© Johny Noer -

Chapter 12

The Gate of Ishtar led into the very palace precincts of Babylon. Walking southwest along the Procession Boulevard, Jan and Jack were filled with admiration and wonder at the pomp and splendor of the city. Babylon had been rebuilt in its ancient location between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

The two men came to a five-block-building. The central one was decorated with blue glazed tiles, and surrounded by a pillared walkway. Here was the Throne room".

Here king Belshassar celebrated his idols before he was slain. Here Alexander the Great died in 323 B.C., after a violent night with men, women and wine...

On their way the two men continually had to show their credentials to the security as they were chosen as part of a program: A three minute presentation of "The Project".

The EU vice president was present in the Hall. In a sad tone he answered: "Originally our beloved president, Mr. Pierre Henri Clark should open this important occasion, but," he added with a deep sigh, "as you all know, he cannot be with us. Personally I was most close to him; I heard of his interest in this project. Now it’s my honor and privilege to be part of the presentation!"

The Project was to show the meaning of the "Tower"; the future emblem of Babylon! In a flair of colors and elegant design the idea would be shown in three minutes to the most powerful men in the world. In spite of 9/11 there should be no fear of towers. A daring project, which the first citizens of Babel had to give up, was to be introduced.

"If there is anything that would rightly represent a one-world government, it’s "the Tower of Babel", the vice president ended, "and that’s what you are going to see now…"

Modern technical equipment had been installed. The audience was prepared. The wall at the end of the hall was huge; perfect for a three-dimensional show. Loudspeakers were monitored. A top-professional presentation was about to start.

"What are we doing here?" asked Jack, as new elegant guests arrived. The Babylonian guard with helmets looked like flaming candleholders. Their antique swords and golden breast plates gleamed. The banquet scene was like a mosaic of colored stones from some Persian history.

Better to throw a bomb!" Jack said.

"Incorrigible" Jan retorted, "our three minute "program" will produce greater tremors than your bombs!"

Ladies were led in, dressed in Assyrian "Christian Dior" styles, giant kimonos, hats simulating old towers; silk dresses with flower designs and puffed sleeves, "Belle Epoch Elegance" shoes waiting to be viewed and purchased. A troop of Persian acrobats opened the show, swinging swords from the Arcadian period. Lions in relief, made of glazed stone, ‘walked’ in a row along all the walls. They mirrored the style of Nebuchadnezzar. None of the elegant, happy guests had any inkling that in a few moments they would be transported into exactly these times, triggered by a dramatic, historical event…

The banquet tables were furnished with Mesopotamian and West Iranian bowls and vases. They were divided into the ten sections of the new world government.

First region: North America and Canada

Second region: Western Europe

Third region: Japan

Fourth region: Australia, Israel and South Africa

The servants, decked out like slaves, brought the excited guests from Eastern Europe and Russia to their places in the fifth region.

The sixth region was occupied by Latin Americans, while the Near Eastern and Arabian guests were seated in the seventh region.

Dark-skinned African guests came to the eighth region.

The ninth region was occupied by South Asians from India, the Philippines and other mixed populace of these regions.

The world power of China sat in the tenth region…..

The wine was brought out; its original always announced, and each time mention made of the Old Persian flask it was served in.

For example: "This South African wine is poured from a flask from the temple of the moon god Sin," a soft voice would proclaim through the loud speakers.

"This Spanish wine is served in a flask from the second period of the former Dynasty. It’s from the temple of the god Abu al Eshnunnes" or "This French wine comes from the same period in a sacred vessel of the Shara temple… and this Canadian wine from the same period served in a flask from the Nintus temple….."

An Arabian sheik arose, calling: "We are anticipating the Israeli wine from Mt. Carmel served in vessels from the temple of Jerusalem!"

Total silence ensued; an almost reverend quiet fell in the Throne Room. Then, with soft back ground music, a voice came from the loud speaker: "Certainly, your Highness, your wish is granted! At this moment several temple vessels are in transport. They originated thousands of years before our time, as the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar."

Great applause. Music started. The elite of Babylon entered the dimly lit dance floor. Men with women, women with men, men with men and women with women. A comfortable atmosphere. The temple vessels from Jerusalem came in; the sparkling wine from Mt. Carmel was poured. No end to the joyful exclamations. A moment of unity! An old curse over Babel had been broken! Babylon was recaptured; the ancient capital of a new world order…!

Vice president John Edwards took the lead. "The president of the second region, Mr. Pierre-Henri Clark is still alive. As we speak, our people are searching for him in the Saudi-Arabian Mountains." The members of the Saudi royal family began to clap; everybody joined in, even Jack Robinson.

The vice-president continued: "I have the pleasure to present to you the very ‘Project’ which may bring unity to the nations under a free democratic government. In a few moments you will see what up to this point you have only heard of."

The huge, red curtain slowly opened. The Mesopotamian music of harps and flutes grew louder. Tanned slaves brought in old-Babylonian lamps. Warriors dressed in the same style took their stations around the walls. Spears, swords, shields and arrows were gleaming. Pretty slave girls brought Babylonian gold and silver ornaments, cosmetics, mirrors, rings and armbands to the guests. The Throne room was turned into a festival hall of Babylonian times 2500 years ago.

Touched with emotion, the vice president introduced the next portrayal of "Things to come". He warned: "The enemies of the Tower of Babel should read "the writing on the wall"….

Mighty bronze gongs sounded. Suddenly "the writing on the wall" became a reality on the screen of the huge backstage. A replica of the festivities was like reproduced; through computer-technique the voices of the last minutes were repeated with pictures of the banquet hall. The words about the Temple vessels of the Arabian sheik were suddenly heard again. The meeting was shocked. The Saudi prince stood up, raising a short sword. Newspaper reporters from Jeddah in Arabia filmed the reaction. Western diplomats tried to soothe their terrified wives, who wanted to flee the hall…

The music stopped. The picture of a hand on the wall was seen writing the words: "Mené, Mené, Tekel Ufarsin." A warning message from 2500 years ago! Some light from a distant star had at last reached the earth.

Total silence. A surprising phenomenon. Then pandemonium swept through the hall. Arabs and Chinese, Spaniards and Japanese, Americans, Germans and Indians clutched each other, trying to understand … John Edwards, white as chalk, asked for the curtains to be drawn, but was told that it was impossible. Nor could the picture be erased. The power was disconnected. The picture disappeared, but the words stayed indelibly inscribed in the wall.

The vice president realized that some unknown enemy of the system had succeeded in causing confusion. He didn’t know how to proceed. To him it was like a failure to acknowledge anything. "As soon as the wall is cleansed, we will continue", he said.

The words were there. What do they mean?" Questions flew around. An African woman in a coma was carried out; an Indian statesman got an asthma attack. He kept pointing to the temple vessels from Jerusalem; a religious man from Iran, who understood old Aramaic, was brought forward. He was asked to explain the words.

"Mene" means "counted", he began, "when used twice, it means "ended".

People shook their heads. He explained again: "The words mean that "God has counted your days, and put an end to them!" A murmuring whispered through the assembly. Nobody could fathom an ending to this wonderful new world system.

"What else?" others questioned.

Tekel" is a weight unit…like the Jewish Shekel (This likening was not well received). "The meaning is: You have been found wanting on the scales – too light!"

More irritation in the audience. The Iranian translator grew nervous. Quickly he continued: "Peres" means: Your kingdom is divided!"

The noise in the hall grew. Who dared to prophecy splits and division to this great assembly?

"Ufarsin" means "the kingdom will be given to others." The microphone was torn from the interpreter. "The kingdom will be divided and given to others…

The vice president saw one last course of action. He brought bishop Valentin on stage. Maybe he would be able to explain a more positive meaning of the words on the wall.

When the bishop came up his unusual, pleasing charisma caught the attention. "The origin of this meeting really has its beginning in king Nebuchadnezzar’s dining halls", he started. "Our leaders of the festivities were not satisfied with dance and music to lead you into the past. They wanted to make an old legend even more real to you; they were so successful that for a moment we were all deceived."

This introduction calmed the spirits; the bishop’s good humor cooled the emotions. The curtain slowly closed; the Persian music soothed with new magic…

Then the bishop took the audience through an old bible story. He explained the words on the wall. It’s a fable of the times of king Nebuchadnezzar", he said. "It never really happened.

Then the bishop began to propound on the symbolism of the story: "It’s necessary to differentiate between fable and reality," he said. "If we ‘count and weigh’ every word, we will become ‘divided’. If we understand the whole meaning of a story, we will survive." He continued: "The religious ‘fundamentalists’ count and weigh every word! These fanatics! They hate the new ‘Tower of Babel’. If we follow them, we too will be ‘counted and perish’. But if we believe in the secret message of our adventure, we will keep our unity! Never believe those false, negative warnings! Those preachers of doom and destruction! We are entering wonderful times of peace, growth and freedom. A cold winter is past! A new spring with new love, new freedom to love, (however you want, whomever you want), has begun. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s start making bricks, building a city and a tower reaching to the sky! Let’s make us a name or we shall be scattered over the face of the earth…."


While the charming, smiling speaker received loud acclaim, two young men descended calmly to the Hanging Gardens. They were stopped by the chief of Babylon’s security guards.

"Good evening, gentlemen! My congratulations to your first-class performance. We gather that the program ended as planned."

"Oh, yes, said Jan Apostolou. "That’s why we are leaving. Our job is done."

"But the show hasn’t ended yet. Won’t you watch the finale and join in the applause?" A little irony tinted the friendly sounding appeal of the palace security chief.

"No thanks! We are tired. Need to retire!" answered Jack Robinson. He looked around. "We just want to view the gorgeous gardens."

"We’ll be glad to show you the grandeur of flowers and vegetation; there is much to see…." The guard’s tone became sharper.

"Thanks! We prefer to go alone." Jack was sizing up the six men who appeared in front of him. The chief smiled: "You count right! We might be more than you think!"

"Run," Jack called to Jan.

The chief watched with superiority as Jack jumped over a hedge. Quietly he saw Jan hand-cuffed.

"And the other one?" he asked.

"Disappeared! We are on his trail."

Shots were heard in the neighboring gardens.

"Idiots!" called the chief. "These birds must be caught alive. Dead birds are worthless!"

They carried Jan to him. "The other one escaped!" they reported. "One of our men is slightly wounded."

"Take him away!" the chief said, pointing to Jan. "One bird escaped; let him do the singing. If he won’t" he was hiding a mean smirk, "we have our methods to teach him our songs. We have many birds in our cage," he continued grimly, "they know many melodies. They sing in all languages. Even the small sparrows, so shy and quiet! At first their beaks are drooping, but soon we bring them to chirp…until they all join in our Babylonian songs."

The Babylonian boss came close to Jan: "Just arrived from Israel, I am told. A little flittering Jewish bird! We like them especially. Since time immemorial we have taught singing to all kinds of Jewish birds. Yes, we are masters in the art of opening Jewish beaks."

The chief swung his fist and struck Jan in the face.

"Take him away!" he bellowed. "Put that clumsy Jew-bird into a cage." He wiped the blood from his right hand.

"We have our methods," he murmured to himself. His eyes glowed sickly. "Wonderful methods!" Then he followed behind, as Jan stumbled ahead in the darkness.

The chief was humming grimly: "The songs of Babylon…" his voice became melodious…."The songs of Babylon. They should join in the songs of Babylon."

His voice grew dimmer in the dark garden, with an ominous warning trailing behind him.