|The Griffin Chronicles
Author: Kal-El2k7 PM
Tyler McDawn was a rich kid that was trying to get along in a new city and blend into a new school. Then a strange man and an ancient medallion came into his life and unleashed unbelievable powers inside him. Now he's in a battle with an ancient evil that is intent on stealing it from him and claiming the power on immortality.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Suspense - Chapters: 8 - Words: 24,363 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 02-01-13 - Published: 01-23-13 - id: 3094777
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"May I give you a lift back to your hotel?" Daniel was saying as he stretched his arms tried to work out the crick in his neck.
"Not at all, Daniel," Professor Robbins said. "I have to catalog everything before I leave."
The two men were propped on the guard rail of the balcony of the business offices that overlooked the main lobby of the museum. The wait staff was busy clearing the tables while another crew was breaking down the stage that they had made their speeches from earlier. The professor was staring intently at the massive tyrannosaur skeleton at the far end that seemed to be staring down at all of them. It was as if it were waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.
"Isn't it funny how things that don't look very dangerous can turn out to be deadly?" the professor said. "While things that look as if they are ready to kill, like our dino friend over there, are no more harmful than a wooden chair."
Daniel laughed. "How much have you had to drink?
The professor smiled warmly. "Not that much, my friend. Just the ponderings of an old man, I suppose."
"Well, to answer your question, yes," Daniel said. "It is funny. And some of the most beautiful can be the most dangerous. But what's brought all of this up? It's kind of some dark territory to be going to on your big night."
"I know," Robbins said. "I'm sorry. I was just thinking about the rumors."
"Rumors?" Daniel asked.
"Don't pretend that you haven't heard," the older man replied. "As much as I tried to keep it all under wraps it got out somehow. I must have overheard at least three people talking about it tonight."
"I didn't want to say anything," Daniel said. "Look, Professor, it's nothing to worry about. Strange things happen anytime a group has to stay out in the wilderness for a long period of time. Your group has been camping at the base of that volcano on and off for a decade."
"Two people just up and vanished, Daniel," Robbins said. "They didn't take anything with them. They didn't leave anything behind. They were just gone. That's more than just strange."
"And you've done everything that you could," Daniel replied. "What more could you have done?"
"That's the question that will plague me forever," Robbins said. "Or until they turn up. I thought about shutting the site down."
Daniel pointed in the direction of the exhibition hall. "After a discovery like the one in there? You found a skeleton that shouldn't exist! You found a medallion unlike anything that anyone has ever seen. And you proved the existence of a civilization that no one believed in. You can't shut it down, Professor. It's too important."
"Those are the same words my investors used," he said. "I'm heading back to Greece next week. I just pray that nothing else like that happens again."
Daniel looked at his watch. "It's getting late. I have to get Tyler home. Do you want me to have a car take you to your hotel?"
"Not just yet," Robbins said. "I believe I'll take a look around while your crews are finishing up with the cleaning. I don't usually get to spend any time in a good old fashioned museum."
"I'll tell the guard staff to leave the lights on until you're done," Daniel said, patting the older man on the shoulder. "Good night, sir."
"Good night, Daniel," he replied.
The car pulled up to the curb about a block from the museum and Anya switched off the engine.
"I don't understand how you plan on doing this," she said. "The cleaning crew is still in there. Not to mention the normal security staff and the place is covered in surveillance cameras."
"Do you really think that this is not something that I have done before?" Raloam asked. He was pulling off the jacket that was part of his suit and loosening his tie. "I will handle this. I want you to drive in a five block radius around where we are now. Do that three times and then park across the street of the east side of the building."
"Okay," Anya replied. "Good luck."
Raloam looked at her and gave her hand a slight squeeze. "It will all be fine."
Anya gave him a small nervous smile. "I hope so," she said.
He got out of the car and threw his tie down on the seat. He reached into the back and pulled his long, tattered rain coat out and pulled it on over his shoulders. He looked more like the guy that he usually was. Except that this version was clean shaven and had on nice pants. He closed the door, ducked into the shadow of the building beside them, and was gone.
Anya let out a long, slow breath and blew the bangs out of her face. This was going to be a long night.
Professor Robbins stood solemnly and stared at the paintings that lined the wall in the east wing of the museum. He was not far from the room where his exhibit was being held. It was just down the hall. There had been a vase from ancient Rome that had caught his attention and now he was enraptured by the artwork of many Italian artists from throughout history. He could not claim to be much of an art expert. He could not tell you what every symbol was that was hidden in the details or even much about the artists themselves. But he enjoyed looking at them.
He came out of his trance of deep thought when he heard what sounded like footsteps coming from the room that he had started from. He turned around and looked back that way and thought that he saw something move. Perhaps the shadow of a person that had just walked through the doorway. He guessed that the guards or one of the cleaning crew were trying to give him a subtle hint. They probably wanted him gone so that they could get back to business as usual.
He shrugged and walked back down the hall, intending to say goodnight to whoever had just gone into the exhibit and to head for the elevator. He came to the doorway and leaned over to peer inside.
There was no one there.
The exhibit hall where the items that he had brought were displayed was a large and nearly empty space. It was about thirty feet in diameter. There were four display cases in the room's actual floor space. Two of them that were to the left of the door contained large pieces of ancient pottery. The one at the very center of the room contained the medallion that he had talked about earlier in the evening. A fourth one on the right side had several photographs of objects that were still being uncovered back at the site. In addition to these there was a large case that ran along the length of the back wall as well as the one on the left. These cases had various pieces of pottery, jewelry, tools, and even a few fragments of what were believed to be weapons.
On the right side of the room was the showcase of the exhibit. The huge piece of black rock that held the skeleton frozen inside of it was standing on a small platform. There was a velvet rope attached to four stanchions around it to prevent people from touching it.
Other than that, there was just the professor.
He immediately turned and looked back out into the hallway. There was no one there either. He could have sworn that he heard someone. He was even sure that he had seen something.
"Hello?" he called down the hall. "Is there someone there?" He looked up at the security camera peering at him from the ceiling. He waved at it.
"Mr. Robbins," someone called from the air. It sounded like an intercom though he did not see one anywhere. "Are you alright?"
"Yes," the professor said. "I thought that I saw someone."
"I don't have anyone on your floor right now, sir," the voice said. "Where did you see someone?"
"In the exhibition room," he replied. "But there's no one there."
"I'll send someone up, sir," the guard replied.
He nodded and walked back into the room where his treasures were.
The fact that the doors had been locked from the inside did not concern Raloam at all. He knew that the wait staff and the cleaning crew were still inside. That meant that the main locks had not been activated yet since the doors would have to be opened again in a little while. Even if the place had been locked down tight, he had a pretty good feeling that he would still be able to get inside. He had gotten into and out of tighter places than this.
He crouched low behind a dumpster and watched patiently as a cook and a waiter took their cigarette break outside of the roll up door of the loading dock. They stood and talked casually for a few minutes before they finally threw their butts down on the concrete platform and ground out the ember with their shoe. They walked back inside. One of them grabbed the chain on the pulley and let the door slide back into place. Raloam listened carefully for the sound of the locking chain but did not
hear anything. It was what he had thought would happen. They did not what to have to unlock and unchain the door every time they wanted another cigarette so they were just leaving it unfastened until they got ready to leave.
It was too easy.
He glided carefully through the shadows to avoid the security cameras for as long as possible. It was inevitable that they would capture his image sooner or later. But the longer he could remain invisible the simpler this task would be.
When he reached the loading dock platform he grabbed hold of the roll up door and pulled up on it gently. It raised about a half of an inch. He smiled. He pulled the door up so that it was eight inches off of the ground. Then he laid down on the platform and slid inside. He lowered the door back in place.
The stockroom of the museum was mostly empty. The inventory was all out in the exhibition halls. There was a couple of forklifts and some pallet jacks. A messy break area was on the other end of the room and a small office was above it on a balcony. Most of the lights were turned off. There was just enough light for a guard to be able to get a quick look around when he came through here on his rounds.
The cleaning crew would be here in a matter of minutes. They would be hauling all of the tables and chairs from tonight's dinner into this room to be picked up in the morning. Raloam needed to stay on the move.
He slipped out the door and found himself in a hallway that looked a lot like the hallway in a hundred office buildings all over this city. This was the administration area of the museum. None of the ornate lighting fixtures or fancy carpet would be seen here. This is where the regular people worked. The accountants and HR personnel had their offices in this part of the building.
He had been studying the layout of this building for weeks. He knew where to go. He moved his way down the dim hallway until he reached a double set of fire doors. He pressed the handle down on them, hoping that an alarm did not go off. It did not. At least there was not one that he could hear. On the other side of the doors the décor changed a great deal. There was a set of restrooms and then another hallway. This one had paintings on the walls and there was the sound of a waterfall coming from the distance. He had made it into the display area.
"Almost there," he said to himself.
The exhibition hall that held tonight's display was on the third floor. He could not use the elevator. It had most likely been turned off for the day and would not work without a security card. He also could not use the stairs because the doors from the stairwell would probably be locked from the outside. He would be trapped inside once the first door closed behind him.
That only left climbing.
Once he reached the sound of the waterfall he found himself about to enter the lobby. He looked up at the tyrannosaur, grinning at him with its jaws full of sharp, white teeth. He looked over at the area that had been used earlier for their dinner. Some of the tables were gone but the crew was still busy breaking everything down. He looked up and saw the second floor balcony and then the third floor balcony above it. Beyond that was a glass ceiling. The rest of the building could not be seen from here in the dark. The effect made the lobby three stories high but still gave plenty of room for exhibits on the other two floors. The entire lobby had been designed to hold the dinosaur bones.
Raloam slouched behind a pillar and quickly moved to hide himself behind a plant next to the elevator. He checked to be sure that no one was looking. They were gone at the moment. No doubt they had taken another couple of tables to another room where they would be loaded on a cart to be taken to the stockroom that he had just come from.
He took in a quick breath, set his foot up on the huge pot that the plant was being held in, and launched himself as high as he could go. His other foot reached out and connected with the elevator housing and propelled him further. He held out his arms and grabbed the railing of the second floor balcony, somersaulted, and landed perfectly on the carpeted floor. He pressed his body as close to the wall as he could get and looked around quickly to be sure that there were no guards on this floor that may have seen him. He was halfway there.
He peered over the balcony. None of the crew had come back yet. Without hesitating he jumped up onto the railing and sailed into the air toward the tyrannosaur skeleton. He grabbed the main cable that held the bones together and spun around it, using his momentum to propel himself back to the balcony. This time when he climbed over the side he was standing on the third floor.
He ducked into the shadows of one of the darkened corners. He heard voices coming from the main exhibition hall. He slowly moved his way in that direction. When he finally came within site of the door he could see that there was a guard standing in front of it talking with an older man. The older man was the professor that had spoken at dinner.
"What's he still doing here?" Raloam muttered under his breath.
"I'm sorry," Robbins said as the young security guard put his flashlight back on his belt. "I guess I'm just seeing things."
"That's not a problem, sir," the younger man said. "That's what I'm here for. I need to get back to the lobby now."
"I'll go with you," the professor said. "I've caused you enough trouble for one night."
The two men walked down the hallway toward the elevator together. As they went, the professor had the distinct sensation of a pair of eyes peering at him from the dim light of the corners of the abandoned rooms. He felt a shiver go down his spine. He stopped and turned. Of course there was nothing there. He chalked it up to the lateness of the hour.
They arrived at the elevator and the guard pressed the button. After they had waited for a minute or so there was a beep that came from the radio on the younger man's hip. He pulled it off of his belt and pressed the button.
"Jones," he said, identifying himself.
"Stu," a garbled voice called from the handset. "Are you still up on three?"
"10-4," Jones replied.
"Cut that out," the voice called. "You're not a cop. Some of the motion sensors down on two just went off. It's probably just a glitch but I need you to check it out."
"10...," Jones started and then caught himself. "Okay. I'm on it." He put the radio back on his belt and turned to the professor. "Can you see yourself down, sir?"
"I'd like to go with you if that's alright," Robbins replied.
"That's not necessary, sir," the guard said. "The motion sensors go off all of the time. It's usually nothing but we have to check out every instance or else there's no use in having them. You go on back down to the lobby. Have one of the cleaning guys show you to the security office and they'll call you a cab. I'll take the stairs."
The elevator doors opened and Robbins nodded. He stepped inside and the young guard watched as the doors closed again.
Raloam watched the professor climb into the elevator. When he was gone the guard walked down the hall, past where he was hiding, and on toward the other side of the building. He was sure that he was the one that had set off the motion sensors on the lower floor. He was just lucky that the other two men had been on this floor or the security office would have noticed that he had set the sensors here off as well.
Raloam took his chance. He walked quickly down the hall in a slouch until he got to the main exhibition hall and ducked inside. There were security cameras trained on most of the exhibits in here, but there did not appear to be one focused on the spot by the wall where he was right now. He took this opportunity to look around.
The thing that he had come for was right in front of him. But the item against the right wall was what had his attention. The blackened bones of what used to be a man frozen for thousands of years in a case of black volcanic rock. The skull was protruding from the rock just enough so that the ancient human appeared to be grinning maniacally at him.
"Not my fight," Raloam said to himself. "Not anymore."
He turned to the display case that held the medallion that the professor had been so proud of. The parts of it that still looked like gold glistened under the bright light bulb that was mounted over it. The rest of it had become corroded and green. He looked at it closely. He could just barely make out the two indentations under the jewel on the front. Two small places that looked like they used to hold smaller jewels themselves but were now empty.
Raloam took his coat off and wrapped a big part of it around his arm. He held his breath and punched the display case with all of his might. The glass shattered into thousands of shards, exploding to all parts of the room. Immediately the electronic beeping filled the air and he was sure that the police station a few blocks away was getting a report as well. He grabbed the medallion and ran out the door and down the hallway toward the east side of the building.
If he had not took off so quickly he would have noticed that deep inside the black rock that used to be the recesses of the skeleton's eyes, there was a dull glow that was slowly becoming brighter.