Red Hand of Mars

Chapter the Third

Inquiries and Iniquities

From the Strelsau Bullenspiel:
Streets Covered In Blood
Martian Influence Suspected
Dateline: Sternberg (Wilhelm Rathstein)
Rumors have reached as far as Strelsau of the horrible happenings at Sternberg. Normal working men have suddenly gone on crazed killing sprees, turning on loved ones and strangers alike. Over a score of innocent men, women and children have fallen victim to these mindless murderers—the latest being newly engaged Freda Adenaur, age 16, of Jungwirth. Why did young Freda die? For the answer, your intrepid correspondent traveled to Sternberg to investigate.
Fraulein Adenaur was slain by Karl Schmidt, a local Sternberg millworker, at the Okoberfest celebration in Sternberg Castle. No connection between the two is known; from all accounts, Schmidt simply went mad, and Adenaur was unfortunate enough to be nearby. Driven by madness to superhuman strength, Schmidt slew the young woman with one brutal punch. He then seriously injured Augustus Klein (41, Sternberg) and attacked others before being dispatched by Mr Jimothy Sobson of Strelsau, with the able assistance of noted Strelsau boxer Mr. Charles Faustmann, Mr. Luther Hart (Sternberg), and Captain R. von Hentzau of the King’s Own Hussars.

Foreign Scientist Distributes Secret Serum
What was the cause of Schmidt’s madness? No one knows, but investigators have reason to suspect an elixir created by English scientist Margaret Heathmoor. Miss Heathmoor, who left England for reasons unknown, claims the nostrum is intended to aid the recovery of injured soldiers. Baron Sternberg approved the research, but he must now be rethinking that decision, in light of its cost. The English scientist claims the formula is harmless, but her Ruritanian guinea pigs would tell a different story, if they were alive. Half a dozen men are known to have taken the so-called regenerative serum; all six went mad and attacked bystanders until they were slain. Heathmoor and Sternberg’s Burgomeister H. Schultz have no record that Schmidt had taken this serum. Did he receive a stolen dose, perhaps with the connivance of Heathmoor’s “American” research assistant? Did Schmidt contract this plague of madness from a previous victim? Martian aerial craft were spotted in the vicinity—but why? Are Heathmoor or her “friend”, the mysterious Stella Vanderbolt, agents of the English government—or of Mars? For the answers to these and other hard-hitting questions, read tomorrow’s Strelsau Bullenspiel !


Don’t believe everything you read. :)

Chapter the Third
Runehorn Runehorn

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