Atet stood by the small open grave, staring upon the face of her son. Ma’nakhtuf’s body lay crushed and broken, though his face remained unscathed by the falling stone. Only the frozen grimace of final anguish told the full tale. A sculptor by trade, but a dutiful son by heart, he had the gift of beauty in both body and soul.
Turning away, Atet faced the setting sun. The Pyramid’s glory shown more distinctly as the golden rays of the gods caressed its edges. For this, her son had lived, and for this, he had died.
The slender figure of her sister, Khumit, wrapped in a long dress, swayed across the cooling evening sands and approached with hands outstretched. No words needed, they embraced, and Khumit clung with devotion born of mutual suffering.
Pulling back, Khumit plumbed the depths of Atet’s despairing eyes. “They will come and set him to rest. His spirit—”
Atet jerked away; her eyes barren of dreams, her soul dead to hope. “The gods live on; the pharaohs live on; the glorious and the wealthy live on, but my son is dead to this world and to the next.”
With a swift wave, Khumit encompassed the mighty structure. “His work lives in the pyramid, the home of the gods. All who served faithfully will outlast the ages.”
A procession of men, women, and children wound serpentine fashion across the sands toward the gravesite. Clouds of incense floated before them, rising like an evening oblation.
Khumit gripped her sister’s arm and drew her back to the graveside. “It is time to say goodbye; allow your son to find a new abode.”
Atet stared at the grimaced face of her dead child, and like the incense floating aloft, she offered a prayer. What I see with my eyes destroys all joy, but what I hope with my heart offers my only strength. May you live on, my son, and take your beauty with you.”
Commander Rumson of Crestar, Reporting on the Third Planet—District 48.788.
There have been few significant changes since my last report, though I have seen Luxonian activity in the area. I also passed an Ingoti trader in close proximity. We’re not the only ones keeping an eye on this planet.
One point of interest—a new pyramid structure is now set in a vast desert. I came in for a better view and have attached the measurements and significant data. This is a surprising achievement considering their lack of tools. Circling above, I could detect no discernable purpose for the structure. Interested, I ventured closer for a more intimate view and discovered a funeral procession in progress. As I observed superstitious traditions typical of this species and of no particular value to us, I ended my tour.
My current analysis for the Crestonian Science Department—as a race obsessed with structures, humans make exceptional use of tools. Devotion to their dead, though motivational to some, remains useless to us. Perhaps, given time, they will join passion with purpose and develop something we can value. Until then, I recommend we maintain regular observation but take no further action. After all, their pyramids may last longer than they do.
Novels by A. K. Frailey
Last of Her Kind http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg
Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN
Coming in 2018…
OldEarth ARAM Encounter (In production)
OldEarth Ishtar Encounter (In production)
OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)
OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)
Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r
The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5
The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00