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2 +++++++++++++++++++TALES OF THEAEON SOCIETY

A stench of dead things rose. The thing smashed into the bars again.
The floor was slowly winding into the They groaned and cracked in their set-
wall, revealing a deeper pit beneath, closed tings. Max reached over and jabbed his
off by thin bars. White bones tumbled off knife into the powdering stone, digging
the edge of the floor and clattered on to away at one bar's foundation.
the bars beneath. The noise roused things Max kicked the bars again, right in front
in the pit. Bad things. of its face. And again. "Come on, damnit!
"We raised them in the dark heart of Come on!"
Africa, Mr. Mercer," came the mad royal's And the Bound Horror, unbound,
rasp, from 30 feet above. "In the shadow rammed into the bars with all its strength
of Forbidden Mountain, where the meteor - and the bars gave way!
fell in 1888. There were worms in the Max twisted out of its way and sank his
meteor, Mr. Mercer. Worms from beyond knife into the beast, just below its vile
space. Imagine that!" head.
Darkstock laughed again as Max The thing surged 25 feet up into the air.
scrabbled to stay upright. Annabelle and I Lord Darkstock recoiled.
struggled futilely against our bonds. Max ripped his knife free of the Horror
"We force-bred them with the royal and launched himself up and awayfromthe
beasts, our hunting animals. What you see thing, toward the pit's parapet and
below you is the result. The Bound Hor- Darkstock, less than five feet distant. In
rors of Darkstock Manor!" midair, Max snapped his arm down hard,
Light fell in chilling stages on the things hurling the knife with incredible speed and
behind bars. Raw, bloody skin. Necks 25 power-
feet long, strong and mobile. Long teeth -and the heavy blade split Lord
set in infected mouths, their hard edges Darkstock's head in half, dashing his poi-
slick with pus. Human eyes. From his grim sonous brains out on the stone floor.
expression, I saw that Max was in no doubt
that he could not survive an attack by The spires of New York City shone in
these beasts. The noise of the bones con- the afternoon light.
tinuing to clatter onto their bars maddened Max put his booted feet up on my desk
them. They thrashed and shrieked. And and took in the sunshine through the broad
the bars shook in their stone beds. windows of the Chrysler Building's top
"Their spittle is corrosive to flesh and floor. The skyscraper wasn't completed
fabric. Eventually, you will fall on to the officially, but Max had pull.
bars, Mr. Mercer, your feet and much of "You know what disappoints me most
your lower legs rotted away. And then, about the world, Whitley?" he said. His
they will pull you through the bars. In voice was soft, thoughtful. I put my pen
pieces. " down on the blotter, arched an eyebrow.
Max had less than three yards of floor "Go on, then," I said. The tone of his voice
left. indicated another onset of that strange
Max took in the entire scene and calcu- sentimentality of his that I always found
lated. amusing.
He drew his boot knife. "What disappoints me most is that I had
He leapt down from the vanishing floor to learn to kill people."
and landed on the bars below. Max was often struck by these blackmo-
The Bound Horrors almost brained ments. I guess they were the cost of a good
themselves in lunging at him. The bars man having to do bad things.
shuddered and loosened some more, bend- "And that I take satisfaction in it. There
ing outward a little. has to be a better way to deal with filth
Max picked the largest, strongest Hor- like Darkstock than putting six inches of
ror by sight as it came up to the bars - steel in his brain. I mean, imagine what
and kicked at the bars, right in its face. he knew. All lost now."
"Hyah!" He yelled. "Come on!" Max was, by nature, a philanthropist.
TALESOF THEAEON SOCIETY+++++++++++++++++++ 3
He'dmadea sheik's fortune 11 or 12 times followed his gaze.
over in his young life from radical new Another of the new skyscrapers, two
mechanicalpatents and stock market wiz- blocks south of the Chrysler Building, was
ardry and, each time, had given it away - lifting free of its foundations.
whollyor in increments - to charities, The sidewalk around it was cracking
trusts and reform societies. His concern apart. Water pipes burst open and fired
wasalways with making life better for as chilly geysers up through the broken gray
many people as was humanly possible. flagstones. The building was visibly rising.
That, and his violent aversions to both With an appalling shriek of twisting steel,
boredomand thought of his own personal the immense skyscraper pulled free of the
safety,was what tended to. make his life Earth. And continued to rise. Office work-
mostdifficult. ers scrambled from the building's main
"Yousaid it yourself, Max," I yawned, entrances, dropping toward the ground -
stretching. "'Filth.' Some things simply but, within moments, such panicked es-
have no right to live. Or they abrogate cape was certain death. People dived from
their right to live by their behavior." the upper stories anyway. Max and I could
"Surelyyou don't believe that, Whitley," hear their screams even from this dis-
Maxsaid, eyeing me carefully. I hated it tance, for they were jumping in their doz-
whenMax looked at me like that. It was ens. The street below was awash with
like he could see right through into the gore. The plucked skyscraper continued to
guts of me. I've seen cheap gunsels and ascend.
kingsalike shrink and keen like whipped A little later, there was a light rain of
dogsunder that gaze. windowglass. The building was gone, dis-
"I surely do, sir. Bad things should hap- appeared into the upper reaches of the sky.
pento badpeople, and that's the beginning "Call the JEon Society," whispered Max.
andthe end of it." ***
"Hm."Maxrose, walked over to the win- Professor Benjamin Franklin Dixon
dow,looked out on sprawled Manhattan blinked in the daylight, deeply uncomfort-
below from this, the tallest building on able.
Earth. A God's-eye view of the world's "It's only sunshine, Frank," I smiled. He
greatest city. paled and shuddered.
"Badthings happening to bad people. If "I do my best work in the lab, Whitley,"
onlythat were the way of it, Whit, my boy. he muttered. He only ever muttered, at
Ifonlythat were the way of it." best, and most people suspected he'd shat-
Maxpaused for a moment, in thought. A ter if he actually raised his voice. "I can't
pauseconcluded by an intake of breath so help it. I don't like it out here." He lit an-
sharpthat it made me snap into alertness. other of his thick black cigars, unique to
Nothing- nothing- hadsurprised Max- him and rolled by his own personal staff of
wellAndersonMercer in all the time I had insane shamen and priestesses some-
known him. That awesome calculating where in the depths of Cuba, and consid-
mindthat rendered the world a mathemati- ered the scene.
cal sphere of possibilities and options The gaping wound in the New Yorkblock
meantthat he was ready for anything and where the skyscraper once stood had not
expected it all - that and his strange yet been dressed, at Max's request. The
sense of other times that I privately scene needed to be preserved as it was
termedhis"chronalawareness." Youcould when the event took place. He watched,
sneakup on him while he was otherwise sadly, as policemen with hoses rinsed the
engagedor physically impaired - as had remains of the doomed office workers off
happenedin Darkstock Manor - but when the street and into the gutters.
hehadhis wits about him, it was almost "Franklin," he said. "Begin your analy-
impossibleto shock him, I had believed. sis."
Whateverhe'd seen, he wasn't remotely Frank Dixon turned to his array of de-
preparedfor.I dashed to the window and tection machinery, which filled a steel
OFTHEAEON SOCIETY+++++++++++++++++++ 5



Max splits her

desk in twain. '

tfl'kall -

the inauguralorbital firing of the projec- Max turned to her great oaken desk,
tor,after all." placed his palms on it. He gave her his
"'They,'" said Max. "Who are 'they'?" trademark grin, "1had considered it, to be
"1 don't think there can be any doubt," honest. There is very little time and 1 do
Dixonmuttered, turning back to the light- not intend to see more people dead be-
board. cause 1 did not or could not act to prevent
*** it," His eyes studied the desktop, and in
"You're looking for the Machinatrix? that moment 1 knew what he was looking
Darling,1 thought it was me you loved," for, The line of the grain, the strength of
Sarah Gettel, ice-blue eyes under a coal the wood - the point of weakness, "Do
blackbob of perfectly glossy hair, never you understand, Sarah?" he asked,
learned how to wound with a word. She And split the desk in two with one light-
onlyever took the kill shots, ning punch,
Max eyed the world-famous journalist Sarah stared at the wreckage, unchar-
sourly,"Sarah, 1 don't even like you. But acteristically at a loss for words.
you travel in shady enough circles in "Death offends me, and if there is any
search of your 'scoops' that 1 know you way 1can stop it, 1will, Still," Max smiled
knowwhere she is. And 1 don't have time the same warm smile, "people dying in
to playgames." ones and twos in order to save hundreds
Sarah laughed, playing to the audience and thousands, 1 can cope with," Whether
gatheredoutside the broad windows of her or not he was bluffing, he had Sarah hang-
personal office at The Daily Signal, the ing on his every word,
Max brushed sawdust from his fist,
Manhattanpaper that her reportage alone
hadmadegreat. "What're you going to do, "More to the point, Sarah: 1know what you
Max?Holdme down and beat it out of me? were doing in Russia last summer, And 1
Sillyboy," know who you were doing it with. So, un-
OFTHEAEON SOCIETY+++++++++++++++++++ 7

Maxand I trotted across the compound already knew the questions. So I confined
towardwhat looked to us like a laboratory. myself to watching and looking around the
Themaindoors were heavy and decorated strange laboratory: something like a rifle
witha panoplyof strange-looking locks. All there, something like a clockwork foetus
ofwhichwere disengaged. The doors stood here....
open.Struck by presentiment, Max drew He turned the Machinatrix over. There
his Hell-pistol and twisted the fire control was a bullet hole in her tight steel-gray
to Wide-Range. coverall, over her breast. Blood around it.
Inside the main lab, under walls en- But under the hole - bruised skin. And,
crustedwith technology so advanced as to within the bruise, an effect like chrome
seem alien, under blue light, the cobweb, apparently knitting the flesh to-
Machinatrixlay in a pool of blood. gether.
"Get the televisor camera, Jake," said "My God, Whitley. She has machines in
Max,quietly. "Tell Franklin his ex-wife's her that will heal injuries! And she's
beenattacked." adapted her own blood to act as the fuel
that operates them. Someone shot her
Dr.Hephaestia Geary-Wexler had under- with the intention of execution and left her
gonea short, passionate, intense and vio- for dead, and she's lain here from then to
lent marriage to Benjamin Franklin Dixon, now, unconscious and healing. What engi-
whichended explosively with them both neering audacity!"
wishingvirulent death on each other. Two He ran his hand around the back of her
genius-level engineers under the same neck, under her hair. Not like she was a
roof wasnever going to work - particu- person. Like she was a machine. "I sus-
larlywhen Franklin was an obsessive and pect the healing process required for such
Hephaestiahad questionable ethics. Max a major wound may have left her without
hadknown them both through the late Dr. enough energy to return to consciousness.
Hammersmithand didn't take sides dur- I suspect application of kin'esis to her
ingthe inevitable dissolution. Hephaestia chakra structure may boost her into wak-
didthat for everyone, by leaving. She in- ing."
volvedherself in a number of esoteric sci- I saw Max' hand flex, under her hair -
entificpursuits in the years that followed. as if he were flipping a switch: And the
Yetonly now, seeing her lying before us, Machinatrix's eyes snapped open. Frozen,
didI realize just how far afield she'd gone. for a moment. And then swiveled around.
The respected Dr. Hephaestia Geary- Her mouth curled into an ugly grin.
Wexlerwas also the Machinatrix, a mys- "Max Mercer. I'm in Hell, then."
terious underworld figure who sold her "Nice to see you too," said Max, sitting
inventor's gift to the highest bidder. back and smiling openly. "What's the
It appearedthat, this time, someone had story?"
paidher in bullets. The Machinatrix looked down at her
Maxwas down on one knee by her, ex- bullet wound - and then sharply across
aminingher. Verystill, opening his senses, at Max.
takingin everything about the scene. "I'm not giving you the secret, Max."
"The scent is wrong," he said, quietly. "I could have ransacked the place and
He touched a finger to the thin pool of stolen it and two dozen other pending pat-
bloodaround her prone form. Paused, tak- ents while you were laying on the floor in
ing in the sensation of the liquid on his a pool of your own engine oil trying to
skin,nerves exquisitely sensitive. work up the bio-energy to lift your little
"There's oil in her blood," he whispered. finger. If I wanted it, I'd have it. But what
"Andthe bloodis old. There's some chemi- I need is in your head."
cal in it, keeping it fluid when it should Jake appeared, lugging the televisor sys-
havecrusted." tem.
I wonderedbut did not speak. Questions "Don't look at him, look at me," Max
wouldonly hamper Max's detection. He snapped when Hephaestia's attention wan-
8 +++++++++++++++++++TALES OF THEAEON SOCIETY

dered. "I want to know who you built an Max eyed the rifle. "What is it?"
artificial moon for. I want to know who you "Kills Z-ray beamers. Yousee, putting a
built the launch system for. I want to know telluric engine on the satellite led to un-
who shot you. Because I'm damn sure all acceptable weight penalties. So the sys-
three answers are the same name." tem beams energy up to the satellite. But,
The Machinatrix sat up, ran a hand as it stands, the gun needs to strike an
through her hair and nodded at the televi- exact point on a telluric engine to do any-
sor, which the Ace was activating. "Who's thing. It needs to be hooked up to a me-
on the other end of that thing?" chanical brain to be aimed with the cor-
I smiled. I don't think it was a very nice rect accuracy."
smile. "Guess." Max smiled. "We in the lEon Society
She favored me with a contemptuous have our own aiming device, better than
glance. I had made it quite clear whose any artificial brain. If you'd joined us, you'd
side I was taking, during the divorce. know that, Hephaestia."
"Hello, Whitley. Still grubbing around in "I prefer working for a living," she re-
the shadow of the Boy Scout? Has he plied, without obvious rancor.
thrown you any pennies lately?" "Very well. Now," said Max, "tell me
The televisor hissed into life - its cam- who commissioned you. Before he kills
era lit up, and its reception screen sparked again."
and illuminated. Frank Dixon's face re- "Or comes back to finish the job there,"
solved on the small screen in grainy mono- Dixon added, sharply.
chrome. "Hello," came his voice through The Machinatrix shrugged. "Why not?"
the copper sound grille. ***
"There goes the neighborhood," sighed Rex Mundi charred in the equatorial sun.
the Machinatrix. A chunk of burnt black rock in the Pacific
"We need to know what you've done, Ocean, five miles across. Barely worth
Hephaestia. Mechanics, equations, trajec- recording. In fact, it did not exist on nor-
tories, Z-ray cone numbers. There are 500 mal records. Was drawn on no maps. If you
people dead in space because of you." didn't know it was there, you'd never find
Her eyes widened. "Because of me?" it. The Machinatrix knew where it was be-
"The cone effect you used to cut off cause she designed a launch system and a
gravity waves. An entire office block was command-and-control complex to operate
pulled into space." there. Flinging an object into outer space
"I don't know what you're talking about. was evidently more easily done from a site
Yes, I launched a satellite, and yes, I in- on or near the equator.
stalled a Z-ray mirror and projector on We had no idea what to expect on the
board, but... severing gravity waves?" isle of Rex Mundi. All we knew was that
There was a long pause, as Franklin we had to get there before the orbital at-
studied his ex-wife through the televisor tack system was tested again. Or, worse,
from Manhattan. Then his voice echoed used in anger, now that it had been cali-
through the grille. brated on Manhattan. We knew where the
"She's not lying, Max." swine was, and we knew what he had -
"So, who shot you?" Max ground out. but we had no idea of his intentions or
Hephaestia shook her head, resigned. greater scheme. Nor did we even know his
"He came back for more inventions. He name. He had paid Hephaestia well enough
was obviously also fairly concerned that I that she overlooked niggling questions
knew about his business. I demanded pay- such as his identity or what, exactly, he
ment for what I'd already given him and wanted with the inventions he commis-
threatened him with that-" she pointed sioned.
to the thing that resembled a rifle, propped The Steel Hawk lurched in the air. A
in the corner "-despite the fact that I "portable" - the size of an outhouse -
don't have an aiming mechanism for it yet. telluric-ionic battery was lodged in the
Bluff." back of the plane, making even its mighty
10 +++++++++++++++++++TALES OF THEAEON SOCIETY

Annabelle Lee
to the rescue!

hefting the Z-ray rifle and hooting and the air as it blazed from rifle to tower -
hollering: Annabelle Lee Newfield. The - which went up in flames as Annabelle
single best shot on Earth. Pretty as a pic- Lee's shot perfectly cored the massive Z-
ture, mad as a hatter, and, right now, all Ray engine within.
that stood between Max and me living and Rex Mundi shuddered and groaned and
Max and me dying in a vacuum. rested. Max and I fell a little way, not re-
The Hawk began to buck and judder as alizing that we too had lifted a full 12
it entered the moon projector's growing inches into the air.
field of influence. I could feel the island The Hawk overshot us, and we heard
straining against its geologic underpin- Annabelle Lee's mad laughter pealing.
nings. I could feel it start to tear free of We were alive. But we knew nothing of
the Earth. our new enemy; only that he was still at
Annabelle Lee narrowed her eyes, large after killing hundreds. Max glared up
twisted her hands around the rifle, took a at the bright sky.
breath - held it - "Bad things happening to bad people. If
- fired - only that were the way of it, Whitley. If
- an eye-stinging beam of light boiling only that were the way of it."
out of the rifle muzzle, cutting a wound in
TALESOF THEAEON SOCIETY+++++++++++++++++++ 11

Title Registered U. S. Patent Office
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Book I: Setting
Welcome to Adventure! 12
The lEon Society ~.. .19
Telluric Energy ...25
Agents of Change 32
This World of Wonder 56

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12 +++++++++++++++++++TALES OF THEAEON SOCIETY

Welcome to
Callme Max. We're through with formali- new dark ages come. Mr. Nietzsche would have
ties for now, so let's leave them outside and us make a world where supermen herd the rest
talk about the interesting part now. of us like so many cattle. Mr. Poincare thinks
What time is it? all willbe well if we just do what the lords and
No, it's not a trick question. And 1 don't diplomats tell us to. 1want to offer you a dif-
mean what a timepiece says. If you move those ferent vision.
experimental aviator goggles over - it's a Have you ever been to Europe? Oh, of
design Danger Ace is tinkering with, and I'm course, you were there in the Great War and
sure he'd be glad to explain it when he gets afterward; we didn't meet up in the relief ef-
back - you can look at my desk calendar and fort, but you knew some of the same heroic
confirm that it's the first day of June, 1'124. men and women 1 did. I'm not here to remi-
Behind me, with the Great Bone Spear from nisce about the good work of the past, though,
Borneo's gorilla people on one side and a gear even though 1 think that what we did to end
from a Sanguine Promethean robot heart on famine and rebuild wrecked countries is right
the other, is a clock that will tell you it's just up there on the list of good works for this cen-
after 1PM. But that's not the kind of time I'm tury. 1 wanted to ask if you'd ever seen the
talking about. Roman roads. Yes, those are the ones, some of
Mr. Einstein showed that time is relative. them still in use every day, nearly 2,000 years
If you went off to the stars fast enough, you after the empire fell apart.
couldn't count on that clock and calendar any- They're magnificent, but they're also lim-
more. Well, the tide in human affairs flows very ited. The imperial roads only take you where
fast these days, and the real question is, what emperors and their servants thought people
is it time for you to do? should go. If it didn't appeal to the emperor,
We live in an extraordinary age. Just in the then you're out of luck, no nice road for you.
years you've been alive, we've all gone through Contrast that with, well, with the autogyro we
countless technological and industrial upheav- flew in this morning. It goes from anywhere
als, global war and a complete reworking of there's a pilot to make it take off, to anyplace
mapsand the societies withinthe newborders. the pilot can land. That's freedom, for those
You know from watching the world that we who can afford it - likeIcarus but with sturdy
human beings are capable of greater good and steel and plastic that won't melt like wax.
greater evil than almost anyone ever imagined. 1want to give humanity wings. No, not real
And it's not stopping. We're all racing into the ones. I'm not out to be my generation's Dr.
future along roads we build as we go, and you're Moreau, and 1 don't need you to be your
as much a part of that as everyone else. The generation's Dr. Frankenstein. I'm talking about
future isn't just built in mirrored halls and uni- a liberty inside to think and feel freely, instead
versity laboratories, but in the dying and re- of only thinking and feeling what the authori-
newing hearts of cities, in farms and towns, ev- ties say is okay. In the fEon Society, we aim
erywhere people imagine a future and act to toward an age where everyone is master of
make it happen. Youbuild it with each step you their destiny.
take and every word you speak. You've done enough flying yourself to
Mr. Veblen and Mr. Spengler say it's all up know that you need more than a machine that
for us, and all we have left is carnivals until the can hold you up. You have to know how to op-
OFTHEAEON SOCIETY+++++++++++++++++++ 13

erate it. You need charts of the land and tools good scrap, and some of us don't find it all that
to measure what the air is doing. A successful much fun but are pretty good at it anyway. It's
solo flight works because of a great many an adventure in its own way, even if fighting
people, most of whom you'll never know, all would-be villains is more like preventative
doing their part at each step along the way. maintenance rather than curing a disease or
Well, setting a society's worth of people free breaking open new territory. It's necessary,
to master their destiny is much like that. To too.
choose for themselves, they need to know We're not the only ones out there doing
what's happened in the past, what the world is this kind of work, you realize. Talk to Whitley,
like now and how to evaluate all that and make and he'll be glad to tell you more than you ever
wise decisions for the future. wanted to know about our friends and rivals;
One way of thinking about what we do in he knows the files probably better than 1know
the ;:EonSociety is this: We're mapmakers for the backs of my own hands. 1 don't mean to
tomorrow's free fliers. We dedicate ourselves suggest that you have to join us or that have
to charting the world as it is right now, in all no chance of helping the world in any other
the placespeople don't otherwise think to look. way. 1do say that we do more good work, more
We head into jungles and war zones, haunted thoroughly, than anyone else 1know of and that
sewersand empty deserts, wherever there are we do so in large measure because we're more
mysteries to explore, and we bring back the flexible about who we take in. You met Enkidu
stories of what we find. In our files, there's the this morning. He and his people are as much a
raw material people will need to make the next part of the future we're making as the rest of
decade, the next century, the next thousand us.
years the best it can be. 1want you to join us, too. While you think
Along the way, we deal with some of the it over, let's look around. Let me show you what
people who want to chain the rest of us, cut you'd be getting into. I'm confident that, when
the wings, yoke us up. Some of us here relish a you see it all, you'll make the ri9ht decision.
16 +++++++++++++++++++TALES OF THEAEON SOCIETY

pared a slide of the yellow substance and The blonde woman's cackle brought me
was examining it under a microscope - back to earth. That and her immediate use
seemingly oblivious to the dead scientist of a spittoon. No culture I know believes
slumped next to him. Primoris bent to look angels chew tobacco.
and made a small, surprised sound in the "Oh, Whitley," she said. "How you do go
back of his throat. on!"
It was the first time I'd ever heard him As my head and vision cleared, the af-
surprised. terlife hypothesis became increasingly re-
"We'll have to get this back to my lab mote. First and foremost, I was in pain. It
for a proper analysis," Dixon said, but at felt like my entire head from the ears up
that moment something caught my eye. had been boiled. Tentatively, I rolled my
The door to the lab was creeping open, and eyes. It hurt neither more nor less. Not a
six men were creeping in. Short, swarthy hangover, then. This was more a full-head,
men who looked uncomfortable in their throbbing pain - exactly the sort of pain
cheap suits. one gets after being choked unconscious.
"Doc, Professor, we have-" I didn't But there was more to it than that In
have a chance to say "trouble" before all my forehead, a complex amalgam of pains
six had produced strange knives of mid- played counterpoint to the dull throb.
night blue metal. I saw the late afternoon There was the icy ache of a fresh, shallow
light glint off glass sheathes before the cut, but underneath that was a peculiar
blades came out - not drawn, but cracked burning pain, much like an overexerted
free, flicked hard against a doorjamb or muscle.
countertop. "I'm surprised to see you at my bed-
They held them competently but not side," I said to Annabelle (for the blonde
expertly. I didn't expect six to be enough woman was none other than my comrade
until thick yellow smoke began to pour off Annabelle Lee Newfield). Then I winced
the blades, collecting in a small cloud near as I realized the impropriety of what I'd
their ankles. I'd never seen such a thing, said. The wince provided a new pain - a
and I didn't like it, so I drew my guns just tugging tightness across my brow.
as they lunged forward. I still wasn't ner- Stitched, it felt like.
vous; Primoris and I could probably take "Er, what I mean is, I thought you'd be
four of them unarmed, if it came to that, out hunting down my would-be assassins."
and heaven only knew what Dixon had on "Oh, they've been captured. Dixon used
him. I almost felt sorry for the first at- one of his doohickeys on them... a
tacker as I aimed at his heart and pulled 'glueotron' or 'gluematic' or something
my right-hand trigger. like that. Last time I saw them, they were
The bullet clicked on a dud, and I heard just starting to get them separated." She
the same when I tried with the left. I leaned in and gave me a wink. "When he
dodged a wild swipe and felt a strange makes his joke about 'hardened criminals,'
breeze drawing toward the foreigners. I be sure to laugh because he probably saved
drew a breath to warn the others when it you and Primoris both."
felt like a black tunnel was closing around "Really?" I blurted. "Primoris too? I
me. Suddenly dizzy and weak, I fell to my should have thought "
knees, just as a knife wreathed in yellow "Here, look at this." Annabelle reached
smoke slashed across my face.... into a drawer next to my bed - I now rec-
ognized a familiar suite at the Emily Mer-
When I opened my eyes, the first thing cer Memorial Clinic - and produced a
I saw was a lovely visage wreathed in glass jar. Inside were several thin, red ob-
blonde curls. I blinked, and before my mind jects. They looked like rusty wires, per-
could get up to speed, my mouth had haps 40 gauge.
opened. The words "Oh, bugger," fell out, "What's that, then?"
followed immediately by, "I died and this "Your blood. When that knife cut you, it
is heaven, isn't it?" somehow made your blood turn into...
OFTHEAEON SOCIETY+++++++++++++++++++ 17

this. They pulled these out of the veins in were much of a threat. They handled them-
your forehead. Lucky for you the blood selves well, but without those knives "
vessels up there are small. Primoris was "Ah,well, the technologicaladvantage!"He
stabbeddeep in the side, and a lot more of cluckedhis tongue softly."Scienceis ever an
his bloodgot... converted." unpredictablemistress.Not unlike-"
Cautiously,I sat up. Not too bad. "Is he "Do you know what was going on with
all right?" that smoke?" I interjected, not wanting to
"He's still in surgery. I couldn't quite hear the tribulations of his unusual roman-
followall that they were saying, but Dixon tic life.
and Tallon were concerned that a piece "Not smoke, my friend; dust. The knives
of... solidblood... might block a valve and produced the same dust that was on the
causea heart attack. That or get propelled floor of the lab."
into his brain and cause a stroke." "What was it?"
I slidmy legs toward the edge of the bed, "The dust is an oxide - the byproduct
then stopped when I realized I was wear- of a chemical reaction, like ash or, yes,
ingnothing but a hospital gown. "If you'll smoke. This particular reaction is ex-
excuse me," I said, "I think I'd like to put tremely dramatic and dynamic. Whatever
on my pants and have a talk with our at- those knives were made of, it sucks in vast
tackers." quantities of oxygen and traps it in an ox-
"Youcan join Mercer in that, when the ide."
policefinish up. Hurry though. His pants "Youmean those knives drew all the air
are alreadyon." out of the room?"
"Not the air, no. Just the part of it we
As I was leaving the clinic, a flawlessly need to live. Tell me, does your forehead
clean Bentley pulled up. A door opened, feel overexerted? Like you've been lifting
anaromaof cigars and leather wafted out, weights with your eyebrow~?"
and Dixon's voice floated up. "Need a "How'd you know?"
ride?" "Lactic acid, my friend. Our muscles
"Thanks, Prof." I got in, then jumped in produce it when they become oxygen-
alarmas paddedleather clamps hugged my starved. "
chest and thighs. "So when the knife cut me...?"
"A safety feature," he said. "I should "It reacted with the oxygen in your
havementioned." blood. Nasty, nasty stuff,"
I wondered what other "features" he'd "Is that why my guns misfired?"
addedto Max's treasured auto but kept my He nodded. "No oxygen meant the gun-
questionsto myself. "When I said thanks, powder couldn't ignite,"
I meantformore than just the ride. Thanks "What are those knives made of, then?"
for savingmy life." "Well, that's the interesting thing. Such
"Ah,well, that. I'm sure I can count on prodigious rates of oxidation are quite sim-
youto 'pick up the next round,' as it were. ply unheard-of. Whatever it is, it's a com-
Besides,I really was looking for a chance pound or element unknown to man,"
to test the Dynamic Gluten Ejaculator."
"The what?" The swarthy assassin sat, one hand
"Aglue gun I'd been toying with." A cuffed to a wooden chair. Blood trickled
smile played around the corner of his from the corner of his mouth, and one eye
mouth."Wewound up with..." was swollen shut. Seeing the direction of
"...let me guess. Six hardened crimi- my gaze, Sergeant Murtry narrowed his
nals?" eyes and said "He fell,"
He frowned, disappointed. "Four. "Chicago jails have such slippery.
Primoriskilled two before they got him. I floors," Mercer replied. He said nothing
guessthey didn't consider me as much of more, but he fixed the officer with his
a threat" steely gaze, and the hulking cop flushed
"Turnabout'sfair play. I didn't think they and turned away.

qq,U tfre cor8itrllp invlte8 to tr scienttflc e.xhibition oj the greatest im;rltmce. @ 8o not
i '
@sap that this 8iscoverp coul8 ;tent1i:rllp change the worl8ftrever CJ{;;r am
'@ trpin toflatter pOll when @sap that pou are in tr;sltion to help make those changes tr realitp.
~/Mse trtten8 the 8emonstrtrlion oj mp ulluric G!i.ngine trt mp ltrbortrtorp in O\91;st I
$2on80non 21 eJulp '.922 tffI8 8iscuss the impbMtltJns oj this grtffl8 8iscoverp.
@Jpoutfre conPtJrstffltwith current 8CPtJlopmentsin the phpSiCdI sciences.pou will have rea8 I

IfrJIMrof the thMrp that the Mcuum itse!! has energp to it.. that there is energp even in
~ I
nolhinynessf@fpou trre not consi8er that even nothingness has cMrtrcteristics that 8ejine it"
Iet/!fth.wilJth,brM8th, tiflle, @j energp if /Jolm8up In the phpslMI 8imensltJns oj mailer, tIS
Giinftein fO brillitffltlp sMwe8. then it sltm8s to rtwson that energp is trlso boun8 up in the
pltjJsiMllJimenfionfof sp:rce-lime itse!! @fenergp CtffI 8qorm S/dce tffI8 time, tIS @.,insteins
!feneraltheorpof re/trtivitp ;stultrtes. thef/s;n-ce tffI8 time CtffIstore energp. @.U/te simple oncepou
!fetopcrthe cI'jJJWent
nonsense involve8 in the i8ea tMt in nothing there is something:
rchif ene'1!! of nothingness @ Cdll telluric energp. ~itertrllp, energp oj the ~th, .
althou!fhIt in truth,!foesftrr bepon ~th itself tr sort oj cosmic mckgroun8 energp tMt
;r:rmMtestIll e$lstence. much tIS we once thought the trether 8i8 ~ ulluric @.,ngine 8raws.
or willlJr([//7,uJn this secminglp limitless source oj ;wer! ~ e.x/Xfriments to 8trte show tMt
this telluric ener. results in more ener. rom.. '/, .

fMlnltrinthe IntC!fT11pof realil/l.b?J~lf/ce the universe is unima!flntrblp vdjtsol~ilhe$JJpplp qf

et/ergptint IfIIIJ1
be obldine8 In this wap.
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mpl/Mllonsfirr bepon8 the &tfflCCfIlen(ojs.C!Ie.11M A iimfji!omorr"JP/l(!q!r4ns'tffl8 @ w(lul8 wish
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- excerpt from The Times, 22 July 1922
Death Toll Unknown; Famous Inventor Lost

One of the most distinguished members of capacitors or the batteries; we may never know.
London's scientific community, albeit one of Fire swept through the lab in seconds and spread
its most eccentric, is no more. Dr. Sir Calvin to the rest of the manor in mere minutes. Curiously,
Hammersmith perished in a fire at his Bushy a peculiar ripple effect created a pocket of calm in
Park home late last night. He was in the pro- which some of us sheltered, but those so unfortu-
cess of demonstrating a new scientific appara- nate as to stand outside were incinerated instantly.
tus to the sort of cosmopolitan, eclectic audi- "Dr. Hammersmith stayed by his machines,
ence so familiar to those granted the opportu- desperately attempting to activate dampers or other
nity to participate in his salons. This time, how- safety measures. I must make it clear that at no
ever, something went tragically wrong. point was there anything foolish or careless in his
American scientist Professor Benjamin demonstration. Indeed, he showed profound cour-
Franklin Dixon, onetime assistant of Dr. age. His self-sacrifice did, in fact, save us, as in his
Hammersmith and known to many in this city final minutes some compensatory system damped
for his own scientific demonstrations, gave us down the fire for just long enough to let those of
this account, refined for public presentation by us in the calm pocket flee outside. He turned to
your reporter. join us, but a second surge burst over him. He died
"After a short introductory lecture, Dr. on the spot.
Hammersmith turned on his 'telluric energy' ac- "I and the other survivors mourn his passing
cumulators. As his special battery apparatus and regret also the loss of the unique scientific in-
charged, he demonstrated a variety of measur- sights that he had not yet shared with the rest of
ing tools, to chart the movements of what he the world."
hoped would be a revolutionary new power It is unclear at present how many attendees
source. The moment the batteries reached full perished in the tragedy.Thankfully, none of the sur-
capacity, well..." vivors were seriously injured. Examination in lo-
At this juncture, Prof. Dixon became un- cal hospitals showed no major burns or other dam-
derstandably moved. He valiantly gathered him- age, and individuals suffering trom smoke inhala-
self after a moment and continued: "Unfortu- tion and the like were treated and released this
nately, the device exploded. Perhaps it was the morning.

AEON SOCIEIYfor Gentlemen

The fon
- from the journals

of Whitley Styles
Doni9halhas called. He asked if I had heard from Maxwell Mercer, since the events at
HammersmithI haven't heard from Max since just before the two of them 'eft for London,
owdl tole/him this. He said that Maxwell has been missing since right after the event, and no
onehas heard from him at all. I've promised to be on the next boat to London, to look into this
disappearancemyself Mrs. Austin will be disappointed, but her jewels can wait.
January. I'll'
He's gone, without a trace. I've tracked every false hope, wild goose and red
herring in England and have come no closer to finding Maxwell Mercer. 1t is as if the
manhas disappeared into thin air. Apparently, no one has seen or talked to him since
the Hammersmith Affair. Vonighal cabled me from the rar East, saying he's had no
luckand not to waste my time. I've booked passag e on a fast liner back to America
for tomorrow.Perhaps Mercer's returned there. I'm a little worried - Mercer's a I
toughone.but this is truly unusual, even for him. I
March.19Z' I
I've given up the search, though reluctantly. Months have passed, and I'm no I
closerto findingMercer. I haven't heard from Vonighal in weeks, and the last tele-
grammakesme think he's giving up as well. I can't keep looking, for other matters
requiremy attention. such as Mrs. Austin's jewels. /'IIjust have to keep hoping Max
wilt turn up. 1
Maxis back.Let me write that again - Maxwell Mercer is back. I can't think of II
anyoneelse who could have so completely hidden from me for months and then
poppedup right under my nose in Chicago. He's been in the care of Vr. Primoris for
the lastfew months, but he can't remember how or why he ended up there. Amnesia
saysthe Doctor.I'm not sure, but I think Mercer might have introduced Primoris to
me.backwhen he rescued me from the Thuggee. The Voctor seems familiar, at least,
andhasapparently known Mercer for years.
We'regoingout for steak tonight, to celebrate the sudden return. Max says he's
hadsometime to think and wants me to consider joining him on a new venture. I'm
lookingforward to hearing this. It's good to have my friend back.

- excerptfrom The July 19th, 1923

lEonSocietyfor Gentlemen Promises Big Things
- Notedphilanthropist and adventurer Maxwell Anderson Mercer announced
yesterdaythathe was opening a new gentleman's club, the JEon Society for Gentlemen, here in
Chicago."Weare looking for people of an adventurous nature who are interested in exploring
thenewworldsaround us," Merc
MaxwellMercerhas been instrumental in funding and leading expeditions into the darkest
partsofAfricaand South America.

AEON SOCIEIYfor Gentlemen

The First Months
- from the journals of Whitley Styles
July. 19Z3

-The First Meeting

That was some steak din-
ner. Max seemed on fire. more tr8D8cript of llaxnll 118rO8r', remark8. .JUl7
so than usua~ Whatever hap- 21'10. 1923
pened to cause his amnesia. it I would like to call this meeting to order and
certainly did no harm to his beginwith a short speech.
mind, I don't think I was half- I asked y~ to join the on Society for Gentle-
way through my steak before men because each Of you represents the best chance
he spilled the beans. His grand the world has of answering the q)18stion IIWby?1IW
scheme: gather a group of brave. are not just a soc~l club. but an organization
intelligent and open-minded dedicated to answering that .q)18stion by explori:o
people who. together, will ex- the mo1steries of the world around us. Weare out not
plore the world, "Not necessar- to remake the wo>rl<1.but <;to>;~derstand it and to
ily the best at what they do. share our knowle~eso tha,jothers 11.IBYbuild their
Whitley," he said to me. "though own futures.
I'm sure many of them will be To that end, '!f:"il'J.,t1~~~!!\'I_:n, vigilan-
tes or a Star CbaDib'r. passing :nt on mankind
that. No. the best people for this
will be the ones who ask why
and want to find the answer:'
from our wood~lined . . We will be delvers into
mo1stery, exploJ#'~IIi,..~..a.}leekera Of hid-
Part of me thinks it's mad- den truths. By unde our world, we can pre-
ness. but then. so many of vent others fromlij,V:trting1tfl. secrets 1;0 their OlD
Mercer's best ideas have al- ends. ifu1
ways been tinged with madness. .Along the way, we will conflict with those wh
It was madness for a single man seek power for its own.ends. who oppress the weak
to take on the Thuggee, all for and abuse the defenseless. We will deal with those
a lost boy. Yet. that turned out people as we come upon them, with mercy where pos-
well for both of us, I'm sure his sible and decisive action where not.
new idea will too, Max has al- We are here at the dawn of a new age, and 11m
ready put together a list of proud to have you with me.
likely recruits. and he wants me
to contact some of them. When
I asked why there were women
on the list. he said "You must dis-
abuse yourself of the notion
that the fairer sex is suited only
for certain things. Whit. my boy,
Women are as capable as men
in discovering the wonders that
await us in the wide world,"

We've had the first real rumpus in the club, Stefokowski and Tallon had some heated
worclswith Annabelle, She didn't like how they'd treated her during that affair in New
Orleans,and they hadn't liked how she'd ignored their orders. Mercer ended the whole
argument,pointing out that Annabelle had earned the nickname "Crackshot" for good reason.
Stefokowskigrudgingly admitted that Annabelle had saved them in the end and made peace.
Tallongrumbled a lot. but I think he'll come around.
Max has been pushing himself nonstop since the first meeting. While half of us were
muckingaround in New Orleans, he and that reporter Gettel were off in Haiti battling the
undead (f'm amazed I just wrote that word. and not in jest!) Since he's been back, he's
sketchedup a new two-way radio device for 'Professor Dixon to perfed, purchased an office
in Londonfor the Society and has me lookinginto recent disappearances in the meat district.
I suggested to Mercer that he slow down, and he gave me a typical reply 'This is a bold
time,Whitley. No time to waste enjoying it. We've got work to do!" f'm not sure why he's
puttingso much energy into this. I can't see it taking more than a year or two to find all the
answers,after all.
October. 19Z'
Mercer and Stefokowski stopped into the
- excerpt from The Chicago Sun, club today to see how the construction was
September21st, 1923 coming along. Jake managed to corner me,
giving me a run down on how he and Mercer
EXPLOSIONROC.KS had managed to save the day in Mexico City.
As always, somehow, his plane and flying skills
DOWNTOWN figured prominently. Glad he's still aboard,
NoFatalities In Late Night though - his planes make traveling much
easier. ,
BombBlast We're making a lot of progress. I think.
CHICAGO - An ~](plQSiQ:O The attack suggests we 're bothering the right
residential neighborhood of WiG types of people. I was surprised no one quit
the early hours of this morning, on us. Mercer just gave me an "I told you so"
the main floor of the. Mercer home.
look and commented on these people being
reportno deaths or injuries, tl101.1gh,damage the type to do something about it, not sit
is estimated to be into the thousands of doI~
around and watch. He's right. of course. Af-
lars. ter all, f'm one of them.
The Mercer home was the headquarters
of the lEon Society for Gentlt:J;11.I::~. November. "IZ,
opened a few months ago. Its memb It's been four months, and no one is dead.
includes Jake "Danger Ace" Stefokowski, I'm amazed, sometimes, at the scrapes we
"Safari" Jack Tallon and Annabelle manage to escape.
"Crackshot" Newfield. The president oftl1e Stefokowski crashed in the Yukon and
Society is noted philanthropist Maxwell managed not only to survive, but came out
Mercer,who made his family residence avail- with the F'urry Man in one piece. Safari Jack
able to the club.
Tallon led that Smithsonian expedition into the
Police speculate the bombing may bejI). Congo, and when it all went bad, he escaped
retaliation for the recent arrests of several
by intimidating the locals. I barely made it
crimefigures, based on evidenceU11.c()vet~d out of San F'rancisco after my run in with
by Maxwell Mercer. the Ubiquitous Dragon and his Dragon's Coil
Tong. And we nearly lost Annabelle to a stunt
during the filming of a movie in Los Angeles.
I'm pretty sure Safari Jack got a little
carried away with those locals, so Max has

AEON SOCIEIYfor Gentlemen

"HOPE" z,
been reminding us not to take any of it personal/y, that we're not pursuing personal vendet-
tas or out to force people to change. After aI/, the fEon Society is not a secret government
and has no intention of becoming one. We fight against secrets.
Some of the secrets we've uncovered have 'eft me in shock. and I'm not sure even
Professor Dixon is accepting at face value some of the stories we're reporting. I'm not
talking about the ones where Danger Ace again manages to save the day with his plane,
either. Lost worlds, people with strange abilities, secret organizations I never suspected -
everything goes into the files.
Mercer tel/s us that these files are the measure of our success. We're not keeping any
secrets, so they're open to anyone. So far. not many have asked to see the files. Sarah. of
course. when she's in town, but no other reporters. I'm not sure if I'm glad or worried. If some
of what we'd discovered made it into the papers, it'd mean panic. At the same time, I think
people should know what's going on.
I think Mercer is right to keep things on the up and up. It'd be easy to forget we're doing
good things if we hid from the public eye. The fact that only the newspapers are interested
in what we're doing is disappointing. but others will come around.
I've been treating this as a bit of a lark, but I think I had better talk to Max. Maybe I can
do more.

Max just returned from Macao, and already, he's thrown together an impromptu meet-
ing. Somehow. he knew that everyone had just made it back into Chicago, and somehow. he
was already on top of the question everyone was going to ask. .Whit, I should have thought of
it before. We're not the police. but we've got to do something with the people we stop: he
said to me almost as soon as he came through the door. I guess some of my mail reached him.
There are already many suggestions being thrown around. Professor Dixon suggested
we set up a psychiatric facility, to study the nature of the people we're up against. Tallon has
offered one of his remote compounds in East Africa or Arabia as a location. Stefokowski
asked why not just turn them over to the police, so I pointed out that many of these people
aren' t guilty of any local crimes. How do you charge someone for developing a "death ray"
before they use it?
Mercer's given the go-ahead on the psychiatric facility, saying "it's not enough to under
stand the wonders of our world, we must understand the people who experience them.H

January. 19Z'I
Mercer's idea of having us spend Christmas together was perfect. It was like a second
family. We're all committed to this cause, driven by Mercer's dedication. It's infectious - I
even saw Jack crack a smile or three. We're doing something good here. and I'm part of it. I
can hardly wait to see what's next.

AEON SocIE1Yfor Gentlemen

Zlf "HOPE"
1ellwu:c C:
IlpIUL I, 192/1.
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IIjn~ ternate.Ca.'~tl. :If.c..tllo'b.t1i.:.'t.''~
Theories in QpantumPhyslcs."
b7Prot...or farl iDlts
Current 8tudies into the Dature of the atom point toward a mathematical
description of the wave Dature of electrons and. otherpar;1cles. This paper
will pre8ent an arggmel1~foJ;1n~erpr.tation of these phcmOmeDa1nv1>1ving a
field of energy we are able to measure. This field,
to be called the probability stream, permeates all reality at a level that
cannotnormally be observed using current technology and. scientific methods.
!ll matter and energy interact with the probability stream, which itself
shapesthe pattern of events.
Whileno qpantitative data will be presented in thisprelimizlary work,
efforte will be made to reconcile this new theoq with the proven aspects of
~rn :Ph1eiC8.The probability stream does not represent an aether-like abso-
lute reference frame. It mB1allow transmission of sigDals faster than the $Peed
of l1@ltthrough itself but ,in theory, Should not generate interactions in
normalenergyand matter that violate Einstein's special theoq of relativity.
192.1/. ..
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~ uMik WIne ~ '-UI JDUC;pl lighl BACK! Magic is real, and it
aiui4 H(J.
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4. i. out thete I- ,anyane la use. Jusl allend thl
halt, ~, aM aiL ~- ~ ,I"'.", (DiY)PRIer Balar, wha will
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tiOH ofr ;ne;t d-~. P"..'" Ilirea.MAlicis in ALLDIus, nal just thl
RICIIMEN Dlth8.fEan Saciety.
RIp"""". a'" UN-ALTERED dissemination
allhis IMPORTANT inlarmalian is ENCOURAGED.


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Gender: Series:
Nationality: Experience:
Allegiance: Vice: Virtue:
Nature: Inspiration:


Physical Mental Social
Archery ________OOOOO O  Awareness_______ OOOOO O  Disguise________OOOOO O 
Brawl _________OOOOO O  Investigation______ OOOOO O  Intimidation______OOOOO O 
Might _________OOOOO O  Navigation_______ OOOOO O  Style_________OOOOO O 


Athletics _______OOOOO O  Academics_______ OOOOO O  Animal Handling____OOOOO O 
Firearms _______OOOOO O  Bureaucracy______ OOOOO O  Interrogation______OOOOO O 
Legerdemain _____OOOOO O  Engineering_____ OOOOO O  Savvy__________OOOOO O 
Martial Arts _____OOOOO O  Linguistics _____ OOOOO O  Subterfuge______OOOOO O 
Melee ________OOOOO O  Medicine________ OOOOO O  ____________OOOOO O 
Stealth ________OOOOO O  Science________ OOOOO O  _____________OOOOO O 
____________OOOOO O  Survival_______ OOOOO O  ____________OOOOO O 


Endurance _______OOOOO O  Arts___________ OOOOO O  Command _______ OOOOO O 
Resistance ______OOOOO O  Drive _________ OOOOO O  Etiquette______OOOOO O 
_____________OOOOO O  Pilot __________ OOOOO O  Perform ________ OOOOO O 
_____________OOOOO O  _____________ OOOOO O  Rapport ________ OOOOO O 

Backgrounds Knacks Soak
Allies____________ OOOOO O _____________________ Armor Rating (B/L) Penalty
Backing __________ OOOOO O _____________________ None ___/ 0 0
Cipher ___________ OOOOO O _____________________ ____ ___/___ ____
Contacts __________ OOOOO O _____________________ ____ ___/___ ____
Followers__________ OOOOO O _____________________ Total: ___/___ ____
Gadget___________ OOOOO O _____________________
Influence__________ OOOOO O _____________________ Bruised -0 
Menagerie _________ OOOOO O _____________________ Hurt -1 
Mentor___________ OOOOO O _____________________ Injured -1 
Nemesis __________ OOOOO O _____________________ Wounded -2 
Reputation_________ OOOOO O _____________________ Maimed -3 
Resources _________ OOOOO O _____________________ Crippled -4 
Sanctum __________ OOOOO O _____________________ Incapacitated 
 Destructive Facet O O O O O 

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