[livejournal.com profile] muses_unleashed 4.C.2 - Precious

Aug. 16th, 2008 07:36 am
sekhmet_mrytamn: (nefernebet)
[personal profile] sekhmet_mrytamn
The deck of the barge was hot under Sekhmet's feet. Ra's supreme majesty beat down upon the Two Lands with an intensity that caused both man and beast to wilt beneath His gaze. Even the palm trees seemed to hang and cower, and the heat mirages above the towns that slid by shimmered before Sekhmet's eyes. The trip to MenNefer had already been difficult, with delays and missing regalia for the coronation of the new Pharaoh, SiAmunRe. Sekhmet found no joy in the thought of anyone but Ma'atibRe on the throne and she curled her fingers into a fist against the railing, her emotions wanted to scream out but she maintained her composure against her own will.

The sails ruffled overhead in the breeze and lifted the corner of her sheath and moved her braids, beads clicking together like a child's windchime. But there was little comfort in the breeze that came off the limestone cliffs and down over the desert ridges, The gentle wind which should have offered comfort was as relentless as the breath of Ra. It was the soft, rhythmic lapping waters of the Hap which quelled her uneasiness, only to have it rise again like the eyes of a crocodile.

At last she sought the comfort a shaded and linen swathed canopy that servants had set up on the deck of the Beloved of Amun. Ducking into the shade that was only minimally cooler than the deck outside, she eased herself onto a pile of cushions and closed her eyes hoping that sleep would overtake her as a means to escape the heat at least but it did not. Instead her thoughts drifted, she listened to the captain and crew talk and move about the decks doing their duties. She listened carefully and heard the familiar footsteps of her husband, Tjeti.

Sekhmet reached out her thoughts to him. When they had wed, the entire world was right, it was as if they were two halves of the same whole. They both served Netjer and Per'aa Ma'atIbRe and nothing in the world could touch them. Life had rewarded them with material wealth and children, and every good thing had been theirs. How then was the foundation that they had built their lives and family upon so shaky that it could be knocked down with the blow that was Ma'atibRe's death? Such things frustrated and confused Sekhmet. There were days when she did not even know what to say to him, but still Tjeti stayed dutifully nearby. Patient, though saying little to her, it seemed as if he was afraid to intrude the fragile cocoon of silence she had woven about herself.

Her thoughts wandered, and all the while she became even more soaked with sweat. Myrrh scented braids clung to her forehead and the clean, thin linen sheath that she had put on stuck to her like a second skin. Even in her half-awakened state. Some moments later, in the sweltering air, Sekhmet felt even more heat of another body nearby. She could smell his skin and the oils from his ablutions.

Tjeti.

Sekhmet pressed her eyes closed for a moment and then let out a long, silent sigh.

There was still a deep connection between the two of them from their first meetings and in her grief over Ma'atibRe she was only now keenly aware of how little she had taken time to notice and to really feel the things that had brought them together. The pinprick of guilt pierced her heart.

Sekhmet rolled onto her back and looked up at him, her eyes unsteadily focusing at first. She pulled his hand to her lips and kissed his fingertips and caressed them against her face. when she saw his face; it was a look that was hopeful and yet cautious. It was as if he expected her to retreat from him again.

"I seem to recall being here before, " She murmured softly pulling herself up and closer to her husband. She seemed so small next to him.

Tjeti did not answer her, his hands were soft and large and held her own and then he reached out and stroked a braid that clung to her forehead. She looked up in his eyes and felt her heart prick again. She felt as if she needed to say something more but the words would not come. She leaned her head against his chest and listened to him breathe.

"Do you remember, Meruti?" he whispered, his voice low and gentle, "we were on our way to Alexandria." he caressed her neck and shoulders, his touch was to her like water to a desert-thirsted plant.

Sekhmet nodded. Meruti, 'Greatly beloved'. It had been his name for her from the moment they met. Though over the weeks - or had it been months had she even noticed it? Her heart had been sore from weeping and anger, then at last, numbness.

"Yes. That is where we were married, " she pulled her knees up against her chest, looking up at him again, "And where our new Per'aa will be moving the capital to again." Sekhmet shook her head, "Far be it from any ruler of Kemet to keep the capital in the same place as the previous ruler!" Sekhmet had almost spat the word Per'aa. It would be some time she knew before she would accept things the way that they were, but accept them she would if they were the will of the Netjeru.

Tjeti chuckled softly at Sekhmet's remark. Maybe he would notice that she was trying, she thought. She had been awake and like a patient fighting its way past the stupor induced by opium to consciousness, she was trying to regain herself.

"There is no joy in this for me either, Meruti. But we do what we must for Kemet. " Tjeti replied, his face drawn almost as if he too were trying to convince himself.

Sekhmet nodded at her husband, at least they were of the same mind on how they felt about what was to come in MenNefer.

"I can only say that I am glad we will remain in Waset rather than Alexandria after the coronation. " Sekhmet said. "I don't think I could bear to see the re-institution of more foreign influences."

As she spoke, the sky grew darker. If Ra was setting was progressing far quicker than usual. There had been no eclipse that was expected. Surely the astrologers would have mentioned it. Sekhmet and Tjeti both looked up to see that the Majesty of Ra, that had been so harsh just moments before, that now lay hidden behind a large cloud that was dense and dark. It was as if an omen had slid across the sky to hold back the sun.


Tjeti and Sekhmet looked at each other. They both knew what it meant but they had to be certain. In such an event that was rare, there was no doubt that the shadow cast over Ra just at the mention of the moving of the capital would be one for the Diviners to discern.

~*~*~*~*~

Sekhmet carried an armload of her own belongings down the gangway of the Beloved of Amun toward the home that she shared with her husband Tjeti and their combined family. It was good to be home.

The cool paving stones of the garden were comforting to her feet that were without sandals. She wove in and out of servants that were going to and from the barge with cargo. Even among the confusion , there was a focused order to it.

Within her breast, however, smouldered an ember. The coronation of SiamunRe and his queens had been fraught with misgivings and omens that scratched and clawed at Sekhmet's sensibilities. Clearly the new regime either had no respect for the akhu, or were just ignorant of how things should be done. What SiamunRe and his regime lacked in protocol, they more than made up for in their pomp and circumstance. Sekhmet was certain that she had caught clear sight of the cartouche of the Wasir- MerynMut Nefertari, the Great Royal wife of the Wasir-UsermaatRa, Rameses II on the broad collar that hung about the neck of the Great Royal wife of SiamunRe. The woman was beautiful and certainly capable - but had made a grave lapse of judgement on so auspicious a day. Not only was it disrespectful of the ancestors to wear the jewellery bearing the name of another person, but it was more importantly considered bad heka and would bring misfortune in its wake should the ba of the original owner wish to re-poses it.

Where was it all going? What was Kemet coming to?"

Sekhmet's brow knitted and then relaxed. It was no longer her problem. The rift was now clear to her, and the ember was being fanned even more by each reflection of recent days during the formal rites. Nothing about the coronation rites was uplifting as it should have been. Even the celebrations afterward seemed ostentatious and ill-considered. More than once, Sekhmet Reflected, she had looked up at the mother of the Wasir-Ma'atIbRe and clearly saw anguish on the imperial countenance, though thinly disguised beneath the official veneer that was the necessity of ever member of the royal family. Such was court life and only the very observant or those who had spent a lifetime around it, as Sekhmet had, could see the signs that all was not right; all was not Ma'at.

Sekhmet closed the door of her chamber and untied her thin sheath, letting it flutter to the floor around her ankles. She removed her jewellery and threw it haphazardly on her dressing table. Perhaps the best thing now was to take a bath. With the water there was always a clarity, and it was time to wash away the grime of the past few days from her body and her mind.

As she made way to the bathing chamber among the colourful columns, she caught sight of her maidservant, TetaMutef. The young girl inclined her head and offered a gesture of obeisance to her naked mistress. Sekhmet inclined her head in acknowledgement, barely noticing her, then at the last moment the Hmt Ntjr Tpe ne Sekhmet turned and regarded the girl.

"Send someone to find Boah, the Captain of the Medjay. They will most probably find him in the sanctuary of Imen, under His protection. " Sekhmet murmured, her eyes betrayed no emotion. "Keep quiet about this and tell no one what I ask you to do, unless it is my husband. Do you understand?"

TetaMutef inclined her head again, "Yes, Nebet."

Sekhmet stayed still until she had seen the servant go. At last she turned to the water steps of the large bathing pool and immersed herself into the water, her wake causing waves to lap unevenly against the lapis stones that trimmed the azure pool. Even among the wet cool cleansing of the water, the ember within her had become a flame.

'One thing is certain', she thought, 'If things stayed as they were, the punishing Eye of Ra would be coming to Kemet once again.'



Muse: Sekhmet MerytAmun
Fandom: Higlander / Original Character
Word Count: 1866
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