Aaron woke up and headed downstairs to see that his car was missing. In its place was a strange woman who seemed to know him, calling him by name. He realized that he’d forgotten his keys; William brought them down, and when he turned around the car was back and the woman was nowhere to be seen.
Aaron visited the library, where a young woman named Mackenzie helped him research odd underground discoveries in the area. He found that there were patterns of fires and other disasters occurring and strange underground chambers or metal deposits being found in the same locations. Oddly, the ‘L’ was unaffected by these events.
While the three were editing, Aaron encountered a strange woman dressed in silver who suddenly kissed him; her mouth tasted like whiskey. He went to the doctor, worried about his persistent cough and his apparent hallucinations. He found out that he apparently had a metal object like a pacemaker attached to his heart. He was apparently perfectly healthy, having a heart rate of exactly sixty beats per minute.
He also realized that the first strange woman he’d seen had been some personification of his car, and the woman in silver was his whiskey flask. He resolved to dump out the flask and give it to William for safekeeping while he recovered from his smoke inhalation.
Meanwhile, Rue went to meet Cooper at Giordano’s Family Pizzaria with Rue sneaking along behind to record the date. Afterwards they ran into their old professor, Calamity Strauss, who caught up with them and pointed them toward an odd situation: the Chicago Loop of the ‘L’ has more stops going clockwise than counterclockwise.
The two women checked it out and ended up on a stop unmarked on any map that was connected to a strange, austere hallway leading from the Loop to the Art Institute. There were twelve doors along it, six on each side, and while walking down the hallway it would only echo when you walked about one step per second.
They picked the locks on each door and found a series of closets with the following contents:
- An old, large metal jug with handles, an antique lantern, a pitchfork, and a cow collar with bell
- A Bluebeard costume, a fake sword, a jug of fake blood, and a big stage lock with matching key
- Plumbing tools, an old-fashioned life preserver marked “Lake Michigan Water Authority,” a gaff, and overalls
- Supplies for a ship marked “SS Eastland” and a sailor’s uniform
- A box of streetcar tokens and a driver’s uniform
- Several seat cushions for an ‘L’ train, a 1975 train manual, and a train operator’s uniform
- School supplies, a bible, a yardstick, and a nun’s habit
- Airplane safety guides from the 1970s, airplane food trays, and a stewardess’s uniform
- Four empty closets, three dusty and one clean