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Ad Astra (Eng: To the stars) is a secret society featured in the fifth season of Criminal Case, appearing as a central figure during the University, Spring Fields, and Airport cases.

Events of Criminal Case

University

Pain in the Neck

AdAstraStudyingGroup

Ad Astra, first identified as a study group.

After arresting René Narcisse's killer, Gloria and the player investigated Grimsborough University's amphitheater and found DreamLife CEO Rozetta Pierre's old desk there with a doodle of the DreamLife logo. On the desk, Gloria and the player also found the words "AD ASTRA D2231" scribbled on the desk. Per Cathy, "Ad Astra" is a Latin phrase meaning "to the stars" often used to express ambition, but she was unsure of its connection to Rozetta. However, she was certain that "D2231" referred to the room number of philosophy professor Kevin Charles during Rozetta's time at the university. The team then talked to Kevin about their findings, who nervously claimed that Ad Astra was just an "old study group" that convened in his classroom before he hurriedly left. After that, the team decided to look further into Ad Astra.

Deadeye

After arresting Sam De Witt's killer, Gloria and the player investigate Iota Psi Omega's sorority house as Cathy told the team that Rozetta was a member of Iota Psi. There, they found an old picture of Rozetta with text on the back mentioning Ad Astra. Per Gabriel, it was written by someone who wanted to join Ad Astra recently, implying the group was still active. The team then talked to Monica in jail, who said that it was Sam who wanted to join Ad Astra before pointing them to the sorority house for clues. They then found a USB key, which (per Cathy) confirmed that Ad Astra was founded by Rozetta, and that student Courtney Guerra was a member of the group. Upon interrogation, Courtney revealed that Ad Astra had disbanded when Rozetta went after bigger projects but it was resurrected one year ago, when the meteorite fell on Grimsborough. When questioned further, Courtney refused to give more answers. After all the events, the team resolved to find out about Ad Astra's objectives.

Game, Set, Murder

AdAstraRuler

The philosophy of Ad Astra, which is being the ruler over the "sheeple" as a superior.

After arresting Stephanie Griff's killer, Gloria and the player searched the university's library for more information on Ad Astra. They then found an entire volume on the secret society. Per Gabriel, the volume was an Ad Astra manifesto stating that those who were physically and intellectually superior deserved to control the rest of society who were better off without the burden of decision-making, a philosophy reflected in Rozetta Pierre's actions with DreamLife. After finding out that Professor Kevin Charles had introduced the concept of "selective superiority" to Rozetta, the team grilled him about Ad Astra. Kevin said that Ad Astra started as a group consisting of Rozetta and her like-minded peers talking about the future of humanity, which she started per his encouragement. However, he became uncomfortable with how they wanted to put the theory of selective superiority into practice. The team then asked for his help in identifying the society's current members, but Kevin said that he had been done associating with the group years ago.

After all the events, the team began suspecting that the new Ad Astra had something to do with Rozetta's plans, making the team resolve to investigate further into the matter.

Trick or Treat

After arresting Gregory Lynn's killer, Monica Pozie had told Jones and the player that she had overheard Rozetta Pierre mentioning Gregory's Halloween party during her transfer from solitary confinement to the visiting room. Outside Gregory's house, the team found a visiting pass for Rozetta, which belonged to computer science student Azeeb Patel. Upon interrogation, Azeeb let slip that Rozetta had given him a card to share to his fellow Ad Astra members. After Azeeb told them that he had lost the card during the party, the team searched Gregory's bedroom and found a musical card, which (per Gabriel) was transmitting a Morse code message translating to "I trust you to take care of the Kevin Charles problem." The team then decided to dispatch an officer to Kevin's house.

Soon after, Chief Parker said she had dispatched officers to Kevin's workplace and house, as well as tasked Cathy to track down the Ad Astrans. A few hours later, Cathy told the team she had tracked Courtney Guerra to the scenic viewpoint. Before the team could go there however, beat cop Mia Loukas told them that Kevin was found murdered.

Lashing Out

After the police came to Kevin Charles' protection as they found out that Rozetta Pierre had instructed the current members of Ad Astra to take care of him, however, Mia Loukas told the team that they had found Kevin Charles's body in the forest on the university grounds, prompting Jones and the player to go to the forest and found the body of Kevin, tied up to two trees and whipped to death.

Mid-investigation, Mia told the team that they had discovered Ad Astra's hideout cave, which was not far from the university. Later, behavioural science student Lucius Roth confessed to the murder with details contrary to the forensic evidence the team had found. They then kept investigating, discovering economics student Dorothy Kix to be the leader of the new Astra and finding international relations student Polly O'Brien guilty of the murder.

Upon admitting to the murder, Polly said that she had chloroformed Kevin in his office, dragged him to the forest unconscious, and whipped him to death upon Rozetta's orders. She also said that she did not know why Lucius falsely confessed to the murder. Judge Powell sentenced her to 35 years in prison.

Post-trial, Jones and the player went to Ad Astra's cave, suspecting that there was more to the murder than Polly had confessed. There, they found a makeshift stretcher, proving that Polly had an accomplice in the murder. Per Amir, the stretcher contained Azeeb Patel's DNA. They went to interrogate Azeeb, who admitted that he, Dorothy, Polly, Lucius, and Courtney all took turns in whipping the professor, directing them to the cave to search for a tablet containing proof. There, the team found the tablet, which (per Cathy) contained the master plan for Kevin's murder that they had concocted even before Rozetta's instructions, which detailed the roles all five Ad Astrans played in the murder, with Lucius giving the false confession to learn what the police knew about the murder. Their hope was that five people committing the murder would produce evidence so contradictory that the murder could not be pinned on any of them. The team then went to arrest Courtney and Dorothy.

Meanwhile, Gloria and the player headed to the professor's office to discover Rozetta's motive for killing him. There, they found a mousepad with scribbled letters, which (per Cathy) was his password to his University intranet account. On the account, he had noted that the old Ad Astra may have wanted to kill him to protect their identities. He also said that he planned to leave a message for the player. The team then went off to the forest clearing to find the message and found a note half-burned in the campfire. The note said that the five original Ad Astrans hid behind constellation codenames and that "Fornax" was in Spring Fields, the city's agricultural district. The team informed Chief Parker of their discovery, who recalled that Fornax was also the name of the warehouse DreamLife had planned to ship the Protozane to, meaning that some of the drugs may have landed in their hands.

AdAstraProtozane

Protozane, the drug developed by Rozetta and suspected to be in the possession of "Fornax".

After all the events, the team attended Dorothy, Lucius, and Courtney's trial (Azeeb had taken a plea deal that would give him a 7-year prison sentence). There, the Ad Astrans said they followed Rozetta's orders to kill the professor and burn his papers because she had told them that they were special and that she needed them for her plans (which she would only detail to them after the murder). Judge Powell then sentenced the three Ad Astrans to 30 years in prison. Outside the courtroom, the team resolved to go to Spring Fields and catch "Fornax" before they could unleash Protozane into the city.

Spring Fields

Fields of Murder

After arresting Deputy Sheriff Gus McGuff's killer, Gloria and the player went to Cody's cell in order to find out more about the bribery, after he said that someone had bribed him to set his cornfields on fire. Answering about this, Cody told the team that a person in a suit came to his farm, paid him to do the deed, and then left, telling "Fornax" that the job was done. The team then went to the barn to investigate, where they found the wad of cash paid to Cody wrapped in pink plastic, which (per Cathy) was a shrink wrap used by two agribusiness companies in Spring Fields: AgriMeadows and GrimFoods, meaning that "Fornax" was working for one of these two companies.

A Pointy End

AgriMeadowsLogo

AgriMeadows, the agribusiness company employing "Fornax".

After arresting Christy Cole's killer, Gloria and the player went to the AgriMeadows warehouse to retrieve a sample of their corn (which they intended to sell after the arson that got rid of previous crops) as there were some secrets there. They then found out (per Amir) that the corn was infused with Protozane, meaning that Fornax's plan was to mass-distribute Protozane. They then talked to Abel, the warehouse supervisor, who told the team he did not know of the Protozane in the corn, only that the modifications were unethical. He then told the team of a safe disguised as a painting in AgriMeadows HQ, which the team then found. Inside, they found documents, which (per Cathy) proved Julia Brine's (AgriMeadows' CEO) identity as Fornax and her plans to orchestrate the corn crisis and spread the Protozane-infused corn. Furthermore, the painting contained the code-names of all five members of Ad Astra, namely Fornax, Andromeda (aka Rozetta Pierre), Orion, Cassiopeia, and Perseus. The team then arrested Julia for criminal conspiracy. After all the events, the team vowed to unmask all of Ad Astra.

Like a Pig to the Slaughter

After arresting Sheriff Roy Loukas' killer, Jones and the player decided to head to Spring Fields post office for more lead about the other three members of Ad Astra. They then found the AgriMeadows' post-office box there, which (per Ramirez) showed that five years prior, Julia Brine (aka Fornax) had received massive injections of investment capital from a company called Orion Inc. in order to get AgriMeadows to grow quickly. After finding out Orion Inc. was run by venture capitalist and convicted killer Christian Bateman, they went to Grimsborough Prison, where Warden Mallory Banks told them that he was released a few days prior after some psychiatrists determined he was "under extreme psychological duress" when he killed artist Meera Kat and was thus not responsible for his actions, saying that he was no longer a threat. Also, Mallory explained that she had no idea about Christian's whereabouts then. However, after that, Ramirez discovered that Bateman's family owned a vineyard in Spring Fields after he had done some more digging. The team then quickly headed there to catch Bateman again.

In Vino Veritas

After arresting Cora Bateman's killer, Jones and the player searched the wine cellar to find more clues about Ad Astra and Christian's early release. There, they found a dictaphone which (per Cathy) contained recordings of Christian expressing his disappointment in Fornax's imprisonment and saying that Ad Astra still had "Plan Supernova" to turn to. When they confronted Christian about the recording however, he refused to talk about the plan.

To Kingdom Come

The explosion turned out to come from a car bomb going off, killing Mia, who was in the police car. When the team arrested Brock Perry for the murder, he said that he did it to kill the player, as some people from the vineyard had told him that the player's death would convince his (ex-)girlfriend Mia to stay in Spring Fields forever. Unbeknownst to him, Mia was occasionally borrowing the car and was thus blown up instead of the player.

After the arrest, the team were convinced in Bateman's involvement on the assassination attempt. Mechanic Maylin Park asked Gloria and the player for help filing a restraining order against Bateman, who had hit on her in the Spring Fields café the night before, drunkenly talking about Plan Supernova. The team then went to the café and found CCTV footage of a drunk Bateman admitting that the plan involved the meteorite. The team then confronted him, wherein he denied the accusations regarding the attempted hit and Plan Supernova.

After talking to Bateman, the team also went to the shack where the bomb was built, where they found a phone which (per Cathy) Brock used to send a message confirming that the "deed was done" to Mayor Joe Warren, proving his affiliation with Bateman and the rest of Ad Astra. The team then concluded that his political power in Grimsborough allowed for the establishment of the DreamLife dome and Bateman's release from prison to happen.

After that, Cathy informed the team that the Mayor was returning from his business trip to Grimsborough the following morning, prompting the team to intercept the moment he lands. The team then quickly headed to the airport to confront Mayor Warren.

Airport

Dearly Departured

Jones and the player confronted Mayor Warren as soon as he touched down in the airport, only to be interrupted by the murder of flight attendant Dolores Zamora. They took opportunity of the investigation to confront Warren regarding his affiliation with the group, but he denied the police's claims.

After the investigation closed, the team found out from Mayor Warren's USB key that his rise to political power has always involved shady tactics, one of the latest being his persuasion of then-Mayor Martha Price to go into the animal control tanks with the Demon Fish alone. Martha would later be killed in the tanks by Ernest Emerson, allowing Warren to take the reins as city mayor. The team then went to city hall to confront him, only to be told by his assistant, Mandy Pregodich, that he was in Bateman's vineyard. Amir and the player then spied on the Ad Astrans in the vineyard, where Warren told an impatient Bateman to bide their time before the execution of Plan Supernova, although he did not know why.

Lights Out

Soon after Amir and the player's stakeout, a blackout taking down power, light, and mobile communications hit the city with power plant manager Ryan Min shot dead. The culprit behind both the blackout and the murder turned out to be Felix Murray, who admitted to causing the blackout upon the request of "a valued old friend". After Felix's trial, Gloria and the player helped Cathy and Alex Turner restore power. With mobile communications restored, the tech experts found an unsent message reading, "Abt. Supernova. Human enhancement. Wrong way! Find me ASAP". With confirmation that Felix's client wanted to stop said message from being sent, the team speculated disagreement among Ad Astra.

Head Case

The team would later find out that Rozetta had ordered the production of a superhuman serum from Berzelium and had it tested on her captives under the dome, including Zoe. Unfortunately, Zoe was found dead in the psychiatric hospital she was interned in.

The team would soon find journalist Louis Leroux guilty of the murder. Upon admitting to the murder, Louis explained that he had caught Zoe telekinetically levitating a teacup when he showed up in Zoe's room unannounced. Connecting her abilities to her time under the dome and realizing it was his duty to uncover the whole truth, Louis then asked to examine the extent of her condition. Zoe, freaking out at the prospect of more tests performed upon her, started screaming. In a panic over getting kicked out, Louis grabbed a fence post and smashed her head in to keep her quiet. Judge Powell sentenced him to life in prison.

The team would find out that Zoe's condition was caused by exposure to the superhuman serum.

Playing Dead

Bateman was caught up in yet another murder investigation, this time of actress Savannah Blake. Despite the team suspecting an Ad Astra connection between the two, no concrete evidence of one arose during the investigation.

Post-investigation, the team discovered from Leroux's notebook that he was in fact the fifth member of Ad Astra. As a journalist, he was able to convince the public that DreamLife was hiding a crashed satellite instead of a meteorite, diverting attention away from them. He had also asked the police to find Zoe as he wanted to kill the sole survivor of the dome trials. In fact, he had made an attempt on her life just before her arrest for the murder of Dr Vega. He had also been regularly visiting Zoe in the psychiatric hospital to keep tabs on her.

Leroux admitted to being a member of Ad Astra in prison and said that he needed to perform the tests on Zoe whether she was dead or alive. Noticing Leroux was visibly worried about the superhuman serum and its side effects, the team investigated more and discovered from journalist Rick Murray that Leroux had stolen his cellphone and had used it to send the message that Felix Murray was paid to block via the blackout. The team then went to interrogate Leroux more, only to discover that he had been killed in his jail cell.

Known members

Original incarnation

New incarnation

Murders committed

  • Various homeless people, including Trey Warner – Under Rozetta Pierre's supervision in DreamLife, the homeless people were killed while the company used them as human test subjects in the development of Protozane.
  • Meera KatChristian Bateman killed her for personal reasons not related to the group.
  • Martha PriceJoe Warren indirectly caused her murder by persuading her to go into the animal control tanks (where she would later be killed by Ernest Emerson) alone.
  • Wendy Stokes – Under Rozetta's supervision in DreamLife, Rosie Summers was told to kill her under the influence of Protozane by the Protozane developers.
  • Kevin Charles – Rozetta told the five members of the new Ad Astra, including Dorothy Kix, Azeeb Patel, Courtney Guerra, Lucius Roth and Polly O'Brien, to kill him to prevent him from telling the police of the members of the old Ad Astra.
  • Gus McGuffCody Mays killed him according to instructions given to him by an employee of Julia Brine stating that he needed to kill anyone seeing him set the corn fields on fire.
  • Mia LoukasBrock Perry accidentally killed her while aiming to kill the player under instructions coming from Joe Warren and possibly the rest of Ad Astra.
  • Zoe KusamaLouis Leroux killed her after failing to convince her to undergo more tests regarding her telekinetic abilities caused by her exposure to Ad Astra's superhuman serum.

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