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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018


Dark Corners of the Earth
Episode 1: Pilot


Montezuma County, Colorado
Nearest City: Cortez, Colorado, population approx. 9000.
Nearest Town: Towaoc, Colorado (Navajo Nation), population 1087


The trip out to the middle of the Colorado mesas was chilly and took two hours - a quarter of that on old back roads that haven't seen proper care, or on grassy, rocky earth, which was about the same. The Range Rovers are getting a workout in. The Colorado State Police and the Navajo Tribal Police have cordoned off the scene with police tape and some wooden poles, and it's immensely clear once you arrive why you were called in. It's probably the messiest murder any of you have ever seen - certainly the messiest in a long time. The ground is a mess of bloodstains and strange markings made in what appears to be a mix of blood and some kind of chalk. Luckily, it hasn't rained since the murder. The body itself is...well, flayed. Only scraps of skin remain on it, and it looks like someone did some messy chopping in the organs and musculature, though the corpse is still mostly human-shaped.

One of the uniformed state cops flags you over as you arrive. "I'm Sergeant Hawes, Colorado State Police. We haven't IDed the deceased yet, but we got someone going over missing persons in the area. Both departments. No clue what the hell any of this means, but I guess that's your department. You ask me, looks like some kinda Satanic poo poo. The Navajo liaison's over there - Detective Sergeant Creel." He gestures at a stout, dark man in a suit. "We're likely to get reporters soon - all these are good cops, but we're gonna have a leak, scene like this."

He pauses, then laughs a bit nastily. "Lucky for me you got here before they did. This is gonna be your circus."

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Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



Officer Sheridan Claw, Navajo Tribal Police

Officer Claw nursed a steaming thermos of coffee. He'd seen enough crimes, weird ones especially, to know that they were in for a long haul. He swept his eyes over the corpse, trying not to leap to any conclusions while he took in the savagery of the scene, then let his eyes settle on the Sergeant. Stepping forward, he extended a hand to shake the other man's, "Officer Claw. Who discovered the body?" The temptation to simply charge in and do some good, old-fashioned police work was all too present, but Sheridan knew that'd get the lab types all up in arms. "And who all's been on-scene?"

Bendigeidfran
Dec 17, 2013

Wait a minute...


Latoria Morgan II, Mesa Verde Park Ranger turned VASCU

Latoria, warm enough in her red flamel-embroidered fleece jacket, cranes her neck around Sheridan to get a better look at the body. And yep, that's a flayed corpse alright. She's too far away to evaluate much about the bladework or markings present, but the obvious degree of ritualism involved is a definite red flag for slasher involvement.

Operations is going to want to hear about this in excruciating detail. "Sergeant Hawes? Agent Morgan, Vanguard Serial Crimes Unit. Consider us your clown-catchers in chief for today." She goes in for a quick, almost compulsory handshake before pointing a thumb at the rings of tape.

"Mind if you give us all a quick walk-through of the scene? There's uh more than a few of us and we wouldn't wanna step on anything important." Her weather-beaten notepad eagerly rises at the prospect.

going to look around the crime scene, if anyone wants to talk with Creel or do something else go ahead.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Jennifer Smith, Demon-Blooded Sheriff's Daughter

Oh. Oh that's...that's gross.
Being prepared to see things like this is more than a matter of recognizing that you're going to see things like this. Unfortunately, I have a photographic memory.

Thanks, Mom.

So I can't un-see it. What I can do is preserve what little dignity the deceased has left. "I'll run interference with the reporters when they get here, make sure none of them get any stupid ideas." I should be able to set up a press station where nobody's going to be able to get any good shots of the scene. Nice thing about being a photographer, is I know the best angles to block off.

I'm not trained in medicine or anything, nor does a place like this have much in the way of surveillance equipment, most likely, that I'd be able to get to analyzing. So, I'll let the people who know how to do the stuff that needs to be done here do their job and keep myself - and the reporters - the hell out of their way.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Oh, I am gonna spank that monkey!


Benita Williams, Ex-DEA officer turned local cop

Benny takes a long draw off a bottle of water as she stares directly at the body. Memory and old forces of habit take over as she slings her bottle back into her pack. She's a little amazed she can stomach the water while looking right at it. "No skin, no clothes. Possible the victim might've been dropped here. There's gore but I'm not sure of the spatter" The hairs stand up on the back of her neck and she shivers, scratching at them. "Dumping a body either needs a lot of muscle or a cart, you all take a look at the scene, I'm going to sniff around and see if I can't find where the perp might've come from."

Or maybe I'm wrong and this did happen here. Isolated out on the mesa, who'd have heard them scream? She's draws her heavy coat closer as she gets out a flashlight, getting to work. Focus, Benny. Dump or not, the killer isn't here now, which way did they go?

Investigation+Wits+Tracking Speciality=5 dice

http://orokos.com/roll/586163 Three successes

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.



Charlotte "Lottie" Ebner, FBI Analyst.

Lottie's first reaction is trying her damndest not to contaminate the crime scene with her amazing lunch. She turns away, clutching her nose, breathing quickly. "Please stay inside," she mutters to herself, closing her eyes and trying to focus. As an analyst, she was more or less desensitized to gruesome images. And yes, of course, theoretically she knew that corpses decay, and that that brings a whole bunch of unpleasant business with it. But to know and to experience are two different things. This was going to be the hard reality of her stay here in Four Corners.

It takes her a while, but eventually she composes herself, without her stomach contents evacuating themselves. "Right. Pay attention, Lottie." She steels herself - though still with a hand clutching her nose. Not the best first impression, but whatever. If she were popular, she wouldn't be here. She ducks under the police tape, careful not to disturb any of the markings or other blood spatter with her feet, and walks up to the ME. "Hi. Charlotte Ebner. Nowhere Squad." God, that sounded kinda dumb when said out loud. "Anything you got, I'll take it." Breathing through her mouth to avoid the worst of the stink, she forces herself to gaze over the corpse...and then the sigils. Ritual, sure. Satanic...not necessarily. Still, all this mojo-jojo wasn't her specialty. She'd have to find out what she could back at the office, with all the crime scene photos.

The way she preferred it.

Dachshundofdoom
Feb 14, 2013



Pillbug


Detective James Little, FPD

James shakes his head sadly at the ruined body on the ground. "Jeez, what a mess. What kind of animal could do this to another human being? Makes me sick." And there it went again: that little twinge of fear in his gut that this was going to be the first of many unless they could catch this killer. Some guys back in homicide had nightmares about the murders they couldn't solve. James had nightmares about getting a case where bodies just keep piling up and every lead is a dead end. Bad enough to be unable to solve a single murder, but knowing that there's a predator out there, beyond your reach...

He shakes off the introspection and crosses the tape behind Charlotte, gives a nod to the ME, and starts examining the scene. No touching, just looking, turning it over in his mind, looking for anything that jumps out at him beyond the obvious. A flayed corpse surrounded by sigils was weird, but he couldn't let those distract him. There had to be clues to what actually happened, signs that would give him trails to follow up on later.

Looking for anything unusual (Wits+Investigation+Crime Scenes): 6d10o10h8 4

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018


Hawes shakes his head. "Hikers found the body. Idiots being out here right now, but you know how the back-to-nature types get. Even in winter. We got them over there." He points at a small gathering of cars, and you notice three people huddled under heavy jackets, sitting in the back seat of one of the police cars. "Besides them...well, we didn't see any other witnesses when we did our initial sweep. It's just us, and..."

And the first news chopper arrives overhead.

"Ah, there we go. Them. The cars will be here soon."

Latoria and Lottie take a look around the scene, taking notes on the symbols. Out here, with no wifi and barely any cell service, she won't be able to look it up easily...but it'll be useful later. The photos especially. (The photos will provide a +1 bonus to a later Int+Occult roll to look up the symbols.) There's not enough blood, though - the victim can't have been killed here. Hawes begins to go over the scene. "We got us the vic here, and we found a few cigarette butts around his body. We've bagged those to be sent to the labs for DNA, but that will take a week if we're lucky. More, if we're not. Ain't recognized any of the symbols, but Creel's on the radio to the reservation to see if their guys know poo poo about this. Hikers came up on the body early this morning. Their camp site's a couple miles northeast of here. Far as we can tell, they're with a local church, this is some kinda spiritual retreat for them."

Jennifer sets up shop as the reporters start to arrive. The first to arrive is KRDO, a local ABC affiliate, but the other Colorado stations aren't far behind. The state cops manage to help Jennifer keep them corralled more or less into one mass, which begins to bombard her with questions. "Officers! We've heard there's been a murdere here! Confirm or deny?" "Can you confirm that the murder has occult symbolism?" "We've heard the body was skinned!" "What do you plan to do to protect the people of Colorado?"

Benita goes over the rough ground. Her theory that there isn't nearly enough blood feels right - and when she finds tire impressions, she becomes more certain. It looks like there was a pretty large vehicle in the area some time in the past 24 hours. From the size, it could be a pickup truck or a particularly large ATV of some kind. The tires are designed for this kind of use, from the look of it, and from some faint splotches of blood on the ground, the victim was almost certainly taken from the vehicle to the site where it's lying now.

James examines the scene. Years of experience have gotten him accustomed to figuring these things out, and while he is examining the area, he finds a patch of disturbed earth near the ritual site, missed by the cops on scene. A shovel is quickly called for, and the shallow hole is uncovered. Inside is a small canvas bag, soaked with blood. Inside it is what looks like a coyote skull, a smaller bag of some kind of powder, and a patch of what appears to be human skin, branded with the same symbol as was drawn around the body.

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



Officer Sheridan Claw, Navajo Tribal Police

Shaking the Sarge's hand (LOVE/HATE): 5d10o10h8 4 (general sense of trustworthiness and the Informed condition regarding Hawes)

Officer Claw thinks a moment on any feelings or vibes he'd gotten from shaking the man's hand, then says, "I appreciate it, Sergeant." He moves over towards the Navajo detective. The others seemed to have the CSI angle down pat and Jennifer was covering the press, so he might as well continue to liaise with the prior responders and make sure that the investigation respected the myriad array of conflicting departments and interests involved. He says, "Yth, Detective Sergeant. Officer Claw, Nowhere Squad. Have the singers recognized any of the symbols on the scene?"

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018


The sergeant is very A Cop. He's probably trustworthy enough - certainly on broad issues like solving crimes. He can be kind of a dick sometimes. That's really about it. Hawes isn't a very complicated man.

Creel nods to Sheridan. "So far, no luck, but-" He pauses, staring at the bag being brought up. "-but we just got something new." He turns and goes back to his radio. Sheridan can overhear some quick Navajo as he relays what he's seen, and then gets an answer back. He grimaces, turning back to Sheridan. The squawky radio answer was no better. He relays it in English for everyone: "They say if that's corpse powder, we could be dealing with someone who's been reading about us. They don't think it's one of our own, though. Not our symbol."

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Jennifer

Jennifer holds up her hands to calm the storm of questions. "Yes, there appears to have been a murder. At this time, we do not have any suspects, however, we cannot comment further due to ongoing investigations. We urge people to remain vigilant. Our contact number is..."

Jennifer's not news-trained, but she's definitely got the idea of the kind of questions that are going to be raised--including one that's very dangerous. "We have no suspects at this time. We can say that the actual murder did not take place at this location." Not to clear the local population of prejudiced suspicion could prove fatal if tensions rise before the culprit is found, after all.

[20:33] <skybot> MollyMetroid: 38 (7d10=3, 4, 4, 8, 9, 6, 4)
two successes

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Oh, I am gonna spank that monkey!


Benny

Benny crouches and gets her camera out, snapping shots of the tire tracks. She follows them for a reasonable distance, far enough to see which direction they could have feasibly come from before she joins Sheridan as he talks to Hawes. "Body was mutilated elsewhere and dumped here, we've got tire tracks. Either a large ATV or quad or an off-road truck. Whatever the perp used, there's no stealthy way to drive off-road, especially around here this time of year. There's a good chance the hikers would have heard the perp's vehicle. Think it'd be a good idea to talk to them ASAP, see if we can estimate a time of dump before they start forgetting or remembering incorrectly." She glances at the bag. "What's that?"

Dachshundofdoom
Feb 14, 2013



Pillbug

Detective James Little, FPD

The details of the occult had never been James' strong point. The only source he had for most of this stuff was the Union forums, and you had to take everything you read on there with a whole shaker of salt. The trouble with getting together a bunch of regular joes and janes to fight the supernatural was that nobody actually knew that much about what they were fighting. With that in mind, he elects to leave his discovery to the real experts. He crosses back over the tape and starts heading for the hikers, passing by Benny, Sheridan, and Hawes. He pauses to give Hawes a nod of greeting and let them in on his next move.

"Some kind of powder in that bag. It was buried with a coyote skull and a piece of human skin with the same symbols on it. No clue what it means, but it definitely means something. We'll have to take a look at it back at the lab. In the meantime, I was gonna go try to get a preliminary statement out of the hikers, if any of you wanted to come along."

Moving on, he headed over to the hikers, pulling a notepad and pen out of his pocket. "Hey, I'm Detective Little, homicide. Sorry you had to see something like this. If you're feeling up to it, I'd really appreciate it if you could give me your names and a preliminary statement. When did you find the body? Did you hear or see anyone or anything else unusual in the area, today or otherwise? There's no detail too unimportant to mention."

Bendigeidfran
Dec 17, 2013

Wait a minute...


Latoria

Hawes' comment provokes a wave of sympathy from the former ranger. "Ah, that's hikers for you. Bona-fide sixth sense for where they're not supposed to be. At least it worked out in our favor this time, huh?"

The initial scene investigation with Lottie goes well, but Latoria can see the analyst is struggling with the sheer sensory impact of a mutilated corpse. When the two of them are roughly out of earshot she floats the best reassurance she can manage. "Hey. You know the first one's always the worst, Lottie. And you're doing OK keeping breakfast down so far; keep it up, and we'll be back in the office before you know-."

Suddenly, their conversation is cut short by a vibration, a wave like knives across taut strings. Seems her own sixth sense is reacting to something. That bag. "Hold on a sec." This is not something an unprepared psychic should touch. Hell, it's probably not something she should touch. But caution has never quite been Latoria's strong suit, and this is a case where time is distinctly of the essence.

"Can I take a look at that? VASCU's been tracking a case like this, calls himself the Skull Kid Killer. Could be related."

Psychometry (7d10, Teleinformatics+Craft+Nerd Ephemera Specialty): 3 successes

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


Charlotte "Lottie" Ebner, FBI Analyst.

Lottie makes a face at Latoria's encouragement. "Thanks," she manages to get out through clenched teeth. The former ranger's words were well-meant, but Lottie couldn't help but feel patronized as her lack of fieldwork was brought up. She goes back to the ME once they split off. "Do you have a time of death? And most importantly, was the ...flaying," She really couldn't believe she was saying this, "done pre- or post-mortem?" So far, this was all very ritualized and occult, but nothing necessarily suggested it was like the other cases she had stumbled on during her time at the FBI. The bits of conversation she picks up from the others set her brain further in motion. So they had more ritualized objects - power foci, if anything. The desert location didn't seem to have any special markers, as far as she could tell, but the killer obviously chose it for a reason. She walks over to Sheridan, butting into the conversation with only a polite nod to Creel as a preamble.

"Hi. Charlotte Ebner. Forget about the symbols for a moment. Is the location important to the Navajo? Anything nearby that has cultural significance? The killer may have chosen the location for a reason like that, even if they didn't use Navajo symbols."

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



Officer Sheridan Claw, Navajo Tribal Police

Sheridan nods slowly, a matching grimace blooming on his face as he hears the radio's answer, "...Yeah, that would be bad. Especially if it gets leaked to the press." He looks on curiously as Latoria takes the supposed corpse powder and feels up the bag, but Lottie's entrance into the conversation draws his attention back. He digs through his mental collection of half-remembered Navajo history, religious locations, and esoterica, particularly focusing on anything that might link in with Navajo witchcraft or other weirdness.

Wracking his brain for any cultural significance (Int+Academics): 3d10o10h8 1

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018


Sorry for the delays - expect an update later tonight.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018


Jennifer's little spiel is boilerplate, but the boilerplate works for a reason. She gives up a few pieces of information - that this is not the kill site, say - and that's neough for the press...for now, anyway. Rather than barrage her with more questions, they seem content to start giving their reports, which should keep them fairly occupied for a while, and shouldn't cause too much trouble when the reports air...though they will mean the killer knows the police are on their trail and aren't idiots.

The hikers look up at Detective Little. Two men, three women, all huddled under blankets and rather distraught. One of the women speaks, an older lady with a silver cross necklace on. "Ah, I'm Constance Mattie, and these are my son, Joseph, and his wife, Tiffany. And this is Frank Mayhew and his wife, Lottie. This was a little church outing, you know? To welcome Frank and Lottie to the congregation. And then all this...this occult monstrosity. We were out hiking, you know, to take in the glory of God's Creation. We'd stopped for prayer and lunch, and Joseph went to, ah, do his business, and...and then he screamed and we came running, and it was so horrible, officer! I don't think there was anyone around, but-"

The others nod, and Constance stops, staring at the skull as Latoria picks it up, and clutches at her cross. "Oh, Jesus protect us!"

Latoria feels the pounding headache that often accompanies her psychic powers kicking into gear. Her skin runs over the skull and the scene flashes before her. Moon in the sky, setting. Sun rising opposite. The moment of perfect dawn. She holds the skull high, her voice rings in her ears, a chant she doesn't understand. Blood runs down her arms. She turns, and beneath her is a body, spread-eagled. She places the skull on its face, then draws her long knife and the bag of powder. She sprinkles it, then puts it back away. Then she turns and goes to cut-

And mercifully, the vision jumps to the skull being stuffed in a bag and then tossed in a hole, before she is back to herself.

Sheridan thinks about the spot. There's a few stories about the area, but nothing about deaths. Just that out here, sometimes there are voices from spirits, ghosts - and they're clearer in these open spaces, especially under moonlight. Out here, in the wilderness like this, is spirit country. If you believe that kind of story, anyway.

Bendigeidfran
Dec 17, 2013

Wait a minute...


Latoria

Traces of the vision cling to Latoria's thoughts like a greasy film, immersing her in liquid flashes of all-too-imaginable butchery. Blech. Latoria fights back the urge to forget, to purge; she's got an investigation, doesn't she? The agent wakes to find herself grimacing into the skull's long-faded eyes, striking a pose worthy of the Danish prince himself.

Oh huh, people are watching. "...police business, ma'am. No need for alarm!"

Probably the wrong thing to say. Still, one shocked witness is no reason to ruin the rest of a perfectly good procedure. Proper photographing, bagging, labeling, and a deft sketching of her vision's details proceed as they should.

"Detective Sergeant Creel? Agent Latoria Morgan." A handshake, firmer, gladder for the presence of real human life. "So. Needless to say we're going to need some specialized knowledge for this one. We can reconstruct the time and nature of the homicide well enough with the evidence on hand -" VASCU's old canard "- but if you have any contacts who could interpret some of those details as they come in, then well. That'd be a big help. A huge help."

While waiting for an answer she muses on the knife she'd clutched in her mind. It's not here with them of course, but Latoria's knowledge of edged weapons is quite unnecessarily vast. Did this thing look stamped, forged, hand-made or mail ordered from Cold Steel? Were there identifying decorations?

Taste (Wits+Crafts Specialty, 7d10): 1 success. Asking "How should one best appreciate this piece?" to suss out any identifying details.

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


Charlotte "Lottie" Ebner, FBI Analyst.

Lottie eyes Latoria thoughtfully as she zones out, then comes back into the conversation. If they could get a Navajo elder on the task to corroborate the symbolism, that might be useful; but somehow, Lottie doubted they would find much beyond what Creel had already relayed. She looks over to James, questioning the witnesses. If they'd heard anything, that would be nice to have, but the big man could handle him. So instead, Lottie goes over to Jennifer, tapping her on the shoulder when she's done pushing off the reporters, though she turns away from them a bit so as not to be overheard. "Hey, Jenny, we're gonna need a list of things to read through. I doubt you can get a signal out here, so just make a note for when we get back. Gonna need you to dig up everything you can find on, uh..." she pauses, counting it out on her fingers, "corpse powder, Navajo spirits, death rites - both Navajo and pagan - and anything on the significance of flaying. Oh, and the symbols we found. I'm gonna call some of my buddies back in DC and see if they can put it through the system, but you're probably better at finding the dark corners where these things tend to hang out."

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Jennifer

"Noted. I'll remember the list." Thanks, Mom. "Need me to take another look at the symbols now?"

Jennifer's heritage isn't always her favorite thing, but there are times when it comes in handy, for sure. If they find more of these symbols it'll be easy enough for her to compare them mentally without having to refer to photographs.

Which raises a good point--she searches her memory for any facts she may know about those subjects without having to research them.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018


Creel grimaces. "Well...there's some folks on the res who might know more. We've got a few scholars of our own lore, anyway. But you want the really obscure stuff...well, I've got some bad news for you." Sheridan has a sudden premonition of where this conversation is going. Creel continues, "There's someone who might know more...but Jesse Blackwater doesn't like cops. Or white folks. Or feds. And all of us are one of those at least. Problem is, she's probably the best there is if you want to know about superstitions or old stories for this part of the Navajo Nation."

Sheridan can remember Jesse Blackwater - she's in her seventies now, but she's always been there, and always been tough as nails and dangerous. She's been at the center of one of the reservation's suspected gangs, the Thunder Boys, for as long as he can remember, but despite this, her word carries weight among the locals, if not the actual nation council. The Blackwater ranch has had numerous incidents in which visitors were run off, sometimes at gunpoint, for violating privacy. The Thunder Boys are, at least, not the worst criminals out there. They're suspected of running marijuana grows, some numbers games and smuggling operations, but never much worse than that.

Latoria, meanwhile, was studying the blade while you were sleeping. The knife she saw in her vision is well-made. It's a skinning knife with a trailing point and Nessmuk design, mostly used for skinning wild pigs. No obvious brand on it, but this was a quality tool, high-end. Not a fighting blade at all, but very sharp. This kind of thing can only be gotten online or at dedicated hunting shops. The handle looks like some kind of hardwood. Classy.

Jennifer remembers seeing a few of these symbols on a crappy Angelfire page about Navajo witchcraft. It was talking about using corpse powder to poison people, and had embedded music and eyesearingly bright fonts on a black background. It seemed like a crap source at the time, especially the parts about secret coyote witches and psychic vampires.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Oh, I am gonna spank that monkey!


Benny purses her lips at the mention of Jesse Blackwater but lets her composure slip back into place. She nods to Sheridan. "As good a lead as you're gonna get as any. Good luck with Blackwater." She sighs and drains the last of her water dry. "If Little's got the witnesses, I'm gonna chase these tracks. They had to have come up some road at some point and maybe we'll get lucky and get some better tire tracks or highway photos. Call me if you need me, I'll have my phone on but I'm gonna see if I can't borrow one or two of these plainclothes boys to come with me just in case." She gives everyone a grim nod and returns to her car for her gun and her kit, bundling up and chatting up a few of the other officers as she approaches the tracks.

Following tracks: Investigation+Wits+Tracking Speciality, 5 dice

http://orokos.com/roll/592438 http://orokos.com/roll/592441 Two successes

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


Charlotte "Lottie" Ebner, FBI Analyst.

"I suppose another look can't hurt, but we'll have the pictures back at the station if you don't wanna get close to the body." Lottie looked back over her shoulder. "To be honest, I'm not sure what else we're gonna get here. Might as well be time to head back --" and then Benny walks off with another officer, in pursuit of the tracks. "...home. Or not," Lottie adds lamely, making a face.

Wahad fucked around with this message at Feb 22, 2018 around 19:16

Dachshundofdoom
Feb 14, 2013



Pillbug

Detective James Little, FPD

James looks back and winces when he realizes she saw the skull. Seeing something like that was just going to get these people more worked up, which was going to make getting any kind of useful information out of them even harder. Then again, maybe that was the point? Plenty of witnesses were shaken up, and odds are these people really didn't know anything of interest. On the other hand, there were plenty of times when witnesses just wanted you to think they were too worked up to tell you anything. Especially when they knew something they shouldn't. It was his job to tell the difference so that he didn't waste time on dead end leads. Were they holding anything back, or was the rambling praise-Jesus act real? He needed to keep her talking to get a read on her.

"Yeah, sorry you had to see this. I've been a cop for a long time, and the evil some people perpetrate never ceases to shock me. Is there anything at all that stood out to you about the area? Did you see or hear anything odd out here, before you found the body?"

Sense Deception (Wits+Empathy+Specialization): 6d10o10h8 2

Dachshundofdoom fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2018 around 01:17

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



Officer Sheridan Claw, Navajo Tribal Police

Sheridan lets a wry smile play out across his face as Jesse and the Thunder Boys come up. He'd... certainly had some dealings with them. They kept their noses clean enough that things got handled in as close to a live and let live manner as tribal police and a gang could manage, but there'd been one or two times that boundaries were pushed farther than could be reasonably excused. Pot? Not ideal, but it was small potatoes. The things that had gotten him sent their way was more when their territorialism started messing with the local tourism. Jesse didn't care for white folk, not in the slightest. The Nation may turn a blind eye, or at least provide a certain degree of flexibility for many of their activities, but that hit the bottom line.

It was on one of those times where the Boys ran off a group of tourists that he'd officially made Jesse's acquaintance. His reception had been pretty frosty, what with her not trucking with the cops and all, but... Well, as much as anyone could get anything out of her, he'd have the best shot. He knew it was all about give and take, especially when it came to getting info from the shadier side of things.

He says, "Old Blackwater, huh? It's been a few years. I can make some discreet overtures, see what she can tell us. I'll get a file put together with the initial findings from the scene and reference anything we come up with against anything I can pry from her."

Bendigeidfran
Dec 17, 2013

Wait a minute...


Latoria Morgan II, Mesa Verde Park Ranger turned VASCU

A thin-bladed, flat ground, altogether classic Nessmuk skinner? This person has opinions on woodcraft. Correct ones. Now she may have to sift through a heckuva lot of permits, state and reservation both, but anything that'll narrow down this suspect pool is welcome.

Latoria raises an eyebrow at Sheridan and Creel's little verbal dance around Mrs. Blackwater. Having had her own experiences with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, she can make some decent guesses between the lines.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained I suppose. We appreciate the lead, Detective Sergeant." She lightly nudges Sheridan, grateful for him and the fact that she won't have to untangle this particular patch of thorns. "That said, prying into this is your bag now, eh, Officer Claw? I'll be sure to get you the best crowbar the FBI can find."

Out of the corner of her eye she can also see Little covering for her little faux pas earlier. Great guy, that Little.

Bendigeidfran fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2018 around 08:05

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018


Benny manages to track the truck back to its origin - the highway. From the looks of it, from the direction of Cortez, rather than Towaoc. Beyond that, it's impossible to tell - a truck is much easier to track on earth than asphalt.

Constance grimaces. "We're out here a lot - there's a holiness in nature, you know? And I didn't notice much out of the ordinary...I mean, there was...what was it, Joseph?" She turns to her son. She seems genuinely shocked and concerned. Joseph and his wife are similar. Frank and Lottie just come off as incredibly uncomfortable, as if they'd rather be anywhere else right now.

Joseph shrugs. "Crows. I saw some crows - more than usual out here. I birdwatch. Wasn't sure what was up with it, until I went out and I saw the body. Helluva shock-"

"Joseph!" Constance shakes her head. "I know you're shocked, but we can't use words like that willy-nilly!"

"I don't use it light, ma. Anyway, other than that...Frank, you see anything?"

"Uh...no? No, I was just - we weren't looking for anything odd. I think I saw a wolf? Or maybe a coyote? But that's it."

Constance nods. "So there you are, officer."

Any other things you want to look into here? Otherwise, we'll head back to the station soon.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Oh, I am gonna spank that monkey!


Nope, Benny's gonna head back and point out they're going to have to take a look out in Cortez.

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



I'm feeling good to head back as well. Sheridan's got some solid leads to follow up on.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


I'm clear!

Bendigeidfran
Dec 17, 2013

Wait a minute...


I say let's head on back.

Dachshundofdoom
Feb 14, 2013



Pillbug

Yep, I'm done.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018


Apologies for going radio silent - work and life happened. If y'all are up to continue, so am I, and posts will be forthcoming once folks sound off.

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



I'm definitely good to go.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


You know I'm good!

Dachshundofdoom
Feb 14, 2013



Pillbug

I'm still around and ready to go

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


Let us do the thing.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Sorry, some stuff came up that delayed this hardcore.

At last, you make your way back to the station. It's not home, but it'll do for now. The bodies will be arriving at the lab pretty much now, as well. The locals have their own cases to work on top of this, which leaves you with some leads to follow up on. Obviously, the lab will be doing the autopsy, and checking in with them in the next day or so will probably get something useful, especially if your knowledge can help them out.

Then there's the Blackwater Ranch, out on the res. That'll be a trip, and a dangerous one. It'd be best to go prepared.

And, of course, the witnesses are probably back at home now, or at their church - the Congregation of the Blood of Christ, out on the outskirts of town.

Tracking down where the knife came from, if local, might be worth doing, but it might not pan out, either, if it was bought online.

Or any other leads you want to follow up, which the narrator has failed to mention.

What're your plans of attack?

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