Premiered August 22, 2003
As Dawn watched the driver weave his sooped-up vehicle along the "demolition derby" highway, she had a momentary flashback to that peaceful and nostalgic time when they had flown "Tree-Top Airlines" on their "Flight of Adventure" from Tijuana to Mexico City. But then she recalled the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of last night's attempted sleep, and decided neither of the south-of-the-border travel arrangements had been to her liking. Riding in the Le Mans stock-car-derby-reject was bad enough, but Dawn didn't even know why they were acting like tourists and visiting Teotihuacan and the Pyramids in the first place. Alex had not yet taken the time to explain.
Dawn turned to look at him: his eyes and attention apparently intent upon the surroundings and the progress of the vehicle. Casually she asked, "What do you know about this place?"
Alex turned to look at her, his face expressionless. Then after a moment's thought, he said, "Teotihuacan means the ‘Place of the Gods’, and some of its earliest inner structures may date from as early as the fourth millennium B.C. The pyramids of the Sun and Moon, however, were probably raised to their monumental sizes much later. It's now generally accepted that the Olmecs were the people who actually built the pyramids, and this may have occurred some time around 1392 B.C."
"That's a pretty specific date," Dawn replied, with a little laugh.
Alex's smile became more genuine, as he acknowledged her point. "The recorded tales of the local ancient inhabitants tell of a day when the Earth fell into darkness, when the sun failed to appear in the east at its normal time. Only at Teotihuacan, according to legend, was there light -- a divine flame which continued to burn there. The concerned gods asked for a volunteer among their own to jump into the divine flame and, by this sacrifice, bring back the sun. A god named Tecuciztecatl -- or however in the world you pronounce it -- agreed to take the plunge. But after putting aside his glittering attire, he would step forward toward the flame, only to lose courage each time. Then a god named Nanauatzin volunteered and unhesitatingly jumped into the fire. Shamed by this act, Tecuciztecatl followed suit, but landed only at the flame's edge. As the gods were consumed, the Sun and Moon reappeared on the horizon."
"That's a lovely story. But what does this have to do with the date?"
Alex held up his hand to forestall Dawn's question. "There's more. It turned out while the Sun and Moon had reappeared, they remained motionless in the sky. Differing versions suggest that either one god shot an arrow at the sun, or the Wind God blew at it. In either case, the Sun resumed its motion, followed by the Moon. The cycle of day and night resumed and the Earth was saved!
"The reason I mention this tale," Alex added, "is because of the description of the long night when the Sun and Moon did not rise on schedule, and the implication that both Sun and Moon had ceased to move across the sky. This correlates with the Biblical story in Joshua 10:13, when the Sun and Moon stood still. Figure it out: If the Sun and Moon stood still over the Middle East, then a third of the way around the Earth in MesoAmerica, the Sun and Moon might be located right on the horizon. This explains the long night, and the observation of the Sun and Moon both standing still on the horizon."
"But you don't think," Dawn asked, "That the Sun and Moon actually stood still?"
"Not precisely," Alex answered. "But I do think the Earth ceased to rotate, and thus the Sun and Moon appeared to stand still. There was probably even some jerking around, as the Earth's rotation was interrupted by a close encounter with another planetary body. This would account for the other Meso and South American legends which talk of the Sun rising in the east, and then immediately setting in the east, and then after a long night rising again in the east."
Dawn was incredulous. "You think the Earth just ceased to rotate. How is that possible? How do you even get a 'handle' to stop the rotation? Friction?"
"Good question," Alex replied. "Actually, you don't stop the Earth from rotating. The main bulk continues merrily along, spinning on its axis. But the continents, floating on the mantle, would be attracted to the gravitational pull of a nearby planet during a close encounter and would shift accordingly. The 'handle' is, therefore, the difference in gravitational attraction between the continents and the ocean depths.
"Note also," Alex quickly interjected, just as Dawn was about to speak, "That as the other planet moves away and the gravitational attraction lessens, the continents cease to move against the rotation of the Earth's core and mantle, and effectively catch up with the normal rotation. So not only do you have a 'handle' to cause the continents to temporarily cease to rotate, but also to return to the normal rotation."
Dawn was now curious about something else. "And you believe all of this?"
Alex laughed. "Oh, yes! There's entirely too much evidence to support it. Read Immanuel Velikovsky's books: Worlds in Collision, Ages in Chaos, and the like.  You'll be amazed."
"I'll do that," Dawn replied, the suggestion hanging in the air that she would be checking Alex's story -- his recounting of such astronomical incredulity had all the ingredients of an elaborate joke. However, as she would eventually discover, he was completely serious.
Alex just grinned. "What else can I tell you about Teotihuacan?"
Dawn laughed, "Something I can believe."
Alex shrugged his shoulders. "Depends on what you're capable of believing, I suppose." Then, still smiling, he added, "You know what they say: 'Believing is seeing.'"
"Try me," Dawn replied, her credulity guard on the ready.
Alex calmly took the challenge. "The Pyramid of the Moon is built upon slightly higher ground than the Pyramid of the Sun, but the two pyramids have the same height above sea level -- the Pyramid of the Sun being built on ground some thirty feet lower than the Pyramid of the Moon. The Pyramid of the Moon is at the north end of a long avenue, misnamed by the Aztecs, the Avenue of the Dead. The avenue runs south for nearly five miles, a distance longer than the longest runways at any modern airport. Furthermore, the avenue is straight as an arrow, something of a technological feat for the time of its construction. The Pyramid of the Sun is on the east side of the Avenue, some 800 meters -- or roughly eight football fields -- to the south of the Pyramid of the Moon and roughly 255 meters to the east of the Avenue. Curiously, the ratio of those two distances is almost exactly equal to Pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter."
Alex added, a slight grin on his face. "By the way, there is no real reason to assume the Sun pyramid is of any greater significance than that of the Moon. In fact, because the Moon's pyramid is at the head of the main drag, the so-called Avenue of the Dead, one might assume it is the more important pyramid."
"That makes sense," Dawn replied, relieved her gullibility wasn't being currently tested.
"The same holds true," Alex added, "for the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The Second Pyramid at Giza is shorter than the Great Pyramid, but only because the Second Pyramid is built on higher ground. The top of each of the Egyptian pyramids is at the same height above sea level."
"Really?" Dawn begin to suspect Alex might again be leading her astray.
"There's more," Alex grinned. "Both of the two largest great pyramids are built on artificial platforms, whose sides measure almost the same dimensions: about 754 feet at Giza and 745 feet at Teotihuacan. On the other hand, the Great Pyramid at Giza has four triangular sides that rise at an angle of 52 degrees, while the Sun Pyramid has a slope of only 43 1/2 degrees. The 52 degree slope turns out to be very difficult on a structural basis, and has been attained only in the Giza Pyramids. It appears, for example, that when Pharaoh Sneferu built his pyramid at Dahshur, his first attempt at 52 degrees collapsed, and the angle was then changed to 43 1/2 degrees in midconstruction. The result was what has come to be known as the Bent Pyramid. It's noteworthy that another Egyptian pyramid, that of Pharoah Zoser's at Sakkara, rose at 43 1/2 degrees, while subsequent pyramids after the ones at Giza also followed the 43 1/2 degree slope."
"That's a strange angle," Dawn remarked. "I would have thought half of 90 degrees, or 45 degrees would have been a more likely figure."
"Ahhh," Alex replied, his grin growing ever larger. "Then you would not be thinking like an Egyptian. The 52 degree angle derives from a formula that says a pyramid's height should be equal to half its side, divided by Pi and multiplied by four."
Dawn frowned. "You're kidding?"
"No," Alex quickly replied. "A 754 foot side, divided by two equals 377. Divide this by 3.1416, you get 120. When you multiply 120 by four you get a height of 480 feet. Essentially, the circumference of the square base is divided by 2 Pi, 2 Pi being a very common number in geometry."
"And the 43 1/2 degree angle of the Pyramid of the Sun?"
"Instead of multiplying by four, you multiply by three."
Dawn looked at Alex for several moments, while Alex merely grinned. Slowly, Dawn's mind garnered the information. "The implication is the pyramids in Egypt and Teotihuacan are working under the same geometrical considerations -- as if they're sharing knowledge."
"A reasonable conclusion," Alex confirmed. "But keep in mind: All of the pyramids of Meso-America follow this same formula. Furthermore, except for the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egyptian pyramids were equipped only with a lower passageway that typically began at or near the edge of the pyramid's base and continued under it. A passage similar to the Egyptian motif was discovered in 1978 under the Pyramid of the Sun!"
Dawn had a sudden premonition. "We're not going down into the pyramid are we?"
"Of course," Alex replied. Then seeing her expression, "But just for a little bit."
Dawn grimaced, determined not to show any more fear than she had already shown. Alex was already grinning in that superior kind of way. Dawn really hated that look.
Abruptly the rented car came to a screeching halt, while the cloud of dust that had been pursuing it for miles, finally caught up with it and smothered it with a heavy film of fine, dry soil and rock. The driver turned around, smiling. "Roger Jimenez get you here in good time, yes?"
"You did very well," Alex agreed. "And you'll wait here for us?"
"You betcha sweet boatem I wait," Roger confidently replied, grinning from ear to ear. With money having the power it did, there seemed little doubt he would be true to his word. Without additional negotiations, the two tourists grabbed their backpacks and got out of the taxi.
The late spring heat had been temporarily vanquished by a cloudy day. But even without the illuminating rays of the sun beating down on them, the pyramids were still spectacular. Alex and Dawn entered the complex from the southwest corner, through the Great Compound, formerly what might have been a market place and now used for a Cultural Museum. Across from the Great Compound, stood the temple of Quetzalcoatl, a small pyramid, decorated with elaborate sculptures, included the heads of feathered serpents. Turning north, they followed the broad "Avenue of the Dead" as it crossed the San Juan River (which had, incidentally, been rechanneled in ancient times to cross the Avenue at right angles).
At a considerable distance beyond and just off to the right, they could see the Pyramid of the Sun -- a massive, multi-tiered, powerful structure, with an aggregate volume of some ten million cubic feet. The largest of Teotihuacan's pyramids, it loomed as high as a twenty story building, rising ominously out of the dry, dusty ground. At the far end of the Avenue, they could see the Pyramid of the Moon, distinctly different from the Sun's pyramid with a great square enclosure before it and a separate flat topped pyramidal structure jutting out in the direction of the Avenue.
Alex and Dawn walked rapidly along the Avenue toward the Pyramid of the Sun, with Alex leading the way and setting the pace. Dawn found herself walking much faster than normal in order to keep up. Until she suddenly decided she didn't need to do so. Without fanfare, she stopped and began looking around, taking in the vistas, and generally appearing unaware of Alex's hurried intentions. A young local peddler, sensing a sale, quickly approached her. Holding several maps up, he asked, "Lady need a map?" Dawn smiled, and began the process of bargaining on the price.
Alex had at first been oblivious to Dawn's stopping and had gone another thirty feet before he realized his companion had stopped. Without a word, he turned to see her with the small boy, just as Dawn received her map in exchange for far too much money. Alex frowned slightly, and walked back to where she was now examining her newly purchased prize.
As if mystified by her actions, he asked, "Something wrong?"
"No, no," Dawn cheerfully replied. "I was just buying a map of the area." Showing Alex, she added, "It's an archeological map, a visitor's guide to the local area."
"So, I see," Alex replied. Then he added, rather stiffly, "It's a National Geographic map. They're free with a subscription to the magazine."
"So it is," Dawn noticed. No longer sure of the efficacy of her purchase, she said nothing more.
Alex watched her for just a second, and then said, "There are several things I think you'll find of interest at the Pyramid of the Sun -- particularly the underground passages. However, you might want to put the map away before we get to the pyramid," he said.
Dawn looked at him, surprised. Calmly, she asked, "Why?"
"We need to get into the underground passages," Alex explained. "And we may have to pose as archeologists in order to do so. Archeologists don't buy tourist maps."
"Oh," Dawn replied. Then, as she stopped to put the map in her backpack, she added, "Maybe they should. Having a map before excavating could probably save them a lot of time."
Alex grinned, continuing to watch her until she was done and they had begun walking again. Then he added, "It's probably a good thing you didn't leave your backpack at the hotel. Even though it may get a little heavy with all of the walking we're about to do, it does make you look more like an archaeologist. And with my backpack, we just might pull it off."
Dawn didn't mention her backpack was already heavy, weighted down with her private hoard of gold. Instead, she said, "It's not a backpack. It's a purse."
Alex glanced at her and then looked forward. "It has two straps which fit over both shoulders and it rests on your back. It looks like a backpack to me."
"That's just to allow me to have free hands. It's still a purse. It's just in style right now. Very practical, and very much in style."
"And which, I suppose, is why you always carry it with you. Your purse, I mean."
Dawn's smile turned into a mischievous grin. "I don't go anywhere without my backpack." Then, as if to emphasize her point, she added, "It's a female thing."
Alex shrugged his shoulders, deciding there were some things one didn't argue about.
Gaining access to the descending passages beneath the Pyramid of the Sun went pretty much as expected. Alex first tried to convince a laid back guard that as archaeologists, he and Dawn should be allowed into the underground, which while occasionally open to tourists, was temporarily closed. This ploy, of course, didn't work. But the time honored tradition of bribing the guard did.
Alex and Dawn, after having expended quite a few dollars, entered the lower bowels of the Pyramid of the Sun, descending down ancient steps some twenty feet before entering into what might have been a converted cave. As they descended, they switched on their lights -- the ones Alex had carried in his backpack. There had been no possibility of the pyramid's recently installed interior lighting being turned on by the guard for the benefit of the "archaeologists". That might have alerted the guard's superiors. And they would have wanted to share in the bribe... or increase it.
The descending passageway quickly leveled out as the two people began finding their way down the long, narrow tunnel with its ceiling of heavy stone blocks and walls smoothed with plaster. From there they entered a subterranean passageway, complete with adobe walls which occasionally diverted them from their course. Dawn made a concentrated effort not to think about the thousands of tons of rock and stone above her, and as a consequence, thought about it continuously.
After making their way along the tunnel for roughly 150 feet, they came to a spot which turned out to be exactly below the first stage of the step-pyramid. At that point, the horizontal tunnel spread into two elongated side chambers, both of which flared away from the central tunnel like spread wings. In this inner portion of the underground passageways, the ceiling was a more comfortable seven foot high. Dawn breathed a bit more easily. The relief of taking in more air also allowed her the presence of mind to notice that the floors were made of thick sheets of mica, and drainage pipes which had been built by the ancients for some unknown purpose.
When she mentioned the floors to Alex, he replied, "The mica is a silicone type material. It's resistant to water, heat, and electrical currents." Then he stopped and turned to Dawn for emphasis. "This type of mica is found naturally only in Brazil!"
Leaving that fact for Dawn to dwell on, he turned and forged ahead. Dawn followed, wondering about the implications of such a statement. Eventually, after another 200 feet, they reached the end of the tunnel where it became a hollowed out area resembling a cloverleaf, supported by adobe columns and basalt slabs.
Alex had paid little attention to anything as they made their way, apparently intent upon some specific task. When they reached the "cloverleaf", he stopped and casually mentioned, "For what it's worth, we are now at a point exactly underneath the peak of the pyramid."
Dawn looked at him askance, as he asked her to direct her light to the ceiling. When she had done so, he began measuring with a protractor several lines emanating from a single point and carved into the overhead stone. He made several notes of his measurements, did a quick calculation, and then began to look at the results for several minutes. Dawn waited patiently, watching the man.
Then quietly, primarily to himself, he said, "Damn! Fifteen and a half degrees!" With that, he turned, as if ready to leave. Abruptly, he remembered Dawn. Turning back to her, he asked, "Seen enough?" His voice suggested his disappointment and impatience.
Dawn looked at him for a moment, making a decision. She glanced around at the bare room of massive rock, her light reflecting slightly off the bare walls. There really wasn't much there, everything long since stolen by grave robbers and thieves, or carted off to the Museum by official thieves. Partly in jest, she replied, attempting to break Alex's suddenly gloomy mood, "Could be quite a place to meditate."
It had not occurred to her Alex might agree with the idea. But then, after thinking over the idea, he replied, "Why not? I could use some inspiration." Then, without further fanfare, he returned to the center of the room, slung his backpack to one side, switched off his light, and set down, lotus fashion. Without waiting for her, he closed his eyes and began the process of trying to relax.
Mildly surprised, Dawn followed his lead, took off her backpack as well, and then set down facing him -- a space of perhaps three feet separating them. Seeing his eyes already closed, she switched off her light, carefully laid it beside her, and let herself grow accustomed to the impenetrable darkness. She fought off the momentary panic of where she was, and within moments was rewarded appropriately.
At first, in the midst of utter blackness, there were subtle traces of color in laser like lines. Dawn mentally squinted, trying to see the colors better, but initially had no luck. Then she remembered to state her intentions. Quietly, she said, mouthing the words, "I welcome all input from the higher realms which is in my highest and wisest interest at this time."
Almost immediately it hit her. Power! Sheer, staggeringly immense power -- raw in its intensity and colored by emotion-laden wonder and ecstasy. Mental thoughts filled with emotional content swirled in her mind. Streams of rainbow colors slashed through her space, illuminating her visions. A sense of being within a multi-faceted blue azurite crystal came over her, while her mind reeled with the sheer brilliance of colors. Geometrical shapes appeared, ranging from spinning tetrahedrons and twisting DNA helixes to shapes reminiscent of the more sophisticated crop circle formations which had recently appeared. For a split second, Dawn even sensed herself playing in the crop circle from her earlier dream. There were also flashing views of stars and constellations, some of which momentarily reminded Dawn of Sirius, the Orion Constellation, and the Southern Cross. Never had she felt such immediate, overpowering sensations in any mediation. It was as if by making the decision to allow external powers access to her psyche, they had rushed in where even used car salesmen might have feared to tread.
Her mind tried to sort the visualizations, the heart-thumping vibrations, the sense of absolute mystery and wonder. But to no avail. It was as if the powers of the pyramid had been denied such access for such a long time that to wait a moment longer was inconceivable. Every possible product of meditation seemed to compete in their quests to gain access to her consciousness. For several moments there was chaos.
Then, slowly, increasingly gaining the upper hand, an audible vibration began to make itself known. It was a sound, a sound as if one's ears were plugged, but which had nothing to do with hearing. It was a sound wholly within her mind, gaining in intensity and decibels, but without ever sounding too harsh. Never uncomfortable. Rather a sound she could choose to ignore or allow herself to bathe within. It was the universe's base note, a deep, mellow "huuuu".
Dawn began shutting out every distraction other than the sound. As she did so, she felt a oneness with the world, the pyramid, the man sitting before her. Then gently, peacefully, Gil came into her mind. He smiled, and lifted a finger to touch her forehead. Immense waves of unconditional, universal love cascaded down from her third eye and filled her body. And then the vision of Gil was gone.
Dawn felt mesmerized, captivated, and yet, wholly within the moment. She felt her body sitting in a mildly uncomfortable position upon hard rock, within a massive, cold surrounding. And yet, at the same time, her whole being felt connected with the starry night, the bright sunny day, and the hot wind blowing across the face of the pyramids. All her senses responded to the wholly connected universe.
Abruptly she opened her eyes to see Alex, with his own light switched on, staring at her. His expression -- which she could only barely make out -- was one of calm, patient concern. As she felt herself return to the alleged reality of the three-dimensional space and one-dimensional time continuum, she smiled.
He smiled also, commenting, "No inspiration, but one heluva of a trip!"
Dawn agreed, "Brief, but very intense."
Alex looked surprised. Then gently, he said, "Just under half an hour." When Dawn looked at him unbelievingly, he added, "At least, according to the chronometer on my wrist."
Suddenly Dawn laughed. Where she had been, time had been irrelevant. Everything else had been more than real. 'So why?' she suddenly thought, 'Am I alone under the greatest pyramid of the Western Hemisphere with this man?' The pyramid chose not to answer. That would have taken the mystery and drama out of the situation, and no soul, including Dawn's, would have wanted that.
As they stood up and left the inner sanctum, both were quiet, each lost in their respective thoughts. The trip out was far more profound in many respects, as they each now recognized the power of what had been their descent into the depths of the pyramid. Dawn ran her hand along the rock and plastered walls, gently sensing the powers that had influenced her. Slowly, they returned to the world of light and space, blinking as they came into the light of the daylight sun.
As she looked up, Dawn realized that even in the depths of the pyramid, there had been The Sun -- radiating, protecting from the cold, keeping her safe. For a moment, she swallowed, dealing with a sense of rebirth and trusting openness. The casual suggestion to meditate had become a transformation of some kind. Very intense. Even if in the midst of massive rock and stone.
Alex, in something of a casual saunter, led Dawn to the front stairs of the pyramid. At the base of them, he took note of the triple-stepped structure jutting out from between the twin stairs of the lowest base section of the pyramid proper. There he quietly made some measurements. When he was finished, he said with a tinge of frustration evident in his voice, "Fifteen and a half degrees."
Dawn watched him for just a moment. "Why is that a problem?"
Alex shrugged. "Not necessarily a problem. It's just that fifteen and a half degrees seems very important to the builders of Teotihuacan. The Avenue of the Dead makes a fifteen and a half degree angle with true north, and this structure before the Pyramid of the Sun juts out at the same angle -- and for no apparent reason. At the same time the line connecting the tops of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon makes a seventeen and a half degree angle with the Avenue of the Dead. Thus the Pyramids are two degrees off of a true north-south orientation. The whole thing just doesn't make a lot of sense."
"You would have preferred your measurements to be at seventeen and a half degrees?"
Alex laughed. "Or at nineteen and a half!" When Dawn looked surprised, he shrugged his shoulders. "It's a hyper-geometrical thing. A circumscribed tetrahedron having one vertex located at a pole will have the other vertices tracing a line of latitude at nineteen and a half degrees."
Dawn was now perplexed. "What in the world are you talking about?"
Alex turned to her. "It has to do with a theory about energy influxes from other dimensions intersecting our four-dimensional space-time frame of reference. I thought there might be a connection between that theory and what the builders of Teotihuacan might have known." Then he grimaced slightly and turned away from her. "Apparently, there's no connection."
Dawn decided she wasn't going to understand anything Alex was saying, and remained quiet. Then Alex, not quite defeated, turned back to Dawn. "Are you up to climbing a pyramid?"
"Sure," she replied, with appropriate eagerness. "Any particular reason?"
"I'd like to see what lines up at 15 1/2 degrees. It might give us a clue as to where to find The Mother."
Dawn suddenly remembered the prime reason for their being in Mexico was to locate this woman, who might lead them to the Humanki. First things first, she reminded herself. Then another thought entered her mind. Turning to Alex, she asked, "How about the Pyramid of the Moon?"
Alex turned to her, surprised at the request. "Why that one?"
"It's at the head of the Avenue, not along the side. Besides, the Moon is usually gentler."
Alex laughed. "Sure. Why not? We'll do the Pyramid of the Moon."
As they trekked the remaining extent of the Avenue of the Dead, Alex began to talk about other things. "Remember the Olmecs, the probable builders of these pyramids?" When Dawn shook her head, he added, "It seems they just up and vanished one day -- about 200 B.C. or thereabouts. There was another group of ancient peoples, the Toltecs, who did the same thing. After taking over from the original builders of Teotihuacan and living there for nearly a thousand years, they too packed up and left -- this time around 700 A.D. History is replete with vanished peoples like that... from the Lost Tribes of Israel, to the Mayans, to whomever. It's a strange phenomenon in the history of the world."
Dawn smiled knowingly. "But you have a theory, right?"
Alex grinned sheepishly. "Oh yeah. I always have a theory."
"And your theory is...?"
As they continued to walk side by side, Alex turned to look at her, while she maintained a sidelong glance at him. Then he asked, "Ever read the book, Mutant Message from Down Under?"
"No," she replied, keeping her eye on him.
"It's about the Australian Aborigines. One aspect of the book is that as a race the Aborigines are getting ready to leave the planet." When Dawn's eyebrows rose, Alex continued blithely on. "It's like they're about to ascend. They're a very spiritual people, very familiar with the dream state, and seem quite capable of simply leaving this incarnation and taking their bodies with them."
"Interesting theory," Dawn replied. Then her intuition led her to ask, "And you think these ancient peoples did the same thing?"
"Not in all cases," Alex answered. "Maybe not in most. I'm sure many tribes or peoples were simply overrun and wiped out. But there are several, particularly in the Western hemisphere, who seem to have just walked out of their great cities and vanished without a trace. The Anasazi from Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico, for example. What other native American Indians like the Hopi called "the ancient ones". They just up and split." When Dawn remained silent, still listening, he continued. "Imagine if you will that a whole people, comparatively isolated from those around them, develop a sufficiently spiritual base that as a people they could ascend. Leave the planet, leave everything behind. Wouldn't that be amazing?"
"Incredible," Dawn replied -- in one word expressing her feelings completely. Alex heard her very clearly, but only smiled.
The conversation gently waned as the climb up the Pyramid of the Moon left both of them slightly breathless. They exchanged a fair number of smiles, grins, and grimaces, as they periodically rested on the steep, high steps. But they said very little. It was rather a thing to be experienced, and shared on a non-verbal basis.
Near the top, a young couple, with considerably more energy and stamina, passed them. The youngsters held hands as they climbed the final steps, and then embraced at the top, side-to-side. They might easily have worn T-shirts saying they were recently married. But they didn't, allowing their actions to say the same thing.
The sight of two people very much in love caused a surge in Dawn's emotions. The idea of herself having a similar, spontaneous and loving relationship seemed like a very good idea. The time of grieving since the loss of her husband and children now seemed sufficient. She had reached the milestone along her path whereby she could now relate to a man on a completely intimate level. Strangely, she felt as if she had something in common with Sisi -- just having reached the point of being declared whole and well and ready for the future.
As the young couple moved off to do their own thing, Dawn felt intently the sense of being alone. Then she looked around at the view and suddenly felt exhilarated instead. It was magnificent, particularly as one looked back down the Avenue of the Dead.
"You were right," Alex confirmed, taking it all in himself. "This was the pyramid to climb!" Then he moved off to the right and began exploring the upper portions of the temple ruins at the top. At the same time, he kept looking off in the direction of the Pyramid of the Sun. He then pulled out a pair of binoculars from his pack and began scanning in the direction of the Sun pyramid. For several moments he looked. Then he relented, his frustration just barely visible. Shaking his head, he went back into his backpack and began pulling out some sandwiches -- direct from the hotel -- for their lunch.
Dawn was pleased to see the food and sat down beside him to eat. She asked, "What are you trying to see? I noticed you were looking mostly in the direction of the Pyramid of the Sun."
Alex frowned. "I keep thinking the orientation of the two pyramids lines up or in some way gives us a bead on where to go next. But the smog is so bad, I can hardly see more than a dozen miles or so. And yet I'm sure there is something out there that will tell us what we need to know."
"So what do we do now?" Dawn was feeling Alex's frustration.
"Our only other lead, but one in which I have little faith, is to check out Monte Alban."
"It's quite a ways, down near the town of Oaxaca, about 250 miles southeast of here." When Dawn said nothing, he added. "Teotihuacan and Monte Alban have some interesting connections. One of them is that the two locations really stand out on the horizon and a line connecting them lies at a thirty-five and half degree angle from the equator, which for various esoteric reasons, we believe to be important."
"You're really into this geometry thing," Dawn commented, without judgement.
"The ancients were really into geometry. It was part of their spirituality." With that, he fell silent, thinking to quietly deal with his frustration and decide what to do next.
Dawn said nothing, as Alex went off into his own thoughts. Midway though her sandwich, however, she had an idea. Alex had lain down on the bare stone at the top of the pyramid and closed his eyes, still searching for inspiration. Dawn pulled the map she had just bought out of her backpack. Looking at an insert of Mexico City and the Valley of Mexico, with Teotihuacan at the top, she began to study it. Seeing Alex's protractor and geometry tools laying beside his pack, she took them and began to draw lines on the map. Suddenly, she realized something. Two of the lines passed through two points to the south which could not possibly be coincident. Then she noticed something else.
"Alex," she said, her voice sounding excited, "Look at this."
The tone of her voice would have raised Alex from the dead. He sat up, expectantly, and turned to the map in her hands. Calmly, her heart beating stronger, she began explaining her idea.
"If you take the angle of fifteen and a half degrees to the east of the line between the two pyramids, and draw it on the map, the line goes directly though this mountain, Volcano Popocatepetl. Then if you draw a line fifteen and a half degrees from the line from Teotihuacan to Monte Alban, the line goes directly through another mountain, Volcano Iztaccihuatl."
Alex barely breathed, as he said, "Smoking Mountain and the White Lady!"
"Yes. It says something about that on the map. What does it mean?"
"According to Aztec myths," Alex replied, "Popo and the White Lady were great lovers. But one day the White Lady went up to the top of her mountain and there fell asleep. The mountain itself, from Mexico City, looks like a sleeping woman. The myth then says Popo went up to awaken her but found she was under some kind of magic spell. Popo then went to the adjacent volcano, where he still waits for her to awaken. He maintains guard, but the locals delight in noting that when the volcano emits smoke, it's just Popo getting steamed from having been waiting so long."
"Cute," Dawn said. "But why would these volcanoes be important to anyone?"
"Because they're volcanoes!" Alex replied, enthusiastically. "The prime source of the ORME elements! The mono-atomic rhodium and iridium are from the deep earth! It's the earth's own foundry for producing these elements. And where else would you find the earth bringing up its innards, but at a volcano!
"Remember Mount Saint Helena? When she erupted, downwind of her they had some of the most fertile soils in decades. It was as if the ash of the mono-atomic elements, among other things, was providing the energy source to generate the best crops in years. Volcanoes are the source!" Alex's face showed his excitement. Abruptly, he became serious. "If someone were interested in a primary source for these elements, they would naturally want to hang around this kind of locale! This may be where the Humanki are hanging out, or where, at the very least, The Mother is! This is great!"
Dawn looked at Alex from an angle. Quietly, she asked, "The Mother is the White Lady?"
Alex was slightly sobered. "You have to go back a ways. According to Aztec myth, there was an 'Age of the White Haired Giants'. The 'White Lady' is just a continuation of that tradition. She may even be the original. But she's the one who counts! And where better to be located than on the slopes of her mountain!" Alex's smile went astray as the thoughts running rampant in his mind took off in all directions.
Dawn was pleased at Alex's enthusiasm, and felt emboldened to add one more item. "I noticed something else." When Alex turned expectantly, having recently become a believer in Dawn's revelations, she said, "I happened to notice Teotihuacan is located at 19 degrees and forty minutes north of the equator, while the volcanoes are between 19 and 19 and a quarter degrees latitude. Maybe this ties in with your theory -- the one I don't understand -- about a hyper-dimensional thing at nineteen and a half degrees."
Alex stared at her for several minutes. Then he looked at the map. Quietly, but with an earnest tone, he said, "You're a genius." Dawn glowed, until Alex explained. (Dawn wasn't eager for an explanation -- such things seldom adding to and often detracting from the initial compliment. But she held her tongue. She had been called a genius. That would have to do.)
"The volcano on the island of Hawaii is at nineteen and a half degrees from the equator, as is by far the largest volcano on Mars, Olympus Mons. Nineteen and a half degrees is also where the red spots of Jupiter and Neptune are located. This suggests a window between dimensions and the place where energy may be coming into our space and time in large quantities!" Then he became even more excited. "God, I love this! The way everything all falls together! Who would have thought hyper-geometry would correlate with ancient pyramids, mono-atomic elements, and volcanoes! It's incredible!!"
He turned to Dawn, his eyes filled with excitement. "We're going to make a great team!"
Dawn was more than delighted by Alex's enthusiasm, not to mention his hands on her shoulders as if preparatory to giving her a big kiss. She was excited and supercharged herself. But before she could verbalize her emotions, or Alex kiss her, he asked eagerly, "So. Ready to climb a volcano?" When Dawn didn't immediately reply, Alex added, "The White Lady! She's on her mountain. Iztaccihuatl."
Dawn was astounded. "She's living at the top of a volcano?"
Alex suddenly felt his spirits take a heavy dose of reality. He looked again at her map. Then he smiled. "Tlamacas! It's a village on the side of Popo. Even on the line between the volcano and Teotihuacan. That's where we're going. There's even a road to it." Then he hesitated. "Or what looks like a road. Probably a winding set of approximately-parallel tracks." Alex smiled bleakly.
After a brief few moments of once again taking in the view from the top of the Pyramid of the Moon -- an activity on which Dawn had insisted -- they began to make their way down the steep steps. Interestingly enough, going down was actually somewhat more tiring than going up. The ascent left one breathless, but there had at least been a certain momentum in their favor. Going down was an infinite series of step down and stop one's entire momentum on each step. Soon their calves were feeling the strain of constantly dropping one's entire body weight, including backpacks, onto one's lower legs at each level. Fortunately, they had the length of the Avenue of the Dead to work out the consequent kinks in their calves. The latter also afforded them a chance to talk between themselves. It was Dawn who began it.
"Gil once mentioned that there was a lot of UFO activity around the volcanoes of Mexico."
Alex laughed. "Either that or there's a lot of secret governmental activity and the UFO stories are just a cover up." Then he smiled glumly. "Or maybe they're genuine UFOs."
Dawn laughed. "So in addition to the AMA and the PMC, we have to worry about UFOs."
Alex kept his eyes straight ahead, his pace slowly quickening. "Don't forget about the CIA, FBI, KGB, and as a last resort to make our lives miserable, the IRS!"
Dawn was surprised and looked at him. "The government?"
"Absolutely," he replied. "Every government with gold reserves intact, along with Russia, one of the leading gold mining nations, and South Africa all have some very heavy, vested interests in the current scarcity of precious elements. The South Africans are capable of being as tough as the Russians, even in the midst of the elimination of Apartheid. Nobody is going to like us. It's the old adage: 'Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set ye free. But first, the truth is really going to piss you off!' We may ultimately being doing everyone a favor, but first we have to deal with their anger and fear."
Dawn thought about it for a moment. "If the Patrons were to come after me, I was rather assuming you would throw yourself into the path of the bullet in order to save me. But now there's the possibility that the people after us might be the PMC, and then I'd be the one throwing myself in front of the bullet in order to save you."
"That's okay," Alex said, nonchalantly. "I can deal with that."
"But how will we know who's doing the shooting? I wouldn't want to throw myself in front of you if it's me they're after!" Dawn looked at Alex, a facade of genuine concern on her face.
Alex laughed. "Well, don't worry about it. They'll probably never find us."
"But aren't we going into their territory? Aren't we entering their den, so to speak?"
Alex sobered slightly. "There is a lot happening around the volcanoes. But I'm not worried about the Consortium of Three Letter Acronym organizations being after us. Even the UFOlks, I can probably handle. I would even be willing to take on the members of the Humanki! Whoever they are. No, my main concern would be good old Mother Nature." Alex smiled gamely.
Dawn was less comforted. "What are you talking about?"
"The volcanoes could go off while we're there."
Dawn thought for several minutes. Then she shook her head, asking, "There's no real chance of a volcanic eruption anytime soon... Is there?" Her question sounded particularly bleak.
Alex shrugged his shoulders. "Quite possible. There's a lot of evidence the volcanoes are due to blow their tops any time now. Certainly within the next five to ten years."
"You're kidding?" Then she decided he wasn't. "But wouldn't the Mexican government be doing something about it? Warning people, for example!"
"What can they do? Announce the near-term possibility and then try to deal with the panic? First of all, there's no guarantee of when. And secondly, what would you do with the twenty million people of Mexico City suddenly made homeless? Have them homestead in other parts of Mexico? That's not even a remote possibility. There just aren’t any good solutions."
"And in the meantime...?"
"The rich and powerful have undoubtedly decided that money and power will buy them a quick escape if and when it becomes necessary. They also figure they will be forewarned. The rest go in for simple denial." Alex smiled suddenly, as a thought struck him. "Maybe there's an Egyptian connection here," he sandbagged. When Dawn only looked at him, he added, "They're all playing the part of Cleopatra, 'De Queen of De Nile'."
Dawn gave him her best pun-dissipating frown.
Roger took the scenic route, bypassing the bulk of Mexico City, and passing through such notable cities as Texcoco, San Vicente Chicoloapan de Juarez (with one of the longer roadway signs), Chalco, Tlalmanaico, and Amecameca. Of course, before leaving the pyramids, there had to be the time-honored traditional bargaining about the price of the taxi for ferrying the couple all the way to Tlamacas and Volcano Popocatepetl.
Among other things, there was the prospect of checking out an unruly volcano, up close and personal. For another, Tlamacas was roughly twice as far from downtown Mexico City as was Teotihuacan (Roger claimed it was five times as far). Finally, the roads carried considerably less traffic, and as a result were in poorer shape, particularly along the route from Amecameca up the mountain to Tlamacas. The latter was the route taken by that specialized branch of American tourists who had nothing better to do with their time than climb moderately active volcanoes. This group didn't expect good roads, and the Mexican government obliged them by keeping the road to Tlamacas challenging.
Alex ended up paying more than he should, but also with Roger insisting on most of the money up front -- if for no other reason than he would have to buy gas. Meanwhile, Dawn declined Alex's suggestion of having the taxi drop her off at the hotel and Alex proceed to the volcano alone. Dawn was loath to split up with Alex, even for a brief moment. Things were far too unsettled to take the chance. And as she thought about it, facing the volcano didn't seem that tough. This was perhaps because the threat of an eruption was difficult to imagine, whereas being alone wasn't hard to imagine at all.
The three years, for example, between the time her husband and two children had been killed in the auto accident, had ensured that lonely was something Dawn knew all about -- along with stunning shock, immense grief, and a sense of being totally alone in an alien and uncaring world. That king of lonely was something Dawn did not want to re-experience.
At approximately the same moment that Dawn and Alex were passing through Amecameca, Anna arrived at the Mexico City airport. She was alone, but was quickly met by a local semi-official, a man known for his ability to facilitate all manner of endeavors, legal and otherwise. He was accompanied by four men, all of whom looked mean enough that authorities -- such as customs officials -- would never have even considered opening their luggage. Mexican custom officials, for example, have a profound respect for the criminal class -- particularly those favored with official law enforcement facades. Too many had already learned the hard way that it does sometimes hurt to ask.
Anna's facilitator was all gallantry, as Anna instructed him to take two men and stake out the hotel Oberoi Continental. Anna and the other two would then take the four-wheel drive vehicle and head southeast toward Tlamacas. It was a straight forward and simple plan.
 Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, 1950, Ages in Chaos, 1952, Earth in Upheaval, 1955, and Peoples of the Sea, 1977, all published by Doubleday and Company, New York.
Chapter Twelve -- The Empress
Chapter Fourteen -- Judgement
The Library of ialexandriah
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