The Fat Kid reporting. . .
Upper Arlington – I spent a full week here in the Fat Cave, working laboriously with scholarly texts and these strange silvery glyphs that clearly have Mayan origins, and have finally arrived at a full translation. In order to make sense of them, I had to re-arrange the pictures retrieved from The Shadow’s camera – otherwise they make no sense. However, in their new configuration, they make a fairly clear statement, which follows.
This is a complex glyph that requires right-to-left translation. The two non-representational pictograms on the left are indicators of time and action. The first indicates the approach of the end of the calendar, or time cycle. The second pictogram is equivalent to the future tense of the English verb to be. The third pictogram indicates literally the fall of a great man. Now, this isn’t exactly what it appears – obviously the Mayans didn’t use precisely the same idioms that we use. It does indicate a fall, but this fall is representative of the death of a great man. However, the fact that the man in this glyph is unidentified and wearing ceremonial garb, indicates that it may refer to a great man and his followers, a great man and his ideas, or the man himself may even be dead already, and the fall indicates what will happen to his legacy. This glyph, then, is more or less ambiguous, translating roughly to when the end of time approaches, the great man (or men) and/or his ideas and/or his legacy will die.
This glyph is stranger still. The first pictogram in the glyph is a composite character. The bottom half refers to apparatus. Common use of this half of the character would be to indicate masks, weapons, or ceremonial apparatus such as headgear. The set of horizontal bars with three dots on the left side is the number thirty three. The flares on either side of the top portion are like some other characters I’ve seen – those that indicate fire and heat – but they aren’t exactly the same as either of those characters. What lies between them is unknown. The second pictogram is the face of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. Glyphs of this sort do not simply indicate the existence of something, but rather its direct usage. This glyph, then, can be translated as the feathered serpent will use his [unknown] apparatus with heat or power multiplied by thirty-three.
We then find this connected string of whole, discrete representational glyphs. The first represents the leaf-nosed bat, which would seem to indicate the bat itself, but in fact this glyph was the symbol of the fourth month of the year. The second glyph shows an angry Quetzalcoatl – the destructive aspect of the feathered serpent. The third glyph represents the hummingbird but, again, not the bird itself. The highly stylized rendering of the bird and the elongated device emanating from its nostril show that the glyph represents rapid flight – a characteristic of the hummingbird – rather than any actual bird or class of birds. This string of glyphs could then be read this way: in the fourth month, the angry feathered serpent will begin to fly rapidly. Based on the earlier glyphs in the series, we can assume that Quetzalcoatl will fly rapidly either with or using his apparatus that has heat or power multiplied by thirty-three.
This is another string of complete glyphs, but they are purely representational – not of an object, but rather of a previously-mentioned object’s movements. They show the feathered serpent first coiling and then opening its mouth, preparing to devour, which is another action that can be taken metaphorically. That is, it could either mean literally to devour or simply to destroy.
And then we find a connected but separate string of purely representational glyphs:
This is a composite glyph that was used to represent amphibians, reptiles, and birds, which the Mayans thought of as one class of related creatures.
This glyph literally represents a horned ruminant – either an ox or a deer – but was often used to represent all harmless mammals from rodents up to monkeys.
This glyph represents the Jaguar, which was thought of as a god, and as belonging to its own class of animal, different even from the other jungle cats in the area (mountain lions, ocelots, jaguarundis, kodkods, margays, pampas cats, and tiger cats – all of which would have been covered under the umbrella glyph for mammals).
This glyph represents the pan-South American god, Hsalpihw Yledins, a combination trickster/villain/dark comedian, and the leader of all the humanoid gods.
This is a composite glyph which indicates that it is inclusive. That is, the head-looking thing represents humans. The stacked devices to the right of the head indicate (in order from top to bottom) all halves, all wholes, and all parts which is a Mayan expression meaning something like each instance of everything. This is a conversational phrase referring to every previously indicated noun in a given sentence; it refers to everything in this latter string of glyphs. That is to say, all halves, all wholes, and all parts of all amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, Jaguars, humanoid gods, and men.
This final glyph is the most haunting of all:
Obviously it represents a human skull, which (also obviously) represents death – it is a universal sign. The issue is that there are devices on each side of the skull. These devices are also tripartite, stacked devices, and taken together the three devices mean the sum of all known time. That is, they indicate forever. The fact that there is one of them on either side of a primary pictogram indicates that they are to be multiplied by each other. The six dots on the forehead of the skull are ceremonial emblems. Under very rare circumstances, such as when a warrior killed a very important, high-ranking opponent, he would keep the skull as a trophy, and mark his own name on its forehead as well as the method by which the victim was killed. This forehead reads, simply, thirty-three. The meaning of this glyph, then, is that there will be death for infinity times infinity, done or perpetrated by the power of thirty-three or the thing [read: power] that is multiplied by thirty-three.
The translation of this entire string of glyphs, then, is:
When the end of time approaches, the great man (or men) and/or his ideas and/or his legacy will die. The feathered serpent will then use his apparatus that has heat or power multiplied by thirty-three. Starting in the fourth month, the now-angry feathered serpent will fly rapidly [presumably to earth] with (or using) his apparatus that has power or heat multiplied by thirty-three. The feathered serpent will then devour or destroy all halves, all wholes, and all parts of every amphibian, bird, reptile, mammal, jaguar, god, and human. There will be death for infinity times infinity, done by the one with power or heat multiplied by thirty-three.
So. . . holy shit. As we approach 2012, we appear to be approaching the end of the human era as well. Where did The Shadow see and photograph these glyphs? And, again, in what context are Mayan glyphs rendered in this silvery metal? We know that the Mayans worked gold, silver, and copper, but this metal doesn’t resemble any of these except silver, but it altogether lacks tarnish – a necessary condition of ancient silver. WHAT IS THIS?