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 Post subject: Scene 1.5.2 - MacDougall's musings
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:50 am 
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Niles paced down the hall to the antechamber, his mind ablaze with thoughts.

All of his documents? Why would the British military seize everything from Crutcher's library? Most of his files dissapeared shortly after his death. Did they have a hand in this? They must have known about this for years...

Niles stood beneath a lightbulb hanging in the tunnel just outside the chamber, and pressed his pipe to his lips.

Crutcher, Debillings, and Hess. What could this mean? How could this German know about Crutcher, and why was he so obsessed about him? And what is this business about his mouth growing shut? Are they mad?

A distant rumble shook the tunnel for the moment, causing the lightbulb to sway.

I have to find out what connection lies between these three. And also... what lies beyond Crutcher's 7th algorithm. These notes are a huge discovery! What a stroke of luck! If I can just keep it together a little longer...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:14 am 
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Within the hour, several sturdy boxes found their way, rather unceremoniously, to the small, dankish antechamber occupied by MacDougall. Each was sealed with a wrap of MoD Classified tape, which the young man sliced through eagerly with his penknife.

The first box contained all the published works of Dr. Timothy Crutcher, F.R.S. Journal articles, book chapters, reviews, newspaper editorials, and interviews.

The second box was filled with the private papers of Dr. Crutcher - his teaching notes, lab books, notebooks, drafts, most of which MacDougall had come across during his doctoral work. The box also contained the Crutcher File, a collection of records and documents from government and academic sources - his Last Will & Testament, Deeds to property, school records, disciplinary history, observed memberships, and the like. To his surprise, MacDougall also discovered several softcover novels in the file.

The third box was lighter than the others. In contained one manila file and a sheaf of long-hand formulae and notes. The sheaf of papers were stained with a dry, rusty colour. An index sheet and photograph showed how to arrange the now-numbered pages into the pattern and order in which they had been found beneath Crutcher's body at the time of his murder in 1906. The file itself was Scotland Yard's original investigation file into the murder.

The walls of his antechamber suddenly felt very close.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:15 pm 
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MacDougall began the lost task of sifting through the papers, arranging them to correspond to the photograph. His mind knew that a pattern would emerge from the chaos. The exact order was important, as was the orientation and condition of every scrap of paper.

After the task was complete, he stepped back and looked down at the arrangement. Something was missing...

He stepped forward, and produced a thick piece of white chalk from his vest pocket. On his knees, MacDougall slowly traced out the image of Crutcher's body, as it must have been when he was found.

He then stepped back once more, and under the single lightbulb of the antechamber, peered down at the floor beneath him.

The answer will come. Patience.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:33 am 
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Hours rolled on past as MacDougall peered intently at the grisly reconstruction on the floor of the antechamber. The arrangement of papers had to mean something. It HAD to. Someone had taken great pains to lay out these papers in such an order. Someone had meant to communicate something. But who? And what?

There were patterns in everything. Even here. It was just a matter of seeing them.

MacDougall heard tromping boots outside and shouts. His focus did not waver. He scratched behind his ear, sweat now dripping off his face. Another match, another cigarette. And the hours rolled on.

There was a sharp knock at the door. "MacDougall, it's Langston. May I come in?"


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:42 pm 
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MacDougall snapped out of his daze.

"Of course, please come in."


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:50 pm 
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The door opened and Harry Langston tucked his clean haircut round the corner.

"You alright, chap? You've been in here a right long time. Can I get you a cup of tea or some biscuits or something?"

Noticing the beaded sweat and the intense look on the scholar's face, Langston opened the door wider, sliding a few pages of the cryptograph out of alignment.

"Say, are you sure you're alright?"


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:59 am 
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MacDougall stared off into the distance, as if Langston didn't exist. The beads of sweat cascaded slowly down his brow, his hair falling into his eyes and partially obscuring his gaze.

He murmured, "Fine, yes fine. Tea would be... just fine."

MacDougall turned slowly, and paced back into the room, leaving the door open to reveal a mess of paper, ink, and chalk drawings on the floor. It looked like a hurricane had blown through the room, but oddly enough there was some sort of order to the madness. MacDougall had chalk scribblings over the floors, walls, and on the photographs given to him. His chicken scratch was almost illegible, but it looked like he was trying to piece together the evidence that was given to him by the Colonel. He paced back and forth in the room, mumbling to himself softly.

"This leads to the fifth conjecture, but the manifold is ill-defined... no wait... it could work if we use..."

He paused, and then brought out a scrap of paper, jotted a note with a nub of a pencil, and looked up at Langston in the doorway.

"There is something here, chap."


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:45 pm 
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"What do you mean, 'something?'" Langston asked, his attention still focused on the wild scatter of papers and scribblings. "Looks like a bit of nonsense to me."

Noticing MacDougall's state, he strikes a smile and starts to roll up his sleeves. "Can I lend a hand, then? Why don't you kick off and grab a bite and I'll see what I can gather. New set of eyes and all that."


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:33 pm 
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MacDougall snapped to attention, placing a hand in front of Langston to stop him in his tracks.

"What could you possibly help me with? Do you have a degree in advanced topology? Were you at Oxford, 'old chap'? I think that the British intelligence has done a right good job of mucking things up, as usual and I don't need your help."

He paused, and his lips trembled a bit.

"Unless... you know what connection there was between Debillings and Crutcher. Or you can make sense of ... well... hang on."

MacDougall reached over a pile of crumpled yellow notes, and tread softly over a pile of discarded black note pads cast over the floor. He reached over and clutched a large ream of paper with charcoal sketches of various geometric figures and unusual calligraphy.

"Can you make sense of any of these diagrams? Have you seen them before? And.. well..."

MacDougall shrugged, a bit defeated.

"Yes, yes I will need some help. Please."


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:25 pm 
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Langston sighed quietly at McDougall's outburst and rolled his eyes towards the wall.

"Let's have a look, then," he said, taking the documents.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:53 am 
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MacDougall's excitement was clearly visible in his trembling hands which made the papers shake in the dim light.

"Do you know what this is?"

MacDougall displayed a sketch of a three dimensional shape looping in upon itself. Around it were various equations in Greek notation, with bits and pieces of names and dates.

"Ever hear of Felix Klein?"

After a pause which lasted a millisecond, MacDougall frantically continued.

"In 1882, Felix Christian Klein came up with a way of fusing two Mobius strips together. Mobius strips? A one sided, one edged surface. Here, i can make one for you..."

MacDougall paused to grab a strip of paper, gave it a half twist, and then attached the ends together with a paperclip.

"There, a geometric figure with one side and one boundary. No beginning, no end."

From Langston's raised eyebrow expression, MacDougall tried to bring his thoughts together.

"Alright, so this Klein character tried to create to do this same trick in higher dimensions. Take a cylinder, for example, and join the ends with a half twist. It's impossible to do in our reality, since it involves another dimension. But..."

"This chap knew how to do it. He was very close to doing it! What for, well I have no idea. Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking. Mathematical hosh-posh, but listen to me - he wouldn't have worked so hard at bending the rules of space and time unless he had good reason to. These are the kinds of things that can ruin a career if you broadcast it to the academic community."

MacDougall paused, and then looked down.

"I believe that if I can come up with a solution - if it exists! - that we will know why he meant to do this. He was obsessed with trying to read the future through abstract mathematics. It sounds crazy, but then again we all thought that Einstein was crazy."

"I just need more time. A little more time. Here are some of his notes, and his correspondence with other Brits. Maybe you can find something I have missed, or make some connection to your macabre world."


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