Sunday, May 19, 2024

Crossover of the Week

Summer 1936


Harry Dickson meets with Prime Minister Caius Keyes and his wife Angelique. Keyes introduces Dickson to Doctor Omega and Captain Gullivar Jones. An object like a comet or meteor has crashed in Clapham Common, which Keyes initially assumed was a precursor to an alien invasion, being as familiar with the historical works of H. G. Wells as anyone. Omega says he is aware of a dog-like wolf with human-level intelligence which manifests itself at certain points in history, calling it the Hound of the Baskervilles, the Hound of Death, and the Beast of Gevaudan. Dickson has enough firearms to equip a fair-sized dinosaur-hunting party to the Lost World. Omega describes lights they see as the Aether’s spatio-temporal vortex. The inhabitant of the crashed time machine, injured from the mesonychid wolf’s attack, identifies himself as Heracles Danby. The injured Omega, Jones, and Danby, as well as another man, are treated in a high dependency ward run by a Dr. Mannering from Cardiff. The third man’s belongings bear the legend Catharus Mine, while his dog tags identify him as Adam Oberstein. Dickson witnesses a scene of horror that reminds him of the Miller’s Court Triptych painted by Walter Sickert depicting the death of the final victim of Jack the Ripper that he had been shown back when he was a member of the Roebuck Cabal. The Prime Minister says he used to be part of the Home Office’s elite Gordian Squad, but Dickson thinks that surely one of the Great Men of Baker Street or Rouletabille would have told him about it. The Frost Wolf is killed by Pandora, who is accompanied by Liandra Ritter and her son Kulath Jr., who refers to Danby as “grandfather.” Omega warns Dickson about Total Security Management and the Cull Men. 

Short story by Martin Gately in Exquisite Pandora and Other Fantastic Adventures, Black Coat Press, 2020. Harry Dickson appeared in pulp stories by Jean Ray and others. Caius Keyes, Angelique Datura, and the Gordian Squad first appeared in Gately’s “The White Box.” Doctor Omega is the title character of Arnould Galopin’s science fiction novel. Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier’s translation of that book identified Omega with Doctor Who. The lights are the Time Vortex from Doctor Who. Gullivar Jones is from Edwin L. Arnold’s Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation. The H. G. Wells reference evokes The War of the Worlds. The wolf first appeared in Gately’s “Wolf at the Door of Time.” The Hound of the Baskervilles is from the titular Sherlock Holmes novel. The Hound of Death is from Agatha Christie’s story of the same name. The Lost World is from Arthur Conan Doyle’s eponymous book. Heracles Danby, Liandra Ritter, and Kulath Sr. are from Gately’s “The Cataclysm Will Not Be Televised.” Dr. Frank Mannering is from the movie Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. The Catharus Mine is from Gately’s “Rouletabille and the New World Order,” and is associated with the Catharus Society, a precursor to THRUSH from the TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Adam Oberstein is related to spy Hugo Oberstein from Doyle and Watson’s Sherlock Holmes tales “The Adventure of the Second Stain” and “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans.” The Roebuck Cabal is from Gately’s eponymous story. As established in Gately’s stories about Gaston Leroux’s journalist and detective Rouletabille, the Great Men of Baker Street are Sherlock Holmes, Sexton Blake, Seaton Begg (from the works of Michael Moorcock), and Victor Drago (from the British comic book Tornado). Pandora is from Gately’s “Exquisite Pandora.” Total Security Management and the Cull Men appear in another story by Gately, “The Unfettered Man,” set in one of the many possible futures for the CU. 

This crossover writeup is one of over a thousand included in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, coming this summer from Meteor House! All three volumes are AUTHORIZED companions to Win Scott Eckert's Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!

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