Sunday, 25 July 2010

A little segment from "The Abaddon Stone."

The early part of the novel is set in Berlin immediately before its fall in April 1945.
This segment describes part of the Heroine's journey through the rubble-strewn wasteland,as she searches for some clue as to the whereabouts of the malignant "Abaddon Stone."


Göring's villa still stood; although it was windowless and scarred. It looked deserted. As she approached the building, she glanced across towards Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse. She saw that the grim Gestapo Headquarters at number eight, was badly bomb-scarred, and the SS-Haus next door at number nine appeared to be little more than teetering walls held together with a tangled, blackened lattice of collapsed floors and drunkenly-angled roofing joists.
Cautiously entering the villa, she found an empty, rambling edifice with drinking and smoking rooms, several suites of kitchens, and a den that Göring had provided for his pet lion cubs at mezzanine level; while circular dining rooms, conservatories, drawing rooms, reception rooms, and hunting-trophy rooms took up the ground floor, along with Göring’s cavernous, colonnaded study. Four huge sets of French windows opened onto the remains of the terrace and gardens.

The mansion had been stripped bare. All of the Reichsmarschall's sumptuous furnishings and extensive treasures had been removed. Even the famed Meissen door-knobs and finger plates had been carefully removed from all of the doors. The mansion was an empty sepulchral shell that echoed hollowly as she cautiously made her way along the great central hall. Somewhere, a distant door banged to and fro in the faint breeze that prowled the ghost of Göring's personal, earth-bound Valhalla.
There was nothing here to find. She turned to retrace her steps, and saw a man appear at the end of the hall. He was about seventy, and dressed, incongruously for the present surroundings, much like the archetypal English Butler... black morning jacket, striped trousers and stiff, winged collar.
His voice echoed down the hall.
'May I be of assistance, Madam?'

His hands were clasped behind his back in the classical servile stance... or perhaps he was concealing a weapon. You never could be completely certain of anyone in this madhouse that Berlin had now become. She approached him cautiously; the silenced Mauser Bolo behind her back in a mirror image to his stance... but, ready for any sudden movement.
He moved. She stiffened... but he merely brought his hands from behind his back and clasped them in front of himself. He was not armed. He waited patiently for her answer. She studied him. She could sense no hostility; merely the desire to be of service to this guest in his Master's mansion.
She spoke.
'I am Doktor von Seringen of the Ahnenerbe. A few years ago; the Reichsführer-SS loaned the Reichsmarschall a particularly impressive Garnet Gemstone. The Reichsführer-SS is now intent on recovering all artefacts loaned out by the Ahnenerbe to the Party hierarchy to prevent them from being looted by the Soviets.'
The old man's rheumy blue eyes brightened in recognition.
'Ah! You are referring to the Abaddon Stone.'


"The Abaddon Stone" now stands at 35,000 words... something like one fifth of the proposed length.
More segments will follow in due course!

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