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
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.
|They all scrambled into the boat excitedly to spend their first full day at the site. Liz and Max sat up near the front, oblivious to everyone else as they cuddled together, watching the landscape drift by. Every once in a while he would smile down knowingly at her and she would return his smile, nuzzling his shoulder.
Once she whispered something into his ear and he burst out laughing, disturbing, for a moment the regular jungle chatter.The others looked up at them curiously, but they didn't even notice as they sat wrapped up in each other. Too soon, the launch pulled up to the rickety dock and they all disembarked.
The kids had decided that they would start with the wall at the Temple of Inscriptions since it was what they were most familiar with. Brody had other things in mind. They were met by Ahmok, Pakal's brother. The teens told him their plans, and he nodded saying he would be available if they had any questions. They thanked him and went off to begin their task.
Ahmok led Brody to the Temple of the Sun, where he had planned to start his investigations. He found it curious that he and Max's friends had reached the same conclusions he had about the Maya, at about the same time. It just spurred him on in his attempts to discover the roots of his abduction.
He was still under the mistaken impression that Max was also an abductee. He had no idea that he and three of his friends were actual aliens. They felt badly about misleading Brody since he had been so kind to them, but they couldn't take any chances in telling him......not yet anyway.
The teens stood in front of the enormous wall and contemplated their next move. They determined that they would never be able to read all of the glyphs on the wall. For one thing, it was too high and since they could only read just above eye level, they would have to be satisfied in reading what they could. It was never their intention to read all the glyphs anyway. They were just trying to prove some sort of connection between their race and the Maya, that existed 5000 years ago. If they could find just a few samples that were even remotely similar, they would be satisfied.
They decided to divide the wall into 20 foot sections, which would give them a better chance to collaberate, as well as increase their safety factor concerning any wildlife that may wander by. They worked steadily throughout the early part of the morning, and by 10:30, they had all completed their assigned sections. Each of them had a short list of symbols that were all very similar to the 35 alien symbols they were now already familiar with.
They sat down on the grass to take a short break and to have a snack. No one had come across the familiar Nasedo necklace symbol, and they were a little disappointed at this.They had taken pictures with their digital cameras that Brody had kindly given all of them as gifts. His generosity knew no bounds! The digital cameras were particularly useful to them because now they wouldn't have the added worry of lost or stolen film.....as long as they didn't lose their cameras!
"So what's our next move Fearless Leader?" Maria joked as she munched on some grapes.
Max thought this over for awhile. "We could continue with what we're doing, but I have to admit, I'm getting a little bored with staring at that wall. Anybody got any suggestions?" he looked around the group.
Tess spoke up. "Why don't we split up into pairs and cover more ground, Max? As you said, we've covered some of the wall, and we seem to keep coming up with the same kind of thing. Maybe if we take in more of the compound, we'll get a better all around look at the place."
"I have to agree with Tess," Liz stated. It's like that old saying *You can't see the forest for the trees*. I think we have to step back and get a look at the whole picture."
They all seemed to agree with this and they divided the team into pairs. To avoid unnecessary distraction, they decided to split up their partners into the following:
Liz and Michael
They took off in opposite directions, dividing the quad into four. Liz and Michael headed towards the Temple of the Cross, a small insignificant building sitting on a high rise, facing west towards the Otulum River. They climbed the slope and stood facing the structure. It could hardly be called a building, for the smallest amount of reconstruction had been carried out on it. The jungle growth had been cleared away, and some of the walls had been exposed, but that was the extent of the work thus far.
They noticed a white haired gentleman sitting on the south side of the temple, concentrating on assembling what looked to be pieces of jade. They walked over quietly so as not to disturb his work and he looked up as he heard their approach, standing and smiling as he introduced himself.
"I'm pleased to meet you Liz and Michael. I'm Ted Ingram. What brings you young people here today?"
They made up the plausible excuse they had all agreed upon......that they were on an informal school trip, working on a project concerning the Maya. He nodded, accepting their explanation. He asked them how much they knew about the civilization and they gave him a brief rundown on what they had studied so far. He was impressed with their research.
"Well, I've been with the project since it began three years ago, so if you have any questions I can either answer them for you, or point you in the right direction. As you can see, I've been having the dickens of a time trying to put these jade pieces together. I think it may be a funeral mask, but who knows?" he shrugged.
They were delighted to hear this and launched into an assault of many questions. He held up his hands and laughed.
"I tell you what. Let me tell you about what we think life may have been like back then. Before the Europeans came, they had been a very successful race. The Europeans were so impressed with them that they called them the Phoenicians of the New World. They were compared to the Greeks for their science, to the Romans for their well drained paved roads and extensive acqueduct systems and to the Egyptians for their pyramids," he said as he waved his hand towards the impressive Temple of Inscriptions.
"At their peak, as many as 4000 canoes traded on the water at any one time, dealing in wax, honey, salt. furs, feathers, jade, cotton and slaves.Their trade routes stretched as far as Panama. It is very hard to compare the ancients to the modern day Maya who are forced to live under such restricive conditions," he shook his head sadly. He went on to discuss aspects of their daily lives and their relationship with their rulers and priests.
They thanked him for his time, realizing that he could stand here lecturing to them all day on his favourite topic, so they excused themselves and let him return to his work. They circled the north wall of the structure and saw many glyphs inscribed on its surface. An owl was prominently featured in the middle of the wall and was a symbol for the underworld. Directly below it was a diagram of a canoe in which was seated a man of some stature, who held his left wrist to his forehead in the typical Maya death gesture.
"They sure were focused on death weren't they?" Michael muttered.
Liz agreed with him. Then they came to the symbol of a turtle, which represented the flat earth surrounded by water.
"Michael, do you remember that story we read about the king who stabbed his penis with a stingray spine while standing on a turtle....it was some kind of ritual bloodletting ceremony? God, that is so gross! And then the poor Queen had to pull a thorny rope through a hole in her tongue. Eeew! I am so glad I didn't live back then!" Liz exclaimed.
"Me too! I hate needles!" he shuddered.
Liz whacked him on the arm and then went back to studying the wall. After awhile they grew tired of their task and decided to leave . They had found nothing of significance and so they walked back down the slope, waving goodbye to Ted as they did so.
Isabel and Kyle stood at the steps of Temple XXII. It sat at the bottom of a slope that rose to the riverbank beyond. Kyle looked up at the impressive structure, one of the few that had been fully restored.
"Wow." he whistled. "I wouldn't mind owning a piece of that real estate."
Isabel laughed. "Kyle, I never took you for a temple kind of guy. What is it? All those columns or that open air feeling," she giggled, pointing to the roofless structure.
"No, I was thinking more of those harem girls dancing around in their skimpy costumes," he grinned.
"Wrong hemisphere, wrong continent, bonehead," she rolled her eyes, as she slapped him on the arm. "C'mon. Let's see what we can find."
They climbed the many steps to the floor above. They started scanning the walls and the columns for anything familiar. Isabel was intent on inspecting an intricate carving when Kyle called out to her.
"Hey, Iz, c'mere!"
She ran over to where he sat on the floor, pointing to a symbol he'd found on the apron of an altar.
"Doesn't that squiggle look like one of the symbols?"
She peered more closely at it and sighed.
"It's hard to tell. Here, why don't I draw the thing and you take a picture. Maybe we can show it to one of the archeologists and he can tell us what it is."
They set about making a copy of the etching and then continued their search for more matching symbols.
"Kyle, I don't think we're gonna find anything else here now. Why don't we catch up with the others and see if they've found anything?"
She turned to leave, when she heard a cry from Kyle, and when she turned back, she was just in time to see him falling over the back edge of the temple to the water's edge below.She ran back to see what had happened and when she looked over the side, she gasped in horror. Kyle lay on a pile of rubble below, and there were two caiman on the shore a few hundred feet away, swishing their tales and snapping their jaws as they readied themselves for a human snack.
She sailed over the side and raced down the slope, but in her haste, she caught her foot on a vine and went tumbling down the hill to the rocks below. She groaned as she felt her bruised side and looked up in terror at the approaching reptiles. She raised her hand to blast them away, but her powers had been weakened by the fall, and she lay there helplessly, waiting for certain death.
"HELP!" she cried out. MAX! SOMEBODY HELP! Omigod! We're gonna die," she sobbed.
The sounds of her cries caught the attention of four other caiman who had been basking on the opposite shore. They swam across the river in search of a meal. They advanced on the two helpless humans, their scaly skins and huge claws glinting in the sun. One had reached the rock pile and she started hurling rocks at it, to keep it at bay, but it was no use.
Just as she was about to give up hope, the advancing creature was hit by a blast which stopped it dead in its tracks. Five more blasts rang out and very soon, they were no longer a threat. Max and Michael ran up to the sobbing girl. Max took his sister in his arms to comfort her while Michael held her by the shoulders. Kyle still lay unconscious on the pile of rubble.
The others came running and stood in shock at what they saw. Tess ran immediately to Kyle to check on his condition, while Alex scooped up Isabel in his arms, as she sobbed hysterically.
"Oh Alex," she cried shaking in his arms. "I thought we were going to die!"
"Sssh," he crooned to her, rubbing her back. "I'ts okay now, muffin."
Tess looked at the gash on Kyle's forehead which was still bleeding badly. She brought her hand to his head and touched the spot, healing the seeping wound. Max came over to them and kneeled down by his side.
"Are you okay, buddy?" he asked with concern. He started checking him for broken bones but found his body to be intact.
Kyle looked at him, dazed and just nodded.
"I think you'll live," Max grinned. "Here, let me help you up."
He pulled Kyle up from the rubble and left him to Tess's ministrations.
Isabel crept over to him and hugged him to her tightly.
"I'm so sorry Kyle....I don't know what happened. My powers wouldn't work," she sobbed brokenly.
"It's okay Iz. We're both alright now, and that's the main thing, right?"
She nodded as she wiped her eyes.
Meanwhile, Liz and Maria stood clutching each other and glancing around nervously for any signs of reptiles.
The air was filled with the putrid odour of burnt carcasses, and they gagged as they breathed it in.
"Max. you're gonna have to get rid of them," Liz retched as she held her hands over her nose.
Max and Michael went about the task of disposing of the evidence by tossing them into the river. Then everyone made their way up the lower end of the slope, which was easier to navigate, and returned to the quad area in front of the Temple of Inscriptions .
They met Brody as he returned from his morning with Ahmok, exploring the Temple of the Sun. He asked them how there morning had gone and if they had found anything interesting.
"Not much," Michael said. "We just met some interesting wildlife."
|Part 2 | Index | Part 4
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