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Nightmare In Egypt…Part 11/ Feras Werr

The boiling sands of the timeless Egyptian desert suddenly swarmed with shadows as the summer clouds moved in the windy skies above. Nigel and Angel looked up perplexed at the sudden change in weather. Something irregular was going on, not just with the sphinx and oasis but with the skies. Both slowly moved towards the oasis dumbfounded at the environment they suddenly found themselves in. 
The two camels' caused soft ripples on the surface of the pond as their mouths restlessly drank from its waters. They were loaded with rolled up rugs of all sizes and colors. Their owner sat at a close distance underneath one of the palm trees that surrounded the oasis playing the pipe. He was a short man wearing a white Turban and a brown Tunic. The cane leaning across his lap with the wrinkles on his face and hands announced his advanced years in age. He looked up as they came closer and watched them study the camels with interest.
Nigel and Angel shot a glance towards the man as he ceased playing his tunes. He immediately leaned on his cane standing up and walked towards them, the cane and his heavy feet shuffling the sands underneath. He stopped a short distance away from Angel and knelt in totally respect. Angel and Nigel traded glances in total surprise as the man spoke in broken unaccented English, "Your highness, I'm totally flattered that you have taken the time to stop and check on your humble servant."
Angel approached the man and helped him up commenting, "You must be mistaken, I'm no princess and certainly you are not my servant."
"Your highness, if only you know of the royal Egyptian blood that flows within your veins; your direct ancestors were the most powerful in the known world once and ruled these lands. They subdued mightily any tyrant that threatened their timeless civilizations and presence."
Nigel whispered in Angel's ear, "I think this guy is suffering from senility." 
He smiled at the man and said calmly, "Thank you for you words and my wife and I will be on our way." He took Angel by her arm and turned around to head back but the old man said in a firmer voice, "I'm certainly not senile as you think. Stop for you don't know what your paths hold for you."
Angel and Nigel stopped and turned back. Nigel snapped back, "You have to have microphones in your ears for you to have heard that!"
They approached him once again while Nigel resumed his exclamations, "What do you want with us!"
Angel commented with a nervous voice, "Look if you require any help we will help you as soon as we return home safely. But other than that you have no business with us."
Suddenly the man's eyes shot spears of seriousness towards Angel, "It is not I that requests anything from you your highness. It is your destiny. Your great ancestors were Pharaohs that ruled Egypt for many long years. They faced a macabre presence that wanted to turn the tides of history in our world around and torment the entire human race. Our dear God's wisdom chose Pharaoh's son whom had an excellent pure heart to kill and hide it in the Transjordan Plains. For thousands of years it lied deep within the sands in total quiescence while the days and years rolled on with what they held of events. However presently, a black hearted fool is going to unearth it again, thinking it will bring him riches while unaware of its ghastly nature. His black heart will harmonize with its will once again and history will be repeated in our world. Just like what happened thousands of years ago when the keepers of the Pyramids were strong."
Nigel suddenly blurted out, "YOU NEED FREUD OLD MAN!!!"
The old man closed his eyes and took a couple of steps back shocked by Nigel's screaming. Angel said admonishing, "Nigel keep your temper please!"
She took the old man by his arm and helped him back close to them. "Please you have to understand that we didn't expect to hear any of this not at any point in our lives. What you speak is within the context of a fairytale."
"Don't be an easy victim to ignorance. If you had walked away without my warnings you would have faced things within the next moments that would have been unexplainable to you. Look around you Nigel son of Henry and Stephanie Promise,"
Nigel gasped and stared at the old man as he continued, "Look around you son well. Do you know where you are?" 
Angel and Nigel looked around at the uneven sky, Oasis and the open mouth of the sphinx. Angel answered with a shocked face, "Old man I'm not comfortable where I'm presently. I feel I'm in another world."
"You are in an ageless time warp. The hands of the clock of time have no rule here. This world was constructed especially to guard the Ankh that killed the sinister being thousands of years ago. The hands of evil was never able to approach this place and destroy its contents. Our Lord only knows the wisdom lying behind strange things in our world. Don't think your trips to Jordan and Egypt was randomly prepared by fate. Nothing happens without a purpose in life. You are here for a fate your highness. Find out your destiny and what it holds for you. You both have the will to sacrifice your lives for each other. This love with your Holy Relic that you will retrieve in the near future will be the key to your victory over your enemy."
Angel stood dumbfounded at the words she just heard. "What was going on?"
Nigel's face wasn't easier than hers, his thick eyebrows tying a not at his forehead. He asked, still keeping some hostility within his voice, "And why have you taken the decision to inform us of all of this."
"You don't need to consult with anyone to help the needy of help son. You have to believe my words and render them true to support your love in her fight. I wasn't going to say what I'm about to say but only so I will convince you of my words. Follow me.
They followed the old man to the palm tree and sat down with him. He wiped his sweat off of his forehead with his white turban and calmly spoke… 
"The incessant history books of our world hold plentiful pages of events that were relayed to us either through unearthed manual scripts or various discoveries. However the ruins and ancient cities with their lifeless houses, temples and squares found today, all fall short from telling us what truly bought them to life; what thoughts, words, sufferings and happiness echoed through their walls when the humans that built them were alive. Day after day for thousands of years Egypt saw the rise and fall of its many empires and leaders. It conquered and ruled its known world and came under the sovereignty of others periodically. There were ages of gold and others of brass as its ceaseless days progressed unfolding new events. 
Our story begins just after a turbulent time in Pharaohic history. Egypt has just surfaced from a bitter religious brawl, between monotheism and paganism, which kept it for long years weak and lost. Seti I, emerging with a true leader's appetite, reconfirmed pagan beliefs in his society and began a long successful campaign to flourish Egyptian culture, architect, art and achievement once again. He organized a powerful army that successfully recaptured lands that were once part of the empire built by the great Thutmose III. Seti's stubborn army collided many a times with the Hittites and walled any further advancement by them helping the empire in much needed stability. Buildings and constructions of grand sizes characterized his era. It was an era of accomplishments that his son Ramses II was to continue successfully and advance.  
Soon a sinister play would break the happiness of Seti's rule. Evil, fearing the three great monotheistic religions to emerge and spread within mankind and picking this sensitive era to twist and halt the predestined path of history, collaborated with the evil intentions of a human pawn to stop the prosperity that Ramses was supposed to carry out. A pact made between the black world and Setekh, the head priest of Memphis, hurled the Egyptian empire into death and destruction. Ramses with his lion will was the only key to return its success once again. 
Let us listen to some echoes from the past…
A Nightmare in Ancient Egypt
1296 BC, Set I reign, right before the battle of Kadesh
The Temple of Amenram
The temple of Amenram stood grandly under the shimmering midnight sky of the city of Memphis dwarfing most of the vibrant small houses around it. A true edifice built to the war deity as gratitude for Seti's constant gains in his war campaigns, it boasted a huge court with a colossal statute of the lion god standing on the opposite end of its entrance down its court, an array of twenty columns dispersed within the court's grounds  supporting the solid ceilings and a private small chambers for the head priest of the Egyptian lands Setekh. Glyphs were inscribed on its walls telling of the mightiness of the Egyptian armies in war and thanking Amenram for strength in battle. Paintings were drawn on the walls reflecting the different wars that were waged to expand the territories of the Egyptian Empire.  
While the streets of Memphis remained awake with its few midnight shifters whom were enjoying the summer air, the majority rested inside their homes, preparing themselves for sleep and for the long day that waited ahead. The farmers had to tend and cultivate their lands as it was the beginning days of the summer season while the masons had their travel plans for chores to be achieved at the newly erected building site of the Great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak. Ordered by Pharaoh Seti I himself it was intended to be the greatest temple of all, dedicated to the god Ammon for his care for Thebes.
As time took Memphis gradually towards the first hour after midnight, a monstrous offering was underway, silently, inside the walls of the temple of Amenram. The offering's muffled groaning never passed outside the thick walls of the private chambers' of Setekh. The butchered young virgin of eighteen springs was tied up arms over her head by a rope that hung from the ceiling. She thrashed about madly as the excruciating waves of pain pounded her body. She couldn't scream from the piece of material that sealed her mouth.  The only thing she was able to do was groan and kick about as she surrendered to her nearing destiny of death. 
Setekh watched with glee as he saw the human blood drench from his prey. The iron pot underneath the offering was a third full when the girl went into a quick frenzy of convulsions for a moment's time then ceased movement. The channels he carved in her body were specially done to drain the blood at a very slow pace and inflict massive suffering for the convenience of the ceremony. Now was the time. He consulted the scriptures within his hands and continued as was written. 
"Bring down the sacrifice and knife its upper body open from neck to abdomen. Remove the internal organs slowly and place them into the blood solution in the pot of offering. Once this is done boil the solution away and let the remnants fry in the pot. Soon after this, the pleasant odor will summon the lords of black evil."  
Setekh had never done this before. He found the scriptures by coincidence in a cave in Sinai upon a trek he took with Seti's army to war. The cave apparently lay silent, unnoticed for many long years or so was its appearance. There was nothing in it but a metal pot in the middle full of residue with the scriptures beside it in a clay container. Setekh visited the cave again in curiosity but found no trace of the owner. The outcome of the sorcerer remained anonymous to him.
The scriptures contained drawings and incantations in Egyptian of many ceremonies that were necessary to make a pact with black evil. The scriptures promised powers unknown to normal people if its contents were practiced. Setekh found the issue pleasing for two purposes, the first being his unending ambitions for power. He always liked to be in power and in control of the circumstances. He loved his position as head priest. He loved it when people referred to him for spiritual advice. He loved manipulating there every move and thought. But what he had was not enough. He wanted to be fully in command of all the Egyptian people. The Empire's rule became his ultimate goal. 
The second reason was his will to remove Seti and his family from power in Egypt and from life completely so none of them will reclaim rights to the throne again. With these supernatural abilities he will be able to achieve without being noticed. These abilities worked in the dark, unnoticed by normal humans. He marveled at the potentialities and possibilities. His agreement with the Hittites could be achieved at last with the most ease.  
It was in the deepest hours of darkness that the murder was set to take place. Setekh had it all planned right. With Seti murdered and with the omens all assuring that his eldest son Ramses was about to die in a near battle, Seti's half sister would be the righteous heir to the throne; Setekh's beloved Isis. This would be until Seti's second eldest son Ammenhotep son of his tenth mistress Nekhbet was old enough to rule. That day wouldn't come in a very long time. Muwatallis, the leader of the Hittites, promised him and Isis rule of Egypt if they helped him get rid of Seti and annex Egypt to Hittite territory. Egypt would be part of the Hittite Empire with him and Isis as Pharaohs but under the Hittite governance. Since the murder would be carried out by a third party Setekh and Isis would be free of any suspicions. Setekh bribed four guards very richly to help the spies infiltrate the royal residence and keep an eye on them. Upon execution of the plan the four guards would play the act of immediately discovering the murder by coincidence and kill the spies so no scandals would be feared for the safety of the agreement. The plan was flawless. With the guards the entering would be made possible and they would secretly be ushered into a private small chamber were they would keep still until execution. 
The solution in the pot began boiling. A potent thick nauseating aroma filled the atmosphere. Setekh grew dizzy and threw up in one of the corners of the chambers. He didn't dare open the door and let the smell roam freely within the grand temple that contained his small private chambers. Very soon his nausea disappeared as his eyes opened wide at the hovering thick human sized column of fog that appeared over the pot. Setekh watched with amazement as the column moved down in front of the pot. "Is it him, or is it his messenger? Soon I will know."
"Setekh come and worship in front of Nartor your master," Said a deep unfathomable creepy voice. The strange voice filled his chambers. The column of fog erupted into different colors and then disrobed a horrid content. A lightning bolt of terror tore through Setekh as he eyed unbelievingly at what was ordering him. A creature with a human body and a bull's head appeared. Its body was all covered with a thick coat of hair and had at the end of its long arms and legs four big animal paws with long sharp claws. On its head were four long horns that pointed upwards. A set of sharp beastly teeth showed behind its menacing smile. A foul smell resembling that of deceased corpses flushed from its bulky body. It stood upright, its ghastly silhouette dancing within the wake of the four torches that were alight in the chambers, waiting for its new subject. 
Setekh ran towards the creature and knelt down. The creature raised his leg and pressed it on Setekh's back forcing him to complete worship. The beast's claws that extended from its foot dipped into the flesh of his back making him scream from the pain and the heavy weight on his back. "This is how you worship me from here on when ever I appear ignorant servant."
"Mercy, I understand." Setekh barely spoke from his crying.
"My master summoned me to you. The offering you have given came to his liking. Not like the sorcerer you stole the scripts from…"
"How did you know...?"
"You don't know what you're dealing with ignorant servant. We are the lords of the black world of evil. Our master knows no mercy or incompetence. From here on your mine, your soul is mine. I own you. If you fail to complete the task you summoned us for, I will take in your soul exactly as I did to the sorcerer. Look at me."
As Nartor removed his leg, his claws snatched off of Setekh's back some flesh making him cringe and yell. Setekh slowly raised his back while lurking under tremendous pains and looked at him directly. Tongues of flames danced in his angry eyes. Thick amounts of Saliva flowed down from his teeth and mouth as he spoke. Spurts of mist were released from his nose as his foul heavy breathing filled the atmosphere around him. 
"Do you want to know what happened to him?" asked the angry creature.
His master took some fire with his paws from under the boiling pot and threw it in a far corner of the chambers. An explosion erupted and a vision cleared up. A man appeared shaking within the steel grip of his master. His master dipped his paw inside the man's chest. The man wailed massively as his blood splashed around. The beastly paw smashed everything within its grasp as it searched for a few seconds, making the man thrash madly from his agony, and then ripped out something invisible from inside. The body released a spasm then rested lifeless.
Setekh shuddered with panic. His teeth clattered and his sentences stuttered as he exclaimed his promises, "I will never fail and be at your obedience always. I will never upset you master. Believe me!" Nartor pointed his hands at Setekh and raised them up. Setekh found himself hovering above the grounds. A huge fire engulfed him. He released anguished screeches as the flames grilled his flesh. The fire disappeared in an instant and Setekh crashed down to the floor. He jolted madly from the pain. He checked his body and awed as there were no burn wounds. 
"This is the least of your punishments if you anger me Setekh. I knew of your evil intensions all along. You lust for power. I will give you your chance. But we don't grant powers randomly. We give them to people who earn them ignorant fool.  Now I will give you your first task in addition to a power that if wisely used will help you achieve. If you succeed in killing Seti your mental powers will enhance permanently. We will give you powers to control subordinate creatures and lease them to your will. Let's see how well you do on that. Kill Seti. I want him totally out of our way. Then I will give your next challenge." 
A column of fog wrapped the sinister creature then disappeared in seconds. Setekh rested in his place crying from pain and freight. This was more than what he bargained for. The scriptures didn't say anything about this. He was a prey to his foolishness and his search for authority. Nevertheless he was no longer a free man. He had a big job to do. He mustn't fail. The punishment hurt him so much. He won't let anything stand in his way. 
*****
The betrayers knifed the two guards to death giving way for the spies to enter into Pharaoh's private chambers, and then fled the scene. One of the spies stood at the door of the room watching the corridors while the other carefully approached Seti. Just as he neared, Seti awoke. The spy froze in his place for a split second then decided to take a quick stab at him. Seti grabbed his hands and stopped him just in the right time forcing him backwards. He curled his legs up till his knees came to his chest and gave the spy a strong thrust hurling him a big distance back. Sekhmet arose and screamed out for the guards at the sight of the conflict.  She ran hysterically towards a far corner and watched in horror as her husband fought the intruders. Seti took a dagger that he kept beside him and jumped up quickly before his enemy could stand up. He hovered above him and stabbed him in his chest. The stab was so powerfully administered that the dagger sliced completely through and hammered on the ground underneath. Scores of guards were instantly in Pharaoh's room but just stood watching helpless as the second spy swiftly ran up with a knife and took Sekhmet as a hostage. He had his left arm wrapped around her waist firmly and a knife in his right hand that was up to her neck. 
"If you let me leave in peace, I will not harm your wife!" The second spy said in a threatening voice. Although in a weak accent, Pharaoh was shocked at how well he spoke the Egyptian language. Pharaoh gave his enemy a sharp look of anger. It was obvious that their enemies were trained killers. "You have Pharaoh's word that you will be unharmed, just don't hurt my wife, please." 
"Dam you, you cheap bastard," Sekhmet kicked wildly and screamed, "Let me go! Seti, don't kill him, we need him alive!" Her words frustrated the spy and he gave her a smart blow with the handle of the knife on her face. Sekhmet screeched from the pain and covered her face. Blood started flowing from her nose. The spy began dragging her outside the chambers and down the long corridors toward the royal court. Suddenly a huge but unclear image started appearing in the distance of the long corridor. The spy had his back to it and was facing the huge assembly, unaware of the image as it crept slowly, stealthily, silently, coming closer to him. The image blew out all the torches within its wake, that were hung on the walls of the corridor, so as not to be visible to the spy who miraculously didn't look back from the sever panic of the moment. Suddenly the cold current the figure was causing caught the spy's attention. He looked back and the figure jumped back hiding in the nearby darkness. The spy not noticing anything continued dragging his hostage in hopes of reaching the court and running away but only to feel a huge thud on the back of his head. In an instant he lost consciousness and fell down. Sekhmet ran back to Seti who hugged her and covered her with warm kisses. Three guards ran up to the spy and picked him up. Seti ordered firmly, 
"Brave man, make your self known to Pharaoh for he wishes to reward you generously for your bravery."
"It is I, your loyal servant and life long friend, mighty pharaoh" Ptah, the six foot bulky first commander of the Egyptian army and military advisor of Pharaoh's court appeared and knelt down in respect.
"Rise my friend. You saved my wife's life; I'm most grateful to you." Pharaoh and Sekhmet walked up to Ptah and hugged him warmly. 
A well built tall soldier approached Ptah and asked, "lord Ptah, what should we do with the captive."
Ptah gave the sleeping body that was supported upright by two soldiers a sharp look. Take him to the fortress on the outskirts of the city. Lock him up there and leave him for a while. I'm sure when he wakes the sounds he will hear will enlighten him and make him speak rapidly and tell us about all parties involved in this plot." The guards left in discipline dragging the body with them. 
Sekhmet looked up at Ptah and asked while her eyes boasted the confusion and horror within her at hearing his words, "Plot, all parties involved," She looked around and noticed that their residence had turned into an army fortress with scores of soldiers lined up everywhere in full armor. They were not ordinary soldiers but elite guards within the excellently trained ranks of the army. "What are you implying Ptah?"
"Perhaps the sudden rapid incidents made you overlook the two young guards that are lying on the sides of the chamber door with their throats sliced up." Ptah approached the entrance and dipped his fingers in the pool of blood that surrounded one of the corpses. He rubbed his fingers together in analysis and commented, "This blood is still fresh which gives the strong proof that the murders happened not very long ago; and just how the spies got in unnoticed totally baffles me. The walls of the residence are very high and the outer gates are well guarded. There are patrols almost everywhere."
Sekhmet buried her head on Seti's shoulders. "This is a dream, this cannot be happening within their Kingdom. Betrayers, enemy spies that infiltrate their residence and make an attempt on their lives…this was too much for one night." She tapped her head lightly against Seti shoulders only to feel a wave of pain run through her. She remembered her bleeding nose. She covered her face and ran off inside her chambers. 
Seti was much engulfed with defending himself and his wife that he too overlooked the two poor soldiers that lay butchered at his chamber's entrance. He approached them and knelt down looking with sympathy as they lay silently and calmly. Deep feelings of sorrow soared through him. He was lying asleep while these two brave young men met their fate. Had they died in battle it would have been for a more constructive cause. Ptah looked at Pharaoh. It was the first time that Seti revealed his sympathies to this extent to one of his subjects. His black wide eyes that knew nothing but happiness were dull. His thick black eyebrows were slanted almost tying a not. The torch light in a nearby distance reflected mildly on his bold head and figure. His healthy young figure, still excited by the duel he performed, expanded and retracted briskly at his breathing. Seti glanced at Ptah and commanded, "You have my blessings. Butcher the spy till he releases all the info we need. Then before you take any action come to me and tell me what you have found out. It is obvious that these spies had local aid and from people very close to us. No foreigners would dare perform such a feat by themselves."
Ptah clasped his hands together then yanked them apart with force. His well outlined muscles of his arms and chest showed as he motioned. He looked at Seti with a big frown on his face. His long oval face was shooting with anger. His blue eyes shot mad spears and his well outlined jaws retracted as he spoke. "I will enjoy ripping those people apart with my bare hands. Dear Pharaoh, its best that I rest here with you tonight. I would feel more assured till the morning comes. Then I will fortify the guards in your residence."
"Thank you Ptah. I'm overworked and Sekhmet needs some comforting after what happened." Pharaoh followed after his wife and closed their chamber's door.
Ptah gave orders for four guards to help him move the bodies to a nearby preparation chamber for their burial. Ptah followed the soldiers through the royal court and opened the court's big iron gate for them to exit. He then brought the two iron doors together and picked up the huge iron bar and slid it inside the rings barring the gate well. All of a sudden he froze in his place. He moved his hand at a snail's pace towards the sword handle in preparation of withdrawal. He knew that no guard would leave his post and approach him in this subtle manner. That person was so close to him that he felt his breath on the back of his neck. The poor lighting of the few torches only lit well what surrounded them and left the major area of the court gloomy. The court lighting was at its best in ceremony time. Ptah concentrated on the breathing as it was warm and touched one area of his neck. It was surely the doing of a human. He briskly withdrew his weapon and turned around striking strongly in the process. He stood on guard afterwards expecting resistance or the sound of a pained being but nothing happened. Ptah moved backwards in confusion. The last thing he expected was to strike thin air. He was sure there was somebody behind him. A fatal feeling of uneasiness stormed through him. He quickly called for his guards and formed three major search parties and searched the entire castle thoroughly. In due time he felt a bit secure as no more intruders were found. Part of the stress he felt had gone away. But there was another part of him that remained restless. He was sure somebody was there, right behind him. Who was he or… what was it?

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