The air hangs heavy, the pungent smell of the jungle primeval thick in the humid air. Growls, caws and screeches punctuate the mummers that pervade the area, shrouded in a twilight gloom. In the distance a drum can be heard, a deep bass that calls to her. Through the undergrowth and mist, Ana follows the sound to its source. Her spurs gone, she is no longer La Espuela, just another one of Aztlan’s children summoned home. As she pushes through the dense foliage, her destination comes into view: The Temple of the Sun. Rising high from the Miccoatli, it serves as a beacon for the true children of the land. It’s stone steps shining in the moonlight, the smell of fresh blood wafting down from the top. The path back to Teotihucan is not visible, covered in a fog from beyond this world. Not that she would go back, her time in that world had ended. The hazy memory of her final kill before the hail of gunfire cut her down brought her satisfaction. Jumping from the bike as she rode it through the crumbling floor, sinking her spurs into the man’s heart, the last pulse of the organ before it stopped beating. She could ask for no better ending.
Ana begins the climb, taking each step with purpose, savoring the cool, slick feel on her bare feet. How could the God of War not be pleased with his devoted? She had dedicated many victories in his honor, taken many hearts, and had died in glory. In the back of her mind, the hope that her allies had killed the rest and completed the mission lingered, but she is beyond that now. As she reaches the top, the blood slowly drips from the apex and sticks between her toes, still hot and alive. The drum is deafening now but the aural assault does not phase her. One does not show weakness now.
The first to appear as she crests the final stairs in Painal, the god’s messenger, beating the enormous skin drum in even time. His flayed body, striking it’s own covering with a skulled mallet, calling his master’s followers to battle. To death. The god himself is standing over the altar and the center, snake in one hand and dagger in the other. The serpent hisses as venom drips from its fangs, much like the blood off the blade next to it. He looks at her, through her, in her all at once, seeing all that she had done and had failed to do. She approaches the altar and bares herself for the deity before her, basking in his horrific visage.
“Huītzilōpōchtli. My glories are your glories, my victories are your victories, my life in sacrifice for your honor. May my soul provide fuel for the Sun so that you can continue to lead us in eternal war.”
The terrible god does not verbalize anything, simply raising the dagger over the altar in wait. Ana places herself upon the large stone slab, exposed for the god to take what has always been his. She prepares for the dagger to piece her flesh and extract her heart, feeling the exhilaration of the final moments. The drum beats as the dagger falls… there is pain and a sudden light pushing through. This was it this was… no… something was wrong what is happening Huītzilōpōchtli take me take…..
La Espuela’s eyes adjust to the light and she sees a man standing over her. This is not Huītzilōpōchtli! The shock of whitish gray hair and a wide, too wide, smile that threatens to blind her as much as the light. She tries to move but finds her body unresponsive.
“Wakey wakey my dear,” he says, tinted glasses reflecting a disturbing image of her body, “We are going to have some fun, you and I.”