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|Jericho (standard:fantasy, 880 words)|
|Author: Phred||Added: Dec 16 2007||Views/Reads: 1689/1027||Story 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. Click here to read the rest of this story (55 more lines)
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