The people of Los Angeles whispered among themselves that the alcalde's anxiety was driving them loco

Title:  Amor Fati (What's it mean?  I have no idea.  Loved the name from an episode of the X-Files, and I had been told that it meant "Love of Fate".  Then, I heard it didn't.  Now, I haven't a clue.  "Love of Fate" fits the story.)

Rated PG-13 for "off-camera" sex and some adult themes.

Disclaimers:  I have never engaged in ownership or money making of these characters in any form.  I simply use them for my own amusement and then return them to their rightful owners unharmed. 

I used huge chunks of dialogue from the four episodes that make up "Conspiracy of Blood". I sometimes put them in a different mouth--especially Diego's and Gilberto's dialogue--than the original writers, Robert L. McCullough and Phillip John Taylor, but the words are theirs. I am not trying to claim them. Hopefully, I was faithful in copying them. If not, I apologize.

Author's Notes:  Some friends of mine invited me to take part in their round robin.  I did, and I wrote one line that stayed with me and became this story.  It took some work; I had to rewrite the entire series in my head.

And, yes, I do know the names would have been different, but that would have overtaxed my already taxed out brain.  The readers', too, or so I believe.

The last note:  This is an extensive rewrite of the last four episodes of the show.  If anyone would like a written summary of that show as it happened--available to buy on videotape--please email me.  I would be glad to send it.


The people of Los Angeles whispered among themselves that the alcalde's anxiety was driving them loco.  He almost twitched because of his nervousness.  The slightest misstep by one of his lancers received a crushing sit down.  Victoria told everyone at the tavern that she felt sorry for poor Mendoza, the usual recipient of DeSoto's outbursts.  Royal Emissary Resendo's arrival in the morning--and quick departure--would bring relief to all of the citizens and lancers of the pueblo, but especially for Mendoza.

"I want," the alcalde snapped as he dusted a spotless bookcase. "All of the lancers to be ready for inspection by five o'clock."

"Five? In the morning?" Mendoza squeaked.  His voice always squealed when he was surprised or nervous.  The glare he received from the alcalde, the one causing him to stand up straighter, answered him.  Pulling down on his jacket, Mendoza proudly proclaimed, ", Mi Alcalde, the lancers will be ready."

"Good," DeSoto replied.  Slowly turning, he looked over his office with a critical eye.  As usual, everything was in its proper place.  DeSoto's office was his refuge from the horrors of life in this godforsaken pueblo.  Even Zorro never dared to enter it.  "I want everything to be perfect."

"Relax, Ignacio," came an amused voice from the doorway.  DeSoto turned, squinting into the sunlight streaming through the door.  The dark shadow walked further into the room, closing the door behind it.  "From what I've seen, there isn't a speck of dust in all of Los Angeles!  Why, even the streets are bare of it."

Laughing, DeSoto walked towards his friend.  He noticed that Mendoza looked at Don Alejandro's son as he pulled at his collar apprehensively.  It amused the alcalde to no end that Mendoza always managed to pale at the mere sight of the de la Vega heir.  Personally, he felt that his friendship with de la Vega was the one bright spot of this otherwise dismal assignment.  Even while the man standing in front of him had been an underclassman--a mere freshman--he had impressed DeSoto, a senior.  The two men formed a tight bond in Madrid, and the renewal of that friendship made DeSoto's assignment to Los Angles almost worth it.

Sitting down behind his desk, DeSoto waved for Mendoza to leave and for his friend to sit.  "Would you care for something to drink or smoke, amigo?"

"Yes, I believe I would like one of your fine cigars," replied de la Vega.  DeSoto smiled as his friend lit the excellent tobacco.  The de la Vega heir was known for his refined taste in cigars and wine, as well as women.

"Tell me," said his friend pleasantly, leaning back in his chair to blow smoke rings into the air.  "What's the emissary like?"

"Well," DeSoto began, his voice a little higher and shakier than normal.  "I've never met Emissary Resendo, but I've heard of him.  He's an amazing soldier, very trusted by the King.  It's said that if the King wants a job done right, he sends Resendo."

De la Vega laughed.  "Ah, so now I understand the reason for your apprehension.  Why is such an important man coming to our little hole in the wall?"

Suddenly, the door slung open.  "Why, I'm here to collect taxes, of course.  I'm sure the King told you about it, Alcalde DeSoto, in his correspondence."

DeSoto stood, staring at the man standing proudly in the doorway.  He was tall--well over six feet--and handsome.  There was a small scare on his temple, but instead of detracting, it added to his beauty.  He was also in perfect physical health, if a person could tell by appearances alone.  He looked as if he could easily run circles around all of the lancers under DeSoto's command.

Beginning to smile and hold out his hand, DeSoto finally noticed the man's eyes.  They were an ice blue--so cold that they could freeze a man in a single moment.  Despite the above-normal temperatures, DeSoto found himself shivering under the emissary's gaze.  Diego Resendo had arrived a full day early, and DeSoto knew in his bones that life was never again going to be the same in Los Angeles.