Early morning: Wards have been broken at a secure site in Middlehampton and follow up shows the guard missing and other key personnel not arriving for duty. The team are gathered given a basic brief, kitted up and despatch by RAF flight to Carlyle and by car to Middlehampton. It is early afternoon when they arrive.
Initial site investigation
It is an old style four story building that has been done-up, modernised and restored and in some parts not very well. It adjoins the building to its right and has an access wide enough to allow a car transgress to the rear where a private car park is located. The ground floor houses the shop and interview areas while out back is an extension with a large old printing press.
The first floor is the publishing section and houses offices for the various magazines. The staff room and security desk are also located here. On the second floor is the research and archivist section while on the top floor are the managers offices and secure rooms for finds etcetera. Here there is the known safe used by Between Nations and in Joyce Whitakers office is the Laundry Safe.
Met at the door by Jimmy Target, who does not really know what's going on, he is not Laundry but is the Publishing Editor and is trying to sort things out on a business level. They are quickly intercepted by Cornelius Bridges the assistant manager and acting manager while his boss Joyce Whitaker is on active duty somewhere.
He takes the group up and gives them an update while they check out the building.
·Wards were blown in the early hours of the morning. First the ones around the safe including the office door and then the ones on the backdoor.
·Bridges and Ted Chance the other security officer arrived to find the back door ajar and Tom Fooler the on-duty guard missing .
·The safe has been 'eaten' by some kind of corrosive agent which has been sampled and sent to Carlyle where the Laundry have a laboratory.
·Only one item has been taken, an object handed in yesterday early afternoon to Kupka Shahn one of the laundry staff working with the archivists and researchers on the Between Nations team. He recognised it as 'strange' and filled in a report then placed in the safe. It is known that this object was placed in the Safe as Kupka had not direct access and Bridges himself had to open the safe for him. However being busy at the time he had not examined it, he does remember it was handed in by George Peckard, a semi honest nighthawk who is often seen in the offices.
·The computer record has been wiped and the paper record removed.
·The CCTV had been tampered with but not by an expert and someone is working to retrieve pictures as they talk.
Group examination of the site
·A thaumic check was made on the ground floor with no result
·Another made on the first floor. A result was found around the security desk. It was intense enough to suggest a strong but short term event.
·A detailed examination of the area found that the desk had a spilt coffee cup and a dropped opened book.
·A security head piece (not unlike a large blue tooth device) is found in a waste paper basket on the research floor.
·No evidence of tampering has been found with the coffee but a sample to be sent to the labs to confirm.
·The book seems to be a standard second hand novel (by Bernard Cornwall).
·The third floor was not thaumicly checked at this time but the team went on up the office wherein the safe was resident.
·This is a Laundry safe it is house in the centre of the building with no external walls and wards to both hide and protect it. It has been partially dissolved by an agent that was strong enough to break the wards.
CCTV footage available
There has not been time to go through the whole set and a more detailed analysis will be made by in house agents during the remainder of the day but a quick viewing shows the following events
·Tom Fooler sat drinking coffee starts dropping his coffee.
·After some hesitation he leaves his desk for a desk on the second floor where he retrieves something but his back is to the camera.
·There are no cameras in the stairwell and the next time he is seen is on the top floor entering the safe room.
·He tries at first to man handle the safe door then produces a jar from his pocket and pours the content onto the safe which it grasps and eats.
·He takes the object and leaves the building via the back door.
Follow up questions and finds
·The start event did indeed coincide with a telephone call.
·Upon leaving the office an appropriately moulded piece of brown paper is found on the stair well that would have fir the jar and something flat against it.
·It is noted that Fooler's car is still in the parking bay.
·A second check of the video does not show who put the package on the desk but does show that it came from the desk of Shahn's assistant Stephanie Tyres who is among those not in work today.
It is surmised that the guard was somehow processed, triggered by the phone call but there is no evidence of the power grid needed to make the transference.
Requests have been made for street CCTV from the Highways Agency and local security monitoring company's.
An attempt to locate Peckard proved unfruitful but reports suggest that this is not uncommon during the day and he can usually be found at his local after 7ish in the evening.
An attempt to locate Mr Shahn at home showed he had left as usual that morning. Mrs Shahn was given a cover story that he had been called away on an unexpected emergency and might be in a bad signal zone so not to worry if she cannot reach him by phone. He lives at Clearthorpes.
Stephanie Tyres is not answering her phone, mobile or landline. She lives alone out of town on the Blessings Estate between Littlethorpe and Ravisham.
Clearthorpes is the furthest away so it is decided that it would be last possibly tomorrow as it is already late afternoon and will be well into evening before anywhere is reached. The guard Tom Foolers is closest and so the first stop.
The Fooler Residence
Tom Fooler actually lives in Middlehampton and so fairly quick to get to. It is an Edwardian terrace converted into four flats. His is the ground floor back and accessed through a common door and short hall. The outer door is unlocked and the inner door easily broken into (note to security). He has a hungry cat but there is no evidence that he returned to the house after leaving for work the previous afternoon. Some Laundry related materials where found which would construe a minor breach of protocol but nothing to raise any alarms about.
The Tyre Residence
Stephanie Tyres is a nice 1960's style. Large three bedrooms, double garage good size garden. Inside everything is pristine, it is obviously lived in but kept immaculate. Family photos of Stephanie, her presumably husband and child are in prime position but the child's play room looks unused, upstairs the child's bedroom has no clothing and there are no clothes belonging to the male.
Thaumic readings suggest a very low level background noise, which upon walking around the house Agent Piers believes may originate from outside. They continue to check inside first. The attic shows an alter and devil worship paraphernalia but not the real thing the sort of stuff you'd get in any Goth shop or Heavy Metal boutique. The thaumic reader does however pick up one object a black velvet flannel size piece of clothe that looks like it was dropped rather than put there on purpose. Also in the attic are the vacuum packed clothes of the man and child stacked in a corner nice and neat.
Outside the thaumic response seems to come from a large church a block away to the rear of the house. Not being put off my this the party head toward it only to discover that it is something beyond the church. The well protected walls of a great estate block the centre of activity.
A quick Google maps and search shows the estate to be the House of Re-Embodied Enlightenment. A cross reference to the Laundry data-base replies
An access request is duly sent in.
Deciding not to continue without more information and realising it was well pass 7pm they decide to track Peckard.
George Peckard and Jenny Willobie
George Peckard is in his local as usual for quarter to eight any evening. He is also quite friendly and once engaged in conversation happy to talk about his finds, but when he is asked about any finds he has handed in lately he cannot remember handing any in for weeks in fact he has trouble talking about anything in the last few days. It does come to light however that he usually works with a partner who should be here by now wonder what's keeping him? Asking about Jackie Scott, Peckards partner in detection they find out that he works for Deep Space Research as a low level techie, repairs maintenance, that sort of thing. Jackie also supply's all the detector equipment which he keeps in the back of his Volvo Estate and he lives not far away with his girlfriend Jenny.
Outside Jenny's The Dog's are barking immediately, Piers notices a car parked further up the street watching the house, he steps behind a post box and ignites his hand of glory. Next to the car window he taps sharply on the window and uses his warrant card. The two watchers turn out to be members of Safety Inc sent to pick up Jackie Scott and recover some stolen items for Deep Space Research. They are invited to drive to Birmingham and having failed their resistance do so.
Back at Jenny's she is scared and talks through the chain on the door. It becomes apparent that she is lying but unlike Peckard, she is doing so of her own violation. The warrant card is pulled again and she admits to having seen Scott, that he is in hiding, believing he is being watched. He'd come back for money and left yesterday morning.
The team decided at this point that they would book into a local hotel and pick up the thread next morning.