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Rites. By Sarah. Prey's Guardian.

The wind blows across the desert,a coyote howls in the distant hills.Midday.The sounds of people laughing and joking,reaches through the desert. Down in the gulley,the pillar hallway,15 pillars,shaped like the coma of a comet,8 in a circle,the rest tapering off to a point. The people,gathered for The Tonalamatl,*The Ceremony of the Chosen*

In the crowd,a red-haired woman,her hair now streaked with grey watches the ceremony.Standing beside her,slightly taller than her,her husband and lifemate,hair still black,touched with grey and piercing blue eyes. "Ocelotl,it's time" He turns to the woman and leans down and kisses her. "Xochitl,it is time for Xochipilli to receive his Mark as Chosen" "I don't see Quauhtli,Calli and Eecatl?" "They said they would attend the Ceremony,my brother and father are collecting Grandfather" Ocelotl turns and follows the Elder to the Pillar Circle,smiling at the young man,dark haired,but with green eyes,waiting there. "Are you ready,Xochipilli?"The young lad nods,looking at his father,smiling.He looks just like his father,but he has his mother's eyes.He looks over to the pillars when he hears his younger sister's laughter.So much like her mother,a riot of red curls with her father's eye color.Father and son watch as Xochitl goes over to the wayward child and reminds her of the solemnity of the Ceremony.Xochitl takes her daughter and goes over and stands with an old women and her daughter,Ocelotl's aunt and sister,the sister's offspring with her.

The elder turns to them and shows the young lad to the sacred spot and directs him to sit,bow legged.Gesturing to the guests to gather round the pillars. "The *Tonalamatl* has traditionally been spoken in our native tongue,but because the mother does not know the mother tongue,it will be spoken in English". "Do you,Xochipilli,understand the commitment that you make during this ceremony?This ceremony is not to be taken lightly or without a true understanding of the trust that is placed on being Chosen." "I do elder,and accept Ipalnemoani". "To be truly Chosen,you must summon the song of the pillars.Begin" The crowd becomes silent as Xochipilli,begins the meditation to summon the song.*The Song of the Pillars*

The desert falls silent as a hum begins to be heard,softly at first,growing louder.The song of the coyote ceases.
Slowly,the tone of the hum changes,becoming sharper,higher pitched,more musical.They sound like metal windpipes blowing in the wind.

Again the tone changes,becoming more distinct,the notes becoming distinct and separate.Faster. Suddenly the pillars burst into true song.Filling the desert with a gentle,rhythmic melody,the sounds of sea and of nature combined.

The gathered guests,including,Quauhtli,Calli and Eecatl.Look on in awe as Xochipilli,takes *The Song* higher than has ever been done before. As quickly as the hum had started,so did *The Song* cease.
The elder,Atl,turns to the gathered. " The pillars have spoken.Xochipilli is Chosen". Atl,turns back to the lad. "Are you ready to recite the holy rites,the vows of the Chosen". "I am,holy one". "Then begin,little one". "I call to the four elements,Fire,Earth,Air,Rain.The life of the Universe.The creatures that inhabit this planet.Give me the strength to carry out the vows of the Chosen.The Vow that all life is Sacred.That i will do no harm to the land and the creatures that inhabit this planet.To strive to better the lives of others,to protect our peaceful life and teach the ways of peace.To Lead in Peace and not in violence and War.The powers of our inheritance,used only for peace.My powers,the gift from the universe.Life is Sacred.I will never take life,except in defence of my own.I will cherish the gifts of children that i am blessed with and will teach them the ways of Peace. I am Chosen.I will Lead and i will Teach,the Quetxon and the Sapien,the true meaning of Peace and love for each other.Where i lead in Peace,others will follow. I accept the path that has been set out before me.I accept the *Tonalamatl* and I am *Ipalnemoani*He by Whom we live.
I am Xochipilli,Peter,the son of Ocelotl and Xochitl,the human son of Thomas and Sloan Parker Daniels.The Brother to Ann.The Nephew to Alan and Benjamina,the Cousin to Alison and Matthew and Grand Nephew to Rachel.Grandson to William and Great Grandson to Lawrence.Godson to Ed,Andrea,Walter and Ray. I take this Vow in their honor. I will live my life in the total pursuit for Peace and Harmony." The crowd watch as he lies flat on his Stomach ,arms placed on the ground above his head to receive His Tattoo. Atl walks over to the Sacred fire and pulls out the acatls' the sacred Tattoo reeds and hands them to the father Thomas,who kneels down beside his son. "You are honored Son.You are honored by your Kin.May the journey you take,be one of Peace and Harmony.May you find love and Happiness.The Joy of Children and Grandchildren".
Thomas leans over Peter and takes the first reed and begins the ritual of the Tattoo.The Tattoo is different from his own and his Parents and Grandparents. The Tattoo is of a circle made up of eight circles and a form of triangle,tapered, with 7 squares.Symbolising the passing of Kewleys Comet and the danger passing of Armageddon.
The Tattoo done,Thomas helps his son to his feet.Peter turns to Atl.
"I am Chosen! Will you follow?" "I will follow in Peace,but never War!" The Ceremony over,Tom and Peter walk other to their kin.Sloan turns to her husband and son.She gives Peter his shirt back.Proud of her eighteen year old. Peter takes the shirt handed to him and puts it on. Sloan leans forward and kisses her husband. "I wish that Ed and Andrea could have come,but i accept that the Ceremony is for family and Chosen only". "I know,but they're waiting to celebrate when we get back to Pasadena.The peace is holding and most of the council members have been dealt with.The ring-leader executed.Never again will the council be used to wage war.Our dream of co-existence is finally happening". Sloan turns to her son and hugs him,careful of his Tattooed shoulder. "I'm very proud of you". Tom,Sloan and Peter turn at the sound of laughter.Ann,thirteen,chasing after her young cousins,playing tag.Like her brother very smart and having inherited their parents curiousity.Their father's warped sense of humor.Peter walks over to his uncle,Grandfather and Grandfather. "Tom,the ceremony must have been hard on you,with your father being in exile and your Grandfather,Chosen,but not Tattoed,your own Marking performed by an outsider,it must have been hard knowing that this is the first time,in three generations, that the ceremony has followed tradition,the Tattoo bestowed by the father,even though the ceremony was spoken in English?" "A little,but you and my family are here.I think it's about time that we headed back to Pasadena.Walter and Ray are waiting for us at the airstrip.It's going to start getting dark soon and we dont want to be here all night". "Okay". Tom wraps Sloan in his arm and walks with her towards Peter. "Ann,it's time for us to go now.Sloan and i have work to do in the morning and we want to get back home". Ann comes skipping up to her family. "Pa,when we get back to LA,can i go stay with Aunty Bennie for a few days,school's out and i enjoyed playing with Alison and Matthew.Please daddy,please say yes,pretty please".Alison pleads. "Okay,but only if you're good". Tom turns to Alan,William and Lawrence.I'm glad you could make it". "We wouldnt have missed Peter getting Marked,it's strange Peter inheriting Quetxon talents,but then,great grandson,you always were an exceptional person. It's late,i think we should be going.Goodbye Sloan,Tom".Lawrence gives Sloan a small kiss on the cheek and turns to Peter and shakes his hand. "Bye great pappy". "Take care Peter". "Bye dad,speak to you later". "Bye son,Sloan,Alan". Tom watches as his father and Grandpappy head off to the car.Alan stands waiting with Tom. "Lawrence has changed over the years,more open with humans,more trusting.I'm surprised that he came to the ceremony though,after what happened with the council and Chosen.I'll see you tomorrow Tom and Sloan at the Lab,hopefully Ed wont have arranged a party like he did for your batchelor party!.Hopefully Andrea has helped curb his enthusiasm for parties". "I dont think Andrea has that much control over him!I'll see you tomorrow Alan,take care". "Bye".The Parker Daniels watch as Alan walks to the waiting group and gets into the car.Ablack durango. Tom turns to his wifeand family."Lets go home". They walk to their car and enter.Sloan turn's to Tom in the driving seat.Peter and Ann getting in the back seat,Ann falling asleep almost instantly,Peter shortly there after. "Tom,you never did tell us what our Quetxon names mean?" "Sloan,you are my Xochitl,my flower.The flower of my life.My name Ocelotl means Jaguar.Peter's name Xochipilli means Prince of Flowers.Alan's means Eagle,father's Home and greatpappy's Wind.Atl means water. "I wondered why you called me that.Do you remember the night when Peter was conceived,the storm that had been brewing all day,breaking as we made love.I think nature gave us the gift of Peter,that night,a symbol of the connection between our two species,a connection and warning to live together peacefully.I heard one of my relatives state that no one had ever made the Pillars Sing the way they did today:". "There is a legend,a Revelation,that one day,a child,who is born not of Quetxon,who will make the Pillars Sing with joy and love.A man destined to be a great leader,a leader who will herald in an age of boundless peace and vast advances in science.Peter's birth,seems to have provided the catalyst for the creation of Peace,only the council continued the war.So many lives lost in 2000,the fight which we took to the hills,when we fled LA.How in June of 2000,i was abducted by the dominant council and they had tried to reprogram me,so that i could use the Pillars to launch the Armageddon code,implanted in my memories,the code buried in my mind,even after Alan had released my childhood memories.How i had fought back with my knowledge and prevented them from creating Amageddon. We are blessed to have two wonderful children,i'm sorry that Isabel,my daughter from my mating with Glenda,as a fifteen year old,couldnt attend,she had to stay at the hospital,she couldnt get another doctor to cover for her.She really regretted not being able to come". "It wasnt easy then,you were still recovering from the trauma from the abduction,helping Lewis,getting married and the after effects of Ed's party,you never did tell me what went on that night,haha.Glenda helping to deliver Peter,taking to the hills with the co faction.The loss of Mark.The destruction of Whitney.The trauma you went through when you remembered you were chosen and knowing that all life is sacred.The flashbacks which held you in their grips for almost a decade,which still trouble you occasionally. The fun we had watching Ed falling in love himself,falling in love with a beautiful blonde dominant female,Andrea has been so good for him".