Ja-kal feverenty placed his head in his hands and after a sigh looked up at Nefer-tina and Armon.
"Why would you do something like this?" He asked looking at them both. After he had brought Presly to the sphinx and saw that Nefer-tina wasn't the one driving the Hotra, he had suspected somthing amiss. He was very right.
"Nefer-tina just thought it would do Rath good to have him happy!" Armon said.
Nefer-tina almost growled at him. "Im sorry Ja-kal, I just thought if he wasn't so serious all the time it would do him and us some good"
Ja-kal shook his head. "Just because we all have diffrent reasonings dosen't mean one or the other is wrong. Perhaps you feel things shouldn't be taken as seriously as Rath portrays them, And he is not likely to think your galavanting around is anyway to spend time either. I agree that Rath should give himself a chance do what you call 'fun', and maybe you should relize that its nessesaryto take on responsibilitys that dont always involve Scarab. In my oppionion you two could learn something from each other."
He glared at her.
"Your right! your right!.. now all we have to do is find him..."
"But how?" Armon asked.
"Wellll... if I was Rath where would I go?"
"Guys?" Presly said.
"The library?" Armon almost got another elbow in the ribs.
"He's not thinking like him anymore! He's thinking like.... me, I guess."
"Good." Ja-kal said. "And now your starting to think like him. So, where would you go?"
"Guys.. HELLO!" Presly said again.
Nefer-tina thought a moment. "Well... theres the bridge above the western gate, that big park with all the funny looking birds and.. The Raceway!"
"Do you think he's there?" Ja-kal said.
"Well if i were him, which I'm not but since he's acting like me... yeah, i think so."
"Not that anyones ignoring me or anything but um.... so.. what to we do when we find him?" Presly asked.
"Sorry." Ja-kal considered his question. "Well.. we.. dont know. Isn't there a counter spell?" he asked, looking at Nefer-tina.
She shook her head. "I didnt see one when I found the orriginal spell."
"Lets just concentrate on finding him and getting him back to the sphinx. We can worry about what to do later. Having a confused Egyption mummy roaming around won't do well with the public."
* * * *
Nefer-tina swerved a floating tire and pulled back the throttle on the Nileator, avoiding the rough choppy waters that a rainstorm had brung about earlier. She squinted ahead into the dim fog and saw three lights cut through the approching night. At least in the dark they wouldn't be as suspitious looking. The Raceway was basicly right off the popular shoreline and when the Hotra had been in "working order" she liked to go there for some high speed action. Nefer-tina sighed. She missed her baby. Sure the Nileator was ok, but it just wasn't the same.
"Curve into the Dock." Presly said. "Its easier then climbing over the fence netting."
She did so, almost afraid the big boat wouldn't fit. It did, snugly. Nefer-tina jumped out and looked around the port, then turned to Ja- kal and Armon.
"We're here, the Raceway is just up a little bit." She turned back to the dock and then to the others again. "What if he's not here? OR if i cant do anything to change him?"
"Your instinct brought us here, now lets hope it's the right place." He didnt elaborate on the second question.
Somehow that made her feel guilty and she began walking up the dock with the others behind her. She swore that when they did find Rath she would personaly kill him, or herself for being such an idiot.
The raceway was dark and freashly groomed for the dragster race that was taking place tommorow. Nefer-tina had wondered why it looked so clean, ussualy the days events brought more garbage then people, But the signs and advertisments for the race were everywhere. She made a mental note to herself to go see it, and then she saw what she had been waiting to see all day.
Ja-kal jumped back, startled at Nefer-tina's sudden burst of speed. He looked up at her destination and saw her carefully inspecting the Hotra, neatly parked by one of the tall light posts.
"It's ok! The cars ok!" she shouted.
"Good for the car, but thats not what we can here to find." Ja-kal reurned her sarcastic smile that plainly said, "We aren't?" He looked over the area seeing nothing more then the stadium walls and nightime light that shone from the track and course. Rath had been here, but was he still?
15 minutes passed. A half hour passed, and then an hour. Rath wasn't here. Armon had found a snack vender about ten minutes into their manhunt and had just about finished its contents when an exasperated Ja-kal and Nefer-tina came up to him.
"We've been everywhere! It,s almost 3 in the morning, im cold, and i want to go back to the sphinx!" Nefer-tina mummbled a threat under her breath. "When i find him...-"
"You mean if you find him." Armon said, swallowing the last bag of chips.
"Ya, well if you hadn't been worried about your stomach maybe we would have found him!"
"Cant we all just get along?" Presly said.
Ja-kal sighed and tried to block out the argument. he was starting to get something he hadn't had in over three thousand years. A headache.
"Now now, dont fight. Sometimes you should look in the place least obvious."
"What?" Ja-kal turned around, looking over the track.
"No, im up here Ja-kal. Do you think its possible to quiet those three?"
Hanging upside down by his legs on one of the lightposts, Rath, fully
armored, looked down on Ja-kal's exasperated face.|
"I... will you get down here!"
Nefer-tina turned at Ja-kal's shout and looked upwards where Rath hung. "You little twit." She said, and made a disgusted face when he just smiled at her.
"Good! Now we can all go home!" Armon said.
Nefer-tina almost jumped him. maybe a few good hits would make him relize they had to get Rath down first. She turned back to the tall lightpost. "Now, lets get him down."
"No, you two are going to get him down." Ja-kal said. "Presly and I weren't the ones that started this little field trip."
"Now listen here Rath, im going to make this easy for you... GET DOWN NOW!"
"No." Was his reply.
Nefer-tina clenched her fists. "Dont make me come up there..."
"Why?" Rath asked.
"Well... I.. ugh. Get this you sneaky dearranged cobra, you dont come down and i will turn you into a pair of snake skin boots!"
"Does that mean I get to make you into fur coat?"
"Thats it! your coming down the hard way!" Nefer-tina clasped her amulet. "With the strength of Ra!"
* * * *
Ja-kal had watched the entire sceen with a feeling that was almost ammusment. Armon had transformed shortly after Nefer-tina and had tried to knock the lightpost over. he was succsessful, but Rath jumped off it sideways and clung to one of the banners hanging from the gaurd rails of the seating. Quickly Ja-kal had watched him pull himself up and over the railing to a new, more effective stand off position. Meanwhile, Nefer-tina had anticipated it and was now clambering up the stairs that lead to the sixth floor of the staduim, where Rath stood.
"Think they'll catch him?" Presly asked.
"I hope so, otherwise Nefer-tina just might carry out her threat." He looked back up at the two lean figures.
"Ok... are you going to make this hard on yourself or what.." Nefer-tina cornered her prey and made sure Rath couldn't flip or dive or jump out of her reach, unless he jumped over the railing. That would be dumb considering it was six floors down.
"I dont consider any of this hard, its not as if im trapped here."
She smiled. "Oh, really. Have you looked down lately? Just try to move that thin little body of yours, I dare ya."
"Fine then." He said, and Nefer-tina watched him flip clear over the railing. She let out a gasp, momentairliy forgeting the anger she felt that was now replaced with terror. Rath might be a pain but he was still her friend. She ran full speed to the edge and looked over, but he wasn't on the ground below.
"Rath?" she called.
She saw Ja-kal and Armon look up at her from below. Reading their faces she could see there was no sign that anything had happened within their sight. A bit of her anger returned. If Rath wasn't on the ground then at least he hadn't been hurt, but what trick was he playing now? She leaned a bit farther over the railing.
"Gotcha." A timid voice said and suddenly the banner Rath had clung to earlier came loose and the straps tigtened around her arms and waist from some unseen force below. She was pulled over the edge and began to fall when from the fifth floor, one under where she had been, Rath pulled each strap hard enough to compleatly enfold her in it.
"Let me go!" She shouted, trying to get out of the folds. Slowly she was lowered to the ground where the others greeted her with surprize. Rath used the wire line that had secured the banner to climb down as well. He shoo'd the others away.
"Now... have we learned our lesson Nefer-tina? You should also make sure you know how to conduct a spell before preforming it, it takes more then a chant you know."
They all looked at him in shock.
"Your... not under the spell?" Nefer-tina said.
"No i wasnt under the spell!" he sighed. "I heard you and Armon talking about this little plan of yours when I awoke, so I went along with it. Hmph, I knew you couldn't preform it right... though having my head bashed in wasn't my initial plan." he glared at Armon.
"Sorry." Armon said.
"But what about the Hotra?" Nefer-tina protested.
"Nefer-tina, if I told you it was up and ready to go, you would be in the car and on the street before i could blink. I wanted the Hotra to at least have one days rest before going anywhere!
"If I knew that I wouldn't have-"
"Well... maybe just a spin around the block!" She sighed. "Now get me out of this thing!"
Ja-kal moved up to help her but Rath stepped in front of him.
"Not just yet, she's a smart one, she can get out of it herself."|
"What!" Nefer-tina shouted.
"You heard me, and Armon you can stay with her. If she gets out any other way then on her own power im holding you responsible."
"Did i make myself clear?"
Armon sighed and sat down next to Nefer-tina, offering her a candy bar.
"You cant do this! I swear when I get out of this-" She struggled with the straps. "-Im not the one thats going to be personaly responsible for your death!"
"Im dead already." Rath turned and left, Ja-kal and Presly following. Nefer-tina's shouts and threats faded somewhat in the distance as they approched the Nileator.
"I didn't know you had a mean streak?" Presly said.
"I dont, Just having a little fun, my prince." Rath ignored the intent stare Ja-kal gave him and answered it flatly.
"But I do wonder when she will tromp on back into the sphinx."
Ja-kal choaked back a laugh. "Whenever it is we better be far away. He monitered the boat out of the port and headed for home.
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