Emerald Fire: Book Summary
When Ryan comes to, he finds that the walls of the gateway are a bright emerald green, and it is quite hot. They leave the gateway and the redoubt itself. It is incredibly tiny, this particular redoubt. Once outside, they find themselves in the middle of a jungle. All things considered, the jump wasnt all that bad. J.B. checks his sextant and discovers that they are somewhere in the South American Jungle.
They spot a huge, beautiful butterfly, which turns out to be carnivorous and attacks Dean, latching on his neck. Ryan grabs the mutant and kills it. A short time later they spot three natives leaving a sacrifice on an alter near the redoubt. The natives take one look at Jak and run off.
They find a large pool of clear, clean water. They take the time to go for a swim and refresh themselves, as well as get a drink of water. Again a while after they arrive at the pool they spot several natives watching them, and once again, the natives leave without saying a word.
They continue on their way, coming across a column of slaves leading a group of natives. They try to hide at first until Dean ends up jumping out and letting the slavers know there are people near by. Things seem a little tense, but no weapons are fired. The leader of the slavers is a man named Rodrigo Bivar.
Once the slavers pass, Krysty goes totally ballistic on Ryan for not at least trying to do something to help the natives that were taken captive by the slavers. He fights back saying that if they did fight, odds are very high that Dean would have been killed in the exchange. Finally the fight ends, and in their own ways, they are both right. It takes Doc to point out that fact.
Again they continue to explore. They hear the sounds of gunfire and go to check it out. A group of natives are under fire from four slavers. They kill the slavers, not wanting to let them escape this time around. Its a massacre. They come down and get the survivors to take them back to their ville.
When they arrive the villagers react strongly to Jak. They consider him to be a god. They meet the villes leader, a man named Itzcoatl. Over diner, which turns out be a feast. The group agree to help the villagers fight the slavers, as well as a rival tribe. After the feast, the leader tells the group that hell send women to the huts for the men, which pisses off Krysty and Mildred to no end, until they discover that the men were only teasing.
As it has happened many times in the past, Ryan wakes up in the middle of the night feeling the urge to do natures bidding. While he is doing it, a native from a rival tribe attacks, and nearly succeeds in chilling Ryan. It was only one of four men, and Ryan is able to finally defeat the warrior. One is killed, two are captured, and one manages to escape.
The next morning the villagers that were killed are embalmed and buried below their homes. They want to know about the airbase that the tribe helped build before the skydark. They learn that a huge battle took place there during the war, and that the natives are afraid of the place, fearing the ghosts of the dead. Ryan decides that they should check the base out, and Itzcoatl sends a young native girl named Rainflower with them as their guide.
The young girl leads them to the base and they see how much damage it has suffered over the years. Most of the buildings are in near ruins and they see the wreckage of two helicopters as well as some armored vehicles. J.B. finds a corpse and pulls a rusted SVD-1 off the ground. It appears that the attackers were Russians. All over the Deathlands they have heard rumors about the Russians having invaded just after the war. Rainflower is too fearful to enter the building and ends up staying behind and is attacked by huge mutant Python.
Jak goes after the giant snake, jumping unto its neck and driving one of his throwing blades deep into the mutants eye, eventually killing it. After they revive the girl, she wont leave Jaks side and even goes into the ruin of the base.
They head into one of the larger buildings, discovering that it is in fairly good condition, all things considered. They find that one of the storerooms filled with chemicals survived relatively intact and both J.B. and Doc take a load, thinking that it would come in handy later on.
Dean finds a box of grenades, but they are in fairly poor shape. They test one, finding that it doesnt work. Then by pure bad luck Dean drops a grenade back into the box, and they can hear a ticking noise. They scatter, just in time. The grenades explode, destroying the box and creating a crater at least fifteen yards in size. Other than some minor bleeding from the ears, the group is unhurt.
Returning to the ville, they rest up and relax. The villes high priest orders them to attend the sacrifice. They are killing the two captured rival tribe members, as well as the one slaver that they managed to capture. The captives are drugged and then forced into the heart of a fire. They are then pulled out and killed by the flying eagle method. Once the sacrifice is completed, they return to the huts to get some sleep.
The next morning they go for breakfast. Itzcoatl threatens them without speaking. They also find that they have warriors lined up behind them. Ryan pulls out his SIG and does a little threatening of his own. He lets Itzcoatl know that they dont like being threatened. Despite the implied threat, Ryan still lets them know that they will do what they can to help them fight off the slavers.
Dean, Jak, and J.B. come down with a stomach bug, and are unable to go out. Krysty and Ryan decide to head back to the old military base to see if they can find anything that is useful to them, anything to give them an edge.
At the base they do find a huge fuel tank brimming with predark gasoline. As they are in the base, animals start coming through, all heading to the west. They are curious and go to see what is scaring the creatures.
Eventually the animals thin out until they are nothing more than a trickle. Its not too long after that they spot a huge swarm of ants. There are so many that they cover over a square mile of jungle. At the speed they are going, in about two days the ants will be at the ville. They head back immediately to warn the villagers about what is about to happen.
The villagers listen wondering what they can do. Doc comes up with a plan. They work all night, placing all the meat in a bowl like area, then using honey to lead the ants to the feast. After that, they use fuel from the military base to make the trap.
Shortly after dawn the ants hit the bowl and the villagers pour the fuel down upon them. Finally they light the gas, destroying nearly all the ants. They spend the morning celebrating, then finally go to sleep. Ryan and Krysty end up going for a walk several hours later.
The two lovers come across the river where the villagers get their fish. The women are fishing. Most of the younger ones dont bother to cover their bodies, and some even openly flaunt themselves before Ryan. While Krysty and Ryan are there, a huge panther attacks, taking a sleeping girl. Ryan tries to kill it, but one of the older women prevents him, saying that its a great honor for the girl.
On the way back to the ville a rainstorm hits, they are forced to head in the opposite direction, looking for shelter. The river is rising too fast and they are unable to get back. Later on, they come to a crossroads and take to the tree to get some rest, in relative safety.
It isnt long before a group of slavers show up and camp for the night. Ryan and Krysty are forced to stay awake and wait until the slavers fall asleep. They are then finally able slip down and make their way back to the village with the news.
Over breakfast they discuss the possibilities on what to do when the slavers come. They figure that they have about three days before the slavers finally make a their final attack against the villagers and take them slave.
They spend the next three days preparing the village, turning it from a peaceful fishing and farming ville into a death trap.
On the fourth day a group of the villager children, under the supervision of some of the older women go to check out their dam for damage. When they are late in returning, Doc and Jak go to see what has happened. They find that the children have all been slaughtered, and the young women raped before being killed. The two men come across four slavers butchering the last two surviving girls. Doc and Jak attack and kill the two men without hesitation.
They figure that it could be another two days before the main body of the slavers finally arrive. While the ville is in mourning, J.B. and Ryan go for a recce that evening, as they cant sleep anyhow due to the drums. They spot Bivar and his gang, and return back to the to set up the final preparations.
Next morning, the slavers show up. They enter the village and Ryan comes to talk. He gives them the option to strip naked and leave the ville. The slavers laugh and go to attack. They are wiped out, almost to a man, Ryan personally killing Bivar. Seven of the slavers are taken captive, and three of the villagers are killed in the fighting, including Rainflower.
They sacrifice the prisoners that night, and after that they are invited to the feast. During the feast, it turns out that Itzcoatl poisons Jak, then lets the others know that they are to leave and when they are gone, that is when they will administer the antidote to the poison they gave Jak. They have no choice but to leave.
Ryan leads them away, but before morning they return so they are within a mile of the ville and wait.
Itzcoatl ends up having given Jak nearly too much poison. He spends the day resting, eating very little. He even turns down the offer of women. They plan to sacrifice him during the night.
J.B. and Doc sneak into the ville and don priestly robes. They then wait. Ryan prepares to attack, using his sniper rifle. When the Itzcoatl is ready to kill Jak, Ryan shoots him in the chest, knocking him into a fire pit. Many of the priests and elders of the tribe are killed during the fight. Grabbing Jak, they head back towards the gateway to escape.
Just after dawn they enter the gateway and the others jump, leaving J.B. and Ryan behind to fight off any would be attackers, as they know that the natives will be hot on their trail.
End of Emerald Fire
A total of eleven days passed in this novel.
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