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Off to a Fine Art
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General information
Season 1
City Easthaven
District Velvet Avenue
Case # 44
Initial release date 27th June 2020
Partner(s) Jake Coleman (All Chapters)
Case chronology
← Preceded by Succeeded by →
Too Rich for Blood The Rise and the Fall
In the wolf's den, the team hunt for the missing videotape which contains their foe's identity - only to find a body turned into a painting instead! Paint this case out by numbers and prove the art of murder is immune to the law!
—Case Teaser

Off to a Fine Art is a case featured in Criminal Case, it appears as the forty-fourth case in The Syndicate and the forty-fourth case overall. It takes place as the fourth case in the Velvet Avenue district of Easthaven.

Plot

The Chessmaster's vision fades in and out, in and out, as they are dragged through the cold wastelands of Siberia. They tried to right their wrongs, to flee from the Серая комната, but to no avail. Their attempts had been with blood once more, as the two sides of the world continued their cold war. The Chessmaster could see a way for a better world, but, as they bled out from their wounds, they closed their eyes... falling away into an unconscious sleep.

1969. Following E.E.'s new transmission which revealed Gregory Charles's videotape, containing the Chessmaster's identity, was in an abandoned art gallery overtaken by BISHOP, the team hurried there. Chief Campbell soon armed Jake and the player, before they headed to the coordinates. As they neared the gallery, Jake noticed a sickly smell emanating from a shed. They entered in, only to find Aimee Wakefield dead, strapped to a chair and injected with various coloured inks. Daphne then confirmed Aimee was tortured, before the pair went on to suspect bearded lady Lorelai, marine biologist Mac Stuart, and First Lady Leila Stainton. Jake and the player then pushed into the art gallery, only to find it deserted. Suddenly, bullets rang out, hitting Jake.

As Jake clutched his bleeding shoulder, he and the player hid to escape the gunfire. Barbara bandaged his wounds but was unable to find the shooter, surmising they ran through the woods. Shortly after, the player found a secret hatch leading to an underground room, where they found Serena Palucci, angry at her daughter's arrest. They also suspected goth Bellona Fortuna and Mayor Edgar Murdoch after a sweep of the grounds. After learning Aimee and Mac used to be co-workers on a scheme to clean the ocean, though parted after Aimee's ideas became too radical, they learned Leila had raided the crime scene.

They confronted Leila and Easton Ellis, who were raiding the crime scene with CHECKMATE's help. Leila then insisted that the team were taking too long and lacked the funding needed to fight the Chessmaster, declaring she would be forced to takeover their operation if they didn't improve. They also discovered Bellona was approached for the recruitment scheme, but refused, before learning Lorelai purchased the gallery and Serena blamed BISHOP for her daughter's arrest, much to Aimee's disagreement. Finally, Mac was exposed as the killer.

When confronted, Mac did little to dissuade their accusations, simply saying he did what he had to do. The marine biologist told them that he wanted to build his own aquarium but was strapped for cash, asking for a loan repeatedly. Soon after, he was approached anonymously by a hooded figure who offered him a large cash sum, and, in return, he’d kill Aimee, and only her. Given her location, Mac did as he was told, attacking Aimee and tying her to the chair. Ordered to make it hurt, Mac obliged, torturing Aimee with the inks until she died of poisoning. Mac, however, didn’t regret his actions, telling them that good guys finish last and if they wanted to get ahead in the world, it sometimes meant getting your hands dirty. Shocked at Mac’s remorseless killing, Judge Watson asked if it were worth it, to which Mac simply responded that Aimee was criminal scum, and that nobody would miss her. For the callous murder, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Outside, the team debriefed Grayson on the lingering mysteries, before Velma insisted someone must’ve informed BISHOP they were heading to the gallery.

She then received a phone call from Vinnie - answering it - only for him to weakly say he'd been stabbed after he was made a target. He then went silent. Velma began to panic, telling William to trace the call. Eventually, he was able to do so, leading them back to the gallery, where they found a weak Vinnie bleeding out. Knowing there was a first-aid kit in the shed, Barbara and the player hurried to retrieve it, then handing it to Daphne for Vinnie’s surgery. A few tense hours of Velma pacing later, Daphne approached, telling them it had been close, but she’d been able to save Vinnie. Velma then approached Vinnie’s bedside, holding his hand. As the profiler told him that she and their baby were scared, Vinnie told her it was okay, as he’d always be there for them. Barbara then celebrated the heartfelt moment, before telling Vinnie that he needed rest. Velma then replied that they were all welcome to invite whoever they wanted to the wedding, though Jake humorously replied that he didn’t know anyone well enough outside the team.

Meanwhile, Serena requested a meeting with Nancy and the player. In her cell, Serena revealed she’d joined BISHOP to destroy corporate capitalism in the new world order but discovered the Chessmaster didn’t care about their foot soldiers, explaining they were expendable. Serena then offered to make a deal to be in the same cell as her daughter, before revealing she was the one who ordered Mac to kill Aimee – on Edgar’s orders. She sniggered, telling them to return to BISHOP’s bunker for proof she’d hidden. Shocked, the pair did so, eventually finding Edgar’s communication device with the Chessmaster.

William then gravely declared Edgar was a BISHOP elite agent, confirming Louisa Coldwell was placed on the heist crew so Edgar would get into power. Wanting a war, Edgar then barricaded Rusanov Square to create a kingdom for the Chessmaster, whilst also heightening tensions between the two countries. They would then use Henrietta Spence’s trucks to enforce the land. Aimee, however, got in the way, leaving him to order Mac to kill her. William sighed - explaining he wasn’t finished – revealing Edgar also told Mac to shoot at Jake and the player when they got too close. They rendezvoused with Mac, who then confirmed the messages were true.

The team regrouped, where an angry Mildred insisted she was tired of the slanderous accusations against her family, storming off to her family’s land - the Eastington Estate – to confront them. Without Matthew and Mildred, Grayson told them Edgar would be at his estate to finalize his plans to barricade the district and create a kingdom for BISHOP. Suddenly, a stressed William told them E.E. had made contact, stating they had Gregory’s videotape. William then asked E.E. to meet at the estate, before Grayson told the others to arm themselves… they were heading towards a make or break moment against the Chessmaster.

Years ago, a weakened Chessmaster is thrown in a cell in the Серая комната for their betrayal. The walls are dark and wet, small droplets splattering against the ground similarly to how their blood had dripped against the snow. They pace, guilt for all their sins - all the murders they had committed - eating away at them. In the corner, a small box sat. Upon opening it, a broken chess set resided. Lifting it up into the small light coming through a crack in the wall, they analysed their moves, and slowly began to play the game… the Chessmaster was born.

Summary

Victim

  • Aimee Wakefield (injected with ink until she died of poisoning; turned into a painting)

Murder Weapon

  • Inks

Killer

  • Mac Stuart

Suspects

Lorelai
Bearded Lady
Height 5'9"
Age 38
Weight 190 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood B-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect paints.
  • The suspect owns a border collie.
  • The suspect reads Machiavelli.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has an ink stain.
Mac Stuart
Marine Biologist
Height 5'11"
Age 43
Weight 167 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect paints.
  • The suspect owns a border collie.
  • The suspect reads Machiavelli.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has an ink stain.
  • The suspect has a bruise.
Leila Stainton
First Lady
Height 5'6"
Age 38
Weight 142 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect paints.
  • The suspect owns a border collie.
  • The suspect reads Machiavelli.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has a bruise.
Serena Palucci
Serial Killer Nurse
Height 5'5"
Age 42
Weight 140 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood AB+

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect paints.
  • The suspect owns a border collie.
  • The suspect reads Machiavelli.
Bellona Fortuna
Gothic Student
Height 5'2"
Age 19
Weight 121 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect paints.
  • The suspect owns a border collie.
  • The suspect reads Machiavelli.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has an ink stain.
Edgar Murdoch
Mayor of Easthaven
Height 5'11"
Age 67
Weight 170 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood AB-

Suspect's Profile

  • The suspect paints.
  • The suspect owns a border collie.
  • The suspect reads Machiavelli.

Suspect's Appearance

  • The suspect has a bruise.

Quasi-Suspect(s)

Vinnie Anderson
Former Spy
Height 6'0"
Age 30
Weight 160 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood A+

Killer's Profile

  • The killer paints.
  • The killer owns a border collie.
  • The killer reads Machiavelli.
  • The killer has an ink stain.
  • The killer has a bruise.

Crime Scenes

Disused Shed Dishevelled Chair Disused Shed Bonus
Abandoned Gallery Covered Paintings Abandoned Gallery Bonus
Secret Room Hidden Hatch Secret Room Bonus

Steps

Chapter 1

  • Investigate Disused Shed. (Clues: Victim's Body, Paint Tools, Key)
  • Examine Key. (Result: Hairs)
  • Analyze Hairs. (05:00:00; New Suspect: Lorelai)
  • Question Lorelai on her key to the art gallery. (New Crime Scene: Abandoned Gallery)
  • Investigate Abandoned Gallery. (Clues: Oxygen Cannister, Scope)
  • Examine Oxygen Cannister. (Result: M STUART; New Suspect: Mac Stuart)
  • Interrogate Mac on the oxygen cannister.
  • Examine Scope. (Result: Serial Number)
  • Analyze Serial Number. (03:00:00; New Suspect: Leila Stainton)
  • Confront Leila about hiring a sniper to watch the art gallery.
  • Examine Paint Tools. (Result: Syringe)
  • Analyze Syringe. (09:00:00; Attribute: The killer owns a border collie)
  • Autopsy Victim's Body. (18:00:00; Attribute: The killer paints)
  • Go to Chapter 2. (1 star)

Chapter 2

  • Investigate Secret Room. (Clues: Hidden Woman, Torn Hat, Ink Cannister; New Suspect: Serena Palucci)
  • Arrest Serena Palucci. (Attribute: Serena paints)
  • Examine Torn Hat. (Result: Logo)
  • Analyze Logo. (05:00:00; New Suspect: Bellona Fortuna)
  • Interrogate Bellona on her hat in the crime scene. (Attribute: Bellona owns a border collie)
  • Confront Edgar about sending Bellona to search the gallery. (Attribute: Edgar and Bellona paint)
  • Examine Ink Cannister. (Result: Scratchings)
  • Analyze Scratchings. (06:00:00; Attribute: The killer reads Machiavelli; New Crime Scene: Covered Paintings)
  • Investigate Covered Paintings. (Clues: Smashed Frame, Faded Document)
  • Examine Smashed Frame. (Result: Activism Photo)
  • Confront Mac over knowing the victim. (Attribute: Mac paints, owns a border collie, and reads Machiavelli)
  • Examine Faded Document. (Result: Purchase Order)
  • Analyze Purchase Order. (08:00:00)
  • Confront Lorelai about owning the gallery. (Attribute: Lorelai paints, owns a border collie, and reads Machiavelli)
  • Go to Chapter 3. (1 star)

Chapter 3

  • Stop Leila and her task force raiding the gallery. (Attribute: Leila paints, owns a border collie, and reads Machiavelli)
  • Investigate Hidden Hatch. (Clues: Photo of Bellona, Broken Chess Piece)
  • Examine Photo of Bellona. (Result: "RECRUIT HER!")
  • Confront Bellona over the recruitment attempt. (Attribute: Bellona reads Machiavelli)
  • Examine Broken Chess Piece. (Result: Chess Piece)
  • Analyze Chess Piece. (09:00:00)
  • Confront Serena over her disgruntlement with BISHOP. (Attribute: Serena owns a border collie and reads Machiavelli)
  • See Edgar about Aimee protesting all of his motions. (Attribute: Edgar owns a border collie and reads Machiavelli)
  • Investigate Dishevelled Chair. (Clues: Old Tools, Torn Fabric)
  • Examine Old Tools. (Result: Machiavelli Transcript)
  • Analyze Machiavelli Transcript. (07:00:00; Attribute: The killer has an ink stain)
  • Examine Torn Fabric. (Result: Dog Collar)
  • Analyze Dog Collar. (05:00:00; Attribute: The killer has a bruise)
  • Take care of the killer now!
  • Go to Hearts of Greed (4/5). (No stars)

Hearts of Greed (4/5)

TSAI9

  • Analyze Phonecall. (05:00:00)
  • Investigate Abandoned Gallery. (Clue: Bleeding Vinnie)
  • Get Vinnie to the lab.
  • Investigate Disused Shed. (Clue: Locked Box)
  • Examine Locked Box. (Result: First Aid Kit)
  • Analyze First Aid Kit. (07:00:00)
  • Reunite Velma and Vinnie. (Reward: Eye Mask)
  • Hear Serena’s deal. (Reward: Burger)
  • Investigate Secret Room. (Clue: Smashed Device)
  • Examine Smashed Device. (Result: Password Encryption)
  • Examine Password Encryption. (Result: Unlocked Communicator)
  • Analyze Unlocked Communicator. (04:00:00)
  • Speak to Mac about Edgar’s involvement in the shooting.
  • Head to arrest Edgar. (Reward: 20,000 Coins)
  • Move onto a new crime! (1 star)

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