Lillith

Alternative Names

Lillith, Lilith, Lillith biti-Anat, Lady Lillith Parmenio, Lillith Beatty

Early Life

Lillith biti-Anat was born around 1250BC in Ugarit, a member of the royal family in that city. She is a distant cousin of Naamah. Lillith was apparently well-educated and was able to read and write in both Canaanite and Egyptian. She also appears to have been spoken multi-lingual at an early age. When about 18 years old, she was married to a Hebrew, King Adam of Edom by whom she had three children. While the marriage appears to have been happy at first, it deteriorated when Adam took on a second wife, Eve, and at her instigation became addicted to what are delicately known as unnatural sexual practices. Lillith was repulsed by his demands, took her children and escaped to the neighboring kingdom of Shyt'tin. Adam demanded she return and, when she refused, he sent three of his lieutenants, Senoy, Sansenoy and Smengalof, to force her. They failed and, in revenge, brutally tortured Lillith and killed her children

The Shyt'tin Era

Lillith was found, near death, by some of King Sammael's guards who brought her to the Temple of Astarte in the hope that Naamah could save her life. Naamah recognized her cousin and, despite the severity of her injuries (including severely burned feet and internal injuries from sexual abuse) managed to save her life. This was a remarkable achievement since (although details are obviously sparse) the probable extent of Lillith's injuries would have challenged the skills of a modern trauma ward. Even so, it was almost a year before Lillith could walk again and the injuries to her feet continue to trouble her even to this day.

When recovered enough, Lillith told King Sammael of what had become and caused him to have one of his rare but terrifying outbursts of sheer fury. He declared war on Adam and Edom, ostensibly because of the insult to his honor resulting from the attack on a person who had sought refuge in his city and was thus under his protection. It might also be suspected that his protective attitude to women was a major factor in his decision. Naamah had already arranged the assassination of Senoy, Sansenoy and Smengalof and their families. It was apparently Lillith who demanded that their children should be killed in retaliation for the death of her own. Sammael's army quickly dispersed that of Adam and took his city of Edom. Adam and Eve were cast out of the city as exiles and apparently starved to death in the barren hills surrounding the area (some theologians now believe that this incident is the root of the Adam and Eve story in Genesis). Edom was incorporated into Sammael's Kingdom and prospered as a result.

For a period of time, certainly months and probably years, after this incident, Lillith appears to have been largely revenge-driven and, in modern terms, was urgently in need of psychiatric help. Clinically, she was probably suffering from deep depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. This period ended when she was fully included within Sammael's household, technically as one of his wives although the nature of the relationship was probably platonic. She held the position of "Keeper of Records" and put the record-keeping of the city on a sound and reliable basis. Remarkably, some of these records were discovered as the "Potiphar Scrolls", a selection of ancient records discovered in The Caliphate and saved by the Methaq El Wardeh (Pact of the Rose). Being part of an affectionate and benign family plus having a role that exploited her talents appears to have snapped her out of her psychological state. By the time she and Naamah had to escape from Shyt'tin after Sammael's death, she had recovered, mentally at least, from her ordeal.

The Phoenician Era

Lillith and Naamah appear to have settled in Ras Shamra (Ugarit), a major Phoenician trading center. The city was sited on the Mediterranean coast of northern Syria a few kilometers north of the modern city of Latakia. Ugarit sent tribute to Egypt and maintained trade and diplomatic connections with Cyprus (called Alashiya). It is likely that Lillith's fluency in both the Ugaritic languages and Egyptian allowed her to become a person of significant importance in the local economic and political structures. The date of her arrival in Ras Shamra is uncertain but she and Naamah much have arrived well after 1190BC when Ugarit was overrun and sacked. By the time the couple arrived, the city had been rebuilt and was being ruled by the "Sea Peoples".

Lillith and Naamah had apparently removed a significant percentage of the Shyt'tin treasury when they escaped from the city and this acted as seed money for their new life in Ras Shamra. Naamah used her political connections as a Court Princess to negotiate with the rulers of the country while Lillith started a commercial trading operation which replenished their financial reserves. While they were involved in establishing themselves, the Sea Peoples' onslaught in the eastern Mediterranean continued with the destruction of the states of Hatti, Ashkelon and Hazor. Scholars now believe that Shyt'tin fell to the Sea People some time during this period; however it was not important enough to warrant independent mention. It should be stressed that the invasions were not merely military operations, but involved the movements of large populations, by land and sea, seeking new lands to settle. The warriors who fought in the land battles were accompanied by women and children loaded in ox-carts. Whether Lillith and Naamah were involved in the decision to attack Shyt'tin is unknown; it appears unlikely that Naamah would have conspired to destroy the Kingdom that was her beloved husband's work, but the attack would fit into Lillith's pattern of almost obsessive vengefulness.

Lillith remained in Ras Shamra for several generations, during which time she and Naamah perfected the art of changing identities to conceal their extended age. It appears that the "demonization" of the couple took place during this time with the Habiru (also known as Apiru or Hebrew) taking oral histories of the two women and distorting them to suit their political aims. For example, the "demonized" Lillith is referred to as having the lower half of her body "made of fire", a clear reference to her burned feet. This demonized image of Lillith and Naamah eventually brought about the end of their stay in Ras Shamra; they were identified as the two women mentioned in the legends and were the target of a riot, allegedly started by Habiru residents of Ras Shamra. Once again, the two women had to flee for their lives.

The Delphi Era

Ras Shamra was probably the pivotal lesson of Lillith's existence. It was now painfully apparent that any admission of an extended lifespan was extremely dangerous and that a lynch mob would gather quickly if hints of her secret got out. Also, one person could not change identity convincingly enough to keep a deception going through a period of decades. Another solution was needed. The couple wandered for a while before hitting on a solution. They came across the Oracle of Delphi and this offered them a refuge.

The Oracle was run by a priestess, the Pythia. The priestess sat down for a cup of tea with her visitors, developed a sickness and died, a victim of Naamah’s herbalist skills. Lillith and Naamah took over the role of Pythia, alternating it between them in order to shake off suspicion. They became a famous institution and settled in the location for almost six hundred years. During this period, they adopted a young man, Phaeton Phoebus Apollo who had been badly burned in a forest fire. Lillith effectively adopted the young man finding in him a partial substitute for her lost children. It turned out that this young man shared their extended life and he became a part of the “Oracle Act” writing mysterious word-puzzles that both amused and instructed the patrons. The Delphi Oracle was a wealth-making proposition, especially since it was "known" to be protected by the Gods, and was a secure haven for two unattached women who would otherwise have been very vulnerable to abuse.

The Delphi era lasted until 330 BC when everything changed.

The Babylon Era

The immunity offered by the Delphi Oracle was declining by the time the Third Century BC arrived. The Oracle’s treasures had been stolen by the Phokaeans and recovered by Phillip’s armies. King Phillip II visited the Oracle personally and was received by Naamah in her persona as the Pythia. In Phillip's party was one of his most competent and capable generals, General Parmenio was already famous for his great victory over the Illyrians and was widely (if quietly) regarded as the real brains behind Phillip IIs military achievements. This was the first known meeting between the two. A few years later Alexander The Great visited Delphi - by that time the role of Pythia had been taken over by Lillith - and behaved in a high-handed and abusive manner. This convinced them both that the immunity offered by the Oracle was running out and it was time to move on.

This impression was confirmed when she and Parmenio met for the third time. After the conquest of Drangiana, Alexander was informed that Philotas, son of Parmenio, was involved in a conspiracy against his life. Philotas was condemned by the army and put to death. Alexander, thinking it dangerous to allow the father to live, sent orders to Media for the assassination of Parmenio. There was no proof that Parmenio was in any way implicated in the conspiracy, but he was not even afforded the opportunity of defending himself. However, Alexander forgot that Parmenio was a master strategist who was almost always two if not three jumps ahead of the game. He had anticipated that an assassination attempt would come from Alexander eventually and prepared his defenses. He escaped, although severely wounded, and was on the run. By this time Parmenio was seventy years old but looked (and had the health of) a man in his early forties. He remembered the Oracle, its occupants and headed there.

After a slightly fraught initial meeting, Lillith realized that Parmenio also had the gift of extended life shared by herself, Naamah and Apollo. By implication this meant that there were likely to be others of their kind. From another point of view, having another man, especially a mature adult, around would be a major increase in the safety of the group as a whole. She and Naamah were no longer unattached and unprotected women but were part of a family group. Parmenio began to use his strategic talents to detach the group from the Oracle and heading for Babylon. As he remarked to Naamah, he had business to settle there. After handing over the Oracle to a peasant woman who had been "chosen by the gods" the group set off for Babylon where Parmenio planned to assassinate Alexander.

This was carried out with the team forming roles that they would carry on as standard for centuries. Naamah was the Court Princess, the face of the group in the corridors of power; Lillith the record keeper and administrator, Parmenio the strategist and Apollo the general duties and other roles as needed.

The Seleucia Era

Following the assassination of Alexander, the empire was put under the authority of a regent in the person of Perdiccas in 323 BC, and the territories were divided between Alexander's generals, who thereby became satraps, at the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC. Alexander's generals (the Diadochi) jostled for supremacy over parts of his empire, and Ptolemy, one of his generals and satrap of Egypt, was the first to challenge the new rule, leading to the demise of Perdiccas. His revolt led to a new partition of the empire with the Partition of Triparadisus in 320 BC. Seleucus, who had been "Commander-in-Chief of the camp" under Perdiccas since 323 BC but helped to assassinate the latter, received Babylonia, and from that point continued to expand his dominions ruthlessly. Seleucus established himself in Babylon in 312 BC, used as the foundation date of the Seleucid Empire. With Parmenio's strategic gifts driving his army, Seleucus quickly came to dominate a vast swath of the territory from Phrygia to the Indus. In fact, Parmenio realized that the Army was over-extended and engineered an agreement with Chandragupta Maurya, in which Seleucus exchanged his eastern territories for a considerable force of 500 war elephants.

The Parthia Era

By 139 BC, Parmenio and his circle were established in the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon and Parmenio had allied with the Parthian king Mithridates I. Aware of the problems that had faced the highly-centralized Seleucid Empire, the group used its influence with Mithridates to bring about a highly decentralized empire that accommodated several languages, many people, and a number of different economic systems. Once again Lillith took on the role of the group's record keeper and financial manager, ensuring that there was adequate income to support the slowly-increasing number of people in what was now effectively an extended family. As a result of her trading and other economic activities, the group was becoming steadily more wealthy and Lillith was the primary center that ensured that everybody lived comfortably while the group had adequate reserves of easily-transportable money to meet with any emergencies.

In 30BC, Lillith and Naamah met an old acquaintance when Parmenio brought back Cleopatra after removing her from under Octavian's nose. Cleopatra was another person who was gifted with extended life something that became obvious when Naamah took one look at her and dropped to her knees, touching her head to the floor, an obeisance that Lillith had last seen her perform in Shyt'tin some 900 years earlier. It had been 1,200 since they'd last met, but Naamah had recognized Pharaoh Nefertiti instantly. This lead to another transfer of power within the group with Nefertiti becoming the nominal leader.

The increased financial solidity of the group due to Lillith's careful management and the presence of Nefertiti as a manager allowed Lillith to join Parmenio, Naamah Igrat and Apollo on a diversionary operation that caused the German tribes to rise up against the Romans. Parmenio manipulated a situation where a Roman incursion into Germania was subjected to concerted attack and, at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the three Legions involved were completely wiped out, one of the worst military catastrophes ever inflicted on the Roman Army. Parmenio regards the battle as one of his greatest masterpieces. In the aftermath, he was offered the pick of the captured Roman women and, recognizing one who had been gifted with extended life, picked her. This woman was Inanna who quickly became one of his "inner circle". Lillith took the young woman under her wing, helping her to adjust to the implications of her inheritance. The rising wealth of the group was symptomatic of a greater problem that saw the Parthian nobility become more powerful due to concessions by the Parthian king granting them greater powers over the land and the peasantry. Their power now rivaled the king's, while at the same time internal divisions in the Arsacid family had rendered them vulnerable. Thinking through the inevitable consequences, Parmenio realized that Parthia's days were numbered. It was time to look for a new home.

The Sassanid Era

As Parmenio had foreseen, the Parthian kings were forced to concede ever greater powers to the nobility, and the vassal kings began to waver in their allegiance. Further military defeats hastened the decline of the Kingdom and this time Parmenio wasn't available to stem the rot. In 224, the Persian vassal king Ardašir revolted. In a remarkably well-organized and strategically astute campaign, he took Ctesiphon, and this time it meant the end of Parthia, replaced by a third Persian Empire, ruled by the Sassanid dynasty. Once again, Lillith found herself the manager of a comfortable and appealing environment that was to remain their homes for a further 400 years. The long-term policy of the group was, by now, well-established. They became a minor aristocratic family that kept itself to itself and did not participate, much, in the affairs of the nation. Only when an apparent disaster threatened to affect their comfortable lifestyle would they get involved and then that involvement was limited to removing the threat to themselves. Lillith remained in the background, keeping records, managing the groups assets and generally making sure everything went as smootly as possible. By 600AD, Parmenio was convinced that the Sassanid Empire was doomed. The problem that worried him was, where would the group move to? The nearest large empire, the Byzantine Empire, seemed to be in almost as much a terminal decline as the Sassanids and, at best, offered only a temporary solution. In the end, the problem was solved for him; the collapse of the Sassanid Empire at the hands of Islamic invaders was much faster than he had anticipated and a move to Byzantium was made inevitable by the course of events. They had barely completed the move when the Sassanid Empire collapsed.

The Byzantine Era

In 632, the group was established in Constantinople. Parmenio was ill-at-ease with this situation but the truth was, he saw no realistic alternatives at that time. He was beginning to feel that his group had run out of luck at last. This grim assessment lead him to believe that if no new home was immediately obvious, he would have to go out and find one. It is perhaps ironic that this pessimistic view of the viability of the Byzantine Empire as a home for the long-lived would end up with them staying there for the longest period to date. In retrospect, the move to Constaninople also changed the orientation of the group quite profoundly. Up to this point they had been representative of the Hellenic-Persian cultural tradition that ultimately traced its ancestry back to Alexander's Empire. With the shift to Constantinople, that tradition was left behind and the group became more closely associated with the western, Roman-derived tradition of Europe and that woudl affect both their beliefs and their actions.

In 862AD a massive dispute between Lillith and Apollo caused a major row within the group. Apollo, ever fascinated with puzzles and crypic statements became involved in the developing mystical Christian revelations. Lillith tried to persuade him to find something else to study, Apollo refused and left to follow his own path. Lillith was deeply insulted and felt betrayed that her advice had been ignored. The truth was she still saw Apollo as being a little boy,a replacement for her lost children. When Apollo left, Lillith flipped into what Naamah calls her "vengeful harpy" mode and the family split up according to who's side they took in that dispute. Nefertiti and Parmenio managed to smooth things down but the dispute appears to have frustrated Parmenio to the point where he simply wanted out. Accordingly, he left for the Far East, accompanied only by two members of the group, his adopted daughter Igrat and an ex-Gladiator named Achillea. He would not return for almost 300 years.

When she came to her senses, Lillith was horrified by what she had done. Apollo and Parmenio had both walked out and disappeared and her own standing in the group had been severely harmed by her behavior. Even her old friend Naamah was angered at her and for the first time since they met, there was a notable coldness between the two women. To make matters worse, without Parmenio's guiding strategic hand, the group was drifting without an overall aim or purpose. It took many years for the homogenuity of the group to recover from the explosion and even when it did, things were never quite the same. Lillith swore never again to behave in the manner that had brought about the disaster. She made it a strict rule to walk away from conflict rather than get involved in the rows.

It took the return of Parmenio in 1195 to finally heal the rifts caused by the explosion. Nefertiti had becme aware that the Byzantine Empire was falling and was trying to do something about it but lacked Parmenio's planning ability. Worse, the loss of respect for Lillith had made her financial and managerial work for the group much less effective and their resources were beginning to run down. Parmenio's decision to move to Florence was, therefore, timely.

The Florentine Era

The Florentine Republic had been governed from 1115 by an autonomous commune. During the period when Parmenio was planning the move to Florence, the city was plunged into internal strife by a struggle between the Ghibellines, supporters of the German emperor, and the pro-Papal Guelphs, who after their victory split in turn into feuding "White" and "Black" factions led respectively by Vieri de' Cerchi and Corso Donati. These struggles eventually led to the exile of the White Guelphs, one of whom was Dante Alighieri. This political conflict did not, however, prevent the city's rise to become one of the most powerful and prosperous in Europe, assisted by her own strong gold currency, the florin introduced in 1252, was the first European gold coin struck in sufficient quantities to play a significant commercial role since the seventh century. As many Florentine banks were international operations with branches across Europe, the florin quickly became the dominant trade coin of Western Europe for large scale transactions, replacing silver bars in multiples of the mark), the eclipse of her formerly powerful rival Pisa (defeated by Genoa in 1284 and subjugated by Florence in 1406). Power was largely exercised by the guilds and the mercantile elite. It goes without saying that one of these mercantile families was the group of extended lifers (now numbering several dozen) lead by Nefertiti. In this environment, Lillith found a new vocation and became one of the leading traders in the city. Parmenio found that his strategic gifts could be applied to the business environment (something he had always regarded as below him) as well. He and Lillith worked closely together, rebuilding the group's reserves and then raising them to new heights of affluence. The group's position in Florence quickly became one of great relative wealth. Nethertheless, by the start of the 1600s, Parmenio began to sense that Florence's star was waning. The Medici family had become Grand Dukes of Tuscany (and would remain so until the 1750s when the line became extinct). By that time, Parmenio and the rest of the extended life group had moved to Avebury in England.

The Avebury Era

Parmenio arrived in England late in 1666. The first act of the group was to purchase the title to the Manor of Avebury, a semi-derelict manor that had fallen into decay during the Cromwellian era. That made Parmenio Lord of the Manor of Avebury, positioning the group on the bottom rung of the aristocratc system (it should be noted that a 'Lord of the Manor' is not a lord or indeed any form of ennoblement). The group spent freely restoring the Manor House to its former glory and reviving the local farming and other activities. This put a severe dent in their financial reserves which was only slowly being replenished by the group's trade interests. Lillith fitted easily into her role as the Lady of the Manor and the group seemed set for a long, quiet and comfortable stay.

Unfortunately, that was not to be. In 1710, Parmenio had arranged with Sir John Hawkwood for the transport of a large proportion of the group's financial assets (gold coin and other tangible valuables) by sea. The ship was wrecked off Ushant and the cargo was lost, apparently permanently. The disaster was a severe blow to the group's liquidity and, for the first time in centuries, the extended-life community was short of money. The loss could have been accommodated had it not been for the expenditure at Avebury and vice versa but the two together created a crisis. Lillith came up with a scheme to raise the necessary revenue to replenish the reserves.

In 1711, the British government had spent itself into debt totaling over ten million pounds. A large group of merchants joined together as the South Sea Trading Company and bought some £9,000,000 of the debt, assured by the government of a six percent interest rate giving the group a guaranteed annual income of £540,000 income. The company started to promote its shares heavily on the stock market, causing the shares to from £100 to £1000, with no end in sight. Driving the speculation was news that the British government had recently given them exclusive trading rights to four ports Spain was allegedly willing to open up in Chile and Peru. Those investing in the South-Sea Company imagined piles of gold in South America, and between these trading rights and the incoming interest from the government, they saw the economic opportunity of a lifetime. The news that was not heeded was, in hindsight, somewhat crucial: King Philip V of Spain let everybody involved know that he was only willing to let one ship squeak in a year. Somehow, that information never became public.

It was a classic pump-and-dump stock fraud, carried out centuries before the term became commonplace. As with other promises of instant wealth, folks went nutty with investing. The South-Sea Company made millions overnight, and in no time there were plenty of other trading companies popping up to take advantage of the speculative frenzy. Not a few set up and vanished in a week or two, skipping off gaily with investors' money, ostensibly to the New World to return their investment but really just down the street to the local bar or bordello. It takes but a modicum of cunning to realize that people wildly throwing their money away are easy targets and Lillith had far more than a modicum of cunning. The directors of the Company insisted profits were just around the corner, and even outbid the Bank of England for an additional £31,000,000 of government debt in 1719. At that point, Lillith and Parmenio sold out all their interests and essentially cashed out of the market. The result of their selling their South Sea Trading Company stock was delayed but when it hit it hit hard. In September 1720, the bottom fell out of the market, nobody wanted to buy stocks. With no buyers, those who still held stock they had bought for thousands of pounds could only unload it for a fraction of the price they had paid. Of course, those who had anticipated this made out like bandits. the group's financial reserves were adequately replenished (though not to the point of opulance the group had enjoyed in Florence).

The directors of the South-Sea Company, the suddenly-wealthy authors of this bubble, got together with disgruntled investors and told them what great deeds the Company had done for England. They claimed, "none had ever performed such wonderful things in so short a time as the South-Sea Company… monied men had vastly increased their fortunes; country gentlemen had seen the value of their lands doubled …in short, [they] had enriched the whole nation." And then they ran, much to the consternation of everybody else who had suddenly found themselves in the poorhouse. They had to run, the pull-out orchestrated by Lillith a year earlier had left them holding the bag.

It should be noted that the whole pump-and-dump scheme was, at the time it was committed, perfectly legal. In Parliament, Lord Molesworth decided that while no law existed to punish this company, they ought to make one in a hurry. A few directors and Parliament members were subjects of fairly uneventful inquiries, save for Earl Stanhope. He managed to whip himself into a frenzy after brunting some accusations, and passed out in the House of Commons. He "let blood the on the following morning, but with slight relief." It was eighteenth-century England, and everyone knew that a good healthy bleeding was a sovereign cure for many ailments. However, the fatal result was not anticipated except by his physician. Knowing too much can be a fatal affliction when Naamah is around. Public complaints, exhortation of lamentations and looting were rampant. The press and spent their time lauding politicians who claimed that the entire populace of England was unwittingly duped by these evil merchants. These politicians efficiently directed public attention away from themselves to these elderly rich gentlemen, who either had the good sense to flee the country or stuck around and got prosecuted on some trumped-up charges. As for the poor, neglected peoples who had run helter-skelter and had thrown their money about, their luck and dreams of riches had departed.

Having been the first out of the scheme, the group down at Avebury were well clear of all the tumult and watched the proceedings in London with a certain degree of amusement. By 1730 the memory of the "South Sea Bubble" was fading and it appeared to be a thing of the past, a highly successful looting operation which, Parmenio said, put him in mind of the good old days when a soldier could make his fortune from looting a captured city. However, by the mid-1740s, people were beginning to look at the South Sea Bubble with cooler heads and analyse what had happened in greater detail. Within a few years, the parts played by previously-unknown parties were becoming more obvious. Parmenio decided that it was time to leave before the emerging trail lead the investigators back to Avebury. After a careful analysis of destinations, Parmenio picked the colonies in North America and, in particular, the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Jamestown Era

By 1765, Parmenio and the group had moved to Jamestown, Virginia where they bought a large estate (which still remains in the hands of the group as communal property). Individual members of the group purchased houses in and around Jamestown. The group set themselves up as traders and shipping owners, making substantial sums out of the import of goods that were in short supply. Shortly after they arrived, the agitation that was to end in the American revolution started. Parmenio thought about the situation in depth and came to the conclusion that the British were going to lose. Accordingly, when the revolution actually started, he sided with the colonial against the British - although he took great case not to let his group (now numbering more than a hundred) get too deeply involved. Mostly, they supported the revolution by importing much-needed supplies and selling them at a large profit. Lillith was now primarily a book-keeper and the group's banker and restricted her activities to loaning money to revolutionary commanders. As a result, she and her "family" were in good repute when the war ended. Lillith also aided Parmenio in his efforts not to get involved in the war of 1812.

Essentially, Lillith lived quietly as part of a prosperous and successful trading family until 1860. By then it had become apparent that a civil war was brewing between the slaveholding South and the Free North. Parmenio thought about this impending war in great detail and came to the conclusion that the North both should win and would win. Parmenio had no objections to slavery per se, given his background that is hardly surprising, but saw that the sort of society desired by the Confederacy could not survive in the modern world. The North had to win, or America would not survive.

When war broke out, Parmenio raised a regiment and took it out west where he was attached to the command of General Ulysses S Grant. Lillith remained back east, essentially running the group's industrial facilities and ensuring that they received an adequate number of lucrative government contracts. The industries she was overseeing did well during the War, further building up the group's financial reserves. Her role as the group's banker and financial manager continued postwar. During World War One, she again repeated her financial management efforts to secure some of the very large government contracts floating around, at Parmenio's instigation she started to invest in aircraft and other advanced industries. A personal tragedy hit her during the 1919 Great Influenza, she and many of the extended-lifers contracted the illness. Lillith was seriously ill but Semiranis and Scheherazade both died of the disease.

In 1921, there was a great meeting of as many of the extended life community as could gather. By now the total community amounted to several thousand and was growing quickly as prosperity increased both population and life expectancy. There were three main proposals for the future. Suriyothai was in favor of a very activist policy, helping the short-lifers to rule. In support of that, she pointed to her own experience in having created a niche where she could steer national policy. Loki was in favor of the traditional hands-off non-intervention policy. Parmenio favored a third way, a discrete involvement in government that would not direct or control but simply limit the adverse effects of any bad decisions. No decision on this was reached and each of the three major groups continued to pursue their own agendas. Parmenio started the process of involving himself in government and, as a result, the center of the group's activity moved from Jamestown to Washington, bringing the group into the modern era.

The Modern Era

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Parmenio used his position as an industrialist and investor to manoeuver his way into Government service by participating on advisory boards and liaison committees. Lillith became Parmenio's preferred assistant in the increasingly-important government positions that he held. In 1941 Parmenio was appointed to the Air Warfare Department with responsibility for analysing German industrial structures and planning the bombing attacks on same. With the outbreak of World War Two, this section became the Economic Intelligence and Warfare Committee and was placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Commission. Parmenio rapidly moved to become the chairman of that commission and, when he was read into the Manhattan District Engineering Project, he became chaiman of the Dropshot Committee planning the nuclear assault on Germany. He staffed the EIWC, USSBC and Dropshot with extended-lifers, partly as a result of his long-term plans but also because their incredibly long experience made them best suited for the job. Lillith was effectively his deputy in all of these positions. The groups headed by Parmenio quickly became notorious in Washington for the large number of women employed at their senior management levels. This originally was the cause of adverse comment and a whispering campaign started in Washington's notoriously machiavellian circles. The efficiency with which these organizations were run though quickly silenced those critics.

Post-war, the EIWC/USSSBC/Dropshot became the core of the National Security Council with Parmenio holding the position of National Security Advisor. The NSC was a hybrid operation, a government department that was run under contract by private companies. The company responsible for the NSC (The Hudson River Institute) was paid an annual fee for running the NSC and HRI paid all the costs of operating the NSC. The contract was for ten years, renewable at the end of that period and not cancellable in between. The intention was to provide the US Government with strategic advice, intelligence and analysis. Lillith became his "executive assistant", a job title that was invented to give her position as Parmenio's right hand some official standing.

The system by which government departments were run in this way proved highly efficient and successful. More and more Departments and agencies adopted the principle until by the late 1980s, all US Government departments and agencies were operated by private companies under contract to the U.S. Government. The key appointment in all departments run in this fashion was that of "Executive Assistant". This postw as effectively the liaison between the elected officials who set policy and made the major decisions and the private contractors who executed that policy and carried out the decisions made. The Executive Assistants provided by the Contractors quickly gained a reputation for smooth administrative efficiency with their "principles" (the elected official for whom they worked) learning to expect what seemed to be minor miracles in terms of scheduling problems and business arrangements working smoothly. The secret was, of course, that the Executive Assistants could draw upon the range of talents and experience possessed by the group; in effect they were the public face of an organization with more than 6,000 members, all of whom simply had far more experience in making things happen than the average.

Under this system, the U.S. Government operated more smoothly and productively and with relatively fewer employees than at any time in its history.


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