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

Chapter 14

Meanwhile, driving through the hot wilderness, Kaiser Wilhelm couldn’t help but agree with the ‘Green-peace-activists.’ The world should be a ‘cool place to live in’.

"The world-surface is boiling," he reasoned with his sweating crew, "but our constitution will do something against those destroyers."

Patiently the men listened to their sergeant. The blame for global warming was correct. The enemies of the constitution were responsible for the heat in the Saudi Arabian desert...

As a faithful soldier, the Kaiser accepted changes in plans. "This is done to confuse the enemy," he comforted his tired troop. "Brussels wants the president returned alive".

Kaiser Wilhelm knew nothing of secret meetings between the EU and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. His Highness politely asked after the welfare of the president. However, news was floating that this anxiety wasn’t serious.

Three letters had been sent by the Saudi Arabian minister of Foreign Affairs on March 29th, April 7th and 10th. Collaboration by the Saudi Arabian army was promised, should Mr. Clark land on Saudi Arabian territory.

All of a sudden Kaiser Wilhelm became part of some political chess game. He was ignorant of the next move. He didn’t know about the bomb explosions shattering the windows of the royal palace in Riyadh. The Saudi king was joining closer with the EU. ‘September 11th’ (perpetrated mostly by Saudi Arabians), was not in the sergeant’s mind. His present goal was to save the life of his president. He was driving through friendly territory, so he thought!

Meanwhile, these ‘friends’ were bonding with the vice president in Brussels, the most dangerous enemy of the EU president.

Neither did the Kaiser know of the economic crises.

Since April 2nd, Thailand could not hold up its currency. A few days later Hong Kong experienced the same. Japan’s fourth largest bank went bankrupt. South Korea elected a new president for fear of financial ruin. Revolution in Indonesia, because of a desperate financial situation. Russia begged the World Bank to save its economy. The American stock exchange was in panic.

The domino effect entered Europe and Kaiser Wilhelm never realized that Europe’s dependence on Saudi Arabia was the reason for the confusing messages he received from Brussels. With conflicting orders and ignorant of the deadline, the dusty convoy forged on. Slowly but surely. The EU starry flag waving bravely on top.

Kaiser Wilhelm noticed other vehicles advancing. "Saudi troops", he thought. It astonished him that they were shooting at each other. He gave orders to drive closer.

An abandoned jeep, surrounded by bleeding bodies. Seemingly four Mujahin fighters, with green turbans, lay in the sand. Three dead, one still alive. The EU men lifted him carefully on a stretcher.

A wounded young Arabian. Softly crying in pain. His black, shiny hair, sticky with blood, framed his fearful stare at the surrounding soldiers. Then his fear turned to gratitude, as they gave him blood transfusion. Deep wounds in his chest and head; one leg hung in the bloody pant, which was full of holes from the splinters of bomb shells.

"Who shot you?" asked Kaiser.

"The others!" wailed the young man. (As far as they could make out, he then called for his mother).

"What others?"

"Other prisoners."

It slowly dawned on Kaiser what this was all about: A revenge-coup! Prearranged in Brussels! An evil plan. Beyond his soldier morale …

Bending his head, Kaiser listened to the dying man’s whisperings. That wedding band on his finger! The Arab brought out a photo of a young, pretty woman. In her long, gray dress and veil she was bending over a small, laughing baby. With his bleeding right hand, the Arab took the ring off his finger and gave it to Kaiser Wilhelm. He nodded at the questioning look of the EU sergeant. Taking the ring, photo and identity papers, Kaiser held them up for the dying man. He would personally care of this matter. Weakly the man smiled, closed his eyes, and died.

Kaiser Wilhelm covered his head with a white cloth. Putting the man’s last belongings, photo, ring and papers, into his pocket, he turned to his men who were quietly standing by him.

"Cut all connections with Brussels!" he ordered curtly. "No more confusing messages! We’ll find our president ourselves!" He looked at the serious faces. "As Shakespeare said in ‘Hamlet’, "he added meaningfully, "Something is rotten in the state of … Brussels!"

The convoy moved on. Four little sand piles were left in the desert. A stick with a wooden shield topped one grave. The name of the young Arab (found in his identity papers) was cut into the wooden plank. Standing around the graves, the men waited for their sergeant. He didn’t know how to pray. Suddenly he broke the silence, his voice filled with emotion. "All blood is red, and all tears are salty!" he said.

A mild breeze was blowing. Black birds came floating. They almost touched the wood shield on the stick. Bushels of ‘Tumble Weed’ blew over the graves. The desert was decorating with scanty flowers and wreaths.

All blood is red," Kaiser fingered the photo of the woman and her son, "and all tears are bitter!"

A few hours later Kaiser Wilhelm saw a dancing figure waving a torn, white shirt. He observed the wilderness with his field glasses for a long time.

"It’s the president!" the sergeant cried. "Everybody out and stand at attention!"

The soldiers obeyed. They knew their good-natured sergeant, with his preference for military tact. That’s why they called him ‘the Kaiser’.

The sergeant wiped blood and oil from his hands. Marching along the row of men, he dusted the sand from their uniforms. He straightened the flags on the jeeps.

"Onward," he ordered. The convoy neared the figure on the sand hill. Kaiser Wilhelm approached the wild-looking man.

"Mr. President!" he stammered. "At your command, EU convoy Nr. 330 at your service!

"Excellent, lieutenant!" Mr. Pierre Henri Clark called.

"Sergeant, Mr. President!"

"Not any more..... lieutenant!"

For a moment Kaiser Wilhelm stood dumbfounded. Then he saluted the torn shirt.

"Thank you, Mr. President!" His lips were trembling.

"You deserve it...lieutenant!"

The new-elected lieutenant clicked his heels and returned – lips trembling – to his unit. Warm handshakes and good wishes. A quickly erected camouflage tent. The sun was setting, surrounded by cloud formations. Sunlight streamed like spotlights. The military camp was immersed in a supernatural glow…

Behind the golden sand hills celebration was heard. The president radiated with joy. Something seemed to have happened to him. It could be seen on his face and in his eyes.

The festivities lasted long into the night. A giant silver-dollar-moon rose astonished to hear what the president was saying. The unit felt once more, a change had taken place.

Next morning the watchmen announced four desert jeeps on the horizon. The units of Kaiser Wilhelm went to their posts.

As agreed upon, the night before, the president again stood on top of the sand hill. Again he was welcoming some newcomers with his torn white shirt.

Blinded by a desire for revenge, the convoy slowly drew right into the death trap.

A few hours later the EU convoy left the battle field, leaving six new graves behind. Six captive men were returned to prison. The news of the president’s soon return to Brussels was received with mixed feelings.......

*

As darkness fell over the Arava valley, Antoinette Dupont stood at the tent entrance. The first stars had appeared. A cool wind blowing the heat of the day away. Children played around the white flat Bedouin-tent, resembling a diamond glittering in the desert dusk.

John Williams was walking through the plain, his steps heavy, head bowed, tired. Every day at this time he returned from the Twelve-Palm Oasis. There he had heaped 12 stones together. When asked, he explained: "I go there to pray. The stone pillar is a sign between me and God. At every sunset I ask him to give me my heritage: the plain between Bozra in the Edomite Mountains and this Twelve Palm Oasis! I’m all alone there. No one hears me. I pray loud and forcefully: "Give me this parcel of land. I want to prepare a way for You. Your Word says: "Prepare a way in the wilderness for the Lord.".....

Antoinette glanced at John William’s slow approach. The wind was in her long hair. Her white dress blended her figure into the sand and stars; the Paris-girl had turned into a daughter of the desert…

She had been standing for a long time, staring into the plain. Waiting for Jan’s return. Many days had passed since their farewell. He left with Jack Robinson, saying: "We have a job to do in Babylon," It sounded ominous…

"Jack is not one of us," she had retorted. "He carries a weapon under his jacket."

Now John Williams approached with lingering steps. He seemed to have bad news. Something painful to share.....

Antoinette ran toward the lonely figure. Did John’s heavy steps connect with Jan’s destiny? What had happened?

As she met John Williams, tears poured from her eyes and she fell around his neck. A long time they seemed to support each other, in the moonlit landscape.

"Jan is in prison", he whispered, "nobody knows where Jack Robinson is; he has disappeared..."

"I knew it would turn out bad," sobbed Antoinette. "Of course Jack got away safely; he’s used to those kinds of ‘jobs’".

"Don’t say that," warned John. "Both are trained for that kind of work. I understand your fear! It’s bad news that Jan landed in a Babylonian prison, but we must trust God. This isn’t the first time a follower of Jesus is behind prison bars, but we know that God will get him out again!"

"’What can we do?" asked Antoinette.

"Nothing!" answered John Williams. "We are to confidently put it in God’s hands!"

In despair Antoinette looked at him. "Sure, we can do nothing?"

"Come, I will show you something you never saw or heard of," John answered.

He took the girl back to the tent, led her around to the backside and asked:

"Can you see that light on the mountain?"

Antoinette stared at the curved horizon behind Moshav Iddan. "The lights on the mountain between Moshav Iddan and Hazeva?" she asked.

"Exactly! In the next weeks, when it will become harder for you: Never lose sight of that light on the mountain!"

"Why not?"

"Messiah will come from there!"

"How do you know? I always heard Messiah will return on Mt. Olives. What’s that village up there called? It seems a small place."

For a while John gazed at the mountain. "You heard right, Antoinette!" he said. "According to the prophets, when Messiah comes, His foot will rest on Mt. Olives,

East of Jerusalem. The village on the mountain is called Bozra, mentioned in the bible. Around that ancient capital of Edom the Lord will finish His account with the Babylon. When this happens, says Isaiah, Messiah will descend from that mountain in great majesty. From there He will proceed to Zion."

"That means He will pass by here?" Antoinette was moved.

"Yes," answered John with conviction. "It may seem impossible to many, even to ourselves. Nevertheless, it is true: ‘He will pass by here!’"

Antoinette whispered: "And we, what shall we do?"

"Prepare for His coming!’

"How?"

"Prepare a way in the wilderness for Him."

"A real way that you can walk on?"

"Yes, such a way He can walk on!"

"How is that possible?"

John Williams sighed: "With men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible....."