Oxford, 1819

"Thank you for meeting with me again, Professor."

"What's on your mind, my man?"

"In your Protocols, on page 23, in Per Me reges regnant. I quote: "It is through me that kings reign."..."God has endowed us with genius that may be equal to the task. Were genius in the opposite camp it would still struggle against us, but ... a newcomer is no match for an old-established settler; the struggle would be merciless between us, such a fight as the world has never yet seen."
"You add that... "all the wheels of the machinery of all States are in your hands, and that the engine of the machinery is Gold.. Further, you say that nations can't come to even the smallest of private agreements without you secretly having a hand in it..."

"Elementary, dear Percy. What exactly is your point?"

"I have a few questions, Professor. It's known that your Legion, or Tribe, or Hidden Hand, whatever you want to call it, it's known that you have bought The British Throne, the Vatican, and you control the finances of the western world. Since the House of Normandy, William the Conqueror, in 1027, your "King" has sat on the British Throne; the whole of Europe is yours, except for Russia. The far east, and China play no part as yet. America, is your hidden, secret proxy corporation. The French Throne you destroyed in your instigated "French Revolution". - So you're sitting pretty.

But what if the eastern empires - perhaps a couple of centuries down the road - what if they end up more powerful than you when they join forces against your oppression?
You underestimate the genius of the Persian empire, or that of ancient China! Many of your tribe come from Russia, but you surely know that not all of them are on your side!"

"Stop boring me, my man, what are you driving at?"

"It's this! If it looks like you are losing against the eastern powers, will you take down the whole world? Like you did Atlantis? By water or fire, you shall again conquer all... it is said in ancient, secret books..."

"You are a visionary, dear Percy. An idealist of the highest order. How foolish to think that we'd do something as radical as we did against Atlantis. We take down rascally kingdoms in much smaller, natural catastrophes before they reach their full potential. You ought to study more to find the whole story. But when you do, what will you do with it? Again, as you already know, none of your foolish ruminations will see the light of day!

And don't forget, our Tribe likes to rewrite history...
Good day, Percy!"

* * *

Dresden 1829

"This was what dear Frederick witnessed. He was literally staring at them with his mouth hanging open; couldn't help himself he said. The exchange was polite yet fierce. Both speakers were apparently loud enough to bring all to their windows to hear."

"So the poet knew all that! I had no idea his research into the occult literature had progressed that far! Though, when you read Prometheus Unbound in view of this exchange, you'll see it's more like 'Prometheus Unleashed'! It's all there - between the lines. It's nothing like the playful original of Aesculapius, wouldn't you say, Stauber?"

"Yes. Nothing playful in Shelley's version. You see him struggle against an infinitely mighty enemy and the protagonist knows that he has already lost against this force..."

"Stauber, you never mentioned that these meetings had all been prearranged by the poet; he obviously wanted witnesses. And the professor was in agreement with that."

"Well, when you see the last account, which is what I witnessed, you'll know this last meeting was a different story. A chance meeting."

"Did you bring it. Stauber?"

"Sorry, Countess, I never travel with more than one document, in the event that I'm captured, physically accosted, or arrested. You understand that precautions need to be taken."

"Of course, dear friend, you are entirely right.
So how soon can we travel to Hamburg to meet with Hans's mother?"

"Frau Anderson suggested to wait till the end of the month before we travel. She's an interesting lady, totally unlike somebody's elderly mother. But then Hans is an unusually gifted man. Oh, I so hope that he's still alive!"

* * *

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