Milo Giacomo Rambaldi (1444-1496) was a fifteenth century philosopher whose work was often centuries ahead of its time. His devices that relate to his prophecies, were a key focus of a group of people determined to discover Rambaldi's endgame: immortality. Arvin Sloane dedicated over 30 years of his life to discovering this prophecy and used the resources of the SD-6 organization to follow the trail of Rambaldi's designs and discover his devices.
There seems to be no limit to Rambaldi's genius as he was highly capable in automatism, life extension, protein engineering, mathematics, cryptography, and cartography. Rambaldi is said to have predicted the digital information age. He invented a machine code language around 1489, cryptographic algorithms, and sketched the designs of a portable vocal communicator and a prototype that reflected the properties of a transistor.
Rambaldi was a renaissantial homo universalis, artist, alchemist, engineer and mystic, and served as chief architect to Pope Alexander VI (Parity). He was born in Parma, and educated by Vespertine monks and worked as a student of the arts until he was 12. In his 18th year and during his travels to Rome he was introduced to Cardinal Rodericus and was retained privately as an architect, consultant and prophet, when Rodericus of Borgia (Borja) became Pope in 1492.
His writings and plans are written in multiple languages, ranging from Italian and Demotic hybrids, to elusive mixtures of symbols (pre-masonic cipher encryptions). Rambaldi also created the earliest known watermark, which he used on all of his documents: a naked eye, visible only when held to black light, known as the Eye of Rambaldi (<o>), which helped tell original works apart from forgeries many years later. His waterpapers were all hand-made from a unique polymer fiber ("The Legend of Rambaldi").
With Rome destroyed, Rambaldi was excommunicated for heresy and sentenced to death by flame (Parity). However, Rambaldi died in the winter of 1497, a lonely man without a known surviving heir ("The Legend of Rambaldi").
Destruction of work
Not long after his death, a second workshop was discovered in San Lazzaro, but was also destroyed by the Vatican. Plans and sketches were sold and traded as if without value during a private auction (Parity). These plans, however, have since been located, starting in the 15th century and continuing even to recent years, around Italy, France, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Plans were also found in private collections or museum warehouses. During the Third Reich, documents interpreting his designs and teachings were highly sought-after. It was then when the nickname Nostravinci arose among auctioneering circles. The design directive for many of these drawings remains unclear to this day, and has inspired some impressive forgeries, even prime examples of digital piracy. However, the eye of Rambaldi was proven to be the only test of accuracy against them.
There are 22 known surviving documents of Rambaldi, while there are 102 known forgeries. The original works are formally unpublished due to an international ban on his name, its fascistic legacy, and especially its invisibility. A conspiracy of containment will preempt many of the discoveries of our century, and the knowledge contained under private sanctioning remains under the firm "hand" of the Trilateral Commission ("The Legend of Rambaldi").
Milo Rambalid's ultimate vision, or his endgame, was sought after by many. In short, Rambaldi envisioned world peace, which he planned to achieve through the creation of several key devices. The first step in achieving his endgame was the pollution of the world's water supply with The Orchid. In conjuction with the Mueller Device, a central object in his prophecies and his ensignia, <O>, the world would be purged of evil. This phase of the plan, The Flood, was put into effect by Elena Derevko before she was prevented, at vulgar cost, by The Chosen One, who had engaged in battle with The Passenger, as predicted by Rambaldi.
Once the world was purged, the survivors would live in peace, brought about by the calming effect of the Orchid. It was Rambaldi's intent to reveal the greatest power, immortality, after this. Rambaldi protected this power by ensuring that only the purest of people could obtain it, namely The Chosen One and The Passenger.
Rambaldi's vision of a perfect world was intended to be enacted by The Flood, a purge of evil from the world, followed by a utopian society that would never know death.
The work of Rambaldi which had not been destroyed was collected by Arvin Sloane through the use of Sydney Bristow, Marcus Dixon and other field agents of SD-6. For example, teams were sent to Madrid to retrieve a Rambaldi sketch (Parity), as well as traveling to South America to find a manuscript (Mea Culpa).
When it was revealed that SD-6 was part of the Alliance of Twelve and Sloane had been using the devices and the organization for personal gain, the CIA raided the building and retrieved all Rambaldi devices (Phase One). They were taken to a secure holding facility operated by the CIA; the Department of Special Research (Full Disclosure).
The Eye of Rambaldi
Known Rambaldi artifacts
- Mueller device - Designed by Rambaldi, built by Oskar Mueller. Known effects include increasing the aggression of certain bees and emitting a sub-sonic frequency which, combined with chemical contaminants, causes heightened aggression in humans. Five Mueller devices are known to have been built. One small-scale device was seized by Sydney and handed over to Sloane, and presumably was taken into CIA custody with the fall of SD-6. One large-scale device was destroyed by Sydney in Taipei. "Arvin Clone" had one completed small-scale device, the status of which is unknown, and one large-scale device located in his Santiago compound, which was seized and/or destroyed by APO. There were also incomplete components of at least one more device in the compound, also presumably seized and/or destroyed by APO. Finally, Elena Derevko constructed an enormous Mueller device in Sovogda, Russia, which was destroyed by Sydney.
- Sol D'Oro (Golden Sun) - A yellow disk. It looks like stained glass, but is actually a synthetic polymer.
- Rambaldi Clock - Commissioned and designed by Rambaldi, built by Giovanni Donato (the only man Rambaldi ever collaborated with). When combined with the Golden Sun disk, the clock reveals a star chart identifying the location of Rambaldi's journal.
- Rambaldi Ampule - Filled with a "Rambaldi liquid" used to make the text of Page 47 and the Circumference visible.
- Rambaldi code key - Inscribed on the frame of a portrait of Pope Alexander VI painted by Rambaldi, housed in The Vatican. Also used to decode The Restoration; Lauren Reed stole a false code key created by the CIA.
- The Circumference - A page of text describing the construction and application of the Mueller device. Like Page 47, it was written in invisible ink. It is obtained from the CIA for Irina Derevko in exchange for Will Tippin. It is next seen in the possession of "Arvin Clone."
- Rambaldi Music box - Played a sequence that, when each note was translated to its corresponding frequency, revealed an equation for zero-point energy. Destroyed by Sydney after recording the equation to prevent it from falling into the hands of SD-6.
- Rambaldi Flower - Found in an egg-shaped container, it was apparently 400-600 years old; Rambaldi's proof of eternal life.
- Rambaldi Firebomb - A microwave EMP-Bomb designed by Rambaldi, it delivered microwave pulses that disintegrated organic matter but left inorganic matter unharmed.
- The Restoration - A second Rambaldi manuscript which references The Passenger. Contains the formula for "Rambaldi fluid."
- Il Dire (The Telling) - A machine made of 47 Rambaldi artifacts, it wrote the word eirene ("peace" in Greek) along with the DNA sequence of The Passenger.
- Rambaldi medication - derived from a formula found in the Rambaldi journal and used on Allison Doren. It helped her heal from the extensive wounds she got at Sydney's hands and may have imparted lasting rapid regenerative abilities. Not seen on-screen.
- Irina box - A box with the name Irina inscribed on it, it required four keys to open. It was rumored to contain "the Passenger," which the CIA believed to be a bioweapon. Supposedly, it had not been opened since Rambaldi's time, but apparently Sloane had found it open, because he hid the di Regno heart inside it.
- Rambaldi kaleidoscope - This artifact required three discs. Once the discs were inserted into the kaleidoscope, they formed a map of an underwater formation in the Sea of Japan, where the keys to the "Irina" box were found.
- Rambaldi hourglass - Contained a fluid that powered the battery for the EEG machine.
- Rambaldi fluid - A chemical containing "protein strains" which, when injected into Nadia Santos (The Passenger), made her a "direct conduit to Rambaldi." This allowed her to experience visions and, through muscle memory, transcribe a complex algebraic equation for a longitude and latitude showing the location of the Sphere of Life.
- Rambaldi orchid - Paphiopedilum khan, a rare lady slipper orchid brought to Italy from China in 1269. Recovered by "Arvin Clone" from the Monte Inferno monastery, it is the source of a chemical contaminant that (when combined with other substances seeded in various water supplies by Sloane) encourages human qualities like empathy and harmonic coexistence; in conjunction with the Mueller device, it causes heightened aggression in humans.
- Sphere of Life - A vessel which supposedly housed Rambaldi's consciousness. When the Passenger (aka Nadia Santos) came into contact with it, she saw terrifying flashes of the future.
- Il Diluvio (The Flood) - A manuscript that described Rambaldi's vision of a moment when the world would be cleansed and everything would begin anew. Not seen on-screen. Irina states that she destroyed it.
- Profeta Cinque (Fifth Prophet) - A manuscript written in apparently unbreakable code that spoke of advanced genetics.
- The Horizon - When placed on a stone altar in Rambaldi's tomb, forms a levitating sphere which generates a red fluid which has the power to convey immortality.
- Rambaldi amulet - Recovered from "The Rose," apparently contains a map to Rambaldi's tomb, which is revealed by sunlight shining through it while in a cavern on Mt. Subasio. It is believed that "The Rose" is indeed Milo Rambaldi himself who has used his discoveries to reach immortality.
- Rambaldi notebook - Recovered from San Lazzaro. Not seen on-screen. An analysis report by SD-6 indicates that the notebook contains rudimentary schematics for a cellular phone.
- Rambaldi sketches - Two sketches, each of which contains half of a binary code. The second sketch is destroyed by acid in Berlin. When the codes are combined with a compression scheme, they reveal the location of the Sol D'Oro.
- Rambaldi's journal (including Page 47) - Contains Rambaldi's prophecy identifying Sydney as the "Chosen One." It also had instructions on how to fit together Rambaldi's designs; possibly for Il Dire. Page 94 was later found to include a listing of "apocalyptic dates and times."
- Rambaldi manuscript - A manuscript page with a section cut out of the center. The missing piece was recovered by Sloane from inside a 15th century statue of an arhat.
- Rambaldi's Study of the Human Heart - Recovered by Jack and Irina. The CIA intended to use this manuscript and Irina to flush Sloane out, but Irina double-crossed Jack, stole the manuscript and turned it over to Sloane in exchange for his extracting her from CIA custody. Included the DNA "fingerprint" of Proteo di Regno, which also served as a code key for page 94 of the Rambaldi journal.
- The Di Regno heart - Found inside Proteo di Regno's body, it was apparently keeping him alive. Used to power Il Dire.
- Rambaldi keys - A dozen keys collected by Andrian Lazarey (although one may have been collected by Sydney in Tribunal). Used to open the vault which housed the cube holding Rambaldi's DNA.
- Rambaldi tissue - A live DNA sample. The Covenant and Elena Derevko planned to fuse the DNA with Sydney's eggs to engineer Rambaldi's second coming. Destroyed by Sydney.
- EEG machine - Sketched the brainwaves of the Passenger.
- The Vespertine Papers - Texts, rumored to have been destroyed during World War II, which refer to properties of the Rambaldi orchid. Not seen on-screen. Pages obtained from the Department of Special Research (which may or may not have been genuine Rambaldi pages) were placed in auction as The Vespertine Papers to flush out "Arvin Clone."
- Vade Mecum - Rambaldi manuscript, translated by Lazlo Drake. Described by Sloane as "a template describing how Rambaldi's creations were to be assembled in order to bring forth his final prophecy." Not shown on-screen.
- Rambaldi's Tomb - Contains what appears to be the coffin of Rambaldi and a stone altar, which works in conjunction with The Horizon.
The Chosen One
One of Rambaldi's prophecies is central to the life of Sydney Bristow. Written on the forty-seventh page of one of his manuscripts, it predicts the coming of a woman who would "bring forth [Rambaldi's] works" and "render the greatest power unto utter desolation". The identity of this woman has been speculated to be Sydney Bristow (The Prophecy), her mother Irina Derevko (Almost Thirty Years), or Sydney's rival Anna Espinosa (who was put through a process to become physically identical to Sydney (There's Only One Sydney Bristow)), as included with the prophecy is a drawing of Sydney's likeness, which also resembles her mother.
The prophecy reads:
- This woman here depicted will possess unseen marks, signs that she will be the one to bring forth my works: bind them with fury, a burning anger. Unless prevented, at vulgar cost, this woman will render the greatest power unto utter desolation. This woman, without pretense, will have had her effect, never having seen the beauty of my sky behind Mt. Subasio. Perhaps a single glance would have quelled her fire.
Sydney Bristow tried to disprove that the prophecy refers to herself by climbing Mt. Subasio, however, this may have been a misinterpretation of the meaning of the prophecy (source needed). Likely, the "beauty of my sky behind Mt. Subasio" referred to what Sloanne saw in the cavern using the amulet recovered from "The Rose" and prevented Sydney from seeing.
- Main article
Another prophecy, told to Michael Vaughn but never stated specifically, says that the "Chosen One," the woman referred to in the Page 47 prophecy, and "the Passenger," Sydney's half-sister Nadia Santos, would fight and kill each other in battle. Irina Derevko recites a similar prophecy that Rambaldi wrote (Before The Flood):
- When blood-red horses wander the streets and angels fall from the sky, the Chosen One and the Passenger will clash . . . and only one will survive.
The team spotted a horse that under the light of the Mueller device appeared blood red (which prompted Irina to recite the prophecy); Nadia passed a statue of an angel which had fallen from a building right before she was captured.
The Rambaldi eye symbol <o> is said by Irina Derevko to represent Sydney and Nadia's death-battle; thus it might be considered another iteration of the "Chosen One/Passenger" prophecy. The two chevrons that flank the circle represent Irina's two daughters while the circle is what they will do battle over.
- According to Alias creator J.J. Abrams, the Mueller device and Milo Rambaldi were originally intended to be MacGuffins: simply devices to drive the plot further.
- The character is named after Carlo Rambaldi, the creator and operator of many special creatures for Sci-Fi movies. Rambaldi won the 1983 Best Effects-Visual Effects Oscar for his work on the E.T. movie creature.
- Rambaldi's technological developments are sought after by numerous governments and rogue organizations in the series, including SD-6, the CIA, APO, The Covenant, Prophet 5 as well as several individuals including Anna Espinosa, Julian Sark and Arvin Sloane.
- The character draws its inspiration from real-life historical figures including Leonardo da Vinci and Nostradamus. Rambaldi's artistic-looking manuscripts, written in code, are a direct reference to Leonardo's method of recording his work. Behind the scenes, the writers of Alias often referred to Rambaldi jokingly as "Nostravinci".
- The Rambaldi subplot, which dominated the first two seasons of the series and was greatly explored in the second half of the third season, was virtually nonexistent in the early episodes of season four. However it continued to lurk in the background of the series and, as creator J.J. Abrams promised, resurfaced in full later in the season. Rambaldi and his works continued to figure heavily through the end of the series.
|< o > Milo Rambaldi < o >
|Devices||Ampule · Amulet · The Circumference · Clock · Code key · Firebomb · Flower · Fluid · Kaleidoscope · The Horizon · Hourglass · Il Dire · Il Diluvio · Irina box · Medication · Mueller device · Music box · Orchid · Profeta Cinque · The Restoration · Sol D'Oro · Sphere of Life|
|Miscellaneous||Prophecies: The Chosen One · The Clash
47 · EEG machine · Eye of Rambaldi · Di Regno heart · Keys · Journal · Manuscript · Notebook · Sketches · Study of the Human Heart · Tissue · Tomb · Vade Mecum · The Vespertine Papers