Stealing Memories

There was a low rumble. Small particles of dust fell from the ceiling. Amun brushed his shoulders, making sure his robes were still pristine.

“They have breached the second seal,” he told the boy by his side.

Ptah looked up at his master. “Do you think the sand trap will stop them?”

Amun let a small sigh escape his painted lips. “I doubt it will. They have passed the first set of obstacles and their eagerness to break through to the main tomb has not been daunted.”

“This room will stop them, surely?”

Amun looked around the King’s false chamber. The torch he held caused the ornate stonework to cast shifting images in light and shadow. Statues of the gods stood against each of the walls watching down on the sarcophagus. The carved image of the King, captured in his serene magnificence, lay at rest on the lid.

“This place will hold them for a while. They will think they have found the greatest treasure this pyramid has to offer.” Amun walked to the door where the robbers would enter. He glanced back at Ptah. “Sadly their greed is great and is matched only by the powers they wield.”

“But they cannot equal the magic you have been blessed with.”

“We are countless years beyond our own time. These new people the land has given birth to can harness things far greater than I will ever know.” He reached out and ran one hand over the perfectly smooth stone that blocked the doorway. The fit with the corridor was precise. Only a master stonemason had the skill to create such a thing. “Earth and air bow to them now.”

Ptah looked aghast at the prospect of the tomb being pillaged. “If you know what they can do, are you not able to counter it?”

“It is not possible.” Amun returned to his ward, his sandaled feet leaving foot prints in the dust. “True I have seen them, but I know nothing of their ways. Many times I have stood here, and in the chambers of those who died before our great king, and I can see no way to stem the destruction of these people. They will rip apart this place and when they realise it is a falsehood they will continue their search. The great chamber will be laid open to them once they have bent their will to it.”

“But …” Ptah began.

Amun rested a gentle hand on the boys shoulder, stilling the questions. “To watch all that you hold sacred trampled under a carless foot can leave a man hollow and no matter how you try the future cannot be held at bay. This is what we have learnt today. We will talk again tomorrow. Now we must return to our own time.”

The priest touched the golden amulet that hung about his neck. In the air he inscribed a glyph. Light sparked from the points of the symbol and consumed the two figures. In the blink of an eye they were gone. Their footprints, the only trace of their presence, were soon covered by the cascade of dust from the ceiling.

—————

15 January 2010
As the search for the €17 million worth of gold and silver carried by the Ancona (a liner sunk off the Italian coast in 1915 during the first world war) continues some people have expressed concerns that any salvage attempt could be construed as defiling a war cemetery.

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