Fireside Chat with Kent St. James
“Welcome everyone, to another Fireside Chat. I’m Richard Dale, your host. Today, our guest is the enigmatic Kent St. James, secret society member and Director of The Organization. Welcome Mr. St. James.” Richard Dale holds out a hand in greeting.
St. James takes the hand warmly, holds onto the hand a bit too long for Richard’s comfort and stares hard into his eyes. A silence bordering on uncomfortable surrounds the two before Kent finally says: “Of course, thank you, Richard, though enigmatic might be a bit over the top.”
“Why don’t we begin with some personal tidbits, shall we? Exactly who is Kent St. James? What makes you tick?”
“What an interesting question. You can call me The Director. I oversee the efforts of what we now call The Organization, but, prior has been called everything from The Guardians to – in a nod to our Latin roots - The Tutores. My job – such a vulgar word isn’t it? – or rather my calling has me overseeing the work of The Organization which is engaged in everything from cultural manipulation to neo-psychological research and archaeology across the globe. And, what makes one tick? We’re all motivated by something, are we not? If anything makes me tick it is the betterment of our species I am always seeking to create new avenues to improve on our species’ condition. Rather faux noble or hubristic some might say but true nonetheless.”
Richard Dale smiles. “Fascinating. Such views makes one ponder your upbringing. Which brings me to my next question. What is your fondest childhood memory?”
“This might sound trite, but we had a gardener, Old Eckbert. He was rather harmless, but was large, strong, quite muscular. One day, he dug up some peonies by mistake. He only scooped out one or two and they could have easily been re-planted, but the way my father handled him made a deep impression on me. He did not yell or even raise his voice, but with his sheer words, he had the man trembling and, soon thereafter, weeping. I learned then that while brute force is important there are other, more potent ways in which to control your inferiors. I also realized then that my father was not ordinary and I wanted to be like him.”
“I see.” A slight note of disapproval creeps into Richard Dale’s tone. “While at Oxford University a close friend of yours died under mysterious circumstances. How did you deal with that incident, and how did it effect you?
“Pardon me? How did you come across that — er- information? Richard von Licht was my friend. A close friend. As to how he died, I have no idea. I was in Surrey visiting my mother that weekend. They found him on the chapel steps at Magdalen College at Oxford. Rather frightening….That is all I have to say on the matter. I was cleared by the police, you know. That happened more than 50 years ago. I am afraid I can’t help you much there, old boy. Sorry.”
Richard leans forward slightly. “Why are you a member of a secret society Mr. St. James? Why did you join the Organization?”
“I guess the question would truly be, ‘why not?’ I was recruited, rather invited, to join The Organization to help develop this orb into a better place. I did not seek it, they, rather, sought me. It is an honor and one I do not hold lightly, Richard, and so should you if you care to finish this interview.”
Richard chuckles slightly.“It wouldn’t be the first time someone walked out on an interview Mr. St. James. But as you’re still here, care to elaborate on the workings of this society? Perhaps in regards to the Slendoc Meridian?”
“Ah, well, if we’ve waded this far, I will humor you. The Slendoc Meridian is a curvature of stones that runs through the earth’s core. Slendoc: The name is of old Atlantean origin so, of course, you don’t recognize it. It means quite simply, ‘sacred’ for lack of a better word though it has also been interpreted as ‘magic’ or ‘light-giving’ – ‘illuminated.’ It is not a straight line, like latitude and longitude, but a curvature. We’ve lost large portions of it, however, due to time. Plates shift. Earthquakes and the like. But, back to your point, we, The Organization, work to gather, secure these stones. Then we harness its power to grant us illumination which we then use to aid humanity. Real power is not in conquering land or shaping politics – though we do have a hand in that as well - but in true change. Like the birth of the Industrial Age, the discovery of flight, the Atomic Bomb, this technological revolution we’re undergoing right now. We’ve been gathering the fragments from The Meridian for the last hundreds of years. We hope to make some major breakthroughs soon.”
“Ah, there’s Jenkins with our refreshment. What do you have today, Jenkins?”
“I have a delightful English Breakfast tea, sir. And fresh from the over blueberry scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam.” Jenkins turns to Kent St. James. “Would you care for a cup and a scone, sir?” Jenkins sets the tray down and waits.
“No scone for me. And tea? Are we old ladies? I prefer something more fortifying. Do you mind if I smoke?”
Richard nods politely at his guest. “Go ahead.” He turns back to Jenkins. “It looks scrumptious as always, our guest’s loss for not partaking. I’ll have my usual cup, and a scone with jam.”
As Kent St. James lights a cigarette, Jenkins pours one cup and prepares the scone. He serves Richard before retreating.
Richard Dale sips his tea and asks, “In your own opinion, what is your best feature, and your worst habit?”
“My best features are my intelligence, my lack of fear and my ability to act without hesitation. All traits of a good leader. My worst habit? I really don’t have any, though I have been told I enjoy tobacco too much for my own good.”
“What is your opinion of human beings, Mr. St. James?”
“We are a fairly dreadful species who can’t seem to stay out of own way. We are weak. Despondent. Easily distracted. We need help, direction and motivation and that is what The Organization does.”
“Who, Mr. St. James, would you consider your enemies?”
“Until recently, I thought I had none. Now, I am gathering reports of a splinter group within the Organization. I do not know who they are, but, trust me, they will be dealt with strictly when they are discovered. And discovered they will be."
“To end on a lighter note, what is your favourite era of human history?”
“The one I am about to enact.”
Richard Dale leans back into his chair with a cold smile. “Thank you, Kent St. James, for this intriguing interview.”
And don't forget, tomorrow we have an interview with the author of Alexandria Rising, Mark Wallace Maguire.
Alexandria Rising by Mark Wallace Maguire
Rand O'Neal, an ambition-less newspaper reporter, is given a single task upon the death of his grandfather: Destroy a mysterious map. What should be a simple errand thrusts Rand into a journey across three countries chased by unknown pursuers into a world he never could have imagined.
Alexandria Rising is available on Amazon