After one last sweep of the railyard, which they found used to belong to a company called Bayou Vermillion. Jimmy torched the car with Gretz’s corpse in it and the party went home, Teddy volunteering to return the “borrowed” car.
The next morning Francis was visited by Angel Lombardi from the Black Hand, informing him that The Black Hand now regarded him liable for Gretz’s $15,000 debt. However, they were prepared to cut him a deal – Find what Gretz was looking for and hand it over and the debt will be considered paid. Francis didn’t agree, but The Black Hand don’t care. That’s the only deal they’ve offered.
Jimmy spent some time hanging out with The Black Hand, trying to find out more about this development while also being sure to be seen with them and not Francis. He established that they had pegged Francis, Ruby, Julien, and Teddy as working together, but not picked up on Jimmy being part of the crew yet.
Julien opened his surgery and was visited by an increasing number of victims of the strange disease and was informed that St Joanna’s Hospital had been opened especially for plague victims and that victims should be sent there.
Francis spent the day following up his leads. He called Christine and got her to run a check on the number plate from the night before, finding it to be information classified to even the police. Francis assumed that this meant it belong to a Texas Ranger, but didn’t manage to find much more information about them.
Francis also visted Emma and gave her the bad news about Gretz before going to visit Dr Kettensage at The Blessed Rest Retirement Home. He was a friendly old man, very keen to talk about his experiences killing supernatural creatures, to the point where he would sidetrack almost any conversation with a rambling, embellished or completely false, story. Around these stories, Francis was able to extract some information too. Gretz apparently played chess with him while working there and often asked him something about zombies.
Francis and Jimmy got some zombie lore from Julien, learning that if you can make them face the sea the spell will be broken.
Francis did some initial research into Bayou Vermillion, establishing that it was a major railway company in the rail wars of the 1860s, eventually losing the competition to build a cross-continental railroad to Hellstromme Industries in the 1870s. Bayou Vermillion filed for bankruptcy in 1899. Before he could go into further detail, he was distracted by a new job.
Andrew Leonheart hired Francis to investigate a couple of break ins in recent nights. One turned out to be Jimmy’s own break in, the other was an oddly inexplicable break in into the main office archive rooms with no sign of the lock being forced or picked. Everyone with a key still had it and had an alibi except for one, Thomas Glauser, who hadn’t turned up to work that day.
The party went to visit Glauser’s apartment, Francis talked the superintended into letting him into Glauser’s apartment and also got the news that he had been visited by a man fitting Gretz’s description the night before. Meanwhile, Jimmy broke in the back.
Jimmy got a look on his own, finding a blood soaked bed with a pile of skin stuffed under it. He used some tongs to pull it out, then ran away to be sick and hide from Francis coming in with Leonheart and the superintendent. Leaving the tongs behind him and covered in fingerprints.
The superintendent insisted on involving the police, bringing Francis’ involvement in the case to the end. After giving a statement to the police, Francis met back up with Jimmy and Julien. Jimmy raised a concern that Francis might have been taken over by the creature before they convinced him that he might have been. At this, Jimmy ran off to look at the sea to break any spells.