A Rebel's Stone
Below is a teaser excerpt from A Rebel's Stone:
Have you ever had a dream so real that when you woke up, for one brief moment, you weren’t sure where your imagination stopped and reality began? Where you forgot who you were and how you got there, and had trouble remembering even your own name?
I only ask, really, because that’s been happening to me a lot lately.
I realize this sounds crazy, but it’s not too hard to imagine when you think about what I’ve seen over the past few weeks. God, has it only been that long?
I guess I should probably start at the beginning, for this to make any sense at all. Months ago, John Fleming, an old friend of my grandfather’s, introduced him to an archeological discovery. A large stone, which looked more like a kitchen counter than the find of the millennium. His son had found it on an archaeological dig, and taken it to Dartmouth College to unravel its secret.
Fleming showed the stone to my grandfather – Doc to me – because he was a mathematician. See, the stone had hundreds of symbols engraved on its surface, and Fleming thought he’d be able to read them. In the end, of course, he did a lot more than that. He deciphered their meaning, yes. And then he listened to their instructions. Turned out the stone wasn’t just a dusty old relic carved out of granite by an ancient civilization. Or rather, it was, but it was also something a lot more. A portal, capable of doing the impossible. Capable of transporting someone back in time, into the very history of our books and stories. And it wasn’t the only one.
Allowing that journey, of course, means allowing us access to that history, and the people that made it. And that, my friends, is the crux of the problem.
My grandfather recognized immediately how dangerous the stone was. He knew that going back in time would endanger history, and the fate of the world itself. Unfortunately, Nicholas Fleming, John’s son, looked past the danger and saw the fame and fortune that such a discovery would bring. Unwilling to listen to my grandfather’s warning, Nicholas armed himself with a weapon and his twenty-first-century knowledge, climbed onto the stone, and went merrily back to Old England, to reappear some five hundred years before I was born.
My grandfather, with his ability to read the stones, identified Nicholas’ destination and went after him. His plan was to bring the man home, to safety, but that goal was quickly overshadowed by what Nicholas was doing. Because within days of finding him, Doc realized that Nicholas’ ambition had gone far beyond money and glory. He had decided to reshape history to his liking, starting with the War of the Roses. And in changing history – for reasons that still escape us – he was putting the entire world in danger. He had to be stopped.
You might be asking yourself how I got involved in all of this. Devine intervention, coincidence, bad luck? Well, that’s the million-dollar question that keeps me up at night. And I still don’t have a good answer. Not one that would make sense to anyone other than myself. The simple truth is that I also have the ability to read the stones. And I can do it better than my grandfather. I can travel back in time, yes, but I can also do more. Somehow, and I know how crazy this sounds, I can talk to the stones. Learn from them. Use them as the tools they actually are. And it’s all with one goal in mind: to preserve our past. To maintain history and, with it, the thread of time, and the world around us.
How do we do that? I have no idea. But I can say with a bit of pride that we’ve already started. Doc and I, with the help of my friends, Tatiana, Paul, and Katherine, and my recently acquired body guard Reis, defeated Richard III at the battle of Bosworth, despite Fleming taking his side, and thus helped to close the door on the Dark Ages. We stopped Nicholas Fleming from throwing the world off balance by changing the outcome of that one important war. So we’ve already started our fight for history and the world.
Unfortunately, Nicholas Fleming, now known as Dresden, escaped. Doc believes that Dresden has no true relationship with the stones, and therefore can’t predict their line of travel. Based on that, he thinks that Dresden’s last trip on the stones must have ended up at the bottom of the English Channel, or atop Mount Everest under several feet of snow. He doesn’t believe that Dresden survived his escape. He thinks that we’re safe, now that Dresden has disappeared.
But I know differently. I know what I saw when Dresden escaped, and the stone he was on made sure I understood. In reality, Dresden was sent to Germany in the year of 1939, right when the Nazis were coming to power. He didn’t know where he was going, but I’m sure he made it there safely. And I have to find him. No matter how much Doc tries to convince me otherwise, the stones don’t lie. Dresden is still out there, somewhere. And I have to find him and stop him, before he does anything else to damage history.
Because the world won’t be safe until I do.
Keeper of the Black Stones