The volume of the voices of King Juan Carlos and Prince Katurba arguing ranged from a hearty boom to something a king to the roar of a might lion. Following Omar’s lead, Hannah had told Kind Omar a white lie in an effort to gain his buy in on “fixing” the Mayan Calendar Inaccuracy. Omar swallowed the bait alright, but now there was a bigger mess. While Katurba understood the long view, his proud father was not at all happy about the situation. His brother was expecting him to show up at Pachuca in the morning, December 21st, 2012 and admit his brother was the supreme ruler of all Mayans.
Of course this was not totally accurate. There were Mayans spread far and wide and Omar was a lesser king to be sure. But all Omar wanted was his older brother to declare him to be greater than he. To him that made him supreme. This was exactly why there was a problem concerning the calendar.
“I am afraid we are not going to get it done!” Hannah admitted. She could easily make out the words tossed back and forth by Katurba and Juan Carlos and it was not sounding promising; she thought she heard the words “kill” and “Brown’s friends” which added more stress.
“We still have time Buzz! You know I never give up,” Joe smiled.
Hannah tried to smile, but instead turned her watch up to look at the countdown clock function she had monitored for the last seven months. It showed less than fifteen hours until the forecasted end of the world. She wasn’t necessarily afraid to die; she just was in no hurry to do so.
Prince Katurba came back from the exchange with his father looking weary. By this time much of the pretense was gone, allowing Joe and Hannah to speak directly to him without the formal “Your highness” with every exchange. The prince saw the urgency and gave them permission to make every word count.
“My friends I am truly concerned. My father is a very proud man. What my uncle asks is so much, yet so little. “
“Your father realizes it is simply an end to a means?” Joe asked.
“On one hand, yes. On the other he knows it will forever change his interaction with my uncle. My father’s word has always been the final authority. He knows when he says this it will mean the end of his rule here.”
Neither Hannah nor Joe had considered this side of things. In essence they were asking King Juan Carlos to abdicate his throne and declare his brother to be superior. This truth cemented the doubt that any resolution was close at hand.
“So all is lost,” Hannah moaned. “We came all this way for nothing.”
“Maybe not,” Katurba said.
“You have an angle don’t you?” Joe asked.
“Perhaps,” Katurba smiled, his head nodding as he considered his approach.
Just before dawn, Hannah and Joe joined up with the official royal contingent from King Juan Carlos’ village as they departed for Pachuca. All they knew was that Prince Katurba had returned to speak with his father and a reasonable discussion followed for over an hour. He did not share any details, but asked them to trust him. They both knew they had no alternative, so quickly agreed.
Prince Katurba walked behind his father with a confident smile, which should have given Hannah some confidence. She wondered why it did not. Casting a side glance at Joe, she saw the uncharacteristic worry lines were betraying his concern also. This was going to be close. At least they did not have to worry about Mrs. Salyer coming unglued over the whole adventure. Save the world and they were heroes, fail and no one would ever know the difference.
A grand welcome awaited them just outside Pachcua. It seemed everyone buy King Omar was at the gates of the village to welcome them. King Juan Carlos held his head high, meeting the expectations of this village as the leader of another should. The tension in the crowd was evident, since no one could remember the last time the two kings been face to face.
AS the contingent with Juan Carlos reached the summit of the pyramid structure to enter the temple for the meeting the sun cleared the last structure blocking its strong, early morning light and temporarily blinded the group. This momentary setback robbed them of their first chance to see King Omar, who stood to greet them. Juan Carlos approached his brother and stood silent for several moments.
Joe looked to Hannah, and then to Prince Katurba as the silence continued. Would Katurba’s plan work? Would these two men let things progress that far? The questions only seemed to mount.
“Juan Carlos, you look very well. How was your trip?”
“It was a fine reminder of why our civilization is considered the best and most advanced in the world! How about you? Is Pachuca treating you well?”
Juan Carlos’ sudden clarity and breadth of speech through our heroes; up until now any conversation they were included in showed him to be a choppy speaker. Their questioning glances were met by Katurba slowly shaking his head in understanding.
“He talks like that for effect when someone new comes to our village. He thinks it make him seem mysterious I guess.”
“So we meet over this calendar nonsense again,” Omar started the conversation everyone wanted to settle.
“Apparently we have created quite a stir over ending the calendar on this day 1, 362 years from now,” Juan Carlos replied.
“Why do we care? We will be long gone and certainly forgotten by then,” Omar observed.
“Maybe us, but not our kingdoms,” Juan Carlos replied.
“The ‘future dwellers’ did not tell you?” Omar asked, a smile creeping onto his lips.
“Tell me what?”
Panic was the only word that could accurately cover the feelings coursing through Hannah’s body. This was about to go off the rails in a hurry and she was powerless to prevent it.
“My kingdom is still standing, but yours is not.”
Juan Carlos stood staring his brother in the eyes, breathing in the warming morning air as he processed the words. Slowly, deliberately his fingers curled up into the palms of his hands, slowly and without a real purpose it seemed, but then they curled tight and his thumbs wrapped around them to form fists. The veins in his neck began to bulge and he spread his legs to shoulder width as one would before making an offensive move.
Omar matched his brother’s stance, silently mimicking every action. This scene was intensified by the actions of his guards, who began to lower their spears into an attack position. Juan Carlos’ smaller contingent reciprocated, all the while knowing the outcome was not in their favor. Inside Hannah’s mind a dramatic movie theme swelled, seeming to be the only dramatic element missing from this scene.
“Prince Katurba!” Hannah screamed.
Both kings turned toward Hannah not with a look of annoyance or menace, but with an expression of amusement. She realized why when they both said at once, “We got you!”
“What?” Hannah said.
The brothers laughed loud and hard, but alone since they were the only ones in the know. The spears of the guards dropped toward the ground as they stood dumbfounded by the actions of the men they swore their lives to protect.
“Father, uncle,” Katurba said,”what is the meaning of this?”
“Which one of us was closer?” Omar asked his brother.
“Me. I predicted they would wait until the day of to come here asking about it. You gave them too much credit. ‘The year 2000 will freak them out so much they will not wait another twelve years to extend our calendar’ you said.”
“So this was all just a prank?” Joe asked.
“I consider it the greatest of all time,” Juan Carlos boasted.
“Are you serious?” Katurba asked. “You did this on purpose?”
“Of course,” Omar replied with a grin. “Why in the world would we arbitrarily end our calendar? It is based on a mathematical progression. All you have to do is continue the math.”
“Do you think they are telling the truth now?” Hannah asked Joe.
“I guess we will know in the morning!”
31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Mark 13:31-33 KJV
Note: This is the final installment of a multi-part serial fiction work created by Hannah McAmis and Joe Owens. Hannah is a 16 yr old junior at Twin Springs High School and I had the joy of meeting her and her family on a recent mission trip to Belize. Please understand this is merely an opportunity to collaborate on a purely fictional work. As Christians we both know the world will not end on Friday, but thought we could have some fun with the subject.