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CHAPTER THREE

A few hours later they were cruising down a narrow country road and had finished discussing the evening’s events. Natalie had convinced Gabriel that she knew of the perfect place that they could head for and how an old friend of her fathers had a discrete estate hidden in the eastern slopes of the hinterland north of Coffs Harbor. If they drove all through the night, a hearty breakfast and a warm welcome would await them; Buzz had agreed and after a few stops to pick up things that they might need for a brief stay in the country, they were more than half the way there. With the calming effect of the night drive, the conversation had once again turned to focusing on the ancient past and the plight of the people of the ark.

Gabriel allowed himself to fall into a deep trance like state, as he was the passenger, began describing to the driving Natalie, his vision of being a falcon flying high over a new Egypt.

“The Nile delta region is brimming with life, agriculture dominates wherever the eye turns; fishing boats stud the waterways and people mill around the docks and granaries. Ox carts and four wheeled chariots traverse the well defined roadways, following the general direction of the traffic I am moving over the outskirts of a large city on the western side of the Nile. In the center of the suburban sprawl of well built two story town houses is a large people’s area with market places, temples and statues. There is one building taller than the rest; I am flying directly towards it and on a balcony near the roof top area stands a well ornamented man with an outstretched hand, I land on it and he utters one very clear and understandable word, Horus!

I turn to face east, the direction from where I have flown from, as the sun goes down behind me, I see the day’s regular activities slowing down. The nights people are making their way into the temple complex forecourt with lanterns lit and begin firing up the alters, this must be a special evening some kind of celebration. A woman dressed as an Isis Goddess joins us on the balcony with her entourage of priests, priestesses and servants hovering behind. The people below notice us and a great roar goes up along with a hoard of doves, I have an immediate urge to fly but I am tethered now to a golden perch. I am still by the side of the man whom I gather is my master and consort to the queen; soon the crowd begins to sing, raise there hands and then all bow down. Proclamations are being made by orators down at street level and sacrifices are being burnt on the alters.

As a group all those on the balcony descend a magnificent internal staircase and emerge at the top of the stairs that lead to the street, the people part like a sea revealing a fleet of golden carriages and chariots pulled by exquisitely adorned horses. We descend the remaining stairs and board the transport as the crowd lines the path we are about to travel with lit torches in hand. Majestically we journey to the Nile where a royal barge is ready for what is obviously going to be a journey up the sacred river. The crowds line both sides of the river for as far as the eye can see as we move off and head in the direction of Heliopolis.

The nights cruise was timed perfectly and as the royal barge docked on the eastern side of the Nile the pathway leading up to the temple of the Phoenix is lined by the priests of On, discernible by the five pointed star on their tunics and visible by the golden light of the sun rising out of the primal mound of Heliopolis. Isis and her Horus lead the procession up to where the head priest, who is wearing an ibis headdress, is standing in front of a huge column with a cone on top. This is the most sacred Ben-Ben stone representing the point of ascension, where Horus becomes Osiris, where Isis attests to the weight of the heart before Thoth who is representing the absent Set. This is done while the telling of the story of how Set had killed Osiris and of how Isis had reassembled the dismembered parts of his body and had brought it here to On; she is now presenting his and her son as the resurrection of their king.

The morning ceremonies give way to the rising of Ra to his midday throne high over the Nile, as the Bark of the crossing is readied for the official trip to take the new Osiris to the seat of his power. The crossing goes smoothly and as the royal couple prepare to enter the Sphinx temple situated at the foot of the Sphinx, Horus who has now become Re-Osiris is exulted above all others as the crowd chants ‘Life to thee, O thou who art over darkness! Life to thee in all thy majesty! Life to thee Osiris…Hail to Osiris, Lord of all the living’ and as the sun begins to set and the new day officially begins Osiris dons a ram headed crown and enters the courtyard of the temple chanting ‘I am Re who is in the heavens, I enter the twilight shadows, I open the gate of the sky in the west, Welcome me with your arms. Behold! I know your place in the Duat; I know your names, your caverns, your secrets.’

Standing in the middle of the alabaster temple, in front of the alter, is the old lady wearing her breastplate but it is somehow different, newer with Egyptian hieroglyphs instead of jewels; She speaks the words ‘O bitter in your cavern, terrifying one, the greatest of the Duat, bow down, draw back your arm, behold me, I am entering the land of the west to attend to Osiris, to greet those who are with him.’ And with that she takes off the fake breastplate and places it on the fake Isis who is standing beside her Horus and they turn and face the priests of the Sphinx, then Horus bellowed the words ‘It is done’!”

“Well here we are” said Nat breaking the silence that had allowed them to finish their journey and ponder the amazing scenes that Buzz had described.

“Where are we exactly?” asked Gabe, still waking

“We are at the gatekeepers house of the estate of Sir Hamish Grant, Wing Commander R.A.F. retired. He is my godfather and a long time best friend of my father, who lives a very private life here miles from nowhere. He’s a bit of a recluse since the death of his wife but I’m sure we will be safe here; he will be keen to hear of our investigations. I told him about the disappearance of daddy, he made me promise to keep him updated and said he would help in any way he could.”

Just then a spotlight came on and a loud voice came over the intercom next to the car,

“State your business”

Natalie explained who they were and immediately the large security gates opened. They proceeded along the long, wide, flat tree lined driveway up to a colonial style house that seemed to be built into the side of a small mountain.

“Very impressive” stated Buzz as they pulled into an undercover car park.

A large moustached man came bounding down the wooden staircase, hauled Nat out of the car and began dancing some kind of jig with her feet dangling way off the ground,

“Glory be its Natalie, come all the way to visit me” he was singing as he whirled a couple of rounds of the car park finally placing her down next to Gabe.
“And who is this fine young gentleman you have brought with yee” he asked in a loud Scottish brogue
Nat did the appropriate introductions and then they were ushered up the stairs and on to a grand veranda with an amazing view through to the eastern seaboard. Tea was poured and shortbread was broken to the sounds of bagpipes coming from the discretely positioned Bose speakers. Sir Hamish presided over the conversation for the next few hours asking question after question in his broad Scottish way, until he knew as much about their situation as they did. Rising dramatically and turning to direct his attention towards Buzz and with changing intonation he demanded
“Mr. Izzard I would like you to summarize what you have learnt from your strange investigative method and what ye intend to do about it now.”
“Certainly Sir Hamish, but first I would beg your indulgence by allowing us to freshen up, recoup a bit and I promise you will have your summary by dinner time tonight.”
“Of course, you must be very tired from your long journey, how rude of me. I’ll have my man get your things”
While they were being shown to their respective rooms, Gabriel had impressed onto Natalie the immediate need for them to have one more session before they were to report to Sir Hamish. Nat agreed and suggested that after showering they should meet in the library in the back of the mansion; half an hour later that’s exactly where they were.
“So what’s the scoop, Sherlock?” asked Nat while she was perusing the items on the many shelves.
“Grab that large book on Egyptology, open it at the Kings and Dynasties list and I will explain.”
“Done, now what’s the mystery?”
“When we first started to discuss this back in my office, you said you had approached the authorities about the dating of the Narmer artifact.”
“Yes I remember”
“Why were you so sure it was a fake?”
“Because, it didn’t look right.”
“Exactly! The one that they have has hieroglyphics all over it on both sides and no precious stones and the one that you have described had twelve precious stones front and back and no hieroglyphs.”
“Correct”
“Well here’s my theory then. We followed the path of this sacred object through history from the time of the flood till the time of the construction of the pyramids and temples, from about 5600 B.C.E. to 2200 B.C.E, the end of the Old Kingdom and the beginning of the First Intermediate period. In my last vision I saw the transfer of power and kingship in the newly constructed temples of Heliopolis and Giza”
Buzz moved around the room and positioned himself in such a way as to resemble a preacher about to give a sermon,
“What I believe I was witnessing was one of the most crucial events in ancient Egyptian history and the key to understanding this mystery we have embarked on. Up until this point in time civilization had been ruled by the direct descendants of Noah\ Narmer the first pharaoh. This left a list of dynastic leaders; Djoser, Sneferu, Khufu, Djedfre, Kafre and Menkaure but above all this reigned one Queens name, Mereneith! One could easily assume that Mereneith, or her incarnation, ruled as an Isis\ Queen over well run kingdoms installing rising Horus\ Princes as replacements for her missing Osiris\ King, and that the symbol of her authority to do so was the original bejeweled breastplate, the very one that we are looking for.
Now at the end of the Old Kingdom, if Mereneith was being usurped by an unsanctified Isis and Horus, a divided Kingdom would emerge and as history would record it this is exactly what happened in the First Intermediate period. What we have today in the palette of Narmer could be the mould that a fake breastplate was fashioned on and a message from the past of how a wise Mereneith tricked an incoming regime. With her own words as recorded in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Mereneith, the wife of the first pharaoh, Mrs. Noah, Nut, the brilliant one of the sky, the great lady, the divine one, the god mother, the Queen of all gods, the female Re, the Queen of the Earth, the great lady of magic, lady of warmth and fire, She who is greatly feared in the Duat and the wife of the Lord of all went to be with her Osiris in the West.
The thing that we have to find out is, did she take the original bejeweled breastplate with her?”

Timeline of the Pharaohs
Pre-Dynastic and Early Dynastic Period – 3150 B.C. – 2686 B.C.
• Dynasty ‘0’ – 3150 – 3050 B.C. –
• 1st Dynasty – 3050 – 2890 B.C. –
• 2nd Dynasty – 2890 – 2686 B.C. –
The Old Kingdom – 2686 B.C. – 2181 B.C.
• 3rd Dynasty – 2686 – 2613 B.C. –
• 4th Dynasty – 2613 – 2498 B.C. –
• 5th Dynasty – 2498 – 2345 B.C. –
• 6th Dynasty – 2345 – 2181 B.C. –
The First Intermediate Period – 2181 B.C. – 2040 B.C.
• 7th & 8th Dynasty – 2181 – 2161 B.C. –
• 9th & 10th Dynasty – 2160 – 2040 B.C.-
The Middle Kingdom – 2040 B.C. – 1782 B.C.
• 11th Dynasty – 2134 – 1991 B.C. –
• 12th Dynasty – 1991 – 1782 B.C. –
The Second Intermediate Period – 1782 B.C. – 1570 B.C.
• 13th Dynasty – 1782 – 1650 B.C. –
• 14th Dynasty – 57 years, dates unknown –
• 15th Dynasty – 1663 – 1555 B.C. –
• 16th Dynasty – 1663 – 1555 B.C.
• 17th Dynasty – 1663 – 1570 B.C. –
• The New Kingdom – 1570 B.C. – 1070 B.C.

Natalie moved away from the table with all the books and charts that she had been flipping through while Gabriel had been expounding his theory and poured herself a drink from a handsome crystal decanter that sat on the fire place surround.

“Could we go over that again, this time in English, I think I am getting what you are saying but pretend I know nothing about Egyptology and lay it out for me in simplistic terms.”

Buzz took a deep breath, pulled his reading glasses out of his top pocket and while putting them on he moved over to the table. He shuffled pages of the exposed texts, selected maps and diagrams and slowly began to re-explain his theory while pointing to the appropriate symbolisms.

“Firstly, what we are doing is establishing the existence of an artifact that we will call ‘the Breastplate of Narmer’, that is older than what they have in the museum system at the moment. This we have done by pointing to the hieroglyphic symbols on what we will call ‘Breastplate No.2’ as dating to the First Intermediate period of 2200 B.C.E, citing the main character of a Horus wearing a divided kingdom crown, slaying a man. Now if it was the genuine ‘Breastplate of Narmer’ it would be dated to the First Dynasty period of 3000 B.C.E and the hieroglyphs on it would describe an Osiris wearing a United Kingdom crown and presiding over a peaceful time.

Secondly, if we can establish that this older breastplate is pre-dynastic and empowered the wearer to appoint Pharaohs to up and coming candidates or that any potential world leaders like Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte and even Hitler for that mater was interested in it, then we can begin to narrow down who might be interested enough in it to have kidnapped it and your father.”

Natalie put down her glass and grabbed him planting a kiss squarely on his blushing cheek, she stood back and proudly announced,

“Well, Dr. Izzard PhD bla- bla- bla you certainly are proving your worth. Where do you suggest we go from here?”

“Let’s draw the curtains, get settled on that lounge over there, begin one more quick guided meditation and see if we can come up with what we need to progress this mystery on to the next phase.”

Before long, Buzz was entranced and describing to Nat that he was once again a falcon flying high over Egypt.

“It was the same period and place as the last vision and people are filing into Giza, mainly from the east. They are bringing their possessions with them from as far as the eye can see, an invading Sumerian civilization ready to make the Nile theirs. Out of the western side of the temple complex I am witnessing a speeding four wheeled chariot, obviously fleeing the city in the shadows of a setting sun. I follow it as it careers along its north western path keeping the Nile and its people far to its right hand side. Staying with the journeyers all night, we arrive at a large ship moored in the Mediterranean and when the sails billowed with the stiffening morning easterly wind, hooded figures rush from the covered chariot to the embarking vessel. Keeping the coast of northern Africa to the port side, we travel for many days in the direction of the Atlas Mountains and the Gates of Hell, which we eventually pass through and into the mountainous seas of the Atlantic Ocean. After what seemed an eternity of bad weather, land to the north is spotted and a prehistoric England becomes our obvious destination. The seas settle and we clean sail for another day or two till we dock at a small stone village, where all the passengers and crew kiss ground and enjoy their first days and nights on land after a long and arduous sea journey.”

“The local peoples are very friendly and offer a myriad of comforts and luxuries to the weary travelers; eventually after days of pleasantries, the travelers move off again this time in ox driven carts loaded with their possessions hauled from the ship they had traveled there on. After a few more days travel inland they begin to set up a semi-permanent camp and after bathing and donning special white ceremonial robes, they move on out of the camp in a walking procession that goes on all night lit by hand held torches. The destination becomes apparent as the morning sun rises over an amazing scene of a crowd surrounding a ‘wooden’ Stonehenge with an alter in the middle. As one of our companions moves into the center of the event and as all eyes are intently focused on that spot and moment in time, in front of the alter, the hooded white robe is removed to reveal Mereneith and her bejeweled ‘Breastplate of Narmer’ for all to see.”

“Woah-Woah” interrupted the voice of Natalie

“Time out let’s take a reality check; are we talking about a woman, presumably the same woman, thousands of years and half a world away from the one we first mentioned. How can that be?”

Gabriel shook the haze of the vision from his mind, took stock of Nat’s interjection, rose to his feet and slowly began to piece together the plausibility factor that she required.” Firstly, my dear Miss McHale, I have already said to you that this might not be the same person but a reincarnation, or direct descendant, of her. But let’s put that aside for a minute or so and let our investigative or scientific mind deal with the data without the prejudices of what we think we know to be fact. The ancient peoples we have been investigating seemed to believe in the immortality of this woman and the bible, as source of infallible truth to billions of people alive and well on this planet of ours today; it documents the longlivity of the ancients so don’t presume to assume anything at this stage, just keep an open mind on the subject.

Secondly, on the matter of relocating her to the British Isles around the time that Stonehenge was being built, I find it more absurd to think that a civilization of megalithic monument builders sprung up there that didn’t have any connection to what was going on around the Mediterranean. The reliable and well documented ‘Egyptian book of the dead’ quoted her as saying she was going to the west and the pyramid builders of her day were known to have boats capable of the journey and minerals, ores and gemstones were brought back to Egypt from the four corners of the earth. So I put it to you, why not?”

“O.K then, let’s say we’re on track, please explain to me why you think this would have happened and what relevance it has to our cause.” answered Nat

“Pour me a drink and I will try my best to,” he said while gathering himself and moving to the table with the maps and books of the era they were discussing.“Central to the beliefs and documentation of the ancient Egyptian culture was the fact that Set killed Osiris, just like in the Biblical story of Cain killing Able. This set the scene for a divided kingdom, while Set began a violent rule in Egypt, Isis went to Palestine to rebirth Osiris and in the form of Horus began a battle with Set over who would rule a united kingdom. What Set would never have was the blessing of Isis or the legitimate heir that only she could provide. What Isis had that gave her the authority to provide the blessing or the heir to the throne, was the Breastplate of Narmer. Without this blessing of ultimate authority, Set’s longlivity of reign was limited no matter what his military might. What we witnessed in the last vision was the transfer of power to his illegitimate heir and chosen queen; where a fake breastplate was handed over to unsuspecting ruling elite, while the real Breastplate and Isis Queen were removed to a land far away in the west! She and her followers would patiently wait for the day of her return.”

“So this is what you are going to tell Sir Hamish tonight”

“No, that is what you are going to tell him, if you wouldn’t mind giving him my apologies, I am going to bunker down in my room and follow this story through to a more appropriate place and join you for breakfast tomorrow morning. I’m in the right frame of mind to put in a mega effort and propel us to a point far closer to our eventual goal, so if you will excuse me I am off for a night’s adventure in the past and I promise you a major breakthrough by morning.” With that Buzz turned and left the room.
“Arch man, good morning to you I hope ye slept well, I didn’t sleep a wink in anticipation of the continuation of your most amazing story. Ye have my blood pressure up in excitement, now pour yourself a cup of tea and enlighten me with more of yee wondrous tale.”

“I wouldn’t mind partaking of some of that fine looking bacon and eggs you’ve got there while we await the arrival of Natalie so I don’t have to go over the same ground twice.”

“Are well, yaw see she won’t be joining us for breakfast as she has not been to bed very long; she sat up with me jawing about your adventure and catching up with auld times but by all means help yourself to the fine fare and take your time, I want to savor this morning’s tale.”

“Allrighty then, pass me the gravy while I load up this plate and I must say Sir Hamish this is a wonderful breakfast nook you have for yourself, such a fine view through your French windows.”

“Aye it is, it is, now please last night’s connection to Stonehenge had me shimmering in my kilt so tell me more, tell me more.”

“Well there’s not much more to say about that, for where I picked up the story they were leaving an unfinished Stonehenge behind and were venturing off in a fleet of boats to what turned out to be northern Spain or Portugal. A small party traveled over the Pyrenees Mountains and into the south of Gaul or France as we know it now, were they re joined with their boats which had followed the coastline around Spain to a small port in the vicinity of Marseille. After a short stay there, the boats moved on to Northern Italy while the land party ventured over the marbled mountains of Tuscany. Anyway, they all met up in Greece where they stayed for a long time and quite a civilization began springing up all around them. On a regular basis Queen Mereneith would appear in her breastplate and celebrations would occur. Eventually they opened up roads through Turkey and traveled as far as Babylon but wherever their group traveled their culture remained simple and uncomplicated. It was on one of their trips to the Tigris and Euphrates area that something extraordinary happened. Mereneith had been in her ceremonial garb complete with breastplate on top of a ziggurat, when the sun turned red and then the sky turned black. Some natural disaster had occurred and many thousands died and leaving behind the dying a small party escorted Mereneith out of that area and up into the mountains near Lebanon.”

“So what do you make of all this?” asked Sir Hamish

“Well,” replied Buzz “all that I have told you and much, much more had seemed like lots of time had passed and I was having trouble fixing it in any particular era; nothing had jumped out at me as a definite, it all felt vague and unsubstantiated. The landscapes were familiar but the languages and daily stories were not and I was beginning to get the feeling that I was going nowhere, solving nothing but after awhile when the language started to sound more familiar, it all clicked for me. It was on a day in the mountains of northern Lebanon or Syria, at the funeral of one of the men who had been with Mereneith for a long time. She was wailing his name ‘Thera, Thera, Thera and a small crowd began addressing her as Shara, suddenly I realized when and where I was. It was the beginning of the long told and familiar story of Abraham and Sarah and we were about to see Egypt once again.”

“That’ll do laddie, that’ll do. You have confirmed to me that you are indeed what you claim to be, Mr. Unique smarty pants and I’ll   tell you I’m very impressed because what ye are telling me is that which I already know. I am a grand master in the Scottish tradition of Masonry and we do know a thing or two about what you speak of but what you don’t know would fill volumes.”

Buzz jumped to his feet, staggered a bit and proclaimed, “You’re Secret Service you bastard and we’ve been duped. What have you done with Natalie?”

“Calm down and sit down before ye fall down. Yer in no danger, I’m yer fairy godfather and you’d be fucked without me, the other bastards would have yer guts for garters by now. You, laddie, have stumbled upon a game that’s been going on for longer than you’ve been alive and I’m just a pawn in that game but by the time you wake up you are going to meet the queen, you and my precious Natalie. So while you are still awake, I’ll tell you a bed time story, if you can stay awake that is.”

Buzz steadied himself, plopped back into his chair and residing himself to his fate, said “go on then.”

“We are all going on a plane ride and you won’t know where you are when you wake up, but that’s the way it has to be. All your questions will be answered then, what you need to know now is that I’m an ex-commander in the R.A.F but I’m more than that, I was in the Cameron guards, S.O.E ‘special operations executive and they don’t have a retirement plan until yer dead, so that’s who you’re dealing with my boy. Natalie’s father was my friend and that’s how he knew about the breastplate, we were looking for it and have been for a long time now. Hitler knew about it but didn’t manage to get his dirty hands on it, thank god. The Queen, not the one you see on the television, the real one, god bless her soul, She knows about it, She wants it back, She, you might say, is Mereneith.”

On to Chapter Four

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