. Raiders of the Forbidden Valley
Chapter 20: Fenrus!

An original story by Hannibal King, told in serial form

Indiana Jones glanced up at Ygdrassil - the tree was different than he had imagined in his dreams. It was huge, stretching to the cavern's roof, or so he assumed because any detail was lost at such a distance. However Ygdrassil was big, there was no denying it. However, it was also a lot drier and old looking than in his visions / dreams. The roots were beginning to show deep, black gouges in the wood. There was a huge amount of dry brown leaves littering the ground below the trees branches. Even though there was no wind in the cavern the tree was creaking and groaning.

Indy placed a hand on its trunk.

A dull vibration ran up his arm to his shoulder. Like in his dreams the tree was trembling.

"Indy what's wrong?" Susan asked, a worried timbre touching her voice.

"I think the tree is dying," Indy muttered "That's not good."

He looked at the tree - things were harsher looking in this reality. The bark of the tree was pitted and damaged. The cavern walls were immensely far away and were obscured by a strange misty haze. The light source that illuminated the area was a mystery, as it didn't seem to be coming from anywhere.

Around the cavern walls were a series of smaller caves (though to Indy they were still awesomely huge). He looked around for any of the denizens of the cavern that he had met in his dreams.

Apart from Susan and him there was nobody.

A low growl filled the caves.

"Indy?" Susan began, but was interrupted as a huge shadowy form appeared from a dark corner. Blazing red eyes shone from the gloom.

Marcus and Grey Wolf made their way down through the mineshaft. Wooden beams and struts that looked as though they could give way at any time supported the roof of the tunnel. The air was stale and damp; water was trickling down the walls. It had taken them a while to get accustomed to the gloom of the mineshaft - and even now it wasn't particularly light.

They had been descending into the darkness for what seemed like hours.

Both men in complete silence.

Fenris the wolf emerged from the shadows. Indy saw its carmine eyes and its impossibly long snout. Trails of clear saliva hit the ground, hissing and burning like acid. Indy estimated that from snout to tail the beast must have been forty feet long. It was hard to tell how tall it was as it was slinking forward. Indy could see that there were some reptilian aspects to the creature as well as the main lupine features. It had fur, but this looked spiky and scaly. The creatures tail was canine in appearance, but seemed to be thrashing about like a snake. Its claws were vicious and sharp looking, but they also appeared to be mottled and scaly.

It's eyes were unlike any wolf's eyes. It's lids closed side ways over the eyes in rapid succession

The wolf was in a hunting position.

Indy gazed at the creature in wonderment.

It caught his gaze and he could feel terror gnawing at his soul.

The wolf had a raw and keen intelligence that went beyond instinct. It was a rational creature and Indy could tell from that moment that the beast was totally and irrevocably insane.

It sniffed the air and then turned its attention to something behind Indy.

The tree!

Marcus Brody could feel the runestones in his pocket starting to get hotter. A strange dirty yellow light was shining from the mineshaft wall ahead of him. Grey Wolf was behind him

"Look Marcus!" he said unnecessarily.

"I know old man. I think we may be onto something here," he moved forwards - his hand placed onto his pocket.

The wolf snarled at Indy and then started moving towards the tree. Indy could feel the ground tremble as the trees roots began to writhe with fear as the huge and ravenous creature stalked forward. Indy unhooked his bullwhip from under his furs and slowly uncoiled it.

Fenris was not interested in anything that this man did. There would be time enough to destroy him when the tree was dead.

Indy's whip arced forwards and cracked above Fenris' head. The creature flinched and cowed it's head down - startled by the sound. It looked at the whip and cocked its head quizzically to the side. Indy cracked it again and this time the leather licked at Fenris' nose. The wolf yelped and withdrew its head slightly, a long gash drawn across its muzzle. The creature looked at Indy, who cracked the whip again, this time lashing Fenris' snout. The wolf snapped in pain on this strike. It bared its teeth and looked at Indy with fury and snapped its jaws at him. Indy lashed his whip again and the wolf started backing away. It lowered its head and pounced, propelling itself forward with its powerful haunches. The creature flew over Indy's head and landed behind him. Indy spun round and tried to whip the beast again. It batted forward with one of it's paws and knocked Indy over onto his back. The creature loped towards him and Indy frantically started kicking with both of his feet. His boots connected with Fenris' nose - enraging the creature even more.

It snarled in furious rage and Indy looked at the beast's teeth. They were huge and evil looking fangs. The creature snapped its jaws and caught Indy's furs in its jaws. The teeth missed skin, but the creature tossed its head back and Indy was flung into the air like a broken toy.

Marcus Brody entered the glowing cave and saw a natural subterranean room filled with dirty yellow light. The walls had been scratched with archaic rune symbols. The walls were surprisingly smooth and the ground had been cleared of any natural rubble. Grey Wolf entered the room behind him and looked at Marcus.

"Now what?"

"Well, now we save the world, old man!"

Indy rolled onto his back and saw the creature bearing down on him. The furry sleeve of his over coat was in tatters and his leather jacket had been badly scratched. - However at the moment he was in one piece.

He swung his legs over his head as the creature rushed towards him. Indy did a backward roll and ended up on his knees. He cracked his whip and it bit at the front flanks of the creature. The beast snapped at Indy, but was being held at bay by the sting of the whip. Indy had time to wonder why this supernatural beast was even bothering about the pain caused by his whip. The wolf swiped a massive paw at him and he stepped back. The creature leapt at him as he stood backwards and crashed into him, knocking him onto his back. Indy lay under the weight of the creature and looked into its quivering jaws. He grabbed the matted fur on both sides of its jowls and attempted to hold the beasts' head away from him. Its neck was powerful and coiled with hard taut muscles. He gritted his teeth and tried to push the creature's head away from him. It was no use as the animal's head came closer to his face.

Susan saw Indy fall and then struggle under the weight of the beast. She looked around for some form of weapon with which to help him. There was nothing.

Suddenly from the ground before her a long and sharp piece of wood was thrust from under the dirt floor of the cavern. Susan looked at it; the wood was made from one of the mighty trees roots. She grasped it and pulled it free from the ground. To her surprise it came free from the ground with remarkable ease. Susan glanced at the tree - to her surprise it was visibly moving. Its trunk was vibrating with agitation.

The wolf snarled and drew her attention from the tree. She looked around and saw that the wolf was hunched over Indy, it's jaws dangerously close to his head. She grasped the shard of tree root in her hands and ran forward.

The wolf's breath was hot and stinking. Indy could feel his arms giving way - the weight and strength of the creature was taking its toll on him. Within a few seconds its jaws would close over his head - crushing his skull and piercing his brain. Indy tried to summon up a last minute reserve of strength but it was no use. His arms were trembling under the strain of the attack.

Suddenly the pressure being exerted by the creature was released. Indy heard it yelp in surprise and pain. It moved off of him and slinked off to his left. Indy turned and saw that it had a huge shard of jagged wood sticking out of its left shoulder. Indy got to his feet as the creature started snapping wildly at the piece of wood protruding from its flank. The fur round about the wound was becoming wet and sticky with blood.

Indy cracked his whip and it stung at the wound. The creature howled in pain and looked at Indy with evil eyes. It snarled and Indy felt the small hairs on the back of his neck rise.

The creature snapped the wood in half with his jaw and dropped it on the ground. It turned and like a flash leapt at Indy.

Marcus was kneeling in the cave, near the hollow that had been dug in the dirt. He looked at each runestone and contemplated its meaning. Already in front of him there was the beginnings of a circle.

The ground in front of Indy erupted as a series of tree roots appeared. The tree was joining in the fight as best it could. Fenris crashed into this barrier of spikes and hit the ground with a thud. As it stood up, Indy could see that its chest was covered in blood, but this did not seem to be deterring the creature.

Fenris looked at this human in front of him and felt hate burrow deep into his animalistic brain. He hated these two-legged creatures for his years of captivity. The gods who had chained him and stabbed him had resembled this insignificant being before him.

He knew that he was hurting. His shoulder was screaming with fiery agony and now he could feel numbness around his chest.

Ygdrassil was attempting to help the human.

Fenris could feel his rage burning with an all-consuming lust for revenge! This nullified any pain that he might feel.

Indy darted away from the creature and coiled his whip as he went. He could hear the cracking of dried wood behind him and turned to see that the wolf had broken free from any hold that the roots had on it's body.

It started running towards him, slowed down by its injured shoulder, but still moving towards him. Jaws slavering, eyes burning with hatred. Indy turned and cracked his whip again. This time Fenris was waiting and snapped its jaw shut, trapping the braided end of the whip in its jaws. It yanked its head back and tore the whip from Indy's grasp.

Indy fell forward, having being pulled by the strength of Fenris. He looked up at the beast.

Marcus was busily attempting to place the runes in a circle.

"And this one goes . . . here!" he said triumphantly placing the last runestone into the circle.

Fenris swiped a massive paw down at Indy. It caught his shoulder and sent him crumpling onto his knees. His left side was searing with red-hot agony and Indy yelled in pain. His whip lay at the base of the tree, useless because Fenris' jaws had shredded the leather braids at the end.

Susan watched in terror as the wolf moved towards Indy and clamped its jaws around his waist.

"Marcus, nothing has happened!" Grey Wolf announced rather needlessly.

"I know!" Marcus snapped, looking at the circle he could not see what he had done wrong.

"Marcus, what is meant to happen?" Grey Wolf asked.

"I don't know!" Marcus admitted, "but when it happens we'll know!"

"If it happens." He added to himself under his breath.

Indiana Jones felt a terrifying pressure being placed onto his ribs. A sharp pain shot through his entire body as Fenris' jaws cracked one of his ribs.

The wolf tossed his head backwards and released Indy.

"Perhaps if I . . ." Marcus trailed off and moved two of the runes around in the circle. He looked at them again - something was not right.

Indy landed on the ground with a grunt. He looked up and saw that the tree was now shaking wildly. Indy coughed and winced, as a sharp pain seemed to consume his entire body.

Something clamped onto Indy's leg and pulled him backwards.

Fenris started dragging Indy away from the tree. The blood was matting around his wounds and he seemed to be showing no ill effects from the attacks on him.

Susan looked around and saw a huge rock. She ran over to it and picked it up.

Indy felt the pressure on his foot, soon his boots would give way and the fangs would penetrate his skin and grind against his ankles.

Fenris dropped the leg and started moving towards the fallen archaeologist. It was panting with exertion and a hungry look was in his eyes. Indy closed his eyes as the beast lowered its head to his face.

Suddenly, there was a clunk and the creature yelped in pain and surprise.

Susan launched a second rock at the beast and it bounced off of its head. Just behind its ear. The wolf turned and looked at her with furious eyes. She launched a third rock, which bounced off of Fenris' nose.

It howled and the entire cavern reverberated in unison with its pain.

It ignored Indy and started padding menacingly towards Susan. She threw another rock, but it landed feebly on the ground near Fenris' feet. The wolf just kept moving towards her slowly, and deliberately. Susan started backing away, but in essence there was nowhere to go.

Marcus looked at the runes with frustration. He knew that the combination was nearly correct but it wasn't good enough!

He examined the rune he had in his hand.

Something started niggling at him - there was something wrong about this carving. Something fundamentally different than it should be. Now, what was it?

Indy picked up a piece of wood and leapt at Fenris' back. He plunged the shard into the beast's spine. It screamed in agony and started thrashing around. Indy grabbed onto the creatures matted fur and held on for grim life. His rib was killing him and the numbness from his leg was beginning to fade, giving way to sharp and consuming pain.

He gritted his teeth and tightened his tenuous grip on the beast's pelt.

Marcus looked at the rune.

It was back to front.

What he had taken for the runic symbol for Loki was in fact the ultimate trick. It was inverted and was actually the runic symbol for locksmith.

He looked at the circle on the ground before him and smiled.

Indy fell from his perch on top of Fenris and hit the ground. The beast turned his attention to the prone archaeologist once more.

Fenris knew that this had to finish now. The tree was his goal, but these troublesome two-legged adversaries had stopped his quest. He would bite off this one's head and then kill the other.

He opened his jaws and pinned Indy down with a massive paw.

Marcus rearranged the circle once more and looked at the final rune. He rubbed the carving. Sure that he was correct about the symbol.

Indy looked up and all he could see was the creature's mouth. It was pinning him to the ground. He couldn't move - the beast licked his face with an impossibly long tongue and snorted onto him.

Indy closed his eyes.

Marcus placed the final runestone into the circle.

Fenris paused and looked up. He cautiously sniffed at the air.

The yellow light started to defuse to a golden brown. The inner carvings on the runes started to glow with the brilliance of a thousand candles.

Marcus looked away.

Fenris looked at the tree and raised his ears quizzically. He growled once and then vanished.

There were no flashes of lightning. No noise apart from a slight pop as the air rushed in to replace the gap left by the wolf. No grand and magnificent statements from the gods. The wolf was there and then he wasn't!

Fenris saw the man lying before him and then heard a far off noise! It was like the rushing of the wind. He looked at the accursed tree and then felt his body being grasped by strong invisible fingers. He started to growl and then his surroundings changed.

He was imprisoned again. His freedom over, his destruction halted.

Fenris howled but there was no one to hear!

The light subsided and Marcus looked at the circle of runes. They were still there but in the center of the circle was a curious black idol. It looked lupine, reptilian and piscine all at once.

Marcus shuddered.

Suddenly the whole mine started to shake and tremble.

"Marcus!" Grey Wolf barked and grabbed his friends collar. They turned and left the chamber.

As they ran Marcus fancied that he heard a wolf's howl. Far off as if in a dream.

The chamber behind them collapsed and buried the shrine under a ton of rubble. The evil was over. However, the men were still in danger as the mineshaft continued to tremble.

Marcus and Grey Wolf ran for their lives.

Indy looked around and Susan ran over to him. He was battered and bruised, but not beyond repair.

"What happened?" Susan asked him, but Indy just shook his head.

Fenris the wolf, son of Loki, was gone. The tree was no longer trembling and Indy could feel that things had changed.

"I don't know sweetheart!" he grasped her close to him, as much for support as for affection "But I think that it's over."

They looked at each other and kissed passionately. Lost to the moment and glad to be alive.

An eerie high-pitched cackle echoed around the cavern.

"Over Dr. Jones? Not quite!" Qwam Sung Ho and his army of men were standing above them on a rise. There was twenty-five rifles pointed at them and in between them stood Qwam Sung Ho.

Terribly ancient and terribly evil!

The Chinese villain laughed again!

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Indyfan.com Site Author: Micah Johnson
Page Author: Hannibal King
Created: Sept. 27, 1999
Last modified: October 4, 1999