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Son of perdition, p.13
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       Son of Perdition, p.13

           Wendy Alec
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  St Cartier looked directly at Nick. ‘Your family, Nicholas is one of these financiers. One of thirteen ruling families of the Illuminati. A Controller.’

  Nick looked around at the monks standing respectfully silent on the rooftop.

  ‘Lawrence.’ He lowered his voice. ‘Are you stark, raving mad? Dad was a complete sceptic – he never believed in conspiracy theories, let alone . . . ’

  St Cartier ignored Nick’s comment.

  ‘The De Vere family is one of thirteen that maintain a stranglehold on the political, financial and social administration of the United States. They exert major influence in the global business of nations through a consortium of power brokers – private investors, defence contractors, renegade factions of the CIA, the Council of Foreign Relations, International Monetary Fund, the World Bank – the list is too long to mention.

  ‘That’s pushing it, Lawrence,’ Nick warned, ‘even for you.’

  ‘Your family has financed these operations for centuries through their treasury and bullion trading, resource and mining banking, and investment banking.’ The professor looked at Nick pointedly. ‘De Vere Asset Management. Leopold De Vere and Sons Limited.’

  ‘Look, Lawrence, I grew up with all this at the breakfast table.’ Nick was becoming aggravated. ‘Conspiracy theories involving my family are a thriving industry. De Vere Asset Management – New York, De Vere Ventures Middle East, De Vere Ventures East Asia, De Vere & Cie – France, De Vere Reserve . . . ’ He raised his hands. ‘It’s all transparent. Been in the public arena for decades.’

  ‘All of them subsidiaries of the De Vere family-controlled De Vere Continuation Holdings AG,’ Lawrence continued quietly, ‘established in Switzerland in the early part of the twentieth century to protect your family’s ownership of its banking empire. De Vere Continuation Holdings AG, however, is not in the public arena. And has never been transparent.’

  Lawrence studied Nick intently. ‘Who runs De Vere Continuation Holdings, Nick?’

  Nick glared at him. ‘What is this, Lawrence? Some form of obsessive inquisition left over from your Jesuit training?’

  Lawrence held his gaze. ‘Humour me. Satisfy an old man’s curiosity.’

  ‘Look, Lawrence, I was never interested in the details,’ Nick snapped, losing his patience. ‘None of us were. We weren’t interested in the family banking dynasty. I studied archaeology. Jason went into media. Adrian into politics. Dad ran the banking dynasties until his death. At his death, all power of attorney was transferred to Mother. Simple. Satisfied?’

  ‘Unfortunately, Nicholas, no.’ Lawrence’s tone was gentle.

  ‘The De Vere Continuation Holdings was established by your ancestor Leopold De Vere in the 1790s. He held a vast secret subterranean vault full of gold beneath his house in Hamburg. In 1885 Ephraim De Vere handed it to his son Rupert, your great-great grandfather. In 1954 your paternal grandfather, Julius De Vere, took the reins and ran the operation with an iron fist. He, as his ancestors before him, cornered the world’s gold supply. By the time of Julius’s death in 2014, De Vere Holdings held over 5 per cent of the world’s gold hidden in its private vaults.

  ‘Your father was allowed by the powers-that-be to dabble in it but Julius deemed him unfit to take the reins. Before Julius’s death, he handed total control to his trustees. Nameless, faceless, members of the Brotherhood.’

  ‘That’s patently untrue. Mother – ’

  ‘Your mother, shrewd businesswoman as she is, is their token. Nothing more, and she knows it. She has full autonomy on the charitable side and runs the De Vere Charitable Foundation with her unparalleled brilliance and expertise. Everything else is clandestine.’

  Nick stared at the professor in disbelief.

  ‘How much is your family worth, Nick?’

  ‘Around five hundred billion dollars,’ he replied. ‘I know we lost 40 per cent of our net worth in the 2008 crash and over half our wealth in the run on the banks in 2018. Satisfied?’

  St Cartier looked at him straight in the eye.

  ‘The De Vere Family’s assets amount to two hundred trillion dollars. Completely intact. There were no real losses. It was a PR ploy to keep the prying eyes of undercover financial investigators at bay. The De Veres’ secret financial records are never audited and never accounted for. And they are most assuredly not controlled by your mother.’

  Nick’s eyes flashed with fury.

  ‘What is this, Lawrence – some sick joke?

  ‘Would that it were, dear boy,’ said the old man, with a sigh. ‘Your family owns more than 40 per cent of the worldwide bullion market, operates an aggressive monopoly on the diamond industry, has undisclosed stakes in Russian oil – estimated at over 50 per cent. It operates at the centre of the illegal global drug and arms trade.’

  Nick shifted uneasily in his chair.

  ‘Do you want me to continue?’

  Lawrence removed a sheaf of papers bearing the seal of the CIA from his briefcase.

  Nick glanced down at the top page. ‘The International Security Fund? Never heard of it.’

  ‘Then you haven’t been paying attention.’

  St Cartier pushed the papers over the table to Nick.

  ‘It was set up in the 1980s under the auspices of your grandfather Julius De Vere. Read.’

  Nick scanned the pages.

  ‘A journalist, Lawrence,’ he said scathingly.

  ‘No,’ replied St Cartier. ‘A top European Bank fraud investigator.’

  Nick sighed. He picked up the papers again and read word for word from the article.

  ‘“By 2001, the Illuminati had orchestrated the raising of a targeted hundred and fifty trillion from at least three hundred international institutions, in the biggest, most secretive private-placement financing operation in world.”’ Nick paused.

  ‘Read on.’

  ‘“The mainstream media unfortunately failed to report this operation, so the general public is ignorant of it. The aim was to provide finance for the New World Order’s use throughout the twenty-first century,”’ Nick continued. ‘“Equipped with such limitless resources, the Council has now amassed sufficient financing to pay off or blackmail every leader, policymaker and intelligence operative worldwide for the rest of this century in pursuit of their goals.”’

  Lawrence took back the documents and continued reading aloud from the article.

  ‘“It is a Zurich-based fund. It does not trade. It is not listed. It has been used since its inception for geopolitical engineering purposes. There is strong evidence about the alleged involvement by the European Union’s own institutions and intelligence resources in its management.”’

  Lawrence took off his glasses.

  ‘In simple terms, Nick, it is the Illuminati’s illegal slush fund, estimated today at over two hundred trillion dollars, directed on behalf of the Brotherhood.

  ‘They bankroll most of the world’s pre-emptive wars. Iraq. Afghanistan. That way they control the oil and the drugs. After its liberation from Taliban rule, Afghanistan’s opium production soared from 640 tons in 2001 to 8,200 tons back in 2007. Afghanistan now supplies over 93 per cent of the global opiate market.’

  Lawrence’s voice dropped to scarely more than a whisper. ‘Who stood to gain from the invasion of Afghanistan?’

  ‘The drug cartels,’ Nick replied. ‘Organized crime. It’s obvious.’

  Lawrence shook his head. ‘No. The intelligence agencies in amalgamation with the powerful business syndicates of the elite, including your family.’

  Lawrence looked at him pointedly. ‘The Brotherhood deposits multibillion-dollar revenues from narcotics in the international banking system, using its affiliates in the offshore banking havens to launder large amounts of narco-dollars. In tandem with covert factions of the intelligence agencies, they also bankroll Nicaragua’s cocaine trafficking. And Columbia’s. They finance international paedophile rings, arrange assassinations, and control nuclear-component shipments. Ali Bhutto’s assa
ssination. Maybe Benazir’s. Who knows the depths they stoop to? A hundred other false-flag terrorist attacks. They fund secret intelligence armies. Black ops. Gladio. DSSA. The list is endless. All this to divert attention from their banking mafia. To divert attention from the Council.’

  He dropped the papers down on the table.

  ‘These are the plans orchestrated before his death by the Brotherhood’s architect – your paternal grandfather, Julius De Vere.’

  Nick shook his head in silent disbelief.

  St Cartier stared at Nick grimly. ‘What is not common knowledge is that your grandfather was one of the most powerful warlocks of the twenty-first century.’

  Nick looked at him, incredulous. ‘Warlocks. You have finally snapped, Lawrence. You’re out of your mind.’

  St Cartier removed a photograph from his briefcase and pushed it over the table.

  ‘Study it. It’s quite genuine.’

  Nick looked at the photograph of a black-robed Julius De Vere, the brand on his wrist fully visible. Next to him stood a fresh faced nineteen-year-old James De Vere.

  ‘Your grandfather was one of only three Witch High Priests on earth who wore the “Warlock’s Mark”, an indelible mark which, when visible, is literally a seared branding. It was imprinted on your grandfather’s left wrist. A seal signifying his obedience and devotion to his only master – Lucifer.’ St Cartier paused.

  ‘It was a seal denoting that he had sold his soul, by a blood transaction that could never be revoked. The De Vere assets belong to the Brotherhood, to the Illuminati. Your father, James, made a pact with the Brotherhood that he would execute every nefarious demand made of him, do their bidding to every last detail, on the understanding that his sons were to be left untouched.’

  ‘I only met Julius twice,’ Nick said quietly. ‘He died when I was . . . ’

  ‘Twelve.’ Lawrence smiled.

  Nick nodded. ‘Dad never talked about him. Said he was very secretive. Hard, he called him. That’s why Dad’s relationship with us was always open. He vowed he’d never make the mistakes his father had before him.’

  ‘Your father was a good man, Nick. Your grandfather, Julius, viewed him as weak, but it wasn’t weakness, it was morality. Strength of character. He was an impediment to their plans for world domination.’

  St Cartier put away the photo and took a large brown envelope from his briefcase.

  ‘Before your father died he sent me this.’

  He opened the envelope and held out a folded linen-bond letter to Nick.

  Nick stared at the silver monogram of the De Vere family and the airforce-blue seal underneath the precise italicized handwriting of his father. Ashen-faced, he took it from St Cartier’s outstretched hand.

  The last time Nick had seen James De Vere alive was four summers ago, 4 August to be exact. The day Nick had called off his engagement to top British model Devon, for his fling with Klaus Von Hausen.

  He had brought Klaus to his mother’s annual garden party, at the De Vere country mansion in Oxfordshire and, while Klaus was playing tennis, Nick and James De Vere had argued violently on the manicured lawns.

  James was old school. Homophobic. No mincer of words. They had both said things in the heat of passion which could never be taken back.

  That afternoon James had frozen Nick’s trust fund. A week later he was dead. Collapsed in his study from a heart attack. Nick had been devastated.

  From the time of his birth he had been James’s unspoken favourite, his adored and gifted youngest son.

  And Nick in turn had adored his outspoken, entrepreneurial, generous-hearted father. But the brutality of that last encounter would never be undone.

  Nick slowly unfolded the letter. He looked back up at St Cartier and frowned.

  ‘The date – it’s the thirteenth, the day he died.’

  St Cartier nodded. ‘Go on.’

  Nick could imagine James now, seated at his mahogany writing desk, his thick silver hair awry, writing intensely.

  My dear Lawrence

  Even though we have not always seen eye to eye, I appeal to you, my long-time friend, in the event of my ensuing death in unnatural circumstances, to reveal these contents that justice may be served. Look after my beloved Lilian, Lawrence. They will get to her eventually. Look after my sons.

  Bring evil to justice.

  Protect the innocent, I implore you.

  You are well aware, I know, that for the past four decades I and my father, and my ancestors before him, have been deeply involved in the shadow government and its plan to rule the world with a New World Order.

  I was a man of little conscience.

  I am now a man of many regrets.

  Nick looked up at St Cartier, stunned.

  Lawrence smiled gently. ‘Keep reading, Nicholas.’

  I have an arrangement tomorrow to disclose these contents to X.

  If what I dread is confirmed, I shall do whatever lies in my power to protect the innocent.

  It has been my lot to uncover one of the most base and nefarious plans ever conceived in the history of the human race.

  I can no longer toe their line.

  I have gathered a file of evidence which is in a safe place. A file that discloses the horrors orchestrated in the dark halls of defence research: weaponized avian flu. Depopulation plans. I have detailed evidence of financial audit trails concerning the International Security Fund. Offshore bank accounts . . .

  It is just the tip of the iceberg.

  You and I both know that I am laying my life on the line.

  I intend to divulge this to the press, Lawrence, and save both the United Kingdom and the United States of America from certain annihilation.

  Two days ago evidence came into my hands. Damning evidence. Of what they have cold-bloodedly done to my adored son.

  I enclose the documents.

  They have broken their pact.

  Now I break mine. At the risk of my own demise.

  I shall be in contact when my investigations are complete.

  Your friend always,

  James De Vere

  The letter fell from Nick’s hand onto the table.

  ‘Your father was dead by the next evening,’ St Cartier said, softly.

  ‘It was decided that Jason was to be kept in the dark. As were you. He was never interested in the banking aspect of your family holdings and presented no immediate threat. The Brotherhood was satisfied that he would content himself running the communications conglomerate. His VOX board is made up almost entirely of your father’s closest colleagues. The Brotherhood, Nick. They have access to VOX communications at a moment’s notice whenever necessary.

  ‘But you were an irritant, Nicholas. The British paparazzi’s fixation with the inner workings of your private life drew attention to the De Vere family. Far more attention than was acceptable to the Brotherhood.’

  With shaking hands, St Cartier held out a paper.

  ‘They had to dispose of you and your father found out.’

  Slowly, Nick took the document and read it. He looked up at Lawrence, shaken to the core.

  The professor took Nick’s arm, gently. ‘The needle in Amsterdam that night was a plant, Nicholas. They deliberately gave you and your acquaintances full-blown AIDS, created in one of their covert bioterror laboratories.’

  Nick stared at Lawrence, nauseated.

  ‘When your father discovered their unspeakable act, he broke his pact. They killed him for it.’

  Trembling, Nick stared back down at the incriminating document and reread it.

  ‘It was deliberate . . . ’ he whispered. He ran his fingers through his hair, then looked up at Lawrence through reddened eyes.

  ‘I’m so sorry, my boy.’ Lawrence stared at him, his eyes welling with tears.

  ‘But who would want to kill me?’ Nick said, his breathing suddenly shallow. ‘Who are these people, Lawrence?’ He slammed the papers onto the table. ‘It’s my life they’re playing with. Dammit –

  Nick broke off in midflow as the roaring of a helicopter’s turbine drowned the conversation. They stared up at the landing lights of the rapidly descending helicopter and as it flew past the tower floodlights Nick recognized the Royal Hashemite insignia of Jordan’s ruling Family.

  Lawrence frowned. ‘The Royal helicopter is not in today’s log.’

  Nick stared as eight monks materialized, then scattered in three different directions. Immediately lights came on all across the monastery.

  Nick and St Cartier waited in silence.

  Nick’s thoughts flashed back to the past. It was more than three and a half years since he had made the greatest archaeological discovery of the twenty-first century. The entire world was oblivious to the fact – and would remain so, thanks to the royal household of Jordan.

  Nick remembered how he had opened the casket of ancient cedarwood and how, after the white mists had faded, two huge golden-bound codices had become visible. He recalled his wonder at the first sight of the pulsing script. He could almost taste the moment when he first traced his finger along the title, the glowing Arabic lettering instantly transforming to English.

  The angelic script.

  The Annals of Lucifer.

  One year later, he had come here to take photographs of the annals. He had first met her then though he had heard about her. He knew she carried an ancient name that had been borne by a princess of the royal house of Jordan two thousand years ago. And that she had had an English education, reading Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at Oxford.

  But nothing of that had prepared him for his first encounter with the lovely Princess Jotapa, a young woman of no more than twenty-two dressed in modest Western clothing, her only sign of wealth the slim diamond Audemars Piguet watch on her left wrist.

  ‘We seem to share a similar passion for ancient artefacts,’ she had said with an amused twinkle in her eye. ‘And for old legends.’

  His throat had gone dry. ‘There is a legend that King Aretas IV protected the Christ child in his flight from Egypt in this very monastery,’ he replied. ‘He and his daughter Jotapa.’

  ‘Legends are very powerful in the minds of those who believe,’ she said.

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