Namazu's vision continues, as she lays on her death bed.
Namazu stood with the woman who brought her. Images of the First Ones, the Nine, carved onto the frieze of the temple. Statues and columns erected as monuments standing in the open air. On the temple steps, a woman with dark skin and black hair looked at Namazu knowingly, her face an expression of love. They looked at each other for minutes, thick hair, full lips. The woman turned and continued up the stairs. Her beloved Marquesha here, among the Tayamni. Another woman, a lady of noble bearing, stood there in her place, looking at her.
Namazu realized the Goddess held her hands. She understood now, she should not be here. Her presence at Dingir was an error.
Marquesha walked into shadow under the portico. Her silhouette, the shape of her shoulders, sent pangs of yearning. Marquesha turned again, and walked into the temple. Namazu focused on the darkness inside the doorway. Longing pulled at her, held her in place, reached into her breast, wrapping its grip around her heart. She couldn’t breathe. She held herself still, looking at the place where Marquesha had stood. She closed her eyes and felt her beloved softly take her hand. She pulled her, pulled her towards something, something she should know, something she should remember. Namazu lay with her cheek against Marquesha’s face, soft brown skin, loving lips, wild hair, magnificent, disorderly, curly black softness, smelling of summer. Namazu twirled her fingers through thick curls. A voice, gentle, loving, “You will return, you will be with me.” Namazu felt Marquesha’s breath.
The Goddess pulled Namazu close and kissed her. She heard a sound like rushing waters and the words, “Return, my daughter, you are not finished.”
Namazu could no longer see the temple, but was inside a darkened room. In deep shadows, Marquesha took her hand and pulled her to a door, a door that would not open, locked, bolted, of thick metal, riveted shut. She knew it was she, Namazu herself, who put the door there. It was she who fashioned the locks and rivets. She knew, on the other side of that door she would find the fiery khamsin, a blizzard of sand, the whirling, driving, stinging sand that rips the flesh, a cyclone of rage, the burning heat whose breath forms the desert, holy vengeance, the rage of the Gods. She would find Sekhmet. She would find herself.
She breathed in deeply and sighed, opening her eyes. She lay on a hovering platform at the Lunar Base. Batresh, Jerry, Sagar, and Erish stood next to her. Batresh held her hand. Namazu blinked and Batresh laughed. Bending down, she kissed her sister on the cheek. Two silvered bots hovered around the bed. Had she been dreaming? Did she have a vision?
Namazu took another deep breath, and looked at Batresh, a look of relief on her face, tears in her eyes, “You won’t believe where I was,” Namazu offered.
Batresh bent down again, brushing her sister’s hair away from her forehead. “We were afraid we lost you.” She gently took her sister’s hand in her own.
Namazu looked at the bot hovering at the foot of the platform as it cast a red, healing beam of light into her eyes. She felt as if she were looking into the clear eyes of the woman who held her hands on a distant world. She knew where she had been. She knew that some among her people had these experiences when unexpectedly their physical bodies died. She knew she had been, for a time, separated from her body. The Seven had not planned for her to die. The Goddess, She who Watches, commanded her to return home.
She wanted to go back, to return to the place where everything was known, where all futures had already happened.
She remembered a battle, the Tlalocs, the Potacas, Oxford, white supremacists, shouting, the Confederate flag, racial epithets.
She gasped as she remembered. Marquesha, she had seen Marquesha with the Goddess, her beloved Marquesha.
She saw Marquesha lying in a field of cut corn stalks. The face she had kissed, the hands she held, her beloved lay on the ground, a bloody wound on her head. White men, the slurs they shouted. She remembered names they called her, she remembered the word, “abomination.” The word stung her.
She had seen Marquesha with the Goddess.
Her beloved was safe, safe in the embrace of the Heavens, safe with Auset.
Memories of the battle at Oxford brought her back. This brutal reality where she fought those who hate, those who wish to bring harm. She closed her eyes again, hoping, in some way to hold onto feelings of love and safety. Batresh kissed her.
The bot hovering at her feet, spoke with a gentle voice, “Regeneration is complete.”