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Kate Martin

Law Student on a mission

0 · 123 views · located in The Ruxville Manor

a character in “The Ruxville Manor”, as played by sparklefairy

Description

Name: Kate Martin

Age: 21

Gender: Female

Appearance: Short brown hair in a neat bob, hairslide, piercing blue eyes, quite petite. Always dressed and styled impeccably.

Personality: Brain over brawn. Kate is in law school and is by all accounts brutally smart. Kate is a workaholic, ambitious and sometimes intense - she is highly competitive when it comes to career and academics and plays to win. Tech savvy if not expert, a born investigator, Kate is also fairly popular in her sorority and in many respects a 'normal girl', with an easy middle class upbringing, loving and financially comfortable parents and a kid sister and older brother she has a good relationship with. She also has a fair few friends in her home town. However, she is pretty small physically and uses her wits, not fists, when she's in trouble.

Occupation: Law Student

Likes:

  • Being right
  • Analysis
  • Long words
  • Beating people (in a competitive way)

Disikes:

  • Racism
  • Deliberate ignorance
  • Violence
  • Things she cannot explain

Background:

When Kate (Katie to her friends) came back to stay with her parents for the summer, a chance remark at a cookout got herself and her friends chatting about 'the old house', which they'd been too afraid to go near as kids. No one was taking it all very seriously, as the group lounged around in the heat, relaxing over a beer or two. They talked about breaking in, but what with one thing and another no one could really be bothered and soon it was forgotten about as the conversation moved onto other topics.

Not for Kate though, whose mind was suddenly working overtime. When she got back home she immediately fired up her laptop and started to research for her next paper... a draft of which she has been working on in the weeks since.

**********

Katie sat back and studied her work.

In this particular instance it is interesting to consider whether the law of escheat may or may not apply. Preliminary research has revealed that the property was originally purchased in 1716 by a prominent family known as the Ruxvilles. Local lore and legend describes them as reclusive and mysterious from the very beginning of their occupancy.

The land itself was acquired by land patent pre-Revolution from French colonial authorities and all such patents were honored by the American government as enshrined by treaty law. The Ruxvilles apparently invested significant funds in establishing the manor, having substantial investments in various interests and a town house in the neighboring city which they appear from the records to have sold, in part to finance the new purchase.

In normal usage, the owners of the manor having died intestate without an heir to inherit, the property would become property of the state. The family tree and genealogical records are patchy at best and unclear; not at all unusual for historical records from the period, but what is extant does appear to bear out the theory that there are indeed no living relations to the Ruxvilles. There appear to be no birth records for any of the named family members except for a daughter, Faine Ruxville, who was born on what at that time would have been French soil. The family name appears to indicate French ancestry, perhaps from 'Rouxvilles', 'Redtowns'; the Ruxvilles may well have been naturalized by the time of the founding of the manor, however, though likely still fluent in French and English.

More notably there are no death records to my knowledge. It might be expected that a prominent, influential and wealthy family would have had some significant role in the Revolution but there are no records available, either of service or casualty, from any known battle or skirmish. It is highly likely then that that the only living Ruxville at that time was Ms Ruxville, who would probably have been a spinster woman in her fifties when hostilities broke out. Legend has it that the Ruxville coach was observed leaving the town at night, and the property was assumed vacant at first. It appears to have been in sole occupancy by Faine Ruxville from that point onward, however, as legend also reported seeing a 'blonde-haired figure, flitting from window to window' late at night. This could well have provided the tragic basis for a lasting ghost story; an abandoned and lonely young woman, waiting without hope for her family to return.

There are no death certificates for Ms Ruxville either, however; no marriage certificates, and no records of her in any local graveyard. It would not be unreasonable to assume that she died without issue; the alternative is that she left the manor to start afresh elsewhere, but as there is no record of her name or more importantly claim it can be considered that in that case she departed with intent to abandon, and therefore there is no longer a Ruxville claim to inherit. In any case, there is therefore no means to trace any living descendant unless a DNA sample from a Ruxville can be confirmed and compared with a claimant, and since there are no verifiable graves this would prove impossible.

Furthermore, adverse possession can be excluded. If the property has been occupied this would still only permit a permanent squatter to lay claim if the appropriate conditions were met; namely, that the residency was continuous, adverse to the rights of the current legal owner, actual and exclusive - a sole resident or legal unit was resident in person, allowing for no contested claims - and above all, open and notorious. As the current occupancy, if any, is anything but open and notorious adverse possession does not and cannot apply and the property must revert to the state.

There would seem then to be no obstacle to the law of escheat and repossession of the manor by the state; except that there are signs of an occupant or occupants. The manor has clearly been maintained, although no maintenance firm I have contacted have any knowledge of this or any standing agreement with anyone to undertake said upkeep. Repairs have been undertaken which would certainly require physical materials, and yet no one has confirmed having delivered directly to the manor.

Moreover, there appears to be a certain reticence amongst local business, law enforcement and government alike to investigate. I spoke to local police officers who advised me that there was a standing order not to go near the place, but all those I interviewed were highly reluctant to speak further. I have however at least gained some attention from the local municipal authorities as the property, if vacant, is worth several million dollars merely as real estate, and it's impact on the wealth of the area as a source of steady tourist income would be significant to the region. As it is, however, I am currently forced to conclude that the manor is being used as vacant premises for activities of a criminal nature. I have written to the police commissioner, highlighting this as a matter for immediate investigation. It is to be hoped that any corruption does not extend beyond a regional level.



If it were true, it was a criminal conspiracy that would end up reported at the national level, bringing her name to the attention of the top law firms of the world. If it were not... then there had to be an explanation, and Kate Martin, Barrister - she wasn't, of course, but she liked to imagine adding it to her name - would uncover the truth. There were, however, a few safeguards and precautions that she needed to take care of first. She added the document as an email attachment and then devised a careful list of recipients. Then she printed it out.

She wouldn't want to put her parents in the way of danger, but her brother was out of state with his friends on campus. She taped the envelope carefully before taking it to be delivered, registered mail. Then she sent a text.

I need a safety buddy! Several safety buddies. Could someone ring and check up on me tonight, maybe eleven or so, and ring me in the morning to make sure I'm okay? If I'm not responding, text my brother, he'll know how to get hold of me.

She hit send. A few moments later and she saw a response from Amelia:

thank god your out dating instead of studying!! Who is it? Not sure I like the sound of this tho X-(

She smiled, and set the phone down.

So begins...

Kate Martin's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Faine Ruxville Character Portrait: Frank Wright Character Portrait: Mirabelle Pelletier Character Portrait: Kate Martin Character Portrait: Finn Vann

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#, as written by Zalgo
Frank rolled his eyes and waved off the girl's accusation.

"Whatever."

With that disregarded he turned from the woman and stood to face the direction the believed the smell was coming from. With another crack of thunder he heard her give another short exclamation combined with a bit of a jump. He simply turned his head to look over, an eyebrow cocked as he looked at her as though he was wondering what her issue was. In truth he already deduced that she was afraid of the sounds of thunder. His only curiosity was in regards to just how little she was able to control herself around it. Not being a man with a lot to fear he couldn't sympathize with her in that.

She sheepishly pulled ahead of him and scurried in the direction he was just looking. As little as he cared for the company he couldn't help his curiosity. For a supposedly abandoned place it seemed rather well kept and now it was looked and smelling rather lively. As some might say: The plot thickens.


Walking rather casually in his old socks he navigated a couple winding hallways to find himself at the dining room. Before him was quite a perplexing sight. Five plates were arranged upon the long oak table, each one holding a meal of steak and vegetables. The room was alight with lanterns set upon the walls, casting an illuminating yet dim glow as not all of them were lit. It was just enough to see by but it stood out even more as the rest of the mansion was cast in darkness.

Stepping around the woman who was just ahead of him not moments ago he approached the table, taking in the details he could make out in the dim lighting. He neither took a seat nor even so much as touched any of the food yet. Despite her chiding he wasn't going to go and just assume the food was for him. The most likely answer was that the food was set out for others that simply have yet to make themselves present. Even if he was a hobo he wasn't going to steal this food, especially as he intended to stay. He planned on staying in the good graces of whoever else called this supposedly abandoned old mansion home.


So he stood there, his mind drinking in the facts he was faced with. He looked up to the entrance to the dining room from an adjoining hallway, his ears picking up a rather suspicious noise. At first he believed it the sounds of the person he had just spoken with but looking back he confirmed she was not the source of the noise. Creaking floor boards and subdued footsteps betrayed the secrecy of the other one's position. If it was belonging to someone who was staying in the mansion before him he was sure to be ready and careful to boot.

He made sure his hands were out of his pockets so that he'd be ready to raise them in the possibility that the incomer is holding a gun. Last thing he needed was to get shot in the face because he was waltzing about someone else's turf in the dead of night. His eyes were keenly glued to the doorway the quiet stranger was approaching, ready for whatever might come.