Kahn's Bazaar, Small Hotel
"Ardeth! My friend! You are back so soon? You have completed half the task The Great Mother asks of you?" John said, showing Ardeth to a chair. John motioned for the young boy to bring them a pitcher of iced tea.
"My friend, I have need of a plane to go to Alexandria. I need to be there by evening," Ardeth said.
"I had reason to think you might need an airplane quickly and at your disposal. The Great Mother doesn't make tasks easy for her Chosen Ones. I have an American friend who can fly you to where ever you wish to go," John said.
"I will pay him in gold," Ardeth said, taking his glass and holding it up to the sunlight. The tea shone in colors of amber and red.
--A very pretty effect--Ardeth thought.
"He will meet you at the airstrip whenever you get there," John said.
"You are worthy of a priest of Osiris," Ardeth commented, finishing up his iced tea. John inclined his head.
Taking his leave of John, Ardeth made his way through Cairo to the city's outskirts and rented a felucca to carry him across the Nile to the private airstrip.
"Hello, Ardeth Bey!" A pleasant, deep, though rather husky voice said. The voice emanated from a tall man with deep green eyes.
"Hello," Ardeth replied. The man offered his right hand and Ardeth shook the man's proffered hand.
"I am Martin Wilkes. Where do you need to go?" he asked Ardeth as the two of them got ready to leave.
"Alexandria. I do not know how many days I will need but I need to be in Djeba in six days," Ardeth told him.
"Six days. I could use an adventure. What may I ask are we doing?" he asked Ardeth as the two climbed into the biplane. Ardeth was a bit wary of using such an airplane for transportation because of his dream, but nonetheless he climbed in the rear seat and put on the goggles he was offered.
He considered Martin's request. To get to the sunken city of Herakleion, just off the coast of present day Alexandria, he would have to dive. And dive deep. He supposed his dedication to Med Jai training and his underwater training would serve him well in this adventure. Ardeth decided to open his mouth and say,
"I am going diving," he said.
"Diving? John indicated this was a serious adventure!"
Ardeth considered his response. He didn't want to give too much away but he did need the help of Martin. Ardeth could couch his answer and evade any questions Martin put to him so he answered as truthfully as he could. "Serious adventure, yes. I am diving to retrieve something that was lost a long time ago. If I do not return it to its home, I am fearful something terrible will happen."
"Terrible? As in what is brewing in Europe?"
Ardeth had heard news of the man from Germany who was brewing up all sorts of trouble in Europe. And he was afraid that it was this same man who was secretly planning on attacking Cairo with a huge formation of planes--and cause the destruction of the Pyramids, and the end of mankind.
"Yes," was Ardeth's curt reply.
"A ha! An ancient Egyptian artifact that will save the world!" Martin exclaimed.
Ardeth cringed. He'd heard the snide remarks about the artifacts the Ancients left. But then he realized that while Martin's words appeared to have scoffed Ardeth, they were said quite affectionately.
--Another believer in reincarnation?--Ardeth asked himself.
But before he could ask Martin his question, Martin spoke, "Do you know about the Bracelet of Lostris?" he asked.
Ardeth shook his head, so Martin continued. "In my former life, I was the Keeper of the Bracelet. I was murdered and the Bracelet was taken. I watched from the Afterlife as death and destruction continued to rent my world, and the Hyksos, the Shepherd Kings from beyond the Tigris River, killed my Pharoah Kamose, a descendent of the Great Queen," Martin said as he started the engine.
So Martin was another believer in reincarnation. "My Scribe has heard no such Legend of the Bracelet of Lostris. Indeed, I have never heard the name of Queen Lostris," Ardeth said as Martin leveled the airplane and the plane started rumbling down the small runway. But something tingled in Ardeth when Martin spoke about the Bracelet.
"I'll tell you about it over dinner!" Martin shouted as the airplane took off into the shimmering air.
Ardeth looked down. What he saw took his breath away. There, like little ants, were the people of Cairo--his Egypt. He saw the green Nile flowing towards the Mediterranean. He saw the Pyramids from the air, and they looked magnificent.
"Thank you, Chosen One," Ardeth heard the Gods whisper to him as the plane passed over the Pyramids. The Bringer of the Wind swept her skirts and created a small sandstorm in the shape of a pyramid—a mini khamsin--out to the west, which subsided quickly, but lasted long enough to let Ardeth know she was grateful for his help.