I could imagine him laughing to himself, writing this letter. "Your people will sell their life for a penny," he wrote. "If this 'incentive' doesn't work, the fondi will agitate the Russians once more into a nuclear confrontation with the USA. Either way, when the dust settles, the fondi will take over what is left of both countries, and China and India will be wiped out in due course. Then the fondi will be the masters of the Earth. This is why they have pushed so hard for the development of the nuclear bomb in the first place. You may think that the USA developed the atom bomb by its own accord. Don't kid yourself. The USA was much too moral for that at the time. The fondi pushed the USA into this Manhattan project, 'kicking and shoving,' and with a whole lot of lies, lies about Germany's immanent breakthrough that was known to be a lye. China and India, of course, will be wiped out once the nuclear weapons fire is lit. The fondi's men in high places have a plan in place in America for more than 15,000 targets to be nuked in the first round."
He wrote that fondi also have a similar setup prepared for the Middle East. "The fondi have a powerful fool in the Middle East," he wrote, "that they can rely on to scurry up enough of a pretext for a nuclear fire storm that will wipe out most of the existing populations in that part of the world. Afterwards the fondi will pick up what is left, especially the oil."
The man pointed out in the letter that all of this is easily done. "A few dozen bombs will be enough to depopulate the Middle East. Just think of it! A few dozen of the several hundred nuclear bombs that Israel has stockpiled will be sufficient to depopulate the Middle East. Of course, the rest have also targets attached to them.
"As you can see," wrote the man from the fondi, "little by little, the fondi will control all the world's resources while much of the world's population gets wiped out. The process is not unknown to you. It is laid out in principle, though rather softly, in your government's NSSM200 document of 1974. You should study this document. It describes the fondi's game plan. That is why there is so much emphasis on ethnic separation and indigenous identities. Ethnically fractured backgrounds are ideal for breaking up nations, for destroying their sovereignty, for developing terrorist factions that can start wars on demand or unleash ethnic 'cleansing' of a targeted depopulation. War is also what you will see on an ever larger scale and in places you would never suspect wars would break out."
At the end of the man's letter was another statement of sheer arrogance, as he pointed out that "of course" there is nothing that any of us would be able to do to prevent any of this from happening. "The fondi's plans will be carried out even if they must recruit different allies every year. Should you be able to influence some of their present allies to break away, this won't be a hindrance to the fondi. They will throw those away and recruit new ones. That is why you cannot touch them. The fondi have no permanent allies. They only have a permanent objective for total world domination and complete ownership. They will keep at it for as long as it takes, until their goal is reached. They will grind any adversary into the dust by this constant shifting and renewed attacks, and they do it when their targets least expect them to. There simply isn't any power in existence that can stand against the fondi long enough, especially not you."
I could almost hear him laugh at us. "My advise to you," he wrote, "is to keep this letter handy as a reference to verify my predictions when they are coming true, because every one of them will come true."
The letter wasn't signed. As soon as I read it, I tucked it away in a reaction of shame and didn't let anyone else see it. Eventually, though, it occurred to me that Steve should have a look at it. This meant that everyone would read it, too.
Steve just shook his head as he read it. "The letter doesn't tell us anything that we do not already know," he said and laughed, "but the arrogance is disturbing." Steve laughed. But he laughed with some apparent reservations as he folded the letter up and handed it to Ushi who read it and passed it on to Ross.
Steve said to me after everyone read the letter it that it occurred to him that the letter was really an invitation for me to meet with them. "They want to reveal more," he said, "but not in writing. You must go back to the place near the bridge were we were ambushed. You must go there tonight, preferably right now. I have done my part at the conference when I launched the big shockwave that you requested. Well the shockwave is moving. Now it's your turn to deal with the consequence. This means, you'll have to go and meet the vultures. And who would be better qualified than you? After all, you're Uncle Sam's trained diplomat. I am only a scientist." Steve laughed after that. "Do you want me to come along?" he added.
"I am going alone," I said. "There is more integrity in doing this alone, rather than by committee."
Sylvia didn't concur. Ushi likewise said that it was far too dangerous. Ross disagreed. Ross said if they wanted to kill us, they would have done it by now. Tony bravely volunteered to come along, but I couldn't accept this offer either. I suggested that the fondi would expect me to come alone. They won't harm me. After what we put on the official plate, harming anyone of us would be too great an exposure for them. They want to negotiate. That is, they want to give us the marching orders. They'll make threats of course. That's to be expected in the world of empire. Nor will they play their game openly. This, too, is understood."
"I think this could get interesting," said Steve.
Reluctantly Sylvia agreed.
So, off I went, alone through the dark narrow streets towards Piazza San Marco. The piazza was nearly deserted except for the ever-present pigeons. The huge cathedral at the end of the large disserted square rose eerily against the dark sky. In an attempt to banish the creeping fear that this mood inspired the song from a long ago musical came to mind: "Feed the birds, tuppens a bag, tuppens a bag." I focused my thoughts onto the pigeons and onto the song from the musical: "Feed the birds, tuppens a bag; tuppens a bag;" Oh how lucky those birds were, I thought. Still, I also realized that ignorance isn't bliss. We had come to this city to change the world, to make it a safer and more livable place. That's what our being in Venice was all about, and we came well equipped to make a decisive contribution. Perhaps our success was bigger than we realized, so that it caused such a strong reaction from the fondi that they went ballistic over what we have put in place.
At my destination I found a bench facing the sea. It wasn't occupied. Now, all I had to do was wait.
Barely ten minutes had passed when a man joined me. His appearance was like that of any other tourist, carrying a small plastic shopping bag. He looked at me, smiled, and took a large chocolate bar out of the bag that he broke apart into small chunks and offered one to me. "I am William Palmerston," he introduced himself, "you were probably expecting me. I suppose you will not know who I am, but your friends will fill you in, later. For now my name is not important. What is important to you is what I am going to tell you." He looked at me for a few moments in silence, than added, "I suppose you didn't bring a tape recorder, because of the short notice." He reached into his bag and produced one, and handed it to me. He turned it on to record. "I am going to tell you about the future," he said, "and why it must be the way it will be."
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