Warren Bellamy felt a sudden ray of hope.
Inside the Jungle, Director Sato had just received a phone call from a field agent and had immediately flown into a tirade. Well, you damn well better find them! she shouted into her phone. Were running out of time! She had hung up and was now stalking back and forth in front of Bellamy as if trying to decide what to do next.
Finally, she stopped directly in front of him and turned. Mr. Bellamy, Im going to ask you this once, and only once. She stared deep into his eyes. Yes or nodo you have any idea where Robert Langdon might have gone?
Bellamy had more than a good idea, but he shook his head. No.
Satos piercing gaze had never left his eyes. Unfortunately, part of my job is to know when people are lying.
Bellamy averted his eyes. Sorry, I cant help you.
Architect Bellamy, Sato said, tonight just after seven P.M., you were having dinner in a restaurant outside the city when you received a phone call from a man who told you he had kidnapped Peter Solomon.
Bellamy felt an instant chill and returned his eyes to hers. How could you possibly know that?!
The man, Sato continued, told you that he had sent Robert Langdon to the Capitol Building and given Langdon a task to complete . . . a task that required your help. He warned that if Langdon failed in this task, your friend Peter Solomon would die. Panicked, you called all of Peters numbers but failed to reach him. Understandably, you then raced to the Capitol.
Bellamy could not imagine how Sato knew about this phone call.
As you fled the Capitol, Sato said behind the smoldering tip of her cigarette, you sent a text message to Solomons kidnapper, assuring him that you and Langdon had been successful in obtaining the Masonic Pyramid.
Where is she getting her information? Bellamy wondered. Not even Langdon knows I sent that text message. Immediately after entering the tunnel to the Library of Congress, Bellamy had stepped into the electrical room to plug in the construction lighting. In the privacy of that moment, he had decided to send a quick text message to Solomons captor, telling him about Satos involvement, but reassuring him that he Bellamyand Langdon had obtained the Masonic Pyramid and would indeed cooperate with his demands. It was a lie, of course, but Bellamy hoped the reassurance might buy time, both for Peter Solomon and also to hide the pyramid.
Who told you I sent a text? Bellamy demanded.
Sato tossed Bellamys cell phone on the bench next to him. Hardly rocket science.
Bellamy now remembered his phone and keys had been taken from him by the agents who captured him.
As for the rest of my inside information, Sato said, the Patriot Act gives me the right to place a wiretap on the phone of anyone I consider a viable threat to national security. I consider Peter Solomon to be such a threat, and last night I took action.
Bellamy could barely get his mind around what she was telling him. Youre tapping Peter Solomons phone?
Yes. This is how I knew the kidnapper called you at the restaurant. You called Peters cell phone and left an anxious message explaining what had just happened.
Bellamy realized she was right.
We had also intercepted a call from Robert Langdon, who was in the Capitol Building, deeply confused to learn he had been tricked into coming there. I went to the Capitol at once, arriving before you because I was closer. As for how I knew to check the X-ray of Langdons bag . . . in light of my realization that Langdon was involved in all of this, I had my staff reexamine a seemingly innocuous early-morning call between Langdon and Peter Solomons cell phone, in which the kidnapper, posing as Solomons assistant, persuaded Langdon to come for a lecture and also to bring a small package that Peter had entrusted to him. When Langdon was not
forthcoming with me about the package he was carrying, I requested the X-ray of his bag.
Bellamy could barely think. Admittedly, everything Sato was saying was feasible, and yet something was not adding up. But . . . how could you possibly think Peter Solomon is a threat to national security?
Believe me, Peter Solomon is a serious national-security threat, she snapped. And frankly, Mr. Bellamy, so are you.
Bellamy sat bolt upright, the handcuffs chafing against his wrists. I beg your pardon?!
She forced a smile. You Masons play a risky game. You keep a very, very dangerous secret.
Is she talking about the Ancient Mysteries?
Thankfully, youve always done a good job of keeping your secrets hidden. Unfortunately, recently youve been careless, and tonight, your most dangerous secret is about to be unveiled to the world. And unless we can stop that from happening, I assure you the results will be catastrophic.
Bellamy stared in bewilderment.
If you had not attacked me, Sato said, you would have realized that you and I are on the same team.
The same team. The words sparked in Bellamy an idea that seemed almost impossible to fathom. Is Sato a member of Eastern Star? The Order of the Eastern Staroften considered a sister organization to the Masonsembraced a similar mystical philosophy of benevolence, secret wisdom, and spiritual open-mindedness. The same team? Im in handcuffs! Shes tapping Peters phone!
You will help me stop this man, Sato said. He has the potential to bring about a cataclysm from which this country might not recover. Her face was like stone.
Then why arent you tracking him?
Sato looked incredulous. Do you think Im not trying? My trace on Solomons cell phone went dead before we got a location. His other number appears to be a disposable phonewhich is almost impossible to track. The private-jet company told us that Langdons flight was booked by Solomons assistant, on Solomons cell phone, with Solomons Marquis Jet card. There is no trail. Not that it matters anyway. Even if we find out exactly where he is, I cant possibly risk moving in and trying to grab him.
Id prefer not to share that, as the information is classified, Sato said, patience clearly waning.
I am asking you to trust me on this.
Well, I dont!
Satos eyes were like ice. She turned suddenly and shouted across the Jungle. Agent Hartmann! The briefcase, please.
Bellamy heard the hiss of the electronic door, and an agent strode into the Jungle. He was carrying a sleek titanium briefcase, which he set on the ground beside the OS director.
Leave us, Sato said.
As the agent departed, the door hissed again, and then everything fell silent.
Sato picked up the metal case, laid it across her lap, and popped the clasps. Then she raised her eyes slowly to Bellamy. I did not want to do this, but our time is running out, and youve left me no choice.
Bellamy eyed the strange briefcase and felt a swell of fear. Is she going to torture me? He strained at his cuffs again. Whats in that case?!
Sato smiled grimly. Something that will persuade you to see things my way. I guarantee it.