Escape From The Prison At The Ice Palace:
Edward reached the point of no return very soon. But he could not catch the monster that Helga had nicknamed “Igor” soon enough. He was gone across the snow banks and fields with Edward’s wife. Edward could hear her screams in the distance.
Another dog team stood ready beside the one that had just took off with his wife and Igor. Edward had no choice but to use it. No other kind of transportation would work in this environment. Not that he had any experience steering a dog team. He could only hope that the team would steer itself and would instinctively sense where to go —- to follow the other team.
“Mush!” Edward shouted as the team started across the snow. He knew they must be headed in generally the right direction. He could still hear the team ahead of them. He otherwise would not be able to. He could also hear his wife’s screams undiminished in volume.
They were now far enough away from their starting point that when Edward turned around he could no longer make out the Ice Palace in the surrounding banks of snow that made the whole area sparkling white and hard for the eyes to take in. He sensed that they were reaching their mysterious destination when the dogs started to slow down themselves without any sort of order. Ahead he could barely make out the man called Igor, or the monster, carrying his wife from the sled to a portal that appeared to lead underground. Soon they were no longer visible.
Edward managed somehow to bring his dog team to a stop right at the same location where the other dog team was waiting. He had no choice but to continue following the disappearing monster underground.
His ears were immediately assaulted by sounds of moaning and screaming. He could hardly believe it. But inside the cages lining the walls were human beings. He kept to the shadows and tried not to be seen as he attempted to find Igor and his wife. But he could not help but notice that the people along the walls were crying out in different languages. Who were these? The dispossessed? Enemies of the Russian state? Was this far outpost in Alaska another kind of Russian gulag where the Dictator sent prisoners and enemies of the state?
Sure enough up ahead he could see that was where his wife was headed. Igor was shoving her into a cage all her own. But he was beginning to wonder what was really going on here when he also caught a glimpse of the man Helga termed “Dr. Frankenstein” with the bifocal glasses. He was stirring up different concoctions in beakers and test tubes. Was he doing experiments that had to do with these people? Was he Dr. Mengala who had escaped here after the fall of the Third Reich? All he knew was that he had to get out of here quick —- with Dora.
He waited until the other men had disappeared. He headed directly towards Dora’s cage. He trusted to his own instincts about opening it. He did it readily enough from the outside.
Dora gasped when she saw him. He put his finger to his lips to remind her not to say anything. He slipped his hand around hers. He led her back through the hall lined with prisoners in cages. He kept his eyes focused on the ground. Imitating him, Dora did so likewise.
They climbed the stairs out of the place and reached the dogs. Edward helped his wife into the sled. They were soon bounding across the white field pulled by dogs. He could only hope that no one was following them.
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Helga Takes Edward Captive in Denali:
“You do have Lady Ware in your custody, don’t you?” Helga prompted the monster.
The creature nodded and answered in some sort of incomprehensible brogue that sounded like a combination of very bad Russian and something else —- maybe Alaskan? He could not imagine where she had gotten a worker like that —- from the Russian goolag? Siberia? Edward did want to probe too deeply into whether he was really human or not.
“She will be our next experimental victim,” said the man that Helga had termed Dr. Frankenstein.
What was he, a Nazi reject from the Third Reich? Had he taken refuge in Russia after the war?
“So you see, Edward?” Helga purred as she reached out to smooth down his collar. “You don’t really have any choice but to do as I say, right?” she prompted him.
Edward could see the writing on the wall as he followed her into an inner room in this Ice Palace of hers. She led him into her inner sanctum to her bed. He knew her ways from long ago. Soon she was undressed beckoning to him as she had done thousands of times before. He did not want to approach her bed. He knew what would happen from long experience, but he had no choice.
Soon her long, svelte arms were around him pressing her hands into all his pockets as she stripped him of his clothing piece by piece. As he plunged into her he remembered long ago scenes where they lay in the rose-colored sands by the red colored walls of Petra in the Syrian Desert making and conceiving their bastard son together. But he tried to put it aside. He knew what would come next.
“Oh, look what I found!” Helga waved a note in the air. It was from Churchill, of course, talking about Kruschev and Lawrence’s latest map defending Britain against Russian nuclear attack. “This is just the sort of thing I am paid to find.” Her eyes glittered. “If you hand over that map, I will give you back your wife.”
Fortunately Helga was so mesmerized by her “find” that she could not help staring at it intensely as if it would give up even more secrets with intense scrutiny. Edward took advantage of her momentary lapse in concentration to creep up behind the naked woman and gag her, tying a cloth around her mouth. After that he bound her to the bedpost with more sashes and ties and torn sheets.
Edward quickly dressed and made his way out the back of her bedroom into the snow. He knew he had but a short time to find his wife and be out of harm’s way. Who knew what kind of creeps and misbegotten creatures Helga had collected here to help her with her spying mission for a Russian dictator.
He noticed the dimensions of the compound huddling down towards the ground and much of it underground. A good snow could cover it all so that it would not be visible. The runway could easily be covered. A careless park ranger might not notice anything at all.
Edward figured that Dora must be hidden in the main building up ahead. But before he could reach it he saw a figure emerge dragging a woman tied up with ropes. He started to head across the snowy field with her pushing her ahead of him.
Edward quickly started after them. But he could not reach the man with the fighting woman who began to look more and more like Dora before he reached a dog sled. He was off mushing the dogs leaving Edward in the snow that had started to fall.
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Helga in the Land of the Midnight Sun:
Where does the villainess Helga von Wessel disappear to at the end of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series at the end of the historical thriller Unlocking Trinity? The narrative leaves her in an ambiguous fashion somewhere in the vicinity of Los Alamos/Socorro near the first nuclear blast on July 16, 1945. We hear stories about an image on a rock that looks like her.
But really? Would Helga von Wessel, super villain of the series, the one who always manages to climb out of every situation, end up like that? Would she finally cease to haunt the hero of the series, General Sir Edward Ware?
Where do baddies like Helga end up? Does she go to Rio de Janeiro like the other baddie of the novel series, Thomasina Ware, who ends up as Mrs. Baker in the last volume of the series, Dark 3: Special Edition? Mrs. Baker as we hear from Doc ends up being the head of a group of worldwide Neo Nazis centered in both Germany and in Rio. She directs operations from there. Would you see Helga directing such a group?
Or would you rather see her ending up like one of the classic villains of all time at the end of the nineteenth century horror novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley? Where does the monster go? Supposedly Dr. Frankenstein must follow his creature all the way to the wilds of Alaska. Could you see Dora and Edward going there? What trouble could Helga get into among polar bears, grizzlies, gold rushers, salmon fishers, totem poles, and Russian Orthodox churches? And why would she be hiding out in the Land of the Midnight Sun?
It is just a teasing possibility. Fun to irmagine. Maybe Helga von Wessel will even meet the monster, Frankenstein, himself. The bets are that the monster would be scared of her.
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Democracy, Initiative, And Referendum:
In a democracy laws are made by majority voting BUT only on certain issues. First of all, it is a representative democracy. You cede your right to vote on every issue to your congressman and senators. Other issues you cede to the courts to decide and still other issues you cede to the President and the executive branch. Theoretically Congress could hold another Constitutional Convention and decide that individual states have the right to secede from the Union. But nothing short of that could authorize it including the courts. The courts themselves don’t have the power.
If you have a democracy that can VOTE to “come apart” on some whim, you have created an unstable structure that sounds more like mob rule than a true democracy. In such a society freedom of the press itself becomes dangerous because it is subject to “yellow journalism” and forces that try to influence your vote. The average person might vote for things for which he would be sorry later or for which he doesn’t realize the consequences.
I think Europe ought to get over this referendum stuff, which is something you cannot do in the US. I thought you yourself had decided that you were tired of votes and referendums. Look what problems they have caused in Britain in only a couple of years! In Spain they would cause even more problems.
Where did all this referendum stuff come from anyway? I don’t think Napoleon held referendums. The Romans certainly didn’t.
There is no way to talk about Calexit and be serious. It is a satiric, humorous subject. I have taken up blogging about the subject and in many of my blogs to show you have satiric it is, I have Trump accompanied by Marcus Crassus, the Roman billionaire and financier of Julius Caesar. He was a member of the First Triumvirate. He lost big at the Battle of Carrhae in Parthia and learned a lot to tell Trump. He accompanies Trump to California and advises him about how to conquer it while criticizing all the Roman baubles and costumes on a back lot in the Hollywood studios. That sort of thing.
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Calexit and Trump
In the US secession, including Calexit, is illegal. Voting for secession is also illegal. This is why California cannot get it on the ballot for initiative and referendum, and remember California was once part of New Spain, that land where the Catalonians now want independence from Madrid. If California would try to put it on the ballot it would be held up by the courts forever and ever. Beyond that we get into the movie script I was suggesting about Calexit.
Obviously there is nothing to Calexit. It doesn’t matter about what businessmen you heard chatting. This is all jocular stuff. It is NOT serious. It is like me talking about it as cocktail party conversation. You could also discuss it in an academic situation. It is not illegal to DISCUSS it even quite openly. But not only is it illegal to act on it, nobody WOULD seriously act on it if they are sane.
What such a thing would do to the business community of California is movie stuff. Part of my suggested movie script would have Tim Cook of Apple fleeing to Ireland where Apple keeps all its cash because the Feds were after him for donating to the Calexit cause and thus leading Trump to seize Apple and all its assets. Of course to get back at Trump in the movie script Tim Cook (seemingly safe in Ireland before a spy gets him) turns off all the iPhones in the US. Trump is giving an order as he speaks into his iPhone and it goes blank. It doesn’t work anymore. It is Apple’s revenge.
Obviously Silicon Valley and the Valley of California with all that agri business and the wine country, too, is worth too much money to risk it all on political silliness. What about the stock holders? They would revolt! The business of California is too well integrated with the business of America to seek independence even if it were possible which it is not. And who are the Californians? People move in and out of the state every day. It is a shifting political base.
Also California is in effect already occupied by Federal troops. What about San Diego, home of the Pacific Fleet? What about Andrews Air Force base? Army bases everywhere too? And what about Federal enclaves such as Yosemite National Park? Sequoia National Park? Redwood National Park? There is also a huge Federal Recreation area in downtown San Francisco right by the harbor. Very strategic, right? Good for snooping on all those California rebels.
Things in history don’t happen for whimsical reasons. California doesn’t seek independence because it makes good party table conversation. There would have to be a real underlying cause, also a reason why now? And when you think of it, California has never had a better time to be part of the Union. I think the biggest money maker is the port at Long Beach where they conduct the trade with China. The exports comes from all over the US and Canada. The imports go to all the states, not just California.
This is where Dora’s father, Winthrop Benley, would be getting the rubber to make his tires one hundred years ago in the first novel in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, Key to Lawrence: Special Edition. And Mr. Benley certainly was a patriot who contrasted America with Europe, that land where countries do break up, the land of Balkanization.
The secret to America is that things here are too well integrated to break up. That is what holds the union together like cement.
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Medea the Witch by Dora Benley will be offered free on Amazon Kindle starting Wednesday and continuing for the next five days. But hurry! An offer like this won’t be repeated this year.
Medea the Witch is the story of Jason and Medea told from the point of view of Medea. This is not the more familiar tale of Jason’s voyage to Colchis in which the latter encounters Harpies and monsters at every turn (i.e., the material of the 1950’s movie Jason and the Argonauts), but rather it is the tale of the clash of two very different cultures. Medea comes from the fading world of Goddess worshipers with a long matriarchal tradition. She is suddenly thrust into Jason’s Greek world of the followers of the Sky God Zeus where women are best left behind veils. No one understands her “magic” and she is called a “witch.” She is left to defend herself as best she can. The death of her tradition combines with the havoc wreaked by the Thera volcanic eruption at the end of the Bronze Age to presage the end of her world.
If you liked Medea the Witch, you will like other tales by Dora Benley including Minotaur, Helen of Troy, Book of the Dead, Mary’s Gone, and Latin Lessons.
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Chapter 7: Wall Street Swastika: Poor Ophelia
The next morning they went to the first class dining room for breakfast. Nervously Dora looked from side to side. She didn’t see any of the creepy German spies who had haunted them yesterday evening at dinner. Had they all decamped when Edward made the rogue who attacked her walk the plank? Did they want to avoid trouble? Had they been waiting for that ship that had been shadowing them to escape? Had Hitler sent it? Were they on their way to Germany right now?
Dora did not feel comfortable sitting in the dining room where last night they had encountered the rogues. Rita had sent her excuses that she was having breakfast in her cabin. But Dora had to sit there and endure it. Winston always insisted on having a full breakfast pefectly cooked. He said it was the only way to start the day. He had to have his wits about him, and his wits had to be carefully nourished.
He and Edward sat there discussing of all things the Lawrence maps themselves. Edward had them right now up his sleeve. Before the voyage was over they were supposed to rendezvous with Churchill’s best friend, Professor Lindemann of Oxford. The gentleman was aboard the ship right now. Winston was pretending he did not know the man. If they saw him they were not to say hello or wave. In fact, he was sitting across the room right now. Dora turned to see him reading the newspapers all by himself at a table next to the Roman pillar near the kitchen entrance. Waiters zoomed past the physics professor left and right and he did not eyeball one of them. Instead he seemed to be doing the crossword puzzle if Dora had to guess. He was marking things down on the newspaper itself.
“Do you have any word what the Dictator is up to right now since he got word of the crash?” Edward asked very low.
Churchill dug into his poached eggs on toast covered with heavenly hollandaise sauce with bacon on the side. Winston nodded. “I talked to Lindemann last night in secret in the men’s room on the lower level in the dark. He reported that Hitler isn’t wasting any time at all. His speaking engagements had been few and far between until last week. Germany is dependent upon short term loans in particular. The farmers are up in arms, one of Hitler’s bases of power to begin with. Others in the cities are starting to lose their jobs already.”
Dora shook her head. “But can’t they see that the stock market will recover one of these days?”
Edward sighed. “Not soon enough to keep the likes of the slippery footed Hitler out of power.”
“Hitler has been invited to the townhall in Nuremberg entitled Why Democracy Has Failed Germany: Time for a Change.” He sipped his hot chocolate.
Dora tapped her fingers nervously on the table.
“The Hugenberg Press is giving him an interview next week. He is going to emphasize how the Nazis never had anything to do with the Weimar government. He even has his eye on two posts in the Thuringian government. He wants to aim at the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Education. That way he can control the civil service, the police, and the schools. He says he can do anything after that.”
Dora could not believe this nightmare just because of a bad day of Wall Street. All right. A terrible day. But she had to remember that not everybody had her father’s money.
That evening they were going to meet Lindemann in the theater aboard the ship. Once the lights went out they were going to hand over the maps. That was another clever move by Winston.
Dora had gotten there first. She was saving the four seats near the stage. The Royal Shakespearian Theater was putting on Hamlet. Ophelia was about to be buried in a church yard near the castle in Helsingor.
Suddenly a strange man sat down next to Dora. She rose immediately, but he grabbed her by the hand. She did not know whether to scream and attract everybody’s attention. After all, she had the maps in her handbag.
She did not get a chance to think. The lights had just gone out. He slipped his hand over her mouth and put a gun to her back. She was forced to accompany him up the back staircase to the stage. Whatever he was up to she could not imagine. There was a wooden box that resembled a coffin. He was forcing her to climb into it.
No sooner had she laid down than stage hands picked up the coffin and carried her right out into the middle of the stage. The players were declaiming all around her in Act V, Scene 1 of Hamlet. The gravediggers are arguing with each other whether she should be buried here since she committed suicide.
Hamlet and Horatio enter stage left. They are talking about the various graves. Hamlet finds a skull he likes but says in a voice that sounds a bit too familiar to Dora, “Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him Horatio!” Why, that sounded like Edward! Or was it her imagination? Had they seen her get kidnapped? Had they sensed an elaborate plot afoot for stealing the maps in the middle of the play?
Suddenly Hamlet sees her coffin. He breaks into lamentations. He claims that he would eat a crocodile for Ophelia or even be buried alive with her. Laertes contradicts Hamlet in the voice of the thug who brought her up here to begin with. She hears Edward shove the thug aside as Claudius and Gertrude enter the stage and declare Hamlet mad. But Hamlet insists on leaning over the coffin of Ophelia and kissing her cheek. She has the maps ready and hands them to Edward.
The curtains close and Dora leaps up out of the coffin of Ophelia. Churchill is stage left calling to her along with Edward still dressed as Hamlet next to the real players who look totally befuddled as Edward, Churchill, and Dora flee the theater to take the elevator to their rooms where Professor Lindemann waits. Dora falls into Edward’s arms. It was another narrow escape.
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Dora and Edward Take Epic Journey Around The World:
In the early 1920’s shortly after Edward surfaced from hiding from German operatives for two years Dora Benley, now Mrs. Byrne, and Edward Ware are forced to make an unexpected trip around the world — all in the line of duty, of course.
Edward is trysting with Dora at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City where they have decided to meet whenever Edward can get leave from his duties at Mid-East Headquarters in Cairo. They run into a team of German operatives sent by the newly rising star of the German National Socialist Party, Adolf Hitler. Hitler has heard that they carry valuable information and that the former Kaiser was tracking them. Now he is interested, too, in the Lawrence maps, key to world domination.
To escape Dora and Edward take off across the Atlantic on an ocean liner. But when arriving in Britain they can hide only so long at the estate of Winston Churchill, Edward’s confederate in the map plot. They head across the Chanel into France and then west through Germany itself chased by Hitler’s agents. They don’t stop as they head through Easter Europe and Iran and Afghanistan, avoiding Russia which at that point was embroiled in revolution and civil war. They even flee across the Pacific in this epic journey to save the military maps that Edward is sworn to protect.
Cheops Books will publish their trip notes about this journey around the world along with photographs including the journal that Dora kept along the way. This Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel as yet has no title. In fact we will hold a contest where you can suggest one. But we just wanted to give you, the reader, notice that you soon will be able to find it on Amazon Kindle.
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The Cheops Pyramid has always represented Cheops Books LLC. Why? It is a symbol of ancient Egypt and the ancient world in general and it seems mysterious, as if its meaning is always eluding you because there is always something you don’t expect and something you don’t know about, and we hope that our readers will always find our books that way, too.
The Cheops Pyramid is an Old Kingdom Pyramid also called the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Pyramid of Khufu. It is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza complex at 455 feet built of 2.3 million stone blocks. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one to still look something the way it did in ancient times. That is the symbol we always put on our book cover.
Now we propose another symbol to add to our website, the ancient Egyptian symbol of Bastet, the cat goddess. We frequently include cats in our thriller novels because cats are elusive and mysterious animals. They were considered sacred in ancient Egypt. They are sacred to Cheops Books, LLC, too. So don’t wonder when you find cats decorating sections of the website and pages in the novels along with the Cheops Pyramid.
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Children of the Hydra’s Teeth are the ultimate special effect of the movie, Jason and the Argonauts, which appear in the climactic scene right before Jason and Medea escape from Colchis carrying the Golden Fleece. They look like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe tale. King Aeetes throws the teeth down on the ground of Colchis. Up spring warriors rising from their graves to avenge the people of Colchis. The Children of the Hydra’s Teeth are carrying swords, the battalion of the dead who cannot be killed because they are already dead.
Ultimately it shows off fears of the wild geography of the Colchis region. It is full of mountains and cliffs along the sea. From any cave, from any crevice can come an enemy or an unexpected creature. That is why something like the Children of the Hydra’s Teeth seem appropriate for the region.
There are no Children of the Hydra’s Teeth at the end of Medea’s Escape. But the sea, the cliffs, and the mountains through which the heroine must escape are equally compelling.
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