The Last Faberge's: That Day In May
For Tom Swartz the first of May started out like any other spring day. The long cold nites of winter are just distant memories now. But, for Tom who was on his way to the US consulate in Paris to meet with old acquaintances little did he realize that a world away his older brother Professor Tony Swartz was about to make the discovery of a lifetime. A find that would cost him his life.
In the barren foot hills of northern Afghanistan Professor Swartz and his expedition was about to unearth the most significant discovery man has found in the last century. A find just as great as if the Professor stumbled upon the tomb of Alexander the Great and all it's supposed riches. When the Swartz expedition unearthed what looked like the burial place of some nobility but of unknown origin only to find a large sarcophagus partially concealed buried further down suspense and anticipation grew.What was going to be revealed would overwhelm and shock the entire expedition. Just as the Professor gazed upon this historic find the world that they knew would soon be changed forever. Unknown markings along the side of the sarcophagus signified that something of value was hidden inside. Upon further examination of the outside markings assistant Rita Hayward, a renowned linguist, who has transcribed many writings of various languages and dialects stood up and immediately with the realization that the inscription was a form of ancient Arabic which read " Who ever unearthed this site will be bestowed with riches beyond compare." Quite literally like a scene out of an Indiana Jones movie Professor Swartz moved in for a closer look. Far off to the right of this sarcophagus was an noticeable crack in the wall along side where the sarcophagus laid. Now, filled with more questions than answers both the Professor and Rita along with Travers John and young Toby Lanchaster all were eager to find what lay hidden in this cave in the most remote area of North Afghanistan.
Of all the great treasures that have been lost through-out history could it be that just maybe this expedition stumbled upon one. Take for instance the lost Faberge' Eggs reportedly valued at over 150 million dollars. Could if be that also another great find lay hidden for centuries behind the rocks inside this cave? The moment had arrived. The opening of that sarcophagus revealed the final resting place for a member of the royal family of the last Czar of Russia. Even more amazing was a chest holding the 9 missing Faberge` Eggs still exquisitely preserved in all their majesty. So amazed at the exquisite artistry of fine jewels and precious stones overshadowed the skeletal remains of one of histories most sought after mysteries. Now, all the Professor had to do was to retrace history.
According to history Peter Carl Faberge` and his brother Agathon were the Tsar's Jewelers. They became famous because of their exquisite and extraordinary work designing jewelry and of course the famous eggs that became their trademark. In 1885 Tsar Alexander III commissioned the Faberge` brothers to design and produce a gold and enamel 'Hen Egg' for his wife the Empress Maria. During this time Faberge` was made Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown and for the next 33 years some 53 Faberge` eggs were made for the Russian Royal Family as well as 15 other Faberge` eggs for other private buyers. In 1917 the Russian Revolution toppled Tsar Nicholas II and along with the last royal family to rule Russia were all executed. By 1918 fearing for his own life Peter Carl Faberge` managed to escape and flee Moscow finding his way into Germany. From there he ended up in Switzerland. What happened to the Faberge` eggs remains a mystery although some were confiscated and like many of the other treasures of the Royal Family were stored inside the Kremlin vaults. To this day no one really knows what happened to those missing 9 Faberge`eggs. That is until Professor Swartz and his expedition unearthed the final resting place of one member of the last Tsar's royal family in Northern Afghanistan.
When Rita and the Professor investigated further the skeleton remains they reveled that this person was actually a young female. Could it be that at last history has found the famed Anastasia. The one Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. The one that was supposedly killed with the rest of the Tsar's family in 1917. So much speculation as to whether or not she actually was killed back then now has finally been revealed. Did Anastasia escape only to suffer a similar fate elsewhere? Now pieces of history are being finally uncovered to one of histories most sought after mysteries.
No longer were the stories of her demise fabricated in which she and her elder sister were murdered by the forces of the Bolshevik secret police along with Nicolas II and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna. Persistent rumors of her possible escape lingered for decades only to end up buried in the foot hills of Northern Afghanistan. With untold treasures of the late Tsar's. Nicholas II yet to be unearthed has brought Professor's expedition closer to the find of the century. History tells that the Last Tsar of Russia reportedly hid most of his vast wealth prior to the coming revolution. He knew that if the Bolsheviks ever got a hold of his vast riches no longer would he and his family be safe. In the end they still were executed but most of his treasures were never found.
Now at last a piece of history has found it's last resting place. The Swartz expedition it it's search for gold and lost artifacts just so happened to stumble upon the most significant find of the 20th century and could now put to rest one of histories most fascinating stories. But, what they didn't realize until it was too late that others more diabolical lay waiting just a half mile away to kill all those who stood in their way. And, that meant the entire Swartz expedition. Those now who lie in wait their evil intentions only known to them are poised to commit the most horrendous of crimes. A crime so devious unleashing a terror of catastrophic devastation that would come cascading down upon unsuspecting nations as the world trembles in the wake of unspeakable horror.
Who was behind this most diabolical, deceitful and devious plan? For the Swartz expedition it was now too late. It wasn't until a few days later that Tom Swartz learned of his brother fate. Determined to find the answers as to who killed his brother and his entire team Tom now was on his way to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, back in Rome Cardinal Sebastian was just completing vespers when General Romanoff appeared in the hall with news of a great discovery. Untold wealth had now been discovered and was within reach. Wealth beyond imagination, a find so mesmerizing even Cardinal Sebastian was aghast. "General are you telling me that all this time the billions of dollars of Nicholas II great wealth was hidden in Northern Afghanistan?" "Yes, your eminence. And now it is yours to use to fulfill your destiny."
As the two would be conspirators walked down the great corridors of the Vatican completing their diabolical plans to rule the world other forces of evil were hard a work carrying out the Cardinal's plans. For Tom now arriving in Kabul awaiting customs clearance only to be greeted by Secret Service agents Maxwell Smart and John McGuire strange premonitions kept going through Tom's mind. Why would the secret service be interested and involved in the expedited customs entry procedure to only escort the Professor's only brother to waiting transport? Quietly Tom was led outside the airport into waiting an armored military transport. Seated next to the other side window was General Haygon Chief of Staff to General Wilber Smith. A tone of urgency prevailed as the General spoke. "Mr Swartz news of your brother the Professor's expedition revealed that something of immense value was taken out of Afghanistan that the Professor just happened to discover. We are trying to decipher what exactly was stolen and where and who now have in their possession items of such importance that the security of the United States and for that matter the rest of the world could very well be now in grave danger." You mean to tell me that Tony was on to one of the greatest discoveries ever only to fall prey to a band of terrorists." "That's precisely what were going to find out"
Now on to the trail of two of histories most troublesome mysteries was about to begin. For Tom an adventure not planed for and certainly not expected had to fill the void of mourning for his only brother.