©1991 Per Okerstrom
[handout #1, a newspaper article]
SEA SERPENT — AT LAST?
Mystery Carcass Washes Ashore
Officials are baffled as to the origin of a putrefying monstrosity that made landfall here in late August. The creature, some forty feet in total length, seems to possess several fins or arms. Everand Horne, founder of the Boston Marine Studies Group at Boston University, heralded the discovery as a major scientific coup. Dr. Horne was surprised to find rows of strange quill-like bristles under some of the limbs, but was unprepared to make a detailed statement, saying that the matter warranted further study. Arrangements are currently being made to transport the remains to Boston University. Dr. Horne promises to release his findings at some later date.
[handout #2, a letter to the investigators]
I am afraid my husband has met with foul play! The police have done every thing in their power to find him, but alas have come up empty. A colleague of my husband suggested I should try a private investigator. So now, I turn to you.
He has been missing for almost three weeks and although I am not sure, I think it might have something to do with his “Sea Serpent?” For you see, it is missing too!
I do hope you’ll take my case? I can be reached at the above address or by phone at BR3-4301.
Mrs. Abigail Horne
Abigail is indeed right. Both her husband and his mysterious find are missing. But what she failed to mention is that her husband’s partner, Elias Whitney, and his pretty young wife are also nowhere to be found. Rumors abound about the doctor’s infidelities. Is it a simple case of marital discord or something more sinister?
1. The remains of the creature are in fact those of a large Basking Shark. The animal is actually quite rare but hardly preternatural. Everand Horne, embarrassed at the publicity surrounding his Sea Serpent story, has gone into hiding. Elias, who threatened to expose Everand and his monster as a fake, is currently enjoying an extended holiday on the Studies Group’s funds. Which of course, is another reason for Everand’s strange disappearance.
2. Everand Horne has run off with his colleague’s wife. Having murdered Elias and in need of some quick money they have sold the serpent off to a questionable showman named Barclay Shaw. The monster can now be seen touring the county as “The Krakatoa Kraken.”
3. Everand, Elias and his wife have been kidnapped by cultists who are intent on proving the Hollow World theories of John Cleves-Symmes. They see the creature as a Plesiosaur and proof positive that Cleves-Symmes was right. What they have in store for the Doctor and his friends hasn’t been decided.
4. The creature is a Sea-Shoggoth. Deep Ones from Innsmouth have enlisted the aid of Elias Whitney, a Deep One/human hybrid to destroy Everand and his findings. Elias’s position within the Marine Studies Group has allowed him to keep tabs on how much the humans have learned about the Deep Ones and their under-sea activities.
5. The creature is a shape-shifting alien. It has transmogrified into the bodies of Everand, Elias and his wife and an unfortunate janitor, who so far hasn’t been counted among the victims. Who knows, perhaps Abigail herself will bring in some easy prey?