This novel is best viewed in my blog, completed with pictures and larger characters.
Chapter 2: The island and Egypt.
In the past 63 million years, the island successfully recharged 62 times. However, the last time he had an accident. One of the elements required for charging was depleted. He didn’t know it, so the energy inside accumulated all the way to another chain-reaction explosion. No Tisillium core was hurt during the big bang, but he could not recharge anymore. Only his master had this kind of manufactured element. He couldn’t just go back and ask them for it.
So he flew back and turned into an island again. Only this time he knew it would be his last. No matter how he preserved the power, he would die in a couple of million years anyway.
“It’s my destiny,” he thought, “to die in earth. So let it be.”
2 more million years passed.
The probe is getting really old and much less powerful. He already surprised himself to live this long. He grew immensely fond of his own creation, earth lives. He listened to the birds singing, wolves howling and lions roaring. He watches the whales splashing, leopards running and, and, and ...
And human making tools!
The probe finally found the civilization his master sent him for, again (dinosaurs made tools too). Only this time, he wouldn’t report it, and he would enjoy it as long as he could.
They reminded him of his mother planet. The long history of his civilization began with tool making mammals just like humans did. He started to put more and more attention to them. Unable to restrain to himself, he helped them a little bit here and a little bit there. The little humans didn’t know what really happened, and treated the miracles as some imaginary supernatural beings demanding their worship. So they started to develop various types of religions. Believing things that actually non-existed. He didn’t mind, as long as they didn’t bother him.
It was also fun to see the miracles had turned into different ways of interpretation. There was once he stopped a flood that affects all continents. The Egyptian slaves said a guy name Noah had built an ark. In China it changed to someone name Yu who had defeated the water god. Well, no matter what, the flood was over and little human’s population grew again.
They even looked like his maker, the barbarian aliens in the early days, all those memories really never died.
He had a good relationship with humans, which lasted many thousands of years, until 2700 BC.
The probe, aka the island, always liked to invite the elite of humans. He would choose a few candidates and transport them to the island. He would observe them, test their faith, teach them some skills and then send them back to their kingdoms. Most of them became effective and powerful rulers. One of his favorite candidates was an Egyptian called Imhotep.
Imhotep was a very smart and promising young man. He learned architecture all by himself. Since his arrival, he built a hidden stone cave where he could just turn and unplug a stone, then the water would rush down, and 10 minutes later the pit would be filled with water again. It was the very first automatic flush toilet in the history. The island loved his ingenuity.
However, sometimes being a genius is a bad bad thing.
It didn’t take long for Imhotep to sense the existence of the island.
Everything happened in the island, happened for a reason. A bird would lead him to a creek with clean water. A hog would bring him to a field that’s full of pine apples, which were his favorite food. He saw horses and rode on one of them. The horse then took him to a cave full of special scripts, from which he could learn a lot about ancient architecture.
He felt that there was something like an invisible hand. It pushed him, and made him do things.
A genius notices every little detail. They figured out things much faster than normal person. Unfortunately for the island, Imhotep was one of them.
One day when he walked over a rock, Imhotep noticed something: All the metal decorations on his clothes stopped clinking, and the clothes felt a little bit heavier.
Is it his imagination? He pretended to have lost the direction, and walk around there three more times. Each time he got the same reaction.
He remembered the spot.
2 months later, he found another spot that had the same peculiar behavior. He remembered that spot as well.
In one year, he searched the whole island and found totally 8 special spots. After he drew a map, he clearly saw a pattern: an octagon. After connecting all the dots together, he figured out a central location. It was the area that past the bamboos. That place was prohibited because they said there was a monster lived there. Now he viewed it differently, “It must be the heart of the island. One day when the island sleeps, I will go there and see it myself.”
Being in the island long enough, he knew the island slept from time to time. When he slept, all those magical happenings would stop.
It was a very risky move, but he made it anyway.
In a hot summer day, he pretended to be sick and stayed in his room. After everyone was gone he sneaked out. (Good old high school days.) He ran directly to the Bamboos.
Eventually, he found the cave with water fall. The cave was dark and lifeless. It just looked like any other cave. However, Imhotep knew he found what he was looking for, so he dropped a rope and climbed down.
Before the story continues, I have to explain something about the special material – Tisillium.
Tisillium is the toughest material in the universe. Nothing in the world can damage it. However, everything has a weakness. The Tisillium’s weakness is water, when it’s inside other materials, like inside a rock.
When a Tisillium core decides to hide inside a rock, it will fold all its atoms to a billion times and become the lightest material in the world, much lighter than the gas, so it can penetrate anything through the gaps between their atoms. Water, being so soft, of course will not damage any Tisillium atoms. It will merely create billions of short-circuits which will make Tisillium atoms lose an enormous amount of power in a short time. In the beginning, the Tisillium core had the water-repelling force field surrounding the rock to protect it from water. And the power of the force field was never an issue.
It was not an issue until 65 million years later.
The force field was shut down to save power 1 million years ago. At that time, the island’s main core, we called it the heart of the island, was hiding inside a perfect water proof granite rock. Force field seemed unnecessary. However, after a million years, now the rock had many cracks inside and out. It couldn’t protect the core any more.
Now let’s get back to the story.
Imhotep carefully explored the cave following the water flow. When stumbled onto a spot, he suddenly felt his clothes became very heavy. All the metal decorations were pointing toward the ground. As a curious young man, he wanted to know what was underneath. Being prepared, he took out a hammer and nails and started to open a hole on the ground. Immediately the ground started to shake...
The island was sleeping, or you can call it “in energy saving mode”. He dreamt of leaving earth and went back to his mother planet, where he was welcome back and regarded as the hero who discovered the new civilization. In his dream, he made a decision that he would do anything to leave earth and go back, even if it was death waiting for him.
When suddenly a bad feeling penetrated his whole body and he was forced to wake up, death was indeed waiting for him.
There was nothing else more panicking to see his precious power being drawn away from him than anything else in the world. His main heart was surrounded by water all in a sudden. Each moment he felt weaker and wearier. To his surprise, the one who did this to him was the one he liked the most: the always happy and cute little Imhotep, the one who he thought would never hurt a fly. He wanted to squash him into pieces, which in fact he was still capable of, but then he will die too. So he formed the yellow lights into a shape of alien (like the Star War’s 3D projection, only the color was yellow) and pleaded to the young prodigy, “Stop that, Imhotep, please. I will do whatever you want. Please save me!”
Originally, Imhotep had no idea of what actually happened. He was just trying to find some treasures on the ground. Out of nowhere a strange crocodile head alien suddenly appeared in front of him. He was startled for a while, but then he knew it, “This thing must be the master of this island. I just did something to make him dying. I wonder what that would be.” Seeing the water going down the hole on the ground, he immediately understood. So he said to the yellow 3D projection, “I can save you, whatever you are, but you need to pledge to be my slave, and do whatever I told you to do.”
(In Egypt 2700 years ago, slavery was the dominating social orders. If it happens today, we usually just ask for three wishes, but back in that time, Imhotep would expect nothing less than complete control.)
The island had no choice. Either he would die or become a slave. It was a little funny to see the strongest and most powerful material in the universe knelt down before a little human being and obeyed his orders, but what had been done, was done. Imhotep was satisfied, and he patched the hole so the water would not go in any longer. In a short time the water surrounding the core drain down to somewhere else, and the island’s heart was water-free again. It was survival with a hefty price.
After that near-death experience, the island learned a new lesson about human nature:
In the past, I have helped you humans so many times. I did nothing but good deeds for you. And now this is what I get for my kindness: almost got killed and forced to be a slave. From now on, I swear I will stay away from the human society, and I will not get involved in any of your business. I will let you fight each other, kill each other and rot in hell.
Though the pledge was made under a life-threatening situation, the island still treated it very seriously. Back in the alien home planet, if you have made a promise, no matter how small or how big it is, you will either accomplish it, or die doing it. The island broke a promise 65 million years ago: he failed to report earth’s location back to the base. It was out of the survival purposes, but it deeply shamed him ever since. He knew he couldn’t go through the ordeal of breaking another promise. So as long as Imhotep’s demand didn’t threaten his own existence, he would do it without a question.
The first command from Imhotep was the island should teach everything to him. It was proven to be very difficult, due to the limitation of the human brain, and the limited human knowledge at that time. Imhotep’s was not able to understand most things that the island filled him up with, but he was good at architecture, so he learn quite a lot about building techniques.
The second command was to build things. Previously he had been working on a statue made of bricks, so he asked island to replace the statue with pure granite, which the island complied immediately. In a matter of seconds the old one was gone, and a new beautiful large smooth white statue was there. Instead of thanking the island for a job well done, Imhotep was mad because it only took the island seconds to build, while he spent almost his entire life on the ugly old one. He questioned the island why he didn’t build the statue himself. The island replied, “It was supposed to be a test, and too bad you failed.”
Imhotep was furious. He ordered the island to build a water fountain above his heart, the same spot that he had open a hole. With the experience of building his flush toilet, he made a large stone plug himself, and put the plug over the center of the fountain.
“If you dare to insult me again, I will pull this plug and kill you. Is that clear?” he threatened the island.
“Yes, master.” The island replied, in a trembling shape.
Just like all the smart guys, Imhotep suspected that the island would find a way to kill him. He didn’t want to take any chances. So he gave a new order, “You need to promise me that you will also obey the orders from my children, and all my descendants, as long as they have my blood in it.”
The island was angry, “You want to enslave me forever? Why are you so greedy?”
“I am not greedy.” Imhotep said. He pointed at the other slaves around him, “They are in the same situation. Their sons and daughters are slaves since the day they were born. It is the way it has always been. You are the magical island at my service. How could I ever let you go?”
“But I created the world, I created you. I gave life to you, all of you. Why didn’t you show me your gratitude, or mercy?”
“Mercy? Ha ha!! You are so naïve! We humans have no such thing! We come, we fight, and we destroy. I let you live. That is the only mercy I can give you.”
“If that’s true, I promise that I will make all the progresses to end this soon.” The island said with a fiery tone.
Imhotep was a little scared, “Are you going to kill me?”
The island replied, “No, I cannot kill you. It’s against the rules. But one day, one day I will find a loop hole, and I will kill your family, every single one of your family!”
Imhotep felt a real chill all the way down to his spine.
Imhotep returned to Egypt as a high priest. He ordered the island to stay in Mediterranean Sea so nobody in Egypt could see it. Then he started to build pyramids with incredibly large stones. In the long history of Egypt, he was the first architect to do so. During his life he performed so many architectural miracles, that he was one of a few commoners who were accorded divine status after death.
Imhotep had a secret son. Snofru. Ever since he was a little boy, he would go to a specific spot in Tunisia, and got transported to one of the secret chambers of the island. There Snofru studied from the island and demanded him do things that no human beings were capable of. With island’s powerful magic, he became a pharaoh, and built many great pyramids. Under his rule, Egypt grew stronger and bigger. The new pyramids were always bigger than the previous ones. At the same time, the whole Egyptian people firmly believed that pharaohs were truly gods. No one dared to challenge their authority.
After a thousand years, the island finally found a loophole. He could not kill the pharaoh, but he could raise a team to do it. He started to choose individuals with utmost care. For each candidate he will watch his whole life closely before making a move on him. He called the leader of the team “Protector of The Island”. He would transfer some power to him, so he could perform miracles. It was the best way to earn his followers’ respect.
There was a young one who was a good potential. He saved his life a few times since he was born. He even managed to send him to live with a loyal family of Egypt. The young man had a good heart, but he was too perfect, that the island was afraid he might be another Imhotep, until one day the young man killed a slave-master and tried to cover it up. He knew it was time, so he approached him and asked him to be the protector of the island. The young man agreed, but on one condition, that one day he could lead his people out of Egypt. It turned out that they both hated the pharaoh’s control with a passion. So they made a pack right away.
Long story short, the young man served the island for forty years, formed a solid team and got a good candidate for the island to be the next protector, and the island kept his promise of bringing the man and his people out of Egypt. In the process, the pharaoh’s family was killed one by one, and pharaoh himself was drowned in the Red Sea. The secret of island was once again lost. The island finally broke free. He left the Mediterranean Sea immediately.