For a man who was the living embodiment of the gods - and a god himself - Pharaoh Imkehtot felt remarkably powerless.
The four orbs had been gathered at last, returned to their rightful place where together they harbored the power of the elements. Over centuries, they had been stolen and those who held even a single orb could cause great havoc. Now that they were together, the power was much greater than simply their cumulative sum.
Imkehtot had immediately had all records of the orbs destroyed, even chipping any reference to them from monuments and tombs. To let others know that such a thing existed was to invite greed and disaster. But erasing records was not enough, nor was secreting the orbs away. They would need a guardian; someone who held the knowledge of the priests and possessed the skills of a warrior.
Imkehtot knew of such a man. His favorite son, Nehktu was a warrior-priest. Such a thing was a sacrilege under normal circumstances but the elder priests, the few who knew of the orbs, understood the need for this guardian. Being the son of his third wife, Nehktu was not in line to be pharaoh although he was undoubtedly well-suited for it.
But Imkehtot dreamed. He knew of the future and knew that his own bloodline would not rule forever. They would survive, largely anonymously and scattered throughout the world - not necessarily a bad thing amidst the turbulence that Imkehtot foresaw. There would be other dynasties that would rule the Two Kingdoms and the last would not even be native born but from the Greeks.
In the here and now, Imkehtot would sacrifice his son. And Nehktu's sacrifice would be unimaginable.
"Are you dreaming again, Father?"
Imkehtot turned as Nehktu stood proudly before him. Powerfully built from years in the chariot and working with the bow and sword, Nehktu's physical form masked the much stronger abilities of his mind. As usual, a trace of a grin played across his features. He would soon be so lost from everything he knew - and was well aware of that. At age twenty-two, he was already extraordinary and was willingly putting all he knew of life away to be entrusted with the ages.
"Are you ready, my son?"
"Of course, Father. It will begin at midnight."
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
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Changes last made on: Tuesday, February 27, 2018