Namazu's crew say goodbye to Captain Hurin
They stood at attention on a platform to the left of the sarcophagus.
Unlike brilliantly painted ones at home, this one was shiny metal with Captain Hurin written in Tayamni hieroglyphs.
Commander Namazu sent a message to the Hathors the day before, alerting them to her death. It was unknown whether her Ka would return to Mussara or remain far from home.
They knew the risks before coming so far away. Like the Ancient Egyptians, the Tayamni were fearful to journey so far away from tracking technology, far from those who performed rituals to guide the Ka back home.
She had not known her well, but as Commander, Namazu performed embalming rituals herself, massaging balms into tissue, wrapping her in clean linen, whispering prayers in the old language. There would be no human-like viewing of the body.
During the attack, the ship spun wildly, throwing the small crew against consoles, piping, ceilings and doorways. Centrifugal forces ripped floors apart, controls separated from fastenings, chairs, displays, and structural supports thrown about the ship, tearing through thin interior walls.
Then gravity failed.
Objects that would ordinarily have landed on floors or settled on consoles, ricocheted off surfaces, gaining speed with each strike, the angle of impact hurling them unpredictably.
It was like this that a small, metallic cone, part of field generating mechanisms, was flung from its casing. It glanced off a beam, gaining speed and spin. The sharp point of it burrowed into Captain Hurin’s forehead with the ease of a knife through melted butter. Punching a small hole in exterior, layered walls, it was a kilometer away from the ship, before Hurin’s brain ceased to function.
Her lifeless body was thrown about Engineering like other inanimate objects until she was impaled on sharp shredded fastenings behind a console.
This was to be a safe journey, dipping a toe inside Dusmanyu space, no enemy ships for hundreds of light years. An expedition to investigate the empire of which the Tlalocs were now a part, the empire that surrounded the Orion Spur at each end of the Transit. The Orion Spur on which both Earth and Sippar sat, was effectively cut off from the rest of the Galaxy.
Namazu looked at Zimudar and sent a message. “This was not your fault.”
Zimudar’s face was frozen, unreadable. Aya took her hand as shuttle bay doors opened and the shimmering metallic coffin slid out of the bay. Small thrusters fired with blue flame, guiding the coffin down to the planet, down to Ditallu.
Taharqo lifted his arms looking upwards and prayed to the Goddess,
We pray that your mouth be opened,
That your bonds be loosened
That holy spells of magic guide you
That words of love show as signs
The words of the First Ones
May they be your guardians
Your mouth is opened
Your Ka is loosened
The First Ones guide you home
With the chisel of love
The Love that opened the mouths of the them
They who dwells in the west of Dingir,
May you be guided home to await the day
The Day that follows night
He lowered his eyes and looked outwards as the bay doors closer.
They would leave the damaged Ukhu here, orbiting Ditallu, emitting a warning beacon in case the weapon were activated again.
Two ships remained, the Magan on which they now stood, and the Kebent. Their destination, the planet Viridan, formerly a planet of scholars and artists. Sesta, the chief Archivist at Sippar, was one of a few thousand remaining from a planet of 11 billion. Looking back at her home as the refugee ship sped away, Sesta saw her planet split in two. The enemy bombardment continued until a great red crack appeared on its surface. Sesta watched helplessly as her home split apart, a widening swath of lava consuming its surface.
Like Ditallu, no signs of life, no water, no oxygen could be found. It was almost as if the Dusmanyu weapon, in addition to breaking the planet apart, stripped away gases needed for life.
They would visit two more planets before heading back to the Transit. Their final destination to be Kagal, a planet-wide city of refugees, now subject to Dusmanyu devastations.
Namazu had not settled on the method they would use to arrive at such a heavily populated planet undetected.