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Jericho (standard:fantasy, 880 words)
Author: PhredAdded: Dec 16 2007Views/Reads: 1651/1004Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A graduate student finds some broken clay
 



JERICHO A work of total imagination, as I haven't A clue what I'm
talking about. 

Dust motes danced in the sunlight from a nearby window as Linda Geary, a
graduate student of anthropology, was doing research at the Egyptian 
Museum of Antiquities.  She was trying to find out more about Daoud, a 
name that large gouges in every stele of that era had convinced her 
that Pharaoh Aminhotep IV had ordered his name erased from history.  
Daoud's name had surfaced in the records of other cultures, so she 
thought Daoud would make a great topic of her doctoral thesis.  What 
was he doing to have gotten his name erased?  It must have been 
something terrible to have had the Pharaoh order all memory expunged.  
But how to find Egyptian records? 

She had tied her long brunette hair into a ponytail but it was getting
in the way so she wound it under her light-blue sun hat.  Her denim 
trousers had collected dust from her last trip into the stacks so she 
brushed them off and reached for her multicolored backpack.  It was 
time to leave if she were to meet her partner, Andrew Harvey, and check 
out some of the night-life in this officially Prohibitionist country.  
(Lest anyone become interested, I should add that she was wearing a 
green short-sleeved blouse.) 

Her overflowing backpack shifted a bit to the left as she made a grab
for its strap.  In doing so, it dislodged a box of clay records from a 
previous expedition to Ain el-Sultan, the tell of which covered the 
Jericho of Aminhotep IV.  She made a desperate grab to try to stop the 
clay shards from coming out, but quite a number of them made it to 
freedom outside the box anyway.  The label of the box had faded with 
time, so there  was nothing to indicate the origin, or whose expedition 
brought the box back.  Linda was going to dismiss the box as suitable 
for impressing tourists, but one of the pieces she had managed to grab 
had hieroglyphics which spelled out “DAOUD.”  Andrew was going to have 
to wait. 

After she arranged them in their probable order, Linda began to read,
thanking the several courses she had taken in hieroglyphics.  They 
turned out to be short reports from a captain in the Egyptian Army who 
had led a force to relieve the garrison at Jericho, which had been 
under siege by a people called the “Habiru,” or “Wanderers.”  This 
garrison had two functions; first, it was to guard the two important 
trading routes which met just a few miles from the base, and second, it 
was to serve as a supply base for the units of the Egyptian Army which 
had been stationed around there to guard Egypt's southern flanks. 

(The dating is uncertain, so I will ignore it) 

TO: The Most Illustrious Commander of the Southern Frontier 

FROM: Mehmet, Commander, Tenth Regiment of Foot 

History: Your Eminence has received news that the garrison at Jericho is
under siege, so Your Eminence has ordered the Tenth Regiment of Foot to 
send a relief column.  As the Commander of Jericho is inexperienced, 
you have suggested that not enough troops should be spared to weaken 
the ability of the others to respond to emergencies, but enough troops 
should be sent to raise such a siege (if it exists) until the Egyptian 
Army could be rallied and sent to Jericho. 

Action: Accordingly a detachment of fifty swordsmen, forty
spearcarriers, and ten archers was ordered to Jericho.  After being 
well-supplied with food and water, they left at 6PM under my command. 

Mehmet 

(The next report appears to be dated some six weeks later) 

TO: The Most Illustrious Commander of the Southern Frontier 

FROM: Mehmet, Commander, Tenth Regiment of Foot 

History: Your Eminence ordered this regiment to supply a relief or
investigatory column to the garrison at Jericho.  The column has 
returned without casualties other than heat exhaustion, boils, and 
rashes of various descriptions, thanks to the intervention of the gods. 


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