Second Chance

by Shaun Hately

Original Series/New Series Crossover
DISCLAIMER:
Most of the characters contained within are not mine but are borrowed from the 1970s and 1990s Tomorrow People Science Fiction TV series'. They are the property of its creators and copyright holders.

Any other characters are the sole creation and property of Shaun Hately.

This fanfic forms part of my series of fanfics, entitled A More Perfect Union, and takes place after the events of A Sense of Belonging in that series. In terms of continuity with the television series' most of the story takes place concurrent after the events of The Living Stones (ie after the new series had finished) although the prologue takes place just prior to the Epilogue of my fanfic Exodus (late 1979, after the original series had finished) and some of the events of this story refer to that fanfic.

Once again, thanks are owed to Beth Epstein for betareading this fanfic.

Comment and criticism (good and bad) on this story is welcome. e-mail me with comments at drednort@alphalink.com.au.

I'm really interested in comments on characterisation as it's the first time I've tried to write the new series TP in any depth.

The name 'Von Daniken' is mentioned several times in this story and a brief explanation of who this Von Daniken is may be in order for people who don't know. Erich Von Daniken is a Swiss author (his most famous work is 'Chariots of the Gods?' which has been the subject of numerous television documentaries and other books) who has postulated a theory that says the gods of ancient civilisations were in fact astronauts from advanced space faring civilisations who manipulated the human race to their own ends. This theory has a large number of passionate supporters and just as passionate detractors. It seems likely that this theory may have had some influence on the idea of the Kulthan in the Tomorrow People.

For people who want more information on the theory, check out what is apparently Erich Von Daniken's own homepage and is (predictably) a supporter of his theories. For balance it is also a good idea to check out a very brief refutation of his ideas which includes details of at least one apparent fraud perpetuated by Von Daniken in the course of his work.

By the way, from context, people may draw the conclusion that Von Daniken is actually an archaeologist. To the best of my knowledge he has no formal qualifications in that area beyond an honorary Doctorate.

Prologue

London
December 31st 1979
Evening

The man sat at his desk, poring over the results of his latest experiments. The building was eerily quiet - very few people had bothered to come in today at all and those that had were certainly at home by now. He knew he should be going home as well, but he was desperately trying to make sense of the data that the police had given him, brain wave printouts taken from a murder scene as he understood it. He'd seen these wavelines before and the juxtaposition of murder with the patterns before him was disquieting.

He heard a noise then, a strange tone at the upper end of his hearing. He recognised it and looked up to see a young man - a man he had not seen in a few years.

"Hallo John."

"Professor Cawston."

They looked at each other in silence for a few moments, neither appearing to know exactly what to say. The blond man stood and walked over to a small table at the corner of his office.

"Would you like a coffee, John? I know you don't take anything stronger."

"Thank you."

He poured two cups and then ushered John over to the old horsehair chair that sat in one corner of his office. The two men sat. The Professor noticed that John inhaled the scent of the coffee deeply, almost reverently - almost as if he wanted to get every ounce of enjoyment out of it. He sipped his own, the slightly bitter taste of coffee left too long in the pot flowing over his tongue. Then aware somehow that John was, for some reason, reluctant to speak he took the initiative.

"I assume this isn't just a social call."

"No, it isn't. I've come to ask you to do something for me. Something that could be very important."

"What is it?"

John stood and walked to the window, looking at the scene outside - people rushing to get home, perhaps to parties, perhaps to just avoid the cold.

"Professor. For the last nine years I have been responsible for the development of the species Homo superior on Earth - I have been responsible for it's very survival. Now due to circumstances beyond my control, I find I can no longer discharge that responsibility."

Professor Cawston knew that the younger man had a profound sense of responsibility - it appeared to form the core of his being. He certainly wasn't the type to give it up for no reason.

"John, what's wrong. Why can't you carry on doing as you have done? Are you ill? Are -"

"No, it's nothing like that. I can't tell you the precise reason why - I can tell you that the Tomorrow People are no longer going to be on Earth, and that that will put any future Homo superiors in danger. That's why I've come to you."

"How can I help?"

John turned to face him. "It is possible that, due to your work, you will encounter new Tomorrow People - it probably won't be for a while. I don't know how you can help them. But if you can, will you? I've no one else to ask - no one who is likely to be in a position to help them in any event."

"Of course - but why are you going? What's happened, John?"

"I can't tell you, I'm afraid, I'm not allowed to."

"That's history repeating itself, then."

"Yes, well. There is one more thing."

"What?"

"I have to ask you not to reveal that we exist to anyone - not even to any new Tomorrow People."

"Why on earth not?"

"It's not my decision. And I cannot say why not. All I can do is ask you to trust me. And help these people if you encounter them."

"All right - I'll do my best."

"Thank you, Professor. And thank you for the coffee."

He placed his hand to his wrist and disappeared from view. Professor Cawston stood looking at where he had been for a moment. Then shook his head and returned to his work.



The Lab

John appeared on the jaunting pad and stepped down to where Stephen, Mike, and Liz sat talking. Stephen looked at him.

"Did you do it?"

"Yes."

"How much did you tell him?"

"Only what you said I could."

"I'm sorry, John - I have my orders."

"Do you approve of them?"

Liz spoke up, "That's enough. John, you know Stephen's done all he can. He can't oppose the Supreme Council."

John nodded slowly. "Yes, I'm sorry, Stephen. I know you've done everything possible. Still I wish the Supreme Council could be persuaded to reconsider. I'd hoped that Timus' reforms would go further."

Mike stood. "You just have to be patient, John." He saw the incredulous look on John's face, and laughed. "Yes, I know coming from me that's a bit rich. But things are getting better - Stephen's been telling us about what's already changed. And there's one thing coming that's definitely going to shake up the Council."

"Really? What's that."

Stephen stood. "The appointment of Earth's next Senior Ambassador to the Galactic Trig." He bowed deeply to John with an exaggerated flourish. "Your Excellency."

Chapter 1

Sala y Gomez, Pacific Ocean
19th November 1995
Morning

"Doctor Livingstone. Doctor Livingstone!"

Helena Livingstone slowly climbed out of her tent. She was tired - her small grant was coming very close to running out and she was torn between her desire to get it renewed and her desire to get back to some form of real civilisation. She could have murdered for a hamburger.

"Shouldn't have become an archaeologist, Helena, should you?" she said to herself as she walked up the small bank to where the cries were coming from.

"What is it, Juan?"

Juan, a tall man hired from among the locals to help her with the heavy labour involved in an archaeological dig pointed to a small hole in the ground.

"It's a cave. And I think you will want to see what's inside."

She took the torch he offered her and then lay down on her stomach and half crawled, half wiggled into the hole. It was rather a tight fit, and once again she spoke to herself.

"Too much honey, Helena, too much honey."

When she was through the hole she stopped suddenly. There was a smooth rock floor a short distance inside, where she would have expected to find damp earth. She switched on the torch and would have leaped back in shock at what she saw, if she hadn't been lying down.

It was not a natural cave, but some sort of naturally constructed underground room with walls and floors of fitted stone. What really attracted her attention though, was the figure that stood before her.

Seven foot tall, human shaped with the head of a Jackal. Any archaeologist of any specialty could identify it. Anubis, Egyptian God of the dead. And now she saw the hieroglyphs painted on the walls - she couldn't read them though. Ancient Egypt was not her field.

Who would have expected to find an Ancient Egyptian shrine in the middle of the South Pacific anyway?



London
22nd November 1995
Afternoon

In front of her brand new computer, in her office at the British Museum, Professor Amanda James attempted to work out just how to access the e-mail message that the machine kept telling her had arrived. Idiot-proof, the young boy who'd installed it had said - but she still couldn't work out how to use the program. She threw the manual aside. Other people might have said that it could have been written in Sanskrit for all the sense it made. She would have preferred that. She knew Sanskrit.

She looked at the screen. Maybe if she typed 'L' for Look - no, that wasn't it. 'M' for message - no. 'V' for view? Yes. The message appeared on the screen so that she could actually read it.

It was from a Helena Livingstone - Dr. Helena Livingstone, she noted.

"Dear Dr. James,

My name is Dr. Helena Livingstone. I have recently obtained my PhD from Waikato University in New Zealand. I researched the Easter Island idols phenomena for my graduate thesis and was recently given a grant by a US college to do some field work on the topic. My research took me to the island of Sala y Gomez.

I have found something here that I believe may be of interest to you. I appear to have uncovered some ancient Egyptian relics on the island. I realise that that must be very hard to believe, but I am convinced they are genuine. The reason I have contacted you is due to an article in the New Archaeological Review, about the Cult of Amtudi. I have only a limited knowledge of hieroglyphs, but the pictograph for Amtudi does seem to figure quite prominently. I have attached a graphics file with the sequence of hieroglyphs concerned.

I would appreciate any information or guidance you could give me on this matter. Quite frankly, I'm not sure what's going on. I also don't want to go public with my findings until I am sure I understand what I'm dealing with here and so I would appreciate your discretion in this matter.

H. Livingstone, PhD"

Professor James looked at the screen. She could see the indication of the attached file, but she was not sure how to access it. Maybe 'V' again? Yes - a list of files came up and she just highlighted one called 'hiero.gif' and it appeared on her screen.

A series of hieroglyphs appeared - she read them carefully.

"And at this place, we of Amtudi do finally lay to rest the last of the devices of the -" it was followed by a pictogram she did not know and it continued; "against the return of our hated masters, the -" and again that unusual pictogram.

She looked at it closely - the figure of Anubis arched over a representation of the Earth. That should mean something like 'Anubis of the Sky'. She was sure she had seen it before - but where?

She rose quickly, left her office, and walked down the long dim corridor to a library. She pushed open the door and entered.

Books lined the walls - thousands and thousands of them. Some were extremely old and valuable, and others were comparatively recent. She moved to the section on Egyptian History.

"Johnston, Johnston - here it is." She took down one of those recent tomes and opened it. It was quite a slim work - incomplete for some reason, but it did carry a listing of certain hieroglyphics that were not in other works because the source of them and their translation could not be identified.

She took the book over to a small side table and began leafing through looking at each hand drawn image trying to find the one that matched the pictogram she had seen. Finally she found it, quite near the end of the book.

The symbol meant Kulthan.

That was some help, but not a great deal. Who or what was a Kulthan? She stood and walked over to the card catalogue of the libraries work - the next thing to be computerised she was sure - and leafed through the 'K' cards. Some were yellow with age, quite brittle with handwritten references on them. The one she found though was a neat typed card.

"Kulthan - see File BM11923/75"

So now she moved to one of the many filing cabinets which she unlocked and leafed through till she found the manilla folder with the correct designation. It was surprisingly light and as she opened it she discovered why. There was only a single sheet of paper inside.

"The documents contained within have been deemed to be covered by the Official Secrets Act and will not be available for release until the year 2005."

It was signed with an elaborate squiggle - almost as if the person doing the signing had not wanted anyone to be able to identify him. The old joke about the Official Secrets Act being designed to protect Officials and not Secrets came to mind, but she dismissed that as an irrelevancy. She had more important things to think about.

She knew enough to realise that the Cult of Amtudi had been far more than just some ancient Egyptian priesthood - those weird kids had shown her that. Now reference to the Cult had been found on a South Pacific island, thousands of miles from Egypt along with references to something called the Kulthan. And she couldn't find out what the Kulthan were because the files on that had been sealed by the British Government.

Professor James was an archaeologist - someone who had dedicated her career to finding out answers. And that was what she intended to do. She walked up to the librarian.

"Larry, do you remember a Professor Winifred Johnston? She was an Egyptologist who must have been here in the mid '70s."

"As a matter of fact I do. She went off on a dig and never came back. Died, if I remember right. I didn't know her but I did see her around. She didn't work here - was up at one of the Universities, but I can't think of which one."

"Oh. I don't suppose you know anyone who did know her who's still here today."

"That's a tough one - she didn't exactly have many friends and it was twenty years ago." He snapped his fingers. "Professor Garner. She knew her, I think she'd taught her. She's retired now, must be in her nineties. She lives in Surrey. Talk to Dr. Quinn - he'll have an address somewhere."

"Thanks, Larry."

"No problem - information is my business."

Chapter 2

Godalming, Surrey
23rd November 1995
Noon

Amanda James climbed out of her car, locked the doors and walked across the street to where she had been told she could find Professor Garner - the Borough Museum. Why the woman didn't have a telephone, she had no idea.

Once inside she had very little trouble identifying Professor Garner. A very elderly woman sitting down examining a vase. She walked over.

"Professor Garner?"

"Yes, my dear?"

"I'm Amanda James - I got your address from Dr. Quinn."

"James, oh yes - you wrote that paper on Egyptian linguistics. Please sit down. How can I help you?"

"I'm trying to find out information about someone who I believe you taught many years ago - a Professor Winifred Johnston."

"Johnston - yes, I remember her. Died in Egypt. A tragedy, simply a tragedy. I didn't know her that well, you understand, so I'm not sure how I can help you."

"I need to find out something about the work she was doing when she died. Do you know anybody who might be able to help me?"

"Yes, perhaps." Professor Garner seemed reluctant to speak.

"Who, may I ask?"

"Professor Cawston."

"An archaeologist?"

"No, a psychologist - a parapsychologist actually. He went with Johnston on her last dig. You should really talk to Cawston."

"Do you know where to find him?"

"No, I'm afraid not. When you retire you lose contact with so many people. I've no idea where to find him, I'm afraid."

"Well, that's all right. I should be able to track him down. Thank you very much." She stood to leave. Professor Garner's hand shot out to grab her wrist.

"A word of advice, my dear. With Professor Cawston - expect the unexpected."



Tapahini

"Chess. You want to play chess?"

The red headed boy looked up with an expression of frank amazement at his older friend who was sitting in a chair high above the floor of the spaceship. Adam looked back down at him.

"Why not? It's not as if you're doing anything else?"

"I can think of hundreds of things I'd rather do than play chess."

"What's wrong with chess?"

"How about it's boring?"

"Are you bored now?"

"Well, yes, but -"

"Then why not play chess?"

Megabyte began to construct a reasonable argument. There was no way he was going to reveal the real reason (that he didn't know the rules well enough) and he could sense that he was being rapidly outmanoeuvred. There was a sound, something like the discharge of static electricity behind him and he felt the breeze caused by the rapid displacement of air by a teleporting human being. He turned to see who it was.

"Kev!"

The youngest Tomorrow Person stood there with a big smile on his face, his dark hair pushed down over one eye. Adam descended rapidly and leaped out of the chair.

"Hi Kevin. What are you doing here?"

"That's a great welcome, isn't it." The boy looked hurt. Slightly taller than Adam remembered him, with his voice very slightly deeper. Adam looking at him, couldn't dispel the image of the small child lying in a hospital bed, just barely recovered from an almost lethal toxin.

The day when Adam had decided to overrule Kevin's protests and reveal to the boy's parents just what their son was. When he and Megabyte, with the help of General Damon and Kevin's Aunt Ruth had patiently explained to the Wilsons and Mrs Jackson just precisely what their children were.

Kevin had not wanted his parents to know - he felt that they wouldn't be able to understand. And he'd been right. A stormy conversation, an argument really, had ensued which had ended with them forbidding their son to associate with the other Tomorrow People. Kevin was prepared to defy them despite the reluctance Adam knew he had about his abilities but at that point, Adam had stepped in.

"Kevin, they might be right. Maybe you should keep away. You could have died."

"So could you."

"I'm older - I can look after myself. So can Ami and Megabyte. There's no shame in backing off - Lisa did it."

"But I'm a Tomorrow Person. I can't give that up - Can I?" there was a trace of what Adam thought might be hope in his voice. He had to dispel that hope.

"Of course you can't. It's what you are and no one can change that. And when you're older, you'll have to make the decisions. But for now, you've got to trust your parents."

"Come on, Adam . . ."

"No. You're too young to make that choice. I can't let you do it. I can't stop you either. But it would be better for you, better for everyone, if you took a break. We'll call you if we need you. And you can call us too. Just because you stay at home with your mum and dad doesn't mean you're not one of us. We're telepathic. We're always together. The Tomorrow People are never alone."

Reluctantly, Kevin had agreed to do as Adam asked. Over the last few weeks the older TP had been wondering whether or not to have the same talk with Jade who was also very young. In her case, matters were different though. It had been clear to Adam from the start that Kevin didn't really want his powers - that they were something he would have been quite happy to lose. Lisa hadn't wanted hers either. Jade did want hers, though, that was absolutely certain. And while she was younger than himself, or Megabyte or Ami, she was certainly older than Kevin had been. She could make her own choice.

Now Kevin stood before him, no longer a little boy - still a kid, but no longer a child. Looking older, more determined but at the moment, rather stung by Adam's tone. He modified it. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt anyone.

"Sorry - that didn't come out the way I meant. Do your parents know you are here?"

"Yes. They're not happy about it but they've accepted my decision." Kevin looked up at Adam, directly into the older boys eyes. "It wasn't that hard to make. I am a Tomorrow Person. I can't change it so I may as well accept it."

Adam reached over and gave his arm a hard squeeze, as Megabyte came over on his other side.

"Welcome back."

Kevin smiled and turned serious. "It's not just a social call. I got a phone call from your Dad, Megabyte. He wants to see all of us at his office at 12.30."

Adam looked at his watch and tried to remember what timezone it was set for.

"That's in about half an hour. We'd better call the girls.

*Ami? Jade? Are you finished shopping yet?*

Ami's mind came back *I have, but Jade could be hours still.*

Jade was indignant. *I heard that! Yes, I'm ready too, Adam.*

*Then you'd better get back to the spaceship. General Damon wants to see us.*

*As soon as we get out of McDonald's.*

Adam returned to normal speech, "They'll be here in a few seconds. Have you any idea why General Damon wants to see us, Kevin?"

"No, but -" there was a flash of light and burst of static as the two girls teleported into the ship, behind Adam. Adam was looking at Kevin when they appeared and was rewarded with the comical scene of Kevin's eyes almost bugging out of his head.

"JADE!"

From behind him, he heard Jades voice sounding almost as incredulous "KEVIN!" coupled with a sound which to his ear sounded like a thick shake hitting the floor of the spaceship.

Megabyte looked from Jade to Kevin. "Just a wild guess here, but I take it you two know each other?"

He didn't get an answer. Kevin pointed at Jade, "You're a TP?"

She paid no attention to him but instead spoke to Adam, "This is the Kevin you told me about?"

"Uh, yeah, it is. You know I hadn't even thought about that. Kevin's Aunt Ruth and Jade's mother know each other, don't they? How long have you two known each other?"

"About 10 years," answered Jade. "That would be right, wouldn't it, Kevin?"

"About that long, yes."

Jade looked at him. "Hang on. I remember when you were about five, you told everyone that you could read minds. Do you remember?"

"I should. I broke my leg."

"Do you mean you really could read minds?"

"Yes, of course. Couldn't you?"

Adam decided to take control of the conversation before it turned into an argument. "OK, we can do the reunion thing a bit later on. For the moment we need to get to Worldex."

All five Tomorrow People teleported arriving in General Damon's office.

"Isn't there some way you can warn me before you do that?" he said as he wiped the coffee off the secret documents on his desk before realising he was using a Top Secret briefing paper to do it.

"Sorry, General. You wanted to see us?" asked Adam.

"Yes. Sit down." He gestured to the sofas at the other side of the room.

All of the Tomorrow People sat down and looked at him expectantly.

"Have you heard of an island called Sala y Gomez?"

Chapter 3

Godalming, Surrey
23rd November 1995
Early Afternoon

Professor James returned to her car, climbed in, and opened up her Filofax. She thought she knew how to track this Professor Cawston down quickly.

She found the number, she was looking for - that of an old friend of hers who was now working in the field of parapsychology at Cambridge University. She dialled the number on her car phone.

"Munro - it's Amanda James here . . . fine, and you? . . . Look, I need a favour. Do you know a Professor Cawston . . . You do? Could I have his number? . . . Thanks, I owe you one . . . Lunch on the 13th? . . . Yes, all right, see you then. Bye?"

She hung up and then dialled the number she'd been given.



Petersfield, Hampshire

Professor Cawston was sitting down, reading an article that he'd spent the last few weeks trying to find. Finally, he threw it aside in frustration. Dr. Evans had obviously had no idea what he was writing about.

The phone rang and he picked it up on the first ring.

"Cawston."

In her car, Amanda James was still trying to work out precisely what to say - she hadn't expected such a swift answer.

"Professor Cawston. My name is Amanda James. I'm a Doctor of Archaeology working out of the British Museum. I'd like to see you, if possible, as I believe you might have some information that I need."

"An archaeologist. Dr. James, are you sure you have the right Professor Cawston? I'm a psychologist, not an archaeologist."

"Yes, I'm quite sure - I got your name from Freda Garner."

Ian Cawston's hand tightened on the phone. "What is this concerning, Dr. James?"

"Dr. Winifred Johnston and something called the Kulthan. I really need to see you - you're in Petersfield, aren't you?"

"Yes."

"I can be there in an hour."

"Fine, that's fine."

He hung up and pressed the intercom button.

"Leslie. Cancel all my appointments, would you?"



Worldex London Headquarters

General Damon, having given the Tomorrow People a detailed run down on the reason he had called them there, finally got to the gist of the matter. Adam now knew why the General's meetings always ran longer than expected.

"So while we were investigating the business holdings of Samuel Rees, we made a discovery. He owned land all over the world - a lot of land. A lot of it was in the UK and Egypt of course. But there's one piece that we found particularly interesting. About 45 years ago - just a bit after the war - Mr Rees paid a fortune for the island of Sala y Gomez - that deal probably made it the most valuable piece of real estate in the world in terms of value per square foot. And he covered up that purchase. We found out about it only by chance and we were very thorough."

Adam frowned - while this information was interesting, it was hardly enough for an urgent summons. There had to be more. He was bumped from the side where Jade sat. She'd been moving around almost constantly since they'd sat down and he'd finally worked out why. She and Kevin were poking each other with their elbows. He hoped that there wasn't going to be some sort of ongoing problem with those two.

*Cut it out, you two - you're acting like little kids.* That was Ami - obviously she'd worked it out as well. He was glad she had taken the initiative.

Megabyte spoke, "Dad, this is all very interesting but you seemed to think there was some sort of emergency when you called Kevin. Otherwise why did you want to see us so quickly."

"An archaeologist from New Zealand named Helena Livingstone disappeared from the island a few days ago. And I mean disappeared - she vanished without trace. A schoolteacher - one of the few non indigenous people on the island, she's from Scotland, I believe - contacted another archaeological expedition on Easter Island which is fairly close by and they picked up her effects. One of these items was sent to Chile and then to the States. And that's where we came in."

General Damon removed an amulet with a gold chain from an envelope on his desk. Hanging from the end of the amulet was a small stone that glowed and pulsed with a reddish aura.

"Only one other object has ever been found which matches all the tests we've done on this little stone - chemical analysis, spectrographic, radiation, thermal imaging - every test to within a few decimal points. That object was the Marhaba stone."



Petersfield, Hampshire

"Come in, Dr. James. May I offer you a coffee."

"Thank you, Professor, that would be very nice."

He brought over the two cups and they sat down at the opposite sides of the large wooden desk.

"How can I help you?"

"I understand you accompanied Professor Johnston on her last expedition. May I ask what you found there?"

"Certainly - a tomb. One of the very few unopened, unlooted tombs ever found inside a Pyramid."

"Really? That would have been quite a discovery. How is it that it wasn't reported in any of the archaeological journals? How come nothing has been written about it?"

"I really couldn't say. Archaeology is not my field - I was only on the dig because the latest watch word from the University was 'interspecialty cross pollination' or some such nonsense. I got a free trip to Egypt out of it, so I wasn't complaining."

"I see. Could you tell me what Kulthan means?"

Professor Cawston leaned back in his chair. "Where did you hear that term?"

"A colleague of mine e-mailed it to me. In actual fact she mailed me a copy of a number of hieroglyphics, one of which was the symbol for Kulthan according to Dr. Johnston's notes. When I tried to find out what the Kulthan was, I discovered that the files had been sealed under the Official Secrets Act."

"So why do you think I can help you?"

"Well, I wasn't sure that you could - I just knew you were a possibility as you'd been on the dig where the hieroglyph must have originally been uncovered. But now I am pretty sure you could help me if you wanted to. I don't think that the term was a surprise. You've heard it before. What does it mean, Professor?"

"Why do you want to know?"

"Because I'm an archaeologist! Because it's my job to find out about the past. Also more directly, because it's linked to something else I've been working on for a number of years - something that may just link into your area of expertise."

"Really, what?"

"Oh no - I want a quid pro quo here. I'll tell you what I know if you'll tell me what Kulthan means."

"Very well - but I'm not sure you'll believe me. The Kulthan were an ancient spacefaring race that enslaved and plundered the world. They built the pyramids. They were something like Jackal-headed humans in appearance - they appear in Ancient Egyptian art and writings."

Dr. James stood up. "Are you serious, Professor, or is this just some sort of wind up? Because I want answers, not ridiculous crackpot theories. This is very important - do you believe what you just said or is it just some sick form of humour or a joke gone wrong?"

"Oh, I believe it - I told you that you might not. Now we had a quid pro quo, so tell me what it is that you think might interest me."

Dr. James sat down. "All right - I'll accept that theory for the moment. It does make some sort of sense I must admit, given what else I know. A few months ago I encountered a weird group of teenagers - they had all sorts of information which I have no idea how they obtained. One of them had what must have been a photographic memory. And I do mean that literally. He was able to draw from memory something he had seen for only a few minutes at most. And I don't know how he saw it either. He claimed it had been in some sort of underground chamber beneath a pyramid but there would have been no way for him to get in there. Short of moving through solid rock or some sort of teleportation at any rate," she finished with a sheepish smile. Her story sounded as ridiculous as his had. She waited for Professor Cawston's reaction.

"What was the boy's name? And how many of them were there? Can you describe them?"

"His name was Adam. I'd say he was in his late teens or very early twenties. Brown hair and brown eyes. He had an accent - Australian, I think. There was also a girl named Ami. She was dark. Black hair, and brown eyes, and another red headed boy named Megabyte. Those two were a bit younger - late teens. Why? Do you know them?"

"No. I'd rather hoped I might." He stood up and moved over to a tea pot in the corner of the office. "Did they tell you anything about themselves? Anything at all?"

"I came to ask you questions."

"I know. I'm sorry. But this could be very important." He brought her over a cup of tea and sat down again with his own.

"No they didn't really tell me anything. It seems silly, but I know so little about them and at the time I didn't think to get any answers."

"A pity."

"You seem very interested in them. Do you know something about them?"

"No."

"Then why are you so interested? We have a quid pro quo here - at least I thought we did. Why won't you honour your side of the arrangement?"

"I told you about the Kulthan."

"Yes - and if you expect me to believe that you'd better give me a bit more information. At the moment, I have a cock and bull story that sounds like it came straight out of Von Daniken. I am an archaeologist. I need facts."

Professor Cawston pursed his lips. "Dr. James - I cannot give you any more information on the subject of those young people because I do not have any more information. I do have suspicions - but I am a scientist, I do not talk about my suspicions unless I have evidence - otherwise I would wind up like Von Daniken - an object of ridicule even if I was right. And in this case, I have to be doubly cautious. Because if my suspicions are correct and I reveal them their lives could be in danger. Maybe even the future of mankind."

Chapter 4

Worldex London Headquarters
23rd November, 1995
Afternoon

"Hang on, General. How did you manage to do an analysis of the Marhaba stone? It was destroyed."

"We didn't. The analysis was done before it was stolen. Just part of the normal archaeological process. Very little attention was paid to it. It was just an unusual meteorite, scientifically speaking and while the scientists would have like to have known more, further testing was vetoed by the British Museum. The stone was considered too valuable an artifact to be damaged. It's interesting to note that the testing would have been conducted by a team headed by a Doctor Felix Fry. If we ever find him, he will have a lot of explaining to do - although I doubt we'll ever find him."

"Anyways, the reason I asked you here is that I was wondering if you could pop over to Sala y Gomez and have a little look around and see if you can find anything."

Adam looked at his feet for a few seconds. He'd been considering this for a few weeks now. It had been his fear ever since he had discovered what he could do that he might be used by intelligence organisations - ASIS, the CIA, or MI6 or any other combination of initials - for their own purposes. Or that the military might have a use for the Tomorrow People. Recent events had reinforced that fear. Sure General Damon was a good man who would never force the Tomorrow People to work against their will. But Adam wondered if the General would have been quite so amenable if his own son had not been a Tomorrow Person. Besides that, even with the General around there were others that they had to be careful of - General Beaumont-Savage and Colonel Masters were two names that came to mind. He'd come to the reluctant decision that no matter how much he liked the General and no matter what the family connections to Megabyte that he could never trust him. Not completely at any rate. He had to be careful. Ami agreed with him. He hadn't consulted Megabyte - that wouldn't have been fair. The decision had been taken. But now that it came to the crunch he found that he couldn't just come out and say that. He had to find another way.

He looked up. "General, we'll certainly go to Sala y Gomez. It sounds like this Dr. Livingstone could be in trouble and if it has anything to do with the Marhaba stone we have to look into it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention."

"So you'll get back to me with what you find out."

"If we find out anything you need to know, we'll tell you. We'd better get going."

"Sure. Be careful."

Just before the five Tomorrow People disappeared, Megabyte raised a hand in acknowledgment of his father's caution. Then they were gone.

General Damon sighed. He hadn't just been talking to his son.



Petersfield, Hampshire

"So, Dr. James, I'm afraid I can't tell you anymore. But I do need to ask what you know about the Kulthan and about the other hieroglyphs you mentioned."

"Why should I tell you anything?"

"Because it's important. Because lives could be at stake. And because I know that you desperately want to know what I know and the only hope you ever have of finding out is if I come to trust you."

Amanda James nodded slightly. He was right. "You must be a very good Psychologist. All right, I'll tell you what I know."

She opened her bag and pulled out the printed picture of the hieroglyphs which she placed on the nearby desk. Professor Cawston moved up next to her and looked over her shoulder.

"What does it mean?"

"And at this place, we of Amtudi do finally lay to rest the last of the devices of the Kulthan against the return of our despised masters, the Kulthan."

"This was uncovered where precisely?"

"On an island in the South Pacific, Sala y Gomez."

"Good Lord. A reasonable distance from the Nile Delta then."

"Yes. That's what is so interesting."

Professor Cawston pressed a button on his intercom. "Leslie. Can you see about getting two tickets to an island called Sala y Gomez - you'll probably need to arrange a charter flight from somewhere as well. I doubt there's much of a regular service."

He looked over at Dr. James. "You'd better go home and get packed. Leslie is awfully efficient."



Tapahini

The five Tomorrow People arrived back at the spaceship.

"Could someone please tell me what the Marhaba stone is," Kevin asked.

"Megabyte can fill you in," answered Adam shortly. "I need some fresh air." He headed towards the exit of the ship.

Megabyte raised an eyebrow at Ami which said as much as any telepathic message could. She nodded and spoke.

"Jade, you clean up that thick shake you spilled. I'm going to get some air as well."

On the surface she found Adam standing on the beach looking out at the sea. She moved up next to him.

"You didn't tell the General. Why not?"

Adam looked at her. "I couldn't. Not with Megabyte sitting there next to me. How could I? It would sound like I was suggesting that we couldn't trust his father."

"Adam. We've talked about this. We can't. We know the General wouldn't intentionally harm us but he has different priorities than we do. And some of the people he works with." Ami shuddered. "Adam, they aren't just untrustworthy. They're evil. You've felt it."

"I know. But I still can't do it. Ami, he almost lost his father while you were in Australia. I know what that feels like - knowing that you might lose them. I'm not going to force Megabyte into choosing his father or us. I can't do that."

Ami sank down into the sand and pulled Adam down with her. "I know what it's like to lose your father. I mean, mine is still alive, but he's not really much of a father. I do know what it feels like. I understand why you don't want to talk to the General. But someone has to - do you want me to do it?"

"No!" Adam snapped out the words. "No," he said more quietly. "It's my job. I'm the oldest, I'm the first. If anyone does it, it should be me. But it's hard."

He lay back down on the sand. "Ami - it's not just Megabyte's feelings that worry me. It's his dad's as well. I like the General. I really do. He's been pretty good to me. He's been good to all of us even when it could have meant his job or his life. I don't want to tell him that we don't trust him."

"But it is true, isn't it? Not that we don't trust him. But that we can't afford to. We can't afford to trust anyone except ourselves."

"Yeah. It scares me, you know. I mean it's so much responsibility. What was it Millicent said - 'the future of the planet is in our hands'." Adam gave a crooked grin. "I was never much for responsibility. Now I'm supposed to be responsible for an entire planet."

"We've done all right so far."

"Sure. But we have to be right every time. We've got to be. One mistake and the world could die. If the TP fail that's it. Game over. Checkmate. No second chances."

"That's not true - we know there have been Tomorrow People before. Look at Tutankhamun for a start. He died nearly three and a half thousand years ago. How many have there been? How many generations have lived and died? Maybe if we fail, others will come along."

"I hope we don't have to find out."

"So do I."

They both sat up.

"Thanks Ami."

"For what?"

"Just for listening. I'm glad you're around. It makes things easier. I need someone I can rely on."

"You can rely on the others, can't you?"

"Of course. But Jade and Kevin are too young - they do what they can, of course, but I don't want to put too much pressure on them. And Megabyte - well, you know Megabyte."

"I do. You can trust him with the important things but not with anything else."

Adam laughed. "That's a good way to put it. Come on, we'd better get ready."

He leaped to his feet in a fluid movement that hinted at his fitness and agility. Ami looked at him, and was pleased to see that he was almost back to his old self. But not quite.

"Adam," she said as she climbed up and brushed the sand off her legs. "You know, if you need any of us for anything, you've just got to ask."

He nodded as he walked towards the ship. "I know. But there're some things you can't help with."

"Like what?"

He kept walking and she ran to catch up. She put her hand on his arm and he stopped.

"Like what?" she repeated.

"Advice, wisdom - I don't know how to put it. Sometimes I just wish there was someone around. Someone older who I could ask for help. Someone like the General who knows what we are. But someone that we don't have to worry about trusting."



Petersfield, Hampshire

The intercom on the Professor's desk buzzed.

"Yes, Leslie?"

"Professor, I've arranged two tickets, London to Santiago via Rio de Janeiro. From there there is a weekly flight to Easter Island and from there you can get a small plane to Sala y Gomez."

"Thank you, Leslie."

Chapter 5

Sala y Gomez, Pacific Ocean
24th November 1995
Morning

On a small rise overlooking the ocean, the Tomorrow People flashed into existence. Adam looked around to see if they had been noticed.

"You know just once I'd like for there to be someone here to see us. I'd love to see their faces."

Megabyte looked over at him. "Are you feeling all right, Adam? That doesn't sound like the responsible guy we've all come to know and love."

"Well, maybe I don't want to be the responsible guy all the time," retorted Adam as he stalked off.

Ami punched Megabyte in the arm as she went after him.

"Oww!" said the red haired boy rubbing his arm. "What did I say?"

Kevin and Jade both shrugged. It was a mystery to them.

The three younger TP ran after Adam and Ami. When Megabyte drew even with Adam, he began to apologise.

"Hey man, I'm sorry. What did I say?"

Adam answered, his voice slightly embarrassed. "Don't worry about it. Just a bit of a sore spot."

"You sure?"

"Yeah."

They came around the corner to where the sketch map General Damon had provided said that Dr. Livingstone's campsite had been located. The tent was still there, half collapsed. Even without that sign, they would have known the camp was deserted. It felt deserted.

They stood there for a few seconds and then Ami stepped forward.

"We'd better have a look inside. It should be empty but you never know."

She and Adam walked over to the tent. Adam lifted the flap and peered inside. Absolutely nothing. Just an empty tent. Outside Megabyte looked around for something to do. Besides the tent there was nothing else except the burnt out ashes of a camp fire.

Ami and Adam walked back to the others. "Any ideas?"

Jade had one. "Adam, are there any places to stay on the island?"

He fished into his back pocket for the notes the General had given him. "Yeah, a couple of places, why?"

"So why was Dr. Livingstone living in a tent in the middle of nowhere? She must have had a reason. No sane person lives in a tent when there's somewhere else available." She saw Adam looking at her and flushed. "Sorry."

"No, you're probably right. So what does that suggest?"

Kevin answered this time. He was not going to let Jade outdo him. "That she was here for a reason. Maybe because it's somewhere near where she was working."

"Precisely."

Megabyte looked around. "So where do we look, Sherlock? There's still a lot of real estate near here."

Ami had an answer. "She's an archaeologist. So we should look for signs of digging."

"Right." announced Adam. "So you, Megabyte and Kevin look to the north. And I'll go south with Jade. After a while we'll go east and west."

Jade looked around, "Which way is south?"

Kevin decided to show off his knowledge. For some reason he felt this desire to beat Jade at everything. "That's easy to work out. You point the 12 o'clock of your watch at the sun and halfway between the twelve and the hour hand is south."

Ami decided to defend Jade. "Oh, so do you have your watch set to Sala y Gomez time, Kevin, then?"

"No." he answered.

Adam also joined in. "And besides, we're in the southern hemisphere now - do all that and you'll end up finding north not south."

"Oh," answered Kevin.

Megabyte fished in his pocket. "Besides I'd use a compass." He looked down at the item in his hand. "Come on."

Adam saw the smug expression on Jade's face and decided not to comment as they went south.



Santiago, Chile

Ian Cawston and Amanda James ran through the terminal knowing they had a matter of minutes to make their connection to Easter Island. Otherwise, there was going to be a week to wait. Professor Cawston knew that wouldn't be a problem - he would just charter a plane if necessary. But he didn't want Dr. James to know about the resources at his disposal unless absolutely necessary.

Lungs heaving they arrived at the lounge they had been directed to. They looked up at the indicator to see that the plane had been delayed for two hours.

As Professor Cawston slumped back into a chair, he thought back wistfully to the days when he might have had access to a matter transporter. All the money in the world couldn't buy one of those.



Sala y Gomez
24th November 1995
Afternoon

*Adam, Jade. You'd better get up here quickly.*

The two Tomorrow People immediately teleported to the source of the telepathic transmission.

They found the other three standing clustered around an elderly woman, who fortunately was not looking in their direction. Megabyte spoke.

"She doesn't speak much English and my Spanish isn't very good at all. But she seems be saying that she knows about Dr. Livingstone - that her nephew was working with her. His name is Juan and he lives in a village about five miles north of here."

"All right. We'll have to go and talk to this Juan, then."

They walked away from the woman and as soon as they were out of sight teleported to where she had indicated.

The village was only small - ten or twelve buildings clustered around a common square and there were only a few people in sight. The lengthening afternoon shadows fell across the square and the sky was beginning to cloud over so the whitewashed buildings had taken on a dark and dirty grey appearance. Across the square, a group of young children had just left school and were dispersing to their homes.

"So what now? Do we just walk up and ask to speak to Juan or what?" Megabyte looked around. He wondered all people could live in a place like this - no TV, no shopping malls. He felt limited in England and this place was almost beyond his comprehension.

"Why not?" asked Adam. He sort of liked the place.

"Well, we don't speak the local language, do we? I mean, that old ladies Spanish was as bad as mine. I think they must have their own language."

"So we find someone who speaks English, don't we?"

"Like who."

Ami walked towards one of the buildings. "Like the school teacher."

The others all hurried to catch up. They arrived at the schoolhouse in less than a minute. The door was still open and they walked in.

It was a larger school than they had at first expected. Obviously it didn't just serve the village but the wider island community as well. A woman, about 40 perhaps sat at a desk marking work. She looked up as they entered.

"Good afternoon," she said. She had a slight burr to her voice which indicated her Scottish heritage. "May I help you with something?"

Adam answered. "I hope so. We're trying to find a man named Juan. He was working with Dr. Helena Livingstone and we need to speak with him."

"I see. Are you from one of the other digs? You seem awfully young."

Ami took over, "Yes, that's right. We're archaeology students and we've come to try and find out what Dr. Livingstone was doing before she disappeared."

The teacher looked sceptical but apparently decided to take them seriously. "Juan lives just opposite here in the house with the red roof. He's probably at home now."

"Thank you."

The five young people trooped out of the school and immediately across the road to the house that had been indicated. Adam stepped up and knocked on the door. There was no answer but it was slightly ajar. He pushed it open and peeked around the corner. He brought his head out and looked at the others.

"Ami, you stay with Jade and Kevin. Megabyte, come in with me."

The red haired teen pushed up the stairs past Ami and followed Adam inside. He saw immediately what Adam had seen - a man lying face down on the ground. Adam was kneeling next to him.

Megabyte was surprised at how steady his voice was. "Is he dead?"

"No, just dead drunk. Help me get him up into the chair. Then see if you can find some coffee or something."

Megabyte helped lift the man, and then looked around on the shelves for coffee. He didn't find any but he did find a packet of dry leaves. He sniffed at them to make sure they were tea and then dropped some into a pot.

"Is everything all right in there?" Ami asked from outside.

"Yeah, it's fine," answered Megabyte.

"There's no need for you to come in though, Ami. We've got everything under control."

Megabyte started boiling the water in the kettle by the sink. The place wasn't quite as primitive as he had thought. He moved over next to Adam.

"Why are you trying to keep Ami outside?"

Adam nodded at the man they assumed was Juan. "Him. He's as drunk as an alcoholic skunk."

"So?"

"Ami's dad, remember."

"Oh yeah." Megabyte answered, remembering what they had learned about Mr Jackson. "Right."

They heard the door creak open behind them and saw Ami standing there. She took one look at the man and stepped towards him. Adam and Megabyte stood in silence as she cast an appraising glance over the man.

"He's going to be useless for hours. We'd better wait. Is that tea on the stove?" She walked over to look. "And guys, it's sweet of you to care, but you don't have to protect me."

Adam spoke up. "Ami, we didn't mean to -"

She turned towards him. "Yes, you did." Her eyes moved between Megabyte and Adam. "And thanks."



Easter Island

The island hopping plane touched down at the small airfield and the two academics were the first people out of the door. Professor Cawston grabbed the arm of a passing mechanic.

"Who do I see about a flight to Sala y Gomez?"

The mechanic pointed to a small hut.

"Thank you."

They walked over to the small hut bearing a sign that said Island Airways. They pushed open the door and a small bell tinkled to announce their presence. A man walked out of a back room.

"Hi, I'm Dean Keller. How can I help you?"

"We need to fly to Sala y Gomez immediately."

"Really. Well I'm afraid there's a bit of a problem there. It's getting late and I don't like flying at night. Come back in the morning and I'll see what I can do. I should be able to take off about 9 am. It's going to cost you a lot though."

"How much?"

"$15,000 - that's American dollars, of course. And the same to come back. Double if you're going to be more than a day or two - I need a retainer."

"How much to do it right now?"

"Look, I said I don't like flying at night -"

Professor Cawston was opening his bag. "Would $50,000 cover it?"

Dean stopped short. "$50,000 one way?"

"Yes."

"You've got yourself a deal, buddy. Come on."

Chapter 6

Sala y Gomez
24th November 1995
Evening

"Gracias."

Juan sipped at the third cup of tea he'd had in the last hour. While tea wasn't as effective as coffee for restoring sobriety, the amount he'd had forced down his throat had been more than enough. He looked around at the young people who said they were looking for Dr. Livingstone.

"Yes, she was here. But she is gone now. I cannot help you."

"Where has she gone? We know she hasn't left the island. We really need to find her."

"I do not know. Who are you? Why are you here?"

"Who we are is not important. We are here because we need to speak to Dr. Livingstone."

"I am sorry. I cannot help you. I do not know where she is."

"OK. Can you tell us what she was working on?"

"She was digging. Looking for some old tomb."

"Did she find it?"

Juan looked away. "No."

Ami knew how to tell if a man was lying. It was a skill she had learned from her mother. "Where is it?"

Juan looked at her. "You don't want to go there. You should stay away. It is too dangerous."

Adam leaned forward. "Why? What did you see there? What happened there?"

"I saw a man with the head of a dog. I ran away. When I returned, Dr. Livingstone was gone."

Megabyte looked over at Adam, raised his eyebrows and gestured to the bottles that Jade and Kevin had stacked neatly by the sink. Juan saw him.

"No. I started drinking after I saw it. Not before. It is what made me drink. I should not have left her. If I hadn't left her, she might still be safe."

Adam reached over and grabbed Juan's hand. "We might be able to help her. If we can find her. You just have to take us to where you last saw here. Take us to the tomb."

Juan nodded. "All right. It will take some time to get there, though. It is several miles away."

"Then we'd better get started, hadn't we?"

*I suppose we're going to have to walk.* came Kevin's complaint.

For once Jade appeared to be in agreement with him. *Can't we just teleport?*

*I'm afraid not. We need Juan to take us and I am not going to let him know what we can do. We'll have to walk. Come on. It can't be that far*



On board a small plane:

"Come on. You have to tell me. Why were you carrying that much money?" Dr. James asked the question for a fifth time. "You must have had a reason."

"It's just in case of emergency."

"Of course. I carry a few travellers cheques, my passport, some insect repellent and a spare pair of knickers in case of emergency. You carry wads of hundred dollar notes. That just doesn't wash, Professor. Now I want to know what is going on. Why were you so eager to come here and why were you in such a hurry."

Professor Cawston leaned over to her. "Can you keep a secret?"

"Of course."

"So can I." He saw that the archaeologist was almost ready to explode and spoke hurriedly. "I can't tell you any more at this point. I really can't. But I will tell you this. The Kulthan are real - they did exist. And if they are on Earth or if there is even a hint of them being on Earth, I have to know about it. Because I just might be the only person who has any idea of what to do about them. What was it your hieroglyphs said 'against the return of our despised masters, the Kulthan.' That can't be allowed to happen. They can't be allowed to return."

"You really do believe this, don't you?"

"Yes, I do. I can't explain why - but it is true nonetheless. And that's why I carry so much money. Because I need to be sure I can get to my destination as quickly as possible. I would have chartered an aircraft the whole way here if it wouldn't have attracted too much attention."

"Attention from who?"

"Scientific Intelligence. They keep a watch on me. Not much of one - they lost interest years ago - but I don't want to give them any reason to think I'm worthy of their attention again."

Dr. James looked at her case in front of her. She opened it and handed over a folder to Professor Cawston.

"What's this?" he asked looking at the title 'The Cult of Amtudi'.

"My quid pro quo."



Sala y Gomez
Midnight

"What was it you said, Adam?" asked Megabyte as he brushed another branch from his face. It swang back and hit Jade in the head, but he pretended not to notice. Maybe she might stop walking so close behind him.

The forest was dark and all they could hear besides the sounds they were making was the wind through the trees. They'd heard a place come overhead about an hour earlier but beyond that nothing else.

"Okay, so I was wrong. It could be that far. Give me a break - how was I supposed to know?"

Ami decided to just ask. "How much further, Juan."

"Not far. About 100 yards or so."

They moved in silence for a couple of minutes through the thick undergrowth. Adam realised suddenly that they were once again very near Dr. Livingstone's campsite.

"There it is." Juan pointed at a bank that they had examined earlier. He hesitated and his voice was less certain. "It was there. The entrance to the tomb was in that bank. I dug it out myself."

Adam walked ahead, walked straight up to the bank and put his hand on it. He turned.

"Thanks, Juan. You've done enough. You can go back now."

Juan needed no further bidding. He turned back into the bushes and was gone. Adam motioned to the others to come up. Kevin arrived first and Adam pushed the younger boy's hand into the bank.

"There's nothing there." Kevin pointed out the obvious as his hand sank into the bank up to his wrist.

"Right. It's just an illusion. There is a hole here. The question is who could have set up a three dimensional illusion like this and how did they do it?"

"Not why did they do it?"

"Well, that's obvious. They didn't want anyone to find the tomb."

Adam probed the illusion with the ends of his fingers. He could feel something unusual about it. When his fingers arrived at a hard metal edge he realised what it was. The feeling that ran through his extremities was startlingly similar to what he had felt the first time he had touched the spaceship.

There was a clicking sound which they all heard in their minds rather than in their fingers and the illusion vanished. The entrance passage it had shielded from sight opened before them.



Sala y Gomez Airfield

The plane had landed nearly an hour ago and the beat up old car that doubled as the island's only taxi service had just arrived. It hadn't been easy to get the car out in the middle of the night, but with the amount of money they were paying they could have bought it outright.

"Take us to where Dr. Livingstone was camped - do you know the way?"

"Of course, sir." The taxi driver's English was understandable, though heavily accented. He put his foot down and with a grinding sound the car changed gears and they drove off along the old road.

Chapter 7

Sala y Gomez - The Tomb
25th November 1995
After Midnight

Adam lead the way through the passage into the tomb area beyond. A pale light infused the room coming from what had to be electric lights inlaid into the walls. That was in marked contrast to the rest of the walls.

Megabyte looked around. "Okay guys, I hope you're not going to try and tell me this was moved all the way from Egypt. An obelisk I can accept. But not a whole building."

They looked around at the walls. All covered with hieroglyphs and other Egyptian writing. Kevin moved over to have a closer look.

"Can anyone read this? Anyone at all, I mean."

Adam shook his head. "No. But I know what that says." He pointed to an oval carving on the wall.

Ami looked at it. "It's a cartouche."

"Not just a cartouche - I've seen those carvings before. It says Rameses Akhara."

Megabyte was looking at all the artefacts scattered around the floor. "Is that chair solid gold?"

Jade leaped out of where she had just sat down. "What!?" She turned to examine it. "I think it is."

Megabyte shook his head. "I don't suppose we can keep all this, Adam, can we?"

"Are you worried about money at a time like this?"

"Well, someone has to be," came the answer as Megabyte walked over to join Adam and Ami in staring at the carvings on the walls.

"Guys, looking at it isn't going to help us read it. We need a dictionary. Or an archaeologist."

"Like me, do you mean?"

All the Tomorrow People pivoted to look at the woman who had just walked in behind them unheard. Three of them recognised her.

"Dr. James!"

There was a man with her, a blond man in his fifties it appeared. One of the TP's recognised him as well. Kevin backed away trying to get behind the older Tomorrow People and out of sight. It was too late.

Professor Cawston looked at the young people standing around the chamber. Some of them obviously knew Dr. James and from the description they were apparently the people she had mentioned at their first meeting. He looked at all of them hard. They were all too young, that was immediately apparent and he didn't recognise any of them. But one of them - the youngest by the look of him - was vaguely familiar and it only took him a second to work out who he was.

"Kevin Wilson."

Kevin moved into view. "Hallo, Professor."

Adam looked at Kevin. "Professor who? How do you know him? How does he know you?"

"When I was in hospital when I was little - a long time ago after I jumped off the roof - the Professor came to see me. He's an expert in mind reading or something. He wanted to measure my brains electricity but I screamed so much my parents wouldn't let him."

Professor Cawston stepped forward. "I'm Professor Ian Cawston. I'm a parapsychologist - I research telepathy and related abilities. I don't mean any of you any harm. I want to help you if I can. I think I know what you are."

Megabyte moved between the Professor and Kevin. "Really. How do you know that? What do you know?"

Adam flashed a message to the others. *Any sign of trouble, teleport out of here.*

Professor Cawston, mindful of his promise to John tried to work out what to say. Dr. James however knew exactly what she wanted to say.

"Could someone please explain to me what is going on? Why are you kids here? How do you manage to turn up everywhere like you do? What do you know?"

Adam turned to her, his voice calm and apologetic. "I'm sorry we can't tell you. There are some things that we can't reveal to anyone. But we do need your help. Can you read the hieroglyphs?"

"I think so." She looked around and realised that the portion she had been sent was only part of a much larger message. She also noticed something else.

"I need to take the measurements of this chamber. I think it's exactly the same dimensions as the tomb of Tutankhamun."

Professor Cawston reached into his pocket and pointed a small device at each wall. He read off the display.

"It's four metres by eight metres."

"What is that thing?" asked Dr. James.

"It's a laser range finder." The Professor had an idea. He looked directly at the young people in the room. "It was invented by some friends of mine named John, Elizabeth and Stephen." Nothing, no reaction. If these people were, as he suspected, Tomorrow People, they were either consummate actors or knew nothing of their predecessors.

"Well, those dimensions do match those of the antechamber of Tutankhamun's tomb. It even looks like his tomb - and that's his name over there," she said pointing to a second cartouche.

Adam interrupted "But what does it all say?"

Dr. James began to read:

"We are the cult of Amtudi and this is our final resting place. We have built it knowing that our time is limited. We have built it on the instructions of our late and final leader, Tutankhamun, Pharaoh of all Egypt, so that you who come after us may know and prepare.

"In the ancient days, a race of men from the stars did rule all Egypt and use men as their slaves. They were the Kulthan and we were their enemies. Our ancestors fought them but we had not the strength or power to defeat them. When our Pharaoh opposed them, he was killed and replaced by a man who could change his shape and so the people followed him, believing him to be the God-King.

"We resisted as well as we could. In the early days we had powers that allowed us to travel great distances in the blink of an eye and talk across vast distances. But the Kulthan built the Pyramids and their magic robbed us of our powers.

"One day a great stone fell from the sky, a welcome stone because it allowed us to wield power to defeat and expel the Kulthan. Our great and noble leader Rameses Akhara did direct us to build a Pyramid and he focused the energy of it and used it to expel the Kulthan from our world. And for a time, peace and glory reigned. But Rameses was corrupted by the power and came to use it to extend his life and his power beyond measure. He forgot the need to be vigilant against the return of the Kulthan. And so we of Amtudi were forced into hiding to preserve what we could of our ancient defences. Rameses had promised to destroy the magic of the Pyramid so that we could once again travel the world. But when he had power he refused. And so our powers were lost.

"We used the few abilities we still had to try to rouse the people in rebellion against Rameses and for a time we looked like we might succeed. But Rameses was intelligent. He knew that he could not sit on the throne forever himself and so he established Dynasty of Pharaohs after Dynasty of Pharaohs who acted as figureheads for his rule. And he controlled the Kingdom. And when the people complained, he destroyed a Dynasty and established a new one thus sating their anger for a time.

"But in the 18th Dynasty, a boy assumed the throne as Pharaoh and this boy refused to accept the control of Rameses. He restored the old ways and was successful in shutting down the stultifying magic of the Pyramids for a time and we were once again able to oppose Rameses Akhara. The boy was the Pharaoh Tutankhamun and he lead a small group of us who were known as the People of Tomorrow. For a time it appeared that we might defeat Rameses. But we have failed. Rameses captured and killed Tutankhamun and restored the Kulthan's magic.

"We, the few People of Tomorrow to escape him fled to this far away island on the orders of Tutankhamun shortly before the magic was restored and at this place, we of Amtudi do finally lay to rest the last of the devices of the Kulthan against the return of our despised masters, the Kulthan or against the need that they may one day be used to defeat Rameses Akhara."

Chapter 8

Sala y Gomez
25th November 1995
Early Morning

At the completion of the reading the whole room fell quiet. Everyone within it had differing feelings. Amanda James knew that this was the archaeological find of the millennium - if she could get anyone to believe her. Ian Cawston knew beyond all doubt that the young people in the room were Tomorrow People - he had been watching their faces during the reading.

The Tomorrow People themselves had a variety of feelings. Understanding about what had happened before. Fear of what the Kulthan might be and that they might return. Confirmation of what they had believed - that other Tomorrow People had existed before.

But above all else, a new realisation of what being a Tomorrow Person might mean. It might mean laying down your life for the sake of the world in the hope that your actions might one day mean that your species might triumph and that earth might survive and prosper. That every thing that they did was possible because of the people who had come before and that it was their duty to make sure that their own actions made it easier for those that came after.

For the moment that all had to wait however. They had come here for another reason. They had come here to try and find a missing person and they hadn't found her. For all they knew she could have been in terrible danger. Adam asked the question.

"So where is Dr. Livingstone?"

Dr. James looked around. "That's what I was wondering. I had expected to find her at her dig. Does anyone know where she was last seen?"

The Tomorrow People looked at each other. "Haven't you heard?" asked Ami. "Dr. Livingstone is missing. No one knows where she is and she was last seen in here."

Professor Cawston stated the obvious. "Well, she isn't here now."

"Unless . . ." Dr. James walked over to the far wall and started looking at it closely, rubbing her hands over it trying not to damage the delicate artwork. "If this is of the same dimensions as Tutankhamun's tomb, there should be a door here into the burial chamber. She could be in there, I suppose. That is, she could have been if there was a door here. If there is it's better hidden than I'd expect."

"Doctor," asked Adam. "If there is a chamber beyond there how far away is it?"

"Almost immediately behind. It's a large room and there's only a small connecting passageway. Why do you want to know?"

"There may be a way in I can try. I need you two, you and Professor Cawston to leave please."

Amanda shook her head. "No. No way. I am not letting a bunch of kids fool about in here. This place is priceless."

Adam raised his eyes to the ceiling. Professor Cawston spoke. "Adam - that's your name isn't it? Adam, I already know what you are going to do so you might as well do it."

"You know. How?"

"I can't really say. Maybe later I can tell you. But I do know what you are. I do know what the Tomorrow People are. And I know what you can do. I've been researching psychic phenomena for longer than you've been alive. I know more about it than any other parapsychologist on Earth. I know you are telepathic. I know you can teleport. I know all those things and I have never published a word of it. Because I know the danger that would put you in. You can trust me."

Dr. James looked at Professor Cawston. "Are you serious, Ian?"

"I've never been more so. Adam, if Dr. Livingstone is in there, you'd better get her out quickly."

"All right. Seeing you seem to know so much already." Adam flashed out of existence.

Megabyte and Ami held their breaths. If the chamber wasn't there - if it was solid rock behind the wall, Adam was now dead.

*I'm all right, guys. Just hang on.*

In the 'burial chamber' Adam looked around. Lying slumped in one corner was a young woman somewhere in her 20s by the look of her. Adam knelt down next to her and shook her gently. Her eyes opened and she sat up. Adam smiled at her.

"Dr. Livingstone, I presume. Hold onto me tightly."

He teleported with her back into the antechamber. Professor Cawston knelt down next to the woman and began to examine her.

"Lie still, Helena. I'm a Doctor."

Adam stepped away and walked over to Dr. James.

"Doctor, I need to talk to you outside."

"All right."

They walked out into the cold and dark night.

"Dr. James. I realise what this discovery must mean to you. But you can't publicise it."

"Why ever not?"

"Do you believe what you read in there?"

"I don't know. It's all so incredible."

"It's also true. I know. I've met Tutankhamun, well, his ghost. You saw what I can do. You saw what I'm capable of. I have to protect that. I can't let you put us in danger by letting this get out."

"Can't let me? What do you mean you can't let me?" There was a slight tremor of fear in her voice.

"I didn't mean that the way it sounded. I can't hurt you - it's alien to my nature. But surely you see that what's happening here is more important than any archaeological discovery." Adam looked into her eyes. "If you publicise this discovery, you'll endanger our lives. You'll probably endanger your own as well. There are some pretty ruthless people out there who'd think nothing of killing you over this type of discovery."

"He's right, Amanda." Professor Cawston had walked up behind them. "Helena's fine - just a bit dehydrated. She has no idea of how she got into the burial chamber and I don't think she wants to know either. Amanda, Adam is right. There are some very ruthless people out there. I've met some of them. At the very least they'll destroy your career - how would you like to be the next Von Daniken?"

"You mean he was right?"

"I have no idea. But I do know that these people can and will destroy all your credibility in order to prevent your theories getting credence. You do need to think about it. And I think Adam and I need to talk. Alone."

"I'll go and see Helena then. Even if I can't publish I want to know what she knows for my own peace of mind." Amanda James walked back into the open tunnel entrance.

"So Professor. You know about the Tomorrow People. How? Who do you work for?"

"No one - I'm a private researcher. How do I know? I'm not at liberty to say. You have to realise that I am very careful not to reveal any of my sources to anyone who doesn't need to know. And I'm afraid you don't. But I'll tell you this. I want to help you. I know that you are the next stage of human evolution - Homo superior - and I want to help that evolution happen. I'll do anything to help it happen. Anything you ask."

"Really. What if I ask you to go away and keep away from us? Would you do that?"

Professor Cawston looked straight at Adam. "If I have to. But I can help you. I can help all of you. You've just got to trust me."

"Trust has to be earned."

"Then let me earn it."

Adam made a decision. He didn't know why but he felt that Professor Cawston was worth the risk. "All right, Professor. I'm going to take you, Dr. James and Helena home - to England I assume. You're a Doctor - can you see that Dr. Livingstone gets any treatment she needs and do it so no questions are asked?"

"Of course."

"I thought you might be able to." Adam turned away from Dr. Cawston. "That's the first step. If you do that, maybe I can think about trusting you. But I need to be careful. I hope you understand that. I can't jeopardise our survival. What did you call us, by the way - Homo superior? Interesting term. I'd like to know where it came from."

He began to walk back into the tunnel. "I want to trust you, Professor. I really do. But I can't just give out my trust without thinking hard about that. I can't take that chance. And it isn't just my decision."

Professor Cawston followed him in. He was prepared to do anything that he had to in order to win Adam's trust. Anything at all. He was glad that that trust was not lightly given. That was a good sign for the survival of the species and it's eventual success.

The End


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