After the battle at the university, Erish drives Namazu and abducted humans back to the ship
Erish smelled exhaust fumes. The motor chugged loudly. The muffler was ajar. Small bumps caused the vehicle’s suspension to move unpredictably. She drove on, occasionally looking over. Namazu’s eyes were closed.
Driving through the dark night, she tried to focus on the road ahead, dimly lit by one headlight. She thought again of the Rebel yell she heard. She remembered a similar cry.
In those days, more than a century ago, they fought against Papal armies. She remembered cold, rainy landscapes, and barren trees. The ground, pock marked by small craters, filled with mud and rainwater.
It was Northern Italy.
On an abandoned battleground stood ruined neo-classical buildings, withered gardens choked with weeds, burned shells of structures, blackened columns, bare in the wind. Torn sheets of music lay on the ground, muddied by recent rains.
No priests or teachers were here anymore. A goat ran through the building.
A young man, no more than 15 sat on ruined steps, shivering. Lingering at the only home he had known, he wore a tunic with a drape pulled tightly around his shoulders. Dressed as a male soldier, she gave him her cloak and wondered if anyone else was nearby. He was thin and hungry. In a rustic Italian accent, he asked if she could give him a few coins to sing. Erish nodded. He tried to sing an aria, but his voice was ragged, not fully formed. He had not learned the technique for which his manhood was sacrificed.
It was that voice that sounded like the Confederate rebel yell she heard at the University, an echo of a once refined culture.
Seeing Welcome signs, she realized she was entering Tupelo. It was late. Streets were deserted. She drove the car, looking more appropriate for the junkyard than a showroom, unnoticed through town. Namazu slumped in the seat beside her. Her eyes were open again, but she did not move. Her breathing was more labored. She must get to a medical bay.
Erish pushed the gas pedal down. After turning onto gravel, the muffler finally fell off. At least the clanging stopped.
In a half hour, she pulled onto the abandoned road leading to Namazu’s ship. She would not approach quietly. The motor was loud. She saw a light twinkling in the distance. Driving closer, she saw Hilimaz and Batresh standing at the ship.
Without speaking, they went to work. Batresh acted instinctively. She didn’t hesitate or reflect. The actions she took emanated from deep within. It was the core of her being, her center, the Anahata. The Hindi referred to these centers as chakras, the Anahata, the Heart Chakra. Every Tayamni had a role to play. They were created from one of seven vibrations, seven centers, seven chakras. The vibrations that brought her into being, emanated from this point. The Anahata, meaning unstruck, unhurt, unbeaten. Ancient technology, yoni, devices serving as wombs were used to create all Tayamni. The yoni, serving as both egg and fertilizing agent, created her. Those created from the Anahata would be nurturing, loving, and protective. It was from vibrations at the Anahata, that her actions now emerged.
Batresh lifted her sister from the front seat, and carefully, brought her to the ship. Placing her gently on the pad, she pulled a small, metallic cylinder from her pocket. It activated with a dim yellow light and quiet vibration. Moving it across Namazu’s body, up and down, she lingered over the chest muscles. As Batresh cared for her sister, Hilimaz helped Erish retrieve unconscious humans from the trunk. They placed each of them onto horizontal pads in the back of the craft. Belts moved silently around them, holding them in place. Batresh sent a telepathic message to Hilimaz and Erish telling them that she would pilot the vessel.
Sitting in the pilot’s seat, she placed her hand in the reader. Transparent coverings moved into place, and the vessel lifted silently through the air. After hesitating just above the treetops, the craft shot quickly through the sky and stratosphere.
Above Terra, the vehicle turned, and sped towards Luna. Batresh’s attentions had been effective. Namazu was no longer struggling to breathe.
The seat to her right modified into a horizontal pad, making a bed for her sister. She lay there, as if in a coma, her eyes open slightly. Batresh could not tell whether she was conscious. She whispered, “I love you.” She saw Namazu’s lips part. She thought she may have seen a smile. She could feel her attempting to send a message, but she could not understand it. Removing her right hand from the reader, she took her sister’s. Namazu’s energy was faint.
As the ship sped towards the Moon, Batresh remembered playing dolls when they were small. When they were around four, Namazu developed a preference for weapons. Physically bigger and stronger than Batresh, she was willfull and stubborn. Created from the Muladarha vibration, she was a warrior. Batresh remembered seeing her sister take a mace from an adult male soldier at Sekhem. He was taken off-guard and spun around. But, seeing it was a little girl, he laughed. He asked how such a small child could hold a heavy weapon. He jumped back when she swung it at him. Batresh remembered being astonished, as Namazu held the weapon menacingly, challenging the soldier to take it from her.
From that point, their childhoods diverged. Batresh continued playing house with her friends, pretending to care for babies, while Namazu practiced knife fighting with the human General.
Namazu sat in on meetings regarding strategies to protect the city. She was athletic and adventurous. Finally, at around the age of ten, the Matriarch sat her down and explained that she had an unfair advantage over the adult human males. Her body had been created specifically for strength, speed, and agility. Namazu was told she should allow the human adults to win some athletic games.
As they grew older, Batresh grew more interested in the arts, creating beauty, and comfort. She was encouraged to take on artistic tasks, dancing, music, and decorative arts. Her skills kept her close to the Matriarch and the palace while Namazu was sent on missions.
Namazu experienced tragedies and true to her warrior nature, she hid her feelings. She kept secrets, not only from Batresh but also from the Elders. They went through her memories after each mission, both to recover information and to assess her psychological state. Being a lesbian, she was the victim of abuse and discrimination, depending on her mission. Humans in later centuries were not as accepting as those at Sekhem. She lost people she loved.
Batresh learned to read her sister’s facial expressions and body language. Just as Namazu felt physically protective of her gentler sister, Batresh felt she must be vigilant to safeguard Namazu from despair. Seeing a downcast look, hearing a desperate tone was enough for Batresh to act. Using emotional skills, she made sure her sister returned to her sarcastic, mischievous self again. She couldn’t bear to see her suffer.
Flying to the Lunar base, realizing her sister’s body could die, Batresh was in full rescue mode. She assessed, and reassessed Namazu’s condition, watching for any changes in her face and her body, monitoring her heartbeat and breathing, going over various scenarios that could result in organ failure, and others that could save her life. Like a mathematician evaluating solutions to solve an equation, Batresh engaged all her abilities.
If Namazu died, the Elders would give her a different body. Even so, Batresh still felt the same fear of death her human counterparts felt. She didn’t know how dying would change her sister, whether or not she would return as the same person. Closing her eyes tightly, griping the steering mechanism, she prayed to Auset to preserve Namazu, to keep her sister healthy, to maintain the person she loved.
The craft orbited Luna to a position near the base, and began to descend at an angle. Having seen her sister struck by the Tlaloc weapon via sensors, her fear of them intensified. Even though next-to impossible, she was afraid they might penetrate Lunar shieling. Flying over the surface, she watched the landscape furtively, looking for signs of invasion.
She was relieved to feel the vessel descend to the crater. She watched Namazu’s face as the craft lowered itself into the cylinder, sending telepathic alerts to whomever might be nearby. The craft touched down. There, already waiting were hovering medical robots. They moved towards Namazu and the two human men on stretchers at the back of the vehicle, metallic arms and grips working softly, almost tenderly.
Hilimaz and Erish were already there. Hilimaz stood near the wounded humans at the Medical Bay. Erish explained events at Oxford to an Elder.
The bots scanned Namazu’s body. A device overhead cast beams of light, now red, now orange, then blue at her sister’s motionless form. Her breathing grew more relaxed. Batresh felt a message in her cerebral cortex, the message she knew would come. The Elder asked the three of them to come immediately.