As Dr. Zachary Wells sat in the morgue, pondering the numerous strange phenomena he had recently witnessed, Deputy Tim Coye approached him and seemed desperate for answers. His mind was still reeling from the confrontation with the Snuff Golem over a week ago. Whereas Dr. Wells did not have any hard answers, he did offer to pay for a therapy session with Dr. Adrian Boley, someone with whom Wells had a fruitful session with, himself. This seemed to placate Deputy Coye and he agreed to work with Boley.
At this point Judith McKnight arrived and she and Dr. Wells first picked up Fr. Jack Clowney and they made the car ride to Peller Lake. On the way, they explained to Fr. Jack, the progress they had made with their investigation and brought him up to speed on the importance of the Ancestors that several of them were related to. When the name ‘Dr. Raymond Geller’ was brought up as one of the Ancestors, Fr. Jack recalled that ‘Geller’ was once a prominent family name in Silent Waters and that Karen Cassius and her sister, Susan, were both likely descendants. This made their connection to the Ancestors, all the more mysterious. As to the connection with Reverend Wilcotts, Fr. Jack agreed to look into it that evening.
Upon arriving at Peller Lake, the group immediately set out to find the body of Otto Markhardt. They were certain, based on Judith’s dream, his body was likely located near the lake. Armed with shovels and a metal detector, they went about their work, interrupted only when the park ranger, Rick Savage, arrived to inquire as to what they were doing. Naturally, they did not talk about Markhardt or anything else out of the ordinary, merely stating it was part of an investigation. Savage warned them about the possible bobcat sightings in the area and cautioned them to be careful and not to stay out too late.
After Savage departed, they continued their work for several hours. Eventually they uncovered the body of Markhardt – or what was left of him – as well as some surgical tools nearby. Markhardt’s body was merely bones and Wells immediately contacted Deputy Kaleigh Hadasa to assist with the removal to take back to the morgue. The tools, Markhardt’s Tools were also taken back.
On the way back from Peller Lake, Dr. Wells received a phone call that Deputy Coye had pulled over a motorist because the tags had been flagged. It was Tatiana Atrov, the girlfriend of Anatoly Gradizh, who was a person of interest in the investigation into Gradizh’s death. The dispatcher suspected Wells would be interested in interviewing her. However, they would have to wait until Sheriff Craye was finished with his interview.
While they waited, Judith and Fr. Jack examined the Surgical Tools in Dr. Wells’ office, while Dr. Wells and Deputy Hadasa began the preliminary investigation into Markhardt’s bones. Hadassa, increasingly suspicious of what was happening in Silent Waters, tried to speak with Dr. Wells but he remained elusive. Meanwhile Judith and Fr. Jack discovered that the Chonic Symbols on the surgical equipment seemed to dedicated the items to a group called The Practice.
When Dr. Wells was finished with the initial examination, he then called Fr. Jack downstairs to see if a blessing could be performed on the bones. However, as soon as he begun, they were all filled with regret.
As soon as the first splash of holy water hit the bones, they came alive with the bones trying to reattach themselves and the ghost of Otto Markhardt appearing over the body, seen only by Dr. Wells. As the demonic ghost screamed out insults to Dr. Wells, stating that the work he had started must be finished, Dr. Wells had heard enough and began pouring hydrochloric acid on the bones, seemingly destroying it. It was at this point Hadasa had enough and demanded an explanation or else she, too, was going to take an ‘extended vacation’ like Dr. Smith. Dr. Wells begged her to stay, gave her a day off and offered her counseling with Dr. Boley, like Deputy Coye. Nevertheless, whatever doubts Fr. Jack had regarding the existence of the supernatural were quickly set aside.
Judith then went to go borrow the tome, Piercing the Darkness from Dr. Edgar Blackford. She wanted to see what could be uncovered about The Practice and in going through the text, she discovered they were an ancient order of medical practitioners who had shed their humanity, turned into something demonic and could be called upon to provide counsel to those seeking to uncover medical mysterious. But their endless experiments and horrific examination into medical research was a nightmare to humanity. It was quite likely that Otto Markhardt had been involved with these creatures which then led to the Ancestors investigating him.
Dr. Wells and Judith then decided to interview Tatiana. They felt she could provide a great deal of information to the case. They found that she normally entertained Anatoly’s guests, many of them she suspected were mobsters from ‘the old country’ or the Ukraine or Georgia, but then there were other guests that would come and she would be sent away, rarely seeing them. Though she did describe coming home early one night and seeing a car with a parking sticker that was associated with the local high school (the same high school where Mrs. Lynne Miller worked). When they left, they were unaware she was on the balcony. When shown a series of photographs, she did identify Robert Nuffleman, as well as Richard Simpson. In a surprise twist, she also identified Steve Whitehouse but there was another man (who she described as looking like comedian and actor Stephen Merchant) as one. When asked about Gunther Voss, she stated she had seen him before but nothing to do with this.
At this point, Sheriff Craye was convinced enough to send over Deputy Coye to the Whitehouse home to ask Mr. Whitehouse some ‘uncomfortable questions’ regarding his relationship with Anatoly Gradizh.
There was some discussion between Judith and Dr. Wells as to what to do with the surgical tools, Markhardt’s Tools. In the end they decided to keep them locked up in the morgue.
The following day when Dr. Wells came to investigate, the tools were gone and the lock ripped from the door. Quickly, Dr. Wells called Judith and the two of them watched the security tape. They saw as a mysterious figure, around 3 AM, arrived in the morgue and walked with a series of stutters and jerks as the video tape seemed to struggle to catch the video. As the figure, seemingly clad in medical garb, slowly turned to the camera, the horrific face, covered with a surgical mask glared at the camera before it went out.
That afternoon, Dr. Wells and Judith then went to speak to Prof. Alan Wolff and Dr. Samantha Woolsley. They discussed the dangers they uncovered regarding The Practice, an organization that Dr. Wolff seemed to have some knowledge of. As they discussed this danger, they theorized that Markhardt may have been working with the Practice before the Ancestors got wind of it which forced Markhardt to turn to more powerful magic to stop them. Hence, the dangers were still in Silent Waters, likely under the guidance of some figure who was working with Markhardt’s legacy. Prof. Wolff suggested that Greggory Kildaire was a likely candidate due to his connections with the Chonic Alphabet. Then, Prof. Wolff went to his secret research chamber and came out with three Elder Signs, which he said were amulets that offered protection against the unknown. These were identical to Woolsley’s Amulet.
Later that evening with Fr. Jack, he revealed that the research he had conducted into Silent Waters genealogy showed that Reverend Wilcotts was an ancestor of none other than Linda Plassey, the Gold Coin Killer.