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The Faceless

Ferndale, California

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a part of The Faceless, by mombie.

Welcome to Ferndale!

mombie holds sovereignty over Ferndale, California, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

178 readers have been here.

Setting

Ferndale, California is small-town America. They have a population of just over a thousand, and everyone here knows everyone. The problems here are mostly surrounding drugs, and predominately Meth. It has plenty of wooded areas, sits along the mouth of a wide river, and is about as busy as one might expect of a small town.It has never seen murders like this.
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Ferndale, California

Welcome to Ferndale!

Minimap

Ferndale, California is a part of The Faceless.

8 Characters Here

Cal Wilder [2] "What's past is past. I've got to move on from it sometime." [profiler]
Elspeth Thornley [2] "Aside from the smells, this job is actually really exciting." [forensic scientist]
Zay Cheyenne [2] WIP: "She's like a Swallow"
Ji Baek-hyun [2] Profiler
Isadora Argent [2] "Bitches get shit done. I'm that bitch." [technical analyst]
Miguel Trujillo [2] Ferndale Sheriff
Nancy Chen [2] CBI Forensic Pathologist
Sam Vasco [0] "Don't stress about other people's expectations, be proud of what you're doing."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miguel Trujillo Character Portrait: Nancy Chen Character Portrait: Isadora Argent Character Portrait: Ji Baek-hyun Character Portrait: Cal Wilder Character Portrait: Elspeth Thornley Character Portrait: Zay Cheyenne
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#, as written by mombie
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#38373c || Outfit || Fairchild Farm

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Twelve bodies and half a year; a small town that had nothing more than a rampant meth problem, bored teenagers, a single school, and a Sheriff's Department with one sheriff and a couple of deputies. Miguel was... tired, to say the least. The exhaustion has really gotten to him. He'd rather be dealing with meth heads and graffiti. He's already had to go outside of Ferndale just to get an investigator that lived a whole two hours away.

It was Monday, August 7th, 2020, and he was rolling out of bed at the buttcrack of dawn. He barely had a wink of sleep, but he knew he had to be ready to greet the folks coming down from the California Bureau of Investigation. He's thankful for the help as he was hardly qualified to lead this sort of investigation. If there was anything that he knew how to do pretty well, it was knowing when the situation was too much for him to handle alone.

Ferndale still had to deal with their own problems as well, and they couldn't do that if the few deputies they had were stretched thin. They were more equipped to deal with drugs than they were with a serial killer. The occasional homicide? Sure, they could handle that. This, however, was on a scale impossible for a small town to take. They were ill-equipped; devoid of things like forensic labs and other tools pertinent to these kinds of cases. Most of their lab work had to go outside of Ferndale, and it could take a long time to get results.

It was around 5 am. He spent a couple of hours at the local gym, showered, got dressed, and put on all of his gear. He made sure he had ammo in the magazine of his gun, performed a quick shotgun inspection, and then loaded everything into his vehicle.

Ferndale was a small town but the area was very large. There were many acres of land dedicated to agriculture, farming, and other blue-collar work. When people thought about uneducated folk - these were it. Not that they were uneducated, of course. Miguel didn't enjoy that small-town stereotype. Everyone that lived here was hardworking. They woke up before the sun rose, took care of their kids, went to church, and more. The ethnicity is about half and half Hispanic and caucasian with a few from the black population. It is approximately 52% male with a majority older population. The median household income is around $40,000, which is pretty damn low for the state of California. Most were married, and they had very few young adults (because they often left for college somewhere else). Homes were spaced very far apart as people typically had very large acres of land.

Miguel's home was no different. He also had a large acre of land that was dedicated to a few horses that kept his father occupied. He drove down a long winding dirt road, content to take his time and watch the sunrise as he made the drive into town. He pulled into the Sheriff's station, parked, locked his vehicle, and adjusted his short-sleeved shirt on the way inside.

"Coffee?" One of the Deputies handed him a hot mug; the coffee black and devoid of sugar, just like he enjoyed it. Miguel didn't miss a step and he continued to walk toward the large room being set up for their guests.

"Here's to h-," was all he managed to get out before being abruptly cut off by his assistant, Rosa Santina, "Lo siento, mijo, pero there's been another discovery out at the Fairchild's farm."

Miguel's left palm brushed over his face with frustration and a sigh, "Let the CBI know when they get in. I will meet them there."

* * *

Miguel pulled up to the Fairchild farm. They had one of the largest plots of land in Ferndale that would be easy to dump a body in and let it go undiscovered for a long time. They had cattle, but they were most known for their vast cornfield that was the source of all the teenage fun and miscreant activity. They occasionally hosted cliche Halloween parties, and it was a well-known romance destination for hormone-driven teens that needed a place to get frisky without being caught.

He got out, greeted by Sheriff's Deputy Fogle.

By this time is 7 a.m. and the sun is shining brightly. The summer drew an early morning and it was already hot. The carrion birds have already begun plucking away at the corpses. Just like the other six, this couple was displayed in a similar fashion. They lacked faces, were Caucasian, and one was female and another male. They were completely nude, and with livor mortis settling at their backs, it was likely that they'd been laying here for some time. He knew, at the very least, that much.

Miguel ruffled his hair and sighed after squatting down for a closer view, "Preserve the scene. The CBI should be here in a few minutes." That was that - the deputies started to tape things off.

He was ready to put an end to all of this.





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#714C3A || Outfit || Fairchild Farm

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#40585A || Outfit || Fairchild Farm

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Nancy is very used to going out into the field, so she wasn't surprised when she found herself on a plane from Los Angeles to a smaller airport in Ferndale. They had their own private airplane due to the logistics of having to bring their own equipment along with them being, well, part of the California Bureau of Investigation, a statewide law enforcement agency.

The travel wasn't very long; lasting only about one hour and forty-five minutes. Most of that time was spent going over the files regarding the autopsies done on the dozen bodies that were found thus far. She had a clear picture of the manner of death; homicide. The cause of death, from what she could tell from reports and pictures alone, could be shock from the various premortem acts of facial and genital mutilation.

As she studied the case material, Brandon stood up from his seat and sat down across from her. "I didn't get a chance to look at the pictures yet. May I?" He held a single hand out as he hunched over the table between them, and Nancy closed the file and handed it to him with a light smile. He took it out of her hand and leaned comfortably into his chair.

"I take it you already have a few ideas?" she inquired with a tilted head as she looked at him. He had seated himself in front of her; his figure lax and one leg crossed over the other as he opened the file.

He shrugged a single shoulder slowly and spared a moment to sneak a peek at her from the file, "Caucasian, likely. We know that most crimes of this nature are perpetrated by the ethnicity of the victims. In this case, the killer is most likely white." He flipped through the pages and photos, "The gruesome nature of the crime with the mutilations - obvious sadism. Cal or Hayleigh will figure that part out. I am more interested in the where." He looked out the window of the plane once they were hovering over nothing but the 101 freeway and endless land with a sprinkle of housing.

Nancy also looked out the window, "I wonder what kind of people live out in Ferndale. Did you look up the demographics? It's just... you know, small-town America makes me nervous."

He laughed a bit at that, "You think they'll ask us to open up a Chinese fast food joint?" While Baek-hyun is not Chinese, he knew that almost every other ethnicity outside of Asian confused his origin. Not that he blamed them, or maybe he's just so used to it that it doesn't bother him anymore. It never really did. It was easy to correct someone when they were wrong. He just likes to crack these little jokes - even to his own friends.

Nancy smiled at that. Baek-hyun wasn't always someone to joke around, but he occasionally let himself be the butt of a really bad joke. Self-deprecation, if you could call it that. He had a really easy smile, so when he was happy - it was easy for her to smile, too. "Do you think it pays more than this?" she made a point to jest in return.

"The population is split in half; Mexican and white. Their Asian population is a whopping zero percent." He made the 'zero' sign with one of his hands. "Vastly conservative demographics, older, mostly married. Their median age is 56, which means that virtually no one sticks around past high school anymore. Funnily enough, they've grown a whole 10% in the last five years according to the latest census. They've got around two thousand people, so it's pretty small."

She nodded at that. Well, it was going to be a lot different from Los Angeles. The last ten minutes of the trip were quiet and the plane eventually landed.

* * *

They'd be greeted at the airport by a few of the Sheriff's Deputies and SUVs. They were permitted two have two of them, all black, to themselves to load their stuff into and drive around. They'd be complete with lights and sirens as an undercover law enforcement vehicle would be.

The technicians had to set their stuff up, but they didn't get a chance to settle in completely. Rosa Santina directed them to one of the Deputies, and the profilers and crime scene techs were going to be well on their way to the Fairchild farm.

The crime techs were the first to cross the yellow tape, allowing the profilers to greet the Sheriff more formally. They'd be allowed through without any fuss. Nancy naturally gravitated toward the bodies, allowing the other scientists to do whatever they needed. She put on the booties, which are just shoe covers to help protect the crime scene, and then tugged on some latex gloves. She knelt down next to the male and her eyes immediately traveled to his groin. Where his genitals should be, there are none. Between his legs was just the remnant of a crude and clearly unprofessional genital severing. She has seen many things, but this certainly takes the cake for some of the worst bodily inflictions.

"Male, female - Caucasian. Mid-twenties to early thirties. Full rigor mortis, bloating. Blowfly maggots in the male orifice and female ocular orbit. Time of death approximately two to three weeks," Nancy was speaking mostly to herself and into a device that would allow her to record everything for later. When she was into her work, she rarely paid much attention to anything else.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miguel Trujillo Character Portrait: Nancy Chen Character Portrait: Isadora Argent Character Portrait: Ji Baek-hyun Character Portrait: Cal Wilder Character Portrait: Elspeth Thornley Character Portrait: Zay Cheyenne
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#, as written by barnes
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C A L x W I L D E R

criminal profiler xx outfit xx #6183a6

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I S A D O R A x A R G E N T

technical analyst xx outfit xx #fb9795

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E L S P E T H x T H O R N L E Y

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It was common for the CBI to ship them out to crime scenes, so Cal was familiar with the procedure. He had his own routine by now, preferring to hang back to help with loading the equipment onto the plane. Along with his own things, he had also been put in charge of Isadora's equipment; the hotheaded kid had happily handed her huge case of tech bits over to him with instructions to "Be very careful because this shit costs more than your dinky little apartment and I'll have you paying mortgages out your ass if you drop it!" Which of course in Isadora speak meant thank you, I'm so very grateful for your assistance. Cal knew her well enough. The last one to board the plane, he took the opportunity to hide in a seat at the back, stretch his legs out, and take a snooze. Nobody would miss him or his company if he went missing for a short two hours, and since he'd looked through the folder before boarding the plane he wasn't missing out on anything much.

Isadora, on the other hand, was feeling antsy. She slumped into the seat beside Elspeth, pulling out her personal laptop from the messenger bag slung across her front. This laptop was her pride and joy; a normal-looking portable workspace until it was opened to reveal the host of programmes and protection coded into it, not to mention all the extra hardware wired into its guts. It could have been used to hack into the electrical grid, or even the Department of Defense's system if Isadora was feeling gutsy enough. But right now, it was being used to play a series of cat videos.

"Not scared of flying, are you?" Elspeth asked, glancing over at the screen. Isadora shrugged, scowling at the image of a particularly feisty kitten.

"No! It's just been a while, that's all. Usually I'm holed up in the lab with both feet firmly on the ground. Not up in the air with my things bumping around in the hold. And I don't get why they're sending me to some backwater podunk town that probably doesn't even know what a motherboard is. They probably still use Microsoft 95 or worse, they still have everything shelved away in manila files. That's the only anti-hacking measure these days. They'll be the only system that can keep me out, and it'll be because there is no system to hack." Having finished her tirade as abruptly as it began, she shut the videos off, pulling up a game instead. Elspeth had no idea what it was, only that it involved a lot of shooting and Isadora repeatedly stabbing at her keyboard.

The game had apparently placated Isadora, because she seemed much calmer by the time the plane touched down. She did make Cal carry her computer stuff again, but she didn't yell at him about it, and he made sure to load it as carefully as he could into the back of the SUV. Strapping it down securely earned him a stiff nod of approval. Anyone who said Isadora was hard to work with had clearly never tried, because Cal had her all figured out.

Unfortunately the team couldn't even have a proper welcome at the station; upon their arrival, they were diverted to a freshly discovered crime scene at the farms. "We've got our work cut out for us," Elspeth sighed at the news. Looking at a crime scene in person was always better than staring at pictures and reports, but this was really an unusual case, considering Ferndale's crime rate.

The moment the cars pulled to a stop outside the Fairchild farm, Elspeth was off like a shot, shucking her coat off and snapping her booties on, flashing her credentials at the deputies guarding the scene, and making a beeline for the bodies. Camera at the ready, she started snapping the requisite photos of the scene, although it was significantly tainted by the presence of carrion birds, and the various sets of footprints that surrounded the bodies. Judging by the solid tread, probably left by the people who'd discovered the scene, or the deputies that had arrived to seal it shut. "This guy's definitely not a doctor," she commented in Nancy's direction, leaning down to get a better shot of the inflicted injuries.

Isadora remained in the car. She'd spent most of the ride over glaring out the windows at the expanse of fields and farmhouses rushing by, and now she opened the passenger door, swinging her legs over so she could look at the crime scene over her laptop, already open. Cal stopped to give her a look. "You could at least pretend to be interested in the scene instead of playing video games right in front of the Sheriff," he said, vaguely reproachfully.

"I'm not playing video games." She shot him a poisonous look. "I'm looking up similar M.O.s and digging through the online records of the town history to see if any red flags pop up. This freak probably hasn't gone completely unnoticed, if he is from Ferndale."

"Alright. Good work," Cal replied, unruffled. He patted her shoulder, and turned towards Baek-hyun, gesturing for them to greet the Sheriff together.

"Sheriff Trujillo?" he called out to the man as he approached, holding a hand out. "I'm Cal Wilder with the CBI. I'm a criminal profiler, or investigator. That's Brandon Ji and Hayleigh Cheyenne with me, also profilers, and our techs Nancy, Elspeth, and Isadora." He gestured around at each person as he introduced them. At least Nancy and Elspeth were making themselves busy; Isadora, he noticed, had shifted her attention from the scene to the Sheriff and his deputies, eyeing them carefully. Cal supposed it was normal for her to feel defensive in new environments, considering the comments she frequently received on her age, but he wished she would stop looking like she was ready to tear someone's throat out with her teeth. Sensitivity training just did not work on the girl.

He turned back to the Sheriff. "Why don't you walk me through this," he tilted his chin at the crime scene, "and what's been going on so far? And your eyewitnesses, too? We'll want to talk to them again." The nap on the plane had done him well, evidently. Cal was ready to leap into this weirdness.