behind him, one of the black monsters had reached the base of the stairs, but the one on the east side was off to one side, near the eastern picture window at the front of the building. The grenade bounced merrily off the steps, then off to the east, and exploded just inside the window bay.

The explosion just caught the rear-most of the statue monsters, but most of it made a terminal wreckage of the extremely expensive collection of antique Indian traditional art that decorated that side of the atrium. It also blew out the entire window bay, practically into the face of Jimmy Wispa as he came up to the door. Deafened and stunned, and with blood pouring from his leg where a big piece of shrapnel had torn into it, the photojournalist keeled over backwards. Jake crouched over him, checking for signs of life.


Above, Cyril heard the shattering blast and ran out of the bedroom to the head of the stairs, to discover Birapeer coming up and very ominous thumping footsteps in pursuit. Behind him, Joe Vandeleur was not convinced that the beast that had attacked him was really "dead" - he was also more than a little light-headed from blood loss - and he battered it with the butt of his Thomspon a few times before he realized that he was more likely to break the weapon than damage what now appeared to be an actual statue made out of either black rock or metal. Shaking his head to clear it, he lurched to the door into the bedroom to cover the exit.

Outside on the west side, Anné walked along the building until she reached one of the side windows. With the noise going on, smashing it went completely un-noticed and she slid l'Etranger through the opening. The grenade had started several small fires in the other side of the atrium, and they were sufficcient for her to see dark shapes moving. Chambering one of the new silvered rounds, she lined up and fired. At this range it was like dynamiting fish in a bucket for her; the round tore completely through the statue and smacked into the wall opposite, releasing a shower of black fluid that didn't much resemble blood.

Lucky Jake Black

Having checked that Jimmy wasn't going to croak immediately, Jake straightened up with his own shotgun. Unaware of the events in the bedroom upstairs, he didn't see any reason why it wouldn't be effective, so he wasn't all that surprised when it was. He was, however, very startled by the way the monster suddenly froze into a statue-like block and toppled straight forwards onto its' outstretched fingers.

On the stairs behind it, Birapeer had reached the next turn to find Cyril on the narrow flight above him, looking down. Realizing that he wouldn't get past the parapsychologist before the monster caught him, he spun where he was and fired - he'd reloaded on the way around the outside of the building. At point-blank range, he couldn't possibly have missed, and both barrels of regular shot blasted into the creature, sawing it almost in half. As the pieces bounced down the stairs, they too froze into metallic solidity before piling up on top of the other one at the bottom.

There was a long moment while everyone just breathed. Then Joe called quietly down the stairs; "We need to check the place over, torch it and get going!" While the generous gardens assured some level of privacy, the noise they had made was not going to have gone un-noticed. Jake went and called Marcus in from the garden, while Anné - shuddering at the touch of the fouled energies of black magic - worked a Healing on Jimmy that brought him round in a couple of minutes. Dividing into two groups, the team searched the two floors of the house.

At the back of the ground floor, the kitchen was pretty impressive; fitted out in a most modern style with all sorts of appliances. A meal for one had recently been prepared, and the store cupboards were packed with lots of food, and very good quality food. Clearly, the fact that there was a war on was not an issue for Mr Ambedkar!


Across the hall was a study, again, fitted out in Western style as a businessman’s workroom, with papers and books spread all over it, a writing desk, and – most modern! - a telephone and a typewriting machine. A few of the books were in English but most of them and all the paperwork was in Hindi. A steel safe lurked in one corner, and Joe was happily totting up in his head how much explosive would be needed to open it when Birapeer stuck two hairpins into the keyhole and unlocked it. Inside were a pile of important but mundane documents weighed down with a small-calibre revolver, and around £8,000 in various currencies, which for India was a lot.

On the east side was a rather peculiar cylindrical bathroom, clearly intended for guests to the house, and decorated with bright and lurid paintings from some Indian epic or other - not one with which the agents were familiar. Jake stared at them for several minutes, feeling his eyes grow heavy and his thoughts grow queasily sleepy. The feeling was unpleasant, and he pulled his eyes away and left the room hurriedly.

Upstairs, a slender walkway crossed the open space where the skylight looked down on the atrium, and Cyril headed across it towards the door on the other side. As he reached the centre of the span, he suddenly felt his limbs go weak, and his head swim - some force was trying to prevent him moving onwards. For a moment his arms and legs seemed to lock up, almost like those of a felled statue - and then the sensation was gone and he was walking normally again. He looked around, but there was nothing to see. Shaking his head, he continued across to the door and went through. Birapeer followed him.

Ancient Tomes

On the other side he found himself - as he'd rather hoped - in Ambedkar's library. There were no windows, so he flicked the light switch to illuminate the place. It was lined with bookcases filled with volumes in several languages on politics and political history, including several Nazi standards like Mein Kampf. A desk against one wall was spread with papers; looking more closely, he recognized plans of the Taj Mahal - with several deeply disturbing occult diagrams superimposed on them. Some of the loose papers looked rather like incantations to him, though he didn't understand the language.

Some more investigation turned up three books that looked significant; two in Hindi and one in what looked like Ancient Greek. The two Hindi ones Birapeer said were entitled "Secrets of the Deep Ones" and "The Blades of Durga". When Jake was shown the third, he hazarded a translation of "The Tau of the Elephant" from his more modern Greek, as well as recognizing the name Alexander III of Macedonia - otherwise known as Alexander the Great.

Birapeer scooped all the papers together for translation, and Cyril gathered up the books. As he was doing so, he noticed a rather nice golden ring, engraved in a script he did not recognize; he scooped it into a pocket.

Molotov Cocktails

Meanwhile, downstairs, Anné had been constructing Molotov Cocktails. The building was already burning in a few places, but with these, it would go up like a firework. She scattered several around, then, once the others were clear, lobbed in a lit one. Flames spread rapidly through the building and by the time the agents were out of the garden, it was blazing merrily.


As they hustled through the streets towards their car, they realized that two local policemen were watching them closely. Their eyes travelled from Joe and Jimmy's shredded and bloodstained clothes to the flame-cored column of smoke rising from behind them and back again. Then they started forwards towards the party. "Go," said Birapeer, "I've got this." Joe led the others off towards the car and began to load them in as Birapeer approached the policemen.

(The Late) Bihari Ambedkar

"ਸ਼ੁਭਚਿੰਤਕ ਅਫਸਰ" he said agreeably; "Good evening officers." The two policemen looked at him for a moment, then pointed at the fire. "Good evening sir," they said, reacting to his educated phrasing, "do you know anything about that?" Birapeer nodded. "There was a party there, it seems to have got out of hand, we decided to leave." One of the policemen raised an eyebrow. "Party?" he asked, "at whose house?" Birapeer coughed. "Mr Bihari Ambedkar," he said. Both policemen twitched slightly; the name was obviously known. Pressing his advantage, Birapeer asked innocently, "Aren't you going to call for assistance?" The policemen blinked as if the obvious had just slapped them in the face, and one hurried off to find a telephone. The other started to tell Birapeer he would need to come to the station and give a statement; at this point, Jimmy hurried up, a convincing look of distraught worry on his face. "Officer!" he pleaded, "My brother is in there! Aren't you going to go and help?" His woe was so convincing that the policeman wavered. Birapeer put a hand on his shoulder. "I shall commend your public spirit to your superior - what is his name?" "Abdul Ratik," blurted the policeman, and turned and sprinted off towards the fire. "Let's go," said Birapeer.

A few minutes later they were in the car, Cyril behind the wheel. The glovebox disgorged a map, and Birapeer shouted directions to route them the long way around in case of pursuit. Then they dropped the car off at the car pool and headed for bed. Birapeer got out the medical kit and carefully removed the toothed, fleshy pad from Joe's chest. Then they all turned in gratefully.

Military Base, Bombay, India, Night of 17th-18th October and Morning, 1940


Sleep, though, was not kind to the agents that night. Terrible nightmares racked their sleeping minds, endless pursuit through terrifying landscapes, dread things only half recalled on waking. Memories of exactly what they'd dreamed were dim once they woke, but one thing nearly all shared - an absolute conviction that the resolution to all that they confronted lay at the Taj Mahal.


Only Birapeer and Marcus's motivations seemed unchanged. The others seemed generally unchanged; their thoughts and opinions were exactly as they had been - the only exception was that they genuinely and passionately believed that they had to go to the Taj with the utmost urgency, immediately, in order to confound a horrible plot to tip the world into unspeakable chaos. No arguing or logic would sway them, and Birapeer and Marcus stared at each other in despair. As the others began to feverishly prepare their equipment for the trip, Birapeer slipped away to the Temple of Ganesh to talk to the strange old priest, Mehandi. Cyril sent a rubbing of the ring he'd found for the priest to look at.

As the Sikh unfolded his tale and displayed the Taj plans that he still had, the old man's face took on a look of horror. "The Enemy is a master of dreams," he said fearfully. "You must stop them from going; though I fear that to some extent they are right; a fearful evil is lurking at the tomb." He glanced at the rubbing. "A ring, you say? I wouldn't put that on..."

On their return to the base, they discovered that the others had procured a car and set off towards Agra and the Taj. Now truly alarmed, they hurried across the base to see Lt Tenison and explain what had happened. Once he grasped the facts, the Intelligence officer hustled across the corridor and located Captain Benson. Twenty minutes later two jeeps full of redcaps - and Birapeer and Marcus - were tearing along the road in pursuit.

Main road Bombay - Dehli, India, 18th October 1940, 13:00

Military Policeman

While the bewitched agents were using maps to navigate, the MPs had the advantage of native-born drivers who not only knew the way but knew ways to get there faster. Added to that, unlike the jeeps, car the agents had hired was overloaded. As a result, around lunchtime they overhauled the car and swung across the road to block it.

Seeing Birapeer, Marcus and Tenison climbing out, Joe relaxed a bit and released his hold on his Thompson; although he could see Birapeer's shotgun (loaded with pepper) under his jacket. The Intelligence officer spoke earnestly to the affected agents, telling them that after consultation with Section M in England, Viscount Towton had explicitly ordered that they not follow this up. Confronted with this, they grudgingly agreed to accompany the redcaps back to Bombay. For Joe, the habit of obedience to senior officers was strong enough that his willpower was able to throw off the glamour as Birapeer had, and he realized what had been done to them. With his gun now pointing the other way, Anné, Jimmy, Jake and Cyril submitted for the moment, though all still believed that a terrible fate awaited the world if the evil lurking at the Taj was not confronted. Cyril turned the car around and - with an MP in the passenger seat - they headed back to Bombay.

Session Date: 9th October 2018