Hint: mouse over the letter below to read the hidden message!
A letter from Cristos, the head of Department 57
To all Talents;
My name is Cristos, and I work for the CIA, or more precisely, I run a research department called Department 57.
Or at least, that’s what the world thinks.
But since I know I’m talking to the initiated, I can tell you that Department 57 is devoted to Talents.
Vampires, shape-shifters, anthros, Sorcerers and anyone else who feels different, Talented, this department is where you should be. We stay very deep undercover, since the Company doesn’t yet feel it can acknowledge us, and we’re linked to other departments worldwide.
We’re looking for the enemies of our kind. Since our enemies have turned to violence, the struggle has become more difficult.
If you’re missing a friend, if you can’t find out where he or she has gone, one of these organizations might have taken them. We need to know. Contact us, any way you can. We have websites. Vampires, you know the network you have. You can reach us through that. Shape-shifters, I know you prefer to keep to your own kind, but this isn’t the time to stay aloof. We need you, all of you, to fight the growing menace of hatred and ignorance.
Most Talents don’t work as fully fledged agents, they work on a temporary basis as consultants. We know most of you have your own lives, and you can’t devote all your time to us, but if we’re to win this struggle, we need your help. The very survival of differently Talented humans is at stake. These people want to destroy us. Fear, ignorance, or the human urge to dominate – who knows their reasons?
While we can’t yet show ourselves, some people in authority know, and they’re helping us. Some are not. If we’re to win the war – and don’t kid yourselves, this is a war – we have to fight back.
I am releasing a series of case studies, detailing individual fights against our would-be destroyers. They will be disguised as fiction, but don’t be fooled – each story is real, each experience happened. If you don’t believe the threat we’re facing, believe that.
Buy the books, follow the clues and find us. Help us.
Now. Before it’s too late.
Deputy Director of the CIA, Cristos is the key to the Department, the reason it exists and the conduit between the Talents there, and the rest of the CIA. Because of Cristos, the CIA and the Government doesn’t quite know what it has, and he Talents have access to the official records that they need in order to keep their gifts secret.
So here is the story of Cristos, and how the Department came into being.
About the Department
In the 1970’s, a CIA operative who prefers to be called Cristos brought accounts of a secret department of the KGB back home. The department was looking into Psi abilities like telepathy and telekinesis with the idea of equipping its agents in the field with the superior weapons mental abilities could provide.
The US government decided that what the KGB had, the CIA had to have, too. So they put Cristos in charge of the new department, known as Department Fifty-Seven, because it was housed in an unused office in Fifty-Seventh Street in New York, well away from CIA headquarters in Virginia. No way did the CIA want to advertise its new experiments and be exposed as cranks. But they wanted to know and they wanted to keep up with the Soviets.
Cristos conducted a number of experiments which didn’t seem to work very well. When he discovered people with abilities, they were unreliable, sometimes depending on particular conditions to work properly. The CIA concluded that Psi abilities, if they even existed, weren’t useful as weapons in the Cold War. However, Cristos was also running a department developing sophisticated communication devices. It was hoped that Psi abilities could be enhanced by subcutaneous devices, and experiments on this, and other, more mundane but very useful devices, were ongoing.
At least, that was what the world outside the Department thought.
In reality, Cristos used the Department as cover. Very few people knew that the experiments resulted not only in success, but in the development of very special operatives.
Known in the Department as Talents, these people seemed perfectly ordinary agents and consultants, but they were far from that. Sorcerers, shapeshifters, vampires and anthros all had lives out of the ordinary, some living for many more years than the human lifespan. They had long ago decided to live anonymously in human society, and to pass unnoticed in the modern world, they needed papers, authentic records of life after life. Some kept it in the family, inventing fictitious children for the time when they would have to move on to another life. Some moved from life to life, leaving nothing behind them. In order to do this smoothly, they needed records, as official as possible. The Department provided them, and in return, the Talents provided their unique abilities for specific assignments.
Sadly, there were people who, once they had become aware of the existence of beings that were different, decided to either eliminate them or experiment on them.
After several brutal killings of citizens, US and overseas, the FBI and CIA were forced to take action. While the authorities assumed the PHR was a fanatical organization and their targets were ‘ordinary’ people, Cristos knew better. So did the Talents. He made it his business to track and counter the organization, and recruited Talents to help him.
Most Talents have consistently refused to become agents. They have their own agenda. Through many centuries they have refused to ‘come out’ but the modern era, with its surveillance equipment and lengthy paperwork has its own challenges. While Talents try to be law abiding citizens, they do have another loyalty; to their families and their communities, and to protect each other. They will co-operate with Cristos, the CIA and the other security organizations, but only up to a point.
The Department in London is headed by a man called Will Grady. Grady is as mysterious as Cristos, and suspected to be the same kind of Talent, although no one knows exactly what that is. He is built like a bear, tall, powerful, with big hands that can be surprisingly gentle when he wishes. He has jet black hair and the same steely, silver-gray eyes that distinguish Cristos. In London, Department 57 is part of MI6, its headquarters in the central MI6 building on the Thames, disguised as a research library.
In Paris, the Department is affiliated to Interpol, but its headquarters are in a fashion house. Jasper Lebec, the head of the Lebec fashion empire, heads the Department from his head office on the Champs Elysees. Lebec is a fashion designer, but his company also makes perfume, accessories and jewelry. He is known to be fabulously rich and notoriously secretive about his private life. He has long, black hair, usually fastened back, light silver-gray eyes and is taller and leaner than Cristos.