By Mark Crocker
Ra stood up and walked over to the window that was on the far side of the dark room and looked out at the people below who were working on building a new complex that would house Hathor and Horus’s research and development center where they would breed a whole set of warriors that Ra, Hathor and Horus could control mentally. “If Horus is right, my dear friend,” said Ra speaking to the crystal box “we could have a whole army that we can control mentally and if Hathor can mix some of our gene plasma they might have weak abilities that we can use. That will give us such power that by sheer weight of numbers we can wipe out Merwyn, Athena and the rest of those that are holding up my plans”.
Ra turned and walked back over to the crystal box and sat back down and looked into the box deeply. “You know in some ways you are very lucky my dear friend. You will never age and in other ways so unlucky. I know you will never see us defeat Merwyn not unless I can free you or get Bastet to undo what she did to you. And sadly I don’t have the time to undo what she did nor have I yet figured out how to undo it myself. And I don’t think she would undo it willingly”.
There was a soft knock at the door that told Ra that it was Hera. “Just a moment” said Ra as he stood up and walked towards the door. Hera was dressed in a short white kilt with a matching white halter top. As Ra walked out of the room she nodded her head and smiled. “How does Hermes sleep?” asked Hera.
“The same as last time you asked and the time before that” said Ra not too unkindly.
“I just keep hoping that one day he will wake up. Maybe I should have offered to bond with him” said Hera sadly.
“He was too in love with Bastet” said Ra.
“I know and that I could never understand. She was never as willing as I was” Hera said weakly with tears in her eyes.
“And you have always been willing to pleasure others” said Ra.
“I do what I can to please those that I care about” said Hera smiling shyly. v“I think it's time that I spoke with Yhva again. But first I must speak with the council to see if they can trigger any good idea’s” said Ra as he and Hera walked down the hallway.
It was almost dark when the last member of Ra’s inner council arrived. “So glad you could join us Ares” said Ra.
Ares sat down at the far end of the council chamber and looked at Ra and bowed his head in acknowledgment.
“I know that most of you are not recovered from our little test run the other day but I need you all to help me come up with a new plan to deal with Merwyn, Athena and his umm followers. Plus I think that Yhva might become a problem too so we need to look at him and see what we might be able to do” Ra turned to Horus and Hathor “Have you been able to look at his aura using the eyes of our gift”?
“We got a brief look at him but he is heavily shielded. But his umm, maid or what ever she is, is very powerful. But she is not Sirian. She is from one of our sister worlds. I am not sure but I think I might of seen her someplace before” said Hathor.
“Try and remember where you have seen her” said Ra dryly.
“Hathor and I have worked hard with our two creations and it is just a matter of time before he slips and we can get a good look at how powerful he is” said Horus thoughtfully.
Ares shifted restlessly in his chair and looked thoughtfully out of the high window.
“You have something you wish to add Ares” said Ra.
“Hmm yes as it happens I umm do” said Ares. “I think we are wasting our time with Yhva. The main target is and has always been Merwyn his bimbo and catwoman. I think and feel that we should focus on them. And all this sneaking around and trying to push him so that we have a reason is a waste of our time. Let’s attack him in the open and have done with it. I am sure that we can arrange an accident and get rid of the bimbo daughter of his. If she has an accident he can’t blame us and his will to live will be broken and he will just fade and therefore no longer be a problem to us. Once Merwyn and his bimbo of a daughter are out of the way as a group we can do what ever we wish with catwoman. So let’s get on with it”.
“And how would you suggest we do that” said Ra his voice dripping with acid.
“I just told you how. Don’t you listen” said Ares looking hard at Ra.
Ra thought for a moment then smiled at Ares “I did not think you were serious about arranging an accident. And how would you arrange an accident for Athena. Bear in mind that she could be as power as any three or four of us”.
“You wanted ideas I gave you one. If you don’t wish to listen to the idea’s that are being offered then I am wasting my time here” said Ares stating to get up.
“Please be seated Ares. I just have much on my mind and we are all tired from our little test run” said Ra hiding his anger.
Ares sat back down and looked at the others seated in their chairs.
“What a bunch of cowards” thought Ares to himself.
“Ok an accident would be usefully. But what kind of an accident? It would have to look like something that could happen and something Merwyn would think was an accident” said Ra.
“A riding accident” said Hathor.
“She does not ride” said Ra.
“A sailing accident” said Horus.
“That’s possible but what kind. A storm that comes up suddenly or gets strong fast would point at us. Besides Bastet is too good of a sailor to fall for that” said Ra thinking hard.
“Either an earthquake which they get in their area or if she is at sea a tidal wave. Both are simple to arrange” said Ares.
And as if to make his point even more clear Ares closed his eyes and the floor of the council chamber started to shake slightly.
Ra, Hathor, Horus, Anubis, Nut and the other stated to laugh.
“Ok that’s two options. Let’s look at others before we turn our attention back to Yhva” said Ra.
“What about a fire” said Thoth?
“A house fire? I think she would be able to put that out with just her mind” said Hathor. “But a forest fire might work if it could trap her. But she would have to have a reason to be in the forest”.
“That pet rabbit of hers would be good bait” said Nut. “Have him trapped in the forest by fire and she will come to his aid. That I am sure of”.
“The forest is shielded since Hermes got caught watching them. None of us can get though those shields to see what kind of shields they are” said Ra his anger showing in his eyes.
“Yes Hermes and his numerous screw ups” laughed Ares. “But if all of us tried as a group and I do mean all of us including Dionysus and Aphrodite we should be able to push though and see what kind of shields they are. And if we know what kind they are we can deal with them. But we would all have to act as one. Not as a group but as a single entity”
“You mean get all twenty five of us together in one place” said Horus.
“Twenty four we don’t have Hermes” said Ra.
“How could I forget that” said Horus.
“Ok so let's look into an accident for Athena and we can go from there. Now what about Yhva? Any thoughts on him” said Ra.
Nut smiled “we don’t have any information on him other than he is Sirian and that he is young. We can only list those two facts”.
“I agree we need to know more about him” said Hathor.
“I think one of us should visit him and his people” said Ares.
“No” said Ra “That could be very risky”
“In what way” asked Ares? “I am willing to go. I would even go by sea and you know how that upsets my stomach”.
“No. I will hail him and talk to him. I will have Hathor and Horus ready with their little toys and I will have Hera, you and Anubis linked to my mind so you can look around” said Ra for once speaking the truth about what he was planning.
Out of the corner of his eye Ra saw Hera standing in the doorway with two young women with very dark skin.
“I have found twins for you. Would you like me to dress them up as you like” said Hera on Ra’s private telepathic mode.
“Yes and this time don’t drug them. I feel like I need the fight in them” replied Ra in the same mode.
“I think it would be a good idea not to destroy them. There is something about them that is different” said Hera. “You might be able to plant in their gardens.”
Ra stood up and looked around “Tomorrow I will hail Yhva. Hathor, Horus and Anubis be in my rooms at noon and don’t be late”.
Ra turned and walked out of the council chamber leaving the others behind talking about how to arrange and accident for Athena.
Rabbo sat looking at Merwyn who was sitting at the helm of the ship with his eyes closed.
Athena walked up next to Rabbo and sat down.
“How long do you think he can keep this up” asked Rabbo?
“I don’t know. But so far it’s been three days that he has kept our ship invisible” answered Athena with worry in her voice.
“Do you know when we will make landfall” said Rabbo.
“It should be tonight. And I am so looking forward to being on land and to seeing what Bastet’s village feels like. As often as I have been there in astral form it will be nice to see it in person” smiled Athena.
“Do we really have to sail so fast and hard” asked Rabbo.
“I don’t know. But it is better than the slow way home” smiled Athena.
“Who is pushing us now” said Rabbo.
“Bastet is making the wind now. Angus is taking a nap and my turn will be in about two hours” said Athena.
“Why can’t I help” asked Rabbo disappointed at the fact that he had not been asked to help.
“Because Rabbo you are doing something just as important. And that is keeping Merryn and Wenna busy and seeing to their needs. You do know that you are not just Rabbo to them. But uncle Rabbo” said Athena smiling.
“Yes I know and I like that” said Rabbo beaming with pride. “But I would like to be more help”.
“I know sweetie” said Athena reaching down and sliding her fingers along Rabbo’s ears.
Rabbo looked up at Athena and jumped up into her lap before settling down to be comfortable while Athena petted him.
Rabbo scanned with his ears listen for sounds and thinking at the same time.
“Athena” said Rabbo turning his head to look up. “The mast is making loud creaking sounds that are louder than normal. You think Solee should be told”?
“What kind of creaking sounds? It does not sound different to me” replied Athena.
“It’s hard to explain” said Rabbo thoughtfully. “It’s like a moaning creaking hollow sound. It does not sound right”.
“Maybe you should talk to Solee” said Athena thoughtfully.
Rabbo nodded and slipped off Athena lap and hopped back to the helm where Solee was standing guiding the ship up the coast.
“Solee” said Rabbo standing up on his hind legs.
Solee looked down at Rabbo then at the coast before she handed the tiller over to one of the other sailors who was standing near by.
“What’s on your mind Rabbo” asked Solee.
“The mast is making a strange noise. Kind of like a creaking moaning sound but hollow too” said Rabbo looking up at Solee.
“Hollow” said Solee starting to walk down from the poop deck to the main deck where the mast was.
Solee placed her ear against the mast and listened carefully. She then touched the mast for a while before she looked it up and down very carefully and closely. Then muttering to herself she went below decks.
Rabbo hopped over next to Athena who was now sunning herself in the midday sun. Gentle he pushed his nose against Athena so that she would open her eyes and look at him.
Athena opened one eye and looked at Rabbo.
“Could you move around to the other side? You might be holy but I don’t think you are that holy as” Athena said as Rabbo’s head was haloed by sun.
Rabbo hopped around to the other side and Athena turned her head and opened her other eyes and looked at Rabbo.
“Solee went below decks in a hurry. I think there is something wrong with the mast and the fact that she went below fast makes me thinks so” said Rabbo in a hurried voice.
“The mast is cracked” said Solee who was now standing behind Rabbo.
“Cracked” said Athena and Rabbo.
“Yes cracked. But I am pretty sure it will hold until we get to our village. I have a couple of my crew wrapping the base of the mast with rope to hold it” Solee looked at Rabbo and smiled “Good job Rabbo. I think I should have you sail with me more often”.
“What made it crack” asked Rabbo.
“Well we have been running with full sail for three days and the wind has been a strong wind the whole time so the pressure on the mast has weakened it. To be honest I am not surprised that it’s cracked with all the pressure on it” said Solee. “I just hope that it can make it. Even with the wrap on it it’s no guarantee that it won’t break”.
“How long before we make it to your village” asked Athena?
“About six more hours” said Solee.
“In other words by the end of my watch” said Athena.
Solee nodded and smiled as she turned back to go below decks. As she walked towards the hatch to the hold she stopped and looked at one of the sailors who was leaning against a rail and pointed at him to go to the helm.
Rabbo thought for a moment and then remembered a time when he had tried to astral travel though a door and that as he did that he had seen the grain of the wood.
“Maybe if I astral travel up the mast from the base to the top I can see where it’s damaged” Rabbo thought to himself.
Rabbo closed his eyes and slipped out of his body and headed to the mast. Instead of going straight into the mast from the deck Rabbo slipped down into the hold down to the bilge and moved across the mast. Starting at the base of the mast he headed up the mast checking for cracks and weak spots.
About half way up the mast Rabbo came to a split and a crack in the mast. Rabbo moved out of the mast so that he could see where the crack and split was then he re-entered the mast and continued up until he reached the top.
Rabbo returned to his body and opened his eyes to look at Athena who was now sitting playing pat a cake with the twins.
Rabbo sat up and hopped off to find Solee. He found her in her cabin sitting on the bed looking out of the porthole towards the head land that the ship was just passing.
“Solee” said Rabbo “I hate to bother you but your sailors are wrapping the wrong part of the mast. The crack and split is about half way up the mast”.
“Oh it is” said Solee. “I will get a sailor up there and have him wrap and tie it off. Rabbo you are such a sweetie. I think all my ships should have someone like you on board”.
Solee picked up Rabbo and together they headed back on deck and towards the mast that could be heard clearly creaking as the ship moved though the waves.
Rabbo pointed out where the split and crack was and Solee ordered a sailor with rope to climb up the mast to wrap the rope tightly around the mast to brace it.
It was about an hour before sunset as Solee guided the ship into the harbor of her home village.
Athena had stopped pushing the ship as they had rounded the head land and the natural on shore wind had taken over slowing the ship so that Solee could guide the ship in.
Bastet, Athena and Angus had helped to maneuver the ship in so that it was soon tired up at the wharf and everyone could disembark.
Merwyn opened his eyes and looked around for a moment before he started to try and stand up after his three and half’s days of sitting making the ship invisible. As he attempted to stand his knees started pop and creak.
Athena came running over and reached down to help him stand but he pushed her away with one hand while placing the other hand on the deck and pushing himself up to stand.
“Dad let me help you” said Athena her voice full of worry.
“No” said Merwyn sounding more like a naughty child than an adult.
Merwyn staggered to his feet and staggered to the gangplank. He placed both hands on the rail and looked around at the wharf and harbor.
“Nice place here” Merwyn said.
Bastet's village was at the top of the cliff that overlooked the harbor below. Down the side of the cliff was cut a wide roadway that zigzagged back and forth that the villagers used to go from the village to the harbor. Also there were four cranes that could be used to haul heavy loads up to the village or down to the harbor.
On the shore side of the harbor were a number of large buildings that had huge wide doors and wide windows. But each building had the look of a fortress.
Off to one side on the only open area that did not have a building on it was a long ramp and at the top of the ramp was the skeleton on a half built ship that was twice as long and one third as wide as the ship that Solee normally sailed.
Merwyn weakly walked down the gangplank followed by Athena, Rabbo, Angus, Bastet, Wenna and Merryn.
Solee stood at the helm talking to her crew explaining that they would have to unstep the mast and that it would have to be replaced as there was a crack in it.
Then she turned around and joined the others on the harbor.
As they stood on the harbor Rabbo saw a cart being pulled by two oxen come up to the wharf.
Bastet walked over to the cart got up in the back where there was seats and sat down.
“Come on are you all going to stand on the wharf all day or are you going to ride up to my village. I don’t mind either way” said Bastet smiling.
The ride up to the village was slow and gave everyone the chance to see the harbor from above and the islands that were just off shore. Also they could see the fishing fleet that was far out to sea and that was heading towards them.
“You have a great vantage point up here Bastet” said Merwyn looking around though his blood shot eyes.
“We do don’t we” said Bastet smiling.
“You should see how the land drops off on the other side Merwyn” said Angus. “It’s a great defensible position. You could hold off an army here forever and feed yourself from the sea if you could get ships out” said Angus.
As they arrived at the top of the road Rabbo saw two huge gate houses with a huge wooden door that was wide open.
Rabbo stood up in the cart and rested his paws against the side of the cart and started looking around.
Between the village wall and the first houses was a wide open space that gardens had been planted with lots of food.
Rabbo could see squash plants, rows of lettuce and rows of carrots and parsnips. All around the inner area close to the stone wall was garden after garden and all planted with lots of vegetables.
The first row of houses that Rabbo saw where small houses with thick walls that had been painted white on the outside the windows were wide yet each window had thick heavy shutters that could be pulled closed from the inside.
The second row and third row of house where two story houses with gardens and play areas for any children that might live in those houses.
The front row of building that boarder the main village square were clearly for other uses.
“Rabbo the buildings around the square are our main administration building” said Bastet pointing to a huge three story building with a colonnade around the base. “On the next side is our hospital which thankfully does not get used much. Then on the next side is a temple and lastly as you can see are the shops, bars and a restaurant that is a very popular hang out at night”.
Rabbo looked at the shops and bars with surprise as it seemed that there were a great number of people shopping for food.
“I would of thought that the people would be eating from their gardens” said Rabbo to Bastet.
“Oh they do but sometimes they like different things that they can’t grow locally”.
“What about red meat do you have area for livestock” asked Rabbo.
“Yes but that’s outside the village. But if there is trouble we can bring them in and let them use the gardens near the wall” said Bastet smiling.
“But thankfully we get on with our neighbors very well plus they are about a days walk from here anyway and we can see anyone coming up the valley if we need too”.
“Then why all the fortifications” asked Rabbo.
“It’s better to have them and not ever need them. Than it would be to not have them and find out that we need them” said Angus leaning over and looking at Rabbo.
The cart stopped in front of the hospital and Bastet hopped out of the cart.
“Come in and see the hospital. You will love it” said Bastet as she walked away from the cart.
“Beside Rabbo you have to see what I have in the hospital”.
They all got out of the cart and walked into the hospital with Merwyn following along behind and still staggering a little from his days of sitting hiding the ship.
“Rabbo come with me” said Bastet. “The rest of you can wait here as I want to show Rabbo something in private”.
Rabbo and Bastet walked down the long hallway then up a flight of stairs until they came to a brightly lit room.
In the corner of the room was young woman that was standing in front of a small rabbit hutch that she was busy cleaning.
“Is she awake” said Bastet to the young woman.
“Shhhhh she is asleep” said the young woman. Rabbo and Bastet walked over to where the young woman was and the hutch.
“So this is the famed Rabbo” said the young woman.
Bastet reached down and lifted Rabbo up onto the counter top so that he could look into the hutch.
Lying curled up in fresh grass was a small rabbit kitten with its eyes closed.
It had a bare patch on its head that had fur that was starting to grow back.
“Did you breed from Soft eyes” asked Rabbo.
The rabbit kitten was no more than three months old but it was very clear to Rabbo that Bastet had been doing some genetic engineering on the young rabbit kitten.
Bastet smiled at Rabbo and looked away.
“Where is Soft eyes” asked Rabbo looking around with a sudden sinking feeling.
Rabbo looked down at the counter top with tears in his eyes. Then he looked up at Bastet and said weakly “she passed away didn’t she”.
Bastet smiled at Rabbo and looked at the young rabbit kitten.
“Yes and no. In a manner of speaking she did. But then again in a manner of speaking she did not’ said Bastet.
The young woman moved close to the hutch and reached in and picked up the sleeping rabbit kitten.
The rabbit kitten opened its eyes and looked at Rabbo. “Hi grand pop” said the little rabbit kitten.
Rabbo let out a loud squeal and almost fell of the counter top in his surprise.
“SOFT EYES” squealed Rabbo.
Soft eyes wriggled against the young woman’s hand and leaped down onto the counter top. She hopped over to Rabbo and looked at him.
“Grand pop you look different clearer” said soft eyes.
“What did you do to her” said Rabbo looking at Bastet.
“Well I cloned from the original Soft eyes. Then while she was still a fetus I did what Athena did to you. Notice her front paws look like yours. Plus I used some of my brain cells to give her the abilities that I have. Then came the hard part and that was getting her spirit and memoirs to leave her old body and come into her new body. That was something I had only heard about once and I thought it was impossible to do. But she did it. She moved from her old sick body into this new one. The only problem is that she won’t be able to breed. I don’t know why yet but I will figure it out. Plus I did some gene manipulation so she won’t ever have the growths again that were making her die”.
Soft eyes sniffed Rabbo and then cocked her head to one side before she stood up on her hind legs.
“I dreamt of you, grand pop” said Soft eyes on Rabbo’s private telepathic mode.
Rabbo turned and looked at Soft eyes “Oh my you can already talk telepathically”.
“Well duh clearly I can or you would not be hearing me otherwise now would you” said Soft eyes.
“I think we should head back down to the others” said Bastet.
Rabbo was about to leap down off the counter when Bastet reached over and picked him up. The young woman picked up Soft eyes and placed her gently on the floor.
Bastet placed Rabbo next to Soft eyes and together Rabbo and Soft eyes hopped off down the hallway and then down the stairs to where the others were waiting.
At the bottom of the stairs sat Merwyn Athena, Angus and Solee. The twins where racing around and around being chased by Bastet's little girl and boy.
Rabbo and Soft eyes hopped over to Athena and looked up.
“Hey Soft eyes welcome back” said Athena with tears of joy streaming down her face.