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Written by Andrew Roberts These stories are based on characters and settings by Pinnacle Entertainment and Great White


New York State 1918 You ever considered an army career son? Captain Sullivan asked. The teenager said nothing. He didnt even look up at this bearer of bad news. He just stared from the window of the train at the landscape. Look, Im sorry about your father. Sullivan continued, Lives are lost in war, and Joe was a good guy. No he wasnt. the teenager replied, He was a debt collector until he was called up. Well, he was known for thinking with his fists. That may suggest why his last name was Savage. What did you say he called you again? Buck. The teenager said, once again without looking up. Buck Savage? Sullivan asked, What would a kid with a name like yours be destined for? I dont know. I hardly went to school. Look kid, your fathers dying wish was for me to watch over you. To make sure you didnt end up following in his footsteps. Im sixteen. I dont need to be watched over. Buck muttered. Well, do you have some kind of outlet? Youll see Buck said. As the train pulled into the next station Buck stepped off onto the platform where a welldressed man was waiting for him. Sullivan followed him. Who are you supposed to be? he asked the man in the suit. My name is Burton Sawyer. The man replied, shaking the soldiers hand. Im a professor of archaeology from Melbourne. Your young friend Buck here has signed up to join my Iroquois dig. Well, Im John Sullivan. Bucks old man served under me in the war.

Sawyer led the pair to his car. As they drove towards the site, Buck noticed a group of five misfits watching them leave. They looked like a colourful bunch, but Buck took special notice of one man dressed in a leather jacket and brown fedora hat. After a short drive, they reached the excavation where Sawyer was greeted by a group of other men, carrying shovels and picks.

Okay folks, Sawyer addressed the group, This here is Buck Savage. Hell be taking part in our dig. Now, there is an Indian burial ground in the vicinity, so be careful where youre digging. While I dont believe in any supernatural phenomena, I do believe we should respect the administration at the reservation. Is there anything youre looking for in particular? Sullivan asked. Yes, Sawyer replied, There is believed to be an abode belonging to a half-English, halfMohawk warrior who fought the British during the American Revolution. Im specifically on the lookout for his tomahawk, which looks nothing like any traditional Iroquois weapon you may find. Wont a weapon like that be buried with the guy? Buck asked. That could happen. Sawyer muttered, not wanting to think about that possibility.

As the day went by, the dig was well underway. Buck was slowly unearthing a variety of trinkets from the site. During the dig, he noticed the misfits from the station heading towards the site. The man in the fedora hat approached Sawyer. What are you folks doing here? Sawyer asked. Were looking for a certain tomahawk that the half-caste possessed. The man in the fedora told him, I know someone who is interested in its history. He may be willing to pay handsomely for it. Absolutely not! Sawyer interjected, That tomahawk belongs to an unsung hero of your Revolution. When we find it, it will be sent to the Native American Preservation Society. They bankrolled my work and I have no intention of going back on their agreement. The leader of the misfits pondered for a moment. Think about it. He said bluntly before leaving with his gangs. What do we do now Pete? One of the other grave robbers asked. Pete hushed him and led the group back to their truck. Come on Buck, were done for the day. Sawyer informed as he left. Buck followed the rest of the group to Sawyers campsite. He watched the professor examine the trinkets he and the other diggers had found. Well, I think weve found the village itself. Sawyer told everyone, We just need to find the warriors home.

The following morning, Buck was preparing to return to work. The other workers were being called over to the tool-shed. The door had been kicked down.

Someones broken into the tool-shed. Sawyer explained, It was probably those guys from the other day. Several shovels are missing. Theyre leeching off us. Buck commented, They want to try and find this tomahawk before we do. He grabbed a shovel and walked off. Sullivan grabbed his shoulder. Youre not thinking of going after them are you? he asked. Hey, I probably spent more time in the boxing gym than school. Buck replied in a cocksure manner. Suppose theyre armed? Sawyer asked. Then I guess Im up shit creek. Buck retorted. You kiss your mother with that mouth? Sullivan inquired. I never got the opportunity. Buck lamented, walking towards the burial ground. The boy has a sense of adventure. Sawyer remarked. I know. Sullivan murmured, following Buck.

Buck and Captain Sullivan made their way through the woods, following the tire tracks in the mud. What makes you think these guys will be at the burial ground? Sullivan queried. Its the only place they can go because we wont be digging there. Buck suggested. Sullivan pondered the suggestion, but was immediately alerted by voices nearby. The pair looked to see a clearing where Petes truck was waiting. His gang was digging up the area. One of the hunters, a tough youth who looked no older than Buck began to whoop enthusiastically as he found something while digging. Keep the noise down Billy. Pete hissed as he ran towards him with the rest of the gang. I hit something Pete. Billy said excitedly, It feels like wood. Wood? Sullivan whispered as he primed a Colt M1917, his service revolver from the war. The pair watched as the gang continued digging up the ground, unearthing a wooden coffin. With continued greed, the gang pried off the lid. Buck watched Pete reach inside, producing a steel tomahawk with an unusually shaped blade. This must be it. He said. Sullivan emerged from the trees with his revolver trained on the gang. Everyone back against the truck! he ordered, You are not meant to be operating here!

Pete nodded for the gang to comply with his orders. As Sullivan kept them covered, Buck moved towards them and picked up the tomahawk before motioning back to where Sullivan was standing. Examining it, he noticed the blade in the shape of an unusual crest. Come on Buck, Sullivan hissed, Get that thing back to the professor. While the pair was motioning back, a more rugged-looking member of Petes gang discreetly primed his own revolver. Before Buck could shout a warning, the treasure hunter fired a shot which entered Sullivans abdomen. Jesus Christ! Pete yelled in shock, Are you trying to get us into jail, Wild? Buck watched in fright as Sullivan collapsed to the floor. Adrenaline was pumping through his body as he grabbed the discarded revolver and aimed it at the advancing gang. Watch what youre doing kid, or youll be joining your soldier buddy. Wild threatened. Pete reached out to grab his colleagues arm. In a fit of panic, Buck fired a shot which hit Wild in the shoulder before taking off into the woods. Get him! Pete ordered as his gang began to give chase. Watching Billy and the other two men follow the boy into the woods, he helped Wild into the truck and gestured to the driver to start up.

Buck ran through the forest as fast as his legs could carry him. He knew he had to try and scatter the gang before making his way back to the excavation. Zigzagging his way through the trees, he found himself back on the main road. Stopping to catch a breath, he listened out for the voices of his pursuers. Another sound was drowning the rest out; the sound of an engine. He turned to notice the gangs truck heading towards him. As he began to run, he knew the truck was closing in on him. Buck was slowing down. His breathing was heavier. He grasped Sullivans revolver tightly, turned around and fired a shot. The bullet hit the trucks tire, sending it off the road into a tree. Son of a bitch! The driver shouted, climbing out of the cab. Do what you can. Pete instructed, Wild, youre with me. Before Wild could continue the pursuit, Pete took away his revolver. Just try and keep your head. Alright? He said firmly.

Meanwhile, Professor Sawyer arrived at the clearing where the tomahawk was found. Accompanying him were two New York State troopers. Good lord. One of the troopers muttered as they examined the sight, finding Sullivan lying against the tree. Hes still alive. At least for the moment. Sawyer informed them, We need to find Buck before they do.

Before anyone else could say anything, another shot rang out. The troopers both ran to investigate the shot.

In an attempt to evade the gang, Buck had attempted to hide in one of the trees. As he was climbing, the revolver had fallen out of his pocket and discharged. Billy was already racing to the sight. Upon noticing Buck, he grabbed a stone and hurled it at him. The stone hit Buck on the hand, causing him to lose his grip and fall out of the tree. Dazed and confused, he attempted to scramble up, only for Billy to pull a knife on him. As he tried to keep the blade away from him, Buck noticed that he had lost the tomahawk. With all the force he could muster, he punched the misfit across the face before grabbing the tomahawk and continuing to flee. As he ran, he stumbled and fell into a ditch underneath a fallen tree. Realising that he was out of sight, he crouched underneath the tree as Petes gang kept searching. Did anyone else see him? Pete called. I found him, but he got away. Billy called back to him, Joey and Ray have gone ahead to try and cut him off. Keep searching. Pete ordered, Can you hear this, kid? Were not gonna hurt you. Just give us back our prize and well call it even.

The sun was setting by the time Buck felt it was safe to keep moving, having sustained himself with some cornbread from his satchel. As he emerged, he noticed a light in the distance. He looked to see a log cabin. Before he could do anything else, he heard a noise behind him. Billy had crept up on him with the revolver that he had lost. Move it. He ordered, escorting Buck to the cabin. The rest of the gang were waiting inside. Pete noticed the tomahawk in Bucks jacket pocket and took it. You got guts, kid. He said as he examined the axe, But this belongs to me. I was on a licensed dig, Buck protested, It should be returned to them. Im sorry, but possessions nine tenths of the law where I came from. Pete replied, Now run along. Buck prepared to leave, but Wild quickly stopped him. Hold on son, Im not finished with you just yet. He said angrily. Settle down, Wild. Pete demanded, Weve got what we came for. You cause trouble and you wont get your cut. I dont care about my cut. Wild shouted back, That kid shot me in the shoulder; I want to give him my signature. Billy, give me your knife. Fuck you, Wild. Billy replied, Im not letting you carve on him.

Wild knocked Billy to the ground and snatched his knife away, advancing on Buck threateningly. Buck kicked him in the stomach and knocked him back into the table. An oil lamp smashed on the floor and started a fire, filling the room with smoke. Choking, Buck grabbed the tomahawk from Pete and ran for the door. As he attempted to flee the area, he was met by Professor Sawyer and the two state troopers. They were accompanied by a man in a tailored suit. Sawyer! Buck cried out in delight, Thank God youre here. Ive got it. He handed Sawyer the tomahawk, noticing the rest of the gang leaving the house. The two state troopers immediately ran to them. Professor Sawyer, the man in the suit said, I am willing to pay handsomely for that interesting piece of history you have. My men went some lengths to acquire it. Nothing doing. Sawyer replied, Your gang is responsible for an attempted murder. Why is a limey interested in a hero of the Revolution? Im not a limey. Im Australian. Pete approached the pair, holding his fedora to his chest. I never intended for this to happen. He said to the collector, The rest of my men are willing to testify against Wild. Of course. The collector replied, Do what you want. He handed Pete an envelope. Heres your finders fee. He explained, Consider it a consolation prize. Pete nodded. He watched the state troopers escort Wild away. The other members of the gang were watching him. He opened the envelope and distributed the contents before turning to Buck. You know, he said, I was impressed by your courage. Youre quite ingenuous, and you even know how to handle yourself. Whats your name? Savage, Buck replied, Buck Savage. Well Buck Savage, I could always use people like you. The offers always there. Pete said, You could make a great treasure hunter. He placed his fedora on Bucks head as if it was a crown. I think youve earned that mantle. He explained as he left. Buck smiled as he watched the group leave. What do you think about that idea? Sawyer asked. Well, Im sixteen years old and went through all that. It sounds like a career. Buck quipped.

Philadelphia 1926 Kenneth Dare read the telegram with dread. His wife Margaret was inconsolable. How could it have happened? Kenneth placed his arm around his wife. Im sure it will be okay. He said reassuringly, albeit with false confidence. He stood up and prepared to leave the drawing room, telegram in hand. In the neighbouring bedroom, a young woman, twenty one years of age, was combing her long black hair in the mirror. A gramophone on the bedside table was playing jazz songs. Kenneth strolled over and turned it off. The woman turned to look at him. Im sorry Virginia. Kenneth said, But I have some bad news. Whats wrong, father? Virginia queried. Its about Danny. He showed his daughter the telegram, He went missing in Egypt. Virginia fell silent upon hearing the news. He was covering an archaeological expedition. They were looking for some kind of tomb. Where did he go missing? Virginia asked. I dont know. Kenneth replied in despair, The Egyptian authorities have no clue either. Who was in charge of the expedition? The telegram was sent by a gentleman called Sawyer, Professor Burton Sawyer. Kenneth explained. Ill start there. Virginia told him. Youre not going to Egypt, are you? Kenneth asked in confusion. Of course I am. Dannys only nineteen. If anyone is going to find him, Ill have to do that myself. Send a message to the professor. Let him know Im on my way.

It was the following morning. Virginia and her parents were waiting at Philadelphia International Airport. Virginia, youre a dancer. Margaret said in protest, Reconsider your decision. Im begging you. Mom, Ill be alright. Ill be gone for a week at most. Ill find Danny. I promise. Virginia embraced her parents before stepping aboard the plane.

After a day of travelling, Virginia stepped off the bus from Alexandria. She marvelled at the sight of Cairo. It was a beautiful city. After checking into her hotel, she went to a local tavern to make inquiries. The tavern was filled with a colourful crowd. Virginia walked over to the bar, tended by a well-dressed man. Youre British? he asked her. No. Im American. Virginia replied. She produced a photograph of her family. Have you seen this man recently? she asked, pointing at her brother. The man shook his head. I get a few Americans here, most of them treasure hunters, but Ive not seen any who look like him. The bartender muttered. As Virginia was pondering her next course of action, two unsavoury-looking patrons approached her. We may have some information regarding your friend. One of them said, But there is a heavy price to pay. Im not interested. Virginia replied. My family was killed by British authorities. My brother and I have been alone since then. The second man explained. Im sorry for your loss. I thought Egypt was independent now.

Virginia was slowly inching away, noticing the other patrons turning to face the unfolding scene. Amongst the onlookers was a white man dressed in a leather jacket and fedora hat. The two men left the tavern. Virginia dropped a handful of coins for the bartender and made her own exit. Outside, the two men were waiting for her. Lets take a walk. One of them said menacingly. As Virginia ignored the man, he pulled out a knife and held it to her. Before he could react, Virginia punched the thug in the face and sent him reeling back. The second man grabbed her from behind and attempted to drag her away. The man in the fedora appeared and wrested him away from her. As the thug turned to face him, the adventurer threw him aside before helping Virginia to her feet. Whoever you are, youve outstayed your welcome. He said. The pair both fled the scene. After running through the winding streets, the pair both stopped to catch a breath. Whats a sweet girl like you doing so far away from home? the man asked. Spare me the flattery. Virginia replied bluntly, Im looking for my brother. Do you know a professor named Sawyer? Sure. The man replied, Im his apprentice. Buck Savage is the name. And you are? Virginia Dare. My brother disappeared while covering Sawyers expedition here. My father will pay handsomely for news of his whereabouts. Were working on it doll. Buck reassured, Ill take you to Sawyers camp. Thank you. And Id appreciate it if you didnt call me doll. Shall we go now?

Buck led Virginia to the edge of town, where a truck was waiting for them. Youre late Buck. The driver said. Weve got a new student. Buck replied, This is Virginia Dare. Shell be joining the search for our missing friends. Welcome aboard Miss Dare. The driver said as he started up the truck. Its a long trip, so Id get some sleep. Buck advised, sitting back against the supply crates and pulling his hat over his eyes. Virginia curled up at the opposite end from Buck.

When Virginia was waking up the following morning, the truck had reached a large camp at the foot of a pyramid. Buck was helping unload the boxes off the truck when he was approached by Professor Sawyer, wearing a beige safari outfit and white pith helmet. Ah, you finally made it back. He said, May I ask about the lady?

My name is Virginia Dare. Virginia informed him, My brother went missing on your expedition. The professor shook her hand, Im Professor Burton Sawyer. He said, Your parents sent me a telegram saying that you were coming. Your father is apparently impressed by your sense of adventure. Well, I was just a bored socialite mooching in Philadelphia. Virginia replied, What was it Danny was covering? He was doing a piece about Egyptian Pharaohs. I was giving a lecture at the University of Philadelphia and Id invited him to tag along. This pyramid is believed to the Tomb of Neferi, believed to be a high priestess of some extent. We tried to gain access but there is something preventing us from entering. I dont believe in magic, but there isnt any other explanation. Sawyer told her. Your brother claimed that he had found another way in, but when we checked it he disappeared and this new entrance sealed. Buck added, Something may have taken him. Yes, but what? Another voice asked. Virginia turned around to see a sultry-looking Egyptian man in a battered suit approach the assembly. Virginia, this is Ibrahim Namin. Hes our guide, and is quite knowledgeable of the area. I have studied Ancient Egyptian history at Cambridge. Namin told them, From what I understand, Neferi was the Priestess of Thoth, but renounced her faith after the death of her lover, a young fisherman named Amuten. She allegedly made a bargain with another deity, one that was not from the Ancient Egyptian pantheon, who promised to resurrect Amuten if she spread her faith in him. She was executed, but not before she had established a following; a cult known as The Children of Neferi. They laid her to rest in this very pyramid, under the very noses of the pharaohs who acted against her beliefs. And this magic is whats keeping us out? Virginia asked. Sawyer nodded. However, Buck interceded, We have had one new development. He produced a bronze medallion from his jacket. This was discovered this morning. We believe that it is some kind of key.

Virginia was shown to the entrance that Sawyer had mentioned. There was a large stone door lined with hieroglyphs. A circular imprint lay at the centre of the door. Danny told us that hed found this door, Buck explained, We went to open it when there was a noise back at the camp. When we came back, Danny had gone. What do the hieroglyphs say? Virginia asked. Namin studied them, muttering something under his breath. He then turned and spoke:

No man shall enter as the sun gazes on this place of rest. He read aloud, The Children of Neferi shall dance among their leader upon the twilight in the sands. We can only enter at night? Virginia pondered. Thats what it looks like. Sawyer replied. Well head inside tonight.

As the sun was setting, Buck entered Virginias tent with a tray carrying a plate of falafels and a flatbread, along with a pitcher of water and two glasses. We should eat something before we head inside. He said, laying the tray on a camping table. Virginia sat down and tucked in. What are these things? she asked, sampling one of the falafels. Theyre patties containing chickpeas or fava beans. Buck described, producing a bottle of Scotch whisky from his jacket and pouring out two glasses. Fancy a drink? Virginia nodded, taking one of the glasses. Cheers. She said. To your brothers safe return. Buck toasted, swigging the contents of the glass. Virginia, what did you do back in the States? My parents wanted me to become a dancer, but it never really worked out. Virginia replied, I never thought Id see the world outside Philadelphia, like Danny. So, you said were a treasure hunter. What kind of treasures do you find? There are two kinds of treasures out there: Those I find and those I havent found yet. As the pair conversed, Professor Sawyer ran into the tent. Buck! he yelled, Weve got a problem! Whats wrong? Buck asked him. Namin and some of the others have gone missing. They stole the key as well. I saw the entrance to the pyramid open. He explained. Lets get after them! Buck replied. He opened his holster containing his Colt M1917 and chambered it before following Sawyer out of the tent. Virginia followed close behind. Virginia, youd better stay here. Sawyer advised, I cant guarantee your safety. No. If Danny is in the pyramid I intend to get him out. Virginia argued. Dont worry professor, Ill watch over her. Buck promised. Virginia looked at him, feeling perplexed.

The trio entered the pyramid via the entrance Danny had found. Sawyer lit a burning torch and handed it to Buck. The dark tunnels were lined with hieroglyphs. Stay close to me Virginia. Buck instructed, And dont touch anything. They continued through the passageway. Neferis Chamber would most likely be higher up. Buck suggested as they came towards a flight of steps. Watch your step. Sawyer prepared to mount the first step when it sunk down. Buck pulled him out of the way just in time as a large stone dropped down from the ceiling. Its a deadfall. Buck explained. Virginia kneeled down to take a closer look at the steps. An eye symbol was engraved on several of them. Sawyer noticed it too. Thats the Eye of Horus. Sawyer told the other two. That might be our ticket up. Theres only one way to find out. Buck commented. He strode over to the first marked step. Nothing happened. He helped Virginia up to the step before continuing. After a fearfilled half hour, the trio were getting closer to the top but the marked steps were getting further apart. Virginia accidently stumbled, only to be grabbed by Buck but not before she trod on one of the unmarked steps. A small hole in the wall opened up and a large snake slid out. While Sawyer helped Virginia to her feet, Buck waved his torch at the snake to keep it at bay. Watch it Buck, Sawyer warned, You dont want to trigger anything else. Buck nodded, following Virginia and Sawyer up the steps.

After clearing the steps, the trio found themselves in a chamber full of sarcophagi. What do you think? Buck asked. It could be where the servants were entombed. Virginia suggested. Buck turned to the wall to notice a strange mural with several imprints. He strolled up and remembered the medallion he had found. There was an imprint with the same shape contained within an image of the sun. Buck placed the medallion inside, noticing how it fit perfectly. The sarcophagi opened, emptying their contents within the chamber. Most contained the mummified remains of slaves. Others seemed to be carrying more recent remains. Others simply contained a variety of bugs. Virginia looked around to see the body of a nineteen year old wearing a battered pair of spectacles. She ran over and immediately recognised it: It was Danny. Buck and Sawyer followed her. Sawyer checked Dannys pulse. Hes alive. He informed, But Im afraid hes catatonic. Ill stay with him. Virginia said nobly. Buck and Sawyer entered the next doorway, which brought them into a small antechamber.

Not so fast. A voice said. The pair looked up to see Namin at the opposite end of the room. He was carrying a Mauser pistol. You were too clever, just like your friend before you. I serve Neferi loyally. She will bring order to this country. For too long, the British and our governments have bickered and quarrelled over this country. We are supposed to be independent, yet the British remain. He pressed a nearby switch, causing two stone slabs to slide down and block the two entrances to the antechamber. Shortly afterwards, a small hatch opened in the ceiling, filling the room with sand. Sawyer tried in vain to move the slabs. Virginia! Buck yelled, Were in trouble! Back in the servants chamber, Virginia was tending to Danny as she heard Bucks call. As she was about to stand up, she noticed Dannys head turning to face her. Virginia? He asked slowly, What are you doing here? I came to get you out of here. She answered, Im so glad youre okay. But now, Ive gotta bail someone out. She helped Danny to his feet and they both ran to the blocked door. Whats happened? she asked. Namin double crossed us! Buck yelled indignantly, Hes with some kind of megalomaniac cult. Were stuck in a room thats filling with sand! Sawyer explained, Were about to be buried alive! Maybe theres a mechanism that counteracts it! Look around. Virginia told Danny. The siblings both felt around the wall. There was nothing of use. What about the coffins? Danny suggested. They both examined the two sarcophagi closest to the slab. A variety of bugs crawled around both of them. They both contained levers. Without a second thought, Virginia pulled it. Inside the chamber, the sand stopped flowing. Danny pulled the second lever, causing the two slabs to rise. Im impressed Virginia, Buck remarked, I thought youd show reluctance. Virginia ignored the comment and moved into the next chamber, followed by Danny. Buck was close behind them, his revolver drawn. They found themselves in a magnificent chamber, surrounded by Neferis treasures. At the end of the chamber was a large stage with an immaculately-carved sarcophagus. Namin was standing over the sarcophagus chanting an incantation, seemingly oblivious to the new entrants. My leader will return to this world. He proclaimed, Nobody can stop it. Not even you. Spare me the clichs Namin. Buck quipped, sounding unimpressed. Im just here for a prize. Children of Neferi! Namin shouted, Kill them! Neferi will return peacefully!

Several cloaked figures emerged from the shadows and opened fire on the adventuring party. Buck dived behind one of the pillars and watched for the muzzle flashes. Two bullets embedded in the pillar. Buck sprang out and fired a shot. The cultist dropped out from behind his cover. Another cultist emerged behind Virginia, armed with a knife. She dodged the attack while Sawyer tackled him to the ground and knocked him out with a timely punch. Buck continued to fire at the other cultists while Namin continued his ritual. Another cultist opened fire on Buck with a Tommy gun. Buck immediately put him down with another shot. Noticing the discarded weapon, he broke open his revolver. Three cartridges left. He removed the spent rounds and chambered new ones before whistling to his companions. Virginia looked up as Buck skimmed the revolver across the floor. She grabbed it and fired at the cultists. At the same time, Buck rolled across the chamber floor to avoid more gunfire as he grabbed the Tommy gun. He fired a burst at two of the other cultists. By this time, Namin had completed the incantation. The sarcophagus opened, and an ancient mummy emerged. Namin bowed to it. I shall kneel before the eminent Neferi. He proclaimed. The mummy looked up to see the aftermath of the battle. I shall deal with the thieves. Namin promised, Your treasures will remain safe. The mummy ignored Namins promises and placed her hands on his shoulders. Before Namin could say anything else, Neferi moved her hands up to his neck and began to throttle him. Amuten Neferi whispered as she cast Namins body aside. I would not give you the satisfaction. Buck replied. He opened fire with the Tommy gun. Neferi seemed oblivious to the shots as she advanced on Buck, picking him up and preparing to throttle him. Virginia fired a shot into Neferis back. Neferi threw Buck aside and lurched towards her. Virginia kept firing wildly at the mummy before grabbing Sawyers torch and swinging it at her. As she swung the torch, she noticed a golden ankh on a chain around the mummys neck. When Neferi prepared to strangle her, Virginia wrenched the ankh away before igniting the mummy with her torch. She was immediately dropped to the ground as Neferi went up in flames before crumbling to dust. While Virginia was catching her breath, Buck and Danny helped her to her feet. Sawyer examined the ankh. How did you know about that? he asked. It was a lucky guess. Virginia quipped. She stood up and watched as Buck started collecting the treasures which adorned the chamber. Take what you want. He said, Its ripe for the taking. To the victor go the spoils. Danny commented.

The sun was rising as the party returned to the camp. Buck and Virginia were both admiring the treasures they had acquired. So Virginia, Buck asked, What are your plans now? Im heading into Cairo so I can let my folks know that Danny is safe. Once thats sorted Im taking this haul back to Philly. She replied. I see. Buck remarked, I was actually asking about your future plans. Well I found Danny, battled an ancient mummy and acquired a lot of gold. I think I could do this for a living. If you think that, Buck asked nervously, Have you considered a partnership? Virginia turned to face Buck, feeling slightly flattered at his suggestion. No. I have not. You said that there were two kinds of treasures in the world. Well, heres a third one: Treasures that I find before you. She said cryptically before leaving in a truck with Danny. She seems stubborn. Sawyer remarked as he and Buck watched them leave, Do you think a partnership would work? You saw the way she looked at me. Buck retorted, She might think it as dumb now, but give it some time. I have the feeling Ill be running into her again. Either way, we should head back to Cairo. Sure. I could use a drink anyway.

Shanghai 1932 The night was young as Buck Savage arrived at the Club Rohmer. He was wearing a white dinner jacket and carrying a brown parcel. Thanks for the ride. He said to the taxi driver as he climbed out of his seat, handing him a wad of Chinese yuan. The nightclub bouncer stared at Bucks parcel. He nodded and opened the door. Upon entering, Buck was stopped in the foyer by two bouncers and a doorman. One of the bouncers took the parcel and opened it, revealing a gilt bronze shuttered lamp held by a kneeling maidservant. Its a Han Dynasty artefact. Buck explained while the second bouncer patted him down. Of course. The doorman replied, Go right on through Mr Savage. Shen Yu is waiting. Buck was let on through to the main part of the club. A house band was playing wholeheartedly, while a dancing troupe performed on the stage. One of the waiters approached Buck. It was his informant, Jun Ma. Theyre in the VIP lounge. He whispered. Are you ready? Buck asked. Jun nodded. Stay alert. Ive not got a gun on me. Just be careful. Jun replied, Ill bring up the statue.

Buck walked up into the VIP lounge, a mezzanine hall which overlooked the entire club. Traditional Chinese decorations adorned the walls, and a large terracotta soldier was standing in the corner. At the centre table was the crime boss Shen Yu. He was a man in his early fifties wearing an immaculate suit. Seated next to him was Ron Kwan, his righthand. Kwan was much younger, probably in his mid-thirties. A large bouncer was standing at the table. Good evening Mr Yu. Buck said as he was shown to a seat, I trust you know why Im here. Yes. Shen Yu replied, his voice commanding presence. You found the Emperors Tomb. I did. But the costs were high; bandits attacked and killed most of my men. Their leader claimed to be following orders. Whose orders were they? Kwan was able to composure. He didnt want to give himself away.

Now, Buck continued, Where is my finders fee? Where is the text? Their conversation was interrupted by the arrival of one of the dancers, wearing an immaculate red dress. As Buck turned to see her, he recognised the face immediately. It was Virginia Dare. Was she after the same treasure he was after? What is this text you are talking about? She asked. Its an ancient scroll detailing the myth of Sun Wukong. Buck explained, The Monkey King. Ive been recruited to find it by an up and coming Chinese Museum in San Francisco. Kwan placed the scroll on the table. Virginia examined it. Ive always been interested in Chinese mythology. She said. Dont get attached to it. Buck warned, Now I carry out the exchange. Jun Ma entered the VIP lounge carrying a tray with the lantern. This was all that was recovered after the attack. Everything else was lost to the bandits. Buck explained solemnly. As you can tell, its not enough. Kwan said, There will be no deal. No sooner had Kwan said this, a priming sound was heard behind Buck. Jun Ma had concealed a revolver underneath his tray and was aiming it at the gangsters. Thank you. Buck quipped as he picked up the scroll. As he prepared to leave, several gunshots were heard near the club entrance. The other patrons scattered in terror. As Jun Ma turned to check the shots, Ron Kwan drew his own revolver and shot him in the chest. The bouncer grabbed Buck and prepared to drag him away. Take him to the edge of town! Shen Yu ordered. Virginia grabbed a nearby bottle and broke it in Kwans face, knocking him to the ground and stealing his revolver, along with the discarded scroll. The bouncer watched her leave. While he was distracted, Buck delivered a kick to his shin to break his hold. He then delivered several jabs before throwing him off the balcony. As he noticed Virginia leaving with the scroll, Shen Yus men were entering the VIP lounge with knives and bats. They attacked Buck as he attempted to catch up with Virginia. The pair fought them off with efficient brawling skills before Kwan returned, this time carrying a Tommy gun. Oh, shit Buck muttered, taking cover behind the terracotta statue to avoid Kwans wild firing. I hope you have an exit strategy. He said to Virginia. She pointed at the nearby window. I can live with that. Buck remarked. As Kwan ran out of ammunition, Buck pushed the terracotta soldier as hard as he could. Before Kwan could open fire again, the statue fell to the ground right on top of him.

Military support. Buck wisecracked as he and Virginia ran towards the window. The pair leapt through, landing in the back seat of a waiting car. Virginias brother Danny was at the wheel. Nice landing Virginia. He commented, I didnt expect to see Buck Savage here. Never mind that now! Buck yelled with a sense of urgency, Get us out of here! Danny sped through the narrow roads of Shanghai. Two of Shen Yus cars gave pursuit. As Virginia primed the loaded revolver she had stolen from Kwan, Danny opened the glove compartment and handed Buck a Colt M1911. Shots rang out and bullets embedded in the rear windshield. Buck returned fire with the Colt. Head for the airport! he ordered, Ive got a plane waiting. He continued to fire, hitting the driver of the first car. It span off the road while the second car ploughed into it. Buck blew the smoke from the barrel of the Colt. After a short drive, the trio arrived at the airport. A pilot was waiting for them. Welcome aboard Mr Savage. He said, shaking Bucks hand. I see youve got some extra passengers. Come on Jack, we need to get out of here. Buck replied. They ran aboard the plane and took off in no time. Buck relaxed and fell asleep as he felt the plane in the air.

When Buck was awake, he discovered that Virginia and Danny were gone. The plane had touched down in Los Angeles and Jack was leaving the cockpit. Youre a heavy sleeper arent you? He commented. Yeah, I always try and sleep on long flights. Buck replied groggily, Whered Virginia and Danny go? Your friends disembarked in Hawaii. Jack told him, They said they wanted a vacation.

Buck felt around in his jacket. The scroll was missing. Outsmarted by her again. He lamented. Well, better luck next time. Jack said reassuringly. Buck stepped off the plane and brushed himself off. Ill be leaving on a commercial flight to New York. He told Jack. Heres a lining for your jacket. He handed the pilot a wad of dollar bills before leaving. Before he could arrange a flight, he was stopped by a well-dressed man. Are you Buck Savage? He asked with a Greek accent. Thats right. Buck answered, Whos asking? My name is Floros. Gregorios Floros. The man told him, Im looking for a man of your skills to do an investigation. What are you looking for? I wish to prove the whereabouts of Atlantis. Atlantis? Thats been on my mind, but Id need some sophisticated equipment. I dont have the resources. I am willing to finance you to find it. Well, I am between jobs at the moment. But it will be tough finding suitable marine equipment. Floros handed Buck a card. You could always contact this man. He said. Buck read the name aloud. Dr Lawrence Goldsmith Practical Solutions and New Science Methods. His workshop is in London. Floros said, Tell him to send me his bill. He handed Buck a second card. Buck nodded and left, seeking to arrange a flight to England.

After arriving in London, Buck found himself being driven to the countryside. His driver pulled up near a small country home. Buck strolled up and knocked on the door. It was answered by a man in a work uniform with a white moustache. You must be Buck Savage. He said, Doc Gold, at your service. Your Greek friend sent me a telegram about your arrival. So you know why Im here? Buck asked. Yes, Ive been trying to make some sophisticated underwater gear for a while now. He showed Buck indoors and led him to an incredible laboratory. The room was filled with a variety of gadgets and gizmos: Tesla coils, steam powered machines, along with a variety of more unusual items. Buck noticed a bizarre-looking hand gun. He picked it up and examined it. Whats this thing Doc? He asked. Dont touch that! Doc shouted, hastily grabbing it, Its an experimental firearm that unleashes an electromagnetic discharge. Unfortunately, its not perfect yet. And when my inventions are not perfect, they have a tendency to explode. What do you call it? My working name for it is an Electromagnetic Dischargement Apparatus. Another man entered the lab, also wearing overalls. He had a mechanical hand on the end of his right arm. Savage, this is Wallace Sanford. Doc introduced, Hes my assistant. I lost that at Ypres. Sanford explained, Dr Goldsmith did a wonderful job fixing up the replacement. Now, what kind of underwater gear do you build? Buck inquired. Ive developed special armour intended for deep-sea work. Doc replied. He pulled a tarpaulin away to reveal a prototype. It looks pretty good. Buck remarked, Have you tested it? Im carrying out a field test in Scotland. Everythings ready for shipping. Excellent.

After almost a day of travel, Buck and his new companions were arriving at the village of Fort Augustus, overlooking Loch Ness. The diving armour was being offloaded from their truck onto a boat. Why Loch Ness in particular, Doc? Buck asked as he donned the armour. I want to try and rationalise that bunkum about the monster. Doc replied.

Are you saying you believe in that stuff? No. Im a scientist. I dont believe in the supernatural. Im trying to prove it wrong. Well, here goes. Buck said. Doc Gold and Sanford lowered him into the water.

Beneath the surface, the loch was incredibly murky. Although Buck couldnt see much, he seemed to be able to breathe well. As he tried to manoeuvre, he walked very slowly, a combination of the water pressure and the weight of the suit. He was slow, but at least he could still walk in a relatively normal manner. As Buck continued his underwater stroll, he noticed a movement in the water. The Docs gonna be disappointed. He said to himself. The shape moved closer to him. It was a long reptilian creature. The monster barged into him and knocked him off his feet. Buck stood up and grabbed the anchor chain on the boat, climbing back up. The monster rammed the chain. Buck gripped it tightly to avoid falling. After several tense minutes, he had climbed back to the surface. Doc and Sanford pulled him to safety as the monster emerged from the loch. It roared at the party before diving back below the water. Well, that didnt pan out. Doc remarked. That thing looked like those dragons from Chinese New Year. Buck observed, The armour got a little beat up there. Dash it! It will take weeks before it can be water friendly again.

As the trio inspected the damage, another boat was pulling aside to theirs. A group of salty-looking toughs were stood on deck, accompanied by a sinister man dressed in a tweed drape suit and hat. Guten Tag. The man said, Monster hunting, Herr Goldsmith? Von Steffen! Doc Gold spluttered. Who? Buck asked. The man approached him. I am Professor Albert von Steffen. He said, And you must be Buck Savage, the famous adventurer. I never imagined you as one with scientific interests. Unfortunately, you picked the wrong person. Doc Golds business is failing. Im here for the science, not the money! Doc snapped, How did you know how I was here? You need better background checks. Von Steffen told him. Buck and Doc turned around to see Sanford holding them at gunpoint with Bucks revolver.

Im sorry sir. He said, But I couldnt pay my bill for the hand otherwise. The rough sailors dragged Buck and Doc Gold aboard Von Steffens boat. Two of them grabbed clubs and smashed the diving armour. Damn you! Doc shouted as his creation was smashed and scattered into the loch. I think the monster may be hungry. Von Steffen said menacingly. The sailors prepared to throw the prisoners over the side of the boat. Buck kicked one of the sailors holding Doc in the back, sending him over. As the two sailors carrying him prepared to throw him, he wrenched free, punching the first man out before shoving the other into the trapdoor leading below decks. Get him! Von Steffen yelled. Sanford swung at Buck with the artificial hand while Doc Gold scuffled with one of the other sailors. Buck felt debilitated as Sanford knocked down. Those artificial hands were stronger than any of the punches hed learned from his fathers coach. He deftly evaded more punches before Doc threw his assailant into Sanford. The traitor fell to floor of the ship. Before anyone could do anything else, von Steffen had managed to find Docs experimental handgun. You know, if I killed you, who would I compete with next? he asked with a grin. Doc said nothing. He was not a fighter, and he was sure that Buck would act rashly. The gun started humming ominously as von Steffen primed it. Goodbye, gentlemen. He said. As he prepared to fire, Sanford stood up and tackled him. When von Steffen pulled the trigger, the gun exploded, killing him and Sanford and causing their boat to sink. Buck and Doc leapt overboard back to their own vessel, watching as their assailants sank to the bottom of the loch.

He was a competitor. Doc explained, He always paid a lot to get the better of me. I misjudged you Savage. Thanks to you, von Steffen will never be able to interfere with my research again. I see. Buck replied. Do you get competitors like that in your business? Occasionally. Some of them are like your friend, but others will occasionally help you out and run off when youre in the clear. I might be able to accompany one of your adventures. Its a chance to test out my new inventions. You might want this for your wounds. Doc handed Buck a bottle of tonic. Buck swigged it, and his cuts and bruises instantly healed. He grinned at Doc. This will come in handy. He said.