Egypt 5147 BC
THE LAST STAND
Staring at the ruler of the sky, the unforgiving sun peeking from behind clusters of stone blocks while the temperatures continued soaring, Myaten wished for a pair of sunglasses and a box of orange sherbet pushups.
Regardless of his desires, both items were beyond his reach.
No Time walker, bender, or guardian has the freedom to summon objects from the future into the past. Nor disturb, alter, or manipulate the events of Time — that equaled instant death.
From the day his powers were earned, his siphoned blood, along with hair, saliva, skin, bone, and semen, were procured and stored within Master Shiva’s archives, inside her sarcophagus.
If anyone strayed, the Asti, identical stone warriors created to locate and sentence the perpetrator — like blood hounds — the Asti knew instinctively where a time walker resided.
Past, present, and future—there was no hiding places.
Myaten compared the Asti to the futuristic game, Operation. Square holes chiseled through areas of the stone body, each contained samples given to Shiva. And should he or anyone else decide to have a moment of stupidity and fight, may the Gods back their pathetic asses because there is no turning back. There is no ‘dead or alive’ in their ethics.
Resistance is futile.
The Asti, killers with a touch, turn prey to stone, imprisoning them forever, or until their atonement is fulfilled.
Fortunate for Myaten, he followed the rules. So the pushups became a lost cause until he earned a trip into the future with a guardian.
The favorite dessert would’ve alleviated his poor tongue now glued to the roof of his mouth. The heat was already intolerable to the point of sapping the energy from his army—giving the BloodSeekers an open invitation to a feeding frenzy!
Head bowed while staring at the fine hairs of his mount’s neck, he tried to think of another way to eradicate his enemy.
The dream he had last night foretold the blood of innocents on his hands, the death of people he loved and cherished above all things. His guilty conscious devoured his heart, pleading, begging him to end this foolishness now while there is still time.
I should order my army home.
As their leader I owe my life blood to keep my loyal disciples alive.
What you are doing is wrong. Leave today, live and fight tomorrow.
They will have to get past me first! If I have to fight this battle alone, to the death, then so be it!
A shrill war cry from the camp behind him restored the fierce pride for the citizens within his heart. The people of his land had the right to fight with him regardless of how much he wished to protect them.
Lifting his head, he stared with narrowed eyes across the vast expanse of sand stretching out for miles all around him. Beautiful but deadly, he loved this land that forged men and women into warriors. Brave and strong, he couldn’t wish for more, to have his people stand with him to fight their enemies.
Their rival— a ruthless vampire race hell bent on ruling the world, alone, loomed on the horizon like vultures ready to pick the meat from their bones.
Instinctively he knew the second his men joined him. Astride the best horse flesh, bred to fight was a farewell gift from their King. These beasts would kick, bite, and stomp anything that got within their personal space.
Myaten liked how their monarch’s mind worked.
Waiting for everyone to step in line with him, gritting his teeth, this is it, no turning back…
Jumping to his feet, balanced on the back of his steed, Myaten rotated his sword arm to reflect the sunlight with the curved blade of his weapon. The flickering light a signal to their allies, they needed all the help they could get.
Sheathing the mighty sword, Myaten landed on his rear— leaning forward gripping fistfuls of black mane, the horse bolted across the endless stretch of copper sand.
The heavy breathing combined with the galloping of hooves against the sand created a haze around him.
Myaten glanced down. Concentrating, letting his power seep out, he would take the brunt of the first wave of attack.
A high pitch whistling reached his ears as the sand beneath them began to spin clockwise.
No, you are too early. He shouted mentally.
Panic set in as the beast shook beneath him. The horse reared, pivoting on hind legs while neighing with fear as Myaten urged the animal to turn and flee from the sand traps.
Funnels appearing one by one, creating vacuums as far as the eye could see. In the time it took him to comprehend the chaos around him, enemy riders vanished— sucked underneath the sand into oblivion. Their horrifying screams cut off, and the lucky few that remained managed to escape, fleeing from the battle.
Myaten knew the work of SandWeavers.
Roris didn’t bother averting his eyes.
Death came to everyone. To his enemy, it came with swift justice.
He watched the sand swallowing everything within powerful jaws with a hard slap of his hands. Releasing his magical grip, the sand relaxed, stilled— turning calm as his fingers flexed.
The spell finished.
Ending their lives was a merciful act. Far better than the fate Osiris offered.
Looking away from the battlefield, he took in the black shadow galloping toward him. Ignoring the instinct to shield his son, he held his breath and prayed to the gods above that Myaten would learn to curtail his flamboyant antics.
When Myaten flashed from the back of his horse, Razin, to sit behind him, Roris spoke louder than he meant to. “My son, one of these days,” Roris pointed at his adopted son in warning. “…you will miss and break that neck of yours!”
“Never,” Myaten vowed with that boyish grin that always got him out of trouble as a child. “Well done my Lor’ship, but I’m afraid it won’t take them long to gather up their force and strike again.” Myaten chuckled with obvious enjoyment at their enemies’ misfortune.
Roris nodded in silent agreement as his flying mount chimed in with a loud screech making everyone clap their ears.
“I know I’m getting old Roris but must I go deaf in order to speak with you?”
Pretending he couldn’t hear, Roris answered sharply, “What!”
Myaten snorted, “Behave! I’ve never seen so many BloodSeekers together before. I thought it went against their nature?”
“Actually, it does. And as much as I would enjoy reminiscing young Myaten, I think Sphinx and I will gather the SandWeavers together and attack from the rear. You take your men, divide them into eight or nine small groups, we will surround the BloodSlaves from all sides. That will leave the BloodSeekers open for us.”
“That’s not exactly original, Roris.”
“Trust me, Myaten; I know what I’m doing. Take your men and get into position. Signal when you are set so that I may direct the sand to cover you, to protect you. I will give the order to attack. When the BloodSeekers charge, they won’t expect it!”
“I still think my idea of a Trojan horse was better.” Myaten fisted him on the shoulder before flashing back to his Razin.
Myaten, what is a Trojan horse
Roris noticed Myaten’s lopsided smirk as he grabbed a fist full of mane while leaning forward as Roris took to the skies with Sphinx.
It’s a long story, for another day
Circling high above Osiris’s troops, Roris noted her La’ship tucked safely behind the remaining legion of BloodSlaves. A fitting title for the men Osiris controlled with an iron fist.
Humans were defenseless again her siren beauty and venom. One tantalizing bite anywhere on the body resulted in an unending mindless servitude.
Of which he knew all too well.
The memory of sharp teeth and nails ripping his chest open to feast on his blood made him shiver. Her exquisiteness combined with that sinful voice lured him close as a young man and now, decades later, he had to force control over the pain those memories evoked.
Glancing down at the calm desert, Roris tallied up a force of six hundred at least. Damn! Even with their combined forces only a third of his armada remained to defend the population.
Fisting his chest at the sudden pain, he shouted out in desperation, “No, not now!”
Using meditation techniques taught from his master, Roris surrendered his mind to see past the misty cloud that allowed visions of the future.
“It can’t be true!” he cried out in anguish.
The short glimpse showed Osiris holding the heads of fallen comrades for everyone to see. Heaps of burning bodies in piles near the bank of the Nile’s sea green waters now edged with blood!
Osiris must be stopped and if it meant sacrificing himself he would end this pathetic feud now!
Stretching arms above his head, Roris summoned the sand, commanding it to hide his people. With a thunderous rumbling, the ground shuddered once before spewing geysers of tawny sand up into the sky, blocking all sunlight.
Slamming his fists together, Roris jerked his arms apart and the funnels of sand stretched across the land for miles!
Touching his chest once to pay tribute to his Colony, he summoned all his energy together into forming two small time spheres.
Myaten settled down with his men under the blanket of sand to wait patiently for Roris’s order to attack.
It never came.
As a time traveler, the internal clock ticking inside his head warned him to protect himself.
Clawing at the darkness surrounding him, Myaten shoved with all his might.
Roris! What have you done?
The right thing...do not be angry...live, love, and be happy my son.
Hollering in denial, he tried to shift the heavy cloak off his face with his hands.
A voice in the darkness suggested a dagger.
“No blades!” Myaten ordered with severity in his command, “without light to direct your movements someone might get hurt.”
Lifting his palms above his face again, he pushed. The weight of the sand did not give as it should. If he thrust hard enough with his magic, he could blast the sand off his men. Gathering the power within him, he focused the energy up through his arms and into his fingertips. A dim yellow light outlined the shape of his fingers.
“We will be free in due course men!” Myaten stated hoping to boost his men’s confidence as much as his own.
His hands shook, making it impossible to keep still long enough to direct his spell.
“By all that is holy, Roris is blocking me!”
He tried again and again.
Panic set in. He couldn't breathe! Furious, he kicked and cursed.
Roris had buried them alive!
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