A/N: See? I’m back. Did you miss me? First of all, if you are really, really wanting to read this story and you haven’t read my story ‘Adventures of the Fanfiction Fellowship’, I would strongly advise you to do so. Otherwise, you’re going to be sitting there, staring at the computer screen, going, ‘What the heck is going on here?’. So, for background purposes, you might want to check out the first story in this mini-series.
Disclaimer: This is a once only shot. For the rest of this fic, I will not do a disclaimer. So here it goes. I do not own (deep breath): Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Mummy or The Mummy Returns, The Chronicles of Narnia, Stargate: SG1, or any other recognizable movies/tv shows/books that you might see in this fic. Nor do I own the original fanfiction character Celia Bey. She is the sole property of LadyDeb1970 and, if you want to know more about her, just check out one of Deb’s ‘Mummy’ fics. Preferably ‘The Forever Friends’. If anything else pops up needing a disclaimer, you’ll see one. But as far as I know, this is it.
Okay, here we go!
“You have done as I requested,” said Luthien. “Thank you. Now, you will be going to these worlds in the order that they came to you. In other words, you will be visiting Anck, Evelyn, and Celia first. Then Elizabeth and Anamaria, and so on. I will be watching you. Once they are with you, and you are ready, I will send all of you to the next world. Is that clear?”
“Yes, we understand,” Arwen replied, although the look on Faramir’s face suggested otherwise.
“Very well. Do you have it?” Luthien inquired.
“Yes. Yes, I have it,” said Arwen, her hand immediately covering the area the envelope was concealed in. This exchange only confused Faramir further, but he said nothing.
“Good. I Melain berio le, Arwen Undomiel.”
“Hannon le, Luthien.”
Luthien raised her arms, Arwen closed her eyes, and the Queen of Gondor, the Steward of Gondor, and the White Lady of Rohan disappeared from the city of Minas Tirith.
“Where are we?” asked Faramir, staring in wonder at the lush greenery that surrounded them. Arwen frowned.
“I do not know. Luthien said we would be sent to Anck, Evelyn, and Celia first. But did they not say that their home was mostly sand?”
“Yes, they did,” Eowyn nodded in agreement. Where they were standing showed no trace of sand. They were surrounded by plants and….something else.
“I sense an evil here. A presence I have not felt since……well, I never have felt it now that I think about it,” Faramir said. Arwen rolled her eyes.
“This is certainly no time to be dramatic, Faramir. But I know what you mean. There is an evil in this place.”
“Um….Arwen? Faramir? Could the two of you turn around for just a moment, please?”
The other two did as Eowyn requested and their mouths fell open at what they saw. A tall pyramid sat just a short distance away from them and Arwen, with her keen eyes, saw that, at the top of the pyramid was a VERY large diamond. So impressive was this structure that the three of them might have stood there for quite a while longer just staring at it. But fate intervened in the form of a fast-moving figure running past. The figure was so close that, when it went by, they all felt the slight breeze from the movement.
Arwen followed the figure and could make out that it was decidedly male, clothed in a white top, and obviously carrying something rather…bulky. She tried to focus better, but was interrupted when two more people came racing by. Another male and the other distinctly female.
“Run, Rick!” cried the female figure. Arwen’s eyes widened. She knew that voice. Evelyn! But where were Anck and Celia?
“Was that Evelyn?” inquired Eowyn. Arwen nodded.
“Well, shouldn’t we call her back?” Eowyn persisted.
“Call her name? No. They are heading for that structure and something tells me it is very important that they reach it. If one of us were to call out, we might distract them. We should just walk towards that area. Evelyn will see us.”
The Prince and Lady of Ithilien nodded in assent and the three of them started towards the pyramid, moving silently. Arwen did not have a particularly good feeling about this place and she wondered if Evelyn had managed to get into another one of those ‘scrapes’ she was so famous for. But nothing could’ve prepared her for what she saw upon reaching the pyramid.
As soon as the trio emerged into a clear path, they were treated to quite a sight. Anck-su-namun was standing not ten yards away from them, holding the dagger that she had just plunged into Evelyn’s stomach. Evelyn looked at her for a moment in shock before falling to the ground.
A tall man, the one Arwen had seen earlier, came barreling out of the pyramid towards the fallen Evelyn. He was stopped in his tracks, however, by another yell. This time, though, the yell came from Arwen.
Anck whirled around and, upon seeing the trio from Middle Earth, grinned hugely. She dropped both the dagger and the book she had been holding and raced over to her friends, who were eyeing her somewhat warily.
“Arwen! Eowyn! Oh, it’s so good to see you! Evelyn! Evelyn!!”
There was, of course, no response from the woman now lying on the ground. Anck rolled her eyes.
“EVELYN!!!” she shouted. This time, the British woman sat up. Eowyn gasped and even Faramir turned somewhat pale. Arwen could only stare.
“What is it?” the young woman demanded, her tone implying that she was irritated at the disturbance. When she saw who Anck was standing next to, though, she smiled.
“What in the world are you three doing here?” she asked as she came towards them, dusting off her clothes as she walked. She took Faramir’s hand in greeting. “You must be Faramir. I’m Evelyn O’Connell, or Evie for short. Eowyn has told us so much about you. I would know you anywhere. You’re just as she described you.”
“Oh…uh…I…that is….thank you. I think. It’s…um…nice to meet you, too,” stammered the poor steward.
“Um…’scuse me,” said the tall man, coming up behind Evelyn, “but would someone tell me what’s going on here? Evie, you’re supposed to be dead.”
“Oh, pish-posh, Rick. You know all that isn’t real. We’ve been through it enough times in the past two months. Arwen, I am so glad to see you. Please say you’ve come to take us back with you so we can fix this horrid thing we’ve done.”
For the first time in the past two or three minutes, Arwen found that she could speak.
“Evelyn, do not misunderstand me. I am very glad to see that you are….not dead. But could someone please explain the reason for that?”
Evelyn smiled in an understanding way.
“Well, Arwen, it’s like this. Ever since we came back, we have been living and reliving the movies we originated from. With no fanfiction, no one to think about things like, ‘Well, what happened after….’ or ‘What if this happened instead of….’, everything is the same. So, instead of new adventures, we keep repeating the old ones. Over and over and over.”
“And over,” Anck piped up for emphasis. Evelyn threw her a rather cold glance.
“Believe me, Arwen, it is definitely not pleasant to be killed over and over by someone who, once upon a time, had become your friend.”
Anck rolled her eyes.
“How many times do I have to apologize for that? I can’t help it! It’s no picnic for me, either. After all, I kill myself about six times in BOTH movies. That’s not tops on my list of Things I Enjoy in My Spare Time, you know.”
“Where is Celia?” Eowyn inquired, curious as to the whereabouts of the original fanfiction character.
“Oh, Celia? Where did she say she was going, Anck?” Evelyn turned to the concubine, their argument apparently forgotten.
“Over here!” came a familiar voice. The group followed the sound until they finally spotted the petite brunette. She was sitting in the grass cross-legged, surrounded by strange, fierce little skeletons. Arwen blanched when she saw them, fearing for her friend’s safety.
“Celia, you really shouldn’t play poker with the pygmies. It takes the edge off their ferocity,” Evelyn admonished. Her tone led the others to believe that this was not the first time Celia had been spotted thus.
“I am not playing poker with the pygmies, Evelyn. They are merely watching as I play with the others.”
“What others?” inquired Anck.
On cue, four men stumbled onto the scene.
“You’re late,” Celia said, not even glancing up from the deck of cards she was shuffling. “We were supposed to meet here five minutes again.”
“Sorry,” one of the men said. He seemed to speak for the entire group. The same man turned to the others and held his hand out in greeting when he saw the newcomers.
“Hi. I’m Burns. This is Henderson, Daniels, and our little buddy Beni. Nice to meet you.”
“Very nice,” intoned Beni, not bothering to hide the fact that he found both of these women extremely attractive. He stepped closer to Arwen and smiled in what he thought was a charming way. Arwen, who was more than capable of handling herself, was somewhat amused when she heard Faramir growl, ACTUALLY GROWL, at the smaller man.
“Step away from my Queen, little man,” said the steward in a low tone, his hand on the hilt of his sword. Rick O’Connell, Imhotep, and Jonathan chuckled as apprehension crossed the features of Beni Gabor. The former Imhotep henchman backed away accordingly. The females of the group were just grateful that Beni hadn’t turned his attentions to Eowyn first. Otherwise, things may have ended differently.
“Celia, we have company,” Evelyn continued trying to get her friend’s attention. But Celia was far too focused on shuffling the deck of cards in extremely imaginative ways.
Instead of looking up to see the ‘company’ Evelyn was talking to, Celia addressed the four men again.
“I still haven’t heard the reason for your tardiness, Mr. Burns,” she said in a business-like tone of voice as the men lowered themselves to the ground in a circle.
“We had to shake the Egyptologist, Celia. I told you he would be hard to get rid of. Are you sure you won’t let him join our poker game?”
“Positive. He’s a horrible man, not the mention the most chauvinistic man I’ve ever met. ‘What does a woman know?’. I mean, the man’s living in the dark ages. Now, shall we begin? Seven card stud, minimum bet of fifty dollars.”
Arwen’s eyebrows climbed her forehead as she watched Celia deal the cards. Puzzled by the woman’s behavior, she turned to Evelyn, who shrugged.
“It’s been like this for the past month. There’s nothing else for her to do, Arwen. When we’re on this adventure, she plays poker with the people from our first adventure. And when we’re reliving our first adventure together, she plays poker with the people from this adventure.”
“I won thirty dollars last time!” Alex O’Connell piped up, beaming. An admonishing look from his mother made the smile vanish, but as soon as Evelyn turned away, Rick O’Connell ruffled his son’s hair with pride.
“She didn’t even know how to play when we first got back,” said Anck. “But SOMEONE decided she needed a hobby.”
All eyes turned to Jonathan Carnahan, who grinned sheepishly.
“What? She was bored! What do you want her to do? Sit around and watch us get chased by bloody lunatics?”
“Jonathan, watch your language!” Evelyn snapped at her brother.
Arwen sighed. Obviously, it would not be difficult to convince Anck and Evelyn that the fellowship had made a small….no, colossal mistake when they swore to put a stop to all fanfiction. Celia, however, might be a different story. The woman was obviously obsessed with this thing called poker. She hadn’t looked up once in all this time. How would they get her attention? Arwen tried to think of things that always got her attention when she was distracted. Unfortunately, all she could think of was Aragorn, who was ALWAYS able to get her attention.
This train of thought, however, proved to be the best one yet. If Aragorn could get her attention, Arwen thought, then surely Celia’s husband, Ardeth, could get Celia’s attention.
“Where is her husband?” she asked Evelyn and Anck. It was Rick who answered, though.
“Well, let’s see. Normally, at this time, me and my old buddy Imhotep here are duking it out inside the pyramid. So, that would put Ardeth back out in the desert, about to face the Army of Anubis.”
“Of course,” Evelyn jumped in, “if Rick isn’t in there to kill the Scorpion King, then the Army of Anubis will be victorious. And that’s not the way it’s supposed to go at all. Rick, we’ve got to help Ardeth.”
“We? What we?” inquired Rick. Anck rolled her eyes. Evelyn just glared at her husband.
“Get in that pyramid with Imhotep and kill the Scorpion King.”
“Wait a minute. Why do I have to go? I’m not the one who’s supposed to kill him!” Imhotep exclaimed, speaking up for the first time.
“Because Evelyn said so, Imhotep. Now move!” Anck ordered. To everyone’s surprise, the high priest did exactly that, with O’Connell close behind him. Every so often, the two men would cast a look over their shoulders at their respective loves. The friendship between Anck and Evelyn was not something Rick and Imhotep were finding easy to deal with.
With at least two of the men gone, Arwen found she could concentrate a bit better. But Rick’s information did nothing to help her. If Ardeth was nowhere nearby, then Arwen could not think of an immediate way to get Celia’s attention.
“Have you ever been able to get her away from those…cards?” Eowyn asked, sensing her friend’s desperation.
“Only in between adventures,” Anck replied. “We have a small, very small, break of sorts. It only lasts around five minutes. But the only person who has succeeded in getting her away from those cards is Ardeth. And then she won’t pay attention to anyone else.”
Arwen pursed her lips. If they remained in this world until the end of this adventure, then they had a chance of getting Celia’s attention. It was a small chance, but it was the only one they had. She absolutely refused to think about leaving Celia behind. The woman was part of the fellowship and, besides, Luthien had said the fellowship had to be COMPLETE to finish this mission.
“I understand what you are saying, Anck,” Arwen finally said. “But waiting until the end of this adventure is the only choice we seem to have. Tell me, what usually happens?”
“Well, the Scorpion King is killed, Imhotep plummets to an eternity of torment, I die in a pit of scorpions, and Evy and her family escape. Oh, and Ardeth lives through the attack of the Army of Anubis.”
“What happens then?”
“I don’t know,” said Anck. “After all, I am dead at the time. But Evelyn could probably tell you about it.”
“I don’t really know, either,” Evelyn admitted sheepishly. “You see, Rick and I are kissing at the end and…”
“Oh, puh-leeze,” Alex O’Connell interrupted, a look of disgust on his face. “No more kissy stuff. I’ll tell you what happens, ma’am.”
Arwen hid a smile as she nodded her head in thanks. Alex continued.
“You see, Izzy will be coming here to get me, Mum, Dad, and Uncle Jonathan. We’ll escape just as they pyramid explodes.”
“Explodes?” repeated Faramir, looking highly nervous. “Is there….fire or anything like that?”
“No, no. Just an explosion because the pyramid is full of all the stuff in the oasis. Anyway, after the pyramid explodes, Mum and Dad get all mushy, Uncle Jon and Izzy start fighting over the diamond, and I walk to the back of the vessel we’re in. Then, suddenly, everything goes dark for a few seconds. After that, we find ourselves in the desert for a few minutes with Ardeth. We stay there, like Anck said, for about five minutes and then we start another adventure….again.”
“And you are all there in the desert with Ardeth? No matter whether you died or not?”
“Well, that is strange,” Arwen said, partly to herself.
“What shall we do, Arwen?” Faramir asked. Arwen shook her head.
“I cannot think of anything, Faramir. I suppose the best thing to do would be to escape with Evelyn and her family. But what about Celia?”
“We’ve been taking her with us,” Evelyn explained. “I’d never leave her here. Rick just tosses her over his shoulder and climbs the pyramid. Speaking of which, we should probably start climbing now.”
A low rumble from inside the pyramid confirmed this statement. The three Middle Earthians (hey, a new race!) stared down in shock as Burns, Henderson, Daniels, and Beni disappeared. But Celia remained and, as the wind began to pick up, Arwen became concerned.
“Faramir! Faramir, get Celia and carry her up the pyramid.”
Faramir nodded and, knowing it would make for an uncomfortable walk with Celia in his arms, handed his sword over to Eowyn. He swept Celia off the ground effortlessly, holding her like a small child as the group made their way up the pyramid.
The wind increased and then, suddenly, all was still. Too still. This frightened Arwen further and, just as she was about to mention it to Evelyn, a huge dark cloud came out of the top of the pyramid. It grew larger and larger until it looked as if it would take up the whole sky. Stunned, the entire group could only stop and stare. The black cloud seemed to take the shape of a screaming face and then, just as quickly as it appeared, it was drawn back in to the pyramid.
A huge boom sounded right after that, shaking the very foundations of the pyramid they were standing on. Faramir, with the extra burden of Celia’s weight, very nearly lost his balance. But Jonathan and Eowyn grabbed him on either side and steadied him. Evelyn led the way up the pyramid as bits of grass and leaves swirled around them.
As they got farther up, Arwen could see that they were trapped. Was it supposed to happen like this? Was this really what life had been like for her friends for the past two months? Oh, they had to get fanfiction back. They just had to. But first, they had to get out of this alive.
The larger group reached the top just as Rick and Imhotep appeared halfway down the pyramid. Anck and Evelyn exchanged confused glances. What was this all about?
The two men, unencumbered, reached the top quickly and Rick answered his wife’s question before she even asked me.
“We would’ve been trapped down there if BOTH of us had tried to kill the Scorpion King. There was no one else down there to help us up. So Imhotep just let me kill the big mean bug and then we came to find you.”
There didn’t seem to be an argument for O’Connell’s reasoning, so everyone turned their eyes upwards in expectancy. Sure enough, right on time, Izzy’s dirigible appeared. The pilots eyes widened when he saw the extra passengers, but he had enough sense to grab a rope and throw it down in case it was needed.
Imhotep put Anck on, then Rick lifted Evelyn up. Arwen, still being of the Firstborn no matter what her decision, lightly scaled the very top of the pyramid that held the diamond, then leaped on to the dirigible. Faramir, still holding Celia, handed the young woman up to her three friends before grabbing Eowyn and doing the same with her. Alex was next, then Imhotep and Faramir. Izzy started to pull up, unable to maintain his current position without serious consequence, and Rick grabbed the rope with one hand and Jonathan with the other.
O’Connell quickly climbed into the dirigible, pulling his brother-in-law up with him. Jonathan collapsed against the side of the vessel, sulking.
“I go through all that and I don’t even get the diamond,” he griped. Evelyn rolled her eyes and Rick shook his head in disbelief.
“Your welcome, Jonathan. For saving your life, I mean,” O’Connell said flatly.
“What? Oh, yes, that. Well, thanks awfully, old man. But could you do it a bit slower next time?”
“I got an idea. How about….NOT AT ALL!”
Jonathan made a face at Rick and continued to gripe in a voice so low that no one, not even Arwen, could make out what he was saying.
“Well, what now?” Eowyn wondered. Izzy was still in shock, but Rick and Evelyn were reflecting that they liked him this way. He was quiet.
“I guess we wait,” Arwen said.
“Well, while we’re waiting…” Rick trailed off, grinning at his wife, who smiled back.
“If you insist, my love,” she said, before meeting his lips with her own. Imhotep and Anck watched them for a moment before deciding to do the same. And it wasn’t long before Faramir and Eowyn had taken a similar position.
“Oh, no! There’s three of them now!” cried Alex, covering his eyes as though he would never be able to see the light of day again. Jonathan continued to mutter, Izzy continued to steer the dirigible in silence, and Arwen kept a concerned eye on Celia, who had somehow managed to smuggle her deck of cards aboard and was now shuffling them gleefully.
‘I wonder if this was a mistake,’ Arwen wondered.
And then all went black.