Jonas Blaine.   Posted by Editor-in-Chief.Group: 0
Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 34 posts
Wed 20 Nov 2019
at 02:42
Jonas Blaine
It's a four twenty seven AM ceiling.  At this time of night, regardless of the time of year or the weather, whenever you lay in bed and stare at the ceiling, it always looks the same.

The light from the lampposts outside your bedroom window shine over the top of the Venetian blinds at what you believe is an 87 degree angle against the top right corner of the window. The light is always brightest before the spot on the ceiling that looks like an outline of the state of Idaho.  And by the time it reaches the ceiling fan, it has faded to a murkiness.  There is no light directly above your bed.  If you look straight up, it's only dark.

Deidre mumbles something and rolls over.  She stayed over last night, though both of you had been too tired to fool around.  She usually starts out laying on top of your arm.  But within an hour, she has rolled off your arm and is resting two thirds away from the invisible dividing line that marks your side of the bed from her side of the bed.  At least the side that is hers when she stays over.  Some nights she will make one more roll and end up at the very edge of the bed.  If you weren't anchoring the blanket with your body weight, she'd probably roll right out of the bed.

You've been awake at four twenty seven AM many nights.  Some nights you never fall asleep.  Some nights you just wake up and can't nod back off.  So you are well aware of what the ceiling of our bedroom looks like at this time of night.  You've seen it many, many times before.

Your cell phone makes a soft vibrating noise and the screen lights up.  Probably another update from your news feed.  These days the story from the news feed always seems to be about some dumbass politician calling another dumbass poltician a dumbass.  Or maybe it's always been that way.

Could be another spam e-mail from that weird website.  How the hell did you get on their mailing list?  And how the hell do they keep getting around your filters?

Usually you ignore it.  But tonight, just to break the monotony of staring at the four twenty seven AM ceiling, you reach over and pick up the phone.

It's a text.  From Bill Cardigan.  You hadn't talked to Bill in a few months.  He's Mr. Brumley's right hand.  And even though Mr. Brumley gave you his blessing when you turned down his job offer, Bill still tries every now and then to get you to reconsider.

Why is Bill texting you at this time of night?

You scan the text.  It's being sent to a large number of people:  most of them are employees at Brumley's.  You remember them all from your internship.

Bill is straight to the point.

Some of you may have heard.  But I wanted to get the news out before you may have seen it in the morning news.  Dick Brumley has passed away.  It was very much a surprise.  And if you hear the rumors, yes.  It was suicide.

There will be a memorial service at Peaceful Oaks Funeral Home on Tuesday.  If you can attend, please do so.  Mildred is devastated.  We all are. I had no idea this was coming.  None of us did.

If you are religious, please remember Dick, Mildred, and their kids in your prayers.


Dick Brumley is...was...one of the nicest people you've ever met in your life.  He was warm, always encouraging.  He smiled freely and the smiles never felt false.  His wife Mildred is a beautiful and kind woman.  Hell, even their kids seem like they stepped out of a Norman Rockwall painting.

Dick?  Suicide? That seems...no.  Sure, it's possible he kept it all inside.  But there was never a sign.  To say the news of him committing suicide is shocking is like saying water is wet.  There's no way it could be anything but.

Bill might know something. But he's probably in the middle of trying to take care of everything.

Your friend Rick Barton still works there.  You haven't talked to Rick in a while, but that's just because he and his wife just had a baby.  Still, he might know more.

And there's Shelly Blades.  She was a receptionist at Brumley's Heating and Air.  She was the de facto social secretary of the place.  Always knowing everyone's business, but in a good way.  She was never mean spirited.

You see Ida Comston is on the text chain too.  She was the other intern when you were at Brumley's.  She's working out of Nashville now, but she's kept in touch with a lot of people you both worked with.  More people than you have you suddenly realize.  Maybe she knows something.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:22, Wed 20 Nov 2019.

Jonas Blaine
 player, 1 post
Fri 22 Nov 2019
at 20:56
Jonas Blaine

Jonas rolled out of bed, he knew he probably wouldnít be able to get much sleep after reading that text.  He gently put his feet on the floor careful not to disturb Deidre, but she seemed to sleep pretty hard anyway.  Moving to the next room, the living room, and sitting on the couch, he thought again about how out of place it was for Dick. But I guess, you just canít tell.  I thought about ending it a time or two but never did.  And no one knew. He shrugged. He didnít want to start feeding those thoughts now so he decided to do something else.

He figured heíd just text Bill, Rick, Shelly, and Ida in the morning.  Offer his condolences and see how they were doing?  Maybe try to get some more info.  The more he thought on it the moreÖ fishy this seemed.  But you never know. Ever since the cop thing, heís been more interested in taking a proactive approach to life and pain and injustice. It was certainly humbling to be able to help out like that but even Crocodile Dundee didnít go out of his way to look for trouble.  And he still had to buy another can of corn due to the first one being evidence. Definite pros and cons of being a hero.

He put his feet up on the coffee and pulled out his phone, trying not to read the email again, he checked the strange website heíd been getting notifications from and browsed through the catalog.

By the time he came out of the rabbit hole, it was about time to get ready for work.  One more night without much sleep.
Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 44 posts
Sun 24 Nov 2019
at 03:00
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 2):

I don't think we ever decided on where Jonas is working now.  TVA okay?

Your boss is out today.  His daughter got married over the weekend.  So you just have some paperwork to finish.  You have plenty of time to text.

Bill doesn't get back to you until late in the day.  Thanks Jonas.  It's been nuts.  We all got blindsided.  You gonna be able to come to the viewing? We can talk then.

You hear back from Rick right before lunch.  It just has me stunned.  Dick seemed a little down.  And there was some talk he was considering selling the place. But all that came up kind of suddenly.  It really has floored us.  Everyone is in shock.  I haven't been paying too much attention.  The baby's been sick because of ear infections.  But man.  This just is like a punch in the gut.  You gonna be at the wake?

Ida shots you back pretty quickly.  Hey stranger.  Hope things OK.  Yeah this is a shock.  Shelly n Reba have been telling me things out there were strange 4 last month.  But this?  Did you know cops had been out there?  And there's some kind of law suit.  IDK anymore than that.  U goin to wake?  Can U give Mildred a hug for me?  Let me know funeral home address so I can send flowers plz?  Thanks

Shelly calls you.  She hates texting.  "Oh this has been nuts!  Jonas I tell you this is all nuts!  Poor Mildred!  I mean Dick hadn't been lookin' happy lately.  I mean with us gettin' sued by that cat food company.  But I mean no one really thinks the suit is all that big a deal!  I don't know much about it though.  Which irritates me.  But I wouldn't think it was such a big thing that Dick would...Oh jeez.  I'm tearing up!  Jonas! This is just..."

Shelly goes quiet a moment.  In all the time you've known Shelly, she never goes quiet.  You hear her sob.  She comes back on in a moment.

"Sorry.  This has just really.  Really.  Messed me up.  Poor Mildred.  I know they were havin' a rough patch lately.  But I hope she and Dick made up before all this...Oh crap.  I'm gonna start bawling. You comin' to the funeral home?"
Jonas Blaine
 player, 2 posts
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 17:02
Jonas Blaine

TVA is good


As the texts come in he responds to them in turn. Mostly some version of Yeah, pretty crazy. Iíll probably go to the wake. Will I see you there? Iíll try to track down that address for you.

Then as he talks to Shelly ďThis is a rough one.  Itís hitting me pretty hard too.  He was a good man. I hope Mildred is getting along ok.  I know this is a tough blow for her.  Did that cat food lawsuit have anything to do with the police coming around? I had heard something like that through the grapevine.Ē

Jonas has never been great with feelings and especially the hard ones like this, so he kind of distances himself from it, trying not to feel too much from it.
Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 60 posts
Thu 5 Dec 2019
at 03:02
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 4):

"The police visit?  Oh.  That was about the break in.  Yeah.  We had someone break in a few months ago.  But they didn't steal anything.

"No.  That cat food company was suing because they said we installed some cooling units incorrectly and it caused one of their lots to go bad.  But from what I hear it was user error.  They didn't turn the units on correctly or something."


Deidre texts you later.  You want me to go with you to the wake?

You met her after you started with TVA.  So she won't know anyone there.  But she did seem a little worried about you.

Let me know if you want to talk/text to any of them some more.  Otherwise...



Peaceful Oaks is just on the outskirts of Island Home.  Which seems weird.  Dick and Mildred lived across the river, yes.  But their house is in Colonial Village.  Farther south.  Peaceful Oaks is pretty close to the river.  It just seems out of the way.

You find an empty spot.  Lots of people here tonight.  Is that a surprise?  Dick Brumley touched a lot of peoples' lives.

As you lock the door behind you, you hear your name being called.  Rick is close to the front entrance, waving at you.  You don't see his wife or the baby.  But probably not the best place to bring a sickly infant.

"Man, how have you been?" Rick grabs your hand and pumps it.  He's always been one of those guys who values a firm handshake.

"Nuts, isn't it? I...Wow.  I just don't know what to say.  I can't believe it."

He looks towards the entrance.  You recognize a few faces walking in.  Staff or customers but no one you were on a first name basis with.  Rick shakes his head.  "Bill's not taking it well either.  You know him. He's trying to put up a strong front.  But he's been kinda on edge lately.  Did you know he and Samantha got divorced?  No one knew about it until last week."  He frowns.  "Just seems like everything is fallin' apart lately."

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:17, Sat 14 Dec 2019.

Jonas Blaine
 player, 3 posts
Tue 10 Dec 2019
at 18:45
Jonas Blaine
Jonas nods to himself as she speaks, then shakes his head knowing that she canít see him ďThatís rough, but it sounds pretty straight forward at least and nothing that Dick would haveÖ overreacted to. Well, Iíve got to get back but Iíll see you soon.Ē  Jonas shakes his head again.  A break in where nothing was stolen?  I guess there would have been a lot of good industrial things to take or nothing if you didnít have a big enough vehicle and the know-how to fence it...

As the telltale Power Rangerís beep comes over his phone to indicate a text, he looks at it and responds No.  Thereís no need for that.  Iím sad about it, but not too torn up.  Thanks. Theyíre at the weird point in a relationship when he doesnít know if itís appropriate or too much to bring her along for support.  And in the classic Jonas fashion, he decides that when in doubt to go alone




Jonas shoots a warm smile to Rick.  Jonas wears a charcoal suit with a black tie and white shirt.  Classic funeral attire, although Diedre helped him make sure he was squared away and looking good when he left. As he shakes hands firmly with Bill, he brings his left hand up to grab Billís right shoulder briefly.

ďI didnít know that. You know, Iíve been out of touch with most people lately.  Things do fall apart though. Thatís entropy, the way of the world.  Itís sad though, I thought they were good together.Ē  Joans looks around and looks inside the funeral home. ďI guess weíre both riding solo today? Howíve you been holding up? Did anyone hear anything that makes sense out of this... mess?Ē

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:18, Sat 14 Dec 2019.

Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 70 posts
Wed 11 Dec 2019
at 01:27
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 6):

Rick shakes his head.  "Yeah.  The baby's been a little croupy lately.  Maddy and I thought it best not to bring him."  He glances towards the entrance and sighs. "I don't know.  I keep askin' myself if there was something I shoulda seen.  But you know how it is.  Me and Maddy been all busy with the baby. I...honestly, I just haven't had time to notice anything else."

Rick is pretty much Mr. Family Guy these days.

The sky is starting to darken.  Clouds are rolling in.  The two of you begin to wander inside.

You stop and chat with a few people as you wind your way in.  Chris from accounting.  Rina...oh, you're in charge of procurement now?  Congrats.  That kind of thing.  Everyone seems glad to see you.  But the smiles are a little forced.  Dick really was a good man.  A lot of people looked shell shocked.

Inside the viewing room, you see the casket at the end of the room.  Nearby, Bill is standing, ramrod straight, hands in his pockets, looking very ex military.  He looks grim.  He's always looked grim.  But he's got a bit of a haggard expression.  And he's glancing around all over the room.

Mildred is sitting on the front row of chairs.  She's always been on the thin side, though she's pretty.  Shelly and a couple of other women sit beside her.  Shelly is nodding at something being said, then reaches in to her purse and comes out with a small box of tissues.  She offers it to Mildred, who simply shakes her head.  She is just staring at the ground in front of her.

The closer you get towards the front and the casket, the more raw and ragged both Bill and Mildred look.  Probably not surprising, given what they've gone through.

Give me a Perception roll please.

I'll let you decide whether you want to speak to Mildred, Bill, visit the casket, or do whatever you feel best.  Thanks

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:15, Sat 14 Dec 2019.

Jonas Blaine
 player, 4 posts
Thu 12 Dec 2019
at 16:42
Jonas Blaine
Jonas approaches Mildred, head low and moving slowly but trying to take in the surroundings.  He hates this part, the emotional part.  Not so much because heís afraid of his feelings, heís made his peace with them a while ago, but because otherís feelings can be overwhelming.  He tends to take on, become overcome with, other peopleís feelings on their behalf. Empathy is his two-edged sword.

11:22, Today: Jonas Blaine rolled 8 using 3d6.  Perception. TN 12

As he gets to Mildred, seated at the pew, he gives the surrounding ladies each a sympathetic nod of Hello. Weíre all in this together. then leans down on a knee to look at Mildred at eye level and puts a hand on one of her hands. ďI am so sorry. He was a good man and weíll miss him being out in the world. Let me know if thereís anything I can do for you.Ē He waits for a beat for any sort of response, then moves to the casket.

At the casket, heíll look inside if itís an open casket and see how good of a job the funeral home did.  It dawns on him that he doesnít know if he knows how Dick killed himself.  He should ask someone, Bill maybe. At the casket, he says a simple ďGoodbye, Dick.Ē and moves to Bill.

Jonas whispers ďMildred is holding up as well as one can I guess.  Let me ask youÖ how did he do it? You knowÖ?Ē
Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 77 posts
Fri 13 Dec 2019
at 02:59
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 8):

Shelly grins at you.

Mildred give you a wane smile.  "Thanks for coming Jonas.  Dick would've appreciated it. He..."  She stops talking and bows her head.

Shelly raises her eyebrows, though what she's trying to communicate isn't quite clear.  But it's not a moment where you can really ask.

Dick looks...The always say that the deceased looks like he's sleeping.  Dick's too pale for that.  In looking at the slight smile on his face, you can tell it's because his mouth has been sewn that way.  Everyone's happy when they're dead if the mortician has anything to say about it.

Bill glances at you when you walk up.  He reaches out and shakes your hand.  His grip is still pretty firm.  Though there's a little more than his usual macho guy going on.  His grip feels desperate.  Like a drowning man grasping at the hand reaching out to him.  As you look more closely, you can see that he's also stressed far beyond what you expected.  His eyes are bloodshot.  His mouth has scars from where he's been biting his own lips.  His cheeks look sunken.  Bill looks like a man haunted.

"Thank you..."  Bill coughs and lowers his voice.  You see his eyes jerk Mildred's way and then stop before going there.  Now that you think of it, when you were coming in, he was looking all over the room.  Everywhere except at the casket.  And at Mildred.

"Thanks Jonas.  It's good to see you.  I...uhm...He..."  Bill takes a deep breath.  This really isn't like him at all  He was always the rock at the office.  "He went downstairs to their garage.  With a bottle of tequila.  And he took some antifreeze, and he started...he started making himself mixed drinks..."

Bill bites his lip.  It's not the usual method, that's for sure.  What's really odd is that Dick didn't drink.  Not a sip for as long as you knew him.

"Anyway...Mildred just thought he'd gotten up early and gone in to work.  She...She went out later to check the mail and noticed the car was still in the garage.  And that's when...Shit."

He stops talking, his whole body shaking.  He reaches up with one hand and rubs his forehead.  He takes another deep breath.  "I...uhm...How are you doing Jonas?  How's Deidre?"

Before you can respond, someone starts singing.

Soooooooomeone's in the kitchen with Di.  Nah!

Everyone is looking around.  The voice seems to be coming from everywhere all at once.

Someone's in the kitchen I kn-ooo-ooo--oooow!

Whoever's singing, they've digitally altered their voice.  It sounds like autotune on the squeakiest setting overlaid on a deep basso version.  The voice is now coming from near you.  The casket.  It's definitely coming from the casket.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEEE-ONE'S IN THE MUTHAFUCKIN' KITCHEN WITH DIIIIIIIII-NAAAAAAHH!!!!

And Dick begins to sit up.  It only takes a second for you to realize it's not of course Dick.  Under his back is some kind of mechanical riser.  Like the back of a dentist's chair.  And it's pushing him upwards.

The song continues.

STRUMMIN'!  ON! THE OL'!  BAN! JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

There's a small popping sound and then Dick stops rising.

It's completely silent for a moment.  Everyone seems too stunned to move.  Then Mildred, who was staring at the casket in wide eyed shock, starts to laugh.

It's a high pitched laugh.  Uneven.  Staccato.

You hear Bill say, quietly and softly and pleadingly, "no...please...make it stop..."

And then all chaos lets loose.  Everyone seems to start talking at once.  Mildred's laugh reaches a crescendo.  The funeral home attendants rush forward.  One to the casket and one calling everyone to be calm.  A woman screams.  Suddenly there are mice running all over the floor.  Where they came from you have no idea.  But they're all tied by their tails in groups of three.  And someone has poked out their eyes.  There are several groups of three blind mice running all over the floor now.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:59, Fri 13 Dec 2019.

Jonas Blaine
 player, 5 posts
Fri 13 Dec 2019
at 18:46
Jonas Blaine

Well thatís crazy.  Good work!

Jonas didnít see anything in the casket with Dick but, he supposes, that doesnít mean much of anything.  While his mind thought of what and why and how his body was spurred to action.

He went quickly over to Mildred, all the while dodging and trying not to step on the blind mice, and got her standing. Still laughing in his ear, he drapes an arm over her and begins to gently but firmly guide her down the aisle and out of the room. No woman should be forced to see this... His sadness and ennui stemming from this situation are now turning into a low flame of anger.

He knows Bill knows something about this and promises to himself that heíll get to the bottom of it. This is obviously no suicide.

He keeps his ears open for any other announcement from the body while carefully guiding Mildred around the other visitors and the crazed mice. He has a plan to get her to safety, or at least out of the room, then go back and check out the body and the riser machine.
Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 80 posts
Sat 14 Dec 2019
at 04:32
Jonas Blaine
Thanks.  I wanted to give your game a nice send off.

Speaking of your game, let me interrupt to talk about something.  In thinking how to handle the mystery side of your game (can't have a Shadow-esque game without some mystery), I've decided to take a bit of a GUMSHOE type approach.

That is:  as long as you tell me Jonas is inspecting the scene or he questions a suspect or what not, he'll get some information.  And if there is a clue, he will always get it.

Now I won't tell you what the clue is.  If he finds a coin, a jack in the box, and a bag of balloons at a crime scene, they may not all be clues.  But at least one of them will be.

I will also call for Perception, Interrogation, etc. rolls.  However, these will help define how much information you readily get.

For example, depending on a die result, I may tell you this about the coin: It's a coin.  Looks foreign.  Nothing you recognize.

Or this:  The coin looks like some kind of game token from a state fair.  But as you study it, you realize it's a rare Canadian Dot-10 Cent Coin circa 1936.  You've heard these go for up to $400,000.  What is such a thing doing here?.

See the difference?  You could still come by that info with a Research check.  But you would have to call for that check yourself.

There will be red herrings.  So keep that in mind.

If you get stuck and need a hint, you can also use Research checks in Jonas' downtime. Just tell me he's brainstorming and give me a Research roll.  The better the roll, the better the hint.

Also I made an error.  Rick is the guy Jonas met in the parking lot and the one who has the croupy kid.  Bill is the business partner who is behaving so off key.  Sorry for that.  Made in error in my notes which I didn't catch until just now.  I corrected my posts and one instance in yours to change Bill to Rick where appropriate.  Again, sorry for the error.

Let me know if there are questions.  Thanks.


Seeing you take action helps galvanize other people.

Bill seems to snap out of it and storms up to the funeral director.  Rick is helping calm people down as are some of the ladies from accounting. They've always been a tough bunch.

Mildred doesn't resist.  She's too busy breaking down.  Shelly follows you out, obviously frazzled by the mice.  She has a nervous sort of look.

When you reach the lobby, Shelly holds out her arms for Mildred.  "Come here honey.  Oh.  I'm so sorry."  Shelly glances over Mildred's head at you and nods, seeming to say I've got this.  You go help.

The casket is quiet, not that anyone else is.  But the voice is gone.  You see Bill yelling at the funeral director, who is trying to calm him down.  The other funeral assistant is at the coffin.  It appears he's trying to figure out what's going on and how Dick is sitting up.

Rick and the accounting ladies have gotten most of everyone out.  They've turned their attention now to trying to round up the mice in to a large flower urn they've emptied.

The Funeral Assistant glances at you as you come up and shakes his head.  He points, apparently at a loss for what to say.

There is a hydraulic device located under Dick, about the size of a three subject notebook.  As you thought, it functions more or less like a small dentist's chair.  It's what raised Dick up.  There's also an Amazon Echo speaker tucked under Dick.  Both the lift and the speaker are tied to a third instrument which looks like some kind of remote control switch.  Someone triggered this remotely.  And they probably set off the speaker via blue tooth.

"I...I don't know how this could have happened..." The Funeral Assistant dithers.  "I...I mean...no one's had access to the body...what...what is going on here?"
Jonas Blaine
 player, 6 posts
Wed 18 Dec 2019
at 21:13
Jonas Blaine
Gotcha. That all sounds good. I like Gumshoe and that seems like a great way to incorporate the mystery solving.

Lol. I just thought there were was one Bill that was all over the place.

Iíll post a real response soon

Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 91 posts
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 03:41
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 12):

No worries.  Again, sorry for the Bill/Rick mix up.  Thanks.
Jonas Blaine
 player, 7 posts
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 20:23
Jonas Blaine

Peering into the casket, Jonas tries to take in any other details. The make of the remote device maybe. ďI donít know why or who, but when would they have time to rig all of this up? When does the body get put into the casket? Ē He asks the funeral director this as he looks around the room.

If itís really bluetooth, the person must have been here or very close.  If they used the wifi, they could be farther out but probably not much.  Iíll have to see if there are other ways to access the Echo.  One way or another, this person was pretty smart. Jonas pulls out his phone and tries to see if he can find a nearby bluetooth signal.  While doing that he says ďHeyÖ You still listening Mouseman? Whatís going on here?Ē
Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 94 posts
Mon 23 Dec 2019
at 20:24
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 14):

There are several bluetooth signals around.  Later you'll find the mice were in cages strapped to the undersides of some of the seats.  The latches releasing them on to the floor were also bluetooth enabled.  Many of the guests seemed to have bluetooth pairings.  As many are fleeing  it's hard to tell who might still have any active.

The lift is from a company called Support Technics.  Someone may have gotten this off Amazon or some such.  You aren't aware of a local company by that name.  Maybe a medical supply house in the area might have sold it though.  You jot down the serial number and model number in case.

The director seems completely lost by all this.  "I...We finished the dressing last night.  He was laid in here then.  But...there was a break in sometime around two this morning.  We couldn't figure out what was stolen.  But...I...Excuse me."

Some cops have shown up.  The director is headed towards them.  Other than you, the mice, and Dick, the room is clear for the moment.
Jonas Blaine
 player, 8 posts
Fri 3 Jan 2020
at 17:49
Jonas Blaine

No response. He must be gone... Jonas thinks as he follows the director out. What a crappy way to send off a good manÖ and his poor wife. He feels something boiling up in him.  Heís not sure what or why but heís filling up with purposeless energy.

He walks out to see who is around, hoping to find and grab Bill to pull him to the side for a discussion.

With each step he takes, the energy heís feeling is finding a purposeÖ figure out exactly what happened here.
Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 114 posts
Sat 4 Jan 2020
at 00:48
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 16):

As you step out of the funeral home, you see the parking lot is pretty chaotic.  More cop cars are showing up.  People are standing around in small groups, talking excitedly.

You see Mildred sitting on the hood of a car, her face buried in her hands.  A few women are there, trying to comfort her.

The cops seem to be trying to get organized still.  They're walking up to various groups and making motions.  They seem to want everyone to gather up.  You overhear one of them say to another one:  "Damn man.  It's exactly what they said.  We're gonna have to call in the MR Officer."

MR.  Meta Response.  The police unit that handles investigating and arresting suspects with meta powers.  To your knowledge, Knoxville doesn't have a meta on their police force.  There hasn't been a large scale meta-aggression incident since...what?  2004?  Even then the city had to ask for help from some Nashville based Capes.

Rick (and I do mean Rick this time) grabs your shoulder.  "Hey man.  The cops want everyone to give a statement.  I...who you lookin' for?  Bill?  He ducked in to the men's room in the lobby.  I...I kinda thought he needed some space.  So I was gonna give him a few minutes."



You mentioned wanting to find Bill.  So I'm assuming you duck back inside and in to the men's room.  If not, ignore this bit...

Bill is standing over one of the sinks. The spigot is turned and the water is running.  Bill seems to have been splashing his face with water.

He's also heaving.  It's likely he threw up in one of the johns just moment ago.
Jonas Blaine
 player, 9 posts
Tue 14 Jan 2020
at 21:39
Jonas Blaine
 Perfect

Jonas closed the door gently behind him, he didnít need the cops barging in now. He searches for a lock on the door. ďHey, are you ok? You seem to be taking this pretty hard.Ē As he says this, he walks behind Bill, giving the man a little space but not much. He looks at Bill through the mirror. ďYou said something in the roomÖ seemed like you may have known this was coming.Ē

16:34, Today: Jonas Blaine rolled 4 using 3d6.  Detect lies. TN 12.
16:34, Today: Jonas Blaine rolled 5 using 3d6.  Interrogation. TN 13.

Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 134 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 02:29
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 18):

There's no lock.  But you think you'll have a couple of minutes.  You can at least hear if someone is walking up to the door.

Bill glances at you in the mirror.  "How in the hell could I know That was coming?"

He stares down at the sink.  "But...I don't think Dick...I...Hell.  I don't know.  It's just things have gone so damn wrong."

He rubs his eyes.  "Look Jonas.  The company's having a shaky time.  But nothing we couldn't work through.  But after that break in...Dick just...He seemed to go south.  It was like..."

He sighs.  "Mildred and I had an affair.  It was brief.  And it was over a year ago.  We both knew it was a mistake.  But we decided to keep it quiet.  So Dick and Samantha didn't get hurt.  But Sam left me last month.  She knew about it.  Somehow.  I...I think Dick must have found out as well."

His hands ball up in to fists.  "I just...I just think Dick did it because...of us..."  He wipes a tear off his cheek.  "But that?  That?  What the hell was that? What..."

Bill takes a deep breath and stands up straight.  He looks back at you.  "I don't know what the hell is going on.  And I don't know what to do about it."

Bill's always been a tough read.  But he seems to be telling it straight.
Jonas Blaine
 player, 10 posts
Wed 15 Jan 2020
at 16:49
Jonas Blaine
Jonas pats him on the back. ďWell, who would do that then? It doesnít make any sense... youíre sure you donít have any ideas? I mean, youíre the right hand man. And the... stuff... between you and Mildred will stay with me for as long as you want. You both deserve to be happy. But Dick didnít deserve this at his funeral... Dick didnít have any enemies? Or maybe Mildred?ď

This is bad. I have to figure out why someone would do something this heinous.
Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 138 posts
Fri 17 Jan 2020
at 00:37
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 20):

"I mean..."  Bill takes a deep breath.  "Thanks Jonas.  I mean it."

He stands up straight.  "Enemies?  Nah.  You know Dick.  Knew Dick.  He was salt of the earth.  The only thing I can think of is that law suit.  But it's really not a thing.  Their case is really weak. Our attorney says they're just trying to get us to settle so they can recoup some of their loss.

"The only other wonky thing I can think of is that break in.  I mean nobody knows what that was about.  No.  Wait."


Bill looks at the floor then back up at you, a puzzled expression in his eyes.

"We...we've been finding a lot of mouse traps at the office.  Like someone's going around and setting mouse traps.  At first we thought it was Maintenance.  But they didn't know anything more about them than anyone else did.  Now everyone thinks it's someone's idea of a joke.  But...all those mice in there...

"Jonas.  You don't think...this is some kind of...I don't even know what the word is.

"What is this?"

Jonas Blaine
 player, 11 posts
Tue 21 Jan 2020
at 23:51
Jonas Blaine
Jonas stands up and back. Nods. ďWhat is this? I donít know. But terrorizing a funeral just for laughs canít be the be all end all of this. This is just villainy or terrorism. But why Dick? Well, this sort of thing canít keep going on.  Iíll see you later, Bill. Take care of yourself. ď

With renewed purpose Jonas leaves the restroom and waits around outside until everyone is allowed to leave. He spends the time eavesdropping on conversations, gathering any other clues he may be able to and talks to Rick and pulls Shelly aside for a private chat before checking in on Mildred. He asks them the same kind of questions he asked Bill. Any enemies of Dick? Whatís up with the mice? See anyone suspicious?


18:45, Today: Jonas Blaine rolled 13 using 3d6.  Interrogate Shelly TN 13.
18:45, Today: Jonas Blaine rolled 11 using 3d6. Interrogate Rick


Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 146 posts
Wed 22 Jan 2020
at 03:37
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 22):

Rick considers your questions.

"Enemies?  Man, I don't know.  I mean those cat food people were pretty irate.  But..to do this?

"The mice?  All I can think of is that weird joke someone's playing with the mousetraps.  They show up all over the office.  Shelly was kinda sleuthing around about it.  You know her."
  Rick rolls his eyes.

"Suspicious?  You mean today?  Or in general?  I...hmmm.  I know there were these two guys who were seen in the parking lot quite a bit.  They were in this minivan.  Uhm...greenish maybe?  I think it was a Honda Odyssey or somethin'.  I know some of the ladies were complaining about it.  But security chased them off. Sorry man.  I got to get home.  I...I need to hug my wife and kid.  Ya know?  Keep in touch Jonas."



Shelly, for better or worse, is in her element.  She can be flighty and nosey.  But when it comes to dealing with chaos, she's a pro.  There were quite a few times she kept all you engineers organized and focused.

"Enemies?  Dick?  That guy was sweet as the day is long.  Ya know?  There's those cat food people.  But...this?  Over that?  Though I do hear the family that owns that company are kinda cuckoo for coca puffs.  If ya know what I mean.

"Oh!  Wait.  There was that temp.  Amanda Colbert.  She was brought in to do this data entry project.  She was really bucking to get on full time.  But then someone found out she was helping herself to office supplies.  I mean office supplies.  Like cases of copy paper.  There was supposedly a scene.  But Dick and Bill handled it all behind closed doors.  She was just here one day than...POOF!
  She spreads her hands suddenly.  "Gone the next.  Now that I think about it...that was right around the time of the break in too.  Wonder if she took a shipment of ink pens.  Ya know.  For old times sake.

"Those guys in the minivan?  All the ladies were thinking they were rapists.  Out to snatch some snatch.  Ha ha.  Sorry.  I make stupid comments when I get all worked up."
  She shakes her head.  "Easy does it Shelly baby.  Calm down.  You're not doin' Dick any favors by acting the fool.

"Anyway.  Those guys in the minivan.  I think they were like casing the place for a robbery.  Or maybe they were reporters.  I dunno.  Jim the security guy went out and had a talk with them after about a week of it.  They left.  Whatever was said, Jim only told Dick about it.

"I shouldn't say this..."
  She glances around.  Then in Mildred's direction. "There was this rumor that Mildred and Bill were...Sorry.  I shouldn't speculate.  But you did ask if Dick had any enemies.  If it was true.  Though I can't believe Mildred would do this.  Look at her.  She's devastated."

Mildred is indeed devastated.  The ambulance is going to take her to Saint Helen's hospital.  She's not in the shape for questioning.

Shelly shakes her head.  "I'll see if I can get her some clean clothes and toiletries. I'll let her rest up tonight.

"Anyway.  What else did you ask?  Oh.  The mousetraps.  Yeah.  I think...and this is just me speculating you understand...I think that started as some kind of joke over the cat food thing.  I think one of the fellas,"
She alwasy refers to the engineers as the fellas, "started it.  And then it just kinda grew.  I think Rick had a hand in it.  But I don't think he's involved anymore.  Just at the start.  Now...it's like a tradition among the fellas.  I keep asking everyone not to. Maybe now they won't."

She sighs.  "Suspicious?  Honey. You know me.  I think everyone who doesn't tell me their business is suspicious.  Not the best judge on that front.  Sorry.

"I gotta go.  I'll check on Mildred in the morning and keep everyone in the loop.  It was good ta see you again Jonas.  Just...wish it had been under better circumstances."

Jonas Blaine
 player, 12 posts
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 15:51
Jonas Blaine

Jonas took all of this information from Rick and Shelly in.  He was glad to have at least kept on good terms with those two. Talking to them gave him a few more names to try to track down later, he guessed. Jim and Amanda.  Also, those guys in the truck.  That seems really sketchy.

He knows the police probably wonít tell him anything and he doesnít want to be on their radar anyway, so he wonít ask them about anything. He said his goodbyes to Mildred and made his round of goodbyes to everyone else before he heads on back home.

On the ride back, vague thoughts and feelings start coalescing into more concrete plans and by the time he loosens his tie and sits on his couch, his plans for the future and intent become clear. I canít understand why anyone would do thisÖ But I know I canít rest until I get to the bottom of it.  Dick was a good person and this will bug me until I get to the bottom of it. If someone can target him like that, whatís the hope for anyone else, even good people, not being accosted like that. Iíll do my own investigation to find whoever is behind this. But how? It then dawns on him, the Catalogue.

He opens it up and starts browsing.  Looking through, he sees that he can put together a collection of gear and resources that may help him see this new goal through.


Iíll go through and make up a list of items for him to order and throw in another post in the next few days.
Editor-in-Chief
 GM, 168 posts
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 23:42
Jonas Blaine
In reply to Jonas Blaine (msg # 24):

Okie dokie.  Don't be afraid to come up with equipment ideas yourself.  I'll decide if they are available or not when I get your request.

Oh, and let me know if Jonas has any steps in the investigation he'd like to take.

Thanks

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:41, Fri 07 Feb 2020.