. Raiders of the Forbidden Valley
Chapter 1: Unfinished Business

An original story by Hannibal King, told in serial form

A fortress on the outskirts of Nanjing, China -- December 1937

Indy clattered into the stone wall! He grunted and slid to the floor. A large booted foot smashed against his jaw - throwing his head violently back! Indy glared at his huge grinning attacker and then at his employer.

"I will ask you again! Why have you come to my home?" A thin reedy voice asked. Indy clambered to his feet.

"I've come for . . ." Indy began

"He has come for Nurhachi exhalted one!" A familiar voice interrupted. Indy took his attention from the man that stood before him and glanced at the newcomer. A stocky Chinese man had entered the room. Indy groaned as he saw the man's mutilated hand.

"This is Indiana Jones! He brought Nurhachi to my father two years ago and killed my brother! He is a worthless grave-robber and deserves no respect!" Lao Che's eldest son moved across the room and stood behind his master - Qwam Sung Ho!

"Ah, you are the famous Indiana Jones?" Sung Ho smiled and moved forward. His bodyguard - a huge bald , badly scarred Mongolian moved with him - like a shadow. "I was convinced that our paths would cross American! I did not think, however, that you would be so foolish as to come to my home, but in many ways I am deeply honoured and deeply amused by your presence."

Qwam Sung Ho was taller than most of his countrymen. He stood at least four inches above Indy. His face was narrow and cruel, on the few occasions when he smiled it was like being favoured with a smile from a snake. It was almost as if he glided across the floor as he approached Indy. His jade ceremonial robes showed no sign of movement. He clasped his hands in front of his chest. His fingers were long and tapering with wickedly sharp fingernails.

"Why do you want Nurhachi? You gave him up before, why do you want him now?" Sung Ho leaned forward - regarding Indy in the same manner that a king cobra regards it's prey.

"A lot changes in two years. I've got different priorities now." Indy mumbled. When he had retrieved the ashes of the long dead emperor a few years previously he had wanted different things from life. Fortune and glory had been his simplistic motto. He had went through Hell and high water to grab the long dead emperors ashes. And all he had wanted in return was a huge diamond. However things had altered Indy's perceptions dramatically. Not least of which was listening as the all-powerful hand of God wiped an entire platoon of Nazi troops from the face of the Earth. No, Indy's priorities were different now, very different. A fact, which would have amused his estranged, father immensely.

"Bring Nurhachi to us! It is only fair that Dr Indiana Jones sees his goal - after all it will be the last thing he ever sees!" Sung Ho moved backwards - his laughter was nothing more than a sibilant hissing.

Kao Ken grinned and left the room - eager to please. Indy watched him go. It was at times like this that he wished he wore a watch. Damn it! What was the time?

"What happened to his father? Lao Che wouldn't have given Nurhachi up without a fight?" Indy asked - playing for time.

"Lao Che is with his ancestors! Kao Ken is as ambitious as his father, however infinitely more ruthless. He proved to be a useful ally." Sung Ho moved towards a window and looked out across the lake that bordered his home from the city. The sky was alive with orange flares!

Nanjing was dying!

Explosions, which were nothing more than distant and unsettling rumbles at this distance, were tearing the entire city apart. The Japanese invaders had attacked the city four days ago and the battle had raged constantly. It would not belong before the city was overrun be the enemy. Sung Ho had arrangements to make. The Japanese forces were like locusts! They had no respect for property, soon they would grow tired of the battle and start picking clean the spoils of war. His fortress would be breached. This was of little consequence to Sung Ho. He had many homes. Homes that had been accumulated over his long, long lifetime. However, even he was not impervious to gunshot wounds. In a few hours he had to make a long journey to another of his homes, a mountain top monastery in Nepal. However, he was more than happy to take the time to pluck Jones' eyes from their very sockets! He did enjoy his little pleasures in life.

From Sung Ho's fortress the battle was far off and almost unreal. However, in the narrow streets on Nanjing things were definitely more urgent.

The smell was of burning! Burning wood, burning metal and of burning flesh! The Japanese were winning! They had arrived at the city on the eighth of December and the battle had begun. For four long days the fighting had been furious and fierce. Now, it was sporadic street skirmishes. The invading troops were hunting down the surviving defenders and murdering them! Nobody in the city was safe!

Jock Lindsay had a bad feeling about this.

Indiana Jones had hired him two weeks ago. Jock liked Indy immensely. Even though the big baby hated his best friend Reggie (some people do have funny ideas about snakes!) He had wanted Jock to help him find an infamous and almost mythical Chinese crimelord. They had started in the lush islands surrounding Thailand. That had suited Jock. He could land his plane and do some fishing as Indy traipsed around the jungles.

However Indy had discovered that after years Qwam Sung Ho had returned to the Chinese mainland. They had followed the trail to Nanjing - and had arrived three days after the Japanese forces. As they had tried to land on a lake near the city a few stray bullets had clipped the support struts of his left wing!

As Indy went off on his treasure hunt, Jock was forced to scavenge around the city for some materials to repair his beloved plane.

He had found relatively intact kite makers shop and after a cursory investigation he had found some stuff that would do. Bubblegum and spit, as his buddies during the Great War would say, bubblegum and spit!

Jock turned a corner. Three Japanese troops had cornered a beautiful young Chinese girl. These men terrified her. Jock quickly drew his gun! This place was worse than a Saturday night in Glasgow!

"And what in the name of the wee man's going on here then?" Jock started firing as soon as he had got the soldiers attention. Three shots rang out in a city that was being destroyed.

Nobody noticed.

Kao Ken re-entered the room. In his hands he held the ornately carved jade urn that contained the mortal remains of Nurhachi. Indy watched as the younger man handed them with reverence to Sung Ho. The tall crimelord looked directly at Indy - his eyes narrowing to black slits.

"I have lived a long and productive life Indiana Jones. But I still have much left that I want to see and do. Nurhachi will aid me in my quest for longevity!" Sung Ho snapped his fingers. Two black robed Chinese assassins entered the room. They were guarding a beautiful and exotic looking Chinese woman - she regarded Indy with a playful expression.

"Father, you have brought me an occidental to play with!" Sung Ho's daughter giggled with a terrifying child-like glee. Indy groaned.

"Oh jeez!"

"Dr. Jones, I would like you to meet my beautiful daughter Mae Ling. She has proven to be more than a daughter over the years" Sung Ho arched one of his eyebrows "she is a most persuasive young woman!"

"Is he an American? Oh father, I have never spent any time with an American . . . can I have him? Please?" Mae Ling looked at her father with imploring eyes.

"Child, I am afraid that we have no time for such frivolous matters. Dr Jones was about to leave." Sung Ho raised his hand and the two black robed assassins started towards the unfortunate archaeologist.

Indy backed away from them - however the stone wall behind him encumbered his retreat.

Kao Ken started chortling with glee. Indy glared at him. The assassins quickly produced vicious looking weapons. Indy took a second to assess the situation.

He was in deep shit!

"Goodbye, Dr Jones!" Kao Ken tittered.

At the base of the fortress bombs started to explode. Bombs that Indy had planted before entering the depths of the villain's lair.

The entire building seemed to shake as the explosions ripped through its foundations! Qwam Sung Ho looked at Jones in puzzlement.

Were the Japanese attacking the fortress?

Indy took advantage of the diversion and grabbed hold of an ornate curtain. He rushed forward, dragging the material with him. Balling himself up - he barrelled into both his assailants. The material of the curtain wrapped itself around their heads. Indy spun around and pummelled the first assassin in the back of his head. The huge Mongolian started rushing forward towards the archaeologist. Indy looked up in time to see a huge meaty fist flying towards his face.

Jock ran through the burning streets - the girl followed him. She had talked to him in Chinese but he hadn't understood her. Indy spoke Chinese though. Jock turned to see another four Japanese soldier approaching him. He raised his rifle (liberated from one of the dead soldiers) and fired. The bullet hit the first soldier in the chest! He grabbed the girls arm and they started running towards the lake. The soldiers started following them. Firing as they came!

His world exploded as the fist connected. Indy crashed across the room, smashing into an ornate table. He looked up at the Mongolian - this guy was enormous!

"Indiana Jones, I want you to meet Pah Roahach. He is the strongest bodyguard that I have ever had. And by far the most loyal." Sung Ho smiled. The Mongolian grabbed Indy by the arm and spun him around. His stomach lurched as he literally flew across the room. He hit a marble dragon at the other side of the room. Indy rolled onto his feet and came up punching. Four hard blows connected with the Mongolians jaw. Indy stopped punching and looked at the bodyguard incredulously! His opponent smiled and spat a mouthful of teeth into Indy's face! He grabbed the archaeologist and turned him upside down. All Indy could see was Kao Ken's laughing form. The Chinese gangster was enjoying this spectacle. Indy brought his legs backwards and with both feet kicked his assailant in the back of the head. Once! Twice! Three times! He continued this until the Mongolian dropped him. Indy landed with a thump! He rolled onto his back and launched a hard kick into the thug's groin!

Pah Roahach looked at him curiously.

Indy looked at him.

"Dr Jones, Sung Ho has many beautiful women in his service! There are certain things that his bodyguards do not need! It helps them to stay loyal!" Kao Ken said through his laughter.

"Oh, that's just swell!" Indy muttered.

The Mongolian rushed forward and attempted to stamp onto Indy's head! The archaeologist used an agility that had been honed through many years intruding into ancient temples and avoiding deadly death traps. This was the only thing that Indy had over the huge Mongolian - speed and agility. He ran across the room and as the thug approached him he darted the opposite direction!

Jock and his newfound companion arrived at the lake. He discarded the rifle and started firing shots off with his pistol. He grabbed the tarpaulin that covered his plane and pulled it off. The Japanese soldiers were approaching. He took aim and fired! Two of the soldiers fell dead! These men were in no fit state to fight. After four days of constant fighting they were exhausted, desensitized and full of anger. They were firing indiscriminately - he was taking his time! Bullets ricocheted off the ground near him.

He motioned for the girl to get into the plane.

Within a few seconds he was in the seat behind her. Much to Jocks delight, this beautiful Chinese girl had taken an instant shine to the large boa constrictor! Reggie was a big softie. He revelled in attention, but most people were frightened of him.

Jock automatically went through the motions of starting the plane. He fired off another couple of shots!

The plane started to gather speed and lift from the water.

The Japanese soldiers fired after it, but Jocks years of flying had given him enough experience to avoid suffering too much damage.

Now to get Indy!

Indy was beginning to get tired. The Man Mountain was not giving up. There was a sheen of sweat his huge body, but he wasn't even breathing hard.

Indy ran to the window. Across the lake Nanjing was burning!

Christ, he hoped Jock was alright!

The Mongolian started rushing towards him again!

Jock's plane wheeled into the sky. His passenger looked sadly back towards her home. Jock could only offer words of comfort in an alien language!

"C'mon sweetheart! Cheer up willya?" Jock winced and silently thanked God that this girl couldn't speak English.

Indy watched as the huge thug rumbled towards him. He dived to the left. The sheer momentum of the thug sent him hurtling through the window! His huge bulk, however, stopped him from fitting through the entire window.

Indy looked up - his assailant was jammed in the window frame.

Kao Ken's expression changed. He was no longer laughing. Indy watched as the gangster attempted to run from the room. He picked up an ornate brass plate from the table and launched it at Kao Ken.

With an empty metal clang it bounced off the retreating villains head!

Indy looked around.

In the confusion Sung Ho and his daughter had escaped!

"Damn it!" Indy expelled.

There was a commotion behind him - an army of black robed assassins burst into the room! Indy rolled his eyes in annoyance and darted from the room through the other door.

His escape was taking him up rather than down. It wasn't the best direction for him to be heading, but at the moment it was better than the alternative.

The hallway was narrow and his pursuers couldn't follow him en masse. However when he reached the end of this corridor he was going to be in big trouble . . . as always!

Indy burst through a door - to find himself on the roof of the fortress! Indy closed the door - but there was nothing to block it with!

He ran to the edge of the roof. Far below him was the lake. He considered diving - but the fall would definitely kill him!

The assassins rushed through the doorway. Indy turned to face them!

"Hi!" he grinned.

They started moving menacingly towards him!

On the far shore of the lake, the surviving Japanese troops had contacted an artillery unit. The plane was last seen heading in the direction of the far off fortress.

Some heavy guns had been brought to the water edge and were being readied to fire!

The Japanese commander raised his hand and gave the order!

There was a curiously hollow sounding noise as the first gun fired!

The small biplane flew towards the fortress. Jock watched as an artillery shell flew over the plane and headed towards the structure!

Pah Roahach struggled against the constricting window frame. He grunted furiously, but could not articulate his anger. Sung Ho had decided that he did not need his tongue on the same day that he decided that he did not need his manhood!

The Mongolian looked ahead.

He saw the shell heading straight towards him!

And managed a small child-like whimper.

Kao Ken got to his feet, shaking his head groggily.

He looked at the window.

The huge Mongolians legs were scabbling furiously against the floor!

Suddenly an explosion ripped through the building! Kao Ken was immediately reunited with his ancestors in whatever Hell gangsters like him go to!

Indy lurched backwards as the first shell blew a hole in the wall below him. He looked across the lake. The assassins all looked at each other - unsure of the best course of action.

Indy stood up and looked at them - a whistling noise filled all of their ears!

"Well, guys, it's been a blast!" Indy smiled as he turned a leaped from the parapet.

A second later, the second artillery shell smashed into the castle! The resulting explosion killed the assassins instantly!

Of Indiana Jones . . .there was no sign!

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Indyfan.com Site Author: Micah Johnson
Page Author: Hannibal King
Created: May 3, 1999
Last modified: October 4, 1999