Meretneith and Merneptah the Protectress Book 2
The story of the Protectress Meretneith continues. Surviving the news of her impending motherhood, she now carries the babe of the Chosen One Saul, the Chicago global financier. As foretold by the Seers of her tribe this new female babe will grow into the strongest Protectress in their history. This places her in more danger from the ancient evil, Hyksos.
Meretneith’s 3,000 year old son Merneptah has become the promised Ptah a’ Tanen (a perfect god). Coming into his own as the first male tribal protector in the history of the tribe, he falls in love with the human female Aisha Davenport. She is the beloved adopted daughter of the Protectress. Found homeless and orphaned on the streets of New York City, she has become the only female the Ptah a’ Tanen has grown a passion for. His mother Meretneith has discovered a new healing passion amongst her enemies.
The 5,000-year-old beauty now prepares to pave the path to leadership for her children. Along with her new daughter Asherah, they are the newest creation in offspring that heralds a genetically altered and stronger human race. Still traveling the world as a business leader and death dealer, she has become a stronger killer but a gentler female and lover.
CHAPTER 2 Seed of the One Chosen
Seed of the One Chosen
SHE LAY NEXT TO Saul watching the steady rise and fall of his chest. For the first time in their relationship, he was being untruthful. He fell asleep shortly after takeoff from O’Hare. It had been over six months since making Faiyum his home. This brief visit to Chicago was at the behest of his mother and father. Its impromptu created questions in Meretneith’s mind. She noticed fatigue in the giant. He denied it. Yet clearly, the dreamings were taking their toll on him. She wanted to hold him to take away the misery and bring relief. Her Teacher Athtar had warned her that Saul would experience spiritual pain because of the dreamings. The Chosen One’s second sight was stronger than his ancient father Ba’al and brother Athtar. The stress that came with the dreamings was common to all the tribe’s males. Still she understood that the ones Saul was experiencing were about a life-altering event about to happen. All the males of the tribe were experiencing the same feelings of foreboding. The coming tragedy that none understood filled the air. There was no timing or reasons, just the need to prepare for battle. The only common thread running through the stream of coming events was the presence of Syrus, the Oldest of the Old Ones.
Meretneith knew that the Hyksos leader was coming for her; there was little that anyone could do to chase away that specter. As Protector of the tribes, she had killed numbers of Hyksos kind, greater than the sand in the sea. She must pay a price for that. The balance must return to the Ma’at. The Protectress’ only regret in facing her impending death was leaving a male that she grew to love so much. At each taking of pleasure, there was the need for more of Saul ben Izrael. There were new discoveries about him each day.
The change in Saul caused her body to increase its response to him. In the last few months, she noticed the absence of the monthly cycle. She thought at first that it was because the time to enter the light was growing closer for her and Ptah. Filled with tribal concerns months passed before the Protectress noticed the lack of stamina during training.
Leaving a sleeping Saul, she paced the main cabin. Bypassing Ptah’s quarters she entered her own. Closing the door, she pressed the overhead console bringing to life rhythmic music. Stripping she removed the twin training blades from their rack.
The first hour of training came sweet and smooth. The sweat began well into the second hour, but so did the feeling of being tired. Her heart began to pump harder and legs slowed. There was the unmistakable feeling of weariness taking control of her heart and muscles. Meretneith stopped the music then sank on the side of the bed. This happened many times in the last few months. The Protectress did not share with anyone the fear that gripped her heart. Waiting for the slowing of her pulse, she stared at the training blades lying at her feet. Then placing her hand to her abdomen she inhaled deeply.
At first, she felt no noticeable swelling. Pressing her abdomen again, the tiny nodule was clearly there. The shock of the discovery brought tears. How could she be so foolish as to overlook the truth? Yet how was it possible? It had been 3,000 years since her last babe. Like all of the males in their brood Ptah had ceased to make offspring thousands of years ago. He would have detected the scent of his babe in her immediately. The recollection of her last night pleasuring Athtar in Dubai caused her to wonder, the possibility of it immediately dismissed. The babe she felt now was too far along. Athtar’s sight was the strongest in the tribe. His sense should have detected this event. It suddenly occurred to her that he purposely held the knowledge from her. She carried Saul’s child. The Protectress ran to his cabin,
“Saul please…wake up beloved.”
His eyes opened quickly. Sitting up abruptly, he looked around the cabin, “Meret what the hell?”
“Saul why didn’t you tell me I carried your seed? Why keep it hidden? I’m over halfway through the cycle before the birthing. Why Saul and how can this be?”
She wanted to cry, but could not decide why. Clearly, she was carrying the seed of the Chosen One. No Protectress in the history of the tribe carried human male seed. Very few females in their tribe ever carried human babes to term. Dying shortly after birth the Council suggested a period of abstinence from human males.
She began to cry. Saul gathered her into his arms. For hours, their bodies rocked with her sobbing. Just before dawn, Meretneith sat drained staring into Saul’s eyes. He spoke,
“Meret I knew you were with child before we moved from Chicago. Athtar knows. Ptah and your son Merneptah do not know. Sweet woman I wanted you to make this discovery for yourself. Me telling you about an impossible pregnancy would have been difficult. Better you found out on your own.” Saul quietly chuckled to himself. “Remember how I reacted when Ptah brought me into the fold? Your babe is a girl. She is strong in the Ma’at and one of the reasons I will seek the council of those that have passed into the light. She is a child of the god Ba’al. The coming of our daughter was foretold Meretneith long ago.”
“I know Saul. Somehow, I thought perhaps it would be with another female. One that was not as old. My babe will come before my granddaughter. Once again, I enter a battle carrying a daughter. She will be your first born.”
“Are you unhappy Meret?”
She wrapped her arms around her love. Her lips caressed his then drew him closer.
“How can I be unhappy? I carry your seed beloved. You have never enjoyed the pleasures of having your own babe fill your arms. I thought my time as a creator of life was over. My adopted one Aisha received some of what I wanted to give to Anat. Now you beloved have given me another chance to be the mother I want to be.”
“Meret we’ve begun plans to move you to safer place. I feel too exposed in the Faiyum palace. We need a safe haven for you to have the baby. Athtar tells me that there is an abandoned Citadel built by Ptah long ago in the mountains. We plan to go there after the battle. Should Syrus survive the next battle he’ll come after you. He knows that you carry my seed. He will want to destroy my baby. My brother Athtar and his sisters will attend to you during the birthing.”
“Saul when will we tell the rest of the family?”
“That is your affair baby girl. You do what feels comfortable.”
“What makes me comfortable now is for you to pleasure me. Your female has a need to feel you inside her. I think I have earned more of your love.”
* * * * *
MONTHS HAD PASSED SINCE the discovery of the new babe. Meretneith was piloting the chopper from Cairo to Ptah’s palace in Faiyum. The battle plans were almost complete. Already encamped her warriors were nearby in the desert. The new little one growing inside her was making herself known with each passing day. The Protectress felt movement for the first time during their trip home from Chicago. Her thoughts were filled with the thousands of years that passed since the birth of her last child. The warrior body was younger when she carried the newly placed seed of Anat. When she landed on the palace lawn, Arsay was there to greet her. She approached her Protectress in the traditional way of offering her breath then the touch of Meretneith lips. The female warriors gazed at each other before Meretneith whispered, “You know.”
Arsay smiled, “By Ra…I know!”
Meretneith’s huge green feline eyes sparkled with pride. Caressing her swelling abdomen, “I have another reason to survive this battle and my body needs your elixir sweet healer. My new babe is strong and she takes a lot from me. Are our warriors ready to face our fight? Is all in preparation?”
“All of the warriors have been called. Ra…Protectress this is the biggest battle our tribes have faced in many years. Intel has caught a lot of activity in the deserts of Iran. Our spotters have repositioned in the mountains.
“I’ve already prepared your elixir. It will give you back your strength. Meret you have come late to the realization of this wonder. Your body needs to return to its full power.”
The Protectress ignored the concerns of her friend, “They understand my battle plan. I do not want the fighters from the north to enter until I give the call. Merneptah will be there to lead the way. Are the choppers in ready? I’ll need at least twenty five personnel carriers.”
“They are hidden in the mountains. The pickup point will be at a location near Abydos. My brother brings his fighters in tomorrow. They have their own fixed winged carriers. How do you feel Protectress? Ra…it has been too long since your last babe. Athtar saw this as well as did the Council. You told the Council the truth during your last meeting. You knew they were hiding a lot from you. Would it have made a difference to know that you would carry Saul’s child?”
“No. I know only love for this male. It grows with each passing day. I don’t understand why my brother has not sensed the new one.”
“Protectress his thoughts and fears are consumed with worry for Anat and Syrus. You must keep a distance from this worry. The Balance is disturbed. No one knows where the struggle will come from. Saul has made plans to take you to the citadel for your trials. Should I survive the battle I will join you there. He sent caregivers to prepare for your arrival directly after the battle. We cannot return to Faiyum. I asked your family to meet us in the rooftop gardens”
Entering the arboreal sanctuary Meretneith suddenly sensed her son close. She turned to see him moving through the flowering shrubs. Drawing her into his arms, he kissed her lips. “I have news my son. Where is your sister?”
“Anat is with her lover. She will be with us for training at dawn.”
“Merneptah why is it that your sister and mate is not with you before a battle? We pleasure our mates the night before a fight. There is no guarantee that we will see Ra the next day.”
“My sister finds her own ways of pleasuring mother. She is angry and I will not discuss the reasons for her anger before a battle. However, your males are at my heels.”
They heard Ptah roar as he climbed to his rooftop gardens. Arsay stood at the stair landing to greet her brother. The golden giant was embracing his brother Saul. Ptah followed with Inanna at his side. Meretneith was overjoyed to see her. She was not due back from her tribal visit until the next day. They embraced and Inanna looked into the eyes of her goddess. Meretneith held her close, “Yes beloved your Protectress carries Saul’s babe. You will be at my side for the birthing. I am more than halfway through my normal birthing cycle. The Healers and Teachers know little og what to expect.”
They joined the others Meretneith taking her seat next to Saul she spoke. “I’m happy to be with those I love the most, but it breaks my heart that one of my own is missing. I have news that my Teacher and Arsay already knows. Only my son and brother have failed to understand that their mother and sister is heavy with child.”
There was a silence. Ptah rose to kneel at her feet followed by Merneptah. “Sister how can this be, our children are 3,000 years old. No Protectress has given her consort a babe so late in their lives.”
“Ptah I carry the seed of the Chosen One. Saul and Athtar knew when he was in Chicago last year. I am more than halfway through my term. This is why Saul and Athtar are preparing the citadel.”
Ptah rose to walk to the retaining wall overlooking the lake. His strides foretold the storm brewing in his heart. Winds of the desert sunset stirred his hair then lifted the mass above his head. He roared, “My sister carries another’s child and I’m the last to know. How can this be? My daughter pleasures a male offspring on the eve of a battle.”
He turned on the group, his eyes settled on Saul. “You are my lover, how is it you didn’t come to me with this news?”
Saul approached Ptah. As always, the baritone was soft and measured. All could see that the sound of it calmed the god Ptah. “It is because I am your lover that the words wouldn’t come. I wanted your sister to discover that she carried my babe first.” He gathered Ptah into his arms. They left the gardens.
Meretneith stroked the cheek of her child. Gazing into his face, “What does my child say?”
“Your child sees the happiness in his mother’s eyes. There is nothing else for your son to say mother. You have merely given me another female to love. The seed of the Chosen One could only find its place in the womb of a Protectress. This new female is the new leader. She will carry on the bloodline of the god Ba’al. This coming was foretold mother.”
Tears swelled then spilled onto her cheeks. He kissed each one before caressing her lips. Merneptah lifted his mother, “Mother we will plan for our new one after the battle. Now let’s insure defeat of our enemies. I want you to see my plans and tell me what you think.”
“Merneptah you have been planning your own battles since you were a young one. Who routed the Hittites and drove the Assyrians from our ranks? Who did the Old Ones call the monster and killer of women and unborn children?”
“Our enemies still call me that mother.”
They all laughed strolling to the banquet hall. This would be the last night of feasting and revelry before the battle. Dawn would witness the assemblage of warriors.
* * * * *
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.
Merneptah called Khalid to have a small fixed wing ready for them at the Faiyum. They waited until sundown to fly to Muscat landing on the opposite side of the shoreline. Khalid returned to Abu Dhabi to refuel and wait for Merneptah’s call.
On the rocky and mountainous shoreline of Encounter Point along the borders of Iran, caregivers met them with an all terrain. A full day’s ride to Ranakpur yielded what the Protectress knew was a reality. Syrus’ female warriors stopped to organize another group. The slaughter of the desert tribes belonging to the Teachers was a training run for new offspring warriors. Meretneith and Merneptah were closing in. Entering dense mountainous jungle foliage the two left their vehicle to begin the track on foot. They found their tribal warriors and their offspring in the mountains. They knew Merneptah immediately greeted him and the Protectress with food and water.
Declining offers to stay the night. Merneptah and his mother moved on. Even with the setting sun, the heat and moisture clung to their skin. The mountain climbs into the night took its toll on Meretneith’s body. Stripping to the waist they climbed in silence until the Protectress caught the scent of Hyksos. It was a true scent. These Old One offspring and humans were the warriors that made the raid within her territory. She stared into her son’s eyes. His expression mirrored her thoughts. Mother and son slowed their heart rate. Drawing blades for close quarter kills, they paused. Keeping close to the floor of the canopy the predawn chill helped her focus. Then the little one nestled in her made a move. The strong kick was unexpected. Meretneith grabbed her son’s hand for momentary support. She smiled into his face. Placing his hand on her abdomen, he felt his sister’s answer. He smiled.
No longer needing to track a location, Meretneith and Merneptah quickly moved toward the Hyksos camp. A group of fighters lay in the open portico of the ancient ruins of a palace garden. Thick vines and foliage covered the once impressive marble flooring. With their guard down and in celebration of their recent kill, the Old One offspring spent their evening pleasuring. There were fifty or so slumbering under the chill of mountain forests. A nearby creek sang of recent rains. The forest wind picking through the broad leaf trees did not notice mother and son moving along its floor. Nor did the slumbering offspring fighters catch the scent of approaching death. Merneptah moved away from his mother.
Crawling through old carved and rotting doorways, he quietly landed in the entrance of old palace rooms. Finding them empty, he crawled outside to the porticos. Disturbing nesting snakes, he lifted a few quietly laying them aside. He found a warrior group slumbering close to the keyhole doorway. Calming his pulse in anticipation of the kill his blade glided along the exposed throats. Their last breaths came from severed pipes as warm blood formed rivulets across the dirt and tile. A monkey called out a warning that echoed throughout the upper canopy.
One lover shifted her arms to draw closer to her mate. It was her last move. Another severed gullet silently emptied its contents onto the faded stone patterns of tiled floor. He felt his mother near. Moving to Meretneith’s side, they found lovers still in the throes of pleasuring. In the same instant, he saw his mother embrace a fighter. One warrior’s mouth still clinging to another stifled the scream. Death came immediately.
Another gust of wind moved through the forest. Carrying the screams of monkeys while disturbing bright coloured wings that fluttered from branches straining greet the golden rays of Re. Looking down at the river from a mountain cliff, mother and son paid homage to the awakening sun god. His new pale light revealed the carnage of bodies colouring bright red the paved stones of the ancient palace.
The mother and son moved quickly down the mountainside. Stopping only once to bath along a swollen river bank. One day later, they greeted Khalid at Muscat Oman on the shores of the gulf. They took a small fixed wing back to Faiyum. Arriving at the palace just before dawn, Saul confronted Meretneith on the lawn, “At least you had the decency to take your son with you. I smell the kill on you. Woman what am I to do? You are my life. This is not like the other battles Protectress.”
Merneptah strode into the palace in silence. Meretneith looked into the eyes of Saul. Drawing him near, she placed his hand on her abdomen. Their daughter greeted his caress. Saul fell to his knees to embrace and press his lips to her growing belly. She lifted her voice in joy and tears. Gazing into Saul’s eyes, she said,
“You feel my joy sweet male. This is your young one and she rejoices in what has happened this day. We have reduced their numbers and found some retribution. We go to battle tonight. Bringing his best Syrus will be on my heels. He did not see this coming. The Oldest of the Old Ones will hasten this fight bringing his defeat. We will press our fight to him in the Iranian deserts. Pleasure me.”
Saul lifted her into his arms walking quickly for the palace. She whispered,
“I am not a woman sweet male. I am your Protectress.”