Every Friday I will be publishing a portion of my fan fiction sequel to The Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box. This is by no means endorsed by either the author of the novels nor the creators of the films. This is just a requested sequel as I picture it. Enjoy.
He hated sand.
The gritty element seemed to be everywhere in this wretched place. No matter the fact that he stayed in one of the finest hotels this backwards country had to offer; the sand did not care about wealth nor luxury. It invaded anyway, like the heat that permeated everywhere and made the inflated stench of the common men worse. It would appear soap and water was a rare commodity here, he observed, waving his nose as the carriage he rode in passed by a butcher’s shop. Cleanliness was not the forte of foreigners, it would seem.
Mopping his forehead with a handkerchief, he sank back deeper into the dark shadows of the coach he rode in. The only thing one might see, were they to peer into the vehicle, was the square of linen fabric resting on a darkly-suited set of legs. The formal wear was his custom, the kerchief a remnant of the love he had cherished and the bitter past he hoped to put behind him.
The only place he managed to escape it was in the comforts of his hotel, and that was a long ways away, along with his wife. No, he mustn’t think of her and their sons. They’d already cost him one treasure, he couldn’t afford to lose another. No amount of familial affection was worth that. He’d already lost Luger, who was one of his most valuable assets. But none of that mattered now, compared to the treasure that awaited him.
The carriage stopped in front of a small rundown building, a palace compared to the shacks that leaned against it on either side. He paused to pay the driver who babbled in his unspeakable language, wiping his hands after passing the coin. He could not fathom why Will enjoyed consorting with such filth. Then again, his dear “friend” had never been one to shy at getting his hands dirty.
The small building was little more than a large storeroom, which was littered with various knicknacks and artifacts rather poorly dressed up in the vain hope that any unlucky tourist who happened to wander in might be tempted to purchase a few.
He wound his way around a leaning set of pillars to see a small, dark man waiting for him.
“You are Gormenburg, I presume?” The Egyptian stepped forward.
The Englishman offered a tight smile. “You’re late. The staff was supposed to be found and delivered by the beginning of this week.”
The businessman shrugged. “Men work as fast as their pay.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Gormenburg said, using his teeth to pull off his gloves. “You’ll be paid, and handsomely. As long as you have what was promised.”
“But of course, my friend.”
He graced the man with a cool look, making it clear that he would not allow anyone to presume such familiarity, especially such a man as this. He followed the man into a back room, trying to conceal his impatience. He had come a long way for his prize and he was not going to let it elude him again.
Leaning down, the Egyptian moved with much ceremony, inserting a key into the richly colored wardrobe before him, pulling open the doors. With an ominous click, a hidden drawer popped out, revealing a moderately long object, wrapped in brown paper.
“The staff of emperors,” the man said, yellow teeth gleaming as he held it.
Gormenburg had expected to feel some kind of power seeing the strange object, the same chill as when he’d handled other such objects. There was no such reaction. Still, he couldn’t help but feel a gleam of satisfaction seeing what he’d waited so long for.
“And it was removed without anyone knowing?” He asked.
The second man crossed his arms and nodded. He could have been lying through his teeth and Gormenburg wouldn’t know based on the large grin pasted across the man’s browned face.
“Just me and those unfortunate souls lost in the river fire. Very tragic.”
The Englishman ran a hand around the object, feeling for the curve of the cane and weighty emblem that should rest on the top. When his fingers met the desired shapes, he nodded and drew the packaged object to him.
“Now, I believe the price we agreed on was 10,000, but seeing as how much effort my crew put into the job, 50,000 should suffice.”
“You’ll get a reward for this,” Gormenburg nodded.
The Egyptian turned, his sly smile sliding off when he saw the revolver pointed at his face.
“No – wait!”
The gunshot was quiet, the bureau’s own invention. It was immensely satisfying to hear the thud of an obstacle eliminated, thought Gormenburg.
Outside the world continued as usual, just as filthy and God-forsaken as it had been when he left it. The small crowds of men who passed him, garbed in white cloth and muttering to one another, eyed him as he passed by with a large grin. They were all fools, he thought scornfully. He felt a strange surge of affection for their pitiful faces. It would be easy to crush them now that he had what he wanted.
Exactly as his buyers wanted.
The carriage driver looked down at him, just as unknowing of the trade that had just been made. Unknowing of the power that had been acquired.
Too easy, he thought, flicking off the brown packaging with precise movement.
His smile disappeared.
The golden staff he’d expected to see was not there, replaced by a wooden rod of the same shape. Anger flooded through his veins, turning his vision red. It couldn’t be – no, of course not. There was no way his wife had managed to get word.
There was only one person who could have taken it.