Spectra: You know, you really don't need to visit me. I'm not going anywhere for a long time, so save yourself the bother. Don't call me, I'll call you. Grim Reaper: Hey, I can visit whoever I like, whenever I like. Besides, even I get tired looking at all the butchered bodies day after day. It's nice to talk with somebody with all parts intact once in a while. Spectra: You're exaggerating. A lot of people die with their body intact. Grim Reaper: Sure, but I'm in the homicide division. The amount of blood I've seen in my work would fill an ocean. Spectra: Homicide division? Grim Reaper: Surely you didn't think there was just one of me? I'm good, but not that good. Oh no, there's an entire company, Afterlife Inc. Spectra: And you have different divisions dealing with different kinds of death? Grim Reaper: Sure. There are divisions for traffic, suicide, diseases, old age — that's for the ones with bad nerves who can't deal with anything more drastic — homicide, accidents, and so on. Spectra: Hold on! How can that work? There are deaths that can fall into several categories, like killing yourself on purpose in the traffic. Grim Reaper: There's nothing a flip of a coin cannot solve.
Spectra: I've never seen anyone else but you. Grim Reaper: That's because your case was assigned to me. You're not supposed to see any of the others, unless your case gets reassigned. Spectra: Has it ever happened that somebody, who should have moved on, has been left here? As a result of a bookkeeping error or something like that? Grim Reaper: Sure, although it's not usually an error, just forgetfulness, accidental or on purpose. For example, there was this little old lady who the guy in red shoes and his followers considered a saint, but many others thought she had built her fame around other people's suffering. Nobody wanted to touch her with a 10-foot pole. Finally we had to draw straws.
(He's referring to the Pope and Mother Teresa.)
Spectra: Why? What does it matter what she was like? You're just a... transport company. Grim Reaper: But when there is uncertainty of the delivery address, it's sometimes easier just to forget it. The really bad guys are not a problem, it's just a simple pickup job, but the borderline cases always give me a headache. Spectra: I had no idea it was that difficult. Grim Reaper: Of course you didn't. But no worries, we rarely get complaints. They enjoy their prolonged stay too much to do that. You should know.
Schizo: Have you finished your conversation with your imaginary friend? Shall we go? Spectra: What do you mean imaginary friend? Grim Reaper: He can't see me. Spectra: But that guy getting out of the door just now, he saw you. Grim Reaper: Of course he did. He's mine, just not today. - Well, it's always nice to talk with you, but I've got work to do just around the corner. See you again in a few years.
Spectra: You really didn't see him? Schizo: No, but I guess he wasn't imaginary after all. I noticed that guy you mentioned. He did see something, and he was scared to death. Spectra: He had a reason to be. He saw his death, although it wasn't after him today. Schizo: You're getting really spooky. I like it.
Schizo: Have you ever seen the scythe dude? Claire: Scythe dude? Do you mean Samael? Yes, but only once. It's a pity, he's really a nice man, in spite of his looks. Schizo: Nice? He's the death! Claire: The Angel of Death, darling. Don't be disrespectful. He's only doing his job. Schizo: I guess so. Why didn't he do his job with you? Claire: That's a bit complicated. I only saw him that one time when he came to tell me that although I was assigned to him, he couldn't do anything. You see, he takes care of the dead dead. The living dead are out of his jurisdiction. His words. Schizo: So you're stuck here forever? Claire: Oh, I'm sure there is a way out, I just haven't bothered looking for it. I'll do that when I feel it's time to move on.
Schizo: So, if you really are one of the living dead, aren't you supposed to... you know, eat people? Claire: What an absolutely revolting idea! Whatever made you think so? Schizo: You know, all the stories and movies... Claire: I thought you're old enough to understand that those are fiction. I admit that there were cannibals in the past, and who knows, maybe some still exist, but to automatically assume that I would... Really! Schizo: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend. What do you eat then? Claire: Normal food, like everyone else. Although I do prefer my steaks rare. You know, rare as in "just carry it across a warm room."
Schizo: Have you met Spectra or Mina? They're a bit like you. Claire: The ghost girls? I've seen them, but they're nothing like me. They're dead. Schizo: I see. I thought as you are... Claire: I know, but those people can be so standoffish. All that vanishing like smoke in the air. Makes them think they're better than the rest of us. Schizo: Spectra's not like that. She's very nice and normal. Well, as normal as you can be in her condition. Claire: Have you ever thought about asking her to assist you? Schizo: Why would I want to do that? Claire: It would make a spectacular show. And all done without any smoke or mirrors. Schizo: Why didn't I think of that?
Claire: Because it's not your style to work with other people. I'm using the word "people" in the broadest sense possible here, by the way. Schizo: I know, but I should have thought... Claire: Anyway, she probably wouldn't do it. Too much attention. Dealing with the bureaucrats is a major hassle as it is. You can't do anything nowadays without an identity, and one identity doesn't last long when you don't grow older. It used to be much easier. Paper documents, no photographs, all checking done manually, news and correspondence traveled slowly... You just told people who you were, and they had no real way of checking it.
Jet: Frankie, I'm sorry I can't pay you more than your regular salary for this. Frankie: It's all right. I'd do this even for free. Just to be a model, for this one time. Jet: No. Frankie: What do you mean no? Jet: Not for free. It's your face and your body. If somebody's using them, you need to get paid for it, even if it's just your regular salary for the hours of the photo shoot. Frankie: Oh, all right, if you say so. It's always better getting paid. Jet: Yes, it is. And if any of your photos sell, I'll pay you a little extra. - Now, just a couple more photos with you alone and then you need to hand over the coat to Joey. Frankie: As soon as he can tear himself away from the mirror.
Frankie: You really are much too pretty for this. Have you seen the movie? Joey: Movie? What movie? Frankie: The one these shots are based on. I bet you don't even know what Marv looks like. Jet: Doesn't matter. Joey's just fine for the photos. If we went for complete authenticity, you'd need to cut and dye your hair, Frankie. Frankie: I could do that, if it meant I can be a model. Jet: No need. As I said, these aren't supposed to be exactly the same scenes, just similar.
Jet: All right, everything looks fine. No need for any retakes. Joey: Can I go now? My shift starts in an hour. Jet: Yes, you can go. Frankie: Shift? At this time? What do you do? Joey: I... um, I'm an orderly at a hospital. I really need to go now. See you later.
Frankie: I thought he'd be at least a bartender in some fancy night club or something. Jet: Don't be too hard on him. It's not easy to break through when you just have good looks, but nothing to really make you stand out among others with equally good looks. Nikki: Mom! Did you finish already? I saw Joey leave. Look what I found! Can I keep it? What animal do you think it belonged to? Jet: Nikki... where did you find that? Put it down. Now! Nikki: But mom... Frankie: That looks a lot like... Jet: Yes, it does. Nikki, you need to go and wash your hands. Also change your clothes. Frankie, would you go and make sure she does that? I need to call Maria. Frankie: Sure, no problem. Come on, Nikki!
Frankie: Nice wallpaper. Is this what Harvey was doing here the other day? Nikki: Yes. Mom promised me when we moved in that I could choose the new wallpaper, but she's been so busy that it took this long before I got it. Frankie: Well, at least you got it. My mom's good at promising stuff and then forgetting it. Nikki: Now I've washed my hands, and I've got a clean dress. Can we go downstairs? Frankie: I think we better wait here.
Nikki: Frankie, why did mom get so upset? It was just a bone. I've found bones before, but she hasn't made such a fuss about it. Frankie: This is a special case. It's not just any bone. Nikki: So what is it? Is it really old? Like dinosaur or something? Frankie: Unfortunately not. I may be wrong, but it is possible that is was not from an animal. Nikki: What else could it...? You don't mean... EWWWW!!! I need to take a bath!
Maria: You're quite right. That didn't come from an animal. Where are the rest? Jet: I don't know. You'll need to ask Nikki. She's upstairs with Frankie. I told her to wash her hands and change clothes. Maria: Probably a good idea, although I don't think there's anything particularly dangerous about a bone this old. Still, we don't know what else she may have found. Officer, take that to the ME's lab right away. Tell her to start with it and we'll get the rest to her as soon as possible. Officer: Yes, Captain. Maria: Jet, I think we better go and talk with Nikki. We need to find out where the rest of the bones are.
Jet: Where's Nikki? Frankie: In the bathroom, taking a bath. Jet: I told her to wash her hands, not take a bath. What happened? Frankie: Well, I sort of told her that the bone may not be from an animal, and she thought it was really gross, and then she dashed into the bathroom. Maria: No harm in that. An extra bath never hurt anybody. How did you know it's not an animal bone? Frankie: Grandpa had a skeleton in his study. I can recognize most of the major bones, and the thigh bone is easy. Maria: And you don't find all this gross? Frankie: Not bones. All that comes before that, yes, but not clean bones. Maria: Very sensible. - Jet, do you think we could go to the bathroom to talk with Nikki? I'd like to get the search started as soon as possible. Jet: I'll go and ask.
Maria: Nikki, I need to know where you found the bone. Nikki: I wasn't supposed to... Mom has told me not to go there. Jet: The haunted house? Nikki: Yes. Behind it, by the fence. It was partly on the outside, and I dragged it out from under the fence. I thought it was a big animal. Maria: Haunted house? Jet: The place has been abandoned for years. Kids make up stories about it, because the last owner disappeared. It's just a couple of blocks away.
Jet: Nikki, put that brush away. A little scrubbing is good, but you don't want to overdo it. Nikki: I just want to get myself clean. Maria: Don't worry, Nikki. If you just took that one bone and didn't touch anything else, you'll be fine. Bones that have been on the ground for that long are usually not in any way dangerous. Nikki: It's still gross! Totally gross! Jet: Says the girl who once dragged a half-decayed raccoon to our backyard. Nikki: It's not the same thing! That was an animal! Maria: I guess it isn't. You just try to forget it all. I'll take care of it from now on.