When Samantha was walking down the street, she saw a group of four men hitting a frail old man.
“Stop!” she shouted as she ran to them.
“Don’t interfere in our business,” the first man said, keeping beating the old man. The old man curled arounda bag and whimpered.
Seeing that men were not to be reasoned with, Samantha thumped the first man’s skull. When the second man tried to attack her, she avoided the fist, lowered her body and kicked him down. The man tried to tackle her from behind, but she hit his eyes hard and kicked him. Finally the men all fell on the ground.
“Thank you,” the old man said.
Samantha said, “You’re welcome.”
The old man pulled his hand into the bag and took a scroll. “It’s a gift to you.”
“You don’t need to...” Samantha wanted to reject it, but the old man forced it into her hands and limped away.
Samantha looked at the scroll in her hands. It was made of papyrus and seemed very old, which piqued her curiosity.
Back at her home library, . Samantha carefully studied the text. It was written in ancient Greek. Fortunately, she had studied the language and could read it. It was a letter about Caesar’s imminent arrival. She could tell the letter was clearly written by a man of high status due to the form of the language. He was writing about the Library of Alexandria and the measures taken to protect the books. In fact, he mentioned that the books had been moved out of the library for storage.
Interesting... If this is true, it is a great discovery. The Library of Alexandria was the biggest library at the time, and Caesar had accidentally destroyed it. If some of the books had actually been saved, it would shed some light on ancient culture. Samantha decided next day to go to the university library to start her research.
She studied other documents and brought the text to her friend in the university to check its age. The result proved that it had been produced around the time of Cleopatra. It strengthened her faith in the document. It would be a great chance for an archaeological expedition, but she needed a partner, as she has never handled such a big project before. She decided to check the Internet to look for a suitable partner.
Online, she discovered that a man she had helped months before was actually an archaeologist and had discovered heritage made a discovery about the Qin Dynasty in China. Despite the trouble she found him in when they first met, he had returned the things he took back to India. Further browsing showed that he might be a good candidate. She wrote an email to him.
"Hi! Do you still remember that we had met in India? I am looking for a partner for an archaeological discovery. Are you interested?"
She received a reply very soon, and during the back-and-forth, they arranged a time and other arrangements for the trip. They met in India first so that Jacky could take a look at the document. When they met, she asked Jacky, "How is your friend?"
"He...he is dead."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"I'm sorry too."
At El Nozha Airport, Samantha was drowning in the noise of the crowd moving around her. She looked at Jacky, who was silent during the whole journey. She tried to make small talk with him, but although he tried to be polite and talked about his past journeys, the talk often stopped abruptly, and finally he said, “Sorry, I am not in the mood for a talk.”
Samantha looked at him and could feel the burden on his shoulders and his eyes. He probably hasn’t got over his friend’s death, she thought, but she said nothing. Samantha hoped that he would get over the pain, but she knew that recovery took a long time.
Suddenly, Bang! a gun shot. The airport was filled with screams and shouting. The crowd moved against her, and caught her in the middle.. Samantha tried to get away from the people. This is not a good beginning. Finally the crowd calmed down when there were no more gun shots, but nearly an hour had already passed. Ambulances came and took a bleeding man away. She looked away from him and left the airport with Jacky.
In the cab, Samantha said, “Let's go over the plan again”
“We will get to the place in the map. I will bring the equipment. After we dig it out, we can give it to the authorities.”
They didn’t speak any more until they arrived at the inn they booked.
They spent the afternoon at the inn putting down the package, planning and arranging for tomorrow’s transport. After the work was done, Samantha asked, “Why not do some sight-seeing? I’ve never been to Egypt before. Besides, I ‘m hungry.”
Jacky agreed. “It is a good idea. Egypt is beautiful.”
When they were on the street, Samantha agreed that Alexandria was indeed a beautiful city, The temperature was comfortable and the wind was dry enough. The city looked more Mediterranean, with its architecture and the salty wind but the people around her reminded that it was Egyptian at its heart. Modernized buildings towers over the city, and it would be hard to remember that its ancient history if not for the sharp ancient towers standing side by side with modern buildings. People in casual clothes walked on the street. When they returned , Samantha was surprised to see that the inn was no longer intact. Ambulances and crowd surrounded around the place.
“What happened?” she asked one of the spectators there.
“There was an explosion,” the man said. "Many people are hurt."
"It's horrible. I hope they recover soon." Then she looked at Jacky, "Oh no, what about the documents? We need to go in to find them."
"It may be dangerous," the man warned. But Samantha had already gone in.
The interior of the inn was half gone. Police were at the scene, and one of them tried to stop Samantha and Jacky, but he let them go after he had heard their explanation. They went to their room, and it was in chaos. Everything was gone, and nothing was recognizable.
"Fortunately we had a copy of the documents with us, but this is terrible."
"It's very possible the bomb was planted here. I mean, look at the damage," Jacky said.
"Who will do this?" We would have been one of the victims if we hadn't left. Samantha couldn't imagine who would be behind such a plot that had caused so many casualties. She looked around the place and said, “We’ll need to move.”
Back on the street of Alexandria, Samantha was so absorbed in the human loss that she was rudely surprised by several men’s attacks. Samantha hit her opponent right on his chin, then kicked his knee and hit his eyes until he fell down. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Jacky was handling himself well. Another man jumped on her, but she skipped to the side and knocked him on the chin. Crowds of people ran to get away from the fight. But they couldn’t continue like this. Samantha saw a cab and signaled Jacky. They both ran to the cab and got in. Jacky handed the driver a bunch of banknotes and said, “Drive fast, please.”
“Hold on to the car!” the driver shouted. Just as Samantha strapped on her seat belt, the car started like a rocket. Their car rushed through the narrow Egyptian street. The car zigzaged through the street, , the driver trying to get rid of the car pursuing them. Samantha tried to hold tight to the car and broke into a sweat when it almost crashed into another car. She would never have expected that a journey to discover the remains of the Library of Alexandra would lead them to such danger. Considering what happened the last time Jacky and she met, perhaps she should not have been so surprised. In fact, she thought, I should have expected it.
She thought about the shooting, the explosion, the ambush, and now. She said loudly, “We must get to the site as soon as possible. Someone or several someones definitely want to get us away from the secret. “
Finally they got rid of the people pursuing them and arrived at the outskirts of Alexandria, their ultimate destination. They discovered that some people had arrived before them and already dug an underground passage Samantha bowed and walked down the passage, which smelled of dirt and sand. There were signs and pictures on the wall, illuminated by the torch in her hands. Jacky walked just behind her, their breathing echoing in the space. Finally they reached a spacious room with scrolls stacked nearly to the ceiling. There was a distinct smell of old papyrus. Samantha could feel the weight of time in this place.
"We’ve finally reached the library of Alexandra." Samantha breathed.
Suddenly, a man appeared from behind stacks of books. He was about forty, dressed in a khaki shirt and shorts. A group of men followed him.
"Thanks for leading me here. I'd never found it without both of you."
"What's your purpose?" Jacky asked.
"To get the secret of Solomon, obviously, “ the man said. "To kill you two is just a bonus."
Samantha couldn’t help but ask, “Are you kidding?”
“Every book in existence at that time was stored in the library. It is the most likely place to find it,” the man said, with a crazy glint in his eyes.
“There are no books in the library, only scrolls.” Samantha said.
“It’s the same. Don’t correct my words!” the man said. "We are the cabal, and our quest is to recover the secret of eternal life."
This guy must be crazy, Samantha realized. No one in his right mind would hope for things like that. But this means he’s doubly dangerous.
"Who is the cabal you are talking about?" Jacky asked
The man ignored Jacky and continued, “Initially I only wanted to get the treasure, but when I learned that you had killed one of our own, how could I not take action?”
“You mean...” Jacky said.
“Remember Mr. Ku? Do you think he worked alone? He was supported by us.”
“You are all of the same hive, ” Jacky realized.
“We treasure life and will defeat death on our own. It has long been a human wish.”
Jacky said, “And you wanted to end others’ lives for it.”
"Only very few people can get through the narrow door of life," the man said. "Enough talking now. Get them."
Then henchmen rushed at them. Samantha jumped and kicked one right in the chest, then hit another before landing. Jacky was also at his best here. So she focused on tackling the enemies before them, punching one, and when the other wanted to attack her from behind, she kicked him. One by one they defeated the henchmen.
"I knew that I needed to do things on my own." The man floundered under his suit and took out a gun, aiming it at them. "Hands up!"
Samantha and Jacky froze. Slowly they held their hands up.
“That’s right.” The man approached them. When he was within grabbing range, Samantha saw the chance and reached for the gun, while Jacky pounced on the man.
The gun went off. The three people froze for a moment. Dirt fell from the ceiling. Jacky had the man on the ground and Samantha kicked the gun away from him.
“Damn it!” the man cursed.
“Watch your mouth,” Jacky said.
After the Egyptian police came to take the bad guys away, Jacky and Samantha contacted the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. The head of the Egyptian Museum gratefully accepted the find. “Your discovery is invaluable to our studies about the ancient world.”
Samantha and Jacky gazed at each each other and smiled.