Preamble: After nearly 3 months off, we're back with another Tales of Riverdale story. This one addresses some more societal issues that some of you might be familiar with. As always, all characters are copyright Archie Comics except for characters created for this story. ==================================== Prologue: One year ago. Setting: San Francisco. Julie Price was packing her suitcase for a winter vacation trip to Vail, where she'd reunite with some of her high school classmates. She checked her lingerie drawer three times, and found that some of her underwear and nylons were missing. Her ex-boyfriend, Dennis Chambers, had moved out two weeks earlier after a domestic dispute, and now, Julie had more reason not to take him back. She entered Dennis' old bedroom, and checked the waste basket. There, she found two pairs of pantyhose, torn and stretched out of proportion. A pair of black silk panties laid at the bottom of the basket. Well, what was left of them. "Oh! So Dennis didn't have the decency to tell me he took them!", she fumed. "Couldn't be honest with me about any of his 'hobbies'." Abruptly, the light went out in the room before Julie could leave. Next instant, all she saw was darkness. =========================== "Are you sure she'll be here?" Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper had arrived in Vail on vacation. Betty had been corresponding with Julie since they had met right before the start of the school year. It was because of Julie that Archie & Betty were in Vail in the first place, with Archie's roommate, Reggie Mantle, tagging along. Julie was being set up as Reggie's date for the trip, as the trio had been apprised of Julie's break with Dennis. Presently, a heavy-set woman had reached the hotel's front desk, claiming to be Julie Price, but got into a heated argument with the desk clerk, Louis Dumas, who often would pretend to be a distant descendant of famed author Alexandre Dumas. "Your picture ID doesn't match!!", Louis protested as he motioned for security. "I'm sorry. I didn't have time to have a new card made before leaving for this trip. I have reservations.", "Julie" replied. Archie & Betty got a good look at "Julie", and Archie winced. "Something's happened.", he said. "That's definitely not Julie." Betty pulled an old photo out of her purse. It was one of Julie & Dennis, dating back at least a year. Dennis, it happened, had the same build as the "woman" at the desk. "Honey, you're right.", she told Archie. A few minutes later, the couple did a Google search on Julie, and discovered the truth. "She was found in her apartment with a black plastic bag over her head.", Archie said, reading the newspaper article. "Suffocated." "Then, Dennis stole her identity for some reason, but what?", Betty asked. "I've a bad feeling about this." =========================== Just what led Dennis to take these drastic steps will be explored in chapter 1.