Chapter 1: The Project

"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupt absolutely." - Lord Acton.

I saw her again across the campus. Her graceful body moved easily, as she trailed me. I had been terminated from the project for over two weeks, but I figured my former employers felt the need to continue the surveillance. My shadow was simply beautiful, like all of the women at the project I had been associated with. However, she never got close enough to me to make out her face. I assumed it was perfect; they were all so perfect - the women on the project.

I was still rather pissed at their sudden firing of me. I should have expected as much. The project was so bizarre from the beginning, a cross between TV's Stargate and the Twilight Zone. It all started six months ago, I was a struggling graduate student working on my PhD in ancient languages. My pre doctoral thesis on ancient languages had gained me some notice in the academic community. It was probably this academic recognition that landed me the job with the "Project". It was strange from the beginning, but the pay was exceptional for an ancient languages student outside of the university. I was rather desperate for money and was not about to refuse.

I was initially approached by Ms. Cheryl Jade. She was not the kind of women you would expect to offer you a job translating a previously unknown language. The oriental woman was far too beautiful and glamorous to be in academics. Dressed in a tight fitting green dress, she looked more like an actress auditioning for a part as the dragon lady. She had impressively large breasts, as well as impressive credential with the National Security Agency. She was the first one tell me of project "Ancient Truth". For the most part, the details were on a need to know basis. However, I initially knew I was going to be hired as a translator of an ancient pre Egyptian text. I was screened and given security clearance and found myself working near a suburb of Washington in a secret facility in an industrial park.

The mystery of why the NSA would be interested in ancient languages was only compounded when I realized that the director of the project was not a military general or a renowned archeologist. The director was Sarah Welsh, an outspoken, controversial and well-known feminist power broker in public policy. And Ms. Welsh, like the assistant NSA Director, Ms Jade, was also young and painfully gorgeous. On my first day, I was introduced to my direct supervisor, Ms. Stone, a Dr. of ancient languages from a mid western university. I never learned her first name. Again, she was a picture perfect red head with a killer body. While I was allowed only very limited access to the facilities, I quickly learned three things. First, every member of the project, excluding me, was a woman. Secondly, I realized they were all incredibly attractive. Third, they were ruthlessly as cold as ice.

For example on the day I met Ms. Stone, I carried myself as the consummate professional introducing myself to her. I attempted to break the ice with some light conversation, and she verbal slapped me with a vengeance. She turned to me and said in the coldest tone, "Mr. Hunter, I do not like you, I do not like men whatsoever, and I find them weak and impotent. You are here for one reason, because of your back ground in ancient languages. If I had my way, I would have chosen a better qualified female, however the decision was not mine. All I expect of you is do your job, and follow my commands. Do you understand?" I was flabbergasted by her suddenness and rudeness. I was so shock that I merely stood there nodding my head in agreement like an idiot. Needless to say, after that I avoid her as much as possible.

I learned that my job at the project was to translate an ancient text. I was quickly introduced to the photocopies of the mysterious writings; however I never permitted to inspect the originals. The texts bore some resemblance to Egyptian symbols, but include thousands of new and unknown symbols. For six months I worked under both the mystery of the text and the project itself. As time passed, I slowly started to undercover the secrets of the projects. While security at the facility was tight, Ms. Stone turned out to be incredibly relaxed in her attention to security protocol. Consequently, I would come across several memos marked "Top Secret."

The text I was researching was found at the ruins of Metites, an ancient lost city in Upper Egypt near Sudan. The discovered ruins were purported in the memo to be quite vast and very old. Of course, I never heard of Metites nor had anyone else, because the whole discovery was an official secret. The project leaders believed that Metites was nearly 20,000 years old, four times older than any other ancient civilization. While all this was quite fascinating, it shed little light on the connection between the strange triangle of government involvement, official secrecy, and feminist leaders.

It was a few weeks later and several of Stone's memos; I started to understand the possible relationship, or at least the relationship to feminist ideology. A top-secret memo outlined the project leaders initially evaluation of Metite's society. They believe that Metites were ruled by a matriarchal theocracy, i.e. a female dominated religious class. The female priesthood exercised almost tyrannical power over the citizens of the ancient city, both male and female. Of course, tyrannical power was not exactly the thing modern feminist boast about when espousing women's right to the public. However, this project was not lead by your normal feminist. This was Sarah Welsh's brand of feminism, and the women of Metites lived the ideal that she and her followers believed in. I knew Welsh thoughts intimately because I had started reading all of Welsh's scholarly and political publication soon after I was hired by the project.

Her fellow feminists categorized her as a so-called "New Age Feminists." Never taking a women studies class, I found out that "New Age Feminist" was a broad group of feminist thinkers which relied on a wealth of new age icons. Like all feminist they championed the virtues of womanhood over the evils of male dominated society. They disavowed traditional patriarchal religious in favor of the sexually liberating religious beliefs of the mother-goddess, occult mysticism, and female orientated witchcraft.

Sarah Walsh's brand of new age feminist was a particularly harsh form of male bashing, and a rejection of males as a sexual entity. As appalling as Walsh's beliefs were I could not help find them quite erotic. Walsh was a die-hard lesbian, with strong feelings about the s/m lifestyles, and female physical beauty. In many of her writing, she was quite sexually explicit in her descriptions of sex acts. According to Walsh, the dominant female was the natural ruler of society. Beneath her was a cadre of aspiring females seeking the dominant role, whose should willing accept the submissive role and honor the mother-goddess by religiously serving the dominant female's sex organ. Beneath this class were ordinary women in the role of middle management, and below them were the men in the role of chattel.

I was not real surprised to find out that many memos' concerning the ancient Metites culture seem to bear a striking resemblance to Walsh's natural order. In ancient Metites the females were dominant. The female priestesses were exclusively homosexual. In accordance with

Welsh's obsession with female body, the Metites choose the priestess based on erotic physical beauty.

I began to speculate that the Metites find was like a religious Mecca to Welsh and her followers, and the texts, I was working on to translate, was to them a "New Age Feminist" Bible. As a matter of fact, Welsh internal memos clearly bubbled with desire to justify her ideology. Even more disturbing was her hope that it would be an instrument in shaping a new political and social order. The whole project seemed like one strange conspiracy. The feminist interest in project became clear; however the NSA interest was still a mystery.

The reason why the government was funding a pet project of Walsh was obvious to me. Having spent several years in academics, I knew of the power of feminist and other radical groups could exercise. Students and professor alike were stripped on freedom of speech and thought by "conduct regulations." And there is a close relationship between higher education and government. The government funds education and its academics are chosen to be members of elite policy think tanks for it. Furthermore, given Walsh's political power and reputation, I was not surprised that the bill was fund by Uncle Sam. But why was the NSA involved?

The answer to this was in the discovery of the artifacts. I would not have even know of there existence, except that two weeks before my termination, I broke the translation of the text and at the same time found a memo that reconciled it all together. The text spoke of three scared items of the Metites priestesses: a "Book", "Staff", and a "Ring". I would not have thought much of this, if I had not read a confidential project memo that spoke of a rod discovered at the Metites site made of an unknown metal source. I had worked two more weeks making rough translations, when I announced my break through to Ms. Stone. Within an hour of my disclosure, I was strip searched, fired, and threaten with imprisonment if I violated the secrecy provisions of my employment contract.

Regardless in the two weeks that I had translated the text, I had learned that the relics were instruments of the "Essence". The Metites believed that tapping into the Essence would give them incredible powers, and each relic was more powerful than the next. Apparently, the NSA believed it too.

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