Sunday morning in camp looked almost like any other morning in camp. To an untrained eye, nothing was amiss. A sole figure moved through the camp. It was the Nebraska undergraduate with the full torso jaguar tattoo that hadn’t been there the morning before. He paused near one of the tents and considered the occupants intertwined inside. As he considered the sleeping pair, he thought about how just a few changes in her appearance would make a big difference in her self-esteem. He also thought about how the love of a passionate woman would change the young man she slept with. In thinking these things, change washed over the sleeping partners.
There were only two people who noticed anything different at first. Paul and Kari knew that everything had changed. They had discovered the final resting place of the last Jaguar Shaman and uncovered his Diquis Sphere necklace, bracelets and anklets. Paul and Kari had been profoundly affected by exposure to the ancient stones, awakening in Paul powers beyond the comprehension of most humans. Kari channeled some of Paul’s powers with her connection to earth as Mother and the life, all life, throughout the universe. It was Kari’s doing that the pair were sleeping together.
The two scientists, Mike Tobbe and Leyla Martinez had been altered to the core by the will and thoughts of Paul David and Kari McCoy. When Mike and Leyla had retired for the evening, it marked the first time that they had shown any interest in each other. In fact, it was the first time Leyla had been with any male, man or boy. When Leyla had gone into the tent of Mike Tobbe, she entered as a woman of limited appeal; or more accurately, no appeal at all. Leyla was a solid archeologist and graduate student, and she was nice, but she was not attractive in the least. She still was prone to bouts of acne, though in the jungle she tended to clear up as her diet improved. Her hair was black, flat, and stringy. She was heavy on the bottom and nearly flat on the top, the pear shape that her mother and grandmother had blessed her with. Even though she had Spanish blood, she didn’t tan. She remained pasty white in any weather.
As Leyla’s digging partner, Mike was a fellow student from the University of Chicago. Mike had played varsity football at Illinois and was the size of a large truck. After not being selected by the NFL, Mike had accepted a graduate school slot at University of Chicago where he sought an advanced degree in archeology. He expected to be selected to the Farm Six team, where the upper track students went. Getting selected to the backwater site had wounded his pride. When he had arrived on the dig, he had a beastly attitude toward everyone else so no one would partner with him except his fellow student from Chicago. Mike wasn’t hostile toward Leyla, but he had been aloof and disdained her at first because of her looks and later because even with her homeliness, she was more popular among their peers than he was.
But that had all changed the previous night. Drunk and horny, he tried to dance with former Miss North Carolina Kari McCoy. She had rebuffed him and said that he should dance with Leyla. For the first time Mike looked at Leyla and saw something more than her rough looks. He could see into her real self and what he saw surprised him. Just a few words from Kari and his heart had changed. He found himself longing to dance with Leyla and make up for his brutish behavior. To his relief, she had responded to his attention and with his new interest in her. With the attention she had begun to blossom. They had spent the night together, Mike’s massive arms wrapped protectively around Leyla. They had even kissed but nothing else happened.
As the morning light illuminated the jungle camp, Mike opened his eyes and looked at his companion. His heart raced, not with terror or regret, but with joy. He felt a stirring in his loins as he watched his new companion sleep. It occurred to him that Leyla looked different in the faint morning light. Her features were softer and more womanly. Her stringy black hair was full and shiny. Her pasty white skin had some color to it. Her faint acne has completely gone and her skin had a healthy glow, even in the pale dawn. He gazed down her body and to his mind, her chest was bigger while her heavy bottom wasn’t nearly so large. She still wasn’t beautiful in the shallow way, but she was kind and caring and not unattractive. Why hadn’t he seen it before? he thought to himself. Mike lightly brushed the hair from her face and she stirred. Leyla’s eyes crystal blue eyes flickered open and she smiled at him. He flushed with relief that she had not looked on him with revulsion.
“Good morning handsome,” she purred. Her eyes shined with real affection.
“Good morning beautiful,” he responded bending to kiss her lips.
I don’t know how long this is going to last, they thought simultaneously. But I plan on enjoying every second of it. Mikes hand moved from Leyla’s face to her shoulder and from her shoulder to her breast. He was surprised to find his hand filled by her flesh. He thought her to be flat chested. This was a pleasant surprise. It was a shock to her as well. She had gone from small a-cups to full c-cups overnight. Leyla’s hands roamed over Mike’s powerful chest and arms. All of that football had layered on the muscles. She could feel her loins heating up and her slit getting damp. She knew her body was reacting sexually for the first time. She also knew that massive lump pressing against her thigh was Mike’s erection. She was torn between fear and desire to see it closer and to feel it in her hand and her mouth and maybe even in her virgin sex. She had never allowed herself to desire a man before and she was afraid to desire a woman. Growing up she was an average looking girl, not cute, not homely. Puberty had changed all that. She had grown thick wide hips and a large ass for her frame. Her chest had refused to develop. She, like so many other girls, had longed to be attractive to men and have dominion over them through her allure. Instead she had been teased and retreated into her books. Her teachers had felt sorry for her and had encouraged her interest in reading and science and learning. Not really a bright student, Leyla had responded to the positive reinforcement and bloomed in academics. She didn’t consider any of that this morning. She only considered his hand on her breast and how it had ignited a fire in her loins that she knew was insatiable desire.
Leyla let her hands roam, feeling the hard muscles under his shirt. The feel of her hands was driving Mike crazy. Her touch caused his cock to lengthen and thicken. It has been weeks since his last sexual release with a partner and his ball ached with anticipation. As she felt his muscles, he continued to respond with great arousal. Leyla worked up the courage to slip her hand down to the front of his shorts, to the manhood that strained the seams of his clothing. The brazen touch of her hand on his groin caused Mike to groan in appreciation. As Leyla gripped his cock through his clothes, he convulsed in pleasure. She gripped him hard, working his shaft like a pro. Mike was in mortal danger of coming through this contact. He didn’t care, he was praying for sweet blessed release.
“Let me see it, Mike,” whispered Leyla hoarsely, urgently. “Get that fucker out here.” Leyla was surprised by her tone and her wanton appetite. She didn’t care. “I want to see that giant cock of yours. Pull it out or I will rip it out of your shorts myself.” She let him go and he fumbled at his button and zipper to rip his shorts down his legs and over his shoes. His cock was angry. It bobbed between them, red, thick, veiny with a purple head. There was a dewy drop of precum oozing out of the tip. She didn’t find it unpleasant. No, she found it compelling. She drove her tongue into his piss slit, mining for more.
“Put it in your mouth Leyla. Suck my cock. Please. For the love of God, please put my cock in your mouth,” Mike begged. She responded by sucking the knob with her hungry mouth. That was enough for Mike to lose control as a torrent of cum erupted into her mouth, puffing out her cheeks. Leyla swallowed each eruption. His cum seemed to flow through her to her groin, pouring gasoline onto the flames of her desire. When Mike finished emptying his balls, he pulled her face to his and explored her mouth to get as much of his cum as he could. Leyla pressed her breasts against his chest. Mike was shocked at how full and firm her breasts were. Where had they been all these weeks?
Mike shifted his weight and got to his knees beside the bed they shared. He pulled at her shirt and lifted it over her head. Leyla had a great set of tits. He unbuckled her pants and pulled them off her legs and she had full, thick ass that was Mike’s ideal. He couldn’t believe how attracted he was to his digging partner. He hooked his fingers into her sensible white panties and pulled them from her hips. She had a thick soft bush. It was the first full bush Mike had ever seen and it turned him on even more. He drove his face into the bush and locked his mouth on her sex.
Leyla hadn’t been to first base until last night. Now she was standing on third and looking to go home. When Mike’s mouth found her slit, she flowed with arousal. His tongue explored her swollen labia and she let out an involuntary groan. When it touched her clit, she threw her cunt against his face, spreading her legs as wide and high as she could. She didn’t care that she had become a wonton slut, his wonton slut. She only cared for the pleasures she was getting from his mouth on her cunt. He licked her from bottom to top. She shuddered with each pass. He started each pass slightly lower than the previous until his tongue was unmistakably pressing against her nether hole before rising slowly through her swollen sex to her clit.
“You can do whatever you want with me Mike. Anything at all. Use me, fuck me, love me, tease me, screw me, do it all. I love you Mike Tobbe.” She was shocked by her declaration. She felt a surge of fear as she felt him stop his oral pleasuring. He backed away from her. Oh my God, she panicked. I’ve ruined it. She closed her eyes, ready for the rejection that was surely coming next. She wouldn’t let him see her cry. Instead she felt his body climbing onto hers, his mouth against her exposed neck. That giant swollen cock pressed against her virgin sex. She froze in fear. Would it hurt? Would if fit? Would she be good enough in bed to make him happy? Would he be aroused enough to cum in her? Would she get pregnant if he did? Would she be aroused enough to cum herself? A thousand doubts raced through her mind until his purple plum parted her protruding labia and found its way into her wet cunt. With a long slow push he plowed his cock into her. She felt only pleasure with his intrusion; her cunt accepting his entrance with ease. When she felt his groin pressed against her labia, she began to cum. With every stroke after that she had an orgasmic wave wash over her.
Of the scores of women Mike had ever had, this was easily the most sensual partner he had ever coupled with. He fought to maintain his composure, but her orgasms were setting up ripples in her vaginal walls, milking his engorged manhood. It took fewer than fifty strokes and he was cumming hard into her deep uterus. She gasped with the ultimate pleasure of mutual orgasm and she kicked his ass with her heels, encouraging him to pound her deeper. Finally he was spent and exhausted. His mouth found hers they shared a long, deep kiss.
Across the compound Paul and Kari entered the cook shack to start the coffee. Paul was still shirtless and Kari wore an over-one-shoulder wrap that looked more like a colorful toga than a summer dress. She wore no panties or bra or shoes. Paul likewise only sported shorts, no underwear or shoes. Neither was afraid of bugs or exposure. It was apparent that they had gained dominion over nature somehow. As the coffee brewed, Paul took a seat in one of the comfortable canvas camp chairs and his new girlfriend took a seat in his lap.
“Do you think Eschelmann and Lowe knew about the power of the Jaguar Shaman’s stones?” Kari asked.
“I know for certain that they knew of the legend, but I also know for certain that they didn’t take it seriously.”
“How can you know that?”
“First, I know everything they knew from the time they spent in proximity of the stones. Second, if they had known or suspected the power was real, they wouldn’t have ever left the site, would they? Who would chance some random undergrad from Nebraska finding the stones and inheriting their power?”
“You have a point,” she agreed. “Do we dare tell them?”
“Let’s see if they figure it out on their own,” he responded, stroking her hair.
They spent the next half hour sipping coffee and watching the world wake up. The other students joined them by ones and twos. The men looked at Kari in Paul’s lap and shook their heads in amazement. No one had given Paul any chance with her. But seeing him nearly naked with that life-like jaguar tattoo, the athletic physique and the powerful ease with which he now moved, they realized they had been beaten by a better man and grudgingly gave him the respect he deserved. The women all knew that Paul and Kari were now lovers and the Kari was more than satisfied by her younger lover; she was satiated. They all looked on with jealousy.
As much as the camp was shocked by the sudden display of affection between Kari and Paul, you could have knocked them over with a feather when the freshly fucked Mike Tobbe and Leyla Martinez walked into the cook shack. Mike had transformed from a brutish athlete to thoughtful and doting boyfriend overnight. As surprising as that was, the suddenly appealing Leyla Martinez was a time-stopping bombshell. Gone was the pasty white skin prone to acne. Gone was the stringy, unkempt black hair. Gone was the flat-chested unappealing girl. In her place as an olive skinned, curvaceous, raven haired siren of unmistakable allure. Kari could sense the arousal of all the men who looked upon Leyla. A few had more than lust on their minds, she could tell. There was an animalistic desire, rutting and dominating, vibe in the room. Paul was having an strange effect on the other men in his proximity.
“Excuse me,” she whispered to Paul. “I need to take care of this before it gets out of hand.” She walked around the room, laying her hand on the arms and shoulders of each young man in camp. As she did, she whispered a suggestion to him about who might need his complete attention. The masculine tension in the room decreased while the arousal quotient went off the scale. Paul spent a few minutes considering each man and woman individually. With his thoughts he erased the greatest fears of each man, vastly improving his allure in the process. For each woman, he gently corrected what each woman felt certain were their worst features. Men who felt inadequate now felt strong and virile. They could carry on conversations and no longer feared rejection. Women whose hair wasn’t straight enough, whose thighs jiggled too much, whose noses weren’t thin enough, no longer were concerned by their flaws that only they could see in the first place. Now everyone was at ease, confident and calm. They felt an undeniable attraction to whomever Kari had suggested. It wasn’t love or lust. It was a pairing of souls, each finding in the other what was missing in their own life.
“I’m hungry,” announced Paul. “Who wants breakfast?”
For the next two hours the group worked together to make breakfast, enjoy a lazy Sunday morning and clean up. There were plenty of casual but meaningful touches. The smell of arousal permeated the shack. No one felt the overwhelming desire to dash off to mate, but all felt the certainty that they would do just that as soon as the dishes were washed.
“We need to go to the dig,” Paul whispered to Kari. “There’s something I have to do.”
The pair left together and crossed to the burial mound dig and descended into the shade under the canopy. The rest of the archeology team also dispersed. Some retired to their tents to share their bodies for the next several hours. Some went to the jungle and some to the ocean. The entire camp had become a society of pleasure.
“What’s going on Paul?” asked Kari in the shade of their dig.
“He has something more to tell me,” explained Paul. “It’s something to make the transformation complete.” He knelt at the bones of the Last Jaguar Shaman. The stones began to glow, illuminated from deep within. The dirty gray exterior dissolved and a clear green light shone from deep within. Paul’s eyes closed and he bent over the skeleton until his forehead touched the pendent stone lying on the chest of the shaman’s remains. He remained in this position for some time. Kari reached out and stroked his back. Instead of smooth skin, he felt like he was covered in coarse feline fur wherever his new tattoo adorned him. Whenever her hand touched him, Kari felt uncontrollably aroused. There was so much masculine and feline power in him, Kari felt compelled to touch herself. Her hand slipped behind her shorts and between her legs. His power flowed through her right hand on his back, across her shoulders and down into left hand on her sex. She started to buck and convulse from the orgasms his energy created. Paul didn’t move. While he was in this state, Kari would protect him from anything in the universe.
Kari would have stayed like that forever; feeding her ever deepening sexual need with the energy of the Jaguar. Along with great sexual release, Kari grew stronger in her own right. She could focus her awareness of the life forces in the universe until she could find a single living organism of any kind. She could also reach across space, unencumbered by Einstein’s pedantic understanding of the speed of light. It startled her to know that the universe was filled with living things. Some great and awesome, others miniscule and fleeting. She could detect them all, including life forces that felt familiar and similar to humans, but different. She could feel those far distant life forces caressing hers as she gently moved among them. They treated her as an infant who was taking its first steps. She felt nothing but love and encouragement.
Paul felt nothing. He wasn’t aware of her touch or her desperate pleasure or her mind traveling among the life force currents in the universe. He was only aware of the Last Jaguar Shaman’s legacy. It was the legacy of all the Jaguar Shaman. The stones were conduits to the four Basics of the universe: light, matter, energy and time. The stones were older than creation. They weren’t stones at all. They were the source of creation. Not by themselves of course, but when they were in their original form, still part of the four Basics, they had taken part in the creation of the universe. Paul learned their true power and source of that power. His mind could not put this understanding into words except to name them God Stones. The God Stones were the vestigial remnants of the creation of the universe. God had used them to turn matter into a solid and organize galaxies and solar systems. Paul also knew what God truly was. The stones had allowed him access to the source of all power. When Paul finally lifted his head from the pendant stone, he had a soft smile on his face that portrayed pure joy. The stones returned to their formerly gray color, their internal light gone forever.
Paul turned to Kari and pulled her close, his lips tenderly finding hers. Her arousal washed over him and around them both. They each pulled the clothes from the other and they coupled on the packed earth at the bottom of the dig. His cock found her swollen cunt without guidance. As he entered her, his cock altered its shape to perfectly fit her. Each stroke was pure pleasure for each of them. He touched her in every spot she was sensitive and she responded by pulsing with pleasure around his manhood. She was cumming with every movement of his cock. This was no young man fucking a young woman; this was a joining of life and energy, radiating joy and pleasure.
Kari’s hand worked its way between their bodies until she could grip his heavy testicles slapping her ass. She softly squeezed them until she could feel his cum erupting in her belly. Paul never stopped stroking, even after his body could no longer ejaculate sperm. Kari was in danger of passing out. Her consciousness hovered in the twilight of oblivion. Paul took pity on her human frailty and stopped. He dismounted and knelt beside her, gently caressing her face, grazing the swell of her breasts and the hardness of her nipples.
Slowly the color returned to his girlfriend as her heart rate and breathing slowed. Her eyes flickered open and she smiled.
“Why did you stop?” she teased. “It was just getting good.” They both laughed.
Kari rolled over onto her belly. She kept her face and shoulders down but raised her ass high, as if daring Paul to take her there again. He straddled her calves and lined his cock up against her slit. When she felt his purple knob against her sex, she pressed back, willing herself to open up and take his cock deep into her vagina. Paul’s cock changed shape again until if fit easily. He barely thrust his hips as she began to buck back against his groin, desperately trying to make him cum again. Paul watched his cock lewdly sliding in and out while her fantastic ass split wide. He grew thicker and darker as he watched. His pubic hair turned black and glossy and he felt his hands become more feline. Long yellow claws sheathed in black hair replaced his fingers. The hair spread up his arms and from his groin down his legs and up his torso until Paul was more jaguar than man, all the time still aware of his control over his appearance. Only his cock remained human in appearance.
“Well done,” admitted his jaguar familiar. “Only one in a thousand shamans has the ability to shift shape so completely and remain human.” Paul growled in response, his cock pounded into his mate, sperm already making its way out of his vas deferens. “If you complete conception in this form, you will pass your shape onto your offspring. This is a dangerous thing. You must not do this. You must not complete the act of copulation as a jaguar joined with a human. If you do, you will be hunted to the ends of the earth and destroyed.”
“I do not care,” replied Paul in a guttural voice not his own. “I am the Jaguar Shaman. I control the power of the gods.”
“Tish.” With that the familiar growled deep in Paul’s chest, the hair fell away, leaving a college student in the place of the animal. “You are so young and have much to learn. You should finish your act and get dressed. Visitors are here.”
Paul remembered that it was Sunday and Dr. Eschelmann had vowed to come today. He increased his pace and Kari melted with pleasure. With desperate final thrusts Paul’s orgasm flooded his mate, and both collapsed, breathless, into the dirt. They finally roused themselves and pulled on their clothes, making their way to the ladder that led back to the surface. They climbed out of the pit and headed back to their tents.
Meeting again at the showers they both entered the same canvas enclosure and enjoyed the free flowing cool water over their spent bodies. They emerged wearing clean clothes. Paul heard the approaching Jeep before anyone else.
“They’re here,” he stated, nearly under his breath.
“Dr. Eschelmann, Dr. Lowe, and Dr. Mario Maffioli. There is another man I cannot name,” replied Kari.
“What are their intentions?” asked Paul.
“The three scientists are here to investigate the site and determine if the exhumation of the shaman’s remains should continue or if the Museo Nacional should erect a special building here to celebrate this find.”
“And the other man?”
“I don’t know Paul. I can detect his life force, but it’s different. It’s old. It’s not all human. It’s dark.”
“Do think we are in danger?”
“No, not yet. I feel their excitement and curiosity, but not anything dangerous. Except the fourth man. Him I am not so sure.”
“What do you think?” Paul asked his jaguar tattoo in the voice they alone shared.
“You are wise to be cautious, but you are in no real danger. He does not know what you are. Yet.”
“What does that mean, yet?”
“As soon as you meet, you will know. He is a kindred being. He has been summoned to this place. All of the kindred have been summoned,” replied his familiar.
“Summoned? Summoned by whom?” Paul panicked for a moment, fearing their secret had been disclosed.
“By you of course. Did you think these were the only God Stones? There are many, many God Stones. Hundreds on this planet alone. Yours are the stones of the Jaguar Shaman, though they have other ancient names. It is easier for humans to name things with terms they understand. Be patient. You will know when you know.”
Paul and Kari joined the others as the Jeep jostled to a stop. A slightly disheveled pair of professors dismounted from the back seats. Dr. Maffioli, the curator of the Museo Nacional exited the driver’s seat. The fourth man also dismounted, his eyes scanning the crowd until they met Paul’s. Only Kari noticed the locking of their eyes and the realization in the visitors eyes that was followed by a flicker of fear and then the knowing look of a long-lost comrade.
“What is it Paul?” Kari asked, gripping his iron strong forearm. “Is he dangerous?”
“Yes. He’s very dangerous. But he is a friend we haven’t met. Don’t worry. No harm will come to us through him. He is my brother,” he whispered. He patted her hands reassuringly and the two of them joined the queue to shake hands with their visitors. The last two to greet one another were Paul David and the stranger.
“Hello Paul, I am….” said the stranger reaching out his hand.
“Anastasi Alfero,” stated Paul. “Great-great grandson of Anastasio Alfero, the founding father of the Museo Nacional and currently both the largest donor and supporter and the primary benefactor of our current dig. You knew my great grandfather and my great grandfather knew your great-great grandfather.”
“You are remarkably well informed, particularly since I have taken great pains to remain anonymous,” stated Alfero in perfect English shaped by his Castilian Spanish accent.
“It was your ancestor,” Paul continued, “Who gave my great-grandfather the codex describing this place.”
“We have much to talk about.”
“In good time,” smiled Paul.
“In good time,” agreed Anastasi.
“Now that we have exchanged pleasantries, would someone please see to our luggage and be careful with the coolers and the crates. They contain a great many valuable objects.”
“Artifacts?” asked one of the other students.
“American beer, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and Jack Daniels.” A cheer went up.
The four visitors along with Kari and Paul walked over to the burial mound dig site. They all descended and gazed on the remains of the Last Jaguar Shaman.
“Amazing. Simply amazing. I honestly thought we were chasing a rumor. To see him here, in the flesh so to speak, it is simply amazing,” admitted Wayne Eschelmann. “You’ve got to be so proud, Paul David. You have completed the journey begun by your great grandfather so many years ago.”
Paul smiled and said nothing. Three of the four visitors knelt at the remains, carefully examining the protruding bones and stones. The fourth, Anastasi Alfero, stood aside and gazed at Paul. He knew all he needed to know. When the three elder archeologists got to their feet, excited grins on their faces, Anastasi spoke.
“We will erect the Museo Pacifica de Nacional over this dig. The bones will remain where they, just as they are. The former plantation house will be rebuilt to its original grandeur and become the headquarters for the new complex. The other digs will continue, but this dig will remain as it is. There will be cottages for visiting scientists between here and the sea. An airport will cause too much disruption of the native jungle, but a heliport will make a minimal impact. Four days a week it will be open to the public. Three days will be set aside for the scientists to work uninterrupted. “
“We don’t have funding for a project of that magnitude. I will have to go to the legislature, it may take years to get even part of the funding approved,” lamented the curator, who relished the idea of having two national museums to curate.
“The funding is already secured. When we ask Mr. David and Miss McCoy to speak to our legislature, they will gladly approve reassigning this part of the national park to the national museum. It will be a boon to the area and increase the amount of tourists to the peninsula by a hundred thousand or so annually.”
“How can you be so certain?” asked the worried curator.
“Because everyone will want to visit the last known site of the Jaguar Shaman, particularly when Paul reveals the nature and origin of the Diquis spheres.”
“How can you be so certain? You didn’t even examine the remains,” queried Eschelmann.
“Miss McCoy,” gestured Anastasi with a small flourish, “if you would be so kind.”
Kari took each man by the hand and looked him in the eyes, saying nothing. She projected thoughts of calm assurance that this was indeed the Jaguar Shaman and Anastasi was painting an accurate picture.
“I think it’s time for celebration!” interjected Lowe. “Past time in fact.”
The group spent an hour looking at all the other digs. When the returned to the cook shack the party was well under way and the grill had been lit. The guitar appeared and everyone joined in the revelry. Anastasi even took up the guitar with the permission of the owner and re-tuned it to an open-G, which is the more classic setup and then spent the next two hours playing Flamenco, Caribbean and Spanish tunes while everyone else danced and drank. Eschelmann and Lowe sang a few folk songs from their youth when the original owner of the guitar took over from the visiting benefactor. Alfero sought out Paul, who was sitting with Kari at the edge of the revelry but not taking part. They observed with benign amusement as the remainder of the party observed the pagan rituals of dance prior to mating.
“It was no accident that the stones sought you out,” stated Anastasi to the seated pair. “Just like it was no accident your great-grandfather sought the stones after reading the codex my great-grandfather led him to in Mexico City.”
“Your great-grandfather knew my great-grandfather?” asked Paul. “How?”
“Almost six hundred years ago, my ancestor shot and killed the last Jaguar Shaman. He was a foot soldier in Cortez’ army and spent his life looting and killing in the New World. He passed down a story to his son with the admonition that he in turn tell his son or grandson. When the my ancestor knelt over the body the dying shaman, he was granted two things, long life and a terrible burden. The burden was to find the next shaman, no matter how long it took. My great grandfather thought he had found the worthy candidate in your great-grandfather but this was not the case. But we had found the correct line to the next Jaguar Shaman. You. It’s no accident at all that you were here or you were the one who found the stones. You were chosen before you were born. My great grandfather pledged our family fortune to the restoration of the Jaguar Shaman and the powers that he controlled.”
“Just what supposed powers do you think that the Jaguar Shaman controlled?” asked Paul.
“One of the most formidable was to shape solid objects. There was also control the weather, control other living things, see the future, see the past, alter living flesh. All handy tools.” He bent down and picked up a common stone, vaguely egg-shaped. “I would wager it would take you no effort at all to change the shape of this common stone into a new Diquis Sphere.” He indicated to Paul to try.
Paul contemplated the stone and began to rub it in his palms, feeling the rough exterior. As he rolled it between his palms, he could feel the oblong shape reorganize itself into a sphere. He left the exterior rough, but when he finished, the egg-shaped rock was now a stone billiard ball of gray and black flecks.
“You could even imbue the stone with some kind of power, like good fortune or the power to change other men’s minds.” Paul nodded and bent over the stone, cupped in his hands. With a tongue that seemed to flow from his tattoo, he placed a special power in the stone before handing it to Anastasi Alfero.
“Here you go. I think you will find this power quite informative.” Alfero turned the stone over in his hand and even held it to his ear. It revealed nothing.
“What does it do?” he asked.
“Do? Nothing. It’s not what it does that is important. It’s what it doesn’t allow. Now Senor Alfero, would you please explain to Kari and I what your real reason for coming here is.”
“I am here to find the Jaguar Shaman, kill him, and take the powers from him that should have been my families by right of conquest since my ancestor killed the last Jaguar Shaman.”
“And then what?”
“I would set up my permanent residence here on the peninsula and compel the other shaman to come here and pay their obeisance and head up my efforts to rule this world until the Gods returned.”
“There are other shaman?”
“Yes, many hundreds. When the Jaguar Shaman was killed, they scattered to the winds, afraid that they would be compelled to do harm to themselves or others when the new Jaguar Shaman was found.”
“Where are these other shaman?”
“Around the globe. I don’t know exactly where. I suspect I know of several dozen, but I can’t be certain without the Jaguar’s powers.”
“How could I summon them?”
“You need only will them to come and they will come. If you will them to hurry, they will.”
“Why did you need me?”
“I didn’t know the power would transfer so easily to you. I thought I would have time when they were discovered. Time to uncover how to transfer their secrets to me. Clearly I was wrong.”
“How were you going to force me to surrender the powers?”
“I have a gun in my belongings. If threatening you directly didn’t work, I was going to hold it to Kari’s head until you gave me what I want.”
“And if I compelled you to retrieve that weapon and kill yourself, what would you do?”
“Kill myself I imagine. Is that what you intend?”
“No. You can do no harm any longer. Do you know why?”
“Yes. The stone you just created has a specific power. I can only tell the truth if I intend harm to someone. I am also compelled to do as you ask, unless it involves harming another.”
“Are those powers sufficient for what I intend?”
“Just what do you intend?”
“I intend to get my doctorate and take up a curatorship at this site. I intend to get married and have a big brood of children. I intend to see what good I can do for as long as I can.” The jaguar tattoo purred approval.
“If that is what you intend, then yes it is sufficient.”
“Good. It’s time you turned in, you must be very tired. Before you go to sleep, it would be a good idea for you to throw your gun out into the sea. You won’t need to do any killing now or ever.”
“Of course, I will see to it immediately.” Anastasi rose and left. Paul turned to Kari.
“I think it’s time you and I had a discussion in private. Do you think you will be up for it after I make love to you?”
“Of course Paul. I am up for anything with you. Anything at all. Be sure to ask me about the Gods later. There is much I can tell you about them. Including wear and when they will be returning.”