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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FREE – Chapter 15, THE GOD KEY, BOOK I

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Chapter 15

Dave wouldn’t hear about the detective’s death until the following day, by which time he would have other, more urgent concerns—namely, his head injury. The full extent of the damage was only now beginning to reveal itself.

It started with a series of dreams—extremely vivid dreams—of the silhouette he’d seen outside the museum. Now, here it was again: standing at the mouth of the recovery room hallway, watching him. No features or details of any kind, only a nacreous, pearlescent outline, like the absence of matter; a blank; a hole. The same one he’d seen watching them from Fayette Alley, just before the . . .

. . . then it was gone, as abruptly as it had appeared.

That was when the intern returned.

 

The giant, who’d been grinning at him from the hall earlier, was now leaning into the doorway of the recovery room, and—this time—leering at him.

Dave didn’t know whether to leer back at him, say something, or prepare to defend himself—but with a concussion? Against a Goliath? Not likely. He’d have to find a weapon of some kind, try to disable or at least stun the guy before he—

—crossed the room in two long strides, wrapped his gigantic, six-fingered hands around Dave’s throat and began throttling the life out of him, choking him to death right there in the recovery room. As he squeezed, the giant bent down and exhaled the most noxious, sickening breath Dave had ever smelled, right in his face.

“Goddammit,” Dave gagged, but all that came out was a wet, glottal sound.

Worse, he couldn’t budge the man’s hands. They were huge: the wrists were like small tree trunks, while the hands themselves looked like Virginia hams—only bigger. All the SEAL training in the world wouldn’t make a dent in this guy.

Then, the monster leaned even closer and spit something at him—into his face. His mouth, to be exact. The creature spit something hard and metallic into his . . .

( . . . key?)

. . . mouth, and he knew without looking, the way one does in dreams, that it was an old-fashioned skeleton key, with a skull at one end. Dave tried to spit the thing back out but couldn’t. He was going to choke to death on a damned key.

Panic shot into his chest just as the giant stopped throttling him, smiled and . . . began vomiting on him.

Only it wasn’t really vomit. It was a mouthful of  . . .

. . . photographs?

Yes: 35mm color photos.

The missing Roswell photographs.

Dave watched in numb disbelief as the long-lost photos poured from the giant’s mouth. His revulsion peaked when the giant released him, picked up the soggy, puke-spattered photos and began stuffing them back into his mouth.

“My Glh . . . God . . .” Dave choked.

“God?” the giant managed, still munching on the photos. He chewed the last of them up, swallowed them down, and added, “Huh, God’s dead.”

Dave was incapable of a rational response. He lashed out with both fists, hammering at the giant’s Adam’s apple, hoping to crush the larynx or break the hyoid bone, but missing every time. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t connect. It was like being in a bad dream. He needed a weapon, something to hit him with—

The phone!

Dave glanced at the bedside table. Holding his breath, he rolled over on his side, reached for the phone, and . . .

. . . woke up.

And glanced around the room.

He wasn’t in the E.R., or Recovery or anywhere near the hospital. He was at some strange house way out in the sticks, and he remembered: Cyndi’s country home, which she almost never used. And he was on the living room sofa . . . with Cyndi?!

She lay curled up nice and snug beside him, fast asleep.

***

“Hey, Cyn, wake up.” Dave shook her shoulder. “C’mon, Cyndi . . .” He tried to lean over and shake her harder, but the dizziness whacked him again; he felt as if he were swooning. And maybe he was: this woman still had that effect on him . . . she was so beautiful, so perfect. And she was lying next to him. On her sofa. Just the two of them . . .

Maybe there was a God after all.

She awoke and stretched languorously, luxuriously, like a cat.

“C’mon, Cyn, get up,” David urged. “It’s eight o’clock.”

“Mmmh? Eight?”

“Yeah, we gotta roll or we’ll be late for work.”

“Work?” Cyndi finally came to and sat up beside him. “What time is it?”

“Eight.”

“In the morning?”

“I think so,” Dave said, sounding unsure; all he could see was the wall clock.

Cyndi leaned over the edge of the couch and glanced out her living room window. The woods and fields beyond lay blanketed in blackness.

“It’s eight at night, Nimrod,” she said, with a sigh. “Besides, you’re on leave.”

“Vacation?”

She turned her face to him and instead of the wry grin or smile he was expecting, she gave him only a blank stare.

“Hardly that,” she said, finally. “You must return to Israel as soon as possible.”

He blinked. The wheels within began turning—or tried to. “Did we . . . eh?”

“Eh, no, we didn’t. I merely kept an eye on you so you wouldn’t die. Once I saw you would survive, I must have nodded off here.”

“What about Attila?”

“We picked him up from your apartment on the way home,” she answered. “Don’t you remember?”

David shrugged one shoulder. “I can’t remember anything.”

“He’s sleeping right next to you, on the floor.” She pointed to a spot next to the sofa. Dave glanced to his right and saw the raggedy old Siamese curled up below him. Attila was lying as close to him as possible, without actually being on him.

“Little bugger,” Dave said, surprised at the lump in his throat; probably indigestion.

“Oh, I fear you won’t be seeing Detective Lacy again.”

“Huh?”

“He was run over in the hospital parking lot last night. Cut in half, they say.”

“What?”

“Hit-and-run,” she said. “So? Are you?”

“Am I what?” He was conscious of a swimming sensation between his eyes.

“Going back to Israel?”

Dave paused to gather what was left of his mind. His brain simply did not want to function: the wheels within felt gummed up, clogged. The pain medication, probably.

“What does that have to do with Detective Lacy?” he asked.

“So you avoid the same fate,” she replied. “That car is still out there.”

“Uh . . . not right away, no. I’ll worry about God Keys and Doomsdays later, OK? I’ve got an appointment to keep on Wednesday. With your friend, Galileo.”

“But you can’t move,” she insisted. “Your head—”

“—Is made of stone. Or so my editor tells me. A few bumps here or there won’t matter. Here, help me up.”

“You can’t see Dr. Galilei today.”

He turned toward her, swaying a bit and blinking, as if hungover.

“That’s right, it’s only Tuesday, isn’t it?”

“It’s Wednesday, all right. But you can’t drive anywhere. You’ve got to can—”

“I’ve lost a full day? Without a single drink?” He touched his forehead.

“You’re staying here, on the sofa.”

“But Attila needs his food,” he replied. “And I need my car and clothes and—”

“Forget it,” she said. “They’re probably watching your apartment, the observatory, all the places you usually go. Until we can get a fix on these people, and what they want, you’re not leaving this house.”

“Yeah, but—”

“I’ll take care of things, you stay put on that couch. I’ve got to get us some food, too. There’s nothing here to eat. Oh, one more thing . . .” She rummaged in her purse.

“Yeah?”

“Your doctor found this on the floor of the Recovery Room, by your gurney. Is it yours?” she asked, as she handed him the object.

It was a slightly damp, but thoroughly solid, skeleton key.

With just a trace of his saliva on it.

“OK, look, I don’t . . . think I’m feeling . . . all that well, just now. Maybe I should just go back to my place, crash for a few hours and—”

“Just lie still and do as I say,” she said.

And with that, she took his head in both her hands, planted an incredibly juicy kiss on his mouth and gave his skull a slight twist.

And he was out. Cold.

She pocketed the key and left.

 

#

End, Part One

THOUGHTS ON GUARDIAN ANGELS – WHAT THEY ARE, WHAT THEY DO

Early today, while meditating, trying to straighten all my chakras alone, and focusing on any stray past-life memories, I recalled a message I received 17 years ago, while tripping through a series of past lives (thanks to the expert help and supervision of a true Earth Angel, Pat Var. The message was a strange one, delivered under very weird and eerie circumstances.

During my first glimpse into what might or might not have been a true past life, I saw myself as a tiny, gnome-like creature (yeah, OK, you can laugh now), dressed in elfin garb, including a leather vestment and breeches, green shoes that curled up at the ends, and with a tiny wooden sword in my belt. I was wobbling through some beautiful, primeval Celtic forest. As I did so, I arrived at a great, gnarled oak tree, and literally scrambling up the branches to a special treasure trove I kept in the nook of two great limbs.

This was an fabulous collection of gold and silver coins, jewelry, bronze and copper arm bands, bracelets, beautiful blue-green gems of all kinds — i.e., treasure of every description (though no diamonds or other elements not found in Celtic lands). Immediately I became aware of a strong, disapproving presence. It was, I believe, my Guardian Angel.

And he was pissed.

Furious, to be exact. He looked like an angry, gigantic Gandolf, dressed in a long, black velvet cape and robe adorned with silver stars and moons and other celestial things. He even wore a dome-like, pointed crown and carried a giant staff. He was furious with me for running my tiny hands through my treasure and being practically mesmerized by it. His voice grew louder and more booming, and then he was showering my little clearing with titanic, jagged thunderbolts, the better to drive home his meaning. But the one overriding message I heard was that I was squandering my time and attention on worthless trinkets while missing out “The magic in the Forest. . . . There is MAGIC in the FOREST, you pitiful dunce!”

I described all this to Patty while I was experiencing it, seeing it, with some inner vision, so I know this was no dream.

Just now, that message came to me again, after 17 long, brutal, grinding years: “Forget all these trials and tribulations; they are but minor annoyances on your path. DO NOT MISS OUT ON THE MAGIC IN THE FOREST!”

I leave it to the reader to decide what this all means. But while you’re deciding this, take a look at this ABC News report on Guardian Angels:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/guardian-angels-exist-investigating-invisible-companions/story?id=19053535