Raiders of the Forbidden Valley
Chapter 18: The Trail to Jarmungader
The wind harshly whistled through the canyons of ice and snow. It was dark everywhere, but the majestic sky show created by the Northern lights illuminated the sky. A full moon shone down, creating an eerie blue cast over everything.
The team of dogs galloped through the snow. The lead husky yelped as it guided its companions along the slippery ground.
Indy felt the cold biting into his cheeks and face as he cracked the whip.
Susan sat in front of him bundled up in furs - she was examining a piece of whalebone that had an ancient map carved into it.
This artifact had been hidden in the sled. Probably put there by Mae Ling's thugs in their efforts to ready themselves for the expedition into the frozen wastes of Greenland.
Indy had examined it and come to the conclusion that this map led to Jarmungader - the fabled hidden entrance to the Norse underworld.
A niggling doubt was worrying at the back of his head.
"Why had Mae Ling left the map in the dog sled?"
"We have left a copy of the map for Dr. Jones to follow. He has been on the move for two hours --we will ride forth and follow his trail!" Qwam Sung Ho addressed a group of soldiers from his own, ornately carved dog sled.
There were about twenty-five heavily armed men standing before him. Each one had been briefed not to kill Indiana Jones. At least not yet.
A burly Oriental climbed onto the back of Sung Ho's sled and cracked his whip. The dogs all darted forward and the remaining men all followed respectively in their own sleds.
The chase was on!
Marcus examined an old leather bound book that he had found in Hume's drawer. It was well worn and had been filled with a myriad of information.
The writing inside the book was obsessive and random. It reminded Marcus of Henry's grail diary . . . or rather an insane version of the Grail Diary.
Whilst Henry's work had been thorough and unmistakably obsessive, it had still been neat and ordered. This diary was the work of a disturbed mind.
As he sat reading it, Grey Wolf was rifling through some old and yellowed files.
"Marcus, I think I may have found something."
Indy and Susan sped across the tightly packed ice.
The sky before them was shining brightly and the many bright colors were undulating and shifting in a kaleidoscopic display.
Susan looked at the sky, mesmerized.
"Indy, what is that?" she asked
"I don't know honey, I honestly don't know," he replied.
At first he was sure that it was the Northern lights, however as he got closer to this display he was becoming unsure of this presumption.
The lights didn't look natural.
They were almost creating a curtain on the horizon - illuminating the world with a never-ending series of reds, blues, yellows, greens . . . it was almost like a rainbow.
The dogs were slowing down.
Qwam Sung Ho sat in his luxurious sled and closed his eyes.
If he had calculated things properly then Jones would be nearing the fabled Rainbow Bridge. Once he crossed Bifrost, the doorway would be opened enough for Sung Ho and his forces to enter Jarmungader.
He was so very tired. His skin was paper thin, his bones were brittle, his tall frame, which was once an effective weapon against the superstitious fools that he dealt with, was now a torture rack.
Sung Ho was feeling extremely old and tired. It was an effect that was tenfold on him as this had all happened within the past two years. He was nearer to death than he had been throughout his long and eventful life. It frightened him, yet part of him would welcome death if it came.
By the gods he was so tired.
If he died then his legacy would be nothing more than a collection of half-whispered ghost stories and half-forgotten memories.
His son had rebelled against him when he failed to help his village when the Japanese invaded. His beloved daughter was a lying, deceitful and dangerous woman. Her actions had not gone unnoticed on the Black Orchid and she would pay for her betrayal after this was over.
If he failed then his empire went with him!
He could not allow that to happen!
He would not allow that to happen!
Mae Ling sat fuming in the cabin. She was still tightly bound to the chair - her jaw was sore from the combined effects of the punch and the gag. Her body was sore from the ropes that criss-crossed it, hitching her to the chair. Her pride had been hurt by this treatment and her father's anger was terrifying to her.
However, she would not sit here as a helpless prisoner and allow his anger to be vented on her.
Mae Ling was nothing if not a resourceful creature.
Her hands, which were tied behind her, started working at the ropes that were around her left wrist.
Her eyes narrowed and a furrow developed on her forehead.
Under the ropes was a bracelet, which contained a long and immensely sharp thin blade.
She managed to loosen the ropes enough to free the blade. Within a few seconds she was sawing through the hemp with the slender blade.
Marcus and Grey Wolf both pored over a large map. This seemed to pinpoint the location of the cave where Hume had found the shrine.
"The cave seems to be a few miles inland from Innsmouth." Marcus looked at Grey Wolf, "We should leave immediately. The sooner we get to the cave the better!"
"Why the rush Marcus?" Grey Wolf asked.
"We have to rebuild the shrine. And that includes recasting the runes in the binding spell." Marcus looked at Grey Wolf with a smile.
"Can you do that?"
"I don't know Grey Wolf. I simply don't know." Marcus turned and left the office.
It was fifty-six miles to Innsmouth, and time was running out.
The lead husky had stopped running and was growling nervously. Behind him, the team of dogs were whining and sniffing the air.
Indy cracked the whip above their heads.
The dogs were not for moving.
"Damn it!" Indy hissed.
"Indy, what's wrong?" Susan asked
"It looks like we're walking sweetheart," Indy smiled at her and clambered off the backboard.
The dogs watched him with curiosity as he started moving forward towards the wall of light.
Qwam Sung Ho's sled sped across the frozen landscape.
His men were following him in an arrow formation.
The tall Chinese villain could feel his blood tingle. His hands became warmer and he could feel the tightness on his face become less pronounced.
Ahead of them the wall of light had seemed to become brighter.
Qwam Sung Ho smiled with satisfaction.
Mae Ling's hands were suddenly loose. The blade had severed the ropes and she was on the way to freedom.
Her first action was to remove the gag from her mouth.
She gasped and filled the stateroom with a string of Chinese curses and profanities.
Mae Ling's eyes took on a dark countenance as she started sawing through the ropes that bound her upper arms to the wooden slats of the chair.
Indy stood at the edge of the wall of rainbow light. He had his hands on his hips and to Susan it looked as though he was examining an everyday phenomenon.
The dogs were lying on the snow and ice, forlorn and cowed. They would occasionally emit a low throaty growl or a nervous whine. Susan didn't like this, as it seemed to indicate that the animals were sensing something bad.
"Indy?" she called out.
Indiana Jones looked at her and managed a half-hearted and totally unconvincing smile.
Qwam Sung Ho and his small army rushed towards the Rainbow Bridge.
Indy looked at Susan and smiled in an effort to reassure her. Even though he felt that he had nothing to reassure her about. The wall of light bothered him greatly. It was opaque and translucent at the same time.
He turned to look at it again.
The light seemed to pulse and undulate.
Indy could hear the dogs howling behind him.
Marcus and Grey Wolf arrived in Innsmouth. The drive had taken them over two hours and they still had to find the cave.
Mae Ling finished severing the ropes around her ankles and stood up. Her limbs were sore and stiff, but she managed to run from the stateroom and look out across the horizon.
The light show was becoming elaborate and much brighter.
Qwam Sung Ho's party was nearing the Rainbow Bridge.
He had to narrow his eyes, as the light became more intense. Something was happening to Bifrost!
Susan walked forward as the lights seemed to become more vivid and . . . alive.
Indy was engrossed by the phenomenon and he turned to look at her.
Suddenly a flare of bright light shot out from the wall and engulfed the archaeologist.
Susan screamed his name.
The light flare withdrew and of Indiana Jones there was no sign.
Site Author: Micah Johnson
Page Author: Hannibal King
Created: Sept. 13, 1999
Last modified: October 4, 1999