"This can't be!", Wilhelm thought to himself, trying not to let the others notice his near panic at Ming Lee's disappearance. "OK...remember your training". OK. Wilhelm was back in the moment. The moment where they were in a warehouse with the crazed Jinda, always willing to lay down their lives for the cause of their master. By the time Wilhelm took his cleaning breath, Justin had already prepared for "negotiations". Justin was generally quick to talk his way out of situations. Sometimes, it was remarkable to behold. But this time...this time, Justin knew his bullets would be doing the talking. As he squeezed the trigger on his revolver, he heard Wilhelm's shot ring out first, wounding a Jinda. Justin may have been a terrific shot, but Wilhelm could still have the drop on just about anybody. With this first shot fired, time seemed to speed up, as skilled bladed began to converge on the two heroes.
"Damn this filthy glass", said the Talon out loud, staring at the skylight on the roof. His instincts were spot on, but he hadn't planned for the filth on this neighborhood to shroud his view into the warehouse. Through the filth, he could barely make out a crate stacked high enough for him to land, but no line of sight of his friends. As he took a few minutes to work out a way to possible open it a crack, or even cut a small section away...
Shelly had come back from unconsciousness a while ago, but her only evidence of it was that now, instead of the pleasant dream she was having about finding the "digger", and it's engineering marvel, she only had a headache, and bound hands in the confined darkness. Shelly always dreamed of the remarkable finds she was about to discover. So, she was sorry to be awake, now. She made a habit of snooping around, but she never had someone get the drop on her like this before. She never even saw who clubbed her over the head. But that odd smell... But none of that mattered now. Now she was bound and confined, and she just heard two gunshots and the muffled sounds of men with blades rushing for an attack. Then light came from all directions! With a loud crash, suddenly the crate around her tore to splinters, and tossed her down a few feet to the ground. As her eyes adjusted to their new surroundings, she looked up saw possibly the most welcome (and surprising) sight she had seen in years. Before her was The Talon.
The Talon stood over Shelley. He saw her, but with an unmatched focus, he studied the warehouse, noting exactly how many foes there were, and assessing his next move. He had no time to free his surprised colleague now, Jinda were already on Wilhelm and Justin, firing and parrying. Thinking quickly, the Talon used the power of his ancient stone to cast a blinding light, rendering the Jinda helpless for a few crucial moments, giving Wilhelm and Justin the upper hand. This gave The Talon a moment to drop Shelley a gun.
In one swift motion, Shelley disassembled the gun, used the sharp firing pin to cur through her bonds, and re-assembled the gun. For Gun-Shell, this was like playing with blocks. As the other heroes battled the Jinda, they all stopped for a moment and marveled at what happened next. In a kung-fu spin move, Shelley flung the pistol at the closest Jinda, striking him directly in the eye. As it did so, the gun fired, leaving his fellow Jinda, next to him, missing much of his brain matter! The gun then bounced right back into Shelley's hand. Even the now half-bind Jinda was dumb-struck for a moment, before the Talon ended his miserable existence. Wilhelm had always found Shelley somewhat tomboy-ish. It was difficult for him to even picture the brunette in him mind without some small amount of grease on her pretty face. But at that sight, even Wilhelm thought, "I think I love that woman!"
After mapping up the remaining Jinda, the heroes searched the warehouse and discovered a note. They were to bring the manuscript to the Valley of Tears. After finding a map of it's location, it was off to the remote location. Upon arrival, they were greeted by the burned remains of several Jinda. The eerie site was an alter surrounded by the stone warriors of Qín Shǐ Huángdì. Wilhelm and Justin held back and covered the Talon and Shelley as they approached the alter. Once they reached it without incident, the two joined them near the alter. Just then, the trap was sprung. Before any of them could react, blow darts came at them from above! Darkness enveloped them all as they lost consciousness....
"Welcome back", said a callous voice. Lo Fan stood before them, the lovely Ming-Lee at his side. All of the heroes were bound, as well as the professor. They were in it now. "Thank you, centurions!" Lo Fan said. I already had the instructions on how to command this great army, but what I needed was your lovely jade stone." The Talon shuttered. His precious and ancient stone, used only for good, was taken. He'd delivered it right to him. Damn! Immediately, Justin began taunting Lo Fan. Trying to convince him that he had already lost the fight. Lo Fan wasn't fooled by the rouse, but if gave Wilhelm just enough time to work his way out of his binds and check...Yes! They had failed to notice his hidden pistol up his sleeve! Just as Lo Fan began to snicker of Justin's suggestions, Wilhelm let a shot ring out...passing straight through Lo Fan! One of the shadowy figures stepped forward and said, "Surely you didn't think I would leave myself that vulnerable, SIEZE HIM!"
What happened next happened very quickly, as the Jinda began to descend on then, Wilhelm shot his last bullet in the chamber and took one out, as the Talon and Shelley escaped their bonds. All as Lo Fan placed the green gem on the alter and sung an ancient song. As the heroes fought of the Jinda, the rumbling of the stone warriors startled them! They were coming to life! "Go, my minions. Go, conquer earth!" yelled Lo Fan, mad with power!
As soon as Shelley had a moment, she spotted the digger in the corner of the alcove they were in. Unable to resist, she headed right for it. Meanwhile, Wilhelm, mad a direct plea to Ming Lee. "You don't have to follow him into the darkness." he told her, staring deep into her eyes. "I...I don't want to, but I..." she timidly replied. "Join us, and redeem yourself, Ming Lee, no matter what happens, I will protect you", Wilhelm interrupted. "Yes", Ming Lee said, her face welling with tears. As she began to move towards her new found savior. "No!", Lo Fan shouted. "How dare you defy me, come to my side, Ming Lee. Now!". But to no avail. "Jinda! Get her, and bring me the item!" The item...Wilhelm though. Of course! He suddenly realized that Ming Lee had been the key the whole time! Just as Jinda approached Ming Lee, they found that she was more than capable of dispatching them, as one by one they fell to her martial arts! "Ming Lee", Wilhelm shouted. "You're comb!" And she tossed him her decorative comb with the grand pearl on it.
As Justin finally freed himself, he noticed tucked behind the alter, a box holding their possessions. As though his gun was willing itself back into his hands, he went right for it. With all the commotion, he had a hard time getting a bead on Lo Fan. But as he turned around, suddenly a large Monkey-like monster howled right in his face! As it raise it's huge claw, he heard a clank sound, as the monster fell to the ground. Standing before him was Shelley, in the digger suit, beaming as she has just tried another switch. "Ooo, that was fun", she said. The monster wasn't dead, but Justin soon ended that by firing several shots at it's head!
Lo Fan, seeing that things were starting to get out of control commanded several of his stone warriors to break off, and attack the centurions. As they approached slowly and methodically, Wilhelm grabbed the comb, placed it on the alter, and sang the same song that Lo Fan had just sung moments before. When he finished, a beam of light cascaded throughout the warriors. First stopping them in their tracks, and then they began to crumble and fall apart! "Damn you, centurions!" cried Lo Fan, as he disappeared in a puff of smoke. As the Talon made short work of the few remaining Jinda left, the whole area began to rumble. "We must make haste!" shouted the Talon! But Justin was missing!
When Lo Fan had vanished, Justin had seen him reappear behind the alter. And watched as he scurried away through an unforeseen passage, like a cockroach. "You're not getting away from me this time", Justin though as he dove in right after him. Just as the save collapsed behind him.
There was no time to loose! They had only moments to leave. The Talon told Shelley that the digger did not have enough power to evacuate in that thing, and they had better leave it behind. "Power" she thought. I have an extra power cell right here with me. Remarkably, the power cell fit perfectly, and in a moment, she went from being the slowest member to escape, to the fastest.
When they reached the edge of the crater like formation, they had only seconds before the entire site has somehow been swallowed up by the earth! Wilhelm stood there, shocked that Justin's exploits were over. Shelley has an uncharacteristic tear on her cheek. Ming Lee stood in reverence and guilt over the centurion who had lost his life to end this menace and bring her back to the light. It was The Talon who broke the silence. "We will have to time to morn our fallen comrade later, centurions We should leave this place before the authorities, or anyone else comes calling."
Wilhelm said a particularly long good bye to Ming Lee, who vowed to see him again, someday. As The Talon made arrangements with a charter. A sad chore that was not neccesary in the original plan. But now... As the pontoon boat approached the dock, and the team looked on the bustling city of Shanghai with sadness, the door flung open. "What were you guys going to leave without me?!" said a familiar voice! Justin was with them again. "How the heck did he..." was all Wilhelm could think to say. It's a tale to tell while we're in the air, guys. Let's get out of here!