This may be my last will and testament, so treat it carefully, and make sure the right people see it.
Best, and thanks for taking a chance on publishing my stuff,
Some Unknown Members of the Wold Newton Family
“Good Heavens, Holmes! Those are the Branches of a Giant Family Tree!”
by Jess Nevins
“We are trapped in a wilderness of mirrors” – James Jesus Angleton
The story I have to tell is not an easy one to relate or to hear, so those of you reading this who are of delicate temperaments or are unwilling to have your preconceived notions of reality and history overthrown should put down this paper or turn off your computer now. What you are about to read will upset you. What you are about to read lays bare not one but two monstrous conspiracies, one of which is dead and gone. The other is living and breeding and holding the reins of modern life. I may not survive the publication of this document–hell, I’m surprised that I’ve survived the researching and writing of this article–but as long as enough people read my writings and understand the truth of what I have to say, I will be content, and can die satisfied.
This story begins centuries ago, in Europe. But for stories such as these we must begin in the proper, traditional way. Once upon a time, long ago and far away, there were two cousins, both heir to the throne, and one hated the other.
Enough of that. I’m here to tell the truth, not some fairy tale. I’ll let Professor Lofficier take it from here:In Bel Demonio, which chronicles events taking place between 1625 and 1655 in Sicily in the region of Monteleone, Paul Feval tells us how François Vitelli, heir to the title of Count of Monteleone, was murdered by his jealous cousin Ercole Vitelli, under the very eyes of his son Andrea.After getting his revenge, and reclaiming his rightful title, Andrea of Monteleone went on to become a powerful Sicilian nobleman and, undoubtedly, a leader in the local proto-Mafia organization which some historical documents trace to the Sicilian rebellion of 1282 known as the Sicilian Vespers
Andrea managed to escape, and returned fifteen years later, now calling himself Bel Demonio (Beautiful Demon), and being the leader of a gang of bandits. Feval tells us that Andrea Vitelli was also connected with the religious order of the Frères de la Merci (Brotherhood of Mercy), a dark and mysterious sect, particularly present in Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. It is the Brothers of Mercy who later educated and trained Joseph Balsamo at their convent of Caltagirone in Sicily. One also remembers that the pendant worn by Colonel Bozzo of the Black Coats is called the Scapulary of Mercy...
In 1795 Mario de Monteleone, Andrea’s descendant (or, if Prof. Lofficier’s theory is correct, Andrea himself), founded the secret society known as the Companions of Silence. This was a consolidation of de Monteleone’s criminal empire, but it was also a conspiracy. Its aims remain unclear, but we know that in 1795 de Monteleone was a part of the conspiracy to determine the fate of Europe. The conspirators did so in that year by ordering Napoleon Buonaparte to put an end to the French Revolution.
Following Napoleon’s rise to power, de Monteleone founded another secret society, the Companions of Mercy, in 1802. After a temporary defeat in Naples in 1813, de Monteleone moved to France and continued his conspiracy, his group creating several sub-groups, including the dreaded “Habits Noirs,” the “Black Coats.” Posing as “Colonel Bozzo-Corona,” de Monteleone, led the Black Coats in their war against society through the 19th century.
The final fate of de Monteleone and the Black Coats has never been documented; the last record of de Monteleone’s duel with his arch enemy, Doctor Lenoir, did not include an account of their final clash.
To date this has, for most researchers, remained a curiosity of 19th century France’s history, something to be mildly amused by and nothing more. However, the truth is not so amusing. The conspiracy did not end, even with de Monteleone’s death. It continued, lasting into the 20th century.
One of the ultimate goals of the Companions of Silence was simply to gain power for its own sake, of course, but another goal, one perhaps not shared by all of the Companions, was to create a new society, a more revolutionary community–a better world. (One ruled by the Companions) Towards this end certain members of the Companions began a eugenics program, to improve their members and ultimately improve the human race. In the words of one of their descendants,they created a new kind of diet, a new learning system, a radically original exercise regime, and began to apply it to their own children. Each new generation was stronger, and stranger, than the last.Unfortunately, little is known about this generations of super-children. It might be supposed that as many or more of the children were born deformed as were born with extraordinary abilities; the Companions would have had a limited pool of members to breed with and to raise, and there would inevitably have been some gene-crunching and stillbirths because of the limited gene pool from which they worked.
Presumably some of the more notable figures from the 19th century were products of the Companions’ breeding scheme; it might be supposed that the inventor/explorer Marcel Duclos, the inventor Thomas Roch, the scientist Gaston Lesage, the detective (and former partner to Sexton Blake) Jules Gervaise, the explorer the Baron de Guéran, and the Parisian policeman Louis Tuevoleur came from the Companions’ program.
It has been established that one member of the Companions of Silence was the shadowy figure "Master Janus," who had a hand in the upbringing, training, and eventual downfall in the 1820s of the German count Axel Auersberg. Master Janus seems also to have been in some way involved in the selection and execution of the Companions' eugenics program.
There is some reason to believe that Rocambole, the villain and later hero of mid-19th century France, was a product of this program. Rocambole was an orphan, having been adopted earlier in his life by Maman Choupart, an older woman of vile temperament. However, research in the City Archives of Paris has revealed that Rocambole's association with Maman Choupart began in 1830, following the riots in Paris during that year. The riots, like those in the city in 1848, left
many children orphans, and Rocambole, only 9 or 10 at this time, was one of them. He seems to have had no memory of his true parents, although that may have been his subconscious at work, sublimating his happier memories so as to best deal with the horrible reality of growing up under Maman Choupart. But research among the accounts of the last members of the Companions of Silence has shown that the 1830 riots separated several children, all products of the eugenics program, from the Companions, and it may reasonably be supposed that Rocambole was one of them.
Interestingly, research in the Archives of the Chasseurs d'Afrique has revealed a portrait of "Cigarette," the beloved heroine of the detachment of Chasseurs in Algeria in 1860. Even accounting for artistic exaggeration, there is an undeniable facial similarity between "Cigarette" and Rocambole. "Cigarette" was a child heroine in the 1848 riots, but was orphaned during them, and seems not to have had any memories about her parents. She was a woman of extraordinary talents. She shares in common with Rocambole more than just visual similarities and attractiveness. Both were quite capable, competent, accomplished within their spheres, and both seem to have been the children of the same, unknown parents and the product of the Companions' eugenics program.
"Cigarette," of course, famously died in Algeria in 1860. Rocambole was active for decades, beginning in the early 1840s. He led two lives. The first was as a villain, a schemer with his mentor, Sir Williams. During this time he helped Sir Williams in his plot to steal the sizeable inheritance of Armand de Kerghaz, and eventually killed both his mother, Maman Choupart, and Sir Williams. He was eventually imprisoned (more on this below) and his second life began on his escape from the hard-labor penitentiary of Toulon in 1859. In his second incarnation he waged war on evil, having undergone a conversion of the spirit after his release, and fought against some of the deadliest and evil men and groups known to France.
Although Rocambole's final fate has not been established, it has been proven through birth records found in Paris and London that he had at least two children, both during the first, evil phase of his life.
Her daughter was fathered on Elizabeth Mocksite (1826-1854). Mocksite was a Comanche by birth who'd been taken from her people, the Hill Pines tribe, by raiding Anglos. Mocksite had been brought to an orphanage for "recovered" Native American children in Cincinnati, was never adopted, and was turned out of the orphanage at age 18, as was the custom. Although she gained a job as a maid in one of the larger houses in the town, she was fired from the job and thrown out of the mansion for thievery, a crime she in all likelihood did not commit. (One cannot help but think that her ethnicity was the reason for this charge) Having no resources, few friends, and no way of getting any sort of work, she decided to use the only thing left to her to earn money.
She became a prostitute, trading sexual favors for money or, more often, material objects (guns or food, for example) or passage on trains and ships. Mocksite was a strong-willed woman who had decided that she wanted to see as much of the world as possible, especially France; she was determined to become a demi-mondaine in Paris. She made her way there and within a few weeks struck up a relationship with Rocambole, but his life kept him moving, and he left her before she learned that she was pregnant by him. She was left with his child growing in her belly and enough money to live comfortably through her pregnancy but not enough to leave Paris, so she stayed in the city to give birth to the child, who was born Marie Sanspere (1846-?).
Rocambole's second child was fathered on Alyssa Dedalus (?-1854), an Irishwoman from Dublin. Dedalus, unlike her Elizabeth Mocksite, had a family, but due to "improper" behavior on her part as a teenager they had cast her out and declared her dead to them. Abandoned by her lover and possessing no job skills she was forced to prostitute herself. She met Rocambole in London in 1851, after he had been exiled to England following his defeat in the Club des Valets de Coeur affair. Dedalus and Rocambole had a short affair, him leaving her when she informed him of her pregnancy. Their child Seamus (1852-?) was born in the middle of the next year.
It was in 1854 that the remaining members of the Companions of Silence caught up with Alyssa Dedalus and with Elizabeth Mocksite. As mentioned, the Companions had lost track of Rocambole and several other children following the 1830 riots. The Companions had seen this as a potentially critical defeat for their breeding program and had spent the intervening years first searching for the lost children and then, once found, tracking them. The Companions' thought was that it was too late to raise the now-grown children in their fitness and training program, but that the children of the lost generation could be taken and trained. On finding Rocambole, they kept watch on him and investigated his background. They determined that only Mocksite and Dedalus had borne children by Rocambole. They then saw to it that Rocambole was apprehended, working behind the scenes with the former courtesan Baccarat to ensure his capture. The Companions then killed Mocksite and Dedalus, took their children, and raised them in their training program.
A few years later the Companions had the children sent to America. By this time (1861) the Companions' numbers were beginning to dwindle, and the decision was made to establish a new branch in America, to continue the conspiracy. It was thought that in the chaos of the American Civil War the Companions could connive their way to a position of power. However, the children's aging keepers had no luck in finding recruits for the conspiracy, so that by the time Seamus and Marie were the early 1870s they were alone (or so they thought).
The pair married, both believing in the Conspiracy and being determined to serve it. They produced three children.
Child #1: Albert
Their first child, Albert (1872-1927), was sent back to Paris as an infant to rejoin the Companions. He was raised there by them to propagate the line and continue the Companions' slow ascent to power. However, two shocks disrupted this plan. The first was the death of Master Janus in 1870 and the death of the last Old One in 1873, which deprived the Companions of their most trusted and knowledgeable advisors. The second was the Schnaebelé affair, in 1887, in which the French commissaire de frontière was accused by the Germans of espionage. This brought the tensions between France and Germany to their worst point since the Franco-Prussian War and was nearly the cause of mobilisation by both side. The Companions, feeling that they needed agents in Germany, had Albert sent to Berlin, where he was directed to place himself in the German government once he reached his 21st year and to begin working his way to power there.
However, Albert was too willful and ambitious, even as a teenager, and after establishing himself in Berlin and making contact with a criminal gang there he had his Companion handlers murdered. He then began a slow rise to power in the German underworld, first as an advisor to the most powerful gang in Berlin, then as its leader, and then as the premiere boss of the underworld. He became known as "Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler." He was successful for several decades before finally going insane and dying in 1927.
Child #2: Jeanne
The second child by Marie and Seamus, Jeanne (1880-?), was sent to Paris when she was 7, following the Schnaebelé affair, and was groomed to become the mistress of various Presidents of France. However, like her brother she was too strong-willed to submit to the control of the remaining Companions, and in 1894 she seduced the main bodyguard of the leader of the Companions' Parisian cell, induced him to kill the Companions' Parisian leaders and membership, and struck out on her own. She traveled around Europe and the Mediterranean over the next 10 years, returning to Paris in 1905 and establishing her own criminal gang, "Les Vampires." For the next decade she and her gang terrorized Parisian High Society, victimizing only the rich. She was widely known and feared as the "notorious arch-villainess Irma Vep." "Irma Vep," however, is only an anagram, and in no way to be regarded as her true identity.
It might be wondered, at this point, how the organized crime structure of Paris reacted to her presence. We can only guess, but it seems likely that the sudden departure of Hanoi Shan, aka "Fu Manchu," from Paris might have had something to do with the presence of Jeanne's hostile and powerful criminal organization. In 1910, however, the infamous arch-fiend Fantômas began his criminal operations in Paris, and he and his gang of "apaches" seems to have been too much even for Jeanne to overcome. We will never know, but we can surmise that some kind of agreement was reached between them, with Jeanne turning over to Fantômas a share of her profits in exchange for Fantômas not having Jeanne killed.
In 1915 "Les Vampires" were finally caught and broken, forcing Jeanne to fake her own death and to leave Paris. Her whereabouts following her departure from Paris are unknown, although it has been speculated that she later posed in the mid-1930s as the adventuress Nila Rand.
Child #3: James Anthony
The third of Marie and Seamus' children was James Anthony (1900-?). By the time he was born the Companions' numbers were greatly reduced, and Marie and Seamus, seeing the lack of success their European counterparts had had with their other children, decided to raise James themselves, in Houston, where Seamus was the Editor and secret owner of the Daily Star. James was an accidental pregnancy; although both Marie and Seamus had strength, endurance, and youthfulness greater than normal, they had had little success in breeding through the years. (It can be conjectured that the Companions' breeding program, especially its diet, led to decreased potency among its subjects, which might explain the lack of children produced in the program) Neither had planned on a pregnancy, Marie being past her childbearing years (or so they thought). But the breeding program had made them, as mentioned, stronger than normal, and Marie's pregnancy was easy.
James was their last chance at a child; although Marie's strength and endurance were greater than normal, neither she nor Seamus wanted to risk another pregnancy at her age. They also knew that James was, in all likelihood, the Companions' last chance at creating a super-man, the other surviving Companions not having had any success in breeding children. So Marie and Seamus threw themselves whole-heartedly into raising and training James in the traditional methods of the Companions' breeding program.
They succeeded, and James became a literal super-man, having heightened senses and strength, exceptional intelligence, and the ability to control his bodily functions and close wounds through the power of his mind. James was taught every subject imaginable which would help him to gain power in the world and mastery over men. His keen scientific mind showed an unusual aptitude for invention, and by the time he was 15 he was producing extremely advanced weapons and vehicle designs.
Unfortunately for Marie and Seamus, in James' eighteenth year he discovered the truth about his parents and their background. He had, as a child, secretly looked through one of their steamer trunks and found letters written to them from their fellow Companions in Paris. In 1918, frustrated at their unwillingness to allow him to intervene on the side of the Allies in World War One, James took one of his special "auto-gyros" to France. He saw that he would be unable to single-handedly shift the course of the war, and so gave up that notion. Before returning home, though, he decided to stop in and see Paris and visit his parents' "relatives." He went to the return address given on his parents' letters and found the Companions' Paris headquarters. It was a ruined apartment, destroyed (no doubt by order of Fantomas) and filled with decaying corpses. James searched the apartment and discovered large amounts of paperwork which not only described the Companions' plans for world power but also implicated his parents' in the conspiracy and described their relationship to each other.
Sickened by what he found, James flew home and confronted his parents. The ensuing argument turned violent after James swore to reveal what his parents and the other Companions had planned. Seamus and Marie, heartbroken at their son's betrayal (in their eyes) and alarmed at the damage he might do to the Companions, attacked James, who was forced to kill his mother and father to defend himself. (James' biographers necessarily glossed over this part of James' history; in addition to fictionalizing many of his deeds and giving him a "best friend," they deleted the unpleasant aspects of his family)
James, left with two dead parents, decided to devote himself to fighting what they had been and what their comrades had planned for the world, and became a crime-fighter. He buried his parents in a field south of Houston and after a suitable period called the police to report their disappearance. After the police investigation foul play was decided upon, but James was suitably heartbroken and so was not suspected. He was given ownership of the Daily Star, which he promptly turned over to the paper's editor, although he remained its silent partner. James then began touring the world, learning from various masters and training himself to become the ultimate weapon against evil. His training complete, he debuted in the late 1920s. He began on a small scale and behind the scenes, not gaining international attention and renown until the mid-1930s. At that time he was dubbed "Doc Brass" by the American media quickly gained international renown, and because of his deeply tanned skin and visual resemblance to Doc Savage. It is not known whether the two ever met, but they undoubtedly would have hit it off famously and surely approved of the others' actions.
By 1936 the reputation of "Doc Brass" was widespread; he was known around the world as a "murder man...a hunter of killers." But some years before something inside him had grown dissatisfied, for he knew that war was imminent and he was finally realizing that there would always be more monsters, both in human form and otherwise, and that it was not individual men who needed fixing but the world itself. At some point in the early 1930s he began planning much farther ahead than many of his kind. In 1936 he began withdrawing from active adventuring (although contrary to some accounts he never fully retired) and instead devoted himself to planning new paradigms for society and a better world for humanity.
Next: The Companions
The Modern Age
Some Unknown Members of the Wold Newton Family Tree