Information on the Three is, understandably, hard to come by. Not only are they secretive individuals to begin with, they are also forced to conceal themselves from the forces of the Greys, whose enemies they are and who have dealt them some significant defeats. And their backer, more on whom below, has significant reasons for remaining secret. But I am not without resources of my own, and have found some information on the Three.
The first member of the Three, and the one I know the least about, is called “The Drummer.” I have found no background information on him, and apart from his extraordinary skill with computers and machinery I can tell you nothing about him.
The second member, who I’m led to believe is called “Jakita Wagner” by the other members of the Three, comes from a notable line, although some of her ancestors are not ones to be proud of.
In 1870 Israel di Murska, a Hungarian Jew, traveled with his wife to Russia to protest the treatment of Jews in Czarist Russia. Ironically, Russia at this time was undergoing a brief and rare period of liberality in its treatment of minorities, with the Emancipation Edict of 1861 and the zemstvo law of 1864 guaranteeing certain basic rights to Jews and other formerly oppressed and hated outsiders. Compared to the situation before and after their arrival, the di Murskas had chosen a very good time–again, relatively speaking–for the Jews in Russia. Unfortunately, he and his wife were somewhat notable and very outspoken, and so came to the attention of the otherwise incompetent Third Section, the Russian political police force. The di Murskas were captured almost immediately on their entrance into Russia and separated. Israel was tortured for weeks and then sent to Siberia, where he was subjugated to hard labor so brutal that he was eventually paralyzed from the waist down. Israel’s wife, a great beauty, was given to a Siberian official and made his mistress. She died from shame and misery.
Israel was freed in 1880 and returned to Europe. He liquidated his considerable assets and moved to England, the rage and hatred for Russia burning ever-brighter in his heart. He brought his daughter Zalma (1864-1890) with him, leaving his son Stefan behind, and together they plotted an end to the Russian empire, Zalma being if anything more committed to the violent overthrow and destruction of the Czarist system than her father. They made two attempts to do so, each involving like-minded conspirators–the terrorist organization Terror, which plagued Russia through the last two decades of the 19th century–and neither successful.
The first took place in 1880, when Zalma discovered and seduced Richard Arnold. Arnold, an inventor, had discovered two liquefied gases which, when combined, exploded spontaneously, as well as a clockwork escapement which allowed for the propulsion of heavier-than-air crafts. Arnold’s discoveries, united with the di Murskas’ wealth, led to the construction, in 1881, of an armed dirigible, the Terror. Israel di Murska and various trusted members of Terror took the Terror to Russia in March of that year, leaving Zalma behind. The Terror fought its way through the Czar’s war balloons and bombed Moscow on March 13, killing Czar Alexander II.
This did not, however, bring about the great liberation that the di Murskas and Terror had anticipated for so long. The immediate reaction was a furious attack on the Terror by the remnants of the Russian air fleet. This attack failed, as the Terror’s guns were more than a match for the simple weapons of the Russian aerostats, but it delayed the Terror long enough for news of the Tsar’s assassination to reach Europe and England. When the Terror attempted to return to England, it was met over the North Sea by another airship, which engaged the Terror in battle and destroyed it. Whose airship this was is not known, but I suspect (wholly without proof, I admit) that the airship was the property of Her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria’s Secret Service, and that the Terror was shot down to prevent a successful attack on 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.
The second and more important reaction was the succession of Alexander III to the rule of Russia. Alexander III was a far more determined and conservative ruler than Alexander II had been, and the violent death of his father spurred on Alexander III to crush the revolutionary and terrorist movements plaguing Russia. This led to much greater repression than Russia had suffered from under Alexander II, with much increased repression of religious dissenters, Roman Catholics, Protestants, national minorities, and especially Jews. The pogroms in the Ukraine began soon after Alexander III’s succession to the throne, and the final effect of Israel di Murska’s act was to worsen the lot of the Jews in Russia, rather than to improve them.
Zalma, in England, did not appreciate this bitter irony, however. Her anti-Russian mania increased, and metastasized to include all the governments of Europe. She cast aside Arnold, having taken from him all that she saw as being useful–his ideas–and seeing him as an impediment. She was only 17 at this time, but was already a cold, manipulative woman. (Arnold went on to a mundane, successful life in the United States, with his oldest son, Richard, achieving some fame as a sportsman at Raritan College in 1919, 1920, and 1921) She befriended an English journalist and told her story to him; when it was published, years later, it was given a happy ending and the horrible aspects of the Russian system were greatly played up, though not inaccurately portrayed. The Russians, meanwhile, refused to admit that their security had been so badly compromised by one airship and informed the rest of the world that the terrorists who had killed Czar Alexander II were Russians, rather than extra-nationals.
Zalma then spent some years positioning herself to gain power to exact her revenge. She was secretly married to an English prince in 1889, but the prince, perhaps under the influence of Queen Victoria, had the marriage annulled before it was consummated. Infuriated at the failure of her plans, she returned to Terror, whose head she had become, and began laying plans for a sudden, violent overthrow of all the governments of Europe. In 1890 she attempted to make this a reality by placing Terror agents in every capital of Europe and then launching anthrax-laced balloons into the capitals, but she was stopped at the last minute by John St. Leger, an agent of the British government. who she had met earlier in London and with whom she’d carried on a brief affair. She was captured by St. Leger, but on being imprisoned was discovered to be pregnant by him. After the child was born Zalma committed suicide by taking poison. A different writer fictionalized the final years of her life, setting them in the future and making them slightly more palatable to the English reading public.
We will return to Zalma’s child momentarily. Zalma’s brother Stefan, meanwhile, had forged false documents for himself and emigrated to Russia, where by dint of great effort and subterfuge worked his way up through the ranks of the Russian military to become Count Pahlen, the Prime Minister of Czar Alexander III. In 1894, following an unsuccessful love affair with the Countess Ostermann (a distant relation of the already-mentioned Alsop Osterman) Count Pahlen carried out a successful coup, murdering Tsar Alexander III. Unfortunately, Count Pahlen did not anticipate that Nicholas II would act quickly to avenge his father, and Count Pahlen was executed less than a day after seizing power.
Zalma’s child, a daughter, was given to a British family and raised as “Sarah Wagner” (1891-1946). Sarah Wagner’s life was controversial by the standards of the day, including numerous love affairs and several avant-garde and Dadaist poems and plays. She bore out of wedlock a son, John Wagner (1915-1996), whose life was unremarkable. John Wagner’s son Joseph (1943-present) fathered Jakita (1974-present), who is the second member of the Three.
Jakita’s personal history and the circumstances under which she joined the Three are not known, and as with the other members of the Three I am unaware of their financial backing. I was unable to meet any of the Three, but there are scattered reports by witnesses of the Three and of Jakita. She is reportedly exceptionally strong, very tough, and very fast, more than capable of holding her own in a fight. Some reports, in fact, credit her with superhuman abilities, and while I’ve been unable to verify this such things are not, after all, unheard of. Given her ethnic background, she may possess genes altered from her ancestors’ exposure to the Suwahib meteor (see my aforementioned article on “An Extraordinary Family of the Wold West” for an exploration of this phenomenon), in which case she would be capable of super-human strength, speed, and invulnerability. I am not currently in the position to investigate the matter, but hope to later.
The third member of the Three, and the one with the most distinguished personal history, is Elijah Snow. Like Jakita Wagner, some of the facts of his personal history and family background are known, but there are significant gaps in what I’ve been able to uncover.
As mentioned above Vincent Norroy fathered two children. The first, John, was in turn the father of Yorke Norroy. The second child was Laura Norroy (1843-1900). Laura married Scott Doyle, and their oldest daughter was Alma (1866-1923). Alma married a well-to-do New York industrialist (originally from Texas, and with a pronounced Texan accent) named Snow, and her first son, Elijah, was born on January 1, 1900, the same date of birth of James Anthony.
Much about Snow is unclear. That he is physically exceptional in several ways is undeniable. A full century after the date of his birth, he looks to be only in his mid-forties. He has lost none of his vitality, physical strength, or wits. He is also reputed to be a “cold bastard,” but I have received conflicting reports on just what this means. It might be that he is capable of thermal subtraction, a “superpower” the likes of which only Superman and one or two others have been capable of. Or it might be that, like a few others in this article, he is simply a cold, hard man. But his unchanged physical capabilities would seem to argue that he is somehow more than human, in the way that many of those touched by the lingering effects of the Wold Newtonian meteors have been. It may be that the ancestors of Elijah Snow’s father were exposed to the Red River Stone (see Dr. Powers’ “Rocks and Trees” article) and gained extraordinary abilities thereby. Without a thorough physical examination of Snow, however, or at the very least a personal interview of him, I am unable to make a judgment.
Likewise, his personal history is mostly obscured, either by design or simply coincidence. The following is what I have been able to discover:January 1, 1900. Elijah Snow is born to Alma Snow.
1920. A young Elijah Snow locates and trains with Sherlock Holmes, being instructed by Holmes in his methods. When Snow might have encountered Holmes is unknown. One possible date would be July, 1927, when Holmes visited Arkham, Massachusetts, to investigate the disappearance of Randolph Carter. Snow would have been 27 at this time, however. This is by no means too old to be instructed in the ways of detection and crime-fighting, but my personal intuition is that Snow’s training and initiation into the world of crime-fighting began before that. I have no evidence for the dates of Holmes’ training of Snow, but my guess is that it took place before 1924, when Holmes perfected his royal jelly bee pollen elixir. I would suppose it occurred in 1919 or 1920, before Holmes’ marriage to Mary Russell.
1920s. Elijah Snow teams with Holmes and two other individuals. The nature of this group, what brought them together, how long they were teamed, and what they did while together is so far unknown to me, although I am expecting to receive a packet of information this December which will provide further information on the group. I have been able to narrow the date of their teaming to only “the Twenties,” but from other available information–Holmes’ life, for example–I would suppose this 1924 or 1925, following Holmes’ reversal of aging.
The identity of the other two individuals cannot be confirmed, but I have one account that names them. The first individual called himself “Dracula” and was a vampire. Those of you not sufficiently acquainted with the secret history of the fantastic and strange of our world will scoff, but the educated and informed reader is well aware that vampires are a reality, and that they have been opposed by many a notable hero, from Professor van Helsing to the notorious Spider. However, the personal history of Vlad Tepes, better known as “Dracula,” is well-documented, and I do not believe it possible for Vlad Tepes to have been working with Elijah Snow and Sherlock Holmes in the 1920s, especially as they had previously clashed in 1887. My guess is that the vampire was formerly a citizen of Selene, the legendary Serbian “city of the vampires.” Selene was reported to have been destroyed in 1874 when the novelist Ann Radcliffe led a group of vampire hunters into the city and burned the heart of Goetzi, the ruler of Selene, thus destroying not only Selene but the other vampires in the city, but vampires have been reported killed before and returned to plague humanity. Perhaps the vampire who accompanied Holmes and Snow was none other than Goetzi himself. I have no way of knowing for sure.
The other member is reported to have been the infamous “patchwork man” created by Victor von Frankenstein. Thanks to the efforts of Professor Brown (see his article on “The House of Frankenstein”) it has become more widely known that there was more than one “Frankenstein’s monster,” and that a few of these yet live. The one working alongside Snow and Holmes may have been the original, however.
1931. In 1931 Snow, by now established as an adventurer of some note as well as a man acquainted with the unusual and outré, was contacted (indirectly) by the author Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Snow visited Lovecraft at his home in Providence, Rhode Island, where Lovecraft reportedly showed Snow a series of alien “eggs” which had appeared in Lovecraft’s house following a vision of some sort. Together Snow and Lovecraft destroyed these eggs, which both were convinced would become, once hatched, something horrible. An interesting postscript to this encounter took place during a recent and very irregular excavation of the tomb of H.P. Lovecraft in Providence. The excavation revealed that something much more and much less than human had been residing in Lovecraft’s grave. It is not unreasonable to suspect that this something gained a foothold in Lovecraft’s body and, perhaps, his mind, following the 1931 incident.
1940s. Between 1931 and 1959 Snow’s personal history is spotty, with only rumored and incomplete accounts of his explorations being available. There are whispers that he encountered agents of the mythical “Old Ones,” that he fought with werewolves, and that he ventured deep into the bowels of the Earth, but I have nothing provable regarding this. Other accounts have him as a sort of freelance adventurer-for-hire, doing work more than occasionally for various Western governments against foreign and domestic threats.
1959. In 1959 Snow was a stowaway onboard the Nautilus. What Snow was doing there, what Billy Smith (the same member of The Four) was doing there, and why Snow was being fired upon by Biggles (see below)–all of these things are not known to me, and have been concealed by either The Four or The Three or both. But independent witnesses have verified the presence of Snow, Smith, and Biggles at a firefight on the Nautilus in Florida in the fall of 1959.
1967.In 1967 Snow fought against a terrorist group in Marrakesh, Morocco.
1969. In 1969 Snow met up with James “Biggles” Bigglesworth again and helped Biggles defeat a terrorist’s attempt to subvert the British “Secret Intelligence Service.” Biggles–It has just occurred to me that some among my readers may be unacquainted with Biggles, one of the more remarkable individuals of the Twentieth Century. So, if my readers will indulge me in yet another digression, I will provide, as briefly as possible, a biography of Biggles.
Born in India in 1899 to ordinary English parents–despite the proliferation of extraordinary talents arising from India (see my forthcoming article “Jewel in the Crown of the Human Race” exploring the many heroes springing from Indian soil) Biggles’ parents were, as far as I’ve been able to discover, normal and not linked to the Wold Newton family in any way–James Bigglesworth left school in 1916 to fight the Germans during the war. He quickly learned how to fly and became one of the most feared fighter pilots during the remainder of the war; his personal tally of downed pilots has been concealed by the British government, but it is rumored to be over 100. Because of his natural affinity for flight and his unschooled (but substantial) talent for combat he came to the attention “Major Raymond” of the British Intelligence Service, who began using him for various missions, many of which remain Top Secret and Classified even today. (Curiously, the identity of “Major Raymond” seems to be something of a minor mystery. It is my belief that “Major Raymond” is the same figure as “R.”–note the similar initial–who was the handler of noted mystery writer Mr. Roger Ashenden.)
After the war Biggles–now only 19, remember–formed his own air service, Biggles and Company, and did a normal (if exciting and adventure-filled) business while also carrying out various missions for the British “Secret Intelligence Service” around the world, including fighting air pirates over the Indian Ocean, slavers in Africa, and gold thieves in Australia. During World War Two Biggles continued his dual role as a top fighter pilot and highly-rated secret agent for the British government and for the American Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.).
After the war Biggles’ role grows obscured, no doubt to the efforts of the British government and the Secret Service, in the person of Admiral Miles Messervy, to keep his role a secret. I have very little data on Biggles after the end of the second World War. He served with the British “Secret Intelligence Service” through the 1970s, at which point he left that group (whatever its real name) to join another intelligence group, reputedly called the “Unreal Sanction Force.” At some point in the mid-1950s Biggles, perhaps as a favor to him for his extensive service to the Crown, received an anti-ageing formula (perhaps a variation of Holmes’ royal jelly bee pollen elixir). By the late 1990s Biggles was retired from active service and performing consulting services only.
That is Biggles. He and Elijah Snow became friends following their 1969 encounter, meeting on an irregular basis for the next decade.1975. Snow was one of the last Americans to leave Saigon in 1975, although what he was doing there remains unknown.
1980s. At some point in the 1980s Snow was captured (for reasons unknown to me) by The Four and subjected him to a series of memory implants, obscuring much of his true history and overlaying lies and virtual memories over the rest. Snow liquidated his funds, retreated to a shack in Arizona, and spent the next decade there. In early 1999 he was approached by Jakita Wagner and made a member of the Three (presumably at the behest of their mysterious backer).Together the Three have carried out a number of dangerous missions, including the rescue of Jim Anthony, the recovery of evidence of several of the acts of The Four, and trips to Danjo-To and Science City Zero. A state of undeclared war exists between The Four and the Three, and only the future knows how this conflict will play out, or what lies ahead for the Three, the Four, and humanity itself.
What makes The Three even more interesting is the identity of their financial backer, the “fourth man,” and the ties of this person to The Four, as well as to certain other figures mentioned in this article.
This backer is, in fact
The article ends here. The original paper is torn after the words “in fact,” as if MN had for whatever reason only put part of the article in the mail.
I just received a phone call from the Romney, West Virginia police. MN’s body, along with scraps of paper that would likely have composed the remainder of this article, were found in a motel room in Romney. MN was apparently tortured, quite badly, before he died.
The Modern Age
Some Unknown Members of the Wold Newton Family Tree