A path of moonlight shattered over the choppy lake. The pines carried a far off, tiny roar that sounded like the din of a million voices. Khonsu stared ahead, seemingly mesmerized by the glow on the water. He was far from Egypt, but after so many changes that have happened along the Nile, and to the Nile, this place -- California -- seemed more like home. Indeed, the moon shone the same as it did thousands of years ago among the reeds near Memphis. Khonsu shoved his fists deep into the front pockets of his jeans.
"The Wakeful Man continues to confer with them. Now he has taken on qualities we saw in she who kicks teeth, my lord," Arbaces said, loud in the wilderness. Khonsu hated the profanity of his servant's presence here, but Arbaces was nothing if not faithful. He just wasn't very savory or honest.
"The mistake was yours," Khonsu replied, his wide dark eyes never straying from the beauty before him, and seldom blinking. Khonsu was a god, and Arbaces a man. The latter stood a respectful ten paces behind the former with his shaved head bowed. Neither gave a care for the cold. As Khonsu unfolded his slender brown hands from his pockets and raised them to the lantern of the moon, he continued, "You carried on as though the Wakeful One was your fulcrum, as though his mind could cast the mold. You misjudged, and it has cost lives."
"Please, Lord, it was my idiot tool Haros who operated under that assumption."
"Haros is a travesty I would see destroyed. He violated the Wakeful One."
"I would do as you command, but the Erinyes, upon conversing with the mortal aspect of the Wakeful One, Protector of Ten Worlds, learned that he opposed their plan to dispatch my embarrassing minion. He convinced them that Haros should live as long as possible."
If a god could register shock, Khonsu would have. The closest he came to looking startled was to slowly turn away from the majestic scene of stars, moon and lake, and bring his gaze to bear on his servant. "Courage, cruelty and wisdom... Why was Haros allowed to touch such a one for so long?"
"Restitution is already being made, great Lord. Haros will be dealt with. Already apologies have been tendered to the Wakeful One."
"I'm sure he made an enviable reply to the apologies," replied Khonsu with a terse wryness.
"Too much rides on this one mortal's future. Secure assurances and return to me. Also, know that the Wakeful One's patroness is a dark lady whom we never cross. Propitiate her through proxies."
Arbaces hissed and made the sign of the Eye.
"Do it! Or I'll have your entrails read by your successor."
"Your will be done my Lord."
"Beg her forgiveness, and his, and be gone."