Present Day

Konigsberg Cathedral

An emaciated young man smelling of pine resin in a crisp SS uniform collapses and dies not far from the Alter . Several hours later when he was found by the priest , the authorities are called . The man had on his person a Broomhandle Mauser in its characteristic wooden stock / holster . He also had a Schwarzlose in a soft leather holster at the small of his back . both weapons fully loaded with two stripper clips in his overcoat pocket . His identification papers appeared as if they were newly printed even though they were dated 1945 . The last thing of note he had on him was a chunk of amber clutched in his left hand with an ant entombed within it . I would have never heard of this man in the normal course of events this is where my brother and our friend come in . My brother Kenneth is intent on solving some of the biggest mysteries of World War II , most importantly at the moment the disappearance of the Eighth wonder of the World The Amber Room . This is where Sergei comes into the Story Sergei is a police officer in Konigsberg and is also intent on solving the Amber Room mystery . When Sergei was confronted with the crime scene I described . He first did his job that being trying to solve who killed the young man and as many related questions as possible . The clues were strange but with him clutching a chunk of amber in the last city "The Room" was seen is suggestive . ( Sergei always refers to The Amber Room simply as "The Room" ) The clues at the scene induced a gut feeling that this case is some how related to "The Room". Our friend Sergei at the end of his day he e-mails Kenneth to see if Kenneth wants more information as he gets it . Kenneth doesn't read Russian so he asks me to translate when he gets a e-mail from Sergei that's how I originally got drawn into this strange world my brother inhabits I am his translator . I read Sergei's email and responded that as long as it doesn't break any regulations we would appreciate any possible clues that might eventually lead us to finding The Amber Room .

The next day after work and a quick workout and change into more relaxed clothing at the Gym I caught up with my brother at his book store . Just as I sit down with my coffee . He says we got a new e-mail from Sergei I tell him to let me use the laptop this is a comfortable chair . He hands over the laptop . The e-mail reads Kenneth & Ivan after reading the files before sending you copies I know with out a doubt he is connected to "The Room" . I don't know how yet . Finding that information will be difficult and will take time . Attached to the e-mail is the information I have so far . When I opened the files and read the first file I knew we had something interesting . where it would take us I had no idea .

Forensic Pathologist report

The deceased is approximately 30 years of age in appearance . He has approximately 2 days growth of facial hair . The deceased is wearing a World War II Nazi Uniform With a Field Coat . The Side arm was removed at the scene it was a C96 " Broomhandle" Mauser . After Removing The Field Coat It was discovered that the deceased was carrying a second weapon both weapons were sent to the Firearms lab ( see Firearms Report ) . The brown uniform shirt with its orange armband swastika were removed for the autopsy in the front shirt pocket was a small field diary . It was sent with all the clothing to the trace evidence lab ( See Trace Evidence Report ) . The Deceased is 1.9 meters tall 80 Kilograms eye color Brown hair color Blond . There is Globular traces of resin enclosing the ends of his hair . Their are no obvious wounds on the body . He is from all appearances a victim of starvation . The Autopsy confirmed the cause of death as starvation . A Death certificate was filled out with the temporary Identification of the body as G√ľnter Schwartz due to the unusual circumstances the body was found .

Firearms Report

The Schwarzlose is a semi automatic that employs a very distinctive "blow-forward action" operating mechanism . the barrel moves forward with the recoil instead of back toward the user . The Schwarzlose 's unusual action requires repeated use to get used to firing of this weapon . The C96 " Broomhandle " anyone familiar with firearms is Immediately recognizable . All the factory numbers match on each of the guns . the guns had to be disassembled due to plugs of resin in the barrels . A records search of registered firearms revealed that neither of these weapons has been registered since World War II . Once the weapons were cleaned they were test fired and both work satisfactorily . The ammunition is typical military loads (for the period)of single base powder & bullet weight .

After reading through the first 2 reports with Kenneth I told him " The rest will have to wait because there is no way I am going to keep Natasha waiting tonight . He just laughed and said "I can't blame you besides I have research to do for my next book . I will catch up with you sometime tomorrow . " I go home quickly and get ready for my date then I go to my dates apartment .

I go to Natasha's place to pick her up for our date . When she greets me at her apartment door all I can do for a moment is stare in admiration at her beauty . It is hard for me to believe that I have the privilege of having a relationship with her . She looks splendid her red brown hair is loose in a shimmering cascade down to just past her shoulder blades . Her curvaceous body is set off by a simple yet elegant medium length black dress she is wearing with the white Cattleya blossom I sent her this morning . I look into her sparkling blue eyes and know I am the luckiest man on earth . After a moment she does a pirouette and says " Put your eyes back in your head you might need them later ." I Laugh and say

" I suppose your right , just one more look before we go to the Symphony ?" She smiles and says "Just one or we will be late ." she pirouettes once more , slowly then we go down stairs to my BMW . We arrive at the concert with time to spare . We enjoyed the Program of works by Antonio Vivaldi . That ended with Spring from the four seasons .

After the Symphony we went to dinner at a wonderful restaurant . It took me 2 days to get reservations for our secluded little table . I planed this night to "Pop" the question for close to a week everything was going beautifully . As we were just getting our dessert I was reaching into my jacket pocket for the ring , when my cell phone created a racket in my other jacket pocket . I reach in to quiet my cell phone . Natasha gives me a look that could kill a lesser mortal . I see the number and groan inwardly . I excuse myself and answer my phone by saying " I had this damn thing turned off and you owe me big time ." Kenneth replies " major developments and we are going to Russia if you haven't yet you can "Pop" the question at the Catherine palace ." I reply "you have just saved yourself from a painful death . I will be by later brief me then ." I hang up and turn off my phone again . Sometimes I really hate technology . As I return to the table Natasha says " I thought you turned that off ." I reply " I did shut it off before the symphony , it was remotely activated by Kenneth . She asked "What did he want ?" as she asked the question the air temperature seemed to drop . I reply " it involves a long story that I will tell you some other time ." I ask quickly " how would you like to go to a little town outside St. Petersburg Russia ?" she says " keep talking" I say " I have to get the details from Kenneth but I know for sure that you will love one of the places we will see ." after we finish desert she asks me to take her home she has an early day tomorrow . All I can think as I am driving Natasha home is I am going to kill my brother one of these days . At the door to Natasha's apartment I kiss her good night . She returns my kiss with one that leaves me breathless . When our lips part she puts a long delicate finger to my lips and says I will see you tomorrow . I leave knowing that I am forgiven yet , I will be sleeping alone for at least a few more nights . Somehow in spite of the night taking a wrong turn I am happy .