"What a lovely thing she was. Standing as high in the water as one of your skyscrapers. Longer than two rugby fields. And furnishings to match the finest mansions in England. She was one of a kind. No question about it. And God himself they said couldn't sink her. Then in two-hours she was gone --- and fifteen-hundred souls with her."
As Pitt brings back the wounded Koplin and begins his own research into the project he reveals to Seagram and Admiral James Sandecker the news of what became of the elusive Byzanium. The mineral had been taken out of the mine seventy-five years ago by a team of Coloradan miners, crated up for the long journey to the United States, February 1912. But others also wanted the precious mineral. Chased across Europe, then over the sea to land in Scotland, the remaining miners finally got the ore down into England and placed into the cargo hold of an ocean liner that was to sail from Southampton to New York. The surviving miner, Arthur Brewster, boarded the liner aware that the mineral would soon be in America in seven-days’ time. “Thank God for Southby” Brewster wrote in his last message before he boarded the soon to be ill-fated Titanic.
Following speaking with a surviving crew member of the Titanic who confirms that huge vault being loaded on board back in April 1912, Pitt faces the unimaginable task in locating the wreck of the Titanic and bringing the rusting hulk back to the surface. He is given the task of bringing together a team of oceanographers and submersible crew to search the crushing depths of the Atlantic in search of the legendary liner. Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. The submersible crews are growing weary of searching for something they have not been told about other than to look for something that shouldn’t be there.
On dry land Seagram has recalculated the position of where Titanic could now have landed on the seabed. Armed with this new information, Pitt and the other sub crews resume the search where they hit the jackpot. Titanic is found! Now, they have to raise her. Work begins on the wreck to prepare the wreck for salvage. As lights, salvage tanks and other equipment is lowered to the sea floor, disaster strikes as the submersible Deep Quest accidentally gets pinned down into a skylight on Titanic. Unable to get the sub free the decision is made to speed up the recovery and raise the Titanic weeks ahead of schedule in an effort to prevent any loss of life with the trapped crew.
Explosives are placed around the hull of the Titanic; the iceberg gash has been covered over and the salvage tanks have been filled with gas. As the countdown from the navy ships at the surface reach zero, the explosives sound off. One by one they detonate around the hull as a billowing cloud of sediment smoothers the Titanic. With Pitt watching the monitors and all crew thinking that the emergency recovery had failed, something is stirring. Titanic begins to shudder. With loud groans and heavy thuds, the rusty hull begins to leave the seabed and rapidly ascends. At the surface the ocean turns to a churning mass of bubbles as the bow of the mighty Titanic erupts from the depths. Like a giant metal sea monster, the Titanic emerges from the ocean depths in a chorus of buckling plates and popping bulkheads. What a majestic sight it is. But what about the trapped crew? Cheering fills the air as the Deep Quest pops up on the surface. The hatch is ripped open and the crew emerge, unharmed.
Pitt is the first to venture onboard the sodden decks of the wreck. Taking in the rotten remnants of the ship’s former beauty, Pitt heads towards the grand staircase and ballroom before heading to the stern to attach the White Star Line flag that the surviving crew member had pulled free from the ship as the waters closed over her stern in April 1912. However, trouble looms on the horizon in the shape of a watching Russian vessel and the growing concerns of an incoming hurricane. As ocean going tugs boats arrive to take Titanic in tow, and the U.S navy vessels leave the area, the soviets strike. Coming aboard Titanic, Captain Prevlov issues a stark warning that he knows about the Byzanium stolen in 1912 from Russian land. The Russian vessel close by is a torpedo vessel that will, on his order, fire at the Titanic and send the wreck back to the bottom unless Pitt and Sandecker hand over the Byzanium. But Pitt and Sandecker had already worked out that Prevlov was about to strike before he came aboard Titanic. Between the soviet ship and the raised Titanic, a U.S. attack sub emerges. The tables are turned and Prevlov leaves the Titanic defeated.
With a sudden sharp crack, the tow cables snap up from the sea as the tug boats take the strain and begin to pull the Titanic from the salvage location for the journey to New York where huge crowds line the embankments to watch the unsinkable legend finally make port – if somewhat 75 years too late. On board the crews have finally got to the cargo hold and opened up the vault. Inside are the sealed seven wooden crates and the remains of Brewster slumped in the corner. Each box is removed and cracked open. Gravel, nothing but gravel lays within. The Byzanium is missing. It is Pitt, Sandecker and Seagram who are now defeated.
Pondering over what could have gone so disastrously wrong, Seagram is questioning his own sanity and the sanity of the U.S government when Sandecker reveals the shocking truth that if the Byzanium was in the vault, there was no guarantee that the mineral would have been used for generating a safety screen. That, potentially, things could change where the Byzanium could be used as a weapon of mass destruction. Horrified at such a thought, Seagram tries to reassure himself that it was a good deed that the mineral was never found and that they have no idea to where it is. But Pitt is soon to drop his own bombshell.
Upon the body of Brewster a postcard is found. Telling Seagram to read the small print on the rear of the card, Seagram rubs his face and reads it aloud. “Typical country church and graveyard in the county of Hampshire near the village of Southby.” Heavy winds blow across the coastal exposed graveyard of Southby as Pitt and Seagram are taken to an eroded headstone among the hundreds of graves. “This is the one” says the gravedigger. Pitt watches as Seagram removes an electronic device from his bag and passes it over the grave. With high readings registering on the equipment it confirms the content of the coffin six-feet below them. But does Pitt want the grave opened up? Maybe the world would be a safer place if the Byzanium was left where it was placed seventy-five years previously.
It is 1987 and Cold War tensions remain between America and Russia. On a Russian ice-covered island, a lone figure digs down through the snow to unearth a long-lost entrance to a mine shaft. Clambering down into the dark hell below, American mining agent Sid Koplin is on a quest to track down the last traces of an extremely rare mineral named Byzanium. Despite all his best efforts he finds the mine all but stripped of the ore except for the frozen remains of a former labourer sent into the mine to retrieve the precious mineral in early 1912. However, Koplin is unaware of the danger he is now in.
In America Dr. Gene Seagram, who has been working for a special security section of the government, has devised a laser defence system that would protect America from any missile attacks by generating an invisible screen, like a wall, that would simply knock out the missile before they could reach U.S airspace. The defence system is all but complete but missing one vital part to power it – Byzanium.
Koplin was sent in under radar to Russian territory to retrieve a small amount of the mineral and get back out again undercover. But his activities have alerted and he is chased across the ice by an armed Russian sentry who fires his weapon and sending Koplin crashing down on to the ice. As the sentry takes aim for the kill a shot rings out from behind the icebergs and quickly ending the life of the armed guard. Cue the introduction of Dirk Pitt.