Pig On A Dig

Originally published Monday February, 13th 2006

jomarbuckle

The world adventurer, Thurston Zee Pig spent Saturday night comfortably resting at The Axis of Stevil’s dome enclosed cornfield. The pig has had a very busy past week unraveling both the mysteries of the ages, and a modern day case of Espionage straight from the pages of Fleming and Rice.

While resting, Thurston logged his most recent adventures that are soon to be produced into an IEC investigative news program.

“My drinking tour of the east coast was called short when I received a telegram from my close colleague Chocada Sundi. His excavation in the Valley of the Kings had stalled and morale at his camp was low. He urged me to visit the site and lend my insight to the dig. I nearly rolled out of my seat when I got the news! I’ve long been an amateur archaeologist, but hadn’t been to a dig since Sundi and I had uncovered a Mega-Raptor skeleton in lower Mozambique 11 years ago.

I chartered a jet from Steve Fossett and made for Egypt, bringing along my pif helmet, tools and trusted assistant, Linda Luvy. Sundi had changed a great deal since I had last seen him; the rugged adventurer I once knew seemed tired and dejected. Our friendship instantly reconnected, and his spirit seemed to return as soon as I was on the scene. His team had been working in the tomb of Amenmesses, trying to decipher the long worded riddle scribed in the hieroglyphics along the chamber walls.

Thanks to jet lag and Luvy’s special tandoori coffee, I spent two straight days within the tomb reading, snuffling over notes and dusting walls; searching for the missing piece. There had to be some sort of connection, a keystone, to bring meaning to the tomb’s inscriptions. Which seemed only to be a collection of half thoughts and broken sentences; it was baffling. By the third day, my spirits had sunk. I decided to rest my eyes, and reclined against a large slab of sand stone. To my surprise the stone gave way like a three thousand year old manhole cover, revealing a previously undiscovered airshaft. I fell down through the air chamber, and crashed through a wooden roof fifteen feet below. I barely remember what happened next. The room was filled with a stale air and an overpowering smell. I had crushed a canopic jar in my fall, the dust of an ancient brain filled my snout and I went unconscious.

I dreamed of an ancient land, and another life within the kingdom of King Steviankh Khufu

When I came too the next day I was unsure who or where I was until I heard clamors of excitement. The distinguishable sounds of camera snaps and questions told me the press where not far away. I pulled myself together and exited the first aid tent. A crowd of people had gathered by the opening to the tomb. Sundi was speaking with them. A large smile beamed across his face.

Apart from the crowd, Luvy sat typing at her laptop, undoubtedly holding the fort during my incapacitation. Here I was in Egypt and I had yet to enjoy myself. I suggest to Luvy that we leave the site, and go truffle hunting along the Suez Canal; an area renowned for its beautiful and tasty treats.

The side trip proved fruitful in many ways. Through good fortune and skill I snuffed out two baskets worth of various edible mushrooms. We broke for an afternoon snack outside of Ismailiya, eating some of the days catch and watching the water ripple in the canal. A large Chinese tanker, the Okal King Dor entered our view, and moved slowly through the calm waters.

To our surprise, the vessel was scuttled right before our eyes, in short order. There was a horrific scraping sound as gill-like slits appeared in the bowels of the ship, breathing water into its interior. The vessel cocked at a right angle and collided into the far wall of the canal, wedging the ship across the channel blocking all traffic as it continued to sink. I saw several flashes of light through the cabin windows. The bright sun and glare from the water made it hard to tell what exactly was going on; thankfully luvy had packed my polarized pig goggles.

I put them on and stared at the tanker, the gill slits in the side were now completely underwater. There was the shape of a man swimming out between the tears in the metal hull, but it quickly disappeared deeper into the water. Little did I know at the time that this silhouette belong to Jom, Egypt’s most feared villain.

Amazed by the speed and power of the tanker attack, I joined forces with the canal authority and helped them investigate the scene. The Chinese tanker had been transporting large amounts of Exxon brand crude oil to waiting refineries along the India coast. Sadly, the crew of the Dor was found dead. Interestingly, while the corridors and passageways of the vessel were scorched with small arms fire, none of the eighteen-crew members had died from a gunshot. In fact it seemed as if some sort of animal had mauled them. Curious too, was the appearance of several sets of evenly spaced claw marks that had cut through doors, galley tables and even a two-foot bulkhead. Left at the helm was a long snakes skin, the calling card of Jom.

The manifest counted the ships population at nineteen, with the one missing member being a Lyle Lyman who was listed as an American who had booked passage through the canal. Lyman brought aboard a three by six foot steel box, which ‘growled when weighed’ according to the ships log. We searched the decks for the remains of Lyman or the box, and the clues they might hold; neither was found. Inspection of Lyman’s cabin did reveal several saran-wrapped butcher chops of goat meat and a ceremonial Aztec necklace. According to my research books, warriors looking for protection against dark spirits wore necklaces such as this one.

It suddenly became clear to me; Jom boarded the ship as Lyman and released a chupacabra to sink the ship mid-voyage. Further investigation was needed into this man of mystery. The town’s people of Ismailiya knew of Jom as the tamer of a great Odie Constrictor, a beast with the head of a dog, and the body of a snake. During the last city election several incumbent candidates were found strangled in their beds, their necks covered with the scales of an Odie Constrictor. Jom was either a vigilante fighting for the good people of Egypt, or a mad man on the loose.

I was at a dead-end until Luvy traced the shipping history of Lyman’s box to the small American suburban home of John Arbuckle, a cartoonist and steward to a fat orange tabby cat; perhaps the most ingenious cover for a secret agent ever.

We turned the information over to the Egyptian authorities; it was their battle to finish. Besides, Luvy and I had tickets to the games in Torino and had to be on our way.”

Thurston Z Pig, the retired Stevil spokesman, spends his days writing and traveling the world. Correspondences and fan mail should be sent to pig@thurstonzpig.com

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