Nightmare In Egypt…Part 22/ Feras Werr

The sounds of the rushing waters of a river filled the premises they were in. Within short minutes big splashes were heard underneath informing of the fat of the deteriorated structures. 
Nigel looked at Angel's miraculous quiescence despite the incidents. It was as if she was expecting what happened. Her behavior truly shifted one hundred and eighty degrees. The warmth of her eyes totally disappeared and her passionate loving words to mere orders. But he was a man with ethics and he promised his Angel, whom he knew still existed deep insider his new companion, to help her despite the changes in her disposition.
"Come Nigel. We must get down there."
Nigel stood up and walked to the end of the ledge. They were suspended on the ledge hanging within a huge immeasurable cubed like premises. It was the area of a football stadium, volume wise extremely vast, its' walls of pure white limestone with their glow dancing in the wake of the torch in Angel's hands; an incredible quarter carved in the undergrounds. What task force would be capable of such a burdening achievement? But he soon reasoned that whoever built the pyramids can do much more if they intended to. "Have any idea how on earth we're going to climb down from here? Its' a sixty foot drop."
Angel smiled back coolly and answered, "Never heard of rope ladders Nigel?"
"Where?"
She took the rifle off of her shoulders and knelt downwards. She shook a rope ladder nailed at its top to the edge of the ledge they were on, examining its strength and safety. Its' sides were made of rope but its steps made out of wood sandwiched and nailed at its side to the rope. 
Nigel exclaimed back, "Where the hell did this come from."
She stiffly ordered, "Don't ask too much questions and follow me."
At assurance that the rope was solidly intact she boldly moved to step down when he interrupted her, "Please Angel. Let me go first. I just want to check if its' perfectly safe before you try it." She moved away with a royal swagger giving way for Nigel to step on the ladder. "Suite your self."
The trip down the ladder was dangerous. From the first steps taken he grew aware of the risk factors involved. He called out soon upon stepping on the seventh step, "Angel its sturdy enough. You can step down but carefully."
She put out the fire of the torch and amazingly stepped down with unseen briskness as if doing so for the hundredth time. Nigel's mouth dropped as he saw her legs move with accuracy not mistaking a single step. "But what Angel said didn't add up then. Why would a queen maintain such skills only known to the lower labor forces in the Ancient Egyptian lands?" He soon continued his descent, looking upwards at her from time to time, making sure she was alright. The more they descended the stronger the sounds of the river got. Towards the middle the ladder swayed with the movement of their heavy bodies. Nigel attempted to limit any unnecessary movements and asked the same from Angel but she simply asked him not to fear and move on downwards. The swinging continued challenging their stamina and tolerance till they were able to reach towards the bottom. Soon both were savoring the comforts of the solid grounds, Nigel giving long sighs of relief after their stunt.
He took the torch from Angel and relit it again to study the area around him. He soon was staring at the most formidable piece of architecture he ever saw in Ancient Egyptian history. A stream of water about one hundred and thirty feet wide descended from a system leading to an entrance. It flowed afterwards calmly towards another opening that was immediately followed by a water fall in the limestone cave; the stream itself being not less than three hundred feet long. The water outlets were guarded by four stone statues of soldiers, two at the sides of each outlet, carrying raised swords creating an arch like effect. Both its banks were made out of white limestone as well. A lengthy thick stone barrier resembling an open door lied at the sides of the entrance of the stream. A huge breathtaking throne made out of pure gold rested exactly behind them. It was about sixteen feet long and nine feet wide. 
"Angel what is this place?"
Angel's face shined with a yearning as she explained, "This place and the throne was built in honor of our god Ra. The head priest says that the sun god comes down here every sunset with his ark and descends into the underworld through this place. The next day he ascends, after his victorious battle, beginning a new day. The dead pharaohs and nobilities ascend with him by his ark to the afterlife, after they reunite with their souls again in their tombs from this place, to begin their long journey to the courts of justice. The priests view this as the real first gate to the afterlife."
"But where does all this water drop to?" Nigel asked pointing to the end of the river.
"Where else? To the Underworld? How else does Ra descend there for his battle?" 
Nigel's skin crawled for a couple of seconds. But soon the magnificent architecture took his mind off of the subject and sent him admiring it again. The walls were filled with inscriptions of Ani's version of the Book of the Dead. A gigantic painting from the same book was drawn on one of the walls. He carefully studied the scenes. On the left Ani and his wife Tutu are depicted playing senet, a board game greatly popular in their days and that can also be used as a symbol for a man traveling into the next world. In front of them both on top of their white tomb stood their human-headed ba spirits next to one another. Their bodies resembled two lions which represented those of the horizon over whose backs the sun rises daily. A bird standing to the right of the lions was the benu bird, the phoenix-like bird that represents the soul of the sun-god Re. Under the canopy, Ani's mummy lies on its bier, attended either side by Isis and Nephthys in the form of two birds.
The Hieroglyphics inscribed on the walls were exquisitely original, unmatched in any of Egypt's ruins. He read an excerpt, "Great sun, wheel of fire, Ra in your glory, hear us as we honor you on this, the shortest day of the year. Summer has gone, passed us by, the fields are dead and cold, all of earth sleeps in your absence. Even in the darkest times, you light the way for those who would need a beacon, of hope, of brightness, shining in the night. Winter is here, and colder days coming, the fields are bare and the livestock thin. We light these candles in your honor, that you might gather your strength and bring life back to the world. O Ra, mighty sun above us, we ask you to return, to bring back to us the light and the warmth of your fire. Bring life back to earth, Bring light back to earth. Hail Ra! Ruler of the sun!"    
"It's almost sunset here Nigel. He will come and when he enters his quarters, it is said he enters them with glory."
"Angel forgive me but to me these are all legends. There will not be a god coming through these quarters. Look my Angel." He gave her a sincere warm look despite her lofty looks, "Can you just wake up with me for a second and think with me. We are here to look for the Holy Cross. But due to our bandaged friends we were viciously pushed away from the only place that may hold it which is the temple of Amenram. Now we are stuck here with apparently no safe way out. Can you help me think of a solution? I'm tired and worked out."          
"Do you know how to dive Nigel?"
"Why?"
"There is a path but I'm not allowed to use the waters without his permission. Go without me."
"I'm not leaving without you Angel."
Angel replied annoyed, "Who is Angel? Stop calling me Angel."
Nigel closed his eyes in annoyance. He knelt down mocking her, "Your Majesty Sekhmet; right?"
"If you don't watch your tongue young man the consequences next time wouldn't be pleasing."
Suddenly a small tremor shook the grounds and caused vibes to run through the waters. Angel took a couple of steps back away from the spacious banks of the stream of the Nile. "He has arrived," she thought.
Nigel begged, "Hey guys, I was only joking. Don't you have any sense of humor? 
The tremors increased and caused small tsunamis to begin traveling through the waters. 
Nigel pleaded in panic, "Angel…I mean Sekhmet…Have them stop. You know how much I love you. I will never ever mock you again."
They both backed away till they hit the wall paralleling the majestical throne. 
Angel said, "He is arriving!"
"RA?!"
"Who else ignorant servant!"
"Don't call me that!"
A bright light magnificently tore through the premises forcing Angel and Nigel to bend over and cover their eyes. A loud splash sent waves showering them with water. 
Suddenly a deep spine chilling voice with a majestical tone spoke in Ancient Egyptian, "Sekhmet wife of Pharaoh Seti, reawakened for a good cause in the universe, what brings you to my realm from the afterlife of your people?"
Angel suddenly replied in ancient Egyptian with a frightened voice, "Please forgive my boldness but I have a quest to fulfill and the keepers of the Temple of Amenram kept me from achieving it. They are the ones who forced me to cross your path."
"The Holy Relic you try to find is a very powerful domain and I dare not challenge its' will. I have no authority over it."
"Please don't obstruct our paths then and let us be."
"You shall have what you inquire of me Sekhmet. Your earthly glory shall be bestowed upon you until the purpose of your mission is fulfilled completely and you return to the afterlife of your forefathers. Be diligent in your search for what you seek is within your grasp."
The being continued his way through the streams tearing through the waters, disrupting the peace of the cavern, till he disappeared through the other entrance. Nigel slowly opened his eyes, rubbing them from the brightness that almost blinded him. Spectrums of dancing colors caused his vision to go hazy for a moment's time. As his sight cleared up he stood eyeing Angel with wonder. He took a couple of steps back bewildered at the majesty she was in. A beautiful white robe clothed her body and a crown dotted around its sides with sparkling gems topped her head. She was in pure leather sandals instead of her boots that she wore moments ago. 
After a minute's time he calmly stated, "I believe you sweetheart."
She replied in ancient Egyptian, "I don't understand."
He closed his eyes trying to remember his linguistic knowledge he reaped upon his work in Egypt. He calmly stated, "You make the most beautiful queen my eyes ever saw. I believe you sweetheart."
"Don't call me sweetheart. You will make him jealous."
"Who?"
"My husband Seti of course."
"BUT HE'S DEAD!!!" Nigel yelled. 
"Not in my world he isn't. He has only begun his afterlife moments ago."
"OK your majesty. We have a quest to fulfill. You still remember what we came here for?"
"Follow me?" 
She walked up to the banks of the big streams looking at the waters that returned to their calmness once again. Nigel approached her and asked while inspecting the wet torch in his hand, "Listen if we are going to dive its better you give me your crown so it won't get damaged. I still have the bag of that soldier." 
"Silence servant."
Nigel threw away the bag and useless torch, parting a distance from her annoyed again. It wasn't easy for him to handle her strict temper but he knew that there was something wrong and it will go away with due time. He had to handle what was going on patiently for his love's sake. Chanting caught his attention. They were verses he was hearing for the first time, requests for help from Sekhmet to an unknown entity.
"Come to my help and rescue me, come fulfill your queens will, come from the fields of reeds without any haste and make the waters still."
"Fields of reeds were worked by the Pharaohs' and nobles' servants in the afterlife." His skin began to crawl all over again as he anticipated what might happen. Shooting down walking mummies that are three thousand years old, killing demons of the Egyptian underworld, talking to legendary gods, and now only God knows what was to come. He pumped his shotgun in preparation but Sekhmet suddenly ordered screaming, "What are you doing!!!" 
But it was too late. Four muscular well built servants tore out of the waters and stood with short handled sickles in their hands smiling menaces at Nigel. Nigel gulped hard and froze in his place with surprise. Within a seconds' time they raised their sickles and hurled them with full force at him. Sekhmet screamed with freight as Nigel jumped away from his place. The sickles circled like a bladed fan as they rocketed through the air and crashed on the wall chipping the limestone from their thrust and fell to the floor. 
Sekhmet shrieked sending echoes through the massive chamber "CEASE YOUR ATTACK!!!"
Nigel stood up and aimed his shotgun but stopped as he noticed the servants cease their movement at Sekhmet's orders. All four of them approached her and knelt before her with respect. One of them asked, "What can your servants do for you?"
Sekhmet seeing Nigel was safe turned her attention to the servants and ordered, "Stop the waters till we cross its doors," 
The servant replied, "Her majesty must hasten as we might not be able to hold them back for long, and this might anger Ra our god as well. Never before have the waters been cut back from their source."
"This should be enough."
She looked at Nigel commanding, "You almost killed yourself. Now do you believe me? Follow me. It’s a good thing they weren't soldiers; and from now on you will call me your majesty!"
Nigel rubbed his neck at the sight of the sickles with their sharp semi-circular ends lying on the floor besides the wall. All four of them where accurately aimed at his neck. That was very close. "Yes I do your majesty." He answered with a nervous voice.
The guards walked with unseen one man discipline towards the stone barrier that was at the side of the stream's entrance. All four of them began pushing, their muscles flexing strongly, against the heaviness they were moving out of place. The barrier began moving towards its corresponding bank releasing a deep shuffling sound. Gradually the waters ceased rushing as the barrier crossed its full length closing the entrance. A huge trap door half way the length of the river with a huge boulder on top came into view as the beds of the deep stream that were full of natural debris cleared from the currents. Descending stone steps carved within the bank wall, withered by the strong currents but still within usable condition, rested close by. "Obviously remnants of the worksite that was here up until the completion of the project," Nigel thought as they quickly descended the flight into the deeply dug stream bed and hurried within the vastness of the schism to the iron trap door. Nigel attempted to lift the boulder but was no match for its heaviness. He looked up Sekhmet and pleaded, "Have your servants help me." They both looked and gasped with surprise as the stone wall began rattling with the water pressure, "Quickly call them before it’s too late." 
Sekhmet looked at the servants that were dwarfed by the distances and signaled for help. One of them quickly jumped into the stream bed with utmost easiness and ran towards them. Nigel backed off allowing him to do his job. He eyed with wonder as the servant shoved the boulder aside with one hand.  Suddenly the barrier cracked at a weak side leaking big amounts of water that rushed towards them. Sekhmet and Nigel eyed with horror as they saw the fearsome tides thundering through the channel. The servant quickly hastened opening the iron trap door revealing a stone flight of steps. They both descended as the servant closed the trap door with a powerful slam, heavy waters descending with them through the uneven sides of the door. Sekhmet and Nigel descended the flight of steps carefully, feeling every next step in their wake from the dense darkness that suddenly engulfed them, the waters doubling the dangers of slipping on the solid stone. Eventually they met a short corridor with a closed door; the unending seeping waters raising the water level inside the corridor to their ankles heralding danger they had to stop. Strangely their was no lock locking the door. It resembled a lengthy piece of iron blocking the entrance. Three bars were at its top indicating another passage behind it. Nigel tried rattling it but it was very stiff.
"Your majesty what now! You brought us here!" Nigel hollered accusingly.
Sekhmet Yelled back sternly, "And what are you here for servant. Work and get us out of here." She felt its outer surface with her arm. No engravings were felt on its smooth surface. "This door wasn't placed by my people. If it was done by my people they would have engraved their writings on it."
Nigel answered back attempting to calm the situation down, "Ok. What you're saying is true. So this is some sort of dead end. But we haven't reached all the way here to die." He eyed Sekhmet in the face and said, "At least the Angel that I know will never forgive me if I don't help her and do my best."
Her eyes shot spears of madness as she replied, "You keep mentioning this Angel to me. Is she more valuable to you than your queen you traitor? And get working. If you don't start working we will die!" The water reached knee length as the ceaseless stream above continued flooding their cubed corridor. 
There was nothing known to him on the face of this planet that would possible hurl this sturdy door out of its place. His shot gun would greatly anger her phantom guardians, provoking them to take surprise attacks on him. He was deprived of any tools that would help him dig around it and oust it out of its place. It was a truly choking stressful situation to even think under; a slow nearing merciless death. Obviously whomever erected this door walled the water and fortified it to handle tremendous pressure. 
Nigel asked helplessly, "Your Majesty can't your servants come and help. Can't you summon them again."
"No. This is part of the underworld. They cannot follow me here."
"Why didn't you say so?"
Sekhmet said indifferently, "You never asked."
"And…underworld? Is there something I should know your majesty?" He asked as he pumped his shotgun.
"I will tell you only what you must know and right now there is nothing."
Nigel aimed his shotgun at the top edge of the door frustrated as the water reached an endangering waist level. He fired a round that left deafening echos in the small corridor. Sekhmet suddenly screamed with terror and covered her ears, "Stop this loud noise." 
The door swayed from its place releasing a squeak. Nigel pulled Sekhmet towards him and hugged her consoling, "Calm down, please. This is our only way out."
She pushed him away screaming, "Please back away! You mustn't touch me!"
Suddenly the waters' pressure caused the door to hurl from its place to the floor with a big rattling. The currents continued across to the adjacent chamber. Nigel released a sigh of relief as the water level decreased around them. He took his lighter out and lighted the entrance searching for any nearby torches as they carefully stepped into the next room. Despite its light flame, signaling the weak fuel it had, a torch became apparent on the other side of the entrance. He took it from its place and lit it. The breathtaking design of the room came to view. 
A narrow stepping ledge surrounded the perimeter of the hallow grounds of the room that were almost completely filled with the water seeping from the stream through the corridor. A dazzling mini waterfall system seeping from the walls also fed the pond of water. A rectangular rocky ledge about five feet by two feet connected with the corridor projected into the pools' body, like a mini pier, and then ended. Nigel was able to make out four other torches at the walls to his right and left. He lit them illuminating the entire premises. His eyes bounced back and forth between the corridor and the pool several times before his mind glowed with knowledge and appreciation at the intricate water system feeding the pool. The pool was surely connected to something else feeding from it and whomever walled the waters from here waited patiently till the pool went empty. Their search had to have begun immediately after. "Treasure hunters never left quarters of the ancients ever in peace."
Sekhmet stood at the rocky pier looking about her with a confused face. Nigel felt as if she was giving something in her mind deep thought. He slowly approached her but stepped on something in his wake grabbing both their attention. 
Sekhmet suddenly in an unexpected gesture smiled back at him as her face came into focus in the wake of the torch light. She asked, "I still don't know your name."
Nigel found it hard not to smile back at her beautiful face that radiated suddenly a lot of sympathy. He answered while he picked up the objects he stumbled upon, "Nigel."
He studied the objects in the light while Sekhmet replied, "Nigaaal?"
"Nigel…Ni…gel."
"Nigel. Is that right? What is this in your hand?"
"It's a pack of shotgun bullets with things resembling glasses." Nigel studied the very strange object in his hand. The caliber of bullets he was eyeing was not to be found at all in any commercial ammunition store he knew. Their shape and size completely differed from his rounds as they were smaller, probably indicating a gun smaller than his. Despite the difference they were definitely something to worry about as they were modern age equipment. Obviously whom every left them was probably lightening up for the swim, or was never able to return back to retrieve them. He shuddered at the thought.
Sekhmet asked curiously, "What is shot gun bullets?"
Nigel explained patiently, "They are ammunition we feed the guns to fire and kill with."
Sekhmet frowned as she looked at the weapon and ordered, "This thing is frightening Nigel. Keep it away from me."
"But these, I think…" He turned one of the plastic glasses in his hand, pulling its band repeatedly, studying its purpose.  He finally figured it out and placed them on his eyes, fastening the elastic band around his head. The hazy vision soon made him remove it quickly. 
"Your majesty I think those things are for diving purposes. I personally never used them before. I fear also the other end of these waters may hold something unpleasant. But we have to dive through them. There is no other way out."
"We will come back to the temple through these waters Nigel."
Nigel shot a questioning look at her, "How are you so sure?"
"Read what is written."
He read the inscriptions on the walls, "Those waters bless the pure of heart and lead them to Pharaoh Seti's Royal Residence. But to those seeking evil, it turns to a curse and kills them."
He gulped hard as the curse enlightened him as to what probably came about of the owners of the rounds and glasses. "What does this mean your majesty?"
"Those quarters where never used before us. This place was meant to be a shelter for us if the worst ever came and the battles were taken to our cities. There is a short cut from the waters to the temple also." 
Nigel closed his eyes for a moments' time and attempted to regroup his strength. He opened his gun and placed some rounds in it. Sekhmet warned, "Don't use this once we arrive in the temple. You won't need to."
"This is for here and not the temple; you see someone left these objects behind and never came back to collect them. Can you hold your breath long enough?"
"Long enough to reach safety."
Nigel took off his shirt and removed Sekhmet's crown from her head. He wrapped it well in a bundle and tied it up with the long sleeves of his shirt. Sekhmet looked at his muscular body with glowing eyes, reminding him of Angel's loving looks. How much he missed her. He noticed and smiled back making her suddenly move her eyes away in embarrassment. With blushing red cheeks she ordered, "We have to get going."
"So there is a passionate woman underneath her stern royal disposition," he thought. However despite what her eyes revealed, the woman was loyal to her love. He respected her devotion to her Pharaoh's love. He was surely lucky to have her as his wife. But for a moments time it almost felt as if Angel was looking at him, it was her loving looks. 
Nigel fastened the goggles on her eyes then his'. He requested, "Your majesty try to stay besides me." 
Sekhmet replied, "I can't see anything clearly,"
"This might change underneath the water. They might help."
 She nodded back. They both took in a deep breath and jumped with a big splash diving into the deep. The waters were very cool making them shiver at first instances. Soon they were navigating through the deep, the goggles providing the required vision excellently. The waters extended straightforward into a deep tunnel dug within the rocks. They followed the tunnel hoping that they would arrive to a breakthrough soon. It was a very dangerous game of betting against the unknown but it was a risk they had to take. As the tunnel extended in front of them with no apparent breakthroughs Nigel felt the urge to return back. But soon they reached a T shaped crossing. Sekhmet gestured to go right and he followed her. Shortly a surface formed above them with lively breakers reverberating on it. They swam up and tore through the surfaces panting and gasping for air. "Thank God," Nigel screamed out as he appreciated the fresh cool oxygen of the small cave around them. "Those were a lethal fifteen seconds."  
Sekhmet moved to the bank with Nigel following her and sat down breathing heavily with a pale face. Nigel sat besides her placing his bundled shirt and shot gun aside, "Are you alright."
"Yes. I am," She barely was able to speak, her chest moving quickly with her heavy gasping and breathing, as if trying to suck back in her almost departed soul. "I'm not used to swimming or diving."
"Where are we?"
Sekhmet pointed to a door behind them. "This leads to the temple of Amenram. If we had headed left we would have reached Pharaohs residence." She unwrapped the bundle and placed her crown back on. Nigel followed her as she headed towards the two closed doors. A scarab beetle rested in the middle point were the two doors met and closed. It was turned upside down. She turned it anticlockwise till it was head up. The doors opened revealing a room containing a flight of stairs. Four torches lit the room. 
"What does this mean?"
"They are expecting us."

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