Mac MacKinnon and the Race for El Dorado

Chapter 10: Back from the Dead

By Dwayne MacInnes

Dan knew he was a dead man. He had been expertly tied-up with a bomb counting down the last few minutes of his life just out of his reach. His struggling to loosen his bonds had only resulted in rope burns. Regardless of the pain in raw wrists, Dan continued to frantically struggle. He could not scream because of the gag in his mouth. Not like there would have been anyone to hear him in the desert.

The clock's rhythmic ticking pounded into Dan's ears. It was the only sound outside of Dan's violent and futile attempts to free himself. There was only half a minute left before Dan resigned himself to his fate. He closed his eyes and relaxed. At least he would die peacefully.

Dan heard a noise. He opened his eyes to see a man run out of the hangar with the bomb. The man then ran back into the hangar and slid behind the wall just before the dynamite sticks exploded thunderously. The hangar rocked and dust flew in through the open doors.

The mechanic watched as a figure walked towards him through the cloud of dust. Dan recognized the man as he approached closer. It was Mac and as usual, he was there just at the right time.

"Looks like you've gotten yourself tied-up," Mac said dryly.

All Dan could do was groan through the gag in his mouth. Mac removed the gag and began to untie Dan's arms and legs.

"What took you so long?" Dan asked.

"I ran into the zeppelin. They nearly shot me out of the sky. I had to coax the Jenny back home. Even then, I land a couple of miles shy of the hangar and I had to run back here," Mac explained hurriedly. "I'm sorry I didn't get here in time to save the professor and Rebecca."

"Yeah, a man named Johann von Hutten kidnapped them and took off with them after trying to blow me up," Dan replied. "Looks, like they now hold all the cards. We can't even follow them."

Mac finished untying Dan who began to rub his raw and bloody wrists. Mac reached into his back pocket and pulled out a book. "Not exactly... I had some time to read Dr. Strong's journal. He wrote everything down including the exact route to the location of El Dorado."

"But they have the key and we don't," Dan pointed out.

"That's true, but maybe we can head them off," Mac said. "Von Hutten, did you say?"

Dan nodded his head.

"Our friend Johann must be a relative of Philipp von Hutten. I suppose he wants to carry on the family tradition."

* * * * *

"Now you will notice that this zeppelin has certain amenities that our military airships didn't have during the Great War," Johann pointed out as he had breakfast with his guests. Dr. Strong and Rebecca both sat at the table in the cramped dining room eating sausages and eggs alone with their captor. Johann pointed at the room with his fork, "You'll notice that this gondola is completely enclosed and pressurized. This allows us to heat it up and keep it comfortable even though we are now flying over 20,000 of your feet in the air."

Both the professor and his daughter sat their in silence reluctantly eating as Johann continued to lecture on about his airship. The one sided conversation even began to tire the German.

"Please, you both are so glum," Johann began. "You must have some questions about our ship. Or, perhaps we can talk about El Dorado?"

Dr. Strong cleared his throat before he quietly began speaking, "Surely, you don't expect hostages to carry on with their jailers as if they were on a holiday, especially, when you are more than likely going to kill us after you get what you want."

Johann began to laugh, "I'm sorry, but you couldn't be further from the truth. We have no desire to kill you and your charming daughter. We just need you to correct our course. It is obvious that the Grand Canyon is not the correct location."

"Just like you didn't kill Mac and Dan!" yelled Rebecca as she stood up pointing an accusing finger at Johann.

"Yes, unfortunately, they were an impediment to our plans and had to be dealt with in a more permanent fashion. But, I assure you that we have no such plans for you just as long as you cooperate."

Dr. Strong pulled Rebecca back down into her chair. The young woman's eyes blazed with hatred as she stared at Johann.

"To prove my point you are free to walk anywhere you want in this gondola. You may not access the airbag or try to reach the control gondola. Just one word of warning though, you cannot smoke. The hydrogen that fills our airbags is highly flammable. I also warn you against sabotage. For your life depends on our reaching El Dorado alive and well."

"You shall have no problem from us," Hugo promised.

Rebecca turned her glare upon her father. The professor only sternly looked into her eyes as he continued to speak to Johann.

"As long as you treat my daughter well, I shall be fully cooperative."

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on August 9, 2006 9:07 PM.

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