The Story begins with a flashback to August 1914, where Jules Fauchard is flying his Morane-Saulnier N, mono-winged aircraft. Fauchard is heading to meet the pope's emissary in Switzerland but as he is coming to the border and the French Alps, a squad of six Aviatik biplanes find him. The planes attack Fauchard and though he destroys four planes he is eventually shot down and killed. His plane lands in a glacial river and Fauchard along with his helmet and strong box are buried in a glacier.
Clive Eric Cussler is an American adventure novelist and underwater explorer.