Dark Times

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Rick had had his dark side 3000 years ago. Sadiki's is just about to come to the surface. Can he believe in someone, who killed him in his former life? He joins Ramses who had sworn deadly vengeance to Rick which has just started.... and won't be over too quickly.

Comments: Of course I know the real historic facts e.g. Ramses' wife was Nefertari and she wasn't his sister, but I changed everything a bit for my story. And I wanted to keep the facts of the movies and there was only a Nefertiri. Hope you don't mind ;-)

Gasping he ran through a maze of corridors. He didn't know where he was nor how he had come here. Something persecuted him.

On the walls there were some torches not giving enough light to see much, but he sensed that he was not alone although he hadn't seen anyone the last few minutes. From behind he could hear a hushed clicking as if a claw would latch. Scared he looked around the big hall he had entered just now.

His instinct warned him, told him that something very old, very evil lived here. At the other end of the room there was a stone altar to sacrifice people and a pyramid with an eye at the inside above it. He knew that sign somehow but he paid attention to something else. On the altar lay a young woman enchained on hands and feet.

Carefully he approached the person, craving she was still alive. But when he broke the first chain he heard an eerie roar from behind. Fitfully he turned around and stared at the creature which came screaming towards him. This monster, half human and half scorpion, seemed to be very angry because of him.

Defenseless the brave warrior searched for a useful weapon, but without success. Now the beast was above him and its deadly tail rushed down on him.

Screaming Rick O'Connell wake up and hit his head on the beam of the marquee under which he had searched for protection of the merciless burning sun. Immediately Sadiki was at his side and inquired after the welfare of his friend.

"Again such a dream?" the Arabian boy asked pitifully.

Grumbling Rick rubbed his head.

"It has never been as bad as this time before, Sadiki", he informed the concerned boy. "This time this monster even killed me." Rick stood up and watched over the bazaar of Cairo.

The two boys had lain in the shadow to do a little catnap, but now Rick regretted that he had fallen asleep.

"Furthermore he had a woman as hostage. I know her from somewhere, but I didn't recognize her. And I saw this on a wall."

Gingerly he took away the leathern bracelet, which adorned his wrist. Two years ago he had stolen it from a trader and had barely escaped with his life.

So far he had only intrusted his secret to Sadiki: A tattoo on his forearm he got from an old Medjai woman who thought he was some kind of protector of mankind seven years ago. Actually all Medjai had believed in this, but since this time none of them had spoken to him. And he was glad about it.

Now the orphan from Chicago was seventeen and thought rarely back at this time when he woke up every second night, afflicted with strange visions. Anyway it had been rarely before he had dreamed the first time of this scorpion man two weeks ago.

"Perhaps it has something to do with your destination", Sadiki presumed.

Rick rolled his eyes. In such moments he wished that he had never told this to his friend. Sadiki's grandfather had been a Medjai and the boy also wanted to become one. Which means he was convinced Rick would save the world one day. But for the "chosen one" his behavior was embarassing.

You could tell Sadiki anything connected with Medjai, destiny and fate. He would believe it without thinking.

He'll surely become a good Medjai, Rick thought. He is as fanatic as them.

"Would you stop it. This shall be my future? Creatures like this doesn't exist."

The American went to the edge of the roof they were sitting on.

"Besides I'm not planning to become a Medjai, even if it's part of my so called destiny. Learning how to fight is okay, but I prefer joining this guys."

He pointed at some legionaries marching proudly over the square. Sadiki shook his head in disbelief.

"You rather join the French Foreign Legion than the Medjai?"

"I've lived here long enough. With them I can see the world and have some adventures in other countries."

Regretfully Sadiki noticed that Rick intented on doing this and he wouldn't be able to do anything against it. Three months ago their friend Izyy had left to become a pilot in Morocco. And know Rick would go.

Probably the best time to become a Medjai, he thought, followed his friend into an empty house which was their harbor for two years and sat down in one of the corners.

"Hey Rick, when you see yourself in this dreams grown up maybe it's really some sort of vision of the future. You should come with me to the Medjai camp. They sure know what it means."

Rick turned around to face him with anger in his eyes. "I won't be pierced by a gigantic scorpion man, that's for sure. I don't want to hear it again." This naivity and thesuperstition of the Medjai will someday be his doom, the American thought and hurried outside.

Sadiki was quite happy about it. He was tired and didn't want to argue. Tomorrow I'll ask the Medjai for an entrance examination, he thought and was asleep when it started to dawn.

The light of the torches made shadows along the corridor he was going through. Golden statues of different gods bordered the way before him.

"Tsenari, there you are."

Sadiki turned around in bewilderment as he saw a huge warrior coming towards him, his face covered with tattooes.

"What's the matter, Phineas?", he asked. How do I know his name?, Sadiki was wondering. And why does he call me Tsenari? "Queen Nefertiri wants to speak to you."

When the warrior approximated Sadiki noticed horrified that it was nobody else than his best friend Rick. Hesitantly he followed the Medjai into Nefertiri's chambers. The beautiful mistress of the pharaoh lolled lovely smiling in a golden chair, a cat lay at her feet. Phineas' weapons were dispersed on her bed.

Sadiki took a bow before the queen and waited that she told him why she had invited him to come. Instead of speaking she dumbly pointed at her bodyguard. So he rose to speak.

"Well, what are you actually doing here, Phineas?", Sadiki heard himself asking. The words just went out of his mouth, without any thoughts about what he was saying. "I thought you guard Imhoteps tomb tonight."

"Tsenari, you know why I'm here. Someone I trusted broke his promise.", Phineas answered grimly.

Sadiki didn't know what the warrior meant, but his expression displeased him. Searching for help he turned around to Nefertiri. "Your Majesty, what does that mean?"

She returned his gaze icy. "Medjai, you don't have a clue. You don't know the feeling of being owned by a person you don't love", she muttered and stroke her cat." What do they actually want from me?, Sadiki who doesn't understand anything asked himself.

"I am sorry, Tsenari.", Phineas said with sorrow in his voice. "I thought you would understand it. You were one of my best men, a loyal Medjai, always abide by the orders. Unfortunately they were more important for you than to keep a promise you gave your commanding officer, your friend. You are a true Medjai, serve Osiris as you served your pharaoh."

Faster than Sadiki could react Phineas gripped one of his swords and pulled it into his stomach. Though, he wasn't dead immediately and could listen to the discussion of his murderer and Nefertiri about a suitable hiding-place for his corpse. When everything started to become black around him, he could barely recognize that the door was pushed open and the pharaoh came in seething with anger.

Suddenly the surrounding changed and Sadiki was in the tomb of the unknown Rick and himself had discovered two years ago. "If you want to know what just now had happened, come to me. Don't be afraid. I've totell you something very important." The voice became silent and Sadiki woke up.

It had to be early, because the sun was just about to rise. Sadiki covered the aching part of his stomach with his hand where Phineas sword had been stuck. The dream has been so real, he felt like he had died in fact. Angry he walked towards the still sleeping Rick and shook him ungently.

"Sadiki, are you crazy? What's the point?", the American shouted, terrified to wake up so violent.

"No. You tell me what the point is, Rick. You had all this great visions. So you know what's going on. Tell me why you killed me. I also had a little insight into my former life nad was murdered by you."

"Oh yes, you Medjai believe in this reincarnation stuff. Only because I had visions as a child and now this weird dreams doesn't mean I have already lived in early times. I didn't kill you and you know for sure that I don't belive in this mischief. So please stop start over, okay? I'm not interested in what may happen in a few years and not at all if I've lived once 3000 years ago."

"Believe it or not, Rick. You are a murderer. My grandfather always told me that the soul never changes. And before you try to kill me in this life I'll find out what the reason might be."

"Wait, you can't just." But Sadiki ran outside.

While he uncovered the entrance of the subterranean tomb, Sadiki suddenly wasn't quite sure if it was right what he was doing. He knew Rick for many years and couldn't pretend his friend was a murderer.

But he let them drill him, he thought embittered. The legionaries will turn him into a killer. Carefully he climbed down into the dark corridor. Slowly he sneaked forwards ant entered the baldy room with the golden sarcophagus in the middle. Hesitantly he looked around.

What do I expect to find here? Sadiki approximated the opened stone coffin and looked inside. It was empty. Where is the mummy? He thought surprised and turned around. What he saw there let his blood freeze. The mummy supposed to lie in its tomb stood there and waved its hand in front of his face. "That.that can't be true", Sadiki stammered and flinched away.

"Just believe it, Tsenari. Your pharaoh lives again", the mummy shouted with a booming voice.

Although the creature spoke ancient Egyptian Sadiki could understand every single word to his wonderment. "You can't remember your former life, Tsenari. I know that. But I recognized you two years ago when you and your friend found me. I'm Ramses II, ruler of Egypt and you're my loyal bodyguard, Medjai. Serve me again and I'll keep you alive."

Wondering Sadiki studied the pharaoh's mummy. "I'm not a Medjai, not yet."

Laughing Ramses looked at the young man. "Of course not, but you were one long ago. I hoped you would return to my grave so I could speak to you. But first I had to give you an insight into your previous life, because otherwise you hadn't come back."

"That was you? How can you control my dreams?", Sadiki asked hesistantly.

"When you looked into my eyes two years ago a piece of my soul became a part of you. I've waited until you're ready to become once again a Medjai. Now the time is here."

Horrified about the news that the soul of a dead invaded him Sadiki shook his head. "That's impossible."

"Don't be afraid. The ones you have to fear lurk out there."

"You mean Rick? Did he really kill me at that time?" the boy whose curiosity was bigger than his fear of this creature wanted to know. The pharaoh let out an unhuman growl.

"I was betrayed, tricked and murdered as you, my faithful Tsenari." Uncomprehendingly he watched the walking corpse. "You will soon understand it. Now that you decided to become a Medjai you will get more visions of your former life without my help."

Ramses gritted his teeth and began to tell the boy his story. "I start at the beginning so you'll understand it. I loved my sister and wife Nefertiri beyond all measure. But one day you came to me and reported she had a secret lover, a high-ranked Medjai called Phineas. And that since the time before I made her my wife when our father Seti was still alive. Apparently you promised to keep it a secret, you two were good friends. But the loyalty to your pharaoh was stronger. As reward for your 'treachery' I promoted you as leader of the Medjai and gave you the order to execute Phineas and my disloyal wife. But the two were faster and killed you as punishment. I was the next victim. All Medjais I could ever trust. All but Phineas."

He spat the name out as if he had eaten something spoiled. "The treacherous Medjai who had sworn eternal obedience brought me here and slew me." Sadiki looked at the mummy bewildered. "Because of that I'm buried here instead of the Valley of the Kings where I could have ascended into my next life with the help of the right rituals. Instead of Phineas cursed my soul, so I can never leave this cave. I can nevr die nor go outside without anti-curse."

"What a cruel fate", Sadiki murmured. "And what do you want from me?"

Ramses brought about a savage grin. "Therefore I'm cursed forever Phineas and Nefertiri shall not have any joy in their life."

"But.but", stammered Sadiki blind to.

"It won't be hard to find them", the pharaoh snarled. "Phineas you've already found. Now only Nefertiri is missing. This also shouldn't be a problem. Some souls which were connected in the past days find together without any help. It's your task to find them and to bring them to me so they can release me." "And when they can't do it?" "The I'll have my revenge after all."

Sadiki bit his lower lip. "And how shall I do this? Rick is after all the protector of mankind, he won't let himself get caught this easy. Besides he's my friend."

Ramses burst out into a clangerous laughing. "Did the Medjai tell you that? They are very much mistaken. How could a murderer and traitor save the world from perdition? The rumor about a former Medjai who would come to save the world already went round when I was alive and the world still exists. Medjai can be mistaken, but not a pharaoh chosen by the gods to rule the land wisely. And don't worry about how to bring him here. He trusts you."

"So I shall lead him into a trap."

"Either you destroy him or he destroys you. It's your decision."

"Maybe I can preserve him from the destiny to become like Phineas. I just have to convince him not to join the Foreign Legion."

With this words Sadiki ran outside to stop his friend. Ramses stared after him and lay back in his sarcophagus. He could just follow the boy in his mind.

"Rick, are you here?" Sadiki raged into the skimpy furnished stone house, but didn't find a clue of his friend. On the floor lay a note he hastily unfurled.

I'm sorry that I couldn't say goodbye to you personally, but you were undiscoverable. Today I'll travel to French with a garrison of the legionaries. They finished their duty and return to their home. One of the officers will bring me to the office of recruitment. Don't worry about me. I hope you'll manage to become a Medjai. All the best, Rick.

Damn it, I'm too late, Sadiki thought disappointed. Now he couldn't prevent his friend of becoming a murderer. "You should go to the Medjai and let them train you. That had always been your wish. It's the only chance to survive against Phineas."

Surprised Sadiki looked around the room. "Ramses, is that you?" "I told you that a part of my soul is with you. I can communicate with you over a large distance. Now follow your destiny and become a Medjai how it's meant to be. You'll need the experience in battle." Sadiki nodded sadly, blind trusting this monster. "Yes, maybe you're right."