Okay, so this took a while, because I wanted to write something new, rather than post something I’d already written, and I couldn’t think of anything until Sobek suggested SPACE GOD COWBOYS IN SPACE or something like that, so. This is silly and occaisonally serious, and has more Heru in it than I intended, but there you go. That’s Sobek for you.
This is nearly 1600 words of mostly unedited stuff I wrote over the past three hours or so, so don’t expect a brilliantly detailed plot. Sobek, I think, just wanted something fun, and I didn’t want to rewrite the myths again. Because I’ve done that already. So this is a little gem of Sobek’s sense of humour. Enjoy. 😀
The bike roared, shaking the windows of the town they had just driven into. It was nearly, but not quite, as loud as the growl Sobek made as he parked outside the tavern. The crocodile stood, and watched as Heru screeched to a halt beside him. The bird looked somewhat ruffled, and Heru spent several minutes straightening out his feathers.
“I told you to get that proper bike, but no, you wanted the wind through your feathers. And look what it’s done to you, eh?” Sobek laughed.
Heru glared and pecked at the reptile. “You’d have left me behind in the dust. I’m meant to be the swift one, remember?”
Sobek shook his head and wrapped an arm around his oldest friend. “Come on, beer time. Let’s see how friendly this lot are going to be.”
Heru cheered up at the sound of beer. “It’s your shout. I just hope there are no big ships out here. Last thing we need is to be shot out of town again.”
Sobek brushed his concerns aside confidently. “Nah, I’ll get Ra to blast ‘em to pieces, just you wait. Him and his Eye, they’re no match for these bastards.”
Heru didn’t exactly agree, but let the matter slide. The tavern itself was nothing interesting. Made from sandstone and carved to suit the blasting winds of the desert, it didn’t stand out. Except for all the other bikes around it. Heru recognised some of them, and braced himself for what was to come.
The music was loud, and there was a lot of drinking going on. Sobek offered to shout the entire bar, and got cheered for it. Heru joined him, and the sensation of that first beer was always the best, particularly after a long ride through the heat.
“It’s a good thing they keep offering us beer, or this place would run dry. Thank Ra for humans, eh?” Sobek said.
“They drink so well, don’t they? Did you see One Eye’s here? Skulking over in the corner,” Heru said.
Sobek looked over where Heru indicated, and there was Odin, surrounded by Thor, and a large number of ravens. Sobek waved. Odin gave a gruff nod in response.
“Ahh, I love that old bastard,” Sobek said.
Heru was about to reply when Khonsu arrived. Heru hadn’t seen him for a long time, but there he was, pale green skin and dark leathers, looking straight at him. He seemed skinner than he remembered, but his eyes seemed bright and peaceful.
Heru went over to him, and Sobek let him go as he downed another beer. “That kid needs a good shag. I hope Khonsu’s up for it.”
Heru had always loved how soft his skin felt. Outside, in the growing darkness, Khonsu’s skin began to glow, just a little, reflecting the moonlight.
“I never thought I’d see you again. Where’ve you been?” Heru asked.
Khonsu looked at the ground for a moment. “That’s a tale for another day. You need to get Sobek out here. There’s trouble coming.”
“Trouble? From where? Who is it this time?” Heru said, looking concerned.
“I don’t know, but I’ve seen three cities crumble into the sand in the past month. Something’s moving. And there are a fewer ships around. Trade’s ground to a halt. I think there’s an invasion coming. The cities were just collateral,” Khonsu said.
“You seen anything to prove it?” Heru said.
“I see things. Like, at night. When they all think they’re safe. Strange shipments off-world in ships I don’t recognise. I make it my job to know all the ships round here. These ones are new. I’m afraid we’re going to have to cross over again. The morgues are getting too full. This has to stop,” Khonsu said.
Heru closed his eyes a moment. “Alright. Let’s just see if there’s anything amiss. I’ll get Sobek.”
Returning to the tavern, Heru found Sobek arm-wrestling with Set while half a dozen others cheered on the two gods, who both claimed to be the strongest of the gods. Heru didn’t waste any time and broke up the two gods as he stood between them. He ignored the boos.
“Heru, come on, I nearly had him! What’s wrong with you?” Sobek said.
“It’s Khonsu. He wants to speak to you,” Heru said, grabbing him by the arm to stop him running away.
“Oh, man, what is it this time?” Sobek said as Heru pulled him through the crowd.
“You’ll find out. We might need to fly,” Heru said.
Sobek sighed, but went along with it. Outside, Khonsu was waiting for them, looking like he was all ready to go.
“It’s happening again. There’s another city, there’s tanks closing in. We need to move,” Khonsu said.
Sobek understood the situation then, and with Heru, they grabbed their bikes and followed Khonsu down the dusty road.
They didn’t travel very long before they arrived at the bridge between the worlds. The bridge itself shimmered with celestial light, though the world on the other side looked bathed in shadow. It was guarded by two female jackals, one black and one grey, who approached the trio. Both wore the uniform of soldiers, and bore shields, swords, and spears.
“And where might you three be going this time? Last time there was a serpent terrorising a village. Before that, an avalanche. What is it this time, hmm? You are not supposed to cross over this many times. It weakens the gates,” the grey jackal said.
Khonsu looked at the jackal. “I think an invasion is coming. Cities are being flattened, and strange foreign ships have been seen taking cargo away in the dead of night. You will let us pass so we can investigate.”
The black jackal moved over to Khonsu and looked closely at him. Khonsu remained calm. The silence, then, was penetrated by the roar of engines, and Set arrived with his companions.
“I did not ask you to join us, Set. Why are you here? This is my world to look after, not yours. Go home,” Khonsu said.
“You’ll need my ship if there are foreigners about. Think no one else pays attention to these things? This is my territory too. Deserts are always mine. Now, let us pass, jackals, we have work to do,” Set said.
The jackals looked at Khonsu, Heru, and Sobek, and then at Set, and decided conflict was not worth it. “Fine. But Ra will know about this. You know the rules.”
Khonsu nodded. “Thank you. We will not be long.”
The jackals stood aside and opened the gates. Engines roared to life, and Khonsu led the gods across the bridge to the other world.
There was always a moment of darkness, and then brightness, as they left the bridge. Sobek always found it strange, but never let it bother him. He liked it in this world, anyway. There were deserts and rich waterways and lush forests and a huge great deep green ocean he had claimed as his own a long time ago. But now, there was smoke in the air, and the ground vibrated with the thud of shelling.
Sobek surveyed the horizon. Nothing seemed amiss. Nothing, except for the little things that were. He looked up at the sky, through the atmosphere, getting a feel for who might be there.
“I think it is the Gharians. Next world over. That is where the spirits seem to hail from,” Sobek said.
Set growled. “I hate those bastards. They’ve been trying to get their claws on this world for millennia. Not happening, not while I stand.”
“Then we’d better go kick them out again. There’s a big fleet coming, I can feel it,” Heru said.
The first city they came to was already under attack. Sobek wasted no time in returning fire. They had summoned their ships along the way, and Sobek delighted in chasing them away.
In many ways, the gods were outnumbered. But they were gods, so it didn’t really matter. They weren’t invincible, but they had a helluva lot more hit points. At least the battle took a few hours, once they’d chased all the bastards off world.
Sobek was sure some of the gods only came alive in combat. Heru liked leading, and Set was always happy to do some smiting. Sobek liked smiting, too, particularly if it meant protecting those who couldn’t protect themselves.
But it was only the first battle of many. One city had been saved, but it had been half-destroyed in the process, and who knew how many other ships were around, attacking other places?
This, too, was where Heru came alive. Heru had been born to be a king, and he excelled at it. Sobek had to learn it, and wasn’t always so good at it. Not the way Heru was. Sobek followed his instincts too much. Sobek never saw him so regal as when he walked among the people, holding them close, apologising for not being there sooner, promising to repair the damage. There were tears, and gratitude, and Khonsu began gathering those who had got lost or separated. Set and his gods traced the perimeter and made sure no one came back. Sobek started the healing.
And when everyone was okay, and the dead had been buried, the beer flowed again, and Sobek watched over them as they slept, as Heru cradled the orphans, as Set prowled once again, eyes sharp and ready to strike. It wasn’t the end of the war, but it was the end of the battle. For now, there was peace.