Share the Wine
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Headquarters of the United Nations
New York, United States of America
November 15th 1953
12h55

« Fuck them! Fuck them all! »

The voice of the Pr. Patrick V. Silverstein thundered across the whole building while he was hurtling down the stairs, furious. His assistant, Louisa Karlfeldt, was having a hard time following him in heels while keeping the gush of papers in place on her clipboard.

« Professor, the Global Occult Coalition is the future of the world paranormal politics. Our organization cannot affordnot to be among the Council of 108…

- A parody! A grotesque parody! hollered the professor jerking open the gates of the headquarters, his cheeks turning pink because of the cold air of the wintry exterior.

- They’re pursuing the same goals as us, added Louisa.

She bumped into the professor, which, hearing those words, had stopped bluntly and turned to face her.

A file concerning the soviet advancement in thaumaturgic weaponry came off the clipboard and fell silently in the snow.
Louisa felt the tears coming in her eyes.

The anger of Silverstein became surprisingly calm. Like the red-hot iron becomes white hot, he had surpassed the stage of the externalized and devastating wrath. He was now at the quiet and composed fury, sharp, piercing and even more terrifying because one could see behind it the shadow of a determination without limit, the shape of a mad hatred.

« We have nothing in common. They pretend neutralizing the parathreaths and destroying the Singularities. But what’s their Council of 108, eh? What is it?! »

He lowered his voice. Some things couldn’t be said loud and clear in public, not even in the heat of anger.

« The Bavarian Illuminati? The Servants of the Silicon Nornir? The New Round Table? That’s their council of specialists?! A bunch of clowns in long robes with even longer titles. They pretend to be important because their orders had been created ages ago and they have a few dusty books vaguely useful. Ah! The Coalition! They pretend protecting the world from the anomalous threath, but they shelter every marabout with more than ten years of existence! »

They both walked a few minutes in silence on the icy sidewalks of New York. Pr. Silverstein’s private apartments were only blocks away and the simple thought of the fireplace in this weather was enough to ease the minds.

« Yet, they obtain good results.

- Results. Results according to what, Louisa? They seize and destroy Singularities, good. They stop illegal network traffic and, above all, prepare World War Three. They clearly don’t have the same success criteria than SAPPHIRE. They clearly don’t have the good criteria. They try to protect Humanity from Singularities. We try to protect Humanity from itself. »

He opened the door of his building and courteously invited Louisa to enter first, before calling the lift. His status of scientific eminence in the field of occult quantic physics came with a non-negligible income and a most luxurious apartment on the top floor, overlooking Manhattan. The perfect place to enrage in peace.

« The LaVeyens were on your side, mentioned Louisa while pushing the button of the last floor.
The grid closed itself and the lift elevated gently.

« Ah! The LaVeyens. Yes, and the Representatives of Hidden Minority too. And the Parapsychics Consultants. And the New Age of Enlightenment. Those who wants the barrier between the religious and the profane to fall. They want the anomalous to be integrated in the normality. Utopists…

« Morons, he concluded when a ding was heard and the grid of the lift opened.

« They laugh at us, Louisa, continued the professor while searching his keys. We told them that we wanted to end religion. Permanently. And they laughed at us. Our world built itself around faith, according to them. We can’t tear the social fabric.

- So, according to them, we can kill God but it’s forbidden to touch the religion… whispered the assistant.

- That’s a good summary. And they don’t realize that the hand of a man guided by superstition does more damage everyday than a divine hand which would strike bystanders with a thunderbolt at random or turn cities in salt for fun. The Coalition is blind, Louisa. They believe they fight a disease while they caught it themselves. It’s blind to our rationalism. »

Silverstein put his coat soaking with melted snow on the rack, and invited Louisa to do the same.

« I’m going to order SAPPHIRE to withdraw from the Council of 108, exposed calmly the professor while sitting and pouring a glass of cognac for himself. I’m sure that a multitude of small Tibetan sects are craving to get in, they won’t have a problem to find a replacement. Make sure to communicate the news to our Lodges in Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Barcelona. They’ll pass the word to the secondary lodges.

- Back to being independent then, sir?

- Like the blessed time of SAPPHIRE’s formation. The funding from the UN might be missed, of course, but if others can manage it, we can too. It’s the humanity who needs us.

- The others, sir?

- Sit down, please. Of course, the others. All the independent organizations about which the Coalition worry so much, you know. The Serpent’s Hand, OBSKURA, the west-coast para-mafia, the SCP…

- I think we have to say the SCP Foundation, sir.

- Good for them. It’s very sad that they refuse to destroy the Singularities, but despite all the brilliant minds working there, they seems to persist in stacking them until they blow up.

- I understood that some of our members were working there, sir.

- I see you’re learning fast, noticed Silverstein while his crystal glass was filled with another belt of cognac. You’re only member of SAPPHIRE for two weeks and you’re drinking my words like I drink this… oh, I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t offer you anything to drink. The force of habit, you see. The little things we do when we get back home. You’ll have?

- A shot of Porto, if you have some, conceded the assistant.

- I have everything, said Silverstein while getting up from his leather armchair to head for his luxurious bar. So, we were talking about Science. The only true virtue. Those guys at the Foundation SCP are certainly fond of it, even if they’re doing it wrong with all their tests and safes. The eradications of Singularities to make place to the true Science, immutable and universal, here’s what the world need. And yes, we’re well informed about their doing given that a lot of our adherents work there, undercover. We keep ourselves informed about the coming and the going, for the moment. About relics, in particular. And we borrow them some knowledge about the less… common religious groups, we’ll say.

He went back to his chair with a Porto glass, the fitting bottle and a box of cigars.

« For the moment, of course. The day will come when they’ll have to be overthrown, and when all the Singularities they stock shall go back to the void… or, more carefully, until the day we will borrow them some of their little discoveries to find them a good use. Toppling Christianity for example. Look, for example… »

Silverstein opened the cigar box and showed its content to Louisa.
It clearly didn’t contain cigars.

« A… sponge, she noted laconically

-A sponge. A very old sponge. A relic. The Holy Sponge, exclaimed Silverstein while taking it in hand.
The sponge soaked with vinegar that would have been used by the Christ to quench himself during the Crucifixion, if we believe the texts. This is bullshit, of course, but the sponge is real. It’s one of the root of the evil, one of the Singularities, like the Graal or the Holy Lance, from which the New Testament came from. And look… »

He squeezed the Singularity, and a light liquid ran down his forearm.

« It never dries. In two thousand years, the posca which imbued it never went away. Because yes, we say ‘vinegar’, but it’s been chemically proven that it’s more of a very bitter wine. But that’s not all ! Our researchers from the Lodge of Brussels believe that it’s from this sponge that the myth of the water turned in wine might come. Because, you see, when you squeeze the sponge, focus on any other liquid in sight, and then release the pressure on the sponge, the aimed liquid will be turned instantly in posca. Like for example… »

His eyes went on the glass of cognac.

« …hum, no. Let’s say your cerebrospinal fluid instead. »

The hand of the professor opened, letting the sponge regain its size.
Louisa took her head in her hands while whining weakly. It was like her braincase was crushed by a masher. Her spirit too. Everything was getting blurred.

« Yes, I know, it’s never pleasant. Your brain is now bathing in alcohol. Or vinegar, that’s up to you, you’re the victim after all. The density of the liquid is different, its composition is starting to attack your brain cells… but slowly. No, what’s really lethal is that it’s not apt to receive the waste your brain produces anymore and it blocks the circulation of your neurotransmitters. The worst hangover of your life, I’m afraid.

« A murder in this fashion is very practical. Firstly, because it’s much more subtle than changing, let’s say, your blood. I can’t imagine what coroner will inspect your meninges to find the cause of your death. Secondly, because it’s a clean and slow death. You’ll start by having a meningitis, but you won’t feel the pain, don’t worry. Alcohol is a formidable anesthetic. You’ll stay conscious… about… a minute.

« That’s perfect, it gives me the time to clarify some things. No counterintelligence with us. We’ll have a lot to do after our scission with the GOC. And they probably won’t like us leaving them to go back to our little terrorist habits. They might take… sanctions against us. We will have to stay mobile, or well hidden. We will have to be subtle and efficient. Be fulgurous, like when a jeweler without protection get his eye pierced by a sliver of his own creation. And the Global Occult Coalition is without doubt the jeweler who found us rough and made us sharper, shinier than ever.

« In short, we’ll have a lot to do.

« We don’t need infiltrates from the SCP Foundation in our way. »


< 1943 | 1953 | 1963 >

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