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The slaver forced her on her feet and back to the group. Her mind was a blank. Somehow her legs moved her forward, but Clio didn’t feel connected to them anymore. She trudged through the throng of people who had witnessed and cheered for her sister’s death, and rage slowly filled the emptiness. Rage at these people, at Morek, but most of all, rage at Mannix. He consumed her thoughts.
She would escape, and he would pay for this.
They were led around the pyramid and stopped at its entrance. Warriors stood guard, but these warriors bore no resemblance to the ones in Sheehan. These men truly looked like the warriors of the sun deity. They wore pure gold breastplates over the traditional leather gear of the Sheehan warriors. Glistening cloaks of different colored feathers flapped in the breeze, signaling their rank. But what drew Clio’s attention most were their weapons of black obsidian.
One of the girls up front spoke up. “Is this the way to the temple?”
A warrior answered, “The temple? No, you are to be taken into the pyramid.”
Clio could feel panic stirring in each girl — each girl except the bald one before her. She just looked up at the pyramid’s façade with an expression of fatal resolution, as if she already knew this was to be their final destination.
“No, I think you are mistaken. We are here to become temple maidens.” Fear pitched the girl’s voice higher and higher.
The warrior laughed. “We don’t have temple maidens in Morek, slave. The Priest doesn’t allow women in his Temple. You are here as a sacrifice.” There was no more discussion. One by one the girls were marched into the gaping maw of the pyramid, a path that only had one ending — amongst those rotting bodies at its base.