Pulling the Thread

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Pulling the Thread
Part of When You Reach Me
Flint's Home.jpg
Date2081-12-11
Location
Bellevue
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Team Alpha
Rougarou
House Party Guests
Delphi
Master Morty
Charon
Casualties and losses
Flint Canary (DoA)


Summary

During a murder mystery dinner party with slight hints of Shadowrun, Madame Delphi, Master Morty, and Lady Charon drink cocktails and delve into the dark depths of Seattle socialites.

Background

During a dinner party attended by close friends, family, and the household help, Flint Canary passed away after hitting his head on the buffet table during a freak blackout in his AAA Bellevue manor. Thanks to an implanted killswitch, The Canary family lawyer called upon a group of private investigators, lead by Delphi, to investigate Flint's murder before turning the scene over to KE. The team had a three hour window to investigate and interrogate the witnesses before KE would arrive and their opportunity to solve the mystery would be gone forever.

The Meet

As their respective rides drove them out to a Bellevue neighborhood they knew they did not belong in, the runners had a simple message in their commlink: find the murderer, and deliver them to justice before the police arrive. 4,000 nuyen has been deposited into your accounts; another 10,000 will be delivered if you successfully bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Plan

Delphi is a people person when notttttoooh something shiny! While she plays good cop, Master Morty plays bad cop. With a negative charisma and a face that makes even a mother go "oh, lord, that's just awful," it's almost impossible to lie Morty's face as just looking at him renders most speech impossible. Charon, who would arrive a little later, would be there to intimidate guests as needed, scaring the literal pee out of the in house chef in the process. Eight individuals were in the home at the time of the murder:

  • Mrs. Janice Canary, the new widow
  • Chef Le Bleu
  • The butler named Woody
  • Lavender Mulberry, the maid
  • Hunter Canary, the son of the deceased
  • Sarah Snow, the estranged daughter of the deceased
  • Ruby and James Carmine, friends and business associates of the deceased.

The Run

Delphi and Master Morty were greeted by Woody, the butler. Morty, ever the charmer, asked if Woody had killed the head of the household. Ever in positive spirits, Woody appreciated the trope that the butler did it, and invites them into the home to show them around. The pair first investigates the body.

Noticing a broken chair leg, blood, hair, and possibly bone on the buffet table, and the deceased's position on the ground, it was evident that Flint hit his head after falling backwards. The pair speculated if the chair leg breaking caused the fall, or if the fall caused the chair leg to break. After finding no obvious tool marks, they could not eliminate the chair leg as the cause of the incident, but the theory was put on the back burner. Blunt force trauma seemed the most likely cause of death, but how did he hit his head on the buffet?

Master Morty began by investigating the home network after discovering the whole home acted like a faraday cage. He was able to sift through security cam footage, but all cameras were exterior to the house. By using the cameras, the schedules found in Flint's commlink, and call logs, Morty was able to piece together several key clues. First, the team could confirm the arrival times of the guests, as well as communications between guests and the home. Second, the team could confirm business communications between James Carmine and the deceased.

The team first grilled James and Ruby Carmine. James was sweating whiskey, and Ruby was mostly impossible to read. Both seemed sincere when they said that Flint's death was a detriment to their business dealings and their social lives, but Ruby was clearly a powerhouse that the team wanted to return to.

Next, the team talked to Hunter. Through their conversations they found him to have several millimeters of depth at his disposal. Previously unsuccessful in his role at the company, he was now working on the marketing side and was finding success. He spoke about wanting to strike out on his own, but dreams of independence rang hollow. He pointed the finger at his smarter and less family-oriented sister Sarah who seemed to have it out for their parents.

The team forgot to start with the good cop part of the routine when Morty gathered Janice (the new widow) and Sarah Snow together to accuse Janice of killing her husband for having sex with the maid. On accident, he endeared himself tremendously to Sarah with his disregard for social graces. While Janice spoke about her broken heart and Sarah's unfortunate break from the family's fold, Sarah noted her father was a piece of drek who slept with--well--everyone, (a claim that was later found to be quite true,) and that most people, including her step mother, had good reason to want him dead. She and Delphi then did a substantial amount of novacoke together in the bathroom. While powdering their noses, Delphi assensed her, discovering only minor "make me pretty and help me not die from an overdose" sorts of modifications.

As Delphi and Sarah Snow bonded, Master Morty attempted to break the maid Lavender, only to figure out she already seemed broken. The team then investigated chef LeBleu, who Master Morty ALSO accused of sleeping with the deceased...only this time, he was right. After finding a private room to talk, the pair discovered that LeBleu had worked for the family for near a decade, and was a frequent partner to both Flint and Janice, which was later confirmed by Janice.

Delphi began assensing the rest of the guests. Both the maid and the butler had wires running through their bodies and jacks implanted in hidden locations. After getting Woody alone, Delphi removed his chip and made a copy for Master Morty. He confirmed that the chip contained a personasoft and skill softs pertaining to being a butler. Also of note was that, when the chip was removed, Woody was a blank slate. There were no cooking skills on the chip, (a note that the investigators missed, since Woody helped prepare the appetizers and soups for LeBleu.)

Charon Arrived, and began by narrowing out LeBleu as a potential suspect. He was a coward, and he seemed to be coward that cared very much for both couples. The team worried that Lavender's wires might be related to killing, not cleaning, but--after Master Morty checked her chip, she did not have access to those sort of skills. She was also a blank slate when unchipped.

After investigating the body again, Delphi discovered that Flint had been poisoned through his drink.

The team then took the guests into the drawing room, used as a sort of...accusing parlor. Delphi accused the Butler, who was quite proud of their deductions. However, by realizing that he served the same wine to everyone, the team realized it must have been the glass that was poisoned, not the wine Woody served. Still without a read on the Carmines, Delphi ran point on more interrogation while Master Morty fed her ideas through DNI and Charon played the intimidator. The Carmines, through conversations on their commlinks, supported the claim that they felt like their business deals were moving in a positive direction. The team decided that Hunter was not smart enough to pull this off, and marked his name off the list. They were sure that the blank slates were responsible for the murder, but that they were simply tools, not masterminds.

Janice had the most to gain, but she noted she had the most to lose as she loved her husband, and they shared finances already; at his passing, much of his money would go to others. There was a realization: the poison was actually a common household cleaner, and so the glass was probably poisoned by the maid. When the team asked Lavender who instructed her to clean his glass, she noted that Woody was the one who discovered the glass was dirty and needed to be cleaned. The team went to the basement to find the fuse box; Delphi found and used psychometry on the power box, discovering that Woody had been responsible for the blackout.

Sarah strongly suggested that--despite knowing they're only tools--Woody and Lavender would need to be brought in to be questioned. She promised that she'd tap her contacts to intervene and provide legal counsel for the pair. The team agreed, and called Flint's lawyer to have a KE car sent over.

Aftermath

Rougarou, poorly disguised as a KE detective, picked up both the maid and the butler for processing. Sarah Snow offered a ride out of Bellevue to both Master Morty and Delphi. As they drove away, she let them know that the additional 10,000 nuyen had been deposited to their accounts, and she appreciated their help in extracting the two helpless blank slated victims. She gave her contact information to them for future work.

It was uncovered that the butler was an agent for a group called Team Alpha. He was placed in the home to perform the assassination, to be carried out when his personasoft was swapped with the cooking chip. As a secondary goal, the team wanted to extract the maid, a blank-slated individual who was sold at auction. Flint Canary was discovered to be a purchaser of blank-slated humans, which caused him to be targeted by the group.

Rewards

14,000 nuyen 4 karma 2 CDP 2 rep with Team Alpha SPECIAL: 4,000 nuyen & 2 rep with Team Alpha to Rougarou for posing as a KE officer during extraction.

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Charon: I can't believe how hilarious this entire thing was. I meet the most pathetic meatsack to get in my sight for a good while, then get reminded what the upper class is like. Good lord, is it stale. If a single murder gets them this wound up... Now, if only that damn woman had stopped gawking at me, I might've considered it an easy run... that I had to restrain myself made investigating a little more difficult, however. Might be I could've squeezed the truth out of the bunch if I had more time, but terrorizing them wasn't part of the job. I wonder if those blank slates could ever develop a personality of their own.

Delphi: I do love a good mystery, and this was a good mystery - it had all the hallmarks of a classic whodunit, to the point where I seriously considered the possibility that all of the suspects were in on it together. We managed to crack the case in the end, but it still came down to the wire; I can hardly believe the butler actually did it, even if it was a technicality. Still, it all worked out for the best, and I even made a new friend out of it - rich people still suck, but she sucks slightly less than the rest of them. The team was on their game too, I was worried I’d be the professional investigator doing all the heavy lifting but they really pulled their weight - that Master Morty guy really knew his stuff and was a fragging laugh riot throughout, and the vampire lady Charon who showed up all unannounced and enigmatic-like ended up really helping with narrowing down suspects (plus she did that really wiz mist form thing to leave via the fireplace, which was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while). Would definitely work with both of them again. Oh, and I can’t believe that I never came up with the name “Madame Delphi” before tonight - I’m absolutely using that with my fortune telling clients!

Master Morty: High Society, pfft. Bunch of losers with silver spoons sticking out their asses. All with reasons to off the old guy, and only one of them with the balls to actually do it. Why? Who cares, wasn't paid to find out why, just who. And since the job ended up paying out regardless of who got fingered, I really didn't care why she did it. Nice touch with the blanks though. The perfect weapon one might say. But I'll be damned before I call that rich slitch back; she just wants to parade me around like her personal fool, all the while pretending like she's doing ME a favor.