By Nancy Lorenz.
Rick O'Connell Eveyln O'Connell Alex O'Connell Jonathan Carnahan Ardeth Bay Constance Adams
Rating: PG 13
Spoilers: The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.
Disclaimer: All of this belongs to Universal Pictures - except Constance. And that's okay.
Author's Note: This is not beta-read, and may differ from the finished product. ~~~~~~~~~~~~
EGYPT - 1370 BC
There was once a great Pharaoh in the Lands of Egypt that, though fair and brilliant, was hated and shunned by scribes and historians of his time and would forever be known as the Heretic King.
His name was Akhenaten and he dubbed the sun in the sky Aten, called it God,
and with his beautiful wife Nefertiti, set out to build a new holy city - the City of el-Amarna.
For years the followers of Akhenaten and his god Aten lived in a paradise within the walls of el-Amarna, but there were those in Thebes that hated the One-God religion the Pharaoh had created and wanted him destroyed.
With the aid of their most powerful priests and prophets the angry nobility of Thebes cursed the land of el-Amarna, begging the great Osiris to deny the city nourishment of the earth and water for their crops. Hateful of the new religion that stole him of his followers, Osiris obliged, and el-Amarna was plunged into famine.
To aid Osiris, Anubis swept over the city, burying the inhabitants with mountains of sand in a dust-storm like none that had ever been before. Their bodies were never mummified,
but preserved in the dry salty desert sands. Their souls were never prepared for the afterlife.
Anubis left a seal at the steps of el-Amarna warning that anyone who entered the City of Heretics,
either reading the words of the Cult of Aten or showing reverence to the false God would suffer a most painful and slow death like nothing the most cruel man could imagine.
... Somewhere in the deserts of Egypt the city of el-Amarna lies buried, it's walls to the brim with words of worship to the god Aten, lying in wait till it is entered again.
Time: 8am Date: November 5th, 1934
Have set off for Hamunaptra, with the good company (?) of a Mr. Jonathan Carnahan, older brother to my high school bosom buddy Evelyn. The train ride is long and arduous, but one could not afford the ridiculous price of an aeroplane ride.
Mr. Carnahan's attentions are quite unsettling. He keeps inviting me out for drinks in the dining car, and I've repeatedly told him that I am a modern woman, happily single. He says there is no harm in a little drink. I told him to prove it.
Five flutes of champaigne later, he proved that indeed, alcohol can do quite a bit of damage.
I am looking quite forward to seeing dear Evelyn again. She's written me many letters regarding her handsome dashing husband Rick. I'll be intrigued to see whether the man fulfils her descriptions. I'm most vexed about meeting young Alex. I'm not very good with children at all, and it seems that he spends a lot of time with his parents.
Once at Cairo, Jonathan and I will be taken to Hamunaptra, guided by some strange holy sorts called 'Medjai'. Jonathan assures me we will be quite safe with them. He also assured me that he could drink a whole bottle of champagne with no ill effect, so his word is not exactly trustworthy in my opinion.
I just pray that I get to Hamunaptra in one piece.
Jonathan leant over, eyeing the edge of the book. At this, Constance Adams pulled it away, glaring at Jonathan with large blue eyes.
"Mr. Carnahan," she said with a thin patient tone, "It is quite rude to try and read a lady's private journal whilst she's writing in it."
Jonathan blinked. "What, you want me to wait till you're finished then?"
Constance sighed, "Very funny."
The mischievous looking man smiled, and Constance couldn't help but find it a little infectious. Encouragement enough for Jonathan, the man nudged her.
"So! Regaling your lovely book about my good looks then?"
"Uh..." Constance gave a blink of great distaste, "Not quite."
Jonathan frowned. "What's it gonna take to get you to lighten up a bit then, eh?"
Constance sighed once more. "I only wish to be on my way to Hamunaptra, dear Mr. Carnahan. It is not my intent to drink to excess or life a live of indulgence on my way there."
With lax jaw, Jonathan blinked. "But - that's the best bit about travelling! The 'getting drunk and living it up' bit!"
The look of distaste returned to Constance's face, and she primped her neat blonde hair as she looked away from the man. "Really."
"Suuure!" nodded Jonathan, "But if that's not your thing, that's okay. Just tell me - you know - what is your thing?"
"I doubt that you, Mr. Carnahan, would find it very intriguing."
Constance met the twinkling blue eyes of the man next to her before turning to him, pressing her thin sculpted lips together.
"Have you ever heard of Spiritism?"
"What," Jonathan waved a hand, "Seances with cotton wool stuffed in crazy people's mouths and all that gaff?" Constance gasped. At this, Jonathan nodded. "Oh yeah, totally love the lot of it."
Constance shook her head. "Mr. Carnahan! Spiritists are not crazy people, and it's not cotton wool in their mouths!"
"No!" she said.
"Oh. What is it then?"
Constance straightened. "Ectoplasm."
Jonathan's eyes watered a touch, and reaching for yet another glass of white bubbly wine, the man sniggered, swallowing down vocal chuckles.
"I'm glad you find this so very amusing," said Constance.
"Oh no, oh no," Jonathan giggled, waving a hand, "I believe you love!"
The young woman sighed, looking out the window of the train cabin they both sat in.
"So how does a pretty thing like you get into Spiritism of all things?"
Batting her eyelids, Constance shrugged. "As I said, I'm a modern woman Mr. Carnahan."
"Please," moaned Jonathan drunkenly, "Just call me Jonny!"
Closing her journal, Constance ticked a brow. "You can call me Miss Adams."
Time: 11.5 am Date: November 12th, 1934
I am only a few minutes from Cairo station. The boat trip to Egypt was thankfully uneventful, but devilishly hot. I quite forgot that the Mediterranean could be so muggy and searing! I've written it down now, so I mustn't forget again.
I haven't written because this trip has been so terribly DULL! I meditated in my cabin when I could, but it was most difficult with that irritating measure of a man around me. Jonathan is sweet, but not conducive to contacting the wise ones from beyond! I settled with having dinners with him, and this appeased his yearning for female company.
Sadly, these are now my last moments on a train, a vestige of civilisation, as I'm lead out into the wild unknown of Egypt's deserts towards Hamunaptra.
May God and his heavenly spirits watch over me in my following days!
A large number of suitcases were piled next to her on the platform by uncertain looking station hands. She was resplendent in a light lilac dress suit, the skirt to mid-calf, the jacket form-fitting with padded shoulders and dark purple strip trim, the vision of a Western woman. Her blonde hair and self-assured gait were the perfect touch in making her completely peculiar to the scene.
Lifting her nose, she looked about her, Jonathan staggering to her side, overloaded with suitcases.
"Geez, Miss Adams," he panted, "How many of these cases do you need?"
"All of them," Constance said, pointing to one of the cases in Jonathan's arms, "You be careful with that! It has my crystal ball inside of it."
Constance pulled an unfortunate looking man in a porter's uniform aside, pointing to her suitcases. "Excuse me, will you help me with these?"
Nodding frantically, the man nodded. "Yes ma'am!" He grabbed the handles, lugging them towards the train.
Constance grabbed him by the sleeve, almost yelping. "Young MAN!" she gasped, "What is it you think you are doing?!"
"Loading your things onto the train," the man replied.
She shook her head. "I wanted you to help me take my bags to my next transport."
Jonathan ran his tongue around his lips, wincing with uncertainty.
"You say that's for your next transport?"
Jonathan cleared his throat. "Not for a hotel?"
Jonathan rocked from tip-toe to heel. "Aaah..."
Constance blinked, "Ah?"
Jonathan nodded. "Ah." There was a moment of silence, and Jonathan continued with that mischievous smile. "I have a funny little story to tell about that..."
Constance cocked a neat light brown eyebrow.
Pointing behind her, Jonathan swayed a little, and the young woman turned. Dark brown eyes. That was the first thing that registered as she looked behind her.
"Ardeth, old Mate!" Jonathan smiled, slapping the dark, heavily robed man in front of them on the shoulder. "How you been then eh?"
"Thankfully, the same," the man called 'Ardeth' said, his head wrapped in dark fabrics, long dark curls tumbling out from underneath the headpiece. His wide shoulders were accentuated by the ornate silver trim that decorated his robes... in fact the man was positively bird-like in his posture. Constance shrunk as she eyed the hieroglyphic tattoos on his cheeks.
"Ardeth Bay, this is Miss Constance Adams," Jonathan said, pushing Constance forward by the small of her back.
"Miss Adams," said Ardeth in his low, even tone, sweeping in a bow and holding her hand graciously. "A pleasure. Now if you'll come with me..."
His accent struck her. Constance took a huffing breath, now grabbing Ardeth roughly by the sleeve. "Now listen here, my good man, I have my things here ready to be transported. Now, if you'd kindly get your men to..."
Constance drifted off as the holy warrior turned slowly, his look firm, but gentle all at once.
"There isn't the room," he said, "You may choose two of your bags. Get the porter to store the rest at the station."
Letting her jaw drop, Constance gasped.
"Two?!" she cried, "Two?! Now, now, now!" She tugged at Ardeth's sleeve again. "This just won't do! I don't know how your women live, Mr. Dethbay or whatever, but we modern women need our MODERN comforts!"
"You are in Egypt, Miss Adams," said Ardeth. "There will be time for luxuries when you return home to England."
Constance huffed, looking to her things. "Honestly! There *must* be some room in your car!"
At this, Ardeth just smiled. "Car?"
"Well yes," said Constance. "Car. Thing with four wheels. Goes vroom!" She mimed the motion of the vehicle requested with a flat hand soaring past her chest.
Ardeth's smile turned to a grin. "This way, Miss Adams."
The desert man turned in a swooping movement, his robes fluttering behind him in his brisk gait. Constance had time to grab the smallest of her bags before stuffing some money into a porter's hands for storage.
"Is it an aeroplane then?" stuttered Constance, "I- I would have liked to have been told about these travel arrangements prior to..."
Her words dragged to nothing as Ardeth stopped in front of the crowded dusty station, and the band of animals tied up to the railing in front of it. Constance paled.
"C-" She choked. "CAMELS?!"
Ardeth nodded silently, striding over to the beasts, Jonathan following him with his own two bags.
"Come on then Connie," smiled Jonathan, "They're not that bad. Just don't go near the spitting end!"
Ardeth smiled at that before stopping at Constance's ride. "Her name is Hathor," he said, "Named for the Goddess of Destruction. She was the most docile and cooperative camel I could find."
If it were possible, Constance grew more pale. "You don't say."
Jonathan shook his head, "Ardeth, there isn't any such thing as a cooperative camel."
Ardeth cocked a brow. "I said of what I could find... I did not say it was a reasonable beast." Immediately, Ardeth seized the woman by her waist, hoisting her up onto the animal. Constance gave a choked shriek, grasping at his hands and glaring at him.
"What in the name of God's green earth do you think you're-"
"Careful, Miss Adams," he said, interrupting her cries, "Legs over."
Looking around her, understanding his purpose in lifting her, she calmed some. She then scrabbled at the seat on the back of the camel, legs flailing, whimpering.
"I can't Mr. Dethbay!" she cried, "This skirt!"
Sighing, Ardeth sat her sideways on the camel. Her right knee was supposed to wrap around the sizable fabric-wrapped mound at the front of the camel's mounting, to give her stability. Instead her legs splayed off the edge of the camel in a perfect parallel jut, like that of a porcelain doll. "You will slip more often this way."
She swallowed, straightening her hair, and the small veiled hat on top of it. "Really."
"Well... I'll just have to manage."
Ardeth sighed. "You don't have any trousers or loose dresses amongst your things?"
Constance straightened. "You ask me about my belongings?"
He nearly rolled his eyes. "It would make things much easier on you."
Tilting her nose up in the air, Constance looked to the horizon. "I have some in my suitcase."
Nodding, Ardeth mounted his own camel with ease, patting the animal. "I suggest when we make camp, you put them on."
Time: 7 pm Date: November 12th, 1934 Location: Somewhere in the bloody wilderness!
Today, I rode my first camel. What an experience. Kept slipping off the blasted thing because I had to ride side saddle. That terrible Ardeth Bay kept laughing at me. Jonathan did too, but he stopped once I glared death at him.
The desert is absolutely abysmal! I wish I never came here! Lord knows what dear Evy sees in this Godforsaken place!
We have no lamps, no modern conveniences! If I want to go relieve myself, I must traipse out into the dunes and risk being bitten by SCORPIONS! The very idea!
It was during one of these trips that I put on my pants, and some more sturdy boots.
Either way, Ardeth has turned suddenly stoic, and Jonathan more amorous. He says I look smashing in the 'boyish' clothing. I told him if he continued to look at me in such a way I would strike him.
I will be greatly impressed with my survival skills if I leave this awful country alive!