Mission 05 – Section 02
Hopefully these mission statements reach base, as we are back in the 2000 BCE zone.
In my last report, I mentioned that we arrived near Thebes, in the Upper Kingdom, and found lodgings for our stay, using our cover of being a Royal doing a tour of a neighbouring kingdom, with Agent Washington playing the part of the Princess Chenai of Niger, and the rest of us making up her retinue.
We did catch a spy, a young boy of no more than a score of years, by the shorter Egyptian calendar (approx 10 yrs our time). We have yet to get any worthwhile information out of the boy, only the name of his employer, Rodhas (or Elyas).
We did have an audience with the nomarch, the local ruler, which played out strangely, least of all because one of the other visiting dignitaries, a Man of the North, who in appearance appeared much more West African, was accompanied by a female priestess, garbed in clothes that are at least 2,000 years more modern than they should be, although she had no holy “symbol” that I noticed to identify which deity she followed.
At the conclusion of the meeting, we managed to get ourselves a guided tour of the “Project”, which the Man of the North clearly didn’t like.
This raised a question, which we have yet to answer: Why is a foreign ambassador running a construction program in the furthest reach of the Upper Kingdom?
A follow up question; what did the Ambassador do to the Pharaoh, Pepi II, to get these concessions?
As far as we can tell, they fixed his eyesight, and some other minor (by our standards) medical problems.
Anyway, hoping to get the jump on the Ambassador, we quickly set
sail oar on the barge provided to us by the nomarch, and left upriver (South) towards the furthest part of the Upper Kingdom.
At night of the same day, we saw the Ambassador’s barge pass us, being guided by the strange priestess, though how she did it in the near total darkness remains a mystery. One of the team members, shot his stunner and stinger at the woman, forcing the barge to shore, where some of the crew (slaves) were set upon by the resident crocs.
We then packed ourselves up, re-mounted our barge, and headed swiftly to the construction site.
The site appears to be near what will become Abu Simbel in a few hundred years. They also appear to be building a Dam at the site of what would be the same site as the Aswan High Dam (built in they 1970’s).
We have had a talk to the architect, who appears to be a exceptionally clever Neanderthal.
This raises a further question: Why would Stopwatch want to preserve the power of a ageing Pharaoh, especially one who death ultimately led to the fall of the Old Kingdom of Egypt?