Adventuring through twisted time.
The hot Egyptian sun burned down across the golden desert sand and its rays liquified the sight of all the sun, sick souls. Hawk was far from anything familiar in this environment; overdressed and under-protected in this heat riddled climate. He had collapsed moments ago tumbling down a sand dune as he fell into blackness but he was found by a merchant who was kind enough to load him into the shade of his cart. This is where he woke up with a quick jerk, the merchant's wife immediately pressing a sword to his neck far before he could let his eyes focus. It wasn't long before they were in the back laughing at their kindred adventures however as Hawk was just grateful to have been found and saved and had no intention of hurting anyone.
They were going as far as Giza which was conveniently perfect for Hawk because that was his final destination. However, they were far from Giza and the merchant and his wife needed to stop everywhere they could to sell their goods. They were shocked when Hawk stayed though they had thought he'd want to get going on his journey but he wasn't in any hurry. He was merely just enjoying the adventure, the places, the people as it was all so vastly different from his usual day to day back home. It almost reminded him of his times with the Gypsies just cruder since they were no wind and less violent since the merchant and wife weren't hated like the Gypsies. In fact, this was almost by far the best reception Haw had ever received from people next to Mama naturally but her and her people's hospitality was hard to best most times.
Hawk had learned so much on his travels from the merchant and the people they dealt with and for a man in search of knowledge it was glorious. Goodbye's as always were hard and one could only hope their paths might cross again but for people who travelled as much as Hawk and this Merchant, you could the finality of their goodbyes. Giza was alive! The fast-moving people so steeped in their own history and the beautiful mix of others that had been stirred in by unfortunate circumstances. Hawk's head was spinning trying to catch his footing here and gather his bearings, the language barrier didn't entirely help his cause though he knew Arabic well enough to get by. The two solid bits of information he could understand from those he spoke to here were that The Reeds was the spot to go to sleep, eat and get information on things of Hawk's interest. The next bit was to be cautious of the leader of the Medjay and owner of The Reeds, though his translation of the reason why wasn't precise he knew it had something to do with the sword on his hip.
Hawk had been staying at The Reeds a few nights now and was simply at the bar enjoying the delicate liquor in his grog when he sensed a shift in the vibe. He took a sip of his drink as he turned and watched the new people enter. Dawned in all black and armed to the teeth the Eye of Ra etched into a leather patch somewhere on them. These were the medjay he'd be told of so Hawk watched them in fascination for a bit as he drank before spinning back around to face the bar. He didn't give them much thought as he was no threat to them and them to him so when one approached and questioned his sword he didn't equate it to being the woman he was warned of. It didn't help he had the selective memory of a mouse so Hawk merely chuckled because it was a comical story of how he'd acquired the foreign scimitar dangling from him. "I won it off a drunk in a drinking contest in Siwa." He turned and faced her as to not be rude and smiled kindly at her; his bright eyes and friendly demeanour being met by the opposite when he spun. It didn't take long for him to read the room and suddenly remember his warnings from others causing his smile to quickly drop. "Oh." That was all he managed as he took another gulp of his drink before giving her a curt nod and running.
The Medjay had died. They died centuries ago. Killed off by Ptolemy when he first appointed himself Pharaoh. Starting a new era for great Egypt. One of mixed reception. One story for another time. But the medjay. The protectors of the people of Egypt. The protectors of the ancient world. The old gods of Egypt. Were all but destroyed by Ptolemy.
So he thought.
Hathor was free when he came into reign. Living among the people who still prayed to her and her counterpart. The part of her that was ever brimming in the dark abyss of her mind. What started as just a want to build an army to destroy those that tried to destroy her. Quickly evolved into a greater want. Egyptians were suffering under the Ptolemy's rule and it didn't matter who ruled. Even when the historic Cleopatra took the throne. She was arguably better but still ultimately worse.
So Hathor did what she could. Taking the medjay that survived Ptolemy I's purge and making them her own. Counterattacking all these imposter pharaohs did to destroy the legacy of the original Egypt. The desert took almost everything the Ptolemy's couldn't. And without her powers, she couldn't do anything to stop that force of nature. Or time. Time was yet another factor that ate at everything she and the medjay tried to maintain and conserve.
Tomb robbers are what she faced as of late. And they were easy enough to deal with. Many of them just looking for treasure to sell to silk road-bound merchants. Just to be able to eat at night. She solved these issues none violently most days. Offering water immediately. And fresh wine and food if they left with her. Leaving the treasure behind. But gaining a place to eat and drink for free whenever they need. She was entirely biased though. She was nice to locals. Other Egyptians. But the moment a foreigner tried to extort her and her people's history from their final resting place Sekhmet would rear her beautiful deadly face.
"Why not ask this Kyan you told us of to enchant the land like he'd done his?"
Hathor's eyes glared at her Medjay that spoke. A messenger hawk landing on her arm. He grew fearful immediately."The Raven King isn't a friend or an ally. He wouldn't trust me. "
She said nothing more on the matter as she read the message her bird had brought. "Hmm." She looked up and out into the rising sun. "We must go home." Her medjay asked no questions. Just grabbed their few scattered items climbed on their camels and rode off with her.
She took an audible breath walking into her establishment. The Reeds. A glare hit her eyes and she squinted for the moment. The shine of a blade being hit by the sun was something she recognised after all these centuries.
Seeing that sword she stiffened.
Sekhmet roaring within her to be free to get back what was rightfully hers. The sword she lost the war of the gods with. She'd thought it was lost to time. Taken by the rough weather and centuries of neglect.
Her eyes widened when he ran. Blinking in confusion. "He just ran right?! Everyone saw that!?" She had to laugh. "No no. Let him run." She told her Medjay with a wave of her hand when they offered to get him. Crossing her arms over her chest as she watched the foolish foreigner run out into the desert. But Sekhmet was still in her reeling. Fighting to be let loose to get her sword back.
She clicked her tongue. She filled her canteen with fresh water. Hopped on her camel and rode after him.
"You know the heat will kill you before I can if you keep running, seni."
She had her camel trot slightly behind him. Keeping up with his running.
"... So this is what we're doing then?"
She rode beside him and opened her canteen. Drinking the water and letting it drip and spill to tease this foolish one.
Running in and of itself was the one thing he believed himself good at. This is despite all the life lessons he'd learned from the gypsies and all the lessons life threw his way prior to them and thereafter. Yet the teachings engraved into his very being that Ramos left behind weren't far removed. Scared into his skin like an outer layer he'd yet to shed; though running at times wasn't all ways the best of options for young Hawk.
The desert as he knew first hand was brutal and unforgiving and the burns still healing on his skin told the story of how he barely survived it once. He doubted the Eternals would give him grace a second time. Especially in light of the fact that he was running from one of them, unbeknownst to him of course. He recognised the medjay however and knew the stories of their mysterious leader. Deciding that running and braving the wiles of the scorching wasteland was a better suited fit for him than braving a medjay.
His legs grew heavier than he'd anticipated as her camel caught up to him. The revelation of just how slow he was truly running added pounds to his legs making them mentally heavier than ever before. He eventually came to a sudden halt as he hurnched over himself to catch his breath. Watching the water from her canteen drip as his hands came to rest on his legs. He groaned as he struggled to breathe and clenched his eyes to the sun as he straightened his back.
"Seni...." He mustered out through panted breath. "... Means friend right?" He shaded his eyes to be able to look up towards the Medjay "...means you won't kill me if I tell you the truth?" His breath supported his words a bit better there as he gave Hathor an artful smile before his line of sight dropped back to that canteen of hers and then eventually The Reeds in the distance where a crowd was watching in a mix of amusement and bafflement.
She rolled her eyes. "You're charming but it doesn't shade the fool the charm belongs to." She whipped her mouth. Hopped off her camel and tossed him her canteen. She spun on her heels and began to walk back towards her tavern. Expecting him to follow since she was so used to her Medjay following suit without having to say a word. Hathor sighed softly as she stopped and glanced over her shoulder at him. "Come and tell me your truth then." She gestured her head for him to follow.
She bought her camel to the water stable first. Moving through The Field of Reeds with such ease. She stopped to check on people as they ate or drank or were just there enjoying themselves. Smiling and laughing with them. Redirecting any of them that had an issue that needed attention to her right hand. Who would be sure to tell her later unless it was an emergency. She placed an order at the bar and instructed for it to be bought over to her table.
"Order what you want. It's on the house.. For now..."
Her table was strategically placed. Away from everyone so she had some privacy. And so no one could immediately see her. But she could see absolutely everything. She sat down. Waiting for this man with HER sword to decide to do the same. "That sword." She paused trying to decide what to say here. No one knew much about her and wasn't about to reveal who she was to some stranger just to get what was hers back.
She cleared her throat and rolled her shoulders back. The rage inside of her was something she hadn't felt in ages. And she was already tired thinking about what she may have to do to get the sword back. "It belongs to my family. And someone close to me had it last." She watched him a moment. "You say you won it off a drunk." She hummed. Smirked and shook her head. "That's concerning if true because the person I knew that had it last couldn't get drunk to put things simply. " she cocked her head from side to side as she considered elaborating.
"Hasina Keket." She said instead. "And you Magi?" She rose a brow and smirked, "tell me your whole truth."
A shocked groaned hummed past Hawks lips as her canteen slammed into his stomach. She was stronger than she appeared and that knowledge would set a precedent for her in his mind. He drank because he saw her drink; basking the cold of the liquid that avalanched into his body. He was still catching his breath when her offer and instructions to follow hit the air and seeing no harm from it he joined. It beat continuing to run into the desert with the licking sun ready to throw hands his way and maybe through his story they'd learn a few things. Maybe this wasn't a sword she was familiar with at all.
Hawks head was on swivel as he followed her through her tavern to remain aware of all his surroundings but his eyes never once left her. He had heard mixed journals about the Medjay; the people of Egypt seemed to praise them, which made sense given the history of the Medjay. While merchants and travellers from the silk road despised them for always getting in the way of what Hawk would call their more devious escapades. He was impartial to them himself and hadn't yet come up with an opinion on them. However, he was cautious of them just like he was cautious of everyone, hence his running moment prior. With a sharp perception, he watched the leader of the Medjay manoeuvre her establishment and took note as to how she treated her patrons and men compared to how she would treat him.
So when her offer to get what he'd like came he was taken unawares by it. Though her ominous" for now" reeled him right back to the thoughts forming in his head. For now... He just ordered a drink, he'd need one to remember this story as he finally made it to where she sat and sat opposite her but not without angling his seat so his back wasn't to anyone. He tossed her name around his head to see if it would spark a memory of having heard it before but came up empty after a second or two. Hawk froze and chuckled upon hearing that she knew what he was, he didn't often hide it these days.
"Hawk Black." He said with a smirk on his lips as he sipped his drink. "My truth?" He questioned as he blew a breath past his lips and pondered. "My truth is that a drunk in Siwa had the sword. Some old-guard looking to be able to afford his next cold drink. He saw me playing around with some of the local children and bet that he could beat me at the game I was teaching. If he won he got all the gold I had and I won I got the odd sword on his hip." He ended his story with a shrug as he sipped some more feeling as though he'd left the story a wee bit bare but it got the point across well enough he supposed.
Black. "Hmm" she knew the surname well enough. The reputation of the supernatural hunters certainly preceded them. Landing on her radar when word of the hunter struck a chord with her forcing her to remember the Templars. Though admittedly she could never forget them. Their mere memory made the hairs on her arms stand. Abandoned a bitter taste on her tongue. Made her stomach turn. The story of the House of Black that reached her clear across the world bought out a similar visceral reaction. So they were worth some attention from her.
However, the name Hawk wasn't one she had heard among the chatter of his house. She knew this for a fact because they all held the names of animals. Quite a unique family tradition. "Hmm" she forced a harsh breath from her nose with a quick squint of her eyes. She pondered a moment why might it be that she'd not heard of Hawk. The House of Black was proud. She drummed her fingers top the table and froze just as the liquor in her cup touched her lip. Never taking a sip. Her cup met the table a trivial harder than she intended it to. Licking the liquor from her lips. "Old Guard" her lip twitched at the sound of it on her tongue.
So one has reared his fostering head.
"Is he dead?" His story was certainly lacking. And while she believed he was holding back details the more pressing matter to her was what was done with this Guard once the sword was won.
Is he dead? Hawk coughed up his drink and was quick to try and clean himself off. He didn't make it a habit of randomly going around killing people. He was sure there were some rules to that but also though he wasn't a gypsy he currently strives to be as peaceful as they do. "Uh... He..." He stuttered out as he straightened up and cleared his throat. "He was alive when I left him." He says as he, at last, collects himself and looks at her. Her question as blatant and nonchalant as it was piqued his interest in her further causing him to once again search his mind for her name. He sighed when no bells rang on the matter and he broke his focus away from her to look around the bazaar
Even still he was aware of her however as he covertly watched her from his peripheral vision. Testing her in how she'd react and what she'd do when he wasn't looking. Eventually, he turned back to her as he once again dared to take another hesitant sip from his drink. "I have shared my truth, I'm sorry if it's not to your liking but I now have a question for you." He said cautiously as he set his drink on the table. He paused for a while as he thought of how he wanted to word it. He was simply not as blunt or brave enough to be as she was and if she could afford to be so careless with her words Hawk could only surmise that she is strong. She had to be able to fight not only as the leader of the Medjay but in the way she handled her camel moments ago and the way she held herself.
Only two people spoke so carelessly of violence: those that could fight and those that were fools. She surely wasn't the latter. Then there was the craftsmanship of the sword on his hip; whose power he could feel but couldn't touch nor understand on his own. Beyond that, there was just the exceptional blacksmithing that went into creating the weapon, even as a pirate or mystic he'd never seen anything so superior unless in a story of old. If the sword was hers which he began to question less the more he thought about it she would have to know how to use it based on its deadly uniqueness. Which brought him back to his initial thought of her not only just knowing how to fight but how to kill with a precision that actually scared him to think about.
"Keket is the Egyptian Goddess of... Darkness?" He queried coming away from his thoughts entirely because he didn't want to fight her. Certainly not here surrounded by her men but preferably not ever. "I don't know much about Egyptian mythology but I do know the gods names." He said again with a smile. "However, my real question is about the history of this sword. You said it's an heirloom right?" He queried again as he unlatched it from his hip and placed it on the table closer to her. "Then there has to be some ancient story behind it, trade me the story for the sword." He said lightly with a smile on his lips as he pushed the sword closer to her.
As he coughed Hathor tossed him something to wipe himself with. Bringing her hand back to run her fingers through her hair. She went from listening intently to zoning him out the moment he noted he was alive. A faint hum of disappointment could be heard from her. And so suddenly she was no longer looking or paying attention to him. But rather thinking about how she'd track this old guard as she looked around her bazaar. She no longer minded Hawk as he was no threat to her and her men were watching closely. She didn't even know if he was talking or silent in the moments she took to form what she would do.
Suddenly, a thought crossed her mind. And as her head tettered from side to side her brows knit together. She turned to look at him with scepticism crossing her face. Yet as she opened her mouth and took a breath to back her voice he spoke. "Mmm" she hummed instead of clearing her throat. Eventually tapping her finger against the table top and clicking her tongue. "I would answer and oblige you if you had told me the actual truth." Hawk had put the sword on the table already. She could grab it. Kill him and be done with this. That is what Sekhmet wanted but SHE wasn't her counterpart. "When we were in the sun you said you won this off an old drunk by out drinking him. Yet, in here you say he challenged you to a game you were teaching children." She squinted at him and licked her lips slowly. Ending with another faint click of her tongue.
"It doesn't add up, seni." He took a slow sip of her drink. Her sharp gaze never left him. And the sword never left the table. Truth be told, she didn't need it. Not against him at least. Even without her powers. She held her drink and wiped her mouth with her free hand. "As it stands. You have about...." She rocked her head back and forth as she thought. "Three seconds and counting to add it up." She placed her cup down and cracked her knuckles.
The young Mystic watched Hathor's every move even when his eyes were not upon her. It appeared that she was calculative in her moves and meticulous in the way she regaled this world. Which seemed to carry over into her interactions with every person she dealt with. It didn't make her less genuine in his eyes surprisingly but instead quite wise as everyone deserved different treatment from the other and different measures of respect based on their treatment of you. He wasn't surprised when she called him out in fact he was impressed she spotted his blunder as it made him realise he had made it.
Hawk cleared his throat and chuckled at his mistake "I apologize for that..." he began as he straightened in his seat. "... Both are true," he said with a few soft nods of his head while his gaze got carried away with his thoughts. Recalling the hazy memory through the lens of drunkness and time. "I had just arrived in Siwa with a traveling merchant and his wife that had taken me in and after helping them set up I took off to take in my surroundings while I had the time." he closed his eyes after speaking for a second and let that faded memory come into focus as a gentle smile touched his lips. "The children had everything they needed to learn Calcio Storico. Just no one to teach them so I offered and the better they got at the bigger the crowd around us became. Eventually, this old guard pushed his way to the front and stumbled onto our makeshift field." he let out a humorous sigh at his words. Recalling every detail of the drunkard and wrinkling his nose at the remembrance of his harsh sweat-filled liquor-infused scent. "Well he challenged me, claiming to know the game and betting his sword for another drink." the mystic said matter of fact but there was a sadness to his words exposing the lingering regret he felt.
"I probably should've said no but the sword was... Intriguing... to say the least and I let my arrogance guide me for the moment.." he spoke with a clear disdain grasping the ends of his words and turning the tips of his lips downward. He leaned to grab his drink and looked at the sword as he took a sip. He dared not tell her he could feel its magic and risk exposing himself or exposing her to a world she may not fully know about yet. He doubted heavily she was ignorant to the world of the supernatural though as her men were loitered with all sorts of them. He also heavily doubted that she was fully human but that was a hard one to deduce on his own. She didn't give off the same energy as any mythical being he knew of and the only hint he had been given was her name but often those were a give or take. It could mean nothing or everything but he could never really know until he spent more time with her. "the game barely lasted a full round and before I knew it the sword was mine, the sun had set and it was time for the merchants and me to leave. That I assure you is the full truth!"
The features on Hathor's face sharpened as she listened. And the already intense look in her eyes grew even fiercer. He was telling his story so innocently and nonchalantly. Unaware of that this old guard was a wicked man. No matter how old. Frail. Drunk he got. He was one of the ones who enslaved her. She would not settle for anything less than death. Furthermore, the guard had retained her sword all these years. Such a sharp slap in the face in her eyes that she couldn't see this man as everyone else might.
A hot loathing lurked up her chest to her throat. She took a deep breath to still her rage. She wouldn't let Sekhmet loose. Not for this drunk Hawk spoke of. But he had had her sword. At last, she allowed herself to look at the weapon. "Mm." she pursed her lips. She was quiet once he fell quiet. Thinking as she finished off her drink. The barmaid was quick to come over and attempt to refill her cup. But Hathor stopped her. Never letting her eyes waver from Hawk. Carefully she studied him. What if this was a trap? A ploy to recapture her. Not all Templars had died and their order had grown since the Ancient times.
Hawk looked innocent and acted like a fool. But there was something about that glint at the back of his gaze. The way he spoke. And the slight idiosyncrasies he did that told her what she was seeing of him now was likely a ploy. She didn't believe she was seeing or even speaking with the true Hawk. Instead, he was hiding behind a smile and soft words and she grew more sceptical of him the more he spoke.
Why was he hiding behind a mask of himself?
"Mm" she rose and fixed herself. "We find him them." without a word to them a few of her men set out to prepare the camels. "And you will lead us there. We will start in Siwa and if he's moved on from there we will find him together." she wasn't giving him an option and she hated to be so matter of fact with him. But this. It felt like a trap. One with the perfect lure. The sword gifted to her by her husband. An old and distant memory now. And she wasn't particularly fond of those memories since the ones of war often invaded whenever she reminisced.
She didn't trust Hawk. So, she was keeping him close.