Chapter 18

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Posted by walker from on June 29, 1998 at 10:13:16:

Sorry this is soooo long. I'm trying to tie up some loose ends. Given that Aaron will be introducing some interesting new elements I'm hoping that cleaning up some of the older ones will help streamline the story. Someone let me know if I've done too much and I'll back off next time.

Chapter 18

"That looks like it." Indy said, peering out the window. "Pull over here."

The cabbie did as instructed. Indy and Drake stepped out in front of a large private residence located on the northern fringe of the city. using the name on the parcel from Post Office Box 226, Indy had looked up the address in a local phone directory.

"Be prepared," Indy said. "We should have gotten this address before the Destroyers, but I've given up hoping."

Together they walked up the short flight of steps to the heavy oaken door. Drake rang the bell. Out of the corner of his eye, Indy noted tha the curtrain of a second story window was briefly moved aside. "He's checking us out..." Indy mumured, inclining his head towards the window.

Drake looked up. "Yeah, well somebody is."

A few minutes later, the latch clicked and the door swung back. A heavy chain secured the 4" wide gap and, to Drake's horror, the barrel of a long rifle rested on the chain, pointing directly at Indy's head.

"Hi there!" Indy smiled. "Nice gun. A Lee-Metford if I'm not mistaken. British army, 8 shot - put into use circa 1890, wasn't it?"

The elderly man holding the rifle frowned, drawing his thick grey eyebrows together in the center of this forhead. "1888. Now go away, or I make a pudding out of that pea-sized brain of yours."

Indy blinked. He hadn't heard that one before. "Dr. Cahill, we're here to help. This," he nodded at Drake, "is the son of Angus Hawthorne. We know about the Dragon and the Destroyers. I also know that standing out here on the street, talking to you, is not the safest thing to be doing." Drake nodded helpfully, and held up a wallet photo of he, his dad and his mother, long since passed away. Dr. Cahill's eyes widened and he looked at Drake with sorrow.

"I'm sorry, my boy," he said, drawing the gun away. "Come in."
The three men sat in front of the warm fireplace in Cahill's spartan living room. The importance of the conversation held off any jet lag Indy and Drake should have been feeling by now.

"Where to begin, where to begin," Cahill fretted, pouring tea all around.

"Why was my father tortured and killed?" Drake said softly.

Cahill say back heavily in a dusty old chair. He sighed deeply and began: "For years - most of my professional life, really - I've been studying about the legend of the Dragon of the Sun. Because I had only accmulated rumor and speculation, I never published my findings. The most well-know, I suppose, is the story about the Spanish missionairies using it to control the native Brazillians."

"That's the one we've heard," Indy said. "The Destroyers told us something about it."


"Pardon me?"

"It's bunk - one of many such stories which grew up around the legend over the centureis. The most difficult part of my research has been seperating that which must be discounted from that which must be investigated further. It's like trying to find a diamond in a room full of ice."

Tell me about it, Indy thought.

"Anyway, at some point, about 6 months ago, I confirmed the existence of the Destroyers. I don't know who runs them or how they are organized, but they are very well-connected in the Brazillian underworld."

"So what's their story?" Indy asked. "And why did they go after Dr. Hawthorne?"

"Well, as the legends go, the Destroyers have been around for about 3 millenia or so."

"What a load of hogwash!" Drake said, throwing up his hands in disgust.

"Quiet." Indy glared at him. "Go on Doctor."

"It is said that their cult developed about a great golden seprent-like statue. No one knew where it came from or how long it had been there, but whatever its origins, it spoke to them."

"It spoke to them..." Drake shook his head.

"Well, maybe not like you and I speak, but rest assured, it did. The Destroyers were commisioned with protecting the hiding place of the Dragon until the time to end all times - the rebirth of the Dragon and the world as he desires it."

"That explains the map and the trapped cave we found. If a Destroyer is ever captured or questioned by someone hunting for the Dragon, that person is led into a death trap. Curiosity kills the cat, I guess," Indy said.

"Yeah, that and a spike through the privates," Drake added.

"But what marks these 'end times'?" Indy asked.

Doctor Cahill looked up slowly and quoted from some source known only to himself. "The world will prepare itself for His coming with fire and blood. The fire, a clash to shatter nations, the world as a gameboard, pieces moved and countered. The blood, a torrent from the dead as evil men, deeming themselves masters of the game, wash over the whole of the earth."

"Sounds a bit like Nostradamus to me." Indy said. "Open to interpretation."

"I know, I know. World War I and World War II seem to fit nicely though, don't you think?" Cahill smiled sadly. "All that really matters is that the Destroyers think that now is the time to wake the Dragon."

"Have you guys even listened to what you're saying! Big giant staues don't just come to life!" Drake argued, exasperated.

"I don't mean to be so literal, my boy. For all I know, the Dragon is nothing but inanimate rock, and will always be so. The point is, the Destroyers believe their time is at hand, and they will stop at nothing to ensure that the Dragon remains safely protected until then. They must be stopped - if only to avenge your father."

"As to why they went after him.... Well unfortunately, Angus and I had been unknowingly working on the same thing. He hadn't yet found out about the Destroyers, however. Or if he had, he thought they were one of the false rumors. In any case, he published his findings as a sort of historical reflection on Brazillain myth. I believe what sealed his fate is that he stumbled onto the actual location of the Dragon, something I never found. I immediately got in touch and asked for the specifics of his research. Since he felt it was only a myth, some of the more elaorate details were left out of his paper. I'm sure he didn't want the area raped by treasure hunters, but I felt positive that the information was there. Apparently, so did the Destroyers.

"Ever since I learned of his death, I've been too frightened to step out of the house, so I have no way of knowing if he sent it or not. In fact, I believe I did something rather foolish. To avoid having the correspondance tracked back to me, I hid my mailing address in a coded letter, something only a scholar would have noticed..."

"Doctor," Indy grinned, "have we got a suprise for you."

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