Well I just finished a rather long Lord of the Rings story and after watching the Mummy was inspired to write my next story in this world. It is my first story in the Mummy universe but not my first story to fan fiction. There will be a better summery on my author page soonish so until then just give the first chapter a try.
Gunshots and cries of pain rang out in what would otherwise be the silence of the vast desert. Virginia knew the world was not a perfect place, and that war and death were common in it, but what she was involved in was no great war like the one that had shook the world a few years ago. She was involved in a fight over a city that was supposed to not exist but the ruins were surrounding her and her fellows as the chaos of battle ranged all around her.
She had no idea where he brother was and was once again contemplating why she had decided to become a medic in the French Foreign Legion in the middle of the Egyptian desert. Her once pale completion was now sun scorched and not at all suited for the harshness of the desert, nor was she much of a fighter or had any real medical training. Like anything in her life however Rick, her brother had been able to "persuade" the commander of the troops to let her join. Her brother had never really learned the concept taught to most young children which was to use ones words rather than ones fists. In fact Rick wasn't even really her brother, or at least not by blood anyway. Virginia had spent most of her childhood in an orphanage in Cairo where she had met Rick O'Connell and he took her under his wing. They were all each other had and now they were separated from one another.
The legion had travelled all the way across the desert in search of Hamanaptra, the city of the dead, and they had found it. It turns out however Turges tribesmen had also found the city and did not have any interest in sharing the discovery with the French, resulting in a bloody battle that Virginia now found herself running away from. After their first in command had decided to turn tail and run Rick had told Virginia to do the same before the tribesmen could even get there, telling her he would find her once the battle was over.
She did not go far but rather watched the battle from a distance hiding amongst some of the far walls of the city. When she no longer heard any noise she went out into the city to look for any survivors. Her panic grew when she realized that she saw none and it reached a height when she realized that Rick was nowhere to be found. She was alone in the middle of the desert and this thought terrified her. Where was she to go? What was she to do? She remembered that Rick had told her he would be back for her and although she felt silly doing it she decided to wait for him to return. She kept herself occupied by setting up camp and taking inventory of the supplies she had, she quickly came to the revelation that she would run out of water in about three days which was not a comforting notion. Once she was done with her camp she looked out into the desert and noticed riders looking down at the city from the rocky cliffs surrounding it and she wondered if they had been there the whole time.
Meanwhile Ardeth Bey and the Medjai stood watch over the city of Hamanaptra making sure it was never to be discovered. They had witnessed the bloody battle earlier that day and watched as what they had first believed to be one of its few survivors journey off into the desert.
They had not realized there was anyone left until they saw smoke coming from a rather small campfire as the sun began to set over the desert. Ardeth wondered why the solder would remain when all his comrades were now dead, and he reasoned that perhaps they meant to bury them once it got dark and the heat of the sun on longer beat upon them. It was for this reason the Medjai had decided to wait until evening to see what the last solder's intentions were.
They did not act until night had fallen and the solider put out their fire and entered the tent the solider had pitched earlier. If the solider had intended to stay and bury the fallen they would have done so by now, which posed the question of why they remained. It was also a question that Ardeth wanted an answer to.
They rode into the soldier's rather lonely camp and were so far undetected or if they were the soldier showed no signs of being on the defensive. Being cautious by nature however Ardeth knew it was best to expect the unexpected however what he was not prepared for what they found when the pulled back the flaps of the tent to revel who was inside it.
It was a flaxen haired woman dressed in a military uniform, sleeping soundly clutching a medical bag and using a knapsack as a pillow. This was not at all what any of them had been expecting nor could they do what they had originally planned, after all it did not seem right to threaten an innocent woman and then leave her to the harshness of the desert.
Ardeth closed let go of the tent flap, closing it and walked a slight distance away from it before turning to Amar his right hand man and good friend to speak. Amar however beat him to it.
"What are we going to do?"
At this Ardeth let out a sigh for it was a difficult choice to make. This woman knew about Hamanaptra and although she had not discovered the creature or even came close to it she posed a threat for she could help with its discovery. "She's knows too much already."
"So you are saying we kill the sleeping woman?" Said Amar knowing it was their duty to protect the city but not at all liking the sound of this statement, after all it was not like the woman found anything that would help with the discovery of the creature.
Ardeth could sense the tone of doubt in his friend's voice. "Perhaps we could take her to the village and then we will gather all the elders and let them decided her fate."
"And how do you propose we get her there?" Said Amar. What none of the Medjai realized was their answer had just presented itself to them. Virginia was had once been sleeping soundly woke to the sound of voices outside her tent, she did not know what they were saying nor would she if she could hear them properly for Ardeth and Amar were speaking in Arabic.
She pulled out the small pistol Rick had given her for protection and made her way out the back of the tent hoping to sneak by whoever these men where undetected, however there were more of them stationed on the other side of the tent and they quickly grabbed her and brought her over to the men at the front of the tent. She struggled to break free from her captors but to no avail and she had even dropped her firearm in the process. She noticed that all the men around her looked like desert people, with dark hair and tattoos on their faces.
"Look I own nothing valuable, nor do I want any trouble I'm just waiting for my brother." She said thinking they must be marauders trying to rob her, if they understood English she hoped by saying this they might leave her alone. The man who appeared to be their leader seemed to be staring at her intently. The reason for this was that Ardeth had noticed something on her arm that had caught his attention, when she was struggling the cloth tied around her wrist had come off reveling what looked to be a tattoo but he could not be sure. He reached for her arm to look closer but she jerked away from him.
"I just want to see your arm, we mean you no harm." He said in perfect English much to Virginia's surprise. In fact she was so surprised that she actually held out her arm for him. On the under part of her arm just below her wrist there was a tattoo of two kings standing beside a pyramid with an eye in the center, it had been given to her as well as to Rick when a strange man had visited the orphanage in Cairo. He had told both children that this tattoo meant they were important and he told them a phrase to remember. Virginia remembered the phrase just as well as she remembered how much the tattoo had hurt when she got it.
Ardeth was surprised to see the tattoo on her arm, as were the rest of the Medjai. This woman seemed to have very little military training, how was it that she was given the sacred mark and why?
"If I were to say to you that I am a stranger traveling from the east, looking for that which is lost." Said Ardeth saying the phrase anyway, if it were a mistake and this mark just resembled another the woman would not know how to answer. The woman looked at this with a puzzled expression for a moment before she answered. "Then I would reply, I am a traveler from the West, it is I whom you seek…" She said noticing the man looked surprised by her response; she looked at the floor rather than him when she answered. "It was given to me at an orphanage, the tattoo I mean, the man told me it was because I was someone of importance. I would not be surprised if he was mistaken though, I'm no one of great consequence."
"Allah, must want to keep you around for some reason, we have been keeping watch over this land your survived quite the battle. Also regardless of what you may believe you still carry the mark of the Medjai and therefore we shall take you back to our camp and then your fate will be decided."
"I can't leave; I'm waiting for my brother." She said hesitantly all of these men were armed and they did not look like the kind of people to be trifled with.
"Your brother was claimed by the desert, we watched him wander off hours ago." He said regretting how harshly he had stated this the moment her saw a look of great sadness go across her face, however a moment later she clenched her jaw and said glaring at him "I think you are lying. I know my brother and he's very stubborn he wouldn't just leave me out here."
"Believe what you will, but I speak the truth. You are coming with us, it would be preferred if it was calmly but we will bring you there by force if we must." He said firmly. For a moment judging by the way she looked at him he though she was ready to put up a fight however she seemed to realize she was greatly outnumbered and resistance was not in her best interest.
Virginia agreed to go with the men, with some reluctance. She knew what Rick would have done in such a situation but she unlike Rick had never been much of a fighter, she was a runner and did not like to confront her fears. She had also gone with these men because it helped her run from one of her greatest fears which was being alone, although she was rather quite Virginia always felt more at ease when she was around people. Perhaps this was because after growing up in a crowded orphanage where one hardly ever had a moment's piece the thought of loneliness was terrifying. She took a moment to grab her knapsack and medical bag, she but the knapsack on her back and clutched the medical bag tightly to her chest. It had been a gift from her brother, the means in which he acquired it were questionable but it was the thought that counted. He said he was destined to be a healer because she had so much practice at it and often patched up her brother and his friends when they hurt themselves.
They reached the village just as the sun was rising, since it was still early everyone else besides a few men on the nightly watch were awake. The village was a rather small settlement and judging by the fact that the housing was all tents Virginia realized these people must be nomadic and probably did not stay in one area for very long. The man who had spoke to her earlier lead her to one of the tents, an older woman sat in the main part of the tent and he spoke to the woman in Arabic before telling Virginia in English that she was to remain here for the time being. Shortly after he left the woman who didn't seem to speak a word of English ushered her into one of the rooms of the tent, in the room was a roll up mattress, a small oil lamp and a few books in a small pile in the corner. The woman handed her some new clothes which Virginia assumed were meant for her to wear.
"Thank you." She said with a smile knowing the woman would not understand her words but hoping the smile would help express her gratitude. She had after all been wearing that same uniform for days and she imagined it was not very clean anymore. After she changed into the new clothes which were a black set of robes very similar to the ones the woman who had gave them to her was wearing. She however did not put on the headpiece that would have covered her face because she did not really know how to put it on. Wearing clean clothes she felt better already but she still could not help but wonder how she was going to find Rick. She did not care what the man had said, she knew her brother and she knew he would not have left unless he had a good reason. Perhaps he had been taken prisoner like she had been.
She looked around at her settings again, this time walking over to the small piles of books most of which were in English, they consisted of works of Shakespeare, histories of Eygpt, translation of Plato's Republic and many more important works. She also noticed that there was a stand with a leather glove on it that looked like what someone used for falconry. She stepped away from the books when the woman from before came into the room once again and brought her a tray of food and a canteen of water. She was beginning to feel more like a guest in this person's home rather than a prisoner.
She passed most of the day sitting in the room, trying to figure out a way to escape. No one was guarding her, however she had no idea where she was and she was not about to go blindly wandering off into the desert in hopes of finding a city. She would most likely either die of thirst or be attacked by other desert people who she imagined would not be as hospitable as these people had been. For now she realized all she could do was wait until she had more information.
The man who had spoken to her earlier returned sometime in the evening to speak with her once again. She noticed when he entered the room he set his sword down beside the bed and she realized by how naturally he had done this that this was probably his room.
"We have been discussing what we are going to do about you all day and it has been decided you will remain in the village. While you are here we will train you in the ways of the Medjai and you will learn about your sacred duty."
"And if I refuse?" she said although she was curios to learn more about the tattoo she wanted to know all of her choices.
"Most likely they would decide to have you killed for you know too much about Hamanaptra and you would be a liability to its safety."
"Oh." She said quietly beginning to wonder just what she had gotten herself into this time because she had decided to follow Rick on one of his endeavors. Sure she had been in tough situations before, a certain bank job came to mind first but never before had she found herself in such a peculiar situation as this and never was she without Rick for guidance.
"Can I go to Cairo and look for my brother first?" she said having a feeling the man would say no but still feeling it could not hurt to ask.
"I do not think that would be wise, you must understand that we have been keeping the city of Hamanaptra protected for thousands of years and we cannot be sure we trust you to keep its location a secret yet." Said Ardeth with a sigh. He did not have the heart to tell this woman that her brother who had wandered off into the desert was most likely dead, he could tell already that she had been close to her brother and crushing the bit of hope she seemed to hold onto did not seem wise.
"So I am to stay here then?" she said looking around the room.
"For now, until we can get a room of your own set up for you. You would do well to get some rest; we will start your training tomorrow. My mother will wake you in the morning." He said, and Virginia assumed her meant the elderly woman who had given her the new clothes and food earlier that day.
"And will you be training me then?" She said.
"Yes, I am the only one fluent in English, others know it well but not well enough, you will have enough to learn tomorrow already it would be unfair to let language get in the way ever further." He said about to leave when she spoke again.
"And what shall I call you?" She said with interest. She wondered what they where possibly going to train her in. She found herself actually looking forward to it, for she had learned from her misadventures with her brother it was best to take any opportunity to learn something new for you never knew when you might need such a skill.
"My name is Ardeth Bey."
"I would say it is nice to meet you Mr. Bey but given the circumstances I'm not sure where I stand on my feelings towards anyone here, for you have all essentially taken me prisoner."
"You are not a prisoner, you are free to leave if you wish." He said slightly caught off guard by her rather frank response.
"Am I? I have nowhere else to go, unless I wish to parish in the desert." She said with a sigh.
"Perhaps, you were sent here for a reason? Destiny works in strange ways sometimes, that mark on your arms means you are a Medjai, a warrior for God, and although you may try and run from that path it is who you are and you would do best to embrace it."
"You really think I'm so sort of warrior? Have you seen me?" She said with disbelief.
"You may not be one now, but someday you might be." He said as he looked at her truly for the first time. She was certainly not what one would think a warrior would look like, she was of an average height and had the face of a china doll except instead of being a pale white, her skin was tanned from the harsh desert sun. When one first looked upon her you would not think in a million years she could ever achieve the skills of a warrior however he say something in her dark blue eyes that had suggest that she had a tenacity about her and a will to endure, it was buried deep inside her but somewhere was a great inner strength that made him actually believe the words he had just spoken. "Now I believe I have told you my name, what is yours?" He asked realizing an awkward silence had fallen between them while he had been studying her.
"Virginia, Virginia O'Connell." She said quietly.
So this story will take place during the 3 years before Rick returns to Hamanaptra as well as during the first Mummy movie for sure, possibly the second one I haven't decided on that yet. Anyway there you have it the first chapter, don't forget to review and tell me what you think. Oh and this will be an Ardeth/OC story so this should be fun to write.