Exposed Chapter 1
Eliana Brennan dreamed of traveling over a wide expanse of desert which came to an abrupt halt in a large basin amidst tall ridges of rock. The rocks were spectacular; hundreds of feet high in deep shades of reds and burnt orange in the last minutes of sunlight that had an ominous feel, almost as if walking into the depths of hell. This was Deir al-Bahari which conceals the Valley of the Kings; the graves of pharaohs hidden from grave robbers in tombs buried within the seemingly endless depths of this glorious rocky resting place.
In the center of the basin, abutting a steep ridge was a temple built thousands of years ago; a temple built by Queen Hatshepsut. The temple was magnificent with three tiers of wide, long terraces that looked as if they were a natural extension of the rock. The walls of the terraces and temples were covered with pictorial documentation of the Pharaoh’s long and prosperous rule, but were the pictures accurate? They felt wrong.
Eliana was brought to the wall that described the divine birth of Queen Hatshepsut. To justify her rule, the queen had done as all Pharaohs before her. She had claimed to the people of her land to be the divine daughter or Aman Ra or Re as the people had believed that all Pharaohs must descend from him. But in these temples, rites were not performed to honor Re but to honor Mut, daughter of Re, the mother goddess, the goddess of retribution, the goddess who claimed that she had ‘giveth birth, but was herself not born of any.’ Eliana knew of this goddess. She was the Eye of Re, the goddess who was sent to earth to deal with humans who were disrespectful of Re but then had to be put down herself when she began to run rampant as a destroyer of man, whose taste for blood had to be curbed when it became insatiable. Why were rites being performed for her in the temple of a pharaoh? More importantly, why had Eliana been brought here?
A voice echoed inside her mind. “Because they’re coming for you.”