We open Foggy Beginnings with a BANG. 

Some of us are crouched in a ball by the side of a wrecked car. Some of us are still strapped in by seatbelts. A few are even unconscious. There’s blood and dirt everywhere. We’ve just been a car wreck, a pretty bad one. 

Nicola and Ruby try to revive the driver, Clive, who has an obviously broken nose. He demands to know why Ruby didn’t see this coming. “I’m a medium, not a psychic!”

But no one is dead, which makes Clive happy – our insurance doesn’t cover death or dismemberment. Grace exits the car, checking her cell phone. There’s no signal, but she does get a time and date. September 17th, 8:24 pm. GPS shows the last functional location as Cleo, Michigan. 

The road is dark and deserted. It’s paved, and on the pavement we see, almost out of nowhere, brake marks showing where the car swerved. But there’s no skid marks, and no other body in the road. Our A/V equipment appears unhurt, and one of us has a website up for TSF International. Going through the glove box, Ruby finds paperwork. This is a rental. And we forgot to get comprehensive coverage. 

What were we doing in Michigan?! 

Fortunately, Ash’s phone gets a bar of service! The map app resyncs, we’re only a few miles away from Cleo.A few dim lights shine from a farmhouse about a quarter-mile away. Ash tries to dial 911, but the call cuts out. Meanwhile, Nicola has watched enough Grey’s Anatomy, and assembles a rough but functional splint for Grace. As Nicola works on Grace, a key with a small blue tag falls out of her bag, a motel key for the Coach & Lantern in Cleo. 

Going through our bags and pockets, we find we each have a hotel key. And we’re missing key #5. Grace openly wonders how they could each afford their own hotel room. After some brief discussion, we head towards the farmhouse. There are definitely things out there, moving in the crop fields. Probably just wildlife. Probably. 

The farmhouse doesn’t seem threatening. Knocking on the door, a slightly elderly woman answers. On hearing we’ve been in an accident, she insists we come inside. An elderly man named Burt comes from the back room and gives us the number for Dave’s Garage. We’ll get a tow in about twenty minutes. When he’s done, Ruby calls the Coach & Lantern. She learns we booked six rooms, but didn’t have a checkout date. Clive did sign for us, though. 

Nicola checks her digital camera’s roll. The pictures are oddly pixelated. There are some random shots of Cleo, including two children standing in front of a house. A sign identifies it as Cooper House. It’s got some old architecture. Nicola asks out loud if Cooper House rings a bell to anyone. It doesn’t to us, but Donna seems to know what it means. 

Reluctantly, she tells us about the Cooper Farm. People have called it haunted since forever, but Donna just thinks it’s superstition. Clive tries to charm Burt into saying what he know, but isn’t quite as suave as he would have liked. Ruby intercedes, and Burt says kids used to dare each other to go into the house. The time Burt did, he thought it was creepy. As if someone else was with him in the house. He likes Ruby so much he gives her some rough directions. 

As soon as he hands Ruby the paper, she remembers the Cooper House, for a split second. She remembers driving up during the daytime. Soon, the tow truck arrives, already towing our van. Oddly, there’s nothing wrong with our van. According to Dave, it runs fine. 

Returning to Cleo, we head to the hotel. The trip back starts to feel more and more familiar, at least to Grace. She remembers sitting in the same passenger seat. Sometime during the day. She looks up and says, “Looks like this is the only game in town,” as the van pulls into the motel parking lot. She hears someone from behind her in the van, offering to buy dinner for everyone. It’s a redheaded woman, whom Grace doesn’t recognize. Weird. 

As we enter the motel, a man at the reception desks asks for a word with Clive. He apologizes for the clerical error and shortchanging them one room, and slips him the master key to the hotel so he can get into room 5. 

Meanwhile, Grace visits Ruby and asks if she remembers a redheaded woman. Ruby doesn’t, but takes Grace’s hand to try and dig something new up. Ruby feels a huge pressure in her head, almost as if a migraine is coming on. But there’s no additional images, just pain. 

As this is going on, Clive texts Nicola to meet him in Room 5. He starts filming himself while searching the room. It’s clean, and Clive finds two suitcases and a laptop. Looking into the suitcase, Clive gets a waft of perfume. It’s strong enough to be cloying, and he also remembers a redhead. They’re in bed together, enjoying the afterglow of a romantic evening together. But then a flash cut. The redhead woman is in tears, blood coming from her face as she screams in pain. He hears an inhumanly loud voice, “Then you will DIE!”

Clive blinks, screams CUT and goes to bang on Ruby’s door. “You’re not the demon, the demon has my girlfriend!” He gives her the laptop, asking her to get visions from the computer. Eventually, everyone ends up in Ruby’s room. Ruby begins setting up a seance while Grace tries to break into the laptop. Nicola draws some underwear and a toothbrush out of the suitcase for Ruby to use in her seance. It’s not quite what Ruby was expecting, but Clive suggests looking for some perfume while producing some girthy black candles. 

Grace finds a lot of steamy emails, signed Lynn Cartwright. Lynn was also communicating extensively with Mills Foster Studios in Los Angeles. They’re a small production house. Our production house. Grace asks if the name Lynn Cartwright means anything. It doesn’t. But Grace does find some production files. Opening the production files, Grace finds a pdf of news clippings, including about an unidentified man being found dead in Cleo. 

The seance begins. Clive nearly passes out from the pain. He looks down and sees his hands are stained in blood. He’s holding a yellowed skull, covered in runes. Ash sees a grub on the ground. It begins growing legs, scuttling across the ground. It multiplies, until it’s a mass of legged grubs. Ash strangely doesn’t feel repulsed by this. They’re kin with the grubs. At this point, Grace looks up from the laptop. “Hey, y’all done with your spooky woo yet?”

But the visions continue. Nick wakes up in a sealed cave. He’s part of the cave. Tens of thousands of tiny Nicks pour out of his face. They link up and head out to who knows where. 

Ruby gets it the worst. She hears a woman’s voice, slowly being drowned out by drums. It starts getting louder and louder. She hears people. A lot of people. They’re dancing and chanting her name. And coming up to her and slitting their throats, in her name. She’s not pleased with such worship, but she is extremely… hungry. These people aren’t people at all. They’re her own spawn. A voice says, “Turn back now. These are all lies.” Ruby asks how to protect herself, but it’s apparently not possible. Ruby’s children won’t let that happen. Wait, Ruby’s children?!

Ruby wakes up, crying. Grace slips her a double shot of Whale’s Whisky. They begin sharing their visions. We’re all a little disturbed, especially Ruby. Nicola realizes, she recorded this entire thing. She picked up spasms or undulations in their bodies, each one in turn. The camera playback shows… something… trying to escape our bodies. Ruby isn’t quite sure what to think, she’s never had a seance turn out like this before. 

Grace catches sight of a file. A newspaper clipping. Seven Gate Films, a Canadian studio, planned to film a horror movie in here, about the Cooper House. But something happened. The locals wanted the city to revoke the filming permits on grounds of decency and image. Production halted. We’re not sure what to make of this, and resolve to visit Cooper House in the morning. 

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