The last assistant of Father Oscura was standing in the now empty room, He was carefully brooming
the dust of centuries off the floor to reveal the tiled mosaic covering the floor. He could see the
intricate design interlacing the strange symbols.
When he reached the center of the room he saw a small metalic plaque with what appeared to
be a precious stone red as a ruby, but it could not be a ruby it was the size of his fist maybe
even a bit bigger… Must be glass or maybe some kind of crystal.
He finished brooming and opened the window to let the dust out and left the room. That
was for Father Oscura to figure out his job was done.
It had taken six people almost a week to cataloque the five hundred
and twenty six items in the room. It would take years to date and
identify everything accurately.
The near full moon rose steadily in the sky soon it was centered in the room’s
small window and the cold moonbeam reached the red stone a small hissing
sound was heard as the stone glowed.
Then within minutes it was glowing brightly and pulsing with a regular
rythm. It spread along the interlaced patterns to all the corner of the
room, the whole room was irridiated in a red glow.
Below the metamorphosis continued, slow and deliberate. He felt the energy
coming from above He opened his nearly completed eyes and a beam of red light
was shinning upon him. He closed his eyes they were hurtful.
He reveled in the light moving in a better position, he let it caress him
sooth his very being somehow he sensed that it was not as powerful as the
light should be and yet did not know why he thought so.
Mark stood by the window of his hotel room looking at the city below.
“What the hell am I doing here?” He said to the empty room.
What was the name of that scientist he had met in New York? Gardini?
Don’t sound right, Giordino? Giordano? Yes that’s it! Bruno Giordano!
He was such an intelligent and pleasant man. Maybe they could meet
He was trying to remember more about the man.
It had been a nice convention attended by an international elite of
the microbiology fields. He remembered being fascinated by the Italian
speaker he was a forensic, archeologist, biological compounds investigator.
He was one of the first to discover that biological warfare had been used
in the great war of the middle ages. He remember they had met later
and shared a few drinks. He had said he was based at a foundation in Rome.
Try as he might he simply could not remember the name of the foundation
“I need a drink!” He walked to the mini bar then tought better of it
and he decided to go take a walk. “When in Rome do as Roman do!”
He walked slowly and aimlessly guided by his curiosity until feeling tired
he stopped at an exterior cafe. He asked the waiter if they had some fruit
juices, something refreshing?”
The waiter asked if he wanted to try a (He did not catch the italian word)?
He smiled and said “Yes, excellent suggestion!”
A few minutes later the waiter returned with a tall glass decorated
with a cherry and orange slices. The waiter looked at him as he sampled it
“Good eh?” Said the waiter.
“Delicious!” Exclaimed Mark “Can I get a tray with fruits and cheeses?”
“Subito!” Replied a beaming waiter.”I will be return fast!” And he walked away.
Mark just sat there watching the Roman life pass by him. He was enjoying himself.
“Excuse me, are you an American?” Said a nice young lady.
“Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone I am impersonating a Roman!”He replied laughing.
“Mind if I join you for a few minutes?” She asked.
“Sure why not!” He said after a moment of hesitation. The young woman
mover her coat and bags from the next table to his. Just then the
waiter returned with his tray and Mark said “Thank you, I will have
another of thse delicious drink and would you like something Miss…?”
“OH! I am Phillipa, Just a capuccina will be fine!”
“That’s it!!!!” He exclaimed “HE said to the waiter Wheres the phone book?”
And turning to her he said “Sorry about that help yourself pointing at the tray”
He followed the waiter inside and found the Phillipa Foundation and called them
and made an appointment for later in the afternoon to meet professor Giordano.
When he returned to his table he said.
“Sorry, my name is Mark” They talked and laughed next thing he knew it was time
to go to his apointment. He invited he to join him fr supper and she accepted.
He gave her the hotel number adding, “I should be back around six”
He took a cab to the foundation and they told him that he had to leave for the lab
on an urgent matter “Perhaps you would like to join him there?”
Mary awoke in a dream like world, sunshine streaming in the palatial
bedroom, birds singing, and the fragrance of flowers seeping into
the room with every breezes.
She stretched and luxuriated in the comfortable oversized bed. There was a
knock at her bedroom door.
The maid came in pushing a little cart. On it a tray with a full breakfast
coffee and fresh fruit some of which she had never seen before. She
felt ravenous. The maid served at the little table by the open window.
“What time is it?” She asked
“Sorry, no english” Said the maid “Mister Silversmith come soon” She curtsied
and left the room. Mary put her house coat on and sat at the table and ate.
It was all so fantastic, to think some people actually live like this.
She was nearly done when she heard another knock this time it was Silversmith
“Good morning, Did you sleep well?”
“Slept like a baby!” She replied
“I came to discuss your entertainment for the day” He said.
“My what?” Asked Mary.
“What do you want to do today, visit museums, churches, go golfing?”
“Geez, I don’t really know!” She said.
“Well, let me ask you what do you like to do?”He asked.
“I don’t do much I usually work then I am to tired to go or do anything”
“Let’s not think about that, You are here to forget about your usual
life and live like a queen for two weeks. I, am here to make sure your
majesty brings home a lifetime of pleasurable memories.”
“Oh I know!” Her face light up “I want to go to a park with fountains
and people and eat ice cream on the grass.”
“So it shall be!” He said ceremoniously. “Shall I meet you downstairs
in say… 30 minutes?”
“What time is it?” She asked
He looked at his watch “Almost eleven fourty five”
“Oh My god! I don’t remember the last time I slept this late”
Mark arrived at the high security building and a guard escorted him
to the lab where the professor was working. “Ah! There you are! come in,
he pointed to microscope “Have you seen something like it before?”
He looked and he could clearly see a black substance it was alive, it did
looked familiar yet there was something different.
“No can’t say that I have!”He replied without taking his eyes off the viewer.
“Basically it is blood but that is where similarity ends, this is most puzzling”
“Blood?” Asked a confused Mark
“Yes it has hemoglobin but no white cells, the red cell are black, and
this is incredible! This was found in a small container over a thousand years old.”
Mark returned to the viewer, this was impossible and yet there it was!
“Here are the toxicology report” He handed him a sheet of paper
Just then someone knocked on the door and handed him an envelope.
He read “This is the DNA composition, totaly amazing!” Again he oassed it on to Mark
“But that’s impossible!”He exclaimed.
“I know! Is that not exciting?!” Said Giordano.
“I have, I mean…”Mark was at a loss for words.
“I am very sorry, Here you are on vacation and…”The professor was interrupted.
“Never mind that, the toxicology and the DNA analysis both report unknown elements!
I thought the genome project had identified all the markers?”
“Yes, in today’s world, but this is a thousand years old, maybe, even olders!”
“Perhaps it is…” He thought a moment”This will sound so far fetch”
“The bible speak of being descending from heaven to take woman as bride or something like that
could this be blood from an hybrid?”
“Interesting…” The professor picked up the phone and asked for a bible
Then he made another call, this time to Father Oscura inviting him to joine them
as soon as possible.
Mr. Silversmith was the perfect guide, he had taken her to an amazing park
and now they were in a rowboat on the lake and he pointed and said “the Germans
shot 50 peoples in that clearing calling them partisans as a warning.”
His voice was always warm and assured he never raised his voice. He was handsome
with a bit of grey at the temples, very stylish and well mannered. He never made a
pass at her or even hinted, or made those crude jokes her clients made.
“You see that big rock outcropping? It is believed that Caligula and his sister
cavorted and made love on that rock.” He said.
“Well did they? I mean, really did that?” She asked.
“According to some historian of the era he did and at the point there a famous Mafiosi
committed suicide in the 30’s after his wife died” He seemed to be an inexhaustible source
of knowledge, she could learned to love such a man.
“At the top of that hill Julius Cesar had his Villa and all this used to be part of his
When Father Oscura arrived, he could not believe his ears. Black blood! It was too much
out of his knowledge too truly comprehend and that connection with the biblical passage
Gen 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took
them wives of all which they chose.
“There are so many interpretations as too the exact meaning of this verse!” he said.
“It his obvious that the sons of God and daughter of men implies they were not human
at least not from the race of “men”. Said Mark.
Giordano added “the off springs are described as Giants over 9ft tall and they had six
fingers and six toes, if I remember well?”
“Yes be that as it may, nowhere is there mention of black blood not even when David slays the
giant Goliath, in fact there is no mention of black blood in any bible version I ever read”
They remained silent as they had to accept that glimmer of a solution did not work!
The inscription on the container said; “He was man like with great powers, the wound shed
black blood I collected and placed within.”
“I never expected it would be actual blood, even less it would still be alive after a
thousand years! Then again, there is so much left to discover from that room and it’s
content not to mention the strange symbols on the floor of the room itself I did not
have time to study yet” Added Father Oscura.
“Am I the only guest here?” Asked Mary.
“Until the day after tomorrow, then we have a small group coming in for a… convention”
It’s only for the week end they come a few times each year.” Replied Mr. Silversmith
“I don’t think they will disturb you, they are a quiet bunch.”
“I don’t know if I like strangers invading my villa. “Feigning a haughtiness she could never have.
“It also mean you will loose your guide as it falls on the week end off of the staff.”
“Can I help? I do know a thing or two about serving” She winked at him.
“Absolutely not!” He said “You are here to be pampered not to serve and that is final!”
“Sorry! I did not mean…”But he interrupted her.
“No it is I who is sorry, I enjoy your company. Tomorrow the driver will take you shopping.
It is time you spent some of that money you won.” This time it was he who winked at her.
“You buy something nice, just because you like it!”
Giuseppe called Mario, “Is everything ready?”
“Of course they are!” Mario replied. “How are things on your end?”
“The reservations are confirmed and all are paid! The newsletter picked up another 500 members this week.
That advertisement in the rock metal magazine is really paying off.”
“Excellent see you at noon Saturday then.” Mario did not wait and hung up the phone.
Mark happened to glanced at his watch and was surprised how late it was.
“You will have to excuse me Professor but I will be late for an appointment!”
The Professor looked at him obliquely “I sense a romantic interlude in your near future!”
“Perhaps, professor, perhaps, who knows what Eros has in store for us mere mortals!” He replied
He made it to the hotel ten minutes late, but to his relief she was sitting in the lobby still
waiting.” I am sorry I was delayed” He said as an apology.
“I will forgive you after all you are but only a man!” She quipped.
“What would you like to eat?” He asked.
“There’s a great Thai eatery a couple of blocks from here, if you don’t mind spicy food?” She asked.
“Sounds good, never tried it before but I am up to a discovery!” He said trying to sound cheery
and convincing at the same time.
She took his arm as they walked unto the street. He felt a bit self conscious yet he found he had
almost a swagger in his step and felt proud to be seen with her at his side.
The meal had been as delicious as it had been spicy, they ate talked and laughed a lot. Afterward
they walked and talked and walked and talked some more. Then they end up in front of his hotel.
He felt awkward “Want to come up for a last call?”
She looked into his eyes, seemingly studying him then she smiled “OK!” Was all she said. All she
needed to say. The magical something filled them both so intensely no words was necessary.
Their passion carried them in intermingling waves of lusts and carnalities. Rising and ebbing
relentlessly, hungrily and they surrendered their inhibitions.
The first light of dawn found them exhausted physically and mentally euphoric.
Father Oscura was dumbfounded he was studying the floor symbols and those patterns.
Trying to make sense of them so far he got: protection, hole, prison, but the rest
resisted his will to deciphering them.
There had to be a connection between the word/symbols and the patterns. Every instincts
in him screamed it in his brain relentlessly. The key to the solution stubbornly eludes him.
He had tried countless permutations and combinations. If only he could translate the other
symbols, but their meaning had been lost in the long interval of passing time.
That red stone in the center was fused to the tiles surrounding it not inlaid or incrusted
as one would expect. How they could have accomplished this back then was just another
mystery added to all the others.
Another mystery that troubled him was why was this room built here even before the Vatican
was ever built or had the Vatican been built here because of this room?
“AAAARRRRGGGH!” He screamed in frustration. Again, he forced his intellect to try to un-puzzle
the mosaic below him.
Mary had a good time she visited store more than she actually shopped. What to buy? Really,
Certainly not a gown that would sit in her closet because she had no place to wear it.
Fancy shoes? Her feet are so sore at the end of the day why would she want to wear those?
Jewelry? Waste of money! She did not wear any, rings annoyed her as she would constantly
have to move them as her finger would swell.
What she needed the money for was back home, a better TV, a new fridge, that! she could use.
Besides anything she bought here she would have to carry back home on the plane…
So she just wandered from store to store admiring Italian sense of styles and esthetics.
She did have a nice lunch and discovered a dessert called Gelato similar to ice cream but
coarser and way more flavorful. Hovering nearby was the ever present chauffeur ready to
render help or protection.
She did visit a couple art galleries but such paintings had no place in her small room.
She had to face the facts when you are poor luxuries are useless. It was something people
like Mr. Silversmith and rich people would never understand.
She sighed, It made her mad but she missed her place, It was small and a dump
but it was “Her” small dump! She missed Mr. Robert who came in like clockwork
at exactly 8:15 for breakfast and always had a kind word.
She had her favorites, over the years she had developed somewhat of a
relationship with some of her clients. Jack was a real clown and would
always make her laugh. Yes, she missed them… Until today she would never
have thought it was possible.