Is there such a thing as perfection? The gods believe so. And they found purpose in the seemingly endless strife for what lesser beings would deem unobtainable. To them, the size of the challenge and the prize didn’t matter, nor the time it would take. The gods are patient and immutable.
– From The skulkers in the void, by Amoxtli.
According to his mother’s medical records, she had grown insane, something blamed on a “truth” discovered in an ancient Nahuatl text she had found in Spain. Her books weren’t fiction, she insisted. She had sold them as such while working on the evidence, to procure the funds necessary.
The Meso-American people, she insisted, were inspired by something much, much older they had found on the Yucatan Peninsula, a hidden city of the servants of the gods in whose likeness the gods of the Aztec religion were formed. Those beings had taught the proto-Meso-Americans much, who strove to imitate them. More importantly, they had revealed to them the true nature and hidden purpose of humanity: Slaughter in the name of a greater good.
The gods had sent something across the void between the stars, to seed life. Where it blossomed, they brought their servants to bear, forging/forming the flesh of new life in their god’s image. Once the process was complete, and the outcome verified, the gods would come in person to bring about the slaughter of their creation, leaving only the worthy to ascend back to Aztlan. That was the cycle of life, and, according to something she wasn’t willing to talk about with her therapists, she had found out that the end of the cycle approached. She only made allusions to a man – the therapist believing that this was a former lover- who had revealed more than he had wanted and then left her. Somehow that man or something she did would bring about the end of the world.
Was this the reason Grangran was so unwilling to talk about his mother? Was she, the Catholic, ashamed because of the psychosis of her daughter? Did she fear that Martin would leave her, as his mother had done? Did she try to discourage him from pursuing astronomy for these reasons?
And still, he couldn’t bring himself to dismiss it all as mere figments of a diseased mind. The insane don’t produce books like that. Who was the man that left her, and who she had such antipathy for? There was a possibility it was his father. Was there a method to her madness? Did she avoid Martin because of something his father had done?
Ultimately, more questions than answers. But to find out what really had happened, what motivated his mother and grandmother, Martin would need to leave the States himself.
And answers he would have. After his 18th birthday, he did two things: he paid Goldstein and booked a one-way flight back to where it started: Meso-America. He would follow in his mother’s footsteps and find out what had inspired her breakdown. If there was a trigger, it would be there, either in Mexico City or Yucatan. He left a letter of explanation to Grangran and stole away like a thief in the night.
He had always deemed himself strong. But he had no idea what lay in front of him, what he would find.
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