THE GLOBAL MARK
© Johny Noer - www.noer.info

Chapter 4

Kaiser Wilhelm grasped his binoculars, covered with sand and dust. He perused the region with the white desert tent, where he had seen the night before a white-haired man, his wife and children, whose number he was interested to know. "I will find out," he murmured to himself," the exact number of persons in the tent. At least it is a 'good number', because Antoinette Dupont is among them; that makes it a perfect number..."

The sun slowly rose over the region formerly belonging to Jordan. No cloud was in the sky; the huge red disc hung in the warm haze of the mountains. They were known to the EU-sergeant from before the Gog war as the "mountains of Edom." Kaiser Wilhelm only had a limited knowledge of the old, biblical names on his military map of the region. Detailed maps, which he had confiscated in the so-called "field-schools near Moshav Hazeva, schools for archaeological students.

"These people always have to include their "bible stories", he thought. That irritated the Kaiser; his interest lay in the exact number of hills, mountains and distances. Too bad he couldn't add his own informations, as the map was covered with plastic.

"The mountains of Edom", he murmured, and read on: "also called 'mountains of Esau'" Indignantly Kaiser Wilhelm shook his head. "It doesn't matter!" Again he took his worn-out binoculars and observed the scene before him.

From the Wadi behind the tent an undulating sheep and goat herd climbed to their daily pasture in the sparsely grown region. Since the days of the war, he knew that this goat herd belonged to the only Bedouin family permitted to settle south of Beersheva. Bedouins needed no maps; they knew the desert like their own pockets, and they had helped the army of Israel in former Middle East wars. As reward, the wives, sons and daughters of "Machmet" got permission to put up their tents around the old king Solomon's fort. Now he could see one of his daughters, wrapped in black, riding on a donkey. Four dogs, looking like jackals, encircled the herd entering the desert of Zin. There they would spend the whole day in terrible heat, in a region 350 feet below sea level. The thermometer often rose over 50 degrees Celsius.

Kaiser Wilhelm observed through his binoculars how the young, veiled woman brought order into her flock. "About 30 goats" he murmured. "How strange that they spread far apart. Up on the hill there are six, eight goats not following the herd." He noticed the four jackal-dogs trying to near the tent, but two brown watchdogs barked furiously to keep them from coming closer. The Bedouin woman slid from her donkey, drove the goats and dogs away from the tent with a stick, and the unruly herd disappeared behind a sand dune.

While Kaiser Wilhelm gazed at the Arab girl through binoculars, the scene became clouded. As if in a dream he saw once more 'Lawrence of Arabia', (or more specifically 'T.E.' Thomas Edward) riding across the desert. Lawrence had become a legend. Kaiser Wilhelm saw himself as Lawrence. Dressed in Arab clothes, with a golden dagger in his girdle.

During his career in the Middle East wars, he had even tried to play the role of Lawrence, who could jump on a running camel, and was an expert in pistol shooting. Also Lawrence excelled in handling the famous Lewis-machine gun, which he always carried on the back of his camel. It was Kaiser Wilhelm’s dream to live such an anecdote as 'Lawrence of Arabia'. Kaiser Wilhelm had read all biographies about his melodramatic hero. He hated the story by Richard Aldington, and had burnt the book that mentioned Lawrence as a homosexual, but he loved David Lean's 62 movie "Lawrence of Arabia". With tears, he would watch the scene where Lawrence left his house in Clouds Hill on his beloved Brough Superior motor cycle. To prevent hitting a small girl, he crashed and died a few days later. "No war hero should end this way," sighed Kaiser Wilhelm.

Like Lawrence, he also had his motor cycle. He could roar through the desert faster than a camel could run. Hence he rode his motor cycle down to the tent. Only 600 yards to the spot where he thought to find Antoinette Dupont. The night before he had received news of the situation in Brussels. The EU-president was still held hostage. "The French is an accomplice", he was told. "The police are searching after her and a Greek named Jan Apostolou…"

Kaiser Wilhelm rode over the hill. At the entrance, the white-haired man met him. They entered the tent, where he looked around. He noticed a woman, the children and the veiled young woman in the back. Quickly he tore the veil from her face, calling out triumphantly: "Good morning, Miss Dupont!" Confused he stared at the woman, who, startled, tried to cover her face again. Antoinette, the French girl, was not before him. This girl was a Bedouin. Her face was dark-skinned, with a tattoo over the eyes and on the chin.

"Who is she?" he asked the white-haired man.

" She belongs to Machmet's family."

"And Antoinette Dupont?"

The white-haired shook his head. "She is not here."

*

Antoinette Dupont was a slender, dark-eyed woman from Paris. Her dignified appearance and her irresistible, large, brown eyes had brought her to the attention of a Parisian film school. "It’s like looking into a deep well," said the director. She soon left the small supermarket in Rue des Pyrenées and tried her luck in the film world of Paris. "With these eyes she can conquer Hollywood," announced the teachers at the school. "Let’s try the TV-program "Star Academy", they said. "They are always looking for stars."

However Antoinette's promising future was suddenly changed. It happened after a Sunday stroll on Mont Martre. She was given an invitation that made her curious. Going to the given address in the Rue Turgot, she found a small, simple meeting hall. A group of warm-hearted people welcomed the young Parisian girl into their company. A few months of heart-change followed. As the cherry blossoms decorated the Champs Elysée, a new spiritual world opened for the 'girl from the Miniprix supermarket!

Over the entrance to the hall in the Rue Turgot, near Pigalle, was the unassuming sign'Salle Evangelique'. A secluded group of evangelical Christians were trying to cope with the difficult happenings of the New Europe, in which all public signs of religious gatherings were forbidden. The churches, schools and institutions that still used the cross and similar symbols were strictly targeted. Antoinette Dupont learned to hide her spiritual convictions that had made her an uncompromising 'follower of the man of Nazareth'. The label 'Christian' and the name of ‘Jesus' were an invitation for supervision and persecution.

The community at Rue Turgot soon changed her ideas about the 'star academy’. When she told them what was going on in the academy, she would say, sobbing: "All this is so empty!" Once she stayed overnight with a group of 20 candidates in an old castle outside Paris. She couldn't handle the loose morals allowed there, and fled overnight back to the capital, where she found refuge with a family named Apostolou.

The nocturnal flight from the 'star academy' brought Antoinette into the searchlight of the EU-security. They watched all her goings in and out. All information was sent to Brussels. This led to 'Antoinette Dupont being categorized under the codename 'Registration', the focus of which was to "separate religious elements who might be a threat to society."

This did not mean that Brussels saw the 'girl from the Miniprix supermarket' as a special danger, but they were convinced she would be perfect bait for bigger game. "Her doe's eyes will soon entice the beasts of the jungle into the trap," they said. They were right. It didn’t take long until the young, Greek Film producer, Jan Apostolou, appeared on their screens. The agents waited. They followed his trail and soon they came across other 'beasts of the jungle'…

The word 'jungle beast' originated at the police school. Here the agents were trained in the basic EU laws. They began: 'The EU is to become a stabilizing factor in the new world order. "All who live outside this world order," they were taught, "are to be considered as uncivilized beings, … barbarians…"

The security team was informed that a romantic liaison was beginning between Antoinette, or the 'Doe' (her code name) and ‘the Greek'. Jan Apostolou was spending time with his family just as Antoinette had taken refuge with the community in the Rue Turgot; through them she had come to his family's home. Brussels knew that both were planning to produce a film, Jan as the producer, she as 'field-manager'. They had already filmed at the island of Patmos, nobody knew why. Now both seemed to be interested in the project of The Third Temple in Jerusalem.

Once Brussels had invited Jan to a short hearing. "We just need to know about your film-plans for the temple in Jerusalem", the agents declared, "for security's sake only."

Jan explained that he had started comparisons between the Herodian, or the second temple, and other temple styles like the Acropolis in Athens that takes only the fifth space of the Jerusalem temple grounds. Or the temple to Artemis in Ephesus, one of the seven world wonders". The agents in Brussels let themselves be persuaded, as John explained that all large cathedrals in England: Canterbury, York, Minster, Winchester, Durham, Exeter, Worcester and Chichester could stand on the temple grounds, "and still there would be room for more. What a wonderful sanctuary it will be, when the new temple is erected. I will make a film with comparisons! Purely a cultural film project." And so the security team was pacified.

*

In the early morning hours, the young, veiled Bedouin girl rode slowly deeper into the desert of Zin. On her donkey and with her herd she passed the desert tent beside the fort of King Solomon; the sand dunes stretched forever in the hilly terrain. With the first golden sunrays they looked like ripe cornfields, reaching to Abraham's old pastures near Beersheva. The golden colours were so deceiving; one could almost smell the aroma of the fields and the spicy heather. But after the desert-sand had soaked up the first morning light, the fields, the corn and heather disappeared, and only dry, golden wilderness remained.

The goats found nourishment everywhere, although they were somewhat agitated and scattered, as Kaiser Wilhelm had noticed. Especially at the moment when they passed the desert tent…for that is where the sudden exchange of roles took place: Maachmet's veiled daughter had slipped into the tent, while Antoinette climbed onto the donkey's back. She was already dressed in black, Arabian clothing, borrowed from the Bedouin neighbours by white-haired John Williams.

Kaiser Wilhelm’s camouflaged jeeps were invisible for all around, except for the sharp eyes of Bedouins. The watchful guarding of the tent by the EU-sergeant was again watchfully guarded by the sons of the desert. His group of jeeps, only 600 yards from John William's family, near the old caravan route (also called 'spice route') was observed by attentive, young, dark-eyed men from the black tents on the other side of the mountain. They warned Williams....

Before he sent Antoinette Dupont on her lonesome journey, he packed a gun, wrapped in goatskin and fastened it on the donkey. "You must travel three days into the desert," he said. "If you follow the 'Incense Route', where for ages caravans have travelled from Jordan to Gaza, you will come to some caves. In the evening of the third day you may try to get in touch with us by cell-phone. The battery will be weak; it is not sure you can get to us from the desert! Try to climb a mountain. Maybe you can reach us from there! In the evening, before dark, fire a few gunshots into the air, and make a fire before the cave where you will stay. Jan and I will find you...."

"Jan? Is Jan coming?" Her voice was full of expectancy.

"Yes, but first he must shake off an EU-team. They have followed him to professor Fruchtenbaums house in Jerusalem."

Antoinette's face beamed. John Williams gazed earnestly at her. You have two enemies to beware of," he said. "One is the EU-agents and their accomplices..."

"What is that?"

"There is a Jerusalem policeman, called Adolf Engels, looking for you and Jan. Another EU-sergeant, called Kaiser Wilhelm. Last night he spent behind our tent, only 600 yards away. Probably he will come in a few minutes to pick you up. Professor Fruchtenbaum wants you to know that Brussels is planning for you to attend a special Registration program. "Be sure", he says, "to refuse all kinds of electronic chip-operations into your body, and refuse all tattooing. This has to do with the Mark."

"What mark?"

"There is no time now, Antoinette. I expect Kaiser Wilhelm any minute; we will see each other in three days."

"Who is the other enemy? You mentioned two."

John Williams followed Antoinette to the donkey. He tapped the gun in the goatskin." If the other enemy appears, use this", he said. "It has six shots, and six more in the magazine."

Who is this other enemy?"

"May God be with you," answered John. "Trust Him!"

"Yes, but who is the other enemy?"

John Williams took a big breath. "The wolves!" he said, "the wolves!"