By Mark Crocker
The warriors on the beach started to bang on their shields with swords and spears and started to advance en mass towards the city. Behind them the artillery thundered into life sending huge stone cannon balls right at the wall.
The defenders on the wall were showered with chunks of stone making them move back from the wall. Three more times the artillery was fired and three more times the stone cannon balls thundered into the wall showering the defenders with stone chucks.
But thankfully there were few wounded by the shower of sharp stones that resulted from the stone cannon balls hitting the wall. There was also little damage to the thick walls and Merwyn was thankful that the walls were so thick and heavy that they could stand such a bombardment. Merwyn turned and looked towards the gate were the five thousand warriors were lined up waiting for the gates to be thrown open so that they could race out and attack the forces of Ra.
The bridges were laid across the water filled trench and the warriors marched across only stopping to reassemble their formations before they continued forward to attack the city walls. Behind them came the two remaining battering rams. Merwyn knew that the artillery fire was being used to keep the heads of the defending force down while the battering rams would be used to breach the gates.
Merwyn turned to Angus. “Well here goes. If I have everything right this should be the day the battle ends”?
“I hope so” said Angus. “So what is the plan”?
“Once the gate is open our five thousand will race out and engage their force. They will spread out in a huge Vee and get the attacking force between the arms. Bastet’s archers will follow behind the five thousand and they will come out and split into two groups of thirty; one group on each arm of the Vee. They will shower the wings of the attacking force with arrows forcing them to move to the center. This will make the attacking force bunch together and make it harder for them to fight and move. All our five thousand have to do is slice stab and jab and we will win” said Merwyn smiling.
“I hope you are right” said Angus.
“Have I ever let you down” said Merwyn smiling.
“Yes” said Angus. Both Merwyn and Angus laughed as they both knew that the one time Merwyn had let Angus down was not really Merwyn’s fault as Hermes had sold them out to the followers of Toner.
Merwyn watched the attacking force get closer and as they reached the point that Merwyn thought would be perfect he gave the signal and the gates swung up and the five thousand warriors came running out forming the perfect Vee shape. Behind them came the sixty archers who split into two groups and went to the arms of the Vee. Once there they started to shoot arrows high so that they could hit the wings of the attacking force and drive them like cattle towards the center.
As Merwyn and Angus watched from the wall the attacking force started to bunched together and their five thousand warriors started to attack the formation that was now falling apart. The two battering rams now became a huge problem for the attacking force as it meant that they could not back up as the rams were now blocking their retreat.
Shower after shower of arrows fell on the attacking force and as Merwyn and Angus watched young boys came running out of the gates carrying more arrows for the archers. “Were did those children come from” said Merwyn trying to contain his anger at young boys being used as supply troops.
“I don’t know” said Angus.
“I ordered them my lord Zeus” said the elder standing near by. “I thought Lord Zeus would be pleased that the archers have more arrows”.
“I would be as long as you did not use boys to carry supplies” said Merwyn his eyes now a blaze in his anger.
Merwyn and Angus turned back to watch the battle and could see that their forces where cutting the attack force to pieces and that the press of warriors was such now that the attacking force was helpless. As they watched their attacking force started to push Ra’s warriors back past the battering rams that had been abandoned and towards the water filled trench.
“That’s a beautiful if deadly move by our forces” said Angus.
“Yes a classic pincer movement if you ask me” answered Merwyn.
“Oh now they have them at the trench and forcing them across the four bridges that they laid across the trench” said Angus laughing softly. “I don’t think many will survive as they are starting to panic”.
Merwyn turned looked at Angus and shook his head “That’s a side of you I never liked much my old friend. The enjoyment that you get at watching an enemy getting soundly beat. But it is what makes you who you are”.
“To be honest it worries me too. And I do get some pleasure out of watching. It sure beats being down in the thick of things” said Angus still watching the battle.
“What worries me more than the pleasure you take is how this whole ordeal will bother Athena for the rest of her life. She is a gentle soul really. I am just glad that she is not down here watching so many die in a horrible manner” Merwyn said sadly and thoughtfully. “I hope that Bastet can help heal her. Besides working at the hospital will help keep her busy and if I know Bastet she will point out all the good that Athena is doing and that she is saving lives and not taking them”.
“Yes she is a gentle soul. Athena should have stayed at home. I made a huge mistake bring her here. But she so insisted that she came. I should of tried harder to talk her out of it” said Angus sadly.
The few surviving warriors numbering no more than a thousand had crossed the bridges back to the other side of the trench. As they ran the archers started to pick off the stragglers and the wounded while the surviving warriors of Merwyn’s forces who numbered about four thousand walked around to finish off those of Ra’s forces that were too wounded to live much longer.
“I see that they give mercy” said Angus sadly. “I hate this part of a battle. To see such brave men being thrown away and being unable to save the nearly dead. Mercy is all that is left for them. Ma’at and Anubis should be ashamed of what they have done to these fine warriors.”
“Both Ma’at and Anubis were very able regiment commanders but Ra should never have asked them to command an army. Let alone attack a city. Both of them are out of depth when it comes to commanding an army or laying siege to a city” said Merwyn sadly as he turned away from the battle.
“Ma’at might have been heartless and ruthless as a regiment commander but she always cared for those below her. More than likely she is hiding some place out of sight crying at the waste of life”.
“Really” said Angus with a shocked tone in his voice. “I never knew that about Ma’at”.
“Yes” said Merwyn sadly. “More than once she came to me and I would let her hide in my command center and cry alone for those that she has sent to their deaths. She was and still is a good woman at heart. Just confused about what she is doing”.
Angus turned to a young man standing next to him and smiled. “Sound the recall and bring our warriors back into the city.”
The young man standing next to Angus brought a ram’s horn to his mouth and started to sound the recall so that the archers and warriors could return to the city.
Merwyn and Angus were surprised at how few wounded were being helped back to the city. Yet they had lost nearly a thousand warriors but only thirty or forty warriors seemed to need help coming back to the city. Merwyn and Angus moved down off the wall and walked towards the warriors than were now coming back in though the city gates.
“I think its time that we gave Ma’at and Anubis more to think about” said Merwyn. “Those artillery pieces need to be dealt with and we don’t have the ability to send a force to attack them so you and I will have to deal with them.”
“Yes sir” said Angus getting all formal. “How are we to go about it”?
“Very simple we manifest an explosion at each artillery piece and damage the barrels so that they can’t be used against us” said Merwyn.
“Ok sir, let’s get to it. Do you want me to work from one end while you work from the other end” said Angus wondering why Merwyn had taken so long to get around to destroying the artillery pieces.
Merwyn was about to turn towards the gate when the ground around him started to shake very violently knocking him to the ground. As Merwyn lay on the ground he watched in horror as the battered building started to fall on warriors who were running this way and that way to try and get away from the ground shaking. Huge chucks of masonry started to hit the ground close by as damage buildings started to crumble to the ground.
Merwyn held firmly to the ground that bucked and rolled and shook as the powerful earthquake rumbled its way though the area. Then a mental pain filled his head as he heard Athena’s mental voice scream loudly in his head.
The earthquake seemed to last forever but in fact lasted only about ninety seconds from beginning to end. Weakly Merwyn looked around for Angus. As soon as he spotted Angus he weakly crawled over to Angus and spoke softly, “Something is wrong with Athena. You help the people here and get the gates closed. And get everyone to higher land. I think the earthquake was far out to sea and there might be a tidal wave coming this way. I am going to find Athena”. Without waiting for an answer Merwyn pushed himself upright and ran towards where the hospital was.
Far out to sea a slight bulge in the ocean raced toward the coast at a speed close to five hundred miles per hour. As it got closer and closer to shallow water the slight bulge started to take on the form of a huge wave almost twenty five feet height.
Ra turned and looked at the huge wave racing towards his small invisible sail boat. He only had enough time to spin himself a small shield that protected the sail boat from the water and not the movement of the water. The sail boat tumbled over and over while Ra held on as tight as he could and somehow he managed to keep control of the shield he had made.
Angus had just closed the gates of the city when a shout came from the wall. He ran up the stairs to the top of the wall taking each step three at a time.
Out to sea he could see a huge monster wave heading towards them. “Everyone get to higher land now. Move it move it” Angus shouted as he ran back down the stairs and started to run up the slight hill towards where the temple was.
Rabbo opened his eyes and could just make out the shape of rocks and rubble, he could feel Athena under his body and she felt warm.
“Athena can you hear me” said Rabbo breathing in dust.
“Yeah” answered Athena so weakly that Rabbo could hardly hear her.
“Stay with me Athena” said Rabbo.
Rabbo could hear the rubble groaning and creaking above him so he made a hard shield that covered both he and Athena.
“Hail dad” said Athena weakly.
“I can’t I am using all I have to hold up the rubble above us” said Rabbo focusing all the energy he had to stop the rubble falling down on them and crushing them.
“I can’t feel my leg” said Athena sobbing weakly.
“Stay with me Athena” cried Rabbo.
“I’m so sleepy” said Athena her voice starting to fade.
“Athena stay with me please” Rabbo said sobbing.
Bastet stood up weakly and looked around the ruins of the hospital. She spotted mischief sitting in a pool of urine and blood. “I hurt” said mischief whimpering.
Bastet looked into mischief’s body and saw that her bladder had ruptured. Quickly Bastet stopped the bleeding and repaired the damage as quickly as she could.
“How did you hurt yourself” asked Bastet once she had healed the damage to mischief.
“I saw the roof coming down on us so I made a wall to cover us so that it would not hurt us” mischief said weakly.
“You made a hard shield to protect us” said Bastet in surprise.
Bastet looked around and saw dead and dying lying all over the place. There were broken bodies and limbs littering the floor. Some people had been crushed and died quickly were others laid half buried crying for help. Taking a deep breath she started to use her mind to lift broken masonry off those close at hand.
“Dam where is Athena when you need her” muttered Bastet.
Bastet looked around to where she had last seen Athena and Rabbo but where they were was a pile of rubble and masonry. Bastet's hand went to her mouth and her heart leaped into her mouth.
Ma’at and Anubis stood on the high ground with the warriors that they had managed to get off the beach. The mental hail from Angus that there was a tidal wave coming had shocked them almost as much as the tactics that had been used by the defenders of Athens. Now they knew that they had not been facing just the city but Merwyn as well and they had not counted on that.
Besides Ra had planned that Merwyn and Athena would be at their home and that the attack on the city would draw them out so that they could be attacked on their own. Ra had not planned for Angus Merwyn and Athena to be at the city. But once they knew that Angus was there and that they had been facing Merwyn in battle they knew that their chances of winning the battle was very low indeed.
They both had been thankful for the warning that Angus had sent and while they had lost about forty five hundred warriors in battle and so far another five thousand to the tidal wave they were glad that they had not lost the whole force as they would have without Angus’s warning about the tidal wave.
As they stood watching the tidal wave retreat back out to sea they saw the shattered remains of the artillery pieces and siege equipment. Ma’at looked at the ships that had been smashed against the beach and shook her head as most of the ships were broken wrecks with no hope of repair at all.
“Looks like we are trapped here” said Ma’at to Anubis.
“Yes” said Anubis “I am going to hate to report this to Ra. By the way has he answered your hail? I have not heard from him in five days”.
“Nope he has not answered me either” said Ma’at shaking her head thoughtfully.
As they both watched a second smaller tidal wave came rushing in and smashed what little had survived the first tidal wave.
“I would hate to have this reported to me” said Ra making himself visible to Ma’at and Anubis. “But it was something that no one not even Merwyn could have foreseen”.
Ra was bruised and battered. He had a black eye and a bloody nose from his tumble in the small sail boat that he had been in.
“How did. Why did. Umm I mean how did you get here” said Ma’at stuttering in shock at Ra being present and how he looked.
“I was in a small sail boat that I had propelled here and I kept myself invisible so that I could watch and help if needed. Doing all of that including hiding the wake from the sail boat has left me weakened. I had just enough energy to shield myself and the sail boat from the dam wave. Thankfully my sail boat is above the high water mark” said Ra. “we can get back to our home as there is room for the three of us”.
“What about our warriors” said Ma’at?
“Hail Horus and ask him to send all the trading ships we have that should be enough to get your forces off the beach. How many warriors do you have left” Ra said.
“We have about ten thousand left” said Anubis.
“That’s more than I thought would make it back from the sacking of the city. I was counting on losing half of the twenty thousand possible more” said Ra coldly.
“Where did Merwyn get these extra warriors from” asked Anubis.
“Ahh yes those warriors” said Ra keeping the fact that he had spoken though their oracle and told them that he was Zeus and that he wanted them to attack the city at the same time as it was being attacked from the beach. “I had not counted on Merwyn being here. More than likely his bimbo daughter is safe at their home. It would be a stroke of luck if she was here and had been killed by the earthquake”.
Anubis laughed “yes that would be a stroke of luck”.
Ma’at turned her head and looked towards the warriors that were laying around on the high ground. She walked over to a warrior that was breathing his last. She knelt down kissed his head and whispered into his ear “I gave you mercy and take away the pain”.
The warrior reached for her hand held it and nodded then smiled. As Ma’at took his life in mercy tears dripped down her nose falling on to the dead warriors face.
Merwyn ran up to the ruined hospital and saw Bastet moving huge chucks of broken masonry. “Is she under there” asked Merwyn panic filling his voice.
“Yes” said Bastet. She stood up walked over to Merwyn. “Control yourself or you will be no use to her” and with that she slapped Merwyn hard across the face.
Merwyn stepped back in shock and then smiled “Thank you I needed that” taking a deep breath as he regained control of his emotions he looked at the pile of masonry “How is she”?
“Alive but barely” said Bastet.
“Where is Rabbo” asked Merwyn looking around at the ruins of the hospital.
“He is with her holding the rubble up. They are both pretty weak. Now focus your mind and help me carefully lift the rubble off of them”.
Carefully together they lifted tiles and chucks of masonry away from where Rabbo and Athena lay. Little by little and very carefully Merwyn and Bastet lifted the rubble away until they came to a gray thick shield that Rabbo was using to keep the rubble off Athena and him.
“There is still too much rubble on them for Rabbo to drop the shield” said Bastet to Merwyn.
“I know I know” said Merwyn with panic returning.
“Get a hold of yourself, man” said Bastet.
Merwyn closed his eyes and started to make the rubble that still covered Athena and Rabbo into dust so that it could be brushed away. While it was slower going removing the rubble that way, it was safer for Athena and Rabbo as Rabbo’s shield was getting weaker and weaker as his energy was being drained.
It was dark by the time Merwyn and Bastet had removed the last of the rubble that was covering the almost see though shield that Rabbo was using to shield Athena and himself.
Merwyn knelt down and tapped gentle on the shield to let Rabbo know that he could drop the shield totally as all the rubble had been removed. As the shield faded both Merwyn and Bastet heard Rabbo whisper “I rest now. So very tired am I”.
Both Merwyn and Bastet gasped at the sight of Athena’s broken body. Merwyn was about to reach down and remove the last remaining chuck of masonry that was lying across Athena’s leg.
“Don’t move that. Help Rabbo” said Bastet. “I need to check her whole body before we move her”.
Mischief came hopping over and sat next to Bastet. She closed her eyes and focused on helping Athena breathe as Athena was breathing so shallow that she was not getting enough air into her lungs.
“Good Mischief keep her breathing” said Bastet to the little rabbit.
Bastet closed her eyes and focused on the damage to Athena’s body.
Merwyn looked at Rabbo who was caked in dried blood. Gently he reached down and was about to pick Rabbo up when Rabbo opened his eyes and weakly spoke.
“My back is broken don’t move me. Athena has broken leg, fractured skull, broken back, and broken ribs. I am too weak to heal and help her” Rabbo’s voice was weak and raspy.
Bastet looked at Merwyn “he’s right. She is badly hurt. I will have to stabilize them both before we can move them. Give Rabbo some water to drink. Just dip your finger in water and let him lick off the water”.
“Ok” said Merwyn following Bastet's orders as she turned and started to work on Athena.
Merwyn got up and ran to a pipe that had flowing water spilling out of it. He tasted it first to make sure that the water was clean. Then he looked around and saw a goblet lying on the floor. He filled the goblet with water and walked over and sat down next to Rabbo.
Merwyn dipped his fingers in the water and then rubbed his water soaked fingers across Rabbo’s lips.
Weakly Rabbo licked the moisture off Merwyn’s fingers before opening his eyes again.
“Tank you” said Rabbo his voice sounding less raspy. “More please.” Rabbo licked the water from Merwyn’s fingers again and requested more water.
Merwyn turned his head away so that he could no longer see Rabbo broken bloody body for a moment and noticed behind them a bright white light that was glowing so brightly and growing. Out of the bright white light stepped Pele and Yhva.
“We have come to help” said Pele.
“I have come to repay the sins of my father and grand father” said Yhva as he stooped down next to Bastet who was still working on Athena.
Pele moved over and looked at Rabbo. Pele closed her eyes and focused on Rabbo spine and started to knit and heal the broken spinal discs and the damaged spinal cord.
Yhva linked minds with Bastet and together they started to stabilize Athena.