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Modern Cuetzpalin

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These original characters play an integral role in my latest, time-consuming original story (which I plan to release through a comic book series and a series of graphic novels): currently titled the IN LAK'ECH Mythos. You can find more information about this by checking my latest works in this account and elsewhere on the "social" media: Behance | tumblr | instagram | facebook

CUETZPALIN comes from the nahuatl "lizard" and is the name of a race of humanoid reptiles that in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos (and its prequels, AZTLÁN) are natives to Aztlán, and since the Second Sun Era (that started about 29 centuries b.c) have co-existed with several human Mesoamerican communities, civilizations and cultures, developing distinct social changes and organizations in regard to their relation with humans. By the fifth Sun Era (that has started years before the foundation of Mexico/Tenochtitlán, in the 13th Century a.c), most of the Cuetzpalin would become loyal to the interests of the Excan Tlahtoloyan (Mexica Triple Confederation or Mexica Triple Alliance, a.k.a the ruling corpus, government or state of the 14th Century altepetl - city-states of Tenochtitlán, Texcoco & Tlacopan, in the Valley of Mexico, the heart of the Mexica "Aztec" Civilization) in exchange of social privileges - some were even made rulers. All of this changed when the Spanish conquistadores have taken the city, and eventually installed the colonial government, which carried out extermination campaigns against human and Cuetzpalin natives, alongside the encomienda system of enslavement. Resistance has lasted for about two centuries, when the Cuetzpalin were practically wiped out - for reasons that precede the conflict between the Mexica and spanish in at least centuries - save for some few who lived among humans, using them as hosts. The Cuetzpalin became a myth, and this myth was forgotten.

    In August 8th 2008, however, a 14 years old boy, William Mattoni, has found (or rather was found by) the Tonalcoatl of Mexican ruler Montezuma Xocoyotzin, who finally opened his eyes after 488 years, starting a symbiotic relation which gave William the power to transform himself into a super-fast Cuetzpalin at will, and to maintain a telepathic communication with Moctezuma. Both of them believed to have died (William in an ambush he just found himself in, after freeing some hens from their cages, in a private property/farm he entered into, somewhere in Acre) but were proved wrong, and now, each with a different goal, were not only given a second chance in life, but an actual chance to make a difference. Moctezuma, who wanted to rest in the Paradise of the warriors his religion promised him during lifetime, now wanted to take back the crown of Mexico for him, something William didn't care too much about - as an anarchist, he wanted to use this power to destroy all politicians, rulers, governors, not to mention the corporates, industrialists, bourgeois involved with the exploitation of animals and humans alike. He wanted to be the difference he wanted to see in the world, and while being vegan (consuming products that don't include anything derived from animal exploitation. It can sound as easy or as hard as you want to, but anyone's excuses doesn't change the fact animals feel and what happens to them through the industry, breeding and so on for huma consumption is ethically reprehensible) wasn't enough for him, that difference would cost the lives of others whose work is taking the lives of others for their petty desires. Faster than a bullet, William's Cuetzpalin form was also much stronger, resistant, agile, enduring and had a better vision. No wonder the boy would spend more time as a Cuetzpalin than as a human in his following days (what was good for Moctezuma, for reasons William was unaware of), he only bothered to keep some time as a human, attending school and some time in his life among family and friends because of usual obligations. All the free time he used to study things that no school would ever teach (things that matter more than the usual indoctrination of the stupid, frustratingly underestimating school material) he would now use to learn new things in his actions - as a Cuetzpalin, he's started to sabotage slaughterhouses, animal breeding stations, vivisection labs, as well other properties, of landlords, slavers and authorities related to the licit crimes and abuse that people are forced to accept for all these years. That, of course, would leave a trail of blood and put him at odds with private security and the police (if you think I'm going to call those cretins as "public security" think again, their work is to defend the corrupt and the things they own, unless you're one of those things, owned by someone, and isn't an actual self-conscious sentient being, you can expect to be "defended" by the State's cops & military). But it would take time for the public to acknowledge the evidences pointing out the existence of a super-fast lizardman "terrorist". As usual, many innocents would be put in jail because the cops are corrupt enough to make someone pay for William's actions (property destruction, messing up with slavery and animal abuse cost something in the pockets of that scum, right? And who's going to force someone, anyone, to pay them that if not their ever-present "friends", the State, that feeds on the taxes paid by the poor and the workers?), and that would be more fuel the mass media would use to direct hate at people that don't adjust, like those who would freely express messages similar to those found in the actions - such as animal liberation and anarchy. They didn't know this "terrorist lizard-man" was just a 14-15 years old boy in disguise, and William sought to play with their minds and use that in his favor - and that of the animals, of course - instead of their own. The news of the link between the recent "crimes" and the existence of a lizard-man faster than a bullet have come only about October 2008, when the actions of the lizard who'd identify his own as CUETZPALIN PAYNAL (from the nahuatl "fast lizard", named after a pre-hispanic Mexican deity regarded as the messenger of Huitzilopochtli, the God of War and true patron of Mexico. In the In Lak'ech Mythos, it's return was prophesied by a community of semi-nomadic Panoan people found in the State of Amazonas, inspired on the actual Kulina people) have expanded beyond Brazil, and into all of the American continent, including the State of Tahuantinsuyu.

    In the In Lak'Ech Mythos, during the second hald of the 20th Century, socialism-inspired popular rebellions and different organized guerrilla groups have started in Peru, by the time known as Imperio del Peru, an Empire ruled by US/UN puppet emperor Urcon Verbo, and taken control over some prefectures and cities, resulting in the taking of its capital, the Ciudad Imperial of Lima, and the assassination of the Emperor by the Revolutionary leader Tupaq Amaru III, named after the late 16th Century Inca Emperor in exile and the 18th century indigenous revolutionary leader. His true identity has remained as a secret for years to come, but it's believed he's actually from Argentina, and is of Mapuche descent. Following the taking of power by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Tahuantinsuyu, Tupaq's actions and influence over the workers of Latin America have caused a lot of trouble to the US/UN/CIA/corporate-backed satellite dictatorships set in strategic places like Chile and Brazil, and eventually, the newly-christened Republic of Tahuantinsuyu has expanded its reach towards Ecuador, Bolivia, and some cities from northern Chile and Argentina. After decades of conflicts and tension in its borders, alongside the ongoing tension between the US and USSR, not to mention other uprisings in Central America, the Caribbean, China and Eastern Asia, Tahuantinsuyu would be acknowledged by the UN as a sovereign nation - much to the distaste of local would-be dictators and their rich, foreigner criminal supporters. Usual drug cartel business magnates and their licit face, from lawyers to media business owners. That, however, has come at the cost of Tahuantinsuyu becoming nothing more than any other "democratic government" (a polite name for a dictatorship where you can vote for those that will step on you or even shoot at you), as enslaving and oppressive as other so-called liberal nations, counting with a class of heavily-armed cyborgs for cops and a greater mass of workers forced to work - or die starving. And on the top, some select governors and their populist propaganda. Tupaq himself has become the official ruler after his guerrilla carreer stopped, between the late eighties and 2000, when he was supposedly killed during a travel in Cuba - more unknown, though correct sources know that visit took place in the island of Bermeja, on Mexico, that was being traded for multinational oil companies since 1997. The island was also being used as a base for the Jötunn Scientific Organization, a secret organization mostly composed by inhuman and inhumane scientists tasked by hidden sectors of UN and its investors to keep other inhumans in underground mining facilities, and less often, to hunt down select undesired communities - such as indigenous communities that have kept their traditional lifestyles. They do care for money, but what they care more is to create the perfect species. This secret organization is even older than the United Nations, and was related to eugenic institutions that worked on Northern Europe, sterilizing indigenous communities, and who undoubtly inspired some Nazists. Pseudo-scientifical in ideology, they're threateningly very scientifical when it comes to the effectiveness of their inhumane methods in population control, and that's only possible because of their investors - how does one invest in an enterprise that doesn't even exist publicly? They invest in a series of others that are linked to it. Tupaq has been aimed by private bounty hunters and official military of several countries, but escaped death so far. His supposed death in 2000 came by the hands of his brothers, who have grown tired of him messing up their plans of world domination. Tupaq himself, however, has his ambitions and resourfecul allies, such as a secret organization created by aliens that acts not only on Tahuantinsuyu but also in the territory of some of its self-proclaimed enemies, and has specialized in the development of top-notch, even futuristic military technology which made the dream of a Tahuantinsuyuan revolution possible in first place. By late 2008, the time In Lak'Ech begins, there's still a generalized belief that Tupaq is dead (even though there are no records of said death, but lots of rumors), and the Tahuantinsuyu is democratically ruled by the current elect governor, Urco Huanca, from PSP, a "center-left social democratic party", that has been in the seat of Tahuantinsuyu for two years, and has been changing some of its economy towards privatization of several industries, earning support from several sectors of UN, but distrust among the sucessor of Tupaq's party, the Socialist Party of Tahuantinsuyu (no longer the Communist Revolutionary label, still instigates the same fear and respect on the liberals) led by Umaq Granado, who used to be "Tupaq's right hand".

For William, the distinction of class doesn't relieve one from its duty towards not using or exploiting animals, even those who are poor have no right to breed, force, kill, manipulate or interfere over one sentient animal's own right to exist by its own and witness a life in freedom and integrity. Therefore, if this ethical code is broken, the one who has consciously broken it has necessarily taken the responsibility to understand the consequence of its actions and to expect retribution. This view has grown in William as he became addicted to his Cuetzpalin powers, and who, unable to see this "privilege" (the power) anywhere else, has started to fake the origin of his power in his own mind, as if it wasn't a work by chance (something that him, as a skeptical, actually affirm), but as if he was the only one that actually deserved such power for being the only one compassionate enough towards the sentient animals, the only one whose judgment is ethical and doesn't concern one's species or usefulness to those in power, but rather the individual value of one's own sentient life & what it's freedom and it's integrity means. William didn't really believe to be a chosen one or a messiah, but that's how he sounded like to Moctezuma, who in his previous life was labeled by other nobles as a true-born king. Paynal's weapons and equipment are usually stolen from military headquarters, private security bases or bounty hunters he stumble upon. His remarkable spear, which Moctezuma recall as a half of his own (which he used in battle during the 15th Century), was found hid in a cave sprouting out of vapor lake bordering the Brazilian state of Acre and Peru, where the local Ashaninka indigenous use as a healing bath for some decades. As William himself is an enthusiast of pre-columbian cultures, he has always shown an amicable approach towards traditional indigenous communities - even though that is up to debate or change, according to how much it can affect some wild animals individually, but overall, he sees in them the hope for a better future, more than he does in the so-called "global/industrial/western civilization". To forge an allegiance between the natives and the Cuetzpalin once again, is the key to re-organizing an ancient resistance, that of life over death, of liberation over the chains of opression, of actual freedom over the vain promises of a bought freedom, and ultimately of the respect for sentient beings based on an ethical view regarding the individual importance of each one, over a biased, dogmatic vision where the only lives that matter are those who work for someone or something else - god, society, civilization, bourgeoisie, wealth, economical growth, the environment, whatever excuse the slavers find to defend their position.

    As news and coverage of Paynal have started to rise, so did his attempts in approaching and organizing traditional indigenous communities in north Brazil with the intent of self-defense, in some cases arming them, and in others of almost getting himself killed. These actions have affected all of the american continent's lands used for crops and livestock, as around late November several landlords, some of their families and even political allies have been rightfully/mercilessly slain by Paynal. Still, the scenario wasn't total chaos, instead, the exposure that all wasn't exactly under control, the remaining authorities would make sure it would be since then, employing international private military forces to start a campaign of massive hunting, as their intelligence has failed during all these months in getting decent results that could at least tell wher Paynal used to hide by daylight. Amidst this media tension, in November 20th, a 27 years old Brazilian journalist named Ian Ribeiro, based in Cuiabá, capital of the state of Mato Grosso, has found the Tonalcoatl of Ichtaca, yet another ancient Cuetzpalin, who has claimed to have been a Mexica warrior who fought at the siege of Tenochtitlán in 1520. His weapon, an unique green-looking macuahuitl with a somewhat modern design and well preserved obsidian blades, was found in the same cave Ian stumbled upon just after covering the rising tension between an organization of local landless workers and northern indigenous groups - a conflict set up by local authorities to divert each one's objectives. Ian was used to register the struggle of the landless workers for a while, and his life near theirs has always put him and his observations in favor of their rights in owning lands which they work him, something easily labeled by most mass media journals as socialist, left-wing and so on, on a derogatory note. For this reason, Ian has been working for more independent media, the problem being it wasn't actually that independent - several of its owners reflect positions supportive to a traditionally "centre-left" party, the Workers' Party, or some other less influential allies that have increased their position in the Brazilian government since the last decade, and since then have only followed the neoliberal tendencies of privatizations, of the public services' degradation by the lack of investments in national education, industry, and also doing nothing towards the land reform that were always on their candidates' advertisements during elections. Ian grew weary of their seemingly unbreakable influence and formation of opinion not only among the journal he worked for, but also among most of the organized land reform and class struggle militants he met. As Paynal's actions have only gathered hate and negative attention towards him, making conservatives and progressists agree on how blatantly inhumane and merciless his actions were, and how his beliefs couldn't possibly justify those acts (actually showing how hypocritical they were on their own, for that's exactly all they do or have someone else paid to do with the non-human animals and the humans they treat as inferiors, just as slaves, indigenous peoples, the miserably poor, hungry and thirsty, and others at the margin of a capitalist society), Ian has been called to work on Paynal's case. Good for him, he seemed to have found a secret about Paynal - if through Ichtaca Ian had just become a Cuetzpalin himself, Paynal was likely someone who found a Tonalcoatl of another Cuetzpalin and then transformed into Paynal. Using Paynal's name, this new Cuetzpalin (whose enhanced regeneration factor is something he didn't know to be a super power, at first believing it was common to other Cuetzpalin from Ichtaca's time) has earned some support from a rebel cell within the landless workers, and before he could plan a way to attract Paynal's attention (what he did already, but Paynal wasn't able to meet him just as soon as he expected, for he was fighting elsewhere), he fell, alongside Paynal, in a trap set by a traditional landlord who had just lost several of his puppets within Brazil's senate, thanks to Paynal's bloody actions. Setting their differencies aside, the two Paynal identified their actual enemy, and while the later Paynal preferred to take him into custody for interrogation, the younger one couldn't control his anger and just killed the bastard. Either way, despite in a less than ideal occasion, the two Paynals met, and their anihilation of the land owners in the area has made a new day rise for the populations exploited by those cretins, what earned the trust of some young generations of indigenous that have known nothing else than hunger, misery and mistreatment from the city-dwellers, and old ones who were already used to working under terrible conditions to people that only gave them a miserable god to believe in and a piece of bread that couldn't cease their hunger. Thus was christened "OMEPAYNAL" (from the nahuatl "Two Fast"), who still criticized Paynal's methods (that made no distinction of class for his victims), albeit he acknowledged the usefulness of his speed power against the corrupt governors with a neoliberal agenda.

    With another "inhuman monster" on activity, worldwide fear and terror were easily spread by a corrupt and coward media, more concerned with the condition of objects than that of people & animals. Amidst the diversion, in February 13th 2009, just another day, those who have always lived a life of fighting to survive, such as 23 years old Quebec-based Algonquian citizen Paul "Powhatan", were frequent in the unfortunate need to protest against the industrial projects which a so-called "progressist" government allowed to interfere on their lands (that's what progress means, right? to destroy millions and make someone profit billions out of this, to cut down so many trees and build some houses to house two or three people while millions of others are forced into inhumane conditions into the slums, and are shot by the police for occuppying a space they weren't supposed to be in, all while people are forced to believe they're in a "free country" just because they vote in someone to usurp their rights and even the money they get, which is already a small fraction of the amount they produce to make someone else rich), needless to say, threatening not just their community's lifestyle but lives themselves. As the riot police has been activated to prevent people from standing up for their own lives (you see, some people are considered terrorists even when they do nothing but stay in the place they always stood for their entire lives. When they're invaded, should they just accept it, if the invader is wearing an uniform? If the "invader" is someone from their own community, people would tell them to shoot to kill), young Paul was one of those repressed, but he didn't give up, he just sought for another way to get into the project - an oil pipeline - and sabotage it, if he couldn't do all, his small act of sabotage would cause some damage, and if that was all he could do for the time being, that'd be fine. However, Paul has been ambushed and lost himself in the woods - when he found the Tonalcoatl of yet another ancient Cuetzpalin - Macoel, the former Mexica warrior who abandoned his position to become defender of the Taino at the Caribbean Sea, and after witnessing the destruction bought by the spanish invaders in first hand, returned to Tenochitlán in 1523, just to find it destroyed. Unable to prevent Cuauhtemoc's execution, two years following the failure of his resistance, Macoel has found out Cuauhtemoc planned a way to get another host in time, and alongside this renewed Cuauhtemoc has infiltrated the colonial management to release Cuetzpalin & human natives alike, even those who previously condemned him as a traitor of Mexico. For a century, they gathered rebellions and have sabotaged efforts from the encomiendas, as he moved far north. The last someone saw of Macoel was in the 18th Century, as he participated in the O'odham Uprising against the government of New Spain on nowadays Arizona. How he moved into Algonquian territory, on nowadays southeastern Canada (Quebec) is still unknown, but once he symbiotically bonded with the young Powhatan, a little time to adjust was all they needed to see their goals weren't really different, Macoel's discovery by Powhatan actually only made him more informed on how long this struggle against a foreigner government has been, and who has been pulling the strings, so he used these powers for his own advantage, claiming to be the second coming of MONTEZUMA, the late Mexican ruler made myth (by none other than Macoel himself, who spent some of his last lives among the Hopi and Zuni peoples in New Mexico, between the late 17th and early 18th centuries). More agile, strong and with a identity more protected than he would be as a human, and also armed with equipment he was able to steal, "Montezuma" started to attack industrial and colonial government's business, causing damage and inspiring independent actions, but also defending his own community, not too far from Quebec, and eventually organizing resistance from other tribes (such as the Iroquois) that in the past had their enmity towards the Algonquian used in favor of the colonizers. This has put him at odds with some puppet leaderships, who struggled to have some "indigenous representation in government" for reasons of self-promotion instead of an actual, collective emancipation. At this rate, both Paynal's and Omepaynal's existences were undeniable through their actions, even though their locations couldn't ever be properly traced, so Macoel and Powhatan, believing they could be hosts of some of Macoel's own fellow 16th Century liberators, have decided to travel the continent and find either one of them. In the way, however, Powhatan and Macoel have introduced themselves as Montezuma to a Zuni community found in a place occupied by military personnel from Tahuantinsuyu's secret organization - the Saqraruna. How did they get into American territory unnoticed with such equipment is unknown to most, save for a little select government and a private security company staff. The Zuni, grateful for Montezuma's struggle for their defense, handled him a most powerful weapon, the Staff of Time, which they said to be able to slow time around him - something that just got a lot more handy, even more during his first meeting - and struggle - against Paynal, as he prevented Paynal from killing an indigenous man who was about to sacrifice a wild boar. Their differences were just too great, but with time, like with Omepaynal, Montezuma and Paynal would make peace - for an organized resistance can be more important than just standing alone at the front lines, sometimes.

    It hasn't been a while that the somewhat reclusive Paynal would meet up with these two, however in some cases and ambushes they've teamed up against secret and not so hid armed forces that sought to eliminate the Cuetzpalin and continue hiding the way of things to keep the corrupt status quo. But like the Cuetzpalin before them, those modern ones know how to make a difference - yesterday's knowledge, today's wisdom and action for tomorrow's outstanding.

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manati20's avatar

bonito dibujo.