Disclaimer: The Mummy may be (in my humble opinion) one of the best movies in the history of life, but I do not own any of the characters except for Libby O'Connell and Davey.
Libby O'Connell stared intently at the cards she'd been dealt, running a hand through her shoulder-length brown hair. A ten of clubs and a six of diamonds- sixteen total, it could go either way. From her left, Davey gave her two quick nods, indicating that the cocky young American's flipped card was a six. That gave him six.
"Don't let that little girl get the best of you, Henderson," another American with glasses joked, slapping her opponent on the shoulder. Lighting a cigarette, Libby feigned concern over her cards.
Blackjack was her game. Well, not exactly. Cheating money out of foreign adventurers in cheap bars was her game, with pick-pocketing small, valuable artifacts being a helpful side job. With her partner Davey, a runaway of Italian descent, dealing an ever-so-slightly rigged deck of cards, the gamblers of the world were clay in her hands. Small for her age at seventeen (a product of orphanage living), and with features that were plain enough not to stand out in a crowd, Libby got by easily in the streets of Cairo.
"What can I do for ya, sir?" Davey drawled. "Hit or stay?"
Twirling her hair between her fingers, she examined her opponent. Come on you idiot. Hit. Hit. Hit.
The American was smirking. He had already lost fifty pounds, and judging by the look on his face, he was under the assumption that he was about to win half that sum back. "Double down, little girl."
She looked up at Davey in surprise. Her partner lay a card down in front of both players, giving her a wink as he slipped an ace out of his sleeve, onto her pile of cards.
"God damn!" she heard Henderson mutter, as he revealed his hand to be twenty-four.
"I believe I win then?" she asked innocently, as he reluctantly handed her another fifty pounds. "Another round?" Libby asked.
"Hell little girl, you think I'm an idiot? I'm leavin' while I have enough to get me back to the States." He tipped his hat respectfully, moving away from the table.
"Aww Henderson," the third man in the party laughed. "You could have kept playin'. With what we got, we're going back to the U-S-of-A rich men!" The trio exited the bar, beginning their journey back to the hotel.
As the bar door closed, Libby let out a whoop of excitement. "You did well, kiddo," Davey complimented her, leaning against the bar and accepting a bottle of local beer.
"You too. Lord knows I couldn't do this if you weren't feeding me the numbers. And we have luck on our side."
From the pocket of her frayed brown skirt, she pulled a small box. With intricate Egyptian designs lining the sides, the colors long faded away, and what looked like a sun carved into the top, the box had withstood thousands of year with no damage. Made of some sort of metal, it seemed hollow. Libby had tried since childhood to open it to no avail.
Davey's eyes were instantly on the box, though Libby did not notice. "Why do you hold onto that old thing, anyways?" he asked disinterestedly as she tossed the box into the air, caught it, and placed it back into her pocket.
Neither noticed that across the room, the flying box had caught someone else's eye.
"For my idiot brother," she replied simply.
"I never understood that. He just up and left the orphanage, leaving you with the box? What's so special about it?"
"I don't know. Never knew where he got it from either. But it's the only thing that's been with me through everything, and I'm still alive. So it must be lucky." She smiled politely as a brandy was handed to her.
"Care of the British gent at the end," the bartender stated in Arabic, nodding across the bar.
She thanked him, glancing at the man he'd pointed out. He winked at her flirtatiously, grinning. "That little box may just make this our lucky night, Davey," she said, passing the drink over to her partner. "We have another sucker."
"You play a good game of cards, love," the man slurred as she approached him. "Showed those blasted Americans a thing or two, didn't you?"
Libby raised an eyebrow at the young Englishman. Looking to be in his late twenties or early thirties, he was taller than her, with a medium build. His hair was dark brown and swept to the side, his eyes were blue. The smell of alcohol indicated been at the bar for some time.
"I've got a few tricks up my sleeve. You up for a round of two?"
"The way you played those chaps, I'm not risking my hard earned liquor money on a hand of cards with you." He ruffled her hair, almost affectionately.
Just like Richie used to… Libby thought, missing her brother more than she had in some tie. Richie hadn't come up in her thoughts- at least, in a positive light- for several years. She was pulled quickly from her reverie by the drunken Englishman stumbling into her.
Couldn't have planned this one better myself. Helping the man stand, she slipped her hand quickly into his back pocket, grabbing his wallet. She quickly slipped it into her pocket.
"Sorry 'bout that love. Maybe a bit too much to drink tonight…" he mumbled, his hand brushing against her breast as he used her to pull himself up.
"It's alright. We all have our nights… pervert" she mumbled under her breath for good measure.
"I owe you a round of cards… next time…" The drunken Englishman rambled on, seemingly unaware of his surroundings, as he swayed towards the dor.
"I'll hold you to that!" Libby shouted as he was lost to the dark, humid Cairo night.
"What the hell was that?" Davey asked, as he returned to her side.
Libby took out the wallet from her pocket, showing it to Davey. She started searching through the compartments, as a grin spread across her friend's face.
"No idea. Either he was genuinely impressed by my blackjack prowess," she commented, placing the wallet into her pocket, "Or he wanted to feel me— the BASTARD!"
Libby's hand was immediately removed from her pocket, and she slammed her shoulder into the bar door as she tried to run outside.
"Come back with my lucky box you British bastard!" she screamed into the night, as she started searching side streets for the clever pick-pocket.
Sitting in a pile of garbage behind the bar, a stray dog at his feat trying to grab at rancid food, the man smiled devilishly, turning the box in his hands.
"And those Americans think they have their fortune in the bag!" he said to himself victoriously.
The stray dog subsequently decided that his leg would make better food than the garbage. Letting out a quiet yelp, Jonathan Carnahan began making his way back to the couch his younger sister allowed him to sleep on, in the apartment she rented near the Cairo museum.
"Jonathan, you told me you got the box on a dig in Thebes!" Evelyn Carnahan shrieked at her older brother in annoyance. She was annoyed with the little while lies that seemingly sprang from his mouth at every turn.
"Only, dearest sister, if 'dig in Thebes' has become code for 'bar full of lowlifes." He responded, rolling his eyes.
Nearly a month had passed since he'd "obtained" the puzzle box from the card-player. Once Evy had gotten the box open, and realized that the map lead to Hamunaptra, he began a search through Ciaro to find anyone who would be willing to lead them to the long-forgotten city.
He couldn't just let all those potential profits lay there in the desert (not to mention that it would be a rather significant archaeological find).
"And furthermore, why exactly are we at the Cairo prison? I thought you said you found us a guide!" As they walked arm-in-arm past the sandstone walls, he realized that as much as he loved his sister, her incessant need to have control drove him mad.
"Evy, I promise you, this man can get us to Hamunaptra! We just need to find a way to get him out of here…"
"A convict, Jonathan? Our guide is a convict?" Now Evy was squealing. "What do you know about him? Jonathan, he could be a thief, or a murderer, or a…."
"I know that he knows where the city is," Jon replied, ignoring the look of incredulity passing over her face. "Could you just trust me this once?"
Four hours, and one near death experience later, Rick O'Connell stood free outside the gates of Cairo prison, the Carnahan siblings at his side.
"Now what makes you two so interested in Hamunaptra, besides the gold?" the rugged man asked, still rubbing his neck where the nose had nearly killed him.
"Well, you see, my brother obtained this puzzle box. It's nearly four thousand years old, if I've dated it correctly. I managed to open it, and inside was a map. It indicates the precise location of the city."
Evelyn handed the box over to the American, nervous that it would be the last time she saw it. Rick's brown eyes, she noticed, went wide. Examining the box, he turned it onto the side. the back, over and over- much as Jonathan had the night he obtained it.
"If we could find the lost city," Evy continued quietly, "just think of the impact it would have on…"
"Where did you get this?" he asked, seriously and quietly, cutting Evelyn off. "And I want the truth." He was clearly staring at Jonathan as he said this, looking positively deadly.
"From… from an American girl… at a bar. In Cairo. She was hustling blackjack with a boy maybe a year or so older. Slipped it out of her pocket," Jonathan replied with a gulp.
"About sixteen, seventeen? Dark brown hair?"
"That's right, old boy. Couldn't have been much older than that" Jonathan stated. He never saw the fist come flying into the side of his face, causing him to sprawl onto the dusty ground.
"Bloody hell!" he shouted, holding his cheek. "What was that for?"
"The last time I saw this box, it was in the hands of my baby sister. She turned seventeen a month ago."
Evelyn turned on her heals to face her brother on the ground. "You… are… an… IDIOT!"
Hope you enjoyed! Please read and review! Next chapter should be up within the next week!