|Cause of Death episode|
| In The Cards, Part 1 |
Volume Side Stories, Episode 9
|Air date||April 9, 2012|
|Volume Side Stories guide [v]|
In The Cards, Part 1 is the first part of the In The Cards storyline, and the ninth overall Side Stories episode. It aired on April 9, 2012.
|Spoiler warning! Plot details follow.|
When a local psychic is found murdered, Mal and Natara enlist the help of an old friend... Gifted clairvoyant, Claire Hart! But can they divine the killer's identity before he strikes again?
Fortuneteller Madame Firelli is at her fortunetelling parlor in Tenderloin District with a customer, Mona Patel. (Trivia: Mona Patel was Brittany Emerson's [the last Maskmaker victim] friend in Volume 1: The Maskmaker.) Madame Firelli tells Patel her fortune; she sees a jealous rival somewhere. She then proceeds onto her next reading and tells Patel to look out for a man wearing green and avoid the number 28. Patel thanks Firelli, pays for her fortune, and leaves. As Firelli turns to clean up the area and close her store, a man bursts in, demanding a fortune. Firelli apologizes, saying that she is closing for the day. She finally agrees to give him one and sits across from the man, who is Abe Resner. Resner, a discerning and intelligent man, is definitely the tarot card type, as Firelli notices. She then places three cards, face-up, on the table and gives him his reading. Resner asks her if she is confident in her reading and she says yes. He starts to feel skeptical and asks if he risk his life on her readings, would she be confident. Of course, she replies that her readings are just possible outcomes and are not concrete. This angers Resner so he tells her that her career is simply based on false assumptions and predictions of life. He then decides to test her abilities to see if she is an actual psychic or just a plain fraud. Firelli decides to play along. Resner places a random card on the table, face-down this time. He wants her to predict the card before he flips it over. Firelli, unable to predict the card, tells him that she cannot do that and Resner yells at her. Firelli tells him that she does not like his tone of voice and asks him to leave. He refuses, saying it's too late and takes out a pistol. He asks her again for the card prediction and she guesses that it's a "Temperance" card. Resner peeks at the card, sighs, and asks Firelli, addressing her by her first name, Lisa, if she thinks that she is a good person. Firelli asks Resner how he knew her first name and then answers his question, saying yes. She believes that she is by giving people hope and comfort-of-mind in some of her predictions. Resner says that he knew her first name by doing some research. He clearly doesn't seem to believe in this whole tarot-card-psychic-predictions mumbo jumbo. Resner finally reveals the card to be "The Hanged Man" and tells Firelli that she was wrong, saying that the insights she gives to people are just delusions. He takes out a silencer and places it on his pistol. Firelli bolts for the exit door but is shot. Resner drags her body away from the exit.
The next morning, Detective Mal Fallon and Special Agent Natara Williams sit in Captain Maria Yeong's office. Yeong briefs the two of a murder that happened last night. The victim? Lisa Firth, aka Lisa Firelli, aka Madame Firelli, a fortune teller in Tenderloin District. They also learn that another fortuneteller, Dean Walters, was murdered in nearby city Santa Cruz. Yeong states that she has tried to contact the Santa Cruz police for more information on the murder. The press has also gotten a hold of the information and has dubbed the killings, "The Tarot Card Killings". Williams tells Yeong that because two people with the same occupation were murdered doesn't exactly mean that there's a serial killer in the area. Yeong replies, saying that she is just afraid of the press catching up and sensationalizing the murders. She wants the two to go with Forensic Specialist Kai Kalaba to the murder scene and survey it.
Williams and Fallon exit the bullpen where Williams asks Fallon if he really believes in psychics. He tells her that they have seen some bizarre things and asks her if she remembers Claire Hart, the psychic consultant who worked with them in a missing persons case in EA's game, Claire Hart™: Soul Searcher. Williams remains skeptical. Kai Kalaba then walks into the room, showing Claire Hart around the station. Hart thanks Kalaba for the tour and sits down. Kalaba quickly approaches Fallon and Williams and tells them that he cannot fake a smile any longer. Fallon notices that he doesn't seen too thrilled to have Hart here. Kalaba mentions his top ten fears list, which includes psychics. He quickly leaves the station and Fallon and Williams go over to Hart. Fallon hugs her and Williams greets her. Hart tells the two that she sensed a feeling of violence last night and had visions of a parlor, velvet table, and woman in danger in the San Francisco area so she decided to come help. Williams asks Hart to excuse her and Fallon for a second. The two step away and Williams suggests that they shouldn't involve Hart in the investigation yet. She still remains unconvinced of Hart's "powers". Fallon tells Williams that Hart has a really good intuition, even better than his. Williams agrees, but still refuses to believe supernatural phenomena. They both walk over to Hart and Fallon tells Hart that she is on the case.
Fallon, Williams, and Hart arrive at Madame Firelli's parlor. They walk in to see Kalaba and other forensic technicians snapping photos of the scene and evidence. They see Firelli's body, hanging upside down by the ankle with two gunshot wounds in her back. Kalaba approaches them, sees Hart, and starts feeling paranoid, afraid that she is reading his mind. Fallon calms him down by telling him that Hart's powers are different, that they are unable to read other's minds. Hart agrees with Fallon and Kalaba feels better and starts to report his findings. He points to the body, saying that the cause of death was two gunshot wounds to the back. Blood spatter patterns near the door indicated that she was shot there and tried to escape. The time of death was at about 8 p.m. last night. Williams points to the body and asks of the hanging body. Kalaba says that it was most likely done post mortem. Fallon steps back and surveys the scene. The scene reminds him of "The Hanged Man", a tarot card with a picture of a man hanging by his ankle just like Firelli is. Williams asks Fallon how he knew and he tells her that he once had dated a goth girl in high school. Williams then asks Kalaba if there was any other evidence found but the forensic team already took it all. However, Kalaba has stored some pictures he took of some evidence earlier. One picture happens to be of the four tarot cards left out on the table, one card being "The Hanged Man". Hart asks Kalaba if there was a deck of cards rather than just four but Kalaba says the whole deck is gone. Perhaps the killer took it as a souvenir. Williams says that the hanging seems ritualistic and that they can't connect the Santa Cruz killing until they have looked at both of the cases' notes and evidence to find a definite link. Hart suspects that the team is missing something else and starts to survey the scene. She then believes that there is a personal item around the area with anger written all over it. Fallon looks around, finds photo frames, and looks at them. The first photo frame is a newspaper clipping of Madame Firelli and the opening of her new fortunetelling parlor. The second is Firelli with a man in graduation caps and gowns. The man's face had been scratched out. Fallon shows the picture to Williams and Hart for their inputs. Hart says that anger and violence surrounds the man whose face in the picture had been scratched out. Williams says that the man has had a clear antagonistic relationship with Firelli. Hart believes that there is more that they are missing. Fallon suggests looking at the photo frame. He opens the frame up, a folded piece of paper falls out, and unfolds it. It's a handwritten letter full of cursing and threatening signed by someone named Eddie Blake. Kalaba raises his head as soon as he hears the name and tells the group that Eddie Blake is a psychic who contacts ghosts in a television show called "The Other Side". Fallon suggests that the writer of the letter trying to eliminate competition is a possible motive. The three decide to visit this guy.
The three arrive in downtown San Francisco at a television studio. Hart suggests they approach Eddie Blake with caution because of his angry nature according to Williams's profile. They shove through large crowds and finally get to meet Blake, who thinks they are random fans wanting an interview. Williams flashes him her badge and he sighs. He announces to his audience that he is done for the day and they all leave. Fallon introduces everyone and Blake asks him what he can do for them. Fallon tells him to cut the crap and says he is here to talk to him about his colleague, Lisa Firth, aka Madame Firelli. Blake says he has heard of her but Williams says they know that the two were colleagues. He admits that they knew each other in college and that they got into the psychic game at the same time. Hart asks Blake of the "psychic game" and he replies by saying that it's an easy way to make money, making people believe in psychics. He then says that Firelli was jealous of his success and claims that he hasn't talked to her for years. Fallon brings up the letter he wrote to her and Blake finally cracks. He says that Firelli threatened to tell the public of his fake psychic act if he didn't share a portion of his profits with her. Williams then tells Blake that Firelli was found dead earlier and Fallon mentions the content of the letter. Blake says he wanted to end her legally, not kill her. He has an alibi, that he was in the editing room the whole night of the murder and tells them to check the security cameras.
A bit later, Fallon gets off of the phone with Chen and goes back to Williams, Hart, and Blake. He tells them that Blake's alibi is real and tells him that he is free to go. Blake leaves and they are all back at square one. Hart tells the two that she feels something isn't right, that there is something near them that they are missing. Fallon looks around and spots a lone tarot card on a table on a rafter. Near it is an electronic earpiece. Fallon says that there's something about the tarot card... It's the same type as Firelli's. It is revealed to be "The Tower Card". Hart says she senses danger from above it. All of a sudden, some glass breaking is heard and a shadow is seen near the window. A metallic crunch is heard and a car alarm goes off. The three go over to the window and three stories down, they see the body of Eddie Blake on top of the roof of a car. Hart points to a broken window at the top of the floor, six stories above, and they see a shadowy figure in the editing room. They take the elevator nearby and go to the room.
A broken window is on the far side of the editing room. On one of the surveillance camera's displays, a shadowy figure runs across, trying to go down. Fallon says Hart and Williams should stay in the room and keep in touch with him over the phone while he goes after the perpetrator. Fallon makes it down and calls the two, asking them which room the perpetrator went into. Hart says she senses stone walls and a beach. Fallon goes to the "Historic Prisons of California" set which was made to replicate Alcatraz. He sees the killer making his way through but Hart tells Fallon to wait before running after him. He waits, and she tells him that the set's surface is slippery with water. He carefully walks across and follows the perpetrator's path to the back of the set which leads to another two sets. Hart tells him she senses warm emotion, comfort, safety, a home-like atmosphere. Fallon then goes to the "Cooking with Cora" set and sees the perpetrator exit the kitchen. He follows him and goes up the stairs and back to Blake's set on the third floor. Just as Fallon enters, all of the lights turn off. Williams tells him to run for the elevator but Hart tells him to hide. Fallon trusts Hart and hides under a table. Bullets start raining down into the dark set from the rafters. Fallon hears a scuffling and then the perpetrator opens the lobby's exit causing light to flood into the set. The perpetrator runs past the elevator and looks out of the third story window, then at Fallon, and jumps. Fallon leaps also and the two make it onto the roof of a truck. Fallon pulls himself up and looks around. The perpetrator is nowhere to be found.
The three regroup outside and Blake's body is being carried away by coroners. Williams tells Fallon no more building jumping since Captain Yeong doesn't like it. Hart steps away and stares into the distance. Fallon walks over to her and thanks her for her help with the investigation. Hart tells Fallon that she feels a dark, troubled presence over tragedies. She's afraid to see how and where it all ends.
In a car two blocks away, Abe Resner watches secretly as Fallon aids himself. He sees Hart and suspects that she had been the one giving Fallon tips to chase him. He says to himself that he has finally found the true psychic, his true target--Claire Hart.
Hart is down in the SFPD crime lab. Kalaba asks Hart to do a simple scientific survey. The first question is "What is your origin story?", as Kalaba simplifies it, what is the secret of her powers? Hart doesn't have an explanation, as she says that she had always had her powers. Kalaba then proceeds to ask her if she is the last survivor of an alien planet but she replies no. He asks another, if she has a rare birth mutation but she answers no. He asks another question, if she has made a pact with an ancient diety but she says she has never met one. He asks another, if she was bitten by a radioactive psychic but she says why she would even be bit by one. Finally, he asks his last one, if Hart had been an alien tech or cursed by a shaman or time traveled, which she answers all no to. Kalaba uses the process of elimination and concludes that Hart was exposed to toxic waste, causing her to have her extraordinary powers. He then says he is deathly allergic to toxic waste. Hart tells Kalaba that he is somewhat a crime fighter and that if she needs a sidekick, he's first on her list. Kalaba tells her that he needs to work on his costume and then leaves the lab. Hart notices Chen, who is working quietly at her desk. She walks over to Chen, who tells her that she is a good sport, even to people as annoying as Kalaba. A pot of golden poppies sit near Chen's computer and Hart touches it. Hart tells Chen that things will get better and that what joy or peace she lost, she will gain back. Chen stops typing and looks blankly into her computer screen, trying to process what she had just heard.
Dean Walters was a fortune teller in Santa Cruz who was the first victim of Abe Resner, the Tarot Card Killer.
Madame Firelli, also known as Lisa Firth and Lisa Firelli, was a fortuneteller who owned her own fortune telling parlor in Tenderloin District in San Francisco. She was the second victim of Abe Resner, the Tarot Card Killer. She was shot twice in the back after giving Resner his fortune. The next morning, her body was found in her parlor, hung by her ankle to replicate "The Hanged Man" tarot card.
Edward "Eddie" Blake was a fake psychic who ran his own television show, "The Other Side", where he would contact people's loved one's ghosts. He was the third victim of Abe Resner, the Tarot Card Killer. His mangled body was found on top of a car three stories down from his show's studio.
Status: Voodoo priest
During the aftermath of the Haiti earthquakes, Maxime Fournier was a well-known local voodoo priest, or a houngan. He placed a curse on Abe Resner after being shoved and refusing to move from a working site.
Abe Resner is the Tarot Card Killer. Angered by the inaccuracy and fraudulence of fortuneteller predictions, Resner set out to murder all fortunetellers who claimed to have "told the truth" to him. He is described by Madame Firelli as intelligent and discerning.
Status: ConsultantClaire Hart is a psychic consultant from another Electronic Arts game, Claire Hart™: Soul Searcher. According to Detective Fallon, she has a good intuition. In the bonus scene of In The Cards, Part 1, Hart is suggested to be Resner's main target.