This is the first story in my modern Mummy series. As the title implies, it puts the events of the Mummy into a modern context. The timeline works like this: the first Mummy movie took place in 1994, and the second in 1999. I know, the movies were seven years apart, but remember, this is alternate universe.

The modern equivalent of my story, 'The Forever Friends,' takes place in 1999, and this first story picks up in 2001, two years after Ardeth and Celia were married. There will be at least three more stories in this series, all of which will be crossovers. It should also be noted that this is movie-verse of 'The Two Towers.' The sequel to 'A Med-jai in Middle Earth' is called 'The Med-jai Legacy,' and as the name implies, it's a crossover between 'The Mummy' and 'Poltergeist: The Legacy.' The third story, 'Love's Echo,' is a crossover with 'Stargate SG-1,' and the untitled finale is a crossover with 'X-Men: Evolution.' It was inspired by the Apocalypse storyline in the most recent (and hopefully not final) season.

One last note. . .I often work on several stories at once. So, I've not stopped working on 'The Learning Curve.' More IS coming of that. That being said, feedback is always welcome; however, flames will be fed to the nearest Balrog I can find. I'm not the most patient of women these days.

A Med-jai in Middle Earth

Prologue

The rain was coming down hard now, and he was hard pressed to keep his footing. He blinked water back from his eyes. Still, he fought on. He was shivering and soaking wet, and still, he fought on. The wound in his abdomen was paining him, and still, he fought on. He could not lay down his weapons. If he stopped fighting, if he gave way to the cold, the pain, and the exhaustion, his new friends would fall to the evil sweeping over their world.

And that could not be permitted. He did not come all this way to simply give up now. There were too many times when he failed. If they failed today, this entire world would be plunged into darkness, and, he feared, the same would happen to his own. He knew not what the connection was between this world and his own, aside from that strange portal. He knew only that he could not simply let evil triumph.

Could this have been avoided? He didn't see how. Among the defenders of Helms Deep, there were the people of this realm, two kings, a warrior, a prince of his people, and a chieftain from another. . .place. Perhaps if Theoden took Gandalf's advice and kept his people in their city, none of this would have been necessary. And perhaps Theoden was right, but the young man now defending the fortress was a veteran of too many battles to believe that.

There was no escape, and there was no mercy. The foe which they fought didn't recognize matters such as mercy. They were not human, these Urk-hai Aragorn spoke of. They were far worse than their orc-predecessors. What had Aragorn told Theoden? They were an army bred for one purpose. . .the extermination of all humanity. The young man with the rain-soaked black hair fought such enemies before. And always, the price of victory was dear.

But the price of failure was even dearer. As dear as the price of victory always was, the price of failure was beyond dear. This was not his world. . .these were not his people, but that mattered little. He could not let these people die. Not lovely Eowyn, or noble Aragorn. Not wise Gandalf or brave Legolas. Not Gimli, who could make them all laugh, or even Theoden. That man now called out to Aragorn, calling him back. The young man saw the exiled king nod his head once in acknowledgment, then the forces began pulling back.

He was wet, cold, in pain and exhausted. And still he fought on. There was nothing else he could do. He was wet. . .but so was everyone else who fought on this day. He was cold. . .as was everyone else. In pain? At least he was still alive. He fought his way through pain in the past. He could do so again. He would do so, as many times as it was necessary. Exhausted? How long was it since Aragorn slept? Since any of them slept?

Ardeth Bey, son of Suleiman and Altair, husband of Celia, father of Miranda and Andreas, chieftain of the Med-jai, would continue to fight. For his new friends. . .for this strange world that was so like his own in some ways. But at the same time, he couldn't help but think, in a small corner of his mind where Celia and the others were kept during this time, about what led him to this point. . .to this desolate mountain fortress in a world not his own.

It began on a day in late August. It began with old friends once more exploring ruins that were more than they seemed. And it was anyone's guess how it would end.