Kage Baker was a big fan of conspiracy theories. She thought they were hilarious, just as a general class of data, and as insight into the way people’s mind connect random dots and create patterns out of junk.
However, she thought most of them showed a certain naivete and lack of true creativity. It’s so easy to blame the Vatican or the Freemasons or the Nobel Prize Committee or the French for scary crap; groups like that just carry psychic “Kick Me” signs taped to their backs. I mean, who has not wondered if the black light ink they stamp on you at Disneyland is not re-arranging your precious chromosomes in some way?
To amuse herself, and to explain certain anomalies in the world to her own satisfaction, and to make a little money: Kage invented The Company. Dr. Zeus, Inc. – as wide as the world; as long as the ages; as deep and layered as the mantle of the Earth, and just as prone to spew hot shit at irregular intervals. She gave them, if not superhuman powers, at least access to the classic preternatural ones – immortality, wisdom, strength – and then she gave control of their administration over to morons. She thought it would be interesting to see what happened …
Kage could be kind of a one-woman conspiracy all on her own.
She also based The Company in Britain. Why? “Why not?” she always answered. Some British fans have asked anxiously if she had a mad on at Brits or something, but she actually did it for quite the opposite reason. She loved Britain. She was an Anglophile. And she already knew the language and the geography and the history, so that was a free throw …
Over the years since Kage invented Dr. Zeus to account for apports, ooparts, UFO’s and re-discovered plants, animals and art, a lot of peculiar things have happened. Lots more things have been found or come strolling out of the woods. Neanderthals have been admitted to the Homo sapiens family reunion. Britain has lost its collective governmental mind and installed CCTV everywhere. Mars has water. Chocolate really is a drug. Dogs and cats are living together and mass hysteria has become a registered political party.
And now, a life-member of the House of Lords – one Lord James of Blackheath – has risen to convey to Her Majesty’s Government an offer from an anonymous corporation to more or less purchase England. For 17 billion pounds. In gold. To be used for all manner of splendid social improvements, out of the sheer anonymous goodness of their unknown hearts.
Maybe Lord James of Blackheath is totally nuts; it would be in the very highest traditions of the English aristocracy. Perhaps it is an elaborate joke: ditto. Or maybe Dr. Zeus has just arrived, doffed his hat and made a particular suggestion to the Queen.
Maybe Kage was right.
Tomorrow: the birds, I promise