Matzah Leavened Bread – New York City, NYC
The director was blunt and brief, but he also sounded like he had just got his mojo back which was good news for all of us. He was not a man who offered praise or recognition lightly, and today was no exception. I told him that we had cracked parts of the code, but we might have been incredibly lucky, because several clues had not been broken and that there could be another message hidden in the text beside the address at Pier 18. He agreed and said that he had expected no less from our team and knew that we would succeed with the final pieces and reiterated that time was still very much of the essence, but there was less edge in his voice.
He gave me an update on what I needed to know, which in Agency Speak meant some of the important details but not all of them. It was always the official approach which was designed to protect those who needed protection and prevent the Big Picture being disclosed to the wrong persons. This approach almost always created bottlenecks and frustrating delays in solving cases or taking appropriate action when it was too damn late, which in turn resulted in the deaths of people who should have been protected!
Christmas Day was almost over for millions of celebrating New Yorkers and the dark bulbous clouds hanging above the skyline continued pumping vast swathes of cold driving rain across the city that never sleeps. It was indeed a miserable night outside which failed to break the resolve of those millions below who would experience the same annual emotions including joy, despair, love, hate, friendship, separation, loneliness, passion and despair and many, many, more including family reunions, family breakups, marriage and divorce and all the others that defined the human race.
People either loved or hated Christmas for a multitude of reasons and for most of those people there was simply no middle ground. The drama would cease as frantically as it started, because the next day was a Thursday and therefore not a recognized Public Holiday in NYC and so the celebrations or otherwise would come to an official end, and the routine of daily life would start all over again.
We, the team, only had a few hours before the first press conference which was due at 0700hrs. The team were suffering from lack of sleep, shocking dietary choices and both physical and mental exhaustion. I was enormously proud of them all, but I still needed a lot more and they would be pushed to the limited sooner or later. I told the guys to get a couple of hours sleep and use the sleep pods at the back if they needed to because I wanted to work on the rest of the clues.
The driving rain stopped me from going outside, so I sat in the kitchen area with my Apple Mac at the ready. I shut the connecting doors to the control room and the sleep pods and relaxed. I sneaked open the bottle of Irish and poured a large shot into a tall plastic tumbler and retrieved my old faithful cigarette case from my dripping coat and sat down. I took a mouthful of Irish and swirled it slowly around my mouth, caressing the delicious liquid gently with my tongue, enjoying the warmth and the memories before allowing it to trickle gently down my throat. The rolled cigarette also tasted good as I inhaled a lungful of hot cancerous fumes and stared at the small piece of paper.
There had been so many shocks and surprises throughout the operation and there were so many unanswered questions. But I two questions at the very top of my list that demanded answers and they were about what the director had said to me in the helicopter regarding the piece of paper. What did he mean by the day I had been found and why was the paper in my possession?
There were so many aspects of my past that I had hidden in a dark place, many were that I did not fully comprehend and others that I had simply refused to believe. It had been the only way I could survive the tough early years and made me into what I was, a ruthless loner with an abject hate of authority and miserable controlling bastards. I could not afford to dwell on that know and chose to return to the text and be productive, if that was possible?
I was too wrapped up in myself to realize that the music had stopped and replaced with heated voices and cheering, which surprised me because I thought the guys were getting some rest. There was a gentle knock at the door from the control room and the guys came in looking excited but hesitant at the same time. They waved through the haze of smoke and saw the bottle of Irish and apologized for the disturbance, which I quickly shrugged off and offered them all a drink and cigarettes if they wanted to join me. The small space felt more like a student bar at any Uni rather than a high-tech government spy vehicle and the guys chilled out, taking up the offer of the alcohol but not the cigarettes.
They all started talking at once before I asked them to calm down and talk one at a time with whatever was on their minds. A few minutes later we agreed that we had all missed something in the text and Joe played lead. He worked on what Alex had said about the Bible clue and why did people always have clues from the bible. The point was we had missed an important step, because code makers always had the clue before using the Bible. Logic dictated that it was the previous clue where we should put our immediate attentions because that would give us the location in the Bible which hopefully would then provide further information on how to crack the remaining of the lines of text.
The clue in the Bible had to come from the word Knightsbridge and the guys had tried numerous mathematical approaches and achieved nothing. They sounded convincing and talked about their processes and approaches while I had a few more mouthfuls of Irish and remembered something an old teacher had told an English class. That was the day the computer systems had gone down and he lost his temper shouting at the equipment all this technology, wires, codes and mathematical formulae, why can’t the techies ever talk in English for fuck sake? The class had been shocked not only with his language but his aggression because he was the most docile member of staff and never complained about anything.
That could be the case here, and it was simply the fact that the guys were looking at the word from the wrong perspective. So, we started to take it apart and what did we have:
Train of Thoughts:
- Knightsbridge was only One word
- Contained 13 letters and what were those letters
- 2 Gs and 2Is and 11 others
- Joe said there was no apparent logic or code system for each letter
- But in English Grammar there were 13 letters, made up with 10 vowels and 3 consonants
- Now put that in the Bible sequence which would be as 13.10 – 3
- That gave us Exodus 13.10-3 about the Burning Bush
- Or another way around
- That gave us Exodus 13.3-10 about the Festival of Unleavened Bread
- Okay we had 2 verses from the book of Exodus, but which one should we use because the other clues must use the verse?
I looked at clue 6 and thought of Macbeth, a scene with the witches with hubble, bubble toil and trouble, but Very Hubble did not make sense. The only other Hubble I could think of was the Hubble Telescope and could not see any connection in the text.
Noddy suddenly perked up and told us that it might just be our lucky day having a Jew in the team, although not devout or otherwise, but still a Jew. Depending on who you were talking to The Hubble Telescope was not always referred to as a telescope, but as an Observatory and that Very Observant could be a play on words and in this context a play on religious words as in the Bible. If we approach it this way and could well be something Observant and the religious context would be Observant Muslim, Observant Christian or Observant Jew. Now let’s take another look at those verses and work backwards.
Creation could be home or place of birth and we see here that they came out of Egypt, or in this case born in Egypt and the logical approach to address would therefore be house of slavery or just slavery. This person must have been a slave who travelled with Moses out of Egypt. This has to be the biggest coincidence ever, because here we are in New York City over the Christmas period as agents on an operation specifically dealing with aspects of the slave trade!
He was on a role and we allowed him to talk his way through it. This verse is about Moses talking to the people who had to be the Jews and he is talking about taking bread at the Passover and the Truly Observant eat leavened bread at Passover. That bread at Passover is called Matzoh which means a higher spirituality and is intended for the Truly Observant. There was silence mixed with an air of excitement and expectation, had Noddy cracked it?
The clues together with the potentially correct answers were on the screen and only Clue 9 remained! Everyone rushed to their consoles and started typing, we were looking for Leavened Bread in Crown Heights. Not just any Leavened Bread it had to be Matzoh Leavened Bread.
Joe was the first to get the address which was for the Lubavitch Matzo Bakery in Crown Heights, but what did that tell us, we were close still missing something. The bakery had only been there for thirty years and what did Step in the Right Direction mean in this puzzle and did we have all the correct answers?
Seek and You May Find!
- More Sighs at Midnight – Night of Bridges June 17, 1946
- 360Degree Oak and H20 – Knightsbridge
- Book in a City without Children – Bible
- Creation – Egypt
- Address – Slavery
- Very Hubble – Leavened Bread
- Thorns and Royalty – Crown
- Fly more than one Kite – Heights
- Step in the Right Direction – Lubavitch Matzo Bakery at 460 Albany Avenue
- 1 and 2 – Pier
- 10010 BC – 18
- February 11th 1904 – Brooklyn Zip-Code 11204
A support crew vehicle had driven to the location and agents were standing outside on the sidewalk with a cell-phone recording the images. It certainly did not look like a normal bakery, just a front door and a shuttered window and not even a sign indicating what it was. But there was just one step in-front of the door and the last piece clicked into place. We had two parts to the solution and not just the one that we had expected. The first 9 clues referred to a significant moment in time from the past and the second to a location that was relevant to the present day. We knew the location, but we did not know the past and I was still no further forward in understanding why the woman had given me the paper, but I was beginning to feel that it would have a connection to the past that now linked me to the present.
I clicked around the screen for the official site for the City of Albany, NY and the records for births and deaths. A copy of a birth record for a person born in the City of Albany can be requested in person at our office, located in Albany City Hall on the second mezzanine room 254M.
I called the director with an immediate request because we needed to know who was born and then left, with the intention of being found on the step of 460 Albany Avenue, Crown Heights, Albany, NY on June 17, 1946.