Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Chill: By the Skin of Our Teeth, or, Hammer-Time!

Violence abounds. Let's dig in.

Last time, our intrepid SAVE envoys did some digging into the disappearance of former envoy Vince Jessup, recently released from prison for murders he evidently committed under influence of the Unknown. The envoys' investigation led them to his former cellmate, Franklin Wray, who had been in prison for killing a man named Timothy Fossly. Fossly's uncle, Gregory, had a piece of land out in rural Oregon, and Jessup had apparently said something about going to Oregon, so the envoys decided to drop in on that property to see if Fossly still lived there. It was, as they say, a long shot.

Mohammed, Beth Anne, Jordan, and Blake (joining them after getting done with work) head out to Oregon. Jennifer, remember, had decided to stay behind and act as a point of contact, and BB got hung up visiting his own PO (his player wasn't feeling well). The envoys drive for a goodly portion of the day, and get to the property just as the sun is setting.

The property consists of three buildings - a two-story house, a barn, and a garage. The envoys pull down the badly-maintained gravel drive and survey the area. It's snowing, and it's quiet and still. They decide that Mohammed and Beth Anne will go up and knock; no need to get everyone involved.

They walk up and knock. In the quiet, Beth Anne hears a noise from the basement, a kind of mechanical "crunch" sound. It sounds familiar, but she isn't sure why. An old man answers the door. He's careful at first, but then lets them in and introduces himself as Jack Gordon. Mohammed asks his connection to Greg Fossly; Gordon says Fossly died, he thinks, but he bought this place a couple of years back, through a realtor. Mohammed Senses the Unknown and gets a strong feeling - there's a creature of the Unknown present. He doesn't know if it's Gordon, though.

Mohammed, wishing as always to be the best interrogator he can be, uses Telepathic Empathy on the man, and his breath catches in his throat. Gordon may or may not be a creature of the Unknown, but he wants Beth Anne and Mohammed to suffer and die. He doesn't even want it in an angry way, he wants it in a more visceral, basic-need sort of way. Mohammed, realizing that the characters are a little out of their depth here, thanks Gordon for his time and starts heading back.

He gets in the car and relays this information to the others, but as they're reversing, there's a sickening noise from under the car and it lurches and stalls. Jordan and Blake get out, and see Gordon walking toward them. The envoys grab pistols, just to be on the safe side, but Gordon is all concern when he approaches. Jordan looks under the car, and sees that the axel is completely bent. There's nothing in the driveway that could have done that; that's the work of the Unknown.

Gordon helpfully offers for the envoys to come inside and use the phone. They agree, but keep wary. Mohammed distracts Gordon by talking to him, listening to his stories about being in the Marines in WWII, and comes to the conclusion that these stories are probably true, but not Gordon's - he's telling someone else's life. Mohammed has dealt with inhuman people before, but never someone so truly devoid of emotion or empathy. Gordon reads like a serial killer.

The others look around. On his way in, Blake peeks in the window of the garage, and sees vehicles - one large enough to be a tractor - but not in much detail. He checks the kitchen (where the phone is), and calls AAA. They take a while even figuring out where the envoys are, and then tell Blake it'll be hours before anyone can get out there. He thanks them, silently hoping he'll live that long.

Beth Anne finds a door leading down to the basement. On the inside of the door is a list of initials - some are just ??. The last one on the list is VJ. Two up from that is GF, and a bunch up from that is TF. A victim's list? She photographs it and shows it to Jordan.

Jordan, meanwhile, searches the kitchen and finds a pistol strapped under a cabinet. She takes it, despite not knowing much about firearms - at least if she has it, Gordon doesn't. She also finds a blossom, resembling a thistle, but with an odd scent. She shows it to Beth Anne, who identifies the odor - blood. This isn't a natural plant.

Beth Anne, Blake, and Jordan sneak downstairs and find a workbench, with apparatus for filling shotgun shells (which was that "crunch" that Beth Anne heard earlier; she's a farm girl, she knows how to make ammo). There's also a wall dedicated to hammers - claw hammers, sledge hammers, all kinds.

Upstairs, Mohammed mentions that maybe they should find his friends. "Let's," says Gordon, and focuses on him.

Mohammed falls to the ground, writing in pain. The damage isn't much, but it feels like his ribs, damaged in the last case, are breaking all over again. The others hear him cry out and come running, but Gordon is gone, and the front door is open.

Jordan goes to the door to peer out, and hears a small "crack" from out in the dark. A puff of blood emerges from her back, and she collapses, shot. The others drag her in and help her get steady, and then realize she's pretty badly hurt. She's OK for now, but she needs medical attention. The phone rings, and Mohammed answers - it's AAA for Blake. He puts Blake on, and the woman tells him that it might be morning before a truck can get out there. She can call emergency services for him if he needs that. Blake, figuring that sending an ambulance here is going to get people killed, declines, but gets the number to the nearest hospital (it's two hours away, of course).

The envoys search the house, and find more firearms, but no evidence of dead bodies or anything Unknown. Beth Anne leaves her body and goes out to the garage, and finds a truck (the keys to which Blake found earlier), and a tractor (which clearly doesn't run). She then goes to the barn, and finds its interior is completely overgrown with those weird thistles. They all seem to grow from a couple of patches near the back of the barn. She walks around the outside of the barn and finds a man standing there staring at the house. He turns to look at her, and she realizes he's hollowed out, full of vines, and his eyes are two of those thistle blossoms. He "looks" at her for a moment, then turns to stare at the house.

She walks around back, and finds Gordon hiding, holding a shotgun, watching the back door. He doesn't seem to notice her, but of course she can't do anything to interact with him.

Beth Anne returns to her body and reports the situation. The envoys decide that waiting is a bad idea - sooner or later Gordon will attack. As if to underline the point, the lights go out, as does the heat.

They know where Gordon is now. They decide to hit the garage and burn the obviously-Unknown plants. They figure Blake and Jordan will head out there, and Jordan will use her Line of Defense power to ward the barn - maybe that'll kill the plants outright, maybe not, but it's a start. Mohammed and Beth Anne will watch from the front door, since Gordon will probably come around from the back.

Jordan and Blake head out, and the man that Beth Anne saw tackles them. Jordan draws a circle around it, but gets Blake in there, too, so the creature claws at him, but can't quite gain purchase. He turns a sawed-off shotgun he found on the thing and fires, but it keeps moving.

Meanwhile, there's a thump from above Mohammed and Beth Anne. Mohammed figures that Gordon is on the roof, and runs up. Beth Anne, for her part, succumbs to her Drive ("to be free") and runs to the garage to get the truck working.

Mohammed finds the upstairs window leading to the roof in time to see Gordon fire a rifle (this hits Blake in the shoulder, but of course Mohammed can't see that). He fires at Gordon, but misses, and Gordon points at him and picks him up without touching him, flinging him out the window and into the snow. Mohammed lands well, taking minimal damage, and fires back blindly, but of course he can't see enough to aim.

Gordon shoots Blake again, and Blake panics, bashing the creature repeatedly with a hammer. Jordon, meanwhile, gets into the barn, draws a ward on the wall, and watches as the plants wiggle, trying to get away from it.

And then she just sprays paint thinner around and burns it.

The plant-zombie crumbles, and Blake tries to stand. Gordon fires again, dropping Mohammed, and Beth Anne gets the car rolling and pulls up to them. Blake helps the others into the truck, and they take off, bleeding, injured, into the night.

They make it the two hours to the hospital and claim that they broke down while driving through Oregon and this old guy started shooting, but they (that is, Beth Anne; everyone else is in treatment) don't give the police enough detail to find the place, they hope. They also call the ranch. They need reinforcements. They're going back.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Character Creation: Velvet Glove (ashcan)

Missed last week, but that just means I'm a week behind schedule. I can make that up no problem over Xmas break. Today's our holiday party, so I've got shit to do, but PbtA games are hella quick so HERE WE GO! Don't forget to like and subscribe!

(I feel kinda dirty saying that. And it's pretty meaningless here anyway. Moving on.)

The Game: Velvet Glove (Notebook Edition)
The Publisher: Magpie Games
Degree of Familiarity: None with this game, quite a bit with the underling system
Books Required: Just the one.

Velvet Glove asks you to play teenage girls in a gang in the 1970s. Like a lot of PbtA games, it's hella niche. This is a subgenre I'm not terribly familiar with (I've seen a couple of the movies on the recommended viewing list at the end, but they're the more recent ones).

Anyway, like most PbtA games, we start with a playbook. Options are the Gearhead, the Maniac, the Newbie, the Radical, the Stoner, and the Valkyrie. Hmm. I think I'll take the Stoner. Go ask Alice, baby. ("White Rabbit" seems a little cliche here, but I'll run with it.)

The book wants me to pick a name off the list; sure. I'll take Santana. She's 18 (at the high end of the age spectrum). Picking the Look, I'll pick Woman (as opposed to Girl or Ambiguous); tomboy clothes, no makeup (she's allergic to a lot of it), natural hair, and Latinx.

For my gear, I'll take a switchblade and 2 doses of a drug (LSD, I think).

And then for Stats, I get to add one to my array. Hmm. I already know what moves I want, so I think I'll lean in and add one to heart. That gives me -1 Brains, +2 Heart, +0 Muscles, and +1 Pussy (yep).

Speaking of Moves, I want head change (I can get high and know things) and that's the joint (when I set up a party, I can call someone who'll bring good shit).

And then normally I'd do Ties, but y'know, it's just me, so I generally skip this step.

I'll say that the Stoner playbook seems geared mostly to weed, but I see Santana as a fan of hallucinogens, too. Like, I think she's happy to smoke up with her friends and use weed as the party drug, but the other stuff is for doing with people she trusts (or thinks she can trust). I think it'd be fun to get in trouble with that, and if I were playing her, I'd definitely push for our gang to be selling drugs.

And that's it!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Movie #488: Now & Then

Now & Then is a coming-of-age drama starring Rosie O'Donnell, Christina Ricci, Demi Moore, Gaby Hoffmann, Melanie Griffith, Thora Birch, Rita Wilson, Ashleigh Aston Moore, and a bunch of other people basically in cameos. It's pretty awful.

The movie starts with Chrissy (Wilson) getting ready to have a baby, attended by her best friend and OB/GYN Roberta (O'Donnell). Their two other best friends, Samantha (Moore) and Teeny (Griffith), who fled their tiny Indiana town to become a successful author and actress, respectively, also come back for the birth. They all get together and start reminiscing, and then we flash back for the bulk of the movie to 1970, where Chrissy (Moore) is the naive, sheltered girl given confusing and metaphorical sex ed by her mother (Bonnie Hunt); Samantha (Hoffmann) is bookish and weird, likes to have seances, and is coping with her parents' impending divorce; Roberta (Ricci) is tom-boyish and rough, hates her developing body, and is comping with her mother dying in a car wreck when she was small; and Teeny (Birch) is the daughter a couple of swingin' 70s folks, is precociously sexual (or at least wants to be), and wants to be an actress when she grows up.

Kay, so I'm gonna spare you the blow-by-blow of the summer. If you want that, go read the Wiki (it's hella thorough). Suffice to say that the movie isn't long, but it goes on forever. There are myriad events, twists, turns, mysteries, naked boy (like, little boy) butts, near-deaths, and just holy shit this never ends. And then at the end the girls discover that they didn't actually bring an unquiet spirit back to Earth (no, really), go on and "grow up," and then flash back to "now" where the women welcome Chrissy's daughter and vow to see each other more often.

Good lord, if you want a definition of the word "glurge," watch this movie. There are so many false starts (this summer is about when we saved money for a tree house! No, it's about when we solved a mystery! No, it's about when we put a ghost to rest! No, it's about when we fought with the Wormer brothers!), and so many awful lines that seem Really Profound, but also like they came out of a Hallmark card. I've heard this movie described as "Stand By Me" for girls, but holy shirt, Stand By Me had a story and it was about growing up and learning about adult shit within the context of that story. This...just throws everything possible into the blend and then pours it out in one syrupy mess.

Good point: The cast is actually pretty good and does the best it can with the dialog.

Last point of annoyance: Melanie Griffith and Thora Birch are completely wasted playing Teeny ,who is given no arc and nothing of substance to do, especially as an adult.

My Grade: F
Rewatch Value: IINSIAIFWT

Next up: O Brother Where Art Thou?

Monday, December 3, 2018

All Flesh Must Be Eaten: Don't Stop Believin'

Sunday was All Flesh. First session is here. And now, our opening music:

We open on Kyle, who's crashed over the apartment of Penny, the barista at Rocco's Beans & Things. He learns from the clock-radio that Rocco was found murdered in the shop, his heart cut out. This shakes Kyle; Rocco was a good guy, and of course that's fucking gruesome.

Mia gets up, goes for a run, and then goes to Mass. She attends at the same church where Rocco's family goes, in fact, so she gets to hear about the murder there. She gets home to the Tri-Delt house and runs into Heather, who's also getting back from church (she goes to the interfaith chapel on campus because she's under the impression that counts as "community service"). They talk briefly and Mia floats the idea of raising some funds for Rocco's family, but Heather is unable to understand why that would be of benefit to her and Mia gets frustrated and leaves.

She heads over to Kyle's place and picks him up to go to the beach. Mia isn't really interested (or well-equipped) to comfort anyone, but she does enjoy swimming and sex.

Daisy gets up and goes to the library, checks out entirely too many books, and goes to campus to sit on the lawn and read. As she's reading, she sees a woman being chased by another person, obviously in distress. Daisy grabs a heavy book and runs after the woman, and catches up as she enters a building and is frantically stabbing the button the elevator.

Daisy calms the woman down and offers to walk her up to her office - the woman is a professor of Comparative Religion, Susan Stephens. Daisy asks if she wants to call campus security, but Stephens declines. She also says she doesn't know who was chasing her, but Daisy is experienced enough watching her sister lie (badly) to recognize an untruth. She stays and chats with Stephens for a while, and they mostly discuss philosophy, but it's not until later that Daisy realizes that Stephens' philosophical views are dark. Like, she believes in God, but she believes that God is uncaring and merciless, and all that anyone can do is amass power and comfort here on Earth. Troubled, Daisy goes back to her reading spot.

Patricia gets up and hears about Rocco on the radio as well. She goes about her day, and then goes for a walk on campus and runs into Daisy. They talk a bit, and then Daisy decides to go to the Tri-Delt house and raid the fridge.

They do, and run into Heather. The three of them discuss Rocco's death and Patricia, like Mia, thinks maybe it might be nice to raise some money for the family (Heather is, again, unsympathetic). They decide to find Mia, and Patricia notes that she might be with Kyle. Daisy is suddenly very much in favor of finding them, and recalls that Mia likes to swim. They get into Heather's car and head out to the beach.

They find Mia and Kyle sitting on the back of Mia's jeep (they've been "swimming," of course). Mia is a little annoyed to be stalked, but they talk about Rocco and the horror of that situation, and stay at the beach the rest of the day. As evening falls, they build a fire, and another group of surfers comes up and offers marshmallows, so the group of them sit around the bonfire as the sun sets. Kyle plays his guitar, and the group talks and relaxes.

And then the cops show up.

The police ask to speak to Kyle, and take him aside. They establish his whereabouts today, and then reveal why they're here: Penny was murdered about an hour ago, near Rocco's cafe. Her heart was cut out. Kyle was the last person to talk to her.

Heather and Daisy talk to the other cop (their father is a cop), and get a general sense of what's going on. Kyle returns to the group, clearly shaken, and asks if Mia would take him home. Mia winds up taking him, Daisy, and Patricia, since no one really wants to ride back with Heather.

Heather, offended, goes to the mall to find her father (he's working security at the movie theater). She talks to him and learns that someone stole Rocco's body today, but immediately realizes he shouldn't have said that. He tells her to stay out of it, but Heather is determined to solve the mystery. She decides to head into town and find the others.

Said others, by the way, have gotten back to town. They drop Kyle off at his place, and then decide to go to the police station and report what happened to Dr. Stephens (Daisy has told them about this, and it seems strange). They talk to a fellow on desk who promises to pass the information along (he, too, knows Daisy). Patricia and Mia go to get a pop from the vending machine, and hear one Det. Gomez talking to another officer - "I knew that name sounded familiar, her TA was the one that went missing."

Mia has a pretty incredible memory, and she recalls a TA going missing earlier in the fall. Her name was Stella Aminat.

The three of them stand in the parking lot a minute talking about all of this - the murders, the disappearance of Stella, the attack on Stephens - and Heather arrives (though for the life of me I can't remember why she went there). There's some eye-rolling, but Heather remembers Stella, too; she took a Comparative Religion class. Stella was, you guessed it, Dr. Stephens' TA.

Daisy tries to call Kyle, but he doesn't pick up.

After getting dropped off, Kyle goes out walking, and winds up near Rocco's cafe. The place is swarming with cops, and Kyle hangs out, listening. He hears a couple of them talking, and realizes that Penny's body disappeared, right from under their noses. Another cop comes up and tells them that Rocco's body disappeared, too, so it's not just a matter of the cops being incompetent. At this point, Kyle asks to talk to Gomez, the detective in charge. Gomez is on site, and talks to Kyle. Kyle relates the story that Daisy told him earlier, about Stephens being chased on campus, and Gomez looks thoughtful. He thanks Kyle for the info, and Kyle leaves (Gomez, of course, heads back to the station).

Kyle heads home, and goes into his apartment complex. A woman steps out of the shadows - Penny. She doesn't look hurt, but she's covered in blood and her shirt is torn. Kyle panics and runs upstairs, but Penny vaults up the railing and lands in front of him, and now she looks dead - chest is ripped open and blood falls out. Kyle runs, throwing up on the way, and manages to get out the door and away from her.

Penny smashes through the door to get after him, but Kyle gets to his bike, guns the engine, and heads to the Tri-Delt house on instinct.

He gets there just after the girls, gets off the bike, utterly panicked. He tells them he saw Penny, and she attacked him, but they don't believe him - they figure he's high. They take him inside to have a cup of tea and change his shirt.

Next time, we'll see if anything followed him.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Movie #487: Graveyard Shift

Graveyard Shift is a 1990 adaptation of the short story of the same name by Stephen King, and stars Stephen Macht, Brad Dourif, David Andrews, Kelly Wolf, and Jimmy Woodard. It's...not great.

Set at a textile mill in Maine (although the surrounding terrain doesn't look very Maine-like, and the accents are sometimes New England and sometimes Southern), the film sees a drifter named Hall (Andrews) taking work for the evil foreman Warwick (Macht), snuggling up to Jane, the one woman who works on the cleanup crew (Wolf), and then everyone getting eaten by giant rats.

It's pretty much a by-the-numbers monster movie. The characters are largely forgettable; the Exterminator (Dourif, representing the largest chunk of the budget, I'm sure) is the only one with any kind of backstory that gets explained. Hall is a widower, sure, and Jane has some history, but we never really learn any of it. The giant bat-rat that winds up killing everyone is ugly and slimy and kind of impressive as far as effects go (it's gotta be practical, too, which is good), but we never get a good look at it.

The short story this is based on has a nicely Lovecraftian feel to it; the characters (some of them) are the same, but there's a fun power play between Hall and Warwick that becomes a fistfight here, and winds up being about as subtle as, well, the rest of the movie. It's watchable, though, if you like bad creature features, which, fortunately, I do.

My Grade: D-
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: Now & Then

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Movie #486: The Dead Zone

The Dead Zone is a 1983 horror movie based on the novel by Stephen King, and directed by David Cronenberg, starring Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerrit, Herbert Lom, and Martin Sheen. Weirdly, I had never even heard of this movie until we picked it up in a collection.

Johnny Smith (Walken) is a teacher who's doing pretty well; he's dating a fellow teacher (Adams) and plans to marry her, and then gets into a car wreck and is in a coma for five years. When he wakes up, Sarah has moved on and married, and he has the ability to see the future by touching people. He winds up helping the local sheriff (Skerritt) catch a serial killer (Nicholas Campbell), becomes a private tutor in an attempt to cut himself off from people generally, but winds up learning that the crooked-ass candidate for Senate, Greg Stillson (Sheen) is eventually going to become president and plunge the world into nuclear holocaust, so he goes all Taxi Driver on him. He dies in the process, but does manage to ruin the guy's political future.

I enjoyed this movie. Walken was suitably scared and creepy as Smith, and it was nice seeing Martin Sheen playing a nutcase (really, that doesn't happen enough). Likewise, great supporting performance by Lom as Walken's doctor. I also enjoyed that Smith having psychic powers isn't something that people, in general, have a hard time believing; for the most part there's some skepticism but they believe it when it works (which is nice because skepticism in the face of obvious results is tiresome in movies).

If I have a complaint, it's that the movie is paced strangely, and it kind of skips from plot point to plot point without building up a lot of momentum. Like, the serial killer plotline is set up like it's going to occupy the last third of the movie...but then it's resolved in one scene. The plotline with Sarah and her new life is nice, and actually does provide some throughline for the movie, but we don't actually see much of her and she's just a device to get John out of the house. The election and Stillson are mentioned early on, but the real meat of the conflict comes out late and there's a scene with Stillson blackmailing a reporter that makes him look crooked, but not as full-on deranged as he really is.

All in all, it's a funny adaptation of a King novel and has some good performances.

My Grade: B+
Rewatch value: Medium-low

Next up: Graveyard Shift

Monday, November 26, 2018

Chill: Missed Check-In

New Chill case! Woo! (Here's the end of the last one.)

It's been a couple of months since the Boise HQ deal with a poltergeist and a werewolf within a couple of weeks of each other. Some of the envoys are on probation, but Unknown-wise, it's been quiet. A blanket of snow has covered the ranch, and it's still and quiet on the evening of February 8, 2018, and a car pulls up the drive...

A man knocks on the door, and Jordan opens it. The man - wearing a suit, but not an expensive one - asks for Ruth Adams (Dee's niece, and daughter of Eli Adams, Dee's late brother). Jordan lets him in to get warm, and goes out to the stable where Ruth and Mohammed are tending to the horses.

BB, meanwhile, chats with the man, whose name is John Howard. John is a parole officer (and has heard of BB, since BB has a PO, too). But John's not here for BB.

Ruth comes in, and John asks her about someone named Vince Jessup. Jessup was apparently paroled a few days ago and was supposed to come out to the ranch, but hasn't checked in. Ruth says that she talked to him on Monday, but he was going to drop in on an old cellmate and she hasn't heard from him. John nods, and asks if Ruth hears from him to contact him, has a cup of coffee and chats a bit, and then leaves.

Ruth talks with the envoys and explains a little more. Vince Jessup was a SAVE envoy from Nampa, ID, who was arrested for double murder in 2001 and has been in prison ever since. That HQ was lost in the infiltration, but some of the envoys might still be around. Ruth doesn't know who his cellmate was, but she's worried - Jessup knew he was welcome at the ranch and was looking forward to having some work and a place to stay. The envoys decide they'll look into this; the disappearance of a SAVE envoy is always cause for concern.

Jordan calls up some friends on the police force, and with some digging finds that Jessup's first cellmate was a fellow named Franklin Wray. Wray was sent to prison in 1990 for manslaughter, but was paroled not long after Jessup got sent to prison. BB, a bounty hunter, does some digging of his own and finds that Wray broke his parole and hasn't been seen since his release. If Jessup was going to drop in on him, he clearly knew something the authorities didn't.

Jennifer, visiting from Chicago to catch up with BB, decides to help out and does some digging into the HQ's records. She finds an envoy list from the Nampa HQ, but of the six envoys on it, four are dead, one is Jessup, and the last one - Susan Wisnewski - still lives in Nampa. Mohammed calls Susan up and asks her about SAVE; Susan asks to talk to Dee (everyone knows Dee) and then agrees to talk with the envoys, but not on the phone. The envoys pile into an SUV and head to Nampa; it's getting dark, but they know the danger of wasting time.

Susan receives them and gives them cider while they talk. She recalls that the case that led to two envoys dying and Jessup being arrested involved some strange, thin, pale-skinned creature with big eyes. It didn't mind-control people, exactly, but manipulated them and cast illusions. Jordan and BB look at each other knowingly - this sounds a lot like the thing that was haunting the Iowa University campus recently. In any case, apparently it tricked Jessup into shooting his girlfriend and another envoy, and he was sent to prison for it. Franklin Wray had told Jessup (truthfully or not, Susan wasn't sure) that he too was in prison over a bullshit charge, and Jessup had apparently taught him the Art and planned on getting him into SAVE when he was released.

This all makes the envoys uncomfortable, but they aren't sure where to go. They decide to check the court records and to visit the police department and see if they can learn a little more, but that'll have to wait for morning. Susan offers to let them stay; she says she misses this part of SAVE ("but not this part," she says, holding up her left hand and revealing she's missing two fingers).

In the morning, BB and Mohammed head to the police department and talk to a detective. They say that they're trying to find Wray - yeah, it's a cold case, but money's money and there's a bounty on the guy. The detective tells them that Wray was a shithead; he had a history of arrests for stalking, weapons, minor assault, and finally got arrested for "accidentally" shooting Tim Fossly, a guy who lived in his neighborhood. They also talk to his PO, but the guy has been over this ground and doesn't have any good insights.

The others pull some court records and look into Wray's conviction. The prevailing feeling was very much that the killing was deliberate, but no one was sure why. The envoys also, however, find that Tim Fossly's uncle, Gregory Fossly, spoke in court and read his address into the record. He owns a ranch in the middle of nowhere, Oregon.

Not having any other leads, the envoys decide to make the road trip out to the ranch. It's a good 3.5 hours from Boise, and it's really isolated - no towns or hotels within 2 hours' drive. Jennifer stays behind in Boise to act as a point of contact and keep researching (because her player won't be there next time).

And off into the snow they go.