More information will be added as more facts are known.
Speculation or even partially unconfirmed details should be avoided.
|Drug on the Market|
|Initial release date||March 17th, 2021|
|← Preceded by||Succeeded by →|
|In the Doghouse||The Curtain Falls|
(in Chorus Carnival)
|“||On the night of the gala, one not-so-lucky soul has met their cold and bitter demise, left alone to convulse and die. Will you be able to find the culprit and bring an end to the deadly drug on the market, or will they escape into the night?||„|
⚠️ DISCLAIMER: This case brings up heavy topics such as rape or sexual assault. Please read at your own discretion! ⚠️
Hearing Dylan’s words, Kauri, Carlos, and the player all shot each other a look, as Dylan continued to say they had found one of the gang’s laboratories, and someone had been dead inside. Kauri immediately asked Dylan to take them, Carlos thinking it would be better to inform the rest of the team. Kauri suggested that there was no time, and if he wanted, he could stay behind to tell them, but he would go with Dylan and the player to the location. After Dylan had hurried them over there, their path was covered by a large door with a foggy window on the upper half, but what rested outside the door was an all too familiar blue jacket, belonging to Eveline Diamant. Kauri had attempted to look through the window, and not only did he see the body of a blonde woman in the dim light, but also none other than their interim chief and consultant, Christopher Blackwood inside, who had been down on his knees in dm, only staring in shock. Despite their best attempts to unlock the door or get Christopher’s attention from the other side, nothing seemed to work, and it was there when the rest of the team had arrived. Jordan did his best to talk to his husband from the other side, but it seemed as if nothing would reach through to him, and with no other choice left, he knew they had to ram the door down themselves. With much effort, the team was finally able to bust open the door, and while Jordan had rushed to his husband’s side and tried to get him to regain his senses, Kauri slowly stood over the body of...Eveline? Something seemed off to him, the woman’s face was slumped down so he could not get a good look at her, and her skin was completely pale. He looked over to the player and asked for their help, and together, they tilted the woman’s head up, and what they were met with was the cold face of Penelope Vasquez, who had been completely lost to the clutches of death.
One of the first things Kauri noticed was how pale she had been with the foam leaking out of her mouth and the way she clenched her fists, as well as the injection mark on her left arm. Without a doubt in his mind, it was clear this was a murder– that much was obvious –but what really bothered him was the way this murder seemed orchastrated, and what kind of person it would take to do this. Antonio inspected her body with Safiya’s help, chills running through his body, and had confirmed she had overdosed on something she was injected with, while gesturing towards the syringe the investigators found on the floor, which was also soon found to have been a dose of Anvil. Based on the setup of the laboratory, Safiya concluded that this killer must be skilled in chemistry. Furthermore, they had found a certain pin on the counter next to the doses– one that was familiar to those handed out at the gala, and it had confirmed a bone-chilling thought, which was that the killer was someone who must’ve attended the gala, or at least that’s what it seemed like. Interestingly enough, Kauri and the player also had found a certain note written in spanish, which explained where and when to bring new shipments of the drug, thus confirming that their killer had spoken spanish– something they already knew of their interim chief. At that moment, against what they wanted to believe, they had to be forced to suspect Christopher due to him already having found the body before them and Dylan having to have followed him from afar, but they didn’t get much out of him. He had seemed too shaken up to even process what had happened, even with Jordan by his side trying to comfort him, and had simply said it was all his fault and he had failed.
After defeatedly walking away from Christopher, Kauri suggested to locate the victim’s apartment as there must have been something there which could help track her movements before she had died, and they had arrived to see the apartment a complete mess. Her clothes were all over the floor, undergarments on the bed, and her belongings such as her keys, cellphone, and wallet had all been here. Kauri had turned on Penelope’s phone and had seen the missed calls from Bruno Argent, and they tracked him down, as he was panicking and asked if they had seen Penelope. He clutched his head as they informed of her death and explained that they must’ve gotten to her, as Bruno and Penelope had broken up a few nights ago since she had a sudden fear for her life. Bruno always imagined this would happen and tried to stop her, but knew it had to be her choice and had let her go. Not only that, he had offered to help her run away and they were supposed to meet tonight, but she had never showed, which is when he began to panic. Kauri curiously asked him if he attended the gala, which he revealed that he did indeed, but only to ask around over things relating to Penelope’s whereabouts. The team also helped with unlocking the phone and investigating it further, and had seen one of Penelope’s call logs containing Blaine Jefferson’s phone number, the player recalling having seen him leaving the gala. Going back, they had found Blaine on the phone angrily yelling at a “Christian”, and he had plastered a forced smile once he was approached by the investigators. He answered that he had been having issues with his company’s stock and of some things that had been left unsupervised, and he had been in a sour mood since his husband had promised to look over it, but that had obviously been a lie. As regards to talking to Penelope, he had paused for a brief moment before simply stating that Penelope had been a client, and he had to get back to his calls. Although suspicious, there wasn’t much they could do at the moment, so they spoke to Renée and informed her of the situation, asking who she had noticed coming and going from the gala. She unfortunately admitted that there were dozens who had been in and out and they could take it up with who she hired to overview the security of the place, which had surprisingly been lawyer Shane Johnson they recognized from their first investigation. Shane claimed that no one too shady had left, mostly sponsors with family they needed to get home to, before slipping up that there had been a brief moment he had left the exits unattended.
Later on, before they could learn more, they were approached by Dylan, with a disturbed Mauricio at his side, who had never been easily deterred. However, what the two revealed was that they had discovered a camera with unsettling images on them, which he wished for the two to see.
The cameras contained sickening photos of Penelope in her final moments, some more explicit than others. They captured every moment that Penelope breathed in while drugged, and even through a photo, her agony crept out and sent chills down Kauri’s spine. Even Kauri of all people had been petrified at the sight, but vowed silently to find the culprit responsible for her death. One of the photos contained gangsters in a certain area that seemed eerily familiar, but one of the men in the photos was recognized to be former drug dealer Mark Quang. They were surprised to track him down to the gala, where he revealed that Renée had invited him after the two had befriended each other, and he decided to show up for support as Renée had been a huge factor in his rehabilitation. Something about the story seemed off, but realizing there were other pressing matters at hand, Kauri got straight to the point and showed Mark the photo, who went pale in fear. He recalled that same photo having been taken two years ago, and it wasn’t a time he liked to remember. When asked about the place, Mark admittedly revealed that he didn’t remember much, only weird sayings between the gang such as signaling each other with the phrase “flying the coop” and always saying the need to “fly under the radar” when they needed to smuggle something. Upon hearing those words, Kauri had come to a realization– the reason the airport had been the center of whatever cartel these gangs and all those phrases having to do with the word fly, was because the heart of it all had been under their noses the entire time– literally.
He offered to let the player accompany him while he confirmed his hunch, and in time, they were able to find the notorious gang’s hideout, right under the Anbrusia Airlines airport. A certain pink leopard-print outfit had caught Kauri’s eye and the used condom packet on the side of a messily made mattress, and they recognized the outfit to have belonged to Penelope when they first met her. There had also been a piece of fabric of Penelope’s scarf, which must have meant the killer had been here recently, and determined that they took Scrappy Snacks. Along with these items, the messy mattress contained a golden coin which they traced back to hustler Oscar Ashridge, another suspect who attended the gala, which wasn’t quite surprising as they knew Oscar had some shady connections to others, though was relatively harmless. Oscar, with a heavy heart, admitted that he and Penelope did have a one-night stand on the night before her death, and he had felt something deeper for her, which is why he tried his best to convince her to stay, as he had seen before what happened to those who crossed the gang. He only vividly remembered that she said she had to meet with a contact that night at her apartment, and Oscar thought he had talked her out of it as they both went to sleep together, but woke up with Penelope gone. Finding this case growing more interesting as it went on, Kauri and the player arrived back at Penelope’s apartment and deduced from the evidence that Joshua Moore, another gala guest, had been there, and he had been utterly shocked at the news of her death. Although nervous, Joshua confessed that the reason he and Penelope met was so she could give him some Anvil, but he only wanted to use it for studying it under a microscope. Following this, they found that Bruno and Penelope had split, as he realized that he was more strongly attracted to men after meeting a certain pilot, and although she was fine with it, she had been adamant about Bruno putting himself out there and embracing his true self, which is not something he wanted to do as he wasn’t ready to come out and he didn’t want anyone to know, but it was hard given Penelope’s pressuring that nothing would go wrong. Furthermore, the pair would find that Shane was actually Penelope’s half-brother, but it was something he wasn’t proud of, and he did not consider her family at all, as she would make him and his family look bad if people were to find out.
Further along the night, Kauri and the player were discussing their suspects and how angry Shane had been when they had brought up something so simple, but he supposes that it would be bad if word got out that one of his parents, who were influential, had a giant scandal. However, as Kauri was talking, the sound of a gunshot overtook his voice, as a bullet penetrated the wall beside him, only inches away from his face.
After further investigation, Kauri determined that this was to threaten or send a message to the investigators, like how it happened in their past cases, but they couldn’t let this waver them. He suggested investigating the gang hideout again, where they had made the discovery that Penelope had several exchanges with Christopher over a burner phone which he wouldn’t reveal what they were for, though insistent that he wouldn’t hurt Penelope. They also came to know that Penelope witnessed a secret of Blaine’s and tried to coerce him into giving her money for her silence, which had angered him greatly. Furthermore, evidence showed that Oscar’s whereabouts were unknown around the time Penelope had been murdered, which he claimed was just a meeting with one of his clients, and also that Joshua had been manipulated by an anonymous person to inevitably lead Penelope to her demise, but that he swore he had no idea of what would happen, and the guilt had been weighing down on his heart. Surprisingly, the duo had found that Penelope had filed a restraining order against Mark and accused him of raping her, and Mark had tried to contain a laugh and asked if they really believed what they had found knowing him, and that he didn’t even know Penelope. If such documents were fake though, that would only bring more questions than answers.
Kauri himself had to take a deep breath and try to make sense of everything, but every time they investigated and found a clue, it was like they all clashed with each other and had gone against another previous clue, and they all had been in a messy web. Regardless, they shouldn’t give up, for Penelope’s sake, and they would see her killer brought to justice. Eventually, the man behind the heinous crime and the horrible dark truth was proven to be Christopher. I CBA to write a motive. He killed Penelope.
Jk. A shocked and conflicted Kauri confronted the former police chief in the bullpen while the others were gone about the murder and demanded an explanation, where Christopher had been at a loss for words. Kauri continued to say that he couldn’t believe that the person they looked up to was the source of all the evil and despair brought upon the city, and Christopher had asked Kauri to believe him when he said that he was only trying to help, a single tear rolling down his cheek. He began to retell the events leading up to Penelope’s murder, from the moment Kessie, the player, and Eveline all went to convince Penelope to leave the gang. When the three had left, they all figured Penelope had been insistent on staying, but this was not the case. She knew the exact severity of the dangers she and everyone else would be in if she just made a show of leaving with all the prying eyes around. With all her time around the gang, she was able to pick up that they were clearly after blood, the blood of the three PD members who had wronged them in the past. Utilizing this information, she decided to look to Christopher for help, thinking that there must be things he knew about the gang that would help her and others in her situation, as she realized that it was only a matter of time before something extreme were to occur. Luckily, Penelope herself had already formed a plan. Initially, Christopher did not want to go through with whatever Penelope had in mind, but she had been extremely insistent, as she wanted to help her friends and other victims, such as Eveline and Dustin, out of a horrible environment, even if it would cost her the loss of her life. She was able to observe that Oscar, as foolish as he may have been, had strong darker connections, and he must know incriminating things that would uncover the one running the giant scheme. She would seduce him and get the truth out of him, one way or another by causing him to slip up, and then they could bring the entire gang down. Obviously, Christopher had his doubts and was still reluctant, but it was clear Penelope was going through with her plan either way, so he wanted to do his best to help her.
It took about a week before Penelope was able to report something back, around the time of Eric’s death, and it was then where she was ready to execute the next step of their plan. She told Christopher that she had found something but would only tell him after she had gotten away, and that it had to happen soon. Christopher had helped Penelope seem different while she had gone off the grid for the time being, which would make her escape more efficient, and had helped her style her hair differently, pick out a new set of clothes, and dye her hair a different color. Within that time frame, he had also helped both Eveline and Dustin and had made them go into hiding, now that the gang was after them both for attempting to make their way out. Eveline had still felt uneasy about the entire thing, before Penelope had told her to hand over her jacket. She asked why, and Penelope had revealed that if worse would come to show, all the goons would know was to look for a blonde woman with her signature blue jacket, which would work for Penelope now that she had dyed her hair. Eveline protested against her friend insisting that she would be the bait in the worst scenario, but Penelope told her that it was the least she could do after roping her into this mess and not listening to her when she should’ve. Eveline had tears streaming down her face before Penelope comforted her and told her to trust her, and the two exchanged an embrace before Eveline had handed her the jacket. After that had been dealt with, everyone had been ready to wait for the opening. Unfortunately, following many roadblock issues, the bus out of Anbrusia would only come the night of the gala, so it was then where they would actually attempt escape. Once the night arrived, Christopher had gone in order to not raise any suspicion, but as the night had gone by, he had not received a call from the payphone near the rendezvous that had been set up. When he had gone to check his call log, however, he noticed there had been a call from an unknown number around the time he had spoken to Mark in the gala, which seemed to had been answered for only about twenty seconds. This confused him, as he didn’t recall having answered such a call, but a sudden sense of worry and anguish overwhelmed him, and he knew something had not been right.
Christopher immediately rushed out of the gala surprisingly easy, noticing Shane hadn’t been in his spot, and he made his way over to the bus stop, where he had seen nothing but a piece of paper in Penelope’s handwriting. The paper had only one word written on it– Airport. It didn’t take long for him to piece together the rest of the puzzle, and they could figure out the rest from there. It will forever haunt him that he couldn’t have gotten to save Penelope, and he didn’t even know what became of Eveline and Dustin, which had only made him feel worse. Composing himself, Christopher said that he didn’t know how they came to the conclusion that he was the killer, but he only ever tried to help Penelope, and surely they trusted his word after all they have been through together. Before they could give their input, however, FBI agent Brock Harrison had entered the station and flashed his badge in front of the trio, before he ordered his men to arrest Christopher. As they handcuffed him, they had stated that he was being placed under arrest for the murder of Penelope and for the drug ring in Anbrusia, believing him responsible of the giant criminal scheme after finding incriminating forensic evidence. It was then where the rest of the team poured into the station, Jordan especially demanding an explanation, but Brock had not even allowed them to talk to Christopher as he told his agents to ignore the others and take him away. The team was forced to watch the scene unfold, and Jordan looked towards Kauri desperately for an answer, who then caught them up with the situation. A tired Qasim couldn’t believe what happened and figured that the gang must have set Christopher up, and they always knew what they were planning, and they had no choice but to find the real killer and clear Christopher’s name. No one knew where else to start, but Kauri revealed that after thinking back on the suspect testimonies and what Christopher told them, he had found a clear hole which made it clear as day who the real culprit was, and he knew who the one who orchestrated the entire murder was.
- Penelope Vasquez (found dead, sickly pale, in the laboratory)
- Doses of Anvil
- Christopher Blackwood (framed)
- The killer is skilled in chemistry.
- The killer speaks Spanish.
- The killer takes Scrappy Snacks.
- The killer has a necktie.
- The killer wears a wristwatch.
|Drug Laboratory||Laboratory Equipment||Drug Laboratory Bonus|
|Penelope's Apartment||Apartment Couch||Penelope's Apartment Bonus|
|Gang Hideout||Hideout’s Main Table||Gang Hideout Bonus|