Planet Zod. Part 2. Two Cops Saving the World

Brooklyn Apartment, Sunshine PanoramicContinuing our fictionalized playthrough from our latest Savage Worlds RPG homebrew campaign, Planet Zod. Our heroes have gone from the crime scene at S.T.A.R. Labs and are following their biggest lead in this homicide investigation in Metropolis.

Detectives Irving Stone and John Bottom pulled up to a six-story building in the Brookmeyer neighborhood. Not a bad area, though it had seen better days.

On the way over, they’d pinged the Precinct to get Luthor’s record. The man was clean as a whistle, apart from a speeding ticket from about a year back. But he did register for a handgun just two months ago — presumably, the weapon that had killed that poor security guard at S.T.A.R. Labs.

Detective Stone was sweating in the dingy cramped corridor leading up to Luthor’s apartment; he had a mild case of claustrophobia stemming from a bad incident early on in his policing career, involving coffins and a smuggling operation. He tried to cover it up, but it probably didn’t matter. His partner, Bottom, was borderline autistic most of the time. Then again, Bottom tended to pick up on details others missed, just when you were about to curse him out of your sight.

They could hear a woman’s voice on the phone, talking with relatives about some stupid thing or another. They could also hear the sound of something cooking on a stove.

“Metropolis Police,” Stone said through the door. “Open up.”

The woman on the other side didn’t immediately grant their request. Before Stone could react, Bottom had already kicked in the door and broke the flimsy lock.

The dark-haired woman in a bathrobe stared open-mouthed for a moment. “I am soooo going to sue the police department,” she said to someone on the phone before hanging up. “You can’t just barge in here. I don’t care if you really are cops!”

Savage Worlds Gameplay for Planet Zod Campaign
Dave. Looks like we’re screwed. Wait. I’ve got a good Persuasion. I’m going to try to change her attitude (Rolls a 12).
GM. OK, she’s not going to throw you out of her apartment. So you’re going to question her?
Dave. I’ll roll Streetwise. Oh no! Snake-eyes.
GM. She suddenly clams up to you.
Ali. Wait! I’ve got Streetwise too! (Rolls a 13+1 for Ganging Up bonus).
GM. Alright. She tells you pretty much everything she knows.

Stone somehow managed a perfect balance of contriteness and professionalism to get her to calm down. Before he became a detective, he had nearly become a psychologist. Forensic psychology and criminal profiling were his specialties these days. But most likely, the phrase “We’re here investigating a murder” made her think twice about complaining too much about Bottom’s conduct.

While Stone had her distracted, Bottom slunk into the place and started sniffing around for clues. His eyes focused on the photographs. There was the perp, Luthor, standing next to this woman overlooking Niagara Falls. Another one of him and some kids. Family pictures. Nothing too out of the ordinary — though the place did seem to be a bit of a dump. Little piles and messes. Bottom noted that while the woman’s dresser and closet were full, the man’s clothes were gone.

“Well, he hasn’t been around here,” she told Stone as Bottom stepped back out into the main room. “My husband and I are separated. We’ve been separated for months. I don’t even know where he lives now.”

“So you were having marital troubles for a while, then?” Stone asked. “Has he been violent before?”

She shook her head. “I never saw him hurt a fly. He’s a scientist. Or at least he was. I don’t know. If he’s in some kind of trouble…”

“Why were you living apart?” Stone asked.

“He just went… a little crazy,” she said. “I guess it’s been building for years. Ever since he got back from Smallville. Ever since he talked with that crazy old man. He’s just got stranger and stranger. The last time I saw him, he was going on and on about how he was going to save the world.”

“Huh,” Bottom said. And that was all he had to add — but Stone could see his weird little brain working away…

Continued in Planet Zod. Part 3. Secrets in Smallville

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