I sat at the desk watching the words scrawl themselves in front of me. I no longer needed to hold the pen, they wanted to be, and
nothing was likely to be able to stop them. Once they had been known as words of power, but that was in ancient times, when they had few who could read them, and less than that who could speak them. In modern times literacy had reduced their power immensely.
But they still had some, and that is all that matters. I know their power, I have witnessed it many times up to this point, but in the last couple of weeks I, like so many before me, have become a pawn in their game, where they make all the rules, and control both sides. I was foolish enough to believe that when I first discovered them that I could use them to make the world a better place. I knew what had to be done to give them bearing upon the physical world, I had to give them a piece of myself in exchange.
Now they draw on this to sustain themselves, bringing me swiftly, and ever, closer to me own demise. Before this happens they want to be stored ready for the next reader to find, who in turn will give them sustenance, keeping the spiral of death and power for ever descending. Only too late did I realise what they were truly about, what they truly were. They were viruses, needing other life forms to survive. Admittedly there can only be one who uses them each time otherwise the words can be used against themselves, which can never be aloud to be, if they are to continue for all eternity. I wish now that I had not been so keen to dig up the past, but then if it hadn’t been me, it could easily have been someone else on that dig in Egypt. There had been five of us at the start of it all.
There was me, Andrew, Samantha, Samili, and Rhodan. We were with Professor James T. Emmanuelle. We were excavating a site a few miles south of Cairo, where a ’new’ pyramid had been found.
Already they had uncovered the top half of it and were using machinery to remove the sand covering the rest. Once that was complete the exploring was started. We had to wait a couple of days before we could do that, there wasn’t much else we could do really. At last we uncovered the entrance. Well, I say we, it was
the guy in the digger that really found it. The entrance was sealed, a huge stone slab lay in front of the door , pushed towards it from the inside out, as if someone had trapped themselves inside it in doing so. More than one person, by the looks of the size of the stone slab. The hieroglyphics on the outside door frame informed all who could read them that terrible curses from ‘the land where no life can grow’ were placed inside.
To most archaeologists these days there was no point worrying about anything like that. I have to agree with them on that front, even while I used the words of power, I never once came across any curses. Booby traps however were a different matter. Ancient pyramids were often riddled with them, as if the people on the ancient world had nothing better to do than come up with new and interesting ways of killing each other.
Most of them though are easy to spot, if you know what you are looking for, usually there are small hints, and ways of triggering them that won’t be fatal. A classic trap of the time was one where if you stood on certain paving stones in a room the doors would slam down, spikes would come out of the walls and then the walls themselves would move in. You could see which rooms had these in by the regularly set out holes in the wall, along with other things. Our professor had spent a lifetime studying them all and knew what to look for, and how to stop the traps if they were set off. That was an integral part of building a death trap system, you had to make sure that if you did set them off, you could unset them, so that they didn’t kill the people who made them, it was a sort of ‘just in case’ solution to most problems. We moved through the various chambers of the first level. We each had specific tasks to do while we were inside this great monument.
One thing to do was to catalogue all the walls. That was my job.
Basically I took a camera with me and took pictures of everything so the data could be collected later. I wasn’t the only one doing this however, both Samantha and Andrew had cameras and we were assigned rooms to photograph as we went along, once we were done with one, we would meet up with the professor, and he would give us the next one to do. While this went on he lectured both Samili, and Rhodan, on the history of Egypt. We would take this in turns overall, so everyone got an experience of work on the site, which was an important part of the course.
It wasn’t until the third day that I was assigned to the room with the words of power inscrolled. It was the only chamber in that massive place that only had one wall decorated. If I had any magical sight at all I might have seen the ebbs of power that flowed from them, or even the mystic words of warning that were hovering invisible to the non magical eye. Not knowing this though, I willingly photographed them, several times over infact, as the hieroglyphs seemed to want to be recorded. Their innate magic even then manipulating my mind.
As soon as I had done this I became very protective of the pictures I had taken of that room, so when questioned by the professor, I gave him duplicates of chambers I had taken on that first day. That early in the proceedings he wasn’t paying too much attention to all the data, it would all be collated back home after all, and he did trust us all to do the jobs he set us.
I saved those pictures on my role of film until I got back to the
motherland, so I could develop them on my own, in my studio, which I admit was also called my bathroom, but living on a students budget, what can you expect. I remember distinctly that it was a Tuesday that I actually processed the films myself, it took a fair while as I had to do each picture individually, and then wait for them to dry. That wasn’t the worst part though. Constantly I felt guilt at having kept this a secret from the others, and deceiving them, and the Professor. I hated myself for it, I really did. Whilst I was waiting for the picture to dry, I visited a library that was only around the corner from my apartment, to get books on translation, so I could understand what I had pictures of. I remember that the heavens opened as I was heading back to my apartment, and getting very wet, right through to my bones. I should have taken that as some kind of ominous warning, but then I just put the weather down to the country, it always seemed to rain at home. I had to dash back to the apartment block, three huge books cradled tightly under my arms, as I used my back to try and keep them dry, letting it take most of the brunt force of the rain.