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Old 01-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #11
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: The First Interbellum (1918-1939)

LATER.

Jurgensen had various errands on his agenda when he arrived in Petrograd in
March of 1922. Most of those involved his collective master, but some were
based upon his own personal interests and his hidden agenda.

For the Unity, Jurgensen was there to place ‘sleeper’ operatives in key places
in the emerging power structure of the Soviet Union, and also to ‘turn’ some
people already in place. The techniques for this were classic tradecraft, some
people found themselves swayed by appeals to ideology or idealism, usually
through a false flag. Others were swayed by appeals to ego, pride, or simply
boredom. Of course, there was always the tried and true option of money, as
well, money or the equivalent properly applied could bring enormous results.

Jurgensen also sought a place to continue his own personal researches. This
was not something he would do in Russia by preference, but he would settle
for Russia if no better location could be found.

Russia was a dangerous place in 1922, with ongoing internal violence from a
variety of civil wars. The hold of the Bolsheviks was still shaky, and they
were far from unified, the Communist movement was riven by internal power
struggles and factional disputes. This represented an opportunity, however,
from the point of view of Jurgensen and the Unity. Jurgensen was able to
shape events and alter policy for the USSR by the simple expedient of setting
up the ‘accidental’ deaths of certain individuals, most of whom were unheard
of in the West, and who played apparently minor roles in the machinery, thus
altering the path of the whole over time.

The ongoing civil wars were beginning to wind down by 1922, the Bolshevik
hold was shaky but continuing, and their rivals and the secessionist regions
and national territories were approaching exhaustion. The terrible famines of
the previous year had left millions dead of exhaustion and disease, and forced
the Communist government to change their economic policies, ideology giving
way, at least slightly, to necessity.

Amid all this, foreigners were involved, there were nationals present from just
about every major nation in the world involved in one way or another, some
of them on behalf of their home governments, some on behalf of corporate or
private interests, some acting on their own.

This was what led, indirectly, to what happened in August. Though it would
take too long to explain in detail, suffice it to say that among the foreigners in
Russia at that time was a particular American who was being held, in secret,
by the newly reorganized NKVD. This particular American was a scientist
and inventor, among other things, and he was not, officially, supposed to have
been in Russia at all, which made it somewhat difficult for the authorities in
the United States to protest his unofficial detention by the Cheka/NKVD. If
that was not delicate enough, there were internal disputes in play as well, the
faction that held the scientist was not necessarily obeying all the orders
of the people who supposedly were in control of the organization.

Jurgensen also took an interest in this prisoner, when he happened to learn of
his presence. It would have rather suited him to capture this man for himself,
in the service of his own personal agenda. Jurgensen discovered that he
was being held in early July, and began to maneuver to gain control of him at
that time, in the middle of August he was ready to make his attempt.

Jurgensen had a straightforward plan, relatively speaking. He knew that the
prisoner was being held in a ‘safehouse’ in Petrograd, hidden as much from
other factions of the Soviet security services as from anyone else. The goal
of holding him to persuade him to work for certain groups within the NKVD,
which was why he was being treated fairly humanely.

Still, he was under heavy guard, watched around the clock, and his captors
were perfectly prepared to kill him rather than let him be extracted, and this
forced Jurgensen to proceed carefully. His plan involved using NKVD
personnel under his sway to infiltrate the personnel guarding the scientist,
over the course of several weeks, and eventually to extract him quietly by
such subtle infiltration. The plan was well on its way to working in middle
August of 1922. In fact, the plan did work, as far as it went.

(Jurgensen could have used his holds on various Soviet officials to get
control of the prisoner more directly, but this would have been visible to the
Unity, and Jurgensen was carrying out a rogue operation.)

The scientist actually passed into the control of the infiltrators, and was in
the process of being moved to one of the facilities under his control, when
another group of operatives intervened, in a lighting-fast improvised
operation to kill his men and extract the American scientist, even as he was
being moved across Petrograd. Jurgensen lost a dozen of his men, six of
whom were personally loyal men who had been working for him for many
years, and several more of which were useful ‘turned assets’.

Jurgensen himself moved to recapture the prisoner, leading several of his
own best men in the effort, as soon as word reached him of the extraction.
All this played out over the course of less than twelve hours, and before it
was over Jurgensen found himself in combat with the new group, and when
he did he recognized one of them immediately: it was the American Army
officer that he had come seen in Germany in 1918, the man his powerful
precognitive sense had been warning him about for so many decades!

The battle went against Jurgensen, though not before he managed to kill
two of the American force and wound several others, including his personal
demon. The man had been ready for the Luger Jurgensen had been using,
but had not expected a psychokinetic attack. The American had not been
expecting red-hot ashes from a nearby fireplace to suddenly come flying
through the air at him, and in the confusion Jurgensen had almost been able
to put a bullet into his personal nemesis. Almost.

When it was done, the scientist was gone, Jurgensen had lost several of his
best men, and enough damage had been done to the work Jurgensen had
been supposed to be doing, for the Unity, to force him to spend some
time coming up with plausible explanations. Jurgensen was able to come
up with explanations sufficient to satisfy his master, but not easily, and
not without considerable cost to his own private agenda.

Jurgensen was not happy.

MORE LATER.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:07 PM   #12
fredtheobviouspseudonym
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Possible manipulation --

IIRC Yakov Sverdlov had been the Bolshevik leader in charge of personnel assignments. His death (under not-wholly-clear circumstances) in early 1919 led to his replacement by one Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, better known as Stalin. In this position Stalin was able to put his creatures into key positions, making Stalin's triumph in the internal Communist conflict after Lenin's death likely.

Could some form of manipulation by Jurgensen or others have led to this sequence?
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:34 PM   #13
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: The First Interbellum (1918-1939)

LATER.

The extraction operation in 1922 had been carried out, of course, by the Seven
Aces. This newly organized group had been in existence since 1918, and
formally in service since the end of 1919. In practice, of course, they had not
been thrown directly into the game immediately. The first few operations of
the Seven Aces had been carried out in partnership with their counterparts in
the British Empire, the secret group known as SG-7. There was much to learn
and for some lessons, experience is the only teacher.

It was not until 1921 that the Seven Aces began to operate on their own, and it
was not until 1922 that they were really up and running as their founders had
intended. The extraction operation in Petrograd had been the second major
operation the Seven Aces for the Seven Aces in 1922, and both missions had
been successful. The first major mission of 1922 had involved a simple snatch
and grab operation in Venezuela, the second was the Petrograd extraction.

These two successes were followed by a failure, an operation in the Dutch East
Indies in early 1923 was badly botched. Still, it was botched in such a way as
to be salvageable, and the Seven Aces survived the failure and began to take a
hold and grow as an organization. By the start of 1925, the Aces were seen,
among those very few in the U.S. Government who knew about them, as being
a mostly successful experiment, and their responsibilities were increasing.

The leader of the Seven Aces, Nathaniel Conners, for his part had recognized
the man he had fought in Petrograd as the same man he had seen in 1918 during
the Great War, though he still had no idea of his name. Their encounter with
him in Petrograd had also confirmed that the man possessed psychic powers.
Conners had permanent (if not very noticeable) scars on his face and arm from
the hot coals and ashes that had been thrown at him by no visible hand.

The simple existence of such apparently supernatural abilities was not a
new thing for Conners or the other members of the core leadership of the
Seven Aces, of course. Conners and his fellows had been exposed to such a
think at their first meeting, when Robert McLaird was first recruiting for his
new team. Conners had seen ‘psychokinesis’ in action on a few occasions over
the years since, usually used by the head of SG-7, Donald William Barrington-
Shaw. Still, it was one thing to see it demonstrated and another to have it used
against him, without warning, in actual combat!

The Aces retained their connections to their British counterparts in SG-7, and
they were able to supply some information about the mysterious figure that
Conners had now encountered twice. The British had no idea of his real name,
and they did not know very much else about him either, other than that he had
been extensively active in the Great War and was known to use multiple aliases
and legends. Conners were quite well aware that the British did know at least
somewhat more than they were saying, however.

This was not surprising or disturbing in itself, of course. Nobody in that game
ever could be expected to willingly reveal everything they knew about
anything. Information was too precious, and too valuable a commodity, for
such things to happen. In this case, however, Conners had a distinct impression
that the members of SG-7 were holding back because they wanted the Seven
Aces and their American compatriots to discover certain things ‘on their own’.

Why that would be the case, or what the advantage would be for SG-7 and the
British, Conners could not imagine. Still, the Seven Aces did begin the work
of gathering everything they could about the mysterious figure that had met
and fought in Petrograd. This proved to be both easier and more difficult than
they had initially expected. There was much information to find...but most of
it was not particularly revealing or useful.

The Seven Aces encountered the mystery man again, this time not in a far-off
country such as Russia or Germany, but in Chicago in 1925. They were
involved because there was an exhibition at a museum, an exhibition which
included some valuable items from foreign countries ‘on loan’. The Federal
authorities had caught wind of rumors that someone was planning to try and
steal or damage some of the exhibits, which would have led to some serious
international repercussions if successful. At the very least, it would have been
expensive for the United States to compensate the owners of the missing or
damaged items, and it would have been seriously embarrassing for America as
well. At worst, it might well have precipitated a serious international incident.

As a result, the museum itself was heavily guarded, and the police and FBI
were on the watch for anything out of the ordinary. Additionally, since the
rumors touched on international matters and some of them seemed particularly
odd, they came to the attention of Major Robert McLaird, the ‘go to man’ at
Army Intelligence for such matters. He, in turn, did what had become his wont
when faced with situations where nothing was certain, nothing seemed to be
clear, and nobody had any concept of what was going on: he sent in the Aces.

What followed would be known for decades afterward among the Seven Aces
and some few others as the ‘Chicago Affair’.

MORE LATER.

Last edited by Johnny1A.2; 02-19-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:42 PM   #14
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: Possible manipulation --

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym View Post
IIRC Yakov Sverdlov had been the Bolshevik leader in charge of personnel assignments. His death (under not-wholly-clear circumstances) in early 1919 led to his replacement by one Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, better known as Stalin. In this position Stalin was able to put his creatures into key positions, making Stalin's triumph in the internal Communist conflict after Lenin's death likely.

Could some form of manipulation by Jurgensen or others have led to this sequence?
That particular one was not Jurgensen, but he did have quite a bit to do with the fall/exile of Trotsky.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:16 AM   #15
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: The First Interbellum (1918-1939)

LATER.

At first, the mission that would become the Chicago Affair seemed almost as if it
was going to be a distraction or a 'wild goose chase'. From the moment he was
first informed of the nature of the odd ‘mission’, Nathaniel Conners was dubious.


Monday 13 April, 1925...

The light was bright enough in the office of Colonel Robert McLaird,
and all of the environs of that office were familiar and unchanged from
the many previous visits that had been made by Nathaniel Conners.
The chair in which he sat was comfortable, the old oak desk with its old
coffee cup rings, locked drawers, and fine decorate edging was just as it
had been in every previous visit.

Yet there was a strangely surreal feel to the moment, even so.

“Let me see if I have this straight, Robert,” Conners said. “There’s a big
museum showing scheduled in Chicago, with lots of expensive and very
diplomatically sensitive items on display. Your guys have had word, very
vague word, that persons or persons unknown, for reasons unknown, and
by means unknown, may be planning to do something that we
probably would not like to something at the exposition. You
want the guys and me to go in and do...something about whatever
it is that may be about to happen.”

McLaird smiled, but the smile had very little humor in it.

“Yes, I’d say that’s pretty much the gist of it.”

“What exactly do you expect us to do, Rob? We’re not police or security
guards, they’ll have that aspect of whatever it is covered better than we
could do. I’m not sure I understand our objective here.”

“That’s because we don’t know what your objective should be, or even
if there should be one. That’s why I’m sending you guys, Nate. If there’s
one thing you guys in the Aces have demonstrated over the last five years,
it’s that you thrive in uncertainty. All I know is that my instincts say that
something will happen. It’s nothing I can put my finger on, it’s probably
about fifteen different minor indicators from twice that many sources, its
just a gut feeling, really. That, and the knowledge that there are a lot of
different ways this exhibition could become a nightmare for Uncle Sam,
if something did go wrong.

“So the BoI is already on the job, and so are the Illinois authorities plus
the Chicago police...but I probably don’t have to tell you that the state of
the law in Illinois, and especially Chicago, is not all it could be.”

Conners grimaced. “I was born there, Rob, and I still have a lot of kin
in the southern part of the State. Yeah, there’s some corruption. If I
was going to try something at that exhibition, I don’t think it would be
all that hard to bribe some people if need be. Of course that would
depend on just what I mean to do. It would be a lot easier to destroy or
damage something than to get it out...”

“That’s why I wanted you working this, Nate,” McLaird said with what
looked like a satisfied smile on his face. “I like the way your brain works,
you’re already thinking about the angles on it, and I’d lay money
that before it’s over, having you guys in there will improve our odds, even
if it’s in some totally unexpected way.”

The conversation went on for some time, mostly about various details
of the maddeningly nebulous and vague ‘threat’. After some hours of
such conversation, as McLaird and Conners were leaving the office to
go find some dinner, the colonel asked, “So, Nate, did any of your folk
in Illinois get hit by that big tornado last month?”

“No, thank Heaven,” Conners replied. “I talked to my brother about it
by phone at the time, they were fine in Grandfield, but that tornado did
get hair-raisingly close to my old home town. It tore a path across
Jackson and Williamson Counties, if you know where they are, that’s a
stone’s throw from my family.”

“Glad to hear your family’s okay. Did you ever get to introduce Melissa
to your kinfolk?”

“Sure, finally,” Conners said. “It’s pretty bad when a man is so busy at
his job he doesn’t get to introduce his wife to his family for a year after
the wedding, though!”

“Sorry ‘bout that,” McLaird said. “But you know how it is, if you take
more than your fair share of objectives...”

“...you’ll be given more than your fair share of objective to take,” Conners
said, finishing the old observation. “And Uncle Sam always has one
more little job he needs done, too. But I finally got to introduce them at
Christmas, and they hit it off. I was kind of worried about it, my sister-
in-law can be a bit difficult sometimes, but she and Melly got on like
anything. Which was a relief!”


Even as Colonel McLaird and the (unofficial) Captain Conners were making their
way toward a local Washington D.C. eatery to satisfy their hunger, another man
was engaging in satisfying appetites of quite a different sort. That man had been
known by many names in many different places and times, but at birth he had been
given the moniker of ‘Karl Jurgensen’. Even as McLaird and Conners were sitting
down to a dinner of roast beef and potatoes, Jurgensen was in the process of
‘interviewing’ an employee of the Breymont Museum.

The employee, as it happened, was a young female assistant to one of the curators,
and the following day would find her body, burned almost (but not quite)
beyond recognition in a house fire that apparently began from a purely accidental
electrical short in the apartment house she shared with two other women. The
burns would serve fairly well to conceal the fact that her body would have shown
signs of other forms of trauma, and the apparently self-evident nature of her death
would serve to prevent the sort of closer attention that might have revealed that
she was already quite dead when the fire began.

Jurgensen learned a great deal that was of use to him during his several-hour long
‘interview’ with this young woman, and he enjoyed himself thoroughly in the
process of the interview. The same, sadly, could not be said of the subject of his
attentions, and when death finally came, it was welcome.

MORE LATER.

Last edited by Johnny1A.2; 10-08-2014 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:26 PM   #16
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: The First Interbellum (1918-1939)

LATER.

The Breymont Museum was a privately owned facility, which had been contracted
by the consortium of wealthy men who had arranged the showing for the
'International Treasures' as a site for the show. It had been in operation ever since
1900, and had a number of displays and properties that had been property of the
Museum for many years. It was scheduled to display the Treasures, as they were
being advertised, throughout the summer.

The Treasures were being displayed in the enormous Main Hall of the Breymont,
while the regular displays had been moved into the side wings of the building.
The building had six stories, the lower two of which were used by the Museum
proper, the upper levels being used for storage and administration. In light of the
‘delicate’ nature of the Treasures on display, security precautions had been put in
place well beyond the norm for the venerable old museum. The Chicago Police,
the Illinois State Police, the Bureau of Investigation, and a well-respected (and
very expensive) private security firm were all involved in making sure the
loaned items stayed where they were supposed to be until the showing was over. [1]

Amid all this, the Seven Aces were not sure what they were supposed to be doing
or what it was that they were supposed to be guarding against.

“So what exactly are we
looking for, chief?” Miles Brody asked his
chief, as the two men, dressed in casual civilian clothes and carrying
impressively forged identity papers that gave their cover identities status
with the Bureau, strolled into the Breymont Museum building.

“Damned if I know,” Nathaniel Conners replied quietly. “Bob McLaird
just has a hunch, I think, or he’s put a couple of rumors together and
concluded something from it by some arcane means that we’ll never know.
So I hope we’ll know what we’re supposed to be looking for when we see
it...whatever that something is.”

The two men paused near a display case that held some old coins, salvaged
from a Spanish treasure galleon in the 1880s, and then moved ‘casually’
past a glass case within which a set of heavy stone tablets was displayed.
Conners paused, taking in a plaque that mentioned that the tablets came
off the same ship as the coins, and that the language on the tablets remained
unknown and untranslated. From there he and Brody made their way past
a long table showing a number of Columbian era artifacts drawn from
Mexico and central America.

These were the ‘standard’ displays in the historical section of the Museum,
most of them had been in place for years or decades. Conners and Brody
were heading for the Main Hall were the temporary main attraction.
Armed guards stood on either side of the doors to the Main Hall, but they
waved Conners and Brody in without a qualm, both men had impeccable,
if not entirely legitimate, credentials. Of course, the legitimacy of false
identification provided by the same government that issued the real thing
made for interesting definitional questions anyway.

The Main Hall was a huge chamber, two stories high, with a balcony
which ran all around the upper level, and it was currently divided into a
set of separate areas by temporary fabric ‘walls’. Within these separated
areas were the actual displays, in a variety of glass cases, or behind golden-
colored ropes, many of them with their own armed guards standing watch.

The public was passing through the Museum in modest numbers, the
International Treasures display had been generating good attendance,
but this was a weekday afternoon, after all, and a pouring rain was not
adding to the attendance that day.

The two men paused to look at the crown jewels of a small but wealthy
Asian country, or so they appeared to be doing. In fact, each was watching
and listening intently for...well, they could only wish they knew.

There was someone who knew exactly what the Seven Aces needed to be on the
watch for, but he had no idea, just yet, that they were even involved. That someone
was a man by the name of Karl Jurgensen. At the same time that Nathan Conners
and Miles Brody were ‘patrolling’ the Museum, Jurgensen was on board a boat on
the shore of Lake Michigan, some miles up the shore from Chicago. There he was
supervising the preparations for his own upcoming visit to the Breymont Museum.

“Be careful!” Jurgensen snapped in German, watching from the shore as
the men finished cutting the opening in the hull. “The door must fit
perfectly!! It must be both watertight and open and close perfectly if this
is to work!”

The men working to install the sliding door in the hull of the cabin cruiser
winced at his tone, but they did focus more closely on their work. It did
not do to offend their chief when he was in such a mood as he was just then.
He sometimes took ‘offense’ to painful levels in such moods. The clouds
overhead promised rain soon, and they hoped to have their work done by the
time the rain began.

Jurgensen left the men to their tasks, going back aboard the boat and into
the small cabin, where he unfolded a carefully drawn map of the Museum,
examining the various markings representing various displays, and smiling
softly to himself as he considered the situation, and its possibilities.


Of course, there were others involved in the matter as well. At just about the same
time that Conners and Brody were strolling through the Breymont Museum, in
search of they knew not exactly what, and that Jurgensen was modifying a cabin
cruiser for his own nefarious purposes, another man was sitting in a small room in
a building on the campus of the University of Chicago, reading an old book while
making copious notes in a binder to one side.

MORE LATER.

[1] At this time, that organization that would one day be known as the Federal
Bureau of Investigation was simply called the Bureau of Investigation.

Last edited by Johnny1A.2; 01-22-2012 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:33 PM   #17
D10
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: In Rio de Janeiro, where it was cyberpunk before it was cool.
Default Re: The First Interbellum (1918-1939)

I had forgotten about the amazonian shelter!

Has it shaped the amerindian cultures ?

ps: awesome, keep going
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:59 PM   #18
fredtheobviouspseudonym
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Couple of points --

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
[1] At this time, that organization that would one day be known as the Federal
Bureau of Investigation was simply called the Bureau of Investigation.
Two points:

1.) J. Edgar Hoover had only been in charge of the FBI for about a year. He was busy cleaning up a morass of corruption inside the agency and had, therefore, enemies. He was nowhere near the DC power player he was a decade later.

2.) FBI agents (or Bureau of Investigation personnel) did not have the legal authority to carry weapons until the early 1930s. There was, however, always the possibility that they might have violated regs if they thought there was a dangerous situation.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:11 AM   #19
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: The First Interbellum (1918-1939)

Quote:
Originally Posted by D10 View Post
I had forgotten about the amazonian shelter!

Has it shaped the amerindian cultures ?
Indirectly and in limited ways, yes.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:35 PM   #20
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: The First Interbellum (1918-1939)

LATER.

The man in the library in Chicago would have appeared, at first glance, to be like
any other academic making use of the facility. Only a closer examination might
have revealed, to an attentive observer, some incongruous elements.

To begin with, the man in the library was perhaps a bit more muscular than might
be expected for a sedentary man. He sat, perhaps, a bit too alertly, less entirely
absorbed in his work than one might expect. There were small scars to be seen by
an attentive observer, scars on his face and arms. None of them were particularly
noticeable, but there were perhaps more of them than one might have expected.

None of these individual peculiarities were particularly notable, in themselves and
by themselves, but all of them together lent the man a certain oddity in an academic
environment. Still, that hardly mattered since he was alone in the room with his
papers and books, there was no observer, attentive or otherwise, present to observe.

The book upon which the man was so intent was over six hundred years old, with
the delicacy of condition to attest to its age. The man handled each page with a
delicate care that might have seem faintly humorous in light of his obvious power
of body, his large hands carefully moving each page to avoid bending or cracking
the old paper, or straining the ancient bindings of the cover.

The cover of the book was inscribed with a Latin title, only partly legible after the
passage of half a millennium. If one was conversant in Latin, one could have read
enough of the title to see that the book was an account of a fantastical ocean voyage
which had occurred in the Thirteenth Century A.D.

As it happened, the book was one of the most precious treasures of the University
of Chicago, who had it filed in their rare books collection as a work of myth and
fantasy. This would have seemed like an obvious conclusion to almost any sort
of ‘reasonable’ person reading this tome in A.D. 1925. The content alone would
seem to admit of no other classification...and yet, a thoughtful reader might have
pondered a few things before closing the subject in his or her mind.

For one thing, writing and binding books was no small effort in the Fourteenth
Century, when this particular tome had been created. The production of a book,
in those times, involved both a great deal of skilled labor and considerable time,
it was not cheap and it was not done quickly. This had been near the end of the
time before the printing press changed matters forever, but still, this book did
predate the advent of the printing press.

Further, the story, written as a first-hand narrative, was rather mundanely written
for all that it gave a seemingly unbelievable account. The story was told in an
almost conversational style, quite unlike the usual writing of that age, and indeed
that age did not have a great deal of ‘fiction’ in the modern sense. Myths and
stories and tales, yes, but this account was rather different than those in many
ways, in both its way of writing and the events of which the account spoke. The
book represented a very large investment of time and effort in something rather
odd, for the time and place in which it was written.

Also, the book had an odd history of its own. The University had come to own
it when a wealthy collector had gifted it to the school in his will. He had, by
his own account, inherited the book from his grandfather, who had immigrated
to the United States from Spain. According to the stories associated with the
book, it had a legacy of sudden deaths, the man who had left it to the school had
reportedly done so in part because his own children half-believed the stories
of some kind of curse associated with the book, and did not want it.

Be all that as it might be, the man now reading the book clearly found it quite
fascinating, and he had filled an entire binder with fine hand-written notes. One
might have believed him totally absorbed in his work, if one did not know how
to read the little signs that showed he was still aware of his surroundings. Aware
of his surroundings...and of the man who entered the room behind him, a man
moving quietly and carrying a Luger.

The intruder raised his weapon, taking careful aim at the back of the head of the
man leaning over the book, but even as he began to pull the trigger, he found that
his finger was not strong enough to depress the trigger, some invisible force was
holding the trigger in place!

In his momentary surprise, in his instant of distraction, the gunman was caught by
surprise as his would-be target suddenly jumped from his chair, whirling around
and attacking the gunman in a single fluid movement. The useless gun fell to the
floor, and it quickly became apparent that in hand-to-hand combat, the gunman
was no match for his target. The latter man showered his attacker with rapid and
harsh blows, blows to the head, face, and abdomen, striking hard enough and fast
enough that his attacker could now only defend, and that not very effectively.

The fight ended in moments, with the would-be gunman unconscious, lying in a
helpless heap on the floor. Muttering under his breath at the unfortunate noise
the altercation had made, the first man scooped up his would-be killer and put
him over one shoulder, scooped up his notes, and exited the room before anyone
could arrive to investigate the sounds.

We will learn who the man with the book and his attacker were soon, but for now
let us turn our attention elsewhere.

MORE LATER.

Last edited by Johnny1A.2; 01-23-2012 at 08:51 PM.
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