He was called the Past Stealer. That was the alias that thirty five year old Elijah Meyer had used for years ever since he had gotten into the business of stealing from museums. It was a difficult job to excel at, most museums came with high grade security and the market for priceless antiques was a little more challenging than people expected. After all, who had the money to buy priceless things when they were priceless?
But Elijah didn't get into this line of work purely for the money. Most of the time it was for the thrill. It sent shivers down his spine when he plotted and planned how to get the recently discovered portrait of Marion Antoinette out of Musee du Louvre without triggering heat sensors, pressure pads, laser activated security systems and motion detectors, all whilst avoiding the security cameras. His career gave him more than just money, it gave him the adrenaline rush he needed.
However, today would be challenging, even for someone with his skills, for today the Past Stealer had been hired to steal something ridiculous from the British Museum; the newly discovered ancient Egyptian sarcophagus of the unknown king. A two ton coffin made of stone and gold, riddled with hieroglyphs and precious gems and containing a musty old bandaged corpse of some weirdo that had yet to be identified. The papers were still talking about how incredible the discovery had been. Apparently it been discovered not in Egypt, not hidden under layers of sand, but in an undersea cave off the coast of the British Isles.
It was a tall order, even for the Past Stealer, but he had a plan. A plan that had been going very smoothly that cold Thursday night in January. After taking time drugging the guards, deactivating the security system and erasing all traces of his presence, Elijah had reached the sarcophagus and begun looping chords around the solid tomb to help him lift it onto a cart, which he would then carefully wheel out of the Museum.
It had taken time and a lot of effort. At some points Elijah had thought that the job might have been more trouble than it was worth, but then he thought of the money that he had been offered. The number that had been waved in front of his face had so many zeros on the end of it that Elijah had almost fainted. When he thought of that number the task didn't seem so ridiculous.
As the final chord was attached Elijah stepped back and pulled on the ropes, hoisting his prize onto the cart with a grunt. He smiled through the thick balaclava that he wore over his face. Just a few more hours and it would be traveling across the country to meet his client and he would be a very rich man.
But as he began to wheel the object out of the room it had been kept in, an odd thought struck him. Was it his imagination... or did the sarcophagus feel a little light? It had been heavy, there was no doubt, but for some reason the ancient tomb did not feel as if it was carrying the extra weight of a rotten ancient mummy.
"Must be my imagination," he whispered to himself as he pushed the coffin along, but saying it had not reassured him. He could feel it in his gut that the sarcophagus was empty, yet he didn't understand how such a thing could be possible. The mummy had been the star attraction of London's British Museum for months, how on earth could it be missing? It wasn't as if it could just get up and walk about!
Elijahh felt his cart bump into something as he turned round a corner. He was now aware of two skeletal hands, wrapped in bandages, laying on the opposite end of the sarcophagus. He was no longer moving or more accurately was unable to move. His gaze slowly rose from the hands to meet the face of the figure that obstructed his journey. He looked into empty sockets that peered through the mass of grey rotting bandages that covered a dirty head.
Elijah tried to find words to describe the horror he was facing. He searched his brain for ways to express how terrifying and impossible what he saw was. Some sentence to put everything into perspective. To make sense of the nightmare.
"Mommy." was all he whimpered before the creature let out a shriek, reached out and did horrible things to him that made him beg for help. Which he would have probably gotten, if he hadn't knocked out the security guards. They would be sleeping fine tonight, despite the horrific cries that echoed through the lonely museum.
"Fake." the strange man remarked as he passed by one of the numerous glass cases that lay scattered around the British Museum. It was Friday and the museum was bustling with visitors. Children from school trips followed teachers in large groups and the odd band of tourists and students calmly marched from one exhibit to the next.
"Fake. Fake. Fake." he continued to say as he walked past a few pots that had survived the fires of pompei and portraits of long dead kings that lined the walls.
He was a handsome man, but his appearance and manner were earning a lot of stares. His hair was long blonde and wavy and his face was roughly shaven, making him look like some sort of surfer, but his outfit was a strange mix of a long blue anorak on top of a white buttoned shirt and trousers that had been rolled up below his knees. Around his neck he wore a bolo tie and on his feet were sandals, which were odd things for any sane person to wear casually.
"Miss labeled, that's from the 16th century, not the 18th" he muttered as he leaned over another relic, much to the annoyance of the old couple that were stood in front of him, who felt very uncomfortable about having some weirdo breathing down their necks.
"If you're going to keep looking about let me save you some time." He said to them before turning round and pointing to a few items in rapid succession. "Fake, fake, alien, fake, that's a portrait of a woman, not a man, fake and that dress didn't belong to Elizabeth the first it belonged to one of her fella's, the Duke of Anjou. He was funny like that."