The Pharaohs of Atlantis

 

 

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The Past Prologue

     

As Pharaoh’s royal yacht drew near its destination, Lord Kontar jumped off the ship and onto the dock. He immediately stepped aboard the waiting chariot. The whip whistled and the horses sprang forward. It was a short trip to Pharaoh’s court from the center of Atlantis. Lord Kontar was Pharaoh’s royal architect and the site manager at the Giza Plateau. He was late for a royal meeting with Pharaoh’s Science Council.

Lord Kontar was responding to a royal missive to provide a construction report on the Great Pyramid project. But what Lord Kontar didn’t know was that Pharaoh’s science minister didn’t want a construction report. He intended to levy yet another construction change on the royal architect.

Lord Kontar assumed that one of Science Minister Al jer’s spies had reported the construction delay, and thus he had been called to Atlantis to answer the charge.

There was no doubt that the pyramid construction project was off schedule. The delay was due to material and labor shortages beyond Lord Kontar’s control, and to get back on schedule would require additional resources. But Lord Kontar didn’t know the science minister was ignorant of the construction delay. Lord Kontar was cagey enough to play the game in small increments until he could gauge just how much the science minister knew. Lord Kontar knew better than to give the royal council any direct construction or schedule delay information. Any disappointing information would be used by Pharaoh’s science minister to gain position in Pharaoh’s court.

When the chariot arrived at the administration building, Lord Kontar hit the ground running, waived to the guards, and went straight to the Council Chamber. Lord Kontar was a popular overseer at Pharaoh’s court. He entered the chamber and addressed the council immediately, “A thousand pardons Minister Al jer, and I know the hour is late, but the Nile was a most unforgiving mistress today.”

Minster Al jer said, “Lord Kontar, please. Enough of the Nile! Present your report!”

Lord Kontar began, “My lords, the royal Necropolis and Science Center is nearly complete and the royal funerary artisans have reinterred all Pharaohs and family members from Atlantis to the Necropolis at Giza.

The royal monuments overseer is now concentrating on relocating the noble families to the Giza Plateau Necropolis.”

Minister Al jer cautioned, “May I remind you that the equinox is just a month away and the Priests of Ra plan to conduct sacraments and bless the site during the equinox. The ceremony must be delivered from the top of the Great Pyramid so that the assembled multitude can all be blessed at the same time to initiate the Festival of Ra.”

Lord Kontar said, “Minister Al jer, with all respect, if I suspend work on the pyramid’s interior to complete the exterior, I will have to build ladder work to provide the Priests of Ra access to the top of the pyramid because the interior staircase is not yet completed. This means work currently being done must be postponed until after the Festival of Ra dedication. The science and prayer rooms and the interior access to the top of the pyramid, where the Crystal of Ra will be installed, will have to be delayed until after the completion of the work on the outside of the pyramid. All of these activities will invite construction delays and costs will go up.”

Minister Al jer ignored Lord Kontar’s observations and asked, “Please present the status of the crystal installation. When can the signalmen of Atlantis establish daily communication with the signalmen of the Necropolis and Science Center?”

Lord Kontar replied, “The cutting and polishing of the Great Crystal is on schedule. The polishing and shaping of the mirrors that focus the light of Ra to the crystal is just a week off schedule, but all mirrors are expected to be complete and in place in two weeks.”

“Once the crystal installation at Atlantis is complete, the two sites will be able to communicate instantly by shuttering the sunlight to the crystals. Pharaoh’s royal signalmen will use coded signals to create a communication link between Atlantis and Giza.”

Minister Al jer said, “I trust your progress reports will be more current when the crystals are in place?”

Lord Kontar replied, “With the crystals in place, my progress reports will be timely. But, may I remind the minister that redirecting the workmen to the exterior will delay crystal installation and consequently, crystal communication.”

Minister Al jer bellowed, “Enough! The Pharaoh of Ra has spoken! It will be done!”


 

 

Lord Kontar knew the meeting was over. He bowed low and as he retreated from the room he repeated, “The Pharaoh of Ra has spoken.”

When Lord Kontar entered the hallway he began muttering to himself about the inefficiencies of the government bureaucracy. He couldn’t help but think that, while the Pharaoh of Ra can work miracles with slaves and soldiers, the miracles come a little slower when cutting granite and limestone is involved.

Overall Lord Kontar was very pleased with the outcome of the meeting. With Minister Al jer’s redirection of efforts, all existing delays and cost overruns would be conveniently buried. Now he could attribute all construction delays on changes dictated by the royal science minister. His royal decree would allow the pyramid project to get back on track and no one would be the wiser. Yes, life was good for Pharaoh’s royal architect.

Lord Kontar stopped in the Public Works Administration Building to enjoy the chef’s renowned recipe for Nile tilapia. As he was drinking a cup of wine, a child approached the table and handed him a wooden puzzle box. When he solved the puzzle and opened the drawer, he immediately recognized Pharaoh’s scarab cartouche seal impressed in the wax on the papyrus. When he broke the seal and unfurled the scroll he read, “I must see you before your return to Giza. Come to my chambers immediately.”

Lord Kontar smiled and signaled the waiter, “I must cancel lunch due to pressing business. Please serve the tilapia to your staff, courtesy of Pharaoh’s royal architect.”

The palace was a short walk and when he arrived, the guards raised their swords in salute and admitted Lord Kontar to the interior. Pharaoh’s vizier was just closing the doors to the royal chambers. He threw up his hand and motioned for Lord Kontar to join him.

The vizier said, “Greetings, Kontar! Pharaoh is impatient today, go right in.”

Lord Kontar headed for the royal chambers and, looking over his shoulder, asked, “When is Pharaoh not impatient?”

The vizier smiled in response.

Lord Kontar opened the massive doors and entered the royal chambers, but Pharaoh was not seated on the throne. Lord Kontar walked over to a table where a basket of fruit was setting and selected a handful of dates. At that moment Pharaoh emerged from behind the hanging drapes. Lord Kontar looked up and smiled.

Pharaoh thundered, “Kneel in the presence of the Pharaoh of Ra and look at the Earth for you are not worthy to look upon the face of Ra!”

Lord Kontar immediately dropped to his knees as ordered. Pharaoh proceeded to circle the kneeling lord and then drew the royal sword and placed it on the back of Lord Kontar’s neck. Pharaoh then carefully slid the blade under Lord Kontar’s tunic strap and with a quick Flick, cut through the strap.

Pharaoh then said, “Rise.”

When Lord Kontar stood up, his robe and tunic fell to the Floor and he stood nude with his back to Pharaoh.

Pharaoh commanded, “Turn around!”

As Lord Kontar turned around, he could see that Pharaoh wore nothing but a golden scarab amulet with a highly polished black stone in the center.

Pharaoh squealed, “Oh Kontar, I missed you like the Earth misses the morning sun.”

Kontar said, “Zahra! My heart is yours as always, come to me!

Three hours later as Kontar and Zahra were bathing, Zahra asked, “How did the progress report to Minister Al jer go?”

Lord Kontar replied, “Minister Al jer added yet another delay to my construction schedule by adding new requirements. The latest delay is to satisfy the Priests of Ra and you must know that it will drive up the project cost, too.”

Zahra said, “You know very well if we are to control the people we must remain in partnership with the Priests of Ra, for they control the will of the people and we all serve Ra.”

Kontar scoffed, “They are a bunch of self-serving, holier than thou hypocrites and we need to get them out of the line of authority!”

Zahra said, “Yes, of course, but you weren’t complaining about the Priests of Ra when they were recruiting the artisans, stone cutters, and masons to donate time to your project at the Science Center.”

“Wait! I didn’t say they don’t have a place, but the Royal Necropolis of Ra should be the Royal Science and Astronomy Center of Ra that just happens to be near a cemetery. Perhaps your Royal Ka, in your


 

 

next incarnation, will separate the priests from the government, and we can lead the people of Atlantis with science and philosophy rather than ancient superstitions.”

Kontar continued, “If we apply the principles of science to advancing Pharaoh’s plans, rather than superstitious unproven methods that rely on smoke and mirrors and suspending common sense, we will accomplish more.”

Kontar looked up to see if Zahra was in agreement only to see that Pharaoh was reclining on the pillows still wearing nothing. She seemed to be lost in thought as she was stroking and admiring the scarab amulet. In the center of the solid gold amulet was a jade scarab. In the middle of the scarab’s shellback was a highly polished black stone. The black stone was creased down the middle to simulate the scarab’s shellback. Under the scarab was a cartouche containing the hook symbol to signify ruler, the ankh symbol to represent eternal life and at the bottom was the hieroglyphic symbol for Z. This cartouche was Zahra’s personal hieroglyphic seal that she had designed as a child, before she ascended to the throne of Atlantis. Her royal name was also contained in the cartouche, but it was twenty symbols long. The royal cartouche was prominently displayed on all monuments, including her royal sarcophagus at Giza.

Pharaoh said, “I wish you would reveal the name of the artisan that created my scarab amulet. It is my favorite piece of jewelry. I never take it off. It is my good luck charm and it always protects me.”

Kontar smiled and said, “Dearest Zahra, if you want more jewelry from this artisan, we must honor his wish for secrecy or there will be no more golden trinkets.”

Pharaoh frowned and Kontar thought, If I tell her it was me, I’ll never have another free minute as long as I live. I’d have to spend each waking moment making trinkets for her.

Zahra looked up and said, “After speaking with Minister Al jer, I realize I must make a royal tour of inspection of the Necropolis and Science Center. I have ordered the royal yacht made ready for an early evening departure today.”

“We will have tonight aboard the royal yacht and every night leading up to the Festival of Ra. Are you not surprised and delighted?”

Kontar said, “Every moment spent with you, my love, is a moment spent in heaven. But remember, during the day, I will be on site at the Great Pyramid and we will only have the nights together.”


 

 

Zahra said, “I live for our nights together!”

Pharaoh summoned the vizier and asked him to move the Pharaoh’s entourage to the royal yacht and to prepare for the trip to Giza.

Pharaoh’s entourage would occupy three ships. The lead ship would contain archers and foot soldiers, as would the ship bringing up the rear. There was no real danger because the civilization of Atlantis was orderly and peace ruled the land. Still, security was something never left to chance by Pharaoh’s vizier.

The royal yacht was nearly a hundred cubits in length with an accompaniment of thirty oarsmen and thirty archers along with the ship’s crew and Pharaoh’s personal slaves. There was a royal cabin and several sleeping compartments for the royal entourage.

The voyage from Atlantis to Giza was easy. Each ship was rigged with a square sail. Although the Nile flowed north and emptied into the Mediterranean, the prevailing winds were from the north so the oarsmen had little work when going in either direction.

Sunrise on the Nile was beautiful. Pharaoh’s royal yacht was making good time on the calm waters in the spring of 2807 BCE. The rhythmic slap of the water on the hull was a soothing sound to the sleeping royalty.

It happened to be the 10th of May and the annual Nile flood wouldn’t occur until sometime between July and September, but the Priests of Ra were predicting the flood to be on the 15th of August this year. By 21 June the Festival of Ra would be history and Pharaoh would be back in the royal palace in Atlantis and Lord Kontar would be working feverishly to complete the Great Pyramid project at Giza.

Distant thunder awakened Lord Kontar. He looked to his left to see the beautiful Zahra, sleeping like the princess he had known since they were children playing together at her mother’s royal court. He and Zahra had always known they would marry one day. But neither had anticipated that Zahra’s twin sister would die young in a chariot accident and that Zahra would become Pharaoh. Zahra’s ascension to the throne had delayed their wedding plans. Once the Great Pyramid project was complete Kontar would be free to return to Atlantis and marry the love of his life.

There was another clap of thunder and Zahra stirred restlessly. Kontar noticed that she was holding the scarab amulet, even in her sleep. Kontar slipped out of the sleeping silks and made his way to the ship’s bridge. The captain waved and motioned Kontar to the tiller.

Lord Kontar observed, “Captain, look how dark the southern sky is! What’s going on? Are we in for a storm?”

The captain replied, “I’ve been making this run for 35 years and I’ve never seen a storm or a dark sky like that!”

Lord Kontar said, “Pharaoh’s safety comes first; head for shore and get everyone safely on dry land.”

At that moment they heard fifty bare hands and twenty-five heads slapping the deck at the sight of Pharaoh. Pharaoh looked at the southern sky and asked, “Are the Gods angry?”

Lord Kontar replied, “The Gods indeed may be angry and we may be in for a heavy storm. I have ordered the captain to make for dry land. Pharaoh’s life must not be placed at risk on a stormy sea.”

At that moment a bright light appeared in the dark southern sky. It was a fireball and it was streaking across the sky from west to east. From the deck of the royal yacht it looked like a piece of the moon was falling. A smoky tail was trailing the fireball, and it was miles in length. The fireball was a thousand miles south of the royal yacht, but the unusual sight alarmed everyone. The slaves had abandoned their oars and were screaming and praying. The current swept the ship back toward Atlantis. The captain shouted orders and the oar master whipped the men back to their positions and ordered them to pull for the shore.

Pharaoh commanded, “Wait! The fireball is an omen from Ra that our journey and the Festival of Ra are blessed! Captain, continue the journey to Giza. Let us show these ignorant slaves that Pharaoh is blessed by Ra!”

The captain countermanded his order and the royal yacht returned to its course for Giza. Lord Kontar had an eerie feeling that Pharaoh was making a mistake, and he wanted to discuss the decision with her, but he knew he had to wait until they were alone. Before he could suggest returning to Pharaoh’s quarters, the sky began to clear and the sun broke through. A loud shout of joyous relief went up from the crew, and the ship’s master cadence drummer began to beat out a steady rhythm once again.

Kontar turned to Pharaoh and whispered in her ear, “Hey, are you ready for breakfast?” Pharaoh smiled.

As they were having breakfast in the royal cabin, Kontar could feel the wind’s growing intensity. Through gaps in the drapes, he could see white caps on the river as the wind blew the tops off the wave crests.

A loud crack of thunder startled everyone. Kontar noticed that the sky was growing dark again and that it was beginning to rain. Pharaoh’s personal slave immediately lit the lamp in the cabin. As she was lighting the lamp, Kontar caught her eye and he could see stark fear in the girl’s face. Kontar glanced at Zahra and she appeared unconcerned and completely at ease.

By noon the rain was a torrent and the sky was pitch black. Kontar excused himself and returned to the bridge of the ship. The high wind and pounding rain made it difficult to cross the deck to the bridge. Lord Kontar shouted, “Change course immediately and pull for the shore! That is a direct order from Pharaoh!”

The captain ordered the helmsman to come about. As the flagship turned, the other two ships reversed course too. With the new course back toward Atlantis and the wind at his back, the captain ordered the mainsail set.

All three ships immediately began a very fast course toward the nearest shore. For the first time since the weather turned bad, Kontar felt a glimmer of hope. He thought, with luck, they would make shore before the main storm hit. Lord Kontar decided to remain on the bridge for the time being.

Still, the weather seemed to be getting worse. The sky was as dark as a moonless night, and the slaves couldn’t keep the navigation torches lit because of the wind and blowing rain. Lord Kontar’s glimmer of hope was once again replaced with a feeling of impending doom.

Lord Kontar was certain they were just on the fringes of a massive storm and he knew it would only get worse. The thunder seemed to be drawing closer and the sky was ablaze with lightning strikes.

Lord Kontar didn’t want to leave the bridge, but he was afraid for Zahra’s safety. Pharaoh’s quarters were at the bow and he was helping the helmsman maintain course by leaning on the tiller. Just when his fears were peaking, the storm began to lessen in intensity and he felt that he could steal a moment to check on Zahra. As he was making his way forward, lightning struck the ship’s main mast. The mast was split down the middle and the mainsail was blown away. With a sickening lurch the ship tore partially in half at the base of the mast. He was on the back half and Zahra’s quarters were on the front half of the ship. As the storm re-intensified, the two halves began to wrench apart. Kontar screamed, “Zahra! Zahra!”

Through the tossing waters and blinding rain and in a bright flash of lightning he saw Zahra clinging to the rail of the ship. “Zahra! Zahra!”

Kontar began to scramble along the remaining pieces of the ship that were still attached to the front half. Just as he reached Zahra, the two pieces of the ship separated.

In a flash of lightning, as their eyes met, they both knew they were facing eternity.

They struggled toward each other and Kontar grabbed a rope and wrapped it around their waists. He then lashed the end of the rope to the remains of the bow of the tattered ship.

The storm howled and blew and then, in an instant, the Nile became deathly still with no wind. The blackness of the night was complete, even during what should have been broad daylight. As the lightning flashed, their faces became visible for a few moments. During one lightning flash, Kontar could see Zahra’s hands tightly wrapped around the scarab. Kontar, trying to be positive, said, “You better let go of that scarab and hold onto me!”

Zahra replied, “Kontar, you know I treasure this scarab as a symbol of our love. I will never let it go, and I want you to hold the scarab with me.” Kontar immediately cupped his hands around hers.

Zahra said, “I know this is the end of the world and I know we don’t have much time left together in this life. I don’t know how we offended Ra, but he is displeased and he is ending the world.”

“My wish and hope is that we spend eternity together and that someday, somehow, we are reincarnated and will find each other again.”

Kontar said, “Zahra, don’t say those words. We are not dead yet and we will survive this storm, I promise.”

Zahra said, “I only want one promise. I want you to promise that you won’t lose me or the scarab.”

“I promise.”

She looked up at him and said, “Kontar, I know you are the artisan that made the scarab.” Kontar smiled.

First, the thunder returned. Then, the frequency of the lightning strikes increased.

Once again the driving rain pounded the ship’s remains. Then, the hurricane force winds were back.

As the tiny remnants of the royal barge were tossed about, Kontar and Zahra began to hear a sound that grew in volume and intensity with every second. It was a sound no living creature on Earth had ever heard before. It was the sound and fury of a mega-tsunami roaring down the Nile Valley.

A 400 foot high wall of water, pushing a valley-wide pile of debris and rubble, was laying waste to all in its path. It took the tsunami thirty minutes to pass the Giza Plateau but the blackness lasted for three weeks.

The rain continued, on and off, for three months. The rain produced flood levels unknown on Earth in millions of years. The floodwater submerged two thirds of the 480 foot tall Great Pyramid for six months.

Then one day, the falling rain began to lessen. Then the waters began to recede and sunlight once again began to peek through the darkness. A new dawn was breaking.

People lucky enough to be above the flood waters began to emerge from safety and to put their lives back together. They were the nomadic tribesmen, herdsmen, and peasants. No one living near the Nile or the Mediterranean survived.

Lord Kontar, Zahra, the scarab, their lives, and their Atlantean civilization were all lost to the flood. The memories of the dominant Atlantean civilization became a legend, and then Atlantis itself became a myth. The people of Atlantis, their stories, and the contributions of their civilization would now be lost forever in time’s abyss.