Prologue: Alexander's Fan-boy

Henry Peters, a young American historian, considered himself very lucky to be staying in Alexandria for his vacation. Well, it was, in his opinion, going to end up being more of a working vacation.

He had come to Alexandria, the Pearl of the Mediterranean, for the first time that winter in hopes of learning more about his hero, Alexander the Great. Possibly even something that no one else had ever found. It was ambitious of Henry, but for now he would settle simply for studying Alexander, and Alexandria.

The Great Library of old was now in ruins, as was the Great Lighthouse, but Henry visited the sites of the buildings anyway, hoping against hope that he might receive some clue to an unsolved mystery, like the novels Henry read in his free time.

The sun was just setting over the horizon when Henry came to the very oldest part of the city. He almost tripped over a stone that was jutting out strangely from the ancient road, and would have simply continued, if he hadn't noticed some odd, shining red hieroglyphics near the bottom of a half-ruined, mud brick wall. Intrigued, Henry fell to one knee for a closer look. Immediately, he recognized the hieroglyphs for "Alexander," and took out his pocket notebook to copy down the strange, almost magical writing.

He would translate the glyphs the first opportunity tomorrow, Henry decided. Little did he know that he wouldn't get that opportunity at all.

"I wondered how long it would take you to find it," came a harsh, English-accented voice from directly behind Henry. Henry rose and turned quickly to see who had observed his marvelous find, and was met with the sight of a blond-haired teenage boy with cold green eyes, and an older-looking, but also blond-haired woman whose dark eyes glittered with absolute malice.

"I haven't been so pleased since I heard that my fool brother Iblis had been dismembered by tigers." the woman commented, and the boy nodded in agreement.

"Indeed. Now, Mr. Peters, it'd save me quite a bit of unnecessary trouble if you just gave me those glyphs that you copied down, but I doubt that you'll just give over like that. You mundanes never work like that, do you?"

Henry had no idea who these two English folk thought they were, but the shining red hieroglyphics were Henry's find, and there was absolutely no way that he'd let his notebook out his sight.

"Leave me alone!" Henry shouted, hoping that a police officer would perhaps hear him, but this hope was in vain. The boy rolled his eyes and sighed, seeming exasperated, but not the least bit surprised. Henry backed away, until, with horror, he found that he had backed into the mud-brick wall.

"Mother? If you would be so kind as to, ah, persuade Mr. Peters? Yes, thank you."

The boy's mother nodded and, in less time than it took for him to blink, she was holding a very sharp, black-bladed knife against Henry's throat.

"Okay, okay! Take it!" Henry whispered, deciding that his precious notes were not as important as his life, and threw the little book down onto the dusty path at the boy's feet.

"Thank you, Mr. Peters." The boy smiled sinisterly, and the woman retreated, sheathing her knife.

"Now then," she said, turning to her son, "I think a Methuselah would be adequate, don't you, son?"

The boy nodded, and stooped to collect Henry's notebook.

"Yes, mother. That's a very good idea. I'll do it, shall I?" And, pausing to grin horribly at Henry, the boy finished with a single, rather strange word. "MACKINTOSH." he said, and Henry began to run.