Going to America

Playlist: Letter from America - The Proclaimers

Clemens Park, England, 15th March 1941

Alec opened the briefing with some quotes from Erlichmann’s journal and the Book of the Machine, which seemed to point at Peru as the likely hiding place of the last piece of the Palladion, referred to in the latter as Viracocha’s Mirror. In the Book of the Machine, it was stated that this was the targeting device for the completed weapon.


Viracocha was the Creator God from the Inca mythos, and some legends tell of a tall, strange, pale man with a staff who taught Pachacuti (the first great Inca) many things, smote his foes with fire, then left walking over the sea to the north, promising to come back if the Incas ever needed him.

Dr Etzel Hauer

Peru was a very popular area of research for German archaeologists before the war, and a small four-man expedition headed by a Dr Etzel Hauer was recorded as landing at Chiclayo, a busy town on Peru’s northwestern coastline in January 1939. There didn't seem to have been any sign of it since and a German “humanitarian” expedition had been sent to look for them, around a month ago. Intelligence suggested strongly that this expedition was actually sponsored by Black Sun.  Their presence suggested that the Germans had reached a similar conclusion as to the location of the Mirror, probably from copies of the same books.

Marcus showed recognition at the name. "I remember," he said, "He was a big name in Peruvian ancient cultures, until - oh, must be three years ago - his wife and daughter died on an expedition. Not heard anything about him since."

A route  had been organized to take the team to Peru, but once there they would have to operate strictly incognito; the Peruvians were attempting to remain neutral and would assist neither Allied nor Axis agents or forces – but would very likely react very firmly to either causing trouble.  Alec suggested that the original expedition would have had to register its activities and plans in Chiclayo and recommends that the team start in Lima and then move on to Chiclayo.

America was not yet involved in the war, but many influential people believed it was only a matter of time, and for those in the organization one day to be known as Majestic, the Secret War was not one they could ignore. An air route was being tested that would eventually become known as the Mid Atlantic Route for shipping military aircraft to Europe, and Deadman use this as his method of travelling to and from the States. This would take them to Miami; from there, the local contacts for Majestic would organize passage on a boat going to Lima via the British Consul, one Daniel Goldman.

Faces paled slightly at mention of sea travel and memories of tentacles. "T'problem with boats," said Charlie gravely, "is they're not on rails..." Deadman reassured them; after all, this boat would be pretty much on the other side of the world to their last one. He looked at Birapeer and Francoise; "If you two are willing to fly the bird, we can do without a crew, and spend the flight planning." They nodded agreement.

Professor Deadman

Several days passed, with research and resupply being completed. Cyril and Marcus both passed over the samples of Shoggoth and tentacles to the boffins at Clemens Park, who promised to analyse them with care. Fake ID for each stage of the trip was produced and issued, along with a reasonable fund in both US Dollars and Peruvian Sols.

Joe piped up, asking where the currently recovered pieces of the Palladion were being stored. Several of the others joined in; more than one was quite nervous about the idea of reassembling it. Deadman looked at Alec, who nodded, and the American led the way into the cellars of the house.

Once an extensive wine and tobacco cellar, the underground section of the house had been extended, reinforced and repurposed. A bomb shelter was scarcely a surprise with the Blitz in full rage, but the laboratories and store rooms went on for some distance. The room Deadman took them into was reinforced and secured to an impressive degree. Each piece of the Palladion had its own table round the edges, with diagrams and notes pinned to the wall behind it. In the centre was a larger table, with the pieces assembled into what the experts currently believed to be the correct configuration.

The device glowed in places with the same uncomfortably familiar blue glow as they had become accustomed to associating with Atlantean devices. Cyril dug out the orichalum paperweight and held it close - and several of the room's light bulbs flickered, one blowing out. The experts made careful notes. Worries assuaged for the moment, the team returned to the upper level.

British Museum, London, 18th March 2041

Miss Amelia Briggs, Librarian

Lucky Jake

Jake and Cyril took a trip to London, to do some research into Peru and the Incas. After several hours of this, Jake's academic energy was exhausted, and he decided it would be much better to take the best of the books with them for on-site reference. However, as he was trying to sneak it under his coat, a librarian spotted him and dressed him down rigorously for his attempt to 'steal' books, despite his attempts to talk her around. Sulking, he watched Cyril coninue to make notes and sketches for a while and then, struck by an idea, quietly slid the book he'd chosen into Cyril's bag without the academic noticing.

Keeper Note: Zac has form for this in the British Museum... see here

When they finally came to leave, a younger librarian stopped them at the door to check the books they'd requested were being returned. "Where's Secrets of the Inca?" she asked. "Oh," said Jake, pointing at the first librarian, "that woman took it off me while I was trying to use it." The younger librarian shook her head. "Oh, her - right cow, she is. Off you go." The pair left, Jake smiling to himself.

Ford Trimotor

Prestwick Airfield, Scotland, 20th March 1941

Looking rather odd on the grass of the airfield among the military planes, the Ford Trimotor sat waiting for them. Climbing aboard, Birapeer and Francoise discovered that nearly half the passenger cabin was filled with bolted-in tanks of extra fuel; the whole thing reeked of kerosene. "No smoking," muttered the Sikh rather nervously. He checked over the plane's systems, which all seemed in tip-top condition. The Americans seemed to know their stuff.

The weather reports were in, and were not wonderful; heavy winds and turbulence across the entire Atlantic. Challenging but not impossible conditions. An hour later they were in the air.

Airborne, Mid-Atlantic, 20th March 1941



While Deadman continued to discuss the mission and advise the others, Birapeer sweated at the controls. The big plane had been buffeted by the wind and swallowed in dense cloud all the way, and he was getting tired. Reciting through the ritual of handing over control, he passed the plane to Francoise, and the Frenchwoman settled into piloting. The Sikh stretched and went aft to take care of nature and swig some coffee. On returning some ten minutes later, he was rather startled to discover the plane skimming smoothly along in absolutely perfect conditions under a brilliant, clear sky. He re-checked the weather reports - he'd not misremembered, the miserable conditions they'd had so far should have continued right to Miami. Shaking his head in puzzlement, he settled into a seat in one corner for a nap.

A few seats over, Cyril was reacting with horror to the discovery that "he" had stolen a book from the British Museum.

Airborne, approaching Kindley Air Force Base, Miami, United States, 21st March 1941

As the plane began its first approach, Birapeer took over once more. To his bafflement, the sky clouded over and the wind built up again until he was flying in the same conditions as he had been before. There seemed no logical explanation for it, and he carried out the strenuous but straightforward landing with some qualms. Someone muttered, "Well, at least we didn't crash," but when Francoise looked around everyone was looking innocent.

A small welcoming party awaited them, including a handsome and slender man, with a dark complexion and a neatly trimmed moustache, in early middle age but retaining his youthful good looks. His dress tended towards the old-fashioned with a hint of military uniform, and his gaze seemed to be focussed elsewhere. He snapped into the present, however, when introduced as Eitienne-Laurent De Marigny.

Hotel Spectacular

De Marigny was the unofficial representative of America's emerging Secret War agency in the deep south, usually based in New Orleans but brought here to help the team with their transit through the States. He and Deadman appeared to be well acquainted, and greeted each other warmly.

Deadman took his leave, heading off to get a train back to Massachusetts. His last words to Marcus were, "Brush up on your banishing and dismissals."

De Marigny'd booked them into the Hotel Spectacular, and two cabs were soon taking them towards it. Looking out of the windows, they got their first real look at America.

Downtown Miami

Miami, like most of America, was still recovering from the Great Depression. As ever in America, it wasa study in contrasts. Magnificent modern buildings towered in the city centre along wide thoroughfares, and the shops displayed wares that Europeans have only been able to dream of for years - Francoise nudged Anné at one point; "Nylons!" she said sharply. Cars were everywhere - there seemed to be no shortage of fuel! Mixed right in with this, however, were scenes of poverty and despair. Homeless, destitute people were everywhere, begging on the streets or simply hanging around in groups. Many, but not all by any means, were black. Men in once-expensive clothes were mingled in with them.

Four days in Miami could be used in a variety of ways. There were theatres and cinemas for entertainment, and excellent restaurants serving the seafood-rich delicacies of Florida. If anyone had wanted to try for a tan (it was, however, March), Palm Beach was just up the coast.

Once the team had been settled into their rooms, they elected to catch some sleep before heading out to explore. Initially, they split into two groups; each enquired of the excellent hotel commissionaire after their destination. Birapeer, Joe, Anné and Jake headed to downtown, having been given an idea where gun shops could be found; Cyril, Marcus and Charlie headded to the Miami-Dade Public Library. de Marigny - who was staying at the hotel with Francoise to catch some more rest - had also recommended an Occult bookstore, the Agni Corner Bookstore, located at 10940 W Flagler St Suite 401. He'd helped the owner, one George Gleeson, to buy it five years ago, and rang ahead to arrange late access for them.

Curt's Guns, Downtown Miami, United States, 21st March 1941 15:30


Guided by Jake's instincts for the 'dodgy', the first group soon found themselves outside a slightly run-down emporium marked with "Curt's Guns". The proprietor, a sleepy-eyed young man in grubby Levis, at first denied being able to obtain anything military, but after a little smooth persuasion from Jake, a flash of considerable folding green paper, and an accidental hint that the group might actually be connected to the Ku Klux Klan, allowed as how he could probably arrange somethin'. For three semi-automatic M1 Garand rifles, three semi-automatic Carson 12-guage shotguns, a thousand rounds of .30-06 ammunition and - a late afterthought for Jake - a real live crossbow, he charged them five thousand dollars and told them to come back 'with ya truck' at 10pm that night.

Miami-Dade Public Library, 101 W Flagler St, Miami, United States, 21st March 1941 15:30

Miami-Dade Public Library

Meanwhile the other group had reached the Miami-Dade library and begun researching Peru and the Incas. The results were comprehensive but disappointing; nothing really beyond what they had already learned, although some maps of the area around Chiclayo and of the pyramid complex at Túcume. After several hours, they gave it up and hailed a cab to take them to the bookshop of George Gleason.

Agni Corner Bookstore, 10940 W Flagler St Suite 401, Miami, United States, 21st March 1941 17:30

The bookstore was actually rather magnificent; not remarkable to the Americans but far bigger than a ‘corner bookshop’ in Europe.  It looked out over the ocean, and was packed with crumbly old books and collected items from across the world. A coffee bar sat in the middle of the polished wooden floor, with an upper gallery leading to a balcony overlooking the sea, a quarter mile away.

It also seemed to be deserted.

The bookshop looks very like this, except on the coast, not surrounded by 21st Century Buildings, and not a Chipotle outlet...

The doors were open, and a coffee cup was steaming on a table; some books were out. Nobody seemed to be about, and there were no signs of a struggle or anything damaged. As Marcus scanned the place with the Voorish Sign, Charlie squinted at the floor. "Eh up, there's wet footprints on't floor," he pointed out. The agents gathered and examined them; they were almost, but not entirely, human and disquietingly shaped, showing webs and claws. Once close to them, the distinctive scent of seawater was discernable.

Cyril dumped some sugar onto the prints to highlight their shape and took some photographs, while the others traced their path. The originated at what was clearly the cellar trapdoor, ran towards the sales desk, then back again. The Voorish Sign pointed up some recent magic done at the desk.

At this point, a memory in Marcus' increasingly strange brain triggered, and he remembered reading about the Deep Ones; a race of extremely intelligent humanoid creatures with fish, human and amphibian traits, tainted with the touch of the Great Old Ones and worshiping Dagon. It also dawned on the agents that all the serious combat specialists were elsewhere. Thus, they left the trapdoor alone and sent Charlie to sprint the two miles to the gunshop to summon assistance.

Curt's Guns, Downtown Miami, United States, 21st March 1941 18:30

Just as Charlie dashed into the shop, the phone rang and Curt answered it. His brow creased for a moment, then he looked up. "Is yer name Joe?" he asked. "Phone." It was Marcus, who had belatedly remembered that the bookshop's phone could be used to call the gunshop.

Sprinting out, Joe and company flagged down a cab and rattled off back to the coast.

Agni Corner Bookstore, Miami, United States, 21st March 1941 19:00

Back at the bookstore, the group gathered and rather nervously lifted the trapdoor. Wooden steps descended into the darkness of what looked like a fairly normal cellar. Gathering various sources of light, the team descended, remarking the faint and very unpleasant fishy smell that was noticeable.

Racks of crated books and coffee-shop stores filled most of the cellar, but at the far end one of the racks was out of place, dragged forward at an angle. Behind it was a rough, dry tunnel cut in the rock, smelling very strongly of fish, leading seawards. As they descended the steps, Birapeer fought off a strengthening feeling that this was a very bad idea, that he was steadily leaving all light and wholesomeness behind. He muttered a quick series of prayers, feeling a very little better.

Deep One (© Sixpence Games)

Very carefully, the group moved along the tunnel. About half a mile along, a murmuration like chanting became audible. The group moved even more nervously after that but there was still almost no warning when it happened. A surge of running footsteps presaged the appearance of two humanoid figures - humanoid but so very much not human! - each with a spear, dashing into the pool of light and straight at the party.

Cyril and Joe, at the front, knelt down, and Anné fired her Boys rifle over the top of Joe's head. The bullet went straight through the upper body of the thing, tearing right through and dropping it, twitching in an inhuman fashion, to the ground. Cyril fired his pistol at the other one but only dealt a minor wound. Joe was preparing to take a hand when Charlie opened up with his Sten gun and riddled the second one with bullets.

The team gathered around the corpses. They wore little, save some sort of cloth around their nethers, and some items of very peculiar jewelry; Marcus and Cyril took samples. Cyril was staring at the creatures in mute silence... deep in his mind, he was becoming convinced. He had seen these things before, somewhere, sometime. He did not remember where or when - and he did not want to remember!

Slightly surprisingly, Joe and Birapeer, normally the most agressive members of the team, flatly declined to go any further down the tunnel. "We're not equipped for this," Joe said. "Marcus here says there could be hundreds, thousands of these buggers down there. We need proper guns to tackle that." Slightly reluctantly, the others agreed that though rescuing the bookshop owner would be harder if they were not prompt, the two were right and better equipment was needed.

Session Date: 14th January 2020