Alright, then.. so the story goes like this:
After our heroes found the final resting place of the old spanish pearl galleon for Nebraska, but utterly failed to recover anything besides the captain’s seal and log, they were all set to fly back to New York, the catch the liner back to Liverpool and Old Blighty. But, as luck would have it, the plane broke down just after passing texas, and had to set down. Luckily (or maybe not), the party was given 1st class tickets on the train to New York – and there was a dining car and all! So off they went. On the way through Arkansas, the dinner was rudely interrupted by a loud noise, and when Wilfred checked out the window, he found that the track had been undermined in the heavy rains of the last few days, and the train was about to derail itself.
The options were simple enough: stay on the train and ride it out (not a good call) or try to get off, before the train jumps the tracks. Wilfred ordered everyone towards the back of the train, to try to decouple the carriages and brake them manually before reaching the cut in the line. Susan got the message loud and clear, but started turning the brake wheel just before Florian was to jump across, resulting in him hanging between the buffers, having a rather too close look at the rails below, before pulling himself back up. It quickly became apparent that the “Braking the carriages”-scheme wouldn’t work, so people started bailing out in quick succession, starting with Florian, who took a quick tumble down a meadow, and looked up just in time to see a package crate bounding towards him, spewing pots, pans and other assorted ironware in all directions.
Luckily, the crate bounced right by him, and none of the others were really badly hurt, except for some bruised egos. Unfortunately the rest of the trains occupants hadn’t been so lucky. Both the engineer and conductor had died when the engine exploded. Wilfred investigated the break in the line, and didn’t find any signs of sabotage, while Susan and Elisabeth set out warning lights to either side of the crash site. Before too long a couple of trucks came by on the nearby country road, and after a quick discussion, our heroes were driven up to the nearby Jones’ farm, where the local sheriff (in Monticello, AS) was called and informed of the accident. The Sheriff told them to come to Monticello with the bodies, and to stay in town until he had questioned them the next day. On the drive up the Jones farm, the driver remarked that a lot of bad things had been happening, lately – starting off with a meteorite crashing into one of Jones’ fields, just over a week before.
Monticello turned out to be a bit of nowhere, a small dinky town on the wrong side of the tracks. After dropping off the bodies, Wilfred and Florian were patched up in the emergency room (nothing more than a couple of stitches), while Elisabeth nosed around, and came across a mental patient in another ward. The man was clearly deranged, and kept babbling on about something “in the middle of the corn field”, “talking to it, but not saying anything” and it “came from the sky”. Elisabeth tried to find out what medication the poor sod was on, and who he was. He turned out to be a mister Edwards from the Department of Agriculture’s field office in Little Rock, which seemed ood, the say the least. Meanwhile Susan went to book some rooms in the nice hotel in town, while Florian, Olav and Khamil went across the tracks to find something to drink and locals to talk to. There was a LOT to drink (prohibition apparently didn’t apply in Arkansas) and some friendly locals who had some interesting things to tell: A lot of things had gone missing in the last week: turkeys, ponies, cattle and hobos – ever since that meteor came down – the farmers were digging in, not trusting anyone, and some hotshot government type had even paid Jones some kind of compensation, which interested Olav to no end – the government handing out free money?! Anyways, it was unanimously agreed that they would go check out the meteor the next morning – but first another round of drinks.
The next morning found Susan, Elisabeth and Wilfred well rested, but with no sign of the rest of the louts. However, after a brief search, they were found in a rather sorry state at the other hotel in town, but some cold water and coffee soon fixed them up. While Elisabeth tried to find out more about Mr Edwards, Olav made a beeline for the mayors office to find the nice man who gave away money for free. Olav found his secretary, and eventually him, but got nowhere, money-wise (he did annoy the heck out of LaRoche, though)
Susan and Florian went to talk to the local newspaper – trading the story of Florian’s heroism in the train wreck for the inside scoop on what was happening in town. Everything had started a week before, on monday, with the meteor crashing down. Jones and his neighbour, Martin had argued over who owned the darned thing. Then things had started disappearing from the countryside. On wednesday Mr Edwards had arrived and started asking questions. On friday some guy names LaRoche had arrived from Washington DC, and had immediately had Edwards committed to the hospital – and paid Jones some money(!) – and then on sunday, the train wreck. The editor was convinced that some big time hush-up was happening. Martin had gone weird – Jones and Martin had argued over who owned the meteor, and then the guvmint had taken the rock, and paid Jones – to shut up??
With their interest peeked, the party set off towards the Jones farm, to talk to him, and find out some more about the weird happenings. Jones greeted them, and said they were welcome to look at the crash site, but said that the rock was gone. The site was quickly found on the border between Martin’s and Jones’ land. The crater had some traces of some white crystalline material, that Olav thought would be a great idea to taste (go figure). Aaanyhoo, the party decided to go visit the Martins – Wilfred and Susan wanted to take the truck they had leased, the rest wanted to stroll over, figuring Martin wouldn’t shoot them without warning.
Florian, Khamil, Olav and Elisabeth hadn’t gotten that far before they found one of the missing cows – it had literally been sucked into the ground! While that bit of shock was sinking in, Florian felt the ground give way beneath him and something grabbed his leg and pulled!! Luckily he was able to pull himself free, and saw… A GIANT WORM!!!! I MEAN HUGE!!! Now the course of action was clear: Get to the Martin’s farm PDQ – someone had left a wagon in the field, and it was downhill to the farm, so they quickly made their way down, only causing moderate damage to the surroundings.
The Martin’s farm was eerily quiet. Nobody could be found anywhere, including the livestock. But on searching the house, Florian found the way to the basement, where someone had been digging a big hole in the wall – and there was some of the white crystals on the floor. Just as the party was examining the hole in the wall, a giant worm attacked out of it! Thing s were about to get hairy, but again Florian was the man of the hour, hacking a big chunk of the worm off, which caused the chunk to turn to the crystaline material. Everyone were congratulating themselves when a gigantic tremor (!) struck, and