Devlin Sandusky was abducted from a train along with her parents, Austin and Joanna seventeen years ago. Her mother was a low level corporate drone for StayWell Medical Services, and her father an auto repair technician. They were traveling into the city from their home in Aurora (which is almost a fortified enclave to stave off the denizens of the rest of the suburbs) to take Devlin to a specialist in the downtown dreamlands. She had been experiencing excruciating, disabling headaches for a couple of weeks. The train had few passengers at that time of day, and they had the car they were in to themselves. At one point Devlin just passed out, and when she woke up, she was in a lab and felt very light (which turned out to be due to being on the moon). A group that she later learned was part of Vishanti Corporation had gotten a hold of her, and began her empathic testing and training in their brand new lunar facility.
Her only relative in the Chicago area is her mother's sole sister Helen Karsten, who is married and has three kids, living in the downtown dreamlands. Rather than being delighted to see Devlin after being missing for 17 years, Helen gave her a chilly reception, only speaking with her long enough to ask a few questions about the disappearance; where she'd been and what had happened to her sister Joanna. Helen was disappointed that Devlin couldn't say anything about her mother, and seemed to feel that perhaps Devlin wasn't telling her the truth.
Devlin's father's family all live in Hawaii and she's never met them.
As for her parents whereabouts, nobody saw anybody leave the train car. If they were brought to the lab on the moon, she never saw them, making it somewhat unlikely that they were ever there (though she didn't have the run of the lab, it was a small facility). The authorities were informed that they were all missing a couple of days later, but not much of an investigation was made. Devlin has spoken with the officer assigned to the case, and hasn't been able to ascertain if he just didn't put much effort into it, because his parents weren't a priority, or if he was told not to look into it. She definitely got a vibe that he was nervous and didn't really want to talk about it, for some reason.
Devlin has, through her investigation, learned a few things. For one, the disappearance happened while the train was passing through Berwyn, at around 9:30 AM. Her appointment was to see a Dr. Samuelson, who was a neurologist. Devlin interviewed her old next-door neighbor, Mrs. Lords, who she recalled correctly was very nosey, wondering if she'd seen anybody suspicious. Mrs. Lords remembered that her parents used to get frequent visits from “well dressed people, driving nice cars” pretty regularly in the months before their disappearance, and once a van from StayWell. And most importantly, she's learned that StayWell is owned by Vishanti Holdings, which also holds Vishanti Corporation.
Initial investigations into StayWell were fruitless, but she has recently discovered that they have a highly secure facility in Elgin. She hasn't had time to investigate there yet, and has just been contacted by a couple of old friends…