Chapter 8: Legends
A cargo plane flew across the blurred border between Norway and Sweden, carrying three passangers along with it's usual compliment of crates and boxes.
James had struck up a conversation with the pilot and co-pilot in the cabin while Lara stayed in the hold with Indy. She cast a somewhat envious look to the archaologist—peacefully napping with his hat over his eyes. Between the noise of the plane and the turbulence, Lara was unable to sleep and honestly had to wonder how the man could.
She returned her attention to the map of Norway. They needed a good short-cut to Hammerfest, but there wasn't anything obvious on the map… What were they doing, anyway? What were they risking their lives for?
A few old statues? … Statues that could apparently bypass time and space, but still… All right, so anyone of the type thet Herman tended to work for should not get their hands on anything with that kind of power, but who was to say it hadn't been a total fluke that Jones had appeared right when she touched the statue—it could have been something he'd touched, after all.
Lara started to force her attention back to the map, yet again, when Jones jerked awake, breath catching in his chest.
Lara shot him a glare, though she wasn't sure why. "Another nightmare with that Nazi? Van Helgen? Next time, drink some coffee—it would save us both the trouble." Between lack of sleep and anxiety, she was snappish.
"Yes, well, sorry to bother you with my personal issues," Jones' voice was laced with sarcasm and something darker as he shifted to lean back against one of the lashed-down crates.
Lara sighed aloud, "Jones… it's just a dream. The guy's got to be dead by now—he's not going to bother you here."
"Hey, sweetheart, it was just a few days ago for me," Jones shot back. "I know it's rediculous, but… it feels like he's still chasing me."
Lara rolled her eyes, "Remind me to get someone mentally stable next time I pick up a time-travelling stray."
"Yeah, yeah," Jones smirked a bit and opened his mouth to continue when James poked his head out of the cabin.
"Hey, buckle in—we're landing."
Several hours later, they arrived in Hammerfest. The trip had been slow going, snow chains a necessity on narrow mountain passes, but they arrived within the time Lara had estimated for the drive.
As they got out of the car, the crisp Norwegian air greeted them, the already dark afternoon chill and balnketed thickly with snow that cast back the orange glow of the streetlamps.
"It's changed a lot since the last time I was here," Indy observed, eyes scanning the landscape. "But it's still beautiful."
James was a little less enthralled, "I'm freezing," he complained, shivering despite the warm clothes both Indy and Lara had insisted on.
Indy grinned, "Welcome to Hammerfest."
Lara glanced to the sky, noting the flecks of snow already beginning to fall. "There's a storm coming."
Jones had to agree, "The weather won't let us head out to the ruins today; if it's still there, there's a good tavern this way. They'll have something hot to eat."
The small tavern was as promised, small but cozy inside, the locals inside chatting and laughing at scattered tables, the entire atmosphere of the place very pleasant despite the fact that none of the three could catch much of the Norwegian conversations. They simply moved in to sit near the bar, Indy struggling to remember the language he'd learned for the last time he had been here and Lara frustrated by her lack of knowledge of the local tongue.
Almost immediately, a friendly barkeeper approached them. "You must be foreigners," he observed in heavily accented English, "May I help you?"
James perked up a bit, "Do you have something actually… hot?" he chattered.
The barkeeper smiled, taking in James' shivering, and left, quickly returning with three bowls of soup, which he distributed to them.
"This smells really good, thanks," Indy picked up his spoon and dipped it into the bowl, preparing to take a bite.
Before he could, James yelped. "Damn! I burnt my tongue! This is hot!"
The barkeeper gave a good-natured laugh as he went back to the bar, "As you asked, friend."
Lara rolled her eyes and moved her bowl over a little to place her map on the table. "All right kids, eyes on the map. I checked our route and it says about eight kilometers, maybe less."
"You are on a… trip, yes?" The Norwegian barkeeper asked curiously, setting down three mugs of a local ale.
Jones glanced at him and decided he was just a nice man who wanted to make conversation with the outsiders—not uncommon, especially in the more remote places of the world. "Yeah, hey—we're a bit lost, though."
Lara gave the archaeologist a surprised glance that he studiously ignored, "Would you know where we could rent or buy some Icelandic horses or Norwegian Fjords?"
"Excuse us," Lara interjected, taking Jones by the arm and pulling him slightly away from the table. "Horses?" she hissed at him, "We've already rented the car!"
To her surprise, the man offered her a smile, "I know, but the mountain has no roads that a car will make it across and we'll need those horses to get there."
Lara considered it and repressed the urge to sigh. He was right, after all… "You're only saying that because you want to go against me, aren't you?" she accused anyway.
Jones winked—winked!—at her, pulling away. "Of course, sweetheart."
"So," he returned to his question, "Horses?"
The barkeeper nodded, "Of course, there is a farm near here that breeds Fjords. Ask for Josteinn—but where are you going? If you are lost, maybe…"
James grinned and waved off the concern, "Oh, don't worry. We're just looking for some ruins near here."
Lara glanced sharply at him and Jones gave him a withering glare.
The locals who understood silenced, the quiet quickly spreading as whispered explainations passed around the formerly noisy tavern.
James cleared his throat nervously, "Is that… bad?"
The barkeeper stuttered slightly, "Y-you should not go there."
Lara frowned, puzzled by the fear that was nearly tangible on the air. "Why not?"
"It is cursed—cursed!"
Indy hid a smile as he took a sip of the local brew the barkeeper had brought out. He didn't believe in curses, but experience told that the more myth and superstition surrounding a place, the better. They were on the right track.
Quiete suddenly, he felt a bit dizzy.
"Jones? You OK?" Lara asked as he pushed back from the table.
"I know you can't stand to be without me, sweetheart," he teased, "but I promise I'll be back."
Indy looked into the mirror, wondering why he felt so… sick. He turned on the faucet and splashed cool water onto his face before glancing back at the mirror, jumping and spinning when he saw the figure behind him.
A young red-haired woman stared at him with peircing jade eyes.
Indy opened his mouth, intending to ask what she was doing there, but he was cutt off.
"You should not go there," the woman stated. "You think this is merely another of your expiditions, but you are wrong. This one is different."
Indy froze—she seemed to know who he was. "Have we met?" he asked, doubting it. She didn't look eighty.
"I do not believe so."
"I am observent," she indicated travel-worn clothing.
"Who are you and what do you want?"
"I want to warn you about the danger waiting at the ruins. If you go there, you may not make it back… and if you do, you will not be the same man."
Indy snorted, "Look, lady, I don't know why all of you don't want us to go there, but we're going. I don't believe in curses." Only maybe you should, a little voice pointed out. It was not the first time he'd been warned away from an expidition, and while the warnings were wrong far more often than they were right, there had been times…
The woman shook her head, "If I cannot change your mind… at least take this. It brings good luck."
Indy took the proffered bronze medallion, glancing at it in surprise. It seems very valuable... or at least that was what his archaeologist voice was telling him... but, it was broken, a part of it was missing, what a shame... "The eye of Horus?" He said aloud at last.
"Yes. Good luck, Indiana Jones."
He looked up sharply, surprised and worried, but the woman was gone.
"… This is getting weird…"
The weather continued to worsen as they continued on horseback, but the animals were doing well and there wasn't much further before they would be at their destination.
Indy was distracted, happy to let his horse simply follow Lara's, thinking about the green-eyed woman from the tavern. It had been so… strange, somehow. He knew she had known something about the ruins, but the worrying part was her seeming to know him. How? They had been so careful not to let his full name slip… Why had she said that?
Lara twisted around in her saddle to look at him oddly, "Who?"
Indy hadn't meant to say that aloud. "The red-haired woman from the tavern."
James frowned slightly, "There wasn't a red-head—I would have noticed a woman like that, you know what I mean?"
Lara shook her head, "The perfect couple: the crazy one and the idiot."
Jones didn't laugh, "There was—I talked to her."
The other two glanced at each other, but kept further comments to themselves, then Indy's horse stopped.
"What is it?" Lara asked, worried that the animal was tiring.
Jones was peering at something off to the side, "A stone."
James rolled his eyes, shivering a bit, "The discovery of the century," he stated sarcasticly. "A stone."
Jones dismounted, approaching the squarish rock, "It's hand carved," he explained absently, starting to brush the snow away from it.
Lara smiled; finally, a sign that they were getting close! "You've got eagle eyes, Jones. I hadn't noticed it."
"It's what I do for a living, sweetheart," Indy teased as Viking runes became visible from under their coating of white powder. "'The Ragnarök will begin and the warrior will reawaken.'" He translated after a few moments.
"Ragnarök," Lara corrected, giving the word a subtly different sound, "It's the Nordic Judgement Day; the final battle between the gods."
Jones returned to his horse and mounted up, "We're getting close; let's keep moving."
To be continued…
Sorry for the long delay :( But I was studing a lot and I didn't have much time. I promise next chapter will be sooner ;) ... meanwhile you can review! :) And thank shadewolf7 again, she's doing a great work betareading this story! :)