A few years ago, a group of people on an adventure trip were able to find the lost city of Llactapata. It had originally been discovered by Hiram Bingham when he discovered the lost city of Maccu Pichu. They reported their findings to the government. When they came back the following year to do more clearing on the land, they discovered the nearly perfect building had been looted and destroyed by people looking for gold.
The only thing that the government is interested in is the value these places as a tourist attraction. The government has been asked to post guards on this site, but as of a few years ago, nothing had been done.
Laapidary is a term used to describe craftsmen who are highly skilled in stone work or jewelry. The ancient Incas are as good as any the world has ever know for their work on these structures.
Gabriella was excited, nervous and somewhat uneasy. Her husband was the curator for a big museum at the local college. Maybe she had been right about him all along. Now maybe her parents would see him in a better light. Gabriella had normally dated a bunch of "bad boys" in high school and college. She had been burned out with all of their maniacal egos; their endless flirtations with other women and sexual demands.
Gabriella had taken a whole new direction with her personal life after she had started working. During a guided tour of the local college archeological museum, she had been approached by the tour guide, which unknown to her was the museum curator. Gabriella was twenty two at the time, and he was almost twenty years older. He was not a particularly athletic looking man. He was a studious man. She had gone out with him reluctantly on a casual basis. She was not that excited when he proposed to her. She had decided to marry him for a number of dubious reasons. One was that she needed to change the direction of her social life from being on the back of a Harley, to the passenger seat of a BMW. She needed to change from constantly being on the verge of eviction, to the five-acre lot in the suburbs that took most of the weekend on a riding mower to maintain.
Her parents weren't that wild about the prospects of a son-in-law that didn't know how to change the oil in his own car. He didn't know how to over-seed the lawn, or spray for Henbit. Gabriella didn't care. She could do all that. For the first time in her life, she had some sort of stability in her life. Her disappointing romantic and sex life seemed to take a lower priority when their daughter Stephanie came along. They had a common interest now, or at least, so she thought.
When the news came that her husband Brad was going to have a full semester sabbatical; and that they were going to Peru to search for Llactapata.
In 1911 Hiram Bingham had published his archeological findings for Maccu Picu and Llactapata. The world has since recognized the findings for Maccu Picu as one of the outstanding discoveries of architecture. However, nobody had been able to find Llactapata since then. Was this place a myth? Were the bearings he gave to this other city wrong? Brad had to find out.
He had spent several summers examining other documents and writings of others who had tried to find it. He had been on air searches where they had spent months gridding off the mountainous area searching for the lost city. The cloud cover was too dense for aerial searches to be effective. Years of studies of maps from Google Earth had turned up nothing.
Gabriella felt some sense of vindication for her choice in husbands. Their daughter, Stephanie was devastated. She was going to spend the summer before her freshman year climbing mountains in the middle of savages. There would be no cell coverage, no satellite coverage, no bathrooms and no friends. She was just getting old enough that her parents would consider letting her date. She was just old enough at fourteen, to get a learners' permit.
Gabriella knew that in time she would have memories to last a lifetime.
Brad had spent lots of time collecting maps of the area. He had GPS devices for everybody. He had satellite phones for everybody. He had a laptop and flash drives for information and photographs. He was all set.
They flew to Florida and caught a connecting flight to La Paz, Bolivia. Brad had spent a lot of time analyzing the route. He knew that his wife and daughter were very fit from their miles of jogging.
From La Paz, they took a four hour train to Cusco. Walking along the world famous Inca Trail was an incredible experience. The 28-mile hike took them past villages, forests, valleys, and mountains, and was an excellent way to taste the flavor of the local culture. The Inca Trail hike took about four days and was a memorable and unique way to experience this world wonder. This Sacred Valley tour combined the Inca trail with visits from Cusco to Machu Picchu.
Once Stephanie got over the mosquito bites, she had a wonderful time sending back pictures of the trip and posting stories of her experiences on her Facebook page for her friends.
Once they climbed the trail to the top of Machu Picchu, the clouds seemed to part and they seemed to be magically transported back a thousand years. They could feel the presence of the villagers, chipping the stones, pushing them into place and caring for the crops along the terraces.
Brad took out his transit, binoculars and lots of other digital equipment and compared the readings to the old maps and new pictures from Google earth. Gabriella and Stephanie spent several days exploring the area while Brad spent most of the time trying to get bearings from different parts of the mountain.
Brad had almost a mystical look on him when he said they were leaving. Gabriella was sad to hear they were leaving. Once they got to the bottom of the mountain, Brad got rid of most of their equipment. They could get water at many places. They took lots of small light packages of Jerky and a few clothes. It was going to be several days of brutal climbing, and they needed to pare down their supplies as much as possible. Each had a gun, machete, and backpack.
Brad was secretive about where they were going. He did not want them discussing anything in public. They took a short train ride down the valley. Brad had seen something on Google Earth that he wanted to check out.
They got off the train about ten miles down the valley. They took two days to climb another mountain. It was hard brutal work to climb and hack their way up the vine covered granite outcroppings. They sat down for rest about two hundred feet from the top. Stephanie was hot and tired. She jabbed around in the ground with her machete. She dug up a small rock and threw it over the side, trying to hit the river below.
When she picked up another one, Brad stopped her before she threw it down. He took it and looked at it. There were chips in it. Somebody had already been using tools on this rock. He dug around some more and found more tailings to indicate somebody had been working on these rocks and they had fallen from higher up.
Brad was almost whipping the women to get them to the top of the mountain. They were beginning to see foot holds carved in the stone. When they got to the top, there was nothing there.
Or, was there? In a sense, you could see that the top may have once been round or of a different contour. Part of the peak still looked like it was what was left of a mountain top that was left after the rest had been cut down. It was hard to see because of some of the trees, but the part they were standing on was essentially a plateau of about the size of two football fields. It was much flatter than the surrounding mountain tops that they could make out through the mist and clouds.
He could see how the mountain top may have been terraced back from the edges to trap rain and moisture from the higher un-cut peak that was left over.
Brad sat down to go over his maps. He got out his binoculars to see if he could see Machu Picchu from where he was. Stephanie was again getting bored and started hacking on some large vines out of frustration. Something white seemed to be glittering in the sun. Gabriella walked over out of curiosity. The two women began hacking at some of the brush along the side of the mountain. They soon found that they were exposing large chunks of granite with tool marks in them.
Gabriella brought her husband over. "That's it." He screamed as he hugged the two bewildered women. They spent the next two weeks clearing the plateau they were on. Soon it was clear. They had found Llactapata. It was close to the bearings given by Hiram Bingham, but his bearings were off from the current satellite bearings.
During the weeks they were there, they found that they had uncovered a large granite cube, about twenty four feet square, but there did not appear to be any doors or windows out of it. They soon found that Brad's initial perceptions were correct; that the main topography had been contoured to trap water which drained into a deep cistern at the center.
They did not have to do much climbing for a couple of weeks, so Gabriella and Stephanie did not have to wear the heavy jeans and long sleeved shirts any more. Brad was becoming more and more intrigued with the women he had taken for granted for so long. He had been too busy at work to see how Stephanie had been slowly budding into a young woman.
He watched Gabriella and Stephanie descending from the lone remaining peak of granite and coming towards him. They had found some mushrooms they could add to their dried MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) packages.
They looked like sisters. Both women had long reddish brown hair and green eyes. Both had military type baseball caps, except that Stephanie liked to wear hers backwards. Both had knock off Dolce and Cabana dark glasses they had bought at one of the tourist stores at the airport.
Both women had cutoff jeans. Stephanie's were cut about as high as they could be. Hers were not hemmed and the edges were unraveling. Gabriella's were hemmed and the ends of the pockets did not show. Both women were wearing the chocolate colored climbing boots with metal eyelets that went to the tops that ended just below their knees. Their long wool socks were folded up over the tops of the boots to make them look like a pair. Their long-sleeves were about the only way to tell them apart. Stephanie's were left long and went down past her hands if she didn't keep pulling them up. Her mother kept them folded and rolled up above her elbows. Gabriella's shirt was a mixture of blues and green. Stephanie's was more of a green and yellow with red lines separating the different checkered patterns.
They had their arms crossed in front of them, using the front of their shirts pulled up to hold several large Morel Mushrooms. As they got close to excitedly show Brad what they had found, he had the feeling they were not alone.
As the mist and cloud cover around them seemed to thin, the group began to see a number of silhouettes around them. These were not the small trees and boulders they normally had seen.
As the mist cleared, the silhouettes came into focus. How had these men made it up the mountain undetected?
There must have been eight very dark figures. Their heads had been shaved on the sides, leaving different lengths of Mohawk styled growths across the top of their heads, with some of them having long braids going down their backs. They all wore the heavy, high laced logging or climbing boots that were covered by military styled camouflage pants. Some had shirts, some did not. Most of the shirts were the military camouflage type that had lost their buttons or were tattered enough to be sleeveless boleros. They had no fat and their muscles rippled in the morning light. Each had several bundles of nylon climbing rope that came to hundreds of yards each. As the mist cleared, Brad thought of the Grantland Rice line:
"Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. They are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death; the four horsemen of the apocalypse."
But they were not the four horsemen of Notre Dame. They were famine, pestilence, destruction and death, each carrying a snub nose Uzi with the slide set on "Semi-Automatic."
"Who are you?" Guinevere asked, trying to present defiance she did not have. In perfect English, the tallest one replied: "We are the Gaka Ku. We have been watching you since you got here. You have no right to be here."
Gabriella had heard rumors about this group. There was a myth that had been around for centuries, that the Incas has been all killed off by the Spaniards, except for a small group. This small group had never ever been seen, but villagers and possible descendants of the Incas claimed there was a warlike group of fierce warriors that had hid in the jungle for centuries and any white foreigners who unknowingly ventured into that area usually disappeared. There were rumors that they perpetuated their race by kidnapping women who were used for breeding stock. These were only rumors. There was nothing ever written down and no forensic proof had ever been found to substantiate these stories.
She was more fascinated by the possibility of the truthfulness than the actual danger they were in. They came in closer to inspect the first white people they had seen in many years. These were different. The women had hair color and eye color they had not seen before. Their skin tone, although they were tanned did not have the same complexion of the other Caucasians they had seen.
The curious men removed the backpacks the group had. They did not understand any of the digital equipment; the cell phones, the laptop computers, the MP3 player and binoculars.
They brought out smaller lengths of rope and tied all of them separately. Brad was tied both hands and feet. The two women were only tied with their hands behind them. The rope they used was not the nylon climbing kind. The ropes used for binding were made out of hemp from Sisal leaves.
The abductors were especially intrigued with the women. This combination of red hair, green eyes, long legs and combination of freckles and tan was not anything they had ever seen.
The tallest one, Catuna, reached up and took the dark glasses off of Gabriella's face. Once he took her glasses off, he could see she didn't seem nearly as defiant. She had the look of terror as her glance flitted back and forth between the abductors, her daughter and her husband. Cat pulled a steel skinning knife from a sheath on the back of his belt. Curiously, he slid the point between the folds of her shirt and slid it down. The buttons popped off and fell silently into the soft moss under her boots. He used the point to slide the tails of her shirt up and out of her Levi shorts.
Gabriella had not been using a bra once they had got to the top of this mountain and began clearing the foliage. It was going to be one more thing to have to clean in the scarce water. Gabriella's medium sized melons were a completely different color than the skin that had been exposed to the sun during her time at their pool at home. Her long-stemmed pink nipples were like nothing the aborigine men had ever seen. The long pink nipples were erotically framed by the tanned and toned skin that surrounded her alabaster white breasts. The mountain wind fluttered the sides of her shirt trapped by her arms bound behind her.
Catuna sliced the fabric above her shoulders and pulled the garment away. Gabriella sobbed in humiliation at being exposed to the savage intruders and her husband and daughter.
Cat brought the knife over to the bottom of her jeans, placed the tip between her skin and the fabric, pulling up slowly. The sound of the fabric being sliced open was almost like a zipper being pulled open in the high mountain air. Even the wild birds seemed to stop their squealing as the jungle seemed to stop and listen.
The fabric sprung away from her bronzed Coppertone thigh where the knife had been, but refused to fall. Catuna repeated the motion on the other side. Humiliated and embarrassed, Gabriella kept her legs together, refusing to let what was left of her modesty drop to the ground. She closed her eyes and tipped her head up and back in embarrassment at the image she knew her husband was presented.
Her "landing strip" configuration of pubic hair had never been seen by anybody but her husband. She had done it only to stimulate his flagging sexual interest in her. She did not want to do it, but had read in some magazine that this was a new and popular way for women to present themselves to their lovers. It was also a way to wear skimpier swimming suits that she had not been comfortable with.
Her daughter had been kidding her about being out of date, and talked her into buying a more revealing suit that she only wore to sun herself in. She never wore it around her husband or company at their parties.
Now Gabriella stood, with her eyes closed. With her arms bound behind her, her long-stemmed pink nipples seemed to point skyward. Her shaven cleft seemed to cling desperately to the defenseless fabric between her legs. Gabriella sobbed as she felt the cold blade move between her legs. Was he going to stick the point into her? It moved down. He was trying to get the shredded jeans off of her. Considering the alternative, Gabriella almost thankfully parted her feet to let the fabric fall to the moss.
She felt the blade against her inner thigh and widened her stance. "Oh, God, no ... She wailed in indignation as she felt the steel point lift the pink hood of her clitoris as Catuna peered in curiosity at her shaven and pouty cleft. He had never seen one shaved before.
Gabriella heard some sobbing and was able to turn her head enough to see that they had done the same with Stephanie and her husband. One of their abductors had Stephanie's bound arms pinned behind her and against him. Another had just peeled off her shorts. She was naked except for the high logging boots and socks. Her legs were spread and up in the air, trying to fight off one of the abductors who stood in front of her with his pants lowered.
Stephanie was sobbing and desperately trying to keep the man in front of her at bay. She looked over at her husband. His mouth had been gagged, but he was naked too. He had rolled over on his side to face away from the defilement of his wife and daughter.
Two of the men picked up her husband with an arm under each of his armpits. They drug him over to a boulder and sat him on it. Gabriella could see that he was aroused. Gabriella was outraged. They were all struggling for their lives and her daughter was clearly about to be raped. How could he behave like this?
Stephanie continued to try to kick the man in front of her. He could have thrown her to the ground, bent her over one of the boulders or bound her more, but he decided not to. Instead, they blindfolded Brad and cut the rope around his ankles.
Catuna pulled out a three foot long machete and stuck the point in his back. Brad was bleeding from the small incisions as the giant prodded him to the edge of the cliff. Their intention was clearly to get rid of him so they could take the women. Brad was just about over the edge of the cliff when Gabriella screamed: "No ... please ... Oh, God, please don't do this. I will do anything you want. Just please don't do this."
Gabriella was screaming and sobbing. Catuna turned, not sure what power he had now. He could have shoved the man over the cliff and kept them anyway. Perhaps if he kept the man around, they might be more cooperative. He would try it a little while.
"I can kill him anyway and still do whatever I want to the two of you. Why should I not push him over?" he asked.
"Please, please, please let him go. I will do whatever you want. I will be good to you. I will not be a problem. Just leave my husband and daughter out of this. I'm begging you."
Catuna considered his options. "He will be a drag on us. I do not want to have to guard him. On the other hand, maybe the women will be easier to manage. Maybe the only one I need to tie and guard is the man. The women may not have to be watched at all." He thought.
He guided Brad back to the boulder and let him sit on it. He took off Brad's blind fold so he could see what was going on.
He walked over to Gabriella and cut her ropes. "Show me what you mean. Show me how you are going to cooperate." He said.
Gabriella rubbed her wrists to get the circulation back. She covered her eyes with her hands and sobbed into them as her words of desperation finally sunk in. It was time to put up or shut up. They had let go of Stephanie. In humiliation and embarrassment, Stephanie had slumped down to her knees. She had her head down on her knees to hide herself as much as possible. Her back and arms shuddered as she sobbed to herself.
"What do you want? Do whatever you want to me. I will cooperate. Just leave my husband and daughter alone.
The men got up, blindfolded and led the three captives over to the edge of the plateau. They lowered them with ropes to a small precipice about fifty feet down. There was a mall opening barely big enough to crawl through. Once the captives were pulled through, the opening opened to a standing height. From there, they were led through a fracture in the stone to a staircase, hand hewed in the rock. The staircase let to the bottom of the large marble cube on the plateau. The cube had been carved out to a large room.
The room had torches like wall sconces that lined the walls. Small fractures let air from the bottom of the cube up through the ceiling. The room was bathed in flickering light that reflected off of a large pool in the center of the room. In one corner of the room was a large sacrificial stone slab. The two walls that were next to it had chains and shackles.
One of the men opened a pouch from his backpack. Gabriella recognized the ingredients. They had saved some of the Lecanoraceae mushrooms the women had gathered. They picked out the seeds from the gill like understructure, mixed what appeared to be monkey hair, and cactus pulp with ground up coffee beans. They were mixing a dark, almost black mixture and adding water to create a thick pigment.
She also recognized the contents of another cloth towel that was unrolled. She recognized an Autapulu, which is a wide tattooing comb she had seen in Samoa. She also recognized the Aumogo, Sausau, the Tuluma and all the other implements used for tattooing.
They stood Gabriella up and held her arms straight out level with her shoulders to her sides. One of the men used the dark chocolate pigment to begin marking her like the tattooed figures she had seen in Samoa. They were not like the pictures she had seen from New Guinea. She was not being injected under the skin with ink. These were surface paintings. The complicated designs went up from her ankles, the sides of her legs and back. They branched out from the back of her rib cage, over her shoulders across her arms to her wrists.
Another pattern extended from her "landing strip" up her abdomen and curled around the sides of her breasts. Her hair was washed and re-braided down to the base of her neck. From there, her long reddish brown hair cascaded down her back over the tattoos.
Her lips were covered with another mixture that glowed red in the flickering light. The men took off their clothes. Their ebony skin looked like hard steel with dark DuPont Chrome Illusion with a clear coat over it. As a person walked around these savages, their dark skin changed from black to purple to copper with streaks of red. They took the Ausogi'aso and the Aumogo and applied thin dots, lines and dashes to their huge penises. They were not totally huge. They were much longer than Gabriella had ever seen. It wasn't so much the length as the girth. The long tattooed evil creatures had been shaved so the shapes were easy to see. They started out as wide as her forearm and narrowed down to an almost manageable reddish, purplish crown. "Manageable. Oh, my God." Gabriella thought to herself. What was she really going to have to do to them? Could they impregnate her at her age of forty? Gabrielle almost choked at the idea of being back at home with an ebony black child that was six feet six inches and two hundred twenty pounds.
The alternative seemed worse. She knew they would throw her husband over the cliff and most likely use her daughter for breeding stock to continue their race. Would there then be myths and rumors of dark savages that were over six feet tall with red hair and green eyes seen fleetingly in the jungles?