SESA Investigation: Dark Below

Life is difficult across the New York City Safe Zone, but when food stores already stretched thin begin disappearing, its residents must discover the cause of this theft — and in the process, uncover an unsettling secret of the past.


Spoiler Alert: It was Pikachu.

SESA Investigation: Dark Below

Related Storylines: Dark Below

OOC NOTE: This represents a wall of information/clues/research in the SESA office near Bowie's desk. He has invited others involved to add to it as they like, so feel free to edit this page with any information your agent would be willing to share with the team! This scene has an example of how he uses/alters the wall. Currently, the information is as follows:

Pictures of the crime scene from various angles are stapled to the board
How did the food get out of the room and how do we prove it?

Update 7/26/18

After recovering a specimen from the sewers, and autopsy reveals some small (but important) physiological differences in our SLC-E rat. Which is weird because that doesn't happen in humans.
Will need more specimens to know if that was just something in that rat or all these rats.
There is a paper trail linking this to an experiment conducted by the Company's Victoria Pratt. Fort Hero. Montauk. Apparently she successfully turned a rat into an electromimic.

Update 5/28/18

Gerken contacted me today in regards to the rat issue. He witnessed these rats displaying what looked like SLC-Expressive type abilities. He was in the sewers just before one of the flushes and the rats were running from the water. They turned into electricity and escaped through the wiring.
He also saw more dead bodies, eaten by the rats. I'm sending a team down to recover what we can. Given the flush, I'm not hopeful, but we're trying anyway.
So what do we have? Animals manifesting? Can that happen? Alternative thought: Did someone give these rats this power? They all displayed the same one. In humans, there's an uncounted level of variety; why would it be different here? -Lin

  • Let me do some research and get back to you on this. Something about this seems familiar. - Corbin

Drawings pinned to the board of a map pinpointing the location of the sighting as well as an artist's representation of the rats' abilities.


Iris Earhart — Librarian — 28 — Into Books — Excitable (Questioned by Bowie Lin)
Books/newspapers shredded at the Red Hook Market — Result of an ability?
Kid: Will/Bill? — likes books, hangs around the Market — 12-ish — Phaser?

Gillian Childs — Author and Librarian — 31 — Part of the Cooperative (Also questioned by Lin)
Ability allows her to sense other SLC-Es — swelled felt many the night of the theft
(or one in many pieces)
Staten Island — black market selling stolen food? — Eugene Arrowhead needs questioning

  • Sawyer says she'll go out there with me. I think she thinks I'll get shot if I'm alone. - Lin

Savannah Burton — Author — 40 — Questioned by Corbin Ayers.
Corroborates the story of the kid who has been hanging out and seems to come and go at the market.
Also mentioned the bookseller getting their books and newspapers shredded.
Instead of Eugene Arrowhead she mentioned a Eugene Arrowood. Likely the same suspect.

  • Highly likely. Childs seems to be bad with names. - Lin

Eugene Arrowood has a brother. Together they seem to be terrorizing Staten Island.
CI said they were into human trafficking. Can we look into that? Anyone interested in poking the bear?

  • Per Sticky Note in Purple Glitter Ink: Dude! I'm so there… have information on a couple of attempted - Da Coop-mister
    • Another Note in green highlighter: Also… get any more info, send it my way. Pretty please. - Super Cooper

Also, gunrunning.
CI said they don't have a ton of food up for auction, but points toward Crooked Point in Great Kills.

  • And also to a pirate??? named Etienne who might know something about the theft or where the food is being kept. Hopefully not at the bottom of the river.
    • The pirate is not helpful. - Lin
    • Pink sticky note written in a combination of pen and pencil: in pen: Maybe you should have offered him rum? In Pencil: or a jar of dirt? - Cooper-ific.

Gilbert "Tuck" Tucker — Market Coordinator/SZC Watch — 47 — Questioned by Elizabeth Messer.
Niki Zimmerman — SZC Citizen's Watch — 43 — Questioned together with Tuck by Messer.
Eugene Arrowood was there the night of the theft looking for people to buy things for him.
The kid, Will? Likely coerced if he had a hand in it. They've never seen him get into any trouble.
Also, be nice to the kid.
Vents are too small for a person, but Tuck heard something in them on the night of the theft. However…
There are no vents leading directly into the food storage area.

Tasha Renard-Lazzaro — Lawyer — 26 — Questioned by Cesar Diaz.
Heard about food thefts the day after, was not present at scene of incident.
Most likely done by SLC-E individual with a way to get in/out without breaking down doors or picking locks. Phaser? Teleportation?
Kid, 11-12 years, Italian, walks through walls. Other kids talked to him.
Girl, teenager, tall, thin, brunette. Teleporter. Rumors of pickpocketing at market. Possibly same as 'Eimi', friend of Brynn? Tuck might know the girl. Follow up?

Jonathan Smith — Teacher (K-1) — 46 — Questioned by Cesar Diaz.
Was at the market on the day of the theft, but gone before the incident occurred.
Described a strong sewage smell present.
Saw a young male, approx. 11 years, walked through wall before he could talk to him. Wanted to make sure he wasn't homeless.
Questioned him about teleporter girl, but no positive ID.
Stated Eugene Arrowood was at the market (unsure of date) with brother, drunk and disorderly. "Couple of troublemakers, those two."

Eimi Faith d'Arcy — Unregistered Evolved Female - estimate age: Late teens-early 20s - Questioned by Cesar Diaz
Date: 3/18/18
Chance encounter lead to meeting Eimi
Likely same teleporter mentioned in Renard-Lazarro interview (90% sure, here)
Teleportation power, as claimed, is limited to sight lines only. Not likely to have been suspect in food theft (unless she lied to me.)
Also said I was 'that fed', but spoke to her about SZC resources and registration. She seemed open to this.

Booksellers: probably a raccoon or rat using their stock to make a nest. Sad, but unrelated.
Witnesses around the market didn't see much, but smelled sewage? The nesting animals might be down there.
Contact the city about checking for leaks. Forget that, check for clues instead, before the city stomps all over it. -Lin
Otherwise quiet on the night of the theft.

  • So where were the SLC-Es that Childs sensed?
    • Is it possible that there is an animal telepath controlling the rats? Maybe what Childs sensed was a consciousness split into several minds? - Lin

Will confirmed as a regular presence at the market for about six months, comes by after sunset. Hard to pin down.
Might talk to a civilian. One witness said I "looked like a badge". :(
Other kids presences: Joseph Winters — 18 — Impenetrable Skin AND Lance Gerken — 18 — Selective Acoustic Field Generation

  • These two appear to be attempting to investigate the stolen goods. Contact them.

A picture of Lance Gerken is stapled to the board next to one of Joe Winters

Gerken & Winters — Interviewed by Bowie Lin
Agents: Keeps eyes open for these two. They're likely to be poking around areas related to the investigation. Try to keep them out of harm's way.
They have a good theory that works well with the sewer angle (as a possible passage for goods) — need to check that location.
It's gonna be so smelly :( :(
The boys theorized a terrakinetic could have opened the floor of the storage and closed it back up after.

  • Unrelated: Are SESA agents able to write college recommendations? - Lin
    • Pretty sure we can. Could always give the recommendation as a request for education for potential field agents. It sounds like these kids would be good at it and they're not much younger than Rhys. - Corbin
      • Good idea. Thanks C. - Lin
  • I am working on recommendations for Gerken and Winters, but given their possible involvement, I'll sit on them until we clear them. - Lin

On-Site Investigations

Checked out the sewers. Not great. Give me an hour, I'll update.
Found evidence of the food just underneath the storage area. No idea how it got through the damn floor. Also, it's all been eaten. It looked like the morning after a frat party down there. Pictures uploaded for reference.
Will, the boy seen around the market, is dead. He wasn't a phaser, he was a leftover psychic projection. He led us to his body. It looked chew up. He didn't die easy. Photos uploaded.
I'll see if I can contact the boy's next of kin.
He was wearing a necklace. When we're done here, let's see about sending it to his family.
I don't know what this has to do with the food. Maybe nothing. I need a stiff drink before I can start to make sense of any of this. (Bluthner: I owe you a few rounds.)

  • Gerken and Winters were present. They were shaken. Gerken was talking about ghosts and giant rats. If anyone knows how to convince teenagers to stop traumatizing themselves, I'd appreciate the help.
    • A sticky note is stuck here… the writing in sharpie: Get them a puppy? <insert crappy dog drawing here> - King Cooper
      • Hopefully real dogs are cuter than that. - Lin
      • Cuter than your face! - Coopster
        • Impossible. - Lin
  • Will take Baumann to investigate further in sewers. Get me a map copy. - Diaz
    • It'll be on your desk. Check out the food scraps. Not sure if Baumann wants to check out the kid. - Lin
    • Don't want to, but will. he might have answers that we need.- Cassie

A map marked with where Yamagato has marked essential and non-essential structure repairs, only marked on the route which Cesar and Cassandra took

Red Cross Depot food theft investigation — Investigators: Diaz and Baumann
Distance roughly a mile away from Market storage theft site
Copies of various pictures of the mountain of moldy garbage that used to be the food are pinned to the board. So are some evidence bags with bits of packaging examining the bite marks.
Cesar's notes of Baumann's ability usage at crime scene:

  • Hazy vision of some people moving through the tunnels. Inconclusive relationship to current case. Assuming this was a Ferrymen route at some point.
  • No other psychic impression left at this scene. Baumann believes this is strange, either psychic presence is shielded or wiped.
  • Could there have been a long-range presence control? How accurate is Baumann's ability?

Other observations:

  • How is the food moved. Packaging found directly below storage depot, but not with shipping materials and no indication of structural damage to depot flooring or sewer ceiling. Baumann's theory: Only food was made insubstantial and dropped via natural gravity. Cesar's rebuttal: But the packaging is torn to shreds, including metal cans and heavy-duty boxes.
  • Possible investigation of connecting tunnels between Market and Red Cross necessary.
  • DeLuca's "ghost" has only appeared at Red Hook Market.

The Linderman Act Registration card for William DeLuca is inside an evidence bag and taped up to the wall.

Cassandra here. I investigated the sewers beneath the SZC's store room, where William DeLuca was found.

  • William DeLuca was a Tier 1 Evolved with Psychic Projection. This is stated on his registration card. No clear echoes from his card. What I got was like watching a football game from twenty different vantage points at once. Very unclear.
  • Cause of death was a combination of rats and drowning in the sewers when his mattress flipped during a flood. Echoes in the sewer showed me how it went down. Not nice.
    • You saying Gerken was right about the rats?? - Lin
  • One important thing. Before he died, William's consciousness went out somewhere to escape the horror. I think he was more powerful than a psychic projector. His consciousness could still be there. Keep an ear out for reports of someone like him showing up in the marketplace. Or here. (Yes, I know it sounds crazy. He's already appeared a few times. Humor me.)
    • He seems to hide from authorities. Or maybe I'm just too old? He appeared willingly to Gerken and Winters. Maybe younger blood could find a way to reach out to him. Baumann. (Bluthner, too, but only if he wants to.) - Lin
    • Psychic abilities leaving behind vestages of their former self after death is not crazy at all, actually. - Corbin
  • Any luck locating his parents/next of kin? I'd like to give him a proper burial. -Cassandra
    • Not yet. The red tape is a lot thicker these days. We'll find them. And if not, we'll make sure he gets one. The boys would want to see him off, I'm pretty sure. - Lin


Do we have the forensic reports from the storage room and the Red Cross Depot? Working on a bizarre theory here, but I'm wanting to know if there were signs of rats - like a lot more than normally would be found in a sealed warehouse or storeroom. -Cassie

The Forensic Report is pinned to the wall:
SESA forensics has returned the following report on the Red Hook Market and Red Cross Depot sites.
Details are as follows:

  • No signs of forced entry at either storage location.
  • No unusual chemical traces found at either location.
  • Abundant traces of rat fur and droppings found at both locations. Identified as Rattus Norvegicus, common street rat found all over the US.
    • Fur tested high in trace chemicals of zinc oxide, lead, and copper.
  • William DeLuca's remains positively identified from dental records with assistance of Medical Examiner Amelia Hoffman.
  • DeLuca cause of death confirmed as traumatic tissue damage consistent with animal attack. DNA from remains confirms death from rat bites (R. Norvegicus).
  • Rat droppings found at both sites, unsurprisingly, tested positive for human food sources.

End report.

Met with Lance Gerkin and Joe Winters in regards to William DeLuca. These two seem to be starting an investigation of their own into the food thefts. Informed them that they should /not/ explore the sewers, looking for clues. This isn't Scooby Doo. They put forward the theory that DeLuca fled his body before death and is still concious, disembodied, in the sewers somewhere. Said he talked to them, asked if they were lost before vanishing into the walls. Winters also asked if there were forensics showing increased rat droppings, tracks, fur and the like in food storage areas. I said that we were working on it. Mentioned Hailey(?) as an animal empath. Find her? - Baumann

Exploration of the sewers and subway tunnels may be a necessary thing. With the war, the old maps are suggestions at best and according to a source, there are miles of new tunnels down there. I've contracted a Safe Zone resident who is familiar with the underground to guide a small party for mapping purposes. This resident has requested food and I am providing them with basic supplies as a show of good faith. -Baumann

  • Got a plan to check out the lines between the depots. Who's your contact? - Diaz
  • Girl named Squeaks. No address, no parents that I can tell. I have a way to contact her. She lives in the subways by herself from what she told me and has for years. She might be messing with me, but it's just a little food. She can use it more than me. - Baumann

Director Choi's Memo:
Key Points:
1) Hailey Gerken may be responsible for the rat problem. She caused an incident with them at Elmhurst Hospital. She pointed SESA toward human traffickers during a follow-up interview. (Cooper investigating)

  • Unlikely Hailey Gerken is in play, but she has not been interviewed yet. -Diaz

2) Lance Gerken is thought to be her brother. He and Winters may have an interest in this case to protect her or cover for her. We need to find out if this is true.

  • Fuck. I just interviewed them. -Baumann
  • Do it again. - Lin

3) We are not to make any sort of accusation until we can prove it. Like, court-of-law prove it. SESA needs to be impeccable right now.

  • I've talked to Gerken and Winters. There is a reluctance to trust authority there, and no desire to listen to it, certainly. When you talk to them, tread lightly. - Lin
  • During the SZ Council meeting, it was revealed Baumann approached a teenage girl named "Squeaks" for aid in the investigation
    • Spoken to several members and concerned citizens. Baumann, you best follow up on this. -Diaz
      • And no, we are not using J.I.s in this investigation. Period. -Diaz

A hardcopy cellphone picture of Squeaks in profile speaking at the council meeting Bottom of the photo written: SZC mtg 4/13/18. -CD

Pinned blown up photograph of the map Squeaks made beside the cellphone photo. LEXINGTON AVE EXPRESS is circled in red Sharpie on the photo. Evidence File number is written at the bottom of the photo.

Followup Interview of Gillian Childs - Diaz

  • Confirmed feeling presence of uncountable numbers via ability.
    • Animal telepathy guiding rats? More than one suspect?
    • Does not answer how the food was transported, only what happened to it.
  • On Hailey Gerken:
    • Gerken has stayed at Childs' residence
    • Childs has known Hailey Gerken since manifestation of ability. Aware of Elmhurst incident.
    • Hailey's ability, as described:
      • Feels the emotions of animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, possibly fish). Hailey has said rats are "curious", but hates the Safe Zone. "Too many rats."
      • Cannot command animals, only influence their emotions
  • Informed Childs of investigation involvement with Gerken and Winters.
  • Submitted Requisition for security cameras to be installed at both sites as deterrent and active surveillance.

Persons of Interest

Hailey Gerken (Unregistered SLC-Expressive)

  • Related: Lance Gerken (younger brother), Joe Winters (friend)


Eve Mas - What is her reliability? Before I throw something up, I need to know how…um…accurate her predictions are. -Cassie

  • I wouldn't claim to be an expert, but from what I've read they have a tendency to be vague and laced with metaphors (like Horses) and often no one realizes what it meant until after the event actually happens. I know her paintings have been highly prized in the past, though I have never actually met her or got my fortune read. - Corbin
  • Results of cognitive abilities without proof would not be admissible in court, Baumann. - Diaz
  • I wasn't intending any sort of investigation using Eve Mas, Diaz. I met up with her and jokingly asked her to tell me my fortune. I was expecting the fake stuff you get at a carnival - tall dark stranger on a long journey and the like. What I got was my full name, which I didn't tell her, and a warning of danger followed by her telling me to stay out of the sewers because of rats, and if I did go, to watch my back due to /teeth/ It was just as strange for me to see as it must be for you guys to watch me do my stuff. -Baumann
    • Your stuff isn't strange. I knew a guy in the Air Force who could take his hand off and put it back on again. THAT was strange. - Lin
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