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Rumors for March 16, 2007

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Public Knowledge

Sect and Clan

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Bureaucracy

  • Bureaucracy x1: Deficit strikes New Jersey pension plan! Three times anticipated levels!

  • Bureaucracy x2: There is a lot of finger-pointing going on over who is responsible for the New Jersey deficit, but it's not really clear who is responsible. It shouldn't have happened, that's for sure.

  • Bureaucracy x3: Someone definitely was slipping a little on the side and just got fucking greedy. It's not even clear when or how it started - the fund's assets had been systematically miscalculated for some time.

Church

  • Church x2: The Dogwood tree outside the window of the hospital where Christine Darkwater died continues to bloom. There are whispers that it will never stop. It's kept blooming for far beyond what a dogwood tree's life cycle should allow.

  • Church x5: Abbé St. John, the leader of the now condemned Cenacle of Saint Jude, has been found to have kept a diary. The contents are closely under wraps.

  • Church x6: The diary indicates what the Church suspected all along. Ferdinand St. John was a Heretic, who aided members of the damned and betrayed his fellows in the process. The journal details how he saved a devil whom the Society had captured in the Bronx, and then tended him for mouths, attempting foolishly to convert him to the will of God.

    It is now almost certain that whatever creature Ferdinand preserved has escaped and that it is possibly the cause of Abbé St. John's death.

  • Church x7: The S.A.D. has seized Abbé St. John's diary. The Church suspects it may foolhardily try to continue where the Cenacle failed.

    Deus vult.

Finance

  • Finance x1: Security is the new keyword as several mid-sized firms in New York. Better cameras, better logs, better monitoring and much better data security. Increased background checks are also being implemented, even for existing employees.

  • Finance x2: Layoff Rounds at Vontaug have concluded. Several other firms in the sector have also announced layoffs.

    In happier news, there are an increasing number of experienced mid and high level managers looking for greener pastures. This has been a godsend to many new start-ups looking for experienced talent.

  • Finance x3: The building housing the leather bar and nightclub Daemon's is still under a foreclosure hearing, and the mortgage has suddenly been bought by an LLC known as Giovanni Real Estate. It is no longer expected to go up for auction.

    Mid to high level managers with good track records are being inexplicably pushed out at several small to mid-sized firms in New York. These firms tend to specialize in complicated financial derivatives catering to highly sophisticated buyers. The employers are keeping quiet about what prompted layoffs. The only unusual thing is the timing - usually a dozen firms don't all start doing this sort of thing at the same time.

  • Finance x4: Several of the recently fired managers are not, in fact, looking for other jobs but are opting for early retirement instead.

    Vontaug has recently issued new guidelines for firms managing its money or otherwise taking contracts from it. These guidelines include stricter data protection and security requirements, as well as tighter personal requirements. If firms do not comply within six weeks, they will no longer receive business from Vontaug, its affiliates or its subsidiaries. For those who accept the new terms, there are strong penalties should there be a security breach or should an employee cause problems for Vontaug.

  • Finance x5: Vontaug is somehow related to the firings of the mid-high level managers.

    A handful of those fired had a reputation for questionable ethical practices.

  • Finance x7: The do not employ list contains the name of every person just fired from Vontaug.

Health

  • Health x1: There is even more of an increasing research push in place to find newer and more efficient anticoagulants, refrigeration systems, and transport methods for donated blood. Apparently the Red Cross is hoping to combat the laxity in New York donation rates by making blood keep longer. The hope to avoid the seasonal shortage of last year.

    A Bronx hospital employee has TB and has exposed close to a thousand patients to the disease, including several hundred newborn children. The hospital has been largely successful in keeping this incident out of the papers and has managed to downplay the numbers exposed (they were reported to be several hundred and 'a few'), although it is not clear how long this will hold. The hospital has thus far successfully avoided releasing her name.

  • Health x2: This was not the first incident involving the woman who contracted TB. Previously, she had been rebuked several times for violating sanitary procedures. The most colorful incident involved repeated failure to properly sterilize instruments. It is unclear why she remained employed. Whispered rumors suggest that someone higher-up in the hospital covered for her.


  • Health x3: The "TB woman's" name is Melinda Grigori. She was fired in early January when the expose was first discovered. Although TB is neither uncommon nor highly infectious, hospital officials have been extremely aggressive in identifying and isolating those exposed, more so than can be easily explained.

    The string of PCP incidents reported in the media lately does not correspond to a noticeable increase in people being admitted to area hospitals suffering from PCP overdose or addiction.

  • Health x4: One of the hospital directors has been covering for Ms. Grigori's lapses, but could not afford to do so this time due to the severity of the breach.

    PCP usage has actually been falling. Although there does seem to have been a highly-publicized cluster of incidents, they aren't really indicative of any sort of wide-spread use.

  • Health x5: Ms. Grigori did not just have a normal strain of TB - she had a highly contagious, highly infectious and drug-resistant strain that was being studied under controlled conditions at the hospital. Incidentally, research into this strain of the drug was being overseen by the same director who had previously protected her.

    Goddamn the goddamned media. They grab on a handful of incidents and string them together into a crisis... this is exactly the kind of thing causes problems. And now valuable resources are going to have to be wasted to address a non-existent epidemic.

  • Health x6: In this instance, Ms. Grigori was not actually to blame for the TB exposures. She was herself as much a victim as anyone else and was accidentally exposed due to errors by the doctors examining the TB strain.

  • Health x7: Ms. Grigori is expected to die of the TB strain. The one who fucked up was the director, who exposed many patients to the disease through improper handling procedures. Ms. Grigori was deliberately infected and used as a fall-guy.

High Society

  • High Society x3: A great number of people are apparently looking for the millionaire Emanuel James Richardson IV, who was made infamous a few months ago for his rumored fling with film star Tom Cruise.

    Reports indicate, however, that he is no longer in New York, and that he is rumored to have been seen in Chicago.

  • High Society x4: There are rumors of a hip new S&M club opening roundabout Greenwich village soonish. Several enthusiasts of the subculture claim the people in charge are legit.

    It's name is yet to be announced, but the logo associated with the club is a snake tied in a knot.

    A few reports have indicated that somebody (not Richardson) has been spotted lounging around the vicinity of the notorious gay playboy's ritzy Manhattan apartment. People are curious as to who it could be.

  • High Society x5: Daily Dirge horoscopist Melvin Gaylord has returned to his post after weathering some sort of terrible depression. Stories regarding the mysterious stranger handing around Richardson's old apartment indicate that he's a long haired, lanky man not previously seen in Richardson's company. The gossip is of course that he's quite possibly one of Richardson's paramours.

  • High Society x6: There's apparently also been a young rather scruffy-looking girl seen in the company of Richardson's mystery man, although almost nothing is known of her. She wasn't seen exiting the building today.

Industry

  • Industry x1: Security and monitoring equipment for large-scale facilities has been getting scarce in the greater New York area, which is driving up prices. Someone's buying up a lot of it.

  • Industry x2: Several materials suppliers in the greater New York area are quietly announcing target 'headcount optimization' policies. People are getting notices.

    There is an increased emphasis on security at many area manufacturing firms.

  • Industry x3: Layoff rounds are concluded at Vontaug. Layoffs on a much smaller scale are occurring at several other area firms.

    New supplier guidelines have been issued for companies wishing to do business with Vontaug. The period until compliance is mandatory is only six weeks and has already begun. Companies are scrambling to accommodate the new terms. There are rumblings that some do not intend to comply and are considering legal action. These terms do appear to include greater security requirements.

  • Industry x4: Many of Vontaug's suppliers seem to be doing layoffs in conjunction with the new supplier guidelines.

    The key portion of the new Vontaug guidelines are increased security measures for Vontaug data held by suppliers and a 'do not employ' list. Basically, companies are given six weeks to insure that certain individuals are not employed. There is grumbling, but given Vontaug's size and that it is pushing this very strongly, it will likely go through. There are heavy penalties if someone slips through the cracks.

  • Industry x5: The layoffs are due to a 'do not employ' list issued by Vontaug.

Legal

  • Legal x1: Feelers are being made about lawyers specializing in wrongful-terminations suits. Someone's looking to hire them.

  • Legal x2: Someone has been quietly putting on retainer a lot of lawyers specializing in medical malpractice suits and cases involving the healthcare industry. The usual expert witnesses are also being tapped.

    There was recently a brief flurry of interest in some sort of large-scale wrongful-termination suit involving a couple of industrial suppliers, but the issue got resolved before it got very far.

  • Legal x3: The large number of lawyers being put on retainer has something to do with some disease outbreak at some hospital - they're playing this one close to the vest. The hospital involved has been contacting those infected and offering free care and cash settlements - but all include strong lock-downs to prevent the media from catching on.

    Some well-to-do money managers have been inquiring about wrongful termination suits. They are generally turned away unhappy due to small print in their contract.

    The lead attorneys for the city's white-collar crime division have been pulling long hours lately and are quite excited about something, although its not clear what.

  • Legal x4: St. Barnabas. There was a nurse who exposed almost a thousand people to TB. The hospital is frantic to coverup the true extent of the exposures.

    There's talk about a bunch of fraud indictments coming down the pipe in the near future. Apparently, they just fell into the city's lap. Hence the excitement.

  • Legal x5: Something big and bad happened at St. Barnabas - you can't get the full details but its apparently the sort of thing that malpractice attorneys would salivate over if they could get an in. Money's flowing like water to keep this under wraps.

    There is talk about a possible wave of organized crime prosecutions, but it is very hush-hush.

    Several boxes of evidence arrived recently concretely documenting fraud on the part of several well-to-do businessmen. All have been quietly let go by their employers in the recent past.

Media

  • Media x1: CNN executive Darren West, the genius behind New York by Night, hasn't been heard from for nearly a month, and co-workers and friends have reported him as missing after being unable to contact him.

    The police have been called in.

    For the past three days there have been bizarre and unusual incidents of people happening upon flailing and homicidally crazy individuals who had been locked in the trunks of cars and were assaulting bystanders upon escape. One allegedly took a bullet and remained seemingly unscathed. People are freaked the fuck out.

    Two young auxiliary policemen shot dead by ex-Marine David Garvin! The deaths of Nicholas T. Pekearo and Yevgeniy Marshalik have sent a shock through the department, particularly the officers who regularly interact with the volunteer auxiliary officers on a regular basis.

  • Media x2: Daily Dirge horoscopist Melvin Gaylord has returned to his post after weathering some sort of terrible depression. Reports continue to indicate that somebody (not Richardson) has been spotted lounging around the vicinity of the notorious gay playboy's ritzy Manhattan apartment. People are curious as to who it could be.

    Tobin Butzenheim has recently been hired to the editorial staff of SATAN.

    David Garvin had apparently been in a downward spiral of increasing paranoia and frustration at his inability to write salable screenplays.

  • Media x3: Stories regarding the mysterious stranger handing around Richardson's old apartment indicate that he's a long haired, lanky man not previously seen in Richardson's company. The gossip is of course that he's quite possibly one of Richardson's paramours.

    The NYPD conducted a search of Garvin's apartment, but are loathe to discuss details.

  • Media x4: There's apparently also been a young rather scruffy-looking girl seen in the company of Richardson's mystery man, although almost nothing is known of her. She wasn't seen exiting the building today.

    The Daily Dirge, in the meantime seems to be working hard to make connections with local TV/Radio outlets.

    A woman working in the maternity ward of St. Barnabas Hospital caught TB and exposed several hundred patients, including a few new-born children. The hospital is leaning heavily on this incident.

Occult

  • Occult x1: Lucasta hasn't shown himself visibly for a while, yet people professing to be Lucasta's disciplines are everywhere. The vigilante street hero is said to be the prophet of mankind's last days and to bring about an age of peace and goodwill. He's become a major subculture icon, and there is a suspicion that minor cults may begin to appear in his name soon.

    In particular there is the idea that Lucasta is capable of walking on water, and that this is in fulfillment of prophecies foretold for a long time.

    "The Age of the Lightbringer" is said to be at hand.

  • Occult x2: The Scions of the Mystick Sigil, a local Hermetic occult group, have apparently been working feverishly on some sort of ritual of transposition or transformation. It is rumored that they needed a lot of foxes.

  • Occult x3: Police have found vague connections between the "occult room" in Columbia University Library and various local book store owners and Hermetic magicians in the area who claim to have seen it.

    The name Adam Jones (strangely enough brought up in the case of Abel Sarkin, a man who is now serving a life sentence for killing two children in a satanic ritual) has come up again.

Police

  • Police x1: For the past three days there have been bizarre and unusual incidents of police happening upon flailing and homicidally crazy individuals who had been locked in the trunks of cars and were assaulting civilians upon escape. All individuals found in these incidents were found covered in blood and fought with "inhumane" endurance seemingly unaware of their surroundings. One allegedly took a bullet and remained seemingly unscathed.

    It is suspected that the people in question were under the effects of PCP, and there is suspicion that all three of the people in question were the target of some sort of strange initiation ritual. Vampiric cults are suspected, as all three individuals claimed to be vampires after finally being detained and calmed down.

    For reasons unknown, all three people were seized almost immediately by investigators relating to government operations for questioning before police could examine them.

    Two young auxiliary policemen shot dead by ex-Marine David Garvin! The deaths of Nicholas T. Pekearo and Yevgeniy Marshalik have sent a shock through the department, particularly the officers who regularly interact with the volunteer auxiliary officers on a regular basis.

  • Police x2: Police have found vague connections between the "occult room" in Columbia University Library and various local book store owners and hermetic magicians in the area who claim to have seen it.

    The name Adam Jones (strangely enough brought up in the case of Abel Sarkin, a man who is now serving a life sentence for killing two children in a satanic ritual) has come up again.

    David Garvin had apparently been in a downward spiral of increasing paranoia and frustration at his inability to write salable screenplays.

  • Police x3: CNN executive Darren West still hasn't been heard from for nearly a month, and co-workers and friends have reported him as missing after being unable to contact him. Initial investigations indicate that he had recently booked a flight to Chicago. Apparently his flight arrived there, and he booked into a local hotel. His involvement with police is increasingly coming up as suspect, as rumors circulate throughout the department that somebody "had it in" for Bernard Motley, an NYPD officer who was investigating the murder of NYU grad student Joy Kamigawa.

    Meanwhile, There are an increasing number of missing persons reports from several of the poorer areas in the city.

    When officers searched Mr. Garvin's apartment, they found a stash of literature heralding the era of "Lucasta the Lightbringer." Due to the increasing number of Lucasta followers in New York, the police do NOT want to release this information until they can properly manage the inevitable shitstorm.

  • Police x4: The Garvin incident has caused several high-level officers to rethink the department's views on the entire Lucasta situation.

  • Police x5: FBI Special Affairs agents swooped down immediately to deal with the assorted cases of PCP "vampires" being locked in car trunks and detained the three individuals involved. The NYPD has not seen or heard from them since... and there are feelings of unease.

    Someone has been quietly passing very detailed information regarding mob activity in New York City. The information includes names, tapes, documents, addresses, telephone numbers, the works. Word has it that the information is all from 'concerned citizens' and was entirely unexpected. If this information had been gathered by the bureau, none of it would be admissible. As is, it is highly interesting. A new offensive against organized crime is being discussed in select circles. The person providing the data is perfectly happy to allow the FBI to take credit.

  • Police x6: The S.A.D. of the FBI is now certain that the findings that they were originally in New York to investigate (the results of a failed mission by the Society of Leopold) bear some truth. The detained individuals have been removed from the public for government observation.

    The information regarding mob activity is coming from Vontaug. The FBI isn't looking a gift horse in the mouth and Vontaug claims the information was passed to them anonymously by a former employee who was killed shortly afterwards. Acting on this information, Vontaug apparently planted recording devices in select break-rooms and managed to capture additional evidence.

Politics

  • Politics x6: Offices of the legendary 'Society of Leopold' have been seized throughout the DC area by government investigators. Apparently the Society had a massive internal problem of some sort involving a rogue agent, recent observations have brought them to the conclusion that there are non-natural beings agents at play. Hemophages are suspected. In addition to this the S.A.D. have recently seized three individuals from NYC police suspected to show hemophagic biological mutation.

  • Politics x7: The FBI Special Affairs division has frozen Leopoldian holdings in DC and is trying to take over the investigation they were starting. They are now CONVINCED of non-natural beings being involved, especially hemophagic ones. The three captured recently seem to be very young specimens.

Street

  • Street x1: Lucasta hasn't shown himself visibly for a while, yet people professing to be Lucasta's disciplines are everywhere. The vigilante street hero is said to be the prophet of mankind's last days, and to bring about an age of peace and goodwill. He's become a major subculture icon, and has gained tremendous popularity with urban youth.

    Street art, pamphlets and DIY clothing, and paraphernalia depicting Lucasta are increasingly prevalent.

    "The Age of the Lightbringer" is said to be at hand.

    Meanwhile, for the past three days there have been bizarre and unusal incidents of people happening upon flailing and homicidally crazy individuals who had been locked in the trunks of cars and were assaulting bystanders upon escape. One allegedly took a bullet and remained seemingly unscathed. People are freaked the fuck out.

  • Street x5: There's a friendly and affectionate girl who seems to be doing a lot of social networking amongst the homeless in Staten Island.

Transportation

  • Transportation x1: For the past three days there have been bizarre and unusual incidents of people happening upon flailing and homicidally crazy individuals who had been locked in the trunks of cars and were assaulting bystanders upon escape. One allegedly took a bullet and remained seemingly unscathed. People are freaked the fuck out.

  • Transportation x2: Several shipping and trucking companies are unhappy with Vontaug's recent demands.

  • Transportation x3: Vontaug has issued new guideline for those doing business with it. They include additional background checks, data-protection measures, etc. There are also heavy penalties if the wrong sorts slip through the cracks. The truckers, in particular, are not happy. They usually do not worry this much about screening their workers.

  • Transportation x4: The new guidelines include a 'do not employ' list. There is some resistance among some of the shadier firms about this point - they don't want to let some of these people go.

  • Transportation x5: The strongest resistence to Vontaug's new guidelines is coming from the shippers and truckers you know to be dirty.

Underworld

  • Underworld x1: Vinnie 'Thumbs' Prodi has got the Coney Island distribution networks locked down tight. His last major opponent was 'convinced' to accept a subordinate role under 'Thumbs'. There's a pool on whether he 'retires' or has an 'accident' first.

  • Underworld x2: Some weird shit is happening that has the bigwigs spooked in a major way, although its not immediately clear what.

    Something bad happened at Vontaug recently. Someone squealed to the feds or the boss, it's not clear which. Whatever happened, it seems like just about everyone connected to you people's branch of organized crime has been rooted out by management, although you aren't sure how things are faring for the other syndicates. You get the impression that you weren't the only ones hit, but you think that other's got off lighter than you.

  • Underworld x3: Apparently the European assassin team, Hawk and Sparrow have had a minor and violent falling out over a target. Throat-cutter Hernandez who has occasional contact with them, remarked that he heard Hawk speak for the first time in ages.

    It terrified him.

    Vontaug's industry divisions are cleaned out. Entirely. Vontaug's not done being a pain-in-the-ass yet, however. There are rumbles of more trouble coming. All the major groups are laying low right now and arming up. The mob guy who oversaw the Vontaug operations, Lennie Carachilo, has been executed for his failure.

  • Underworld x4: Sparrow is expected to recover shortly. She is not badly injured.

    Purges are starting at Vontaug's suppliers and contractors. Purges are starting in Vontaug Financial and are hitting the money laundering and investment guys who took some dirty business occasionally and work at places that do work for Vontaug. No one seriously believes that the other syndicates could be behind it at this point. It's too thorough.

  • Underworld x5: There is desperate talk of sending an emissary to Vontaug. The syndicates are obviously comprimised. The debate at this point is over how forceful the emissary should be. No one wants to lose their contacts in so many areas.

University

  • University x2: Police have found vague connections between the "occult room" in Columbia University Library and various local book store owners and hermetic magicians in the area who claim to have seen it.

    The name Adam Jones (strangely enugh brought up in the case of Abel Sarkin, a man who is now serving a life sentence for killing two children in a satanic ritual) has come up again.

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