The Snake and the Flower

I decided to make this chapter to show what was going through Imhotep's thoughts from his first death up until his second death. I just felt that some things needed clarification, as well as the fact that I love looking into people's minds and wonder what they think about things, especially if their thoughts relate to their opinions on change in the world around them. Just so you know, because Imhotep's thoughts are technically in Egyptian, anything said in other languages will be italicized and he will not know what they are saying. I will also be making allusions to the Bible, as it is implied that Imhotep was around at the time of the beginning of Exodus. And now, for the last time, I do not own The Mummy.

Thoughts of One Cursed

It was not fair. Not for them. My sisters had simply been trying to protect me as they always have. They did not deserve the torments that were inflicted upon them by that spoiled Prince Ramses who now proudly wore his father's crown. He had always been full of contempt and arrogance, just like his father before him, and his cowardly sister dared to weep for my sisters, despite how unworthy she is. How dare those filthy Medjai lay a hand on my sisters? They do not even deserve to kiss the feet of my beloved sisters. I can never forgive myself for having wrought such pain upon my loved ones, but I had to do it out of love for my precious Anck-sun-amun. Surely they must understand why I did what I did. Even now as I lay agonizing as the scarabs slowly devour me, I cannot help but wonder what will become of the spirits of my sisters. The Medjai destroyed their earthly bodies, therefore their souls will not exist in the next life; but they were both sacred priestesses and were blessed by the magic of the gods themselves. Surely ones who were so favored will be given a second chance, and should I ever arise I will find my Cobra and Lotus and bring them back just as I will restore the life to my Anck-sun-amun.

Many centuries had passed, but I still lived in a way. My spirit was cursed to forever remain here until someone reads from the Book of the Dead. In my eternal prison I heard many things, though I saw nothing; I knew not how much time had passed, but I frequently recognized the sound of horses and the cries of men in battle. After one battle had ended, I sensed something I hadn't in a long time, a survivor of one of these battles was standing by the statue of Anubis. I felt a chance to maybe send a message to this person, so I channeled what energy my spirit possessed and made my image appear in the sand near to where whoever it was stood. But, my efforts were foolish, perhaps, as the person ran off in fear. It was not the best plan, but it was a final effort to let another human being know that I was here. And then, the land above me went quiet. I knew that perhaps two others had survived the battle, but they left not long after this other had. I did not bother to try and let them know of my presence, I would just have to wait for the day I would finally return.

Then, I felt it. It was most likely not many years after that last battle, when I sensed the presence of many. Would there be another battle soon? I could feel in the sand that these were not people armed for battle specifically. Rather, it sounded like…tools? I heard many voices, most of them male but I do believe I detected at least three female ones. Perhaps now was my chance. I decided to wait and let them come and find me. I soon heard the sound of voices approaching where I lay buried. Yes, yes, just a little closer. If my heart was still intact and could beat it would have leapt for joy. I began to hear the sound of clanking and cracking and other sounds that told me they were digging into my resting place. Oh, happy hour, O gods of Egypt, you have not deserted me, despite my crimes. My decayed body rattled around in its coffin as I knew the large, stone sarcophagus must have fallen down to the chamber where these people had been digging. I heard a woman's voice speak in a language I did not know. It was familiar somehow. I heard the muffled discourse between two men and several women, and…a child? Who would bring a child to such a place as this? I soon heard a clicking noise. The key! One of these people had the key! They would let me out of this accursed prison. My joy was briefly turned to worry when I heard the sound of screams, followed by a loud thump. Someone was dead. However, I knew my soon-to-be saviors were unharmed as I sensed the life of them was intact. I became impatient when I sensed them leave and go to the above ground. Patience, Imhotep I cautioned myself they are but mortals and need rest to continue their work. Have patience with them. So I waited. But then, I heard the sounds of combat, men yelling and weapons clashing. What if my rescuers were killed? What if none of their compatriots came to continue their work? But, my fears subsided as I once more felt the life still in those who had found me. After all this time, it gave me hope.

I waited eagerly, savoring my deliverance as my finders set my coffin upright and began to speak in excited tones. I detected much happiness in them; clearly they did not yet understand what I was. I heard a final click as the key was placed in the last lock that kept me a prisoner. Yes, do it! Free me from this prison! I felt the rush of the musty air of the temple hit my rotted corpse. I heard things so clearly, unmarred by my stone prison. I could hear my rescuers coughing against the dust that must have poured forth from my grave. They began to speak in that strange language again, but I think it was clear what they must be feeling upon seeing me. I must look repulsive to them. As they talked, I began to hear something familiar in the voices of the women. There were three, to be exact, and I heard the faint voice of a girl child. The men and the child eventually departed, but the women continued to examine my remains. Then, I knew what it was that was so familiar in two of the women's voices. I felt like a fool for not recognizing it. Even though they spoke in this strange new tongue, the voices of my beloved Cobra and my treasured Lotus rang clear and comforting in this horrible place. I felt peaceful for the first time in what has seemed to be forever when I heard the lilting voice of my dear Netikerty, even the rougher and more commanding tone of dear Sitre-meramun were a consolation. I longed to speak to them, to say "It is I, your brother, save me my cherished ones, my only family", but I could not form the words to speak. I had no tongue. I could not look upon their beautiful faces, as I had no eyes. Only hearing, that was the one gift the gods had bestowed me until I was awakened.

I felt my joy depart as they left. Please, O mighty gods and goddesses, let one among their comrades find the chest and read from the book. I beg you. Let me be reunited with those that I love. It was only a matter of hours before I heard it. The incantation that would bring me back. I knew it must be being read by the third woman, as the voice sounded like neither of my sisters. She finished the first part of the spell, and I roared as I was reborn into the world. I knew the woman had not finished the spell, someone had yelled at her to stop. A still could not see, even though I could move, but I could sense the beings that ran in fear throughout the temple. Most clearly of all, I could see the ones who had opened the chest. How foolish of them, but how fortunate for me. I found one, walking unsurely through the corridors. He moved as though he could not see well, and he would be easy prey. I grabbed him, and he screamed in pain and fear as I took his tongue and eyes. Although this one had had trouble seeing, I saw everything clearly, every word on the walls, every grain of sand on the floor. I noticed the man wore strange garments and looked too pale-skinned to be an Egyptian.

Soon, I heard a rumbling sound, and I detected that three people must have fallen through one of the trap doors. I moved out of the shadows, where I had moved as I became used to using eyes again, and the women screamed in fear, except for one who just looked shocked. I noticed that one of the women had darted over to assist the man I had taken the eyes and tongue from, but I paid her no mind. I moved towards the two women who had backed up against the wall. The older of the two women moved in front of her younger friend, her arms outstretched like the protective wings of Nekhbet. At first I did not realize who it was, but that look of anger burning in the brown eyes that she and I had once bore in similar likeness thousands of years ago made me look more closely, and I realized who this young woman was. Her black hair was pulled back and tied into a blue veil that accompanied the blue dress she wore; I remembered how she had been required to wear blue every day since her initiation into the cult of Wadjet. The clothing looked like the kind that I knew to be worn by Persian and Mede women. Had Egypt been conquered by foreign savages? Never. Egypt was eternal, untouchable. But yet, I had been ignorant of how much time had passed. But all the same, there she stood, strong and proud as she was the last time I had seen her.

"Sitre-meramun?" I asked.

She looked at me in confusion and would not move, it was then that I noticed the woman she was protecting from me.

"Anck-sun-amun?" No. This was not my beloved. Not in body or in spirit. Though there was something familiar about her that I did not know what, I knew she was the one who had read from the book. She would be the one through which my darling Anck-sun-amun would be resurrected. I tried to move closer, but my dear Cobra would not stand aside.

"Stay away from us." She said, though the language that she had once spoken since birth now sounded rehearsed, as if she had had to learn it a second time.

"I will not harm you, my Cobra," I assured her. "You are Sitre-meramun."

"Who?" She did not know who she was? No matter, I would find a way to restore her memories.

"Someone who did not deserve the torment she and her sister endured." I then returned my attention to the other woman. I knew she was not my beloved, but she would help me restore her. I wished to embrace what I had lost, and this woman was as close to my Anck-sun-amun as I knew. I reached out my hand, longing to feel the warmth of this living woman who would be the source of rebirth for my love. "Come with me, my princess, Anck-sun-amun."

Suddenly, I heard the sounds of many men running. They came charging in. The men were strange in appearance, two of them were fair-haired, they were all dressed in strange clothes that I did not recognize as belonging to any people us Egyptians had known; at least, not in my time. The clothing was like that of my first victim, I guessed that whatever people these were were accustomed to such clothing. I noticed that one man was holding the girl child I had sensed, she wore a dress like the one my Cobra wore, and there was something about her that I recognized, but I was unsure. Another man, one that I took to be the leader, ran over to the two women yelling in that dialect I did not know. When he saw where they were looking, he turned and yelled in horror at the sight of me. I was infuriated that this infidel had interrupted my encounter with my sister and the woman who I would use to bring back my Anck-sun-amun, so I let out a monstrous shriek to scare him away. He responded by letting out a yell in imitation of me, and raised some strange metal weapon. A blast of strange fire hit me and knocked me down. I heard the people retreat and head for the gateway of the city. I was unharmed by this foolish mortal's weapon; no mortal weapon can bring me harm. However, I would bring vengeance upon this man for daring to attack me; but for now, I needed to focus on finding my escaped victim.

I began to feel hopeful, for if my Sitre-meramun was alive, perhaps that woman that had gone to the aid of my victim was Netikerty. Netikerty was a very caring soul, she hated seeing people suffer. I am not amazed that she would do all she could to assist that man whose eyes and tongue I had stolen, she did not understand yet who I was. My poor, misguided Lotus, with such a caring heart, she will understand in time why I have to do what I will do, she cannot begrudge me the chance to live. I made my way through the halls, and saw her. My dear, precious, little sister was helping that undeserving man to walk. She had stopped and fired one of those strange weapons at me; it caused no harm of course. Just like my Cobra, Netikerty wore this bizarre Persian garb, only in green that matched her papyrus-colored eyes. It pained me so that my Lotus was so afraid of me. Netikerty had been more than a sister to me; she had been like a daughter. As the only man in our family that lived, I was seen as the father for my sisters, even though it was Sitre-meramun who took on the role of protector. I remembered how the three of us were forced to live on the streets after the death of our parents; Netikerty was barely old enough to walk at the time.

"Netikerty?" I asked, hoping that she would remember me. I noticed a spark in her green eyes that told me she did remember, at least to some extent. "Netikerty, I knew when I saw our beloved Cobra that you would not be far."

I moved closer, but just like what had happened in that other chamber, some fool dared to interfere. But it was not just any fool, it was a Medjai. Filthy slaves of the pharaoh, the ones who had tortured my dear ones for my actions. That dirty commoner held in his arms a cat. I cursed the fate that had made me fear the keepers of the Underworld. Though in my life I revered the sacred beings, the animals held in the highest regard by my people, I hated this creature for forcing me to flee in fear from its presence. I was filled with rage. How dare this Medjai mongrel come between me and the sister who I regarded as dearly as I would a daughter? When I regenerated I would unleash a merciless slaughter upon the Medjai for their crimes against me and my innocent sisters.

I fled to where I knew the Book of the Dead had lain in order to find the sacred jars that held the vital organs of my Anck-sun-amun. I found the box, but it was empty! Tomb-robbers! My sisters now walked with tomb-robbers! Surely they were ignorant of what these men had done. My sisters would never desecrate sacred earth. Nor would they have done as I had and disturb the Book of the Dead for selfish purposes. My sisters were a light in darkness, with unquestionable honor. Even their decision to keep my secret was founded in their love for me, and love for a brother is a virtue. I soon felt a being draw close. Another tomb-robber? I could hear the shaking fear in his whimpers as he entered the room. He did not see me at first, as his back was towards me; but when he turned, he stared in horror as all others did. I knew he was not one of the men who had opened the chest, they all had an aura about them that marked them as cursed, but I wanted to vent my anger at something, so I decided I would kill this man purely out of spite. He began to slowly back away as I moved in for the kill. He raised several talismans in succession, speaking in many foreign tongues; it would be of no help to him, whatever gods or goddesses he called upon would give him no protection from me.

Then, I heard it. The language that was spoken by the Hebrew slaves who toiled on Seti's monuments. I became fluent in the dialect, thanks to a Hebrew woman who tended to a child that Seti's daughter, Nefertiri, had found in a basket in the reed marsh. The woman was very kind and loved that child as much as the princess. I often wondered if Jochebed, for that was the woman's name, had lost a child to Seti's cruel edict to slaughter the newborn Hebrew boys; she nursed prince Moses and raised him as a Hebrew, and Jochebed's other children, Miriam and Aaron, treated the boy as they would a brother. I had been sickened when Seti had ordered the slaughter of the Hebrew boys, my sisters and I had known many Hebrew children when we were little and they were always kind to us, sharing what little food they had with us when we were starving. I thought it was barbaric to enslave people, we Egyptians rarely had slaves in the past, we usually relied upon paid servants, but Seti was a tyrant. He deserved none of the good fortune that the gods had granted him, but he got his due in the end, struck down by two lovers that he would have kept apart forever. I knew that when I took over this world, I would bring an era of peace and freedom for all mankind; but to achieve this goal would require the deaths of a few, is it not better then to let a few perish so that others might live in peace? As to the man before me, I knew he had no shred of human decency in him, his frivolous use of religious emblems that were dedicated to many different gods showed that he would serve whoever gave him safety. He was just the man I needed to find the thieves who stole the sacred jars. The only jar that had remained was the smashed jar that held the dusty remnants of Anck-sun-amun's heart, the men who mummified her had cut her precious heart from her chest as a sign of her crimes against the pharaoh. The thieves must not have found any value in it, so they left it where it was and took the remaining ones. I needed to collect the other jars, as well as my sacrifice, so I could bring back Anck-sun-amun; I also needed to regenerate so that I would be able to complete my goals; I would make sure that the tomb-robbers suffered for their sacrilege. I decided to strike a bargain with the cowering man before me, his life and as much treasure as he could carry in exchange for service in finding the ones who opened the chest, as well as the Book of the Dead and the three women I sought.

The man who now served me, Beni he called himself, managed to acquire for me a mask and a heavy, black cloak so I could move about in the presence of men and they would not shrink in fear. My servant Beni told me that what I sought could be found in a city known as "Cairo", which resided across the Nile from the pyramids of the great early kings. When I saw the familiar structures once again, I was saddened how all that remained of the great structures was the crude under-stone rather than the gleaming white marble and gold that I had remembered from my lifetime. Thieves must have pilfered the valuable materials, who knows what else foreigners had taken from my homeland. The mighty sphinx, once a proud symbol of the great pharaoh Khafra, was missing its nose and looked to have been badly damaged, and it was clear to me that it was not the sands of time alone that had worn away at the great beast, the hands of men had done their damage as well. So, these outsiders were not content to rob the tombs of sacred relics, they also found amusement in vandalizing the structures that were evidence of Egypt's glory? They would pay dearly for it.

This city of "Cairo" was strange in design, with more of this unusual new technology. I saw chariots that moved without aid of horses, that Beni called "Vehicles" and some sort of contraptions that were shaped like plant-bulbs that contained light in a form called "Electricity". The buildings were also strange; they seemed to be sturdy and made of stone and bricks like the dwellings of ancient times, but they were built in ways that I did not understand, and there were streets that were paved with smooth stone and what looked to be black tar, what Beni called "Roads". There were animals I had not seen that must have been brought in from the East, creatures called "Camels" that seemed to be more frequently used than horses, I did not much care for the beasts as they seemed to me to be vulgar and repulsive animals with foul tempers, in a way, they resembled the god Set in appearance as well as temperament, I almost wanted to laugh at the cruel irony that a god of chaos resembled such ghastly creatures.

The people of Egypt looked changed as well, they all walked about in heavy clothing that looked uncomfortable; I saw that many women wore those Eastern clothes, like the ones my sisters and my sacrifice had worn, and most of them kept themselves covered with thick veils. I noticed that at some point since my death, a foreign people must have conquered Egypt and intermarried with the true-born residents of the land. I was disgusted at the thought; in my time, we had always been told that there were two kinds of people, Egyptians and the uncivilized outsiders. My opinion of the Hebrew people was that they were 'adopted' Egyptians and therefore civilized, that is why I hated the fact that they were enslaved. Before my father died, he would tell us of when the Hebrews first came to Egypt; he said that a Hebrew man was brought as a slave from Canaan, sold by his own brothers to a band of Ishmaelites who were kindred to both Hebrews and Egyptians, the man was one day brought in to interpret the dreams of the pharaoh, and through him Egypt had been delivered out of a famine that would have destroyed us all. The Hebrew man was named Zaphnath-Paaneah by the pharaoh and given an Egyptian wife, a woman whose father was both a priest and prince; the worship of a single divine power, that the Hebrews practiced, appealed to the pharaoh and he banned the worship of all other gods to the Egyptians in favor of the power that created the sun, allowing the Hebrews to worship their all-powerful divinity that had brought them such good fortune. Of course, the pharaoh of that day was hated by the priests of the old gods, and since his death his name has been forbidden to utter. My father and mother were members of the cult of the sun, Aten, and for that reason they were butchered whilst I and my sisters hid in fear. Perhaps it is in my blood to disobey the teachings of the many gods and goddesses, perhaps my parents were right in their convictions that only one god ruled above all, and that the pharaoh was just as much a servant to this being as any other. Nonetheless, my parents' spirits surely wept as their children became worshippers of the gods that they had rejected. But now, in this new Egypt, I saw no offerings before the statues of the gods, no one bowing down in reverence; in fact, the statues of sacred deities were old and decrepit and quite often broken, I saw children playing on some of them which would have been a crime punishable by death in my time, there were old men who congregated beneath the statues for shade so they could converse and use some sort of contraption that my servant referred to as "Hookahs" that created smoke for whatever purpose such a thing was useful for.

There were many foreigners like the ones I had seen at Hamunaptra, many of them pale-skinned and a number with fair-hair. Egypt had always had many dealings with foreigners, though we considered them to be barbarians as none were as advanced as our people. My servant Beni explained as best he could in Hebrew that these foreigners came from the North and West, and referred to each group by the name of their land; "English" was the predominant group and "American", I could tell that both races were kindred to each other as they were both similar in language and attire. These pale-skinned foreigners were from lands that Egypt had not reached in my day; the "French", "Greek", "English", and most others were from a continent outside Africa called "Europe", though the "Americans" came from a continent across the great Western ocean that the people of "Europe" had conquered centuries before my rebirth. These people were very bizarre, much stranger than the new Egyptians, particularly in their dress and customs, but I will not think more on that for the moment, as I have a task at hand.

The one called Beni led me to a large fortress that seemed to be a central location for many of the "English" warriors in their strange battle-robes and their new weapons that shoot fire. Wherever we went, there were horrible plagues that followed us, bringing havoc upon the populace. We made our way into a hall that led to different chambers in what seemed to be a residential part of the fort, undoubtedly where important people lived for their protection. We were met outside the door of one chamber, that I knew to be the hiding place of one of the cursed men, by a young girl. I recognized her as the little girl from Hamunaptra; it made me wonder why she was there in the first place. The child was clothed in a plain white dress and was holding a tray that bore an oddly shaped pot and cups. She glared at my servant and spoke to him in the language of the "English"; I could tell she was not pleased to see him. This child clearly was not intimidated by us, as she spat on the shoes of my servant, though she allowed us entrance to the room. She set the tray she carried down on a low table, then moved to stand next to the man I knew to be the one I had taken the tongue and eyes of. Beni said something to the child that made her glare at him again; I wondered what he had done to earn such spite from such a young person. But, at what Beni had said, the child left, giving what I assumed was a farewell to the man who sat before me.

The man tried to greet me, but I drew away as human touch would cause me to deteriorate. Beni began to speak to the man, at first the man looked unconcerned, but his face soon bore a look of fear as Beni continued to speak. I pulled back the mask I wore and the man raised his hands, probably begging for his life. I noticed Beni had fled the room, not wanting to witness what would occur. I felt the life force being ripped from the screaming man, as it connected to my own body. I felt powerful, strong, and undefeatable. I felt chunks of flesh return to me, my body becoming more like it had once been, though still a long way from being fully restored. As this first step was completed, I turned and saw the leader of these tomb-robbers and the woman I had chosen as my sacrifice. The leader tried to attack me, but I grabbed him and threw him against the others. I turned to my sacrifice, who was being shielded by my two sisters. The whole situation made me laugh.

"Protecting me rescuer, sisters?" I asked. "She saved me from the undead. I wish to thank her."

I leaned forward to kiss the woman who had saved me and would be the one to bring back my beloved, when I heard a noise behind me. I turned, and there I saw another one of those accursed cats. The creature was standing on some sort of device that I took to be a musical instrument due to the noise it made when the animal touched it. I had no choice but to flee once more in a whirlwind of sand.

After I had left that room at the fortress, I found my servant Beni, and ordered him to locate the Book of the Dead. I then went on the search for the other men who had opened the chest. I had once more donned a black cloak, but I had left the mask back at the fortress. I wandered more through the city, until I came to a large building with two pharaoh statues guarding the front. I detected the presence of two of the cursed ones inside, but I knew I was not powerful enough yet to take the life from both at once, and I knew there was one more who was wandering alone and unprotected. I was distracted from my thoughts, when I looked into the window of this structure, a curious thing that many windows are now shielded by perfectly clear glass, and beheld a sight that filled me with rage. It was Netikerty; she was standing inside the structure in a room filled with documents and scrolls of all kinds, but she was not alone.

In there with her was a Medjai. The two were conversing and I could detect smiles on their faces. A filthy Medjai dared to lift his unworthy eyes to behold my sister? How dare he. He was not even deserving enough to kiss her feet in adoration, and yet he was speaking to her in such an informal manner. I realized then who that Medjai was. Oh, yes, I knew him, in my lifetime. He was the one who had bewitched the heart of my Lotus, my sweet Netikerty. I remember all the times she looked at him with longing, but he never seemed to acknowledge her, no matter how often she had tried to speak with him. I also remember the last time I saw him; he was one of the two Medjai who restrained me as my sisters were put to death. And now the fool spoke freely with my sister? He even dared to hold her hand as she descended from a ladder that was attached to one of the shelves that held all those documents. I knew my precious younger sister might be angry with me when I would have to kill this man, but she is so young and innocent she does not realize that such a man as this would only bring her pain as he has done in the past, I would not, could not, allow that to happen to her again. This man would surely need to die, and Netikerty would come to understand in time. I fought my desire to simply charge into that room and kill that man with my bare hands. I needed to find the other cursed one, the one who possessed the Book of the Dead.

I found him easily enough, a cowardly little man who screamed in agony as I sucked the flesh and blood from his body. I felt no remorse for killing a thief like this; he brought about his own destruction. As I lifted up the sacred jar that was dedicated to the god Hapi, and as I turned I looked up and saw two of the tomb-robbers, one of whom I recognized as the one who challenged me. I summoned the power within me and from my mouth swarmed millions of biting flies. The two men managed to withdraw into the building before the flies reached them, slamming a wooden shutter to keep them safe from the insects. I then walked, unbothered by the flies, towards the fortress.

I arrived outside a window to the room where one of the tomb-robbers was waiting. He looked as though he was left there to guard something, and my gaze shifted to the large doors, behind which I sensed two of the women I had been searching for. I sent in a gust of air to frighten the man, and when he started to turn away, possibly attributing it to the wind, I rushed in there a drained him of every ounce of his life-force. I felt nearly whole, I only needed one more life and I would be brought to my full power.

As I turned to face the door, something caught my eye. By the wall near the door there was a table with small, square and rectangular things on it. I recollected that my servant Beni had referred to such things as "Photographs". They were small, life-like images, except they lacked color; they were set behind clear glass, like what these modern people did with windows, and were framed in polished wood. I moved closer to look at these "Photographs" and immediately recognized the two women who were in most of them. My dear sisters were immortalized in these images, precious moments from this new life they had lived. I noticed one was of Sitre-meramun and a man I did not recognize; the man was standing behind her with his arms wrapped around her waist in a loving way, my Cobra was clad in a white dress that had clearly been billowing in the wind but was now motionlessly captured in this image. Who was the man? Why did he hold my sister in such a way? Then I remembered the child I had seen, and a thought occurred. Had my sister been married and had a child? I looked over the other images, and sure enough I found one of my sister and that same man standing side-by-side and both jointly cradling a small, white bundle that was clearly a baby. After all this time, my Cobra had the one thing she had longed for but been denied, a child. When we lived, she had been forced to abandon all desire to marry and have children; such was the oath of a priestess of Wadjet. I remembered how, on the night before she was officiated into the cult, she wept bitterly; it had been the first time I had seen her weep since the death of our parents. But then, where was this man? Why had I not seen him with the others? Surely he would not have abandoned his wife and child. Then I thought, perhaps some ill befell him. My poor Cobra, of all the people in the world, you are the most deserving of happiness, and the cruel gods have denied you that.

I looked over more of the pictures, the lifeless memories of my reborn sisters. There were images of the two of them with the girl child I recognized and I noticed she did bear a great resemblance to her mother though I could see much of the man in her as well. I noticed in one picture my two sisters were standing on either side of the man I believe to be the leader of the tomb-robbers. What was the nature of his association with my sisters? Why are the three of them so happy in this image? It filled me with sadness to think that my sisters had lived happy and peaceful lives without me, their brother, but I could not begrudge them happiness, they deserved it more than anyone.

I finally tore myself away from the rows of "Photographs", and returned my attention to the door. I turned myself into sand and entered through the lock. These men had been holding my sister a hostage in her own home? I could understand why they would keep my sacrifice locked in, to prevent her from being taken by me, but my Sitre-meramun was not in danger at all, I knew she was fully capable of protecting herself and others, just as she had done for us when we were living on the streets. I returned to my human form and moved quietly over to the bed where my sacrifice and my sister were sleeping. I saw that Sitre-meramun was holding her daughter close to her, her arms wrapped around the girl as though she were terrified that someone would come and steal her greatest treasure from her. Dearest Cobra, always the great protector, I promise you that your child shall never meet with harm. I brushed my hand over my Cobra's hair as she slept, brushing a few loose strands away from her face. I then turned my attention to my sacrifice, I imagined that she was my beloved Anck-sun-amun and kissed her. I sensed her jolt awake, her screams muffled by my rapidly deteriorating lips. The woman's struggling caused the child to awaken and scream. Her mother woke up instantly and clutched her, trying to defend the helpless girl while simultaneously attempting to shove me away. Suddenly, the door burst open, and there was the leader of the tomb-robbers and two of his remaining accomplices. The man shouted something at me, and I could guess from his tone that it was a warning to leave the women and child alone. I advanced on the man, cautioning him not to challenge me again, when he suddenly held up that accursed cat. The creature hissed at me, its eyes glowing with malice, and I fled once more.

I returned to the structure where I had seen Netikerty with that Medjai, I knew this building held some sort of importance and that they would all meet there. With me, I brought an army of men and women who had fallen under my power by a plague that had caused their skin to become blistered and deformed with boils. It was sickening, but I knew I would need their help in capturing the final cursed one and collecting my sacrifice. I led my army to the building, and immediately sensed the cursed one within it. My slaves charged at the door, attempting to break it down. Finally, they opened it and rushed inside to fulfill my orders. As I followed them in, I looked around; the building was filled with the treasures and remains of centuries of Egyptian history. I felt anger inside of me; sacred tombs had been disturbed so that men could hoard them and stuff them onto shelves? When I rule the world, I vowed, I would place these sacred objects back into the earth where they belonged. When I had ascended the stairway that led to the floor above, I saw that those I sought were not there; just then, I heard a shout and looked out the large window to see my servant Beni calling me and pointing after them as they attempted to escape.

My slaves managed to corner the last of the cursed men. He dropped his metal weapons, which had run out of their fire, and held up the sacred jar he possessed, hoping that I would take it and be appeased. I took it, and then I took his life. At last, I was whole! Nothing could stop me from my goals now. I followed my slaves to where those who remained were trapped. I approached and my servant Beni translated to them what I said. As my sisters moved to block my path to my sacrifice I told them that I would never harm them, but I did not wish for them to interfere. The woman I had chosen as my sacrifice seemed to be asking the leader of their group what to do, but he did not appear to have a solution. The woman cast one last look to the man before she took the hand I offered to her. The man was not pleased and raised his insignificant weapon to try and threaten me, but the woman stopped him. The Medjai I had seen with Netikerty was also among them, he was restraining the other man who looked as if he wished to charge at me. I looked at the others in this little gathering. There were two other men, an old man that I recognized as yet another of the Medjai swine, and the another man who was one of the tomb-robbers. The man I knew to be one of the tomb-robbers was standing in front of the little girl that meant so much to my older sister, was he some sort of protector for the child? I did not know and it did not matter, he was expendable. When the leader at last lowered his weapon, he looked me in the eyes and spoke as he gestured the torch he held towards me. I did not know his words, but I took them to mean that he would meet with me once more. I turned and led my sacrifice away. I had not asked for my sisters to follow because I knew that they would find me all the same. It pained me that I would have to take the life of their friends, but it must be done. I gave out one last order to my slaves.

"Kill the men!" The woman instantly began to struggle.

My sacrifice, my servant, and I arrived at Hamunaptra at midday. They did not have the good fortune of landing upright as I brought the whirlwind of sand to a halt. I noticed the woman hitting my servant Beni in order to get him away from her, even though I doubt he landed on her purposefully. As I looked towards the city, I heard a strange noise in the sky and looked up. There, soaring through the sky, was another of those new contraptions, and I knew exactly who was on it. I sensed the presence of my sisters in the child, and instantly put a protective charm over them so they would not perish from what I was about to do. I summoned my power and brought forth a mighty wall of sand that I sent hurtling towards the flying machine. I focused all my attention on having the sand wall devour the machine, that I did not notice that the woman had come over to me and kissed me. I was confused and shocked, and when she pulled away smiling I knew she had another motive for what she had done. I turned around and saw that my moment of distraction had caused the sand wall to vanish; however, the flying machine looked as though it had sustained heavy damage and crashed. I knew my protective charm would keep my sisters and the child safe; and even had I not done so, my sisters possessed powerful magic within them that would have kept them safe anyway. I turned and led my two companions to the temple.

I ignored whatever words passed between the woman and my servant, choosing to direct my attention to the preparation for the ritual that would bring back my Anck-sun-amun and grant me my full power. That was when I heard a loud noise that I recognized as a shot from one of those modern weapons. I heard the woman say something that sounded like "O khonel"; I supposed that must be the name of that man who had tried to stop me. I poured some of the dust from one of the sacred jars onto my hand and blew it at the images on the wall and spoke the incantation to summon forth my priests. The two figures on the wall gave way and my two most trusted priests appeared from where they had been buried within the wall. They approached me and bowed.

"Kill the men. Wake the others. And take the women to the Well of Souls," I ordered, and they immediately obeyed.

I blew more of the dust into the face of my sacrifice, causing her to fall unconscious. I told my servant that he was free and was permitted to take any treasure from the vault that he wished and he did not hesitate to depart. Soon, my other priests arrived and we were able to begin the ceremony. When the woman awoke, she let out a scream when she saw the mummified body of my beloved lying beside her on the altar. I raised the ceremonial dagger.

"With your death Anck-sun-amun shall live. And I shall be invincible!"

I was stopped right before I plunged the dagger into my sacrifice when I saw one of the men and the child with the Book of Amun-Ra. That book, it was the only thing that could stop me; I needed to take it from that man. I set down the dagger and began to advance, when I heard the sound of combat behind me. I turned and there was that man "O khonel" fighting my priests and Sitre-meramun who ran over to my sacrifice attempting to free her. I ordered my priests to kill the man. The man was seized by two of my priests, when I noticed that Sitre-meramun had stopped in her attempt to free the other woman; she raised her right hand towards my priests and they retreated. Her powers were returning? How was this possible if she did not know who she was? My Cobra had been very powerful in all aspects of magic, though her eyes could not see the written word and she had to rely upon carved writing and the words of the high priestess who taught her. The man "O khonel" was freed from the grasp of my priests, and was about to release the woman on the altar, when he was grabbed and held down by another of the priests. "O khonel" was about to be killed by one of my priests who had picked up a large stone slab and was about to crush him, when Sitre-meramun picked up the sword that the man had dropped and swung it at the priest with the slab and then at the one who held the man down. "O khonel" then released my sacrifice, but I heard the sound of someone reading one of the inscriptions on the Book of Amun-Ra. I saw it was that other man, but the fool had not finished the spell, so the soldiers he summoned would follow my orders. I ordered them to kill "O khonel" and then I set of in pursuit of the one with the book, as he had been moving about throughout the battle. I eventually cornered him, no sooner was I about to take in victory than the man finished the inscription right before my soldiers could kill "O khonel", I tried once more to order them to kill him but they paid me no heed. Then I heard the other man order the unthinkable.

"Destroy Anck-sun-amun!" He shouted.

I shouted out to her to warn her, and then I rounded on the one with the book. Then, I heard her screams, a sound that will forever haunt me. I turned to the man, enraged. If my beloved had to die, then so did he.

"Now you die!" I told him as he dropped the book. I grabbed him by his throat and lifted him up, when "O khonel" ran over and sliced off my arm. I felt no pain from it, but I was annoyed with him. It was time that pest learned not to meddle with my plans ever again. I threw him backwards and then picked up and reattached my arm. I was going to end this now. I had him by the throat and began to squeeze.

"Now, it's your turn," I said to him.

But, just as I was about to finish him once and for all, I heard the incantation I dreaded most. I looked in horror to see the woman I was to have sacrificed reading from the book. As she ended the spell, the god Anubis came in his chariot and snatched my immortal soul. I tried to pursue, but both the god and my soul departed back into the Underworld. All my plans, ruined, I was more than enraged, I wanted blood for this. I turned back to the man and was about to seize him once more, when I felt a sharp pain in my stomach. The man's sword had run me through, I was dying once again. He withdrew the blade and I clutched at the wound, backing into the black waters of the Underworld. I could feel my flesh dying once more, returning once more to a corpse. As I sank into the water, with all the souls that dwelt within surrounding me, I looked at my older sister, my dear Cobra, hoping would have some pity in her eyes, but her brown eyes were cold and hateful, even now she did not forgive me. My dear sisters, I wish you both happiness, and I know we shall see each other once more, for…

"Death is only the beginning."

Finally! It is completely finished, until the sequel which I will probably start in a few months I guess, maybe sooner. Hope you all liked my story, please review, I gladly look forward to any comments you have, as long as they're not offensive. Thank you for your patience and goodbye.