Gromet's PlazaMummification Stories

End of Days 4: The Cranes

by Darkraptor1

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© Copyright 2012 - Darkraptor1 - Used by permission

Storycodes: Solo-M; M/m+; naked; public; mc; majick; staff; storm; cons/nc; X

continues from part three

Part 4: The Cranes

What a strange and curious place the world had become.

Coming up to the banks of the Nile, Targonamey looked at the city across the river. It was Luxor, he was sure of it, for it had the feel of the city he had known long ago. Yet, the passage of time had rendered it larger then what he remembered. The builds were different, and all manner of metal and steel devices were clamped to the top of buildings and houses.

What are those strange things?

Naked, he calmly waded into the Nile, swam across, and emerged on the other side. As the dawn had yet to come, it was still dark, and nobody saw him as he made his way through the streets and alleys into the city. While he sought food, drink, and clothing, Targonamey was more curious at seeing the new devices and contraptions around him.

Wandering into the streets, he found them to be mostly deserted, the city's occupants asleep inside their homes. But there were a few cars driving around. It wasn't long before heads began to turn in Targonamey's direction, their occupants surprised at his nudity. Targonamey ignored them, instead focusing on the cars, wanting to know how they worked. A vehicle that moved faster then a chariot, with no horses, and could carry several people at once was an astonishing contraption.

Even more curious was the vehicle that came up to him, with flashing lights on top of it. Puzzled, Targonamey walked over, looking at them. These were not candles, or the reflection of mirrors, but actual lights that suddenly appeared. Fascinating!

Two men got out of the car and started talking quickly at him.

"I require clothing and food," Targonamey said.

The two didn't seem to understand him. They were looking at each other, as if unable to decipher what he had said.

"Did you not hear me?" Targonamey asked. "I require food and clothing."

Shrugging their shoulders, the two came towards Targonamey. Their body language suggested that they weren't all friendly. But Targonamey wasn't worried; he could fix that.

A quick wave of his hands, and a muttering of an ancient spell, and the two men stopped. Their faces became blank, and slightly blissful. It was an old trick he was fond of: Dominating the wills of lesser individuals, bending them to his will.

"You will take me to your headquarters," he said.

The two men got back in the vehicle, opening the back. Targonamey got in, and then they were off. As fascinating as it had been to look the vehicle over, to ride inside it was even more exciting. The seats were amazingly comfortable, and there were these strange belts that one apparently wore across the waist.

The ride came to an end, and they stopped outside a huge building, brightly lit, and with the words, "Police Department" written across the front. Targonamey didn't understand them, but he guessed that this was the headquarters of local law enforcement.

As he was let out and led inside, Targonamey told his guides to give him clothes. Even though they couldn't understand Targonamey's words, they still led him through the building, the three ignoring the curious stares of other officers. They reached a dressing room, where Targonamey went through several lockers and boxes, going through the strange styles of clothing inside. There wasn't much to pick from, and eventually he had to satisfy himself with a strange pair of pants, and a shirt. Clumsy, and nowhere near fitting a great man such as himself, but they would do for now.

Dressed, he needed food, but sensed that this wasn't the place for it.

"You will remain here, and forget everything that just happened," he told the officers. When that was done, he turned and made his way out, ignoring those who watched him go. They were of no consequence to him, at least for now.

Now back out on the streets once again, Targonamey made his way through them, seeking food. Most buildings were closed at this late hour, but he smelled the aroma of fresh bread coming from close by. Following his nose, he found the establishment, was pleased to see that it was stocked full of food.

After casting a charm to control the owner, Targonamey took some of the bread and gorged himself on it, delighted at the taste of food, at being able enjoy it after so many centuries. It was a treat he had missed.

He could have stayed and eaten the food, to fill himself and sample all the dishes he didn't recognize or understand, but there were more important things to do. Food could wait, and he had to set his priorities. Now, there were only two things he needed.

Leaving the building, he went out into the street, and cast several charms, feeling, focusing his powers out into the night. He could sense the presence of magical objects nearby, and walked in their direction.

His walk led him to a large museum, which had been fashioned to resemble a temple from ages past. Having seen many of those temples himself, Targonamey was amused at this reproduction. While nowhere near as vibrant or colorful as he remembered, it was still charming, like a child trying to do an intimidation of a parent's painting.

Going to the gates, he found the building to be closed. But that was no matter for him. Another charm, and the gates were unlocked. But as he entered, Targonamey heard an annoying squealing sound that was loud, and repeated itself endlessly. Unable to find its source, he was unable to use his magic to stop it, and thus had to continue on, trying to ignore it. Besides, there were more important matters at hand, he could sense the presence of the magical items.

Going down two levels, he found them at last, in a section housing ancient artifacts and tokens of power and rank. They were all beautiful, and a few Targonamey even recognized, having held, but his attention was focused on a tall staff that was within a glass case. It was the most powerful object in the room, and even in the entire museum.

Walking up, Targonamey punched through the glass, grabbing hold of the staff. It seemed to surge with energy as his fingers wrapped around it, as if an internal battery, long dormant, had suddenly sprung to life. Targonamey was pleased at this, while the staff wasn't as powerful as he would have liked, it would serve its purpose, and allow him to cast his magic more efficiently.

There was the sound of running in the levels above. Most likely the guards of this place, coming to stop him.

Targonamey smiled. Perfect.

They came into the chamber, carrying strange black things, all pointed at him. Targonamey didn't know what they were, but deduced that they were weapons of some kind. As expected, the guards began yelling at him. Their words were gibberish to Targonamey, but the meaning was clear. They wanted him to drop the staff and surrender.

It was an easy matter to cast his charms, and send the weapons flying across the room. The men were stunned, obviously not used to seeing magic. Drawing their knives, they charged, but a sonic blast from the staff sent them slamming into the walls and display cases, knocking most of them out cold. One remained conscious, and Targonamey went to him, kneeling and placing his hand on the man's skull, chanting more words. He would be at a bigger advantage if he learned the language of the people, so as to better order them around.

In a few minutes, he had sucked all the information out of the man's mind, gaining an immediate mastery of the local language.

"You will bow to me," he told the man, practicing the strange words that flowed from his mouth and over his tongue. "In time, you will call me your master."

The man didn't reply.

Oh right, his mind had been wiped clean. Targonamey had forgotten about that. He could stay and talk to the man all night, and practice if he wished, but there was still one last thing to do.

Moving to head back the way he came, Targonamey stopped. There was a display case nearby, and within, an elegant suit of gold and jewelry. Targonamey recognized it immediately, for it was the garb that the pharaoh had worn for special occasions.

He grinned, what better way to mock the pharaoh's efforts to lock him away forever, then to wear the garb of his greatest enemy!

Walking to the case, Targonamey shattered it, reached inside, and took the suit. Though built for a larger man, it still fit his body, the golden fabric and long, flowing robes turning Targonamey into the mirror image of nobility. All he needed now was a crown, perhaps the one showing the unification of upper and lower Egypt. But that too, could wait.

There were two old friends Targonamey wanted to see again.

*

Leaving the museum, Targonamey walked through the streets, letting his magic guide him. The sun was starting to rise on the horizon, but it was filtered and partially blocked by the thick clouds that covered the sky. Already they were starting to rumble, as if they were machines, and the rising sun was activating them.

Ignoring the weather, Targonamey kept going. People were starting to emerge from the buildings, ready for a new day. None of them had expected to see a priest dressed in gold and carrying a long staff walking among their streets, looking like a lost relic from another era.

Reaching the edge of the city, he headed back towards the Nile. Going through crop fields, through the sand and the mud on the edge of the water, he eventually left Luxor behind, which vanished on the horizon, until he was all alone.

An oasis appeared before him, full of trees and water. There were animals there, and upon his approach, most fled. But two stayed, two large cranes. And upon seeing them, Targonamey smiled. The last he had seen of these birds, he had ordered them to flee, so as to not get caught and be buried with him.

Now, all these centuries later, they were still waiting for him.

"My friends," he said, speaking in his old tongue, stretching his hands forth, like a lover reuniting with the object of his affection. "How good it is to see you again."

The two cranes turned at the sound of his voice, and squawked upon seeing their master once more. Immediately, they took flight and came to him, landing on his shoulders, perching there like they had always done before.

Targonamey grinned. It was as if no time had passed between them at all.

"You remember what I need of you?" he asked.

The cranes didn't speak, but it was clear they remembered what they had used to do, in ages past. Now they were being called into service once more, and would fulfill their duty as best as they could.

As if testing themselves, the cranes flew into the sky, circling around the oasis. As they went, a single, silver bandage flew from each of them, growing longer and longer, until they returned to Targonamey's side.

Targonamey smiled. He had the clothes of his greatest enemy. He had a staff. And now his prized cranes were with him once more, he had everything he needed.

Turning, he looked back to where Luxor had been. It would be a long walk back to the city. But he didn't mind. He had so much work to do, and the ancient city would be where it all began, where his conquest would begin.

He started walking, the cranes still perched on his shoulders.

Above, the storm rumbled.

27.08.12

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