Adolf Hitler: landscape painter. Charles Manson: songwriter. David Koresh: rock guitarist. Driven men all, whose artistic endeavors went unappreciated, forcing them to choose other careers with disastrous results. How much horror could have been averted simply by supporting these men in their preferred avocations?
Imagine a secret organization (it would have to be secret), a cabal of artists, scientists and their patrons, carefully bolstering the careers of such men to divert their destructive energies, covertly purchasing Hitler's landscapes, Manson's music... defusing the dictators.
The cabal would have setbacks and failures, of course; if not, Dolph Hitler and the Wailin' SS might still be packing arenas for their "Thousand Year Rock" tour. But imagine how bad things could have been.
What if our universe is one of the lucky ones? What if such a cabal does exist in our world, its operations constrained by the need for secrecy, unrecognized by targets and beneficiaries alike?
Imagine a universe very close to this one, a world where our conspiracy did not exist...
Forehead bulging, The Dictator leaned over his electronic keyboard, crooning tunelessly. Near-naked concubines crouched at his feet, awaiting his pleasure with frightened eyes. His lieutenants exchanged glances and hand signals among themselves, comparing notes, perhaps, on the day's battles just won, but not daring even to whisper while the Master played.
A courier stumbled into the field office. "Master," he cried, interrupting The Dictator's soaring solo. Silence fell. The courier cringed, knowing his life forfeit but sworn to deliver his message no matter what the cost.
"Master, Washington has fallen. The continent is yours!"
An evil smile spread over The Dictator's face... displaying more even white teeth than any human ought to have. He stood, unnaturally tall, and swept towards the door.
"Yessss... now I can schedule my coronation concert. Now they'll listen, all of them, damn their hides. Kill him," he snapped as an aside. Stone-faced guards dragged the hapless courier outside the field office, where one brief scream heralded his payment for interrupting The Dictator's music.
Once outside, The Dictator stood still, staring up at the stars that too would soon be his.
"Emperor..." he whispered, trying it on his tongue. "Emperor... Tesh."
April 16, 1998
©1998, 2003 Alan P. Scott. All rights reserved.
Last updated November 22, 2003.