Sunday, 15 July 2012

A Glance into the Family Album

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A Glance into the family album

In the year 00, Hannibal Gorman, a C.I.A. top-

ranking official, descended from his Jeep carefully.

It felt firm. In the distance,


he saw a gleam of light, reflecting

from the white marble walls of the

ruins he was going to investigate. He

took out his binoculars and studied

the image of the ruins through the

viewfinder. They were only a few

hundred meters away.

He then proceeded to disentangle the tight cords that bound his quad bike to the trailer. Once that was finished, he gathered all of his equipment together and set off in the direction of the ruins.

He stopped about ten meters from the first old column. He went over to it, pulled out a small electrical drill from inside his left jacket pocket, inserted into the marble and took a small sample. He did the same with four other sculptures and then made to go back to his jeep.

“Well,” he said aloud, more to hear

his own voice rather than anything

else, “that should keep McNeill happy for a few

more weeks!”

As he trudged on through the gleaming white sand, he felt his limbs plunge through a piece of unfastened sand, causing him to lose equilibrium and collapse.

“Damn” he remarked exasperatingly. He feet were wedged firm in the sand. He tried with all of his strength to move his foot. He managed to haul it a few inches. Nevertheless, as he did so, he felt the sand recede and something profoundly heavy fall onto his feet. He yelped in pain and impulsively began pushing away all the sand to ascertain what damage had occurred.

After a few more minutes of frantic burrowing, he was able to drag his legs out. He examined them closely. It was only a sprain in his left ankle � not anything major. He had holiday time coming up anyway. He would rest his leg then.

He then focused his attention on the box in front of him. Half of it was still submerged beneath the surface. He hauled out into the open and began to study it. It had a thick outer green layer that felt like velvet when touched. Around the sides there were many markings and an old style writing that Hannibal knew he had seen before somewhere.

The explorer in him took over. Out of his pocket he took out his key picking implements.

He chose a long silver one, with three barbed ends at the top.

“This should do the trick,” he said out loud. He had grown used to talking to himself now. Partly because he liked it and also because nobody one normally listen to him anyway! He spent a lot of time on his own. He liked it that way.

There was a soft click as the lock popped open. Hannibal removed it and cautiously opened the external layer.

“Oh my God,” he cried plaintively. Inside was the biggest collection of jewels and coins he had ever seen. Diamonds, jewels, sapphires, Spanish Diablo’s, rubies. There were so many of them. His eyes were then drawn to a small black leather pouch in the back of the box. He took it out, grasped the gold clasp and pulled it free from its housing. A small red book with silver corners fell out.

He opened the book and began to

examine its many pages. He noticed

that they were very thin and

resembled the material that papyrus

was made from. He looked closer and

found that he was correct. He remembered studying it while on a covert ops mission in an archaeological dig in Egypt. But what was this parchment doing out here in the Great Sandy Desert, so far from Egypt, he thought. He continued to turn the pages, taking care not to damage their delicate

and brittle structure. The pages were filled with very old and faded pictures, pictures of different people from a family. There was one large picture of a gathering of 50 � 60 people and then smaller individual pictures. He opened the middle page and gasped as he saw the photo. It was of a decapitated man. The picture was more detailed than the rest and seemed to have stood the test of time better too. Hannibal flicked on to the other pages, but came back to the middle again. He thought that had had seen a head appearing on the decapitated mans head. He shook his own head and closed his eyes. It must have been the sun playing tricks on him. It was extremely humid and Hannibal was wearing some heavy clothes to hold all of his equipment.

Suddenly, Hannibal felt a cold wind

sweep in from the north. Sand was whipped up into the air. Hannibal was engulfed.

He tried to run back to his jeep, but his sprained ankle did him no justice. When he finally did reach

It, he tried to call for help.

“This is Hannibal Gorman, code number 577 � B, requesting emergency airlift immediately.” He literally spat out the final words as there was still some sand stuck in his mouth.

He was only vaguely aware that he was still holding the book. He looked again at the many pictures as he waited for a response.

Unexpectedly, a voice erupted from within the book. It echoed round the cabin and filled Hannibal’s ears.

“Many years I have lain here waiting for someone to come. You will be of great use to me, young Hannibal, great use indeed.

Hannibal was stunned. Abruptly a white gas began to emit from the pages and photos of the book. They filled Hannibal’s mind with terrible thoughts, thoughts of death, murder and war. He couldn’t get them out.

There was quiet then. Hannibal felt light headed. He tried to pick up the receiver to query where his help was but he was strong enough. His eyes rolled back in his head. He fell forward and hit his head on the black metal steering wheel. A trickle of warm blood navigated the lines and wrinkles in his face. He was cataleptic, and close to death.

“This is Headquarters to Hannibal Gorman. Message received, authorization code verified. Helicopters have been scrambled. Will be with you soon. Headquarters out.”

Hannibal opened his eyes and stared at the pearly white ceiling. It took him a few moments to realize where he was � The Pentagon Triage Facility. He sat up and stared around at the perfectly sterile room. Outside the door he could hear the soft drone of nurses, doctors, patients, pagers and telephones as they all screamed to have a million things done at once. He put his hand to his head and felt the deep wound that was slowly healing.

Another voice then took over in his head, a harsh and antagonized voice.

“Go to the main defense room now and bring the book” The message continued to echo inside Hannibal’s mind and before he knew it he up and getting dressed.

He slipped out through a backdoor and made his way down along the red-carpeted hallway. A few ensigns and lieutenants stood to attention as he passed.

“At ease,” he muttered gruffly.

He reached the defense room and waited as the infrared sensors acknowledged that he had clearance and was not hostile.

“Please enter authorization code,” came the computers bland but insipient voice.

“Name � Hannibal Gorman, Level Clearance 1 � granted. Please proceed.”

Hannibal tried to keep his demeanor as regular as possible to try not to attract too much attention. He nodded curtly to the emotionless bureaucrat and walked on.

As he neared the metal door he tensed up. He felt the muscles in his arms tighten

but he did not know why. The security guard at the end of corridor got up and placed one hand on the holster of his weapon.

“Good Morning Sir, may I see your identification please.”

“He’s irrelevant � kill him,” came the voice in Hannibal’s head again. Once again he felt his muscles tense up. He had no control over them. But the entities demand had really caught him by surprise this time. Hannibal had never killed anyone in his life. Despite this, he walked straight up to the metal door, reached up and disconnected the great wire protruding out of the security camera. The guard rushed up to stop Hannibal but was dealt a nasty blow to his midsection, which winded him severely. The guard’s gun clattered onto the floor. Hannibal then walked over, picked it up, made sure that it was loaded and

fired � once, twice, and three times. The guard fell back onto the floor, blood oozing out of the wounds in his body. Hannibal knew then that the entity was contented � for the moment.

ALERT, ALERT � Klaxons went off all around him. He walked straight up to the door, and shot the lock. It exploded in a fiery burst of sparks. The rubber seals around the door hissed and loosened and the door swung open slowly.

Hannibal rushed in and activated the

Emergency door and watched as it

lowered into place. That was it.

Nothing could get past those doors � for a while anyway.

He looked around at the glittering glimmering room. There were so many screens, each with one specific function. Once again the voice spoke in his skull.

“Take out the book and open it. Now do exactly as I say � activate all I.C.B.M’s and target them onto the following co-ordinates. Thank you Hannibal for allowing me to do this. The pictures in this book represent people that I used to know and hate � my so-called ‘family’. I am a spirit from Egypt from many thousands of years ago. I was imprisoned in this book by an ancient magic and was bound to spend eternity in that desert away for anywhere that I could harm. I mean what is so wrong with trying to take over a country and kill it’s leader. Everyone did it back then, so why couldn’t I?”

“You are insane,” said Hannibal in a spiteful voice, “of course that’s bad. There is a name for you � a megalomaniac � a person who craves power so much that they would do anything they could to get it. You despise me!”

“Silence,” roared the voice in his head, “you do not dare disobey me!”

Hannibal felt a deep pain in his heart. He clasped his hands over his chest and howled out in pain.

“Now I will have my revenge. I will destroy those countries and people who tried to destroy me. This time I will not fail. I shall triumph.

Hannibal’s motor neurons were activated. There was nothing he could do. He walked over to the main console. His fingers ran deftly over the black shining surface.

“Now,” hissed the voice, “set co-ordinates for Cairo, Alexandria, Moscow, New York and London. High Yield Warheads. Fire when ready.”

Hannibal’s fingers entered the commands but even as they did so, he could hear gunfire from outside the metal door. The C.I.A. were trying to get in, but would they be in time? Hannibal was willing to give his life for his country � he had taken an oath to do no harm. He knew that once they gained access, they would kill him where he stood anyway. Many thoughts ran through Hannibal’s psyche. He knew that what was in his head could hear and sense all these feelings too, but that did not seem to matter to him at all.

Hannibal swore softly under his breath. He was not going to let this crazed fanatic win.

He looked around and saw the silver revolver. There were still minute traces of red blood on its shining fa├žade. This act took the entity completely by surprise. Hannibal lunged over and seized it. As soon as he had gotten an adequate grip, he squeezed the trigger. Bullets ricocheted off the black walls. They flew about the room, and finally hit the manuscript. Torrents of ink of every color spurted ubiquitously. The voice in Hannibal’s head screamed.

Once again, Hannibal felt the familiar sensation of the gray gas leaving his body. The voice stopped and was gone. Hannibal was completely aware of his own thoughts again. He was free.

Hannibal’s attention was drawn to the flashing symbols on the display. He rushed over and hit the flashing red push button. He knew that all the weapons would not do anyone any harm now. It was over.

Hannibal looked back towards the metal door. It was now glowing bright orange. They were almost through.

Hannibal collapsed onto a chair, and

Waited for his death to come. He

Reached down and picked up as many of

The ink covered sheets as he could find,

And began to rip them into shreds.

“That’s one family album no one will want to see again. So long.”

The door ruptured and burst open. A hail of bullets immediately hit Hannibal. He was dead before he even hit the floor. But he had succeeded in his final mission. The mission he had devoted his life to � to do no harm.


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