Anahuatlacanco: The Land Between the Waters, Land of the NahuatlacaRenounced by his people, Quetzalcoatl made his departure to the East, from whence he came, borne on a raft of serpents, prophesying that in due time, he would make his return with a large army of mighty warriors to conquer and destroy the civilization of those who had denied his precepts and to create a new civilization in its stead.
An Alternate History Timeline
By Luis Felipe Salcedo
[The Spanish Conquest]
Book I of Cortesia: The Series
Chapter XIII: Visions
The screams of the women and children pierced the atmosphere, combining with the onslaught of balls of fire raining down onto Tenochtitlan, hitting and burning homes and the masses of people attempting to head for safety. The devastation was immense. Smoke filled the air from all directions, making it very difficult for anyone, no less Montezuma and a small retinue of his loyal bodyguards to know where they were going or to breathe.
A woman was heard, moving and weeping throughout the Mexica capital. She would pace about wailing in the middle of the night:
"My dear children, we have to go! Where can I take you?"
Coughing hard and his visibility poor, he ordered his soldiers to move forward, pushing themselves through the disorganized mobs of people trying to escape. grabbed his sword and struggled for the door trying to ignore the burning thatch falling around him.
"My dear children, we have to go! Where can I take you?" repeated the voice.
“Teotlalco! Tecuichpo!” Montezuma cried out the names of his wife and beloved daughter but neither one uttered out a response. “Teotlatlco! Tecuichpo! Where are you?” He moved around the simmering ruins of Tenochtitlan, repeating his cries, hoping for either of them to answer him but the loud lamentations of the women and children and the continual bombardment of the streaks of fire that followed their cries made it impossible for him to hear his wife or daughter .
"My dear children, we have to go! Where can I ta-" the voice repeated again before it was suddenly silenced.
He called for his wife and daughter but nary a response was heard. The shouts and yells of foreign men that had besieged the city of Tenochtitlan mingled with the cries of the dying outside the palace, and with a yell he and his men bursted into the door. Chaos reigned around him as he struck the intruders, cleaving the head of the assailants clean off with his maquahuitl. Before he could do anything else, a foot kicked him hard in the mouth breaking teeth. Looking up, he saw a bearded face grinning just a few feet away from him motion two men to grab a hold of him.
“Hola Moctezuma! No esperaba verte de nuevo!” The bearded man in the armor held up a golden chalice that he held in his hand, drank some of the liquid and then spat at the ruler mockingly. “Tengo que darle las gracias por ayudarnos en nuestra conquista de México. Su parte era el más valioso. Mira hacia allá." He smiled, pointing to the Great Pyramid where Montezuma saw the bearded man's men, dressed in heavily clad armor, cutting down his brave warriors one by one until none stood.
"Who are you? WHAT are you? What are you doing?!"
"¿Ves todo lo que aquí?" The bearded man said, pointing to the multitude of dead men and women in the palace: "Nada de esto habría ocurrido si no fuera por ti. Tengo un regalo para ti! Creo que te va a gustar..."
Speaker Montezuma's eyes widened as he saw his beloved daughter Tecuichpo and his wife Teotlalco being held, bound in chains, by the bearded men's cruel soldiers who proceeded on groping at them and making sexual remarks at them freely without consequence.
"Please.....please spare their lives!" Montezuma cried out to the man. "I'll give you anything to your hearts' desire. Just....let them go."
A young woman of good, elegant appearance walked next to the man and whispered to his ear. The man chuckled and said, "Mendigar no hay nada hara. Tengo todo lo que una vez tuvieron, sue tierras, su riqueza y ahora su familia."
“Let them go! It’s me you want! Leave them out of this!” he pleaded with the bearded man, who shook his head slowly. "Please...." He sobbed. "You've taken my kingdom and slain my people, do you feel nothing in your heart? Have some mercy!"
The man walked over to Montezuma's wife and daughter. He glanced down at them momentarily before looking up and staring right at the fallen Great Speaker. "Le doy las gracias de nuevo por la entrega a México en mis manos," he muttered. "Todos ustedes tienen que morir..." The man drew out his weapon from his sheathe...
"No, don't do it! Please!"
Ignoring the pleas for mercy, the man drew out his weapon from his scabbard and slashed their throats, then withdrew the bloodied blade. Montezuma cried out in complete horror, as he stood as the witness to the merciless butcher of his own family. In a final act of desperation, Montezuma slammed his head onto the man to his left, causing him to cry out in pain and stumble to the ground. He quickly grabbed the dagger that he had on him and unleashed the blade, plunging the weapon and digging it deep into the throat of the other man holding him down. The man went down on his two knees, coughing out large amounts of blood before crashing to the ground and expiring.
He then rushed at the murderer of his wife and daughter, driven by nothing but the hatred and vengeance he felt in his heart. Silhouetted against the backdrop of Tenochtitlan, the city he has known all his life and witnessing the death of the two people he truly cared about, the man was a monster, a monster that needed to be slain.
"Timiqui! Timiqui!" Montezuma roared furiously.
The bearded man simply chuckled and gestured at the soldiers behind him. The men raised their weapons, aiming them at Montezuma who was a couple of feet away from him, and shot at him. Montezuma yelped in pain as the barrage of the small lead rounds plunged his chest and all over the rest of his body; the force of the barrage threw him a foot back and had him fall on his back. The pain was a horrifying sensation, a feeling like several bombs had went off inside his chest, jack-hammered through his chest wall.
Laying on the ground, thirty seconds after impact, Montezuma felt a sudden numbness in his legs. His left lung began to squeeze and his last few breaths became agonizingly more painful and terribly short; the sensation could be described as like that of a knife turning in his lungs. Montezuma's vision began to blur. Then came the feeling of warm blood pouring out from the multiple wounds he had all over his body, as well as the growing pool of blood underneath him.
Is this what to come of us? Montezuma thought, coughing up blood. Is this it...?
"Estoy sorprendido de que todavía e commented stás vivo," the bearded man in a dry, almost mechanical tone. "Ahora es mi turno," he said, pulling out a wheellock pistol. "El abismo te espera."
Fear and terror gripped the heart of Montezuma, and he closed his eyes as the bearded man, the murderer of his family, aimed the pistol right behind his eyes and fired.
Everything became black.
“No! No! No! This cannot be the way that things will turn out!!” Montezuma screamed, waking up in a cold sweat, momentarily disoriented. Huh? What happened? He looked around and saw that he was alone in the Black House ., a windowless room painted in black where he and his predecessors would sit down and reflect on the visions either recounted and interpreted by the seers or those directly sent to him by the Gods themselves.
Many thoughts raced through Montezuma's mind; he couldn't help himself: those pale-skinned strangers have given much to worry about. He wondered of their intentions of coming here to their shores, more so than before as his spies had informed him of
Montezuma mind of what was to come in the near future when it came to those pale-skinned strangers. He wondered of their intentions in coming here, more so now than before, as his spies had informed of how the strangers had arrived onto the land of Chontalpan and subjugated the population there. Would they do the same to us once they have the opportunity to do so? Who exactly are they? Is it Quetzalcoatl coming to make his return and wreak his vengeance upon us or someone else? If war does come between us and the strangers, do we have the ability to defeat them?
He then remembered how his favorite wife and child were bound and gagged by those pale-skinned men. And then that barbarian murdered them in front of me...my family! He raced out of the room and headed towards his wife's quarters to check up on them.
Montezuma peeked in and much to his relief, saw his wife and his daughter talking to one another by the bedside, discussing poetry out of all things. He let out a long sigh and smiled. Thank the gods. They're still there....but will they be there when they arrive?
He frowned, was it really just a dream? No. It couldn't be just a dream.
Montezuma was a extremely spiritual man, who often sought out advice from professor seers and shamans gathered from across the Triple Alliance and its tributaries. He always put faith in the visions recounted by the people in his court as well as those that he experienced for himself in the Black House, as he believed those visions were the Gods' way of speaking to him Yet doubt was beginning to set in. In the beginning of his reign, he received nothing but good visions predicting the usual: the continued dominance and expansion of Tenochtitlan's hold over the lesser peoples that inhabited the great, fertile land of Cem Anahuac. Now seventeen years into his reign as the ruler of Tenochtitlan, The memory of the seven evil omens recounted by the soothsayers were still very fresh in his mind and now with this, he was more worried of what the future had in store.
The Mexica were the chosen race among the Nahua, as they were the sons and daughters of Huitzilopochtli, their patron deity. Was the God of War so unkind and cruel that he would bestow such a fate upon them? Was it a sign that the Gods wanted more sacrifices to be done in their name? Or that their time of ascendance had come to an end and that a new era was to begin?
Lord Montezuma wished to learn the answers to all these questions and thought much about it as he walked throughout the palatial hallway, outside of the palace and headed to the House of the Serpent , where he would await the return of his loyal servant Teuhtlile and his companions. As he was walking, he eavesdropped on a conversation that one of his nobles was having with Tlacotzin . He approached man from behind and placed his hand on his shoulder.
"It's a pleasure to see you, old friend." He then looked at the nobleman and motioned him to leave. "Can you excuse us?" Montezuma asked; the nobleman nodded and left.
Tlacotzin smiled at Montezuma. "Lord Montezuma, I'm glad to see you that you're fine It's been ages since I've seen you wandering about anywhere outside of the Black House," he responded. "Everyone's been awfully worried about you for the past couple of days."
"Is that so?" Montezuma said. "I suppose there's a first time for everything."
"What do you mean, my lord?" Tlacotzin asked. Montezuma frowned.
"It's just surprising. Outside of my wives and children...and well a select few of my most trusted companions, you included of course, I feel that everyone is out against me," he responded. "As I try to interpret the visions as given to me by the Gods or their intermediaries the soothsayers in that room, I cannot help but shake this feeling that everyone would rather have me dead."
"I wouldn't say that, my lord. Granted the nobility has been the loudest critics throughout your reign, but even then, I wouldn't imagine that anyone from among the nobility would wish for you to die. There's a sharp difference between criticism and wishing for your own death, Lord Montezuma."
"How would you know that?" he snapped.
"I walk and converse amongst the company of the nobility on a daily basis. If there was anyone who had a genuine interest in your demise, I would have knowledge about it and I would have told you about it, my lord," Tlacotzin said, placing his hand on Montezuma's shoulder as he offered a grin. "I've been by your side for the past twenty years. I do believe that you can trust me on that. Can you?"
Montezuma glared at Tlacotzin. He was furious, furious at himself knowing that his advisor was in the right. The man had been with him since before he was elected to the position of Great Speaker by the nobility upon the death of his uncle. He was one of his most trusted companions, if not the one he placed the most trust out of everyone outside of his own family. He had complete faith that whenever Tlacotzin spoke to him, that he would never say anything that would be contrary to the truth. Montezuma decided to put the thoughts of the nobility plotting against him behind him and calmed himself down.
"You know what? You're right Tlacotzin," Montezuma responded. "There are more important things to concern myself with. Thank you for your wise words. Now I'll be heading to the House of the Serpent to await Cacama and the return of my emissaries."
"Ah, you're waiting for Teuhtlile to tell what he and his companions have found out about those men discovered off-shore?" Tlacotzin inquired.
As a close advisor of Montezuma, he had basic knowledge of the strangers from serving as the intermediary between Montezuma and the spies who constantly contacted him every few days though he, like many of the others in the court, did not know much in detail. Montezuma was unwilling to divulge much information, though it was likely for the best: he did not want anyone to cause panic until they had more of an idea of what kind of people they were dealing with. And to reveal enough information for the Elder Speaker and the court to decide whether they come as friends or foe and what would be the proper way to deal with them, if they're foe.
He then stood silent for a few moments and walked towards the entrance to the House of the Serpent where he was welcomed in by his bodyguards and their captain. Montezuma asked, "Has Cacama arrived? How about the emissaries?"
"I'm afraid not that neither of them have arrived, my lord."
"Ah. I see." Montezuma sighed but remain composed, expecting Cacama to not have arrived yet. Cacama did spend much of his days holed up in his palace in the city of Texcoco, among the company of his servants and concubines and Montezuma understood well that today was an exceptional day for the man. He probably hasn't received my message yet, he thought.Tlacotzin looked at him.
"Do you require anything else of me, Lord Montezuma?"
"I just have but one thing for you to do: return to this exact location by nightfall. You're free to do as you wish with your time until then." Montezuma said, as he walked away from Tlacotzin and proceeded on entering the House. "Oh, I almost forgot one thing. Do you happen to know where Atlixcatzin is at?"
Tlacotzin answered, "The last time that I saw him, he was at the menagerie  among the members of the nobility. I'm not completely sure if he's still there with them."
"If you find him, bring him here with you," Montezuma commanded his most trusted advisor. "Atlixcatzin is married to my daughter and thus is my chosen successor once I pass. I fear for my days on this world are growing short and I must make sure that he is ready to handle the responsibilities of being the ruler of this grand city when I am no longer around. Can you do this?" Tlacotzin nodded affirmatively.
"Very good then, you're free to go." Montezuma waved good-bye and walked towards the House of the Serpent where he sat down on his throne. He soon fell to a deep slumber and the dreams would soon re-emerge to haunt him.
Cacama, or Cacamatzin as he was known by his subjects, sat in his chambers among the company of none but his most favorite concubines and wives, as he usually did. But today was not just any day for the man. For today marked the fourth year anniversary of his election and ascension to the throne of Texcoco, noted for its membership in the Triple Alliance and being a grand city whose political and economic prestige was second only to the city of Tenochtitlan itself.
"My lord, there is someone here to see you," reported a guard.
"Let him in," ordered Cacama.
The door opened, the man who wished to see Cacama was Milintica , his old childhood companion and the captain in the Otontin . "It's been a long time, Cacama."
"Milintica?! What are you doing here?" asked Cacama surprisingly.
"An old friend cannot visit another?" Milintica explained.
"I didn't expect you to pay me a visit today. As you could look around you, I was in the middle of something see, I was in the middle of something..."
Milintica gave him a look. "Yes, I can see that you are quite busy. But you must spare a moment or two for me. It's very important."
"How important is it?" Cacama said, as he sat back down with the women who proceeded on getting closer to him. "Couldn't it wait a few hours? Maybe tomorrow?"
"No, I'm afraid I can't wait," Milintica answered stoically. "As you see, I've been sent by Lord Montezuma himself to contact you."
"Oh dear. I see," said the king of Texcoco. He then looked at the women he had around him, with a slight frown of his face as he knew that from the moment that Montezuma's name was mentioned, that he had to put aside his personal desires. He made a motion with his hands and pointed the women to the door. "Leave us now." The women frowned but they stood up and walked out the room. Cacama then said, "So tell me old friend, what does Montezuma need for me? Reinforcements for one of his campaigns? Or is it something else entirely....?"
"Montezuma need you to… take care of something for him," Milintica said. "He wants you to welcome in a group of his servants who are returning from the land of Totonacapan."
Cacama chuckled. "This is concerning those men who have arrived from across the great ocean? The men that Montezuma believes may possibly be Quetzalcoatl and his army returning from their long awaited exile?" Cacama asked nonchalantly. There was a brief and awkward pause between the two men that lasted for a minute until Cacama added, "is it or is it not concerning that?" Milintica nodded his head.
"That it is," said the captain. "But how did you know?"
"Milintica," he continued. "It's my responsibility to the city of Texcoco to know all that there is to know that may threaten it or not. Anyways, is that all my dear friend Montezuma desires from me?" Cacama asked, and then added. "Is there anything else?"
"He also wishes for you to bring him two captives and have them painted in chalk when you bring the servants to the House of the Serpent. You remember where that is?"
"Ah yes, yes. It hasn't been that long since I paid a visit to Montezuma. I was there when his little daughter was wedded to that fellow Atlixcatzin more than a couple of months ago," Cacama said, grinning. "Don't you remember Milintica? You were right there with me, keeping me from drinking all that octli Montezuma's servants had left on the tables!"
"I recall that I was trying to keep you from making a fool of yourself in front of Lord Montezuma and all those others tending the wedding." Milintica recalled, "You wouldn't have wanted to give my lord an excuse to regret his supporting your claim to the throne of your father against that of your brother several years ago . That would had been most unfortunate for you." Cacama said nothing though he silently agreed. Milintica said, as he turned to face the door. "Thank you for giving me this time to speak with you privately. It has been an interesting visit but I must make my return to Tenochtitlan.
"Leaving so soon?" Cacama uttered. "You've only spent a few minutes here. Surely Montezuma isn't that dire of a need for your services. You can keep me company and until we have to meet those emissaries, we can catch up on things? It's the least you can do for having me disperse my women!"
"Well." Milintica said half laughing, "as tempting as the idea is, I'll have to decline. But I will meet you outside of the marketplace later on in the day. How about that?"
"I'll take it."
With that Milintica walked out of Cacama’s room and headed to procure a boat to take him back across Lake Texcoco to Tenochtitlan.
Teuhtlile ignored the awkward sensation in his stomach as him and his companions walk through the various towns and villages dotted along the northeastern edges of Lake Texcoco as they make the final leg of their journey back to the capital. Almost instantly, his mind harked back to a much more simpler time. While traveling with his father collecting tribute for the Mexica, he would often sneak into the marketplace and cause terror to the vendors and the visitors.
A smile creeped across his face as he saw an old childhood friend, now a young mother, walking with her children who were just as filled with energy as he was in the long, exciting days of his youth There was many a time that he wished he could go back and return to those simple days, where everything in the world was so simple and could be easily explained. His brief moment of bliss and nostalgia ends as reality struck him and his smile died and transformed into a frown. He turned around and hid his face just in time to avoid the gaze of the woman and her children.
"Something wrong?" Matlatzincatzin said.
Teuhtlile ignored the question and made a face hinting that he rather not be in this village at the moment though he refused to specify the reason why when he was asked again. Matlatzincatzin looked confused for a moment but took the hint. He ordered the others and the servants that it was time for them to gather their things and move out.
Montezuma was waiting for them, and their findings.
 Emperor Montezuma II had many wives and concubines with whom he fathered an extraordinarily large family though the exact numbers or their names of sons and daughters asides from a select few are unknown. So why did I end up using only Tecuichpo and Teotlalco in the nightmare? Teotlalco was Montezuma's principal and favorite among his wives and thus he would express for her than for one of his lesser wives like Miyahuaxochtzin. Tecuichpo is the daughter of Teotlalco and held a certain distinction over the children from the other wives and concubines. You can understand why he was so genuinely worried for them.
 Black House - It was a windowless room painted in black where he would sit down and reflect on the visions recounted and interpreted by the seers in his court.
 House of the Serpent - To my understanding as I was sifting through my sources, it's where the Mexica rulers held their court.
 Tlacotzin - As Cihuacoatl, he was Montezuma's principal advisor. He was also the grandson of Tlacaeleltzin, the architect of the Triple Alliance.
 Menagerie - In Montezuma II's palace, there were two menageries, one for birds of prey and another for other types of birds as well as reptiles and mammals. Around three hundred servants were dedicated to the care of these creatures.
Milintica - Nahua name meaning "He Waves Fire."
 Otontin - An elite warrior society who took their name after the Otomi people who were renowned for their fierce fighting.
 In 1515, Nezahualpilli passed away, leaving the succession contested between two of his sons, Cacama(tzin) and Ixtlilxochitl. Cacama's claim was supported by Montezuma but his brother was popular with the Texcocan nobility, the ones who traditionally elected the next monarch from the most able among the royal family and appealed to their patriotic sentiments, warning them that Cacama would be a puppet of Montezuma and not be true to the interests of Texcoco. A brief, but bloody civil war ensued and ended with a compromise brokered by Montezuma where Texcoco was split into two realms: the southern half, with the capital, remained Cacama's while Ixtlilxochitl would become the lord over the northern cities that he had captured during the war. With Cacama presiding over a weakened and split Texcoco, Tenochtitlan's power and influence increased even more.
We are getting closer to Half Life 3.
Anahuatlacanco: The Land Between the Waters, Land of the Nahuatlaca
An Alternate History Timeline
By Luis Felipe Salcedo
[The Spanish Conquest]
Book I of Cortesia: The Series
Chapter XIV: Tension
We are getting closer to Half Life 3.