By Andrew G. Dombalagian
Innsmouth, MA – As the last members of the Massachusetts National Guard withdraw from Innsmouth, the town continues to assess the damage done and ponder the legacy of “The Second Great Raid”. Despite hardships, residents remain strong. Fundraisers and reconstruction efforts across town prove Innsmouth’s undying spirit.
The Innsmouth Public Library has made the difficult decision to auction off several antiquities and pieces of jewelry in its collection to pay for necessary repairs. The library’s significant collection of religious art from the South Pacific has earned modest renown in academic circles; nevertheless, library administrators believe the sacrifice is for the greater good in order to keep the entire library open. According to Chief Librarian Parker Watson, “troubling” damage to the foundation and plumbing was discovered during structural inspections in the wake of the Raid.
“This decision was not made lightly,” said Watson. “I don’t know what the National Guard and those Nightcroft thugs were doing in the sewers, but the building inspector warned that the foundation was in such bad shape that the main library building could be condemned if not repaired. If this is not addressed immediately, the Saengmany tour stop may end up cancelled, and no one wants to see that happen.”
The famed Saengmany Collection, a trove of artifacts and documents from the noted Lao explorer of the same name, is scheduled to visit the Innsmouth Public Library through April and May. An opening reception for the exhibit, on loan from its home museum in Belgium, is planned for April 1st. According to Watson, estimates and bids from potential construction firms have already been collected and repairs may be under way before the month is out.
A charity martial arts tournament has been announced by Luke Gaha, owner of The Pledge. The event, a collaboration between Gaha and the Innsmouth Historical Society, will raise money to renovate the Old Innsmouth Lighthouse, which suffered extensive damage, presumably during the Raid.
“With the boom in popularity of mixed martial arts, we thought this would be an appealing way to raise some scratch to fix up the lighthouse,” said Gaha.
Advance tickets for the tournament, slated to be held in The Pledge’s large dance hall, the Scarlet Room, go on sale this Friday. Preregistration for potential competitors begins on Saturday. Gaha promises that safety precautions will be in place to protect participants.
A return visit by popular underground musicians Five-Tails and Fiery Death Calligraphy has been announced. Responding to an invitation from local fans, the performers played a handful of shows in Innsmouth last February. A series of performances, dubbed “The Lovely Massacre Redux Tour”, has been scheduled for late March. The event has received support and sponsorship from Nightcroft Holdings, Inc.
Madam Elizabeth Nightcroft, Board Chairwoman for Nightcroft Holdings, has endured criticism for making a contribution to the nascent Innsmouth Urban Exploration League. Inspired by Cambridge urban explorer Omotayo Durand, whose disappearance last September sparked national criticism of Innsmouth’s handling of missing persons cases, this group of amateur spelunkers and sleuths has organised with the intent of “exploring Innsmouth’s secret, abandoned places before they are destroyed.” In addition to concerns about trespassing and vandalism, the League has been condemned for risking life and limb in tunnels and buildings left dangerously unstable by the Raid.
“Much like sex and alcohol, young people are going to pursue this despite our best wishes, so the best thing to do is ensure they explore in a safe, well-prepared, and controlled manner,” said Nightcroft in defense of her support for the League.
Two sites the Urban Exploration League has frequented include the ruins of the Marsh Sanitarium and the Sarnath Heights neighbourhood. The abandoned hospital and suburban subdivision were both razed, apparently by demolitions teams, during the Raid. In addition to their ongoing work at the sanitarium, Nightcroft subsidiary, Telemite Construction, has acquired legal rights to bulldoze the remnants of Sarnath Heights. Future plans for the neighbourhood remain unclear. The dangerous conditions at both sites, besides slowing investigations by authorities, leave residents and officials concerned for the young urban explorers. Furthermore, some locals claim to have witnessed squatters still living in Sarnath Heights, raising fears that Telemite may push forward too quickly with their demolition of the remaining buildings, and risk injuries or deaths.
Bryan Grossman, CEO of Telemite Construction, has been missing since the Raid. Representatives from local and federal law enforcement have declined comment on their investigations into both Grossman’s disappearance and possible fraud involved with the company’s handling of the sanitarium. Telemite, under interim leadership, has submitted bids for several renovation, repair, or demolition projects necessitated by the Raid, but, under pressure from public sentiment against Telemite, the town council may reject the company’s offers.
At least one other Nightcroft subsidiary is also quickly becoming an Innsmouth fixture. Trident Security has recently renewed contracts with the municipal government and film crews for the popular television programs, Heir of Dracula and Cryptozoological. Although the National Guard soldiers are withdrawing, uniformed Trident personnel continue to appear across Innsmouth, keeping vigil over their clients, which include businesses, schools, the waterfront, and the cemetery.
Despite the effects of The Second Great Raid, Innsmouth continues onward. It seems that nothing can quench the great power that rises from the deep within each resident.