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Topic Subject:The search for the scarab ring - story thread
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Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 03-05-00 15:10 ET (US)         
All interested story writers are welcome to join in! This is a new story thread intended to be a sequel to "In The Court of Tut-Ankh-Amun." You may want to read this story in The Senet House to understand the direction of this sequel.

INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES:

STYLE: Adventure with humorous passages.

TONE: Dramatic, interspersed with humor.

CONSTRUCTION: Short or long entries.

SETTING: Initially, Ancient Rome. Primarily, Egypt, 1920's (circa May 1922)

CHARACTERS: (Added and updated as the story progresses)
Civis Romanus: Military Commander of the Legions of Ancient Rome. Adventurer, Swordsman. Alias: Roberto, Count di Civis, a noble with estates in Lomardia, near Bergamo.
Jayhawk: Seraph (angel) with god-like powers. Alias: Jason Hawke, a scholar living in Rome, across from Castello di Angeli.
Howard Carter: Archaeologist
Lord Carnarvon: Earl of Carnarvon, philanthropist.
Imhotep: Royal Physician who supplied poison that killed Tut-Ankh-Amun. Undead through the power of the scarab ring. Seeks revenge on Akhensenamen.
Gustavia: Friend of Civis and Jayhawk. Works with her 'Uncle' Howard Carter in this era.
Ramesses: Descendant of a famous ancient Egyptian.
MRed: Friend of Gustavia, Civis and Jayhawk; Aviatrix w/Fokker biplane in this era.
Seti: Friend of Ramesses.
Ankhensenamen: Former Queen/Sister of Tut-Ankh-Amun. Rescued from Ancient Egypt into the time of Pax Romana by Titanicus and others. Factoid: Unlike many other queens of Egypt, her mummy and burial site has never been found.
Nephisis: Consort of Ramesses

CIVIS ROMANUS

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES:

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 03-23-2000).]

AuthorReplies:
MRed94
Pleb
posted 04-01-00 11:04 ET (US)     126 / 150       
Our group of travelers looked at one another, and, peering at the entrance of the tomb over their own scarves, felt their eyes getting bigger and bigger. They had all seen all of the treasures when they had been present at the funeral, but seeing them again up close was an awesome feeling.

Ankhesenamen stood quietly, but the women could hear occasional small sobs escaping her. She had always been so in love with her brother/king, and the opening of the tomb was very hard on her emotions.

She stood trembling, waiting for what was to come........


MRed

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 04-02-00 19:17 ET (US)     127 / 150       
Ramesses who had been guarding outside, convinced Seti to guard the tomb. As Ramesses and Nephisis stepped in, they looked at the tomb walls. They were bare. Ramesses and Nephisis had a tomb, (yet to be discovered) which was painted, with images of the afterlife. A small baby was in Nephisis arms in a picture, hoping Ramesses II would join them someday. As they walked in farther, Ramesses easily navigated his way through. There he found his mother. Ramesses came up behind her.
"AAAHHHHH!" screamed Ankhensenamen.
The whole group quickly turned. Civis drew his sword, they were all ready to fight.
" Relax it's only me." said Ramesses, "and Nephisis, is that... dad's sarcoughus?" said Ramesses.
Jayhawk leaned down, he now knew, that Ramesses only knew of his fathers death, but after that, he had to flee, with Nephisis. As if they stayed, Imhotep would "cure" them too. He knelt down and said, " Your father lies in that shrine. This was his tomb, which was discovered as you know..."
Suddenly a worker stood up. "We meet yet again Ramesses."
Again the group got ready to fight. Then a man came out saying, "Where have you been, i have been looking all over for you!" finished the worker.
Ramesses didn't know this person, or anybody that would be a worker like that. Gustavia knew, that Imhotep could jump from body to body.
"IMHOTEP!" yelled Jayhawk.
" I warn you Ramesses, this is your last day of mortality!" said Imhotep with a smile.
Carter gasped. He saw the shape shift from a strong yound man, to a 3,000 year old walking, talking corpse. He then recognised the boy. A King Ramesside took over Egypt at age twelve. Yet, he died later, of old age. As he was called Ramesses, the name switch appeared obvious. Ramesses was also a 3,000 year old walking talking corpse. He looked around the room, Nephisis died with Ramesses, she too was a corpse.
" A word?" said Carter.
" What, i am kinda busy right now, and i don't think these guys are the Roman commanders!" yelled Ramesses.
" By Joe, you really are Ramesside aren't you?" said Carter.
" At your service!" yelled Ramesses.
At that moment, a scream came from Seti.
" I can't hold these guys off, i'm coming to help you Ramesses."
"oh goody" muttered Ramesses.

------------------
He who rules the Nile rules all, and is just. But those who try to conquer the world, are harsh, and care little for the sake of children, and their contry, except for the Romans, who would try to peacefully bring people in... sometimes.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 04-03-00 16:20 ET (US)     128 / 150       
A sudden brillant light flashed illuminating the tomb in bright blinding light. Then another and another and another. Two or three at once. "I can't hold them off!" yelled Seti once more. His warning came too late as reporters from all over the world flooded into the tomb and began photographing everything in sight, bulbs flashing.

Imhotep's eyes nearly melted from the blinding light. He raised his tape wrapped arms to his eyes and disappeared, taking Ramesses, Nephisis and Seti with him. Ankhensenamen was cowering in Jayhawk's arms, frightened by the appearance of Imhotep and the press cameras, a device she had never seen before. Gustavia and MRed had pressed themselves against the nearest wall in defensed and Civis stood between them and the hoard of photographers busy flashing away.

Jayhawk was speaking softly under his breath. "Forget...forget...forget..." The bulbs stopped flashing as frequently, like popcorn coming to the end of its cooking. The reporters began to mill about aimlessly. Then they all began to exit the tomb, enter their automobiles and drive back to Luxor. Moments later Carter and Carnarvon shook their heads as their minds returned to the business at hand.

"Remarkable. It seems like I was not here for a brief moment," observed Carnarvon. "Odd visions passed through my head. Must be the excitement, what?"

"Must be," commented Jayhawk. Ankhensenamen regained her resolve and moved closer as the final piece of the wall was removed and they entered what surely was the burial chamber.

First, the stone lid was removed. Then the inner coffin. This exposed the 2nd inner coffin, the case holding the mummy. The first tears on Ankhensenamen's face fell as the inner coffin lid was removed. There on the lid of the 2nd inner coffin lay the dried remains of the flowers she so carefully placed there thousands of years before. She moved closer to Jayhawk as the work progressed, her tears flowing freely now. At last the magnificent mask of the boy king was revealed. Then his mummy saw the light of day for the first time in over 3,000 years, albeit artificially created in his tomb by modern electricity.

Carter and Carnarvon noticed nothing going on about them other than the work to open the sarcophagus of Tut-Ankh-Amun. They certainly didn't notice when Ankhensenamen's tears suddenly stopped flowing and a smile formed on her face even as she stared unblinkingly forward at nothing. "I will, my husband," is all she said. Then her appearance returned to normal.

MRed, Gustavia, Jayhawk and Civis all noticed the change that came over her. They all had seen enough and exited the tomb with Ankhensenamen. Their eyes took a moment to adjust to the sun, but even so Ankhensenamen's smile nearly blinded them once more.

"It is time," she said happily.

Gustavia responded first. "Time for what, Ankhensenamen?"

"To confront and defeat Imhotep in his own place. This time we are not alone." She smiled brightly once more.

It was Civis who asked this time. "Who else is to be with us, Milady?"

"My husband! His Ka has been freed to join us by the will of Amun Ra. He shall speak through me, he says. Now he says we must go. He and I will show you the way." She paused briefly as if to listen. "He asks, you do wish to find and destroy Imhotep, don't you?"

Jayhawk answered for them. "of course. That is why we are here. Lead on..."

In Imhotep's tomb...

"Locked in a chamber again, Ramesses," said Seti. "Well, alright. Let's get to work and see if we can get out."

Nephisis looked deeply into the shadows noting how they seemed to move. "I don't think we are alone here, husband."
They all strained in the gloomy grey to see what it was that lurked in the corners and dark depths of the chamber...

Meanwhile...

Imhotep thought to himself, that will settle those three for awhile. Now to return to the tomb. He did so disguised as the limping serving boy. Small, unnoticed he entered the burial chamber carrying a bucket of chilled water and began giving cups of cool water to the workers. Then he saw what he needed to see, the heiroglyph he was seeking. The image of an oddly dressed man stepping into an illuminated opening structured like a picture frame with radiating beams. It was unique, strange, and unexpected. It appeared in the king's story at precisely the time it should have, shortly before the king's death and burial. There is no doubt. Imhotep congratulated himself on finding the image of timetravel he sought these thousands of years. The world and its ages would soon be open doors to him...

First, Ankhensenamen...

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 04-03-00 17:10 ET (US)     129 / 150       
She saw a boy come in, and she saw him look at the glyph.
"JAYHWAK IT's HIM, It's IMHOTEP!" yelled Akhensenamen.
As they struggled to meet him, something odd hapenned.
in Imhotep's tomb.
_________________________________________________________

"Where is the book?" siad Ramesses.
"What book, what are you talking about?" replied Seti.
" In my last days, i visited Imhotep's tomb, hoping he would be locked inside forever, i hid a book that contained the powers of complete Immortality!" said Ramesses.
Nephisis was walking when...
"AAAHHHH" she screamed, there was Anubis.
" Ramesses, you have been chosen" said the god in a booming voice.
" My god, what am i chosen to do?" said Ramesses.
" It is your time to be a hero, you have been sitting here, with so much faults, you are chosen" said Anubis.
" Time to be a hero, look at Nephisis, she has always been a hero, she deserves to slay Imhotep once and for all, or what about father's wife?" said Ramesses.
" No, you cannot change the will of Amun-Ra! You are the only one who is clever enough to work!" said the god.
Then Anubis held a glittering golden book, opened to the thirty-second page, and said something.
"Amun-Ra, Amun day, he whom seeks the night and the day. He who fought and always sought. Bestowith the powers of immortality to this being. He his now whole, and shall destroy the hold of Imhotep. His friends shall live, his enemies shall die, after words, will come to Isis's and have some pie!" said the god.
Ramesses knew that he alone couldn't kill the being, he would have to rely on his friends.
He rose to hieghts, with wings of Horus. Carrying Nephisis, who carried the book, with Seti below, who vollunteered to find and carry out the second book, the turquise book of times past. He would use it, to resurect the pharaohs of past times. As their help was needed, and maybe Tut could have his body in it's 19-year-old form.

------------------
He who rules the Nile rules all, and is just. But those who try to conquer the world, are harsh, and care little for the sake of children, and their contry, except for the Romans, who would try to peacefully bring people in... sometimes.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 04-03-00 20:52 ET (US)     130 / 150       
Sorry Ramesses if I didn't make it clear. Imhotep re-entered the tomb and saw the heiroglyph after locking the three Egyptians in the chamber and returning to the camp and becoming the young water carrier. Jayhawk and the others are on their way to the site of Imhotep's tomb led by Ankhensenamen and the Ka of Tut-Ankh-Amun. They were not in the tomb when the waterboy appeared.

Ramesses is still confined to a chamber with Nephisis and Seti. He has a challenge in the room. Evil agents of Imhotep in the shadows are prepared to attack if they try to escape. The three must learn what the evil agents are, defeat them and be prepared to join Jayhawk, Civis and the others as soon as the three Egyptians are discovered in the chamber by Jayhawk.

Ramesses will have a major role to play in the undoing of Imhotep, but that is still in the future. Now go get those "evil agents" you guys! And thanks for posting, Ramesses. I appreciate your staying with us through this twisty plot. -Civis Romanus

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 04-03-00 21:22 ET (US)     131 / 150       
Imhotep gathered his posse of five Egyptian soldiers from Ramesses' tomb about him and imagined in his mind the heiroglyph he saw. The ring on his finger grew warm, glowed and suddenly sent a beam of light to a specific spot in front of the waiting Egyptians. The spot grew, the air within the spot shimmied, then a 6 foot by 6 foot light-radiating opening appeared in the air before him.

Imhotep and his soldiers stepped through. Before them was a Roman plaza and a well. At the well was Ankhensenamen and her servant girl "Meri...a...a...Meri. Oh it doesn't matter, I don't want her anyway. Seize Ankhensenamen," he ordered his soldiers.

They advanced on the occupied former Queen of Egypt and her servant grabbing them both in the middle of their trying to fill an amphora with water from the well. The servant girl screamed and fought back. The soldiers handled her roughly. She tripped and fell backwards into the well. The fall would be fatal, noted Imhotep. But he gave very little thought to the servant girl. His soldiers had Ankhensenamen.

The captured woman was dragged by three soldiers into the shimmering opening before it closed. Two soldiers failed to make it through. Their dust littered the street where the opening had been.

In the Valley of the Kings, Ankhensenamen clawed and beat on the soldiers holding her. The blows were having an effect. Pieces of the soldiers began to fall to the valley floor. Not yet acclimated to time travel, Imhotep experienced a slight dizziness and was more concerned with closing the opening than with the girl. Ankhensenamen continued to beat on the soldiers.

Suddenly she was free. The soldiers couldn't hold her as their arms were lying on the desert sand. Imhotep! His back was turned as he dealt with the opening and his nausea.
She ran. She ran...and ran...and ran... The noises behind her faded away. Looking back over her shoulder she could seen no one behind her. But she also didn't see the tall, 6'4" man she ran into. Another soldier! She beat on him as she had the others. But it wasn't a soldier. "Lord Jayhawk!" she exclaimed, and collapsed into his arms.

Imhotep only needed a moment to realize he had lost her again. He didn't bother to turn the soldiers into dust. What gain I from wasting my time with those righteous contaminated fools, he thought They never can follow my orders as Ramesses' influence is still upon them. I will deal with this myself. He formed another opening and stepped through to the present in his main chamber. He took a moment to recover, then imagined another heiroglyph, the "Seeing Eye".

Before him pictures formed with the images of familiar persons. Jayhawk, Civis, MRed, Gustavia and Ankhensenamen were coming his way, he realized. They are coming to me. I need not find them. Excellent! We will conduct the final battle on my ground and on my terms. Let's prepare a very warm welcome for them, shall we... He left the chamber laughing to himself.

Zen
Ghost
(id: Angel Zen)
posted 04-04-00 02:13 ET (US)     132 / 150       
ARRRHHH! A paradox! ::mind turns into goo::
Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 04-04-00 06:58 ET (US)     133 / 150       
Let's see if we can add a little
Imhotep busied himself chanting above a small brazier and dipping small tokens into a bronze water basin, heavily chased with silver hieroglyphs.
Smoke curled up, strangely heavy and crawled, snakelike across the floors of the tomb.

Two tendrils crept underneath the door that guarded Ramesses, Seti and Nephisis. Seti coughed, then looked up in surprise. The smoke was tangibly magic. He reached out his hand and shaped the smoke into a noose.
"What you doing?" Ramesses asked him
"Just watch." Seti countered and closed his eyes.

The second tendril crept towards the lock on the door and inserted itself into the key hole. It twisted and then after an audible click evaporated.
"Push the door, Ramesses" Seti mumbled.
Ramesses looked at his friend and pushed. The door swung open and the three dead soldiers on the other side moved forward. Seti yanked the noose and the first one, carrying a mace tumbled to the ground.
His friend grabbed the mace and pounded in the soldiers weak skull. The mummy crumbled to dust.
"One down, two to go!" Ramesses laughed out loud.

The other smoke tendrils had taken up position at the edge of the entrance to the tomb, while Imhotep was watching the valley in his moon-mirror.

Civis and the others were climbing the hillside, slipping on the slivers of marl that covered it.
"I hate this country" the Roman muttered as he slipped down another pace.
"Don't hate it, Civis" Jayahwk replied
"Can't you see it's beauty?"
"Not now I can't, " the soldier answered.

A while later the reached the entrance of the tomb. Civis stepped forward, holdign his sword at the ready. The others followed, Jayhawk, Ankensenamen, MRed and Gustavia.

As the latter passed the doorway, a massive slab of stone collapsed downwards, sealing the entry. Two smoke tendrils faded.

------------------
Homage to thee, Osiris, Lord of Eternity, King of the Gods, whose names are manifold, whose forms are holy, thou being of hidden form in the temples, whose Ka is holy."
-- Book of the Dead (1240 BC)

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 04-04-00 15:57 ET (US)     134 / 150       
Angel Zen: At first blush it might seem a paradox, but actually it ties into one of Jayhawk's earlier posts where Ankhensenamen runs into Jayhawk in the desert. The whole thing neatly ties together if I may say so myself. If not, point out the fallacy and I'll take it to task. Can't afford to let any of you angels have your minds turn to goo. ::Angel Zen's mind congeals and becomes functional once more::

________________________________________________________

"It looks like Imhotep means for us to stay this time, Jayhawk," noted Civis as the stone slab slammed against the ground behind them scattering sand and dust. The Roman shifted his sword from hand to hand. "I think I'll oblige him, that is, so long as he is still around, which I intend to make as brief as possible."

Jayhawk smiled. That's why I brought you on this journey, Civis. Modern weapons won't win our passage. Magic will win only part of it. Your sword and spirit will do the rest. He winked at Gustavia, who winked in reply. MRed saw the winks, but being a mortal didn't quite catch the meaning of their communication. Ankhensenamen saw nothing as she was staring into the dimly lit gloom of the tunnel trying to see the way.

"Forward!" she said suddenly. They advanced at her direction. As they proceeded, nearly invisible wall sconces hanging from the tunnel wall would suddenly flash into flame providing needed light. Civis looked back at Jayhawk. "Not me, Civis," said the Seraph in anticipation of his question. "It is my husband's Ka," said Ankhensenamen matter-of-factly. "He has been given special powers over flame by Amun-Ra."

"It is much appreciated," replied Civis, walking shoulder to shoulder with the former Queen, his sword at the ready. MRed started to get an uncomfortable feeling within. Maybe it was the way the tunnel became narrower or maybe something else she couldn't yet see. She reached into her bag and pulled out an unsheathed hunting knife.

MRed whispered to the others. "I don't think I like this tunnel very much right now. Watch out, Civis." Civis nodded, but didn't turn to look directly at MRed. A good thing too. The next igniting wall sconce revealed 10 greyish figures lined up in pairs seemingly waiting for them.

Civis immediately pulled Ankhensenamen behind him. MRed moved forward by the Egyptian's side for further protection.
The column of dust-covered ancient guardians advanced on the party. These were not the guardians from Ramesses' tomb. These were something different. Perhaps recruited from their graves by Imhotep centuries ago. No conflict between good and evil here. These were pure evil.

"Well, here we go..." commented Civis. The narrow tunnel hampered the soldiers more than the invaders of Imhotep's tomb. One-by-one they engaged Civis and his sword. One-by-one Civis hacked them apart and returned them to the afterlife. The last one managed to get behind Civis as the impact of numbers began to wear the Roman down somewhat. MRed took care of the soldier with a swift strike of her knife, severing the hand holding the soldier's sword. Civis finished her handiwork with a sword sweep that sent the soldier's head in a direction independent from where its body stood. The soldier crumpled to the ground and became dust, just like the others.

Breathing hard, Civis looked around. "Any others...Does anyone see any more of them?!"

"No," replied Jayhawk. Gustavia shook her head as well.

"Good, now let me catch my breath and we'll go on."

Ankhensenamen stepped softly over to Civis. "Well done, Commander of the Legions. My husband says if Egypt had soldiers like you, Cleopatra would have prevailed over Octavian in the end."

Civis looked at her with a puzzled expression, which changed to a more bemused expression. "I believe he meant that as a complement. So that's how I'll receive it."

She paused as if communicating inwards. "He did." Civis made a dignified bow and replied, "And if we Romans had maintained proper respect for the knowledge of Egypt and protected its Great Library, the world then and today would be much better for us all."

Ankhensenamen smiled at Civis. "Your words have pleased the Ka of my husband, but he bids you to hurry. Ramesses, Nephisis and Seti are in grave danger and need our help."

Nothing more was said as they hurried forward, igniting wall sconces lighting the way.

MRed94
Pleb
posted 04-04-00 17:36 ET (US)     135 / 150       
As they hurried along, MRed shook her head slightly.....She thought to herself, "Hmmm. I didn't realize that that training would someday come in handy. Funny how my reflexes just took over and I did what I had to do. I will fall apart later....."

The small group walked as close together as possible, partly to make as small a target as they could, and partly out of a sense of protection for each other.

It was cold in the passageway, and trying to breathe through the scarves over their faces kept making MRed's glasses fog up. She has a good sense of direction, and was able to keep her feet under her and not run into anyone else.

As they walked further along the passage, it became dustier and dustier. Small fluttering noises could be heard, but MRed was thinking that there was no way that there could be any live creatures in a place that had been closed up for so long..............


MRed

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 04-04-00 17:57 ET (US)     136 / 150       
Ramesses found a golden sword in the tomb.
" Hey, so that's where that sword went!" said Ramesses.
" Ramesses HELP!" said Nephisis.
Then Ramesses saw a soldier take Nephisis, he rose his sword up. Then swiftly, Ramesses ran up, and stabbed the soldier in his stomach, then when he bended over, Ramesses sliced his head off.
" Next time, don't mess with my girl!" said Ramesses.
Yet the other soldier ran and ran. They were safe, and had to recover from the exhausting battle. Just then, Seti looked at a wall, it was bursting, and voices were behind it.
"Imhotep! Imhotep! Imhotep!"
" Looks like our evil friend managed to keep a back up squad!" said Ramesses.
" The more the merrier!" said Seti.
" Well, Seti, here is the time for you to use your magic!" said Nephisis.
Just then the door broke. Soldiers came running in. Ramesses had a cleverly planned trap, as it would look like he was swinging at the soldiers, there was a rope that was attached to a loose cieling rock. He then sliced it, killing half the squad in seconds. Ramesses quickly looked up, sunlight, an easy way out.
" Thirty down, fifty to go!" said Seti.
Just then Seti yelled, "Get out of the way Ramesses!" After wards, a huge flame came bursting from Seti's hand, killing thirty more. " See, it looks like the flame is mighteir then the sword." said Seti.
" It's the PEN, the PEN is mightier than the sword, which isn't true!" said Nephisis.
Just then, she could sense the groups presence. She knew that the group was heading twoards them, but they would come right behind the soldiers. She looked at Ramesses, it looked like it was his "last stand", he was in a corner, swinging his sword, and yelling. Then a sword jabbed into his stomach, he yelled, but continued to fight.
"Thank god for immortality!" said Ramesses.
" Ramesses, i have a plan, you know how to bring dead soldiers under control, so do that!" said Seti.
" Sat-En-Roth-Sutirieme" said Ramesses.
" Woops, wrong spell!" said Ramesses as the soldiers fell to the ground, then crumbled into dust.
" You have your ways of doing that!" said Seti.
" When you've been married to him for 3,000 years, you can predict what he is gonna do!" said Nephisis.
Meanwhile...

------------------
He who rules the Nile rules all, and is just. But those who try to conquer the world, are harsh, and care little for the sake of children, and their contry, except for the Romans, who would try to peacefully bring people in... sometimes.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 04-05-00 16:13 ET (US)     137 / 150       
The soldiers who attacked were dust on the floor of the torch lit narrow corridor and many steps behind the hurrying invaders of Imhotep's tomb.

"So much for that," wryly observed Imhotep continuing to peer into his "Seeing Eye" mirror. "Let's try this instead." He took hold of a talisman fashioned in the image of the god of dreams. He focussed his thoughts on the images in the mirror. The talisman glowed as the scarab ring focussed Imhotep's thoughts on the targeted member's of Jayhawk's party. "They will dream themselves into oblivion." So hoped Imhotep.

Suddenly and in midstride Jayhawk and Gustavia found themselves standing among great and ancient structures of Egypt's past. Pyramids, temples, obelisks, other monuments and civic buildings filled their view. A sphinx moved its head and looked directly at the two angels. Its mouth opened and its lower jaw extended outwards independently. It then began to spew out large disks from its extended lower jaw, some were plastic coated metallic material and the others were thicker but reddish brown in color. The disks began to fly about in random directions. Each time one struck a building or monument it exploded against the structure delivering a severely damaging blow. Meanwhile, feathers began to drop off of the angels' wings, one feather at a time. Jayhawk and Gustavia stood in frozen horror as destruction rained down on the area from the flying disks even as more feathers were piling up at their feet.

Structures began to crumble and fall, first small structures then larger and larger structures as the disks did their worst...CRASH!... CRASH!... CRASH!... CRASH!... CRASH!... As each crash occurred, more and more feathers fell. Now the disks were taking bytes out of the view and the angels'feathers fell like heavy rain. Crashes and bytes, crashes and bytes... Jayhawk and Gustavia were close to insanity. Their wings were gone. They could not escape. They were frozen in place in sheer horror as millions of disks arranged themselves for a final flight... straight at the two angels.

MRed found herself in a familiar place, behind the stick of her favorite bi-wing, her bag on her lap. Suddenly the aircraft stopped in mid-air. One by one pieces of the upper and lower wing sections simply disappeared. Left with diminishing wings and weaker and weaker lift, the aircraft nosed over and made its final plunge to the earth below. It began to spiral in its path downwards as more and more sections of wings disappeared. MRed reached into her bag. There was no bottom. The bag had emptied through the bottom somehow. All of her "stuff" was gone. Except for one package of herbals. She opened the package. It was empty. It was then MRed began screaming in terror as the earth raced upwards to meet her and her out of control aircraft as it performed its final death spiral.

Civis found himself standing amid a desert filled with wooden signs in all directions as far as his eyes could see. One water well stood slightly to his north. Prefects walked along the rows between the signs. To his left he could see a long parade of men in peasant rags pulling large wheeled carts piled with personal belongings. As each cart disappeared a tent would appear in its place. Men, women and children could be seen walking among the tents.

"NO!" he cried out. "NOT TENTS IN THE DESERT!" Suddenly he heard a 'whoooomp'. In the distance smoke began to appear rising into the sky. He heard another 'whoooomp' then another and another. Now he could see the tips of flames on the horizon. The noise came closer. The tips of flames became tongues of flame, then towers of flame as row after row of tents ignited in a frenzy of firey explosions. He heard screaming, men, women and children. "Fire!" he yelled. And again, "Fire!" Prefects turned their heads and looked at him. They laughed and casually walked away in directions opposite of where the fires could be seen consuming the newly raised tents. Agonized, Civis ran to the well to draw water, himself. In futility he tried to put out the nearest flames. He couldn't. "Whoooomp". More screaming... The line of fires passed by and then surrounded him. Next they closed in with the obvious intent of cooking him alive. Frozen in terror and helpless, Civis dropped the empty buckets and awaited his fate.

Ankhensenamen glanced to her left and behind as she hurried along. Yes, there was Civis and Jayhawk and the two women still with her. They were step for step matching her quick pace. She looked forward and saw dimly illuminated in front of her a portal and a double stone door. She reached the door, glanced again at her comrades. They were looking straight ahead at the door, expressionless, waiting. She pushed on the door. It opened easily. Ankhensenamen walked in, her friends behind her. The stone doors swung shut. She turned to look. Her friends were gone. She looked forward again. IMHOTEP! "What have you done with my friends?" she demanded.

Imhotep looked at her with triumph in his eyes. "They are well back in the corridor, each living in their own private horror born of their personal imaginings. They will be of no help to you now, Queen of Poison." Ankhensenamen began to know fear once more.

Meanwhile, just on the other side of a door leading to the corridor, Ramesses, Seti and Nephisis battled to escape their entrapment. They didn't know Civis, Jayhawk, Gustavia and MRed were close by standing rigidly, eyes unfocussed, trapped in their own private mental prisons.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 04-05-2000).]

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 04-05-00 16:53 ET (US)     138 / 150       
"Ramesses, i'm stuck!" said Seti.
" Aren't we all!" said Ramesses, looking and seeing their feet were all covered in mud!
" JAYHAWK, GUSTAVIA,CIVIS,MRED, HELP!" yelled Nephisis.
Silence.
" HELP!" yelled Nephisis again,
silence.
" Looks like we aren't having much fun!" said Ramesses.
"Ramboy, look, they look like they are day-dreaming, and they could be on some kind of spell, if i could just..."
Suddenly another squad of skeleton warriors came in, followed with a big voice saying " Looks like your luck has run out Ramesses!"
"Take me, save them, they don't deserve to die, i am the one you are after Imhotep, don't hurt them!" said Ramesses.
Then a warrior picked up Ramesses and dragged him forwards, but Ramesses, as he was dragged did something spectacular. He had slapped Jayhawk on the back, sending him back to real life.
He awoke, finding Nephisis screaming, he didn't know why. Just then, a scream came, Ramesses was going to be elimintaed from this world and the next. Through some sort of bravery, he had the courage to face that, knowing that it would take five hours, and at that rate, he would be gone.
" Jayhawk, HELP SAVE RAMESSES!" yelled Nephisis, sobbing.
" Don't cry, your husband is a remarkable man, he will make it!" said Jayhawk.
Just then, the others awoke, hearing the tale, was quite sad.
" You don't understand, they took him, and tied him up, he has no way of escape, he will die, and if he dies, i see no reason for continueing this life, or the next!" said Nephisis.
four hours later...
" We're almost there!" said Gustavia, "Quiet down Nephisis, he still has an hour!"
Ramesses was begining to lose conciencness, he was begining to faint. He knew, that the process was speeded up, he had only minutes. Imhotep appeared, to see his rival die, then he could travel back, and become pharaoh! He stepped towards Ramesses, who spit on him.
"Evil creature, i may die, but you will never win!" spat Ramesses.
Now he was in his final seconds. Imhotep laughed, as soon as Ramesses body fell. Yet his body didn't disappear, something was wrong. Ramesses couldn't be that strong.
Just then, the group entered sight of Imhotep. Imhotep wasn't concerned, as Ramesses was the only one who knew how to kill him.
Alas, Anubis stepped forward, and asked Imhotep about Ramesses. "TAKE HIM, he has no more life in him!"
Yet Anubis would take him to the incenerator, to burn him. Just then, he remembered the boy. "I cannot accept him!" Anubis knew that if Ramesses went, the world was over.
"Anubis, don't take him, remember our bargain!" said Jayhawk.
A bargain made long ago, was remembered.
Ramesses then awoke, and weakly said to Nephisis, "See i am indestructable, you shouldn't have worried!"

------------------
He who rules the Nile rules all, and is just. But those who try to conquer the world, are harsh, and care little for the sake of children, and their contry, except for the Romans, who would try to peacefully bring people in... sometimes.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 04-05-00 21:46 ET (US)     139 / 150       
In the Great Temple of Amun-Ra the gods gathered there almost to a god drew their spiritual breath inwards and waited for the final confrontation's description. Anubis paused in his telling long enough to force them all to exhale then look at each other.

Finally one said, "Go on, Anubis. What happened next?!" Another god spoke up almost immediately. "Wait a moment. I'm confused. What really just happened? Tell us that first so we can understand what follows."

Anubis sighed. "Here is what occurred. Ramessess, Seti and Nephisis finally defeated their jailors and escaped from their room into the same corridor where Jayhawk and the others were trapped in trances. Imhotep sent skeleton soldiers, led by a manifestation of himself, to recapture Ramesses. Ramesses was indeed captured by the skeleton soldiers but managed to slap Jayhawk and bring the angel out of his trance as the Egyptian, Nephisis and Seti were being carried off to Imhotep's chamber. Jayhawk realized what had happened and drew Civis, Gustavia and MRed out of their respective trances. Just as Ankhensenamen did, they also discovered the portal and stone doors and crashed through into Imhotep's chamber. There they found Ankhensenamen, Seti and Nephisis under Imhotep's control, so to speak, and Ramesses immobilized with magic cords."

Anubis continued. "I thought it the right time for me to make an appearance. So I did. My mistake was assuming Ramesses was available for a return trip to the afterlife." Here Anubis formed an expression of embarrassment on his animal face. "I was wrong that time. The angel reminded me right away of our agreement. Needless to say I was quite annoyed, but an agreement is an agreement, so I backed away to watch the drama unfold."

"What happened next, Anubis?" one of the gods asked.

"If you are all quite ready, then, I'll continue," responded Anubis.

"We're ready!" they all said almost as one.

Anubis nodded his head. "So then I'll continue..."

_______________________________________

Imhotep stood glaring at the weakened but still living figure of Ramesses. "So you are indestructible are you, Ramesses? But your consort isn't, nor your friend." Imhotep focussed his thoughts on the symbols of death he had seen in so many Egyptian tombs. In moments Seti's skin began to wrinkle, flake, crack and powder. Ramesses friend uttered a soundless scream just before his entire body exploded into a cloud of formless dust.

Nephisis was next. Knowing her fate was nigh, she ran to Ramesses and placed her arms around the bound Egyptian. Even as her skin wrinkled and cracked she spoke words of devotion and love to her consort through all time. Ramesses knew he would join her again in the afterlife, but nonetheless, pure rage grew in his being as he saw his lifelong consort crumble into dust at his feet.

Jayhawk looked at Anubis. The god stared back. It was pointless to challenge him. Nephisis, Seti and even Ramesses would be in the afterlife once more when this quest was finished. It didn't matter to Anubis if it was now or later. The agreement between them was being properly executed, but not in the manner that Jayhawk had hoped.

Civis was in agony. He felt he must do something. Sword in hand, he stood before Imhotep in challenge. Jayhawk said nothing to stop him. Imhotep noted the challenge, raised one hand. Civis was lifted off his feet by invisible hands and slammed against the wall of the chamber near where Ramesses stood bound by Imhotep's cords to a post in the floor. The Roman lay nearly senseless, sword still in one hand. He groaned as he tried to recover his thoughts. Imhotep paid him no further attention.

Instead, the Physician turned his attention to the women. Seeing this, Jayhawk dropped all further pretenses, elevated himself to his full 6ft 4in. heighth, unfurled his black wings and positioned himself for confrontation. "You will not harm these women, Abomination!" said the angel.

Imhotep laughed a chilling, all-knowing, self-satisfied laugh. "I don't need to. They can't harm me and you know this. Your bravado is wasted. I have what I want." He drew his arm from behind him and pulled Ankhensenamen into view. "I have the Queen of Poison under my control and I don't believe you can do a single thing about it," he said exultingly.

You may be very wrong on both counts, thought the angel...

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 04-05-00 21:52 ET (US)     140 / 150       
Ramesses: Don't get upset about Seti and Nephisis in this story. It will turn out well, trust me. Ramesses is singled out for a reason. Stay with us, now. -Civis
MRed94
Pleb
posted 04-06-00 00:43 ET (US)     141 / 150       
MRed and Gustavia looked at one another, horror and fear shining out of their eyes. Gustavia spoke very softly to MRed...."Trust, trust. Jayhawk knows what he is doing."

MRed glared in Imhotep's direction, and thought to herself, "CAN'T harm HIM???? HA! He only THINKS I can't harm him. He has NO idea what I can do......I am an herbalist, after all, and some of us have powers that no one knows about.............Besides, how in the heck do these people think I manage to carry so many things in my pockets????? I don't really have all that much room in them, and no WAY could I carry amphorae of wine and other such things in these tiny pockets........"

She suddenly grinned a small smile, and winked at Gustavia.......


Suddenly..............behind Imhotep, Gustavia noticed a small gray cloud forming...........


MRed

Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 04-06-00 04:17 ET (US)     142 / 150       
Ramesses screamed. He howled like a lost thing, a sound of a loss so profound, even Imhotep turned to look at the young Egyptian.
"Nephisis!" he wailed and the earth seemed to tremble.
Anubis looked on impassively.

The small cloud took on a golden glow and expanded. It took on a roughly human shape. Ankensenamen gasped.
"Ramasses..." the air whispered.
"Father?" the young man mumbled, wiping tears from his eyes.
"Ramesses...let me take my revenge on Imphotep"
"How...?" Ramesses whispered.
The room seemed to have frozen around the two of them.
"I need you to give up that body your ka is wearing. Release it to me and send your ka to join Nephisis and Seti on the Field of Reeds."
"My body...?"
"I can not act in this form, Ramesses. I need to physically interact with Imhotep, not just on the spiritul level."
Ramesses hesitated then a smile broke through his pain torn visage.
"I will father, I will."

He stood.
"I offer you this body, o Pharaoh."
The cloudy shape moved forward and enveloped the young man, who shivered and straightened. A golden shape stepped back and whispered:
"Farewell father. Farewell mother..."
Then it disappeared.

The man standing in the room had changed, his face had gone different. His clothes had taken on the shapes of those of the royal Pharaohs. The eyes shone, with a black light, like holes in the universe.
"My lord..." Ankhesenamen whispered.
"No. This can not happen! I will not let this happen!! You are dead!!!"

Imhotep threw the young queen away from him and took a step towards his adversary. He threw a quick look towards Jayhawk and his friends.
"You will pay for this, you meddling featherbrain."
The scarab ring glowed a sickly red and the dusty warriors rose from the ground. Bits slipping together, limping, advancing on the angels and their mortal friends. Civis scrambled to his feet.
He touched his sword to his forehead and threw a quick look at Jayhawk.
"Moritori te salutant." he whispered.

Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 04-06-00 05:07 ET (US)     143 / 150       
As Imhotep's mummy advanced on the boy king, Jayhawk took the shabtis from his pouch and placed them on the floor. He whispered some wrods and the finger long statues grew into a pair of full-sized warriors, their faience blue skin reflecting the torch light. The two warriors walked towards and took place on either side of the Roman.
"Be strong my friend" Jayhawk whispered.

Imhotep pointed his fingers at Tut-Ankh-Amun and released a ray of violent red light towards him.
The dead king stood his ground.
"I will kill you, again and again and again!" Imhotep screamed his rage.

A stronger ray, of an even deeper red, hit Tut-Ankh-Amun in the chest. Dust devils hit him from the sides.
Still he stood.

The mummy was close enough to touch now and as he unleashed another stream of light from his left hand his right swung at the king and struck him to the ground.
Gustavia gasped as Imhotep closed in for the kill.
"No," Ankhesenamen screamed and flung herself towards her brother-husband. She slipped passed the mummy and clung to her lover.

Tut-Ankh-Amun rose lifting his bride with him and as he held her hand his body started to glow. The golden light intensified.

MRed covered her eyes with a stretch fabric.

Civis turned round as the last of the dead warriors crumbled into dust.

Anubis and the angel stood and watched, statuelike in their concentration.

Imhotep took another step forward.

The glow became brighter as the queen's body began to glow as well. The joined light grew as bright as sun light and as searing.

Strips of fabric on the advancing mummy began to smoke.
Caught fire. Flamelets walked up and down his body.
Still he advanced.

Now the light was so bright that the two remaining mortals had closed their eyes, the flare bright on their retinas. Only the god and the angels watched how the light expanded and Imhotep's mummy burst into flame, like dry tinder. The light flared and as the burning mummy began to fall apart a scream sounded.
Rising from below the hearing threshold it soared upwards until it was almost to painful to hear.
"Nooooooooooooo!"
And then it died and so did the light.

As the mortals uncovered their eyes they could see the burning remains of the mummy still flickering with tiny flames. Of the dead king and his consort there was no sign.

Or was there?

Where they had stood two soft golden hazy figures could be seen. Ankesenamen and her brother looked strangely translucent. They also looked infinitely happy.
Anubis stood at the kings shoulder a heart in his hands, his red tongue lolling.

"Thank you, my friends, " the air whispered.
"Thank you for all, " a second voice added.
"We will see you again on the Fields of Reeds."
Then they were gone.

"They're gone, " Gustavia whispered. A tear blinked in her eye. Jayhawk gave her a tight hug.
"Don't be sad. They're happy where they are now."
"Civis, MRed, I think it's time to say goodbye to Carter and Carnarvon. It's time to go home."

Together they walked out of the tomb. The sunlight and the heat hit them like a hammer hits an anvil. As they stumbled down the slope a muffled woosh sounded behind them. Dust tumbled from the openeing of the tomb and then it was no more.
"What..." Civis asked.
"I've sealed it, Civis. I think it's better this way."

MRed94
Pleb
posted 04-06-00 14:45 ET (US)     144 / 150       
MRed shook her head, thinking to herself, "Hmmmmm. I wonder sometimes if that was just a dream or not. So many things happened to us in there, I just don't know if I can accept that it was reality....Many old friends seen again, and all too soon gone."


She reached into her pocket and withdrew a small bag of herbals, and offered one to each of the group. She lit her own, and said, "Hey, guys, let's sit here for a minute and rest and collect our thoughts....."


The rest of the group came to a slow halt, and looking at one another, they slowly sank to the sand under the palm......


MRed

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 04-06-00 15:45 ET (US)     145 / 150       
Thanks, Jay -Civis Romanus

Jayhawk puffed on his herbal. "You're so very right, MRed. It was quick. But it had to be. We were out of time. At any moment Imhotep could have invoked time travel and we would never have been able to find him until after he did whatever it was he planned to do whenever in time he planned to do it. That would have been too late. Ankhensenamen was the key to all of this. His obsession for her delayed his plan. Ramesses' participation was also critical. Without his presence, Tut-Ankh-Amun could not apply the powers given to him temporarily by Amun-Ra. And so it was that thousands of years ago, the father saved a son; and now the son has saved the father.'

'The greatest obstacle was Anubis. His personal agenda, while obedient to Amun-Ra, was different than ours. He jealously guards passage to the Afterlife and does not appreciate it when anyone's Ka makes a journey in a direction he has not approved. I saw it as a race to defeat Imhotep before Anubis saw fit to take our weapons away: Tut-Ankh-Amun, Ramesses, Nephisis and Seti." MRed absorbed Jayhawk's explanation without comment. She continued to puff on her herbal lost in personal thought.

Civis had declined MRed's herbal. Swords were his forte, not these odd tasting smokey sticks of rolled vegetation. He was not offended by the other's use of herbals, but he preferred to simply not partake. Besides, Civis was busy listening to Jayhawk's commentary and rubbing his sore arms while stretched out flat on his equally sore back. He was used to the sword play, but being slammed against the wall of the chamber had done nothing positive for his backbone or his ribs. Yet Jayhawk's comment on weapons being taken away caught his attention. The angel noticed this.

"Now Civis, you know better, so don't even think it," he cautioned the Roman. Your sword, MRed and her bag of stuff and Gustavia's association with Carter were all instrumental in getting us to the point of ending the crisis." Actually, Civis had already realized the error of his thought and had suppressed it immediately. He smiled as if to say not to worry to Jayhawk.

After awhile the herbals flamed out and they were relaxed and refreshed enough to finish the journey back to Howard Carter's camp. Suddenly, a new thought entered MRed's mind. Anubis' agreement with Jayhawk was not yet complete. A mortal must die in exchange for the Egyptian god's favors. But who? She and Civis were the only two mortals in the group. The camp came into view even as her mind dwelled on this frightening thought.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 04-06-2000).]

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 04-06-00 17:48 ET (US)     146 / 150       
Meanwhile, in the doors to the afterlife.

" I cannot let you three through, you have no bodies!" said Anubis.
" Maybe so, but we all helped kill the one, who tried to kill everybody, let our sacrifice be aknowledged!" yelled Nephisis.
The gods broke into discussion. Osirus himself had to judge this case.
" Young ones, tell what you have done, on all of your lives on that Earth!" boomed Osiris's voice.
" I was born, about the time King Tut-Ankh-Amen was born. I saved his majesty from an assination attempt. After that, i was adopted by the king himself! I grew up, and married Nephisis," said Ramesses. Nephisis looked at her husband, who was about to do one of his ralley speaches.
" She and i lived happily in the palace of my father. After my father was killed by Imhotep, the undead one, i was forced to leave. I ran up to Bubastis, where me and Nephisis were first buried. Then around 50 BC, i was awoken by an odd force, i cannot recall why." said Ramesses, waiting for the gods to break discussion.
" You were woken by the power of Amun-Ra!" said Amun-Ra, who walked in.
" Anyways, I was then taken by the queen Cleopatra, and served in her military! Then, i was stationed to a long forgotten Egyptian fortress. There, i built a city, where Nephisis, Seti, Seti's wife, and I lived. Years later, i met some Romans, who said that Cleopatra was dead. Then i settled down in borders below Egypt, and built another Egypt. Finally, i conquered all of Egypt, and set the old ways up again! Nephisis and I then died after the birth of my son, Ramesside II." said Ramesses.
" Finally, I was awoken by the powers of Seti. Nephisis and i met Imhotep, and asspired to destroy him. Then we met our Roman friends again, the angels included. We then hunted down Imhotep. In the final battle, Nephisis and Seti were blown up by Imhotep, they had saved our friends, and made their sacrifice. Then, my father, needed his revenge, and i allowed him to use my body. After that, it disapeared." ended Ramesses.
Then the group came in, Jayhawk, Mred, Civis, and Gustavia.
Then Ramesses said," As for the mortal, the two mortals, were Seti and Nephisis, and i say, that you should not take that lady or man!"

------------------
He who rules the Nile rules all, and is just. But those who try to conquer the world, are harsh, and care little for the sake of children, and their contry, except for the Romans, who would try to peacefully bring people in... sometimes.

MRed94
Pleb
posted 04-06-00 19:15 ET (US)     147 / 150       
Please don't kill me.....i have had a really rotten day......

MRed

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 04-06-00 20:51 ET (US)     148 / 150       
In the pits of the burning underworld...
CURSE YOU ANGELS!
CURSE YOU MORTALS!!
CURSE YOU RAMESSES!!!
CURSE YOU TUT-ANKH-AMUN!!!!
Judgment hall...
"We have reviewed your case Ramesses!" spoke Osiris.
" Ramesses, Seti, Nephisis, you have been restric..." trailed off Anubis.
" Have been excepted to the afterlife!" interupted Amun-Ra.
Nephisis went over to hug Ramesses. Then he looked at Seti. They were both smiling. The two shuck hands. Then Ramesses went over to where the group was.
" I'll see you later sometime, i promise, we will meat again!" said Ramesses.
" I think Ramesses, you should have this!" said Civis, handing Ramesses his Roman sword.
" It is yours, i do not wish to take it!" said Ramesses.
" Here is your sword back, i found it, and brought it here!" said Jayhawk.
Ramesses took the sword, but it into it's place. Then looked at Jayhawk.
" Until our paths meat again, great Angel Jayhawk." Ramesses saluted to Jayhawk.
Then Ramesses looked at Gustavia, "here, i have something for you to give to your uncle." said Ramesses handing her a papyrus, with the location of his own tomb. "Just make sure, that he doesn't damage anything."
"Here you are, Mred, i bought you these, this is an anchient healing herb, but don't use it unless you need it, this is what saved my life awhile back!" said Ramesses.
Nephisis and Seti said their goodbyes. When a boy came running down the hall.

" Daddy, mommy, when will i see you again, and when do i get a little sister?" said Ramesses II.
" You will see us soon, thank you for all you have done, maybe you didn't slay Imhotep, but you played a big part in it. Now for that little sister, maybe a year, but don't keep your hopes up, we might not be there to present her to you!" said Ramesses. " Now be a good boy, and return to your place in time, and be a good king, remember all that your teacher, Thoth will teacher." trailed off Ramesses.
" Like your father said, be a good boy, and remember to rule the way Amun-Ra would like you to, and don't trust anybody named Imhotep." said Nephisis.
Then Ramesses gave his son a big hug, then his mom gave him a big kiss.
"Mom, we're in front of the GODS!" said Ramesses II.

Then Ramesses, Seti, and Nephisis strided towards the gate of the underworld. They waved at their friends, and watched Ramesses II vanish, in to his place. Then Ramesses and Nephisis stopped in front of the gate.
"Now, here we are, ready to go?" said Ramesses.
" Let's go as we have before, and let us not look back." said Nephisis.
" Now what about that honeymoon, our other one was cut-short." said Ramesses. " I will watch over the mortals with the angels, and they have another guardian angel, back here, in the land of the dead." said Ramesses.
Then, Ramesses and Nephisis held hands, and walked in. " Goodbye" they said in unison.

------------------
He who rules the Nile rules all, and is just. But those who try to conquer the world, are harsh, and care little for the sake of children, and their contry, except for the Romans, who would try to peacefully bring people in... sometimes.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 04-06-00 21:45 ET (US)     149 / 150       
Amun-Ra laughed. "Ramesses, my faithful warrior and leader of men, may you be forever happy in the Fields of Reeds." He watched the Egyptians until they faded into the warm mists of the Fields. Then Amun-Ra clapped his hands and the manifestations of Jayhawk, MRed, Gustavia and Civis were returned to their particular realities.

And so ended the involvement of Ramesses, Nephisis, Seti, Ankhensenamen and Tut-Ankh-Amun in the matter of Imhotep the Physician... It would be for their living descendants to manage any other challenges of this kind set before them by Amun-Ra or others if and when they should occur.

Meanwhile, back in Carter's camp...

"Do you feel a little lightheaded?" asked MRed of Gustavia.

"Why, yes. A little," replied Gustavia. "Like I'm not entirely here."

"Me too," said Civis. But Jayhawk understood. On his plane of existence he sometimes communicated in silence with those of his ilk in other places. This time it was Amun-Ra and Anubis that claimed his attention with respect to Ramesses and the other Egyptians. Soon it was over and the three in the Valley of the Kings began to feel more like themselves.

"Rest will do us all good, I think," said the Seraph. "Tomorrow we will be leaving so a good night's rest will be a perfect prelude. Good night, my friends."

Gustavia and Jayhawk, of course, didn't need rest as angels never sleep. They chatted into the wee hours of the night then performed their usual mind cleansing reverie.

As the morning sun began to climb over the horizon, the angels performed their morning oblations and waited for their mortal friends to rise. It was then Gustavia announced she would stay and assist her "uncle" Howard Carter. MRed,too, decided to stay, if only to have an opportunity to fly her Fokker bi-plane to her heart's content. She said she had found a new herb. It seemed medicinal but she wasn't sure how she found it. The bottle seemed to simply appear in her hand when she awakened. Jayhawk provided the explanation. MRed was pleased and content. Civis and Jayhawk bid them farewell, until they should meet again.

As the Count Di Civis and Jason Hawke approached Carter and Carnarvon to say their goodbyes, they couldn't help but notice the array of beautiful Egyptian artifacts neatly arranged for counting and tagging. Carter and Carnarvon were nearly head to head looking at one on their inspection table. It was an ancient papyrus scroll. Jayhawk could see the Egyptian symbol for "Ramesses" prominently appearing among the other heiroglyphs on the scroll. He smiled. It seems they have found it where Gustavia and I placed it last night. Good! Carter will take very good and proper care of Ramesses' tomb, Jayhawk was sure.

Jayhawk cleared his throat to get their attention. Carnarvon noticed first. "Oh, Mr. Hawke, a pleasant morning! Indeed a pleasant morning! Wonderful things, Mr. Hawke! Simply wonderful. Oh, and my dear Count... why, you seem to be dressed for a journey. Are you leaving us? So you are, and so soon! How very disappointing. We have hardly begun, lads. Stay awhile longer!

This time Civis answered. "Lord Carnarvon, we cannot. I have urgent business in Rome and need Mr. Hawke's services there. But I wish to thank you and Mr. Carter for your hospitality and for the adventure of a lifetime here."

Jayhawk almost chuckled. Smooth, Civis, very smooth. You're getting better at this all the time, he thought to himself. Civis continued unabated. "We must leave you now with our best wishes for your continuing success in this Valley."

"And to your success as well, Count Di Civis and to your good health," responded Carnarvon. "And to yours, Sir," said Civis. Jayhawk's expression changed only slightly. Anubis... he thought, there is Anubis...

Hand shakes followed and Jayhawk and Civis accepted Carter's offer of a truck and driver to return them to Luxor. From Luxor they travelled to Cairo. Next day, they departed for Rome via the dirigible they rode once before. Now they stood in the same little room ready for the time bending trip back to Ancient Rome and Civis' villa.

Like before, no clothes, Civis sword tucked under Jayhawk's black wings, Civis' eyes closed to combat the nausea... Sudden bright lights... Now the familiar smells of his villa filled the warrior's nostrils. He opened his eyes.

"BY THE GODS!" he bellowed, for he was standing unclothed near the fountain (not in his antechamber) in plain sight of 5 servants, 3 of which are women. "Oooops" said Jayhawk. The angel promptly folded his black wings around himself and tossed the sword to Civis. Never in his career did Civis made finer use of his sword than he did at that moment.

One of the women ran giggling to find Apolita, Civis' consort. She emerged with clothes for both. Modesty restored to him, Civis greeted Apolita as a husband who has been gone for many days should. She greeted Jayhawk warmly as well.

Shortly afterwards, Civis noticed something different about Apolita. In the weeks he had been gone, she had changed somewhat. Her face was much more pink and fuller than he remembered and she seemed even happier than before. Curious, he asked her about the change. She smiled and pointed to another room. "Follow me," she said. "You too, Jayhawk. It's okay."

They followed her to one of the formerly empty chambers. New furniture was there, smallish in size and in design.
Civis was puzzled. "Gifts from Titanicus," she said. "That one too." Civis followed her pointing finger to a small furniture item in the corner. A wooden object, it seemed to be a small bed... on rockers?!

"Apolita!" Civis exclaimed.

"Yes, Civis. You will be a father in a few months." He hugged her once more, and at last her tears flowed, tears of joy and relief that her warrior was home once more.

Jayhawk quietly stepped out of the room and closed the double doors behind himself. Best they be alone for awhile he thought. Let them enjoy the moment. The future can wait for just this little while.

____________________________________________
MRed: See, you're alive and kicking and doing your favorite thing: flying your bi-plane! Enjoy! And thanks for all of your great entries in this story.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 04-06-2000).]

Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 04-07-00 04:59 ET (US)     150 / 150       
MRed, sorry to have caused you anxiety, we'd never even considered your character getting killed. That would have been seriously unfair...
Here's what was happened.

Cairo, 1920
Several weeks later.

Jason Hawke was visiting with Lord Carnarvon in hois hotel. The two of them are seated in comfortable leather upholstered chairs, sipping Macallan.
"Remarkeble woman, this MRed." the Earl remarked.
"She constantly amazes me. Did you hear she set up a shop in Luxor, selling potions made out of this rare herb she found? She's making a fair bundle."
Jayhawk smiled.
"So I'm told. She's a real miracle worker isn't she? Both with machines and plants.
How's the excavations going?"
"Great, just great. Carter's working harder than ever before.
Blast, we've finished this bottle, let me order a new one."

The angel nodded approval and leaned back. He really liked the twenties, they had a vibrant feel it that seemed to have gone missing in the war that was about to follow. He really hated wars, he'd never understood mankinds urge for selfdestruction, though they always seemd to survive, some things were also irrevocably lost.

He noticed the waiter enter the room and walk to the side table behind the English Lord. As the man turned round, Jayhawk saw his eyes light up with a peculiar red glow. The dark face seemed more like a muzzle than anything else.
He rose and saw Carnarvon blanche.
"Azrael..." the Earl whispered
"The Angel of Death..."

Jayhawk looked towards the mirror above the side table and saw his true self, sable wings spread wide, dark skin, jewelry, kilt and kohl.

Carnarvon's hand went to his chest and he collapsed in his chair.

"Why?" Jayhawk asked Anubis.

The god smiled, baring large white canines.
"They don't really believe in us anymore" Anubis explained, "this was easier.
And you owed me a mortal, angel."
The jackal-headed one weighed the heart in his hand.
"I think he'll make it, though."

Jayhawk bowed his head as the god faded away.
As he looked up the mirror showed him a dark haired man, dressed in a stylish silk smoking jacket. His hand lifted to close his friend's staring eyes.
"Farewell, Carnarvon. We'll meet again..."

The End

------------------
Homage to thee, Osiris, Lord of Eternity, King of the Gods, whose names are manifold, whose forms are holy, thou being of hidden form in the temples, whose Ka is holy."
-- Book of the Dead (1240 BC)

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