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The Far, Far West

By Teresa McLaughlin All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Scifi


more to come

Prologue: The Underworld

It was the land of the dead, the underworld, the abyss; the land beyond the edge of the world, where the sun never rose, where light was choked out.

It was the Land of Darkness.

Closing her eyes, she could still hear priests, their voices pitched low, casting spells to ward off evil. She could smell incense sizzling in thuribles as holy men prayed for her safety in the Underworld.

Her ship descended in the night towards San Francisco. Cities and towns around the bay, lit up the night, reflecting off windows on her vessel. She hovered towards an abandoned garage in Oakland.

At ancient Sekhem, she lived and worked with humans who feared the Far West.

“It is not the land of the dead,” she told herself, shaking her head. She tried to laugh at childhood fear. But, she was apprehensive. Her fear constructed monsters who would shred her Ka, devour her flesh, and bring a second death to those already dead.

She opened her eyes, looking at the control panel. A hieroglyphic shape activating shields resembled a sitting priest in profile, a hieroglyph derived from Osiris, the King, the Priest, the ruler of the Underworld. Just as this control activated protective shielding around her ship, it was Osiris who would protect her from evil in this forbidden land.

She closed her eyes again, whispering a prayer, casting a spell, asking Osiris and Anubis to guide her journey, to help her survive unseen dangers. This was the furthest West one could travel before crossing into the East, the border between light and dark, between life and death.

She had lingered at home too long. During five years between missions, she served as the new Matriarch. Tayamni from future eras came and went. Elders met with her. Others came to settle disagreements, seek approval, or receive orders. Amun stayed with her two years, departing to help future human engineers terraform the Moon. During Namazu’s respite from war, Sippar suffered a destructive Dusmanyu attack.

Just leaving 3800 BCE hours ago, Batresh would arrive at 1998 in a few minutes, bringing ancient superstitions and human fears with her. She would need time to adjust and acclimate. She arrived in this future, to this culture, so advanced in some ways, so primitive in others. She would stay until 2011. She learned that since her last mission, the Soviet Union fell, Hong Kong reverted to the Chinese, and India obtained nuclear weapons.

Like her previous three, she was reluctant to go on this mission. She didn’t want to come. She missed her ancient home on the Nile. She was not eager to confront modern human attitudes towards minorities, greed and war.

After this mission she and Amun would live at New Sippar for a time. Namazu was already there serving as Admiral of the Kataru Alliance.
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