the Antique Shop
Mr. Leo Schuler' shop specializes in old and rare books and antiques. Silas is practically drooling upon entering as he spies all of the old books. He sees many that are worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars and books that any museum would die for. There are also statues of various gods, Egyptian, Roman, and Greek, vases, and miscellaneous jewelry.
They have a pleasant conversation with Schuler, who is still visibly upset over the death of his friend. Buried in the collection of items recently purchased from Hutchinson is a small gold ring with a scarab engraved on it. Silas offers a 100 pounds on the spot and buys it. It is almost if it is calling to him. He then notices a scroll lying on the counter, its title is in Latin and translates as "Dark Truths of the Egyptian People". It is extremely old, well worn, slightly discoloured from the sun, and written entirely in Latin. It is five or six feet in length if completely unfolded. Obviously Silas purchases this as well.
It is a long night back in the hotel room as Silas reads and translates this scroll. He is sure it holds a vital clue! What he learns:
- It reveals the location of a temple supposedly inhabited by a fearsome monster and built by the Sea People
- It agrees with known history, an army of the Sea People did invade Egypt. It is claimed they came from the great western sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules. Kitty immediately says "Atlantis?" when read this part.
- A great cataclysm destroyed the armies of Sea People, perhaps the eruption of the volcanic island of Santorini?
- Silas also knows that Oannes is often depicted as being half-man and half-fish.
A balloon ride
The following morning, Saleem, introduces them to his cousin, owner of a balloon. Saleem knows of this ruined temple mentioned in the old journal and will guide them there. Soon they are aloft and travelling quickly over he desert. It is a pleasant journey, the weather is good and the winds at the higher altitude keep everyone cool and comfortable. By the cousin's reckoning, they are just about 2-hours away when Kitty spots something behind the, following them, and drawing closer.
Soon enough they spy a winged fiend swooping in for the attack. It is trying to destroy the balloon! Saleem and his cousin might be a bit panicked but our heroes appear nonplussed, yawn, another winged fiend…
Kitty blazes away with her six-guns and Silas blasts it with magic bolts. Within minutes the beast is destroyed and as its body plummets to the earth below, it dissolves into dust and fades away.
The area looks deserted and much of it is buried in the sand. A smaller building can be seen to the rear and a pool of water stands in the middle of the site. The design is mostly Egyptian but there are hints of something else in the construction. Silas and Lee both realize the pool was used as a ceremonial pool for bathing before entering the temple. The cousin remains outside with the balloon, and after bathing (out of respect for the sight) the heroes and Saleem enter the temple.
Inside is dark and gloomy filled with pillars supporting the ceiling, allowing more space on the walls for writing. The writings on the wall tell how the Pharaoh Rameses III defeated the Sea People by commanding the gods to cause earthquakes and floods to drive them from Egypt. The Sea People are drawn in careful detail, appearing to have scaly skin and big bulging eyes. Silas and Saleem remain in this big room searching while Kitty and Lee head out back to the smaller structure.
Within the smaller structure the walls are bare, no writings, only a heavy trapdoor in a corner. Together they lift the trapdoor to discover below a chamber, perhaps twice the size of the one they are standing in. The chamber below is filled almost to the rim with bones, some look human! This bones have been placed here over a large period of time. Lee digs around and pulls out a skull similar to the fish skull back at the museum.
Meanwhile, back in the main temple, Saleem and Silas are about finished searching when Silas catches a glinting from behind a portion of the wall. He chips away the wall to reveal another golden pyramid. The final piece of the puzzle.
Everyone in both rooms hear the scream of terror from the cousin outside. As they rush out to aide him, they see him pointing to dozens of mummies slowly approaching from all sides. There are too many of them to fight! And Lee and Silas both remember that the touch of a mummy can be deadly, it can cause mummy rot!
Everyone races for the balloon, the cousin already aboard and preparing for lift-off. They just need to loosen the secure lines to get away. Kitty, Saleem, and Lee manage to free their lines and jump into the basket. Silas is not so lucky. As he reaches the line, the balloon shoots up at an awkward angle, connected by this one line, it entangles Silas up. He is desperately trying to free himself and the line so they can lift off! Kitty is blasting away at mummies, trying to keep them back, the gunfire seems to have little affect however. She changes tactics and shoots the last lien free of its tie-down. The balloon shoots up in the sky, Silas clutching the rope perilously. But one mummy was close enough to land a solid blow and Silas immediately knows his has been infected.
Safely in the sky and returning home, Silas lies at the bottom of the basket feverish as the effects of the mummy rot begin to set in. Lee pushes everyone aside and kneels down beside his new friend. He closes his eyes, concentrates, and whispers something, his hands begin to glow and a wave of healing energy flow over Silas, curing him of the disease.
Safely back in their hotel room, a nice dinner under their belts and a few stiff drinks, Kitty begins to translate the pyramids' message.