by Stel Pavlou

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Decipher by Stel Pavlou



There is a signal emanating from deep within the ice of Antarctica. Atlantis has awoken. Ancient monuments all over the worlds from the Pyramids of Giza, to Mexico to the ancient sites of China are a brewing crisis not of this earth, but somewhere out in the solar system. Connecting to each other through the oceans. Using low frequency sound waves to create an ancient network. The earth is thrown into panic stations. For it seems that the signals emanating from Atlantis are a prelude to something much greater. Could it be that the entire city is in fact one giant ancient machine? And to what end? For what purpose?

It is the year 2012, the same year Mayan belief prophesised the end of the world. Two armies, American and Chinese stand on the brink of war for the control of the most potent force ever known to man. The secrets of Atlantis. Secrets which are encoded in crystal shards retrieved from the sunken city. Secrets which Mankind has had twelve thousand years to decipher...but which will now destroy it within one week.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250062543
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/09/2007
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 592
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Stel Pavlou is the screenwriter for The 51st State, starring Samuel L Jackson. Decipher is his first novel. He lives in England.

Read an Excerpt


By Stel Pavlou

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2001 Stel Pavlou
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-0779-8


tep zepi



Ahura Mazda created Airyana Vaejo, the original paradise and birthplace of the Aryan race. There were seven months of summer and five of winter. But after Angra Mainyu, the Evil One, was finished, there were only two months of summer and ten of winter. A mighty serpent, intense cold, thick ice and snow is all that haunts the land now. It is so cold that nothing can survive there. Yima, instead of building an Ark, was ordered to make a Var, an underground place linking the four corners so that specimens of every living thing could be brought there and saved.

Excerpt from: Tales of the Deluge: A Global Report on Cultural Self-Replicating Genesis Myths, Dr. Richard Scott, 2008


(Based on actual transcripts)

"If this agreement is approved," Senator Aiken said as he tapped out his ash from behind a thick veil of blue cigarette smoke, "Antarctica becomes a country without a government. Of course, it doesn't have too much government now, but no government is provided for Antarctica under any conditions in the future?"

Herman Phleger shuffled through his papers and coughed, hoping to cash in on some spit. He failed. It was a hot, humid day. The brass and maple ceiling fans worked overtime. A whiff of freshly cut grass wafted in from the lawn outside. Manicured, the way mankind intended. And Herman Phleger was forced to cough again.

"Is there a problem, Mr. Phleger?"

"Uh, yes, sir —" Phleger croaked. He looked around for a clerk. Stood.

"Please use the microphone in front of you, Mr. Phleger. I think we're all agreed we can't quite hear you." The Senator's smile to his colleagues was a craggy one. There was a ripple of humorless laughter from the rest of the committee. It echoed off the wood paneling and around the sparsely populated Congressional hearing room.

Phleger leaned down close to the gadget. The squeal of feedback was painful. "Uh, I could use some more water, Senator." He straightened his tie and re-took his seat.

Aiken waved at a clerk to take some water over to the State Department's legal advisor. After all, Herman Phleger was the man who had headed the U.S. delegation at the Conference on Antarctica. He at least deserved a glass of water.

Phleger leaned in close to the microphone again as he adjusted his chair and thanked the Senator. He could almost hear the old bastard's cogs whirring from across the room. The Red scare. Grab some territory now while we still can. What with Khrushchev still fuming over that U-2 spyplane business back in May and Eisenhower on the defensive, sending 120 planes out to Southeast Asia last Thursday. Yeah, okay, so China and Russia aren't exactly on speaking terms but that's playing with fire. Of course Francis Gary Powers was working for the military: everyone in the State Department knew that. Although it wasn't exactly a lie when the government had tried to say he was flying a "weather" plane. They simply wanted to know "whether" or not the Russians had any missiles in the area.

The clerk set a pitcher of ice water down on the desk. The legal advisor ignored the hissing and popping of exploding ice cubes as he poured himself a glass and gulped down a mouthful.

"Senator," he said, sighing with relief and mopping at his brow, "the Treaty specifically provides that no one surrenders its claim. There are seven claims which cover eighty percent of Antarctica: the United Kingdom, France, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. You take the sector Argentina and Chile have — they've incorporated it into their metropolitan territories and have criminal codes which they claim apply to them, and the same is true with respect to New Zealand. So they do have government in those territories." So tough shit, Senator, we just weren't quick enough when it was time to stake a claim. Just be glad the Russkies don't have a plot either. Phleger coughed again. "So, Senator, there may only be fifty people in the area but they do have governments."

Aiken was clearly uncomfortable with that thought. He shifted in his chair, like his ass spoke his mind for him. "But after the adoption of this Treaty, would the laws of a dozen countries apply?"

Phleger didn't need to check his notes. He shook his head. "The Treaty says that the signatories do not give up their claims, but the other signatories like the United States that do not recognize their claims do not by the Treaty recognize the claims and their position of non-recognition." There, that ought to confuse the old buzzard. It did. He watched him shift on his ass again.

Phleger pretended to be impatient. "For instance," he added, "if there was a commercial man — the Treaty deals with scientists and it deals with military matters ..." It was clear Aiken wanted a re-cap on that area. Phleger took another breath.

"Okay," he said, "if we send a scientist or an inspector into the section claimed by Chile, he can't be arrested by Chile. Our jurisdiction applies to him no matter where he is in Antarctica — because we made the decision not to recognize other claims to the territory, and because those other claimants made the concession that they would allow our scientists and unarmed military personnel to work within their territory on Antarctica. But, if there should be a mining engineer who went down into the sector claimed by Chile and he got into some trouble, Chile would claim that its laws governed."

Aiken frowned.

Phleger shifted this time. Was Aiken really that low on short-term memory? "And in that case, Senator," he explained, "we would claim that Chile's law did not govern because we do not recognize Chile's claim, and there would then be an international controversy as to who had jurisdiction over the individual."

It was double-Dutch. Phleger knew it was double-Dutch. Aiken didn't appear to know it was double-Dutch, but he didn't appear not to know either. Which was fine. So long as they were all in agreement. Since in essence, they were merely playing out what the Antarctic Treaty stated, which was: no matter what the claims of a single country over the region known as Antarctica, those claims could be freely ignored by everyone else. Except, and this was an important proviso, except in the case of a military build-up, which, it was agreed, was to be banned by everyone. Totally. Unless, of course, someone infringed upon the rights of the others as set out by the Treaty, in which case —

"We don't even recognize any claim of our own, do we?" Aiken reiterated.

Phleger almost nodded. He rubbed his chin. This was their "legal" reasoning. "By recognizing that there is no sovereignty over Antarctica we retain jurisdiction over our citizens who go down there and we would deny the right of the other claimants to try that citizen. Yes."

Aiken sat back in his chair, a crooked grin on his craggy face. That pleased him enormously. He stubbed out his cigarette and immediately reached for another. "Boys, I think we just found one more virtue of the bomb!" There was another ripple of laughter. He was right. Aside from the Soviet Union, who the hell was going to argue with them? You didn't need to be the first. You needed to be the toughest.

Aiken lit the fresh cigarette and inhaled. He had a curious look on his face. Somber. "Suppose, Mr. Phleger," he pondered, "that there was a sudden and tremendous demand for emperor penguins?"

"Sir? I'm not sure I'm follow —"

"Penguins, Mr. Phleger. There are serious conservation issues here. What if people went down there and started killing all the emperor penguins? Who could prevent that?"

"The people in each of the geographical areas covered by the seven claimant nations would claim they had a right to protect those penguins."

"Then suppose one of our boys went into the Chilean area and stole a snow cat. What law would he violate?"

A snow cat?! What on earth was this old buzzard talking about? Snow cats didn't come from Antarctica. Phleger bit the bullet. "The Chileans apply Chilean law," he said.

"And we would deny it?"

"We would apply U.S. law and we would have an international controversy."

"I see."

"Senator, it doesn't matter, the reason for the crime. Yes, the environment down there is an issue in the Treaty, but the situations you describe just aren't covered. We would have to go to mediation over the issue, if it ever arose. We are dealing with an area where we have no territorial claims and this Treaty deals with matters in the international field exclusively. That's why it's important that Antarctica remain demilitarized."

Aiken's face adopted another grimace. "That's all well and good, Mr. Phleger, but supposing natural resources of great value were discovered in Antarctica, of value enough so that it would justify an immense cost to exploit them. It might be a vein of diamonds a foot thick."

Phleger let a sneer cross his face. He was no fan of Aiken, but he was a patriot. "There is no provision in this Treaty which would deal with that situation, Senator. If there was a discovery of value in a sector which was claimed by one of the claimant nations it would naturally claim sovereignty and the right to dictate the manner of exploitation. The United States on the other hand, never having recognized the validity of that claim, is in a position to assert that it has rights in respect thereto. And of course, should someone break the Treaty on demilitarization to protect its claim, the United States may use whatever force is necessary in order to protect the Treaty."

Aiken smiled. "At least, that's what we can say."

"Yes, Senator. We can."

The Antarctic Treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate by 66 votes to 21 on August 10, 1960. And that was how the world left it until 1993, when it was agreed that everyone should plow through this shoddy mess one more time. And again it was agreed that apart from the banning of the military and banning the exploitation of mineral wealth in respect to the environment, no country could lay claim to Antarctica.

Which was a dangerous conclusion to reach for a number of reasons, one of which had yet even to be addressed. For it proved that the Antarctic Treaty's vague double-talk had achieved exactly what it had set out to do: that should it stand as law in the face of overwhelming social change, its basic tenet would remain: that if anything of value were discovered in Antarctica; anarchy would reign supreme.

The Antarctic Treaty guaranteed that even if mankind had any desire to rid itself of the Seven Deadly Sins, Greed had been assured of a place in our hearts by virtue of time. By writing it down on a piece of paper and parading it as law and belief, Greed could be resurrected at a moment's notice.

That was the beauty of the written word. It was invariably taken at face value and granted permit to be spoken as the truth. It lived longer than the man.

And wreaked havoc in the process.



The sacred symbols of the cosmic elements, the secrets of Osiris, had been hidden carefully. Hermes, before his return to the heavens, invoked a spell on them and said, "O holy books which have been made by my immortal hands, by incorruption's magic spell, remain free from decay throughout eternity and incorrupt by time. Become unseeable, undefinable, from everyone whose foot shall tread the plains of this land, until old Heaven shall bring instruments for you, whom the Creator shall call his souls." Thus spake he, and laying the spells on them by means of his works, he shut them safe away in their rooms. And long has been the time since they were hid away ...

The Virgin of the World Taken from the Corpus Hermeticum circa A.D. 100

* — REUTERS NEWS Service — 8 MARCH, 2012 — *

Return-Path: Received: 205:174:222:1001:407839.70]) (8.6:12/8.6:12/4.9078.96)with ESMTP id SAA8933 for: ><; RCINS March 8, 2012 09:53:38-0400 / PAGE 7 of 32

Washington D.C. — IPM EST

With reports surfacing of unusual activity in the region of Jung Chang, a Chinese Research Station based 130km west of Mount McKelvey in central Antarctica, Secretary of State Irwin Washler has refused to confirm or deny that the United States placed a counter-offensive task force on standby in the South Pacific this morning. This despite confirmed sightings of 6 US warships heading for the Ross Sea. Reports also indicate over 6000 US troops encamped on the Falkland Islands, a British colony in the South Atlantic.

Chinese activity has been under intense scrutiny since NASA's confirmation of high-quality mineral deposits in the upper Antarctic basin last month and their announcement this week of radiation emissions in the vicinity of the Chinese base. "A vast amount of heat is being generated down there," said Dr. Charles Taylor, head of the Antarctic Scientific Committee. "We know Antarctica has a lot of volcanic activity, but this is distinct from any geology we know of." To generate that much heat would require nuclear power, which is banned under the Antarctic Treaty. As one source remarked, "According to these numbers, either they've cracked nuclear fusion, or they've found a power source of even greater magnitude."

The US, having sworn to defend the principles of the Antarctic Treaty banning military entrenchment, was outraged by the recent publication of satellite photographs clearly showing a Chinese military convoy landing at Belgrano II, the Argentine base camp on the Weddell Sea. But with its oil industry lobbying to establish offshore platforms in the region, the US position is weak. The Chinese have refused to comment.



Reports are emerging of an imminent flood in the southern coastal region. Glacial ice has started melting from within for some weeks now and whole reservoirs of melt water have built up to disturbing levels. Preliminary indications also show sea temperatures have risen by five degrees in the last three weeks and are on a steady increase. The fear is that the warm seawater will rapidly erode the glacier walls, which are holding back the melt water. Similar reports of a sudden global rise in sea temperatures are emerging from all over the world. Scientists are at a loss to explain it, other than as another manifestation of Global Warming.

[click for more information on these environmental hotspots]

Madras, India–Typhoons continue. 1500 dead.

Tokyo, Japan–Multiple Tsunami warnings issued.

California, USA–200 dead in massive earthquake.

London, England–pre-tremors detected.

Midwest, USA–storms and severe weather freeze potato belt.

Transfer interrupted! <<<

Communications Error 343571 <<<

Users are advised. If error message 343571 appears — DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SYSTEM. An error has occurred in the communications system. A satellite has stopped responding to messages and may not be relaying information. This is usually caused by solar flare activity and is nothing to be alarmed about. Normal service will be resumed shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused ...


Ralph Matheson felt nauseous. So much so, he'd just lost his breakfast, which was now a glistening yellow tiger-stripe frozen solid down the side of Red Osprey's iron-oxide-colored hull.

He had the shakes bad. Always did when he felt sick. He quickly wiped his mouth on his coat sleeve before gripping the rail tightly and heaving again. Frozen chunks hit the swell below, but the sound was lost in the roar of the storm.

"Hey, dickhead!" a crusty voice commented. "There's a ten-thousand-dollar pollution fine for puking in the ocean."

Jack Bulger was a craggy old bastard. Fifty and solidly built. His voice sounded like throat cancer was paying a visit, while he wore his gray hair in a buzz-cut like a marine's. A sharp contrast to Matheson's curly nut-brown mop which he kept firmly tucked inside his hood. Matheson was sure Bulger had his head bare just for machismo. Not that Matheson could care less. He just wanted to stay warm. That was why he'd grown the beard to begin with.


Excerpted from Decipher by Stel Pavlou. Copyright © 2001 Stel Pavlou. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Decipher 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
bookishbabe More than 1 year ago
I fully expected to love this book, because I am a fan of fact-based science fiction -- Crichton is one of my favorites. However, I found this far too technical with way more description than necessary. It started well with an obligatory attention-grabbing first chapter, but then I found myself wading through hundreds of pages waiting for it to get good again. Once the dry descriptions subsided and the action started up again, I found myself too annoyed to get caught up in it. I found the writing to be amateurish with the dialog stilted and a a bit unbelievable. Characters were full of wisecracks during the most unlikely stressful moments. I'm aware that this book got many favorable reviews. I can only guess those reviewers are would-be scientists, rather than laymen with a passing interest in science such as myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good, I would hate to see someone try and make it into a movie....a definite must-read.
jj2006 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
This was a great book, and really well written. The basic premise is that there is a signal emanating from under the ice in Antarctica. But to who and what the signal transmitting means remains a mystery. Ancient monuments all over the planet, from the Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt, to Mexico, right through to ancient sites in China are reacting to a events caused by something, but not on earth, out in space.It seems that the signals being broadcast from under the ice are from the long lost civilisation of Atlantis. But it seems that these are just a prelude to something much greater. Could it be that the ancient city is one great machine and if so what could be its use or its purpsoe.It is the year 2012, the year that the Mayans predicted the world would end.This is a wonderful adventure novel, in the true sense of the word. Kind of like a mix of Indiana Jones and Stephen Hawking.The novel deals with a group of characters that are all specialists in their fields, from geologists to physicists, and the main character Dr. Richard Scott, who is a linguist.The novel takes the reader on a very complex journey that weaves not only ancient languages together, the history of religions and myth, together with solar physics and archaeology. It's very intricate and anyone who can't juggle more than two ideas together at the same time should probably skip it.To make up for this complexity, the language choice of the book is deceptively simple.
salkin on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Not particularly well-written, but contains many interesting references to real (if far-out) theories about the nature of pre-history. I refer to the Bauval-esque theories that technological levels must have been rather higher than modern historians credit to account for certain engineering and astronomical feats, and for the presence of certain carved images and common mythological structures in places having no contact with each other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the concept and the facts were interesting. However, I can't decide who did the worst job, the author or the editor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, mix of sci-fi and real world science. Exciting story with great twist and turns, but likely to offend anyone who belongs to a religious group.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took such a bizzare turn in the plot and went super scientific. I ended up not finishing the book. Maybe i will later but for now i tottally lost interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Garbled, poorly written waste of time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The concept of this book is potentially interesting, but the author isn't able to tell the story skillfully. The characters are stereotypical and wooden, and seem to be drawn for a TV movie. The large amount of technical information tends to weaken the plot, almost as if the technology is the plot. Too much detail for a casual read and not enough writing skill for a good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love books like this but this was WAY too difficult to understand. Im not a dumb guy but I had to reread pages often and it isnt worth the effort. I liked the premise but needed a study guide.
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colin brown More than 1 year ago
Decent not great
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itsbobwehadababyitsaboy More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was an excellent twist on the many theories regarding the lost Continent of Atlantis!
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DrSandS More than 1 year ago
If you like the works of Preston & Child and James Rollins type thrillers, you will LOVE decipher by stel pavlou! I wish he wrote more books!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EnigmaticDLM More than 1 year ago
I realize that a few of the commentators thought that this book had way too much fact in the fiction, I disagree. I loved this book when I first read it and found that it was perfect to use in one of the classes that I was teaching. The assignment: read the book and point out the fact and fiction of the information given. This was an overwhelming success with the students and the english teachers loved that the students were actually reading. As an avid reader, and one who is degreed in science, I enjoyed the book and have suggested it to others to read...guess what? They enjoyed it, too.
Olivia-Downing More than 1 year ago
This book by Stel Pavlou is fantastic. With all his research he has done to make it as knowledge full as he could. The facts about the sun and all the government involvement are fascinating. While you're reading it the book makes you think. These facts really get a person into the book. Like the Antarctica Treaty, I had not a clue that was actually real. I just thought Antarctica had nothing special about it. Who really knows what is underneath it. I wrote an English paper on the Apocalypse of 2012 and with some of the research I did I kept noticing little things in Pavlou's book that matched. I was so excited because I knew background information on some events and Edgar Cayce. This helped with understanding this book a little better.The Characters are well rounded and each has a mind of their own. It's a little confusing at times when there are so many people in a scene but they are all unique and different, all with their own personality quirks. The way they interact with one another is fun. I am a big fan of romance, though Decipher doesn't have much it works for the book. It's hard for me to get into books. I'm not the strongest reader so books must capture my attention; boy did this book capture my attention. I could hardly put it down. The plot was thrilling especially when the C60 started acting up, as well as the tunnels underneath the Sphinx. It was wonderfully written as well.