For the first time: here is the prologue to my upcoming thriller The Pi Effect.
One to two and back to one,
Hence three messengers to come:
The river’s son,
The earth’s son,
And the fire’s son,
All joined into One.
That, which all contains,
That, which ever remains,
That, which cannot be slain,
Are that, for which you look in vain.
Behold the circle of three
And you will find me.
The river’s source,
And the root of the tree,
The fire’s initial spark,
That’s where I will be.
Never one nor the other,
But always next to three.
The wind drove sheets of rain from low hanging leaden clouds onto the rocky landscape of Papey Minni: one among the cluster of Scottish islands that God’s hand had cast into the rough North Sea like a collection of pebbles. There was a monastery in this unlikely place, inhabited by a handful of recluse monks.
Built of granite, the library was one of the buildings that huddled together as if to give each other protection from the elements.
Inside one of the library rooms, there was light.
In a barren and drafty room, a lone monk sat in front of a computer screen whose light made the pale, gaunt face appear even paler. Eyes glued to the screen, his lips were moving almost imperceptibly.
The script before him was written in a mere shadow of a language long forgotten, which no one alive today knew how to speak, let alone read. Nobody knew who wrote it nor to to whom it was addressed and for which purpose. Close to thousand years it lay forgotten in a desert cave. Then, hundred years ago, it was discovered, photographed, cataloged and assigned a space on a shelf deep down in the entrails of the British Museum of History. And five years ago, when poring over digital catalogs of artifacts from the Holy Land, he found it.
Even without at first being able to decipher the message, he knew with absolute certainty that it was addressed to him, across the gap of many centuries. Why or how he knew this, he couldn’t say. But it was that kind of knowledge which is beyond doubt and reason: it was simply true. It needed no justification.
And so he had spent virtually all his waking hours in the attempt to decipher it. Jean-François Chompollion had the Rosetta stone to give him the decisive clue for unraveling the Egyptian hieroglyphs. Compared to him, he had something better: a computer connected to a database that contained images of all the known sources of antique and ancient writing and the latest AI algorithms in language and pattern matching. But even with those tools, it had defied him for over five years to translate it.
Today, for the first time, the computer had succeeded in rendering the script in modern English. Of course, meaning was lost, ambiguities introduced in the translation. He had successfully unraveled one mystery only to replace it with another.
With a sigh that mirrored the gravity of his predicament, he got up and started to pace back and forth in his room. It was only a small room in the damp section of an old monastic building in foggy Scotland. His mind already soared past and beyond those confines. With each lap, an idea began to emerge and take shape.
It was an idea that didn’t fit inside the small room, too big for the entire monastery, extending even well beyond the bounds of Great Britain.
He didn’t know how yet, but he was certain of the what.
His life had just been given a reason.