Hey! This is my first story in the National Treasure fanfiction world, I usually dabble in Harry Potter or Dukes of Hazzard but I thought to myself, "Self why not get into National Treasure fanfiction? after all, National Treasure is your favorite movie." and then I realized that was a great idea, so I started watching the first movie to try and get a storyline and I came up with the idea that Ben had a daughter that went with him, Riley and Abigail to find the Templar treasure. Thus was born Lydia Emmaline Gates, and Lydia Gates and the Templar Treasure. The story starts out when the movie does, when the group is looking for the Charlotte.

"Hey, does this one turn the windshield wiper on?" Lydia asked, pointing to one of the buttons by the steering wheel.

"Lydia Emmaline Gates!" Ben Gates reached out and grabbed his daughter's hand, stopping her hand several inches from the button she had been pointing to.

"Awww Dad." Lydia moaned, "I was just joking around. Ian knew I wasn't going to poke any buttons," Lydia paused and turned to Ian, "Right?"

"Right," Ian said, trying to smile at the girl.

"If I had something else to think about I wouldn't bother Ian so much." The sixteen-year-old insisted, then shrugged. "I don't have anything to distract me, I lost my book at the airport, remember?"

"Why don't you think about Henson and Peary, crossing this kind of terrain with nothing more than dog sleds and on foot, can you imagine?" Ben said, turning to look at his daughter.

"That's great, Dad." Lydia yawned, still bored.

"You knew that most of this would be boring." Ben countered his daughter's next sentence.

"And you know how much attention I'd get from Nana during mid-terms Dad. Try zero attention. And you know that Grandpa and I don't get along that well." Lydia pre-empted her dad's next statement; they'd had this argument several times already.

"I offered to arrange for you to stay with Stacy and her family."

"Stacy and her family can go bite a pretzel." Lydia huffed, "She's not my friend anymore."

Ben sighed heavily. "How is it that you go through about four sets of friends in less than a year?"

"Because most kids are only curious about getting to know the chick with the whacko theory about the founding fathers," Lydia sighed, sounding exactly like her father. "If I was allowed to take that test to skip…"

"I don't want you skipping grades." Ben interjected.

"Just one grade?" Lydia begged.

"You've already skipped a grade." Ben said.

"I skipped kindergarten, that's not a grade." Lydia shot back, leaning back in her seat.

"Are we getting closer?" Ian's voice suddenly cut into the argument, effectively silencing both Gates family members.

Riley, who was sitting next to Lydia, spoke up. "Assuming Ben's theory is correct and my tracking model's accurate, we should be getting very close. But don't go by me -I broke a shoelace this morning." Both Lydia and Ben turned to look at him, eyebrows raised. "It's... it's a bad omen." He explained, as though everyone should've been aware of the fact.

How can breaking a shoelace possibly jinx an already dangerous excursion into the arctic? Ian asked himself. "Shall we turn around and go home then?" He asked, smiling a little.

"I say we just dump out him out here let him find his own way," Lydia said, "I can do his job." She grinned and teasingly reached for Riley's computer.

"Yeah, OK. Not funny." Riley said, inching as far away from Lydia as he could in the small space.

"Riley, you're not missing that little windowless cubicle we found you in, are you?" Ben looked over his shoulder at the younger man.

"No, no. Absolutely not," Riley said, shaking his head and smiling. "You have no idea how much I love doing this." Silence reigned in the snowmobile for a moment while Lydia looked out at the seemingly never-ending landscape of snow.

"Riley, how much do you want to bet that we find the ship today, but it's so dark by the time we find it that we can't dig it out?" Lydia asked.

Ian and Ben groaned silently; they hated this game. It was a joke between the two youngest members of the expedition. Typically, Lydia would ask how much Riley wanted to bet that something unlikely would happen, and he would respond by asking how much she wanted to bet that something even less likely was going to happen. The game continued and the suggestions grew more ridiculous, until neither of them could think of any other unlikely scenarios.

"How much do you want to bet that we find it today, but it's so dark that we can't dig it out, but then we wait for three hours and suddenly it's light again?" Riley asked, referencing how much sunlight this part of the arctic got.

"How much do you want to bet…?" Lydia started to ask, but Riley's computer began beeping. Lydia paused, leaning over to look at the screen.

"We're here." Riley announced. "I win this round," he said to Lydia with a childish smile.

"You won't win the next round." Lydia shot back as she opened her door and jumped out.

"I don't see anything, Dad," she said, pulling a knit cap over her brown hair and pulling her hood up over it to keep the wind out of her face.

"I thought we were looking for a ship." Shaw, who had gotten out of the other snowmobile, spoke up, looking around confused.

"Spread out, look with the metal detectors, call out if you find anything." Ben instructed as he opened the storage unit on the snowmobile. He grabbed a detector and turned it on.

"Why are we stopping?" Shaw asked Riley again."I thought we were looking for a ship, this is a waste of time." He sighed. "How could a ship wind up way out here?"

"Well, I'm no expert, but..." Riley turned to the man, unaware that Lydia was listening in. "It could be that the hydrothermic properties of this region produce hurricane-force ice storms that cause the ocean to freeze and then melt and then refreeze, resulting in a semi-solid migrating land mass that would land a ship right around here."

Lydia turned her metal detector on and started sweeping it across the snow. Twenty minutes later, she was bored out of her mind. Yes, she'd known this part would be boring; she simply hadn't realized how boring it would be.

"Lydia, I don't want you to go off all alone." Ben called to his daughter after seeing how far away she was. "Stick with Riley or me."

Lydia sighed, it's not like I've strayed far enough to get lost out here; she thought Dad's can be so over protective. "Riley, can I stick with you?" She asked, turning to the man.

"Sure." Riley said, just then figuring out how to turn his metal detector on.

"I'll search with Riley, Dad." Lydia called back.

"Okay." Ben moved farther away from his daughter and closer to Ian.

Lydia blew out a breath, as she swept the metal detector in a semi circle.

"How much do you want to bet one of Ian's goonies finds something but doesn't tell us?" Lydia asked.

Riley smiled. "How much do you want to bet that they tell Ian and not Ben?" he shot back.

Four 'how much do you want to bet's' later, Ian's friends were finding the treasure, telling Ian but not Ben, and were selling the treasure off a little at a time to passing Eskimos who were feeding Ben, Lydia and Riley while they still looked for the 'unfound' treasure.

"How much do you want to bet…" Riley started, but he stopped talking when Lydia's metal detector started beeping. She slowed her sweep, and it stopped.

"Here," Riley took a few steps in Lydia's direction and swept his detector over the same area. His detector beeped as well. Riley and Lydia grinned at each other.

"I think we found something!" Riley called to Ben and Ian. Both men hurried over. Ian handed Riley an ice pick, and Lydia reached for the pick her dad was holding, but Ben held it out of his daughter's reach, shaking his head.

Lydia knelt next to Riley, shivering as the cold seeped through her layers of clothing. Once the man had gotten some ice chunks loose, she got them out of the way to help Riley see where he was digging.

Soon there was the crunch of metal digging through wood. "I broke it!" Riley's eyes widened in horror and his mouth dropped open.

"With therapy, I think we'll come to forgive you someday." Ben deadpanned, getting snow out of the way so he could see what it was that Riley had hit.

"It looks like timber; it could be any part of the ship." Ian commented.

"Let's go get one of the snowmobiles out and dig right here." Ben suggested. "If we're careful we won't damage the ship."

Four hours later, parts of the ship were dug out of snow and the men were getting ready to go in and explore.

"Lydia, you don't have to come in here if you don't want to." Ben told his daughter.

"Would I have begged and pleaded with you to let me come if I wasn't going to do it all?" Lydia asked as she took her hat off for a moment to tie her hair up in a casual pony tail. She quickly put her hat back on and rubbed her hands over her ears, "I'll have to go get my ear muffs from the mobile though."

"Go get them, quick." Ben said.

"Ian." Lydia trekked across the snow to the blonde man, "I need the keys to the snowmobile, I left my ear muffs in there." There was a locked trunk in the snowmobile that they had used for extra supplies, including extra gloves and scarves. Lydia hadn't like wearing her ear muffs in the snowmobile so she'd dropped them in as they were getting ready earlier that morning.

Ian handed the keys to Lydia and turned back to the men in the group. "Let's go get some treasure," He called to the group that was slowly walking down a staircase leading into the ship.

"Wait for me!" Lydia ran to the mobile and opened the door to it. She quickly unlocked the box her ear muffs had been locked in, grabbed them and jammed them on her head. She stuffed the keys into her jacket pocket and ran after her Dad, Ian and Riley. Just as she got there, her dad abruptly stopped talking to Riley, who was agreeing to something Ben had been saying.

"How long do you think it'll take to search the ship?" Lydia asked as she stepped into the ship.

"An hour, what about you?" Riley asked, he was walking ahead of her, but he turned around partway to see her.

"More than that," Lydia said. "Since we don't know how big this ship is and since we're all together...." She trailed off as an idea came to mind.

"Hey; if we split up, do you think we'd find the treasure faster?" Riley asked the group as a whole.

"It's possible." Ben said, "You know what we're looking for, right Lydia?"

"Yeah," Lydia shrugged. She knew what to look for as much as any of them did.

"Stay with Riley," Ben ordered his daughter, "We're looking for a cargo hold." He addressed Ian, Shaw and Powell now. "It's a good bet that the Captain knew what he was carrying when he set sail, so he wouldn't have kept it out, he would have hidden it,"

"If the captain was trying to keep it hidden shouldn't we be looking for a smuggler's hold?" Ian asked.

"He probably wouldn't have carried the treasure with him." Ben said shaking his head, "Plus if it was in the smuggler's hold there was a greater chance of it being stolen; ships from this era would have smuggled people over as well as illegal cargo."

Ian's facial expression changed, but Lydia couldn't tell what he was thinking.

"So, why don't we have Riley and Lydia pair off?" Ben said, pointing to his daughter and Riley. "Then the four of us can figure out who goes with whom," he turned to the other three men in the ship.

"While you boys are trying to figure out who goes with whom, I'm going to go searching for the treasure." Lydia said. She turned and motioned for Riley to follow her.

"How much do you want to bet that we find the treasure before them?" she asked once the two of them was in another room,

"How much do you want to bet that Ian tries to get the credit for the entire treasure himself?" Riley retorted.

"How much do you want to bet that...." Lydia couldn't think of an unlikely thing to happen.

"I win!" Riley teased, grinning as he pumped his fist in the air.

"Let's just go look for a cargo hold." Lydia suggested. She and Riley walked down a passageway and found themselves in the ship's sleeping quarters. There were doors to their right, and at each one, Riley and Lydia opened it, hoping it would lead to a cargo hold.

"Wow." Riley said they'd opened the last door in the passageway; Lydia peeked in.

"Ditto," she agreed. They were looking at the captain's quarters, and even underneath the snow they could tell that it had once been very nice. Lydia started to go into the room, but murmured voices halted her

"I found something!"

Lydia's eyes lit up as she recognized her dad's voice.

"It's Dad."

There was the murmur of voices and Lydia could hear snatches of words. "Meerschaum....pipe." Then Ben's voice said "...we...closer...sure, gentlemen."

Lydia and Riley both grinned; Lydia turned trying to make her way down the hall to find a way to her dad. The passageway turned here, maybe there was a door in the bulkhead....

"Ben, I thought you said that the treasure would be on the Charlotte." Ian's voice carried through the bulkhead.

Lydia rolled her eyes; she should have known that Ian would be greedy about the treasure.

Ben replied with something that neither Lydia nor Riley could hear. They could only make out the last part, "...could be here."

There was silence as Riley and Lydia kept walking down the passageway, trying to find a door to Ben and the rest of the group.

Suddenly Ben's voice started talking again. "The legend writ." It sounded like he was reading something. "The stain affected, the key in Silence undetected. Fifty-five in iron pen, Mr. Matlack can't offend."

Lydia and Riley could see that the hallway was ending, but it appeared to stop at a wall. As Lydia got close to the end and shined her flashlight on it, she finally saw that it was a door. She reached out and ran her hands over it, trying to figure out how to open it as there was no handle, as she looked at it, the conversation kept going. Ben was quoting some of the poem he'd read from and thinking out loud as he walked around. Lydia couldn't hear everything but his voice was becoming clearer.

"It's a riddle. I need to think.... What legend? There's the legend of the Templar treasure... affects the legend. How? 'The key in Silence undetected.' Wait." There was silence and Lydia paused, trying to hear what her dad was saying.

"The legend and the key... Now there's something. A map. Maps have legends, maps have keys. It's a map, an invisible map. So now..." Lydia had finally figured out how to open the door. She motioned to Riley that she had figured it out as Ian spoke from the other side of the door.

"Wait a minute. What do you mean, 'invisible' - an invisible map?"

Riley quickly shook his head at Lydia, motioning her not to open it.

"Why!?" Lydia whispered, confused.

"Ian doesn't seem happy, I don't trust him." Riley hissed, "Trust me, and keep quiet."

Lydia nodded slowly, Riley may be a little naive, but he was responsible and she trusted him.

"'The stain affected' could refer to a dye or a re-agent used to bring about a certain result." Ben said, going over the poem in his mind. "Combined with 'The key in Silence undetected', the implication is that the effect is to make what was undetectable, detectable. Unless... 'The key in Silence' could be..."

"Prison," Lydia couldn't tell if it was Shaw or Powell who had spoken, but it seemed so random that she giggled.

"Albuquerque. See, I can do it too." Riley whispered in Lydia's ear and she fought back a snort; Riley could be so funny sometimes. "Snorkel."

"That's where the map is, like he said, 'Fifty-five in iron pen.' Iron pen is a prison."

"Or it could be, since the primary writing medium of the time was iron gall ink...." Ben trailed off, obviously at a loss for words, "The 'pen' is... just a pen." He paused again, but continued, sounding confused. "But then why not say a pen? Why... why say 'iron pen'?"

There was the low rumble of a single voice; probably Shaw or Powell saying they still thought it was a prison.

"Wait a minute." Ben spoke again. Lydia smiled; she could tell from her father's voice that he had figured out what the iron pen was.

"'Iron pen' - the iron does not describe the ink in the pen," He was getting excited now, Lydia could tell. "It describes what was penned. It was iron - it was firm, it was mineral... No, no, no, that's stupid. It was... It was firm, it was adamant, it was resolved."

Ben's voice grew quieter and both Riley and Lydia pressed their ears against the door, trying to hear what Ben was saying.

"It was resolved." Ben quoted the last line of the clue "'Mr. Matlack can't offend.' Timothy Matlack was the official scribe of the Continental Congress. Calligrapher, not writer, and to make sure he could not offend the map, it was put on the back of a resolution that he transcribed, a resolution that fifty-five men signed." Ben paused for a moment; both he and Lydia spoke at once. Ben's words were directedto Ian, Shaw and Powell, and Lydia's to Riley, in a whisper.

"The Declaration of Independence."


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