FREE – CHAPTER 16, THE GOD KEY, Book I: Return of the Nephilim

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PART TWO: A Race With Amnesia

“Mankind is a race with amnesia

Clinging to a planet pocked by

Long-forgotten horrors…recalled only

In our most ancient myths and legends…

As if nothing more than dreams.

But dreams can as well be nightmares,

And amnesia is often caused by trauma.”

— Avis Schumacher

The Past is Not Passed

***

CHAPTER 16

Dateline: Wednesday, 5 December, 2012
Outside Falls Church, VA

When Dave came to, Cyndi was gone, along with her car. She was right: he wasn’t driving anywhere today.

So, instead, he called Yellow Cab.

Twenty minutes later, slightly wobbly and leaning on a cane the hospital had given him, he climbed into a cab and was on his way at last. He was going to see a sketch of the Roswell symbols and compare his lone Commandments photo with them, thanks to Ross Galilei, Ph.D., Professor of Astrophysics at George Washington University, and specialist in physical trace evidence (of the little green man variety).

Dave went over his notes, refined his questions, and within minutes they were entering the outskirts of Alexandria. He thought about running by his apartment, for clothes, cat food, and so forth, but . . . no. Cyndi had warned against going anywhere near his usual haunts. Besides, he was in no condition to climb three flights of stairs.

So, it was on to Washington University, and his interview with Dr. Galilei.

And not once did he notice the little black sedan, two cars behind him.

Sgt. Heim and his men followed the cab as it left the Malach woman’s house. They’d been watching the residence since following her home from Connors’s apartment the previous night. This really was a no-brainer, Heim thought. Having the Mossad along was utterly unnecessary, as he’d known it would be. He could handle this; it was child’s play. The two Mossad agents were nothing but baggage. Until now.

Because, now, they would take Connors . . . the moment that cab stopped. They would have to be careful of traffic cops, security officers, and the like: they hadn’t come all this way to blow it at the last moment. They’d come for only one purpose—to capture or kill David Connors. And they would.

They would have him today, one way or another—dead, alive or some other condition in between.

***

The cab arrived at GWU’s grad school, on Ballenger Ave., about twenty minutes later. The campus was only half a mile from David’s apartment—an eight-minute stroll, at most. But there would be no strolling for Dave Connors . . . not from his apartment, anyway; it was permanently off-limits.

Fortunately for David’s hip and thigh, traffic was light that morning, and for good reason: autumn had finally given way to winter, and the weather had gone all to hell. Mother Nature was serving notice that the little joke about “Indian Summer” was over, and the real nastiness was about to begin.

As the cab approached the visitor parking garage, Dave was dismayed to find the entire campus bristling with security: squads of armed guards, city police, and other uniformed personnel were swaggering all over the grounds—as if patrolling a top-secret govern­ment installation. Some were even wearing brown shirts. Over a decade after 9/11 and the after­shocks were, if anything, increasing.

But if Dave was dismayed, the passengers in the black sedan were nonplussed: Heim and Co., already blocked from action at the Malach woman’s house, were to be stymied here, as well. Because they were armed to the eyebrows, they couldn’t risk scrutiny by even campus security, let alone uniformed police. They had no choice, then, but to drive past the garage and park on the street. And wait.

And even though the display of campus Gestapo irked the hell out of Dave, he owed his life to it, just then. He would remain unaware of this until after his meeting with Dr. Galilei, when “Life-in-the-Big-City,” as he called it, would throw him a little curve.

***

He paid the cabbie, then gimp-walked on his cane across campus to the Science building. At least the rain had ceased, and the sun was actually beginning to peak through the clouds—albeit sullenly, as if it had simply grown tired of playing hide-and-go-screw-yourself.

Dave’s path took him up a gradual slope that wound its way beneath a thickening grove of elms, oaks and maples. The autumn leaves were brilliant, and as the sun shot through the clouds in all its glory at last, Dave saw a golden beam shine through the trees, as if lighting his way.

The hilltop came into view, crowned by the science and engineering building. David entered it and saw a bald man in his forties, wearing a white lab coat, walking toward him. He had dark eyes set beneath a thick, beetling brow. He glanced first at the cane, then at his visitor.

“Mr. Connors?” he asked.

“Guilty,” Dave said, extending his right hand. “Please, call me Dave.”

The professor shook his hand and smiled in return. “Ross Galilei. I was led to understand you wouldn’t make it today. Our mutual friend, Cyndi, phoned and told me you’d got the worst of it in a tangle with a car, is that right, Mr. Connors?”

“More or less. But I’m good to go, Doctor. And, please, just call me Dave.”

“Sorry. Call me Ross, or Doctor, if you prefer. Anything but Galileo; it makes me feel like a star. Get it?”

Dave smiled. What’s this? Geek humor?

“Are you all right to walk?” asked Dr. G.

“Well, my break-dancing career’s over, but I guess I can still walk, yes.”

Galilei smiled. “Good. Then follow me, please.”

Dr. G led him toward a hallway on the left. Dave gimped along behind him to a large, wood-paneled door, which Galilei unlocked with a card key (security being a byword on campus). When they stepped inside, Dave couldn’t help feeling awed and dwarfed by the sheer size of the office.

It was gargantuan, bigger than any classroom, and illuminated by three tall, rectangular windows—the old-fashioned kind, with hand cranks. The view was stunning.

The hilltop presided over the entire campus from here, the trees, the quad, the main administrative buildings—even Duke Avenue, crowded with its fraternity and sorority houses, restaurants and coffee shops. Dave could follow the avenue all the way along its course into the heart of Old Town.

“Doc, you must have kissed some serious posteriors to get this view,” he said.

Dr. Galilei seemed taken aback by this, but managed a slight smile.

“Eh, yes, well,” he began, “I understand you’ve some interest in my work on trace evidence analysis.” He nodded at a projector aimed at the back wall.

Great. Dr. G had a presentation all ready to go for him. No doubt a dose of “Death-By-PowerPoint.”

“Later, perhaps,” Dave said. “What I’d really like to see is your sketch of the Roswell debris.”

Dr. G arched an eyebrow. “You certainly don’t mince words.”

“My word-mincer’s broken, Doc,” Dave said. “Besides, you’re a busy man.”

Galilei gave the projector a rueful glance, then turned toward his desk.

From a central drawer, he withdrew a thin manila envelope. Inside it was an old-fashioned, spiral notebook. The covers were bent and wrinkled, and all the pages appeared yellow with age, yet the edges were still sharp and crisp.

Galilei lay it on his desk with reverence, as if it were a treasure map. He opened it halfway, removed two pieces of onion-skin paper and revealed the sketch at last: the Roswell debris.

It was a surprisingly good pencil drawing of what appeared to be part of a kite, with a balsa wood frame and a light, silvery skin (indicated by pencil shadowing and the word “silver.”) Dr. Galilei had even included the torn and ragged edges of the debris, just as David remembered them. Then, along one side of the frame, on some sort of I-beam, were the symbols. Dave whistled and nodded.

“Disco,” he whispered.

“I drew this in July of 1987,” the doctor said, “during a field study I conducted in Roswell that summer. Fortieth anniversary, that sort of thing. I met the woman who owned the debris, a Rosalind Something. She let me sketch it in her kitchen.”

“Rosalind Brazille,” Dave said. “I met her, too, five years ago. Neat lady.”

“Yes,” Dr. Galilei replied. “How is she these days? It’s been ages.”

“Can’t tell you. She . . . disappeared.”

“Oh,” said Galilei. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“You’re tellin’ me.”

“In any event,” Galilei continued, “I read the article you wrote at the time, for World News Weekly,” he added. “Good piece, really. Objective, informative—almost scientific.”

“Well, thanks . . . I think.”

“As you can see from the sketch, I’m no artist. My primary aim was to capture the symbols on the debris as closely as possible, with little concern for size, proportion, or other aesthetics.”

Dave thought it looked pretty good to him. The symbols, so achingly familiar, stared back at him from the paper like a spurned lover. You lost me once, genius, don’t lose me again . . .

“May I?” Dave asked.

“Of course. But please be careful; it’s only in pencil. Easy to smudge, even now.”

Dave picked up the notebook, careful not to touch the 25-year-old drawing. It showed the debris just as he remembered it: a small, angular piece of some impossible plastic-liquid-metal, the I-beam inscribed with purple, pictographic symbols—a cross between computer machine language, Egyptian hieroglyphs and primitive cuneiforms.

“As I said, I’m no artist,” Galilei offered. “Just a feeble scientist doing his best.”

“Well, your best is pretty darn good, from what I can see,” Dave said.

“Thank you. Our friend Cyndi said you had some . . . similar photos?”

“Had being the operant verb, Doc. My Roswell shots are all missing. But I do have one similar photograph, taken recently.”

Galilei blinked, confused. “Rendlesham Forest, 1980?”

“Guess again.”

Dave withdrew a single 5×7 photograph from his jacket pocket and placed it on the desk next to the notebook. It was a plain, black-and-white photo of what looked like chunks of hand-carved stone tablets, covered in strange pictographic symbols. Galilei blinked.

“The . . . Ten Commandments?”

“Give that man a ceegar,” Dave said.

“I don’t smoke,” the professor said. “But I may start today. This is incredible.” He held the lone surviving photo of the Commandments next to his sketch and compared the images. At a glance he could see that many of the symbols were indeed the same. “Simply incredible,” he repeated.

“No artist here, either,” Dave said. “Just a feeble journalist doing his best.”

“And I’d say that was ‘pretty darn good,’ too.”

“So,” Dave said. “What do you make of it?”

The professor paused a moment, glanced down at his sketch and David’s enlarged photograph, then looked up again. “I don’t know what to make of it. Save the obvious.”

“Which is?”

Galilei shrugged. “That the God of the ancient Hebrews was an extraterrestrial. Of the same species that crash-landed outside Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.”

*  *  *

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THE GOD KEY, Book I: Chapters 12 – 14 FREE

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Tonight we get THREE chapters all at once, 12 – 14, as they are short, brief and to the point.

 

Chapter 12

Six thousand miles away, Inspector Jacob Schriever stood at his kitchen window, gazing into Jerusalem’s pre-dawn darkness. Although it was barely five o’clock, he had already finished breakfast. His wife Yakira, on the other hand, hadn’t touched hers. She was still standing at the balcony door as usual, watching the stars.
But he couldn’t worry about that now; he had other things on his mind. The Eilat Hilton murders for one, and Dr. Globus’s death. The IPD/Mossad unit he’d sent to the U.S. (code-named “Whale”) would achieve their mission (“Operation Jonah,” natu-rally), so no worries there. They would have the American in custody soon. That wasn’t the problem.
He just wished he hadn’t granted permission to kill the young man—that was the problem. Schriever really did want to question the American. He was particularly in-terested in how Connors would account for his fingerprints in poor old Globus’s room the night of his disappearance.
Above all, Inspector Schriever wanted to know why.
Why the American had gone to such lengths to murder two total strangers. Why he had kidnapped a third victim—an old man in his 70s—only to butcher him in the de-sert. Why he had torn all the victims’ spinal cords out the back of their necks, and . . .
No, he would not think about that. It was too sick, too depraved. Too American.
Yet, he had to know. He had to know why.
It was now just past five; he had to report by 6:00 a.m., regardless of his rank. The Israeli Police Department was a crack paramilitary force—more like a commando squad than a police agency. Even Chief Inspectors had rules, regulations and superiors to obey.
Chief Inspectors were also human, however, with all the personal problems and crises that entailed. And Inspector Schriever’s personal crisis was at that moment standing across the kitchen from him, gazing out the balcony door at the stars, as she had been all night. And not for the first time, either.
Yakira was really starting to scare him. She was no longer merely “eccentric” or a concern, but a full-fledged crisis. He longed for their early days together, when they were young and content, and she called him “husband” as a term of affection, as in “You look handsome today, husband.” And he would reply, “And you are beautiful as always, wife.” Like the good, solid, Israeli married couple they were. But those days were long, long gone. The loss of their adopted child hadn’t helped.
“Come along, dear,” he said. “You need your sleep.” He touched her elbow and tried to guide her away from the balcony, but she wouldn’t budge.
“They’re coming,” she whispered, still staring into the sky. Her reflection in the glass was so pale, she looked like a ghost.
“Who’s coming, my dear?”
“They are,” she said.
“And who are ‘they?’”
She turned to face him at last, her eyes deeply circled and hollow.
“Yes, they. Are coming. Back.”
“But who are ‘they?’” he repeated.
“And this time they’re angry, Jacob . . .
“. . . they’re very, very angry. . .”
***
Another entity feeling a bit of anger just then was Dr. Levi Schwartz, administrator of the ICRC/Segré Observatory, atop Mt. Hermon in northern Israel. His anger was directed not at any individual, but at the incomprehensible objects his telescopes were picking up from the Dark Rift.
Properly known as the Israeli Cosmic Ray Center/Emilio Segré Observatory, the joint Israeli-Swedish-Italian facility had squatted atop the mountain for over 30 years in a single trailer and a pair of Quonset Huts.
Initially a cooperative venture for young Swedish, Italian and Israeli astrono-mers to study cosmic ray contamination in Earth’s atmosphere, the observatory had literally exploded in size between December, 2011 and November, 2012.
Its mission and brief, likewise, had blown up. Cosmic rays were the least of the staff’s concerns. Like Cyndi and David’s tiny observatory back in Virginia, the ICRC now studied the Dark Rift—and only the Dark Rift—and the objects feared to emerge from it. Now, it seemed, they were here.
Or, on their way, at least: 13 of them.
These were Apollo-class asteroids, as opposed to Atens or Amors, middling in size, but moving at tremendous speed. As their classification as Apollos indicated, they were on an interior trajectory that would bring them in very, very close contact to earth.
That alone was enough to set Dr. Schwartz’s teeth on edge. But it was what he’d learned that morning, before the damned space rocks had shown themselves, that really got under his hide.
And that was the Israeli Air Force: they were commandeering his observatory and cosmic ray center, all its equipment, staff, lasers, scopes, collimeters, everything—in much the same way as the Department of Defense had commandeered Cyndi Malach’s observatory on Mt. Nebo, in Alexandria, VA.
Fuming, Schwartz secretly hoped the damned asteroids would impact the earth. Right on top of the Air Force vehicles that were even now streaming up the mountain-side to take over his observatory—like a massive load of cosmic crap dumped on their heads.
Serve them right. Let them see what it was like, to run such a place and have the cosmos take a giant dump on your head. The thought made Schwartz smile. But only momentarily.
The Air Force had arrived.

 

Chapter 13

So this is what it’s like to die . . .

Strange. He didn’t know there would be pain in the afterlife. And where was the tunnel of light? The deceased loved ones? The angels and harps and—

“—Unhhh,” he groaned. “What the . . . ?”
“Ssssh, don’t try to speak.” Cyndi was leaning over him, her long, black hair fram-ing her face, a bright, white light shining behind her, making her look just like . . .
“ . . . an angel . . .” he whispered.
“Sssshhh . . .”
“Attila . . . my cat . . . What about—”
“He’s fine. You fed him before you left, remember?”
“Uhhh . . .”
He tried to nod but only succeeded in passing out again.
***
“Head injuries can be tricky,” a male voice was saying. “We won’t know anything definitive until . . .”
“I walk . . . the flock . . . outta here.”
“David!” Cyndi was there again, bending over him. “Please lay still, try not to speak. The doctor says you’ve got a bad concussion.”
“But I ordered . . . a good one.”
“Crazy American,” she said, stroking his face now. Her fingertips felt like feath-ers; and her perfume . . . Here he was, with his brains scrambled in the busted eggshell of his skull, and all he could think about was her perfume, the night breeze, the car . . .
“Wh-what the hell hap—? Are you—”
“I’m fine,” she said. “Thanks to you. The police say you saved my life. Pulling me out of the way like that, taking the impact yourself.”
“S’what . . . any gennulman . . . would do.”
“That’s twice you’ve rescued me now.”
“Hmnh . . . S’what . . . any . . . gen . . .”
He didn’t sound good. Or look good, either: he was terribly pale and drawn, as if the life force was withering within.
“You stupid, crazy redneck.” Her eyes grew moist.
“Yuppie . . .”
“Don’t die on me, David,” she said. “Please don’t die . . .”
“Tuesday,” he murmured, as if it were perfectly sensible.
And passed out again.
***
It would be six hours before they could keep him conscious, more or less. Long enough for the ER physician to upgrade his condition from “Critical” to “Satisfactory” (though Dave didn’t think there was anything at all “Satisfactory” about the way he felt).
“You’re one lucky man,” the doctor told him.
“Lucky . . .”
“As in, no broken bones or skull fractures. Just a nasty concussion, a deep thigh bruise and a hip-pointer on your left side. Other than that, you’re fine.”
“Nothing . . . dislocated?”
“Nope,” said the medical man. “Radiology, CTs, MRIs, everything looks OK. With any luck, you’ll be out of here this afternoon.”
“That’s . . . good. Thanks, Doc.”
“Your prognosis looks good, too, though that hip’s going to hurt like hell for the next few weeks. I’ve prescribed a pain reliever for you, and I recommend you use a walker or a cane for the first week or so.”
Dave recalled one of his old unit’s slogans, and repeated it to himself with each throb of his head and hip: (SEALs don’t feel pain . . . SEALs don’t feel pain . . .)
Which was a good thing, since the doctor didn’t seem in a hurry to actually give him any pain medication just then.
“We’ve had you under observation for the past fourteen hours,” he said, “so I doubt there’s any permanent head injury. However, I do want someone watching you for the next ten to twelve hours, just to be safe.”
“I’ll stay with him.” Cyndi appeared by his side.
“Good. Keep him awake until midnight or so—no naps, no alcohol. Watch TV or something. A little coffee or tea wouldn’t hurt.”
Dave tried to smile. “But dodging cars is off the menu, eh?”
“Just for tonight,” the doctor said. “Oh, I almost forgot: there’s a detective waiting to see you. I can tell him to come back later, if you’d prefer.”
Dave tried to shake his head, but only went dizzy again. He put a hand to his tem-ple and winced. “Nah, that’s OK, bring ‘im on.”
Cyndi squeezed his hand. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, let’s get this over with. Then . . .”
“Back to your place,” she said. “And Attila.”
“Yeah . . . he’ll be furious.”
The doctor smiled and left, allowing Dave to see into the outer hallway.
At first, he couldn’t spot anyone waiting for him. No uniformed officers, no plain-clothed detectives, nothing. Then, like an extra from central casting, a gigantic intern strode past—a Goliath in scrubs. He had to be 7½ to 8 feet tall, maybe 400 pounds, and looked vaguely Greek or Arabic—dark, swarthy, with thick, curly black hair. As Dave watched him lumber by, he noticed that the man had six fingers on one hand.
Which was crazy, of course. A hallucination. He must’ve hit his head harder than he’d realized.
“Hey, Cyn,” he said, still staring into the hallway, “don’t let me forget: I have an interview with your friend Galilei, Wednesday at noon. OK?”
“David, what’s wrong?” Cyndi asked. “You look—”
“Nothing, nothing,” he said, eyes still fixed on the hallucination. “No biggie.”
“All right,” Cyndi said. “Just don’t mention the D.O.D., understood?”
“Sure, yeah. Understood.” As he said this, the hallucination stopped in mid-stride, turned and stared right at him. And grinned, showing two rows of teeth on each jaw. Then continued on his way.
No one else seemed to notice him, or appeared to care if they did. Dave blinked several times, but said nothing. Definitely a hallucination.
The detective, however, was not.
He appeared at the door, a burly, balding, red-faced man in a rumpled suit, who looked like he might have played football at one time—a long time ago. Now, he looked like he’d just eaten one. As he approached, Dave felt Cyndi step close beside him, as if shielding him.
“David Connors?” the detective asked.
“Guilty.”
The man smiled and held out his right hand, which boasted a huge, high school class ring (T.C. Williams H.S., Class of ’83). That explained his size: the cop was a former Titan. Dave shook hands with him and waited.
“I’m Detective Sergeant Lacy,” he said, as he withdrew a small notebook and pencil from his jacket. “I won’t keep you, just a few quick questions. Have to ask ‘em now before too much time passes. You know, head injury and all.”
“Gotcha.”
“So, let’s start at the top: who would want to kill you?”
“It wasn’t an accident?”
The detective glanced at Cyndi, then shook his head.
“Not likely. Based on your girlfriend’s statement—”
“—Just friend’s,” she corrected him.
“Sorry. Based on your friend’s statement, it was intentional. Car came flying up the street in the wrong lane, no headlights, even went up on the sidewalk to hit you. Didn’t stop or slow down, just creamed you, turned up an alley and . . . disappeared.”
“Witnesses?” Dave asked.
Detective Lacy shook his head. “Just you and your girlfr—your friend.”
“I am actually his employer,” Cyndi said, giving Sgt. Lacy the hard eye. “We also happen to be . . . good friends. There is no romantic involvement.”
“Uh huh,” said the Det. “Whatever. Still no witnesses.”
“Huh,” David muttered. “That’s strange.”
“What is?”
“North Union’s usually crawling with tourists. In fact, I thought I saw one watch-ing us from an alley just before—”
“Not last night, you didn’t. You two were the only pedestrians on the block at the time.” Sgt. Lacy paused and asked, “Did you see the license plate, by any chance?”
“No,” David said. Cyndi shook her head.
“Make or model of the car?” Lacy pressed.
“Small and dark,” David told him. “And low to the ground, like a sports car. But it wasn’t American: sounded more like a rice-burner—a Nissan, maybe, or a Mazda.”
Sgt. Lacy scribbled in his notepad, nodding his head. Then he glanced up and asked, “How about the driver? You see the face?”
“No,” David said.
“It happened so fast,” Cyndi added. “I barely even saw the car.”
“You sure, Miss?” he asked her. “You told the officer who responded, ‘That jerk nearly killed us,’ which sounds to me like you saw a male driver.”
“Figure of speech,” Cyndi replied. “I’d just nearly been run over, Sergeant. I may have said ‘jerk,’ but I don’t know what sex the driver was.”
“How about it, David?” Lacy asked. “Think hard. Maybe you saw a face or—”
“No,” David repeated. “Nothing.”
“Male, female? Young? Old? Middle—”
“I told you, nothing. All I saw was the front bumper and then . . . I was flying.”
“OK, OK, take it easy,” Lacy said, scribbling a final note. “Just doin’ my job.”
“Sorry,” David said. “Didn’t mean to snap, I just . . . I’m really tired.”
“I’ll bet,” Lacy said. “But, just in case—”
“Detective, I think this interview is over,” Cyndi said, a hint of steel in her voice.
Sgt. Lacy smiled. “I was only going to give you my card,” he said. “In case you remember something, or have any questions. All right?”
“Very well,” she said. She took the card and stuck it into her purse.
“OK, then, I’ll let you two go. Again, if you remember seeing—”
—“We’ll be sure to call you, yes. Thank you, Detective.” Cyndi turned her back on Sgt. Lacy and began helping David to his feet.
“Thanks, Sergeant,” David said. “And I will. Call, that is. If I remember.”
The cop stared at him a good, long moment, then said: “For your sake, young man, I hope you do.” Then he turned and walked away.
As he left the E.R. area and entered the parking lot, Sgt. Lacy thought about the last note he’d made in his notebook. True, it was part intuition, but it was more than just a hunch; it was based on personal observation—what poker players call “tells.” And, although brief, it could prove the most telling observation of the entire case.
The girlfr. knows something, he’d jotted.
And he couldn’t wait to find out what that something was.

 

Chapter 14

Which was why, as Sgt. Lacy left the E.R., stepped over the curb and into the parking lot, he wasn’t exactly surprised when he heard the grinding, high-pitched whine of a foreign sports car (more like a rice-burner) racing up behind him. He spun around as fast as his bulk would spin, but it was already too late.
The little (Mazda? Nissan?) slammed into him, smashing him against the grill of his own car, crushing his spine. The driver floored it, and the rice-burner whined, grinding Lacy’s body against the grill, severing the detective’s spine at the waist. If not for his bulk, he would have been cut in half. As it was, his upper body swung nearly 1800 to the left, then flopped onto the parking lot, eyes still open, lips still moving, but emitting only gouts of dark, thick, syrupy blood.
The little car backed up over the curb, turned and sped from the lot unnoticed.

 

#

THE GOD KEY, Book I: Chapters 10 & 11 — FREE

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Chapter 10

David glanced about but, thankfully, no one had seen them.

Devour me?” he asked.

“Oh, yes. Probably while you’re still alive and kicking,” she added.

At first, he wanted to laugh. But for some reason he found it impossible.

“Look, do we really have time for this?” he asked, waving a hand at the museum around them. “Aren’t we just sitting ducks in here?”

“No, no,” she replied, smiling. “No one will find us here. Besides,” she added, taking him by the arm again, “there are some things I have to show you.”

As they entered the wide, arched doorway to the Ancient & Prehistoric Gallery, Dave tried to smile.

“Another of their dining preferences,” Cyndi continued, “is to suck your eyeballs right out of their sockets and slurp them down like oysters.” She said this while smiling. “Then, they’ll bite your tongue and rip it out by the roots—all while you’re still breathing. Or trying to.”

“Uh huh. Nice. But, Cyn—”

“—Then, they’ll rip off your head and suck out all the goop, like a big cherry cordial. With any luck, you’ll be dead before they start in on your genitals.”

Dave stared back at her.

“Hey,” she said, shrugging, “you asked.”

“You’re serious, aren’t you?”

“As a heart attack, with cancer, on rye,” she answered.

“Well, why stop now?” he said, and gulped. “Then what will they do?”

“Simple. Go on about their business—preparing the way for their Master’s return, December 21st.”

“Their . . . Master?”

“The Shining One, the great Sun God himself: Apollo.”

“Whoa, back up a sec,” Dave said. “Aren’t we mixing cultures here? You said the Nephi . . . whatevers are in the bible, which is Hebrew. Apollo was a Greek god, wasn’t he? Of the sun, music, poetry, divination . . .”

“Indeed,” she said. “Apollo was one of the original Fallen. Even the bible speaks of him. In Revelations 9, he is called ‘Abaddon.’”

“You’ve lost me. How can the Greek Apollo and the Hebrew Abaddon be one and the same?”

“Come along now, David. Can’t you guess?” she asked. “They’re all the same. All the demi-gods, giants and heroes of old—the Sumerian Anunnaki, the Greek Olympians, even the Mayan gods—all the same. Same stories, same creatures. All Fallen . . . all damned. But the only one whose name was the same in Greek and Roman myth was Apollo. Oh! Look!” she cried, her voice echoing off the walls.

At first, Dave was sure he’d see a giant Nef-il-thing, or Anunnaki. Some batrachian monstrosity straight out of Lovecraft. Instead, Cyndi pointed toward a row of fetishes, or statuettes, from Ancient Egypt.

“What the hell, Cyn?” he said. “You trying to give me a heart attack?”

Now she was giggling at the ancient figures, which were lined along an Egyptian wall, all in a row. There was the jackal-headed Anubis, then Ma’at, Thet, Osiris, even a depiction of Egypt’s premier goddess, Isis. It was toward the latter of these that Cyndi was pointing.

“Look how thin they made her! Ridiculous. Isis wasn’t some hipless, flat-chested papyrus reed. She was buxom, beautiful and proud—the Queen of her sex. The Egyptians could be such prudes at times.”

“You still haven’t told me why these things would want to ‘devour’ me and suck my brains out like a big cherry cordial.”

She looked back to him and sighed, her big hoop earrings jiggling slightly.

“All right, then: the Executive Summary. Ready, Caveman?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be. Yuppie,” he added.

“Very well,” she replied. “The Neph—I mean, the Fallen—were angels created by the Elohim hundreds of thousands of years ago, to serve as early man’s Watchers.”

“And why did early man need ‘Watchers?’”

“Well, he’d already shown himself to be, um . . . somewhat wayward,” she said. “That little episode with the apple and the serpent, in the Garden of Eden?”

“Oh, yeah,” Dave said. “That.”

“The Elohim saw that not only did man need a Savior, to redeem him from his original folly—his Fall—he would need a band of Watchers, as well. To keep an eye on things while the Elohim were busy elsewhere.”

Then Dave remembered: Sitchin . . . the Sumerians . . . the Anunnaki.

“Hey, didn’t the Sumerians refer to their Garden as ‘E.DIN’? Isn’t that where—”

“Exactly,” she answered. “All the myths and religions begin in Sumer—which the Egyptians later called Ta Neter, meaning ‘Land of the Watchers.’ Moses merely copied down a tale that was already thousands of years old, and E.DIN became Eden, while the serpent became Satan.”

“So . . . what became of these Watchers? And E.DIN?”

“The Elohim declared that man’s Savior had to descend from the original line of Adam—his bloodline. But Lucifer, the Resistor, immediately set about ruining that goal.”

“How?”

“As I said, the sons of God began to notice the daughters of men,” she explained. “Gradually, over many generations, the Watchers became . . . very attracted to human women.”

“Right, right. I remember.”

“Lucifer came up with a bold and original plan: to destroy the Adamic bloodline and prevent a savior from ever being born.”

“Again, how?”

“How do you think, Nimrod?” she asked. “By pissing in the gene pool.”

“Huh?”

“By contaminating human DNA with inhuman, angelic DNA, so that no savior could ever come from the pure line of Adam.”

“Ahh. And he did this by—”

“By using the Watchers’ greatest weakness against them. Magnifying the itch until it was insatiable. At first, the Watchers resisted the temptation—it was, after all, unnatural. For heavenly beings to even think of joining themselves in that way to mortals was repugnant—like bestiality. They agreed never to think of it or discuss it again.”

“But then . . .” he said, leaning closer; and from here, he caught a whiff of the sweet, yet piquant perfume she wore. It was an exotic, sexy blend, a musky, spicy fragrance that hinted of incense and the rarest oils of ancient Araby: hyssop, cinnamon and cassia. Her eyes were so erotic, hypnotic, and her lips just whispered kisses.

“But then, over the course of many centuries,” she continued, “the immortal could no longer refuse the mortal. Year after year, lifetime upon lifetime, watching human beauty age, wither and die—ineluctably, irresist­ibly, until they simply could no longer resist. And, so, finally, they . . . fell.”

“Fell?”

She nodded. “The Grigori—the Watchers—left their first estate, fell to earth and mated with mortal women. ‘…And they took them wives of all which they chose.’”

“There’s that phrase again.”

“Genesis, chapter six: ‘And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.’”

“‘Sons of God?’”

Bene ha Elohim in Hebrew, and they were assuredly not sons of man, but of the Elohim—literally, the gods. Sons of the gods.”

“Gods plural?”

“‘Let us create man in our own image? . . .’”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Any idea what happens next?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Didn’t like Sunday School.”

“‘There were giants in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.’”

Dave nodded. “OK, that does sound familiar. Not from Sunday School, but from Sitchin. He spoke of the ‘men of renown,’ that the word ‘renown’ is a mistranslation of the Sumerian word ‘shem,’ meaning ‘flying ship.’”

Another nod. “And the word ‘giant’ here is . . . that other name, which stems from the Hebrew word ‘naphal,’ meaning ‘to fall.’ Because that’s just what they did—they fell to earth in order to mate and live among their human women, coming to ground at Mt. Hermon, in Northern Israel. The Sumerians—the first known human civilization—called them ‘Anunnaki,’ meaning ‘Those Who From Heaven To Earth Came.’”

“And you’re saying they’re the same as the biblical Nefil-whatevers?”

“Some would argue the point, but I think so,” she said. “If you trace these beings through all the different mythos of all the ancient cultures, you’ll find the same stories—same wars, same intrigues, even the same love affairs. But whatever they are called—Anunnaki, Fallen Ones, Watchers—one truth comes through loud and clear, from every ancient culture: they spawned a race of mutants, giants—half angel, half human—whom early man worshipped as demigods and heroes.”

“Like the Olympians of ancient Greece? Apollo, Mercury and so on?”

“Exactly like Apollo, Mercury and so on. And before them, the Titans,” she said. “Only the names vary from one culture to the next.”

“Except for Apollo.”

“Correct again. Only, in John’s Revelation, he is called ‘Abaddon.’ But in the very next line he adds, ‘In the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon,’ which was indeed the Grecian form of the name Apollo.”

“Wow. So . . . even the bible confirms it.”

“Yes,” she said. “And he is definitely the son of Satan. Remember what the Spirit says to the Church of Pergamos in Revelations Four: ‘I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is . . .’”

“What’s that mean?” Dave asked.

“Satan’s seat? The only one of these cities that had anything like a throne or altar to other gods was Pergamos. Have you ever seen the magnificent altar in the Deutches Museum, in Berlin?”

“Oh, hell’s bells, you’re right: The Altar of Zeus! From Pergamos! So, you’re saying Zeus was . . . Satan?”

She nodded. “The original Fallen angel, and the father of all the Nephilim who followed. Yes. The very same. And his greatest son was? . . .”

“Ap—Apollo?”

“The same. The gorgeous, golden god of the sun, the same one who flayed the Satyr Marsyus alive for challenging him in music. Ripped his skin off him and hung it from a tree—all while poor Marsyus was still breathing. He begged Apollo to spare him, but as Ovid wrote:

 “‘ . . . as he cried the skin cracked from his body / In one wound, blood streaming over muscles,/ Veins stripped naked, pulse beating; entrails could be / Counted as they moved; even the heart shone red / Within his breast.’” 

“Pretty,” said David. “So, you’re saying . . . what are you saying?”

“He is what’s coming through the Dark Rift on December 21st.”

David could only blink at her. Twice.

“Read Revelations, Chapter 9,” she continued. “He will come to earth and release all the imprisoned Fallen Ones that Yahweh banished there hundreds of millennia ago. They will be loosed upon the earth at the End of Days, to inaugurate the Time of Tribulation—seven years of hell on earth. Which gives you . . .” and here she glanced at her wristwatch “. . . about three weeks.”

“To what? Stop the Apocalypse? Right, like—”

“Or at least delay it, David. Yahweh doesn’t want it to happen, you know. It’s up to mankind to fight these things, at the end. But you can only do this if you return to Israel. That’s where all the answers are. And it all begins with finding the key to God, to unravel the mystery. Do that, and everything else will follow.”

“The . . . key to God.”

A nod.

“OK, I’ll bite. What is this . . . God Key?”

“For that, you will have to speak with Dr. Galilei. I gave you his card for a reason, Nimrod. Go call him.”

“What, now? Tonight?”

“Yes, now. Tonight. But hurry, he’ll be turning in soon.”

“How would you—” but Dave wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer to that question. He excused himself and went in search of a payphone; his cell was practically useless anymore, since the sunspots began—and the asteroids he’d been reading about in the newspapers. Which were apparently coming through the Mayan “Dark Rift,” or “Black Road,” the central axis of the Milky Way, the subject of the “Great Alignment” on December 21, 2012. In other words, the day the world ended. In three weeks.

According to a bunch of dead Indians in Mexico.

Dismissing these thoughts, he stalked toward the rear of the first floor, still trying to absorb this fresh nonsense (Nef-il-things? Watchers? God Key?) Bizarre. He had no idea Cyndi was this far gone. Why did the great-looking ones always have to be so crazy? But what the hell, she’d hired him when no one else would, so . . .

He glanced around the giant room he was in, looking for strange eyes upon them, watching for watchers. Nothing but Nefil- statues. Demons, apparently. He finally found a payphone and called the number on the card Cyndi had given him. He caught Dr. Galilei at home, just turning in for the night—just as Cyndi had predicted.

They set an interview time for noon Wednesday, on campus. Which gave him 1½ days to formulate his questions, narrow them down and be ready. The physicist sounded sober, serious and seriously geeky. Which seemed just right to him.

Satisfied he’d done all he could in pursuit of Cyndi’s “God Key,” David returned to where she stood giggling at the other Egyptian funerary fetishes.

To Dave, this seemed disrespectful somehow, at least discourteous. But . . . that was Cyndi: always irreverent. She pointed out statuettes of a few of the Nefil-whatsits, including the Egyptian gods Seth, Ra and Osiris, brother and consort to Egypt’s premier goddess, Isis. Then, at 11:00 pm, they wound their way toward the exit.

And all the while, David’s mind was totally preoccupied—not with any of the absurdities Cyndi had told him. What he couldn’t stop thinking about was just what the hell had happened last Friday night, in Israel.

The Washington Post headline haunted him. Two people murdered in their hotel room, a third kidnapped and killed in the desert, while he, Dave Connors, had been allowed to escape? It made no sense. Maybe he would have to go back to Israel after all.

Nah. That was crazy thinking.

They headed for the door.

 

Chapter 11

Still no one watching.

He checked all around them. Again. And even though he was with the sexiest, most beautiful woman he’d ever known, whose prisoner he still was (at least in his own heart), all he could think about was seeing Dr. Galilei on Wednesday—the one person with a sketch of the Roswell symbols.

True, it wasn’t a photograph, but if he could compare the two sets of symbols side-by-side, he’d see for himself. And if they were even remotely similar, then . . .

“Come along, David, they’re closing,” Cyndi called. She was already heading for the door. He’d been so absorbed in his Roswell reverie he hadn’t noticed where she was going. He followed her to the main double doors, pushed one of them open for her with his left hip and stepped into the night.

An Indian Summer night, at that: the weather was velvety wet, with just a hint of winter in the wind. With the river and sea only a few blocks away, and the old, Colonial gardens filled with foxglove and hemlock, the night air carried a whiff of what the 18th Century must have smelled like: a dusty, musky, antique scent, combined with a briny sea breeze. Northern Virginia nights in late November were magical, no doubt of that. As was the woman walking with him—the one he was trying so hard not to fall for again. Not after that first time. No, it was over, done with, they were friends and that was that. No falling head over heels again—not for her, not for anyone. Ever again.

As they reached the corner of North Union and turned south, headed for the parking lot, Dave thought he saw someone standing in the mouth of Fayette Alley, watching them. He couldn’t pick out any features, merely a pearl-gray, motionless silhouette. Before he could remark on it, Cyndi reached over and squeezed his biceps.

“Cyndi, I wish to hell you wouldn’t do that.”

“Mmm . . . a strapping youth, like Apollo. Just the kind Isis would gobble up . . .”

“Yeah? I’ll gobble you up,” he started to say, before the screech of tires pierced the night and the car with no headlights came rocketing out of the blackness at them.

David tried to yell “Look out!” but it was too late: the black, mashed-in rice-burner jumped the curb as he yanked Cyndi by the collar and threw her out of the way, then took the hit on his left hip.

Then felt himself go flying, head over heels in the dark, as if in love with the night.

 

#

Author John Fogarty__MAIN

The God Key, Book I: Return of the Nephilim….Chapter 1 — FREE

Hi, all:

Since Book II of the series is nearly ready for the publisher, I thought I’d give anyone interested in the story one final inducement to get in now, by offering Book I at the discount rate of $0.00 per copy.

Why? Because I am so very, very damaged. Also, because I’m really not in this for the money. If I were, I’d be barfing up soft-pore corn about horny, teenage vampires sucking each other and their friends, neighbors, relatives, dogs, etc. Instead, I’m writing about ancient aliens monkeying with our DNA, the true nature of the “Fallen Ones” mentioned in Genesis, and about who and what angels and demons might really be, as we enter the End Times. I mean, that kind of novel should be available without cost. So . . . here it is.

Help yourselves to the first dose, the Prologue and Chapter I, to be followed more or less daily by the ensuing chapters until they’re all gone or the world ends or the Nephilim come and chew my face off. 

Until then,

I am

Your increasingly ‘umble narrator,

John R. Fogarty

Your Umble Narrator

This space for rent FREE

Book begins below, as published:

The God Key

Book I: Return of the Nephilim

John R. Fogarty

Copyright © 2012 John R. Fogarty

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 1475066996

ISBN-13: 9781475066999

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012907428

CreateSpace, North Charleston, SC

Do not copy, download or distribute without the express written consent of CreateSpace


Acknowledgments

First, I must acknowledge all the researchers and writers in the field of alternate history (or, as it is known today, “Ancient Aliens” theory) who have gone before me. This includes, but isn’t limited to, such notables as Charles Fort, H. P. Lovecraft, Henri Lhote, W. Raymond Drake, Charles Berlitz, Zechariah Sitchin, Robert K.G. Temple, David Childress, Graham Hancock, Michael Cremo, Robert Bauvel, Giorgio Tsoukalos and many more, all of whom have contributed vitally to the field.

Most importantly, we all owe a debt to the godfather of Ancient Alien study, Erich Von Däniken, whose seminal work “Chariots of the Gods?” is still the vade mecum for anyone serious about the subject. It was he and those mentioned above who inspired this author. Without their bold spadework, digging and tilling, I never could have planted such strange vines.

 


Dedication

To my daughter Cara, for her love, faith and patience,

And to Sherry, for never giving up. Semper fidelis.

 

Author’s Note:

All of the sites, structures and places described in this book are real. All dates and events mentioned are also as real and as accurate as I could ascertain them.

Altogether, they barely scratch the surface of the mystery.

 

PART ONE – WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS

Prologue

“Now as I looked at the living creatures,

I saw a wheel…one for each…

Their appearance and their work was

As it were a wheel within a wheel…

And when the living creatures went,

The wheels went with them…”

— Ezekiel 1:16-19

***

Dateline: Friday, 30 November, 2012

Mt. Sinai (Har El-Paran), Sinai Desert

God’s handwriting poked through the desert sand that evening, on a 3,500-year-old piece of carved stone.

Night was just creeping over the Sinai when diggers hit the first chunk. A hush fell over the site as archaeologists and laborers rushed to the spot. There, in the blazing glare of the 500-watt over­heads, they saw the rounded top of an apparently man-made object protruding from the sand. Dr. Shimon Oded, project leader, leaned over the find and squinted.

“Is that . . . what I think it is?” he asked.

“Can’t tell,” said his assistant, Dr. Sarah Mills. “Let’s get a better look.”

Out came the toothbrushes and picks, which Oded and Mills used with surgical care to brush away the debris that had covered the tablet and its secrets for over 3,500 years.

“M-my God,” Dr. Oded stammered. He knelt over the stone and traced a trembling fingertip across its surface. Dr. Yitzhak Globus, long-time friend and colleague, knelt with him. “The last person to touch this was . . . Moses,” Oded said, his eyes shining with tears.

“You mean—” Globus began.

But Dr. Oded could only nod, too overcome with emotion to speak: he’d found it. He’d finally found it, after all these years.

Thirty-eight, in fact. Thirty-eight years of hunting, searching, and researching. Thirty-eight years of begging for funds, always embroiled in the politics of academe and the vagaries of international relations. Now, at long last, he’d found it.

“The Ten Commandments,” he said, his voice a tremulous whisper now. “The original Ten Commandments—the ones Moses destroyed.”

Dr. Mills knelt beside them. “Which means . . .”

Again, Oded nodded. “We are looking at the very handwriting of . . . God himself.” He pointed at the cuneiforms as Dr. Mills retrieved a video-cam from her aid, Amir, and began filming.

The engravings were unlike any Middle Eastern petroglyph, hieroglyph or other writing system Oded had encountered in his career as an archaeologist. Indeed, they resembled no Sumerian, Akkadian or Phoenician cuneiform he’d ever seen.

In fact, they resembled no human alphabet at all.

“Strange,” Oded whispered, tracing the glyphics carved there 3,500 years ago, during the Exodus, when God gave Moses the Law. “They remind me of . . .” his voice trailed off and his eyes bulged.

“Of what?” asked Dr. Mills.

“N-nothing,” Oded said. “Stop filming now, please. And no more photographs.”

But one person among the team understood what Dr. Oded had forbidden himself to say. One person within the circle, privileged to be there, really, as a freelance journalist and not an academic, knew what they were. The symbols. Carved on that piece of stone.

And if he was right, David Connors realized he was witnessing the greatest, most profound discovery in all of human history. One that would rock the foundations of archaeology, religion, politics—everything.

Because, like Oded, he knew where he’d seen those symbols before.

As a freelance journalist, Dave Connors traveled a good deal. A very good deal, indeed, for a 29-year-old failed Navy SEAL, former archaeologist and part-time laser tech. Cur­rently, he was stringing for World News Weekly, a glossy tabloid out of New York. And on one of his travels for WNW five years ago, he’d seen these same symbols, inscribed by the same race that had carved these Ten Command­ments. It was in a remote corner of New Mexico, a flyspeck on the map, really.

Called Roswell.

On a piece of decidedly strange debris pulled from the alleged UFO wreckage of 1947 and kept hidden all those years by the granddaughter of the rancher who’d found it, now a little old lady who still lived there, at the site of the incident. The Roswell Incident.

The symbols there, on that debris, were identical to the symbols here, on the Ten Commandments. David was sure of it.

“Jesus, Mary n’ Joseph,” he whispered, as his eyes too began to shine.

***

Dave snapped a dozen photos of the Commandments and their discoverer, his old friend and mentor, Dr. Shimon Oded. Despite the doctor’s ban on photographs, David was allowed to take a few, being teacher’s pet. Still. The good doctor’s loyalties ran deep, his memory long, and his affection for his former student as strong as ever.

But Dave was no longer his student at Hebrew U; he was now a freelance reporter, from WNW. Indeed, he was the only reporter allowed to cover the dig (being a former protégé of Oded’s had its perks). As such, David was the only person on earth at that moment with photo­graphs of the Ten Command­ments. He had what every news reporter dreamt of: an exclusive. On the biggest discovery in the history of mankind, he, David S. Connors, had an exclusive. The stew was cooking and heating up fast.

And when I stir in the Roswell evidence, he thought, it’s gonna boil over.

He tried to email his editor, Will Durant, in New York, but the wireless modem failed—along with his cell phone. Damned sunspots again. No matter, he would file it later from his hotel room, in Eilat. Only one question, but it was a monster:

Should he include the reference to Roswell in this first article? Sure, he knew the symbols were the same—he could see them in his mind’s eye—but what would his editor think? Durant wouldn’t think; he would spew. Copiously. Still, Dave trusted that inner eye. Though not exactly photographic, his memory was highly visual: anything he saw, and committed to memory, he could usually “see” again.

Better than memory, he had physical proof—actual photos of the debris—at home. The operant phrase being “at home.” As in, six thousand miles away. Until he could examine both sets of photos side-by-side, he couldn’t be 100% sure. Besides, a reference to the “Roswell Incident” in a  straight news story on the Ten Commandments? Not smart. Brave, maybe, but . . . not real smart.

So, he would focus on substance, instead of sizzle. Because after all the excitement died down, it would be the calm, cool professional article that won the day—maybe even the Pulitzer. The Roswell revelations could come later, once he had definitive proof. Then he would serve the stew. Piping hot.

And so it began: the interviews, the questions. As always, Dr. Oded was generous with his former pupil. While the bus bumped and bounced through the bible-black desert night, he gave Dave 38 years’ worth of background on his search. It was the interview of a lifetime, on the story of the century, and he owed it all to Dr. Oded.

Yet, when he asked Oded about the cuneiforms themselves, the old professor fell strangely silent. A hint of fear, in fact, seemed to creep into his demeanor. Worried he might have spooked his old friend, Connors backed off. All Oded would admit was that the Command­ments petroglyphs were unlike any human alphabet he’d ever seen.

Dave’s heart leapt like a salmon—unlike any human alphabet?

But that was as far as Oded would go. He would not speculate as to the tablets’ origin or anything else about them.

“I’m sorry, David, I can’t,” he said. “The repercussions . . . you’ve no idea.” He paused, as if he couldn’t—or shouldn’t—say more. Finally, he added, “At the very least, it would tarnish my academic standing and kill any funding for future expeditions.”

“I understand, Doc,” Connors replied. “But I think I’ve seen those symbols before, too. Little place called Roswell,” he added. “Ever hear of it?”

Oded stared back at him, his eyes bulging again. David couldn’t tell if this was because the professor was shocked and trying to hide it, or because he was old and bloated. Possibly both.

“My heart keeps telling me to include it,” Dave continued. “The reference to Roswell, I mean. But my brain keeps telling me suicide’s bad for my health. Besides, I don’t have any photos of the debris with me for comparison; they’re all back home.”

The older man was gaping at him now, his eyes as wide as fried eggs.

“My boy, are you mad?” Oded cried. “Photographs or no, your editor will think you are—what’s the word—fluky?”

“I think it’s ‘flaky.’”

“Yes, flaky! He will laugh at you, perhaps even fire you.”

“Then he fires me,” Dave said. “If I know it’s true, Doc, I have to report it.”

“But how can you know?” Oded asked. “You don’t have the photos with you, as you have said. David, my son, as your former professor—and, I’d like to think, your friend—forget all this Roswell meshugas and simply write a straight news story.”

“Can’t, Shimon,” Dave said. “The symbols on those tablets are just like the ones I saw in Roswell. What’s more, I think you know it, too, old friend. I saw it in your eyes.”

“Nonsense,” Oded replied. “I know nothing of the sort.”

Connors grinned. “OK, Doc, whatever you say. I have all the proof I need back home, in my Roswell photos. And if I’m right, the implications are—”

“—Zero!” Oded cried. “The implications are nothing! Wild speculation! All you will do is link the Lord God of Israel with that . . . that Roswell lunacy. You would make God a UFO-alien, a tabloid headline. And that could be very dangerous for you.”

Before Dave could reply, Oded plowed ahead: “Besides, even if you could prove a connection, is it really worth your li—your career?”

David’s smile vanished. “Were you about to say ‘life?’ Doc, are you thr—”

“No, no, of course not,” said Oded. “I was about to say ‘livelihood.’ I am only concerned for your reputation, my son. I’d never threaten you, for God’s sake.”

“Sure hope not, Skippy,” Dave said. “You’d find yourself in one helluva line.”

Oded smiled and fell silent. David did likewise, ashamed and somewhat shocked that he’d actually called his old friend “Skippy.” What the hell, was he really that thin-skinned? He shook his head and gazed out his window.

The dirt path they were bouncing along was invisible in the darkness—much like the journalistic path he had chosen: no telling how or where it would end, and nothing to guide him but guts and instinct. One thing was certain: he’d need all the friends he could find—and Dr. Oded was the only friend he had in Israel. He’d have to apologize to the old fellow and try to smooth things over. Otherwise, he could probably hang up the story at this point, along with his gig at World News Weekly. And his friendship with Dr. Oded.

And that would be worse than losing any “gig.”

Dave smiled and leaned forward so Oded could hear him above the bus noise. But before he could open his mouth to apologize, Oded beat him to it.

“Please forgive me, David,” the archaeologist said. “You must excuse an old pedant for his over caution. Too many years of academic politicking have left me . . . how do you say? . . . anally receptive?”

“I think you mean ‘retentive,’” said Dave. “And the apologies are mine, Shimon. I had no right to take offense at what you said. You were only trying to help.”

“True,” said Oded, nodding, looking much relieved—a dramatic improvement over his terrified expression of only a moment ago. What the hell had gotten into the old geezer? For a moment there, he looked like he was about to leap out of his skin. “Sometimes, I think the—ehhh—language gets in the way, yes?” he continued. “Perhaps my English isn’t as good as I thought.”

“Your English is fine, Doc, as always. It’s my comprehension that sucks.”

“Sucks?” The doctor began blinking as he struggled to understand. “Sucks?”

“A figure of speech,” Dave said. “It means my comprehension’s not so good.”

“Ah? Well, no offense intended, and none taken, I assure you.”

“Good,” he said. “Thanks, Shimon.”

“One question, though.”

“Ask away.”

The doctor leaned forward and said: “Who is this ‘Skippy?’”

***

Once Dave explained that “Skippy” was merely an American term of endearment, he and Oded began chattering away like the old friends they were. And the aged profes­sor finally fessed up: he had indeed seen those symbols before—in Roswell, New Mexico.

“It was in the autumn of 1963,” Oded said. “But you cannot print this, son, do you understand? Strictly off the record.”

“Agreed.” And David meant it. He wouldn’t write a word of it.

“That’s my boy,” Oded replied, with a smile. “In the fall of ‘Sixty-three, I was a visiting Fellow at Hebrew Union College in Ohio. Several of us ‘grave-robbers’ in the Archaeology Department joined the University of New Mexico on a field expedi­tion. Ostensibly, to study anomalous substrata levels in the American southwest. It was purely by chance that we wound up in Roswell.”

“How did you see the debris?” Dave asked. “Did the Brazilles show it to you?”

“Indeed, yes. A very lovely young woman—the granddaughter of the man who originally found the item—let me see it.”

“Ditto,” David said.

Once more, the elderly professor began blinking: “Dit—?”

“Ditto. It means, ‘same thing,’” he said. “The same woman showed me the debris. Rosalind Brazille. She’s much older now, of course. A grandmother several times over.”

“Oh?” The old man blinked again, several times. “Ah, yes, the years,” he added, his voice suddenly thin and dry. “How they fly.” A dreamy, faraway look came into his eye, as if he’d just recalled a fond but faded memory from the fast receding past. To David’s dismay, he realized that the cause of Oded’s reverie was the withered crone he’d interviewed in the Roswell desert five years before—Rosalind Brazille.

“She must have been quite a beauty in her day,” he ventured.

“Oh, indeed she was,” said Oded. “As was I, as was I. Oh, yes. Very handsome in those days. I say this without conceit,” he added. “And the debris she showed me was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. Its properties were unlike anything else on this earth.”

“A kind of liquid metal, right?” Dave prompted.

“Exactly. Like mercury, or molten aluminum, only stronger. Much stronger.”

Dave nodded. “I couldn’t cut it with a knife. And when I crunched it into a ball, it simply . . . unfolded itself . . . and lay perfectly flat, without the slightest wrinkle.”

“Yes, yes,” Oded replied. “To this day I am still not sure which was the more astounding—the material itself or the symbols it bore. I was, as you say, stunned.”

“You weren’t the only one,” said Connors. “The army was beside itself.”

“The army?”

“Yep. That’s what makes Roswell unique in UFO history—it’s the only sighting the U.S. military ever officially acknowledged. At first, anyway.”

“But, didn’t your military claim the craft was one of its own?”

“Not at first: initial reports were that they’d recovered parts of a ‘flying disc.’ The next day, though, the army pulled an about-face and announced that the wreckage was only scrap from a weather balloon. Years later, they changed their story yet again, saying it was really debris from a top-secret spy balloon project—‘Operation Mogul.’ As for the odd symbols eyewitnesses reported, why, those were merely ‘holiday designs’ from the cellophane tape they used.”

Oded nodded. “I received the same explanation. And it is plausible, I suppose.”

“But . . . tape? Common household tape on such sensitive, top-secret equipment?” Dave said. “So, I guess they held the Space Shuttle together with what—dental floss?”

“Well, when you put it that way . . .”

“And this horse plop about ‘holiday designs’ transferring from the tape . . .” Dave shook his head and snorted. “Damnedest tape I’ve ever heard of.”

“I agree,” said Oded. “And I agree those symbols are very like the petro­glyphs on the Commandments slabs—which I believe are the original Ten Commandments.”

“So you admit they are similar?”

“Oh, very.”

David nodded. “Doc, I knew it the minute you found the first tablet.”

Dr. Oded’s eyes crinkled at the corners.

“Ditto,” he said. And the two shared a smile.

***

Dave finished the article at 1:30 a.m., Israeli Time, and filed it along with three photos of the Commandments to New York, via his room’s modem line. He was tempted to mention “a similarity” to only one other set of symbols like the Command­ments known to exist, but resisted. There would be no whiff of Roswell. Yet.

The only additions to the article were the ones he hated making most: the florid, adjectival and adverbial details, or “flavor,” his editor insisted on. Will Durant not only held a PhD in English Lit (though why anyone but a college professor would need a doctorate in English was beyond him), he was also his boss. And He. Loved. Details.

Description. Adjectives. Adjectival nouns, adverbial phrases . . . all the sins Dave had been taught to avoid in college English. Even his archaeology professor, Dr. Oded, demanded crisp, clean, noun-verb sentences. NO adjectives, NO adverbs. So now, of course, he worked for a man who reveled in both.

Aside from that, Durant was an excellent journalist and a keen-eyed editor. David also suspected Durant was gay, but what of it? He was sharp, he was honest and he paid on time. Dave didn’t care who or what the man’s sexual partners were—he could be banging goats and wombats for all he cared. It didn’t affect him, so . . . no biggie.

By the time he was finished ruining the piece with “flavor,” Dave was too jazzed to sleep. He printed three blow-ups of the Command­ments symbols on his portable inkjet and laid them on his bed. No matter how hard he examined them, or from what angle, he only grew more convinced: they were identical. Absolute duplicates of the Roswell debris symbols he’d seen, and photographed, five years ago. Which meant…

…which meant Shimon would probably appreciate a few copies.

He headed up to the third floor, hoping it wasn’t too late: Dr. Oded had an upcoming lecture tour in the U.S. on the Sinai Expedition, so he’d have little time for visiting. (Oded also planned to present another recent discovery, one he’d made earlier that year at the Mt. Hermon Ski Resort, in northern Israel. Dubbed the “Hermon Slate,” it was a rock slab covered with equally perplexing petroglyphs, so ancient and strange-looking, the media christened them “Angel-speak,” which infuriated Oded.)

Sure enough, when Dave reached Oded’s room and knocked, no one answered. He was already asleep. No worries, he’d see him in the morning before everyone left.

David was about to return to his room with the photos when he thought of Oded’s old friend, Dr. Globus, down the hall. What the hell, if the top dog was asleep, maybe his old digging buddy would appreciate the printouts.

And he did. Globus was so pleased with the photos, he insisted Dave join him in a nightcap or two . . . or three. Or four. David, never a big boozer, stumbled back to his room an hour later, sloshed on scotch, and passed out around 2:30 a.m. His last conscious thoughts were of how fast the Command­ments story might break and just where the hell he’d stashed those Roswell photos back home.

In the morning, he caught a cab to Eilat’s Hozman Airport, brutally hungover, his head throbbing like a rotten tooth, his mouth like the Night of a Thousand Camels. Worse, by the time he reached the airport, he saw that the Commandments story had already broken.

Or, more accurately, burst wide open: the headlines were tripping over each other in Hebrew, English, Arabic and French. The story was everywhere: in newspapers, on the radio and all over TV.

Dave bought copies of every English language newspaper he could find and devoured them on the 16-hour flight home, to Alexandria, VA. This story was not finished—not by any means. He had a phone call to make. To a rancher’s granddaughter, in Roswell, New Mexico.

Did she still have the debris? Were the symbols still legible? Yes, he’d taken photos of the object five years ago, but could she send another one or two (or ten), just in case, to run alongside his shots of the Command­ments? Readers would want to see that.

And see it, they would. He couldn’t wait to get home, dig out his old Roswell pics and compare the two sets of photos for himself, side-by-side. If they did indeed match, he’d have the biggest story of the decade—hell, the century! He’d make enough money to finish his Masters in archeology, quit the laser-geek job and do some actual field work, like his idol, Dr. Oded. Or even write full-time, who knew? His head was filled with such thoughts, dreams, ambitions . . . great expectations, indeed. One thing was certain:

Success, so elusive thus far, would finally be his. Fame and fortune awaited him, and all was well with the world.

 

Chapter 1

The first murders linked to Dr. Oded’s discovery occurred in the early hours of Saturday, 1 December, 2012, at the Eilat Hilton. The victims were a Dr. Sarah Mills, Professor of Middle Eastern Archaeology at the University of Colorado, and her assistant, Amir el-Bara, an archaeological linguistics student at Hebrew Univers­ity, Israel.

Robbery wasn’t a motive, as the victims’ wallets, cash and credit cards were found on the bodies. Nothing else seemed to have been touched, save a small video-camera, which lay smashed to pieces near the bed. Other than that, nothing special.

Except for the extreme mutilation of the corpses, and that was special—very special: both victims had been stabbed repeatedly at the base of the skull and neck, leaving the flesh flayed in a series of long, meaty strips, like petals on a bloody blossom.

When forensics experts peered inside the wounds, they noticed trace particles of bronze filings. They also found a shard of that metal under one of the beds. Police sent the items to Hebrew University for carbon-14 testing, and were stunned to learn that they dated from the Late Bronze Age, or about 1500 B.C.E.—the same age as the partial Ten Command­­ments tablets. They also noticed something else in the room.

A foul, sickening odor—like raw sewage, or rotting meat.

Advanced decomposition, or so the forensics people said. The heat, after all.

David Connors, home again in Alexandria, VA, after two layovers and 16 hours in transit, wouldn’t hear about the murders for another 24 hours, by which time he would have more pressing matters to attend to.

Like finding those photos of the Roswell debris. And calling Dr. Oded. Pronto.

But, first, a bath. Half the Sinai, it seemed, was still stuck to him under his clothes. Besides, he was too jet-lagged to look for old photos now. They weren’t going anywhere and neither was he. Once inside, he would fix himself a sandwich, have a good, long soak and finally wash the Sinai from between his toes, ears and other crevices (damned sand got everywhere). Yes, that would be good. Good to be home.

He unlocked the door and stumbled inside.

The place looked even messier than usual. Had he left it like this? He was dimly aware of couch cushions on the floor, books and envelopes spilled from an end table, a coffee cup lying on its side. He wasn’t the neatest little homemaker, true, but this looked worse than usual—almost like a . . . well . . . like a break-in.

He set his luggage down, closed the door and searched the apartment, looking for any sign of burglars. Nothing torn or broken, but everything was knocked askew, in disarray. When he stepped into the kitchen and saw the Friskies all over the floor, he knew instantly what had struck: the real head of the house—his Siamese, Attila.

Whenever he was away for more than a day or two, the cat got angry and let him know about it—in no uncertain terms. He had an attitude, this Attila. True, Dave had an ex-girlfriend (odd that everything was already -exes, at 29) who played kitty-sitter when he was out of town, but it looked as if she hadn’t turned up; the litter box was full and fragrant. Great. More sand.

After cleaning the mess and making up with Attila, Dave ran his bath at last. Then, a glass of cognac (screw the sandwich) and to bed—his own bed—for the first night in a week. No strange rooms and even stranger, camel-scented blankets; no sand or scorpions or mad, Arabic babble, just soothing silence as he nestled into his own, cool sheets and blankets. He would find his Roswell pics tomorrow, and all would be well. Yes.

Yes, it was good to be home.

***

But 6,200 miles away, in Jerusalem, detectives of the Israeli Police Department were not so glad David Connors was home. They wanted to talk with him. About the bodies in that hotel room, at the Eilat Hilton, late Friday night.

It wasn’t merely the murder of an American citizen, Dr. Sarah Mills, that kept the detectives working late that Saturday night (post-Shabbat). Nor was it the possible connec­tion to the Ten Commandments find at Har El-Paran. Not even the disappearance—reported only an hour ago—of Dr. Yitzhak Globus, another member of Oded’s team, was to blame. All these were mere footnotes compared to the most troubling issue.

And that was the murder weapon itself: a 3,500-year-old, Bronze Age, Hebrew ceremonial dagger—an authentic museum piece and a damned rare one, at that.

Who would use such a weapon to commit such gruesome murders? The victims hadn’t merely been stabbed at the base of their skulls, they’d also had their spinal cords pried out of their bony sheaths and left dangling. Who would do such a thing? And why?

A deranged curator? A crazed collector? A mummy risen from the desert sands?

Or something else?

That was the current scuttlebutt: that the killer was a thing, a golem, a dybbuk or worse. Some nameless, shambling horror come back from an unmarked desert grave to exact vengeance on all those who dared defile HWHY’s sacred mountain, Mount Sinai.

Some even said it was Yahweh himself.

The IPD detectives, however, did not subscribe to such beliefs. These were hard-nosed professionals, men who had served their three years in the Israeli Defense Force before joining the police. Men who had seen the bloodiest, most nightmarish atrocities imaginable. All three of them knew what man was capable of doing to his fellow man. No angels, demons or golems needed, thank you very much (or mummies, for that matter). Man’s own depravity was sufficient—oh, yes. More than sufficient.

They would find their depraved man, in time. Next to the Mossad, Israel’s Secret Service, the IPD was the ablest intelligence-gathering agency in the Middle East. The reason was simple enough: they went by the book. And one of their favorite chapters in that book was Surveilling Suspects, no matter who, what or where they were.

Currently, their number one suspect for surveillance was a man who’d fled the Eilat Hilton the morning of the double murders. Yes, any number of innocent reasons could explain his abrupt departure (family, health, business, etc.), but detectives thought something more ominous was involved. No, his fingerprints hadn’t been found in the murder room; no one’s had. No hair, fiber, DNA, or any other evidence, for that matter.

All that had been found in Dr. Globus’ room.

It was the icing on their cake or, rather, the honey on their lekach. Better still, their suspect’s prints turned up a hit in the FBI’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), from an assault & battery arrest several years ago. Detectives were now convinced that the murderer of the two in the Eilat Hilton, and the kidnapper of poor old Dr. Globus, was indeed their prime suspect—now their only suspect. And that was an American journalist named David Sean Connors, of Alexandria, VA.

Three highly trained IPD detectives versus one American pencil-pusher? No contest. They would apprehend him in due course. And question him, oh yes. In Israel. Away from the prying eyes of the Red Cross, Amnesty International and all those other do-good, busybody agencies. All of which meant one thing:

Dave Connors’s days were numbered.

WINNER OF THE 2012 DOOOMSDAY DAGGER DRAWING!

WINNER OF THE GOD KEY’S FIRST ANNUAL DOOOOOMSDAY DAGGER DRAWING

Posted on Sunday, December 23, 2012 3:20 PM
Big Koummya__TGK Contest PrizeGREAT NEWS! – WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNER OF OUR FIRST ANNUAL DOOOOOMSDAY DAGGER DRAWING!
The winning name was drawn from a batch of over 6200 names from all over the Facebook world.
Everyone who either a) shared The God Key’s Facebook page with their friends OR b) bought a copy of the book from Amazon was automatically entered in the drawing. Naturally, those who spring for the book got two (2) entries for each book purchased, and one (1) entry for each time he or she shared the book’s Facebook page with friends. The result?
6,207 entries in just the past three weeks. That’s a LOTTA shares and a LOTTA books bought. Indeed, it’s A Whole Lotta Love (apologies to Led Zeppelin). The result?
ONE WINNING NAME WAS DRAWN AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, Friday, 12-21-2012 (with that many slips of paper, we had to abandon the hat or turban idea and used a USPS shipping box instead). And the winner is…(drum roll, please)
Mr. Naren Sai, of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India!
Congratulations, Naren! Look for your Koummya dagger in two to four weeks, depending on holiday mail traffic (here in the U.S., this is THE busiest time of year for the post office, so please be patient). Believe me, it’ll be worth the wait.
I enjoyed this contest so much, I think we simply have to hold another. THIS time, though, it’ll be a dagger featured in Book II: Tribulations, which is set in Latin America. We have a TON of very cool weapons to choose from in this region, including a few of my own (like the koummya, which is a 50+ year-old antique). I’ve a few Mexican and other Latin American relics in my collection that would have the average knife-collector drooling, including:
2 Mexican Bowies & 1 American

2 Mexican Bowies & 1 American

  • Mexican Bowies
  • Honduran Machete
  • San Salvadoran Machete
  • Daggers, Work Knives, Sabers and other weapons from Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil
My Mexican Bowies again...can't help it.OK, OK, my Mexican Bowies again. Sorry. Couldn’t help it.
Only a few of these are newer than 1965. Most are antiques. Some are even fairly valuable. But, like the antique 16-inch Koummya awarded to Mr. Naren Sai, all are eligible. I don’t mind giving them away, one at a time. Hey, if it increases the sales of my books, who am I to complain, right?
Right. So . . . onward and upward. Here are just a few of the Latin American and Mexican blades I have for the next contest:

Buttload o Bowies

All right, so I couldn’t choose just ONE. All the knives at left (and, yes, yes, my Mexican Bowies, too) will be eligible for the Book II drawing. I have to limit the selection just my relevant bowie knives (about 10-12) and my machetes from the region (3-4). After that, we’re looking at Book III: Armageddon Outta Here . . .
Congratulations, again, to Naren Sai, on winning our first Dagger Drawing, and let’s set our caps forward for Book II: Tribulation.
Sincerely,
Yours in Apocalypse Gravy,
John

Dooomsday Dagger Drawing 12-21-12 & Merry Christmas in 29 Tongues.

John Fogarty – Author
The God Key: Book I: Return of the Nephilim by John Fogarty
NEW portal for The God Key! It’s at http://www.thegodkey.com/
Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1475066996
CreateSpace – https://www.createspace.com/3829907
Photo: The God Key: Book I: Return of the Nephilim by John Fogarty<br /><br /> NEW portal for getting The God Key! It's at the following:<br /><br /> God Key Home - http://www.thegodkey.com<br /><br /> Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/dp/1475066996<br /><br /> CreateSpace - https://www.createspace.com/3829907
John Fogarty  – The Doooooomsday Dagger Drawing is now just 36 hours, 14 minutes away (at the stroke of midnight, on Friday, 12/21/2012). We’re still getting entries from all over Egypt, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Mexico, Canada, the U.K., the U.S., and Israel. It’s a LOTTA  counting, but we owe it to you all. And ONE of you is going to win that 16-inch (about 41 cms) Moroccan Koummya dagger. Good luck to one and all, no matter where on earth you may be. There is only ONE God, and HE holds the Key….(I just write about it). So whether you call him God, Jehova, Allah, Adonai, YHWH, the Lord, or just “Father,” I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Felice Navidad, Ramadan Karim (next July 9th), a Kool Kwanzaa, बड़े दिन की बषाई हो, Krismasasya shubhkaamnaa, கிறிஸ்துமஸ் மற்றும் இனிய புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள், عيد ميلاد مجيد, 圣诞快乐, 聖誕快樂, Krismasi Njema / Heri ya krismas, Joyeux Noël, Frohe Weihnacht, Krismas Mubarak, Christmas MobArak (خوش آمدید، دوستان فارسی من!), 节日快乐, Nollaig Shona Dhuit, Mele Kalikimaka, Kreesmasko shubhkaamnaa, Nollaig Chridheil,’S Rozhdestvom Khristovym, God Jul, Schöni Wiehnachte, Веселого Різдва, Nadolig Llawen, and finally – for all LOTR fans – Alassë a Hristomerendë!
    • Best wishes, sincere thanks and good will to all.
      And to all, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!

What’s All the Rumpus, Anyway?

My Blog

What’s All the Rumpus?

Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012 1:58 PM
Yeah, yeah so the much ballyhooed 21st of December is next Friday. So what? What’s all the rumpus, anyway?
Nothing much, really. NASA scientists say we have nothing to fear: no “supermassive black hole” is going to suck us into the cosmic vacuum bag. The world isn’t about to flip on its axis and dump us all into oblivion. And the dreaded End of Days is just another Schwarzenegger movie.
All undoubtedly, probably, logically true. But….what if?
What if the scientists are wrong? It’s happened before. Plenty of times. What if officialdom is a bit too eager to poo-poo notions of a looming Apocalypse? What’s the worst that could happen?
Johnny Maestro? A remake of “Call Me Maybe?” Or another season of “Honey Boo Boo?”
Nothing so alarming, friends. Sanity will prevail, the earth will retain its rightful tilt, axis and rotation as it continues its orbit around the sun. Sure, there may be some particularly playful solar flares and meteor showers (thanks, Gemenid) this go round, but nothing apocalyptic. The Maya certainly didn’t think so.
So, go ahead and throw a little Doomsday party on the 21st, or dress up like Kukulkan (just in case he does return) and prepare yourself for more of the same nail-biting, hysterical hoopla that surrounded Y2K (Remember that? When all computers were supposed to glitch out on New Year’s 2000 because of the two-digit year code, resulting in planes tumbling from the sky, power grid outages and yet another “hanging chad” count in the Florida election returns?)
Again, nothing so alarming. I promise. Honest Injun.
(and, no, I’m not a lawyer, a politician or a used-car salesman; I’m just another ink-stained wretch pecking away in the hinterlands).
 
And on THAT you have my word.
Ink-stained wretch
ink-stained wretch