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Armageddon

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This digital painting/illustration was designed as a promotional poster for ARMAGEDDON, the fourth installment* of my story project, currently titled IXIPTLA

* - ARMAGEDDON is set between January 2011 up to August 2011, following up the events of the third installment (ME: GIFTS OF CIVILIZATION) and setting up the events of the fifth (NECOC YAOTL)


It features some of the major characters from the installment's story arc: the Maori soldier Akamai,  the super-fast reptile protagonist Cuetzpalin Paynal (William M) and the legendary, immortal Cuetzpalin knight Cuauhtemoc; as well a major antagonist introduced in ARMAGEDDON: God (and the Holy Spirit).
    If you're used to my work, some of you may know one thing or two about the story of IXIPTLA, like, by telling from its' name ("impersonator" in nahuatl) that it draws several influences from pre-hispanic cosmologies (as well mythology, belief systems, language and culture) - despite it's set in a contemporary era-like, down to earth world, albeit a little more futuristic (I can't deny the sci-fi roots) than our own world. Without any full comic published yet, it's hard to explain all that happened in the story up to here, but I'll try, and use the descriptions of other related artworks to help me.

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  • Akamai is a retired soldier from Aotearoa/New Zealand's armed forces. Not quite retired, he's actually been expulsed after he formed his own dissident squad within the forces, determined to defend an aboriginal community and their ways of living from the impending genocide which he and his fellow soldiers were carrying out against their own people, in the name of mining companies, some of them, linked to chinese businesses. Akamai had some sort of revelation when he found an ancient shield with the carved face of Tumatauenga (the war god, and ancestor of all Maori), he learned more about the history of his people, and became more determined to avenge what happened to his ancestors. He has met the Cuetzpalin Paynal in an occasion, during 2009, when Paynal fought alongside him, against the colonial forces of New Zealand. He spent the consequent years running from the law and studying his enemies, including those that hide behind the words written in the Bible.

  • Cuetzpalin Paynal ("Fast Lizard") is the identity which young (16-17 years old during Armageddon) Brazilian student William M. takes while on his reptile form. Inspired and committed to the liberation and defense of well-being of most sentient animals (if one find it worth mentioning, he's a vegan), he dislikes authority in general and has a sharp view on most things. Since April '11 he learned that if he keeps using his power to transform into a super-fast lizard-man, he may lose his original human form forever. That wouldn't be a problem for him some years ago, he'd make his choice easily (besides, he wouldn't need to go to school, he wouldn't fall under public surveillance, and would experience a freedom most humans doesn't), however recently he has met the "girl of his life", and he's pretty sure that if he has a chance with her, he'll do it as human rather than as a lizard.

  • Cuauhtemoc is the 1000+ years old Cuetzpalin (from the same species as Paynal, though Cuauhtemoc was born this way) who has witnessed the rise and fall of Mexico, who has fought the Black Death, the Church, who was there when Copernicus defended that the Sun is the center of the Solar System, who fought alongside the anarchists in the Russian and Spanish Revolutions, and who has witnessed his best friends die one too many times. This lone wolf lizard-man, like Akamai, wants revenge - but not exactly of his ancestors, he's doing it for friends he had in these years back. It's incredible for William to see how one keep motivated in fighting enemies like the State for so long, but he fails to see Cuauhtemoc doesn't live for the same kind of life William seeks to create after some time (a better life quality, in some autonomous, vegan/antispeciesist community with some few people) - for Cuauhtemoc, born as a Toltec, fated to die fighting (more than once, perhaps), war will never end. He just hope to bring the God of Light and the God of Darkness to their graves.

  • God is an old "angel" (being of light) created by accident from Baal Hadad ("Lord Hadad", a.k.a the thunder God Adad, worshipped waaaay before YHWH, and whose characteristics inspired some of YHWH's own). He controlled over a legion of other angels who intended to enslave mankind, and for some time, they kept their slaves (who, save for a small group of "prophets", was forbid to read and write) under their wing, warring with neighbors and cursing them. More than once, these slaves were besieged and captured by enemies, and this God lost some of his authority, being forced to live among other, more powerful gods. This spoiled old man at least got to learn something from those experiences, and he eventually befriended a Roman magician, a non-human, bird(dove)-looking master of deceit called Paracletus ("helper", "advocate") who helped him to create and sponsor a small group of businessmen who decided to fund his new empire. Among them, some of Jesus' disciples. Who's Jesus? Just a man, a scapegoat, who became the main part of their fraudulent narrative for the next generations. True power, which the immortal Paracletus promised to "God" (he may have had a 72 letters long name, but he prefer to be called God, or "the only God". Poor boy), would only come when Paracletus' associates succesfully converted Emperor Constantine to the new religion (after some centuries of real fun, when christians were persecuted and tortured), and after him, through successors such as Theodosius, would impose their life-denying, down-to-earth corruptible and blind faith to the unfortunate ones. Centuries have passed, God preferred to remain blind to Earth, and more centered around the paradise which Dante and many slaves created for him (in the 13th-14th Centuries, a mobile satellite created by other aliens, either "angels" or "demons". That may have explained why the church's authorities didn't care for the victims of Black Death, and instead of looking for a cure preferred to instigate conflict against heathens). He's certainly not all he claim to be ("the creator of the universe, the all-powerful, the all-seeing, the all-knowing, the beginning and the end"), and people wouldn't take him for god just because he happen to be real (while the God in the people's minds can't be real, otherwise they wouldn't worship or even "believe in him" just because they'd talk face to face) yet he's a force to reckon with, and is hell-bent on destroying life, just as his word (the scripture) shows. BTW, Paracletus, the avian entrepeneur, was also a tax-gatherer in Rome. His covenant with God earned him immortality and a certain influence over all of God's businesses - the Church, the Roman Empire, all that came after - but also rendered him into a parasitic lifeform. That's what the holy ghost (or should it be ghost advocate? Does it sound exquisite?) is, actually: a parasite that spreads to other angels and people's minds, connecting them under a single, destructive will.

Background


    In MMXI a.D, public unrest was on the rise through several urban centers across the world, motivated by the intensification of armed conflicts and the spreading access of military equipment, as well the organization of autonomous guerrillas, either to resist enforcement, or to enforce. The "public security", which means the army and police, as well the entire surveillance system, has always been nothing but a bunch of organized bounty hunters defending a bourgeois state in which a majority of people are enslaved by debts and favors, in order to sustain a minority of corporate managers and their political puppets, in a circus called democracy where corruption and deceit are law. Nothing has changed since the ancient times, when deceitful priests ruled over ignorant simpletons pretending to be the spokepeople of the gods, or of a single god, trying to concentrate their authority to their own club. Such a primitive relation of oppressor and oppressed is still what drives the illusion of modern society, and the ignorant illusion of nation, or even of society and community itself. Amidst the organized chaos, individuals are led to fight battles which aren't their own, and both to use and be used by others in those fights. Independently of who they (we) fight for, their (our) very lives come with limits which we can, or cannot change individually, depending on our choices.

   
In this scenario, a network of vigilantes motivated by anarchy* that has been mobilizing itself internationally, through independent, autonomous individuals - some of them non-human - informally referred to as "Necoc Yaotl" ("enemy of both sides" in nahuatl, also an epithet of the Mexica God Tezcatlipoca, a trickster deity associated with the night and magic), has taken matters into their own hands to break apart not only the government of each nation-State on the map (thus social control), but also the great conglomerates like the UN, the EU, and the companies which use these as means to force their agendas (promoting allies to political titles, defending landlords, tradition, creating monopolies, and increasing social inequality as a result).

* - the destruction of nationalism (traditionalism, conservatism), the State (bureaucracy, a systematic theft), the naturally corruptible economical system (capitalism, economical liberalism, or even communism), hierarchy, religion (who needs religion these days, or who ever needed? To believe in such lies is to underestimate one's own capability of reason) and also control & enslavement (prisons, schools, indoctrination, banks, animal farms, etc.)


    The Necoc Yaotl didn't come from nowhere, though, some of them like Cuetzpalin Paynal himself has been doing works of sabotage, theft, and other deeds of free men usually described as "terrorism" (nothing annoys lazy asses that rely on birth privileges than people who doesn't and still get the things done, right? Also, why some people apparently care for bank agencies and inanimate objects more than their fellow sentient animals' welfare and life quality?!) for two years and five months straight, and that's what got him the negative attention of the government, the public, and what made him so inspiring for a new generation of "anarchists" worldwide. The actions of this mysterious non-human vigilante coincided with those of other independent fronts: from the separatists in the Basque country and the autonomous Mayan communities of Southern Mexico, inspired by their own mixture of traditional pre-colonization ways of life and anarcho-communist principles, popularized by historical resistance movements, up to urban guerrilla warfare through black bloc resistance in Greece and elsewhere, distinct networks of individuals motivated with extinguishing the social control - and with the will power and resources to make it happen, for example, the superhuman abilities of super-speed, of creating and controlling the waters and lightning - have formed in this short interval of two years, and caused some considerable amount of damage to military facilities, getting weapons, copying and remanufacturing new ones, appropriating the knowledge of enemies and fighting back as equals. Paynal himself used to own a giant robot, nicknamed UALN-03 Q'uq'Umatz (named after the K'iché Mayan name for the Feathered Serpent deity), with whom he has destroyed entire bourgeois, metropolitan exclusion centers - like rich town neighborhoods across Brazil, or spots of social inequality destined to rich tourists. This chinese-made technology was being trafficked by their own producers, trading other valuable military goods with Yakuza-related mobs, when Paynal stole it from them, and alongside some allies, have made some space (a squat in an abandoned factory) to cover his new machine. But just as they've uncovered this new mass destruction tech, the Necoc Yaotl people knew that the great corporations had much more stored, and would readily use it, even if it meant killing many of their (replaceable) supporters (which means you, me, everyone). Besides, for the authorities it's always a priority to maintain control, this relation of need, than the well being of others. There's just many people, the death of an individual isn't really important for the police. In fact, several cops just join the armed forces to kill people. Said and done, the first usage of this technology by some Necoc Yaotl has already unleashed new series of military paraphernalia against the populace, with the "justification" that it was "to prevent war and public unrest" (something that was already happening, as it has always been, but was just "getting out of control" in the true sense of the world). Building-destroying metal machines, though, weren't the only monsters unleashed by this outcry.

Seven Eyes Across the Earth


    The ever backwards thinking, parasitical church hasn't lost the opportunity to strike, and use their wealthy puppets to sponsor militias vouching for "catholic, nationalist, traditionalist" values which only show how much a person is a sanctimonious, false moralist more worried about someone else's sex than their own life quality and basic rights (to eat, to live, etc). Some sectors within the church's hierarchy also attempted to enhance their efforts on the ecumenization (the joining of religions and religious institutions into one), preparing for the end of the world, while others remained as purists (defending only one institution, and not appealing to introduce its dogma on other institutions through subversion). What matters most, though, is that the church has been trying to legalçize murder in the name of god, and that got the attention of many more divergent christian and non-christian religious institutions which created violence in the name of ending a supposed violence. The old story of using fear of imaginary threats to justify real violence, in the name of imaginary friends and imagiary rewards.
    Pacifism, though, in such threatening times, where freedom is nowhere to be seen, yet is supposedly defended by everyone (one can't talk about freedom if it's own existence relies on the enslavement of other sentient animals. To change this one habit can the first step towards freedom, which is a mixture of individual effort and collective construction, rather than a natural state or a god/society-given privilege), is just a poor excuse to defend the status quo. Nonviolence is synonymous with submission, and will always protect the State. With this in mind, Paynal strategically sought to murder major figures, like politicians, bishops, priests, public figures, instead of just crowds, and in one occasion he murdered the Pope - in the proccess, learning he also has some super-human power, derived from a light-based demon being which he claims to be, and possibly is, the "Holy Spirit". With the Pope murdered by an atheist, anarchist "terrorist", the Church would choose the most sadistic and war-mongering of their next candidates to become the next. This is Leo XIV (born Wieceslaw Jozef Dziedzic), a Polish bishop, staunch anti-communist and a manipulative speaker whose goal is to destroy the world, after earning his place in a fully-automated heaven for the chosen few (fully-automated, because otherwise the rich would still need the poor to work for them).
    Starting in April, Leo has already made use of his supporters, among them secret agents, businessmen claiming to descend from royal lineages of the past (Bourbon, Habsburgs), politicians, right-wing vloggers, "liberal-conservative" think-tanks, corrupt charities and many more bureaucrats & demagogues to establish actual Inquisitorial Offices and Holy militias a la crusades (the wet dreams of conservatives who idolize the crusades and the defense of a supposedly christian, western civilization. They should learn how to wash their own clothes, to cook and clean their houses first, huh?). He has named Inquisitors like Father Frére in France, and in no time spread lies like the false dichotomy between "catholic nationalism" and "EU-imposed, globalist atheism" to gain more supporters of his side (deliberately ignoring the fact that at the same time, neo-pagan communities with traditions much older than his christianity, were mobilizing across Europe, not necessarily under nationalistic mind-sets, in some cases, defending pan-Slavic organizations). Indeed, most of his supporters didn't know (or pretended not to know) that despite a critic of "internationalism/globalism", the Church relied mostly on money from far away lands like Brazil and Latin America (which population is disregarded by supremacists, but has bastardized supremacists among their own) than in "Europe" (which is too big to be easily described as a single block), and yet, the EU is and has always been, like the Church, a parasite institution that always defended christian faith.

    It didn't take too much time for the loosely organized, informal and autonomous intel of the "Necoc Yaotl" to realize what the deepest secrets of their enemies were, and that like before, they were dealing with aliens creating mass destruction weapons to end life on the planet, save for some few, who would live in automated conditions, deprived from their free will - just like the nightmarish reality which the biblical scriptures call "paradise", "after Jesus returns". But did that confirm that there is a God, a Jesus, a Holy Spirit and all that crap? Well, at least partially, it does. It doesn't mean though that any of these senseless, madmen are messiahs, saviors, creators of the universe or that, they're just power-hungry telepaths that can control some human minds, and not others. They seek control over all, and will lie about peace, order and rewards just so these spoiled beings can get what they want. They're not alone, though: rumors abound that an architect named Dante projected Heaven, and started its construction not too far from the time when the Black Death attacked Europe harder. Perhaps this Heaven was planned as a safe haven for the european nobility when the common people was rather persecuting jews and pagans, claiming they were the cause of their own illness? Whether or not these things existed, Paynal & friends had to destroy this Heaven before it destroyed Earth, and in no time, they'd learn that this heaven's stopping point, where the "blessed ones would be saved from hell's flames" was... that's right, the over-militarized fortified "Holy Land", Jerusalem, home to tourists and people who are able to spend fortunes on trash because they think Jesus stepped on it some 2000 years ago. These are, according to the prophets, the people that shall make it to the next generation. Needless to say, a war on the horizon - HAR MEGIDDO is rising.
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