Author: Tim Lebbon
Hellboy, a bloodred, cloven-hoofed demon raised by the United States government,is a top field agent for
the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.He questions the unknown -- then beats it into
submission.A dragon is seen perching on the statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro . .
.A werewolf stalks the streets of Baltimore . . .A griffin slaughters a herd of horses in Madrid . . .Weird
sightings of cryptozoological and mythological creatures abound around the globe. Sometimes the
creatures simply appear and then vanish again, content merely to put in an appearance. Other times they
make themselves known to entire cities, and leave their mark. Damaged buildings. Scars on the
landscape. The occasional death.Then suddenly, the death toll escalates. One by one Hellboy and his
friends at the BPRD are dispatched to avert disaster. Hellboy encounters a dragon in Brazil. Abe Sapien
tackles a giant alligator in Venice. Liz Sherman faces off against a phoenix in the Mediterranean.But in
dawning horror they realize it's all a distraction -- heralding nothing so much as an event of apocalyptic
proportions . . .
Temple of the Sun, Heliopolis, Egypt -- 1976They had been digging for three days, and still the famed
feather eluded them.Three days underground, away from the sun and the heat of day, away from the
darkness and the cool of night, timeless and airless and stuffy with the enclosed scents of history. They
followed footprints left in the sand of subterranean passages millennia ago and compared their own feet
for size. They drew their fingertips along the walls and sniffed the dust in wonder. Somewhere in each
intake of breath was the skin of long-dead men and, perhaps, the sheddings of things other than men.
Each time they opened their eyes after a short sleep, they were filled with awe. And every time they
closed their eyes, their dreams were of greatness.If only they could find the feather, these dreams would
come true.Richard Blake sat and consulted the ancient Book of Ways given to him by his father. Its
author, Zahid de Lainree -- doubtless a pseudonym designed merely to confuse -- had been a man of
mystery and obfuscation, and Richard had become adept at casting brief spells of course to wend his
way through the man's writings and diagrams. If the ancient text said left, it sometimes meant right; if it
said up, it could mean down. And occasionally, instruction to search in this world could hint at delving
into another. This chapter, this very page, had already brought them to the secret entrance of the true
Temple of the Sun, a place undiscovered by archaeologists and all manner of explorers who had torn this
land apart.The brothers knew that the Book was filled with arcane secrets, but that did not dilute their
frustration."Gal," Richard said, "I'm reading this right, I know I am. I don't understand!"Richard's twin
brother, Galileo Blake -- one wronged man named after another -- was sitting several feet along the
passage, casting his flashlight around him. The splash of light illuminated tool marks on the tunnel walls
and ceilings, cracks in the bedrock, little else. "These damn tunnels are here for a purpose," Gal said.
"Nobody builds tunnels from nowhere to nowhere. There's no reason for it.""No reason..." Richard said.
"Perhaps that's it! Gal, maybe we've spent three days looking for a reason. We've been walking through
mazes looking for the middle, but maybe there is no middle!"Gal shone the flashlight directly into his
brother's face and smiled when Richard cringed back. "Sometimes, Rich, you're full of shit.""Yeah, but
magic shit." Richard smiled and closed the book so he could think. After a few moments, he cast another
spell of course, then opened the book again. He held the penlight between his teeth, flicked to the
chapter he had been staring at for three days, and began to read between the lines.An hour later, they
found the feather."I told you!" Richard said. "I told you!""Yeah, yeah, nobody likes a smart-ass.""But just
look at it . . ."They had followed the lines scratched into the walls as described, choosing direction from
the hidden messages of Zahid de Lainree's text, and it had taken them only another hour to find the right
place. It was where the carved lines stopped. The creature that had made those lines so many years ago
-- its wings tucked in but still too wide for this narrow passage -- must once have stood exactly where
they stood now.A sudden breath of warm air haunted the passage, a ghost memory from...