The Last Faberge's: Clandestine Rendezvous
Present Day: January 23 Tampa, Florida
At the stroke of midnite while watching the recent news from Saudi Arabia Jim Baxter was jolted out of his chair by a loud knock at the front door. For Jim Baxter, a world renowned expert in Middle Eastern History was startled to say the least when he happened to look out the front window only to see two black suited men with a waiting limo parked next to the curb. One more knock latter Jim yelled "Who's there" "secret service Jim" replied Larry Bolin. Now, stumbling to the front door only to hear "Jim Baxter the President sent us to bring you to Air Force One immediately." Upon opening the door Jim asked "Do I have time to gather some clothes?" Looking at his watch Larry Bolin replied "ok make it quick time is of most importance."
Within minutes Jim Baxter and secret service agents Larry Bolin and Jim Fix arrived at Tampa International Airport to board Air Force One. The Presidents plane had just returned from Moscow from meeting with President Boris Sadinski. It was just the day before that Grover Smith was sworn in as the nations 47 President and was already saddled with the most urgent crisis in our nations history. After meeting with President Sadinski the President was suspicious that an outright attack by Israel on Saudi Arabia could have happened. Sure in the past Israel had great animosity toward the Muslim state but why now provoke a nuclear holocaust by attacking Mecca? So hard to believe that the small state of Israel could have done the unthinkable. Already, the worlds nuclear countries are all now poised to launch their missiles against that one small country who many seem to be the only one that is capable of ushering in World War III. For a moment though thinking back to his last meeting with Israel's President, President Smith suddenly realized that in his haste to rush to judgement Israel's nuclear arsenal was under the absolute control of their President and under no circumstances would the Israel's President allow a nuclear attack against a country that was so close regardless of their religious beliefs. The President had to realize that someone else is behind the most sinister diabolical act in history that just a few hours ago exploded half way around the world.
Upon take off in Air Force One President Smith emerged from his onboard office. Sitting next to Jim Baxter was Secretary of State Eleanor Whitman and General Kane. Pausing for a moment the President tried to hide his emotion as he was about to speak. "People we about to enter a period in history where there is no turning back. Factions have gathered storm clouds of catastrophic proportions. What we do now will change the future for us all." News of the nuclear explosion that wiped out Mecca had been broadcast across the nation spreading unsubstantiated rumors that is causing mass hysteria all across the globe. President Smith continued "Just about a few hours ago a nuclear blast took out Mecca, casualties to be in the millions. I have reason to believe that the Vatican not Israel is behind histories most violent and destructive act against all humanity. Eleanor Whitman now leaned over " What makes you think that the Vatican is behind this and not some other faction? I know Israel too and from what we have heard through the state department it looks that N. Korea could very well have started this." "General Kane what do you make of all this?" "Mr. President I have to agree with madame Secretary." The President thought for a moment. "This is why Jim I need your expertise to find out if my suspicions are really true because President Narevau upon our last meeting was totally against the use of nuclear assault anywhere. I need you to find out who is really behind this and how in the earth did Israel, if they did this, manage to launch a nuclear missile or if my suspicions are correct that the Vatican is involved in all of this.?" Jim thought for a moment " Mr President I will find out what I can but first I need to go directly to Rome. Mr. President it has been known that all through-out history that the Catholic Church has always carried an animosity toward other religions especially the Muslims. I have reason to believe the Vatican may have information that could very well solve this mystery." "Good! You and secret service agents whom you have already met will fly directly to Rome aboard my private jet."
Upon arriving at Reagan International Jim Baxter, Larry Bolin and Jim Fix went to hanger 14 where the Presidents private jet was ready for take off. Specially appointed with laser armaments and appointments befitting royalty Jim was quite impressed. Settling in watching the latest news while the jet streamed across the Atlantic 3 hours later the three men were in Rome checking into Hotel Renaissance, a brisk walk from the Vatican. Already there news of the nuclear blast that killed millions of Muslims was all over the airways all this while rumors were spreading that Pope Gregory had already died. Upon turning on the TV inside their suite news flashed that sure enough the Pope was dead and that Cardinal Sebastian was ordering the immediate convening of the Conclave of Cardinals to elect the next Pope. Now alarmed Jim Baxter alerted Larry Bolin that he had to go to the Vatican immediately. "We need proof that the Vatican is somehow behind what the President has feared all along. I need you and Jim to wait for me at the coffee shop near the Vatican entrance and if anything should happen like I fail to emerge within two hours from now Tony Geneniloiva the proprietor will show you an entrance to the Vatican that only a very few people in the world know of its existence." A strange sense of urgency overcame both men as they walked out of the Hotel toward the Vatican. All because of the sudden summons of the Conclave of Cardinals. In all of history there has never been such a rush to elect the next Pope. So why now?
Strange coincidence that the leader of histories most dominate religion succumbs just when the worlds most horrendous violent act explodes over one of histories most sacred cities. A coincidence or rather a diabolical plot to gain more power and wealth Jim had to find out. Just as Jim Baxter was waiting for clearance to enter the Vatican Bishop Chamberland came out and introduced himself. "Mr. Baxter what an unexpected surprise. Had I know of your coming I would have made reservations for you myself. I assume you are staying at the Hotel Renaissance." "I need to ask a few questions I hope you don't mind" replied Jim. The Bishop had known Jim from previous encounters while Jim was lecturing at the University motioned for the two of them to enter. "Why don't you come in and we will discuss why you are here." Entering the great hall of the most provincial building in all of Rome the Bishop summoned Pastor Rodriguez to bring some refreshments. " Brandy ok" "Why not." Bishop Chamberland had become Cardinal Sebastian's aid just a little over a year ago unbeknownst Jim that what he was asking would go back directly to Cardinal Sebastian.
18 months ago in Northern Afghanistan:
Upon leaving Kabul Airport Tom Swartz was driven one hundred miles north to the site where his brother Professor Tony Swartz with 4 members of his expedition lost their lives. Upon entering the cave Tom notices shell casings all over the ground. Turning to General Colin " These casings are specially made for a specific assault rifle. One that is American made." "Quite true" replied the General. Now more questions than answers kept Tom in a state of anger. "How in hell did an American Weapon end up in the hands of people who willingly took my brothers life?" Handing over two shell casings General Colin retorted " Here put these into this bag we will look into this later but first we must figure out what was actually taken and why?" Walking a little further through the cave the large sarcophagus lay open exposing the skeletal remains of a young women. "We have to get this back to the museum as soon as possible to find out who she really is." Tom stated. "Look over here" Upon turning around to face an opening inside this cavern walls were strewn some Russian rubbles and what appeared to be two $20 American Gold Eagle Coins. Once Tom picked one up only to find it was an actual $20 gold piece dated 1896. Now more questions surfaced as to why American currency was intermixed with Russian Rubbles? Tom had to find answers.
Arriving back in Afghan's capital the real detective work began. With the sarcophagus now fully exposed with the skeletal remains on display their research began assisted by Lydmilla Treveske a Russian historian. Upon further examination Lydmilla suddenly couldn't keep quiet any longer " Look over here" Quickly both Tom and General Colin came over standing overlooking the remains of this young women. " Gentlemen what I have discovered is that this person is in fact the remains of Anastasia the daughter of Nicholas II. How she ended up being buried in this sarcophagus here in Afghanistan I quite haven't figured out yet but what I can tell you whoever buried her buried the Tsar's vast wealth along with her to avoid it's capture by the Bolsheviks. This was around 1918." "What about the treasure? And, how did American $20 gold pieces ended up buried along with the Tsar's reported treasure? Tom asked. "That is the mystery we have to figure out" "What I can state is that we have the greatest find in history. One that will prove that Anastasia did in fact managed to escape the Bolsheviks only to be captured by others. She was probably killed to keep the whereabouts of her fathers treasure secret. As you can see by the inscription inside this sarcophagus here I will read it for you." "Here at last the house of Faberge shall rest in peace." Tom could only conclude that the house of Faberge made over 52 exquisite eggs of which 9 were never recovered. Could it be that those 9 Faberge eggs ended up with the Tsar's treasure? 9 missing Faberge Eggs that were buried along with Anastasia. A treasure beyond imagination vanishing yet again.
Present Day: January 24 the Vatican:
Inside the Vatican Cardinal Sebastian with General Romanoff were in the middle of discussing future plans only to be interrupted by Bishop Chamberland. "Your Eminence Jim Baxter from the United States asks your permission to see the chamber vault. He is of the impression that some of our most valuable artifacts have been stolen." That's strange I was just down there 2 days ago and everything seemed to be in order. Oh! Who is Mr. Baxter anyway?" "He is probably the worlds foremost expert in Middle Eastern history and rare artifacts." Glancing over at General Romanoff Cardinal Sebastian nodded "But, under no circumstances are you to let him in the back vault. Do you understand" Yes, your eminence." A few minutes latter Jim Baxter was following Bishop Chamberland down the back stair case into the vast depths under the Vatican. Here within these walls were some of histories most sacred treasures some of which date back to the time of Alexander The Great. The Bishop was explaining that some of histories most elusive treasures were now being procured of which some dating back to King Solomon and others from the Templar Knights during the Crusades. "Bishop I seem to notice that of all these fine works of art there is not one Faberge Egg or other rare artifacts that should have been on display for all the world to see. Why hide these treasures?" More perplexed than ever after seeing with his own eyes of the vast wealth beneath the Vatican the Bishop was showing Jim Baxter now realized that the Catholic Church is after all one of the worlds most wealthy organizations and will stop at noting to gain even more riches. But, to what end? This is what Jim was going to find out.
On his way back to the hotel Jim now knew that the Catholic Church was planing on capturing more of histories most elusive treasure if they hadn't already done so. Jim surmised that the Vatican now to be headed by Cardinal Sebastian as the next Pope would wield more power to garnish even more power and wealth. Again, Jim had to figure out why and how will the new Pope will use all this wealth? Could it be that Cardinal Sebastian is really the mastermind behind one of histories most recent acts of terror? All Jim had to do was connect the dots of the past 24 months.
Kabul, Afghanistan: 18 months ago
All it took for Tom Swartz to finally realize that Tsar Nicholas II's vast hidden riches was accidentally unearthed by his brother's expedition only to have been betrayed by one of his guides. Turning to the General Colin "General I have a real sense that a conspiracy was and is going on. My brother was murdered to keep quiet about his discovery." Scratching his head."Alright enlighten me." "All I can tell is that we have stumbled upon what my brother had found and that is the last remains of the Tsar's family. We have found definitive proof of Anastasia surviving only to end up murdered anyway." "What makes you so sure that something more sinister is going on here." "You see General, when Anastasia was buried along with her fathers treasure, I know that now from the few pieces that were left inside that cave and the inscription along side this sarcophagus that those 9 missing Faberge Eggs were here. You know too that the Bolsheviks tried to find the Tsar's hidden wealth but never were able to locate it. Somehow someone close to Nicholas II took it out of the Kremlin before the Bolsheviks capture the Tsar's family. Only the Tsar knew but did not know where his treasure was taken. Nicholas thought he would survive and his trusted friend or aid would return after Nichols was supposed to have escaped. The rest you know. they never did escape. Only Anastasia managed to get away. How she and her farther's fortune ended up where my brother found them is part of the greater mystery. The immediate question now is to find who took this treasure and for what reason? "You know" replied Lydmilla " that the Tsar was quite religious almost to the point of being fanatical. The Archdiocese was very influential in Russia before the revolution. In Rome now their is much talk that Cardinal Sebastian is in line to become the next Pope should Pope Gregory die. And now today there is a growing concern that Cardinal Sebastian has sympathies with the insurgent factions of Muslims." "That's not surprising considering the Catholic Church wants to dominate the worlds other religions." Tony replied. "General, we have a mystery on our hands that looks like the Catholic Church is involved in a cover up to confiscate treasures that really belong to Russia."
Present day, Rome: January 24
While the rest of the world trembled in the wake of the news of that nuclear blast annihilating the Muslims most holly city Jim Baxter was almost exit the front gate of the Vatican when two security guards approached. "You are to come with us now" Startled Jim without resisting was escorted to a the side entrance where he was instructed to wait. Just outside the front gate Secret Service agent Jim Fix noticed Jim Baxter being taken back into the Vatican. Signaling for Larry Bolin the two secret service agents went straight for Tony's Genenilovia coffee shop. Once inside Tony showed them into the back office where under the rug was a trap door leading to a tunnel that led under the Vatican. Within minutes the two secret service agents were standing next to the Statue of Pope Leo. The whole room was filled with statues revealing Papal history through the ages. Now to find Jim Baxter and solve this mystery before the world is set a blaze engulfing all humanity.