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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:20 am    Post subject: CHAPTER (4) THE HIGHWAYMAN #12 EDITED 7/01/10 #13 #14 END Reply with quote


Rain greets the evening with admirable regularity. The rain wakes Coagula. He waits and hopes the soldiers in the taproom depart. The packet from Garcia is on the table. To wait out the soldiers, who wait out the storm, he reads -

top view
14O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O=O beach
24XXXXX##### O ########O#

Diagram Key
= water-#empty ground-O small ruin
X jungle-[[[[[]]]]center temple base
o pylons- E entrance

You have landed at "=O="(LINE 14) the row of temple ruins at the very edge of shore and from the Menu, choose ATTACK CITY.
Your goal is land a pirate or buccaneer unit on the space marked "E". This space is the entrance to the 1st level of the pyramid. (Two pylons like those that admit you into the "Hidden City" decorate "E")
FOUR units of Amazon archers(mobility 3 - force factor = to indian archers) volunteered to join you. They cannot stand on "E"

Enemy units are archers and scouts. Distant Indian villages may send reinforcements who enter from the jungle. Indians may never stand on "E".

Losing the fight returns you to the lagoon. You must replay LOST LAGOON to get to the beach.The Menu ATTACK or DON'T ATTACK allows you to begin the struggle again.Another defeat will return you to the sea.
If you win this battle you are transported to the 1st level of the pyramid
the "PLATFORM OF PYLONS",at the north entrance (H) of the Tower.

South - North Cross Section @ E

The rain lets up and I goes down stairs. The soldiers are on their way out. At the door the Captain, an Effinger, reminds me of his special desire, he wants me, the arms trader to obtain a rare pistol, one that has a spring loaded bayonet. I've only seen one, belonging to Black 'one eye ' Jack. The Captain nuzzles Bess' ear and she gurgles fondly, smiling at me, the tease. Is it a pang of jealousy? I should like to kill this captain. Before I do he follows his men out.
New drizzle keeps the ' regulars ' away. Tim and Coagula sit at a corner table. By now it's a familiar tableau. Bess reading to them from the Log of Thanatos, sitting on Coagulates lap.
The wind rises, pelting new rain to rattle against the windows. Bess stiffens, rises, and goes to the kitchen.
Tim- I wish I was Thanatos... or with him, on his crew.
C.-- Then you'd be a blood-thirsty sea dog, you who know horses so well.
Tim-I wish I could change my life, leave this place. I'd do anything, even pirate.
C.-- A killer, your not.
Tim- I could go with you, be helpful, carry your bags, see to your comforts while your on these trading trips.
I'm thinking Tim as a matelot, has he got the stuffing? Could he fit in a crew?
C.-- Could you live on water and biscuit as sometime need be?
Tim- And grog, rummy water in the evenings, I could.
C.-- My rules for young, apprentice seamen are very rigid. My apprentices are not to use swearing, or blaspheming, haunting evil women, carding, dicing, using ruffs or lace in their shirts.
Tim- I can bear all that.
C.-- And if you should be found guilty, be punished by whipping, openly, in sight of the assembled company!
Tim- Yes.. I guess.. Yes
C.-- With breeches dropped, bare ass-Ed !
Tim- Bare ass-ed ?
C.-- Compliant and seek no revenge.
Tim- I can !
C.-- Could you be mum with me secrets, me trading secrets, lad ?
Tim- I'm very trustworthy, sir, I swear.
C.-- Then here be your first task, Tim. Get my gear from upstairs and stow it up in the hayloft.
We both rise, him to the stairs and me to the door for I have to let water. 'Tis raining hard outside. I turn into the courtyard for a wall. 'Tis raining hard outside. I turn into the courtyard for a wall. The rain spatters circles on the puddled cobbles. I'm near the downspout over pouring its' rain-barrel. The laundry, limp sags on the lines. Wot's that past the sheets? Dim light from the kitchen defines two figures a-huggin' an' kissin' so concentrated, they didn't hear me... well, the rain and all.. AYE- 'Tis Bess and that rider with the glinting silver, abundant.
"Bess", I gasps without thinking and they part immediately. I'll kill him. He drops a mask from inside his hat and walks quickly past me. Brusquely bumps me aside and off balance, " Good evening to you" as he walks away laughing. I'm after him, " Hold varlet !" He runs, laughing. We're splashing in the puddles. He is faster. I reach up to one of the dangling sign sticks and throw it to trip him. It clatters on the cobbles. He's laughing.... I give up the chase. Bess closes behind me and whispers, " I'm sick of this place " her breath and the hum of her shivers me timbers,"Take me with you! "

Last edited by Coagula on Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Later, a soft rain, gentle, more like a heavy mist. Coagula rides inland toward the twin twin peaks to his rendezvous. He waits in a patch of trees off the road, sagging in the saddle. Soon a horseman approaches and takes the trail to him. He readies the packet, his notes of this town, to give to the messenger, to relay to L'Olonnais. It's the rider in black, with the silver studs ! His lips curl to a smile beneath the mask.
"What mischief is this SirHa." Coagula reaches to the mask and tears it off. The man made no move to stop him. The man seems familiar. Coagula's mind searches. The young man smiles. Coagula tortures his memory. The high cheekbones, a handsome semblance of Tartary, " You be Montalbans son."
The young man laughs. "You're mistaken. It's me, Montalban, in the flesh!"
"This cannot be ! "
" I found it ! "
" The Fountain of Youth ? "
" I've been there ! I revealed all to Garcia."
" He has written to me of it. "
"Written to many, I'm sure."
"And you're a pirate."
"Since Thanatos gave me the writ ."
" And whatever happened to him ?"
" He married Carlotta and now governs Gran Granada !" They laugh.
" But what do you here, Montalban? "
" My men are camped deep in the mountains. We mean to ambush the Silver Train. "
" AHhh, so that's what's afoot. 'Twasn't my spying, or simple paranoia, that's causing all the military hustling. The Silver Train is making ready ! I'll join you."
" Nay, L'Olonnais wants an assembly, wants to attack Maracaibo ."
" Then my mission here was a waste. "
"Not such a waste, There is Bess. "
"Yes Bess, she says she loves me. "
"She says the same to me. "
"Arrr, I'm not finished with her. "
" Arrr, nor I, but is she happy when she is with the man she loves OR loves the man she's with. ?" They laugh.
" Well then here is the packet, the report of my spying. " Montalban makes no move to take it. I let it fall into the mud.

The rain has stopped. The road is a ribbon in the moonlight. Coagula returns to the inn. He finally understands the signal code. The sticks dangling freely means there's troopers afoot and he's in no mood for troopers. Looking through the window to find Bess, that's all he sees, troopers. Her father is doing the serving. The sodden, besotted soldiers don't seem very happy. He goes to the stable, unsaddles his horse and climbs the ladder to the hayloft.

Before I reach the top of the ladder I note a light in the hayloft; a candles light. I finish the ladder quiet-like. There's Tim, reading my papers, trustworthy Tim. I'll not disturb him. I'll creep silently, closer. Tim, so absorbed in reading 'Platform of Pylons' page from Garcias' letter is not aware of my approach. I'll let him finish the page, heh heh.

Top View - Roof of the Pyramid Base
H=Tower entrance
O=Pylons-#= Open Aisles

The Big Central Pyramid is like a wedding cake. The base layer of the cake is a squat wide square. The entrance is on the SOUTH side. When you stand on space "E" you are in. The second "layer' is a tall, rectangular but tapering tower. The entrance to this tower is on the NORTH side. Standing on space "E" automatically escalates you to the space in front of the entrance (H) of the tower. You must circuit the tower BACK to this space to enter the tower. So, the tower is in the center of the base, surrounding the tower, projecting up from the roof of the base like stalagmites are PYLONS. The same as the pylons that you must find and stand in front of before you climb that hill and get the Aztec, or Maya etc. gold. They are not randomly placed. Their files and ranks echo the geometry of the temple complex, the surrounding smaller temple ruins. These pylons are tall and big enough to hide behind.
This is a "sneaking" mini-game. It is night. Indians, with torches held high patrol the aisles between the pylons. You avoid the guards by hiding behind pylons or incapacitating them. You must circuit around this platform and return to this same spot(H) to gain the next level. If you fail this test you will get one chance more. Fail again and you are returned to the river's delta.

Succeed and you will meet HURACAN!

From behind I pounce, hold Tim immobile, and hiss into his ear,"What's this Tim, the moment I'm away you turns to betrayal? These are my secrets Tim. I must kill you now."
"No master, no" he struggles in my tight embrace. I hear a humming. I'm close to my craving. The pulse at his ear is humming. I carve my teeth into his neck. The blood buzzes my brain. My craving is, as I suspected, for the taste of it, the life in it. I suck his blood through my tender teeth. I feel him go lax. He arches his neck inviting me deeper. He feels the generous giving of a mother to a suckling babe. I know this for I have entered his mind. The wound is a gate-way, his blood is the path. I follow the path to his memories. Pictures from his minds eye transport to me; pictures of Bess ! 'The Scroll of Bess' unrolls. Bess with men, all sorts of men. Let not your imagination wander too freely. there's nothing of smut. She's aserving tankards so frequent, galleons might sail on such oceans of ale, 'tis no wonder the courtyard stinks so. She winces at a playful pinch, and here she wards off a grope, all drunkard fun. Next she obliges a lap, and joins in a song. There're clapping and pounding mugs to the tables while she dances and her father dotes. All noted by all sorts of spying has Tim collected. Tim the voyeur, the jealous voyeur, never daring to come close to her... O...There's me and Bess on the bed reading and more, she straddles me holding my wrists against the pillows, the picture is framed by the window. Ahh,,here ..She is bathing in the river, and Tim like King David spying Bathsheba, feels passion rising, rushing, and I feel it too, in the blood, rushing, spilling o'er his neck. Ay'ym about fullup and tire of Tims' anguished timidity.
The blood has satisfied my thirst. Satiated, my teeth retract into sheaths in my mouth, along-side my nose. "Get thee to that corner, Tim", I command, " and don't dare move till I call you." Past understanding what has transpired he crawls to where I've waved. There is activity outside. A soldier binds the 'Hoe Sticks' together. More find places to hide in the courtyard, they merge into the shadows. 'Tis a trap! Candle light flickers in my room above. Soldiers drag Bess in and bind her to the bed post. I imagine their rude remarks. They gag her. Jesting, they lace a musket against her. Its muzzle beneath her breast. Two kneel by the casement muskets ready. I can see Bess struggle against the ropes, but they held. I can see her stretching her hand, her finger till it reaches the trigger.
On cue comes a rider, comes Montalban and before I can shout a warning the musket at Bess' breast shattered the night. His horse rears and he flees. But back the madman spurs, waving his rapier, a glittering moonlit blur, and charges into the courtyard. Muskets bark from all directions. His horse is killed. The soldiers surround him.
"Here's your test, Tim", I toss him a pitchfork, "Follow me." We leap from the hayloft shouting like a dozen. Surprised by our attack from the rear, the soldiers milled, confused. Tim with the pitchfork was a fearsome sight and they backed away. He was in the open and three meant to surround him. He swung the pitchfork widely, a five pronged rogue tusker, and they wisely kept distance. Footsteps behind me- I turn and fire- the sheets spring luminous- he drops, shot in the head. Tim backs a red Effinger to the wall while warding off the other two. I, to the man against the wall, smash my pommel to his temple- I can see the imprint, a flying horse, my insignia made- my Pegasus- Both were surprised when that pitchforked into the belly- the guts spilled grey, pink, shiny and steaming - he crawled away trying to stuff them back. 'Twas Tims first kill and now he'd gone mad. I threw my empty pistol at the third and Tim jabbed him in the thigh, so he was down. On the other side of a sheet, a mans boots showed- running- I thrust right through the sheet and felled him- By mutual agreement the soldiers retired in haste to the comforts of the tavern. Montalban, among a litter of corpses salutes me with his rapier and leaves. Tim gathers my gear and we're off to my ship, 'Abattoir'.
I do not know what premonition guided my longboat up the river to fetch me, 'twas timely certain. Sleeping Dog was in the bow. Tim and I passed my gear to him and we were off with muffled oars. Avoiding all contact with any on the road we floated downstream in comfort.
Before we depart I see the woodcarver, Stromboli and commission him to make a new sign for the tavern,"Broken Hoe", as follows. A soldier kneels before an aproned barmaid-his head is held high by a pointed stick she holds under his chin- her other hand holds the hoe part upraised- ready to strike off his red haired head.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


I curse myself for not shouting a warning before Bess... did what she did. Was it my fault? I spend hours mourning, thinking of her, I was prepared to start all over with her not because of the kissy- face but the the way she stood in the river doing the wash and standing like a caryatid, that is how I remember her... Bess best.
We're off to join L'Olonnais, to sack Maracaibo, The crew is eager for this enterprise, having spent all their coin on drinking, dicing and doxies. The wind has spirt and the sails are full. We have a new cook, great with fried fish, Sleeping Dog. To look after my comforts is matelot Tim. He's practicing my first lesson of fencing-extend your arm, lunge. Extend first,Tim, I constantly remind. It must become second nature, then we can get to the clanging.
'Tis perfectly time to read the last page of Garcias' letter, and what last struggle remains at the Fountain of Youth


Named after the feared Indian god of winds HURACAN has the strength of storms.
You have run the night gamut of pylons, around the tower and by landing on space (H) are now inside it, in NIGHT, total darkness. No floor, no walls all is black, a LIMBO studded with stars. You seem to be floating. There is firmament beneath your feet but it is transparent. The stars spin like a slow turning mirror ball. Like a drunken dancer, in a ballroom you, wobble. Advancing toward you, like a named pirate, comes indigo tinted HURACAN! A red headband matches his breechcloth. Built like a tree, like Marvel's HULK, his ankles,thighs,waist and arms, every part of him is thick.
Brandishing an obsidian studded club,he only lacks the thrust. You choose your weapon and perhaps duel your best but the impact of his club sends it out of your grip! The mirror ball stars turn faster and,behold, a new, different sword in hand. Fighting continues defeat is not ordained, but a time may come when this weapon, too, is struck from from your hand. Stars circle faster. Perhaps it's this last blade that will turn the tide, retreat, attack, into the breech, victory's not certain, but not out of reach. A swipe of the club sails your last weapon to the madly, circling stars. A new you, infused with vibrations from the Ax/key of Solomon you hold in hand! A new hope! The beast is slower and for you the reverse, you duck, jump and parry with flip - thrusts. This skill you must quickly master, while the stars are still spinning yet faster and faster. In the eye of whirling star storm the indian is forced back, and again back, and fades into a whiteness that was once black.
If you fail in this duel you are returned to the lagoon. Success transports you to a pink dawn at top of the pyramid. This top is not a platform at all. You're standing on the lip of a squared funnel. HURACAN stands on the lip of the side opposite you. Peering down into this slab sided cavity you see, far below, a pool of water. HURACAN LAUGHS ! Without hesitation you flip and swan dive into the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH!
The rippling surface flattens , and reflects your face. You're a boy! the boy who- the pool ripples again and displays a montage of vignetted memories- the boy who lifts his glass at his family's feast, who sees armed strangers surround the table, who feels the hand on his shoulder, who watches, in the rain, as the prison wagon is loaded...
High above, at the top edge HURACAN LAUGHS !

The posting "BOY" describes his game play.

Here CONCLUDES the tale of " COAGULA AT THE ISTHMUS". Next month Coagula marches on, meeting heroes to bury in graves and fools for holes in the ground - " KING and CROWN"
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