THE NINTH TRIP, OR YESOD
SINK is played by Discordians and people of much ilk. PURPOSE: To sink object or an object or a thing… in water or mud or anything you can sink something in. RULES: Sinking is allowed in any manner. To date, ten-pound chunks of mud have been used to sink a tobacco can. It is preferable to have a pit of water or a hole to drop things into. But rivers- bays- gulfs- I dare say even oceans- can be used.
TURNS are taken thusly: whosoever gets the junk up and in the air first.
DUTY: It shall be the duty of all persons playing SINK to help find more objects to sink, once one object is sunk. UPON SINKING: The sinker shall yell, "I sank it!" or something equally as thoughtful.
NAMING OF OBJECTS is sometimes desirable. The object is named by the finder of such object, and whoever sinks it can say (for instance), "I sank Columbus, Ohio."
–ALA HERA, E.L., N.S., Rayville Apple Panthers,
quoted in Principia Discordia, by Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C.
For over a week the musicians had been boarding planes and heading for Ingolstadt. As early as April 23, while Simon and Mary Lou listened to Clark Kent and His Supermen and George Dorn wrote about the sound of one eye opening, the Fillet of Soul, finding bookings sparse in London, drove into Ingolstadt in a Volvo painted seventeen Day-Glo colors and flaunting Ken Kesey's old slogan, "Furthur!" On April 24 a real trickle began, and while Harry Coin looked into Hagbard Celine's eyes and saw no mercy there (Buckminster Fuller, just then, was explaining "omnidirectional halo" to his seatmate on a TWA Whisperjet in m-H-Pacific), the Wrathful Visions, the Cockroaches, and the Senate and the People of Rome all drove down Ra-thausplatz in bizarre vehicles, while the Ultra-Violet Hippopotamus and the Thing on the Doorstep both navigated Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse in even more amazing buses. On April 25, while Carmel looted Maldonado's safe and George Dorn repeated "I Am the Robot," the trickle turned to a stream and in came Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Glue Sniffers, King Kong and His Skull Island Dinosaurs, the Howard Johnson Hamburger, the Riot in Cell Block Ten, the House of Frankenstein, the Signifying Monkey, the Damned Thing, the Orange Moose, the Indigo Banana, and the Pink Elephant. On April 26 the stream became a flood, and while Saul and Barney Mul-doon tried to reason with Markoff Chaney and he struggled in their grip, Ingolstadters found themselves inundated by Frodo Baggins and His Ring, the Mouse That Roars, the Crew of the Flying Saucer, the Magnificent Ambersons, the House I Live In, the Sound of One Hand, the Territorial Imperative, the Druids of Stonehenge, the Heads of Easter Island, the Lost Continent of Mu, Bugs Bunny and His Fourteen Carrots, the Gospel According to Marx, the Card-Carrying Members, the Sands of Mars, the Erection, the Association, the Amalgamation, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, the Climax, the Broad Jumpers, the Pubic Heirs, the Freeks, and the Windows. Mick Jagger and his new group, the Trashers, arrived on April 27, while the FBI was interviewing every whore in Las Vegas, and there quickly followed the Roofs, Moses and Monotheism, Steppenwolf, Civilization and Its Discontents, Poor Richard and His Rosicrucian Secrets, the Wrist Watch, the Nova Express, the Father of Waters, the Human Beings, the Washington Monument, the Thalidomide Babies, the Strangers in a Strange Land, Dr. John the Night Tripper, Joan Baez, the Dead Man's Hand, Joker and the One-Eyed Jacks, Peyote Woman, the Heavenly Blues, the Golems, the Supreme Awakening, the Seven Types of Ambiguity, the Cold War, the Street Fighters, the Bank Burners, the Slaves of Satan, the Domino Theory, and Maxwell and His Demons. On April 28, while Dillinger loaded his gun and the kachinas of Orabi began the drum-beating, the Acapulco Gold-Diggers arrived, followed by the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, Dracula and His Brides, the Iron Curtain, the Noisy Minority, the International Debt, Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex, the Cloud of Unknowing, the Birth of a Nation, the Zombies, Attila and His Huns, Nihilism, the Catatonics. the Thorndale Jag Offs, the Haymarket Bomb, the Head of a Dead Cat, the Shadow Out of Time, the Sirens of Titan, the Player Piano, the Streets of Laredo, the Space Odyssey, the Blue Moonies, the Crabs, the Dose, the Grassy Knoll, the Latent Image, the Wheel of Karma, the Communion of Saints, the City of God, General Indefinite Wobble, the Left-Handed Monkey Wrench, the Thorn in the Flesh, the Rising Podge, SHA-ZAM, the Miniature Sled, the 23rd Appendix, the Other Cheek, the Occidental Ox, Ms. and the Chairperson, Cohen Cohen Cohen and Kahn, and the Joint Phenomenon.
On April 29, while Danny Pricefixer listened raptly to Mama Sutra, the deluge descended upon Igolstadt: Buses, trucks, station wagons, special trains, and every manner of transport except dog sleds, brought in the Wonders of the Invisible World, Maule's Curse, the Jesus Head Trip, Ahab and His Amputation, the Horseless Headsmen, the Leaves of Grass, the Gettysburg Address, the Rosy-Fingered Dawn, the Wine-Dark Sea, Nirvana, the Net of Jewels, Here Comes Everybody, the Pisan Cantos, the Snows of Yesteryear, the Pink Dimension, the Goose in the Bottle, the Incredible Hulk, the Third Bardo, Aversion Therapy, the Irresistible Force, MC Squared, the Enclosure Acts, Perpetual Emotion, the 99-Year Lease, the Immovable Object, Spaceship Earth, the Radiocarbon Method, the Rebel Yell, the Clenched Fist, the Doomsday Machine, the Rand Scenario, the United States Commitment, the Entwives, the. Players of Null-A, the Prelude to Space, Thunder and Roses, Armageddon, the Time Machine, the Mason' Word, the Monkey Business, the Works, the Eight of Swords, Gorilla Warfare, the Box Lunch, the Primate Kingdom, the New Aeon, the Enola Gay, the Octet Truss, the Stochastic Process, the Fluxions, the Burning House, the Phantom Captain, the Decline of the West, the Duelists, the Call of the Wild, Consciousness III, the Reorganized Church of the Latter-Day Saints, Standard Oil of Ohio, the Zig-Zag Men, the Rubble Risers, the Children of Ra, TNT, Acceptable Radiation, the Pollution Level, the Great Beast, the Whores of Babylon, the Waste Land, the Ugly Truth, the Final Diagnosis, Solution Unsatisfactory, the Heat Death of the Universe, Mere Noise, I Opening, the Nine Unknown Men, the Horse of Another Color, the Falling Rock Zone, the Ascent of the Serpent, Reddy Willing and Unable, the Civic Monster, Hercules and the Tortoise, the Middle Pillar, the Deleted Expletive, Deep Quote, LuCiFeR, the Dog Star, Nuthin' Sirius, and Preparation H.
(But, on April 23, while Joe Malik and Tobias Knight were setting the bomb in Confrontation's office, the Dealy Lama broadcast a telepathic message to Hagbard Celine saying It's not too late to turn back and Joe hesitated a moment, blurting finally, "Can we be sure? Can we be really sure?" Tobias Knight raised weary eyes. "We can't be sure of anything," he said simply. "Celine has popped up at banquets and other social occasions where Drake was present five times now, and each conversation eventually got around to the puppet metaphor and Celine's favorite bit about the unconscious saboteur in everybody. What else can we assume?" He set the timer for 2:30 A.M. and then met Joe's eyes again. "I wish I could have given George a few more hints," Joe said lamely. "You gave him too damned many hints as it is," Knight replied, closing the bomb casing.)
On April 1, while God's lightning paraded about UN Plaza and Captain Tequila y Mota was led before a firing squad, John Dillinger arose from his cramped lotus position and stopped broadcasting the mathematics of magic. He stretched, shook all over like a dog, and proceeded down the tunnel under the UN building to Alligator Control. OTO yoga was always a strain, and he was glad to abandon it and return to more mundane matters.
A guard stopped him at the AC door, and John handed over his plastic eye-and-pyramid card. The guard, a surly-looking woman whose picture John had seen in the newspapers as a leader of the Radical Lesbians, fed the card into a wall slot; it came out again almost at once, and a green light flashed.
"Pass," she said. "Heute die Welt."
"Morgens das Sonnensystem," John replied. He entered the beige plastic underworld of Alligator Control, and walked through geodesic corridors until he came to the door marked MONOTONY MONITOR. After he inserted his card in the appropriate slot, another green light blinked and the door opened.
Taffy Rheingold, wearing a mini-skirt and still pert and attractive despite her years and gray hair, looked up from her typing. She sat behind a beige plastic desk that matched the beige plastic of the entire Alligator Control headquarters. A broad smile spread across her face when she recognized him.
"John," she said happily. "What brings you here?"
"Gotta see your boss," he answered, "but before you buzz him, do you know you're in another book?"
"The new Edison Yerby novel?" She shrugged philosophically. "Not quite as bad as what Atlanta Hope did to me in Telemachus Sneezed."
"Yeah, I suppose, but how did this guy find out so much? Some of those scenes are absolutely true. Is he in the Order?" John demanded.
"A mind leak," Taffy said. "You know how it is with writers. One of the Illuminati Magi scanned Yerby and he thought he had invented all of it. Not a clue. The same kind of leak we had when Condon wrote The Manchurian Candidate." She shrugged. "It just happens sometimes."
"I suppose," John said absently. "Well, tell your boss I'm here."
In a minute he was in the inner office, being effusively greeted by the old man in the wheelchair. "John, John, it's so good to see you again," said the crooning voice that had hypnotized millions; otherwise, it was hard, in this aged figure, to recognize the once handsome and dynamic Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
"How did you get stuck with a job like this?" Dillinger asked finally, after the amenities had been exchanged.
"You know how it is with the new gang in Agharti," Roosevelt murmured. " 'New blood, new blood'- that's their battle cry. All of us old and faithful servants are being pushed into minor bureaucratic positions."
"I remember your funeral," John said wistfully. "I was envious, thinking of you going to Agharti and working directly with the Five. And now it's come to this… Monotony Monitor in Alligator Control. Sometimes I get pissed with the Order."
"Careful," Roosevelt said. "They might be scanning. And a double agent, such as you are, John, is always under special surveillance. Besides, this isn't really so bad, considering how they reacted in Agharti when the Pearl Harbor revelations started coming out in the late forties. I did not handle that matter too elegantly, you know, and they had a right to demote me. And Alligator Control is interesting." "Maybe," John said dubiously. "I never have understood this project"
"It's very significant work," Roosevelt said seriously. "New York and Chicago are our major experiments in testing the mehum tolerance level. In Chicago we concentrate on mere ugliness and brutality, but in New York we're simultaneously carrying on a long-range boredom study. That's where Alligator Control comes in. We've got to keep the alligators in the sewers down to a minimum so the Bureau of Sanitation doesn't reactivate their own Alligator Control Project, which would be an opportunity for adventure and a certain natural mehum hunting-band mystique among some of the young males. It's the same reason we took out the trolley cars: Riding them was more fun than buses. Believe me, Monotony Monitoring is a very important part of the New York project"
"I've seen the mental-health figures," John said, nodding. "About seventy percent of the people in the most congested part of Manhattan are already prepsychotic."
"We'll have it up to eighty percent by 1980!" Roosevelt cried, with some of his old steely-eyed determination. But then he fixed a joint in his ivory holder and, clenching it at his famous jaunty angle, added, "And we're immune, thanks to Sabbah's Elixir." He quoted cheerfully: " 'Grass does more than Miltpwn can/ To justify God's ways to man.' But what does bring you here, John?"
"A 'small job,' " Dillinger said. "There's a man in my organization named Malik who is getting a little too close to the secret of the whole game. I need some help here in New York to set him off on a snark hunt until after May first I'd like to know who you've got on your staff closest to him."
"Malik," Roosevelt said thoughtfully. "That would be the Malik of Confrontation magazine?" John nodded, and Roosevelt sat back in his wheelchair, smiling. "This is a lead-pipe cinch. We've got an agent in his office."
(But neither of them realized that ten days later a dolphin swimming through the rums of Atlantis would discover that no Dragon Star had ever fallen. Nor could they have guessed how Hagbard Celine would reevaluate Illuminati history when that revelation was reported to him, and they had no clue of the decision he would then make, which would change everybody's conspiracies shockingly and unexpectedly.)
"Here are the five alternate histories," Gruad said, his wise old eyes crinkling humorously. "Each of you will be responsible for planting the evidence to make one ot these histories seem fairly credible. Wo Topod, you get the Carcosa story. Evoe, you get the lost continent of Mu." He handed out two bulky envelopes. "Gao Twone, you get this charming snake story-I want variations of it scattered throughout Africa and the Near East." He handed out another envelope. "Unica, you get the Urantia story, but that one isn't to be released until fairly late in the Game." He picked up the fifth envelope and smiled again. "Kajeci, my love, you get the Atlantis story, with certain changes that make us out to be the most double-dyed bastards in all history. Let me explain the purpose behind that…"
And in 1974 the four members of the American Medical Association gazed somberly down at Joe Malik from his office wall. It looked to be a long day, and there was nothing to anticipate as exciting as last night had been. There was a thick manuscript in a manila envelope in the IN box; he noticed that the stamps had been removed. That was doubtless Pat Walsh's work; her kid brother was a stamp collector. Joe smiled, remembering the diary he'd kept when he was a teen-ager. In case his parents found it, he always referred to masturbation as stamp collecting. "Collected five stamps today- a new record." "After five days of no stamps, collected a beauty in several colors. Enormous, but the negotiations were tiring." Doubtless today's kids, if they kept diaries (they probably used casette tape recorders), either talked openly about it or considered it too incidental to mention. Joe shook his head. The Catholic teen-ager he had been in 1946 was no more remote than the crumbling liberal he'd been in 1968. And yet, in spite of all he'd been through, much of the time he felt that all of the knowledge didn't make a difference. People like Pat and Peter still treated him as if he were the same man, and he still did the same job in the same way.
He took the heavy manuscript out and shook the envelope. Damn it, there was no return envelope. Well, working at a magazine like Confrontation, whose contributors were mostly radicals and the kind of kooks who were willing to write for no bread, you didn't really expect them to enclose stamped self-addressed envelopes. There was a covering letter. Joe sucked in his breath when he saw the golden apple embossed in the upper left-hand corner.
Hail Eris and Hi, Joe,
Here is a brilliant, original interpretation of international finance called "Vampirism, the Heliocentric Theory and the Gold Standard." It's by Jorge Lobengula, a really far-out young Discordian thinker. JAMs don't go in much for writing, but Discordians, fortunately, do. If you find it worth printing, you may have it at your usual rates. Make the check payable to the Fernando Poo Secessionist Movement and sent it to Jorge at 15 Rue Hassan, Algiers 8.
Incidentally, Jorge will not be involved in the Fernando Poo coup. He is turning toward a synergistic economics, which will gradually lead him to see the folly of Fernando Poo going it alone. And the coup itself, of course, will not be any of our doing. But Jorge will be a key figure in Equatorial Guinea's subsequent economic recovery-assuming the world pulls through that particular mess. If you can't use this paper, burn it Jorge has plenty of copies.
Five tons of flax,
P.S. The Fernando Poo rebellion may still be one or two years in the future, so don't jump to the conclusion that the pot is coming to a boil already. Remember what I told you about the goose in the bottle.
(Down the hall in the lady's room, bolting the door for privacy, Pat Walsh takes her transistorized transmitter from her pantyhose and broadcasts to the receiver at the Council on Foreign Relations headquarters half a block east "I'm still writing lots of Illuminati research papers, and they'll give him plenty of false leads. The big news today is an article on Erisian economics by a Fernando Poo national. It came with a covering letter signed 'Mal,' and from the context, I feel fairly certain it's the original- Malaclypse the Elder himself. If not, at last we've got a lead on that damned elusive Malaclypse the Younger. The envelope was postmarked Mad Dog, Texas…")
Joe put down Mal's letter, trying to remember the obscure references to Fernando Poo before the movie last night. Someone had said something was going to happen there. Maybe he should get a stringer on the island, or even send somebody over. A malicious grin crossed his face: It might be interesting to send Peter. First some AUM, then a trip to Fernando Poo. That might fix Peter up.
Joe flipped through the Loberigula manuscript quickly, scanning. There were no fnords. That was a relief. He had become painfully conscious of them since Hagbard had removed the aversion reflex, and each fnord had sent a pang through him that was a ghost of the low-grade emergency in which he had previously lived. He turned back to the first page and began to read in earnest:
VAMPIRISM, THE HELIOCENTRIC THEORY AND THE GOLD STANDARD
by Jorge Lobengula Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law
Joe stopped. That sentence had been used in the Black Mass in Chicago and further back, he knew, it was the code of the Abbey of Theleme in Rabelais; but there was something else about it that chewed at his consciousness, something that suggested a hidden meaning. This was not just a first axiom of anarchism-there was something else there, something more hermetic. He looked back at Mal's letter: "Remember what I told you about the goose in the bottle."
That was a simple riddle used by Zen Masters in the training of monks, Joe remembered. You take a newborn gosling and slip it through the neck of a bottle. Month after month you keep it in there and feed it, until it is a full-grown goose and can no longer be passed through the bottle's neck. The question is: Without breaking the bottle, how do you get the goose out?
Neither riddle seemed to shed much light on the other.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
How do you get the goose out of the bottle?
"Holy God." Joe laughed. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."
The goose gets out of the bottle the same way John Dillinger got out of the "escape-proof" Crown Point jail.
"Jesus motherfucking Christ," Joe gasped. "It's alive!"
JUST LIKE A TREE THAT'S STANDING BY THE WAAATER WE SHALL NOT WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED
The only place where all five Illuminati Primi met was the Great Hall of Gruad in Agharti, the thirty-thousand-year-old Illuminati center on the peaks of the Tibetan Himalayas, with a lower-level water front harbor on the vast underground Sea of Valusia.
"We will report in the usual order," said Brother Gracchus Gruad, pressing a button in the table before him so his words would automatically be recorded on impervium wire for the Illuminati archives. "First of all, Fernando Poo. Jorge Lobengula, having decided that the combined resources of Fernando Poo and Rio Muni can be reallocated so as to increase the per-capita wealth of citizens of both provinces, has accordingly broken with the Fernando Poo separatists and returned to Rio Muni, where he hopes to persuade Fang leaders to go along with his schemes for economic redevelopment. Our plans now center on a Captain Ernesto Tequila y Mota, one of the few Caucasians left on Fernando Poo. He has good contacts among the wealthier Bubi, the ones who favor separatism, and he is inordinately ambitious. I don't think we need contemplate a change in timetable."
"I should hope not," said Brother Marcus Marconi. "It would be such a shame not to immanentize the Eschaton on May first"
"Well, we can't count on May first," said Brother Gracchus Gruad. "But with three distinct plans pointing in that direction, one of them is bound to hit. Let's hear from you, Brother Marcus."
"Charles Mocenigo has now reached Anthrax Leprosy Mu. A few more nightmares at the right moment and he'll be home."
Sister Theda Theodora spoke next. "Atlanta Hope and God's Lighting are becoming more powerful all the time. The President will be scared shitless of her when the time comes, and he'll be ready to be even more totalitarian than her, just to keep her from taking over."
"I don't trust Drake," said Brother Marcus Marconi.
"Of course," said Brother Gracchus Gruad. "But he has builded his house by the sea."
"And he who builds by the sea builds on sand," said Brother Otto Ogatai. "My turn. Our record, Give, Sympathize, Control, is an international hit. Our next tour of Europe should be an extraordinary success. Then we can begin, very slowly and tentatively, negotiations for the Wal-purgisnacht festival. Anyone who tries to develop the idea prematurely, of course, will have to be deflected."
"Or liquidated," said Brother Gracchus Gruad. He looked down the long table at the man who sat by himself at the far end. "Now you. You've been silent all this time. What do you have to say?"
The man laughed. "A few words from the skeleton at the feast, eh?" This was the fifth and most formidable Illuminatus Primus, Brother Henry Hastur, the only one who would have the gall to name himself after a lloigor.
"It is written," he said, "that the universe is a practical joke by the general at the expense of the particular. Do not be too quick to laugh or weep, if you believe this saying. All I can say is, there is a serious threat in being to all your plans. I warn you. You have been warned. You may all die. Are you afraid of death? You need not answer- I see that you are. That in itself may be a mistake. I have tried to explain to you about not fearing death, but you will not listen. All your other problems follow from that."
The other four Illuminati Primi listened in cold, disdainful silence and did not reply.
"If all are One," the fifth Illuminatus added significantly, "all violence is masochism."
"If all are One," Brother Otto replied nastily,'"all sex-is masturbation. Let's have no more mehum metaphysics here."
HARE KRISHNA HARE HARE
Then George was here, with Celine, in Ingolstadt. This was going to be tricky. George's head was bent over an earthenware stein, doubtless full of the local brew.
"George!" Joe called again. George looked up, and Joe was astonished. He had never seen George like this before. George shook his shoulder-length blond hair to clear it away from his face, and Joe looked deep into his eyes.
They were strange eyes, eves without fear or pity or guilt, eyes that acknowledged that the natural state of man was one of perpetual surprise, and therefore could not be greatly surprised by any one thing, even the unexpected appearance of Joe Malik. What has Celine done to him in the past seven days? Joe wondered. Has he destroyed his mind or has he-illuminated him?
Actually, it was George's tenth stein of beer that day, and he was very, very drunk.
HARRY ROBOT HARRY HARRY
(Civil liberties were suspended and a state of national emergency declared during a special presidential broadcast on all channels between noon and 12:30 on April 30. Fifteen minutes later the first rioting started in New York, at the Port Authority on Forty-first Street, where a mob attempted to overrun the police and steal buses in which to escape to Canada. It was 6:45 P.M. just then in Ingolstadt, and Count Dracula and His Brides were giving forth a raga-rock version of an old Walt Disney cartoon song… And in Los Angeles, where it was 9:45 A.M., a five-person Morituri group, hurriedly convened, decided to use up all its bombs against police stations immediately. "Cripple the motherfucker before it's heavy," said their leader, a sixteen-year-old girl with braces on her teeth… Her idiom, in standard English, meant: "Paralyze the fascist state before it's entrenched"… and Saul, trusting the pole-vaulter in the unconscious, was leading Barney and Markoff Chaney into the mouth of Lehman Cavern… Carmel, nearly a kilometer south of them, and several hundred feet closer to the center of the earth, still clutched his briefcase and its five million green gods, but he did not move… Near him were the bones of a dozen bats he had eaten…)
TO BE A BAT'S A BUM THING
A SILLY AND A DUMB THING
BUT AT LEAST A BAT IS SOMETHING
AND YOU'RE NOT A THING AT ALL
Joe Malik, hit by the raga rock as if by an avalanche of separate notes which were each boulders, felt his body dissolve. Count Dracula wailed it again (YOU'RE NOT A THING AT ALL), and Joe felt mind crumble along with body and could find no center, no still point in the waves of sound and energy; the fucking acid was Hagbard's ally and had turned against him, he was dying; even the words "Hey that cat's on a bummer" came from far away, and his effort to determine if they really meant him collapsed into an effort to remember what the words were, which imploded into an uncertainty about what effort he was trying to make, mental or physical, and why. "Because," he cried out, "because, because-"… but "because" meant nothing.
YOU'RE NOTHING BUT A NOTHING NOTHING BUT A NOTHING
"But I can't take acid now," George had protested. "I'm so damned drunk on this Bavarian beer, it's sure to be a down trip."
"Everybody takes acid," Hagbard said coldly. "Those are Miss Portinari's orders, and she's right. We can only face this thing if our minds are completely open to the Outside."
"Hey, dig," Clark Kent said. "That French cat eating the popsicle."
"Yeah?" said one of the Supermen.
"It's Jean-Paul Sartre. Who'd ever expect to see him here?" Kent shook his head. "Hope to hell he stays long enough to hear our gig. Sheee-it, the influence that man has had on me! He should hear it come back at him in music."
"That's your trip, baby," a second Superman said. "I don't give a fuck what any motherfuckin' honky thinks about our music."
YOU'RE NOTHING BUT A NOTHING
"Mick Jagger hasn't even played 'Sympathy for the Devil' yet and already the trouble has started," an English voice drawled… Attila and His Huns were trying to do acute bodily damage to the Senate and the People of Rome… Both groups were speeding, and they had gotten into a very intellectual discussion of the meaning of one of Dylan's lyrics… A Hun bopped a Roman with a beer stein as another voice mumbled something about Tyl Eulenspiegel's merry pranks.
YOU'RE NOT A THING AT ALL
Joe had always had the policy at Confrontation that real screwballs should be sent to him for interviewing, but the little fat man who came in didn't seem particularly crazy. He just had the bland, regular, somewhat smallish features of a typical WASP.
"The name is James Cash Cartwright," the fat man said, holding out his hand, "and the subject is consciousness energy."
"The subject of what?"
"Oh- this here article I have written for you." Cartwright reached into his alligator briefcase and pulled out a thick sheaf of typewritten paper. It was an odd size, possibly eight by ten. He handed the manuscript to Joe. "What kind of paper is this?" said Joe. "It's the standard size in England," said Cartwright. "When I was over there in 1963 visiting the tombs of my ancestors, I bought ten reams of it. I took the plane from Dallas on November 22, the day Kennedy was shot. Synchronicity. Also, I sneezed the moment the gunman squeezed. More synchronicity. But about this paper, I've never used anything else for my writing since then. Kind of gives a man a nice feeling to know that all the trees that went into my paper were chopped down over ten years ago, and no trees have died since then to support the proliferation of Jim Cartwright's philosophical foliage."
"That certainly is a wonderful thing," said Joe, thinking how much he loathed ecological moralists. During the height of the ecology fad, back in 1970 and '71, several people actually had had the nerve to write Joe saying that ecologically responsible journals like Confrontation had a duty to cease publication in order to save trees. "Just what fruit have your philosophical researches borne, Mr. Cartwright?" he asked.
"Golden apples of the sun, silver apples of the moon," said Cartwright with a smile. Joe saw Lilith Velkor defying Gruad atop the Pyramid of the Eye.
"Well, sir," said Cartwright, "my basic finding is that life energy pervades the entire universe, just as light and gravity do. Therefore, all life is one, just as all light is one. All energies, you see, are broadcast from a central source, yet to be found. If four amino acids-adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine-suddenly become life when you throw them together, then all chemicals are potentially alive. You and me and the fish and bugs are that kind of life made from adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine: DNA life. What we call dead matter is another kind of life: non-DNA-life. Okay so far? If awareness is life and if life is one, then the awareness of the individual is just one of the universe's sensory organs. The universe produces beings like us in order to perceive itself. You might think of it as a giant, self-contained eye."
Joe remained impassive.
Cartwright went on. "Consciousness is therefore also manifested as telepathy, clairvoyance, and telekinesis. Those phenomena are simply non-localized versions of consciousness. I'm very interested in telepathy, and I've had a lot of success with telepathic research. These cases of communication are just further evidence that consciousness is a seamless web throughout the universe."
"Now wait a minute," said Joe. "Automobiles run on mechanical energy, heat energy, and electrical energy, but that doesn't mean that all the automobiles in the world are in contact with each other."
"What burns?" said Cartwright, smiling.
"You mean in a car? Well, the gas ignites explosively in the cylinder-"
"Only organic matter burns," said Cartwright smugly. "And all organic matter is descended from a single cell. All fire is one. And all automobiles do communicate with each other. You can't tell me anything about gas or oil. Or cars. I'm a Texan. Did I tell you that?"
Joe shook his head. "Just what part of Texas are you from?"
"Little place called Mad Dog."
"Had a notion you might be. Tell me, Mr. Cartwright, do you know anything about a conspiratorial organization called the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria?"
"Well, I know three organizations that have similar names: the Ancient Bavarian Conspiracy, the New Bavarian Conspiracy, and the Conservative Bavarian Seers."
Joe nodded. Cartwright didn't seem to have the facts straight- as Joe knew them. Perhaps the fat man had other pieces of the puzzle, perhaps fewer pieces than Joe had. Still, if they were different, they might be useful.
"Each of these organizations controls one of the major TV networks in the U.S.," said Cartwright. "The initials of each network have been intentionally chosen to refer back to the name of the group that runs it. They also control all the big magazines and newspapers. That's why I came to you. Judging by the stuff you've been getting away with printing lately, not only do the Illuminati not control your magazine, but you seem to have the benefit of some pretty powerful protection."
"So, there are three separate Illuminati groups, and among them they dominate all the communications media- is that correct?" said Joe.
"That's right," said Cartwright, his face as cheerful as if he were explaining how his wife made ice cream with a hand freezer. "They dominate the motion-picture industry too. They took a hand in the making of hundreds of movies, the best known of which are Gunga Din and Citizen Kane. Those two movies are especially full of Illuminati references, symbols, code messages, and subliminal propaganda. 'Rosebud,' for instance, is their code name for the oldest Illuminati symbol, the so-called Rosy Cross. You know what that means." He snickered lewdly.
Joe nodded. "So- you know about 'flowery combat.'"
Cartwright shrugged. "Who doesn't? Dr. Horace Naismith, a learned friend of mine, and head of the John Dillinger Died for You Society, has written an analysis of Gunga Din, pointing out the real meaning of the thuggee, the evil goddess Kali, the pit full of serpents, the elephant medicine, the blowing of the bugle from the top of the temple, and so forth. Gunga Din celebrates the imposition of law and order in an area terrorized by the criminal followers of a goddess who breeds evil and chaos. The thuggee are a caricature of the Discordians, and the English represent the Illuminati's view of themselves. The Illuminati love that movie."
"Sometimes I wonder if we're not all working for them, one way or another," said Joe, trying deliberately to be ambivalent to see which way Cartwright would move.
"Well, sure we are," said Cartwright. "Everything we do that contributes to a lack of harmony in the human race helps them. They are forever shaking up society with experiments involving suffering and death for large numbers of people. For instance, consider the General Slocum disaster on June 15, 1904. Note that 19 plus 04 equals 23, by the way."
Him too? Joe groaned mentally. He's got to be either one of us or one of them, and if he's one of them, why is he telling me so much?
"You tell me," Cartwright said, "if all consciousness is not one, just how did Joyce happen to pick the very next day for Ulysses, so the General Slocum disaster would be in the newspaper his characters read? You see, Joyce knew he was a genius, but he never did understand the nature of genius, which is to be in better touch with the universal consciousness than the average man is. Anyway, the Illuminati were trying, with the General Slocum disaster, a new, more economical technique for achieving transcendental illumination-one that would require only a few hundred sudden deaths instead of thousands. Not that they care about saving lives, you understand, though the desire might result from the return of the repressed original purpose of the Illuminati, which was benign."
"Really?" said Joe. "What was the benign purpose?"
"The preservation of human knowledge after the natural catastrophe that destroyed the continent of Atlantis and the first human civilization, thirty thousand years ago," said Cartwright.
"Yes. A solar flare that erupted just when Atlantis was turned toward the sun. The original Illuminati were scientists who predicted the solar flare but were scoffed at by their fellows, so they fled by themselves. The benevolence of those early Illuminati was replaced by elitist attitudes id their successors, but the benign purpose keeps coming back in the form of factions which arise among the Illuminati and split off. The factions preserve traditional Illuminati secrecy, but they aim to thwart the destructiveness of the parent body. The Justified Ancients of Mummu were expelled from the Illuminati back in 1888. But the oldest anti-Illuminati conspiracy is the Erisian Liberation Front, which splintered off before the beginnings of the current civilization. Then there's the Discordian Movement- another splinter faction, but they're almost as bad as the Illuminati. They're sort of like a cross between followers of Ayn Rand and Scientologists. They've got this guy named Hagbard Celine, their head honcho. You didn't read about it because the governments of the world were too scared shitless to do anything about it, but five years ago this Celine character infiltrated the nuclear-submarine service of the U.S. Navy for the Illuminati-and stole a sub. He's a supersalesman, Celine is- he could talk old H. L. Hunt right out of half his oil wells. He was a Chief Petty Officer. First he converted about half the crew with the most incredible line of bullshit you've heard since Tim Leary was in his prime. Then he put some kind of drug in the ship's air supply, and while they were under the influence he converted most of the others. The ones that were stubborn he just blew out through the torpedo tubes. Nice guy. Now, mind you, this sub was armed with Polaris missiles. So the next thing Ce-line does is get himself off to someplace in the ocean where they can't find him and blackmail the fucking governments of the U.S., the U.S.S.R., and Red China to each give him ten million dollars in gold, and after he gets the thirty million he will scuttle his missiles. Otherwise he will dump 'em on a city of one of those three countries."
"Was Celine still working for the Illuminati at that point?"
"Hell, no!" Cartwright snorted. "That's not how they play the game. They like to operate stealthily, behind the throne-room curtains. They work with poison and daggers and things, not H-bombs. No, Celine told the Illuminati to go fuck themselves, and there was nothing they could do but grind their teeth. He's been operating like a pirate ever since. And I'll tell you something else. There's more than one world leader, including the Illuminati leaders, that hasn't been able to sleep at night because of what else Hagbard Celine has on that submarine."
"What's that, Mr. Cartwright?"
"Well, see, the U.S. Government did a very dumb thing. They weren't satisfied to have just nuclear weapons aboard their Polaris submarines for a while. They also thought the subs should be armed with the other kind of weapon- bugs."
Joe felt himself go cold, and the back of his neck prickled. Let others worry about the nuclear devastation all they want. Disease- the extinction of the human race through the spread of some manmade plague for which man would have no remedy- was his particular nightmare. Maybe because at the age of seven he'd very nearly died of polio; though he'd been healthy ever since, the fear of fatal illness had been impossible to shake.
"This Hagbard Celine- these Discordians- have a bacteriological weapon aboard the submarine?"
"Yeah. Something called Anthrax Tau. All Celine has to do is release it in the water and within a week the whole human race would be dead. It spreads faster'n a two-dollar whore on Saturday night. Any living thing can carry it. But one nice thing about it- it's fatal only to man. If Celine ever gets crazy enough to use it- and he's pretty crazy these days, and getting worse all the time- it'll give the planet a fresh start, so to speak. Some other life form could evolve into sentience. Now, if we have a nuclear war, or if we pollute the planet to death, there won't be any life left worth talking about. Might be the best thing that ever happened if Hagbard Celine shot that Anthrax Tau down the tube. It would sure prevent worse things from happening."
"If there were no one left alive," said Joe, "from whose point of view would it be the best thing that ever happened?"
"Life's," said Cartwright. "I told you, all life is one. Which gets me back to my manuscript. I'll just leave it with you. I realize it's much longer than what you usually publish, so feel free to excerpt from it as you please, and to pay me at your usual rates for whatever you publish."
That evening Joe stayed till nine at his office. He was, as usual, a day late getting copy to the typesetter on his editorial column and the letters column. These were two parts of the magazine that he felt only he could do right, and he refused to delegate either job to Peter or anyone else on the staff. First he ran the letters through his typewriter, shortening and pointing them up, then adding brief editorial answers where called for. After that he put aside his notes and research for the editorial he'd planned for this August issue, and instead he wrote an impassioned plea that each reader make himself personally responsible for doing something about the menace of bacteriological warfare. Even if what Cartwright had told him was a crock, it reminded him of his long-held conviction that germ warfare was far more likely to put the quietus to the human race than nuclear weapons. It was just too easy to unleash. He envisioned Hagbard in his submarine spewing the microbes of all-destroying plague out into the seas, and he shuddered.
His briefcase weighed down by Cartwright's manuscript, which he'd decided to take home with him, he stood in the lobby of his office building, gazing gloomily at the tanks full of tropical fish in the window of the pet store. One tank had, as an ornament, a china model of a sunken pirate ship. It made Joe think again of Hagbard Celine. Did he trust Hagbard or didn't he? Was it possible to really believe in a Hagbard with the Captain Nemo psychosis, brooding over tubes and jars full of bacteria cultures, one hairy finger hovering tentatively over a button that would send a torpedo full of Anthrax Tau germs out into the inky waters of the Atlantic? Within a week all humans would die, Cartright had said. And it was hard to think that Cartwright was lying, since he knew so much about so many other things.
When Joe got home he put on his favorite Museum of National History record, The Language and Music of the Wolves, and lit up a joint He liked listening to the wolves when he was high, and trying to understand their language. Then he took Cartwright's manuscript out of his briefcase and looked at the title page. It didn't say a word about consciousness energy, indeed, it referred to a subject Joe found much more interesting:
HOW THE ANCIENT BAVARIAN CONSPIRACY PLOTTED AND CARRIED OUT THE ASSASSINATIONS OF MALCOLM X, JOHN F. KENNEDY, MARTIN LUTHER KINO, JR., GEORGE LINCOLN ROCKWELL, ROBERT KENNEDY, RICHARD M. NECON, GEORGE WALLACE, JANE FONDA, GABRIEL CONRAD, AND HANK BRUMMER
"Well," said Joe, "I'll be fucked."
"It was quite a trip," said Hagbard Celine.
"You're quite a tripper," Miss Portinari replied. "You really did Harry Coin very well. Probably just the way he'll do it, when he gets up the nerve to come see me."
"It was simpler than doing my own trip," Hagbard said wearily. "My guilt is much deeper, because I know more. It was easier to take his guilt trip than to take my own."
"And it's over? Your fur no longer bristles?"
"I know who I am and why I'm here. Adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine."
"How did you ever forget?"
Hagbard grinned. "It's easy to forget. You know that"
She smiled back. "Blessed be, Captain."
"Blessed be," he said.
Returning to his stateroom, he was still subdued. The vision of the self-begotten and the serpent eating its own tail had broken the lines of word, image, and emotional energy that were steering him toward the Dark Night of the Soul again- but resolving his personal problem did not rescue the Demonstration or help him cope with the oncoming disaster. It merely freed him to begin anew. It merely reminded him that the end is the beginning and humility is endless.
It merely, merrily, turned the Wheel another Tarot-towery connection…
He realized he was still tripping a little. That was readily fixed: Harry Coin was tripping, and he wasn't Harry Coin right now.
Hagbard, remembering again who he was and why he was there, opened his stateroom door. Joe Malik sat in a chair, under an octopus mural, and regarded him with a level glance.
"Who killed John Kennedy?" Joe asked calmly. "I want a straight answer this time, H.C."
Hagbard relaxed into another chair, smiling gently. "That one finally registered, eh? I told John, all those years ago, to emphasize that you should never trust anyone with the initials H.C., and yet you've gone on trusting me and never noticing."
"I noticed. But it seemed too wild to take seriously."
"John Kennedy was killed by a man named Harold Canvera who lived on Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, near the Seminary Restaurant, where you and Simon first discussed his theories of numerology. Dillinger had moved back to that neighborhood for a while in the late fifties, because he liked to go to the Biograph Theatre for old times' sake, and Canvera was his landlord. A very sane, ordinary, rather, dull individual. Then, in Dallas in 1963, John saw him blow the President's head off before Oswald or Harry Coin or the Mafia gun could fire." Hagbard paused to light a cigar. "We investigated Canvera afterward, like scientists investigating the first extraterrestrial life form. You can imagine how thorough we were. He had no politics at all at the time, which puzzled the hell out of us. It turned out that Canvera had put a lot of money into Blue Sky; Inc., a firm that made devices for landing on low-gravity planets. That was back in the very early fifties. Finally, Elsenhower's hostility to the space program drove Blue Sky to the bottom off the board, and Canvera sold out at a terrible loss. Then Kennedy came in and announced that the U.S. was going toi put a man on the moon. The stocks he'd sold were suddenly worth millions. Canvera's brain snapped- that was all. Killing Kennedy and getting away with it turned him schizzy; finally. He went for spiritualism for a while, and then later joined White Heroes Opposing Red Extremism, one the really paranoid anti-Illuminati groups, and ran a telephone message service giving WHORE propaganda."
"And nobody else ever suspected?" Joe asked. "Canvera is still there in Chicago, going about his business, just another face on the street?"
"Not quite. He was shot a few years ago. Due to you."
"Due to me?"
"Yes. He was one of the subjects in the first AUM test. He subsequently made the mistake of knocking up the daughter of a local politician. It appears that the AUM made him susceptible to libertine ideas."
WE'RE GONNA ROCK ROCK ROCK TILL BROAD DAYLIGHT
"You sound very convincing, and I almost believe you," Joe said slowly. "Why, all of a sudden? Why no more put-ons and runarounds?"
"We're getting to the chimes at midnight," Hagbard replied simply, with a Latin shrug. "The spell is ending. Soon the coach turns back to a pumpkin, Cinderella goes back to the kitchen, everybody takes their masks off, and the carnival is over. I mean it," he added, his face full of sincerity. "Ask me anything and you get the truth."
"Why are you keeping George and me apart? Why do I have to skulk around the sub like a wanted fugitive and eat with Calley and Eichmann? Why don't you want George and me to compare notes?"
Hagbard sighed. "The real explanation for that would take a day. You'd have to understand the whole Celine System first. In the baby talk of conventional psychology, I'm taking away George's father figures. You're one: his first and only boss, an older man he trusts and respects. I became another very quickly, and that's one of the thousand and one reasons I turned the guru-hood over to Miss Portinari. He had to confront Drake, the bad father, and lose you and me, the good fathers, before he could really learn to ball a woman. The next step, if you're curious, is to take the woman away from him. Temporarily," Hagbard added quickly. "Don't be so jumpy. You've been through a large part of the Celine System, and it hasn't killed you. You're stronger because of it, aren't you?"
Joe nodded, accepting this, but shot the next question immediately. "Do you know who bombed Confrontation?"
"Yes, Joe. And I know why you did it"
YOU'RE NOT A THING AT ALL
"Okay, then, here's the payoff, and your answer better be good. Why are you helping the Illuminati to immanentize the Eschaton, Hagbard?"
"It steam-engines when it comes steam-engine time, as a very wise man once said."
"Jesus," Joe said wearily. "I thought I had crossed that pom asinorum. When I figured out how you get the goose out of the bottle in the Zen riddle- you do nothing and wait for the goose to peck its way out, just like a chick pecks its way out of an egg- I realized 'Do what thou wilt' becomes 'the whole of the law' by a mathematical process. The equation balances when you realize who the 'thou' is, as distinguished from the ordinary 'you.' The whole fucking works, the universe-all of it alive in the same way we're alive, and mechanical in the same way we're mechanical. The Robot. The one more trustworthy than all the Buddhas and sages. Oh, Christ, yes, I thought I understood it all. But this, this… this stone fatalism- what the hell are we going to Ingolstadt for, if we can't do anything?"
"The coin has two sides. It's the only coin that comes up at this time, but it still has two sides." Hagbard leaned forward intensely. "It's mechanical and alive. Let me give you a sexual metaphor, since you usually hang out with New York intellectuals. You look at a woman across a room and you know you're going to bed with her before the night is over. That's mechanical: Something has happened when your eyes met But the orgasm is organic; what it will be like, neither of you can predict. And I know, just as the Illuminati know, that immanentization is going to happen on May first because of a mechanical process Adam Weishaupt started on another May first two centuries ago, and because of other processes other people started before then and since then. But neither I nor the Illuminati know what form immanentization will take. It doesn't have to be hell on earth. It can be heaven on earth. And that's why we're going to Ingolstadt."
THREE O'CLOCK TWO O'CLOCK ONE O'CLOCK ROCK
I became a cop because of Billie Freshette. Well, I don't want to jive you- that wasn't the whole reason. But she sure as hell was one bodacious big part of the reason, and that's the curious thing about what finally happened, and how Milo Flanagan assigned me to infiltrate the Lincoln Park anarchist group, getting me in right up to my black ass in all that international intrigue and yoga-style balling with Simon Moon. But maybe I should start over from the beginning again, from Billie Freshette. I was a little kid and she was an old woman- it was in the early 1950s, you see (Hassan i Sabbah X was operating in the open then, going around the South Side preaching that the greatest of the White Magicians had just died recently in England and now the age of the Black Magicians was beginning; everybody thought he was one stone-crazy stud), and my father was a cook in a restaurant on Halsted. He pointed her out to me on the street once (it must have been just a while before she went back to the reservation in Wisconsin to die). "See that old woman, child? She was John Dillinger's girl friend."
Well, I looked, and I saw she was really heavy and together and that whatever the law had done to her never broke her, but I also saw that sorrow hung around her like a dark halo. Daddy went on and told me a lot more about her, and about Dillinger, but it was the sorrow that got printed all over every cell in my little baby brain. It took years for me to figure it out, but what it really meant, as an omen or conjure, was that she was basically just like the women of the black gang leaders on the South Side, even if she was an Indian. There's just one way for a black in Chicago, and that's to join a gang- Solidarity Forever, as Simon would say- but I dug that there was only one gang that was really safe, the biggest gang of all, Mister Charlie's boys, the motherfucking establishment
I guess every black cop has that in the back of his head, before he finds out that we never really can join mat gang, not as full members anyway. I found out quicker, being not just black but female. So I was in the gang, the baddest and heaviest gang, but I was always looking for something better, the impossible, the boss gimmick that would get me off the Man's black-and-white chessboard entirely into some place where I was myself and not just a pawn being moved around at Charlie's whim.
Otto Waterhouse never had that feeling, at least not until near the end of the game. I never did get inside his head enough to know what was going on there (he was a real cop and got into my head almost as soon as we met, and I could always feel him watching me, waiting for the time when I would round on Charlie and go over to the other side), so the best I can do in making him is to say that he was no Tom in the ordinary sense: He didn't screw blacks for the Man, he screwed blacks for himself; it was strictly his own trip.
Otto was my drop after I got assigned to underground work. We met in a place that I could always have an excuse to visit, a rundown law firm called Washington, Weishaupt, Budweiser and Kief, on 23 North Clark. Later, for some reason I was never told, they changed the name to Ruly, Kempt, Sheveled and Couth, and then to Weery, Stale, Flatt and Profitable, and to keep up the front they actually did hire a couple of lawyers and did some real law work for a corporation called Blue Sky, Inc.
On April 29, still harboring a cargo of doubt about Hag-bard, Joe Malik decided to try the simplest method of Tar-ot divination. Concentrating all his energy on the question,' he cut the deck and picked out one card that would reveal Hagbard Celine's true nature, if the divination worked. With a sinking heart, he saw that he had come up with the Hierophant Running the mnemonics Simon had taught him, Joe quickly identified this figure with the number five, the Hebrew letter Vau (meaning "nail"), and the traditional interpretation of a false show: a hypocrisy or a trick. Five was the number of Grummet, the destructive and chaotic end of a cycle. Vau was the letter associated with quarrels, and the meaning "nail" was often related to the implement of Christ's death. The card was telling him that Hag-bard was a hypocritical trickster aiming at destruction, a murderer of the Dreamer-Redeemer aspect of humanity. Or, taking a more mystical reading, as was usually advisable with the Tarot, Hagbard only seemed to be these things, and was actually an agent of Resurrection and Rebirth-as Christ had to die before he could become the Father, as (in Vedanta) the false "self must be obliterated to join the great Self. Joe swore. The card was only reflecting his own uncertainty. He rummaged in the bookshelf Hagbard had provided for his stateroom and found three books on the Tarot. The first, a popular manual, was absolutely useless: It identified the Hierophant with the letter of religion in contrast to the spirit, with conformity, and with all the plastic middle-class values Hagbard conspicuously lacked. The second (by a true adept of the Tarot) just led him back to his own confused reading of the card, remarking that the Hierophant is "mysterious, even sinister. He seems to be enjoying a very secret joke at somebody's expense." The third work raised more doubts: It was Liber 555, by somebody named Mordecai Malignatus, which vaguely reminded Joe that the old East Village Other chart of the Illuminati conspiracy showed a "Mordecai the Foul" in charge of the Sphere of Chaos- and "Mordecai Malignatus" was a fair Latinization of "Mordecai the Foul." Mordecai, Joe remembered, was, according to that half-accurate and half-deceptive chart, in dual control (along with Richard Nixon, then living) of the Elders of Zion, the House of Rothschild, the Politburo, the Federal Reserve System, the U.S. Communist Party, and Students for a Democratic Society. Joe flipped the pages to see what the semimythical Mord had to say about the Hierophant. The chapter was brief; it was in "The Book of Republicans and Sinners," and said:
(nail) THE HIEROPHANT
They nailed Love
to a Cross
Symbolic of their
But Love was
It simply didn't
Five stoned men were in a courtyard when an elephant entered. The first man was stoned on sleep, and he saw not the elephant but dreamed instead of things unreal to those awake. The second man was stoned on nicotine, caffeine, DDT, carbohydrate excess, protein deficiency, and the other chemicals in the diet which the Illuminati have enforced upon the half-awake to keep them from fully waking. "Hey," he said, "there's a big, smelly beast in our courtyard." The third stoned man was on grass, and he said, "No, dads, that's the Ghostly Old Party in its true nature, the Dark Nix on the Soul," and he giggled in a silly way. The fourth stoned man was tripping on peyote, and he said, "You see not the mystery, for the elephant is a poem written in tons instead of words," and his eyes danced. The fifth stoned man was on acid, and he said nothing, merely worshipping the elephant in silence as the Father of Buddha. And then the Hierophant entered and drove a nafl of mystery into all their hearts, saying, "You are all elephants!" Nobody understood him.
(At eight o'clock in Ingolstadt an unscheduled group called the Cargo Cult managed to get the mike and began blasting out their own outer-space arrangement of an old children's song:
SHE'LL BE COMING 'ROUND THE MOUNTAIN WHEN SHE COMES
SHE'LL BE COMING 'ROUND THE MOUNTAIN WHEN SHE COMES
And, in Washington, where it was still only two in the afternoon, the White House was in flames, while the National Guard machine-gunned an armed mob crossing the Mall in front of the Washington Monument, a single finger pointing upward in an eloquent and vulgar gesture which only the Illuminati knew meant "Fuck you!"… In Los Angeles, where it was eleven in the morning, the bombs started to go off in police stations… And in Lehman Cavern, Markoff Chaney disgustedly pointed out a graffito to Saul and Barney: HELP STAMP OUT SIZEISM: TAKE A MIDGET TO LUNCH.
"You see?" he demanded. "That's supposed to be funny. It's not funny at all. Not one damned bit")
SHE'LL BE DRIVING SIX WHITE HORSES
SHE'LL BE DRIVING SIX WHITE HORSES
SHE'LL BE DRIVING SIX WHITE HORSES WHEN SHE COMES
On April 29 Hagbard invited George to join him on the bridge of the Leif Erikson. They had been sailing through a smooth-walled tubular passage that was completely filled with water and was both underground and below sea level It had been built by the Atlanteans and not only had survived the catastrophe but had been maintained in good condition for the next thirty thousand years by the Illuminati. There was even a salt lock, located, roughly, under Lyon, France, which served to keep the salt water of the Atlantic out of the further reaches of the passage and the underground freshwater Sea of Valusia. The underground waterways were connected with many lakes in Switzerland, Bavaria, and eastern Europe, Hagbard explained, and if salt water were found in all of those lakes the existence of the weird subsurface world of the Illuminati would be suspected. As the submarine approached a huge circular hatchway barring the passage, Hagbard turned off the devices that rendered the craft indetectable. Immediately the enormous round metal door swung toward them.
"Won't the Illuminati know we've activated this machinery?" said George.
"No. This works automatically," said Hagbard. "It's never occurred to them that anyone else might use this passageway."
"But they know you could. And you guessed wrong about their spider-ships being able to detect you."
Hagbard whirled on George, a hairy arm lifted to punch him in the chest. "Shut up about the fucking spider-ships! I don't want to hear any more about the spider-ships! Portinari's running the show now. And she says it's safe. Okay?"
"Commander, you're out of your fucking mind," George said firmly.
Hagbard laughed, his shoulders slumping slightly in relaxation. "All right. You can get off the sub any time you want to. Well just open the hatch and let you swim out."
"You're out of your fucking mind, but I'm stuck with you," said George, clapping Hagbard on the shoulder.
"You're either on the sub or off the sub," said Hagbard. "Watch this."
The Leif Erikson had sailed through the round metal gateway, which closed behind it Here the ceiling of the underwater passage was about fifty feet higher than it had been in the section they just left, and the tunnel was only partially filling with water. The air seemed to be coming from vents in the ceiling. There was another metal hatchway in the distance down the tunnel.
"This lock is pretty big," George said. "The Illuminati must have sailed some enormous submarines through here."
"And animals," said Hagbard.
The hatchway ahead of them opened, and fresh water came pouring in. The water level in the lock rose until it I reached the ceiling, and the Leif Erikson's engines turned over and began to propel it forward once more. Now George is writing in his diary again:
And what the hell does it mean to say that life shouldn't change too rapidly? How fast is evolution? Do you measure it in terms of lifetime? A year is more than a lifetime to many kinds of animals, while seventy years is an hour in the lifetime of a sequoia. And the universe is only ten billion years old. How fast do ten billion years go? To a god they might go very fast indeed. They might all happen at once. Suppose the lifetime of your typical basic god was a hundred quintillion years. The whole lifetime of this universe would be to him no more than the amount of time it takes us to watch a movie.
So, from the point of view of a god or of the universe, things evolve very quickly. It's like one of those Walt Disney films where you watch a plant growing before your eyes and the whole cycle from bud to fruit takes about two minutes. To a god, life is a single organism proliferating in all directions all over the earth, and now on the moon and Mars, and the whole process from the first of the protobionts to George Dorn and fellow humans takes no longer than…
Hagbard's voice over the intercom jolted him out of his reverie. "Come on back up, George. There's more to see."
This time Mavis was on the bridge with Hagbard. As George entered, Hagbard withdrew his hand from her left breast in an unhurried movement. George wanted to kill Hagbard, but he was thankful that he hadn't seen Mavis touching Hagbard in any sexual way. That would have been past bearing. He might have tested his new-found courage by taking a poke at Hagbard, and Goddess only knows what karate or yoga or magic would be the response. Besides, Mavis and Hagbard must be balling all the time. Who else but Hagbard would a woman like Mavis take for her regular lover? Who else but Hagbard could satisfy her?
Mavis greeted George with a comradely hug that made the entire front of his body ache. Hagbard pointed to an inscription carved into the wall of the cave. There was a row of symbols that George didn't recognize, but above them was something quite familiar: a circle with a downward-pointing trident carved inside it.
"The peace symbol," said George. "I didn't know it was that old."
"In the days when it was put up there," said Hagbard, "it was called the Cross of Lilith Velkor, and its meaning is simply that anyone who attempts to thwart the Illuminati will suffer from the most horrible torture the Illuminati can devise. Lilith Velkor was one of the first of their victims. They crucified her on a revolving cross that looked very much like that"
"You told me it wasn't really a peace symbol," said George, looking wistfully back at the carving, "but I didn't know what you meant."
"There was a Dirigens-grade Illuminatus in Bertrand Russell's circle who put it in somebody's mind that the circle and trident would be a good symbol for the Aldermaston marchers to carry. It was very cleverly and subtly done. If the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament had thought about it, what did they need any kind of a symbol for? But Russell and his people fell for it What they didn't know was that the circle-and-trident had been a traditional symbol of evil among left-hand-path Satanists for thousands of years. So many right-wingers are secret left-hand-path magicians and Satanists that of course they spotted the symbol for what it was right away. That made them think the Illuminati were behind the peace movement, which threw them off the track, and they accused the peaceniks of using a Satanist symbol, which to a small extent discredited the peace movement. A cute gambit."
"Why is it there on the wall?" said George.
"The inscription warns the passerby to purify his heart because he is about to enter the Sea of Valusia, which belongs exclusively to the Illuminati. Traveling across the Sea of Valusia, you come eventually to the underground port of Agharti, which was the first Illuminati refuge after the Atlantean catastrophe. We are emerging into the Sea of Valusia right now. Watch."
Hagbard gestured, and George watched, open-mouthed, as the walls of the cave that closed around them fell away. They were sailing out of the tunnel, but what they seemed to be entering was an infinite fog. The television cameras and their laser wave-guides penetrated just as far into this lightless ocean that they were about to navigate as they had into the Atlantic, but this ocean was neither blue nor green, but gray. It was a gray that seemed to extend infinitely in all directions, like an overcast sky. It was impossible to gauge distance. The farthest depth of the gray around them might be hundreds of miles away, or it might be right outside the submarine.
"Where's the bottom?" he asked.
"Too far below us to see," said Mavis. "The top of this ocean is just a little above the level of the bottom of the Atlantic."
"You're so smart," said Hagbard, pinching her buttock and causing George to flinch.
"Don't pay any attention to him, George," said Mavis. "He's a little bit nervous, and it's making him silly."
"Shut the fuck up," said Hagbard.
Beginning to feel anxious himself, wondering if the noble mind of Hagbard Celine was being overthrown by the weight of responsibility, George turned to look out at the empty ocean. Now he saw that it wasn't quite empty. Fish swam by, some large, some small, many of them grotesque. All were totally eyeless. An octopoidal monster with extremely long, slender tentacles drifted past the submarine, feeling for its prey. There was a covering of fine hairs on the tips of the tentacles. A small fish, also blind, swam close enough to one tentacle to set up a current that disturbed the hairs. Instantly the octopus's whole body moved in that direction, the disturbed tentacle wrapped itself around the hapless fish, and several others joined in to help scoop it up. The octopus devoured the fish in three bites. George was glad to see that at least the blood of these creatures was red.
The door behind them opened, and Harry Coin stepped out onto the bridge. "Morning, everybody. I was just wondering if I might find Miss Mao up here."
"She's doing her stint in Navigation right now," said Hagbard. "But stay here and have a look at the Sea of Valusia, Harry."
Harry looked all around, slowly and thoughtfully, then shook his head. "You know, there's times when I start to think you're doing this."
"What do you mean, Harry?" asked Mavis.
"You know," Harry waved a long, snakelike hand, "doing this, like a science-fiction movie. You've just got us in an abandoned hotel somewheres, and you've got a big engine in the basement that shakes the whole place, and here you've got some movie cameras, only they point at the screen instead of away from you, if you know what I mean."
"Rear projection," said Hagbard. "Tell me, Harry, what difference would it make if it wasn't real?"
Harry thought a moment, his chinless face sour. "We wouldn't have to do what we think we have to do. But even if we don't have to do what we think we have to do, it won't make any difference if we do it Which means we should just go ahead."
Mavis sighed. "Just go ahead."
"Just go ahead," said Hagbard. "A powerful mantra."
"And if we don't go ahead," said George, "it doesn't matter either. Which means that we just do go ahead."
"Another powerful mantra," said Hagbard. "Just do go ahead."
George noticed a small speck in the distance. As it got closer, he reccognized it He shook his head. Was there no end to the surrealism he'd been subjected to in the last six days? A dolphin wearing scuba gear!
"Hi, man-friends," said Howard's voice over the loudspeaker on the bridge. George cast a glance at Harry Coin. The former assassin was standing open-mouthed and limp with astonishment
"Greetings, Howard," said Hagbard. "How goes it with the Nazis?"
"Dead, sleeping, whatever it is they are. I have a whole porpoise horde- most of the Atlantean Adepts- watching them."
"And ready to perform other tasks as needed, I hope," said Hagbard.
"Ready indeed," said Howard. He turned a somersault.
"All right," said Harry Coin softly. "All right," he said more firmly. "It's a talking fish. But why the hell is it wearing an oxygen tank and breathing through a fucking mask?"
"I see we have a new friend on the bridge," said Howard. "I got the mask from Hagbard's on-shore representative at Fernando Poo. After all, a porpoise has to breathe air. And there is no surface in most of this underground ocean. It's water all the way to the top of the cavernous chambers that contain it. The only place I can get air near here is by swimming up to the top of Lake Totenkopf."
"The Lake Totenkopf monster," said George with a laugh.
"We'll moor the submarine in Lake Totenkopf later today," said Hagbard. "Howard, I'd like you and your people to stand by tonight and tomorrow night. Tomorrow night be ready to do a lot of hard physical work. Meanwhile, stay out of the way of the Nazis- the protection they're under is particularly aimed at sea animals, since that was the presumed greatest danger to them. We'll have oxygen equipment as needed for any of your people who want it. Tell them to try to avoid surfacing on the lake unless absolutely necessary. We don't want to attract more attention than we have to."
"I salute you in the name of the porpoise horde," said Howard. "Hail and farewell." He swam away.
A little later, sailing on, they saw in the distance an enormous reptile with four paddles for swimming and a neck twice the length of its body. It was in hot pursuit of a school of blind fish.
"The Loch Ness monster," said Hagbard, and George remembered his little joke about Howard's surfacing in Lake Totenkopf. "One of Gruad's genetic experiments with reptiles," Hagbard went on. "He was really queer for reptiles. He filled the Sea of Valusia with these plesiosaurlike things. Blind, of course, so they could navigate in darkness. Think about that- eyes are a liability under certain conditions. Graud figured monsters like that would be another protection against anybody finding Agharti. But the Leif Erikson is too big for Nessie to tangle with, and she knows it."
At last there was a column of yellow light ahead. This was the light let into the Sea of Valusia by Lake Totenkopf. Hagbard explained that the lake was simply a place where the ceiling of rock over the Sea of Valusia had been soft and unstable enough to collapse. The resulting hole, being at sea level, filled with water. Debris falling down through the bottom of the lake had formed a mountain below the place where the roof of the Sea of Valusia was punctured.
"The Jesuits, of course, always knew that Lake Totenkopf connected with the Sea of Valusia and thus made possible easy contact with Agharti," Hagbard said. "That's why, when they gave Weishaupt the assignment of founding an overt branch of the Illuminati, they sent him to Ingolstadt, which is right by Lake Totenkopf. And there's the mountain under the lake."
It loomed ahead of them, dark and forbidding. As the submarine sailed over it, George saw a cloud of dolphins circling in the distance. The mountain top had been sheared off in a fashion that seemed too precise to be natural; it formed a plateau about two miles long and one mile wide. There were what appeared to be dark squares on this gray plateau. The submarine swooped down, and George saw that the squares were huge formations of men. In a moment they were hovering over the army, like a helicopter observing troops on parade. George could clearly see the black uniforms, the green tanks with black-and-white crosses painted on them, the long, dark, upjutting snouts of big guns. They stood there silent and immobile, thousands of feet below the surface of the lake.
"That's the weapon the Illuminati plan to use to immanentize the Eschaton?" asked George. "Why don't we destroy them now?"
"Because they're under a protective biomystic field," said Hagbard, "and we can't. I did want you to see them, though. When the electrical, Astral, and orgonomic vibrations of the American Medical Association, amplified by the synergetic clusters of sound, image, and emotional energy of all these young people responding to the beat, bring that Nazi legion back to life, it will call for nothing less than the appearance on the field of battle of the goddess Eris Herself to save the day."
"Hagbard," George protested disgustedly. "Are you telling me Eris is real? Really real and not just an allegory or symbol? I can't buy that any more than I can believe Jehovah or Osiris is really real."
But Hagbard answered very solemnly, "When you're dealing with these forces or powers in a philosophic and scientific way, contemplating them from an armchair, that rationalistic approach is useful. It is quite profitable then to regard the gods and goddesses and demons as projections of the human mind or as unconscious aspects of ourselves. But every truth is a truth only for one place and one time, and that's a truth, as I said, for the armchair. When you're actually dealing with these figures, the only safe, pragmatic and operational approach is to treat them as having a being, a will, and a purpose entirely apart from the humans who evoke them. If the Sorcerer's Apprentice had understood that, he wouldn't have gotten into so much trouble."
SHE'LL BE WEARING RED PAJAMAS
SHE'LL BE WEARING RED PAJAMAS
SHE'LL BE WEARING RED PAJAMAS WHEN SHE COMES
Approaching the outskirts of the crowd, Fission Chips saw a group of musicians who were obviously English from their dress and hair style. Their name, he saw on the biggest drum, was Calculated Tedium, and the guitar play had a canteen strapped to his hip. It reminded 00005 of how thirsty he was, and he asked, "Pardon me, do you know where I could get some water or a soft drink?"
"Take a snort from my canteen," the guitarist said affably, passing it over. He pointed to the west. "See that geodesic plywood dome there? It's a bleeding giant Kool Aid station set up by the Kabouters and guaranteed to hold out even if the crowd doubles in size before this is over. I just filled the canteen from there, so it's fresh. You can get more over there any time you need it."
"Thanks," 00005 said warmly, taking a long, cold, delightful swallow.
He had a very low threshhold for LSD. The world began to seem brighter, stranger, and more colorful within only a few minutes.
(The joker was actually Rhoda Chief, the vocalist who sang with the Heads of Easter Island, and who had inspired much admiration in the younger generation-and much horror in the older- when she named her out-of-wedlock baby Jesus Jehovah Lucifer Satan Chief. A former Processene and Scientologist, currently going the Wicca route, the buxom Rhoda was renowned through show biz for "giving head like no chick alive," a reputation which often provoked certain Satanists on the Linda Lovelace for President Committee to send very deadly vibes in her direction, all of which bounced off due to her Wicca shield. She was also possibly the greatest singer of her generation, and firmly believed that most human problems would be solved if the whole world could be turned on to acid. She had been preparing for the Ingolstadt festival for several months, buying only the top-quality tabs from the most reliable dealers, and she had crept into the geodesic Kool-Aid station only a few moments earlier, dumping enough pure lysergic acid diethylamicte to blow the minds of the population of a small country. Actually, the idea had been subtly planted in her consciousness by the leader of her Wiccan, an astonishingly beautiful woman with flaming red hair and smoldering green eyes who had once played a starring role in a Black Mass celebrated by Padre Pederastia at 2323 Lake Shore Drive. This woman called herself Lady Velkor, and often made jokes about her memories of 18th-century Bavaria, which Rhoda assumed were references to reincarnation.) On April 10, while Howard made his discovery in the ruins of Atlantis and Tlaloc grinned in Mexico D.F., Tobias Knight, in his room at the Hotel Pan Kreston in Santa Isobel, concluded a broadcast to the American submarine in the Bight of Biafra. "The Russkies and Chinks have completed their withdrawal, and Generalissimo Puta is definitely friendly to our side, besides being popular with both the Bubi and the Fang. My work is definitely finished, and I'll await orders to return to Washington." "Roger. Over and out."
(Frank Sullivan, capitalizing on his only real asset, was operating in Havana as a Cuban Superman, using the name Papa Piaba, when the Brotherhood spotted his resemblance to John Dillinger. "Gosh," he said when they made the offer, "five thousand dollars just to take two ladies to a movie one night? And it's only a practical joke, you say?" "It'll be a very funny joke," Jaicapo Mocenigo promised him. And the Smithsonian acquired Mr. Sullivan's asset as one of their most interesting relics.)
WE'LL KILL THE OLD RED ROOSTER
(Hagbard was accompanied by Joe Malik when he returned to the stateroom. "You go to the beer hall in Munich," he was saying, "and steal any item, anything at all, as long as it's obviously old enough to have been there the night he tried the Putsch. Then you rejoin the rest of us in Ingolstadt. Understood?")
WE'LL KILL THE OLD RED ROOSTER
Lady Velkor, wearing a green peasant blouse and green hotpants, looked around the geodesic Kool-Aid dome. A man in a green turtleneck sweater and green slacks caught her eye, and she walked over to him, asking, "Are you a turtle?"
"You bet your sweet ass I am," he answered eagerly and so she had failed to make contact- and owed this oaf a free drink also. But she smiled pleasantly and concealed her annoyance.
WE'LL KILL THE OLD RED ROOSTER WHEN SHE COMES
Robinson and Lehrman of the Homicide Department actually started the last phase of the operation. I was in New York to see Hassan i Sabbah X about a new phase of Laotian opium operation (I had just come from Chicago, after staging that conversation with Waterhouse for Miss Servix's benefit), and I decided to check with them for those little nuances that can't go into an official report We met in Washington Square and found a bench far enough from the chess nuts to give us some privacy.
"Muldoon is on to us," Robinson told me right off. He was wearing a beard; I figured that meant he was currently in a Weather Underground group, since he was too old to pass for under twenty-one and get into Morituri.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
He made the usual reply: "Who's ever sure of anything in this business? But Barney is pure cop through and through," he added, "and his instincts are like dowsing rods. Everybody on the force knows we've infiltrated them by now, anyway. They even make jokes about it 'Who's the CIA man in your department?'- that kind of thing."
"Muldoon is on to us, all right," Lehrman agreed. "But he's not the one I worry about."
"Who is?" I brushed my walrus mustache nervously; being the first pentuple agent in the history of espionage was starting to grind me down. I really wasn't sure which of my bosses should hear about this, although the CIA certainly had to be told, since for all I know Robinson and Lehnnan might be reporting to them twice, having another contact as a fail-safe check on my own integrity.
"The head of Homicide North," Lehnnan said. "An old geezer named Goodman. He's so damned smart, I sometimes wonder if he's a double agent for the Eye themselves. His mind jumps ahead of facts just like an Adeptus Exemptus in the Order."
I looked up at the statue of Garibaldi, remembering the old NYU myth that he would pull his sword the rest of the way out of the scabbard if a virgin ever walked through Washington Park. "Tell me more about this Goodman," I said.
("Check out the pair on that chick," a Superman said enthusiastically.
("Watermelons," a second Superman agreed enthusiastically. "And you know how us cullud folk dig watermelons," he added, licking his lips.)
("Skin!" the first cried.)
("Skin!" the second agreed.)
(They slapped palms, and Clark Kent came out of his reverie. Having sampled the Kool-Aid a while earlier, he was beginning to float a little, although not yet aware of what was happening-he just felt a rather unusual tug of memory from his days as an anthropologist, and was deeply concerned with a new insight about the relationship between the black Virgin of Guadalupe, the Greek goddess Persephone, and his own sexual proclivities-and he came out of it with a start, looking at the woman whose breasts had inspired such reverence.)
("Son of a bitch," he said piously, his mouth spreading in a grin.)
Rebecca Goodman left the house at 3 P.M., hauling a shopping cart and walking past the garage. The nearest supermarket was a good ten minutes on foot, and big enough to keep her busy for a half-hour finding what she wanted and getting through one of those checkout lines. I slipped out of the car and walked right to the back of the house, perfectly secure from neighboring eyes in my Bell Telephone overalls.
The kitchen door had an easy slip-lock, and I didn't even need my keys. A playing card did the job, and I was in.
My first thought was to head for the bedroom- the old man from Vienna was right, and that's where you'll find the real clues to a man's character- but one chair in the kitchen stopped me. The vibes were so strong that I closed my eyes and psychometered it according to the difficult Third Alko of the A:.A:». It was Rebecca herself: She had sat there and thought about shooting heroin. It faded fast, before I could read what had stopped her.
The bedroom almost knocked me over when I found it "Who would have thought the old man had so much hot blood in him?" I paraphrased, backing out It was a profan-
ation to read too much in there, and what I did scan was enough. As Miss Mao would say, this man was Tao-Yin (Beta prime in the terminology of the I). No wonder Rob inson kept talking about his "intuition." '
The living room had a statue of the Mermaid of Copenhagen that stopped me. I read it and chuckled; Lord, the hangups we all have.
One wall was a built-in bookcase, but Rebecca seemed to be the reader in the family. I started scanning experimentally and found Saul's vibes on a shelf of detective stories and a Scientific American anthology of mathematical and logical puzzles. The man had no concept of his own latent powers, and thought only in terms of solving riddles. Sherlock Holmes, without even the violin and the dope for relief from all that cortical activity. Everything else went into his marriage, that hothouse bedroom upstairs.
No; there was a sketchpad on the coffee table. His, according to the aura.
I flipped pages rapidly: all detailed, precise, perfectly naturalistic. Mostly faces: criminals he had dealt with professionally, all touched with a perception and compassion that he kept out of his work hours. Trees in Central Park; Nudes of Rebecca, adoration in every line of the pencil. A surprising face of a black kid, with some Harem slum building in the background-another touch of unexpected compassion. Then a switch-the first abstract. It was a Star of David, basically, but he had started adding energetic waves coming out of it, and the descending triangle was shaded-somewhere, in the back of his head, he had been working out the symbolism, and coming amazingly close to the truth. More faces of obvious criminal types. A scene in the Catskills, with Rebecca reading a book under a tree- something wrong, gloom and fear in the shading. I closed my eyes and concentrated: The picture came in with a second woman… I opened my eyes, sweating. It was his first wife, and she had died of cancer. He was afraid of losing Rebecca too, but she was young and healthy. Another man. He thought she might leave him for a younger man. Well, that was the key, then. I flipped a few more pages and saw a unicorn-some more of the unconscious work that went into that erotic Star of David.
A quick scan of Rebecca's books then. Mostly anthropology, mostly African. I took one off the shelf and held it
Eros again, thinly sublimated. The other part of the key. As Hassan i Sabbah X once remarked to me, "Breathes there a white woman with soul so dead, she never yearned for a black in her bed?"
I returned everything to its place carefully and headed for the back door. I stopped in the kitchen to read the chair again, since relapse is as much a part of the syndrome in heroin addiction as in black-lung disease. This time I found what stopped her. If I say love, I'll sound sentimental, and if I say sex, I'll sound cynical. I'll call it pair bonding and sound scientific.
Slipping back into my car, I checked the time elapsed: seventeen minutes. It would have taken several hours to unearth as many facts by ordinary detection methods, and they would have been different, less significant, facts. A:.A:. training has certainly made all my other jobs easier.
There was only one remaining problem: I didn't want to kill anybody at this point, and a bombing would only get Muldoon in. Even having Malik disappear might only bring in Missing Persons.
Then I remembered the dummies used by the clothier on the eighteenth floor, right above the Confrontation office. Burn the dummy just right before setting the bomb and it might work… I drove back toward Manhattan whistling "Ho-Ho-Ho, Who's Got the Last Laugh Now?"
(The bomb went off at 2:30 A.M. one week later. Simon, leaving O'Hare Airport, where it was 1:30 A.M., decided he still had time to get to the Friendly Stranger and meet that cute lady cop who had so cleverly infiltrated the Nameless Anarchist Horde. He could get her into bed easily enough, since female spies always expect men to reveal secrets when they're in the dreamy afterglow with their guard down; he would teach her some sexual yoga, he decided, and see what secrets she might slip. But he remembered the midnight conference at the UN building after the bomb was set, and Malik's grim words: "If we're right about this, we might all be dead before Woodstock Europa opens next week.")
"Are you a turtle?" Lady Velkor asks again, approaching another man in green. "No," he says, "I have no armor." She smiles as she murmurs, "Blessed be," and he replies, "Blessed be"… Doris Horus heard the voice behind her say "And how's the Miskatonic Messalina?" and her heart leaped, not believing it, but when she turned it was him, Stack… "Jesus," one Superman said to another, "does he personally know all the good-looking white chicks in the world?"… The Senate and the People of Rome were still tussling with Attila and His Huns, but Hermie "Speed King" Trismegistos, drummer with the Credibility Gap, watched placidly from only a few feet away, seeing them as a very complicated, almost mathematical ballet; he was concerned only with determining whether they illustrated the eternal warfare of Set and Osiris or the joining of atoms to make molecules. He knew he was on acid, but, what the hell, that must have been the Kool-Aid, another of Tyl Eulenspiegel's merry pranks…
The submarine rose above the plateau, lifting into the waters of Lake Totenkopf. Mooring it well below the surface on the shore opposite Ingolstadt, Hagbard and about thirty of his crew entered scuba launches and buzzed to the surface. Parked on a road beside the lake was a line of cars, led by a magnificent Bugatti Royale. Hagbard grandly ushered George, Stella, and Harry Coin into the enormous car. George was shocked to see that the chauffeur was a man whose face was covered with gray fur.
It was a long drive around the lake to the town of Ingolstadt. It was very much as George had imagined it, all turrets and spires and Gothic towers mixed with modern-Martian edifices straight from Mad Avenue, but most of the buildings looking like they had been put up in the days of Prince Henry the Fowler.
"This place is full of beautiful buildings," said Hagbard. "The big Gothic cathedral in the center of town is called the Liebfrauenminister. There's another rococo church called the Maria Victoria-I've always wanted to get 'stoned on acid and go look at the carvings, they're so intricate."
"Have you been here before, Hagbard?" Harry asked.
"On scouting missions. I know where all the good places are. Tonight you're all going to be my guests at the Schlosskeller in Ingolstadt Castle."
"We have to be your guests," said George. "None of us have any money."
"If you have flax," said Hagbard, "you can pay in flax at the Schlosskeller."
They went first to the Donau Hotel, which Hagbard said was the most modern and comfortable in Ingolstadt, where Hagbard had reserved almost all the rooms for his people. With every hotel in Ingolstadt bursting at the seams, it had taken a huge advance payment to bring this off. The hotel's staff jumped to attention when they saw the line of cars with Hagbard's splendid Bugatti in the vanguard. Even in a town crowded with celebrities, overrun with wealthy rock musicians and affluent rock fans from all over the world, a machine like Hagbard's commanded respect.
George, following Hagbard into the lobby, suddenly found himself face to face with two ancient, bent German men. One, with a long white mustache and a lock of white hair that fell over his forehead, said, in heavily accented English, "Get out of my way, degenerate Jewish Communist homosexual." The other old man winced and said something placating to his colleague in a soft voice. The first man waved his hand in dismissal, and they tottered toward the elevators together. Several more old men joined them as George watched, too surprised to be angry. Here, though, in the fatherland of that kind of mentality, the old man's hatred seemed historical curiosity to him more than anything else. Doubtless such men as that had actually seen Hitler in the flesh.
Hagbard grandly took a handful of room keys from the desk clerk. "For simplicity's sake, I've assigned a man and a woman to each room," he said as he passed them out. "Choose your roommates and switch around as you like. When you get up to your rooms you'll find suitable Bavarian peasant costumes laid out on the bed. Please put them on."
Stella and George went upstairs together. George unlocked the door and surveyed the large room with its two double beds. On top of one lay a man's outfit of lederhosen with silk shirt and knee socks, while on the other bed was a woman's peasant skirt, blouse, and vest.
"Costumes," Stella said. "Hagbard's really crazy." She shut the door and tugged at the zipper of her one-piece gold knit pantsuit She had nothing on underneath. She smiled as George regarded her with admiration.
When the group was assembled in the lobby, only Stella looked good in costume. Of the men, Hagbard looked most natural and happy in lederhosen-which was, perhaps, why he'd had the notion of dressing that way. Long, skinny Harry looked ridiculous and uncomfortable, but his buck-toothed grin showed he was trying to be a good sport.
George looked around. "Where's Mavis?" he asked Hagbard.
"She didn't come with us. She's back minding the store." Hagbard raised his arm imperiously. "On to the Schlosskeller."
The Ingolstadt Castle, a battlemented medieval building built on a hill, had a magnificent restaurant in what had formerly been either a dungeon or a wine cellar or both. Hagbard had reserved the entire cellar for the evening.
"Here," he said, "we'll rally our forces around us, have some fun, and prepare for the morrow." He seemed in an agitated, almost giddy mood. He took his place at the center of a big table in a blackened carved chair that looked like a bishop's throne. On the wall behind him was a famous painting. It depicted the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV barefoot in the snow at Canossa, but with one foot on the neck of Pope Gregory the Great, who lay prone, his tiara knocked off, his face ignominiously buried in a snowdrift.
"The story goes that this was commissioned by the notorious Bavarian jester Tyl Eulenspiegel when he was at the height of his fortunes," Hagbard said. "Later, when he was old and penniless, he was hanged for his anarchistic attitudes and his low Bavarian sense of humor. So it goes."
SHE'LL BE WEARING RED PAJAMAS
("There he is!" Markoff Chancy whispers tensely. Saul and Barney lean forward, peering at the figure ahead of them. About five-seven, Saul estimates, and Carmel was five-two, according to the R amp;I packet they had lifted from Las Vegas police headquarters… But who else would be down here, so far from the route of the guided tours?… Saul's hand moves toward his gun, but the other figure whirls on them, flashing a pistol, and shouts, "Hold it right there, all of you!")
SHE'LL BE WEARING RED PAJAMAS
"Oh Christ," Saul says disgustedly. "Hail Eris, friend- we're on the same side." He holds up his hands, empty. "I'm Saul Goodman and this is Barney Muldoon, both formerly of the New York Police Force. This is our friend Markoff Chancy, a man of great imagination and a true servant of Goddess. All hail Discordia, Twenty-three Skidoo, Kallisti, and do you need any more passwords, Mr. Sullivan?"
"Gosh," Markoff Chaney says. "You mean that's really John Dillinger?"
SHE'LL BE WEARING RED PAJAMAS WHEN SHE COMES
(Rhoda Chief, vocalist and apprentice witch, sampled some of her own Kool-Aid early in the evening. She swore until the day she died that what happened in Ingolstadt that Walpurgisnacht was nothing less than the appearance of a giant sea serpent in Lake Totenkopf. The beast, she insisted, turned, took its own tail in its mouth, and gradually dwindled to a dot, giving off good vibes and flashes of Astral Light as it diminished.)
There were many empty places at the big table when the Discordians sat down. Hagbard seemed in no hurry to order dinner. Instead he called for round after round of the local beer, of which enormous stocks had been laid in to prepare for the great rock festival. George, Stella, and Harry Coin sat together near Hagbard, and George and Harry discussed sodomy objectively, between long, thoughtful pauses and deep drinking. Hagbard sent the beer around so fast that George frequently had to swill down a whole stein in a minute or two, just to keep up. Various people came in and sat down at empty places at the table. George shook hands with a man around thirty who introduced himself as Simon Moon. He had a lovely black woman with him named Mary Lou Servix. Simon immediately began telling everybody about a fantastic novel he had been reading on the plane coming over. George was interested until he found out that the book was Telemachus Sneezed, by Atlanta Hope. He didn't see how anyone could take trash like that seriously.
Just around the time George was finishing his tenth stein of Ingolstadt's fabled beer and feeling quite woozy, a man who looked very familiar floated into his line of vision. The man wore a brown suit and horn-rimmed glasses, and his gray hair was crew-cut.
"George!" the man shouted.
"Yes, it's me, Joe," said George. "Of course it's me. That's you, Joe, isn't it?" He turned to Harry Coin. "That's the guy who sent me down to Mad Dog to investigate." Harry laughed.
"My God," said Joe. "What's happened to you, George?" He looked vaguely frightened.
"A lot of things," said George. "How many years has it been since I've seen you, Joe?"
"Years? It's been seven days, George. I saw you just before you caught the plane to Texas. What have you been doing?"
George shook his finger. "You were holding out on me, Joe. You wouldn't be here now if you didn't know a lot more than you claimed to when you sent me to Mad Dog. Maybe good old Hagbard can tell you what I've been doing. There's good old Hagbard looking over at us from his end of the table right now. What do you say, Hagbard? Do you know good old Joe Malik?"
Hagbard lifted a huge, ornamented stein of beer, which the management of the Schlosskeller had provided him as an honored guest. It was adorned with elaborate bas-reliefs of pagan woodland scenes, including tumescent satyrs pursuing chubby nymphs.
"How you doing, Malik?" called Hagbard.
"Great, Hagbard, just great," said Joe.
"We're gonna save the earth, aren't we, Joe?" Hagbard yelled. "Gonna save the earth, that right?"
"Jesus saves," said George. He began to sing:
I've got the peace that passeth understanding
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart.
I've got the peace that passeth understanding
Down in my heart-
Down in my heart-to-stay!
Hagbard and Stella laughed and applauded. Harry Coin shook his head and muttered, "Takes me back. Sure does take me back."
Joe took a few steps away from George, moving so he could face Hagbard across the table. "What do you mean, save the earth?"
Hagbard looked at him stupidly, his mouth hanging open. "If you don't know that, why are you here?"
"I just want to know- we're going to save the earth, but are we going to save the people?"
"The people that live on the earth."
"Oh- those people," said Hagbard. "Sure, sure, we're gonna save everybody."
Stella frowned. "This is the silliest conversation I've ever heard."
Hagbard shrugged. "Stella, honey, why don't you go on back to the Leif Erikson?"
"Well, fuck you, Charley." Stella stood up and flounced off, her peasant skirt swinging.
At that moment a little wall-eyed man tapped Joe on the shoulder. "Sit down, Joe. Have a drink. Sit down with George and me."
"I've seen you before," said Joe.
"Perhaps. Come, sit down. Let's have some of this good Bavarian beer. It has great integrity. Have you ever tried it? Waitress!" The newcomer snapped his fingers impatiently, all the while staring owlishly at Joe through lenses as thick as the bottoms of beer glasses. Joe let himself be led to a chair.
"You look exactly like Jean-Paul Sartre," said Joe as he sat down. "I've always wanted to meet Jean-Paul Sartre."
"Sorry to disappoint you, then, Joe," said the man. "Put your hand into my side."
"Mal, baby!" Joe cried, attempting to embrace the apparition and ending up hugging himself while George, bleary-eyed, stared and shook his head. "Am I glad to see you here," Joe went on. "But how come you're doing Jean-Paul Sartre instead of your hairy taxi driver?"
"This is a good cover," said Malaclypse. "People would expect Jean-Paul Sartre to be here, covering the world's biggest rock festival from an existentialist point of view. On the other hand, this is Lon Chaney, Jr., country, and if I started showing up as Sylvan Martiset, with a face covered with fur, I'd have a mob of peasants carrying torches looking for me all over town."
"I saw a hairy chauffeur today," said George. "Do you suppose it was Lon Chancy, Jr.?"
"Don't worry, George," said Malaclypse with a smile. "The hairy people are on our side."
"Really?" said Joe. He looked around. Hagbard Celine was the hairiest person at the table. His fingers, hands, and bare forearms were black with hair. The stubble of his beard came high up on his cheekbones, just below his eyes. On the back of his neck the hair didn't stop growing, but continued down into his collar. Stripped, Joe thought, the man must look like a bear rug. Many of the other people at the table had long hair or Afro haircuts, and the men had beards and mustaches. Joe remembered Miss Mao's hairy armpits. The peasant blouses on the women in this room hid their armpits from examination. George, of course, had that shoulder-length blond hair that made him look like a Giotto angel. But, Joe thought, what about me? I'm not hairy at all. I keep my hair in a crew cut because I prefer it that way. Where does that leave me?
"What difference does hair make?" he asked Malaclypse.
"Hair is the most important thing in this society," said George. "I've tried repeatedly to explain that to you, Joe, and you've always never listened. Hair is the whole thing."
"Hair in this society at this moment is a symbol," said Malaclypse. "However, there is a real aspect to hair which enables me, for instance, to look around this room and surmise that many of these people are enemies of the Illuminati. You see, all humans were once fur-bearing."
Joe nodded. "I saw that in the movie."
"Oh, yes, you saw When Atlantis Ruled the Earth, didn't you?" said Malaclypse. "Well, hairlessness, you'll recall, was Gruad's peculiarity. Most of the people whom the Illuminati permitted to live- and to eventually become recivilized, Illuminati-style- were mated with or raped by descendants of Gruad. But the fur-bearing gene, found in all humans before the catastrophe, has not disappeared. It is quite common in enemies of the Illuminati. My suspicion is that if we knew the histories of ELF and the Discordians and the JAMs, we'd find that they go back to Atlantean origins and preserve to some extent the genes of Gruad's foes. I'm inclined to believe that hairy people, in whom the genes of Atlanteans other than Gruad predominate, are inherently predisposed to anti-Illuminati activities. Conversely, people who work against the Illuminati are also likely to favor lots of hair. These factors have given rise to legends about werewolves, vampires, beast-men of all kinds, abominable snowmen, and furry demons. Note the general success of the Illuminati propaganda campaign to portray all such hirsute beings as fearsome and evil. The propensity for hairiness among anti-Illuminati types also explains why lots of
hair is a common characteristic of Bohemians, beatniks, leftists generally, scientists, artists, and hippies. All such people tend to make good recruits for the anti-Illuminati organizations."
"Sometimes we make it sound as if the Illuminati were the only menace on earth," said Joe. "Isn't it equally possible that people who are opposed to the Illuminati may be dangerous?"
"Oh, yes indeed," said Malaclypse, "Good and evil are two ends of the same street. But the street was built by the Illuminati. They had excellent reasons, from their viewpoint, to preach the Christian ethic to the masses, you know. What is John Guilt?"
Joe remembered what he'd said to Jim Cartwright several years ago: Sometimes I wonder if we're not all working for them, one way or another. He hadn't meant it at the time, but now he realized it was probably true. He might be doing the Illuminati's work right now, when he thought he was saving the human race. Just as Celine might be doing the will of the Illuminati while thinking that he was preserving the earth.
George, bleary-eyed and smiling, said, "Where'd you meet Sheriff Jim, Joe?"
Joe stared at him. "What?"
"Hairlessness is the reason why Gruad and his successors were partial to reptiles," said Malaclypse, adjusting his thick glasses. "They had a real feeling of kinship. One of their symbols was a serpent with its tail in its mouth, which was intended to refer both to Gruad's Ophidian assassins and to his other experiments with reptilian lifeforms."
Joe, still shaken by George's question, yet not wanting to probe further in that direction, said, "All kinds of myths involving serpents crop up in all parts of the world."
"All of them go back to Gruad," said Malaclypse. "The serpent symbol and the Atlantean catastrophe gave rise to the myth that Adam and Eve, tempted by the serpent, fell into misery when they acquired the knowledge of good and evil. Just as Atlantis fell through the moralistic ideology of Gruad the serpent-scientist. Then there's the old Norse myth of the World Serpent with its tail in its mouth that holds the universe together. The Illuminati serpent symbol was also the origin of the brazen serpent of Moses, the plumed serpent of the Aztecs, and their legend of the eagle devouring the snake, the caduceus of Mercury, St. Patrick casting the snakes out of Ireland, various Baltic tales of the serpent king, legends of dragons, the monster guarding the fabulous treasure at the bottom of the Rhine, the Loch Ness monster, and a whole raft of other stories connecting serpents with the supernatural. In fact, the name 'Gruad' comes from an Atlantean word that translates variously as 'worm,' 'serpent,' or. 'dragon,' depending on context."
"I'd say he was all three," said Joe. "From what I know."
George said, "I saw the Loch Ness monster today. Hagbard called it a she, which surprised me. But this is the first I've heard about this serpent business. I thought the Illuminati symbol was an eye in a pyramid."
"The Big Eye is their most important symbol," said Malaclypse, "but it isn't the only one. The Rosy Cross is another. But most widely copied is the serpent symbol. The eye in the pyramid and the serpent are often seen in combination. Together they represent the sea monster Leviathan, whose tentacles are depicted as serpents and whose central body is shown as an eye in a pyramid. Since each of Leviathan's tentacles is said to have an independent brain, that's not half bad. The swastika, which was a pretty important symbol around these parts some decades ago, was originally a stylized drawing of Leviathan and his many tentacles. Early versions of it have more than four hooks, and they often include a triangle, sometimes even an eye-and-triangle, in the center. A common transitional form is a triangle with the sides extended and then hooked to form tentacle shapes. There are two tentacles for each of the three angles, which yields a twenty-three. Polish archeologists found a swastika painted in a cave. The drawing dated back to Cro-Magnon times, not long after the fall of Atlantis, and there were twenty-three swirling tentacles around a beautifully executed pyramid with an ocher eye in its center."
George held his breath. Mavis had come into the room. Instead of the peasant-skirt outfit Hagbard had decreed, she was wearing what might have been called hot lederhosen, a very short, very tight pair of leather breeches that made her legs look fantastically long and underlined the round curves of her ass.
"Wow- that's some attractive woman," said Joe.
"Don't you know her?" asked George. "Well, that puts me one up on you. You're going to meet her."
Mavis came over, and George said, "Mavis, this is Joe Malik, the guy who put me in the cell you got me out of."
"That's a little unfair," Joe said, taking Mavis's hands with a smile, "but I did send him down to Mad Dog."
"Excuse me," said Mavis. "I want to talk with Hagbard." She disengaged her hand and walked away. Both Joe and George looked stricken. Malaclypse merely smiled.
Just then a tall, stern-looking black man came into the room. He too was wearing Bavarian peasant costume. He went up to Hagbard and shook hands.
"Hey, it's Otto Waterhouse, the infamous killer cop and cop killer!" roared Hagbard, swilling down beer from his huge stein. Waterhouse looked pained for a moment, then sat down and surveyed the room through narrowed eyes.
"Where's my Stella?" he demanded gruffly. George felt his hackles rise. He knew he had no right of possession where Stella was concerned. But then, neither did this guy. Exclusive possession seemed the one type of sexual relationship not practiced among the Discordians and their allies. There was a kind of tribal, general love among them which didn't prevent anybody from sleeping with anybody else. An unsympathetic observer might call it "promiscuity," but that word, as George understood it, meant using another's body for sex without feeling anything for the person you were physically involved with. The Discordians were all too close, too concerned about each other as people, for the word "promiscuity" to fit their sex lives. And George loved them all: Hagbard, Mavis, Stella, the other Discordians, Joe, even Harry Coin, maybe even Otto Waterhouse, who had just appeared.
Mavis said, "Stella's gone down to the submarine, Otto. She'll join us at the proper time."
Hagbard suddenly lurched to his feet. "Quiet!" he roared. A silence fell around the smoky room. People stared at Hagbard curiously.
"We're all here now," he said. "So, I got an announcement to make. I want you to all join me in drinking to an engagement announcement."
"Engagement?" somebody called incredulously.
"Shut the fuck up," Hagbard snarled. "I'm talking, and if anybody interrupts me again I'll throw them out. Yes, I'm talking about an engagement. To be married. Day after tomorrow, when the Eschaton has been immanentized and all of this is over- lift your steins- Mavis and I will be married aboard the Leif Erikson by Miss Portinari."
George sat there still for a moment, absorbing it, looking at Hagbard. He looked from Hagbard to Mavis, and tears started to well up in his eyes. He stood and lifted his stein.
"Here's to ya, Hagbard!" he said, and he drew his arm back in a sidearm motion so as not to spill any of the beer and then let the whole stein fly at Hagbard's head. Laughing, Hagbard swayed to one side, a movement so casual it didn't appear that he was ducking. The stein struck the painted head of Emperor Henry IV. The painting apparently had been done on a heavy board, because the stein smashed to bits without marking it. A waiter rushed forward to wipe the beer away, looking reproachfully at George.
"Sorry," said George. "Hate to damage a work of art. You should have kept your head in place, Hagbard. It would have been less of a loss." He took a deep breath and roared, "Sinners! Sinners in the hands of an angry God! You are all spiders in the hand of the Lord!" He held out his hand, palm upward. "And he holds you over a fiery pit!" George turned his palm over. He noticed suddenly that everyone in the room was silent and looking at him. Then he passed out, falling into the arms of Joe Malik.
"Beautiful," said Hagbard. "Exquisite."
"Is that what you meant by taking the woman away from him?" said Joe angrily as he eased George into a chair. "You're a sadistic prick."
"That's only the first step," said Hagbard. "And I said it was temporary. Did you see the way he threw that stein? His aim was perfect. He would have brained me if I hadn't known it was coming."
"He should have," said Joe. "You mean you were' lying about you and Mavis getting married? You were just saying that to bug George?"
"He certainly was not," said Mavis. "Hagbard and I have both had it with this catch-as-catch-can single life. And I'll never find another man who more perfectly fits my value system than Hagbard. I don't need anybody else." As if to prove that she meant what she said, she knelt abruptly and kissed Hagbard's hairy left instep.
"A new mysticism," Simon cried. "The Left-Foot Path."
Joe looked away, embarrassed by the gesture; then another thought crossed his mind, and he looked back. There was something about the scene that stirred a memory in him- but was it a memory of the past or of the future?
"What can I say?" Hagbard asked, grinning. "I love her."
More food arrived, and Harry Coin leaned over to ask, "Hagbard, are you dead sure that this goddess, Eris, is real and is going to be here tonight, just as solid as you and me?"
"You still have doubts?" Hagbard asked loftily. "If you have seen me, you have seen Our Lady." And he made a campy gesture.
The man really is going ape, Joe thought. "I can't eat any more," he said, motioning the waiter away and feeling dizzy.
Hagbard heard him and shouted, "Eat! Eat, drink, and be merry. You may never see me again, Joe. Somebody at this table is going to betray me, didn't you know that?"
Two thoughts collided in Joe's brain: He knows; he is a Magician and He thinks he's Jesus; he's nuts. But just then George Dorn woke up and said, "Oh, Jesus, Hagbard, I can't take acid."
Hagbard laughed. "The Morgenheutegesternwelt. You're ahead of the script, George. I hadn't started to hand the acid out yet." He took a bottle from his pocket and dumped a pile of caps on the table.
Just then, Joe distinctly heard a rooster crow.
Cars, except for official cars and the vehicles of the performers, their assistants, and the festival staff, were banned within ten miles of the festival stage. Hagbard, George, Harry Coin, Otto Waterhouse, and Joe pushed their way through shuffling crowds of young people. A VW camper carrying Clark Kent and His Supermen rolled past. Next a huge, black, 1930s-vintage Mercedes slowly made its way past cheering kids. It was surrounded by a square of motorcyclists in white overalls to keep eager fans away. Joe shook his head in admiration at the gleaming supercharger pipes, the glistening hand-rubbed black lacquer, and the wire-spoked wheels. The landau top of the car was up, but, by peering inside, Joe could see several crew-cut blond heads. A blond, girl suddenly put her face to the window and stared out expressionlessly.
"That's the American Medical Association in that Mercedes," George said.
"Hey," said Harry Coin, "we could pitch a bomb into their car and get all of them right now."
"You'd kill a lot of other people, too, and leave a lot of unfinished business hanging fire," said Hagbard, looking after the Mercedes, which slowly disappeared down the road ahead of them. "That's a nice machine. It belonged to Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, one of Hitler's ablest generals."
An elephantine black bus carrying the AMA's equipment followed close behind the Mercedes. Silently it trundled past.
WE'LL KILL THE OLD RED ROOSTER
WE'LL KILL THE OLD RED ROOSTER
The Closed Corporation was generally recognized to be the most esoteric and experimental of all rock groups; this was why their following, although fanatical, was relatively small. "It's heavy, all right," most of the youth culture said, "but is it really rock?" The same question, more politely worded, had often been asked by interviewers, and their leader, Peter "Pall" Mall, had a standard answer: "It's rock," he would say somberly, "and on this rock I will build a new church." Then he would giggle, because he was usually stoned during interviews. (Reporters made him nervous.) In fact, the religious tone was rather prominent when the Closed Corporation appeared in concert, and the chief complaint was that nobody could understand the chants that accompanied some of the more interplanetary chords they employed. These chants derived from the Enochian Keys which Dr. John Dee had deciphered from the acrostics in the Necronomicon, and in modern times had been most notably employed by the well-known poet Aleister Crowley and the Reverend Anton Lavey of the First Church of Satan in San Francisco. On the night of April 30 the Closed Corporation ritually sacrificed a rooster within a pentagram (it gave one last despairing crow before they slit its throat), called upon the Barbarous Names, dropped a tab of mescaline each, and departed for the concert grounds prepared to unleash vibes that would make even the American Medical Association turn pale with awe.
WE'LL KILL THE OLD RED ROOSTER WHEN SHE COMES
"I just saw Hagbard Celine," said Winifred Saure.
"Naturally he'd be here with all his minions and catamites," said Wilhelm Saure. "We've got to expect to go right down to the wire on this."
"I wonder what he's planning," said Werner Saure.
"Nothing," said Wolfgang Saure. "In my opinion he's planning nothing at all. I know how his mind works- head full of Oriental mystical mush. He's going to rely on his intuition to tell him what to do. He hopes to make it more difficult for us to anticipate his actions, since he himself doesn't know what they will be. But he's wrong. His field of action is drastically limited, and there's nothing he can do to stop us."
First the towers appeared over the black-green tops of the pines. They looked like penitentiary guard towers, though in fact the men in them were unarmed and their primary purpose was to house spotlights and loudspeakers. Then the road turned and they were walking next to a twenty-foot-high wire fence. Running parallel to this was an inner fence thirty feet away and about the same height. Beyond that were bright green hillsides. The promoters of the fesival had chopped down and sold all the trees on the hills within the fenced-off area, bulldozed the stumps, and covered the raw earth with fresh sod. Already the green was partically covered by crowds of people. Tents had popped up like mushrooms, and banners waved in the air. Portable outhouses, painted Dayglo orange to make them easy to spot, were set at regular intervals. A vast hum of talking, shouting, singing, and music rose over the hills. Beyond the hills, beyond the central hill where the stage stood, the blue-black waters of Lake Totenkopf heaved and tossed. Even that side of the festival area had its fences and towers.
Joe said, "You'd think they were really worried about someone sneaking in for free."
"These people really know how to build this kind of place," said Otto Waterhouse.
Hagbard laughed. "Come on, Otto, are you a racist about Germans?"
"I was talking about whites. They've got good big ones in the U.S., too. I've seen a couple."
"I never saw one with a geodesic dome, though," said George. "Look at how big that thing is. Wonder what's in it."
"I read that the Kabouters were going to set up a dome," said Joe. "As a first-aid or bad-trip station, or something like that."
"Maybe it's a place where you can go hear the music," said Harry Coin. "Hell, size of this thing, you can barely see people on the stage, much less hear them."
"You haven't heard the loudspeakers they've got," said Hagbard. "When the music starts they'll be able to hear it all the way to Munich."
They came to a gate. Arching over it was a sign that declared, in red-painted Gothic letters: EWIGE BLUMENKRAFT
UNO EWIGE SCHLANGEKRAFT.
"See?" said Hagbard. "Right out in the open. For anyone who understands to read and know that the hour is at hand. They won't be hiding much longer."
"Well," said Joe, "at least it doesn't say 'Arbeit macht frei.'"
Hagbard handed in the orange week-long tickets for his group, and a black-uniformed usher punched them neatly and returned them. They were inside the Ingolstadt Festival. As the sun sank over the far side of Lake Totenkopf, Hagbard and his contingent mounted a hill. A huge sign over the stage announced that the Oklahoma Home Demonstration Club was playing, and the loudspeakers thundered out an old favorite of that group: "Custer Stomp."
Behind the stage the four members of the American Medical Association stood apart and gazed out at the sunset. They were wearing iridescent black tunics and trousers. Members of other bands stood together and talked, many of the groups happy to be meeting each other for the first time. They even fraternized with a few intrepid kids who managed to infiltrate past the guards and make it to the back side of the stage hill. But white-suited attendants kept the public and fellow performers away from the American Medical Association. This was generally accepted as the AMA's privilege. They were, after all, universally acclaimed as the greatest rock group in the world. Their records sold the most. Their tours drew audiences that dwarfed even those of the Beatles. Their sound was everywhere. As the Beatles had, for a time, expressed the new freedom of the '60s, so the AMA seemed to epitomize the repressive spirit of the '70s. The secret of their popularity was that they were so appalling. They reminded their fans of all the evils that were being daily visited upon them, and thus hearing and seeing them was like scratching a very bad itch. They suggested that perhaps youth had captured its oppressors or identified with them, and they momentarily turned the pain of the whole scene into pleasure. To learn how to enjoy suffering, since suffering was their lot, kids by the millions flocked to hear the AMA.
"Like a radiant heater," said Wolfgang. "We at the center. Our message projected into a bowl of vibrant young human consciousnesses. Massively reflected by them back across the lake- into the lake to the depth of a mile. There, reaching the sunken army. Raising them, in a sense, from the dead."
"We are so close to realizing the dream of thirty thousand years," said Winifred. "Will we be able to do it? Will we be the ones who complete the work begun by great Gruad? And, if not, what will become of us?"
"Doubtless we will scream in hell for all eternity," said Werner matter-of-factly. "What would you do to us if we failed?"
"We need fear eternity only if the Eater of Souls is on the scene," said Wilhelm. "And they've still got him imprisoned inside the Pentagon."
"Let no one speak of failure," said Wolfgang. "It is absolutely impossible for us to fail. The plan is foolproof."
Winifred shook her head. "Fools are precisely what it is not proof against. And you, Wolfgang, know that best of all."
It was dark now. The large tent made of cloth-of-gold was sheltered between the fence and a relatively secluded grassy knoll. There was greatest privacy here, because this corner of the festival area was farthest from the stage, and because the area was full of Discordians. Hagbard went into the tent and stayed there awhile. Joe and George stood outside, talking. George was thinking that Hagbard was probably in there with Mavis and he wished he could dash in there and kill the son of a bitch. Joe, agonizingly nervous, suspected that Hagbard was in the tent with a woman, probably Mavis, and he wondered it he should rush in and kill Hagbard while the Discordian leader was occupied. He kept his hand in his pocket, fingers curled around the small pistol.
I circle around, I circle around…
After about half an hour Hagbard emerged from the tent, smiling. "Go on in," he said to Joe. "You're needed in there."
George grabbed Hagbard's arm, trying to sink his fingers in. But the muscle felt like iron, and Hagbard didn't seem to notice. "Who's in there?" he demanded.
"Stella," said Hagbard, looking down at the stage, where the Plastic Canoe was playing.
"And you were fucking her?" Joe asked. 'To release the energies? And now I'm supposed to fuck her too? And George after me? And then everybody else? That's left-hand magic, and it's creepy."
"Just go in," Hagbard said. "You'll be surprised. I wasn't fucking Stella. Stella wasn't in there when I was."
"Who was?" George asked, thoroughly confused.
"My mother," said Hagbard happily.
Joe turned toward the tent. He would make one more effort to trust Celine, but then… Suddenly the hawk face leaned close to him and Hagbard whispered, "I know what you're planning for afterwards. Do it quickly."
SHE'LL BE WEARING RED PAJAMAS WHEN SHE COMES
On February 2 Robert Putney Drake received a book in the mail. The return address, he noted, was Gold amp; Appel Transfers on Canal Street, one of the corporations owned by that intriguing Celine fellow who had kept appearing at the best parties for the last year or so. It was titled Never Whistle While You're Pissing, and the flyleaf had a bold scrawl saying, "Best regards from the author,"'followed by a gigantic C like a crescent moon. The publisher was Green and Pleasant Publications, P.O. Box 359, Glencoe, Illinois 60022.
Drake opened it and read a few pages. To his astonishment, several Illuminati secrets were spelled out rather clearly, although in a hostile and sarcastic tone. He flipped the pages, looking for other interesting tidbits. Toward the middle of the book he found: