Tepahtihqui Momoztla Nohhuian
Sorry for the funky
name. According to http://www2.potsdam.edu/schwaljf/Nahuatl/eng-nah.htm it means "the doctor is
everywhere every day," though I know I mangled the grammar (Nahuatl
uses compound words to show relationships but I wasn't about to try and
decipher how that works). It was either that or El Hospital General,
but that show's name barely changes in translation. :)
Doctor Juan has been spending his off time in a clinic that is near
Quetzalcoatl's mansion but far enough out that those who want to get to
it don't have to make their way past layers of policia and Sur XIII
(one of the gangs in the Mexican Mafia). It started as an outreach
program quickly ballooned as El Tepahtihqui, the locals' name for him,
can perform miracles with magic and science that modern doctors can
only dream of. Even Itzpapalotl has taken to working there one day out
of three, though she stays in the back to avoid terrifying or
accidentally bumping the patients.
However, it took less than a week before the word spread back to the
gods. Now more and more the tlaloques are arriving with wounded from
the war against Coatlicue. The tlaloques are four minor rain deities
that work for Tlaloc. Though less than four feet tall, the "rain
dwarfs:" have a speed and and strength which makes them
excellent field medics. In ancient times they carried whole mountains
worth of corn to Tomoanchan to feed famished mortals, and did
it without sweat or complaint. Though they did dye the corn blue,
white, yellow, and red to match their skin colors.
The hospital was once one of Quetzalcoatl's office buildings and
consists of a large stone platform with four buildings around its
perimeter. One end holds a small stone pyramid, inside which is a Chac
Mool where Dr. Gutierrez and the faithful members of his staff
perform daily devotions. Opposite it is a mess hall with passable food
that tastes better because its made by volunteers and free for any of
the convalescing people in the hospital. Along one side runs a long
narrow care ward made from a two-story building which was once filled
with cubicles. On the opposite end are Juan's quarters, though his
stamina and extreme sense of duty mean he's rarely found there.
Everything is built of solid stone, with only a small amount of carved
ornamentation. Despite the characteristically Central American
architecture, the compound carries the unmistakably institutional aura
of a hospital rather than a shrine. A whiff of disinfectant creeps
through the air. Outside the platform, herbs grow in tidy rows, each in
its own bed. Most of them were created using the Fertility Purview, to
Dr. Gutierrez's designs, though he had to provide Quetzalcoatl with the
specifications as he has yet to master the creation of new plant
species. They produce a wide variety of divine narcotics, antibiotics
and other medicines. Beneath the surface, unbeknown to anyone but Juan,
his father, and his father's trusted aids, sleeps a typhonian
spectacled caiman. The giant crocodile is 600' long from the tip of its
tail to the point of its longest tooth, but it has spent the last
several centuries asleep. Should the need arise, it can be awakened and
commanded by anyone of Quetzalcoatl's bloodline, carrying the hospital
at a rapid and tireless pace.
The Eagle Warriors spend most of their time uncomfortably roaming the
ward as makeshift nurses. Though not highly skilled, they are
unquestionably loyal and will even empty the bedpans of patients with
explosive diarrhea with little more than the slightest hint of a sneer.
There are also several human assistants, trained nurses and one doctor,
all of which came to debunk the clearly fraudulent claims of the
so-called Tepahtihqui. They stayed to learn once they saw what was
being done here.
The sudden gale-force wind strews leaves and branches throughout the
hospital, bursts through doors to send patients’ charts flying and
knocks unwary spirits ass-over-teakettle. A moment later, six figures
occupy the hospital’s plaza. A giant, easily 60 feet tall, lies on a
litter made from two tree-trunks and vines. His skin is a swirling
gray, and his hair whips in a nonexistent wind. A cloud-hued bandage
wraps around his waist, and dark wetness seeps through. His eyes
crackle with lightning, and serpents of lightning wrap around his
forearms. Massive ornaments of turquoise adorn both ears, his lower lip
and a broad collar of silver-gilt leather. This giant wavers in and out
of consciousness and looks profoundly ill as well as wounded.
Next to him stand four younger versions of this giant, only 40 feet
tall, each carrying a club of ice and a spear twined with lightning.
They wear headdresses of black and green feathers, as well as
loincloths and mantles of dark gray that look like windows into a
rainstorm. Ornaments made of ice pierce their lips and ears. One of the
giant warriors shouts, “Bring forth the Everywhen Surgeon! He will heal
our father, or everyone here will die!” His voice roars like a
storm-wind. The sixth figure is a young woman, human-sized, dressed in
a storm-hued tunic with a necklace of hailstones, a belt of
lightning-serpents and her hair bound back with a turquoise clasp. She
has no weapons but carries a large gourd and a wicker hamper.
The wounded giant is Nacom-Cakulha, Commander Lightning (one of
Huracán’s vassals), with his four sons North, South, East and West
Lightning, and his daughter, Center Hailstone. Huracán is the
primary avatar of Ehekatoyaatl, the Titan of the Sky. Ehekatoyaatl and
his avatars are still trapped in the prison the Aztecs forged for him,
but his minions walk the earth and fight on the side of
though for the most part they're fighting against the gods, not
alongside the The Mother of Gods.
Dr. Juan readies himself for battle, grabbing his shield and
asking the tlaloques to run and inform Quetzalcoatl of the situation
and request his assistance. He does not wait long to approach
the giants and assesses the health of the fallen one as he
does. In front of the Giants he instructs his Eagle
Warriors to assist those knocked over from the winds and to escort them
to some momentary safety. Before responding to the giant's demands,
he instructs the mortal staff to head to the back of
hospital and continue working.
"How dare you bring a threat to my hospital demanding
assistance. This is a place of healing, but I can assure you
should battle ensue here today right now, it will not only be patients
who die here today. Allow me to inspect his wounds more
The wound itself was clearly made by an oversized maquahuitl, but the
gash festers, and lines of corruption extend from the wound to
Nacom-Cakulha’s heart. As Juan suspected, the weapon must have
carried some form of poison. Juan knows how to keep Commander Lightning
alive, and the titanspawn will probably heal on his own in a few weeks.
In the weeks of convalescence, however, the Atzlánti would certainly
notice a giant, high-ranking titanspawn patient. Maybe the Atzlánti
would be cunning enough to mount a surprise attack quickly enough to
avoid destroying the hospital... Maybe.
The magical venom is destroying the storm giant’s heart. Healing him
quickly requires a heart transplant from a similar being of comparable
Legend, or two hearts from beings of lesser Legend. The only options,
really, are two of Nacom-Cakulha’s children.
Poison and the large obsidian-line clubs were a common occurence among
the Aztecs, but one very famous member of the pantheon leaps to Juan's
mind: his uncle the Smoking Mirror, Tezcatlipoca, Lord of Misfortune.
Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl have been at odds for centuries, though
in the beginning they were co-creators of the various worlds of the
Aztec pantheon. If it was Tezcatlipoca who struck down this giant, he
would be very displeased to learn his poison has been defeated and the
"I see what happened here. I know exactly how to heal your
However what is it you are expecting of me? To threaten my
being and my hardwork to save your father? You understand we
at war right now. I don't place much value on the
war, but I
would need something more of value and substance then a threat
a fight to assist you."
The woman sets her hamper down and holds her hand up to stop her
brothers, who are ready to begin killing the innocent. She approaches
Juan, "I am Center Hailstone, and you are very brave. But your bravery
cannot save these lives." She waves to the convalescing humans and
supernaturals in the ward. "Only your knowledge can do that. Save my
father before the Atzlánti arrive and we will leave in peace. Fail and
the sons will avenge the father on this place."
"The wound is not what your father needs assistance from in his
recovery. The poison has reached his heart already and is working to
end his existance. It will require two of his children to
effectively complete the transplant and heal your father
"I can perform this operation here, but which two of you
will end thier own existence for thier father's?"
"I will also not work under the threat of attack. Center Hailstone may
observe me work to ensure your father's safety, but the remaining
brothers will have to step outside."
They talk among themselves briefly and the discussion turns to an
argument as their ambition vies with their zealotry. Nacom-Cakulha
taught his children to obey his every command, but with him not able to
give orders it seems his hold on them is not strong enough for them to
embrace death willingly. The discussion turns from "you should
do it" to "you will do it" and it looks like a
fight could break out in the ward at any moment.
"Brothers, your father's condition worsens, bring him out to
my garden let me select some herbs to ease his pain,
while you discuss what needs to happen."
North, East, South, and West Lightning stop arguing long enough to each
grab one of Commander Lightning's limbs and pull the larger giant
outside, and then go back to bickering. Just as it is about to erupt
into violence Center Hailstone shouts them down, her voice as loud as
gale force winds tearing down a forest. "Silence, idiots! Father is
dying and you will save him!" She shakes the rage off and turns calmly
to Juan. "Clearly the doctor must choose the most appropriate
candidates. Which are best suited to the honor of sacrificing
themselves so that Commander Lightning might live?"
Assess health shows little difference between them. They are all
uninjured, though recent scars show signs of having been in a battle
and recovered through Self-Healing. The only abnormality is East
Lightning's clear physical addicition to teónanácatl, the Aztec name
"shrooms" these days. It's strange though, as psilocybin is not
normally an addictive substance. In fact, the Center for Disease
Control rates it lower than aspirin on the toxicity scale. That
addiction makes it less likely that Commander Lightning would survive
the operation if East's heart were used, but the strange nature of
occult medicine and the principals of contagious magic suggest that a
ritual might be incorporated into the surgery which would transfer that
addiction as part of the heart transplant.
Dr. Juan selects herbs that will only provide
superficial comfort to the titanspawn and slowly applys them.
He then points to North and South to sacrifice themselves and
selects herbs to place them to sleep so the operation does
not cause them pain.
Center Hailstone's forceful speech coupled with Dr. Juan's decisive and
firm selection convinces the two zealots to lay down their lives for
the cause. North and South Lightning stride over to their father and
flank his head and salute, drawing their quauhololli (heavy maces) and
using them to beat a short staccato rhythm on their shields. They then
kneel and lower their heads.
East and West Lightning step up behind their brothers and reach down.
With a grunt and a heave the heads are torn from the bodies. Blood
sprays the garden and drips from the truncated spines as the two bodies
fall limply to the ground.
As they do, Juan's voice rises and the song his mother sang him to
sleep with as a child pours out.
Caomiz hui hui xoco angelos me
Caomiz hui hui xoco angelos me
Caomiz hui hui xoco angelos me
In angelos me in angelos me
As he finishes the first verse of
Xicochi Conetzintle (Sleep,
O My Child), he sees the strange juxtaposition between his
Catholic mother's faith and the ancient divinity that is his father.
Growing up it was just a comforting balm after a long day, then later
an annoyance he suffered through for her sake even though he was "too
old for that sort of thing."
As he sings his heart rate slows, his breathing relaxes, and his
thoughts calm. Looking past the skin of the giants he watches their
hearts and breath slow as well as the lullaby takes hold. One by one
the giants slump to the ground, with only Center Hailstone having
enough presence of mind to look shocked before she too drifts off to
The eagle warriors easily bind them and get their weapons, but
the giants are 40' tall and the warriors don't have the strength to
move them. The tlaloques could move the giants, but it would be slow,
so Juan decides to simply wait. There is little danger of the giants
waking, so he goes about the business of offering up the life forces of
the two volunteers to Quetzalcoatl. He strips the chests bare and
slices through to the massive ribs, which he is able to spread using
the jaws of life he requisitioned for use in surgery on the larger
casualties. The hearts themselves are as tall as him, and it takes
three eagle warriors to deposit them in the chac mool.
The first heart, that of Commander Lightning, splits open easily under
his scalpel, and the giant's blood flows through the ancient statue,
sending its essence on a direct path to Quetzalcoatl. As he cuts into
the second his father, in his feathered serpent guise, flies down out
of the sky and lands lightly, having shifted back to human form.
"I was worried when I first received the message of the giants'
arrival, but it seems you have things well in hand. What happened here?"
"Commander Lighting was injured fighting one of our brothers, and they
came here seeking medical attention having heard of the work that I am
doing here. I informed them two would be needed to perform the
operation to save thier father's lives. After the titans killed thier
brothers I manipulated the other three into a slumber and they are
here. I don't know what happened to our brother that fought the titan
spawn, I have the others back here, I figured you could question them
yourself before we end thier existances."
"That's quite a tale. I was going to wait until you were more prepared,
but today's actions prove you are ready to be a full-fledged
participant in this war. After you've attended to your patients, please
meet me at the mansion."
After attending to his patients, Juan returns to his father's home.
Jesus answers the door as always and takes Juan up to the attic and out
through a window onto the house's long roof. Quetzalcoatl is up top and
has an altar laid out.The altar is solid gold and adorned with a symbol
Juan has never seen before: two feathered serpents twined around an
ceremonial knife. The symbol is very reminiscent of a caduceus, though
with darker undertones thanks to the implications inherent in a
sacrifical blade being part of it. "I had my art department draw this
up for you. If you don't like it, they are at your disposal. Every god
needs a sign."
hands Juan an obsidian blade and explains. "The last time we spoke was
an affirmation of my blood in yours. This time cements your blood with
that of the universe." He takes Juan's drum and calls forth the
cuauhtli, then beckons for one of them to mount the altar. Happy to be
chosen, the warrior does as he has been told and lies down to await an
Seeing Juan's reluctance to cut into an innocent without surgical need,
Quetzalcoatl puts a hand on his shoulder. "Miho,
que esto no es lo que eres. Las
viejas costumbres no siempre se ajustan al nuevo mundo. A medida que paso en su papel divino, este ritual
de transición mostrará el universo lo que eres y lo que representan. Simplemente porque sus antepasados eligieron la vía
de la sangre por el poder no significa que usted tiene que hacerlo, ni
cualquiera que sabe que lo espera. Haced
lo que queráis,
y sé lo que eres."