Frank Meets Hank

The vapid black expanse of nothing Franklin walks on begins to change. It twists, like a kaleidoscope, shifting into a dull gray stone tunnel. The bright white light at the end fades to a warm orange fluorescent glow, and the mouth of the tunnel opens out onto a cobblestone street. A man in a suit with dark circles under his eyes stands in front of the opening, looking confused as to what he should be doing. A few pedestrians shuffle by on the opposite side of the street, dressed in various old fashioned formal garments, but they don't speak or make eye contact. Stars speckle the night sky like the dust of crushed diamonds.

OOC: All are free to post as they please


Franklin looks around: he is not sure how he got here, and it certainly does not look like the neighborhood he left.

He walks on, approaching the man in the suit, cautiously.

"Uhm… hi, please, do you know these whereabouts? I fear I'm lost. Oh, and did you see a strange tin police car?"


Hank turns to Franklin, eyeing him speculatively.

"We're all lost round here…" he says in a mock-spooky voice. Seeing Franklin's less-than-amused reaction, Hank tries to reassure. "Just kidding. Just got in myself, no idea where we are. Tin police car? Can't say I did."

Hank rocks on his heels a couple of moments, whistling tunelessly under his breath. Suddenly he remembers himself, and extends a nicotine-stained hand.

"Sorry, been a long time with no shut-eye. Hank's the name, pleased to meet'cha. Can't bum a cigarette from you can I?" he asks, winking a little awkwardly.


A man with a thick moustache in an old Victorian suit strolls by and glances at a stopwatch, wiping his brow. He pauses, and leans on his decorative cane, tipping his small hat twoards Hank and Franklin. "Lovely night for a stroll, isn't it, sirs?" He asks in a thick Yorkshire accent as he passes by, smiling. "Though it is ghastly hot!"


Franklin shakes hand with Hank, after only a moment of hesitation.

"Hi Hank, I'm Franklin, and yeah, I'm tired, too. Sorry, but no cigarette: I don't smoke."

Then Franklin eyes the victorian man, nodding to him, and whispers from the corner of his mouth to Hank: "Who's this guy? And what's with the weird costume? Is there a party nearby"?


"Lovely," Hank answers the Yorkshireman. "Takes all kinds I guess," Hank whispers to Franklin noncommittally. "Frankly Franklin, nothing much is starting to surprise me. I haven't got a lot to go on, 'cause my memory's not what it - probably - once was. But all of what I've got to compare," he says, tapping the side of his head, "all seems pretty out there to me."

"Hey buddy," Hank calls to the oddly-dressed man with an over-loud voice. "I need to find a guy, name of Clockwise. You heard of him?"


The man holds up a gloved hand, as if hailing a taxi, and sure enough a few seconds later a 1970's American yellow taxicab drives up and stops next to him. He turns to Hank as he steps inside.

"He's probably still in his house, Mr. Sterner. 2436 Cheshire Lane, ninth floor. I rather thought that you knew everyone around this neighborhood." He says with a jolly grin, shutting the cab door. "108 Pennywhistle Drive, please." He says to the driver, withdrawing a swiss army knife from his pocket and rolling up his sleeves as the car drives off in a cloud of exhaust.


Hank hoists his eyebrows high on his forehead and swivels back to face Franklin. "Well… apparently my face has a history round here. Or one very like mine."

Hank pats his pockets distractedly, looking for a cigarette before remembering he doesn't have any. "Never thought I was a smoker. More weird. Ah!" he exclaims as his hand touches on the whiskey bottle in his bulging jacket pocket. "You want a swig? Don't drink myself - much, anyway," he says, pulling out the bottle. "And don't worry about those little things floating around in there. Surely harmlessly pickled by now…" he trails off, an unsure expression on his rumpled face.

"So what do you want to do? Want to tag along while I try and find this Cheshire Lane place? Could help you get your bearings."


Franklin is still confused, not knowing what to do, with a bewildered expression on his face. The most normal looking guy around (Hank) is almost as strange as the rest.

…but he does not know what to do, so…

"Well, I don't know… yes, we can go. But in the meantime, let's try and find out where the police station is, or something."


"Great! Pick a direction - I have no idea where either Cheshire Lanes nor police stations hide out in this neighborhood. Hey! How about this way?" Hank suggests, talking over his shoulder as he wheels toward a damp-looking alley way leading to a yellowly gas-lit street beyond. "Looks like our kind of direction, right?"

Waving Franlklin onward, Hank leads the way into the cobbled alley and deeper into this strange world.


Franklin follows Hank's lead, tired and confused, but wary, eyeing doors, windows and alleys. He is half trying to find some familiar place, and half hoping to see his brother just pass by with the police officers.


The alleys twist and turn at illogical angles, doubling back on themselves and sometimes leading to dead ends. Stranger still is that the windows in the buildings appear to be painted on. A few roadsigns stationed at intersections point in random directions, (including upwards) and occasionally contradict each other. Most streets have peculiar names, such as Munchausen street, Somatization boulevard, and Hysteria avenue. After about twenty minutes of wandering, you stumble across one of them that reads "Cheshire Lane".

A little farther down the alley, a small cluster of homeless people in matching faded plaid jackets gather around a trash can fire by the steps of a wide, polished granite building labeled "Mad City Police Office". It looks like the back entrance.


"Well friend," Hank says to Franklin, "looks like here is where we part ways. You sure you want to go to someplace called 'Mad City Police Office'?"


"Uh… I don't know… that place looks spooky."

he hesitates

"Hey, listen, we can make a deal: I go with you to that Cheshire Lane, and later you'll accompany me to the backdoor to the police office to ask a couple of questions. If things get hairy, we can walk away."


"Walk away, run away… you got a deal," Hanks says, shaking on it.


Franklin follows Hank, trying to clear his mind a bit to be present and ready.

(Thinks) Well… as present and ready as possible… I'm so tired…

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