Dr. Aly Nightfire

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Dr. Aly Nightmare is a Doctor of Physiology as well as Pathology. A noted expert in the field of Forensic Crime analysis, she hold a warrant from Scotland Yard for her work with the London Police force. She spent 8 years as a Professor of Pathology at Humboldt University in Berlin before relocating back to London to teach at the London Hospital Medical Academy. She has since relocated to New Babbage.


I have begun to document my adventures and work. So one must start at the beginning. So bare with me as there is some back story to cover the current story.

I was born Aleric Nightfire (called Aly, named for my Grandfather Aleric Nightfire the great explorer of the sub continent) on September 8th 1848 in North Cambridge London. I was schooled at the Kingsway Academy (a school which my grandfather and father had attended and had endowed some money. Ok there is a Nightfire Library ... OK?)
Upon graduating from Kingsway I was admitted to Cambridge in the Arts & Sciences department (surprise, there was a Nightfire library there as well) sensing a pattern yet?
Most children would have rebelled by now but my love of books and learning made me take it all in. I graduated with honors from Cambridge with a degree in Biology with class of 1865. I received my doctorate in Physiology in 1869, having the honor to study under the renowned physicist Sir Michael Foster and was admitted to the British Medical Association in the Spring of 1874.

A friend of the family who was head of the Science Department at Humboldt University in Berlin offered me an Associate Professorship position in the science department. With the promise of a world renown research facility and the opportunity to further my own education I took the position and left jolly old England behind.

By the end of 1878 I had become a full professor and the chairman of my department. I had spent the last 4 years or so building up a rather respectable Forensics research department. Working closely with the Berlin Constabulary I had many opportunities practice my forensic skills as well as my German.

At this time Berlin was slowly moving from a city that was known world round as the most foul and disgusting bordering on barbaric. A lack of public toilets in and around the city meant that in the poorer sections you would be wading ankle deep in waste water and filth. In 1875 this began to change, however I still found myself having to wear a cloved face cover when entering crime scenes in the poorer sections.

In 1876 I became involved with a former grad student. Kenzel (Kenzi) Freitag was a genius. A lot of people are called geniuses but Kenzi truly was. There was nothing she did not understand immediately. There was no science that she didn't comprehend as easily as breathing comes to the rest of us. Her specialty was toxicology and poisons. She did the first serious study on toxic substances and wrote the first major paper on the subject. She had taken an adjunct position at the university so as to keep her schedule and life free to travel the world and expand her studies.
We hit it off right away. Making science jokes no one else would get. Hosting salons with other professors and grad students over the best Absinthe my money could buy. The salons became more and more a place for women of a particular sexual orientation. At the time the university community was a little more progressive than the rest of Berlin which was moving dangerously close to oppressive. It was really a wonderful time when learning and experimentation were the norm of the day. Kenzi and I got closer and eventually moved in together. She would leave for months at a time on her exploration adventures and I would lock myself in the lab waiting for her return. It was a strain but it worked.

Around Christmas of 1881 things changed. The university decided our Salons were undermining the decorum of the university and Grad students were now forbidden from fraternization with faculty and there was a new rule about cohabitation on University Property. I also lost some funding for my department. I decided to move off Campus and find a townhouse of my own. Kenzi was in Africa at the time so I had to manage the move myself.

Kenzi returned to Berlin in February to a very different life then the one she left. It took less then three weeks for her to decide she needed to be out of Berlin. So our "relationship" came to an end on a snowy afternoon in February 1882.

I continued on at Humboldt for another two years, teaching and working with the Police.

In the spring of 1884 I decided I needed to leave Berlin. There was a lot of political unrest and the unions had moved very far to the right and the chancellery is close to coming to a violent confrontation with the unions. I decided i would rather nor be in Berlin for what was to follow.

I resigned my position at Humboldt in June of 1884. I sent most of my belongings back to Cambridge to my parents house for safe keeping. With just a satchel and my field pack I headed off to the wilds of the Middle East.

I spent the next year traveling from Egypt down to the northern reaches of Africa. I learned many interesting things and continued my forensic studies. As 1885 came to a close, I found myself back in the UK. I moved my thing from my parents home in Cambridge to an adequate town house on the edge of Whitechapel, much to the horror of my parents and sister. I felt it was where i needed to be if I was going to continue my studies and put my theories into practice. The East End seemed like the perfect place.

In the fall of 1886 I joined the faculty in the Pathology Dept at the London Hospital Medical Academy. My reputation seems ot have proceeded me as well as my long term friendship with Dr. Thomas Openshaw who heads the Pathology department. I will teach Forensic sciences and some basic Pathology.


January 1 1888 - London England

The new year brings hope of a return to civility and progress for this distraught sinking city. I see people walking in despair, of course with good reason but one must see the good where one can find it. It’s 1888 and I find myself living on the edge of the East End, on one of the less infested streets. I found an acceptable Townhouse at 147 Sommerset Street just at the western edge of Whitechapel. It provides a quiet retreat from the bowels and infestation of the East End while still allowing me to continue my work with Scotland Yard. Being a Doctor of Forensic Sciences has endeared me with one DI Sutherland who is the subordinate to MPC Monro. Who from time to time engages my services as a crime scene investigator. The pay is decent and it allows me to continue my Forensic and Crime solving education.

My decision to engage Miss Jacy Katz as assistant and apprentice is beginning to pay dividends. She is not only a quick study but has become my constant companion. I find I work much better when I have someone to bounce ideas off of and Miss Katz has shown herself to be of sharp mind and quick wit.

January 28 1888 - Whitechapel England

I read this morning that the Lawn Tennis Association was founded. I find that interesting. Perhaps they should consider water tennis as the island is sinking and is showing no sign of stopping.

Today marks my three year anniversary of arriving here from Berlin. Despite the threat of my studies become more aquatic related I believe I have made the right choice.

Yesterday morning, I awoke to a knock on my parlor door. Miss Katz, who has now taken up residence in my townhouse, answered the door. PC Franks had arrived with message from DI Sutherland who had requested my presence deep in the East End. Miss Katz put the kettle on and we gathered our accoutrement and headed out.

We arrived at the Slug and Lettuce Pub on the Corner of Rutland and Philpot street in the neighborhood of Bucks Row. A quite filthy and forgotten neighborhood. It seems the owner of the Pub , a portly fellow named Maguire, didn't enjoy an equally round and unquestionably dead fellow named Sackett fondling his wife the barmaid. So in a fit of rage he buried a sizable icepick into the back of poor Mr. Sackett’s skull.

Circumstances not withstanding, I had to questions my reason for being there as not only was the guilty party standing in front of me claiming a happy responsibility for the deed, but the ice pick, still sticking out of the back of the head of Mr. Sackett had the name “Maguire” carved into the handle. DI Sutherland explained that this unfortunate scene was not the reason for my summons. He led us out back around the alley and there against the wall was a badly beaten woman of low regard who also appeared to be stabbed multiple times. Sutherland has taken to calling me in for these types of things. It’s a bad precedent when the working girls can’t ply their trade. It upsets the balance in the East End. There have been some periods of violence towards the working girls in the past but not for many decades. So it is imperative for Scotland Yard to document all cases of Prostitute murders just in case.
So I carefully examined the body while Miss Katz sketched the whole scene. Our victim had most definitely been engaging in her chosen trade at the time of her demise. The stab wounds looked worse than they actually were. Mostly superficial cuts. After close examination I determined that she had been strangled. I also noticed a mans cravat underneath our deceased working girl. I took out my Polaroid and photographed the scene. I would develop the images when we arrived home and send them on to the yard. I related to DI Sutherland that this did not feel like anything more to me than a customer who refused to pay his bill. I suggested he look for someone in the real estate trade. The cravat we found was of a low quality and the stab wounds themselves were made from the small pen knife, middle income landlords attach to their pocket watches.
We took our leave with our equipment and evidence. Passing the front of the Pub we could see poor Mr. Maguire kicking the the deceased corps of the former Mr. Sackett as the Police were cuffing him and dragging him to the wagon.

February 12 1888 – Pleased to hear from DI Sutherland they have found arrested one Samuel Briggs, Landlord. He was the owner of the lots on either side of the alley where our murder victim was found.

March 19 1888 – Whitechapel

The body of Evelyn Warren was found brutally beaten in Whitechapel on Osborn Street. Upon arriving at the scene it was clear to me that this was not done by a single assailant. She was broken and assaulted in so many places it was almost impossible to determine what actually killed her. She had been penetrated vaginally with a blunt object which had caused massive bleeding. Upon further investigation when I rolled our victim over, it was clear that she had been kick so hard in he back that her rib broke off and pierced her heart, at which point she bled out. My only hope is that she was dealt this blow early on in the beating. Though I suspect she suffered horribly. Miss Katz began sketching the scene. I set up my Polaroid and got ready to shoot the scene. It was remarked that Whitechapel was becoming a dangerous place for prostitutes. All I could say to the owner of that remark was “Becoming?”

May 14 1888 – Sommerset St House

Just returned from two weeks in Glasgow. Having been invited to speak on Forensic Sciences at the Royal opening of the International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry. I must say at first I was hesitant as I have always looked upon Glasgow as little more than a roadside convenience. However, the chance to talk about Forensics in a large forum certainly made the trip worthwhile. Miss Katz and I were received very well upon arrival at the University of Glasgow where all the presenters were being housed. The accommodations were quite acceptable. I am happy to report that many late night, absinthe fueled discussions of science, art and philosophy were had and made the trip one that will be remembered for quite sometime. Miss Katz held her own in many a conversation and I am proud to see she is blossoming into quite an artist and thinker in her own right. On a side note I had the opportunity to catch up with Kenzi. I was not surprised in the least that she had been invited to lecture on toxicological remedies as she is the first and foremost expert in all of Europe. She has been just been made chairman of the Earth Sciences department at Humboldt University of Berlin. She deserves it. I am surprised she would tie herself down to a chair position. It will most definitely cut into her traveling and exploration.

Upon returning to London we received an invitation to summer in Canada with Sophie Fitzgerald and her betrothed Abner St. Lavie. So once again we are packing our things and heading off to the new world for an adventure!

August 3 1888 – Sommerset House

It’s been two months since we have seen home. Canada was a wonderful respite from the oppressive reality of London. Miss Katz has become quite an artist and has spent the last two months painting and drawing. I am thinking of sponsoring a show for her in the West End. She is becoming quite an accomplished artist.

August 7 1888 – Sommerset House

The body of Martha Tabram was found dead on a fire escape in Angel Alley near Toynbee Hall. Upon our arrival, there was already a crowd gathering. We gained the fire escape and found Martha Tabram splayed out on the fire escape. Her dress was raised to her waist to reveal her genitals. She did not appear to have been sexually violated. However, her killer stabbed her thirty-nine times in the body and neck, including nine times in the throat, five in the left lung, two in the right lung, one in the heart, five in the liver, two in the spleen and six in the stomach. It seemed to based on her condition and rigor she had been killed between 2am and 3:30 am. DI Sutherland took me aside and asked that we be vary careful and thorough with the collection of evidence documenting the scene. We covered every inch of the crime scene with sketches and photos. All which were delivered to DI Sutherland later that afternoon.

August 14 1888

What a spectacular night! Miss Katz’s art show in the west end was a staggering success. Not only did she sell most of the Canada collection on the spot, she has been commissioned to do a larger work for Roger St. John-Smyth. She will be gone for the first two weeks of September to sketch their country home in Devonshire.

August 31 1888 – Whitechapel

The body of Anne Nichols was found on Durward Street in Bucks Row not far from where we found the body of Mr. Brigg’s Victim. Mr. Briggs was killed in prison so we can rule him out as our murder.

Unfortunately, there has been a change of command at the Yard. MPC Monro has stepped down and AMPC Robert Anderson has been made Metropolitan Police Commissioner. He seems to have a problem with me and my “methods”. I believe it has to do with Dr. Timothy Robert Killeen. He and Anderson are both from Dublin and old friends. Killeen is of the old school and doesn’t approve or trust modern forensics. He made that clear at a conference of Forensic Physicians at Cambridge last month. The fact that I was the guest speaker did not endear me to him at all.

As it looks like my usefulness is at an end here and the waters are still rising. I think it may be time for Miss Katz and I to relocate. I suspect it’s going to be a bloody fall and if I can’t help I would rather be somewhere that I can. Will have to start looking into possible alternatives to London.

September 2 1888 - Sommerset House
We will have to postpone Miss Katz’s trip to Devonshire as we are in the midst of packing for our big move.

September 8 1888 – Sommerset House

Well our bags are packed and we are heading across the channel to New Babbage. There is a growing bohemian culture there where art and science is championed. My hopes of finding a progressive community there are very high.

We have been packing for a few weeks now. I didn’t realize how much we have accumulated in the last three years. Between my laboratory and photo studio and Miss Katz’s art salon we have 12 steamer trunks, numerous bags and crates which will be going on ahead to our new address in New Babbage.

Another body was found in Whitechapel this morning. Annie Chapman a known prostitute was found mutilated in an alley off of Hanby street. I fear this is just the beginning…

12/8/8# - Miss Katz has moved back to England in order to pursue her artistic endeavors. She will be missed but I wish her well.


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