One Colonel Ardenti, who has unnaturally black, brilliantined
hair, a carefully-groomed mustache, wears maroon socks, and who
once served in the Foreign Legion, starts it all. He tells three
Milan book editors that he has discovered a coded message about a
Templar Plan, centuries old and involving Stonehenge -- a plan to
tap a mystic source of power far greater than atomic energy.
The editors, who have spent altogether too much time rewriting
crackpot manuscripts on the occult by fanatics and dilettantes,
decide to have a little fun. They''ll create a Plan of their own.
Randomly they throw together manuscript pages on hermetic thought;
The Masters of the World, who live beneath the earth, The Comte de
Sain-Germain, who lives forever. They add Satanic initiation rites
of the Knights of the Temple, Assassins, Rosicrucians, Brazilian
voodoo, the Third Reich. And they feed all this, and much more,
into their powerful computer, Abulafia.
A terrific joke, they think, until the Plan assumes and life and
power of its own, and turns deadly -- as people mysteriously begin
to disappear, one by one, starting with Colonel Ardenti.