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Chapter Two

“Not a bad mornings work, hey?” questioned Buzz
“Not bad at all Dr. Izzard. It seems your worth your money after all.”
“Should we head back to my office for an afternoon session or have you had enough for today?” asked Buzz
“I have a better idea, if you like you can accompany me back to my place and I will make you dinner after we finish, it will be how I can repay you for this lovely lunch you are about to pay for.”
“Why thank you Mam, don’t mind if I do,” and with that he pulled out a large note from his pocket, placed it on the table ,waived to the waitress and said to Nat,” I’m in your hands, let’s go.”

After a short stop to pick up his lap top and lock up, they were zooming along the city bound freeway happily chatting about the mornings meditations and filling in the appropriate gaps. Natalie’s apartment block was in a very trendy inner city precinct, the heartland of yuppy style accommodation, coffee shops, boutiques and swanky wine bars. When they arrived in the area it was swarming with smart cars, motor scoters and smartly dressed people. As she swiped her card to gain access to the underground car park, Buzz commented on the obvious affluence of her lifestyle by muttering under his breath, ‘It’s very clean, have you tried the veal?’

“What?” she exclaimed
“Nothing, which floor do you live on?”
“The third.” she answered
“Do you have to get out of your car to get there?” he prodded
“Yes. Why?”
“No reason, just asking.”
They alighted from the car and he obligingly helped with the parcels while she swiped again for the lift, as the doors opened for them the elevator politely asked them which floor they would be traveling to and what style of music would be required, to which she replied “three, classical.”
After a short rendition of Brahms, the doors opened again to an elegantly decorated lounge room, modern but sparse, complete with a grand piano. As they stepped through the door he asked “which way?”
“You can put those things in the kitchen if you like; it’s just through that archway there.” She said pointing
“Oh, common kitchen is it?”
“No it’s very modern and extremely well equipped.”
“Yeah, but you share it.”
“Who with?” she asked, puzzled
“The others”
“What others?” she further quizzed
“The others that live here”
“Nobody else lives here”
“Nobody else lives on this floor, hey that’s lucky having trouble renting them out are they?”
“Nobody lives on any floor and I don’t rent anything out to anybody.” she stated
“What, you mean you own the whole building?”
“Planning on having a big family are you?”
“No, this is my business as well as my residence”

By the time they were standing in her extremely well equipped kitchen, which looked like something out of an exclusive restaurant, he brought it up again by asking, ‘so your a catering service are you?’

‘No I told you my interest is in Mycenae and Etruscan vases.’

‘Yeah, my interest is in Pyramids but I don’t own the Melbourne Cricket Ground just to keep a couple in.’

‘Look it not that bad the first floor is my showroom and the second is my office, I have a small staff and responsibilities to my clients. This meets all of my needs and provides me with a comfortable life with out having to drive all over the place; my father, whom I’ve employed you to help me find, set this up for me and it has served me very well.’

‘O.K, I give up very nice and very sensible.’    do you mind if I have a look around?”

“I don’t mind at all, browse, just don’t go up to the roof, I want to take you up there myself as it’s my personal space. Introduce yourself to Judy my receptionist on the ground floor and she will give you a card that will grant you access to all areas. I’ll ring through and let her know that you’re coming and then I will join you later wherever you are.”
He thanked her turned and walked back to the lift, politely asked for the ground floor and was entertained by a short rendition of Beethoven’s fifth after which he entered a cavernous foyer that intruded into the first floor space. In the middle of the marbled mausoleum was the reception desk with a smiling Judy heading straight for him with an outstretched hand
“Hello-o-o, I’m Judy please don’t hesitate to call on me for any of your needs. Here is your access card and may I get you refreshment, Champagne maybe?”
“Do you have any beer?”
“Holstein, Grolsh or Corona with a slice”
“I’ll have the Mexican thanks.”

She disappeared and reappeared as if by magic with a beautifully carafe pale ale and lemon.
“Would you care to peruse the collection?” she asked handing him the brew
“Yes please”
“Walk this way” she said pivoting and striding off to a stair case which led to a first floor mezzanine style showroom. He followed, mimicking her feminine walk while balancing his fluted beverage. The apex of the staircase plateaued into a marvelous display of individually positioned and lit vases of obvious age and value. They were surprisingly few in number, although there was a catalogue of associated pieces with every specimen, as Judy was quick to point out. She excused herself allowing him to “saturate himself in the exhibit” and appropriately disappeared.

He seceded to her suggestion and went to peruse her collection and after an indeterminable amount of time, she rejoined him on the mezzanine of the first floor and said, ‘beautiful aren’t they, are you familiar with the period?’

‘I’ve always considered it the time of the Greek gods, Zeus’ offspring, something to do with the city of Troy and maybe the Hittites. It was a cusping period coming between the Taurean age of the bull and the Arian era of the Ram; not Egyptian, not Sumerian, not Phoenician but a mixture of all of them.’

‘I never thought of it like that, you must tell me more. I’m all ears,’

‘as well as many other wonderful pieces.’ He digressed, she blushed ‘Before this culture became established on the northern side of the Mediterranean, Egypt flourished on the south. Before the Ramose’s period the bull was worshiped by a divided kingdom, the Tuthmosis and Amenophis pharonic lines took turns in ruling until Akhenaton and Nefertiti were expelled for upsetting the priestly establishment by changing the religion towards monotheistic practices. So here’s the rub, this was about the time the Hebrews were appearing on the scene in Palestine and the roots of the Ramesses Cult were becoming established, both these were ram worshiping in essence and ushered out the bull worshiping cults, relegating them to the previously uncivilised areas where the Mycenae and Minoan cultures began to flourish hence why they have bulls all over their pottery.’

“That’s what I keep telling everybody.” He quipped
“Does this have anything to do with the breastplate or our case?” she asked
“Not really”
“Come with me upstairs for coffee I’ve asked Judy to prepare it for us.”
“Can I smoke afterwards?” he asked
“You can smoke during if you like, I do”
“Do you have a spare pipe?”
“Yes, Turkish alright”
“Perfect, as long as you have something to put in it”
“An authentic Ottoman blend” she replied
“You really know how to impress a guy”
After a short walk, appropriate instructions to the lift and this time a little Vivaldi, they reemerged into the lounge room with steaming coffee and a Hubble bubble waiting for them on the table besides the grand piano.
As she began to pour he asked “Do you tinkle the ivories?”
“I was trained as a child but I don’t play much these days, I used to enjoy playing for my father”
“You must play for me when you feel like it”
“I’ll look forward to it, but why don’t you give it a go?”
“O.K, I’ll need some backing though, do you have any Pink Floyd to spin on that impressive stereo you have there?”
“Sure, just turn it on, press menu and dial up P, it’s programmed with just about everything.”
He strolled over to it, fiddled with the dials for a moment and walah, “Wish you were here” filled the room with perfect surround sound. He played for awhile but before he was halfway through ‘Dark side of the moon’ she couldn’t help herself and joined in. Afterwards they smoked a little, drank some coffee and with the lights dimmed they drifted off on the plush lounge for another adventure in time, ————————

Natalie returned them to the moment by shaking him and saying ‘Wake up! I’ve got so much to tell you and I can’t wait. Let’s go up to my roof for dinner and I will fill you in on the most extraordinary tale. I love this thing we do together, if you don’t mind me saying so but I’m hooked. I hope you feel the same, I mean it doesn’t matter if you don’t. What am I saying, of course it does , oh bugger I feel like a stupid girl on her first date. I’m excited, I’m elated, I’m babbling aren’t I?’

He agreed, embarrassing her further and creating a moment similar to saying goodnight on your parents front porch. Eventually they broke apart and she lead him towards the friendly lift which politely asked which floor “Roof please” they intoned together

Mozart serenaded them as they ascended; stepping out under a perfect night’s sky, complete with full moon, Buzz exclaimed earnestly “Wow I love this place!”
After wandering around in a bit of a daze for a while, looking at the moderately sized swimming pool and excellently crafted B.B.Q area, Buzz asked “Were did that come from?”
“I had Jenny prepare dinner for us; I knew you’d be hungry”
“Who’s Jenny?”
“She’s my housekeeper”
“Is there anyone else I should know about?”
“Only James he comes on at ten o’clock and does security until Judy arrives in the morning”
“So you have at least one person here at all times” he quizzed
“Yeah, but people come and go during office hours”
“All very orderly I suppose”
“Very” she confirmed
“I’m getting the picture”
“Good, no need to be in the dark”
“I noticed all the candles, its great.” he concluded
“O.K so let’s eat, Jenny makes the best crêpe Suzettes”
“Of course she does” he said
“I’m dying to tell you about our adventure in the past”
“Go ahead, I’ll pour the wine”
“We returned to the same place as before but it had expanded into a small town with many more people and lots of children. There were roads in and out of the town and well made carts pulled by little horses. They were still practicing there Sabbath, in the most ornate building, a real temple, with all the golden artifacts and Mrs. Noah presided in front of the alter.
The others, which were there the first time, sat in the front row like respected elders, and they hadn’t changed a bit. The rest of the hall was filled with younger people and their children spilled out onto the forecourt, along with many others.
The water had receded far from the town but the old boat was still there and it looked like it was being used regularly for fishing. They had many domestic and farm animals, the forest had been pared back drastically and crops of a great variety were growing all around.
Early one morning, after the Sabbath, a large group gathered and began preparing wagons and provisions for a long journey. Once readied, they headed off with great fanfare and one of the original men led the expedition, we traveled with them for many a weeks and they still celebrated the Sabbath but without the breastplate or anyone presiding like they did in town. Eventually they arrived at the most southerly point to which they could travel, stopped by a large body of water and there they began to set up a new permanent camp until it began to look like the first one. After some months or so it seemed, I’m not too sure because time was passing so quickly for me, the elder led a small party back to the original town and were welcomed with great ceremony. The old boat was then packed up with the old crew, including Mrs. Noah and her breastplate and sailed around the mountains to the new camp where much to the residents’ approval; she regularly headed the weekly ceremony.”
“That’s an amazingly good account of the events we witnessed” Buzz interjected “you’re the best I’ve ever worked with, a real natural talent.”
“Why thank you Sir”
“The original town would have been Nineveh” he ventured to say
“Yes I would say so to because I am beginning to understand their language and I think they have been calling it Nin-nah-mar”

                                                       The Time of The Great Flood
“That’s quite a revelation; I can see why you were so excited” he said admiringly
“That’s not what I was excited about, wait till you hear the rest of the story.
Sit back and pour yourself a brandy, you are going to need it.”
“Thank you, I will; as for dinner, it was a gourmet’s delight” he complimented
“Now where was I? Oh yeah; after a while at the new camp, which was quickly turning into a thriving town just like Nin-nah-mar, the men who were taking the boat out on fishing expeditions returned all excited; after a particularly long one they insisted that the elders all come with them on their next voyage. Soon as they were restocked and boarded by passengers they set sail in the southerly direction that they had come in on and not far from their point of debarkation we sited land on the left hand side of the boat. Hugging that coast line for a day or two, after which I noticed there was land on the right hand side as well and then another day or two of that we arrived at the point where I knew what the fuss was all about. Sticking out of the water just in front of our final anchorage was the stone head of the famous Sphinx looking slightly different than how we know it today. It was slightly bigger and looked surprisingly similar to our Mrs. Noah, as everyone on the boat was at pains to pointing out. Eventually they built a town just across the river from it and she began presiding there.”
Buzz was looking suitable impressed, and blurted out” That’s incredible, in only two sessions we have located the antiquity we were looking for and tracked it down to the very place where we presumed it would be in reliable history. So while Noah and his ark first turn up at Nineveh, he relocates to the Mediterranean before the flood water totally subsides then ultimately moves to Egypt and begins the first dynasty of pharaohs to eventually be known as Narmer.”
“Very interesting Mr. Izzard” the intruding statement of a man in a black suit cut through the mood of the evening like a hot knife through butter.
“Who are you and how did you get in here?” shouted Natalie, as she jumped to her feet sending her chair flying backwards.
“I’ll be asking the questions here, but I will give you your answers if you and your friend agree to co-operate.”
“Why should we?” Buzz demanded to know
He simply raised his hand and displayed an ominous looking hand gun.
“O.K you have our attention, now please explain yourself.” said Buzz looking slightly more reticent
“Well Mr. Izzard, if I pulled out a badge and told you I was working for truth, justice and the American way and that Miss McHale was a threat to national security. Would you assist me in the way you have been assisting her?”
“I would need to know more information, like how do you know me and how can I confirm what you tell me is true?”
“ Fair enough but surely you would realize that if your friend here was legitimately a security risk then the government would have her under surveillance and the moment you turned up we would pull your file, ipso facto.”
“That doesn’t explain how you got in here” stated Nat.
“It does if your house keeper actually works for us”

As if by magic the agent was lying on the floor and another man was standing in his place holding a blackjack instead of a gun.
“James, thank god you’re here. Did you hear what he was saying?” asked Nat.
“Yes I did.” James replied.
“What if it was true?”
“Its not, He killed Jenny.”
“Oh my god, how?”
“He broke in through the side door, she heard him, confronted him and he just shot her there was nothing I could do,
it happened so quickly so I followed him up here and waited for the right moment to jump him.” Said James summing up
“What should we do now?” she asked shakily
“ I suggest you get out of here and away for awhile incase he has friends; I’ll tell anyone that asks that you went away for a romantic undisturbed weekend and after you left this thug broke in and I dealt with him. Make sure you’re not followed and I will clean up here and then contact the police; Judy won’t mind looking after the business for a while and I will contact you when everything has been settled.”
“O.K James we will do as you suggest thanks a lot. Let’s get going Buzz.”

On to Chapter Three


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