Read The Lafayette Sword Online

Authors: Eric Giacometti

Tags: #Freemasons;Freemason secrets;Freemasonry;Gold;Nicolas Flamel;thriller;secret societies;Paris;New York;Statue of Liberty;esoteric thriller;secret;secret knowledge;enlightenment;Eiffel tower

The Lafayette Sword (26 page)


Under the Statue of Liberty

Present day

'm afraid there's been a little change in plans.” Joan said, waving the gun. “Lower the mallet, and sit on the ground. Hands on your head, and spread your leg
s. Quick.”

Robinson wasn't listening. He started walking in her

Joan moved her weapon a few inches to keep him in her line of sight. “Don't think about taking another step,” sh
e ordered.

“And we were getting along so well,” Robi
nson said.

“I won't tell you again,” the woma
n shouted.

“What are you going to do? Shoot me? I face worse every day, little lady. Look, I'll pull up my shirt and you can put one right here in my belly. Do you have i
t in you?”

Joan didn't blink. “Don't test me, asshole, or you'll end up like th
ose rats.”

Marcas intuited what Robinson was attempting: to disarm Joan without pulling out his own revolver. It was foolish, but Marcas knew there was little he could do at this point but have his broth
er's back.

While Robinson started undoing the buttons of his shirt, Marcas moved to the right. Joan swung around and pointed her revolv
er at him.

“Don't try to be a hero, F

“You'll never have time to shoot both of us,” Marcas said. “Put the gun down, and le
t's talk.”

“Don't worry, brother, the bitch will never shoot,” Robinson said, inching clos
er to her.

A shot rang out and echoed off the stone walls. Robinson's eyes opened wide, and he

It hadn't come from the lawyer. Marcas looked to the left, and a masked form stepped out from th
e shadows.

“He got what he deserved.” It was a famil
iar voice.

“You're sick,” Ma
rcas said.

“Marcas, my brother, it's bee
n awhile.”

“You're no brother
of mine.”

“Oh, but I am, I am the Sword
of Light.”

Joan lowered her weapon and looked at Robinson twitching on the ground. Marcas headed toward him, but the killer fired another bullet at
his feet.

“I suggest that you sit down. I'm not sure I'll aim so well the n
ext time.”

Robinson was holding his stomach with one hand. A red stain was spreading on his shirt. With his other hand, he reached for his service weapon. The killer stepped on his wrist, crushed his hand, and kicked the we
apon away.

“What next? Another quiz?” Mar
cas asked.

“I'm afraid it's not so simple this time. Last time, I needed your brains. Now I need your

“What do
you mean?”

“Few take the road back. Not many ar
e chosen.”

Robinson tried to sit up. “Backup's on its way,” he

“Good try, brother. I arrived after you, and there was nob
ody else.”

Despite the man's warning, Marcas was trying again to help Robinson, whose clothes were soaked with blood. With an abdominal injury, someone could live for hours or die i
n minutes.

Marcas looked at the shoot
er. “Why?”

“Why?” The masked man repeated. “For the gold, of course. The alchemical gold. The power to buy anything on this earth, since everything's for sale. I met Joan when her father died. Thanks to her, I was able to find your friend Paul d
e Lambre.”

Joan looked at her watch. “Let's do what we planned. We don't have m
uch time.”

The killer shook his head. “I have all the time in the world. And Marcas is my double. He's the one who led me here. He's my brother. I owe him the truth.” Marcas sai
d nothing.

“A very long time ago, a man discovered the secret of making gold. All Freemasons who are interested in alchemy know his name. He is famous, even if people today think he's only
a legend.”

“Flamel. Nicolas Flamel,” Ma
rcas said.

“Indeed. He was a public scribe, an anonymous copier, insignificant, until the day he got his hands o
n a book.”

The Book of Adam,

Joan said.

“It was a curious book, which, according to legend, was a copy of an even older text that had been engraved in stone to escape God
's wrath.”

Marcas looked at Joan, the killer and the two pillars. “Don't try to tell me that these are the two pillars that escaped t
he flood.”

“The book disappeared again during Flamel's lifetime. Intentionally, no doubt. Only fragments exist now, and they make no sense. I'll explain the colum
ns later.”

“Is that all you want to
tell me?”

“I can tell you that, thanks to
The Book of Adam,
Flamel found the secret of the philosopher's stone, the secret to transform metal into extremely p
ure gold.”

Marcas felt for the ball of gold in his pocket. “Like the gold we found on the bodies
in Paris?”

“Exactly. The scabbard of my family sword contained alchemical gold powder that must have been transferred to the blade. I see you have investigated well. This gold is proof that Flamel succeeded in the transmutation, that the naïve legend is, in fa
ct, true.”

Robinson shrieked. Marcas turned to see the injured man crawling to escape a pack of blood-hu
ngry rats.


Present day

Aurora Security to Aur
ora Source

Operation Chimera.
Lost contact with target more than an hour after they entered the building in Brooklyn. An unknown person entered a half h
our later.


Nicolas Flamel's Journal

May 18

lowly I made my way to Cahors, and finally I arrived in a town neighboring the château where Flore was living. I found a talkative farmer who advised me to be wary of the older son, who was mean. But he said the young lady of the household was good and generous. She would feed any beggars who knocked on the door. She understood misery. I didn't linger to find out more and hurried to th
e château.

It didn't look like any of the royal fortresses I had already seen. It was perched like an eagle's nest between a cliff and a river. A servant opened the gate and announced that the master of the household wasn't there. I asked to see the young lady. The servant eyed me suspiciously. I asked him simply to convey a message and then handed him a page from
the book.

I didn't have to wait long before I heard footsteps, and Flore de Cenevières appeared, a hand on her ro
und belly.

May 19

I had never before confessed to a woman, let alone a future mother, yet I told her everything, even the crime I had committed. Her eyes glistened when I reached that part of the tale. I couldn't even imagine her feelings—I had killed the man who was both her torturer and the father of her child. This terrible truth troubled me so much I could barely speak. She told me to continue the story. When I finished, I put the pages of the book on
the table.

My mission was complete. I waited for a word or
a gesture.

She rose and made the sign of the cross on my

I slipped to her feet, and my emotions finally burst forth in a flood of tears. I kissed her hands out of gratitude for h
er pardon.

May 20

It isn't dawn yet, but I must go. This will be the last entry in my journal. Another task awaits me. My soul is at peace. In the sanctuary of my heart, a candle burns for Isaac Benserade. As of today, I am his

I will not see Flore again. She did what she had to do. As Isaac had requested, she passed along his legacy to the person she deemed mo
st worthy.

She burned the book, but kept the illuminations. Later, perhaps, she will show them to h
er child.

I picked up my cape a few moments ago. There is no longer any paper rustling in the lining. But a new sound will come to my ears—powder shaking in a little sack. As with the rustle of the paper in my cape, I will get used to thi
s whisper.


Under the Statue of Liberty

Present day

obinson's shrieks had chased the rats back into the tunnel, but Marcas stayed at the entrance, listening for the
ir return.

“Human flesh is a treat for sewer rats—like an alchemist finding the philosopher's stone,” the ki
ller said.

“Interesting analogy, although I wouldn't put it that way myself,” Marcas responded. “Your partner Joan seems to be in a hurry, but why not finish yo
ur story?”

Joan glared at Marcas, then looked back at the killer, who nodded before c

“Flamel was wise. He knew the chaos divulging his secret would cause. Times were troubled, and the powerful were harsher than they are today. So he divided the secret into four parts, like the four traditional elements, and gave them to four people he trusted. Each part was a symbolic drawing of one of the phases of making alchemical gold. To create the gold, one needed all the drawings in the right order. Each person entrusted with a part was to transmit their part intact from generation to generation. Each knew the name of another person who was in possession of one of the fo
ur parts.”

Marcas listened to the killer's story, punctuated by Robinso
n's moans.

“The secret was well guarded for centuries, but during the reign of King Louis XVI, the four descendants found each other. Do you kn
ow where?”

“I'm not in the mood for guessi
ng games.”

“In a Masonic lodge. At the time, there were a lot of lodges focused on alchemy. Cagliostro restored the dying with drinkable gold. The Count of Saint Germain made incredibly pure diamonds overnight. Frederick of Prussia and Catherine the Great of Russia were fascinated with occult chemistry, hoping it would restore the finances of thei
r states.”

“So what did the four descen
dants do?”

“You can't guess? They made gold, of cour
se! Gold!”

Marcas snickered. “So they were greedy, just like you. Flamel must have turned over in h
is grave.”

“You're wrong. They were Freemasons. They were supporters of the first great revolution in Western history. When Brother George Washington sent Brother Benjamin Franklin to France to seek financial and military assistance, the four decided to break the pact of silence and supply alchemical gold to the American revolutionaries. Times were perilous. Louis XVI's contributions to the American Revolution were ruining the kingdom's finances, and the insurgents were not winning against the

Joan had moved in front of the pillars and was looking through a backpack the killer had brought. She pulled out a large projection lamp, which she plugged into a bat
tery pack.

“The holders of Flamel's secret managed to supply enough gold to assist the American Revolution without drawing attention to themselves. Alchemical gold was combined with copper and iron, which stabilized it so that it could be transported

“So alchemical gold financed the American Revolution. That's crazy. What did they do with th
e secret?”

“Nothing, at least not in the following decades. But a treasurer under King Louis XVI had heard about it, and wanting to save his own head in 1792, he told the Jacobins. The French revolutionaries were pure rationalists, so the man ended up in an asylum in Charenton. But the unexpected leak made the group more cautious. They closed Pandora's box and went und

And then?”

“When the political situation became more favorable, the descendants had a clandestine meeting to determine what to do with the secret and the remaining gold. They decided to finance projects that would help humanity. Because the gold could not be given to kings or even democratic governments, both of which would use it to serve political ends, they opted to finance hospitals, schools, and even Masonic organizations—doing so discreetly through shell associations, an example Flamel himself had set. In his later years, Flamel was the most generous philanthropist in all
of Paris.”

Marcas remembered the lodge in Harlem, built with funds fr
om Europe.

“The only problem was how to keep the secret. Again, they followed Flamel's lead. But instead of symbolic drawings, hints were split among the four families, and riddles that led here were hidden around t
he world.”

why here?”

The killer looked at Joan, who had projected the light on one of the pillars and was now videotaping the e

“Look around. Before being destroyed, the drawings revealing the alchemical method were engraved on these columns as an homage to our ancestor from so long a
go, Noah.”

“Okay,” Marcas responded. “So what's your role
in this?”

“Like Joan and brother Paul, I am a descendant of one of the families. I am a Ce

“And what about the fourt
h family?”

The killer picked up the mallet.“Do you mean the symbol engra
ved here?”

“Yes, on the handle, t
he flame.”

Marcas saw the man's evil smile under the mask. “Sorry, brother, but there is no fourth family. There never was a fourth family. Just the symbol of an erroneous myth to distract naïve seekers like

Marcas lowered his eyes. “So why the sadistic spree
in Paris?”

“Ah, yes. A few months ago, my destiny became clear. I knew I was to carry out the magnum opus and clean up Freemasonry. My mission is finding the gold and purifying myself. I must remove detritus from this life and get rid of unworthy brothers, who are human waste. I already told you that I'm the ninth degree of vengeance. I am the Sword
of Light.”

“As I'm going to die here, you could at least show me your face,” Ma
rcas said.

“I won't give you that final satisfaction. Death has no face. Now stand back and listen. There is a grate at the entrance of the final tunnel. It works. It's made of wrought iron, with openings too small to let a man through, but quite big enough
for rats.”

Joan was finishing up. Marcas walked over to Robinson, who was barely

“I envy you being able to meditate on your death in this magnificent setting. You will have plenty to think about, be
lieve me.”

Joan packed up the lamp and started heading toward t
he killer.

“Dear, did you get it all?”
he asked.

She held out the bag containing the lamp and the video

“Thank you. You are my love—for all

Before Marcas could even realize what was happening, a gunshot rang out. Joan crumpled to the ground, a hole in the middle of her forehead. A second later, blood gushed all over her face and down her neck and shirt, along with the buttons that she just couldn't le
ave alone.

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