Posted by walker from 18.104.22.168 on June 24, 1998 at 16:35:32:
Okay, let's try this again. I've made some changes in this chapter, particularly in the second half, to better reflect the issues brought up in Toht's Chapter 14.
Indy hacks the vines and branches away with his machete, sweat pouring down his face. Before him, rising above the treetops, stands an ancient stone pyramid. He looks back and sees the Brazillian sky shrouded in thick, black smoke. He stops, unsure of where to run. His feet begin to pull him towards the mountain pyramid but his heart and mind fire off warnings of danger. A sharp pain spears through his chest and Indy doubles over. He looks down and sees the bare skin covering his heart withering as if touched by fire. With a bellow of rage, Indy forces his body to walk backwards, towards the smoke.
Suddenly, the top of the pyramid explodes outward as a great golden serpent bursts forth from the bowels of the earth. Indy staggers as a wave of fear washes over him, but he continues to push backwards faster and faster. The serpent streaks down the mountain and over the tree tops, mouth open wide in an unholy scream. Indy turns now, running, the compulsion to approach the pyramid completely broken. the concealing smoke is only yards away. The dragon closes, increasing its speed, its tongue snaking out in hungry anticipation and then - the world explodes.
With a jolt, Indy snapped awake, bathed in a cold sweat. "Oh my god!" He looked about him, panic stricken.
"Indy, take it easy. It's just turbulence." Drake placed a calming hand on Indy's shoulder. "Are you okay?"
Indy gulped in a deep breath and slowly let it out. He glanced around sheepishly at the passengers who were staring at him. "Sorry. This whole thing's starting to get to me, I guess."
Drake nodded in agreement.
Indy leaned back in his seat and reviewed the events of the previous day to calm himself. After they discovered that Clarence had gone missing, they questioned the owner of the inn and several other villagers living nearby. From what they could piece together from eyewitness accounts, Clarence had jumped out of the closed second story window like a madman, landed on the roof of a parked military jeep and ran off alone towards the mountains like a cat with its tail on fire. Indy and Drake tried to follow his trail but soon lost it in the thick overgrown jungle.
"It seems my fire trick was a temporary wake-up call at best," Indy had said at the time. Whatever the Dark Destroyers had drugged Clarence with, it was still potent. Where he had gone and why was still a mystery.
Soon after, Indy and Drake determined that their only recourse was to find out who Drake's father was corresponding with. Although there was no return address, the post mark on the mysterious letter said London, England. Indy and Drake bought two tickets hoping to beat the Destroyers to the mysterious researcher.
"So, what's our next step?" Drake asked.
"Well, let's look at our one and only clue again. I've got something interesting to show you."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you see this fancy script which borders the stationary?"
"I noticed this while I was shaving this morning. Couldn't make much sense of it but it seems to me that your father was being told very specifically where to send his research. Turn the paper over and hold it up to the light."
Drake did as requested. From the reverse some of the script appeared to be standard English lettering. "Why didn't you tell me about this?"
"No time. You'll learn that sometimes important discussions have to take place on the go. Now that we have a good chunk of flight time ahead of us, we can analyze this calmly and, I hope, without waiting for the Destroyers to suprise us again."
"Yeah, I see your point. What's it say?"
"Well, that's not quite clear. It's in Latin, which is no problem in and of itself, but it doesn't appear to make much sense."
"Tell me what you think. Dominus Quincunx Duo Duo Sex."
Drake closed his eyes and thought. He smiled. "Easy. It means monarch, cross, two, two and six."
"Right. Any ideas?"
"Not a one. Except...if this message told my father where to send his research, it must be an address and 226 must be a house."
"Or an apartment number."
"Maybe the cross bit means it's a church."
"Possibly. The church of the king? Which king? England's had a pretty peculiar religious history." Indy leaned back and pushed up his hat. Drake did the same.
A beat later, the two men looked at each other, smiling.
"King's Cross Station" they said together.
"The railway station on London's north side!" Drake said.
"Yes, it opened on what...December something, 1906?"
"1906, right. I've been there with my dad. And there's - "
" - a post office at the depot," Indy finished. "It's the number to a post office box."
Clarence slowly regained consciousness. He was sorry he had, for his body was screaming in pain. He groaned and an image of Indiana, beaten and broken flashed through his mind. A soft chuckle resonated off to his right. Clarence craned his head over and squinted, desperate to get a good look at something - anything.
And then, a bright light ignited behind him, illuminating the room. Clarence's breath caught in his throat. He was strapped to a slate gray table slanted at 45 degrees. The table was carved from a solid block of cold stone, positioned against the wall of a monstrous cavern perhaps the size of a football field. The grade of the table, the tightness of the straps and the positioning of several fixed, pointed stones underneath Clarence's back were all calculated to maximize his pain and discomfort. Even given this, Clarence couldn't help but stare at the center of the chamber.
Poised on a dias perhaps 30 feet in diameter, stood a monstrous golden serpent, reared back on its hind legs, arms draped outward and to its sides as if preparing to tear out the gullet of some pathetic, helpless creature - like Clarence. The dragon's head towered 40 feet above the cavern floor, its terrible maw gaping open. Its golden tail ran down off the edge of the dias and curled completely around the base like some infernal barrier one dare not cross.
"Magnificent, isn't it?"
Clarence started. From behind the large stone table walked a brute of a man - by any description, wicked-looking and cruel. His face was heavily weathered and tiny, razor-thin scars criss-crossed his eyelids like a pair of insane tatoos. The eyes themselves were cold and black as tar. The ceremonial robe about his shoulders accentuated the broadness and power of his frame. And yet, oddly, the gait and movements of the Brazillian were refined and graceful. Clarence began to hyperventilate and the man smiled at him.
"Perhaps I should introduce myself. My name is Carlos Vargario."
Clarence shook his head, confused and gulping for breath.
"This means nothing to you, no?" Clarence slowly nodded. "Yes, well...I would expect not. I am not one to announce my presence to the world. Not yet."
"Wha - what do you mean?"
"You are one of many, my friend, who will assist me in bringing about a great new age of enlightenment, and for that I thank you."
"I don't...I don't understand."
"Ah, of course not. Shall I tell you?" Vargario paused for effect. "What you see before you is el Dragon del Sol, the Dragon of the Sun. This mighty beast has a history unlike any you could ever imagine, and a future defined only by his power and glory, everlasting."
"But, it's huge. It's..." Clarence was at a loss for words.
"Terrible? Yes, it is that and more. Your recent companion Indiana Jones believes the Dragon to be a mere trinket. A treasure to stuff away in a glass box. He also assumes that we are racing against one another to attain the same prize. He is wrong. We are, and always have been the guardians of that which can belong to no man.
The Dragon's time has come. In days he will awaken and remake the world as it should have been millenia ago. And he will reward his faithful....
"And you. Your conditioning has neared its completion. There is but one more stage, that which will make our chemical and physical persuasions complete. You must meet The Sun."
Another mirage of Indy bleeding to death, swept across Clarence's vision.
"Please, I haven't done anything to you..." Clarence's voice was shaking in pain and fear now, as the eyes of the giant statue began to glow ominously. "I don't want to hurt anyone! I don't want to know what that is!" He squeezed his eyes shut tight against the light.
Immediately, Vargario grasped Clarence's face with both hands and pushed up his eyelids with thumbs the texture of sandpaper. Clarence's eyes bulged as Vargario leaned forward, breathing hotly on his face. "That, my friend, is your god for now and evermore - and you will be his dagger!"
Clarence wept as his mind was seared away.
Post a Followup: