Outcome of Chapter 11 Plot Hinge: On April 14th at 11:40 pm, the wind in Buenos Aires was blowing from the East. As a result Will and Agent Isaiah have failed to outrun the Windigos in their attempt to get to the wreck site of the Anna Perenna first.
Despite being utterly terrified of the man, Will had to be impressed. Even with a dozen guns pointed at him, Agent Isaiah looked totally at ease. In fact, the other agents were the ones that looked nervous. Will wished he could muster a fraction of that calm. Hell, he’d be satisfied if he could muster a fraction of a settled stomach. His stomach churned as the research platform bobbed around in the ocean.
They had nearly made it to the platform before the other Windigo boats caught up with them. And apparently seven-to-one odds were a bit too much for even the Man in Charge.
Will looked at Gable, whose boat Isaiah had “borrowed”, to see how he was holding up. The burly sailor seemed oblivious to the Windigo agents, focusing instead entirely on a book that lay on a large table beyond the ring of armed men around them.
“That’s Kruschack’s journal!” Gable bellowed.
A hodgepodge of other rusty artifacts lay strewn about. Over one of the agent’s shoulders Will could see a large, open safe in the center of the platform. The outside of the safe was rusted like the other pieces but the inside seemed to be in pristine condition. That must be where they found the journal, Will thought.
Though he had been three sheets to the wind at the time, Will remembered the story Gable had told him at the tavern about Captain Kruschack. According to Gable, Captain K had been obsessed with the legend of the lost, golden city of Ma’chavu.
One of the agents lowered his head and put a hand to his ear. “Dawes to HQ. We got them.” Agent Dawes paused, listening to the person on the other end of his earpiece. “No sir. We stopped him before he got to it… Actually, Mr. MacGregor – er, yes, of course, sorry, sir” Agent Dawes rolled his eyes. “Doctor MacGregor. I’m sorry sir, but I’ve got different orders… from Ms. Bellakov herself, sir… Yes sir. We’re taking them to her… Yes, sir, the book too.” Agent Dawes grimaced and recoiled at what Will could only assume was Dr. MacGregor screaming in his ear.
“Well, Mr. Dalton,” Agent Isaiah said quietly as Agent Dawes continued his conversation with a clearly irate Dr. MacGregor. “Looks like you’ll be heading back to Canada after all.”
“Awesome,” Will said, a fresh wave of nausea washing over him. “As long as we’re not going by boat.”
12 hours later…
Will sat on a metal bench in the back of the prison transport, his hands cuffed behind his back and securely fastened to the van’s interior wall. Gable sat slumped next to him, his snoring nearly drowned out by the sound of the van bouncing along the rough mountain road. Will studied Agent Isaiah who sat across from him. His eyes were closed too but Will knew better than to assume he was sleeping.
“Yes, Mr. Dalton?” he said suddenly, his eyes still shut. Will jumped. Agent Isaiah had been tight-lipped the entire flight from Buenos Aires to Calgary, spending the entire time in what appeared to be a deep meditative state.
“Where do I begin?” Will said, a little more confident knowing the Agent’s hands were cuffed too. “Are you working with Isabella?”
Agent Isaiah opened his eyes and crooked an incredulous eyebrow at Will. “OK,” Will continued, “then who are you working for? Because you’re sure not working for the Windigos anymore.”
Isaiah leaned back against the van wall. “Next question, Mr. Dalton.”
“Fine,” Will said. “My tattoo. It’s got something to do with this Ma’chavu bull, doesn’t it?”
“Show some respect, boy!” Agent Isaiah snapped, a flash of anger in his eyes. A tense silence filled the van for a few seconds. “But yes,” he continued, recomposing himself. “It turns out you had File 92 all along and just didn’t know it. I didn’t figure it out until a couple days ago, but Jack Whyler must have unlocked the File’s secrets and tattooed them onto you. Whether you like it or not, Mr. Dalton, your shoulder has become one of the three missing pieces of a very important puzzle.”
“And Kruschack’s journal,” Will said. “That’s another piece isn’t it?”
Agent Isaiah paused. “You’re not as dumb as your t-shirt would suggest,” he said, nodding at the cartoon monkey and crocodile on Will’s shirt. “And if you want to stay alive, I suggest you listen up. We’re headed to the Windigo Facility in Canmore. To see someone that makes Dr. MacGregor look like an angel. I can get us, and the journal, out of here. But I’ll need your help. Both your help actually,” he said, kicking the slumbering sailor in the shin. Gable’s head snapped up, a bit of drool in his beard.
“When we get inside Gate A,” the Man in Charge continued, “they’re going to open the back of the van. I’ll take care of the guards. But Mr. Dunham I need you to take care of the driver and secure the journal they’ve got up front.”
“Done,” Gable replied, wide awake now.
“And you,” Isaiah said nodding to Will. “I need you to run.”
“Well,” Will said. “I’m getting good at that.”
“You need to get yourself across the courtyard to the control booth. And you need to get there fast. Hit the kill switch and keep the gate from closing behind us.”
As the van made its bumpy way toward the Windigo Facility, Agent Isaiah went on to explain the plan further, describing in precise detail every inch of the courtyard.
“This all sounds wonderful, in the suicidal sense of the word,” Will said as the van started to slow down. “But just one problem. We’re all in handcuffs.”
Agent Isaiah smirked and pulled his hands from behind his back. “Not all of us, Mr. Dalton.” He moved to the other side of the van and started working on Will’s cuffs. “If they had any sense they’d have taken a cue from your friend, Ms. Keller, and clocked me in the head with a tire iron.”
Plot Hinge: World Book and Copyright Day, April 23
April 23rd is World Book and Copyright Day. As the UNESCO website says, April 23rd is “a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died.” We’ll use this day to determine if Will, Gable and Agent Isaiah will be successful in acquiring a book of their own: Kruschack’s Journal.
- If on April 23rd I am successfully able to check out copies of both Don Quixote (written by Cervantes) and Macbeth (by Shakespeare) from the Guelph Public Library Main Branch, then the mission will be successful.
- If however, those books are unavailable for checkout on April 23rd, the team will fail in their mission to acquire the mysterious book and Will won’t be able to keep Gate A open for their escape.
Chapter 13 goes live on April 26th! How do you like the story so far? Feel free to leave comments below or email me your thoughts, questions and ideas. And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe in the top right of the screen to receive email notifications whenever a new chapter is posted.