Frustrated at the blocks woven into the magickal weave as she tried to undo the binding, Charis shifted from her professional mode as an archaeologist to a more personal one—the one of magick. Though she wasn't a member of the Guardians anymore, she still protected them from being revealed to the world. In fact, this search for Elemental Guardian glyphs through history had been her goal two years earlier, coming to fruition only now.
A brief interlude back in the United States, where she lost her fiancé, had prevented her from locating this place or any other that mentioned the Guardians before now. The archaeologist within battled with the magick-user now—protect the fragile seal; break around it or undo the whole damn thing, including the breaking of the seal. After debating internally for another moment, she knew the magick-user had won. Caution be damned on the seal, it could be reconstructed with magick, but the wards and binding spells had to be removed for her to go inside.
She placed her hands on the open hands of the sun god, Aten, on the sealed doors. This was the only seal she never expected to see—that of the Pharaoh Akhenaten. He himself had authorized the closing of this tomb and gave his seal of authority. It was through him she'd be able to start breaking the barriers to the entranceway, as it was the weakest of the symbols since he didn't personally put it in place.
Exultation overrode caution as Charis realized she was the first person to touch the main seal since Aten's priests fastened it closed during the eighteenth dynasty. As she re-counted the number of seals surrounding Aten, discerning which Element was recorded in each cartouche, Charis suddenly realized which ones were missing. Concentrating her ability through the Aten seal, she discovered by testing each Element where the true weak spot resided within the arrangement of seals. An ironic chuckle echoed in the passageway. Her talents in wielding the Thellal were the keys to unlocking the doors, as well as the magick sealing them shut. Checking her revelation against the magickal weave, she noticed the telltale signs she was on the right track.
"Hear me, O child of Urdd, Earth. Open to me, the child of shades and shadows. Know me, and my power as Hammi Annasser, Elemental Guardian. The Thellal were left out of sealing these doors, so by my link to that Element, I command thee to open," Charis chanted aloud, calling forth her contact to the spirits and shades of the Underworld to open for her. "I have the power to call upon death and the spirits to move and protect, as well as to command. I demand this place of Thellal to open to me."
The rope, tough and immovable by any physical means short of a knife, uncoiled itself and hit the floor with a satisfying thud. She felt the sealed doors slowly give under her outstretched hands as power surged around her. Each symbol of the Elements began to disappear as her negation spell began taking over and each link of the binding and protection was removed in the reverse order. As the doors suddenly opened against her, pushing her to the ground, her flashlight went out, the bulb exploding. Stale, warm air, filled with the scent of death, darted past her as something, a spirit, tried to invade her mind.
"You are mine, you have released me and for that alone, I will let you live to serve me."
Feeling absolute terror, Charis screamed for help, both by mouth and telepathically. Her only hope was a man she turned her back on over a year before. He was the only one she knew she could reach through the soul link they shared—the link she denied since the day they met.
Same time, halfway across the world
In Tampa, Florida, a tall, dark, regal looking man turned towards Egypt, his ancient home. Something had drawn him outside this night, a sense of foreboding and danger. A psychic scream filled with fear and pain flooded him as it repeated his name constantly.
Charis! Something had attacked her, and for the first time in a year, she dropped her shields and linked with him. Malevolence surrounded her completely. Dr. Nate Tolemy tried to calm her by the telepathic link, reassuring her he wouldn't leave her while she was under attack. He had to stop it, but how? He was a long way from her and only this tenuous link held them together.
He dropped to his hands and knees as the agony she was experiencing seeped through him. Wind, sand, pain screamed into his mind from their shared soul link as it attacked her. The sand beneath him abraded his knees while he tried to channel some of his healing talent to keep Charis from losing her mind. That's when he realized her hold on consciousness was slipping fast. "Hold on, Charis. Don't give up. You've got to get out of there. Move, my habibati, my love!"