(1221 BC Earth Time)
The caravan moved out with surprisingly organized chaos. The dust filled the air along with the bellowing of the oxen pulling the carts and grunting of the camels as they protested their indignation at being driven along with kicks to their ribs and whips to their rumps.
It was a very hot day, scorching for even the most hardened Bedouin and Persian alike. Syria was to the west and Babylon to the east with deserts, bandits, and scorpions in the middle. It was a wasteland of antiquity that beckoned only the most intrepid souls looking for riches along the most famous of roads—the silk road of the east. Silks and spices from the Medes, the Persians, the Assyrians, and the Chaldeans converged in Babylon for further transfer to the west via this road, eventually arriving in Tyre.
A man and his wife were traveling with their collected companions, heading toward the seaport of Tyre—the gateway to the west of the Chaldean Empire. Having traveled for nearly a full moon cycle, the man and woman were desperate to reach Tyre and settle down to a normal life of leather-making and raising a family.
Choking on the dust and trying to shield his eyes from the sun, the man strained to look ahead of the oxen to no avail as the cloud of dust obscured his vision to within the length of the lead ox. The noise was deafening, and the stench of sweat and animal dung clung heavily in the air. After wiping the sweat from his brow, the man strained to determine what was happening at the head of the column because it seemed the caravan was slowing to a crawl.
A cry went up—a cry of warning and despair. People started running for their lives as dark-cloaked men on horses swept in from all sides, cutting down anyone foolish enough to resist them.
The man reached up for his wife’s hand and pulled her off the cart while putting his arm around her to shield her from any wild swings of death from above.
“Lydia we must leave the wagon now.” Eschkta smiled and held up his hand.
“What is going on? Why have we slowed? There is so much dust I cannot see.” Lydia says with a tremble upon her lips. She extends her hand and graps Eschkta’s to quickly disembark.
“I think it is raiders and we must run and hide my love. Please keep up with me.”
“Yes, yes I am right behind you.”
Running with the fear of death chasing them forward across the small plain toward the mountains, Eschkta and Lydia went unnoticed for a moment until three men on horses began to take up the chase. Eschkta looked behind and saw the riders approaching swiftly with swords twirling in the air, indicating their impending doom.
He looked skyward and evoked a prayer of promise that would be heard far beyond his understanding and answered in ways he could never appreciate or witness. If the gods would see to their safety and eventual escape, he would devote his firstborn to their cause, giving his firstborn’s life for service to the gods. Just as soon as he was done with the prayer, a light of immense intensity blocked out the sun and semmingly knocked him and his wife to the ground.
Upon reviving, Eschkta opened his eyes to darkness. Looking around, after letting his eyes adjust to the gloom, he found himself in a cave with stalactites dripping water onto stalagmites and into a pool of clear water just within his eyesight. Lydia lay next to him, sleeping with the rhythmic breaths of a deep sleep and hopefully dreaming of quieter times. Slowly he raised himself up to survey his surroundings and quiet his disruptive anxiety. He moved about the cave, inspecting the enclosure. After walking toward the entrance, he found they were high up on a cliff overlooking a valley of green trees and meadows. The sun was just rising over a mountain range, casting long strands of light rays down into the valley subsequently announcing a new day full of possibilities.
It was here Eschkta and Lydia lived until five new moons had passed, and it was here that the product of their love came into conception. Lydia shone with pleasure, and Eschkta basked in his wife’s happiness; each of them was grateful to the gods for their continued well-being.