FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
Part 15
by Mama Dee
Disclaimer: Love 'em and leave 'em 'cause they don't belong to me. That honour belongs to the WB.
Summary: The kids take off for Mexico to continue their adventure.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: This is the final installment of the trilogy.......please see Fantasies (part 1) and Realities ( part 2). I had to move the geological location of some sites for literary purposes.
Thursday had arrived, and they told Brody of their plans to inspect El Diablo. He ascented since his mind was on finding that vase that he'd heard about yesterday. He felt that he was getting closer to finding out the mystery of his abduction. Pakal left them at the dock promising to return at 5:00. The teens eagerly sought out Ahmok who was to be their guide today.

They found him standing outside the staff quarters talking with a younger man. When the kids approached him he smiled .

"Ah, my young friends, it is so good to see you, this morning. I regret that I am unable to take you to the cave today since I am needed elsewhere but do not worry," he went on as he saw their disappointed faces," my young cousin Chaac will be only too happy to escort you in my place." He introduced Chaac to the teens. He gave them a brilliant smile as he shook their hands. He wasn't much older than they were and he was very good looking, standing shoulder to shoulder with Max.

"It is my pleasure to be your guide today. I hope you are wearing comfortable footwear, for we have a three mile hike through the jungle ahead of us." They glanced down at the Nikes he was wearing and he laughed as he led them into the dark interior. They were travelling on another well worn path in an easterly direction. He explained that this was a popular tourist attraction and the path received a lot of traffic.

He chatted away with his young friends, pointing out things of interest along the way. He seemed to be a natural at this, obviously enjoying his work to the utmost. Liz regarded him with puzzlement. She was very good with faces and his looked vaguely familiar to her but she couldn't remember where she had seen it before. She decided to ask some discreet questions.

"Chaac, you seem so young for this kind of work. How did you get started as a guide?"

"Well, that was a fluke actually," he said as he used the American phrase with ease. "I used to come here to help out my cousins after school. You know, odd jobs around the site. I"ve done my fair share of machete work," he admitted rolling his eyes. "I would not recommend it to anyone," he laughed.

"One day, this group of people from a magazine arrived. They had made previous arrangements for Ahmok to show them various caves in the area. They were doing a piece on the cave drawings of the Maya," he explained. "Unfortunately, Ahmok was unable to take them that day because some emergency came up at the site, so he asked me if I would act as their guide. I knew the area really well, so I accepted the job. They were pleased with my services and when the foundation heard about it, they hired me on," he shrugged. "So I've been working full time since I finished school two years ago."

"This magazine wouldn't happen to have been National Geographic by any chance, would it?" Liz questioned him.

"Yes, it was! " he acted surprised. How did you know?" he asked.

"I saw your picture in this article I was reading about the Maya," she admitted. "We tried to find out who you were but we didn't have any luck. This is amazing, isn't it guys?" she smiled.

They all agreed with her, the phrase "It's a small world* being bandied about.

"Since you know this area so well," Max spoke up, ceasing an opportunity, " are there any other caves of note around here? We're anxious to do as much exploring as possible while we're hear."

"There are many caves but most of them are small and insignificant. There are only a couple which are only slightly comparable to El Diablo, but unfortunately, they are visited only rarely, and would require much time just reaching them," he admitted, as he used the motion of machete chopping to make his point.

They took this news with disappointment and they walked on, hoping that at least they would find something of interest where they were headed. They soon came to a fork in the road. Chaac paused, as he stopped to point to his left. "That is the direction of one of the caves I was talking about. As you can see, the trail is very overgrown and it would take almost a full day just to reach it."

They trudged on, more eager than ever to reach their destination. In about ten minutes, they narrow path opened up into a large clearing and the El Diablo Grotto loomed ahead of them. It was larger than they had expected, its large mouth yawning wide as it beckoned them forward. A plaque stood outside the entrance. honouring those with its discovery. It also gave a brief description of the significance of the drawings inside.

They walked into the cool depths of the interior. The floor and walls were quite dry and the cave was very tall and deep. Before they had travelled 15 feet, they were required to retrieve their flashlights from their packs. The limestone walls had been treated with a preservative to halt the damages of time and exposure to the air that would otherwise destroy the irreplaceable drawings.Up until 50 years ago, the cave had been buried under mounds of earth, protecting the glyphs from the elements.

They scanned the walls, anxious to find some links with their past. Suddenly, Maria gave out a whoop of surprise, as she stood standstill in front of an area of the wall. She pointed excitedly to what she had found and the others came running over to her. They stood amazed as they eyed a very familiar symbol to all of them.....the Nasedo symbol. They quickly started studying the wall nearby and soon they were all snapping pictures as they eagerly recorded what they had hoped they would discover.

Chaac looked on with mounting interest. "Perhaps if you tell me what you are looking for, I may be able to help you locate it?" he offered stepping forward.

Too late, they realized their lapse in judgement.

"No, that's okay, thanks," Max spoke up. "We're just comparing these glyphs with some project we're working on," he hedged, as he went back to his task.

Chaac just nodded, accepting his explanation and left them to their work. Soon, they had finished scanning the walls and had found all the evidence they needed. They stepped back out into the warmth of the tropical sunshine, and sat down on some benches to have a light lunch. Chaac had brought his own food, as well, and they munched and talked like old friends.

The teens were curious about Chaac and his relatives, They all spoke such impeccable English, but they were embarrassed to ask why. As they talked, Chaac revealed the answer.

"My family have all been very fortunate to have attended a good school and we all finished our educations. We are paid very well for our services to the foundation, and I am saving my money so that I can attend University. I want to study Archeology," he said proudly. "Ahmok's daughter, Malinali, is only 15 but already she is accepted into a very prestigious preparatory school in Mexico City. She does not know yet what she will be focusing on, but she is very excited about going on to University, too."

The teens told him of their own interests and they discussed this at some length. Then, Chaac glanced up at the sky. Dark clouds were starting to form and he cautioned them to get there things together.

"We should hurry back to the site. I do not want to be caught out in the jungle when the rains come."


They hurried as they were told and followed him back along the path to the ruins. Just as they came out into the quad, the first large drops began to fall. They ran laughing to the staff shelter, thanking Chaac for his help. They found Brody inside, anxiously waiting for their return.

"Thank God you're back," he said with relief. "We're supposed to be getting the tail end of a tropical disturbance. I just heard the weather report. It's passing south of us, but they're expecting this area to be hit pretty hard anyway." The workers were scurrying outside pulling tarpaulins over their precious piles of rubble, which would soon be transported to the winter labs for inspection.

Very soon, the winds picked up, bending the large trees over as the rains whipped their trunks. The rain came down in sheets, obscuring their vision as it struck the windows of the small hut. The group sat slouched on couches waiting in boredom for the storm to abait. After two hours of pacing and napping, the clouds finally moved on, and they ran outside into a thick blanket of moist heavy air.

The workers were already pulling the tarps off, as they eagerly set about finishing their work. The rains would be coming more often now, and that didn't leave them much time to complete this phase of the project.

The kids had one more task they wanted to complete today. They desperately needed to find that jar that was causing such a stir. Brody had the same thing on his mind, and had had no luck so far. He mentioned this to Max, certain that he'd heard of the find too.

"You know, I tried getting some answers, but it's closed down around here like Fort Knox and nobody's talking! This is so frustrating! I finally hear of something that might help me, and now that I'm so close to finding the answer, I can't get near it!"

Max and the others felt so sorry for him. They really wanted to help since he had been so kind and generous to them. They decided that if they were successful in finding the jar, that they would leave him some information, discreetly. They set about doing their own sleuthing.


Max and Liz headed over to the Temple of the Sun, since that's where the discovety had been made. However, there was no sign of activity. The others had set off in various directions, combing the site for some clues. Isabel and Alex passed by a trailer where two armed guards stood sentinel. They scurried around to the back, and Alex boosted Isabel up to a small window that stood high on the outside wall.

When she came down, she was jumping with excitement.

"I saw three men standing around this old jar on a table. That must be it! We'd better go find the others," she said, as she and Alex ran off.

Their friends soon joined them and they told them what they found.

"I don't know how we're going to get inside, though," Isabel sighed. "Not with those two goons standing there!"

"Leave that to me." Tess spoke up confidently. "C'mon Kyle, I may need your help."

They scurried off in the direction of the trailer. Tess walked up casually to the guards and soon had successfully put a mind warp on them. They continued to gaze out over the compound, unaware of the teens who were gaining entry to the trailer.Tess then blocked the minds of the three scientists, as Maria and Michael began snapping pictures of the vase. When they had completed their task, they hurriedly left the confines of the trailer. Tess removed the mind blocks and strolled off again.

They had been very lucky today, and had gathered some interesting evidence. As soon they returned to the hotel, they would download all their photos onto the computer for safekeeping. Maybe Balam would be able to help them with deciphering the glyphs. Since they had about an hour to kill before Pakal came to pick them up, they decided to lie down on the grass and relax. They felt they'd done enough work for today, and deserved a break.

Maria lay down next to Michael, her head on his shoulder. She played with the buttons on his shirt as he talked to Max.

"So Maxwell, I think we did pretty good today, don't you?"

"Yeah, I'm real pleased with what we found," he agreed. "Now, if we can only figure out what it all means. You know, we finally have the evidence we came looking for, but it's still no good to us if we can't understand it!"

"Have faith, O Fearless One," Alex spoke up."Hell, I didn't expect us to get this far! I"m sure Balam will be able to steer us in the right direction," he spoke with assurance.

"Alex is right, Max," Isabel agreed. "I mean, look at what we've already learned from him. I'm amazed at what he's been able to straighten out for us. I think everything is starting to fit into place.....I really do!" she added with emphasis.

Liz lay next to Max on her side. She held his hands that were clasped across his chest and gave them a little squeeze. He squeezed her back in their silent communication.

"Jeez, you guys. How much more of this bellyachin' do I have to listen to?!" Kyle exasperated. "I just found out I'm a prince, or whatever, so I'm feelin' pretty darn good here," he beamed. "And we royals always get what we want," he kidded, as he started wrestliing with Tess. He gnawed on her neck as she giggled in delight, releasing some of the pent up tension in the group.

They laughed at their antics and started throwing blades of grass at them. Soon, an all out war of grass tossing ensued and they romped around like little kids with no cares in the world. Brody caught up with them as they rolled on the grass, giggling uncontrollably. He was glad to see them more relaxed.

"Time to go guys," he reminded them, as they gathered up their bags. They followed him to the dock, wiping grass off each other before they got in the boat. Pakal asked them how their day went and they told him of their trip to the cave. He seemed happy for them and chatted on about his young cousin and his future prospects.

They left him at the dock, returning to the hotel in a buoyant mood. They rushed up to their rooms to hand their cameras to Alex. He was going to spend some time downloading all their information, so that they'd have something new to give to Balam tonight. They showered before their evening meal and went downstairs to meet Brody and Carmen for dinner.

Part 14 | Index | Part 16
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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