Carroll #155: The Five-Mind

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RAISA FILE: Group of Interest [DEFUNCT]
GOI-001: Chicago Spirit

FILE CREATED: c. 1915
FILE LAST REVISED BY GOI: November 1938
FILE RECOVERED: July 1940
ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION RECOVERED: July 1938
[TEXT REPRODUCED BELOW]1

WARNING

Certain sections of this document have been edited after its apparent distribution by an unnamed member of the Chicago Spirit. Additions have been colored red and bolded. Additionally, it appears that a large number of memetic hazards were originally present in the text; these have been censored, presumably by the same editor.

If you're reading this, Chappell as you know him is gone. Not dead, gone, and gone too far for fixing. This file's got all of the important stuff, and I've blacked out everything else. Do yourself a favour and don't read between the lines.

Carroll 155: The Five-Mind

fifther

Marco Bellone. One of the Fifth Priests, and our direct line to the Lunatics.

Stay away. From him and all these psychos.

Where It Is

Anywhere you can spot a "Fifth Church." Big, tall buildings, with a five pointed symbol like an asterisk. They're all over the states. If you have to go to one of the churches, for any reason, never stay long. Never listen to the preachers for anything longer than five minutes. Never look the Lunatics in the eyes, and if you ever hear a faint crackling noise, like an old bonfire from somewhere far away, it's too late for you.

Who Knows About It

As for the church itself, damn near everyone. Everyone who's ever walked down 5th Avenue and spotted "The First Fifth Church of Manhattan." Not a very popular joint, but visible for damn sure.

As for the razzle-dazzle however, that's down to us, the Cheesers2, and a couple of special folks, the Lunatics. Keep them in line, but don't rough 'em up too bad.

Forget everything you know about keepin' this kinda stuff under lids, too. Spread the news like wildfire, and we'll burn twice as bright.

How We Found It

With great difficulty.

The Fifth Churches don't look like they got any sort of magic to them, and we suspect that's by design. Looks like a place to shuffle in, worship the Lord, and feel good about yourself like all the good little Christians do. But that's not the gig here, not remotely. Peer through the cracks and you get an idea of what the Fifth Church is really like; a cult of madmen, almost like spacemen. The deeper you go the more fucked up it gets, and once you're in too deep you'll come to find you're no longer human. These are the Lunatics.

None of this draws any sort of attention, despite what they're capable of. Mass murder. Suicide pacts. Suspiciously popular music. Nobody notices, and that's one of their quirks. They got the same memory magic we used to have, and on a hell of a bigger scale too. Even the Cheesers hardly have any idea what the Lunatics get up to.

We only found out about them once they tried to bring the whole damn Spirit into their schemes. Turns out they had an inside man for a while. Not an inside man in the way you'd expect, no gathering evidence or anything like that. All he did was try and spread the word, the little tics that make the Lunatics, well, lunatics; some sort of disease of the mind. We put a stop to that real quick.

Things got real dicey at that point. Now Chappell never liked the Christian church. The church wasn't a fan of witchcraft, drugs, murder, or anything that could cut Chappell a check. But while he was in business, there wasn't nothing the church could do to stop him. Problem was, when the Spirit drew the Fifthists' ire, they weren't afraid to get their hands dirty. The Fifth Church hurled a modern day crusade at us, and to stop it we either had to take them down or get on better terms.

Chappell's first idea was what always worked best: diplomacy, Chicago Style. But there's a strange thing about the Lunatics. Though the church is their strongest presence, there's always another way they can get you. Fifthism ain't just a religion, it's bigger than that. If you stand against it, it can get you any way it needs. Squirrel attacks, ex-cons, violent jazz bassists. Eventually the attacks progressed to battles you can't fight with guns. So we decided to get talkin'.

queenie

Stephanie St. Clair. The Queen of Numbers and a behind-closed-doors Lunatic.

Lucky for us, we didn't have to start with the Fifth Church. Would've been a little awkward to come crawling back to them, after all.As it turned out, St. Clair, the Harlem queen of gambling, was in cahoots with the Lunatics herself. Needless to say, it was in Chappell's best interests to strike a deal with Queenie. If he was right, the Fifth Church would warm up to him in time.

Queenie spilled the beans on a whole lot in the little chat that ensued. Said that the Five Families were destined for transcendence, or some shit. Claimed that she needed to bust up her husband Hamid, bring him closer to the Fifth World, but the Archons wanted to keep him alive. Once all that was said and done, Chappell was able to get her to a business deal of sorts. A stake in the numbers racket3 at Harlem. Wouldn't you know it, Chappell was right on the money, and the Fifth Church got a whole lot more interested in the Spirit's dealings.

What We Use It For

The Fifth Church carries out a great deal of violence, extortion, and theft for their strange ends, and all the cash they make with it they waste on the most bizzare things possible. One of ours, on the night of May 5th, swears on his life he witnessed a group of Fifth Priests, just tossing money and furniture into a bonfire. Later he talked with Marco Bellone, the Fifth Priest we're in leagues with, and asked why. Marco claimed they "were in debt to the Archons."

The following instructions are a beeline to insanity. Do not, under any circumstances, cut deals with a Lunatic. Don't even interact with anyone who's interacted with a Lunatic. That's how it spreads.

Convenient for us that they don't care about the cash. So long as we help them out, knocking targets off and burning shit down, we're on their payroll. And it's a generous one, to say the least. Marco tells us what to do and we do it, within reason. Usually it's a simple hit or arson, but sometimes we gotta do weirder stuff. Sell some books, chart out constellations, sometimes we just have to play a radio signal out in public. Don't ask questions. More importantly, never listen to the radio. We don't know what's on it, but their membership grows every time we play it. Invest in some ear plugs.



RAISA UPDATE



The following documentation was recovered from the offices of Charles Ferris Derringer and Richard Davis Chappell in 1938, before recovery of the initial file. For their relevance, they have been included here.

Sufi Abdul Hamid, Queenie's ex-husband, came to me today, said the fifthists were up to something.

For as long as I've been with the Spirit we've been working with these guys, and the files say our connection goes back to '15, yet we don't know shit about the Lunatics. We've played right along in all their psycho schemes for quick cash, and none of us ever stopped to think there'd be consequences.

But I'm starting to notice some consequences, Chappell. And I don't want to sit idly by while some voodoo bullshit comes back to haunt us. Hamid died in a plane crash last week.

- CFD

I'm as suspicious of the Lunatics' conspiracies as any, Derringer. But the unholy priests don't like questions.

Some things are more important than money. You think I got that stake in Queenie's gambling business for the money? Not remotely. I did it to save my life, to keep the Lunatics at bay. Since then it's paid off in droves. We've been the kingpins of the underground magic market. It's not coincidence, Derringer, it's causation, it's the numbers. You can check them yourself. Every star in the sky is a dollar lost or earned.

I can tell you've got questions, so let me answer one of them for you. These "psycho schemes" aren't about the cash, that's just how we get our men to do them. You want to know what they're really about? Chance, Derringer. Five days after we peddled the Fifth Edition of the good book, our biggest rival lost one of their top enforcers in a boating accident. It's been only two days after the arson of our own drug den and we're already hearing news about our suppliers dropping costs. And of course I don't need to tell you the favours that the racket's doing us.

Don't trust the Lunatics? That's fine. Don't trust me, even. But there's always safety in numbers.

- Chappell

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