San Francisco. 1936.
After years of drifting from police department to police department throughout the country, former Texas Ranger and now Detective Reno Gabriel finds a home here in the crossroads of shadows and masks.
Reno soon gets to know the city, from the palatial homes in Pacific Heights to the lowest dens of Chinatown. The rowdy bars and the murderous docks.
He soon corrals an informant named Jack Rubenstein, who desperately wants to be a policeman, but his connections to the Chicago mob are a problem. Reno suggests to Rubenstein that he take another name: Jack Ruby (and yes, it's that Jack Ruby.)
But Reno has a secret. When he was a boy, he'd made a deal with the devourer of evil souls, a demon named Ammut.
purgatory, Texas, 1923.
Now an orphan, a young Reno gets lost in a travelling carny on the dusty plains, he finds himself drawn by the sound of a deck of cards. Shuffling, cut, shuffling... which leads him to a moth-eaten tent. Where he meets Ammut.
Ammut's cards reveal to Reno that he will soon carry the light of justice. That darkness will be drawn to him.
In the Hall of Two Truths, the 'Devourer of the Dead', 'Eater of Hearts' and 'Great of Death' Ammut weighed the heart of the newly dead against the feather of Ma'at, the goddess of truth. If the heart, heavy with sin, outweighed it, Ammut would devour that soul.
Reno, it seems, may have a heart heavy with sin...
Reno's Texas Ranger father Augustus was being slowly possessed by Zal'Zael, a former high priest of a long forgotten Ur-God. After months of whispering in his ear, Augustus had almost given up his free will entirely and was about to sacrifice a young girl named Tess Darcy to that god. The long dead high priest was moments away from possessing a body again, but...
Unknown to Reno, Augustus had been Ammut's provider of evil souls for years prior. But their partnership made him, over time, lose his free will, which made him fodder for Zal'Zael's influence and whispers of a darker kind of justice.
To save Tess, Gabriel had no choice but to shoot Augustus. Zal'Zael, furious, captures Augustus' soul and steals it away. And in doing so, Zal'Zael, in a fit of rage, destroys Reno's home town with a cyclone.
A question is: Did Reno kill Augustus, who was a brutal father, with hate in his heart, or did he thwart Zal'Zael to save Tess?
Who was in that body the moment that bullet hit?
Ammut feels guilty, as much as a demigod shadow-walker can feel guilt. She decides to become Reno's guardian to help him regain his father's soul. To prevent Reno from going the way of his father, she decides that the cards should suggest a path, rather than her just ordering him to do her bidding.
But in doing so, in becoming her partner, Reno has become the carrier of Ra, the light of justice, and a target for evil, forever.
And back to 1936...
Reno, as usual, finds himself in a tough situation. While investigating a few bloodless corpses missing adrenal glands that washed up in the Bay, Reno finds the common thread: They all answered a 'lonely hearts' ad in the paper. Following that lead, he finds himself in the palatial home of Dr. Livia Ravenscroft...
...the trouble is, she has two brothers, Nicolas and Damian. Both are, well, unique...
...eventually Reno, after the blackout flashback, awakens to see... trouble.
So it goes...
The rest of the original screenplay (slowly) turned into a graphic novel has twists and turns, redemption and secrets, monsters and Nazis. Tess arrives with trouble in tow. Reno catches and loses Livia Ravenscroft. And the resurrection of a long dead Ur-God by Zal'Zael, who now inhabits the body of a drunken doctor...
The world of reno Gabriel
The veil between our everyday reality and strangeness is especially thin, although the vast majority of the citizens don't notice it. Shadow-walkers and those otherworldly types corral humans as either slaves or warriors. Meanwhile other humans gleefully have no qualms in doing harm to others. In the alleyways, sprawling cellars and rooftops there are battles between good, evil, and those characters in between.
Some monsters are human, others aren't. Immortals walk the earth. Spirits possess the flesh of those who have given up their own free will. Adventurers, con men, the wealthy, gangsters, politicians and cops all are fighting for a slice of the city.
The only hard and fast rules for this world I'd created: No aliens, no vampires, and the devil is a myth.
the world in 1936.
Nazi groups rallied openly on the streets as the shadow of fascism rose in the world. American collaborators in politics and the media applauded it and attacked any attempts to fight it. Nazis openly ran for the Presidency.
On his privately funded radio program, the anti-Communist and pro fascist Charles Edward Coughlin aka Father Coughlin promotes the governments of Adolph Hitler and Il Duce aka The Leader aka Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini as an antidote to Communism, rails that Jewish bankers were behind the Russian Revolution, and that Russian Bolshevism is a Jewish phenomenon.
The media and politicians fought the New Deal programs that were to rectify the poverty caused by the crash of 1929, which was was still rampant. Dusty refugees were still fleeing the devastation in the midwest as the wealthy kept getting wealthier.
Monsters like Albert Fish were put to death. Others were just starting their careers.
Meanwhile, the Hoover Dam was completed, the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge were under construction. Miracles in science and architecture were blooming.
This is the (so far) section in my 'True-Enough Timeline of Worldwide Weirdness' for 1936...
"These crumbling ruins of a long-perished city, where mummified human forms revealed that seven-foot giants and three foot pygmies apparently lived together, were found by Paxson C. Hayes, ethnologist, who has spent the last seven years exploring the upland wastes of northern Mexico. The architecture is of a type never before discovered, resembling that of cliff dwellings but with distinct Mongolian features. The strange civilization is believed to antedate that of the Mayans. Hayes plans an expedition for a thorough search of the huge caves in Sonora, 400 miles from Hermosillo City." - Spokane Daily Chronicle, January 9th.
Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Ossining, New York. January 16th. 11:06 p.m. Cannibal and child rapist Hamilton Howard 'Albert' Fish is electrocuted for the murder of Grace Budd, however he remained a suspect in the deaths or disappearances of Emma Richardson, age 5, October 3rd, 1926, Yetta Abramowitz, age 12, 1927, Emil Aalling, age 4, July 13th, 1930, Robin Jane Liu, age 6, May 2nd, 1931, Mary Ellen O'Connor, age 16, February 15th, 1932 and Benjamin Collings, age 17, December 15th, 1932. He claimed to have molested four hundred children over twenty years, and suggested to have murdered between six and fifteen children.
"I don't even know why I'm here." - Hamilton Howard 'Albert' Fish.
Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, tells members of his church that the Rapture is to take place in 1936, and that only they would saved. After the prophecy failed, the date changed three more times to 1943, 1972, 1975...
Pont Beudet, Haiti. Night. While walking home from a dead car down a muddy road, Ivan T. Sanderson and his wife find themselves momentarily on a cobblestone Paris street lined with candlelit houses and high sidewalks 500 years ago.
Mount Everest, Himalayan Mountains, Nepal, South Asia. English mountaineer and explorer Major Harold William 'Bill' Tilman (February 14th, 1898 - 1977) finds strange footprints in the snow by the outer reaches of the snow line.
Nicaragua. "Press accounts say that the skeleton of a gigantic man, with head missing, has been unearthed at El Boquin, on the Mico River, in the Chontales district. The ribs are a yard long and four inches wide, and the shin bone is too heavy for one man to carry. 'Chontales' is an Indian word meaning 'wild-men." - New York Times, February 14th.
End of the world, according to some pyramidologists.
Kheldyu - Iron Houses, Siuldiukar, Uliuiu Cherkechekh - The Valley of Death, Mirny, Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Retired Evenk trade merchant Savvinov, who traded on the route from Bodaibo through Annybar to the coast of the Laptev Sea, takes his granddaughter Zina through a small, slightly flattened, metallic reddish arch, down a spiral passageway, into a number of metal chambers in which they spent the night...
"Aughamullan, which is on the shores of Lough Neagh, and the most populous townland in Dungannon Union, has become a centre of attraction by reason of the fact that in a house, now vacant, mysterious lights appear nightly. When a 'Northern Whig' representative visited the farmstead neighbours spoke with awe of the strange happenings. James Herron, the nearest resident, said the former owner, Michael Quinn, who resided alone, visited his house about a fortnight ago and got a bag of turf which he carried home. Mr Herron's son, Patrick, accompanied the old man, who was suffering from a severe cold, to the end of the laneway leading to the house. Next morning, when passing, he heard moans from inside the door of the farmhouse. He found Quinn lying, still clutching the bag of turf, and the old man died a few hours later. After the funeral lights appeared nightly at the two front windows, and seemed to move from the kitchen to the room and back again. He had seen the lights in the middle of the night. At this point the story was taken up by Bernard McStravock, the local blacksmith, who is also a neighbour. Bernard said upwards of 400 people now assembled nightly to watch the lights. On Friday night several young men volunteered to search the house. As they approached the lights went out and a thorough search inside was made without discovering the cause. When they went back to the road the lights again appeared, and were brighter than ever." - Northern Whig, March 30th.
Punta Arenas, Chile. A Scandinavian hunter sights a green haired mermaid.
Dourdan Woods, France. A sighting of a 3', caped humanoid...
Howells, Arizona. A shower of stones and unusual lights is seen by a prospector...
Moose River Gold Mines Halifax Region, Nova Scotia, Canada. April 12th. After a cave-in, Herman Magill, Dr. David Robertson and Alfred Scadding are trapped 150' underground for eleven days. Magill dies on the seventh day. Robinson hears the sounds of shouting and laughter 'as of little people having fun' for 24 hours. Scadding tells of seeing a light in an abandoned side shaft that swung 2' off the ground prior to the collapse.
Karelia Region, Finland. June. After seeing one of his articles about the Kalevala folklore, Himmler hires author Yrjö von Grönhagen (October 3rd, 1911 - October 17th, 2003) to record pagan sorcerers and witches. Along with Finnish illustrator Ola Forsell and Musicologist Fritz Bose, who brought along a magnetophon to record pagan chants, they record and film soothsayer Miron-Aku summon the spirits of ancestors and 'divine future events.'
Island, Miami, South Florida. University of Miami zoologist E. M. Miller describes skulls found on 8' human bodies discovered in the sands. Unusually thick, protruding jaws, and the eye sockets were high in the head. - The New York Times, June 9th.
Lake Eyasi, Great Rift Valley, Serengeti Plateau, Crater Highlands, Tanzania, Central Africa. German paleontologist, anthropologist and Nazi-party member Ludwig Kohl-Larsen (April 5th, 1884 - November 12th, 1969) finds the bones of gigantic men.
Deputy Coroner E. P. Doyle asked scientific help today in identifying a massive human skull. "...With other portions of a skeleton the skull was unearthed by a steam shovel operator here. It has a huge prognathus jaw, high cheek bones and jutting teeth in the upper jaw. The relics which included several vertebrae, a leg bone and three finger bones, were in a stratum of hard-packed and rock eight feet underground." - Spokesman-Review, July 21st.
Italy. Benito Mussolini, Marconi's best man at his wedding, is shown a demonstration of the inventor's 'death ray' as a long column of cars, one containing the dictator's wife Rachele, are stopped on the road between Rome to Ostia for 5 minutes.
Italy. Marconi shuts down a 'teleguided' airplane with his 'death ray.'
Vatican City, Italy. Pope Pius XI persuades Marconi to stop his 'death ray' research...
Olguidakh - Place with a Cauldron - River, Uliuiu Cherkechekh - The Valley of Death, Mirny, Yakutia, Siberia, Russia. Elderly Evenk natives show a geologist a reddish, smooth metal, half buried hemisphere protruding from the ground with such a sharp edge that it 'cut a fingernail.' It was 2" thick, was estimated to be 4/5th's buried, and leaned out so that one could ride their reindeer beneath it.
London, England. Gordon Cosgrave apparently picks up Morse code messages on his Ham radio between the stricken, sinking RMS Titanic' and the rescue ship Carpathia, which would have been sent from the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15th, 1912.
Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England. A photographer takes a shot of the staircase, revealing the 'Brown Lady,' purportedly Dorothy Townshend Walpole, who wanders the halls...
Theosophist Alice Bailey transcribes these words of her great teacher, the Tibetan Master DK - "Within the next few years the fact of the eternity of existence will have advanced from the realm of questioning into the realm of certainty. Through the use of the radio by those who have passed over, will communication be set up and reduced to a true science."
Delavan, Elkhorn, Wisconsin. The Beast Of Bray Road. This creature has been sighted walking upright on it's hind legs and running on all four legs, and running on it's two hind legs. Or sitting on it's hunches eating road kill. It averages 6 feet tall, is built like a muscular man with shaggy hair covering it's body. It has a face that has been called wolf-like, or like a German Shepard, with pointed ears. It is reported to have three long claws on it's hands. People report that the creature stares at them with a gaze that is terrifying. When people have seen the creature illuminated by their vehicle headlights, it's eyes glow yellow, like some animals. One woman who saw it, reported it is as close as one could get to seeing a real 'werewolf'.
Southwest. In an interview with a Navaho named Hahago, yendalooshi or skin-walkers "…go very fast.... They can go to Albuquerque in an hour and a half - a four-hour trip by automobile." - anthropologist William Morgan, Yale Publications in Anthropology.
Port-Au-Port, Newfoundland, Canada. A 200' sea monster with a 60' neck is seen.
South India. June 6th. While in a deep trance like state, Yogi Pullavar aka Subbayah Pullavar levitates for four minutes in front of a crowd of 150 witnesses. Once back on the ground, however, his limbs were locked in place and could not be unbent.
"Expedition Starts to Bring Skeleton From Cape Florida. - A party of four Homestead residents left this morning for an isolated key off Cape Sable to gain more data on a skeleton unearthed there over the week-end which they prove that of a pre-historical man over eight feet tall. In the group were John and Dave Barns and Buster Roberts, all of whom are familiar with the Cape Sable region and who found the skeleton while on a treasure hunting expedition. Remains of the skull were brought into the University of Miami yesterday afternoon, but as the school has no anthropologists familiar with races that inhabited Florida before Columbus' landing, it has not been identified… skull… three quarters of an inch thick… Eyes and ears… set unusually high… protruding chin… receding forehead." - Florida-Miami News, June 9th.
Morris Creek, Harrison River, British Columbia, Canada. July. An Indian named Frank Dan has a Sasquatch throw rocks at his canoe.
Archaeologists are "mystified at finding the skeletons of men who were seven feet tall… Perhaps the discovery of dinosaur bones on the North American continent created no more sensation in scientific circles than the recent revelations of prehistoric man lately developed of the coast of Georgia." - Portsmouth Times, July 28th.
Bohuslän, Götaland, Northwest Sweden. August 4th. Himmler sends Dutch-German ancient religion and symbol historian and scholar, Hermann/Herman Wirth and Ahnenerbe Reichsgeschäftsführer, or managing director, Wolfram Sievers, to study a massive quantity of symbolic ideographic petroglyphs, starting on Rügen Island, Germany, then continuing to Backa, Sweden, eventually ending up at the Norwegian island of Lauvøylandet, making plaster casts and sending them back…
Haiti. Felica Felix-Mentor dies and is buried in 1907. 29 years later she's wandering the countryside in filthy rags, the skin around her dead eyes scorched by acid. A Doctor describes her as "...Her occasional outbursts of laughter were devoid of emotion, and very frequently she spoke of herself in either the first or the third person without any sense of discrimination. She had lost all sense of time and was quite indifferent to the world of things around her."
Unit 731, Harbin, China. Under a Water Purification cover story, in 150 buildings over six square kilometers, Lieutenant General Shirō Ishii is given access to Unit Tōgō, now renamed Unit 731, and all prisoners of war for Biological Warfare (BW) experiments. Hirohito divides Unit 731 into 'Ishii Unit' and 'Wakamatsu Unit' with a base in Hsinking, Changchun, Chángchūn, Jilin Province, China. An estimated 10,000 civilians die through experimentation, including live vivisections and other medical experiments.
Schwarzwald, Black Forest, Germany. Summer. With the aim to build anti-gravital fighters and troop-carriers based on the Viktor Schauberger's anti-gravity experiments, a functional terrestrial-made flying saucer crashes, possibly as a test flight for a Moon mission.
"Aleutian Skull Of Record Size in Smithsonian: Dr. Hrdlicka, Curator at Institute, Discovers Western Hemisphere's Largest Cranium on Excursion to Aleutian Islands…" A 7' skeleton with five female skeletons nearby. - The Washington Post, October 5th.
Orbetello, Italy. "On the night of October 10, 1936, I was flying my Idro S.62 Bis, with three other machines, of the same type. When I was at 3,800 metres over Cape Talamone I noticed an unusual light ahead of my plane, which for a moment I mistook for the exhaust gas of another plane of my group. But I realised this was not the case when I saw that the speed of the object was greater than that of an S.62, and that the position of the 'flaming exhaust' did not correspond to the exhaust in the type of motor installed in this aircraft. I went on following the unknown light, which seemed to be on a higher level than my machine. I could not see its shape, because of the blinding light shining out from the centre of the object, and the short, shooting flames that flashed out on both sides. In size it seemed to be about twice the diameter of a full Moon. All at once I found myself caught in a very dense cloud, from which I emerged, after 12 minutes' instrument flying, to find I was over Portoferraio (Island of Elba). This sighting occurred over the rock islands of Formiche di grosseto at 4.15 a.m. The object was flying at nearly 440 m.p.h, and was going due north." - Italian Military flight instructor Captain Mario Rossi.
Lybster, Caithness, Scotland. October 14th. Wednesday. 2:30 p.m. Two men watch as a mystery airplane dives into the North Sea, but no wreckage or evidence of a crash is found...
Fort Lamy, N'Djamena, Ndjamena, Nijāmīnā, 'place of rest,' Goulfeil, Mahaya, Chad, North Central Africa. Digging in a large number of mounds, French archaeologists Lebeuf and Griaule dig up several egg-shaped jars that contain the skeletons of a gigantic race buried with their jewelry and art called the Saos who lived in peace until 9th Century Moslems intended to convert them to the Islamic faith. Those who converted became servants, those who refused were wiped out by the end of the 16th Century.
United States. Hoping to seize power in a 'silver revolution' and set himself up as dictator of the United States, anti-semitic Silver Legion of America aka the Silver Shirts founder William Dudley Pelley runs for president on a third-party ticket. His percentage points are barely negligible.
Pavlodar Region, Kazakhstan. Winter. When 15 year old E. E. Loznaya was walking to school on a quiet road, her attention was caught by a strange figure above her. Flying quickly across the sky was a man-like figure dressed completely in black. He was "of medium height and his black clothes covered him completely, like overalls," she said. It made a rumbling noise and appeared to her to be wearing a helmet of some kind, had a black surface where the face should have been, and wore a 'rucksack' on its back.