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Narrator: The Help Me! field team has arrived in Omaha to investigate the recent murder of Scott Walker.

Narrator: Having investigated the crime scene and discovered several disturbing clues, the team is now moving to uncover some possible suspects.

Narrator: As they head out, Nick's phone rings.

Nicholas: "Hello? Sir? But I'm in the field - no, not in an incident right now... Yes sir. Sir! This is ridicu - yes sir. Okay." He gets off his phone, looking peeved. "There's an auditor reviewing some of our expenses. I don't anticipate any problems, but I need to speak with him for a while. God damn it, we're not supposed to be audited!" He dials his phone savagely and begins an extremely boring conversation about purchase orders and invoices.

Amilastet: "And that's why I'm not management."

GM: So. After being prompted by the narration, what are you guys doing?

Amilastet: (( I am honestly not sure. And most of the way through this beer, so I'll probably remain slightly fuzzy... ))

Amilastet: We had our ritual bead

Clay: tracking down some suspects and their car?

Amilastet: I think there was a plan to come back and try a scrying on it? Or go away and try a scrying?

EJ: the car is a dead end

Amilastet: There was an asston of blood

Clay: I thought we at least got a make/model that were accurate

Amilastet: any other bodies found recently?

Amilastet: exanguinated?

GM: Good question. How are you going to get it answered?

Clay: was there still a lot of blood after the illusion went away?

GM: Yes.

Clay: Have David ask his good buddies in the local police?

Amilastet: There was even MORE blood after the illusion went away.

GM: And for clarity/making this plot make sense, Nick didn't see through the blood - he saw the extra footprints on camera. The blood is, uhm, not an illusion.

GM: Though it is magical.

Amilastet: Oh.

Amilastet: ... wat?

Clay: so, it's magic movie blood?

Amilastet: OK, what I understood was that once the illusion was lifted, there was a crapton more blood than exptected.

Amilastet: And footprints

EJ: same

Amilastet: thus the need for hosing down the crime scene

Johnny: that was my impression too

Amilastet: Not "Same amount of blood only now it's magic blood"?

Clay: well, there was too much blood for one guy just with the illusion

Amilastet: I mean, I caught that the blood is weird as hell, due to not clotting, but I thought that was the Illusion taking a "Snapshot" of the original event when cast

Amilastet: was the revealed blood also not clotted?

GM: Uhm, not quite. There's enough blood here that if someone bled out here, there would be an appropriate amount of blood here. But most of that blood is magical - a creation of Path of Matter.

GM: The magical blood is clotted.

Amilastet: AH

Clay: I see, we're dealing with someone who saw too many horror movies

GM: The created blood also still matches the victim's blood, to the limit of your limited ability to figure it out with your field tools. (ie, right blood type, can't do DNA analysis).

Amilastet: "So someone's pretending he bled out here, when he didn't."

Amilastet: (( and we have footprints ))

Clay: "Yah, we need to find the ritual site if we can."

Amilastet: (( perfectly normal shoe prints not thing-from-beyond-prints, I remember that. ))

GM: Right.

Clay: (( was any of the info from the bum good? I thought he started making stuff up about the plates when he was offered cash but it was truthful before that ))

GM: That's what EJ thought.

EJ: ((yes))

Amilastet: (( Of course he also saw it go flying into the air ))

EJ: ((and EJ figures that must mean the guys in the car are far scarier than he is))

David: "Something about this bothers me. It seems too complicated. An illusion to cover the footprints, but created blood? Why not just one illusion? It lacks elegance."

Amilastet: (( and there's been an illusion here so some or all of that may be bunkum even if he really did see it go flying into the air without chemical aid ))

Amilastet: "CSI guys do test things. It's hard to test an illusion."

Amilastet: "So if they swab something and it doesn't come away gooey they're going to be mighty confused."

David: "I suppose so."

EJ: "Why not just cover it up?"

Amilastet: "That's the real question. Why not just hide everything, including the body?"

Amilastet: "They wanted him found and known dead."

Clay: "They wanted it to look like a mugging gone bad."

David: "Throw everyone off the scent with an easy explanation? It would keep the family and friends from searching for the body."

Clay: "Not kidnapped, ritually murdered and carved up with strange symbols."

Amilastet: "So we got someone worried about being found? That's promising."

EJ: "People disappear all the time. Nobody looks for them after awhile."

Clay: (( how many people were at the scene besides the dead guy, 4? ))

GM: 4, maybe 5. Enough to easily move a body out of a car.

Clay: "Well, we have magic blood, a ritual bead, some footprints and a vague car description to go on so far."

David: "But a distinctive car, if the description was right."

Clay: "Do we have tire tracks too? Can we use that to narrow down the car tracking to something reasonable?"

GM: Hmmm. 3 day old tire tracks? Let me look it up.

David has connected.

Clay: hopes they drove through some blood

GM: Hey, David, do you want to blow a Detective! destiny point so that the criminal's car left a convenient print in the mud that you can track?

David: ((Soy aqui))

David: Yes!

David: Is that per session or adventure?

Amilastet: Session I think

GM: Session.

GM: David follows the tracks to a nearby sewer drain, where the wheel made an impression in the much.

GM: Err, muck.

David: "It is sometimes difficult being this good."

GM: Likely, but are you guys taking action?

Amilastet: Take photographs of the tracks so we can match them after!

Amilastet: I somehow doubt the ricer drove down the sewer

Amilastet: I may be too CSI here.

GM: Why so?

Clay: "So, you think you can find it with that David?"

David: ((Do I?))

GM: Also, roll photography to take good pictures.

David: ((Normally, I'd assume a mold would have to be taken, not just pictures.))

Amilastet: I think David is better at it. It has GOT to fall under detective.

GM: Uhm... I have no idea. How do you plan on using that to find a car. Yes, David can use Detective! to take pictures.

Amilastet: I don't think we have mold equipent... but that van has a lot of stuff in it.

Clay: at least for this kind of pictures

David: Detective! result: succeeded by 1

David: ((Pictures!))

GM: Well, you won't be able to use image enhancement to pick out a reflection of the car's VIN in the muck, but you get good enough pictures that you feel confident that you could match the tire to the pictures if you were looking at the tire.

David: What about comparing them to a tire database?

EJ: ((tire print only helps when you have a known tire to match it too, unless it is unique and distinct enough... which is actually possible with a ricer))

Amilastet: (( hey. ))

Amilastet: (( Are the tires fancy ricer tires? ))

Amilastet: (( because I don't think that car was a ricer. ))

GM: You can get general tire type, and stuff like that.

GM: Hmmm, good question. Anyone got a skill to answer it?

Clay: (( prolly yokohamas ))

Amilastet: I have research!

Clay: thinks this is a job for Detective!

Amilastet: That's it.

EJ: ((it should be pretty obvious, mark - race tires are pretty wide))

GM: Uhm, Research rolls at -4 to look up a tread pattern on the internet and get possible matches. Or Mechanic (Auto) to recognize the tire because you're just that good.

Amilastet: IQ based Drive (Car)?

GM: Uhm, at -4 also, but sure.

Amilastet: I'm rolling at a default on that

Amilastet: So I'd take Reserach first unless we have a closet wheelman

EJ: Driving/TL8 (Automobile) result: succeeded by 3

Clay: Research/TL8 result: succeeded by 0

Amilastet: Or David can't shake something up.

Narrator: Nick continues talking on his phone, occasionally cursing.

EJ: wait, sorry, that wasn't IQ based

EJ: succeed by 0

Amilastet: Research/TL8 (11) result: failed by 2

EJ: make that fail by 1

GM: Clay is pretty sure those are race tires - or at least, the cheap imitation race tires that ricers buy. They're also pretty worn.

Clay: can I tell if they are ones that fit fancy low profile tire rims?

GM: ... not definitively with that roll. There's several varieties that match the width and pattern, some of which are low profile rims and some that aren't.

David: Okay, so in summary we have a ricer with cheapo tires that are past when they should probably be replaced?

Clay: "Well, Omaha isn't too big, think we can get some pointers on where to find the local ricer hangouts from the local police?"

David: "I'm pretty sure I can accomplish that, yes."

Clay: "I dunno if we'd be able to find the car in a database, might get lucky that someone remembers busting them tho."

Amilastet: A crappy ricer

Amilastet: Not even a civic

Amilastet: Tercel's not made any more either are they?

Amilastet: So a crappy old car with worn tires.

GM: They've been discontinued, quite some time ago.

David: "Find the local hangout/strip and they'll probably be hanging out there. We can do a search."

Amilastet: Which means someone with not much money.

Amilastet: "If they aren't hanging out there, they might be known."

Clay: yah, they might not be cool enough to hang with the real ricers

David: "They probably still show up on the fringes."

David: "Besides, it's a night's worth of work. We might get lucky."

Clay: "ok, you wanna see what you can learn from the local PD and then we go looking ourselves?"

David: "Da."

David: pulls out his phone, dials the local PD, and asks for Traffic.

Amilastet: "Worth a shot anyways."

GM whispers to EJ: You think these guys are probably aren't locals - the plates are the wrong type - but lower class, poor rubes. Probably being led by some kind of charistmatic leader. Cultists trying to summon a demon, most likely.

Traffic Dispatcher: "Can I help you?"

David: "This is David Kaplan, working with Special Agent Massri. Just had a statement we wanted to verify. Could you please tell me where the local rice-burners race?"

David: ((He is an actual special agent, right?))

GM: Nick is, yes. Roll Administration to get info from bureaucrats (MHM p8).

David: Talker!?

GM: Sure, you're talking. Therefore!

David: Talker! result: succeeded by 4

David: Check?

Traffic Dispatcher: "Yes sir, hold on please." She puts you on hold for a bit then gets back to you. "They tend to hang out near Buffett Field. They should be easy to spot."

GM: Sorry, thinking and stuff. and looking stuff up.

David: "Thank you, ma'am. Have a good day."

Traffic Dispatcher: "You too, sir."

David: flips his phone closed.

David: "Buffet Field."

David: How much time do we have till sunset?

GM: Easily 3-4 hours.

David: "Our sandwhiches should be here soon. Anyone else have any bright ideas until we head out to the strip?"

Clay: "Find out who has Nick on the phone and take them out so he can do magic crap?"

Clay: "Or at least look up what was on the bead."

David: "May be his boss. The Director of the FBI would be a difficult target, and the President would just replace him."

Clay: "Not of you just kill their phone."

Amilastet: ".... that would also be a bit distracting and take longer than just waiting for him."

David: "Well sure, if you want to do it the easy way."

Amilastet: "I want to do it whichever way doesn't involve axe murdering the people who pay my bills."

Amilastet: "It's a lot easier to hunt monsters if you don't have to worry about rent."

Amilastet: "Salt. Things like that."

Nicholas: Shuts off his phone. "Actually, I'm going to have to deal with this in person. Hopefully, I'll be back tonight but right now I need to get back to Denver." He sighs. "Bother. I'll leave you the plane and take commercial." He calls a cab and departs.

Clay: "What I mean is we don't have any other good ways to find them so far, so we might have some time to kill."

David: "Like I said, easy way. Besides, only one doing axe murdering is you."

David: "Yeah."

Clay: "Well, we could go try to talk to some PD to get more info on the ricers. Or we can go buff up on three eyed in-betweener lore."

David: "Good idea to know what we're dealing with, I think."

David: "Don't want to bring guns to a otherworldly forces fight."

Clay: "Yah, I think you need swords and stuff for them."

EJ: "Guns work on demons and the cultists summoning them just fine."

GM: Well, uhm, Nick and Mila know a fair bit about in-betweener lore. The rest of you, not so much though Clay can pinch hit.

Clay: "yah, unless these are the ones you need zinc bullets for or something like that, lets hit the books."

GM: Okay, is there a particular concrete plan of action here?

Amilastet: GO poke around in libarires until the Ricer Hour, then go stalk Ricers?

Clay: research until it's time to head out?

David: Yup!

GM: "Public libraries only allow rolls against Research (for general information) or Current Affairs (for newspaper and magazine headlines relevant to the specialty), and do not contain answers to most supernatural queries (-4 to all such requests).

Amilastet: Lacking another library to research at that I know of.

David: Does Nick have libraries for occult research?

Amilastet: What about university library? Is there a local university? Do they have a private collection? Can my contact get us in?

GM: Just pointing out the limitations of the Omaha Public Library System for what you're looking into.

David: And are they digitized? Because that would be swell.

GM: Nick has a larger library, but it's at the base in Denver. I'm sure there's a university in Omaha (UNeb?) and your contact may be able to get you in, but he's busy grading papers, remember?

Amilastet: Crap right.

Amilastet: Bloody mid-terms

GM: Sorry.

GM: Okay, what are you guys researching?

David: three eyed in-betweeners that match any other details we've picked up.

GM: Okay, Research rolls at -4 for everyone poking around the stacks.

Clay: better places to research three-eyed inbtweeners?

Clay: Research/TL8 result: failed by 3

David: Detective! result: succeeded by 1

Amilastet: Research/TL8 (11) result: failed by 7

Johnny: Research(12) - result: «failed by 2 »

GM: Okay, David finds some references to three-eyed inbetweeners. There are a few, and they're generally Cthulhoid mythos types that don't match Nick's description of Bargainers. Clay does find that there's a local bookstore in the New World Venerable Booksellers' Association.

Clay: do I have to to go there and look around before we need to go roll the ricers?

GM: Hmmm... you find his name 2 before he closes.

GM: err, 2 hours. So yes, plenty of time.

Clay: cool, I go there and look for stuff on barginers and/or three eyed inbetweeners

Amilastet: I will also come! As I know about inbetweeners!

Clay: and buy it if it's not crazy expensive

Clay: in which case Nick buys it

GM: Right, the guys going to the bookstore can roll Interrogation at -8. Or not if that's a bad idea for them.

Clay: interrogation?

GM: Sure!

Amilastet: is keeping her mouth shut.

Clay: I'm trying to find a book, not get them to drop the dime on the guy

Clay: or is this to get to the 'real' book selection

GM: Aren't you a Compulsive Snooper though? It seems like Clay would push out of reflex.

GM: I'm assuming at some point you guys talk to the bookseller.

Clay: yah, but more of a 'port in and look around after hours' type

Clay: I can push some

GM: Oh, okay.

GM: Great then.

David: I guess this would be me?

Clay: but I have diplomacy and psychology only tho

David: Anyone want to make some assisting rolls?

GM: No, David is doing other research.

GM: Remember?

David: Okay.

GM: No problem.

David: Wasn't sure if that also took the whole three hours.

Clay: after the -8 the interrogation default is at the "don't even try it" level

GM: Anyway, Mila and Clay need to roll Diplomacy at -1 to convince the bookseller to let them browse the stacks without really buying much. ("This isn't a library.") etc.

GM: NWVBA members are a close-lipped bunch.

Clay: I'm prepared to buy

Amilastet: We're willing to buy if we can find anything relevant.

Clay: Diplomacy result: succeeded by 6

Amilastet: Diplomacy (6) result: CRITICALLY FAILED by 12

Clay: but anyhow, I think I get access to the good stuff with that

Amilastet: I would like to spend my Destiny point on succeding that if I still need to roll as a paying customer.

Clay: since they are busy kicking the mummy out

GM: I know you are, but you're poking around a lot of grimoires and encyclopedias trying to find something to buy. Despite Mila's "help", Clay manages to smoothe the issue over and do some more investigation.

GM: Okay, this is not the best occult library ever, but it is an occult library. You can roll Occultism -4 to search for clues on the potential monster, or Research or Spirit skills at -2.

Clay: Research/TL8 result: succeeded by 2

Amilastet: Hidden Lore (Free Spirits) (13) result: failed by 4

Amilastet: last used LUCK! EST, and uses LUCK again at 2011-08-08 19:26:34 EST.

Amilastet: Hidden Lore (Free Spirits) (13) result: failed by 3

Amilastet: Hidden Lore (Free Spirits) (13) result: succeeded by 2

Amilastet: ffffffinally.

GM: Clay and Mila have how many points in Ancient Langauges?

Clay: 0!

Clay: for me

Amilastet: Native Speaker in Ancient Egyptian, I speak Sumarian also, 6 points, and Classical Arabic if that counts as Ancient

GM: Sure!

Amilastet: technically 0 points on Ancient Egyptian but if that doesn't count as 6 I may pout.

GM: That let's you read some of the obscure stuff.

Amilastet: OK, that's 18 points I think

Amilastet: Yas

GM: +6 on Research rolls.

GM: Or at least, Occult library lookup rolls of all kinds.

Clay: oooh, nice!

Amilastet: Told you I was a crappy sage substitute

GM: Right then. Bargainers: they're an in-betweener but not a skinwalker. Like most in-betweeners, they're malovelent in intent, though they're kind of rare and remote to humanity. Also, they usually have only 2 eyes, no pupils, just flat black.

GM: They don't fly, live in the sky, or travel in flying saucers, magic carpets, or anything like that.

GM: They can be contacted through some fairly difficult rituals: unlike demons, they don't like to be bothered by people. They do make deals, but mostly with other supernatural powers - rogue angels, elder demons, and the like. Human scale witches rarely have anything to offer.

GM: They're called Bargainers because they swap favors amongst the supernatural undergrounds. Details are a bit obscure.

GM: You guys can't really make any clear deductions from all that. This still doesn't make sense.

Amilastet: So.

Amilastet: Yeah.

Clay: "Hmm, if there is a Barginer involved I think that pretty much implys another layer of monsters, since they don't deal with cultists directly much."

Amilastet: No hits on 3-eyed thingermajiggers that seem to fit the situation better?

EJ: ((btw did we all go in together, or is it just those two at the library?))

David: ((Just those two))

GM: EJ and Johnny didn't roll for research at the public library, so they can do what they want.

GM: The problem with other thingermajiggers is that you do find a reference in the Sumarian books to Bargainer runes, and one of them definitely matches one of the wounds on Walker's body. No one else uses those runes, as far as you can tell.

Clay: "Sounds like we might need to find someone who can read barginer runes at some point."

GM: Bring a shovel!

Amilastet: Nah, a crowbar

Amilastet: Crack open some sarcophogi

EJ: ((Ooh! Ooh! Me! Me! *or at least he thinks he can*))

Clay: nobody knows it or just crazy occultists?

GM: Very few living people know it.

GM: It's kind of obscure.

Johnny: ((Heavy lifting and beating on things are definitely more Johnny's forte))

GM: A lot of elder spirits know it, if you want to go talk to some demons.

Clay: looks at EJ

Amilastet: Not right now, thanks.

Amilastet: Possibly later.

Amilastet: However, that suggests who the Bargainer was talking to.

EJ: "I have only one thing to say to demons, and I say it with a 12 gauge."

Amilastet: Ie, there really definitely totally is an extra layer of monsters here.

Amilastet: And somehow I don't think werewolves rate high on their list much either.

GM: As far as you know, lycans don't rate for Bargainers.

Clay: "Yah, there are a lot of things with big claws out there."

Amilastet: So it's Demons, Angels, Inbetweeners, and poooooosibly vampires or mummies or ghosts but they may be "too human"

Amilastet: Oh fey are on the mroe likely sounding list.

Amilastet: Big ones anyways.

EJ: "It's demons. Totally."

Clay: "Hmm, could be Fae, they're nuts enough to figure out what a barginer would want."

Amilastet: makes airquots. "Yes. 'deeemonnns'"

EJ: "I just can't figure out how the cultists fit in."

Clay: "Well, every big bad needs grunts, thugs and scapegoats"

Amilastet: "Everyone likes cultists. Kheru-remm-parthal really likes cultists..."

Amilastet: pauses.

Amilastet: How likely is it that KRP knows Bargainers?

Amilastet: And is big enough to talk to them?

EJ: "Well, yeah, the demons need someone to summon them... but ricers seem like an odd bunch to be cultists."

Amilastet: "One sad, poor, under-riced poseur?"

Amilastet: "That sounds like one hell of a good candidate for promises of unnatural power."

Clay: "Eh, maybe it was his brother's car."

Amilastet: "And his looser buddies."

GM: To your knowledge, he knows about Bargainers and could possibly make a deal with them. He has in the past, but you've destroyed his relevant grimoires and to your knowledge he hasn't replaced them.

Amilastet: hrms.

David: I think we are ready at this point to check out the drag strip?

GM: Sure!

EJ: "Okay, that makes sense. So we've got ricers turned cultists, summoning demons to gain an edge on the street."

Narrator: The team meets up at Buffett Field, a large high school sports arena/complex with a massive parking lot.

Amilastet: "So where do the guardians fit in?"

David: "Perhaps the price of the Bargainer?"

Narrator: A half dozen Hondas, Kias, and Nissans are clustered on one edge. Pale skinned white guys in hoodies stand by the cars, talking and smoking.

David: Disguise myself to look like another ricer?

GM: Let me look it up.

Amilastet: "Didn't those runes mean something like 'A promise made, a promise kept'?"

GM: That's what you recall.

EJ: ((what we need is a car to race with, EJ can drive it, and we can get in with the gang that hijacks trucks enroute... oops, wrong genre, sorry))

GM: David: Disguise at -1, also modifiers for equipment quality. You get -4 or so if you don't have at least a disguise kit.

Amilastet: (( I'm flashing xXx ))

David: I think we might actually have the advanced (+1) kit in the truck, but I don't have Nick's sheet.

EJ: ((wrong movie - was the fast and the furious))

GM: I can believe an advanced kit in the truck.

Amilastet: (( Ah, oops. ))

David: Disguise/TL8 (Human) result: succeeded by 5

EJ: ((all he needs for a disguise is a car))

Amilastet: (( same actor ))

David: puts on a hoody and looks put-upon.

Amilastet: (( Nah, a proper tokyo haircut would help too. ))

David: "Is all in the hips."

GM: David lightens his skin and does something to his cheekbones to disguise his ethnicity.

EJ: ((I see what you did there))

GM: (Russian Jews not being a common sight in Nebraska).

David: "Okay, we have a plan besides 'Go see if any of the tires match the pictures?"

GM: Okay, David a) does not look like himself b) looks more like a typical Nebraskan young man.

Clay: (( I'm guessing the movie is WHY there are ricers in Omaha ))

EJ: ((not that one, tokyo drift))

EJ: ((drifting works best on dirt roads))

GM: Actions.

David: "So, no better plan."

Clay: "not really, no"

David: "Okay, come get me if I give the signal for being in trouble."

Amilastet: is staying the hell out of sight, as she is more likely to get kicked than fit in.

EJ: is in the crowd of spectators, showing off his bike and his tattoos.

Clay: "Ok, what's the signal? or are you gonna risk weaping the radio?"

Clay: *wearing

EJ: ((best way not to be seen is to be seen))

David: "I wave my arms wildly and scream for help."

David: "I kid. If I take off my hat."

David: "Here we go."

GM: EJ - There's, like, literally, 7 people here. There's not a crowd to be in.

EJ: oh

EJ: this really is BFE

EJ: nvm then

David: loads a pic of the tires onto his phone, palms the phone, and slouches towards the group of idiots.

GM: But hey! Roll IQ-based Motorcycle or Driving to make a good impression. Any bonuses for Style for your vehicle DEFINITELY apply. Double, even.

Clay: gets ready to back him up by looking for good shadowed areas to port to and run to help from

GM: Okay.

EJ: Driving/TL8 (Motorcycle) result: succeeded by 4

EJ: success by 0

GM: Okay.

GM: David?

David: Sorry, rolling!

David: IQ check result: succeeded by 8

Narrator: The ricers look up as David and EJ pull up on EJ's bike.

David: does a quick once-over of the cars. Any nice ones that we can rule out immediately as not being crappy enough?

Random Ricer: "Nice ride. Double headers on that? What kind of tires do you use?"

EJ: "Rubber."

Clay: we have two bikes IIRC, EJ's and a fancy high perf one

EJ: further ignores the kid conspicuously.

GM: Hmmm. There's 3 Honda Civics, a 380Z, and a pair of Kias.

David: saunters towards the Kias.

GM: They're all pretty recent, clean, well-maintained.

David: "Man, what is this?"

Johnny: ((Johnny owns a bike, but I doubt it's with us...))

GM: All light bikes were on the plane; you had plenty of time to retrieve them if you'd also like to be on scene.

EJ: takes a closer look at the 380Z.

Johnny: ((OK...not used to having such extravagant acces to wealth ))

David: "We're from out of town, thought we'd drop by. Never thought we'd find dudes who actually knew what they were doing out here."

Another Random Ricer: "That is my sweet ride - look at her! Triple overhead cams, double dualie exhaust, extra wide slick tires... the best."

Narrator: Johnny pulls up slightly behind.

David: squats by the hood, surrepititiously checking the tires.

GM: The 380Z is probably the oldest car there - an early 80s model that has been carefully restored.

David: "What's your zero to sixty?"

GM: Also, Johnny can roll IQ-based Motorcycle to make an impression.

Clay: is out of sight someplace, prolly in the van, watching the scene

EJ: ((does it fit the description?))

Another Random Ricer: "Uh... we don't really have a good way to measure it here, y'know? But I'm sure it's way under 4 seconds. My car is fast! Triple cams, man!"

Johnny: Motocycle Driving (14) - -1 for based on - IQ result: «succeeded by 5 »

GM: You can't see how a 380Z without a spoiler could possibly be confused with a Tercel that one.

Still Another Random Ricer: "So are you guys on a race team or something? 'Cause your bikes don't look very good."

David: "Man, we saw some fuckin' hoopdies down near" insert neighborhood crime scene was at.

EJ: perks up.

GM: Also, David needs to make a Sleight of Hand to surreptiously check the tires.

EJ: "That sounds like a challenge."

David: Sleight of Hand result: succeeded by 4

Still Another Random Ricer: "What? Nah, I can see your bike and you don't take care of it. No way am I wasting time with you."

Random Ricer: "What? Something wrong with my tires, man?"

GM: Also, David needs to roll Talker! to start the interrogation.

David: Talker! result: succeeded by 4

EJ: "That's too bad. I could use some excitement."

EJ: "Maybe someone else not local might show up and want to race."

David: "How many miles you got on these things, man?"

Still Another Random Ricer: "Well, we don't hang around there, y'know?" He thinks for a moment. "It's not a good part of town. Wouldn't want some thug taking my car, y'know?"

Another Random Ricer: "They're fresh, man. I mean, pretty fresh. Got them last year, anyway - tax refund!" He high-fives a friend.

EJ: "This isn't THE race spot?"

Random Ricer: "Wait, are you looking for those other school boys?"

David: "School boys?"

David: squints at some imaginary flaw in a rim.

Random Ricer: "Yeah, some New England boys came by here. Figured they were at the college or something."

EJ: "They have a Tercel?"

Still Another Random Ricer: "That don't make no sense. Why'd a good Cornhusker have a Terp sticker on his car?"

Random Ricer: "Uh, I dunno. It was some old car... looked kinda like your bike. I don't think they took good care of it. I mean, Bondo. No pride, man, no pride."

David: "You race them?"

Narrator: The ricers fall into a discussion as to what the other car was, where it came from, and whether the drivers were students or locals or what.

EJ: "I'm guessing you wouldn't waste your time, huh."

David: "How far back was this, anyways?"

Still Another Random Ricer: "If you can't keep your bodywork clean, what's your engine going to be like? I keep my car cherry, man, I ain't racing a wreck."

Random Ricer: "I dunno, last week or so?

Another Random Ricer: "Nah, two weeks ago, wasn't it?

EJ: "Who is behind the wheel matters more than what is on the outside or even under the hood."

Still Another Random Ricer: "Dude, it was, uhm, two days ago. I hadn't bought that new sticker yet."

Narrator: All seven ricers look at EJ like he's insane and then obviously dismiss him.

David: "Ignore him. He's my sister's nephew."

GM: Also, everyone can roll Area Knowledge (US) at +1.

David: Or just IQ+1 for being familiar with the US?

GM: If you don't have it, it's IQ-4.

Clay: IQ check result: succeeded by 4

EJ: result: «failed by 7 »

David: Yeah, but Area Knowledge specifically notes it's just IQ for places you live and are familiar with (without having taken any skill)

Johnny: Area Knowlege (default) - result: «succeeded by 0 »

EJ: ((there's 53 states, right?))

David: Put rolling IQ-3!

GM: This is a semi-specific thing, not US knowledge in general. Roll it.

David: IQ check result: succeeded by 6

GM whispers to Clay: The Terps are the University of Maryland at College Park; Maryland license plates are black letters on white background.

GM whispers to David: The Terps are the University of Maryland at College Park; Maryland license plates are black letters on white background.

GM whispers to Johnny: The Terps are the University of Maryland at College Park; Maryland license plates are black letters on white background.

David: stands up, brushes imaginary dust off his hoodie.

David: "Aight. Keep it real. We out."

EJ: smokes the tire as he pulls out.

David: smacks him in the back of the head for doing so.

Still Another Random Ricer: "Man, look at him go like that. What an idiot."

GM: Alright, it's about 7 pm on Day 2. You have about 13 days until the next murder. What are you up to?

EJ: ((Is tracking those losers down and keying their cars on option?))

Amilastet: Hrm

GM: Sure, but I don't want to roleplay it. Make 2 Shadowing rolls, 2 Stealth rolls, you're good.

David: Options: 1) See if they got issued any sort of ticket in the area. 2) Try to ID them by car, college registry, and suspicious behaviour.

David: OH!

David: 3) Cross-check college registry with stolen car reports from the area.

EJ: ((it was a joke...))

David: Other ideas?

Amilastet: The only one I came up with was "Go snoop around and see if we can spot a crappy tercel on campus"

GM: Okay, roll Administration to get the college registry. Admin to get stolen car reports & tickets. Computer Op -2 to speed up the cross ceheck, or stay up late.

Amilastet: So that's why you're the investigator and I'm the thug

David: Eh, they're barely back to MD if they drove straight back.

David: OH!

David: See if there were any tickets for same car in area of last murder!

GM: And Admin for that, too.

Clay: I can help! maybe? I can do computer ops

Clay: Computer Operation/TL8 result: succeeded by 5

Clay: made -2 by 5

Narrator: Clay preps a search program.

David: Three Detective! rolls it is, then.

David: Detective! result: succeeded by 4

David: Detective! result: succeeded by 7

David: Detective! result: failed by 1

David: Luck

David: Detective! result: succeeded by 3

David: Detective! result: succeeded by 5

David: By 5.

GM: Right then.

Amilastet: I have nothing to offer here unless it involves Architecture.

GM: Right.

GM: Hmmm.

GM: No tickets issued to any old model Toyotas in this area. A few UNeb students have old model Toyotas - no mention of spoilers and dams.

GM: A Toyota Tercel was ticketed at the other murder site about two weeks ago for a cracked rear light.

David: "Yahtzee!"

David: "That is expression, right?"

Clay: "Um, try Bingo"

David: leans over Clay's shoulder.

David: "Tag number and registration?"

David: "I like Yahtzee. Involves dice, not stupid balls."

Amilastet: (( I will reserve my comments about bingo ))

GM: Yes, you have it. Registered to Morgan James, plate 5P3-3DZ.

Amilastet: Woot

Amilastet: A clue!

David: "Hello, Mr. James."

David: Pull him up on the college registry. Declared major, accademic performance if possible.

David: General background check on him actually.

David: Wait.

David: Good idea/bad idea.

David: So far this guy doesn't seem like a genius.

David: But magic.

David: So background check yes/no?

Clay: can't hurt can it?

EJ: general background checks are commonplace

Amilastet: I think it's borrowed magic.

Amilastet: Not his magic.

GM: It'll take more than a night to get a background check, even a preliminary.

Amilastet: And if he's a stooge, some how I don't think his boss is looking out for him.

Clay: we should see if he is still in town I guess, if we can

David: Credit cards!

EJ: digging deep might set off alarms, if there are any, but a general one?

GM: He doesn't seem to be a UNeb student. And the rest of the stuff you're talking about requires either a warrant or hacking.

David: Yes!

David: We don't have a hacker, do we.

GM: Nick can pull for a background check without too much work, but it'll still take a few days.

GM: Johnny knows how to program.

Clay: I will google him

Clay: check his facebook page etc

David: We also don't HAVE to do Hacking.

Johnny: I have hacking at 12

David: Fast-talk and human engineering is our friend.

GM: Johnny's you're hacker!

EJ: great, so you can change your high school grades...

David: Oh sweet jesus.

Johnny: Not a great one....

Clay: wow

GM: And, uhm, googling Morgan James swamps you with clearly erroneous results.

Amilastet: Wiat, did I miss a roll or something?

David: Okay.

Amilastet: Or did you all go google Morgan James and get a porn star or something?

Clay: also, is he on the student rolls at UMCP?

EJ: he's not lulzsec that's for sure

David: How's this for an idea, guys.

David: No, he's not.

David: Hrm.

Amilastet: He's our hacker like I'm our scholar.

Johnny: Yeah, pretty much

David: We have registration, name, tags, and drivers licence number, right?

Amilastet: With th eright equipment, careful preparation... possibly! but not just on the fly

GM: James Morgan isn't on the public, currently available student rolls (basically, searching the umcp.edu website type stuff).

David: Who can we fast talk to daisy-chain our way to a current credit card statement?

EJ: if we have all that, we have an address, right?

GM: Hmm... okay, you have his address, that helps narrow it down a bunch.

David: We can probably get a phone carrier with that much.

GM: Unfortunately, it narrows it down to an old high school track record and that's about it.

David: Find out from them how he pays his bill?

Amilastet: Facebook? Was he a former student?

Amilastet: Brotehr of a student?

GM: Okay, one person roll Computer Operation at -4 to dig out some more information about the guy.

Clay: I have a 16

David: Go for it.

David: Assisting rolls?

David: No?

Clay: Computer Operation/TL8 result: succeeded by 7

David: Nevermind.

GM: Well then. Poking around, cross-referencing, and calling some people, you piece some stuff together.

GM: Morgan James is 23, lives in Frederick, dropped out after two sememesters at UMCP, doesn't seem to have a very good employment record. He's worked intermittently at the Potomoc Isaac Walton League.

David: Vas ist dast?

GM: More googling reveals the IWL is a country club/gun range/hunting preserve area in the NE in general and Maryland in particular. The Potomac branch is not located in Potomac, but further west, nearer to where Morgan James lives.

GM: err, replace "Area" with "organization" in the previous.

David: "An idiot loosely familiar with the outdoors and guns. Great."

Clay: "Yah, that's fine, we have EJ."

Clay: "Well, we probably want to talk to him so maybe not."

EJ: "Hey, I'm very familiar with guns."

David: "Ideas."

EJ: "I don't think this guy is acting alone."

Amilastet: "I'd be a little disturbed if he was this successful solo."

David: "Keep a lookout for other tickets?"

David: "I don't suppose he'd be dumb enough to have a lojack on his cheapo car."

Clay: "He might not be working alone but he might be able to lead us to the rest

David: "We do have his name. If we can get a cell and some hefty assistance from the feds we should be able to track him."

Clay: "Well, we could look for him here, unlikely but possible, or we can go check his home."

David: "We might want to check other coworkers or schoolmates. Also relatives."

GM: Nick has pointed out before that doing things that require actual warrants is, uhm, tricky.

GM: Though not impossible.

GM: And cell-phone tracking would require a warrant.

GM: Or hacking

David: Or we could just find where he lives in MD and have Nick whip up a tracker spell for us.

GM: Right.

EJ: or EJ can just break into his place when he's not around and make it look like a robbery

David: With some help from his toothbrush/comb/dirty laundry, I assume.

Clay: "I was thinking we fly there, take a look around. There is a decent chance he is there planned the next one."

Clay: "Or we can break into his place and make it look like we didn't, so he doesn't know."

David: "Lets fly there as an initial step. What about (wherever the other murder was). Hold off for now? If he's not the only one doing this, it may be getting colder."

Clay: "Hmm, I'm tempted to leave it and go to his place first, car fires don't leave much unless they got it put out fast."

David: "But if he was tortured first as well, we may have another perp to track if it's not all just him."

David: "guys?

David: "Maryland, or (wherever)?"

David: ((Where was the other murder?))

Amilastet: "I'm thinking Maryland."

EJ: nods.

Clay: "Yah, if we had a lead on the other perp, sure, but all we have is this guy and the other dead guy, and that's several weeks old, and a car fire"

GM: Other murder was in Missouri.

David: "There's also the chance he's not going back home, but moving from one scene to the next.

Clay: did the car fire get put out fast or did it burn completely?

David: "Still, scoping out his place in MD should give us some idea what we're dealing with or a way to track him."

Clay: "Yes, but if we check his house we can likely tell if that's the case, and probably score some stuff to help track him."

GM: The fire didn't burn very well; McEuen was not fully burnt.

Clay: hmm

GM: also, just noticed I reversed the names because my notes are bad.

David: "Idea. Hire a PI to sit on his place in MD, see if anyone by his description is going in and out. Check out Missouri, unless he's actually in MD."

Amilastet: Hm.

EJ: "Risky. We need a cover story to tell the PI in case he gets caught."

GM: It's unlikely that you'll be able to hire a PI at 9pm in Maryland.

GM: I mean, it could happen, but...

Clay: "So, we wanna leave now to go someplace and then crash?"

David: "I still don't see why we don't sleep in the plane."

Clay: "Though we likely need to wait until morning if we're going to MD."

David: "Put EJ in truck. Is soundproofed, right?"

Clay: "It's really loud?"

EJ: "Sure, I'll go in the truck. Throw some blankets in there, I'll be fine."

David: "Earplugs."

Johnny: Sleeping near Johnny...is not much fun...

Amilastet: "I can drive all night. You guys sort yourselves out."

David: "Bah, whatever."

Amilastet: (( Not the greatest driver ))

GM: You can't put both EJ and Johnny in the sound-proofed van, and no one else can sleep in the same space as them.

David: So, Maryland/Missouri.

David: Not likely to get to Maryland till the AM anyways.

Clay: "We're not driving anywhere, too slow, plus we have a ton of stuff on the plane."

David: Missouri is possible soon-ish, but will probably have problems getting info from police that time of night.

Clay: "Might as well go to Missouri since it's sort of in that direction anyhow? I dunno."

Clay: "Plus we can get there in a few hours."

David: "Alright. Missouri it is. We call Maryland in the morning and get a PI to sit on his house for a day or two."

Clay: "We should be able to fly there tonight, rest and start in on stuff in the morning."

David: "Wait, I am dumb."

GM: Sounds good to me.

GM: err, Clay's plan, not David's statement.

EJ: ((missouri is one state over, compared to 4-5))

David: "He got a ticket at the other scene."

GM: Yes, Missouri.

GM: The McEuen murder.

GM: Must update notes

David: "It was him there. That means it almost certainly wasn't someone entirely unrelated."

David: "So primary goal should be tracking him down, since he's likely to be at the next murder as well."

David: "So Maryland."

David: "Sorry. It's been a long day, what with the hocus pocus and ricer idiots."

Amilastet: "Maryland it is!"

Amilastet: Which sounds like airplanes?

David: "Indeed."

Clay: "ok, so we're skipping the other scene, got it."

David: "For now.

David: If this one was abducted and cut on a while before he was discovered, there may be a chance we have less time till he grabs the next one than till he actually kills him."

David: "Anyway. To Maryland?"

GM: So the plan is to fly overnight to Md (~4-5 hours), then drive up to Frederick (1-2 hrs depending on where you land) and do investigative stuff.

David: I think so.

Amilastet: I think we really may need to stop for a rest in one or the other cities.

David: EJ and Johnny can stay up, crash when we get there.

Amilastet: I mean, I'm cool, but you meat sacks need sleep somewhere.

GM: Okay, so sleeping in the plane, between Johnny, EJ, and the ancient and poorly sound-proofed engines, is basically impossible.

David: ((New perk: Turbo-deisel lullabye!))

GM: So you will need to catch up on sleep. That means either starting around noon the next day, OR having Less Sleep/No Sleep/Deep Sleeper, or suffering fatigue from not getting a full night's sleep.

EJ: start at noon sounds fine

David: How about using earplugs, having Johnny and EJ stay up, and have them crash when we get there, have a few people sit on his house tomorrow till they're back in the game?

Clay: we can't land in fredricksburg?

Clay: er, fredrick

GM: Frederick, not Fredricksburg. And no, the local airport can't handle anything much bigger than a Cessna.

GM: Err, local airfield, really.

GM: People who want to attempt David's plan need to roll Will-5 to sleep on the plane.

GM: hmmm, Will -3 I mean.

Clay: "Lets fly to baltimore and get a night's sleep"

David: "Alright."

Clay: "Head out when we are rested."

David: "But really, engines are soothing."

David: "Don't know what is wrong with you people."

GM: Alright.

Amilastet: spends the flight reading

Narrator: The team flies overnight to the Baltimore area, gets a hotel, and rests until the late morning.

Amilastet: is working her way through wikipedia.

David: ((And editting the ancient egypt section.))

EJ: ((not tvtropes.org?))

GM: Okay.

GM: So. What are your plans for this investigation?

GM: Basically, do you intend to get in trouble and do I need to prepare a map?

David: We are going to check out old boy's place, and probably break in.

GM: That's a yes.

David: If he is there, or other people are, we may do something ill-advised.

GM: Definitely a yes.

Clay: Yes

GM: Alright then.

David: So.

David: Time?

GM: We'll take a break here while I revise my notes, prepare a map, and such.

GM: Good game, folks!

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