In this subplot, we learn what the Sphinx and Eye of Horus were talking about.
Ten minutes after leaving the scene of battle, she walked down to a landing on a cliff bluff. Settling to a spot much as a cat does, she folded her wings. Her golden-blue eyes fixed on him and she smiled, showing sharp teeth almost as long as his forearm.
Feeling a bit unnerved in the presence of such a majestic being, Horus took a minute to gather his thoughts.
"Your appearance in E-town today added a bit of a twist on a rather perplexing situation. I was wondering if you could perhaps shed a little light on things for me? You see, I've had the "Eye" for a while now and thought that I had uncovered most of its secrets. That is why I felt confident enough to prepare for my first 'outing' as a hero. Unfortunately, I was rather forced into my initial confrontation by this maniac calling himself 'Ankh' who claimed to be my arch enemy; mind you I'd never seen the man before today… Oh, I don't know why I'm telling you all of this except that you seem somehow connected to it. Forgive me, I have been rambling; let me catch my breath after that wondrous ride!"
"Ummm. Who's Ankh?"
"I was hoping that you could tell me. He is a rather nasty fellow who just popped up and began spouting off about being my enemy and such nonsense."
Sitting down on a jutting rock, Nathaniel removed his three-quarter mask and dropped it contemptuously at his side. He hated to suffer the indignity of concealing his identity, but he realized the importance of protecting his family and friends from the dangerous enemies he would be making soon… and had made already, he remembered scowling. As he pulled out his pipe and tobacco pouch from the secret pockets in his costume he regarded the creature. Majestic was one way of describing her… and beautiful. He had never truly believed that he would one day gaze upon the creature immortalized at Gizha. Hell, he had never believed there WAS such a creature. But then he hadn't anticipated taking up a mask and cloak and jetting about with the super-types either. Still, he somehow knew that she was a friend and so he felt comfortable revealing his face to her.
After having assured himself that the pipe had not been damaged in the fray, he packed and lit it then took a couple of experimental drags from it.
The sphinx blinked and looked closer at the pipe. "You're on fire?"
Looking down at the pipe, he chuckled. "No, it is just a pipe. I use it to relax. It helps me think."
As the smell of chestnut wafted across the cliff and down toward the valley below, he continued.
"Now then, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm at a complete bloody loss to explain what went on today. This 'Ankh' fellow shows up and takes me through time and space to ancient Egypt where he proceeds to blast me with his powerful 'Stone of Ra' all the while claiming that he is a bitter enemy of the 'Eye', then the peasants who are building the pyramids around us revolt and start throwing rocks at him until he returns us to the present. I suspect that the whole thing was some sort of mind trick, but I can't figure out why he lost control. Then one of his own people turn against him and all hell breaks loose. We apparently hurt him pretty badly because he turned tail and ran after taking a couple of blows. Finally, as we were searching for the little girl, Rebecca, this glowing arrow suddenly points her out and you pop up to help! Now I don't mean to be ungrateful, but where the hell did you come from, how did you see the arrow when no one else seemed to, and if you're really the mythical Sphinx where have you been for the last couple of millennia?" Nathaniel's tone had gradually turned from restrained to exasperated as his frustration burst forth like a fountain. I really hate being this clueless, he thought to himself.
"Huh, huh," the sphinx nodded, "did this Egypt have any free cows?" She sounded a little plaintive and a little hopeful.
"Huh? Cows? No, of course not."
"I was out stretching my wings and looking for some lunch," she leaned in and whispered, well for her anyway, "I'm not supposed to eat any thing in the 'zoo?', why would you pen them if they're not for eating? Anyway I saw the arrow and thought maybe it was pointing to food."
She shrugged, "I came from the other side of town. I have good eyesight. And you humans rarely see what's in front of you. What does mythical mean? Is a millennia a measure of time?"
Nathaniel sighed deeply. Here was an ancient symbol of grandeur in living flesh and her only real concern was where her next meal was coming from.
"You were hunting for cows? Where do you live? What do you do besides eat? The legend of the Sphinx… look, there is a very large statue in Egypt, which is a dry desert country quite a distance from here, and the statue was built a very very long time ago by the ancient Egyptians. This statue looks very much like you, yet there are no recordings of anything resembling you since the statue was constructed. We humans had thought that you were just a myth, or figment of the Egyptians' imagination. If you have been alive for this long, where have you been hiding? If there are others of your race, where are they?"
One of the great mysteries of Egyptian mythology was standing in front of Nathaniel and quickly dispelling any mystique which it had previously held for him. This was going to be a looong day.
The sphinx blinked. "I do not know." Her large eyes grew misty and she cleared her throat. "You see, I'm lost. I'm not very old; only 80 of your years, as close as we can calculate. I am trying to find a way home."
She sat up and looked out to sea. "Maybe some fish will be nice. Perhaps you should talk to my friend, Isis. She owns a shop in the city. I don't want to talk about it anymore. It was nice meeting you."
With that she sprung into the air and winged out to sea.
Watching her form quickly disappear, Nathaniel sighed again. The scientist in him wanted to explore this mystery further, but he knew that it would have to wait; there were other matters to attend to. With that he rose to his feet, donned his mask and tentatively stepped off of the cliffside for the return to town. I wonder if I'll ever get used to flying. It's such an exuberant feeling, wafting through the skies like some great bird, Nathan thought as he began the long trip back. Aw bloody! How am I going to get my clothes back? I'll have to get a quick change before I return."