Trevor moved in a crouch through the gift shop. He passed the cashier’s stand and bullets whizzed through the air. He wasted no time getting to the opposite end of the building. It had been part museum. The windows were all broken and accessible and the broken door was ajar. Outside was their bus pockmarked with bullet holes.
He climbed out the window. Numerous bodies of Mexicans and Michael’s soldiers lay heaped. It was ugly.
He pulled a key chain out of one of the Mexican’s pockets then moved around the bus. He wanted keep as much between him and the shooters as possible. Michael’s army had many vehicles left here from the initial assault. That seemed so long ago but it wasn’t really.
He noticed that most of Michael’s soldiers were torn up. It looked like damage from a 50 cal. Hmmm. The only one that could have shot these people was the machine gun mounted on one of Michael’s humvees. There was even a half inch bullet hole in the hood of the bus that could have only come from the humvee. Then the kid recalled something mentioned by Michael’s spokesperson over the bullhorn. “Her tricks wouldn’t work on them a second time.” Had Ximena controlled his gunner and forced the soldier to gun down his buddies? It seemed so.
One of Michael’s vehicles was a green 4 door Chevy Blazer. All four doors were ajar. It looked like it had come to a screeching halt and everyone bailed out at the start of the fight. The keys were still in the ignition. He got inside and carefully closed the doors. He slipped into the driver’s seat and started it up. He spun the tires and peeled out of the parking lot headed west. It was the wrong direction but he wanted to put distance between him and the remaining active 50 cal machine gun.
Santisima Muerte slid her shiny knife through the soft flesh of the man’s belly. He screamed but that turned into a tortured shriek. As he drew in a ragged breath for another scream there was an unmistakable sound of a body hitting the ground.
A figure stood in the doorway. “Myyy skin. Give it to meeeee.” The words came through a lipless mouth.
Ximena didn’t understand the words but she recognized the speaker. The warrior woman’s spirit hadn’t departed it had in fact return to her body. She knew this meant unfinished business. Ximena directed her undead minions with a head nod and spoke a word of power commanding the corpse in the doorway to stop. The free willed undead resisted though and its twin wakizashi rose and fell carving up the second new aztec zombie. At least the revenant did not know the secret to their unlife. It did not know to destroy their hearts.
Her sacrifice on the table was struggling but the other prisoner was easily holding him down. Her mighty jaguar warrior was fighting for her now. He was alone. The dead woman had opened up the chest of her aztec zombie and seen the still beating heart. She had cut it out and ended him.
A wakizashi sliced through the jaguar warriors head. The little boy that had been helping screamed and ran out of the room. Now she was alone except for her compelled prisoners. She again commanded and again the undead woman resisted.
Undead Joanne rushed forward and with dual overhand chops sunk the blades into her shoulders. The plate carrier straps were severed and the armor protecting her own supernaturally beating heart clamshelled open. Ximena rolled under the table and came up on the other side of the restrained prisoner. She held her knife to his throat.
The flayed woman overturned the table and drove it into the wall pinning her and sending the one called Xanthos to the floor. Ximena worked left an got behind Milhouse. She commanded him to stop his former ally and then plunged her knife into the troublesome crippled black man. He keeled over as she ungracefully threw herself out the window.
Joanne dodged around Milhouse and launched herself out the window. She pinned Ximena to the ground with a sword but rolled away before Milhouse landed to her right. Ximena crawled between Milhouse’s legs and he began to parry Joanne’s swords. He could not block every stroke though and after numerous smaller cuts, Joanne finally destroyed her heart and released Ximena’s spirit.
1 Eagle Warrior Killed
0 Eagle Warriors Wounded
1 Undead Cultist Killed
0 Undead Eagle Warriors Controlled
0 PCs Killed
2 PCs stil Unconscious
3 PCs still Under Mental Control
1 PC still on the run
h2. Joanne’s Story
The gathered crowd, her friends among them, stared at her body.
Ximena stared at her. Even as the girl approached the place where Joanne’s body lay on sand blooded rusty and wet, Ximena was gazing up at Joanne’s spirit standing over it. Joanne could feel the supernaturalness of the girl and her undead priests. The younger woman smiled benevolently at Joanne, then lowered her eyes with holy bliss as she slid her knife beneath Joanne’s ribs; she was nothing if not sincere. Another cut and she clutched Joanne’s heart in her fist. When she bit into it, the blood ran down her beautiful mouth and her people screamed for her.
Joanne’s body was stripped of the remaining shreds of her armor and opened belly to neck by the warrior that had killed her. With practiced ease, he flayed her skin from her body and swung it over his shoulders, her blood still dripping onto the sand. A troubled expression drifted over Ximena’s triumphant face like a dark cloud over the sun when Joanne’s spirit followed her body into the shallow grave and remained standing over the crumpled form. Joanne felt the command behind Ximena’s eyes, a order to descend to the underworld. Joanne nearly succumbed; it was dark and cool there, and she’d been fighting for so long… But anger stoppered her exhaustion – anger at her mistakes, her weaknesses, her failures. Joanne remained.
Ximena held her gaze a second longer, and then turned away, ordering that the uauantin be buried with her weapons and the grave filled. When the first shovelful of dirt fell on her body, everything went blank.
Most revenants are victims of violent crimes, their deaths occurring while they are in a state of rage. This Wrath is so intense that it transforms the soul, altering it to the point that it is no longer subject to the cycle of life and death. It does not leave the physical world after death but instead re-enters its physical body, rises from the grave, and sets out to avenge its demise.
But anger alone does not a revenant make, else the world would be full of them. However, the proximity of a vortex of spiritual power, as well as the blood, tears, and prayers of more than a dozen innocent souls soaked into the soil of one’s grave… that may be enough to do it.
Joanne’s eyes snapped open like blades. She was laying on her back in darkness. The first thing she noticed was the pain, burning hot and deep. Then she felt the Wrath, icy and sharp. Buried alive? She fumbled in the loose soil pressed around her; it was wet, nearly mud. Another cold squeeze of rage pushed its way through the panic, and she remembered. Buried, yes.
She could feel her body healing itself – the gash in her side closing up, her shattered leg mending, the blow to her head knitting together. No human could do this.
And the power. Even crushed beneath the soil, she could feel the growing power in her muscles – not only raw brute strength, but speed, dexterity, precision. No human could dream of this.
Something pulled at her. Someone. She knew Ximena was close. Her anger redoubled with a new sense of purpose: righteous vengeance. First on Ximena, but then on the hordes of undead, and everyone who got in her way, until every last one was destroyed. The world would bleed under her noble wrath.
Joanne felt around her until her hands closed on the leather grips of her swords, tossed carelessly into her grave as she was buried. Slowly, she broke the embrace of the earth and inched upward through the bloody soil and the dead flesh that lay above it. The man was dead before he noticed Joanne was behind him. His eyes and rifle had been trained on the gift shop. Above him in the second story of the nearest building, Joanne sensed Ximena. The kill was so easy; her sword slid through flesh and bone like a shark cutting through the water, the top half of his body sliding wetly to the earth as his legs folded. What a fool she had been for ever wishing for her old life, her unmutilated face, her useless honor.
She scaled the stairs of the building. One of Ximena’s undead warriors guarded the doorway, but he did not attack his kindred undead, although he would not allow her to pass. Inside the second floor room a man shrieked in agony. Hadn’t she known that voice once? Joanne brought one of her swords down in an overhand chop that parted the dead guard’s right collarbone and cleaved the ribs from the sternum and backbone. His right side peeled away and he joined the other bodies lying in the doorway.
The doorway clear, she entered the room to face Ximena. The young dead girl held a freshly bloodied knife. A large man wracked with pain quivered on a table while being held down by two others. She burned at the sight.
“Myyy skin. Give it to meeeee.” She hissed through a lipless mouth.