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What if ancient scrolls were discovered detailing the end of the world…
What if they named the people, places, and dates that would figure into the end of all things…
What if you were one of the people named in the text…
The End is Here…
John sat at a table near the back of the clean room in stunned disbelief. His digesting food churned in his stomach.
The end of the world, John thought. It can’t be.
At first he was sure Zewail must have been exaggerating to emphasize the importance of this operation, but when he pressed him on it, Zewail verified that he was talking about the literal end of the world. Despite his best efforts, John’s mind just couldn’t accept it; the whole idea was preposterous.
It’s the thing of fairy tales, like something you’d see at the movies. It’s the kind of thing those cheap dime store horror novels make a killing off of. It’s not the kind of thing the government of the United States of America spends millions of dollars on trying to investigate and prevent. It’s just not.
Zewail saw the look of resignation in John’s eyes and sat next to him. As he spoke he used soft, even tones, trying to put the American as much at ease as was possible given the subject matter. “I know it’s a shocking bit of information. I felt the same as you when I realized the truth. You now know something that just thirty or forty people in the world know, but I want you to understand. You were assigned here to try and stop the apocalypse. The United States still thinks there’s hope.” Zewail took a slow, deliberate sip of his coffee before continuing, “As do I.”
“What happened? What did you find?” Zewail heard the manufactured steadiness in John’s voice. He had a lot of respect for the man. He knew John had seen many things in his life. He had enjoyed a distinguished career, and now he was being entrusted with what was, without a doubt, the most important mission in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Also it helped that so far he had taken the news much better than anyone had before.
Zewail chose his words with great care, trying not to add to the overwhelming burden already on John’s shoulders. “A little over three months ago, we made a discovery within this very cave. It wasn’t much, just twenty or so Egyptian burial jars each filled with rolled up pieces of delicate parchment containing ancient writing. Each of the jars was decorated exquisitely. Each a beautiful piece in its own right, but that’s not what caught our attention. What caught our attention was the writing. It was a language that had died out long ago.”
“Ancient Egyptian, right? Hieroglyphics?” John hazarded a guess.
Zewail shook his head slowly from side to side. “No. Ancient Hebrew.”
“Hebrew?” John asked. Zewail could tell he was very confused. “I didn’t think the ancient Egyptians spoke Hebrew.”
“They didn’t,” Zewail answered. “The Jewish slaves did, but the Egyptians did not. But what concerned us most was when we did the carbon dating on the parchment we discovered it’s not even from the right time period. We’re not talking about Modern Hebrew here. We’re talking about the original form of the language that was derived from a Phoenician script, rather than the modern version, which evolved from writing known as Proto-Hebrew or Early Aramaic. It is a language that’s been effectively dead for more than five centuries, but according to our carbon dating, the parchment is just one hundred to a hundred and fifty years old. To have hundred-year-old parchment, containing writing of a language that hasn’t been used for more than five hundred years, and buried in a room that has been undisturbed for five thousand years, is not just surprising, it’s impossible.”
Zewail paused a moment allowing this new information to sink in. “Nobody speaks this language anymore. Our computer translators are even having problems with it. They’re averaging just three words a second--that’s about a quarter as fast as it should be going. This language is obsolete.”
John was beginning to lose his patience with the man. “I get the point. What was written on the scrolls?”
“At first it appeared to be nothing important,” Zewail continued. “Burial rites, ancient incantatio
Jason Leary is an award winning screenwriter who has lived in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex all his life. He attended the University of North Texas and has worked in independent film as a writer, producer and director.
"Harbingers of the Apocalypse" is his first novel.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 324
Paper Weight (lb): 13.6
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