Disclaimer: My first time playing in this sandbox. The identifiable characters aren't mine…
Some notes before you get to the story…
This story is, obviously, an Egyptian AU, the characters are basically the same, those that we love, though in this different placement, they will have a couple of new things to explore. I don't deem myself an expert in DCU so I'm going to fail a lot in simple things (and I have a tendency to let the characters go OoC) and for that I apologize in advance.
Now, I decided to keep the names because it would be a bit strange to have the characters without, no? However this way is also strange due to the Egyptian names that I'll dump here… I need to think about it…
The same goes to the other characters that might appear.
I'm no expert (by any means) in the Egyptian civilization and all of this comes from whatever research I did, some books that I read and whatever crazy plot the bunny of the moment decides to throw at me. And to clear up things a bit, this story happens during Ramesses II reign so some 'true' events will pop up (I'm still working on that too) and while I know that a lot of the facts aren't like that, I tweaked them to fit the story. Bottom line, if there's something that doesn't exactly fit, it was all my fault.
That's all, for now. Enjoy the read. ^^
Chapter One – A Long Night
It was a calm night. The moon was shinning brightly on the cloudless sky. In the city, everything had taken a semblance of calm and a certain building in particular was no exception.
The shadowed building was a large one, filled with small, closed off rooms in one side, with a well equipped armory at approximately the center of the whole building. On the other side of it ample rooms and classy furnishes embellished the offices and it was in that place that most of the action occurred, except that there was no real action, so to speak. The whole building was heavily guarded as it was, after all, a prison.
In one of the small rooms, a little figure had huddled in a dark corner. There was no sound and only the odd movement of the head showed that the person was battling off sleep, though they hadn't been very successful at it so far.
Startling awake once again the figure let their head hit the wall behind. A curse was muttered at the same time that a hand ran through hair that almost reached bare shoulders.
After a brief moment of hesitation the figure got up and started pacing the tiny room. In four strides he was at the other side of the room, looking at the night sky and how the whole city was protected by the benevolent beams of the night god. He sighed and leaned back on the wall, letting the beams that filtered through the window and the unfinished bit of ceiling overhead, wash over him. The pale moonlight showered a young man, slightly muscled yet lean, with shocking red hair. On his hips a dirty, yellowed loincloth rested. He was barefoot.
He looked up at Iah, his clever green eyes were accusing, and he wondered, not for the first time, what had he done to the gods to be in this place. He was a simple scribe, right out of scribal school and one of the many that filled the lower rankings at the Thot temple. For gods' sake, in that category he was at the lowest of the low!
To think that he was about to leave the temple's grounds when he had been intercepted by two unhappy goons that demanded (at least they hadn't been physical – heh, maybe that was the reason for their unhappiness) he followed them to the big building that was the prison.
When they got there, a flurry of movement had surrounded him, someone shouting incomprehensible things at him before he was pushed to follow a man whose mouth was faster that the beer flowing down the throat of a farmer in a hot day. Needless to say that he had barely caught anything out of what the man said. He only got the words "treason", "crime against the holy person", "sentenced to death" and "next day".
Of course that he had tried to argue and defend his innocence – after all, he had no idea about what the man meant! – but it had been for nothing. They had got to this room and pushed him in, closing the door behind with the finality of the crack of a whip.
So, here he was… at a loss and, apparently, savoring the few hours of his life that remained. And they didn't even have the decency of giving him dinner! Only a few pieces of stale bread and water. That was no dinner! His stomach promptly growled in agreement.
He slid to a sitting position and started wringing his hands, looking at the dark corner with a far away look. What about his family in the countryside? How were they going to react to this accusation and… and his uncle…
He didn't want to think about it! He… he better not think about it… Where was Ma'at in this situation? In despair he placed his head in his hands and shook it. What was he going to do?
Without him noticing, a shadow peeked out from one corner of the open ceiling, only to disappear instants later.
In the distance a cat meowed.
In a luxurious residence near the Nile's Delta, a group of people was celebrating.
"A toast, to a successful plan," a man dressed in a simple loincloth stood up and raised his glass. The rest of the guests also got up and cheerfully agreed.
"To the plan!" then all of them downed their drinks.
"You ought to notice that this excellent wine dates from the seventh year of reign. It was a blessed year…" a female voice chimed in.
"How could we not, my dear? How could we not? I took great care in choosing our dearest host," the man paused to look around the terrace, feeling the air fill with mirth. "For now we shall rest assured that all the loopholes have been considered and, if the gods allow it, our plan will come to fruition. Now, please, enjoy your meal."
Instants later the sound of people eating the delicacies that covered the long table along with more jars of the good wine, were the only noises that permeated the night. Every now and then, those noises were cut by a chilling laugh that spread through the nearby marsh.
As the first sun beams started piercing the sky, signaling the first part of Ra's solar disc travel, the red head woke up and stretched from his uncomfortable curled position against the wall. He had barely slept but the little he did just gave him a crick on the neck. The red head looked up, as if to confirm that it was indeed a new day, letting out a disgruntled noise. He usually loved the mornings. That optimistic feel of a new day that began, filled with promises of good things to come – even if he was going to spend most of the day following the orders of an elder scribe – that would be nice, right at the moment.
There were a couple of young scribes like him to talk to and in the free bits of time they got they went to the lush garden on the back of the temple to listen to (and take a peek) at the group of cute musicians that rehearsed in the twin garden. And he had been just this close to inviting that lute player on a date, but… what was her name again…? Aceu… Acel… Acenith? Yeah, that was it. He didn't know why but he always forgot… it was perhaps the fault of her… attributes but you could hardly blame a man for looking, right?
A sigh passed his lips. There just was no way out of this, was there? And even thinking about all the cute girls and whatnot. None of that mattered now… It was morning, Ra was out there and soon they would be in here with the poison for him to drink and put an end to his simple life.
In retrospect, it hadn't been all that terrible. He had gotten in some great pranks back at home and was where he was by his own merit but it just wasn't enough. He had always thought that he would be doing something grand, not ending here in the slums.
From the outside came some noise; steps, getting closer and closer to his door and room.
The door banged open, hitting the straw makeshift bed full on. He had to send a quick thanks to the gods for not being in the bed. Looking up he saw a pudgy guy that was breathing heavily, beads of sweat running down his forehead and he looked sullenly at him.
For a few seconds the red head toyed with the idea of pushing the guy and make a run for it but the guard that stood behind was way too muscled to let him pass (no matter how fast he knew he could be, this was one that he knew he couldn't win) and was holding a bat with a sour look on his face.
"You. Get up now. Come on, we have to go…" the pudgy man seemed a bit agitated.
"Huh? But weren't you the ones supposed to-" the scribe was feeling a little confused.
"No. Come, there's no time to lose, we have to go quickly…"
With that the red head was ushered out of his cell and led through a series of maze-like corridors to a room. In it, one of the top officers (he noticed his badge) sat at a wooden table, reading the notes that sat before him. When they entered he looked up and signaled the others to leave the room. When they were alone in the room his arched eyebrow showed the scribe that he was to sit down. The red head hurried to comply.
"So, you are Wally West, scribe at the Temple of Thot. It has not been long since you graduated from scribal school, you're quite new to the city, having changed school twice," as Wally was about to open the mouth to say something, a pointed look made him close it instantly, "they didn't give any reason but apart from that, your record is exemplary. It's such a pity that that stupid attempt came to stain this…" the officer shook his head and placed his fingers over the first note, making it slide.
At the same time the scribe opened his hands on the table and retorted, exasperated, "But I have no idea of what you're talking about!"
The man just scratched his stubble and placed his elbows on the table, steepling his fingers, "Look here son, what you did was so serious that I would be committing a heresy just by mentioning it here, and you… you're lucky for having friends in high places to save your ass because if I had any say in it, you would've drank that bottle of poison first thing in the morning!" the man all but spat.
Wally was completely taken aback, his mouth fell open and he just looked blankly ahead. So… the crimes they said he had committed were of the worst kind and he had magically gained some 'friends' to watch his back… Just the idea of any of these things having anything to do with him was preposterous! He was just Wally West, lowly scribe- This had to be a prank. The best ever! But he knew better than to ask.
"Very well, scum, you're going to be escorted to the house of the sender of this missive. And whichever dealings you have with one of the most outstanding priests of our city, I warn you to be careful not to slip and get back here. I do wonder what such an honorable person has to do with scum like you…" he rolled the notes before pushing back the chair and head to the door. When Wally didn't move he made an impatient noise and threw the door open. The officer exchanged some words with the guard in a low tone before disappearing.
The red head got himself together pretty quickly, considering, so when the calloused hand patted him on the shoulder he got up and followed meekly. He was led through another series of corridors and out of that place. Along the way another guard joined them and the three men walked silently.
They went unnoticed through the stirring city. At one point they crossed one of the streets where the merchants were setting their things and from where delicious scents filled the air. They made his stomach growl furiously. He never, ever spent so much time without eating! And now he could feel his mouth water and that was not cool when he was being escorted by these unpleasant men. He had all the reasons to be ill-tempered, he couldn't help but scoff inwardly.
After a long walk (damn, was it almost time for Ra to go for the second part of his daily travel), just bordering on the northern outline of the city, they got to the estate. A guard stopped them at the entrance, demanding to know what they wanted. The first guard showed him the note. The man let them get in without further ado. They got to the entrance of the residence, pausing respectfully in front of the small shrine in honor of some deities and deceased loved ones. A man with grey (almost white) hair appeared at the door. His garment was made of a finer linen and he had some small, yet expensive, ornaments.
"Gentlemen, may I be of some service?" he asked evenly.
"We've been sent here to escort him," the guard nodded in Wally's direction at the same time that he extended the note. "I think our mission here's finished," and they both turned around and left without a second glance.
The man looked with distaste at the place where the guards had been before turning his attention to the sheet on his hand and consequently to Wally.
"Hmm, I see… Follow me, please," and he took the scribe to an adjoining room where he could refresh himself and get rid of some of the dirt that covered him.
Embarrassingly his stomach growled and demanded attention, so much that Wally felt himself flush under the other man's amused look. Then he was led to a pleasant terrace that overlooked a beautiful garden that extended to the far distance. In the terrace, a table was fully garnished with the best looking food – ever!
"You may sit down and start eating. The master will be here in a while."
Wally sat down, self-conscious because of the luxury that surrounded him, but he forgot all about that as soon as he started eating. Food seemed to magically disappear as he ate with more gusto than usual. After all, this was the best meal of his life!
Halfway through the meal (when the more immediate hunger had been satisfied), the scribe slowed down his eating process and let himself be hit by some of the things that he had let slide because of the worry over his hunger… He had been saved from an unfair death for a crime he didn't commit by a noteworthy priest. He wasn't that new in town not to know about who they were talking about… And now he was at the same notorious priest's estate, his home – shoveling food like the fool he was… What was he going to do?
He froze with a slice of fruit halfway to his mouth. He looked like an idiot, but the worst was the way he reacted when a rich, deep voice spoke from behind.
"Thank you. I see that we already have our guest here…"
Wally got up and turned, the chair toppled to the ground and he gripped the edge of the clothed table until his knuckles turned white.
He was here, right in front of him.
A/N: Here is the first chapter. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I liked writing it. ^^
First of all, I need to thank xRae Asakurax and CodenameEternity/The lunatic who cares for giving me the support and wanting to see what would come out of this. Hopefully you enjoyed this first chapter. :)
I know that the chapter was small but that's all I can do for now. And I still need to work a lot in the details and stuff but am excited and want to continue with this story!
This chapter was beta-ed by the amazing The lunatic who cares (thank you so much for your patience) – any odd things are mine.
I would appreciate if you gave some sort of feedback. Was it good, bad, too simple? Drop me a line. ;D
This minion hopes her Queen is satisfied. *bows*