Demon de Laplace: The Gathering
by d_Galloway

Chapter 1: Alex Quinn

Alex stood in his office, looking out the window. Night had fallen on Boston, like always, but something about it seemed darker than usual. The streets were eerily deserted; even the cats seemed to be missing.

Then again, maybe it was his imagination.

He returned to his paper. The morning was complete hell, with yet another dissapearance in Newcam. Where the hell were all these people going to? Alex's thoughts soon trailed from this as he opened the front page.

"Any minute now," he thought quietly to himself. And soon enough, his thoughts were answered when Captain Stuart entered the office.

"Quinn!" shouted Stuart, demanding Alex's complete attention. "Your new assignment just arrived. You're to investigate the Newcam cases!"

Alex suddenly felt the urge to talk back to his superior, but wisely controlled his anger. Stuart handed him a vanilla envelope containing a train ticket, some cash, and a large portion of the information they had available on the case. "Your train leaves tommorrow morning at 8:00 am sharp. Once you arrive in Newcam, blend into the background for a few days. Then investigate this house," said Stuart, pointing at a spot on a map of Newcam.

Alex simply looked at the map for a bit, then looked back at Stuart. "Why there exactly?"

Stuart was as pissed as someone could get. "Listen, you! The dissapearances seem to accure at this house. It belongs to a man named Benedict. We don't have any real information on him-my guess is that he's just some odd screwball. Find as much as you can on the case. That's an order!" With that, Stuart left.

Alex looked at the papers for a bit, then at the tickets. He wasn't just going to investigate this case, he was going to solve it! This would be the perfect thing for snagging that promotion. "Then," he thought, "I'll teach that bastard Stuart some manners."

Chapter 2: Dick August

The rain poured heavily as August walked down the streets of Chicago. The sun had barely shown its face that day, and the streets were beginning to flood. None of this bothered August. After all, what was stranger than him?

He continued until he reached the slums. His home. No one bothered him, and he bothered no one. It was the perfect existance. No worries, no corruption, no problems. This was as close to paradise that someone like him could reach.

His thoughts were soon disturbed when he heard the distinct sound of someone sneaking up behind him. Of course, he didn't need to hear anything. The attacker didn't know who he was dealing with. August spun around quickly.

His attacker was a drunken hobo armed with a dangerous knife. The man had a look of madness and desperation on his face, all the more present with the drool that flowed from his mouth. Evidently this man had been around the speak-easy for quite a while, for the smell of assorted liquirs rose from his ragged clothes. A newspaper was tucked into his arm.

The man gave a mad look, then sharply said, "Go to hell, you freak!" He lunged, but August easily sidestepped the blow. This guy was asking for it. August immediately began to concentrate on his soon-to-be victim. The hobo charged forward again, but there was no escaping this time.

A small fire suddenly began to burst from August's hands. The hobo realized too late the mistake he had made. The poor fool was burnt until he finally collapsed and died. August stopped his fire and checked the corpse. He found some money in a pocket-stolen, no doubt. But what really intrigued him was the newspaper. He took one look at the front page, which told of the Newcam dissapearances, and immediately ran toward the train station. He knew there was something wrong.

He knew he had to try to stop it.

Chapter 3: Morgan Dylan

Morgan sat at her desk. She thought long and hard about what life had thrown at her. It was rare that an amatuer journalist-especially a woman-would be chosen to cover the Newcam story. Still, she needed the extra pay.

She left promptly at 4 pm and headed for her apartment. Her clothes had been packed yesterday, and she had been given a train ticket to Newcam, as well as a night's reservation at the Newcam Hotel. She packed her camera and film, and, with a short look back, closed the door.

She arrived at the station shortly after six. She quickly jumped onto the train just as it was about to leave, made her way to a passanger car, and fell asleep. She dreamed of what this would bring her: fame, money, appeal. She wanted it all. She knew she was self-centered, but she didn't care.

All she wanted was to be happy.

Chapter 4: Lamont Blackwood

Lamont arrived at Boston three days ago. His vacation had to be reworked due to bad weather, but he was still enjoying himself. It had been years since his last vacation, but he preferred not to remember that one.

He opened the paper at breakfast, was startled at the front page. He read about the Newcam dissapearances, and quickly rose from the table and returned to his room. He felt something very wrong about Newcam, but was captivated to learn about the case. He boarded a train to Newcam that afternoon.

He reached the passanger car and entered the first cabin he saw. He was surprised to see a young woman fast asleep in there already. He stealthely entered the room and closed the door behind him. The woman began to stir slightly.

"My apologies," said Lamont, "I hope I haven't disturbed you."

"No apologies neccessary," said the young woman, "I needed to be awake anyway. So, where are you headed?"

Lamont puzzled over what to give as a response, then decided to tell the truth. "Newcam." The young woman was shocked. "Really? That's where I'm going, too!"

The two talked until they reached Newcam.

Chapter 5: Vincent Hoffman

Vincent stared at his invention. The university had never really believed in his machine, and had threatened to cut his budget several times. Now it was complete.

All he had to do was test it.

He thought of the place almost instantly: Newcam. He had a gut feeling that something...inhuman...was working there. And since this machine's purpose was to explore the supernatural, he knew that Newcam was perfect. He borded a train that night for Newcam, and never looked back.

Chapter 6: David Hunter (the hero)

David looked out the window of his cabin. The train had been moving for hours, with no scenery whatsoever. Here he was, a damn fine PI, stuck with a bullshit assignment. He wasn't even being paid that much.

He held in his hand a file containing all of the information on the case. He had picked it up a few days ago from the Boston Police, and had read through it about seven times on the train. All he could make out of it were sketchy reports of screams and howls from the Benedict Mansion, the total number of dissapearances, and the name of the detective working on the case: Alex Quinn.

There were no other passangers in the cabin. He was completely alone with his thoughts- ironically, all he could think about was how downright shitty it was for him to be working on this case. If the Newcam Police would just do their damn job, he wouldn't have to worry about this. But no, they had to call him in for help. If it wasn't for the fact that he had no assignments for weeks, he would've passed on it in a heart beat.

Suddenly, one of the conducters opened the door to his cabin and simply said, "Next stop, Newcam.", then left. David gathered up his belongings, put the file safely into his suitcase, and disembarked from the train at Newcam. He simply walked to the hotel.

Little did any of them know, but the fate of the world would soon lie in their hands...