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Thread: Unearthed

  1. #1
    Unearthed

    Unearthed

    In the beginning, there was darkness...

    That's how it always started: *Darkness and chaos in an infinite void. *But then something happenned. *Perhaps it was a big bang, perhaps a single ray of light. *It might've taken billions of years, or maybe a few days. *Either way, it happenned. *Creation happenned. *Forces clashed, a balance was struck, and out of the chaos came order. *And within that order... life.

    For as long as man had walked this earth, he found different ways to explain creation. *He gave the sun a face, the moon a heart... the voices of nature became the very substance of legend. *And these fantastic tales endured and evolved, carved into walls and giving form to statues and monuments, recited in the streets, adorning endless scrolls, and divulged hauntingly around campfires. *They endured and evolved, epic tales for most, and the ultimate riddle for a select few.

    What secrets lay hidden within these myths? *What substance gave birth to legend? *Can these secrets be exploited? *And most importantly, who will preserve the order when they are?


    This is no epic saga, and our main players are mere human beings, but forces will clash in this tale, and the fate of creation will hang in the balance, though the world at large may never know of it. *And so it begins...

    In the beginning, there was light. *The bright, all encompassing light of the African sun, illuminating the small town of El-Ashmuneyn on the western bank of the Nile. *It is here that a mysterious recruiter for an unnamed benefactor has sent a group of individuals. *Their mission: *Preserving existence as we know it from those who would toy with the powers of the unknown, the unbelievable... the mythical.
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  2. #2
    A rather diminutive woman stood in the shade offered by the awning of a dilapitated building overlooking ... sand. And more sand. Surrounded by yet more sand that would undoubtedly find its way into every piece of equipment, every map and every piece of footwear she owned. In fact, she could have gotten at least as much shade from the stack of equipment and luggage she had *brought along with her as from the lowly shack. The sun glinted off her gold Rolex as she checked the time - yet again - confirming - yet again - that her contact was very late. As if standing in front of a shady dune buggy rental place wasn't bad enough, standing there longer than she had to was nigh intolerable. She sniffed as she pushed her designer sunglasses higher up on her nose, looking about for any signs of life, and muttered to herself.

    Lateness should be the eighth deadly sin. Honestly. Is this ANY way to run a business? Not in my books, it isn't. Why, I should just pack up and go right back home. Bloody fieldwork.
    One for sorrow, two for joy,
    Three for a girl, four for a boy,
    Five for silver, six for gold,
    Seven for a story that's never been told.
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  3. #3
    Roger Stark did his best to ignore the sun that beat down on his back and bare head. He was nearly there... at least he hoped so.

    He was a tall man, lanky and not particularly muscular, with black hair that could have used a trim, a long nose that was a little too large for his face, and eyes that always tended to look a little secretive. He wore a black t-shirt, black pants, and scuffed leather shoes, all obviously cheap and completely unadorned. The most distinctive feature of his appearance was a tatoo on his left hand: the Hebrew word "emet" spelled clearly in blue ink.

    Roger saw the dune buggy rental building, and breathed an almost invisible sigh of relief.

    He liked this little village. Certainly much better than Cairo, where it was so difficult to stay out of the way of tourists with their cameras. He preferred to stay out of pictures whenever possible. Better to keep a low profile, avoid being seen. Just in case.

    There was a woman standing by the building; she seemed impatient. Roger thought she looked decidedly unpleasant, and for a moment he allowed himself to hope she was there for some other reason, and that he could simply ignore her. That didn't seem likely, though.

    When Roger reached her, he leaned casually against a wall and dumped the sand out of each of his shoes in turn. Then he spoke, somewhat grudgingly.


    "I'm Roger Stark. I assume you're here for the same reason I am?"
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea
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  4. #4
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    DUSTY STRONG

    Dusty leaned in his saddle as the sound of creaking leather filled the air. He adjusted his binoculars and looked at the two that stood waiting by the old shanty. Moving the toothpick around in his mouth, *he replaced his binoculars and *checked his Winchester Repeater.

    He was a handsome man, and the life he lived only made him look older. He had a rugged look, but it did not dull his charm or his talent. His hand rubbed against the grissle of his unshaved face, as his dark eyes gazed toward the place of his destination. This sure wasn't mountain country, but at least the pay was worth being here.

    Rubbing the neck of his mount, he spurred the Arabian forward. He took his time, he'd been out here watching in the desert for signs of people and these were the first two he'd seen all day. He felt the invitation rub against the cloth of his shirt. Adjusting his hat upon his head, he tilted it forward to block out the sun.

    Within minutes, he rode up to the shanty where the two strangers stood. His saddle creaked as he shifted his weight, stopping his mount just in front of the shanty. His leg gracefully, glided over the back of his horse and stepped onto the ground. He tied his horse and drew water from his canteen for both his horse and himself. Lifting his hat, he rubbed the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. He wasn't much for talking; not to strangers, but for the sake of civility, he extended his hand and made introductions.

    Name's Dusty.
    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free
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  5. #5
    An elderly Land Rover made its way along a rough, corrugated road, travelling with all the grace and alacrity typical of that make and model of vehicle, i.e. none whatsoever. Whilst trying to navigate the terrain, the driver idly tapped the window ledge with fingers still stained from the tobacco his doctor had told him not to smoke any more, Or Else. No smokes. And on top of that no booze and no bacon. Whole place must be run by a bunch of flaming doctors.

    The decrepit vehicle finally made it to a village deep in the arid wilderness, coming to an inevitable halt in front of a ramshackle establishment. The driver alighted from the vehicle, which took slightly longer than normal mostly because the driver was not just scruffy and sunburned, but most definitely short. He produced a hand-held GPS unit, looked at it in confusion, turned it the other way up, looked at it again, tapped it firmly on the Land Rover's door sills, looked at it yet again, curled his mouth in disgust, threw the useless unit onto the front passenger seat, unrolled a map, stared at the map, turned the map the right way up, stared at the map again, tried to read the writing on it, gave up, threw it back into the vehicle to keep the GPS unit company, turned around to read the writing on the nearest signpost, and only then noticed that not only was he was not alone, but that he had also attracted attention.

    Walking up to the tallest of the onlookers, he drew himself up to his full height, stared the onlooker squarely in the chest and demanded, "And what'ya looking at, huh?"
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  6. #6
    Roger forced himself not to crack a smile at the menacing little man. He merely shrugged noncommittally.

    "It's just, this is turning into quite the party. I had no idea so many people were coming to this little... gathering."

    And probably the oddest bunch of misfits he had ever seen. Not, of course, that he himself had any claim on being more normal than they were... quite the opposite, in fact.

    "It seems that we're a slightly strange bunch, particularly for this type of mission."

    He realized how that sounded, and hurried to include himself in the statement about being odd.

    "I don't even know why I was invited, although I assume it was because a folklorist was needed on the team."

    At least, he hoped that was why. Either way, he was reserving judgment for the moment. If anything looked fishy, he planned to turn around and head straight back to Cairo, and from there the first plane home.
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  7. #7
    Josie did her best to ignore the rough-looking character coming toward her. When he insinuated that perhaps they were in the same boat, she looked him up and down then turned away as if to say "Unlikely.". Scruffy, dirty man. Just like the one who rode up on a horse. Looking disdainfully at Dusty's outstreached hand, she kept her arms crossed and turned to face the two men, albeit reluctantly - as though the desert were infinitely more interesting - when yet another man showed up. He seemed to be a bit of a bumbler, and his masculine posturings made her roll her eyes. When she finally spoke, it was with a self-righteous air, her eyes invisible behind the sunglasses that remained affixed to her face.

    Well, as we all seem to be getting cozy, I'm Doctor Josie Richardson. You may call me Doctor Richardson. I too received such an invitation, but I was unaware that it would be a ... group project.

    She almost sneered a bit at Roger's mention of his being a folklorist. Honestly, folklorists were pure trouble; they seemed to like pretending to be archaeologists half the time.

    Right now, I just want to meet MY contact and get out of this godforsaken place as quickly as possible.

    A head-toss later and she was back to staring out over the dunes, as though they would herald the arrival of her awaited "boss".
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  8. #8
    Roger raised an eyebrow.

    "Oh, really? Well, Doctor Richards..."

    He had her name wrong deliberately.

    "...Perhaps we ought to hang your diploma from a string around your neck, just so no one forgets how much of Daddy's hard-earned money went into acquiring it."

    He stared at her for a moment

    "If you want to leave, be my guest. The rest of us, however, will stay, and try to accomplish something useful."

    Roger had forgotten that a moment ago he was thinking about leaving, too.

    "And of course it's a group project. Honestly, you don't really think you could do much on your own? Spend a lot of time dealing with grave robbers, do you? Or in the field at all?"

    The contempt was thick in his voice. *He abruptly turned his attention to the rest of the team, effectively ignoring her.

    "Well, now I suppose we wait for our contact."

    Roger tried to think of a subtle way of letting Doctor Snob know that he himself had PhD too...
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  9. #9
    As the bickering began, another man neared the group. *He was a thin man, reasonably tall, but not gangly. *He wore wide pants and a loose, open chested shirt with wide sleeves. *He also carried several types of beads and ornaments on his neck, wrist and belt, and a pouch swung by his left hip on a strap that crossed his chest to his right shoulder. *His face was mostly hidden behind dark strands of hair, his eyes completely unseen. *In fact, one might assume he was blind as he wandered right into the midst of the assembling group without acknowledging anyone. *On he went, as if on a whole other plane of existence, until he came face to face with Dusty's horse.

    A gentle hand touched the Arabian between its eyes and slowly slid down as the newcomer leaned closer until he was cheek to cheek with the animal.


    Hmm...? *He said softly, apparently to the horse. *Yes, I agree. *A very negative air about indeed. *And we haven't even begun... *The man nodded slowly. *Mm... Yes... Give it time... Give it time...
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  10. #10
    A slight whirring sound interrupted their general pleasantries. A few meters away, a bright red dune buggy bounced and roared into view, then abruptly stopped in front of the group, spraying sand everywhere.

    "Oh mah goodness!" chirped the driver. She stepped out, in one of those slow motion movie moments, her blonde locks swaying around her face as she tried to shake the sand off them.

    "I'm so sorry, y'all!" she added, while pulling the ipod earphones out of her ears. She was adorned in a white button-down midriff, denim cut-offs and hiking boots. She looked (and sounded) harmless, but then one could notice a couple of hunting knives strapped on either side of her boots and a modified GLOCK pistol on her thigh (smaller and more sleek - and it came in silver).

    "I sweah mah drivin' ain't gettin' better at all," she shrugged but her voice remained in that cheerleader pitch, "Mah drivin' teach swore t'was just like car, but smaller. Cars don't get sand all over yah, now don't they?"

    "Mah name's Stacey. How y'all doin?" she smiled, her hands on her hips while she surveyed the group. "Yep, Stacey. No need for last names now. We here are a nice little group, so y'all can call me Stace or even Tace. Just not Ace coz yah know that's a little butch for me," she laughed.
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