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CHAPTER ONE:

Gabriel Izzard. PhD, BTh, MA (dip physics) stood outside the front of his new office admiring the shining plaque  which represented twenty years of intensive study. He felt decisively weary for someone just beginning a new endeavour, or enterprise as he liked to think of it, going where nobody had before and seeking out new frontiers. The office was small enough to be considered a ‘Tardis’ and he was so unknown in his fields of expertise that it wouldn’t be unusual for him to be referred to as ‘Dr who’?

He walked up the narrow staircase, opened the frosted glass door, and went into his first floor cubical which was furnished with a small desk, a chair and a couch. A state of the art laptop computer was the only modern intrusion into an otherwise antique room. Decorations consisted of a few painting which seemed to be of some value, a beautiful bookcase with an extant of well thumbed books, a record player and a couple of old musical instruments. A smart wardrobe behind the door completed the picture; sadly however the rest of his personal possessions inside the wardrobe, completed the man.

Buzz, as his friends like to call him, walked over to the open window and stared out onto a sea of red tiled rooftops studded with aerials and satellite dishes. There was a certain ease which came with the anonymity of a suburban nest and the chance of some annoying customer walking in unannounced was kept to a minimum. Everything was clean including himself, who was looking unusually business-like, in anticipation of his first client of whom he had hand picked and had been putting of for sometime.

As if right on cue a blue Toyota Prius pulled up directly out front and a striking woman alighted from the driver’s side. She popped the hatch, removed a briefcase and ascended the stairs with the air of someone on a mission.

‘Nice to finally meet you Ms McHale.’ Buzz said meeting her at the top of the stairs

She didn’t respond to his outstretched hand, instead slipped past him and moved into the room, placed the briefcase on his desk and removed her coat.

‘Let’s cut the crap Izzard, if I am going to pay this outrageous hourly rate of yours, let’s get straight to work.’

He was surveying the little black dress she was wearing but quickly diverted his eyes to hers as she turned, with a dossier from the briefcase and handed it to him.

‘You familiarize yourself with that while I make myself coffee.’

‘Oh, O.K,’ stammered Buzz ‘Do you mind if I smoke?’

‘Only if you have to, where’s the coffee?’

‘I only have tea and it’s in the flask under the desk.’ he said as he plopped himself down on the coach and began to read. After a moment or two of flipping though the papers he expounded.’This is all about one of the oldest Egyptian artifacts known as the Narmer Palette. I learnt all I needed about it in first year Archeology.’

She sat down on his office chair, crossed her legs spectacularly and said ‘How cleaver of you Dr. Izzard but I am willing to bet you don’t know the one thy have in the Cairo Museum isn’t as old as they claim it to be and that it’s golden counterpart is missing.’

‘That’s unbelievable.’

‘That’s what the Museum authorities said until I persuaded them to have it re-dated.’ she said uncrossing her legs, leaning forwards and looking him straight in the eyes.

‘Why haven’t I heard about this, a scandal as big as that should have been all over the media.’ said Izzard as he stood to pace the room and take the view of her out of his focus

‘They must have turned it over to National Security because they threatened me with imprisonment if I mentioned it to anyone. ‘

‘Except me, please tell me they said except me.’

‘No.’ She said carelessly

‘Well why the  hell are you telling me then?’

‘Because Mr. Izzard that’s what I want to employ you for.’

‘I don’t comprehend, what is it exactly you want me to do?’

‘Find the original.’

‘If I go around asking questions they will lock me up.’

‘Not if you don’t leave this office.’

‘Do you mean see if I can find out about it on the Internet?’

‘No,’ she said alarmed they’d be all over you.’

‘Then what should we do then?’

‘Your a Psychic Detective……Psychically detect!’

“Do you understand what you’re asking of me and what it entails?”

“Yes. You can go into a trance and travel to specific locations and report what you see.”

“That’s correct,” he said. “You’ve researched me and my abilities well, Ms McHale.”

“You have abilities such as those of the famous Edgar Cayce.”

“Ah yes, America’s greatest sleeping prophet,” said Izzard, trying not to appear flattered.

“He never left his office whilst researching; he just lay on his couch and conversed to his secretary.” she surmised.

“So if I understand you correctly, you want to be my companion, ask me questions while I am in a trance, directing us to the perpetrators and not involve anyone else.”

“Yes.” she stated.

“Do you think it’s as simple as that out there on the astral plain, dodging government agents, slipping past Edger Casey followers, ducking around Majestic 12, well let me tell you it’s certainly not. It’s a minefield out there, the authorities have their people all over it, they own it just like they own the net,” he said in his most fatherly voice.

“So should I take my money and go elsewhere?” she asked.

“Well,” he postulated, “what I can do for you, in my own way is kick it around, take a look at it and see what I can dig up. Call me sometime around midnight tonight and I will give you a definite, if it’s a goer, you can come again tomorrow and we will take it to the next level.”

“O.K.” she agreed.

He watched her close the briefcase, put on her coat, walk out the door, go down the stairs and open her car. It was the look she sent him just before driving off, that said, she knew she’d hooked him.

He walked away from the window over to his computer and booted up, opening up his own secured files. The first thing that came up was ‘DON’T PANIC,’ good advice.
Punching in ‘list pharaohs’ the first name to come up was Narmer [see Noah] this was one of the knowns; Narmer was associated with Noah, at least it was a starting point.
He wanted a smoke, but he knew he couldn’t if he wanted to do this properly. Normally he would while he was studying, it kept him in the moment, grounded him, like tea and coffee. If he wanted to leave this moment and travel to a point in time different to the ‘now’, he would have to abstain until his return. As it stood, that would be some time later when he would be awoken by the prearranged call from Ms McHale and by then he would know exactly what to tell her. For now, he would study all the material he had at his disposal until entranced by it, then astral-travel to that point, revealing something that would help him in making that decision.

Ms McHale had chosen well, his personal interest in this field was well established, it was part of his obsession. His previous studies had taken him back to the beginning of our current era giving him a different perspective than others in his field, who tended to polarized their knowledge into compartments rather than studying the whole train. Gabriel would springboard towards the time of Noah and his great flood, immerse himself in the period and come up grasping the necessary twig. Recent archeology had retrieved the proof needed to establish the flood as a real point in time; excavations of the Sumerian basin have reviled cities built on cities covered with clay. Civilization gestated there, the first cuneiform of written language was printed there on the very pieces of clay we study today. On these clay fragment we have our best clues on what was going on and they tell a far more complex story than the Hebrew-Christian scriptures of the world around the time of the flood.

In the work known as the Epic of Gilgamesh, Noah and a female companion are depicted as Enki and Ninmar, genetic pioneers re-establishing life in the fertile basin after the deluge. These ‘gods’ manipulated the local flora and fauna into domesticated crops and herds, they were accredited with the genetic restructuring of mankind as Ninmar ‘took the seed of Enki and planted it in the suitable womb. Gabriel was sure he was on the right track and with what he already knew about this couple, tying them to Egypt and the first dynasty artifact the Narmer Palette, would expedite his enquiries and lead him to the information required.

The piercing sound of the expected phone call jolted him back into the familiar surrounds of his room.

“Hi, what time is it?” he asked sleepily.

“Half past twelve,” she replied.

“Do you have an answer for me?” she asked.

“Let’s do it, don’t forget to bring coffee.”

“I’ll see you in nine hours or so, you can get back to sleep now.”

“No way, I’ll be staying up pondering Mrs. Noah.”

“Who’s that?”

“You know, Noah’s wife, she was the cook on the ark.”

“What’s she got to do with it?” She questioned

“Everything, my dear Nut;”

“What did you call me?”

“Nat, that’s your name isn’t it?”

“It’s Natalie, but you can call me Ms.McHale.”

“Whatever, I’ll see you tomorrow. By the way- bring your bible.”

With that he hung up the phone and logged on to his computer determined to swat up on all he had on Egyptian mythology, from the Tep –zepi or first time period, zeroing in on Nut and Geb, the mother and father gods of the Egyptian pantheon. He wanted to establish a connection between them and Mrs. and Mr. Noah. This first dynasty Pharaoh and Consort couple are the key to finding the real palette of Narmer also there may be a connection between it and the Hebrew burse of judgment.

———————–

“Good morning,” came the greeting as he opened the door to the well dressed Ms. McHale, this time she was carrying a picnic basket in one hand and a large book in the other.

“Come on in and make yourself at home.”

“Why thank you Dr. Izzard, I will.”

“Please call me Buzz, most people do.”

“Ha, I like that, is it a nick-name?”

“Yeah I picked it up at school and it sort of stuck.”

“Well Buzz, what do you have to tell me that you didn’t know yesterday?”

“Heaps, but it’s going to be a long session. So kick your shoes off and help yourself to the tea and bickies.”

“Thanks for the offer but I’ve brought my own munchies and some rather good coffee on your advice.” She said starting to unload the picnic basket, beginning with a rather ornate cup followed by a Glad-wrapped plate of fine pastries.

“Would you like one?”

“Very much,” he smiled, “but I will have to refrain till later, if I am to do my thing.”

“Which entails what exactly?” she asked with a quizzical look on her face.

“You know, getting horizontal on this coach here and filling you in on lasts night’s efforts, hopefully drifting off, while you keep talking to me like you are my hypnotist.”

“Oh,” she said whilst crossing from the open window to the seat beside the couch, popping a chocolate-coated morsel into her mouth as she went.

He propped himself up on one arm and asked “Have you ever associated this Palette of Narmer with the Hebrew breast attire of the chief priest of the tabernacle?”

“No, there’s thousands of years difference in the time periods,” she said.

“Yes, that’s right, but I believe it’s what it represents that connects the two.”

“Go on.”

“When Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the Sinai desert, sometime around the thirteenth century B.C.E, one of the first things they did, was to manufacture the Tabernacle and its sacred objects. Besides the Ark of the Covenant, the Breastplate of Judgment was the most important. It was a two-piece, back and front breastplate that Aaron was instructed to wear whenever he entered the Holy of Holies. It represented the authority of the twelve tribes of Jacob and empowered the wearer to talk directly to God.”

“So, how are they connected again?” she asked.

“I believe its predecessor was worn by the Pharaoh of the time and its authority dated back to the first pharaoh, Narmer, and that the Palette is just an artistic impression. Similarly Aaron, was from the tribe of Levi, who had direct lineage back through Jacob to Noah, who also spoke directly to God.”

“That’s astounding, if you are correct along with the Ark of the Covenant, the Breastplate would be the most important artifact this side of the flood.” she said

“How does this knowledge help us with locating the thieves who stole this antiquity of incredible importance?”

“I will answer that,” he paused “when you can tell me honestly, what your interest in it is?”

She stood up, took a long slow draw on her smoking device, extinguished it and walked over to the open window before exhaling a thoughtful answer.

“My father gave me many things besides this fine Falcon pipe; his job entails locating and acquiring artifacts for various auction houses, mainly the more famous ones of London. He is an honest man; everything he deals with has to have providence, that is to say, documentation of its origin. He receives a commission on items that pass hands for prices in the thousands that sometimes sell for millions when passed in at auction. Although he has an office in the Fulham Road, London, he mainly lives at airports and hotels all over the world.

I lived for the times when he would visit me here in Australia, my fondest memories are of times when we would sit together and he would tell me stories of ancient civilizations, gods and goddesses and their possessions; sometimes showing me the actual things we were talking about, before he would send them off to London and go off looking for more.
The last time I saw him, he showed me this breastplate of gold, encrusted with twelve precious stones, topaz, emerald, sapphire, jasper and amethyst amongst others. He said it had authentication back to the digs of Colonel Howard Vyse and that it was the best thing he had ever dealt with and was personally taking it back to London himself. I didn’t know any more about it then than that, my specialty has always been Etruscan and Mycenae vases.

Anyway not long after we said our goodbyes, he rang me with a rushed call on his mobile saying that he was being abducted because of the palette of Narmer and if I didn’t hear from him soon to contact his associates. His call was cut short with something about men in black, so I rang the police, reported it and when they finally rang me backs all they said was that his rental car was parked at the airport and the airline couldn’t confirm whether or not he was on his flight. I rang his London office and they had not heard from him for some time, nobody seems concerned. Now my only hope of finding him or what happened to him is you and this investigation.”

“Wow that’s some story.” he exclaimed.

She had circled the room whilst telling her story and had ended up sitting next to him on the couch. Holding his hand and with tears welling in her eyes, Natalie asked the question

“Will you help me?”

Instead of answering, he embraced her in a way that allowed her head to nestle into the curve of his neck. After an appropriate amount of time he lent back and holding her shoulders at arm’s length, looked into her eyes and asked

“Do you believe he is still alive?”

“Yes, in my heart I know he is still alive and that he needs us to find him or he is doomed.”

“O.K then, let’s get to work. What we have to do is work out who would go to such extremes to acquire this Arbitrament, why they would need it and what they intend to do with it.” He said, becoming animated.

“How do we do that exactly?”

“The easy way would be for me to focus on the item itself, astral travel to it and report to you the details but I have already tried that and just as I suspected, there was a firewall around it. We will get nothing but trouble by trying the direct approach.
What we need to do is locate it at some time in the past, when it was unprotected and follow it through to where it is now. We will work out the problems as we go in through the back door, completely associated with it, to such an extent that we won’t arouse the suspicions of those we want to avoid. We will do a series of deep meditations that will end up with us being there to witness your father’s abduction.”

“Why can’t we just go to that point now?” she asked

“Because they would be watching, see us and follow us back here and we would be in no better position than your father.”

“I see.” she said

“No you don’t, not properly but by the time we finish this session I think you will. Do you have any meditation skills?” he asked

“I did do some T.M courses a few years back but I dropped out mainly because I didn’t like the people I was associating with.”

“Did you study a technique where back to back chakra alignment allows two people to experience the same inner vision?”

“We did do a group meditation where we all concentrated on the same place and when we finished we all talked about what we saw.”

“Were you any good at it?” he asked

“Yes I did have a lot to say “

“Was your retention any good?” he continued his line of questioning

“Yes.” she replied

“Well that’s how we are going to do that then, I’ll take you there and your job will be to be the reporter, do you think you can handle it?”

“Yeah, let’s do it!”

“Patience, we can’t go at this like a bull-at-a-gate, you have to sidle up to it, create the mood, set the scene and just slip into it,”

“I’m in your hands.” she breathed

“Let’s light the candles and incense, close the curtains, put on some appropriate music and test drive this magic carpet ride.”
—————————
A couple of hours had passed when he opened his eyes to her beaming face,

“That was incredible”

“Do you remember what happened?” he asked

“Everything”

“Then you must tell me over lunch, there’s a nice little café just around the corner and I’m famished,”

“Great I’ll get my coat on.” she said whilst doing exactly that.

“It’s just a short walk; you can begin to remind me as we stroll.”

He locked the door behind himself; they descended the stairs and were entering the street when she began telling the most amazing story.

“We were flying, you and me, on the wings of a dove, high over a large expanse of water. It was a glorious day, not a cloud in the sky, the water was pristine, marine life was abundant and totally visible from the sky above. We were bee-lining towards a dot on the horizon which gradually became a ship. As we approached the old style sailing vessel, I noticed an old man standing on the deck, looking straight towards us. Landing on the railing right next to him revealed a kindly smiling face and the bird didn’t flinch as he reached out to retrieve a green twig from its claws.

We next flew to nestle on the mast as activity and noise broke out all over the ship. Sails were being set, conversations enjoyed and as this was happening, the wind stiffened the sails billowed and we moved off towards the direction from which we had come.”

The menu was delightful and ordering was over quickly as they relaxed into the café’s ambient décor. Natalie resumed her dialogue, with an attentive Gabriel hanging on her every word.

“Before long we were approaching land and the tips of the mountains became more and more evident. Anchorage was found at the base of the highest peak and as camp was being set up, two of the younger men were readying themselves for what looked like a mountain trek. After a night of celebrations, the trek began at first light and as the men traversed the countryside, we flew high above eventually noticing where they were heading, a large cave high up the mountain slope. We perched and watched as they entered the cave and with what seemed like very little effort, were displaying beautiful golden temple items, lamp stands, headdresses, ceremonial knives and amazingly enough the very breastplate we have been talking about.”

”’Bull’s-eye!’ exclaimed Buzz ‘Do you remember anything else?’

‘When they had arrived back at the boat, the items were fawned over and talked about for days. Eventually an alter was built and on a special day when all the work was done and everyone was cleaned up, they gathered in front of it. The obviously eldest and thinnest woman of the small tribe seated herself on a chair that had been place especially for her and the others sat crossed legged, seemingly quiet and content as she spoke to them for a very long time. At what seemed an appropriate time the old sailor went to the alter, picked up the Golden Breastplate and placed it upon the still seated woman and a chant began, firstly by the old man and then the others joined in OM-NA-MA, OM-NA-MA.

This went on for some time when gradually all went silent and the woman started speaking again, this time in a loud and authoritative way. The rest of them prostrated themselves in front of her until she stopped, the old sailor lit a pit fire opposite the alter and they roasted a prepared lamb. The all stood in a circle around it, raised their hands to the sky and began singing in a reverential way. Gradually they quietly relaxed around  a glowing scene, ate and drank till well after nightfall. It was the first sabbath since the rain had stopped falling and they were prepared to do this every seven days from then on in, doing so marked the passing of time. They extended the camp, explored the surrounds and  created paths all along the ridges making it possible to travel north and south for many days always returning in time for their sabbath over which Mrs. Noah presided.’

On to Chapter Two

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