Leg Post 117 sees the exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt, finally released by the Egyptian King Ozymandias after the ten plagues in Leg Post 116. Asiya, Moses' mother, died in Leg Post 116 and was buried in the Theban Necropolis, with permission from Ozymandias himself. The Hebrews were slow and laboured as they travelled northwards to the pass to the Sinai Peninsula. Moses found, amongst the Hebrew people, one of the wives of Ozymandias, the Hattusan princess, who was escaping her husband. She called herself Thirty-Four, adopting the number assigned to her as a mark of defiance. She couldn't return to Hattusa, and wanted to make herself useful amongst the Hebrews she was now with. Zipporah had to ride donkeys most of the time, due to her being pregnant. Moses then found a strange person trying to not be seen. He realises that the "old man" is wearing a fake beard and that it is Sauda. Though he initially wants her to leave, she has to go the same way as the Hebrews anyway to escape and Moses is not king to have her arrested or punished so he is stuck with her. She promises that she regrets her past actions and that magic worked on her mind like a drug. Her new name is Balaam. Back in Thebes, Ozymandias is sullen and bitter, believing there are no gods for the first time in his two lives and that he had wasted his lives dedicated to them. Mastema views that, if nothing matters, then why care about the lives lost and allow the Hebrews to go. Ozymandias, in his mania, agrees and desires to kill his brother, Moses. The Hebrews realise that the Egyptian army is after them but Yahweh, speaking through Metatron, wants them to go to the Red Sea, following the inferno in the sky. To usher them on, many angels soar above them during their flight. When they reached the shore, nothing happened and the angels were gone. In a quiet moment, as they all expected their demise, Zipporah admitted to Moses that she stole his wallet in Leg Post 102 so he would stay with her and that the money was still buried in their house in Midian. She doesn't regret it, but is proud that they worked their lives without wealth or gods. They achieved something themselves. This inspires Moses to act himself, instead of waiting for Yahweh, and uses the Staff of Moses upon the Red Sea, which causes it to split in half with a path for them to cross. Once on the other side, they find a lone Egyptian still after them - Ozymandias himself. Moses, with great sorrow, had to close the sea on his brother and kill him to save everyone else and end Ozymandias' own suffering. In a state of tears, Moses is left alone before the angels of god appear before him and Yahweh gives Moses courage. He admits that Moses has inspired Yahweh himself to be a good god and truly be a guide and a symbol of hope for them. He wants to meet Moses at Mount Sinai so they can create rules for the people to govern their lives better.


Parting of the Red Sea

With so much death and horror at his doorstep, and no response from his gods, Ozymandias, the great king of Egypt, relented to the demands of Moses and Yahweh to release the Hebrew slaves that were taken into captivity from their homelands in the Levant centuries ago.

The entire Hebrew race were thrust from their shacks and sent out of Thebes and all of the other Egyptian cities. A great march of malnourished bodies headed towards the Sinai Peninsula far to the north, with none other than the intrepid Moses at their head. Many of their brethren would meet up with the pack in the north, where they awaited their saviour.

Miriam and her family had helped to bury Asiya, and even Ozymandias ensured that she had a place within the family tombs of the Theban Necropolis. It turned out that Moses had had a brother, whose nephews and nieces were well grown and capable people.

Many old faces appeared to Moses as they joined him, and many more new faces he had never before met but suddenly felt like long term friends. Despite their condition, there was much hope for a bright future amongst these lost people.

One face he was surprised to meet.

Moses: “Wait, aren’t you--?”

Woman: “Shhhhh! Don’t let on!”

Moses: “Your name was something like Matherfortwank?”

Woman: “Urgh. Just call me Thirty-Four.”

Moses: “Your harem number, really?”

Thirty-Four: “I’ll hold that number with pride! Call me a number and I will make that number a number of defiance!”

Moses: “Okay, Thirty-Four. For what it’s worth, I think it’s great that you escaped. Do you want to go back to Hattusa?”

They were trekking along the road at a slow pace. There were many old people and children, even babies, travelling with the caravan. There were some horses, some carts but not enough food for everyone. Several were tasked as hunters and they worked tirelessly. Many also headed for the lakes and rivers and streams to hunt fish.

Thirty-Four wore a simple and tattered robe over the sultry gauze that she had been wearing when she absconded from her husband’s palace. She tugged the rough hood over her forehead, as though someone might detect that she didn’t belong with this group.

Thirty-Four: “I might have, but I have heard that it is a dying, plague-ridden city. I don’t even know if my father or brothers are alive. Plus, honestly, I doubt they’d be happy to see me shamed and crawling back to them. They might even ship me back to Egypt.”

Moses: “You can stay with us. You’re always welcome. We need all the help we can get if we’re to survive.”

Thirty-Four: “I don’t know how much help I could be to you, Moses. I’m not very useful, I’ve come to realise. I’m not used to… doing stuff. I don’t know cooking or cleaning or mending or… anything. I’d just be a burden and you don’t have resources as it is.”

Moses: “I’m sure you’ll find someway to contribute. You’re resourceful and strong. I think you’ll do just fine.”

Zipporah: “I hope you’re not planning to let all this fame go to your head, already, oh husband of mine?”

Moses looked up to see Zipporah riding a donkey, carrying their son. She had been put up there on account of her pregnancy.

Moses: “What? What do you mean?”

Zipporah cocked her head.

Zipporah: “Seducing beautiful young ladies?”

Moses: “No! Come on, don’t tease me like that. This is… Thirty-Four.”

Zipporah had been ready to keep abusing her husband, but that name was too odd to not derail her train of thought.

Zipporah: “Thirty… four? That’s not a name you hear every day.”

Thirty-Four: “That’s who I am now, at least.”

Zipporah: “You seem a lot younger and fitter than I. Perhaps you could carry this one for me for a while?”

Thirty-Four helped to take Gershom from his mother and Moses knew she was pleased to have found herself of some small use already. As they kept going, Moses became aware of a very suspicious figure that was desperately trying to be ignored by behaving like someone desperately trying to be ignored and, therefore, drawing a great deal of attention. Moses decided he ought to be the one to question this old man. He was hunched over and covered by a thick, grey cloak. From the hood, Moses could just make out a scraggly, grey beard.

Moses: “Hullo there.”


Moses: “Uh… is that… a fake beard?”


Moses frowned. He believed he recognised the face behind the beard. He yanked on it and it twanged, snapping back into the “old mas’s” chin.


The eyes widened with panic and frustration.

Old Man: “I MEAN—uh… I’ll just go this way.”

Moses: “No you bloody don’t!”

Moses was not usually one to man-handle people, especially women, but in this case he was willing to make an exception. He grabbed the arm of the faker before they could escape.


He hissed at her.


Moses again twanged the fake beard.

Sauda: “GAH! YOU BAS—Okay, okay! Stop it!”

Moses: “What are you doing here!?”

Sauda: “I had to escape Egypt before your brother had me found and executed. Hiding with you lot is the best way to do that. Look, once we’re beyond the peninsula and into the Levant, I’ll be off. You’ll never see me again.”

Moses: “I don’t want to see you now! You should leave.”

Sauda: “Okay.”

She kept on walking.

Moses: “Why aren’t you leaving?”

Sauda: “I am.”

Moses: “You’re still with us.”

Sauda: “You’re going in the same direction as me and, in case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a lot of you. All the way along and back.”

Moses couldn’t help but growl.

Moses: “You--! I should have you arrested!”

Sauda: “On what authority? Are you king of the Hebrews now?”

Moses: “Well, no.”

Sauda: “Planning to become dictator?”

Moses: “No.”

Sauda: “Well then.”

Moses: “If they found out what you did…”

Sauda’s face flushed with red as she refused to look at him.

Sauda: “I know. You’re right. I deserved to be punished. Without all that power I… I can see things more clearly. I honestly don’t know why I did the things I did. It’s like… I wasn’t in control of myself. The magic was in control…”

Moses didn’t want to believe her. It was too easy a cop-out, even if it was the truth.

Sauda: “Have you ever seen people addicted to drugs or alcohol? The things they do… they don’t behave like normal people. The… substance becomes the only thing that occupies their minds. It was like that. I could only think about power and getting more and more of it. Now… I’m powerless and I can’t understand why I did what I did. I mean, I know why I did it. I wanted power. But I don’t know how my mind justified… atrocities I committed. There’s no way of saying sorry, I know. Nothing I do can make up for… my savage behaviour. But I do… repent my actions. My life is essentially over already, Moses. If you want me dead, then fine. You and your people have every right to execute me. But, I don’t think that is a healthy way to begin your new nation. And I am too much of a coward to kill myself.”

Moses and Sauda walked in silence for a long time. There were few he hated as much as her, yet he couldn’t, and wouldn’t, see her dead. He didn’t believe that murder was the answer to anything.

The wind blew upon the train of people as they went along and Moses could almost feel the aura of hope and excitement from everyone around him. He couldn’t take that from them, not now. He looked at her.

Moses: “So, basically, I’m stuck with you.”

Sauda: “… yes. I’m sorry.”

Moses: “You’re going to do everything I say, is that clear?”

Sauda: “Yes.”

Moses: “And you’ll obey?”

Sauda: “Yes.”

Moses: “I can’t call you by your name.”

Sauda: “I already have a cover name. I’m Balaam now.”

Moses rolled his eyes.

Moses: “You’re really going with the old man routine? That is a really fake beard, you know?”

Balaam: “This is an amazing beard! I brushed it and everything.”

The room was dark. The king had refused to allow any slaves or servants into the room to light candles, so he sat on his plush chair in the gloom. He stared at nothing for hours. The gods… were frauds. They didn’t exist. They had no answered the prayers of the people to save them from Moses’ magic. Their statues did not bestow their protections upon him and Thebes. They were inert constructs. He had spent two lifetimes building monuments to the gods and to the ghosts of his ancestors, and descendants of his first life, yet it was all for nought. They did not exist and the statues honoured only imaginary figures.

This truth was hard hitting and a dark pit had opened up in his mind.

There were many in the world who claimed the gods were not real and they were content with that fact. But Ozymandias had not just believed in the gods and worshipped the gods, his entire existence revolved around them. He had dedicated himself to them. And it was all in vain. His two lifetimes were wasted.

His only claim to fame was being the product of dark and evil magic conducted by Seti I and the hated Sauda. All of this was coming to him and he understood that this second life was a life fuelled by evil. He had to question, what was the point of even one lifetime if there were no gods? No gods meant no afterlife, right? No souls? No purpose? No point? It’s all… meaningless. It’s all pointless!

He suddenly grabbed a cup and threw it with such violence he thought his arm might snap. But the cup did not smash against the wall.

From the darkness stepped the smug figure of Mastema.

Mastema: “And here we are. Just as I warned you.”

Ozymandias: “Fuck off.”

Mastema: “Tut tut. Such unbecoming language of a pharaoh.”

Ozymandias: “I am no pharaoh. To be pharaoh means to be anointed by the gods. There are no gods, there are no pharaohs.”

Mastema: “Perhaps. Perhaps not. Even if gods exist, what are they really? What makes them gods? Their power? Is that, alone, worthy a reason to worship them? People worship gods so that they don’t crush them like insects. So what does it matter if they exist or not?”

Ozymandias: “Then what is the point of it all? Answer me that!”

Mastema: “Does there have to be a point?”

Ozymandias: “That is all I have ever done. Some drift through life for the enjoyment of it, but I never did. I had purpose. I had a grand vision. I had a grand plan! I wouldn’t waste this life, I would use it! But now…”

Mastema: “Truly, you are pitiful.”

Ozymandias snarled.

Ozymandias: “I told you already. Get out of here, you weasel.”

Mastema: “Why did you let the Hebrew vermin go?”

Ozymandias: “Moses’ magic was… too strong. So many people in Thebes died. How many more would die?”

Mastema: “So?”

Ozymandias: “What do you mean?”

Mastema: “People died. So what?”

Ozymandias: “I mean known to be cold, but even I have a heart.”

Mastema: “You just said that life is pointless. Meaningless. You are mere animals crawling on the surface of the planet. So people died... I ask again, so what? Why care if there is no purpose to them being alive or dead?”

Had the old king held a clearer head, he might have allowed sense to prevail over this sinister turn of argument. He was not a nice man at the best of times, but he believed murder and suffering, at least of male Egyptians, was fundamentally wrong. Even women and slaves had the right to some semblance of life. But in this dark pit of despair, the coiling words of the Angel of Punishment wormed into his ears.

He even licked his lips at the thought.

Ozymandias: “Then… let Moses use his magic. Kill every last man in Egypt. I will not relent. I will take back my property and… I will KILL MOSES!”

He launched from his chair, filled with the spirit of vengeance. His eyes held a deadly, glassy stare of mania and danger. He marched out of the room and Mastema, with a cocky smirk, slowly followed him.

Thirty-Four: “Moses! Moses! They’re coming after us!”

Moses turned around to see Thirty-Four running towards him with a large group of younger people. They were acting as messengers up and down the train for the past few hours, Thirty-Four again eager to be of use.

Moses was bleary eyed and in need of sleep, but he didn’t want to rest until nightfall, so he pushed himself, and everyone, to keep going.

Moses: “Who is?”

Thirty-Four: “My—your damnable brother! The king! His chariots are after us and they are wielding weapons of war. They mean to take us as slaves and slay those that resist. Moses, he has gone back on his word! He betrayed us!”

Moses felt a pang of sadness within his chest. He had hated to fight Ozymandias and punish him for his hubris, but upon his acquiescence he had believed that their parting was as amicable as it could be. This, however, marked them as enemies through and through. As of now, he had no brother.

Balaam: “What shall we do?”

Thirty-Four: “Who are you? Is that a fake beard?”


Moses: “Calm down, Balaam.”

Balaam: “BUT MA BEARD!”

Metatron: “Moses.”

The angel known as Metatron appeared before them in a blaze of liquid light. It stood strong and tall, like a beacon of heroism and righteousness in their sudden, and desperate hour.

Moses: “Metatron! Yahweh! What should we do? We can’t reach the peninsula in time. We have many days north to go before we reach it!”

Metatron: “I shall cast a fiery light in the sky for you to follow.”

She rose a strong arm and pointed to the distance. In the sky was a blazing inferno, as though the clouds were aflame.

Moses: “But… that will take us to the Red Sea. We don’t have ships to cross to the peninsula, we need to walk northwards!”

Metatron: “Trust me in me, Moses.”

Moses hesitated. He had thousands and thousands of people to consider. He had to lead them to safety and now Yahweh was asking that he place all those lives in his word. Moses sucked in his breath. He didn’t understand all of this god’s intentions, but he truly believed that Yahweh wanted to save the Hebrew people.

Moses nodded.

Moses: “We will follow the light.”

Metatron smiled and then burst into sparkles.

Thirty-Four: “Like a glitter bomb.”

Moses: “No rest now. Follow the light! Everyone, follow the light as fast as you can go! Help those who cannot! Throw the food from the carts so the elderly can ride! Carry the children! Quickly, everyone!”

The caravan was in a fuss, but they responded to Moses commands like a well-oiled machine. It was as though his words carried their own special magic and when they were said, they were obeyed perfectly. The caravan moved faster and the people hurried as well as they might.

Above them, as though to sing them to their destination, they could see flocks of angels soaring along. Some would swoop low and, by mere presence, would instil the determination in those whose spirits were flagging. Even the uninspiring Archangel Bertwick appeared, though he was stood on one of the carts with a lot of the elderly and telling boring stories of his pet dog Bumfluff.

Much of the day went by before they finally reached the end of their journey. The inferno above them finally burnt itself out and the people found themselves at the edge of the Suez River, otherwise known as the Red Sea by the Midians. As the flames went out, so too did the light and absolute darkness of night fell upon them. The whole Hebrew race fell into a grim and terrified silence. Even the children seemed to afraid to cry.

Thirty-Four: “What now, Moses? Where are the angels? Even that loser angel is gone.”

Moses shook his head in panic.

Moses: “I-I don’t know. Yahweh wouldn’t desert us now, would he?”

The desperation and fear were almost tangible, as though he could taste it on his tongue. He didn’t know what to do or why Yahweh wasn’t here to meet them. Perhaps their god was waiting for the right opportunity? Perhaps something had happened to him?

Some rested as the hours wore on. Others, however, began to question the logic of coming here. Moses responded by asking for them to put their faith in Yahweh and wait for his presence, yet Moses himself was doubtful. Zipporah approached her husband, who was seated on a rock and watching the river.

Zipporah: “Are you okay?”

Moses: “Not really. Seems I’ve sat on more rocks during hours of desperation than I’ve done anything else. Watching Thebes for so many days and now here I am, sat on a rock and waiting for a butchering army.”

She sat next to him and held his arm.

Zipporah: “Do you really think this could be the end?”

Moses: “I honestly don’t know, Zip. I’m sorry. Was I a fool to do all of this on the word of a bush?”

She laughed.

Zipporah: “Honestly, I have no idea what I’d have done if a shrubbery wanted a conversation with me. But we are too old to live a life of regrets. I regret nothing bad I did. Even the life changing stuff.”

Moses rolled his eyes.

Moses: “You have done nothing life-changingly bad.”

Zipporah looked guilty.

Zipporah: “I… sort of did.”

He rose an eyebrow and looked at her with curiosity.

Moses: “Oh? What’s this?”

Zipporah released his arm and clutched her hands between her knees like a naughty child.

Zipporah: “I… tricked you.”

Moses: “When? What do you mean?”

Zipporah: “Do you remember when I found you?”

Moses: “The greatest day of my life.”

Zipporah: “I said you owed me, remember that?”

Moses: “You might have been exaggerating, but that wasn’t a trick.”

She was quiet for a long moment. Then looked at him directly.

Zipporah: “It was me.”

Moses: “What was you?”

Zipporah: “I stole it.”

Moses blinked.

Moses: “Stole what?”

Zipporah: “Your… wallet.”

Moses: “What wallet? When--? Oh…”

He remembered the day she claimed he owed her, he had intended to pay her with the money that Ozymandias had given him. But his wallet had been missing, all his money gone.

Zipporah: “I hid it so you’d not be able to pay me and you’d have to stay… It was very selfish and terrible thing for me to do. I… didn’t want you to leave, I fell in love with you so quickly I… I am so sorry. I know you think I’m stupid.”

Moses: “I do think you’re stupid.”

She looked at him, trying to give her puppy-dog eyes despite being far too old for it now. They both started to laugh and cuddle on the rock, beneath the dark night sky.

Moses: “You old swindler you.”

Zipporah: “I’m such a bad girl, huh?”

Moses: “What did you ever do with the money!?”

Zipporah: “Nothing. It’s still there. At the farm. Hidden beneath the ground in the cooking room. I put it in a chest. I always meant to return it to you, but I honestly forgot about it. That was pretty dumb. Even if you didn’t leave me for being such a conniving thief, we could have used it to buy a nicer house or something.”

Moses shook his head with a wide smile.

Moses: “Stupid.”

She pinched him.

Moses: “Ow. Regret nothing, like you said. We had a great life in our little cottage. The farm was wonderful. We did a good job, all things considered. A bit of hard work did us right.”

Zipporah: “That’s right. We did it ourselves. We made our lives have meaning. Not the gods, not the people around us. Just us two. We did that.”

Moses looked at her.

Moses: “You are so right, Zip. I take it back. You’re not stupid.”

Zipporah: “I know.”

She smiled smugly.

Moses: “I mean it. You just got it. Come on, get everyone ready!”

They stood up and Zipporah started getting everyone else awake and to their feet. Moses approached the rushing river.

Balaam: “They’re here! Whatever we do, we must do it now!”

Up on the hill appeared dots of flame as chariots lined up, ready for the final charge against the unarmed slaves. Each little pinprick of light was like a vigil in Moses’ heart. He turned back to the river and took a step forward.

Thirty-Four: “Moses! Careful! What are you doing!?”

He glanced back with a smile.

Moses: “Yahweh won’t do everything for us. With his help, we forge our own path!”

He held up his staff and ran straight at the river.

Zipporah screamed with sudden horror that her husband was going to kill himself. She rushed after him, but was held back by Miriam and Thirty-Four. Several young men went after him but everyone froze when the river itself began to part before the old man. Moses was laughing like a boy as he kept running, his old, feeble legs wobbling as he went. The heavy waters rose up and up, creating two flushing walls. Very surprised fish splashed out of the walls and onto the soggy sand and blubbed in confusion.

Miriam: “Everyone, follow Moses’ path! He has shown us the way!”

Elated, the Hebrews surged forward and started to travel after their leader. They were not fearful of the looming river, they were not afraid of the army behind them, they were not perturbed by the darkness above them; the light of the old man before them cast away all doubts. Most people ran, others helped along the old as best they could. They dragged their carts and donkeys and mules. As the last of the river parted ways, Moses stopped and encouraged everyone to go past him.

He stood there and waited, keeping back the waves using the divine magic of Yahweh through his staff. He felt like a great light was welling up within him, a certainty that everything was going the way it was meant to.

The last few to pass him included Miriam, who stopped by him.

Miriam: “Come, brother.”

They walked together towards the opposite bank. There they saw Balaam pointing behind them and they turned to see a lone chariot headed towards them. In the distance, the Egyptian army had halted at the shore of the Red Sea, save for one brave and determined soul.

Miriam: “The king…”

Moses was sure he could feel the blind hate emanating from that lone chariot and though his vision was blurred with age, he thought he could see the wide-eyed glare from the face of the man he once called brother. Not only was his brother gone, but all semblance of Ozymandias was absent from this husk of a man. This devil in human skin was the very embodiment of corruption and Moses felt tears break from his eyes for the demise of the foolish, flawed man he had once known.

Moses had never intentionally killed anyone in his whole life. Even Sauda, the child-murderer, was alive and even within his protection. He recalled his hands murdering the guard, so many years ago, that had resulted in his expulsion from Egypt. That had haunted him for many nights. The sight of the man’s dead eyes. The act of his death penetrated Moses’ psyche. He hated himself for that one single accident. He had taken away that man’s basic right, the one right that all humans have, the right to be alive.

He stepped back onto the bank and watched the husk coming at him, with a death glare.

Moses: “That is not my brother. That is not a human being. That is a vile imitation of man…”

Miriam: “He’ll never stop, will he?”

Thirty-Four: “He will take me back… what will he do to me then?”

Balaam: “I will be executed… not just executed. I will be tortured, mutilated, and whatever my remains are will be displayed for all to see and mock…”

Zipporah: “We will all be taken as slaves. Gershom will be raised a slave, his children will be slaves and his children’s children will be slaves. Generations of our people will be treated worse than they treat their cows and cats and hounds. That monster will destroy us all, if not in body then in spirit.”

Miriam: “How can we ever hope to escape him, brother?”

Moses looked at his sister, his eyes filled with tears. He knew what he must do. To protect everyone he had to do the one thing he had swore never to do.

He threw his staff to the ground.

The crowd remained silent, respecting the loss that their saviour would feel, and the waves crashed down. They swallowed the being that wore Ozymandias’ form and ended his torment. Moses dropped to his knees and balled.

Moses: “Please forgive me, Ozy. Go to the gods, or to Yahweh, to any deity who will have mercy on you and show you more love than I could give you.”

The people slowly moved out, ushered on by Miriam who knew Moses needed time to grieve. Not just for the loss, but for the act itself.

Balaam, Thirty-Four, Miriam, they all departed until only Zipporah remained. She would never leave her husband, even if he wanted her to go. She would not. But she did stand aside when another figure stepped in front of her.

Metatron: “Moses. I know you are in pain. I feel that pain too.”

Moses managed to look up. He saw his wife stood to one side with her face captivated by the sight of dozens of angels who stood before them. Even the Angel of Death, Samael, was there. Archangel Michael and Jugudiel were there and even plain old Bertwick. Metatron was at the front.

Metatron: “When I decided to do this, claim the Hebrew people, I saw the opportunity to aggrandise myself. But watching you and them suffer and struggle the way you have has truly made me want to help you. Not for my own sake, but for your sake. For theirs.”

Metatron knelt down and placed her hands upon Moses.

Metatron: “You have shown me what it means to be a god, Moses. Gods shouldn’t be complacent oafs looking for a few prayers. We should be guardians and shepherds. We should feel the needs of our people and show them to a brighter and better future. I hope I can be the god that you, and they, deserve from now on. If you’ll still have me, Moses, I vow that I shall be the one and only god that you’ll ever need.”

Moses could only manage to nod and the Voice of God helped the old man to his feet.

Metatron: “You are near Mount Sinai, where we first met. Come back to me there and we shall create a new way by which people should govern their own lives, absent kings and rulers. The rules for everyone to live good and wonderful lives.”

Moses: “Just don’t appear as a fiery shrub this time, okay?”

Metatron grinned.

Metatron: “No promises!”

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