The Chosen Onebyboneams©
I would like to thank everyone on the out pouring of support for 'The Pandora Effect', I'm glad it went over so well. Dawn, Ken, Candi, thanks for helping me with the fine-tuning; you guys have such talent. I must be upfront and honest with Kevin's fans, this is his FINAL story. Now before everyone starts screaming about not killing him, you'll have to wait for the ending. Me and my little buddy have had a wonderful ride together, and I'll miss him a lot. There is one reader out there that gets some grief about her comments, so I'll just say this. MSBLING59, this story is dedicated to you dear, and you just keep writing in all caps no matter what. Please enjoy 'The Chosen One'.
June 1896, Archeology excavation on the Island of Delos in the Aegean Sea.
The sun beamed down on the three bodies that knelt in the hard soil of the island. With small brushes in hand, they removed the light brown earth that concealed the ancient artifact. An older man with short gray hair busied himself with the small particles covering the round tarnished metal, while the students worked on the surrounding area.
With great care, the team had most of the object visible to the naked eye. The old archeologist realized they were the first humans to look upon it in thousands of years. His hands were shaking as he reached into his vest pocket and produced a pair of sweat stained gloves. Once in place, he reached out with care and removed the blemished metal bracelet.
While his students leaned towards him for a closer look, Arthur Evans studied the strange markings on the wide bracelet. They appeared to be hieroglyphics of some sort; yet they were a long way from Egypt. The light around him faded as the Greek guard stood over him, blocking the sun's rays. With the care a mother would give to her child, he placed the artifact in a canvas bag for further study by Greek officials.
The guard took the bag and made his way back through the maze of ropes and flags designating other dig areas. When he saw one of Professor Evans' students heading through the opposite end of the site, he moved to the side and allowed him to pass. He cocked his head and watched as the young man made his way to the weathered archeologist.
Greg Lucas knelt down next to his teacher. "Excuse me Professor Evans, I've found something that I think you should see."
"Perhaps a little later Mr. Lucas, we need to continue in this area," he said as he placed his gloves back in his pocket.
"Sir, I think it's something you would be very interested in seeing. I found a cave just down the hill."
One of the other students chuckled aloud, and looked at Greg. "We just uncovered an ancient bracelet, and you want the professor to check out a cave full of bats. You should get a brush and help us with the current task instead of running around dark tunnels."
Greg ignored the irritating comment from his fellow student. He looked over his shoulder to see if any more guards were around, and then leaned down closer to Arthur Evens. "Professor, if I didn't think it was of importance, you know I wouldn't even bring it up, but I followed it and realized that it led to the ruins; it's directly under us, Sir."
Evans looked around to see if anyone other than the students had heard the news about the cave. When he saw it was safe, he reached down, grabbed his bag, and slung it over his shoulder. "Lead on dear boy. Try not to draw attention from the others and if asked, we are just stretching our legs," he said as checked the area one more time.
The pair walked as casual as they could, even though both were racing with excitement on the inside. Although many stone walls and pillars were visible at the birth place of the God Apollo, the thought of a secret passage was too tempting to pass up. Evans made a point to describe some of the excavated ruins to his student as they walked by one of the guards. When the guard remained at his post, the two continued down the hill towards the water's edge.
Evans followed his young student down a rocky path, dodging small brush as he went. It didn't take long before the salty water of the Aegean Sea began licking at his boots, as he continued to check and see if they were being followed. He noticed Greg stop and wait for the older man to catch up.
When Evans reached him, Greg looked up and down the coastline. "We should get inside before someone comes looking for us Professor."
"That would be a splendid idea Mr. Lucas, how much farther is it?" he asked as he looked at the rocky cliffs that lined the shore.
"We're here Sir, follow me."
Evans watched him walk right at the cliff, then vanished behind an outcropping of boulders. He was so astonished at the act, that he stood frozen in place as the water rushed in around his feet. Greg reappeared again holding a lantern and waiving him onward.
"Hurry Professor, it's this way," he said as he looked around.
Arthur Evans squeezed into the tight crevice and found himself at the entrance to a small cave. He watched as Greg crouched down and moved at a slow pace forward. As he followed him, he scanned the walls and soft ground for any signs in the cave represented anything of importance. After ten minutes of walking, they came upon a larger rock partially blocking the path.
"Mr. Lucas, I see nothing that makes me believe you have found something of value. Although I do applaud you for your enthusiasm, I should get back to the real treasure trove," Even said as turned around.
Greg moved up and grabbed the older man's arm. "Wait Professor, that's what I thought at first, but then I made it past that rock and found something. I don't know what it is or how much further the tunnel leads, but it's something you need to see."
"Very well my enthusiastic young student, show me this mystical discovery of yours," Evans said with a short laugh.
It took some maneuvering only a contortionist should do, but the pair made it past the obstructive rock. After pulling free, Professor Evans was about to reprimand his young student for talking him into the tunnel when Greg held the lantern close to the wall. What the archeologist saw on the wall astounded him.
Evans adjusted his glasses and studied the small etching in the cave wall. His mind flashed to the bracelet his team found earlier, it had the same drawing of numerous half-circle lines surrounding a triangle. He grabbed the lantern out of Greg's hand and began searching the walls, when he saw no other patterns, he returned to the etching.
"My dear Mr. Lucas, we need to explore the rest of the tunnel and see what we find," he said with excitement as he moved deeper into the cave.
The men walked with care down the tunnel searching for anything out of the ordinary that would indicate a rare discovery. After a hundred yards, the glow of the lantern cast an eerie shadow at the entrance to a small chamber. Evans' pulse quickened as he peered inside.
The aged archeologist took caution in his steps as he held the light over the floor. He scanned the area with a trained eye because he knew there was the possibility that artifacts might be exposed in the soft earth. After seeing no evidence that any were visible, he moved the light up and studied a small altar like structure.
Evans judged the height of the altar to be just over four feet, with a thick stone slab placed above two thinner uprights. He began to wonder how the eight-foot long table was placed on them. "The top alone must weigh a ton. It must have taken great effort to move it this far."
Greg knelt down next to the altar and ran his hand over the side. He twisted his head in confusion as he felt small indentations along its edge. Reaching into his own satchel, he pulled out a small brush and started removing the centuries of dust. Once he had a section cleaned, he motioned for his professor to come closer.
With the added light, the pair could make out strange markings along the edge. The more he brushed, the more the markings became visible. None of them seemed to be the same, although they appeared similar in design. "What do you think they are Professor?" Greg asked.
"The symbols could be anything my dear boy. Many ancient cultures wrote their language in pictures instead of words. Take the Egyptians; hieroglyphics were common centuries before any form of the alphabet was used to convey a message."
"This must mean the Egyptians were on the island years before anyone thought they could have been."
"That would be one assumption Mr. Lucas, but none of these markings are even close to any known hieroglyphics. I do believe we have discovered a new form of writing although we could spend years studying it and never know what it says," Evans replied as he joined his student in brushing the debris away.
As he moved along, he discovered a small round hole carved into the massive slab of stone. Greg's mind raced with the possibilities of the use of such a small hole, ranging from a lifting slot, to a space used to mount a torch.
He inserted the blunt end of the brush into the hole and began sliding it in. After a few inches, he felt pressure on the inverted brush, and then pushed with caution. The sound of stone on stone friction caused the pair to jump up and scan the room in a hurried panic.
Evan's knew of some cultures that set traps for unwanted guests, and he half expected a large stone to lodge itself in the only exit to the chamber as he scanned the room. "What did you just do Mr. Lucas?"
Greg's eyes were open wide and filled with fear as he looked around. "Nothing Professor, I swear! I had my brush inside that hole, that's all!"
The pair moved back towards the stone table and began walking around it. They seemed confused when nothing appeared out of the ordinary, as Evans sat down on the soft ground to catch his breath from the excitement. When he pulled his handkerchief out to wipe his face, the old man saw something odd underneath the huge stone top.
Moving the lantern inward, he noticed a small stone portion hanging at an angle. Both men moved closer to inspect the new find and their hearts raced with excitement. Professor Evans pulled his gloves out as Greg sat the light directly next to the opening.
The archeologist was about to place his hand inside when his young student grabbed his arm. "Do you think that's a wise course of action Professor? What happens if it's a trap, and it snaps shut with your hand in there?"
"In my astute opinion Mr. Lucas, if it was designed as a trap, I have a feeling we'd both be dead right now," he replied as he inched his hand closer with great care.
Within moments, the older man's eyes shot open and a smile formed on his weathered face. Removing his hand, he held what looked like a claw of some sorts. Holding it like a precious gem, he moved it closer to the light.
The large talon was longer than the width of his hand and slightly curved. The bottom side of the claw had nicks in it and he noticed a small crack near the base. He handed it to his assistant, but stopped short. "This is a very old artifact Mr. Lucas, please put your gloves on."
Once Greg had his leather gloves on, he was handed the large claw and turned it around in his hands as he watched his teacher reach into the stone altar's secret compartment again. What Professor Arthur Evans reveled next made him gasp in shock.
It was a scroll at least a foot long, with two gold ornaments on each end. The two men looked closer and noticed the ornaments resembled the head of a large dog, maybe even a wolf. When Evans pulled the scroll open, tears began to fill in his fading grey eyes.
The parchment was filled with hundreds of tiny symbols and markings that made no sense to either of them. With a large smile on his face, Evans rolled the scroll closed and placed it his bag. "No need telling our friends out there about any of this just yet Mr. Lucas, at least until I've had the chance to look it over."
Greg looked down at the talon he held. "We should keep this with the scroll Sir, it had to be there for a reason," he said as he drew the tip of the claw across his gloved hand.
The inexperienced archeologist screamed in pain as the razor sharp tip sliced through the thick leather and into his skin. Dropping the object on the floor, he clutched his hand in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Evans grabbed the neckerchief from around his neck and wrapped the wound tight.
After picking the talon back up, the professor placed it in the satchel with care and locked the bag. "Mr. Lucas, you just got an A for the course; now let's get back to the others and have that hand looked at," he said as the pair of men headed for the exit.
November 1946. Keeper's office at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford England.
Edward Leeds sat at his large mahogany desk and wondered if the strange looking scroll could ever be deciphered completely. What, had over the years, become to be known as "Cretan Hieroglyphics" baffled anyone who studied it. There was no real order to the individual symbols, although a few of them seemed similar in nature to those discovered in Egypt.
The aging gentleman that was charged with the oversight of the museum, ran his boney fingers over the golden wolf heads on either side of the scroll. He chuckled to himself as he remembered one of the curators suggesting that the Gods held wolves in higher regard than the cat.
"There has to be a key that unlocks all of this; there just has to be," he thought as he marveled at the find from Professor Evans. What he didn't realize was the one man who held the answer, had just entered his outer office.
Thirty-year-old archeologist Kazuo Kaneko strode into the outer office, his dark suit concealing the taut body beneath it. He scanned the room, taking in the pieces of artwork that adorned the beige colored walls as he moved towards the secretary's desk. When their eyes locked, he bowed in respect to the much older women. His strict Japanese upbringing reminded him that when you receive age, it is a gift that is to be respected at all times.
The secretary rose from her seat and returned the gesture, then extended her hand across the paper-filled desk. "You must me Professor Kaneko, what an honor it is to meet you Sir."
"The pleasure all mine Miss. Please forgive English, I do try improve with use," he responded in broken English.
"Oh don't be silly Professor, I can understand you just fine. I'll let Mr. Leeds know you're here." The plump woman moved with a grace that defied her size and knocked on the oak door. As she opened it, she peered in and announced her employer's visitor.
Kazuo bowed again as he passed the secretary and entered Leeds' office. As he heard the door close behind him, he bowed towards the approaching keeper. He watched as the taller man returned the gesture and then extended his hand. When Kazuo grabbed it, he had to remember not to use his full strength. He knew it was always necessary not to reveal his true power.
"It's a pleasure to meet you at last Professor. I must say your work on ancient hieroglyphics have made considerable advances to the understanding of early Egyptian culture. Oh where are my manners, would you care for a spot of tea?" Leeds asked, his smile causing his worn face to appear even older.
Professor Kaneko bowed then returned the smile. "Yes please if have. Forgive English, I am not used to using," he said and then returned his eyes to the floor in an apologetic nature.
"Oh don't fret dear boy, you should hear my attempt at Japanese. It seems the more I try to get the hang of it, the worse I start to sound." Leeds chuckled to himself as he poured the hot liquid into the gleaming white china cup.
He walked over and handed Kaneko the tea. The archeologist held the delicate cup and bowed with grace. "Domo arigato."
Leeds continued to smile at the young prodigy. "Dou -- um -- itashimashite. I think I said that correctly."
"Sound very good Mr. Leeds. I was informed you need translation. I am happy my Egyptian better than English."
Edward Leeds walked back around his desk and sat down. He was still a little apprehensive at what he was about to show the leading expert in ancient writings. Since Sir Arthur Evans smuggled the scroll out of Crete, only a few people had laid eyes on it. He looked down at the white cloth, which covered the artifact and tapped his fingers on the glossy desk.
"To be honest with you Professor Kaneko, I need your help with something other than Egyptian hieroglyphics. The museum has an ancient scroll that was discovered on the Island of Delos."
"Ah, birthplace of Apollo. Many unique items found there," Kaneko said as he placed the teacup on the desk.
"Yes there are, but this one was taken out of a stone altar by my predecessor Sir Author Evans in 1896. From our testing we believe it dates back to 3000 BC, maybe even earlier."
Kazuo Kaneko laughed a bit and reached for his tea. "Hieroglyphics not used that far back Mr. Leeds. Sure testing correct?"
"Given your extensive knowledge, that is precisely why I asked for you to come and take a look at it," Leeds said as he pulled the cloth away, thus revealing the most guarded possession of the museum.
When Kazuo saw the scroll come into view, it took all his will power not to drop the fine china cup as the Asian professor tried hard to keep the werewolf beast within him under control. Every story he could remember from his father came flashing in quick images. They were the same stories his father's father had also told him, the same ones that had been passed down for generations in order to keep the information safe, but very alive.
Even though a lycanthrope had not seen the scroll for centuries, he knew exactly what was written on the ancient parchment. Alesandro, the first werewolf, guardian of Pandora 's Box, knew of a time when certain werewolves would come. They were far superior in every way to the others.
Kazuo's mind flashed back to that of his grandfather, a very wise old man who lived high in the mountains of Japan, his words still ringing in his sensitive ears. "The great Alesandro realized the danger if the time of the coming would fall into the hands of the dark beings that roam the earth with us. It is our responsibility to help the humans and protect the chosen ones. If the dark beings find the chosen ones when they are still young, they could kill them before the meeting, thus gaining power and plunge the earth into darkness."
"Professor, are you alright?" Leeds stood and walked around his desk and peered down at the smaller Japanese archeologist.
Kazuo Kaneko's eyes shot up towards Leeds' benevolent face. "What! Oh please excuse." He bowed in embarrassment. "I lost in old memory, please forgive."
"It's nothing to worry dear boy, we all drift off at some time or another. I was just saying if you wouldn't mind having a look at it and giving me your opinion, it might help us find the key to unlocking it."
The two men walked around the large desk and then Leeds opened a drawer and produced a pair of white gloves. After handing them to Kazuo, he donned his own pair and unrolled the scroll so his colleague could study the strange drawings.
Kazuo's breath caught in his throat as he gazed upon the scroll of Alesandro. He never imagined in his wildest dreams he would be asked to translate the scroll that every werewolf dreamed of seeing, if only for a brief moment in time. He chuckled to himself as he thought of the Council of Lycan, for even they would be in awe at the sight.
His hand was trembling with small vibrations as he touched the golden wolf head, and then trailed his fingers across the centuries old document. The ability to read the ancient language was passed down from generation to generation in his family, even though he never thought he would use it one day for this single purpose.