The Lilith Factor   











{May 31, 2012}   A little about me.

As anyone who’s been forced to do so knows, writing a short bio is harder than almost other form of writing. Now that THAT’S out of the way…

I was an ‘omg, we thought we’d never have a baby’ baby, so my parents were twenty years older than my contemporaries’ parents were. It was four years after I was born before my township was annexed into the city of Columbus, Ohio. Back then they had trolley tracks downtown, still, and Alan Shepherd had not lifted of the ground. Telstar was the only private communications satellite in existence.

Naturally, I wanted to be an astronaut. Naturally, it wasn’t to be.But I did develop a love of reading that continues to this day: The Mad Scientists Club, model building mags, LIFE, LOOK, National Geographic. Heck I even read the World Book Encyclopedia — for the fun of it!  I loved Star Trek–disdained Lost In Space as cheesy. And for some unknown perversity of my soul, followed Dark Shadows religiously (and yes, when I see an episode today I ask myself WTF was I thinking?)

My first official short story was written in high school for an English class competition. My first cartoons were published in my church’s monthly bulletin, and later in other local church related publications. I’ve even had a commission pen and ink of Doll Man. I made it to the regional semi-finals in a national country song writing contest and performed in a country/southern rock band.

The picture in the background is of my Lilith, Drawn, inked and colored by me.. If that makes me sound like I’m Stan Lee, Alan Jackson, Bono and Jack Kirby combined, I assure you, I’m not — by several orders of magnitude — yet, anyway.

My relationship with Lilith goes back many years. I met her in a dream — the kernel of a lot of my work. Back then she was obviously been inspired by my reading a Marvel Comics Book that featured Satana, the sucubbus daughter of Satan who killed hapless victims by consuming their souls (visualized as a butterfly or moth). I managed to witness he killing someone yet somehow was spared by her.

This was a powerful scene, but one scene does not a story make, so I left the roughed-out scene in my files. Lilith herself would continue to haunt me, like any good succubus. She changed her hair color to red from black and toned down her soul-thirstiness. At least around me. eventually she got me to start an new scene that eventually formed the basis for a short story. She would bide her time then bug me again until I finally realized I was going to end up with a Lord of the Rings-sized opus.

I’m still refining the first book and can use fresh eyes, so please comment.



Defense Intelligence Agency Document

— obtained under Freedom of Information Act

The Families

Background:

The earliest known reference to the group who refer to themselves as the “Families” is a Greek text written circa 370 B.C.E. It speaks of a man who does not age, looking like someone in his late twenties when he was known to have served in the Army of Sparta for over twenty years. No one could cross swords with him on the battlefield if he did not wish them to. Wounds healed with miraculous speed. Even the mightiest champions among the enemy army seemed to grow weary with amazing speed when fighting him one-on-one.

Known as Agis, it is possible that he was in fact the king of Sparta as there were two kings with that name. Disappearing in a pitched battle, his body was not among the dead when the victorious Spartans searched.

Researchers first thought that Agis was a myth hero, like Achilles and Ajax –- heroes of the Trojan War -– but the account is not in the style of the sagas and is mainly concerned only with him. Other people and places are mentioned in passing to refer to places and times known by the average Greek reader.

Other accounts appear in various cultures to the present day, although most now appear as tabloid fodder. One of the Medicis in medieval Italy supposedly lived to over 110 before disappearing, for example. The ‘Families’ are first mentioned in relation to vampyre lore, but careful analysis shows that those indicated were not only able to go about in the brightest sunlight, but were not repelled by religious artifacts such as the Christian cross, holy water, etc. and their images reflected in mirrors. A stake through the heart is not indicative, as that will kill anything so wounded.

Since the mid-1800’s, references to the group have grown rare, even as tales of individuals multiplied, usually incredible stories of survival or feats of strength or speed.

The ‘Families’ of today are the most stringent of secret societies. Outsiders investigating them have had research disappear from locked rooms, and in certain cases found to have gaps in their memories as though someone had “erased” that section of their brain. Families members do not easily admit to their affiliation, though they seem susceptible to truth drugs. Humans who make themselves enemies of the Families have died of no known cause; all toxicological and forensic tests available showing nothing of a suspicious nature.

Organization:

The Families’ leaders do not appear to have a central location. The highest levels appear regional rather than worldwide. Titles, when used at all, are the mundane business or governmental type while as a group they are known simply as “The Elders”. They function as a representative oligarchy, new Elders being nominated on their merits and accepted by consensus.

Local leaders may have charge over a single city (e.g. LA or NYC) while others govern thousands of square miles. (e.g. North American intermountain regions, Patagonia, Brazil.).

Current intelligence indicates the Elders function similarly to the judges of ancient Israel and some are persons of influence in their public personas: (Redacted).

While some individuals become involved with their nation’s politics, the group as a whole seems totally without a political agenda other than maintaining their anonymity. They have not sided with anyone in a major conflict as a group since World War II, when Nazism threatened to overrun both worlds. Careful research has led to the conclusion that several of the Families work for the US Government in the diplomatic and intelligence services. Knowledge of their existence and identity is limited and closely guarded.

(Paragraph <~50 words> Redacted)

Distinguishing Characteristics:

There are *NO* easily observable physical traits. Only prolonged observation can detect a member of the Families. The only known differences are: extremely slow aging, quick reflexes well beyond the norm with equivalent increases in acuity of sight (approximately 20/2), hearing and sense of smell. Also, rapid wound recovery, a very high resistance to disease and strength beyond what their physical frame would seem capable of, (a woman’s strength would become equivalent to or bettering that of a man of the same relative height, weight and fitness level.) It is suggested they also develop a form of telepathy to cause the memory “wipes” — no physical or chemical cause was found.

Top medical authorities believe that there is no simple cause and effect relationship for their “gifts.” If there is any relationship at all, it is at least as subtle and multi-variabled as that of human genome itself.

TREAT WITH UTMOST CAUTION AND RESPECT!

###

Havens   

Larger local Havens are usually large restaurants or nightclubs with “private” party rooms. Smaller ones are like a “gay” or “biker” bar: rarely entered by outsiders.

The other regional Havens are as follows: Berne for the EU, Near East and former communist countries of the USSR, Nairobi for Africa, Madagascar, and the Indian Ocean nations and Kyoto for Siberia south through China, most of southeast Asia and the various islands. The fourth, Sydney, serves Oceania.

 



“I am somewhere between Count Dracula and Duncan McLeod. I do not — I repeat, do not — drink blood, but I do need more life energy than normal people do –- whatever ‘normal’ really means. Some people call us psychic vampires or, more accurately, ‘energy hungerers.’ I resent the glib term ‘Psi-vamp.’ It means too many different things to too many different people, none of which are accurate. I can kill, like that idiot in the parking garage, and make it look like simple heart failure, which is what death is, in the end. I can also give life back — I augmented your obstinate streak to keep you alive until they separated us in the ER. It slowed my own healing quite a bit.” — Lilith to Greg

Feeding:

Generally, closer is better. Actual touching is best, but not necessary. In general the further the feeder is from his/her source the weaker the flow and the longer it takes to feed. Feeding from multiple sources will increase the energy reaching the feeder.

Powerful, non-living energy sources such as electrical storms, strong winds, earth tremors or volcanic activity can also be used if the subject is attuned to such things. (Not all members are able to do so.) Also, normal electric power — AC or DC — at the voltages and amperages normally found in household settings appear to be of little use as a food source unless there is a comparatively long amount of time available to absorb and process it.

While any living thing can act as a source, Humans and large animals are best.Sentient beings will sometimes notice a slow, non-fatal feeding. The more drastic the feeding the more the source notices he/she is being drained, though they may not realize the source of the draining.

“Death-throe” feeding occurs when an immortal has been so depleted through injury or starvation that all conscious control of the mechanism fails and the feeder draws all life energy to him/herself until the feeder is out of danger. This usually results in the death of most or all sources within drawing range.

The catch is that the feeder must be at least semi-conscious– a totally unconscious feeder will simply die. Maximum range for feeding of an experienced, uninjured feeder is about 50 meters or 155 feet. A death-throe feeding is reduced in range to a 25 foot radius of the feeder and is totally indiscriminate.

As a real life counterpart to a Succubus, Lilith can easily weaken, sicken, and kill those around her by drawing on their life force accidentally if she does not maintain control.

As a blessing, all  senses sharpen, they become virtually invulnerable to disease, can heal most injuries in themselves and others. In short, they are effectively immortal.

Healing:

The reverse of feeding. True healing requires extreme close contact and takes a toll on the healer as well as the healed. Even simply giving a life force ‘boost’ requires both be within 6 feet / 2 meters in open air. If there are solid obstacles that separate them, such as a concrete wall, that range is reduced to about 20 inches.

 

“Forgive my asking, but  how did your people come to be? Or is that subject taboo?”

I caressed his face again. “No, I am physically human. Our geneticists think it has something to do with gene complexes in our twelfth chromosome pairs. Very recessive in inheritance, thank the Gods. Do you know what telomeres are?”

“Uhm, a telomere is a region of highly repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome that functions as a disposable buffer. It’s supposed to have something to do with the aging process.”

“Very good. Ours seem to be longer than usual and renew themselves. Also, our Human Growth Hormone level never goes down, but we don’t know if that is a cause or an effect. All we know for sure is that at some point after completing puberty we stop aging and other traits show up. Unfortunately, we also become sterile,” I replied, regret making me lower my eyes. I did not want him to see how much that admission still hurt.

Physical appearance / aging / tissue regeneration / resistance to disease

Families members are not tied to their biological clock. They can change their outward  age and appearance in a relatively short time. The greater the change, the longer it takes to achieve. (Hair color might take only an hour, a twenty year change in age would require up toseveral days.) Normally, once a physical (ie cosmetic) age is chosen, the body will maintain that age indefinitely. Tissue will regenerate and damaged cells eliminated. Hence, anything that causes damage (ie disease or most injuries) can be stopped dead by the powerful white cells. Not even AIDS stands a chance against their immune systems.



{May 25, 2012}   Starting Off…

 

If Jason Bourne came across the radiantly beautiful woman known as Lilith Anciens (pronounced Li-lith Ahn-see-ens) even he would find himself outclassed. James Bond would never see her coming.

Lilith is a member of “The Families,” a group that makes the CIA and KGB seem transparently open. The Families were organized well over one thousand years ago; few outside of the group even know it exists and that knowledge has proven fatal more than once. The Families are terrified of exposure : they are the basis for many legends such as vampires, succubae and incubi.

Everything you think you know is wrong.

Medal of Honor winner Col. Greg Leland comes from a long military tradition but is an unlikely hero. In many ways he is Lilith’s opposite. Where she is bold, gregarious and fearless, he is introspective, unassuming and quietly determined. A Taliban missile put an end to his piloting fighter jets. He lost his son to cancer and his marriage has just ended in a bitter divorce.

This is the story of two totally dissimilar individuals who together find themselves in a struggle to save themselves from the paranoid among both the Families and the rest of the humans in the world that they call ‘Nils’. (the equivalent of  ‘Muggles’ to Harry Potter’s wizarding world.

 

My genre is SF rather than fantasy — think Tom Clancy’s Hunt for Red October rather than Tolkein’s LOTR —  I try to give the fantastic elements a scientific basis without going hog wild on the tech-speak.

I am already done with the first of three planned novels, doing minor edits and clean-ups. I will post some of my background research and invite comments, If there is sufficient interest, I’ll post a chapter or two.

Next time I’ll give my working ‘rules for immortality.’

 



et cetera