Orpheus logo, link to Orpheus page

Shadow of the Windy City

a chronicle of Orpheus


> Episode 1:
A cry in the dark

> Episode 2:
Real men

> Episode 3:
Hockey for one

> Episode 4:
A downtown nightmare

> Episode 5:
Rebel without a clue


> Penguin's Rest home
> White Wolf's Orpheus page


> Chiller font

Episode 5

Rebel without a clue

Unfortunately this month saw the group split up. The player of Simon Benson is a big loss since I found him to be the heart of the group. Two of the players are theoretically available, but if the game is to continue we need to plug the gaps, and they will be hard gaps to fill.

This game log is posted in honour of my friend Mehdi, and may the distance between us seem no distance at all.

ST Comments

These sessions with the "shrink" Dr Fudborough were inspired after the traumatisiation of Bill Logan during the last session. When the player was unavailable at the last minute it led to the idea of interspersing them before and after main sessions.

The idea of a "shrink" is an American one and is somewhat different to the consellers and psychotherapists that I am familiar with. Indeed one of the players pointed out that Dr Fudborough hardly pushed on anything, completely missing the important issues. Some of this is lack of skill and experience, the other is a deliberate policy:

Fud is a company shrink whose funding is based largely on his evaluation of staff, not the deep long-term treatment of dedicated (and skilled) psychiatrists. Additionally he does not expect many of his patients to choose to see him, and so initial sessions tend towards friendly and non-invasive.

I really wish I had recorded these sessions. This was the intention, but due to moving house the necessary tools were unavailable. What you see is the conversation as passed through a very bad memory with many blanks left out or reinterpreted. Sadly I don't have the players' inimitable styles.

Interview with Charlie Schwartz

Dr Fudborough: Tell me about the other psychiatrists you have seen.
Charlie Schwartz: He was rubbish. He just liked the sound of his own voice.

DF: What kinds of things did you talk about with him?
CS: My family mostly. My mother was a complete obsessive bitch, spending all her time cleaning and making everything spotless.

DF: Your father?
CS: Hah! My father was a complete waste of space. He was there to do my mother's bidding. And to bring in more money for her to spend on useless crap.

DF: Brothers? Sisters?
CS: Nah.

DF: Did you talk about anything else?
CS: Nah, well, drugs, you know.

DF: How do you feel about your bosses at Orpheus?
CS: Which ones?
DF: Whichever ones you wish to talk about.
CS: Anal retentives, the lot of them. Fucking idiots. And Chet Mason especially, with his stupid orders, fucking telling me not to smoke. Fucking wanker.

DF: Why do continue to work for Orpheus?
CS: They pay me. Loadsa money.

DF: Simon is not the leader of the crucible. How as this affected you?
CS: Berk. He really hasn't given any orders yet. Dithering idiot.

DF: What has it been like working for the police?
CS: It's been great! I get to pull over drivers flash my badge and say "police!".
DF: You like the power?
CS: No, well yeah, but people respect you, and the pigs respect you. Some pig pulls you over and I flash my badge and they turn all "Oh sorry sir, please carry on sir, sorry to have disturbed you sir." You should see the look on their stupid faces.

DF: You like to have respect?
CS: It's like, before they treated me as a common criminal. Now I have freedom, they can't touch me.

DF: Do you see yourself leaving Orpheus?
CS: I've no reason to leave, as long as they pay me.

DF: Thank you very much for your time. That is all for now.

Charlie stubs out his fag on the table then flicks it into the bin before heading out the door. As Doctor Fudborough starts writing out his report, Charlie pops his head back in. "I smell something burning...". The doctor sprays the nascent fire with a fire extinguisher and Charlie's laughter echoes down the corridor.

Interview with Simon Benson, crucible leader

Doctor Fudborough: Welcome, sit down.

DF: You have been put in charge of your crucible. How do you feel about them?
Simon Benson: Charlie has no respect for authority. I don't trust him, especially not to watch my back.

DF: What about the others? Jerry?
SB: Jerry seems very calm and reasonable. A solid guy.
SB: Bill may look crazy, jumping from rooftops et cetera, but he has been useful and reliable.

DF: How do you feel about being responsible for your crucible?
SB: I'm not sure. I haven't really given an order yet.
SB: Of course I have some experience with the police, being a detective, you have some responsibility.
SB: What I really worried about is giving an order... one that would hurt one of them. ...

DF: Could you give an order like that when it came to the crunch?
SB: When it came to the crunch? ....Yes. Probably. I think I could.
SB: No, I don't know. I won't know until the time comes.

DF: Your job has put you in danger. How does this affect your relationship with your family.
SB: I... I would consider my wife is in more danger. This came up before when I was a cop.

DF: What about your daughter?
SB: Son. Robert. He is coping very well. I think. To be honest I don't see him as much as I want. He is living with his grandparents.

The player got bonus marks at this point for making the ST cry.

DF: How often do you see your family?
SB: Whenever I can. When... you know I go under for weeks at at time. When I am sleeping I often go and watch over them if I can. When I am not, I spend all my spare time with them.

Then I had a coughing fit which completely ruined the mood. :(

DF: Did you shoot anyone before you joined Orpheus?
SB: Yes, with the police.
DF: Did you kill anyone before you joined?
SB: No, shot but not killed.

DF: Did shooting a man while working at Orpheus feel any different than it did working for the police?
SB: Hmmm, not really. I felt it was legitimate. It was a police operation anyway, it was just like being in the police.

DF: How does working for Orpheus compare with working for the police?
SB: Well, it seems very familiar. The investigation, the paperwork, they are both very similar. Of course there is the supernatural stuff.

DF: How do you fell treated by Orpheus?
SB: Fairly well. You know I had to move here after my wife fell ill. Orpheus pays for her treatment.

DF: Would you consider leaving if your wife got better? SB: I don't know. I might. I probably won't - I don't change jobs just on a whim.

Rebel without a clue

The crucible had been pulled back a little after the revelation last month that some criminals were becoming aware of the police's latest weapon. They had however helped with more murder enquiries with at least one success, and they had dealt with two PLEs following police requests.

A couple of months into their new jobs, they had a request to meet Nicole Lands in her office the following day. As they sat in her secretary's office, it occured to them how important their boss was to Orpheus. She was, after all, the company's primary contact with much of the outide world.

As it was, Nicole was late for the meeting, eventually turning up and saying, "Sorry I'm late. My last meeting overran, and I have another in a few minutes. I just have time to summarise your briefing." Following her into her office, the crucible were passed a copy of the briefing each, and a pile of related reports.

Mathew Lehto, a Banshee formerly employed by Orpheus has disappeared. His disappearance is linked to three suspicious retrieval cases, as well as an encounter a few months before his disappearance with an Enigma class PLE who killed two members of his crucible. The retrieval cases all involved former acquaintances, all of whom he investigated financially before they died. It was also suggested (by hand) that the Enigma Class entity was The Jackal, who they had encountered previously.

Although Nicole Lands had suggested they might get some help from police contacts, the file requested the investigation be kept in house as much as possible. After all, any crimes that Mathew Lehto had committed were not pursuable under the current legal system.

With a former detective and a former journalist on the team, it was not surprising that a methodical investigation ensued. At various times they chose not to include the police to keep things private, despite Nicole's advice.

They interviewed Angela Sarachan (widow of Marcel), Natalie Jaqua (widow of Rob Chivas) and Sally "twin peaks" Bradley (former mistress of Rob Chivas). Elsewhere, they visited a couple of his favourite bars and Maegama, the leader of the downtown junior baseball team Lehto volunteered at.

They talked to Kim Waldrum, a fellow member of "Matty"'s disbanded crucible, the Paper Hounds (Kim was now a member of the Knights of Sesame, effectively the parents club of Orpheus, and a friend of Simon). Jerry also had a word with his fellow polish-American, Christie Krivacek, a member of Lehto's last crucible, Brains and Stew.

All of this led to some fairly consistent answers, that he was a guy who put others first, needing to protect them if anything; that he was nice enough but kept his real emotions buried; that he withdrew after some of his crucible died. He was an enthusiatic alumni of the University of Chicago (an economics major), staying in contact with fellow alumni and friends from his days there; he often donated money to projects he favoured, such as a better staff nursery and a new roof on his former fraternity house (Phi Delta Theta).

There was a small hiccup in the investigations when Charlie broke and set off the fire alarms in the Orpheus building. Once they manually opened all the security doors between them, the crowds of staff left a large circle around the still-smoking Charlie, before he went off for more fags and booze. While he was gone Simon and Jerry talked to the rather attractive trainee projector, Marion Carrington, another alumni for Chicago Uni.

Following money trails, Charlie managed to obtain Lehto's bank details from Elizabeth Brandeis, chief financial officer and practically the only one in Orpheus Charlie treats with respect. Giving these to a punk hacker friend, he hoped to be able to see the contents. "Nobody hacks banks! Ebay, Amazon, sure, but not banks," he was told. Still he didn't listen and at a cost of a ball of Pigment and a grand in cash he will soon find that he and his "friend" were had.

The best lead the crucible found was from Angela Sarachan who saw him after he went missing. She singing at a gig at a hotel for one of the university fraternities, and she saw him in the crowd. Natalie Jaqua, the only interviewee who was at university with Lehto, also might be more help, since she chose not to hand over her list of mutual university friends when Simon went to see her.

To be continued...

The above events are a work of fiction, as are all characters used. Any resemblance to real people is pure luck.
Orpheus and the Orpheus logo is a © of White Wolf. This chronicle makes use of the concepts and terms provided by this series of books and does not challenge the White Wolf's copyright.