The Amber Room by
H D Evans
Published by Pipeline
AUTUMNCross quarter day 2012: beginning of November ����������� ������������� Danny Harowitz stopped at the Belvedere Castle, gazed out across Turtle Lake and north over Central Park; it certainly was a beautiful view from the castle. He breathed in deeply and enjoyed the cold air. Autumn was great he thought, looking over the trees, all the colours; reds, oranges, browns, greens. He loved the passing seasons and looked forward to the snow and the start of the skiing season. He wasn't sure about the castle, it looked a little out of place, having come from The Met and going to The Natural History Museum. Maybe that was the point, he didn't know whether someone was making fun of him at either location. Periodically, the American Museum of National History would put on a lecture and he would get an invite. It gave him an excuse to have a break, fly up from Washington and stay with friends, visit relatives and have a look around the galleries. He had spent some time at The Met again, he was a member, so that was cool. He walked across the park, and crossed the road to the Museum. Past Theodore Roosevelt, up the steps, between the Ionic columns, under the words Truth, Knowledge, Wisdom, “Amen” he thought and into the porch. He walked in, untied his scarf and made his way to the lecture theatre. When he got there it was three-quarters full and about fifteen minutes before the start of “Amber Artefacts and Anthropology”. It sounded quite interesting, he guessed it might be a rehash of others he had attended, but he felt a need to be there as a representative of the Smithsonian and because he had been invited personally. You never knew what new material would be included and he had been 'guaranteed' by his friend and colleague Professor Mike Rudkins, one of the lecture organisers, that he would be interested in some East German state security studies, which meant post World War 2 amber. He sat over on one side, leant up against the wall and closed his eyes. It had been late last night and he had far too much to drink. So what?! It didn't happen often and it was great to catch up with his college mates. He pushed his stubbly face around with his palm to lift himself, but the benefit was only fleeting. Snoozing didn't help his weary eyes, so he opened up his tablet and tried to play Sudoku. That made his head hurt, so he played some music and put in his earplugs. Soon the lecture had started, he perked-up with some more coffee, got his pad and pen and he made a few notes. He was getting
4 bored by the time they got to the middle of the lecture, the new material must be presented soon. The Iron Age material was not startling. Some new sites had been found in the Upper Rhine area, that demonstrated early Iron Age tribes had revered amber, used it as jewellery, in religion, currency of sorts. This was not new in itself, but the tribes were probably the Alemanni, who were driven to the region from other areas deeper within present day Germany and Poland. Burial drawings at a site called Magdelenenberg showed that they believed a small piece of amber kept evil spirits away and that they worshipped the sun and the forest deities. Danny knew of this site, he thought it was a pre-Christian lunar observatory. They revered their nature God and feared the evil horned God. Danny made a note of this and drew comic book characters to give the gods bodies, one with horns. He had researched their gods before, and it wouldn't be uncommon for different tribes to share similar deities, they all descended from Norse tribes that emerged out of the Baltic region at the start of the Iron Age. The lecturer finished this section by postulating that a companion solar observatory must exist within the Alemanni region close to Madgelenenberg, but was yet unfound; Danny made some more notes that this was new information and unproven. Then the lecture moved onto the recent Communist material. These were Stasi records that had been released following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Someone had actually got around to translating them and interpreting them. The feature started off with the widely accepted facts being restated in common with the Stasi position. Then they started unpeeling different layers with new interpretations. “...large collections of amber were found to exhibit polarising influences on different people, the effects amplifying personality characteristics...” was met with some sceptical grumbling from the audience, these were common suppositions without released and verifiable scientific proof. “...different spectral content affected the size of the amplification, large amounts of similar spectrally active amber was not as effective as amounts of contrasting spectrally active amber...” more mumbling. Danny wrote down some of the more remarkable assertions, and noted, “What large amounts? Spectral categorization needed?” “...natural light magnified the effects by orders of magnitude...” Now there was a lot of talking in the auditorium. Danny was making more notes, adding more questions. “...prolonged exposure to natural light in a magnified amber situation caused heightened emotions, including hysteria, sexual gratification, violence, and in some cases unconsciousness, groups coming into contact with exposed people also exhibited sympathetic emotions....” There were some laughs and
5 much conversation so that the lecturer was waving his hands down for calm and had to raise his voice. “...large amounts of amber could be constructed so as to focus the effects. The Amber Room is, in our opinion, a device for controlling force and people and as such should be considered a weapon of unquantifiable energy.” There was uproar, people standing, shouting, others laughing out loud; a pile of papers went up in the air. The lecturer banged continuously with his hammer on the lectern and slowly the audience came to order, the lecturer said, “Stasi report, field operations between April 1959 and September 1960. We will now take questions.” More uproar, but most people had worked out that the report was written after the mysterious loss and reported destruction of the Amber Room during WW2. If the report was correct it implied the Amber Room had not been destroyed and may still exist. Some people were shouting questions, but nothing clear could be heard above the din. More hammering and the noise subsided. Danny remained scrunched up in his seat. One of the assistants came around with a wireless microphone, thrusting it at people with their hands up wanting to ask a question. “Mike Bramhurst, Washington Post, do you know the location of the Amber Room?” “No.” “Cathy Stevens, CNN, How can you verify the report and its conclusions?” “We can't.” “Joshua, Rosenberg, MIT, This is a hoax, our research has proven the Amber Room was destroyed in 1945 by the RAF.” August 30th 1944 thought Danny. “That's not a question.” “I have information about the present location of the Amber Room.” A woman’s clipped English voice rose above the clamour. There was more uproar. “I'm sorry I didn't get your name?” But the microphone had moved on. Danny's eyes darted across the room, he sat up. One man took a picture of the young woman. He couldn't see the woman, so he stood up and had to crane his neck before spotting her. He caught a glimpse of flame-red hair, but she was being jostled badly by people trying to speak to her. He could see that she was trying to make her way to the exit on the far side. Danny grabbed his coffee, tablet, slung his pack over one shoulder and pushed his way past the other delegates and out through the nearest exit to the entrance hall. The mysterious red-haired woman burst through the exit from the auditorium, closely pursued by a pack of assorted reporters and curious delegates, all debating heatedly about her wildly controversial outburst. She headed straight towards him as he was practically blocking the exit to the street. For a moment their eyes locked, ice blue drowning in warm amber brown. A fat, red-faced
6 man elbowed in between them and tried to block her way. With surprising strength, she pushed him aside and knocked against Danny, spilling his coffee over both of them. “Out of my way, you fool,” she hissed at him, he could see the panic in her blue eyes. She hurried on through the exit door, closely followed by the more determined mob of followers. Hailing a cab, she dived in and they sped off downtown, along Central Park West. Danny followed in the direction of the cab, heaving his rucksack onto his back. Just ahead of him, he saw the man who took the photo of the girl. He was thin, balding and dressed in dark blue trousers and grey jacket. Danny caught up with him, “Wow, that was interesting, huh? You were in the lecture, right?” “Yes, yes,” the thin man replied, not looking at Danny and trying to keep an eye on the woman's taxi and hail one for himself. “Would you believe that the, what did they call it, the Amber Room still exists, I thought it was destroyed?” “I don't know,” the man replied dismissively and swatted at Danny with his hand. “Wow, it's really interesting, I'm heading down to Penn Station, do you want to share a cab?” “No, I don't!” They missed a passing cab. “Oh, hey, missed that one.” “Damnation!” In exasperation, the man walked off. Danny watched, she had disappeared. He waited for the man to get some distance away and then hailed a cab and returned to his apartment. Danny slouched onto his sofa with a cold Dr Pepper and put his feet up. He pulled at the brown bristles of his chin beard between swigs and reflected on what had happened. He had the lecture notes and references and he made a calendar memo to call one of the lecture authors he knew at the Smithsonian to work on the detail. Wow, he couldn’t get the red-head out of his mind, those ice-blue eyes were unforgettable. He zoomed her face on his tablet, he had caught her image from the hall. Ema, Ema James. Very interesting, lives in Hampstead, London. What's she doing in New York? Her pink, leather notepad was useful, it was obviously precious, monogrammed, all that information, she would definitely want it back. . . . to the end of the chapter . . .
7 The Amber Room Synopsis 30 chapters in five periods. 1 Present day, 2-6 Roman, 7 Europe 1750, 8-14 WW2, 15-30 Present Day. Roman: [SPRING] Roman officer, ordered by Nero, goes in search of Amber, meets mysterious forest woman. Modern Roman civilisation and the barbarian German tribes, their different beliefs, their mutual conflicts and the ancient routes of the amber trade. Feasting, fighting, fornicating, murder, mystery, mayhem, ends with a major battle whilst crossing the Rhine. Europe 1750: [WINTER] The inception and construction of The Amber Room set against the rise of the Prussian Empire and the battles in Europe over the Holy Roman Empire. WW2: [SUMMER] German Wehrmacht intelligence officer, ordered by Goebbels, goes off to Operation Barbarossa. Female Russian Museum Curator visits the Amber Room, Leningrad, surviving an air attack. The Officer captures the Amber Room and the Curator, and they return to Konigsberg, where they make a family. The tide of war turns, Lancasters bomb Konigsberg, the Russians advance, the family is scattered tragically, the Amber Room is lost. Present Day: [AUTUMN] US researcher meets female publisher in New York with new evidence about the location of the Amber Room. Under threat, they travel to Berlin and visit the old Nazi buildings to find the Amber Room. Now monitored by British Intelligence, they go to east finding a trail of clues left for them. They are split by a battle involving the German Police, British Agents and mysterious dark forces who abduct the female publisher and the Amber Room clues. The US researcher goes in search of the her, another battle occurs in Dresden with US special forces support and the lead characters are reunited but on the run from various groups and chasing the Amber Room in Germany. They visit locations, castles and the chase intensifies at each stage. They are attacked, survive, develop their relationship and find the location of The Amber Room. They go to the location which is the centre of a global meeting where powerful people are deciding the fate of the modern world. The Amber Room is being demonstrated as the main feature of the meeting but a small group try to use it to control the world and all the sovereign debts of nation states. It does not go to plan and the Amber Room opens the way for the evil ethereal forces to once again overtake the forces of good. The heroes are able to stop this happening and the world is saved. Prehistory (Epilogue): The eternal battle between good and evil, order and chaos, light and dark, procreation and destruction.
""The Amber Room" is an extraordinary achievement for a first-time author. From its primordial, primeval beginning, the novel races through time and space to a dramatic and almost apocalyptic conclusion. Heroes Mark and Ema battle against giant forces of Man and of Nature herself to reveal the truth about The Amber Room and its properties. But do they? May this reviewer beg the reader not to skip pages, but to wait for the last line which "explains" it all. An exciting, difficult and dangerous book that will keep you turning the pages."
Hugh Evans, the author of this well-researched story, takes us through a fascinating kaleidoscope of historical events surrounding the construction and subsequent disappearance of the Amber Room, cleverly intermingling fact and fiction from the beginnings of time to the present day. The pace of his tale is fast moving and it is with some regret that one has to leave the atmospheric intrigues of the various time periods and move on to the next. However the thread of the powerful connections with the main male and female characters echoing through the ages, compels and intrigues and pulls the reader along urgently, eager to see where this epic tale leads. Evans picks up the fictional trail of the Amber Room mystery in the present time, crafting tension and intrigue with surprising twists and turns in his story, culminating in an explosive clash of good versus evil, driven by the mysterious and powerful energy of the Amber Room. How it ‘ends’ is up to the reader to decide, but this is an allegorical tale containing all the elements of a ‘good read’ that will appeal to both men and women. A superb debut novel designed to entertain but also to challenge emotional and intellectual inertia - if you let it. Patricia Abercromby PGCE Freelance journalist and Co-Author of: Seated Acupressure Therapy
Published on Nov 24, 2012
Published on Nov 24, 2012
Present Day: [AUTUMN] US researcher meets female publisher in New York with new evidence about the location of the Amber Room. Under threat...