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Pursuit of Colors



„Is it him? I believe it’s him!‟

Kara laughted and turned around. All of the sudden the exertions of the arduous journey seemed to melt away from her. Ben, too, felt the relief. In the distance a majestic edifice was sitting enthroned above the valley – the temple of the colors. Now, here their journey was supposed to end.

„I want you to come in with me‟, Ben said. „Even though you have no compass any longer. Without you I would never have come that far.‟

Kara’s face was beamimg with joy and she planted a kiss on his cheek.

Chapter 11 - SNATCH

The Chan el-Chalili in Cairo’s historic city is regarded as Africa’s largest bazaar. It was founded in the 14th century and was known for a long time as the „Turkish bazaar“. Countless little lanes are connecting its squares, lined with shops and coffee houses.

Andram was straying through the narrow lanes, in search of the next color. He held his own compass in his hand. The compass he had stolen from Ben and Kara was stored in his backpack. He hated this place. So many people, mainly tourists, everywhere. Overpriced goods, many of them cheap imitations that had nothing to do with craftmanship and tradition. Souvenirs for the wrist and for the mantelpiece, as fake as their admirers. Andram huffed scornfully.

Chapter 10 - NOT AT ANY PRICE

„Faster!“, Kara shouted. „I can almost reach it.“

She was leaning far out of their own motorboat, trying to snatch the other boat, the one in which the thief attempted to flee. Ben and Kara had spend days searching the Amazon for him. They were sure they had to come here to the jungle. They had not only found the rare snake described in the riddle, but had also traced the thief with the stolen compass.

„Be careful!“, Ben shouted when he saw flashing something metallic – a pistol!


The excitement on board of the NASA research station was clearly palpable. Even though the scientists with their white coats behaved in a formal manner, the tension was writ large in their faces. Ben observed their activities through the airlock’s little window. A glance at the time display revealed: only five minutes left. Kara, too, seemed noticeably nervous.

„Everything will happen very fast,“ a voice from the loudspeaker was creaking. It was Dr. Forster’s voice. „I can’t tell, of course, for how long your colors will be visible. But there will be a window of opportunity for fractions of a second.‟


„Do you think we are at the right place here?“, Kara asked.

„We have already been in five caves, it has to be this one“, Ben responded.

Both of them were standing at the entrance of a large cave. Behind them lay the vast plain of Alaska.

„This is definitely it.“

Upon entering the glacial cave Kara and Ben saw a dark blue color which had not occured in any of the other caves with that same clarity and radiance. Both were immediately fascinated by this rich color.

Chapter 7 - REUNION

In the train.

„Ok, so what happened?‟, Ben asked.

„I followed him. That guy, you know who. I met him accidentally in front of the hospital, after the doctor was finally done. But maybe it wasn’t such a coincidence, I think. I took the same flight to Trondheim and kept sight of him. Thus I checked into the same hotel and observed him. I thought that, if I watched for the right moment, I could maybe snatch his compass. But no chance – he was on his guard like a lynx.‟

To the Story

Chapter 6 - LIBERATION

„There it is, our destination. It is beautiful, not easy to reach, however. But it has been this way most of the time, hasn’t it, Kara?“

Ben turned aside. But she wasn’t there. Even though he knew that it was better this way he still missed her. Here, in the little village, surrounded by the forest, Ben felt that he was at the right place. This was also, more or less, confirmed by the talkative person he met so unexpectedly here outside in the cold.

„There is a luminescence in the forest. It looks very beautiful. But it is also dangerous. Certainly a secret governmental project or an unidentified flying object!“

Ben looked at the man in bewilderment


The shipwreck lay on the sea bed twenty yards below the water surface – deep enough for Ben, who was wearing a diver’s suit for the first time. It had already been quite murky around the ship, but inside it was dark to such an extent that the world outside of the light beam seemed almost extinguished – like an eternal dark nothingness.

A second beam came from behind; Kara must have searched the cabins in the meantime and was probably closing up – he turned around. The walls, densely covered with corals, were encompassed by a twinkling aura that was oscillating between pink, purple and blue. The reverberation of his lamp, he assumed, had trigerred a chemical reaction which now made them phosphoresce. He looked at his compas, which he had attached to a net at his belt, and indeed: It flared up strongly twice or thrice and then went out

Chapter 4 - REVELATION

A lightning flickered through the agitated night sky, closely followed by the ear-splitting rumbling of the thunder. Ben looked upwards. The storm was almost above him. For how long had he been wandering through this labyrinth? He quickened his pace, his trotting turned into running. To the right, to the left, to the right again, the middle passage, then steep to the left. Hadn’t he been here already? His running turned into sprinting. Left, right, left, to the right again and again to the right around the next corner – or should it be the other direction? The wind picked up and he felt the first drops on his skin.

„Damned!‟, he grumbled.

Chapter 3 - 600 SECONDS

„Since I’m travelling together with you I am truly getting around the world“, Kara said. „However, gradually I am losing interest in gazing into even further bottom holes.“

Ben and Kara had been on their way already since sunrise. They were wandering through Iceland’s barren landscape, looking for geysers. Ben believed that their goal was to be found in one of the water fountains. Many of them looked like small ponds that would spit water from time to time, but here, on a wide field of stones, there was a very special geyser. It had deep caves in which the water was staunching itself like in a subterranean lake. The hole was just broad enough to allow a person to rope down and search for the hidden colors. However, the pressure and water vapor in that cave was building up very quickly, which meant that Ben had only ten minutes to clumb down and return.

To the Story

Chapter 2 - STEEP RISE

„I can see them – up there!‟, Ben exclaimed with a proud smile.

„Let me see!‟, Kara responded and seized the binoculars out of his hand. Her gaze wandered up along the enormous escarpment that was towering into the sky in front of them. Are you sure?‟

„Absolutely sure‟, said Ben and shouldered his backpack. „They have exactly the color depicted by the people in the valley.‟

„These are three hundred yards until up there, for sure.‟

„Rather four hundred‟, Ben said with a grin and threw a thick climbing rope towards Kara. „Are you ready?‟

To the Story

Chapter 1 - ENCOUNTER

Three rowing boats were resting at the landing stage – two of them were chained up and spanned by covers while the third was sticking out of the water only by a few inches. Not very promising. Ben fetched the compass out of his belt bag – the needle was shining in turquoise-blue and then again in turquoise-green colors and pointed towards the island. But how would he get there, without a boat?

„May I …‟, he heard somebody say behind him and a moment later a women squiggled past him: She was in her mid-twenties, had red hair and an athletic figure, a sporty woman as the large backpack and the hiking boots indicated. Instantly she swept the water from the cover with her hand and untied it from the boat.

This is my chance, Ben thought, and approached her.

Prologue - THE COMPASS

The news spread like wildfire in the city: „A master of the colors is on his deathbed! Should no successor be found, the colors may well disappear for ever from the face of the Earth!“
Ben, of course, knew the legend of the temple of the colors. Everybody knew it. His aunt had told it to him when he was a child: The temple was throwning high above the clouds – and its roof! This was a work of art! The most beautiful ever created by man.

To the Story

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