. Raiders of the Forbidden Valley
Chapter 16: A Sting in the Tail

An original story by Hannibal King, told in serial form

"Dr. Jones, why the petulant expression?" Mae Ling walked down a set of iron steps; three guards followed her down. Each one armed with a rifle. Indy smiled to himself - if any of those goons fired their weapons the ricochet would finish off everyone in the hold.

"You are not going to be a bad loser are you Indy?" Mae Ling moved over to the captive archaeologist and started playfully stroking his chin.

"You know something? You're really beginning to annoy me." Indy smiled at her in the most patronizing manner possible.

With a grunt of petulant fury, she punched Indy in the stomach. He grimaced as the air left his body.

Mae Ling glared at him - wishing that she could do more to him. Much, much more - however this was not going to be possible, as she needed him alive.

Still, she mused; she could still inflict her anger onto Indy's companion when he was gone.

Susan Kirkmuir would soon be obsolete.

"Take the girl to my quarters!" she barked at her guards. They moved over to Susan and started unlocking her chains. Mae Ling looked at Indy with a challenging smile.

"Get your hands off of me!" Susan hissed as her manacles were loosened - her assailants took no notice of her protestations and dragged her towards Mae Ling.

"This woman will ensure your cooperation in finding the valley, Dr. Jones. She will remain as my guest until you have completed your quest."

"And then . . .?" Indy muttered

"And then we shall see," Mae Ling said lightly "Now, miss Kirkmuir if you have anything you would like to say to Dr. Jones, now would be an opportune moment."

Mae Ling looked at the guards who released their hold on Susan.

She looked at Indy and ran her hands through her hair. Mae Ling watched with curiosity as Susan moved slowly to Indy, holding her hand to her mouth as if stifling a sob.

"Susan, I'll . . ." Indy began, however his statement was lost as Susan leant forward and kissed him.

Indy's eyes widened with surprise.

"Take the girl away!" Mae Ling barked and the guards grabbed her and pulled her away from Indy. She looked at him without fear.

"I'll see you soon Indy?"

Indy nodded his reply and watched as she was dragged from the ships hold.

Miskatonic University, Arkham

"So Dr. West, that is why it is imperative that we see Dr. Hume's notes. It is a matter of life and death . . . perhaps even more than that!" Marcus gazed at Dr. Drummond West levelly. The man was immensely big - his frame dwarfed the chair that he was sitting on. A cloud of blue smoke shrouded the mans head. He took a draw from his pipe and made a non-committal grunting sound.

"Marcus," he rumbled, "as you know Alexander was killed in an unfortunate accident. He's not even cold yet and you come in here and make wild accusations about his unethical behaviour!"

West leaned forward, casting a shadow over both Marcus and Grey Wolf.

"Drummond my dear fellow, you know as well as I do that the staff of this establishment have been known on occasions to . . . feel the pressures associated with their working environment. Now, I believe that Alexander Hume was under the same . . . pressures. I can assure you that neither myself or my colleague here will do or say anything that will cause embarrassment to the college." Marcus looked directly into West's eyes and a moment passed.

"Very well Marcus, in recognition of all the work that you've done with us in the past I will allow you access to Hume's personal effects. Just be discreet will you?" the huge man smiled at his visitors.

Indy stood, languishing in his bonds in the empty hold. A few moments had passed since Mae Ling and her goons dragged Susan from the room.

A few moment could change a lot of things.

Indy satisfied that he was going to be left alone for a moment or two, slowly and deliberately pushed something from his mouth.

Something passed to him from Susan during their kiss.

A hairpin!

He smiled ruefully and took the hairpin in his fingers.

"Well done honey," he whispered to himself as he began to pick the locks of his chains.

The door opened with an ominous creak and Marcus slowly entered Hume's office. The room was situated in the lower levels of the university and was dank and musty.

"No wonder he went potty working in an environment like this!" Marcus smiled with false bravado. However, he had heard enough stories about the Miskatonic in his life to be justifiably nervous.

From in the gloom of the office, Marcus heard a dry chitinous clicking sound. The hairs on the back of his neck sprang to attention and he started backing slowly away from the doorway.

"Marcus, what's wrong?" Grey Wolf whispered from behind him

"Nothing old man, I just thought that I heard . . ." the sound, like dry leaves, came again. "Did you hear that Grey Wolf?"

"Hear what Marcus?" the tall Native American sounded concerned, but in the gloom Marcus could not make out the mans expression "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, I just need some light on the situation that's all," he said and moved cautiously towards Hume's desk. Reasoning that the man would have some source of light in his office. No matter how deep underground it was.

The sound echoed through the office again.

Indy slowly climbed up the metal staircase and eased himself out of the hold. The first thing that struck him was the bitter bite of cold air. It was dark, but Indy surmising that the ship was near the Arctic Circle couldn't begin to hazard a guess as to what time it was. At this time of the year, the Arctic was almost permanently dark.

Indy looked cautiously around for any guards.

There were none to be seen. Indy smiled grimly and moved forward at a crouch. His breath was coming from his mouth in plumes of steam. He crouched near the side of the ship. Below him he could hear the sound of people busying themselves. He peered over the side and below on the pack ice he saw a group of men readying a dogsled for a journey.

The huskies were barking and yelping with excitement.

Indy moved away from the side and started searching for Mae Ling's stateroom. That was where he would find Susan.

Marcus dispelled all the unpleasant thoughts that were creeping through his mind. The Miskatonic University had a history of weirdness, but most of it had turned out to be imagined weirdness.

There was nothing at all in the room except for Grey Wolf and himself. His hand started feeling its way across the desktop.

He felt something light touch the back of his hand. Something light and alive!

"Gr-Grey Wolf!" he managed to stammer.

Indy crawled along the prow of the ship. He had been searching around the ship for ten minutes and hadn't found Susan yet. So far the search had been uneventful, as the crew seemed busy getting the provisions ready for the expedition.

Indy stopped and looked across the deck.

A Chinese guard entered a cabin and as the door was opened Indy heard the unmistakable laughter of Mae Ling.

He had found her - now all he had to do was burst in the room totally unarmed and rescue Susan.

Piece of cake.

Marcus froze as the thing on his hand twitched!

"Grey Wolf old boy - could you please find a light?"

"I'm trying Marcus," Grey Wolf rumbled from the gloom.

Marcus could feel the thing scurry up his wrist and onto his coat sleeve.

He swallowed his fear and told himself it was something harmless. Nothing at all to worry about - perhaps just a little spider or a . . .

Light flared and the whole room was illuminated.

"Found the light switch Marcus," Grey Wolf said needlessly.

Marcus Brody, however, could not answer as he was frozen with fear as a huge evil-looking scorpion crawled up his arm towards his shoulder.

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Indyfan.com Site Author: Micah Johnson
Page Author: Hannibal King
Created: Aug. 31, 1999
Last modified: October 4, 1999