A Victim of the Art

The year is 1999. A group of agents with the FBI quickly discover a routine case is anything but. Thrust into a world that's as incomprehensible as it is deadly, can this team hope to hold back the darkness?

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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Sat May 06, 2017 6:02 am

Spoiler:
Vanessa examines the room, and finds some sort of tear in the carpet right next to Lauren's desk chair. The agent thinks that whatever took her grabbed her here and there was a bit of a struggle. She also finds some of the gray goo that Stephen had shown her. There are only a few flecks of it that line the carpet from the desk to the balcony, but it seems clear that whatever took her perhaps "shed" a bit during the attempt.

Other than that, she gets down to examining the room. Much of it is mundane and of little relevance to the investigation. When Vanessa's about to give up in frustration inspiration strikes her, and she looks under the mattress. There she finds a leather colored book that can only be Lauren's diary. It was a neat trick. Perhaps she had done the same when she was a teenager.

There's no key on it, so Vanessa can read through it if she likes. The agent estimates it will take about an hour. But does she think it's worth violating the dead girl's privacy in hopes of a lead?


Spoiler:
"Oh, of course." says the woman. "Take the elevator up to the third floor. Principal Harold's office is at the end of the hall."

Nik does so. Along the way he passes a few straggling students either late for class or skipping, all of whom give him curious looks. Several classes are also passed, along with many lockers. One of them catches Nik's eye, because it has been written on all over.

RIP Lauren
We love you Angel
Cheer won't be the same without you :(


A few ornaments hang from the locker's door, but it itself is firmly locked.

Continuing on, Nik soon finds himself in the administration office. Two students sit in the corner, both looking pissed. The receptionist here, a woman of maybe 70, inquires as to Nik's business. Once he flashes a badge she holds up a finger and picks up the phone. A hushed discussion follows, before she instructs Nik he can go into the office.

It's a modest sized office, but clean and functional. Various awards and certificates line the walls and shelves. Behind the desk sits a large middle aged man wearing glasses and a bad toupee. His build suggests a former athlete who still maintains much of his bulk but is losing more and more of it to fat. He holds out a meaty hand and welcomes Nik.

"Thank you for coming, Agent, ah..." he struggles with Nik's name and looks to him for support. "I'm Derek Harolds, the principal.

"Obviously our whole town has been affected by these murders, but Glendridge High has suffered more than most. Lauren was one of our most promising students, and very well liked. And Ms. Hatvan, well, the loss of any of the facility is hard on all of us."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Sat May 06, 2017 7:04 am

Nik advises the principal on the correct pronunciation of his name.

“I’m genuinely sorry for your loss” he continues. “I’m sure you’ve met with the police already, but they requested our help and so please bear with me. I might want to ask you some questions later, but first I want to speak to Lauren’s boyfriend, Chad Jordan. And I’ll need access to Ms. Hatvan’s workspace and office.”
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat May 06, 2017 3:47 pm

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Vanessa collects a sample of the goo for later independent analysis, then sits down to read the diary. While it may be an invasion of privacy, there is the possibility that the diary may contain leads relevant to the case. It would be worth it if it leads to solving Lauren's death - and preventing anyone else from meeting the same fate. After helping to torch an old lady, peeking at a dead girl's diary doesn't seem like such a big deal.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Cearlan » Sat May 06, 2017 5:46 pm

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Edmund Rue


Edmund adopts a serious mein and says to the receptionist, while showing his credentials to her.

"Sorry ma'am, but I am not in need of an appointment but am here on official business myself. Flo, if I may call you that, first off may I say that I'm very sorry to hear of the loss recently of Dr Maretti, which of course must have been very upsetting for everyone concerned. As you can see, I am Edmund Rue, and with my partners are looking into both his and the other deaths in Glendridge. In order to help speed up the investigation, I would like very much to have access to his recent appointments diary and to have a quiet word with both yourself and Dr Cummins. I know you will both be very busy at this sad time, but I will be as quick as I possibly can with you both. Your help would be very much appreciated."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Sat May 06, 2017 8:50 pm

Spoiler:
"Of course", says the principal. "Both can be easily arranged." He makes a call to his secretary, and a few seconds later a message comes over the loudspeaker indicating Chad Jordan should go to the principal's office.

Chad shows up some time later. He's a powerfully built young man with wavy blond hair and boy next door looks. Unfortunately he's currently wearing a look of disdain on his face, and it is directed first at Harolds than at Nik.

"What's going on?"

"Chad, please have a seat here. This is Agent Siilasvuo with the FBI. He'd like to talk with you about the recent murders."

"You think I did it or something?" Chad asks, starring angririly at Nik. It might have normally been intimidating, but after fighting cannibalistic alien parasites, Nik may be better suited for dealing with these sort of things.


Spoiler:
The diary entries are thankfully dated.

June 8th, 1998
My therapist told me this would be a good idea. He thinks writing down my feelings now that dad's dead will help me come to terms with it. We'll see. I don't think I'm the one that needs to come to terms with it though. I hear mom crying all times of the night, and more than once I've come home to find her halfway through a bottle. But I do miss him. It was so sudden.


The next several months seem to be pretty uneventful. Lauren talks about teachers she hates, friends she's feuding with, and cheer practice. Another notable conversation piece is her boyfriend Chad. They seem to be on again, off again. Lauren complains about him constantly, and the only things keeping them together seem to be social status and the sex.

Around four months ago an entry catches Vanessa's eye:

January 6th,
He said yes!
I was afraid to even talk about my crush before because it sounded so silly, but I was right, he was into me. He told me we have to be careful though. I can meet him after school but I have to be careful not to smile at him or anything during. I don't want to get T in trouble. But I'm shaking right now, I can't even explain!


Jan. 14th
So hard to pretend I still like Chad. I sit with him at lunch and listen to him drone on and on, and of course he can't keep his hands off of me. But I really want to talk to T.

Feb. 4th
Went to T's house today. We slept in his bed and he told me "One day this will be our life." Then we just cuddled and talked for an hour before I had to leave. He's perfect.

March 16th,
Chad is starting to get suspicious. He wanted to know where I was last night. I made out with him to shut him up, but that's not working anymore. Why can't he understand what we had was over? But T says I should stay with him as cover.

April 4th
T says he's almost ready to leave his wife. Once I graduate he says we can start seeing each other more frequently. He promises me we'll get married once enough time has passed. It's so frustrating having to wait, but I don't want to get him in trouble.


They go on and on. It seems pretty clear Lauren was having a relationship she was trying to keep secret. Vanassa checks her last entry and finds it to be a mundane retelling of a class project she was working on two days before her murder.


Spoiler:
"Yes, I'm Flo." the receptionist says, growing somber at Edmund's words."Thank you for your condolences. He was a good boss. I don't think I know anything useful, but I'm happy to help in any way I can.

"Dr. Cummins is booked all day, and was not here the day of Dr. Maretti's murder, but I'll try and get him out here for a few minutes. As for the appointment books, of course. And I can take a brief break
."

She gets him the appointment book. Looking through it, Edmund sees the list of patients who had appointments the day of Maretti's murder:

Lucilie Montana- Cleaning
Martin Randall- Cavities and cleaning
Seth Hale- Root Canel surgery
Thomas Dengler- Cleaning
Reina Hoover- Tooth removal
Mark Corvi- Gum care


Besides each name is a phone number.

Flo makes herself available for questioning.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun May 07, 2017 2:52 am

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Vanessa calls Nik to fill him in. "I found Lauren's diary," she reports. "She was having an affair with a married man she refers to only as T. Maybe he's even a teacher. She was stringing Chad along, but he was starting to suspect something. T promised her that he would leave his wife and marry her once enough time had passed, but I wouldn't believe that for a second. Also, her father died suddenly last year. I'll look into how that happened."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Sun May 07, 2017 8:30 am

Nik

“If we thought you did it Chad, you’d have been arrested”.

“What a punk” Nik thinks.

At that moment Nik’s phone rings and Marchand supplies him with the new information. “Now we could be getting somewhere”.

Principal Harolds, if you don’t mind I’d like to speak to Chad alone. We have to discuss personal matters, and he would appreciate the privacy I’m sure. Is it okay to use your office here?”
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Mon May 08, 2017 4:44 am

OOC:   Nik recalls Dr. Feldman mentioned that Lauren's father died of lung cancer. I presume you're going to mention this to Vanessa, though either of you are certainly free to investigate it further.  


Spoiler:
Vanessa feels confident she's found everything of value within the Harrogate residence. What would she like to do next?
OOC:   I've not really been keeping track of your transportation, but assume if you want to go anywhere, police are available to escort you.  


Spoiler:
"Of course," says Harolds. "You can use my office. I'll be ah, right outside." He leaves quickly, apparently intimidated by the FBI presence.

Chad crosses his arms and looks churlish. "Good. because I didn't do anything."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Mon May 08, 2017 6:42 am

Nik

“Nobody thinks you did Chad. I just want to learn more about Lauren, and find out why she was killed”.

Nik indicates for Chad to sit down. “You were close to her. What kind of person was she? We all have a public face, the side we show to people, but maybe Lauren had characteristics which she kept private.”
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Cearlan » Mon May 08, 2017 9:33 pm

Looking back through the appointments diary for Dr Maretti, Edmund checks to see if there is any patterns to be built up. He looks back for say the last six weeks to two months.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue May 09, 2017 5:46 am

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Vanessa gives Stephen a call to ask him about Lauren's father's death and verify that it truly was due to lung cancer.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Tue May 09, 2017 7:06 am

Spoiler:
"Lauren was special. I loved her. I never would have hurt her."

He shrugs. "I dunno. She was big into cheer. One of the better girls on it. Super popular. Everyone liked her, I guess."

OOC:   Nik does not even need to roll to tell that Chad's being shifty, clearly uncomfortable with these questions. He can make a persuade roll to see if he can get him to open up some more  
.


Spoiler:
There don't seem to be any common names or patterns to go by. A few people came in more than once within the period, usually for more complex procedures such as root canals. Edmund makes a note of them, but none of these "regulars" were seen the day of the murder.

Flo offers her feedback. "As far as I can tell it was an ordinary day. None of the patients really stood out, and in the few weeks before Dr. Maretti's death we didn't have any trouble with people not paying their bills or complaints or anything like that. I left the office at just after 5, Doc was finishing up on the last patient. He seemed jovial. Nothing seemed to trouble him."


Spoiler:
The medical examiner is pleased to hear from her. "Can't stay away from me, can you my dear?" he asks, chuckling softly.

"Ah yes. Peter Harrogate died after a brief battle with an aggressive form of lung cancer. It ran in his family, so it seemed to be to me an open and shut autopsy. I'll be happy to go over my notes again and see if anything sticks out that connects father and child, but I'm not hopeful."
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Tue May 09, 2017 7:20 am

Nik wonders why Chad doesn’t want to be truthful. Is he embarrassed by Lauren’s infidelity perhaps?

He raises his eyebrows in feigned surprise. “Come on now Chad, surely you want to know who killed her and why? Do you want to have a murderer running around your town? Tell me more about her.”

Spoiler:
Persuade 70: Persuade: 1d100 36
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue May 09, 2017 9:24 pm

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"Thank you," Vanessa tells Stephen. "Please do take another look. It's probably unrelated, but you never know, and I don't want to leave any stones unturned. Was Mr. Harrogate a smoker?"
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Cearlan » Wed May 10, 2017 8:07 pm

Having made notes of the names of the people seen by the late Doctor Maretti. Edmund waits patiently until he can speak to his partner, Dr Cummins to see if there is anything he can learn from him.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Wed May 10, 2017 8:52 pm

Spoiler:
"Of course I want to know who killed her!" Chad explodes. "I loved Lauren, okay? And when I find out who killed her I'm going to..." he stops, probably realizing confessing to premeditated murder to an FBI agent is not the wisest move.
"We had our problems, alright? Lauren... she was a free spirit, but she was also a very assertive person. I'm the same, we clashed more than once. We broke up a few times but we were really giving it a try this last time. But Lauren, she," he looks hesitant here, "she lost interest. Those last few month she wasn't into me. She'd skip dates and when she was here it was clear her mind was elsewhere. Whenever I questioned her she tried to distract me with sex. It worked for awhile. But I knew she was running around on me, and since she wouldn't tell me I did the same. Of course when I do it she gets mad. She was always the jealous type, but it's an insane double standard, you know?" He looks at Nik. "Well, you probably don't."

"So yeah, when she died we were not in a good place. I was planning to break it off with her. But I did care about her, and didn't want to see her dead. And I have no idea who she was seeing or if they killed her."


Spoiler:
"Oh yes. A pack a day as a matter of fact. He really checked all the boxes. But he was young, probably thought himself invisible if you'll, ah, forgive my psychoanalysis, Agent.
"I'll be happy to check in on him for you though
."


Spoiler:
Rue has to wait for a bit, as the Dr. is with a patient. Unfortunately it is a wasted attempt, or seems to be; Dr. Cummins has little to add. He had not been in on the day of the murder. He rarely saw Dr. Maretti, he and Carl worked different days, and his hiring was designed to allow Dr. Maretti to slowly begin to transition into retirement. He does say that none of the patients were particularly troublesome, including the ones Dr. Maretti saw the day of his murder. "Sure, we have a few that drag their feet on paying, but none of them strike me as murders. Besides, Carl was not killed here. Maybe it was a random act of violence and not at all related to the practice?"

OOC:   What would Rue like to do now?  
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Wed May 10, 2017 11:25 pm

This all sounds convincing enough to Nik.

"Her father died fairly recently, didn't he? Did she talk to you about it?"
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu May 11, 2017 3:34 am

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"Thanks again, Stephen," says Vanessa. She gives him her cell phone number so he can call her back. She heads to Vanessa Hatvan's home next to see if she can find out anything there.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby Silver Priest » Fri May 12, 2017 8:00 pm

Spoiler:
Yeah, last year. And not really. She was out for a week but when she came back she was all smiles. I brought it up, once when we were alone. But she told me to drop it so I did. That was Lauren. She kept to herself. Maybe it's why I liked her." Chad looks thoughtful for a moment, before the disdainful expression comes back.
"Anyway, can I go now?"


Spoiler:
The agent makes her way to Vanassa Hatvan's house. It's located on a quiet street in the nice part of town(and given all of Glendridge is more or less nice, that's saying something.) It's a large two story townhome. Vanessa's first thought was that something this nice in this area could probably not be afforded on a school librarian's salary.

The home itself is neat but rather Spartan, and does not seem partially lived in. There are few personal touches. Some pictures of Vanessa show her with two older people who may be her parents. Others show her with a cat, a little black thing. These are the only pictures in which she smiles. But there's no sign of the cat now.

The only room Vanassa finds of note is a study. Unsurprisingly for a librarian, books line the shelves, most of them historical texts. A computer sits upon the desk of this room. It does not seem password protected.
OOC:   Go ahead and make a search roll  
.
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Re: A Victim of the Art

Postby HoneyDog » Sat May 13, 2017 3:39 am

Nik sighs. He doesn't think Chad can help much.

"Just one last question. Did Lauren ever mention seeing anything strange recently? Was she ever scared or worried?"
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