This is Orbis. Here, the Roman nations are a superpower.

Baroque technology is king. And Elizabeth I is queen. Except in this world, she's Galician...and her name is Isabel I.

In this day and age, the Mayans rule the Isthmus. Great pyramids tower over the jungles. Atop some of them, fires roar, as sacrifices are offered.

Far from it all, a pair of lovers raises their family. Out back, they play ball. Today, they won't likely die from it.

One day, though, they could very well grow up to do it professionally. And if they lose, they'll be executed.

On the front porch, papa and mama sit together, enjoying the evening. They'd make out with one another...if not for the kids.

Yeah, that's the one thing Maya misses about being single: spontaneous combustion. In the old days, she and Mateo could generate a million to a billion within a few hours. And damn, was it wonderful. Often times, Mateo came out crawling... But Maya ALWAYS came out as reborn as ever.

Mateo often struggles, being a husband to a deaf wife. But he manages, somehow. Maya admires him for it. There are so many Mayans in this world who don't want a deaf girl on their team.

At night, they lie with each other. Alas, Maya just isn't a bed kind of girl. She keeps thrashing and talking in her sleep. She keeps Mateo awake.

More than once, she's reached for Mateo, only to discover that he's not there. So now, she's built a special crate for herself. Every time this happens, all he has to do is pinch her bare arm. She stands, shuts herself in the crate, and stays there until morning.

She likes this better. The crate is so much more secure than the bed. Alas, she just wishes she'd discovered this before she got married. But you know how Isabelian cultures can be: conservative, and "don't have sex until after marriage" ranting.

You'd expect the Mayans to be different. Alas, it turns out that Jehovah really DOES move in mysterious ways. Damn him.

Maya still remembers the morning it happened. She knows something's wrong when she slides the lid off the crate. It's a lot colder than she'd expect. Usually, someone's lit the grate by now...

And, she sees it. Her husband's in the bed. He's got blood all over his body...and holes in him. His eyes are fixed. His skin is cold...and white. The bedding's covered in his blood.

Maya soon finds that the children are in the same condition. She runs outside, rips her clothes off, and shouts.

In a closet back in the house, a black robe hangs. Soon, it will accommodate for a new host. From there, all she'll need is a pair of swords.