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Bounty Hunters

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        These four are original characters who play some role in my current story project, the IN LAK'ECH Mythos (which I plan to release as a series of comic books. It's, however, in the initial stages of development, though it already takes a lot of time from me and is the main theme of my current art study, practice and production). The IN LAK'ECH Mythos' main story follows the path of a young Brazilian student, William Mattoni, who acquires the power to transform into a CUETZPALIN (from the nahuatl "lizard"), a super-fast lizard-man, after finding the Tonalcoatl (a snake-like structure which contains the consciousness of an ancient Cuetzpalin) of an ancient Cuetzpalin, Moctezuma Xocoyotzin - revealed to have been a super-fast Cuetzpalin himself, in his lifetime, when he ruled the Confederation of Mexico by the time the Spanish invaders arrived. The symbiosis between William and Moctezuma allows the young boy to transform into a new Cuetzpalin, and Moctezuma to telepathically communicate with him.
        The story is set since August 8th 2008, the 21st century, a modern time, roughly 488 years after Moctezuma's "death", so he'll have a hard time adjusting to this reality as much as William will have explaining to him, and accepting that his history books missed several details which Moctezuma claims. While Moctezuma would seem a little off after so many years in a dormant state, he sees that the "paradise of the warriors" promised to him for his service and battles for the Mexica Confederation was a lie, yet he has new goals in this new life, and sees in William the potential to destroy the colonial management and replace it with "his own rightful rule" - Moctezuma led the Confederation in a time it was greatly expanding, and he believes that if it wasn't for the deceit of the Tlaxcaltecas, the spanish wouldn't win, and Mexico would manage to continue its expansion through the continent of Anahuac (America).
        William's goal, however, is a little more ambitious than conquering the world. As a vegan for ethical reasons (more specifically, a negative consequentialist) and a self-proclaimed anarcho-primitivist, harboring an edgy critique of mass society and civilization, William seeks to use that power to liberate sentient animals from their cages, in the way connecting the dots with other struggles - like that against global capitalism, the struggle for the land (against the landlords who concentrate a major part of wasted territory in their own hands), the struggle for the autonomy of the indigenous peoples and overall against the status quo. Does he want to start a revolution? Not necessarily, taking matter into his own hands, he just started to target owners of businesses related to animal exploitation, killing them and their employees whenever they tried to get in his way, and of course, this brought him against private security, the military, the cops, the law enforcers, the protectors of the bourgeoisie and even those who claim to protect "the people" (but who deliberately ignore the condition of the animals bred and used by a wide array of industries - from meat to dairy, from egg to fishing, from fur to testing, from trafficking to exhibiting, from hunting to manipulating, most non-human animals experience a lot of suffering in their shortened and calculated lives at the hands of petty activities related to profit but utterly unnecessary to human survival).
        Within months, the self-proclaimed "Cuetzpalin Paynal" (Paynal from the nahuatl "fast", name of a pre-hispanic Mexican deity who's reputedly the messenger of the God of War and patron of Mexico Huitzilopochtli) has made many enemies, most of the clueless and stupid simpletons that compose society were driven to hate someone they don't even know for reasons they never thought about just because they were told to by some figures on TV and internet. But worse than that, his negative attention made his life a living hell. Did it matter? At least he wouldn't get bored as a high schooler. After some time getting used to being called a psychopath and serial killer for doing to human animals what some human animals are paid to do to other animals (humans in a lesser scale, nonhumans in a much greater one) - slaughtering - he became some sort of cult figure, an inhuman who talks and claims to have come from the 16th Century Mexico, who was faster than anything humankind made (except, perhaps, some supersonic jets) and spread a killing spree throughout the American continent and then the world.
        Initially a loner, Paynal decided to help collectives of peoples by stealing military equipment from officials and distributing it to anyone that could hold a weapon and stand against the injustice perpetrated by the State and global economy. Not that simple, yes, but his actions caused a lot of worldwide turmoil, he even killed the Pope in 2011, only to witness the rise of a new one, the warmongering and bloodlustful fanatic Leo XIV. But he also made friends, other anarchists whose lives were as boring as his was before he got the powers, and also some that were actually miserable, and would end up dead or in jail just for the sake of their own survival. Paynal stood up to them, but he was no leader and never meant to be one, despite what the ever-lying news tried to imply, like Paynal's a drug dealer training guerrillas in the jungle and all that blatant, discredited misinformation.

        Politicians that traditionally harbored superficial enmities between each other, governments that instigated propaganda against other governments, were joint in an effort to stop him, and to make thousands of peoples scapegoats of a unfruitful "war on terror". An official terrorism for the sake of centralizing power. But still, the international community is always sensitive when it comes to wasting money (you expected I'd say the international community cares about human rights? think again!), and such a war proved to be more a waste than a resourceful, profitable business. So after several officials died, and new generations of militarymen were still being trained, they needed someone used to staining their hands with blood, they needed terror of their own side. And this is where these badass bounty hunters you see before you come in. Between 2009 and 2011, all of those have been introduced separately some time in the story of IN LAK'ECH, but they are part of an ancient association of mercenaries, that often makes clients out of some powers like authorities from the church, secret organizations of dark mages, landlords, technocrats and cartels. But they're not the usual stuff. Wannabe institutes formally claimed to be the successors of some fictional order of knights that existed to protect humanity from an invasion of (underground) demons. If there was anything close to that in reality, those mercenaries would be it. But they couldn't care less about humanity - the only human here is Firefly, and although he believes he's "doing some good", he knows it's not for all of humanity - Most of them are "demons" themselves! They're making it for money (like Axayacatl), collecting genes (like Corax) and knowledge (Autolycus). And of course, to prove themselves. Well, Paynal's gonna show them, right, it's easy for one to "prove itself" once it's in a privileged position - with loads of equipment and a team of heavily trained military individuals surrounding them. But Paynal might not be right about the background and experiences of each:

  • CORAX: A bounty hunter native to the solar system of K Pacha, the same that five thousands of years ago was the stage for a galactic war that lasted for twelve centuries, and caused the destruction of several planets and stars, threatening many more. The weapon of mass destruction, a planet converted into a Black Hole-based source of endless energy, was delivered to the Ors Ohorela by a group of engineers and scientists who are the very ancestors of Corax, and the corporation that designed him. Yes, hes 100% artificial, synthetic, but is not a robot, he's a sentient being, a self-conscious one. His kind has contacted some humans once or twice, but mostly after the 18th Century, and among the many names they've been referred to, the most memorable is Yakuruna ("People from the water" in aymara). Several of them have started to secretly build laboratories and residencies in select underground realms, one located beneath the sea at the Yucatán Peninsula, another beneath the Death Valley, Arizona, another beneath the Titicaca Lake, another beneath the Nazca lines and some at Intihuaca, the administrative complex of Tahuantinsuyu, located on its capital, the city of Moche. This earthly network of alien inhabitations was developed in an effort that took centuries from the secret Saqraruna Organization (Saqraruna comes from "evil people"), that has partially sponsored the armies which brought Tupaq Amaru III to power after the Revolution of 1969 forcefully deposed the puppet Peruvian emperor Urcon Verbo and installed what would become the renewed Tahuantinsuyu (named after the Inca Empire). Saqraruna's head of organization, the alien SPECTRO, is the descendant of an old time ally of Tupaq (or rather Tupaq's original form, the Primordial Dragon and the Elemental God of Darkness), and an old time ally of Tupaq himself, if you regard the late 15th Century as old. Spectro is also the one who designed CORAX - both are from the same "species", the Yakuruna, and although they look bio-mechanic and most of their "ancestors" were actually biomechanical, for the last centuries all of them have been created as fully artificial. They don't engage in reproduction, instead they design a new individual to fill specific roles in society. Some are skilled geneticists, others engineers, some like SPECTRO are masterminds heavily skilled in many areas of knowledge and physically prepared (the Yakuruna society has roles kept by predetermined castes which defend genetic and technical superiority, some individuals are created with more resources than others, and in this sense they're closer to machines, but they can still think by their own, and on several cases question these social constructs. But like people, questioning doesn't mean any change at all, as there's a sophisticated apparel of surveillance and control that means to keep all in line. The Yakuruna, though, speciesist as they may be, still put their own kind as part of a greater environment which also includes the primates that call themselves humans, and uses those humans as resources whenever they need).

        CORAX
was designed to infiltrate, sabotage, attack, kill and exterminate. A stealth but ultimately brutal fighter, has earned genetic credits through several missions - he often collects genes from victims and clients alike, and from then he tries to change his own skills. It may sound a little non-scientifical, however he accomplished lots of things most well trained humans and Yakuruna wouldn't do. One of his first fights against Paynal happened in a planet not so far from his solar system, when Paynal, who had infiltrated his ship, has surfaced to fight him and prevent him from finishing a hunt on the planet. During his infiltration, Paynal found out Corax isn't a human - he has a human-like face behind his helmet, but that, too, is a mask. He wanders around specific wealth sectors of human society as one of them, but he's not, he's a yakuruna like others Paynal met before. Paynal has also found Corax has several slaves jailed in his ship, and perhaps out of his genetic theft he developed peculiar tastes for human flesh other yakuruna wouldn't normally have. Corax sees Spectro like some sort of boss or mentor, and after some time he grew to look up to another yakuruna bounty hunter slightly older than him (some nine years, to be precise) in a similar way. He was designed by Spectro around 2006, and still has a great reputation in the galaxy - despite that could be a reason to be proud of among the galactic scum, Spectro prefer to keep Corax's origins in secrecy, as he acts more like a freelancer mercenary rather than a direct agent of Saqraruna. This lets Corax to work directly for some of Spectro's rivals and later report him (even if he doesn't thin about it). Corax's name may be the same as the greek for Crow, and he may have some relation to the bird, but it's actually derived from "Coraxo", the enochian (the language used by the Ors Ohorela, the ancestors of the Yakuruna) word for "thunder". Corax's powers, armor, weapons and equipment are electric-based. This character is based on a previous creation of mine, a bounty hunter named Plarten that originally appeared in 2006 in the BYDURAK stories I created when I was 12 years old. Actually, all these four bounty hunters here bear some resemblance to a group of rogue "Time Crusaders" from that story.

  • FIREFLY: Former agent of the defunct AXIS insitute, his secret identity is Doug Ryder, a Iroquois/Mohawk-Canadian citizen who entered into the private military training AXIS institute in 2004, and after a series of physical and intellectual exams earned the institution's authorization to become the official user of the super-powered OMICRON armor during their prescribed missions in that time. The OMICRON is part of the special, super-powered ALPHA-OMEGA series of armors developed by the american military equipment & technology enterprise ABEL Inc. and the german military technology development enterprise Ulhaden, its original owners before the foundation of the AXIS institute in 2000, by the joint effort of several corporations worldwide. AXIS' campus and training grounds were located in a maximum security facility undeground Avignon, France, to where Ryder has moved following his admission. It has a residential and study area for students, but also field for military training, and a place to fight off demons, which origins are described by its staff as demons who had been captured by previous agent. During this time, Ryder was helped by prized engineer and scientist Howard Fang, the leading developer of the Omicron armor for the Ulhaden corporation back in 1996. Fang would eventually become Ryder's mentor, and would partially answer some questions that troubled him, such as why he or anyone else, for that matter were admitted into AXIS, what criteria was used to select the students (he knew some had wealthier backgrounds, such as Drake and Benjamin, but he and several others didn't), who were and what happened to previous agents, and the actual origin of demons. Fang didn't reveal all to him, but as he grew older and fellow agents started to disappear and give their places to new generations, Ryder realized that some of the students were low profile and sent to their deaths mainly because while the armors were powerful and practically ready for use, they still caused side effects after a great amount of usage by one or another user, what meant the students were living guinea pigs and the demons were either an ellaborate distraction or mutated humans themselves (some could even be past students)!Ryder had many reasons to leave the institutions, but many more not to - there was surveillance, and death would come either way, but Fang has promised him he would live and wouldn't be affected by the Omicron, for Fang revealed him that ABEL and Ulhaden and their respective teams, one of which Fang was part of, modified the armors for human use, but used materials collected from a distinct, non-human source he was investigating. Whether or not that was true, it was all Ryder had, and he trusted him. In 2006, Fang was expelled from AXIS in a maneuver Ryder found suspicious, just as suspicious as the eventual disappearance of more agents, culminating with the disappearance of yet another teacher, Morgan Schneider, in early 2009. But Ryder and Fang still kept contact - Fang was getting into the technological, energy & industrial development council of Tahuantinsuyu (the same secretly managed by the secret Saqraruna organization), and informing Ryder on the procedures he should follow to escape AXIS with Omicron and finally join the council, for according to Fang they were working on upgrades in his armor that would preventing him from dying like the previous users. In exchange, Ryder has been leaking information from his missions to Fang via a remote comm-link, since 2006. He didn't know another "agent", Dylan Garrett - actually a cyborg produced to symbiotically fit the sentient synthoid mistaken as the Digamma armor - was already serving as a spy of the saqraruna, whom Ryder believed to be the original developers of the armors and those who would upgrade his own. He betrayed the institution after a failed mission on Japan, in June, when the mission commander Yao Wu was killed by rival Yakuza gangs and his armor was taken away. Because he didn't return, Ryder would be labeled as a criminal, however his intentions would only be uncovered later, by agents Epsilon, Ni and Tau, while he was leaving his former home at Akwesasne, Canada, for his new one at Chinchaysuyu, where he would be introduced to his new duties, in early September 2009.

After receiving an upgrade, he became the Firefly - a founding member of the semi-official Insect Syndicate, a squad of mercenaries led by Ichneumon the official "Mallki guardian" of Chinchaysuyu. Ichneumon uses a modified Beta armor from the same series, which he owns since 1981. The saqraruna intend to steal all the Alpha Omega armors and modify them, choosing their own agents (according to criteria that Ryder is still unaware of) and placing them at service of the Insect Syndicate. Ryder's first mission as the Firefly eventually had him fighting former AXIS members Ypsilon, Alpha and Delta, and also the Cuetzpalin Paynal, while a public protest was taking place at Moche, the capital of Tahuantinsuyu, in September 2009. The Firefly would eventually come to fight Paynal and some of his allies on other occasions, including Ryder's own childhood friend Paul Powhatan, the secret identity of the Cuetzpalin identified as "Montezuma".
Firefly beieves that the Saqraruna Organization's goal is the human enhancement, and that they found a place and base of operations in Tahuantinsuyu because it's government, under Tupaq Amaru III, is more inclined to achieve such a development than the other governments of the world, that would rather defend the stagnation caused by petty desires of some political cartels. With time, he would see that the Saqraruna are like any other enterprise. But that would be after his many fights against Paynal.

  • AUTOLYCUS: The oldest member of the international association of mercenaries, as well a founding member, Autolycus was a human, a Triton and is now what there's between both species - a Glaucian. His name is the same as Odysseus' grandfather, and some later famous thieves in ancient Hellas (Greece). There are reports about him during 8th Century b.C  in Thessaly, and many more in the next centuries; how he attained immortality is still a mystery, all that's known is that he searches for godly knowledge, and is aware about the existence about of the ME (Gifts of Civilization mentioned in ancient Sumer), cursed relics that contain knowledge from the ancient Anunnaki King Anu (a Sky God), and some others from the hero Gilgamesh, concerning the most powerful immortal Nine Elemental Gods. Eventually, Autolycus would meet the rogue Cuetzpalin Axayacatl, also known among some europeans as Iguantus (Axayacatl came from Tollan, Mexico, but after a dimensional accident he and other Toltecs in a military campaign were launched to the other side of the Atlantic). In the 15th Century, before Columbus arrived on Hispanola, Autolycus and some more mercenaries followed Axayacatl to the homeland he left after almost 500 years, and there they met the excentric Mexica civilization, shortly before it engaged in one of its greatest wars to date - not the one against the spanish. Before that, the one against the Tahuantinsuyu, one that William never found on any history book and had a hard time accepting as true. This is when he returned to Europe. Autolycus believe to have a particular sense of honor, but in the end what matters is to find reasons to keep living, and extending that life far beyond what death decided. After the battle of Tenochtitlán, in April 1520, the world politics was changing towards the construction of a global power where human slaves inhabited the surface and the inhuman ones the undeground, and such establishment was partially planned by human and nonhuman fronts alike. Amidst of this, Autolycus was aware he would become replaceable anytime soon, so he became more selective on which work to follow. Like his longtime fellow mercenary Axayacatl, Autolycus has earned some fortune in his century-spanning life, however he prefers to keep it secret. Lately, most of his works were related to the interests of the Saqraruna (evil people in quechua, a secret organization mostly composed of super-powerful military from Tahuantinsuyu and White Russia's KGB, the successors of the Medieval Palarokhian Council and the current generation of the followers of Tupaq and his disciples, the Ta'tal), like persecuting the political opposition of Tahuantinsuyu and White Russia, most notably the anarchist Schwarze Ritter (Black Knights), a group of mercenaries who stood against the first Empire of Palarokhiel, during the Black Death outbreak in the 14th Century, and who were themselves disciples of two of the Cuetzpalin Cuauhtemoc's many forms (Aradia and Veneficus) in his century-lasting life of fight against the spirit of darkness. In some occasions, Autolycus has fought with another Triton-turned-Glaucian, one known as the Coelacanth.
  • AXAYACATL: A 10th Century Toltec military leader, this Cuetzpalin was the captain of the militia Cuauhtemoc was part of, before it was swallowed by a dimensional rift during a mission of tax-gathering in a Mayan town facing the Atlantic, what expelled them at the other side of the ocean, in a Norse kingdom ruled by Tyr, where a rebellion against the Jötunn was taking place. There were several Cuetzpalin among the Toltecs, but it made no difference for the "New Asgardians" (how Tyr and his people referred to their own, named after ancestors who stood against the Jötunn in past centuries), in need of warriors to fight the Jötunn they hoped the newcomers would, for good or for bad, defeat or at least send away the Jötunn. Týr didn't know, however, the Toltecs were still stronger than the New Asgardians, and if anyone was in position to require the other's help, it was Týr that should find them a bounty. In their first country off bounds, Cuahtemoc's decisions to help fighting the Jötunn contrasted Axayacatl's lack of interest on the matter - he and his followers even tried stealing Asgardian boats, but that didn't work out well. Axayacatl let Cuauhtemoc take a leading stand what eventually earned victories against the Jötunn, culminating in their imprisonment into a series of underground caves beyond the Nifelheim Mountains. It did, however, forced the Toltecs to the other side of the mountains, and they just lacked any form of contact with the New Asgardians, even a possible bounty, what angered Axayacatl. And they missed, too, the fact that some Jötunn were living aboveground as humans, and would unknowingly restore a pact between the New Asgardians and the Jötunn - the Jötunn would leave the New Asgardians in peace, as long as they supplied a limited quantity of human sacrifices for the Jötunn. This pact would continue for centuries to come through different figures, even after a forced and arranged christianization (by the king, not by the people, who were forced to accept it anyway, and that's where syncretism comes in). While Axayacatl and his decreasing followers still cluelessly searched for ways to escape back into their land, Cuauhtemoc and others found the woods of Alfheimr, inhabited by the Banteran people. The Banteran, like the new Asgardians, have made use of the Toltecs' help, this time to release the woods' guardians, the elves and the Jentilak, from the grasp of Hel, a creature whom Cuauhtemoc identified as a Jötunn like those they faced before - Hel is actually a Jötunn with more abilities than most, she is an original creation by the director of the ancient Jötunn Scientific Organization, and was put in charge by him to look after the slave pens in Nifelheimr's lowest underground caves, named after her own. The woods' guardians were jailed because their very existence and unruliness threatened the Terraforming (or rather Jötunnforming, from Jötunheimr, the original planet of the Jötunn, destroyed during the ancient conflict against Ors Ohorela and some of its allies at the time, the Akh Empire led by the elemental god of fire Lapolakh) set by Ymir, the director of the Jötunn. Before they colonized the earth's north pole centuries ago, Ymir tried to colonize Aztlán, but was prevented by an effort from the Teteoh, the rulers of Aztlán, and its Cuetzpalin militias. This is when Ymir found out some Cuetzpalin harbored special, elemental abilities (and mani millennia later Moctezuma would be one of those, with his own super-speed), and tried to collect them so he could copy it into his own creations, but he was prevented, and alongside his followers left for "Midgard" (Earth). Because of that, Ymir has a great prejudice against the Cuetzpalin, and he showed that off, even though he was still surprised, to see the Toltec Cuetzpalin standing right before him. After decades of peace among the Banteran, the Toltecs have mixed up well with their culture, and Cuauhtemoc, keeping the position of an ambassador between the Jentilak & Elves and the people, has become a champion of the Banterans. Axayacatl himself only visited them sporadically, his allies were all vanquished, but he still roamed the dark lands beyond, where he got in contact with dragons from a private slave warehouse, Dantalia, secured by a dragon named Snogard, who was a member of an international secret cult, the Order of Palarokhiel, named after one out of four Topakar tribes from the Ors Ohorela, that wished to gain knowledge from the Dragon of Darkness so they could enslave the realm and become its new tyrants. The dragon of darkness pretty much matched the description of one the Toltec myths referred to as Mixcoatl, and Axayacatl was amazed to see the Palarokhians could really contact one that was seemingly locked in the dimension of Absolute Darkness for 3000 years. He wasn't alone, however, his children, or what remained of them, the Centzonmimixcoa, "shadow demons" (a.k.a Yana Phuyu, dark clouds in quechua) were alongside him, save one, Jahi, who was a mastermind behind the Palarokhian order. The Palarokhians were usually members of nobility from other european kingdoms, and when they learned about Cuetzpalin existing in Europe, they promised Axayacatl wealth, should he lead them to these. Not being played for a fool, Axayacatl has took control of their gambling, as he threatened to kill Jahi - something he could do, through his Teyoliatl-isolated weapon - if they didn't pay him as much as they could afford. Yes, his gambling wasn't to save the Toltecs, the Cuetzpalin or the Banterans, but to earn him some riches. If the Cuetzpalin are so special, then I should be one of their last, thought Axayacatl - I could take human hosts anyway, so they wouldn't know who I am. Axayacatl, alongside some Palarokhian Dragons, has assaulted Yggdrasil, the giant tree surrounded by the Banteran villages, as he sought to capture the Cuetzpalin. Amidst this assault, they found out that Hel was also dealing with the Palarokhians -at the time led by Goldewyng- in her dragon disguise -Nidhögg- to capture the Banterans, Toltecs and Elves back at her domain. The only thing that prevented it, besides Cuauhtemoc's resolve and final duel against the false friend who betrayed him, was the release of a Jentilak named Basajaun, who making no difference between Palarokhian, Jötunn or Banteran, destroyed any signs of 'civilized' creatures. With that measure, Cuauhtemoc has given the Banterans a last command to the Banterans as their champion: They should leave the Yggdrasil, the company of the elves, the woods of Alfheimr, the island between Midgard and the East, they should march and settle Southeast, at the lands of their ancestors, in Gallicia. For Axayacatl, his failure against Cuauhtemoc would cost him yet more service to the Palarokhians. Little did any of them knew that in the next 120 years Cuauhtemoc would take the body and play the role of Augustor, the Palarokhian Prince, later exchanging him for other hosts to infiltrate the Palarokhian Council and try to sabotage Tupaq's release.
        Many years later, in 1200, Cuauhtemoc's infiltration was being investigated by a Palarokhian Necromancer, Shaldor, who was himself rediscovering the ancient Topakar Magic's art of transferring one's consciousness into a sophisticated body completely made out of Duskoplasm (materialized shadows), but not any sort of Duskoplasm sample, instead, a completely sentient body that was unable to be controlled by Darr from other necromancers. With that resource, Shaldor tried to take over the bodies of many other Palarokhian magicians, discovering, while attempting to take over Durian, that he was already put on hold by Cuauhtemoc's Tonalcoatl. After Cuauhtemoc's escape, Axayacatl's been approached and hired by the palarokhian council once again to pursue him, and on their fateful re-encounter, he expressed he also didn't like the Palarokhians and wanted to be more independent, so he had to recover his Teyoliatl-isolated scythe (a weapon able to cut through Duskoplasm) left with Cuauhtemoc (which he kept on Yggdrasil, unknown to Axayacatl). He failed to locate or achieve it, but about 200 years later after keeping a low profile he discovered the Schwarze Ritter through all the damage they did over the recently founded Palarokhian Empire (what was part of nowadays Lithuania, Russia and Belarus) and how they saved Europe from Black Death, but more than that he discovered Cuauhtemoc's current friends and family, and decided to take over the consciousness of a friend of his, Bertilak, whom he used to take if not his weapon back then another Teyoliatl-isolated one, Cuauhtemoc's macahuitl (but at the time Cuauhtemoc already possessed another). Either way, Cuauhtemoc was already unaware of Axayacatl, much more worried with his family (using a former Palarokhian mage, Veneficus, as host), friends and Tupaq who had just been freed decades ago. With a Teyoliatl-isolated weapon in hands Axayacatl has freed himself from the debt of several Palarokhians, but couldn't simply escape Tupaq if his service has been requested, so he set out to stay away from the Primordial Vovin's sight. But taking advantage of Bertilak and Sunna's death, Axayacatl chose to take over their children when time was right, to keep a watch on Cuauhtemoc -although he succeded at first, his plan backfired when Cuauhtemoc, realizing he just put others close to him in danger, has left any contact with the Schwarze Ritter for centuries. Living as a bounty hunter for the next centuries, in a much less honorable life than Cuauhtemoc's pursuit for freeing the peoples from tyrants and cryptocrats, Axayacatl would eventually take over the form of a Jötunn, Vitharr, around the late 19th Century, when he met Cuauhtemoc again, this time taking Bragi as a host, seeking to free the last of the seemingly major Cuetzpalin populations on the planet, that were locked in the frozen ruins of Hel by the Jötunn. Ymir, the head of the Jötunn, hasn't realized Vitharr had just been possessed by a Cuetzpalin, and around the time he had just been promoted to become a super-powerful Einherjer able to regenerate from most damage. What happened is that after obliterating most of the remnants of his kind and frustrating Cuauhtemoc's plans again, Axayacatl has witnessed he had new powers, what had had him taking advantage of his position -Vitharr's- inside the Jötunn Scientific Organization to include that modified DNA into his next heirs, spawning a lineage of humans he would pick as his next hosts (because all of them would have some regenerative powers, always useful to his tasks as a bounty hunter), that being his legacy. Axayacatl and Cuauhtemoc would still clash swords for many years to come, and he would also fight the Schwarze Ritter while serving tyrants. They've fought during the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, and after that Cuauhtemoc infiltrated INTERPOL (to take a host from there, and use its intelligence as a double agent to help the Basque separatists he became acquainted with years past), while Axayacatl has moved to eastern France, where he has taken the form of a pharmacist, Lucien Roux, in the late 20th Century.

        Axayacatl kept his life as a bounty hunter (in one occasion he was tasked by the church to capture a vampire in Romania) and also his watch over the next generations of his human hosts after Vitharr (as an Einherjar Jötunn, Vitharr's body can shift from Jötunn to human, in a similar way a Tonalcoatl/Cuetzpalin can shift into a vertebrate host after it took over its consciousness, either through its mental death or extensive usage of its power of transformation), while studying by his own the origins of his - or Vitharr's - powers of regeneration. With knowledge he gathered from the Palarokhian Council and the Jötunn Scientific Organization, he realized Vitharr's power was derived from Audumla, one of the Quinametzin, ancient beasts who rivalred the elemental gods like Tupaq (Mixcoatl), Huitzilopochtli and Ymir (Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimilli). Audumla was kept by Ymir locked somewhere in Nifelheimr, and by isolating the Teyoliatl of her veins into the genetic code of a new creature - Vitharr - Ymir managed to create a new power, in a similar way to other super-powered Cuetzpalin Huitzilopochtli created (namely, Tonatiuh, Popocatepetl, Ahuitzotl, Ehecatl, Moctezuma and Papantzin). The Einherjar, the first of which was Hel, are Jötunn partially created by isolated Teyoliatl genes which Ymir gathered, on specific occasions through history, from those Cuetzpalin. The power of regeneration wasn't found on any Cuetzpalin before, and even Ymir didn't mean to create one, however he didn't notice the time Vitharr was being made Axayacatl had just taken him as a host, what made him share part of his genetic modification. In that event, Axayacatl has also found out that a Cuetzpalin can take over a Jötunn or even another Cuetzpalin, and if the Cuetzpalin or (Einherjar) Jötunn that has been taken had already taken another host, then the second Tonalcoatl can acquire genetic information from two hosts at once. Following this principle, Axayacatl has thought on the possibility that if he acquired Vitharr's power, then he could take the other five remaining powers - speed (Moctezuma's and Papantzin's), pyrokinesis (Popocatepetl's), endurance/water-breathing/adaptation (Ahuitzotl's), super strength, endurance and agility (Ehecatl's) and Tonatiuh's sunlight powers (enhanced flight, creation of weapons and armor out of light, casting of light elemental magic, creation of blinding auras, casting of illusions, self-sufficiency, burning light), what could make him a god. This became Axayacatl's main goal, however finding them proved greatly difficult, as there were no clues of Cuetzpalin living on earth besides him and Cuauhtemoc, so super powered Cuetzpalin were even more rare. That, of course, until October 2008, when news all across the world displayed, shocked and amazed, the existence of an intelligent and super-fast lizard-man wreaking havoc on Latin American farms. Around the same time, he was tasked by the Palarokhians to closely observe that Cuetzpalin, what forced him to exchange hosts, so he took a Brazilian journalist working on a story about Paynal as his next host. To cover up his identity, he introduced himself as Ichtaca, a self-proclaimed Mexica warrior, and played along until time was right. He was kind of surprised to see Cuauhtemoc didn't care for the lives of the young men who have so willingly taken the duty of getting rid of the shadow government that eliminated most of the Cuetzpalin - at the point that Cuauhtemoc didn't tell or bother them about the fact that their extensive usage of their transformative powers could leave their Tonalcoatl in control of their bodies. That's because Cuauhtemoc trusted more the veteran Mexican warriors (the irony is, Ichtaca was actually his nemesis!) than the new human hosts. Macoel was perhaps the only one who told his host about its side-effects, although too late, after Axayacatl's taking over of Ian R./Omepaynal's body was completed in April 2011. Axayacatl used Omepaynal's popularity among the landless workers' movement of Brazil to get into a land they were occuppying to terminate them and open the border's entrance to Tahuantinsuyuan troop, in an episode withessed by Paynal and a recently returned Cuauhtemoc - after Cuauhtemoc was blasted alongside a castle of one of his and Paynal's enemies a month earlier, in a measure Paynal thought necessary but that was highly criticized by his allies, not only because of who Cuauhtemoc is, but also because his host, Iñaki, was growing to become a valuable figure in the Basque Independence Movement, that directly affected the enemy in question, the self-proclaimed New King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Carlos. Of course, Cuauhtemoc was shocked to see his enemy lurked beneath him through all this time - none of them could even realize how suspicious it was for Omepaynal to have enhanced regeneration! But he was still more skeptic about trusting Paynal. He'd change that, however, when he found out Paynal became Axayacatl's main target - for a reason he still don't know.

Now that Paynal is being persecuted by these implacable bounty hunters, he finds himself in a moment of crucial decisions that could determine his ultimate fate - aware that a human who turns into a Cuetzpalin too many times will eventually lose his humanity, will he be able to quit being Paynal, if some of his enemies already know he's William Mattoni? He desperately searches for an alternative power, and while he doesn't want to give in to the promises of a self-proclaimed "Vizaresh, guardian angel of vengeance" recently introduced to him, is there any other exit? As many doors close, another opens, from an unlikely ally. A chapter close. Another begins.

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