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Freedom City, New Jersey Thursday, 23 March 2017 Afternoon Arthur Campbell was many things to many different people. He was a world-renowned geologist, a contemporary of Edmund Hillary, one of the last great explorers, a guest lecturer at HIT and FCU, He was a philanthropist and a regular figure in Freedom City's gala scene, always a perfect gentleman and the life of the party. He also had excellent taste as he had requested the help of Samantha Carson when he ran into a sticky problem with some crystals. He was also a figure of interest to the police, given the number of police cars gathered around his North Point mansion and the police tape across the entrance. Samantha Carson was parked on the side of the road, watching the flurry of police activity. She was supposed to be meeting with Arthur in, well, about thirty seconds, but driving through a police cordon would make that much more complicated.
Friday, May 15, 2015 Port Regal, Freedom City Sundown The setting sun cast long shafts of golden light across the city, making long shadows on the lawns of the oldest homes in Freedom City; complicated gables and spires threw Escheresque shadows across wide, manicured lawns. This was once the quarter for the rich and powerful, and although many may have relocated north of the bay, it held old money, old power, and old secrets. Three women were determined to reveal some of these secrets. Blodeuwedd had been making her regular patrols along the waterfront when a silent alarm drew her attention. Armed thugs had been trying to break into a warehouse containing exotic metals like iridium and electrum. Monkey Wrench had caught a gang trying to sneak into the shop and steal scrap metal; when the drones cornered them, they would only scream about the Signal, the Signal! Temperance had spent most of her day tracking down a spiritual violation, a nearly-silent scream that seemed to pervade the entire city. Their separate investigations had lead them to an experimental physicist of ASTRO Labs who hadn’t been in the office for two weeks, and from there to a home his family had owned three generations ago. Apparently the family’s fortunes had fallen from the Forties, but the man had returned to his roots for whatever scheme was afoot.
Noontime August 1st, 2015 Bayview, Freedom City House of the late Leland Comtois Leland Comtois had lived a full life, as evidenced by the photographs on his wall. As a child he was standing in waders next to a goat in the mud; as a young man he was smiling broadly, one arm around a woman and the holding a smoking cigarette. Then he was in uniform, marching under a French flag. There was a gap in the photographs, the next one being labeled 1951 and Leland standing in a group of severe young men, none of them smiling, all of them facing the camera like it was an execution. More photos from the 1950s showed him either in art galleries or walking out of police stations. Then the 70s and he was in New York City, and later decades saw him move to Freedom City. He was seen wearing doctoral robes and standing authoritatively at the front of a FreeSA classroom. Books lining his shelves bore his name, biographies of people like Andre Breton, Salvador Dali, and Jacques Vache. Most of the art had already been tagged with red banners marking it as SOLD, but it was still displayed and it showed the clear influence of Surrealists. Of course, all of this was a backdrop to the estate sale. The sale of the art was being handled by an auction house in the city; on display for the crowd to peruse were the numerous pieces of furniture, books, crockery, upholsteries, gewgaws, wines and bourbons, knick-knacks, old clothes, and a thousand other pieces of detritus collected over the antiquarian’s long life. They were all for sale in his rambling Bayview mansion, all discreetly tagged and priced according to how impressive the estate handling agency considered each piece.