"Morning everyone!" Dr. Seth Evans called cheerfully to a group of men in the middle of an excavation. "What have we found this morning?"
A nearby worker filled him in. "Well, we think it's the ruins of an ancient temple of sorts. The floor has a huge hole in it, though. The whole thing collapsed on top of it. Took all morning to dig out."
Dr. Evans nodded and put his hat over his brown hair. The day was starting to get hot. Not that it wasn't always hot in Egypt. "Probably just a branch from the palace. Might be interesting, though."
The palace itself had been discovered a few weeks back by a girl walking along the river. Who knows how long, it was buried under a blanket of sand, only to be revealed by a windstorm. The team uncovered some of it and dated it back to almost 5,000 years ago. Inside, though, there wasn't much to explore. The newly discovered temple held some promise though.
"I'll go down and have a look around," he declared, grabbing a rope and flashlight. The others just nodded, not to eager to descend into the gaping black pit. It gave most of the men an eerie feeling.
Dr. Evans was the newest member for their dig and was eager to discover something good. He had only just gotten his degree and was put in charge to get some experience in the field. Where some saw him as enthusiastic, others saw him foolish.
With a careful propel, he went over the edge and was swallowed up by the shadows. He slid down the rope about twenty feet before he touched the ground. Flipping his flashlight on, he tried to look around, but the beam didn't penetrate the black veil more than a foot in front of him.
"See anything?" someone called down, worried by the young doctor's silence.
"Not yet!" he called back, taking a step out of the column of light filtering from the hole above. He wandered in the dark, stumbling over loose stones and sand. Then, a twinkle caught his dark eyes from the far corner of the room. Curious, he approached.
It was a golden staff. The ancient object laid half buried in the sand, forgotten for 5,000 years. When Seth approached, he saw the beautifully designed cobra curled around, resting it's head on the top. Balanced on its brow was a gleaming red ruby, no bigger than his palm. It looked in great condition despite its age.
He reached for it gingerly, afraid its looks might deceive how fragile it really was, and lifted it from its sandy resting place. Suddenly in a flash of light, a voice in his head commanded him to sleep. So he did.
"Hey Seth! You alright down there?" Everyone exchanged worried whispers at the silence. "Alright, I'm going down to check on him," he told one another worker, but a voice below stopped them.
"I am alright. Just got a little lost in the dark." Dr. Evans was standing just outside the pool of light below. The workers gave a sigh of relief, glad that they didn't have an accident on their hands.
"Anything down there?" one asked curiously. Seth just shook his head.
"No. I will keep looking, though." With that, he disappeared back into the shadows. The other workers, not sure what to do, decided to take a small break and wait for their boss.
Down below, Dr. Seth Evans wasn't Dr. Seth Evans. "Not my preferred form of choice, but it will do for now," he commented dryly in a voice not his own. With a look around the room, his face coiled in anger, also not his own. "I must have been discovered last, but the others may not have been released yet. No matter. I will find them soon enough and that little wench shall pay dearly."
Waving a hand, the staff against the wall flew to him and shrunk to fit in his pocket. With a casual air, the Dr. Evans imposter walked back to the light.
"Let me up. There is nothing down here accept sand and rocks." The workers pulled him back to the surface quickly, eager to get a break. "You are dismissed," he said with a dignified air as he walked away, leaving the others confused.
"That's a new one. Ever been 'dismissed' before, Earl?" one worker asked.
"Nope! Must be the heat. I swear he gets stranger by the day. But hey! If it gets us a day off, I'm not complaining." With that, the two workers headed back to their tents to sleep the hottest hours of the day away.
The possessed Seth Evans wondered for a while until he finally found a tent with odd glowing boxes, books, and other unrecognizable scientific objects.
"I must have been locked away longer than I thought. Maybe something in here can be of use to me."
Drawing the staff out and stretching it to its original size, the impersonator waved a spell at the books in the corner. They levitated off the shelves and started to flip through their pages. One stopped in mid turn after a moment and flew to the magician. The others dropped to the floor, obsolete.
"Hidden tomb? Cursed treasure?" he read out loud, "That sounds promising." On the next page was a picture of a small gold box with an eye on the front.
"Hmm…'found in main chamber'…'said to be cursed'…'many mysterious deaths'…'currently resides in Japan'… That sounds promising indeed. Perhaps I had better start in this 'Japan' then."
As he was about to set down the book, a smaller picture below caught his attention; a gold bracelet in the shape of an eye. "'Found in a secret back room of the tomb, the bracelet and other miscellaneous treasure are kept in the museum-' so that is where you hid yourself. You were always good at that. Do not worry, though, I will be sure to find you."
"Excuse me?" a voice behind Seth asked. He hid the staff and turned to see an older man wander into the tent. "I don't mind if you look at my stuff, Doctor, but please don't abuse my poor books. Were you looking for something?"
"I was just wanting to look through this," Seth answered, gesturing to the book on the table. The older man gave him a scrutinizing look and scanned the room.
"Well, I'd say you tore the place apart looking for it. What a mess." He picked up some of the books off the floor, and then seemed to notice the article Seth was talking about. "Oh, so that's what you were looking for, huh? Interesting case. Heard the bracelet and some other treasures are on some traveling exhibit. Last I heard, it was on its way to China then Japan afterwards. Sure would be nice to see…" The old timer trailed off as he reshelved his books.
"How would I get to Japan?" Seth asked, eyeing the old man.
"Take a plane, I guess. A boat would work, too, but that's a long trip. The plane is a lot faster."
"That will do. I will leave immediately." Seth turned to walk out of the tent.
"What about the dig, Doctor Evans? We still have a lot of work to do and…" the old man stuttered to a halt when he saw the venomous look in the young doctor's eyes.
"I said immediately," he repeated slowly and with malice.
"S-s-sure. O-one ticket to Japan. E-earliest possible."
Satisfied, the possessed man walked outside. "I guess fate is on my side. If I get to Japan at the same time as the exhibit, I can destroy that accursed bracelet and the Pharaoh will finally be all mine. Beware, little Safiya, your days are numbered."