The mugger aims his gun at Mari while the other mugger holds her. She looks down at her unconscious foster father Chuck and touches her necklace. The power of a gorilla fills her body and she easily breaks the mugger's grip and throws him across the street. Mari then charges forward with the speed of a panther, avoiding the armed mugger's shots. She easily knocks the two men unconscious, just as Chuck wakes up.
Back at home, Chuck makes coffee for the two of them and he says that she can stay if she wants. Mari goes to her old room and looks at her mementoes. Among them is a photo of her younger self and Patty.
In the past, a crying Mari tells Patty about how the girls at school teased her about how her mother was a junkie and that's why she gave Mari up. Patty assures her that it isn't true, and Mari wonders why her mother gave her up. Her foster mother says that when the agency placed Mari with them, Mari had one thing that they've been waiting until Mari was old enough so that they could give it to her. Patty takes out a case and shows Mari a necklace, and explains that it belonged to Mari's mother. Chuck's friend identified it as an Anansi Totem, and Patty figures that one day it will help Mari find out who her parents are.
The next day, Mari visits Professor Macalester, an expert on African artifacts. She admits that she doesn't know anything about it, and Macalester says that the stone is indigenous to Zambisi. Anansi is the trickster god, and he gave the totem to a warrior named Tantu. As Mari turns to go, Macalester wonders what she wanted to learn. She says that things have been happening to her recently and they're connected to the Totem, and she hopes it will lead her to her family. Macalester says that legend has it the Totem grants the wearer access to the life force of the animal kingdom. However, he dismisses the story as myth and assures Mari that it's just a polished piece of stone.
After Mari leaves, Macalester makes a call to a woman named Kuasa and says that Mari came to him after Kuasa hired three gang-bangers to take the Totem from her. Kuasa says that once she has the Totem, Macalester can continue his next expedition fully financed. When he wonders what will happen to Mari, Kuasa tells him not to worry about her because she needs Mari alive... for now.
Written by Gadfly on Aug 16, 2016