Castle Roland

The Prince of House Vladd II

by Arthur


Chapter 5

Posted: 30 Jun 16

The Prince of House Vladd

Book Two
Copyright © 2011, 2015 by Arthur

For more than a month, the natives of the Yucatan and further afield, worked tirelessly to reveal the old city of the gods, far above in space the ever present satellites began to notice the difference in the thick jungle far below, occassional over-flights of commercial jets also began to notice the change in the green blanket below them, even at the height of 30,000 feet, the city was now almost back to its former glory apart from the occassional tree that had to be left on the orders of the young Shaman.

Peter began to notice that both his boys were, more and more, going deep into the pyramid and spending most of their day deep inside with only their four sacrifice boys with them, Peter decided to ask what was going on, more from interests sake than to be over protective. That evening, Peter asked the boys why they were spending so much time way down in the depths; to his surprise the answer was simple as Tezca explained.

"Well Dad P, its nearly time for the renewal of life, its the time of high sun and Ra is our central god so when the time comes each year we celebrate his birth, outsiders call it the Summer Solstice, we were getting the main lower temple ready for all our followers, you'll see it all tomorrow, its all ready now."

Peter looked at the glowing faces of his two sons as they explained their reasons, he suddenly felt a deep pride in both boys and reached out to hug them close, their four sacrifice boys stayed on their knees at the side of the two boys as Peter pulled them into a tighter hug, he felt a really deep pride in them and their new found maturity.

That night, Peter and Swiftwing looked at the reports from the US, President Carabine had become almost a tyrant, all his forces were now spread along the entire border area both North and South, the line with Mexico was now cut off to any who wanted to cross either way, to the North and the Canadian border, the rules and situation was the same, only the pipe line from Alaska remained operating but even President Carabine knew it would one day need maintenance and then the trouble would start.

The Canadian Prime Minister also knew it was only a matter of time so he left the line open but as soon as their was a problem he would shut it down under the pretext of the danger to the natural wilds of Canada, Carabine had thought of this eventuality and was even at this early date, making preparations in the form of every oil tanker on both coasts being ordered to make full speed to the East Coast.

With the closure of the Panama Canal to all North American shipping, it meant all of his tankers would have to take the long trip around the bottom of South America and then up into the Pacific, President Carabine even went to pray that night in the hope the pipe line would not fail while the ships were in transit and, as he hoped, god was on his side, just as he knew he would be, in twelve days, all the tankers had arrived in Eastern ports where they sat and waited, they didn't have long to wait.

California tried hard to secede but a sudden influx of federal troops in all the major cities and the closure of all state governments soon put paid to the small rebellion, President Carabine allowed the heathen Island of Hawaii to go their own way, he didn't need or want them, all support for the Island ceased, only those white Americans who held full citizenship were allowed to return to the mainland, not many wanted too.

Five days after the arrival of the tankers into Eastern ports, Canada cut the pipe line where it passed through their territory, President Carabine was almost tempted to take the needed territory by force but, when faced with threats from other countries that they would assist Canada in any way should he attack them, he decided to use his tankers instead, the Canadian border was reinforced with more troops and all crossings were closed and put under military control.

The United States of America was now an isolated country but President Carabine was in charge and it was now going to be a truly god fearing country, education was now sectioned off for the elite only, all those with an income of less than $50,000 a year were declared to be labourers of the state and therefore had no need for formal education.

The elite were those who could trace their families back before 1860 and were declared to be true Americans, they also had to own land and have a substantial income as befitting any true blooded American, all financial institutions not owned by Christian Americans were taken over by the State, banks, finance companies, stock exchanges, even wealthy law firms, all came under the control of the State, social security became a thing of the past and, now that so many undesirables had been evicted from the country, there were plenty of jobs around for those who wanted to work, for those who felt work was not for them, President Carabine introduced a new form of indenture, this was just short of the old chain gang system but those who fell foul of the law and had tried to avoid working for the state, soon found them selves in plain orange overalls sweeping the streets and doing any other dirty or difficult work.

The only true piece of good work done by President Carabine was the reintroduction of a gold based economy and the ending of the system of productive based wealth, the reserves in Fort Knox and other backs around the country maintained the value of the dollar outside the Us for some time but there had to be a time coming when they would be the target for other countries.

Peter and Swiftwing looked over the reports, there was still no hope of returning to their country of birth, but now they had two sons to help and the rest of the Council members had agreed to wait until all was ready before they again began to infiltrate the North and reclaim their holdings.

As dawn rose the next morning, Peter was awoken by a low humming round in the air, steadily it grew louder and became a clear chant, shaking Swiftwing to wake him, Peter took the lead and went to the top of the Temple steps, far below them the now cleared square was rapidly filling with thousands of natives, the very jungle seemed to tremble as the people gathered on the freshly cleaned stone square.

At the bottom of the steps stood the four elders, their bodies were clothed in the old style with a large headdress of coloured bird feathers, on their old shoulders were fantastic cloaks of the four primary colours of the Toltec with woven feathers making the many patterns, around their necks were gold and silver necklaces, around their waists they wore the traditional wide golden belts holding up their long flowing breach clouts, both their arms and legs were adorned with gold bells so, at each step they took, a small jangle of music came forth.

Peter also saw that all the people in the square were dressed in the old traditional dress as well, they now completely surrounded the pyramid, at the front of the masses were the children, next were the older teens and behind them were the adults, all carried some form of gift for the twin gods, again it consisted of lavish gold and silver jewellery or food and handy-crafts, jungle flowers were also prominent and the once quiet square was now a hive of sound and colour as the masses settled down and waited for the appearance of the god boys.

The four elders began a low chant as the sun rose higher in the sky, Peter and Swiftwing could only look on in silence at the masses below them, the chant was slowly taken up by the people waiting below, even the youngest of the children chimed in with their lighter falsetto voices.

From deep in the pyramid came a familiar rumbling sound, the very earth vibrated with the power of the movement, it was as though an earth quake was moving the very pyramid, the four elders had by now moved to the base of the pyramid and were watching carefully as the very steps they had been standing on, began to part down the centre and move with a smoothness not seen for a thousand years, the technology of the ancients was far more than any archaeologist could have ever dreamt of.

Slowly the steps parted to reveal a long passage lined with flaming torches, from the furtherest depths came the tinkle of golden bells as something or someone moved towards the light, a sudden hush came over the thousands gathered in the square, the four elders went shakily to their old knees as the bell wearers came closer until, finally revealed to the masses, were the four sacrifice boys, their bodies were covered in powdered gold dust, bells hung around their ankles and forearms and, around their neck was a thick gold band, their heads were cleanly shaved and each held a single lit torch in their right hand.

With high falsetto voices they called to the faithful and, when all the people had once again stood up, the four boys turned and began to lead the people into the depths of the pyramid, Peter noticed a small signal from the oldest of the elders and, along with Swiftwing, they made their way down the steps and followed the elders into the long passage of the pyramid, it was only a short time until the zenith of the sun and, as they went forward, the outside heat of the day receded until it was a cool semi dark passage, only the sound of the bells on every-ones ankles could be heard in the stillness as they went deeper and deeper.

Peter at last saw the stronger light in the distance, by his own reckoning, they had been going down as well as deeper into the pyramid, as the faint light got stronger his extra eye sight began to pick out more and more of the area around them, finally they were led by the elders into the centre of the largest room yet seen in the complex, to Peters memory this was one room that he had never seen and by its dimensions, was far larger than the actual base of the pyramid.

Peter and Swiftwing were led to the base of the central solid stone block that towered over the empty floor area, the block was made of stone much like obsidian and shone in a high black polish, there were no steps leading upward but two gold encrusted semi thrones sat at the front of the block, Peter and Swiftwing were guided towards them and told to sit as they were the parents of the god boys.

Sitting in their special seats, Peter and Swiftwing looked at the masses beginning to gather in the endless floor space before them, again the children were placed in front and the older teens behind them with all the adults filling out the rest of the space, still there was no sound but the occassional tinkle of an ankle bell as someone moved, the four sacrifice boys had disappeared and could n o longer be seen.

It was as the first glimmer of a stronger light began to make itself known, that Peter saw everyone in front of himself and Swiftwing, the silence grew as he saw what was obviously the sunlight brighten and begin to fill the huge room from a large hole in the roof far above them, from the distance of the hole and the length of the sun beam, Peter estimated that they had to be more than four hundred metres underground.

With rising interest, Peter and Swiftwing watched the circle of sunlight grow stronger and move towards where they were seated, it was like the beam of a search light as it moved over the massed crowds, steadily making its unhindered way towards the obsidian alter, Peter could also now see that the sides of the long light tube were polished to a high sheen which only accentuated the bright spear of sunlight.

The beam crawled its way across the heads of the kneeling children and began to climb the sides of the alter, from somewhere deep inside the black stone alter behind them, Peter and Swiftwing could feel and hear the smooth grinding of stone on stone, whoever had been responsible for the building of this edifice must have had technical abilities far beyond their time, the faint trembling suddenly stopped as the beam of sunlight hit the top of the alter and, from somewhere deep in the ground, there seemed to come a long drawn out screech of a Jaguar.

At the loud scream of the animal, all heads turned upward towards the alter, Peter and Swiftwing rose to their feet and looked upwards with the rest of the masses, the beam of sunlight was now shining directly down onto the centre of the black stone alter, at its centre were the two god boys but now, they looked different again.

Around the two boys was a faint white halo, their faces seemed to switch from animal to human as the sunlight bore down on them, they were both completely naked but for a body covering coat of gold dust on Quetz and silver dust on Tezca, the two figures reflected the sunlight as though they were themselves the beams of light.

On the head of Quetzalli was the stylised head of the great serpent, it was fashioned with gold and precious gems and from the top of the head flowed long red and green bird feathers, on Tezcatlipoca the head was of a stylised Jaguar, it also was of gold but had large dark spots of a black gem stone inlaid to look like the spots on a cat, both head dresses looked almost to be a part of the boys as though it was their natural form.

Slowly from behind Peter and Swiftwing, the chanting began as the two boys lifted their arms up to the light, at their feet the four sacrifice boys kneeled with their heads on the cold stone, in the hands of Quetz and Tezca, the four short wands appeared to come alive and writhe in their hands, the power emanating from the duo on the top of the alter could now be felt as a viable entity in the huge room of the underground temple.

Finally, as the sun reached its full zenith, Quetz and Tezca both reached down with the short wands and placed one on each of the sacrifice boys neck, as the wands made contact, the four boys stiffened and let out a loud long scream of pain then stiffened and collapsed onto the floor at the feet of the two god boys.

From the four prostrate boys came a thin line of pure white energy, it seemed to leap from their limp bodies and whirl around the heads of the two god boys as it appeared to draw in more of the power of the sun, when it was at its brightest, it swirled into two perfectly formed funnels and crashed down onto the heads of the two god boys standing below it, the result was instantaneous, the two boys began to glow with an unearthly light, the whole top of the alter became a huge fire with the two solitary figures standing in its middle as though transfixed with some unseen power.

To all those watching, it seemed that no more than a few seconds passed when suddenly, the whole temple fell into darkness, even the sunlight from earlier could not penetrate the blackness, the only light that could be seen were the two slender figures of Quetz and Tezca who were now looking just like two bright stars in an empty sky.

The two bright stars seemed to lift from the alter and hover without support above the blackness as they began to change from human to animal form, the serpent showing in many rainbow colours, the jaguar changing from pitch black to golden spotted cat, now the chants grew louder as the two deities floated above the stone alter, both Peter and Swiftwing were held spell bound as they watched their two boys emit a power unseen on earth for over 500 years, the Toltec had returned, Father sky and Mother earth were once again united by their offspring, Quetzalli and Tezcatlipoca.

Unseen by all those in the underground temple, every square and street of the city of stone was now covered in snakes of all types, around the outside of the cordon of snakes prowled black Panthers, spotted Jaguars and the plain tawny Puma, their many cries and hisses could be heard throughout the surrounding jungle, even the animal protectors of the temple gods knew of their return and the return of the powers of old.

For one single instance there was again a blackness and then, with a clap much like thunder, a single bright flash of light that lasted no longer than a millisecond, split the darkness, in that millisecond, all those present saw the god serpent surround the jaguar in what looked to be a loving embrace and, as they met, a bright pulse of light fled up the now dark tunnel to the surface and all was again dark until the wall mounted torches lit of their own accord and the temple floor was bathed in the soft glow.

On the alter there was no sight of the two boys or their four sacrifice boys, the chants now turned to joyful songs as the masses moved forward to lay their many gifts around the alter and then quietly walk back up the now well lit passage to the surface.

From the outside of the massive pyramid, at the moment of the pulse of light, every bird took flight in a multi coloured display that could never be rivalled by any human pallet, the snakes and other gathered animals seemed to bow their heads as the pulse passed over them without hurting a single one, for more the 50 kilometres around the temple, every tree and bush that could produce a flower, instantly broke into colour as their blooms, some that had been dormant for years, leapt into life, it now looked like a garden of the best and brightest flowers of nature, the heady scent of orchids pervaded every nook and cranny of the city and surrounding jungle.

Far above the city, the pulse spread upwards into the very heavens themselves until it reached and by passed even the many satellites that spun around above the earth, had they been organic they might have survived the sudden powerful pulse of pure energy but, they were made by the hand of man and had no protection, in the millisecond of the pulse, over one hundred satellites died and became, in the next darkness of night, no more than many bright burning meteorites as they tumbled from the night sky, the best and finest of mans creation could not stand against the power of the gods of old.

With unsteady steps, Peter and Swiftwing followed the masses outside the temple, they could still not take in all they had seen, nothing like it had been seen before, even in the long memory of the Vampire and all the other folk, there had never been such a display of old world power as they had just witnessed, both lovers were still shaken by what they had seen, even though Swiftwing was familiar with the power of the Creator, this show of pure power of the old ones left him a little shaken, man still had much to learn.

When they finally made it back to the rooms reserved for their use in the upper temple, the two lovers were surprised to see their two boys laying on a couch entwined in each others arms, the glow of sexual completion evident on their young faces, on the floor at their feet lay the sleeping forms of their four boys, only the small mark of fangs on the boys shoulders seemed to blemish them otherwise, they seemed unharmed by the ceremony from below.

Peter and Swiftwing slumped gratefully into separate chairs as they looked at their two boys cuddling as they dozed, both Vampires felt as though they had been reduced to no more than living skeletons, with a call that left Peter feeling weak and a little dizzy, he asked for a man to be brought up for each of them so they could feed, Peter had never felt so drained as he did at that moment, he knew that both of them would have to go and rest before they could even think of going out anywhere, it also amazed Peter that it was almost nightfall.

They had been underground in the temple for over six hours, slowly the rooms around him began to stir as his own people woke from their daysleep, at a time when he himself should have been full of vitality but the ceremony had taken so much from him that he could hardly move, even when one of the guards brought in the two humans to feed from, Peter could not get to his feet, nor could Swiftwing, the two criminals had to be pushed down at their feet so they could feed, Sin Yu and the others watched carefully from the doorway, they had never seen a Vampire so low on energy and not be in a comatose state.

As the fresh blood flowed into them both, the two lovers looked at those around them, only the twins looked as though they had been through a mincer, they also had been awake at the time of the pulse, those that had been asleep seemed to have not suffered the same effects, Peter thought it must have been something to do with the fact that the sleepers were almost in a state of death when it happened, he and Swiftwing now felt a little better but would still need to rest before the fresh blood could take full effect on their systems, Peter gave his orders for the night and, along with Swiftwing, went to their private room, their two boys still fast asleep on the couch as Sin Yu covered them both with the thin blanket.

As expected, the pulse had not gone unnoticed by the outside world, the sudden huge discharge of power sent many modern appliances into a spin, cell towers half way across the world went almost into meltdown, internet connections carried the pulse through many systems and especially home computers suffered from its effects.

Scientific stations also took note of the sudden pulse and set about trying to track its source, much to their surprise, it tracked to an area of jungle deep in the Yucatan Peninsular, after surveying a few available overhead pictures, the prominence of the newly cleared area became more of an interest.

While the ancient city of Uxmal had, not long ago been only partially cleared, there was now a mighty city, free of any but the biggest trees, wide stone avenues meandered through rebuilt stone houses and at the centre stood the full glory of the pyramid which to those in the know, was called the 'The Pyramid of the Magician' as well as 'The Pyramid of the Dwarf' most of the buildings now showed the true intricacy of its many detailed carvings, many of which had not been seen for centuries.

Although known to have been built by the Mayan, it was widely used by the Toltec once they had taken over and was now, considered to be the one true place of the gods as, during the equinox most claimed to be able to see the mighty serpent writhing on the steps as the sun sent rays of light over the large stone edifice.

In the halls of power further North, President Carabine's military also took notice, a large number of their very special satellites had suddenly gone off line, immediately the workings of the military mind went into action and they began to use what means they had left to find if they were under attack.

For years the US had been disliked by a number of other countries, now, with their self imposed isolation, the level of hate had grown rapidly, to the military mind, everything that was different could be seen as an attack, their main adversaries, North Korea, China, the Middle East and even Canada, were put under scrutiny but nothing was found, the powers that be kept looking.

At the first notification of the unusual happenings way down in the Yucatan barely brought a thought to the might and power of the military until the scientific community showed where the source of the massive pulse came from, one glance at the once ancient ruins was enough to make the men in power begin to rethink their position.

Late that afternoon the reports hit the desk of President Carabine, at first he scoffed at the assumptions of his military, how could a people who were thought to be extinct send a blast powerful enough to render most electrical systems inoperable, from old ruins that had not seen a trace of human occupation for over a thousand years.

Slowly his advisors took him through what photo's they had available, the last ones before the pulse showed a new city, ruins that had once looked worn and decayed, now stood clean and bright in the sun light, small dark dots could be seen spread around the huge area that had once been only dense jungle with the occasional stone building for the tourists to look at.

Slowly it began to dawn on the mind of President Carabine that those small black dots were in fact people, not one or two but hundreds, also what hit him at that moment was the fact that they were apparently clearing an old city of the heathen religions, there was no way he could see for him to do anything about it just yet, his countries self imposed isolation was now playing against what he really wanted to do about the abomination he could see in the photo's.

Discussions went on into the depths of the night as President Carabine tried to work out a way to interfere with the goings on in the Yucatan, there was no way that his God would allow the return of such a heathen race or twisted religion, there had to be a way for him to finally eradicate such blasphemy from the face of the earth, President Carabine lifted the blue phone and called for the director of the CIA, they would know how to handle this small problem for him.

Director Simmons reached for the telephone that was a direct line to the President, with a curt reply to the question asked of him, he settled back to listen to President Carbines request, it almost lifted his spirits as, since the closing of the borders, his department had had less and less to do, his covert groups were wasting away with meaningless training scenarios, some had decided to retire as the lack of action and opportunities seemed to disappear with the shutdown, Simmons continued to grunt and agree as the voice explained everything to him.

Finally, the President seemed to run out of steam and Simmons was able to complete the call.

"Yes Mr. President, we can take care of that for you, we still have a few assets down that way that we can use, if it comes to having to mount an expedition, what is your decision?"

Simmons listened for a minute and a small smile began to pull his tight lips back as he heard the words he wanted to hear.

"Certainly Mr. President, I'll make sure there is no accountability that can be traced to your office, it is after all, our speciality, leave it to me, Mr. President, there's only one thing more, where do we get the funding for this operation?"

Again Simmons paused to listen to the answer, by now his smile was broad and his eyes were almost glowing with the anticipation of the new challenge that his President had set for him and his agency, he know knew that the funding was going to be no problem and that the funds would come from a number of different departments and well hidden from the general public, Simmons rubbed his hands as he began to work out how some of it could be siphoned off into his own personal account, just as so much had been siphoned off from other operations, he had to look after himself in case things went west.

It had taken very little persuasion to have himself appointed as a Bishop of the Destiny Church, once he had seen what was coming, he now held a very powerful position both in government and in the church, he was now the go too man for the President, a good place to be in this day and age.

When the call had been terminated, Simmons called for his number two, the man had been the major planner in many of their black ops, he had both experience and a ruthless streak that the position called for, he also, and much more important to Simmons way of thinking, had the same hidden bank accounts, both men had made themselves very rich from both their position and the contacts they had in places like the Golden Triangle and their contacts in the South American Cocaine trade.

It took two days for his number two man to come up with a viable plan, it would need the use of other agencies but they would be kept in the dark about the true objectives, Simmons began to make phone calls to the agencies that he would need to use, it would mean calling in some old favours and using a little bribery but he was sure he would get all the co-operation he would need.

Further to the South, the city of Uxmal came alive as more and more of the ancient people arrived in the renewed city, it was now a hive of activity as small markets were set up and the many houses filled with families, of the old ways there was no resurgence, the many old cultures accepted that the return of the twin gods was enough and they set about reviving their culture.

Often the four sacrifice boys were seen about the city on one errand or another, the appearance of Northerners had at first caused a little stir but, when it was found they were there to protect the young gods, they were fully accepted into the growing community, even the knowledge of the blood drinkers being in their midst did not raise a problem, it was quickly known that the two Fathers of the gods were blood drinkers and, as they were the Fathers, how could they do wrong.

The underground cells of the Pyramid were easily kept full with the ready supply of drug dealers that could be caught on any street of Mexico by Delgardo's men, the arrival of a covered truck in the middle of the night barely raised and eye, the streets gleamed and every loose leaf was swept up, the city vibrated with life as it had once done many centuries before, only the blood sacrifices no longer took place.

The scent of orchids still pervaded every nook and cranny of the city and the jungle was still a vivid pallet of colour for fifty kilometres around, every day the calls of unseen birds rang in the air as they serenaded the return of the gods, serpents and animals, once scared off by human scent were often seen wandering around the city with impunity, not a single human was ever threatened or hurt by the wild creatures, it seemed that the ancient city had become a place of truce between man and creature.

Peter went to check in with his security people, after the pulse of power, they had lost most of their computer power but were now back up and running although on a slightly less capability, the two boys had tried to apologise for the damage they caused but everyone said it was just one of those things that happen, especially when you have two god boys running things.

The reports were piling up as Peter pushed through the big thick wooden door, with a sigh he sat and began to go through them all, on his own personal screen he saw the myriad of reports that had not been put on paper, his contact with the members of the council were again re-established and they were all present for their evening conference.

As Peter finished his reading, the ping from his computer told him the council were ready for their nightly conference; at the head of the agenda was the location and conditions of all of the folk to the South, all had found ready homes and those that had decided to go to Europe were now under the control of the old council which had re-established itself in their old countries of origin.

It became apparent that the only worry most had was when could they return North, it was up to Peter to tell them what was going on and the news was not good, his security people had picked up a number of signals coming from the offices of the CIA and they were not good, it looked as though President Carabine wanted to carry the message of his bigotry to the South, they had another battle coming but, this time it was against a human enemy, one that could rip their world open to others and cause a real problem of monumental proportions.

Peter had only a couple of aces up his sleeve, one was the hidden boys still in the House of Vaga, the other was not known except by very few, and those were only the closest of his friends, he had been able to make contact with three of the humans who had been a help when the rebellion had taken place, they had kept their heads down when the takeover had occurred by President Carabine and were now in good positions inside the system.

While none of them held high offices, those were kept only for true followers of the Destiny Church, the three men still were in a position where they could help when and if the time came, the inside information they provided helped Peter to keep an eye on some of the hidden agenda of the President.

The Us was becoming more like the old days of the uprisings in the Middle East some years ago but the total authority of the President kept most of it off the news feeds, Peters people were able to feed reports to him on what was really going on in the country and it soon became evident that all was not quite rosy in their old home.

With the closing of the borders, the drug trade had almost dried up, addicts were soon to become a real problem, the President had soon found a solution, suppliers and pushers were immediately given the death penalty, usually carried out within days of sentencing, users were sentenced under the new law of Indenture, they would be held as not much more than slaves and forced to do all the work no one else would touch, all without cost to the public.

Violent crimes were met with the same swift justice, there was only one sentence for violent crime, death, also carried out within days of the sentence being read, lawyers became no more than paper shufflers, the need for them was no longer as meaningful as previously, they were now only clerks as the courts were now made up of only members of the Destiny Church and they sat in three's, their judgement was final and no appeals were even considered.

Minor crimes were dealt with quickly and even the very minor crime of shoplifting could see the perpetrator, regardless of age, indentured for up to ten years, most of the indentured criminals ended up in the factories and farms of the members of the Church where their labour was unpaid and the owners became richer and more powerful at the expense of the criminals labour.

Even with these forceful laws in place, there were still those who thought they could continue on their old ways, with most of the wealth now only going to church members, the rest of the countries people began to feel the tightening of their respective belts, homes and jobs were lost to the banks and the downturn from the closed borders, even the medical profession came under the wing of the governing rulers as their abilities were tested time and time again.

Under the laws of the Church, no woman could be employed, many who had spent years of their lives studying now found themselves with nothing to do, the Church told them they were only there to work for their men, their place was in the home and not out on the streets or in the offices of power.

Once thriving office blocks now became empty tombs of lost memories, most of the great mansions were now resided in only by the upper echelon of the Church, once rich and powerful men now found themselves and their families either deported and penniless or living in small apartments that were not much better than hovels compared to what they had once had.

The roads became more passable as the laws restricted the use of vehicles, only those families that had an employed person could have the use of one vehicle per family, it had to be a small family car and was used only on working days or on Sunday for church, there was to be no more driving aimlessly around to amuse ones self, shopping could be done only on foot or when driving to or from work as long as it did not take the vehicle out of its normal travel.

Heavy transport was provided by the military and for the long haul, the trucking companies had to be registered with the appropriate authorities, it was not long before they were all owned by Church members, for the private driver there were the monthly applications for fuel and certificates of travel which detailed where and for how far each vehicle could travel, the fuel vouchers supplied just enough to cover the work and church trips with very little to spare, private cars were often pulled up by the authorities so they could have their millage checked and the reason for the drivers trip that day.

Price control was introduced in all supermarkets, hundreds of liquor stores were closed and others were issued with new licenses as long as they were under the ownership of Church members, the hours of business and the quantities that could be purchased were strictly adhered to, any one attempting to produce moonshine or other home brewed alcohols, soon found themselves becoming indentured for five years.

The vision of utopia that President Carabine had in his head was now becoming a reality, even at the expense international relations or human rights, none of these minor problems concerned the man who was doing Gods work, all the President could see was his burgeoning power and his final place in history as the man who reclaimed the position of number one on the world stage for his country.

Director Simmons again checked the broad outline of the plan that had been presented to him for any suggestions or changes, as usual the plan by his second in command was almost immaculate, every detail had been minutely inspected for flaws, at first glance it seemed quite a simple plan until you got into the details of how they would be able to cover up any unfortunate accidents.

The first simple solution had been to do an overfly with a tanker aircraft in the middle of the night and spray everything with herbicides mixed with a few nasty viruses developed in the hidden labs, but, it had been quickly set aside as it would have been to hard to deny accountability if 50 kilometres of jungle suddenly died along with every living thing hiding or living in it.

The final plan came down to the assets left behind when the borders were closed, many were concealed American nationals but had been inserted into many of the drug cartels years ago, one even had the distinction of being a leader of one cartel, he was the man they would go to for their solution to the problem.

The basics of the plan were again simple, there would be a special forces group dropped in the dark of the night, on the ground would be covert seal units brought in along rivers from the sea, the land groups would be filtered into the country disguised as escaping nationals, these would be mainly the intelligence branch, the Head of the cartel would supply all and any extra men they needed on the ground.

Director Simmons looked over the outline and smiled, it was almost like a small version of the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, He truly hoped the results would be better than the original. Of all the available satellite pictures, there was nothing to indicate any modern conveniences, so their approach should go unnoticed, that was the main fault of old cultures, they could not move with the times; that would be their downfall this time.

The Director made a few small changes to times and equipment needs and then signed off on the proposal, the whole operation should net him and his second in command a nice tidy bonus, win or lose, although losing against such primitive people was the last thing on his mind as he sealed the plan in a top secret folder with the heading of "OPERATION PULSATE".

Around the US the message went out to military units, especial those who had experience in covert operations of one type or the other, it was not hard to find a core of well trained men in a country that had pulled all of its military from other countries, even with the numbers that had been discharged for one reason or another as well as those deported for not being of true American blood, there was still a large number of men to select from.

Overriding all other agencies, the CIA took all and any they wanted, money and equipment of the highest quality was soon at their disposal, any agency head that objected at having some of their best men seconded to the CIA, soon found themselves without an income and place to work, one head even found himself being taken before a court under sedition charges, this was a good time for Director Simmons to pay back some earlier slights or insults to his character.

In the pyramid of Uxmal, Peter looked over the latest reports from his electronic spies deep in the bowels of the stone building, he could not help but let a small smile cross his lips as he read the top secret file from the CIA, he almost applauded their detailed plan but, how did they think they were going to conceal what amounted to an invasion of the Yucatan, Peter called all his five friends as well as Swiftwing to a meeting, they had a lot to organise before the deadline in four weeks, it had amused him that they had decided to attack on the night of Halloween.

For more than four hours, Peter and the others went over the plans and how they would re-act, their first order of business would be to neutralise the local asset, but first they had to find him, all they had was the code name and the fact he was involved with the drug cartel in Mexico and was called 'El Morte', the hunt began in the one place that was easy to access information about the cartels from, his own cells, Peter led the others down into the pyramid, they had some mind reading to do.

The first four men held no other information other than what they need to do their own particular nepherious jobs within the cartel, the fifth, however held a small clue, El Morte was known and only seen by the top echelon of the cartel, the fifth man also held within in his mind, the location of El Morte's well defended Hacienda.

While getting into the Hacienda would be little trouble for the members of the folk, doing it without raising suspicion up North was going to be another matter, Peter and his friends set to planning how to get to El Morte without setting off to many alarms in the enemy camp, it was Quetz who came up with the answer.

"Dad P, why don't Tezca and I just go and offer ourselves as workers, they use a lot of young teens for their street dealers as well as soldiers to keep order?"

"I don't know, Quetz, it could be very dangerous if they find out." Peter replied.

"They can't hurt us, Dad P you know that, besides we would have a lot of our friends with us that they would never see."

"What friends, who could get in there and protect you without being seen,?"

Peter watched as Tezca began to hum softly, much to even Peter's calm abilities, he saw, coming from a dark corner, a large Bark Scorpion, it quickly ran over the stone floor and climbed with no effort, up Tezca's leg until it was perched on the boys shoulder, its barbed tail curled upward as it surveyed those around the room.

Tezca smiled at the group before him.

"See, he can bring some friends as well, they would never see them or suspect they were anywhere around, besides, we're pretty strong without them, the two of us would not be in any danger from mere humans."

"Well, ok, but we're going to be close by, as soon as you pin point the man, we're coming in."

"Ok, Dad P, but give us time to find out everything we can first, we'll be able to read him just as easy as you can so we will find out who the people are up North that want to hurt us."

"You're right Tezca, how long do you think you will need to infiltrate them?"

"Well, I think we can get in there pretty fast, my other dads people were good gypsies so I have everything I need to convince them to let us join, it will probably take a few days or maybe even a week or two but we'll get in, don't worry, we'll be safe."

Peter and Swiftwing looked at their two new sons and smiled, they certainly had found two very capable boys but in the back of both their minds was the fear, that the boys were going into something that was not going to be easy or safe, the cartels had a history of viciousness unmatched by any other criminal gang, and the money and power they wielded was out of all proportion to their numbers, Peter looked at the two young teens and hoped they were doing the right thing as he and Swiftwing reached out to draw the two boys into a hug.


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