Sadie read the letter again from her cabin on the zeppelin.
Every year a select few of the brightest and up and coming are chosen from all over the world to participate in a joint excavation; promoting history, education, and unity.
You have been selected by way of recommendation of New York University; to participate in an excavation of Edinburgh Castle. Our primary focus will be St. Margaret's Chapel. Special Guest Professor Alik Tselner of Moscow State University will be leading this excavation. All findings will go to National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland; with respective honors. If you are interested, please make arrangements to meet in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Gibson Hotel on October 5th.
For any further questions please contact me, at the provided number.
Asst. Director of Archaeology
University of Edinburgh
"I wonder who all will be there." Sadie asked to no one.
Sadie put the letter away and went back to her research on castles of Scotland; specifically Edinburgh Castle.
St. Margaret's Chapel is believed to be the oldest building in Edinburgh and an example of Norman architecture in Britain. It is very small and simple in design. Thought to have been the very chapel where Queen Margaret worshipped. When the Earl of Moray captured the castle in 1314, the chapel was the only building that was not destroyed.
"Should be pretty interesting to see what we find there."
At the Gibson Hotel, Sadie was greeted in the lobby by an overly friendly young man.
"Hello, are you Scheherazade Keating from America? Am I pronouncing that right?"
"Yes I am. Please call me Sade."
"I have you on my list. I am Michael Andrews. I am one of the site attendants. I will help you with whatever I can. For starters, I will get you checked in. Everyone is in the lounge. Not everyone is here yet. We will be leaving out to go to the site by way of bus tomorrow morning at 5:30AM. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask." Michael said with a smile.
"Thank you very much Mr. Andrews."
"Please call me Michael."
"Michael. Thank you" Sadie smiled.
He showed her to the lounge. She did not recognize any of the faces in there. Some of the names though she had heard of in different places, universities, and conventions. Sadie, not wanting to seem antisocial approached an open chair at a table where two women and three men sat.
"Hello. My name is Sadie Keating. May I join you?"
"Of course," A blond man with a heavy Swedish accent responded.
He stood up and pulled out the chair for her. Sadie took it and sat down. He motioned to a young dark-skinned lady sitting across from her.
"Please allow me make introductions. This is Miss Padmal Chandak from India."
"It is a pleasure" replied Sadie.
He then motioned to a petite blond sitting beside her.
"This fair lady is Miss Sophie Schultz from Germany."
"Nice to meet you" Sadie nodded.
"This rogue to my right is Brandon Kelly from Australia"
"Charmed." Sadie smiled.
"The gentleman to his right is Mr. Varnaz Madatian of Armenia."
"It is a pleasure." Sadie nodded.
"The pleasure is mine Miss Scheherazade." Varnaz responded with a smile.
"I of course am Rolf Alexander of Sweden." He smiled.
"It is nice to meet you all. I am Scheherazade Keating, American. Please call me Sadie."
The room quieted and Sadie heard whispers around her. Some were talking about her parents. Others talking about discoveries Sadie had made. Some said some not so pleasant things. Jealously amongst Archaeologists was nothing new to her. Not to be intimidated Sadie smiled. She then took notice of an empty chair at their table. It appeared someone was not at the table but there was an empty glass. Rolf took notice of what she was looking at.
"Oh that belongs to our Egyptian colleague Amun Badru Kamenwati. But he was kind enough to let us call him Amun. Unfortunately he has turned in for the night." Rolf explained.
She had heard the name Amun Badru Kamenwati before. He was supposed to be one of Egypt's greatest up and coming. Amun had groundbreaking ideas about excavation that were almost brilliant. He had already made some wonderful discoveries and at such a young age. He might even be a better Archaeologist than herself, but she would never admit it. Sadie was terribly sad she did not get to meet him on her last trip to Egypt. She was determined to make sure to have a conversation with him now that she would get another chance.
Sadie chatted away the evening, but started feeling tired and soon parted ways with her newfound friends. She went upstairs in search of her room. She found her room on the second floor; but as she was getting ready to enter it, who of all people came walking down the hall towards her?
"I thought that was you. Hello Sadie." A voice called out to her.
Sadie turned towards the mysterious voice. Zul al Zan stood there smiling.
"What on earth are you doing here?!" Sadie asked in shock.
"I was invited. …Well one of my identities was that is. It is no surprise that you were invited also."
"One of your identities was invited? What does that even mean?" she questioned.
Realization and shock flooded her at once. Sadie paled.
"…Please do not tell me you are Amun!"
"In the flesh." Zul al Zan bowed.
Sadie dropped her bag in the hall. She felt like someone just kicked her puppy.
"I think I am going to be sick."
Without another word, Sadie grabbed her bag, opened her door, walked in, and closed it behind her; leaving Zul 'Amun', standing there in the hall.
The next day everyone loaded up on the bus to head to the castle. Sadie sat in one of the seats towards the back. Zul came and sat in the seat behind her. Zul leaned forward placing his elbows on Sadie's seat.
"Zul what are you doing here?" Sadie turned her head to whisper to him to avoid attention.
"Amun" Zul reminded.
This angered Sadie.
"Okay 'Amun', what are you doing here?"
"The same thing you are." Zul replied.
"You are infuriating!" Sadie huffed.
Sadie got up and moved to another seat on the bus. Shortly thereafter Zul moved to a seat directly across from her.
"Stop following me!" Sadie said a little too loud.
Zul sat back, and quickly looked out the window pretending boredom. Sadie was left blushing at the other people on the bus who had overheard her. When everyone had finally lost interest in her, Sadie began to speak again.
"How could you do this to me?" Sadie said in a much lower voice.
"What did I do? You were the one who spoke so loudly." Zul whispered.
"Not that. You... Ugh... You're Amun Badru Kamenwati; one of Egypt's greatest up and coming."
"I think we have had this conversation already." Zul smiled.
"But you can't be… You? You're nothing but a common thief!"
"I would say I am anything but common." Zul smiled.
"I've a good mind to go home. I won't stand by and watch you rob a chapel of all places!"
"You will be the only one to miss out on this opportunity by doing that. Besides who says I am here to steal anything?"
"Why else would you be here?" Sadie replied.
"Would it shock you terribly if I told you I actually rather enjoy Romanesque architecture?" Zul asked.
"Well… I can see its appeal. OK Zul or 'Amun' or whatever. …I will give you a chance; but if I notice any funny business. You will be in a Scottish jail cell faster than you could blink. I will be watching you the whole time we are here." Sadie replied determined.
"Then I will be the lucky one who is blessed with you as a partner on this excavation." Zul smiled.
Sadie got the feeling she just walked into a trap.
"As soon as you saw me you planed for that didn't you?"
Zul smiled but did not reply.
The charming Swedish gentleman Sadie had met last night in the lounge walked up and sat down in the seat with Zul; directly cutting off their line of sight.
"Good morning Miss Sadie." Rolf said ignoring Zul.
Rolf was not only charming but he was certainly a looker.
"Good morning Mr. Alexander." Sadie smiled.
"Please call me Rolf."
"Of course Rolf."
"I was wondering if I might have the honors of your partnership on this excavation." Rolf asked.
Zul tapped the intruder on the shoulder.
"Miss Keating has already accepted my request. You are too late Rolf."
Rolf's eyes flashed anger at Zul, but Sadie did not notice it.
"I do apologize." Sadie said sadly.
"Zu-Amun has already asked me to join him."
"It is truly my loss Miss Sadie. I hope you do well on this trip. If you feel the need to change partners…"
Rolf shot a very ugly look at Zul.
"…Well if you will excuse me then." Rolf got up and left to take another seat.
Zul smiled triumphantly from his seat; and Sadie just rolled her eyes.