Tuesday Feb. 3rd, Late afternoon
Fleet Street, Offices of The Scoop, London
Outside the door marked “The Scoop” on the third floor, Whistler listens to a conversation between Steven Hughes and Mickey Mahoney. The group enters. Mahoney tells them about Elias’ visit, the three stories he was interested in. Meet Hughes, a medium also sometimes writing for the paper. Mahoney makes it obvious that he’s willing to pay for good stories — “blood and sex always sell.”
Tuesday, Early evening
Shipley House, Holbein Mewes, London
Group heads off to nearby Holbein Mewes with Mr. Hughes to visit the house of the artist who is subject of one of the stories, Miles Shipley. Greeted by Mrs. Shipley, and gain entry by posing as interested (and well-funded) buyers. In the attic, Miles is at work on a new canvas and is clearly insane. Whistler looks at too many paintings, Emile studies the Black Mountain painting. Dr. Schmidt tries to sneak away to investigate the rest of the house, is followed by Mrs. Shipley. He notices that her shadow, glimpsed for a moment in the dimly-lit house, seems to be that of a much taller and much more reptilian shape. Whistler pulls out weapons, tense standoff, flash bang, prized painting and a note of credit for the black mountain canvas. Harkov keeps an eye on Miles.
After taking a cheque drawn on Emile’s UK accounts at Bank of England, Mrs. Shipley offers them the chance to view Miles’ masterpiece, and shows Emile, Hughes, and Dr. Schmidt past a locked door to a small cubby-like room at one end of the attic, wherein a painting depicts an rough stone alter in a serpent-infested swamp. Dr. Schmidt shines his flashlight on Mrs. Shipley, revealing her shadow to Emile and Hughes, who are still gazing at the painting. The image grows more realistic as they gaze at it, and suddenly Emile is gone from the attic and a tiny painted representation of him is now in the painting.
Hughes wrests his gaze from the painting as Whistler, Harkov, and Dr. Schmidt panic and attack Mrs. Shipley, who misses Hughes with a wickedly sharp-looking knitting needle before being clubbed by Whistler, at which point a seven-foot-tall, lithe reptilian humanoid burst from within Mrs. Shipley’s shattered flesh and starts snapping its jaws. Whistler clubs the creature again and demands the return of Emile, and the serpant creature seems to capitulate.