Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

Nightmare In Egypt…Part 19/ Feras Werr

Clouds of mist crept upon and camouflaged the thick shrubbery that surrounded the almost tranquil army. The white mist resembled hands with long smoky fingers that extended and folded the entire area confining eye vision to very near distances. A natural cooler breeze stirred up and catalyzed Dawn's chilliness. The inhospitable atmosphere drove many to rise irritated at the interruption. 
Within a short while the tens of thousands of soldiers stood outside their tents and sleeping quarters gazing at the new environment. Ramses and Ptah turned their heads around with no clue as to what could have happened. They were totally wrapped up with cold whiteness with no mentionable vision. Thebes was no where in sight to give them any clue about their directions. No stars could be consulted for guidelines as the sky above was completely hidden. 
The mist grew dense and bursts drifted inside the huge camp randomly dissecting it apart and obstructing further vision. Ptah and Ramses could no longer see but at a small circumference around them. Immense clattering and shuffling erupted all around them followed by cries and cheers. Ramses and Ptah watched carefully trying to find out what was going on when their visions caught images approaching the camp at quick paces. As they came closer it became clear that they were people running up in their direction. Ptah caught a glimpse of his wife and children and threw his hands up in joy. He called out for his family and ran towards them. Ramses still having restrictions about the whole event tried to stop him but was no match for his strength. Ptah brushed him aside easily and raced off to meet his family. 
Soon the majority of the soldiers succeeded in finding their families. They danced with glee and hugged them excitedly. Mentuhotep embraced his father and brother warmly. Very soon his lover caught up with them and the whole crowd rejoiced. Imhotep's heart glowed merrily. He released cries of joy as he united with his family. He couldn't believe that they were unharmed. Ramses looked about the mist as the hails and cheerfulness filled the atmosphere. He wanted to rejoice with them but was still breath taken at the hasty events. It was too good to be true. He fetched the Cross from his tent and slowly walked around eyeing what the mists revealed between their cool walls. It was like being in a dream, a much wanted dream. 
"Ramses, Ramses." He turned around searching as he heard it in the distances. 
The calling was soft and full of affection. It seeped into his heart and made it glow with hope. His eyes filled with tears as he saw Sekhmet and his father take wide strides towards him. His chest shook with wild heartbeats and couldn't resist running towards them. Within seconds he ran like an excited child. He hugged and kissed them warmly. His hands roamed their backs as he enjoyed every moment of close intimacy with them. 
He looked at them and exclaimed, "I can't believe we are together, it’s a dream…" Suddenly Sekhmet released an anguished cry and backed off. Vapors started erupting from her back. She careened and twisted in pain. Her flesh crackled and melted off revealing a tormented repulsive half decayed corpse. A sickening odor flushed from her. Ramses stood shocked at the dreadful scene. He backed off as he saw his father's body disrobe into an exact ghastly copy of his wife.  "What was happening?" Suddenly it flashed in his mind. Powerful alarms raced through him. Sekhmet's body took a wild thrash at him. In panic he covered his face with his hands to block off the attack. The bodies went into careening pain then turned into dust.
Distress cries within short moments soared through the camp. The ugly corpses attacked with full force their victims. Ramses looked with disgust as a female rammed her teeth in a soldier's neck. She sucked as her body shed its human disguise and revealed its gore. The soldier released distress cries. The corpse bit a good piece of his flesh off and chewed. Ramses's back chilled at the sound of flesh tearing that the bite released. The soldier fell down cringing at his pain. He screamed "Mother what are you doing!" only to find another corpse attacking him. Ramses ran to the massacre and sliced off the assailants heads. The heads rolled on the grounds for seconds. They remained alive and flew back attacking simultaneously with their bodies. Ramses showed the Cross. They twisted in turmoil then went into dust.    
The hysteria was endless. It was like being in a mad house. Countless soldiers raced around the camp terrorized by what was happening. They were shocked as their loved ones turned into attacking creatures. Many fell down suffering from paralyzing shock. Mobs of flesh eaters circled countless screaming victims savoring their prey. Only a few had the will power to strike the horrific corpses. It was apparent to Ramses that they were losing the battle.  
 Only now did he understand what was going on. The words of the prophet made sense. He dashed in random directions looking for a chariot. The thick fog that sill roamed his camp made things real hard to see. The turbulence made him rage with terror. He covered his ears to avoid the flesh tearing sounds and pained cries of his soldiers. He had to get to Thebes and do what the prophetess told him to do hastily. 
He clashed with a running soldier and both of them fell down. The soldier was screaming madly covering his right arm with his left hand. Some creature caused a crater in it. The blood dripped tremendously from his arm. His face raged with shock and horror. Four creatures circled him. They pinned him to the ground and gnashed at his arms and legs. The soldier gave spine chilling howls as he was eaten alive. Blood splashed all around soaking the area. A blood shower tainted Ramses face. He wiped it off and stood up terror stricken. "Setekh I will make you pay dearly for this." His mind screamed.  
Restless horse shrieking caught his attention in a short distance. He spotted a chariot. Four creatures surrounded another horse near it that bucked from the turbulences. Ramses watched as one of them attacked and took a bite off of its neck. The horse screeched and gave the creatures powerful kicks. They consecutively hurled back a big distance. They rose unharmed and took a mass attack at it. Several flesh laceration made the horse fall down kicking with suffering. Exquisite amounts of blood rushed from its wounds. Ramses ran up to the creatures and flashed the Cross in front of them. The creatures released shrieks and withered away into dust. He grabbed a spear that lied on the ground and released the horse from its misery.  
Ramses's whipped up the horses to full gear while attempting a quick calculation as to which direction Thebes was at. As soon as he favored a probability he steered the horses and thundered through the mist. The carriage rammed everything in its wake. The only thing that mattered to Ramses was to get to Thebes. Super amounts of rage pounded within his body. "Setekh will not live to see daylight." He will make sure of it.
Within minutes the chariot broke the walls of mist and glided back into civilization. The thick shrubbery snapped as it tore through the path. Thebes lay a short distance away. Ramses was thankful that he took the right direction. He clutched the Cross within his hand and knew that it helped him. His chariot soon stormed through the open entrance of the city and raced around the streets. Ramses found it hard to see clearly in the total darkness that prevailed. Not a single light was available. His chariot bumped into the walls on the sides of the paths he took releasing sparks. Despite this he was not going to let anything obstruct his search. Even if it meant searching the city structure by structure he was going to find it. He drove on with high spirits. 
In a short while his searching eyes met a bulky structure at the side of the road. He pulled the reigns hard bringing the chariot to a full stop. A cloud of dust swirled around him obstructing his vision. He coughed and waved it away with his hands. As vision cleared up his eyes fixed with awe at the statue. It was a strange statue of an unknown god to him. It stirred an uncomfortable feeling in him. It had an aggressive look with a bull like head and a human like body. Ramses found it to be very grotesque. The temple it guarded exceeded its other Egyptian counterparts in size. It seemed to him that the statue and temple took forever to build. He stepped down the chariot and cautiously entered the premises. 
The nightly stars glittered in the moonless skies above him. It was the first time that Ramses entered a roofless temple. He observed the broken table and the cracked walls. He caught a glimpse of an iron pot in front of the table with a lit fire underneath. He thought to himself, "This must be the same iron pot that the prophetess talked about." The large cracked walls hovered once again in his mind. He looked around again, "And what kind of catastrophe hit here?" 
"After I'm done with you there will be no catastrophes Ramses." 
"Setekh you animal! Show yourself for once and fight like a true man. I never dealt with a greater coward!" Ramses drew his sword watched the entire area fully alert.
"Well the time has come my friend and I'm not letting you down."
"Your not my friend you scorpion. I will tear you apart for all the distress you have caused me and my people you unfaithful servant! You betrayed my father's trust. You've betrayed Egypt. You will die Setekh. I will make sure of it. Where are you?" Ramses voice raged with his passion for revenge.
"Your father was a weak fool. He doesn't deserve to be in power. Power is fit for people like me. I always had what it takes. I now have real power. I will rule these lands after I'm done with you. You're nothing but a weakling."
"Egypt is mine. It is rightful inheritance and for me to rule only. I will not let you take it away from me Setekh. No wonder you and Isis agreed together. You were always one of a kind. Power was always more important to you than anything. She betrayed my father's love to her and you betrayed his trust. You are not more than filthy animals."
Setekh emerged from a far corner of the temple. He walked up to the sacrifice table and stood behind the pot. He poured a liquid in the pot. Vapors danced out. In Seconds Ramses's vision blurred. His body turned weak and he swayed sideways. The dizziness made him lean on a nearby wall. He found it hard to breath. His hands thrashed with alarm as he saw long slender snake like bodies swim around him. A sudden attack made him jump back. He looked around alarmed as he saw the blurry visions multiply. Setekh laughed with triumph as Ramses danced around the court striking with his sword like a mad man the air around him. Ramses caught a rough unclear glimpse of Setekh in the backgrounds but wasn't sure of anything. He was busy with his assailants while trying to cope with the dizziness in him. The vapors increased and Ramses knelt down on his knees worn out. His eyes went blind. He was sweating and was finding it hard to breath. He tried to look at the Cross in his hand but couldn't see. He felt it. He trusted its power. 
"Setekh you win. I can resist no more."
Setekh replied, "I knew you were a weakling all the way. You are no match for me." Setekh laughed mocking his opponent. Ramses evaluated his direction and threw the Cross as hard as his arm could swing in the direction of the laughs. He heard deep clattering as if something settled in to a hollow container. Beastly growling and howling stirred up in the distances. The grounds quaked tremendously. The walls began to collapse. Ramses's vision immediately cleared up. His strength was partially regained. He managed to stand up and run away from the wall behind him before it collapsed with a big thud to the floor. Ramses stood in the middle of the court eyeing the calamity. 
Setekh's body released vigorous shudders. He resembled a man experiencing an epileptic seizure. The pot in front of him raged with fire. Nartor crashed out of the grounds besides him causing a gigantic crater. Earth rock and dust hurled around in random directions. The beastly howling intensified filling the entire atmosphere. Nartor was being grilled by a fire that raged all over him. He cringed and screeched helplessly at his agony. He dipped his hand into Setekh's chest and searched. Setekh wailed from pain as he pulled out something invisible and then fell down overturning the pot in his wake. The pot's fire poured on him and more beastly howling erupted. Nartor shuddered massively then melted away into lava like liquid. Vicious tongues of flames lashed out from it before it drifted toward the crater and disappeared into it. The earthquake ceased. Within moments Ramses walked towards the scene cautiously thankful that it all ended. He gave Setekh's body a loathsome look as it rested lifeless on the grounds with smoke rising from its chest. The fire in the pot was completely out. All was peaceful. To his astonishment the ankh lay in the middle of the pot untarnished by the vicious brawl. He picked it up and kissed it dearly. It was truly a big present that the God of the Hebrew lady gave him, and he got to keep it for good. Ramses looked at the skies. Dawn was apparent. The first lights of the sunrise were beginning to peek out at the Theban horizon. 
Ramses departed the crash sight. The clouds of dust from the falling walls were beginning to clear. His awareness turned to the bird chirping that filled the tranquil atmosphere. Ramses looked around him and enjoyed the light skies that were peaceful welcoming the sunrise. It was so beautiful, so magnificent. He suddenly had the urge to dance in praise. He screamed out, "Thank You God of the old Prophetess," He danced and praised around the chariot several times then climbed on to it and began riding back to the camp. Peacefulness and joy nourished his sole. It was all over. The rough days were gone. He blew out a sigh of relief. 
A strong cold gust of wind blew him off course. He almost felt his chariot fly off the grounds. He stopped it and stood vulnerably resisting the currents with what he had of strength. He gazed in wonder at the skies above him as the day and night reciprocated swiftly; moon and sun began rotating against their normal course. He was caught in the middle of an anti-clock wise time warp. People around him raced the streets at great speed, returning to their homes at nightfall and departing at sunrise. Numerous caravans rushed in and out of the city. He saw the temple get dismantled by the same people that built it. The city slept and awoke hundreds of times. The intense time storm caused him major lightheadedness. He closed his eyes as his body rattled in its place at the strong cool currents. He knelt down and clinged on to the front wall of his wavering chariot as he felt the climax about to tear him apart. After a short period of time the chronological shuffling ceased. He was brought to a peaceful morning once again.
The rocking in Ramses's head eased up eventually. Once he regained his balance he stood up and checked the surroundings. He watched unbelieving the empty piece of land that the temple once stood on. The structure was no longer there. Setekh's body was still lying on the ground with his pot. Ramses reasoned that this had only one meaning; that all the accomplishments of Setekh and his evil were withdrawn from life. The merriment he felt was unsurpassed ever in his life time. If what he had just witnessed was true then Memphis was granted back its life. That meant that life would proceed normally in his Empire. Ramses pinched his arm assuring himself that he was in reality and not in some dream. 
"But what day are we in." He hit the horses back with his reigns and wheeled on, still eyeing the surroundings with amazed eyes. Movement began in the houses of the Thebans. Some doors opened as the few early risers left. They bowed at the unexpected sight of their master. Everything seemed to function normally. He saw men that were with him in the army walk out of their homes and worship at his sight. His army was no longer at the outskirts of the city. It came to his awareness that the fatigue he once felt was gone. His spirit and body felt a bit younger and refreshed. The overwhelming events made him oversight his softer attire that he was in. The entire time in Egypt had to be somewhere right before the battle with the Hittites. 
He steered the chariot to the residence and was greeted by the usual scores of guards that stood at its entrance. He stepped down and walked up the short flight of stairs that led into the residence. His father was seated at the throne with Sekhmet standing beside him. Ptah and Hunefer were seated at their usual bench near the throne. All were discussing a matter of importance. It was early for the court to summon at this time of morning. Ramses remembered that his parents had gone to Thebes on a short visit and returned back to Memphis only a few days before the assault of the spies. Ramses walked up through the isle towards his parents. He looked at them in relief that they were alive and well. 
"What is wrong with you son?" Seti eyed his son with concern. "You look at us as if seeing us for the first time." 
"Is there something disturbing you love?" Sekhmet asked with concern.
Ramses approached them and kissed their hands. Seti stood up and Sekhmet, Ptah and Hunefer approached and circled him. Ramses replied calmly, "Nothing much. I'm just glad that it's Egypt as usual." 
"Well it's good that you’re awake and fresh. We just god a letter from our forts in Tyre and Sidon. It seems that they have managed to detect obscure movements at our fronts with Muwatallis. That man is continuously refusing any truce with us and has forced us to warfare many times. On the way back to Memphis you, Ptah, Hunefer and I will discuss the proper military and other arrangements needed. Sekhmet prepare yourself immediately to leave.  
Ramses gave his father an assured nodding, "I believe I have a few ideas that might be found useful." 
Seti's family and his advisors continued their conversations rewriting history the proper way, untainted by any intrusions. Ramses gave orders for the Theban priests and soldiers to secretly take Setekh's body to the Transjordan plains and bury him there so Egypt will bear his memory no more. Setekh was mummified by the priests and buried in a plain wooden coffin so his body could endure the trip to Jordan without getting decomposed on the way and cause any health risk to the convoy. Curses were cast upon his body while it was being wrapped with the linen bandages damning his soul to be buried with its body upon its burial in the tomb. The coffin was tightly wrapped by a score of iron chains that were melted at their ends together to lock it securely. Warnings and curses were carved on the coffin in Hieroglyphics. The fort soldiers guarding the area upon the arrival of the convoy to the Transjordan Deserts dug an underground tomb and prepared it for the burial. Forty steep steps led to a big iron door that guarded the entrance. Paintings were drawn on the walls and hieroglyphics were inscribed telling of Setekh's evil doings and the woes he caused Egypt. All his clothes, belongings and scriptures that were summoned from the temple of Amenram in Memphis were buried along with his iron pot in the tomb. Curses of misery and plagues were inflicted on the tomb walls and carved on the iron door warning any person with intensions of disturbance. Once done, the huge iron door was locked securely. The steep entrance corridor was all filled with rock and sand. Among the incantations carved on the iron door and released in his tomb were, 
"This tomb is full of Torment, Curses, Deaths, Sufferings,
Cursed be he with misfortune and death that opens the door of this tomb, for he shall curse the world again and eternal plagues will loom.
Disaster will lurk throughout his life and all his children will strife, his lineage will toil the worlds with loss and save nothing aside.
A fool and his appetite will enter this hell and look for the evils inside, the craving for power through the forces of evil will leave nobody alive.
If you are wise and want to live turn back and heed our warnings, for Setekh's black world and evil deeds will rip you apart in mourning.
He who opens this door will open on to himself and the world endless plagues and woes.
This tomb is full of Torment, Curses, Death, Suffering,
Brave Ramses with an ankh in hand burned evil and its yearning, he swore if ever this grave opens with the will to resurrect its burdens, his pure heart with his faithful army of one hundred thousand of his kin will give similar earning."
Ramses furthermore gave the Theban priests orders to associate the statues and drawings of the gods with the Ankh and depict them carrying it in their hands so their Kingdom will be protected from all evil and its' doers always. It was to be called the Key of Life from then on. He immediately placed the Ankh with the Theban priests. He instructed them that under no circumstances were the people of Egypt to get near the Holy Relic or to touch it in fear of the city losing it and its powers. The Theban priests erected a chamber in the temple of Amenram and placed it in a golden box on a small square table. Incantations were showered on it and the entire temple so it would be lost in time and the seeker would be blinded away from it. A T shaped key that opened the temple and the chambers were given to Ramses permanently. Upon his death the T shaped key was to be placed in an iron chain around his neck and buried with him, so he could use it in the afterlife if there need be. Ramses gave his orders to the priests to announce incantations on the graves of every single male Egyptian upon his death, should he need to summon his army in the afterlife to fight Setekh and his evil army of the deceased if they ever threatened Egypt again.
A long deep silence prevailed only interrupted by the occasional rustling of the palm leaves from the light currents of the Egyptian desert. The entire story with what it held of incidents made Angel's skin crawl. Needless to say it was against any scientifical knowledge she had studied and worked on in Egyptian history. Ramses was a very powerful but arrogant leader. Despite the fact that he shared his father's glorious reputation, achieving many colossal and breathtaking projects in the construction field and ordering his name to be carved on them upon their completion, he unfairly deleted from some structures the names of his predecessors and wrote his name on them as well. Against what the old man told, Ramses wasn't at all the best military authority for his enormous army that fought at the battle of Kadesh. Ramses's army wasn't at a gigantic one hundred thousand but only a third of that count. Despite succeeding in walling the Hittites threat from his army, he almost lost the war when the Hittites gave a striking blow to two big legions counting nearly half of his army. Ramses escaped from the battle with a miracle. When the Hittites impulsively ravaged the massacred armies' camps he undoubtedly with a bold maneuver, regrouped the other half of his powerful army, and turned the result of the war to a total draw with his ruthless enemy. Furthermore the struggle with the head priest was no where to be supported with tangible archeological or historical evidence in Egyptian history. The incantations and curses cast on the evil priest's grave were an entirely separate source of alarm by themselves. The entire situation was baffling and she didn't know whom to believe, her strong knowledge as an archeologist or the fantasies she had just heard.
Nigel was totally sucked into his own world of analysis. If what the old man just said was true it meant that they were about to face unending mountains of blood curdling problems. This was total black evil they were up against and needed a lot of faith and courage from them. Amazing that such a young man as Ramses was able to overcome the plots against him with his steel endurance and trust in the Lord. Perhaps he was about to fight till the last drop of blood within him because his opponent was trying to take away from him a realm that he owned, a rightful inheritance. But truly remarkable was his elite trust in the Lord; a truly good character. Finally he broke the silence and asked, 
"Do you think they will rise?"
Angel exclaimed tensely, "Who will rise Nigel?"
The old man calmly explained, "If the treasure hunter arrives without fail to the Transjordan plains and excavates the sands, the legends say that they will."
"I don't believe they will. The dead don't rise." Angel firmly stated. However deep inside she didn't know whether she was assuring her fears or ignoring a fearsome reality that might take place in the future.
"What should we expect if the worst happens?" Nigel caught a fist of the sands in front of him and dumped them down with frustration creating a mini tumbler of dust, while stating, "I'm anticipating something and I hope your answer to my inquiry proves against my expectations.
"There are a thousand pawns like Setekh and they are to be found everywhere and at all times in the existence of our human societies. But Setekh was the meanest in his time. That is why he was chosen to serve the black side. Ramses's pure heart was immeasurable in the Egyptian lands and that is why he was chosen by the Kingdom of Heaven."
Nigel interrupted, "So we can be sure that the person who is going to excavate the Jordan sands…"
Angel's eyes bounced back and forth between the men as the old man complemented Nigel's words, "Is the most monstrous in your world. Believe me he is being allured unconsciously to their realm because he is of their same breed. And you and your wife have been chosen on the good side as good Christians. Faithfulness is required for this mission. It is faith that counts and not anything else."
 Angel swallowed hard and asked again, "But what if the worst happens. What will happen to the world?"
"Evil never wins at all. But the clash might take place if you delay retrieving the Holy Relic. Once the evil contract takes place the army will rise and will fill the entire Wadi Rum Desert of Jordan. Just as they once did attacking the army camps of Ramses, they will march non stop towards Sinai wanting to overtake Ramses's Throne again. Simultaneously Ramses's powerful army will rise and will regroup to attack their adversaries. They will march out of their tombs and will quake the grounds of Egypt underneath their feet like they did in the past, marching towards Sinai to meet with evil in the petrifying clash. Retrieve the Ankh and meet the campaign of evil. Once the son of evil is inside the tomb he will be lured to try the inscriptions. Stop him from retrieving the inscriptions at all costs. But if you fail you have a chance once he presents his sacrifice. You may succeed as he is still human. Drop the Ankh in the death pot just as Ramses did. If you fail to do so due to any reason and the armies rise your faith as humans will not be enough. One thing will only work then. Retrieve the Scriptures of the Priests of Thebes." (To Be Continued)

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