Ah, yes, the whole "I do not own these characters nor any characters
associated with them (except Shanala. () There. I said it. They're not
mine. Though I'd be rich, rich, RICH if they were....

Ahm Shere-1938

Ahm Shere was once a very large and very dangerous place. The entire land was covered in a thick oasis that swarmed with snakes, scorpions, and the dangerous cannibal-like skeletons, pygmies. However, that was when the wicked and deadly Scorpion King ruled, living in a golden pyramid in the middle of the oasis. On top of this temple was a huge diamond that was so large, travelers miles and miles away could see it as it winked at them in the sun, beckoning them to their deaths. This infamous land was shattered however, when Rick O'Connell, famed adventurer and archaeologist, had killed him and his army of Anubis warriors. This done, the land was sucked down into the Underworld with its king, leaving nothing but an empty, vast desert where it once was. However, the temple still lay miles and miles under the sand, where several men were digging it up, trying not to find the oasis, nor its king, but someone else. Someone who had died betraying her own true love... "Hurry up! Put your backs into it!" Over one hundred Arabic men dressed in nothing but long, black pants heaved on the giant slab of rock covering the entrance to the Scorpion King's Tomb. "Come on! You can go faster than that!" shouted a tall, Egyptian-born man with sun-bronzed skin and dark eyes. He wore a black, billowing cloak over his armor, a red turban on his head, and he held a sword at his side--he was known to the diggers as Abitula. Everyone feared and respected this captain of the guard, who had been known to kill slaves if they displeased him...The men had been there all day, slaving tirelessly under the hot Egyptian sun, and now they were so close to their goal...Finally, with a giant tug, the rock came loose. "There! Now pull it over there, next to the other rubble!" Abitula ordered. The men obeyed him and pulled the boulder away from the pit. "Now, half of you go inside and see what you find!" Many of the men swallowed hard and looked into the pit with fearful eyes. "Go on! No one has been in there in over five hundred years!" The men cautiously walked towards the entrance of the pit, but they halted when a loud voice rang out. "I wouldn't do that, if I were you." The men whirled around. A stranger in a long black cloak stood before them, his face covered by a hood. "Who are you?" demanded the soldier. "That does not matter. What matters is that your men will die if they go in there." "How do you know?" sneered Abitula. "There is an evil down there that has claimed the lives of many. An evil so strong, no man can even see it, if they do not want to die a horribly ghastly death." "Look, I don't care what you say, my men are going down there! We are looking for someone." "Would that someone be Anck-su-namun, Pharaoh Seti's Mistress?" Abitula stared at the stranger, "How did you know about that.?" "You are trying to resurrect her again. This I cannot allow." "Oh yea? Who's going to stop me?" asked the soldier angrily, "You and what army?" Suddenly, more than one hundred men appeared behind the stranger. "This army." The stranger stated simply, nodding at the hundreds of men behind him. "ATTACK THEM!" Abitula yelled. The Arabs all grabbed guns and started shooting at the stranger and his men. The Egyptian paid to attention to the battle; he quickly grabbed a black book out of his cloak and jumped into the tomb.

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Abitula's footsteps echoed strangely off of the stone walls, mixing with his heavy breathing. The light from his torch cast flickering shadows along the floor and walls which were swallowed up by the darkness when he walked away. Occasionally, a rat or snake crawled past him, but he was too busy looking for the right room to notice. Finally, after he'd been walking for nearly half an hour, he came upon a large, dark room. A strange skittering sound reached his ears. He quickly stopped walking and lowered his torch to the floor. Squinting slightly, he saw that the floor had turned from stone into a glittering mass of moving bugs: scorpions. "This is it!" he exclaimed excitedly, setting his torch down on the floor and grabbing a key out of his pocket. He quickly unlocked the book with it and set it back in his pocket. He flipped through the heavy pages until he came upon the right one.

"Amun Ra, Amun De. Horratico mista lonos. Deswilata monshate. Menanoya Yatiwe, Yatiwe, Yatiwe!"

A sudden shriek erupted from within the insects, echoing off the walls and making the Egyptian's ears ring. The soldier quickly stood up and backed against the wall, watching eagerly as the bugs started to move... "What have you done?!?" The Egyptian looked behind him. The stranger stood there, his cloak now off of his unshaven face to reveal shoulder length black hair and several tattoos: a Medjai. "I have resurrected Queen Anck-su-namun! There is nothing you can do about it! She shall seek her revenge upon the O'Connell family, and I will receive my just reward!"

"That's right, you shall!" retorted the man, "Anck-su-namun cares no more about her followers than she does of about her enemies!" "We shall soon find out!" remarked the soldier, gesturing towards the scorpions, which were now parting to reveal the corpse of a slender, beautiful woman. Had her face and hands not been so scarred from the stings of the scorpions, she would have looked much less gruesome. At the sight of her, the stranger quickly backed out of the room and raced out of the tomb. The soldier looked back at the lady, who was now slowly standing up.

"Your Highness," he muttered. The woman turned her dark eyes towards him, drawing a slow, rattling breath.

"Who are you? What year is it?" she asked slowly.

"I am Abitula, your loyal servant. It is 1938; it has been five years since you last walked this land."

"Five years?" A dark flicker came into her eyes and her voice was harsh, "All because of those O'Connells..."

"Your Majesty, I know where the O'Connells are! Would you like me to take you to them?"

The proposal was very tempting; she so wanted to kill that family, especially the woman who ruined everything, Evelyn O'Connell... but she shook her head as she ran a hand through her long brown hair and a scorpion fell out of it and hit the floor, "No. I have other business to attend to. The O'Connells can wait." Abitula kneeled on his knee and mumbled,

"Yes Your Highness."

Anck-su-namun turned her gaze towards a dark tunnel that was mostly blocked by debris, "So long for now, My Love. I will return, and we shall both kill the O'Connells."

Chapter 1

Sweat trickled down thirteen-year-old Alex O'Connell's resolute face, the hot Egyptian sun beating down upon him with no mercy. He hastily pushed his straw-colored hair away from his hazel eyes as he slowly walked towards the dark entrance, his father's back turned to him as he talked to Alex's mother, Evelyn. Alex was getting closer and closer to the tomb's entrance, his heart beating painfully fast in excitement. Ever since he had been kidnapped five years ago, both his parents had forbidden him to step foot into a tomb alone. He didn't think it was such a big deal; he had made it out perfectly fine when he was eight. Of course, it had been very close. Imhotep and Anck-su-namun were both resurrected ancient Egyptians who were bent on destroying not only his entire family, but the world as well. He had almost died from a cursed bracelet known as the Bracelet of Anubis. Luckily, his father Rick O'Connell, the famous adventurer, had saved him. Then, Evelyn Carnaham O'Connell, a renowned Egyptologist and Alex's mum, had been stabbed by Anck-su-namun and resurrected by none other than Alex himself. Alex beamed with pride as he remembered seeing his mother's eyes open and breath enter her lungs again. Alex wanted to be just like his dad when he got older, and he knew it was impossible if he couldn't even go into a tomb by himself. Licking his parched lips, he swallowed to dampen his dry mouth and continued walking towards the tomb. He was a mere three inches form the entrance when his dad suddenly whirled around and grabbed his arm. With a half smile, Rick stated, "Hello Son. Fancy seeing you here." Alex fought to get away, but Rick grabbed his other arm and started the lecture: "Alex, it's too dangerous down there!" Rick was a tall, muscular man who was actually very good-looking for his age. His skin was bronzed from being in the sizzling heat all day, and his dark brown hair was streaked with sandy brown because it had been bleached by the sun. He wore a white shirt, which had its collar open and its sleeves rolled up and showed his strong arms almost completely. He wore heavy boots, in which the bottoms of his pants were tucked to keep them from tripping him up whenever he climbed over rocks, or sand, or any other place he might go. A gun holster was attached to his hip, where it usually rested, waiting to be used for defense. He was very strong, both physically and mentally, and this was proved by the fact that he held a firm grip on his son's arms the whole time he spoke and his face was set in an irritated and stern look.

"Dad! I just want to go into the entrance!" Alex protested angrily.

"No, Alex! I've told you millions of times, you're too young to go in the tombs alone!"

"Why? I'm thirteen years old!"

"I'm thirty-six, what's your point?"

"I'm old enough to go by myself!"

"No you are not!" Alex looked pleadingly at his mother, "Mum? Don't you get a say in this?"

Evelyn O'Connell looked up at her son, "Well, Alex, I think you should mind your father and wait until you're at least sixteen..."

"Mum!"

Evelyn shrugged, "It's my opinion! That's what you wanted, isn't it?"

Rick smiled triumphantly and stated, "See? Now go back to the tent and build.a slingshot or something."

"I've already got a slingshot!" Alex replied, pulling out a wooden slingshot and a few pebbles and brandishing them angrily at his father.

"Fine, then.go.study about the Ancient Egyptians."

Alex sighed again and turned around. "Never mind I was kidnapped when I was eight and made it out perfectly fine!" he muttered under his breath, picking up another pebble and walking towards the tent. He plopped down onto his blanket and reached for a large, heavy book. "This is not fair!" he complained, wiping sweat off of his face, "They treat me like I'm six or something! I bet when my mum and dad were younger, they went into tombs all the time!" Alex was wearing an outfit similar to his father's, except he didn't have a gun. His short-sleeved white shirt was tucked hastily into his brown pants, where he stashed pebbles, small snakes, and other things in his pockets. This greatly annoyed his mother, who seriously disapproved of Alex picking up snakes wherever he went.

"What if he picks up a poisonous one?" she asked Rick.

"We'll take him to the hospital and pray to God he lives," Rick had answered her calmly. Rick was usually very calm and composed about everything. He was definitely one of the bravest people Alex knew, and Alex held him in high regard for that. Too bad his dad still wouldn't let him go in a tomb. Still, when he thought about his kidnapping five years ago, he started to realize why his parents worried so much. He decided he would just have to wait until his parents left. Then, if he was quiet, he'd be able to sneak off...

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Rick shook his head and sighed, "I swear, Evy, that boy is beginning to drive me insane."

Evelyn smiled, her dark eyes instantly lighting up, "Darling, he just wants to be like you!"

"Like me?" Rick blew dust off of his gun and glanced at Evelyn, "I don't think so. I think he just enjoys getting into trouble."

Evelyn closed her eyes and shook her head exasperatedly, "That's why he's already getting to be exactly like you!"

Rick raised his eyebrows, "Me? Get into trouble?"

Evelyn nodded, "If it wasn't for you, we never would have risen Imhotep from the dead and our son wouldn't have such a knack for trouble."

At this, Rick dropped his gun to the floor of the tent and crossed his arms, "Excuse me? You're blaming me for that? Lemme think...who was the one who so desperately needed to see that book?" Rick raised his voice into a higher octave and stated, " 'It's only a book! No harm ever came from reading a book!'"

Evelyn looked over at Rick and laughed, "It's true! Most books you can read without having a mummy come after you to suck your brains out!"

Rick chuckled, "Yea, I guess your right."

"Besides," Evelyn continued, fluttering her eyelashes flirtatiously at Rick, "If that hadn't happened, we wouldn't be married."

Rick nodded thoughtfully and grabbed his gun again, "True...true..."

******************************************************

Alex had been sitting in his smoldering hot tent for an hour now, doing nothing but staring dumbly at the fabric of the tent, seeming as if he was doing nothing constructive...but he was. He had been planning the perfect escape, and he was almost positive it would work like a charm. "Mum's the biggest worrier I've ever heard of...especially when it comes to me. If I tell her I'm not feeling well...and I act really, really sick..." Alex smiled deviously as he stood and headed for the opening of his tent. After clearing his throat, he mumbled in a croaky whisper, "Mum...I don't feel well..."

Evelyn whipped around, eyebrows creased with worry, "What is it, Darling?"

"Mum...I'm so...hot...if I went someplace cool, I'd probably feel better."

Alex heaved an impressive sigh and wiped sweat from his eyes. "I'm so... parched."

Rick rolled his eyes, but Evelyn was genuinely concerned. "Oh really, Darling? Maybe you should rest..."

Alex started to sit down, but then fell over on the hot sand and had to clench his teeth to resist jumping up again as the sand burned his skin. "Alex!" Evy jumped up and kneeled next to him, "Rick, help me!" Rick moaned and scooted over. "Move real quick, Evy. I'll wake him up." Evelyn straightened to her feet and watched Alex nervously. Rick grabbed his shirt and jerked him up, scowling irritably, "Hey, Alex? It's your dad. You're giving your mom a heart attack. Wake up."

Alex didn't move; he had to resist laughing as Rick looked behind him at Evelyn, who was wringing her hands. Rick leaned towards Alex and whispered,

"I'm serious, Alex. I know you're awake. What's it gonna take for you to give you mother a break?" Alex remained perfectly still, and he saw the slight worry cross his father's face, "Alex? C'mon, Son! Are you for real? Shoot..." Rick turned to Evy and led her away, asking her over and over where the water bottles were. As soon as they were out of sight, Alex leaped to his feet, made sure his slingshot was in his pocket, and then raced away from the camp fast as he could.

******************************************************

Evelyn was a very beautiful woman. Her long auburn hair framed her perfectly round face, which was tanned bronze by the Egyptian sun. Her eyes were dark blue and showed her intelligence and resolution almost like a window into her thoughts. Due to the fact that she was almost always on the move, she was very slender and, basically, the kind of woman mainly any man would fall for. And Rick knew how perfectly lucky he was to have gotten her for his wife. He thought this almost always, especially since five years ago...when he had almost lost her...His thoughts were interrupted as Evelyn thrust a water bottle into his hands, "Let's go!" Evy said resolutely, grabbing Rick's hand and half-dragging him back to where they had left Alex. Evy looked very anxious as she turned the corner and mumbled,

"That Egyptian Virus has been going around...what if Alex has it? He'll...die..."

In a fruitless attempt to comfort his wife, Rick stated, "C'mon, Evy. It'll be ok. That virus is probably at the other end of town..."

"No...it was here...in fact, the last known death occurred here..."

"Great...lemme guess...is it caused by a curse?"

"Well...actually...yes. You see, it's a sickness that comes form the Medjai's Curse..."

"Medjai's curse?" Rick arched an eyebrow and gave her 'The Look', "What the heck?"

Evelyn looked sharply up at him and sighed exasperatedly, "Many years ago, in the land of Egypt, a young man lived and thrived. His father was the leader of the Medjai, and therefore, the man was expected to become a Medjai as well. However, this person did not want to be a protector of man, instead he wished to work for someone slightly more powerful. However, true to his father's wishes, he became a Medjai. Or, so everyone thought. This man was really a soldier of the high priest Imhotep, who had agreed to pay him handsomely if he would kill the Medjai leader. The only way the traitor could do this was to become a Medjai, so he undertook several years of training and became a Warrior for God. However, soon after that, he attacked his father and killed him, assuming that, without a leader, the Medjai would not continue helping mankind." Evelyn took a deep breath and continued, "However, he was wrong. When the Medjai found out that he had killed their leader, they became furious and captured him. Then, they quickly dug a tomb for him and chained him there, meaning to leave him until he died of starvation. However, just as the man was dying, he made a deal with the evil god Set. He asked Set to curse his tomb, so that whoever walked into it would be plagued with an awful disease. With every person that died, the man would gain his strength and slowly return to authority. This wish was granted to him, and the fellow died. Several years later, a few young boys foolishly went into the tomb, hoping to find the man. However, after the second that they touched the first wall to his tomb, they became beset with the curse. They were found several days later, dead. After this incident, many people referred to the incident as the Medjai's Curse, and never returned to the fateful desert in which his tomb was located. After several years, his tomb was buried in many mounts of sand, never to be found again. Yet still he waits, hoping to curse another in order to return to power and destroy his every enemy."

Rick stared at Evelyn, mouth hanging open, eyebrows still arched. However, Evelyn's mind was elsewhere as she hurried over to where she had left her son. Rick stood nearby, still trying to sort out what Evy had just said, until he heard her gasp, "Rick, where's Alex?" Rick raced over to his wife and frowned at the empty place where his son had been laying,

"I dunno...I thought he was sleeping..."

"Alex!" Evelyn called, "Where are you?!"

There was no answer. Rick stared at the tomb's entrance and felt his mouth go dry as he saw footprints leading down into the enveloping darkness. "Holy shoot. Evy, I think he's gone!"

Evelyn turned to him quickly and demanded, "What? What do you mean?"

"I mean, he's gone into the tomb!"

******************************************************

"Whoa, awesome!" Alex's voice echoed around the large, hollow room. The only source of light was the sunlight from the doorway, which spilled over the sandy floor, eliminating snakes and rats racing to get away from the light. Alex looked around the room, his hand gripping his slingshot tightly. Suddenly, he tripped over something lying on the ground. He let out a sharp cry as he landed on the hard, sandy floor and lay still a moment as his head pounded sharply. He slowly rolled over to look at what he had tripped over and felt his heart skip a beat; a large, decaying mummy lay on the floor, a sword in its hand and a hole in its head. Alex quickly stood up and shuddered, making his head throb even more. He glanced at the mummies head and muttered, "It was probably one of the pharaoh's soldiers. He must have died in a battle, probably defending the pharaoh." He suddenly remembered that his parents could be coming to look for him any minute and he set off deeper into to the tomb. He had been walking through the tomb, looking around at it for quite a long while when a strange noise echoed towards him. He quickly jerked around and looked towards the source of the noise, which was a long, dark hallway. It was now filling slowly with a flickering light, as though fire had appeared inside of it. "This way," someone said. Alex gasped and ran to the other side of the room. He looked around desperately as the footsteps grew louder. He finally saw a large gold statue of the Egyptian god Osiris and jumped behind it. "She should be somewhere around here." Alex peered out from behind the statue. Two men, dressed in armor and cloaks, were walking through the tunnel, escorting a third person who was covered and was impossible to see. One man was carrying a large bag, which looked to be made of cloth, and the other was carrying a torch; both had guns attached to their hips and one had a sword. Alex watched as the people all walked past him into the next room, jabbering about finding someone. The only person who didn't talk was the cloaked person, who merely followed behind the men as they continued into the next hallway. Alex stepped out from behind the statue and glanced at the people again. They turned into another hallway, then, as they continued further into the tomb, their voices faded. Alex looked back at the entrance; if he followed them he was sure to get into huge trouble. But still, it wasn't as if he wasn't already in huge trouble...besides, if he didn't follow, he'd never know who they were, and who they were looking for. Alex finally decided that a few more minutes couldn't hurt, and slowly trailed the fading voices.

******************************************************

"We took care of the guardians for you, My Queen." Alex stopped dead in his tracks as he entered the room. At least twenty mummies were lying on the ground, leaning against the walls, and stacked against the doors. Alex shivered and looked around the room. It was very immense, so big you could fit at least ten normal sized houses into it. The walls were stone, but were very colorful, because of the paintings upon them. There were many doors around the room, but the largest was a solid gold one, which lay right in front of Alex and the men. Alex suddenly realized that he'd better find a hiding place before the men turned around and saw him, and began to look around the room. He saw a large, ancient shield resting against the wall. It was one of the shields that were around as tall as him and twice as wide. Alex quickly accepted the hiding spot, and, after squeezing through, he was able to see the door clearly. Many hieroglyphics were engraved upon it, along with a large lock. The cloaked person suddenly spoke, in a harsh, cold voice, "Open it."

The two men nodded and heaved on the door, not noticing that it was locked.

"Fools!" exclaimed the cloaked one angrily, "There is a lock! Where is the key?"

Alex felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He knew he had heard that voice before. The men stammered apologies and started looking around the room, digging in the sand, and even checking for loose stones in the walls. Suddenly, one man tripped over a mummy, causing its head to fly off and land in his lap. "Aaaauuuuggggghhhhh!" screamed the man, standing up and causing the head to roll off of his lap. Alex quickly clamped his hand over his mouth as he started chuckling uncontrollably.

"Idiot! It's dead!" snapped the second man, hitting the first man upside the head.

Alex laughed into his hand as the second man muttered, "I knew that.it just.just.shocked me."

By the time Alex had stopped laughing, the men were back to searching the tomb, sweat dotting their foreheads as they shot nervous glances at the cloaked individual. Alex glanced around at all of the mummies again; trying to see if he could tell how they had come to their deaths. Suddenly, in the hand of a particularity large mummy, Alex saw a tiny glimmer. He frowned slightly, and then looked for the men. They were both on the other side of the room, still looking for the key. The cloaked person was watching them, its arms crossed. Alex took a deep breath and slowly crawled over to the shining object. When he reached it, he gradually moved towards it and snatched it up. After making certain that the group hadn't noticed him, he crept back over to his hiding spot. When he made it back, he opened his fist and looked at the object . "I knew it!" he muttered, "It's the key!" It was a very small key, in the shape of a bird, encrusted with many blue and red jewels. "Cool!" he exclaimed quietly, gripping the key tightly, "Now I just need to wait until these guys leave, so I can open the door, see what they're looking for, and get back to camp."

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Back at the camp, Rick was throwing water into his pack while Evelyn chased him around, nagging him about not harming Alex and to be careful in the tomb. "Rick, I really don't think this is a good idea!"

"Evy, I want you to stay here in case he comes back! And you'd better hope he comes back before I find him, cause when I do..."

Evelyn frowned at Rick, "Don't threaten Alex. He only wants to be like you."

"If he wants to be like me, why doesn't he listen to me?" Rick demanded, picking up his gun and checking to make sure it was loaded.

"Because he's stubborn."

"Like you," Rick commented. Evelyn grinned proudly, "Yes. Like me."

"Alright. Stay here ok? I promise I won't hurt him...until I get back."

"Rick!" "I'm kidding! And don't worry, Evy. He'll be fine."

******************************************************

"Will you two hurry up?" Alex bit his lip as he watched the men come closer and closer to his hiding place, now knocking mummies and statues to the ground in their frantic search. "I guess I could try to run for it." Alex shook his head, "They could easily out-run me; I'm much younger than them." Alex continued chewing his lip, fingering his slingshot. "My slingshot!" Alex exclaimed quietly, grabbing a pebble out of his pocket and fitting it into the slingshot. He could simply shoot one of the men, and then the other two would be too distracted to notice him as he ran for the entrance! Alex pulled the rubber band back and aimed it carefully at one man's head. Ping! The pebble flew from Alex's slingshot and hit the man on the forehead. "Ouch!" shouted the man, clasping his hand over his head. Alex stood up and quietly began to rush to the door. "What's wrong?" shouted one man. "Someone shot me!"

"Where?"

"My head!"

"No! I mean, where did the shot come from?"

"I dunno! I didn't notice!"

Alex glanced at the men; one man was on the floor, clutching his head, the other was looking around the room, his torch lighting up his frightened face as he said, "This place is cursed!" Alex chuckled and turned for the door. Suddenly, the Cloaked One spoke again, "It is not cursed, Abitula. Mugentai was shot by a young man named Alex O'Connell, who is standing right over there, by the door." Alex froze and watched as the two men whirled around and stared at him. Without warning, Abitula strode over and grabbed Alex's arm. "Ow! Hey, let go of me!" Alex shouted, trying to pull his arm out of the man's grip.

"Shut up, little boy. You should have stayed home with your parents! Now you shall regret you ever came here!"

"I'm not little! I'm thirteen years old!"

The man simply threw Alex onto the ground and pulled out a long, razor sharp sword. Alex quickly rolled out of the way, just as the blade came down and sank into the floor; as the man pulled on it, Alex jumped up and ran towards the door. "Oh no you don't, my little friend!" smirked the man named Mugentai, blocking the door. Alex backtracked and backed up against the wall, just as the man pulled his sword out of the floor. "Well," Alex thought as Abitula advanced on him, "When all else fails, yell for Dad." "DAD!" Alex shouted, "HELP! DAD!" The man smiled wickedly as he raised the sword once more above his head and brought it down. Alex shut his eyes and waited for the sword to hit him, but it never did. Alex waited for a second, and then heard a clatter and a thud. Slowly, he opened his eyes, and saw his dad, standing above the man, whose sword was lying next to him. "Dad!" Alex exclaimed.

"Let's go, Alex!" replied Rick, grabbing his arm and starting towards the door.

Alex looked back at the man, who was lying on the floor, glowering after him. Suddenly, an icy voice came from the shadows, "You cannot stop us, Rick O'Connell. I will resurrect him and his followers, and we will come after you and destroy all of you, starting with your son!" Alex looked at his father, who abruptly turned around and stared at the cloaked person. "Who are you?" he demanded, pushing Alex behind him. The person didn't speak again; it just lifted its gloved hands up to its hood and pulled it off. She was a very beautiful woman, with long, dark brown hair, which was cut in the traditional Egyptian style and rested perfectly against her beautiful tan face. She was wearing a long, clinging black dress, which showed off her slender figure pleasantly. Her eyes were dark, and, at the moment, filled with hatred as she glowered at Rick and Alex. Alex gawked at her for a moment, her last words echoing in his brain constantly; then he felt his knees buckle and he fell backwards. Rick quickly reached over and caught him before he hit the hard ground, but he didn't notice that the key had fallen out of his son's limp hand as he hurriedly picked him up and carried him out of the tomb.