Prologue to the first book, Ancient Sekhem, 3800 BCE
“…If we cannot learn to actually enjoy…small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.” Gene Roddenberry
Prologue: The City Palace at Sekhem
She stood at the foot of her mother’s bed.
Light from clay lamps flickered, casting trembling shadows. Breezes stirred thin drapes. The air swirled with incense. Seven women stood around the bed, hunched over the old woman. She lay still, softly wheezing, taking shallow breaths. Wisps of white hair, tangled and brushed away from her forehead, framed her aged, Nubian face. In outstretched hands, she grasped coverings. They stood there in silence, transmitting words and images with thoughts. Gasping, the old woman called out, her voice barely audible, “Batresh.”
The Hathors acted quickly. The technology in the jewelry they wore, the medallions and stones that hung from their foreheads activated, casting light towards the old woman. They closed their eyes and chanted low-pitched words from the old language. Acolytes behind them shook sistrums, accompanying the chant with metallic shimmering.
Batresh witnessed this ritual once before. Like then, her head swam. The walls curved, swirling around her. Closing her eyes, she held onto the bedpost. Soot from incense burned her nostrils. Her heart pounded as she held onto the post.
Slowly, incrementally, as if waking from a dream, the dizziness diminished. She regained her footing and tried to stand. The chanting stopped. Opening her eyes, she saw the Seven Hathors standing back from the bed, staring at the lifeless body of the old woman.
The Matriarch was dead.