THE SERPENT EMPIRE
The lush trees and brush of the oasis bristle slightly in the desert breeze. A small waterfall trickles down an embankment, it empties into a crystal clear pool that sparkles as brilliantly as the stars do against the night skies. The tattered form of an Adamite stumbles across the desolate sands on the edge of the oasis. Jerichis struggles to make it to the clear and inviting water, having to drag himself the last few feet until he collapses at the water's edge. With the last remaining vestiges of strength he has, he scoops a few handfuls of liquid into his parched mouth, reviving himself somewhat. After which he passes out, his vision going black.
A few hours later he awakens, having rested but with great thirst and hunger. Slowly he gets up, throws off his outer robe and dives into the cool water, resurfacing after a few forlorn minutes. Inhaling a breath of rejuvenation, Jerich takes to the task of filling his empty stomach. He half heartedly climbs out of the water and begins to gorge on the enormous and delicious variety of fruits that decorate the trees that line the oasis. Having satiated his hunger and thirst, the escaped young slave again rests under a tree. This time he closes his eyes and falls asleep out of satisfaction and comfort rather than from exhaustion. The day ebbs away until, the sun begins to set, slowly dipping under the desert horizons. Jerichis wakes up just in time to catch the last rays of the beautiful sunset .
He smiles and knowingly nods his head at the natural scene "But this time I know. You are not setting over the horizon to begin some fantasy journey through the underworld, to glorify the gods, are you? All that was a scornful lie, but yet I wonder. I know the Tep Zeppi's tales of divinity to be false, yet why does the sun still disappear at the day's end? To where does it really go? I suppose I seek the answer to this as well. But I'll find out the truth, somewhere out there, I'll find out. Jaresh found them, so to will I." He than looks down at wondrous golden device that still clings steadfast to his forearm and hand and chuckles slightly "You've been of great help so far, I just wish you were a little less conspicuous."
The gauntlet shimmers over with a bright sheen and begins to miraculously morph in a leather cloth like material, taking on the shape of an extended sleeve like garment. It completely blends in with the rest of the man's garb, becoming very much inconspicuous, camouflaged to the fullest. Jerich smiles, showing little surprise to the device's transformation. He has become somewhat accustomed to the gauntlet's abilities. After which he looks back and again sits on the edge of the water, content to let the last of the day set in peaceful tranquility. Nightfall soon blooms and the twinkling stars take the place of the sun within the tapestries of the night sky. Jerichis lays on the sandy ground when he suddenly hears a faint noise coming from the surrounding trees. This causes him to spring to full alert. After a few moments he gets up to investigate the sound and goes over to the tree line to peer inside. The desert breeze whistles eerily, causing the leaflets to rustle back and forth. After cautiously searching the brush, Jerich finds nothing of concern. He exhales of out relief and turns to head back to the water. As soon as he turns his head, he is met by a violent blow across the face, which causes him to fall back. Strange, yet familiar voices begin to resound as Jerichis rebounds to his feet to meet the monstrous bug eyed stares of more Annunaki henchmen. Finding himself surrounded by the little monsters, Jerich tries to defend himself by charging forward but is stopped dead in his tracks by an unseen force as one Naki henchman raises it's spindly yet muscular arm up. The telekinetic force is emitted by a similar looking gauntlet like device on the creature's arm.
Jerichis finds himself nearly paralyzed, struggling to even breath. One thing he does notice however is that these Annuanki look different than those he knew back in the Tep Zeppi. Their bodies are identical, however their exo-skeletons are not golden, but rather take on a greenish, almost reptoid appearance. His fear diminishes to a slight degree as he now knows that these creatures are not the same ones as those that are probably hunting him down as a fugitive for killing Amun-Ra.
"Fak-sootay tengris(We've got one)". says the Naki holding Jerichis in his paralyzed state.
The young ex-slave looks out into the sky, his eyes the only free moving muscles he has, and notices a red light hovering in the darkness. As the mysterious object gets closer, it is revealed to be the menacing form of a Vimana. As Jerichis stands, helpless to move, the circular sky craft flies directly over top of him and from it's bottom, emit's the same blinding light that had abducted Jaresh. Jerich finds himself bathed in a bright blue as he is magnetically lifted off the ground and up towards the craft, still unable to move. The light becomes overwhelming and soon blinds him completely as he is taken into the Vimana.
Jerichis regains consciousness and finds himself now lying flat on his back, several of the diminutive Annuanki looking down at him. Their oversized almond black eyes filling his vision. Attached to his body are several wires and weird mechanical apparatus'. The young Adamite tries to get up but he is still partially paralyzed, for the most part unable to move. Several of the green armored creatures are poking and prodding him in every which way.
"Noe teslley undar coflik(A physically fit specimen)" says one of them.
"Tennetey coofron andez poot anafet Popol Vuh(Indeed, he should meet the standards of the Popol Vuh)."
Jerichis tries to struggle against his restraints, overcoming some of his paralysis.
"Nanfell ott tethris ute fangril(Quite strong willed as well, it seems).
Jerich continues to struggle when one of the creatures produces a long needle like instrument and indiscriminately jams it into the side of his neck. This causes Jerich to cease movement and everything goes black once more…
The next thing the young fugitive knows, he is standing on his feet, his wrists shackled. What meets his sight is something that nearly takes his breath away. Jerichis is standing in the midst of an awe inspiring metropolis, the likes of which would rival even the Tep Zeppi Empire. What surrounds him is a mass of people, who appear to be more subjected Adamites, that were all congregated in an enormous city square. They numbered in the thousands, hustling and bustling about. Flanking the city square were large step pyramids as tall and imposing as those found back in the Tep Zeppi. These pyramids were of different style however, having no interior but instead held a large ceremonial platform at the pyramid's summit and being constructed of shiny black stones, which were so polished that they were reflective. These are the Obsidian Pyramids of the feared and reviled Serpent Empire.
Jerichis is forcibly shepherded back amongst hundreds of others, by his Annunaki captors. The noises, sights and smells are almost overwhelming to his senses. Than he hears something that makes his fears spike. Coming from the top platforms of one of the Obsidian Pyramids, blood curdling screams can be heard from agonized victims. With each scream, a thunderous roar emits from the oversized crowd. Jerich is now in an alien environment, which makes him heave several sharp intakes of breath. While looking around and trying to get some kind of bearings, he steps in a puddle, which at first he thinks is water. But when he looks down, he is sickened and shocked to find that it is blood. Visually following the bloody puddle, he finds that it's source is running down the massive steps of the pyramid that is directly in front of him. His eyes widen in grisly fascination as he sees the one side of the building is completely covered in blood, which runs freely down the steps like a morbid waterfall. The terrified screams continue unabated and this prompts Jerich to stumble back in startled paranoia.
He is caught by another, who steadies his balance "Careful young sacrament, or they might not wait till you get to the top of the pyramid. They might just slit you down here."
Jerichis looks back and finds another Adamite addressing him. The man is much older, of elderly status, but gnarled and haggard. His teeth are broken and dirty and his beard flows down, unkempt and matted. "Who are you, what is this place?"
The old man laughs "The last thing you'll ever see my young friend. You and I, along with all these others, have been selected to be sacraments for the Popol Vuh."
"Sacraments, Popol Vuh? The last thing I remember is being cornered by the Annuanki, than being taken by a Vimana." says Jerichis in a flabbergasted manner.
"Oh yes, the oasis trap. That's how they got half these unlucky devils. The Naki find many a poor soul wandering in the deserts or jungles or what have you. Lure them in with an oasis setting and than snag them! They use that old trick all over the place, seems to work every time too." says the old one.
"What of yourself, is that how you came to be here?" asks Jerichis.
"Oh no, I volunteered for this. It is a great honor to willingly give your blood to the gods. I know I'll be handsomely rewarded in the aftertime." says the old man, with a hearty chuckle.
Jerich shakes his head in disbelief , but is than shoved forward by an Annunaki henchmen. He is thrown at the base of the blood soaked steps, his shackles clanging against the obsidian.
"Foss adimis, kethrin poclay(Climb Adamite, you are the next sacrament!)" shouts one of the bug eyes.
Jerich looks up and against his will, slowly starts to climb the bloody steps to the top of the pyramid, escorted by several of his bulbous headed captors…