Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chapter 6: Dark Semien

Hello readers! For a limited time only I present to you the first few chapters of my up coming first book in the Mekonnen Epic series, "The Warrior From Aksum". It is still being proof read and improved but because of high demand to read the story from anxious fans of the artwork and idea I decided to treat the world with what is complete so far. Be aware that there may be a few spelling and grammatical errors but I hope this does not distract you from enjoying the story. Thank you and Enjoy! All story and artwork copyright to Jerome Matiyas, 2006 to 2013 and beyond.CHAPTER 6

Dark Semien

As the sun descends below the horizon and the sky turns orange with streaks of red and purple clouds, horses run wildly down a pathway to the south-west of the Semien mountain range which presents a spectacular view of a dramatic skyline of vast escarpments and deep abysses. Mounted upon these horses are Mekonnen and his warrior companions. Sweaty, hungry, thirsty and terrified, they approach the town settlement of Gultosh seeking shelter and answers. The warriors are now in Beta Israel territory, another reason to be cautious in these parts. They storm through the gate way entrance to Gultosh which would usually be stationed with guards but there were none. They gallop right in but slow down after seeing how desolate and battered the town is, as if Death and Destruction personified went on a rampage. A few dead cats, dogs and chickens are in the streets. Bricks and chips of wood scattered about. Damaged single and two story round houses built of stones with broken doors and holes in straw roofs, some partially, others totally burnt down. A citizens of the town can be seen peeking at the warriors through windows and doors. "This town was recently attacked", is Mekonnen's obvious observation. "Egzio Hoy!,Looks like a herd of elephants stampeded through here!" Gedion exclaims. "This is horrible." Kebi adds, spitting on the ground.Mekonnen raises his right hand, assumes the remaining inhabitants will be looking at them from behind their walls, and announces in Ge'ez, "Citizens of Goltush! We come in peace! We are warriors from Aksum and we seek the same horde that attacked your town. Please, we seek shelter and information about where your attackers went." Gedion then translated Mekonnen's greeting into Agew which is the first language of Beta Israel people, in case they did not understand him in Ge'ez. No response. Only silence. The people are scared and afraid to approach the strangers, thinking the Aksumite warriors could be Hooded Ones returning to ravage them again, or simply disguising themselves as people coming to there aid.

WEEPING WOMANMoments later, Hambo hears muffled sounds coming from one of the houses. He listens more intently and realized it is the sound of weeping. "Mekonnen, over here! I think I hear someone crying in this house over here!" Hambo exclaims pointing to the house just a few cubits away from him. Mekonnen stares his horse around in that direction and rides closer to the house that has several fist sized holes in the walls and arrows on the door. He jumps off his horse and approaches the door carefully as he calls out, "Yikrai-ta, Wayzero! Excuse me, Madam! Are you okay? Why are you crying? Is there anything we can help you with?" Endal, Gedion, Samuel, Hambo, and Nezan dismount from their horses with swords drawn in case of a surprise attack. They follow Mekonnen as he touches the door, realizing it is already open, so he pushes it slowly to see who is inside. "Wayzero? We are coming inside. We mean no harm." Inside they see a woman in a room lit by lanterns, sitting on a bed, clutching some bed sheets in her hands and rocking back and forth crying while another elderly woman sits with her trying to console her. "They took her! They took away my daughter! They stole away my daughter!" The woman cried. Gedion pushes forward towards the woman and ask her in Agew tongue, "Who took your daughter? What did they look like?" The weeping woman replies in Agew, "They... they wore white robes. And there faces were dark and covered with hoods. We could not see their faces! Was blacker than night." Mekonnen and Gedion look at each other after hearing that familiar bit of detail from the woman that her village was ravaged by the same creatures that attacked Aksum a few days ago. Hambo, Nezan and Sami also glanced at each other for the same revelation. "I am sorry, but how old is your daughter, Wayzero?" Mekonnen ask in his best attempt at the Agew language that is not as sharp as Gideon's, "She is only fourteen. Her name is Deborah. Please, bring my baby back to me." "We will search for her if you tell us where they went after taking your daughter." Mekonnen persists. "It happened so fast! I do not know, Sir! I was hit and fell unconscious when they took her." Meanwhile, outside the house where Bini, Kebi, Moti and Zegi and others were still outside mounted on their horses, more people began slowly coming out of their houses. One middle-ages man walked up to Kebi and said, "Please, Sir. Help us. Some of our children were taken away from us. Including my son.""Did you see where they went with your children?" Kebi asked. A young man replied. "They went east, toward the Semien Mountains." An older woman next to him adds. "A lot of our warriors were killed by these evil kidnappers. They did not even seem human." Kebi went closer to the house where Mekonnen, Gedi and Sami are speaking to the woman to past on the new information to them. "Hey, there are more people out here that say several children were kidnapped, and they took them to the Semien Mountains!" "The Semien wilderness! It's getting too dark to go up there now! Will be too dangerous!" Zegi insists as he did before. Bini rolls he eyes in annoyance to Zegi's apparent cowardice. Sami sighs with impatience. An older man with three town folk brings water and bread, slowly waddling in the door way and begins speaking to the warriors in acceptable Ge'ez dialect, "Selam to all of you. It happened yesterday! Strange men in white robes and hoods over their faces. Stormed into Gultosh on horse back firing arrows at us and wounding many of our fine warriors. They snatched up five of our young children and rode off with them. We have no idea why they wanted our children!" "Sound like the same culprits who attacked our city and almost assassinated the Emperor. And they murdered my brother!" Mekonnen informs the old man. "What else can you tell us about your attackers?" "They had strange symbols on the hem of their robes, and they had savage beasts with them like they were not from this world. I never saw anything like them before." The old man adds with a wobble in his voice."Savage beasts? What do you mean? What did they look like?" Endal inquires. While they spoke there was a commotion going on outside, with the sound of people screaming, and the ground shook like an earthquake as if something large was walking towards them."Look out!" "What is that?!" "Get out of the way!" "They are back! The monsters are back!"Then there was a great noise as something crashed through the wall from outside to inside the house between Mekonnen and the old man as it let out a grizzly roar.

GELADA MONSTER"GRRRROOAAAWRRR!!" To everyone's shock is a huge beast that looked like a familiar gelada baboon expect it is much larger and more vicious, standing at about 10 cubits high with very dark gray fur and a red symbol in the middle of its chest where instead of the usual red, heart-shape patch of bare skin and nipples on the chest, it has a symbol of the black, crook serpent inside a red circle. The old man shouts in reply to Endal's question as he points to the creature,"Savage beasts like THAT ONE!" then he and his companions ran away as fast as they can.

Before Mekonnen and the other warriors could react or even think, the giant gelada beast lashes out with its long hairy arms and knocks over the warriors like sticks, sending them flying into different directions in the house, slamming them onto walls and furniture. Mekonnen arises from the floor and shakes his head, stunned by the impact and the sight of the monster but there was no time to be paralyzed by fear. He realizes he must think fast, get the women and his men out of the house and avoid getting hit and slammed into a wall again. Outside there is another giant beast lunging at the warriors from behind, swiping its arms violently, sending Nabu and Embi tumbling back quite a distance away while still on their horses. "Look out, there is another one!" screams Bini while on his horse, he pulls back his bow and fires off two arrows consecutively, striking the beast only once on it's left shoulder, apparently causing no harm to the savage creature at all. Desi aims and throws his spear but the baboon beast lashes it away and roars at him in anger. To make matters worst, Hooded Ones begin to appear around the warriors, armed with swords, spears and bows and arrow. It now appears Mekonnen and his warriors are surrounded and doomed. This is exactly what Mekonnen, Bini and Sami feared would happen when they were arguing with Zegi. That they would be ambushed!

THE MYSTERIOUS WARRIOR"Egziabeher, helps us!" whisper's Mekonnen as his belt begins to vibrate and glow as if in response to his call and to urge him to think fast and get out of the house and away from the rampaging beast. He looks to his left and spots the woman crouched and hiding in a corner under a table. Just then one of the warriors whom Mekonnen did not recognize, holding a great long spear or lance with triple arrow heads waves his hand and shouts to Mekonnen, "I will distract the beast while you get the woman and leave this place! Quickly!" Then the warrior thrusts the beast in the back with his triple-blade at the end of a very long 7 cubit spear and shouts, "Yah! Yah!! Look at me over here you foul abomination!" The creature swings around violently to receive a jab to the chest from the spear while the warrior was still holding on to the shaft at a safe distance, since it was quite long. As the beast grows angrier and preoccupied with the unknown spear wielding warrior, Mekonnen looks around for the two women but can only see the younger one. The older one had fainted in the farther end of the room and out of reach, but out of harm's way. He runs to the young woman and grabs her up from under the table and makes a run for the hole in the walk that the beast made when it crashed through. Mekonnen tries to make one last glance at the spear wielding warrior to see if he recognizes him so he can thank him later but could not tell if it was Gedi, Endal, Kebi or any one of the others. In three seconds he sees the warrior doing valiantly; docking, dodging and jumping over the flaying arms of the beast while still strike it with thrusts from his unusual spear. Then Sami, Moti, Bini and others join the mysterious spear warrior to release arrows and spears at the beast until it becomes weary and stumbles to the ground breathing its last breathe.

DARK ENTITYCarrying the young lady in his arms, Mekonnen jumps through the hole in the wall only to come face to face with a Hooded One on the other side. Clothed in those recognizable white robes and hood with the intricate but strange designs on the hem and fringes, the symbol of the red serpent inside a black circle is noticeable again. Its torso, arms and legs literally seems like they are formed and molded from the starry night sky, as if a piece of the night sky was standing in front of them in twilight of day with a curved sword drawn in its dark right hand. This confirms to Mekonnen that they were dealing with unusual beings that are not from the earthly realm, but diabolical creatures from another dimension. The woman shrieks at the freakish sight, Mekonnen lets her down on her feet to the side and tells her to run away as he draws his sword from his side and immediately begins dueling with the hooded freak of natural. He tries to strike down his assailant but the dark being is swift and stealthy, ducking and bending in flexibly agile ways like a cobra and as if it predetermined every move Mekonnen was about the make. The other giant gelada type beast and more hooded beings were still battling and prevailing over some of the Aksumite warriors and local warriors of Gultosh. Suddenly there was a scream from a young girl and to everyone's horror they see a Hooded One riding off on a horse with a girl from one of the houses in the village. Some of the locals shouted, "They're taking away another young maiden! It is Penuel! Save her! Stop them! Please stop them!"

IN HOT PURSUITThe other Hooded Ones stopped fighting the warriors and followed after the one that kidnapped the maiden who looks to be between 15 to 18 years old, as if they got what they came for. The giant beast that crashed through the house was already dead, laying on its back with mouth wide open revealing those great fangs, and impaled in the center of the symbol on its chest by the mysterious warrior with the triple spear. Standing on top of the fallen beast's chest like in was a small hill, he quickly yanks the spear out its chest, aims and throws it at the other beast through its right leg as it was running away with the rest of the hooded villains, causing it to trip over and roar as a tumbled to the ground in pain. The Hooded Ones now seem distracted and a bit fearful at the sight of the mysterious warrior who is wearing finely cut green apparel decorated with ornate gold and silver fringes at the collar, chest and sleeve cuffs under the bejeweled robe. This seems odd and out of character for the hooded villains so Mekonnen takes advantage of the situation and manages a quick maneuver with his sword and stabs the Hood on the left side of its chest. It hisses and does a swift back flip, jumps up on top a pile of the fallen rubble from the house and darts away in a flash. It was gone in a second it and Mekonnen, without wasting time, shouts an order to his warriors, "Lets pull out Aksumites! Go after that creature and save the damsel! Let's go!" Mekonnen grabs the harness of one of the white Aksumite horses, mounts on its back in haste and takes off after the hooded kidnapper. On his way out the gates of Gultosh, Mekonnen sees the mysterious warrior throw his spear at the giant beast through the knee then leap upon the beast to tackle it to the ground, grabbing the spear out of the leg to strike at it again as it tries to shield the blow with its large arms. As Mekonnen rides past the scene of the spear wielding warrior and beast battling with each other, he thinks he recognizes the warrior as the same young man that gave him the golden belt in the Negus' palace the other day. He was even wearing the same type of clothing with the sparkling pearls in his blue and red rode. "Could that be him? It can't be!" Mekonnen thought to himself as he kept riding past. "Keep going! I've got you covered!" exclaims the spear wielding warrior to Mekonnen as he stabbed at the beast with elaborate moves and spinning of his triple headed spear with agile skill. Mekonnen kept going until he, his warriors and four men of Goltush are now in hot pursuit of the hooded assassins they think attacked Aksum a few days ago. Soon they were out of Gultosh and heading into the Semien wilderness and up the mountains beyond. Moti rides up to be side by side with another hooded one, and looks into the darkness under the hood for a face but instead sees that dark dreadful chasm with red eyes looking back at him. Moti swipes his curved sword at its head but it quickly docks to avoid decapitation. It raises its left leg and kicks Moti on the upper chest causing him to almost falls off his horse but is able to keep balance and control. Sami is behind them so he draws his bow and fires an arrow into the creature's back. It squeals and hisses and attempts to reach for the arrow with its left hand but could not reach. Moti sees the opportunity and swipes, decapitating the hooded one, sending its black head flying off with part of the white hood. The headless creature tries to reach with its hands for the place where its head was, touching the stump of its neck, as black snakes slithered out of the wound instead of blood, just like what happened to the carcasses of the assassins back in Aksum days ago. Startled by this sight Moti kicks the headless body off its horse and rides up to the next Hooded One in the chase. As they all gallop into a wooded area among unusual trees that naturally grow in twisty, uneven directions causing the forest to have an eerie atmosphere in the moonlight and mist, Hambo and Yazi are now the closest warriors behind villain with the kidnapped girl, whose hands are now tired behind her back and is hung over the horse's back onto her stomach in front the hooded one. Yazi tries to be heroic in an attempt to rescue the girl so he pulls out a dagger from his belt and jumps off his horse to get on the back of the kidnapper's horse. But the hooded kidnapper is agile and delivers a solid back kick to Yazi while he is still in mid air, sending him crashing into a tree. Hambo tries by jumping onto the back of the kidnapper's horse successfully but the Hooded one thrusts a blade backwards and stabs Hambo through the torso, causing him to tumble to the grassy ground from the fatal wound. The girl screams in terror and wiggles hoping to fall off the steed rather than be held captive by the hooded fiend but to no avail as it holds her down with one hand, of which its fingers grew longer in an unnatural way to encircle her whole upper body. Mekonnen rides up from behind and accesses the situation but is frustrated because he does not want to hurt the girl in the process. He thinks, "What should I do! Should I jump on him and send us all tumbling to the ground, including the girl, or should I throw a rope to lasso and bound him? Give me wisdom Lord!" He decides on the latter and grabs up a rope from the horse's saddle, swings it above his head and throws it around the hooded one, then pulls to tighten it. The fiend just reaches back with his other hand that has now grown long dark claws and swipes the rope, breaking it like it was just thin thread for knitting clothes. "Damn that cursed creature! Damn it to hell!" exclaims Mekonnen in frustration. The terrain and mountain slope was now getting too difficult and steep to continue pursuing on horse back and the hooded ones began jumping off, dismounting from there horses to head up higher into the mountains on foot. The one with the damsel dismounts by grabbing on to an over head branch or vine of some sort with one hand while still holding on to the girl with the other and swings off, letting its horse ride out from under it, landed on its feet to continue running up Semien mountain on foot towards the east and south. The sun was well below the horizon now so it is getting dark and harder to see but the three quarter moon in the sky does help illumine the surrounds a bit to the warrior's advantage. The Warriors also dismount from their horses in hot pursuit up the mountain wilderness to rescue the maiden from Goltush as soon as they can. Now thoughts race through Mekonnen's mind, so he says them out loud to Gedion who was running along side him now, "What could thesemencreaturesdemonsWhatever they arewant with this damsel? And these are the same ones that tried to assassinate our Negus?Gedion adds, "And remember that woman in the first village, Inda Selassie, who said her son was missing. Could her son been kidnapped by these same monsters as well?"I don't know Gedi. These have been some evil events happening these days. And not only are we being attacked in Kingdom of Aksum but the Beta Israel in the Kingdom of Semien are also experiencing the same horror.""Human sacrifice." Sami interjects in response. "What?" ask Mekonnen and Gedion together at the same time. "Human sacrifice! That is probably why they snatched the girl and why other children are missing. I heard stories like this happening. Used to be an old pagan practice, even in Habyssinia before the Krestiyan religion came to the land." "Well what ever is the reason, we need to save that maiden soon. Let's hope she does not become a cursed victim of human sacrifice." Suddenly they hear the sound of arrows whizzing by their ears. The hooded ones are firing at them now. The warriors dock and hide behind some trees. Sami, Bini, Nezan, Abu and Nabu draw back their bows and return fire with arrows. "Wait a minute! We can not return launches with our arrows, we might hit the damsel!" Mekonnen remembers. "Stop firing! Archers, cease firing!" Mekonnen commands. "We most draw nearer to confront them with swords and daggers. Only uses bow and arrows if you have clear shot on the ones that do not have the girl. Hrai?! Now warriors, let's move forward, with stealth! And be brave and courageous as you have always been. Let's go and rescue the damsel! I believe someone said her name is Penuel!" The warriors spread out, moving forward from tree to tree, some of them crawled on the ground. Occasional arrows from the enemy whiz by, hitting trees and the ground most of the time. Mekonnen peeks from behind a twisted tree and sees the movement of the hooded one among the trees under the moonlit sky, giving the forest an eerie, misty atmosphere, making the assassins look more like ghosts in the distance with their white robes and hoods. "Come on, lets move in closer or we will lose them." Mekonnen whispers to Bini and Kebi who are now closest to him. "You know what, I have a plan. I will go around from this side to the north and cut across and catch up with them from the other side by surprise." Kebi explains as he motions with his arms to point the direction of his strategy. "That sounds like a good idea. Go for it." Mekonnen gives his approval. "Hoy, why don't you come with me, Desi?" Kebi asks. "Okay." Desi replied, and off the two went with Kebi's plan. Mekonnen affirms, "It is a good idea we all split up like this and attempt to close in on the assassins from all directions so they will be surrounded. Go, Go, Go! Gedi and Izzi, you come with me." Mekonnen points and motions with his arms to the others, "Nabu, Mulaover there. Moti, Nezanthat way." Mekonnen looks at the four men from Goltush and ask them, I am sorry my lords, but what are your names, sirs? They respond in sequence, "Achemi." "Bezael." "Kariel." "Daniab."Okay, Achemi and Bezael, you come with me. Kariel and Daniab, you go this way to my left to close in on Penuel. Let's Go." Off they went in various directions as planned. The hooded ones continue going higher up the mountain, the damsel Penuel has now been tied up with more ropes and her mouth has been gagged so she can not scream. She is being carried under the arm of one of them like a rolled up carpet. The poor girl is terrified, and has no idea where she is being taken and what her final fate will be before the night ends. She can not even understand what they are saying among themselves as they speak and grunt in an unknown language to her. All she can do now is try to remember prayers she learned from the Orit,which are the five books of Moshe, a part of the meshaf qeddusher people are familiar with. Some how it seems the Hooded ones already have a plan to escape those of the warriors strategy. Since their senses and abilities are of a more sinister and darker origin than those of earthly or even heavenly skills.

UP IS DOWN, DOWN IS UPMeanwhile, in a deep dark realm, somewhere in the Semien mountains and wilderness but not of the natural realm. But rather a dark alternate world under the mountains where the physical landscape is in reverse from the earthly dimension. In this world what is a high mountain peak in the natural world is a deep chasm. And what was a deep chasm in the natural world is a high mountain peak in this one. In this dark alternate realm is where young bodies and souls of boys and damsels are held in bondage and kept captive in chains, fastened to a high mountain peaks that is littered with the skulls and bones of men and beasts. These are children who where kidnapped in the natural realm by the hooded ones and kept in this dark place for future purposes. The children can hear what is going on now in the natural earth realm above but they cannot see it. They sense their captors are on the run and in the process of adding another person to their prison. Among the group of children bounded in chains is little Natanael, Nati who was taken and stuffed into a sack when Aksum was attacked and Negus Gebre Mesqel was almost assassinated. Nati is scared, but he remembers even in this dark, horrible place, to prayer to Egziabeher Amlak the almighty God of Lights to give him peace and to rescue him from evil. He prayers and believes for he is innocent and there is nothing else he can do. Gradually he gains courage and light inside him and he begins to encourage the other scared boys and girls that are with him. "Hi, my name is Nati, and if you prayer to Egziabeher, he will save us. That is what my mammy taught me. To prayer when bad things happen. So let us prayer, okay?" Nati says plainly and innocently to the boys chained up with him. At first they were too frightened to heed what Nati said to them but when he began to say a few words in prayer and singing a Dawit Muzmur, a Psalm of David, their courage gradually returned and they joined him in song. To the disgust of the dark creatures that were guarding and watching the children, they shout at them to shut up and stop speaking and singing. "ROOAAAARRR! Be quiet you little worms or we will eat you!" growls a dark, vile, creature with foul breathe and fouler appearance. The children become terrified again and stop singing because of the threat. But their hope has now returned and there is a glimmer of hope now, for the first time in the amount of days some of them have been kept their.

SURROUNDED, OUT ARMED, OUT NUMBEREDBack in the natural world in the Semien wilderness the unknown spear wielding warrior holds his head up to the starry moonlit sky, and concentrates. He hears the sound of the children singing and detects the direction from which they came from. He is alone but on the tail of the Aksumite warriors trying to rescue the girl from Gultosh, an assignment that is his primary mission at the moment. Yet just as he was about to head in the direction of the children's voices singing, he is he suddenly confronted and block by Hooded Ones that seem to appear around him from the shadows cast by the trees. They materialized from the night sky they seem to be formed out of, first two, then four, then six of them. They surround him and draw out their weapons: One wields two scimitar type curved swords, one in each hand, crisscrossing each other. Two wield one curved sword each. One holds out a long spear or lance type weapon with multiple and decorative spear tips. Another draws with bow and arrows. And the last one holds a length of chains in its hands. Their red eyes are fixed onto him and they are ready to take down the lone warrior, six to one. One of the Hooded beings speaks, "So you were sent to help these humans and disrupt our plans? All by yourself? How very brave of you. Or how very STUPID?""What is it to you? My Lord can send legions to accompany me in this quest. Yet he chose to send me alone for a purpose." "Well, you are surrounds, out armed and out numbered. You do not stand a chance. We are taking you down this hour!" "Let's see about that!" The unknown warrior leaps into the air with spear raised over his head then quickly descends, aiming for the head of dark hooded being who speaks. The dark being stops the blow with his two swords and guides the blade away from him self. Another dark hooded being fires an arrow into the unknown warrior's back and the other with the spear runs him through from his back to exit the front of his chest, causing glowing cyan colored fluid to spill out. As the lone warrior screams in pain, the chain wielder heaves back then forward, slinging the chains around him several times until lone warrior was not able to move. The warrior's arms are now fastened to his side and his legs are also bound tightly in chains. The dark beings have overcome the unknown warrior and now drag him into the shadows, which is a doorway leading into their inverted dark realm. "You should not have come, warrior from on high! You should not have meddled! The kingdoms of man will become the kingdoms of the shadow worlds. You and your kind cannot stop what has already been set into motion."As the warrior reels in pain he attempts to speak, "Do notbe so confident of your evilunrighteous ways, Dark oneThis battle is not over. More Warriors of Light will come against you. My Lord will send themyou will see!""Hah ha hahh! Your Lord has made many threats and promises for ages, yet nothing happens. What makes you think he will act now! Take him away and throw in into the Pit. Lord Waynaba will deal with this piece of trash in due time!"As they drag him away the unknown warrior says. "Do not underestimate the Father of Lights!... *kakk, kaff, kaff*And do not underestimate the Sons of Adamthat have been redeemed by the Elect One either." "Be quiet you despicable thing!! Bind his mouth and take him away!! I do not want to hear anymore of those LIES!" Though the unknown warrior has been dealt blows that would have killed any earthly man, it is apparent that he is no mere mortal man but also a being from another realm. Not from a realm of darkness and wickedness like that of the Hooded beings, but from the realm of glorious Lights.

CLOSING INMeanwhile, as the scattered warriors ascend higher up the mountain ridge and converge inward towards the captors of Penuel, Mekonnen, Gedi, Izzi, Achemi and Bezael spots the group and Hooded warriors in the distance among the trees about 20 yards away. "There they are. Lets move in closer." Mekonnen whispers. They dodge behind trees under the moon light trying not to be seen by them. As they move in closer and ready to jump out from behind trees to confront them, instead they came face to face to their other companions: Kebi, Desi, Sami and Moti and the two other Beta Israelite men with them who approached from the other side. Each group thought they had their target in sight but lost them in a twinkle of an eye. The hooded ones disappear from sight and seemingly slipped away from the warriors, just like that."Where did they go? Kebi enquires, puzzled. "Don't know. We had them right in front of us." Achemi responds. "I almost shot my arrow at you instead, Mula." "This is not good, brothers." Mekonnen adds with disappointment in his tone. "Okay lets " Before Mekonnen can finish his sentence suddenly the Hooded ones seemed to literally appear from out of the shadows cast by the trees in the moonlight, from every direction. From the east, west, north and south and the points in between and even from above in the trees they jump out in from and behind the warriors roaring and howling as they attack them kicks, punches, claws, swords and thrusting with spears. Some even ascended from below out of the shadows on the ground. The warriors were ambushed and surrounded but still determined to fight their way out as valiantly as they can. Nabu, Kariel and Mula screamed out in pain as they are struck down. As Mekonnen screams out, "Geta Iyesus, Hoy!! Help us!" it is immediately followed by a great flash of light that blinds the Hooded Ones, causing them the cover their eyes and mourn as if in sudden blindness. Every one saw the flash but did not know they saw the light come from Mekonnen's mid section. It even took a few seconds for Mekonnen himself to realize the light came from his own mysterious golden belt. The belt distracted the Hooded Ones and gave the warriors the opportunity to strike at them that appeared out of the shadows. They hacked and sliced at their foes that were able to put up a good fight. Swords clang together, spears trust and impale Hooded ones, warriors are cut and bruise by blades. Yet the dark ones are not as agile as they usually are, having shielded their eyes from the blinding flash of light. It then occurred to Mekonnen that they still need to save the girl. "The damsel!" Mekonnen says out loud. He spins around and the belt on his waist seems to literally light his way and focuses on a hooded creature ahead of him just a little way further up the mountain where trees merge gradually into grass lands with scattered lobelias palm trees as they go up an incline. "Warriors! Up the slope, quickly! We must rescue the maiden!" Mekonnen commands as he strikes down two hooded opponents that were in his way, getting struck on the right thigh by one of there blades and on the left side of his stomach he was cut but the wound is not deep. Now he runs relentlessly after the hooded one who is still ascending upwards quickly despite having the damsel Penuel under his arm. The flash gave all the warriors a disadvantage over their attackers so they were able to overcome them and run up the mountain with Mekonnen.

UNDER THE MOUNTAIN, IN THE REALM OF DARKNESSMeanwhile in the realms of darkness under the mountains range, some of the hooded ones materialized back to the presence to the vile serpent Waynaba who is not fully formed into physical matter, but his head casts a shadow with red glowing eyes on a mountain side while the rest of his body is still ghostly like vapor. "What hasss happened? Why have you returned without the sssssacrifice!" Ask Waynaba frantically. "Lord Waynaba, there was a bright, blinding light that distracted us and we were overcome." Reports one of hooded beings."A bright light! What is the meaning of this bright light? Where did it come from? Ansssswer Me!!" "It seemed to have emanated from one of the warriors from Aksum, my Lord." "One of the warriors from Aksum!? Why is that? What is so special about him? What did he do or say? Was it some sort of magic?""We do not know, Lord. He exclaimed a few words. Words we are not allowed to utter here in this realm my lord. Yet still there is something different about him that allowed such a blinding light "Waynaba interrupts, "Well sssend up more savage creatures to ravage them then! You know I need more virgin sacrificessss in order the rise up from the depths again! I shall hear no more exxxxcusessss!" "Yes, my lord. One of our agents has a virgin in his grasp right now making his way here quickly! We shall return to assist him Lord Waynaba The Great!" Then a booming voice resonates from behind, "And we also have some good news for you Lord Waynaba." The sound of chains rings through out the dark realm chambers and hallways of finely carved pillars and archways that support ceiling of stalagmites inhabited by bat-like creatures, mingles with the sound of dragging on the tiled marble floors. It is the six hooded ones dragging the wounded body of the lone unknown warrior they overcame on the other side of the mountains earlier. "We have captured a filthy warrior from on high, Lord Waynaba. He was on his way to supposedly rescue the earth children from our grasp, but we stopped him." Waynaba becomes anxious to see the bounded unknown warrior in his midst, glad he is in chains but still frightened, knowing what one is capable of doing to a fallen creature from the Realms of Darkness."Hhhsssskkk! You brought him HERE? What have you done?!" "He was alone your majesty. There were no others around. And look, he is all chained and gagged nice and tightly.""Hssssskk! This is risky, you FOOLS. They usually travel in at least pairs. And his friends will come here LOOKING FOR HIM! THEY CAN DESTROY US!!""No, your majesty! Not if we drop him into one of the bottomless pits right now, Then they cannot find him or come after us.""Just get rid of him quickly! And the ressst of you, go back up there and bring the virgin sssssacrifice to me!"

IN THE REALM OF LIGHTSMeanwhile, in a realm much higher and much more majestic than Waynaba's dismal realm, even much more glorious than the most beautiful and amazing locations on earth, it a realm of gleaming cities reflecting a kaleidoscope of colors from magnificent structures like towers and castles made of glass and precious stones with luminous rooms and chambers. In the midst of this glorious Realm is the life force of it all, and gathered before him are beings resembling the images of men but of greater stature and in much finer garments of brilliant colors with intricate design at the hems and fringes. Six of them bow down on one knee with arms outstretched; reverencing one who stands within the light which is so bright only the outline of His body can be seen. The men forms a semi-circle before the Light and one of them begins to speak. "Oh Lord Almighty, Anointed and Elect One, of Semayat and Meder. Heaven and Earth. Lord of Lights and Father of Love, Mercy, Righteousness, Redemption, Peace, Blessing and Glory. We come to you in humility to bring word of the well being of one of your creations. One of our brothers."A voice resounding from the light responds, "Your presences and petitions is much welcomed and accepted, my son and beloved minister. What is it do you want to report to me that you think I do not already know? ""As you already know, my Lord, one of your ministers and valiant warriors for your cause, whom you have sent to assist the redeemed of mankind has been captures and restrained by the evil dark ones from the realms below the Semien Mountain valleys and pinnacles. What shall you have us do for our brother and fellow warrior, to rescue him from his captures, Your Majesty?" The Almighty One within the light responses. "What you have spoken is correct and your request is heeded, my beloved. I am aware of the capture of your brother who was over come because the forces of Darkness in that territory of Semien has become strong and their iniquities have grown much in the past season and come up as a stench to my Throne. Behold, I have heard the crys and prayers from the little children who have been captured and bound in the Dark realms and those that seek to resurrect the spirit and flesh of Waynaba the serpent, who was judged and destroyed in the past."The figure kneeling in the front replies, "Glory be onto you Lord of Lights. Hast thou granted us access to the Realm of Semien to rescue our brother and assist mankind in rescuing their little ones?" "Yes, thine request is granted. But your numbers and glory shall be rescinding for this season only. For I have called one of the warrior's of Aksum to a higher calling, to test him and lead him into a life of great signs and wonders to defeat the Agents of Darkness with the Spiritual Weapons of the ways of uprightness and faith. It has been appointed unto him to seek, find and conquer with the articles of warfare, all seven of them, in battle against the powers and principalities in the Spiritual Realms. Behold, he has already been presented with the Belt of Truth by your brother in the palace of Negus Gebre Mesqel. And I have illumined his path to the Truth and blinded his enemies with its brightness of the Truth. Now go forth and rescue your brother and bring him back home to be rejuvenated. Afterwards I shall tell you what next I have planned for the children of the land where the source of the Nile River springs forth." "Thank you, Lord Almighty. We now go forth at your command." And the six figures stand to their feet in unison, with wings slowly emerging outstretched from their back at the shoulder blades, now revealing themselves to be Mel'akt, Angels of The Lord of Lights. They bow reverently one more time, slowly lift off the translucent marble floor then take flight with great speed out the chamber, down a hallway and out the enormous pearlescent gates guarded by a pair of kerubel (cherubim) holding great swords in their powerful hand, then down towards Earth. In arrow head formation are six more unknown warriors with various weapons unsheathed, aiming for the Horn of Africa.
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