Tongue Tied

Summary: When Madeline O'Connell's older brother Rick returns from his military quest to Hamunaptra, his stories make her concerned, but she never expects that they'll ever have to deal with the cursed city ever again. But then Rick gets himself sentenced to hang, and an unlikely savior appears in the form of the Carnahan siblings. The next thing she knows, she's being dragged along behind her big brother on a treacherous journey to Hamunaptra, where they accidentally unleash evil thousands of years old on the Earth – and have to team up with the Mad-jai warriors to stop him. And the leader of the Mad-jai warriors becomes a bit of a problem for Madeline, as he's very attractive – which, by default, makes her act like an idiot.

Rating: T

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the motion picture The Mummy. I wish I was, but sadly, I have no rights to anything. Please, please, please don't sue me. I also have no money.

AN: I know that rewriting The Mummy with the addition of Rick's sister is extremely overdone, but this story popped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone, so… here it is! Please read it, because I actually think it doesn't totally suck.


Cairo, Egypt: 1923

It was pure luck that led Madeline O'Connell to glance out the apartment window at just the right moment. She'd been sitting in the one room trash heap, staring at the newspaper, her eyes glazed over. Her day at work had been far too long, spent serving platters of smelly, disgusting food to loud tables of whining, overpaid white people simply dying to sample authentic Egyptian cuisine – people who didn't understand that once you started requesting things like ketchup, you were no longer eating what was traditional. And, of course, her long day had ended the way her long days usually ended: she had gotten fired. Madeline got fired a lot.

It wasn't her fault – exactly. Maybe if she learned to control her temper, she wouldn't get fired quite so often. But then again, if her customers and her co-workers didn't treat her so goddamn badly, she'd have nothing to get angry about. And the problem was not that she was an irresponsible, immature young woman who had yet to understand the concept of a dress code, as her boss – er, former boss – had suggested. It was just that… well, skirts and high heels were uncomfortable and… and people were rude, and she… well, to hell with him anyway.

To make matters worse, she still hadn't heard from her older brother, who'd left several months ago with a French garrison as a legionnaire, on a quest to find a lost Egyptian city or something (she hadn't quite gotten all the details) and she had yet to receive even a single letter. Madeline was not only tired, hungry, angry, and broke, but she was also worried to the point of irrationality.

That's why it was so lucky that Madeline had finally gotten tired of pretending to read the newspaper ads for prospective employment and decided to go to bed. She walked over to the tiny, dirty window with a sigh, intending to close the shades – but stopped short at the sight in the street below. A rather dirty man in a brown legionnaire's coat, hunched over his horse in exhaustion, was slowing down his ride directly in front of the building.

Madeline grabbed her robe and her keys and ran out of the tiny apartment, raced down the narrow, creaking steps, and flew out the front door. The dirty man was slowly crawling off his horse, and nearly fell to the street as his feet hit the ground. Madeline rushed to his side, grabbing his arm and wrapping it around her shoulders in order to support him. "Rick!" she exclaimed, torn between excitement and worry. "Where the hell have you been?"

"Hey, Maddie," Rick replied in a scratchy voice. He leaned heavily on her as she helped him up the walk to the apartment entrance. "You look good."

Madeline rolled her eyes. "You don't," she replied shortly. "What the hell do you expect me to do with that horse?"

Rick shrugged, unconcerned. "I don't give a damn," he rasped. "Not my horse."

This provoked yet another eye roll on Madeline's part, and then two siblings slowly stumbled up the staircase. "What's wrong with you?" she asked him.

Rick coughed. "Tired. Thirsty," he returned, trying to save his breath.

Madeline helped him into the apartment and deposited him in one of the cheap wooden chairs sitting in their kitchen space. She poured a glass of water from the faucet and slid it in front of him. He gulped it down so quick his throat might as well have been a drain, and then immediately motioned for more.

Madeline complied. "Are you hungry?" she asked.

He shook his head. Madeline sat across from him at the old, unstable kitchen table and waited for him to catch his breath. "Start talking," she said.

Rick swallowed and raised an eyebrow at her, sparing a grin. "What? You're not even going to tell your big brother you missed him?"

"Not a chance in hell," Madeline quipped. "Where have you been, Rick?"

"Oddly enough, Hell," Rick replied. He grinned at her.

"And do they not have a postal service in Hell?" Madeline asked sourly.

"Now, see, I know you meant that ironically," Rick said, shaking his finger at her. Then he coughed throatily and took another gulp of water. "But no. They don't have a postal service out where I've been."

"Which was where again?" Madeline demanded.


Madeline's eyes went wide with shock. She wasn't exactly an archeologist or a historian, and she avoided the Cairo Museum like the Plague, but she wasn't deaf either, and even if she didn't speak Arabic all that well, she understood enough to know the stories flying around Egypt about Hamunaptra. Everyone knew about Hamunaptra. "You mean the City of the Dead?" she asked. "The cursed place out in the desert somewhere? Where there's supposedly crazy amounts of treasure?"

"The very place," Rick grinned.

Madeline eyed him ruefully. "But from the looks of you, I'm going to guess you didn't find much in the way of treasure out there, did you?"

Rick didn't argue with that assumption. He quickly began telling his sister the story of the hard, hot, and dusty road to Hamunaptra, and how once they'd found the famed city, they also found some angry natives who weren't too happy to see the company of legionnaires. Madeline listened wide-eyed as her brother related the battle they'd fought despite being outnumbered, how his superior officer had abandoned his men and ran away to save himself, and that his good friend Beni had raced into the tomb to hide, and closed him out of the only place of refuge he had, making it impossible for Rick, the only other surviving member of the army, to escape their still quite numerous enemies.

But obviously, since he was back in their apartment telling the story, Rick had not died out there at Hamunaptra, and he went on to explain about the strange winds, the haunting noises, and the face that had appeared in the sand beneath the statue of Anubis. The sudden phenomenon had frightened the opposing army away, and Rick had managed to survive a long walk across the desert back to the nearest form of civilization, and stolen a horse to get back to Cairo.

Madeline wasn't one to believe in ghost stories, but then again, neither was Rick. To hear her rational, cynical brother tell her he had witnessed something that sounded so… well, supernatural… was enough to convince her that maybe there was something to the legends of Hamunaptra.

Rick finished his story, and the two of them lapsed into silence. Unnerved by her brother's serious expression, Madeline asked, in an attempt to lighten the mood: "Did you bring me a souvenir?"

Rick grinned and reached into his pocket, pulling out a small, dark gray, octagonal shaped box. Madeline frowned at it, picking it up off the table and examining it. She had no idea what it was, and couldn't open it for the life of her, but she found the odd markings on it fascinating. She had no clue what they meant, but… at least they were pretty.

"I'll tell you one thing, Maddie," Rick concluded his story, staring at his sister as she turned the trinket in her fingers. It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him off for using the shortened version of her name, but she was so glad to have him back that she resisted. "There's something out there, something under the sand."

"Yeah? What?"