Time did not pass for Imhotep. When the last of the Egyptian sunlight was blocked from his eyes by linen, it seemed like only the beat of a heart before it returned. There was no afterlife for one now made undead. The curse visited on him wasn't to be entombed eternally. He was certain that the priests knew he'd be dug up at some point. Raiding tombs soon after they were sealed was common enough. Perhaps he'd even be killed by the grave robbers, if he could be killed. No, the curse was eternal separation from her. His true love. No matter when he woke from his unnatural sleep, she would be gone.



The sound of stone grating on stone filled his ears. It looked like grave robbers had indeed invaded his tomb. Sunlight bored through linen.



"It's amazing. He's in as good a shape as you could hope for." The male voice was deep.



The words the man spoke were foreign. Imhotep knew that much. Still, he understood them.



"I can't wait to get him back to the lab and run some tests." That the second voice was female surprised him.



He tried moving, but he would need to be under the blessing of Ra's sunlight for a little longer. Not that he was certain anymore that Ra existed. There was the sensation of being moved. Later there were more voices, muffled beyond understanding. A vibration suffused his whole body along with violent noise and again the notion that he was going somewhere. How he understood these things was a mystery to him. The only thing he understood for certain was that as soon as he could move, he would go out into the world and find her. Barring that, he would use the skills and talents he had to become powerful in this new time and place. If he could not have love, he would fill the void as best he could.



Eventually, he felt sensation come back to his fingers and toes. There was no small amount of pain. Blood flowed again. Nerve endings fired for the first time in over two thousand years. He came to life from the top of his head down to his toes. The strength of will that made him such an excellent priest kept him from howling, but he moaned and groaned. Those noises were blocked by the rumble of the engine. He could feel his mind touch those of the people around him. Information flooded his brain, almost as painful as reanimation.



The linen bandages proved strong, even after all of the many centuries. Eventually they parted, though. When he tore the last of them free, he found that his body was as whole and sound as it had been when the cover went on his sarcophagus. A scarab hung around his neck from finely beaten and worked gold. His own spells had made it impossible for any to remove it but him. It was in this vessel that Ankh-es-en-amon's soul would go. Then he would bring her back.



The truck came to a stop after many hours. He had managed to find a suit of clothes that would fit him in one of the vehicle’s many boxes. The clothes were loose in some places and tight in others, but eventually he would have money and resources enough to wear what he liked. For now, the plain brown uniform and its red, white, and black arm band would do.



"I'll go around back and get some of the gear unpacked." The male voice again. It belonged to Hans, an archaeologist of some fame according to the information Imhotep now had.



The woman known as Gertha answered affirmatively. "I'll get some helpers and a dolly."



When the door at the back of the truck opened, Imhotep reached out and grabbed Roger by the collar. He dragged the man into the dark and put his hands around the sun tanned throat. "Thank you for freeing m-" He stopped when he stared into Roger's eyes. An essence flickered there. A familiar essence.



Hans shook with terror. "Whoever you are, whatever you want, know that there will be people here in minutes. You won't get away with this."



Imhotep didn't listen to the words. They weren't important. He spoke the incantation meant to tell him if this was the body that his beloved now inhabited. Gender didn't matter, since the suit of flesh would be discarded soon enough. When he had his answer, he howled in rage. Hands tightened around Roger's throat and soon a cracking noise filled the closed in space. The man was dead, and the sliver of Ankh-es-en-amon's essence took up its space in the scarab. They had done the unthinkable. Her soul had been shattered and sent in uncountable directions.



Considering the dust it had been reduced to, it wasn't surprising that he found the first mote so quickly. He would have to kill beyond thousands and tens of thousands to free her. He jumped from the back of the truck, ran down the street, and threaded into the alleys. Tears streamed down his face. There was no way he'd be able to do that. He could kill a person a day or perhaps a few more if he were lucky enough to find them. Once he was certain no one followed him, he stopped and put his back against a wall.



He continued sobbing until a thought surfaced unbidden. His eyes widened in horror and slowly resolved into a look of steely determination. There existed in this world a weapon that would allow him to kill as many as he needed to. These people, in their desire to become gods, had developed weapons that rivaled the power of the sun god himself. Imhotep would find this bomb and use it. He would crack the very earth, if it would free her soul to be united with him again.



Hands balled into fists, he smiled and walked out of the alley. He blended quickly into the sea of humanity.