The 28th installment of the Assassin Chronicles, The Red Cross of Gold XXVIII:. The Centaur is available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com for $3.99. The adventures of the Assassin/Alchemist, Sir Mark Andrew Ramsay, Order of the Poor Knights of Christ of Solomon’s Temple continue in the epic Fantasy series.
“It’s fine, Nicole. It looked worse than it was and you know how head wounds bleed.” Sophia finished putting the supplies back in the box and closed the lid. “Why are you worried about the date, Mark?”
“October 15th.” He said as if the repetition of the date told all. “Tomorrow is the sixteenth.”
“Of course.” Sophia smiled and shook her head.
“What about October 16th, Daddy?” Nicole became a bit less condescending as she perceived his expression.
“The number of the day is 5. Ten, sixteen, twenty-one twelve. That is the year. I learned that from the calendar on your desk, Sophia.” Mark spoke quietly. “The date tomorrow is October 16th, 2112. The number of the day is five. Five is the number of the Quintessence. The fifth element. The fifth element is the Quintessence.”
“Oh, Daddy.” Nicole brushed back her hair and let go a relieved sigh. “You scared me. I thought you were talking about alchemy. I told you that I would teach it to you someday, but it takes time.”
“Not really.” Mark smiled at her and lifted his chin slightly. “Take for example every fifth line of the Donum Dei. But if he do chiefly and principally know the natural causes of himself and know not the other, yet hath he the way to the way of the principles of the Art. I can assure you, my sweet daughter, that I know myself quite well and thus, so I know alchemy and further I know of the Philosopher’s Stone and the Fifth Element. You shall find it everywhere, in the plains, on the mountains, and in the waters, as well the poor as the rich hath it.” He continued to smile as Nicole’s lively features withdrew in shadow. “The Fifth Element. What is the number of this planet, Nicole?”
“Earth is the third rock from the sun,” she made the joke and did not laugh.
“And the fourth planet, Sophia?” Mark turned to his nervous nursemaid as she sat down on the bench beside Nicole.
“Mars,” she answered rotely.
“And the Fifth?”
“Wrong!” Mark sat up straighter. “Basic astrology of eons past. Anyone who was anyone knew that the fifth planet was Vulcan. Vulcan, which was torn asunder in the great turmoil between the gods. All that is left now is a circle of desolate rocks, commonly called the Asteroid Belt by modern science. Pieces of Vulcan were ripped and torn and thrown about all over the heavens and many pieces fell to earth… everywhere. The fifth element is Vulcan’s corpse, bits and pieces of that once beautiful jewel in the night sky. Anyone may pick it up from the ground, from the barren places where the bones of the earth lie exposed. In the snowy wastelands where time crawls by, pieces of lost Vulcan may be found. But as above so below. The Great Stone Circle in the Heavens. The Great Stone Circles on the Earth. Same and different.”
“What else do you know, Daddy?” He had Nicole’s attention now.
“The first is black, the second white and the third red, there be many colors, but they be not to be cared for, for they vanish away oftentimes before the whiteness. The putrefaction of the Philosophers is the head of the Crow, a blackness transparent and shining.” Mark quoted more of the Donum Dei. The ancient treatise on the manufacture of the philosopher’s stone.
“I don’t understand.” Sophia looked to Nicole for an explanation, but Mark continued.
“Understand the gift of God, receive it and hide it from all unwise philosophers, for it is not hidden from the caverns of the metals, which stone is mineral, and animal, shining colors, or high hill, and an open sea.”
“Mark, you’re scaring me.” Sophia began to grow aggravated with him.
“Know that this science is none other than the perfect inspiration of God. Here is our new black son born, and the name of him shall be called Elixir.”
“Mark, stop it! You know very well that we already agreed to call our son, if we have a son, Michael Emmanuel.”
Sophia stood up, but Nicole caught her arm and shook her head in warning. Something very strange was going on here and she did not want Sophia to interfere.
“Go on, Daddy. Sophia is just going to listen.” Sophia sat down again, but was obviously upset now.
“Therefore he that can wed a wife and get her with child and mortify and quicken again the kinds of generations and can cleanse and bring in light, and to separate the shine thereof from blackness and darkness, shall be of most great dignity.” Mark stopped talking suddenly and Nicole’s chin slipped off her hand. She had been watching him and listening to him intensely. “That’s all I know. I have seen the head of the crow and the white. Shining and beautiful, a good thing. And the crow? All darkness and yet full of innocence, without guile, at the mercy of the master.”
“Daddy.” Nicole stood up. “You’ve been reading Edgar Allen Poe, haven’t you?”
“I don’t think so.”
“All right then. You’ve been reading Sir Ramsay’s old books. You’ve got to stop doing this. You know that Sophia’s condition is delicate and she does not need to be frightened. My God, sometimes I can ever hear her screams on the third floor. You should be more careful.” Nicole continued to fuss at Mark until Sophia intervened.
“That’s enough Nicole. He didn’t mean to scare anyone, did you, Mark?” Sophia smiled a sickly smile at him and he nodded.
“You did?” Sophia’s expression changed again. Nicole picked up the first aid box and shoved into Sophia’s arms, ushering her toward the front hall as Mark continued. Sophia looked back, but Nicole was insistent.
“All should be frightened of what is to come. It does no good to talk about it. Tomorrow will be an interesting day, but I have a lot of work to do today.”