The Hammer of Thor


  
What passes through your mind on a Saturday morning, the 17th of January, when you open  your mailbox and you find a blank envelope under the newspaper, left unsealed, with no address on it? Nothing. Nothing at all passes through your mind. Your thoughts are still as blank as that envelope. At breakfast, with one eye lingering on the newspaper, distracted, you open the envelope and then immediately you roll from one surprise to the next:



Dear mister Bernauw,

Are you, in principle, interested in returning the hammer of Thor like a boomerang to the person that swung it? I'm getting in touch with you, because, in the past, you've already shown a willingess to pick a bone with KT. And also because I'm not really a writer, and I haven't gotten the knack of your language to write a book about how I went about breaking the code. And how I shed many a wolf's tear in that process. If you'd like to hear more from me, please be so kind as to open the website www.rauna.eu as: 'Rauna, the quest of Ysabella Geertruida Pastora'. And post the material here: (QR-codes).

Subsequently you will receive further instructions, all in due time.

Kind regards,

Ysa Pastora

What crosses your mind then: ha, such a good joke?

Well yes, of course. Just like you undoubtedly think about that GPS-game for which you wrote the book and the scenario, together with a small group of students of the Creative Writing collective of the Academy for Drama in the city of Aalst. You're a teacher there. The game blends fact and fiction, in the best tradition of the faction thrillers you so enjoy writing and the Alternate Reality Games (ARG's) you produce from time to time. With facts drawn from the region where you live and with fictional elements derived from science-fiction.
The sagas and legends that provided the material for the game, and the book with background stories, are situated in a fascinating no man's land, a magic realist twilightzone, where the boundaries between fact and fiction fade away. And now there's this Ysa Pastora. And what seemed like complete gibberish at first glance, must have gotten more meaning during a second, more creative reading.
Didn't you want to pick a bone, or have an ax to grind with a certain KT -pronouced KayTea- in the past? As a matter of fact you did, more specifically with a certain Karl Hammer-Kaatee, concerning 'his' book Satans Lied (The Secret of the Sacred Panel, Nazi Art Theft, Conspiracy and the Crown of Thorns), an exact record of 'facts and circumstances' one could already read in your own book Mysteries van het Lam Gods (The Mysteries of the Mystic Lamb) in 1991. In April and May 2009 you really mopped the floor with this 'investigative journalist', who  primarily tends to investigate other people's books. The information he finds there he tends to put in the mouth of a person who contacted him, supposedly, but who in reality turns out to be a fictional character. One post also pinpoints The Hunt for the Nazi Gold, Secrets of the March Impromptu Code Revealed.
In the end, your curiosity has probably been sufficiently  triggered to reach for your iPad and to scan the QR-codes. Oh, yes, I know what a devoted fan of the iPad you are.
The QR-codes lead you straight to the Code breakers page of Publishing House Elmar, to a PDF document with the encrypted sheet music that lies at the centre of it all. And to a television report aired during Reyers Late Night, on the VRT,  the Flemish Public Television channel, also devoted to the search for the tears of the wolf.


For a moment you think that this 'Ysa Pastora' is none other than Karl Hammer himself – she's simply using an age old writer trick to score some attention. The 'discovered manuscript' or the 'mysterious go-between'... you've used it more than once yourself. Though I have to add you pulled it off with more flair and credibility than Hammer, who seems to know only one single recipe for writing books, which he applies in both of his investigative books (and again and again within the scope of those two books). 
But also the idea that Ysa and Karl could be one and the same person is quickly discarded. In a far corner of your memory you vaguely seem to remember that the investigative journalist has tried -on numerous occasions- to erase any clues that could lead to the tears of the wolf. He removed the website of the Code breakers -only God, or mister Hammer, knows why. Apart from me, of course...
In an interview you have once stated you write the books you'd like to read yourself. Well, my dear friend Patrick B., I hereby offer you the chance to help write a book you would really enjoy reading. The true history of Ysa Pastora, an exact record of facts and circumstances. My knowledge of Dutch isn't adequate enough and my scientific mind does not allow the writing down of my discoveries in an entertaining way. I count on you to be my mouthpiece, my service-hatch, my go-between, my editor, my publisher.  
Provide me with a platform in the shape of a website, and I will start a correspondence with you through email, with enciphered word files in attachment. (There's a lot of hacking going on these days...)
Polish my language, turn our correspondence into something readable, make a good story out of it (1). And lavishly throw around cliff hangers:

Such as this one:

Technically-lawfully there's still a 25,000 $ reward waiting for the person who manages to crack the code. This is still what Publishing House Elmar is openly communicating (2): Nazi-code remains unbroken; reward raised to 25,000 dollar. And as far as I know -although I might have missed something, I spend time abroad, with some regularity- a refutation is nowhere to be found. The rules have been removed though, or have at least been made impossible to retrieve.
As a consequence, I, Ysabella Hannah Geertruida Pastora, solemnly demand that Karl Hammer and Publishing House Elmar make the rules public again. It so happens that I have broken the code and that in due time I will be the owner of what has come to be known as the 'nazi treasure'.
However, as long as mister Hammer and/or his publisher do not create any clarity concerning the promised reward, and the conditions tied to it, I cannot possibly reveal the information I dispose of.
Let it be known however, that I'm not after the gold or the diamonds of Hitler, and not after the 25,000 $ either. Just like mister Hammer I don't care one whit for any filthy lucre, I just want to see my story published, and if at all possible, made into a movie. The reward I would like to donate to the first person or persons who will manage to locate the Nazi treasure, based on my directions. 
To be absolutely clear: mister Bernauw, being my editor, can not lay claim to this reward. The publication of this appeal automatically implies he agrees to these terms. Further instructions will follow in due course, on  www.rauna.eu

Sincerely yours,

Ysa Pastora



 


                [1] Note of the editor, Patrick B.: That's exactly what I did. On the 26th of January 2015, I have opened the website www.rauna.eu. A couple of days later I found the key in my mail box, with which I could open the Word files that Ysa Pastor started sending me in attachment. I  polished and edited the contents, just as she had asked of me.
 

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