Chapter IX

Huitzilopochtli was, without a doubt, the most terrifying thing I'd encountered as of yet in this place. More so than Loki, than Fenrir, the trolls, and even the giant serpent in the tunnels of the castle.

Physically, he wasn't all too scary. He looked like the average Aztec warrior – bare-chested, but painted blue and yellow on his face. He had a headdress of feathers, not to mention the wings of a bird. Oh, I almost forgot – he was also about thirty feet tall. That's right. He didn't seem to be carrying much in the way of weapons – a green, wriggling serpent in one hand and a smoking disc – a mirror – in the other.

No, what was truly so very terrifying to behold about Huitzilopochtli was the aura of fear that he gave off. He was evil – and not the maniacal kind of evil that Loki was – this cold, calculating, emptiness. Luckily for us, that evil was still a few hundred yards away, but rapidly approaching. I looked around and saw that everyone was just as worried as I was, even the "fearless" Vikings. Even the Aztecs backed up to give their incoming god some room.

Olaf, ever the brave warrior, stepped up, and raised Mjolnir in one mighty arm. Then he hurled the hammer with all his force. The weapon spun through the air and arced, homing in one the god like a missile. The god attempted to avoid it, but failed. It ended up striking him on the shoulder, and on cue, the sound of thunder was heard simultaneous with the impact. Huitzilopochtli's arm was literally torn off by the blow, and the appendage fell like a tree from the sky and landed on a few unlucky Aztecs, crushing them. Mjolnir returned to Olaf's hand.

Without the slightest cry of pain, the monster had now closed the distance and landed about fifty feet from Olaf.

"Who are you to defile my land?" The god's voice was booming.

Olaf was slightly nervous, I could tell. Nevertheless, he stepped forward and put his fist to his chest as he spoke, "I am King Olaf Ironfoot of the Vikings. We are on a mission to free Great Odin from unjust imprisonment."

There the slightest evidence of humor in Huitzilopochtli's voice, but his face retained that blank, emotionless stare. "You are brave, human. But that will not save you. Your heart will be mine."

With that, the god made his counterattack. With his remaining arm, he flung the smoking mirror like a Frisbee at Olaf. Olaf was fast, but not fast enough. He jumped to avoid the projectile, but it still ended up cleaving cleanly through one of his feet – the one that wasn't made of iron. But the worst damage was yet to come. Behind him, the disc continued on its flight. Right towards myself and my friends.

Eli saw it coming and yelled, "Sonuvabitch! Get down!"

I did as I was told – no heroic dive or dodging – I just flopped down, covered my head like the scared little kid that I was. I heard the weapon buzz over us, and looked back to make sure everyone else had ducked it. They had done so safely.

A considerable portion of the Viking army behind us wasn't so lucky. Some of them dodged it, yes, but others were cut down like grass under a lawnmower. Arms, legs, heads, all cut off – some of them were sliced cleanly in half. Finally, the mirror ended its terrible assault and arced back to its owner's hand.

We were mesmerized as Huitzilopochtli began to walk toward Olaf. The king threw the hammer again, but still reeling in pain from the loss of his foot, the attack was half-hearted and easily dodged. Then, in an act that will be eternally burned into my mind, the Aztec deity scooped up the king in one hand, and using the serpent to bite down on the king's lower half, he broke the mighty Viking in half with brute force, and then poured his bodily fluids, including his heart, down his throat. Then, he discarded the broken corpse like a used ragdoll. All of this, only twenty feet from us.

"Now!" Jalil yelled. Then, I realized that all of my friends were right there with me, even Jalil and David whom I'd lost track of. They must have been forming a plan. Thorolf was with us as well – I was glad to see that he was still among the living. The group of them – David, Jalil, Christopher, Thorolf, and Jayson rushed the god and began attacking him with their weapons – swords, axes, and a spear.

Eli, to my right, raised his carbine, placing that symbolic red dot on the god's chest. He began firing round after round into the god's upper torso. Brett, on the other side of me, began notching arrows and firing them as soon as he could.

Eli turned and saw me, standing there, dumbfounded, and yelled, "Fire your weapon, Jon!"

I snapped back to reality and, without hesitation, brought up my Makarov and unloaded my fresh mag into the center mass of our target. Now, any person seeing this onslaught would obviously think, Nothing can survive that. Yeah, well, that's what I thought, standing there with a smoking gun. Until I remembered Olaf's statement about the difficulties involved in killing gods. As I ran out of ammunition, I noticed that the guy wasn't bleeding. The blades of my friends bit deep into his flesh, sure, but no blood. Brett's arrows were protruding in a cluster from his shoulders and chest – the god nonchalantly swept the arrows with his hand, breaking the shafts of the arrows. Then there were more than a dozen of bullet holes that pockmarked the being's torso. The god seemed somewhat puzzled at those injuries, but not worried.

Now, in our defense, he didn't exactly take this in stride. He was quite weakened by our assault, that was for sure. But it wasn't enough. Maybe if we'd kept it up a bit longer, made it more intense… wait. There was one part of his body we hadn't attacked – his head. If it was as vital on gods as it was humans, we may just have a chance. But I was out of ammo, and I wasn't going to sting this guy with little .22's. I needed more firepower. I began to reach for Eli's .357. I never got to it.

The god, obviously done playing games with us, swept his hand across the beach, sending a torrent of sand at us. The wave knocked us on our collective asses, and we were quickly surrounded by the Aztecs. What was left of the Vikings were also captured.

As a spear point was jammed in front of Eli's face, he looked at the Aztec holding the weapon and said, "Listen here Tex-Mex, your sorry ass is lucky we ran out of bullets."

Same old Eli.