Genesis: Part 1
1200 B.C. - Khandaqi Desert
A plume of dust raises up to the sky when something unknown crashes in the plains off in the distance. Two Egyptian men are running through the brush. Bata, is being chased, notices the crash while running. Anubis, who is chasing, doesn't pay it any attention. He is focused on Bata and he is in close pursuit. "You'll pay for this Brother!" screams Anubis. His eyes red with anger. Glowing red. Bata ducks through some weeds and trips over loose rocks on the path. He crashes to the ground. Anubis is quick to pounce. Bata rolls onto his back but Anubis crashes on top of him. Bata begins pounding his fists into Anubis but it proves to be ineffective. Anubis bites Bata on his left side right on his lower ribs. Bata screams out and tries to push Anubis off of him with his feet. Anubis breaks skin and Bata bellows in pain. He pushes his brother back just enough. Anubis gnashes his bloody teeth at Bata. "You try and seduce my Qadesh! You try and disgrace my name!" He snakes out. His eyes are burning red. Bata feels around with his hand and finds a large rock. Anubis grabs Bata by the throat and squeezes. Bata is struggling to hold Anubis back. "You're going to pay for this!" Anubis yells as he slashes at Bata's face with his nails. He connects but Bata bashes the large rock against Anubis' face. Anubis is knocked off of Bata. Bata jumps back up and begins limping away. His left leg wouldn't work with him too well and his side is bleeding profusely. Anubis shakes his head then gets up to his feet but Bata is nowhere to be seen. He feels the side of his head and a large portion of his skull is fractured.
Today - Cairo, Egypt
Billy Batson sits at a cafe on the sidewalk of Cairo. His trusty red baseball cap sits on his head and his dusty Ratt T-Shirt sags with sweat and dirt. His jeans have seen better days and he wore British Knights. Yeah they still make them there. He drinks coffee from a cup that looks to have been glued together in a crude mosaic pattern. His digital camera sits on the table in front of him with a black case under the table. A crude tape recorder faces the empty chair opposite him. Billy takes a sip of his coffee and watches the sun as it peaks through artillery holes in the buildings across the street. Except for the Hotel Americane. A swanky hotel that has been mostly untouched, aside from it being an Emergency Room during the war. "He charged me for like everyone's coffee!" Freddy Freeman says as he comes out of the cafe and plops down into the empty chair. "Hummf... What did you talk his ear off too?" Billy notices the glass of muddy water that Freddy is holding. "These people have amazing stories!" Says Freddy. He motions to the cafe. "That guy killed three rebels with his bare hands! It was nuts!" Freddy smiles and sniffs the drink, "I asked for an iced coffee." Billy sips his coffee and starts investigating the pictures on his camera. "I think I am gonna send this bunch to The Daily Planet." He hands the camera to Freddy who pushes his drink away with a disgusted look on his face. "Are these from Giza? That rebel hideout?" He takes the camera and starts flipping through the shots. Billy nods. "Yeah, it was brutal." Freddy gives the camera back to Billy with a mournful look on his face. A picture of a lost little girl crying holding a stuffed animal is on the screen. "They didn't even have parents anymore." Freddy says with sorrow in his voice. Billy sips his coffee and sets the camera down. They both sit in silence for a moment. He notices a bus coming down the street. He taps his fingers on the table and nods in the direction of the bus. Freddy looks. The bus pulls up in front of the hotel two buildings down. "Tourists?" asks Freddy. Billy looks on. He grabs his camera and case from the table and walks across the street. "I think it's him." calls Billy back over his shoulder. Freddy grabs his tape recorder and the two rush to the bus.
1200 B.C. - Khandaqi Desert
Bata is on his hands and knees. He is panting and breathing heavily. The sun is still beating down on him, hot as always. However, he can't hear his brother's screams. He turns onto his back and begins to start to run again but to his surprise his brother is looking out in another direction. A large hole is bashed into the side of his head. Bata looks at his bloody hand. He still held the rock. He drops it with a bit of terror and jumps backward shaking. He can't believe what has happened. He stands back up again looking in his brothers direction. Anubis searches the brush. "He can't see you." a voice booms from behind Bata making him jump in the other direction. He looks to the voice and sees an old man standing out in the plains. Bata takes a last look at the grotesque transformation that his brother has taken. Then runs out to the direction of the voice.
An old man stands before him in a sort of crater. The old man is dressed in rags and has a long white beard. His long flowing hair whips in the slight breeze. "Bata, I am Sha-Zham messenger of the Gods." Bata looks confused. "Who?" He studies the old man up and down. "What happened? What happened to my brother? Did you do this?" Bata approaches the old man. He holds his hand up in protest and Bata can't move his body. He just stands there like a statue. "What did you do!" Sha-Zham stares into Bata's eyes. He doesn't blink or look away. "Bata your brothers mind has been poisoned." Bata looks concerned. "His mind has been corrupted by a powerful entity known as Atum." Sha-Zham appears to be whispering but his voice sounds clear and crisp as if he were right next to him. "Atum?" Bata asks. "My brother's wife Qadesh tried to seduce me. I turned her down and she told my brother that I had made advances on her! Did Atum have something to do with that?" Bata struggles but can't move. Sha-Zham answers. "The woman you have come to know as Qadesh has been poisoned as well. They are both pawns in Atum's game now." Bata looks astonished. "We have to stop him! We have to save Qadesh and Anubis!" Bata stops struggling. "We cannot! Your Brother's soul has passed on." Bata stops struggling. "That monstrosity out there is just a hollow shell of what your brother was." Bata falls silent. "You are, however, a good man. Your heart is pure. You wan't nothing more than to protect those around you." Bata looks up to Sha-Zham with tears in his eyes. "We shall defeat this evil. We can take down Atum, you and I." The old man walks to Bata and he is able to move again. "Bata, you will be my champion. A champion of good in the face of evil. I will adorn you with the magic of the Gods and we can vanquish your Brother's murderer." Bata stands tall in front of the old man. "What can you tell me of Atum?." Bata asks. "Atum was a rebellious god. The celestials knew this and they tested him. He refused and grew bored then began intruding on the mortals lives. He needs to be stopped Bata, he will continue his little game and ruin this world forever. I can heal your wounds and bless you with this gift if you allow me." Bata nods. "Good then, lets stop this nonsense."
Today - Cairo, Egypt
As Billy and Freddy approach the bus they see a small entourage leading an older, weathered looking gentleman in a camouflage vest to the hotel lobby. "Doctor Sivana!" Billy calls out while running up. The entourage stops and two men begin to pull weapons from their jackets. Billy and Freddy slow and proceed cautiously. "Doctor Sivana we are not a threat! We sent word ahead. I am Billy Batson." Billy yells out, walking now. Doctor Sivana motions for the men to put their weapons down. Billy and Freddy approach. "Doctor Sivana," Billy says with admiration. "We are huge fans of your work sir." Freddy is catching his breath. "Your..." he breathes deep. "Your... like." Freddy begins coughing. Billy continues. "When we heard about your expedition we decided to stay in Egypt to cover it." Doctor Sivana smiles. The sun is beating down on his balding head. Tufts of white hair flick in the breeze. "This is no trouble my young man." Doctor Sivana says with a thick accent of some kind. "Ahh yes the Reporter for News Network One right? You wrote a few articles about my last digs in those Anthropology rags." Billy beams. "You read those?" Doctor Sivana doesn't smile. "They were dictated." Doctor Sivana motions for them all to start walking. "It is sweltering out here gentlemen. Let us continue our discussion inside with the magic of air-conditioning." He begins walking. "Your like Indiana Jones!" blurts out Freddy. Doctor Sivana stops walking and looks at Freddy with a confused look. He starts to say something and then just continues inside. Everyone else follows. Billy swats Freddy lightly. "What was that?" he asks as they continue into the Hotel Americane.
1200 B.C. - Khandaqi desert.
Anubis searches the desert brush. "He has got to be around here somewhere." he mutters to himself as he tears at bushes and rips up the ground. He kicks lizards and scorpions out of the dirt. The arid sun beats down from above. The wound on the side of his head is beginning to draw small flies. He cares not. His blazing eyes searching the horizon for something. Then he sees it. Lightning in the desert? A figure stands out there. Anubis instantly breaks into a gallop for the figure that he sees is Bata. When he arrives he slows and begins circling him. "Brother!" Anubis growls. Bata stands tall. He shows no fear whatsoever. "No!" Bata's voice booms."I emplore you to stop this madness! Your mind has been poisoned!" Anubis looks down at the ground. He studies his brother. "Something is different. Where did you disappear too? Did you talk with that pathetic dirty raggity-man magician? Did he show you some of his cheap tricks." Anubis snarls. "No matter!" Blood drips from his head. "I implore you brother please if you are still there. Stop this madness." Bata pleads. "I give you one warning." Anubis laughs. "No Bata, it is you that will learn a lesson today." Anubis crouches to pounce. Bata looks ready. "I warned you Anubis." Anubis pounces. "I have the power of Sha-Zham!" Bata yells and they are both blinded by white electricity.
Today - Cairo, Egypt
"You were here covering the war I assume?" Doctor Sivana asks. He drinks a sort of fizzy orange drink. Billy and Freddy sit at a table. Each have a glass of water. Billy's is untouched. "We came here last year." Billy said, his eyes look at nothing while he continues. "We came when we heard about the regime using chemical weapons on schools." Freddy drinks his water. "I mean what kind of scum targets children?" Billy takes a drink of his water too. Doctor Sivana sips his drink. "Are you two not ready to go home? I take it you are both exhausted?" He asks. Freddy is first to answer. "I started feeling pretty at home here like the week we came." Freddy is smiling. "I mean, it was terrible the things that we saw but the people were so nice and so friendly." Billy smiles too. "We met plenty of nice people out here." Doctor Sivana doesn't look amused. He holds his hand up. "Sure," he says coldly. "The people are wonderful... Let's cut to the chase gentlemen!" This statement catches the guys by surprise. "You want to what? Watch me dig?" Sivanas words kind of hurt. "Watch me break my back to come up with nothing!" He finishes his drink and pulls out a long cigarette. His breathing slows. A man in his entourage pats him on the back. He nods. Billy and Freddy look worried. They both drink simultaneously. "You know why I am here?" Freddy gulps and says. "To find the tomb of Anubis?" Doctor Sivana smiles. "Yes my boy. To find the Tomb of Anubis and unlock the power of the gods." Billy and Freddy look at each other in confusion. "Meet me here tomorrow gentlemen. I didn't come to Cairo to party. I came to Cairo to work." They slowly begin to rise with smiles on their unsure faces. "If you come with me then your gonna be put to work!" Doctor Sivana says. "You both look pretty smart. It's always a help to get someone with some real intellect out there in the sandbox." The guys stand there for a second speechless. Finally Billy says. "Yes sir... err... Doctor tomorrow would be great. What time?" The Doctor looks at his watch and starts walking away. "Four A.M. gentlemen! It gets hot here as you know and I am not yet acclimated. Lets get an early start!" He walks away down the corridor. Billy turns to Freddy and high fives. "Four tomorrow. Better head back and call it a night. What are you gonna do?" Billy asks. Freddy starts for the door. I have an interview, I'll call you tomorrow morning, what? Three? Three-Thirty?" Billy thinks on it. "Three-Thirty, get some me time in." says Freddy. "Later man." Freddy heads off in his direction. Billy heads to the hotel. "Later Freddy!"
to be continued.
This is for DC Reinvented. A new universe for DC.