Damian traveled five days via his airship till he reached his destination, stopping at along the way to replenish supplies.
He reached out into his pocket and pulled out his brass compass and placed it over the map. He went back and forth pin pointing his current location.
He reached over the throttle and lowered it, bringing the airship to a subtle speed. He turned the dial on heat engine, forcing the ship to descend gradually.
It hovered down to a few hundred feet above what seemed to be a large plaza. Damian could see the beautiful lights below.
The ship descended down to about fifteen feet and hovered, strafing left and right slightly. Damian quickly leaped over and secured it to the ground.
He then dashed towards the plaza a few yards away, and after reaching one of the booths, signaled the merchant.
“Good evening sir, where am I?”
“Tourist? You’re in Cusco, en la Plaza de Armas.”
“Ahh good, thank you sir.”
“Wait, can I interest you in some Peruvian goods?”
“No thank you, I’m looking for something else. Wait…maybe you can help me. I am looking for the fountain of youth. Would you happen to have heard of it?”
“Ah yes one of the legends of the Inca. But all of that is only mythical, I doubt there is a real fountain out there.”
“By any chance do you happen to know more about this legend?”
“About its history?”
“I’m sorry, but I am not a man who’s fond of history. There is however, the…” the old man blurted out before being interrupted.”
“A local Indigenous tribe, descendant of the Inca who might know more about it,” a tall, taut woman replied.
Damian immediately turned around and greeted the stranger. She was a dark brown skinned woman, fashioning tribal attire and dark blood, red face paint above her cheeks.
“My name’s Arabella, and yours?”
“Damian. Nice to meet you.”
“I see that you might be searching for the exact same thing as I am. What exactly are you looking for?”
Damian paused for a second as he wasn’t sure if he wanted her to know that he was looking for. For all he knew, she would try to rob him of it at any given chance, but waging his options of getting any information about its location, he was willing to take a risk.
Damian pulled her aside away from the vendor and any prying ears.
“I am looking for a substance of unlimited energy. Would you happen to have and information regarding its location?” He whispered.
“I think we are looking for the same thing. I don’t know its exact location, however, I do know of someone that might help us locate it.”
“Anyone that can helps us…”
“Follow me. We need to go speak to one of the ancient priests at the Korincancha,” she signaled.
Damian followed her, walking next to her as they traveled southwards. They chatted along the way, getting to know each other a little bit more. Damian was skeptical about telling her all of his plans so he just told her that he wanted to experiment on the substance with no particular interest or motivation.
Arabella, even though she was an older experienced woman, trusted him initially. She felt that he wasn’t much of a threat because of his boyish looks and his simple demeanor.
Deep inside she felt slightly ashamed of herself for abandoning her people, and acquiring the energy substance would be a great way for her to give back to those who cared for her.
“How exactly will the substance help your cause?” Damian asked, striding next to her.
“I can use it and harness its power to fabricate a weapon that will help liberate my people from the constant aggression of our enemies.”
“What happened to your people?”
“We used to be a noble tribe made up warriors and seers, but when the white men arrived, they ravaged our lands, they ravaged our customs and creeds. We are now imprisoned by a societal construct that does not belong to us. This idea of money, is a concept we do not fully comprehend and it’s killing my people, tearing them apart in ways unimaginable.”
“That is pretty harsh, but there are good things that come out of society. As for money, it makes everything in life easier.”
“Easier for what?” She muttered, “We are here,” she added.
Arabella and Damian walked into the Korincancha and were immediately greeted by the native priests guarding the main entrance who had been waiting for them.
The guards took them to a massive room located on the far right of the Korincancha. The room was lit by torches that hung from the stone brick walls. Below them, the floor was adorned by red bricks that led them directly to the golden chair where the high priest sat.
“I have been waiting for you,” the priest muttered looking at Arabella. He spotted Damian next to her and shook his head. “Who is this?”
“Villac-umu, he is one whom I have been seeing in my dreams, and in my visions. He is looking for the same thing as I am.”
The priest kept looking at Damian, making him feel uncomfortable.
“Suit yourself. Your journey in life is riddled with challenges and questions, but in the end you will soon understand what you had to learn either the easy way or the hard way. You will have to make a journey into the earth and everything will be made visible to you once you commence your journey. Come here, let me show you something,” the priest gestured.
The priest staggered back into the center of the court yard of the Korincancha and showed them the stone bowl located in the middle.
“This is the center of the energy of the whole Inca Empire. If you channel its energy, you will be able to find what you are looking for, if and only if, you are meant to find it.”
Arabella lowered her body and inspected the large stone bowl located in the center of the building. He reached into and right away felt a surge of sonic energy transcend into her hand. She closed her eyes and visions started appearing before her within seconds.
She felt completely relieved. Her mind was clear and her past aggressions were no longer a part of her. As soon as she opened her eyes she looked up towards the north and pointed, “We need to go there. We need to travel to the sacred valley of Yucay.”
They didn’t waste any time. Damian invited her into his ship, making their way to Yucay, located some hours away and sleeping through the journey.
Both awoke in the early morning as the sun transcended upon them. Damian pulled out his watch, map and compass once again to check the time and location. Arabella, still half asleep, leaned over the parapet and glanced below, stunned by the beautiful terrain.
Damian spotted a small Inca building on top of a hill in the distance. “Is that where we are headed?”
“Yes, that’s the place, hurry!”
They descended and docked the ship right next to the building. Damian followed Arabella into the temple, staggering behind her. She kept looking at the walls and found signs that someone had been there before. The walls were covered by smoke from possible torches hung on the wall.
“Someone’s been here,” she whispered.
“I have no idea, but we will find out soon,” she responded as she tip toed through the temple, looking for signs of what she had to look for.
She could sense the residual energy of the people who had been there before, leading them to an underground cave that used to be closed off by a trap door.
Right as soon as they stepped foot into the cave they felt a strong surge of powerful kinetic energy resonate through their bodies. Arabella kept walking towards the point of origin of the energy until reaching an old fountain with water spewing from its center. She reached in and took a swig of the sweet, crystalline water with her hand.
“This can’t be it,” Damian blurted out, strafing back and forth impatiently with his right hand hovering over his pistol.
“No this is not it, but it is a clue to its location,” she murmured, pointing at the inscriptions on the side of the fountain. “Let’s go. We need to head out to Machu Picchu. Hopefully whoever was here hasn’t gotten there yet.”
They got back up on the ship and headed towards the west. Machu Picchu was further away, getting there would take almost half of the day.
They reached Machu Picchu at night and docked all the way on top of the mountain tops in order to make their trip as speedy as possible. They immediately felt out of breath due to the height.
Upon descending, they were greeted by torches and a small campfire, signaling that there was someone there. They proceeded into the main temple, a building resembling a small pyramid made out of massive stone blocks.
They followed the trail of torches that led down to a spiral staircase, leading them into an underground temple nestled inside the mountain tops. Arabella stopped a few times to admire the stunning beauty of the architecture before being nudged by Damian.
They could hear the sounds of other people bounce off the walls, forcing them to creep along the way. The sound kept getting louder and louder.
“We should be getting near,” Damian whispered, his hand placed right on the grip of his pistol.
They quickly spotted a group of three, two natives and a German, wearing military attire, standing in front of two massive pillars at the edge of an endless void. On the other side they could see a beautiful bluish glow.
Must be the ethereal substance.
Arabella without hesitation or fear ran up to them, startling them.
“What are you guys doing here?”
“Ah well hello there,” the middle aged German replied, “I am here for the same thing you are.”
“What are your intentions with it?” she questioned.
“I wish to use it to save my daughter who suffers from a rare disease. She’s dying and this is the only way I can help her. Please don’t come between me and that substance for I will resort to violence if needed.”
Arabella sympathized for his cause. She could feel that he had done much wrong before, but deep down inside he had a heart and his intentions were true.
“I can help you,” she responded.
She walked towards the pillars and looked at the hieroglyphs in search of clues. Somehow everything made sense. She pushed in a few of the blocks that made up the column and the ground below began shaking. Massive stone blocks appeared from below as to build a narrow bridge linking both sides.
They all strafed cautiously on the narrow bridge and made their way to an altar where a bluish orb hovered above.
Damian pushed the natives aside, knocking them over, and pulled out his pistol, holding it towards the German.
“Don’t you move or I’ll blow your brains out!” He blurted out.
Arabella, shocked that Damian reacted in such manner moved alongside the German and allowed Damian to reach over and grab the orb with a medium sized container that he carried.
He walked backwards a few steps when Arabella launched herself towards her. “No you can’t do that!” She screamed.
Damian shot her in her left shoulder and kicked her, making her stagger next to the edge. She lost her balance and fell, but was quickly caught by the German who lunged towards her, catching her with both of his hands.
Without hesitating, Damian made off with the ethereal substance and disappeared into the night as the German struggled to save Arabella from falling into the void.