THE BACKSTORY: BEFORE HE TURNED
Lazio Vas Rachmaninoff was a young, handsome and talented singer in the early 1700’s who was from a dogmatically religious family. Although his family supported his music, Lazio always felt that there was so much more to life than religious rules and condemnation. His parents were both killed during a raid of feuding religious fanatics who paraded themselves as ministers when in fact they were bloodthirsty murderers. Lazio swore vengeance on the hypocrisy and absurdity of religious figures and vowed to liberate all mankind.
The Duke of Devonshire invited George Frederick Handel to present his newest choral masterpiece, The Messiah at the Great Music Hall in Dublin, Ireland. Religious leaders and high-ranking clergy from all over Europe would be in attendance to bask in the glory of this homage to the life of Jesus Christ. Rachmaninoff knew this would be his opportunity to make his voice be heard and mission be launched. He auditioned for the lead tenor soloist part and garnered the coveted role.
Handle’s Messiah was first performed on Friday the 13th, in April 1742. This day would go down in history for many reasons. During the performance, Lazio was a mere few feet from the leaders and clergy. He had secretly hid his sword in his choir robe and anxiously waited for the precise time to attack the siting and vulnerable men. He chose to kill the men during the bombastic “Hallelujah Chorus” as the perfect blasphemous moment for murder.
As the song began, Lazio made his move as if it was a part of the performance. At the same time, the Duke of Devonshire was so moved by the music that he stood to his feet with admiration. This caused quite a stir in the packed house of 700 audience members. Just when Lazio raised his sword the entire audience stood in respect for the Duke. This took Lazio by surprise causing him to drop his sword on the cold stone floor. The guards saw the sword and attacked Lazio. He was carried out in shackles.
At trial, Lazio was found guilty, but not before he had made his claims against the oppression and control of the Church and government in the masses’ daily lives. This rocked all of Europe and caused quite a shakeup in the Christian foundations, so the Church and State decided to make an example of this obviously deranged and diabolical man. They would crucify him upside down on a cross and place his body in a stone cave tomb. The Pope did not want him to die on the cross, but planned on him suffering a long, painful and torturous death.
The site of the ceremonious tomb was an abandoned 400-year-old cave; said to have been infested with blood sucking bats with cold leathery wings and razor sharp talons. No one would ever dare to enter or attempt to move the body from the tomb. The execution worked flawlessly; the masses were back under control and Lazio Vas Rachmaninoff’s dreams of liberating the world were entombed along with his bloody body. Or were they?
13 days later, the high priest who led the trial against Lazio was found dead lying in a pool of blood on the alter of his church. The only signs of death were two small pinpoint holes in his neck. For the next several days, religious clergymen all across Europe were discovered dead, mysteriously killed by a fanged creature.
THE STORY. HIS ETERNAL MISSION
The story begins in 1742 after the bloody deaths of religious and political figures from a mysterious fanged creature. It took Lazio nearly six months to get his rage under control, but during that time he learned how to use his new life’s power and wisdom to build his fortunes and secret relationships to acquire anything he wished. The deaths of Europe’s most powerful clergy and heads of State were dismissed as freak accidents and soon forgotten. Lazio was now in control of his rage and destiny.
Lazio took full advantage of his second chance to walk the earth again as a powerful creature able to dominate mankind and inflict his influence on the oppressors. However, he was saddened that his passion for music had to be sequestered by the cloak of night. In the shadows, Lazio fervently followed all of the influential men and movements of music for decades. He continued to compose music and secretly attend the new operas, oratorios and symphonies all across Europe.
One of his greatest allies, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart introduced Lazio to the world of Opera in the late 18th century. Lazio loved the combination of music and theater and worked with many of the greatest composers of all time. He used his influence throughout the world of opera and dramatic musical works to ensure its art form remained a staple in society. Lazio’s musical influence can be heard and seen in the lyrical Operas of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini and the Grand Operas of Puccini, Wagner and Verdi.
By the early 1800’s Lazio had left his Libertine mark on Europe and set his gaze on the virgin territory touted as, “America”. He had heard the oppressive British government was trying to overcome the newly made-free society and thought he could be of assistance to the American forces. Lazio landed in the port city of Baltimore during the War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore. No one remembers the name of the lone sharp shooter who killed the British General, Robert Ross to turn the tide in favor of the Americans, but the two large holes in his neck were quite clear. Lazio left the North Point and joined the American troops at the Battle of Fort McHenry.
It was here Lazio encountered Francis Scott Key and together penned lyrics to the Irish drinking song, To Anacreon In Heaven that later became the melody to the American National Anthem. Lazio remained in the Boston, New York and Washington DC areas for two more years taking advantage of his ability to influence policy and peacemakers. In the winter of 1814, Lazio moved to New Orleans to help the Americans finally defeat the British.
On December 22, 1814, Lazio was honoring the death of his parents as he does every year on this day by creating something beautiful: a poem, sonnet, song or musical composition. Tonight he chose to create deep in the marshland of the Lake Pontchartrain murky banks. As he was writing, he felt the presence of humans and quickly went to see who was near and why. It was a group of British soldiers with their leader, General John Keane, plotting their next attack against the city of New Orleans. Lazio gathered all the details of the surprise attack and shared it with an American militia squadron of Dragoons from Mississippi who was nearby stalking the lake’s perimeter. They immediately warned General Jackson. Jackson’s surprise ambush on the British’s camp a few hours later at the Lacoste Planation on December 23 sent a wave of shock and awe to the Red Coats that ultimately led to America’s victories in all remaining battles for New Orleans.
Lazio found New Orleans to be quite comfortable and reminded him of his European lifestyle before becoming a vampire. He made a deal with General Jackson for the Lacoste Plantation in exchange for freeing Napoleon from the Island of Elba. Jackson knew Napoleon escaping would help deter the British from their North American pursuits. On March 1, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte was secretly led off the Island of Elba under the cloak of a mysterious shadow of a man. Guards and secret police were found dead along the shore although not one shot was fired.
For the next few years, Lazio continued to weave his musical and political influence throughout the south and secretly hosted several parties for local and national policy makers. In 1821 Lazio structured the reorganization of the US Army to the point where it allowed musicians to be Privates with pay and bands were allowed to form their own squads. During one of his famous dinner extravaganzas, in the shadows of his estate, James Monroe was given the foundation for his soon to be famous, Monroe Doctrine. Lazio’s passion for a free society was made ever more evident in the official passing of the policy on December 2, 1823.
Also in the early 1820’s, Lazio made great strides in the promotion of his biggest passion, opera. Lazio was responsible for the majority of the funding for the first opera house of New Orleans, The Theatre D’ Orleans, headed up by John Davis. James Caldwell along with his biggest patron, Lazio Vas Rachmaninoff, also introduced English opera to New Orleans during this time. Although Lazio supported the French and English literature, his goal was promoting the entire world of opera, so on March 4, 1823 he introduced the first Italian opera to America with Rossini’s The Barber Of Seville, which made its American debut in New Orleans at the Orleans’s Theatre.
The squelching, wet heat of the south made it impossible for theaters and opera houses to operate during the summer months, so Lazio devised a plan to keep the arts alive by creating the first touring opera troupes. It was on these tours that started in 1827 that Lazio began venturing further west on his quest for musical, political, religious and social freedoms for all.
The West was wild and ripe with potential. In 1828, Lazio met up with the Mountain Men of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and was instantly attracted to their way of living. The Mountain Men lived by their own rules and morals. They survived on nothing but what nature provided, drank a lot, smoked a lot, cursed a lot, had a lot of sex with whomever they desired and always defended the core values of freedom from oppression. One of the most famous was Jedediah Strong Smith who pioneered the trails thru Utah and Nevada. Lazio deeply respected Jedediah for his bravery, sense of business and burning desire to expand the free world.
One cold night in 1829, while frolicking with Jedediah in the flickering firelight in the middle of the deathly dry desert, Lazio stumbled upon Antonio Armijo, a Spanish explorer leading a commercial caravan across the trails discovered by Lazio and Jedediah. Antonio told Lazio he had found crystal clear warm springs just a few miles from their camp. Lazio went to the springs and instantly knew this spot would be his home for a very long time. Natural springs in a desert are not only survival needs, but also a commodity. Lazio took full advantage of both opportunities.
While nurturing the political and social infrastructure for the newly found “springs of the West” that Lazio called, “Las Vegas”, Lazio continued to insert his influence over the development and protection of music. In 1831, Lazio pushed through Congress the first American Copyright Law that recognized music as a form of culture to be protected by the government to ensure its creators were monetized for their efforts. In 1833 Lazio along with Lorenzo Da Ponte funded the construction of New York City’s first opera house, which was also the first building intended exclusively for the performance of opera in America. Also this year, America’s first music school, the Boston Academy Of Music, was made possible by its largest private donations secretly made by Lazio Vas Rachmaninoff. By 1839, Lazio had ingratiated music into the American political system so much so, that presidential candidate, William Henry Harrison used music as the foundation for his campaign; a first in the world of American politics.
Lazio’s passion for music didn’t stop at the American borders. He also continued to follow the music trends of his homeland and during the 1840’s, fell in love with the new musical art form called, Symphonic Poems. Lazio loved the way Symphonic Poems inspired listeners to imagine scenes, images, ideas or moods during the different movements, and did not try to force traditional patterns of musical form. This new way of interpreting music was regarded as a higher aesthetic than opera and was made popular by Lazio’s cousin, Sergei Rachmaninoff.
The spirit of the Manifest Destiny had spread to the West and Lazio knew he needed the help of large groups of people who were well organized, deeply funded and not afraid of hard work in order to achieve his goals for Las Vegas. Lazio remembered when he was converting Jedediah into a vampire, that he saw into his family bloodline and discovered that Jedediah Smith and Joseph Smith were cousins. Although he loathed religions, Lazio believed the Mormons would not only help colonize his Las Vegas, but ultimately would help him destroy the Catholics and other popular religions. Lazio quickly put them to work, but not before he created the secret vigilantes of the Church Of Latter Day Saints, the Danites, to carry out his dirty work.
John Fremon was a bastard child raised by his mother, Ann Whiting, father Charles Fremon and a Negro slave named Black Hannah. After graduating college, John was sent on surveying expeditions in Nevada for the Corps of Topographical Engineers. In 1841 he married the daughter of Senator Thomas Benton who had championed the Manifest Destiny Philosophy in Washington. Lazio had a lot of respect for the Senator and wanted to make sure John was on board with the movement. After inviting himself into the tent of Fremon during one of his expeditions, Lazio turned Fremon into a vampire and explained his mission to him. Lazio changed Fremon’s name to Fre’mont in honor of his beloved city of New Orleans and together, for the next 11 years, carried out Lazio’s plans for Las Vegas and the Mormons.
To Be Continued….