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Sunday, June 6, 2004

Sunday June 6, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:30 PM
The X Factor

On OSS veteran Charles Hostler,
an unsung D-Day hero, now sung:

“He was trained by the British MI6
intelligence agency for an operation
known as X2 – or ‘double cross.’ “

Beth Gardiner, AP, June 6, 2004

 From Fritz Leiber’s
“Damnation Morning,” 1959:

Bordered version
of the sigil

The sigil was an eight-limbed asterisk made of fine dark lines and about as big as a silver dollar.  An X superimposed on a plus sign.  It looked permanent….

… “Here is how it stacks up:  You’ve bought your way with something other than money into an organization of which I am an agent….”

“It’s a very big organization,” she went on, as if warning me.  “Call it an empire or a power if you like.  So far as you are concerned, it has always existed and always will exist.  It has agents everywhere, literally.  Space and time are no barriers to it.  Its purpose, so far as you will ever be able to know it, is to change, for its own aggrandizement, not only the present and the future, but also the past.  It is a ruthlessly competitive organization and is merciless to its employees.”

“I. G. Farben?” I asked grabbing nervously and clumsily at humor.

She didn’t rebuke my flippancy, but said, “And it isn’t the Communist Party or the Ku Klux Klan, or the Avenging Angels or the Black Hand, either, though its enemies give it a nastier name.”

“Which is?” I asked.

“The Spiders,” she said.

That word gave me the shudders, coming so suddenly.  I expected the sigil to step off her forehead and scuttle down her face and leap at me — something like that.

She watched me.  “You might call it the Double Cross,” she suggested, “if that seems better.”

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