Ok, you see? This is what happens when I watch very old movies, like the Ten Commandments. I get ideas!
I had to create one Nation, but it feels canon to me, so I hope you like him!
Disclaimer: I don't own Egypt or that old Charleton Heston movie. I don't own the Bible either.
Beta'd by the ever so lovely Jackidy. Thank you so much!
And there shall be a Great Cry...
Egypt coughed violently as he leaned against a pillar, drawing strength from the cool stone. Blood flecked against his hand, but he steeled himself as he prepared to meet with his ruler, his Pharaoh. The young Nation was in the prime of his 'life,' looking to be no younger than twenty-five, but the recent plagues and curses upon his lands had taken their toll.
And why wouldn't they? Gupta was Egypt in all the ways his rulers tried to be, and that was why he was suffering. Where the Pharaoh waved the frogs and flies and other plagues off as coincidences, Egypt's very skin mapped out the pain and suffering his lands and people were going through.
Blood felt like sludge in his veins; a side effect of the Nile and other bodies of water being turned into blood themselves. His hair, once shiny black and luxurious, was dry and uneven, entire sections missing and dying, like the fields of grains that had been destroyed. While they were fewer in number than that of his populace, the boils and open sores that littered his strong body burned with a fire that spoke of infections and deaths outside of the palace walls.
And now, the darkness that had covered the land for the past three days struck at Egypt's' eyes, leaving him all but blind as he wiped blood off of his lips. Only his knowledge of the layout of the palace allowed him to walk into the Pharaoh's Throne Room without stumbling, his cloak flowing out behind him in a river of gold and blue fabric. Even as he joined the priests, advisers and Generals, he could sense the remaining fields dying, the last of the grains that had survived the locusts and brimstone. Without the straw from the grain, the remaining cattle would begin to starve as well.
Seeing the weakened Nation, an adviser nodded before moving to the side, allowing him into the circle. The young man nodded gratefully as he joined them, stifling another cough.
In front of him sat his Pharaoh, wrapped in his own cloak of gold and purple and blues like a sulking child before his dimmed vision. Blinking, the Nation suddenly hissed in pain as the darkness lifted, flooding his eyes with light as his vision returned. Seconds later, a priest raced in, saying that the darkness was lifting outside. Eyes watering, Egypt rubbed at his amber eyes, trying to let them adjust to the light.
"That man promised that the darkness would last three days, and it is just now lifting! Our people cannot take much more of this! You must release the Hebrews," a priest of Horus insisted.
The Pharaoh scowled at his priests as he sat up. "And weaken this great land more than it is! You would have us destroy our way of life, our workforce out in the fields, our laborers for the temples and tombs!"
Egypt cut in at this point, pulling his shoulders back as he blinked away final tears of pain. "Releasing the slaves may be the only way to save us now. The hardships we have endured will destroy us if they are not put to a halt," he barked, only to cough again, blood flecking against the gold armlets around his wrists.
"And we can purchase more slaves from Rome if need be!" argued the General of the Calvary. Behind him, the Nation suddenly doubled over, gasping for breath between coughs and gags, a pair of priests flanking him, trying to help him stop his respiratory attack.
It's the sight of the struggling Nation that finally swayed the Pharaoh. As the young man finally straightened, he sighed as he reclined back. "Bring him before us," he ordered, dismissing the priests and generals.
With a bow, Egypt slowly moved off, wrapping his cloak around himself to try and fight off the chills that ran though him from the phantom infections. He groaned in annoyance as his gold collar rubbed against a sore, re-opening it and smearing his blood under the gold. He ignored it though; it was only seeping, and wasn't anything to be worried about.
Now though, he was going to visit the dirty little secret of his rulers; one of the reasons the Hebrew were first enslaved, and the reason they allowed themselves to be enslaved. As he strode down into the dungeon area, he placed a hand on his hip pouch, feeling the few apples and pomegranate he had saved for his guest. He may not need to eat, but it was still enjoyable.
A pair of guards was standing in front of the door. Egypt frowned at the sight of them; they hadn't been there the last time he was down here. "Move aside, we have business with the prisoner," he ordered, glaring at the men balefully. Startled, they jumped to the side, allowing the Nation into the cell.
Looking up, the boy inside the cell gave the Nation a wan smile. "It's been a while, Gupta."
Egypt smiled at the younger Nation, even as he hissed as a new wound opened on the back of a calf, right above the gold anklet. Pulling the pomegranate out of the pouch, he tossed it to the youngster. Olive skin glowed in the fading sunlight, pouring in from the grated opening in the ceiling of the cave-cell. Black hair that should have been wavy was matted from poor hygiene, but dark eyes smiled up at him as he tore into the juicy fruit. "The past few weeks have been, stressful, upon my lands and people," he offered, giving a short laugh as he sat down on an outcropping of rock, right across from the young Nation.
The younger Nation smiled mysteriously as he looked up at Egypt, pomegranate juice running down his chin to stain his already tattered blue pants. "I know, I have sensed the outcries of my people," he said, black eyes boring into the amber eyes of the older Nation. "It seems that the faith of my people has outclassed the beliefs of yours."
"Your people are fanatical about their 'God,'" Egypt argued weakly.
"You call it fanatical, we call it our way of life." The un-named Nation shook his head as he looked up at the weak sunlight through the grate. Night was coming on quickly. He looked back down at Gupta, "I'm sorry that you're lands are being so badly ravaged," he said, dark eyes sad as the other Nation tossed him an apple.
Egypt sighed as he leaned forward, resting his arms on his thighs. "Well, hopefully it's over now. I know that my ruler is meeting with your prophet now."
The younger Nation shuddered suddenly, swallowing his mouthful of apple heavily. "I don't think so...," he muttered, a hand creeping up to clutch at his heart, as if it was in pain. "Sudden fear," he muttered before looking up at Egypt. "Something will happen tonight!"
The older Nation was already on his feet, passing the younger boy the rest of the fruit and a bread roll before marching out of the cell, ignoring the tightness in his lungs as he raced back up to the palace. Up near the throne room, he spotted one of the Generals, this the one for the city garrison, and he hailed him. "What has Our Pharaoh decided to do with the Hebrews?" he asked, falling into the royal we again.
The man shook his head before his country. "He plans to send out my men to kill all the slaves! All of the male children! Moses angered him somehow, and this is his answer," he offered.
Gritting his teeth, Egypt nodded his head once before storming off, heading into the throne room. The Pharaoh was still there, gazing out at the city, bathed in twilight as a gentle breeze blew.
"What is the meaning of this order to kill the Hebrews?" the young man barked, coming up right behind his ruler.
Dark eyes were like stony pieces of onyx as the older man continued to stare out into the city, focusing on the slaves quarters. "He threatened our son," he said shortly.
"Was it a threat or a warning?"
"Either way, they shall not be a problem after tonight." He finally turned to the Nation, smirking. "If you care for your fellow Nation, I would spend the night with him, because the Hebrews will not be in our land after this night." Chuckling darkly, the man turned and walked out, ignoring the stunned Egypt.
"So, he plans to kill my people?"
"I'm so sorry, there's nothing I can do. The Generals will not listen to me. Many of them have been wanting to attack your people for years now!"
"No, I'm the one who should be sorry."
"What? Why little one?"
"Because it will be midnight soon. My people have been sacrificing lambs from their flocks, and painting the blood on the post and lintels of their doors. Moses is going to call down one final plague, one that will smite all the first-born of Egypt."
"When it sees the blood upon the doors of my people, it will pass over them, but your people will have no such protection."
"...How much longer do we have?"
The young Nation sighed as he peered up, looking through the grate on the ceiling. "It has begun."
Almost immediately, Egypt gasped as the cold shot up his spine, shivering violently as he curled up onto himself. His eyes rolled up in the back of his head as he collapsed onto the rocky floor, flinching hard with the death of every soul. No longer was he Egypt, but all of the population out in the city. He was every mother, screaming in pain as they wake up to find their first born dead. He was the father crying out to find that their wives were still besides them, every child waking up to the cool bodies of their siblings. He was ignorant of his body convulsing on the ground, his head dancing on the rocks. He didn't know that the un-named Nation clutching him, trying to keep him from bashing his head upon the dusty ground.
All he was aware of was one fine burst of pain coming from the palace before Gupta finally blacked out.
It was the creaking of the door that awoke the two Nations the next morning. Wary, the two sat up from the ground where they had fallen asleep, Egypt groaning in pain from his convulsions.
The man in the door was obviously not Egyptian. Tall with sun-baked skin and wild, gray-shot hair, the man could be nothing other than a Hebrew. Immediately, Egypt recognized him as Moses, the man who was to lead the slaves out into their Promised Land, where the un-named Nation would take up the mantle of a True Country. Smiling sadly, Egypt nodded respectfully to the man as he struggled to his feet, the little Nation standing at his side.
"I am sorry that you had to go through that pain in order for our people to be freed," the man offered.
Egypt shook his head, wiping the blood from his eyes, tracing it back up to locate a large gash on his scalp. "My ruler was always a stubborn man," he said before patting the young Nation on the shoulder. "He's here to take you to your people little one."
"Will I ever see you again?"
"Maybe, in time little one. No," he shook his head as he kneeled in front of the Nation. "Little one no longer. You will need a strong name to use while you lead your people. Judah. I give to you the name of Judah, with my blessings."
Sniffling, the newly named Judah flung himself onto Gupta, giving him one last hug before following after Moshe. Turning back, the boy Nation smiled. "May God's protection be upon you."