Nighttime. Lara Croft, the coolest tomb raiding adventurer in the world, awakens to the ominous sound of a clock ticking. A clock hidden by her long-lost father. A mysterious clock that counts down the hours to some spectacular cosmic event.
Lara realizes that this special clock is the very key to finding three parts of an ancient relic. An ancient relic called the All Seeing Eye. An ancient relic that will allow the owner powers beyond all imagination. Powers that can be used for good...or EVIL! But before Lara can find the pieces, armed men from a secret organization called Illuminati break into her house and steal the clock.
Now it's time for Lara to jump into action and stop Illuminati's diabolical plot and once again save the world!
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Manfred Powell rode into Venice like a king.
The procession felt natural to him, like putting on a favorite old suit he'd forgotten in the corner of his closet. Comfortable.
Pimms, on the other hand, looked anything but. He kept shivering, and trying to hide it, kept trying to zip up the front of his orange windbreaker higher, to insulate himself from the sea spray and the gusting wind.
Powell leaned into his ear and whispered, "I'm getting angry with you, Pimms."
The man went pale.
"I said, I'm getting angry." At that moment, the commandante, who was steering the motorboat, turned around and smiled at Powell. Powell smiled back, and surreptitiously nudged Pimms, who smiled as well. "This is a great honor we have been given, to ride with these gentlemen, and you look like you'd rather be anyplace else."
There were five of them in the boat: Powell, Pimms, and three members of the Venezia Brigati, Venice's canal-based firefighters. All were dressed identically, in orange foul-weather gear and black firefighters' helmets with wide yellow stripes around them.
"Sorry, sir." Pimms's longish sandy-brown hair peeked out from underneath his helmet. "It's just that I hadn't expected it to be this cold."
Powell drew in a breath. "Pimms."
"You're whining. You know how I detest whining."
"So look like you're enjoying yourself -- please."
"Yes, sir." Pimms clasped his hands behind his back and made his mouth into a grimacing sort of shape that -- Powell supposed -- was intended as a smile. Then Pimms cleared his throat.
"What a privilege to be here, and now, with you gentlemen, and in this boat," Pimms declared, much too loudly.
The three men, who had been talking amongst themselves, suddenly stopped. The commandante turned left, and then right, and then back toward Pimms.
"Grazi, signore," he said. The other two nodded. Pimms, in turn, nodded at Powell, and gave him the thumbs-up.
Powell sighed. Good help was so hard to find these days.
It had been overcast this morning, and chilly, but now, as they came up the Grand Canal, past San Marco on their right, and then on under the Ponte de-Accademicia, the sun broke through the clouds, light struck the water, and the great parade of marble buildings on either side of the canal shone spectacularly. This was the Venice he had fallen in love with on his first trip to the city thirty years ago, when he was just a young, impressionable lawyer. Now Powell had become, in fact, by virtue of his legitimate business interests, a very important man in the city of Venice. Hence the invitation on the fireboat's inaugural ride.
The commandante docked the boat, as Powell had instructed, at a small quay in the shadow of the Palazzo Grassi. Powell climbed off, shaking hands and smiling with the men, Pimms a step behind.
The two of them walked at a brisk pace, squeezing their way among tourists and tourist trappers, hurrying down the Calle di Mandela, and turned into an alleyway that was so small people often passed by it unknowingly. They emerged into a surprisingly large courtyard.
Before them stood a massive stone building that during the late sixteenth century had served as headquarters for the Council of Three, the secret society that had then ruled the republic. For the last few hundred years, it had served a similar purpose, for a similar organization.
The building's exterior gave no clue to what lay within, though, save for a single stone gargoyle perched high above its entrance. A sharp-eyed observer might note that this gargoyle differed from the usual Renais-
sance statuary found throughout Venice. It seemed out of place somehow: Venice presented a face of wealth and opulence to the world, a face that asked observers to enjoy its beauty.
This gargoyle presented a face that said, simply, "Go away."
That same sharp-eyed observer might also note that the stone gargoyle held something in its hands: a triangle, with an eye in the middle of it. The eye in the pyramid.
The symbol of the Illuminati.
Powell, Pimms walking a step behind him, passed underneath the gargoyle, into the building, and out of sight.
If the exterior of the building did little to call attention to itself, the Grand Hall was just the opposite.
It was the size of a football field, with vaulted ceilings five stories high, immaculate ivory columns spaced the length of the room, elaborate, gilt-edged scrollwork, a huge, floor-to-ceiling mural on one end, and two massive iron doors at the other.
Along the length of the room, long oak conference tables provided enough seating for the Order's ninety-nine voting members. Underneath the huge mural, seven chairs sat on a raised dais. Seven chairs, for the seven members of the High Council. Six of the chairs were occupied, only the center chair, directly to Powell's left, was empty.
Across the empty center chair, Powell saw Gareth fidgeting, and looking at his watch. Mrs. King crossed her legs. Ravenna folded his arms and sighed.
Powell allowed himself a small smile. Gathered in this room were some of the most powerful men and women in the world, business and political leaders, people used to giving commands, being waited on hand and foot at all hours of the day. Now they were the ones doing the waiting.
A chime sounded, and a door at the back of the room opened.
A tall, distinguished-looking gentleman walked through.
He appeared to be in his early sixties -- but no one knew exactly how old he was. He spoke eight languages (that Powell knew of) without the trace of an accent. No one knew where he'd been born. No one could recall a time when he had not sat on the Order's High Council. Twenty-seven years ago, on the death of Madame Simon, he had been named their leader by universal acclamation. No balloting was necessary.
A good thing, because the man had no name.
Within the Order, he was known simply as the distinguished gentleman.
He sat down, between Powell and Gareth, and cleared his throat.
"Brothers and Sisters, it seems we are running out of time. This is not acceptable."
He stressed the last two words, and then allowed the room to be silent a moment.
At the floor tables, Powell sensed as much as saw
the younger members shifting, growing nervous. The
distinguished-looking gentleman often absented himself from the Order's monthly meetings, allowing Gareth to run those proceedings. Gareth, who had all the presence of a mole rat, and hemmed and hawed, rarely speaking in absolutes. The presence of their leader, here and now, brought home the importance of this meeting to the Order.
"Mr. Powell." The distinguished-looking gentleman turned to him. "The explanation for this, please?"
Powell held the older man's gaze a moment, without flinching. He was no neophyte, no toady. He was his own man. Their leader had recognized that by putting him in charge of the most important project in the Order's history.
A folder appeared before Powell, a folder held by Pimms, who was bending over, offering, he saw, the latest results from Miss Holcomb's team. Powell waved him off.
"I have no ?explanation,' and certainly no excuses, except to once again -- respectfully -- " his eyes caught Gareth's on that last word, "remind the Council that our calculations involve an almost inconceivable number of iterative operations. We are working from clues based on ancient cosmological models, older than Ptolemy, pre-dating Aristotle, before Plato, models of the universe derived from hypotheses never recorded in the pages of history. Correlation between these models and the actual universe as we know it has proved somewhat of a code-breaking challenge. But I am happy to announce that we are almost ready. And I am supremely confident tha
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Descripción Aladdin, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0743423011
Descripción Aladdin, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0743423011
Descripción Aladdin, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110743423011
Descripción Aladdin. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0743423011 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.1267936