The Record Keeper is a fan-fiction about Seshat, the Egyptian goddess of writing and wisdom, being reformed in the modern world without being able to use magic and trying to find a way to get her powers back. The story is mostly told in a letter style and is written from Seshat's perspective.
Genre: Humour and parody.
Rating: T for very mild adult humour.
Chapter 1: Ducks!Edit
Before I continue, I want you to find a newspaper article. To be more specific, a newspaper article from 1924. Now I'm not talking about a big name newspaper, I'm talking about an obscure, underground newspaper that people don't talk about often. So if you are in possession of said newspaper, you are probably raising an eyebrow at one of the articles. If you do not have access to such a newspaper, allow me to read you the title:
Young Woman Devoured by Ducks.
Call me morbid, but I love that title. It's crisp and to the point and I commend the author for using "devoured" instead of "eaten". As disturbing as it is, it provides the reader with a strong mental image. Plus the oddness of the title draws the reader in. It's not vague like "Tragedy Strikes Local Park" because that can mean anything.
There I go again. Sorry about that. So how about I explain to you what happened? Okay. On May 13th 1924, a young woman and her husband were walking past a duck pond in their local park. I'm not entirely sure what the woman did to provoke the birds, but each bird waddled towards her and began to rip her to shreds. Her husband was startled at first, but then knelt down to examine the birds that chose to use his wife as a snack. Surprisingly the ducks didn't attack him, but they just waddled back into their pond to do whatever ducks do, leaving only a skeleton behind.
So if that doesn't seem weird enough, listen to this. That woman is technically not dead. She was hosting the Egyptian goddess, Seshat, while her husband was hosting the Egyptian god, Thoth. So now you are most likely confused on who this lovely woman speaking to you is and how she falls into the story. Well I was hoping you would already know this due to my ramble in the second paragraph, but for those of you who haven't guessed by now, I'll introduce myself.
I am Seshat. Goddess of writing, astrology, history, and all those other classes you probably slept through in high school (I'm watching you). So I am five-thousand years old, I invented writing, and, yes, 87 years ago I was eaten by ducks. Now I'm guessing that at least some of you are scratching your heads and thinking "But the Egyptian gods and goddesses are just fiction! They don't exist!" And as a response to that, I would make this gesture that reflects frustration to a person's ignorance (also known as a "face-palm") but I currently have no access to my hands right now (I'll explain later) so instead I'm just going to explain in five simple words:
We do exist, so ha!
Now I'm not saying that Egyptian "mythology" is the ultimate "religion", but I could spend the next ten years mapping out how different religions and beliefs intertwine but I'm not going to bother. I'm not Thoth, mind you. I guess you can say I'm Thoth in a dress (picture that for a second).
Oh how I hate writing these prologues, but some stories need a little more background information and also I love the sound of my own voice. To fully understand what I am about to tell you, you need to understand that gods and goddesses can have a host. Most of the time they "possess" humans or animals, but they can pretty much "possess" anything. Yes, anything. That wooden head that you use to hold your fez, yeah Khepri "possessed it" and he knows what you did last summer.
Okay I feel something crawling on my leg so I'm going to wrap this one up because I feel it going numb.
So may the forces of evil get lost on the way to your front doorstep (mortals have such interesting ways of saying "goodbye") and I will see you next time to continue this little story.
Chapter 2: Not the Papyrus!Edit
Being a book for 87 years really makes you appreciate the little things in life; it's a fascinating experience. To understand what it's like being a book imagine yourself in a room that's a little wider than an air vent and a little taller than a mini-fridge. Now imagine that room being completely dark. Put yourself in that room for 87 years and you will have a good idea of what it's like being a book.
And I loved it.
Okay I wasn't able to write since I couldn't see, but I always had a love for small dark places. In the old days (over five thousand years ago) I was mostly seen in a box behind my temple. I do not care for large, open spaces, in fact they are quite troubling to me. This is a problem considering I'm the goddess of astrology, so I used to make Thoth look at the sky and tell me what he saw. Then I would write about it, tell the people, and I would get all the credit. Yeah, that does sound kind of selfish, but Thoth often gets wrongly credited for inventing writing, so I believe he can handle not getting credited for looking up.
I eventually discovered that if I have something pressing down on my head, I can go out into wide, open spaces for a short time without much trouble. It's hard to explain, but it offers a lot of comfort.
Okay, I'll cut to the chase: here's why I was a book:
Remember what I told you about hosts and gods "possessing" people, animals, or items? Well it's fairly common for mortals to seek out becoming the host for an Egyptian god or goddess. But usually they want to be the host of Horus, Isis, or Anubis. So people don't really want to be the host of more obscure gods like Petbe or Kek.
And of course, me.
People aren't really lining up to become the host of the goddess of math, so I always have to seek out a host. It always confused me how people would gladly host someone who chopped his mother's head off, someone who poisoned her own father, or, I don't know, has a dog for a head, but no one wants to host little Seshat.
My ankle is turning blue_ I should continue with the story.
I turned into a book because the woman who I wanted to host me jumped out of the way while I was trying to take over her body. I chose her because anyone who goes to the library (which is where I tried to posses her) almost everyday is probably worthy of hosting me. So I missed her and ended up taking the form of a book that was on a shelf behind her. Why can't mortals just stand still when I'm trying to posses them? It would make things so much easier.
So because of that, I missed and I was a book for 87 years. Oh yeah, and the book was titled "Cheesy Flynn's Beddie-Bye Time". Not only was that completely humiliating, but the book wasn't even that good. Shame, I saw a lot of potential.
Anyway, one day when I was contemplating why any respectable parent would be so cruel as to name their child "Cheesy Flynn", I felt a tugging sensation in my stomach. Then the floor dropped from beneath me and I began to fall. I couldn't see anything, but I could feel the aching in my gut that was telling me I was falling to my death (yes, we can die). But then, I saw a light beneath me and in three short seconds, I found myself falling through that light, flying through the air, falling back-wards, and collapsing on the ground as the book fell on my face.
I moved my new hand across the floor with a strange sense of curiosity. There was a throbbing in the back of my head caused by my fall and I had a feeling there will be some kind of swelling their tomorrow. I sat up, the book sliding off of my face in the process, and I rubbed my aching back. I felt something on my nose; glasses. None of my previous hosts wore them before. I remember Thoth had hosts that wore glasses before, but never me.
I struggled to get to my feet and grabbed the shelf behind me for leverage. I began to feel a little lightheaded and I thought that I was getting dizzy because I haven't stood up in a while. I soon realized that I forgot that mortal have to breathe. I never really understood why they were designed that way. Seems rather inconvenient.
My previous host was on the floor next to my foot. Not wanting to be rude, I picked up the book and tried to place it back on the shelf. To my horror, I discovered that I couldn't reach the shelf, not even a little. I began to panic when I realized I could be in the body of a child. I had a child host before, back in 1849, and it is not a fun experience.
When I backed up, I felt my foot brush against something. Looking down I saw a brown tote bag laid on the floor. Could it...
I kneeled down and gingerly picked up the bag with the care one would use when picking up a bag of explosives and peered inside. I felt a huge burden being lifted off my shoulders when I saw the contents; a writing palate, three writing reeds, red ink, black ink, and at least a dozen Papyrus sheets. At least I had that.
I managed to squeeze the book into a shelf I could reach and began looking for an exit. After much trouble, I found the exit under a glowing sign that said "exit". Huh, who knew?
To my horror, the outside of the library was a huge courtyard, stretching out as far as I can see. I felt my knees go weak and my palms begin to sweat. After taking a few shaky breaths, I removed the tote bag from my shoulder and pressed it firmly against the top of my head. It didn't help much, but it did lessen my anxiety and allowed me to move across the courtyard.
The courtyard was like a giant brick patio with flocks of humans (groups of humans are called "flocks" right?) talking and moving around. A large fountain sat in the middle of the courtyard and that was my target. Partially because I needed to sit down, but mostly because I wanted to see what my new host looked like.
With my bag placed upon my head, I peered into the water. Fortunately I was not a child, but I was still awfully short. My blond hair went a little past my chin but it looked like it hasn't been taken care of in a while. I wore a grey sweater over a white shirt which apparently hid my body quite well because it wasn't until later when I discovered that my new host was, ahem, a little chubby. And of course I had a long, hook nose that I always seemed to have no matter what host I had. Thank you Thoth for passing your ibis-like characteristics down to me. I really appreciate it.
I took the bag off of my head, opened it, and placed the writing palate on my head and began to think about where I was going to live in this form. I thought back to my previous host when I spent a month living in Washington. Perfect!
Retrieving a writing reed and some black ink from my bag, I scribbled "Washington"on a piece of Papyrus, and threw that sheet on the ground. Here's where I got stupid: with the Papyrus on the ground, I took a few steps back, and dove onto the paper stomach first. In my defense...actually I have no defense. That was incredibly stupid.
Uh okay. I apologize for the misuse of ellipses, I promise it won't happen again. Long story short; the portal didn't work. I laid there, stomach against the Papyrus, chin against the ground, feeling like a buffoon. Let me clarify that I don't jump on Papyrus just for fun. It was supposed to open a portal, yeah, goddess of writing. But it always works. I stood up and brushed my hands over the front of my sweater, maybe it was just the portals that were acting weird today. Who knows, it could be one of the Demon Days.
Somehow I doubted it was the Demon Days. It didn't feel cold at all, but then again, I had no idea where I was. I retrieved my writing reed and another piece of Papyrus.
"I think I'll summon a turtle."
Scribbling the word down on a fresh sheet of papyrus, something inside of me told me that it wouldn't work. I threw the sheet down and nothing happened; the Papyrus didn't even turn green.
I shoved my reeds back into my bag and sat back down on the fountain. So there I was, alone, with no idea where I was and how I was going to get back. My thoughts were soon interrupted with the sound of feet coming towards me, birds' feet to be precise. I turned my head towards the sound and saw some sort of waterbird. The creature had a rather small head, a long curved beak, and white feathers. I instantly recognized it as an ibis. At first I didn't think much of it, but then I gasped when it suddenly clicked in my head. An ibis!
The bird hopped off the fountain and walked towards a large building by the courtyard so I placed my bag back on my head and followed it. The bird looked back a few times like it didn't know why I was following it, and to be fair, it probably didn't.
After a few flights of stairs I finally removed the bag from my head. I was in a rather long hallway lined with doors on either side. When I peered into the doors that were open, I noticed the rooms were rather small. This gave me a feeling of comfort; maybe he's living reasonably for once.
The ibis approached one of the closed doors and tapped its beak repeatedly against the wood before plopping down in front of it. When nothing happened I cautiously stepped around the bird and opened the door myself.
I felt my heart stop when I entered the room. Instead of the tiny room I was hoping for, this room was probably as big as some of the temples we had back home. Maybe even bigger. I felt my palms begin to sweat but it was the huge window on the other side of the room that caused me to fall to me knees. The ringing in my ears almost drowned out the sound of footsteps coming towards me.
"Still not over your agoraphobia?" the sentence was accented with a slight chuckle and used all my willpower to bring myself back to my feet.
"Thoth?" I adjusted my glasses a bit. I have to say, out of all the previous hosts he had, this one seemed the most suited for him. Instead of the suits he wore in some of his hosts, here he wore a long white lab coat, jeans, and a t-shirt. We also both had blond hair and glasses which made me wonder if we were supposed to be siblings in these forms, but I guess it could be just a coincidence.
Thoth nodded a bit,"Is it just me, or did you get shorter?"
I frowned, "It's the host's fault!". I looked around the room and saw a group of ibises huddled in a corner, "new batch?"
Thoth looked at the birds, "Yeah. The old ones died so I had to get new ones." He suddenly gave a wide smile, "oh, and remember how the previous ibises were named after famous scientists?"
"Yeah." I was not sure if I was going to like where this was going. Thoth walked over to the corner of the room and picked up one of the smaller birds,
"Well these ones are named after bacterial diseases! Come one, I'll introduce you to them!"
The next twenty minutes pretty much went like this:
"This one is named Leprosy!"
"This one is named Necrotizing Fasciitis!"
"This one is named Lyme Disease!"
Yeah, imagine a whole twenty minutes of that. Also I cut out the part of him explaining each disease because trust me, you really don't want to know.
"So, what brings you here?" Thoth asked after I recovered from that disturbing ibis role-call.
"Well I was a book for almost a century," one thing I love about being a goddess is that I can say that and people don't even bat an eye, "and I tried to open a portal and it didn't work."
Thoth set the tiny ibis (Bejel) down and raised an eyebrow, "You couldn't open a portal?"
I nodded, "Yeah and I tried preforming some other forms of magic and that didn't work either."
Thoth frowned, "Well I don't think there's any reason why you wouldn't_" his voice trailed off and he retrieved a piece of chalk from his coat pocket.
"What's that for?"
"I guess I'll open a portal for you. So, where were you trying to go?"
Somehow I had a feeling that this was not going to work, "Washington state, please."
Thoth scribbled a bit in the air and I was falling down into a portal. Then I found myself almost hitting the ceiling when the portal spit me back out.
"Huh, well I don't know what to tell you.I opened a portal earlier today and it worked just fine. I think something is wrong with you."
I rubbed my aching head and brushed off my pants. Fortunately a desk covered in papers broke my fall a bit, but I was still in pain.
"Thanks, I really wanted to hear that."
Thoth obviously didn't catch my sarcasm and began sorting through the papers I fell on, "Well, until we figure this out, I guess you have no choice but to stay here."
I pressed my hand firmly against my head and shuddered at the thought of staying in such a huge room,
"May I stay in one of those small offices?" Thoth shook his head,
"No, sorry. The college needs those." he looked around the room, "I have a supply closet. You can stay there if you like."
I approached the door Thoth was pointing to. The room was small and lined with shelves containing boxes, jars, and distorted stuffed animals. I sighed in relief and closed the door of the closet before collapsing inside.
However, my moment of rest was interrupted when Thoth came barging in,
"I know how we can get your powers back!"
I hate to end this segment here, but I'm almost out of paper. I swear I didn't mean to make this a cliff-hanger, but for the sake of storytelling I guess it works.
So may your teeth never be replaced with freshly ironed wool socks (I seriously love the way you mortals say "goodbye" to each other. It's adorable!).
Chapter 3: I'm Not Made of Wax.Edit
Good thing I had some extra sheets of papyrus nearby, considering that I can't move from my current location, but I'll get to that later.
So where was I? Oh yeah, Thoth came barging into my (his) closet, right.
I sat up and pushed my glasses further on my nose,
"What is it?" I really wasn't in the mood to be one of his guinea pigs. Diphtheria the ibis hopped over and jumped into Thoth's arms who patted its head lightly,
"It's obvious that we can't get help from magicians considering the House of Life shunned us and everything."
"They shunned you too?"
"No, I'm still okay. I'm just not sure about their opinion on you."
"Of you." I didn't mean to do that; it's a nasty habit. Thoth stroked Diphtheria's feathers,
"Well if you keep doing that you won't make any friends in the House of Life. I don't mind, but some people might."
"M_ I mean, so what's your plan?"
"Our only option is to seek the help of other gods. Unfortunately, most of the gods are busy with their own problems, but there are a few that are free. You remember Khonsu, right?"
Yeah, I wasn't going to like this plan. "I remember him."
"Well he has a new host around here, so I thought that we should pay him a visit. He might know what happened to your abilities."
"Are you sure you aren't doing this just so you can gamble?" Thoth grinned,
"Not entirely, but I beat him every time! It's great!"
I took one step closer only to have Diphtheria squawk loudly with his wings flailing and I screamed like a girl and smacked my head on the shelf behind me. Thoth attempted to calm the bird down which he eventually did.
"First ducks and now ibises. What terrible things did you have to do to the Aves class to get this reaction?"
I rubbed the back of my head, "I never did anything!" Thoth shrugged and placed Diphtheria back on the ground. When the retched bird scampered back to the lab, Thoth continued with his plan.
"I take it that you were at the library earlier?"
I was going to ask how he knew that, but I guess after 5000 years I've become a little predictable; maybe a living trope.
"I have some papers that I need to finish grading so I'll meet you at the parking lot behind the library. I'm afraid I have to drive you there since you can't activate portals."
"If I could activate portals we wouldn't need to visit Khonsu in the first place." I pointed out. Thoth paused and stared at the wall with his chin resting on his hand,
"I guess you're right! Anyway, I'll meet you at the parking lot in a few minutes."
I pressed my bag firmly on my head as I paced around the parking lot. I defiantly was not looking forward to seeing Khonsu, but I just wanted to get this over with. My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps. Not human footsteps, very light, almost padding footsteps. There's no way that could have been Thoth, unless Thoth lost about eighty pounds since I last saw him. I turned around to see a duck with fluffy yellow feathers, kind of like the ducks you see on Easter cards. Of course my first reaction was to scream and run for the hills but the duck just looked at me.
I tensed up as the creature took a few steps towards me,
"Don't run, it can sense your fear" I told myself. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I took the bag off of my head and knelt down in front of the bird and gently placed my hand against its little fuzzy head. In a few scary seconds, the duck leapt up and landed on my head. But instead of devouring me, it just sat there. I hesitantly got back to my feet and I realized that the duck was just the right amount of weight on my head to keep me from having panic attacks in wide, open areas.
I reached my hand up and the duck gently nuzzled its head against my hand. I was surprised that this duck wasn't eating me, but I guess that was just a special species of goddess-eating birds.
"I'm going to have to give you a name-I can't keep calling you 'duck'." Yes, I'm talking to a duck. Well, Thoth talks to his ibises occasionally, so I guess I'm not too pathetic.
"I'll name you Iago!" I said to the bird. Don't ask, it's the first name that came to my mind. I know it's not common to name a cute little duck after one of Shakespeare's most menacing villains, but what can I do at this point?
After I declared Iago's name, I saw Thoth approach the parking lot.
"Sorry for keeping you waiting. I had to_is that a duck on your head?" Thoth cleaned his glasses with the front of his shirt and placed them back on his nose.
"Yep! I named him Iago!" I removed the duck from my head and held it (I don't know the bird's gender to this day).
"Why do you have a duck?"
I squeezed Iago a little too tight, "Why not? Everyone loves ducks!"
"That's not really my concern." I placed Iago back on my head.
"What's the problem?"
"You were attacked by ducks, so why wouldn't this one?"
I raised an eyebrow, "Maybe those other ducks were sick in the head. Iago is a normal, nice duck." You know, after reading Othello, I never thought I would say that.
Thoth shook his head slowly, "We should get going-I don't want to be gone long. So pick a car, any car!"
I examined the cars in the parking lot until my mind registered what Thoth wanted to do,
"We're stealing a car?"
"We'll return it! Now chose one."
I pointed to a windowless van parked near the end of the parking lot, "How about this one? It matches your long coat."
Thoth ignored me and chose a brown car that was closest to us. I'm not one for remembering car brands, so I can't tell you exactly what type of car it was. My apologies if this lack of detail diminishes from your enjoyment of my tale in any way.
Thoth was just about halfway done with his report of what he's been up to while I was "bookafied" (yes it's a word now. I'm the goddess of writing and I can do what I want) when we came across a small, brick house surrounded by trees. The lawn looked like it hasn't been taken care of in quite a while and all the windows were closed.
"This can't be the same Khonsu." I examined the house as I stepped out of the car, Thoth began walking towards the building.
"Well, this is where his host lives. Not his decision." I still found this hard to believe. The Khonsu I knew wouldn't step into a building unless it was as big as a museum and filled to the brim with just as much valuable items. Thoth rang the doorbell and I adjusted Iago so I had a better grip on him (I decided that Iago is a male duck, just to make things easier to follow).
A young man eventually answered the door. His black hair was rather messy, almost like he just woke up. He was dressed in sweat pants, and he wore a t-shirt that said "Achievement Unlocked". I'm pretty sure that was an inside joke, but I didn't get it. Judging by how he was dressed, I was certain we found the wrong guy until I noticed the silver shade of his eyes was exactly how I remember it looking five thousand years ago.
His face had a predatory grin plastered on it, until he saw Thoth. Khonsu's typical I can beat you look was replaced with a tight frown. Thoth just grinned like the moon god offered him a plate of fresh-baked cookies.
"Hey, Thoth." his done was as deadpan as his expression.
"Khonsu! It's been a while!" Khonsu ignored him and raised an eyebrow at me.
"Is that a duck?" Iago quacked in my arms and I tried to get a better grip on the bird.
"I named it Iago!"
Khonsu slowly nodded and took a few steps backwards only to have Thoth slap him lightly on the shoulder.
"So, new look?" Khonsu looked down at his form and sighed,
"This is just a temporary host. I know, it's disgusting but I have to work with what I have."
Thoth took a few looks around then let himself in. Considering that Khonsu didn't freak out that much, I soon followed.
The living room (or at least that's what I think it was supposed to be) was very poorly lit. The only sources of light came from a lamp in the corner of the room and a tv that was placed in another. Shelves were pressed against every wall and I hoped these shelves contained books, but I was disappointed to find these weird plastic boxes.
"Nice place." Thoth took off his glasses to allow his eyes to adjust to the lack of light. Khonsu scowled at the room,
"I hate it, but it'll have to do for now." The moon god collapsed on a couch placed in front of the tv. "So what brings you two here?"
"Seshat is having 'host issues'." Thoth said it in the same way a teenage girl's mother would say "boy problems". I glared at him a bit but he didn't seem to notice.
"Same here." Khonsu gestured to his room and his new appearance, but Thoth just shook his head,
"No, no. She can't use portals or activate her other forms. If we don't do something, she could be stuck living a mortal life."
Sure I subconsciously thought that was a possibility, but it never really crossed my mind that if all failed, I could die and I wouldn't reform from the duat like the other gods. I thought about Anubis placing my heart on the scales and everything I've done over the years being exposed to everyone. I clutched Iago tighter.
"So how am I supposed to help?" Khonsu looked like he was about to fall asleep. His lack of compassion was really starting to aggravate me.
"I came to you because I need help with this. Most of the gods are busy with their own problems and I'm not sure how the House of Life will respond to it, so you're my last option."
"Oh thanks. And sorry, but I have my own problems too." Khonsu slumped down a bit on the couch, "like finding a new host. Preferably one who knows how to bathe."
"Come on, Khony! How about a game?"
Khonsu's ears perked up a bit, but the rest of him seemed totally uninterested,
"Thoth, gambling with you just isn't fun anymore. Ever since that gamble over moonlight, you've beat me every time! There's no challenge!"
"Oh, I think Khony is afraid!" That sentence was like a golden key. Khonsu leapt off of the couch and moved towards Thoth in a near run. Pointing his finger accusingly at him, Khonsu's mischievous smile returned to his features,
"Okay, blondie. One game then we'll see how afraid I am."
Thoth clapped his hands together, "Wonderful! So do you happen to have a senet board lying around?"
Khonsu looked around and sighed, "Sadly, no. I doubt I have any room for them either." Khonsu gestured to the contents of the shelves, "We can use these, though."
I slid one of the plastic boxes from the shelf, "Yeah, what are these anyway?"
"Video games. I can't say I like them more than a traditional game of senet, but they're okay. So chose a game, Thoth. Don't worry, they're very easy to get the hang of." The smile Khonsu ended that sentence with made me feel uncomfortable, but Thoth didn't seem to notice or care,
"That's nice, but I was thinking of something more 'traditional'."
Khonsu held his hands up, "I told you I don't have a senet board!"
"No, I meant," Thoth paused, "wait here."
Thoth dashed off to one corner of the room and began looking through the shelves, drawers, and boxes. Thoth then disappeared into another room and Khonsu turned towards me,
"I think I know why he's been acting a little weird lately."
"Who, Thoth?" Sure it's been eighty seven years, but he didn't seem that different. Khonsu nodded and looked around to make sure the wisdom god was not listening,
"You haven't been around lately, but he seems a bit more distracted, I guess."
I'll be honest; I had no idea what he was talking about. "What are you going on about?"
Khonsu sat back down on the couch and stared at his wrist like he had a watch there,
"I mean, all of these experiments he's been doing -including helping you- are all distractions."
Iago quacked a bit and I placed a hand on his back to calm him down, "A distraction from what?"
Khonsu looked around again and signaled me to come closer. I didn't want to be any closer than I already was, but the curiosity was killing me. I took a few steps towards the couch and Khonsu whispered,
"Ma'at." he spoke in a rather sing-song manner. I moved to a more comfortable distance from him and stroked Iago's feathers.
"So, are we talking about the principle or the goddess?" Khonsu rolled his eyes childishly causing any doubt of him also being the god of youth to diminish.
"Thoth wouldn't get so worked up over a principle." A "duh" at the end of that sentence would have been perfect.
"Okay, fine. So why is he freaking out about his wife?" As much as I love writing, I wish that Khonsu just summed everything up in one sentence, because seriously! I'm running out of papyrus and I've barely started!
"You know that Apophis is rising, right?" Well that caught me off guard. What surprised me more was the nonchalant way he said it. You know, the deity of all evil is rising. Just another day in the life for our Khonsu.
"Wait, how long did you know about this?" Iago wheezed a little bit and I realized I was squeezing the poor bird to death.
"About a week, maybe." Now this was beginning to irk me.
"A week, maybe?"
"Well I don't know. Well long story short: since Apophis is rising, that means Ma'at the principle is getting weaker so as a result, Ma'at the goddess is also getting weaker. So he's freaking out because his wife is," he paused for a moment to think of the right word, "dying? I don't know, dying seems too strong of a word. Decomposing?"
"That's not any better."
Khonsu shrugged. "Whatever. Ma'at has been in danger before, but never this badly. So he may seem a little more stressed out than usual."
There's a possibility that Khonsu was lying. I knew that I had to confront Thoth on this, but as delicately as possible.
After a good ten minutes of sitting in an awkward silence with Khonsu, Thoth came running into the room with a small box in his hand. Thoth dropped the object on Khonsu's lap and I recognized it as a box of cards. Khonsu picked up the box and stared at it.
"All these games, and you chose cards?"
"I've been craving a good card game. I'm also not that experienced with these video games."
Khonsu sighed, "Okay, fine. Hey, Seshat. You can join if you want to." His trademark smile began to trace his features and I declined right away,
"No thanks, but do you have anything to read?" Khonsu looked around the room,
"Well the boxes for the video games contains these booklets. I'm guessing that's the closest thing this house has to literature."
Well beggars can't be choosers. I grabbed a stack of boxes while Thoth and Khonsu cleared off the coffee table to start their game.
"So how about blackjack?" Khonsu shoved the contents on the coffee table onto the floor and Thoth began sorting the items into piles.
"Sure. Best two out of three games?"
Oh great, I was going to be here for a while.
I don't know any of the rules of black jack. I don't get the point of blackjack. I don't know anything about it other than it must be a very masochistic game because the two kept saying "hit me". After about five minutes, I read through a stack of booklets as thick as my wrist.
"So you play as a half-naked man who is trying to build a tower that's surrounded by sheep?" I looked to Iago for an explanation after reading a particularly weird video game booklet, but he just quacked and ignored me.
I knew Khonsu lost when I heard the distinctive cry of, "Come on! Best four out of five!"
Thoth hummed to himself (which sounded strangely like the song from the bar scene from Star Wars) and collected the cards.
"We agreed on two out of three. So you have no choice but to help me with this."
Thoth obviously didn't notice the murder in Khonsu's eyes, but the moon god finally gave up and sighed,
"Okay, fine. I'll help you." Thoth clapped his hands together,
"Fantastic! Seshat, can you come over here?" Thoth motioned towards me with his hand and I picked up Iago and sat down on the couch next to Khonsu.
"It's weird. I can still sense her presence as a goddess and I can't detect anything wrong with her powers." Thoth's voice became more serious and I'll admit that I did see that something was troubling him on a different level, but I still don't know if Khonsu was telling the truth.
"Maybe she's a Shabti that was sent by servants of Apophis to spy on us." Great, now Khonsu thinks I'm made of wax. Lovely.
Thoth shook his head, "I highly doubt it. Her powers are still there, and I don't know why Apophis would send someone to spy on us rather than Horus or Isis. Plus, even the most skilled magician couldn't replicate her obsessive compulsiveness this perfectly."
"Excuse me?" Thoth and Khonsu ignored me.
"I see what you mean, but think about it: Seshat is your sister-daughter-wife, seriously, what is your relationship?"
"I don't know anymore."
"Anyway, Seshat is related to you and some way and you're married to Ma'at." Thoth did sink down a little bit at the sound of her name, but nothing too bad. "Wouldn't it make sense for Apophis to spy on you to get to Ma'at?"
"It is a possibility, but I doubt she's a Shabti-I would have detected it by now."
"Maybe she's just brainwashed by the Serpent." I have a feeling that Khonsu wants a slew of magicians and gods to hunt me down. Fortunately, Thoth was on my side.
"I would have sensed any of the Serpent's magic that was being used on her. I know that he is rising, but I don't think that Apophis has anything to do with Seshat's condition." Thoth pulled back the sleeve of his lab coat and checked his watch, "Well that took longer than expected. We should get going."
I eagerly placed Iago back on my head and stood up. Listening to those two was like being directed then examined under a microscope, which Thoth might do if I'm not careful.
We were just about ready to leave when Thoth turned to Khonsu,
"Oh one more thing; since you are working with me on this, you have to help me any time I chose." Khonsu froze,
"Are you kidding me? I need sleep!"
"You're the god of the moon."
"Exactly! I was just asleep and you woke me up!"
Thoth gave a little wave and we were out the door.
I pulled a blanket around myself and placed Iago on my lap while I watched Thoth push the lab tables out of the way to make room for a worn out couch that he pushed into the room.
"What's that for?"
Thoth wiped some sweat off of his brow, "We aren't using the lab this semester so I decided to make it look a little more homely." How one can make a giant laboratory homely is beyond me.
Thoth eventually gave up pushing the couch to the center of the room and just left it by one of the sinks and I couldn't help but to worry about what Khonsu said. Against my better judgment, I decided to ask Thoth.
"So," my voice trailed off and Thoth turned around to face me, "Are there any other gods who could help me?" Perfect! It's subtle enough, but if I moved the conversation in the right direction, the subject of Ma'at could come up.
"Unfortunately, most of the gods are rather busy. I spoke with Min, though."
I raised my eyebrow, "Min?" Thoth sat on the arm of the couch, an act that really bothered me since the seat of the couch was right there, but I digress.
"What? He was big in Qift!"
"Well I'm not denying that, but I don't see how he can help me."
Thoth removed his glasses and began twisting them around between his thumb and forefinger, "His area might not be of use to you_"
I shielded Iago from Leprosy's beak, "Yeah, but what does this have to do with my issue?"
Thoth paused, "Are you turning everything I'm saying into a double entendre?"
I shrugged. "That's within the realm of possibility." Okay, that was fairly amusing (especially since it took Thoth five minutes to get it) but that didn't give me the information I needed.
"So I heard that Apophis is rising." Thoth stiffened a bit in his seat,
"Sadly yes, and all sorts of dilemmas spawned from that. I don't know if gods or magicians can defeat the serpent on their own, but I already informed everyone that gods and magicians can't work together. I don't want to sound like a hypocrite but." his voice trailed off a bit and he stared off into space (or rather, the wall next to the closet). Here's where I decided to be a little too blunt.
"How's Ma'at?" The moment I asked it Thoth paled and almost fell on the floor.
"She's," he closed his eyes like he was trying to piece the words together, "she's dying, Ses."
It was different hearing it coming from Thoth. Khonsu said it with such boredom and lack of enthusiasm; the same tone that one would use when saying "The sky is blue" or "Revolution 9 by the Beetles is weird", but when Thoth said it, his voice dropped to almost a whisper and I could feel the entire atmosphere in the room drop along with it.
"Are you okay?" Dumb question, I know. Unfortunately, while I excel at many things, comforting someone (in real life) is not one of them. What am I supposed to do? Run up and hug him? Well my foot is falling asleep so I doubt that's going to happen. Plus, I don't hug.
Thoth nodded. "I know it's a little weird, considering that gods don't view relationships the same way humans do, but Ma'at was the only one I felt genuine emotions for." he paused. "No offence."
I shrugged, "None taken."
"I don't know what it's like to be human and I never will be. But Ma'at makes me feel like how I imagine being in love as a human would be. I didn't have to be the god of wisdom and Ma'at didn't have to be the goddess of truth. We were just us. Unfortunately, Ma'at is the most vulnerable of the goddesses considering that she's also linked to a principle, and that's how we got here."
"And there's nothing you can do?"
"I'm doing everything I can, but I doubt it's going to pay off. So I've been trying to create other projects to help me focus on something else."
We sat in an awkward silence until I spoke up,
"So is that why you're helping me?"
"Well that's part of it, but it would be a shame for your powers to disappear." Thoth put his glasses back on and he leapt to his feet like the previous conversation never happened.
Thoth ignored my question, "I just remembered another god who could help us who isn't busy!"
Thoth gave me a confused look, "He's not even Egyptian!" with a sigh, he retrieved a stick of chalk from his pocket, "Let's hope he doesn't mind me summoning him."
He scribbled a bit in the air and out of nowhere, a figure fell into the center of the room, just barely missing bashing its head against one of the desks. When my shock of seeing someone fall from the ceiling passed away, I finally recognized the person Thoth summoned.
"Anubis!" Thoth held out his arms, "Glad you could make it!"
The funeral god paled and looked around, and with widened eyes, slowly curled up in a ball.