Martina McPherson, resident of an apartment on the 10th floor in Mutant City is awakened at 2am by a tapping on her bedroom window. To her surprise she saw a blonde woman wearing a black dress and coat standing on the ledge outside. The woman was clearly terrified and begged to be let in and that she didn’t want to die. Martina rushed to open the window but before she could the woman slipped and fell to her death.
Emergency services were called and the woman was declared dead on the scene. It was apparent she was a mutant as her skin had taken on a hard grey texture, a manifestation of the armor ability which had failed to save her from the fall. Identification in the coat revealed the deceased was Grace Blair.
The PCs are contacted to investigate the crime scene before the body is moved due to the victim being a mutant.
- Alex Downey, Bar Head
A member of the radical anti-mutant group the Neutral Parity League Alex had a confrontation with Grace and became fixated on her. He stalked her and found out her address. Since then he has sent her numerous hate mail and death threats, mostly to cover his own attraction to her.
General Abilities: Athletics: 12, Health 12, Scuffling: 12, Stability:3
- Peter Waid, Ex-Boyfriend
Grace and Peter met while doing volunteer work on Chandler Kane’s political campaign. They stopped supporting Chandler when he took increasingly anti-mutant stances but the couple drifted apart when Grace joined the 8th Day Church.
Peter was concerned that they were brainwashing her. He is very suspicious of Gilles Tremblay. His attempts at ‘rescuing’ her resulted in Grace obtaining a restraining order against him. He has tried contacting her both at her home and through her parents.
- Gilles Tremblay, 8th Day Church Leader
Religious fanatic who believes that mutants will save humanity from an alien invasion. He was encouraging Grace to do more for the church, both in time spent doing charitable works and furthering their goals.
A minor political figure for which ever party you wish to choose Chandler is willing to change his public image to whatever will get the most votes. Initially taking a stance that mutants should be treated equally he found that he gained more support by speaking out against them.
His dark secret is that he is a mutant himself. He rarely uses his powers except in dire situations. 8 years ago he saved Grace Blair when she threw herself of the ### bridge. Chandler swore her to secrecy which she happily agreed to. She even volunteered to work on his political campaigns several times.
When he changed his stance she left his group of supporters and Chandler thought he wouldn’t see her again. He was therefore surprised when she turned up unannounced at a meeting and asked him to reveal his mutant powers.
He refused but she returned, insisting if he didn’t let people know the truth she’d tell everyone herself. Panicking he arranged to meet her at a night club, where he pretended that she was swaying him.
By 11pm he told her that he’d make a public announcement and invited her back to his own apartment to put together the press release. He flew her up to the apartment, a way of showing her that he was more comfortable displaying his gifts before, so that no one would see her taking her up. He then flew back down and entered through the reception, making sure he was seen on the surveillance cameras.
Back in his apartment he drugged Grace and using his flight and strength flew her to the apartment block. Remembering how they had met he intended to make it look like a suicide. He left her on the ledge, rather than dropping her to make sure it would look like she had jumped so the police wouldn’t look for a flying mutant.
Chandler is hoping that this will be the end of the problem.
General Abilities: Athletics: 5, Health: 10, Stability: 12, Scuffling: 5
Mutant Powers: Flight 16, Strength: 16
- PY+2 Grace Blair decides to commit suicide due to her mutant abilities. She leaves a suicide note which her parents find. She jumps of the ### bridge but is saved by Chandler Kane.
- PY+3 Grace begins volunteering for Chandler’s political campaigns.
- PY+4 Grace and Peter meet and begin dating.
- PY+5 Both Grace and Peter stop supporting Chandler as he becomes increasing anti-mutant.
- PY+6 Grace converts to the 8th Day Church upon the formation of the Bulwark of God cathedral. Peter is unhappy about this as he views them as dangerous cult.
- PY+7 Due to arguments about the 8th Day Church Grace breaks up with Peter.
- PY+8 Peter continues to try and contact Grace to help her break free from church over the course of a year. She takes legal proceedings to obtain a restraining order on Peter.
- PY+9 Alex Downey goes to the Bulwark of God cathedral intent on causing trouble. Grace kindly asks him to leave and despite her mutant nature Alex is attracted to her. Confused by his feelings he focuses his hate towards her in an anonymous campaign of terror. Grace reports the threats to the police.
- PY+10 Gilles Tremblay asks Grace to recruit more mutants to the church. Deciding that Chandler Kane would be a good recruit she approaches him. Fearing exposure Chandler kills Grace.
The Crime Scene
Grace’s body has been left where it fell, on top of a parked car. A small crowd has gathered, with the police officers on the scene holding them back. A medical examiner is also on the scene, this can either be Mads Jensen (Mutant City Blues, Page 149) or an examiner who does field work.
A clearly upset Martina McPherson is on hand to give her account of what happened.
The following evidence can be collected from the scene.
Grace is clearly a mutant with armor abilities but also blade immunity. This reduced the impact but not enough to save her life.
Once this clue is collected her body relaxes, reverting to its original form. When this happens bruises can be seen around her wrists. This suggests that great pressure was applied to her without her powers activating. Either she didn’t choose to use it or she was unconscious at the time.
This is where Chandler carried her, his enhanced strength causing the wounds they can see. Later measurements of the shape of the bruising matches the size of Chandler’s hands.
1 Point Spend
The time taken for her mutant ability to shutdown so long after death suggests that she was drugged. Any form of sedative has been shown to affect the time taken for mutant abilities to activate and shutdown.
Evidence Collecting (Pipe)
Ironically this ability picks up what isn’t at the crime scene, Grace’s shoes. Searching the area and the apartments doesn’t reveal their presence indicating either someone took them or she wasn’t wearing any. How did she get here barefooted?
When she began her night Grace was wearing shoes, but when Chandler flew her there they fell off. One is in his apartment, the other dropped mid-flight through some ones skylight. This will come back to haunt him later.
While not impossible for someone committing suicide to change their mind at the last minute the fact that her last words were about not dying does indicate that this wasn’t her idea. She also is dressed for a night out, rather than ending her life.
Electronic Surveillance & Photography (Core)
The apartment building has surveillance in reception, allowing the PCs to see who went in and out of the building. There is no footage of Grace entering the building and the rear doors would trigger an alarm if opened.
This information can also be gained from the apartment manager who will review the tapes with them. Speaking to the residents of the apartment no one else saw or heard Grace before she fell and all of the rooms were occupied, meaning she couldn’t have gotten on to the ledge without passing one of the residents.
Having never seen someone die Martina is very upset. She blames herself for not getting Grace to safety in time. The PCs will need to calm her down in order to get the details of the incident.
She will recount what she saw, mentioning that Grace appeared confused and terrified. It was as if she didn’t know how she had got out on to the ledge. Martina had never seen Grace before and was surprised upon coming down to street level to see that Grace was a mutant as she had appeared human before.
Martina asks the cops if she committed suicide because she was mutant. It is an innocent question but exposes Martina’s own belief that she’d rather die than become a mutant.
1 Point Spend
If Martina is pushed for further details she vaguely recalls hearing a whimpering sound before she was awakened by Grace tapping on the window. This was Grace waking up to find herself on the ledge.
Martina will also say that Grace’s speech was slurred slightly like she was drunk or had been drugged.
To add a further bit of drama into this scene the owner of the car could be very upset by the damage done by it and demands to know who is going to pay to fix the damage. It isn’t long before he starts throwing anti-mutant slurs in their direction, blaming Grace for the damage and the PCs for excusing her actions.
Will the PCs ignore his rants or will they let their temper get the better of them and arrest the man?
This can be done to show both how there is an anti-mutant sentiment amongst most normal people and that people can be insensitive, even in the face of a tragedy.
Grace Blair, Suicide or Murder?
Once the PCs have collected information at the crime scene they can begin the investigation. You may have the watch commander have the PCs justify why this shouldn’t be treat as a suicide, giving them a chance to present their evidence. While not entirely convinced this should be enough for them to keep the case open while they confirm the truth.
Checking the police records shows several leads for them to investigate. Firstly they have her basic information, including that she was working at the Bulwark of God cathedral, her address and the contact details of her parents.
In chronological order they have a record of her parents calling the police upon finding the suicide note 8 years ago. Grace returned home the next day without incident.
3 years ago, after a series of domestic incidents Grace Blair obtained a restraining order against Peter Waid. He has breached that several times during that period.
2 years ago the police were called by Grace to remove Bar Head Alex Downey from the Bulwark of God cathedral. Subsequently she alerted to the police to the anti-mutant hate mail she was receiving.
For 1 Cop Talk point a PC can be involved in any one of these incidents. This gives them a history with Grace and the people involved, affecting of they react to the officer. If the question of why the PC didn’t recognise Grace straight away they deal with a lot of people and she wasn’t exactly looking her best after the fall.
Forensic Anthropology on Grace’s body reveals that she did indeed die from the fall. Her wrists are badly bruised but don’t show signs of a struggle. She consumed several alcoholic drinks in the hours before her death and was drugged with a form of rohypnol known to interfere with mutant abilities (although results are variable).
Forensic Accounting on Grace’s credit card reveals that she purchased a drink from the ### club on the night she died at 8pm.
PCs are free to investigate the following scenes in which ever order they like.
The Home of Grace Blair
Grace’s home is a modest little affair, since she spends most of her time at the church. It is used more for storage, especially of 8th Day pamphlets, that it is for living.
She doesn’t have many photos on display, only of her family. Some pictures of Peter can be found stored away. Despite what happened Grace couldn’t bear to get rid of this reminder of happier times.
Using Data Retrieval on Grace’s computer reveals she was receiving emails from Peter who continued to ask her to leave the church and come back to him. Grace had also been sending emails to Chandler Kane, a name that the PCs will recognise as a local politician, saying that they had something to discuss.
Grace was collecting the hate mail she was receiving in a shoebox, to pass to the police. She had done this several times but hoped there would be something that would give them an idea who was doing it and stop them.
Document Analysis on this hate mail will link it to similar letters sent by Alex Downey to other mutants. This is evidence enough to get an arrest warrant for Alex.
Evidence Collection uncovers documents from when Grace worked as a volunteer for Chandler Kane. On 1 point spend they can find a personal message from Chandler telling her ‘not to give up’. This an indication that he knew about her attempted suicide.
Forensic Psychology will reveal no signs of depression or suicidal thoughts displayed in Grace’s apartment. She had recently brought enough food for the week ahead, her calendar had several social events planned over the next month (none of them significant) and there is recent newspaper with details about vacancies in larger, more expensive accommodations. Everything suggests Grace was happy and planning for the future.
If they check her wardrobe they find one pair of shoes is missing (there is a gap between two other sets of shoes) confirming that she was wearing some when she left the apartment.
Meet the Parents
If one of the other police officers haven’t already done so it will be the PCs sad duty to speak with her parents, Howard and Lydia. They are obviously deeply upset but will initially jump to the conclusion that she committed suicide.
They explain how Grace had become very depressed about being a mutant 8 years ago and how when they found her suicide note they thought they’d never see her again. It was a miracle when she returned, saying that she had been saved from herself.
She underwent therapy but seemed much happier afterwards, throwing herself into volunteering. Her parents were very proud of her work alongside Chandler Kane and that she subsequently met Peter.
They know that Grace and Peter lost faith in Chandler when he stopped supporting mutants. Grace commented at the time that she knew that isn’t what he really believed and some people just want to make other people like them.
Howard and Lydia are bitter about how things turned out with Peter. While they are not happy that Grace joined the 8th Day church they claim that Peter acted as if she was being brainwashed, rather than accepting she was making her own decision.
Both parents are unaware of the incident with Alex or about the hate mail. This will upset them and they’ll come to the conclusion that their daughter was killed for being a mutant. They will push the PCs to arrest Alex to get justice for their little girl.
If convinced that Grace didn’t commit suicide they will agree that she didn’t seem depressed, just under pressure from the 8th Day church leader Gilles Tremblay.
8th Day Church
Going to the Bulwark of God cathedral the PCs can question the people that Grace worked with and specifically Gilles Tremblay. Everyone has found memories of Grace and that she was great at organising things, something she had picked up while working as a volunteer for Chandler Kane.
Descriptions of both the Bulwark of God and Gilles Tremblay can be found on page 144 of the Mutant City Blues book. Giles wants to be open with the police and help them capture whoever killed Grace.
He has a certain manic air to him, talking enthusiastically about the coming reckoning and whether they’ll do their part to repel the alien invasion. He doesn’t reveal anything useful unless they use from Reassurance, Intimidation or Flattery to give them a straight answer. He will then reveal that he told Grace she’d only advance in the church if she brought in more people to the church. On a 1 point spend he confides that Grace told him she knew of someone very important who might join.
Some people who work at the church recorded the incident between Alex and Grace on their mobile phones, which they can show to the PCs. Alex is shown making threats and saying that the mutants aren’t saviours but demons when Grace calmly asks him to leave. She keeps her cool as Alex continues to insult her until the police arrive.
Photography, Data Retrieval or Forensic Psychology all reveal that Alex, appears flustered by Grace. Despite his words his body language suggests he is attracted to her. A 1 point spend reveals that this makes him uncomfortable, only increasing his aggression.
You can add drama to this sequence by having people with anti-mutant beliefs making trouble at the cathedral. They’ve chosen a bad time to be there as the PCs can now arrest them. If you like Alex Downey could be one of the trouble makers, allowing the PCs to go straight into a scene where they interrogate him.
Action & Interrogation
Having been arrested several times and even spent a short period in prison due to his activities with the Neutral Parity League Alex is a good suspect. He is also very nervous of seeing any cops and will run when approached, despite not being responsible for Grace’s death. He can be found loitering around the Bulwark of God cathedral, at a bar or a Neutral Parity League demonstration.
This can lead to a short action scene as Alex tries to escape, making him look guilty. This is a chance for the PCs to make use of their General abilities and Mutant powers. If they fail either they can try to catch him again later or he’ll blunder into another cop. At some point the PCs should be able to question him.
When told that Grace has died Alex surprises himself by breaking into tears. He is heart broken that Grace is dead but can’t bring himself to admit that he is upset that a mutant has been killed. He is a deeply conflicted person.
Bullshit detector confirms that Alex isn’t lying when he says he didn’t kill Grace and will even admit that he sent the hate mail to her. Interrogation, Intimidation or Reassurance can all persuade Alex to tell them everything he knows, which isn’t a lot.
What he can tell them is what he observed when he was stalking her. He points them in the direction of either her ex-boyfriend Peter or relates an incident he witnessed where Chandler Kane’s security had her removed from a public appearance he was making.
Although players may view Alex as a red herring he is important because he illustrates how people can be conflicted. Just as is an anti-mutant activist who loved a mutant Chandler is a mutant who presents himself as being anti-mutant. Also by confirming who didn’t commit the murder they’ve narrowed their list of suspects.
Interviews and Interrogations
Peter is currently working as an administrator in a small accounting firm and can be met at his work place or at home. He is extremely distressed to hear that Grace has died, as he never stopped loving her. Peter will be defensive and even angry if accused of killing her.
His instinct is to put the blame on the 8th Day church and urge the PCs to shut it down as a dangerous cult. He is sure that they must have gotten Grace involved in something dangerous that led to her death.
Reassurance, Interrogation or Intimidation will persuade Peter to concentrate on answering their questions. He can relate the history of his relationship with Grace, saying that he always tried to protect her. He saw himself as her guardian, standing up for her and helping her be ‘normal’.
A 1 point spend on the above abilities will get Peter to confess that he was actually stalking Grace the night of her death. He was reluctant to reveal it at first because he thought that would make him look guilty.
Peter followed her to the ### night club and saw her leave in a cab with Chandler Kane. Peter was angry about this and went home to drink heavily. The bullshit detector will confirm all of this to be true.
If they bring up Grace’s previous suicide attempt Peter says that she didn’t like to talk about it but once mentioned that she did jump but that an angel caught her. He never knew if she was serious or not.
### Night Club
Interviews and Interrogations
This night club is where Grace and Chandler Kane met. It is popular enough to have a good reputation but not enough for the activities of the customers to be closely scrutinised. Nonetheless the staff will remember Grace and confirm she spent several hours with a man. Only if shown a picture of Chandler Kane will they be able to identify him. If not they will simply refer to him as an older man in his fifties.
They will be able to confirm that early in the night Grace was wearing a pair of red shoes. They will also mention that Chandler was wearing a long overcoat. They were both wearing those items when they left in a cab at 11pm.
If you wish the PCs to struggle a little to get this information then the staff could require a negotiation to remember what they saw. For a 1 point spend they’ll comment that while the two seemed to be having a pleasant conversation Chandler’s expression became much more sour when ever Grace stepped away from their table. It was the staff’s impression he was hiding his true feelings.
Using Bureaucracy or Negotiation with the taxi firm reveals that the cab took the couple to Chandler Kane’s apartment and he tipped big for the driver to forget he’d seen them. If specifically asked the cab driver recalls that the couple did have their shoes and coats when they left.
Interviews and Interrogation
All roads should eventually lead to Chandler Kane. You may want to gradually make the players aware of him during the adventure. It is very likely they’ll see some press coverage of his recent statements about mutants. For example the Neutral Parity League make be agreeing with his comments when the PCs come to speak with Alex.
This could be everything from stating that mutants don’t deserve the same rights as humans, that humans should be able to protect themselves from mutants to demanding that it should be illegal for mutants not to register their powers. All of this is to make people think he isn’t a mutant himself.
He is extremely cagey, which he will explain as needing to maintain a good public image. He’ll initially deny knowing Grace and if they bring up that she worked for him for several years he’ll explain that he has many people working for him and he can’t be expected to remember them all.
If they learn he saw her on the night of her death he’ll justify his lie by saying that he can’t be seen speaking with a known mutant. He’ll say that she spoke of being harassed (but not by who) and asked if she could become a volunteer again. He turned her down and she said she wished she wasn’t a mutant any more. This is all a lie, Chandler is trying to convince the PCs that Grace committed suicide and the Bullshit Detector will confirm he isn’t telling the truth.
Chandler will claim that while they left in the same cab he dropped her off near her home and returned to his apartment alone. He’ll point to the surveillance footage at his apartment which will indeed show him coming in alone.
If accusations are made or they call him a liar then Chandler will direct them to speak to his lawyer unless they have any evidence against him. He’ll try to use what political weight he has to make trouble with their superiors if they persist, saying that they are trying to pin a clear suicide on him because of his anti-mutant platform. Chandler knows they know he did it but also knows the burden of proof is on them.
The PCs will need solid evidence to bring him down. Luckily they are about to get a big clue.
The Other Shoe Drops
This is a floating core clue scene and should occur either after they’ve spoken with Chandler or when they are stuck.
The PCs are contacted about a report of property damage. They may question why this is being brought to their attention but their fellow officers will say that there is clearly a mutant angle and they need to speak to the complainant.
Mr Russell Pez had recently returned from a week long holiday only to find that something had smashed through his skylight. He’ll show the PCs the damage and point to the object responsible for the damage, a single red shoe.
It is obvious that this belonged to Grace (and will match the shoe size of the foot wear in her closet) but Mr Pez will ramble on about the shoe belonging to a mutant with flight and how there should be a law that prevents them flying about without securing their foot wear.
This should tip the PCs off that Grace was flown to the apartment by a mutant with the flight ability. If one of the suspects is hiding this mutation they’d have both motive and opportunity. If they’ve eliminated Alex and Peter from the list of suspects then this fits Chandler.
Checking a map reveals that Mr Pez’s house is directly between Chandler’s apartment and the apartment where Grace died. There are no other tall building in between, meaning that it is likely she was flown between those two locations.
That is still not enough to arrest Chandler but should give them ideas of how to deal with him.
BRINGING CHANDLER DOWN
There are several ways that Chandler can be arrested. All of the following are Leverage clues, enabling the PCs to use them to make Chandler confess to everything.
Security Footage and the Missing Coat
Getting back to his apartment Chandler got careless. After flying Grace into his room he took off his coat and gave her a drink. He made an excuse to leave the room and flew back out the window to enter through reception. In his haste he forgot to put on his coat.
Data Retrieval or photography can be used to show that Chandler leaves the apartment with his coat, returns at 11:30pm without it and then leaves the next morning once again wearing the coat. Chandler will not be able to explain this anomaly, exposing his lie.
The Other Shoe
Grace’s remaining missing shoe is somewhere in Chandler’s apartment. He hasn’t realised that it was dropped and may even boldly invite the PCs in to search for clues that Grace was there. Evidence collection only shows that everything was cleaned recently but a 2 point spend reveals the missing shoe.
Linking this to Grace and the shoe that smashed Mr Pez’s skylight is enough to tie Chandler to her death.
Chandler Is A Mutant
If the PCs accuse Chandler of being a mutant he’ll threaten to have them fired. He will refuse to undergo any tests to prove this. The PCs will need to find a way to take a DNA sample to perform a Anamorphology test to prove this.
Although this illegally obtained information can’t be used in the case having confirmation will make Chandler panic. He’ll reveal everything if he thinks it will prevent the PCs from telling the world he is a mutant (Negotiation or Reassurance will be appropriate for this).
When Chandler does confess allow the PCs to reveal what they’ve worked out and have Chandler fill in the blanks or correct the parts they get wrong. The players should feel that they’ve put the majority of it together themselves.
Chandler will attempt to gain sympathy by explaining he saved Grace’s life when she committed suicide. In the grand schemes of things hadn’t he given her 8 more years before she died? He might even make an unknowingly ironic statement that all of this is because she couldn’t live with what she was.
Ultimately the PCs should gain recognition in the department for realising that this was much more than a simple case of suicide and getting Grace the justice she deserved.