Orpheus: The Taste of Ashes - Forum

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Everything you ever wanted to know about being dead (but were afraid to ask)

An internal Orpheus forum that is spooks-only. It's a place for sharing information and gossip and blowing off steam. As such, management doesn't know about this and anyone who told them would find their lives becoming immeasurably more difficult. The guy who set it up has since passed on, but it's maintained in his memory.

Admin Message

"We're up again and ready for business.  Like the company, this board just won't stay dead."
-- Board Admin

Urgent Message

-- BE AWARE -- 
To all skimmers still alive and kicking, enemy is tracking us via chips implanted at Orpheus. Deactivate/destroy immediately.
Contracts on lives of remaining spooks being disseminated online via secure network accessible to criminal underworld. 
Details follow for anyone wishing to investigate.
Take care
-- Tom Knox

Roll Call

"Who's still around? What's your status? (No locations please, just in case. We still don't know how secure this is.)"
-- Dr Annie Harper

Horrors

Forbode

Puppetry

Inhabit

Helter-Skelter

Other Forces

Spectres

"I don't know what they are, but I know they're dangerous. The scientist in me wants to find out more. My survival instincts 
-- and the Orpheus protocols -- say to run like fuck. I might be paraphrasing with the last bit."
 -- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee
"I've been one of the few people outside of Beta Crucible to survive a fight with a Spectre.  Don't underestimate them.  They
may not all be world class minds, but they're tough, strong and they just keep coming.  And even if you kill the one you see,
there may well be others coming.  You can't let your guard down.  Orpheus protocols are there for a reason - if you can, run."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"Running's all well and good, and I agree it should be the first course of action. But what do you do when it's chasing you?"
 -- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee
"If you're lucky enough to have just skimmers, ripcord.  If you have someone with Storm Wending, teleport.  If you have a
driver nearby, run to the car and get him to drive away.  If none of those options present themselves, and you can't evade
them, then you obviously can't run."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"I agree with Chet.  We shouldn't let you children get into fights you're clearly not suited for.  Leave it to Beta, the
professionals."
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"Who are you calling a child, shit for brains?"
 -- Ben Cotton, Poltergeist
"Now now.  Come back when you can avoid getting your head ripped off by the most pathetic manifestation I've ever heard
about."
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"What's known about the Reaper? Has it ever been observed to target someone specifically, or have encounters with it seemed random?"
 --Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee
"From talking to the people who have seen it and survived, excounters seem to have been initiated by it.  Typically, it
appears from nowhere and immediately attacks someone."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"As the song says: 'Don't fear the Reaper'. As of yesterday, this shadow-class threat has been dispersed, hopefully for good.
Kudos to Beta crucible."
-- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee
"During the above operation, a spectre was encountered that demonstrated the ability to mimic others. It first took the form 
of the Reaper, and then one of our spooks. Has anything like this been encountered before?"
-- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee

Radio Free Death

"Every evening, some time between 11 and 12 pm, static briefly interferes with Fox News.  Spooks can hear a message broken up
by static, by someone calling themselves Radio Free Death.  The message is also broadcast over local radio.  The message
appears to be local to New York.  He seems to be remarkably well informed about the state of the afterlife hereabouts.
Management's official line is that we shouldn't listen to him and he can't be trusted.  Personally, I'd suggest you make up
your own mind."
 -- Kate Dennison, Banshee
"From studying his voice and speech patterns, I'd say he's probably local to Harlem, though has spent some years out, either
travelling or somewhere where lots of people from different parts of the country come.  Probably lowerclass originally, he
seems to have some education since."
 -- Dr Annie Harper
"Has anyone tried analysing the signal itself?"
 -- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee
"I asked a tech to have a look at it, but according to him it was just mundane noise, caused by some kind of interference.
He wasn't too sure what could have caused it, but he said that 'it didn't seem to have any information content by itself'."
 -- Kate Dennison, Banshee
"Don't know if this is connected, but it could be: http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=776#more-776 "
 -- Shelley Jackson, Haunter
"Does anyone know when RFD went on the air? Or, alternatively, when's the earliest recorded broadcast? Has it always been the
same operator?"
-- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee

Terrel & Squib

"Our main competitors in the post life business.  Very technologically based, with only a few skimmers to their name.  They
do seem to be more active in the PLE recruitment area, though, and their teams relatively often have PLE backup."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"They're complete amateurs though.  Even compared to the rest of you lot.  Their missions tend to go FUBAR half the time.
Witness Forest Hills.  The only reason they get hired by the corporates at all is because they don't publish their success
rate and they look more high tech than us."
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"If Forest Hills *was* one of their fuckups, that is.  It's quite convenient that they managed to stir up a hornet's nest on
our doorstep."
 -- Craig Forrest, Skinrider
"From what I've seen of their ops, I'd have a hard time putting it down to anything other than stupidity.  Let alone some
kind of shadowy masterplan."
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"Let me know when you catch Hyde, then, Alex.  Since you're the professional."
 -- Craig Forrest, Skinrider
"Fuck off, Craig.  If I'd been called in immediately, I'd have had bagged him then and there.  Now I've got to track him
through several million people.  A good job takes time.  I'd have thought that a security 'professional' would have known
that."
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"Uhuh."
 -- Craig Forrest, Skinrider
"We've recently managed to retrieve some intact T&S ghostbuster rounds, as well as a set of goggles that allow people to see
ghosts.  A good reminder to everyone - just because people may be mundane, it doesn't mean that none of them can hurt us.
We've got the techs analysing them now."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider

NextWorld

"These people are professional killers.  They may have less projectors than us, and only skimmers at that, but don't forget
that they are very well trained and very deadly.  They can also call upon topnotch mundane backup.  Don't underestimate these
guys.  Standing orders are to not engage, unless necessary to complete a mission."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"Now *here* are some guys that I'd like to dance with.  At least they know the right end of a gun, and decent tactics."
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"They certainly seem like your kind of people, Alex."
 -- Kate Dennison, Banshee
"Quick heads up - there's a NextWorld operative in the city.  Name of Marcus N'Kejeda.  (Photo attached)  Alex, orders direct
from management - do *not* engage, under any circumstances.  If this guy gets involved in one of your operations, call home
immediately."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"Fuck, Chet.  Why'd you have to inform management?"
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"Because we don't want a shooting war between NextWorld and our people, Alex.  He's not a target for your amusement.  Leave
him the fuck alone.  Management have given me clearance to kick your arses from here to Sunday if you even *look* in his
direction."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"Any time you want to try, old man.  Any time you want to try."
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"Have there ever been any scuffles between NextWorld and Orpheus, or Terrel and Squib?"
 -- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee
"So far we've managed to keep our distance from NextWorld.  There have been a few times when we've scuffled with Terrel &
Squib, but nothing that serious."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"Yo betas, NW facility located in deep south, in a mansion near Midkiff, Texas. Why not focus on the real problem and make 
yourselves useful for a change?"
-- Alphas


Weird Shit

9/11 and the World Trade Centre

"Don't approach Ground Zero.  Standard protocols state that the area should be approached under no circumstances.  These
exist for a good reason.  No one who has got too close in gauze form has ever returned.  The entire area is shrouded in what
looks like a sandstorm that gets ever more inpenetrable as you get closer.  As such, you're vulnerable there, even in body.
If we need to get something done there, for god's sake send a non projector."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"The area's shrunk over the last two years.  At the current rate, it should disappear completely within a decade."
 -- Dr Annie Harper
"Do we have any idea to cause something like this?  I mean, it might be useful to know how to cause this shit if we have to
at some point."
 -- Ben Cotton, Poltergeist
"Short answer: no."
 -- Dr Annie Harper
"Long answer: I'll rip your balls off if you even think of trying to replicate it, Ben."
 -- Kate Dennison, Banshee
"I like the way you think, Ben."
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"Is Ground Zero the only example of such a phenomenon? Has anything like it been observed at the site of other mass deaths,
or events of particular emotional significance? Have spectres been observed in the vicinity?"
 -- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee
"It's the largest mass disaster to happen in the last three years.  Since the effects fade with time, I wouldn't be surprised
to learn, for instance, that there had been something similiar at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Interestingly, temporary clouds of
dust only visible to spooks have been observed in other places occasionally.  We haven't been able to connect these events to
any human activity.  We're hoping to give one a more indepth study at some point - so far we've only anecdotal evidence."
 -- Dr Annie Harper
"Spectres have been observed all over the city at various times.  One or two have been spotted in the vicinity of Ground
Zero, including one recorded attack by the Reaper.  Obviously, observation of spectres is something of a problem in that
area."
 -- Chet Mason, Skinrider
"Further to Ben's question above, it seems that it is possible to cause something similar to the Ground Zero event, albeit on
a much smaller scale. As many of you may be aware, a peculiar gauze phenomenon was discovered in the basement of the
nightclub 'Chains'. (I will post the results of our investigation on another forum.) Its disappearance (or destruction -- it
isn't clear which) seemed to leave an imbalance in the local spiritual environment, which led to the formation of a gauze
storm. The mechanism seemed to bear a certain similarity to the way that mundane storms form in areas of low pressure. This
phenomenon did not, at last examination, seem to be expanding any further, holding constant at a distance just outside the
building's walls. Although it doesn't seem to be on anything like the same order of magnitude as Ground Zero, I would urge
caution in its vicinity. It might be best to avoid it for the time being."
-- Dr Annie Harper

The Millennium

"Is there a reason why ghosts started appearing around the millenium?  We know that prognostication exists.  Maybe there's a
reason why that date left such a large imprint on the collective psyche.  Or maybe the large impression caused ghosts to
start forming?"
 -- Dr Annie Harper
"Is that the sound of frantic denial I hear as you get ever closer to the three year limit, dear?"
 -- Alex Pretorius, Skinrider
"Eat shit and die, Alex."
 -- Kate Dennison, Banshee
"Has anyone tried using Forebode to look back at sites of likely ghost geneses before the millennium?"
 -- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee
"Using Forebode to look before the millenium is a bad idea generally.  If you're lucky, you'll just pick up static.  I lost a
good friend who investigated a little too hard.  He didn't come back."
 -- Kate Dennison, Banshee
"Have any similar barriers to future viewings been discovered? Are there any post-millennial events that can't be viewed?"
 -- Dr Teresa Reilly, Banshee
"Uncertain.  We haven't managed to see them yet."
 -- Carter Jones, Banshee


Future Visions

The Apocalypse

"On May 1st, the spectres are going to open up a rift from their world to ours by using a dark tower (possibly the ghost of
one of the twin towers) as a bridgehead. The tower will come through at Ground Zero and it will hit the ground like a physical
object, causing a blast wave that spreads out as far as the eye can see. Any spook out of body and on the streets when the
blast wave hits will be torn apart instantly. Ordinary people at the blast site will be killed. Spectres will spread out from
Ground Zero through the subways and storm drains, following the blast wave. Any spooks they get their hands on will either be
killed (if they're lucky) or dragged back to the tower (if they're really unlucky). Captured spooks will be hung upon the
tower's hooks and spikes; their gauze stretched out to form a skin. It's a very big tower; a great many of them will be needed
to cover it completely. At least one of the spectres is someone we've met before: he used to be Dr Mark Velvet, a researcher
who tortured ghosts for Terrel & Squib. The spectres killed him and took his ghost; now it looks like he's one of them.
Believe it or not, there is some good news: it's possible to survive the initial blast. As for what comes afterwards: I don't
know. What I do know is that we're going to try to stop it from happening."
-- Dr Annie Harper, Metamorph

Spook Night

"You might have heard about the spectres wandering through the city. They aren't just wandering randomly. Some of them are
sticking very close to Pigment dealers. At least three of us have had spontaneous visions relating to this, and we think we've
figured out what it means. On Friday, a bad batch of Pigment is going to hit the clubs and people are going to die. The
number '318' is significant: it might be the number of deaths they need. ('They' being whoever's behind this; probably
spectres, but also maybe others.) One of the dealers is dead -- possibly dipped into his own stash, and opened the bad batch a
little early. His spectre companion watched him die and then ate his ghost. There was a gauze chess piece amongst the dealer's
stash: a white bishop. This featured in at least one of the visions, and might have served to 'tag' him for the spectre.
Whatever's going to happen is going to be big and going to be bad, but we don't yet know why. Maybe it's connected to the
upcoming apocalypse. In any event, we're trying to stop it."
-- Dr Annie Harper
"To the RFD broadcaster: If you're reading this, please warn spooks to stay away from the clubs Chains, Limelight, Aria,
Downtime, Hush and Village Underground on Friday night. Something very bad is going down and there are likely to be large
numbers of spectres. Any information you could provide on what's to come would be greatly appreciated."
-- Dr Annie Harper