When Myka arrived back at the warehouse after meeting up with Kate in New York, she found Artie, Claudia, and Steve, all sitting down shuffling through what looked like mountains of books that Artie and Leena had brought up into the office in hope of finding out more about the skull. Each of them seemed to be frazzled and she realized they must have been reading for more than a few hours now, knowing how important it was to discover the truth behind the apparent artifact.
Claudia was the first to speak up after Myka had walked in as she said, "I really hope that you had more luck in finding information than we have. I think Artie was hallucinating, or high, when he thought he read, whatever it was he claims he read about this thing."
Artie glared up at her from behind his book he was currently reading as he replied, "I was not high, nor was I hallucinating. What we're looking for is here somewhere and we're going to find it, no matter how long it takes. Do you hear me?"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear you, Gramps," Claudia answered. "So, Myka, was Kate able to give you anything more on our thieves?"
"I've finally got names," Myka responded as Claudia suddenly moved her chair over in front of the computer in order to hack into their police records. "The young thief is Christine Bellows, which now come to think of it she had told me that night at the grave when I spoke with her, but because of everything that happened, I totally forgot, but it appears Kate's been putting together a file on her as she's really escalated in only a year in a half; everything from pick pocketing to armed robbery and now kidnapping and murder, though Kate doesn't actually believe she's actually been the one to pull the triggers. Her partner, Renee Travelers, is the real piece of work, with the same kinds of charges, but on a much higher scale. According to Kate, the two met and joined up when Renee was caught by the cops after trying to pull off a jewelry store robbery in Chicago, but then was saved by Christine, who was on the same street pick pocketing tourists. Their cases have gone cold, as the two know how to keep hidden, so she's put the cases aside, but now that they're who were looking for, she's graciously agreed to hand their files to us."
As she stared at the computer screen, Claudia continued, "Their last known whereabouts was from three weeks ago when they were in New Orleans. Apparently, a warrant was put out for them after Renee shot and killed a cop, who had pulled them over for speeding."
Steve replied, "I guess our three murder victims they killed using the egg of Columbus weren't their first murders after all. Is there any mention of someone that might have a clue as to where they might be now? What about why they would steal the skull and the prayer rope? Have either one of them lost someone close to them that they would do all this for in order to bring them back from the dead?"
"Not to mention, someone that would know about artifacts?" Artie added.
"Unfortunately not," Claudia answered. "It's obvious that Renee and Christine learned about artifacts, the warehouse, and about us from someone, which explains why they kidnapped Pete, but who could possibly…"
Before she could finish her sentence, Claudia was cut off as Myka's phone rang and the agent saw that it was an unknown caller, then answered it as she suspiciously asked, "Who is this?"
The caller responded, "Hello, Agent Bering. I'm sorry that I didn't get the chance to meet you that night in the graveyard, but I had a job to do and I wasn't about to risk getting caught."
"You must be Renee," Myka replied coldly as she stiffened and everyone else in the room turned their eyes on her.
"So, you figured out who I am?" Renee stated. "I thought you might. I've been told you were the brains of your partnership."
Myka ignored the taunt as she asked angrily, "Where's Pete? I want to know what you've done with him."
The thief answered, "You'll find out for yourself soon enough, that is as long as you and Agent Nielson agree to meet us and bring with you another one of your precious artifacts to trade for him, or maybe even two."
"What do you want now?" Myka asked again. "You've already got the skull and used my partner to steal Rasputin's prayer rope so that you can bring someone back from the dead. What more can you possibly want? Who are you trying to bring back?"
"We're not trying to bring him back, Agent Bering," Renee responded. "We've succeeded and we'll answer all your questions later, but you have to meet our demands. If you don't, you'll never see Agent Lattimer again, nor will you ever know what will have happened to him. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life not knowing? Can you live with yourself knowing that you condemned him to death?"
Myka angrily replied, "Save your threats. What artifacts do you want now?"
Renee answered smugly, "The analog password decoder and Jack Duncan's spur. Your partner would have gotten these items himself if he had had the time, but well… you know he didn't."
"And if we bring these things to you, you'll release whatever hold the skull has on Pete?" Myka asked skeptically. "You'll let him go?"
"You have my word," Travelers responded.
Myka scoffed as she replied, "Forgive me if I don't take your word on that. You have a deal."
Artie quickly tried to protest saying, "Myka, you can't…"
"We'll bring the artifacts, but know that if you go back on your word and Pete dies, we will make you suffer as much as he has; I promise you that," Myka interrupted Artie while holding up her hand to him as she continued to speak with Renee. "Send me the coordinates of where you want to meet up with the time and we'll be there."
"Very well," the thief answered. "It was a pleasure doing business with you, Agent Bering. We'll see you soon."
As soon as she hung up, followed by Myka, Artie spoke up again as he said, "Myka, you know you can't just hand over a couple of artifacts to whoever these trigger happy, psychopathic thieves are and their soon to be resurrected companion, who I'm sure is the devil incarnate, even if it's to save Pete."
Myka shook her head fearfully as she responded, "She said that they already used the prayer rope. Whoever they wanted to raise from the dead, is alive again, which means that Pete may possibly be released from the skull's power, but… I hate to know what's being done to him now. Don't worry, Artie. I may have promised that we'd bring them the artifacts with us, but that doesn't mean I intended to follow through with it. We need to come up with a plan."
"Hey ah, guys?" Steve spoke up again as he held up the book he was skimming through. "I think I've found what we've been looking for. You were right, Artie. The skull definitely belongs to Rasputin, though this book doesn't explain why it was buried in Michigan. It says that the skull has the ability to raise the spirit of any one the user chooses by chanting some spell, again, not in the book, and when done, the spirit possesses the user's body. According to this, the spirit becomes the dominating soul within the body, making it so that Pete would have remained dormant, except…"
"Except for when he fought through to try to warn us," Myka interrupted as a text came through on her phone letting her know where and when to meet up with the thieves. "And now that the spirit is out of Pete and in its newly resurrected body, what will happen to Pete?"
Artie took the book from out of Steve's hands and began to skim over it himself, then looked back up at her as he replied, "I'm not sure. The book doesn't say, but whatever it is, it can't be good."
Myka nodded and then stated firmly, "Then, let's get going. The longer we take to get to him, the worse off he'll be."