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This is part of the APKALLU Universe. AXIS is a private initiative seeking to hunt down, capture, study or simply eradicate "demons" from the surface. Demons such as the protagonist of :iconguiler-717: 's IN LAK'ECH stories, the Cuetzpalin Paynal. This mission happens in the year of 2010 (MMX), and concerns events referring to In Lak'Ech II: Nahui-Ollin.
AXIS is not exactly a villain group, but antagonists by occasion. They employ the Alpha Omega suits (named after the Greek Alphabet), adaptable armors with singular awesome powers to a special squad within the institute. Most of the Alpha Omega are young adults, given the process of symbiosis requires time and is better studied when the agent has "evolved" altogether with its usage (giving hints the suits not only give them power - but change their physics and maybe their psyche at some point).  A point which is hit just by now.

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(Ancient Greek: Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος, "island of Atlas") is a fictional island mentioned within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias, where it represents the antagonist naval power that besieges "Ancient Athens", the pseudo-historic embodiment of Plato's ideal state. Plato's vague indications of the time of the events—more than 9,000 years before his time[6]—and the alleged location of Atlantis—"beyond the Pillars of Hercules"—has led to much pseudoscientific speculation.[7] As a consequence, Atlantis has become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations and continues to inspire contemporary fiction, from comic books to films.

Precedents in the years MMVIII-MMIX
    The "coming" or reveal of the Lizardman Cuetzpalin Paynal has breached the knowledge of inhuman elements into public knowledge. Out of the boundaries of scientifical communities, his presence wasn't only a charade - this faster than a bullet creature had been outlooked in intelligence. His presence on farm, ranch and jungle was invariably associated by media-related infamy to around the ever-going struggle for land. Favoring indigenous resistance over the blatant hipocritical consumerist culture to live in the released earth, many would see that violation of the sense of property as impending doom for the population (as if they'd die of hunger - unknown that most was destined to ration or to other nations which lived without such produces so far - for expanding markets). In crucial roles, he diminished productivity, breached the economy and made politicians crawl in fear (not mentioning those he killed). Not even declared oppositions would side with him - but those bold enough stood with, to this time of opportunnity, some which were Cuetzpalin like him. A species, which by some fonts used to co-exist with humans, or rather as ruling these tailless monkeys. Bounty hunters, mercenaries and all kind of soldiers (morality is always blurred when you got a gun) went after him. AXIS tried to captured it for they were, by definition, professionals in that. They failed every intent.
But Cuetzpalin are not the only demons here.
    Of course we could account the recent emmergence of a triton, the decade-long persecution for a minotaur and a series of nomadic hordes sprawling alternatively from lakes to deserts in a march from the dead heart of Africa to Inner Eurasia. But point is, and that's what AXIS missed (or rather it's soldiers - staff exists for a reason, and once the soldiers become fully aware of the situation - they're disposable - all that matters is the scenario - it makes them give their lives) - demons corroborated with a long-lasting chain of relations between distinct civilizations. "Demons", like any other generic word, concern a population which may meet into some billion individuals. Those are declared so because of anthropozoomorphic attributes. They aren't devoid of social interactions, in more levels they have more than our own - across species, differences are blurred, assimilated, made up and aggravated. But a common mind behind many of eugenic crusades in earth, as if a filter for specific genomes, memetics and archetypes, had not previewed such "leaks". A huge client of AXIS, in fact one of it's co-conspirators, had created across centuries a series of so-called "demons" which copied specific properties of special Cuetzpalin (Paynal is one of them, his "property" is speed), by mimicking it's tonalcoatl (snake of fate, the last form of a Cuetzpalin life cycle - which renders it in a parasite-like spine shaped being which carries mind, memory and powers of what it has been and can carry out to anything with something more developed than a notochord - possibilitating symbiosis, and since then, transitioning it's original shape to that of a brand new Cuetzpalin - each time it's used, the "user" of such a power gets a minute closer to irreversibly become a Cuetzpalin - with a mind like that of the original Tonalcoatl, though), and they went farther to "control" (defeat and claim it's powers) this "overpopulation" of Cuetzpalin (let's count like three users of Tonalcoatl - often referred ixiptla, plus some hundred which were either kept in stasis or transformed in cyborgs by a secret organization behind the husk of the Socialist Government of Tahuantinsuyu - the Saqraruna Organization - whose ties corner the whole world). But eventually even some of these Cuetzpalin were freed, and that meant, above all, they had the opportunnity to reach the paradise of warriors.

Understand that as an off-world plan. The realm of Aztlán.
    The Civilization in Aztlán grown apart and independently way before the first humans learned how to carve images in our world. It had different habits, needs, and were mostly controlled by a religious and political corpus called The Aztec Confederation. Humans, Cuetzpalin, and many other species co-existed, but the human Ixiptla had proeminence in different seasons of war, that until war became a business and it's profit rendered it not only cyclical, but expansive logic. Earning the repute of greatest warriors of the galaxy after the Wars of Topakhon (a 12 centuries long lasting event it may be, if you're interested in this seemingly far gone event from some fourty centuries before us, you can always check this and be surprised how it still resounds) has put them in highest esteem for those which believed the powers and capabilities of most be determined primarily on genetics. Their differential in war concerned not only them, but their obsidian blades and the Yaxchilan material, in a unique manner controlling Teyoliatl which was used as weapon against the "living shadows" Daevas (or Centzonmimixcoa; or Yana-Phuyu) and was vital to Tonalcoatl. Ever since the shadows were banished, however, it became known to be a strictly "Cuetzpalin-thing". It's rival which coveted the confederation saw no use for it, and would gladly endanger such species, if only to prove superiority, or to take by force such power. The Einherjar were eight creations of aforementioned eugenist, Ymer, and they went after the released Cuetzpalin, as far as their supposed homeworld (even though born in our world, their faith mostly pointed their destiny laid there) only to claim this and endanger the natural sources of this vital liquid. Their plot was foiled, and the Cuetzpalin which was known in our world played a major role in that. With a single-minded human teenager behind it, he saw with awe what was in front of him. He returned from a journey as he past upon even so the laws of an alien culture, and victoriously, emmerged by the other side of the cosmic ocean.
A Wild Hunt follows.
    The Einherjar weren't satisfied. Plots between Ymer and General Wagner Kantz, known better as Ymer's "brother" Molokh, has made use of two fronts: puppets, such as the controversially named "AXIS" initiative of demon hunting (replace demon with any ethnical minority and you find it suggestive, huh...), and a board which was used before to trap an old enemy, their "half-brother" (blood relations between such entities doesn't exist - it's a nomination for loyalty) and god of shadows, Tupaq. It was of vital importance for another one, the main head of the confederation, their brother Huitzopoca, which was, as to say, the monopolizer concerning Teyoliatl. Behind all this competition for gene pools, let's say that Paynal and his allies were into for something else - all this time fighting for indigenous across the world, fighting off traffic and gambling, has led some distinctive intelligence to be traced. As a move was done with land cleansing in all the corners of the earth, entire populations went "missing" from night to day. In a Lost Generation plot, people from Yue to Sami, Kurds, Tuaregs, Darfur to Bantu, Larrakia, Kalkadoon, Roma, Ashaninka and Yominawa, to name a few, were endlessly traded in diverse plots across international seas, whilst their would be liberators, Triton and Paynal, were ambushed by multiple fronts: NATO, Eurasia, and Tahuantinsuyu. The outcome was that one of the few of the managers of such "human cargo" was made prisoner the beginning of the year. His capture didn't meant freedom for such population - rendering them to a deadly oblivion. Aided by a secret force inside deals with british army, some people were dispatched to Helladeas. They discerned few of their origins and possessions - those from Indo-Pacific were allowed. Others were sent back to this errand diaspora. Others, in pursuit of the Cuetzpalin, went to partial freedom until resorting to reaching Aztlán. Those which did were aforementioned american tribes. And among those, the ones which remained out of any control are to be "claimed" in a competition. Nahui-Atl is a continent island standing betwixt the Caribbean "Bermuda Triangle" and a similar mysterious effect in Aztlán's ocean, rendering it a stranged zone which is neither in our world nor in Aztlán. Such was the aforementioned board. For only such dimensional charade could serve of entrapment for the one who controls dark energy.

So the crude fact is, people of different ethnicities remain stranded in an outlandish island-continent.
It was, supposedly, part of our world. Some event in the past rendered it in such state. Not mere cartographic mistake, you know. CIA and MI-6 for example, account of a "Red Island Incident" in 2000 on it's coordinates. AXIS may be unaware of, but it was an event which brought its sponsors, ABEL Inc and Ülhaden Corp, together. General Wagner was pivotal on it, and he made sure such decade birthdate would better be commemorated if AXIS made it in a tombstone. A final proving ground for the ellusive Alpha-Omega, they too were a debatable highly evaluated gene pool. The symbiotic armors rendered their users with affinnities and powers above majoritary human level. But once in the Island continent, they'd be just some more flesh bags. Einherjar, which are able to have powers of tonalcoatl, forms of Jotunn, and disguise as humans, blurred all the concepts of demon and human - coming above and beyond it. To that, they see no responsibility over these agents. CIA and Interpol intervened on behalf of their countries and the overwhelming demon activity in international waters with close proximity to the North Atlantic routes. Without Alpha Omega they would be just easier prey to either Einherjar, or the highly advanced Cuetzpalin warfare - mounting untold creatures, raptor-like dinosaurs, in a place where a different life flourished for over ten years, mixing Aztlan's and our world's flora and phauna. If it wasn't enough, whilst AXIS' role wasn't explicit, forces from Tahuantinsuyu, under the watch of no other than a returning Tupaq (freed from his inter-dimensional confinement a year before), assembled. Concerning members of the Insect Syndicate to the ruthless Mallki Cyborgs and Dark Forces old as the stars, they were just guide-lines to the Daevas in a classic re-match of the Topakhon Wars.
See? The humans seemed to be just a weight, and that was of no consequence to international organizations. They had, however, a religious role to the forces of the Confederation. They were sacrificial victims, and comparing to the oblivious hell they've faced ther life, it'd be hard to deny that the life in this paradisiacal island would be worse, albeit it was shorter than it could be. Weighing it would be a matter to be measured: by either the Agents of AXIS, or Cuetzpalin Paynal's allies.
But of course agents weren't told of that.
MISSION de-BRIEFING: Rescue an average of hundred refugees, explore the uncharted terrain and fight off the demon activity. Previous intel concerning NATO and it's allies (MI-6, CIA, US Army, INTERPOL) last reported the presence of forces of dubious connections - loyalists to Tahuantinsuyu's dictator, slavery related issues and an untold presence of demonic contingent. Soldiers are scattered, resting upon AXIS the role to rescue them, and from the return, immediately trace a measure to rescue whoever was left behind and mine the progress of the slavers. As you deploy, a second team will ambush African West Coast's smugglers. Events in the Operation ALPHA Rescue points that the so-called autonomous EMLN in Mexico have contacts with Paynal. Investigate him and other possible alies of his terrorist campaigns. Secure the coast of the island, but deploy covertly. The huge presence of demons attest a small tribal dispute which you may disrupt given need. The team will be dispatched to adapt at the terrain. Be prepared for the worst.                                       April 2010
Team Leader: Agent XI, Instructor Gilles gives the intelligence support and leading directories for the team.
Team: Team Leader Agent Ypsilon Nina shall cooperate as a team leader after a split is required. Xi's Marine Team shall act on his behalf, with Agent Lambda Anna carrying out the most of the rescue operation and Agents Rho Kai and Eta Daniel follow for immediate backing and recon of the terrain, in their fully functional forms of infiltration, through land and air. Once departed, Ypsilon's team should employ Agent Epsilon Dracus and his seismic element power, to be used on the ranges of the enemy, and Agent Alpha Marvin's shielding to separate fiends from rescued agents. Previewed decurrence may take the maximum length of a week. Agent XI uses his telepathical radius to uncover geography, setting and culture among the Island. As a preemptive measure, pursue no negotiations as diplomacy with any group may invalidate the situation of your comrades through another front. Intrusion and Escape are pivotal.

    It becomes pretty clear,
the agents aren't supposed to engage with anyone or anything of cultural value. Their mission is invade and retrieve personnel sponsored by the UN and likely institutions which so far failed in a row to both prevent or stop traffic, apprehend the pivotal "demons" in the worldwide ruckus, or even to trace a plot connecting them. Truth is, there are untold elements in the briefing. The Einherjar, albeit acting on their own, are more or less sponsored by AXIS' main client. Hotspots of demon activity as a black-market of humans could be found many places around the world, albeit all in autoctonous not less hellish conditions. As work is, it is a collective burden for a singular projection. The demons weren't as much owners of workforce as they were workforce of other demons, which in turn, would invariably resort to human diplomacies. The excuses to the employment of human workforce were based on how given human related to the world capitalism - aboriginals, natives, and people of un-assimilated ethnicities or in very poor conditions unvariably would accept the continuous suffering in other terms. To demons, it was much more based on how and which secrets one could keep. On how it could take and administrate a "horde". Powers concerning the hidden elements and knowing where to find them proved them to be resourceful privateers. But that had a global role, from where the leader (see that as an undisputed authority on scientifical field) of the Jotunn would usually bribe world authorities. Plots such as that found mild acceptance in the North Sea, replacing the truncated system the Minotaurs adopted ever since Medieval Venice. Demons which leaked were mostly autonomous beings escaping from slavery. Pirates as if by nature, in truth they were seeking better conditions (borrowing others to fill the gap, read that as slaves to keep them alive). In the end they met their demise by Alpha-Omega Agents which used adaptable powers, easening the different potentials of humans and demons. It sounded all "heroic" for the AXIS' Alpha-Omega, as if they were liberators.
Nahui-Atl was the cabal proof they weren't heroes
For how could they be, if they were there just to rescue soldiers, who would rather capture the indigenous to whom they've been neglective so far...
And how could they expect a larger scenario, as the Aztec Confederation was all "off-worldly" to them, whilst there was no surprise effect resounding on the warrior-like lizardmen which composed it's troops. They knew the vitals - they all were just living sacrifices. The role of the neglected people became soon enough a holy one, to give energy to their gods. Sounding secular, it would be a major source to avoid an impending doom by the Liberation of Cipactli, most ancient creature and pivotal to the confederation, the Teyoliatl, and Cuetzpalin, veiled in mist and away from the mortals. But was this kind so in need of such fresh source of life, didn't they live so long without it?
The wild card was set
A major figure led (or was led) with and by the Cuetzpalin he freed from Tahuantinsuyu's SAQRARUNA, into the realm of Aztlán. Configuring a series of existential problematics in it's government to be comparable to theocratic societies in Earth, Cuetzpalin Paynal stood but tall against it. The release of Cipactli would provoke a larger shock on the Confederation and of it's Civilization. Like what he planned to do in his homeworld. That brought new needs to the tyrants of Aztlán, and new opportunnities for their conscript enemies, either the SAQRARUNA-Mallki-Centzonmimixcoa or the Jotunn, the latter which were aware of the smoke-screen to be planted. A secret fight between Tahuantinsuyu and NATO in shadows. With entire displaced populations in the middle.
Paynal could only believe the prime of his ethics (based in perpetrating freedom, respect and autonomy of sentient individuals) to be able to resist this attack from all sides. If the populace was no longer someone's property, they were rather sectarized from any possible living world. Their independence, however, was hindered by the way religion works - in misery, poverty, or after a great shock and fast transitions, it sounds like a medicine - only that this drug is just a way of conformity, acceptance, and refusal of reality. Exchange life and death with a morosity between one another. To avert the tides of war, those which had everything, then nothing, would have invariably means to defend, and the best defense was attack. In such effort between the elemental entities, Huitzopoca may have spoken Paynal and his group (he's had aforementioned "Cuetzpalin" [humans who become such] allies, Montezuma, Omepaynal and Cuauthemoc) to be Necoc Yaotl, the nahuatl expression for "Enemy of Both Sides". Those would rather defend the interests of self-preservation of natives (despite some of their own even giving up on this for religion), as allied with other people as Xbalanque (ayob magician from Aztlán's Underworld, timeless enemy of Huitzopoca) and Jacob Mills (wanted criminal, former scientist which stole the GAMMA project), standing in between the many sides in dispute.
Impending madness
    The team barely deployed in one foot. Complications in the transportation left them stranded in different places. The Instructor was captured. His intelligence and "mind-link" with the agents was under nigh interference. The authority of leading the squads befell to a competing Alpha-Omega group. Agent Lambda rectified her role as pivotal in a rescue mission. Other members disgressed as recoinassance was in primal need. Agent Rho would just remain to assist repairs in the vehicle. Not given time, they were ambushed in the coast, forced to move further into the Island Continent. It was rich in distinct habitats. Desert plateaus, cutting mountains, sharp rocks, dense jungles, and coral reefs. Amidst that, ruins of a forgotten time. Agent Ypsilon, traditional team leader, would have Lambda's blessing to engage the team. But they got split, as agents such as Epsilon would take the lack of a proper AXIS authority to put in place his own agenda, evaluating his own leadership by assembling a new unit out of the remaining soldiers. Rho followed the disgression, and both Lambda and Ypsilon could only watch as Alpha and Eta got even further separated. Xi was eventually found, and he broke the intent into reaching for the distinct cultures which inhabited the island, albeit as much as buccaneering as they were: the Cuetzpalin race.
That day, Gilles didn't read only dying minds from humans as they were sacrificed, he learnt much more than he could afford by looking through elemental gods themselves. That rendered him catatonic. Lambda and Ypsilon failed to rescue him. Under the menace of the Yana-Phuyu, they were saved by the only Cuetzpalin they knew - Paynal. In a moment he couldn't relent, truth was revealed - he was actually a human teenage boy - he turned so by being exhausted, and his Cuetzpalin form couldn't heal that. The stranded agents would return the favor and keep him safe until he returned to his post. There, the thief of Gamma to which they fought over, identified them. He managed to throw back the offensive attack of Rho and Epsilon, and easily defeated Lambda and Ypsilon. While those would rather relent, Epsilon was restless of his (despite claiming it to be theirs) failure. Rho would be amused on how Gamma's user knew much more about their armors than they did. From a feeling between rescue, kidnapping, serving and bounty-hunting, the agents which though to be the best of all gave it to break trust, pursue a new beginning, or else to die trying.
Will ETA's untangibility prevent it's user Daniel from being attacked by the living shadows?
When ICHNEUMON shows up, will ALPHA's shielding be of any use? How will it bode when Omicron, now as Firefly returns once again to attack his former comrades? Is his service for SAQRARUNA any different than their from AXIS?
Can Epsilon's seismics be of any use against the Nemontemi Stone, or will it his sonic powers make slightly a hit to super-powered Cuetzpalin with powers over
wind, solar flares, and water? How much will Rho's fluid adapt to liquify in such unearthly scenario?
Will he discover the secret behind the tissue of the Alpha-Omega, how Jacob seems to know much more than them, and if are there any side-effects to that?
Will Lambda relent her ethics once again, cooperate with Paynal and eventually rescue, even if the last one to be left behind the Island?

All these answers must be responded within a month of action.
    Whoever return to AXIS, knows it won't ever be the same. It provoked not one but two suicide missions on a squad which believed to carry the future of mankind. Betrayed, they recover for the physical and psychological trauma, and may engage with the few of who have left to uncover it's own corrupt schemes. Collaboration with demons. Hunting the "marginal" ones, weakening human grassroots. They were used, their last four years were a lie. But if there was something about the armors, there was one to rule them all. And only one could use that to bring their impending graduation. Approved in the school of life, to deliver a final lesson on death. If there wasn't much madness they've faced already. Bonds grown deeper, secrets became even more secret, guarded with their lives. Their answers were yet to be seen, what to become of them. They knew it wasn't at all over.
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