The Fantabulous Nanomorphique Adventure

of M Hardoon Rotman

[Last Week Plot Review]

 

Musée Pellimet des arts asiatique de Paris was holding a unique Chinese Jade exhibition. The contents of this exhibition were donated to the museum by a Marseille entrepreneur and philanthropist Alfonse de Baux.

Certain strange anomalies presented among this donations posed difficulties in analyzing the history and origin of the pieces. After a close examination of all the artifacts, the museum archaeologist, Dr. Catherine Denver was totally baffled by two pieces which seemed to be beyond any earthly means of analyzation!

One was a Chinese Jade Cong, one was an Amethyst.

[ Illustration - Promotion Poster ]

[ONE  –  The little girl looked up again and again] 

– Continue <WEEK III>

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Act in their promotional role, Dr. Tertois and Catherine appeared on several television and radio shows.


Other than the museum’s promotion, the philanthropist himself also vehemently involved in a major role of publicity; using his celebrity status and accompanied by his fiancée, the Chinese movie star Tang Meiye who had even a bigger celebrity status, attended every possible press conferences, art exhibition openings, and movie premieres.


Frequently he was questioned on the spot by the press, about his donation to Pellimet Museum; the source of his collection, under what circumstances he acquired these pieces, etc. He was very evasive towards these enquiries, only stated that he will explain everything at the opening day ceremony.

 

Highlight to all the buzz, was a huge poster, hanging over the banister of the third-floor balcony in the museum. It was the photo of the couple. Both in Chinese attires; Tang Meiye was in "Little Phoenix" style costume - a high-collar, narrow-waist jacket and plaited skirt in vermilion satin with gold peony embroidery.  He was in traditional Chinese man's costume – fitted satin robe with “Lucky-Bat” icon texture, a vest, and a “melon-skin” hat.

 

They both supposed to attend the opening ceremony, but something unexpected happened, two days before the opening, Alfonse de Baux disappeared, a global search was conducted, but he was nowhere to be found!

 

Tang Meiye appeared at the ceremony, but did not answer any media questions. A pair of dark sun glasses hid her red and puffed eyes. The silence treatment whetted up a bigger public appetite both French and International. Curiosities and guesses alike created rumors: “is his disappearance linked to the mysterious Mayan civilization? Or to the ancient Chinese civilization?” “Could it be possible some jade pieces carry some kind of ‘curse?’ similar to the mummies of Egypt?”

 

All these whispers and unanswered questions, stroke a nerve of Parisian press; consequently it all made this exhibition the biggest event of the decade.

 

The ribbon cutting cocktail party stated at ten o'clock in the morning.  Tang Meiye appeared, but did not participate in any of the ceremonies, just silently sitting on the VIP seat, wearing a wide brimmed hat and a pair of big dark sun glasses.  Next to her sat Melane de Baux, Alfonse's younger sister, who was attending on her brother's behalf. Flashlights sparkled hundreds of times, focused on them.

 

The exhibition opened to the public at one o'clock in the afternoon. The lineup started early in the morning, by the time the door opened up, the line of outside waiting people almost encircled the entire block.

 

There was a non-stop flow the entire afternoon, endless people and groups came in to see this famous collection, yet all in a controlled manner. Newly recruited and quickly trained guides were in high spirit, but obviously exhausted towards the end of day.

 

Now it was seven o'clock at night, just a little while further to go before closing time, the rotunda was still full of people and activities, at least three groups in an orderly manner, followed their guide, visiting each glassed display. The guides were particularly trained not to swoon on to the cases two groups at the same time.

 

At the present, Catherine searched the beautiful vault ceiling, nothing seemed out of place to her, she returned to the glass case.


Inside the case, under bright illumination, was a dark brown colored CONG. At a first glance, it was no doubt a typical Chinese jade that could belong to the Red Mountain period or the Liang Wet Land period.


But after a second look any scholar would raise a few questions. This CONG, compared with any existing antique ones, differed both in size and in shape; it was 5 millimeter longer and 3 millimeter thicker, and it was a hexagon!

 

Catherine found it impossible to tackle all these problems in such a short time. She would have to know the history of the pieces and even to visit the exact locations where they had been excavated.

 

She tried to ask Alfonse de Baux directly, but did not find any opportunity to do so before his disappearance.

 

Facing so many uncertainties, Catherine put a lot of question marks on the index card posted at the corner of the glass case. The line indicates the origin of this CONG was marked: "Unknown."

 

At the moment, Casandra suddenly raised her head again and stared at the vault with its slow color-changing illumination from outside. Then she pulled on her mother's clothe.


"Cass, what's the matter?"


"Maman, there is a man on the ceiling."

[Continued on Next Page]

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