Visions of the Past
Hawkman and related characters belong to DC Comics.
Other DC Re-Imagined titles can be found here.
Rating: T (Just covering my bases)
“Doctor Hastor, a pleasure to meet you,” Carter Hall said with an outstretched hand. Doctor Hastor, an older man with mad little glasses and a wizardly appearance, shook his head curtly and declined. Carter shrugged and opened the oak door to his office, ushering the scientist in. “I understand you found an Egyptian something for the museum?”
“Yes I did, Doctor Hall,” he replied with his husky whisper of a voice. “Funny, really, that we found it while cleaning out the old storage rooms.”
Both men chuckled as Carter sat down at his desk, grouping together bank statements, theses and museum purchases and moving them to the side. Grinning, he gestured for Hastor to put the box he’d brought along with him. It was a battered looking thing, once black but dulled by age and the sun, coated in a thick layer of dust. Carter looked up to Hastor, looking in to those mad little eyes of his magnified by those thick-rimmed glasses, and saw approval in his short nod. Brushing off the dust with his hand first, Carter peeled back the cardboard lid to reveal the particular item Hastor had been gushing about over the phone.
“It doesn’t seem to have aged a day…” he said softly, looking into the gleam of the knife’s blade. Yes, it was a knife; seemed to be the same as others in the New Kingdom exhibit, but to Carter’s eye there was something strange about this one. Carved into the blade were letters; definitely not hieroglyphs though, these seemed more rune-like. “Are you sure this is a legit Egyptian blade? The lettering definitely isn’t.”
“Maybe keep it a few days and do some tests before you reject the blade, Doctor Hall?” Hastor suggested, adjusting his glasses and smiling at him. There was something unnerving about that smile; perhaps it was the yellow staining his teeth, or maybe it was those eyes of his. Carter nodded at the scientist, trying to think of just what sort of test they could do on the blade. He excavated; he didn’t date the damn things. Carter just loved the feel of peeling away the dirt and releasing hundreds of years of human history to the calm sunlight. There was definitely something romantic about that notion, of rediscovering the humanity locked away beneath the sand and dirt. He didn’t look up as Hastor walked from the office, leaving Carter alone with the knife. It was a funny artefact to be sure.
He’d have to talk to Ziegler about having it compared with the other New Kingdom knives and properly dated. Closely he looked at the blade. No fingerprints, which was both good as well as strange. Not even on the hilt. Carter ran his finger along the edge of the blade, seeing in his mind images of pharaohs and temples flowing past. He could smell the river and hear the people on the streets, feel the heat beating down on his skin. That was what he loved about unearthing things like that; the transcendental feeling that such a small little object has such history trapped beneath the metal. It was stronger that time, with that knife. Carter frowned. Just because he could feel Egypt pulsating within the knife didn’t mean it actually came from there. Sort of archaeological placebo effect and all that, but it does lead a man to wonder.
Ziegler, that’s right. That’s what he was doing; writing a note to find Ziegler and have him get the knife dated. Found his pen, the tacky biro from the newsagents, and hastily wrote down the note. Couldn’t do anymore; blasted time was late, that’s what it was. Carter ran through his evening as he made his way to the usual bus stop, which was just a short five minute walk away from the museum. He’d get home, select the fresh salad from his fridge and prepare himself something for dinner before getting to bed. The TV had blared nothing but rubbish since he’d become a teenager and there was nothing quite like waking to a blasting shower at six in the morning, perhaps a bit later to give the radio enough time to annoy him out of bed. Then give Ziegler a call and have him figure out when that knife came from.
To Be Continued.