This is the untold story of the Planispheric Disk and all the mystery-solving groups that have tried to unlock its secrets. All the characters belong to Warner Brothers, not me. Spoilers up to the end of SDMI.
"Wake up, Fernando El Aguirre," said a breathy voice.
El Aguirre opened his eyes in a room with red curtains. The floor was tiled with black and white stripes. Strange lanterns on poles provided dim illumination.
He turned completely around. He could not see who had spoken with him. His men were there in a cluster, but motionless as statues. He called to them but nothing seemed to rouse them.
"Do not worry about them for now. Come down the hallway into the main room and I will speak with you," said the voice which had woken him.
El Aguirre walked down a red-curtained hall and faced the being who had spoken to him, a huge snake-like being covered in bright feathers.
"A dragon!" he shouted in surprise. He tried to draw his sword but found that it would not move from its scabbard. It seemed to be frozen in time like his men.
"Some call me Quetzalcoatl, but I go by the name Kukulcan among the Mayans. The name means feathered serpent."
A strange calm radiated from the being, but El Aguirre didn't trust it.
"I've heard of you, serpent. A demon they worship," he said.
"I am no demon but an Anunnaki, a being from another dimension who crossed here long ago when the planets were aligned in a way that weakened the barriers between our worlds," said Kukulcan.
"Am I in hell?" asked El Aguirre.
"You are not. Perhaps you should be, for your crimes. You are on your way to being the worst of the conquistadors, worse than Cortés with the Aztecs or Pizarro with the Incas," said Kukulcan.
"I know I've done wrong. In my mind still hear the screams of the people I've killed. I don't know why I became so wicked. Now it's too late," said El Aguirre.
Kukulcan said "It is not entirely your fault. You were exploited by an evil Anunnaki and part of your personality was trapped here, in this small space between time and dimensions, a sitting room, one might call it."
"A room? I am not dead?" asked El Aguirre.
"No. The worst part of your soul still controls your living body, and it is still committing heinous crimes against humanity," said Kukulcan.
"No!" El Aguirre said. "I want him to stop,"
"You can control him with my help," said Kukulcan.
"If this isn't hell, why does this place look like this? It looks like it was decorated by demons," said El Aguirre.
"This pocket dimension once belonged to evil spirits of your Earth who feed on the suffering of others. They called it their Black Lodge and decorated it to suit themselves. The evil Anunnaki has taken it over for his own purposes. He traps here the best parts of those who get caught up with him," said Kukulcan.
"Why?" asked El Aguirre.
"I believe his intention with you and your men is to thoroughly corrupt and demoralize you, for his own amusement, until he can gather a new group of people to release him from his crystal sarcophagus to destroy the Earth and beyond," said Kukulcan.
"He wants to destroy the Earth? How can this be stopped?" asked El Aguirre.
"We Anunnaki bound the evil one into the sarcophagus long ago, but he has managed to influence and corrupt the minds of men even so. He must be sealed away in a deeper prison," said Kukulcan.
"What can I do from here? Will you send me back?" asked El Aguirre.
"No, I cannot do that, but your other half comes here in dreams, and with my help you can influence him and communicate what he needs to do. On the ship there is a planispheric disk, is there not?" asked Kukulcan.
"Yes. I use it for navigation and to record locations. It was made by alchemy and it is supposed to have mystical powers," said El Aguirre.
"What you call alchemy is a science of the Anunnaki that we taught to humanity. This disk does have power, and it will have much more when it is charged from sarcophagus of the evil one," said Kukulcan.
"Charged? What does that mean?" asked El Aguirre.
"You must place the disk on top of the sarcophagus for one hour and it will absorb alchemical power. That may also create a link between the disk and the evil one, but it is a risk we will have to take," said Kukulcan.
"What then? Where can the cursed sarcophagus be kept safely?" asked El Aguirre.
"There is a cove on the coast with deep caves beneath it. There the barriers to the elemental dimensions are weak and we can create portals most easily."
"I know nothing of these portals."
"I will show you. You will need four items of personal property associated with the elements of alchemy: air, earth, water, and fire. With them as keys we can lock the evil one behind four elemental doors."
"Then he will be harmless?" asked El Aguirre.
"He will still have some influence over the minds of people, but it will be much harder for them to get to him to free him, especially once you have broken the disk into pieces and scattered them, and done the same to the four keys. I can also show you how to create trapped places to hold the pieces, so only the most clever and fearless can get them," said Kukulcan.
"This seems very complicated. He cannot be destroyed instead of just locked away?" asked El Aguirre.
"He could have been destroyed by the group of Mayans you and your men shot and killed when you stole the sarcophagus. Come, I will show you."
Kukulcan led the way through a red-curtained doorway into bright jungle sunlight.
"You've set me free!" said El Aguirre, surprised and not entirely pleased.
"This is a captured moment of time, not an exit," said Kukulcan. "I have set spells to capture significant moments of time for the guidance of potential future heroes who will come here in dreams."
"What is in this moment, then?" El Aguirre shielded his eyes from the glow. "It's too bright! It almost burns me."
"Look up there, at the top of the pyramid. That temple is the tomb of the Hunters of Secrets. It is their purity which is reacting with the guilt in your heart which burns you. In this dream world thoughts have power to hurt."
"Who were the Hunters of Secrets?" asked El Aguirre.
"They were a group of friends who tried to uncover secrets and mysteries, pulled together by the evil entity to free itself. Their friendship and purity proved stronger and they intended to destroy it instead, until you killed them."
"The evil entity brought them together? Why would it do that?"
"The design of the sarcophagus is such that it takes a member of a group with five elements to open it. Come and see them yourself."
Reluctantly the conquistador walked up the temple side, shielding his eyes.
The feathered serpent indicated them one at a time.
"Bahlam, warrior and creator of traps that lift the captive up in the air. Bold, rushing to take the lead. He is the element of air.
"Ixchel, full of knowledge. Solid and practical. She is the element of earth.
"Acaat, tending to run away. Babbling and always hungry. He is the element of water.
"Akna, warm and beautiful but tending to have a hot temper. She is the element of fire.
"The Jaguar, with a name that in the Mayan language means 'Spot'. A talking descendant of the Anunnaki and the heart of the group
"The evil entity knows that only such a group can free him. He will no doubt try to create other such groups, but we will have to hope a new band of heroes will arise, because such a group, created by his power, is also the only thing that can destroy him," said Kukulcan.
"What will happen then?" asked El Aguirre.
"Once that happens, all the evil he has ever done will be undone, and you will be free of this place. Until then you and your men will remain, however long it takes."
"So this is a place of punishment as I thought. Take me back to the dark rooms, where I belong," said El Aguirre.
Kukulcan led the way back. "This is a place of punishment only if you make it so. This is a place of dreams, and they need not all be nightmares."
"What do you mean?" asked El Aguirre.
"Dreams are limited only by your imagination. You can learn to assume new forms here. I advise you to try to make a strong, threatening form in case the former owners of the Black Lodge try to take it back once the evil entity is locked behind dimensional doors. You will be able to guard yourself, your men, and any other unfortunate souls who fall under his influence and lose their good sides here."
El Aguirre thought to himself, "I know how I'll use the power to take a monstrous form. I'll help you lock up your monster, but I don't deserve to be set free, and neither do my men. I'll do anything in my power to keep the entity from being destroyed."
The two went back into the main room to continue their plans.