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Old 06-11-2019, 11:48 PM   #111
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Federal Response

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Pretty sure they'd get lead based on the international origins of a lot of the involved parties (ICE
The FBI will always provide support, as is available in all mass shooting incidents. However, they can only become the lead agency if the homicides of Sergeant Deputy Higgins, EMT Anne Marie Roth and Officers Talley and Washington are determined to be federal crimes.The aggravated assault on the surviving officers and paramedic, as well as weapon charges and any incidental charges, would always be secondary to the homicides.

From what I can tell, the homicides could legitimately become federal crimes in several ways. First and most important, if the attack were to be determined to be an act of terror. Second, if the homicides were found to be drug related. Third, if the homicides are deemed to fall under the 'murder for hire' statue (18 U.S.C. Section 1958).

Other arguments that could be advanced are that the suspects travelled across state lines with clear intent to commit felonies and/or that the homicides were committed in the course of another felony, in itself a federal crime. The crossing of state lines is a relatively weak argument unless the attack on the ambulance and escort were found to be murder for hire.* Note that most murders committed by immigrants, legal and illegal, in Texas counties that border Mexico, are still under local or state jurisdiction, unless they are definitely determined to be related to drug trafficking (not just generally assumed to be).

On the other hand, a case could be made that the attack on the ambulance was 'attempted kidnapping' of the suspect known as 'Gwen Delvano', if the FBI are absolutely determined to secure status as the lead agency, as opposed to providing support to an inter-agency investigation led by local police with jurisdiction over 'ordinary' felonies, homicides and mass shootings.

Note that the Galveston County Sheriff's Office had jurisdiction over the Santa Fe mass shooting earlier in 2018, in real life, and the 2016 Dallas shooting of police fell under Dallas PD jurisdiction, with federal agencjes confined to providing support. I assume that it might anger local law enforcement to be sidelined and judging from the response to Texas mass shootings between 2015-2018, Governor Abbot and the leadership of the Texas DPS would be firmly opposed to having jurisdiction over the homicides become federal.

Formally and legally, the determination of federal jurisdiction is in the hands of US Attorney Ryan Patrick, son of (Texas) Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. I'm aware that Dan Patrick and Greg Abbot are by no means always in perfect amity, but still, I would find it surprising if US Attorney Ryan Patrick delivered such a public slap to the prestige and autonomy of the Texas state government while his father is Lieutenant Governor and he himself is part of the Republican political machine in Texas.

The politically safe way to handle jurisdiction is for Galveston PD to retain the status of lead agency in formal terms, but for state and federal investigative resources that dwarf theirs to be made available through an inter-agency task force. Given the existence of the Gulf Coast Violent Offender and Fugitive Task Force, in this area staffed by Galveston PD and GCSO, but coordinated and led by the US Marshals, it might make sense to attach any FBI response to that task force and have it take the lead in the hunt for any suspected perpetrators still at large. That's a face-saving maneuver that Chief Vernon Hale and Sheriff Henry Trochesset could accept, while still allowing federal and state level agencies to contribute their full resources.

*In itself debatable, speaking as the omniscient narrator. Raul and the OpFor were hired specifically to rescue the one known as 'Gwen Delvano' from (illegal) confinement by the PCs. The party hiring them was indifferent as to methods and certainly didn't care about casualties that might result, but there was no payment or other consideration delivered or promised for any of the homicides that took place.

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Secret service maybe.
What about the case would lead to the Secret Service becoming involved?

Do you mean once the link to precious metals and commodities trading is established and/or if the authorities discover 125 kg of gold in the Nissan Altima (which might not be discovered, if the extraction team of the OpFor have the sense to bail)?

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Given the kind of criminal history of some the DEA might argue for jurisdiction.
While several of the suspects have links to DTOs in South America, note that this doesn't allow the DEA more than supporting status. If the murders were determined to be drug related, that would mean the FBI became the lead agency, not the DEA.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:01 AM   #112
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Default Re: Federal Response

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What about the case would lead to the Secret Service becoming involved?
The odds of financial crimes being involved somehow is high, though I would certainly not expect them to be the primary investigators.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:24 AM   #113
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Default Re: Federal Response

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The odds of financial crimes being involved somehow is high, though I would certainly not expect them to be the primary investigators.
Yes, it is a good thought. One of the first names to be linked to the investigation will be that of Leonard M. Carillo of Dallas, Texas, a commodities trader with his own consulting firm, Lone Wolf Wealth Managment Inc. Mr. Carillo appears to have acted as the straw purchaser of all firearms used in the attack, purchased on the 28th of December in two gun stores in the Dallas metropolitan area, Advantage Firearms and Dallas Gun Source.

In a frankly unbelievable twist of fate, Mr. Carillo seems to have committed suicide by gunshot wound a few minutes before the attack was made, at his home in Dallas. Considerable investigative resources will no doubt be devoted to proving the 'suicide' a homicide, but no amount of forensics can demonstrate anything other than the facts, Carillo was alone when he died and his hand pulled the trigger.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:41 AM   #114
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Default Re: Acceptable Self-Defense, Limits, Decapitations

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At most, they could maybe quibble with the salt and holy water sprinkled over the body.
That's going to raise some eyebrows. Not so much the water (which may be indistinguishable from sweat) as the salt. The PC's might want to surreptitiously sprinkle some salt in his sniper's nest so it looks like the salt was already there, making it more "why did this guy sprinkle himself with salt before the shootout?" They may be inclined to do so anyway, what with all the mystery coffins. I'm kind of curious if Igor's status as a semi-undead... thing will result in any surprises at the autopsy (such as decayed/degraded internal organs, or lack of rigor mortis) or with the CSI's that document and cart away the body (such as an abnormally low body temperature, inconsistent with the freshness of the corpse).

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You see, Lacoste was worried his soul was suffering and wanted to see if cutting off the head might release it.
Lacoste may be able to claim he thought the man was still moving and reaching for a weapon, provided there isn't any evidence (such as witness testimony) that it occurred after the fight was over (in the chaos of battle and with moving shadows from the flashing police lights, thinking a corpse was moving isn't unbelievable, particularly given Igor's apparent resilience). If the body was obviously repositioned for the decapitating strike, however, that's going to be difficult to explain away.

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Sergeant Buddy Duke, a veteran police officer of more than four decades, witnessed something slip into the suspects' truck and over the next five seconds, heard raw, agonized screaming from the cab competing with the noise of the car horn. When Buddy got to the ajar truck doors, there was no one there but the driver, screaming from a ruined throat spraying blood, with both hands nailed to the steering wheel by a long knife in an obscene parody of stigmata. Several screwdrivers were stuck in the driver's abdomen and legs, one of them jammed through the knee, and the face had been slashed and disfigured, removing both eyes, ears and lips. Blood was spraying from arteries in both thighs and both arms.
I would assume the authorities are going to be rather puzzled by this, but will ultimately come to the decision (particularly thanks to the Facade) that the driver was tortured and killed by the other "terrorists" prior to the ambush, possibly for attempting to bail on them or similarly betray them. If there's blood left in the van from the attack by not-Alice* on the other sicarios unfortunate enough to be present, they may assume the van was used for some sort of bizarre executions prior to the ambush. The freshness of the blood is going to be problematic, of course. As for Buddy's statements on what he saw (unless he censors himself to avoid looking crazy - he appears to be aware of there being things that go bump in the night, and that most are unaware), that might be rationalized away as someone sneaking in the van to finish the work of killing the driver, and somehow sneaking out without Buddy noticing, potentially resulting in a manhunt for the mysterious torture-ninja.

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
In a frankly unbelievable twist of fate, Mr. Carillo seems to have committed suicide by gunshot wound a few minutes before the attack was made, at his home in Dallas. Considerable investigative resources will no doubt be devoted to proving the 'suicide' a homicide, but no amount of forensics can demonstrate anything other than the facts, Carillo was alone when he died and his hand pulled the trigger.
I'd imagine the way this will go will depend heavily on how reliably they can determine the time of death. Unless there was an immediate call to 911 by someone who heard the gunshot (giving a timestamp), they'll be more inclined to assume he died after the ambush failed. At that point, they'll be trying to figure out how he learned of the failure, possibly working under the assumption he killed himself to avoid prosecution for his part in it. With no known method for him to have done so (no phone records of calls/texts around that time, no hidden phone on his person - or destroyed phone in his house, etc), it will be a mystery, and they'll likely assume someone else was there (or entered the house shortly thereafter) and either delivered the news (and possibly ordered the suicide) or killed him in a manner that looked like a suicide. So now we've got two ninja-related crimes associated with this case. Clearly, they need some bad enough dudes to help.

*I'm kind of imagining the attacking creature being roughly akin to Night from the Worm web serial, although she didn't need knives and screwdrivers when in her (never-seen, as she can't transform or stay transformed if anyone can see her) monstrous form. A creature of indescribable anatomy with an overabundance of clawed limbs and sharp teeth.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:23 AM   #115
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Default Re: Acceptable Self-Defense, Limits, Decapitations

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That's going to raise some eyebrows. Not so much the water (which may be indistinguishable from sweat) as the salt. [...] I'm kind of curious if Igor's status as a semi-undead... thing will result in any surprises at the autopsy (such as decayed/degraded internal organs, or lack of rigor mortis) or with the CSI's that document and cart away the body (such as an abnormally low body temperature, inconsistent with the freshness of the corpse).
Yeah, Igor's going to puzzle some medical examiner, all right. Happily, most people are going to attribute anomalies to sample contamination, instrument failure, obvious mistake, etc. And there will be at least one expert from UTMB who is fully aware that the instruments are working perfectly well and who will both ensure that Mr. Kessler's people get the unedited autopsy data and that the forensic scientists who are unable to penetrate the Facade are guided to conclusions that their minds can accomodate. Such conclusions will also be crafted to avoid any evidence that could prove problematic to Mr. Kessler's people.

J.R. Kessler's yearly donations to UTMB average some $5 million and he unofficially pays about the same in hidden considerations through a variety of complex accounting tricks, shell corporations, offshore accounts and the occasional good-old-fashioned envelope of cash to ensure that various key medical professionals at UTMB are loyal to hm and his people (or loyal to their secret paymasters, for unscrupulpus types kept in the dark about the source of the money).

Kessler's most important agents at UTMB are not even doing it for the money (though even the most pure of heart rarely refuse research funding or contributions to their departments), but rather because they've seen past the Facade and realize that the official authorities have no answers. Rather than have a promising young ME turn in a report that is going to get him marginalized and possibly fired by adminisfrators who will never accept a supernatural explanation, those who have been in his position teach him how to turn in a report that will be accepted, while the true autopsy report goes to 'those who will believe and see that justice is done, if it can be'.

Ironically, the players don't know about Igor's exceptional vitality and resiliance. In one second, Igor took a .45 LC to the abdomen, 5.56x45mm round to the brain and 9 pellets of 0 buckshot to the face. Before he had fallen to the ground or the PCs had time to make any Per-based Diagnosis checks, this was followed up by an All-out Attack (Strong) swing with an enchanted heirloom Bowie knife, Very Fine and improved damage, swung by ST 20 Lacoste. In other words, it didn't matter how resilient Igor was, he was at -HPx10 after suffering more than 250 HP of injury in just over a second.

And the PCs have no way of knowing that Igor could actually survive some of these attacks individually, they just think they killed him four times over, because everyone attacked him at once. Enforcing Situational Awareness meant that the PCs independently decided to engage the greatest threat, i.e. the guy bringing to bear a .50 BMG rifle, and while they succeded at Per checks well enough to avoid blue-on-blue incidents, none of them could predict that the other PCs shot the same guy in the same second.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Lacoste may be able to claim he thought the man was still moving and reaching for a weapon, provided there isn't any evidence (such as witness testimony) that it occurred after the fight was over (in the chaos of battle and with moving shadows from the flashing police lights, thinking a corpse was moving isn't unbelievable, particularly given Igor's apparent resilience). If the body was obviously repositioned for the decapitating strike, however, that's going to be difficult to explain away.
Well, what really happened is that Lacoste really thought his first hits killed the sicario, when he first failed a Knockdown roll and fell over upon taking hits from both sawed-off 10G and .460 S&W revolver.

Later, Lacoste realized that the man really was still moving and had drawn a weapon, which he was aiming at 'Nonc' Morel (PC)*. At that moment, Lacoste quite correctly shot him in the cerebellum at ten feet.

The problem is that Lacoste believes he saw Igor's soul leave his body when he was decapitated and that the soul was wrapped in the spiritual equivalent of barbed wire and chains. Using Exorcism, holy water and salt, Lacoste freed the soul from bondage and sent it on its way.

So, naturally, Lacoste's player concluded that the rest of the opponents were probably also afflicted with these terrible soulchains and asked if he could see the soul of the man he shot, clearly fatally, leave his body. When I replied that he couldn't, Lacoste's player decided that this meant that the soul was still trapped in there and he needed to free it by cutting of the head. Reasonable and logical, of course. So, Lacoste positioned the man he had shot for a good beheading strike and in only two powerful blows, he got the head free of the neck.

If the exact truth came out, not many explanations would suffice. However, as mentioned before, at least someone working on the medical forensic evidence will belong to Kessler and Sergeant Buddy Duke will flat-out lie on behalf of Lacoste, saying that the beheading happened immediately after the shot and that the suspect still had a gun in his hand, posed a risk to Lacoste and others, and must have been decapitated while struggling with Lacoste on the ground.

*Who is not good at talking to the authorities without seeming like a crazy Cajun hermit who grows substances that the government disapproves of. As 'Nonc' Morel has a charm he can activate to make himself inconspicious, he might try to disappear from the scene before Detectives Cartwright and Kelly get close enough to see him.

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I would assume the authorities are going to be rather puzzled by this, but will ultimately come to the decision (particularly thanks to the Facade) that the driver was tortured and killed by the other "terrorists" prior to the ambush, possibly for attempting to bail on them or similarly betray them. If there's blood left in the van from the attack by not-Alice* on the other sicarios unfortunate enough to be present, they may assume the van was used for some sort of bizarre executions prior to the ambush. The freshness of the blood is going to be problematic, of course.
The fact that the truck moved during the ambush, both in a forward direction, and backwards, makes this a somewhat hard sell. Not to mention that the way that the driver has his hands attached to the steering wheel with the knife and one of his feet nailed through to the gas pedal. It's clearly impossible that anyone else could have been driving.

On the subject of blood spatter, a very inspired analyst might notice that infinite care appears to have been taken to ensure that the blood sprayed everywhere other than where the killer must have been in the cab. In fact, it almost seems lime the killer contorted himself into various uncomfortable positions to escape blood spatters, while working diligently to open more and more veins. It seems not only incomprehensible, but actively impossible, as no one could have applied the kind of force needed without being in a position where they should have been covered in blood, but it's as if the spatters went right through the killer and landed on the passenger seat, window and other surfaces.

However, it's not as if the truck won't reward DNA analysis, as they'll find genetic material from numerous open cases in it, including the six bodies in the Walmart. Also, at least a dozen other open murders, in California, Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico, as well as two or three around Dallas.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
As for Buddy's statements on what he saw (unless he censors himself to avoid looking crazy - he appears to be aware of there being things that go bump in the night, and that most are unaware), that might be rationalized away as someone sneaking in the van to finish the work of killing the driver, and somehow sneaking out without Buddy noticing, potentially resulting in a manhunt for the mysterious torture-ninja.
Yeah, Buddy Duke will have a quiet word with Lacoste about what they can and can't say, as well as whether they need to burn the bodies, I guess. He's still operating on the assumption that this is an Evil Dead/vampires/zombies kind of situation.

I'm guessing Duke just says he saw someone leaving the truck, running into the night.

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I'd imagine the way this will go will depend heavily on how reliably they can determine the time of death. Unless there was an immediate call to 911 by someone who heard the gunshot (giving a timestamp), they'll be more inclined to assume he died after the ambush failed. At that point, they'll be trying to figure out how he learned of the failure, possibly working under the assumption he killed himself to avoid prosecution for his part in it. [...]
Carillo was divorced and lived in a rental apartment. Several people in neighbouring apartments heard the shot.

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*I'm kind of imagining the attacking creature being roughly akin to Night from the Worm web serial, [...].
It's quite possible that whatever tortured Alberto didn't need knives or screwdrivers, but merely felt that using the contents of the toolbox open on the floor of the passenger side of the truck was amusing. Also, wanted to secure Alberto in an appropriately dramatic pose, for which purpose the sharp implements jammed through him were necessary.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:43 AM   #116
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Default Re: Acceptable Self-Defense, Limits, Decapitations

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Ironically, the players don't know about Igor's exceptional vitality and resiliance. In one second, Igor took a .45 LC to the abdomen, 5.56x45mm round to the brain and 9 pellets of 0 buckshot to the face. Before he had fallen to the ground or the PCs had time to make any Per-based Diagnosis checks, this was followed up by an All-out Attack (Strong) swing with an enchanted heirloom Bowie knife, Very Fine and improved damage, swung by ST 20 Lacoste. In other words, it didn't matter how resilient Igor was, he was at -HPx10 after suffering more than 250 HP of injury in just over a second.
I had assumed him still being up - albeit staggered - would clue them in, but I see your games are run in a fashion where that could actually be chalked up to him just taking a moment to fall, and Lacoste acting quickly enough to decapitate that one can't know for certain if he was still "alive" when it happened.

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
So, naturally, Lacoste's player concluded that the rest of the opponents were probably also afflicted with these terrible soulchains and asked if he could see the soul of the man he shot, clearly fatally, leave his body. When I replied that he couldn't, Lacoste's player decided that this meant that the soul was still trapped in there and he needed to free it by cutting of the head. Reasonable and logical, of course. So, Lacoste positioned the man he had shot for a good beheading strike and in only two powerful blows, he got the head free of the neck.
That makes a great deal of sense. It would make him sound absolutely insane to anyone affected by the Facade, or course, but I'd say it speaks well of his personal character that he would take such a risk to rescue the soul of someone who was attempting to murder him mere moments before.

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The fact that the truck moved during the ambush, both in a forward direction, and backwards, makes this a somewhat hard sell. Not to mention that the way that the driver has his hands attached to the steering wheel with the knife and one of his feet nailed through to the gas pedal. It's clearly impossible that anyone else could have been driving.

On the subject of blood spatter, a very inspired analyst might notice that infinite care appears to have been taken to ensure that the blood sprayed everywhere other than where the killer must have been in the cab. In fact, it almost seems lime the killer contorted himself into various uncomfortable positions to escape blood spatters, while working diligently to open more and more veins. It seems not only incomprehensible, but actively impossible, as no one could have applied the kind of force needed without being in a position where they should have been covered in blood, but it's as if the spatters went right through the killer and landed on the passenger seat, window and other surfaces.
[...]
It's quite possible that whatever tortured Alberto didn't need knives or screwdrivers, but merely felt that using the contents of the toolbox open on the floor of the passenger side of the truck was amusing. Also, wanted to secure Alberto in an appropriately dramatic pose, for which purpose the sharp implements jammed through him were necessary.
Yeah, that all makes this a serious head-scratcher. It's almost as if the thing wants more people to break through the Facade. But that's certainly nonsense... right?
EDIT: Incidentally, did you ever happen to read the novel Door to December? Re-reading your description of what was done (and considering Alice wasn't physically present, but clearly involved) made me think of the "monster" from that.

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However, it's not as if the truck won't reward DNA analysis, as they'll find genetic material from numerous open cases in it, including the six bodies in the Walmart. Also, at least a dozen other open murders, in California, Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico, as well as two or three around Dallas.
Huh, so it was a murder-van. Well, murder-transport-van, anyway.

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Carillo was divorced and lived in a rental apartment. Several people in neighbouring apartments heard the shot.
You'll need to determine, of course, when - and indeed if - any of the neighbors called 911 to report the gunshot. It's close enough to New Year's that it's possible someone could mistake it for a firework of some sort (I can't speak to Texas, but here in Indiana it's not uncommon to hear fireworks in the week between Christmas and New Year's), particularly if it wasn't a terribly powerful handgun. While not in an apartment, there was a time at my brother's house (in an urban neighborhood) when someone stupidly test-fired an AR-15 in the backyard, and no police were ever notified.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:06 PM   #117
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Default Re: Acceptable Self-Defense, Limits, Decapitations

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I had assumed him still being up - albeit staggered - would clue them in, but I see your games are run in a fashion where that could actually be chalked up to him just taking a moment to fall, and Lacoste acting quickly enough to decapitate that one can't know for certain if he was still "alive" when it happened.
Yeah, in actual play, none of the players knew Igor's actual state and I told them he was collapsing, but they'd need a second of estimation (allowing a relative +4 to Situational Awareness compared to passive checks) if they wanted any kind of certainty about his exact condition.

Lacoste's player decided to finish his charge and attack rather than stop and evaluate, which no officer-involved death investigation can really fault, as Igor was still a potential threat at the time (even without the rifle, he was carrying a slung AK pistol at his side).

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That makes a great deal of sense. It would make him sound absolutely insane to anyone affected by the Facade, or course, but I'd say it speaks well of his personal character that he would take such a risk to rescue the soul of someone who was attempting to murder him mere moments before.
Yes, Lacoste is fundamentally a good guy, just one struggling to adjust after a near death experience where he lost his partner, with whom he was closer than any of his family. Untreated PTSD and survivor's guilt is being expressed in risk-seeking behaviour and irresponsible actions, as Lacoste unconsciously feels that him surviving while LaDarius 'Dee' Fournette remains dead is a betrayal of his partner.

This despite the fact that Dee's family (with whom Lacoste spent Christmas) doesn't blame Lacoste and that Dee's apparent ghost (who 'haunts' Lacoste as his spirit Ally) keeps telling Lacoste that he needs to forgive himself for not being able to prevent bad things from happening. And not to try to find a way to fix or atone for something that was never his fault.

As it is, the spirit wearing the form of Dee also tells Lacoste that just because they both experience him as Dee, that doesn't make him a ghost, he's probably a free spirit taking that form because of Lacoste's powerful psychic projection. The real Dee is gone whereever souls go after death, not doomed to some kind of half-existence because of anything Lacoste did or didn't do. Dee might not have been a Bible scholar in life, but his spirit can't believe in ghosts, as it is incompatible with what simple faith he has, in a benevolent God and a just afterlife.

The spirit Lacoste treats as Dee (and, in fairness, who seems to act like Dee would) does his level best to warn Lacoste of danger and manipulate probability just enough to keep him alive despite his terminal recklessness. And hopes that Lacoste will find a way to forgive himself before he kills himself by throwing himself at every threat with a lusty laugh.

As for Lacoste's beliefs, he's a Catholic, but not a very orthodox one. And Lacoste absolutely believes that the spirits he sees and talks to are ghosts and he feels a Sense of Duty toward them just as toward living people. Lacoste will absolutely risk his life to lay a tormented spirit to rest or to give what he believes is the soul of a deceased mortal a chance to go to the afterlife, to experience God's mercy.

As for why God would allow souls to be trapped on Earth, without passing on, Lacoste believes that evil men and entities are capable of trapping them and that just as God relies on mortal servants to protect his flock from disease, catastrophe and violence in life, so He relies on servants to tend to such trapped souls and send them to the afterlife. Servants like Lacoste, who believes that this is why he has been granted the ability to see spirits and affect them.

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Yeah, that all makes this a serious head-scratcher. It's almost as if the thing wants more people to break through the Facade. But that's certainly nonsense... right?
We may safely assume that whatever Alice has wrought, the Entity is pretty clearly prepared to simply murder anyone who learns too much and may indeed delight in creating situations where more murders are an option that Alice might need to consider. It's probably not a nice Entity.
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EDIT: Incidentally, did you ever happen to read the novel Door to December? Re-reading your description of what was done (and considering Alice wasn't physically present, but clearly involved) made me think of the "monster" from that.
I don't recall reading this specific book, but I've read a great quantity of Dean Koontz books, usually while on vacation.
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Huh, so it was a murder-van. Well, murder-transport-van, anyway.
Yes, exactly. Not usually used for murders, but often used to transport kidnap victims and their bodies, later. The murders must have been committed elsewhere (in places where the Threshold was weak or corrupted and the local energies favoured dark rituals, as the murders were all occult sacrifices).
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You'll need to determine, of course, when - and indeed if - any of the neighbors called 911 to report the gunshot. It's close enough to New Year's that it's possible someone could mistake it for a firework of some sort (I can't speak to Texas, but here in Indiana it's not uncommon to hear fireworks in the week between Christmas and New Year's), particularly if it wasn't a terribly powerful handgun. While not in an apartment, there was a time at my brother's house (in an urban neighborhood) when someone stupidly test-fired an AR-15 in the backyard, and no police were ever notified.
I rolled for it. One neighbour called 911 at 00:01, almost ten minutes before the first shot was fired in the ambush.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:06 AM   #118
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Right, formally, Chief Vernon Hale of the Galveston PD is in charge of the investigation and Sheriff Henry Trochesset will provide support from the GCSO.

The Texas DPS will send detectives, crime scene investigators and hordes of support personnel, to include at least one Texas Ranger. I wonder how high-ranking the LEO in charge of the Texas DPS contingent should be? Someone from Texas DPS CID Southeast Region in Houston? Someone sent from Austin HQ? A Texas Ranger from Company A in Houston?

Coordinating the manhunt for suspects in the shooting and any accomplices will be the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force, led by the US Marshals and already manned by Galveston PD, GCSO, Texas DPS and numerous local PDs, all used to working together. The federal 'assistance' will be provided by attaching elements from the FBI, ATF and other federal agencies to the existing Task Force.

The commander of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force, Supervisory Deputy US Marshal Norman D. Merkel was traveling in from Corpus Christi to head his task force, but did not arrive during the day of the 29th of December, 2018, as he should have. The PCs are unaware of this, but it is because Supervisory Deputy Merkell collapsed from a heart attack at the airport and was taken to hospital. His subordinates have been notified, but the PCs have been out of the loop for a few hours and so missed that information. In any case, that means that either the most senior Deputy US Marshal in the small Galveston office who belongs to the GCVO Task Force or a Supervisory Deputy from Houston will represent the U.S. Marshals Service, at least for the time being.

U.S. Marshals' Texas southern district spokesman Alfredo Perez is meant to handle press relations for the task force, although no one, from Chief Hale up to senior DPS staff and various federal LEOs, has any plans on avoiding talking to the press.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Houston office, Edward Michel, will lead the FBI contingent and practically considers himself in charge of the investigation, with the locals retaining the lead in name only.

Purely by accident, it turns out that PC Lucien Lacoste's backstory includes serving as the NOPD liaison to several task forces with state and federal LEAs in Louisiana, which means that Lacoste knows ASAC Michel from when Michel was Supervisory Senior Resident Agent in Baton Rouge from 2007-2009. Also, looking over Michel's career, he worked with Lacoste's father in the early 90s, in the NOPD. Rolling for Reaction with all suitable modifiers, the two men have a good professional relationship (14, Good). That should help Lacoste avoid being sidelined as a crazy person.

What kind of rank should the Texas DPS representative, who also probably believes unequivacally that they are actually in charge, have?
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:32 PM   #119
Icelander
 
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Default Lacoste is Totally Not a Serial Killer, Honest!

Lucien Lacoste (PC) is really great at making himself appear... less than sane.

When Chief Hale arrived at the scene, he noticed a hulking guy in a duster with a cowboy hat kneeling over a dead body. After sprinkling something on it, the guy walked to a GCSO patrol vehicle, where paramedics were removing a critically wounded Deputy De La Cruz from the shot-up cruiser. Without sparing a glance for the Chief or explaining anything to the paramedics, the guy starts anointing the wounded deputy with oil, feeding her a sip of wine and chanting Latin over her.

As the big guy notices Chief Hale watching, he sprinkles salt and water over Deputy De La Cruz, makes the sign of the cross, and asks Chief Hale if he would like a benediction. Whereupon I roll a Reaction Roll for Chief Hale. 1-1-1. I ask Lacoste's player if there is any number below which he'd consider using Luck on the Reaction Roll.

Player: "Is he gonna shoot me?"
GM: "He's probably going to have a very strong feeling that you are a serial killer, considering all the blood you have on you and the fact that you're giving people the Last Rites, instead of, uh, acting like a cop at a crime scene where there are still wounded people and the suspects might even be close by."
Player: "Right. So, he might shoot me?"
GM: "Let's say he'd consider it."

So Lacoste's player used Luck and managed to convince Chief Hale he was just really religious (Lacoste is a Jesuit-educated seminarian), not a psycho killer. Sergeant Duke's testimony helped. The two severed heads didn't.

The two reporters from the Daily News who caught pictures of Igor's head lying on the street and Lacoste performing his occult Catholic rituals over the bodies and wounded did not improve Chief Hale's night.

Of course, Lacoste's player felt that it was unfair that anyone might suspect Lacoste of being a deranged killer, as he'd decided not to kill Alberto, the driver of the box truck that blocked Broadway Street. Lacoste got to the truck shortly after Buddy Duke and when he saw the ruin that someone had made of the poor driver, Lacoste's player genuinely felt that the only humane thing to do would be to put Alberto out of his misery. Aware that shooting him would probably be hard to explain, Lacoste actually deliberated: a) Strangling him, b) Snapping his neck, c) Suffocating him, d) Severing his jugular or e) Giving him an overdose of morphine from the ambulance.

Only after all the other players argued that Lacoste would never get away with it did Lacoste relent and simply injected enough morphine into Alberto to make him more comfortable as he gradually slipped into unconsciousness while bleeding out. Lacoste might or might not have been able to stop the massive bleeding from arteries in all limbs, but in the event, he didn't really try, he just held Alberto and used Diplomacy to calm him while he died.

Yes, that is where most of the blood came from. Well, that, and beheading two people with a Bowie knfe.

Aftet seeing Alberto, the players weren't really that shocked when they found the four other butchered bodies inside the gated compound garden. It was what they found in the next garden that convinced them of the utter and inhuman evil they were dealing with.

Using a garden rake snapped into two sharp sticks, someone had crucified a yellow/cream coloured Lacy Dog to a house. Spinal injury paralyzed the dog below the waist, but someone had carefully made an incision higher up on the belly to eviscarate it where it could feel it. The throat had been cut artistically, severing the vocal cords and windpipe, but not the carotid or jugular, and the tongue pulled through the cut. Finally, the eyes had been put out and the flesh on the face flayed.

The PCs later learned that the dog was formally named 'The Yellow Rose of Texas', but most often called 'Rose' or 'Texas Rose'. And she was still whimpering when the PCs found her.

This time, no one stopped Lacoste when he pulled out his Bowie knife and finished cutting her throat. Before her owner could come out, Lacoste performed a Lay to Rest ritual*, the same as he would later use on the humans killed in the ambush, and then covered Rose's body with a tarp.

*Lacoste's player thought about it and then declared that dogs had souls, citing the well-known 'All dogs go to Heaven' doctrine.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:12 AM   #120
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Default Re: Lacoste is Totally Not a Serial Killer, Honest!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Lucien Lacoste (PC) is really great at making himself appear... less than sane.

Player: "Right. So, he might shoot me?"
GM: "Let's say he'd consider it."
That reminded me of something rather strongly. So I went and checked:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Lucien Lacoste is O'Toole's player.
Some players show through different characters.
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