The Orpheus Group is a projection firm whose employees become the center of the storyline of Orpheus. The leader in its field, the Orpheus Group (sometimes shortened to Orpheus) is known for its solid, professional reputation in dealing with ghosts and hauntings.
For a fee, the Orpheus Group will send agents capable of projecting their spirits to investigate suspected hauntings. Sometimes these turn out to be frauds or false alarms, but in the case where a haunting is real, Orpheus agents have been trained to deal with the situation in a number of ways, from helping a lost ghost transcend to simply fumigating the offending party. Orpheus also takes on assassination attempts and murder contracts on living people (which it innocuously refers to as wetwork), but only reluctantly and on a strictly limited basis.
Orpheus specializes in a number of interests; projecting is foremost, but interest also extends to pharmaceuticals and studies of the nature of death.
Key personnel at the Orpheus Group include:
- Jack Tilton – The CEO of Orpheus is known for his ability to bail out companies in trouble, though not everyone who works at the company appreciates his presence. He replaced Bob Jackson after the former founder died unexpectedly.
- George Oliver – A former client of JDG Cryogenics, Oliver serves as the Chairman of Orpheus Group. His influence on the company is thanks to JDG’s practice of taking over clients assets and using them to buy shares of stock in the company. Oliver, through this process, became one of the main shareholders, and eventually took over his present position.
- Anne Del Greco – A board member and one of the founders of JDG Cryogenics. She maintains an interest in the “traditional occult,” though not necessarily a belief.
- Jane Kennedy – Another board member, Kennedy is unofficially known as the “mother of all sleepers.” It was her experiences in cryonic suspension that led Orpheus into the projection field; whether she can still project outside of the cradle is unknown. Like Oliver, she is also a major stockholder.
- Bob Jackson – The other co-founder of JDG Cryogenics, Jackson served as its CEO until his untimely death in 1996. While the cause of his death was classified as a heart attack, some believed the government had him killed following the Project Flatline fiasco.
- Note: There is an unnamed Orpheus Agent, who become an FBI defector. She is mentioned in pg. 42. of Shades of Gray.
Orpheus is currently located in a two-story building in a well-known industrial area. Beneath the building are four sub-basements, which house the training rooms, nursery, and computer mainframe, among other important, albeit sensitive, areas.
Orpheus Group began as JDG Cryogenics in 1986, a firm specializing in freezing and caring for the bodies of the terminally ill so they could be safely revived when a cure for their condition was found. Through Jane Kennedy’s experiences, Orpheus discovered some of their clients were actually able to eject their spirits from their body and then return without any ill effects.
Seeing great potential in this unusual side effect and spurred on by stockholders Kennedy and Oliver, JDG decided to reform the company to take advantage of the growing projection field. They became the Orpheus Group in 1994.
Wanting to experiment more with these sleepers, they sought disposable guinea pigs; this eventually put them into contact, by way of government sponsers with the NSA, with death-row at Marion Federal Penitentiary and lead them to begin Project Flatline. Twelve death-row inmates were selected for the experiment; each were placed in a death-like state and then revived. Experiments were done on them while they were projecting. Eventually, the inmates realized that they could remain as ghosts without their bodies and fled, leaving Orpheus with twelve soulless bodies and a major scandal on their hands. A few days later, the death-row wing of Marion mysteriously burned down, destroying both the bodies of the inmates and evidence of their early experiments. The twelve former inmates became known as the Flatliners.
Despite the problems that resulted, Orpheus got enough information from these experiments and others to make projection feasible. In 1996, they officially went public with their technology and made themselves available for hire.
The Last Days of Orpheus Group
Orpheus became the target for a number of organizations that wanted it out of the way to clear the path for the eventual coming of Grandmother. To achieve this end, Uriah Bishop, head of the Missionary Works of the Holy Ghost and ally of Grandmother, arranged for NextWorld to attack and destroy the Orpheus complex. Through careful orchestration and planning, and clever use of projection, NextWorld succeeded in killing most key personnel (including many of the ones listed above) and blowing up the complex. Spectres (supplied by Grandmother) picked off any stragglers.
The NSA took advantage of the attack on Orpheus to stage a raid of its own. They hired several Death Merchants, gifted in the Shade of Haunter, to enter what remained of the complex and use Witch’s Nimbus to destroy any remaining data the company had on their involvment in financing and helping the company with Project Flatline.
What little was left of Orpheus, including and scraps of information and surviving personnel, came under the watchful eye of the FBI. The subsequent investigations lead to a witch hunt against the company and forced many former Orpheus employees underground for several months.
After the attack, a few former Orpheus employees came together to form Lazarus Redux.