Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Umbra Group e02 : World of Darkness

The Umbra Group
Episode Two
"Thee Who Is Beyond Death"

World of Darkness
Home-brewed Setting

The Sliding Room.
Step into total darkness and you can exist the Sliding Room to join any of the others.  But since all four of them were inside the room, getting out was the problem.

Compelled by the telepathic push which Emma Frost had forced into their brains, the four found themselves setting aside their differences and mistrust and turning their attentions to finding a way to find Sophie Stepford.  Patrick Beckett steps into the adjoining room and finds the many metal lockers.  He peers through some and finds them unlocked with clothes in stacks, and photographs in some of them.  He feels confused upon seeing the photos as he recognizes the names to be characters from the comic book Batman. He picks up the revolver he finds in the locker for Harvey Dent.   Rayne Calloway joins him and finds some of the lockers still sealed.  While she uses a hairpin to start picking the lock, Patrick moves to the room with the Shadow Cabinet and steps inside.  He thinks of Sophie but fails to slip out of the Sliding Room.  It seems the darkness does not work that way.  Rayne pops the locker open and playing cards spill out.  All the cards are marked with the words:  Dead.

Ted Olivier and Dil Harris step to the other room.  As Ted feels the panic of the telepathic order upon him, he barks at Dil to help him drag one of the metal gurneys to the room with the dead Emma Frost.  Dil stares at the world map and begins to notice a certain detail which Ted had overlooked before.  All the locations marked in the map have threads that gather to a single pin that is outside the map:  The pin is labelled "The Sliding Room"  He wonders aloud if that means the Room is outside the world.  Ted insists that's unimportant for now, and the two drag the gurneys to the earlier room.  They place the dead bodies of Emma Frost and the other Stepford on the metal beds.  Ted decides to focus on the folders in the filing cabinets and starts taking out all of the folders he can and lays them out on a table.  He begins opening each envelope in hopes of seeing what these are about.  He reads through the folder about The Academy and finds a line that offers a solution to their predicament of getting out of The Sliding Room.  The Shadow Cabinet, it seems, allowed a group called The Truth to travel from the Shadow Cabinet to each other, or through the locations marked in the map.  Wanting to get back to New York quickly, Ted realizes the a trip to The Academy might be the solution.

The group gathers by the Shadow Cabinet and Rayne has been trying to travel by thinking of Sophie.  Sadly it doesn't work.  Rayne tries thinking of the man in the rubber mask, but that fails as well.  Ted informs them of his findings and Rayne decides to try thinking of the Academy: The Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.  She vanishes, and the three finds the Cabinet empty.  It worked!

Rayne steps out of what seems to be a cabinet-like chamber that doubled as a bench in the ruins of a gymnasium.  Broken tiles are scattered about.  Burn markings and bloody splotches scar the walls and floor. As Rayne ponders on what had happened, the others emerge from the bench-cabinet as well.  It becomes very apparent to the four that they stand in what was once the grounds of a private school.  But signs point to it having been attacked.  Glazing outside one of the holes in the wall, Dil notices a figure moving outside past the burning flames and charred grass.  The figure seems to be walking listlessly.  Ted checks and spots the man as well, noticing his weird clothing and the strange lights that dot the sky.  Patrick peers out the nearest door and sees it leads to the corridor of an opulent mansion.  With its oak walls and high ceilings, the beauty of the place is marred by the signs of violence that dot it.  Rayne feels another telepathic message from Sophie, and wishes she could do more.  Patrick sees a smoldering metal skeleton on the ground, with strange metal talons embedded into the wall itself.   Dil peers at Patrick and suggests he head back, but Patrick kicks at the skeleton and discovers it is pretty heavy.  He hurts his toe. 

Ted and Rayne slip out of the ruined building and start walking across the charred lawn.  The dancing lights that surround the academy seem to be an energy sphere that encloses the school.  As they get closer to the figure in the distance, Rayne realizes the man seems to be wearing a robe of some sort.  The moment the man hears their approach, however, he spins to face them and trains what seems to be a foot-long wooden thing at them in a threatening manner.  Rayne sees that the man has a jagged scar from his hairline to his left eyebrow.     

Back at the academy, Patrick and Dil find more dead bodies.  A metal clump that looks like a man can be seen having succumbed to its own weight.  A dead body of a man can be seen with many missing body parts, but where the missing parts are, puddles of water have spread.  The mail scattered on the ground around him confirm they are in New York.   The two enter a side room and both perceive the sound of possibly someone hiding in the fire place. They cautiously approach, with Patrick noticing the hole in the ceiling, showing the remains of a young woman of Asian descent.   When Dil tries to reassure whoever is inside that they are here to help, an illuminated holographic image manifests in front of the fire place.  The pictogram shows an S.O.S. symbol.  When Dil admits they are here to help, the figure finally skitters out of his hiding place, to reveal his mutated features, pink skin and deformed head.  The young boy is clearly distraught, and Dil picks him up in hopes of comforting him.  He calms down, however, once Dil explains they were sent by Emma.  The boy identifies himself as Artie.  Dil notices the confrontation outside at the grass, and decides to head out to see if he can help.

Patrick heads off on his own, deeper into the University, he considers what he "knows" of the X-men and finds the staircase leading further down below.  A woman is seen half-embedded in the ground, dead after having solidified within the solid surface.   A broken brain in a jar can be seen.  As he approaches two doors, one reads Armory and the other simply mentions Danger.  He approaches the Armory and realizes there are still figures inside that are moving.  He peers through the broken glass and notices the two figures are grossly overweight and strangely seemed to hold a sheen that suggested their skin was not flesh.  One of them holds the battered remains of a woman.

The scarred man felt threatened and held the "wand" trained at the two.  Identifying himself as Harrison Potter, he questions if the newcomers are working for The Umbra Group.  When Ted tries to calm him down, it works for a moment - but Rayne's attempts to pose as someone from Beauboton fail and Harrison gets more upset to learn that Emma had sent them.   Ted maneuvers into position, pins Harrison Potter quickly to the ground with his police training, and disarms the wizard.  But Rayne grabs the Elder Wand and smacks it against Harrison, shattering the old wood. A white explosion throws them all to the ground, and dissipates the barrier that surrounded the Academy.    Ted and Rayne get back to their feet to see Harrison Potter unharmed by the blast.    As Rayne secures Harrison, they learn that he was indeed the one who attacked the Academy.  After a "purge" happening in his school, he is the only one left alive.  The mage admits he cannot die, having already killed the one and only man who can kill him.  He has truly become The Boy Who Lived.    He claims the Umbra Group abducted him as a child and forced him to live among them "mudbloods."  Rayne digs through his pockets and finds various things, including a notebook about the Academy (marking the exit and entrance points, the locations of personnel and the like).  The notebook mentions a second target: a place called The World which was to be in England, UK.  "This is for revenge," Harrison spat out.  And admits all the things he learned of the Umbra Group was gathered from the NetNavi.

Patrick pops his gun at the two, striking one on the chest and popping the other in the head.  The first one hit the ground and escapes by vanishing into what seems to be a sudden swirl of colors after he mutters, "Home."  The colors plunge into the beanie hat which is left behind.  The other drops dead, with what seems to be powdered sugar pouring out of its forehead.  Patrick steps inside and finds the place a mess, with most of the technology inside damaged beyond repair.  He notices some blue prints scattered all around, showing what seems to be a weapon that was to be implanted into one's arm.  A sort of plasma cannon.  The details called it a MorphArmy Cannon.  And at the lower corner, the plans are said to be sourced from a Carrier E.  He walks down to the other room and finds  more dead bodies.  Pulling at the switch nearby, he engages the hangar bay doors to open and is raised up to the garden grounds where the others are.

All four now grouped with Harrison Potter and the pink-skinned survivor, Artie, the group considers their course of actions.  Harrison offers to help them travel, but demands in exchange Artie.  Countering that, Harrison Potter is offered a chance to find a way back home, given his anger towards the Umbra Group having "abducted him" from his home world.  Ted considers that the Sliding Room might offer a way.  Harrison does admit that now that his barrier is dropped, people are soon to notice the existence of the school.  But Sophie's attacker, the man in the rubber mask, has found her and in her panic, a telepathic cry for help is unleashed.  The cry reaches Rayne, who is mentally exhausted and unable to resist.  She tells the others they have to move and given there's no way to use the darkness to get to Sophie, Harrison Potter offers to help them travel in exchange for the future attempt to go home.

Potter uses the Sorcerer's Stone in his pocket to transmute some lint in his pocket into Floo Powder.  He tells them to think of their destination, and to stay close to each other in order to travel safe. A small fire is quickly lit and the group tries to travel through the magical means.  Ted and Dil arrive first, with Ted quickly rushing out of the morgue where they had apparated, hoping to find where Sophie is placed in based on Rayne's information.  Dil sees flashes in her mind of Sophie's panicked thoughts, and tries to see more details to suggest where she is.  Patrick arrives then, and tells him they best hurry up before things get worse.  Rayne does not arrive.  Rayne is alone in the academy grounds.  She experiences more visions as Sophie panics.  Unable to travel in any other way, Rayne is forced to settle with a motorcycle she finds in the garage.  Ted sees a duck once again, but ignores it to rush to the room.

Harrison interrogates Patrick, demanding he explain how he knows so many things.  He tells Harry about J.K. Rowling.

As Ted rushes ahead, the lights begin to flicker once more.  He notices a duck in the distance, ignores it, and kicks the door to Sophie's room open in time to see the man in the rubber mask reaching for someone under the bed.  He fires a few shots.  Rayne finds herself experiencing Sophie's attack!  As she struggles to maintain her focus, she comes up with an incredible idea:  She offers to house Sophie's mental state, opening herself up as a host.  But as Ted watches the rubber man ignore his shots, a pistol is pushed against his temple from the side.  John Doe gently asks Ted to choose:  Either step into the room, or stay out.  Ted chooses to go in and in response, darkness erupts outwards from the man in the rubber mask.  Was consumed by the darkness, the three vanish.

As Dylan arrives in the same area, he kicks his way in only to find no one inside save for Sophie.  Patrick turns to the gathering staff and fast talks his way into making them think he's some authority figure.  The security staff question Dylan on what was going on, but he jokes his way out, goes back to the morgue, and slides into the morgue cubicle with Artie to Shadow Slide back into the Sliding Room.

John Doe and Ted are in the Sliding Room, and here the two discuss what they know of The Umbra Group. John Doe admits having his own files of the four, and Ted notices there are dates in the folders of each of them, and the date on his matches the time he was hospitalized and unconscious for a few days.    Both of them are part of The Umbra Group, though none of them were part of its inception.  John Doe and two others were supposed to be part of the group back in the 1920s, and its purpose seemed to depend on which folder you happened to be reading.  He admits to be going around, foiling the established plans of the Umbra Group.  His masked companion, Jason, is able to control the darkness more because of his Awakening.   John Doe and Jason then step back into the shadows, with John Doe promising to speak with Ted once more in the future.

Dylan and Artie arrive, and Ted admits to being so exhausted he needs to get some sleep.  Dylan and Artie talk, and Artie admits to Dylan that he is afraid.  Dylan promises to watch over him whenever he can.

Patrick, avoided the hospital's scrutiny without a hitch, decides to try to wrap up some matters of his own.  He calls Frances and she informs him she's made contact with the "dream company."  She seems quite confused about some things.  Patrick pushes to ask her about the videogame, Megaman and asks if she is aware of any relationship between Megaman X and Sigma.  Fraces reports she is unaware of anything called "Megaman" and admits the closest thing she has heard of is that of a Modularman.  She admits she would like to meet with Patrick face-to-face to discuss "the nature of their relationship."  Patrick's phone then chimes due to a message from Maxine about a dream she had.  The doctor arrives, asking about administering "the cure" to Sophie's sleeping body, in case she was suffering something called "the Legacy Virus."  The doctor then blinks a few times, and does not seem to realize he is asking Patrick to respond.  Patrick steps into the Sliding Room.

Patrick opens the folder on the ModulArmy and takes the folder with him as he walks to the Shadow Cabinet.  He ignores the others and closes the doors behind him.  He Shadow Slides.

Rayne arrives in the hospital and finds Sophie alone but unresponsive.  She had mentally transferred her consciousness into Rayne to survive the ordeal, and had no idea how to go back..  She covers the bathroom up as much as she can, and she slides back into the Sliding Room.  Upon arriving, she learns from Ted that the place is not safe.  Ted admits that John Doe and the Masked Jason are both able to slide there as well.  And starts asking Sophie (through Rayne) questions on what happened at the Academy and what is going on.  While Sophie does confirm it was Harrison Potter who attacked the Academy, she seems very confused with the events that are transpiring.  The Academy was being funded by many groups, with the Umbra Group being the primary one.  The school was involved in training "acquired" offspring from somewhere else, and were being groomed to integrate with human society.  All of them, however, were also being given military training, which suggested they were groomed to handle some manner of threat.  "These were all in accordance to the guidelines set by the Truth."  Artie shares his own stories, of being adopted after he was rescued from the tunnels.  Ted is bothered how these all seem to match knowledge he has of Marvel Comics.

Patrick emerges and finds himself somewhere sunny.  Though cold, he realizes he is at some skyscraper like structure facing the ocean.  The whole place is old and worn down, however, with cobwebs and rust marking most of the place.  He investigates the area, and soon finds a skeleton in a white coat.  The papers scattered about seem to talk about the successful development of a ModulArmy.   To Patrick's surprise, the elevator in the structure still works, and as he steps inside he finds something that bothers him.  Instead of buttons to choose a floor to go to, he finds a grid like pattern with portraits of people inside them.  Of the portraits, only one remains lit, however.  He reads the words TAPPUMAN beneath it and presses it.  The elevator shudders and he finds himself in a long hall with pipes, ladders and weapon turrets.  Everything, however, is frozen, broken down and old.    At the end of the long walk, he finds an old man with metallic parts still strapped to his body.  A massive weapon protrudes from his right arm.  A top-like shape adorns his head.  The man admits Patrick's voice analysis matches the algorithm of Dot or Dash, and Patrick opts not to admit not grasping what that meant.  Tappuman shares that they helped the Academy build a super robot, but things went south when a man with a scar on his head arrived and used "Quantum science" to wipe the others out of existence.  Patrick realizes this place was attacked by Harrison Potter too.  With further conversations, he realizes the Beast worked with them to adapt alien technology called Super God Force Technology to work with human flesh. The alien technology was being supplied by a Carrier Σ, some kind of transportational navigation hub.  "Assimilating it for the Truth's purposes was vital."  Patrick looks at what tech remains available and only finds a massive Rocket Arm.

Rayne decides to go to the hospital and Dylan opts to accompany them.  Ted opens one of the folders, taking the one labelled Closet Cases.  He reads that it leads to a location called St.James.  Rayne and Dylan grab the folder called Drones Among Us after consulting the map on the wall and seeing it has a location close to New York as well.  The three, with Artie, slide.  They emerge in the subway tunnel which Ted had first been led to by the duck to enter the Sliding Room.

Patrick returns to find the Sliding Room empty, and decides to study the remaining folders.  He decides to experiment with the cabinet and tries to slide to someone dear to him.  He emerges out of the cabinet of his brother, Matt, who was busy using the computer at his condo unit.  Not giving Matt a chance to ask what's going on, Patrick steps out, happy to know that the cabinet allows them to slide to people very important to them.

Ted, Dylan, Artie and Rayne take the train.  Rayne talks to Sophie (in her head) and tries to grasp more of what's happening but sadly Sophie does not have more answers.  Dylan and Ted talk, with Dylan hoping to pick some things up.  Ted hallucinates for a moment the guy and girl he had "attacked" to be in the train, but Dylan proves to him the images are not real.  Ted, however, is very bothered by all this.

Patrick receives a call from the hospital and learns from a doctor that Sophie is to be administered some kind of  "cure".  He does not understand why he was called, how his number was found, or what this cure is about.  He decides to just say yes.

Dylan and Artie head off on their own to handle some errands.  While Dylan discusses things with Samantha, his wife, who is genuinely concerned for him, Artie walks off on his own.   The call to her is not particularly fruitful and as the phone is placed down, a woman walks up to Dylan.  Her black hair shimmers in its darkness.  Her skin is pale and white.  Dylan looks around for Artie and realizes the boy has made a tragic mistake!  The wind had blown Artie's hat off, and after chasing it off the curb, the young mutant finds himself on the receiving end of a moving taxi cab.  The cab skids to a halt and the people in the area gather, drawn by the sight of an accident.  Though someone does call for 911, it seems like the injuries are too grievous and  the young mutant won't make it.  That is when Dylan notices the raven-haired woman woman beside him, who encourages Dylan to pick the boy up, and to reminds him that the boy will be fine.  Dylan freaks out as the woman reminds him of another comic character: a woman named Death from Sandman Comics.

Rayne and Ted arrive at the hospital and lock the door behind them.  Rayne talks to Sophie and attempts to help her find a way to "return" to her body.  Ted ignores the two, however, as he finds himself drawn to the bathroom as a duck once again waddles to the room.  As he steps inside to check, he finds John Doe sitting there with an empty syringe in his hands.  He claims to have dialed a number after finding a case marked "Legacy Virus" and called the number he found listed inside.  The voice that answered, he claimed, told him to inject the cure.  So he did.  Rayne and Sophie continue to try to find a way, and Rayne starts sprouting information based on stuff she had read in comics about telepathic powers.  To her surprise, the advice works and Sophie slides back into her own body!  She opens her eyes and as Rayne asks if she is doing well, Sophie immediately tells her, "Ted.  He is not alone in there."

Death, if it is indeed her, is suddenly standing alongside two other people.  One is a dreary man in jeans and a white shirt who looks like a splitting image of Robert Smith of the Cure, the same look of Morpheus the King of Dreams.  The second person is a red-haired man with a beard.  Dylan confronts Death, asking if there is any way they can help, and they offer her a choice:  For Artie to live, but for his son, in the future, to die upon birth.  Dylan grits his teeth and declines.  Artie expires.

Patrick heads to Frances' house and to his shock finds Maxine with her.  As he asks his ex-girlfriend what is going on, Fraces admits it was a business meeting.  As it turns out, Maxine owns 51% of the strange company behind the Asian woman calling Patrick.  Maxine was offering Frances a job to switch and work for her instead.  Fraces does not accept the offer, but does ask Patrick to consider what relationship they share.  Patrick looks at the technology featured in the notes Maxine shares and realizes it resembles those he had glanced upon earlier in the folder entitled, Her Voice A Wet Dream back in the Sliding Room.

Rayne offers Sophie her house key, suggesting she feel free to visit her whenever she wants to.  Sophie turns it down.  In the bathroom, Ted argues with John Doe over the files he has of the others.  John Doe admits he isn't that interested about the files of the other three, admitting Ted somehow draws his curiosity the most.  As it turns out, John Doe has no recollection of any Bat Man and seems happy to learn from Ted more of what the Umbra Group had taken from him.  Ted asks John Doe, however, to explain who the "Fourth man" with them was, given only the three others (Cobblepot and Dent) were the ones they were aware of.  John Doe admits it was Jason, before he wore the Mask.  "There is always four," John Doe admits.  John Doe asks Ted to dance with him, asking if he ever "Danced with the devil in the pale moon light?" and when turned down, offers instead a box as a present, "For your mother."

Ted steps back out to join Rayne and Sophie, and breaks to them the news about John Doe having injected something into her.  When Sophie tries to say something in response, she instead starts to laugh, and her face contorts into a grimace that twisted into a smile.  Rayne asks Sophie to jump back into her head, while Ted fears this John Doe is starting to act like "the Joker" himself.  He looks at the case and finds "the cure" in the box shattered.  Rayne's phone then rings that moment, and the voice offers her help.  Suddenly, Sophie seemingly shuts down as she seems to slip into a calm passive dream.  When Rayne demands answers from the caller, the caller admits they will soon be having an office in New York.  And until then, Rayne may visit them at Hong Kong if she wishes to meet the people who helped them.  She tells them they are called the Yumekami.

Dylan speaks more with Death and learns that Dylan is part of "the Final Four" and she offers a new exchange: Artie's life for a boon that is to be requested for in the future.  With Dylan clarifying "So long as it has nothing to do with Samantha or his son Tim," he accepts.  As Artie breathes in a new life, the two hurry off from the watching crowd of onlookers, and after getting Artie some clothes to wear, the two head for St. James which Ted had earlier mentioned.

Maxine admits she started working on purchasing the company the moment Patrick mentioned it... a few years ago.  Patrick admits he would want to invest and the two negotiate, with Patrick purchasing 24% of her stocks, but agreeing not to compete with her for three years and that he promises to talk with Mark, his ex.  Patrick notices the watermark on the documents for the company read Carrier Σ.  Apparently, that group is the main company.  Patrick starts to notice something odd.  Both Maxine and Frances seem to be pushing for this contract to be signed quickly.  And Frances, who has always been very... dutiful, seemed to act more slutty for some reason.  It takes Patrick a moment to realize the two are moving in perfect sync  as if they had "rehearsed" the conversation.  There is the sound of a thud in the nearby room, and something suddenly shatters in the room.

Maxine's face begins to distort as she chides Patrick to sign the document! Patrick, realizing something odd is up, pulls out his pistol and decides to shoot Maxine on the shoulder.  Sparks fly as the bullet connects and suddenly Maxine unravels, and shifts and becomes Maxine again.  Frances arrives, and tells Maxine "someone" had escaped, and Patrick quickly grasps the two are not who he thought they were.  As Patrick fights with the false Maxine, who transforms into a shifting blob of silvery mirrored boxes, he starts to realize the person who escaped most likely is the real Fraces who lives in this house.

Ted and Rayne talk and Ted tells her it was Patrick who did this to Sophie.   Dylan arrives with Artie, and the group decides to head their separate ways, but not before giving each other their numbers.  Rayne opts to check on her old gang member friends to try and study whatever drugs or chemicals were used on Sophie.  She calls Emilio, who reluctantly agrees to help.  Apparently, some masked man appeared and attacked the gang, wounding 17 of them.  No one has seen her aunt either.  They agree to meet at an old pizza place.

Rayne is purchasing stuff from a nearby vending machine when she overhears someone looking for Sophie Stepford.  The guy is a man in a top hat with gloves and a suit.  Dylan, back in the room decides it might be best to slide away and starts covering the bathroom up to make it dark.  She finds Rayne by the door, panicked over a strange man who seems to be looking for Sophie, but unable to read nor count.  Rayne consider staying to learn more, but eventually decides to join the others.

Ted purchases a new phone and adds their numbers in.  He sees a couple of odd people arguing in an alleyway.  Their appearances and actions seem like a caricature to him, as they talk about "the Red" and search for an address.  Ted walks over to them and asks if they are of the Red or the Black, of which they readily admit they are of the Red.  Ted figures these guys might be related to the book Through the Looking Glass, which tells the tale of Alice in Wonderland.  They are here "under the Shadow Agreement to use this world to travel to them."   Ted admits he is of The Shadow and asks about what the two were fussing over.  "Who died in your world?"  The tall one explains that someone had "lost their sweetness" and Ted figures this may be the one that Patrick had shot at the Academy.  They offer him a tall box, which he realizes contains a hat, and asks him to come through with him.  Ted pulls out the box John Doe had given him and looks inside to find a string of pearls.  Ted re-pockets the necklace, wears the tall hat, and agrees to go with them.  They step through the nearby wall and vanish.

Patrick deals with the Fakexine and Fakeces by blasting them with the fire extinguisher.  As the two writhe on the ground from the blast, he leaps into a dark encompassing shadow and slides away.  He just feels lucky to be alive.

Sophie wakes up, though her face is still frozen in a smile.  She finally sees Artie, and the two hug tight, happy to be alive given the circumstances.  Sophie has no idea why these people with the mask have been coming after her.  She admits they were being trained though.  Their late Professor spoke of a dark Earth that exists, and once a night people from the other side are allowed to slide in.  Dylan decides to focus on the lockers in the Sliding Room and finds the following things inside:

The twelve packs of fifty-two red playing cards, all marked with the word: Dead.
The pictures of Cobblepot and Dent.
The three sets of doctor's scrubs.
The two sets of heavy military rain coats.
The two sets of fur-lined clothing, including boots.
The wooden crucifix stained with blood.
A music CD of Pachelbel's Canon.
A single shirt that has a Chinese symbol on it and a blue-colored rising sun design.

Ted finds himself in another world where candy, colors and swirls seem as frequently normal the way concrete and plants are for us.  The grass is fondant. The trees have jelly leaves.  Soldiers with bodies resembling pretzel sticks come forward and with their gumball helms, escort Ted down the path.  They refer to him as "a Hatter."  One asks what "52?" means and Ted realizes they have no concept of numbers nor counting.  Ted notices they walk upon a yellow brick road and sees a massive castle in the horizon.  The soldiers offer information though, admitting how many are afraid of hatters, given their voracious appetites.  If the Hatters become too hungry, they become Rippers.  Ted asks what the protocol is once he is doing being a hatter, and he is told he simply has to eat his own hat.  "There was another batch before you.  The last batch of Hatters, which numbered four.   But one ate the three.  They were all very hungry though.  Very hungry.  The one that remained laughed, they say.  Laughed and laughed and his hat grew larger and larger, until it became a mask."

Ted thinks he know has just learned the secret history of John Doe's Jason.


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