Issue 2 Review

Midnight Nation 2 Synopsis

"Falling Through the Cracks"

Detective David Grey follows the young woman out of the hospital demanding an explanation. She repeats the answers she gave him inside. Her name is Laurel. He is in the place in-between. She will be with him until they kill him or he turns and she kills him. She is getting a bit frustrated with his repetitive questions.

David wants to know how she knows his name, and Laurel replies that she was sent. He's not satisfied with her answer, but she only suggests that he stop seeking explanations and start seeking answers.

David's frustration boils over, but Laurel predicts that there will be more frustration ahead for him. He blocks her path and the threatens to scream for a cop. He reminds her that he is a cop, so she begins screaming sarcastically at him that she is being harassed by someone who looks just like him. David begs her to quit making a scene.

Laurel says they must follow the rules and promises to take David to the man who can explain what is going on with him. This pacifies David, and he begins following her. He asks about the translucent people walking up and down the street. She says they can't see him and he'll stop seeing them soon. When he presses for more, she reminds him that he's asking for an explanation again and she only gives answers.

Laurel stops to greet an elderly woman named Mama Simmons. Mama thought that Laurel was done here, and she's sorry to hear that she had to come back. Laurel introduces David as someone who used to be a police lieutenant. She tells David that Mama Simmons sees things. The old woman takes a long look at David and is shocked to see him emanating some sort of aura. When he notices her reaction she says that she doesn't see anything. As Laurel takes her leave, Mama Simmons warns her to watch out for herself with David.

David is about to ask for another explanation when he realizes that he won't get it. Laurel greets his dawning comprehension on with sarcasm.

David wonders if he is hallucinating under anesthetic at the hospital. Laurel offers to kick him. He reminds her that it's a crime to attack a cop, but she says it isn't a crime in the place in-between.

Laurel hears a familiar noise and shoves David into an alley as a black van rounds the corner. He recognizes it as the same one driven by The Men. Laurel gives them a second name: The Walkers.

David says he's had enough once again and demands to know who is in the van. Laurel says that David already knows and prompts him to remember what happened to him. He remembers that his informant was murdered by The Men and that The Men - unearthly ghoulish creatures - also attacked him. He hesitantly asks if he is dead. Laurel says he is almost but not quite dead. He'll know when he is.

With the van gone, Laurel is ready to continue their journey. David heads for a pay phone. She tells him that it won't work. He reaches the phone, but he can't lift the handset from the cradle. She suggests that he try an abandoned phone booth nearby. He doesn't understand why but she reminds him that there are rules. They can only use it because it's abandoned. She also says that he can merely hope that the person he wants to talk to is on the line.

David lifts the handset easily and finds that he doesn't need any money. There are already several voices on the line calling out frightful pleas and warnings. David slams the phone down.

Laurel says they should hurry to their destination. It will be dark soon, and David shouldn't be out at night until he understands. David asks how far they have to go, but Laurel only answers him cryptically.

Laurel greets a man named Laz and asks if he's found what he's looking for yet. Laz is wearing an old-fashion suit that seems to have suffered many years of wear. He says he hasn't seen it yet. As they move on, Laurel tells David that no one knows what Laz is looking for but he's been searching for a long time. She says Arthur thinks Laz is looking for his own death.

David finds himself in an area of town he has never visited. Laurel says no one comes here. That's why they can use it. He asks how long she has been here. She says she arrived when he did but also that she has been here forever. Before he can ask another question, they find themselves at their destination. It is an abandoned factory with smoke billowing from the stacks.

They enter the building to find a room full of people scavenging through boxes of trash. Laurel asks about Arthur, and one of them says that he is here. The people reverently make a path for Laurel as they walk through the room. David wonders if their behavior is due to respect or fear. As they head down a flight of stairs, Laurel warns David to be careful of the supplies. All he sees is garbage. Laurel considers this an "eye of the beholder" situation.

They finally discover Arthur in a room full of equipment and scaffolding. Like Mama Simmons, Arthur is also surprised to see Laurel here. David introduces himself with his standard police greeting. Arthur says they don't have police as David understands them here. David begins to interrupt, but Arthur warns him to never interrupt him. He is even more adamant that David should never interrupt Laurel. He says that the last person who interrupted her got smote.

Arthur lays out the four rules for David. First, he does not lie. Second, David shouldn't push him for more information than he gives. Third, if David doesn't pay attention, he'll die. Fourth, Arthur gets to make up new rules anytime. He then begins David's long-awaited explanation.

Arthur built cars Michigan. He was doing well and saving money until he was laid off. The company closed the plant and transferred their business to Singapore for the cheap labor. The company's retraining plan only offered jobs in fast food restaurants, so Arthur set out to find his own job. No matter how hard he tried or how qualified he was, he was always ignored. It was as if nobody could see him. With his savings exhausted, Arthur found himself on the stret. Eventually he realized that the other people actually couldn't see him. The other people became translucent to him, and he eventually couldn't see them either.

Arthur refers to it as falling through the cracks in the sidewalk. All of the dispossessed and ignored people find themselves along with the rest of society's discarded junk in the place in-between. This world shares the same geography with the real world, but there are only a few places where the two worlds connect. The people in-between can only interact with things that have been thrown away. They work to make the obsolete technology operate, like the generators in this building that have been their project for nearly a year.

David is sympathetic to the plight of the people in-between, but he doesn't think he fits their profile. He hasn't been abandoned by anyone except his ex-wife. Arthur concedes that point but adds that none of the people in-between would trade places with David or the reason he came to the place in-between.

About a year ago, the rate of people arriving in the place in-between began to rise. The Men first appeared at the same time. The Men can move freely between the real world and the place in-between. It is believed that The Men are responsible for increasing the misery in the real world which results in more people slipping between the cracks. The Men are working for the Other Guy, who also arrived at the same time. The Other Guy has been seen meeting with The Men and their arsenal of black vans.

David asks who the Other Guy is. Laurel rolls her eyes in anticipation of Arthur's outburst. Arthur says he has no way of knowing because he isn't a physicist or a theologian. David reminds Arthur that he's supposed to have explanations. Arthur says he can only explain what he knows, and the only thing he knows about the Other Guy is that he's scared of him. Arthur also say's he's waiting for David to get the treatment.

David asks, "What treatment?" Arthur sympathizes with Laurel about David's thick-headedness. David demands an answer again.

Arthur apologizes for yelling and says he isn't good at giving bad news. He believes The Men are in-between because they have a connection to both sides. The Other Guy brought them here against their will by taking their souls. When a person has his soul stolen, he shows up in the place in-between just like David. Within eleven months the soulless victim turns into a ghoulish creature and joins The Men.

Arthur sums up the choices David has for the next eleven months. He must recover his soul, join The Men, or die. Arthur suggests dying over joining The Men.