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Gunther Glick sat on a bench in a holding tank inside the office of the Swiss Guard. He prayed to every god he could think of. Please let this NOT be a dream. It had been the scoop of his life. The scoop of anyone’s life. Every reporter on earth wished he were Glick right now. You are awake, he told himself. And you are a star. Dan Rather is crying right now.

Macri was beside him, looking a little bit stunned. Glick didn’t blame her. In addition to exclusively broadcasting the camerlegno’s address, she and Glick had provided the world with gruesome photos of the cardinals and of the Pope—that tongue !—as well as a live video feed of the antimatter canister counting down. Incredible!

Of course, all of that had all been at the camerlegno’s behest, so that was not the reason Glick and Macri were now locked in a Swiss Guard holding tank. It had been Glick’s daring addendum to their coverage that the guards had not appreciated. Glick knew the conversation on which he had just reported was not intended for his ears, but this was his moment in the sun. Another Glick scoop !

“The 11th Hour Samaritan?” Macri groaned on the bench beside him, clearly unimpressed.

Glick smiled. “Brilliant, wasn’t it?”

“Brilliantly dumb.”

She’s just jealous, Glick knew. Shortly after the camerlegno’s address, Glick had again, by chance, been in the right place at the right time. He’d overheard Rocher giving new orders to his men. Apparently Rocher had received a phone call from a mysterious individual who Rocher claimed had critical information regarding the current crisis. Rocher was talking as if this man could help them and was advising his guards to prepare for the guest’s arrival.

Although the information was clearly private, Glick had acted as any dedicated reporter would—without honor. He’d found a dark corner, ordered Macri to fire up her remote camera, and he’d reported the news.

“Shocking new developments in God’s city,” he had announced, squinting his eyes for added intensity. Then he’d gone on to say that a mystery guest was coming to Vatican City to save the day. The 11th Hour Samaritan, Glick had called him—a perfect name for the faceless man appearing at the last moment to do a good deed. The other networks had picked up the catchy sound bite, and Glick was yet again immortalized.

I’m brilliant, he mused. Peter Jennings just jumped off a bridge.

Of course Glick had not stopped there. While he had the world’s attention, he had thrown in a little of his own conspiracy theory for good measure.

Brilliant. Utterly brilliant.

“You screwed us,” Macri said. “You totally blew it.”

“What do you mean? I was great!”

Macri stared disbelievingly. “Former President George Bush? An Illuminatus?”

Glick smiled. How much more obvious could it be? George Bush was a well‑documented, 33rd‑degree Mason, and he was the head of the CIA when the agency closed their Illuminati investigation for lack of evidence. And all those speeches about “a thousand points of light” and a “New World Order" . . . Bush was obviously Illuminati.

“And that bit about CERN?” Macri chided. “You are going to have a very big line of lawyers outside your door tomorrow.”

“CERN? Oh come on! It’s so obvious! Think about it! The Illuminati disappear off the face of the earth in the 1950s at about the same time CERN is founded. CERN is a haven for the most enlightened people on earth. Tons of private funding. They build a weapon that can destroy the church, and oops! . . . they lose it!”

“So you tell the world that CERN is the new home base of the Illuminati?”

“Obviously! Brotherhoods don’t just disappear. The Illuminati had to go somewhere. CERN is a perfect place for them to hide. I’m not saying everyone at CERN is Illuminati. It’s probably like a huge Masonic lodge, where most people are innocent, but the upper echelons—”

“Have you ever heard of slander, Glick? Liability?”

“Have you ever heard of real journalism!”

“Journalism? You were pulling bullshit out of thin air! I should have turned off the camera! And what the hell was that crap about CERN’s corporate logo? Satanic symbology? Have you lost your mind?”

Glick smiled. Macri’s jealousy was definitely showing. The CERN logo had been the most brilliant coup of all. Ever since the camerlegno’s address, all the networks were talking about CERN and antimatter. Some stations were showing the CERN corporate logo as a backdrop. The logo seemed standard enough—two intersecting circles representing two particle accelerators, and five tangential lines representing particle injection tubes. The whole world was staring at this logo, but it had been Glick, a bit of a symbologist himself, who had first seen the Illuminati symbology hidden in it.

“You’re not a symbologist,” Macri chided, “you’re just one lucky‑ass reporter. You should have left the symbology to the Harvard guy.”

“The Harvard guy missed it,” Glick said.

The Illuminati significance in this logo is so obvious!

He was beaming inside. Although CERN had lots of accelerators, their logo showed only two. Two is the Illuminati number of duality. Although most accelerators had only one injection tube, the logo showed five. Five is the number of the Illuminati pentagram. Then had come the coup—the most brilliant point of all. Glick pointed out that the logo contained a large numeral “6—clearly formed by one of the lines and circles—and when the logo was rotated, another six appeared . . . and then another. The logo contained three sixes! 666! The devil’s number! The mark of the beast!

Glick was a genius.

Macri looked ready to slug him.

The jealousy would pass, Glick knew, his mind now wandering to another thought. If CERN was Illuminati headquarters, was CERN where the Illuminati kept their infamous Illuminati Diamond? Glick had read about it on the Internet—“a flawless diamond, born of the ancient elements with such perfection that all those who saw it could only stand in wonder.”

Glick wondered if the secret whereabouts of the Illuminati Diamond might be yet another mystery he could unveil tonight.