Avalon 4.6 part 5 of 6, Laying Down the Law

“You didn’t have to cut so deep,” Alexis complained as she stood and went to see about the broken nose.

“A miracle,” the guard who had been cut looked at his belly, leg and hand and yelled.  Everyone paid attention.  “Look, look.  I am healed.”

“You are the healer?” Hellel turned to the side to get out from under her husband’s glare.  “But you are a woman.”

“What does being a woman have to do with it?” Katie asked.

“It makes me afraid to think what your men may be able to do,” she responded and sounded sincere enough.

“We are not gods,” Lockhart said quickly.  “We are not able to work miracles, though Alexis has Alexis 1some gifts for healing.  But what we can mostly do is be good friends.  We try to make friends wherever our journey takes us.”

“Yes, I have consulted with Sinuhe,” Alexis said after tending the broken nose.  She rejoined the group and faced the king.  “King Enshi.  There is no cure for your condition.  Your physician is doing everything possible to relieve your symptoms, but some of this must be up to you.  You must watch your diet.  If you eat foods that are bad for your condition, no one but the gods may be able to help you.”

The king lowered his head and took the scolding well.

“Now, about your plague,” Alexis continued.  “Again, your physician and I have talked, and frankly there is a limit on what any of us mortals can do.  But there is one thing that would help a great deal, and might actually end the plague.  I said might.  Right now, your streets are full of people.  I don’t blame them.  I hate armies.  But your streets are also, if you will pardon the expression, full of shit.  If you cleaned the streets, and cleaned up after your animals, and bring wagons for people to dump their waste rather than dumping it in the streets, that might be the best thing you can do.  The respiratory condition Sinuhe has described can be caused by a number of things, but filth may be the cause, and at the least it is not helping.”  Alexis quieted, and Gabrall presented the counter-argument.

“I am sure what you say is true, but we can only pray for rain and seek the will of the gods in this matter.  We do not have the people to do such work as you suggest.”

“What do you mean?” Lincoln spoke, in part to support his wife.  “You have a whole army of men right now that have nothing better to do than stand on the wall and spit off the battlements.”

Sinuhe smiled.  “I should have thought of that.  We could work them for the free food they and their families are getting.  It would keep them fit and give them something to think about other than the coming enemy, if any.  They say, idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

“I am not paying an army of men to clean the shit from the streets,” the king objected.

“Would you rather pay the army to stand around and play spitting for distance?” Lockhart asked.

sinu court“That sounds like a fun game,” Zagurt whispered for the first time.

The king thought about it.  Clearly, he had not considered it in that light.  He was glad when the guard came back with what remained of the pigeon on a silver platter.  The king looked at it.  The Bird had a huge hole in the middle.  Zagurt leaned over.

“Let me see,” he shouted, and “Wow.”

Hellel just glanced at it.  She was too unhappy that she would not get her hands on a cracker, or apparently any other magic and powerful thing these strangers might have.  Her mind turned to stealing.

The king took the time of distraction to change the subject.  “I have sent men to collect your beasts.  It may be with a gift of one of your beasts I may let you live in peace.”

“I am sorry,” Boston stepped up.  “Your men will not be able to do that.  Our beasts are protected by a hedge of the gods, as are we.”

‘Quite right,” Everyone turned their heads as the image of beauty and perfection became manifest in that room.  The king covered his eyes, and Zagurt thought that was a good idea.  Gabrall began to choke on his breath.  Guards dropped to their faces.  Hellel’s mouth opened and she curled up in her chair, looking like one who wanted to run away and hide, but it was too late.

Sinuhe went to one knee and lowered his head.  “Hathor,” he breathed, as the woman walked right up to him and stopped.

“Stand up, Kairos.  You are only embarrassing yourself.”

He did, but he had something to say.  “You are my goddess this time, and you remind me of my princess whom you blessed so favorably in her youth.”sinu hathor

Hathor laid a hand on Sinuhe’s cheek and smiled for him, such a radiant smile that Alexis and Lincoln who got the full force of it were forced to lower their heads.  Hathor turned to Lockhart and Katie.  She hugged them both and spoke.

“That is from your baby girl, Sakhmet.  She misses you very much and send her love.  She also wonders how much longer before you two marry.”  Hathor let out a wry smile that time, and Lockhart and Katie felt it in the pit of their stomachs as they turned to face each other.

Hathor stepped passed them to where Mingus was on his knees with his head down.  “I should think so,” she said.  “You have two good daughters and it is high time you showed them both that you love them, and stop picking on Alexis.”  She saw Elder Stow, who appeared to want to join Mingus on his knees but looked frozen in his place, but she turned to Boston.

Boston was in tears, and Hathor gently hugged her and rocked her.  “Sweet, baby child.  You must not lose hope.  I am sure if there is any way possible, Roland will come back to you.  And if you must travel all the way home to him, I am sure he will be waiting for you with open arms.  Three years is not forever.  I think you two may have a good eight hundred or more years ahead of you.  Let your heart lead you, and be happy while you can.  As the Kairos is fond of saying, the future isn’t written yet, so you can make it what you want.”

Hathor let go and stepped passed Lockhart and Katie who were kissing and oblivious to everything around them.

“Why are you here?” Sinuhe asked.

“I remain the sponsor of foreign nations, with the permission of El and Astarte.  I am mostly finished with the Canaanites and never got into Syria much, but my father, Osiris did, and I am still fulfilling his promise to you, since…well, you know, even if you don’t remember at the moment.  There are still some cities here on the coast, including Sidon, Tyre, and others.  Ugarit is about as far north as I go.  Above that, the cities are Akoshian or Mycenaean and answer to Olympus.  Inland, the Hittite and Hurrians have their own pantheon, mostly run by a certain lady whose sinuhe 4name begins with H, if you know who I mean.

“I was beginning to hope she did not know I was here,” Sinuhe said.

“She won’t hear it from me, but you know how well secrets are kept among the gods.”  Hathor stopped to shake a finger at the king.  “Leave Sinuhe’s friends alone.  Do what they say.  Give them whatever they ask for, and send them happily on their way when they are ready to go.”  She turned to Hellel.  “And if you steal so much as one thing from these good people, you may find yourself living with the gutter rats, and may even become one of them, am I clear?”

Hathor spoke is a very straight forward way.  She did not raise her voice or sound at all cross.  But everyone felt the feeling behind the words, and trembled.  Gabrall fell to his face and wept for fear.  Sinuhe wondered if Hellel wet herself again.

Avalon 3.11: part 4 of 5, Preparations

“Lady Mut, they are here,” Kotemmi said, and Sakhmet took to the air. She grabbed Alexis and Katie and raced for the door. Teti also rose up, caught Boston around the waist and told Kidrash to grab on to her free hand. They got half-way to the outside when Sakhmet came back in to snatch Kidrash.

Teti Mut 1Then Mut appeared, and the great stone doors of her sister’s temple slammed shut, but Boston was facing the rear, and with her head now cleared, she let her magic out. Every torch and candle in the place flared, and the braziers exploded. Teti also blew on the doors and they dropped like they were hit with a battering ram. Sakhmet got out first, but Teti also made it to the outside as Mut looked confused with the fireworks and temporary hurricane force wind.

Teti landed on her feet, moaned, and held her tummy like she pulled a muscle. Alexis ran to her, but Mut came to the door of the temple and opened her mouth. Whatever she had in mind to speak was drowned out by the lion’s roar. Sakhmet was in danger of losing it. Katie had been hurt and Sakhmet loved her adopted mother that much.

“Mehit. You and I have no quarrel,” Mut said. “It is these interlopers from time and this Kairos that must be removed.”

“And who told you that?” Katie asked, feeling somewhat recovered. She was concerned to keep Sakhmet from overreacting and reached out to stroke the lion’s fur. No one had been seriously hurt, yet, and Kidrash was doing a good job keeping the people back.egypt lioness

Mut ignored Katie and could not help wagging her tongue at Sakhmet. “Fine guards you have at your temple. They were so easily manipulated.”

Sakhmet turned again into a woman when Katie stroked her fur, but she had something to say. “I should have eaten them.”

“Woman.” there was an interruption. A distinguished looking gentleman stepped around the corner and there was fire in his eyes. “You are so involved in yourself, you have no idea what is happening here.”

Mut looked at the speaker, but mostly looked puzzled.

“I have come for a wedding,” the man said. “And your sister, whose temple you have violated, has come with me.” Nut appeared beside the gentleman and tapped her foot in disapproval.

“As have we,” a young man added and he came around the side of a building with the most beautiful young woman anyone might imagine. The young man straightened his glasses as he looked at the gentleman, and Mut opened her mouth as wide as the temple door, but said nothing.

“Son, do you have something to tell her first?” the gentleman asked.

“Yes. These travelers out of time are permitted to travel anywhere in our lands where their travels may take them, and you are not to interfere. In fact, the least hint or thought that you may interfere will be held in judgment against you, even forever. I have decreed.”

Teti Mut 2“Now, woman,” the gentleman spoke again after giving Nut a look of reassurance. “Go home.” Mut closed her mouth with a “clack” of her teeth. “I am not telling or debating or any such thing. I am saying, go home and be there when I arrive.” He waved his hand and Mut vanished. The people watching did not imagine she had any choice in the matter.

Kotemmi took that moment to stagger out from inside the temple. Her hair bun was collapsed, her dress covered with soot and ash, and she looked totally dazed and confused. She caught a glimpse of Nut, her true goddess, and fainted.

“Papi Amun, I am so gad you could come,” Teti said as the gods came to her. “Horus the brave, please do not frighten the men with your strength.” Horus pushed his glasses up and chuckled. “Cousin.” Teti reached out for the woman, and Boston stared at the woman, dumbfounded by her beauty. But Alexis was preoccupied and spoke.

“Teti needs to be home in her bed. She stressed herself badly saving us, and needs time to heal. I think the baby is all right.”

“The baby is fine,” the woman said in a voice as beautiful as the rest of her, and they all found themselves in Teti’s greatly expanded room, and Teti on her wonderfully improved bed.

“Cousin,” Teti reached for the woman’s hand. “Let me tell you about washers and dryers.”

###

Teti party 2Anak kept saying this was the best dream he ever had. Lockhart and Lincoln agreed, but they pointed a lot and tried to remember all the names. Most were little ones—elves, dwarfs, a few dark elves and the like, but some were lesser spirits and some were gods, disguised as well as the gods could disguise themselves. Horus did well blending into the travelers, but with his glasses, he was a natural, while at the same time, those who knew about glasses did not doubt who he was.

“I must say,” Horus spoke as he clapped along. “Teti’s little ones make wonderful music.”

“They do,” Lincoln agreed. “Even if I don’t recognize any of the instruments.”

“Katie could name them,” Lockhart said, and Lincoln and Horus looked at the man and both secretly agreed that he was next.

“Over here.” the men looked up to where Decker was guiding Elder Stow to a seat.

“My father,” Elder Stow shouted and waved at Lockhart when he got close. “I shpoke with the Lady Nephthys. She shaid I could have a beer without a hangover.”

“Very good,” Lockhart said.Stow 3

“How much has he had?” Lincoln asked

“Just the one cup,” Decker said “As far as I know.”

“Sh-good,” Elder Stow grinned a grin as wide as his Neanderthal face. “Shis very good.” Then the others had to catch him as he fell over and began to snore. They laid him out and the musicians came over to incorporate his regular snoring in their songs.

Once seated again, Decker added his thought. “I heard three lovely ladies are going to dance for us.” He did his best to remember the names. “Neith, Wadjet, and her sister.” He snapped his fingers before he came up with the name, “Nekhbet, or something like that. Do you know them?”

“All warrior women,” Horus nodded.

“I got that impression,” Decker said, and he sounded interested.

Horus pushed up his glasses and looked at the man. “Neith is the ancient goddess, and as far as I know she is asexual, and doesn’t care about that sort of thing. Wadjet is the cobra of the delta and moves well, maybe slithers well, but she is seriously gay. Nekhbet is the vulture who likes her dead meat well aged, but I hear she goes both ways if you are interested.”

###

Teti party 1“I wonder what the men are doing,” Boston craned her neck toward the back as if somehow she could look through the wall to the outside.

“Now it starts,” Teti said with a grin.

“You will wonder that your whole married life,” Alexis said.

“That’s all they talked about the last bridal shower I went to,” Katie agreed.

“Men!” the dwarf queen said in a voice that made the others laugh.

“Here they are, fresh from the oven,” Hathor said, as she and Nephthys came in carrying trays full of food, and everyone went straight for the brownies.

“Wherever did you discover this marvelous chocolate, the elf queen asked, and the fairy queen, the goblin queen, Serket and Seshat agreed.

“Not to mention the sugar,” Alexis added.

“Trade secret I’m afraid,” Teti said, and everyone knew that meant not to pry into the business of the Kairos. “But for Boston, I thought a little taste of home might be nice.”Teti a2

“Won’t your mother be surprised when you bring home a husband,” Nephthys said sweetly.

Hathor nodded and added a thought. “You would think her daughter becoming an elf would be enough to get used to.”

“I’m practicing my glamours to appear human, like I used to look,” Boston said, and craned her neck again to say she really did wonder what the men were doing.