Part 2 – CREATURES OF THE SEA, YEAR 1714
Emanuel J. Cook looked down into the sea from the side of his ship and stared straight into the eyes of the creature. The air seemed to tremble and the surface of the sea boiled, -was this his imagination? Emanuel thought to himself. Did in fact did universe burn of energy? The intensity in this meeting felt like buzzing electricity, he swore that he had never seen such beauty or felt so alive. Just as he was about to reach out to the creature, the crew of the ship came screaming and hitting tin mugs and plates with spoons and tools. They threw whatever they could find on the abomination. As a heavy object hits the creature, she starts to scream like a siren and the noise cuts like knives through everyone’s heads, except for the Captains. This was something he would never forget and led him out on a journey to find what he thought was the Sirens from Greek Mythology. What he found however, was something that he had never expected…
Captain’s log: “ 1714. Day 34, The world will gaze when I reveal the secret and all that is history will be puzzled together… Day 40, I have been captured by this tribe and it doesn’t look like I have much of a chance getting out alive…Day 51, I am rescued. I couldn’t believe my mind but from the blue sea rose that creature to his aid… “.
Emanuel is a well dressed senior captain in his forties, proud and intelligent. He had made so many journeys across sea that he couldn’t remember them all today but, never had he sunk a ship, he proudly thought. He made enemies with his words “if you sink a ship, you should probably stay on shore”. Emanuel thought that no weather and no turn of the mistress temper was bad enough to go down but, a bad captain can sink a ship even in a puddle.
He put on the captains’ jacket, drew his fingers through the black thick hair and his blue eyes evaluated the image in the mirror. -This is good enough! He said out loud. As he opened the cabin door, he entered the hall with a dark hitting command “Jones, get your lazy dog bones together, we have got work to do”!
The plan was to as soon as possible travel by land to The Sea of Galilee and the “Muster of The Queen” finally saw shore. The sun gazed and the redhead, pale skinned Jones with freckles all over his face, wiped his sore sunburned lips. -Captain, shouldn’t we wait until sunset before we do more? Emanuel, looked at the young cabin boy and tried to see how much more work could be drawn from him before he fell. -Take the rest of the day off Jones, you deserve it. We anchor as soon as possible and continue tomorrow morning before sunrise.
Emanuel started to plan this journey one year ago after the encounter of that what he thought was a mythological creature. He had been told about the sea beasts that were to be found all over the world with different names. What he thought to be more interesting was that they were also called “Titans” and sea pirates sailing the Mediterranean sea. He knew of the folklore flowing widely and the generally superstitious mind of people and he didn’t want to be one of them, yet he saw what he saw. They all did, that day.
“Jones is shot in the head”!
As Emanuel stroll the harbor just before sunrise he hears a gunshot and Nathan’s voice, then some men scream “infidel, infidel” echoing between the stone and concrete buildings.
Jones had explored the City of Akko that night, after they’d anchored in Ptolemais and the captain had given him the rest of the evening off. He took Nathan with him. Nathan was a big brute man with a large blonde, grayish beard and eyebrows that were much too big for his face. Nathan didn’t look English at all, if you believed in blond Vikings, then that’s what he looked like. Being a member of the royal fleet, they all had to appear proper but, Nathan was the kind of man you loved for his loyalty and feared for his looks, strength and will. He just wasn’t someone you’d correct. To Jones he was a role model of masculinity and the father he’d never experienced. Once he was old enough and had earned enough money, he thought, he would leave the fleet to start a family and become like Nathan to his future children.
When they had walked the streets of Ptolemais for some hours and enjoyed the fresh air of the night, they stopped to get some sleep on the stone dock by the sea. Jones, rolled his jacket together and put it as a pillow under his head while Nathan looked at the stars and talked about the adventures that they’d already experienced with the captain. Suddenly two men appeared from nowhere. Jones only got the time to see one man hitting Nathan in the face with something, before he heard a sharp explosion and felt a demonic pain like as if the inside of his head suddenly caught on fire. Just like if a spear had penetrated his forehead, the pain spread through his skull in less than a second and in the far distance he heard Nathan’s voice. He felt the chill of dying, then no more …
… Nathan shouts at the top of his lunges “Jones is shot in the head”! His voice was like thunder and as he calls out for attention he grabs a basalt stone and throw it toward the fleeing men. The stone hits one of them in the head and the man scream “infidel, infidel”.
To Nathans good fortune his skull is harder than what he got hit with himself so tumbled but not unconscious he acts quickly to get up on his feet. He lift the young freckled cabin boy up and starts walking toward the ship.
“The tale of Annunaki”
It didn’t take long before Emanuel found Nathan carrying Jones in his arms but before he could call the rest of his crew to aid, they were ambushed by something that Emanuel thought looked like men from an ancient tribe. He tried to fight but they were too many and seemed to be stronger and quicker in every way. The Captain and Nathan got knocked down and all went black.
It felt like days later when Emanuel finally wakes up, he is tied to his hands and feet and it looks like he is in a cave of some sort. The stone walls are colored and if he wasn’t in such despair he would say that it was eminent and beautiful but now, it was a prison.
“You are in the City of Petra, the stone city” A soft female voice said. Emanuel turned around and behind him on her knees, the mermaid sat which he had seen one year ago. In front of her Jones laid dead, pale and naked on a bed of stones and myrrh. Behind them a fire was burning and the cave smelled like herbs and something he couldn’t really identify.
-What are you doing with my cabin boy? He is dead for god sake give him the decency of some clothes before his final rest! What savages are you people?
She smeared the dead body with oil as she spoke – I am Rehba, I belong to this nomad people. We live like this, she says -all the way from the caves by the sea of Galilee to the red sea.
We are all crofts men in the beginning who worked with stone shaping, building, water, herbs and metallurgy. This city, Rehba says was our trading post. Our ancestors sold stone croft here to the whole world, it was like the biggest building exhibition ever seen. The hundred meter walk into the Kings Treasure were lit up by burning oil and waterfalls were carefully planned taking routes down the mountains. It looked like heaven. Every family had their specialty. Some made basalt stones to roads, some did obelisks or statues or temples. The city bloomed and we grew to be thousands. Then the wealth of the city and the secrets of the people became a burden to a jealous king, he wanted it all and allied with others. In his cruelty he slaughtered those who freely didn’t become slaves and the dessert dried only a few months later.
Rehba turns from the cabin boy with a curved knife, that in first impression scare Emanuel but instead of attacking him she lets him loose. She puts her finger to her lips and whispers “be silent now and watch”…
The flickering flames grew smaller as Rehba got on her knees again and Emanuel thought that she was praying.
Emanuel didn’t like this at all but without really consenting to anything he lets her continue. From the wall above his head he sees a creature, much like an anemone from the sea with hundreds of tentacles slowly crawling done, he could barely see this jello substance since it was mostly seen through and by instinct he reaches for the knife to kill it.
Rehba swiftly grabs his hand “hush” she says, only watch. -What is it, Emanuel whispers. They are called souls or symbiotic angels, Rehba hushes him.
The anemone crawls down the wall and onto the body and back of the deceased. Along his spine the tentacles split the skin opened and presses itself inside. For a moment Emanuel can see the skin on Jones back bubble and move but then it stops and disappear.
Rehba smiles and continue to whisper with enthusiasm “watch, watch”! Emanuel can’t make a sound and soon Jones head moves a bit and through the hole in his skull the blood start pumping again and with a popping sound the bullet falls out. Emanuels stomach turns inside out and he has to vomit.
-Schhh! Rehba orders.
With a deep inhale and delivering scream young Jones then comes alive and just as suddenly as he started, he stops to scream. Quickly he gets up on his feet and all confused discover that he is completely naked. He tries to cover himself when he sees Rehba and shouts out like he was deaf – Where the hell am I? -Captain, have I been drugged?
Rehba looks at the shocked captain, who was gasping for air himself – you can talk to Jones now, Emanuel. Then she turns to Jones and say – You are alive!
Later that evening, outside the cave Rehba and her people start to tell the tale about the Annunakis. Capt. Emanuel, Nathan and Jones are the guests of honor and even though the story about the Annunakis seemed to be explaining everything, they had the feeling it was more religious beliefs than actual events.
Before they went to sleep, Rehba takes them into a new cave, well hidden from curious spectators. This is J’ska she says, and points across the cave floor and a pond with running water from the walls. Small holes were made in the top of the cave that let the moonlight shine through. They see the head of a sleeping something, that Rehba claimed to be one of the most important creatures on both earth as in heaven. J’ska was soaring a couple of centimeters above the water. Jones rubbed his sideburns -Can we take the head? He asks. Everyone turns and looks at him a bit surprised. No, Rehba says. She is just an image.
-But, Emanuel counter -the head do have a complete reflection in the water!
Emanuel is still curious about why Rehba had been so far out in the sea when he first saw her and wants to know. Rehba smiles and nods her head. -Tomorrow, I will show you something!
The Sea of Galilee
The following morning they begin to travel by camel to Genesareth. Rehva and the others are very tense. She explains that the Sea of Galilee and the port of Akko is highly guarded by different countries and cultures. The different groups of nomads circling, suspect everyone for treasoning.
She says, -you’d better have eyes in your neck if you want to keep it!
In the cave he sees this water woman pour pulverized feldspar and tear small pieces from paper thin copper sheets and placing it inside a goats’ bladder. Then she mixes salt water with vinegar in a larger bowl and heat it up on a slate. Emanuel is astonished, he had no idea of what she was doing but by now he knew that her education and knowledge must be amazingly rich.
As he looks at her while she works, he can’t help but feel that strong connection to her again, just as he had done one year ago. Beside that she was beautiful, he felt that he needed her more than anything else. Maybe, he reflected, that was the reason he let her save Jones before he knew that this was what she was doing.
She took a string of leather and tied the opening of the bladder together and said – come we don’t have much time. As they dived into the water of Galilee Rehba swam quickly and experienced to one of the big basalt stones and digged a hole beneath it to place the bladder. In only a few moments the bladder seemed to increase in size and magically began to lift the rock. By the time she had finished moving it, Emanuel had been up by the surface several times gasping for air while Rehba didn’t seem to be bothered at all. He thought it was a bit peculiar but left it for now, because he didn’t want to miss this for anything in the world.
Back on land he asks her, – I am amazed but why do you move blocks under water? Rehba smiles as always and answers briefly – My ancestors changed where the water flowed in the channels like this. Some areas needed to be flooded because of the dry earth, some areas needed to be built but, how to build when we can not move heavier objects above water than our own body weight? Then, of course the best quality stones are under water.
Emanuel and Rehba goes back to the others and while they walk he asks her again why she was so far out in the Mediterranean sea the first time he saw her. For the first time since he met her, she becomes serious. -Emanuel, this land belongs to no one. It is the cradle of birth, where it all began, the value of it needs to be understood. If I tell you the end before you understand the beginning, the end will only serve as the beginning of assumptions that do no man no good but feed new conflicts, war and destruction.
Emanuel wasn’t comfortable with that answer and suspected she told him a riddle only to confuse him and make him leave the question. He decided to not let her dribble him away from the subject. He took her by the shoulders -tell me, he said -how you could swim in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and scream like a siren! And while we’re at it, he continued -how could you hold your breath for more than twenty minutes just now in the Galilee?
Rehba shook loose from Emanuel’s grip, she turned around and lifted her hair up so her neck became bare. -Because of these, Rehba stated offended from the mistrust of Emanuel. On each side of her neck, curved toward her shoulders she opened a row of gills. -Is it time now for you to say I am an abomination? Rehba asked while she let her hair down and turned around. Her eyes were filled with tears and her bright smile had turned into a thin and stubborn line.
Emanuel nodded. -Yes! He answered.
There were nothing of a mermaid about Rehba, she didn’t solve his mythological quest for answers. She was for all he knew, exactly what Rehba said herself. An abomination, something that went wrong in nature!
The journey back to Ptolemais was tense because of all the curious eyes along the way. Emanuel didn’t say a word but Jones and Nathan seemed to have a blast with these creatures of the sea. They had such a great time, that it really disturbed Emanuel.
I mile before they reached the old city Akko, Jones stop his camel. -Wait, something is wrong, he says. The company pulls in and turn to Jonas that are starting to look very pale. Look he says and tear his shirt off. On his chest and belly, blue and red lines are starting to cover him like a very detailed map. Rehba rides up to him and puts her hand on his belly. “The angel is sick” she whispers. Emanuel who feels such disgust towards Rehba right now, breaks out and calls, -let him be you freak!
In a few seconds the group of nomads, move in front of Emanuel to hinder him from reaching Rehba and Jones. Farsah, brother of Rehba rides up to him and while he uncovers a rifle beneath his thawb. He say in a low baritone like voice “Jones died once, do you want to kill him again? I don’t care what you think of my people but if you call either one of us freak again, I will shoot you myself. The only reason for your insolence are the fact that your Queen won’t pay for the story your bring her. Your ego is bigger than your intelligence, I told Rebha when she started to watch over you, twenty years ago, that you were no good”.
Emanuel, wasn’t especially fond of being corrected, he had his status with the Queen, it didn’t matter if she loved Brandy more than life, she had a brilliant mind for the truth. God knows, she’d experienced life in every hurtful way. This acquaintance gave him a position that even made generals green of envy. Emanuel, was used to speak his tongue and to be honest, when had he been wrong?
Emanuel looks at Farsah’s rifle, then at Farsah, then he moves his eyes and nod toward Rehba. Oh, he says! Twenty years? So, you say that Rehba who is barely 20, herself watched over me for twenty years? Emanuel laughs with the intent of making Farsah irritated. -What? Emanuel calls, -did she watches over me as an egg from her toad mother and barracuda father…?
Nathan who had been silent since the captain and Farsah started to argue couldn’t keep his tongue anymore…-It was me!
Emanuel who was seconds away from exploding, turned to Nathan and without a word he stared him out. Nathan wasn’t the man who felt uncomfortable in the presence of the captain, no matter the captains’ mood. He really liked Emanuel. They were a good team, always watching out for each other, going through hell just to survive some battles. Nathan thought that Emanuels acquaintance with the Queen, had given him coal to his vivid theories. Nathan himself didn’t have any theories at all, he was a fighter but also a mathematician somehow. He just seemed to understand how to calculate everything. Nathan knew that the captain loved this about him. -It was me, Nathan says again!
– I told Rehba to tie you the first day by your hands and feet. Nathan looks straight to Emanuel as he speaks. Emanuel feels riddled. As this was so not in place at this time, he asks confused -what are you talking about?
Nathan lower his head without letting go of the captains eyes -the Queen is dead!
Emanuel, kept looking at Nathan. He could not for the world make sense of the actions that had been done towards him and that they’d have anything to do with the possibility of the Queen’s death or the situation right now.
Suddenly the earth start to shiver and small stones begin to roll to their right. -What is this, Emanuel shouts as a thunder grows -is it a cavalry or a breaking herd of animals?
Farsah, grabs Emanuels jacket and lean toward him:
“for the point, Rehba is two thousand years old”.
Then he let Emanuel go and call his group to flee, leaving Emanuel, Nathan and Jones behind.
Author Christine Djerf