2.19 – The Return of Madness
“Are you completely, absolutely, 100%, unequivocally sure
is the right temple?”
“Positive,” Donovan replied with a cheeky grin.
“Really? Because that’s what you said about the other three!”
“Hey! Egypt’s full of ancient temples! And they all run together after a while!”
“Guys!” Lucy jumped between us. “Calm down. Donovan, it’s been three months and we’re all just a bit tired. Chloe, everyone makes mistakes. Let’s all just take a deep breath and calm down.”
“Besides! This is the tomb Ms. Lufti directed us to.”
“Whatever. Let’s just get in and get out.”
I was so…tense
. I wanted information so very
badly. But we couldn’t get information until we found the MorcuCorp Headquarters, and we couldn’t find the MorcuCorp Headquarters until dear Ms. Lufti was satisfied that the relics MorcuCorp were looking for were never found. Which meant we had to find them. Which entailed crawling over the entire Egyptian desert, through various tombs and ancient temples, searching for said ancient relics. Risking life and limb. But it would all be worth it! If I can get my hands on—no, stop, focus!
I shook my head and entered the temple after Donovan and Lucy.
“Did everyone bring their swimsuits?” Donovan asked.
“Yes, why?” I was preoccupied with the symbols engraved on the entryway walls. A different dialect? Interesting
“Because we’re swimming,” Donovan replied, stripping down to his trunks.
“No. Just, n—Lucy! What’re you wearing?!”
“Well, I…I grew out of my old swimsuit, and…well, there’s never really been time, or a place, to get a new one, so…so I just made one.” She shuffled her feet as Donovan and I stared at her.
She had a point. I’d, thankfully, stopped growing years ago, so what clothing I’d brought with me from the Valley still fit. But Lucy…she’s almost fifteen now
. It boggled my mind, how time had flown by. She had breasts, for Euclid’s sake! And Medea and Shaye…they’ve grown too!
“Well, uhm, well…you’re very talented.”
Lucy smiled up at me.
“Come on, slow pokes!”
“Yes, yes, we’re coming!” We jumped into the water after Donovan.
“Donovan, don’t you think you’re just a bit
lost?” Lucy quavered.
I stared at the map we’d been making as we’d journeyed through the tomb. It doesn’t make sense!
“We should be back at this junction, but this doesn’t look familiar at all!” I gestured to the dirty paper. Donovan rubbed his chin. We poured over the paper.
“It doesn’t make sense!” I sighed finally, pinching the bridge of my nose. Great, just great.
“I wonder if we took a turn here.” Donovan pointed to the map.
“Where?” Lucy attempted to peer over his shoulder, not easy with her height.
“I’ve been kind’a distracted, but that sort of looks like my short hand for a staircase.” Donovan twisted his head, still staring at the paper. “Yeah, the more I think about, the more I’m certain that we’re a level down!”
“Great! Fantastic…” I sighed again. “Who remembers where those stairs are.” Two blank faces stared back at me. “Okay. Donovan! How much farther do you think the pyramid’s center is from our current location?”
“Approximately 53 meters that
“Great!” Lucy exclaimed.
“But that’s as the parrot flies, I’m not sure which corridor will take us there.”
Lucy deflated, looking like I felt. Hopeless.
I sighed again. “Okay. How do you normally go about this whole tomb business?”
Donovan perked up. “I explore!”
“Okay…and how do you do that?” By this point, I’d been through three tombs with Donovan and Lucy, but, apparently, they had all been previously explored by Donovan, almost completely. Apparently, he had been missing some keystones
Donovan stared at me, then flashed his cheeky grin. “Like this!” And he pushed past me to a wall and started…sniffing it?
And then the wall opened.
We found a desert garden on the other side. There were plants growing there that I’d never seen before.
“Interesting…” They’re thriving here! Does the underground pressure construct on artificial atmosphere better fit for life than the desert ground?
Lucy snapped a few pictures, while Donovan gathered some samples.
I began briefly analyzing the samples. After all, it would be a shame to have them wilt due to poor understanding of their biology while still traveling.
“Guys! This way! It’s time for exploration
“Chloe! Move that statue over there!”
“C’mon! It has to be simultaneous!”
For the most part, Donovan led the way. This was his world, his passion. Lucy and I were just spectators and, at points, an extra pair of hands. We took our turns dragging great stone statues across the floor to stand them on pressure plates in order to activate…stuff
. We rummaged through holes for hidden switches and felt along the walls for secret doors. We found ancient artifacts and buried treasure. We also found ancient traps and secret, underwater tunnels. Donovan and I both drew the line at those. Lucy was made to sit those out. We had more mechanical knowledge than she did. And we could both swim, something Lucy had never been taught. Something I would remedy at some point.
how you explore!”
“There was lightning coming from the floor!”
“I know!” Donovan grinned maniacally. “Wasn’t it great!”
I leaned against a stable-looking wall, trying to catch my breath. Donovan sure could explore…if exploring was sticking you arm in every nook and cranny and running down seemingly random hallways because, and I quote, “They looked adventurous
Something creaked behind me. “I swear, Donovan, if you’re opening anoth—”