Disclaimer: If I owned this, you can bet there would have been more puzzle shipping in it. Kazuki Takahashi is the owner and creator of Yugioh. I'm only borrowing his characters to tell you a fan fiction after my own fashion.
Author's Note: Sarah Chanson and Mandy Hawkins are the reincarnations of two characters, Kisara and Mana, so in a way they are original characters and they are not. I like reviews and would very much appreciate it if you could indulge me with a remark or two. I like to know how I'm doing.
So Let It Be Said, So Let It Be Done
"The Nameless Pharaoh"
Sarah Chanson exhaled loudly through her lips and put down the dog-eared journal she was copying ancient hieroglyphs from photographs her assistant had taken inside of the tomb. This was what, the fourth time her assistant had interrupted her in the same afternoon? Couldn't that kid do anything on her own? Sure, she was still a student, and Sarah should have probably given her some slack, but it didn't take an Einstein to dole out the simplest orders or follow the laws of common sense.
"Sarah! Where are you?"
Might as well get it over with or she'll never leave me alone. Sarah stood up from her table and pushed aside the tent flap. Squinting through the hot Egyptian sun, the thirty-three year old archeologist scanned the rocky outcroppings above the mass of workers and diggers. The young woman wasn't hard to spot: her silhouette stuck out like a dead leaf against the bright desert horizon. When she spotted her mentor, she waved both arms back and forth excitedly as if she were trying to bring an airplane in for a landing.
"What is it?" she had to yell to be heard over the din, shooting a warning glare at a reporter who started toward her and stopped.
"Omar says they've found something!"
They've found something. No three words ever sounded as sweet to her ears as those did just then. Sarah ducked back into the tent briefly to grab her hat, before running across the sand to follow her young protégé back to the dig site. After weeks of nothing, we may have finally found it. As Sarah hurried, her assistant, Amanda "Mandy" Hawkins, tagged along beside her. The faint sunburn on her cheeks couldn't keep the college student from grinning ear to ear.
"Does Mr. Ishtar know?"
Malik Ishtar was a member of the family of tomb keepers who had allegedly been keeping an eye on the tomb they were now excavating. He was often seen distantly overseeing the proceedings. He never spoke to anyone, but his disapproval of the dig was evident in his perpetual narrow-eyed gaze. It was well-known that the Ishtars held an intense dislike for what they felt was a sacrilege against their duty to protect the tomb of the aptly dubbed "Nameless Pharaoh." Fortunately for Sarah and her team, this dig was being financed and officially sanctioned by the Egyptian government, and various other legitimate funders. It didn't seem to matter that Sarah generously allowed the family to continue to occupy the site and observe. They remained aloof and seemed to scorn all who approached them. Sarah had made a little leeway with Isis Ishtar, the head of the Ishtar clan, but it wasn't enough to breach the barrier. She was a foreigner, an invader, and she was plundering the tomb of someone they obviously held in high regard.
You would think from the way they act, they had known the guy personally, and wasn't someone who had died 3000 years ago.
Mandy nodded, her bright expression darkening. "He knows. He's… Actually…"
She didn't need to finish her sentence. Sarah could see from the scene he was causing Malik knew… and the kid was absolutely livid about it.
"No! I will not step aside!" Malik was holding something threateningly in the face of the hapless digger. It dangled and swung back and forth crazily, the dirt encrusted around it flaking off as he shook it. As its surface was revealed to sunlight, the glaring glint of gold caught Sarah's eye. As she approached and reached out to seize the thing he was waving around, Malik saw her and jerked back. "You will stop this!" he spoke through his teeth. He gestured at the activity surrounding them. "You will put these items back immediately where you found them!"
Sarah hardened her gaze and snatched the object he was waving around. It was an (oddly modern looking) chain that held an upside down pendent in the shape of a very large gold pyramid. On one side of it was the unmistakable emblem of the Eye of Re. It was beautiful. She was enchanted. "Where on earth did you find this?"
Malik moved to block her from the steps leading down into the hole the diggers had created in the earth. The digger he was yelling at immediately fled. Sarah narrowed her deep blue eyes and met his pale ones balefully. Brushing a strand of her long silver-white blond hair out of her face, she leaned in close to his face. "Stand aside, Mr. Ishtar. I have complete jurisdiction here and you know it."
Malik met baleful gaze for baleful gaze. "I don't care what you think your 'jurisdiction' is. You have no idea what you're dealing with here. None of you do."
Sarah held out her hand invitingly, angrily. "Then tell me. Share. Communicate. Give me something to go on!" She held up the artifact as a matter of point. "You have my complete permission to come down there with me but what you cannot do is stop this dig." She started to go around him; he side-stepped to block her again. "Stand aside," she spoke softly through her teeth, ignoring the sweat running into her eyes, "or I will have you arrested."
Malik pressed his lips together, the hostility growing in his eyes. "This goes on your head, Dr. Chanson," he hissed. "Your arrogance on what you think you are entitled to amounts to nothing more than grave robbing." Despite this hate filled statement, he moved aside.
Sarah smiled, gestured that Mandy follow them, and plunged into the earth. She was a bit touched that despite his damning words, the young man reluctantly began to descend after her.
She focused on the digger, Omar presumably, who appeared from the darkness below to meet them. "Where was this found?" she asked the man, holding up the pendent.
He was as excited as she was starting to feel. "In a hollow chasm in the earth, and there are six others just like it!"
Sarah's heart began to beat faster. "You mean this…" She looked down at the golden artifact lying innocently in her hand. "These are the Millennium Items from the hieroglyphics?"
His confirming nod only drove her on faster. They reached their destination and the worker stood aside from a hole in the earth, shining his flash light down into the darkness. "Be very careful. We almost lost two men before. But you can see them very clearly."
Sarah took the flashlight from him and shone it down into the darkness. As the light fell on each golden artifact half-buried in sand and rock debris, the smile and the brightness in her eyes began to grow. "I think we've found it, Mandy." She glanced away from the captivating sight to connect gazes with the shining one of the brunette standing beside her. "Look up further there. What do you see?"
Mandy looked and gasped. "It's… Is that his…?"
"Yes." The bright smile turned into a grin of pure satisfaction. "That is the Nameless Pharaoh's sarcophagus."
Forgetting herself, Mandy squealed. Feeling the same way, Sarah patted the young woman's arm affectionately and looked up at Omar. "Bring the equipment. I'd like to get started making headway on this while we've still got daylight."
Meanwhile, not so far behind her, tucked away against one of the walls of the tomb where no one could see him, Malik was speaking into his mobile phone. He was careful to keep his voice down and his words discreet.
"It's worse than we previously thought. You better let Big Sis know about this… I have a feeling things are about to get ugly."