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Let's Catch Jack the Ripper - 3

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by grotsnik, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Alright, change to B it is.
     
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  2. Angelo85 Prophet

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    Did it die?

    /e December 18th:
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. WetWorks Arcane Patron

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    Not only did it die, it left 4 other prostitutes multilated in it's wake.

    JtR escapes justice once again.
     
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  4. Esquilax Arcane

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    ironyuri is completely right on the money, as usual. I say we do things his way.
     
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  5. ironyuri Guest

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    :yeah:

    Thanks E-bro.

    As for grotsnik, seems he must have been trampled to death by the rampaging hordes of Oxford St. Christmas shoppers.
     
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  6. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Oh, I hate those fuckers. I hate Oxford Street. Only street in the city without something, anything, interesting to distinguish it. And once Christmas comes it fills to the brim with fat tourist bastards walking as slowly as they possibly can staring into the superstore windows, dicks trying to hand out Hare Krishna books or solicit 'models' or advertise waxing sessions or sell cheap perfume. And I have to walk through it pretty much every day.

    Anyway, fuckit, let's do this shit. Update incoming. In the meantime, here's a classic piece of modern-day homicide journalism; archetypal Daily Mail journalist Liz Jones offering her profound and insightful musings on the very sad murder of student Joanna Yeates this time last year. It's completely terrible.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/a...r-Becoming-just-thumbnail-police-website.html
     
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  7. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    The day had been windy and chill—the night was cold; and therefore I fully expected to begin my experiences amongst a dozen of ragged wretches squatting about the steps and waiting for admission. But my only companion at the door was a decently dressed woman, whom, as I afterwards learned, they declined to admit until she had recovered from a fit of intoxication from which she had the misfortune to be still suffering.
    A Night In A Workhouse


    [​IMG]

    The South Grove Workhouse is a narrow, inhumanly long triptych creation, built to fit a slender site on the Mile End Road. On the upper floors, rickety cast-iron bridges connect the three buildings; below, on either side of the central unit, a long queue of ragged stick-figures waits. Women on the left, men on the right.

    Tom Wise walks calmly past the women’s queue, up towards the entrance. There are a few irritated yells from the waiting girls, but a couple of appreciative whistles, too. At the head of the line, a burly, moustached superintendent is handing out brick-like white loaves of bread. As each woman passes him, he asks, with the dullest possible apathy,
    “Knives, matches, tobacco?”
    “Carryin’ any knives, tobacco, matches?”
    One of the women, fat and toothless, giggles at him,
    “Why, Pat, you sayin’ you got some to sell?”
    Unsmiling, he shoves a loaf into her hands, and gestures that she should move on into the workhouse.
    “Knives, matches, tobacco?”
    As Wise approaches, the superintendent’s red-flecked eyes widen, very slightly.
    “Men’s dormitories round t’other side,” he says. “Knives, matches-”
    “I’m not looking to enter,” Wise tells him. “I want to talk to someone about Annie Milwood.”
    The superintendent stares at him.
    “I have money,” Wise lies. He reaches into the pocket of his overcoat, as if reaching for a wallet. “I’m her cousin from Essex, I just need to talk to someone-”
    “Men’s dormitories,” the superintendent says, as slowly as possible, as if talking to an imbecile, “are round t’other side. Knives, matches, tobacco.”

    The men’s filthy dormitories are lined on either side by crude hammocks, canvas sheets stretched out between two long iron rails, eight inches from the ground. A number of men, drunk or exhausted, are already slumbering in their beds; as one shifts in their sleep, the entire rail creaks and bends, causing every man’s hammock to tremble. A couple of little boys are running from side to side, slipping under the canvasses and overleaping the rail, not bothering to lower their voices as they go.
    Wise passes his loaf of bread – hard and chalky-white – on to his neighbour, and refuses the pannikin filled with gross skilly that’s offered to him.
    “I’m looking for someone who knew Annie Milwood,” he says, but nobody’s listening to him.

    At seven o’clock, they’re called to bathe, in either one of three low wooden tubs filled with scummy, fogged water that’s a little cooler than lukewarm. Wise merely steps in and then out again, but nobody seems to care; at the doorway, one of the superintendents hands him a shirt. It itches at his skin.

    The candles are snuffed out at around eight; Wise lies on his bed, his coat wrapped around him for warmth, and listens to the coughs, the snorts, the whines and the mutterings, ricocheting off the dim walls of the dormitory.

    When he hears the faint bells of Christ-Church at Spitalfields striking ten, he rises, as gently as he can, sliding his weight from the canvas, and moves in silence down the dark aisle, feeling his way along the rail towards the faint, pallid light at the end of the corridor. One of the superintendents is seated by the fire-escape doorway, reading a book by the glow of a candle.
    Wise shifts himself back as far as possible, into the shadows behind the door-frame. Then he takes hold of the end of the iron rail, in both hands, and shakes it as hard as he can.

    Half of the dormitory erupts, in cursing and cries, as men are rudely woken by the disturbance; a loud smack of flesh on wood indicates that at least one sleeper has tumbled out of his hammock.
    “Fuck’s sake-”
    “Who’s the-? Oi? What?”
    “Shut your mouth over there, my boys are sleeping!”
    “Someone’s-”
    A voice cries out, plaintive and confused, in an incomprehensible and comical foreign tongue.

    Wise hears the superintendent sigh, and get to his feet. With a lumbering, careless pace, the man strolls through the doorway and past him, his candle held high, calling,
    “All right, now, calm down, gents, calm down-”
    Wise slips through the darkened threshold, his fingers fumbling for the fire-escape door; he swings it ajar, and quietly lets it click shut behind him.

    The iron bridge screeches under his weight; the wind blows through his hair and his tatty clothes, making him shiver. To the west, far-away, as intangible and as strange as a faerie land, the bright gas-lamps and weird electric lights of the West End are still aflame, making a mockery of the night; around him, and to the east, there’s only darkness. The hideous silhouettes of the East End’s chimneys and towers are only visible due to the radiance of its nobler half.

    He slips open the latch to the women’s dormitories, and steps inside. It only occurs to him now, as he’s greeted by the sneezes and faint feminine moans rising out of the darkness, that he has no clue at all where to go. The women’s infirmary will contain records of Annie’s death; but he’ll have to traverse the long corridors and staircases, in perfect darkness, in order to find it.

    Hesitant, Wise moves through the dorm room, half-inclined to turn back now while he still can. Halfway across, he makes a wrong step; the floorboards squeak, aloud.
    A woman cries, out of the darkness,
    “Who’s there? Who’s there?”
    Wise goes very still.
    “Lumme,” the woman whimpers, “sweet lumme, ’e’s ‘ere. Buck’s Row killer, ‘e’s come for me, ain’t ‘e?”
    There’s stirring from the beds on both sides.
    “Wassat, Luce?” a voice calls.
    “Someone in t’dorm,” the woman whispers. “I ‘eard ‘im, I did, the murderer, come t’do us in our beds. ‘e’s standin’ over me!”
    Someone sniggers.
    “Ain’t nobody there,” the second voice replies. “Go back to bed, Luce. Ain’t nobody goin’ do you while I’m ‘ere.”
    “Prob’ly a ghost,” someone else calls. “Your ol’ man, Luce, come to gi’ you what-for. You there, ghost? Come t’punish old Luce for all her misdeeds?”
    “I told you,” Luce begins, “I ‘eard him-”
    But a chorus of shushes is already rising from the other beds.
    “Drunk old fuckin’ ‘ag,” a childish voice yells.
    Finally, the women fall silent once more. Wise counts to one hundred, and then slips forward once again, out of the dormitories and onto the narrow staircase.

    Fumbling, he makes his way down the steps – almost tripping once – and onto the first-floor landing. Turning around the corner, he almost falls again, and swears, more loudly than he intended.
    “All quiet up there?” a man calls, from below.
    Wise flinches.
    “All quiet,” he calls back, after a second, before adding, as casually as he possibly can, “Some of the girls got in a fright, thinking they heard a ghost.”
    The man laughs, quietly, to himself.
    Footsteps, getting closer.
    Hell, Wise thinks. Oh, hell, of all the damned luck.
    “You got a candle on you?” the man asks, as friendly as before. “Can’t see a damned thing down here.”
    “Must’ve left it up in the dorms,” Wise says, considering whether or not to run.
    “Mine’s back in my office. Hang on, though – I’ve got a pipe here somewhere…”
    A match flares; Wise catches sight of a bald, amiable face framed by a pair of round spectacles.
    “Daddy Badcock,” the man says, and squints at him. “Master of the workhouse. You new here, son? Don’t think I’ve seen you around here before.”
    “Just started out,” Wise replies, quickly. “Jack Dunnard.”
    “Pleasure to meet you, Jack,” says Badcock, biting down on his pipe. “So – the girls were getting in a flap about ghosts, eh?”
    “That or the Bucks Row killer,” Wise says.
    The master grins.
    “They needn’t be afeared so long as they’re here,” he says. “Now when they start getting drunk in the ale-houses and spending all night on the street…that’s when we can’t protect ‘em. But you try tellin’ a Mile End girl she’s not allowed to drink any more, eh?”
    He puffs ruminatively at his pipe, once, twice.
    “I, ah, heard there was a murder here, though?” Wise ventures. “Milwood girl.”
    Badcock frowns; his smile fades.
    “Not here it wasn’t,” he says, “and you mustn’t say that sort of thing so long as you’re employed here, Jack. No, Annie wasn’t murdered. She came staggering into the infirmary late one night back in, oh, February – hammering on the doors, weeping, bleeding bad. Her, er, thighs, and her belly. Said a man came up to her on the street, man she didn’t know, just pulled out a clasp-knife and went for her. Terrible times, aren’t they, eh, Jack, when in a Christian city a man would do such a thing, without reason, without cause?”
    “I suppose she’d been drinking,” says Wise.
    “Course she had, and Doctor Baxter even thought maybe she’d done it to herself, got drunk and decided to do herself in but couldn’t go all the way. Because nobody’d seen anything. But, no, she stuck to her story, said it was a short man with dark hair, fancy coat, foreign-looking.”
    “No shortage of men looking like that round here,” Wise answers.
    “Indeed not – girl couldn’t give a better description to the police, neither. Nothing they could do with that sort of tale but ask around – and no-one had anything to tell ‘em. Annie said she’d know him if she saw him again. Well, she never did, of course.”
    “And then she died.”
    Badcock gives him a curious look.
    “That’s right,” he says, “though not from her injuries, which were tended to. Week later, she was working in the allotment yard, like she always did – and she had a fit, keeled over, dead. Doctor said it was ulcers, or similar. Just bad luck. No reason to think it was anything else.”
    The men and women labour together in the workhouse yard, Wise thinks. It’s the only time the sexes are allowed to mingle.
    Is it possible that she saw something that triggered a fit? Or could the man who’d attacked her have gone for her again – with poison, perhaps? Could the workhouse doctor have missed something?
    The attacker aimed for her belly, not her heart or her throat; and she got away from him alive to tell the tale. An amateurish, fumbling attempt at murder. It could, Wise thinks, it just could have been a beginner's first effort.
    “Husbands,” Badcock says, drawing at his pipe. “That’s what these girls need, Jack. Didn’t that Nicholas lass leave her husband? Annie was a widow. They don’t have husbands to provide for ‘em, they can’t earn well enough for themselves…and things go to bad from there. Nothing to do but pray for ‘em.”



    Question time, if you's got any.
     
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  8. Gondolin Arcane

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    Did I mention that I :love: you, grotsnik? :smug:
     
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  9. Wyrmlord Arcane

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    What's wrong with her face?

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Keeping the figures personality-less in an attempt to make them look more like disturbing sex mannequins/symbols of physical degradation and poverty than individual people, I guess?

    :love:
     
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  11. Johnny the Mule Educated

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    It was a little tense there for a moment in the girls room!

    Questions:
    Where can we find this Doc Baxter fellow?
    What kind of clasp-knife and how does he know its a clasp knife?
    What kind of fancy coat?
    Whats foreign looking to Annie?
    Got any knives, matches, tobacco? Anything to eat?

     
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  12. WetWorks Arcane Patron

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    Holy shit, yes that is quite awful. Dullard imitating new jounalism for other dullards.

    Even their captions are fucking idiotic:
     
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  13. Kz3r0 Arcane

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    Thanks for the great update as usual. :salute:

    Questions:
    Did she have any friend?
    How about a man?
    Was there anyone when she died?
    What kind of jobs she held before the stabbing?
    By foreign looking they mean dark skinned or oriental European, Mediterranean maybe?
    Any known surviving relative?
     
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  14. ironyuri Guest

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    Will post some Q&A on boxing day.
     
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  15. Gondolin Arcane

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    Does that loaf of bread toward the sustenance score?
     
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  16. CappenVarra phantasmist Patron

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    Hey, that Doctor Baxter character sure seemed to be doing his best to obfuscate and dismiss the attack (first implying she did it herself?! and then saying she just died from ulcers or something, yeah right - "oh, such a tragedy guv'ner, she died from a sudden development of ulcers, or maybe a heavily laden swallow landed on her head while nobody was looking; so sad, and the worst is there was nothing we could do... and we'll never know the truth now (snicker).") - ask where we can find this guy to have a bit of a friendly chat... I foresee a little bit of old school persuasion coming his way :smug:
     
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  17. Flanged Scholar

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    This was a great read over a long dark night, very informative on the real life crimes and personalities involved and the area at the time, it's a shame it died but Grotsnik deserves massive props for writing those scenes, even without the game having a resolution. If you read this Grots did you have any character picked out in advance to be the real Ripper? Would be interesting to know who it would've been, but only if there is no chance of this being revived at some point.
     
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  18. Bricks Unwanted

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    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-aaron-kosminski-new-book-claims-9716805.html

    The man sure knows his serial murderers...

    this is the house!
    come on in
    this is the house!
    built on sin
    ...
     
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  19. tindrli Arcane

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    :necro:
     
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  20. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Honestly, I

    Show Spoiler
    can't even remember whodunnit. I definitely had a planned Jack, but I don't know if they'd been mentioned yet.


    I know these CYOAs burn out half the time anyway, but I definitely bit off more than I could chew with this one - it was just too restrictive a concept to work. I have no idea how I hoped to avoid things getting repetitive after the third or fourth 'you are still walking endlessly back and forth across the East End of London. Who would you like to talk to for your next Clue?' update.
     
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  21. Gondolin Arcane

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    You're back!

    :love:
     
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  22. tindrli Arcane

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    start with everybody :D
     
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