“Bodhi?” Naida didn’t try to squirm out from under Bast’s paw, but put up a hand to keep her hair from being pulled out of its fancy dressing. “Bast?”
“Yes, dear,” They said almost as one.
“Where did the other little boy go? The other avatar? He was the avatar of Amun and Re’s avatar is the only one left.” Bast looked at Naida and sat up, washing the paw She’d just used to pin Naida down, claws spread.
“No, Bast,” Bodhi said with just the tiniest bit of disapproval in his voice. “You’re making me connect to this world again. Enlightenment isn’t exactly detachment, or disavowing the world you came from. Enlightenment is compassion.”
Bast shrugged and Kurama dared a tiny little growl at Her. “I think Re took him up. He’ll be reborn, probably.” She stretched. “If he wants to.”
“That’s good?” Naida was, if anything, more confused. Avatars and Gods… and Spirits and the one avatar vanishing. It didn’t seem that it was a good thing to be chosen as an Avatar of the Gods. “Is Sybaris all right, being avatar to Wadjet?”
Kurama barked and jumped. “I know the answer to THAT!” She circled around in a blur of white fur and ears and tails before settling back into Naida’s lap. “She’s FINE. She gave Wadjet her voice and the Lady of Flame will remember that.” She sat up. “Oooh look! Re sent Horus to fetch the Pharaoh and the High Priest!”
The blue tinted wings were visible even against the blue sky, almost transparent. The sun had almost touched the horizon by now and the Falcon raced the edge of Nuit’s robe, rising up from the east, the first few stars showing since the moon wouldn’t be up until much later, the Belt struck with red fire against the expanding dark.
Naida could just barely see a tiny figure crouched low on the Falcon’s neck, while another curled in massive claws. Naida was suddenly terrified, shaking, weeping. The sound of wings and she could almost feel talons all around her. Asteri scooped her out of Bodhi’s lotus with his snake’s tail, Kurama snapping and clinging to come with, hanging from her jaws.
“It’s all right, kitten,” all three of Asteri’s heads focused on her, Ram in the middle, massive horns curling over the other two, blending with the Lion’s mane on one side, the Serpent head that she hadn’t met yet a sea-serpent turquoise with fins and gills and bright, bright red eyes with gold pupils. “You’re safe.” Asteri’s voice was now resonant, three tones that locked together like golden rings. “We are your mother’s beloved monster and no winged thing will hurt you.” His wings flapped and covered up the whole sky so Naida didn’t see Horus landing, then vanishing. She buried her sobs in Asteri’s silky goat chest.
“I… didn’t think I remembered anything. I was just a baby.”
“Hey. Fang Face! You’re not the only one here to protect her. She’s MY hooman!” Kurama actually danced on one paw, on the top of Naida’s head so she could look into Asteri’s eyes. Naida hardly felt her there at all, like a feather on top of her head. “WE will keep her safe!”
“Indeed, little one,” Asteri rumbled solemnly, as if he had not been having adolescent monster fits just weeks ago.
Naida grabbed hold of Asteri’s fur and pushed away.
“Let me see what’s happening!”
The glory that was Amun-Re shone so bright that Naida squinted through her fingers to see a tiny little girl with the two crowns on her head, hands empty, and an older man who stood tall before bowing his shaven head before the God, sun-disk staff still clutched in one hand.