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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.
Penelope De Plant had wanted to be a police officer since she was eight. Her father hadn’t stuck around and so Penelope grew up with her mother, aunt, uncle and four cousins in two apartments with an adjoining door in the heart of Belleville.
Her uncle Guillame had reared her as his own and she thought of him as Papa. He was a huge lovable man at home and in the streets he was highly respected as a sergeant in the Prefecture de Police de Paris. She loved him completely and so when he was murdered Penelope vowed to become a police officer.
And she did.
Decades of work had lead her to the position of detective and she was on course to move up the ranks over the coming years.
But she too had been murdered.
Robert Langdon thought about the little girl she had been, the commitment she made and all she had accomplished in her life as he walked into Pere Lachaise cemetery…Penelope’s final resting place.
The sharp February air was unforgiving and seemed to yearn for Langdon’s flesh, piercing his protective layers and gnawing at his brittle soul. It was two years to the day, Valentine’s day, since Penelope had departed and only now did Robert feel capable of visiting her. The majority of that time he’d spent reconstructing himself after the devastation reigned down by the hand of The Deuce.
Penelope paid the ultimate sacrifice.
As Robert walked through the cemetery’s winding alleys the mausoleums felt oppressive and the peace he should be feeling turned to dread as he approached Penelope’s crypt.
Her will had stated no official police funeral, no flowers and to be laid to rest here in the old family tomb. It was in at the southern end of the cemetery and seemed to stand alone. The building was large and several generations of her family had been interred within so Penelope was in good company.
Langdon approached the door and read the plaque above: DePlanter. Penelope had dropped the last two letters. He wondered why. Brushing the thought aside he opened the door to the mausoleum and felt the cool air from within ushering him inside.
Small gaslit torches peppered the walls and gave off enough light to guide him inside. As his eyes adjusted he saw her name and automatically walked towards her tomb. He touched the cold stone and was immediately overwhelmed by memories.
Memories of Rome, the day she died.
Langdon had pushed her too far that day, she knew it was too dangerous to follow The Deuce into the catacombs but she also knew Robert wouldn’t let it go. She had protected him and in so doing The Deuce had taken her life.
She lay in Robert’s arms as her life ebbed away and she locked his gaze and smiled at him, she smiled at death and she smiled at The Deuce. Both men were transfixed by her departure and a strange union had occurred. The Deuce had attempted to strike her again but he stopped as her eyes met his.
“I am only beginning. I am only moving away. I am around.”
She looked back at Langdon and said goodbye.
The tomb was crushing down on Langdon now and he couldn’t take it any more. He began to sob, he howled for his loss, he screamed for her loss and he wailed for the loss of Paris.
There was no magic. There was no other. The was no humanity. There was only her bones and her forgotten breath.
She was gone.
Three hours later Langdon was on a plane to meet Marius Toth in Argentina who had made preparations for their final journey to the heart of the Pacific ocean. The Deuce had found something out there and Langdon had a pretty good idea what: the lost continent of Mu.
Penelope would tell him not to go, of course she would, but Langdon thought to himself, what the hell do the dead know?
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.