Excerpts from the journal of Connor Galloway, an employee of Orpheus and member of Crucible 7.
Richmond Virginia, October 17, 2013.
Thursday morning and we were met in our office by Prator, C.W. Barry and a security guard. Barry once again stressed the sensitivity of our next mission before Prator handed us the briefing. They even asked that we shred the copies after we read them.
Once we’d read through we all had a few questions. Dahlia asked about the reference to an ‘Enigma-class’ PLE and Barry replied that it was simply an unclassified spook. “What you might call a spectre,” Prator added and got a displeased look from Barry for it. Markus asked who the three victims were that Agent Lehto had referred. I’ll note them here.
- Rory Kennedy, died in a drink-driving accident in Columbus.
- Dallas Burbank, was fatally stabbed in an alleyway in Richmond.
- Bourke Dandridge, hung himself in his New York apartment.
All three were members of Agent Lehto’s fraternity and all came from wealthy families.
Prator, Barry, and his guard all left then so we could get to work. We started by going over the possible stories. Maybe Agent Lehto hired some others, maybe death merchants, to help him kill these men, with motives unknown. Maybe he used his abilities as a banshee to foresee their deaths and simply let it happen so he could get the referral bonus.
Next we checked Agent Lehto’s and the victims’ Facebook pages to see if anything jumped out at us. The only extra information we got was that Rory’s girlfriend Aurora also died in the crash. We weren’t really finding anything so we decided to head out. Using Dahlia’s forbode at the locations where these men died might give us some better insight. At the very least we’d be able to tell if the deaths were caused by spooks.
Our first stop would be New York City and it was our first opportunity to use the Orpheus chartered jet. Dan went to get the requisition forms and was apparently given high priority once they checked our mission number. It didn’t take long for us to get to the airport and we took off soon after. The jet itself was rather small, built to carry maybe a dozen people, but there was plenty of legroom.
When we landed I looked out the window and saw a surprising number of ghosts wandering around on the runway. Inside it wasn’t much better, ghosts were rushing about and shoving their way through crowds just like the living. The legendary New York rudeness showed up as well, as a passing ghost gave us a, “What you lookin’ at?”
A cab took us to Bourke’s old apartment in Manhattan where the doorman was very friendly but wouldn’t let us in. When we mentioned we were from Orpheus and looking into Bourke’s death he even rang management, but there was no change. In fact, he said that management didn’t want any residents finding out we’d been there. They thought people might panic. Without even setting a foot in the door we had to leave.
We didn’t go far however. Just down the street we booked ourselves a hotel room. Dahlia and I were the only ones visible when I asked the concierge if we could get a room for an hour. He gave us a sleazy smile and nodded knowingly. I groaned inwardly, the cover story would serve though. We projected and headed back to Bourke’s building, strolling straight in past the doorman.
The apartment had been reoccupied since the last tenant expired and as we entered we found a middle aged woman drinking wine on the couch while her infant son played with some blocks on the carpet. It was the kind of apartment with exposed rafters and ventilation for a ceiling, plenty of places to set up a noose. The kid looked straight at us when we entered and even waved. Luckily his mother paid it no attention.
Dahlia sat down next to the woman and entered her trance. She saw Bourke drinking and crying before we walked across the room to where he’d hung a belt from the ceiling. When he kicked the stool out from under him Dahlia had spotted another person, a spook standing in the corner watching. The spook seemed shocked by the death but didn’t move to prevent it, he simply buried his face in his hands and said, “Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck.”
This death was the only one that Agent Lehto had no alibi for and so we surmised that he must have been the spook in the corner. Although he hadn’t directly killed Bourke he was present when it happened. His reaction was very interesting though and something we couldn’t figure out. Was it regret for something he’d caused? Was it fear? A legend sprang into my head of a curse that would kill off certain deserving people one by one. Perhaps Agent Lehto was simply afraid of falling to the same fate as the other three. Perhaps they had all done something when they were younger that made them deserving of this curse.
After that it was a flight back to Richmond and a short drive to the alley were Dallas was stabbed. Originally I had suggested that a Poltergeist could have caused such wounds but it turned out much simpler than that. Dahlia used Forbode once again and saw that a drunk Dallas had been pissing in the alley when a mugger had told him to hand over his money. Dallas had refused and further enraged the mugger by turning to piss on him. The mugger drew a knife and ended the story there.
It was mid afternoon and our second stop hadn’t told us anything useful. We decided the car-crash would be too difficult to investigate due to the crime scene being a long stretch of road. Whatever caused Rory to crash could have happened far away from the final spot. So with the day winding down we agreed that our next stop would be Agent Lehto’s house.
We’ve just regrouped at Orpheus and will be heading out soon, before it gets dark. It’s time for a good old fashioned stake-out.