Kate bolted upright when James burst into the room. “What’s wrong?” She frantically rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Searching for her backpack, she clutched it, holding it close for protection.
“Hurry! The time for the Awakening is at hand.” Dressed in the traditional white loincloth like the others, head freshly shaved, he gestured excitedly, urging her to move quicker.
Jumping off the bed, she followed him back to the chamber where the sarcophagus rested. A tingling along her spine made Kate slow down. Her eyes adjusted to the dark corridors. Shadows shifted, but she saw no one.
It’s just my imagination. She tried to reason with herself.
Anticipation dense in the air, twenty men, their heads shaved, wearing white loincloths like James, prostrated in a circle around the golden sarcophagus whose cover had been removed. They were chanting in a low, deep tone that made the fine hairs on her arms stand on end. Sabni held his arms stretched upward. The skylights high above exposed the luminescent, full moon.
Sabni cried out, beseeching Amun Ra, “-I debeh dbH en Amun Ra, a’nen Per-a’a Setti. A’nekh iew Setti!”
At first, she did not recognize the language until she noted the slight differences of vowels. Suddenly the words were crystal clear. I ask Amun Ra to bring back Pharaoh Setti. Live again, Setti!
Setti? The Scarab King’s true name was Setti? Rough translation – “Appointed one, guardian”.
Immortal guardian, she thought as a chill hit her straight to her bones, despite the roaring fires blazing in copper braziers positioned around the room.
Her attention centered on Sabni. He entered the circle of priests and took up the Black Book. The darkly gleaming plates clicked as he opened it to the page he sought. Speaking the sacred incantations, Sabni invoked RA into awakening the mummy within the sarcophagus. Sabni spoke the strange words with terrifying intensity. The mystery and magic of the Ancients merged, making the overtones of his strong, deep voice powerful, preternatural.
A strong sensation of her skin tightening unbearably made her aware of the amassing electric force. From inside the darkness of the coffin, a golden glow radiated, exploding into iridescent stars. A roar of elation echoed in the chamber. Kate covered her ears from the deafening sound, unable to escape the unexplainable surging energy. A huge golden hand stretched down from the sky, straight through the skylights, and enclosed the occupant inside the coffin in its mighty fist.
“Rise, Setti, and take your place amongst your servants.” Sabni’s voice rang strong and true.
Kate gasped, unprepared when a large, lean human hand rose from inside the coffin and rested on one the side of it. Another rose into view, gripping the other edge. Flickering flames from the braziers reflected on the rising bald, bronze-colored head as the man pulled himself upright. When those amber eyes, so full of rage and pain, speared Sabni, the priest halted his chanting.
Holy shit, this can’t be happening! Yet it was, and she really was seeing a mummy – a real life, flesh and blood man brought back from the dead right before her very eyes!
Unexpectedly, he looked right at her, and his honey-brown eyes darkened. A snarl curled sculptured lips. Muscles along his shoulders, including his bulging biceps, bunched as he pulled himself up out of the sarcophagus. Physically perfect, long legs, muscular, hips lean, abs chiseled without a single inch of fat anywhere. Warm, brown skin, all hair removed except the arched, black eyebrows, which were gathered in a fierce scowl. Beautiful and intimidating, more magnificent than any movie star, more gorgeous than any male model she’d ever seen in her whole life. She was witness to a vengeful god rising to wreak vengeance on mere mortals. Towering a full head and shoulders over the priests who moved to aid him, the Egyptian searched the chamber, seeking something – or someone.
“SobeKnefru tjen iew?”
Where is SobeKnefru?
Flames rippled along Setti’s skin. Unbearable tingling stabbed his fingers, hands, toes, and feet, rushing along his muscles and limbs, as if the flow of his blood had been cut off and rushed back. Shifting his fingers, inch by agonizing inch, he was ecstatic to be able to move them at last. Elated, Setti opened his eyes. Crying out at the pain, he hurriedly shut them at the unexpected bright mist of shimmering gold surrounding him. Squinting, he placed his hands on the edge of the sarcophagus, gritted his teeth and pulled himself upright. Then he heard a masculine voice, strong and beautiful, speak out to him.
“Awake and take your throne, Pharaoh.”
RA! In a blinding flash, Amun Ra brought back Setti’s memories – Yoshabel’s blood covering him, his dagger protruding from her heart; his forced confinement in a dark void, screaming and none answering him – all slammed his raw senses at once. At the center of his pain, his grief, his rage, stood SobeKnefru.
Fury rushed through his veins. His blood boiled as his wrath grew in leaps and bounds. The emotions combined in a lethal dose, and he searched the chamber for the bitch and her lackey who had condemned him to eternal hell! What he found was an unfamiliar High Priest who fell to his knees, prostrating like the other priests. Scanning the chamber, Setti saw a young woman with long hair the color of dark cinnamon and violet eyes wide, her lovely jaw dropped. Strangely dressed, her shapely legs bare, she wore odd, heavy-looking footwear upon her feet. A canvas bag was clutched tight in her arms. She trembled in terror as he beckoned to two priests to help him.
It took a bit of maneuvering, as the heavy, black robe he wore tangled about his body. Once free, his legs gave out from under him. Fortunately, the priests had a good hold on him. Forcing his stiffened limbs to work, Setti turned a cold, brutal glare upon the High Priest who rose and approached him.
“Where am I?”