“You are a man of small vision, Mr. Allen,” Balam shouted down to me from upslope. Flashes of lightning lit him up, framed against the red, angry clouds in the sky.
I was still hundreds of yards away in the trees, but still he saw me. I pulled out my nine mil, but quickly put it down. There was no way I could make that shot on a clear, wind-free day, much less in the middle of a storm.
I holstered the gun and resumed my climb, hoping to reach him before the world ended. Unfortunately, he felt the need to lecture me as I made my way up.
“Who decides who rules? Conquerors. Whether men, demons, or gods, the conquerors are the ones who rule. Those who take and hold onto power, triumph. It is upon them to build civilization. Your own Revolutionary War ultimately was about power to the conquerors. They overcame the British. Caesar and Alexander the Great and Ivan the Terrible. Their names ring out through history, and I shall add my name to that list.”
“You talk too much,” I muttered.
I had closed the distance to a hundred yards, and if I got level with him, I could take the shot and save Malcolm. I crested a small rise, halfway to him, and then heard the chanting on the wind. Dozens of voices sang out to the sky, performing the ritual that would empower Balam.
Red lightning stabbed down from the sky, striking Balam.
“You are too late. With the lightning, I now have the immortality of Chaac. I am the rain god reborn. When the storm ends, I will have the full power of the rains and lightning. I will be unstoppable.
I could really use that miracle about now, Lord.