The Proposal (Part 7)
“Are you ready for us to show you a wonder beyond your imagination?” Mr. Destiny asked Kelly.
She looked at him and Mr. Fate. Her old friend had a broad smile on his face in spite of his obvious failing health.
Mr. Destiny flipped the cover on the retinal scanner which opened the door to his apartment. He led them past the huge fireplace to a light switch on the wall and pushed it aside to reveal another retinal scanner. He looked into the light and instantly panels began to open revealing a huge, old fashion freight elevator. As Mr. Destiny grabbed the rope and pulled the slatted door upward, Kelly saw a two seat golf cart in the middle of the elevator. At the back of elevator there was another slatted door and beyond it skylights revealed there was a huge warehouse with racks of wooden crates.
Mr. Destiny pushed the down button and as the elevator started it’s slow decent he said: “Get in.”
Mr. Fate got in the back and gestured to the front passenger seat and said, “You can ride shotgun.”
Kelly took her seat.
As they moved Mr. Destiny continued, “Kelly, there are only two living people who have ever seen what we are about to show you. Mr. Fate has only seen it because he serves as my Consigliare.”
Kelly replied with a raised eyebrow, “Like in The Godfather?”
Both men broke into laughter. Mr. Destiny looked back at Mr. Fate and said “He is EXACTLY like Tom Hayden in The Godfather.”
He got serious and said, “The title goes back further than that, as you well know.”
“Yes,” Kelly answered as she showing her degree in Latin wasn’t a waste of tuition money. She went on, “It is a medieval Latin word that goes back a very long time.”
“Very good,” Mr. Destiny replied approvingly.
“The Audiens Tonsorem, Barber Listener, has had an adviser since the beginning,” he went on. “He is basically an adviser to the listener.”
“How does that work with you living in the UK and Mr. Fate in America?” Kelly asked sincerely. “It didn’t,” Mr. Destiny confirmed, “Not until telephones and computers came along.”
Mr. Fate added, “After my father died, Mr. Destiny asked me to serve as his Consigliare. I said no because I didn’t want to leave the country that had given my family love and refuge after the war. However, Mr. Destiny was insistent and we came to an arrangement. For security reasons we have our own satellite space to communicate.”
“How much does that cost?” Kelly asked. Again, both men grinned knowingly.
Then Mr. Destiny said, “Money really is no object, as you will see soon enough.”
Finally, the elevator came to a stop and this time the door opened automatically and as the lights came on in front of them in sequence revealing a long tunnel that went back as far as Kelly could see. She saw there were book cases on the right and marble busts of men every 10 feet on the left. There was an aisle in the middle wide enough for the golf cart. They let Kelly absorb what she was seeing before Mr. Destiny broke the silence, “This is a forgotten branch of the old London mail train which ran from the British Museum, underneath the Kings Cross Station and connected to the main line beyond that. It was built over a hundred years ago and this branch was seldom used. The only access now is through this elevator.” He continued, “On the left is a bust of every one of my predecessors since the beginning. It is a tradition that when a new Audiens Tonsorem takes the position they commission a marble bust of the man they succeed.” Kelly sat wide-eyed in thought. But the next thing Mr. Destiny would say would leave her speechless.
He started the golf cart and continued: “On the right…” He paused, “On the right is the Library of Secrets. Secrets that three millennia of dying men and a few women too dark to share with a clergyman but too deep to take to the grave.” “For the most part, it is a chronicle of the darkest side of human nature: the taking of innocent life.”
All Kelly could manage to say was, “Did you say ‘three millennia?”