Dr Miles Sutherland, Aiden Parker, Lyle Ashley Tate and Carter (Gil) Gillespie have been told to meet at Lyle's place at 9pm. They don't know why they're being summoned as all they have in common is their friendship with Flynn Archer, the town's resident hothead and former bouncer.
Last we saw of Flynn, he was being airlifted to the nearest major hospital, unconscious and lucky to be alive after hitting his head on the edge of a shelf after a short but violent fight with the town's mortician, Henry Vale, who Flynn killed by stabbing him in the eye with a fountain pen.
Flynn had snuck into the mortuary in an attempt to free his lover, Aiden, from his prison in a hidden room in the basement where he'd been tortured. Vale was using him to get at Flynn whose parents he had already killed. It was the discovery of two severed hands belonging to Flynn's father that set the whole saga in motion.
The town's former assistant mortician, Stan Riley, had detached them from his corpse in an attempt to expose Vale's use of the mortuary to cremate his victims and dispose of the evidence by mixing their remains with others left for burial.
Stan himself became the latest to be disposed of in that way, and if it hadn't been for his planting of the hands and leaving cryptic clues in a diary that he hid inside a sealed frozen dinner package, Flynn might have been left to fight Vale alone.
However, Miles, an Aussie Doctor, and his work colleague the young British paramedic, Gil, had been in the park with Flynn when a scruffy dog unearthed the first hand. Seriously out of condition and overweight, Miles adopted the stray, in the hope that taking him for walks would help him get fit again. He called the dog, Roofie, sensing that instead of sleepless nights grieving for his late husband, Darren, he'd have no trouble falling asleep on the couch .
To complicate matters, Stan's replacement as assistant mortician, Lyle Ashley Tate, having run foul of the Italian mafia is himself in hiding under the watchful eye of the Agency.
It was only when Aiden's dog, Dante, turned up in the backyard of Miles' house that Miles and Gil realized that Aiden and Flynn were missing. Accompanied by the two dogs, they ended up at the funeral home just in time to save Flynn's life.
While all this drama was being played out, the men's personal lives have been a tangle of mixed emotions and hot encounters.
Needing more living space, Gil has only recently moved in to live with Miles as his own flat had been too small for the active and energetic young man. He had also become involved with Lyle, who is in the last stages of a sex change operation.
Miles is perplexed by his own attraction to Gil as he is still grieving Darren's tragic death from AIDS. Despite harboring unrequited strong feelings for Miles, Gil has also caught the eye of others in the town, especially the Sheriff, Lance Peabody.
Even though they haven't seen much of each other, the chemistry there had been hot and instantaneous. In fact no-one had seen the Sheriff for some time which was lucky for Gil as he already was finding it difficult juggling his feelings for both Lyle and Miles.
Written in joint live role-playing sessions, the soap is moving to a new location both on the web and in the story. It's envisaged that when the characters settle down, there will opportunities for guest authors to take turns bringing their own characters into the mix for a few episodes.
Who knows what is going to happen. The characters are certainly unsure of their future, and their writers aren't much better. All they know is that writing the saga of The Hands was so much fun that they didn't want it to end.
The current team of authors: Andrea Speed, Jessie Blackwood, JJ Levesque, Jen Swanson, Katisha Moreish and I are posting our stories free on the web as thanks for all our current readers and those who might be inspired by our writing to check out our other books. From time to time we will suggest a different charity that readers, if they are so inclined, might like to donate money in recognition of our effort.