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Interview with Osiris

Announcer: Welcome to Kemet Tonight, where we talk about the movers and shakers of the Two Lands. This evening, our special god reporter, Imhotep from Thebes, has been granted an invitation to visit the Duat—the land of the dead itself—to interview everybody's favorite king, Osiris! We're really excited to get a chance to visit the land that no one has ever returned from and find out what is going on down there! Imhotep, are you in position?

Imhotep: Yes, Nefernefer, I'm waiting for the Boat of Millions of Years to arrive at the edge of the horizon. This is pretty exciting.

Announcer: Are you nervous?

Imhotep: Of course I'm nervous. No mortal's ever gotten to ride on the Boat before. What if he doesn't let me leave?

Announcer: Don't be silly. This is the biggest interview ever. He has to let you leave. Wait! Is that him, over there to the right?

Imhotep: [gasps] Yes, it's the Boat! It's so beautiful…wow.

[The Boat of Millions of Years, a dazzling vessel that holds the sun itself, pulls up to the edge of the horizon. Without bothering to say a word to the reporter, Ra himself walks off the boat and disappears into the shadows, and all is dark.

Imhotep: I think that was Ra. Wait—who turned out the lights?

Osiris: I did.

Imhotep: [jumps as he notices the god of the dead materializing next to him on the steps to the boat] Whoa! Osiris! Um… er… Your Majesty, it's such an honor to meet you! Where'd you come from?

Osiris: [smiles in a mysterious way] You could say I came from Ra. He's the sun in the daytime, and I'm the sun after it sets.

Imhotep: That's… deep.

Osiris: [shrugs] Come on, night's coming. Let's get on the boat.

[Imhotep gets on the boat with Osiris, and the boat takes off into the Twelve Hours of the Night. At points of the interview, neither Imhotep nor the god can be heard over the noise of the various demons, lost souls, and other creatures floating around outside the Boat as it makes its way through the night.]

Imhotep: … so I was wondering what it's like to be—what the heck was that?!

Osiris: One of the gate guardians. I know his name, so don't worry. We'll be moving again in a moment. You were saying?

Imhotep: What's it like to be the king of the dead?

Osiris: Not much different than being the king of the living, but I don't get to see my wife except on certain holidays, and the afterlife's a bit bigger and more complicated.

Imhotep: I see. So what do you do to pass the time?

Osiris: I watch the stars, or talk to the people who come into the Hall of Two Truths, or plan next year's harvest. Sometimes I make beer. That can be fun. It's a nice place, really. A lot like the land of the living, if you're good.

Imhotep: What do you mean, if you're good?

Osiris: Well, nobody gets to come here unless they pass the judgment first. So you have to be good.

Imhotep: How do you know you passed the judgment?

Osiris: [smiles knowingly] Oh, you can tell. We weigh your heart against the feather of Ma'at, to see if you were good enough to deserve a place in the afterlife.

Imhotep: [nervously] And what happens if you weren't?

Osiris: [points at a creature sitting on the edge of the boat. It has the face of a crocodile, the front half of a lion and the back half of a hippopotamus] We feed you to Ammit.

Imhotep: [shifts uncomfortably in his chair] Ouch.

Osiris: Tell me about it.

[The boat comes to a halt. Sunrise seems to be happening off to the east.]
Osiris: Well, we're here. Sorry I didn't finish the interview; time to let Ra have his boat back. Come with me. Heart, please?

Imhotep: Thank you so much for letting us interview you, Your Majesty. It was a real pleasure… wait, what?

Osiris: [holds out his hand] Give me your heart.

Imhotep: But I'm not dead!

Osiris: [smiling] You crossed the night with the Boat. Nobody gets to go back from here. Sorry, it's the rules.

Imhotep: [looking at the camera in horror] Nefernefer! You promised—

Announcer [cuts in] Well! It's been a real pleasure to have King Osiris on our show. Next time, tune in for our exclusive coverage of the Weighing of Imhotep's Heart!

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