S3E08: Tiamat Bites
Season 3 | Episode 08
A festival to Father Enki ends up in tragedy!
The sun rises on what should have been a joyous day in the city of Babylon. My people bustle through the winding streets, smiles adorning their faces, pure laughter and joy in the air always gets my smiling and waving to them. As they make their way towards the great ziggurat at the east of town. It is the Festival of our Father Enki, a day to celebrate the Anunnaki who came from the heavens and bestowed their knowledge upon humankind. Musicians line the avenues, filling the air with upbeat melodies, and the smell of roasting meats and fresh baked bread wafts through the gathering crowds.
This will mostly be a human only festivity as, per Enki’s choice, the Anunnaki have all secluded themselves beyond Inanna’s Gate watching from afar. Humans need to get more and more independent from their benefactor giants.
As king, it is my honor and privilege to lead the proceedings. I have donned my finest robes, gold trimmed and woven with the symbols of my station. The weight of the ornate headdress I wear serves as a reminder of the gravity of my position. Though I govern with wisdom, there are always problems that elude easy solutions… this heavy crown is of those useless problems.
I push those more solemn thoughts aside for the moment and focus on projecting an air of calm assurance. My people look to me for guidance and stability. I must be a beacon to rally their spirits.
My wife Nanaya walks at my side, radiant as ever. Her insights are invaluable to me, though often she speaks in riddles, forcing me to disentangle the true meaning. But together we are stronger than either of us could be alone.
The scent of roasted meats and sounds of cheerful laughter fill the air as Nanaya and I make our way through the winding streets of Babylon. Citizens line the avenues, smiles brightening their faces at the prospect of celebrating Father Enki, who blessed us with knowledge and civilization.
Nanaya looks resplendent, dressed in an embroidered gown that accentuates her graceful figure. She gives my hand a gentle squeeze, her eyes communicating warmth and joy. I smooth my royal robes, embroidered with symbols of leadership, hoping to project an air of calm assurance on this auspicious day.
As we approach the central plaza before the great ziggurat temple, crowds fall silent in hushed anticipation. This is it. I take a deep breath and step forward. Citizens bow respectfully as we pass.
We pass under an archway carved with images of winged deities descending from the heavens. The crowds suddenly fall hushed with anticipation as we enter the central plaza before the massive ziggurat temple. This is it. I take a deep breath and step forward to address the gathered citizens.
Just then, a deafening boom shatters the tranquility! Searing heat explodes nearby, the shockwave flinging me violently to the ground. Ears ringing, I crawl through acrid smoke, flames licking at my robes. Blood-curdling screams fill the air. I scramble over mangled bodies sprawled in the dirt, desperation gripping my heart.
“No!” I cry out at the horrific devastation. Rage and sorrow churn within me. Who has done this? Eyes wild with confusion, citizens look to me for stability amidst the carnage. I long to comfort them, but chaos reigns. There will be a time for mourning, but now action is needed.
With great effort, I make my voice project strength and purpose. “Stay calm! Rescue the wounded! We must stand united!”
Nanaya let out an anguished wail, dropping to her knees amidst the smoldering rubble and twisted bodies. “No! This cannot be!” she cried out, tears streaming down her smoke-stained cheeks.
I rushed to her side, my heart twisting at her raw despair. “My light, be strong,” I urged, though my own voice shook.
She lifted her face to me, eyes brimming with sorrow. “Why? Why must we suffer so?”
I had no answer except to wrap her in a fierce embrace as sobs wracked her body. All around us, the air rang with the mournful cries of the bereaved. I steeled my nerves – action was needed now, not grief.
Drawing Nanaya gently to her feet, I turned to address my royal guards. “You! Begin tending the wounded immediately! And you – search the wreckage for any still trapped! Not a moment is to be wasted!”
The guards nodded grimly and rushed to follow my orders. Though chaos still swirled, focusing on the immediate needs of the people kept paralyzing despair at bay.
As we tend to the injured, I exchange worried glances with Nanaya. This was no mere accident. The precision of the blast points to experienced saboteurs. I suspect Tiamat’s hand in this, though I have no proof. If they seek to disrupt our progress towards unity, we must be vigilant. I order my remaining guards to sweep the city for Tiamat agents and double security at all public events. Still, unease gnaws at me.
“Check every crevice, question all witnesses,” I order. “We must uncover any trace of these cowards.” The guards set out on their search as I clench my fists in frustration. What twisted souls could conceive of such an act?
Following my king’s orders I started investigating the incident in my own way.
I can see a group of Babylonians with resentment hanging heavy on their frowns… a suspect group I decide to close in.
A broad-shouldered man with a serpent tattoo harangues the crowds. “You see how little Nabu cares? The Anunnaki trample us while he feasts! He only cares for his false Gods… where are they now that you need them? Why of all days they decided not to be here?” Angry murmurs rise around him as he speaks of violent revolt. I plead reason, but desperation has taken root and spreads like the plague.
As I turn to follow the agitator, a ragged child tugs my robe. “Please help us,” she whimpers.
That instant was enough for me to lose the agitator movements. I pushed my way through the panicked crowds, struggling to keep sight of the broad-shouldered man. Moments ago his shouts stirred up anger towards King Nabu and the Anunnaki. Now he slipped between tents and shanties, the serpent tattoo on his arm briefly visible before the press of bodies swallowed him.
I clenched my fists in frustration as he vanished completely. How dare this coward stir up violence then shrink from justice? The people looked to me, an officer of the court, for protection. Yet I allowed an agitator to sow seeds of chaos unchecked.
I had no choice but to return to King Nabu empty-handed. “A man with a serpent tattoo was riling up the people, claiming deceit by the Anunnaki,” I reported. “But he disappeared before I could apprehend him.”
The king nodded gravely, sighing with the weight of this new threat. I could only pray we uncover the truth before more violence erupts.
(Far from Babylon, Enlil paced within his dark citadel
What’s taking them so long. I’ve been planning this for over a month… why do I have to trust trained human minions?
(Suddenly, his gauntlet communicator buzzed and crackled to life).
“The mission was a success, my lord,” I could finally hear from my comms. “Fear and anger spread in the wake of the blast. These babylonians are ripe for rebellion.”
Ah, finally we have action!
“Excellent. We have drawn first blood against my brother’s pets. Tiamat’s bite will only grow more deadly. Initiate phase 2 on the mining shafts!”