Disclaimer: I don't own nowt.
Authors note: Ok just wanted to say this is the first fic I've EVER done, so you know…be nice. But I do want critique, I want to know how well I managed to get Bartimaeus in character (probably not by much, but I really did try!) and if you don't think he is then I want you to tell me what's wrong and how I can make him more in character when I possibly write my next one.
But if you wanna just read it and not give me a review that's fine too :D
Well, to be quite frank, things couldn't get much worse. We were currently trapped in a, more than likely booby trapped, temple waiting for an inevitable untimely death to come to us. Which it would, eventually.*
(*I guess it would be worse once said 'untimely death' showed up, but you know me, I always look on the bright side.)
Before that though, we'd been running for our lives through the sandy streets of some suburb in Alexandria, legging it past mud houses and kicking up dust, getting chased by a demented goat*. Needless to say I was having a wonderful day. Or night, it was about 1 o'clock in the morning by now.
(* It was a spirit, we weren't actually being chased by a demented goat. Just checking, sometimes you lot are a bit dense.)
How does this happen to a great entity such as me? Well, when your stubborn little companion thinks it's prudent to start an argument in the middle of the spice market so you don't notice the cloaked guy that's been tailing you for the past half hour, it's pretty easy. This was Ptolemy's fault. *
(*I swear, if I tell him one more time 'his cousins going to kill him if he's not careful' and he's not careful I won't be responsible for my actions*)
It'd been alright for a while. We'd ran for a bit, Ptolemy had got a bit red in the face and fainty, and eventually we'd found an old disused temple to hide in. It got cripplingly boring after a couple of hours, but Ptolemy didn't look like he was dying from oxygen deprivation anymore and it gave me a chance to continue what I was saying before said murderous entity annoyingly waylaid us, so it wasn't all bad.
"As I've said before, you don't need to finish the thing! The intentions there! Can't that be enough?"
"Rekhyt, do be reasonable," said the dark skinned boy opposite testily. "How will I ever finish my book without knowing whether it will actually work?"
The place we were in was long and high with typical vulgar Egyptian wall art and rows of statues and pillars either side of us. A wisp-light I'd thrown up hung above us, bathing the area we were currently in with white light.
Ptolemy was sitting on the main shrine at the end of the hall, or more specifically on the dais at the gods feet, leaning back on his hands. He looked egyptian, except for the greek chiton he was wearing.*
(* Which, in my opinion, made him look more like a girl than he normally did, but fashion advice normally went over his head. I didn't bother telling him.)
The summerian youth leant against the pillar nearest him, arms crossed in defiance whilst handsome ringlets fell around his face, artfully dishevelled from the recent run*. A stylish sickle sword hanging from his hip for added effect.
(*This was in contrast to Ptolemy, who looked like he'd been dragged through a particularly malevolent looking hedge backwards.)
"Well then don't! Save it! We have more pressing matters, like the fact you seem to be determined that both of us are going to die at the hands of your cousin!" Ok, that was a bit harsh I'll admit, but we were running for our lives, very bored and we'd been saying the same things over and over for hours, even me with my usual patient and equable demeanour was getting testy.
"I've told you before, you greatly over estimate my cousin. Normally you would have whisked me away before any of this had happened and I would be safe now. I have every confidence in you. I do not need to leave Alexandria and my studies," replied Ptolemy, his tunic askew, and his hair more reminiscent of the nest of a particularly incompetent, and possibly half blind, bird than anything else.
He said it like I was being overly cautious…like he'd forgotten that we were actually in our current situation.
"But I didn—!"
"If I leave I may not be able to come back, and without the library there's no guarantee I can complete my work. I'm not going!"
I decided to drop it then, arguing with him never did much good. There was silence for a time*.
(* It lasted the great length of two seconds. Let's face it, this was me.)
"And another thi—."
"Do you think he's given up perhaps?" Asked Ptolemy curiously from his perch.
There was a great bang against the doors on the other side of the room, the one's we'd just entered through. I could've killed him.
"You just had to say it!"
"Oh, please, that goes against all laws-"
The noise sounded again. We looked towards the door and saw dust falling from around the frame.
"Maybe we had better move to another room?"
"No, actually, I think we should stay here, it's nice and we have whatever's outside to keep us company when it gets in." He shot me a reproachful look. *
(*Well, really, did he just expect me to be nice to him just cause I'd let it drop?)
The noise came again, more dust fell to the floor. Ptolemy was staring at it like dirt particles were suddenly the single most terrifying thing on the planet. I scanned the room calmly with my usual level-headedness.
"Err, Rekhyt, I do believe the door to the next room is behind the statue. The one I was just sitting on." I turned and caught sight of it.
"I know that! Shut up and let me think will you, I think we need to find out how to open it!" I moved behind the statue out of Ptolemy's sight.
"Aren't you meant to be the one that isn't panicking, Rekhyt?"
I kept silent. I was far too busy with the mechanism on the door. Besides, replying to a comment like that was below me.
Ptolemy was round by my shoulder now, he'd probably wanted to get as far away from the soon-to-be-demolished entrance as he could. The bang came for a fourth time, this time we heard the wood splinter.
"You know, I've had just about enough of this door." I blew it apart with a couple of detonations. It was way better than 'big bad' was doing with the other one.
The wood of said other one caved in with the next blow, sending bits of sharp edged mahogany flying around the room.