Alby Calvin is Lily West's best friend and a gifted young mathematician.
Before The Six Sacred StonesEdit
Born to Lois Calvin and her mining executive husband in 1996, Alby Calvin was diagnosed at an early age with partially deafness, requiring him to receive a hearing aid and be taught sign language in order to help compensate for his minor disability. Growing up, Alby was doted on by his mother, however his father and older brother largely distanced themselves from him due to their indifference towards his interests in astronomy and his bookishness.
By age eleven, Alby was sent to a boarding school for gifted students in Perth for his skills in mathematics. During his time there, Alby made friends with Lily West, and taught her sign-language. The school's sports-master, Todd Naismith, disapproved of Alby's lack of fitness skills, and often forced him to play soccer to meet the school's compulsory sport curriculum. However, during Jack West Jr's chat with Naismith regarding Lily, he warned the sports-master to go easier on Alby when it came to sports.
In late November of 2007, Alby's parents went away on a holiday, and arranged for Alby to stay with the Wests at their remote farm during their absence. What Alby didn't know, however, was that the Saudi spy Vulture had taken note of the fact that Jack had overlooked the possibility of the boy being used to locate his home, allowing the Saudi and his allies to discover the farm's location.
Alby and Lily were up early and playing outside the farmhouse when Jack called for them to get inside and gather their things. Recognising the tone of his voice, Lily signed the urgency to Alby that they had to follow his instructions. The farm was about to be invaded by Chinese forces, and Alby looked nervously at Jack's guns as they ran to the Light Strike Vehicle, thoguh Jack reassured the boy that they'd come out of these situations before. Alby sat in Jack's LSV as they made their way across the farm to the highway where Sky Monster had the Halicarnassus ready to take off.
Once they'd escaped, Jack decided to keep Alby with them until his parents' holiday was over, and the group began making their way to the Burj al Arab, where Max "Wizard" Epper had requested that they rendezvous. After arriving in their suite, Alby looked around in amazement, and waited the next few days until the rest of Jack's team began arriving. When Pooh Bear and Stretch arrived, Lily introduced the pair to her friend, and the Arabian soldier teased Alby about his intentions with Lily.
Alby was present at the new meeting of nations as Jack revealed what he had learned from Wizard's notes; a zero-point field referred to as the Dark Star was due to enter the solar system, and unless it was repelled, then its deadly energy would destroy all life on Earth. To this end, they needed to gather six oblong diamonds called Pillars and set them at various locations around the world to rebuild an ancient machine. In order to find the Pillars, Vertices, determine when each Pillar had to be set and cleanse them, they would need to find the Six Sacred Stones.
Towards the meeting's end, Alby spoke up to let Jack know that he knew a detail regarding Wizard's notes, pointing out the Titanic Rising as an astrological event set to happen over the next few months. To keep the dismissive Paul Robertson and some of the other new arrivals in the dark, Alby then signed to Jack that there was something else, however that was forced to wait when a plane began making its way to crash into the Burj. After escaping, Alby told Jack that an image from Wizard's notes, which Jack thought was a symbol, was in fact a layout of Stonehenge, helping to highlight the importance of the site since its altar stone was once of the Sacred Stones
As a result, Jack sent him, Zoe Kissane and Lily with the Firestone to meet with Wizard's former students, twins Julius and Lachlan Adamson, so that they could unlock the secrets of the Altar Stone of Stonehenge during the next Titanic Rising event. Upon their rendezvous with the Adamson twins, Zoe and the kids made their way to Stonehenge, and Alby was surprised that the twins wanted to hear his opinion regarding Stonehenge and its connection to the Titanic Rising. Upon reaching Stonehenge, Alby watched through a telescope waiting for the Titanic Rising event to begin as the other restored the ancient site. Once the alignment started, Alby watched in amazement as the weakened light of the Dark Sun caused the lichen on the trilithons to reveal the relative locations of each of the six vertices.
Reuniting with Jack's group Mortimer Island, Alby joined the rest of the procession as they identified the location of the First Vertex at Abu Simbel, learned the Pillar-laying dates from the Killing Stone of the Maya, and cleansed the two Pillars they had with the Philosopher's Stone.
Alby accompanied the team to Abu Simbel, and remained in the team's zodiac as Jack, Wizard and Zoe went to lay the Pillar. However, once the task was accomplished, he and the others found themselves surrounded by Iolanthe's SAS troopers. Demanding the Pillar, Wizard and Lily be handed over, Lieutenant Ashmont threatened to shoot Alby if Jack didn't comply, and after he'd done so Jack warned Ashmont he'd pay for threatening the boy. Handcuffed to the sinking zodiac, Alby, Pooh Bear and Astro were threatened by the lake's Nile crocodiles, and Pooh Bear did his best to defend Alby until Jack and Zoe returned to rescue them.
Wizard then radioed to report that Iolanthe's group had been blindsided by suicide bombers, and was now fleeing with Lily and the Pillar. However, Sky Monster then reported that a convoy of enemy vehicles were approaching, and so the team rushed to catch up with the Halicarnassus. During the chase, Zoe received a call from Alby's mother, and an exasperated Zoe gave the phone to Alby so that he could lie about what he was doing and reassure her he was fine. After Pooh Bear threw himself from the car to drag off some of their enemies, Zoe took the wheel and managed to get herself and Alby into the Hali. However, with an engine damaged Sky Monster needed to take off, and Zoe and the others reluctantly heeded Jack's plea to find the Neetha and place the second Pillar, promising to catch up to them, leaving the rest of the team behind.
Shortly after they took off, however, Sky Monster informed the group that they would need to make a forced landing in Rwanda. After sending word to Solomon Kol to request fuel, they made plans to rendezvous with him on the way to the Congo. As they made their way through the African continent, Lily helped Alby to begin understanding the Thoth-written rewards on the First Pillar, discovering some of the knowledge regarding it contained. During their journey, while attempting to get in touch with Jack, they instead reached his father Jonathon "Wolf" West Sr, who was the leader of their adversaries and had apparently killed Jack.
Once Wizard's team located the Neetha village, they were promptly captured by the tribe, and discovered that, in addition to the second Pillar, the Neetha also possessed the Seeing Stone of Delphi. As the Neetha held them prisoner, they met the long-missing anthropologist Diane Cassidy and a kindly Neethan called Ono. After Zoe killed a Neethan who wanted to make Lily his wife, she was sentenced to the village's maze, and when she noticed Alby had her camera she requested he accompany her. Zoe quickly reassured Alby that the path through the maze was in one of the pictures she'd taken of a symbol in the first Vertex, and Zoe defended them from crocodiles and hyenas as he determined their route.
After finding the exit, Zoe told Alby to wait until Wolf's men started assaulting the village before they dashed out to grab the Pillars and Seeing Stone, before attempting to to escape from the village in the chaos. When Zoe was knocked down and dropped the Pillars, a conflicted Alby opted to help Zoe rather than grab the Pillars, however as he prepared to follow after the rest of the group to safety he was shot in the arm by Switchblade. Zoe was forced to leave the boy behind as Wolf's men closed in, and though Wolf was dismissive of him decided to have Alby brought along with them to the Second Vertex.
After having his wound seen to and been given Jack's fireman's helmet, Alby was forced to join Wolf's CIEF team as they made their way through the Second Vertex beneath Table Mountain, and Jack spotted the boy as he attempted to catch up to Wolf's men. Alby watched as the treacherous Switchblade's attempted to drop the Pillar, only for Jack to foil him, and watched in horror as they both fell into the abyss below. Once Wolf's men grabbed the Pillar he decided to abandon Alby, who was left in the darkening vertex clutching Jack's helmet and crying in the belief that he was going to die.
As it happened, Jack managed to survive and get back to the top of the chasm, and spotted Alby on the ziggurat despite the dying light of the flare. Shocked but relieved to see Jack still alive, Alby and Jack headed back to the entrance where Jack used the helmet Alby returned to him to tap out an SOS for his allies on the Indian Raider to pick up on sonar, and the submarine soon returned. Once aboard, Jack looked over Alby's wound and requested his permission to lie to his mother and say it was a broken arm.
Alby joined Jack's group as they set out to rendezvous with Wizard's group at World's End, and Lily hugged her friend in relief once they were brought together. Soon Jack decided that because of his injury, and with his parents' holiday ending soon, that Alby would be better off going home and that Lily would stay with his family after Christmas.
Alby soon returned home to his parents with his injured arm disguised in a sling, and his mother was beside herself with worry, taking to keeping a closer eye on Alby as his arm healed. After Christmas, Lily began staying with Alby and his family while the Coalition team made preparations to rescue Stretch and established themselves at Sea Ranger's base on Zanzibar. During the next few weeks, Lily saw how sad Alby was with his father greater praise towards his brother.
Later, Alby and Lily would join in the team's discussion via video-chat to plan their next move in researching the locations of the remaining Pillars and Vertices. After Cassidy put them onto the Five Greatest Warriors, Alby set about helping to research the Warriors, and was later tasked with helping Lily and Wizard in finding out the location of the Basin of Rameses II.
During his investigations into Napoléon Bonaparte, Alby questioned why his discovery, the Rosetta Stone, was kept at the British Museum. Upon further investigation of the finds of Bonaparte's that had ended up there, Alby discovered a picture of an artefact called the Basin of Monutuemhat, and spied a inscription written in Thoth on its flank. After having Lily translate it, Alby learned that it read "the cleansing basin", and shared this revelation with the Coalition team just before they headed to Mongolia, leading Pooh Bear, Stretch and the twins going to retrieve it.
By mid February, Alby was watching the reports of strange weather and tsunamis when he realised that Dark Sun was causing it and theorised that the tsunamis would rise against the final Vertex entrances, likely making entering them more difficult. Moments after he sent a message to Jack and the others with his theory, Alby heard his mother scream and found her being held by Vulture and Scimitar, who proceeded to kidnap him and Lois.
As he and his mother were taken away on Vulture's private plane, the Saudi spy used Alby's computer to contact the Coalition teams as they corresponded, revealing the kidnapping. After Vulture casually let slip that Alby had been helpful to him once again, he revealed that he had used the boy to discover the location of Jack's farm. Alby was horrified to learn that he was partially responsible for the farm's invasion, and Vulture taunted him with the facts he knew about him and his family. After rebuffing Scimitar's dismissal of Pooh Bear and saying he was more of a man than Scimitar, the furious Arabian threatened him with his knife, only for a pair of Russian fighters to surround the plane and force it to change its course.
Being forced to land at a dam in Siberia, Alby, his mother and their kidnappers were captured by the Russian royal known as Carnivore, who planned on manipulating the people involved in the Machine's restoration into working for him. Though he apparently hadn't intended to kidnap the boy himself, Carnivore took advantage of Vulture's kidnapping and had Alby and Lois placed inside tanks of formaldehyde to use them as hostages.
When Jack, Lily, Zoe and Sky Monster were brought to the dam later, Carnivore revealed his entombing of Alby and his mother, and Jack was furious with the Russian for what he had done to the two civilians. Though Carnivore professed that it was the Arabs' fault for having them at the time he had acquired them, he offered Jack the chance to free Alby and Lois if he found the sixth Pillar ahead of Vulture, Scimitar and Mao Gongli.
However, after the fourth and fifth Pillars were confirmed to have been laid, Carnivore abandoned his base and the prisoners, informing them that they would likely perish from lack of oxygen after a few days, to Alby's shock. Though Wolf soon managed to escape his tank, he opted not to release Alby or the other entombed prisoners.
Fortunately, the twins, Pooh Bear, Sky Monster and Stretch were able to get back to Carnivore's dam and free Alby and the others before they could suffocate. As Alby and Lois were recovering after their ordeal over the next few days, Alby told his mother the truth about how they had come to be imprisoned by Carnivore. When Jack and Lily finally arrived, Lily embraced her best friend in relief in seeing that he was alive.
A few weeks later, Alby played with Lily and Horus at Jack's new farm as the newly married Jack and Zoe watched.
Between The Five Greatest Warriors and The Four Legendary KingdomsEdit
A few years after the Dark Star was averted, Alby was fast-tracked through the last two years of high school, leading him to an early acceptance into the California Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in advanced astrophysics. To the surprise of his fellow Caltech students, Alby also studied for a degree in ancient history, as Alby had developed a taste for it during his previous adventures.
Alby kept in touch with Lily while he was studying in the States, and occasionally met up with his long-time friend when she later began attending Stanford. Meeting with Jack and Lily during the former's visit in mid-2016, Alby asked why Jack does the things that make him a hero. Before answering, Jack suggested that Alby and Lily were old enough to write Messages from the Other Side, letters which he would read should something ever go wrong and they died. Soon after sending Jack his Message, Alby asked Jack if he thought Lily would go out with him if he asked, and Jack suggested that Alby ask her himself but that his chances were good.
During his holidays in November, Alby went to stay with the Wests. When Jack was called to a meeting at Pine Gap, Alby was among those who accompanied him to the facility on the Sky Warrior. However, while he and Lily were in the waiting room as Jack was being briefed, Alby was knocked out by a sleeping gas leaked into the facility, and was summarily taken away, along with Jack, Lily, Sky Monster and the dogs Ash and Roxy by a group of people led by Iolanthe.
Alby would wake up two days later inside a train-mounted cage, and forced to watch as a mysterious man calling himself Hades announced the beginning of the Great Games of the Hydra and as Jack struggled through a pit of rising water in order to obtain a strange gold sphere.
Alby is a very bright boy with exceptional skills in maths that impressed even the genius Adamson twins, and is able to think outside the box in order to find answers to questions no one has yet asked. Although few doubt him, Alby is still getting used to the approving attention of grown up, though he feels guilty about being a source of constant worry for his mother Lois.
Upon reaching adulthood, Alby becomes more self-confident and brave, embracing his interests in ancient history and astronomy to the fullest.
- He is initially described in The Six Sacred Stones as a small black boy with glasses.
- Alby is partially deaf, and thus knows sign language, which is only for when someone need to get something urgent across to him.