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18 September 2009 @ 09:04 pm
Chapter 4 - Of Things Past and Present  
Title: The Da Vinci Code
Chapter: Of Things Past and Present
Disclaimer: I do not own The Da Vinci Code or the screenplay. They belong to Dan Brown, Akiva Goldsman, Columbia Pictures, Ron Howard, and everyone else that is not me. Did I get everybody?

Chapter 4

After Sophie expertly scared the life out of the guard, they managed to make it out of the Louvre before Fache was able to return. They drove in silence, Sophie driving with Langdon in the passenger seat and Samara squeezed between them, before Sophie said, “It was his.” Langdon and Samara looked at her as she continued, “I remember finding it when I was a girl. He promised he’d give it to me one day.” The older woman watched as the young cryptographer’s eyes darken. “He was one for promises, my grandfather,” she said coldly.

Langdon looked at the pendant and asked, “Have you ever heard those words before, Sophie? So dark the con of man?”

“No. Have either of you?” she asked.

Samara just looked on as Langdon continued with, “When you were a child – were you ever aware of any gatherings? Anything ritualistic in nature? Strange meetings or ceremonies? Any gatherings he might have wanted kept secret? Did he ever talk about something called the Priory of Sion?”

“Robert, you can’t be serious?” asked a startled Samara as she recognized the name. And then she remembered the anagram – so dark the con of man. Now it made sense to her.

Sophie shook her head. “The what? Why are you asking these things?” she asked.

Samara took up the explanation. “The Priory of Sion is considered a myth. It is one of the oldest and most secret societies in the world, with leaders like Sir Isaac Newton and da Vinci himself. They are considered the guardians of one of history’s most greatest secrets, a secret that they refer to as ‘the dark con of man’,” she answered.

“What secret?” asked Sophie.

Before she could continue, Langdon interrupted with, “It’s a myth. The Priory is history’s version of Santa Claus.”

“And it appears to be real,” muttered Samara.

He glared at her. “Santa has his house at the North Pole, his reindeer and his flying sleigh. The Priory has their oath, their chalice, their crest of fleur-de-lis – which they share, by the way, with the New Orleans Saints and Kappa-Kappa-Gamma,” he continued.

“Since when did you watch football?” Samara asked. He just continued to glare at her.

“This flower is a fleur-de-lis,” Sophie stated.

Langdon nodded. “Yes. That’s supposedly the seal of their secret brotherhood,” he answered.

“But what is this secret they were suppose to be guarding?”
“The source of God’s power on earth,” answered Samara while Langdon remained quiet.

Sophie was silent before hitting the brakes, crying, “Merde!” The trio looked ahead to see the intersection being blocked by two DCPJ cars. “All these things you know. You know something about what happened to him. Both of you do. Even if neither one of you knows what,” she said. Suddenly, a car hits them from behind. Ignoring the yelling, Sophie added, “That is why he wanted us to meet.”

“I’m in enough trouble as it is,” said Langdon. He looked at Samara as she gave him a worried looked.

Sophie looked at them both. “I can’t do this by myself. Please,” she pleaded.

As Samara watched the hubble lights get closer, Langdon replied, “Look, even if we could somehow get out of here –“

“Okay!” cried Sophie as she threw the car in reverse and began to drive madly backwards.

“We’re going to die!” cried Samara as she watched the two squad cars give chase.

Seeing a gap between two passing trucks and realizing that the Frenchwoman was going to do, Langdon added, “ You’re not going to make it through that. No, no, no.” But miraculously, she made it through. “Okay, that was extraordinarily lucky,” he said.

“Oh, yeah,” agreed Samara.

Sophie just shook her head. “We won’t last long in this car. Fache doesn’t like to be eluded. Even on a good day,” she explained.

“Sounds about right,” replied the older woman as Langdon nodded.

“We need someplace to think,” said Sophie. Turning her head, she added, “So either of you have a credit card?” Looking ahead, the trio saw the shining glass rook of Nord train station.\

After ditching the car and setting up a false trail, the trio arrived in a park. “Bois de Boulogne,” said Langdon.

“The mantis stays off the ant-hill, yes?” said Sophie.

Samara looked around. “Your police don’t patrol this park.” After Sophie bought off a man, she said, “Now we have a place to sit.” She handed Langdon the pendant.

“You could have just handed me a piece of a UFO from Area 51,” said Langdon as he looked at it.

Sophie asked, “So, what does it have to do with his murder?”

“If we only knew,” replied Samara.

“Come on, it means something,” said the Frenchwoman.

“This pendant means lots of things,” said Langdon.

Deep in thought, Sophie mumbled, “What’s the next step? With him, it’s always, ‘Sophie, what’s the next step?’”

Then it hits Samara. “A treasure hunt.”

“To find his killer, or maybe there is something about this Priory of Sion,” reflected Sophie.

“I hope not. Any Priory story ends with bloodshed. Over the centuries they were butchered by the Vatican,” said Langdon.

He looked at Samara and she picked up the beat. “In 1099, a French king named Godefroi de Bouillon conquered Jerusalem,” she started to say. “According to the story, the invasion was to locate an artifact lost since the time of Christ. An artifact the Church would kill for.”

“In order to recover it, he founded a secret society called the Priory of Sion; and their military arm, the Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon,” continued Langdon. Sophie looked confused.

“Otherwise known as the Knights Templar,” said Samara.

Sophie looked stunned. “But I thought the Templars were created to protect the Holy Land?” asked Sophie.

“If you go by the myth, that was a cover in order to hide their true agenda,” continued Langdon.

“And did they find it, this mysterious buried treasure?” asked Sophie.

Samara chuckled, enjoying the young woman’s interest. “Let’s just say that one day, the Templars simply stopped searching and quit the Holy Land in order to go to Rome,” she answered. “No one knows if they blackmailed the papacy or simply accepted hush money. But we do know that the Vatican declared the Knights Templar of limitless power, independent of all kings and prelates, both religious and political,” she added.

Langdon picked up the tale. “This lasted until the 1300s, when the Church used their influence to effect a stunning military maneuver.” Stunning is an understatement, thought Samara as Langdon added, “Sealed orders were issued all across Europe to be opened simultaneously.”

“Which back then was no easy task,” added Samara.

“These orders stated that God himself had shown Pope Clement V that the Templars were devil worshippers, homosexuals, and sodomites to boot,” he continued.

“It went down like clockwork. The Knights were all but obliterated. To make it more interesting, the date was October 13, 1307. A Friday,” said Samara.

“Friday the thirteenth,” whispered Sophie as the elder woman nodded. “But did they find their treasure?” she asked.

“It was Clement’s true goal. But unfortunately for him, the Templars had already surrendered it to their masters, the Priory of Sion, long ago; who secreted it away to destinations unknown,” replied Samara.

Still confused, Sophie asked, “But what artifact? The source of God’s power on earth? I have never heard of it.”

Hearing his colleague chuckle, Langdon answered, “Of course you have. Almost everyone on earth has. You just know it as the Holy Grail.”

The woman just stared at them. “Come on. Sauniere thought he knew the location of the Holy Grail?” she asked incredulously.

Langdon looked at the pendant. “Maybe more than that. This cross-and-flower looks ancient, but the metal under here is much newer. There’s a modern ID chip: 24 Haxo. And these tiny dots are read by a laser,” he said.

“It’s not just a pendant. It’s a key,” said Samara.

“There is no empirical evidence of the Priory, okay? Or a Grail object. But if this key your grandfather left you - ,” said Langdon.

“He left us, Professor,” said Sophie. She looked at the pendant. “And vingt-quatre Haxo is not an ID stamp. It’s a street address.”

“Time to go, then,” said Samara. As Sophie walked off to find transportation, Langdon turned to Samara. “How are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m fine,” she answered. In reality, she was getting nervous by the minute. But looking Robert, seeing his equal uncertainty, let her relax a little.