fic - "A Prophecy Like Fish" 5/?
"History is full of wars that everyone knew would not happen." -- ?.
ANCIENT ANCIENT EGYPT:
The little girl ran up to her mother. "Mommy, there's a man perched
on our balcony," she said.
Her mother, Kassandra wife of Mathiyas, said "Okay," and ventured
forth to see who or what it was, and what they wanted with
her. "Yes?" she asked; since there were no doors to the balcony, she
could stand half-inside and half-outside while talking to him.
"Do not mind myself," the angel said. "This time, I'm just watching."
"Who are you?"
"I am eh-Mavet." In Hebrew rabbinical lore, he was Malakh eh-Mavet,
the Angel of Death. "And I am not here for anyone."
"What are you watching? My daughter?" who did, many admitted, bore a
strikingly close resembalance to Kassandra herself.
"No. That," and pointing to the West Gate of the city.
One man running towards the city walls.
Mathiyas had been one man. `Will you stand alone before the fury of
his army?' Balthazar had asked once.
History repeating? Kassandra hoped not.
"Who is that?" Kassandra asked.
"Methen," eh-Mavet replied. This wasn't his fight.
ANCIENT ANCIENT EGYPT:
A FEW YEARS LATER:
Methen had been defeated. To defeat one man, one Immortal, with
bloodlust, an army had been needed. Soldiers rose to command during
the long years that it took to quell Methen.
Narmer was one such soldier, one who now commanded enough of the army
to do what he was doing now.
Mathiyas and Mathiyas' family had been brought to the East Gate, to
face Narmer. "I am being generous to you, Mathiyas," Narmer said.
"You're throwing us out of our home."
"I know of your exploits well enough, King Scorpion. You survived
sandstorms, poisons, fire, ants, and even fate itself. I have no
doubts that you will survive."
Kassandra muttered something in a language that she alone knew. Its
other speakers were all passed beyond to the green fields of Perh
"If that is a blessing, I thank you, lady," Narmer said. "If it is a
curse, it will not avail you nor he." He paused,
considering. "However, there is one thing that would. One way to
remain the lords of this land."
"And what's that?" Mathiyas asked.
"Marry your daughter to me. Declare me to be your heir and
There was no need for a decision, not to Kassandra and Mathiyas.
Together, they replied "No!" and their daughter repeated the "No!" at
"Very well," Narmer said. "Enjoy the sunbaked lands."
The royals were now banished.
(author's note: `perh oseer' is a corruption of `per osir' which
means `land of osiris').
DURING THE REIGN OF AKHENATEN:
3RD PERSON POV:
He was not yet `Kurt Wagner' or `Nightcrawler', though he could crawl
through the night with the best of them.
In this era and for over a thousand years before this era, speaking a
name gives the thing power. To write the name aknowledges its
existance, its reality. It is for this reason that depictions of
Apep (Apophis), the serpent of night, the thing that existed before
and outside of Creation, is depicted sliced up and-or with many
knives in the serpent back.
Nightcrawler walked along the Nile, his ears attuned -- not to the
cries of birds or to the groans of crocodiles or to the yowl of
wildcats -- but to the whispers.
Whispers of things that walked like men, but were not men; that flew
like birds, but were not birds. The prey that fought back with fists
and wings, words and whispers. Beasts capable of turning an army
with naught but a gesture. They which sought Nightcrawler's end with
a fervor equal to that which Nightcrawler sought their end.
Half of his blood.
Nightcrawler, the Nephilim who served Akhenaten.
He sniffed the air uselessly: a Human sense of smell. But he could
hear something: the unmistakable, the distinctive sound of a heart
beating too fast: an Angel.
Nightcrawler looked up to the roof of the temple. There! "Been
looking for you," it told Nightcrawler. "Name's Annoguel."
"I have never heard of you." Truthful, and it had the desired aim:
an offended look on the angel's face.
"You ever hear of that incident with the firstborns?"
"That was not you."
"I helped carry it out." Self-satisfied smirk. "There can never be
too many hands in a task such as that."
"And why are you here?" It never hurt to ask. "To aknowledge the
supremacy of Aten?"
Angelic laughs were like the wind: hard to describe without resorting
to metaphors and analogies. "Come on back. You're forgiven. You're
young, impetuous. That monkey just caught you in a moment of
weakness, that's all."
Nightcrawler stood defiantly. In answer, he declared, "I am the
right hand of Akhenaten the Lord. I am the scythe of Aten. I am --"
"One dead monkey-brain if you keep that up."
"I am unrepentant."
"No way to convince you otherwise?" Annoguel had not asked that
question. It was Gabriel, standing but a few paces behind
"There is none."
A FEW YEARS EARLIER:
It was the Kingship of Akenaten. The center of the civilized world
was Amarna. All things were ruled by the great god Aten, whose
living representation on Earth was Akenaten, lord of the Two Lands.
I walk slowly into the throne room of the great and mighty, the lord
of Two Lands, the living emissary of Aten. I could simply appear in
the room, but such an act has been forbidden years ago. There are no
others in the room, very odd: not even Tut or Nefertari are present.
No servants fanning my lord Akenaten, nor any scribes to record our
words. Even the guards and serving boys and girls are noticably
I kneel on the floor, prostrating myself before his glory. "I have
arrived as per your summons, my lord my king my master." I am your
right hand, ready as ever.
"When you were first brought before me," my king says, "I could have
ordered your death." There is nothing to say to that - it is truth,
and would have been his right. "But Aten stayed my hand, and moved
me to task you suitably."
"For which I give daily thanks to you and the great Aten disk," I say
"As you should." Then he falls silent. Disturbingly silent.
"My lord?" I ask, concerned.
"There are enemies of the true faith," he tells me. "Those who would
delight in my death."
"Sick men, my lord. Deranged lunatics who do not know their shadow
from their wife," I say.
"In many cases, yes. But there are enough of them to trick the
populace into following them." He sighs, a sound that bodes naught
but ill. "Aten has seen fit to show me my death. Within ten years,
I will be one with Aten Himself, and the infidels will once more
I draw in breath of my own, a gasp, a surprised noise that garners
his attention. I know not what to say -- I dare not contradict Aten,
much less Akenaten -- but such terrible news. "What do you wish me
to do?" How many do I slay?
"Be determined," Akenaten my lord tells me, calmly, as though he has
not just revealed that he is going to die. "When the blasphemers
return to power, they very likely will bring the Medjai with them.
Use the Medjai however you can; I forgive any trespasses you may make
in preserving the true faith."
"My thanks, my lord."
"That is all." Time passes; minutes and seconds. "Is there a
petition you wish me to hear?"
I bring myself to nod, even with my throat choked up. "Yes, my
lord. May I remain here longer, to bask in the radiant glory which
you bring to the world?"
He shakes his head, slowly, sadly. "No. I forbid it." A
pause. "Remember always, Aten is the sun. Worship properly." He
fixes his eyes on me. "You may leave direct from here; I wish it."
I nod, and *BAMF*
"Who is that?" I hiss at him, pointing to the cross.
"That is Christ."
I pick him up an inch, and then thud him back down against the
table. "Your word-name means nothing to me. Why do you worship it?"
"Because," the priest says, "because he died for the sins of
mankind. He is -"
"The manifestation of God in the world?" I guess. Could it be?
"Yes," he says. "Some denominations believe that."
"`Some'?" picking him up two inches, holding him there.
"Well, yes. You see, he was sent to the cross two thousand years
ago." It might be. Time does not factor into my travels. And those
Medjai were always sneaky, full of tricks. "Some denominations
believe in different details, but we all agree on the important
"The father and the son?" I ask.
"Yes," is the answer, "and the third, is -"
"I know the third." Nefertari.
I lower the priest down gently, and back away a few steps. "My
apologies, priest. I have been - away for some time, and did not
recognize a fellow worshipper of the true faith." He looks at me
warily, much like the temple gardeners would eye me when they thought
I was not looking.
(author's note: it's spelled _i_L_B_i_S_).
IN THE 1950s:
3RD PERSON POV:
Danyael of the angels stood over the collapsed body of Charles
Xavier, watching dispassionately from his perch on the wooden
table. "Do you submit?"
Xavier whimpered a reply.
"We can do this again if you want," an offer that doubled as a
threat. Sent to teach this monkey a lesson in behavior, Danyael had
insured that this monkey would never again use those monkey powers to
control other monkeys.
"No, no," softly, in the voice of a man who knows that he has been
defeated without recourse. "No, I surrender."
"Your dreams are lofty and admirable," Danyael said, leaping down
from the table. "You just need to work *with* people, rather than
Danyael opened the window, letting in a brisk breeze, and letting him
out. He took wing shortly, and flew further north. Danyael landed
on one of the taller buildings in New Hampshire.
"Stopped by for some sunbathing?" Uriyel asked him.
"Just a rest, mostly," Danyael said.
"Sorry then," said the elder of their roosting spot: eh-Mavet.
"Hey Danyael," eh-Mavet said.
"Yes? What is it?" Danyael asked.
"Archangel Michael wants to talk with you. Says he's got a plan."
"I hope so," and he went to learn of the plan to create a modern-day
"Humanity will not remain on the Earth forever, but in the pursuit of
light and space will, at first timidly, penetrate beyond the limits
of the atmosphere, and then will conquer all the space around the
-- Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, 1911.