John woke up and let the cloud of sleep fall away. He lay there a moment going through his checklist of things to do. Tonight was Sunday and so it was the one night of the week where things were a little different. He always looked forward to the midnight mass at St. Albany Church on Sunday. But before he could go he needed to take care of a few other things on his checklist.
He got up from his bed and unlocked the heavy door to his room. He still wore his silk pajamas as he sat down at his desk turning on his computer. He ran his hands over his face and pulled back his long, dark brown hair into a pony tail and used a band on his desk to keep it in place. He was in his study and he could hear the sounds of New York outside of his windows. “Ah, the city that never sleeps”, he thought. “How wonderful it is to be alive.” He laughed at the irony of that thought.
The computer finally finished going through its warm up sequence and the image of a large, white, Christian cross in a wheat field on a bright sunny day popped up as the desktop became active and populated the background with various icons. He turned on his TV as well and started to listen to CNN as he turned his attention back to the computer screen and tapped a button at the top of the keyboard that opened up his email.
There was a moment of hesitation. The emails were different. Several of them had an exclamation point next to them marking them as urgent. The exclamation point in itself was not unusual but the fact that these emails were from his agents was. Among them were normal emails, ones from some of his contacts, some from his broker and one even from a friend of his but he ignored them and quickly scanned the subject lines of the ones marked urgent. They all indicated something about the news and something he must see. Dutifully the messages were all cryptic enough to seem innocuous. He counted ten different emails from ten different agents. He also noticed that each had the small paperclip symbol next to the email tag line indicating an attachment. John clicked on the first one received and saw that it was a video clip attachment. This agent, agent #4, who wrote under the pseudonym ‘JesusFreak432’, only wrote “for your consideration” in the body of the message.
John double clicked on the attachment causing it to open in the media player. He maximized the player and waited for it to load. He noticed that it was only a 4 minute and 13 second video as the red bar leaped to the right indicating its progress. Finally, the video started to play. It was news coverage and was from a station in Dublin, Ireland. As it played he realized he had the sound on mute and quickly changed the setting so he could hear. The reporter on the scene was talking about an ancient burial chamber that had been discovered. The reporter was a young attractive female maybe in her mid 20s and had a thick Irish accent that at once was both soothing and attractive. A portion of an underground chamber had caved in south of Dublin when the earth shifted during a recent storm and it was now being investigated. John could see the PCA trucks on the scene and that pleased him but he was starting to get a little restless. So far there had been nothing terribly unusual on the video. The presence of the Pre-construct Archaeology (PCA) trucks was not unusual and was even expected. Even when they introduced Dr. Henry Latimer from Iowa State University in America this did not surprise John. It was, he thought, “planned that way”. But at 3 minutes and 45 seconds into the clip he saw it. He stared at the image. He then had to stop the clip, reduce the window size, and then restart it at 3 minutes. The smaller window size was of better quality and he needed to get a better look. He watched again and waited for the item to pass behind the reporter and Dr. Latimer as she was interviewing him. A large rectangular stone box was being lifted onto the back of a trailer by a crane. John could only tell it was stone because one end of it was uncovered. The rest of the box had been wrapped in several layers of packing blankets. But as the box was being lifted and swung around to its proper orientation, the back end of the box that was unwrapped was in full view. The words inscribe on the back were unmistakable, ‘volo reverto ob istud’.
He stopped the video clip at that moment and stared in disbelief. He read the words over and over again. Tonight would be a very special mass indeed. If there were ever a time to be patient and give thanks to God it was now. But he still had plenty of time to make arrangements before mass. He picked up the phone and began to dial, he needed to get to Iowa and fast. With God’s grace he would be there before Dr. Latimer and his “package”. There was so much to do now, and after 650 years, so little time to do it in.