WRATH of the MUMMY

By Lady JenDragon

Disclaimer: I don't own the movie characters. Story's mine though – joyous!

Author's Notes: Sorry, really crazy busy lately. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Read away!


CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Hidden Agenda

Xalla sat upright, holding her hands over her abdomen, breathing heavily. Her body felt sweaty but also cold. Untangling her feet from the blanket, she rolled onto her feet and walked to the railing. A few moments passed, the sound of the water passing beginning to soothe her. After that…dream, Xalla did not want to think about anything. Something made her reach into a hidden pocket, pulling out an old picture.

She looked down at it, staring at the smiling faces watching her. There were three people in the picture. Two men and a little girl squeezed into the frame of a friend's camera. The tattoo's on her grandfather's face were Med-Jai. She only had to remember the young man's face in her dream to know that. Her father had them also on the back of his neck. She never knew her mother and no picture was ever taken of the woman for any record.

"You knew this was going to happen, didn't you?" Xalla spoke softly then sighed.

Her grandfather seemed to think she was going to be someone great. It took a long time to convince him to let her follow her own path. Strange he died shortly before high school. Normally she did not bother with sentiment. It helped with the bounty hunter thing. A job she was good at…really good at doing.

She looked up at the moonless sky confused by her thoughts. Was it her destiny to come here? There was no going back to the time she grew up in, the portal was obviously one way. Despite her reluctance to believe she had actually traveled through time to this place, she could not help but wonder as to whether she would make it through this nightmare adventure.

Was this the 'end of the road' for her? Was she meant to come here and then die? Funny, she never really gave much thought to her future back home. Xalla followed whatever path came her way. Which meant doing whatever her father wanted.

Both grandfather and her own father taught her martial arts and weapons handling. They said it was essential that a woman knew how to defend herself. Even on the days it felt like too much too handle, they insisted she stick with it. Like her life would depend on it in the future. How right they were in the end.

"Crap." Xalla wiped her eyes, shrugging off her philosophical thoughts. "Someone tell me I'm in a coma in some hospital dreaming this nightmare up."

A soft clanking noise caught her attention, immediately she looked down as she pocketed the picture back into its hidden sanctuary. Frowning, Xalla stole a glance at the O'Connell's then back to her feet. The sorcerer's book rested by her foot inside the artifact bag, as if it slid its way over to her.

She clearly remembered Evie reading the cover over and over again till Rick finally took it away from her so they could rest. Amusing those two was to watch, Xalla admitted. If only so many people could know what true love was like they did.

Xalla squatted to pick up the bag, removing the book. With a bit of finessing, she released the book from its bag, finding the locks were in the open position. Xalla felt a bit uneasy about the find, unsure if she should wake Evie to show her the discovery. Standing for a few moments in quiet debate, Xalla finally decided her plan and opened the cover slowly as if it would bite.

The thick metal pages clanked together as it opened to the center pages. She could tell where the pages were linked together with metal wire that did not rust, even after a few thousand years.

"Good construction." Xalla whispered.

But the hieroglyphs made no sense to her covering the pages on either side. Evie would know them and be able to read it in the morning. She should just put it down and leave it alone. Xalla wanted to sleep in for once.

A yellow light began to glow in the center, softly at first. Xalla frowned at the light quite sure she was losing her mind. But it got brighter as she held the book with both hands to hold it open. The book vibrated in her hands.

"The past isn't what it seems." Xalla whispered as if in a trance.

Shaking herself out of it, Xalla slammed the book closed, tossing it onto her bed with a heavy thud. Enough with the mind games, she scolded herself. A bounty hunter did not second-guess the meaning of weird books and the crazy people who went looking for trouble. She faced the menace head on and asked questions later after she got her target into custody. Everything else did not matter.

A vibration of the deck made her look up and around. She faced the book, now emitting yellow light from between the middle pages. It grew brighter and brighter until it flooded the deck. Almost as bright as if the sun were out already.

The book rattled then stood on end. The cover flipped open all by itself, spreading the light completely over the deck. Unable to see what the light is hiding, Xalla held her arm up to shield her eyes. But it was too great, she kept her closed to keep any damage to a minimum.

At that moment, a force seemed to pull at her, guiding her towards her bed and the book. Xalla backed away from the unknown, finding the railing at her back. It grew in intensity, forcing her to fall onto the deck as it pulled on her body. Her feet aligned with the book as she felt her body begin to slide across the deck planks.

"Som..ebody…wake…up." Xalla gritted out.

Confused by the cause, Xalla gripped the railing in hopes of thwarting her fate. She attempted to knock things over on the deck but she was always just out of reach. The force grew stronger and stronger until she felt her entire body lift off the deck parallel with the ship. Her fingers began to tire quickly, the thick railing easily lost. Xalla hit the planks with a small thud, sliding across the deck towards the open book willing to swallow her whole. Xalla grunted as she found nothing to keep her from sliding back, sweat beginning to weaken her ability to resist.

After a few seconds of struggle, Xalla slid across the deck and into the bright yellow light. The cover closed, the locks clinking loudly back into place, falling onto the bed with a muffled thud.

Seconds later, Seamus groggily looked out of the wheel cabin down onto the deck. Groggily, he looked around finding nothing out of the ordinary. After a few moments, he shrugged and returned to sleeping in the wheel cabin.

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Ancient times were always dreamt about in the history books. She took enough classes to know the difference. Yet, here she stood next to Amenutiye, sister to the dreaded Amolitiye, kneeling on the stone floor at the feet of the Queen. She barely recognized the place as sleeping quarters. It was night time and guards were watching her with expressionless faces.

In the blink of an eye, she had switched places. It was she, Xalla, who now kneeled at the feet of the Queen. Shocked to find Evie standing above her, she felt unable to speak.

"We were too late!" She spoke, the words coming out of her mouth as if she knew this part of some play. "Amolitiye must have completed the curse before she died."

"Can you stop it?!" The Queen demanded.

"There is no way to counter this curse unless she wrote it down." She bowed her head to the Queen in defeat. "Amolitiye wrote nothing down. But I may be to alter it. I need to find her sorcery book. I do not yet know the full extent of her curse."

Immediately looked to the Royal Guards standing by her, one resembles Rick O'Connell, the other the Med-Jai she knew from her dream.

"Go!" Queen Nefertiti demanded. "Help her find the book!"

Xalla left with the three Guards responsible for Amolitiye's death. But there was no feeling among them. As if this was nothing more than a memory trapped in a book waiting for the right time to present the inner meaning.

At that moment the world swirled around her as if on fast-forward. The sunrise, sunset and night all melded into one streak combining the advancement of time with the world where she stood. The walls grew older turning more tarnished with the passing of age until it stopped at a most strange time.

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Xalla recognized she was still in ancient times though her perspective now changed. She found herself watching Amenutiye, the sister of the enemy sitting on the floor in the middle of a large room cast in darkness. No glimmer of light existed except from the five candles set in a circle around her. In her lap sat the metallic sorcerer's book with a circle on the front cover. Slowly, she opened the to the middle pages.

A dagger held in one hand, a stone in the other, Amenutiye read the scripture etched into the pages in her lap. She quietly spoke from a scroll rolled out on the floor in front of her. The second sorcerer's book lay in front of her easily recognized as the one engraved with lines they carried with them. The book was then opened to the middle pages but appeared blank.

Taking her place in this memory, Xalla stared at the scroll then her eyes set and she looked up, lifting her chin till parallel with the floor. She picked up the dagger from the floor then sliced her palm. She felt no pain, only the step of the memory. Her hand smeared the blood over the book in her lap then the book on the floor and called out in ancient Egyptian:

"Redraw this decree." Came an echoed voice, as if she were five different persons talking all at once.

Magically, the blank book copied the first in an array of orange light. She flipped the pages of the second book lying on the floor finding they now contained etchings to match the first.

The room darkened till she could no longer see anything. She blinked a number of times waiting for her vision to clear. Was she having an aneurysm? But then there was a dim glow as if a far off light was beginning to shimmer. It was then that a lantern was lit, seemingly coming from the hall. She had not moved from the room, only time it seemed changed.

The walls and statues appeared dustier than she remembered from a few seconds ago. Xalla stood up from the floor where she had performed some kind of copy spell between two metal books. Everything was now gone; the five candles, one sorcerer's book and the dagger. It was eerie watching a twin of the enemy walk into the room, a sorcerer's book with the lines on the cover under arm followed by a Med-Jai holding the lantern for her.

Xalla moved just in time to avoid standing in the ghostly memory of Amenutiye taking her place in the center of the room. She took the sorcerer's book in both hands, tilting her head back. Upon closing her eyes, the locks clinked open rather loudly.

Xalla watched Amenutiye open her hands flat against the cover. The book then lowered itself onto the floor at her feet.

Xalla suddenly glanced at the Med-Jai standing nearby close to the door. It was the Head Guard who slayed Amolitiye in the servants quarters who now stood watching Amenutiye from behind. His arms were folded across his chest, the lantern now set on the floor near Amenutiye's feet more to the front.

Amenutiye waved a hand, the book pages clanked open to a blank page near the back of the book.

She lifted her chin once more her eyes set on the darkness ahead of her and spoke in ancient Egyptian. Strange, Xalla understood what was said.

"I call to the gods; AMUN-RA, MAAT, HORUS, ISIS and SEKMET. Grant me this justice."

Small forms of the universe swirl around her. Xalla recognized the nine planets revolving around the Sun. She could even make out the moons around the larger planets Jupiter and Saturn.

"BLOOD AGAINST BLOOD I CAST THIS CURSE. UPON THE COMING OF WARRIOR AGE OF THE BORN MED-JAI, MOLITIYE'S CURSE WILL COME TO PASS."

Bright gold light erupted from the book on the floor. A large 3-D pyramid formed out of web-like gold light with a 3-D triangle rotating in its center. A string of light glowed from inside the triangle, widening outward into a pillar.

"ACROSS THE SPANE OF TIME, THE TRIAD OF THE MED-JAI; THE BORN, THE CHOSEN AND THE HIDDEN; WILL BECOME ONE IN THE PYRMID OF GODS TO DEFEND ALL LIFE."

The light spread out from the pillar engulfing the entire room. The walls of the room vibrated violently, the sound of loosening masonry casting doubt on the integrity of the construction. Xalla rolled her eyes around the room in case something fell down. The light dissipated as Ameutiye rotated her arms in a large circle spreading out from her shoulders to her hands coming together over her head.

Slightly bored, Xalla's eyes widen as the incantation wrote itself on the open page. After the hieroglyphs form, the book shuts and locks shut. Xalla looked up to find Amenutiye standing almost as if she was watching her. Their eyes seemed to lock, unable to do anything but stare at one another.

Then Amenutiye smiled at Xalla, thrusting her left arms forward. A mirror image of Xalla's tattoo takes shape as it is burned into her arm. Xalla stepped backwards in shock, utter disbelief at what she was shown.

At that moment Amenutiye turned to the Head Guard now standing beside her. He took her into his arms. She hesitated then leaned her head on his shoulder, both eyes on the sorcerer's book on the floor. She reached towards it with an open hand. It flew into her open hand.

"It is done, then?" He asked quietly.

"The future is now guarded."

Amenutiye smiled as Xalla was drawn backwards. She could feel the strong pull as if she was being yanked out of something. Unsure what to do, she automatically reached out for something to hold. She fell to the floor

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The sorcerer's book lay on Xalla's bedding without movement. Seamus had checked the deck twice finding the woman missing both times. Groggy with sleep, he did not bother much worrying since there was nowhere really to go on a ship in the middle of the Nile. Perhaps she went to the restroom. As if on cue, he fell back asleep, his head leaning back against the wheelhouse wall.

Meanwhile the sorcerer's book began to rattle softly. It grew in intensity and burst open emitting a bright blue light. The deck lit up but none stirred as the light changed from blue to yellow. It was at that moment that Xalla was thrown backwards. She hit the deck hard and slightly dazed from being tossed out. Her body slid across the deck until she ran into the opposite railing.

"Whoa!" Xalla spoke unable to move.

Her eyes focused on the stars twinkling above her. If her brain was not so fuzzy, she would have some kind of explanation for this psychotic episode. However the ability to use word or thought seemed a handicap. Xalla turned her head to look at the sorcerer's book with newfound disbelief. Had she dreamed this all up or was she part of something larger?

The book shifted and threw itself through the air landing near its original location next to Evie, the locks remaining in the open position. Its corner touched the discarded artifact bag as if it fell out during sleeping hours. Xalla made no effort to move. Xalla lost consciousness at that moment.

The book clanked shut and locked itself once more.

Seconds later, Seamus peered out from the Wheelhouse. He frowned at Xalla lying still below, scratching his head slowly. He shrugged groggily and returned to sleeping.

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Dawn was beginning its show across the dunes of the desert. Twelve Med-Jai commanders sat on horse in a row watching the sun starting its rise from atop a large dune, all eyes set on the horizon. A large number of Med-jai sat and waited for further instruction, settled between dunes in silence. There was no anxiousness this morning.

An elderly Med-Jai with a heavily gray beard turned to the others.

"Ardeth and his friends?" Came the soft voice.

Another Commander replied. "The Triad has formed. No army can battle what will be faced."

"The legend is true then." Said another.

The graying Med-Jai took out a sword wrapped in black cloth from his waist. He held it up, the fabric coming undone at the edges. Only then did it reveal the pearl gilded hilt of a well-known artifact kept hidden among the Med-Jai for centuries.

Two falcons swooped down and took the sword into their claws, flying off in a southerly direction. The other Med-Jai commanders turned on their horses and rode down the dune towards the waiting Med-Jai. Orders were issued sending those sitting below into instant action.