From the 3rd book, the chapter,"Those who Watch"

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From "Those who Watch," on her deathbed, the Matriarch remembers her mother

She lay in her bed, still, muscles clenched, but for her struggles to breathe. The rasp of her breath filled her ears.  Staring through dim light at mats covering the ceiling, her mind raced from memory to memory. Her own mother’s face materialized above her. Whether it was a vision, or whether she was actually here, in the room with her, no longer mattered.

She had been a little girl. It was soon to be Erudu, the time when the yellow sun, Sig, moved in front of red Aldebaran. The pale orange sky would turn to bright blue. In quick succession, green grasses and brilliant flowers would burst from the ground. The black leaves of subur trees would turn green, and sweet red fruit would grow from ukum bushes.

She remembered her mother had given her a yellow flower to mark the holiday. She didn’t remember its name, but she remembered it was from Terra. They grew everywhere at Mussara during Erudu. She remembered seeing yellow flowers covering the ground like carpets.

It was the first Erudu festival she could remember. It would also be her last. She would be brought to join the rest of her House at the third planet of a new system. In the old language, her mother called the land, Kemet, Land of the Black Earth. Surrounded by red sands of a great desert, it was the land of the Great River, the land made rich and black by deposits of silt. The candidate species were concentrated here.

She wondered that there were only three seasons at Kemet, the Inundation, the Planting, and the Harvest. She thought of the varying seasons at home, the changing leaves, the colored skies, the coolness of Ud, and the rains at Su. But soon enough, these memories would fade. Terra, the land of one sun, would become home, and she would rarely think of Mussara.

Her daughter, Batresh, leaned over her, brushing wisps of white hair from her withered face. She thought it odd, that today, the day she would die, these memories could be so real.

She could smell the sweet yellow flower her mother had given her.

###

She saw an image of her mother seated on a golden chair. Ten or twenty humans sat in the shade of small trees in front of her. It was hot and sunny. They sat at the spot where the Temple Complex would one day rise. Her mother, Itet, wore a traditional Tayamni toga and a wrap around her hair. Standing beside her, was the Matriarch of the Sumerian Mission, Ninanak.  It must have been a few hundred years before the village took form. Humans had advanced enough to look completely Tayamni.

“The Nine were the first to come to us,” her mother explained to the ones seated in front of her.   

Ninanka activated a hologram projector on her wrist, and images of the Nine, The First Ones, those who the Tayamni revered as holy, appeared before them.

The humans gasped, some stood, two ran away. Three females bowed down, putting their faces against the ground.

The Matriarch stood, holding her hands out to them. “No, no, they are not here. This is an image, a picture in the air.”

An older female reached out to touch the hologram of Auset, but withdrew quickly when her hand passed through the image. She fell to the ground, hiding her face in her hands. “Neter!” she cried. “You are Neter, Neter.” She pushed her face against the ground.

The Matriarch crouched down beside her, touching her hair, caressing her arms. “No, no, my dear. These are not the Gods. These are simply pictures.

The Matriarch looked back at Ninanka, who turned off the projection. “It’s too soon,” she whispered.

The female, looked up into the Matriarch’s face and whispered, “Neter. You are one who watches. You are.”

She remembered her mother was saddened, she shook her head and looked back at Ninanka again.

The female pointed to the Sumerian Matriarch and continued, “And you. You, also. You are those who watch.” Then she smiled. “You watch, you protect.”

Her mother sighed and looked down at the ground. Then, looking around at the humans, she offered. “Yes, we watch you, and we protect you. But, we are not Gods. We are like you. We breathe, we feel pain. We bleed.”

The kneeling female looked worried momentarily. Then smiled, shaking her head. She reached out and took the Matriarch’s hand, kissing it gently. “This is holy ground. This place, where the Watchers come.” She nodded and looked around at her human friends.

“This is holy place.”

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