Summary: When Judson's father is killed, Judson investigates the death believing it is not an accident. His investigation reveals an attempt to destroy the heritage of the Aztec.
Categories: Adventure Inc Characters: Gabe Patterson, Judson Cross, Mackenzie (Mac) Previn
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Word count: 10136 Read: 3816
Published: 10 Sep 2006 Updated: 10 Sep 2006
1. A Fallen Hero by Linda
Somewhere off the coast of Mexico
"Hey Judson, are you going to sleep all day?" Yelled Mac knocking on the door to Judson room.
"Mac, Judson's not in there. He got up about five and went diving," replied Gabe walking by Mac.
"Why didn't anyone tell me?" asked Mac going back to the kitchen.
"There's something wrong with Judson and I think it has to do with the phone call he got last night," stated Gabe pouring coffee in the cup.
"What do you mean a phone call?" Mac asked sitting down at the table.
"All I know is that Judson was doing some work on his new article, when the phone rang. I couldn't hear who was talking to because he went out on tthe deck to talk. He looked different. I asked him if something was wrong. He said no and went to bed," said Gabe.
"I heard him pacing the floor most of the night," replied Mac.
"I heard footsteps on the deck, it has to be Judson," said Gabe.
"Mac, I want you to go back down and see what you can find. I found what looks like a shipwreck, but I'm not sure if it's the right one," said Judson pouring coffee into a cup.
"Judson, this is not like you. Has something happen," replied Gabe.
"Gabe, when Mac's done with the dive, I want you to bring the Vast Explorer home to port," replied Judson turning to go down the hallway.
"Judson, what's wrong?" asked Mac.
"Something has happen and I'm not sure if I can go on. As soon as I pack, I have to catch a plane for home," said Judson going into his room.
Judson opened the closet and took the bag out of it. He put it on the bed and started to put some clothes in it from the dresser. He looked up to see the picture of two nen in it. Judson slowly moved his hand over the picture. 'I have to know what happened, Dad, and I will find out,' Judson told himself, putting the picture in the bag and zipping it. Judson picked up the bag and walked to the deck of the Vast Explorer.
"Mac, thank you for taking me to the docks so I can catch a plane," said Judson.
Judson walked to the plane and boarded it. He sat down in a seat. A stewardess came up to him.
"Mr. Cross, we'll be taking off in a few minutes. Would you like something to drink?" asked the woman.
"No, thank you. How long before we take off?" asked Judson.
"We have two more people to wait on. They should be here soon, he called and said they called and said they were coming," said the woman.
The two people arrived and started to board the plane.
"Has Judson arrived?" asked the woman boarding the plane.
"Yes, he just arrived," replied the stewardess.
"Judson," replied Annie walking up to the seat and touching him on the shoulder.
Judson turned the chair around to see who it was. He smiled when he saw it was Annie.
"Your mother thought it might be easier if I came," said Annie.
"She's right as usual. Do you know what happen?" asked Judson.
"I don't know for sure, I've been here two days and no one could tell me what exactly happened. Then I found Dr. Hill, who told me what he thought happened," replied Annie holding Judson's hand.
"I'll tell you what I know, Judson. Your dad recieved a call from Dr. Leonaold, who was at the Mexico site. He said that they were having some problems. Some things were disappearing from the site," replied Dr. Hill.
"Like what?" asked Judson.
"A year ago, he found what looked like a tomb. The markings on the outside looked like the ones that belong to a king. We started working on it. After four months we came to the inner chamber. Jack was sure that he had found Montezuma remains."
"He still wasn't sure though because the tomb wasn't as large as he thought it should be. More he dug, the more he found. He called the museum and told them to make room for a new exhibit. He started shipping things as he found them. Jack decided to go back to the museum, get the exhibit ready. The next morning I went to his tent to see if he was ready, but he wasn't there. I heard one of the workers yelling that the tomb had collapsed. I ran there, just as they were bringing his body out," said Dr. Hill.
"I talked to dad about two months ago. He was so excited about what he had found. He said that he was doing back, I asked him to wait and I would go with him, but he said that he couldn't wait. That was the last time I talked to him," replied Judson.
"Jack called Tony. He has him watching any museum auction for the stolen items," said Annie.
"Dad wouldn't call Tony unless he was sure about the stolen items," said Judson.
"Mr. Cross, we'll be landing in a few minutes. The crew is sorry for what happened to your dad," said the stewardess.
"Thank you. I need to talk to Tony. He needs to be watching the museum in Mexico City. A few days ago I received word that several artifacts were being sold. I don't know who's behind the auction," said Judson walking off the plane.
The Vast Explorer
Gabe watched as Mac swam toward the sunken ship. Mac shook her head at rover, so Gabe would know that this was not the ship they were looking for. Mac started for the surface. Gabe just stood there. He just laid the phone down. He looked at Mac as she came closer.
"Gabe, what's the matter?" asked Mac.
"That was Nancy, Judson's sister. She called to see if Judson had left yet. That's when she told me. Judson's dad has died," said Gabe.
"That's why Judson was in a bad mood. We need to get the Explorer home. He may need us," said Mac
"If we leave now, it should take us two or three days to get home. I'll get underway now," replied Gabe.
An Office in Mexico City
"Mr. Lopez, the crates have arrived. Do you want us to start unpacking them?" asked the man.
"Yes, be very careful unpacking it," said Lopez looking at an invoice.
"I think you'll like what's there. The value of the items are over 10 million dollar. If you like these, just let me know. I'm sure I can get more of them," said the mysterious man.
"I'm sure they are worth their value, but I have to have buyers for the auction," said Mr. Lopez.
"You don't have to worry about buyers, when they hear what you have to sell, they will want it," said the man.
"I hope so, I'm taking a big chance selling it," said Lopez.
The Cross Home at Beau Harbor
"Nancy, have you heard from Judson? Does he know about his dad?" asked Beth Cross.
"Mom, Judson knows. Annie called him and I called the Vast Explorer and talked to Gabe. Judson should be here soon. Annie called to say the plane has landed. They should be here soon. Mom, Judson will take of everything," replied Nancy.
"I hear a car, is it Judson?" asked Judson's Mom.
"Yes mom, it's Judson," said Nancy.
Judson stood there with his hand on the doorknob. He could feel his dad as he opened the door. He expected to hear his dad asked why he was late getting home. He never knew what to say. Now he only had a memory of his dad. He slowly walked into the room, he knew that his mom was in his dad's den. He walked into the room, his mom was sitting in the big chair behind the desk.
"Mom, I'm here," said Judson going to the desk.
"I was just sitting here remembering. When he wasn't gone, I could find him here, looking over a new site. Do you know he was very involved in what you were doing. He told me about that summer that you graduated, he was surprised when you showed up at the site in Mexico. He called me and talked forever about you," said his mom.
"I will take care of everything. I plan to find out what happenned," said Judson.
"Then you will need these. Your dad taped everything and sent them home," replied his mom.
"Annie told me that the funeral is tomorrow. I'll wait till later to look at the tapes. Dad may have left something on them, that will help," said Judson.
"It's late, I'm going to bed Judson, you can use your dad's den," said his mom.
"Good night mom, I'll check on you when I come up," said Judson hugging his mom.
Judson watched as his mom left the room. He started to look around the room just as Annie opened the door.
"I should of known, you can't wait can you?" asked Annie.
"No, I have to know what happened. I couldn't sleep if I tried. You know me too well," replied Judson smiling.
"I should... How long has it been now?" asked Annie walking up to Judson.
"Let's see, Connor is 23 now, so it means that means it would be 24 years," said Judson smiling.
"I called Conner and Jensen, they both will be here," said Annie.
"They grew up fast. Jensen is 20 now. It seems like yesterday that they were born," said Judson.
"I'm going to bed, the tapes that you want are in the file cabinet. Your dad was afraid that someone would break into the house. Your mom put you in your old room," replied Annie.
"Thanks," said Judson giving Annie a kiss on the lips.
Judson closed the door behind her. He needed to call the one person that might be able to help. He sat down at his dad desk and opened the file cabinet. He took the tapes out and laid them on the desk. He picked up his cell phone and dialed the number. He could hear it ringing as he looked at the writing on the tapes. They were from the site in Mexico and the site in Arizona.
"This is Mark Wheeler, can I help?" asked the voice.
"This is Judson, Mark. I need some help from you," replied Judson.
"I have been expecting you to call. I heard about your dad. I'm sorry. When I heard I started to work on it. I know about the stolen items. Dr. Grey called me about some things missing from the museum there. I'm in Arizona now. I need a list of the items that were there." said Mark.
"I'll have to look, but I know that dad has everything written down. Where are you going to be at?" asked Judson.
"Fax the list to Dr. Grey's office. As soon as I'm done here, I'm going to the site in Mexico. I know that I'll be seeing you there," said Mark.
"Yes I'll be there right after the services," said Judson.
"Judson, my grandfather told me to tell you that Red Eagle is watching you and that it is your destiny to protect them," said Mark.
"I remember and I will keep that promise," said Judson.
Judson walked to the television and put one of the tapes in. He watched as the face of his dad came on the screen.
"Hello Judson. If your watching this, that means I have died. I know that I should of waited for you, but you know me... I couldn't wait. Something is going on at the Mexico site. In the last few months several items have been stolen. By now I'm sure Dr. Hill has told you that we believe we have found the tomb of the king. It is not as large as I assumed it would be, but the items we found would of been worn by a king. The tomb may of been built smaller to fool robbers. I received a call from Dr. Grey last week. Someone has stolen some items from the site there. I'm sure it only be a matter of time before these things will surface at an auction. Judson take care of your mother and please be careful. The following will show you what is missing," said Jack Cross.
"I brought you some coffee. I can't sleep. Are those the items that were stolen?" asked Annie handing the cup to Judson.
"Yes, they are," replied Judson drinking the coffee.
"Judson, I have seen that robe. It's on display at a museum. They are having an auction for some dealer who's getting rid of some things," said Annie looking at Judson.
"That robe is a fake. Dad had some of the ladies from the reservation make it. When we found what was left of the people that had been there, they were wearing robes, but trying to save as much as we could, it was impossible. The jewels and gold is fake too. We found the gold and jewels after months of sifting through the dirt," replied Judson.
"What about the rest of it?" Annie asked.
"The rest of it's real. The estimated value from the museum in Phoenix is about 5 to 10 million. The value of what was taken from the tomb at the Mexico site is a lot more. This is the robe that was taken. It's in better shape because it hasn't been exposed to the elements. According to dad, it was found inside a vault. It was around the body of the king. The feathers are eagle feathers dipped in gold. With today's gold prices, that robe is worth over 10 million alone," said Judson.
"I'm going back to bed and try again," said Annie.
"I'll be up in a little bit," Replied Judson.
Judson sat back down in the chair, closed his eyes and remembered. It had seemed like so long ago. He remembered the vision as if it was yesterday. He could see the ghostly figure of the man in a red headdress and robe. Then he heard a voice, 'Judson it's your destiny to protect us from those who would destroy us again'.
Judson walked into the kitchen, he could smell the coffee and someone cooking.
"Are you awake? I looked in on you and found you asleep in your dad's chair," replied Judson's mom.
"I didn't mean to fall asleep there," replied Judson taking the coffee from his mom.
"When your dad was home, I would find him asleep in his chair. I need to get dressed now," said his mom who started to walk out of the kitchen.
"Mom, I wanted you to know that I have made a decision. I'm coming home to take care of you and the museums. I know that's what dad would want me to do," replied Judson.
"Did I hear you say you'd stay home? Judson Cross, you will not stay home. I can run the museums. Are you telling me that you're going to quit because you think I need help? You will not quit, do you hear me?" stated his mom.
"Yes, I hear you," replied Judson smiling at his mom.
Judson followed his mom up the stairs. He opened the door to his room where Annie had his clothes ready.
"Thanks, I need to take a shower and then I'll be right down," said Judson going toward the bathroom.
"Judson, Mark is on the phone for you," yelled Annie coming into the room.
Judson came out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped his waist. Annie stood with a smile on her face, as she watched Judson try to hold on to the towel.
"Mark's on the phone for you," said Annie smiling as she left the room.
"I'll get you later for this," replied Judson as he took the phone.
"Judson, we found something. Can you come to Phoenix as soon as you can?" asked Mark.
"I can leave as soon as the services are over. Mom will understand," said Judson.
"Annie, is Judson ready?" asked his mom.
"Mark called from Phoenix, something about the stolen items. I'll go check and see if he's ready," replied Annie.
"Let me do it," said the tall man going up the stairs.
As he reached the top of the stairs, he could hear noises coming from the room. He opened the door to see Judson trying to tie his tie.
"Can I help you? You could never do it," said the man.
Judson turned around at the sound of the voice. He smiled at the man standing in front of him. It was like looking at himself at that age.
"Grandma want's to know if you're ready," said Connor.
"I'm ready, except for the tie. I don't have much use for them in my line of work," replied Judson.
"Here, I'll do it for you," said Connor.
"You're as tall as me... you grew too fast. Your sister here yet?" asked Judson.
"She's downstairs with Grandma," said Connor.
"Let's go," said Judson going down the stairs.
"They said that you were home, but I thought they were wrong... but I guess not," said Jensen.
"I saw you last year, that counts for something," said Judson.
"It's pretty bad when we have to watch the Discovery channel to see you," said Jensen.
White Mountain Reservation, Arizona
"I just talked to Judson, he's coming here. Are you sure about what you found?" asked Mark.
"I'm sure, there's no doubt about that there is something wrong," said the man.
"Can you take me to the cave and we can see what we can find. John, take some agents and look around. Ask questions. We need to find answers," said Mark getting into the Jeep.
Mark and the man drove to the entrance of a cave that was in White Mountain. Mark and the man got out of the Jeep. Mark grabbed his flashlight and started for the entrance to the cave.
"Has anyone been in the cave doing any kind of work?" asked Mark looking at the walls.
"We had to have some of the stairs repaired," replied the man.
"There's something wrong with the drawings on the walls," said Mark.
"They're not the same ones," replied Walking Bear.
"What does the old man mean by that?" asked the man.
"I was with Dr. Cross the day he saw them for the first time. They showed an ancient tribe and their journey to this land from Mexico and the meeting of the Apache. It also shows how they became a part of the Apache nation," said Mark looking at the wall.
"Mark, shine the light toward this wall. Do you see where someone has tried to patch the wall," said Walking Bear.
"This wall was removed and filled with concrete. Then they tried to reproduce the drawings. You can see the difference in the wall," replied Mark walking out of the cave.
"Agent Wheeler, Downy wants to see you in the museum," replied the agent.
"Did he say what he wanted?" Mark asked getting into the Jeep.
"He said something about them not being real gold," said the agent.
"He's checking the museum," said Mark.
Museum in Mexico City
"This is last of the crates. Does Dr. Lopez realizes what's here?" asked the man.
Tony walked in the door, he was hoping it was the door he was told to go to.
"Excuse me, are you Tony? Mr. Lopez said that he hired someone to help us set up the items for the auction. We have to be careful with some of the items," replied the man.
"Are these the items you're talking about?" asked Tony holding up a gold bracelet from one of the crates.
"That's one of the items," said the man.
"It looks like it's real old," said Tony looking at more items.
"It's suppose to be from the time of the Aztec's," replied the man.
"I thought it was against the law to sell anything found to be Aztec," replied Tony.
"These aren't Aztec, but from another museum," said the man.
"If I didn't know better, I would say that they were, but if you say they are from another museum, who am I to argue with you," said Tony laying the items on a table.
Cross Family Home
A car drives up in front of the house. Gabe and Mac get out of the car.
"Is this where Judson grew up?" asked Mac.
"Yes, it is. They must not be back yet," replied Gabe.
"I hope Judson understands why we had to dock The Vast Explorer off the coast of Florida," said Mac.
"We been babying that engine for so long and it finally gave out," replied Gabe.
"Do you two always stand on the porch talking. They're home if you want to go in," said Connor opening the door.
"Gabe, it so nice to see you. You must be Mac? Judson told us about you," said Mrs. Cross walking to the living room.
"Mrs. Cross I'm sorry about Jack, he was like a dad to me," said Gabe.
"Thank you, Judson is out back," replied Mr. Cross as they walked to the back door.
Gabe and Mac walked thought the door to the balcony. They could see Judson walking on the beach with Annie.
"Gabe, does Judson have someone everywhere we go?" asked Mac.
"No and this is different. Those others were just friends. Annie is a lot more than a friend. Annie is Judson' wife," said Gabe.
"So all those times that he would be gone for a while or to visit a friend. He was going to see Annie. Why didn't he tell us?" Mac asked.
"I knew, but Judson's private life is just that private. He didn't want anyone to know. He wanted Connor and Jensen to grow with some privacy," said Gabe.
"Was that Connor who met us at the front door?" asked Mac.
"Hey, you two. Did you just get here? I wasn't expecting you for two more days. Don't tell me, how far did you get before the engine quit?" asked Judson walking up the stairs to the balcony.
"It's docked in Ft. Walton. We didn't know who to call for the engine," said Gabe.
"Judson, I'll call Hank and get him started on it. I'll let him know that it's a complete overhaul and to replace the engines. I don't how long it will take," said Annie walking into the house.
"I guess now is as good time to tell you. I'm not going back out for a while. I need some time with my family and I need to find out who did this to my dad. I have to finish what he started. I don't know how long it will take. All I can tell you, is that if you want to stay , it will be up to you," said Judson going into the house.
Mac and Gabe looked at each other and then shook their heads. They walked into the room. Judson was sitting at his dad's desk watching another tape.
"We have decided to stay, you might be able to use our help," said Gabe.
"I appreciate the help, but there could be some risk. They have stolen items from two different sites. We have no idea who they are or how many there is of them. I'm leaving in a little while for Arizona. My friend Mark is an agent with the FBI, he has been leading the investigation, because the museum is on a government reservation. They have found that several of the items have been replaced by copies. Whoever is behind this, had to have the money and the know how to do it," said Judson.
"So I need to look for someone that has money and could get people in with no suspicion. I'll get started with the search," replied Gabe leaving the room.
"Mac, could you stay, I need to explain," said Judson.
"There's nothing to explain. I just assumed that you weren't involve with anyone," said Mac smiling.
"I guess that I should have said something. I'm sorry, but I always tried to keep my life private," replied Judson.
"I guess I had better go help Gabe," said Mac leaving room.
Annie walked pass Mac, who smiled at her and went on to the den.
"Judson, the plane is ready. I packed your bag and the car is out front. Hank called me and said that you're looking at least six months to overhaul the engine. He left today to tow the Vast Explorer home to port. Judson, did you hear me?" Annie asked watching Judson's face.
"Yes, I heard six months. Did you see what I saw?" asked Judson rewinding the tape.
"What am I looking for?" asked Annie.
"Do you know who those men are?" asked Judson.
"No, but that man on the left looks familiar. This is one of the tapes from the Mexico site. There he is again, he seems to be interested in what your dad is doing," said Annie.
'That man came back today. He has been several times. None of the others know who he is. He watched us open the tomb and has been trying to get in to the tomb. I don't trust this man. He followed Dr. Hill to Dr Leonard's lab. He kept asking him if the robe was actually gold' said Jack Cross.
"I don't think that dad trusted him. We need to find out who he is," said Judson.
"I already checked him out. The report is on the desk. This was one of the last tapes to come here. I looked at it and then started to check on the man. He seems to have an interest in the Aztec.
He wrote your father several times offering to buy anything that he found. It seems that he owned a museum in Mexico City," said Annie.
"I have come across people that only deal with certain items or people like the Aztec's," said Judson who was looking out the window.
"Judson, is something wrong?" asked Annie.
"I was just thinking about something I heard. Don't let us be destroyed again," said Judson turning around.
"You're hearing the voice again, aren't you?" asked Annie.
"Yes, but I was thinking about what dad and a Professor Nickols wrote about. He believed that outsiders destroyed the powerful nation. What if this man is trying to do the same thing?" Judson asked.
"Until your dad uncovered the site in Arizona, no one knew what happen to them. They just assumed that they had vanished. The outsiders were Spaniards. Could this man be trying to do it again? What you're hearing, does it have to do with the original disappearance of those people?" asked Annie.
"Yes, it does. I keep hearing don't let them destroy us again," said Judson.
"Judson, according to the report the man came from Spain," replied Annie looking at Judson.
Cross Jet somewhere over Arizona
"We'll be in Phoenix in fifteen minutes," said Annie.
"Mark's meeting us at the landing strip just outside of Phoenix," replied Judson.
"What's the matter?" asked Annie.
"I thought you were joking when you said you were going this time," replied Judson.
"Are you all right with it?" asked Annie.
"Yeah, I am," said Judson holding Annie's hand.
"We should be landing in a few minutes," said Annie.
"Mom, is this where you met dad?" asked Connor.
"Yes it is. The first time I met your dad, he was standing there in the door to his room, with no clothes on," said Annie smiling.
"You didn't tell him that I had just taken a shower and had a towel wrapped around me. When I opened the door, I forgot about the towel and it fell on the floor. I didn't realize I had the lost the towel till I noticed your mom was staring at me," said Judson.
"Did you say anything to him?" asked Connor.
"I didn't get a chance, he closed the door in my face when he looked down," said Annie.
"What did you want me to do? Just stand there and let you look," replied Judson.
"That was the first time that I met your dad. Some of my friends had dared me to knock on his door, but I wasn't expecting to see what I saw," said Annie.
"Back then I was more of a geek," said Judson.
"Mr. Cross, we're landing at the area you requested," said the woman.
"Thank you. I asked the pilot to land here. That way we would be at the site. I called Mark, he's going to meet us here," said Judson getting off the plane.
"Judson, over here," yelled Mark walking toward Judson.
"It's been a long since I last saw you. You did what you said that you would do," replied Judson.
"Your dad told me that if I put my mind to it, I could do anything that I wanted to. After you left for Mexico, I applied to the FBI and was accepted," said Mark.
"I know that your dad would be proud of you, how about your grandfather?" asked Judson.
"He wasn't surprised by my decision. Speaking of grandfather, he wants to see you. I'm suppose to take you there when you arrive," said Mark.
"Judson, you can drop us off at that museum, we can start looking for anything that we might find. Connor, did you bring what I asked you to get?" Annie asked.
"Yes, the chief looked at me strange but I told him I needed a finger printing kit. I explained it was for a reason, so he gave one to me to use. If we find any prints, Gabe can use his computer to match it," said Connor.
"Mac, Mark has a second car, can you take everyone to the site. I need you to watch out for them?" asked Judson.
"I will, I promise," replied Mac.
"I'm ready, Mark. Annie, start at the museum," replied Judson as he got in the car with Mark who handed him an envelope.
"This came yesterday. The return address is a hotel in Mexico City. Is it from Tony?" asked Mark.
"It's from Tony. I knew you would be here and I needed Tony to check out any museum's having any auction," said Judson opening the envelope.
"He is working at a museum there. A few days ago they received several crates. He was trying to see what was in the crates, but they had him unpacking other crates, but whatever was in them, they were being very careful. He sent a catalog of the things being sold. I'll have to look at it later," said Judson.
"Here's grandfather's house," replied Mark getting out of the car.
"Judson! It's good to see you," said Walking Bear coming out of the house.
"It's good to see you," replied Judson hugging the old man.
"There is something different, you have heard the voice again," said Walking Bar looking at Judson.
"Yes I have. It has only been since dad died. He keeps telling me the same thing. Don't let them destroy us again. Annie thought that it might have something to do with that first meeting between the Spaniards and Montezuma," said Judson.
"What do you mean, Judson?" asked Mark looking puzzled.
"Over the years I have wondered about what dad found here and at the site in Mexico. Dad has been keeping a journal on everything that has to do with the Aztec. He wrote in one journal how he believed that Mantalohee and his followers weren't banished for trying to overthrow his brother, but they were banished to save their lives and to save what would be the last of the Aztec people," said Judson looking at Walking Bear.
"Go on, Judson," said Walking Bear.
"My dad was right?" asked Judson.
"Yes. When the Spaniards first arrived, Montezuma and his people welcomed them. As the days went by things changed," said Walking Bear.
"Montezuma saw what was happening to his people. He and his brother used the idea of a revolt so that they could get as many of the people out of the city. He believed that is why the Aztec didn't fight back. They had imprisoned Montezuma and half of the warriors had gone with his brother to protect them," said Judson.
"Yes, but they didn't know that they had already infected the people with their diseases," said Walking Bear.
"That's what Red Eagle means by the saying the Spaniards are trying to destroy them again. Dad's last entry in his journal has something to do with it. He has had several offers to buy the museum here and to buy any artifacts that have been found at the Mexico site," said Judson.
"There was a man here a few days ago. He met with Dr. Grey. I talked to Grey, he said the man wanted to buy the museum, but Grey told him that it wasn't for sale. His Name was Cortez," said Mark.
"Are you sure?" asked Judson.
"Yes, I'm sure, but why did you ask me that question?" asked Mark looking puzzled.
"Think back, according to history, who was the man in charge of the expedition to Mexico?" asked Judson.
"The man was Cortez," said Grandfather.
"His descendent has to be behind this. Dad found out that the Spanish government imprisoned him for what he had done in Mexico. Several of his officers testified at his trial. They accused him of killing people and torture. They said that he did it because Montezuma wouldn't tell him where the gold was. Until my dad discovered the site here, no one knew what really happen to the Aztec. Over the years the people believed that they simply disappeared. My dad finding the tomb was probably the last straw. He's trying to buy everything that has to do with the Aztec's. He's trying to destroy them again just like his ancestor did hundreds of years ago," said Judson.
"I need to get more men here. If he knew that the people here are the descendants of the Aztec's that came here. He could try to kill them," replied Mark.
"I need to go find out what Annie has found," said Judson going to the car.
"Annie is with you?" asked Walking Bear.
"Yes, so is Connor," said Judson.
"I'll bet he is just like his dad," replied Walking Bear.
"He is just like his dad," said Judson.
The museum on the reservation
"Connor, have you found any prints?" Annie asked.
"No, whoever removed this had to be wearing gloves," replied Connor.
"Mark was right, about the items being replaced by fakes. I saw this arm band when they first found it. It was tested and found to be solid gold," said Annie.
"Mom, come here," said Connor staring at the figure.
"What's the matter, Connor?" asked Annie.
"They look so real standing there," replied Connor.
"Don't worry, they're not. Mom just made them that way. She worked for your grandfather for a lot of years. She did facial reconstruction. We should go and meet your father," said Annie walking out of the door.
"Annie, we found something. We went down to where there was an altar and some symbols in the ground. It looks like someone tried to destroy them," replied Mac.
"There's Judson," remarked Gabe.
"Did you find something?" asked Judson.
"Mac and Gabe were down at the circles and it looks like they tried to destroy the sun god," said Annie.
"Then dad's theory is right. A man by the name of Cortez is trying to buy everything," said Judson.
"Judson's, what was in the envelope that Mark gave you?" Annie asked.
"Tony got a job with a museum . They have been getting a lot of crates. He's been trying to see what's in them. This catalog was in there too. It's of items that are for sale at the auction," said Judson handing the catalog to Annie.
"Judson, you need to look at this. The robe that your dad found is in here for sale, as well as several items from the museum here," said Annie.
"If this man is going to so much trouble to steal the items, then why is he selling them at an auction?" asked Mark.
"It doesn't make sense, since the Mexican government has laws about selling ancient artifacts, especially ancient Aztec artifacts. The government informed dad of that law when he started working on the Aztec city. He let them know that any artifacts found would stay in Mexico," said Judson.
"The auction is in three days," said Annie.
"Judson, there's nothing that you can do here. You need to be in Mexico, trying to stop this auction. I can get agent's to accompany you to Mexico," replied Mark.
"If I left now, it would give me some time to check out the tomb and find a way to stop the auction," replied Judson.
"Judson, go. You have to stop them from destroying your dad's work. I'll stay here and try to do what I can. You can call me and let me know what's going on. Be careful," replied Annie hugging Judson.
"I'll be careful, I promise. I'm taking Mac and Gabe with me for backup. I'm leaving Connor with you, because I know you'll worry about me and you don't need to worry about him," said Judson getting into the car.
The Cross Jet
"Call me when you get there," said Annie.
"I will," said Judson hugging Annie.
"Have you seen Connor?" Annie asked.
"I saw him talking to Walking Bear," replied Judson getting on the jet.
"I was just informed that the Cross jet is about to land, sir," said Lopez looking at the man.
"I was expecting him to come here. He's probably trying to find information on how his dad died," said the man.
"Aren't you worried by what he will do when he finds out?" asked Lopez.
"No, that's what I pay my men to take care of," said the man.
"You know that I'm taking a risk by selling the items you have," said Lopez.
"That's why I'm paying you such an enormous amount of money," replied the man.
"I don't understand why you're doing this? Lopez asked.
"Call it revenge for what Jack Cross did," said the man.
"One of my men just called. A jet has landed near the site," said Lopez.
"Did they see who got off?" asked the man.
"No," said Lopez.
A Landing strip near the site
"Mac, I want you and Gabe to look around and see what you can find. I'm going to the tomb to take a look there," said Judson.
"Be careful... you still don't know what caused the tomb to cave in," stated Mac.
"I'll go with him to make sure he's careful," replied Connor getting off the jet.
"Connor! What are you doing here?" exclaimed Judson with a surprised look on his face.
"I thought you could use my help. I was here helping when the tomb caved in," said Connor.
"Your mom is going to kill me," said Judson.
"She knows I'm here. It was her idea for me to go with you. It was her idea for me to help at the site," replied Connor.
"I can't believe this. She even made me promise not to get you involved in what I do. Now I find out that you have been working here. I need to have a long talk with your mom when we get back," replied Judson shaking his head.
Judson was standing there and didn't notice that Dr. Hill had walked over to where he was.
"Judson. We have spent the last few days trying to find the cause for the cave in, but we can't anything. Workers went in and put up supports along the walls to prevent another cave in," said Dr. Hill.
"Mac, you and Gabe looked around and see what you can find. I'm going to the tomb," said Judson as he followed Dr. Hill.
"Your dad discovered the tomb about a year ago. At first he thought it might be a smaller burial site. We found carvings that suggest it was much more. It took us almost a month to get into it. We found an outer chamber containing several cuffs made out of gold. Your dad believed they belonged to Montezuma's family. The inner chamber contained the coffin which had held the body of the king at one time. This is where he found the robe and several other items," replied Dr. Hill stopping in front of the tomb.
"I watched the tapes dad made, he said something about finding markings close to the entrance," replied Judson walking up to the tomb.
"The markings are over here. We assumed that it was the entrance," said Dr. Hill.
"These carvings look like they could belong to royalty, but if you didn't know for sure, you would think that they belong to anyone. It was done this way to keep grave robbers out. This symbol here, is the staff that he carried," said Judson.
"As soon as we could, we removed what was left. We have security watching it till the items can be moved," said Dr. Hill.
"I need to go inside. Do you think the walls will hold?" asked Judson.
"It should be alright. I wouldn't touch the walls," said Dr. Hill as Judson walked into the tomb.
Mac and Gabe were walking around the plaza when they heard an explosion. They looked to see where it came from, when they saw two men running from the area of the tomb. Mac and Gabe ran toward the tomb. They got there to find Dr. Hill and Connor yelling for help.
"My dad's inside. Dr. Hill went to get help," yelled Connor digging with a shovel.
Judson slowly started to move. He didn't know how much room he had. Most of the interior walls had collapsed around him. He tried to move his legs and found that he was pinned down by the wood and dirt. He tried to move his arm, but the pain went through him like a knife. Judson could feel himself losing consciousness.
White Mountain Reservation
"Annie, I thought I would find here. Did they get everything in the museum?" asked Mark.
"Everything here is a fake, whoever did this went to great length to make them look real. Did you want me?" asked Annie.
"A man has been asking questions. I told him he should talk to you," replied Mark.
"Where is he?" Annie asked.
"He said that he would wait by his car," said Mark who followed Annie to where the man was..
"I'm Annie Cross, can I help you?" asked Annie.
"Mrs. Cross I'm Juan Cortez. You probably have seen me at the site in Mexico but it's not for the reason you think. I know that you think I'm behind the theft of the items, but actually I'm trying to recover the items. I work for the Mexican government. I have reason to believe that my brother is behind all of this," said Cortez.
"How do I know you're telling me the truth?" asked Annie.
"I was at the site to see Jack Cross the day the accident happen. I suspected that my brother was behind it. He has always believed that what happened to our family has been someone else fault," said Cortez.
"Your talking about what happen with Cortez and the Aztec people?" Annie asked.
"Yes, my family left Spain shortly after Cortez came back from Mexico. The government took away all of his land and property. He was forced to leave but he died before he could. His family took what they had and came to America. Everything that was known about our ancestor was not talked about till a few years ago. My grandfather talked about how our family was one of the wealthiest families in Spain till this happened. Since that day my brother has blamed them for what happened," replied Cortez.
"So he set out to destroy what his ancestor couldn't do. Maybe your brother should have read the history books because almost two years later the Aztec people were slowly vanishing with their empire because of what he left behind. The diseases that he and his men brought with them," Annie replied.
"Annie, we have to go there's been another cave in at the site," yelled Mark.
"What caved in?" asked Annie.
"The tomb collapsed again. Annie, Judson was in the tomb," replied Mark
"No! No! I have to go there," cried Annie.
"I have a jet waiting for us," replied Mark as they got in the car.
The Site in Mexico
"We have to keep digging. He could die in there," yelled Connor.
"Connor if we keep digging more of it could collapse. Right now we have to hope that he has enough air," said Mac.
"We have to find another way to get him out," replied Gabe.
"What are you doing, Dr. Hill?" asked Connor.
"The outside of the tomb has become hardened as the result of years, from the rain and then being baked by the sun. The outer sides have become hard as clay. We can open the tomb and put boards up to keep the sides from collapsing. We need more men from the site," said Dr. Hill.
"Then we need to get started," said Connor.
"I found the wood that we need and the men too," replied Gabe laying the wood on the ground.
Inside the tomb
"My head hurts. I must have hit it when I fell," thought Judson as he tried to sit up. He realized that his arm was broken. "Nothing thing else seems to be wrong with me. I have to try and get out of here. I don't have much air left. I have to stay still or the tomb could collapsed more," said Judson.
"We have an opening, it's not very big but it's a start. Mac, start putting up the wood on the sides and overhead. I'll keep digging," replied Connor.
"How much further do you have to go before you reach Judson?" asked Mac.
"I need a light to see where I'm at," yelled Connor digging at the dirt.
"I have a flashlight for you. I'll bring it to you. What are you trying to see?" asked Mac crawling into the entrance to the tomb.
"I'm looking for marks on the wall that will tell me how far I'm from the inner chamber. I was here a few months ago and grandpa showed me the marks," explained Connor.
"Connor! Are they marks like a straight line?" asked Mac shining the light on the wall.
"Yes, did you find them?" Connor asked.
"I found something on your left, it looks like the marks you were talking about," replied Mac.
"I'm not too far from the chamber," said Connor crawling through the dirt.
"Can you see anything?" Mac asked.
"I'm at the chamber. I can't see him. Mac, hand me the flashlight," said Connor shining the light around the chamber. 'I'll have to crawl and try to feel for him,' thought Conner. Connor kept crawling, when he suddenly could feel his dad's hand.
"I found him, Mac," yelled Connor who started removing the dirt from on top of Judson.
"How bad is he hurt?" asked Mac.
"I don't know yet. Dad, can you hear me, it's Connor," replied Connor.
"Connor!" Yelled Judson trying to move closer.
"Are you hurt?" asked Connor reaching his dad.
"My arm is broke and my head hurts," said Judson laying on the floor.
"Mac! I need Gabe to help pull him out. He's hurt," yelled Connor clearing the dirt of his dad.
"Connor, I'm here," yelled Gabe.
"His right arm is broken. I need to find a way to hold his arm down so we can pull him out," said Connor looking at Gabe.
"Connor! Are you wearing a belt?" asked Gabe.
"No, but dad is. I can use the belt like a sling to hold his arm in place. Then we can pull him out," replied Connor removing the belt.
"Are we ready?" Asked Gabe.
"I'm ready, we have to grab him by the shoulders and drag him out. Dad, did you hear us?" asked Connor grabbing his shoulder.
"I hear you, it's okay I can take the pain if it means getting out of here," said Judson.
"You ready? When I say pull, I want you to pull. Now pull on him," said Connor as he and Gabe dragged Judson out of the tomb.
"We need to get him to the hospital. We can use the car to get there," said Dr. Hill.
"What happened, I heard an explosion and then the tomb caved in on me," said Judson.
"You're right, but I don't know who set of the explosion," replied Dr. Hill.
"We can find out later. We need to get you to the hospital before mom finds out that you're hurt," remarked Connor.
"It's too late for that, your mom probably already knows," said Judson.
"Why do you say that?" asked Mac.
"Because a car just drove up and it's Annie getting out," replied Judson.
"Are you alright? What do you think you were doing in that tomb?" yelled Annie.
"I'm alright except for a broken arm," replied Judson.
"That's the man in the picture, what is he doing with you?" asked Connor.
"Yes, he's the man but he's not responsible for the items being stolen. His name is Cortez and he is a descendant of that Cortez, but he works for the Mexican government and he is trying to stop the auction. His brother is behind everything," said Annie.
"You mean his brother is responsible for my dad's death?" asked Judson looking puzzled.
"Yes. The day I was here, I came to talk Dr. Cross. I wanted to offer my help in recovering the items but I learned that he had died in an accident," said Cortez.
"According to what I heard from Tony, this auction is to take place tomorrow at 1:00. It's being held at a museum owned by Antonio Lopez," replied Judson.
"We need to get your arm taken care and then we'll worry about the auction. Mac? Can you go to the museum and watch who goes in? Take Gabe and Connor with you," said Annie going toward the car.
"Now that I know what museum is having the auction, I may be able to stop it," stated Cortez.
"I'll go with you, I may not have any authority here but some of the items were from a U.S. government reservation," said Mark following Cortez.
Mac left with Gabe and Connor for Mexico City and the museum. Annie helped Judson into the car. She drove to the jet and had the pilot fly them to Mexico City.
"Is everything ready for the auction?" asked the man.
"Yes, would you like to see the items?" asked Lopez.
"No! Our agreement was for you to sell them at the highest bid you could get. I'll pay your commission and that will be the end of it," said the man.
'I'm not so sure. Jack Cross has a son that will not stop till he finds the person responsible,' thought Lopez staring at the man.
A car pulls up in front of the museum. The driver takes out a camera and positions it in the window.
"We need to take pictures of everyone that goes in there. We don't know who has been invited," replied Mac.
"Knowing Lopez, he has invited only those with money. Even the smallest medallion is worth at least a hundred thousand dollars," said Connor looking at the catalog.
"I can only imagine what Judson will do when he gets hold of this guy," replied Mac.
"I know what he'll do. His dad was his hero and mine too. He did some things that dad wouldn't have done," said Connor.
"You mean like hanging from the edge of cliff to get the artifacts he wanted, or some of the other things Judson's done," said Gabe.
"Grandpa told me about the summer that dad graduated from college. Dad was going to stay with his friend Mark and then go back east to start law school, but the end of summer saw my dad leaving for Mexico. He had decided to follow in his dad footsteps," replied Connor.
"We'll take turns watching, while you and Gabe gets some sleep," said Mac.
Annie was sitting in the hospital room for news on Judson's condition, when the doctor came in the room.
"I presume you're Mrs. Cross? I'm Dr. Gomez. Your husband has a broken arm and possibly a concussion. I want to keep him overnight for observation but he says no. I can give him something for pain but I can't force him to stay, but I. If he should have any problems, please bring back here," replied the doctor.
"Judson, you need to stay here tonight, but it's no use arguing with you," said Annie.
"I have to stop this auction. What I need is to know is who was invited," said Judson getting into the car.
"I talked to my dad and I asked him who he thought would have been invited. He sent me a list by computer," said Annie handing the list to Judson.
Mac sat in the car watching the museum and didn't see the man coming up to the car. He slowly opened the door as Mac pulled the gun from her coat.
"Before you go any further, I have a gun pointed at you," replied Mac.
"It's okay, I know him. Get in the car. Do you have what Dad needs," asked Connor looking at the man.
"Yeah, I got one, it wasn't hard to do. One of the workers need some help in getting the exhibit up. There was a stack of them on a table. It looks like they have opened the auction to anyone. Tell Judson, I'll be close by. Nice to meet you by the way, my name is Tony," replied Tony smiling as he got out of the car.
"I need to call dad and let him know that Tony contacted me," said Connor dialing the number.
"This is Judson," replied Judson.
"It's Connor. Tony contacted me. He gave me an invitation," said Connor.
"I knew that Tony would find a way. Now we have a plan. We just can't go in like ourselves. Tell Mac that you will need a disguise. She can come up with anything," said Judson.
"Tony was able to get an invite. He gave it to Connor," replied Judson.
"They are going to be expecting people with money. We're going to have to dress like we have money," said Annie.
"Do we have the money to pull this off?" asked Judson looking at Annie.
"Yes, we have the money and more. What do you think is in that briefcase," said Annie.
"You knew," said Judson.
"Yes, I knew that they will probably want cash," said Annie smiling.
Judson stood at the window looking out. He was remembering his dad and what he had done with his life. He told himself that it would go on in him and Connor. He smiled as he thought about that day he showed up at the site in Mexico. Dad wasn't too happy with me, he thought. Now someone was stealing everything that his dad had worked for. I am going to stop them, I promise dad, said Judson to himself. Judson sat in the chair and watched the sun come up. He looked to see Annie still sleeping. He didn't want to wake her but he knew that if he didn't he would hear about it later. He walked over to the bed and gave her a kiss on the cheek, which woke her up.
"It's morning. If we're going to pull this off, we need to meet with Connor and the others," said Judson sitting down on the bed.
"You're still worried, aren't you? I can see it in your face. You just have to act like nothing is wrong. I'm sure that Mac and Gabe have been in similar situations like this before. Connor will be all right, he knows what to do," said Annie hugging Judson.
"Mac, are you ready?" yelled Connor putting on the suit jacket.
"I just have to put on the heels your mom bought," said Mac.
"Gabe should have the pictures ready by the time we get there," replied Connor opening the door for Mac.
Judson and Annie drove up to the parked car where Gabe was taking pictures as the people walked into the museum.
"Judson, the pictures are ready if you want to see them. I think that you're going to be surprised to see who's here," stated Gabe as Judson got in the car and picking up the pictures.
"You're right, Gabe. Some of them are dad's rivals in the archeologist world. Some of them have the money. Tell me this man isn't in there?" asked Judson.
"Yes, he just arrived. Isn't he your friend Dr. Grey?" asked Gabe looking at Judson.
"Yes he is, but why is he here?" Judson asked.
"Mac and Connor are here," replied Annie.
"If you're ready then let's go so we can get this over with," said Judson as they walked into the museum.
Judson handed the invitation to the man at the door. He waved them on. Judson couldn't help but notice the items for auction. Judson walked around the room looking at the people. He noticed that Mark was standing off in the corner. Cortez was not too far away.
Judson caught Dr. Grey out of the corner of his eye. He was slowly moving to the front. Then Judson noticed that he had a microphone.
"My name is John Grey Eagle and they are destroying my heritage again. These items that are being sold should be in a museum for your children and their children to see. They are what is left of a once proud race that men destroyed for one thing only... The gold that they had. I'm a descendant of these people and there are more of us. We live on the White Mountain reservation. Some of these items were stolen from a museum on the reservation. Many others from a site here in Mexico, but there is more than just the thief of the artifacts. We have lost one of our own because of hate for the Aztec people. Dr. Jack Cross was killed when a tomb he was exploring collapsed on him. Don't let his life be for nothing."
Judson watched as two men escorted him out of the room. He motioned for Mac and Connor to follow. Dr. Lopez came to the microphone to announce that the bidding was open. Judson saw that agents Cortez and Wheeler had arrested Mantero Cortez.
"Mr. Lopez, you told us that the items were donated to you. You lied to us. The items are really from the Cross museum and the Aztec site," said the man looking at Judson.
"We will miss your dad, but he leaves a son behind that is following in his footsteps," replied the other man.
"Thank you," replied Judson who watched as agent Cortez arrested Lopez.
"Judson, I have men packing crates with the items for Arizona and the site," said Tony.
"Everything is going to Arizona for security. We'll worry about things when we get back," said Judson.
"Are you all right Judson?" asked Mark.
"Yes, now to go home. I'll come to the reservation after I get back. I just need some time to recover and spend some time with my family," replied Judson turning and walking over to Annie.
"You ready to go home?" Annie asked Judson with a smile.
"Yes, I need to talk to Dr. Grey," said Judson.
"You can talk to him when you get home," said Annie.
"Okay, I'll talk to him when we get back," said Judson.
Judson was walking out of the museum when he turned his head to see who it was.
"You have saved us again from those that would destroy us," said the voice.
Judson smiled when he heard the voice. He took Annie's hand and walked to the car.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.