[personal profile] tangaroa

Previously I imagined an X-files spinoff set in the South, similar to how CSI has spinoffs in different cities. Here's another story in the same universe.

Opening scene

Scene: A desert road in New Mexico. A Budweiser beer delivery truck pulls up to a small crowd of about a dozen Mexican immigrants.

The driver is a thin lower-class looking white guy with an Odin cross tattoo on his arm, a heavy metal band t-shirt, and maybe a Confederate flag on his front license plate. The unstated message is he is personally a white supremacist gang member giving up his principles to do a job.

The driver gets out and opens the back for them. "It looks like you guys are my pickup." In bad stuttering Spanish he adds "It's a long ride to Louisiana. Try to sleep." The Mexicans file into the back of the trailer, saying "Gracias."

Someone offscreen unexpectedly says "Gracias." The voice is strange, louder and slower than the natural speech of the Mexicans boarding the truck, almost mechanical. The camera goes to a man standing several yards off the road. He stands a bit oddly, slightly hunched forward and stiff like a statue. The observant viewer might notice that he looks exactly like the first Mexican to board the truck. The driver waves him on. As he walks over stiffly and climbs on board, the driver reacts to a strange metallic smell, licking his upper lip, but he doesn't think much of it. The last boarder walks to an open space in the trailer and sits down in front of his likeness as his neighbors look at him with fear and curiousity. The driver closes the door.

In the corner of the trailer, some teenagers have opened a box and are sniffing handfuls of white powder.

As the truck drives down Highway 10 in western Texas, the driver notices the trailer shaking unusually. "the hell are they doing back there?" he wonders out loud. He gets out his cell phone and makes a call. "Uh, hi, this is {{$CALLSIGN}} out on I-10 calling with a probable loss prevention issue. Some hitchhikers that I picked up might have gotten into the (cough) alcohol." (listens) "Yeah, there were teenagers." (listens) "I know I'll have to pay for it. I thought you'd want to know ahead of time." (listens) "Alright, bye." He hangs up and puts his phone away. The trailer shakes again.

The scene shifts to a dark and woody area at twilight. The driver steps out of his parked truck, walks to the back, and raises the door of the trailer. The driver's eyes go wide with fear and shock at what he sees. "What the hell!?" He takes a step back and turns to run.

Cut to the opening credits.

FBI office

Inside the FBI office, 12:45. Several cubicles are empty as people are away at lunch. A few people are still working. Everyone suddenly turns their heads to the SAIC's office as he yells "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! They held this back for a WEEK?" He storms out of his office dragging a visitor by the arm. "Alright, alright, keep a lid on this. I won't tell anyone you were here." As the guest walks off, the SAIC turns to one of his men. "Aaronsen, we're going into the field tomorrow for a forensics job." Aaronsen tries to start protesting but the SAIC continues, "You'll have to try to pick up anything you can from a burned-out trailer after a week of exposure."

Aaronsen winces at the job description. "Ooh." Then he changes the subject." It's not about the job, but I had a funeral tomorrow. It should be on my calendar--"

The SAIC interrupts him. "Go to the funeral." He makes it sound like an order. Then he turns to Jeanette. "{{LASTNAME}} are you free tomorrow?"

Jeanette: "I will make myself free."

SAIC: "Good. We'll meet up at eight thirty and I'll brief you on what we know. We'll be leaving at nine-fifteen."

Jason asks "Can I come along? This sounds interesting."

Jeanette ribs him about the paused video game on his computer. "Sure, it's not like you're doing anything."

Jason takes it in good humor. "Hey, I'm still on lunch break. I have fifteen more minutes. (he glances at the clock) Ten more minutes."

SAIC: "An extra pair of eyes might help." He nods respectfully to Jason. "I'll see you in my office tomorrow morning. As for now, I'm overdue for lunch." He leaves.

Aaronsen: "You have my sympathies. It sounds like a futile effort."

Jason: "Shouldn't you have our sympathies? You're going to a funeral!"

Aaronsen shrugs. "I've already made peace, but, uh--" He blinks, shrugs, and smiles. "Good luck."

On the road

The SAIC is driving a black SUV. Jeanette is in the passenger set and Jason is in the back seat looking uncomfortable.

Jason stretches nervously. "This is, ah, starting to freak me out."

Jeanette and the SAIC both say in unison: "You volunteered." Jeanette's voice is teasing, the SAIC's is serious.

Jason: "Yeah, I wasn't expecting it to be a mass murder scene out in the middle of nowhere."

SAIC: "It's our job. Get used to it."

Station - Outside

The SUV parks at a federal extension building and the agents step out. They are confronted by a young and arrogant DEA agent.

DEA: "Did you have to get my father involved in this?"

SAIC: "Probably. Would you have cooperated if I hadn't?"

DEA: "... Come inside."

Conference room

The agents of both agencies look over photographs of the driver and the burned-out truck.

DEA: "So what we had in summary is one torched truck with twelve unidentified bodies who we believe to be illegal Mexican immigrants, and a White Pride driver with a record for drug trafficking whose wallet was found in a pool of blood at the scene. The going theory was that he torched his own truck and whoever was waiting for the pickup killed him.

Jeanette: "Why would he wait until then? He could have abandoned the truck anywhere."

SAIC: "He could have finished the route out of a force of habit. Once that priority was out of the way, his emotions took over and he snapped."

DEA: "That matches what we've concluded."

Jason: "Maybe his White Pride friends found out he was hauling Mexican illegals and took it out on him."

DEA: "That... actually... makes a lot of sense, and it fits with some of the newer evidence that has come in."

Jason: "I love it when I have a good idea like that."

Jeanette: (jokingly) "It makes up for all the others?"

Jason: "It certainly does."

Meanwhile, the SAIC is looking over one of the photographs of the burned trailer. "It looks to me like this leg bone here is supposed to be attached to this body over here."

Jason makes a face at the photograph.

SAIC: "Get used to it, kid. You'll see worse before you get to my age."

Jeanette: "Someone disturbed the bodies after the fire."

DEA: "That's..." He opened sounding confident, but soon struggles with himself over what to say. "... what we had thought, but..."

SAIC: "Let's see this new evidence."

The DEA agent get a strained expression on his face and produces a manila envelope. "We have received some, uh, new photographs of the crime scene from a confidential informant that have forced us to rethink our perspective of this case." He pulls out a photograph of the upper torso of the driver.

Jason: (recoiling) "Ugh."

Jeanette: "There's our driver. Or half of him."

SAIC: "What happened to the body?"

DEA Agent: "Apparently that is something known to our confidential informant who wishes to remain confidential." The SAIC's expression shows that he is not buying it.

The DEA agent pulls out another photograph, tells Jason "you won't want to see this one", and hands it to the SAIC. The SAIC looks at the photo, sighs, and leans back.

Jeanette: "What is it?"

SAIC: "It's the inside of the trailer; before the fire. It's a bloody mess. It looks like the bodies were ripped apart." He slides the photo to Jeanette.

Jeanette looks at the photo. Her eyes go wide and her mouth opens as she looks at it. She quickly composes herself. "It's not the most well lit photo, but that's what it looks like."

Jason braves a look at the photo, blinks, and turns away without saying anything.

DEA: "So we now have to answer the question of who would do that?"

Jason: (quietly, to Jeanette) "Maybe he picked up a hitchhiking bear."

Jeanette: "I don't think that's one of your better ideas."

SAIC: "This case is not about your ordinary gang violence. We have some really nasty freak-show murderer who likes to chop up bodies. Whoever did this has no respect for human life. He is going to hit again. He has certainly hit before. He is smart enough to target the small and forgotten people in society, such as illegal aliens, whose deaths would not get into the newspapers even when twelve of them are killed in one day" -- he glares at the DEA agent, who turns away -- "and he has friends, which he would have needed to overpower these twelve victims. These cohorts are learning his methods and his lack of respect for humanity and they will all become a greater problem in the future if this gang is not stopped. Does that sound like a reasonable interpretation of the evidence at hand?"

Everyone nods.

DEA: "I think we'll be happy to have your assistance."

SAIC: "Thank you. I think it's time we had a direct look at the crime scene."

Rural area

The FBI car and a white DEA car park in front of a convenience store and a restaurant/bar out in the middle of nowhere. Everyone gets out.

DEA: "It was just up the road that way."

The group walks to an unremarkable spot on the road. The DEA agent explains that "this is where the truck had been until it was moved to another location to keep the road clear. The county washed the blood off the road in the morning. If there was any evidence on the street, it may have been washed into the ditch."

Jeanette: "So the crime scene was destroyed before anyone other than your anonymous source could analyse it."

DEA: "... yes."

SAIC: "We would be wasting our time here, and we have all day to come back. Let's go."

They walk back to the stores and see that there are now black cars parked next to theirs. The DEA agent recognizes the cars as belonging to a mobster. The SAIC notices the DEA agent's expression.

SAIC: "Friends of yours?"

DEA: "Yes. They're probably in the bar. I'll go have a talk with them.

SAIC: "I'll go with." He turns his head back to Jeanette and Jason and tells them "You two stay near the door."

Bar

The agents walk into the bar and are confronted by five or so obvious mafia types. In addition to their guns, the mobsters have some unusual equipment that might easily be overlooked. Three of the mobsters are wearing crosses. One has a sword strapped to his back. Another has an axe. Another has a silver dagger with an elegant sheath. A clip of silver bullets is on the table as one of them is switching the ammunition in his gun. Although it is not stated at this point, the sharp-eyed viewer will see hints that the mobsters have prepared themselves to fight something supernatural and some of them are thinking vampire or werewolf.

The mob leader Vendetti's expression gets slightly less hostile when he sees the DEA agent, who he has had dealings with before. He complains in the most stereotypical mobster talk, "Can't an honest beverage distribution manager enjoy a drink with his friends without the government bothering us?"

DEA agent: "It's all right, Mr. Vendetti, we're just here to close up the investigation."

The SAIC takes a different tack. "Well, Mr. Vendetti, I had no intention of bothering you before, but I do now. In the course of closing this investigation, I will need to know if there are any rumors you might have heard about the loss of what I assume was one of your trucks."

Vendetti: (skeptically) "Rumors."

SAIC: "We accept rumors. Rumors about what might have happened that night. Rumors that there might have been damage to the truck before it was lit on fire."

Vendetti: (stress and fear) "It was a bloody mess." (defensively) "I heard." (stress) "I heard that the truck was full of bodies in the back, torn apart by... some monster!"

SAIC: "And would you have an idea of who this monster might be?"

Vendetti: "No, but whoever did that is not human."

SAIC: "After seeing the photographs of what he did, I might put it that way as well. Now, I'm assuming he's not one of yours."

Vendetti: "No!"

SAIC: "Well, then. We have a common interest in putting this monster away, and we have a better chance of doing that if you can tell me anything you know about the driver, the truck, the passengers. This conversation is on the record." He shows Vendetti his cell phone, which is recording.

Vendetti: (nodding) "All right."

SAIC (to Jeanette and Jason): "I'll finish up taking testimony here. You two go next door and see if the storekeeper saw anything."

Convenience store

The convenience store has a residential second floor where the owners sleep. "We slept through it, whatever happened, and woke up to the fire. We heard the cars and yelling, figured it was something illegal, and knew enough to stay out of it. Next morning the fire department was washing down the road where the truck was parked."

Jeanette: "Have you noticed anything else out of the ordinary?"

Owner: "Not that I can think of."

Jeanette: "It can be anything unusual."

Jason looks out the window and sees a doghouse with no dog. Curiously, he asks "What kind of dog do you have?"

Owner: "We had a ${BREED}, but she went missing two nights after the fire. Gators must have got her while she was out. That won't have anything to do with your investigation."

Jeanette: "We don't know until we investigate."

Jason: "I'm sorry to hear about the dog." (he really means it) "Have there been any other unusual incidents?"

Owner: "A few nights ago there was was some drunk standing in the middle of the road just saying 'what the hell' over and over again like a robot. Now, this was late at night and the bar was closed at the time so he must have gotten left behind. I assume his ride eventually picked him up."

Jason: (joking) "Or the gators got him too."

Owner: (smiling) "And the credit card company now wants us to pay them on the tenth instead of the fifteenth. That's something unusual and I'd love to see the FBI do something about that."

Jeanette smiles as she hands over a business card. "Oh, that would be nice. Be sure to let us know if you can think of anything that might help with the investigation."

Owner: "Oh, I doubt I'll be able to help but if I can think of something I will call. Now if you don't mind me asking, why is there another investigation? I talked to some other agents last week."

Jeanette: "It was a mass casualty incident. The trailer that burned was full of illegal immigrants. They did not make it out."

Owner: "Oh my lord. Why hasn't it been in the news?"

Bar, Part 2

SAIC: "One last question. You were not planning on doing anything with all of this hardware, were you?"

Vendetti: "We were thinking about hunting gators."

SAIC: (skeptically) "Gators."

Vendetti: "Have you ever had barbecued gator meat? It's good."

SAIC: "I do hope you have a permit for that, but I'm not the wildlife marshall." He hands Vendetti a business card. "If you have anything more to say, give us a call."

Vendetti: (relieved) "Thank you."

The SAIC and the DEA agent leave.

Truck dump site

The agents drive out to where the truck was towed and dumped. It is a clearing with trees on one side. The agents prepare themselves with gloves, foot coverings, etc.

The charred ashen bodies are still in the trailer. The SAIC hops in and says it's time to do what they came here to do. The DEA agent backs away, wanting nothing to do with it. Jeanette steadies herself and follows the SAIC into the trailer. Jason, being new and nowhere near used to this, nervously follows and approaches one of the bodies.

The DEA agent sees someone by the treeline, standing oddly, slightly hunched forward and stiff like a statue. A slow, almost mechanical voice calls out to him saying, "you al-right man?" The agent turns back to the trailer and announces that "there is someone out there." Roger yells back "get him out of here!"

"Okay!" The DEA agent says. He faces forward again and sees the strange man standing far closer to him than a normal person could have covered. He pulls out his badge and prepares to talk but is interrupted by Jason exiting the trailer behind him. The strange man starts taking a step forward when the agent reaches for his badge, but turns and runs when Jason appears.

Jason: "So who was that guy?"

DEA: "No idea. He didn't say anything." He steps away from Jason. "Man, you were in there two minutes and you already smell like.."

Jason: (without enthusiasm) "Barbecue?"

DEA: "Ha. If only. No, it was a metallic smell, like aluminum. It's not so bad now."

The SAIC gets out. "So what's the situation out here?"

Jason: "He just bolted off into the woods. I only saw his backside as he was running."

SAIC: "No idea who he was?"

Both Jason and DEA shake their head.

SAIC: "Congratulations. You're on guard duty."

Jason: "Thank you."

SAIC: "And when Jeanette needs a break, I expect you back in there."

Jason gulps.

A flock of birds erupts from the woods.

SAIC: "There's something out there. Keep an eye out and let me know immediately if you see trouble."

Mob Patrol

The mob goes on patrol for the monster. Their motivation is to keep it from attacking the FBI because a dead FBI team would cause all kinds of trouble for their organization. If they find it, they'll kill it. If not, they will make enough noise by walking around to keep it away.

They do not know what kind of monster they are looking for. They are assuming it is a werewolf. It might be the skunk ape, but it never attacked people in the stories they heard.

The monster joins the party impersonating the DEA agent. Vendetti says "You're not needed here, go back to those FBI guys." The monster says "Okay", mimicing the last thing the DEA agent said, and leaves. Vendetti senses a strange metallic taste in the air, licks his upper lip, then shakes his head as the sensation leaves.

Rural area, again

The mob hunting party returns, carrying an alligator. There is a moment of confusion as they consider what to do with it. They get some rope out of a car trunk and tie it to the roof of one of their nice-looking mobster cars. It looks ridiculous. The mobsters head into the bar.

The FBI car pulls up and the four agents get out.

SAIC: "Alright, let's get something for the road. Packaged food only. We're not going into the restaurant while those guys are around."

DEA: "If I'm no longer needed, I'll take my leave. Nice working with you." He shakes hands and walks to his car.

As the FBI agents enter the convenience store, the DEA's car drives off in the background. Jason picks out some fast food. Jeanette asks the owner if there is a restroom.

Bar, inside

Mobster A: "Do you even know how to cook gator?"

Mobster B: "I'm gonna learn."

Mobster C: (motioning to the window) "Hey, isn't that your friend?"

Vendetti: (quietly) "Lock the door. Quietly."

Convenience store, again

Jeanette leaves the restroom and walks to the aisles of junk food, passing the DEA agent on the way. The DEA agent follows the sound of the running toilet to the restroom, walking oddly, stiffly, slightly hunched forward. She notices that Jason and the SAIC are both wide-eyed, quietly watching him. As the door closes, she whispers "Didn't he leave?" Both nod.

The SAIC puts a hand on Jeanette's shoulder and walks past her to the restroom door. He knocks. "It's Roger. You okay in there?" The restroom door opens, revealing the truck driver. SAIC steps back and gestures towards the front door of the store. The truck driver walks, stiffly, toward the front door and exits. He wanders into the parking lot and bumps into one of the mobster cars, setting off a car alarm. He screams a high pitched squeal and smashes the car's frame with his bare hands, ripping off a door and throwing it across the lot.

Jeanette: (to the owner) "Keys?" The owner tosses the keys to Jeanette who tosses them to the SAIC who locks the front door. They back away. The owner retreats upstairs and locks the inner door.

The monster who has taken the image of the truck driver returns to the front of the store and jiggles the locked door, They watch him through the paned glass.

SAIC: (in awe) "Jason, I think this is one of your X-Files. Got any ideas?"

Jason: "Don't make him mad?"

SAIC: (nods) "Yeah."

The monster jiggles the door again. Jeanette pulls her gun and points it toward the floor in front of the door. The SAIC draws his gun and reminds Jeanette of procedure.

SAIC: "Now, we stick with procedure. He hasn't made any aggressive moves towards us. We don't fire the first shot."

Jeanette: "If he breaks through that door I'm calling it an act of aggression."

Jason: (drawing his gun) "I'm with you."

SAIC: "I'll back you up if it comes to that."

The monster jiggles the door again, then walks away. The agents breathe sighs of relief and wait for it to leave.

Outside, they hear the monster knocking on the door of the bar. Then they hear a slow, almost mechanical voice. "It's Roger. You okay in there?"

The SAIC yells "LIGHT HIM UP!" (Through a window if the buildings are separate, a wall if the buildings are connected.) They hear a barrage of gunfire and high pitched squealing as the monster reacts.

Jason: "Should we make a run for the car?"

SAIC: "Yes." He unlocks the door and throws the key back on the middle of the floor. The three agents run out.

Jason slips and stumbles at the side of the car, then flinches forward in disgust as he smells something awful. "Aw, something smells! Like a skunk!" He looks up and is shocked to see himself, or someone who looks just like him except with a busted jaw, clear saliva dripping from the wound. Then a roaring furry sasquatch tackles his doppleganger. Jason quickly gets into the car.

SAIC: "Jason, tell a joke."

Jason: "That thing! That thing looked just like me!"

SAIC: "Good enough." The SAIC pulls out and drives off.

Jason: (continuing) "And there was this other thing that looked like the Swamp Thing from that old TV show!" Through the rear window the viewer sees the skunk ape and skinwalker fighting, with the skinwalker having the better of the fight.

As they drive along the road, the SAIC gives instructions.

SAIC: "Whatever we just saw does not go into any report. Not even the X-Files. It's a career ender. No one who did not experience that firsthand is going to believe us. We will have to keep it to ourselves."

FBI office

Next morning. People are walking in with coffee, turning on their computers. A mostly-full box of doughnuts sits on a table next to the water cooler. Aaronsen walks in holding a cup of coffee and greets Jeanette at her cube.

Aaronsen: "Good morning, Jeanette. I hope that your field trip yesterday was not too boring."

Jeanette: "... It could have been more boring."

Aaronsen: "I am sure. Did you manage to pull anything that might be useful?"

Jeanette: "We got some ID cards and dental molds that could potentially identify the bodies."

Aaronsen: "There were bodies? It was that kind of crime scene?"

Jeanette: "Yeah. I guess Roger never told you since you weren't going, but someone torched a truckload of migrants and we have no suspects.

Aaronsen: "Do you think the Klan is back in business?"

Jeanette: "Can't say. It sure seemed like something else was going on, but I think this is one of those cases that we'll never fully close."

Aftermath

The skinwalker stumbles through the swamp at sunset, changing appearance from one person to another. We hear the distant howling of the wounded skunk ape. An alligator swims forward. Then another, and another. Fade to credits to the sound of the skinwalker squealing and thrashing in the water.


Commentary

The skinwalker comes from scary stories on reddit.

An old version of the story was filled with extra unnecessary characters. Originally Aaronsen the forensics guy came along and had his own rookie assistant. DEA guy had an assistant. SAIC brought two Blackwater security guards and the DEA guy's father, a judge. While trying to imagine what to have them all do, I remembered how much X-Files gets done with just Mulder and Scully. We don't need all of those people.

The location and disposition of the truck changed multiple times during writing. Originally the truck stopped on a dirt road near a campground and was left in place. This was changed to a paved rural road on the thought that the truck should be stopping in a more convenient place. With the truck being in the open, it had to be moved and disposed of to clear the road. With the truck being moved, that raised the question of whether anything was done with the bodies. Perhaps they were buried in a pit. In the final story everyone was too freaked out to treat the bodies with respect, so they just abandoned the truck and hoped to forget about it.

Deleted scene: On the road

(There were so many characters that the FBI took two cars. Jeanette drove one, Jason was in the passenger seat, and Roger's merc friends were in the back.)

Jason stretches nervously. "This is, ah, starting to freak me out."

Jeanette smiles and teases him. "You volunteered."

"Yeah, I just don't like going into a mass murder scene in the middle of nowhere with two guys I don't know who have bigger guns than us." The mercenaries chuckle behind him. "Nothin' against you guys. $SAIC brought you along so I figure you're alright."

The older of them says "Yeah, we cooperated on a few cases when I was Baton Rouge PD and he thought it would be helpful to have a few extra guns. There are some men out there who don't respect the badge."

Jason turns to Jeanette. "Do you know why he brought the judge?"

Deleted Scene: Station

(This all got reduced to one line about getting the DEA agent's father involved)

The SUVs park at a federal extension building. Jeanette and Jason step out of their car. The mercenaries leave their weapons in the car as they step out. The SAIC exits the other SUV with Aaronsen, Aaronsen's younger assistant, and an older man wearing a suit. They are confronted by a young and arrogant DEA agent with several policemen backing him up.

DEA: "I don't know what you think you're doing here but we told you over the phone that this is a DEA investigation and your assistance is not necessary..." He rolls his head and sighs as he sees the older man. "Hi, Dad."

The judge smiles and puts an hand on the DEA agent's shoulder. "I see no harm in letting the FBI investigate, and we have not talked for a while. Would you like to get a cup of coffee?"

The DEA agent nods. "All right." He turns back to his men. "Let them have a look at the case files. Show them what we know. He turns back to the SAIC and says "Washington will hear about this."

The SAIC shrugs and smiles. "That's fine. Washington likes me."

The mercenaries introduce themselves to the DEA agent. "We're with Blackwater and we would like to know if there are any unusual aspects of this case that you might like to discuss in the presence of a federal judge." They leave with him.

Deleted scene: Conference room

(Look at this glorious characterization of Aaronsen)

Meanwhile, Aaronsen and his assistant are looking over one of the photographs of the burned trailer.

Aaronsen's assistant: "Now, this is a femur, right?"

Aaronsen: "Yep."

Aaronsen's assistant: "And it's supposed to be attached to this body, right?"

Aaronsen: "Yep."

Aaronsen's assistant: "But it's over here."

Aaronsen: "Yep."

Deleted scene: Conference room, continued

(Originally the DEA agent went with his father and left the meeting to his underling. He arrives later with a "newly discovered" pack of photographs. As they leave the room..)

The SAIC leaves last and quietly whispers to the DEA agent. "You had the photos all along, didn't you." The agent nods. The SAIC nods back. "That's what I thought."


Bonus plotline

A third episode idea: Zombies! Several subplots eventually tie together:

  • A new recreational drug is sweeping the street scene.
  • The FBI investigates a series of crimes by ex-cons who cannot remember anything the next day. Some are murder-suicides where the killer jumps into a river afterward.
  • The FBI investigates the financial arrangements of the Bayou Bay herbal supplements business run by a Juliet Weatherspoon who goes by Madame Juju in ads. Her voodoo style in the ads is an act. She is a modern professonal businesswoman whose magic is business tricks like avoiding the FDA by calling her products herbal supplements and energy drinks rather than medicines and being vague about what they do. One of them is being used as a recreational drug. It sells very well and the FDA has not outlawed it yet.

In the end it turns out that Madame Juju actually does know voodoo and turns people into zombies to work as cheap labor on her farm. The FBI arrests her for practicing slavery.

These zombies are the classic zombies from 40 years ago. Refer to Kolchak and ignore modern pop culture.

The zombified ex-cons get food and drugs. One of them who gets out says that it is better than being homeless. Regardless, they are too pepped up to feel bad about any of it. Bayou Bay bills them retail price, takes it out of their salary, and pretends that the arrangement is legal.

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