A/N: Feels like forever, huh? That's probably because it's practically been forever :( I had exams, plus other stuff. Sorry!
Happy New Year, guys! I hope you stick with me – and this story – for the rest of the year, even though I'm not a very consistent updater. Sorry about that. Anyway, I don't own Indiana Jones or the song/chapter title, which is Marry the Night by Lady GaGa. I don't particularly like the song, but I do like the line "I'm a soldier to my own emptiness," so I decided to put it in :P
We made it to 100 reviews! Actually, we made it past that! Thank you guys so, so, so much. It's honestly a dream come true :P I love all my reviewers and readers. Y'all make this so much more enjoyable ;) Review responses are at the bottom, as always. And a special shoutout to Writer Wade for reviewing every chapter in KoP! Thanks so much for all your time and for leaving compliments; it means a lot to me.
Anyway, please review this chapter! It's not my greatest – I was actually feeling like shit while I wrote it, but I needed to get this out of the way – but please review. Anonymous reviews are accepted, but please . . . no flames. How about the goal for the review number for this chapter is that we make it past the number on KoP? At the moment, it's just 122. Good luck my lovely reviewers! :D
Oh, and a special shoutout to Belle of Books, who was my 100th reviewer :) Thanks so much for your devotion to my story!
Anyway, enough blabbing. I now present to you . . .
Indiana Jones and the Black Tiger-Cat
Chapter 11: Marry the Night
I'm gonna marry the night, I won't give up on my life/I'm a warrior queen, live passionately tonight/I'm gonna marry the dark, gonna make love to the stars/I'm a soldier to my own emptiness, I'm a winner
Henry (Mutt) Jones III's POV
How could I have been so oblivious?
I only realised Femi and Madie were missing after everyone was out of the pyramid, blinking rapidly against the bright, sudden light that the hot sun made. When Indiana made the comment inquiring as to where they were, all eyes turned to me. I had been the one they were following in the passageway, after all.
My eyes would've widened in shock, but they were still adjusting to the bright light, so I squinted instead. "They were behind me . . ." I mumbled, and everyone glanced toward the entrance to the pyramid. Nothing happened; the two girls didn't suddenly stumble out quarrelling, like we had expected them to.
I swore loudly, earning a disapproving look from my mother. In the passageway, I had been so preoccupied with thoughts of Femi and my fight with Madie that I hadn't noticed their disappearance. Funny, how the two people who had been on my mind had suddenly gone missing.
Indy and Sallah accompanied me back into the pyramid, leaving the others to wait outside. Any normal family would have just assumed they had gotten lost, or that they were taking their time . . . but we weren't a normal family. A disappearance usually meant something much worse than getting lost.
We ran through the pyramid, checking each chamber and room hastily. After our search yielded nothing, panic started to creep up my spine. What had happened to them? Maybe they had found some sort of anti-chamber to explore, and it had accidentally sealed behind them. Or, and this option was a lot less appealing, they had been kidnapped.
I anxiously pulled my knife out of my pocket and started flipping around in my hand. Doing so had become quite the stress reliever.
Sallah, Indiana and I now stood in one of the pyramid chambers, looking around. I could almost feel a disturbance in the air, as if something had recently gone wrong. All of a sudden, my father crouched down in the corner of the room, examining something.
"What is it?" I asked. He was leaning over the display case of a sarcophagus, intently staring at the edge of it. Sallah strode over and saw what was wrong almost right away.
"There's blood there," he said, pointing to the corner. "You don't think . . . ?"
I knelt down beside Dad, but I put my head in my hands instead of looking at the blood. Honestly, how could I have not noticed anything? There must've been some sort of trouble, and yet, I hadn't heard a thing. My thoughts had been otherwise occupied.
I had been thinking about Madie (surprise, surprise). She had gotten all angry at me when I talked about my previous girlfriends, and Randy, the woman I used to love. But had Madie really been so blind to the fact that she had been in love with someone, too? Or was she just faking her affection for James, the preppy and traitor that I had met on my last adventure? I hardly believed that was the case. If she thought she had the right to be mad at me for falling for someone else a long time ago, then I had the right to be upset with her for being in love with someone while I was there.
That wasn't the thing that was bugging me, though. I mean, really – that problem had already been "resolved." I was upset about another matter entirely.
I had finally gotten the guts to admit to myself the reason I didn't get too close to Madie physically. I may have been in love with her . . . but we were in a different situation than I had been in with Randy. Randy had been a greaser like me, and we had been content with just lazing around in a park, teasing preppies. But the pastime of Madie and I was obviously a lot more dangerous – going on life-changing trips around the world, getting kidnapped, and being shot at practically every day. And that was what worried me.
I didn't want to get too close to Madie . . . and then lose her. I knew what it felt like to think a loved one was gone forever – like when Colin, my stepfather, died, and when Oxley went missing. I was afraid of too much commitment with Madie, because I was afraid of the pain I might feel if something happened to her. I wasn't trying to protect her – I was trying to protect my heart. It was selfish, in a twisted sort of way.
I hadn't let many people in, through my nineteen years of life. Madie was one of the few who had almost completely broken through my barriers. But I didn't want her to get any closer, for fear that something horrible would happen and I wouldn't know how to handle it. By avoiding a "physical" or sexual relationship with her, I was pushing her away before she got closer.
I didn't know how to deal with it, though. What was I supposed to do? Put everything on the line and risk it all? Or play it safe, but never truly become close with the girl I loved?
Well, first things first. We had to find her – and Femi – before I could do anything about it.
Life just gets so damn complicated sometimes.
Madison (Madie) Clarke's POV
Could life get any more complicated?
I awoke in a strange, unfamiliar room that smelled like sweat and despair. Femi was in the room as well, sitting by the only window and looking out of it wistfully, playing with her knotted hair.
"Where are we?" I asked, rubbing my head where it had crashed into the display case in the pyramid. There was dried, matted blood in my hair – I must have cut myself. Damn.
"I do not know," Femi said in a voice that clearly said could you be any stupider? "How am I supposed to know? I was drugged and brought here, like you!"
I frowned at her attitude, but got up from where I was lying on the floor. I had to put aside my differences with Femi if we wanted to get out of here.
Reaching for the window to open it, she slapped my hand back. "It is bugged. Look," she said, pointing to the wires running up and down the windowsill. I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed it, but at least she had stopped me. I smiled at the girl thankfully, but she just gave me a disdainful look and turned back to looking out the window and the vast Arabian desert. I wondered if the others had realized we were missing yet, and whether or not they had started a search. Even if they did, I highly doubted there were any clues left behind in the pyramid as to where we had been brought. Our only hope was that they would search for – and find – a Sons of Talib base, as I was assuming it was them who had kidnapped us. As to why, though, I had no clue.
Actually, maybe I did. I was still wearing Mutt's leather jacket, and as I wandered away from Femi and closer to the only door in the room, I felt the inside pocket. Yep, the page I had torn out from Indy's book with the hieroglyphics on it was still in there.
The room we were in was very bare and sparse. The only things in it other than me, Femi, and the wooden chair that she was sitting on were a low wooden table, a wooden bench, and three candles, all lit and sitting on the table. They were tall candles, but very thin, and they illuminated a pitcher of gray, dirty water and stale bread placed upon the table.
I was just about to pull the piece of paper out of Mutt's pocket and examine it when something caught my eye, and I glanced over at the bench. Screaming, I stumbled backwards and tripped over my feet onto the floor. There was a snake – one that I recognized as a poisonous snake – lying on it, staring up at me.
Femi glanced at it, and horror flashed through her eyes. She climbed up onto her chair, pointing at the snake as it hissed at me, slithering closer. "KILL IT! KILL IT!" she screeched.
"WITH WHAT?" I screamed, scrambling to my feet and climbing on the table. The snake rolled off the bench and came closer to me, mouth open in an angry snarl and fangs bared. I gasped in terror as it started to slide up one of the table legs.
Before I could jump away, the snake was on my foot, sniffing, slithering and hissing angrily. I stayed as still as I could, breathing loudly with my heart pounding in my ears. The snake slid across my boot, its slinky body making a strange sound as it rubbed against the fabric of the shoe.
Glancing up at Femi, she made a hand motion as if to say "do something."Oh, and trust me, I did want to do something – I just didn't know what! The snake was a fatally poisonous one, that much I knew, and if it bit me I would be dead within the hour. I may not have had a fear of snakes – no, I had a fear of spiders – but I really didn't want this one crawling up my leg.
"Femi," I whispered, my voice trembling, "pass me your jacket. Please, just do it," I pleaded. The other girl slowly shrugged out of the brown sweater she was wearing, trying not to attract any attention from the reptile at my feet. With a gentle motion, she threw it to me. I caught it as it sailed across the space between us, holding my breath and hoping it wouldn't disturb the snake. Lucky for me, it didn't.
"Okay, Femi, please watch out," I breathed softly. "I'm going to try to . . . I'm going to try to kick or fling it across the room."
"What?" her accent became heavier as she panicked. "Are you crazy? That will only upset it, and it might not even work, and what – what does my jacket have to do with that?"
Without answering her questions, I suddenly snapped my foot out. The poisonous reptile hissed as it slid off my shoe and went flying across the room, before crashing into the stone wall and tumbling down. Now furious, it spat, before slithering towards me faster than I thought possible.
Jumping down and swallowing my fear, I threw the jacket over the snake, momentarily blinding and confusing it. All in one motion, I grabbed the pitcher of dirty water, dumped it out, and then slammed it down on where the snake was, trapping it and the jacket between the pitcher and the floor . . . but not quite killing it. Maybe I could use it against our kidnappers – you never knew.
Glancing over at Femi, I caught a fleetingly strange look of disappointment cross her face, before it relaxed into a soft smile. "Oh, thank Allah you trapped it!" was all she said, before sitting back down on her chair and staring out of the window as if nothing had happened.
I sat on the pitcher – gently, of course (I didn't want to break or shatter it, but I wanted to keep the snake and the jacket trapped in there), and pondered our options of escape. There weren't many, and things didn't look too hopeful.
A while later, I heard voices outside of our door, but I couldn't understand what they were saying. "Femi," I whispered, "I think those – those voices are speaking Arabic. Can you understand them?" She nodded. "Well, could you translate for me? Please?"
She rolled her eyes, but got up and leaned with her ear pressed against the door anyway. The two voices that were definitely male spoke in hushed, hurried tones. Their conversation only lasted a few minutes, but it was enough to make Femi's eyes widen.
"What're they saying?" I inquired, impatient because I couldn't understand what was going on.
"They said – they said that they are going to kill us," she rushed back to her chair, horrified. "They are going to kill us and take a piece of paper, or something – do you have a piece of paper? – a piece of paper with writing on it . . . writing that indicates the final resting place of Ramla."
I swore loudly. Now was definitely the time to think fast . . . but there wasn't really anything we could do . . .
My eyes rested on the candles on the table just as the men barged into the room, guns drawn.
Quite a few things happened at once. I lunged for the table – not the smartest idea – and one of the two burly Egyptians shot at me. He missed and hit the window behind Femi; she screamed, covering her ears and falling to the floor in terror. The alarm on the window went off, blaring astoundingly loudly, as glass shattered and exploded around Femi. The pitcher that had trapped the snake tipped over when I lunged, and the angry reptile slithered out of it, hissing. It jumped for my ankle, fangs bared, but luckily one of the Egyptian men shot the snake, killing it before it could bite me. I scrambled hastily to find the notebook page, ripping it out of Mutt's pocket. It took about two seconds to wave it in front of the faces of the two men, so that they knew it was the page they were looking for, before lifting the candle and burning the old and weathered piece of paper right in front of their eyes.
Within moments, it was a heap of ashes on the floor.
The men bellowed angrily, raising their guns to shoot. "Femi!" I called out, hoping I could rely on the girl once more. "Tell them to stop! Tell them I have a proposition to make!"
She screamed at them in Arabic, repeating what I had said. Reluctantly, the fatter of the two men pointed his gun at the floor instead of at me, and gestured to his partner to do the same.
"Um. Okay," I started nervously, putting my hands on top of my head. Oh God, I hoped this worked - it was my last chance. "Do you guys speak English?"
The two men stared at me blankly.
"Huh. Alright then . . . Femi, can you be our translator?" my voice shook.
"Y-yeah," she nodded hastily, not taking her eyes off the guns.
"Tell them that the paper I burned was the only copy of the instructions to find the final resting place of Ramla." She repeated what I said in Arabic, and as the faces of the two men darkened, I hastily continued on. "I'm the only one who knows what was on that paper. I have it memorized. If they want to find Ramla, they're going to have to keep me alive - otherwise the information will be lost."
After Femi repeated my words, the men glanced at each other, unsure what to do. Both of them pocketed their guns in an almost-sad manner.
"So," I finished, "I'll make a deal with you - them - whoever. In exchange for not killing me - or Femi," my eyes darted towards the Egyptian, "- I'll give you the information you want whenever you need it. But only as long as you don't kill either of us."
After the final translation was done, the two baffled men exchanged another incredulous glance, and then bolted out of the room, slamming the door shut behind them. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding.
Femi sighed as well. "I hate to admit it," she grumbled, "but that is a good plan, Madie. It may very well keep up both alive. I assume they are going to talk to their boss; those two cannot be more than simpleminded guards. The brawn of the group, and nothing more."
I nodded, picking up the pitcher and kicking the dead snake remains across the room. I wondered how it had even gotten in here . . .
The men returned one extremely long, agitating and boring hour later. They said something to Femi before turning and leaving right away, not letting either of us get a word in.
She smiled, though, and turned to translate for me. "Their boss agreed to your plan. He will not kill us as long as we cooperate with his plans. Apparently, we must be ready to head out to the first destination tomorrow."
The first destination . . . I think back to the paper that I had memorized; the paper I had looked over countless times, memorizing every curve and line in the hieroglyphics. The first destination . . . the Great Temple of Ramses II.
As promised, we were blindfolded, handcuffed, and then loaded into the back of an airplane the next day. The ride was a bumpy and uncomfortable one, but it was short, and after a quick car ride we arrived at our destination.
The blindfolds were only removed once we were directly outside of the doors to the Temple. It was night, and the place should've been closed, but I guess our kidnappers had connections, as they were able to get us in without questions.
The façade of the building was roughly 30 meters high and 40 meters long. I stared up at the four huge, and expertly crafted, statues guarding the entrance. They were each the same giant sculpture of Ramses II, a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, with his hands on his thighs. They seemed to stare down at me as I stood quietly, returning their never-ending watchful gaze. One of the sculptures, which were as big as the temple façade itself, was missing a head.
I would've liked to admire the outside more - I was an archaeology student, after all, and the famous Indiana Jones just so happened to be my mentor - but Femi and I were ushered inside by our captors as soon as we had got there.
The temple was pretty much one huge room, filled with more colossal statues, but this time of the Ancient Egyptian god Osiris (although he did have the features of Ramses II). Each colossus was roughly 10 meters high, and there were eight of them - four lining each side of the room. All the statues held a sceptre and a flail, while the ones on the left wore the white crown of Upper Egypt and the ones on the right had the double crown of both Upper and Lower Egypt. The terrifying and majestic vulture goddess was painted on the ceiling.
"Whoa," I couldn't help but gasp at the architectural accomplishments the Egyptians had made so long ago. Someone smacked me upside the head, urging me to keep quiet.
Femi and I had both been forced to wear dark brown cloaks, made of some sort of scratchy material on the inside and a smooth fabric on the outside. The cloaks brushed against our toes and had hoods, which we wore to cover our faces. Everyone in our ensemble was wearing the cloaks. What they were for, I didn't know, but it made it difficult to tell who Femi was and who the enemies were. And although I felt sheepish to admit it, I felt mysterious with the hood up. Like a secret spy, or something.
Our group of people - there were around seven of us, including me, Femi, and our two burly bodyguards - drifted silently down the temple hall, between the rows of statues. At the very back of the temple was a wall, covered in hieroglyphics and paintings; I didn't get time to admire them though, because Femi was pushed into the wall as a man said something in Arabic.
"They want me to get the clue," she explained fearfully, "just in case it's booby-trapped."
I scrunched up my nose. "Tell them that's not fair. I won't reveal the details of the other places unless they get one of their own men to do it." Thank God the original cavern with the hieroglyphics in it was destroyed in that flood; otherwise they'd have no reason to keep us alive.
Femi repeated what I had said in Arabic, and one of our bodyguards was shoved forwards, grumbling. He started to tap on the wall, looking for a hollow spot; there was one right behind a painting of a black cat. What a surprise. The man took one of the tools my escorts had brought, and gently removed the piece from the wall, like a tile. Behind it sat a tiny black piece identical to the two we already had, except the end without the curve on it was a lot fatter.
He grinned and sighed in relief when nothing jumped out at him, passing the piece to one of the cloaked figures. The precious black object disappeared into the folds of their robe, and then we started moving again.
Well, not all of us. I hung back, putting out a hand to prevent Femi from leaving, as well. The brown cloaks made it seem as if we were two people of the actual party hanging back, not the captives.
They were about halfway down the hall when I turned and stuck my hands in the foot-by-foot hole in the wall; the one where the piece had been found. The man hadn't bothered to put the tile back, and so now I was taking the chance to explore the hole on my own.
Femi had been right. There should've been booby-traps. The Egyptians were well-known for protecting their stuff from looters and thieves, so this had been just too easy. The piece in the pyramid hadn't exactly been suspicious, because the part of the wall blocking the shaft that the piece had been in was pretty secure. It would've been impossible to get that stone back out once it was put in, when Ramla had just been killed. Over time it had loosened, luckily for us.
My hands groped along the bottom edges of the hole, thinking that maybe there was a false bottom. Instead, I heard a soft click. A tile just above the hole my hands were in slid off to the side, revealing a hole that was the exact same size and shape as the one I had been looking in.
Reaching up, I was surprised when my hands closed around a cold, heavy and small object - a black piece identical to the one my captor had found.
I knew I had the right piece when the temple started shaking.
"Duck!" I screamed at Femi as boulders cascaded from a hidden alcove above our heads. I heard our kidnappers start yelling from the other side of the temple, but by the time they had figured out it was us who was missing, the boulders had succeeded in completely cutting us off from them.
A smile crept across my face and I put my hood up, grabbing Femi by the wrist and pulling her out of the emergency exit door that had been placed in the back of the temple for tourists. Smoke stared to fill the temple; maybe a booby-trap had set something on fire. I didn't know – I wasn't going to hang around to find out. Not only were we escaping - but we had the real piece.
Review responses to . . .
SerenityAngels: Okay, okay, I updated xD Hopefully you'll review again though, if you're still around! ;)
Belle of Books: WHOO! Thank you so much for being my 100th reviewer. It means the world to me. And yes, I will update more often . . . but it'll take me a while to get into the groove of things. Sorry about that. Anyways, I'm glad you liked the thing between Indy and Mutt – I'll be sure to continue it! I hope to hear from you again soon! ;)
MandaPanda89: That's great to know! I hope this chapter was up to your standards. Please review again soon – I love hearing from you :)
Melody: Thanks for showing concern :} It's great to hear from you. I'm sorry about the sporadic updating. By the way, sorry if you're dead yet from anticipation! I don't think this chapter exactly measured up to what I was hoping for, but oh well. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this chapter!
x XRoweenaJAugustineX x: GAHHHH! Not fluffy!O_o Just give me one more chance . . . please? Please? AHHHH! FLUFFY! NOOOOOOOOO!
Haha, anyways, great to know you're still around. Can't wait to hear from you again!
BookGal26: Oh, thanks! I think my chapters are too long, so it's good to know that you like the length. Anyway, sorry about the long wait O_o Hopefully this chapter, and its conclusion, was okay for you! Can't wait to hear from you again :)
KrazyCookieRaider: Well then, thanks for that smiley face. See, here's one of my own: :) Haha. Anyway, there you go – I updated. And Happy New Year to you, too! Great to hear from you twice, haha. It just goes to show how slow I am at updating O_o Hope to hear from you again this chapter!
Merlincrazy: Great to hear from you! And, yes, Henry Jones Senior will have a part in this. You'll just have to wait for him to make an appearance, though ;) Can't wait to hear from you again, and thank you for sticking with me for an entire year! (I'm pretty sure it's been a year since I first posted KoP. Anyway, thanks!)
HealingSpringWaters: Great to hear from a new person! I love getting new readers/reviewers. Wow, that was a lot of compliments. Thank you so, so, so much for all those kind words :) Those were some of the best things one could say to an author on here! So thank you :) And as to your prediction about Femi . . . well, I'm not gonna say anything about that. Hope to hear from you again! It's great to get a new reviewer :P
WriterWade: Well hello there ;) great to see you've followed me onto this story! As I've said in our PMs, your comments are incredibly kind and they mean a lot to me. Thanks so much for letting me know your opinion, and for giving me your time. It's great to hear from new people :) And no, I've sadly never been to Egypt. But I'm glad you think my descriptions sound good, considering I have no idea what anything looks like there! Happy to know you like Angie, too xD Hope to hear from you again, too – I love reading your reviews!
Camilia85560: Haha, thanks for correcting my French xD Et, peut-être il est vivant . . . peut-être il n'est pas ;) Ca c'est un très bon « trick » pour lire les histoires! (Okay, I know that French was terrible, but I'm tired :P) Peut-être je vais le faire avec les histoires que j'aime qui sont dans une langue comme, hmm, Espagnol, ou quelque chose! J'espère que vous avez aimé cette chapitre . . . a' bientôt! And Happy New Year to you too! :)
Jade Opal: I'm glad to know you like my story! Hopefully you'll review again – it's great to hear from new people :P Thanks so much for the compliments!
PureLove14: Well hello there, Alyssa ;) Thanks so much! I love your story as well :P Can't wait to read the next chapter – send it to me soon! And please review my story as well :P.
The one who breathes nitrogen: Thanks! I'm glad you liked that chapter, and hopefully you'll review this one, too! I'll definitely keep that Grease thing in mind ;) and your other advice shall hopefully come into play later in the story, so just hang in there! Thanks so much for the comments! :)
RogueMetamorph: Aww, I liked it when you told me "every single little moment that [you] loved!" It's nice for me to read the little things ^_^ Sorry about the slow updates, though. I'm planning on working on the next chapter tonight, if that's any consolation. Plus, you read my mind – I was going to put in some Mutt insight even before you posted that :P It didn't turn out quite the way I wanted it too, though. This chapter was really hard for me to write :( And I love to hear that you're telling your friend about my story (where no one pukes rainbows xD) It means a lot to me. Honestly, I always look forward to your reviews. And yes, the Jones family needs a counsellor xD Thanks so much for your compliments – I hope you tell me what you think about this chapter, as well. And hmm . . . maybe I need a frying pan of my own . . . –O Haha. Until next time! Thanks so much for the long review :D
Hoo boy. You guys have no idea how long it took me to write all those. It equalled up to over 1000 words O_o Anyway, please leave a review, and keep your eyes peeled for the next chapter! Thank you all so much!