Chenzira lived secretly in Alexandria. His townhouse was filled with hidden weapons and passages. As far as his neighbors knew, Chenzira was an Egyptian merchant that specialized in appraising rare antiquities. But it was there that he met the Akkadian: an old friend and contact possessing vast knowledge.
The Akkadian informed him that the long-awaited prophecy had been fulfilled: the Jewish Messiah had been born in Bethlehem.
‘Then, you have seen God in the flesh?’ asked Chenzira.
‘Yes...and there are terrible dangers that lie in wait for His Family,’ warned the Akkadian.
Per further discussion, Chenzira asked another question.
‘You want me to protect them, this Holy Family?’ he asked.
‘They are coming to Egypt, Chenzira! Besides, I am a King that plays as an intelligent fool. You know I can conceal nothing from you. The Medjay must protect them at all costs. It is times like these that the Magi have always called upon the Medjay.’
Chenzira sipped his wine and looked out over the vista.
‘Your order, Magus, like mine, wanes. Times have changed quickly. Perhaps all the loss has made me a cynic; though, I lack the humor to accommodate the foibles of philosophers. But you have this advantage: there are more of you. Herod couldn’t help but ask for your assistance. The Pharaohs are dead. The old ways are finished. No one bothers with a Medjay, save for you, friend. You do not know I am the only one left,’ said Chenzira.
‘Where are the others?’ asked the Akkadian.
‘As if you play like a tragic poet; do I disguise myself as you?’
The Akkadian’s head hung low.
Chenzira continued. ‘The last time we spoke, you were back in the Library rummaging through relics--three years ago. I assumed you returned to Alexandria for the same business.’
‘The Library is a second home to me.’
‘It is to your alter ego, just as this place is to mine. My real home is the desert. And it is there, for the past three years, my friends and family have been persecuted as rebels to the New Order of the Empire. We were hunted like sheep. Too many Egyptians sold us out for the sake of coin. You don’t realize the significance of the political landscape. You’ve been fixed on the stars, while the world has been eating itself alive. I have seen too much blood spilt over Egypt. It is by chance I have managed to stay alive as this imposter.’
‘No...it is not by chance! You possess extraordinary skills I have seen no other warrior demonstrate. And it is exactly for this reason that you are still alive!’ said the Akkadian.
‘And how can this be?’
‘God has a purpose for you, here and now! Of this I am certain. You understand: Herod’s men were unsuccessful in killing the Anointed One. But we have heard reports from our contacts that Caesar has agreed to help the King in his vicious quest.’
‘And what did you hear?’ asked Chenzira.
‘The Emperor considers it of vital importance to secure the stability of the region. With Judea’s current turbulence, Caesar desires no extra stimuli. Thus, he has ordered a secret guild of assassins, called the Cross of Blades, to deal with the situation. They suspect the Family is fleeing to Egypt, from what I gather. They understand there are Jews here that would help them.’
Chenzira sipped his wine.
‘The Cross of Blades… Caesar’s mercenaries from Gaul. Some of them come from barbarian tribes. They are the same savages that have hunted down and murdered the Medjay. They are no secret to me. They have been an unstoppable force in these lands. Not even the Phylakitai compare to their savagery. If the Family is found by them, they are finished.’
‘Then you must do everything you can to stop them!’ said the Akkadian.
‘You seem to miss the point: I’ve tried that already.’
‘Not with supernatural help.’
The Akkadian took Chenzira to the Great Library. Though it was late at night, together they perused ancient scrolls by candlelight.
‘This map marks a series of passageways beneath the Great Sphinx in Giza,’ said the Akkadian.
‘Many have tried to find the hidden entrance,’ said Chenzira.
‘But I am a Magus! It is my privilege to know such things.’
He marked the location for Chenzira.
Out on the dark streets near the city’s entrance, they said their goodbyes.
‘Go now! There is not a moment to lose,’ said the Akkadian.
Chenzira was atop his camel.
‘You said I have less than one week to meet them in the Sinai. How can this be done?’ said Chenzira.
‘Quit pretending like magic and miracles don’t exist! Move your ass! Heyah!’ and the Akkadian slapped the camel’s caboose. In an instant, Chenzira and the camel were on the highway towards the desert beyond.