After 3324 BC, Upper Egypt. Kairos life 31: Emotep, the Scorpion
Mother Beset ran into the house and slammed the door against all the yelling and screaming in the village square. She made her children get into the corners and under the table and tossed blankets over them because she did not know what else to do. “Aha,” she spoke to the eldest. “Keep your brothers covered and quiet.”
“Mother?” Emotep spoke from under the table, but Beset ran back out the front door.
“Quiet!” Aha commanded.
“Who made you Ra?”
“You will listen to Aha-Aa, because I am the eldest.” Aha was twelve. “And Mama said so.”
“You are the smelliest,” Ka joked. He was only seven but he generally took ten-year-old Emotep’s side.
Aha looked about ready to abandon his corner and use his fist when Emotep spoke again. “Where is Nidjau?” Nidjau was the baby, just about five.
“Mother?” Ka asked. The door crashed open. A man came into the house, looked once around, rubbed his finger on the table as if checking for dust. Emotep saw the sandals from beneath the table and was only happy Ka did not scream, or Aha. The man looked around, no doubt saw the blankets wiggling in the back corners by the bed, but ignored them. Even if Ka moved, he would figure it was children. As long as there were no adults hiding, he turned back to the door.
“Burn it,” the man said.
Two men responded. “ Yes Lord Seth.”
Lord Seth grunted as he left, but the two others came in with torches. They set the reed chairs aflame and left the torches on the matted floor, Fortunately, they did not stay to watch it burn, and the boys were able to get out from the blankets. Aha immediately tried to use his blanket to put out the fire. Ka tried real hard not to cry or shout out in his fear. Emotep thought.
“Aha, if we put it out they will come back and wonder who put it out.” Emotep grabbed Nidjau’s doll with his blanket and told Ka to bring his blanket. He went to the back window and looked. Their house backed up to a small grove of trees. No one was there, so he climbed out and turned to help Ka to the ground. Aha came over to the window and yelled at them.
“Where are you going? Mother said to stay here.”
“Yell a little louder. Maybe the enemy will hear you and come running with swords to cut us all into little pieces.” Aha put his hand to his mouth, glanced back at the spreading fire.
“Wait up,” he said and disappeared for a moment. He came back with an un-burnt blanket and a sack of bread with a couple of onions and a skin of Papa’s best beer. “Okay,” he climbed out.
“This way. Keep your head down, like we practiced. Try not to be seen,” Emotep said. Ka nodded and followed in his footsteps. Aha just had to say something.
“Who would have thought learning to sneak around would prove useful. Where are we going?”
“The clubhouse,” Emotep answered. Aha just nodded. It was the obvious place for the children and deliberately hidden, more or less, from the grown-ups.
The three brothers made it to the woods and a short way down the back hill they came to a spot where three trees grew close together, practically from the same seed. Emotep whistled and a rope ladder came snaking down from above. He sent Ka up first.
“Go ahead,” Aha said, so Emotep went up next. Aha brought up the rear to the place where big branches from the trees intertwined and fought for dominance. They laid out some wood there, knowing it would not be seen from below. They also could not be seen from the village, though they could spy through the branches and see some. They could also spy out the other side where it was a very good view all the way down the hill to the Nile. Emotep once estimated he could see almost a mile of the river from there.
Ankara was already there with big Usersi, and Ankara brought his little sister, Neferet. She was just five, Nidjau’s age, and had been crying. Emotep covered her with his blanket before he spoke.
“They will probably thrash through the bushes below, so we have to be very quiet until we are sure they have left.”
“Their boat is on the river,” Ankara reported.
“When it leaves,” Emotep said again, and Aha just had to say something.
“Who would have thought this clubhouse of yours would ever prove useful?”
The wait was not long, only about an hour, and then the boys had questions.
“Were those the minions of Set you warned us about?” Usersi asked. Emotep merely nodded.
“I heard two soldiers talk to Lord Seth,” Ka said.
“But how did you know the minions of Set would come here?” Ankara was the curious one. He was a thinker in his way.
“It is what I told you. Osiris is stuck between life and death. He cannot come here anymore except as a ghost. Set thinks now he can conquer the whole river, but he will kill the river unless we can stop him.”
“How do you propose to stop a god?” Aha asked. An image of the death of Tiamut flashed through Emotep’s mind, but he did not mention it.
“Not the god, but his minions. They are not gods. We can learn to fight and beat them back to the swamps of lower Egypt where they belong.”
“I can learn to fight,” Usersi volunteered.
Ankara shook his head, but his little sister spoke up. “I can learn to fight, too.”
“Me too,” Ka said.
Aha said nothing for a change.
Avalon 2.11: People In Time … Next Time