The World of Department 57

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.

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.

Affiliated Departments

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.

Heroes of the Department speak!

Treasure Laid BareTreasure Laid Bare

From the Files of Department 57:

Garon Rothwell has an independent fortune, but works for the Department as a Sorcerer. He has strong ties to his mother’s family in Hungary.

Rothwell’s complete control over his sexual impulses makes it unlikely that he will change. He is an extremely powerful Sorcerer and is only to be used sparingly. Always refer any requests to use his services direct to Cristos.

Garon: Tara is tough but vulnerable and although she doesn’t know it, she stole my heart the moment I saw her. I’m not sure what to do about that. I have to stop the Blood Countess from killing again, and I need all my powers to combat her. If I succeed, I might think again. If I don’t succeed, I’ll be dead, or mad, so it won’t matter.

My special circumstances won’t let me get involved with any woman, but this one draws me like no other woman before has ever done. I think I love her. I think I’m in desperate trouble.

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Crystal CaptiveCrystal Captive

From the Files of Department 57:

Dominici Serafino is a hotel owner, based in Italy. His hotels may be used as safe houses, with his permission. He is a shape-shifting dragon.

Serafino is a man who loves women, lots of them and at length, by all accounts. He features regularly in gossip columns and magazines, so female agents must be aware of this before they meet him. What they do is up to them, as long as it doesn’t affect the outcome of their mission.

Dominici: My life is composed of secret missions and public appearances, as owner of the villas and hotels, and what some choose to call ‘international playboy.’ I’ve never known what that means, but it sounds stupid to me. I just love women. It’s my heritage, it’s in my blood.

But I can’t afford to let my latest passion get too hot and heavy. Nicole Cipriani is an American journalist working in Rome, and she’s working for one of the most notorious gossip magazines in the country. I know she only wants me for my connections, at least that’s what I keep telling myself but I can’t keep away from her. And with the PHR after me, I might be leading her into danger. Deadly danger. For both of us.

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The Chemistry of EvilChemistry of Evil

From the Files of Department 57:

Evan Howell is a full-time operative for the Department. He is a computer expert, and the stepson by marriage to the Head of the Department, Cristos. Cristos expects no special privileges accorded to Howell.

Howell served five years in jail for fraud when he broke into the world stock exchanges to obtain money by deception. The Department obtained his early release in order to use his services.

Howell has an unusual Talent – he connects telepathically with anyone he has unprotected sex with. As yet he has refused to use his Talent for the Department’s operations, as the process has proved irreversible.

Evan: I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since my sister was murdered. I did try flying to England to contact Sofie Adams, who is working with the FBI on the murders, but that made things worse.

Sofie speaks to my heart. I want her badly, and yet I need to keep a clear head, to find out who killed my sister. And something very disturbing happened in England to Sofie’s ex fiance, something that I fear will bring danger to us both.

And yet I can’t stop thinking about her. Can’t stop wanting her.

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Topaz DeliriumTopaz Delirium

From the Files of Department 57: Jasper Lebec

One of the heads of the Department, currently running the French branch, based in Paris. Talent – classified information, contact Lebec directly or Cristos for more information.

Lebec is also the head of the House of Lebec, one of the top fashion houses in the world. He designs most of the house’s output.

Lebec refuses to become romantically involved with any woman, although he is heterosexual. The reason is connected with his Talent and may prove a weakness in an operation, although so far has not proved to be so.

Jasper: I have made mistakes before, but not like this.

Svetlana Yevchenko has been my Muse and principal model for several years now, although she doesn’t know what kind of relationship I really crave.

Until recently she hadn’t any idea just how much I want her. Now she does.

I should never have allowed it, but she was perfect for this Department operation. I have always avoided anything but a professional relationship, and even then every time I looked at my longing for her clawed at me inside.

But apart, it’s even worse.

My destruction I can bear, but not hers. I won’t be the cause of her death. If I can’t find happiness, then I want Svetlana to find it.

But she won’t find it with me.

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Cats' EyesCats’ Eyes

From the Files of Department 57:

José Aristides da Costa Santos (Ari)-Parents owners of the Santos company, manufacture pharmaceuticals. Currently working at the male strip club Hel. Partner to Devante Sirutis. Looking for the dealers of the drug Cephalox, produced by his father’s company, formula leaked to the PHR. Ari is calculating, utterly loyal to a very few people and doesn’t trust easily. A jaguar shape-shifter.

Devante Sirutis – Unknown parentage, native Brazilian appearance. Currently working at the male strip club Hel.Sirutis is the author of a biography, detailing his life as a child on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Working with his partner, Ari. Devante is devoted to his adopted family, loves Ari but has his own concerns, mainly to improve the condition of Brazilian street children. A jaguar shape-shifter.

Ari: Stripping every night for a pack of screaming women was fun at first, but it’s getting old fast. I need to get back home, I have work waiting for me, but we have to clear this up first. Nobody steals from my family.

Then I met Silje. She moves me like no other woman before, but she moves Devante, too. I hope she’s broad-minded enough to accept both of us, because I want them both.

Devante: Silje is the best thing that’s happened to us for years. I don’t want to leave her behind, but when we go back home we might have to, if she doesn’t want us. As a full-time agent for Department 57, Silje has her duties and her own life.

If only I didn’t want her so very much.

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