Jump to content

Recommended Posts

GM

 

Egyptian Airspace, 30 minutes from Cairo

Friday, April 18, 2019 (1:20 PM local time)

 

A Danger International private jet soared above the light cloud cover over northern Egypt as it entered its final approach toward Cairo.  The sleek aircraft began a gradual descent as it continued on its flight path, transporting a rather unusual group of passengers to the ancient city.

 

It had been several months since a group of Thule Society sorcerers accompanied by several enhanced SHADOW clones had attempted to steal an ancient Egyptian artifact during the opening of an exhibit at the Hunter Museum of Natural History.  What the Thule Society had not accounted for was the presence of three Claremont students who had been able to halt the theft.

 

But as the remaining Thule sorcerer had escaped, he had made a cryptic remark about artifact, suggesting that there it possessed some secret the teens were unaware of.  Two of the teens, Veronica Danger and Elizabeth Grey, had been able to confirm that the artifact (the burial mask of the Pharaoh Sanakht) resonated with magic and that it was some sort of key.  But despite their best efforts to research what that might mean, they still did not know exactly what it was a key to.

 

So over the last few months Danger International, with some assistance from the Dakanan Royal family, had made arrangements with the Egyptian authorities to allow for an investigation of Sanakht's pyramid at the Saqqara necropolis.  Permission had not been obtained until after the start of the new year, meaning Veronica, Elizabeth and Kam Kingdom had to wait until Claremont’s Spring Break to take the trip to Egypt.

 

The interior of the jet was rather luxurious, with each of the teens having a large leather seat with plenty of room around them.  The seats rotated so they could turn to face the middle and each other to more easily converse about the expedition they had set out on, or could turn out towards a small table next to each of seat (with connections for laptops and cellphones). 

Share this post


Link to post

Veronica Danger

 

The three teenagers were not the only passengers in the DI jet.  Prudence was present as well, having had a considerable roll in planning some of the logistics of the trip.  The usually formally dressed young woman was dressed a bit more casually at present, wearing a white long sleeve blouse and a pair of khaki slacks.  As always, she was glancing at the tablet she never seemed to be without.  "The vehicle is already at the airport awaiting our arrival."  She stated, glancing up from the tablet and over toward Veronica.  "Customs should not take long and we can be on our way to the dig site."

 

Seated in a seat across the isle from Prudence, Veronica Danger had been looking at a book on hieroglyphics before looking up toward her personal assistant.  "Thank you Prudence."

 

Closing the book and setting it down, Veronica turned her chair to look back toward Liz and Kam.  "Well, almost there.  Getting excited yet?"  The teenage danger was smiling, a certain energetic excitement clearly evident in her expression.  Veronica was well used to such adventures, but with the possible threat of the Thule Society still out there, she was very glad to have her friends with her for this one.

Share this post


Link to post

As his friend spoke Kam tucked his e-reader into the laptop bag at his feet and peered for a moment out the window.  "It is a pleasant change of pace from studies and more banal extracurriculars."  He admitted as he settled back into his seat.  

 

"Are we participating in a dig or focusing on investigating that Thule lackeys claims?"  the Dakanan queried curiously.  With a nod to Elizabeth he added quietly, "Did either of you manage to uncover any hint of what he might have been referring to?"  he shrugged with a gesture to himself, "My own investigations proved fruitless but I am hardly an expert."

Share this post


Link to post

Veronica

 

"Well, 'officially' we are assisting with a DI sponsored dig of some tombs located not far from Sanakht's pyramid.  But, we have access to the pyramid as well, so, we will be trying to learn if there is anything there that might give a hint as to what the Thule sorcerer was referring to."  Veronica responded in reply to Kam’s first question, a slightly excited grin on her face.

 

But at his second question the teenage Danger’s face become more serious.  "No, I am afraid we uncovered little more.  Having been able to study the mask more closely a few times, it clearly radiates faint magic and is a key of some kind.  But there is nothing about it that can aided us in discerning what it is a key to.  And as for any records that might shed any light on what it might be fore, Sanakht has always been something of an enigma, to the point that many Egyptologists did not believe there ever had been a Sanakht, which is part of what made our discovery such a notable one, so there is little to go on."

Share this post


Link to post

"It was so many books!" Liz said, raising her hands in the gesture of one who had suffered so much, and yet still tasted bitter defeat. "So many dry articles and journals by people with terrible handwriting, and nothing worth mentioning. But!"

 

She held up a finger, a smile crawling across her lips and a sparkle in her eyes. "But, that just means we get to solve a mystery and then we get to write the terrible journals and someone else will have to read them in the future, and that will be much better." Her smile broke into a grin, but she none-the-less bobbed the finger as if to make a very serious point. "If I write anything about this trip it's going to be a lot more fun to read and at least mostly true."

Share this post


Link to post

"Well that is certainly a cleverly flexible solution to our investigations."  Kam acknowledged readily.  He hadn't expect much more information to come to light, Veronica and Her Parents after all had investigated the initial discoveries and were hardly ones to miss the obvious.

 

The Dakanan's smile was subdued but genuine as Elizabeth spoke on her plans for any writings on this subject that might yet bear out.  He was pensive as he thought on the possibilities with care.  "Well knowing it unlocks something further is an excellent starting point."  he suggested and looked with a curious tilt of his head toward Veronica, "What is the significance of masks in ancient Egyptian culture?"  Kam was no expert on any of these matters but had a keen mind and a curious streak.  "It might help us to put ourselves in the potential mindset of the creator or user of such a key yes?"  

Share this post


Link to post

Veronica

 

Veronica had a slightly hurt look on her face as she looked over at Elizabeth.  "I happen to think that my personal journals are both well written and interesting."  She stated in a teasing tone.

 

The teenage Danger's expression became more serious once again as she looked over to Kam as he asked his question about the mask.  “"Well, the burial masks, or death masks, had a number of roles in the Egyptian afterlife.  For one, it was believed they would strengthen the soul and protect it from evil spirits.  It was also tied to the importance of mummifying the body.  The ancient Egyptians believed that without the body, the soul would become restless forever.  The mask was intended to allow the soul to recognize its body."

 

"I spent time looking over the other objects in the exhibit, including Sanakht's mummy, I did not sense any magic within them.  If the mask was to have some significance with the mummy, I could not sense it."

Share this post


Link to post

Elizabeth laughed, quietly, digging in her bag for her own mask. "That's kind of ironic, isn't it? Or at least, it's the opposite of a lot of masks," she said, contemplating the face of her artifact before turning it to look at the others. "They're usually to hide who you are, or make you look like someone else."

 

She spun it on one finger and when it turned back around it had become animalistic, a totemic impression of a raven. "Or, ceremony, I guess, or to evoke something that isn't part of your own face." It continued to spin, Liz looking at it like it would answer her - a demon, a fox, a sock & buskin face, a spider. "I kind of like the Egyptian take. If the mask wasn't for the mummy, though, it makes me wonder if it's somebody else's face, or just a pure ceremony kind of thing. I don't think we should wear it if a soul might be looking for it, though, just in case?"

Share this post


Link to post

Kam listened carefully to Victories reply making a few notes in his own notebook a careful neat print of Dakanan characters as he recorded salient points.  "Perhaps related to resurrection then."  he mused quietly, "A key to Sanakhts return?"  he mused aloud as he considered the possibilities.  Such things were rare but not completely unheard of in his limited knowledge of the arcane.  

 

Elizabeth's exposition however jogged his mind as well and he looked between them as he spoke quickly but in a concise and almost clipped manner, "Perhaps you are right."  he nodded to Elizabeth, "If the artifact was not a death mask but for another purpose it might still be among burial goods but was made for use in life and repurposed in death."  The prince raised a brow in question to Veronica a silent question as to hte likelihood of such a thing and what other purpose a mask might have served among the ancients.

Share this post


Link to post

Veronica

 

"The Egyptians had ceremonial masks as well Liz."  Veronica stated as the other teenage girl talked about the various roles of masks within other cultures.  "It was just the burial mask that had a very distinct purpose."

 

As Kam suggested that the mask might be tied to a way to resurrect Sanakht, the teenage Danger gave a small shrug.  "I thought of that as well, but I did not detect anything in the mummy to suggest the magic in the mask had interacted with it over the thousands of years it was in contact with the mummy."

 

"So….there must be something else that the mask is intended to interact with.  Right now, the most logical first place to look is within the pyramid.  If we do not find anything there….then it is back to the drawing board."

Share this post


Link to post

"Well, sure. Masks are used for all kinds of things! They're cool," Liz agreed; her own mask was growing thinner and flatter as it spun, until a final rotation where it was so two-dimensional that it was all but invisible when turned away from the onlooker - at which point it disappeared entirely and she dropped her hand back into her lap. A perfectly normal way to put one's mask away. "We'll just have to keep our eyes peeled for mummies, ghosts, mummy ghosts, ceremonial inscriptions, and faceless or maskless statues that look suspiciously like levers or secret doors."

 

She grinned, turning in her seat to peer out a window; it would have been a better option if she'd taken a seat where she could peer forward instead of back. "Do you know how far out we are?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Well good to know we don't have too long a list to watch for."  Kam replied to Elizabeth with characteristic dry humor.  With less levity he let out a small sigh.  "Yes I had hoped we might get such direction from the egyptians culturla use of such things."  he shrugged slightly not overly bothered, "Regardless we shall uncover more than we knew before if only that there is nothing more to learn there."  he finally agreed and relaxed back into his seat, "Can't be long now."  he tucked his notes away to be ready to disembark once they landed.

Share this post


Link to post

Veronica

 

Veronica smile slightly at Liz's joke about the threats they needed to keep an eye out for.  Turning back slightly towards the window, she looked out, spotting the Nile down below them.  "Yes, we should be on the ground is about ten minutes."  She stated in agreement with Kam’s observation.

 

The statement proved accurate, as the group began to feel the pressure change more rapidly as the plane began its final descent.  Soon, they were down on the tarmac of Cairo International Airport, taxing off away from the main terminals towards a section of the airport for smaller, private planes.

 

Gathering their things, the three teens and Prudence soon disembarked, steeping out to the mildly hot afternoon air of Cairo and were met by customs and immigration officials.  As Prudence had promised, the formalities were rather short, with the clout of the Dakana Royal Family and Danger International having cleared things ahead of time, the officials only wanting to confirm the identities of the disembarking passengers.

 

Prudence once again delivered as a dark green Land Rover sat parked not far off the tarmac, a Danger International employee waiting for the group with the keys, which Veronica took with a word of thanks.  Making her way over to the driver's seat (located on the right hand side of the vehicle) she glance back at her two friends as a wide grin spread across her face.  "Well, let's get going."  She stated putting her pack down in between the two front seat and climbing into the vehicle.

Share this post


Link to post

Elizabeth squinted at the sun and conjured a white, wide-brimmed floppy hat before disembarking, pulling it over her head in a vain attempt to shield herself from the wrath of an afternoon sun. It also might have helped her feel more like the kind of person who should be disembarking from a private plane in Cairo, but she tried not to dwell on that part - maybe she'd earn it for herself one day.

 

"More seriously," she said, pulling herself and her bag up into one of the back seats, "is there anything we should watch out for? With the way our lives go, I'll confess that I'm really not sure where to draw the line between 'crazy traps are just archaeological fiction' and 'crazy traps are a normal part of adventuring life'. On a scale from 'dry history lecture' to 'Indiana Jones', what should we be keeping in mind besides not breaking anything old and important?"

Share this post


Link to post

Kam stepped out into the bright sun with a wide smile and deep breath followed by a small frown.  The tarmac at Cairo International Airport was not exactly the most pleasant of air though it did have something to recommend it over the dry recycled air of the jet.  Shouldering his laptop bag he retrieved his roller and followed the others towards the impromptu customs check, a flash of his identification passing him through with no further fuss.  

 

"I think we can at hte least be assured we are not alone in our pursuit of whatever hte mask unlocks."  the Dakanan replied glancing to Veronica, "As for the tomb itself."  he shrugged Veronica being far more prepared to answer such queries.  "I imagine this situation is sufficiently unique that the general case does not apply."  he smiled to hte Danger scion, "However I imagine it rarely does in such company."

Share this post


Link to post

Veronica

 

Prudence climbed into another of the Land Rover's back seat across from Liz, a slightly worried look on her face as she watched Veronica make a few adjustments behind the wheel of the vehicle before starting it up.  The teenage Danger nodded in agreement with Kam as he mentioned that they could be certain that they were not the only ones interested in what the mask would unlock.

 

"Yeah, I do not doubt the Thule Society has given up on this.  The section of the necropolis we will be at is still closed off from the public, so there should be no tourists about, which will help with spotting anyone that does not belong around the dig."  Veronica stated as she pulled away from the tarmac, headed for the main road that would lead them towards down town Cairo.

 

"As for what to watch for in the pyramid, well, I think Kam is right that we are operating well outside the normal realm of things.  If we uncover some new section to the tomb that we were unable to locate before, we will have to be ready for anything."  As Veronica guided the vehicle through the busy traffic around the airport, the road curved slightly to the southwest as it dropped down ahead.  Out in front of the Land Rover was a view of down town Cairo, the Nile River, and beyond, the Pyramids of Giza.

Share this post


Link to post

"Mm, fair enough. Does anyone else belong around the dig?"

 

Elizabeth was making absolutely zero effort to hide her sense of wonder at the sights laid out before her, watching the pyramids in the distance with eyes like saucers and an obviously barely-restrained urge to shove half her body outside the safety of the car for a better perspective. She had only the presence of mind to keep her voice on-topic, compartmentalizing tourism from heroics for as long as such a thing could last. "If I were trying to sneak into a dig," she said, watching buildings and cars as if they were more magical than anything back home, "which, I haven't, but if I did - I'd probably find or make or steal badges and go in as crew, so that nobody was asking questions. One of the cheap and crude ways to pull a magic act is to have everyone secretly in on it, y'know? Replace the whole team or audience, everyone but the mark, who's going to know and catch you until after?"

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...