Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Year One Supernatural and the Law

Setting fiction for a Year One superhero game utilizing supernatural-based NPCs and potentially PCs.

For the past decade, the number of supernatural occurrences has risen. The increase can be traced to the turn of the millennium. On New Year’s Day of that year, an event [define] occurred in the public eye, proving the existence of the supernatural to everyone witnessing the event. News reports ignored the event at first, thinking it a publicity stunt of sorts. However, reporters covering the police blotter soon realized the event did occur and it was related to the supernatural.

During the summer of 2013, the city of Miami saw a heavy increase of crime related to practitioners of supernatural powers. Ken Barton, president of Barton Security Devices*, worked with local police to develop a plan to counter the rise in crime. Unfortunately, the police were unable to provide the information needed by Mr. Barton to formulate an effective plan. The increase of crime culminated in a riot on South Beach at the end of August. Investigations after-the-fact and newspaper reports suggest a vampire attack. Local police were removed from the case and replaced by the FBI within 24 hours of the occurrence. Local police had no comment on their removal from the case and the FBI failed to return telephone and email inquiries.

This event resulted in police around the nation taking the supernatural as a growing problem they were not trained to support. Multiple requests for assistance to the FBI and Homeland Security resulted in limited help. These two agencies would slowly gain funds from Congress over the following decade. Today, they both have (small) departments designed to assist local law enforcement with handling supernatural cases. The FBI also began designing a training course for field agents in order to develop their abilities to solve cases.

Ken Burton did not let the Miami event ruin his involvement with supernatural investigations. He immediately began developing a team of individuals with specialties related to the supernatural. Little did he know, but others were developing similar teams across the nation. These companies included Cougar Security out of Portland, Gotham Protection of NYC, and Montrose Safeguard of Chicago. Over the course of the next year, these companies would develop consultants that could be loaned to local law enforcement and the judicial system, as experts in the field of paranormal investigations. Many were called to testify as expert witnesses in the court systems, while others were loaned to local police to assist on high profile and difficult cases.

It was not long before one of the security companies’ agents made a dire mistake while on loan to local police. Darren James III, an agent from Lone Star Rangers Security and Investigations, was on loan to the NOLA police departments’ homicide unit. New Orleans police refused to create a department for cases which it deemed to be part and parcel of their workload since the introduction of voodoo into the community. An expert practitioner of magic and rituals, Mr. James appeared to be the perfect fit for this case. The case involved a series of murders with elements of ritual sacrifice via magical ritual. In fact, Mr. James investigations concluded this same information and allowed him to provide further data to the police. The New Orleans police, however, chose to not act on Mr. James’ data, which possibly resulted in not stopping the next two deaths related to the case. When the police continued to refuse to act on Mr. James’ data, he took action himself.

Mr. James allegedly followed the clues to an abandoned warehouse not used since the Katrina flood. The former owners of the property had used it as a storehouse for furniture. The entire building and contents were a complete loss and put the company out of business. Various legal statutes had the property tied up in court, as the banks tried to decide who owned the property and who was owed restitution. During that time period, a group of alleged demon-worshippers began using the warehouse for parties and living quarters.

Mr. James’ arrival on the night of a full moon in November interrupted one of the parties, which was allegedly a ritual designed to sacrifice a young lady’s soul for power. Mr. James called the New Orleans police to report the incident in progress and they refused to send a car out to look into the matter. With that, Mr. James returned to his car, retrieved his shotgun, and entered the warehouse where he was met with violent response. Mr. James responded with more force. He shot and killed each of the alleged cultists who did not flee the building. In the process, the young lady died from stab wounds she received during the ensuing conflict.**

The sounds of the gunfight brought police cruisers and resulted in the arrest of Mr. James. No one else was alive and on-site to be arrested. All of the cultists on-site were dead or dying, as was the young lady, Ms. Samantha Toussant. Mr. James’ files were confiscated by the police and utilized in identifying other members of the Cult of Grrt-Chook.

Newspapers, television news channels, and bloggers descended upon New Orleans in a fashion not seen since the early 2000s. The public lined up for the spectacle and remained glued to their televisions for the latest developments. The case took two years to make it through the local court systems before it was kicked up to the Louisiana Supreme Court system. A year later, the case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it is awaiting trial.

This singular case brought immediate attention to the growing supernatural presence in America. Suddenly, individuals such as the seers of Cougar Security were under the microscope both publicly and privately. Newspapers and Congressmen, alike, wanted an accounting of the paranormal investigators within security companies across the country. Lobbyists representing security firms began promoting a call for legislation to protect security personnel from the situation in which Mr. James found himself. Lobbyists for various local and federal policing agencies wanted legislation that would allow them to develop their own departments of paranormal affairs or the ability to hire on contractors that would function as police advisors in the field, complete with the ability to carry weapons.

Privately, the US Congress wanted nothing to do with the situation. Publicly, the situation was a quagmire with no good way out. Pressured by the US Supreme Court and the President of the United States, Congress made a public statement wherein they placed the ownership of the problem at the local level. The Department of Homeland Security immediately took action to develop their own group of investigators with the help of the F.B.I. Cities like New York and Miami developed a mixture of techniques involving individuals within the major crime units and homicide units who would work with outside advisors. Miami-Dade County completely outsourced the problem to Barton Security Devices. New Orleans and Los Angeles chose to hire individuals with supernatural abilities and assign them within various departments. As needed, they would hire outside consultants. Portland, Seattle, and Detroit all developed their own, tiny sized, departments to handle supernatural cases.

*Barton Security Devices is a Florida-based company heavily invested in the development of law enforcement equipment and supplying private security agents to high profile individuals. Ken Barton is a former U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command officer who served during the Liberation of Kuwait.

**Per Mr. James own statements to the Times-Picayune in the September 15th

Coming Soon: Supernaturals in the public eye, who is what or can do what? Or maybe something else.

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