In February 2000 I emerged from my underground bunker, a converted passage tomb near The Hill of Tara, to discover that the world had not ended and the dreaded Y2K bug had failed to wipe out our species. I was relieved but lost. Months later I discovered a novel called Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and consumed it numerous times because the lead character, Robert Langdon, shares my name, Robert Langdon. It changed my life and gave me a purpose. I have followed Robert and Dan on their adventures ever since and have penned several stories featuring my hero, my companion, my teacher…Robert Langdon. These are my stories. I am Robert Langdon.
Svyashchennoye Mesto, meaning sacred place, was located deep in Siberia within a secret naukograd originally set up by the Soviets for some ungodly research. Ironically there was nothing sacred about the bleak, austere buildings that protruded ugly rectangles into Langdon’s field of vision as he pulled up outside in his UAZ Hunter. The town had been abandoned decades ago but Langdon’s research suggested an altogether different story. The facilities here were still very much active.
A week ago Langdon had all but given up hope of ever finding The Friar’s killer but a mysterious letter during the night written in the dead man’s hand with a hand scrawled map of deep symbology had led him to this location.
Standing in front of the main hellish building on this grey November morning Langdon pulled out a Lucky Strike and smoked the shit out of it. The stress of this bloody case had drained at least four years from his life. His hair was greasy, his suits creased and the light in his eye faded to darkest obsidian, like some ever imploding black hole created by Professor Brian Cox at CERN by accident.
He’d come alone, he couldn’t trust anyone, not even Detective Penelope DePlant, and as he approached the building four armed men appeared from an aperture in the building’s facade.
Fuck this shit, thought Langdon. He dived forward and did a roll on the ground while pulling his nine millimetre out and as he landed in a lunge position he immediately opened fire. The first two shots were direct kills, two heads stopped thinking mere seconds apart. But the other two heads/men were still thinking and shuffled back into the building.
Langdon absolutely pegged it after them and as the door was closing he shot the control panel to the left of the door which stopped closing after he shot it. He stood against the wall and peered into the doorway. The men were cowering inside bumping into walls and each other. It was so freaky.
“Alright fuckheads! Put down your weapons and I’ll let you live!” Shouted Langdon.
He heard the men whispering in Russian. Balls to this bollocks, thought Langdon. He put his gun through the door and shot blind in their direction. A second later he heard the thud of two cadavers hitting the ground.
Entering the room Langdon realised what this place was. The room was ten feet by twenty feet and on the ground was a hatch that was open and he could see a ladder. The rest of the building was nothing more than fortification, twenty stories of solid concrete and iron built to protect whatever lay beneath. God only knew how deep the fort went.
Langdon walked over to the hatch and suffered vertigo as he saw what must be over a thousand steps on the ladder descending into Da Vinci knew what. He steadied himself and pulled out his hip flask. A deep swig or two later he was focused and ready.
He began to descend. Little did he know the loose strings he pulled at were making the very fabric of things unravel.
Little did he know that he knew so little of what was known was unknown in this known universe of unknowableness, as he went down.
As he went down the earth hummed but all Langdon could hear was the clang of his footsteps reverberating through the tunnel.
After half an hour he stopped, utterly shagged. As he smoked another Lucky he was suddenly interrupted by the sound of voices above him, voices that turned to shouting voices, shouting voices that turned to shouting guns, screaming bullets at him.
He began to climb but was struck in the shoulder by a bullet.
“Tits!!” Screamed Langdon.
He took his feet off the steps and just let himself slide down the ladder and into the abyss. He fell and fell.
He blacked out. He was become void.
Robert Langdon is a neo-transcendentalist, a Sadhu of Samhain, an historic detective and a conspiracy factualist. He lives in Drogheda with his husband, wife and a dule of red eared slider turtles.