TOMB HUNTER The Adventures of Larra Court Episode 2 Larra’s Mayan Adventure By L’Espion [email protected] Chapter 12 Larra Strikes Back Larra and Katie crept through the darkness of the camp. More than anything they both wanted to get as far away from the Nazis as possible, however they were both naked and escaping in that condition was a certain death warrant. “We’ve got to get some clothes,” whispered Larra. Dangerous as it was there was little choice, but to sneak through the camp. Surprisingly, considering how alert the Germans had been previously, there seemed to be very few sentries. The few that were around stayed close to kerosene lights, making them easily visible and just as equally avoidable. As a result they were able to make their way to Larra’s tent without being discovered. There they were able find clothing and dress themselves. Somehow the simple act of being properly dressed seemed to revitalize both of the battered women. It also helped that they were both motivated by a sense of determination to be avenged on their attackers. The next stop for the women was to properly equip themselves to go up against the Germans. Again, they found that task relatively easy. Incredibly, the tent containing the German expedition’s military supplies was also not guarded. It was a simple matter of helping themselves to what was there. Larra even found her own Browning .45 and her belt and holster neatly stored with the other gear. There were also boxes of hand grenades, rifles, and submachine guns. “Good Lord,” whispered Larra, “what is all this stuff for? It looks like they came to start a war.” “Your guess is as good as mine,” answered Katie. “Let’s load up and then get out of here.” “Yes,” agreed Larra, “it’s just a matter of choosing what we can comfortably carry.” Within a few minutes, they were on their way. Larra had strapped on her Browning, and had taken a submachine gun and a few grenades as well. Katie chose similar equipment, but chose a Mauser rifle instead. In a neighboring tent they found some military rations. They were not particularly tasty, but they were light and easy to carry. They stuffed their packs with as much as they thought they needed and then sneaked out of the camp. Less than an hour later both women had crossed the unattended bridge and were moving down the canyon. They moved as quickly as they could, which was not as fast as normal, considering their injuries. Larra realized that she and Katie would probably not catch up with the Germans tonight, they were simply not in good enough condition to overtake them. But, at least they were out of the camp. Now they needed to find somewhere to sleep and then move on in the morning. Two hours of tramping down the canyon brought them past the log bridge the Germans had created and on to the rockfall. It seemed like a good place to stop. Both women were feeling the results of their separate ordeals and were totally exhausted. Larra sought out the place where she had been trapped. It was large enough to hold both of them and relatively secure from discovery. Unless someone knew exactly where it was, they would not be likely to be discovered. It was a bit of a squeeze, but both women managed to crowd into Larra’s former prison. Now it offered security instead of entrapment. They were forced to sit against one another, but that was all to the good. It would help to keep them warm during the remainder of the night. They wolfed down a few rations, and then cuddling up to one another, fell asleep. The next morning, Larra awoke before the sun rose. It was cool in their shelter, but Katie’s body heat had helped keep her warm. Gently, Larra shook Katie awake. The two adventurers crawled out of their hiding place, attended to bodily functions, and then moved off, chewing on some tough crackers and sausage. It was not hard to follow the Germans, they had cut a great swath through the canyon, trampling down everything in their path as they marched. They had even made passage across the rockfall easy by blasting a great hole in it. The two women made better progress now. Their injuries still caused them considerable pain, but they were able to endure them better. Katie was thankful for the vigorous exercise regime that Larra had insisted she and Amy participate in. It had greatly increased her recuperative powers. An hour’s steady walking brought them to an area where the Germans seemed to have marched straight into the canyon wall. They followed, nevertheless, and soon discovered the tunnel entrance into the hidden valley. Both women were proceeding cautiously now, as it was obvious that the Germans were much closer. It was pitch black in the tunnel. Larra put down her pack. “Time to use my torch,” she said. “I think I will use a flashlight instead,” replied Katie smiling. Larra smiled back. “Yes,” she said. “There is a language barrier between Americans and the rest of the world.” She took out her torch or “flashlight” as Katie called it, replaced her pack, and crept carefully into the cave. The passageway seemed deserted, but both women moved stealthily. When the light at the end of the tunnel showed up, they turned off their lights and moved slowly forward. Near the cave exit they could hear voices speaking in German. Motioning Katie to stay back, Larra crept ever so slowly toward the sound. Just outside the cave were two armed men lounging in the sunlight and puffing on cigarettes. They were both facing away from the cave opening. Drawing her knife from her belt, Larra moved out into the light. The knife Larra held was a murderous instrument. Modeled on the original American Bowie knife, its blade was a full ten inches long and was sharpened to a razor edge. Katie watched in fascinated horror. Surely Larra was not going to use the knife on the two men! But she soon saw that she was. With a movement so quick and unexpected that Katie had a hard time following it, Larra leaped between the two men, who were standing about three feet apart. The knife flashed left and right, and then Larra leaped back. Almost simultaneously both Germans clutched at their throats, blood spurting through their fingers from their severed carotid arteries and then with a gurgle of frothy blood trickling from their mouths each man collapsed, kicking convulsively. Without a word, Larra stepped forward, and wiped the blood from the knife on the body of one of the dying Germans. Katie saw that when she turned toward her Larra’s face was white as chalk. Suppressing an urge to be sick Katie, stepped out of the cave. She was shaking with horror at what she had just witnessed. She had not expected such violence from Larra even though she knew that it was probably the only way. Larra was breathing heavily, her full bosom straining against her shirt. A thin sheen of sweat covered her face. Raising her right hand, she swept the droplets of perspiration from her eyes. She had not been sure that she would be able to take out the two guards. She had killed before, but never in quite that way. It left her a little shaken. However, she was faced with a ruthless and brutal enemy and was forced to fight at their level. She swallowed and turned to the trembling Katie. Seeing her consternation, Larra put her hand on her companion’s shoulder. “Are you alright?” she asked. Katie nodded, dumbly, unable to reply. In a choked voice Larra continued, “Some things just have to be done, Katie. Would you like to wait here while I go ahead?” Katie took a deep breath. “No,” she murmured, “I’m all right. Let’s go on.” Larra gave Katie a grateful look and then moved off. She had not wanted to use such savagery against the Germans, but shooting them would have been out of the question due to the noise. She had done what she had to. Larra and Katie began to head down the trail, and then stopped, completely dumbfounded. They had been concentrating on the German guards so strongly that it was the first time either of them had looked over the valley containing the lost Mayan city. “My God,” Larra whispered. “It’s a complete Mayan city. Who would have thought that such a place could hide for 400 years?” For a few minutes both women simply stared at the spectacular sight. Then reality intruded on them. From somewhere in the city came the sound of gunfire. They had to get going, and more quickly now they resumed moving down the trail. A few minutes later they came upon a second group of Germans. This time there were five of them, and they were operating a mortar, firing round after round into the city. “Bastards,” said Katie. “They find a marvel of the world and then go about destroying it.” “Yes,” said Larra, “but at least we don’t have to worry about being quiet. Just time your shooting for the explosion of the next mortar round.” Larra moved in on the Germans, making use of cover until she and Katie were within about 50 feet of them. Katie readied her rifle, and Larra flipped the safety off her submachine gun. “Whoomp!” Another mortar round exploded in the city. Larra and Katie opened up simultaneously. The five Germans operating the mortar were caught in a hail of lead. At this range neither Katie nor Larra could miss. A couple of the men standing by the mortar had a second or so to begin turning around, and then they died. Larra stepped among the dead and dying men. A quick look told her that it was not necessary to finish them off. This time she felt completely calm. She was getting used to this sort of thing. She motioned to Katie and continued toward the city. Katie followed, strangely exhilarated by the action but still shocked. This was a side of Larra she had never seen or expected. The woman was a ruthless killing machine. It was hard to believe that she was the same person that Katie had flown thousands of miles to join after reading of her exploits in Africa. That individual had been bold but compassionate; this one showed no mercy. “Perhaps,” Katie thought, “that’s the way it has to be. This is war after all.” The two women used the various buildings as cover. They were still heavily outnumbered, and there seemed to be more Germans in the city than Katie remembered. It became apparent that Katie had only observed a portion of the total numbers of the German expedition. Rounding a corner Larra and Katie came upon a scene that disgusted and horrified both of them. In a treed, park-like area of the city they stumbled upon six Germans. They were engaged in the rape of three Mayan women. Two of the women had been stripped naked and were being held down by one man while a second thrust into her helpless body. Since none of the captives was taller than about five feet, they could offer no resistance to their brutal treatment. The third victim was a young woman who had been stripped but not yet violated. She must have been captured last, because her rape had not yet begun, but she was already stripped and being held down by one of the Germans, while the other removed his trousers. The Germans were so intent on what they were doing that they did not notice Larra and Katie peering at them from the edge of the park. Larra had not intended to tackle each group of Germans that she encountered, there simply seemed to be too many of them. But this was different. After the ordeal that Katie and Larra had been put through there was no way that they could ignore what was going on. The problem was that there were other Germans close by. Using the tactics they had used to take out the mortar team would attract too much attention. Larra motioned Katie to cover her. Katie readied her rifle ready to take out any threat that Larra could not handle. Larra moved into the open, directly behind the two Germans who were assaulting the young girl. From a pouch in her belt Larra had removed several small objects. Katie recognized them as throwing stars, although she had never seen them used before. Larra’s right hand pulled back and then whipped forward. She was standing only about twenty feet behind the two Germans. The German struggling out of his pants suddenly straightened, his hands clutching at the back of his head. Katie saw with fascination and horror that the throwing star was fully imbedded in the back of the man’s skull. Soundlessly, the stricken German turned in a complete circle and then collapsed in a heap. The man holding the young girl leaped to his feet, his mouth opening to shout a warning, but Larra’s arm had already moved again, and a second throwing star caught him in the forehead. His shout became a scream as his hands tore at the object buried in his brain, and then he too collapsed. By now the other rapists were alerted, but it was difficult for the men actually engaged in the rape to disentangle themselves from their victims. The two men holding them, however, jumped to their feet, shouting warnings to one another, and grabbed for their weapons. They were too slow. Several more throwing stars were already on their way, moving faster than the eye could follow. None of the Germans thought to duck, or perhaps they did not even see the objects that were coming at them. In any case, they shared the same fate as the first two men. By now the last two men had gotten up from the women they had raped, but with their pants down around their ankles they made absurdly easy targets. One of them raised his hands to protect himself, and got his hand punctured for his efforts. Screaming he grabbed his injured hand and received a second throwing star between the eyes. He dropped without a sound. In less than ten seconds Larra had taken out six men. Katie had not had to fire a shot. Katie was getting used to the carnage. She suppressed her emotions and instead looked around for any other possible enemies. There were none. The action had occurred so quickly that there had not been enough noise to attract anyone else. But sooner or later these continual contacts with the enemy were bound to lead to their discovery. Now, however, Larra changed tactics. She and Katie were right next to one of the smaller temples, a pyramid-like building about 100 feet high. A steep flight of steps ran to the ceremonial platform on top of the building. Because these steps were on the opposite side of the building from most of the Germans Larra took a chance and charged up the steps. In the intense heat and humidity of Central America this was not an easy task. Both women were gasping and dripping with sweat by the time they reached to top. The top of the temple featured a chac mool altar at the center of the platform. Behind it was a tall wedged-shaped structure supported by four columns. Its inner recesses were draped with cotton hangings and a variety of ceremonial objects. It was deserted of people, and cautiously, Larra and Katie crawled to the opposite side of the temple platform, and peered over the edge. From here they could see all but the top of the tallest temple. It would help them to plan what to do next. Most of the fighting that was going on between the Germans and the Maya seemed to be on the edge of the city farthest away from them. It appeared that most of the people of Waca Chan had fled the city as the Germans advanced. From the rather sporadic sounds of the shooting, it seemed that the battle was almost over. The Maya, unable to cope with modern weapons, had been cut to pieces by the Germans and had fled the city. “It was very much like the conquest of the Aztecs by Cortes and the Spanish army,” Larra thought. Only the Germans had considerably more firepower than the Conquistadors had. Larra did a quick count. There seemed to be about seventy or eighty Germans in total. It was difficult to be sure due to the numerous buildings that interfered with her line of sight. Larra pulled out a small pair of binoculars and scanned the troops she could see, looking for Schroeder. He is the key, she thought. If he can be taken out, German resolve might weaken. She picked him up near what appeared to be a palace. It was a large one-story building right next to the tallest temple. Larra guessed that it was probably a palace for the ruler of the city. Schroeder and the soldiers gathered there appeared to be making a final assault. While Larra and Katie watched, the Germans charged in. For about ten minutes there was the sound of intense firing. Then everything went quiet. A few soldiers came out of the building, but most of those who had gone in remained hidden. Either they had been killed, or they were still inside the complex somewhere. One of the Germans who came out began blowing a whistle. From the various parts of the now almost deserted city Schroeder’s men began to come in, congregating on the palace. Larra began to formulate a plan. She and Katie waited for about half an hour and then slipped down the temple by the same stairs they had come up. Then moving from building to building they closed in on the blind side of the palace. With the solid construction of the building between them and the Germans, it was not difficult to avoid being seen and they arrived at the base of the building undetected. Larra was thankful that the Maya had not mastered the art of the window. Every building had at least one blind side. Sheltering at the base of the building, Larra removed her trusty rope from her pack. The top of the building was surrounded by a frieze that featured several raised figures. It was only a short toss of the rope to snag one of the figures, and only the work of a few minutes to clamber to the roof of the palace. Once on the roof, Larra helped Katie climb up beside her. Crawling on their bellies to keep their silhouettes as low as possible, Larra and Katie slid toward the edge of the roof overlooking the inner courtyard. As they neared the edge, they could distinctly hear the sound of a woman shrieking in agony. The two women looked at each other. Despite the distortions created by the screams, they knew that voice. “Amy!” they mouthed to one another.