The beautiful rowers, all in unison, beat in rhythm with the drums, with her own heart, with the turning of the stars overhead, as the temple dancers in their clockwork splendor played out the tale of Isis and Osiris, and the battle of the automata, and the resurrection of the beloved husband who must go down once more into the dark. Caesarion—for so she still called him in private, as did the Alexandrians, now more in reverence than jest—accompanied her in the headdress of Horus, child of the sun, with his falcon headdress. Overhead the mechanical falcons circled, spreading wide their wings and gliding on silk sails. That was another project, particularly beloved of the artificer-queen.
They might soar, might be like unto gods—
–though only mortal, only mortal. Remember that you too must die, she whispered, under the golden mask of her triumph.