Roots

It's the summer of 2017 in small town Virginia. The tranquility the residents take for granted is shaken by disturbing news: Karen Parker is missing. To some she may be a friend or neighbor. To others, a daughter. But regardless of the relation, the investigators set out to bring her home. But ancient evils lurk everywhere, and as the investigators are about to discover, some are very close to home...

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Roots

Postby Silver Priest » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:29 am

It's an early summer Sunday evening in the town of Paradise Falls, Virginia. The town itself is a friendly community of around ten thousand folks or so. It maintains a cozy feel but is close enough to the cities to possess many of the amenities of its larger brethren. The town motto is “A nice place to raise a family' and everyone here has certainly found that to be more or less true.

Here presently is the home of Rachel and Paul Parker. The Parkers are a pillar of the community. Paul works as a software developer, and Rachel is a lawyer. Both are friendly and outgoing people, and all of you like the Parkers. For various reasons they've invited you to a barbecue at their home. This is a fairly common occurrence, especially during the summer.

The Parkers have three children, all adopted. Daniella is the baby of the family, and insists on showing everyone the dance steps she has been learning in ballet class. She's a happy girl, and even those of you who dislike children don't find her too annoying. Freddie is twelve, and starting to go through the awkward years of adolescence. He greats his parents guests and then returns to his room, mumbling something about a “raid”. He won't be down until dinner. A quiet boy, he's something of an outcast but generally polite and keeps to himself.

The other Parker child is Karen. She's an active girl, popular in her own way. She's one of Catherine's best students, and has never caused any problems. Though she's usually at these dinners, presently she is out with some friends on a camping excursion. Rachel did say that she passes on her love.

Paul is presently out back cooking up burgers and hot dogs on the grill while the group of friends and family sit at a backyard table. Rachel is passing around her famous potato salad and some iced tea. She insists on letting none of you help her.

It feels like forever since we've had a chance to catch up like this. I'm sorry about that. Things have been very hectic at work, and arranging all our schedules has been a nightmare. But it's nice to relax and be with friends and family.” She smiles. “So, how have you all been?”
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Re: Roots

Postby HelplessBystander » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:02 am

Tobias walked in on crutches, placed it near a way, before awkwardly stumbling his way into the embrace of a nearby chair. He looked around at everyone gathered around and attempted a friendly smile. "Humour me,
would you? I'm sure there's a thing or two to talk about. Don't leave Rachel waiting for too long now, eh?"


He started with a slightly wheezy cough. "Well, I'll start it off for those who doesn't know me as well. I'm Tobias Jerkins, and my body's not as good as it had been back in the old days, and recently, my antique collection were thrown into the backyard shed rather ceremoniously by a certain someone. Now, I'm going to name any names; but it's Paul Parker, my son-in-law did it." He glanced at Paul Parker with mock anger in his eyes and took a swig of really strong Bourbon from an army flask.
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Re: Roots

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:19 am

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"I've been great, Rachel," says Catherine Levesque with a smile. "As much as I love teaching, it's nice to have off for the summer."
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Re: Roots

Postby HelplessBystander » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:51 am

Tobias looked at the woman with a respectful nod and a friendly smile. "Teachers truly are one of the better professions out there, inspiring the young minds of the next generation, eh? I would certainly hope your summer holiday is a successful one. Sorry about our young Freddie, I'm sure he doesn't mean to be impolite, he's just a bit...distracted sometimes by his hobbies. How is Karen doing with schoolwork? I mean, I believe you're one of the teachers that teach at Karen's school, right? My memories are a bit hazy and unreliable at times, and I never really got the chance to visit her school, so I assume it's you, right? Or is it someone else that I'm mis-remembering?" He chatted with Catherine, and drank another mouthful of bourbon coupled with warm, buttery toast.
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Re: Roots

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:46 am

Image

"Yes, Karen's in my history class," says Catherine. "She's always been an excellent student, very bright. I'm sure she'll do very well in college, wherever she goes." She always enjoys talking to Tobias. She is an avid historian, and he has lived through so much of it, but that is not the only reason. She also likes his sense of humor and interesting personality.
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Re: Roots

Postby Cotton » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:47 am

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Daniel Parker accepts his iced tea from Rachel with a smile and walks over to where his brother is grilling. "Careful there Paul,
keep those on for much longer and all we'll have to eat will be ashes,"
he says jokingly.
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Re: Roots

Postby HelplessBystander » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:44 am

Tobias chuckled slightly at Daniel's jokes. "I'm afraid, you're gonna have to listen to your brother on this one, eh, Paul? I think it's about time you stopped grilling them." He said with mock seriousness as he looked at Paul standing in the distance.
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Re: Roots

Postby Silver Priest » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:51 am

You can hardly blame me,” Grinning, Paul protests Tobias account. “Rach made me put all my model trains out there as well. She likes everything orderly. Still waiting to win that Good Housekeeping award.

“I make no apologies for liking to keep the house tidy.” Rachel says in response. “But I'm glad to hear Karen is doing so well. She's looking at school over in Richmond, though is also considering Georgetown.”

Paul laughs at Daniel's ribbing. “What, and give you an excuse to take me in? No thanks, little bro. I'd let you try, but I think we all remember the hamburger incident fire of '06.”

Paul, behave.” Rachel chides gently. She seems about to say more when her phone vibrates. “Oops. It's Kim Hodge.” All three know the woman. She has a daughter named Ali who is Karen's age, and also her best friend. Presently she's one of the chaperons of the hiking trip. “I'll be right back.” She steps away and answers the phone, though all can still hear her.

Hey Kim, how are you? Hmm? No, I haven't, why?” Her smile fades. “I'm sorry, when did you say she left?” “Oh my God.”

Paul looks up from the grill, concerned. “Honey, what's going on?”

Yes, please do.” Rachel continues. “And give us a call if you hear anything.” She hangs up the phone and looks close to tears.

Sweetheart, what is it?”

That was Kim Hodge,” she explains looking at all present. “She said that Ali and Karen had a fight early this morning, and Karen said she'd be taking the bus home. That was around eight or so. It's nearly six now. It's a half hour trip, Paul.” She dials another number on her phone. “Her phone's off. She never keeps it off. Something's wrong, I can feel it.”

Now Paul looks concerned. “Let's just try and relax. Karen said she was leaving, right? Maybe she stopped somewhere.”

She'd be home by now, Paul!” Rachel snaps. She does not truly seem angry with her husband, but close to hysteria.

Paul turns to Daniel. “Dan, can you do anything? Get some guys together, go out and check the campground?” He rubs his wife's back and is trying to hold it together, but all of you realize he looks very nervous.

OOC:   Everyone can roll idea. Success indicates that maybe it's a good idea to take a few minutes to interview the family and perhaps look through Karen's room for any ideas where she may have gone.  
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Re: Roots

Postby HelplessBystander » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:51 am

Tobias stood up, all trace of relaxation gone from his posture. ”I may be getting senile; I don’t recall Karen as a misbehaving child growing up. Tell me the address, if needed, I’ll take a look around the area.” He said eagerly, as he attempted to comfort Rachel. “I’m going to go upstairs to go and have a talk with Fredrick and Daniella in case they have some idea of where Karen may be.”

Spoiler:
HelplessBystander rolled 1d100:
49
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Re: Roots

Postby Cotton » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:17 am

Image
Daniel surprised and more than a little worried by this news immediately starts heading towards his car. Before leaving he says, "Paul,
you and Rachel stay here and file a report with the station. I will head to the campground and look around there."
On his way to the campground, Daniel also calls someone he knows is on duty today to see if he can get some help.

Spoiler:
Idea-50%
Cotton rolled 1d100:
94
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Re: Roots

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:26 am

Image

"Good idea," says Catherine to Tobias. "I'll go with you."

Spoiler:
Idea roll (65% stat) about how to find more information:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
95
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Re: Roots

Postby HelplessBystander » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:36 am

"Thanks for the offer, Miss Catherine. I'm sure I'll all the help I can get. Two heads is better than one." Tobias nodded appreciatively.
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Re: Roots

Postby Silver Priest » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:37 am

Paul nods at his brother's suggestion. Daniel knows there's not much the police can do so early on, but it might help to calm the Parkers down at least.

He contacts the chief of police, a fellow by the name of Earl Taylor. He's been in charge of the police in Paradise Falls for almost twenty years. Earl's sympathetic but does not know Karen personally.

I'm sorry to hear that, Daniel. At the moment we can't do much. Sad to say that the majority of teens who run away are just hiding out at a friend's house to blow off some steam. If she's still missing tomorrow I'll see about sending a few officers out, but we're hard pressed as it is.” The town was having a budget crunch, and Earl seemed reluctant to pay more officers for overtime. “Keep in touch though, and let me know if you find anything that suggests foul play. Alternatively, you may want to poke around and determine if you can figure out if she had reason to run off so suddenly. Talk ot her friends,c heck her social media history, that sort of thing.”

***

Tobias and Catherine meanwhile trek up the stairs, where they question both of the other children. Neither seem to know much. Daniella seems a bit too young to fully grasp what's going on, and the team may not wish to press her much further unless they wanted to risk upsetting her. Frederick pauses his game long enough to express some concern, but it is quickly swallowed by tween apathy. “I'm sure she'll turn up. Karen and I don't talk much. But she and mom had a huge fight last week about curfew or something. She's probably just with a friend.”
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Re: Roots

Postby HelplessBystander » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:50 am

Tobias raised an eyebrow and led Daniella outside for about before returning. "And I suppose that explains why she turned off her phone; trekked off all along; and gave no indication of anything upsetting her or a premeditated plan? Young man, I don't remember raising you to give illogical deductions. Furthermore, if she was angry with her situation, which I highly doubt, why would she choose to disappear in the afternoon? It would be more logical to run away in the morning or at night. There no notes, and she's indicated that she had planned to the bus home. I think this is a situation outside of Karen's control. We don't know enough to make a conclusion yet, so we are going to check all the leads before doing anything rash. Fredrick, go downstairs and calm your mother down before she does something too rash." A glint of vitality gradually lightened up his eyes. Something is afoot and it's placing the people he treasures in danger, which is something he can't allow.

Catherine, I hate to do this, but just in case we missed anything, I'm afraid I'll have to search her room to see if there's any notes or if there's any red flags such as online stalkers. I wouldn't reccomend you searching the room of a student, if word gets out that a teacher probed a student's room, it wouldn't look good for either of us. After all, Fred and Dani probably already have some idea of what I plan to do. I don't think they are going to be good secret keepers in the event you follow me into her room."
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Re: Roots

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:37 am

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"It's a good idea to look through her room for her online history and diary and such," says Catherine, "but why not just ask Paul and Rachel for permission? I'm sure they'd agree, seeing as it might yield clues to their daughter's whereabouts."
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Re: Roots

Postby HelplessBystander » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:30 am

Tobias stopped in his tracks and looked around sheepishly. “I suppose so. Old age is making me careless, I suppose. But I do quite believe that there’s quite a few ways to go about it. I mean, you could go and ask Paul and Rachel for permission to look around, it just that...I thought that a teacher looking around their student’s possessions, ah geez, that don’t exactly sound like a very teacher-ly thing to do. I mean, I’m their grandfather, I don’t think it’ll be too awkward around the family dinner table even if I had snooped around a little in Karen’s room. But...yeah, I’ll have a quick look around to see if there’s any obvious clues like a written note or anything as such. If we can eliminate the possibility that she merely ran off as soon as possible, then I think there’ll be more incentive for the cops to get involved in the investigation.”
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Re: Roots

Postby Cotton » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:19 am

Daniel, remembering that Rachel had mentioned that Karen and her friend had had a fight, will set to interviewing each member of the Hodge family individually once he arrives at the campground. He is looking for information about the fight and if this Ali girl has some idea as to where Karen might have gone that her parents might not.
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Re: Roots

Postby Silver Priest » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:55 am

Spoiler:
The campground is a half hour away, so to keep the timeline close I'm going to say you arrive the next time I post after this. I'll let you know specifically when.


Tobias enters Karen's room, as can Catherine if she wishes. It's obviously a teenage girl's room and looks outwardly to be that of of a happy one. The walls are painted a cheerful blue, and all the pictures on display show Karen looking rather happy. She's a pretty girl, possessing long, straight, dark blonde hair and blue eyes. She's thin but not unhealthily so, and looks a little older than she actually is. In the pictures on display she tends to dress in shorts and t-shirts, more sportswear and casual clothing than dresses and showy outfits. She has a slight tan and shining smile that makes her fit in with the popular kids. Her only physical flaw (if it can be called such) is a small red birthmark on the back of her right hand, but it's hardly noticeable and she has never received much grief for it.

As for the room itself, a few large posters of current pop stars adorn the walls, and the bookcase is lined with dark young adult fantasy novels. A discarded flyer on the dresser advertises a nearby bar called Spotlights, and offers a list of bands none of them have ever heard of.

In addition to all the other furniture there is a laptop, currently plugged in and in sleep mode. Did they wish to start by going through that, or would they prefer a more general sheep of the room and its contents?

OOC:   If you want to look around the room, give me a spot hidden to find any pertinent clues. A look through the computer requires a Library Use roll to ensure you find everything.  
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Re: Roots

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:16 pm

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Catherine goes back downstairs for now to speak to Paul and Rachel. "Would it be all right if we look through Karen's room?" she asks. "There may be something in there that could tell us where she's gone."
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Re: Roots

Postby Silver Priest » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:12 pm

Paul looks speaking quietly to Rachel and nods. "Absolutely, Ms.Levesque. Do whatever you can think of to help us find out where Karen went."
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