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The Piano Tuner


VOLUME 1: Azure Langley's Healing Devices and Involvement with PSI Warfare


A Firsthand Account of PSI Warefare conducted by Illuminati and CIA


AN EXCERPT



The end is the beginning

Figure 0–A - Azure Langley arriving at BFI via private charter.

I sat in my blue minivan parked outside the chain-link fence at Boeing International, watching the privately chartered jets come and go. From a distance I could see small groups of people; three, four, five people would disembark one jet while the captain or co-pilot of these small planes pulled their luggage out of the aft hatch and personally rolled each item to the passengers. Nearby, another jet was being refueled while a man, wearing the typical white-collar shirt with blue blazer uniform of a captain, performed a walk-around of his aircraft. I watched as these elite travelers arrived and departed just as the sun departed behind the horizon.

I was here to pick up a man I had known for many years, Azure Langley, underground inventor, experimentalist, consultant to the CIA and certain wealthy individuals. He was a PSI adept, and he was on people’s radar, both the enemy’s and ours. He also dabbled in occult science. He built healing devices, covertly, providing them to whomever asked, often without compensation.

Despite the fact Azure was disembarking a private jet, or that he was under the occasional employ of powerful organizations and the ultra-wealthy, Azure himself was not wealthy, famous, nor powerful.

For many years I was his closest confidant even though he eschewed typical friendships and socializing in general. And in this way, we maintained a kind of close yet distant friendship, as it seemed he just needed someone to trust. Azure was also an amateur jazz pianist, and I spent many hours with him in his living room as he played tunes and talked.

Over the years I had gleaned a lot of stories from him, taking notes along the way. I carefully pieced together something of a biographical sketch, and Azure encouraged me to do more, and in so doing he told me more. Sometimes we would hang out in his living room all night, as we were both night owls, and I was always a ready audience for his sudden revelations, speeches and outright rantings. This book is that collection of notes, conversations, recollections and transcripts.

***

How did it all start? Who is Azure Langley?

There are many threads to the tapestry, many places to pick up the story. Perhaps one of the cornerstone events was when Azure provided a device to a client’s daughter that apparently cured her of a type of blood cancer. This was all done privately, quietly and without commotion. Yet it was the beginning of an important chapter in Azure’s life, and this single deed slowly snowballed and eventually earned him the reputation within private, elite circles as a technological wizard, a healer, a clairvoyant. And something else: A spy.

Azure would be the first to tell you he was none of these things.

The piano tuner

In the early 2000s, Azure had been working as a piano tuner. This unglamorous, low paying occupation had the unexpected benefit of placing him in the living rooms, dens, private studios and yachts of some of the richest individuals in the Puget Sound area, where Azure lived.

The piano tuning gig came about after a twenty-year career as an engineering assistant working in the hardware labs of one of the most important high-tech companies on the planet. It was in these labs where Azure learned to construct test equipment and protocols using custom electrical circuits and hardware. Azure, with no formal education, had steadily worked alongside the scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers responsible for many of the gadgets and devices we use in our world. He could speak their lingo, understood their problems, and could hack together hardware solutions quickly. Looking back, this career was his formal education.

Azure was also an amateur jazz pianist, mainly self-taught. He had good feel, natural swing, and was skilled at theory and transcribing. On rare occasion he’d play publicly, at a party or some other event where a piano sat unplayed, when by chance another guest who knew his talent might pull him into the spotlight. He certainly didn’t seek out attention. But man, he could really play.

This was another side of Azure, the artist musician, his fingers dancing across the keys, his left hand pumping out the chords to a hopeful April in Paris or a somber Time Remembered by Bill Evans. He played the type of jazz embodied by trios, the stuff you’d hear in the Village Vanguard if you could travel back in time to the late 50s and early 60s. It was more than a serious hobby. He had two somewhat battered baby grand pianos crammed into his unfurnished living room of his house in the outskirts of Seattle. He even had another piano in his bedroom, an old spinet that dominated the space where a dresser might belong. Azure had a dismantled piano in his detached garage, and still another piano in his basement, one that he purposely de-tuned so that each key played a triad rather than a single note. He told me he needed all these pianos because he had to stay in practice. Not playing practice, but tuning practice.

Way back in 2000-2001, the tech economy unraveled, compounded by 9/11 and the following recession. These events severely affected many industries and resulted in massive downsizings at many companies across the country. These effects were acutely felt in the Puget Sound area which was fast becoming a “new economy” tech hub. But as the corporate axe came down, Azure essentially became non-essential, and he and thousands of others in the region were let go.

There’s a saying that the people with the money still have the money in a time like that, and this is certainly true if you’ve already made your fortune and don’t rely on a regular job to make ends meet.

In other words: the rich people were still rich.

Azure knew this. He also knew that a lot of rich people like to entertain guests and have big family parties, and the classiest folks either had family members who could play, or they hired musicians to play these parties. During his career, by being in proximity to rich people he had been invited to a few parties like this where he’d counted one, two, even three pianos in different rooms of these homes. He’d even been on an executive’s yacht where a grand piano had been bolted to the floor of the salon. It didn’t hurt his rep as a tuner that Azure could also play the instrument enchantingly, dazzling everyone with his elaborate renditions of old show tunes from the great American songbook.

It was under these unemployed conditions that Azure set out to become a humble piano tuner. It wasn’t so much a career choice as capitulation.

He was at a crossroads. He had become disenchanted; depressed. His career had hit a wall, or rather the wall had hit his career. This new idea of tinkering with pianos provided a glimmer of meaningful purpose to his life. He didn’t need a lot of money, either. His 1960 bungalow was recently paid off from what appeared to be a liquidation of his recently deceased father’s stock portfolio.

Azure lived alone, like a hermit. I never saw him with a companion or romantic interest, not at first.

The most important person in his life had been gone for nearly a year. Krystal. His lover, confidant, and (I would soon learn) his mentor in the strengthening of his innate but underdeveloped PSI ability. At first, he had told me she died in late 2001 from a rare blood condition. That wasn’t the truth, not entirely, but some time would pass before Azure completely opened up to me.

After Krystal’s death, Azure described his former life a brightly lit room going suddenly dark, where only vague shadows could be identified. He kept a single framed photo of her on one of his pianos.

“She still comes by to listen sometimes,” he explained with a sad smile.

He was an immensely dark, complicated man. Pianos and the songs he played on them seemed to be the only joy in his life. That and the odd devices he tinkered with.

The most important chapter in Azure’s life had developed from a possible chance encounter while tuning a piano. I say “possible chance encounter” because at this point, I’m not entirely convinced he was not led to this client deliberately. More on that later.

Azure recalled the story of meeting a certain individual who needed his piano tuned. Of this man’s many instruments sitting around his mansion’s ballroom, he had a beautiful black Steinway that had originally belonged to Herbie Hancock. Azure estimated that it was most likely worth a quarter of a million dollars, and not simply because a famous musician had owned it. The instrument, itself, was pristine.

“I tuned it up,” Azure explained, “And I do what I always do when I’m done: I play a big song and make sure everything sounds right. Plus, you know,” he laughed, “this was Herbie Hancock’s piano, man!”

Azure apparently played a ten-minute version of Dolphin Dance, completely mesmerizing the owner who poured himself a drink and slumped into a chair as if he were in a nightclub listening to Herbie himself.

Then....

“This girl, probably twelve or thirteen, slowly comes creeping down the staircase,” Azure explained. “I see her clutching the rail, her face in pain. Like she couldn’t breathe or something. She was the palest of white and skinny as a broomstick. Her long hair was thin and clung to a white cotton dress that hung straight down like a curtain. I thought she was about to collapse, she looked so weak and frail.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“I stopped playing.”

At this point the owner of the piano sets his drink down on the surface of this this quarter-million-dollar piano, no coaster. He stands up and walks up the stairs, gently scoops the girl up, his daughter, and brings her back down, returning to the chair and setting her on his lap.

“Keep playing, if you would,” the man said kindly.

The girl peeked at Azure from behind her daddy’s tussle of unkempt hair. Azure asked her, “What would you like to hear?”

“Can you play ‘Someday My Prince Will Come’,” she asked.

Oh, could he! I, myself, had heard Azure play this song many times. Its melody was playful with a just a slight dash of something sad. The girl slipped off her father’s lap and slowly went around the piano, sliding onto the bench next to Azure. She played the last chorus in unison on the upper keys, and they finished the song together. The girl’s father, a famous man who was not known for his compassion, had tears in his eyes.

“I’m dying,” the girl said, looking up at Azure. “Thank you for the pretty songs. And for fixing my piano.”

* * *

That night Azure returned home, somewhat shaken. The owner of the black Steinway had poured him a drink and offered him a few hits off a joint while explaining that his daughter was dying of ----. He was also impressed with how Azure’s playing seemed to improve his daughter’s spirits and energy level. He paid Azure a thousand dollars in cash from his pocket and invited him to return the following weekend to a recital where his daughter would perform selected works of Liszt, Chopin, Debussy, and if she felt up to it, Rachmaninov.

Azure understood these would be her last songs, her last recital. A farewell party to friends and family. It was just a funny happenstance that the piano tuner was also invited.

Azure didn’t think twice. Of course, he would go.

* * *

That night, he had an urge to build something. He didn’t have any clients on his calendar, he had nowhere to be the next day. He could work all night. Mildly stoned, he went into his modest shop space, a converted garage. Here he had a bench with an old oscilloscope, a soldering gun, several miles of 22-gauge copper wire, bins of LEDs, sensors, and a cabinet full of various parts like op-amps, transistors, resistors and capacitors. Most of the stuff in his shop was outdated dumpster-dive finds, destined for the junk pile at his former places of work, where he would routinely scavenge discarded gems like wire, PCB boards loaded with perfectly good components, enclosures, and other useful parts.

He sat there looking at the pile of parts, the equipment. The years of accumulation. The knowledge. The missed opportunities. All the time lost. The death.

He would never get over Krystal.

But it was here, in the shop, where Azure could forget reality, at least momentarily. Here he could waste an entire day, produce something, produce nothing. It didn’t matter. It was play.

But there was suffering. So much, by everyone, everywhere.

It was hitting him.

How could he help? What could he do?

The girl would die. She said so. Her father said so.

“We will all die anyway,” Azure mumbled.

He wanted to sleep the whole world away. He sat down on the cold concrete floor, then curled into a fetal position and simply fell asleep, in his clothes with all the lights on.

***

When Azure was seven or eight years old, he had had a particularly lucid death dream. He was a passenger within a car, the car was diving off a cliff on his own residential street. The car plummeted down a dark shaft that was quickly illuminated with a golden light. Azure could see that the walls of this great shaft were lined with rich foliage, flowers, and beautiful twinkles of prismatic color. The further the car fell, the more beautiful the scene became. Finally, with a panic Azure awoke, yet lay awake for a long time replaying the strange vision.

At breakfast, Azure’s grandmother, herself an adept, asked Azure what was wrong. He seemed distraught or was simply deep in thought.

Azure replied, “I had a dream, a car crash dream. When the car went off the cliff into the darkness, I thought I would die. But there was a garden down there.”

“A garden?” his grandmother asked.

“Yes,” Azure answered. “A beautiful, golden garden. I wonder,” he asked, “What’s down there?”

His grandmother paused for a long moment, inhaling a deep breath through a cigarette, then said, “Why don’t you go back and find out.”

This simple statement opened up Azure’s entire world.

“Go back? Me?” he thought. How could he possibly do it? He was shocked by the idea. And what did it mean? These were entirely gigantic questions for young Azure to be asking.

But he had done it before, many times. That is, exploring the other realms, even visiting the place he is before and after this world. Azure will tell you that is how it is. Everything is happening NOW.

He woke up on the concrete floor. Only twenty minutes had passed. He sat up, the quiet sound of the room and a melody played on a distant trumpet reentered his ears like a flood. He remembered the dream and his grandmother’s advice. He was re-hashing it as he had done from time to time over the passing decades. Azure told me that this particular memory haunted him like no other, in that his grandmother died very shortly after that. Her advice to “go back and find out” was most likely the most profound gift she had given him. And also, dark. For his world had already been dark, in that he came to this world very awake and aware of the surface area.

Awareness is a duel edged blade.

***

It was Woody Shaw tune. In those days, Azure always had something playing in his house. He slowly came to on the floor and got up. A blank space in his mind, he stared at a rack of boxes containing various experiments he had built over the years. That’s when he saw it, sitting there in a box. The disc.

Figure 0–B – One of Azure’s original constructions. The coil utilizes a flat-wound bifilar design as patented by Nikola Tesla in 1894, shown here mounted on a Plexiglas disc. Note the mono audio jack with ferrite core.

The disc was nothing more than a flat bifilar coil of the type described in Nikola Tesla’s 1894 patent, “Coil for Electro Magnets.” Years earlier, Azure had connected the terminals to a 1/8” mono audio jack, with the original intention of testing out inductive coupling for transmitting music. In order to do that, he needed two coils, of which he eventually built about a dozen variations. Some were hot-glued on one side, a kind of poor-man’s lamination technique, and others he glued to round discs of Plexiglas.

With one disc plugged into the output from an audio source, the other disc would be plugged into an audio amplifier and speaker. When the discs were brought together, the music would be transmitted from one disc to another via electromagnetic induction. Even when the discs were several feet apart a signal could be detected, albeit weaker with distance. There was nothing unusual or unexpected about any of this, Azure knew. It was simply an interesting thing to try, and a good example of an experiment where you could hear the results and play with the variables in real time.

He had built this contraption in the time before Krystal’s death. They were both well aware of the real power of music therapy, and Krystal had gained some relief from listening to Bach. Azure had even pulled out some old sheet music, the Goldberg Variations, and worked through a few of the pieces as best he could. Those days, with Krystal, the piano, and the smoky shafts of light in the room were his happiest memories.

It had occurred to him that, if music therapy worked in the audio spectrum, would it not work at the tissue level if one were to place a bifilar coil upon the skin? Could electromagnetic pulses be used for tissue therapy? It certainly sounded possible.

Research in this domain was scant but not non-existent. The mainstream had buried it as best they could, which is always a sign there is something of value sitting out in the open.

Azure constructed a device containing two coils set parallel to one another, with a gap between them large enough for a hand, foot or arm to be positioned.

For a year Krystal used the device, she said she used it every day for an hour in the morning and an hour at night. She kept a journal and indicated her progress. Some months later, the doctors informed her that her blood numbers were looking better, and that the medication seemed to be helping. She didn’t tell the doctors she had never taken the medication. She, of course, also did not mention the alternative methods she was employing to thwart the cancer.

Azure and Krystal half-jokingly bestowed the name “Goldberg Device” to the two-coil arrangement glued to the inside of a shoebox.

He had one stipulation about the device’s use. Only the music of Bach was allowed to be played on it, and even this limitation was further restricted to the Goldberg Variations. Azure had a very good reason for this. He believed in the power of overtones and resonance. An alternating magnetic field can contain overtones and cause resonant behavior in other inductors, whether that inductor is a copper-wound coil, or the iron present in human blood. In other words, dissonance was bad, and pleasing tones were good. Bach supplied this in nearly all his music, where very little dissonance is present. Even when Bach overloads the pipe organ with that gigantic stacked chord at the end of his Fugue in D minor, there is a great deal of consonance. The distortion and dissonance are largely caused by the inability of small speakers or headphones to capture the true room tone where this music was designed to be played.

Despite the apparent successful remission possibly caused by usage of the Goldberg Device or otherwise, other problems with Krystal’s health were cropping up. As Krystal approached full disclosure about her life, Azure came to know something darker and far more sinister than anyone could be believe was happening to his lover.

Krystal was most probably the target of a long-range PSI attack.

* * *

Krystal might not have actually ever had cancer. The blood was made to look that way, such was the skill of the first attack.

When Krystal first started to hint at this possibility, Azure was dumb-founded. Attack? By what? By whom? He hadn’t uncovered all the truths of PSI yet, and this possibility that she was the target of some second- or third-party apparatus struck him as slightly absurd.

It was only after she revealed her true identity and the entirety of her employment situation with its inherent dangers did Azure fully understand.

History is spun propaganda

For millennia, the most powerful families on Earth have used the services of adepts of varying skill level to advance their business and political interests. Famous adepts can be easily spotted in almost any history book. They’ve even been used in every war ever fought on earth, to varying degree of success. They’re seen off to the side in great paintings, or they are seated and crowned. Antony and Cleopatra were notable adepts, practitioners of PSI. They had not committed suicide as history tells us. Nor were they murdered. They escaped. This is just one example of many spun cover-up stories.

Spin and propaganda. Whenever there is a disappearance of a well-known adept, they are often made to look sinister if they were truly killed, or a fake death is produced to facilitate their escape.

Other adepts include Rasputin, St. Germain, asdfn ASDLKJFASLKDFJ. The list goes on and most certainly include Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha. Adepts often rise to absolute power or are trusted advisors to the power structure. They will switch sides for the right price and are often recruited to succeeding causes. The ability to influence one’s enemies, allies, and constituents is nearly priceless, and many adepts appear to hold high office or attain great wealth.

The families Rothschilds, Kennedy, ASDFASFDS, ASDFasdf, and many more also continuously employ adepts. It can be said that many adepts, the modern-day practitioners of PSI, aka witchcraft, work for brutal and warlike regimes, and many adepts themselves are ruthless, tyrannical beasts.

At the core, they are only human.

Internal family knowledge and record of their employ is spun as nonsense to the public at large translating into bizarre tabloid headlines, conspiratorial explanations, rumor and legend. This is completely by design. The entire world of witchcraft, sorcery, ESP, immortality (or quasi-immortality), and other “fringe” topics have been purposely pushed to the fringe to act as a barrier against their use by the public. If the public at large were to employ PSI techniques and direct them against the families and other powers that be, it wouldn’t take long before the imbalance of power would be upset.

It is vitally important to the great powers that magick stay in the realm of fiction, Hollywood fantasy, and esoteric nonsense. PSI is simply a modern-day word for magick. Only the elitists are allowed to use it, and this has always been true.

Some adepts were also known to be, if not immortal, something very close to it.

Krystal had started to let on that she, too, had not been born in 1962, the date printed on her driver’s license.

* * *

Krystal bought Azure a ticket to come stay with her in Paris apartment for a week. There, on long walks along the river Seine, she would reveal to Azure all.

In many ways, the story of Azure is the story of Krystal. By the time his life had grown out of control, Krystal hadknew she commanded a respectable salary, but even the apartment had strings attached.

He knew that none of this would last. That it was just buying time. Notably, Krystal was on a different path that required her to leave this world, and soon. She had always known her time would be short here, and she had wanted to enjoy this life as much as possible, but her head was always partially somewhere else. Azure later told me she was an advanced soul, and advanced souls often confound others with their unconventional choices and desires. Their mutual understanding of one another’s existential quirks made for a mature, lasting relationship.

One day, Krystal walked into the room where Azure had, at that time, merely one piano, the spinet. He was playing an old jazz standard, a ballad called My Foolish Heart.

“I want you to stop playing,” she said.

Azure stopped.

He sensed something big was coming. He had sensed its imminent arrival for some time.

There was a long silence. He was the first to speak.

“You’ve got to go somewhere,” he said.

She looked at the floor. An evening light streamed in from the windows behind her. She slowly nodded and lit a cigarette.

“We will meet again,” she said with a hint of a smile.

* * *

That night she died in her sleep, painlessly, quietly. On her own terms.

In the morning Azure called 911, as he knew he must. There was a brief fiasco involving county sheriff detectives who were called in to rule out any foul play. After all, Krystal Langley appeared perfectly healthy, physically. There was no cancer. But the medics on the scene were confounded. He was questioned for an hour. The coroner finally took the body and Azure was left, for the first time in twenty years, alone in an empty house.

Nobody cares about hysteresis

At four in the morning Azure was wide awake, cooking a quick breakfast of eggs and bacon and a working on a third cup of coffee. On his kitchen counter sat a pocket-size version of the Goldberg Device. It had taken him about an hour to build it. A single flat-wound bifilar coil in the style of Nikola Tesla’s patent, wired to an 1/8” audio jack. It was essential the same as the original disc, just stuffed into an Altoids tin. He intended to give it to the little girl.

Figure 0–A


He plugged the 1/8” jack to an old Sony Walkman cassette player and set the machine to autorepeat. Azure would later claim the Walkman was a crucial component to an effective treatment, because it would be a dedicated audio source with an analog audio signal. Ideally a phonograph record would be the best choice for an even purer analog signal, but for obvious reasons a portable cassette player became his tool of choice. He had a box of Maxwell 120-minute cassettes that he loaded with Bach’s Goldberg variations. He didn’t catalog the songs, they were simply unmarked cassettes containing the pure waveforms of what he thought of as the most resonantly pure music available.

Azure kept an EMF sensor nearby so he could periodically measure the output of the coil. This incarnation of the Goldberg Device was, while driven by an EMF waveform, a passive device and did not exhibit any outer indication that it was actually “working”. It didn’t have a light. Azure did develop a few units with analog meters connected to the signal in parallel, but in most cases, he felt this embellishment was unnecessary. Later, when everyone started keeping their music on their phones, Azure (who didn’t own a smart or dumb phone), began bundling good working condition Sony Walkman players and similar units with the coil. This way he could be sure that any one client’s setup would work properly.

Some of his younger clients did not recognize the tape player units he provided. “What’s this thing?” they would ask. And so he was obliged to explain what a tape cassette is (or was) and how to insert one. Physical buttons that actually press down! A novelty for many people nowadays.

Azure’s stance on audio source was rooted in practicality and quality. We know that most of today’s phones all have some physical interface for audio, typically a 1/8” jack, or a BlueTooth connection that can connect with a BlueTooth speaker. The problem with using a smart phone with the Goldberg Device, he argued, was two-fold: First, this wasn’t an analog signal, it was a digital facsimile where the sine wave was basically chunked square waves en route to the output. It is arguable whether humans can discern this nuance, but that was not the point, Azure insisted. The body tissues will know because the overtones will become weaker if the fundamentals are approximated. This was the quality argument.

Figure 0–B - Sine wave with square stair-step wave superimposed.

Figure 0–C - Square-wave typical of digital-to-analog approximations of sinusoidal waveforms.

All of this means that approximated sine waves like those performed by digital-to-analog converters would not drive the frequencies through the coil in exactly the same way as a purely analog signal. This would introduce artefacts and additional noise. “The hysteresis of stacked waves is very different from a smooth curve,” Azure would write in his journal.

Azure wasn’t worried about the difficult marketing message here. Nobody cared about hysteresis. He wasn’t doing any of this to make sales, and this was a luxurious position to be in as the powers that be were paying him quite handsomely to be his audience. During these meetings he emphasized that quality of signal was paramount. A cellular telephone, or any other digitized audio source, simply would not do.

In a way, he did market to the minds of his clients, simply by stating that an analog signal would best translate the tonal range. All the overtones and resonant frequencies within the body tissue would be entrained as such. A powerful claim if one really takes this as truth.

His next main concern was usability. The Goldberg Device was not difficult to use, just turn on the cassette and slip the coil into one’s pocket. The problem was the bulk of the cassette player and having an extra device to manage. Modern people’s aversion to devices other than their phones was a major source of irritation for Azure. He felt people had already become exceptionally lazy, generally speaking, and that if their phone couldn’t perform some task, why should they bother? As an example, one of Azure’s clients jettisoned the provided tape player and switched the audio source to their phone. This client didn’t realize that the app kept stopping because of a minor impedance mismatch between the coil and the phone’s output. The phone was literally stopping the playback whenever the client plugged in the Goldberg Device because the phone’s internals sensed a dangerous voltage difference.

From this point on, Azure insisted to all his clients that despite the antiquated appearance of the unit, it was vital that they use it as prescribed.

That following weekend, Azure placed the Sony Walkman and the Goldberg Device into a purple Crown Royal bag and set off to the young girl’s party at the Mercer Island mansion.

When he arrived, she was pleased to see him. Later that night, Azure eventually had an opportunity to take her father aside and outline the story of Krystal’s recovery as well as details about the Goldberg Device. He produced the unit and demonstrated its functioning, using his handheld EMF detector to prove the audio signal was indeed being propagated by the coil.

“We’ll try it. Thank you,” the father said to Azure. And that was that.

He went home, half satisfied that he’d at least tried to offer something that might help the girl. But he felt that he’d already failed, too, because, unlike his future clients who would call on him for delivery of this specific treatment, Azure did not know he was on to something real. He figured the father might simply chuck the Crown Royal bag into the trash after he’d left.

Time went on. Weeks, months. Azure scraped by on a few piano tuning jobs, but it wasn’t enough to pay the bills. He had already opted for the gas service to be cut as a cost saving measure. He canceled the trash service, too, and didn’t have either a telephone land-line nor a cell phone. Fortunately, the house was completely paid for, he said, but he never told me how. All he needed in the way of nourishment could be had for a few dollars a day. To further reduce outgoing money he unplugged all appliances, including the refrigerator. “What do I need to keep cold?” He quipped. “Nothing.” He wore a fur lined parka in his house for most of the winter. He told me this had gone on year after year, even after he had obtained a somewhat steady stream of elite, high-paying clientele.

But those times hadn’t come yet, and he was still doing the daily routine of taking his laptop computer to a corner Starbucks where he could use the free Wi-Fi to check email, his only source of communication with the outside world.

By this time the month of June was at hand, a typically cold and rainy period in the Seattle area before giving way to the normally dry, if not warmer months of July and August. Azure wore his parka and stumped down to the Starbucks and plugged in his computer. A message from the man with the black Steinway was in his inbox. The subject line said, “Summer Party, RSVP”.

It had been seven months since he’d tuned their piano and attended the party, and there had been no contact or follow-up since then. He hadn’t expected any, either.

Azure clicked the item and read the message. There would be a party on June 30th, at the house on Mercer Island.

“Your presence would be greatly appreciated, Sincerely – ….

No mention of the girl. No details.

The party was in two weeks. He clicked the RSVP button and accepted.

* * *

I began visiting Azure more frequently, in the evenings after work, though my schedule was irregular. I was a freelance sound recordist and extra grip at the time, working on small video crews shooting corporate interviews and industrials. The available work in the Seattle area was spotty, at best; the gigs would come and go. I managed to have a decent living, and by decent, I mean around one or two grand a month if I was really lucky. Most of the time I had absolutely nothing to do and spent the available time filling notebooks with my writings and drawings, with the intent of publishing a book some day. I had always wanted to be a writer and was a journalism major in college. I also dropped out within the first semester. Needless to say, I hadn’t really sorted out my career yet.

Like Azure, I too, was also a minimalist, though a bit more nomadic. I lived in my minivan. Normal housekeeping chores like laundry were rarely needed (all my clothing was black, like most video crew attire), dirty dishes were non-existent, I had no need for food storage. I subsisted from a diet of deli items at the supermarket, and coffee, marijuana and multivitamins. Over the years, several colleagues might let me “camp out” in their driveway for short periods, where I could catch up on free laundry and a proper dinner-table meal. I had no bills, whatsoever, and had already managed to squirrel away about twenty grand in the bank, my “retirement plan”. This had taken me years to accumulate. I did not consider myself homeless, nor destitute.

Probably around 2004 I realized I had actually been hanging out at Azure’s place regularly, several times a week.

We’d recently met as musicians at a private jam session in Bellevue. I’d ducked out to smoke a joint, and lo and behold Azure had done the same.

He, an able pianist, and me, a hack at the bass guitar. Though only in his early forties, Azure seemed like an early retired tech millionaire; a sort of bemused relaxed expression on his face. Bemused yet serious.

Azure seemed to have nothing to do and nowhere to go. But I could tell his mind was really into the music. There was also something more behind that look; something deeper, I sensed.

We shared half a joint and went back in.

The owner of the house stood up from the piano and let Azure take the helm. Azure called the tune: Bellows, by Ahmad Jamal.

No one in the room but Azure was familiar with the tune. No one had the sheet music for it. To this obstacle Azure simply said: “We’ll just repeat the chorus. Essentially an endless run of fourths. It’s all ii-V-i’s,” he announced.

Easy! I thought.

Azure started in B minor, playing a short intro head before mounting into essentially a blower’s paradise. An endless fourths cycle! That’s Bellows.

We filled the tune out with some unexpected chord changes, which I loved. The drummer was off in his own world. Azure was all over it.

The jam ended and as I loaded my fretless Fender into the car, Azure handed me his card. A paper card!

Earlier, during the joint, I had explained I had lightly dicked around with piano although the poor spinet in my house was “untunable”.

“I’ll tune it,” he said blankly.

* * *

We’d have a few drinks and a smoke, and he’d play. And he would talk. I, in turn, rolled tape on an old microcassette recorder to capture what I could. Azure was fine with this, as he said he was unable to find time to document what was happening in his life, which was by all accounts: weird.

On two particular nights we got into deep territory on existentialism and fortunately the conversations were captured.

Azure was an atheist. Because of this, he felt it necessary to have a solid theory on existence, of what matter and energy are, where things came from and where they are going. Of consciousness. Of perception and reality.

He was compelled to explain away anything that would be supplied by any number of gods, deities, and many established scientific “facts”. The nature of reality, he said, was neither about magic beings or magic numbers. His largest targets were, of course, the theory of relativity as the de facto religion of science, and beating up on quantum mechanics and string theory along the way. Most explanations of reality, he said, were overcomplicating the actual reality of the situation. To be a true explanation of reality, Azure argued, it must be sublimely elegant. It cannot hide behind either numbers or dieties. If nature must hide behind a number, let that number be zero, he wrote in his journal.

Sure, there was the practical use for scientific theories and religious doctrine, essentially underwriting humanity as we know it. But only as a practicality. Azure admitted the theory of relativity was almost assuredly completely accurate and predictive of many phenomena. But, he said, one should always leave one or two percent for contingency plans. There was much gold to be mined from doubt. “Besides,” he said. “Success of Relativity is not the point. It’s not about the math!”

It was a metaphor for something far deeper.

“Beliefs are only useful for regulating society,” he declared. “I don’t care if the society is your country or your bowling buddies.”

Azure believed “…societies were comprised of arbitrary order. Any kind of belief only served the power structure,” he contended. These theories and doctrines were good for putting food on the table and getting along with others.

Therefore, to really get to the meat of any topic, be it physical or existentially abstract, one should throw it all out and work only with first order causes. This reductionist technique, if adhered to strictly, “…pretty much means you won’t last long in any one profession, because you realize most folks don’t want to rock the boat. You’ll make more enemies than friends,” he explained with a shrug. So, Azure hid his beliefs and abilities from nearly everyone, except for Krystal, with whom he shared most everything.

One of Azure’s most powerful statements on the reality of existence came about during a somewhat intoxicated debate between Krystal and himself. He had explained:

“She was trying to tell me that the law of attraction is real. Of which I replied that the law of resonance appears to be real, not necessarily attraction in and of itself. This is more than semantics. But we moved on to the topic of why everything is smeared across the time continuum and why things are so hard for so many people. Why is there so much suffering? And she said, ‘Because all is one. The universe has a plan for you, and it takes time to implement. You are suffering because perhaps you and others are simply not able or ready to resonate at another frequency.’ This was Krystal, throwing my theory back in my face. Well, I simply laughed at her. I contend that if all is one, as so many believe (but in an incorrect way), then we immediately slip into a kind of solipsism. And then I quoted Colonel Kurtz at the end of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness when he says: ‘The horror. The horror.’”

It’s not hard to see where Azure was going. He actually did believe that all is one, and his belief did indeed veer dangerously close to the cliff of solipsism if not running directly into the ditch.

“I used to get night terrors,” he said. “They are not as frequent anymore, but they were basically panic attacks in the dark of night, where I would need to curl into a fetal position to fight off the terror of annihilation.

“Annihilation by what?” I asked.

“By oneself,” was his answer.

“All is one, but not in a hippy-dippy, daisy chain of interconnectedness,” he argued, “but rather everything is literally one thing. It’s incomprehensible to visualize. It’s not interconnected atoms. It’s not overlapping fields. It’s not light. These are all human ideas. These are separations requiring unification, either by mathematics or a god.”

“Or Feynman,” I threw in.

“All that stuff is good for industry. But it’s beyond quantization at the consciousness level. If we’re talking about a totality, then it might as well be nonexistent. Any attempt to conceptualize it will fail. You can say, conceptually, it’s a circle with infinite radius and omni-located center. Or an infinite nothingness. The dimensionless point stretched across dimensionless time. It’s the time between the motions, where there is no time, and the space between the spaces, where there should be nothing. Find your own metaphor, and it will quickly become absurd. Words and concepts become meaningless.”

This was one of Azure’s great tirades. A masterpiece of existential spin.

“Ok, but what does it mean?” I asked him pointedly.

Azure emptied his glass of wine and reached for the bottle.

“However you think about it, there is something unavoidable. It’s an unavoidable truth. Here it is,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what is in it, or what it’s made of. If all is one, then the universe is alone. It…,” he said with finality, “…is alone. By definition! Now, I ask you: What could be more terrifying?”

He had me there. I had never travelled the entire path of existentialism, but here Azure encapsulated the entire journey in an airtight container. And I had to admit, it was terrifying. The prospect seemed very real that we, or rather, “it”, as Azure liked to say, is simply alone. “If you really want to scare the hell out of yourself,” he warned, “Meditate on this. I promise you, you will come to understand the entirety of the situation.”

He also warned against spending one’s life fixating on this “fact”, as “you’ll miss a lot of the good things happening. Things we do to distract from the horrible realization.”

“As soon as I realized we’re alone,” he confided, I really started looking at everything quite differently. It was like I was finally let in on a big joke. All of the religious, scientific, and artistic jibber-jabber of the centuries starts sounding like naïve pointlessness. Except there is a point to it,” he continued. “It provides economic structure. Nothing more.”

I asked him if he thought there were alternatives to this theory, the theory of an ultimately single entity, alone and confined to itself. Could there be a dual source? Or perhaps even infinite sources to whatever this was?

“There are a multitude of alternatives,” Azure explained. “Of course. The most immediate is the idea of a yin/yang type of universe.”

“Of which we apparently have, right?” I interjected.

“Yes, we see polarities in everything. It’s intriguing to think there might be two fundamental entities, two sources, responsible for all this. But I don’t think these are fundamental, because if you recall, Yin and Yang are contained in a single circle. Something must act as a boundary. Even if the boundary is nothing. Balance is defined by edges of a whole.”

“So, there you go: alone again,” I supplied.

“Exactly. You just keep going down the turtle stack, if you will, and eventually you hit the ground hard,” he said. “And believe me, I do believe in yin and yang. The notion of dynamic balance is an obvious clue. All motion and time originates here in the dynamic threshold space.

“There are feminine and masculine archetypes in nearly all fields of study. It manifests in frequency, spin, polarity, handed-ness, electro-magnetic theory, reproduction, it goes on and on. But these are all derivative effects. The main problem is, once you get off the idea of the whole, you’re talking about parts of something, which are easy to talk about.

“Whereas describing the whole is impossible. It must be…”, he paused, “…experienced in the way Buddha describes Nirvana. Or it is Taoist, in that there is no experience and no experiencer. Either way you have used words to describe a paradox. This is wasted effort.”

I swallowed the remainder of my wine and nodded thoughtfully. “It’s a lot to think about,” I said.

“It’s rubbish!” Azure declared with a laugh. “We shouldn’t waste time on it. Just play music.”

* * *

On another evening, I returned to the subject of existentialism, asking Azure how consciousness worked into all of this. He told me the following story:

“This may sound hard to believe, but I remember being in the womb,” he said. “I remember hearing the muffled voices, of laughter and so on, of people out in the world. The sound of doors, of cars. Of being walked around while I simply lay there curled up. I remember the sensation of my mother’s hand upon her own stomach. This was quite soothing. I could actually see a feint red glow. It’s dark in there, but there is some light that gets through.”

I stated that most people can’t remember their previous meal, let alone what happened while in the womb. He explained that he did not possess a photographic memory, but in many cases, he had excellent recall of what he was feeling at a particular past moment in his life. He had a word for it.

“I remember many ponderings. I suppose that is the correct word,” he explained. “I remember becoming aware of things for the first time, like the blue of the sky, or the sound of the engine as my father shifted the gears. The taste of blackberries that grew in the alley behind our house. The glow of the bare lightbulb in my bedroom. These memories were within my first year. I remember the scent of patchouli and marijuana. Of tomato leaves in a greenhouse. The smell caterpillars leave on your fingers when you pick them up.”

“It’s not a taught skill, per se. Is it?” I said. “My childhood is fuzzy. I’d have to work on it.”

“Meditate,” he said.

I sipped my wine.

“Do you believe there is some innate value in these ponderings, as you called them?” I asked. “Does it lead anywhere?”

“There is tremendous value in observation,” Azure said. “…in non-judgement. Because that’s what we normally do. We must! Categorizing everything before we have even spent time with it.”

“It’s very important to categorize quickly and efficiently in business,” I offered.

“It’s war! That’s pretty much the whole idea,” he yelped. “And now we have nearly the entire civilization connected via computer. So it’s global judgement at the speed of light. I think there are pockets of resistance to this, like the slow food movement, for example. But largely these are transparent ploys for authenticism. It’s fake. It’s still about money. Postmodernism is a brand marketed to us from birth.

“Remember this, though: no one can sell you self-awareness. That’s up to you. They try to re-package old things into new things with a particular tagline and marketing language. This or that product, i.e. experience, will somehow free you. And it works! It always works. People keep buying it.”

“Why do you think so?” I asked.

“It’s too hard to break free. There’s no time. There’s nothing left at the end of the day. They’ve taken all of it, and we’ve given it all to them without any fight whatsoever. Nobody will honor the time it takes to connect with themselves. Perhaps individually, but not collectively.”

He lit a cigarette and continued:

“This really hit us in the twentieth century, particularly with the concept of postmodernism. You know? A lot of people were experiencing the enormous, momentous changes during that time. They were writing about it, painting about it. It was beautifully disturbing. The technology, the stress of war, the changing society, all of it. To the point that postmodernism became the norm. That was the response. The jazz music of late Fifties and into the Sixties was one of the purist art forms of that era, to the point that the white establishment had no choice but to shut it down.”

“Enter rock and roll,” I professed.

“Yes, good timing. But you also see a simplification of the melodies and rhythms from the previous era, which had been dominated by jazz music.”

Azure glanced at the slowly turning capstan of the tape recorder, aware his words might reach a broader audience. He continued:

“Some people need to be reminded this music was invented by the descendants of African American slaves. It was their invention, and it brought joy. It brought awareness. The music was organic; the opposite of postmodernism. You see? It was the opposite of where things were going, which is where things are now. The establishment has finally realized the great dream, which is to have everyone wired up like puppets.”

Azure was building up a rhetorical lather. I’d heard him speak once publicly, in an art store of all places. The entire staff of the store dropped what they were doing and listened, enraptured. There, like here, he seemed on point yet a complete raving lunatic.

“The stuff they play on the radio today isn’t jazz, man,” he complained. “It’s ‘easy listening’.”

“You gotta work a little bit to understand it, I think,” I supplied.

“No man, you just need to want to hear real melodies, real rhythms,” he countered. “It’s opposite the computerized click-track of everybody’s life.”

Azure was brilliant to me, but he could also get a bit curmudgeonly at times.

Miss S---

Azure pulled up to the circular driveway of the Mercer Island house. There were actual valet attendants handing paper tickets to the guests. He waited for the car in front to move. It was a black Tesla roadster with the Lotus body. Azure, on the other hand, was driving a perfectly functioning 1993 Nissan Sentra. Perfect, save for the non-functional keyless entry and the slightly rumbly-sounding exhaust in need of replacement. And the peeling hood paint.

Once inside, Azure filtered his way through the throng of noisy family and friends, making his way to the sunlight on the back lawn. At the back door he was offered a glass of wine from the passing tray of a server.

In the back yard, he took note of the view. The lot was typically narrow for an island waterfront property. There was the I-90 bridge off to the right. You could hear the dull roar of cars. Down at the lake a handful of lads were prepping some jet-skis. Small children kicked a ball around the imported sandy beach.

The party was catered, and Azure stood there, alone, nibbling on a stuffed mushroom and sipping red wine while he took everything in.

“Azure?” a voice said from behind. It was the girl. “I’m so glad you joined us today,” she said precociously.

“Hi,” Azure said, somewhat taken aback. Who was this girl? She didn’t look like the slumped over, sad, stick of a creature he had earlier that year. This girl seemed quite normal and healthy.

She grabbed his hand.

“Come see father, he was looking for you!”

* * *

Azure walked in, following the girl. She led him to a quiet room adjoining the main living room. It was the study.

“Father,” she said, presenting Azure as if he were a gift.

“Ah, good! Azure!” he bellowed. “Glad you could come out. Thank you so much,” he said, shaking Azure’s hand vigorously. “You’ve done a great thing. A great thing,” he repeated.

Azure wasn’t accustomed to accolades, let alone being around people. Not anymore. Aside from my frequent visits, he had spent many months alone.

“You’re welcome,” he stammered. “But, what did I do?”

“I’m cured,” the little girl supplied.

Azure looked at the girl. He looked at the father. He looked back at the girl.

“It’s true,” the father said. “

* * *

Despite this momentous news, the rest of the evening was uneventful. Azure was not asked to play piano, and the girl did not play it either. It had been rolled away to make room for the trays of catered food. Anyway, newer music was being piped over speakers all over the property. Azure comforted himself with the fact that he could just relax.

He received a new wine glass and set out to find a place to enjoy his meal. He secured a seat at a covered table on the deck, overlooking both the patio and the entire backyard.

Azure sipped his drink. He noticed that a few faces would look his way from time to time. People were talking about him, in awe, it seemed. No one else approached to engage in conversation.

It didn’t bother him.

* * *

The sun had set and the air was quickly becoming cold as a light breeze circulated from the lake. The number of attendees had thinned and Azure assumed those that remained were family and close friends. Lights from the bridge traffic twinkled by. Azure headed to the bathroom and then he’d be off.

Groups of people were crowding the foyer noisily bidding farewell, hugging and kissing. A woman emerged from the group and walked directly toward Azure. She reached out her hand.

“Mr. Azure?” she said. “Thank you so much for what you did for M---. We are forever indebted to you.” She spoke in a thick accent, Hungarian he supposed, as the Mr. A was American-Hungarian.

“Oh!” Azure was again taken aback by the gratitude. “It was nothing. Just a simple thing,” he said.

“It was much more than a simple thing,” the woman said, holding his hand. “I am M---‘s aunt, my name’s S---. We had all but given up hope.”

Azure stood there for a moment. It was all quite amazing. Had the girl actually been cured? That seemed to be true. But was the Goldberg Device actually effective? These people seemed to think so. If she had indeed used it regularly. How could he know.

The woman released his hand. “Please stay a bit longer,” she asked warmly. “We are going to gather outside near the fire for a bit. I know many of us have so many questions.”

“I…uh…,” Azure stammered.

“Oh, please!” she said, grabbing his hand once more. Azure felt a warm ripple of electricity run up his spine.

“Okay,” he agreed. “I don’t see why not.”

* * *

The little girl had gone off to another part of the mansion with her friends to enjoy their slumber party. The catering staff was long gone and all that remained was Mr. A---, his wife, sister, Miss S---, and a few other couples who were apparently staying the night in various guestrooms.

The group of adults lounged around an open fire that burned in a brick lined hole in the patio.

Mr. A--- lit a joint and passed it to Azure first. “So Azure, your device, the coil thing, it was like flipping a switch for M---,” he said.

“It really was!” Miss S--- said excitedly. “M--- started to recover almost immediately.”

Azure inhaled off the joint and passed it to the couple to his right.

“At first, I didn’t make the connection to her recovery and the coil,” Mr. A--- said. “In fact, I had forgotten about it. But M--- said she had used it all the time. She never turned it off. The housekeeper kept finding piles of used AA batteries in her bedroom.”

Azure stroked his chin. This was interesting.

“How did you come up with it?” Miss S--- asked. All eyes turned back to Azure. Mr. A--- poured a glass of red wine and handed it to Azure.

He sipped, thinking about how he might answer the question.

“Well,” he began. “It was really just a bit of luck. You see, my former partner, Krystal was dying, too.”

Some of them had known of this story, for he’d shared it with the father. Azure spent the next few minutes retelling the story of Krystal, the music therapy techniques they tried. Her recovery. And of course, her mysterious yet intentional exit from this plane of existence. This last detail most intrigued his audience. They were genuinely sympathetic, and now also mesmerized and enchanted with Krystal. Who was this dark enigma?

Azure took another hit from the joint, passed it back to Mr. A---.

Krystal. An enigma, indeed. How much would he tell them? He had already gauged his audience. For the most part, he sensed kindness. He sensed he could trust them. There was something else, too.

Miss S--- suddenly scooted her chair next to Azure’s. He’d been sitting alone, off to one side of the small bonfire.

“I’m looking at you,” she said to him with her eyes. Azure almost couldn’t believe it. Not that she was coming on to him, openly, though that was certainly interesting, but that she actually spoke to him, not with her voice in the night air, but like a voice he could hear in his mind.

Krystal was the only one who’d ever done that to him.

“Hello,” he said back, telepathically.

* * *

“It’s okay, you can tell them anything,” Miss S--- said, mentally.

Azure understood now. It all came into view. Miss S could have easily performed this trick earlier, but she had acted with appropriate reserve, waiting until Azure was comfortable. Not only that, but the A--- family had an adept within its ranks. And they knew.

Azure emptied his wine glass and slipped his shoes off.

* * *

The previous hours had been spent outside, around the bonfire with S’s brother, wife and their closest family friends. Azure had taken the better part of one of those hours talking about Krystal. Her abilities, her path. At least a redacted version of her path. He held back on the main crucial detail: Her employers. But that omission of information would turn out to be irrelevant.

Miss S--- led Azure up the stairs to a third floor “suite”. It was two in the morning. Within a minute, Azure was sliding his gold calculator watch off, a silly Casio, and placed it on a marble sink in an enormous bathroom. Miss S--- let her dress slip to the floor and led Azure into the shower.

A chance meeting

Azure and Krystal originally met on a transatlantic flight from Seattle to Frankfurt. This was in the mid 1990s. Azure was on a business flight doing a “hand-carry” of specialized equipment from a vendor and would be returning to the States within a day. It was a first-class round trip, as the company he worked for, M--, had already bet billions on this particular product. What was a few several thousand dollars spent for first class freight?

Krystal said she was working for an investment hedge fund. She was en route to Geneva for a major economic conference, she said, ultimately, but had a stayover in Frankfurt for several days at a family office.

“Family office?” Azure inquired.

Krystal should have probably used another word, something generic and non-indicative that the hedge fund she worked for belonged to a family. A particularly powerful family. She wasn’t a clumsy person, by any means, but somehow the word had slipped out.

“Oh, branch office, I mean,” she said quickly.

The two quickly fell into fast conversation on their mutual favorite topics. Esoterism and illuminati. Silence and consciousness. Art and its meaning. They talked about music. They talked about strange dreams, and ESP.

Krystal felt an attraction to Azure, she sensed the feeling was mutual. After several hours into the flight, she went and came back down the aisle from the lavatory. As she climbed back into her seat, she said, very gently, “hello” to him with her eyes and in his mind.

He could hear it!

* * *

Dinner came. They sipped red wine and picked at the salmon fillet entrée as they continued talking.

“I admit,” she began. “Sometimes when I’m out to dinner, I tell the waiter when I want another glass of wine.”

“You tell him…in his mind?” Azure asked.

“Yes. I say: ‘One more, here, please.’,” she said. “You’d be surprised how people don’t even notice they are being spoken to in this way.”

“It’s sort of manipulative, don’t you think?” Azure asked pointedly with a grin.

“Depends who you ask. It’s no different than speaking to someone out loud,” Krystal said. “Because we don’t really know the full extent of how we—any of us—are being manipulated by anything. Do you see what I mean?” She asked. “It’s too important a skill not to use. It’s like, what if you could also do this? Think about how you would manage this extra modality.”

He looked at her, silently, watching her features.

“HOW WOULD YOU DO IT?” she pushed the words into his mind.

Azure fell back in his seat. Like a wind had knocked him over.

Krystal laughed and took his hand.

“Don’t be afraid. I wasn’t even yelling,” she said with her regular voice.

Azure regained his breath and smiled, then started laughing. It was so funny. He suddenly felt really, really good. Like he hadn’t felt in ages. Krystal was laughing too.

What was happening?

* * *

“What’s back in Seattle for you?” Azure asked.

“My mom lives in Laurelhurst,” she said. “I visit her once a month.”

“Wow, you’re a good daughter,” Azure said, and thinking how amazing it must be to live in Paris and have the ability to travel to the States once a month just to visit family. Expensive, too, he thought. “Laurelhurst. Nice neighborhood!” he added.

“My dad was an exec at Boeing. My mom taught piano at the Catholic school up the street,” she said.

“Do you play?” Azure asked.

“Not a single note,” Krystal declared.

“Oh, that can’t be true,” Azure challenged.

“Not a single note,” Krystal repeated, indignantly.

They were halfway through the flight. The flight attendant for the first-class section was milling about in the galley. Azure caught a glimpse of the wine bottle in his hand.

“ANOTHER GLASS HERE, PLEASE!” Azure said in his mind, pushing the words toward the front of the cabin where he hoped the attendant would “hear” them.

“Not so loud,” Krystal immediately said, placing her hand on Azure’s.

He turned his hand over and gently clutched hers. Far below, the icy cracks of Greenland could be seen gliding by. The horizon to the north was darkening in an orange glow. They both watched silently, nothing but the rushing sound of the aircraft filling their ears.

Their heads moved closer.

Their lips met.

Azure closed his eyes.

* * *

“Another glass, sir,” the flight attendant asked. She was standing there with a wine bottle wrapped in a white cloth.

Krystal looked at Azure with her piercing eyes as if to say: See, it works.

* * *

The flight finally landed. The sense of an unstoppable passion between the two was undeniable. They could both feel it.

They deplaned, floated through an otherwise empty German customs checkpoint, and silently pulled their carry-ons to the arrivals curb in the cold air of midnight.

They got into the same taxi.

“Villa Kennedy, bitte,” Krystal said in German to the driver.

* * *

The following morning was bittersweet. They were both exhausted from the previous day’s travel and the activities of the early morning.

They both promised to see each other again. But when?

Krystal wrote a private number on the back of her card. Azure did not have his cards and wrote his number and email on hotel stationary, handing her the slip of paper. They embraced and kissed and Azure bid farewell.

“I’ll be in Seattle again at the end of the month,” Krystal said.

“I can’t wait,” Azure said, and turned to leave.

“I’ve seen the future,” Azure said to me, drunk out of his mind.

“What!” I hissed.

“I know where this is going!” he exclaimed.

“Where is it going man?” I asked, calming down.

Double life

I felt like doing some research. After all, I was an ex-journalism major for at least one and a half quarters. I knew the basics!

I headed to the downtown library and found a slightly dated catalog of property listings for King County. I looked up Azure’s address. The property was listed to an H. Langley.

Who was H? I wondered. Azure’s first name was GARY. Perhaps H was his father, and the deed hadn’t been transferred when this catalog was published.

I was reminded that GARY’s mother and father had died on TWA 800 in 1996.

I immediately went to the counter and asked a librarian, tapping away on her phone, where I could find the passenger list of TWA 800. She pointed me to the computer island in the center of the room. “Probably your best bet,” she said with a dismissive wave of the hand.

I pulled up the wiki page listing all victims, passengers and crew. There was a similar last name, but it wasn’t Langley. And what, then, of Mrs. Langley?

Did they travel under pseudonym or aliases?

* * *

I lit up a joint and sat down at the piano. I played a run on the black keys and used a low B as a pedal point. It sounded cool. It was something I heard on an Ahmad Jamal tune.

Azure walked into the room. I offered him the joint.

“Cool,” he said with a smiling nod.

“Thanks.” I was thinking about my trip to the library earlier that day. I was itching to know the story behind this amazing house that was supposedly “all paid for”. More on that later.

The end is the beginning

My name is agent Blake Kaily, aka “Kal”. I tracked and shadowed “Azure Langley”, aka “The Piano Tuner”, for a little over a decade, from 2003 until 2014. I was an unlikely candidate for CIA work: I was basically a college dropout bum, living out of my van, smoking pot and playing my bass guitar for fun. By fate or fortune I became Azure’s closest confidante and friend. I was eventually recruited and trained to shepherd Azure Langley and steer him into helping us. Azure was producing some great intel for the Agency at that time, but we knew he would not cooperate directly with us if we’d press him too hard. Other parties were also interested in Azure, notably rival families in the Order. We were aware of several visits made by the intel agencies of not just other nations, but intel units working for the rival families. While Azure’s partner, Krystal, worked for a Rothschild heir, luring unsuspecting opponents at the negotiation table into ruinous positions, Azure never worked for a family, other than the family we call the CIA. Over the course of his at times reluctant service, Azure helped us fight an ongoing battle against our enemies. These were sometimes unfriendly government PSI-OPS teams or, more dangerously, powerful "warlock" types who work for the families.

The Piano Tuner is a story about love, betrayal, deceit, and the unexpected, hidden power of the Illuminati-run New-World Order that is really the Old World Order.