An Introduction, A Birth

        The history of our Organization starts, as so many must, I'd imagine, with the birth of our founder. Otis Hugo Spaulding was born in 1951 on a small farm just north of Rulo, Nebraska, which was sold to, and made infamous by, a bad man named Michael Ryan. A poor child, the only child, (a rarity in those times and in that place), food was not always certain, and tempers were not always kept.

        His mother, Mary, and his father, also named Otis, had never planned on having only a single child. With a small farm and barely any means to hire help, many hands were needed, but that wasn't to be. Shortly after giving birth to my Grandfather, Mary Spaulding became incredibly ill, spiking a fever so bad that it was unknown whether she would live or die. The sickness sadly left her unable to have any further children, and she would not see a doctor about it. A modern eye looking back on this would probably assume that she contracted an infection after the birth, due to the time and the rural nature of the living conditions, but that's not how it was taken in the house.

        Any house that Mary and Otis Sr. lived in was immediately adorned with horseshoes, pressed four-leaf clovers, and all manner of other small trinkets designed to bring luck and ward off evil. Mary and Otis had broken away from the common church years before, their own personal spiritual views not quite aligning with the traditionally Methodist and Catholic church attendees. The Spaulding house practiced an odd form of spirituality, a strangely malleable and constantly changing mix of traditional Christian, Catholic, and Jewish values, but with an odd assortment of Far-East pseudo-religion, African and South American tribal rituals, and the occasional delving into the occult. It was a superstitious and deeply mysterious environment, and when Mary's fever nearly killed her, infection was the furthest thing from their mind. In their eyes, it was witchcraft.

        According to legend, all the signs were there. During her pregnancy with my Grandfather, Mary would sometimes feel the need to go several days without eating, supposedly feeling the need to cleanse herself, as well as restricting her diet to nearly raw meats, sometimes for as long as two weeks before regaining a normal eating pattern. Even during labor, she insisted on having a strip of raw cow's tongue to bite into when the contractions came, and my Great-Grandfather was not one to argue with his wife in matters of spirituality or childbirth, so he happily acquiesced.

        When the baby Otis Hugo Spaulding finally showed his face, it was blue. Coming into the world feet-first, the umbilical cord had become knotted around his neck, cutting off the air supply to his young lungs. According to the first hand account by my Great-Grandfather Otis, when he laid his eyes on that scene, he, “flew into a rage, and was consumed by instinct.” Without a thought, he had brought the newborn's neck to his face, chewed the cord away, spat the blood on the floor, and then put his lips to the lips of my Grandfather, and gave him first breath from his own lungs. And my Grandfather, tiny and wet, began to cry.

        The fever hit Mary three days later, and three days after that, it had nearly killed her. My Great-Grandfather, in that same diary where he recording the events of his son's birth, also would write down the things she might mumble from time to time in her delirium. Mary was convinced that she was somehow paying a great price for something, and would refuse any sort of treatment that Great-Grandfather Otis offered her.

        And just like that, one morning, during a thunderstorm, the fever broke. That afternoon, Mary was eating soup. A month later, it was like it had never happened. The first month of my Grandfather's life was filled with blood, and pain, and sickness, and fear. Their family would never have another child, but little did they know that the child they did have would change the world.