The moment the flames spread throughout the ship and shots were being fired, he knew that this trip he unwillingly agreed to join was going to go to shit. Actually, the incident further proved it was all going to be hell. The fact that the destination was Hamunaptra was what really told Rick that, "Look, buddy. If you agree to this, you'll be fighting for your life for the next… who knows how long? You really want to do this?"
But the fact his life was on the line at the time forced him to stupidly agree. For one, he was being hanged! Hanged! Not for murdering, stealing, or anything else of that nature. It was the fact he was in the desert. Well, he was drunk off his ass in public… hmm… Another strike was that he was American. And to add fuel to the fire, he just so happens to be a surviving war attendant the last time he was at Hamunaptra. Well, him, Beni, and the captain that ran off like a girl. He didn't know what happen to that guy and he honestly he could care less. After spending three years in that prison, Rick promised himself two things. One, once he got the chance, he wasn't going to ever go back in Hamunaptra. Hell, he wasn't going into that desert period! Two, if he ever saw Beni, he was going to fucking kill him.
Unfortunately, number one plan was a complete dud. He was released from prison, but on the sake he led the two siblings on the way to that cursed, wrecked place.
Now, number two… he was working on that.
He was going to get Beni and he hoped he got him good. Throwing him off the boat doesn't count. But it puzzled him as to how in the frig did Beni get on the wrong side of the river when he was the first to be off the boat. And why did it take him so long to get out? Yes, the Nile River is a wide ass river, but…
Never mind that. Thinking about it was going to give him a headache.
For now, he has to worry about this.
It's been hours seen the small group of four (the unwanted addition of the Warden) had seen the much larger half of the tour party. They united again just as the sun was about to set among the horizon. The sky was a blend of pinks and oranges. The air was oddly cool enough, but somehow signaled as to something was off.
Rick watched as the sun rose into the sky, revealing that hated City of the Dead. Once it was completely uncovered, they took off. Hearing a shout of from the Egyptologist, he realized that everyone was either riding a horse or a camel. But no. This dude wanted to be different. His ass was planted on a goddamn mule! Or a donkey. Whatever the hell it was! He just knew it wasn't a damn horse.
'Okay, so far the only good things to had happen is that we won the bet. Which I doubt I ever wanted to agree to. I managed to push Beni off his camel. And I snagged a tool kit. Yup. Simple things.'
Rick was now walking alongside Evelyn and Jonathan down a hall. It was dark, reeked of everything old, dead and sandy, and it wrecked his nerves sideways. He never came across a booby trap when he first came to Hamunaptra, but he knew there was some. He was careful to watch his every move so he doesn't trigger anything. Call him paranoid, but he doesn't play with his life like that.
Despite what he claimed the day before.
"So you guys are seriously here for the sake of it, huh? Not for treasure, information? Just for being here?", he questioned just as they turned into a large room. Great. More rooms.
"Who said I wasn't here for treasure?", Jonathan sassed. Rick rolled his bright blues and took a seat in the sand. At this point, he didn't care. He wanted out like a sane person. Being here gave the man trembles. It was creepy, ancient and definitely cursed. If his distant three years back memory served him correctly, the sand moved forming into something. He didn't know what because he ran off. And there was no way he was claiming to be a coward on that. Nope. Who knows what the hell was out here?
"Just asking. But seriously, nothing is telling you something is wrong with this place? Nothing at all?"
"O'Connell, we know you've been here before and all, but whatever you saw we didn't see. So if you're trying to say there something is out here, you may be right. The Book of the Dead, mummies, treasures, anything. But a curse or bad misfortune? I assure you, you must be highly mistaken.", Evelyn answered, looking up and noticing an odd formation of cracks within the ceilings. Rick frowned. Wow, she was stuck up. And way too into this. And careless.
The ex-soldier sighed and got up to his feet, dusting the sand off his pants. 'She's calling me either bluff or crazy.' He took a stand next to the sole woman of the expedition and followed her gaze upward. The moment he spotted the dark stone, a shiver descended down his spine. His mind went hazy for a bit and he stumbled back just a little. Two pairs of hands grabbed hold of him, keeping him from hitting the sand. "O'Connell, are you okay?", Jonathan asked, his sister glancing him over with concern. Rick just shook it off and nodded. "Yeah. Yeah. Fine."
'But am I really? What the hell was that?'
He spared one more glance up before looking back at the Carnahan siblings. "Since we're here, we might as well get to digging."
"Gold, gold, gold. I'm gonna find me some gold."
The Warden had long disappeared from the other three. He doubted he was going to find anything worthwhile with them. So he went ghost. Vamoose. Bye, bye, bye!
Though, he was still going to get his money.
Hm. Finding treasure and getting paid? Sounds like a dream come true.
"So you're telling me he just went off? On some treasure hunt?"
"Yes. Yes, he did."
A deep, frustrated sigh could be heard by the prisoners. They could only laugh at this moment. The fact that the Warden went off without saying anything of a good reason why was certainly going to get him fired. Or killed. Either way worked for them.
'Th e hell is he going to do with that?'
Beni watched as Henderson, the blond American, pick up a metal tool, holding it as if it was a spear. "Let's get us some treasure!", he hollered before stabbing at the stone. Beni mouthed an 'oh' to himself when he realized what Henderson was about to do. 'Seriously? That thing could be booby trapped.'
It was a good thing the Egyptologist mentioned that to him, stopping the younger man. Beni be damned he was going to tell him. He was only here for the money. Oh, also to one-up Rick.
After digging for so long, the trio decided to take a break. It was only three of them and they didn't hire any assistance. So of course, they would tire easily. Jonathan occupied his time playing with the hammer and some of the broken pieces of stone. Rick was sitting next to Evelyn, listening to her speak about mummification. "Oh, I'd be damned if I ever have to do that. I'd rather be hanged than have my guts cut out and brain scrambled like eggs. If I don't make it out of here, don't, I repeat, DON'T sign me up for mummification.", he voiced.
"Well, you'll be dead when they mummify you.", Evelyn pointed out. Rick just glanced at her with a bland, indifferent expression. "Again, I don't want it."
"Likewise.", Jonathan agreed.
Evelyn rolled her eyes. "Oh come on! You're alive when you get hanged! You know this, O'Connell!"
"Trying to be funny?", he deadpanned.
"Either way sounds awful really. Slowly dying or getting dressed up for the afterlife in oils and gold?", Jonathan teased before swinging once more. At the sound of a clank, the ceiling suddenly collapsed. Dust, stone and a large casket plummeted down in a span of a few seconds. Jonathan had fallen on his ass with a scream while his sister and Rick stepped back. Everyone was still for just a moment when they realized what landed at their feet.
"Is that what I think it is?"
"If by sarcophagus, yes.", Evelyn answered as the trio stepped forward to examine it. When Rick stood mere inches from it, another wave washed over him. But he kept his posture, not wanting any attention to himself. "It was buried… right at the base of Anubis."
"Meaning what exactly?", Jonathan questioned, dusting sand of his butt.
"Well, he was either someone of great importance or he… did something really, really naughty."
Rick didn't know why, but he hoped it was just for the first reason.
"Does it says who he is?"
Evelyn dusted off some part of the sarcophagus and winced. "It just says he shouldn't be named."
"Well, we know it's a guy. Boom! Fact one out the way."
"What? Just saying."
"You know if we want to find out who's in here, we have to get this open. I say we blow it open.", Jonathan suggested. Honestly, he wanted to see if the dead dude had any gold or something of value on him. Evelyn glared at her older brother and threw a pebble at him. "Ow!"
"We're not blowing this open. We could cause a cave-in or damage this.", she pointed out.
Rick's eyes caught sight of something peculiar on the sarcophagus. "Hey, this looks like some sort of lock."
"Well, whoever the hell is in here sure in the hell wasn't getting out.", Jonathan noted.
"It will take us a month, be damned, for us to open this without some sort of key."
Evelyn gasped, grasping the unknowing truth behind Rick's words. "A key! We need a key!"
"Yeah. Just said that."
"And we have one!"
"That I didn't say."
The two males watched as the sole woman rushed over to a bag and pulled out the strange little box. She opened it, ignoring her brother's protest before placing the item within the lock. She glanced up with a bright smile on her face, feeling triumph course through her. Rick's eyes widened. "No way."
A sudden scream was heard just outside the room. Urgently, the three ran for the entrance, Rick prepared with a gun. Their heads popped out in time to see the forgotten Warden run out while screaming and holding his head in agony. They followed him with their bafflement filled eyes as he ran right into a wall and fell back. It was silent for just a moment before Rick spoke up.
"Damn. I forgot about him."
"No shame in admitting it, too."
The sky was now a blanket of black once everyone emerged from the inside. The air was much cooler and smelled much better, too. While the Carnahan siblings headed back to their campsite, Rick found himself wandering about. He was careful as to where he was stepping, despite his mind practically in a trance now.
He wasn't the least in thought about the Warden's death. Fuck him. He imprisoned him and sentenced him to be hanged! Though it was unclear as to how he died to him.
But I digress. Rick was more so in thought with why he was feeling so… nauseous. It wasn't Hamunaptra itself. No. Otherwise, he probably would have fainted the moment he crossed into the place. It involved more of what was inside. And he figured it had to be the sarcophagus. He got dizzy just when it was still buried and again when it fell down. And now that he recalled, the first time he was at Hamunaptra, that was where the little sandstorm show happened.
He didn't know what to believe at this point. Hell, he didn't know why he agreed to this! He felt out of place here. Everyone had a purpose to being here. Either you were a hired digger, leading the expedition, an explorer, looking for treasure or something else, or money. He wasn't here for any of those things. He was just here to be here. And that he was kind of forced, but it doesn't matter!
"Nothing feels right here.", he muttered to himself. He didn't know someone heard though.
"You superstitious, too, O'Connell?"
The brunet turned to see the three other Americans. Rick held in a laugh seeing that Burns had a mask of shaving cream on. "Not superstitious. Just… concerned.", the ex-soldier answered dully to Daniels. He crossed his arms, keeping a straight laced face on. "Have to be watchful of this place."
"I reckon. Three of our diggers were… melted.", Burns shivered. Rick's blue eyes widened at the statement. "Melted? Wait, did you come across a trap?"
"Yeah. Happened to be the place we almost shot each other over.", Henderson answered with a nod.
"Wow, I'm glad we didn't get that site then. Let me take a guess though. It was pressurized salt acid, huh?"
The other three men stared in the disbelief that he guessed right. Maybe his group did know something they didn't. "How'd you guess?"
"Believe or not, I did some bit of research. So I know my traps."
He wasn't lying really. Rick had his fair share of reading about Egyptian culture during the boat ride. When he wasn't cleaning his weapons that's what he was doing. He also did a bit of said reading before being locked up. During his voyage to Egypt, that's what he did. The only thing he didn't read up on was the mummification thing. But all be damned if he wanted to take that route. Let it be a cold day in hell first.
"Huh. Anyways, I'm going to go to sleep now. Long day tomorrow.", Daniels yawned before walking off. Rick took that as his cue to leave and headed to his own campsite. He found Jonathan and Evelyn discussing the Warden's death. They looked up when he got closer. "Where you been?", Evelyn asked.
Rick shrugged before taking a seat on the other side of her. "Wandering a bit. Found out that our little American buddies also had a misfortunate on them today. Well… not that I call the Warden's sudden death a misfortune."
"You really don't like him, do you?"
"He sentenced me to be hanged. What do you think?"
"Anyways, what happened?", Jonathan barged in.
"Their diggers were melted from pressurized salt acid. A trap."
"And one that still works from 3000 years ago? This place really is cursed."
At that statement, there was an abrupt gust of wind. It made an eerie, unsettling whoosh making the desert night feel more cold and deadly than before.
Evelyn sighed, breaking the sudden silence. "Enough, you two! This place isn't cursed! There's nothing to be scared of!"
"You don't believe in curses? Let alone myths?", Rick mumbled, throwing a stone in the fire.
"No! If I can see it, touch it, taste it, hear it and smell it, then it's real! You're both acting like frightened little children."
"Evy, children don't carry guns.", Jonathan teased, nodding over to O'Connell. The brunette rolled her eyes. "Whatever, Jonathan."
There was an unexpected stampede of horses and gunshots from yards away. Rick groaned in the disbelief of it all before cocking his gun. "Ah hell."
"Oh damn! Oh damn! Oh damn!"
Beni was running from a deemed madman for the sake of his life right now. The ambush wasn't something they thought would happen, but it did. It was bound to since the attack on the boat.
The man had swung his sword, attempting to chop off Beni's head, but said dude literally fell forward and rolled out the way. Actually, he rolled into one of the opened entrances and decided to stay there until it was all over.
He watched as the men in black robes rode off, probably scared off by the stick of dynamite Rick pulled out. When they were gone he stepped out just as he heard his ex-war partner growl. "See? Something about this place isn't right! I'm leaving!"
Evelyn jumped in front of him, arms wide to block him from circling around her. Though it would have been easy to since there was just enough room. "Evelyn-"
"No! Deal! Remember the deal!", she sternly reminded. Rick looked pissed off just then, but settled down. He sighed, crossing his arms in both defeat and frustration. Beni caught back his laugh. That was actually pretty funny.
"I don't think it's that. They're hiding something! That attack proves that Seti's treasure is here! They just want it for themselves!", Daniels claimed. Rick rolled his eyes. "Those people are desert people, Daniels. They value water and food. Not gold."
"How you know that?"
"Two answers. One, research. Two, if there wasn't any treasure here they would have just let us raid this place. This isn't the first time they attacked. It's like they're giving us a warning. A very serious warning. We should leave when and while we can.", Rick suggested firmly, glaring at everyone with a killer stab of his blue eyes. Jonathan and Beni shivered in fright of it while everyone else stepped back in caution. Evelyn was the only one to challenge him. "Oh come on! One more night here isn't going to hurt anyone else!"
"Evelyn, I don't want to be ambushed again. Bullets come in such a certain amount.", Rick protested. But he knew he wasn't going to get anywhere with her. He exhaled sharply and began to walk off. "But be my guest! Let's stay for one more night and see what happens. Just don't cry to me when you suddenly trigger the end of the world or something, killing everyone off.", he muttered angrily. Evelyn and Jonathan exchanged looks before looking back at the others. Everyone stayed silent for a moment before Burns spoke up. "Maybe… just for tonight we combine forces, huh?"
Either from another ambuscade or Rick's wrath was anyone's guess.
The following afternoon was spent in the same digging sites. Rick was moping in a corner, watching as Evelyn unlock the first layer of the sarcophagus. He helped Jonathan move the lid off and they found another one. This one was black instead of a dusty sand color. It looked sinister even. Maybe lighter in weight, but there was a problem.
The three of them groaned in annoyance. "Ah hell. How are we supposed to get this out of here?", Jonathan groaned. Evelyn looked around for any solution but found none. Rick sighed and started his way out the room. "Well, looks like we're stumped. I'm out of here."
"Oh no you don't!"
The ex-soldier was pulled back by his scarf and forced into a spot near the sarcophagus. Another dizzy spell hit him, but it was slightly much stronger than the last two. 'Wow. Another one? Seriously what is up with this place?'
"You're going to help us get this smaller thing out of that bigger thing.", Evelyn scowled. Rick blinked at her, glanced at the black sarcophagus, then at Jonathan, back at Evelyn and then stopping at the sarcophagus. "No."
"No. Evelyn, that looks wedged in there pretty tightly. It's going to take forever for all three of us to pop that out of there.", he pointed out. The brunette just stared at him. She continued to do so in silence, creeping both of the men out. "Evy?", Jonathan whispered, slowly stepping closer to his younger sister. He was taken back when she suddenly pulled out a long crowbar from nowhere and stuck it between one of the cracks within the two sarcophagi. "We're doing this. Now get to working.", she demanded. Rick huffed. Yeah, he doubted he was going to make it out of here.
"Nope! Nope! I'd be damned if I'm going to be part of that curse! Nope!"
Despite his dislike for a certain man, he agreed with him. Beni feared that Hamunaptra and the rooms that lied within it was cursed. When the Egyptologist read out the curse, he scrammed. No way in hell was he going to put his life on the line like that. No sir, not today. Fuck that shit, he was out.
Beni had halted when he ran past a semi lit room. He backtracked and peeked inside to see the trio propping up a black sarcophagus up. He noticed that there was a pile of broken stones not too far from them. 'Did they do that?', he wondered, noticing the tools next to it. Must have took forever to get that thing out. He grew interested at the upcoming discovery and decided to see how it was going to play out. Who knows? They might discover some gold and he could snag it from under their noses. Especially Rick's.
"Oh, I always dreamed of this as a little girl!", Evelyn squealed in excitement. Rick eyed her with uncertainty. "You dreamed about dead guys?"
"No… just the finding of mummies"
Rick glanced at Jonathan for an answer. He nodded. "Yeah, yeah. She's weird that way."
"Hey! I'm right here!"
"He wanted to know."
Evelyn sighed and took a quick glance at near the lock of the sarcophagus. She leaned closer for an inspection and discovered some of the writing was scratched out. "Whoever is in here did do something naughty. His sacred spells have been chiseled off. He was not only condemned in his life but in the next life as well."
Rick took a step back. "So should we even continue to open this? If the guy in here is cursed then opening it would be bad, wouldn't it?"
Beni had shrugged, getting Rick's point of things. He would be right. Curses are no joke and pity the people who don't believe them.
The woman of the trio waved him off. "Oh, O'Connell, nothing is going to happen. Just watch. Jonathan, unlock it."
Jonathan pulled out his key and unlocked the sarcophagus. With a glare from the librarian, Rick helped him push the lid off. With a sudden jerk, it popped open, dust and the stench of something really rank hitting them. They didn't expect a horrifying mummy to come out either. All three screamed from the scare jump. Even Beni from across the room in the hallway jumped. Finally seeing what the threat was, they calmed down. "Oh my God, I hate it when these things do that.", Evelyn hissed, looking the mummy up and down.
Rick's stomach twisted suddenly when he sighted the mummy's face. It looked horrified. In pain even. "Is… is it supposed to look like that?", he asked, feeling dizzy once more. He propped his hand against the wall and leaned his weight against it, hiding his dizziness. "Well, the mummification process is practiced to preserve the body, but… this is something else. He's… he's… uh… still…"
"Juicy.", the men finished, disgust on their faces.
Evelyn nodded. "He's still decomposing."
"Pity the poor fellow.", Jonathan deadpanned. Rick shrugged and looked down at the almost forgotten lid. He noticed some marks inside of it and decided to get closer to identify them. "Hey, look at this."
The siblings met his side and spotted the markings, too. Evelyn traced them with her fingers and gasped. "Fingernails. This man was buried alive. He was trying to get out."
Rick really then felt remorseful for the dead guy. His crime, whatever he did, might have been awful, terrible, but his punishment was far damn worse. "And there wasn't such luck from the looks of things.", he exhaled, glancing back at the mummy before back at the markings. "Wow, that sucks."
"Our friend here left a message, too."
"What does it say, Evy?"
"Um… 'Death is only the beginning.' That's it.", she answered without much thought. A few seconds, she realized just how… unsettling it sounded. "Oh."
"How did he even carve that into there? The scratches aren't as deep at the message is.", Rick pointed out, now concerned for their discovery. Something definitely didn't sit well. Didn't sit well at all. "Okay, that remains a mystery. It wasn't as if they offered him a tool to do it with."
"You know what? Let's keep it a mystery. I rather not think about it or even know now."
The trio got up and packed up their tools heading for the exit just as Beni left. Ooh, he was so going to tell.
Another night was spent at the place, despite the fact some of the people were against it. Fires were lit, and discovered treasure was gossiped about. Rick was absentmindedly poking a stick in the fire, doing a good job of ignoring Beni beside him. Evelyn had long disappeared off somewhere and no doubt she would be back soon.
"So we heard you guys found yourselves a nice gooey mummy.", he heard Burns teased. Rick threw a rock at him, which hit him directly on the forehead. "Ow! O'Connell, that hurt!"
"It was meant to. How did you find out anyways?"
Beside him, Beni stiffened. Rick and Jonathan glared at him. He chuckled nervously under their intense stares and proceeded to move, but not before Rick served him a nice whack on the head.
By then, Evelyn was just showing up after suggesting to the Egyptologist to find a key to open up the book he struggled to open. Daniels, Henderson and Burns took a seat across the trio as Beni was throw off his. Evelyn replaced his seat, observing the small round items in her hands.
"You know if you dry out that mummy, you can probably sell him as firewood.", Daniels joked.
Rick gave a mock chuckle before shooting him a chilling death snarl. "Suggest that as my foot goes up your ass so far that you'll be tasting firewood."
Daniels whimpered, deciding then to shut up. Evelyn spoke up. "Look what I found in the sarcophagus. Scarab skeletons, flesh eaters."
Jonathan and Rick glanced at the blue gold objects. "Wait. What were they doing in there?"
"Well, they were thrown in there. Our mummy was sentenced to the Hom-Dai. A cursed ritual performed for those who committed crimes that are unholy. It's like mummification except this one occurs when you're alive. They cut out your tongue, wrap you up in linen and then throw in the scarabs to eat you alive. And they do it very slowly. Scarabs preserve themselves after such an act of eating and can live for years."
"Those things in your hand is alive?!", Daniels exclaimed. Evelyn nodded. "They just may be."
No one expected for Rick to knock the scarabs out of her hand and throw them into the fire. Seconds later, squeals of agony was heard. It all happened so quickly that all they could do was stare at the fire.
"You stood corrected, Evelyn. Those things were alive."
Not a sound was heard except for the sound of fire crackling and snores. Even some mumbling from those who talk in their sleep. No one was awake at this time. The trio was knocked out from the jump scares, scarabs and breaking a 3000 years old sarcophagus. Jonathan was snoring, once in a while making a 'meep' sound. Evelyn was sleeping peacefully, turning ever so often. And then there was the gunslinger. Rick was tossing in his sleep and not in discomfort. Notwithstanding the shotgun. No. It was more out of his dreams. It felt real. Too real. Like an out of body experience. Maybe a memory.
Swords clashed back and forth as the masked individuals fought with integrity and willpower. Their audience was impressed no less at the moves, finding that one of them battled with more aggressive grace.
His aura was that of a warrior with a heart of gold, brighter than the golden sword he held and the clothes he adorned. He was different from the rest of the others who trained. Different from everyone within the palace walls really. He had their skin tone, their dark hair, but the commonality of their eyes he didn't possess. Even with the mask on, anyone could see his crystal blue eyes. Many believed him to be a gift from the gods, others deemed him a curse.
But one's belief was varied.
His own gaze followed the fighter with interest as he traveled across the floor with unstoppable energy. With one final swing of his sword, he knocked his opponent down. That was the end of it. The audience clapped in awe, the pharaoh standing in applaud. He walked over to the winner, who unmasked himself and sheathed his sword away.
Despite the dream being his own dream, Rick couldn't see the now unmasked individual. But somehow he understood the pharaoh's next words. "A true marksmanship of the finest warrior! You're ready, Rishid."
The other man bowed in understanding. Rick then found himself staring into a dulled, dark gaze. A man, clean shaved bald and dressed in black robes slowly walked past him, sparing him a small smile before heading out the room with gold painted men behind him.
A wave of edginess passed through him. A glance over his shoulder he found a black and gold clad woman snarling at him.
Rick sat up abruptly from his dream, looking around in puzzlement as to what he just witnessed. He didn't know what to think or if he wanted to know what that dream was about.
"Oh yeah. I got to get out of here."
He then noticed Evelyn getting up. He laid back down, pretending to sleep to see what she was doing awake now. She wasn't sleepwalking for sure. Her eyes were opened. And she was moving pretty fast. Through squinted eyes, he watched as she took the black Book of the Dead from the Egyptologist's hands before going back over. She then snagged the key out her brother's stuff just as Rick decided to speak up. "That's called stealing, you know."
"According you and my brother, it's called 'borrowing'."
"I never said that."
Rick took a spot next to Evelyn watching as she opened the book as a gust of wind followed. He shivered, still weary. "I don't think you should be playing with that thing."
Evelyn just chuckled. "No harm ever came from reading a book."
Years later, try saying that again.
The gunslinger sighed. "Evelyn, don't-"
She already began reading from the book. She pronounced each ancient word with skill and practice, without missing much so of a beat.
There was a sudden roar from within the rooms of Hamunaptra and the shout of the Egyptologist.
"YOU MUST NOT READ FROM THE BOOK!"
"Too late.", Rick grumbled, glaring at the woman who just chuckled nervously. Everyone else began to awake as a dark wave from a distance traveled forward to them. Beni already hauled ass, not wanting to find out what the hell it was.
"EVELYN, I SWEAR IF WE MAKE IT OUT OF HERE, I WILL PERSONALLY KILL YOU!"
"I DIDN'T KNOW!"
"I WARNED YOU! WARNED YOU, DAMN IT!"
"LESS ARGUING AND MORE RUNNING!"
The trio ran through the darkened hallways, trying to survive from the herd of scarabs following them in hunger. Rick was beyond pissed right now. He knew that this place was cursed, but did anyone listen to him? No. No, they didn't. Now they're all fucking doomed! If he wanted to die, he would have stayed in prison. This never would have happened!
The trio had momentarily split, jumping onto pillars to avoid the scarabs. They watched as the flesh eaters pass through. When they were gone, Rick and Jonathan looked up and saw Evelyn slide through the wall. A groan echoed through the room. "Why is your sister a magnet for trouble?"
"I don't know."
The two crossed the room, trying to open the trap door so they could find the woman of their group. Unfortunately, it didn't budge. And from the sudden appearance of the others wasn't good either. More scarabs were coming and at this point the only thing to do was to run. Rick ignored the horrified scream of a fallen man and took to finding an exit out. The men ran through the hallways, losing the scarabs.
Rick had spotted Evelyn passing one of the rooms and ran to her. "There you are! What are you doing, playing 'Hide 'n' Seek'?" When she didn't speak, he noticed that she was shook up about something, frozen in place against the wall. He followed her terrified gaze and came face to face with a mummy. An alive mummy. "Oh hell no!"
The mummy stepped forward with a low growl and looked like he was about to pounce, but then he stopped. Rick held up his gun when the mummy stepped a little too close for comfort and squinted his eyes. Rick felt another dizzy spell, but this one almost had him buckling at the knees. "Rishid?", the mummy questioned in ancient Egyptian and somehow the ex-soldier understood him.
Blue eyes widened as the mummy reached out his hand towards him. "Come with me, my Prince Rishid."
"What the hell?!", Jonathan shouted as him, Daniels and Henderson rushed into the room. The mummy rotated towards them and roared in anger. Rick took that opportunity to shoot it and then run, the others following him.
They soon came to the outside, hearing the clicks of guns and finding the men from the previous night there. The Egyptologist and Burns were also there, the latter missing his eyes and tongue, which Rick was mortified of. One of the other men, one Rick recognized, crossed his arms and shook his head in disappointment. "Told you to leave or die. You refused. Now you may have killed us all for you have unleashed the creature that we have feared for more than 3000 years."
"No, no. Not all of us. She did. No. They did. I tried warning you all! I tried! Why did I even stick around, huh? Why?! Maybe it was the selflessness of me. I should have just left, but then again that thing might just have been awaken anyways! Ugh!"
Everyone had stayed silent during Rick's rant. All of them, especially Evelyn felt guilty.
The magi looked quite impressed and spoke again. "Well, we have to go hunt down for a way to kill him. No mortal weapon can kill him."
"You do that. For now, let's leave this time. Everyone grab what you can, get on your horses, camels and in that guy's case, a mule-donkey or whatever it is and hit the road.", Rick demanded. Nobody protested or teased him this time.
He didn't think he would ever see him again. Not after his unfortunate death. Rishid, his Rishid was just before his eyes. Even though his sight was a little blurry. But he knew it was him. He had the same intense, thrilling blue eyes. The very eyes he fell into the moment he first saw him. And he was alive.
'You shall unite with me once again, my prince.'
"I thought you said you didn't believe in fairy tales and that hokum stuff.", Rick sassed, hands on his hips and a smirk on his face. He watched as Evelyn paced the room, ignoring the white feline perched on her bed that was meowing at her. "Having an encounter with a 3000-year-old walking, talking corpse does tend to convert one."
"Want to admit I was right?"
Rick sighed, rolling his eyes and uncrossing his arms. "Well, I'm leaving."
Evelyn stood up urgently, her eyes wide. "What?! No! We have to stop this thing!"
The gunslinger scoffed. "Uh no. You woke it up, Evelyn. Besides, how could it be stopped?"
"He said that it can't be killed by mortal weapons. So maybe there is an immortal one or a spell to stop him."
"Good luck with that."
"Look, if you and the rest of them listened to me in the first place none of this would had happen! From the very start I said that place was bad news! But it was brushed off! I'm done, Evelyn!"
The brunette watched as Rick stormed to the door and opened it. "I appreciate you saving me, I do. But this? This I can't be a part of."
And he left.
Jonathan had spotted Rick coming up to him after his brief encounter with Winston. The look on his face said it all. Rick was pissed, frightened and all the while in disbelief. And Evelyn was involved.
"Tell me has your sister always been…?"
"Oh yeah. Always.", he answered to the trailing question. "Sometimes it's hard to get anything through to her. But are you okay?" Rick shook his head, being honest. "No. No, I'm not, Jonathan. Something about that mummy doesn't sit well with me."
"Well, it should be dead and decomposing. Isn't that something?"
Rick responded with a dry chuckle. "I wish that was all.", he muttered before pouring himself a shot. Jonathan glanced at him and placed his hand on the other man's shoulder. "You can tell me. If you don't want me to mention this to Evy, I won't.", he promised, being sincere about it. He could tell that whatever was bothering the ex-soldier, it was really getting to him. Rick sighed, propping his chin his hand. "Well, that room, where we found that mummy is where I started having these dazed spells. I felt like something washed over me. It continued to happen when the sarcophagus fell and when we finally opened the damned thing. It was the strongest when I was face to face with it before we vamoosed out that place."
"Is that what was bothering you?"
"More than that. The night the mummy was awaken, was the night I had this dream. It was so… real."
"Anything from that dream that could tell us about our mummy?"
"Not that I can recall."
"We're all packed up, but the damn boat doesn't leave till tomorrow morning.", Henderson whined as he and Daniels came up to either side of the other two men. Jonathan huffed. "Tail set firmly between your legs, I see.", he teased dryly.
"You can talk. You don't have some sacred walkin' corpse after you!", the blonde cried. Rick leaned forward and flicked his forehead. "Ow! Why are you so abusive?!"
"Why are you such a crybaby?"
Henderson began to rub his forehead to soothe it while Rick turned to the shook Daniels in concern. "So, how's your friend?", he asked. Daniels exhaled sharply. "He had his eyes and tongue ripped out. How would you be?", he snapped.
The ex-soldier held up his hands in defense. "Alright, I was just asking. I wasn't trying to be funny or anything."
"Sorry. Just nervous is all."
"I hope. O'Connell looks as if he was just about to shoot you."
The four shared a laugh before Daniels spoke up again. "Wait, were you?"
Beni wondered at the moment just exactly how did he get into this situation. One minute he was running from locusts and scarabs, the next he's now a slave to an ancient 3000-year-old mummy. But as of now he knew as long as he served him he was in the clear. He was glad he ran out before that chest was opened, that's for sure.
"Please to meet you.", Burns muffled, reaching out to shake Imhotep's, the now identified mummy, hand. Beni grabbed it, not sure if it was the smartest thing to do. "Prince Imhotep does not like to be touched. A silly Eastern superstition, I'm afraid."
"Oh, please forgive me."
Even through the muffling of his voice, you can perceive the fear and scarring the explorer held. Beni would feel sorry for him, he did actually, but this had to be done if he wanted to keep his own life. "Mr. Burns, Prince Imhotep thanks you for your hospitality.", he started, patting the blinded man's shoulder. "And for your eyes and your tongue."
Burns realized the meaning behind those words within seconds. Could this be…? Oh hell!
"But I'm afraid more is needed. The prince must finish the job…"
Beni began to back away from the soon to be dead victim, despite being pulled on by his clothes. Damn when someone's scared shitless, they're strong. "… and consummate the curse which you and your friends had brought upon yourself."
"No! Please no!"
The moment the mummy unmasked himself, Beni hauled ass once again, only hearing screams and a sucking sound.
Back at the bar, Rick, Jonathan, Henderson and Daniels were downing their last shots. Much to their horror, it wasn't alcohol period. "Holy crap! That was awful!", Daniels complained as the surrounding men sputtered out their drinks, too. The taste was too metallic.
The bartender took notice but shrugged it off.
Rick wiped his mouth just as his eyes detected the red tint of the fountain in the middle of the bar.
"It's… blood…", he trailed off, another spell hitting him. Jonathan shivered, reciting a line from a plague he remembered his sister told him about. "And the rivers and waters of Egypt ran red and were as blood."
"Oh yeah. The damned creature is bringing plagues!", Henderson recalled from the curse the Egyptologist read hours before. Rick had suddenly swayed back almost falling to the floor if Daniels and another man didn't catch him.
His mind suddenly went blank and shimmered into darkness and gold.
"I knew I found you here."
Blue eyes had met dark ones. The slighter shorter man stepped back as the high priest of the pharaoh approached him. "Lord Imhotep?"
"Rishid, you are a powerful being under the gods just as I am. Please refrain from being formal with me.", Imhotep suggested. He reached out and cupped a tanned cheek, feeling the soft skin of the other male. Rishid's silk covered body shook with anxiety from the aura this man possessed. He stepped back once more, drawing an alarmed glance from the priest. "No. You mustn't. You are the pharaoh's high priest, his advisor. I am a student, a symbol of the gods and a curse. We can't-"
Whatever he about to say was left unfinished. Rishid's lips were quickly claimed by the priest.
Rick sat up with a gasp, eyes darting back and forth from the sudden shout. He finally looked up at the worried face of Jonathan, a frown etched on his lips.
"What was that? Are you okay?"
"No. We have to find Evelyn."
With her nose buried in a book, Evelyn paid no mind to the sudden heat of the air or the sky becoming a deadly grey color. Her attention was broken when there was a shout of her name. She turned and found Rick running to her at top speed, Jonathan struggling to catch up. "Oh? Still here?"
"Heh, funny. That mummy is here! Problems, Evelyn! Problems!", Rick scowled.
The brunette dropped her book in alarm. "What?!"
"AAAAHHH! I'M ON FIRE!"
The trio spotted massive fire balls descending from the sky, burning everything and everyone it touched. They stared in horror as one man ran around, shouting the fact that he was indeed on fire. "Oh damn."
A sudden roar was heard from upstairs, making the trio turn and catching Beni going down the stairs. He tried to turn but like the ninja Rick was, he pounced and caught him. "Beni, you little stinkweed! Where have you been?!"
Another roar was heard, using as a distraction for Beni to break out of Rick's grip, which was hard to do, and escape before his ass was kicked. Rick growled, reminding himself for the thousandth time to kick Beni's ass. The trio ran upstairs and followed the sound of the roar, halting into what was Burn's quarters. Evelyn gasped in disgust at the dead, grey, dry sucked Burns on the chair. Rick held his vomit. "Ew.", Jonathan had muttered. At the sound of a low moan, the trio spotted the mummy, growing what seem to be a second layer. "We are in serious trouble.", the ex-soldier muttered as the mummy growled at them and stormed towards them. He began shooting at the mummy, only for him to appear unfazed. Much to his shock, he grabbed Rick, pulling him away from the siblings. "Hey! Let me go!"
"O'Connell?!", Evelyn shouted about to stepped forward, but Imhotep blocked her.
"You saved me from the undead. I thank you.", he voiced in a gruffly language of ancient Egyptian. He turned back to the struggling Rick just as Daniels and Henderson showed up. "The hell is that thing doing?!", the blonde hollered as Rick was blocked between a wall and the mummified Imhotep. His blue eyes widened as the mummy got too close for comfort, snatching his guns and tossing them away. "My prince, my Rishid. After all this time we are united once more."
"Uh… guys…? Can you do something?!", Rick shouted as Imhotep inched closer to him. He was mortified when he realized what he was going to do. "We can't shoot at him because then you'll probably be shot!", Jonathan reminded. There was a sudden disorderly noise of piano keys and a meow. Everyone turned and spotted the white feline that had been in Evelyn's room. The group was baffled as Imhotep shouted in fear and formed into a gust of a sand and wind, making an exit out the window. Silence.
The cat leaped up from the piano and then trotted over to Burn's body, swatted at the leg and then made its way out the room. They watched the cat do all that before glancing at each other.
"That was so weird.", Daniels admitted.
Rick sighed. "You're telling me."
Realizing they needed some much necessary information, the group headed to the museum where Evelyn worked there as a librarian.
"O'Connell, what do you think that was about?", Henderson asked. Rick shrugged, not sure himself. If anything, he was confused as the next person would be. Just more shook up at the mummy's attempt to kiss him. He then remembered his sudden vision from the bar. 'Could that have been him?'
"There's only one person that can give us any answers about this situation.", Evelyn voiced as they turned a corner into a room. They halted seeing the magi from before. "You! What's he doing here?", the woman questioned as the men behind her pulled out their guns. Jonathan struggled with his though. It took him a while.
"Do you really want to know or do you prefer to just shoot us?", the curator sassed while Ardeth, the magi, seemed unafraid at being at gunpoint.
Rick was the first to put away his gun, already feeling as if he could trust the two. After all, the magi warned them to leave Hamunaptra when they had the chance and was right to do so.
"After what I just saw I'm willing to go on a little faith here."
The curator of the museum led them inside the room and they all gathered around him as he began to speak up. "To answer your question from earlier, Ms. Carnahan, Ardeth is here to inform me of the mishap that happened at Hamunaptra. I'm quite disappointed in you."
"Sure you do. Anyways, Ardeth and I are part of an ancient secret society. For 3000 years we have guarded the City of the Dead, the Medjai. We are sworn at manhood to do any and all in our power to stop the High Priest Imhotep from being reborn into this world."
"And because of you, we have failed.", Ardeth added, crossing his arms.
Jonathan frowned. "Wait! You realized you could have tried forcing us out the moment you attacked us, right?"
"We tried! You still stayed!"
"Yeah, I apologize on their behalf of being stubborn.", Rick sassed as the older Carnahan sibling sneered at him. Evelyn spoke up. "Wait! So you think this justifies the killing of innocent people?! Some of those men died!"
The curator crossed his arms. "Hm. To stop this creature from killing and destroying the whole world? Let me think."
"YES!", Ardeth and him shouted. Evelyn just settled down. Rick raised a finger.
"Question: why doesn't he like cats?"
"Cats are guardians of the Underworld. He will fear them until he's fully regenerated."
"And then he'll fear nothing. We'll be doomed."
"Man, you are deadly grim.", Jonathan commented, avoiding the stare Ardeth gave him.
"You know how he gets himself fully regenerated?!", Daniels shakily asked.
Henderson sat beneath him holding the very jar that was going to get him killed. "By killing everyone that opened that chest."
"AND SUCKING THEM DRY THAT'S HOW!"
Everyone pitied the two men. Wow, they did have it rough. But it was their fault. Sucks to be them!
"Jonathan, stop playing with that. Exactly why was Imhotep committed to the Hom-Dai?", Evelyn questioned. Ardeth settled down next to the curator, sparing him a knowing glance before turning back to the others. "3000 years ago, Imhotep was in love with Pharaoh Seti's mistress, his temple, Anck-su-namun. She loved him back."
"From the records and stories we were informed of within being in the Medjai, the pharaoh caught them. In the midst of it, he was killed before the bodyguards were able to stop them. Anck-su-namun was found but killed herself right in front of them."
"Since Imhotep was also the keeper of the dead, he knew the ritual to bring her back to life. He broke into her crypt, stole her body and brought it to Hamunaptra. He was in the process of bringing her soul back when he was stopped. His priests and him was then sentenced to the Hom-Dai by the pharaoh's daughter."
"Eh. Tragic.", Daniels huffed. "You think he's still in love with her?"
"Probably. He was cursed for her sake and he might try to raise her from the dead again.", the curator replied. Rick shifted in the chair he was seated in, feeling dizzy again. "Was she his first love though?"
Ardeth and the curator exchanged looks again before their questioning gazes met Rick. "What makes you say that?"
"Well, lately I've been having these dreams, visions maybe about this Imhotep. In them, he's with another guy. I believe his name was Rishid.", he admitted softly. At this point, everything needed to be laid out on the table in order to stop this creature. But he was not sure to that at the wide eyes everyone was giving him. "Rishid? Who's that?", Henderson asked. Evelyn gasped. "That's what Imhotep called O'Connell back at Hamunaptra. And then just now in Mr. Burns' quarters he looked as if… he tried to kiss him."
"Okay, I thought I was the only one who thought that.", Rick mumbled. He noticed how hard the curator and the magi was staring at him. "What?"
"O'Connell, these dreams, do they feel… real?", the curator interrogated. Rick nodded. "Too real. As if I was there."
"What? O'Connell's in trouble, isn't he?", Evelyn asked.
"So much. Rishid was Imhotep's first love. It had only been rumored, but it seems that it's true.", Ardeth answered. "Many people had believed Rishid to be a descendant from the gods or maybe even a curse upon mankind. Within Thebes, he was the only one to possess blue eyes."
"Just like O'Connell.", everyone else said. Rick actually blushed. "Shut it."
"At childhood, Rishid was assigned to stay in the palace. He served as the pharaoh's sorcerer since not only did he possess blue eyes, but he only had the gift of sight. But on the condition he worked as the sorcerer, he was also trained to be a Medjai."
"In my first dream, I saw him fighting someone and winning. It looked to be something of entertainment. He was good though."
"He was one of the greatest. He served alongside the pharaoh in wars. But not too long. His death was being poisoned. It was recorded a year before Seti's death."
"And no one knows who killed him truly, but it had said he was killed from jealously and hatred."
"And that Imhotep was the most effected by it."
Rick suddenly stood up, his ass hurting from sitting in the hard ass chair for too long. "If so, why didn't Imhotep try to resurrect him?"
"He probably didn't think about it at the time. That and if Rishid was deemed cursed, he would be a walking plague, too."
"Oh. Randomly pitiful."
"Alright. So we got some clue as to who Rishid is. Why is O'Connell involved?", Evelyn put in again. The curator stood up and walked over to Rick. "He's his reincarnation."
"Has to be. You're able to have those visions, which are Rishid's memories. And you possess blue eyes. And from your fighting skills, I say that's probably matched, too.", Ardeth added with a shrug. Rick suddenly felt sick to his stomach. Great, he had a dead dude in love with him. Last thing he ever needed and wanted. He was afraid to ask if Imhotep was still in love with his supposedly incarnation what was he planning to do. Apparently, Daniels wasn't afraid.
"So if he is in love with Rick, will he do anything to him?"
"From what you told us, he might try to bond O'Connell with him since Rishid's body would be long gone now."
"Tough luck, old lad.", Jonathan sighed. Rick huffed. "Damn it."
"On the contrary, this may give us all the time we need."
"I hope so. His powers are growing.", Ardeth pointed out, signaling to the darkening sky. Everyone watched as the sun was blocked, blanketing the city into darkness.
"And he stretched forth his hand towards the heavens and there was darkness throughout the land of Egypt."
"Shut up, Jonathan."
Imhotep watched as the lost, frightened man wandered about the dim back streets. It made the immortal scowl as the sight of the Book of the Dead and one of his missing soul jars within his arms. Both items were needed in his plan. In Hamunaptra, when he first spotted the woman he thought her to be Anck-su-namun, the woman he loved. His vision wasn't as good as it was now. That's what he gets for taking the eyes of a man who needed glasses. Anyways, despite his love for Anck-su-namun, his heart, stilled in his chest, seem to have beat when the man appeared. It was confirmed that the man was indeed his beloved Rishid when he encountered him the second time.
He was almost a split replica of him, minus the clothes, skin tone and hair.
The priest was grateful for the woman's 'help' on his awakening. It redeemed the princess' sentence of his death from before. Without the woman, Imhotep's soul would have been lost and his love wouldn't have been known to him again.
It was only a matter of time before his plan to unite with him for all eternity. For now, his love would have to wait. There was another victim he has to kill.
After the 'meeting', the group headed back to where they were staying. As of the moment, they were discussing what they were going to do in order to deal with Imhotep. Rick was staring out the window in thought, listening to everyone else.
"We must stop him from regenerating. Who all opened that chest?", Evelyn questioned, her eyes darting between the two Americans. "Well, it was me and Daniels. Burns, of course. And that Egyptologist fellow.", Henderson recalled. Rick turned with a questioning gaze. "What about my buddy, Beni?", he sarcastically asked. He honestly could care less what happened to Beni. "Oh the bastard scrammed out before we could open the damn thing."
"Yeah, he was the smart one."
"Hm. Sounds like Beni."
"We have to bring the Egyptologist back here before Imhotep can get to him.", Evelyn pointed out.
"Right, right.", Jonathan agreed. Rick moved away from the window stepping in front of the others. "Yup. Let's go."
"Actually, can I just stay here?", Evelyn asked. Rick narrowed his eyes at her. "Why?"
"Well… I'm not a gunslinger. And he's not after me. Or Jonathan."
"Don't drag me into this."
Rick crossed his arms. "Alright. Stay here if you want to. Just pray he doesn't come here, seeking for one of us and decides to use you as bait."
"You're just saying that. You know he will. Anyone else wants to stay?"
"We volunteer.", Daniels and Henderson answered. Rick sighed and began to walk out the door. "Fine! I'll go with find the Egyptologist! You asses!", he huffed going down the hallway. Jonathan then stood up and pointed at the other three remaining. "You all shall be ashamed! Ashamed!", he cursed before running after O'Connell.
"I feel stupid."
The curator eyed Ardeth who was standing across from him, looking over a stone slab of ancient writing. "Why?"
"Because I should have done more to stop them. I have failed in protecting Egypt and the world."
"Ardeth, it was bound to happen."
"But it shouldn't have. If Imhotep manages to regenerate fully, all will be lost."
"And that's why we're going to stop him. Stop beating yourself for this. Now get to reading."
The black clad man nodded and proceeded with the task at hand. It was silence between the two men for a while before the older man spoke up again. "So, how do you feel about Mr. Carnahan?"
Ardeth stiffened. "Hm?"
"Don't even try it. I saw the look you were giving him earlier. You like him, don't you?"
"End of the world at stake here.", the magi reminded, now looking as flushed as ever. The curator only laughed, knowing he was right.
Even just down the hallway, Rick could make out the whimpers of Beni. He also caught the sound of drawers being pulled out and papers being scattered. He was looking for something for sure.
"Well, well, well. Let me guess, spring cleaning?"
Beni yelped seeing Rick and proceeded to make a run for it. Rick growled, not in the mood for any of this foolishness, and grabbed a hold of a chair. He threw it, knocking Beni right off his feet. "Ah!"
"Nice shot.", Jonathan applauded as Rick gripped onto Beni's shirt. "Oh, Beni, did you fall down? Let me help you up.", he teased harshly, thrusting the smaller man against a dresser. "You came back from the desert with a new friend, didn't you, Beni?", he asked with faux sweetness.
Beni chuckled nervously. "What friend? You're my only friend."
Beni screamed as he was then forced against the desk. "OW!"
Jonathan stood back in amusement. 'Pretty pissed if you ask me. Well, I would be, too if some corpse was coming after me.'
"What the hell you're doing with this creep, huh? What's in it for you?"
Beni sputtered out some paper that gotten into his mouth to answer the brunet. "It's better to be the right hand of the devil than in his path. As long as I serve him, I am immune."
Not liking the tone in Beni's voice, Rick shoved him into another dresser of drawers. "Immune from what?"
"What did you say?!"
Jonathan wanted to know, too.
"I don't want to tell you. You'll just hurt me some more."
"That's it! Enough games!"
Both Beni and Jonathan didn't expect Rick to hold Beni up towards the moving ceiling fan. It was moving pretty fast.
"What are you looking for?! And try not to lie to me!"
"Ahhh! Okay, okay! The black book! He wants the black book back!"
"Try saying that three times fast."
Beni glanced at Jonathan for a second and opened his mouth to actually do it, too. Rick wasn't having it. "Beni! What does he want the book for?!" He held Beni higher up to the fan. "I don't know."
"Yes, you do!"
A little higher.
"Eep! Something about bringing his dead lover's soul back! But that's all he wants the book for! Just the book! Oh and the soul jars… and you apparently, O'Connell."
Rick didn't like to be reminded. "Ah! But that's it! I swear. Other than that-"
There was a sudden scream from outside, drawing the men's attention for a moment. Beni took the opportunity to hit Rick right in the pelvis before running off and jumping out the window. Jonathan saw Rick tumble to the ground, holding himself. "Argh."
"O'Connell, are you alright?"
Rick hurriedly got to his feet and nodded. "Yeah. Just fine."
The duo headed over to the window and spotted a crowd of people gathered around something. They screamed and dispersed, revealing a black clad figure and the now dry sucked Egyptologist. The figure picked up the jar and the book from the dead man's arms before turning around and looking up. Rick took a step back, noting that it was an almost human looking Imhotep. "Oh damn."
They quickly shut the window the moment Imhotep's mouth opened, letting out a massive heap of bugs. "Well, that's two down, two to go."
"Then he'll be coming after you."
"To hell with this!"
Henderson briefly looked up from the jar he held in his hands to watch as Daniels moved from the window and head to the door. "I'm going downstairs to get me a drink. Want something?"
"Uh… yeah, yeah. A glass of bourbon."
Daniels was just about to walk out the door when Henderson stopped him. "Wait, no! A shot of bourbon! No! Also a bourbon chaser!"
The brunet sighed and glared at the blonde. "I'll just bring a whole case of bourbon. Sit down."
Henderson was then left alone, sitting in the lobby of Evelyn's chamber. He grew nervous at the sudden silence and found himself pacing, once in a while glancing at the canopic jar in the chair. "Oh God… to think the very thing I have with me is what's going to get me killed."
There was a sudden gust of wind. Henderson aimed his gun at the opened window, alarmed. He stepped closer, feeling the coolness of the air from outside. There was a low howl from somewhere and he immediately knew. "Ah hell."
There was halt from the ex-soldier when another spell hit him. He propped himself against the wall as Jonathan came to his side, a white cat planted on his head. "O'Connell, are you okay?"
"Yeah. Just another one of those spells. We should-"
Jonathan didn't have time to react when Rick fell face first into the ground. He flipped the man over and noticed his eyes were closed. "Oh."
Rishid had walked alongside the pharaoh as he traveled through the palace to find his mistress. The younger man knew people were watching his every move, but only one had him shaking at the knees. Shyly, he glanced up to find Imhotep staring at him with every bit of love in his eyes. Rishid could only turn away, no longer able to stare back.
The priest made him feel more nervous than anything and anybody ever could. He exhaled sharply and proceeded to follow Pharaoh Seti into the throne room where his mistress was, standing by his throne in an obedient manner. "Anck-su-namun, have you been here the whole time?"
She nodded, glaring at Rishid without anyone noticing before sparing a glance at Imhotep. Rishid watched as the pharaoh sat down calmly. He looked over his shoulder and caught Imhotep still staring at him.
He wondered what was it about him that made the man fall in love with him. He couldn't have been after power since they both held high ranked positions. Was it his appearance? After all, he was the only one to possess blue eyes. Maybe it was his shy, humble, yet aggressive personality.
Whatever the case may be it didn't stop Imhotep from pursuing him.
Blue eyes turned to the sight of the city below as he stood between the pillars. A sudden gust of wind brushed against his exposed skin and Rishid shivered. Not from the wind, but from sudden vision. It all happened too fast before his eyes. All he saw was someone falling to the ground.
Said man was grabbed by the wrist, catching him before he tumbled to his death. He was pulled back up and into a hard, warm chest. Blue met brown and a spark happened. "Imhotep."
"O'Connell? Was it another vision?", Jonathan questioned as the brunet awoken from his sleep-like state. Rick groaned and looked at Jonathan, trying to ignore the cat sitting on top of the dude's head.
"Yeah. Come on, we have to get back to the others."
The duo quickly entered the building and rushed up at the stairs. They noticed that the doors to Evelyn's lobby was opened. Rick stepped in first and gasped when he saw the lifeless Henderson on the floor. They then heard scream from the other side of the closed doors. "Evelyn!"
Rick had kicked the doors now, spotting Evelyn hiding on the other side of her bed while holding up two pillows in defense mode. The almost fully regenerated Imhotep standing in the middle of the room. He whipped around seeing the two, but his gaze focused on Rick. He had only come into the woman's room to ask her where the first love of his life was. But he shown up anyways.
"Rishid.", he called in his native tongue. Rick was still baffled at the fact he was able to understand him. "Imhotep…"
The brunet began to take steps back as the mummied priest approached him. Jonathan and Evelyn went to stop him but Imhotep roared, scaring the crap out of both of them. Rick rolled his eyes. "Oh come on." He glanced back at Imhotep, now finding the mummy very close. He then realized just how almost alive the priest was close to being. He could make out the affection he held for the other in his eyes. Exactly like in the vision. "Come with me, my prince. Come and we shall be together once more in this life.", Imhotep whispered, drawing Rick closer to him. Being stunned, Rick couldn't really move. For once in his life, he was actually scared. The visions, unwanted visions, were coming to life right before his eyes. "I'll spare all others if you comply and come with me now. That's all I ask."
"O'Connell… um… help?"
He looked past the priest and saw that Jonathan and Evelyn were held in piles of sand almost up to their necks. Imhotep had suddenly walked over to Jonathan and pulled out the key from his front pocket. "Hey, that's mine!"
"Whoa. When did you do that?", Rick asked.
"Seconds ago.", Imhotep answered with a shrug.
"Huh… so you're not letting them go?"
"I figured as much."
"O'Connell, are you actually having a conversation with him, right now?", Evelyn questioned with confusion. Rick shrugged indifferently. "Maybe I am. At least he isn't killing you."
"Again, how are we supposed to be 'together'? As a matter of fact, why would I be in love with you?"
Rick regretted asking the question the second Imhotep smirked. He gulped when his back met the wall and Imhotep hovered his hands just over his face. "…"
The Carnahan siblings exchanged glances before looking back to see Rick's mouth was now being claimed by the mummy. Their eyes widened in amazement as Rick began to struggle. "Mm! Mm!"
"Ew.", Jonathan muttered just as the sound of a cat's yowl was heard. Rick was released as Imhotep turned and spotted Daniels holding a cat and a case of bourbon. "Uh… what's going on here?"
Imhotep growled, stepping back as the cat hissed at him before forming into a sandstorm and escaping through another window. Evelyn and Jonathan's sandy entrapment were gone, allowing them free. They rushed over to a stiff Rick, who looked every bit of scarred for life. Evelyn poked his cheek. "O'Connell?"
"Hey, are you guys alright?", Daniels asked, trying to register what he just walked into. While Rick stood stiff as a board, Jonathan answered. "I'm good, but I'm doubting he isn't."
It didn't take long for them to unite with the curator and Ardeth back at the museum. They were walking upstairs as Evelyn laid out facts. "So the black book that was found at Hamunaptra, according to legend, is supposed to bring people back from the dead."
"That's what brought… him back to life.", Rick muttered distastefully. He was still able to feel Imhotep's lips on his. "I was thinking that if the Book of the Dead can bring people back from the dead then maybe the gold Book of Amun-Ra can kill him."
"The Book of Amun-Ra?", Daniels questioned.
"It's the book that can take away life.", the curator added in. Evelyn nodded. "As told. We just have to find where it was hidden."
As the group traveled down the hall, they heard the distant chanting of a certain somebody's name. They went to the window and saw a large approaching mob of zombified people. Jonathan groaned. "My favorite plague. Boils and sores.", he sarcastically whined.
"He's turned them into his slaves. So it has begun, the beginning of the end.", Ardeth added.
"Not quite yet it hasn't.", Rick hissed.
Imhotep shouted out a demand to his controlled followers. He knew his love was within the museum and he was going to have him. He wasn't going to slip through his fingers anymore, and he be damned if he even tried.
Jonathan and Ardeth had sped out the museum while Evelyn finished finding out the location of the gold book. "I can't believe this!", Jonathan growled just as Imhotep's minions appeared. The two slowed down and glanced at each other for answers of what to do. "Uh… um… Imhotep. Imhotep. Imhotep.", Ardeth droned out, slowing his movement and widening his eyes to 'blend in'. Jonathan followed his example and soon after so did the minions.
As they passed through, the duo escaped to the car, starting it. That's when Jonathan let out a laugh. The magi looked at him in questioning. "What? What's so funny?"
"You. I can't believe you just did that."
"Hey, at least we didn't get killed!"
"LET'S GO, YOU SONS OF BITCHES!"
The two spotted the others running to them and drove up so they can get in. Beni had then made his appearance and started to point at them in alarm. "Imhotep! They're trying to get away with your boy toy!"
"BENI, SO HELP ME! YOU'RE GONNA GET YOURS! YOU HEAR ME?! YOU'RE GONNA GET YOURS!", Rick threatened as the car sped off. Beni stuck his tongue out, minions running past him. "Oh, like I never heard that one before!"
It was official, after all this, he refused to ever come back to Egypt or any place near it. 'Plan number three, make it out of here alive and find somewhere else to live life. Egypt is done!', Rick thought bitterly the car crashed. The remaining group moved out of the vehicle and ran to a corner where they were… well, cornered. They were surrounded by Imhotep's mind controlled slaves, each one welding a torch, pitchfork, or some other weapon.
They had slowed down, stopping fully as they just stared at the group. Jonathan shivered. "Creepy."
The mob dispersed, clearing path for Imhotep and Beni. They were mortified that he was now fully regenerated. Oh… Daniels was dead.
"It's the creature. He's fully regenerated."
"We can see that, man.", Rick sassed.
Imhotep started to speak. "Come with me, my prince. It's time to make you mine for all eternity."
"Come with me, my prince. It's time to make you mine… forever.", Beni translated.
"He said 'for all eternity', idiot.", Evelyn corrected. "And he has you as a translator because?"
The priest then held out his hand, keeping his gaze on Rick. "Take my hand and I will spare your friends."
"Ooh boy. I don't want to do that, but then I don't want them to die.", the ex-soldier mumbled. He didn't break eye contact with Imhotep while thinking of a way to get out of this situation. "Um… can you give me another option?"
"O'Connell.", everyone scoffed. Rick shrugged. "It's either go with him or he'll kill you. What? I should go with him? Have him turn me into a mummy?"
"He's not going to turn you into a mummy.", Beni huffed knowingly. Rick growled at him. "If he does, you're the first one I'm coming after. Then Evelyn."
"Why me?!", the woman scowled in disbelief. One look from everyone said it all. "Oh. Well, that's just unfair."
"No, what's unfair is this! I have to choose to go with him or have you guys killed! And why? Because of a tragic love story!" The brunet then turned to Imhotep. "And you! Why go after me, huh? Didn't you love… what was her name… Anck-su-namun? Couldn't you go resurrect her or something? I mean she's a woman who can give you kids! I can't do that!"
Imhotep didn't say anything. Instead he just smirked, a mischievous gleam in his dark eyes. Rick blushed. "Oh my God. No! No! And no!"
"Yeah, he does hold powers now. So… yeah…", Ardeth winced. "It's possible. Sorry."
Rick placed a protective arm around his stomach. "No. He's not touching me like that! You're not touching me like that! Ever! As a matter of fact, let's get out of here."
Everyone watched as the ex-soldier calmly walked over to a manhole and removed the lid. He then went over to Jonathan and started to push him. Next thing everyone knew; he fell right in the ground. "Jonathan! O'Connell, why did you do that?!", Evelyn questioned. "We're making an escape."
"No you will not. Get them!"
The enslaved zombified men started to make way towards the group. "Oh crap. Let's go!", Rick shouted before pushing Ardeth in the manhole next. There was a scream.
"He landed right on me!"
"Sorry. Terribly sorry."
The curator went next after throwing a torch he had gotten earlier at one of the dudes. "Hoopla!"
Evelyn and Rick remained. The brunette wrinkled her nose. "Aaaawww, it's so dirty down there. There's rats, and icky water-"
"Look, Evelyn. It's either we go or become dead meat. I'm surprised he's even letting us get away with this because they're awfully slow."
"I'm letting them get away, but not you."
Rick and Evelyn turned to see Imhotep standing right behind the gunslinger. They exchanged baffled looks. "Uh… hi?"
"I'm killing them later. For now, there is a ritual we must complete."
Rick skillfully dodged Imhotep's grab for him and pushed Evelyn in the manhole and followed in after her. Imhotep growled as he managed to slip out of his hold once again. Okay, now it was just getting tiresome. No more fucking games!
"It's dark down here."
"You don't say."
"And it ranks."
"Oh really? Didn't notice."
"You're playing with me, aren't you?"
"Maybe. I'm still disappointed with you. We have a mummy, fully regenerated and now going after O'Connell in order to reunite with his dead lover. On top of that, we don't know what he plans to do after."
"Evelyn. You… guy in charge of the museum, both of you quiet."
Both the curator and Evelyn silenced themselves, hearing in Rick's tone that he wasn't playing around. For one, he almost died being hanged. Two, he was shot at on multiple occasions. Three, he warned the attendants of the expedition that Hamunaptra was cursed. Four, Evelyn decided to be careless and awake a 3000-year-old mummy. Five, said mummy is a walking killer machine. Six, also said mummy is in love with Rick. Seven, he was down in a sewer, which stunk like crazy. And eight, he had to go back to Hamunaptra in order to find a golden book to get rid of the mummy and save the world and his ass. Literally.
It's been a hell-crazy couple of days for him.
"So any ideas on how we're getting to Hamunaptra?", Jonathan asked, stumbling a bit in the water. Ardeth caught him around the waist, helping him back to his feet. The two exchanged quick, 'friendly' glances before parting a bit while clearing their throats.
Ardeth felt eyes on him and caught that he was indeed right. The curator was staring at him with mischief in his eyes, his eyebrows wiggling and an all-knowing grin on his face. The magi growled at him before speeding up.
"Well, sadly, we have to head back out to the desert. Winston is stationed at an airfield there and he can help us get to Hamunaptra.", he sighed, stopping at a ladder and climbing up. He moved a lid out the way and climbed out. The others followed after, each individual glad to be out the sewer.
"Now in order to get out to the desert, we need some transportation.", Jonathan pointed out. They looked around until all of them spotted an unoccupied car. "Hm. Convenient."
"Better than a camel for sure."
After getting other necessary supplies, and don't ask how, the group made their way out to the desert. It was now nightfall which was fine since the air was a lot cooler. It easier to stay relaxed at the upcoming encounter with Imhotep. Especially for Rick.
They took caution when he offered to drive claiming that he may have a sudden vision and crash into something. It was beyond him of where he could possibly crash in the middle of the desert, but he just rolled with it.
At the moment it was Ardeth driving, after Jonathan did, while the ex-soldier sat in the passenger seat. Evelyn and Jonathan were asleep, both making quiet 'meep' sounds and the curator was reading a book. They wondered he got it from. Probably when they snagged the car.
Rick was loading up the guns, wanting to put his mind on something other than the priest.
He never thought that in a million years, even though it took 3000, that some damned mummified priest would be in love with him. It wasn't even a 'he's a guy' thing. It was just more of a 'he's a walking plague, kills people, and possess godlike powers' thing. Truth be told, the realization of it was pretty unsettling. If Imhotep manages to get a hold of Rick, and actually keep him, he'll try to 'bond' with him. And what was this 'bonding' consisted of? For one clue, he needed the black Book of the Dead, which he now has. And that book brought back the dead. So it was definite that he was going to bring back Rishid's soul. Probably so he could implant said soul within Rick.
'Let's hope he doesn't get that chance.'
It was then, in the midst of cleaning a knife, Rick's mind went blank and he fell into another sleep-like trance. Ardeth and the curator noticed and watched as Rick fell back against his seat and started to moan in distress. The ex-soldier's eyelids twitched while his body shifted.
The other two men traded looks of concern and nodded. "He's definitely having another vision."
"It's a good thing we didn't let him drive, huh?"
Music played joyously as dancers twirled in graceful, exotic motions while people talked among themselves in happiness. The atmosphere was careful and charismatic, enough for one to feel complete with the gods. Food was eaten, wine was drunk. The celebration was relished by all who was there, feeling honored to be graced with the presence of the pharaoh.
Although, one felt out of place.
"You should be enjoying yourself."
Rishid, dressed in festive golden and ivory clothing, had turned around at the sound of voice. It was rather feminine and was laced with mockery. Much to his puzzlement, and displeasure, it was Anck-su-namun. Her eyes were dark, but twinkled with something he couldn't put his finger on.
He bowed in greeting, though was still weary of the woman. "Lady Anck-su-namun."
She smiled, holding out one of the two cups within her hands. "Rishid, why are you over here by your lonesome? You should be dancing and conversing among the others. Pharaoh Seti would be displeased to see you isolating yourself from the party.", she cooed sweetly. Not wanting to appear rude, especially to the woman the pharaoh adored, Rishid took the cup. He didn't immediately drink from it though, not feeling any thirst.
"Great apologies. I just don't feel… right."
"Are you ill? Should I call for the healer?", the woman asked, placing a hand under the other's headdress to feel his forehead and neck. Rishid stepped away, shaking his head. "No, no. It's nothing really. I'm fine.", he assured. He caught the pharaoh and Imhotep approaching them.
"Anck-su-namun, Rishid. Why are you over here? The party is commencing over there.", the pharaoh teased lightly. Anck-su-namun stood at his side. "I was just accompanying Rishid, Pharaoh. He was standing over all lonely."
Rishid's eyes met Imhotep's for a split second before he added in to the woman's words. "I guess I am not really in the celebratory mood, my pharaoh. I just needed some time to think. Don't worry about me."
"Pharaoh, you and Lady Anck-su-namun should rejoin the party. Your guests look in dire need of your presence. And you would not want to disappoint them, would you? I'll tend to Rishid.", Imhotep offered. The pharaoh nodded and led Anck-su-namun, who spared the other two men a glance, back to the party. When they were out of sight, Imhotep led the slightly smaller man out the balcony before taking both of his hands within his. Rishid felt calm, knowing that even if he was unsure of Imhotep's affections for him, he could count on him to feel better.
"Rishid, is this about earlier? Your vision?", the high priest questioned. A sigh was his answer. Without any other word, Imhotep embraced the other, rubbing the small of his back while whispering sincere words in his ear.
They were like that for a while before sharing a small kiss.
It lasted for quite some time before Rishid broke it, claiming they should get back to the others before anyone suspected anything. He had taken the cup he received earlier and sipped the wine a bit as he followed Imhotep.
Though he was unclear to who, he felt someone staring at him with watchful eyes.
Rick had woken more vocal this time, shaken a little by his recent vision. It was more clear than the others and something about it was more… troubling than the other apparitions he had. He exhaled sharply and noticed that the sun was rising now.
Jonathan and Evelyn were now awakening, too.
"I had the strangest dream. Evy had read from some book, woke up a walking corpse and the damned thing was in love with her while killing people.", the older Carnahan yawned. Rick looked back at him. "Um… that did happen. Except that corpse is in love with me."
"Oh yeah. Say, is that the airfield you spoke about, O'Connell?"
The group spotted the port that Jonathan had just asked about. Rick nodded. "Yeah. I'm sure Winston wouldn't mind if we dropped in."
Once they were let in and the car was parked, the group traveled up a small steep sand dune, finding the old pilot sipping tea, shaded by another, sitting in a chair and listening to Spanish music. No, really. That's what Winston was doing.
"Morning, Winston!", Rick greeted as they got closer. The older man looked up and spotted the five. "Ah, O'Connell, what brings you by?"
"We got a problem."
"What's your little problem got to do with His Majesty's Royal Air Corps?"
Rick placed his hands on his hips. "Not a damn thing."
Winston's eyes gotten bigger, as if he cracked a secret code from Rick's words. "Oh Jove, is it dangerous?"
"Well, you probably won't live through it.", Jonathan assured blandly. Everyone watched with baffled looks, except Rick, as the older man stood. "You think so?"
"Everyone else that ran into us has died.", Evelyn added unsurely. Winston threw, yes he did, down his tea cup and saluted the group. "Winston Havelock at your service!"
"That was easy."
"Wait! Is he happy that he might die?!"
"This is Winston. Don't question it."
Many debates later, they found themselves flying through the air on Winston's airplane. It took a while to actually arrange everyone on the plane. Of course, Winston was the pilot. Everyone thought that Evelyn should aboard within the seat behind Winston, but she protested claiming that she'd be useless behind the gun strapped there. So Rick took that seat. The curator had barged in and commented how Ardeth and Jonathan should be next to each other. Catching onto what he was doing, the magi had protested. So it ended up like this.
Evelyn and Jonathan was strapped to the left wing of the plane, the curator and Ardeth strapped to the right. Winston was of course in the front seat and Rick was seated behind him.
Boom! There it was.
Rick glanced between the two pairs before stopping at the siblings. "Are you guys alright?!", he shouted over the whooshing air. Evelyn was literally squealing in joy while Jonathan looked frightened. "DO I BLOODY LOOK ALRIGHT?!"
The ex-soldier just rolled his eyes and looked to the other side. "How you doing?!"
"He seems to be enjoying himself!", the curator answered, glancing at Ardeth who was smiling. Smiling brightly, mind you.
Catching the sound of an abnormal wind, the group turned and spotted a quite large sand tornado passing by, heading towards the direction of the City of the Dead. "I've never seen one so big.", Winston admitted, pointing to the sand-ado. Rick glimpsed at him. "Never?"
"If that's the case, we know who that is!", Evelyn voiced.
They watched as the sand-ado throw someone out before dying down. They recognized the two figures. "I'm so killing him!", Rick promised.
"Which one?! Imhotep or Beni?!", Jonathan asked.
Down below, Imhotep noticed the airplane, ignoring Beni's complaints. Focusing his energy, the ground shook beneath his feet, forming cracks before sand burst from them. The sand gathered into a large moving wave. Beni stood there, perplexed. "Oh."
He watched as the wave chased the group down.
In the air, Rick was overly shocked. "Oh my God. Winston?! Pedal faster!"
"HANG ON, LADY AND GENTS!"
The group shouted as the plane dived down, avoiding being hit by a large wall. The sand continued to chase them down without fail. Soon they were engulfed in it. "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!"
"JONATHAN, CALM DOWN!"
"WE'RE ABOUT TO DIE, EVY!"
"HERE I COME, LADDIES!", Winston laughed manically, steering the plane to turn upside-down. Ardeth was no longer enjoying himself since his stomach was doing flips now.
Below, Beni continued to watch. He then thought about something. "Hey, Imhotep. Imhotep?! Are you trying to kill them?", he asked unsurely.
"That's the idea.", the priest answered, focused on the sand wave. Beni looked back at the troubled group and back at Imhotep. "Would this include the love of your life?!"
At that, Imhotep opened his eyes, stopping the wave altogether. The duo watched as the airplane sputtered semi out of control before landing in the sand. They looked at each other briefly before heading to the border of Hamunaptra.
"Yeah. They probably did."
The group was now unloading themselves from the crashed plane, wobbling from dizziness from the swirls and shaking the sand out their clothes. Evelyn was laying in the sand, holding the bag of weapons on top of her.
"Well, that was fun.", she muttered.
Rick had unstrapped himself out his seat and fell to the ground while Ardeth and the curator gained their composure. Jonathan was struggling to get out his straps. "A little help would be useful if it's not too much trouble!"
The ex-soldier made his way to help Jonathan but Ardeth stopped him. "I got him." Rick shrugged and helped Evelyn up to her feet before strapping the bag over his shoulder. The magi finally got Jonathan unstrapped, who tumbled on top of him. The two fell back in the sand and for a second locked eyes.
"Hey. We got to get moving.", Rick reminded. The two looked up before departing. Ardeth ignored the all-knowing grin the curator gave him.
Rick noticed that Winston had yet to move. He glanced over and saw that the old man was stiff as a board, not breathing or saying a word. "Oh my… Winston! Winston!"
He rushed over to check his pulse and found that there wasn't one. He frowned, stepping back and saluting the man. "You served us well, Winston."
"Wow. He really did want to die."
It took quite some time, but both parties made it to Hamunaptra. Of course there was complaints, but they made it. Imhotep and Beni were going down the stairs to where the priest first tried to resurrect Anck-su-namun. This time it would be for a different reason. She was literally history now.
Rick, Rishid, was his main concern now.
"I can't believe this!"
"Jonathan, just move the stones."
The men of the five, were now moving down rocks in order to make an opening. Evelyn was standing there with a torch and a gun. "Um… do I really-"
"Yes. Yes, you do, Evelyn.", Rick interrupted, already knowing what she was going to ask. The librarian huffed, blowing her bangs out her face before looking around. She then was caught by surprise by a small rock hitting her foot and in reaction to it, she shot the gun. The bullet hit the wall and bounced into the sand. The men glanced at her with wide and angered eyes.
She chuckled nervously. "Eh… sorry?"
Imhotep and Beni had heard the sudden gunshot, alarmed of the other party's presence. "Ooh.", Beni whistled as the mummy picked up an ivory jar and poured some powder from it. He blew the substance on nearby carvings before chanting a couple of words in ancient Egyptian. There was low moaning from the wall and soon the carvings of two priests arose from the stone. Beni screamed and ducked behind a small pillar.
The mummified priests approached Imhotep and bowed to him.
"Kill them, bring me Rishid, and wake the others.", he demanded.
They then groaned in understanding before leaving.
The group arrived into an undiscovered room, finding it lit with just a small mirror. Rick remembered back to the mirror trick and shot at it. The reflected light met other mirrors, lighting the room and revealing that the group hit the major jackpot.
Each one gaped in amazement, shocked at the enormous gold that laid upon them. "Oh my God.", Rick whispered. The curator blinked. Ardeth just stood there and the siblings exchanged glances.
"Are you seeing…?"
"Can you believe…?"
"Can we just...?"
The group turned around in time to see wrapped, dirty, mummy hands popping out the ground. One hand grabbed Rick by his ankle and pulling him down. The rest of them came, two mummies holding Rick and dragging him away.
"Let me go, you mummy bastards!", Rick threatened, being carried away. "Oh come on! Someone help me!"
"Hang on, O- WAH!"
Evelyn dodged a mummy and shot at it out of instinct, much to her surprise. With its head blown off, it was pretty much dead… again. She panted at the sudden rush of adrenaline. "I feel so alive!"
The men watched as the brunette let loose with the bullets before joining her. They tried getting to Rick, but more mummies were coming, blocking them. They lost sight of him as they had to back away as the mummies crowded them. "O'Connell, we'll save you!", Evelyn assured. They heard a "YOU BETTER!" fading away.
"Oh damn! We have to find that statue and get that book fast!"
While all that happened, Beni had entered the room, watching the mummies chase down the others before marveling at the gold. "My precious!"
Blue eyes fluttered opened at the sudden feel of a cold stone was pressed against his back. He heard metal clang as he tried moving his body. Rick noticed his wrists were chained to slab he was laying on as were his legs. Also the five canopic jars were set next to him. He frowned when he felt a small patter of feet on his torso and glanced down. "Ew! No! No! Get off!", he hollered, twisting so the rat fell off. And when he did that he spotted Imhotep approaching him, some of his mummified priests following him. He glared at him with fury burning in his gaze. "Imhotep, when I get out of here so help me I will end you!", Rick promised, twisting his body back and forth to at least loosen his restraints. Imhotep just grinned. He stopped at the ex-soldier's side and placed his hand against his cheek. The brunet stiffened under his touch, dizziness washing over him. He closed his eyes and tilted his head away from the offending hand. "Why? Why do you have this damn effect on me?"
"Because we were meant to be."
"Yes, my prince."
"No. You're a walking corpse. Bound to live forever if you're not stopped. Me? Not so mortal."
"That's why I'm making you immortal."
Rick blinked. "Come again?"
Imhotep leaned downwards to be closer, close enough for their breaths to mingle. "I'm not losing you again. Not in this lifetime. I love you."
Blue eyes widened at the statement and the locking of their lips. This time it was much gentler than the last time. Rick didn't give in, of course, but allowed it for it to happened. Honestly? He felt sorry for the guy. He lost one love and then another. Imhotep was only doing this because he didn't want it to happen again. For all anyone knew, he probably wasn't going to or even plan to control and destroy the world. He probably wanted to just live life with his beloved and, judging by the smirk Imhotep shot him yesterday, start a… family.
Okay, that thought gave him chills.
'Oh God, why am I still allowing this? Why am I actually feeling sorry for him? Maybe deep down I care, but… no. No!'
Despite his protesting thoughts, Rick was still letting Imhotep kiss him.
The music had seemed to have gotten louder within the seconds Rishid resurfaced into the room. Everything was happening like a blur around him and he couldn't focus on one thing. Other images danced in his head, jumbling with the voices he heard.
His body felt like a ton of bricks and his heart had beaten faster than ever, almost as if it was going to burst out his chest. He swayed back, catching hold of a nearby table cloth and falling to the floor as he pulled the contents down with him. The guests gasped and began to crowd around as Imhotep pushed some out of the way to get by his side. Rishid's sight became cloudy as he tried to make sense of what was happening.
The pharaoh had rushed over, noticing how pale his appointed sorcerer was becoming. "Healer! Someone call for the healer!"
The guards quickly exit the room to find said person while the pharaoh and Imhotep stayed by Rishid's side. The man couldn't move any of his limps and could barely breathe. He was trembling in the high priest's arms as the visions continuously swirled in his head.
His crystal blues somehow managed to pinpoint one person though, catching the wicked grin on her face. He then realized he had been poisoned. And that the person he caught falling in his vision was him. Rishid was dying.
"Hey! Here it is!"
The remaining group ran into another smaller room where a statue sat proudly. The statue of Horus. Evelyn, long abandoned her gun, quickly went to the statue and began to pull at the base of it. Her brother joined her while the curator and Ardeth continued to shoot at the mummies.
"After today, I'm never reading from any mythical book again!", the brunette growled. Jonathan nodded. "Yes, do so keep to that promise."
The curator had then pulled out a stick of dynamite and a match. He rubbed the match against Ardeth's cheek, lighting it. The magi shot him a look as he lit the dynamite and threw it to the entrance of the room. The older man pulled the magi, Jonathan, and Evelyn away and all four hid behind the statue as the dynamite went off, killing the mummies.
When it was clear, they continued to pull at the base, now getting a little movement. "Come on, come on. O'Connell needs us! And if he is turned into a plague infected mummy, he's going to come after us for not saving him!", Evelyn hissed.
As the sound of deadly groaning was heard, the base became to move a bit more.
The curator stood and cocked a gun, a look of determination of his face. He turned to the three and nodded. "Save O'Connell, kill that creature and goodness sake, make sure that library is and stays in top condition!"
"Alright! Alright! Sorry I left it a mess!"
"And Ardeth, I will come back to haunt you if you don't tell him!"
"Jonathan, you always made me laugh."
"Um… thank you?"
The trio watched as the curator charged in and started shooting like nobody's business. The mummies managed to overpower him by the time they got the book out. "Hey! It's free! Free!", Jonathan cheered, holding up the Book of Amun-Ra.
"I'm surprised there wasn't a booby trap…"
"GOOD! NOW GET THE GOING!"
Without any other words, they left, hoping for the best for the curator.
Rick began to panic as the priests circled around him and Imhotep, getting down on their knees and chanting in harmony while Imhotep began to read from the Book of the Dead without much of a mistake. Wow, he was dedicated.
The air within the room began to feel colder than ever and disenchanted of bad news. Rick turned and noticed that within a pool of black water, something moved within it. It then arose from the liquid and floated about towards the table. "Oh hell."
A sudden sound of a knife being unsheathed caught the brunet's attention and much to his displeasure, Imhotep held it right above him. "No! No! NO!"
"You shall live again, Rishid! And with you by my side, we shall be bonded forever!"
Rick screamed just as the knife was about to be brought down, but that was stopped by a shout.
"WE'VE GOT THE BOOK, O'CONNELL! WE FOUND IT!", Evelyn shouted from the top of the stairs. Imhotep glared at her, putting the knife down as the black apparition went back into the water. Rick panted, completely scared out of his mind. "SHUT UP AND GET ME OUT OF HERE, EVELYN!"
Evelyn gulped as she saw Imhotep stalking to her with fire in his steps. "Uh oh." She then tried to open up the book, but realized it had the same lock as its black counterpart. "Uh… O'Connell, you have any idea where the key may be?!"
"In his robes! His robes!"
"Oh dear God!"
Evelyn made a break for it just as Ardeth appeared from hiding with a sword. He jumped over to the chained brunet and sliced the chain on his wrist while Jonathan came and did the same with the chains on his ankles. Imhotep rotated with a growl and commanded in his native tongue, "Kill them!"
His priests arose to their feet, quite quickly for mummies all of a sudden, and started to attack. Rick was now only chained by his left wrist. "These guys just don't know when to quit, do they?", he sassed as Ardeth jumped over him to slice a mummy.
Beni laughed to himself. He finally got what he wanted. It was what he came to Hamunaptra for in the first place!
He finally hit the jackpot!
He lifted an insanely heavy bag of gold onto the camel's back. It bothered him as to why there was camels out here in the first place when no one else was out here. But at least they were out here. And a lot of them, too. Beni was going back for more gold.
Somehow, once Jonathan retrieved the book from his sister, he read an inscription that brought out the deceased bodyguards of the pharaoh. Now they had to literally fight for their lives as the mummy guards attacked. It made it easier now since Rick was unleashed from his chains. Apparently, he was good with a sword as he was with a gun.
Skillfully he dodged spears, blocking them with his own blade and slicing his mummified opponent to bits. He really was Rishid's reincarnation. "Jonathan, you're officially the third person on my list!"
"I'm sorry!", Jonathan whimpered as he sustained his running to keep away from Imhotep. When he passed his sister, he gave it to her who accepted it unwillingly. She ran with it, now the mummy's target. "Oh hell! Oh hell! Oh hell!"
Ardeth knocked the head off one of the mummies that tried to grab for her and then aimed for another that was after Jonathan. The latter almost fell into one of the black pits but was pulled up by the magi who helped him back on his feet and held him around the waist. Jonathan chuckled shyly, noting the hold. "Um… thank you?"
"No problem. Now go help your sister."
Jonathan nodded and ran off once he was released. He passed Rick who kicked one of the mummies in the pit before setting another on fire with a nearby torch. He was backed against wall by one mummy bodyguard and had dodged his upcoming spear which got stuck into the wall. Rick took that chance and kicked the mummy in the chest, making him tumble back before he cut off his head. Dizziness overcame him again and he turned around to see Imhotep standing next to him. "Ah! Hey, can you not do that?! You're going to give me a heart attack!"
"You have to worry about that if you just comply, my prince."
"You're still not considering resurrecting Anck-su-namun?"
"I don't love her as much as I do you. You had always held my heart."
"Oh, you're too sweet. I'm blushing.", Rick sarcastically sassed before he jolted his sword out in front of him towards Imhotep. "Now step away or get stabbed."
"You can't kill me.", Imhotep deadpanned.
Rick shrugged. "Not yet I can't."
There was a sudden feminine shrieking sound. Everyone, including the mummies, stopped in their tracks and looked around. They glanced at Evelyn. The librarian shook her head. "Sorry. It wasn't me. It came from over there."
Eyes… and eye sockets found a shadow at the entrance of the stairway. Much to their shock, a woman mummy was revealed. And not just any woman mummy either.
A clank made everyone turn and catch a top of half of one of the remaining mummy priests by the black book. Noticing eyes on him, he starting to squeal out incoherent words in ancient Egyptian. Imhotep crossed his arms.
"You thought we needed extra help?"
Few more words.
"Yes. I am."
Evelyn had then screamed this time, being suddenly attacked by Anck-su-namun.
Rick rolled his eyes. "While we have ourselves a catfight, Jonathan finish that up!"
Jonathan possessed the book again since Evelyn was busy fighting Imhotep's second lover.
"I'm trying! I can't figure out this last symbol!"
"What does it look like?!", Ardeth yelled, dodging a mummy.
"Um… a bird? A stork! A stork!", the other answered, flapping his arm to emphasize it. Evelyn ducked around a pillar but was caught by Anck-su-namun who began to choke her. "Eh! Eh! Eh!"
Evelyn pushed Anck-su-namun away, gasping for air. "Ahmenophus! It's ahmenophus! GAH!"
Okay, he was tired, but this was all worth it. This gold was worth it. Beni had enough to last him a lifetime for sure. It was probably more gold than Imhotep had promised him. This was his ticket to a carefree life.
He practically had three camels loaded right now with the gold, even though said camels tried to bite and kick at him for doing so.
Beni picked out a small golden round object. He angled it enough for the sunlight to hit it right and making it shine brighter. A rather creepy smiled formed on his face. Alright maybe just one more bag full would do.
Rick blocked an upcoming swing of the mummy's blade before swiftly knocking him down and slicing him in half. He was also avoiding Imhotep while Jonathan and Evelyn read though the gold book to find an incantation. Anck-su-namun was long dead… again due to Jonathan finding a spell to control the first half of dead bodyguards and killing her.
Imhotep had seemed heartbroken by it, but he was still on Rick's tail.
Jonathan had read another inscription and summoned another wave of mummy soldiers. Ardeth and Rick was beyond tired at this point and wanted it to be all over.
The ex-soldier went around a statue and was taken by surprise when Imhotep appeared in front of him. Rick tried to stab him, but his sword was seized and thrown somewhere. The immortal priest backed the brunet into a corner with a sly, lusty grin on his face. Rick chuckled tensely, his back pressed up against stone again. "Um… so I was wondering what the jars were for?"
"Decoration really.", Imhotep answered truthfully, pushing back one of Rick's bangs.
"Uh… oh. Um… so how was the Underworld? Dark and gloomy? Cold and stunk of death?"
"Lonely without you. Your soul had passed into the afterlife, into Paradise."
"Oh, well… uh…"
"O'Connell, we need that key!", Evelyn interrupted from a few yards away. Rick cut his eyes at her before looking back into Imhotep's.
"So… we… you and me… were together? Did anyone know?"
"I'm afraid not, my prince. I would have loved for all to know."
"So that they knew you were mine and I was yours."
"You're such a romantic. Hey, did I look better in silk or armor?"
"Hm. Well… SNAG!"
Rick had suddenly pulled back his arm and threw the key he pick-pocketed from Imhotep's robes towards the siblings. Jonathan successfully caught it and handed it to Evelyn. She wasted no time unlocking the book. Ardeth had approached them, just had finished off the last mummy. He was panting and sweating like crazy from the workout. Jonathan's focus was suddenly on him, finding Ardeth attractive being flustered, while Evelyn flipped through the golden pages. Imhotep had quickly made way over to them and was just about to summon up something before Rick jumped on his back and pulled him back.
The two tumbled back into the sand in a tangle of limbs. Rick blushed seeing that he was straddling the now disrobed Imhotep. 'How'd that happen?'
"Oh, that's real cute.", Evelyn teased. Rick glared at her. "No time for this!"
Rick yelped as their positions were suddenly switched. His arms were pinned down by Imhotep and he tried struggling but the mummy had some strength on him. "Let me go! Let me go! Evelyn, find that-"
Evelyn had started to read out a small chant, catching Imhotep's attention. He stood to make way over to her again, but a blue light sudden emerged into the room, forming into a shadowy ghost-like figure of the pharaoh and his carriage on the top of the staircase. Rick had moved in time, taking a spot with the others, as the spirit quickly rode down and passed through Imhotep. Imhotep had let out a shout as he felt a part of him leave his body. They watched as the spirit traveled back up the stairs and entered into a portal before disappearing.
Their eyes widened when they noticed the fury Imhotep had in his glare and his steps. "Oh damn."
He was just about to pounce when Rick jumped in front of him, blocking his path. There was a stabbing sound of a sword and a gasp. Much to their shock, Rick had kissed the other before stepping back removing the weapon from Imhotep's stomach. "I'm sorry."
Imhotep spared him a saddened glance before stepping back towards the black pit and holding his wound that was bleeding immensely. They watched as his feet entered into the deadly liquid, his skin becoming that of dried veins and linen. As he went in deeper, he was reduced back to his first stage of regeneration, his gaze never leaving Rick's. He muttered something before disappearing completely, gone for hopefully forever.
The other three shifted their curious gazes to the ex-soldier, who tossed down the bloodied sword with a long sigh. "I know. I know. I kissed him. But it was totally under the intention of apologizing for not loving him back. I felt sorry for him, okay? He was cursed all because he loved someone like any other normal human being. Now come on. This place still gives me the creeps."
"Wait, what did he say to you just now? Before he… you know? I didn't catch it.", Evelyn asked as the four left the room into the hallway. Ardeth and Jonathan was walking behind the two, being awfully close. Not to their own knowledge though.
Rick exhaled, closing his eyes for a brief moment. "Nothing important. Nothing important at all."
It was official. He was exhausted now. The gold was just a bit too heavy for him at this point. And he desperately needed a break. It was hard carrying two bags of treasure and a torch at the same time.
The moment he cashed in the gold, Beni was hiring servants so they could do this kind of stuff for him. For now, it was best to just take a breather. Or was it?
Beni settled against the wall, placing his bags over a little statue that jolted out of said wall. His shoulders felt better the moment he unstrapped the bags from them. Panting, he took that chance to steady his breathing. Unfortunately, with the excessive weight of the bags, the statute moved downward, revealing that it was a switch. No, a trap.
It shocked the man that the walls and ground began to tremble as sand and debris fall between the cracks. Beni whimpered at the awareness that he just triggered something bad. "Oh damn."
The four remaining sped up their running the moment the place began to quake under their feet. As they passed through the halls and rooms, they dodged falling boulders, not rocks, avoided sand getting in their eyes, and was careful not to trigger anything else.
The gold Book of Amun-Ra and the black Book of the Dead was lost within the wreckage, much to the extreme disappointment of Evelyn, but it was for the best. They didn't need to 'accidently' wake up anything else.
The group had made it to the room filled with gold just as a pillar crumbled and collapsed. Jonathan had stopped in his tracks to look at the treasure. "Can't we just-"
Ardeth had grumbled and picked up the smaller man and carried him bridal style out the room. No one had the time for any of this! "WE GOT TO GO! I'M NOT DYING HERE!", Rick shouted as they crawled underneath a wall coming down. The brunet had heard the shout of his name and spotted Beni running to him. He was already on the other side of the trap.
"Beni, if you want to live you better haul ass!"
Beni was very close to making it, but… he was closed right in. Seeing that Beni had a very slim chance of staying alive now, Rick winced, satisfied just a bit. "Good-bye, Beni.
On the other side of the wall, said man had wasted no time to try to run to another exit. Except that one became closed in like the others. Beni whimpered, trying to think of another way out, but no dice. "Damn." There was sudden squeal and the man found himself face to face with a scarab. Using the torch, he still had in his hand, he shooed it away. "Shoosh ma! Shoosh ma!"
He thought he was in the clear once it left, but all be damned on how wrong he was. There were herds of skittering from behind and to the sides of Beni. He looked around, finding himself surrounded by the flesh eaters as his torch began to flicker out from the lack of oxygen. Oh yeah… it was all over for him now.
"Run! Run! Run!"
"Like we don't know to do that!"
The four had made it to the outside, where it was already collapsing around them. It was hard avoiding the colossal pillars while there was even more sand to keep out of your eyes. Even the ground beneath them began to break. "We're almost there! Yes! WE WON'T DIE TODAY!", Jonathan cheered as they cleared out the city. They continued to run until they believed it was far enough out of harm's way.
They watched as the city continued to destroy itself in mass destruction, clouds of debris forming as some large columns of stone flipped.
When it was all over, Evelyn collapsed to the ground out of exhaustion. "Definitely, I'm never reading from anything mythical and cursed ever."
"Again, let's hope you keep to that promise."
Suddenly, the older Carnahan sibling felt something abruptly land on his shoulder. He screamed from fright, tumbling back into Ardeth's arms.
The group looked up to see it was the very alive curator. Jonathan held a hand to his heart, panting while the magi rubbed his back to soothe him. "Oh thank you very much!", he sassed, glaring at the older man.
Evelyn sat up, shocked. "You're alive?!"
"Of course I'm alive! I'm not leaving my museum and from this experience, I should keep you out of more trouble!", he replied, offended.
Rick smiled. "Well, it's great to see we all made it."
"Yes, it is. I should be leaving though to tell my people the good news. You have earned the respect of the magi.", Ardeth voiced, getting on a camel that trotted to him just to be doing so. "Hm. A lot of camels…"
"Say, I'll go with you. But before we leave, isn't there something you like to confess?", the curator teased, wiggling his brows once again. The younger magi hissed at him. "No. I'll tell him when the time is right."
"When? Eight years from now? What makes you think it's not the perfect time?"
"Because it isn't."
The curator just shrugged. "Alright. Well, I shall return soon to Cairo. Evelyn, I'm serious about that library."
"I know! I know!", Evelyn whined.
The two men then went on their way. Jonathan crossed his arms. "So they're just leaving us here?"
"Apparently so. But it's not like we don't have rides.", Rick reminded, walking up with three camels.
"How about empty handed… again? We left so quickly last time that we didn't get anything."
Evelyn stood and walked to one of the camel's side when she noticed a bag and something gleaming from it. She pulled out a golden vase. All three could only stare in awe. "I wouldn't say that."
"How did… who… what?"
The trio stood there for a minute thinking about how in the world did gold get out here. "Hm… do you think..."
It took quite some time to head back to Cairo, but eventually they made it. Each individual was tired, in pain, and desperately begging for a bath. Sand was in places it shouldn't be.
They got what they wanted in the end though, sooner than they thought.
Somehow, the curator made it back before they did and welcomed the three into his home. The moment they walked through the door, they rushed in, heading to their destinations. The curator only blinked as he watched them go.
It was hours later when everyone called it a night. Sleep was easy for Evelyn and Jonathan. But for our Rick? Not much so. He had been laying in his bed for some minutes now. His mind was too scrambled at the events that happened days prior.
Let's list them.
He was in prison and was to be hanged. Which if Evelyn wasn't quick enough, he would have died.
On their start of the journey they were ambushed by the magi. Which in reality, the magi were right to do so… even if they 'failed'.
They made it to Hamunaptra, only for them to be ambushed again by the magi. Again, which was right.
Despite warnings from Rick, the attendants stayed finding various items that got them killed. Including an ancient mummy. Said mummy was to be the high priest Imhotep, who had, not one, but two lovers. One was to be Anck-su-namun, the pharaoh's mistress. And the other? Well, he was the reason Imhotep, raised from the dead and regenerated by the sucking the life out of those who opened a cursed chest, was after them. Rishid, the pharaoh's sorcerer and a training Medjai, was Imhotep's first lover. And he was Rick's incarnation.
Which just made matters worse for the ex-soldier. He was chased after, grabbed, almost kissed, and then was kissed, called cutesy nicknames, chained up and almost had another soul placed within him.
Oh, let's not forget the visions he had been seeing, which were indeed memories from his ancestor.
There was also the escaping of being crushed to death by the now demolished Hamunaptra after they defeated the risen mummy.
The icing of the cake, which was delicious, was the gold that they found on the camels they rode on. And Rick was saved.
And Beni was dead.
Even if it was all over, Rick's heart still felt heavy for Imhotep. He wasn't lying when he told them he felt sorry for the dead again priest. He probably never been in love, but he knows that the feel of it makes people do crazy things. It wasn't Imhotep's intention to become a walking plague. He didn't volunteer for it. In the slightest, it made Rick regret killing him, but it had to be done.
"Don't think about it. Don't think about it.", he pleaded with himself. He closed his eyes, pleased that exhaustion was finally reaching him.
He could only lay there as the last of his energy drained from his body. He faintly heard prayers, prayers to the gods to save him. He knew, even with a slim chance, he wasn't going to make it.
A hand touched his clammy cheek, fingers going down his neck. He reached up to grasp it. It was a welcome warmth compared to his uninviting cold. "Imhotep."
The priest pressed his forehead against other's. Rishid shivered, closing his eyes just so he could focus on this last moment. "Imhotep… please…" He knew of what he asked. For one last kiss before his life would vanish. It didn't matter who was to witness it, it just mattered that Rishid, wherever he went, would know that Imhotep would always love him. Without any delay, he pressed his lips against the other's. The priest's heart grew heavy with mourning as he felt the last breath leave his love.
"O'Connell, are you alright?"
Blue eyes blinked, snapping out of a trance. Rick looked up from where he was sorting books to see both Evelyn and Jonathan staring at him in concern. "Oh. Yeah. I'm fine."
"Hope so. We still have to finish placing these books back."
"I only volunteered to help, Evelyn. Last time I checked, you wrecked the library."
"You're going to nag me, too?"
"I have all day."
"I hate you."
The trio was now in the almost restored library. Somehow, don't even ask, they got up all the shelves and got most of the books back in their rightful place. At one point, the curator came in and thanked them. Even left some snacks. Yeah…
All was good for now.
Although, Rick sensed it wasn't going to last long. Whatever was coming next, he'll be sure to be prepared for it. For now, he'll just enjoy this cookies and sort out books.