I had no signal of course, but I wasn’t sure if that was because I was in Iran or because they didn’t want me contacting anyone. Either way, I was angry and upset. I didn’t know what was happening to me – I felt like a slave, unable to leave, unable to talk to Danny.
A lump formed in my throat – why were they doing this to me? What did I have that they wanted? And why me? I slammed my phone back onto the desk and paced around the room. This wasn’t fair; I was about to call out in anger when a knock at the door interrupted my thoughts. I was still in my jimjams. ‘Who is it?’ I shouted.
I let out an audible sigh, ‘what do you want?’
‘This morning, we tell you why you are here.’
I had to admit that these people had been polite, but cautious. They had not mistreated either of us and had even gone out of their way to make us comfortable. ‘I am already fed up with your games.’ I started to get dressed.
‘No games. We will tell you everything you need to know and you will see why we need you so badly.’
I finished dressing and opened the door. For the first time, Mister Brown appeared vulnerable and I held my tongue for the lashing I was about to give him. He looked exhausted as though he had been awake all night. ‘Mister Brown, is everything alright?’
‘No,’ he said, ‘please come.’
He led me to a large conference room in which there was already five other people. Danny and Misses Brown made up two of them. The other three I did not recognise. One was an older man dressed in what looked like a priest’s robes. A second man – probably middle aged – wore a casual suit that didn’t really seem to fit him and was several decades out of date. The third was a well-dressed young woman with the most beautiful dark hair. A sumptuous breakfast had been set out – as much as I hate Business Speak, I guess this is what they call Power Breakfasts.
Danny rose to meet me and gave me a big hug, prompting surprising smiles from the strangers. ‘Kara, did you sleep well?’
‘Yes thanks despite not having you next to me,’ Yeah, I’m like that – I don’t care who sees my PDAs.
We took our seats and once we’d all settled and helped ourselves to the cold buffet, Misses Brown moved to the podium.
‘Apologies for not organising this sooner. This is Cardinal Abrami,’ she gestured at the older man, ‘and this is Patriarch Yevseyev’ gesturing at the other man, ‘and Rabbi Curiel.’ I raised my eyebrow at that – I had no idea there were female Rabbis. My surprise must have shown because she offered quickly, ‘of the Liberal Jews.’
I smiled and nodded through my continued surprise.
‘Miss Salter,’ Misses Brown carried on, ‘you were informed yesterday that just three people in the world were adept speakers of The Language of the Ancients. Here they are.’
She took a deep breath, ‘quite frankly, we need your help. We need you to unlock your memories or whatever it is channelling this language and we need you to do so over the next two weeks. If there is anything you should tell us about how you acquired this knowledge, then now is the time.’
I felt as bemused as I had done since yesterday’s revelation. ‘I genuinely do not know. I’ve talked in my sleep since childhood. My brother and sister used to hear it and laugh at me – now my boyfriend does the same. That is all I know.’
She nodded glumly, ‘that is rather unfortunate for all of us but it means you must unlock the language in two weeks.’
‘Why two weeks?’ I asked.
‘Because that is all the time we have to save every living thing on this planet.’
This seemed a surprise only to myself and Danny. We looked at each other in shock.
Misses Brown went on. ‘I… We had hoped for more time. We found out yesterday that two weeks is all we have.’