Weret nudged Elder Stow before the shuttle came to the ground. The sound of the landing was terribly loud, but Weret shouted into the Elder’s ear. “Can you put up a screen wall between us and the ship, just in case?” Elder Stow nodded and pulled out his little box while Weret turned to the Egyptian. “Captain. Captain!” she had to say it twice to get the man to close his astonished mouth and get his attention. “Keep your soldiers on the steps until we see what these visitors do.” The man nodded and ran to get his troop back up on the steps.
The shuttle set down in the courtyard. There was a minute while the engines shut down before a door opened up on the side of the ship. Three men stepped out, and despite the fancy blue and gold striped space suits with the high collars, and certainly in their faces and hands, they appeared human, if one discounted the slightly blue tint to the skin.
Lockhart whispered back. “You always think they should be jello-blobs.”
“He does,” Alexis confirmed and took Lincoln’s arm.
The three Bluebloods spread out. They had their weapons drawn and the way they moved caused Decker to go on high alert. He pulled his rifle up to the ready, and that caused Katie to do the same.
Weret moved two steps down, opened her arms and said her speech. “Welcome. The King is pleased to greet you and requests your presence in the hall of the gods.” She smiled. The Bluebloods answered with a full blast of their shuttle’s main gun. It stopped short of the steps while Elder Stow monitored his box.
“Impressive,” he said. “A real antique bit of fireworks, but impressive strength. That is about as far as they can go down that energy line before they hit a dead end and have to find a new energy source.”
“That was rude!” Weret looked angry, She stomped her foot on the steps, but the travelers smiled as did the Egyptians. Weret’s angry face was extremely cute, and her pregnancy just enhanced the cuteness. “Elder Stow,” she called, and he stepped down to join her.
“Gott-Druk.” One of the Bluebloods shouted when he saw him.
“I don’t know what you are thinking,” Weret groused. “There are no Pendratti or Sevarese here or whomever it is you are fighting right now.” She raised her hands to be sure she had their attention. “I gave you my King’s greeting,” she said and vanished from that place to be replaced by Junior in the full armor of the Kairos. The Bluebloods took a step back at that transformation. The Egyptian soldiers fell to their knees and dared not look up at the god.
“Now you need to hear the rules. You are not to kill the locals. You can visit, but only if you leave your weapons behind.” He snapped his finger and the three weapons in the hands of the three Bluebloods in the courtyard vanished. “Second, you are not permitted to breed on this planet. If you do, the baby will be aborted and so will the offending party. This planet is off limits for breeding. Third, you will show due respect for all who have authority on this planet. If you are here to repair your ship, as I see you are, do so, but break the rules and you will have a long walk home.” Junior snapped his fingers and the shuttle vanished. The man and two women still inside the shuttle were deposited on their rumps on the ground. Do I make myself clear?” he shouted the last.
The Blueblloods bunched up and showed very human expressions of surprise and wonder. They nodded as Junior went away and Weret came back bearing her meanest expression. It might have been more effective if Weret’s mean face was not even cuter than her angry face. Besides, she could not hold it. Her face blossomed into her beautiful smile as she invited the visitors to come meet her King,
“I’ll say that was clear,” another young woman appeared beside Weret and gave her a sisterly hug and kiss on the cheek. “I heard my younger-older brother all the way down in Bubastis. So what did I miss.”
Weret’s smile got bigger than ever. She was not just happy, she was excited, and she pointed to the travelers. “Friends of yours.”
The young woman’s eyes got big and she shrieked and literally flew up the steps to wrap her arms first around Katie and then around Lockhart. Katie was the one who guessed.
“My little lion girl?” Lockhart said, and Sakhmet was so thrilled to be remembered, she gave him a kiss. Then she kissed Katie and took their hands.
“I always dreamed if I was born a mortal human, you would be my parents.”
Katie looked up at Lockhart and he stammered, “And I am sure, if we married and had a little girl, we would want her to be just like you.” Katie smiled.
“My younger-older brother makes a great sister. I never had a real sister before.” She looked at Katie and batted her sad little eyes.
“We’ll see,” Katie said, and patted Sakhmet’s hand as she squeezed between the couple and took Katie’s arm and Lockhart’s arm.
Lockhart looked at the woman. “I think our scared little girl desperately trying to reach her father’s house has grown up,” he said. He patted Sakhmet’s other hand.
“You would make a wonderful daughter,” Katie said with an undisguised look at Lockhart.
“I accept.” Sakhmet smiled the smile of a true goddess and guided the couple into the King’s house, where they heard a stick rap three times sharply against a hollow log. A man’s voice followed.
“Narmer, the Aha Hor of the Great God Horus, Master of Aswan, King of Hekhen, Lord of Thebes, Protector of Abydos, the resting place of the Kings, Lord of all the Sedge, Wearer of the White crown and Ruler over all of Upper Egypt, give glory.”
“Holy—“ Katie found her mouth covered by Roland’s hand.
“We are entering days where it will be dangerous to tell what you know or what you think you know,” Roland said. “From now on we need to be careful not to disturb history.”
Katie nodded, and he let her go. She walked past Lincoln who had Alexis’ hand over his mouth in just the same way.
“Better to be like me,” Lockhart confided to Sakhmet. “If you don’t know anything there is no danger of speaking out of turn.”
“Oh, Dad!” Sakhmet scolded, but grinned.