Young Nicola Tesla becomes Orphan's high-action equivalent of 'Mr. Q' from James Bond movies
Edison assumed that Hayes had told Tesla about Orphan’s real intentions, so he asked him, “Where are you concealing the Howitzer (canon), flame flingers and Gatling guns?”
Tesla realized what he was really asked to design.
A couple of days later Hayes assured him, “I did not lie to you son, these rail ambulances will be used to rush badly injured orphans to the hospital, once in a while.”
Tesla remained very excited about creating superspeed machines (as well as creating secret spy gear for America), so Hayes introduced him to another of his inventor buddies, engineer George Westinghouse, who had also been working on several other top-secret federal projects.
Westinghouse had already revolutionized locomotive technologies, and he owned two high-security facilities where these rail rockets (they would call "Orphs"), could be built.
Four years later, in the first week of March (1885), they completed their sixth Orph, which was far more advanced than the first five. This angry-sounding low slung beast could maintain 150 miles an hour on some (straight and flat) existing tracks. None of the first five could even each 100 mph.
Orph Six could also triple the speed of conventional trains around tight curves, as well as stop in about one-tenth of their distance using what Tesla called his "Magnetic Glue."
Even though on March 7th, 1885, Tesla would pilot this fire breathing Orph from Zanesville to Columbus at an average speed of 149.5 mph, the official world speed record for motorized vehicles remained 82.5 mph until the early 1900s, simply because Secret Service secrets, remain Secret Service secrets.
Orphs consisted of a locomotive plus 5-6 custom cars. One of these cars allowed agents to remotely control those powerful weapons systems, another opened to release a dirigible (the world's first fold-away framed airship), that could carry 1000 pounds of people and cargo.
Although Orphan operated from this underground facility for forty-eight years (from 1881 to 1929), the Secret Service never disclosed that Orphan existed.
In 1929, they replaced Orphan, with a new US air-mail based version codenamed “Postal”.
Orphs had met their match, after 47 years they had finally been rendered obsolete by airplanes, so the underground base beneath the crest of Sullivant's Hill was no longer used for mission control.
Postal was not headquartered underground, it was still well hidden inside 13 U.S. Air-Mail offices that had opened inside America’s largest airports.
A few months later that little orphan hospital mysteriously burned down.
Instead of rebuilding it, Washington claimed they had begun reimbursing hospitals near orphanages to treat those poor babies, while also creating child labor laws.
However, from 1929 until 1937, the Secret Service continued using Orphan’s underground facility to develop and test top-secret weapons and to reportedly reverse-engineer alien technologies, essentially turning Sullivant’s Hill (the western side of Columbus's Hilltop) into America’s first version of Area 51.
In 1937, the vast scale of Hitler's war machine pushed the Secret Service to move their covert development centers to the deserts of New Mexico and Nevada.
The old underground base beneath Sullivant’s Hill then became a top-secret storage facility used to stash countless (physical) secrets, including the three Orphs that were still in use when Orphan closed.
Seven of the nine other Orphs had been dismantled after being damaged beyond repair (from 1885-1923). Two were unaccounted for.
The Service continued guarding this storage facility and continued operating the federal train service center above it, though most of World War II.
In March of 1944, about a year before his death, President Roosevelt arranged for General Motors to build a massive factory over America’s first underground spy center.
Less than a year later, four acres of concrete, supposedly sealed in the old Orphan base's entrances forevermore.
Well, not quite. That GM plant closed 45 years later, and about six years after that the crumbling factory was demolished.
Today 44-acres of that original 80-acre chicken farm site is home to Columbus’s Hollywood Casino, Ohio’s largest gaming house.
However, before the feds would allow the casino developers to prepare the site, they claimed that GM had left it dangerously contaminated. So, President George W. Bush had the CIA (disguised as the EPA) "clean up" the land first, ensuring that the casino builders would not uncover the top-secret treasures entombed below.
If you are wondering how someone who had never been affiliated with the Secret Service, or any federal secrets, uncovered this information. Before that huge GM factory closed, I spent a decade (1981-90) selling new cars across the street from it, thousands of them.
In the 1980s, many Hilltop residents were still buying new cars, and after seeing my collection of antique Columbus postcards displayed in my office, they shared hundreds of historic stories, myths, and legends with me about Sullivant’s Hill (the Hilltop).
Many of their stories mentioned that nearly two decades of this hill’s history (approximately 1856-1884), had been rewritten by political powers, to hide the fact that the Secret Service's first underground facility was right under my feet.
Truth, myth, legend or fantasy, their stories became the foundation for what you just read, plus immensely more.
On December 15, 2019, The Southern Cross will be the first of these novels I will release. It is the second of five Orphan novels I have in clean draft form, but the first I intend to share.
The Southern Cross is a spy gadget packed, rapid-fire secret agent thriller that mostly takes place over seven days in 1885, the 6th through the 12th of March.
Three years after having his 'White Knights' steal seventeen notebooks from Nicola Tesla’s New York home in 1882, the wealthiest man on earth, the ruthless and crazy handsome Southerner, Tiberius Maximus (Ty) Cross, had his engineers turn over a dozen of Tesla’s still otherwise unknown technologies, into a terrifying arsenal of remotely controllable weapons.
His company, Cross Shipping International, was the world's largest shipping company, and its most profitable product since his grandfather first opened it in 1803, African slaves.
But in the 1880s, the US government was successfully using trade sanctions and other threats against most nations still allowing slavery, which Ty Cross planned to fully reverse.
Until now historians, newspapers, and the federal government have buried the truth about Ty Cross’s nearly foolproof plan to seize control of the USA, then restore the Confederacy in total control of the nation on May Day, twenty years after the Civil War ended.
The Southern Cross steadily intensifies action from its first chapter to its explosive last few. It was never my intention, but this story reminds me of early James Bond movies, right down to its sarcastic humor, violence and gratuitous behavior.
Keep in mind this copy is my first complete draft, no one else has worked on it, touched it, or even proofread it as of November 14, 2019.
This sample of The Southern Cross includes it's first 130 pages (of 370) so you can test-drive an Orph before you buy one. The full draft version will be released for download at Amazon on December 15th, 2019. Printed copies will be available early next year.
I will post these samples from each book about a month before they are released, right here at UpperColumbus.com.
I hope you have as much fun reading these Orphan thrillers, as I am having writing them!
Before James Bond Orphan's Agent, Colin McLaughlin came from Franklinton, Ohio
(Today's West Columbus)
Former Ohio governor and US President Rutherford. B. Hayes is Orphan's Commander
Colin's young girlfriend Sarah Kilbourne
(the leader of the 'Buckeye Beauties'
at the Columbus'Opera House)
Is from a settlement called Worthington