Castle Roland

The Prince of House Vladd II

by Arthur


Chapter 4

Posted: 23 Jun 16

The Prince of House Vladd

Book Two
Copyright © 2011, 2015 by Arthur

Peter and Swiftwing looked up at their two, now teenage sons, the boys stood immobile as the masses below them chanted and cried out in recognition, the time of the Toltec had returned in the form of two young teenage boys, the power of the ancients had been seen and now the young gods of good and evil could reign once again.

The two teens descended from the alter and came to stand in front of their two Fathers, with the innocents of youth backed by the knowledge of the ancients, Quetz and Tezca spoke in unison to their earthly Fathers.

"Will you still be our Dads?"

Peter looked at Swiftwing and saw that his lover had the same single tear in his eye as Peter felt in his own, they looked at the two teens and Peter answered for both of them.

"Of course we will, if you want us too."

Again the boys spoke in unison, one like the echo of the other.

"Yes Daddy P, we both want to be your sons, we always will be, it was you who saved us both, but we have to ask you a special favour?"

"Any thing; as long as you're both happy and safe."

"There's going to be times when we will have to do things that may hurt people, lots of people, will you still love us as your sons, even when we have to do these things?"

"Oh, Quetz, Tezca, we drink blood from men, how can we set limits on you, we both feel that you have wisdom far above your years, we know you will do whatever you have to for a good reason."

Both teens then let the hand of the other go and ran into the waiting arms of their adopted Fathers, Peter and Swiftwing felt the love come from the two teens as well as the feeling of power radiating from their new bodies, suddenly all four were conscious of the silence around them, looking up, they saw that the huge temple was empty, only the piles of food and flowers remained where not long ago, were a thousand people.

While Peter and Swiftwing were a little startled by the sudden disappearance of so many, all they could think of was the warm loving hug of the two teens, it had been sealed, they were now the accepted Fathers of the two most powerful gods of the Toltec nation and, unknown to them, there was far more to come in the very near future.

As they released their sons, Peter and Swiftwing felt the presence of a human, looking behind them they saw the old man standing alone facing the alter and behind him in the far darkness stood the other three. The elder moved forward and, with a very low bow to Quetz and Tezca, he laid his long carved staff at the teens feet, with a few ancient words, he stepped back and made room for the other three elders to follow his example until all four staffs were at the feet of the teens, with that accomplished, the four elders turned after one more bow, and left the temple.

Quetz and Tezca bent down and picked up the staffs, two each, one in the right hand, the other in the left, both Peter and Swiftwing felt the air around them move and again, the impenetrable darkness surrounded them for a few seconds, when the light returned they saw their two sons now held shorter staffs, the long ones had become no more than fifteen inches long but the detail on the top of the staffs were now more easy to see.

For Quetz the symbols were now of the Sun and the Serpent, for Tezca he held the symbols of the Moon and the Cat, all four staffs were of the usual stylised carving of the Toltec but the symbols were easily translatable, Quetz was the bearer of good and light, Tezca was the carrier of darkness and power, the two young gods were now complete.

An hour later and deep in the pyramid, Peter and Swiftwing watched through the open door of the boys bedroom, they had been on their way to rest up when they felt they wanted to check on their sons one last time, they stood with an arm around each others waist as they looked at the suddenly older sons.

Quetz was tightly spooned into Tezca's stomach, Tezca had one arm under Quetz head and around his chest, the other arm was holding Quetz tightly around the waist, from head to toe there was not and inch of open space between the two boys and the two new Fathers could easily see that Tezca's only other appendage was also well seated where it would best fit, both boys were asleep and seemed just like any other teenage boy at that moment, Swiftwing gave Peter a slight hug around the waist and began to lead his lover away from their boys room.

For the next two months people arrived at the pyramid, some in small family groups, others in larger numbers, each and everyone carried some form of gift, some were very valuable gem encrusted gold and silver jewellery and artifacts, others had simple food stuffs, even flowers of a very exotic nature, all were laid at the foot of the pyramid, the two boys would each time go down to receive the gifts and say a few words in the ancient dialect, Peter soon learned that it was an expected blessing by the boys.

Once, when Peter asked Quetz who all the arriving people were, he was told they were all followers, they came from all over South America, all were descendants of the Inca, Aztec, Mayan, or Toltec, all of the ancient peoples of South America, all had the same history in one form or another but the one underlying fact was the return of their twin gods when the time was right for them to again take their true place in history.

While the two boys had been hard at their old duties, Peter and Swiftwing had been keeping a close eye on the happenings further up North, President Carabine was quickly settling old scores, his outrageous policies were becoming more restrictive and destructive, his pogroms were now taking on the look of genocide as first one then another of the established religions was outlawed.

All Muslims were deemed to be either terrorists, supporters of terrorists or suspected of being in league with terrorists, the jails began to fill as the National Guard set about rounding up all known or suspected Muslims, there were also many good god fearing Americans who were only too happy to help in this clean up.

Next were the fringe religions, it was easy for Peter and Swiftwing to see where it was all going, each day or two revealed a new edict, there was no longer a Congress or Senate to temper Carabine's desires, the whole country was under the newly enacted Martial Law, only President Carabine could end it and it was obvious he had no intentions of giving up such total power.

All troops overseas were withdrawn without consultation; his explanation was they were needed more at home than in some distant place that could not look after its own affairs, President Carabine had more important things to do than be the policeman of others problems, oil or no oil, the President was going to have his way, and his way was the way of gods word, he had seen it all in the good book and anyone disagreeing with him was quickly cast as one of the devils spawn.

Slowly, at first, the countries of the world began to remove their diplomats, first, the South American countries, they were quickly followed by the smaller nations, the next blow to President Carabine's pride came from the countries he had had his troops in, the Middle East, all were oil producing countries but, even this did not deter President Carabine in his quest to make sure America was truly God's country.

Across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, huge oil tankers suddenly received orders from their owners, they were to immediately turn around and make for other designated ports, their valuable oil was not to be unloaded on American soil.

Two of the last embassies to close were Canada and Mexico, as the diplomats left, the borders of both countries were sealed and extra troops were put at the barriers to make sure none but the people of their own country crossed into their respective lands, the U.S.A, was now isolated from the rest of the world, except for their biggest creditor, China.

President Carabine sat in the oval office, the departure of the embassies had been a little shock but not unexpected, at least now he could go his own way without the perpetual interference of outside policies and diplomats, as he sat and planned for the next part of his offence against the evils of man, the red phone by his elbow rang in a soft muted tone, it could only be one person as it was a direct line to the Premier of the Peoples Republic of China, President Carabine lifted the handset, he had little to fear from the man, the country owed China close to seven trillion dollars and the Chinese were nothing if not mercenary, the dollars would come before any action against the U.S. would be taken.

"Mr. Premier." President Carabine replied as he heard the voice of Premier Sheng Chang Yu on the other end of the phone connection.

"Mr. President, I must apologise for the reason for this call, it is beyond my own personal power to resist, I have the unfortunate duty to inform you, that the Committee of the Peoples Republic of China have voted that the United States of America must forthwith, fulfil all its monetary obligations to the Peoples Republic, should your country fail to meet these obligations, the Peoples Republic will be forced to take the necessary actions."

"Mr. Premier." President Carabine's voice was distinctly frigid as he spoke, "Just what do you mean by having to fulfil our obligations, we have at all times met the required loan payments and there has been no default on our part."

"Mr. President, included in the conditions of the loan contracts is a rider, that states, if the U.S. comes under political or rebellious attack then the full value of the loan is to be remitted to the lender, Mr. President, that time has come, we are calling for the full repayment of the loan and, until your country is once again stable, we will be unable to assist in any way."

Carabine was on the verge of going ballistic, his face became redder and his breathing shorter as he took in the full implications of the Chinese demand, if the U.S. repaid the loan in full, it would be virtually bankrupt, it was at this stage that Carabine realised he had been right all along, the world only wanted what the U.S. had, it was always the way, these foreigners and dictators were only after the freedoms that the U.S. was so proud of, President Carabine huffed noisily as he made up his mind, now was the time to stand up to these chink upstarts.

"Mr. Premier, the U.S. has always stood for freedom and enterprise, we will not be blackmailed by the likes of you, from this moment your Embassy is no longer valid on these shores, you will remove your diplomats within the next five hours or they will be arrested as illegal aliens, as for your extortionate loan, consider the fact I am allowing your subversive diplomats to leave as full payment, good bye, Mr. Premier."

President Carabine slammed the phone down and then. In a fit of anger, reached down and pulled the wire from the wall socket, the U.S. had been pandering to the Chinese for far to long, it was time they were put in their place and kept there, a new form of edict snapped into Carabine's mind.

He had over the last four months, managed to institute the one church, all other religions were now banned, all assets and monies had been seized and redirected to the accounts of the Destiny Church, any land had been confiscated and redistributed to the many new bishops of his Church, as each Embassy had been vacated, he had set his troops to rounding up and deporting all peoples of that country regardless of their legal standing in the U.S.

All citizenship papers of foreign nationals were revoked and every available ship was put to carrying the now displaced people off shore, due to the loans with China, he had refrained from deporting any of their people but now that the loan had been called in, he had his final excuse to get rid of them from his shores, only true patriotic white Americans would be allowed to live in this country of God and all would live by his rules.

To make space in his prisons for the many defaulters, President Carabine had ordered all white Americans released from the prisons and hired as special security personnel under the orders of the President and his military advisors, these ex prisoners were then trained and armed, they were used to find and evict foreigners no matter their legal status, America could not be free until all aliens had been sent from its shores and only the white god fearing Americans were left.

There were only three states that withstood his edicts but, he would soon bring them to heel when all the others were more settled, any resistance to his orders was met with force, only the three defaulters were a problem, one, Hawaii could be left to its own devices, he had pulled all military personnel from its heathen shores except for a small force to keep watch in the last Naval Intelligence office on Maui, all other personnel were on their way home.

The military had been ordered to go through all its records and mark all and any servicemen who were not white Americans, when the ships finally docked, all those not of pure American stock would be discharged and deported, only true Americans would be allowed to bare arms.

His other problem states were Alaska and California, California had always been a problem, they seemed to live in a dream world made by the movie moguls, he would have to break them of those habits, already he had banned the making of any further movies without his personal clearance of their content.

Alaska was a real problem, after the closing of the Canadian border, the pipelines from Alaska had come under threat, the valuable oil they carried was now the only supplement to the oil held by the U.S., although this was a worry, President Carabine had no illusions about protecting his interests if the Canadians decided to close off the pipelines, in two weeks all overseas troops would be back home, if he had to invade the west coast to protect his pipeline then he would do it.

President Carabine had no doubt he was the answer to all the problems of the U.S., he had been assured that all devil worshipers and those who would not follow the Destiny Church were now under control, even the hints of devil beings had been for nothing, there had been a raid on an unusual building in one of the southern states, it had been reported that street kids were telling stories that werewolves and vampires lived there, it was, of course, all fanciful dreams of young minds that had no valid Christian ethic, he would soon change that when he had rid America from the influence of foreigners.

The suspected house had been no more than a warehouse used by street vermin, although it had been renovated recently, there had been no sign of life anywhere in the building, it appeared the owners had never used it once it had been finished and, as to the fable of weird creatures, it was of course, false, God would never allow such things to exist in his world, they were just scary stories if idle minds, that also he would change.

But what to do about California, they were already talking about annexation, that he would never allow, Texas had been a tough state to bring under his control and he had had to have a number of its representatives arrested and imprisoned as well as a large military presence in the state capitol before they came to their senses and joined his Church and followed his rules.

President Carabine lifted up the red file folder, it was marked for his eyes only and was headed EMIGRATION it was a daily list of the numbers of aliens begin deported from all coastal ports, the rules for this were very strict, they were allowed one small suit case of clothes, all cash, valuables, credit cards and any other form of cash or credit were to be turned over to the authorities, those who tried to smuggle anything out of the U.S. met very severe penalties, some even disappeared and were never seen or heard from again, the unit responsible for making sure all valuables were turned over to the State were the same men who were once guests of the U.S prison system, who better to know how to hide things than the very men who made a living of it, was President Carabine's opinion.

His first order to bring California into line was the ending of any Federal monetary assistance, they were now very deeply in debt and their infrastructure would not last long before the citizens began to rebel, with no movies being allowed to be made and all finance for them halted, many of their once rich citizens were now finding it harder to meet their extravagant expenses, their life styles were beginning to drop, it would not be long before President Carabine had his way.

Now he had the Chinese problem, his first call was to the U.S. Treasury Department, all payments to overseas loans was halted, there would be no pay back to the Chinese, they could go and whistle for it, he had a whole country behind him and with all his troops home soon he would be able to withstand any advances the Chinese might try to make.

The President sent out his next edict, All Asians were now to be considered ‘persona non gratis' anyone of Asian descent was to be deported to the nearest non American country, all financial restrictions were to apply, President Carabine called in one of his secretaries and issued the order, it was to be sent to all Emigration specialists for immediate action, the President sat back and sighed with satisfaction, at last he could now make America great again as long as it was under the rule of the Destiny Church and the direction of President Carabine.

Peter and Swiftwing read the latest reports that their computer experts had hacked from the government mainframes, all military traffic had been watched as well as all and any government orders, Peter's people were probably better informed on what was happening than Carabine's own people were.

Quetz and Tezca had deactivated all of the safety features of the three floors below the temple so that Peter's people had more space to live in, only the next two floors which were the treasure floors, and the ground floor where the exit/entrance were to the base of the pyramid, were kept active, anyone wishing to wander around them had to have one or other of the boys with them as there was no other way to deactivate the deadly traps of the ancients.

Still the native people arrived at the pyramid to see for themselves that the two young gods had returned, each new arrival brought some form of offering and, once blessed by the two boys, would melt back into the dark green of the surrounding jungle, Peter estimated that there had to be somewhere around ten thousand people now spread throughout the area although very few were ever seen but each morning there would be mounds of food and flowers laying at the base of the pyramid as offerings, the new residents of the pyramid wanted for nothing.

Each evening, Peter would read through and correspond via web messenger with his Council and any other of the folk that wanted his attention, a picture began to form of how his people were spread through the Southern continent, in most cases they had had an easy transition and were welcomed by many of the folk who resided down there although there were the occassional small disputes, most times they were settled in the usual way of the folk and did not need any rulings from the Council.

Peter made sure he kept in contact with Torson in House Vaga, they had been investigated but he had got all his boys safely down in the hidden cellars and waited out the investigation up above, only those who had to feed went out, and then only during darkness, their supermarket had been taken over by some members of the Destiny Church and the club had been closed and then stripped of everything valuable but the secret exits of the Vaga had gone undetected and they still had access to the streets but had to keep a very low profile.

Peter went over some of the plans forming in his mind about helping Torson and his boys but it would be a while yet before they could be put into operation, in the meantime, Torson would have to play it as he had been, during the time of the deportations they would be relatively safe but they would have to be very careful once it had all settled down, Carabine would then be looking for something else to rule over.

It was now only two days until the rising of the full moon, Swiftwing began to feel an unusual sense of being pulled in the direction of the nearby jungle, this strange feeling had been building for a few days but now close to the full moon it had become almost irresistible, Swiftwing went to find Peter and discuss it, after an hour of thought and suggestions, Peter finally talked Swiftwing into following his feelings and Swiftwing set about preparing as best he could.

The last piece of the puzzle was put in place by Tezca and this convinced Swiftwing to start his unknown journey.

"Dad, you have to go, it's time to find yourself for the last time." Tezca told him when he saw the indecision on Swiftwing's face.

Swiftwing smiled at his second son and sighed in acknowledgement of the teens wisdom, it was obviously a message from the spirits and there was no way he would defy them, Swiftwing shrugged his small medicine bag a little higher on his naked shoulder and gave Tezca a tight hug with his free arm, with a quick kiss on the teen's forehead, Swiftwing set his steps for the nearby jungle.

As he moved forward, Swiftwing for the first time noticed the low hum of voices and the clink and clank of tools around him, taking more notice of his surroundings, Swiftwing now saw that the influx of people had another purpose, it seemed every man, woman and child was quietly working away in the jungle surrounding the main temple pyramid, Swiftwing began to get glimpses of recently revealed old ruins, now though, the old stones were being cleaned and repaired by the many new people of the ancients, the old city was being brought back to life one stone at a time.

Swiftwing moved on, his eyes seemed to see a path that was not their to the normal eye, his extra sharp senses picked up the myriad sounds of the surrounding jungle, his eyes saw the subtle movements of small insects and reptiles, his eyes saw the quick movements of hidden denizens as they went about their lives, his nose picked out the subtle scents of tropical flowers and even the less noticeable smell of pheromones from mating insects, all around him the jungle was alive and vibrant but to a human eye all was silent and still, Swiftwing moved with grace through the life around him with wonderment at his Creator for all the good things he had given man.

Swiftwing moved on with no idea where his steps were taking him, a calmness overtook him as he moved with smooth strides through the unfamiliar jungle but all around him was peace and a strangely comforting feeling. Occasionally he caught small glimpses of old stone works covered in jungle vines and small plants, he realised he was still moving in what had been a vast city of the ancients.

It was just on dusk when he got the feeling that he had arrived where he was meant to be, as if told by some unseen force, Swiftwing stopped and opened his medicine bag, from it he took the two necklaces and placed them around his neck, next he took the two eagle feathers that he had now bound together for a two quill fan, his hair was now loose and flowing as it lay almost to the middle of his back, only the red headband kept it out of his eyes, Swiftwing moved forward again and then saw, appearing out of the surrounding trees, another small pyramid.

Swiftwing looked up at the small version of the home pyramid, this one was very plain and only about 30 metres high, at the very top was a small square stone building, its front face open to show nothing but blackness inside, slowly, Swiftwing followed his innate instincts and began to climb the stone steps to the small square cairn on top.

Once at the top he saw a small cleared area in front of the opening, carved into the stone were a myriad of ancient symbols that he could not read but at the same time seemed familiar, Swiftwing, as though commanded by unseen forces, lowered himself into a cross legged position in front of the dark doorway, he took from his bag the small stone pipe and held it in his right hand, in his left he held the feather fan, Swiftwing closed his eyes and let the spirits come to him.

Time stood still for the semi naked Shaman as he sat and waited for what might come, darkness had fallen as he sat and patiently waited for the reason of his being here, it started as no more than a light breeze against his skin, then, a light touch like a Childs fingers running over his shoulders, slowly the feeling grew, it was now like a swirling wind around him, his long silken black hair was being lifted from his skin as though pulled by an unseen vortex and still he sat and waited with his eyes closed and his mind open and bare for the spirits to look into.

Had anyone been up and watching in his direction as the moon rose higher in the evening sky, they would have hidden in fear at what they saw, above the old stone ruin was now a dense black vortex of small vampire bats, they formed a solid funnel starting just above the head of a semi naked Indian teen and growing ever larger as it rose higher into the night sky, the vortex was made up of thousands of the small vampire bats and , if they had been watching, the numbers grew as the moon rose higher, the solitary figure below them remained immobile as the black funnel swirled around and above him, the boys long black hair was now being pulled upward by the strength of the updraft and still he sat and waited.

As the moon reached its highest point in the sky, the vortex suddenly became a thick black cloud that hung above the small figure as it pulsed with the life of many thousands of the small black bats, only one single bat remained near the young Shaman, slowly it descended and settled onto the Shamans bare knee, close to where the boy held the old stone pipe.

Swiftwing opened his eyes and looked down at the small black animal, its eyes were watching him with an unwavering intensity, its miniature fangs could easily be seen in its rodent shaped mouth, the large ears were twitching as it listened for any sounds of danger while above the black cloud continued to move in pulsating shapes that swirled and changed as those above circled the two solitary figures in the darkness below.

Pictures began to form in Swiftwing's mind as he looked with interest and understanding at the small animal as it clasped tightly onto his bare skin, here was another messenger from the spirits, and so Swiftwing opened his mind further, he was suddenly flooded with another form of knowledge, one he had never thought of, not only did his understanding of the Creator grow but a plan of how they were going to be able to not only return home, but how President Carabine could be defeated.

As the last of the information was placed in his mind, Swiftwing became aware of the heavy orange scent of the rare Death Orchid, this was so rare that it was only the local natives that knew of its existence, Swiftwing himself would not have recognised it but for his new knowledge.

The Death Orchid was found only on the Yucatan, it was no bigger than a thumb nail and bloomed only over the five days of the full moon, two days prior to the full moon through until two days after, at this time, the sap of the flower stem was a virulent poison, it was used in ancient times in minute doses, to dull the senses of the sacrifices before the living hearts were ripped from their bodies as a gift to the two gods, now Swiftwing was given the knowledge of how to harvest and prepare the sap as well as the ability to find the small sparse flowers when he need to.

Swiftwing barely felt the bat leave his knee but saw it take flight and head towards the dark opening of the stone cairn, as if it was a signal, the huge mass of cloud above him descended and was soon swallowed up in the blackness of the cairn, slowly, just as the first rays of dawn snuck over the top of the trees, Swiftwing again closed his eyes, inside his head it was like a vast blackness and swirling in the blackness were thousands upon thousands of small bright lights like the stars in the sky but, these swirled and turned as though controlled by an unseen hand.

As the first calls of the awakening birds of the jungle began their dawn chorus, Swiftwing began to understand their various languages, he heard the calls of the birds as they made ready for another day and the chirps of the night insects, as they went to their havens until the next night, everything around him became alive and, Swiftwing understood it all.

As the first rays of the rising sun hit the small temple, it lighted upon the many vines that covered the stones; they too became alive and. With infinite slowness, sent out their tendrils towards the still figure as though searching him out, from their slick green skins, small polyps began to form in the warming sunlight, an hour later and the polyps were swollen and ready to emit their contents, by now, even Swiftwing could feel the gentle caress of the thin vines on his naked skin, but, still he sat in his trance and watched the swirling mass of light in his own head.

As he waited, Swiftwing now saw that as each bird called, one of the swirling lights would flare and Swiftwing would hear the interpretations of the bird call, in his head he now held the universe of the jungle, soon the pervasive smell of the young vines began to invade his senses as the swollen polyps softly popped and the minute green spoors became a cloud surrounding the young Shaman, it began to settle on his bare skin, then it was on and in his long flowing hair, a short time later and all that could be seen was the vague outline of a seated figure under a green blanket of living green, but still he sat, time was no longer a factor in the miracles that were taking place with the young Shaman.

The pin points of light in Swiftwing's head were now flashing in a larger and larger cascade of light as he felt the life of the plants and trees talk to him in new ways, he felt the sap running, he felt the stretch of new bark and he felt the glory of new leafs unfurling to taste the sun for the first time, Swiftwing was for the first time, truly alive and in his element as the lifeblood of the Creator was poured into him, now he was a part of the natural life of the planet, with this new understanding.

Swiftwing opened his eyes once again and, through the mists of green that covered him from head to foot, he saw emerging from the black hole of the doorway, the large figure of a semi winged serpent and in his mind was the one word repeated endlessly, "QUEZTLCOATL" over and over again it ran through his mind and, just as it was about to overwhelm his sanity, from the dark depths walked the twin images of his two sons.

Above the head of Quetz was the bright glare of the sun, above Tezca was the more subdued blue light of the moon and, from the misshapen mouth of the winged serpent came a hissing voice that echoed in Swiftwing's head as the swirling lights that had been there before, dimmed and made way for the thoughts and words of the serpent, the words seemed to form in colours but were easily understood by the newly awakened Shaman

"Entrusted to your care are my two selves, he who is known as Quetzalli and he who is known as Tezcatlipoca, our time has come and you will lead them to a new freedom, take all the Creator has given you and use it wisely, for, as you are the last of yours, they are the last of mine, when the time comes, they will lead the way of rebirth and man will return to the true Creator."

A sudden stillness and quiet descended over the small temple and Swiftwing slumped into unconsciousness as the last of the sunlight disappeared over the far off horizon, the surrounding jungle darkened and the night sounds began to intensify as darkness took over, Swiftwing remained sitting although he was in the deep sleep of exhaustion, his body seemed to be held up by the hundreds of small vines entwined around his body.

That was how he was found the next morning by the four elders, slowly they began to carefully unwind the clasping vines from his young body, small puffs of green spoors began to fill the air around them as they worked, finally he was free, only the green covering his skin remained, carefully they helped the now awake young Shaman to his feet and, with careful hands, they helped him to walk down the steep steps of the old temple, the small puffs of spoors falling as he walked, wherever the spoors fell, a new miniature vine began until, behind Swiftwing and the four elders, there was a new carpet of green that outshone all the other greenery around the pyramid.

Swiftwing was lead by the elders back to the main pyramid, inside himself he could feel the need to feed, it was then that he knew he had been away for far longer than the single day and night he had thought it was, he could feel his own weakness as he was helped up the long steep steps to the temple and placed in the care of his beloved Peter who, somehow, had known that he would be hungry and had two men held by Levi and Caleb, ready for him, without thought, Swiftwing attacked and filled himself with new life giving blood, as soon as he was finished, all strength left him and he collapsed into Peter's arms and was carried to their room to rest, it was two days before he could again open his eyes and look around him.

As Swiftwing's eyes opened he became aware of two warm bodies lying close to his own, looking to either side he saw his two sons curled up asleep, one on each side, using all his ability to move without disturbing the sleeping teens, Swiftwing slipped from the comfort of his bed and looked around the large stone walled room, as though he had an inbuilt radar, Peter appeared in the doorway and smiled at his partner.

"Hi love, you look better, what happened, you were away for six days and nights, I was starting to get worried."

Swiftwing smiled at his lover and went to him, clasping Peter in a tight hug, Swiftwing set about relating all that had gone on while he was away.

When he had finished, Peter then told him about the two boys and how they had refused to leave Swiftwing's room while he was asleep, they seemed to have a closer bond to the young Shaman now that he had returned, Peter then told Swiftwing all that had been going on while he was away, it was no surprise to Swiftwing that things up north were worsening rapidly as Carabine grew in power, the new edicts were now becoming repressive to all but his own circle.

Peter had been spending most of his time with the other members of the council on video conferencing as they tried to work out a plan to re-establish their homes once President Carabine's power waned, which they were sure would happen some time in the future. Outside the pyramid, the crowds continued to grow as the word spread of the return of the twin gods, it was also evident that those coming in from all over South America, fully had the intentions of rebuilding the city of stone and taking it back to its days of glory under the Toltec.

Each and every morning, the two teens would go out and bless all those that had just arrived and, each and every morning, there would be food and offerings left for the new occupants of the sacred pyramid, the jungle around the ancient stone city began to come alive and, slowly the area around the center of the city was cleared, old stone paths same into being after the ground cover was neatly cleared, the great square blocks of stone were also coming back into their old state, centuries of greenery and grime fell away under the careful assault of the devotees as they prepared for the advance into the promised land of the twin gods.

It was fully a week later when the people began to notice the changes around the temple pyramid, Swiftwing would often be called by the four elders to go into the jungle with them, when asked by Peter, Swiftwing would explain he was asked to request permission from the Creator to remove certain trees and plants from the clearing operations.

The next noticeable thing was the abundance of snakes, scorpions, birds and the occassional stealthy approach by Jaguars around the city, even with the increase in these many dangerous creatures, not a single person was ever attacked, even the deadly Fer De Lance just moved out of anyone's way as the people went about the business of cleaning the old city, it was also noticed that whenever the two teen gods appeared, there would suddenly be two or three very large boa constrictors appear from nowhere and settle close to the boys, it was the last defining moment for the people working below, only the gods themselves could have controlled so many wild creatures and not have a single fatality among the cleaners.

The site of the city became more and more joyful as the gathering thousands worked to reclaim the ancient city, wherever possible, the mighty trees of the jungle hardwoods were left where they grew, even if it meant they had to leave a place in the centre of the ever enlarging square in front of the pyramid temple, it was under Swiftwing's tutelage and advice that these mighty trees were left as they were, from their many strong branches came an ever increasing chorus of birdsong as more and more exotic birds settled into the welcoming branches.

Every day there was a plethora of colour as the birds took to the air in search of food, below the birds, the stone city was becoming more apparent as the clearing accelerated with the influx of more followers of the twin gods, for Peter there was little to do, here, the two boys were rulers and his love, Swiftwing was always in demand for his special talents.

Peters main concern had been the need to feed his people, the humans were well catered for but his vampire folk and those of the Canine and Feline folk needed much more than fish and vegetables, the problem was solved by Ramon Delgardo, the streets of the towns and cities were awash with criminals as they were pushed across the borders of the U.S.

Each week there would be an arrival of a 20 seater mini bus, cuffed and tied inside were those picked up by Delgardo's agents, as each one was brought to Peter, he would scan them then decide what their fate would be, very few were released and made to work for Peter's people except for those who were very young and had been used as pawns by stronger criminals, these few odd boys were given the chance to become servants to Peter and his people or, become a meal, the five or six boys took the only chance they had and were now employed in the rooms or kitchen as cleaners, they had been told from the beginning that there would be no escape as the natives rebuilding the city would soon take care of them if they tried to run.

The city of the Toltec was revealed more and more as the days passed, there were now so many people around the city that it at times appeared like an ants nest as they all scurried about clearing and cleaning, the outside of the temple pyramid was now clear and clean, its dark blue stone shone in the sun light and the stone walkways and frontal square was now clear of all greenery but those designated by Swiftwing as special trees that were to be left in honour of the Creator.

Slowly the city appeared out of the surrounding jungle, walkways and avenues appeared where before there was only the encroaching jungle, all of this clearing did not go unnoticed by outsiders, satellites flying high overhead began to notice the difference in a once green canopy, rum ours began to do the rounds as word got out to the towns and cities further afield, it was no accident that the city began to become a target for those who had no understanding of what it represented.

It began as a few opportunists trying to make a quick peso or dollar and, for a short time it looked as though the city would come under siege of another kind, but the natives soon found a way to make outsiders stay away, at first it was the capture of small groups of treasure seekers but when they returned from the jungle depths, most looked as though they had seen ghosts or such horrible events that they refused to talk about it, others were made of hardier stuff and, arming themselves to the hilt, they tried to invade the newly discovered city if stone, none returned to their home cities, their disappearance raised little reaction and others tried to follow their examples only to disappear in mysterious ways.

Among the criminal element of the modern cities, the stories of wealth were soon over taken by the stories of dangerous lands and mysterious animals and even more dangerous beings hidden in the jungle around the supposed city of gold, the return of the legends of the conquistadors had been reawakened, everyone at the ancient city knew this would not be the last of the mini invasions but were confident that they could hold their own against any who would try.


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