Our story opens with the Betty idling down the Nile. Joe Cohen is nervous and asks Nick Samson to hide the Betty in some reeds or under some palm trees. They find a good spot to hide a plane, since there is one there already!
It’s in the red and gold of El Terrible! Joe mutters about if it’s Mark and then shuts up. It is a PBY-5A Catalina seaplane and it has airship trapeze gear on top. It has camp netting over it to hide it from prying eyes. The crew quickly finds another hiding place and soon the Betty is hidden in the reeds. Then Nick leads a raiding party and soon, the PBY is now 10 Gerry cans of fuel and 4 spark plugs lighter. They were able to determine that there were at least 5 or so people in the PBY.
They head for a smaller entrance in the walls that surround Karnak, after noting that the pirates headed for the larger entrance. Looking around the corner of the entrance, they see that a pirate is guarding the larger entrance.
This is when Snapper Hansen decides to use his ancient African talisman and it’s eldritch powers to hide from view. The Talisman is in the shape of a small African tribal mask that hangs about Hansen’s neck. He incants “Huwezi kuona mimi!” and the masks grows in size, sending out tendrils that wrap around his head, pulling itself tightly against Hansen’s face. The talisman becomes a mask so horrific that no one could look at Hansen.
So disguised, Hansen made his way to the entrance. The pirate is leaning agains the entrance, smoking a cigar. Hansen punches him in the face and then steals his cigar and pretends to be a ghost. Due to the nature of the mask and it’s aura, the pirate is initially fooled by the act, as the smoke from the cigar spirals in the air. But then he realizes that the supposedly Egyptian ghost is speaking with a Southern American accent.
He tries to shoot Hansen, but misses. Hansen punches him again, and then grabs him and holds him aloft over his head. The pirate faints. Meanwhile, the rest of the Team Quest runs up and gains entrance to the temple. Hansen steps into the rows of columns in the entrance and throws the pirate at one of the four other pirates in the room, and then rips off his mask and hides. Soon they corral the pirates and Joe is reunited with his fellow Kohen, Mark.
The pirates recognize Hansen and Doc Quest as the people who helped save the life of Pistol Pete, so a truce is settled. There is some concern, as Mark had promised the pirates some sort of treasure, but Joe offers to pay them off, so that’s settled. Both Joe and Mark want to move the “item” to the Bent Pyramid.
With Doc Quest’s help, they navigate the traps that the MaintainAnts keep operational. Doc Quest modifies his “Magnificent Light Weight Personal Security Device” to include a lightening crystal, (Which Doc Quest just happened to have on his person) and they can literally jump over most of the traps. They approach the inner sanctum of the temple, only to be confronted by several officers of Hinterpol, lead by John Cohen, Joe’s father. They had rappelled into the chamber from up above.
It is finally revealed that the “item” is in fact the Ark of the Covenant. The four Kohenim, Joe, John, Mark, and Peter, during the Siege of Jerusalem in 597 BC, were trying to spirit the Ark out of the Temple of Solomon and Joe had them make a left hand turn and then they found themselves on a beach.
They had appeared on the shores of Sahara environ and using John’s knowledge of Egypt, hid the Ark in the temple complex of Karnak. They were picked up and rescued by some looters and they kept their secret of what they had hidden there, in the base of a statue of Hatshepsut, the female Pharaoh.
They find evidence that they had just missed the people who had taken the Ark. John calls for the ropes to be lowered and everyone climbs to the roof of the temple, looking for the escaping thieves. The three Kohenim think it’s their fourth Kohen, Peter, who had joined Sam “Butcher Boy” Blackwell’s gang recently. They ready themselves, and the Hinterpol airship hovers overhead, waiting…