Ch22a: Dia Del Los Muertes Pt. 1
Disclaimer: Xander, Buffy, and anyone or anything else that pertains to BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Dracula belongs to the estate of Bram Stoker, or Francis Ford Coppola, or someone I think.
Larry Talbot, the Frankenstein Monster, and some others may belong to Universal Pictures.
NCIS belongs to Belisarius Productions, and CBS.
Ghost rider belongs to Marvel Comics, Dimension Films, Crystal Sky Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and Sony (Whew!), and was played to perfection by Nicholas Cage!
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Ch22a: Dia Del Los Muertes Pt. 1
The Combined members of the two teams were transported to Mexico City by the rescue convoy in some old military buses. Once in Mexico City Mina called upon the local Heartsblood office for accommodations, and possible back-up.
The local Heartsblood director was an elderly man named Jose Reyes. Jose was a genial over weight man of 5 feet three inches in height. Once upon a time Jose had been one of Mexico City’s most famous masked wrestlers. His glory days in the past, he had written science fiction novels and eventually signed on to run the Heartsblood publishing office as a sort of retirement. While Jose was a normal human most of the rest of the Mexico City Heartsblood team were not. Jose’s own granddaughter was a werewolf of the coyote strain. The second in command Jorge Lopez was a were-jaguar, and the head of sales was a Brazilian woman by the name of Elliana De Santas, a dhampir.
Jose recommended Santiago Moreno, his head of security, a were-jaguar, and Brittany Tyler-Gomez a local private investigator as backup for the Heartsblood forces. Ms Tyler-Gomez was somewhat complicated she was a half-sidhe. A her mother was an Irish elf, a member of the seelie sidhe, her father was a Yaqui shaman who could shapeshift to that of his spirit animal, a huge black stallion. Brittany turned out to be a girl with part of her mother’s magic, and the ability to call on her spirit animal shape as well. Her shape was that of a fox, a large vixen, but a fox all the same. She could also assume the form of a bi-pedal humanoid fox.
Mina and Buffy interviewed both of the prospective candidates, and eventually settled on Ms. Tyler-Gomez, Then a chance encounter with the head of sales caused Buffy to recommend Ms. De Santas as well.She found Ellians to be intelligent, and dedicated to the Nighthunter cause. She was one of the redeemed. A dhampir who succumbs to the Red Thirst and willingly drinks human blood is as damned as a vampire. Elliana had drained a former husband’s paramour as revenge. Upon her death she was offered redemption by the Living Light, and she had accepted.
The bus ride from Heartslood Mexico City HQ. to the Tower of the Eagles would normally have taken about twenty minutes, but due to the celebrations, and parades on El Dia del los Muertes (the Day of the Dead) it took them over an hour. Ms De Santas and Ms Tyler-Gomez were detailed to go to the Mexico City State Museum of History. Kurt Lienz, and Kharis were with them. Though Kharis looked like an old, old man he was physical almost as strong as the ogre, and twice as fast when he needed to be. He also had a form of priestly magic that he could use in an emergency. He didn’t like to use it because it was basically necromancy and he felt that it may jeopardize his eventual redemption.
Once the buses final arrived at the Tower of the Eagles the groups piled out of their conveyances.
Buffy looked at the ancient temple, then at her husband, then at the tower, then at her husband, then shook her head. Xander stared up at the top of the tower where he knew the entrance was.
“Why do these things have to be so damned high with really steep stairs, and small narrow steps.” He muttered.
“I think that it’s just to inconvenience guys with big feet, honey bunch,” she giggled.
“Did you see Oz and that cute little Professor Boyle on the bus,” he asked?
“Yup,” Buffy answered. “She talked kinda non-stop, he nodded his head, and said things like ‘uh-huh’, and ‘really’, and smiled. I think if she had gotten any closer to him they would have been inside each other’s pants. I mean, no, I didn’t mean that the way it sounds.”
“Mmmm, I really think that may have been on her mind though,” Xander grinned, “He’s somewhat short, she’s short, he’s well built, she’s…ahem…very well built, he’s good looking she’s cute as can be, their both successful in their chosen fields at a fairly young age, he’s a werewolf, she’s a werewolf, it’s kind of a match made in…well…maybe not heaven but close.”
The couple they had been talking about were canoodling at the base of the temple/tower’s steps nose to nose.
At an unspoken signal from Mina the group picked up their weapons, and gear, that had been disguised in video camera, tripod, and recording equipment cases and started up the steps.
At the top of the steps awaiting their arrival was an old man wearing the traditional garb and headdress of an Aztec Eagle warrior-priest, beside him stood a boy of about fifteen naked except for a loin cloth.
He spoke to no one, but when they reached the top he motioned them inside. The chamber was not big enough for the entire group, both the old man placed his hand on one of the stones on the wall and a hidden door opened in the floor showing stairs leading down. Xander groaned, but the party followed the old man and the boy down. The steps were not as steep and the ones outside, nor were they as narrow. It took a long time, however, to reach the bottom.
“It’s dark down here,” mumbled Abby.
Suddenly there was light, electric halogen light! The boy stood by the left hand wall with his hand on the switch. “We have modernized in the last thousand years,” he grinned. His voice held a small trace of a southern Texas accent. “I’m Manuel Ortega, the Eagle priest-in-training just , just call me Manny.”
“The most esteemed high priest my mentor is Itzli Quauhtli, Obsidian Eagle, his modern name is Juan Maria Jesus Rodriguez e Gomez. My priest name is Atl Tototl which means Water Bird When I am a full priest it will be Atl Quauhtli, Water Eagle.”
“Hrmph,” grunted the old man, “it should be El Periquillo, The Parrot. You chatter like an old woman!”
The old man looked around, “Who is the man in charge, your chief warrior,” Buffy and Mina stepped forward. The old man ignored them and faced Xander instead. “You are the man too whom I must speak. War is not for women, and by my vows, I cannot speak to one who is dead, except to exorcise them.”
“I am told that there are those who wish to slay me and steal the Cloak-of-Many-Feathers, once called the Cloak-of-the-Eagle. The Cloak is powerful, it give the warrior much strength, it gives him flight, it gives him speed, and agility, but most of all it gives him invulnerability, and a great lengthening of years. I am three hundred and fifty two years old, I was born in 1600. My master was here when the bastardo Cortez came, he warned Moctezuma, but the king would not listen to him. He fled with a handful of warriors and their women and hid in the mountains, and there eighty years later I was born. He trained me, and when I was grown and well trained He gave me the Cloak and died. El Periquillo, Manuel is almost ready, and then I shall rest,” old Jose sighed, and the boy looked on with tears held back in his eyes. “The Priest of Mictlantecuhtli must not have this Cloak!” The old man snarled, “He calls himself the Smoking Mirror, I name him the Whining Dog!”
“You may prepare down here for here I shall stay that you may best defend the Cloak. Atl Tototl you must stay close by my side, if I am captured or incapacitated you must wear the Cloak,” Itzli Quauhtli said in a no nonsense voice.
“But master if I take the Cloak you will die,” cried the boy in alarm.
“Fool,” cried the old man! “! If they capture me or hold me in anyway the evil one will have the Cloak. I will die either way, and he must never have the Cloak!”
“I will obey, master,” the young man said softly, “I will obey.”
The group had unpacked their weapons, and settled in to wait. They did not have to wait too long, however. An explosion shook the building, and light poured in from up above. Then the floor erupted with the decaying carcasses of long dead warriors brought to unlife by the spells of the Death priest, and Papa Shengo. A triple ringed circle was formed around the Eagle priest and his acolyte by the combined Team Slayer/Night hunter force. The outside ring consisted of The Ghost Rider, Victor Mann, Oz, Laura Lee Boyle, Pere Martine LeDuc, Tony ‘Bones’ Iacobelli, Elisabeth Bathory, Captain John Bishop, and Prince Vlad Dracula.
The middle circle Buffy Summers-Harris, Xander Harris, Mina Harker-Dracula, Doctor Donald Mallard, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Professor Winifred Burkle, and Lord Wesley Wyndam-Pryce Buffy held her Scythe at the ready, and Xander held his favorite axe. 'Ducky was armed with a British Army sabre, as was Wesely. Jethro was armed with a combat quality machete, and a Marine Corps Ka-bar, and Fred held an fifteenth century German war mace.
The inmost Circle consisted of Marie Laveau, Abby Sciutto, and Willow Rosenberg, protected by Doctor Ian Evan Hall, and Lady Drusilla Harris-Hall. Within this last circle stood the old man and the boy. The old man was chanting protection spells in Nauthal, the old Aztec language, and the boy held a weapon consisting of a two inch thick tapered length of polished oak set with three inch long sharpened blades of obsidian spaced a half inch apart on both sides, an Aztec sword-axe.
The battle was joined first with the raised warriors. The fighting was fierce with no hold barred. Victor was smashing his assailants with is huge fists. Where a ham-size fist crashed heads and spines broke beyond repair.
The three were wolves Oz, Laura Lee, and Pere Martine chose man-wolf form. They slashed with their long black claws, and snapped with vicious white fangs with abandon.
The Ghost Rider’s chain lashed out ensnaring and shattering the undead left and right.
Dracula, and the other three vampires each held their weapons of choice. Vlad used a black-bladed two handed broadsword with devastating effect. Elisabeth used a Medieval Hungarian battle axe, and Captain Bishop slashed with his Marine Corps Officer's Mamaluke sword. Tony ‘Bones’, that old Detroit Mafioso used a Thompson submachine gun, backed up by a pair of 45 cal. Automatic pistols in his waist band.
Very few of the undead got through the first line, and those that did were met with the stopping force of the second line.
Then the enemies reinforcements arrived…led by Angelus, and Darla.