DISCLAIMER: This story was written and published in 2012 and has been kept up to show the writer’s growth. It is not intended as professional quality
The Secret of El Dorado
From the Journal of Gonzales:
Cortez sent us out little more than two weeks ago to scour the area. I was assigned to lead his troops in the expedition. So far nothing dangerous has been encountered. It is safe to assume that we will encounter no dangers in this foreign land.
If my estimates are correct, we’re about twenty miles inland from Cortez and the rest of the troops. After two weeks of marching I’ve finally ordered my troops to take a rest for a few days.
I shall never forget last night. All the troops were sitting round the campfire. The smoke billowed up through the air as the fired danced about with its flickering flame. We ate heartily that night. A well cooked fireplace meal was exactly what the troops needed to keep their spirits up. We took turns talking one by one. My number one (a commander named Ramos) stood up at his turn to speak and all was silent for a moment. He gathered his thoughts and finally uttered the words “Any of you know what I’m looking forward to most?”
There was a long moment of silence. Tension filled the air. Finally he answered: “I can’t wait to round up these sub humans and ship ‘em off to Spain.” He took a moment to bend over, resting his elbows on his thighs. “You know what’s better? He asked. “WE’LL BE RICH!” He let out a loud cackle clapping his hands together. All at once he lost his balance and toppled over, much to the amusement of the rest of the troops. Something told me he had a bit too much rum that night.
The trouble started after we went to bed.
I had heard rustling through the trees and bushes. I had convinced myself it was just a bunch of animals. A sharp cry of pain convinced me otherwise.
I let out a loud bellow, summoning my troops to arms. “THE NATIVES HAVE FOUND US! THE NATIVES HAVE FOUND US!” They were dressed in little to no clothing. Most carried bows with a quiver strapped to their thighs. Others carried flat edged swords. Almost immediately after I had left the tent a native was on top of me. He bowled me over with a mighty lunge. I felt the air sucked out of my chest. I couldn’t move. Couldn’t fight. He spoke in a language I couldn’t understand. His flat edged sword was raised high above his head, when all of a sudden a blade pierced his chest. His body went limp as it slumped to the ground. From behind him stood one of my best fighters, Santiago. He helped me up and we stood back to back.
The natives attacked with styles unknown to us. They knew the terrain and damn it if they didn’t use it to their advantage. They covered behind trees, bushes, or whatever else was handy. Their arrows darted through the air with ease. I watched in horror as my troops were murdered around me. One by one they picked us off. They struck with deadly accuracy.
Me, Santiago and Ramos were the only ones to escape.
Four days…four days without food. Santiago has been complaining like a madman. We trek endlessly in search of food, with nothing but each other for company. The sun shines down baking us alive in our armor. Still we move on, undaunted by the perils we face. Four days without a native attack and I hope to never encounter another one.
“Damn those creatures to hell!” Santiago found himself saying every night. “We’re the superior race! We deserve the riches!” He knew nobody was listening. He didn’t care. “We found the place!” he proclaimed. “We deserve the spoils!” He tossed branches through the air in rage. “Who do those animals think they are trying to kill us?” “I mean what do they—?”
“Enough,” Ramos whispered. Santiago was obviously upset by this. He made his way over to Ramos and crouched over to wear he sat. Santiago was dangerously close to him. His anger combined with the lack of food and the heat was a recipe for disaster. Anything could happen.
“What did you say to me?” Santiago hissed.
Ramos reaches into his pocket and withdrew a piece of parchment. From where I stood I saw nothing of what was written. Once Santiago saw the map he scurried over to take a look. His eyes filled with wonder and lust. “Where did you get this?” he marveled. His eyes turned from the embodiment of rage to soft and comforting.
From the change in Santiago’s mood I knew I had to take a look at it. I snatched the map from his hands and had a look for myself.
“Our luck hasn’t run out after all gentlemen.” Ramos said cheerfully. “I picked this off of one of the dead natives.” A bright grin gleamed on his face as he stood up to pat me on the back. “I’m sure you men have heard of the City of Gold.”
“El Dorado.” I muttered.
Day Twenty Five.
It had taken us a while; however we had finally found the city of gold.
We had walked for five days following the map. Finally we found a bright clearing in the woods.
Ramos was the first to see the bright light. He withdrew his rapier and with a clean swing cut across the vines blocking the path. One by one the three of us peered into the city.
Pure Gold. The entire city was made of pure gold.
The water sparkled with life and light. The buildings gleamed and glistened when the sun shone over it. Every object in the city was gold. Cortez had encountered natives telling him about such a place…I was hesitant to believe him…but I’ll be damned.
“We’ll be rich.” I whispered to myself. My voice was filled with the shock of such a marvelous sight.
“Right you are, my friend.” Ramos whispered back. “All we need to do is kill these savages…”
“….and we steal the gold and make our way back to Spain.” Santiago finished.
All at once we heard a click behind us. We turned around slowly to find a native with some sort of weapon. It gleamed silver with a black handle. It resembled a gun only more…advanced.
“No one intrudes on the city of gold.” The man said in a thick accent. I saw him go for the trigger and without hesitation I withdrew my gun and shot him dead.
“IDIOT!” Santiago shouted.
I had realized my mistake too little too late. The shot cracked through the air, alerting the natives to our presence.
I saw a native dart across a platform and press a red button. A siren wailed from out of nowhere.
Technology beyond that which we could comprehend was after us. Flying ships hunted us through the thick jungle as we scrambled to get to safety. Bursts of fire flew out of the machines lighting the forest ablaze. Guns more advanced than ours sounded through the forest. Bullets ripped through the jungle with rapid fire. Flying carriages flew all around us.
We were lucky to get to safety…all we had now was luck.
Day Thirty One.
We’ve been on the move for six days straight. We can rest in one place no longer than twelve hours at a time. It’s useless to fight them. All we can do is run.
I awoke tonight to hear a terrible scream. I knew the voice all too well. Ramos had gone insane. By the time Santiago and I found him he was inside The City of Gold shooting whomever he could lay his hands upon. His rapier sliced through his victims with no mercy.
“IF I DIE,” he cried into the night, “YOU ALL GO WITH ME!” Three more cracks were heard and three more natives fell to the ground. His sword cut through flesh and sliced stomachs. Santiago and I watched from afar. A native sneaked up behind him as he thrust his rapier through a native’s chest. “YOU ANIMALS!” he cried to the heavens. “YOU THINK YOUR HUMAN? THINK AGAIN! YOU HAVE NO CIVILAZATION! YOU’RE ALL SAVAGES!”
Savages. The word echoed in my mind. Which one of us were the savages? They were only trying to protect their homeland. We were the ones who invaded looking for riches….who is at fault?
My questioning was cut short and soon blinded by anger as a native blasted Ramos in the back. All at once light seemed to fill his veins and in one great flash of light he disappeared.
Santiago let out a great cy of “NO” and charged into the city of gold to fight for his fallen comrade.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I cried to him.
“THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE!” he cried out to me, “GO DOWN FIGHTING GONZALES!”
At that point I saw another native with a weapons poised to fire at Santiago, who was brutally murdering the natives.
“LOOK OUT!” I cried to him. Yet my warning came too late. His veins filled with light and in another flash he soon disappeared as well. I soon began to wonder how these natives managed to create such technology so far advanced than the civilized world.
A blow to the back of the head interrupted my thoughts.
As I awoke I found myself strapped to a slab of rock…My head felt like it had been put in an oven, ready to burst at any time. I tried in vain to move. My body wouldn’t let me.
All at once a man I presumed to be the tribal chief stood over me. He spoke in language I couldn’t understand…and yet this time…I had a feeling we were somehow connected…his words were mine…and mine were his.
“The fools,” he says, “thought they could steal from the city of gold…they thought they could steal our secret…they do not know that nobody may know our secret…for anyone that knows has power…anyone who has power is corrupted….the world would plunge into darkness.”
As he spoke gestures were made as if part of some ancient ritual. The other natives cheered and hollered at his words.
“Let the Gods decide his fate.” The chief said, and a great cheer fell through the crowd. Their gaze turned upward and I did with them. A hovering disk floated above the city. A beam of light shot down and some….thing descended down. It had a swampy green color. It was naked with clubbed feet with two toes. It walked slowly towards me, almost taking pleasure in my terror. It had three fingers, and bright blue veins littered its body. It’s head was elongated and swelled up like some sort of balloon. Whatever it was…it was not a god.
Soon it hovered over me. It smiled a welcoming smile, yet I was not comforted. It spoke no words, it simply touched my forehead. All at once everything became clear.
It was from another planet. Its ancestors had visited the city of gold and helped them to build. Since it was isolated the aliens thought it was the perfect place to test their technology in the hands of another race…what they did to my friends was done to guard the secret…yet he assured me they were not dead.
He told me that the city of gold would be leaving the planet soon. He told me not to worry. I was told I would be seeing my comrades very soon. I felt my veins fill with light and in a flash I found myself gone.
The beaches of Florida held countless delights for children. Thomas and his Mother visited the beach every day. This day however Thomas found something peaking out of the sand. Curious, Thomas dug it up to find it was some sort of book. He read the title aloud in a sweet innocent voice.
“The Journal of Gonzales.”
In a flash of light three men appeared on the shore of the beach! All of them of Hispanic descent. They all were dressed in ancient armor with blood stains on them. They were weary and tired. The three marched upwards along the beach. As they passed by one of them snatched the book from Thomas’ hand. “That’s mine.” He stated as he continued to walk. He held the journal underneath his arm and repeated himself.