Call of Chicago: Company Men

In the shadowy world of The Fall of Delta Green, you never know who’s got clearance, not to mention who’s got your back … and who’s got your back in his sights. The Company man – the man from the CIA – might fit any of those descriptions, or any other. That’s kind of the point, after all.

The point of this piece, then, is to give you a few more Company men to introduce into the campaign, if not to introduce to the player characters – just yet. All these figures are historical CIA agents during the 1960s, and all of them are either field operatives during that decade or station officers with considerable field experience. They can show up to drop intel, or stay back to drop bombs with equal aplomb. And of course some of them just might have DELTA GREEN clearance themselves.

N.B.: Darker Secrets may not be historically accurate.


Lucien Conein (b. 1919)

A Paris-born former OSS operative who worked with the French Resistance in Corsica and Paris, and with the French military in Indochina, Conein ran saboteurs into Eastern Europe and trained paramilitary forces in Iran in the 1940s. In 1954, the CIA sent him to Saigon to set up stay-behind arsenals and cadres in Vietnam and train indigenous Montagnard guerrillas for insertions into North Vietnam; he worked under the legendary CIA psychological warrior Edward Lansdale. In 1962 Lt. Col. Conein becomes the CIA liaison with the Vietnamese junta, serving as bagman for the 1963 coup against Diem. In 1968 he resigns from the Company but remains in country running an import-export business.

Darker Secret: In Corsica during WWII, Conein joined the Union Corse, the premier heroin traffickers in Europe. He is a key linchpin in the CIA-run heroin connection.


Miles Copeland, Jr. (b. 1916)

Copeland served with the US Army’s Counterintelligence Corps in WWII and joined the CIG (CIA’s precursor) in 1945 in London. While stationed in Syria in 1947, his Scottish wife Lorraine (a former SOE operative) became a leading archaeologist of the Paleolithic Middle East. He ran coups against the President of Syria (1949) and Prime Minister of Iran (1953), organized the Nazi cadre of Nasser’s secret police in Egypt, and monitored Kim Philby in Lebanon until the traitor’s defection in 1963. Based in Beirut under NOC (Non-Official Cover), Copeland continues to run deniable assets, write up game theory, and plan operations all over the Middle East and Africa, including the 1966 coup against Nkrumah in Ghana.

In the 1950s, Copeland ran what he called the “Cosmic Operations Bureau” for the CIA, better known as OHP, or Occultism in High Places: a program to infiltrate astrologers, gurus, and Scientologists into the inner circles of world leaders known to be susceptible to such things. The OHP is ongoing, likely with Copeland’s continued participation.

In 1977, his son Stewart becomes the drummer for the Police.

Darker Secret: Copeland is also heavily involved with MKULTRA, the CIA mind control project. His interests in psychedelics, “cosmic operations,” primordial Egypt, and amoral game theory betray a certain dark, pharaonic outlook.

Larry Devlin (b. 1922)

WWII veteran Devlin joined the CIA in 1949. After service in Belgium, he becomes Chief of Station Leopoldville in the Congo when it becomes independent in 1960. Ordered to assassinate deposed leftist premier Patrice Lumumba in 1961, he delays the operation until Lumumba’s political rivals kill him instead. He remains Chief of Station Congo throughout the civil war, running a CIA-contracted air force and navy staffed by Cuban exiles and foreign mercenaries; short staffing means he runs assets and operates in the field. In 1967, he becomes Chief of Station Laos, going from a station with 10 CIA operatives to one with 300. He manages the secret war against the Pathet Lao and North Vietnam.

Darker Secret: Devlin learned the secret of cannibalistic immortality from the Anziques in the Congo the CIA used as deniable militias during the war. He requested the transfer to Laos to study with Tcho-Tcho masters.

Carl Elmer Jenkins (b. 1926)

WWII Marine Corps veteran Jenkins joined the CIA in 1952 as a paramilitary and SERE trainer. He trained cadres in Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines; he ran infiltrators into Malaya and Indonesia through 1959. In 1960, he joins the Cuba Project and trains anti-Castro guerrillas until 1963. In 1962 or 1964 he serves a tour as Special Warfare Advisor to the US Army’s I Corps in Da Nang, Vietnam. In 1965 and 1966 he trains cadres in the Dominican Republic; in 1967 he joins the secret war in Laos, rising to Chief of Plans and Training for the CIA’s Laos operation in 1969. Throughout, he commands mercenary, paramilitary, and other deniable operations for the Company.

Darker Secret: Jenkins encountered the cult of Cthulhu during the Southeast Asia Project in 1958-1959. He runs a ratline smuggling artifacts, texts, and high priests of Cthulhu from country to country to facilitate their plans and meetings – basically the same thing he did with the anti-Castro Cuban leadership for AMWORLD.

Félix Rodríguez (b. 1941)

An upper-class Cuban driven out of the country by Castro’s revolution in 1959, Rodríguez joins the CIA-backed Operation 40 (which carries out targeted assassinations of Castro officials) in 1960. Positioned in Havana ahead of the Bay of Pigs, he repeatedly volunteers to assassinate Castro or Che Guevara, but is ordered to stand down. Rodríguez trains anti-Castro militias in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and with the Green Berets trains a Bolivian cadre in 1967 to hunt down Che. (He accompanies the Bolivian army unit, and takes Che’s Rolex as a trophy.) He joins the US Army in 1969, and flies helicopters for Project PHOENIX – basically Operation 40 in Vietnam on a much larger scale.

Darker Secret: Rodríguez owes his preternatural luck, physical skills, and gift for killing to youthful initiation in the Palo Mayombe sect of Cuban Santería. He is susceptible to possession by outside forces at a time of Their choosing.

Frank Sturgis (b. 1924)

Born Frank Fiorini, Sturgis served with distinction as a Marine in the Pacific Theater of WWII. He joined the Army in 1948, working as an intelligence officer in Berlin; his Hungarian actress lover was a Mossad operative. After a stint managing nightclubs, he ran guns to Castro’s rebels; Castro briefly put him in charge of Cuba’s casinos until Sturgis broke with Fidel. The CIA recruits him in 1960 from a freelance Mafia anti-Communist operation; he flies a B-26 bomber in the only air strike of the Bay of Pigs. Sturgis later runs a number of independent anti-Castro ops during the decade, including a botched 1968 attempt to hijack a Soviet intelligence trawler. In 1969, he ostensibly retires to sell aluminum siding in Miami.

Darker Secret: A trained Operation 40 assassin and Marine sniper outraged by the betrayal of the Bay of Pigs, Frank Sturgis shot and killed President Kennedy from the grassy knoll in Dallas.

Bruce Walker (b. 1932)

After graduating from DePauw in 1953, Walker served two years in the Marines and then joined the CIA in 1956. From 1960 to 1968, Walker serves as trainer (at Camp Hale in Colorado) and liaison with the Tibetan rebels operating in Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet against the Communist Chinese. The CIA tries to keep the STCIRCUS operation focused on intelligence gathering, although the Tibetans wish to launch an open rebellion with US backing. Walker speaks Tibetan and gets along well with the rebels, the Nepalese, and the Indian intelligence service. He collects Tibetan artifacts and religious scriptures.

Darker Secret: Walker is actually running the Tibetans as a cover operation to explain CIA presence in the Himalayas. His actual purpose is to negotiate a treaty with the Mi-Go on behalf of the MAJESTIC-12 group.


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