Vitamins, Supplements, Sport Nutrition

CHAPTER 90

In the dim light of the Cathedral College kitchen, Langdon and Katherine stood over the pot of water and stared at the transformed capstone beneath the surface. On the side of the golden capstone, an incandescent message was glowing.

Langdon read the shining text, scarcely able to believe his eyes. He knew the pyramid was rumored to reveal a specific location . . . but he had never imagined that the location would be quite this specific.

Eight Franklin Square

“A street address,” he whispered, stunned.

Katherine looked equally amazed. “I don’t know what’s there, do you?”

Langdon shook his head. He knew Franklin Square was one of the older sections of Washington, but he wasn’t familiar with the address. He looked at the tip of the capstone, and read downward, taking in the entire text.

The

secret hides

within The Order

Eight Franklin Square

Is there some kind of Order on Franklin Square?

Is there a building that hides the opening to a deep spiral staircase?

Whether or not there was actually something buried at that address, Langdon had no idea. The important issue at this point was that he and Katherine had deciphered the pyramid and now

possessed the information required to negotiate Peter’s release.

And not a moment too soon.

The glowing arms on Langdon’s Mickey Mouse watch indicated that they had less than ten minutes to spare.

“Make the call,” Katherine said, motioning to a phone on the wall in the kitchen. “Now!”

The sudden arrival of this moment startled Langdon, and he found himself hesitating.

“Are we sure about this?”

“I most certainly am.”

“I’m not telling him anything until we know Peter is safe.”

“Of course not. You remember the number, right?”

Langdon nodded and made his way over to the kitchen phone. He lifted the receiver and dialed the man’s cell-phone number. Katherine came over and placed her head next to his so she could listen in. As the line began to ring, Langdon prepared himself for the eerie whisper of the man who had tricked him earlier tonight.

Finally, the call connected.

There was no greeting, though. No voice. Only the sound of breathing at the other end.

Langdon waited and then finally spoke. “I have the information you want, but if you want it, you’ll have to give us Peter.”

“Who is this?” a woman’s voice replied.

Langdon jumped. “Robert Langdon,” he said reflexively. “Who are you?” For an instant he thought he must have dialed incorrectly.

“Your name is Langdon?” The woman sounded surprised. “There’s someone here asking for you.”

What? “I’m sorry, who is this?”

“Officer Paige Montgomery with Preferred Security.” Her voice seemed shaky. “Maybe you can help us with this. About an hour ago, my partner responded to a 911 call in Kalorama Heights . . . a possible hostage situation. I lost all contact with her, and so I called backup and came to check the residence. We found my partner dead in the backyard. The home owner was gone, and so we broke in. A cell phone was ringing on the hall table, and I—”

“You’re inside?” Langdon demanded.

“Yes, and the 911 tip . . . was a good one,” the woman stammered. “Sorry if I sound rattled, but my partner’s dead, and we found a man being held here against his will. He’s in bad shape, and we’re working on him now. He’s been asking for two people—one named Langdon and one named Katherine.”

“That’s my brother!” Katherine blurted into the receiver, pressing her head closer to Langdon’s. “I made the 911 call! Is he okay?!”

“Actually, ma’am, he’s . . .” The woman’s voice cracked. “He’s in bad shape. He’s missing his right hand . . .”

“Please,” Katherine urged. “I want to talk to him!”

“They’re working on him at the moment. He’s in and out of consciousness. If you’re anywhere in the area, you should get over here. He obviously wants to see you.”

“We’re about six minutes away!” Katherine said.

“Then I suggest you hurry.” There was a muffled noise in the background, and the woman then returned to the line. “Sorry, it looks like I’m needed. I’ll speak to you when you arrive.”

The line went dead.