Thursday, September 21, 2006

Death Of Mectezuma

The state of TIAH

September 21st, 2006

in 1581, Emperor Mectezuma of the Aztec Empire of North America dies. His grandson, Hoatchitepe, his sole living descendant, assumes the throne and leadership of the empire. Hoatchitepe is far less interested in the expansion of Aztec power than his grandfather was, and even sends an olive branch across the Atlantic to the European powers by officially apologizing for the invasion of England. Queen Elizabeth of England accepts the apology and sends word back via her North American colony up among the Iroquois that she would prefer cordial relations with the Aztec, as opposed to the hostile stance currently existing between the two great powers. Hoatchitepe agrees, and begins what will be a lifetime of correspondence between himself and Queen Elizabeth.

in 1972, Franz Jaeger, a young German emigre to France who was working on his graduate degree in archeology, starts working in the Lascaux cave. He notices a passage that seems to have been neglected for some time, and decides to see if it needs some maintenance. He halts when he sees the decaying body of Doctor Phillipe de la Roscaux on the floor. Since Doctor Roscaux has obviously been dead for years, Jaeger recovers himself and looks around the passage. This passage has wall paintings, too, although they seem to be by a different artist than the one who draw the paintings in the rest of the cave. And, although there do seem to be humans and animals depicted by this artist, they are not depicted in the same way that the artist of the outer chamber drew them. Jaeger becomes less curious the more he examines the walls, and decides to turn and leave when he hears something scraping the floor. Terrified, he flees the chamber at a run, only stopping when he is outside in the warm afternoon sun. In the light of day, he feels somewhat foolish about running out of the cave, but feels no desire to go back in. He informs his employers of the body in the forgotten passage by phone from his room in the local village, and they dispatch the police, with Doctor Roman Pelliot along to ensure the safety of the cave itself, to determine what happened to poor Doctor de la Roscaux.

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Steve Eley said...

The more you mention the Lascaux Cave history, the more I want to know about it. There's a really good story in that one, I think.

Oh. BTW -- I mentioned your blog again in Escape Pod this week. We were doing a Turtledove story, so it was practically obligatory. Keep up the great work!

Robbie Taylor said...

Thanks for the mention, Steve - I love your podcast!

TIAH Editor says we'd like to move you off the blog, if you're browsing the archives - and most people are - more than half of them are already on the new site. We need to be sure the new web site accomodates your archive browsing needs because we don't want to lose any readers. Please supply any feedback or comments by email to the Editor and please note the blogger site is shutting on December 1st.