Back to the Safe House
Kane, Johnny, and Dr. Black get back to the safe house first. They are soon joined by the caretaker, who has brought along a small, grimy, weaselly guy who twitches when he’s standing still and cleans his fingernails with a razor-sharp folding knife.
The caretaker explains to the group that, apparently, Ron called Vincenzio Bernouse to complain about him. “The Boss” told the caretaker he was going to be reassigned until Ron had left, and would be working somewhere else. Meanwhile, his cousin, Mikey (the smaller guy) would be watching the safe house in his stead. The trio, especially Johnny, were not impressed with this.
The caretaker says he wasn’t either, until Ron called back, apparently having changed his mind. So now the caretaker gets to stay, Mikey can keep on doing what he’s doing, and all that has to change is that the caretaker has to stop making fun of Ron. Easier said than done.
The caretaker introduces Mikey to the group. Mikey is dubious of the trio, until Johnny lets him have one of the leftover “ritual chickens” for free. Mikey is so elated that he insists on giving Johnny a hug, which Johnny begrudgingly accepts.
Things get a touch more fraught when Mikey demands to know which one of them is Deluca, because, “he’s got something to say to him!” The caretaker tells Mikey to get a box (which contains cannolis) out of the car, and warns the others that his cousin is a little bit high strung.
At this point, Viv, Mikhail, Ron, and Judge Putnam arrive. Mikey, despite previous appearances, is effusive in his praise of Ron and thanks him many, many times for not going through with getting his cousin fired. He insists on giving Ron a hug, which Ron refuses. They eventually settle on a handshake.
In the midst of this chaos, Ron mentions that he now knows the caretaker’s name, which is Vito.
With everything seemingly resolved, Vito and Mikey head home. The group goes inside to talk about their new discoveries.
|Mikey, the Caretaker's Cousin|
Johnny, Dr. Black, and Kane relate their experiences in Kingsport. Johnny says that they have acquired a ritual that will allow them to summon the Veiled Sage, a being that can purportedly answer any question. After some discussion, it is decided that Ron, Johnny, Vivian, and the Judge will perform the ritual and see if anything comes of it.
Kane also learns that, after he got back, he telephoned his friend, Papa Doc Horus, and learned from him how to hypnotize people. He demonstrates his ability on Ron, and has enough self-control not to make Ron cluck like a chicken. The group is impressed, and asks who they should try to hypnotize. Kane, always a step ahead, says that he wants to hypnotize Stephen Clark, to see if he can determine why and how Stephen is painting the future. This is widely regarded as a good idea. Mikhail and Dr. Black will accompany Kane to New Hampshire to see if Stephen is willing to be hypnotized.
Vivian tells everyone that she has gotten a lot more research done and has learned more about the being called Nodens/Nuadda/Llud. She now believes that he is some sort of a god, similar to this Yog-Sothoth that keeps popping up everywhere. She, too, has learned several spells during her research, including one that might allow her to visit Nodens.
Ron rounds out the conversation by showing everyone the wire covered doorknob he stole from Miskatonic. The Judge identifies it as being similar in size and shape to an artifact found in a Native American burial site in northern Maine.
Kane, Mikhail, Dr. Black, and Pushok visit the Clarks. They find that Angie and Deb are still there. James is doped to the gills, but in good spirits, while Stephen is in the throes of whatever mania the evening brings and is in the middle of painting. He finishes shortly thereafter to meet with the trio.
Stephen’s latest painting depicts Vivian, Ron, Judge Putnam, and Johnny standing in a circle around some kind of mystical symbol, speaking to a figure in a shimmering robe. Stephen is not quite sure what to make of it, but the group has some ideas.
Stephen agrees to Kane’s offer to hypnotize him. While under hypnosis, he describes flying over a vast ocean before diving deep beneath its surface. He describes an underwater mountain honeycombed with tunnels and galleries, inhabited by fish-people adorned with jewelry, lighting their way with the glowing lobes on their foreheads. At last, he reaches a great chamber, where, “It sleeps and dreams and I must paint its dream.”
Stephen refuses to look down to behold the dreamer, but Kane forces him to. This causes Stephen to have a psychotic attack. Kane ends the hypnotic session. Stephen, still freaked out, paints a second painting at incredible speed. This one is of a half man, half dragon, half octopus thing on a throne, surrounded by worshippers. Mikhail and Kane both remember the creature from a carving they saw in the basement of the Lodge.
Stephen goes to bed. The trio takes Stephen’s latest painting and go back to Boston to meet up with the others.
|What Stephen Clark Painted|
The quartet decide to have the ritual in the basement. This first involves drawing a mandala with colored sands that features various runes, symbols, and a shape that looks like a gateway. They stand around the circle and chant the ritual chant, until they are at last joined by a shimmering figure in a veiled robe of swirling light.
“Do you summon me to serve or to ask?” demands the Veiled Sage.
"What must we do to ensure that Carl Stanford, the sorcerer, is forever banished and unable to affect this Earthly realm?”
“Death cannot stop Carl Stanford, for though he may die, his soul is anchored to this realm and may return to it at his whim. The only way to remove him from this realm forever is to destroy his anchor, which is currently in the catacombs of the Nameless City.”
With that, the Veiled Sage departs.
Judge Putnam, finally confronted with something blatantly supernatural, has a breakdown. He flees from the house and runs up and down the Boston streets, shouting his new nihilistic philosophy for the world to hear. When Johnny, Vivian, and Ron finally catch up to him, they find that the judge has run afoul of one of Boston’s finest. Ron tackles the policeman into a snowbank, while Vivian and Johnny try to get “grandpa” back to the safe house. Surprisingly, the policeman lets Ron go with just a warning, and he, too, is able to return to the house.