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Shades of brown and yellow painted the desolate landscape as the Great Pyramid rose magnificently from the Geza plateau. Two smaller pyramids on both sides guarded it. A large crowd had gathered in front of the massive stone paws of the sphinx.
The Sphinx, according to Egyptian mythology, was a creature of mythical proportions. It had the body of a lion, but the head of a man. Towering above the crowd, the head shadowed them from the burning sun of the Egyptian desert. Excitement was thick in the air.
A tall brunette woman, wearing a cotton t-shirt and a pair of khaki shorts, stood in front of the sphinx. She was speaking to several workers holding pry bars. She was beautiful, but not by popular standards. Her hair was long and curly with curves at the bottom that rolled in toward her neck. Her eyes were a deep green that showed her intelligence, but also displayed her youthful excitement. She would turn thirty next year, but for now she still enjoyed being in her twenties.
Trying to explain what she wanted the workers to do, she demonstrated the technique with her hands. The workers began to understand and went quickly to work. They slammed their pry bars into the edges of a massive stone door that they had located in the front of the Sphinx and began to loosen the stone. The door was flush with the surrounding surface. It was a very large stone, close ten feet tall and eight feet wide.
An older man emerged from one of the tents that stood near the Sphinx. He was close to six feet tall, but very overweight. He had a full gray beard matching his shoulder length hair. Adjusting his thick black rimmed glasses, he looked down intothe dig site and was mortified to see what was unfolding. Yelling at the top of his lungs he tried to warn the men off. Knowing that his pleas were going unheard, he mustered all his stamina and started to run toward the Sphinx.
The brunette woman heard his pleas, but ignored them. She had worked too hard and too long to be stopped, especially when she was this close. She barked commands at the workers pushing them harder toward her goal.
The stout man made his way through the group. "Alex!" He pushed his way to the front. "Alex, you can't do this."
She turned and shot him an icy glance. "Freddie, I'm not going to stop now."
"You have to." He pulled her away from the group. "Alex, I just got off the phone with the Egyptian Government and they've pulled the plug. They want us out."
Dr. Alex Robinson turned away from him. "Dammit. What happened?"
Freddie placed his hand on her shoulder. "They called the Chicago Museum of Natural History and discovered that you lied about your credentials."
"I was wondering how long that story was going to hold water." She turned to look at her workers. They had almost pried the stone loose. She smiled. "We have to finish, Freddie."
"I can't let you do that!" He was motioning emphatically. "The Egyptian Government is sending several military units down here to see that we are escorted out and turned over to them. They want our heads Alex!"
"Then they're going to have to drag me kicking and screaming out of here because I am not going to quit. Not when I am this close!" She turned and began to walk back to the Sphinx. "You can leave if you want Freddie," she smiled at him, "but I'm staying."
Shaking his head, he followed her back to the Sphinx. The workers had moved the stone about three inches out of the surface. Far enough so they could get a hold on it and begin to pull. Alex stood behind them watching in excitement.
Freddie took his place by her side. "What do you expect to find?"
She looked at him and shrugged. "I'm not sure. The carbon dating on this place proves that it pre-dates the Pyramids and everything else that was built here. We've also used sonar equipment to find out that there is a large room hidden beneath the Sphinx. This stone obviously hides the entrance to that room. What we find there could validate all of my work."
"What work, Alex? You've been running around the world since you were eighteen looking for signs of extraterrestrial involvement on our planet. What makes you think that you'll find it here in Egypt?"
"Many researchers have theorized that these incredible monuments were actually built by aliens."
Freddie lowered his head. "I have funded your work since you started, but I had no idea you were going to take it this far. The Egyptian Government is not happy with us and they're going to be here very soon."
"I know, I know-"
Copyright © 2005 Terence West