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 dont know whats there, do you?
Langdon shook his head. He knew Franklin Square was one of the older sections of Washington, but he wasnt familiar with the address. He looked at the tip of the capstone, and read downward, taking in the entire text.
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 Peters release.
And not a moment too soon.
The glowing arms on Langdons 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.
Im 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 mans 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, youll have to give us Peter.
Who is this? a womans 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. Theres someone here asking for you.
What? Im 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
Youre inside? Langdon demanded.
Yes, and the 911 tip . . . was a good one, the woman stammered. Sorry if I sound rattled, but my partners dead, and we found a man being held here against his will. Hes in bad shape, and were working on him now. Hes been asking for two peopleone named Langdon and one named Katherine.
Thats my brother! Katherine blurted into the receiver, pressing her head closer to Langdons. I made the 911 call! Is he okay?!
Actually, maam, hes . . . The womans voice cracked. Hes in bad shape. Hes missing his right hand . . .
Please, Katherine urged. I want to talk to him!
Theyre working on him at the moment. Hes in and out of consciousness. If youre anywhere in the area, you should get over here. He obviously wants to see you.
Were 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 Im needed. Ill speak to you when you arrive.
The line went dead.