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Book One In

Ivis Bo Davis

www.hispubg.com A division of HISpecialists, llc

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CHAPTER 1

The sun had never shone directly in the elegant boardroom, although it was brightly illuminated during the day by solar radiation. Massive fiberoptic cables attached to objects dart, unrecognizable as solar collectors, were mounted in gardens a half kilometer above and carried the entire healthy range of the broad spectrum of natural light into this mammoth room, permitting plants to grow and flourish. It was effectively a massive vault, excavated from solid stone deep under the immense foundation of the architecturally imposing World Treasury Bank tower. They had learned well the lesson taught in New York, when the World Trade Center collapsed after terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers using commercial aircraft as weapons. If for any reason their own massive building collapsed, they would be in no danger, whatsoever. Theyd planned for everything. Even nuclear weapons could not penetrate deep enough to affect this room. The boardroom, opulent apartments, and the elegant office complex that served them had their own nuclear power generator, filtered air and water supplies, and its foundation floated on shock-absorbing hydraulic columns. No one in the building above was even aware that these subterranean offices existed. An elaborate network of tunnels, carved from native stone deep under the surface of the Earth, extended for hundreds of kilometers in several directionsand served to provide the complex with access, exit, and supply. One such escape tunnel extended far out beneath the ocean, to a private and ultra-secret submarine depot, where at least one of several large submersibles was always ready to carry its owners to safety. By every standard, they were safe. No danger could reach them here. The opulence of the room was beyond imagining for most of the worlds now eight-pointfive-billion souls. Centered in the floor and carefully crafted from marble and semi-precious stones was a fantastically beautiful mosaic pentagram in brilliant colors, which served to reference the pagan god Lucifer. Directly atop it sat a massive, oval teak table made from the ancient timbers of King Henry the VIIIs royal yacht. It was the first royal European ship built exclusively from the newly discovered oriental wood. Ten identical high-backed executive chairs covered in soft oxblood leather surrounded the table. The walls were highly polished, pure white marble with recessed and lighted alcoves to display art treasures. Every ten meters along each wall stood a pair of exquisite blue, lapis lazuli columns, footed and capped with intricately carved, rare transparent quartz containing large veins of visible wire gold. The white marble ceilings arched up as perfectly as any carefully crafted cathedral in the world, their green malachite beams artfully inlaid with intricate designs in pure twenty-four-carat gold. Healthy, living plants strategically placed about the room managed to give just a perfect hint of casualness to the rich atmosphere.

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Superb paintings by the great masters, most considered to have been destroyed in World Wars I and II and believed to be lost forever by the most knowledgeable of art experts, casually adorned the walls. Ancient artifacts of gold, silver, and stonesome inlaid with the most precious of jewelssat unguarded in their lighted alcoves and within arms reach of those who came to this place. Perfectly preserved treasures and small statuary from millennia of every major culture were placed about as mere decorations. These artifacts were of such cultural significance that archeologists all over the world would have been outraged to see them in this private collection. It bore silent witness to the contempt that its owners held for the laws they enforced upon everyone of lower social strata. At the end of this magnificent room, a massive arched doorway led into a private library, where the greatest treasure on Earth resided. It, too, was perfectly illuminated by indirect solar radiation. The Amber Room, decorated entirely in intricately carved amber stone and trimmed in twenty-four-carat gold Russian baroque, was stolen from Pavlovsk, the Summer Palace of the Russian Czars, in World War II by Adolph Hitlers Nazi regime. Lost to the nation of Russia and the world of art, the coveted amber now adorned these perfectly white marble walls with an ethereal golden glow. This estuary had been excavated precisely for this purpose. An ancient black marble bar, pearl and gold inlaid, resided in a near corner of the room, replete with the most costly of vintage liquors and wines. Comfortable leather furnishings, ancient Russian baroque antiques, priceless Persian rugs, and yet more ancient statuary completed the decor. Off to each side of the Amber Room were immense libraries, four meters tall and with each wall covered floor to arched white marble ceiling with walnut shelving encasing hundreds of thousands of supple, leather-bound first editions of classic literature. Comfortable seating was provided around sturdy oak study tables illuminated by fully adjustable spotlights for the reading comfort of those who (seldom) came here. Set dead in the center of each of the three connected wings of the library was a massive circular rostrum populated by a single librarian who knew by name and location each printed volume available. At their command was a computer terminal connected to the mainframe system that served the entire complex. These three servants of knowledge (two extremely comely ladies and one elegantly discreet elderly gentleman ever dressed in a black tuxedo who presided as master over this treasure) knew how to retrieve at a moments notice any printed work here or anywhere in the world. A subterranean vault beneath the center section of the Hall of Libraries contained a print on demand printer system that could print and bind a new leather-bound edition of any document or book in any requested language within five minutes and place it in a specially designed elevator that would shortly present the new volume to the librarian. Within the Hall of Libraries, additional elegant doorways led to private computer terminal rooms where electronic access was instantly available of the national archives of literature, movies, songs, and entertainment of every nation on Earth. There wasnt a single copyrighted work of any type (in addition to a lot of very private material that was not) that couldnt be viewed from this place. Other than their tiny staff of utterly dedicated personal servants, only the Board of Directors of the World Treasury Bank themselves ever entered here. Frankly, it wasnt necessary, as the gentlemen of the Board had equal computer access directly from their elegantly appointed personal apartments.

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The boardroom was an awe inspirig church, a cathedral in which the triune gods of Lucifer, Money, and Power were worshiped. At that particular moment, the high priests of greed were in session. Will the secretary please read the minutes of the last session? asked Mr. Nathaniel Black, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the World Treasury Bank. He was a handsome man with classic, finely chiseled features. Tall, powerfully built and athletic, with wavy black hair that was slightly graying at the temples, he was impeccably dressed in a perfectly tailored Armani suit and positioned at the head of the table of these very distinguished men. In total, they numbered ten and were the most powerful men in the world. They controlled the worlds economy, politics, news media, shipping, industry, and military might. Whatever they wanted, they got. The United Nations, heads of state, and politicians answered only to them. No one, including U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his brother Senator Robert F. Kennedy, had seriously opposed them and lived. Yet very few people actually knew who they were. Fewer still could imagine the awesome power they wielded. Their purposes and goals were of the utmost secrecy, as were their identities and those of their families, who would someday inherit this phenomenal power. For nearly five centuries, the families represented here had cooperatively worked to establish, maintain, and increase their dictatorial international control. These men, who lived in absolute social superiority as a birthright, presented themselves to lesser men as utterly fearless. It wasnt really true, though. They all shared one and only one fear: the loss of their anonymity. They operated in utter secrecy; it was their lifeblood. For the people to rise up against them would be unthinkable, so they clothed themselves in secrecy and placed expendable proxies in the vulnerable positions of visible power. No king was crowned, president inaugurated, or war fought without their express prior approvaland they did not like surprises. Using weapons of political extortion, bribery, heavy taxation, narcotic drug distribution, prostitution and pornography, entertainment and news, public education systems, and other forms of social corruption, they kept virtually every country and individual on Earth in relative poverty. Only minor politicians and junior military leaders were not on their payroll, and even they were used to nurture the idea of political liberties that simply did not exist. Their power was established and maintained with unimaginable riches, so they kept a close and cautious eye on everyone who accumulated any significant financial wealth, rightly viewing each as a potential enemy. They brought all such persons under the umbrella of their control, breaking them or casually and permanently disposing of them. The Bankers were utterly without opposition. Among themselves, they laughingly referred to anyone who dared oppose them as the virtually deceased. Mr. Chairman. The Chair recognizes the Secretary Treasurer. The secretary, in this circle referred to as Mr. Beta, stood as tall as possible. He was a frail man, middle aged and slender, with a brown receding hairline and a slight stoop to his posture. Indelicately put, years of inbreeding had rendered his genetic heritage with a predisposition to scoliosis at a young age, and his spine was already irrevocably collapsing, but his mind was clear and sharp. At the last meeting, we determined that the time was

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optimum to finalize the process of bringing all national militaries under our direct administration via the U.N. We assigned Mr. Gamma, our Sergeant at Arms, the task of preparing a report on the progress toward development of a plan and a timetable for its execution. I request we hear that report from Mr. Gamma. Mr. Beta spoke with a clear, refined voice, and having finished, he nodded toward the chairman and returned to his seat. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, the chairman replied quietly. Mr. Sergeant-at-Arms, what is your report? Mr. Gamma stood to his feet, and in so doing, took a bit of time due to his massive bulk. He was not fat, but powerfully muscled, and stood a couple centimeters over two meters tall. He shaved his head bald, and his facial appearance was striking, having the battered and unsmiling features of a prizefighter. Despite his size, it was his eyes that demanded ones attention. They were solid black and glittered with icy malevolence. Although he laughed often, his eyes never smiled. He was, in fact, even more ruthless than he appeared. He delighted in his position as the enforcer of the Boards decisions, and he took particular pleasure in removing unprofitable political assets, a task he often undertook himself simply for the sheer pleasure of watching them die. Mr. Chairman, there are only a few holdouts that have refused to give up their national militariesprimarily, the U.S., Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Columbia. We developed a plan to bring the world population into unanimous agreement, making the world safer when all national armies come under our direct control. With that, a collective chuckle rippled around the table. Mr. Gamma grinned, his cold pleasure failing to warm the atmosphere of the boardroom, yet a curious feeling of eager anticipation grew with his words. This would happen via the administration of the United Nations, he continued. That plan is now ready for immediate implementation, subject to the approval of the Board. Are you ready for me to reveal details of the execution stages of our plan? The Chair agrees to hear the details, smiled the chairman at his massive friend. Mr. Gamma completed his report and recommended immediate adoption. Without discussion, the Board unanimously accepted his proposed course of action. The chairman slammed his gavel, Is there any new business for the Boards consideration? Yes, Mr. Chairman. The Chair recognizes Mr. Epsilon. Mr. Chairman, I wish to discuss the status of one Edward Todd Ward the Second. The boys patents have now earned him one-hundred-thirty-billion credits! The bald man at the center of the table stated in a gravelly voice filled with frustrated annoyance. That represents a lot of power! Dont you think its time to bring him into the club? No, sir, I do not, answered the chairman evenly, leveling his gaze at Mr. Epsilon. Hes just a kid. Granted, hes very wealthy, smart, and, therefore, potentially dangerous, but hes just a kid. Hes only sixteen, and is a colonist aboard the Ark. The height of his childish ambition is to be a taxi driver in a space shuttle! He and his little sidekick have been studying engineering, geology, astrophysics, and astronomy, and taking piloting courses for years. They will ignorantly serve our interests perfectly. We will use these bright young men to find, establish, and secure interstellar real estate for the exploitation of our future generations!

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Okay, we all agree on that, but whats the potential that they may choose to interfere with our colonization policies or directly oppose our plans here on Earth? They have the funding to create real problems if they so choose. Young Mr. Ward has demonstrated absolutely no interest in politics, little in business, and none in banking. They represent no threat to us. Besides, theyre leaving Earth on the Triznov a month from now. His attorney has invested most of his assets in various manufacturing interests, or in bank accounts that we control. That leaves the Ward kids wealth in our hands. So... hes not a problem, but Ill have the SS keep tabs on him in the interim, just to make certain. I still dont trust the smart little brat, growled the bald man. Id feel a lot better if he were a member of the Order so we would have direct control of him. Although Mr. Ward seems to demonstrate significant leadership ability, he apparently doesnt have either the character or interest to wield real power, so he wouldnt be an excellent candidate, and since hes leaving soon on the starship, we dont have time to groom him. Hes become something of a cult hero to the world of young people, and that makes him very visible. Since hes made his intentions to emigrate public, we cant just snatch him off the colonist list or make him disappear without generating a lot of adverse publicity. Theres no advantage in forcing him to remain here for political indoctrination. Therefore, well just keep an eye on him. Only one more month and hes gone. Get serious. What could even a very rich teenager do in that time that could upset the established order? Is everyone agreed on this? Ten heads nodded silently, one of them grudgingly, and they moved on to the next order of business. They had the entire future of humanity to plan, and one rich kid who wanted to be a shuttle pilot just wasnt worth the use of their time. Just the same, the chairman discretely wrote his name on his scratch pad. Hed look into Todds business very carefully... just to make sure.

What no one in the Orders boardroom knew was that Todd had been a member of the Internet Security Research Programming Team at the University of Colorado, the developers of SEC-NETthe network security software the Board used to secure their computers. Interestingly, Todds name had somehow mysteriously vanished from all development team rolls. SEC-NET was deemed so secure that in less than two years it had become the de facto network security standard and was deployed by nearly every government agency and company in the world, including the corporate computer systems of the World Treasury Bank and its directors personal computer systems. Todd had carefully included in the program several very tiny, very sophisticated, and very undocumented pieces of code that gave him a variety of powerful software tools useful as back doors or invisible moles into the program. They allowed him access to look at or even change the World Treasury Banks secure data... if he really wanted to. Worse, he could have examined every secret document and file on their computers and even accessed their corporate and private security camerasall without leaving a trace he was ever there. It was a very good thing that Todd knew little of the Boards existence... and an

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even better thing that they knew nothing about the power Todd held over their computer systems. Had he known of their power, he might have been tempted to take a peek. Had they caught him peeking, their displeasure would quickly cost him his life.

The secure phone rang only once. The quiet man picked up the receiver, and the perfect diamond in his elaborate platinum ring sparkled brightly. Yes? I want updated records on Edward Todd Ward the Second and his friend Randolph Daniel Long. Im particularly interested in their financials, political views and contributions, money transfers, Internet access history, and e-mail. See if theyre up to anything. If so, I want a full detailed investigation. If not, send me your initial report and keep a close eye on them. I want the reports on my computer by tomorrow morning. Yes, sir. Are we looking for something in particular? Nothing specific. Hes just accumulated a lot of financial power, and I want to see if hes buying any political assets or leveraging it in any other way. Yes, sir. How deep do you want me to go? All the way. Youll have the preliminary data on your computer by midnight. With a staccato click, the instrument went dead in his hand. The diamond sparkled brightly as he dropped the receiver into its cradle. He turned to his computer. He would put his best researcher on it shed have a busy night.

It was 16:30 and nearly time to leave for home when a Priority One assignment began flashing on her computer. Sandra didnt frown at the unplanned interruption of her private plans, but using her right pinky she pulled her lustrous black hair back with a flourish and tucked it neatly behind her ear for a better view of her screen. She was utterly dedicated to her job, believing without reservation that the U.N.and, specifically, the SS or Secret Servicewas the guardian angel of all humanity. She worked tirelessly around the clock to enforce the laws that she believed ensured the safety of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Among her career accomplishments, shed successfully broken an unauthorized terrorist cell in Bolivia and an unlicensed cocaine cartel in Mexico. Shed also uncovered, prosecuted, and disbanded a politically subversive Christian church denomination based in Iowa; and had identified and prosecuted hundreds of individuals with anti-U.N. sentiment. In every case, these actions had resulted in the imprisonment of the people and confiscation of their financial assets. She considered anyone who opposed or even questioned the purposes of the United Nations a threat. Because of her successes, Sandra was a greatly valued and highly decorated SS agent. She was rewarded with a lavish commission on the value of all financial assets recovered, which were, of course, tax exempt for the first year. Sandra was now quite wealthy in her own right, but a few mere millions of universal credits wasnt enough for her lavish lifestyle.

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Her eyes flashed with greed as she read her new assignment. She was tasked to investigate Edward Todd Ward the Second and Randolph Daniel Long, who were both successful young businessmen. Her orders were to do a thorough investigation of their backgrounds, associates, and financials, especially recent transactions. Without question, this investigation was going to be a lot of work. She smiled at the financial prospects and settled comfortably back into her chair. A thorough, preliminary report was required by midnight. No problem. She didnt have to call homethere was no one waiting for her, and the auto feeder would take care of the Dobermans. Sandra pulled up their current files and began to read. She licked her lips and smiled. Their combined net worth was a hundred-thirty-five-billion credits, and increasing by more than fourteen-million a day! She would do a very thorough investigation. If these kids were doing or had done something, she was going to become very, very wealthy... nothing would escape her attention!