Submitted by John Harris on Tue, 23/08/2011 – 17:39
A very curious Akhen, and a very happy Iktus, stood silently in front of the great set of doors. They had stood there only a matter of minutes after Iktus had spoken to Akhen about the gods and what they really were. The boy’s mind was spinning like a top. All he had ever been taught relating to this subject was now just a mass of confusion. Even though he was confused, he was, for some strange reason, without fear and, instead, a feeling of excitement was upon him. Iktus turned to Akhen and said “Are you ready, my prince? Are you ready to see what the gods truly arE?”
“Yes, I am” Akhen answered with excitement in his voice.
“Then let me show you, my prince.” the priest said and, with this, he turned towards the great doors and pulled them open.
As the great doors opened the sunshine flooded in and Akhen and Iktus shielded their eyes from the blinding light. As Akhen’s eyes adjusted to the light he stood frozen to the spot, amazed at what he could now see in front of him and unable to utter a word. Iktus placed his hand gently on the boy’s shoulder and looked down at him, smiling.
“Follow me, my prince, and meet the gods.”
With no hesitation whatsoever, Akhen slowly walked forward through the doors and out into the daylight in step with Iktus – still silent and lost for words. What he could see defied explanation and, although he should really have been petrified by the sight, in some way he had seen this before. Was it in a dream? Or some other image he had forgotten about as a young child? He could not be sure – but he knew he had seen this before, though perhaps not in such detail – but he certainly recognised what was in front of him. What the pair were gazing at was a construction site and, surrounding this site and sitting inanimate, there were machines. Iktus and Akhen walked slowly towards the enormous building being constructed. They were walking towards an opening that projected out from the rest of the masonry, but was covered by a towering building stepping up towards the sun. As they headed towards the opening Iktus led the pair just to the right of it, to a monster of metal shining in the sunlight. They paused as they reached this monstrous example of engineering and Akhen stood puzzling over this creation, which stood in all its glory in front of him.
“This is a god.” said Iktus. “This is what you, and the inferiors, believe are the gods. This is what makes the sound you have heard all your life. This is a machine, Akhen. The people truly worship gods, but they are nothing more than machines.”
Akhen remained silent – truly stunned by the sight in front of him. What were they doing here, he wondered? What were they building with these things called machines? Question after question buzzed around inside his head until he could contain himself no longer.
“I have seen this before. I mean, I know of these, but I do not know how, or why, nor what this building is.” Akhen said, becoming more puzzled by every passing second.
“These things you call machines are built of hemp, and are powered by a combination of hemp oil and the sun, but I do not how such things are possible, or how I know this.” Akhen started to move around the machine, staring at it and trying to make sense of it. Iktus could see the young boy was struggling in his efforts to make sense of all he could seE. The excitement that the boy had shown, in his voice and mannerisms, was now competing with concern as he struggled to comprehend what stood before him. Realising this, Iktus spoke in a voice of reassurance.
“My prince, slow down. You will know All in good time. Please allow me to explain.”
Akhen – not hearing Iktus – was now moving even quicker around the machine, trying to take it all in, but the more he took in the more confused he seemed to become. Iktus moved quickly to catch up with Akhen and tried to repeat what he had just said in a louder voice.
“My prince, please slow down….” Iktus did not finish his words as he saw that Akhen could not hear him. The boy was enveloped by his curiosity and continued even faster until Iktus shouted….
Iktus finally managed to catch up with Akhen and they were both quite out of breath. Although Iktushad expected a similar sort of reaction from the boy, he did not realise, or expect, one that was so progressive. Placing himself between the crane and Akhen, Iktus put his hands on the boy’s shoulders once again and spoke as calmly as he could, still trying to catch his breath.
“I know that this troubles you, Akhen, and I know that, at first, this would seem very confusing, but please slow down and let me explain.” Iktus was gradually breathing slower and paused for a time whilst the last moments of breathlessness ceased. Then he continued speaking to the now calm, but still bewildered boy.
“This machine is called a crane. It is modelled on the bird itself and, as you have so rightly mentioned, it is powered by hemp oil and the sun. This is just one of many machines that are used and which are made in places called factoriEs – you will see these soon. You will see many types of machines here which all serve different purposes and they, in combination, create the sound you have heard all your life. Today they have been stopped so I can show you these examples of what is possible and also what can be built with such machines.”
Akhen just stood silent, stunned by the size of this crane which stood inanimate before him, not really knowing what to say, or do, other than stand there amazed. In all his life he had never seen such a thing and, even though he knew that he had seen images of such things, to stand here, now, in its presence, defied any form of logic. How could he dream of this and then be in the presence of exactly what he had dreamt about? I suppose that the only question that he knew could not be answered was this; is it a dream in the first place, or was it something different? He decided that now was the time to question Iktus – and question he would.
“You know I have dreamt of these, don’t you?” the boy inquired of the priest. “But were they dreams, or is there something you are not telling me?” A determination to seek the truth was now very present in the boy’s voice.
“Yes, I do, my prince, and you have talked of these machines many times even though you could have no knowledge of such things by any means. However, you will recall that you have little or no knowledge of talking about such things. What you call a dream is just the way you can reason such an occurrence, but maybe the dream is simply a memory and you have just presumed it was a dream. The way these memories are delivered would make us think they are a dream or, at least, something new. But the truth is that you are accessing the memories of your ancestors and they are simply delivered in the only way they can be, because access to the memories by any other means has been severed by the accumulation of useless knowledge”. Iktus paused for a moment to make sure Akhen was still following his drift for the priest did not want to lose him in something that, to be honest, most adults would get lost in – especially after receiving the amount of coercive programming they would have received through the education processes. It was important that Akhen realised that he possessed this ability to access these memories because, sooner or later, he would be asking about the rock – the black rock, many called the stone, and the priest needed this boy to remember this fact – everything relied upon this one issue.
But Iktus knew that Akhen was a bright boy, he knew that he was a whyst child and he was sure, without doubt, that Akhen was the preternatural one – at least he prayed that he was, as his own life depended on it. Every night he would go back to his humble abode and pray to Temu that he would be re-instated in the role he so rightly deserved, and he would do all that was needed to be done to satisfy this unquenchable lust – no matter what was asked or demanded of him. Even though Akhen remained silent, Iktus knew that his words were not only being heard, they were sinking in and resonating in the boy’s mind and this was a good sign. So Iktus continued.
“You have seen all that you have seen, and are aware of all that you are aware of, my prince, because you possess this ability and no other human has this – not one of us. Our lives are possessed by the world of useless knowledge and, within that possession, we are denying ourselves this ability and, as much as we try to not do this, the result is that we do it all the more. It is like the serpent which chases its own tail, and suddenly realises that every turn it takes brings it back to the very same place it started. Because we are unsatisfied with this process, or what we perceive we need to make us happy continually needs to be searched for – which is this process – the process starts, continually, over and over again, creating the constant need to search. I know that you are the one who can ignore this. I know you are the one who can have ultimate power through the denial of this process – I know it is you. This machine and the building you see before you are remarkable examples of engineering, examples of what we are capable of. You, by comparison, can achieve so much more than this – even now as a young man. That is why you are here, Akhen, This is why I have been instructed to show you all this, to show you what is possible.”
Akhen still stood silent, listening to all that the priest had to say and even he, Akhen, knew then that this was only the beginning and much more was to be revealed to him. He began to have a strange sense of pride in himself which spurred thoughts like ‘why me?’ and ‘I am special’. This produced a smirk upon the boy’s face – a smirk that Iktus could see, and he was very pleased at this reaction going on in the boy. Iktus knew he had just crossed a fine line – a very fine one. With all that he had just said, things could go very well for the priest and the families or, on the other hand, very badly for them – and they could not stop it, for this boy – if he actually was the preternatural one – could only be killed by one of the same blood from his very immediate family and by no other. The preternatural one is protected by a lower source, something that had been realised a long time ago. Because of this fact the priests had been working very hard on Akhenaten’s brother, Tutmoses, who was accepting the coercive ways, and whose mannerisms were all ready displaying this to the delight of the priests – he was accepting the ‘power overcoat’ very well. Iktus had heard from one of the other priests involved in the coercion of Tutmoses that all was going as planned and, if what Iktus was doing was proven to be wrong, they were ready to go ahead with the same plan, replacing one brother for the other. Iktus assured them that this would not be the case. He was certain it was Akhen, and not his brother, because of the things this young boy had spoken about and his brother had never uttered a word to them about such subjects.
Akhen still stood silent whilst contemplating every word the priest had said to him, staring around Iktus at the machine and the building that towered over it. These were only examples, he had been told, but this did not suffice by a long shot. He wanted to know more and the questions were mounting up in his mind – and not in an orderly queue – far from it. His curiosity was only increasing by the second. Akhen stopped staring at the machine and the building, and looked up at the priest.
“May I see more, please?” the boy uttered politely.
“Of course you can, Akhen, I am pleased that you asked.” answered a very happy priest.
“May I ask questions as we walk, please?” said Akhen, with the utmost politeness and respect. He wanted to find out so much more and thought that respect and politeness would get him all the answers he required.
“Of course you can. Where would you like to start?”
“This machine – a crane you called it if I remember rightly. What does it do?”
“Well, Akhen, this is just one of many cranes that are used to lift very heavy weights. This is one of the smaller machines that we have constructed. As we walk around you will see many that are much bigger. These are used in the construction of the building you see before you. Each machine plays a part in the construction and has a very specific purpose, which has allowed us to build structures that would otherwise be impossible.” said the priest enthusiastically, pleased that the boy was interested.
“But why are such buildings needed and why is this one so enormous?”
“All I can tell you at this moment is that this building will act as a giant amplifier. I will explain more at a later time – not just now”.
“What is an amplifier?” Akhen questioned. He was not satisfied with this answer and was determined to pursue the line of questioning. He was being polite and was using the utmost respect, so he could not see any reason why the priest should not answer his questions. Iktus did not answer, however, and started to move away from Akhen towards the building entrance, so Akhen asked again.
“What do mean an amplifier?” A slight urgency and forcefulness was in his voice now.
“My prince, you will have all the answers you require in good time – please be patient and follow me.” Iktus was being polite but, at the same time, quite stern. Akhen did not want to be treated like a child – he wanted answers now – he had asked politely and could see no reason why he should wait.
Iktus just kept walking towards the entrance with Akhen in tow. The boy decided to pursue the priest again and asked politely.
“Iktus, please would you explain what this thing called an amplifier is and why this building will be one and what for?”
Iktus stopped in his tracks and was about to turn and shout at the boy for his persistence over an answer but, on reflection, thought better of it. He had the boy on his side, now, and had worked hard to get this. The fine line he had crossed could be upset in an instant. He had to keep reminding himself that he was dealing with a boy, and he needed this boy more than ever now – otherwise all his hard work would be for nothing. He knew, in hindsight, it was better to pander to the boy’s needs even though doing so enraged him. This was something he would just have to put up with – for now. Iktus decided to pacify the boy and asked him, “Do you remember when we were back where you stayed last night and I asked you to put a magnifying glass in your robe pocket? Do you remember this?”
“Yes, I do” Akhen replied, rummaging in his robe pocket to find the object in question before pulling it out and holding it in view in his hand.
“May I take it from you?” Iktus asked politely.
Akhen acknowledged Iktus with a nod of his head and passed the magnifying glass to the priest.
“Now, pay attention, my prince. You will like this – please stay here whilst I retrieve a piece of wood from over there” Iktus said, as he walked over to a pile of wood and picked up a piece about a foot long. He then walked back to the boy and knelt down on the ground.
“Kneel beside me, my prince, and watch this.” Iktus asked politely.
Akhen did as he was asked and watched what the priest was about to do.
Iktus laid the wood upon the ground and then began to explain what he was doing.
“As I hold this magnifying glass between the sun and the piece of wood on the ground, can you see a round area upon the wood that is lit by the magnifying glass?” said Iktus, doing exactly what he was explaining.
“Yes” replied the boy prince.
“Now, as I move the glass further from the wood can you see that area of light getting smaller”?
“Yes”. Replied the boy prince patiently.
“Watch, now, as I hold the beam steady at this intensity. Watch and see what happens.” As Iktusdid this the inevitable happened, and smoke started to rise from the wood. As the seconds passed the wood started to smoulder and, eventually, began to burn.
“Do you now see why I asked you to bring this with you? I have just demonstrated how you can amplify the intense heat from the sun on to a small area. We call this magnification.”
Akhen was amazed that he had never seen this done. Iktus offered the boy the magnifying glass so he could try the same. Akhen did exactly what the priest had done and was entranced by the reaction. Iktus spoke to him while he was doing so.
“The rock used to construct the building in front of you was cut using the same method. This is just a small demonstration of how energy can be amplified. This building is designed to do the same but just through a different concept.” Iktus was very reluctant to explain any further, He had already said too much, but he knew he would have to satisfy the boy’s curiosity if he were to keep him on his side. Akhen finished what he was doing and put the magnifying glass back into the pocket of his robe before asking another question.
“So you have built this building to become an amplifier. May I ask an amplifier of what?”
“If I explain a little will you be satisfied? I cannot explain exactly what it is for, because at this moment you would not truly understand and this will only serve to confuse you even more than you are now.” Iktus was trying to play his cards tight to his chest, but he knew the boy was not stupid. All he needed to achieve at this time was to show the boy what powEr was really about and how beneficial it was to possess it. He needed to show this boy what the gods really were, because when he came to explain again about the power of words, showing him this would only serve to highlight exactly what he was talking about – even though that doing so could cause the whole deal to fall through. But the priest had no choice. He had come this far and could not turn back now. This was a chance he had to take.
“This building, my prince, will amplify energy – a very special type of energy, but only one aspect of it and only for one use. It is designed specifically to do this and for no other reason. Walk with me into the building and I will show you more.”
The pair walked out of the rays of the sun and entered through the opening that led to the inside of the building. They walked along a passageway that was made of stonework decorated with symbols and pictures unlike anything that Akhen had ever seen. Although he had seen symbols during his schooling these were different and, in some way, looked far more primitive than the ones used in the teachings he had received from the priests. The detail was as significant as the stones themselves, stretching up to a ceiling that was not far away from the priests head, although it was wide enough for the pair to walk side by side. The stones were of great size and looked neatly placed, one on top of another, forming a tunnel that was at first lit by the sun and the normal daylight, then being lit by lanterns the further they travelled along its length. Akhen wanted to ask questions, but thought it best to stay silent. He could tell by the way priest was carrying himself, and the attitude in his voice earlier, that Iktus was losing patience and Akhen did not want to anger the priest. For although he wanted answers to his questions he did not want to upset the priest as he was enjoying his stay here – well, not so much this bit, but he certainly wanted more time with the servant girls and felt that by upsetting the priest this could come to a short, sharp end. The pair continued silently for some time before they reached a series of turns and then they started to walk downwards. Their footsteps were echoing all around them and the air was heavy with a dusty odour. After what seemed an age, the pair eventually reached a big doorway that led them to what can only be described as a chamber. The chamber was weird though because, as they entered, Akhen could see daylight and he wondered where this was coming from as they seemed to be deep in the ground. He could only presume it was the sun tunnels he had seen earlier. To his surprise, however, it was something completely different and, not only was it going to confuse Akhen, the next time he would be in this building he would do something he would regret for a very long time.