I stride up and out, turn to my wer-mer and the shock nearly hibernates me. Ib-senef but they’ve made a right mess! What did they do to its face? I move quickly to stand before it and utter the wakening sequence.
“Y hr!” Its voice is muffled and the words are mangled.
Noseless and lipless with over half its head hacked away, I should have expected that. I quiesce it and reach for the sands. They rise to my call and I shape them and then realign their bindings to redress the damage. The loss of matrix density I can do nothing about for now.
I waken it again and the long snout turns toward me, untold centuries of sand and crud spitting from it’s neck joints. Aragonite matrices fire under stimulus for the first time in a long while.
“Anhubeth. You have returned.”
I pat it on the end of its new nose and ask for a report. Thinking of the possibly extended period I’ve slept for, I hastily qualify that down to a summary.
“The species that designated itself Homo sapiens rose to prominence as predicted some seven millennia after you relinquished guardianship.”
Seven millennia? Wups. Thought I adjusted the century dial.
“For five centuries after that they maintained a politically diverse and frequently violent nation-state model before a global nuclear and biological war reduced the population to approximately five billion.”
Down to half a ten to the ten? Oh, this is not good.
“From there, a global regime arose that elevated itself successfully into a spacefaring culture within a century.”
From global war to off-planet capability in under a century? That’s my hominids.
“For two and a half centuries this culture thrived, before schisms occurred due to the diversity of goals amongst the stellar colonies. This led to sporadic and scattered attempts at empire building that culminated in an interplanetary war. That ceased a century ago with the demise of the inhabitants on the few planets that had rudimentary spacefaring cultures remaining.”
Not again. Every ib-senef time they get so close and then, as if to prove the adage about the higher you climb the further you fall, they discover a new way to plunge themselves back to being farmers. I look about. No agriculture in sight along the riverbanks. Okay, this time they made it all the way back to hunter-gatherer.
I look up at my oldest companion: “Anything left?”
“Negative. Scattered tribes skirmish over the burgeoning fauna. Cultivated crops gone wild but still harvestable are regarded as gifts from the gods that survived the great battle that marked the defeat of the evil ones. You know this tune, Anhubeth.”
Yes I do, more’s the pity. I stride back to the entrance of the passage, crouch and shout down to the rest: “Seger kheti overran, my mehwet. Get up here. We have the Iteru culture to rebuild and a world civilisation to design. This time, no napping.”
Wer-mer - Big friend
Ib-senef - Dance of blood (expletive)
Seger kheti - Quiet retreat
Mehwet - Family
Iteru - Original name of the Nile
This story is one of the many in my third science fantasy anthology, Come Tomorrow.Which can be bought in paperback form from here: www.lothp.co.uk/2.html (scroll down, it's third from the bottom).
Or as an ebook (multiple formats) from here: www.smashwords.com/books/view/…
And for Apple devices from iTunes: itunes.apple.com/gb/book/come-…
For further details, the Come Tomorrow page on my website is www.lizardsofthehost.co.uk/22.…
I've been a 'fan' of the Ancient Egyptian pantheons for some while, aided and abetted by two trips to Egypt and picking up some fascinating first-hand experience and a couple of locally published studies.
'My' pantheon have been on Earth a long, long while. There are currently three tales involving them. This one was the first, the one I posted yesterday ( rafellin.deviantart.com/art/Fo… ) is the third, and I'll try to remember to get the second up here when real life stops interfering with my plans to do a big update around here.
Oh, I like that ... presses quite a few buttons with me too!