Ebbing Tides

As Rajiv disembarks from Gemma's boat many of his artist friends are waiting for him. They are curious about the flight but also want his help rescueing some classic art from one of the Coptic churches that is rapidly flooding. They head down to the flooded part of town. Many boatmen are offering their services at overinflated prices. At some member of the groups suggestion they agree to a price and then when the boatman comes over push him in the water and steal the boat!

They row out towards the church noting with worry the crocodiles swimming about the streets. They hear the cries of someone in the water up a small side alley. The water in the alley is quite turbulent and the man, who looks and sounds Greek, has caught his leg on something underwater. The man commands their aid and since he does seem in trouble they row up. Rajiv dives underwater and finds the man has his foot stuck in a broken brass statue (classical style and hollow though now rather mangled). Rajiv takes a couple of dives to break off a bit of the statue and release the man's bloodied leg. The others haul both back on board. The man is stark naked and unashamed of the fact. He demands to be taken ashore. The artist crowd are having none of it and head off towards the church again. It becomes clear that the man has lost at least some of his memory.

The coptic church is flooding to about knee depth. Some of Rajiv's friends want to take the pictures home but since they're 10' by 6' getting them on the rowboat would be a nightmare and anyway Rajiv doesn't think they should really steal them. They move them up to a choir loft out of the water instead. The Greek garbs himself in some priests robes and asks to be taken to Rajiv's temple.

Meanwhile Mirriam has been out on the river too across at the Nileometer taking a reading. As she is rowed back she sees Rajiv's group emerging from the church. The Greek calls across to her - Priestess of Bast would you please escourt me to your temple! Mirriam and Rajiv are a little worried he'll say something that will alert everyone else so agree to take him back to shore at once.

At the shore a small bunch of rowers are gathered ready to great Rajiv's group and teach them a lesson for stealing the boat. A punch up breaks out and the Greek is knocked down. Rajiv escapes by swimming away under the water. Mirriam calls for the police and extracates the Greek. They cart him off to the museum and ask him who he is. The Greek has been able to identify several statues from Thebes and thinks the museum must be a tomb in preparation. He can't remember his name or what he was doing in the water.

Tai Li has to think about the party tomorrow night. Huang wants to burn Gemma's boat as the end of his fireworks display. Tai Li doesn't think she'll agree to that but does get her to agree to leave it in place so they can launch fireworks from it. The flamingos need to be returned to the zoo too.

Rajiv heads back to the temple to tell Lady Cephelene everything. The temple has two of Set's men sat outside with rifles. Rajiv has some local children distract the guards and enters the temple where Lady Cephelene tells him they were shooting at some of the cats. Ramon and Tai Li turn up and they all decide to leave by the Shadows and speak to the Greek. Lady Cephelene manages to prod his memory sufficiently for them to work out that he seems to be from the Ptolemaic period of Egypt's history but the specifics are harder to pin down. Somebody will have to look after him while his memory returns. Lady Cephelene encourages Ramon to volunteer - she's not happy about his philanderings and the resulting seige at the temple.

Ramon isn't sure where to sleep tonight, exacerbated by the large displaced population from the flooded area that are crowding every hotel and street corner. He takes the Greek drinking and the Greek turns out to have a prestigious ability to drink wine. He remembers a large numbers of songs praising Bacchus too. Eventually Ramon realizes that he hasn't found them somewhere to stay and so they head off to Benoud's and drink him out of wine too before collapsing asleep.

Next day Tai Li is busy preparing for the party tonight. Huang has been up since first light setting up the firework display. The flood waters don't seem to threaten the park too much though there are many refugees sleeping on the common - it should be possible to keep them out of the marquee though.

************** Session 2 **************

Preparations for the party continue. Ramon and the Greek, dubbed Ptolemy, get up late and at Lady Cephelene's suggestion go on a tour of the city to try to jog Ptolemy's memory. Many ancient things are familiar, including a statue in the museum he swears is his Grandmother Berenice, but nothing brings floods of memory back. Mirriam takes further readings of the flood level - it's a record!

Come dusk the guests gather for the party and Tai Li greets them. A large crowd has gathered outside the tents begging for food. Tai Li promises them the left overs. Hamai is sat on top of a large pile of cushions and the guests are each introduced to him on their way in to the marquee. Duchess SoYa stands proudly by. Most of the European guests seem a little nervous about the chopsticks but Tai Li has servants on hand with forks just in case.

The meal begins and a stream of oriental courses ensue. During the second course there is a disturbance at the door - some of the beggars thoguht they'd been allowed in. This turns out to be a distraction for the servants while some men sneak under the canvas on the far side of the tent. The guests at first think it's entertainment but in fact it is three of Set's men. They sneak below table height for the table where Ramon is drinking with Ptolemy. The first ramon knows is when two armed men appear one to each side of him. He dives under the table in a rain of bullets and scoots off as a cat remarkably unharmed. The guests round on the thugs and the servants take them into custody. Ramon returns to his table a little nervous and the meal resumes.

After dinner everyone streams outside for the fireworks. The crowd without seem to have been told there is a reward for Ramon and try to grab him. He runs off persued. Fleeing the crowd he finds himself approaching the firework display on Gemma's boat just as Huang lights the fuse. He shouts for help and Huang starts letting off rockets at the crowd to scare them off. Everyone settles back to watch the fireworks which are very impressive. Set's lackies have been circling on Ramon though and burst out of the shadows. Huang has one last surprise - a huge firework which he lets off and throws at them. The fuse is a little short thgough and Huang and Ramon get blinded by it's brilliance. Ramon steps across to the Shadows to escape and let his eyes recover.

The festivities at an end, the cats slowly head back to the Temple. Things are not going well there - the cellar is flooding and a crack has opened up in one wall where the repair work after Set's attack was done. In the cellar below they find that the cement bricks of the foundations are turning to mud and slipping. They go to find beams to support the walls but by the time they get back a large hole has opened up and pretty soon after a good section of the wall and ceiling collapse. The temple to Bast stands open for all to see. Lady Cephelene is distraught.

Mirriam finds Darb and they procure a truck to load the treasures and mummyfied cats into. ramon uses tarpaulins to cover up the statue of bast and the wall paintings. It is now very late in the night so they drive the truck to Mirriam's house and all sleep.

They gather over breakfast. Ptolemy wants to do something about the Set-Ramon situation - he thinks he should be able to talk out an agreement where ramon just gets a public flogging. Ramon's not having that but if Ptolemy wanted to try negotiating that might bea good thing. Lady Cephelene thinks the mummies are a higher priority. In the past she had wondered about moving the tomb out of Cairo up into caves in the hills to the east. It seems like this is now forced on them.

Everyone piles into Darb's landrover and they drive out to reconnoitre. There are supposed to be some caves to the north of the hill range. They find a trail leading up marked by camel foot prints. They start climbing but soon come under fire from above - they dive for cover. Bandits cry down for them to leave their wealth and car keys or be shot. Mirriam nips into the Shadows, sneaks behind them, releases their camels and then panics them with a shot from her revolver. The bandits are pretty soon in disarray and the cats flee. Mirriam caught sight of the caves but they were being used by the bandits.

Lady Cephelene thinks there are more caves further south but can't quite identify the ravine. Mirriam and Darb explore one ravine but there are no sign of caves and they are distracted by the romantic nature of the desert country... Tai Li and Lady Cephelene clamber up another ravine and find a cave that seems to have a jackal in it - it's a bit small though. Ramon and Ptolemy try a third ravine and find a more promising cave. It is quite high above the bottom of the ravine (Ptolemy has to throw Ramon upto it) and ahs a couple of reasonable sized, dry chambers. They shout for everyone else.

The cats all scramble up to the cave while Darb and Ptolemy are left below. There is an ominous feel to the caves now and the wind moans. Tai Li and Mirriam check Shadows side and find a cowering ghost in the back chamber. He pleads for their help and says he is imprisoned by a banshee. Where they ask? In the outer chamber a blue glowing ethereal woman emerges from within a rock wall and the wind picks up. She screams incoherently. Miriram panthers over to confront her but the banshee screams at her and somehow bumps her back in the real world.

Ramon and Lady Cephelene are struggling in the small sandstorm. Tai Li tries to talk to the banshee who screams something about Ahmed being a worthless traitor before dumping Tai Li back with the others. They decide they really need to get the full story. Ramon and Tai Li approach the man again and he says that he and the woman were killed by bandits who captured them as they travelled to cairo. The woman has become this banshee and won't let him leave.

Mirriam gets a more complete story from the firey banshee. Ahmed was her husband and whent he bandits were going to kill them he offered them her as a slve in return for his life. She considers this a barbaric betrayal and has determined never to let him leave the cave as punishment. Mirriam thinks she has a point.

The cats point out that the banshee is depriving herself of heaven's comforts to punish Ahmed but she says if that's the only way to punish him then so be it. But what if she sold Ahmed to them as a slave? He could look after the temple in the Shadows for them. What an excellent idea says the banshee but you must promise not to release him for 101 years! They agree, shake on it and the banshee vanishes. Ahmed moans but the cats are no longer sympathetic. They have a new tomb.

************** Session 3 **************

Defanuh has been helping move Maryam's company's fabrics and carpets out of flooding warehouses all this time. He is sick of lugging cloth and arrives at the temple just as the other cats come back from their desert trip. He's horrified by the state of the temple but at least the others have been doing something about it. They discuss what to do next. They should move the mummies and think about hiring equipment to move the statue.

Later that afternoon they transport the mummies to the caves and leave Ramon there to look after them over night (where he'll be away from Set's men). Ahmed is set to sweeping out the caves in the Shadows. The others return to Cairo to sleep. Without Ramon about Ptolemy decides to return to Benoud for a place to rest. Benoud is a little put out but Ptolemy assures him it was what Ramon told him to do.

Come morning they regather and use various winches on the main statue of Bast. Once on the truck they take it out of town and spend the afternoon installing it in the cave. Then they fill the cave mouth with rocks so only cats can get in. Lady Cephelene stays behind this time to organise things. She's not sure where Tameh and she will live now.

Back in Cairo it seems like some sort of deal must be struck between Set and Ramon. Ptolemy, Tai Li, Defanuh and Mirriam decide to go and mediate. Set's servant invites them in and Set greets them cordially until he and Ptolemy recognise each other. You! they both cry. Suddenly Ptolemy's memories come flooding back... he was Ptolemy IV, God pharoah of all Egypt until....

It is 205BC in Alexandria. The Greek, Ptolemaic pharoahs rule (they are the descendants of a general in Alexander's army) and in particular Ptolemy IV. The Greek historian Polybius will describe him as the most criminal man to ever sit on the throne of Eygpt. This is a bit harsh since he is only a dissolute playboy who takes his worship of Bacchus absurdly seriously. It must be said that the edges of the empire have begun to erode under his rule and he probably hasn't even noticed. The majority of Alexandria's population are actually quite happy with the continuous party atmosphere though the hard core serious folk of course disapprove.

Anyway today is the pharoah's favourite mistress' birthday. She is called Agathoclea and is well known to have previously been a prostitute - this is of course not a matter of concern to the pharoah. Ptolemy on a whim has decided that the party at the palace will be a fancy dress affair and in fact that no one the guards can tell is male will be allowed in. Ptolemy is rather famous for his impersonation of the priestesses at the temple of Isis. Those in royal circles suspect the choice is simply a method of excluding his overly serious childhood tutor, Sosibius, who he has a strong dislike of (which is why Ptolemy has punished him, at least in Ptolemy's eyes, by insisting he tutors Ptolemy's 5 year old son, Epiphanes). Sosibius is well known to be proud of his beard.

The party is expected to be long and riotous.

One of the more popular courtesans at Ptolemy's court, Bahti, who has even spent nights with the pharoah himself turns up at the party. She is actually smarter than most and enjoys subtly mocking everyone though with big wide eyes so they don't suspect. Her game for this party is to get everyone thinking she is Ptolemy - she has dressed in the garb of a priestess of Isis and subtly made herself up to have the hint of facial hair and so forth. She plans to act more assertive than women usually do to see who she can fool. The guards on the door (in their dresses) seem fooled and she is shown in and handed a goblet. The party is in full swing around the pool with tables draped in food and wine all round. many more or less effeminate women are gossiping and all stop to watch her come in. A number scurry over and satrt courting her favour.

Ptolemy himself shows up soon after but dressed in alluring green dress and with his hair done completely differently from usual. He has decided to buck past trends and go dressed as a palace slave - he has spent most of the day waxing away hair on his legs and putting his hair in ringlets. He rather fancies trying to convince everyone that he really is a woman, who is pretending to be a man (pretending to be a woman) because she wants to sleep with other women but is normally too embarrassed to ask. It would be fascinating to know which of the palace women would sleep with another women. He sets about talking to the noble ladies and shrugging off the advances of Alexandria's prize charioteer. No one seems to suspect him of being a man.

Agathocles shows up too in a poor excuse for a costume though the guards let him through out of fear. He is a conservative member of the court with a strong dislike for Ptolemy's frivolities and would gladly see him undone. This dislike is in no small part based on the dreadful lifestyle his sister, Agathoclea, has ended up in - any number of well to do women have succumbed to the banalities of Bacchus in court. Thus when Sosibius came to him recently with a plan to remove Ptolemy and put his 5 year old son on the throne as a puppet he was all for it.

Removing Ptolemy is not so easy though since his ancestor in Alexander's army was a jinn. Simple sword blows or poison will not get rid of him. Sosibius has therefore commissioned a mage to create a vessel in which to hold Ptolemy. The vessel and method of entrapment though must be aligned to the spirit of the man it will hold - it is a brass statue of Aphrodite and Ptolemy must embrace and kiss it to be trapped (he will be absorbed into it until released by damage to the vessel or the use of a word). The party appears to be the perfect occasion on which to get him drunk and flirtatious with a statue (though nobody else must see the event of course - perhaps later on when the guests are all drunk) so Sosibius has arranged to have it delivered as a gift from an unknown admirer. Once he has been trapped some story of illness can be concocted to explain his death.

Ptolemy's latest declaration regarding the party's dress code has put a major spanner in the works. Sosibius and Agathocles will still be able to enter because the guards fear them, but they will have to dress somewhat to disguise themself. More problematic is the possibility that Ptolemy's disguise will be too good. They have decided to use Agathoclea to identify him. In a long conversation they managed to bring her round to understanding how Ptolemy has mistreated her and how bad he is for the country. She has agreed to help them identify Ptolemy.

Agathocles looks about for his coconspirators. Sosibius arrives behind him dressed as the oracle at Delphi, a costume that involves a large veil. He has been working to undermine the Ptolemaic dynasty and instigate true Egyptian rule for decades. He has worked himself into the royal family as the tutor to the pharoah's sons. Now is the perfect time to strike. No one will really be sorry to see Ptolemy IV removed and his eldest son is only 5 years old with Sosibius as his protector. Power will effectively pass to him. he intends to use the plan he has outlined to Agathocles though he has also been sending Agathoclea dreams of Ptolemy's infidelities to coerce her to his cause. He joins Agathocles and they wonder where Agathoclea has got to thought they suspect they have already identified Ptolemy as the "woman" in the priestess of Isis costume.

Agathoclea finally makes her entrance. Her reputation is based largely on her outrageous dressing and she's constantly worried about how to keep shocking everyone. Today's dress is so shear it leaves nothing to the imagination. She is already very drunk because she has been worrying over recent events... She is not terribly smart but enjoys the party lifestyle and has developed a deep love of Ptolemy's son Epiphanes. On the other hand she has become rather jealous of Ptolemy's other lovers whom she'd expected him to give up as they became closer. Recently she has been having vivid dreams of his infidelities and has concluded that Athena is warning her against him. Now Epiphane's tutor Sosibius and her conservative brother Agathocles (who she hasn't always got on the best with given her profession though she still respects him somewhat) has proposed that something must be done about Ptolemy and his dreadful rule and she was convinced. All she has to do is identify Ptolemy in his disguise for Agathocles and then presumably at some opportune time Sosibius will have him killed. It all seemed very sensible but since she agreed she has been feeling guilty and flip flopping as to whether she will do it.

The guests swarm over to welcome Agathoclea and wish her happy birthday. Amongst the swarm Bahti comes over and gives her a big kiss. Agathoclea is sufficiently drunk that she assumes it was Ptolemy like everyone else.

Sosibius and Agathocles descend on Agathoclea and try to concentrate her mind on idenitfying Ptolemy. She seems unsure of herself so they pretend to have seen the priestess of Isis flirting with another woman and press a little more wine on her to make her more pliable. This fixes Agathoclea's mind on going over to check the priestess is Ptolemy. Frankly she is too drunk to know and assumes he is. Bahti is having a wonderful time thinking she's fooled even Agathoclea. Ptolemy watches all this with amusement - now someone has pretended to be him in that costume he'll be able to wear it again and no one will be quite sure of the truth.

The party is interrupted by the arrival of a large crate - a present for Agathoclea. Everyone else produces their presents too. Agathoclea meanders over and opens up the crate. A fabulously detailed brass statue of Aphrodite. Everyone applauds - it's been imported from mainland Greece! It has been sent apparently by a secret admirer (Agathoclea assumes Ptolemy and begins to regret her duplicity in the plot).

Sosibius engages his plan. He first has the guards move the statue to safety in an alcove then acts a little drunk and relates to a courtesan that a sufficiently virulent man can awake Aphrodite with a kiss. The rumour soon spreads.

The party continues with various flirtations and everyone gets considerably drunker. Ptolemy amuses himself by talking to his impersonator and Agathoclea but they don't recognise him either. They all eventually hear Sosibius' rumour.

Agathocles encourages his sister to get the priestess to kiss the statue - Agathoclea deduces that the statue must be poisoned. She drunkenly accuses her brother of having poisoned all the statues in their house too - she is making little sense now. She heads off towards Bahti determined now to undo the plot before it's too late. She tells Bahti that Agathocles has poisoned the statue (and many others) and Bahti sniffs blackmail material. Unfortuantely the tale has little support though becuase there's a que of men by the statue. Despite energetic kissing the statue is still just that but equally none of the kissers are dead. Bahti joins the line to add to the confusion about her sex. The conspirators watch her enter the alcove to kiss the statue and then emerge fine.

Ptolemy is avoiding the statue to keep his disguise. Several flirtations and many cups of wine on though he decides to join the revelers who have ended up in the pool. The charioteer takes this opportunity to put a move on Ptolemy and discovers he's a man. Amongst general shrieking and splashing Ptolemy is revealed and everyone is delighted by the surprise. The conspirators' confusion is ended.

The party continues and Ptolemy seduces Agathoclea in a corner. She is very drunk and forgets the plot. Ptolemy now notices that the crowds have forgotten the statue so sneaks round to try his luck at waking the Goddess (he doesn't want to have been seen to fail). He reaches up and kisses the statue and finds himself absorbed into it, not to emerge for 2000 years...

Ptolemy recognises Set as Sosibius and the shock brings all his memories back. Set knows Ptolemy too. Ptolemy tries to jump Set. Set reaches for a gun. Defanuh jumps in, knocking Set back, and seizing Ptolemy. Defanuh, Tai Li and Mirriam demand to know what's going on. Ptolemy rails about being a God and being imprisoned. Set straightens himself and puts the gun away. Ptolemy is no longer a threat. The matter under discussion is Ramon. Ptolemy is silenced while the cats offer for Ramon to apolgies. They hint that rumour of the invasion of his harem might leak were he not to accept. Set declares that he will accept an apology but only if Ramon comes by himself to make it to show that he is willing to put himself in Set's hands. The cats agree that this might be appropriate and head off.

Ptolemy unburdens himself at great length and swears any number of vengeances on Set. The cats don't see what can be done about the matter. Ramon hears his punishment and is unconvinced that Set won't kill him anyway. Mirriam promises to follow in the Shadows and rescue him if he's attacked. Ramon reluctantly agrees. He heads to Set's house where the doorman invites him to meet Set in the courtyard. This is the courtyard whcih when last Ramon entered took him to a desert from which he couldn't escape or get to the Shadows. He refuses saying he'll apologise at the door in person but not enter the courtyard. The servant says that Set does not consider the apology sufficient unless it is made while Ramon has entrusted himself to Set. Ramon leaves.

The other cats are a little annoyed but maybe Ramon was right. What to do now? While they think they drive out to the cave to releave Lady Cephelene. They decide on returning to sleep on the matter. Defanuh and Ramon go to see if Set's men are still at Ramon's house. Worse than that - there is a fire! Ramon's appartemnt is gutted (even Salilea's table is burnt). Ramon comes close to accusing Maibib infront of his neighbours but Defanuh intervenes.

************** Session 4 **************

Ramon and Ptolemy head for a bar and spend the night inventing wilder and wilder plans of revenge on Set. Everyone else goes to bed. In the middle of the night Tai Li is half woken by the faint sounds of a wind chime echoing over the city. She gets up and dressed and then heads off in the direction it is coming from. She realizes she is sleep walking and can't conciously control her body. She walks to Set's house, in and up to a room with Set and Po in it. Po has enspelled her and wants to have her "look into the matter of the child" but Set says that Po only has something to offer him if they leave that until later so as not to alert everyone to Tai Li's position. Set makes Po instruct her to befriend Ptolemy and report back each night with what he is planning. They send her home and she goes back to sleep and forgets the whole event.

Mirriam is cleaning up after breakfast when Lady Cephelene enters the kitchen. She has been talking with Tameh and they have decided to go with Arshad to Tuat. Gosh is she sure? Yes - the world has changed and now there's a new temple and also they met some of their past friends at Bubastis and.. well yes. Lady Cephelene would like Mirriam to take on responsibility for the temple (Ramon was being honed for the job but he doesn't really have it in him). With the job comes a word for immortality but she won't be able to share it. Well Mirriam can think about which of these things she wants.

Lady Cephelene moves on to see Rajiv and tells him her plans too. She needs a favour though which is for Rajiv to play her his song that killed Anubis and Sethos. Rajiv of course will have to block his ears with wax. Rajiv agrees too.

Defanuh is woken by Maryam - the waters have retreated from their warehouse and they need to go and clean out the mud before it sets solid. When defanuh gets down there the workers are outside twittering about a sea monster. It turns out to be a large crocodile which Defanuh shoots cleanly through the brain. They get on with sweeping. Later Defanuh takes a breather and is watching some scarab beatles rolling mud balls up a bank when he sees one ball sparkling silver. He stamps on the beatle and finds a ring in the mud ball; it has an ornate Islamic design on it. Maryam is too busy to bother so he takes it off to a silversmith who tells him it's the royal emblem of the Baghdad famil El Athim who used to be Sultans but are believed dead. The silversmith is impressed if he's part of that family.

The cats all gather at the runied temple (Ramon and Ptolemy are a little hung over). They discuss Set. Many ideas surface - threatening to reveal he has 8 wives and no children; making an opened mirror appear out of the Shadows under him and then shutting the mirror once he's fallen in (they try this and successfully catch Ramon); another attempt to apologise; giving Set a recording of rajiv's song (does he ahve a record player?). None is decided upon.

Suddenly Tai Li hears the call of the wind chimes and heads of catonic for Set's house. The others follow and physically prevent her when they see where she's going. Rajiv and Mirriam use the Shadows to investigate and find Po alone summoning her. They appear out of the Shadows (Rajiv in Po's face) and steal his wind chimes. Outside Tai Li snaps out of it and recalls all. They head off to ask Huang about the matter. He recommends chopping Po's head off.

Mirriam is annoyed and goes with rajiv to speak to Set. Set isn't at his house but there is an order signed by him expelling Ramon from the upper and lower kingdoms. Set is at the wafd party headquarters and comes over to them. Mirriam demands to know why Set has been enspelling Tai Li - Set is very brusque and points out he's their soveriegn and can do what he likes. Right then says Mirriam and stomps off. Rajiv enquires about Set's record player but gets no answer.

Back at the temple the cats determine to act. Defanuh, Mirriam, Rajiv and Ramon go off to shoot Po. They find him in an upstairs room again this time making some new wind chimes. They appear out of the Shadows and capture him. He claims to only be working for Set for money and not to know anything about Set's plans. Well he doesn't know anything so Defanuh shoots him! The flash of light momentarily blinds them and when they can see again they're in a desert with two statues of Set in the distance.

After an hour has passed Tai Li and Ptolemy are sufficiently worried that they go to find the others. Set is arriving at high speed in a carriage and heads determinedly for the house. Tai Li streaks ahead in the Shadows and finds the other cats upstairs apparently mesmerized over Po's dead body. She shakes them and they snap out of the illusion. Set is at the door as they make it back to the Shadows in the knick of time.

Now to dealing with Set. They bring their big mirror to the Shadows and open it. They place it between Set and the door to his study and wait for him to cross it. Then Mirriam takes it across tot he real world with Defanuh and Ramon. Set falls into the hole suddenly beneath his feet but catches himself on the edges. Ramon and Defanuh rain down blows on him until he falls through. Then Defanuh shouts nonsense to distract Set while Ramon whispers abadaegamontae.. except that in the panic he keeps misspronouncing it. Just as Set is about to leap out Defanuh instead whispers the word and closes the mirror, Set within. Mirriam brings them back to the Shadows and they smash the mirror into tiny bits.

They debate what to do with the pieces. They try to get Ib's and Kimet's advice but Ib's' house has vanished from the street as it once did before Sarah introduced them to Ib's. They finally decide to donate the pieces to Ptolemy who wants to seal them inside a bronze statue. They wonder how long it will take Set to find his way out.

Next they return to Set's house and discover all his scorpionmen guards have vanished. Set's wives are very confused. Ramon enters the harem and expalins that Set is out of harms way. Nefertegi and 'Abla lead a charge for the treasury and then out. Salma demands Ramon find her a new husband so he promises to introduce her to Benoud. Banuqua declares she never wants to be married again and if Ramon agrees to that she'll come and live with him. Everyone heads off to raid Set's treasures. There are so many ancient artifacts any of which might be trouble that they decide to burn the house down after they're done looting.

They head off their separate ways. Defanuh heads for bed. Maryam comes in as usual and while lighting a lamp finds the ring he found. Defanuh! Why didn't you tell me you were of a noble family - keeping this hidden from me... Defanuh can't quite bring himself to contradict her and pretty soon is to busy withother pursuits...

The next day Lady Cephelene visits Mirriam again - Mirriam has decided to take both the position and the word (assuming it won't stop her having chldren - Lady Cephelene assures her it won't). When she hears the word it seems ratehr obvious that it was that one. Lady Cephelene moves on to Ramon and tactfully informs him that Mirriam will be the new guardian. Ramon has to agree it's not really his talent. Finally Lady Cepehelene joins rajiv and they head out to the cave in the desert.

Lady Cephelene composes herself, seated before the statue of Bast and Rajiv plays the tune from the front of the cave. When he's done Lady Cephelene is dead. Rajiv goes to get the other cats and they have a final meeting with Lady Cephelene, Tameh and Arshad in the Shadows. After farewells the trio head off into the mists of the west....