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PharaohMan.EXE: A Brief History

By Nijubu

Imonhotep sat high upon his throne, higher than any other Pharaoh before him. And why shouldn’t he? Once he became Pharaoh, he became god. If any of the Pharaohs long-since gone had become gods, then they had become dead gods. All of Egypt bowed before their Pharaoh. All, from the highest patriarch to the lowliest slave, worshipped Imonhotep endlessly. And he lavished in it. A bit too much, some began to whisper. Imonhotep was not deaf. He heard their secretive whisperings, their late-night conspiracies, yet did nothing. What could they do? After all, they were mortal. And he, he was an immortal god above gods. None, not even Ra himself, could dethrone him.

Imonhotep’s whisperings to himself did not go unheard, either. Ra listened. The sun god knew the Pharaoh was not the ruler he had planned for. So he watched. And waited. He did not wait long…

* * * * *

“Oh great Pharaoh above all else, please hear my cry! The land is drying up. Food is scarce. The Great Nile is no longer providing for us! Lord Ra is repaying us for our foolishness—”

“SILENCE!”

Imonhotep rose from his throne and drifted regally to the prostrated civilian before him.

“What foolishness is this that you speak of, mortal? Are you saying it is the fault of myself that you cannot feed your family?” His voice dropped in volume. “Are you saying I am foolish?”

“Lord Pharaoh, I—”

[BOOM!]

A sound like a large bolt of thunder mingled with a scream of pain as it resounded throughout the palace. A tremendous gash began to swell where the Pharaoh’s whip had struck the peasant’s back. The Pharaoh glanced to his guards.

“Kill him.”

The Pharaoh turned to walk back to his throne, and suddenly realized it wasn’t there. In fact, nothing was there. There was nothing at all.

IMONHOTEP!

“Who—Who’s there? Show yourself before your Pharaoh!”

IMONHOTEP!!

“Who are you?!? I command you to show yourself!”

The ground, if there indeed was a ground, began to tremble. The tremble became a rumble, and the rumble became a roar. A huge blast of light knocked Imonhotep from his feet, and he cowered at what appeared before him.

“Lord Ra!”

IMONHOTEP, the being said in a voice that could shake sand dunes and dry up rivers, YOU HAVE DISAPPOINTED ME.

“D-Disappointed? I—”

YOU ARE NOT A TRUE PHARAOH. A PHARAOH PROVIDES FOR HIS PEOPLE. A PHARAOH WORSHIPS HIS GODS. A PHARAOH KNOWS HIS PLACE IN THE LAND. YOU, Ra said, raising a bony hand, ARE A DISGRACE TO YOUR LINEAGE!

Imonhotep scrambled to his knees.

“Please forgive me, Lord Ra! Please, I beg of you!”

Ra continued nonchalantly.

AS YOUR PUNISHMENT, I SHALL GRANT YOU EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED. IMMORTALITY.

Imonhotep risked a startled glance into the god’s face.

“What do you mean?”

Before the first word even escaped his mouth, Ra was gone, and Imonhotep was left to the darkness. A sound, almost like the slithering of snakes, happened upon his ears. He turned wildly, his eyes searching, yet descried nothing in the darkness that surrounded him. A sudden silence pounded upon his ears. Then it happened. The first snake struck.

Imonhotep barely managed to muffle his scream as something wound about his arm. He instantly realized that what he saw was no snake. It was a strip of cloth. Before he could react further, another entwined itself about his other arm. Several more wrapped his legs. No longer caring, he screamed openly as more and more strips entrapped him, crushing him beneath their weight. He was being mummified alive, and there was nothing he could do about it.

The surrounding obscurity began to spin faster and faster about him. The dethroned Pharaoh yelled, pulled, begged for mercy. After a near eternity of spinning, there was an awful bang as the sarcophagus slammed shut. Imonhotep had found immortality in the worst of ways.

* * * * *

If there is one element that pervades the universe, then it is sand. Neither fire nor water, neither wind nor life, can stretch through time like sand. All clichés aside, the sands of time flowed laboriously over Imonhotep, burying him beneath. He was soon forgotten even to time itself.

Easily, too easily, in fact, he slipped through dimensions. Since time had quickly forgotten him, one can rightfully say that Imonhotep had spent five minutes lying beneath the plains of Egypt for centuries. Five minutes and countless millennia later, he had entered the digital world. Lost at the farthest reaches of the Net, he waited for someone to happen upon him. He waited for someone to claim him as their own.

He waited.

And he waits…

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