Mutant City Blues Competition

The Stir Crazy Killing

The Mutant City Blues Competition

The MCB competition is now over, and you can find the solution and winners here. You can still try it out, of course!

Contest Intro

The phone rings at the Heightened Crimes Investigation Unit—or HC, as cops like you call it. As the next officer in the rotation, you catch the case. It’s a possible homicide—some big-time television guy. That’s the first thing you ascertain. The second question, as always: what’s the mutant angle?

The HC handles major crimes involving the mutant community. Under that umbrella you get crimes possibly perpetrated by gene-expressives (to use the PC terminology), as well as crimes perpetrated on them. Also you get cases that might impact the delicate politics between the community and the 99% of the population that doesn’t possess low-grade super powers.

As an HCIU detective, you don’t need to be reminded of the backstory. You live it every day. Ten years ago, the Sudden Mutation Event (SME) occurred. That’s when people began to spontaneously manifest extraordinary abilities—controlling flame, reading minds, spitting venom. A select few are considered so dangerous that those having them have to register with the government, in a provision known as Article 18.

Early on, a small handful of people who manifested mutant powers did as pop culture had programmed them to do—they donned weirdo costumes and went to to fight or commit crimes. Most, however, went on about their daily lives. That’s how it still is, ten years on. Some people remain in the closet about their weird abilities. Others use them as job qualifications, serving as, for example, super-healing doctors, ultra-strong construction workers, or fabricators of faux-gold for industrial use.

Nobody got sent to a concentration camp—not in the developed world, at least—but mutants had to fight for their rights in the face of fear and prejudice. Pressure from the mutant rights movement led to the creation of the HCIU, giving mutants an integral role in the prosecution of cases relevant to their lives. Not to mention, when the perps can toss around fire balls or control gravity, it helps to have arresting officers who can match them power for power.

Getting into another genetically heightened rumble is the last thing on your mind as you head out to the crime scene. You drive your department-issue vehicle to a newly redeveloped industrial district tucked into one of the city’s less desirable residential neighborhoods. The particular address you’ve been given leads you to a studio complex for the production of movies and TV shows. Across its anonymous brick facade hangs a polyvinyl banner advertising a reality show called STIR CRAZY—MUTANT EDITION.

Uniformed officers await you at the studio front door. They lead you to the crime scene, where the sprawled body of the vic still lies. They’ve conducted interviews with everyone in the building and have statements ready for your review. The forensic photographer has taken photos of the scene. Medical examiner Mads Jensen is on site to mournfully run down the apparent cause of death. The police forensic services unit has dispatched hipster tech dude Ed “the Ted” Riley to examine the physical evidence. Their computer techie, Mariya Zolotukhin , has something to tell you about the system that controlled the house’s automatic cameras.

You’ve got what you need to solve the case. Now go. The squad’s clearance rate depends on it.

Clues

Here’s what you have to go on:

The contestant who compiles a preliminary theory of the case closest to what actually happened is declared the winner.

A web contest, naturally, plays differently than an RPG session. In an actual game of Mutant City Blues, you and your fellow players would more than just come up with a working theory. You’d confirm it by gathering further information, continuing until you secured a confession or conviction. Chances are that you’ll blow throw several working theories as you gather new clues, ruling possibilities in and out as you progress through the investigation.

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