Heaven and Earth session 4

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Heaven and Earth Session Four: Saturday, July 3rd, 1999 (3:00 PM - 7:00 PM)

Standing together in room 617, the group of unlikely deputies continue their search through the room. The diary, having been passed to Miles, reveals another find - as does the safe. In the diary, a relatively new but well-handled business card is being used as a bookmark, apparently for no particular page though. It is one from a 'Dr. Ed Miller' of the local surgery in town.

The safe holds a letter, opened that is postmarked for the 3rd of June. Sheldon notes this is about the time when Mary and Peter broke up, and - so Miles informs them - of when Victoria McCarthy mentioned that he had stood her up one night shortly after dumping Mary. Inside is a simple, plain piece of paper with the word's 'CAGE'S OFFICE' at the top, and 'TONIGHT' at the bottom. Charlie informs them at this point about the break in at Cage's office, also, approximately a month ago, in which someone had attempted to discover the contents of the old man's safe - which he explains is the work he has been doing on the Indian markings on the monolith on Megiddo's Hill.

Dr. de Brate, who has been quietly stood in the corner all the time ever since they walked into the room he led them to walks out saying he has a class to teach. On his way out, as they continue to look around the room, they hear him shouting at the end of the corridor. They look to see him talking with Devin Sinclair - the reporter they met in the Bar and Grille the night before. De Brate advises against them talking to him, but Sheldon pushes along regardless and the group get talking to him. The law lecturer wanders away.

On the way outside, as Sheldon informs the rest of the group he wants to go back to the station to run a few background checks, they try to pump Devin for as much information as they can. He doesn't seem to know much - which Charlie questions ('Being a reporter, you must have your finger on the gossip pulse around here, surely?'). Devin claims that after having worked on a rag out of town some years back he only partakes in real journalism these days. After all, in a town like Potter's Lake where the gossip is rife and everyone seems to know everyone else, who needs to print what everyone knows?

As Charlie proceeds to mention about the apparent connection between the murder victim and McCarthy, this gets his attention and he begins to take notes. Not much later afterwards his pager beeps and he runs away like a speeding bullet. Around a corner he bumps into a student and frantically questions him as to which way the infirmary is. He is pointed in the general direction, and as the group smells something is afoot, they follow close behind.

Joseph (nicknamed 'Bubba' by Charlie) helps them get inside the ward where an orderly is blocking their (and Devin's) way, claiming they are not allowed in, that a patient has become rowdy and is being sedated as they speak. All Joesph has to do is just 'look' at the orderly and he moves away. Inside, they hear the screams of a woman from the far end of the corridor and Devin rushes out in front of them. He takes a picture and a fist greets him in return along with a cry of 'have you no decency!?'. As Devin falls to the ground, Charlie picks up the camera.

In the small, private room, Mary Stuart is seen to have slashed across her wrists with a broken ceramic cup. Orderlies and doctors are securing straps across her chest and legs and trying to pump her full of sedatives. She is crying wildly, but gradually calming. Katya walks past them and has a look at her notes which state she was brought in last night and has been on suicide watch pretty much all the time after being diagnosed as being in severe mental shock and quite possibly sliding into an acute depression. There doesn't seem to be much else wrong with her, other than that their preliminary examination revealed she had had an abortion in the last couple of months. The doctor, one Clive Smith, emerges and is taken to one side by the group as Katya rejoins them.

He informs them of what Katya has just read and nothing much else. They ask him about Ed Miller, whom he informs works from the local surgery but also does some work for the hospital upon occasion. At this point, Charlie puts two and two together and explains, after the doctor leaves a few minutes later, that Ed Miller could quite well be the 'EM' from Peter's diary, the child killer.

As they hang around outside, he bounces a few wild theories off the others, including the fact that because Colonel Lemar and Victoria McCarthy? have been seen together that the latter must be a military plant as a result. The theories don't seem to be taken very seriously. In this time, Sheldon wheels himself into the room where they are keeping Mary. He writes a small note which he reaches out to place beside her on the bedside table for when she wakes up, asking her to call him if possible, but Mary's arm darts out and grabs his.

Twisting the skin quite nastily so it bruises, she pulls him towards her and opens her eyes. They are solid black. In a voice distinctly male and not by any means her own, she yells 'Tempus Meus Adventi' in his face before launching into a passage in Latin. If he wanted to use any single word to describe the voice he hears, it would be 'power'. His first thought is that it might be the voice from the recording he made in the woods, but he soon is convinced this is another being completely.

Hearing the commotion inside, the others come in, whereupon Katya translates the passage Mary is reciting to be that which they heard Meltdown singing earlier. She also manages to piece together the first phrase. 'My time will come.'

Somewhat shaken by this, Sheldon decides to head back to the police station and where he wants to run background checks on the various people. The group agrees they can probably cover more ground as they split up so they decide to their separate ways for a few hours or so. Miles and Joseph decide they want to go back to Room 617 whilst Katya and Charlie decide to head over to the morgue for the postmortem of Peter that was due to start at 2:00 PM.

Arriving back at the station, Sheldon hears that Carter is still unconscious and that the tox-screen shows there is an unknown substance in his blood-stream. He concludes that the young man evidently did take a couple of the pills they found in Peter's room - but where did he get them from? Sheldon wheels himself up in front of the computer terminal and begins his research.

First up is Sinclair. A graduate of St Anselm's College, he came from Minneapolis. He moved back out there seven years ago to write for a tabloid, but moved back to Potter's Lake five years ago. Having been here ever since, he's been reporting on crime related cases (e.g. missing persons) and supernatural phenomena.

Adam de Brate. He moved out from Chicago a couple of years ago where he was a practicing lawyer. A criminal law prosecutor that had worked for the state more than once, the reason why he left is not on record.

Victoria McCarthy?. The first thing that Sheldon notices is glaringly obvious. Everything is too perfect. A humanities student from the University, she came from the East Coast, every 'I' dotted, every 'T' crossed. He assumes it is a false background, or what in the espionage trade they call a 'legend'.

Ezekiel Cage. An exorcist by reputation, he worked with the church all over the world. Coming from Italy, he was ordered to Potter's Lake thirty years ago and has been there ever since. It was him who performed the exorcism in Room 616 next to Peter's room at the University.

Mary Stuart. The definitive 'rich kid' with rich parents funding her, she's from Dallas and in town to get her 'easy A' by doing Religious Studies.

Collecting this information together, Sheldon heads back to the university…

Meanwhile, Katya and Charlie arrive at the hospital. The first thing that strikes them is the sheer size of the building in comparison with the rest of the town. They couldn't have been enough of a population when it was built to warrant its size, and there certainly isn't now either. They walk down seemingly miles of empty corridors without seeing a soul, following the black lines on the wall to the morgue when the come to a lift. Taking it very slowly down to the sub-basement levels, they emerge into a pipe-lined corridor with a double set of metal doors at the far end.

Opening the doors they find a security desk on the other side where there is only the hat of the security guard laying on the counter. From inside the morgue itself, they can both here squeaking wheels and the sound of a horn. Charlie says in a rather annoyed fashion that it had better not be a clown on a unicycle performing to the corpses inside. Thankfully it isn't and the only people they find inside are a doctor (who introduces himself as Ed Miller) and the body of Peter Philips laid out on one of the slabs having been opened up.

Katya explains that Charlie is her assistant in this matter and proceeds to launch herself into a medical conversation with the doctor over the findings of the autopsy. What Miller has been able to determine so far is the following. Peter's body was perfect, not just in a way that he might have been able to run a marathon tomorrow and be a super athlete, it was perfect - with the exception of the slit throat and the two missing fingers. There are no signs of burn marks and no signs of the skin having been exposed to any significant heat source. He quite evidently died from the loss of blood due to having his throat slit open. Toxin tests from his blood show that there is an unknown substance in there that they are currently trying to pin down, but as yet nothing has been found. Miller says he will have the results ready for the police and the FBI tomorrow.

When Katya presses Miller at the mention of the FBI, he informs her - somewhat surprised, thinking she would already know - that a representative of the FBI, one Samantha Sutter is arriving tomorrow in relation to the case. He gives them a business card for his surgery in town and gets back to work. The card matches that which they have found in the diary back in Peter's safe.

On the way out, they find the security guard returning to his seat, box of pizza in one hand and looking half asleep. Charlie talks to him in passing and easily gets out of him that his shift ends at 5:00 PM. 'No-one wants to be down here after dark - odd things have happened in there'. Charlie thinks of the story of the clown he has heard and takes Katya to one side. Wanting to test a theory about the body being perfect, and apparently fire resistant, they decide to wait around until 5:00 PM when they will sneak back into the morgue, after the guard has gone and try to set it on fire with a can of gasoline or paraffin. Katya agrees to this experiment and they wander out to find the materials they will need.

Passing a phone, Charlie decides to call Cage at the university about the exorcism he performed nearly twenty years ago and finds it just keeps ringing… until de Brate answers it. The law professor claims to have heard the phone as he was passing the open office and went in to answer it. He asks him if he can tell them anymore about the person who has the exorcism performed on them. De Brate explains he has had many papers from students (it is quite a popular topic for papers it seems on the Law course) on the subject and they all tell the same story. By law he can't reveal the name of the individual due to a binding contract signed by the party in question and the university. Amongst the few details that he can reveal is that people in the town - a lot of them being graduates from that time - might remember who it was, and not being a member of staff at the institution, they could probably tell him, but de Brate's position means he has to keep his mouth shut on that front. Another piece of information is that the former student is no longer in the town and it was rumoured he was last heard of having moved out to Europe somewhere.

Charlie thanks the academic for his time and they head off to the local gas station to get tooled up…

Back in Room 617, Miles is talking to Joseph as Sheldon returns and claims he can hear music coming from the infamous room next door as he is checking the wall for any spy holes. With the help of Sheldon's technological assistance (mainly the laptop and a microphone) they enhance the sound and try to identify the tune. Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'. Marching up to the door to the room, sealed around every crack in the frame with tape, Joseph bounds straight through it.

The smell is the first thing that hits them. Excrement and what looks to be dried blood cover the walls and pieces of broken furniture, filthy newspapers and dead rats cover the bare floorboards. The only window has been boarded up and, unsurprisingly, the lights don't work in here. Joseph is about to break it open when Sheldon pauses his measurements of the room and stops him, saying that it would alert people outside that they have got in here. Sheldon resumes his work to deduce there is a crawlspace of about a foot between the walls of both rooms, about the same depth as the safe they found, so it must be supported by a ledge on the 616 side. He checks for a rear door to the safe and finds none.

The three of them look around the room and discover two interesting features of the room. One, written in the mess on one wall is the phrase 'Tempus Meus Adventi', and on the floor is an elaborate burning of a symbol that Sheldon and Miles recognize to be the Hexagram of Soloman - a tool for the use of magicians in summoning spirits. Evidently both of them have a lot of occult knowledge to call upon… As they sit there looking, Sheldon touches the doll Geebee gave him and gets a slight static shock, which he thinks should be impossible, since it seems to be made from wood.

Thinking of what they can do to break the symbol, thinking it might have some power, they ask Joseph to go and get the toolkit from his rig that they then use to pull up the centermost floorboards of the symbol. They toss them in a corner and then whilst Miles and Sheldon go to pay Cage a visit, Joseph takes down the door to room 619 and turns the 9 upside-down to make a 6. He then uses this door to replace the door he has broken down to Room 616.

Outside, in the Thicket, they find Cage where Charlie met him previously, and introduce themselves. Miles asks him what is the point in him just sitting there and watching the statue. The priest responds by saying that 'something else will happen, it hasn't stopped bleeding yet'. He talks some more and shows him the Hexagram in a sketch. Cage snatches it out of the writer's hands and rips it up, claiming it is an unholy symbol. Miles, at this point accidentally lets it slip that they got the symbol from Room 616 by saying if the thing is so evil, why haven't they got rid of it from the room already. Cage crosses himself and explains that they have tried that already, and nothing works.

Miles, wondering exactly what he means suddenly has a disturbing thought and rushes back to the room to find his fears confirmed. Joseph has just finished replacing the door and opens it at Mile's request to find the floor completely intact. Meanwhile, outside, Sheldon asks about the bleeding statue. 'It always bleeds when tragedy is about to befall the university,' Cage says. He asks if anyone has had a look at the blood scientifically and the old man laughs. 'I wonder what the blood of God would look like…' he muses, claiming it has defied all analysis. Sheldon seems to take this as a personal challenge and takes some samples off to the University labs.

Inside Room 616, Miles and Joseph find that not only has the floor been completely repaired, the message on the wall they saw previously has gone and been replaced by another on the opposite wall. 'All bets are off' - reminiscent of what Meltdown cried out in the Bar and Grille. Joseph pulls up the same floorboards again and the two of them, not taking their eyes off them, take them to the college chapel. As they walk in through the front door, the boards explode in a cloud of dust which is blown out by a wind from nowhere so that not even so much as a single speck remains on the hallowed ground. This surprises, and intrigues both of them even more and they go to investigate the inside of the chapel.

Miles takes some holy water from the font in a small cup whilst Joseph opens a door into a back room. Leading into a vestry he finds the place a complete mess - robes scattered, bibles stacked in a formation similar to a house of cards, song sheets on the floor, cupboards open, etc. As he steps in, he sees a shadow of something moving above him and manages to step back out of the way as a large wooden cross that was suspended above the door frame comes crashing down to the floor. Evidently dislodged by the force of the door opening…

Miles and Joseph have a look around inside and don't seem to notice anything particularly interesting, until the books rearrange themselves into a straight pillar when neither of them are looking. This drives them out of the room, Joseph collects some more holy water on the way out, along with the wooden cross from the vestry, and they leave seconds later.

Meanwhile, in the lab, Sheldon has been having problems of his own. The blood samples he has won't dilute in water or any other chemical agent he throws at it. Likewise, microscopes refuse to focus on the samples when they are on slides. Electronic scanning equipment shuts down when it is brought close enough to the sample. He finds, annoyingly, he is getting nowhere fast and decides to make his way back to the Thicket for more samples.

Back in Room 616, Miles and Joseph have developed a plan after they find the floor to have repaired itself, again. As a side theory, Miles throws in his cup of holy water that sparks and explodes as it goes through the doorway. The plan is that Joseph rips up the same floorboards again and takes them back to Peter's room where he sits with the rest of the holy water close at hand, watching closely for any sign of activity. Meanwhile, Miles will keep watch in Room 616 for any strange occurrences.

At approximately 5:00 PM they separate, Miles leaving the wooden cross in the hole in the floor that he watches intently, whilst Joseph watches the boards in the other room. They talk to each other loudly so they can hear each other. After a while, Joseph doesn't reply, but Miles hears footsteps behind him. Briefly glancing around so as not to loose sight of the hole in the floor, the only thing he manages to glance is a large, black, clawed hand which rushes out towards him and that cuts into his shoulder as it swings down. He falls back, gushing blood, as the room is filled with a brilliant white light. Whatever the thing is that was behind Miles, it has a wingspan of 20 feet and resembles a classical representation of a demon. It flies through the wall, retreating from the light that seems to erupt from a figure that looks like Peter Philips stood in the middle of the room, his arm out in front of him, as if casting the demon out. He turns to Miles and then the light fades, leaving him alone. He immediately cries for help and Joseph, oblivious to all that has happened comes rushing in…

Meanwhile, just minutes later in the hospital, Katya and Charlie sit and watch as the pizza wielding guard makes his way out of the front room. They collect their arson equipment from outside and make their way down the corridors, easily dodging security, to the lifts, just to find that someone has gone down ahead of them. They decide to take the stairs down rather than wait for the chronically slow lift.

When they get to the bottom they find white light spilling out from the cracks around the doorframe. Katya puts on her sunglasses and steps into the corridor, but still has to squint as it is like looking into the heart of the sun. At the far end of the corridor, in front of the wide open morgue entrance, they can just about make out the outline of a man leaning on a cane with his back to them. They call out to him, but above the humming emanating from the morgue, either he doesn't hear them, or he ignores them as the figure walks into the morgue and the lights go out. Left in complete darkness, they hear the doors gently shut ahead of them.

Charlie, pulling out a torch moves forward down the corridor and is first hit by the heat coming out of the morgue. It feels like the inside of a blast furnace and, gently opening the door, they can make out the pile of molten metal and ashes they used to the body and slab where Peter's remains had lain. Charlie immediately begins to search for other exits as to where this figure could have gone. He finds nothing. One way in, one way out, and they are alone.

Sheldon, arriving back at the Thicket is granted by an almost sorrowful 'I told you so' from Cage, which puts him off further examination and he returns upstairs to Room 617. Seeing blood trails in the corridor leading from Room 616 he follows them to the infirmary where he finds Joseph has carried Miles, who is just having he last of some stitches put in to hold the wounds together. He discharges himself from the infirmary - and the staff there don't stop him, since they couldn't particularly care less, with him not being a student or member of staff - and the three of the return to Room 617 as Miles explains, somewhat excitedly and terrified about what happened to him in Room 616.

Upon arrival at the victims room, Sheldon has an idea and begins to search through Miles bags for the doll he got from Geebee. He finds it, complete with five claw marks across its shoulder. He passes it to Miles who yelps and drops the doll to the ground as he receives a rather strong shock from it. When he examines the doll again, the marks have gone and he reaches out to have a look at Sheldons, who promptly pokes him away with a walking stick.

Returning somewhat hesitantly to Room 616, Sheldon gulps at the new message, back on the original wall of 'Do you have an apple?'. Another comment reminiscent of Meltdown, Joseph drinks the holy water in the corridor outside and doesn't walk inside. They leave shortly afterwards, thinking it is time they informed the others of these happenings. The last place they knew that Katya and Charlie were going was the hospital, so they head over there…

5:45 PM and the deputies meet in the corridor outside the morgue. The lights flicker on in sequence heading down towards the morgue entrance and they begin to talk over what has happened in their respective locations. As Katya, Charlie and Sheldon are talking, Miles shows Joseph the skin under his bandages held in place by a sling. Joseph exclaims 'what the hell!?' as he sees the area that had, less than an hour previously been a mess of torn and bloody flesh, look completely normal.

Miles claims it happened when he got the shock from the doll. He then, somewhat bizarrely, invites the other deputies to hurt him. He wants to use this as a method by which to test the doll again to see what happens when he touches it again. Pretty much everyone thinks this is a bad idea, apart from Joseph who shrugs and punches Miles square in the jaw, dislocating it from the rest of his skull.

Collapsing to the floor in agony, he grasps the doll, but nothing happens, so Charlie steps forward and attempts to put it back into place. He nimbly does so and when Katya asks where he learnt to do that, he explains its all part of his training being a paramedic.

Sheldon begins to have a look around the remains of the heat blasted morgue and decides to start taking some pictures with his Polaroid. He does a double-take at one particular photo that shows a man in a suit, leaning on a cane, looking down at the molten remains of the body and examination table/slab when there is no-one in the room apart from himself and the other deputies. He takes more photos of the area and sees the man moving in each one, until he seems to be looking right into the camera.

Joseph, looking over his shoulder at this point exclaims 'I've seen him before, that's the man I saw at the Gas and Gospel trying to buy Geebee's statues, Sullivan Pierce'. The doors of the morgue fly open and swing shut a second later.

Somewhat shocked and bemused about what to do next, and wondering where they are going to spend the night, since it is now getting on close to 6:30 PM, the deputies consider what their plan of attack is going to be for the next few hours. There are various places that they can stay in town, but they haven't decided as yet which one to choose. Sheldon says he will see them tomorrow back at the station since he is more than willing to go back to Room 617 to spend the night, since it is free, the site of paranormal activity which he can record, etc. The others let him go, content not to follow him but make their way back to the station instead.

Sheldon arrives back at the room and a few minutes before 7:00 PM, Geraldine Hardig arrives to check if he is alright as promised earlier. She shuts the door behind her and sits down next to him, stroking his hair and complementing him on his beauty and intelligence, much to Sheldon's delight. Things start to go a little into uncharted territory though when she produces a card which she hands to him.

'I think you might well be interested in this. The society could use a man like you at the moment. Call the mayor and discuss it,' she says with a smile and kisses him.

Sheldon reads the card that has a phone number on one side and the words 'Zetetic Society' on the other as the clock-tower strikes 7:00 PM…