(Disclaimer - I’m writing this while under the influence of alcohol and there’s no editing going on. Strong language warning.)
I first met the Scarred Man in 1963. I’d retired from the NYPD, as a Lieutenant, and I needed to get out of New York. After my retirement in 1960, at the age of 64, I’d taken some money I’d invested over the years (no, you fuck, I’m not going to go into the details of where that money came from) and bought a nice estate in upstate New York.
I hated the city, I’ve stayed out of it as much as possible since then. For the first couple years after my retirement, I spent my time at my estate, cultivating my exotic plants. Trust me, any of the guys who worked with me on the force, or the guys from the Great War… they’d think you were insane if you had told them that I was into botany.
There’s something… cathartic about tending to plants and flowers. I don’t like people and, while I like animals, I don’t have the patience for them. There’s a few cats that roam the estate, and they’re fun to talk to, to pet their heads. I do have some dogs on the property, but I pay someone else to train them and care for them.
(Let me assure you, my allowing animals on the property is as much practical as anything else. If you’d seen what I’ve seen, know what I know - well, then you understand the importance and safety of having animals around.)
But, I digress.
After a few years of taking care of the estate, getting things to where I needed/wanted them, I decided it was time to travel. There were things I wanted to see. I saw most of them, though some, like Dylatov Pass, I couldn’t get access to.
This isn’t a detailed list of what I’ve done, where I’ve been. That’s coming later.
Tonight, I’m telling you of the Scarred Man. I met him in Casablanca. In 1956, Morocco became independent from France and Spain, so where I’d expected to find some resemblance of Rick’s Cafe, I was disappointed.
The Arabic name for Morocco translates to “The Kingdom of the West”. Most think this is geographical, and I wouldn’t blame them - most people are stupid and think directly, see only what is before their eyes. Most people are wastes of oxygen, if you ask me… though they provide carbon dioxide for our floral friends, so there is that.
The Scarred Man was referred to me by a contact I’d made in Cairo, a Professor of Archaeology, Simon Jaiden. He told me that the Scarred Man, who went under the name of Skandor Akhbar, could be found in Casablanca, and knew of many things, including what I wanted to know about.
I was in search for a book. A tome, one that recorded the history of a cult of serpent worshippers. Serpent cults, from those that venerated that beast from the Garden of Eden, to those who held Jörmungandr to a status of elevation, and all those in between, had long been the bane of mankind. (Seriously, you don’t want me to list all of them. We don’t have all night, after all.)
I’d come across implicating evidence that suggested Robert S McNamara (Secretary of Defense of the USA) had connections, either current or prior, to a serpent cult based out of Berkeley, California.
Fucking Liberals, it makes sense that such depredation would come from the Left Coast.
Sorry, this liquor is strong… You don’t want me rambling too much…. you don’t know what I know. What I’ve seen.
Anyhow, so I went to Casablanca in 1963, looking for this ‘Scarred Man’. this Skandor Akbar. And I found him, but not in Rick’s Cafe, much to my disappointment.
(Have you ever seen that movie? I’d have to say that Casablanca is the best movie ever made. What do you think?)
Skandor Akbhar was a tall, gaunt man. His face was covered in scars. The stories said that the Nazis tortured him during the war, hoping to find people he had helped find safety, security. I doubt they were Jews, since he was a towel-head, and you know they hate the kikes more than anybody but the Nazis.
But this Skandor had scars on his face, like a map. Intricate… almost as if they’d been done with specific design. But even the Nazi fucks weren’t that creative, were they?
I didn’t ask him, it didn’t seem like a good way to open our conversation. Instead, I bought him some brandy (a good Muslim, he was, right) and laid out some gold coins I carried with me. (Money talks but gold, gold makes people talk.)
He told me some bullshit, but I saw through it. I let him spin his shit, then I told him what I already knew. His eyes hardened, but I didn’t give a fuck. I don’t need, or want, people to like me. I want people to do what they need to do and then get the fuck away from me.
We haggled, we bullshitted, and then I told him what was going to happen. He was going to give me this book or at least tell me where I could find it.
In the long run, he did the latter. That, my friend, is going to cost you far more than you’ve already shared with me. I know you’re looking into things you shouldn’t be. I know you know things you shouldn’t know - I can see that in your eyes.
Have you seen the Dark Men, beneath the streets of Manhattan? Have you found the burnt building? You have, I see that from your reaction.
No, this is where I stop talking and where you start.