Charles Langley, 58, an ex CIA Operative in the Middle East arena, now, wreaths in pain from a three-story fall after a drunken pilfering of the bar in the office of the CFO of druid Air's corporate branch offices, in Gary Indiana, on what should have been a perfectly mundane 'black bag' job.
He had been paid handsomely simply to swipe an unpublished copy of druid air's Bimonthly Report, or so he had been-told.
Langley, muttered, as two guards, Vic Sanchez, 23, and Ron London, 31, a former Bristol street thug. Ron turned solder during The Gulf War and now was the Head of Security for druid. When the two approached Ron climbed on top of the dumpster bin and peered down inside at Langley, who was bloody and coated with garbage.
'Right, what's this now? Vic better get on the horn to the Doc, this don't look Kosher. '
Vic took out his cell phone and started pressing keys.
'Hey, do you think this is him?'
Vic shouted up to Ron.
'Don't know but Doc, will.' Ron shouted back.
Later that afternoon in an undisclosed facility deep within druid's corporate confines Dr Carrion Crowfoot, 78, a debonair German born in Paris. Carrion Oxford graduate and Coptic studies scholar the Co-founder of Germany's 'World Renown Hermann Muenster University' the reputed Worlds eminent expert and authority on all things Cryptic and Coptic.
He was standing outside a glass-encased room where Langley was sitting. Ron London brought him up to speed.
'He's been like this for three days now, sir' Ron Said.
'Has he said anything? Anything, at all? ' Calmly Dr Carrion said, trying not to give away the deep gravity of the situation at hand.
'Nay sir, he just sits, stares and mutters, like, to his' self? it's quite pathetic. '
'And the book? Where's the book'
Dr Carrion spoke his words slowly as he watched the last rays of the days remaining light pour through a small window in the room where Langley sat staring out despondently and muttering.
'Keeps saying the same thing over and over, like, like that sir! '
Ron said nodding his head in Langley's direction.
'What could it mean? ' Dr Carrion asked.
'I Don't know sir. He's a bit daffy, loose in the head, three story's whiz-bang took a nasty fall that one he did Sir.
'Perhaps it is a code of sorts?' Dr Carrion thought under his breath.
'Cryptic and Coptic like, Da Vince, Sir?'
'Da Vince, Ron, Whatever do you mean?'
'Da Vince, like da one who dun up all da codes in da Bible. Da Vince!'
'Are you perhaps referring to, Da Vinci? Leonardo Da Vinci, The Da Vinci Code?'
Dr Carrion, giving Ron, an incredulous look, said, 'Yea, dhat da one sir'
Dr Carrion's mind began to wander to a place and time in the distant past.
It was 1984 in a Baghdad Market, a younger Langley, now in the prime of his life sporting a very fit body he wears a splendid light tan suit with brown and tan two tone shoes a Borsalino, beaver felt, fedora and dark Ray Ban sunglasses.
He sits in an outdoors, Baghdad, cafe, sipping tea, reading a copy of the International Herald Tribune. We read the headline: 'Coptic Gospel Unearthed by farmer; Evidence of Double-Dealing. The left column head line read: ' Panel To Quiz Carrion Crow on Shadowy Deals in Illegal Artifact Trade' story line reads: 'Dr Carrion Crowfoot known as 'The Carrion Crow' for his illegal trade in ancient Coptic scrolls will appear before. . . . .
As Langley is seated, the cafe begins to turn, like an old, carnival carousel, but; he remains Stationery and only the background landmarks changed in speed frames. Paris, London, Egypt, Tehran, Israel, Washington New York. He sat along side an older, debonair, well-dressed gentlemen obscured from view. When the gentlemen revealed it is Dr Carrion Crowfoot.
'It's inevitable that folks like us should fall on our swords from time to time.
Dr Carrion said as he removed his Ben Franklin like spectacles.
'In ancient Rome, one, prepared a blood bath, and then was hung out to dry.'
Langley appeared upset.
'This cowboy don't kiss and tell if that's what your getting at Carrion.'
Carrion, waved his hand
'Now, my boy do not to worry your little pumpkin head. Here they come. Round and round and round we go where she stop's nobody knows.
The two remain seated as the carousel starts spinning again, and a series of shady characters sit down then get up, continuing, on and on in a speed frame as they animatedly harrow out apparent illegal artifact trade negotiations. French and British Cargo planes, teamed with men, running off freighted crates,
loaded with smuggled artifacts with black stenciled words: widgets Property of France, Britain, USA.
Dr Carrion mentally returns to the room and begins to speak.
'Charles Langley, age 58, Covert Operations, Mid-east arena, later brought into disrepute, and so and so, early retirement and so and so, scandals broke did time in a fed house near Las Vegas and so and so and, as a result became 'Born Again. 'a sappy old familiar story.'
Dr Carrion, places his hand on his chin. He looks and points to Langley's head, an oddly familiar object is sitting upon it, caked in garbage and blood.
'What is that on his head? It appears? it appears to be a small child's, poop, potty!'
'EMS, said, if it weren't for that potty, he'd have broke his crown, sir. The CFO's, office, was three floors up, that and the fact he fell into the veggie and cheese bin, outside the Piggy Wiggly Super Market, I reckon. ' Ron said
Dr Carrion, takes a whiff.
'Smells a bit ripe!'
'They's old Brussels sprouts and Brie cheese, me thinks. Sir!'
Dr Carrion, takes another whiff.
'I'm flying back to New York, be in my office in 24 hours we must find out why he was stealing these.' He holds up garbage coated files that read: druid air: CONFIDENTIAL
'I must know more about this. And we must find the book! We must be clever! Understand?'
Carrion begins pacing, back and forth, hands behind his back.
'Go over everything. Check and re-check the trash bin. Scour it if need be but'
Dr Carrion stops in mid sentence, turns to Ron, he shouts.
'FIND something, he was once one of us but; now, he has become one of them!"Carrion is back to his pacing.
'Sort of a rouge elephant, with a lumpy past
Dr Carrion, mime's and air writes, then he lip sinks, CIA.
'He has sharp tusks and deep ties.'
Carrion, apparently pleased that Ron is convinced with his assessment stops again, and raises his finger for emphasis, deep in thought, he speaks, as if addressing a vast theater audience.
'I'll crack this case, crack it like an egg! I'll crack it wide open or my name isn't. Carrion cocks his head and struts his chin out.
Dr. Crowfoot Carrion, '49, 53? 55? Oxford graduate, Coptic studies scholar and Cofounder of Germany's World renown Hermann Muenster University. I am reputed as the world's most eminent expert and authority of all things Cryptic and Coptic.
Carrion is in extremely rare form and so pleased with himself.
'Now, the darling of the morning TV circuit, author of, 06 's best selling non-fiction 'how TO win and influence friends with coptic writings,' Harper's press! Carrion, snaps out of his monologue and turns to, Ron.
Well, chop, chop! Top priority! Tip top secret and all that 'Ron, snapping to his command runs out the door
Carrion is seated in his office in The Chelsea Hotel room #831. He is seated at his desk where upon a sign reads: Jesus, kicks it, Old School! Along side it encased in a Plexiglas book stand, a first edition copy of: How TO win and influence friends with Coptic WRITING
On the cover appears the all to familiar AP photo from 9/11 with George W. Bush, megaphone in hand standing on top a pile of debris, arm around a fireman over who's face, Carrion's own, curiously has been superimposed.
He picks open a Fed Ex box, and upon opening it, inside is series of action figures, ' Gods And Minions ' Jesus in a white, pearl studded, cowboy suit. Mohammed as a golden coyote like dog, lounging lethargically on a Persian throw rug. God as a Victorian gentleman sat in a high back leather chair, with a fire place mantle, dressed in a silk smoking jacket with wide leather cuffs and wearing open back leather slippers but this figures face was bandaged and he was wearing blind man's sunglasses.
A Little' Annie Foulter, look-a-like Barbie doll from a series called 'Madam Barbie Media Pundit Meets The Holy Folks.'
Upon the front of the box, Madam, proudly reminds us that
'Each figure has a pull string, When pulled they talk'
Behind Dr Carrion, in an enclosed glass menagerie, the full series: Moses and toddler girl Annie Barbie with matching striped sweaters
Old Abe, is fondly patting the head of Annie Barbie Teen.
Annie Barbie, collegiate, enraptured with John The Baptist.
George W. Bush, mega phone in hand standing on top a burning mountain of debris, arm around a fireman. Pull his string and he says
There is a loud knock on the door.
'Enter!' Carrion shouts
The door opens and Ron enters.
'Did you find anything?'
Ron hands the Doctor a large black leather bound book."Found it in the dumpster"
'Take leave.' Carrion snips.
Ron, disappointed follows the order. Carrion carefully places the worn black leather book to the side of his desk.
'I'll have a go at this; but first thing's first"
He begins to pour himself a drink from a bottle of twenty-year-old Scotch.
'Ah now that's the stuff which made the Empire!'
He reaches slowly opens the Book. Inside there are tiny fragments of parchment Papyrus. Placing on his Ben Franklin type spectacles he begins to read.
'And now for the true identity of Jesus'
To Be Continued