Seraphim: The armageddon files, chapter two. The Staff of Moses.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Peter and the Seraphim journey to the tomb of Tutankhamun to retrieve the staff of Moses.

Submitted: July 09, 2017

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Submitted: July 09, 2017

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Seraphim: The Armageddon files

Chapter 2; The staff of Moses.

 

Peter stepped from the vortex and fell to his knees and retched.

‘Are we done?’ Shani’s sarcastic tone echoed through the darkness.

Getting to his feet, Peter wiped a cuff across his mouth, ‘I can’t see anything, oh God, I’m blind!’ he blurted out throwing his hands out in front of him, one hand coming to rest on something cold, smooth and rounded.

‘Ares selkr ceth alimka,’ Shani’s voice echoed around the hot stuffy chamber as the blade of one of her scimitars burst into flame illuminating their position. Casting her eyes down, she looked at Peter’s hand cupping her breast.

‘Do you want to remove your hand? Or would you like me to do it for you?’ she said waving the burning blade menacingly over his wrist.

‘Sorry!’ Peter blurted out as he pulled his hand away from her breastplate smiling wanly at her.

They were standing in a rock hewn oblong room; the air was thick and heavy. A large pink granite sarcophagus dominated the chamber decorated with exquisite images of the Goddess Isis with her wings outstretched at each of its corners.  Gleaming through the thick safety glass lid, Peter stared open mouthed at the golden coffin inside.

Resting a hand on the glass, Peter was transfixed by the splendour of the golden coffin, ‘Tutankhamun!’ he whispered.

‘No, it’s Smenkhkare, actually!’ Shani replied.

‘What?’ Peter replied turning to the seraphim for an explanation.

‘You are correct, Peter, the mummy inside the sarcophagus is indeed the remains of the boy-king Tutankhamun, yet the golden sarcophagus he lies in is that of his half brother, Smenkhare. That is his face on the lid, not Tutankhamun’s.’

Peter grinned, ‘I can’t wait to hear this story!’

 

The Seraphim’s eyes glowed, her perfect soft lips opened and Peter sighed at her angelic perfection as her soft voice caressed his ears and told him the story of the Boy-King.

 

The land of Kemet (Ancient Egypt) circa 1323 BC

The Pharaoh sat on a padded chair alone in his private chambers trying to ease the constant pain in his back, it wasn’t working.

His body was bathed in sweat as the mid-day heat made everything very uncomfortable. The Pharaoh tore his Nemes headdress from his sweating brow and dropped it to the floor and wiped a hand over his shaven head.

Amun-tut-ankh had descended into another one of his deep depressions. He was a tortured soul, had the gods deserted him? Were they punishing him for the sins of his father, the great heretic Pharaoh, Akenhaten who had abandoned them and closed their temples and outlawed the worship of the gods for the favour of one god over all others, the Aten?

His father had even built a city out in the desert dedicated to the Aten sun god, Aketaten. Amun-tut-ankh’s place of birth, he had spent his childhood there brought up in the glory of the Aten the one and only god.

After the untimely death of his father, the throne had been taken by his half-brother Smenkhare who had tried to hold the faith together with his mother, queen Nefertiti, but the people slowly turned away from the new religion, for a plague had visited the land of Kemet, none were immune or safe from its deathly touch as Smenkhare had found out.

It was the curse of the old gods in anger for their banishment, the priests had said as Amun-tut-ankh had taken the throne. His people begged him to abandon this Aten and re-open the temples to Amun, Horus, Ra, Osiris, Isis and all of the other gods, so that they would take away this plague that blighted the land.

Amun-tut-ankh, with the help of his vizier, Ay and his general of the armies, Horemheb had done just that. But still the plague persisted.

Amun-tut-ankh felt so alone and cursed, his soul could barely take any more.

‘Have I not paid for my father’s sins oh great Amun?’ Tut sobbed, ‘Have you not vented your anger and displeasure on me enough? My body is weak and twisted and in pain. My foot is crippled so that I need sticks to walk with. You have taken the lives of my unborn children. I pray to you oh, great Amun, end my suffering, so that I may lead my people and serve you.’

But all that answered Tut’s sobbing prayer was silence, forever silence. The gods had abandoned him he was sure of it. They had abandoned the people and his land, and his enemies knew this, for he was under constant threat of attack from the tribes of the Mitanni, the Assyrians and Hittites.

Tut gripped his walking stick and then cried out in frustrated anger and threw the stick across the room, knocking over an ornate alabaster vase shattering it.

The door to his chamber swung open and Ay rushed into the room, a look of concern on his face. Ay was an old man in his forty fourth year, slightly balding with high cheekbones, full lips and a grey flecked beard. He looked at the broken vase then to his Pharaoh slumped in his chair wiping tears from his eyes.

‘My Pharaoh, are you well?’ Ay gasped as he shuffled over to the boy-king.

‘Am I well?’ Tut sobbed sarcastically as he swept a hand over his crippled body.

‘Do I look well, Grand Vizier? Look at me! Look at your great Pharaoh. Look at the royal cripple! And scoff and laugh at him and take pity on him as his people do!’ Tut was inconsolable.

Ay felt a great sadness descending upon him. He had been by Tut’s side all of the young king’s life, In Aketaten and now in the palace at Thebes. He had cared for him and tried to guide him with wise decisions, a burden that should never be put on such young, broken shoulders.

As, Ay knelt down to pick up the discarded walking stick, the sound of running footsteps heralded the approach of someone. Entering the room General Horemheb came to a stop and fell to one knee. Breathing heavily, sweat poured from his dark brown skin and the thick muscles of his arms rippled as he clenched his sword hilt tight with nervousness.

Tut looked at his war chief with envious eyes, the man was physically perfect, tall, handsome, and strong of muscle and mind. He was a formidable warrior and wily strategist. And yet here he was, Amun-tut-ankh, the ruler of all Kemet, a thin wiry boy prone to illnesses and fits and disfigurement. Yet he was of pure undiluted royal blood which should have made him perfect, the living image of Amun on Earth. Instead Amun had cursed him and made a mockery of him. Tut’s jealous anger at this mixed blooded man burned inside of his breast like a hot coal.

Ay immediately stood up and hurried to his Pharaoh’s side. Horemheb looked up as Ay spoke.

‘What is it, General that brings you with such urgency to your Pharaoh’s private chambers?’

Amun-tut-ankh wiped his eyes dry, sniffed and sat upright in his chair. A stern look crossed his face as he tried to look regal in front of his war chief, instead of a snivelling boy.

‘I have grave news my Pharaoh. The exiles have raided the store houses of Goshen and stolen its grain.’

Banging a fist on the armrest, Tut growled through clenched teeth, ‘Is there no end to my suffering? It was under yours and Ay’s guidance that I exiled these plagued infested people along with those last remaining sympathisers of my father’s heretic religion. You assured me that they would perish in the wilderness, but instead they seem to flourish, and now they dare raid our precious store houses. Tell me how this is possible, General?’

Horemheb bowed his head, ‘A leader has arisen in their ranks, my Pharaoh, it is, Tisithen. He has forged them into a cohesive force.’ Horemheb paused for a moment gathering his thoughts.

‘Tisithen!’ Tut Screamed, ‘One of my father’s own priests of the Accursed Aten. I am cursed!’

Tut leant forward gripping the arms of his chair, ‘Continue, general.’ His tone was dark and menacing.

‘Word has also arrived that they have dared to plunder a temple of Isis and carried off its holy relics.’

Tut let out a cry of enraged anger as he banged his fists against the arms of the chair, spittle flew from his mouth as his eyes blazed bloodshot.

Tut pulled himself from his chair and limped forward. Ay leaped to his side and tried to aid his Pharaoh with a supporting hand. Tut slapped it away angrily.

‘Prepare a force, ready my steed, Horemheb. We will ride out and put an end to these Lepers and blasphemers, and in the name of Amun the Great, I will take the heads of them all and display them from the highest ramparts of Karnak.’

Jumping to his feet, Horemheb saluted his Pharaoh and backed out of the room.

Ay handed Tut his walking stick as pain shot across the boy-king’s face at the effort of standing without support.

‘My Pharaoh is this wise? You are in no state to ride out.’

Tut turned on Ay with blazing eyes, ‘Do not presume to tell me what to do, Vizier. I have sat in this palace long enough. It is time the people saw their Pharaoh leading an army; it is time I lived up to those carvings on the temple walls of Karnak showing their pharaoh as the conquering hero. It is time for action. Fetch my armour, Aye and be quick about it.’

Ay bowed his head; he knew it was pointless to argue with the Pharaoh when he was like this. Turning, he left Tut alone in his chambers.

Sliding off his chair, Tut prostrated himself on the cold marble floor in supplication to the mighty Amun.

 ‘Oh great, Amun hear my prayer. Grant me the strength to prevail in this conflict, and let me show you that i am worthy of the crowns of Kemet our glorious land and of your favour. Bring me victory over these heretics so that I may put them to the sword and fire in your name. Hear me oh mighty Amun and grant me this boon and I will build temples and raise statues and monuments in your great name.’

Rolling over onto his back, Tut stared up at the ceiling and sobbed like a child.

 

A force of chariots and horsemen sped across the sun bleached land raising a dust cloud behind them.

Leading them was their boy-king, Amun-tut-ankh sitting astride his magnificent white stallion, his golden banded armour shone blindingly in the sun. He wore the blue domed khepresh battle crown upon his head, with a gold rearing cobra uraeus sitting on his brow. At his waist hung his curved khepesh sicklesword in an ivory and gold scabbard decorated with a leaping leopard inlaid with jet, cornelian and turquoise.

Tisithen’s rebels were close; they had already run down some of the stragglers who could not keep up. Amun-tut-ankh had dispatched some of them personally, slashing them from horseback with his sicklesword as they ran screaming in terror from the merciless Pharaoh. They may have been old and infirm or children, but they were enemies of Kemet and the great Amun. Tut felt no guilt as his charioteers ran them down grinding their bodies into the dust.

They had chased the rebels through the desert and now ahead the hills rose on both sides with a winding ravine cutting through it at the other end of the ravine the Yam Suph inland sea laid ahead. Tut smiled, Tisithen the heretic Aten priest and his followers would have nowhere to run, they would be trapped, and he would cut them down and take Tisithen’s head himself.

They entered the ravine, horses snorted and whinnied and chariots rumbled their noise echoing off the tall stone walls.

Rounding a sharp bend, Tut saw the mass of Tisithen’s men running for their lives. Raising his sword, Tut screamed out Amun’s name in triumph.

Suddenly from the crowd ahead a man stepped out wielding a black staff. Tut recognised Tisithen instantly. Kicking his horse in the ribs he urged it on, intent on trampling the renegade priest into the ground.

Suddenly a spark erupted in front of Tisithen and quickly turned into a swirling vortex from which a figure stepped.

Tut’s mouth fell open as the woman dressed in shinning white armour holding two curved scimitars with glowing blue crystals set in the pommels suddenly spread out six white feathered wings and began to spin around until she was nothing more than a blur.

Rising into the air the swirling cloud she produced burst into flame roaring and howling.

Tut’s steed confronted by the fiery tornado came to a jarring halt stumbling forward and screaming in terror. Tut toppled from his saddle thudding to the ground. Behind the Pharaoh a charioteer pulled madly on his reins trying to swerve around his fallen Pharaoh, but the ravine left little to no manoeuvring space as the chariot hurtled toward Tut. With a thud the chariot hit Tut’s steed knocking it down. The charioteer leapt from his vehicle as it flipped up and came crashing down on top of the Pharaoh.

Tut threw his arms over his head and screamed as the chariot hit him and dragged him along the ground. He heard the loud snapping of his left leg, the pain was too much for Tut to bear. He passed out mangled and broken beneath the chariot.

 

Peter had listened in silence as the Seraphim had told her story of the exodus and their pursuit by the boy-king.

‘So what happened to Tutankhamun?’ Peter asked.

‘They took him back to Thebes where he died soon after from his infected wounds.’ Shani replied.

‘So... because of his untimely death they didn’t have time to finish his royal tomb and buried him in this smaller one?’ Peter asked.

 ‘Yes exactly,’ Shani nodded. ‘Then the priests ransacked the Amarna royal cache which lay across the valley in what you call, KV55. They used Smenkhkare’s outer sarcophagus, which is why its face is different from the inner coffin and Tutankhamun’s death mask.’

Composing himself, Peter shook his head, ‘Bloody hell, Shani that is unbelievable!’

‘Perhaps, Peter, but it is the real truth of the Exodus of the slaves from Egypt.’

‘So, basically due to famine and disease, they were kicked out of Egypt by the priests. That’s not exactly how the book tells it?’

‘Time has a tendency to muddy the waters of truth, Peter,’ Shani replied, ‘that and propaganda and embellishments added with each new telling of the tale.’

 ‘So why hide the staff here?’ Peter asked puzzled.

‘Well it’s as good a place as any, plus when I placed it here I didn’t think that thousands of years later men would go and dig up the tombs and desecrate the mummies within for greed and profit.’

Peter felt a pang of guilt at the Seraphim’s cutting words, for he had profited during his life in black market dealings with antiquity thefts.

‘Is the staff inside the coffin?’ Peter asked tapping on the glass.

‘No, it’s there!’ Shani replied pointing to the back wall with her flaming sword.

 

Covering the north wall of the burial chamber was a mural showing three depictions of the Pharaoh. The centre picture showed Tutankhamun being greeted by the goddess Nut, and in the pharaoh’s hand he was holding a thin black rod.

Peter stared at the painting for a moment then turned to Shani, ‘Is it buried in the wall, then?’

‘No, there it is, in his hand in the painting.’ Then Shani drew her other scimitar and touched the blue gemstones together, ‘Aelph tamatvie, silre taims daret.’

An arc of blue light shot out from the gems and hit the painting of the black staff.

Peter looked on in amazement as the staff shimmered then lifted off the wall and took shape and drifted over to him.

‘Go ahead, take it,’ Shani prompted.

Licking his lips and grinning, Peter curled his trembling fingers around the staff of Moses then let out a deep sigh. The staff was made from Acacia wood and covered in some black preservative resin and highly polished, there were silver inlaid hieroglyphs running down its length, and the top was finished with a silver lotus leaf cap.

‘Are you alright?’ Shani asked as Peter just stared mutely at the black staff.

Peter nodded slowly, ‘I... I can’t believe I am actually holding the staff of Moses.’

‘It’s just a piece of wood, Peter!’ Shani replied nonchalantly.

 Peter was gobsmacked, ‘You have got to be kidding? This piece of wood, as you call it, is probably the most famous religious relic in the history of the world. Good grief, Seraphim, this thing brought the ten plagues, it parted the red sea, it called forth a pillar of flame, and you say, it’s just a piece of wood, really?’ 

‘Well, it has a specific purpose, Peter, but I assure you, it’s still just a piece of wood, and it didn’t do any of the things you think it did.’

Peter’s mouth fell open, ‘No plagues?’

Shani shook her head

 ‘No parting of the red sea?’ the disappointment in Peter’s voice was clear to hear.

Peter shook his head, ‘No pillar of flame?’

‘Yes, but that had nothing to do with the staff, that was me!’

‘You!’ Peter blurted out.

The Seraphim nodded.

Composing himself, Peter shook his head, ‘Bloody hell, Shani, that is unbelievable!’

 Holding out the staff, Peter cleared his throat, ‘So, Seraphim, what is the staff’s purpose if it’s not the great plague bringer or sea splitter?’

‘It’s a key, and it’s time we were off to use it,’ Shani replied.

‘So where are we off to now then?’ Peter asked.

‘Beth-el,’ Shani replied.

‘The house of God,’ Peter grinned knowingly. ‘Jebel Madhbah.’

‘You see, Peter you do know something!’ Shani smirked.

Opening the vortex once again, The Seraphim and her human apprentice stepped through and vanished, leaving the resting place of Tutanhkamun once more in silent darkness.

In the inky blackness off the tomb, inside the golden coffin lay the mummified body of the boy king, Tutanhkamun, and inside the body of the mummy resided a thrall, a servant to the demon-kind, which had lain in wait for over three thousand years, watching in silent vigil, for its purpose was to keep watch over the staff. It did not have the power to call it forth, for that power alone, lay in the hands of the Angelic ones, its natural enemies. But now, the staff had been called forth, the thrall knew where the seraphim was headed, and so it called to its unholy brethren. It was time to set the trap and stop them; it was time for the scales to swing in their infernal favour at long last.

 

P.S

If you have taken the time to read this, then why not take the time to make a comment. anything would be nice.

Cheers,

Celtic-Scribe63

 


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