(Dutch: De Sluimerende Dood)
Art & script by Don Lawrence
Storm is brought before the warrior's leader, Yucan. Yucan boasts he is the only one who knows the antidote for Ember, but he won't divulge it, even after Storm roughs him up a bit. He wants to make Storm a trade. Yucan's son Huatl has been taken captive by the Manatecs that live in a city beyond a vast wall. If Storm will recue him, Yucan will give him the antidote. Storm agrees.
Suddenly, there is a call that the gods are coming. The populous runs in the square and kneel before great steel doors. The door rises and:
The ancient, automated missiles rise to point in the direction to launch at enemies long dead. A horn sounds. Yucan explains that when the gods come, it is time for a ritual challenge for rulership. If no challenger appears, a prisoner is sacrificed. Yucan makes short work of the sacrifice:
The missiles retract and the spectacle is over. Storm goes to tend Ember. Yucan tells him she will die in 10 days and introduces his son, Kai. He outlines the obstacles to reaching the Manatecs to Storm, but he only has eyes for Ember.
After Storm leaves, Yucan visits his father and asks to be allowed to marry Ember when Storm fails, and dies. Yucan refuses to allow it, citing tradition against marrying outsiders. Besides, Yucan points out, she will die without the antidote he keeps in his amulet--and no one will get that while he is alive. Kai agrees: While his father is alive.
TO BE CONTINUED