From the Books of the Protectress

Word came early on a winter season’s night that Syrus was on the move. He took the lives of three Teachers and their tribes near the Al Jufrah. Merneptah came for his mother in the dead of night to ride out on horseback to meet with tribal fighters. They found Athtar’s chopper well hidden within a rocky crag. Merneptah took the controls. They were only out an hour before the trail of bodies began. Meretneith grabbed her son’s arm. “Merneptah…land here.”

They walked the desert and the Savannahs. There was no scent of the Hyksos, but the trail of bodies led them to a mass grave. Impaled on ten foot tall stakes were the small bodies of children and offspring of the Teachers. Some tiny forms hung at angles from poles pounded into bedrock. The severed heads of mothers, their faces contorted in horror, sat at the base of the pole. As if thrown in play, their headless bodies lay across the killing field. Meretneith and her son knew that the slaughterers were Hyksos offspring. No Old One would so breach the Law.

The rising sun found the Protectress sitting in the sand, her son began to cover most of the dead. They took the small bodies of the children from poles to assemble them in a mass grave. Meretneith recognized many of the faces from the Council meeting in Dubai. Syrus targeted members of the tribal Council. He was careful not to disfigure facial features so that the Protectress would recognize the dead.

Impatient desert animals began picking at the carnage. Merneptah and Meretneith watched at first but could do little. It was the desert. Life demanded its premium to live here. Mother and son waited for nightfall before climbing the nearby mountains. They contemplated quick retribution. Use of modern weaponry would only disturb the Ma’at. What modern weapon could be greater than the passions that drive the blade? Mother and son knew where they needed to go for answers. She wanted to know the location of her enemies’ camp.

Syrus had grown accustomed to her hunting habits. Their fight would be different this time. She now owned the energies of three powerful males fighting at her side. This day the most powerful one of them hunted with her, the one they called the monster. She and Merneptah left the sands for the dense arboreal jungles on the borders of southern India. Syrus kept his core fighters there. Their habit was always to train and hide amongst trees and mountains. She and Merneptah would have to move fast.