Frank was still distracted by something all during the flight and train ride into London. Thankfully, I had done all the planning and our room was waiting for us at Frank’s favorite hotel. Once we were in the room he didn’t waste time in showering and getting into his pajamas. There was already a pint of Jack Daniels in the room per my instructions. He sat in bed and channel surfed on the telly sipping his JD. At about ten-thirty he fell asleep and at eleven I decided to power down for a pending update that I had been putting off.
“Jack, Jack, wake the fuck up”, Frank said with a slurred voice.
My reboot/reset button must have been pushed by Frank to interrupt my update process. His face was a mess. Just then I noticed I was not standing up like I was when I powered down. I was on my side facing away from the wall. I immediately stood up and scanned the room. It was a mess like Frank’s face.
“Master, what has happened?”
“You missed a great party.”
“I find that hard to believe, Mr. Huntington. I would guess that you have suffered an attack. It is eight o’clock the next morning. When did this attack occur sir?
“Oh, the party was about three in the morning I think. I remember a sharp pain on my face and looking up from my bed and seeing a guy’s fist coming down on me. I was not smart enough to roll away to try and stop it coming. I didn’t feel too alert after that either. It was all kinda foggy to me but they pulled me out of bed.
“Sir, let me prepare an icepack for your lip. It is very swollen.”
“Yeh, do that. Order me another bottle of Jack Daniels to kill the pain.”
“What did they want, Sir?”
“I have no idea what they were looking for by tearing up the place. There were three of them. Big motherfuckers. The one that did all the talking was dressed like a hotel worker and the other two looked like maintenance workers. They told me to go back to the USA and stop meeting with the Princess.”
“Well, it is obvious, they must have been sent by Sir Terrance,” I said as I soaked a towel in cold water.
“I don’t know, Jack, it could be the Pope?”
“He seems so Holy to do that.”
“If you saw the encrypted file on him you would change your mind on that, but he doesn’t seem the jealous type. Neither does Lutts, but he is a hard one to read.”
I put the towel I had soaked with water and wrapped around the ice that was in the ice bucket and handed it to Frank. He winced as he put it on his lip. I then proceeded to try and put the hotel room back together. Thankfully, nothing was really broken. As a diligent servant to my Master I always monitor the international news feeds. Any subject that Frank had ever shown interest in would garner my attention as well. From there I would decide how important the news was and prepare every morning a list of headlines for Frank to look at. If it was something really high level of importance to what we were working on I would verbally tell Frank. At that moment there was something big.
“Sir, something has happened that relates to your current investigations.”
“What Jack” asked Frank putting down his glass.
“Something has happened in Old Jerusalem. I’ll turn on the television so you can see.”
Old Jerusalem was the oldest section of Jerusalem. It was surrounded by a city wall that dated back to the Middle Ages. Within Old Jerusalem were smaller walls that divided Old Jerusalem into four areas divided by religion. There was the Jewish Quarter where the Western Wall and Temple Mount are. The Temple Mount is the site where King Solomon and King David built the first Temple in 953 BC. It is also the site where God created the first man - Adam of Adam and Eve fame. Then there is the Armenian Quarter which contains the St. James Cathedral and Monastery which was built in the 12th Century. The Christian Quarter contains about forty holy places of which the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built in the Fourth Century, claims to be built on the spot where Jesus Christ was buried and rose from the dead three days later. The final quarter is the Muslim Quarter which has ten gates reserved for Muslims and one reserved for Infidels. It is the largest area with over 76 acres within its walls and 22,000 Muslims living there. Within the Muslim Quarter is the Dome of the Rock, constructed in 688 and is the site where Mohammed rose up to heaven to confer with Allah. Another important Islamic site is the Al-Aqsa Mosque first built in 705 AD, but since has been rebuilt three times due to earthquakes. It was once considered the farthest mosque from Mecca and is adjacent to the Dome of the Rock.
Frank knew all of this since he had written many articles while being a reporter based in Jerusalem.
On the screen I had Sky News. They showed the Dome of the Rock plaza and it was filled with what looked like a party. People were dancing, singing and drinking. You could see both Muslims and Jews mingled together. The reporter was droning on about how the whole city has opened up. Israeli security police were shown dancing with a group of Muslim women in burkas. Conservative Jews were talking and embracing Muslims and they all were drinking wine straight from the bottle. Another reporter showed the Western Wall where normally there would be countless old men praying and bowing to the wall non-stop. Instead there was a dance going on and some young people were creating graffiti art on the wall. Just like the Dome of the Rock it was a mix of people looking like they were having the time of their life. Frank finally focused his mind enough to pay attention to what the reporter was saying.
“…. It all started this morning when everyone in Old Jerusalem woke up for another day of tension and tourists. Instead people realized they felt an inner joy and feelings of brotherly love. The minarets were silent. The priests, imams, rabbis and monks all abandoned their posts and were urging their people and anyone else to celebrate how wonderful life is. All the normal religious services that mostly tourists would attend were canceled. By ten o’clock this morning the city was more like a world cup celebration than the most divided up city in the world.”
Another reporter speaking from New York asked the reporter at the Dome of the Rock if the clerics of the three world faiths were concerned about their abandoning their religious duties. The reporter responded by saying, “I have talked to a local Rabbi about two hours ago and he told me religion was useless and not worth the suffering it caused the city. I interviewed an Imam of the Al Aqsa Mosque and he said he realizes there is no god but love for your fellow human. It is all rather astounding, but I have to admit I also do not feel any urge to be religious myself. It is a funny feeling to feel no feelings about God, but at the same time I feel blessed to be alive.”
At that time the television went back to the New York news presenter who said that the Pope has released a statement stating that “It is a miracle that hatred has left the Holiest City on Earth, but he is disappointed the Catholic laity has abandoned their duties to Christ and the Church.” A Catholic spokesman has said they would be sending replacements to take over the guardianship of Catholic Holy sites immediately. The television then broke for a Coke commercial and I muted the sound.
Frank stared at the screen for only a second and then said, “This has got to be the work of whoever did the nuns and the Buddhists. The bastard is getting better. Any reports of suicides or violence, Jack?”
“I have checked all the news reports coming from Jerusalem and there is nothing bad being talked about.”
“I wonder if it would be worth our time to go see this ‘miracle’ first hand?”
“That is up to you, Sir.
“See if you can get a flight today.”
For about two hours Frank surfed the cable news networks of the world to get a feel of what was being said. Most of the major news bureaus kept at least one reporter in Jerusalem. Historically, it remained one of the hot spots of the world. When Frank was young and first starting out he had done a few stints in the Middle East including covering Jerusalem for about two years. One of his stories about corruption in the Palestinian army won him a Pulitzer. He moved up and out as fast as he could. I am not sure if it was the lack of alcohol or lack of rationalism that made him hate this area of the globe so much.
Frank slowly got out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. A few minutes later I heard the loo and then the shower. I had ages ago booked two non-stop first class tickets to Jerusalem on a flight out of Heathrow for 2:35. I laid out a suit for Frank on his bed and packed his bags. I also ordered breakfast and several papers to be brought up. I was sure Frank would be interested to see how widely the story was being taken. There is never any rhyme or reason as to which story captures the world’s attention and for how long. Frank came out and started dressing and I told him the time of our flight. We had almost five hours to get to the airport.
Frank was drinking his after breakfast drink – Jack Daniels and Drop Dead Coffee while reading the Times. Suddenly, he said, “Shit.”
“What is it, Sir?”
“Cats out of the bag. Here in the Times is an article about how there have been two incidents of ‘religious sudden death’ recently. A reporter of the Times, Sarah Tellings, has connected the Buddhist Temple and Jerusalem together. No proof, but she is clever enough to see a connection. Other than the religious reaction she mostly talks about how opposite the two reactions were by the two incidents. One went violent and suicidal and the other is like a 1960s Love In.”
“Does she mention the nuns?”
“No. So I don’t think she knows everything we do.”
Frank re-read Telling’s article to see if he could figure out if she really knew it was being caused by someone. I had to interrupt him, after several minutes, and told him to look at Sky News, which I had signaled to come up on our television. There was the lady in person, Miss Sarah Tellings. She was being interviewed on Sky News about Jerusalem and she was informing the world what she had written in the Times. She was young. Not in her thirties from the looks of her very pretty face. I checked. She was actually twenty-nine and had worked her way up to a top reporter spot at the Times. Educated at Oxford. Much of her reporting was on technology and space. I relayed this all to Frank after her TV interview was over.
“I have a gut feeling she will not let this story go. I also have a feeling she knows this just didn’t happen spontaneously. She pretty much hinted at that with the interviewer, but used her charms to push away from that angle. She is a clever one. It won’t be long before the bulk of the world press will be chasing after the same leads we are.”
“I am sorry, Sir. I know how important it is to have scoops. You really had a nice boost when you broke the Princess story.”
“Yes, I was paid very handsomely by both my editor and the Princess,” he said with a sly smile.
“When did you want to start out to the airport, Sir?”
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