Department C4 (aka The Forge) was documented as operating an experiment exploring the merging of vampire DNA with that of human beings to make elite soldiers to help with World War I. Known as Project: Twilight this ran from 1911. Although it is tempting to ascribe the origins of The Forge as being at or around this time, further investigation suggests its origins may stretch back further…
The use of the C4 code phrase ‘For King and Country’ extends back well before World War I. The first mate of the ship Lankester also uses this phrase in radio conversations in 1901 as dramatised in the story Cryptobiosis.
Pushing the history of Department C4 back to the start of the twentieth century causes problems. VIctoria was Queen until just into 1901. It is possible that a department operating later in the year might refer to King Edward VII but for the phrase to have become integral to their identity is possibly a stretch too far.
If we go back before Queen Victoria, we consider William IV (1830-1837) known as the sailor king. Prior to that we have George IV (1820-1830) who also held power during the Regency commencing in 1811. It could be imagined that at this time it was possible to start a secret department working on extra-terrestrial matters whilst the monarch was distracted elsewhere. Far more likely, though, is the reign of his father, the so-called mad George III (1760-1820).
This period saw major changes in Empire with the loss of the Americas, the emergence of Britain as a major European power, the colonisation of Australia and great military figures such as Wellington and Nelson. It is this context that makes the creation of Department C4 credible (and who were C1 – C3?)
My suggestion then is that the origins of The Forge stretch back further than previously thought and maybe as far as the eighteenth century!
With today being Guy Fawkes Day in the UK, I note that near Guy Fawke’s house in Dunchurch is a building called Forge Cottage. Coincidence?
What do you think, when was The Forge created? Let me know