. Raiders of the Forbidden Valley
Chapter 17: Blood and Ice

An original story by Hannibal King, told in serial form

Indy moved slowly forward towards the stateroom. He didn't know what the Hell he was going to do. As usual, he was making it up as he went.

The wind was howling through the masts of the ship, which were encased in ice. Behind him he could hear the dogs howling and barking from the camp which was being set up on the pack ice below the ship.

Indy was freezing cold. He could feel ice forming on his eyebrows and stubble. His feet were getting numb with the cold and his leather jacket wasn't providing an awful lot of protection against the harsh climate.

He looked over his shoulder, far in the distance he could see the majesty of the Aurora Borealis - the northern lights.

Indy moved forward. He was almost at the cabin's door. A few more feet and he'd be inside facing off against who knows what odds.

Sometimes he loved this job!

The door to the stateroom opened.

Indy froze.

"Grey Wolf, get it off of me. Please." Marcus whispered as the scorpion crawled nearer to his neck.

It was an evil and malevolent-looking creature. Unlike any scorpion Marcus had ever seen before and he was utterly terrified beyond rational thought.

It raised it's tail and some venom dripped onto his jacket sleeve. The material instantly began to smoulder as the poison burnt through the tweed.

"Grey Wolf," Marcus whimpered, but his friend was doing nothing to help.

Indy sprang at the figure that exited the cabin and landed squarely on the guard's chest. The smaller Chinese man, who had also been caught off guard, stumbled backwards and made a clumsy attempt to draw his gun.

Indy punched the man twice on the mouth. Splitting the tender flesh of his lip and shattering some of his teeth.

The man keeled over and Indy retrieved the fallen man's weapon.

A second guard came dashing out of the room to see what the commotion was. Indy, not wanting to fire any shots off, smashed the man across the back of his head with the butt of the gun. The second guard fell to the deck.

Indy rushed into the cabin and aimed his gun at Mae Ling.

"Hi," he smiled ruefully at the Chinese villain.

Grey Wolf looked at his old friend with a frown.

The man was acting as though he was terrified, but Grey Wolf could not ascertain the source of this fear.

"Marcus, what is wrong?" He asked

"The Scorpion!" Marcus blurted out in terror.

To Grey Wolf's astonishment, an evil jet black scorpion materialized on his friends shoulder and started scuttling towards Marcus' throat. It's tail swaying menacingly.

He slowly looked at his feet. There, swarming around them were a host of the scorpions.

"Jones?" Mae Ling gasped.

"The very same sweetheart!" Indy smiled nonchalantly at the surprised woman.

Susan looked up at Indy from the chair she had been tied to. A smile crossed her face.

"I thought that you'd never get here Indy!"

Indy shrugged and then aimed the gun at Mae Ling's face.

"Untie her!" he barked.

A moment passed, a moment of pure tension and then Mae Ling lowered her head and slowly made her way towards Susan.

Marcus stared at the scorpion, which was now so close to his face that, his field of vision couldn't cope with it. The creature stopped and seemed to regard him with curiosity for a few moments.

Marcus looked frantically at Grey Wolf. He couldn't believe that this man was not rushing forward to help him. The Indian was just standing stock-still. Staring at his own feet in numbed horror.

"Grey Wolf!" Marcus hissed.

"I can't help Marcus. They're all over my legs," Grey Wolf mumbled.

"What are you talking about . . .?" Marcus saw a horde of scorpions emerge seemingly from nowhere and scuttle up Grey Wolf's shins.

"Oh my!"

"I will kill you both for this!" Mae Ling hissed with sheer fury and malevolence at Indy and Susan. "No matter how far you think you are from me, I swear that you will both die!"

"You know something Mae Ling, I'm getting tired of hearing you!" Susan thrust a torn up piece of cloth into her tormentor's mouth and tied it tightly at the nape of her neck. The Chinese woman glared at her from the chair that Susan had tied her to. The villain was almost cocooned in ropes and had absolutely no chance of escaping from her bonds.

Susan admired her handiwork and nodded with satisfaction.

"Do you think that you've used enough rope?" Indy asked incredulously.

"Indy, this Oriental bitch has strapped me to a table and dripped water onto my head, she's tied me up to a spike chamber and nearly incinerated me, she's tied my to a railway line and drugged and chained me up in the hold of a ship. I think she's getting off lightly!" Susan glared at the bound woman

"In fact too lightly," she conceded. With a grunt of anger, Susan swung her fist around in an arc. It connected with Mae Ling's jaw and the villainess was shunted into oblivion. Susan turned to Indy and smiled sweetly.

"Let's go then," she said and Indy grinned, shaking his head. This woman was becoming more and more appealing as time went on.

Marcus struggled with the reality that surrounded him.

There could not be any scorpions in the office!

It just wasn't possible!

Indy and Susan, both bundled up in furs stolen from Mae Ling's stateroom, crept along the port side of the Black Orchid.

"What's the plan, Indy?" Susan asked.

"You know something sweetheart, I've only got as far as stealing the dog sled. After that we'll mostly be playing it by ear," he looked at her and smiled.

"Great!" she rolled her eyes skywards.

Marcus closed his eyes and squeezed the image of the scorpions to the back of his subconscious.

West had told him that the office had been locked for three months and that no one had been allowed in.

Any scorpions left by Hume would have died.

They weren't here!

They couldn't be here!

He opened his eyes.

Indy and Susan had climbed down a rope ladder and were now crouched down behind some packing crates. A few yards in front of them was a team of huskies that had been hitched onto a sled.

"Right, we're only gonna have a few moments. We better make them count," he looked at Susan and smiled. She started to chuckle softly and Indy frowned.

"What's so funny?" he grumbled.

"It's your beard," she said and he self consciously put his hand to his chin - he never had got the hang of shaving regularly

"It's getting iced up." She smiled at him warmly.

Indy grinned and started moving towards the dog sled and the three men who were guarding it.

Marcus looked at Grey Wolf and saw that the scorpions had gone. He wasn't surprised as this entire building had a reputation of affecting people.

"Grey Wolf," he said and started moving towards his terrified friend "Things are okay."

Grey Wolf watched Marcus with terror and amazement. The man was walking towards him with a torso full of scorpions. These creatures were writhing and stinging at him, but he didn't seem to notice.

Marcus looked at Grey Wolf and smiled reassuringly.

Grey Wolf recoiled as Marcus moved towards him. The man's skin was beginning to puff up and discolour from the stings of the creatures.

Mae Ling struggled furiously and impotently against the ropes that bound her to the chair.

She was furious and humiliated.

The door to her stateroom swung open and a tall imposing figure entered.

"My poor child, however did you get in such a predicament?" Qwam Sung Ho chuckled.

Mae Ling looked at her father with angry eyes.

Indy stood over the three felled guards. He was breathing heavily - as he got older, fighting in the cold was getting harder and harder. However the guards hadn't put up too much of a fight.

"Susan, get on the sled!" he shouted.

From the deck of the ship he heard shouting, A few guards rushed to the side of the boat and started firing shots off.

A plume of snow exploded at Indy's feet. He clambered onto the backboard of the sled.

A whip was hanging from the handle he picked it up.

The dogs were barking with excitement as the gunshots rang out from the ship.

"Mush!" Indy shouted and with a lurch they were gone.

"These aren't real Grey Wolf. Whatever you are seeing isn't at all real." Marcus smiled.

"Get away from me Marcus! I don't want those things all over me!" Grey Wolf started backing away from his friend, who was now just a humanoid mass of scorpions.

"Think about it old friend." The shape said, "How on earth could these things be real?"

Grey Wolf narrowed his eyes and looked at his friend.

"You think I have been unaware of your plans child?" Qwam Sung Ho asked in an almost mocking tone.

Mae Ling looked up at him from her confinement.

"Indiana Jones is on his way to the valley. We will follow him. You will stay here in your current state until I return, dear child. Then you will be suitably chastised for your lack of parental respect!" Qwam Sung Ho turned and swept from the room leaving his daughter to contemplate her fate.

Mae Ling was very, very afraid indeed.

Marcus emerged from the black mass and looked at his friend.

"The things you saw were phantasms. I suspect that they were brought on by these," he held out the runestones.

"We must find out where the shrine was found," Marcus looked at his friend.

"Why?" Grey Wolf looked at Marcus, still shaken and unsure of things.

"I have a feeling that if we don't Indy will die!" he looked at the runestones and felt the almost tangible fingers of evil touch his spine.

Ragnarok was coming.

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Indyfan.com Site Author: Micah Johnson
Page Author: Hannibal King
Created: Sept. 6, 1999
Last modified: October 4, 1999