EXTERNAL. CITY. DAY.
Helicopter shot over a very old city. Caption reads, MEN-NEFER. The buildings are low, and crammed together to support the mud brick walls. Some have reed roofs. A few homes have caved in, but families stay in residence. Graffiti in a modern style adorns every blank wall. Designs are vibrant and animated, stylized depictions of life on the Nile. Men-Nefer is in great disrepair.
OPENING CREDITS appear over a market scene.
Despite the condition, people still live here. Style of dress is mostly long cloth shrouds, largely identical for men and women. Men wear beards, women braids.
We follow AARON. He is a large man with thick, curly black hair, clearly wealthy. Metal bangles are looped around his wrists.
We enter a on open square where merchants have set up stands. Most sell fruit and fresh vegetables, and few have bolts of cloth. One man sells rings and jewelry. A tiny woman in the corner has set up a grill for meat kebabs that she wraps in parchment.
AARON stops occasionally to talk and to transact. We do not understand his foreign language.
A few trees have grown around the square and some people are taking refuge from the sun. Young couples lounge in the corners eating meat from parchment. A din renders all voices silent.
In the center of the square, a BUTCHER has a carcass suspended on a post. The head and feet have been cut away, animal is unidentifiable. His SONS help him lay out choice cuts on stone slabs. People crowd about the BUTCHER.
Blood is tacky in the streets, and people walk through it trying to make purchases. Pan up to reveal AARON as one of them.
OFF-SCREEN (OS) we hear the scrape of metal on stone, and a few frightened screams.
A group of men enter the square. All have shaved heads and wear only leather waist-shields with the Eye of Horus painted in green. Each carries aa khopesh sword. They are UDJET. Between them they push two nude PRISONERS with cloth bags over their heads.
PRISONERS hands are tied. Their wrists are torn and bloody.
A few people cry out in surprise, but all back off as the UDJETs push through the crowd.
UDJET knock down the butcher’s display. The butcher’s sons are pushed back at sword point.
BUTCHER pleads with the UDJETs, trying to get between his children and the sharp khopesh swords.
The leader steps on the platform. He is a man in his 60's, battle-hardened and scarred, but still of massive girth. Across his back is a metal-headed club that looks too large for a man to lift. He is HOREMHEB.
BUTCHER gets his sons out of the way.
Prisoners are forced onto the platform.
UDJETS have blocked the exits to the square.
HOREMHEB: Witness the Jubilation of Haru! Amun Re and his children are the true gods of the Nile. We have seen with our own eyes the day the Aten turned the sky black and covered the land with frogs and stinging insects. His servant the Heretic poisoned the Nile, killing the fish, the beasts and every first born child.
HOREMHEB stalks about the platform, making eye contact where he can.
HOREMHEB: We proclaim the glory of Osiris and Haru his son. These men worship the Aten! That god is forbidden. Goshen will love Amun Ra if the Hyka remain under the protection of Pharaoh.
HOREMHEB holds out his hands.
A UDJET gives HOREMHEB a Khopesh sword.
PRISONER 1 is forced to his knees and his hood is removed. He is a middle-aged man with a long, bristly beard.
HOREMHEB: Tell them that the Aten is a lie.
The prisoner hesitates. UDJET strikes PRISONER 1 with a spear.
HOREMHEB: Tell them the Aten is a lie.
PRISONER 1: Aten rises!
PRISONER 2: Aten rises!
PRISONER 1: Aten be praised!
PRISONER 1 is forced into a squatting position and his neck is bared.
Med shot, looking up. HOREMHEB raises the Khopesh with both hands.
Wide shot of the square. The crowd is silent.
Closeup of AARON.
Med shot of HOREMHEB. He chops.
Tight as blade strikes flesh. We see skin and muscle lopped open, and the immediate gush of blood. The blade is sharp, and stops only when it strikes bone.
Full-length on PRISONER 1 with reaction, falling to the side, nearly pulling the blade from HOREMHEB. PRISONER 1wails in agony.
UDJETS force PRISONER 1 back into position.
Closeup of blood drops on the stone.
Closeup of the wound. Bone is visible.
Med shot as HOREMHEB raises the blade. He chops.
Full-length on PRISONER 1. Head lolls to the side as bone is severed, but the blade is only half way through the neck. Prisoner is barking hoarse cries that can barely be heard over the screaming of the witnesses.