“Let me get this straight.” Sakhmet was being coy. “You want me to transport you and me and Boston and this shuttle with the five Bluebloods and all of this material to the Place of the Lion in a heartbeat?”
“Please.” Weret was tired and feeling exceptionally heavy. She was beginning to think what Alexis said might be true, that she was off in her calculations and the baby might come any day.
“Okay,” Sakhmet said, and they were there. “I wouldn’t want you to go into labor on my account.”
Weret simply stepped up and gave her older-younger sister a kiss and a hug. Boston, who was no stranger to being transported by the gods, allowed a bit of time for the Bluebloods to get over their dizziness, confusion and total sense of disorientation before she spoke.
“Now, you need to call your Captain and your workers to pick up this material. Then you need to dock your shuttle and prepare it to be dismantled if necessary, as agreed.” She wanted to go outside and scope the landscape, but she knew she needed to eavesdrop on exactly what these Bluebloods told their Captain. She did not trust the man or the woman, the ones who did the talking the night before. She couldn’t say about the other three. They never said anything.
“Orders failed. Commander dead.” It was the woman who talked on the communication device. “Results. Three prisoners who claim they can fix the navigation system. One prisoner is the concubine of the White King and carries his heir. Recommendation. See what they can do with the equipment before selling them to the Red King. Work scow needed to pick up—”
“Ouch!” Boston felt a drop of blood and put her finger in her mouth. Somehow, the Blueblood male got behind her and scratched her. Boston already had reason not to like the guy. As Weret would say, he was not helping his case, and of course he said nothing to apologize, no excuse me or nothing.
Boston turned back to the woman on the communicator, but she had already signed off and was coming to the shuttle door. “Captain said ride in on the shuttle. It will get us through the ship’s screens and we can better guide you to the array from the inside.”
“I smell rats,” Weret said. “You going to visit Wadjt while Boston and I spend the day doing boring things?”
Sakhmet shook her head. “I owe father a visit. I think he is about ready to surrender Memphis, but the King in Buto is fighting.”
“Don’t be out of ear shot,” Weret said, and then she chided herself in her cheekiness for telling a goddess what to do.
As Boston helped Weret up into the shuttle, she whispered in High Elf, what she knew of the language. Roland was teaching her. It came out, “they make us captive,” rather than “they are calling us prisoners” but Weret got the gist of it.
They sat in the back of the shuttle so when they landed, Weret made the Bluebloods wait while she traded paces through time with Martok, the Bospori, the mathematical engineer, a life she would live impossibly far in the future. Martok simply said, “now we go,” and he let the Bluebloods off before he and Boston followed.
By two in the afternoon, they had everything repaired but one circuit, and neither could see any reason why that circuit should not work. Boston was very upset and frustrated with the whole convoluted thing by then, and the fact that they were not offered lunch irked her terribly.
“Wait!” Martok roared. “Let me get out first. Let me get out.” He had his head and tools inside the cabinet and Boston was getting out her wand. Boston waited, but barely. She waved her wand and shouted at the machine, and suddenly it sprang to life.
“It is a wonder you didn’t blow the whole thing to smithereens,” Martok said.
“I know,” Boston admitted, but she was glad that it worked.
“We’re done!” Martok shouted and Boston held her ears. A Bospori shout could be uncomfortably loud. Several Bluebloods came over to begin testing the equipment. Both the man and the woman who did the talking in Abydos came to escort them out.
“Bad feeling about this,” Boston said. Martok simply took and patted her hand like a kindly old grandfather, though currently he was no older than thirty.
When they reached the ramp to exit the ship, they saw three groups of men, each having twenty or more warriors, and three captains standing at the bottom of the ramp, arguing.
“Time for Weret to come home,” Martok said, and he gave Boston’s hand one more pat before Weret was there to let go of Boston’s hand and take her arm instead for support. “Let’s see what we have here.”
Weret and Boston barely reached the bottom of the ramp before Ptah appeared. While a third of the men fell to their knees before their god, he stepped up and gave Weret a kiss on the cheek. “Sakhmet has told me all about you,” he said. “And you must be the irrepressible Boston. I recognized the red hair.”
“Sir.” Boston did not know what else to say.
“So I take it these are locals, from Memphis,” Weret pointed to the men on their knees with their eyes turned to the ground.
“Indeed,” Ptah said with a sharp look at the Blueblood male and female. “And they have no intention of turning you over to the Red King.”
As he finished speaking, a woman appeared and a second third of the soldiers fell to the ground.
‘Mother Bast,” Weret hugged the woman. “So these are yours, from Bubastis.”
The woman simply kissed Weret’s other cheek and transformed into a house cat. She went straight for Boston and wanted to be picked up. Boston loved cats. She was delighted and a bit scared as well. This was one cat she did not want to rub the wrong way.
The captain of the center group called out, and there was plenty of fear in his voice. “Set! Set!” He did not know that Horus was given the whole of the Nile back in Junior’s day and Set was driven out. Set could not come, so the man tried another name. “Wadjt.”
Wadjt came, and Sakhmet was with her. Sakhmet immediately transformed to a lioness and roared at the frightened men in the middle. They had gone to their knees before Wadjt, but fell to their trembling faces before Sakhmet.
“We were playing a game, and I was winning,” Wadjt complained. “Hello Weret, Blueblood trouble? Why look, your friend is pregnant too.” She reached for Boston as Bast got down from her arms. “Just pregnant I would say.”
“No,” Boston looked confused. “I’m still a virgin.”