Friday morning Michael had planned out a nice day off, doing as little as possible, unless it involved watching a sporting event of some kind and booze. As he stepped out his front door and finally decided on which po’boy place he was going to stop for lunch at, his phone rang. Sensing that he day was about to be upset he sighed and answered the phone. Michael’s ex-wife was on the other end, she had been called into work (she is a nurse) unexpectedly and needed Michael to take their son for the night. Smiling at the unexpected visit with his son he agreed and headed over to his son’s school to pick him up and surprise him.
Picking his son up at kindergarten the pair headed out to the park were they explored the wooded areas, played with sailboats in the pond and climbed on every inch of the jungle gyms. When Michael’s son found a new play mate and ran to the slides with him, Michael decided to take a break and make a phone call. Talking to Benny for the first time in a while they made small talk and Benny told Michael about the abandoned church he was working on. He was called out after a local thought he saw a ghost of an elderly woman. Benny had spent the last couple of days cleansing the building and the grounds. As the day came to a close Michael took his son out to dinner at a pizza place before heading home and going to bed early, his young son worn out from a long day of play.
Ethan and Yin Yue met up at the dojo and spent the afternoon training. After they were done Ethan asking Yin Yue about her order (the Storm Dragons) and the martial arts she practiced. Yin Yue was open as always and talked candidly about it. Ethan starting asking more directly about her art and if it would or could help enhance his own innate abilities. For the first time he shared with her his ability to control and manipulate objects with his mind. While Yin Yue was very impressed with this, she did not see a way for the Tao Chi she used to assist Ethan with this ability and as far as she could tell it did not improve her ability to communicate with the dead. Crestfallen with her answers Ethan asked Yin Yue not to tell anyone about his psychic ability. Telling her that he was afraid it could be used against him and that secrets carried power.
Simon spent the day walking around town and talking to the other members of his own community. He helped anyone who needed it and continued to honor his grandfather memory, while spreading the will of the Loa.
That night as Michael lay in bed he was woken by the soft, touch of a woman caressing his back. Knowing he fell asleep alone that night, he rolled from his bed and spun on the intruder. Turning around he was shocked into inaction by the woman standing before him. She was wrapped in a tattered, blood stained sheet. The bottom half of her face was in ruins, her lower jaw was missing and her throat was open. As his stomach rolled he noticed her tongue was missing and the ragged edges of the wound on her throat had started to rot. The smell hit him next and caused him to stumble backwards, as he moved back a gurgling sound escaped the woman’s throat opening and she flung something at Michael.
Michael lunged upright in bed, sucking in a deep breath trying to shake off the dream. As he cleared his eyes of sleep he found his son staring at him from the side of the bed, standing as still as a board. Looking at his son the boy said “I had a bad dream too dad.” Michael falling back into dad mode asked his son what his dream was about, to which his son asked “How can you fight Venom without Spiderman?” taking a deep breath and thinking carefully back to his own childhood Michael answered “I think Reid Richards has a sonic gun that can hurt Venom.” Seemingly satisfied with that answer the boy started to climb into bed but then stopped, a very serious look came over him and he said to Michael “I would just call Batman.” Michael pulled his son up and into bed, as he moved he felt something stuck to the small of his back. Getting his son comfortable and after waiting for him to fall asleep, Michael crept carefully out of bed and into the bathroom. Turning the light on and reaching to his back he peeled off whatever was stuck there. Looking at the object in the light he found that it was a blood stained Louisiana driver’s license, which belonged to the woman in his nightmare named Kimberly Jackson. Getting sandwich bag from his kitchen he tucked away the license and then took a long shower before headed back to bed. Snuggling up with this son Michael did not go back to sleep but instead spent the night thinking about his dream, Kimberly and the case.
In the morning, as soon as Michael felt it was appropriate he called Benny. Michael told Benny about his possible haunting and if he could come by and cleanse his house. Benny agreed but warned Michael that if he was haunted that a cleansing wouldn’t solve his problem. Michael assured Benny that he was working on that as well. Hanging up with Benny Michael immediately called Ethan, it rang for a long time before a still sleeping sounding Ethan answered the phone. Shaking off the sleep, Ethan struggled to understand what Michael was telling him. Finally getting Ethan coherent enough to talk about what happened to Michael the night before, Ethan assured Michael that he would look into the girl and see if she was a working girl, getting all of the details from the license and a description they hung up. Not long after Michael had gotten back from getting his son to school than did Benny showed up at his house with all of his tools. Getting underway on cleansing the house, again Benny mentioned that this would not stop a ghost from coming in and that Michael really should contact Simon about helping the ghost move on.
After her normal morning in the bakery Yin Yue headed to the spice and tea shop to talk to Bao Lan Fan. Getting into the shop there was an elderly woman in a hushed conversation with Lan Fan. Waiting in the front of the shop for the women to finish their discussion, Yin Yue perused the goods from her homeland. Once the woman left the shop with a basket full of small packages, Yin Yue approached Lan Fan bowing and asking if she had time to talk. Lan Fan smiled at the young woman and reassured her that she had the time. Yin Yue started by asking about the last time they talked and the “last resort” Lan Fan had mentioned. Lan Fan’s expression became grave and she told Yin Yue that who she mentioned was a very honorable man but that he is very dangerous. Lan Fan would give Yin Yue his information if she wanted it but that it should be used carefully. Yin Yue admitted that she was very worried about Britney Wynter and was not confident that she was really protected, even with all of the hired soldiers at her house. Yin Yue asked if Lan Fan knew a way to draw out the demon which the elderly woman told her she did not know a sure way to do that other than using Britney as bait. Yin Yue left the shop feeling as unsure of her next actions as she did when she arrived.
This new day like so many others found Simon walking around this neighborhood. As Simon walked along the banks of the Mississippi he was greeted by a middle aged woman who introduced herself as Marta Grant, she told him that she knew his grandfather, rest his soul and was hopeful that Simon truly followed his grandfather’s path as she had heard. Assuring her that he was happy to help her, he asked what it was he could do for her. She described for him a terrible wailing at night along the banks of the river they stood on. She told him it started three nights earlier and continued each night. Something out of nightmares was now walking and haunting her neighborhood. He got as many details as she was able to give him and with that Simon headed south to where she told him the howling was coming from.
Asking around he found a few other locals who would talk to him and they too told him of monsters coming out at night. Gathering more details Simon headed into a nearly abandoned section of the ward where the local residents all said the monsters came from. Calling Yin Yue and meeting up with her, Simon filled her in on what he was looking into and asked her for her help. Agreeing they continued to explore the area, finding the badly damaged homes all abandoned and rotting. Finding barefoot tracks in the mud along the lower banks of the river, they followed the trail to the south until they lost it in the water.
Michael that afternoon headed into his office and began looking up who Kimberly Jackson was. He found in short order that she had a short rap sheet with two solicitation charges that she was fined $500 each and a third charge for solicitation she did 30 days in local jail. Continuing his search he found that a missing person report was also filled out for her from her mother a few days after her release from jail. Finally he found her last known address as a cheap motel on the north side of town.
Ethan spent the early afternoon waking up working girls and asking around for Kimberly Jackson. It didn’t take him long to meet a couple of ladies who knew Kimberly and her pimp. Spending a small amount of money he got her address and the name of her pimp. A small but dangerous man named Rocky Reed. Heading to the motel he was told Rocky ran girls out of Ethan was met by Michael who told him that he found the motel as Kimberly’s last known address.
The duo explored the motel which was damaged and obviously abandoned. Finding only a handful of squatters in the building, they started walking the neighborhood talking. Michael shared his theory that the missing girls could have all been gifted and the killer could be targeting them. The two continued talking about the dead zones and the dead gifted girls being tied to them.
As they walked the neighborhood they found the area particularly bad off with working girls on many corners. Talking and bribing the ladies for information they found out that Kimberly did work for Rocky and was his top girl. She had a good clientele base of wealth white men who paid her very well, but she burned through money quickly due to a growing pill addiction. They also learned that her pimp was dead, killed in what was rumored to be a gang fight. Pressing their luck further they found out about another missing girl named Pearl Allen who worked with Kimberly and disappeared around the same time. It wasn’t long after the two girls went missing that Rocky died and the rest of the girls moved on. Michael mentioned to Ethan that he had a file on Pearl as a possible connected murder to the case.
Spending more money Michael and Ethan found that another girl had recently gone missing. She was a young lady named Rosie who worked off Craigslist ads, she didn’t work the streets like these girls. Heading back to the motel and Michael’s car, the two talked about contacting the ghost of the missing girls and how to do it. Ethan offered to teach Michael how to communicate with the dead, but he politely declined. Instead mentioned getting Simon involved and asking him to use his abilities to find the spirits. Calling Simon, Michael got his location and the two drove to the other side of town.