You wake up cold, weary, puzzled, in what looks like a hospital bed. You have no idea how you got here - your last memory is of a perfectly normal evening in the sleepy town of Bassethwaite. Around you are other beds, each containing a patient dressed like yourself in a white robe, each also waking up. You recognize some of them… but others look very peculiar indeed. There are no staff, and there is no clock. And there are no doors or windows…
Prepare to have your vital signs tested in Human Racing, the enigmatic new freeform from Epic Experience, on Saturday afternoon.
Learie Cartwright, 76, who lived in Well Lane, Bassethwaite, was a very wealthy man, having inherited family money (the Cartwrights are an offshoot of the old Bassett family) and made more during the new technology stocks boom of a few years back. He had three grown-up children: internet cheese merchant Kate (she owns www.wheyhey.com and is married to farmer Kester Trode), accountant Jennifer (married to, and in professional partnership with, Iqbal Khan), and young Alex. Two years ago he married a much younger woman, Janis. It is generally believed that there is some tension between Janis and her stepchildren.
Cartwright was found dead in his study at 6 pm yesterday, stabbed several times in the chest with his own paperknife (which was left on the scene, but had been wiped clean of fingerprints). There was a look of absolute horror on his face. The body was found by the family servant Atkins, who also lived in the house (the establishment is completed by a dog, named George).
Cartwright had seen all the people named above at lunch, between 1 and 3 that afternoon, after which he announced that he was going to his study to rewrite his will. (Neighbours reported that the lunch was a rather heated affair.) All remained at the house throughout the afternoon.
Atkins was stood on duty outside Cartwright's study all afternoon, and reports that no-one entered or left the room. It does have patio doors leading onto the garden, which were normally kept locked. They can be opened with a key (held by Cartwright) from the outside, or a handle from the inside. They are shut simply by being pulled / pushed.
Although Cartwright said that he was going to be writing his will, and he was found seated at his desk with writing materials out, no will was found.
Today we're talking to Marcus Gray, renowned computer researcher who's recently set up his workshop in our humble little town.
So what drew you to Bassethwaite, Marcus?
Well, to be honest it was mostly because of the comprehensive EU funding I was offered (laughs). Mayor Evans has really done a good job of wangling that! But it's a lovely town too, of course.
I don't know anything about computers… I'm scared of my own mouse! But can you put in lay terms, so our readers can understand, exactly what it is you work on?
No, I can't really, I'm afraid.
Because it's top-secret?
No, not that, it's just that it's too complicated to explain to someone without any technical knowledge.
Erm… well, it says on your sign that you're an "AI researcher". Does that mean that intelligent robots will soon be busting out of your workshop and stalking up and down Well Lane?
No! It's not like that at all. Look, really I don't think there's anything more that I can say which will be helpful.
Marcus Gray, thank you very much.
Premiere: GenCon UK 2005
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Last update: 4th November 2011