With finals and summer break behind them, the newly-risen juniors return to ETU with a lot of questions. Soon after returning, Mariana receives a phone call from Derek Ward, who identifies himself as one of the students that the heroes rescued from the crazed Professor Barton in the Burn. Derek says that one of the other survivors, Matt Meranda, is missing after a car accident the previous night, and that Matt’s girlfriend Ariel is really shaken by his disappearance. Apparently, the Burn survivors view Mariana and her friends as heroes, and Derek thinks that they might be able to lend Ariel some support.
Mariana pays Ariel a visit, and at first, Ariel is cooperative. She has clearly been crying, and says that Matt had been drinking at a party before he left, and that he drove home a bit before she did. Mariana is a bit suspicious, and asks about routes and whether Ariel drove home the same way, and Ariel becomes defensive and throws Mariana out. Mariana alerts her comrades, who review the campus e-news to see the gruesome car crash. Matt was not found, but it seems unlikely anyone could have survived the accident.
Mariana confronts Derek, who tells her that Matt had become obsessed with “magic pipes” or “ley lines” or something, and that he had been talking about them at the party before the accident. He also confesses that Ariel asked him to help her retrieve some dirt form a fresh grave, and that he is afraid she and Matt have become caught up in some kind of “weirdness”.
The team splits up; Ryo and CP consult Crayton’s Compendium to find a ritual to allow CP to see ley lines, while Mariana checks on the accident with the police, Marco tails Ariel, and Troy and Matt break into Ariel’s dorm room. Mariana’s inquiries at the police station determine that traces of blood were found in the car, and that the police believe Matt was killed and his body removed by persons unknown. Troy and Matt (the hero Matt, not the missing student) find multiple ritual books in Ariel’s dorm room, as well as a number of books on ley lines. CP succeeds in casting the “True Seeing” ritual, and observes multiple ley lines criss-crossing the campus – and one nexus where something strange seems to be happennig. That nexus lies next to the Psychology building – exactly where Marco followed Ariel. The group converges on the building, with CP observing tendrils of energy peeling off the nexus to the belfry. They ascend to the bell tower, only to find Ariel conducting a ritual over Matt’s corpse and brandishing a knife…