Dresden Files: The GreatNorthwest

Weird Science, Part 1

From the Case Files of Roland Harper

Case File: Weird Science, Part 1

It seems there is unfinished business regarding the Wendigo. The clues we found on its body led to a secret lab at OSHU, and experiments on the Wendigo. I decided to investigate, and have enlisted the aid of the others. Since Stark came from a similar lab years ago, I figured I’d use him as the focus for a scurrying divination. I sent Smith and Sullivan to the hospital to ask around, and to procure a high level pass card. While they were up in the hill, I prepared the ritual, while Stark chatted with Earl. When the ladies returned from OSHU, I used the key card as a sympathetic link to the security of the hospital. Once I Completed the ritual, I was rewarded with a view of the secret lab. To my surprise, I saw that they were experimenting on more than one Wendigo. It seemed that the aims was to research the Wendigo’s regenerative powers, and possibly the implied immortality it could confer upon mortals.

Both Smithe and Starling dropped by my apartment shortly after the divination was complete. With the gang all there, we discussed the ramifications of the lab’s research. Most if the group seemed to believe it was something that needed to be stopped. I didn’t agree. We have no idea who is behind this, and to what end they are conducting the experiments. It could be a cure for cancer, for all we know. It just seemed like a good way to get noticed, and possibly end up in jail, or worse. Eventually I relented, and we agreed that more investigation should be done. It was about this time that Startk’s former Canadian colleagues called, saying they had arrived at the airport to take custody of the Wendigo. As we drove out to meet them, I rode in the back with Smithe, Starling and Sullivan. I explained to Smithe and Starling what had occurred out in the woods, and Starling to samples from the Wendigo. After the transfer had taken place, we all went our separate ways for the night.

Smithe and I returned to my apartment, where I took a long nap. Smithe had other plans, though, and combed OSHU’s directories, looking for any anomalies. He didn’t find any, but did familiarize himself with the ins and outs of the hospital’s staff. Smith returned early the next morning, as we had her case to discuss, separate from our Wendigo investigation. It turns out her boss at Benson and Hanford is a Red Court Vampire. It’s possible that her boss, Travis Benson, is none other than Chester Benson, the infected son of old Portland businessman, Simon Benson. Regardless, that’s another case, and another case file.

The others returned a bit later that morning, each with their own information. Starling had studied the samples from the Wendigo, and had deduced they were of human origin. This made no sense, as they are creatures from the Nevernever. It only confirmed for her what we’ve taken to calling the “Really Strong Junkie” theory, that the Wendigo isn’t a supernatural creature at all. I tried explaining to her that the spirit of the Wendigo is the supernatural portion, and that the flesh was indeed once human, but I have no proof to beat her skepticism. It did, however, lead me to postulate that the scientists at the secret lab are turning ordinary people into Wendigos for their research.

Stark returned with a story about spy planes, marshmallow fluff, and fruit cocktail. The more I get to know him, the more I believe he is mentally unhinged. Thankfully, Sullivan had more helpful information. Some of her contacts within the occult world knew who was behind the secret lab (again she intrigues me. Seemingly mundane, but definitely clued in. There is something to her I can’t put my finger on). They had told her it was a scientist named Esoch Grossman, a 90+ year old Eastern European heavy into gene research and possibly eugenics. It was said he had attempted to make a pact with some power of the Nevernever. We went downstairs to the cafe/bookstore to obtain more coffee, and avail ourselves of their wifi, which is definitely lacking in my abode. Starling logged into the FBI database, and did a background search on Dr. Grossman.

Starling’s check revealed that the good doctor had some radical ideas about DNA and genetics, dating back to the 60’s and 70’s. His bio goes further back than that, but is muddy before his arrival in the States in the 50’s. He may have ties to Nazi occult research. His bio after the 70’s is equally murky, as he seemingly dropped off the radar. He did resurface again a decade ago, as a resident researcher at OSHU. What he does there vague, at least according to the official record. One odd thing, though. It is believed that Grossman is a member of a secret fraternal organization, something like the Illuminati, or the Masons. Smithe bristled at the implication about the Masons, as it seems he comes from a long line of members. Perhaps he is just ignorant of their true origins, or the work they do. If not, I need to keep an eye in him.

In a separate search, Starling looked into Diodyne, the company that manufactured the diode we found on the Wendigo. Not much stood out, but she did notice that the company’s local corporate head, one Mr. Bates, was also a suspected member of the same secret society that Dr. Grossman belonged to. The pieces were starting to fall together in this case. If the Doctor and the Executive were both Illuminati, and given the doctor’s advanced age, it is certainly logical that they were working together to unlock the secrets of immortality. Such power in the hands of such a group would indeed be devastating. Despite my bad feeling about this investigation, I came to agree that the lab’s research needed to be stopped. Not that I think it would stop people like Grossman and Bates, but it may slow them down a bit.

Once Starling’s search was complete, we returned to my apartment to discuss our options. Smithe announced he was going to confront Bates, and make him believe Smithe was a candidate for membership in the secret society. Sullivan grew bored, and returned home. Stark decided a swim in the green waters of the Willamette was a good idea (unhinged, I say), to look for possible tunnels leading to the hospital. Perhaps that’s how he escaped in the first place. Starling, Smith, and I sat around my apartment, awkwardly, until I decided we should visit the hospital ourselves. We had the two key cards, one of which still worked, and Starling had her FBI badge, so we figured we could go almost anywhere inside OSHU.

Arriving at the hospital, Starling took the lead, looking for the secret lab, while Smith and I helped in our own way. I followed the mystical energy lines of the building, and Smith used her familiarity of the ins and outs of OSHU to assist Starling, who quickly deduced the location of the lab. Soon we found ourselves facing a strong, solid door, locked with an advanced biometric security system. I mentioned that with a bit of the good doctor, like hair or blood, I could conjure a small simulacrum of his finger to bypass the fingerprint biometrics. Smith went off in search of a sample, sure that there had to be one in a hospital, given the man was in his nineties. I found a supply closet, and picked the lock. Inside I cleared space, and set up a ritual circle, waiting for Smith to return with the blood. Starling kept watch for me, outside the door.

A little while later, Smith appeared with a vial of Grossman’s blood. She is a very resourceful lady. A few minutes, and a few chanted incantations later, and we had an ectoplasmic copy of the doctor’s right index finger. We briefly toyed with the idea of opening the door to the lab right then, but decided to wait for everyone else. We returned to my apartment, which was fast becoming the base of our operations, and I called a thief I knew. A thief who could make a silicon replica of the ghostly finger, so we would have a permanent “key” to the lab’s biometric lock. We also put in calls to Smithe, Sullivan, and Stark, asking them to meet us as soon as it was possible. Once everyone is back together, probably tomorrow, we have a bit of preparation to do, then we can return to OSHU, and the secret lab.

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The_Eel

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