[PART 6]

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF TWELVE

A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his planet is good enough to be given

a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled, and less than that no man shall have.”

Theodore Roosevelt

In 1648 the arrogant Irish Archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher, decided that an all-powerful god had created the Earth in 4004 B.C.E. Annales et Novi Testamenti, “Upon the entrance of the night preceding Sunday” on 27 October, later ‘calculated’ to be precisely at nine in the morning if I recall correctly. Archbishop Langland would disagree arguing it had actually been at 3:30 in the afternoon on Sunday, 23 October 4004 B.C.E., giving the Earth a little more than 5900 years from that “sacred time” to create civilization out of nothing! I often wondered if we should count that first period of time in that ancient myth as a full year. After all, according to the tale it was only two months and a few days long? Did he know his myth had actually come from an epic poem written around 4000 B.C.E.?

His arbitrary starting date was taken from fiction, even though for many years it was heresy to say as much, (one also needed to believe that Noah, according to Ussher, embarked on his Ark adventure on Sunday, 7 December 2349 B.C.E.) as it could easily cause one to be murdered to disbelieve such stories. Now with the realities of the Martian holocaust we who had survived had a new starting date. This was no fiction. This was day 1, year 1, of a whole new world. Humanity was starting over with little more than piles of smoldering rubble, a determination to survive, and a powerful hate for all things Martian.

Even though the Earth humanity once knew lay in ruins from the First Martian War, mankind soon began to recover, as they must. The people of Earth needed to come together as one planet to plan and direct as soon as possible the most complicated and comprehensive recovery operation ever conceived. Those of us working on the plan knew that this was something mankind was not accustomed to doing, but we were forced into world cooperation and collective security for it was nearly universally understood this was the only way to survive. It was going to be a delicate balance of freedom when possible on the one hand and strong control on the other. Control was primary and many would fall in its brutal grasp.       

There were no longer capitalistic or socialistic nations, no kings or queens vying for historic preeminence, or even power and control, at least not for the moment, for there was very little left to fight over, although it must be said that some did. Naturally when humans are involved complications are bound to come to the surface. It would be a learning curve all the way, and even as I speak to you today we have not yet learned enough to simply become one Earth. Some areas will, I’m afraid, never again became civilized if they ever were. Mankind is such a stubborn and complicated species capable of great kindness on one hand and great destructiveness on the other. Humans are still, on the time scale of planets, a very young species. “Others” it seems clear saw that humanity needed to be kept an eye on.

As we all recall the first meeting of the Executive Committee of Twelve convened to address the “Martian Problem,” and Earth’s recovery was held on 18 December 1901, in what remained of Victorian London amongst the blackened rubble of that once great and future world city. It was a city, if one could still refer to it as such, with debris still smoldering in many places and with the now familiar smells of destruction still hanging heavily on the early morning fog as we prepared to begin the hard work ahead. I was there, as were representatives from the major warring nations who had fought shoulder to shoulder against the Martians, arriving from the United States, Canada, most of Europe, Asia and South America as well as the Middle East, coming by whatever means could be patched together for the trip. These men represented governments, which had been nearly completely destroyed, the scientific and medical communities, industry leaders, historians, as well as representatives from the world’s major religions and military leaders. A worldwide call had been sent out across the few communication cables and wireless resources that remained intact in an effort to bring together the best minds still on Earth to work on the recovery as well as the Martian problem.

The wireless and cable messages had been short and to the point. “Come to London. No matter what your situation is, come to London.” And so they came from all corners of the world, tired, hungry, bruised and battered, but not defeated. The Martians had taken many lives, (half of the world’s population we would later come to understand) and destroyed much of what we had built, but not the will of the people to fight and rebuild. Somehow I think the Martians would have understood that universal feeling even as they were fighting their own desperate battle for survival on their home planet. If nothing else, surely we have this in common with our interplanetary enemies on Mars; at least I still like to think we have.

These surviving representatives of the many ‘nations’ and occupations had brought with them documents empowering them to do whatever it took to rebuild this world and develop ways to protect it from outside forces. Together these few papers represented mankind’s first world-wide organization. Nations had surrendered their sovereignty for a time in order to work together. We had already learned that much from the Martians. We needed to learn how to properly use such total and complete power without ourselves becoming dictatorial in form and function. As it turned out, that would be our greatest challenge. For the most part our world, now not much more than dust at our feet, had been ruled by autocratic religious elites and by kings and queens who derived their power, so they informed the world, by divine rights given to them by an all powerful god. We had to do better in the future.

George Mason, who had written the Virginia Declaration of Rights before there was a uniting of the American colonies wrote, “Men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights… namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” Power in and of itself is a powerful drug as addictive as any chemical. It would be a constant struggle to balance our own wills to the needs of the world at large. I sometimes wonder if I or any man has ever truly learned that great truth. To be sure at times we would fail as all men are destined to do at some point.

What we did not know was the Martians were listening in even as the fires from the First Martian War still burned. They were still at war with the Earth even as we were no longer at war with these enemy aliens. We did not realize it at the time, but they had never completely left Earth. Certainly there were no active Martian Walkers waiting in the wings preparing to attack. Only later would we learn a few of their machines would stay in orbit around our planet monitoring all they could from their orbital craft. We had no way of knowing this at the time so crude were our abilities in those advanced methods. In point of fact they were non-existent in those technical arenas. They could not land and hope to survive for long in most areas on Earth, at least for the foreseeable future, but they could still keep an eye on all things human.

Of course the Executive Committee of Twelve was never meant to represent 12 individuals, rather it was meant to reflect the 12 major groups of recovery, study and eventual control by the 12 groups consisting of many members led by some of the brightest minds remaining on Earth. The original Executive Committee of Twelve consisted of men such as George Westinghouse, Henry Ford (who at the time had been building various types of primitive motor vehicles in his machine shop before it had been destroyed during the war), Antoine-Henri Becquerel, Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert G. Wells, Edwin Henry Harriman, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Gustave Whitehead, Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Dr. Walter Reed, Dr. Nikola Tesla, Professor Albert Einstein (working at the time as a clerk for the Committee) and many others far too numerous to recall.

Over 250 of the world’s best minds who had, by one way or another survived the holocaust were brought together in a patched up British government building near the River Thames (one of the very few buildings still standing) for two weeks of discussions and planning. These were at the time the most powerful men ever assembled upon this Earth and we knew one great truth. All of us knew there was a great need to form some sort of world government or control group to command the desperate situation we found ourselves in at least on a temporary basis, even if we did not refer to it as such. We needed to think of world resources not national ones. However, we did not give ourselves a proper organizational name at first because any such name would have been seen as formal and permanent, even as we had to act as one.

It was not a natural thing for humans at the time to think of themselves as citizens of the world, even today it is a difficult concept to embrace but in order to survive we needed to jointly plan all economics, military, political and humanitarian activities. Pooling remaining resources of all kinds needed to be done as well as combining at least on some level, all naval and ground military forces. We were all going to sink or swim together – the Martians had seen to that. They had unwittingly become the great unifying force for all the peoples of Earth. We all had the same enemy now, at least for a while!

The first order of business was to understand what we had remaining and divide up responsibility for not only rebuilding our destroyed cities and economies, and developing our science and technology, but to put into place a major effort to prevent or if necessary repel any further attacks on Earth by the Martians. Rebuilding and rearming military forces necessary to defend the planet with the most modern weapons of war we could develop needed to be one of our first tasks. No one could predict if or when the interplanetary enemy would return. A rather tall order one would think considering the massive destruction the Martian weapons had delivered to our world. Certainly it was realized even though the Martians who had attacked the Earth were all dead (as far as anyone knew at the time) they represented only a tiny fraction of what must have been a massive military infrastructure on their home planet. They had lost a large invading army and most of their spacecraft, fighting machines and other equipment they had brought to the effort. That much was true, but the Earth had no way of hitting back at the time so the cities and underground facilities on Mars were completely unaffected by the First Martian War save their supplies of Martians and materials now lost on Earth.

Our first Prime Director would later remark, “Gentlemen, we are effectively starting off with little more than the clothes on our backs and our will to survive. From this we must not only rebuild our economic engines, we must somehow build the most powerful and coordinated military organization ever conceived on Earth with devices yet to be imagined and we must do it as fast as we can. Time will not be on our side and to be sure there will be great losses before we may claim any type of success. Nevertheless, we few will decide whether it will be humanity who continues to command our world or the Martians. Let’s get to work.”

Even without knowing for certain, it was clear in the minds of most of these men meeting in the ruins of Old London in 1901 that there would eventually be another invasion from Mars as soon as they could affect the effort. So long had they planned and so brutal and desperate had the first wave of attacks been, more attacks could not have been long in coming. We had no doubts about that. The only questions were: When and where would the next attack begin? As it turned out we did not have very long to wait.

The ‘Last’ Martian Attack of the War!

“But who shall dwell in these worlds if they be inhabited? Are we or they

Lords of the World? And how are all things made for man?”

Johann Kepler (1571-1630)

I remember the meetings had been going on for about a week and some real progress was being made when the final attack of the war we all thought had ended came suddenly upon us. The skies had cleared a bit for the first time in weeks and there seemed to be much less smoke and gases in the cool crisp air that afternoon. At first no one could quite believe what their eyes and ears were telling them. That’s how I felt at least. From seemingly out of nowhere and flying directly over Government Hall where the Committee members had been meeting came three big beautiful Martian Flying Machines, engines roaring and Heat-Rays pulsing. Everyone was stunned.

Someone finally yelled, “Co blimy, what the bloody ‘ell is all that?”

In an instant we all knew what they were!

They looked more like gigantic flying Australian boomerangs used by the natives’ of that southern land than proper flying machines. But then again the only real flying machines any of us had ever seen were Otto Lilienthal’s gliders at Paris and Berlin glider demonstrations and these gleaming steel monsters were no gliders. These were the ultimate in Martian flying war craft and they were as magnificent as they were terrifying. The easy grace in which they commanded the sky was both terrifying and inspiring. It was difficult not to keep one’s eyes on them. Even in terror one could not help but admire the technology, far above anything humans had even dreamed of.

Vickers’ machine gun crew firing on low flying Martian machine
Vickers’ machine gun crew firing on low flying Martian machine

As they swept forward two Vickers’ machine gun crews dug in near the river suddenly opened up on the Martians. Having been in the war they must have known it was futile, but nevertheless they poured their fire on to the lead machine. We could see and hear that they had hit the first craft dead on, but there was no effect on the armored craft as the Heat-Ray swept across the guns destroying both crews in less than a second; men and weapons vanishing in a white/green hot flash. Our ears felt the shock of the atmosphere as it thundered the flash of light. It is thought that perhaps their efforts gave the rest of us the precious few seconds we needed to find cover as they lined up for their ‘proper’ attack.

People began to scream, as others just stood there too numb to react. “Martians! Down, every one. Get down. The Martians are back!”

As I dove for whatever sparse cover I could find I could see the machines in precise formation performing a tight turn over the Thames River preparing to make their run at Government Hall. It was not out of fear that I stared intently at these craft, but my utter fascination at their complete and easy command of the sky. They were in total control and once again I was ducking for cover from a Martian attack.

As they came around for their attack run they seemed to be firing at just about anything they could shoot at. And to be honest there was not that much remaining to fire at, save the many ships unloading food and greatly needed medical supplies along the river. It was not long before many of them were well engulfed in flames as the surviving crew members, many badly wounded, some on fire, dove into the river. Government Hall went next as all three studied their deadly Heat-Rays on the building. From my perspective, in a muddy debris filled ditch, the building seemed to glow just before imploding with what seemed a singularly mighty clap of thunder. It was over in a great white-hot flash of pulsed energy. What remained of what had been a five-story brick building was a rubble filled hole spewing steam and fire from the pit. Molten bricks flowed into the gutter. All remaining inside were lost in a bright green flash!

The three Martian Flying Machines took no more time in the London area heading south on a course towards the English Channel and on towards France. As they cleared the horizon we could see their Heat-Ray weapons still firing almost as randomly as they had over London. There was only one problem for them. The Martians had attacked at the wrong time.

Editor’s Note: Had these craft been able to return to Mars Prime their captains and crews would have been executed for failing to arrive on time in order to engage the humans in battle with the rest of the battle fleet.

As I looked around at the latest destruction I could not help laughing at my friend Winston who was standing on a small rise firing round after round at the Martian craft clearly well out of range. What he hoped to accomplish I don’t know, but it did seem to remove at least some of the frustration we all felt.

            “Winston! Winston!”

            “What?”

            “Stop firing that bloody rifle man. You know you can’t hit anything. Here, have one of my cigars, it will make you feel better.”

            “Feel better? I sincerely doubt it. Never had one of those things before. Are they any good?”

            “Winston my friend, I swear by them.”

I now thank the gods for that particular English institution – British tea-time. As a special treat for their international guests the reconstructed British government, a matter of great pride for the British people as it was one of the first to be reestablished after the war, had set up some tents in a garden two blocks from Government Hall near one of the many new temporary feeding centers. It was tea-time and they wanted it to be business as usual even amongst the rubble. It had been a good effort. As such, the surprise Martian attack had killed fewer than 40 people, all support staff and military guards who were unlucky enough to still be in the building at the time. If I had not been on an errand I too would have been counted among the lost and perhaps this story would never have been told. As it turned out none of the invited guests were killed, but to say the least more than a few were badly shaken and a number were injured. As one man would say, “By the gods no dammed squid faced Martian bastard is going to take away my bleedin’ tea-time.” He then silently sat down to finish his tea. That British stiff upper lip was as stiff as ever. All I could do was shake my head and smile. It was a ridicules scene.

As for this so-called “final Martian attack”, I did not believe that for a second. There was nothing I could really point to and say it indicated any fact to support my belief, but I knew damn well – the bloody Martians would be back. I do not believe I was alone in that thought.

One good example of humanities’ determination to recover may be seen in the fact that the venerable Times of London had issued a post war press run only four days after hostilities ended. And even though it was only two pages in length it was a glowing example of their mettle. In the single paragraph editorial the publisher apologized for the disruption in service due to the war and stated that they “would do their best to keep publishing on time in the future.” The Brits, beaten as the rest of us were, just seemed to take it all in stride. They certainly were keeping that famous stiff upper lip as firm as ever.

Two weeks later the Times reported the city of London had suffered 1,471 deaths the previous week listing 4 from cholera, 20 from diphtheria, 13 from measles, 271 from diarrhea, 14 from enteric fever, 7 from smallpox, 211 from dysentery, 14 from scarlet fever and 27 from whooping cough. The remaining deaths were not listed by cause. At the time I wondered why they even bothered.

Not expecting to be working at this time nevertheless found the venerable Florence Nightingale rolling up her sleeves to attend the injured. She simply took charge of the wounded and that was that. “All right you lot let’s get moving. This is no time to be standing around staring at people. We have work to do. Let’s move those cots over here…” No one argued with Florence. She had traveled to London for the conference and we were all very glad to have her with us. Her efforts and those of Red Cross volunteers across the globe would eventually save hundreds of thousands of lives. They were one solid example that humanity still stood firm upon the devastated land.

Newly sworn in United States President Theodore Roosevelt who had arrived early for the conference was his usual bombastic self as he picked up his glasses and dusted himself off. “Where the devil is my hat? If ever a place needed a big bloody stick this is it. We need to teach those bloody Martians a thing or two about proper manners – and soon! I knew I should have brought my Buffalo gun with me.” (At 39 years of age he was the youngest man yet to hold that position. That record would be broken when 36 year old Vice President Mathew Armstrong would take office after the assassination of President William McDavis.)

Another man yelled, “Its bows and arrows against the lightning.” And he was not too far from the truth. How by the gods were we to fight these things?

As for Mr. Roosevelt, he was new at the job having taken over the American Presidency from William McKinley who had been shot during a visit to Buffalo, New York, on 6 September 1901, by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. “I have done my duty.” McKinley died on 14 September from gangrene and his assassin was executed soon after. (He was one of many murderers simply taken out and shot by a mob. His co-conspirators Emma Goldman and Abraham Isaak would soon follow.) “It is a dreadful thing to come to the Presidency in this way; but it would be a far worse thing to be morbid about it.” Roosevelt’s first few weeks were thrust upon him during the First Martian War. To say the least he was up to the job.

Roosevelt was well known after being named the Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy in 1897 and then running off in 1898 as the leader of the Rough Riders as they attacked, on foot, up San Juan and Kettle Hills in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. He had his long awaited crucible of fire during that small but still deadly war. He was proud of his ‘work’ reporting to a friend, “Did I tell you that I killed a Spaniard with my own hand!” Returning to New York City he soon found himself elected Governor of the State of New York. Earlier, in 1889 he made quite a bit of news when he spoke out on coastal defenses. “Frankly, I don’t know if I should be sorry to see a bit of a spar with Germany; the burning of New York and a few other seacoast cities would be a good object lesson on the need of an adequate system of coastal defenses.” To say the least when it came to war “Teddy” was ready. He was well known for his philosophy based upon a West African proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick and you will go far.” Those closest to the young President would later write that at times “his blood lust would boil to the surface’ and at those times one close advisor made it clear to me that Roosevelt was ‘mad as a hatter!” Most of the time however, he could control his urges to “go out and kill something.”

Earlier, as I was pulling myself up from the mud, my first thought was, “Just where in hell did these bastards come from?” As I got up my companion, who I had not noticed in the ditch next to me, said, “This is not good news. I thought the damn Martians were all dead. How is this possible? How many more of these bloody squids are there still out there?” That was something we all wanted to know, but the first thing we needed to do was sending out warnings to the continent and let them know what was soon coming their way and fast. That cable was still in operation.

My wet and muddy companion’s question would later be answered. It seemed that the colder the temperature the longer it took Earth’s bacteria to infect and eventually kill the Martians. We were later to learn that these three machines had for some unknown reason arrived on Earth a bit late and had landed to the far north above the Arctic Circle. By the time they completed the assembly of their flying machines the rest of their attack force were already dead. For the crews of the three Martian Flying Machines who attacked what remained of London, Paris, and points south, finally crashing in an area north of the Mediterranean, they were on what they had to know was a suicide mission.

We would also learn the Martians had been able to easily pick up our wireless messages of where the international meeting was being held so their attack on Government Hall was not a random act. Not knowing there were still Martians able to attack us meant we did not even think about coding any of our radio messages. We all agreed the Martians were trying to take out as many of the brightest minds on the planet as they could in one shot. And, it damned near worked! Needless to say, I still believe the British tradition of “tea-time” is a pretty good idea.

However, this surprise attack brought a valuable lesson or two for us to learn. It showed that we could never let our guard down as these Martians can come from anywhere and at any time and they knew our language. One short fellow dusting himself off remarked, “These Martians it would seem do not know they have lost the war and it was time to go home!” It also gave us a very nice piece of military intelligence. The Martians had revealed a weakness in their attack plans. They went after wireless transmissions and from this we should be able to set up some type of defensive measure in the future. It would be years before this information could be put to good use. We also learned to never broadcast anything of value that can and probably would be intercepted by the Martians on the open radio waves. From their attack formation it appeared they flew over the radio location first at low altitude to verify the target and then came around for the attack. We needed to remember that they were always listening – always!

My personal notes on the attack were a reminder to us all when I wrote, “…anticipated attacks from any direction must always be foremost on our minds as we do not have sufficient intelligence capabilities to acquire current updates on dispositions of any remaining Martian forces either on Earth or Mars. Attack must always be expected at any time or place. We cannot let our guard down for one minute.”

We were slowly, painfully, learning how to fight these off-world devils. These lessons would take years to learn even as we fought to rebuild our shattered world. And make no mistake about it, each lesson we learned cost the lives of thousands of people, and at times many more than that. As for myself, I kept wondering if we were doing the right things. Did we have the right to make these decisions? Who were we to decide the fate of mankind? I would never find a clear answer to those questions of doubt. After a while I stopped even thinking about it. In an organization that we were developing these kinds of doubts were best kept to one’s self.

CONTINUING TO REORGANIZE THE WORLD

“The torment was over. Even that day the healing would begin.The survivors of the people scattered over the country – leaderless, lawless, and foodless, like sheep without a Shepard – the thousands who had [left] by sea would begin to return.”

Committee member from his private notes

Even though nerves were naturally still on edge the international group went right back to work. Hell, there was really no other choice. We had a world to save. ‘We?’ Such arrogance is man. However, this time we met in a large office area of the Old London Underground near the Thames River tunnel. As the few remaining trains did whatever they could to keep Londoners and critical supplies on the move the Executive Committee of Twelve met, ate and slept underground, and naturally one of the items on the table was the idea of building major facilities underground where the Martians would be very hard pressed to reach any of them by air attack or any Heat-Ray. It was the latest Martian attack that had given the members this idea, and it was one which would find great favor. We were also becoming aware that the Martians had themselves built underground although we could not have known at the time just how extensive their work had been. To survive after near world ending catastrophes, as the ambient air pressure fell to levels that could not sustain life for extended periods of time on the surface, the Martians sought safety underground.

Later, we would discover that their underground facilities were much more extensive than the areas presently occupied on the surface of Mars. Their building program must have lasted perhaps thousands of years. Our program had to be completed in a few short decades.

It was noted during those early days the Martians never engaged in close personal combat during the war, at least not intentionally, therefore it was felt that if we could keep them away from our underground facilities, and we could keep their deadly gases out, we may have a real fighting chance the next time they tried to attack. I remember thinking no one knew for sure if it could be done, but it was a nice thought nevertheless.

As for Committee organization we needed to set up directorates within the group as well with the sole purpose of developing our sciences including space science and any technology we could develop ourselves or by using the devices left behind by the Martians. Whatever they had left behind we needed to use to our best advantage. We needed to put the right people in the right positions.

Directorates were then set up to begin putting the world back into some kind of order as best we could but with little or no operating governmental infrastructures it was going to be a logistical nightmare. The major program Directorates of The Executive Committee of Twelve included, A-Economy of the Nations-Banking Directorate, B-World Infrastructure Redevelopment, International Law and Welfare, C-World Military Forces and International Security, D-Advanced Scientific Research and Advanced Weapons Development, E-Back Engineering Martian Technology, F-Astronomical and Space Studies, G-Exo-biological and Medical Directorate, H-Martian Studies and Political Contact, I-Historical Earth and Archeological Research and Preservation, J-Geological Studies and Resource Directorate, K-Planetary Studies, L-Propaganda, News and Public Information. (Historians would point to Rome of 1622 when the church created their directorate for the “propagation of the faith” as the original group of propagandists from which we take the word propaganda.) Naturally there were many sub-directors in each Directorate far too numerous to go into now.

A close look at how these directors worked would show the true purpose of each and every one of them. It was unstated but we all knew our primary task was to rearm and prepare for the next Martian war. All of our activities, farming transportation, communications, science, shipping, education facilities, mining, manufacturing, infrastructure development – no matter what activity we were involved in – war with Mars was our guiding light. Nothing and no one would be allowed to interfere with this “prime directive”. An expected future war with Mars was to consume our lives for the better part of the next four decades.

THE MAGIC TWELVE

These 12 Directorates would be ‘commanded’ by 12 individuals known collectively as the “Magic Twelve”. They had by secret international agreements signed by all attendees at this first meeting and eventually by treaty with re-formulated governments, absolute control over their Directorates and therefore much of the world. These were tough minded men willing to do whatever was required, no matter how ruthless they had to be, to get the job done. These were the “high priests” of the Committee, and for nearly 40 years they would literally rule most of the world. During the preliminary phase of world recovery individual nations would be secondary to the Committee. And as far as most high-minded members of the Committee they always would be “above the fray of mire nations.” Nominated and then voted into office by a majority of the members at the first World Committee Meeting they would remain in office until they resigned or died. Upon departure they would be replaced by majority vote of the leadership of the Executive Committee of Twelve (The Magic Twelve). As I said before we wanted the people to think of a group of men working to put the world back together, not a named organization with overwhelming military and political power. These were to become, and still are, the most powerful group of men in world history and very few knew their names.

The names of the Magic Twelve were “Most Secret” and never to be revealed to the general public during the time they were in office and were never spoken of by any member of the Committee outside of the Committee Headquarters less the Martians or their suspected agents learn who were directing Earth’s recovery and war preparation operations. They were simply referred to as Director A or Director B etc. Later, many were known only by a single capital letter which designated which powerful Directorate they controlled. I would come to know them all. I am now able to reveal who the original members were. Clearly they were and are all well-known men of great talent and power. And they would need to bring to the table all of their faculties in order to save what remained of humanity and bring our wounded species back from what seemed like the very brink of extinction.

Many of the leaders, as I may now state, were from an up and coming nation on the wounded world stage, the United States of America. In fact, historians now point to the First Martian War as the turning point in history when the British Empire, who had held sway over 40% of the world’s population at the time, saw its slow decent as the Americans, already poised for greatness, began their dramatic climb to world power. My friend Winston, known for many years simply as “H” would remark: “These two great organizations of the English-speaking democracies, the British Empire and the United States, will have to be somewhat mixed up together in some of their affairs for mutual and general advantage.”

In the years to come it would be the United States who would take the lead in the recovery as well as the rearming of the Earth under Committee guidance of course. By melding together what remained of the British Empire with the drive and leadership of the Americans and their industrial strength the Committee had a core element from which to rebuild the world. When the time came it was expected the Martians would surely take this information to heart as they began anew their assaults on Earth. It was only natural that much of the new leadership would come from westernized industrial nations, rather than old world imperial powers now shown to have been weak and superficial. Kings and queens would no longer hold the world in their hands even though in the future they could still cause a great deal of trouble. Even with that said it was going to be a thin dividing line which would separate dictatorship of a very small group of men from a group of world leaders pushing the world forward with freedom and liberty.

History now records at times these great men would cross that thin dividing line repeatedly, even as they tried their best to maintain a balance. In the end all that can be said was they were indeed just men, and all men are flawed. All we could do was try, and at times would fail. What we could not afford to do was stop trying – as we all felt that we few were the “last great hope for humanity on our damaged world.”

The original “Magic Twelve” were:

                                                A – John Pierpont Morgan (1867-1913)

                                                B – John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)

                                                C – Admiral George Dewey (1837-1917)

                                                D – Dr. Nikola Tesla (1856-)

                                                E – Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931)

                                                F – Percival Lowell (1855-1916)

                                                G – Colonel William C. Gorgas (1854-1920)

                                                H – Winston Churchill (1874-)

                                                I – Professor Sir Arthur John Evans (1851-)

                                                J – Richard Achilles Ballinger (1858-1922)

                                                K – Professor Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910)

                                                L – Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-)

By informal arrangement among the “Twelve” if any disagreements developed between Directors on overlapping areas of responsibility the Directors responsible for those areas would meet in private to settle any disputes. If the dispute could not be resolved the full Magic Twelve group would meet to debate and then vote on the issue. Tie votes would be resolved if necessary by an additional vote cast by the Chairman of the Magic Twelve. The Chairmanship is for one year and moves from A, to B, to C etc. The Directors also had the opportunity to decline the top leadership position for whatever reason and without comment, which would then pass the honor on to the next Director in line. Although it is known that at least four times the Magic Twelve were required to meet to resolve an issue, each time a straight line vote held up one position or the other on the first ballet. Normally, called twice a year by the Chairman, and at a time and place known only to the Magic Twelve, all of the Directors usually meet at the home of one of the members. However, at least three times the group met in Committee Headquarters deep underground in one of the new underground facilities. A three-word code was delivered to the Directors when a meeting is planned, which is still in effect and is not known by anyone other than the Directors themselves and the man assigned to deliver the code. I didn’t learn the code until much later. At these meetings only the Twelve were in attendance. No one else could attend, not even the Vice Directors. It is interesting to note that even at the start of operations certain rituals were in place. One of the most interesting involved the use of green ink. Only the sitting Prime Director was allowed to pass on notes or instructions in green ink. Green ink was a favorite of John Pierpont Morgan and when he left after serving as the first Prime Director it was decided the tradition would be continued and is still in place today.

There was only one provision for removal of a seated Director. The Magic Twelve would vote in closed session and only if the other eleven (or surviving) members agreed could a Director be removed.

As a point of additional security the Magic Twelve had put into place two operational agreements. 1-Directors would hold their offices and eventually their homes in Lower cities and no more than five at a time would be in any one city during regular operations. 2-A replacement director for each Directorate will already have been selected before the loss or retirement of the primary known within the Committee as the Vice-Director or “Prince.” Naturally the directorate had private security at all times – night and day. Their homes were never left unguarded. Their original security detail had come mostly from private security firms who were already on the payroll of J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. They needed to have men that they personally trusted. This was later expanded to a uniformed as well as a plain clothed team of security operatives. They would become the Cabinet Security Service (CSS), but that was a few years down the road.

As would be expected even in this elite group there would be those who rose to the top. Clearly the most powerful of the group were J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. Before the war Morgan, a loner often referred to as arrogant, had his hands into almost every important industry of his day. He was ruthless and truculent, but he knew how to effectively organize for success. These were some of the men Teddy Roosevelt, a very rich man himself before the war, had earlier called, “malefactors of great wealth.” Now the new American president (and ‘Prince’ of the Committee) would be forced to rely upon their wealth and great experience to help put the world back together. Nevertheless, it was not such an uneasy alliance as one might have thought, at least on the surface. The new reality did indeed make for very strange bed fellows.

A rather well known incident would occur after Roosevelt left the Presidency to go on an African safari. Morgan would send Teddy a telegram. “Best wishes and good luck to the lions!” A laughing Teddy replied by telegraph, “Bully! Have named one of my kills JP!”

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt

It may now be known the American President and the British Prime Minister, no matter who came to those offices, were always part of the executive Committee, usually as a ‘Prince’ of one of the Directorates. Duties and responsibilities of their offices however, prevented any of them from becoming Directors – so far. Nevertheless, my friend Winston had not given up hope of one day stepping into both positions at the same time.

During the first year of operation Morgan became the most powerful man on Earth. He quite literally ‘ruled the world.’ Rockefeller was another industrial giant who had ruthlessly eliminated much of his competition in the oil industry and forged the Standard Oil Company combining his own refineries with railways and pipe lines. Both men were well known giants on the world stage whose names alone caused events to occur within the Committee. Both men would also point to the efforts of another man each had come to know as the third leg of this group of industrial giants – Andrew Carnegie. He had been Wall Street’s leading man of finance before the war and he allowed no one to get in his way; not even the ‘Twelve’. I found it interesting to note during the American Civil War (otherwise the ‘War of Northern Aggression’) both Rockefeller and Carnegie paid for substitutes to take their places in the front lines of battle rather than allow themselves to serve in the Union army.

Carnegie (the first ‘Prince’ of Directorate A) would roll up his sleeves as well and help put what remained of Carnegie Steel Production into full gear to be reformed as the United States Steel Corporation. With a capitalization of $1.4 billion from Morgan and Rockefeller his former company was soon back into steel production on a vast scale. Not too long after this however, he sold his shares in the steel company to J. P. Morgan for $450 million in order to devote full time creating some 2,800 libraries around the world. He later became the driving force behind an effort to save the world’s literature and other documents in underground vaults. This would eventually turn into the world-wide underground “Vaults for Mankind” project. “The person of great wealth is merely a trustee and agent for his poorer brethren.”

He was also to become a leader and major funder of attempts to alter the reproductive processes in animals and plants in order to breed new hybrid species in response to the Martian efforts known as Eugenics. Carnegie would recall the destruction by the Martians, but he also remarked that we had done much of the destructive work ourselves as in the destruction of the Aztec and other “new world” written works. Many such cases of lost writings being destroyed by insane priests or jealous kings and queens abound throughout our history. Now was the ideal time to protect all that we could from forces off world as well as on. We needed to protect mankind’s great works from ourselves! He would attempt to save works in all of the Earth’s written and spoken languages, but he felt English, clearly the most powerful and useful of Earth’s thousands of languages, should be considered the prime language for the world. “Ere long we shall have a solid English-speaking race, capable of preventing much of the evil of the world.” He could easily have mentioned off-world evil as well.

In order to maintain order, control and especially security, all direct orders from the Magic Twelve were to be personally delivered by a trusted staff member who had memorized the message and held the recognition code. The only paper he held was a single word (hand signed) and it was destroyed on contact. One copy of the messages was to be kept in Committee Headquarters for historic purposes. That was one of my first jobs I had when I began my work at the Committee, writing the organization’s detailed history. Later we would organize a small internal message center to secure communications within the Committee. Keeping in mind this was the first truly whole world-wide organization the Committee took great lengths to eventually include members as assistant directors and other lower levels of authority from as many ‘nations’ as possible. It must be stated however, this was not inclusion just for inclusions’ sake. If these people were not qualified they were not given the responsibility. Political expedience did not have a seat at the Committee table. Everyone at the Committee knew they had earned the right to be there because they were the best we could find.

COMMITTEE OPERATIONS

It is a measure of their collected wisdom that the Committee wrote up a series of rules in its charter agreement by which world treaties, which had formed this organization, were to be subjected to renewal by majority vote of the re-established nations every five years. If a majority of the world’s governments felt that the Committee was still required it would be kept in place, but if not they would fold up their political tent and close for business one year to the day of the vote at least that was the plan. Yet, sometimes plans are just that – plans – and never really meant to be put into effect. Power to be sure is indeed a drug which can be very hard to overcome.

It was left to one prominent member of the Committee to remark that, “It will aim to establish, and it will at last, through probably only after a second century has passed, establish a world-state with a common language and a common rule. If the human race is not to go on slipping down towards a bottomless pit of wars, conquest and extermination it must be through the rapid and zealous expansion of the intellectual organizations of the English-speaking communities.” His words reminded me of John Fiske’s article in Harper’s Magazine before the war. He remarked that English-speaking people would eventually reside in every land on Earth and “establish civilization” where none had been before. The members were quick to pass by voice vote English in its several forms as the official language for the Executive Committee of Twelve and by this act they had in fact made English the world’s primary language as it remains so today. In point of fact, if you did not speak English you could not work for the Committee.

This use of a single world language would not only speed up the recovery, but would become one of the foundations for bringing the world together as a working unit even though many countries still used their native languages at home. The Committee encouraged this even though the majority simply adopted English as their new national language. Many knew that their own recovery depended on it. It became the single most binding element of the Committee – and for that matter the world. It would also be under constant attack by those elements on Earth who for whatever reasons wished to weaken the language bond put into place by English. Hybrids in the work of the enemy aliens were constantly attempting to disrupt this unity of world language.

The historic reason for the rise of the English language as primary to the world is quite simple. Those few who had administered the vast British Empire before the war had maintained a powerful merchant marine representing commerce. It was the wealth and power of their world-wide commerce, which spread the use of English around the world, and it continues as the language of diplomacy and commerce. We needed to move away from the fictional Tower of Babel and unite for survival. From Genesis 11:1-9 we could read, “Here, they are, one people with a single language, and now they have started to do this [build a tower]; henceforward nothing they have a mind to do will be beyond their reach. Come, let us go down there and confuse their speech, so that they will not understand what they say to one another.”

There was also an early call by some Committee members to look at establishing a world citizenship at least for Committee members as a way of unifying the people of the planet, but the idea was shelved as it was thought that this would put too much attention on the Committee at the expense of national identities. Power needed to be tempered with caution. The idea was later modified to allow for a world-wide passport to be issued to members of the Committee, but the document made clear what nation the individual was a citizen of.

The Executive Committee of Twelve had procured funding at the first meeting for all major operations by submitting (which was approved) a one percent Martian War tax (increased four years later to 1-1/2 %) on all nations (which were still loosely in existence) rich and poor. “Rich” of course being a relative term at the time as no nation on Earth could truly call itself rich after the recent devastation. Rich in this case referred to richness in resources and the ability to convert them into a plan for “full” recovery. This way funding would be proportioned to economic strength with the United States funding the greatest portion of the load for many years to come.

Operations would also be supported, at least for the first few years of Committee operation, by major ship building, mining, food production, transportation, and oil exploration as well as refinement efforts, which would be later sold off to national or private individuals. Directorate A would handle many of these diverse areas. It was expected a ten year period would be long enough to stabilize the overall situation at which point such resources would be sold off. From that point on we would be in an oversight position. It is interesting to note three members, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, still quite wealthy despite the war, seeded their own vast fortunes towards the first year’s operation of the group. Not unexpectedly all three would gain massive profits from their vast world-wide investments as well as their Committee connections.

It should also be stated after three years the Committee members were able to “enhance” their funding with sources of income, which were generally kept “off the books” and not just for security reasons. These sources were not, as it were, criminal in nature, but many of them came very close. Naturally the Committee had no problems making up their own rules. To be sure no outside individual or organization was keeping track of the Committee, not that they would have tolerated it.

Access to these funds that went to recovery came through the Committee’s World Finance Reconstruction Corporation out of Directorate A. Funding would support all Committee activities including full historical reviews of all surviving ancient records in order to discover if and when Martians had ever come to Earth in times long since forgotten. This had been a general theory developed by the group, but we needed facts not theories.

Having just concluded the most devastating war in world history it is not too surprising to note that future military operations were discussed. For purposes of general survival it was deemed necessary to include as part of this “international agreement” the right to conquer territory which had not by other means “come under the rule of international law.” Military force would be seen as a final measure and indeed a failure of Committee policy and ‘good works,’ however, if it did become necessary for combined Committee authorities to conduct such operations at their discretion.

[END PART 6]

Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020

[Next week: Part 7: Thoughts and testimony.]

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