We're going pink for October!
The state of TIAH
October 10th, 2006
in 1972, in the early hours of the morning, Professor Karl Ainsworth, Officer Xavier Hely and Dr. Yvette Montclair sneak into the Lascaux Cave to show Dr. Montclair the forbidden chamber that seems to be the home of the cult. When they approach, they hear the guttural chanting of the cultists, and they all prepare their weapons – tranquilizer guns supplied by Dr. Montclair. When they burst into the sacrificial chamber, their flashlights playing about the walls, they see a dozen figures in robes gathered about a gigantic bear, and another robed figure leading the chanting from a rock pedestal. Dr. Montclair immediately shoots the chant leader, while Ainsworth and Hely fire into the chanters. They scatter in a panic, giving the bear a clear path to the three intruders. Montclair shoots two darts into the bear, which slows down a bit. Just as it is about to maul the three of them, Hely and Ainsworth fire tranquilizers into it, and it collapses in front of them. This enrages the lead cultist, and he shouts in the strange language to his conscious followers. They charge forward, oblivious to the danger, and are cut down by tranquilizer fire. The leader then shouts something else, and he and the few cultists left melt into the darkness, disappearing down hidden passageways. Hely and Ainsworth take a few potshots at them as they leave, but score no more hits. “Well, that was easy,” Hely says, smugly. Dr. Montclair examines the bear in rapt fascination. “There's no way we'll be able to get the bear out of here,” Ainsworth says, looking around. “And, if we leave to get something to drag it out with, they'll come back and take it, or the bear will wake up and walk away under its own power.” He notices that Hely is looking at the ceiling in disgusted awe, and asks, “Do I want to look up?” The police officer shakes his head. “Anyone we know?” Hely nods and says, “It's Sondrine Breton; the punishment for being captured, I presume.” They look at the four unconscious robed figures and decide to take two with them. Dr. Montclair says, “I have fur, tissue and blood samples from the bear – I'm ready to go anytime. I don't really know how long we have until the tranks wear off.” Dragging two cultists behind them, they leave the cave and drive back to Montignac and Dr. Pelliot's house. Once there, they tie the cultists up firmly and Ainsworth says, “You two get some sleep. I'll take the first watch.” They drag a couple of sofas into the room and sleep on those; they are unwilling to sleep alone. Professor Ainsworth flips the hoods off of the cultists and looks into two very ordinary faces; a middle-aged woman and a teenage boy. Just as Hely and Montclair drift off to sleep, the cultists start coming out of their stupor. Ainsworth looks into the eyes of the woman and says, “Can you understand me?” She spits at him in the unknown language, and the boy joins her in her curses. Ainsworth listens carefully; the language they are speaking plays at the corner of his memory, teasing him; he is certain that he has either heard it before or read it, but cannot identify it. After several minutes of cursing and struggling against their bonds, the pair grow sullen and quiet, then go back to sleep. Ainsworth wakes Hely and tells him, “They've been cursing at me for a little while; but my guess is that once the sun rises, they'll forget everything. Do you know who they are?” The officer nods, saying, “Marguerite de Chabannes and Claude Maimbourg.” He shakes the sleep from his head and asks, “Will they suffer the same fate as Mademoiselle Breton?” Ainsworth takes a deep breath, lies down, and answers, “Not if we can help it, mon ami.” In the day's light, just as predicted, the robed pair are unable to remember the night before, and are very confused and frightened about being tied up in a strange place. Hely releases them, and the three investigators confer. “We need the leader,” Ainsworth says. “He must be the one controlling them. We need to find out who he is.”
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