At the edge of the dig site, a dusty white jeep drew near. Inside were two young men, both in their mid-to-early twenties.
The man behind the wheel was bald and somewhat pale. He had on an olive-green long-sleeved button up shirt, loose ventilated pants and some thoughtful trekking boots.
The man in the passenger seat had lengthy dark brown hair that reached almost to his shoulders, and tanner than his companion, though it was still clear that he was unused to the hot desert sun. He also wore a button up shirt, rolled to his elbows, though his was a light beige, and over it he wore a black waistcoat, a touch unsuitable for the environment. He had on a pair of sunglasses, and was idly tipping them up and down as he checked a map.
As they got closer, the bald man slowed the jeep and the dark-haired man withdrew his attention from the map— which he hadn't really been reading anyway. He raised his sunglasses and took a look at the scene ahead, then glanced at the bald man, asking, "This is it?"
"You tell me-" replied the bald man, "You've got the map."
The dark-haired man frowned, and looked back down at the map. Then at the bald man. Then at the map. "Yeah- but, I wasn't reading
it; I was just kinda looking at it. You know.
The bald man gave him a look, then turned off the jeep. "This is it."
He opened the door, grabbed a large sling bag from one of the back seats and climbed out, slinging it over his shoulder. He took a moment to shield his eyes from the bright sunlight, then squinted at the dig site. The dark haired man followed suit, grabbing the ad for the dig off the dashboard as he exited.
Standing next to the bald man, he said— with a glance back to the jeep, "No parking space huh?" Then he looked at the bald man again and shook his head. "Man, this'd better be worth it."
The bald man gave him another look, saying, "It's a little late to be worried about that.
"I know, I know. I'm just saying..." he held up a finger at the bald man, "If we flew out to Egypt for a scam, or a joke, I swear that I will
spill your guts, Rune." He was joking of course, and both men knew that. The dark-haired man wasn't really
worried about playing into some convoluted sham, and if they were, it wasn't as though he couldn't afford it.
"I'll bear that in mind." said Rune, the bald man.
The dark-haired man nodded towards the dig site. "Shall we then?" Without another word, the two proceeded on foot towards the strange location.
As they neared, the dark-haired man began to take notice of some very
bizarre things about the place. Well— not the place itself, but the people inhabiting it. He squinted at a particularly odd set of people, dressed in old school eastern armor.
"What the... hell...?
" he said, looking at Rune in confusion. "What's with those
guys? What- are they supposed to be samurais?" Rune ignored him, and they kept walking. Shortly thereafter, the dark-haired man spied another group of people— he assumed— dressed in... some sort of space suits?
"And those dudes," he said, gesturing, "What the flying f-"
"Don't ask questions." said Rune, interrupting him.
"Don't ask questions?
Why? Look at-"
"You read the ad too. The bottom, it says there." Rune gestured at the ad in the other man's hand.
The dark-haired man looked at the bottom of the ad, wincing as he read it. "Oh no... oh no no..."
"What, what is it?" asked Rune.
"This-" the other man began, shaking his hand at the scene ahead. "This is one of those- ah... those role-play things. Yeah. You know- where people dress up in their fantasy outfits and- aw crap, it totally is!" Rune looked like he was about to say something, but the dark-haired man cut him off, pointing at the bottom of the ad. "Look man, read it again. 'Cross Universal Flux.' Right.
And of course you're not supposed to ask questions about it because that's the whole point.
"No... no that's not the whole picture. You're missing the rest of it..."
The dark-haired man sighed and turned away. "It's all right man. I mean, sure it's kind of a silly thing to fall for, but I guess these people are mad serious about keeping in character." He shook his head and laughed in disbelief. "I wasn't aware that they even had these in Egypt. I want to know just what
exactly some of these people supposed to be. Like that four-armed guy over there. Wait... that's..."
The dark-haired man took off his sunglasses entirely. His eyes were almost the same dark brown as his hair. The 'person' he was staring at unsettled him, and it took him a moment to realize why. The arms. The strange octopus head. The way everything moved on the creature. It struck him suddenly. There was no strung-together costume. This person— this creature was, as far as he could tell, real.
He swore under his breath and bit his lip, suddenly feeling very nervous. Rune noticed as well, though his expression remained stern, determined... except... perhaps, a small twitch at the side of his mouth. A tiny glimmer of a smile?
"Jesus Rune!" hissed the dark-haired man. "Did you poison the water supply? What- was my cousin not enough?"
Rune shook his shiny bald head, in what was certainly slight amusement. "No. I had no hand in this. It's like the ad said." he paused. "At least... I can only assume." The dark-haired man stared at him as though he had just stabbed a child- but before he could speak, Rune continued. "Listen to me. Remember that allegory I told you? How I do things?"
"The... a- something about a cave? But-"
"Right! There's a cave in a mountain. The largest mountain in the world- stretches for miles around. There is a dark cave at it's base, leading to- who knows. There are people who want to take all the safety measures, eating away the whole mountain to see what is inside with the light of day."
"Actually- I don't think there are people who do that-"
"Shut up, the meaning is what counts. So there are these people who will spend ages doing things the safe way, so nothing, absolutely nothing is harmed. Then there are the people who want to grab their harnesses and lanterns, and explore the cave as it is, some precaution, but it does not take ages. Still too slow. Then there are people like me. People who dive right in, follow the cave to its end with nothing but a torch, even if it takes them to the center of the planet. People may be hurt, and often you find you can't go back- but that is how you discover
"But I don't-"
Rune placed his hands on the dark-haired man's shoulders and looked him in the eye with encouragement. "That is us now. This," He gestured at the dig site and all the oddities pertained to it, "is the cave. And we're going for it! Not blindfolded, but not waiting around for someone to hand us a map and instructions on how to do this the 'right' way. You understand now?"
The dark-haired man shook his head, but said, "Yeah, I guess." and slipped his sunglasses back on.
"Good. No more questions, or we might get kicked out. Speaking of which, we should find the one heading this thing." Rune looked over the ad once more, and looked for a name. "Ahh... here it is. MARION?"
Rune had a light Norwegian accent.
Small edit, forgot to mention Rune's bag.
edited 16th Oct '12 8:33:14 PM by Ryuhza