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The Hunt

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525 B.C. 2:36  

Thebes - Upper Egypt

The fire crackled loudly as it consumed the once mighty kingdom as if it were a toothpick. Earsplitting screams of the people still alive echoed through the forest. A huge plum of smoke covered the land, making it difficult to see even two feet ahead.  

'Hurry Amasis!' Tadinanefer, the former queen of Egypt dragged her son along by the arm while carrying her little daughter, Sekhmet, over her shoulder.  

'What about father?' Amasis retorted worried.  

Tadinanefer closed her eyes and a few tears ran down her cheeks. 'Psammetichus...' she whispered to herself. 'Your father promised me he would meet us in Memphis.'  

Tadinanefer lead her children to the river Nile where a small wooden boat was waiting for them.  

'Hurry, my queen!' Ahktar, the high priest of the pharaoh yelled.  

'Get them!' The sound of armed soldiers drew closer.  

'Take Sekhmet.' Tadinanefer handed her daughter over to Ahktar. Amasis jumped in the boat himself.  

'Mommy!' Sekhmet let out an agonizing scream as a large spear pierced her mother's chest.  

Tadinanefer cringed together for a moment, then turned around to face the soldiers. She grabbed hold of the end of the spear, her blood flowing down, coloring the pearly white sandbanks of the Nile red. With one quick pull she removed the spear and redirected the tip at the soldier charging at her. She ran him through and pulled him closer, grabbing the sword strapped to his thigh. She held the still struggling body in front of her, the man's eyes filled with fear as the three remaining soldiers charged at her with their weapons. The man stopped his struggling as the three swords cut him open, putting an end to his agonizing screams. With one swing of her sword she sliced open the three remaining soldiers. They fell to the ground and cringed together, desperately trying to hold back the blood that rapidly poured out of their wounds.  

'Tadinanefer!' Ahktar reached out for her with both arms. 'Quickly!'  

The small woman jumped into the boat and Ahktar pushed it away from the bank with his paddle.  

'Are you alright, my queen?' Ahktar looked at the wound in her chest, his old and weary eyes worried.  

'Don't worry, you know me.' She smiled at him, her bright blue eyes seemed to shine even in the darkest hour of the night. She ripped off the edge of her blood stained dress and wrapped it around her wounded chest. They silently sailed through the black night. The dark water of the Nile shimmered in the moonlight. The forest behind them had caught fire as well, sending a high smoke signal filled with ash up in the air. Tadinanefer stared at the burning scenery, her eyes sad and solemn.  

'Psammetichus...'

Cambyses II, the king of Persia attacked Egypt in 525 B.C. when Psammetichus III had only just become pharaoh of Egypt. The young and unpracticed pharaoh did everything in his power to try and keep the Persians out of Egypt, but to no avail. King Cambyses crossed the Sinai and the desert with help of the Arabs and a bloodbath took place in Psammetichus' homeland of Egypt. Psammetichus was eventually defeated in Pelusium, because one of his allies had betrayed him. Psammetichus sent word to his wife and children that they should flee to Memphis the day before his kingdom was taken over by Cambyses. Tadinanefer and her two children, Amasis, a boy of 12 and Sekhmet, a girl of 6, fled to Memphis, waiting for their pharaoh to come as well.  

Psammetichus made it to Memphis and was briefly reunited with his family, but he was followed by Cambyses and his army. He surrounded the city, killing everyone who got in his way until he found Psammetichus.

'You can't take him away from me!' Tadinanefer yelled as her husband was pulled out of her arms. The soldiers dragged him along by his legs, his flesh scraped open by the sand beneath him.  

'Tadina... nefer!' He managed to bring out as he reached out his trembling hand for her.  

'Well, isn't this cute?' Cambyses stepped up to Psammetichus and pulled his head up by his hair. The body of the half conscious man seemed to be numb as his arms hung lifelessly from his chest. Cambyses drew his sword and put it to his throat.  

'Father!' Amasis yelled and wanted to run towards his helpless father, but Tadinanefer grabbed his arm and pulled him back.  

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