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.
Langdon’s senses were twinkling zestfully.
Christmas dinner in his private jet had been utterly sumptuous. Penelope was ravenous. He’d never seen a person devour so many Brussel sprouts and if he was honest with himself, which he almost always was, he found it deeply erotic.
Sated, Penelope now slept a distinctly Belgian sleep while Langdon watched the sparkling city lights of Dublin come closer as they landed with minor bumpage.
Langdon carried Penelope off the jet and into a waiting LexusIS 300h Executive Edition. She slept all the way to Dublin’s prestigious Ashling Hotel located on Arran Quay beside the banks of the mysterious River Liffey.
As he placed her on the bed she whispered in her sleep, “La Mer.” Langdon smiled and poured himself a scotch, leaving Penelope to digest an actual bucket load of sprouts. She’d sleep for ages at least.
He stood by the window sipping his scotch and admiring the calm waters below. He had always felt a deep connection with this river and although an American he thought of himself as an honorary Irishman after the incident with the RA.
After a time he noticed that as the firmament was appearing overhead the waters of the Liffey were draining revealing the riverbed. He couldn’t stop looking at the empty river, it began to call out to him and so five minutes later he found himself walking beside the river wall drinking his scotch.
As he approached the city centre, his gaze never leaving that empty river, he remembered a quote from I, Claudius that reverberated through his mind.
“Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.”
He stopped dead on Ormond Quay and stared across the river to the far wall where there was a large grate.
The Poddle, he thought to himself. That ancient river that passes through the Dubh Linn. That snaking mystery drenched in the guise of Celtic mysticism that merely veils a horrible truth, a terrible past.
Instinctively Langdon began climbing down one of the Liffey ladders and in seconds he was standing on the Liffey riverbed. He made his way across to the Poddle portal and climbed up to the huge iron grate. He entered the dark tunnel with ease and took out his Maglite as he began exploring the path ahead. He walked through the low ceilinged brick tunnels for what seemed like days.
Finally he reached a large cylindrical room. The darkness of the place seemed to have a density that was altogether unnatural and without warning his torch died.
Lost in the abyss of the room. Langdon quaked as he heard the sudden, unmistakable rushing of water. In seconds the water was licking around his ankles, he tried to turn and head back the path he’d come but it was useless as he simply bumped into walls.
The water enveloped Langdon.
He held his breath and swam up, if up still had meaning, but soon he could feel himself begin to swallow water.
Cold. Black. Water.
He was drowning. He was a drowned man.
And yet…he still was, he existed. His eyes became accustomed to the darkness and he could make out the shapes of the room. The panic was subsiding as he found he could still sense the world.But he wasn’t quite alive. He began to swim towards what looked like a doorway but as he did this he noticed great chunks of flesh falling away from his hands.
The panic resumed with an unparalleled ferocity and as he struggled it just made the flesh fall away all the easier. He could feel himself disintegrating and merging with the water, his putrid flesh turned to flakes, his bones softened and peeled. His soul diluted and purged…by the Dubh Linn.
Langdon awoke with a start and took a good five minutes to get his bearings. The hotel room was quiet. All was still. Penelope parped gently in her sleep and Robert Langdon smiled as he drank in the breadth of his nocturnal excursion. He’d have to investigate this Dubh Linn, this Black Pool. He’d go to the heart of this city and play in the dirt until he found what he was looking for.
Tomorrow, thought Langdon. Tomorrow.
Until then it was time to have the last selection box. Penelope wouldn’t mind, she wouldn’t mind in the slightest.
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.