Rewritten: Batresh at Luna Station, after bringing Namazu and abducted humans
They stood opposite a false window. Through it, they saw a blue water world, Mussara, rotating slowly. A moon of oceans and scattered islands, none of them had a memory of ever having been there. It hung in space, locked in orbit with Nirgal, like a dream, a fantasy of a heavenly existance where the inhabitants knew no hunger, no violence, a perfect world. It was their home.
In the corner of the room stood an ancient Roman statue, a priestess permanently genuflecting before a Goddess, a beautiful symbol of their success here at Earth, the accomplishments of humanity. The evolution of these native creatures towards Genetic Compatibility almost complete.
Erish, fresh from battle, sent streams of unconnected, haphazard images from the conflict.
Stressed and worried about Namazu, Batresh tried to deflect.
The Elders, sitting at a table in front of the window, welcomed the onslaught.
After a short time, Gashan entered.
“Be seated,” the male Elder directed.
Elder Sagar addressed them, “Your efforts have been successful. Erish, you and Namazu have done what we hoped.”
She paused and looked at the other female, a middle-aged woman with her hair pulled back.
The woman offered, “Because of your work, the riots at Oxford were less disruptive than they would otherwise have been. We know from the portal, this riot will be a footnote in human history. You successfully restored the timeline. The United States is safe from this particular threat.”
Sagar interjected, “Erish, you will continue to refine the enhanced ayullu. Work with Hilimaz and the…” Pausing, she looked down at the surface of the table, as if personally shamed. She took a deep breath and looked up slowly, “…the human abductees.
“You will create a more efficient method of delivery,” she directed. They saw images of Erish throwing the disks at groups of men.
“Yesterday, Gashan broke the Tlaloc encryption. They are helping the Soviets develop an anti-matter weapon.” Sagar calmly looked at an ancient sculpture of three Graces on the wall behind Batresh. Then, looking directly at Gashan, “We modified encryption keys. You may communicate from Terra again.”
Sagar looked at the male Elder, as if she were communicating with him. She added “As soon as Erish has created the enhancement, you will be given copies.” She looked toward Batresh, and continued, “It is good that you have a human companion.”
Batresh blushed, knowing they were referring to Jerry.
“Since you can trust him, bring him here. We have a job for him.”
Amun is to travel back in time three months, to prevent an eruption at Yellowstone. The portals are taking precautions to prevent anomalies. But, as you know, it is dangerous.” She sighed, looking at Erish, “We hope our medical facilities and personnel can give us an estimate of Tlaloc advancements. Their weapon dissolved Namazu’s nerve tissues.”
Batresh looked down.
“We will keep you informed,” Sagar continued. “Continue to work with Erish on the effects of your weapons.”
Hilimaz nodded. Sagar looked at Batresh, “You may rest here for tonight but you are needed back at Terra as soon as possible.”
Afterwards, standing in the corridor, Batresh, Erish, and Hilimaz looked at each other. Batresh felt the fatigue of the last ten hours. She needed rest. Her body ached as if she had been in the battle herself.
Gashan offered, “I will keep watch on Namazu and the abducted men. I will contact you when we have more information.” She reached over to Batresh and took her hand. “Namazu’s in good hands,” she added, turning towards the transporter.
Batresh offered a weak smile, but said nothing.
Gashan continued, “We can regenerate nerve tissue.” She looked at Batresh for a sign that her words were helping. “I am sure this will work.” The transporter took them to lower levels.
Once in her room, Batresh lay on the sleeping platform with her forearm resting on the pillow. She looked at the ceiling and tried to relax. No longer in rescue mode, the she felt the magnitude of what lay ahead, the potential death of her sister. Searching for a way out of grief, she looked to the false window. From where she lay, she saw the dim disk of Nirgal in the corner of the glass. A trick of reflection from the oceans below, gave the yellow currents of methane gas and neon a bluish tint. She closed her eyes. The strength she felt during the trip to Luna left her. She turned on her side. Involuntarily, her mouth opened and she inhaled deeply.
She squinted with stinging tears. They fell in drops, running down her cheeks and dropping onto the bed. Her mouth opened again, as if to cry out, but no sound came. She covered her face.
She thought of her sister, remembering Namazu after she returned from her first mission, a grown woman. She remembered the ancient city where they lived, dusty streets, humans pushing carts of grain, scribes hurrying to the palace, farmers trading goods. Humans, only recently arrived from the desert, crowded markets, bartering for bread, reed mats, beer, and fruit. The sun was hot, but the city was cooled by breezes from the river. She remembered following narrow pathways between mud-brick structures, through a small market, to a temple that jutted out into the river.
She enjoyed sitting on the stairs there, near the river. She read sheets of papyrus, looking at Namazu and Merti holding hands, standing close to each other in the small square, speaking intimately. She was happy to see her sister with someone. A fountain dripped water onto a basin where women washed clothes. She remembered Merti’s hair was braided and curled, dark brown, shining in the sun.
Namazu laughed, then walked into the temple with Merti. Batresh remembered feeling that all was right with the world.
As the night progressed, she slept fitfully. She kept seeing images of her sister. She dreamt of Namazu as a little girl. They were playing a game, throwing pebbles against a stone wall.
In a later dream, she saw her lying dead on a stretcher. She awakened panicked. Weeping, she realized her sub-consciousness was playing out her fears. She lay her head back down on the pillow, and fell into another disturbed sleep.
The next morning, she awoke with a start. She washed and dressed impatiently, not applying makeup. Once dressed, she walked quickly to the transporter. The lift was slow. She bit her lip with anxiety, tapping fingers on the door. Walking down a hallway where medical-bots moved from room to room, she came upon the space where Namazu lay. She saw through the screen, she was unconscious. A pale-yellow beam of light shone over her body. Namazu’s status, in lighted glyphs, shone in the corner of the screen facing her. Hilimaz predicted correctly, the pale light surrounding Namazu helped to regenerate tissue.
She felt a hand on her shoulder. Turning around, she saw Erish standing behind her.
“Batresh,” she whispered. Looking at her directly, she continued, “Her prognosis is good,” she smiled and continued, “Namazu is a hero.” She brushed loose strands of hair on Batresh’s forehead back. “She’s getting excellent care, the best.” Then, taking Batresh’s hands, she continued, looking at her affectionately. “You should go home.”
Comforted by Erish’s words, Batresh began to weep again. “She is my sister.” She laid her head on Erish’s shoulder.
Erish offered, “I will go with you.”