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Pharaoh's Dance (IC)

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February 14, 2017 


(CN: Violence, Bright Lights, Disturbing Imagery

Video Description: 

A blonde woman in Egyptian-style garb is standing in the middle of a run-down looking playground. A badly-beaten man is laying on the ground at her feet - and behind him, a small group of frightened gang-bangers are making a pile of guns, knives, and various drugs they seem to have been carrying on their persons. We can't see her face, but her voice crackles with supernatural power as she declares, "Lo, villains! Never again will you market thy poisoned goods in Hardwick Park!" She reaches behind her back and pulls from nothing a glowing Egyptian ankh - which she then plunges into the pile of guns and drugs at her feet. In a flare of light, the contraband vanishes. "This block is guarded by Lady Horus herself! Now begone, and find you honest work! Show pride in thy home!" She turns and addresses the camera directly, her voice calming a little, as the men run. "Didst you get all that, girl? Good. Send it to every teenager in this city!"

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"Ra's damnable polished dome!" Tripping over himself as he scrambled up from his reclined position on the couch in the apartment's living room Set stopped just short of hurling his phone at the wall. Instead he gritted his teeth and exhaled slowly before tossing it forcefully into the cushions, freeing up the godling's fingers to massage the divine tension headache growing at the base of his skull. The mortals had managed to go years respecting the name and legacy of his brother and now appropriative knock-offs seemed to be coming out of the proverbial woodwork. As if Horus would set up in a dilapidated, city-sized tire fire like Bedlam. There were days he empathized with his elder self's apocalyptic goals than he knew he ought. "Sekhmet!" he shouted, stomping off to his room. "Pack your mauling sandals! There be hallowed comeuppance to mete out!"

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The ride west and north had...not suited the dignity of gods. 


Hours spent in the cramped confines of Greyhound bus stations, with strange smells and people, often in commercial areas of passing interest in the daytime and little of interest at night, the conveyances themselves, crowded and slow, sometimes with strange smells and people too - the music players who didn't bother with headphones, the children who certainly had ample justification for their unhappiness but were no less loud and active for that. 


Still - it was better than a slave-crewed boat up the Nile in high summer, with the stink of human dung rising from the fields on either side.


Along the way, the temperature dropped, especially once they passed the Great Lakes, snow and ice appearing alongside the road at an alarming rate. Things being what they were, both Set and Sekhmet became the subject of paternal and maternal attention from fellow travelers who urged them to put on a coat before they caught their deaths! They'd also been mistaken for a couple more than once, which was not uncommon for the two of them from mortals not paying attention but seemed to happen with special frequency when they began their journey on the night of Valentine's Day.


Some of the buses had WiFi (as did most of the stations), most passed through areas with cell service - Set was able to do some research. 'Lady Horus' had appeared in Bedlam around the beginning of the year, making her debut by battling a...Scion of Set? (one of Apep's get, from the look of him) right there in the middle of the deplorable of burgs - Bedlam. She seemed to favor flashy stunts - a difficult task in such a grey, unpleasant city. Her fight with the dealers in Hardwick Park was actually somewhat unusual - she tended to pick fights with corporate executive and city officials with a reputation for corruption.This was interesting because this was, so far at least, effectively meaningless. In Wisconsin, a costumed superheroine with no public identity was essentially a vigilante with no real legal power. The men she'd 'taken down' were all on the street, albeit with a few bumps and bruises. Even so, the reward for information on her capture was not small - Bedlam's leaders did not enjoy public humiliation. 


From the bootleg films Set could find, Lady Horus was fast and strong, more kinetic than the Horus Set remembered, more like Shu made flesh than Horus as she ducked and weaved through gunfire. She spoke differently too, with the intonation of a Heliopolitan but with a vocabulary more suited to Sobek in his cups than the Sunhawk. 



The Bedlam Terminal was under a freeway overpass - in a trailer rather than the buildings Set and Sekhmet had seen over the last couple of days of their journey. It was cold and dingy, with piles of exceptionally dirty snow at the edges of the parking lot that easily towered higher than either Set or Sekhmet's heads. In the last fifty or sixty miles, a change in character had seemed to come over the region. This area was diverser than other parts of Wisconsin, more like the industrial cities to the south, but seemed surlier, meaner, more unhappy. The dark grey sky overhead, laden with clouds, seemed to be frowning. Nobody looked their way as they stepped out of the bus terminal - this city was perhaps a quarter the size of Freedom, but the locals didn't seem to want to know anybody, relying instead on the sort of anonymity you got when it was too depressing to take a close look at anything else. 


There was a small police presence at one end of the parking lot, and an ambulance, gathered around what looked like a half-visible crime scene. Nobody paid them much mind. 

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The clouds over Bedlam didn't turn any friendlier as the deity of storms stepped off of the bus in her female aspect. Set's brick red dreadlocks hung bound with a simple leather cord over one shoulder while flashing grey eyes took in the sad state of the terminal from behind round, vintage style sunglasses. She wore a white hoodie a size or two too big open over a clingy black top emblazoned with an iconic 'parental advisory' warning that was arguably a size too small. Heeled sandals beneath artfully ripped stonewash jeans echoed against the pavement as the godling strode purposefully into the parking lot as if expecting to find the object of her ire waiting for them.


"Calm thyself," her taller companion advised in a weary grumble. Sekhmet tugged the brim of her yellow ball cap down and wrinkled her nose at the offensive odours of their destination. Her track pants were a matching canary yellow with black trim up the sides and her ankh pendent rested atop a cropped, sleeveless black top. The warrior deity arched her back in a distinctly feline manner, trying to do away with the stiffness that came with their undignified means of conveyance. "The wise predator familiarizes herself with new hunting grounds before cornering prey."


"Tell that to our pretender, Lady of Slaughter!" Set shot back hotly, angrily scrolling through a discussion thread about 'Lady Horus' on her phone. "Tis no secret Bedlam bears no regard for the heroic traditions. Either she be a fool or else has something to hide and I will stand for neither while she lays claim to that title." The foreboding clouds overhead rumbled. Focusing on the nearby crime scene she resumed her purposeful strides. "The bleached braggart seeks out misfortune as her stage, so then shall we! Come!"

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"I help you girls with something?" 


The man speaking to them was a big, cheerful-looking officer in plainclothes, a detective's badge on his herringbone vest and a massive revolver hanging on his hip. He was leaning against a squad car and making notes on a yellow legal pad, and had looked bored before the two pretty girls arrived. He looked happy to see them - in that somewhat predatory way a predatory man can be when he sees things he likes. He reminded Sekhmet a bit of a male lion - not a particularly flattering comparison. 


On the other side of the police cars, a bodybag was just being zipped up by two bored-looking med-techs. Some uniformed officers were joking with each other about "cherry Popsicles" in a way that bespoke a grim meaning given the snowbank where they'd found the body and the deep chill of a Wisconsin winter in the air.

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Sekhmet pulled a face that managed to combine the most potent elements of a disgusted grimace and a threatening snarl, exposing unusually pronounced canines while the exposed muscle in her shoulder and arms tensed in a way that was difficult to miss. The guttural growl that came from deep in the back of her throat resonated clearly in the crisp air. There were different meanings to the word 'predator' for different contexts the leonine goddess didn't need much excuse to illustrate the gulf between them.


For her part Set looked as though she were regretting looking to see what had been stuck to the bottom of her sandal. "Ew. Concern yourself not, lawman. Merely checking if tis anyone with whom we are acquainted," the redhead supplied dryly, raising her phone to begin recording the scene, schooling her expression into something cooly impassive. "Continue about the sterling work for which your department is renowned, please." It was less diplomatic that the godling generally made a point of being with police in Freedom City but besides her general irritability after the long trip researching criminal going-ons in Bedlam for the past several days had not left her with a high opinion of their counterparts in this city.

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"Do you?" Set fired back glibly, not looking up from the screen on her phone, though she did adjust the angle to make it clear the officer in question was in the shot.


"The badges proclaiming their authority and duty be numbered for just such a purpose," Sekhmet explained helpfully, sounding unusually interested in the minutia of modern living even if the scowl hadn't entirely left her face.


That did prompt Set to look up, glancing over her shoulder at the taller woman. "You've been watching dramatizations afresh?"


The warrior goddess shrugged her bare shoulders. "I took enjoyment from The Wire, though I found the season fifth to be passing weak by comparison."


"Do you know, I had heard as much? Never have I finished the viewing."


"Thy be only cheating thyself," Sekhmet insisted solemnly. "Tis still well worth the trials in final summation."


The redhead made a small sound of thoughtful consideration before turning back to the police officer. At some point a business card had appeared between the immaculately manicured middle and forefingers on her free hand, extended toward him. Slightly metallic blood orange ink on textured white simply proclaimed 'SET' followed by a list of web addresses and user names for a variety of online networks. "You might try asking someone younger," she suggested helpfully with a broad smile full of perfect teeth. "We're something of a big deal, Officer...?"

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"Detective Jack O'Ryan," said the officer, who didn't lose his smile for a moment. "Oh, are we taking pictures? Cheese!" Practically throwing himself into the selfie, he threw his arms around Set and Sekhmet with great good cheer, a man enjoying the moment quite thoroughly. He'd looked tall and muscular from afar, but up close he was a force of nature, with the solid build of a man who must spend a fanatical amount of time taking care of himself. He smelled faintly of cigarettes and strongly of men's cologne. When the picture was done, he studied Set's card and shrugged. "Ah, computer nerds, eh? All right, I'll check these out. You two ladies keep your eyes open," he said with a wink. "You need anything, just give me a call." He traded cards with Set, handing over one emblazoned with the logo of the Bedlam Police Department. "I know I'd be happy to keep an eye on you." 

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There was a moment in which Detective O'Ryan came perilously close to losing the limb he put over the shoulder of the Lady of Slaughter, oblivious to the tensing muscles and preternaturally glowing eyes that signalled the goddess' imminent wrath. Only Set clearing her throat pointedly through gritted teeth stayed her hand. They hadn't come to the cesspit that was Bedlam City to dismember pigs, worthy cause thought that may have been. Getting into a prolonged fight with the local constabulary was unlikely to benefit their mission.


Once they had gotten a reasonable distance away the shorter Heliopolian tossed the detective's business card into an overflowing trash receptacle in distaste. "And I thought I was in want of a shower after the bus ride," she drawled. Where they walked the chilly temperature rose several degrees in accommodation to the goddess of the desert. "Tis safe to say law enforcement shall be unhelpful."


Sekhmet grunted in affirmative, still not convinced a more physical lesson in manners hadn't been needed. "...think thee the ankh be another forgery, as the loathsome Knight wielded?"


"I cannot imagine any other possibility," Set replied, shoulders hunched in annoyance as the object of her greater ire was raised. "Mayhaps even crafted by the same hand."

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Avoiding the grabby hands of local law enforcement returned them to their larger problem - what were they going to do to find Lady Horus? This wasn't Freedom City with hero watchers happily tweeting hero sightings every few minutes, nor was Lady Horus herself the sort of person who had a public access line. A cab ride got them out to Hardwick Park, where the false Sunhawk had made her most memorable appearance, just as the thick clouds overhead made good on the promises they'd been making since Set and Sekhmet arrived in Bedlam. Snow was falling, thick and fast, by the time they stepped outside at their destination. 


Hardwick Park wasn't the worst part of Bedlam by any means - Set and Sekhmet could see bodegas, resale shops, and other stores open for business up and down the street where their cabbie had left them, one intrepid fellow keeping warm in a heavy Maniacs jacket and by the warmth of his own pupusa stand. The buildings were small, one or two story, mostly older homes that looked to have seen better days. Down at the end of the street was Hardwick Park itself, its elaborate stonework and arches the sign of the architecture of a previous generation. The streets weren't terribly crowded here - the cold weather was keeping most people (except for the heavily-bundled up) inside. 

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"Have thee a stratagem?" Sekhmet inquired while pulling one of a half dozen pork filled pupusas from the paper bag she'd happily accepted from the vendor, voracious from the trip. 


For her part Set nibbled contemplatively at a tortilla filled with refried beans. "Our quarry tis of an unsubtle disposition. Surely someone shall know something useful."


The one eye visible from behind the leonine goddess' fringe flicked about the park dubiously while she peeled the paper wrapper off with her teeth. Sparking conversation with Bedlam's residents hadn't served them well so far but they didn't have any other real leads.


"Should anyone ask, inform them we be students of journalism," Set advised, making quick strides toward the first passerby she spotted. "Or better yet, mayhaps allow me to conduct the conversation." 

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The locals were hesitant to talk to strangers, especially ones who didn't sound like or look like most of the people that lived in the neighborhood. But both Set and Sekhmet had their various ways of being persuasive - especially since, as one elderly grandmother pointed out with a laugh, "you don't look like cops, eh?" It was a long day's work by the time the godlings were finished, but they'd learned much. 


Lady Horus had first appeared in the general area of Hardwick Park in early January, either on the first of the year proper or so close as it made no difference. Her appearances tended to be short but memorable, a flash of gold and white in the sky here, a crack of thunder from a divinely-empowered ankh there. Her focus seemed to actually be the park itself rather than the neighborhood as a whole, driving out first the crackheads from the northern half of the park, then rumbling in the southern half of the park first with some local boys, then the 


"She's a pretty lady behind that mask!" said one cheerful young man with a mustache and Central American tattoos, who Set and Sekhmet had found taking their ease at a sit-down table inside one bodega that was slightly less shabby then the others. He was in the company of other young men, most of them relaxed and easy-going, and several of them unsubtle in the knives and weapons they were hiding. "Tough, too. This big Irish cop punched her in the face and she threw him right over his car! Said he'd get worse if she saw him touching another girl." 

"Come to think of it, they haven't been after us since, so good for her. She doesn't like us much, though. I tried to tell her were just community protectors like her, but she didn't like it. Probably some do-gooder from Chicago," opined another, probably the best-dressed of the group. "She'll realize Bedlam's no place for Shakespeare in the park and she'll vamoose back home." 

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Set nodded along with everything that was said, tapping away at her phone as she jotted down notes and asked thoughtful follow-up questions. She mulled over the answers carefully, apparently lost in thought as she muttered softly to herself until abruptly bolting to her feet. "Ho, the game be afoot, oh Mistress of Dread! As empress of the unexplained I have everything I require here to deduce our quarry's true identity!"


"Truly?" Sekhmet looked up from her last pupusa with a surprised blink.


 "Nay, not remotely," Set admitted, sighing and tucking her phone into her top. "The direct method is called for, methinks." The bleak skies overhead turned darker and rumbled in warning as the godling took several long strides to a spot in the park away from any trees or tall structures and raised a hand overhead. As she snapped snapped furious bolts of crimson lightning burst from the clouds and met her waiting fingers, splitting the heavens and casting the area in flashes of blood red. Over the echoes of thunder she called, "A signed invitation ought to suffice!"

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Set's mighty display of divine puissance, albeit somewhat attenuated from days of old, was certainly more than the average citizen of Bedlam had seen! Lacking experience with superheroes, most of the people in the park fled in terror, parents scooping up their children and even young bloods running away (though a few of the members of that gang Set had been speaking to earlier were now hanging around the edges of the park). The flashes of light went on and on, and after a few minutes it was becoming increasingly clear that Lady Horus, whatever abilities she did or did not possess, did not have the park under 24-hour watch. Trying again produced more light, and more noise, and now people in the crowd were taking pictures and filming her - it was clear whatever was about to happen was going to happen on film. 


Just when Set was beginning to consider a new strategy, some ten minutes into her display, two things happened nearly simultaneously. First the police arrived - the Bedlam constabulary having far less patience with superpowers than their Freedom counterparts. Two of those big, old-fashioned squad cars skidded to a halt near the entrance to the park that Set and Sekhmet had used, the officers boiling out with weapons drawn. "Freeze and cease your use of metapowers! This is your only warning, slimeball!" There were four officers so far, service revolvers out and aimed, but more would be on their way soon. 


An instant later, with a sound like thunder and a flash of solar-bright light, Lady Horus appeared in the inside of the park, landing with Set and Sekhmet between herself and the police - from the way she cracked the asphalt of the basketball court when she landed, wherever she'd come from she'd come _straight down_. Up close the helm was certainly different than the one Horus had typically worn, completely hiding the upper part of her face, and standing taller above her head. In a slight crouch, platinum blonde ringlets hanging below her shoulders, she held an ankh in her left hand that glowed with visible power, her reverse grip holding the ankh by its head rather than shaft. 


The three were frozen in a tableau for a long moment. 


Ah, jeez! I knew this was coming one of these days! 


Don't worry. I know how to handle Set. 



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In a ripple of shimmering red-orange sparkles the outfits the pair of Heliopolians were wearing transmuted into their more on-brand shendyts and accoutrement. "Keep an Eye of Ra on our impromptu policeman's ball, aye?" Set requested of the taller goddess, speaking quietly out of the corner of her mouth. "I would just as soon leave illustrating the issues systemic with modern law enforcement for another day."


"Methinks thou failed to plan in full, schemer," Sekhmet growled under her breath turning sideways to glance warily between the drawn firearms and the masked blonde.


"I prefer to say 'improvisation'." She rolled her slim shoulders imperiously to adjust the straps of her cross halter and took a single step toward 'Lady Horus', pointing an accusatory finger at the so-called heroine. Notably the same finger that had been summoning lightning not long before. "Ho! Pay heed, peroxide pretender!" she called loudly enough to carry to the surrounding crowd and leaning ever so slightly into her accent. "A true heir of Heliopolis would have words with thee!" Distant thunder rumbled to punctuate the demand.

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They stared each other down - and suddenly the lady Horus erupted towards Set with fantastic speed, mystic ankh gleaming with divine power. Set readied herself for divine combat even as it all happened so fast - but the false Sunhawk plunged down directly behind the quartet of police officers! With her free hand she disarmed one mustached officer by means of grabbing the gun out of his hand and squeezing, then backhanding him against his cruiser door. She leaped in the air for her next target, striking him in the back with the ankh, then stopping his sudden forward descent by catching his face with her knee. The third got a blow across the torso that sent him spiraling over his car, just as his partner came up with a shotgun! Lady Horus stared the other woman down, ankh glowing with solar power. "Foolish woman, do not toy with me." The fourth officer lowered her shotgun, stared at Lady Horus - and began tending to her partner. 


It had all happened so fast. Whirling, Lady Horus stalked towards Set. "Lo, Deceiver, now that these sty-born boors, blockheads, and louts will not spill the blood of the innocent in their petty rage, let us indeed bandy words. I know you a sibling of Horus-born, but my doings here have a purpose - and are blessed by those of Heliopolis.


That is a somewhat dubious characterization. 


Oh c'mon, it's close enough!

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Set gave a start as Lady Horus swept past her, the rush of air bouncing her bound dreadlocks behind her. The shouts of the startled officers behind her told the godling what was happening without turning around and her shoulders bunched together as she scowled and threw her hands up in the air. "Oh, just present atop a table and measure, why don't you," she accused through gritted teeth as righted herself to face the blonde woman again.


"Tis likely best for the onlooking mortals, in truth," Sekhmet mused, planting her hands on her hips and considering the waylaid police with a measure of professional approval.


"Et tu, She Who Maims?" The warrior goddess shrugged unapologetically and with an inarticulate grumble a much put-upon Set pointed her finger back at Lady Horus. "Blessed by mighty Ra's radiant flatulence more like! Don't 'lo' me you ratchet reproduction! You address the goddess of foreign lands and languages and you're doing a bit!" She narrowed her eyes and glared at the covered portion of the taller woman's face. She might not have been able to truly read minds but she could hear the notes of a second conversation underlying what was being said aloud. "Some other voice feeds you your lines. Be it most loathed Apep? Typhon? Should Loki be having a lark tell him I shall kick his eight-legged horse's ass up around his ears!"

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Let me handle this. 


Are you sure about that, honey? 


I know Set better than any god or any mortal - if you would keep him from our purpose, none is better-suited than the Lady of the Temple. 


But you two have a history - and it ain't the best one! Maybe you should let me talk to him- 


A bargain was fairly struck and fairly made. Will you keep it? 


...fine, but if you start giving him the business, I'll have a few things to say! 


The conversation inside Lady Horus's head lasted only for a moment or two - before a new voice spoke. "There is much you fail to understand, brother-husband." A form shimmered to life beside Lady Horus, one intimately familiar indeed to the one who had once been Set the Destroyer. But had the Nighthawk, her dark skin dappled with stars and wings folded behind her back like a cloak, had such an aspect recently? "Does even a shadow of Heliopolis belong to you now?


Lady Horus shrugged, almost apologetically, and gave the former couple space to talk. 


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Grey eyes wide Set sputtered in disbelief, frozen in place with her spine ramrod straight and half-clenched hands twitching at her sides.


"...oh. Oh nay." With both hands in front of her mouth Sekhmet looked back and forth between the two aspects of the Ennead, Lady Horus and the surrounding crowd very nearly forgotten for the moment. Muscles bunched the leonine goddess looked very much like she was considering sprinting for the nearest tree and hiding in its branches. "No glad ending may come of this."


The look of utter shock stuck to Set's face began to crack as one eye twitched dangerously until her mouth contorted in a snarl so severe her head stretched and elongated into its black fur covered, canine snouted form to better accommodate the expression. Never breaking eye contact with Nepthys, her cry resounded loudly enough to resound throughout the park. "MOTHER @#$%!"

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"How articulate," commented Nepthys in tones as cold as the desert night, arms crossed over her chest. "This incarnation certainly has the same gifted tongue I remember.


"Nepthys, do not rush forward an ass under the pelt of a lion!" demanded Lady Horus, taking this as an opportunity to intervene. She didn't quite get between the couple, though, not when she knew that one couldn't be hurt by the other. "Thou promised good counsel with thy 'amicably parted' spouse, not petty bickering. I can handle such things well enough on my own without godly intervention.


Nepthys made an irritated noise that Set had produced from her too many times. "Very well, Horus. Set, my companion and I are shadows of the Heliopolis of old - the Heliopolis that you knew in ancient days. We have empowered this woman so that she might do our work in these modern days - and redeem her own corrupted soul.


"My soul is as pure as it ever was," said Lady Horus breezily, titling her half-hidden face towards Nepthys, "but I do carry burdens in their names. It was a sweeter draught than what I had before me 'ere we met."



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"I don't doubt you recall my tongue in detail, oh Lady of Laments," Set hissed, letting her head resume its human appearance as she stepped closer to the shade, close enough to be uncomfortable regardless of the latter's incorporeal state. "Should dissatisfaction now arise, permit me then to convoke He Who is Ever Youthful. Worry not, I shall say tis Isis who calls."


A few feet away Sekhmet groaned quietly to herself, hands now covering the whole of her face. "Blessed Ra deliver us..."


Ignoring her Set flatly informed Lady Horus, "'Amicably parted' be a euphemism. Dismemberment was involved." She turned her attention back to the winged figure, surprise having fully given way to mounting irritation. "Truly though, I should dearly love to hear what 'work' you might need done. Tis not Nepthys but the impression she left in the cushions after too long on the mourning couch. Ironic indeed for one so shallow!"

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"In these fallen days, we are all shallow reflections of what we once were, brother-husband," replied Nepthys. "Just as this age is a shallow reflection of what was.

"Oh, well, thou has said it!" replied Lady Horus, sounding deeply skeptical of her erstwhile patroness's gloomy outlook. "I wore a crown e'en before I found the Helm - and now I am heir to the powers of a god!" She hesitated a moment, hand on that lovely chin, then actually interposed herself between the two deities. She was moving with kineticism as she spoke, driven by internal energies and some internal discomfort that had her gripping the ankh tightly with both hands, again holding it by the join between loop and cross, rather than more properly by the loop.


 "Hark, before you two do fall to calling each other strumpet and popinjay, I would have words with Set." She faced Set directly, looking down at the younger-looking god, not for the first time wishing these sandals came with heels. "If someone took up my brother's name and garb, I would want to strike the fool down with my two fists." She made a little gesture at herself. "But I am hardly passing for the Horus-that-was - nor disgracing his sacred name. I rob no tradesmen with the ankh, I fight with the goodly people of the city instead of its many lawbreakers, I walk the sunlit path even when the darkness is tempting. I _knew_ the Horus-of-old - I looked in his eyes and heard his words. He treated all with respect and compassion, and never once did his godly wrath, or godly passions, harm an innocent. If no one else is going to take up the burden of his sacred mantle, why not me?

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"Oh, here we go," Set scoffed, largely ignoring Lady Horus' initial attempts to defuse the argument. "Too glad to play the brooding iconoclast but dragging your feet in the sand over any true change. Discount everything the mortals-- ack!"


The taller blonde pushing her way between herself and Nepthys forced Set back a pace so that she could properly glower but as the surprisingly sincere speech went on the retort on the godling's lips turned into a small frown of concentration. There was a long pause before she allowed, "You speak honestly. And literally. But that would make you..." Once the Heliopolian realized the masked woman was intentionally dropping hints the pieces began to come together. "You wore... Nay. Nay!" Set clapped her hands over her mouth and practically bounced on her heels in delight. "Truly? You magnificent, unparalleled cheat! And the doleful shadow remains locked in your mind? Oh, tis too good!" Bobbing up and down again in barely contained glee the godling let out a whooping laugh.

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"Now that you're making friends," snarked Nepthys quietly, "I will leave you to your work," before vanishing back into the Helm with a faint ripple of diamond-studded darkness.


"Keep thy tongue in thy head," chided Lady Horus gently. "None know - and none can. You know why better than anyone." The many, many reasons why no one could know who Lady Horus truly was passed through her mind faster than she could blink. "I am pleased thou do not gainsay me here, Set." She had reasons to resent the godling, perhaps - but Set's approval did make what had to come all the easier. "Those above share your fears about the future," she admitted, her voice deepened and echoing from the divine influence of the power she'd borrowed. "There are few who would bring me to Freedom in a crisis. Thou art one, and thy guardian is another." Ankh in hand, she tapped Set lightly over the heart. 

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