Saturday, September 24, 2016



Jonathon met with emissaries  of the British paranormal community at the residence of the British consul in Philadelphia. It was a polished and tailored beaux arts place directly on Rittenhouse Square. He'd been there before, back when it belonged to a Sears and Roebuck heir. The dining room originally graced a later Medici palace in France and crossed the Atlantic just prior to the start of The Great War. Higher vampires, those from 'quality' have their place in Society. Oh, people know what they are, though it's never ever mentioned. Jonathon ben Macabi, also known as Tomas de Macabea stemmed from the Hasmonean Dynasty, second in all Israel only to The House of David. It's odd, people read the Bible. They see Saul, David, Solomon and assume that's basically all there was. A few other kings are mentioned, but nobody pays any attention to them. We read about The Herodians and The House of Maccabee,  as the Hasmoneans were known, yet who realizes that Hasmonean descendants are still with us today? Believe me, our vampire friend is not the only one. After the fall of Rome, client kings throughout the empire insisted on the careful compilation of family histories. It's all they had. Some found favor at the Persian court. That empire still survived. Indeed, scions from The House of David had a court in exile there... a very lively place too... and were known in ruling circles as 'the exilarch,' or Prince of The Exile. Hasmonean heirs were about in the world as well. Many lent their names and position to Northern communities in French, or what would later become German lands. Their status, though less exalted, still meant something. Muslim and Catholic rulers on the Iberian Peninsula were intimate with the ben Macabis. Had not our Jonathon fallen into Crusader hands and been rescued by 'Papa' (an uber vampire), he'd have spent his life as a Cordoban courtier, attending dinners and symposiums at the Alhambra and taken part in royal 'progressions,' or sumptuous mounted parades throughout the kingdom.

Our son of Al Andalus was basically a snob. Jonathon knew who he was and although very careful to ask after the comfort of others (aristocrats love to appear considerate), keenly protective of his own lofty estate.

So he called for this meeting and they all came. Grigory Usipov, that very regal Russian, vampire, oligarch flew in from Moscow. Haute 'magicians' from The Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn house in London, took a whole floor in The Ritz Carlton and a little known cabinet liaison from Washington showed up too. Each participant arrived separately in a plain, basic, Cadillac limousine. Everything was hush hush. Security was tight. In truth, the media had no idea. Some old time members of The Fourth Estate had an inkling, but also the good sense to keep quiet. A certain much celebrated magician from that Golden Dawn house threw a 'crystal fence' about the place. That venerable spell has never been breeched since the time of the first Pope Gregory.

Upon entering, each invitee was ushered up the wide stairway to the large sitting room on the second floor. Jonathon preferred that setting. Why make the situation seem more troubling than it already was? Here they could sit in club chairs and talk.  The auditorium was a place for lectures and a lecture was the last thing he wanted.

The paranormal world is an extremely volatile place. True magicians have little use for night-folk, or witches of a more rustic sort. Lesser breeds, like non-decomposing zombies were thought more diseased than enchanted. And lower forms, such as ghouls, true zombies and lucid wanderers were never received at all.

He had to make this congress of allies, as he called it, work. Grigori Usipov was to be second in command... a grand vizier, or secretary of state. Other members of the ruling council would be named at the conclusion of this meeting. Right away, the magicians were already talking ----- Oh, two vampires at the helm? Yada yada yada. Buzz buzz buzz. Jonathon pretended not to hear. Marcus Aurelius (yes, 'that' Marcus Aurelius) told him to be patient. The former emperor had friends in both camps. As a stalwart of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, he'd always favored consensus.... Many vampires and magicians thought he should lead. But Jonathon ben Macabi was known as a gentleman of true faith. His ancient royal blood provided him with a certain cache too. A group of paranormal types from Spain already referred to him as 'el rey.' Many older attendees still resented Rome. Marcus Aurelius, as honorable as he was, could never live that down. Extreme longevity presents problems of its own. Memories never die.

So they made their plans, or moved closer to making their plans... Doctor Franklin and his group made plans too.  A certain comely, newly minted, Korean vampirina lass was already en route to her East Asian assignment. But that group never considered that the mark in question had an eager first cousin who was even worse.

Global intrigue is a hard game...

And nukes trump paranormal any day...

<more next time>


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