Excerpts from the journal of Connor Galloway, an employee of Orpheus and member of Crucible 7.
Richmond Virginia, October 10, 2013.
On the way from the hospital to the office we once again passed the Church. We debated whether we were in a state to go in and properly check it out. Dahlia seemed to have recovered quite quickly and was pretty adamant we should. The debate left us a little ways past the actual building so I had to turn around to head back to their carpark.
Outside the front door a small group had gathered. A suited black man was speaking to a young woman who was the definition of white-trash, like someone you’d see on tv. Standing next to these two was a large guy in a shirt and dress-pants, his head was shaven bald.
The woman left as we approached and the man she was talking to introduced himself as the Reverend Thaddeus Green. The bald guy simply folded his arms and watched us. Reverend Green was very concerned about our bruising and let us know that the Church was a safe place for all people. We asked him about the church and he told us that it was a place to bring communities together, both living and dead.
He asked me what I was looking for, and knowing that I’m a terrible liar I told him I’d been seeing ghosts. He looked at me hard, with piercing eyes, “Have you doing that Pigment?”
“Yes, a little bit,” might as well be honest. Turns out that the Church runs a kind of ‘get clean’ program to help people get off it.
“What about you, ma’am?” he turned to talk to Dahlia, “are you in need of refuge?”
“No, no. I’m just tired,” she replied. He offered the Church as a place to rest and asked if there was anything else he could do for her. She took the opportunity to get some more information on the Church.
The Sacred Mother is an amalgamation of different religious figures, most prominently the virgin Mary but also possibly representing more pagan mother goddesses. It’s reminiscent of early christian missionaries who, upon arriving in a new land, simply told the locals that god had been there all along and that they had just been calling Him by a different name.
Back at Orpheus we headed straight for our meeting room to sit and process. Dahlia was shocked by the fact that we’d encountered unclassified PLEs. “I think those were the spectres that Grimes warned us about,” I replied, still trying to make sense of it myself.
“Do you believe in that?”
“I do now.”
Having been dropped into something like that had left the others feeling like there wasn’t anyone in Orpheus we could trust. We started listing the people we thought would give us some answers. Tyler Prator? Definitely not. Lisa Schiller? Yeah, we figured she would help us, but I also made it clear that I felt there were things she didn’t want to talk about. I suggested John Grimes but the others were still on the fence as to whether his information was reliable. We decided that we should ask Lisa about spectres when we got a chance.
The phone rang and after staring at it for a second I picked it up. Prator was on the other end. “Hey, you guys are all back?”
“Yeah,” he was the last person we wanted to see right now.
“I’ll be right down,” and with that he rung up.
He was obviously disturbed by Dahlia’s bruises when he came in and turned to talk to me instead. It turned out that the Catholic Church had decided our role in the Orphanage situation was over and that they would be dealing with it ‘In-house’. Prator congratulated us on another job ‘well done’ and told us to take a day or two to recover and get to know each other better. “Go to the zoo or something,” was his brilliant suggestion. How can he expect us to just go about our regular lives like today didn’t happen.
He also reminded us about the party and made sure we’d received his email with the details. No partners sadly, sorry Julie. We made sure to ask this time as to who the new big client actually was. CT Goldwater, the name didn’t ring a bell for me but Markus and Dahlia perked up at the name. They’re some kind of security contractor, working mostly in the Middle-east. Apparently some time soon Orpheus would be sending projectors to work with these groups abroad. Prator seemed genuinely excited by the prospect but the thought of using projection to engage in some kind of spiritual warfare doesn’t sit well with me.
But if it does come to that, or if we’re going to be seeing more spectres, I’d better be prepared. I think it’s about time to go see Hollis for another training session.