A Dubious Curse

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A Dubious Curse – Coming in January 2014

Chapter One

It was early March in Las Vegas, which meant spring was already in full bloom. Trees had leaves, and bushes were budding with new branches. It was as green as the desert city would get before the hot sun began to dry everything out. UNLV was bustling with activity. Students were hurrying to classes at the main campus of the university, just east of the famous Las Vegas Strip. The students carried backpacks, computers, and food. Many clutched term papers, recently completed, to hand in to their professors. Everyone wanted to get their work done and up-to-date, so they could go on spring break. It started that evening.

For some of the students going on break, one of the last scheduled classes was a history class in one of the main lecture halls. Although several underclassmen blew off the class, the hall was still filled to capacity, even though no one took roll call. Attendance was not mandatory, but over 250 students crowded the lecture hall, nonetheless. The lectures were popular, because the speaker was very entertaining and thought-provoking. It didn’t hurt that she was quite beautiful and spoke in a voice that sent tremors of lust through most of the young men who attended.

Professor Lisa Lange stood at the podium, dressed in a long, flowing, multicolored cotton dress, with a slit on the right side running to mid-thigh. Buttons on the front of the dress ran the entire length of her five-foot-seven, lean, athletic body. She had opened the top buttons of her dress, revealing a hint of cleavage as she attached her clip-on microphone. Her golden-blonde hair flowed to the middle of her back, and she used it like a weapon, to get— and keep— attention, flicking her hair whenever she made an important point. She always wore five-inch high heels; todays’ were red.

She was not a traditional lecturer, and she did not stay in one place to speak, which allowed for a considerable view of her long, sleek leg peeking from behind her slit dress as she walked. Much to the delight of the young men in the room, she roamed the room, often climbing the stairs between rows to be nearer to her students. She did this in order to keep them motivated and interested in her lectures. She often felt like her classes were more theater than lecture. She had great success with her style, and students flocked to her lectures.

Professor Lange was in her mid-thirties and had been teaching at the university for two years. She had been a military brat, raised by her single mother, who had served in the first war in Iraq. Her mother spent most of her time abroad, but Lisa had always lived in Las Vegas. Her mother had instilled in her daughter the importance of education with a love of reading which led Lisa to study history. She not only loved history, but she was also very good at piecing historical information together to prove her points.

Sometimes, her conclusions were very different from those of the traditional historians. She could put a spin on most subjects. Her lectures sometimes sparked controversy, and lead to good discussions. She liked it that way. Today’s lecture was one of those.

When it was time to start her lecture, she cleared her throat to get everyone to quiet down and take their seats. She lowered the lights in the hall from buttons on the podium and began.

“I’m going to put three pictures up on the screen. I want one of you to tell me how they are connected. You can ask me any questions needed to connect the pictures,” she told her students. She pressed a handheld remote button, and three pictures appeared on the big screen. While the students studied the pictures, she moved from behind the podium, gliding up the steps and stopping halfway to the back of the big hall.

The three pictures were side-by-side on the big screen at the front of the lecture hall. The first picture was of a book written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. It was called The Coming Race. Below the book, the date of publication was listed as 1871. The caption read, ‘This was the original title’. It was a hint for an observant student.

“It was one of the first science-fiction books written,” she tossed out as an additional hint to the many science fiction buffs in the audience.

The second picture was of a very beautiful woman. She had features that resembled Lisa Lange: high cheekbones, a perky nose, blonde hair, and eyes that a man could get lost in. She stood about five-foot-six and had a slender build. The real difference in appearance from Lisa was that the woman in the picture had very long hair that almost reached her ankles. The date on the photo was 1919.

“She was the leader of a secret society,” Lisa offered. “She may have been one of the original hippies, or at least a groupie.”

The third picture was a rough drawing of something that looked like an upside-down tea saucer, with a hump in the middle. It looked like the drawing was made by a child. The date under the picture was also 1919.

“The drawing was not made by a child. The person who drew it was in a trance,” Lisa explained.

After waiting for more than five minutes, Professor Lange asked, “Can anybody identify any of the pictures?” She searched the crowd. One student raised his hand. She pointed to him to speak.

“The woman in the picture looks like you,” the student observed.

“I assure you, it is not a picture of me,” she quickly replied. “You will note the picture was taken in 1919. There isn’t enough makeup in the world to correct the lines I would have by now,” Lisa throatily laughed. Several students chuckled. “Come on people,” she clapped her hands, “Think.”

Another student raised his hand, and she gave him the floor. He said, “The third picture looks like a flying saucer, which leads me to believe this has something to do with World War II, but the Germans didn’t work on saucers until the 1940s.”

“Very good Tom,” she replied. Lisa prided herself on knowing the names of many of her students. “It is a crude drawing of a flying saucer, but was actually drawn in 1919. It was drawn by the woman in the second picture. I’ll give you a hint,” she added. “She was a medium.”

A murmur quickly rose in the gallery. “That’s science fiction,” a student yelled out. “No one can talk to dead people.”

“Who says they were dead?” Lisa shot back. “And she didn’t speak to them. She would write and draw what she received by telepathy. It happened during her sessions.”

“What did she write?” another asked.

“The drawing was one thing,” Lisa confidently answered. She knew she was gaining their attention. “She also wrote long passages in an early German script and even ancient languages that she knew nothing about. Her writings were translated by other members of a highly educated group.”

“But who was she communicating with?” asked a girl right next to Lisa.

“She told people they were the original inhabitants of earth.” The professor let that sink in. “She was the leader of a very secret organization. It still exists today. It is called the ‘Vril Society’,” the professor added as another hint.

“Can you tell us more about the woman?” another student asked, looking a bit confused.

“She was the original flower child,” offered Lisa. “She would have fit in nicely in the 1970’s. She sought a society, a utopia, where everyone worked together and life was easy. She believed such a place existed.”

“Can you tell us anything else?” The young girl next to her asked.

“Unfortunately, she lived in a devastated post-World War I Germany,” the professor added grimly.

Another student raised her hand. The professor acknowledged her.

“If she was head of the Vril Society, then the book must have something to do with the flying saucer.”

“Very good, Stefanie,” Lisa said. “Now connect them.”

“So the book was written about the Vril, and the medium followed the principles in the book, right?”

“Now we are getting somewhere,” Lisa Lange announced. She paused for a second before she continued. “But Vril is not a person or even a people. It is an alternative energy source. It is an energy source unlike any known to man. It combines electricity, gravity, and several other energies to create the ultimate energy source. It was a tool for maintaining a utopia. The Vril was an alternative science that led to a Utopia. It allowed for space travel and time travel, and it eliminated the cost of producing energy.”

“But isn’t the book and the picture a work of fiction? You already told us that.” A student asked.

“It was more like a bible to the Vril Society,” Lisa responded quickly. “Many things in the Bible have not been proven, yet people still believe,” she reasoned. “Star Wars is science fiction, yet many people follow the series with cult-like fervor.”

“Does this have something to do with the Third Reich in Germany?” one of the smarter students asked.

“It most certainly does,” Professor Lange replied enthusiastically. Before she could continue, another student asked a question.

“Why did Hitler call his regime the Third Reich?”

“That’s a very good question,” she replied. “Hitler believed Germany had three golden ages. The first was the Holy Roman Empire. It ran from 962 AD to 1802 AD. The second Reich ran from 1871 to 1918, when Germany was defeated after World War I. The Third Reich was expected to last for a thousand years, but it only lasted twelve monstrous years. Some believe a Fourth Reich is coming, but it may not be in Germany. It will, however, be as oppressive as the Third Reich.

Another student blurted out a question. “So, are you saying the Third Reich was based on a fictional book?”

“Well, yes and no. Part of Hitler’s ultimate plan for the world was based on the book,” she quickly replied.

“That’s ridiculous,” someone said.

“No it’s not,” responded an angry Lisa Lange. “Think about it. Hitler believed he was an Aryan, a superior race. He also believed in the occult. He sent out many expeditions to find objects with supernatural powers. He believed in super weapons he called wonder-weapons that were unbeatable and he believed that one of those weapons was saucer-shaped and could travel through time. In a way, he searched for the power of Vril.”

“Are you telling us that Hitler was so crazy that he based his regime on a science-fiction book?”

“You need to decide that,” she quickly replied. “And your assignment during the holidays is to make the connection between Hitler, the Third Reich, and each of the photos. In a paper to be submitted two weeks from today, I want you to explain what he expected to discover from the Vril Society and the effects on his war efforts. You will have to read the book and study up on the Vril Society.”

“Another hint please,” a girl yelled out.

“The name of the medium was Maria Orsic.”

Several large groans came from the student crowd. “But it’s spring break,” someone yelled out.

“Alright, I’ll give you three weeks, and I am always available for consultation. My schedule is on my office door.”

“Thank you,” the girl next to her said.

“If there are no further questions, this class is dismissed,” Professor Lange declared.

 

Lisa Lange made her way back to the podium and began to pack her small briefcase with her notes as the students filed out of the lecture hall. When she looked up, she spied an older man slowly heading down the steps towards her. She didn’t recognize him. When he reached her, he spoke.

“I would like to know more about your premise concerning the mediums,” he said in a Midwestern accent. He was well-dressed, medium height, and somewhat handsome for his age, which Lisa judged to be well over forty.

“Are you a student here?” she asked.

“No,” he replied.

“Did you attend today’s lecture?” she inquired, flicking her hair.

“I did.”

“Then you know as much as any of my students, and you can find the answers on your own,” she said, thinking this was some kind of a ploy to get more information out of her. If only her students worked as hard at doing the assignments as they did at avoiding the work, most would be very successful, she thought.

“I know much more than your students,” he replied evenly.

“Like what?” Lisa’s interest was now growing. She cocked her head and took a half step forward with her right leg, causing the split to reveal her toned, bare leg. She noticed when he stole a quick look.

“I know that you are a member of the Vril Society, that your real hair reaches your ankles, and that you still are searching for the book of the Vril Society,” he replied.

Shock registered on her pretty face. She began to turn red, indicating to the man that what he said was true. “That’s absurd,” she dismissed forcefully. “Please leave,” she continued nervously, “before I call security and have you thrown out of the building.”

“I mean you no harm. In fact, I may be able to help you,” he calmly replied. “You are in imminent danger. Your life will soon be threatened because of what you know. My team can protect you. But you will have to come with me.”

“Wow, that’s one hell of a pickup line,” she laughed, throwing her head back in defiance. “What do you want from me, for all your protection?”

“I just want to discuss a few things with you. I need to get up to speed quickly on the Vril Society.”

“Why do you even care?” Lisa Lange asked suspiciously.

“This isn’t about you— it is about the future of the world,” he replied. “But you are the medium.”

“Who are you?” Lisa Lange asked in desperation. “Why have you made these accusations about me? I’m nothing but a humble teacher.”

“My name is Colton Banyon,” he told her. “I know there are two other women in your cell. They both live here, in Las Vegas.”

“How can you know this?”

“I have some abilities of my own,” he simply answered.

“What do you really want?” The professor asked.

“I want to find the book of the Vril and protect it for you.”

 

Chapter Two

It all started for Colton Banyon two days earlier.  He had been relaxing on his couch, in his sprawling ranch home in suburban South Barrington, Illinois. Loni, his lovely partner, live-in companion, and best friend, was curled up next to him with her head on his lap. They were watching television on the 80-inch screen that Loni had bought for him to watch football. She was good to him in many ways.

A newsflash suddenly filled the screen. The talking head announced that there had been another shooting in Mexico. This time, seventeen members of a drug cartel had been dispatched by the side of a rural road. The cartel members had been traveling on a country road near the American border when all three trucks suddenly blew up, burning the seven million dollars’ worth of drugs they carried. A few cartel members had made it out of the trucks, but they had been cut down by machine-gun fire. A bloody note was found on the road. It read, “Danta Lopez was here. Be afraid, be very afraid.”

“Did you have anything to do with that?” Loni quickly asked, lifting her head and staring at him with her dark, almond-shaped eyes.

“No,” Banyon replied. “I’ve been with you all day. I wonder why the President didn’t call me to help?” he added.

“Better ask Wolf,” she said, removing her toned, athletic frame from the couch and stretching, causing Banyon to take note. She arched her back, undoing the tie that held her long, black hair in a ponytail, and it cascaded down her back. She went into a yoga position, keeping one eye on him all the time. The position reminded Banyon of a ballerina.

“I think I will,” he responded, reaching for her tiny body and pulling her onto his lap. “I’ll do it in a minute,” he added.

Colton Banyon was well over sixty years old.  Loni was around fifty, but she looked twenty-five, and she acted like it, too. She kept him captivated and constantly interested with her seemingly innocent, yet insatiable, sexual presence. The nightshirt she was wearing, flew off, Loni-style, which meant she paid no attention to where it was going. It landed on top of a lamp. Neither of them noticed. An hour later, Banyon finally addressed Wolf.

“Are you there, Wolf?” Banyon asked into the air.

Wolf was actually Wolfgang Becker but he had lived most of his life as a man named Walter Pierce. Several years ago, when he learned that he was dying he arranged for a friend in India to place a curse on him. The curse allowed Colton Banyon to talk to the now-dead Wolf whenever he wanted to. There were rules to their communication: Banyon had to ask a question and he could not ask about the future.  Otherwise, he could converse with Wolf normally, although no one else could hear the spirit, even in public. All Banyon had to do was ask a question.

Colton Banyon didn’t consider himself as having special powers. He saw Wolf as his eye in the sky. Wolf was also his researcher and could find out anything in history, given enough time. All history was visible to Wolf, but he had to sift through it. Wolf had explained that all history left a timeline of energy. Wolf could track the timeline and follow the path to see the actual history. He could then report his findings to Banyon. They had solved many mysteries and recovered several ancient artifacts over the years. At first, Banyon had been frightened by and very concerned about the spirit, but, soon, he understood Wolf was there to help him. Banyon was also there to help Wolf.

Wolf hunted old Nazis and artifacts.  When the last Nazi died, his curse would end. They had solved many Nazi mysteries together, bringing down many old Nazis. Banyon and Loni had formed a detective agency as a cover for their activities, and they had become wealthy along the way. The only other people who knew about Wolf were the Patel sisters, whose grandfather had placed the curse, and the President of the United States. He often used Banyon’s ability to solve problems he could not solve himself.

Danta Lopez was a creation of Colton Banyon. In Mexico, he was known as the new Zorro, but he was actually a team of Navy SEALS working with the Mexican government to rid the nation of the many drug cartels. Usually, Banyon was involved in any Danta Lopez operation, but, this time, he had been excluded.  Usually, Banyon was involved in any Danta Lopez operation, but, this time, he had been excluded.  Banyon was included, because Wolf could watch and inform Banyon of anything affecting their operations in real time. The operations had to be done clandestinely, and they could leave no trace.

“I’m here,” the spirit replied in a cultured voice.

“Why wasn’t I included in the recent cartel takedown in Mexico?” Banyon asked the spirit.

“It was not sanctioned by the U.S. government. They are as unaware as you are,” Wolf answered.

“Then who did it?”

“Another drug cartel took them out. They wanted the turf.”

“Should I be concerned?”

“No, your plan is actually working. The cartels are eliminating each other. They all believe Danta Lopez is one of their competitors. They want to eliminate him before they, themselves, become victims,” the spirit happily answered.

“So, we are good then?”

“Yes, on that subject. But I do need your help,” Wolf added.

“What do you need? Is there another Nazi for me to take down?” Banyon and his group were always ready to bring down some evil swine.

“I’m afraid it is more sinister than that.”

“How could that be?”

“There is a disturbance in the force surrounding me.”

“What does that even mean?”

“In the past, whenever there was a disturbance, someone new eventually joined the group up here. It has happened about twenty times since I have been here,” the spirit told Banyon. “We have become accustomed to the event.”

“So, why is this time different?”

“This time, the new spirit will be a threat to you, Colton.”

“Why?”

“The new spirit will be after the plans for the anti-gravity machine. Remember, you were the last person to touch a working version.” A few years ago, Banyon and his friends had found an actual working model of the machine, in a cave, in Death Valley National Park. Wolf had made him destroy it.

“But… that is the future. You can’t tell me that, can you?”

“I can see the new curse surrounds the anti-gravity device. Additional information is now blacked out to me. They will be after the plans.”

“There were no plans in the cave, don’t you remember?”

“That is correct, but there is still the original plan. The Nazis built their models from the plan that had been drawn by a medium, Maria Orsic, in 1919. That plan still exists in a book. You must find the book, before they do.”

“So, tell me where the book is, and I will get it. You can do that, right?” Banyon had found many artifacts using Wolf’s help.

“It’s not that simple,” the spirit replied. “The curse has already been activated but it won’t take effect until the cursed person dies. It will be soon; however, none of us up here can see anything involving the new curse— the history is all blank. I am essentially blind on this one.”

“Can’t you go back in history to see where the book was located?”

“The medium that held the book also learned some curses and spells from the others. She eventually disappeared using a spell. She also put a curse on the book so the Nazis couldn’t find it. Only someone who knows the curses can find the book.”

“But you know the plan exists, right?”

“The history of the device has been published for some time. The power source has not. It is part of the plan. The power source will change everything. It is both a weapon and a blessing, as the energy is limitless and cheap. It could be used to build a utopia.”

“Is that bad?”

“In the hands of the wrong people, yes, it is bad.”

“That seems like a dubious curse,” Banyon replied.

“But there may be a bigger problem,” the spirit hinted.

“Uh, oh,” Banyon uttered. If Wolf said it was a problem, it was a big problem. “What do you mean?”

“There will be a new person who will be able to talk to a spirit like me. That person is a member of the Effort. The person dying is also a member of the Effort. I’m afraid that there is trouble ahead.”

“Oh, my God,” Banyon suddenly yelled. The Effort was the modern version of the Third Reich. They had infiltrated America, starting in the 1930s, and intended to turn America into the new Third Reich. Banyon had fought them before.

“Can you give me his name?” Banyon asked.

“My ability to see the history around the subject ended as soon as the curse was placed, so no, not until the curse is completed, which occurs when the cursed person dies. You must protect yourself, Colton.”

“Why?”

“The new spirit will quickly discover you have had a hand in the demise of several of the Effort plots and people. They will be able to see that you found the working model of the saucer. They will also find out about me and will surely come after you. You are in grave danger, and you must act quickly.”

“But… where do I start?” Banyon felt the cold chill of fear gripping his heart. His fear also included the safety of his friends.

“First, you must have the Patel sisters find a way to neutralize the curse. If we can hinder the spirit from communicating, we can stop the plot.”

“Will the new spirit have the same rules? I mean, will the spirit need questions to respond like you do?” Banyon asked.

“That is my understanding,” Wolf answered.

“Do you know anyone who can give me a lead?”

“There is one person. They are a direct descendant of the medium who drew the original plans for the anti-gravity machine. Her name was Maria Orsic.”

“What is his name and where do I find him?”

“He is actually a she, and she is a medium. Her name is Lisa Lange, and she is a professor of history at UNLV in Las Vegas. She is a leading member of the current Vril Society. She is also in great danger, and you must protect her.”

“Do you think your plan will work? Can we stop their plans?”

“We have a good chance. We will also attempt to block the new spirit from learning how to research history. This position, up here, does not come with a procedure manual. You have to learn from others up here. My friends and I will surround the new spirit and attempt to block him from learning. They will still be able to see recent history, though, and communicate with their conduit on the ground. I will know more when they get here.”

Banyon quickly turned to the wide-eyed Loni. “Call the Patel clan. We need to have a meeting right now. Then, book us on a flight to Las Vegas, and tell the Patels they need to go with us. Finally, get me everything you can find on the Internet about the Vril Society, especially anything you can find about a woman named Maria Orsic.”

Loni, who did everything at top speed, fled the room. “I have to pack first. It will be fun to be at our condo.”