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- "A family heirloom for a very strange family."
- ―Captain America
Heinrich Zemo's Diaries were the personal journal entries made by Baron Heinrich Zemo, the twelfth baron of the Zemo bloodline.
Entry One - Renaissance
- "I am overcome. Today I was bequeathed the full history of the Zemo lineage by my father, Herman, the eleventh Baron Zemo, as he lay upon his deathbed. The sorrow of his passing is quite nearly eclipsed by the joy and pride I feel in learning the truth of the glory inherent in our illustrious bloodline."
Entry Two - Lineage
- "Of course I was familiar with the legend of the first Baron Zemo...how in 1480 Harbin Zemo stood alone against an invading horde. Armed solely with a sword, he slew them all. He was elevated to nobility as a reward, but greatness was already in his blood. And today I have learned the true reason he constructed Castle Zemo so far into the remote mountain peaks."
Entry Three - Legend
- "I had always assumed the isolated, mountainous location of Castle Zemo to be strategic; the better to defend against attacks from invaders, or unruly peasants. And no doubt those were considerations. But it seems my ancestor was motivated by a desire to investigate legends of something buried under these mountains. Something unimaginably powerful. Something referred to in half-remembered tales only as the Sleeper."
Entry Four - Discovery
- "Harbin Zemo began excavating beneath his castle even as it was constructed. Simultaneously, he oversaw the architectural innovations that , even then, reflected the brilliance of our line. But he would not live to see his quest reach fruition. That honor fell to the third Baron, Heller Zemo. It was he who found the Sleeper...but the journey was not ended. It was only beginning."
Entry Five - Limitations
- "It appears the massive size of the Sleeper, along with its highly advanced technology, confounded Heller Zemo. He could not determine how to fully excavate the Sleeper without undermining and collapsing the mountain itself. But like all of our line, he would not accept defeat. He began analyzing the Sleeper's makeup in search of a solution to its own confinement."
Entry Six - Inspiration
- "Many secrets were unlocked by careful examination of the Sleeper's technology. These - along with our meticulously bred genius, of course - enabled numerous advancements by subsequent Barons Zemo...innovations that allowed excavation to proceed, albeit slowly. But it is I - the twelfth and greatest of all - who will finally achieve the victory denied my ancestors. It is I who will at last wake the Sleeper."
Entry Seven - Ambition
- "What are the Sleeper's origins? Does it hail from the stars? From a distant future or some antediluvian past? Is it an artifact of long-forgotten gods? These questions are intriguing, but secondary to the matter of how the Sleeper will affect the future. The past has seen a proud line of Barons Zemo. But for tomorrow...I must confess, "Emperor Zemo" has a certain poetry to it."
Entry Eight - Expectation
- "I feel the hands of my illustrious ancestors at work in what happened today. I have been contacted by a man who shares my vision, if not my noble heritage. He calls himself the Red Skull...an overly theatrical title, to my tastes, but I must admit the resources at his disposal are impressive indeed. I have agreed to meet with him."
Entry Nine - Alliance
- "This evening I received the Red Skull in the Ballroom. I fear the splendor of the setting was wasted on the man...he appears single minded in his focus on conquest and the acquisition of power. Still, these are desirable traits. And he clearly possesses the intelligence to recognise my importance in the success of his plans. I have agreed to future meetings. An alliance may prove mutually beneficial."
Entry Ten - Adjustment
- "The Skull both impresses and repels me. I confess to admiring the skill with which he has manipulated the present political tides to his own advantage. He has acquired backing from the regime in Berlin while using those resources to build an army loyal only to him: the order of HYDRA. This has enabled him to accomplish much. Perhaps my own reticence to tolerate the presence of my inferiors has held me back in this regard. I have granted the Skull permission to house certain of his lackeys here while we go about our work."
Entry Eleven - Reckless
- "I must say, the individuals the Skull surrounds himself with are distasteful in the extreme...most of all, the loathsome scientist Arnim Zola, whose undeniable genius cannot compensate for his odious personality. I fully understand the need for pushing boundaries in order to achieve technological advancement, but there is a fine line between ambition and recklessness...a line Zola crossed long ago."
Entry Twelve - Suspension
- "My prior concerns are mollified. Today I confronted Zola over the risks his twisted experiments pose to the splendor of my home and the treasures housed within. I informed the Skull that he would need to be reined in if the forces of HYDRA were to continue to be tolerated in Castle Zemo. Perhaps the Skull saw reason; perhaps my own not inconsiderable army, loyal only to me, gave him pause. Regardless, I am pleased with the outcome: Zola's work suspended, the man himself assigned to research."
Entry Thirteen - Judgement
- "The Skull has summoned more detestable lieutenants, including one young fellow who also claims to be a Baron, yet allows the Skull and Zola to order him about like a common domestic. And the woman...if the Baronesses who once lived here could see her mannish affectations and scandalous attire, they would faint dead away. I tolerate this duo's presence only with difficulty; should they vex me, they will pay the price."
Entry Fourteen - Surprise
- "I expected Zola to throw tantrums like the man-child he is when his experiments were halted. However, he has shown me character I did not realize he had by immersing himself in the Zemo library with unbridled zeal. The collected wisdom of my ancestors can only benefit one of his low character, even if he can never hope to fully comprehend the qualities of one born to nobility."
Entry Fifteen - Research
- "Zola and the Skull are quite taken with my family history, inquiring often about prior Barons Zemo. Like children begging for bedtime stories, they ask after the tales behind each of the treasures stored in the trophy room. I have kept to myself the indiscretions of Hilliard Zemo, eighth of our line, who foolishly harbored notions of using our resources to educate the peasantry. And yet now I understand, if not condone his goals...one does derive satisfaction from seeing inferior minds attempt to better themselves, even when such efforts are inevitably restricted by the breeding of those undertaking them."
Entry Sixteen - Trust
- "I have consented to limited restoration of Zola's experiments...under my supervision, of course. With the benefit of the knowledge found in our ancestral library, it is my hope he can control his baser instincts. And he claims to have thoughts as to how I might improve Adhesive X, a personal project I have labored on for some time. I am prepared to hear him out, though my expectations remain realistic."
Entry Seventeen - Betrayal
- "I am betrayed. Even as we perfected Adhesive X, that vermin Zola orchestrated an accident...a disaster meant to kill me. But, while I am scarred for the remainder of my days, a Zemo does not die so easily. I have given no indication that I realize the incident was anything but a misfortune. But my revenge...my revenge shall be fearsome to behold."
Entry Eighteen - Trapped
- "Matters are far graver than I realized. While I lay convalescing, Zola and the Skull have been methodically eliminating those of my forces most loyal to me, while tempting the others with rewards their common minds and base natures cannot resist. The balance of power has clearly shifted to them. I am trapped in a den of spiders, and my priority now must by to escape their web."
Entry Nineteen - Truth
- "The Red Skull's plan becomes clear to me now. He knew of the Sleeper all along. He has renewed the excavation I halted when they came to stay. No doubt he will soon have fully uncovered the behemoth. I believe I am being kept alive in the event they require information, but once the Sleeper is uncovered and activated they will seek to finish what they began. I have no fear - I am a Zemo. But I now know how little time I truly have to save the treasures of my castle and exact my vengeance."
Entry Twenty - Vengeance
- "I can barely contain my rage. The forces of HYDRA have fully occupied the castle, and begun alterations...no, desecrations. The splendor of the Ballroom is defiled. The beauty of the architecture has been corrupted; subverted to the brutal force that is the hallmark of the Skull. And yet I continue to play the oblivious, helpless invalid. My hour has not yet come...but come it will."
Entry Twenty-One - Preservation
- "With the aid of my few remaining loyal servants, I have begun removing treasures from Castle Zemo. These artifacts must be preserved for future generations, not crushed under the jackboots of small-minded brutes who fancy themselves conquerors. My "guests" do not yet seem to have noticed...but there are some items that will be more difficult to retrieve than others. Yet I must try. To leave anything behind is abhorrent to me."
Entry Twenty-Two - Preparations
- "I can tarry no longer. Zola covets my personal quarters and grows impatient with my continued presence. I must begin preparations for my departure. If all goes well, it will be a moment these thugs will never forget."
Entry Twenty-Three - Distraction
- "The fools have arrogantly appropriated much of my technology, rarely bothering to alter it in any way not obvious to my genius. As a result, I am able to move relatively freely within many portions of the castle. Reaching the outside will prove more difficult, due to the guards who swarm about like maggots on a corpse. A distraction shall have to be arranged, to draw them away..."
Entry Twenty-Four - Solution
- "I have it. The Red Skull fancies himself the overman; the epitome of physical perfection. But whatever gifts he may possess, he cannot match the accumulated skill with a sword of a dozen Barons Zemo...skills I have been taught since birth. I shall challenge him to a duel...under the guise of testing my returning health. And there, before his assembled minions, I will kill him."
Entry Twenty-Five - Doubt
- "In the dead of night, my faith flags. Am I truly fully recovered from my injuries? Could it be possible that the Skull might actually defeat me? I must form a secondary plan, in the event disaster strikes. I dare not recount the details here, lest they be discovered, but what I have in mind ensures I will know either victory...or death."
Entry Twenty-Six - Resolve
- "The day dawns. As many treasures as I have been able to retrieve are secreted in my family's safe houses throughout the world. Soon, I shall join them. Yet there remain heirlooms I was unable to reach. I must find some way to rescue them, or they shall haunt my dreams."
Entry Twenty-Seven - Challenge
- "The time has come. The Skull has accepted my challenge. How could he refuse, made as it was in full view of so many of his underlings? It retains the patina of a friendly, sporting contest, but all concerned know it for what it is: a duel to the death."
Entry Twenty-Eight - Defeat
- "I must make haste. My plans went awry. The Skull surprised me, and I failed myself. I am still not fully recovered from my injuries...and yet I would have won nonetheless, if the Skull were indeed a man. But he is fare more. He has augmented himself, in some way I do not comprehend. I was forced to enact my secondary plan, and the chaos it has unleashed may claim us all."
Entry Twenty-Nine - Escape
- "The crisis has passed. In the face of the Skull's treachery, I turned and disabled the device that controls the thermal energies beneath the castle...energies HYDRA uses to power their infernal devices. As machinery overloaded and critical mass approached, I was forgotten, while all personnel rushed to the task of preventing disaster. As a result, the guards are reduced to a skeleton crew. With my knowledge of Castle Zemo's secret places, escape is a simple task."
Entry Thirty - Weapons
- "I now take my leave of the only home my family has known for a dozen generations. Yet should the unthinkable occur...should I meet my fate...I would prefer Castle Zemo and all within it to crumble to dust rather than remain in the hands of the Skull and his thuggish ilk. Should you who find this be of like mind, seek the answer among the last relics of my honor...the tools with which Barons Zemo have sought satisfaction since the day Harbin Zemo stood alone against the invading savages so long ago."
Entry Thirty-One - Weakness
- "As I turn my back on all I hold dear, I take solace in this thought: The Skull seeks to conquer by awakening the Sleeper. Yet the Sleeper's destructive might can be turned against its wielder. And as advanced as it is, the Sleeper has a weakness. It requires energy...energy that must be channeled to its otherworldly brain in vast quantities. Should the conduit of that energy be severed, I believe the Sleeper - and its new master, the Red Skull - will meet the fate of so many tyrants...consumed by the selfsame power they so greedily craved."