In 1975 Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson published The Illuminatus! Trilogy. It remains a seminal work of conspiracy fiction. Today, The Omnivore continues a serial-fiction experiment: Illuminoimia.
Everything You're Afraid Of Is True.
Our hero, Theodore Odell, now moved in with his Illuminati provided 'soul-mate' has to endure a Winter Solstice party being held for his workmates ... all of whom work unwittingly for The Conspiracy. It's all going poorly when an uninvited guest drops by.
Previously On Illuminoimia
Ch 16: The True Kings of the World
Ch 17: The Second American Revolution
Ch 18: Angels In The Architecture
Ch 17: The Second American Revolution
Ch 18: Angels In The Architecture
|America Under Agenda 21|
The table was set with candles--there were lights on in the kitchen (bright) and the living room (dim) and it gave the place a certain ambiance I really, really liked. That Sarah was there made it all the better. The two of us alone was wonderful--but that wasn’t going to last.
We were having guests over for a big dinner: Bryan’s friends and friends from work--my work too, technically--but they were his clique. I couldn’t stand them at work and even less so here “at home” which is what Sarah’s little apartment had become when we moved in together. I placed the serving dish on the table and took the next in a series of deep, deep breaths--held it--and let it out. I could do this. Maybe.
Sarah had been cooking all day long and the kitchen smelled delicious. I’d been starving myself and was ready to eat the linoleum. She’d made me wait though (we’d had a small breakfast: she wasn’t insane) and I’d gotten everything ready--just barely--when the doorbell rang.
“Can you go get that?” Sarah called from the kitchen.
“On my way,” I said and squeezed around the display case she’d inherited from her grandmother (along with the table which was nice--but way, way too big for our dining room) to the doorway.
Piper and Lilly--with their baby--Johns? Something like that--sleeping in a pouch on Lilly’s chest. Sarah had known Lilly since, like, orientation at their school and had been part of the Coffee Club. Piper now worked in online-antagonism with Bryan and myself. They were inevitable.
“Come on in,” I said. “Hey--he grew like two inches!”
The girls laughed and slipped past me, Lilly heading for the kitchen. Piper had never been to the house before. She looked around. “Nice place--small.”
“Yeah, it’s Sarah’s.”
She nodded, perhaps mentally tallying up the furniture values.
The baby was Piper’s--and some other guy’s. He’d had what he’d thought would be a one-night-stand but had really been selected (for genetics and financial means) by an on-line group that isolated men for just such a purpose. They’d ‘hooked up’ on the night of her greatest fertility and she’d either lied about being on control--or used a specifically sabotaged condom (I didn’t ask--but I’d seen the reports).
Now he was child support and Piper and Lilly were married. Apparently the guy, no winner himself in the morality department, was willing to keep paying so long as he was never connected to the kid. It was, one might say, ‘a win-win.’
“I’m going to--” I said, vaguely gesturing towards the living room.
“Sure,” she said. Whatever I was doing, she didn’t care. At work she was one of the very, very few women--and was valued specifically for having a “woman’s touch” when it came to infuriating targets. She was a mega-scorer like Bryan.
My stats were, comparatively, in the toilet.
In the living room I stood awkwardly for a moment before hitting on put on some music’ as the activity to occupy me while Sarah made ‘Squeeeee’ noises over the baby from the kitchen. Christmas music, I thought--and Sarah, thankfully, had a bunch of CDs. Old-school.
The doorbell rang again and I got up.
It was Berman. Dr. Berman. Big--and heavy--with a scraggly beard and clothing that should have been retired a decade ago despite the fact that he made probably four or five times my nominal salary. His doctorate was in economics and I was surprised to see him here: he was a heavy hitter from the theory department--the guys who cooked up all of our “rationales” to throw at people when we weren’t just trying to piss them off.
I knew we’d invited him. I never in a million years thought he’d come.
“Theodore,” he said. He was wearing gloves and a hat, which he took off and handed to me like I was a doorman. After a moment, he removed his gloves and gave them too me too. “It smells delicious.”
He walked past me. I dumped the lot in the closet next to the door.
“Thanks--anyone else from the Think-Tank coming?” I asked. If all our ‘bosses’ were here this was going to be worse than I thought.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “My previous plans fell through.”
Great, I thought. Social Kung-Fu master here.
“Come on to the living room,” I said. “I’m putting on music.”
“Not Christmas music, I hope,” he said.
“Uh … no. What do you like?”
“Classical,” he said. He paused “Bach?”
We had one disc of Bach, it turned out. I’d thrown up the first time Sarah had put it on. I’d managed not to explain to her why I didn’t like The Goldberg Variations. I glanced at him. “I think Sarah has something. I’ll look.”
He sat down on the sofa, towards the edge like he might get up and go at any moment. Maybe if his Plan-A called him back, I thought.
“It’s ironic,” he said, looking at the turned-off TV set.
I was rummaging in the CDs. “Yeah?” I had no idea what he was talking about.
“They’re going to be killed off by global warming.” He smiled.
“Who,” I asked--but I knew. He was talking about Super Storm Sally. He was talking about the Georgia resistance. Sally was a late season hurricane, category four. It was off the coast of Georgia and coming down like the fist of God.
He assumed Thomas Mary’s people thought Global Warming or Climate Change--or whatever they were calling it now--was a hoax. I was pretty sure that surrounded by Homeland Security, caught in a deep winter, and threatened with execution, the global thermometer wasn’t at the very top of their priority list of concerns. On the other hand, they probably weren’t prepared for a mega-storm to come crashing through Georgia so it might very well end them. That was the thinking, anyway: The talking heads on the news had practically been squirming in their seats reporting the weather these days.
I also wasn’t sure it was coincidence. Even if the US Government’s arctic station HAARP couldn’t control the weather I had no firm belief it was beyond the power of the Illuminati. The only question was ‘why so slow?’
“You’re looking forward to that?” I asked him, looking up.
“They have done their best to defile Gaia,” he said--or kind of intoned. “I find it ironic. I’m not exactly looking forward to it.” He nudged the ‘smug’ dial on his voice up a notch, though.
“Yeah,” I said. “I can only imagine what the British would have thought the Founding Fathers had all been wiped out by an earthquake or something. Probably ‘God’s on our side.’”
I saw him twitch. Heh.
He looked at me--seriously--”You are bright, Theodore,” he said. “If you can manage to overcome your limitations you may make something of yourself in the coming world.”
I turned, stood, and looked back at him. Our small ‘apartment Christmas tree’ winked red, green, yellow, and blue lights in the dimness. I could see the snow frosted streets behind him through our window.
“What are you talking about?” I asked. I felt a faint chill in the way he’d spoken. I had been at Forward Look for almost two months and had immersed myself in their process. I, by far, wasn’t the best on the team but I wasn’t bad either. I’d pulled my weight, delving into the on-line fray with carefully calculated falsehoods, misleading factoids, and clever insults. I was considered a top-tier Opinion Leader--meaning I had the most success ‘changing the minds’ of the maybe-imaginary readers who would follow my arguments. That was considered one of the most difficult scores--but not the most valuable.
Forward Look saw the online conversation as a war--they valued disruption most highly. That was fine by me: it let me sleep a little better not to have those numbers. It did get me watched, though. I knew they were carefully tracking everything I did. They’d issued me a blackberry and put me on 24-hr call/alert so that if their computers detected activity they thought was significant I could be deployed from my ‘home office’ (which could happen at 3:00 AM, of course) to get involved.
I figured it was also to track my movements--and I didn’t trust the microphone on it--even when it was turned off. I couldn’t take the battery out (they’d see it go dark and get suspicious) so I carried it like an electronic dog-collar everywhere I went.
While they’d been learning about me, though, I’d also been learning about them. Forward Look was part of a much larger and insanely well funded network of organizations. It was nearly impossible to put together but I’d found a (quickly vanished) board-of-directors PowerPoint slide that mentioned the holding company that owned the Forward Look Internet domain name--our web-address that let people find us online.
The “Board of Directors” in question was that of the International Crisis Group … with billionaire George Soros astride it. Soros being the ultra-liberal megaspeculator who had once crashed Britain and Italy’s currencies to win 12 billion dollars. He was absolutely hated and demonized by the guys we were stirring up online and I could see why.
He was the connecting hub between a well funded chain of seemingly unrelated drug-legalization groups--not marijuana--but heroin. He’d favored “injection rooms” where junkies could legally and safely get their fixes--all paid for with Federally matched insurance dollars. He had run a ‘shock-therapy’ financial restructuring plan across Eastern Europe in the 90’s that left them devastated. He managed things from international children’s foundations to defense contractor groups and his own personal foundation, the Open Society Fund, which had direct ties to the men (and one woman) we called the Think Tank--the brain-trust at Forward Look.
While Forward Look might or might not be a pawn in whatever geopolitical game Soros was playing, the mental firepower in the big room that Berman represented were top-of-their-game. And he’d asked for Bach. It was possible this guy … knew things.
He appraised me.
“You, Theodore,” he said, “Are not a true believer.” His tone was somewhat mild though--as disturbing as that was to hear.
He went on: “It is not your fault--your upbringing--the right-coast, of course, bathed you a moderate worldview. It prevents you from seeing all the possibilities.” He shifted back. I could hear the girls in the kitchen. I didn’t like Piper in there with Sarah--Piper had a predatory sense about her I found disturbing.
I decided not to say anything. I looked back at him. Still your move, guy, I thought. If he had connections to ‘Rex’--to the people who had run the destruction of Atlanta--he could be incredibly dangerous. I didn’t want to give anything away.
For moments there was silence. Then he spoke:
“Let’s take the United States Constitution,” he said, instructing me. “It has clearly outlived its usefulness has it not?” Loaded question. I knew the Forward Look answer. I knew the answers of the people I argued with online.
“Clearly,” I said.
He shook his head. “No--no, Theodore: Engage me. Be one of the people you spar with on the Internet. Show me you can play that role.”
A trap then. He’d said I wasn’t a true-believer. If I argued against him with passion … he’d know. Fuck it, I thought. Two months of this had been murder. I decided I’d had enough.
“The people can change the Constitution,” I said. “Those provisions are in there--if there’s something you don’t like--go to the people.”
He nodded--yes! Very good.
“That is exactly the problem,” he said. “The people have neither the education nor, in most cases, the intellectual agility to make correct decisions. We are no longer in an age of sail and plantations--of local farmer’s markets and travel by horse. Today is a world of logistics. It is an age where money moves at the speed of light. It is an age where weapons can kill thousands in a second. It is an age where a vast, vast gulf of inequality can open under our feet in moments!” he snapped, “and swallow us up!
“This is an age of technology.” he said, “and it requires technocrats.”
“I don’t know,” I said, “What about personal freedom? I might not always make the best decisions but at least they’re my own.”
“Do you own a gun?” he asked.
“No.” I said. It was hard to get one in Seattle and anything with more than six rounds was illegal now anyway. Assault Weapons--now branded Militia-Style Weapons--were a Federal offense under the Patriot Act Revision II. Anyway, Sarah didn’t like guns in general. I had a feeling that if They--any version of ‘Them’ came to me--a gun wouldn’t help me anyway. But his question stung me. Maybe I should, I thought.
“Nor do I,” he said. “A wise choice--think how many lives we would save if everyone made the same one?”
“Well, that’s just the point,” I said. “Everyone doesn’t have to make the same decision. I imagine a lot of lives could be saved if every car was painted high visibility yellow, right? But we get a choice?”
“The only reason a device such as a gun is a choice,” he said, “was because the white slave owners who founded our country enshrined it to gain the agreement of their various warring factions--the states. It was fear of Kings and Kingdoms--it was to support an army--not for self defense or suicide. Muskets were hard to kill oneself with. Not so with a cold nine-millimeter. The Constitution says nothing about self-defense.”
“I think that’s part of life and liberty,” I said. “Maybe even the pursuit of happiness. But still: you don’t like it? Vote it away. If the people agree with you, you’ll win.”
He shook his head. “The people are attached to their guns,” he said. “You can see what that leads to in Georgia. Sometimes a parent must step in to take away some toys.”
“I doubt the guys dying in the snow down there think of their weapons as toys,” I told him. “I may not agree with succession--but … Atlanta was a pretty strange situation even if everything we’ve been told about it is 100% true.”
He snorted. “A truther? Really?”
I shrugged. “You asked me to play one of those on-line guys.” I didn't want to tell him I’d seen the chemical tanks under the jetliners. That I’d seen the command centers--and the molotov cocktails.
He laughed again. Loud enough that the girls in the kitchen stopped talking.
“Very good,” he said. “Very well done--I concede. If one is going to deny reality, objective reporting, and common sense then one can build an ironclad argument.” He nodded to me--a virtual tip of his hat.
“In the future, Theodore” he said, “the rather close future, the Constitution will be changed. Once the rebellion is put down and international investigators can review the war-crimes they have committed there will be sufficient will to make the necessary changes to ensure that it happens--” he smiled through his beard--”Never Again.”
The apartment was heated--but is certainity gave me a chill. I could hear the specific capital letters in his last two words.
“Oh yes: women and children rounded up and executed--perhaps raped and tortured by the Georgia anarchists? The illegal use of chemical weapons in a desperate defense of Fascism. Crosses burned into flesh before non-believers are cast still living into pits and bulldozers can push mountains of earth over the thrashing victims--whole families made to watch.”
He eyed me. “That is what is happening down there,” he said. “Behind their lines--in their purges.”
“How do you know?” The mental images were gut-wrenching.
“I have seen portions of the United Nations report that will be released after this is over.” he told me. “Some of it … I am writing myself.” He smiled at me.
“I’ve also seen the check-points and camps we are going to set up,” he said. “Do you know what they’re stockpiling? What we’re stockpiling for The Internment?”
I heard the capital letters. And then I smelled the alcohol: he was drunk. Badly drunk--his eyes were lit from within by a vicious light. I shook my head. I didn’t want to hear this.
“Guillotines,” he said. “There are warehouses full of plastic FEMA coffins and small, efficient surgical-steel guillotines. Do you know why?”
I shook my head again, repulsed. He was monstrous now: alive inside--filled with a terrible energy--a thrill. I could see his pants bulge with an erection. I definitely did not want to hear this. I felt sick just watching him.
“It’s the Agenda,” he said. “It’s the Twenty First Agenda. It’s all around us now--” he gestured. “It’s in the air. It’s in the wires. We’re thorough. We’re going to take the bastards--the Users of the Planet. The Selfish People--the Gun People--the God People--” he shook his head in wonderment and disgust--”We’re going to take these tiny little militia people and we’re going to round them up and then--CHOP!”
He brought his hand down into his palm. ‘CHOP.’
I felt frozen.
“And why? Because every other form of execution destroys vital organs, Theodore,” he said, didactically. “Reusable--recyclable, reclaimable vital organs--organs they would selfishly pollute with processed sugars and nicotine and--” he burped. “Alcohol. Gunsmoke. All those things. But we’re not going to let them. It’s time to have less of the Me-Me-Me-My-Rights-My-Founding-Fathers-My-Country-Right-Or-Wrong Generation and more of us.”
He grinned. I looked back at him. He raised a finger and touched his nose in a sort of weird keep-it-secret salute. I couldn’t move--until the doorbell rang.
I made myself go to it, throw the bolt back--and open it for Bryan, three others of my work cohort--and Cherry: our sex-goddess floor manager.
Bryan threw his arms around me and tried his best to break my ribs. Alec, Wilson, and Tom made their way around us--taking bottles of wine and a pack of beer to the kitchen. He released me and stepped back. Big grin.
“Place looks good--been a while since I was by.”
Ever since I got together with Sarah, I thought. “We can put that in the fridge.” I said nodded to his bottle of wine.
He nodded--and took it. To my left in the living room, I heard the stereo come on. That fucker had found the Bach CD: It was the Goldberg Variations. Bryan stepped around me, heading back for the kitchen--and I was left, momentarily, with Cherry.
I didn’t dislike her the way I did some of the people who worked at Forward Look: she was sometimes casually verbally cruel to the geek squad she lorded over--but it struck me as a kind of consensual abuse. Everyone was terrified of her displeasure--not because she fired people--but because she was gorgeous, way-out-of-their-league, and she knew it. In short, she was exactly what she appeared to be--unlike the rest of them.
I also didn’t mind her because all that was utterly lost on me: I’d met my soulmate and I was independently wealthy. I was the one guy on the floor immunized against her devices. Here, outside of work, she wasn’t any less attractive--but standing there in the doorway after she’d herded my co-workers in ahead of her (normally she’d have silently insisted they hold the door--here she was clearly conducting them) she looked at me with something that I surprisingly took for actual, sincere concern.
“Are you okay?” she asked. I could hear the music behind me and it wasn’t helping. I imagine I looked like I’d seen a ghost.
“Fine,” I said. It clearly wasn’t very convincing.
“Come outside a second,” she said. It was warm in there. The central ground-floor hall of Sarah’s apartment was old and scarred but was kept pretty well swept by the maintenance guys. It was cold outside. I exited with her--and could see my breath.
Her: “Berman came.”
I nodded. “I emailed to everyone on the office senior list.”
She looked in the direction of the living room. “Don’t fuck up with him around,” she said.
I didn’t have to be told that. I wondered if I already had.
“They like you,” she told me. “They think you have potential some of the others don’t. They like that you can handle yourself in deep water without hand-holding.” I think she meant Internet arguments where I had enough facts to spin a defense out of the mesh of half-truths we used as doctrine. I wondered if she meant the Puppet Theater, though. I thought that was probably deeper water than any of them had ever seen, though.
“Things are going to come to a head quickly,” she said. “We’ve been told to stand by--big changes. Exciting things.” Something about the way she said though--something in her voice--in her eyes--whatever they had told her: she was scared.
And she was coming to me. And Sarah was in there, behind us, chatting with The Enemy.
“We were told to Be Ready.” I heard the capital letters.
I nodded--for whatever reason, as soon as Sally crashed into the coast driving a Category 4 super-blizzard across Georgia it was over. I didn’t know how or why--but I could feel it. She could too. Berman in there had pretty much confirmed it.
‘Rolling Up The American Experiment.’
After that … I grimaced. She saw it--and I saw recognition.
We stood there, in the dark hallway. I was going to go back inside, sit at the table, and pretend things were okay. I was going to hold my temper, my tongue, and my stomach down--with that music playing it might not be easy--but I would do it. Sarah would get her big party. I would keep my ‘job.’ In a few days everything would be over--and the New World Order would have begun.
That was the only sane thing to do. That was the easy way--and what was I going to do against the forces arrayed against us.
Cold air suddenly swirled in the hall: the front door opening.
Cherry turned. I stared.
“Theodore Odell! Hey old buddy.” The voice had a cheery icey rasp to it. The young man speaking cut a chiseled figure in the rectangle of light cast by the street lamps outside.
Walking into my apartment, his lupine smile flashing in flecks of reflected light, was ‘Rex.’
|Soros And Company|
Slate: Bring Back The Guillotine