When Robert Sartorius, leader of the worldwide Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) presses his campaign proposal in New York on his old friend the UN Secretary-General and is rebuffed due to the hostile pressure of the conservative American administration, the Committee resolves to fight back by launching a “People Power” Global Appeal campaign and telethon spearheaded by celebrity rock superstars Isis and Osiris and former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to mobilize global public support and pressure. Working in the style of the Band 8 and Band Aid campaigns of U2’s Bono and Sir Bob Geldof they pressure the governments of the world to extend the international democratic concept proven in the European Parliament to the global level of the United Nations. The Committee’s headquarters are relocated to London to pursue the global campaign and its director Andreas Sarkozy quickly begins a love affair with Eva Strong, an attractive single-mother on the Committee’s London staff. Eva makes continuous entries to her Blog Journal giving accounts of her search for love as a woman, her love affairs and life. Andreas works with Public Relations Spinmaster Julian Jung, Isis, Russian billionaire Alexander Abromovich Medvedev and Sartorius’ son Jack on the London campaign steering committee to plan and organize the worldwide Global Appeal, and makes continued Blog journal entries on his private and personal life. Meanwhile Sartorius approaches a crisis in his life as he turns fifty, fighting off alcoholism, ageing, loss of faith, feelings of life’s futility and failure, and alienation from his son in the years following his unhappy divorce. He works as an American Professor of International Law in Beijing, travels the world for the UN Parliamentary Assembly campaign working closely with the campaign’s director Andreas Sarkozy, makes continuous entries in his Blog Journal containing his reflections, life and his poetry, begins to research and co-write a book with his Nobel Prize winning friend Gunther Gross on the rise and character of World Literature and then in a fit of depression unsuccessfully attempts suicide. Recovering, his life changes as he moves from Beijing to London for the Campaign, takes a scuba diving holiday en route in the Maldives discovering the shipwreck and a journal of the fabulous past adventures of his ancestor the British Navy Admiral Sir George Rose Sartorius whom he follows as he fought under Nelson at the Battles of the Nile and Trafalgar, encountered the south sea Sorceress Queen Lilith (“Sir She”) and was held captive in the south seas Palace of the Sultan of the Sea of Stories. Sartorius then meets and falls in love with Eva Strong in London, who has just broken off her unsuccessful affair with Andreas, frustrated by his endless sexual infidelities. Sartorius then undergoes a surreal adventure and crisis of faith as he wrestles again with suicide on the day of his fiftieth birthday alone in Mexico City, a fateful date on which he has had a premonition of committing suicide. There he has an alcoholic and hallucinogenic crisis, visits the mysterious Theatro Magico, (or Magic Theatre—For Madmen Only!) encountering sexual adventure and the Aztec gods, recovers his will to live, returns to London, reunites with and collaborates with his son, Jack Sartorius, continues the Parliamentary Assembly campaign and marries Eva, who soon becomes pregnant. Sartorius over more than a year participates in many campaign meetings and trips to Geneva, Berlin, Mexico City, Beijing and Johannesburg, South Africa where he promotes the concept of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, does research on his book on World Literature and has many and far-reaching discussions across the globe on civilization, history, literature, culture and political developments with a wide range of interlocutors.
Meanwhile, Sartorius’ son Jack is an undercover CIA counter-terrorism agent sent to London in the wake of a terrorist bombing of the charter jet carrying the American Olympic Track and Field Team, and is assigned to work connected with the UN Parliamentary Assembly Campaign to investigate its possible infiltration by suspected terrorist cells in its Mid-East bureau, headed by Mohammad Ala Rushdie and Mustafa bin Salaman al Khalifa. This espionage story line follows Jack, MI6 agent Etienne Dearlove and many others as they seek to discover first the terrorist conspiracy, and later as they unravel the mystery the uncovered geopolitical conspiracy involving China, Russia and Iran in a covert alliance, the “Triple Axis,”including first a joint occupation of a collapsing North Korea and then a planned move on the oil reserves of the Middle East, threatening World War III and nuclear Armegeddon. As a cover Jack Sartorius works under the name of Jack McKinsey under spinmaster Julian Jung, son-in-law to global media super-mogul Rupert Madox, in Jung Communications, the global PR agency handling the UNPA Global Appeal campaign pro bono. There he becomes involved in a sexual affair with world-famous female rock star Isis, making love in the Ritz hotel in London where they both live. In the course of his counter-terrorism investigations Jack follows Mohammad Ala Rushdie in his involvement with a London Sufi Meditation Centre and also encounters another competing bogus mercenary Sufi center funded by Isis and many media stars which caters to and exploits the celebrities and becomes the focus of the paparazzi and pulp media. Jack discovers that Mohammad is innocent of the terrorist suspicions directed towards him and is a genuine spiritual seeker following the Islamic Sufi path to spiritual enlightenment. Meanwhile, Jack joins British MI5 Agents Ernest Huxley and Peter Townsend in investigating Mustafa via wiretapping, bugs, Echelon Internet and mobile phone intercepts, shadowing, and surveillance by high-priced call girls on the MI5 payroll. The “intelligence take” from these investigations is followed through the computer networks from MI5 Headquarters in Thames House, through British GCHQ to American NSA in Fort Meade and on to CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia where Jack’s young colleague, Myron Greenberg monitors the case, amoung thousands of others.
At the same time over the course of the novel in Beijng British MI6 agent Etienne Dearlove, lover of Committee East Asia Coordinator Yoriko Oe and under cover as a Reuters/BBC correspondent organizes an espionage project transmitting Chinese confidential Politburo transcripts and records to British intelligence and the CIA and crossing swords with the Chinese Intelligence service, the MSS. This he accomplishes through his compromise through a sexual ménage-a-trois of Zhou Yuchun, the bi-sexual office manager of reactionary Politburo Minister Luo Chunwang, overseer of the Chinese intelligence service, MSS or the Ministry of State Security. The ménage-a-trois also involves Dearlove’s Japanese lover Yoriko Oe, East Asian director for the UNPA Committee, whom Zhou Yuchun introduces to and explores the gay and lesbian underworld of Beijing and Tokyo. Etienne and Yoriko succeed in installing a “Ghost Program” codenamed “Nightingale” in Zhou Yuchun’s computers which regularly forwards hot intelligence from the Chinese Politburo to MI6 Headquarters at Vauxhall Cross, London where it is translated by China Desk Controller Sir Endymion Needham and forwarded to “C” the head of British MI6, who in turn forwards selective parts to London CIA Station Chief Joel Barlow, being relayed onward to US Director of Intelligence Admiral Orwell and President Barret Osama. In Beijing Dearlove also covers the collapse of the North Korean government following the death of the Dear Leader and the joint occupation of that country by China and Russia under the umbrella of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the unhappy fates of some of the democracy advocates in China from the time of the Tian An Men Square incident.
The novel also features many minor characters and subplots, such as the adventures of Pari Kasiwar of India and Jennie Zheng, a Chinese-Asian-American, both working with the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly Committee and who together explore their cross-cultural backgrounds and experiences, love and sexual involvement and their search for spirituality from Eastern and Western perspectives.
Another literary line of action follows Sartorius and Nobel Prize winning author Gunter Gross as the work to co-author a book on “World Literature” in the sense of Goethe’s “Weltliteratur” and the transformation of English Literature into a World Literature in English resulting from the transformation of the English Language from a national language to “Global English” or the lingua franca of and international language of the world.
Book One ends with Sartorius’ wedding to Eva attended by his son Jack in Little Gidding, England the ancestral Sartorius family home, followed by an idyllic honeymoon in the English countryside, by which the reunited Sartorius family returns to their place of origin from which they departed with the Puritan Pilgrims for America four-hundred years earlier, completing their circumnavigation of time, space and the modern world. His quest to establish a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly remains incomplete.
In Book Two, at the height of the Global Appeal “People Power” campaign and in the final lead-up to the worldwide eight-city celebrity telethon for the Parliamentary Assembly, Jack is in Jerusalem preparing the UNPA telethon there and investigating terrorism threats when he encounters Orlando Tasso (aka rock singer Tancredi) who is a love besotted Italian MI6 AISE agent in love with the beautiful Palestinian Rai singer Khlorindah Darwah, who proves to be part of the Iranian Quds Force conspiracy headed by Mustafa of the UNPA Committee. Live on the air at the telethon Sartorius and Eva, Jack and several staff members are taken captive with a host of political leaders by terrorists allied with the infiltrators of the campaign, and who simultaneously detonate an atomic device concealed in a Chinese Teracotta Warrior on loan to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem destroying the Knesset building and the entire Israeli government, and are then flown to Iran and held as human shield hostages along with fellow captives former Presidents Carter and Clinton, Tony Blair, three former UN Secretary Generals and others all captured at the Jerusalem rally of the Global Appeal. They later meet Iran’s Supreme Leader face-to-face in the underground cave complex outside Qom and Teheran that houses its nuclear facilities. They learn the entire nuclear explosion and hostage drama have been engineered as an elaborate cover by a secret alliance and conspiracy, The Triple Axis, led by the resurgent reactionary nationalistic elites of China, Russia, and Iran, and catylized acording to a conspiracy theory by an elusive and shadowy “Axis of Synarchy,” to make a Pearl-Harbor-style surprise invasion of the Middle-East oil reserves in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, severing the West’s energy jugular. This Triple Axis has been brought into existence by the extralegal conspiracy of the reactionary factions of the three governments close to their intelligence services, the Siloviki or former KGB apparatchiki of Russia, the Haghani Sect of Iran within the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, and the Princeling Party, or Tai Zi Dang of China headed by the aggressively nationalistic overseer of the MSS, or Ministry of State Security Politburo Minister Luo Chunwang. This clandestine project has been spearheaded on the ground by Mustafa of the UNPA Committee who proves to be a secret agent of the Iranian Quds Force. In the course of the conspiracy reactionary elements seize control in Russia and China pushing aside liberals Wen Jiabao and Medvedev who have been made pawns to this conspiracy by also being captured at the Jerusalem rally and flown as hostages to Iran, where under house arrest in their own embassies they also serve as human shields against nuclear attack by America or Israel. Nuclear confrontation and a prolonged new Iranian Hostage Crisis ensue over this aggressive Triple Axis adventure, discovered in the nick of time by British MI6 agent Etienne Dearlove’s “Nightingale” intelligence source in the Chinese Politburo, developed at the beginning of the novel. Dearlove also under his cover as a BBC correspondent takes the lead as chief BBC news-anchor for the day-by-day breaking televised and online news coverage of the global crisis. As American President Barret Osama threatens to use nuclear weapons and waits to see the Axis blink the Chinese and Russian armies approach Iran, ostensibly to rescue their captive leaders but in reality to join forces with the Iranians to move on to a full invasion of the Shiite dominated oil reserve areas of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Gulf severing the energy jugular and lifeline of the West and establishing a Russian-Chinese backed united-Shiite Gulf caliphate, all of which threatens to unleash World War III and nuclear Armageddon.
In the meantime while Sartorius, Eva, Andreas, Jack and their campaign colleague and Sufi novice Mohammad are held as human shield hostages in the underground nuclear processing facilities outside Qom, Iran they meet the Iranian Supreme Leader after which Mohammad, also a writer, is invited after dinner with him to read to him the short-story he has just written: “The Parable of the Supreme Leader and the Three Messiahs.” At the same time back in Jerusalem in the hysteric wake of the atomic detonation, which proves to be something of an atomic “fizzle” destroying only the western part of Jerusalem and leaving the historic Old City intact, an irrational television and Internet-driven messianic cult of popular fervor is forming around the Messiah-like figure of megalomanic rock-star Osiris and his wife Isis, which is joined by Orlando and a thronging mass of followers. After their encounter with the Supreme Leader Sartorius and his fellow captives escape their underground confinement into a series of subterranean passageways leading to underground rivercourses which in turn lead them into a hidden world in a mysterious hidden dimension. With the mysterious aid of Goethe, poet of Faust and the Chinese Monkey King Sun Wu Kong of the Journey to the West (aka Hanuman of the Indian classic The Ramayana) they are conveyed into an mystical dimension of fantasy adventure, first in Middle Earth, Inner Shambhala, a realm similar to Verne’s earth’s core with a Great Central Sea, and then through a wormhole passageway to the “Council of the Immortals” convening in the center of the Milky Way galaxy to decide the fate and continued existence of the human race in the ongoing crisis. In the modernized submarine Nautilus piloted by Captain Nemo and Zheng He traveling via underground riverways into the underground realm containing the vast Central Sea at the center of the earth where in Castalia, Middle Earth a mysterious Crystal Bead Game is played out in an arcology powered by telluric currents and a reactor core by the greatest geniuses of human history, which gtame , in fated enchained parallel with the unfolding historical events on the surface of the earth, will determine the destiny and survival of humanity on earth. The master of the game, the Magister Ludi informs Sartorius that the game has reached a stalemate and that the only chance for averting nuclear Armageddon and the end of the human race is if they travel through a wormhole from the center of the earth to the cosmic amphitheatre in the black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy where a Council of Immortals is meeting and obtain the Silmaril, or Missing Seed Crystal by pleading and convincing the Immortals that the human race is worthy of survival.
Sartorius and his colleagues undertake the Quest, traveling first to Omphalos, the island at the center of the earth’s interior Central Sea where the portal to the worm hole is located. Each of the members of the small team embarked upon the Quest, the Argonauts, lends their special abilities to the effort. Nemo first conveys them to the Island of Omphalos in the Nautilus, and Ogun, the African hero-god clears a path through the impenetrable jungle and underbrush of Omphalos with the aid of the abiku, or spirits of the unborn yearning for a future, through to the portal of the Gateway to the Cosmic Umbilical Wormhole. There they are blocked by The Mothers, who spin out human fate on their loom but after a stratagem of the Monkey King they seize the one shared eye of the three Mothers and force them to open the Gateway to the wormhole, guarded by a corps of the Watchers or Grigori (Genesis 6:1-4; Jude 1:6; Enoch 6), a race of fallen angels who made love to human women giving birth to the Nephalim monstrous cannibalistic giants. Once again, however they are blocked by an inner door on the opposite side guarded by twin Sphinxes, which surprisingly only Eva is able to open by virtue the mystical power of her pregnancy carrying Sartorius’ son in her womb. Attaining the other end of the wormhole at the black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy the Argonauts are again blocked by an impassable chasm, which Mohammad is able to transit using his Sufi meditation skills. Finally attaining the amphitheatre of the Council of the Immortals, Sartorius pleads humankind’s case for survival against mankind’s prosecuting nemesis Mephisto, and ultimately obtains the Silmaril Missing Seed Crystal through undergoing a Trial by Ordeal in which he must choose the one crystal amoungst hundreds which represents himself. Obtaining the Silmaril, Sartorius and his comrade Argonauts then defeat a hostile ambush by Mephisto’s subaltern Mundus at the wormhole’s portal, then return to the island of Omphalos, escape a submarine ambush and undersea duel to the death en route between the Nautilus and Mephisto’s attack submarine the Baphomet, and finally deliver the Silmaril Missing Seed Crystal to the Crystal Bead Game which then breaks the stalemate avoiding human doom. The resolution of the Crystal Bead Game below leads on the surface of the earth to the occurrence of a dream in the mind of Iran’s Supreme Leader in which the Angel Gabriel commands him as a divine revelation to “Open the Gates of Ijtihad,” that is to allow Islam to evolve peacefully to the next higher level abandoning the dead hand of the past and past dead authority in favor of the onward evolution of its living spirit—ushering in a new era of Islamic Reformation. After the divine dream he then orders the hostages in Iran to be transported to the Potala Palace in Tibet to be set free, where they join with their comrades emerging from the telluric realms via the upper reaches of the lost city of Shambhala on the borderland approaches to Middle Earth, thence emerging into a forest of waiting television news cameras, but en route Sartorius apparently dies of a heart attack and never returns.
Meanwhile, however, a third metaconspiracy atop those of the terrorists and of the Great Powers is discovered in the form a Time Travel enabled raid on present history by a fascist agent from the 23rd Century, Caesarion Khannis, who seeks to overthrow a future successful but decaying democratic world republic, the United States of Earth, and replace it, Caesar-like with a dictatorial Universal Empire by altering the path of world history by aborting the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. However, the forces of good triumph as the Magister Ludi is uncovered to be another Time Traveller, Abor Linkin, President of the Senate of the USE who has returned in pursuit of the fascist Caeserion, who he captures and returns for trial in his own century before he can realize his plan to cause World War Three.
The CIA and MI6 debriefing of the hostages for public consumption concludes that their account of the Crystal Bead game and wormhole quest were but the fevered delusions of the captives brought on by the extreme stress of their captivity and Post-Traumatic-Stress-Syndrome, and in the end after weeks of cross-examination and psychoanalysis even the participants become unsure of the reality or unreality of their adventure. When President Osama and the British leader reveal that they have discovered the true nature of the Triple Axis conspiracy through their intelligence sources and threaten nuclear retaliation if it is not called off, and after The Supreme Leader undergoes his visitation by the Angel Gabriel in his dream, the invasion by the Axis powers is aborted, but the Chinese seize the opportunity of having their advanced armies in position to treacherously attack their erstwhile ally, seizing Russian Siberia. Tipped off also to this move in advance by the MI6 Nightingale intelligence source in the Chinese Politburo, President Osama and the NATO allies then invite Russia and Japan to join NATO, and with their combined forces and a foray by ally India they are able to repel the Chinese invasion and end its occupation of Siberia. The counter-reaction to all these dramatic events causes the fall from power of the conspiratorial right-wing factions in China and Russia, the Axis of Synarchy and the reinstatement of their progressive leaders and the beginning of a reform under the transformed Supreme Leader in Iran. The messianic cult movement in Jerusalem surrounding the narcissistic Osiris ends with his mental deterioration and his impulsive assassination by the disillusioned and depressive Orlando. Zhou Yuchun in Beijing is arrested and held in “shuanggui” after it is discovered that MI6’s Dearlove had used her computer as a key source of the intelligence coup “Nightingale,” and, an affectionada of Japanese Bushido, she commits ritual suicide while her discredited boss, Minister Luo, is executed following the collapse of China’s military adventure in the Middle East oil fields and in its attempts to treacherously seize Russia’s Siberian resources. Subsequent to the nuclear detonation and the WWWIII crisis Isis, the rock superstar wife of the assassinated Osiris undergoes a religious conversion, alongside many others, and joins Pari Kasiwar, Jennie Zheng and Mohammad ala-Rushdie in the creation of a Global Progressive Spiritual Alliance, symbolized by the erection of an ecumenical inter-faith temple, the Spiritus Mundi Temple, at the rehabilitated shattered ground zero site of the nuclear explosion in Jerusalem.
In recognition of its mounting support and the success of its precursors, the European Parliament of the European Union, the Pan-African Parliament of the African Union, the Arab Parliament and the Latin-American Parliament as well as in further counter-reaction and recoil from the chain of recent horrors of the Crisis entailing the threat of WWIII and nuclear annihilation, the nations of the world finally agree to convene the first meeting of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in New York. Andreas, President Osama and new United Nations Secretary-General Clinton are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in creating the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, making Osama the first man in history to receive two Nobel Peace Prizes. Events end with Eva and Sartorius’ posthumously born son Euphy playing in the hallways of the United Nations Headquarters where Sartorius once worked, after which they then join Andreas at the podium, who as its first elected Speaker calls the first meeting of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly to order.
(Copyright Robert Sheppard 2011 All Rights Reserved)