Sinclair, leader of a cult called the Cabal of the First Circle, claims to possess magical powers. When Laura expresses skepticism about that – and is quoted as such in a newspaper article – Sinclair sets out to convert and brainwash Laura through a campaign of fear. Sinclair wears a “magical” bloodstone crystal around his neck; during an incantation, the bloodstone glows – and Laura finds herself pulled into a nightmare world where Sinclair preys upon her deepest fear: drowning. Laura, genuinely terrorized, is gradually losing her grip on sanity. J.J. surmises that Sinclair’s powers aren’t “magic” at all, that the bloodstone crystal serves as a lens to focus and intensify Sinclair’s telepathic ability. J.J. hypnotizes Laura to try to remove the traumatic childhood memory of drowning that Sinclair is using, but the memory is planted too deep; the best J.J. can do is walk Laura through it and take some of the edge off her fear. Sinclair continues his psychic assault on Laura, who goes to Sinclair’s inner sanctum, asks to join the cult.