Title art by the awesome LallaBelle.
DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all associated characters are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, United Paramount Network, and Fox Television. The Fifth Element and all associated characters are property of Columbia Pictures, Gaumont/Les Films du Dauphin, and Luc Besson. This work is not for profit, and no ownership of aforementioned copyrighted material implied, nor any infringement intended.
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The white-haired man mumbled translations from the wall graven with symbols. Billy ignored the professor’s mutterings while sketching the riverboat that had brought them up the Nile; the river itself lay three days to the east across the blistering desert of North Africa.
Studying ancient Egypt from museum collections in Europe and America had seemed an easy way for Billy to fulfill his required research for graduation. But no—the professor insisted on fieldwork. Neither London nor Paris--not even the social life of Cairo! They were out in some long-lost temple, in the middle of the God-forsaken desert. The student’s attention was drawn back to his mentor as the old man’s voice grew more agitated.
“These four elements arranged around a fifth being... a fifth element...a key to unite them all.” Archaeologist and student were preoccupied, so they failed to notice the latest arrival to the temple. The thin and balding priest started in horror as he heard the professor’s statement; the Americans had discovered the secret of the temple!
The professor continued on, oblivious to both the presence of the priest and Billy’s inattention. “These elements when they are gathered around a fifth: this perfect being, the ultimate warrior, created to protect life...”
So involved was the professor with his puzzle that he was able to ignore the tramp of armored feet as strange creatures encased in metal suits that entered the temple. The priest watched as one alien touched the professor, who collapsed to the floor unconscious.
A harsh metallic voice sounded through a speaker on the alien’s suit as it addressed the priest. “We have come for the five elements.”
The priest tugged his beard in anguish then addressed the alien who had spoken. “Lord, how will we protect ourselves without the weapon?”
The alien watched as his spacesuited crewmates opened the inner wall of the temple with a golden key. Then his tiny armored head swung back towards the priest. “Elements not safe here on Earth. We will protect them until the time of the First Evil’s return.”
Billy’s heart raced as he looked over toward the entrance and saw the local priest and a metallic monster standing over the professor’s still body. “NO!” Gunfire roared as Billy fired his Broomhandle Mauser into the closest alien. Ricocheting bullets hit some unseen control and the massive stone doors began to grind closed. The sarcophagus containing the physical manifestation of the Key was still floating in the passage behind the alien.
As the stone doors closed inexorably the alien leader spoke one final time. “Priest, your order must protect the Key.” With a crash, the stones slammed shut, crushing the spacesuited alien and the sarcophagus flat.
A green glow emerged from the rock wall. It lazily drifted about the outer chamber of the temple as the priest looked on, awestruck. “The Key!”