Anubis lies dead at my feet. His hollow eyes stare up at me, empty. My bloody axe smacks into his carcass.
I have defeated death twice.
I turn to my love, who cowers in horror. She has been with me both times I have conquered death. But this time, the blood is on my hands.
I have killed another.
I rush to comfort her, and she forces the axe from my hands. I hold her in the cold air, and whisper sweet nothings in her ear.
"Oh, my love," she sobbed, "I thought I'd lost you again. I couldn't bear to lose you twice."
I awake once more to sunlight streaming into my vision. My love is gone...
My love? No, I see her, slipping into her clothes. She is just out of sight of the tent flap, in case someone comes in suddenly. I put my shirt on and slip a pair of pants on after.
She doesn't speak of my scars. Instead she gives me a kiss, then apologizes for her morning breath.
I hardly noticed. She is quite lovely, especially for someone who just awoke.
I couldn't resist telling her so, either. She smiled shyly and gave me a quick kiss. I was about to pull her back and force another one out of her when I felt the presense of an immortal.
Instead, I grabbed her hand and we walked out together. Bouchard was standing there, trying to figure out how to knock on a cloth door when we stepped out. He invited us to come and see the newest part of the digsite. We both grabbed a pastry from the mess hall and munched on them on the way there.
Once at the dig site, we were shown a table full of small objects that had been pulled out since the sun rose that morning. Mostly trinkets in all, but I recognized one small piece as a small part of a sarcophogus.
I called it to Bouchard's attention, and right as he was about to explain, Forrest came up behind us.
"I see you've noticed our prize piece. This looks like it came from a roman sarcophogus. We hope to find the entire sarcophogus somewhere below. This seems to be a small private burial ground, not unheard of in the roman era."
"I didn't realize that mummification was one of the things the romans borrowed from the egyptians.", I replied.
He chuckled, "Well, it wasn't too popular. Still, it happened."
Suddenly, there is a frantic burst of jabbering from down below us. Bouchard runs down to investigate, while the three of us walk down slowly. I see River's uncle take note of our intertwined fingers, but he doesn't mention anything.
The opening to a small room had just been unearthed. Bouchard lights a candle and steps in. We follow with flashlights.
"A candle?" I ask.
He laughs. "You seem to know a lot about egypt, but not much about archaology."
I admit as much.
"Well," he says, "Often the air inside a tomb is simply bad. If the candle does anything strange, especially if it goes out, we know that the air is poisonous. It seems to be fine, though."
We walk inside, and find it to be a small room with a sarcophogus inside. Unlike the ones from my youth, this one is simple, with few spells written on the outside. On the top is a picture of a man. Once it had been brightly colored and lifelike. Now it was ancient.
But even this was younger than me.
Forrest called River over to see something else back farther in the tunnel. So, naturally, I turned to Pierre and tried to strike up a conversation.
"It must make it easier when you have a good reason to carry your sword in plain view."
"Much so." he said, and grinned at me. Then he went back to examining the sarcophogus. He inspected the corner, where a piece had broken off. It seemed the same size as the piece they had found earlier, so he grunted and stood up.
"Is Siris your real name?" he asked.
I laughed. "My real name is so old even I don't remember it. My mother called me her little bee. That would be 'bit' in my language."
It took him a moment, but then he caught it. "You're an ancient egyptian?"
"Yes. I didn't realize just how old I was until yesterday, when I asked Forrest for some basic dates. I'm almost five hundred years older than Christ."
He was silent for a moment. "I'm glad I didn't try to challenge you, then."
I laughed again. "Yes, you should be glad. I am too. I like River. I'd hate to have to lose her because of a sudden murder investigation at the wrong time. Back in the day, a headless body didn't raise much of a problem. But nowadays police are always poking their noses into such matters."
"And you would know."
"Yes, I've done my share of killing. But I've done much less than you would think. Especially for an immortal as old as I am."
He was silent for a moment, so I continued.
"But yes, this name is the first name I gave myself after I fled Egypt. Or rather, this is the english version of it."
"You were Osiris?"
"Only in name. I'm not that old." I lifted my shirt to show my scars. "I was first killed by being chopped to pieces. Luckily they left my head on my shoulders, otherwise I wouldn't be here today. When my love found me, she had no idea what to do. Originally she had planned to hide my remains until I could be properly mummified. But when she touched my severed arm, it was still warm."
Revulsion showed on his face. I'm used to that by now. "She... put you back together?"
"Yes. And when I awoke two days later, she was even more terrified. But together we fled Egypt. After we left, we called ourselves Osiris and Isis. No one else knew what the names meant, so I suppose it was just arrogance on our part."
"Why did you come back?"
"Because it's there. This is my first time setting foot in Egypt since I left, almost twenty five hundred years ago."
"Wow." was all he could say.
"How old are you?"
He shrugged. "An infant compared to you."
I grinned. "I could tell that much."
"Originally I was french canadian. My family moved to America, and I first died in a car accident in the sixties. When I first changed my name, I knew I was interested in Egyptology, so I chose the name Pierre Bouchard."
"Who was that?"
He smiled. "Most people, even archaologists don't get the connection. Major Pierre Bouchard was in charge of a small portion of Napoleon's forces. His force was one of the ones in Egypt when Napoleon hoped to take over the suez canal."
"The rosetta stone?"
"Yes. His force was the one that found the Rosetta stone."
River called us over to where she and her uncle had been looking.
"It looks like there's a door over here. It's sealed, too."
We followed her down the passageway, and we saw Forrest marking the spot with light chalk. "We'll have to get some tools before we break in. There might be something delicate under all this dirt."
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