Broken Timepiece CH 1
The funeral procession had finished its journey through the capital by early evening. Mourners dressed in wild blue gowns despite the twisting sands and molten sun rays pouring from above followed tirelessly behind, showing off their tears. Tutankhaten watched the parade dawdle by, thinking it was like an inverted comet. Dark and slow instead of a blink in bright light. Depressing and tedious instead of making dreams. But long. Longer than the longest comet's tail, the weepers stretched on. The whole city must have been out that day, even though it was so hot the body inside the broad stone coffin must be melting like old goat cheese tossed in fire.
The boy shifted, holding on to the stone window ledge habitually as an extra precaution to keep from toppling down to the terrain below. Everyone else was always so careful, so it was expected he must be as well. It was futile to protect the reckless.
Soldiers marched by the closed door, and Tutankhaten caught a s
Broken Timepiece CH 45Broken Timepiece CH 451 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
He was about to say something further when he heard a noise. It seemed like his imagination at first, but it was a rhythmic sound at the reaches of his senses. It sounded like brushing or sweeping, like Ankh was scraping the bottom of her sandal on one of the ropes, but she was still. Then the noise gained strength until it was scratching, the noise of something metal scraping on rock. Someone was coming.
Without saying anything, Ankh was on her feet. Tutankhaten was close behind her and got a face full of sand for a reward. She pulled down a flap in the ceiling and let in a few pounds of the stuff in the process. He had not heard anything before but the sounds of skittering below them really did indicate the presence of a lot of very large scorpions on the floor. Moonlight flooded the room and their shiny bodies were stacked on top of each other. Ankh climbed to the highest part of the web and pushed off, half shimmying half rolling out of the hole and into the fresh air. Tuta
Broken Timepiece CH 3Broken Timepiece CH 32 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Perennifer, the young head of the medical department, was in a fog of new obligations and hurried off immediately when Tutankhaten told him his services were required elsewhere, leaving Ankh by herself.
The young orphan, Ankh, was wrapped in a white silk sheet, which had become nearly clear from the river water it had soaked up away from her skin. She was young, his age, with long hair and hollow cheeks. Her skin was soft looking and fair, even in the flickering orange lamplight. Hard to believe she was born of a cold blooded murderer, Tutankhaten mused. Her mother's identity and whereabouts were officially unknown, and it was easy to assume she had suffered and died at her husband's hand. Though, Ankh was so pretty.
Suddenly, her eyes flew open and she gasped. She sat up quickly, muttering something unintelligible. Tutankhaten couldn't see her expression because of her hands, which were covering her face, except for the space between her thumb and index f
Broken Timepiece CH 2Broken Timepiece CH 23 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Broken Timepiece CH 2
Some hours later, Tutankhaten ventured silently down the hall to the throne room, where the former Pharaoh, his father, was residing. He opened the door silently to see him languishing on Meritaten's seat, a dainty throne just recently carved for her slight body. Akhenaten was too tall for it. In one hand he held Meritaten's carved horse, a toy she had taken everywhere with her since birth.
"Father?" Tutankhaten spoke so quietly he could barely hear his own voice. "My guardian rescued a girl from the river this evening." Akhenaten nodded to show he was paying attention without looking up. "She is the daughter of the man Nusnbar, an orphan under protection of the Nation."
"I see. So I lose a daughter and gain a bottom feeder," Akhenaten said bitterly. Tuntankhaten's face darkened.
"Apparently she's been a ward of the state for the last few years. It's just that she's hurt now and has no where else to go. Nakhtmin believes it unsafe for her to remain in the slave co
Broken Timepiece Ch 43Broken Timepiece Ch 431 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
“So you don’t have any desire to look for her? “
“No. My personal stuff doesn’t get in the way of my professional stuff anymore. She went out there. If she wants to find us, she can follow the troops back here. Not that I’d talk to her if she did.”
Tutankhaten nodded in what he hoped was a convincing manner, finished destroying the captain, feigned a yawn and decided to turn in.
Like last night, he could not get a wink of sleep even though his head was heavy. It was not until morning and after breakfast that he felt like he could properly sleep.
“So do it,” Nakhtmin said. “I’ll scope out the lay of the land for the day and see if anything’s changed.”
Also like the day before, he managed to sleep until almost night time. Horemheb was still gone. He had apparently taken over much of the city by the docks and was using it for his rotating army to sleep and heal in. If he chose, he would not have to retu
Broken Timepiece Ch 40Broken Timepiece Ch 401 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
He waved one of the servants over. "Hoja, bring the maps. I should like to show these gentlemen the weak points of my old home."
They were unable to get much work done before the light failed and Tonqua's physician forbade him to light a lamp, telling him to rest instead. Tonqua did not argue, perhaps because the guardians standing in the corner were bobbing as their heads fell forward in sleep.
Nakhtmin had refused his chair and had stood with his arms crossed, perfectly still and as intimidating as a statue. By the time they broke for the night, he must have been tired and sore from holding the position. When they left he installed himself on the far side of Tutankhaten's room, previously the room of the city's treasurer. It was about half the size of Smenkhkare's room, but with a window so large it ate up half of the outer wall. A stone screen could be shifted in front of it, but things seemed quiet so they wheeled it open for the evening as Tonqua's kitchen staff brought a
Broken Time Piece Chapter 32Broken Time Piece Chapter 321 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Tutankhaten rolled his eyes. "Don't get your ovaries in a knot. There's nothing you can do about her being on the other boat. I don't think she's going to climb on a rope to you so you might as well calm down."
Nakhtmin rolled his eyes. "When she freaks out and dumps me, I'll be blaming you."
* * * *
From the second cataract, the Nile partially loses its stability. For the next four days, the crew spent hours navigating dangerous rapids populated with crocodiles, hippopotami, and lions. Tension from days of close proximity began to lead to vicious fistfights. The fresh food had started to run out, and the drinking became more liberal to compensate. Akhenaten stayed in the cabin most of the time, so his son found himself leaned against the railing by the stern to stay out of his way. Sensing he wanted to be left alone, Nakhtmin hovered somewhere near the middle and grasped at tasks as they came to him, occasionally annoying the oarsmen. He spent a good portion of it dueling
Broken Timepiece Chapter 30Broken Timepiece Chapter 301 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
That night, the ships passed by the great metropolis of Thebes. Much of it was hidden in darkness, but lights from houses flickered on the bank for miles. He knew Thebes was large, but as the hours passed and the city sprawled on, disbelief welled up in him until he was nearly flabbergasted. It was massive, and looming shadows suggested spires, pillars, sphinxes, and all other sorts of architectural amazements. He had never seen even a street map of Thebes, but the idea hypnotized him. Tens of thousands of people, perhaps hundreds of thousands of them, maybe even millions, all working together in a flood of knowledge, invention and culture.
Most people on the barge had gone to sleep already. Somehow, the sight of Thebes was all the more pleasing in the absence of anyone coming over and asking what he thought of it. In a personal way, the city was his.
He imagined Ankh trying to get him to walk her to the "south end" of Thebes. It would take all day long. All the citizens must have hors
Broken Timepiece CH 29Broken Timepiece CH 291 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Tutankhaten snuck out the project he had been working on prior to their departure and took it outside. He leaned against the rail by the stern and continued drawing, every so often casting a glance to see if Ankh was visible again. The day passed but she did not come back.
The third day began in much the same way. Nakhtmin seemed to have run out of energy fighting with Akhenaten, so he stayed as far away from the old man and as absorbed in fishing as he could possibly appear. The old man strode about on the deck with a big smile on his face, pleased with his victory, regardless of whether or not changes would actually be introduced. When he got tired of this, he went inside and continued squinting at maps of the area.
In the late afternoon Nakhtmin wandered over to Tutankhaten, who was sitting cross legged on the deck and calculating an angle.
"Can I ask you something strange?"
"If you think I may know the answer, you might as well," Tutankhaten said without looking up.
Broken Timepiece CH 27Broken Timepiece CH 271 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Nakhtmin changed his tone to seriousness. "Listen friend, I'mma let you in on a little insider's secret. Your father has never been on one campaign. Not one. Ever. Horemheb has been on a few, and he's good. He's weaseled out of spots that talented men have been trapped in. Yes your dad is older than you and he probably read the reports of Horemheb's strategies, but those were years ago, even if he did. He may have been the king once, but he isn't anymore. He gave it to you, and that was his choice. Horemheb knows what he's doing. And even if your dad was right, it would be worse to change everything now that we've already started. So just calm down. He can babble if he really wants to babble, but that's all it is. Let's go ahead as planned."
The next morning, Akhenaten wasted no time before reintroducing his opinions on the itinerary of the journey. Nakhtmin, still determined to overcompensate, immediately began debating the old man about his statements, which rapidly escalated
Broken Timepiece CH 25Broken Timepiece CH 252 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
This wasn't what I had in mind when I said you ought to do more campaigns. You've already been here once, but as you no doubt see, Kasha needs to be brought down. I would have sent second and third forces into the other Nubian kingdoms to quell any citizen revolts from happening, but Horemheb wants to become a wide presence in Nubia alone, and you listened to him so I guess that's already too late to change. As it stands, you could be wandering into hostile territory right through the centre. No one attacks Egypt from the Nile, do you know why?
There's only Nubians and disorganized tribes along the river?
No. It's because sailing down the Nile opens up attacks from both the east and west. I'll show you. If a ship comes down the main drag, here, Thebes could attack it while Karnak sends troops to the small cities on the other bank which could serve as bases. Attackers would never get past the deep south. They would be attacked on both sides and they could never pass. The would
Broken Timepiece Chapter 24Broken Timepiece Chapter 242 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The barges lined up on the coast. There were twenty waiting for citizens in Amarna with more moving down the Nile, carrying archers, horses, chariots, weapons, oars, men. Tutankhaten's was wide and half covered with a reed house in the centre to keep the sun off. The armor had taken advanced time to construct and was loaded in a crate onto his ship without him having seen it. Somehow though, he wondered if Horemheb had not instructed the armorer to keep it back and hide it on its way onto the ship, as if it were something of a surprise. The only cost of the secrecy was that it might not fit and be completely useless. He dragged plenty of papers on with him, including his project which was still not finished, in order to keep busy for the fifteen days they would be travelling.
The town had taken to the departure as if it were some sort of attraction. People, mostly women, lined up along the shore, letting their colored dresses hang in the water, waving and calling to the men on board. N
Broken Timepiece CH 21Broken Timepiece CH 212 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
A personal favourite! Enjoy your read.
"Yes. That or Smenkhkare's old room more or less completes my range of motion here. If you need something. . . or even if you don't I'd like to see you."
He backed slowly out of the room and slid the door closed as quietly as he could. More people were moving about in the hallways. He moved past them without seeing them. Everything in his body felt heavy and cold. He retreated.
The plan he had formulated to see Ay that morning evaporated somewhere between Ankh's room and his. For the moment, he just wanted to be alone where it was quiet without Ay's eyes dissecting his motives like he was some kind of an insect. He was incapable of facing the old man right now, justified as his reasons were.
The kitchen staff had brought breakfast again, so he absently grabbed a chunk of sweet bread and headed out into the open half of his room, where the ceiling gave way to the sun. It was late morning and the air was rapidly gaining heat. E
Broken Timepiece CH 16Broken Timepiece CH 162 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
They rounded a bend and the King's House was in sight. The river was only a meter or so across now, and no one was standing on the flat land between them and the North entrance. Not much time left.
"I'd like to be of some use to you if I can," he said all at once. "This business with this man Kha seems like it has cost you a lot of worry this evening. What is his problem with you, and can I help to fix things?"
She heaved a long sigh. "That's sweet, but I don't think there's anything that anyone can do."
"So you're saying he has a legitimate reason to hate you?"
"Ugh. Ask Nakhtmin. If you didn't already know about it, I'm not the one to break the bad news to you."
A bad feeling burst in through his heart. It was a little like dread but not as pervasive. "I hadn't imagined it was as bad as you describe."
"It's. . . I'm not so cruel to leave you without any information at all after an opener like that. All right. So Kha's sister is Isis. Have you heard of her?"
He scanned his mem
Broken Timepiece CH 15Broken Timepiece CH 152 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Fed snagged an oil lamp from the top of his bar.
"All right, the place has a babysitter. Off we go."
Darkness had fallen completely in the meantime, and the weak breeze that had begun blowing in the evening had petered out entirely. The air was completely still. Loud music was playing and there were the sounds of drunken laughing and singing women coming from a very long and tall building situated at the end of the South Road. A naked man was being suspended by his ankles from the second floor. Things were quieter to the North, though many of the houses still had lights on, with snippets of music, conversation, or prayer drifting out into the silent street. The stars were so bright the sky was almost blue again. There was no moon.
"Even in the night the heat just will not give up," said Fed, patting the sweat off of his forehead with the end of his sleeve.
"Was Kha saying anything, you know, before he left? Was he actually planning on doing something?" Ankh said, completely ig