The story takes place over a period of 12 hours in Washington, D.C., with a focus on Freemasonry. Langdon is summoned to Washington to give a lecture, apparently by his mentor, a 33rd degree Mason named Peter Solomon. However instead of an audience for his lecture he finds the severed right hand of Peter Solomon tattooed and pointing upwards, to the fresco The Apotheosis of Washington on the inside of the Capitol dome. This leads to a game of cat and mouse throughout the museums and architecture of Washington DC. Langdon joins forces with Solomon’s sister,Noetic scientist Dr. Katherine Solomon, while matching wits with Mal’akh, a tattooed, self-castrated and brilliant villain who is in search of an ancient source of power. Mal’akh has taken Peter hostage, and demands that Langdon unlock the Ancient Mysteries in return for Peter’s life. Langdon is also apprehended by Director Inoue Sato of the CIA Office of Security, who demands that he solve the mystery since it is a matter of national security, since the villain is planning to release a clandestine video of Washington powerbrokers engaged in secret Masonic rituals. The chase and the clues to the puzzles lead through the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Museum Support Center, the Washington Masonic Temple, the Washington National Cathedral, and the Washington Monument. Some ciphers in the book use magic squares such as those in the 1514 work Melencolia I, and an Order 8 Square created by Benjamin Franklin. Processes of alchemy are also described to reveal some of the clues.
In the climax, Mal’akh reveals that he is in fact Peter’s son Zachary. Unhappy with the way he was treated by his father, he faked his own death in a Turkish prison and experienced a religious epiphany, finding the need to learn the Word and complete his transformation into a godlike being. Trying to re-create the Biblical story ofAbraham on the verge of sacrificing his son, Zachary tries to goad his father into killing him with a special sacrificial knife, on the altar of the Freemasons, but Langdon intrudes, a CIA helicopter disables Zachary’s laptop with a targeted EMP pulse to prevent the distribution of the video, and Mal’akh is killed when the helicopter shatters a window above him.
Peter then takes Langdon to the Washington Monument, saying that the Word that Mal’akh was seeking was actually the Bible, and that the true Ancient Mystery is in fact the realization that people are not God’s subjects, but in fact possess the capability to be gods themselves. Once they realize this fact, they will open the gateway to a magnficent future.
Katherine Young of Resourcex Investor spoke to Terence Ortslan, a mining analyst at TSO and Associates in Montreal who has been travelling to Mongolia for 20 years, about issues affecting Mongolia’s mining sector.
A recent agreement in principle between Rio Tinto, Ivanhoe Mines and the Mongolian government has investors, analysts and mining professionals wondering if the climate in Mongolia is becoming more favourable to foreign investment in the resources sector. Juniors in Mongolia like East Asia Minerals (TSX.V:EAS) and Red Hill Energy (TSX.V:RH) – who have, respectively, uranium and coal deposits in Mongolia – will likely be affected by investor perception of this deal. Katherine Young of Resourcex Investor spoke to Terence Ortslan, a mining analyst at TSO and Associates in Montreal who has been travelling to Mongolia for 20 years, about issues affecting Mongolia’s mining sector. Continue reading →