Subsubsection: 2 December 2015 (fighting Kibos) Up Subsection: High Lord of Earth Subsubsection: 7 January 2016 (fighting the gods at Tikal) 

16 December 2015 (To Flores)

One of the cultists has a wallet, and an ID proclaiming him to be Colonel Mendoza of Military Intelligence. One of the zombies matches the description of Charlie Borren. The team takes the enchanter’s obsidian dagger, then heads upstairs, planning to leave Belize City quickly and quietly.
However, there’s a loudhailer calling on them to release their hostages and surrender; the army seems to have beaten them to it. A glance from the upper floor reveals that a great many soldiers are surrounding the inn, mostly concentrated at the front, though David spots a few lurking in the jungle at the back. As the group heads for the back door, soldiers come in at the front, and there’s a brief stand-off; it seems that nobody is in a tearing hurry to die today, and eventually the team recounts recent events to a Captain Esteban. They end up showing him the cellars, and it transpires that Mendoza has been under investigation “for some time” for abuse of office and conspiracy with foreigners.
The team agrees to go with Esteban to headquarters, and after a certain amount of discussion about giving up weapons while they’re inside, he suggests that, while they’ve undoubtedly done good things for the country (not to mention his own career), it would probably be for the best if they were to leave quickly and quietly and not come back for a while. He’s even willing to provide a map and refuel the Land Rover.
Standards of roads are distinctly different, here. It’s only a bit over a hundred miles to Flores, but with swamp and trees invading the road bed it’s clearly going to be a long journey. The team gets to the border shortly before dawn, and some polite bribery gets them into Guatemala. (It doubtless helps that Diamond has flown across separately with the team’s heavy weapons.) The road gets distinctly worse, and the journey ends up taking quite a few days, what with cutting down trees, winching the vehicle over swamps, and the like.
There’s a weeping woman sitting on a rock by a river; when Stephen pulls the Land Rover up alongside, she reveals a blood-stained skull where her face should be, and screams – then grabs the side of the car as Stephen pulls away. He tries to scrape her off on a tree; she climbs to the canvas roof, and is shot repeatedly by Diamond, pummelled by Thorfin’s mace, and finally shot by David.
During an overnight stop, a familiar-sounding voice starts screaming nearby; Stephen reckons it sounds like Tolwyn, which puts the team on guard already (after all, they know she sent them here rather than coming herself). When they see Tolwyn, fully armoured, sinking into quicksand, they’re dubious; Diamond flies at full speed to pull her out, and finds her hands passing through the image (and pulls them back in time to avoid an opportunistic crocodile).
When the group finally makes it to Flores, it turns out that the National Museum was robbed eight days ago; once they’ve convinced the curator that they aren’t more reporters, he explains that the thief stabbed the night guard to death while getting away, and the Palenque Vase was broken in the process. He’s still got one fragment, a palm-sized piece of what was a single item around two or three feet tall.
Stephen buys the museum catalogue, and a book on the Tikal dig site, which reveals that it was active in around the 8th century AD. There’s mention of the war-god Hex Chun Chan, who supposedly inhabited and spoke through an idol; the Palenque vase also mentions him, as it carried a funerary inscription commemoration the death of a king high in his favour.
This all seems promising but not immediately helpful, so the team stocks up on fuel and food, then heads for Tikal.
 Subsubsection: 2 December 2015 (fighting Kibos) Up Subsection: High Lord of Earth Subsubsection: 7 January 2016 (fighting the gods at Tikal)