Action Roland

Dear Diary,

After all the song and dance about the Ankh, at last, a real breakthrough! Roland was able to find the last known location of the Ankh from the Underground and passed on the map to me. It's a digsite near a little hospital in the middle of nowhere in Turkey… not far from here! Roland warned me that there have been reports of workers passing out and dying on site, but I think he's just being overly protective as normal. We might be able to put this to bed once and for all, and I'm not about to stay away just because of a few rumors!

I went to the digsite where the Ankh was supposed to be. I was a bit unnerved, actually... the digsite was nearly deserted save for my team, and I felt like something was watching me. Just when I was about to write it off as my imagination, I heard a voice, then had a horrible pain in my head as I blacked out...

I woke up in some sort of weird, dark dimension, utterly alone. I did the first thing I could think of: I called for help.

And who should answer my call but Roland's old friend, Bernard?

An old - and dead - friend of Roland's by the name of Bernard appeared to help.

And who should answer my call but Bernard?

He explained that this dreamscape was a testing ground for the Ankh itself... that the Ankh was seeking a wielder, but that only the worthy could take possession of it. Unfortunately, its version of testing isn't exactly a nice written exam with twenty questions! Bernard warned me that it would use my own feelings against me, and that it would keep testing me until I passed or died. He went to get Roland to help me, but until then, I had to face the darkness alone.

And if that weren't bad enough, she showed me a memory - a vision? a delusion? - of Roland and Bernard, with Roland claiming I was just a pretty little puppet to use and shrugging over the idea of getting me involved. Darn it, what was I supposed to believe?

Then somehow Roland was there, as was this globe of light that looked like it might be the Ankh... things were very weird.

The spirit of Roland that was there was just another trap of the Ankh's... quite a good one too, as it hit some tender spots. I won't lie; I felt a bit of a sinking feeling when he announced that he'd traded me for the Ankh, and the image of him cutting his way through all those gangsters while they focused on me and the Ankh was a bit chilling.

But ultimately, the Ankh went too far. I know Roland isn't like that. He's never sought power or tried to get the Ankh for his own use. And he would never trade my life like that.

No matter how much the other me needled away and tried to turn me against Roland or break my trust, I was able to hang on, until finally I ordered it away... and apparently broke reality. All the images started blurring and blending together. And let me tell you, there's very little that's more horrifying in life than seeing Roland's head on my body. Ew.

Just when it seemed everything - reality, my memories, my mind - would crack, I was able to summon up a memory... the memory of Roland in my father's study after he ransacked it, an agonized look of guilt on his face. I recognize that look now...I've seen it on his face often enough. In that moment, things were quiet again, and at last two familiar figures - the real ones - were there, in all their infuriatingly cheery Britishness.

After a quick heart-to-heart with Roland about our time together and everything we did - complete with color commentary from Bernard - we turned our attention back to the Ankh. Except now things were odd again, as we were all perceiving different elements of the dream: while I was the only one who could hear my other self, Roland was the only one who saw the strange glow in my chest...

With my brain scrambled and time running out, I told him to reach into... er, my mind? Myself? my soul? My whatever-I-was-in-that-plane? - and draw out the light... or, in other words, the Ankh. The last things I was aware of were the last few taunts of my alter ego and a bright white light.

I woke up to find Roland and Bernard waiting for me, and the warm light of the Ankh within me. After all this time, we finally had it, and we were all safe. I used the power to return Roland and myself to our respective bodies, worlds, whatever. I woke up back at the digsite with the workers hovering over me.

Later in the hospital, I received a telegram for Roland. He congratulated me... and said that no one deserved this power more than me. I only hope that, in time, I'll learn how best to use it.