Cause of Death episode
Volume 16, Episode 1
Air date March 24, 2014
Volume 16 guide [v]
March 24, 2014 - July 16, 2014

1. Haunted
2. Metamorphosis
3. Unfinished Business
Int. Promises and Compromises
4. Sunrise
5. The Red Room
6. True Faces
7. Sunset

Volume 15: The Cleaners

Haunted is the first chapter of the sixteenth volume of Cause of Death. The chapter was released March 24, 2014.

Alarm Spoiler warning! Plot details follow.


The Firstborn's phantom disciple terrifies Japan, while Kai sees ghosts of his own...


The episode begins with Nakano University student Hanako Yamada, who is chatting on an online forum with someone with the username SilverKnight441. She notices that her dorm room has gotten very cold, and when she goes to check the window, she finds that it is locked. When she returns to her computer, she finds a message in the chat box with a hyperlink. It leads to a picture which takes up the entire computer screen, It shows a woman in a komono on a black background and covering her face with an umbrella, with the message “Do you think I am beautiful?” When Hanako asks SilverKnight441 about it, he claims he never sent the message - a fact seemingly verified when Hanako finds the hyperlink has disappeared. She then finds that the picture keeps re-appearing when she tries to close the popup window.

Just then Hanako hears an almost inaudible hiss coming from her speakers. She turns up the volume and leans in. The hiss resolves into a woman’s voice, pleading for help...and the screen flashes to an image of a mutilated face with the eyes gouged out! A moment later, the image is gone. She reaches out to turn her laptop off when she feels a presence behind her. She turns around to see a hooded woman wearing a pale mask with a geisha’s makeup. “Do you think I am beautiful?” the woman asks. Hanako says no, and the woman lifts her mask briefly. To Hanako’s confusion, the woman accuses her of letting her die and not saving her. She grips Hanako’s neck, and Hanako screams...

A week later, Kai is at Tokyo airport, arguing with a customs agent about his supplies. Amy flags him down, and they meet up with most of the members of the Special Crimes Task Force. They then briefly catch up on what they were doing since leaving London. Jeremy and Amy, now officially a couple, went to Spain, Mal and Natara were in Paris, and Blaise visited her mother and sister in Los Angeles. To spare the feelings of his friends, Kai tells them he went to Sweden. In reality, he spent the entire time wandering around London alone. Jeremy and Mal ask Kai about his previous stay in Tokyo, before he joined the SFPD, and Kai is reluctant to answer. Just then Reed arrives, right behind Kai, scaring him. When he is asked about his down time, Reed just asks if any of them had heard about the civil war in the Balkans, and leaves it at that.

The SCT’s liaison, Minako Fukui, then shows up, greeting them warmly. She reacts with slight contempt when Kai compares her with their previous liaison, Micah Booker. Minako leads the team outside to a pair of vans. One of the vans takes Amy, Blaise, and Jeremy to their hotel, with Blaise expressing her displeasure at being stuck with her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. Kai then thinks he sees his old love interest, Kara Yan, in the crowd nearby. When he heads for her, he sees only a businesswoman talking on her phone. Unsure if he really saw her or if he was hallucinating, and knowing that he is the only one who knows Kara faked her death, Kai lies and tells Mal and Natara that he saw a celebrity.

As Kai rides in the van towards the crime scene, he thinks back to his last visit to Tokyo, remembering something that caused him great physical pain and hands holding him down. Mal snaps him back to reality as Minako fills them in on the case. Hanako Yamada had died the previous Wednesday, but since she was a loner, her body had been found only 14 hours earlier. Minako says that an unemployed mother of four and a retired admiral were previous victims. Kai looks through the file and asks about the windows and doors being found locked from inside. Minako then reveals that she is in the Occult Crimes division of the Keishicho, which solves crimes that are paranormal in appearance and is tasked with dispelling hoaxes. Apparently, rumors have spread throughout Tokyo that a ghost is responsible for these murders.

At the crime scene, Hanako is found in her desk chair, with the top half of her skull missing and her arm torn from her body. Also, the room has been ransacked, with multiple divots and dents in the drywall. Kai finds a small fragment of bone inside what remains of her skull. This leads him to believe that her skull somehow imploded, or was crushed. Since most of Hanako’s bones are broken and she has multiple abrasions around her rib cage. Kai theorizes that the divots in the walls were caused by Hanako’s body being thrown at a high velocity. Finding notches in Hanako’s skull, he realizes that her skull was crushed from all directions, meaning it was crushed by hand. Mal and Natara object to these conclusions, since someone would have to have superhuman strength to pull it off. They concede that it is the only conclusion that makes sense, however.

Mal, Natara, and Reed go to interview the custodian who discovered the body, and was also working the night Hanako was killed. On the way, they run into some maintenance workers, who hide as they approach. Minako says that they either believe the rumors of a ghostly killer, or are afraid to anger the killer by cooperating with the authorities. The rumors began in the media, and urban legends about vengeful spirits, or “onryo” are popular in Japanese culture. When Natara interrogates the custodian, he says that he saw a shadowy figure of a woman climb the face of the tower, and he calls her the “spawn of evil”.

Meanwhile, Kai has stayed behind to file evidence. He realizes the laptop was on when it was broken by the killer. He sees the chat log with SilverKnight441 and the image of the woman with the umbrella. Kai then hears a man creep into the room behind him. The man calls Kai a “defiler” and tries attacking him with a dagger. Kai defends himself by hitting the man with the laptop and kicking him in the groin. Kai ends up cornered, and barely avoids the knife as it embeds into the wall. While the man tries to free the knife, Kai slams into him with his shoulder. The man’s head hits the wall, and the knife flies onto the floor. Kai accidentally trips on the knife, and the man grips Kai’s pant cuff. Kai manages to kick him off after several attempts. The man grabs his knife, and the two of them wrestle. Finally, the man trips over Hanako’s severed arm and falls onto his own knife, killing him.

At that point, Mal, Natara, and Reed arrive, shocked to find a second body at the crime scene. Kai notices a tattoo on the man’s side, which makes his blood run cold. He says the man was part of an occult collective that worshipped Hanako’s killer. He then reveals that he has the same exact tattoo etched onto his side, the source of the worst physical pain he has ever felt. When Mal asks Kai why he has it, Kai tells him that it’s a long story...

Bonus Scene:

Blaise is in her hotel room, staring out the window and wondering whether she should leave and head back to California. She berates herself for not listening to Dr. Cole. She hears a knock at her door and opens it up to find Amy. She lets her in, and Amy expresses her desire to get everything out in the open about her and Jeremy. Blaise says she doesn't care who dates him. Amy then says she knew about Jeremy's relationship with Blaise, and wants to know if they are still friends. The discussion becomes an argument, Blaise accusing Amy of moving in on Jeremy even though she knew they were together, and Amy stating that Blaise had ended the relationship when he was dying from his stab wound. Blaise then calls her "LoveKitten", clearly referencing Amy's own abandonment of the SFPD for Brimstone. She says the two of them won't have a problem being together as coworkers, but they are not friends. Blaise throws Amy out of her room and turns back to the window, lost in her dark thoughts...

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