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Curse of the Golden Monkey


*- This story is copyright cat_slave 2001. Any of my stories may be
downloaded for personal & private use at home. -- BUT -- Reposting without
express permission of the copyright owner (namely, me) is illegal. My
stories are only intended for display at the Erotic Mind Control story Archive (, my personal web page
( and ASSM. If you're reading this story somewhere else, you could've seen it for free.

- The content of this story is adult fiction. All events, characters,
and situations are only imaginations in the author's head and anything
similar to real people or situations is purely coincidental, etc. If mind
control, sexual acts (immoral or otherwise), and/or variant lifestyles
offend you, you probably shouldn't be reading this. And if you do, don't
hold me responsible. You've been warned. :)

- cat_slave*



*"Lying on stained, wretched sheets with a bleeding virgin.

We could plan a murder,

Or start a religion."*

- Jim Morrison, *'Angels & Sailors'*

Tyler jarred Dylan out of his concentration with a prod of his elbow.
"Hey. Check out 'Indiana Croft'."

Nadia rolled her eyes in exasperation as yet again the poker game was
put on hold for their libidos. She folded her arms and waited for their
attention to turn back towards her, and the game.

Dylan looked up from the pair of aces in his hand, and squinted his wild
green eyes towards where his friend nodded. A plume of dust was settling
back upon the dune. Three figures sat inside the jeep that had pulled to a
stop near the entrance of the camp, but it wasn't hard to see which one
Tyler was talking about.

Forgetting the poker game, he leaned forward and squinted a little more
to make sure he caught every dick-hardening curve in the small asian girl.

'Indiana Croft', indeed. Her hair, a healthy and glossy black, was kept
in a long ponytail that swung down the small of her back. A beaten leather
fedora kept her face from the scorching desert sun and a pair of Ray Ban
Aviators shielded her eyes from the distraction of the blinding light that
would glare off of the desert sand.

She rose out of her seat, and extended a toned amber-skinned leg out of
the jeep. Both men appreciated the fact she'd chosen to wear a pair of
low-slung khaki shorts, whose length barely reached the halfway point to
her knees. It seemed the only thing holding them up was an ornate leather
belt fastened tightly to keep the shorts from slipping off.

As if she knew the men had been looking at her all along, she pointed at
them and said something to the others in the jeep. She slapped the hood of
the jeep a few times and the two men left took off, heading back to
civilization in a cloud of rising dust.

'Indiana Croft' just stood there for a moment. She turned slowly about
in a circle, as if taking in the beauty of the moment before she began
walking towards the modest group of poker players.

Tyler whistled as he watched. She turned and he watched her silhouette
against the sun. They weren't just a nice set of tits; they were globes,
mounds of flesh that strained against her black halter-top. He felt
himself licking his dry lips with his tongue, and twisting about in his
chair to hide his obvious reaction. He sensed Dylan was experiencing a
similar reaction, and chuckled to his friend.

"I saw her first."

Dylan laughed. "Yeah. But *I'll* get her."

A hand appeared in front of each of their faces, and rudely snapped its
fingers. Both men instantly turned to face the irritated redheaded girl who grabbed her cards and made as if to continue playing.

"You don't have a chance with her. You two are the worst perverts I've
ever seen." She grimaced, and then cocked her head to the side. A sincere
expression crossed her features. "Now. Should I leave you two alone to
play spank-the-monkey together, or can we finish this poker game?"

Tyler frowned. "Shut up, Nadia. Just because you're not enough woman
to handle Dylan or me doesn't mean she isn't."

Nadia responded too quickly. "*If* you were a man, we could probably
talk about it. But some things are impossible." Her eyes narrowed in
self-loathing that she played off as anger towards the men. She hated them
for being right. She hated herself more for being so plain, so ordinary
that few men ever really showed interest in her.

Dylan chuckled as if he knew Nadia's thoughts despite her attempts to
hide them. He turned his eyes back to the approaching woman. "Besides,"
he mused, "'Indiana Croft' is anxious to meet us." He made a shooing motion
to Nadia, "Go. Get, little girl. We'll finish the game later."

Nadia rolled her eyes, but couldn't help the half-assed grin that crept
over her face. "Later guys." She stifled a laugh. "Good luck," she
offered. Her tone dripped with sarcasm, a suggestion of what she thought
of their chances.

Dylan narrowed his eyes at her as she walked away. "What did she mean
by that?"

"Probably she's jealous you've got a boner for someone else," Tyler
retorted, nudging his buddy again.

"Nadia's not half-bad. I'd fuck her if ... "

Both men turned back, to watch the new woman approach. As she neared
them, they saw how diminutive she actually was. Her body was clearly
toned, and athletic. But, she was small, standing just less than five and
a half feet tall.

Without removing her sunglasses, she addressed them, the asian accent
barely noticeable. "Hello, gentlemen." A smile creased her lips, and she
folded her arms over her chest. Her knee bent in the slightest manner, and
she put her weight on that foot, getting comfortable for a long talk.

Before Dylan could even get a word in, Tyler was up and out of his
chair. "Hello, Ms. Croft." A worn and calloused hand extended in the
promise of friendship, and he grinned at his own joke.

There was an awkward pause as the smile on the woman's lips went from
polite to perplexed. "Ms. Croft?" While it was impossible to tell exactly
where her eyes were looking from behind the shaded lenses, Tyler could
easily sense she wasn't very amused.

"'Indiana Croft'," he answered, trying to win back that smile that had
been on her face. He kept his hand out in the air, hoping she'd take it.
He nodded his head and explained, "Gear like Indiana Jones, and a body that
beats even Lara Croft's. Damn." He pursed his lips and then continued.
"My name's Tyler. I'm on the digging team of the project. Good t'meet

Despite his yearning to try to act in a reasonable manner, he found his
eyes settling on the curving bulges of fabric on her chest. Mental
pictures began to form in his head of how she'd look in the showers
lathering up, with lovely soapy suds that made her skin slick and slippery.
He found himself hoping the bulge in his pants wasn't as obvious as those
in her shirt.

The woman nodded, "Ah. I see." The smile crawled back onto her face.
"'Indiana Croft'," she repeated again. The tone of her voice seemed to
fail to hold the amusement that Tyler seemed to. Both men snickered at her
inability to get the joke.

"Hey, everyone's got a nickname," Dylan chimed in. He wasn't about to
be left out of the conversation. Shooting Tyler a quick dirty look, he
half-saluted the woman off the brim of his hat. "It's sort of a
'welcome-to-the-party' type thing, y'know?"

Neither the expression on her face or the tone of her voice changed.
"I'd hate to spoil the party." The smile faded from her lips, turning to an
expression of disgust and she straightened her posture to stand as tall as
she could.

"But - "

Even before both men could exchange glances to silently ask if that
single 'But' had meant, two pointed fingers from her hand hooked tightly
into Tyler's shoulder.

The sudden scream of pain was enough to wipe the amused expression off
of Dylan's face, and to get him to bolt upright in his seat. He rushed to
protect his friend, but the woman had already anticipated his move.

With another lightning-fast thrust, her diminutive hand had turned from
a dainty and soft thing to caress into a weapon of harsh efficiency. Her
flattened palm landed in controlled strength against Dylan's exposed

A hoarse gasp burst out of Dylan's mouth as he fell backwards, stumbling
and finally falling down. He clutched at his throat, trying to breathe
normally again.

Under her unreleased grip, Tyler moaned.

She watched them for a silent moment, before deciding to speak.
"Quiet," She told Tyler in a calm voice. Her finger pressed harder into
the pressure point, then released; a demonstration that she could bring a
higher level of discomfort to him, if she wished. Tyler's face tightened
as the pain increased. The lesson was learned.

"Good." This time, the smile on her face was much less polite.

"My name is Yin-Feng." The pride in her voice seemed intent on
correcting the grievous error. "*Professor* Yin-Feng. I am in charge of
this dig. I may decide to be your friend and let you call me Feng,
eventually." Slowly, she removed the sunglasses and slid them into a pocket
in her shorts. Cold blue eyes took each man in, as if giving that a second
or two to sink in. "Do you understand?"

Tyler nodded in emphatic agreement. Anything was better than trying to
deal with the searing pain that was ripping through his body. Anything.

"But," she warned, "Don't ever associate me with a sex-laden computer
image, or a manufactured movie character. I worked very hard to get where
I am. Not by being a sex object to little perverts who can't see past the
snake in their own pants."

She pressed her thumb near where her fingers were hooked into Tyler's
shoulder, and then released him, acting as if she had been disgusted to
touch him at all. Immediately, Tyler fell over on his side. He moved to
get up, and instantly realized that the entire left side of his body was
paralyzed. The look of abject terror on his face was enough to satisfy
Yin-Feng that he would be a bit more careful in the future.

Hunched over and finally on his knees, Dylan was too busy trying to
claim a whole breath into his lungs to do anything but look at Yin-Feng in
a combination of burning rage and immobilizing fear.

"Your digging team is the best around. That's why I hired them. That's
why you're here." Her mouth turned down, frowning. Her cool, emotionless
eyes stared hard at them. "But," she said in a smooth neutral tone, "I'm
*very* well aware of what you two do. Very well. And don't give me that
'it was never proven' story, either."

She took a step closer to them, as if to threaten to attack them again.
"I heard about that little stunt you pulled in Madagascar. Maybe the girls couldn't identify you, but they knew enough about what happened. And then
you left, and some of the inventory came up missing?" Her tone was cold,
harsh. "Let me tell you, boys. If I find one ... *one* ... artifact
exchanged, misplaced, lost, or 'broken', ... trust me. I have ways of
finding out the truth. Stay on your honest sides, gentlemen, and we won't
have a problem." She gave them a faint smile, "Otherwise, you'll see me
angry. And you really don't want to see me angry."

She intentionally stepped over Tyler's body, as if the man were not
really there and headed towards the main portion of the camp, calling as
she left, "I'll see you both at the meeting tonight. Don't be late." She
glanced at Dylan, and wriggled her fingers in a goodbye wave.

She nodded towards the terror-stricken Tyler. "Oh. And the paralysis
shouldn't last more than a few minutes. Nothing permanent." Pausing, she
smiled, her tone sincere. "And nothing personal, I hope. I just have to
take care of my camp, and my dig. You understand." She blew Dylan a kiss,
as if to say there were no hard feelings between them any longer before
sauntering off into another tent.

Nadia had been watching the whole thing from the food tent with a hidden grin on her face. It was about time those two perverts had gotten a taste
of karma. Besides, she couldn't have been more thrilled to have someone as
bright and imposing as Yin-Feng. This dig needed someone like that. A
strong female. Someone that she could look up to.

She remembered the men soon enough, and noticed that nobody else was
even bothering to help them; either they felt like Nadia or they were
scared the same thing might happen to them. The problem was, part of her
job here was first aid. She took her time to jog over to the two men who
were still not yet up on their feet.

A sigh escaped Nadia's lips as she sat down in the sand beside them.
"You idiots."

She leaned close, glancing at Dylan first. Her grasp was gentle around
his wrist as she pulled it away to examine the wound. "But, that's what
you get for messing with the daughter of a Shaolin Monk. Didn't you read
your introduction letters? Be more respectful, and careful, next time,
would you?"

Assuring herself that Dylan's wound wasn't anything to worry about, she
sat down next to Tyler's limp body, and took his limp hand, clasping her
own hands about it. She gave him a wan smile, telling him, "Don't worry.
She said it'd be gone in a few minutes. We'll stay with you until it

Even as she spoke the words of compassion, her thoughts were somewhere
else; wishing that somehow, someway, she could have a taste of that
elegance, of that grace. She wanted the beauty, the boldness, and the
strength that seemed to drip off Yin-Feng. It was everything that she was
not, and more. It was everything she'd ever dreamed of...

Neither of the men responded to her, or seemed to notice the growing
distant look in her eyes. Instead, their eyes, burned in rage and
humiliation. They stared in the direction of the tent Feng had disappeared
within. And each man began silently planning his own twisted acts of


The hazy light of the flickering lanterns brought an almost fireplace
comfort throughout the tent making it seem a bit cozier than it actually
was. Archaeologists, scholars, diggers, and all the other men and women
working on the project sat in the uncomfortable folding chairs, facing the

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen." Professor Yin-Feng said. Her
voice was strong and serene and it seemed to quiet the hushed murmurings
that had buzzed about the tent for the last few minutes.

She set her foot on an overturned bucket and leaned forward, resting her
elbow on the propped knee. Then, she paused, purposefully, taking each
individual in the tent into consideration, as if to judge his or her merit.

Those who found themselves staring into the cool, calculating eyes did
not look back at them for more than a few seconds. A few averted their
eyes from the glance; others lowered their eyes and shuffled nervously.

Nadia realized there was sudden warmth in her cheeks as she smiled back
to the Professor. She almost felt like Feng wanted to befriend her through
that stare, to know her. She quickly looked away as if to hide herself
from the imposing woman, embarrassed at her own weakness. *You're just
another person on the job, Nadia. She's here to do a job. Not to make

Tyler and Dylan sat alone in the back. Their eyes never moved from her
figure, and they were more than glad to return the cool stare with stares
to match, as if to challenge her again.

Suddenly finished, she removed her brimmed fedora and tossed it to the
side. The lanterns gleamed, her glossy black hair reflecting the soft
light. Her ponytail swung behind her as she moved her head again, eyes
watching the group in front of her with intensity.

"For those of you who may not have met me yet," she continued, "I am
Professor Yin-Feng. No need for pleasantries. You may call me Feng, and I
hope to establish a friendship with each and every one of you. I have been
sent here by my country to oversee, and conduct this search to make sure it
runs smoothly, and efficiently. And to make sure it is a success."

*God. How did she get to be so commanding? So -- inspiring? Face it,
Nadia; you haven't got a chance to be like her. She's got the entire group
ready to do whatever she wants them to, out of respect. Out of awe. Out
of fear. Half of them probably want to get her into bed.*

" ... And evidence of those temple ruins have finally been discovered
in this area." Yin-Feng's strong voice pulled Nadia out of her reverie.
Her hands went to her cheeks lightly, to mask the burning warmth that was
probably turning them a glowing red. "You, my friends, have all been
handpicked, by me, to ensure the success of this mission."

There were a few soft murmurs, ... and some disgruntled noises at the

*Me?* Nadia found it difficult to swallow. *She chose me? Why?! I'm
... I'm nothing. Why would someone like her want a loser like me on her
team?* Nadia found herself strangely awed by this sudden revelation, and at
the same time discouraged. *I'm not worthy to be here. Not with someone
like her. I've never been on a dig before. And I only just got out of
medical school. So what if I had top honors? Nobody seemed to care. Why
should she?*

" ... Are among some of the things that I expect to find. As well as
the Monkey of Xiao." She paused, "Yes," Answering perhaps a question before
any member of the group could voice it. "Duke Xiao, the first Emperor of
the Qin dynasty in 338 B.C."

A few of her peers in the front let out a faint gasp of surprise. A
sliver-haired man leaned forward. "You really don't think that it exists,
do you?" He asked, the British accent in his voice unmistakable.

For the first time Nadia could remember, she saw Yin-Feng smile
genuinely. Even in the beauty of that smile, Nadia could feel Feng's
strength. But now it held another quality; one of allure that Nadia felt
strangely compelled to want to be around. She hoped she could make friends
with her idol.

Again, Nadia found herself looking at the floor, ashamed of her
thoughts. *Why would such a woman who had so much going for her even want
to notice someone like me? Somebody probably made a mistake in sending me
here.* She was glad for the sudden attention at Yin-Feng. It kept eyes
away from her. It kept those near to her from feeling compelled to ask
her, 'What's wrong?'.

"Actually Jonathan," Yin-Feng returned to the man who had questioned
her, "I do." She stood up and walked over to the man with a slow gait, hips
slightly swaying as she did so.

Nadia caught more than one man eyeing her. She knew what was in their
minds. Again, she found herself wishing to have just a fraction of the
power that Yin-Feng had, to hold such power over other people. *But, you
never will. Will you, Nadia?* She sighed in self-defeat.

"My latest findings in the Chin-Tan-Sun Mountains have unearthed a
manuscript of the period, which has been translated by leading authorities
in the field. It contains a message by the hand of a nobleman who served
in the Duke's army, and meant for his wife. It reveals details about his
efforts to remove the golden monkey from its resting place. It also speaks
of the ancient curse that fell upon him, and ends with poignant farewells.
This letter, ladies and gentlemen is what has led me here, to take charge
of this dig."

The man laughed heartily. "And do you believe in curses and Gods as

Yin-Feng's only emotional response was a kind smile. "The dating of the
letter matches a period rife with Mongol invasions, before the Great Wall
was built, and the Temple moved. We do have proof that the Temple once
stood in the mountains, and we know it also was moved to a safer place for
unknown reasons." She turned her face towards the group, to address them
now as a whole.

"The evidence is clear. It backs up proven historical facts. I'm
interested in facts. Not in children's stories. Not curses. Not gods.
Not wealth and gold. There is truth to every myth, and myths in nearly
every truth. I'm very good at separating the two, which is why I am here."
She looked wryly back to the man. "The only reason treasures were ever
'cursed' was because they were rare, and because men were too zealous to
have them for their own."

The older man nodded, as if satisfied with that, and impressed with the
answer. Yin-Feng gave him a cold smile, then looked about the room.
"Breakfast is at 4am. I expect everyone to be ready to work at 5. We'll
be separated into three different digging sites, so you should contact your
site manager if you have any difficulties. And my tent is always open if
you need to talk. Have a good night."

Everyone rose out of their chairs, stretched, and began to filter out of
the tent towards the sleeping quarters.

Yin-Feng was satisfied. She could tell that she had established her
authority in no uncertain terms. They had confidence in her, and that
would bring her far. Curiously, she watched the two men she'd confronted
earlier leave the tent.

Yin-Feng nodded to herself. It didn't matter if they did, or did not
like her. She wasn't here to make friends. She was here to do the job
she'd been told to do.

More importantly, she would secure her name in the history books. She
would find the Golden Monkey, curse or no curse, and bring it back to
China. She would be a hero.


The sleeping quarters were simple, divided into numerous large tents to
allow for more personal space for both the men and women. Each
individual's personal quarters were separated by a large mosquito net also
designed to keep any stray snakes, spiders, or scorpions. Like most of the
other tents, planks of wood had been laid down for a stable floor as well
as additional protection against burrowing pests.

Along the center walkway of each tent, strung carefully across the main
supporting pole, hung a row of dark green lanterns which would often be
left on to shine their warm hue of light due to the different shifts. The
web-woven nylon nets would filter out the brighter aspect of the light so
while some slept, others would have enough light to read and study by.

It was by this light that Dylan managed to find Tyler's bedroll in the
tent opposite of his own. Dylan tapped lightly on the outside of the net a
few times in a rhythm. Tyler had been expecting him and emerged fully
dressed. They nodded a silent greeting to one another. Tyler made a hand
gesture, indicating they should both leave.

Dylan followed Tyler out, being careful to be as silent as possible.
While it was true that some of the others might be up as well, they had no
wish to cause a disturbance that would inquire as to their whereabouts.
They walked a few hundred yards in silence. The night was cloudless, the
stars shone bright and the moon smiled upon them, giving them light to see

Dylan pointed to a rock, jutting out from the sand. He lifted himself
up, and sat down on it, giving his friend a meaningful look. His voice was
low, filled with intensity. "So?"

Tyler sat next to his friend. He knew what the other was thinking. It
was why they had made plans to come out into the desert night. The pain
and humiliation was fresh in both of their minds. "She definitely needs to
be put in her place."

The other nodded. "I've got a ... friend ... in the village. A
retired British psychiatrist who's taken up 'digging' as a hobby." There
was a dark smile upon his lips as he spoke, his tone cold.

"So?" Tyler asked. "How does that help?"

"Let's just say that he wasn't exactly - mmm - the most ethical of
shrinks. Did a lot of experimenting on his patients." Dylan chuckled
lightly. "I know of him because a few friends of mine had to clean up a
few of his ... messes. Not that I'd have anything to do with that."

Tyler gave his buddy a skeptical look. "Right. Sure you didn't." His
mouth twisted into a smirk, and he eyed his friend, trying to determine the
expression on the other's features. "So is this guy on the up-and-up or

Dylan nodded. "Yeah. He was doing some huge research project for
allergies or something, and managed to brew himself up some sort of
hypno-juice." He pressed his thumb between his index and middle finger,
miming giving someone a shot.

"*Hypno-juice?*" Tyler echoed. The disbelief in his voice gave Dylan
the notion Tyler wasn't buying any of this.

"Sort of like that ... sodium-whatcha-callit," Dylan explained. "That
truth-saying shit. Except instead of forcing you to tell the truth it
basically puts your mind asleep, while keeping the subconscious awake.
Anyways, the 'good doctor' got into some trouble with a few of his sexier
patients. His nurses were going to squeal on him - a friend of mine made
sure they didn't."

Tyler smirked. "Right." The sarcasm in his voice wasn't lost on Dylan.
"So, what do you plan to do to her? Turn her into a vegetable?"

Dylan shook his head. "No. We can turn her into our own personal slut.
Hypnosis, or some shit like that. Total mindfuck." He licked his lips,
"And I can have those tits, and that sweet asian pussy of hers anytime I
want it. She'll grovel, beg, and crawl on her knees like a bitch in heat
just to be in the same room with us."

He gave Tyler friend a huge grin, and lowered his voice. "It works.
Trust me."

The slap across his face was light, but it certainly got Dylan's
attention. "You fucking moron." Tyler snorted, derisively. "What will
happen if you succeed in this crackbrained notion of yours and turn her
into a slut?"

Dylan's expression indicated he wanted to belt Tyler for smacking him
like he did. Instead he flashed his tobacco-stained teeth at his friend
after a short pause. "We get all the benefits of a relationship, without
any of the hassles? And we put her in her goddamned place."

Tyler shook his head, "No, you idiot. What happens is one of her
political fuckbuddies that sent her here decide to look into what happened
to her. Those people have a way of finding things out. And you and I
would get fucked up the ass." He smacked Dylan again. "Shithead."

Dylan flinched at the slap, and pushed Tyler back, as if to start a
fight with his friend. But, noting the huge difference in muscle and size
between them, he thought better of it. He sighed - the dream he'd been
brewing in his head was quickly dying.

"On the other hand..." Tyler muttered. His voice held the appealing
edge of a brilliant scheme come to light.

Dark brown eyes quickly turned to Tyler. Dylan leaned forward a little
in anticipation. "What?" He asked, biting the lure of enticement in
Tyler's voice.

"What we *could* do is let her doom herself." Tyler nodded to himself,
pleased by his brilliant idea.

Dylan frowned, appearing to be utterly baffled. "What?"

Tyler chuckled wickedly. He answered, "That stupid curse."

Dylan shook his head, still not understanding where the line of logic
was leading. Wherever it was headed, though, he certainly was interested.

"The Curse of the Monkey of Xiao," Tyler explained, rubbing his hands
together, looking like some overacting mad-scientist. "I've asked a few
questions around the brainy types." He leaned back on the rock with
comfortable ease, and retold what he had learned to Dylan. "It was one of
the first pure golden statues to have been created. Xiao was some stupid
Emperor, or some shit like that, whom the statue was given to. One of his
consorts made it for him. He put some curse on it that whoever moved it
from its resting place would become the monster of his darkest fears.
Probably didn't want anyone stealing it."

Dylan frowned, "So? What's that got to do with anything?"

"So," his friend continued to explain, "There really isn't a curse, of
course. It's all mojo bullshit."

Dylan nodded in frustration. If it wasn't evident in his expression, it
was certainly clear in his voice. "Yeah? So fucking what?"

Tyler sighed in disappointment at his friend's lack of understanding.
"So, you moron ... what we do is use your 'friend' to hypnotize her into
believing in the curse. And we make sure she's the one to bring the statue
back to camp. Ever hear about self-fulfilling prophecy?"

Suddenly, the light bulb in Dylan's head seemed to switch on. "And she
becomes some sort of demented bitch, and does some evil Jackie Chan shit on
the camp, ... ends up ruining her own reputation and career."

Tyler nodded in approval. "Exactly. She does herself in by her own
actions. Honor is everything to those asian bitches. Besides, it's far
more demeaning for her than being a sex slave. As our personal slut, she'd
be happy. This way, she'll have no friends, she'll have no contentment,
and she'll drive herself utterly mad." A lopsided grin slid across his
lips. "She'll probably end up committing suicide."

Dylan began to laugh. "You are a fucking genius, my friend. A fucking

Tyler nodded, "I'll 'break' some tools tomorrow, and you and I will
volunteer to go into town and replace them. We'll talk to your friend
then, and make the arrangements."

Dylan couldn't wipe the grin of his face. "Damn. This is going to be

Tyler nodded, "Of course it is." He gave his fellow conspirator a wink
under the light of the silver moon above. He chuckled quietly as another
sinister idea crept into his mind. "We could use Nadia, too."

Dylan perked up even more. "She wouldn't be such a bad slut," he said,
in agreement with what he assumed were Tyler's own musings.

Rolling his eyes towards the heavens, Tyler didn't even bother to
acknowledge his friend's look. "If you're that desperate to have yourself
a personal slut, Dylan, ... we'll get you one. Maybe Nadia." He slipped
his large calloused hands into his coat pockets, starting to feel the chill
of the desert night. "I was thinking of something more useful for her."

"Like what?"

Tyler grinned. He paused, for effect, then leaned closer to his friend,
whispering conspiratorially. "In all the commotion our man-made monster is
going to cause with her karate mumbo-jumbo, I imagine we can make off with
the gold, so to speak."

Dylan blinked. His mouth twisted into a slow frown. "What? Have Nadia
steal it for us?"

"Something like that, yes. Have her put it away for safekeeping, let's
say. A small hypnotic suggestion, one that she'll forget once it's carried
out. We'll be the only ones who know where it is." He rubbed his hands
together in the cool night.

"We'll play it cool for a few weeks," Tyler continued to explain. "Then
come back, grab it, and sell it to the highest bidder. Then you can buy
all the sluts you want. We'll live like fat cats, my friend." Tyler smiled
to himself, basking in his own brilliance. He made a slow gesture back to
camp, repeating to himself, "Like fucking fat cats." He slid off the stone
onto the soft sea of sand.

Dylan whistled low. "Damn." A small laugh escaped his lips, and he
nodded, following the other back to camp. "I like that idea. I like that
idea a *lot*."


"Kind of late, isn't it?" The quiet feminine voice broke the silence of
the still night.

Nadia jumped, startled. She took a deep breath as she turned around,
embarrassed at being caught so off-guard, and looked straight into
Yin-Feng's face. She found herself smiling, though she wasn't exactly sure

"I - couldn't sleep," Nadia confessed, keeping her voice soft. She was
only a few feet away from the tent and had no desire to disturb those who
could find rest. She rose from her seat on the large pile of wood that was
reserved for kindling. "And instead of trying to uselessly lay on the mat,
I thought I'd come out here. Watch the stars. Think."

Nadia's hand pushed her red tresses back, tucking them behind her ear as
she looked back up towards the stars. Though tiny, the vivid dots of blue
seemed to speckle the sky in an array of peaceful brilliance. Nadia found
the whole moment almost spiritual. In the city she had never seen such
things. The clouds and smog always loomed above her, constant reminders of
the feelings of uselessness she often hung over herself. She began to find
herself both honored at Feng's visit to her, and restless by it, too.
Yin-Feng was a reminder of every weakness that Nadia had.

Yin-Feng followed her gaze, not noticing the turmoil that was churning
in Nadia's mind. "The night brings many things," Feng said. "Dreams and
visions. It makes thoughts clear, and can still, or cause even more
uneasiness in an uncertain heart." Her hand alighted, and settled with a
compassionate squeeze on Nadia's shoulder.

Nadia turned to look, and Yin-Feng smiled kindly at her. Again, Nadia
felt compelled by the warmth Feng's smile, as if she had known Nadia for
years, and they were best friends. It was as if she wanted to hear
everything Nadia had to say.

It was as if the smile, the kind look in Feng's soft blue eyes had
reached into her gut and pulled the words out of her mouth. "Why me?"
Nadia found herself asking, before even thinking the words.

Yin-Feng paused, tilting her head. The expression on her smooth,
flawless features seemed to suggest she already had known what was on
Nadia's mind. Perhaps it was the very reason she was here now. "Do you
want the truth?" She asked of the other woman.

Nadia took a breath, trying to hide her fear, and nodded. *You've blown
it, now, you silly girl. You might as well hear it all. She probably took
pity on you. Then again, that's more than anyone else has ever done.* The
tip of her tongue poked out between her lips, only to be replaced by her
teeth as she bit her lip in nervous anticipation.

"Alright," Yin-Feng conceded, "Yes, I could have asked for other medical
staff. There were others as qualified as you."

The warm, soft hand that moved from her shoulder to her cheek surprised
Nadia. Feng lightly caressed Nadia's cheek, but she couldn't look away
from those eyes. She took a deep breath again and balled her fists
together to keep from turning away. She would not be weak this time. She
would not give in. Not in front of Yin-Feng.

"But, you have something to prove to yourself. That is important,"
Yin-Feng suggested. Nadia noticed that Feng was talking *to* her, and not
*at* her, as if she really wanted Nadia to understand. "You don't have the
conceit that others do, and you're young. Those are both important as
well. You are willing to accept new things, and ideas. This job will give
you a great amount of experience - both in matters of medical practice, and
in life itself." Feng removed her hand from Nadia's cheek, her eyes
watching the woman in front of her, taking in her features.

Nadia started to shake her head, then sighed. "You don't know anything
about me." Her smile to Feng was weak, "But I'm glad to be here."

Yin-Feng smiled back in that charm that always seemed to win Nadia over.
"I'm glad you're here too, Nadia. You'd better get some rest, though.
It's going to be a long day tomorrow." She gave Nadia a quick hug. "Rest
well. And good night."

Nadia nodded, as if glad for the reprieve. She was afraid she was going
to confess everything to Feng. She waved to Feng then quickly walked past
her and to her sleeping quarters.

Feng stood alone in the quiet serenity of the pale moonlight, biting her
own lip as she watched the young girl disappear into the tent.


Within the protection of the nylon net, Nadia sat down on her bedroll.
She was glad it also provided privacy, the thickness of the weaving only
casting shadowy outlines in the light. She had no desire for others to
laugh, or stare at her frail body. As she began to undress, she found that
she couldn't take her mind off Yin-Feng. Every time she thought she'd seen
the best trait in the asian woman, another was exhibited. With each
experience with her Nadia felt less and less worthy to be in Feng's
presence, and yet wanted to be with her more and more.

She set her boots aside and pulled off the plain white t-shirt she'd
worn. She tossed her hair back, and felt the compulsion to cup her small
breasts. She thought about all the stares that the other women on the dig
were getting from the men. *You could barely call them tits.* Her mouth
twisted in a frown at her thoughts and she flopped back onto her bedroll.

She wanted to be angry at Yin-Feng. Feng was the reason no men had ever
shown interest in her. She was plain, and woman like Yin-Feng - well, all
they had to do was put on a smile, and men would come flocking to their
doors. She couldn't count how many times she'd sat alone in the bars at
night until they closed. She hated being alone like that, her mind always
drifting to remind her of her parents telling her how useless she was and
how right they had always been about her.

Her thoughts began to drift, as they often did when she was most
disappointed in herself. Often she would close her eyes tight and wish and
pray with all her might for another life, a better life - and it seemed
almost any life was better than her own. She would envision herself as
someone else; almost anyone, except for herself was a fantastic dream.

It was at these times she was happiest.

Her thoughts flittered back to the encounter only a few moments ago.
No, she wasn't angry at Yin-Feng. She was jealous. Nadia had nothing -
nothing - that Feng did. Her fingers ran down her smoothed stomach, the
thoughts of the meeting and the physical sensations intertwining.

Almost of their own accord, her hands slid up to cup her breasts again.
This time she squeezed them as if it were someone else touching her, the
way she'd always dreamt of being fondled. In her mind all of Yin-Feng's
features slowly became Nadia's. Her breasts could no longer be compared to
apples, but rather pillows; soft, warm, luxurious pillows that seemed to
beg to be constantly touched and caressed.

She smiled to herself as her fantasy began to take over her mind. Lost
in the fog of her mind, she forgot about where she was. She forgot about
who she was. Her reality twisted into the erotic yearnings of her

She squeezed her breasts again, enjoying the sensations, reveling in her
'new' body. Here, she was beautiful. Here ... she could have whatever
she wanted. She slid her palm over her hardening nipple, imagining instead
of her own small and bright pink areole that hers were now fat nipples,
dark and exquisitely pert.

Her legs squeezed together as she pinched her nipple. Now she imagined
that she was Feng, and she was walking down a line of exotic, handsome men.
She was testing each on their lovemaking skills, able to pick and to choose
only the best of the best. Each one would eagerly put his lips to her tit,
bite it, and play with her breasts for their audition. She could pick
anyone she wanted. The thought made her body shiver.

One hand ran through her hair as an imaginary man roughly grabbed her,
too eager in his lust, and pulled her into him. She loved the feel of her
'new' rich, dark hair instead of old and boring red tresses she used to
have. Again, she squeezed her thighs together, subconsciously aware of the
growing arousal there.

The hand slid down her stomach now, as Nadia's need urged her
fantasy-self on to choose her mate; she chose a handsome Italian man. Her
fingertips pushed just a little past the edge of her jeans, and she bit her
lip. Soft hair greeted her fingertips, but she pushed the sensation aside,
instead allowing herself only to feel smooth, bare skin; she couldn't
imagine Yin-Feng having anything else.

Her mind wrapped around that thought, and her fingers slowly undid her
pants as she pictured herself pushing the man down onto the bed, moving in
a slow, erotic dance for him. She could sense he was already hard for her
- he had been the moment he saw her, but somehow he'd gotten even harder,
bigger. Just for her. Because she was so beautiful. So perfect.

The jeans were pushed around her ankles as her fantasy lover was bid to
unbutton her jeans with his teeth, and she slipped two digits deep into
herself as her fantasy-self began to straddle the man in a beautiful
Victorian bed that she'd made him buy for her. She cared not for the
pleasure of her lover, only herself. She smiled in the growing pleasure,
and at the thought of pinning him wherever she wanted with some secret
karate hold.

She flexed her fingers that worked in and out of her slick warmth,
firmly pressing them against her trembling walls. Her hips swayed with the
rhythm of her thrusts, her back arched now and then and her legs stiffened
as she teased herself. Her other hand pinched a nipple even harder between
the nails of her fingertips that caused her to gasp in her own pleasure.

She found her clit with the hand that had been playing with the breast,
and began to tease herself more. She pictured herself sitting on top of
the man after making him beg to let him eat her out. Eagerly, her
sex-riddled-mind welcomed the idea of the soft tongue pushing inside her,
and quickly turned over, screaming her orgasm into her pillow.

It was a few more moments before she opened her eyes, a very satisfied
smile on her lips. The pain of reality wouldn't hit until morning.
Exhausted, now, from her exertion, she licked her own arousal off of her
fingers, and drifted into a lovely sleep, and to ancient times where she
was an asian Princess who could have anything and everything she wanted.


Yin-Feng had been sitting at the dusty wooden table. Her chin rested on
a crooked knee, her foot propped on another chair. Books of myths, legend,
and historical facts were scattered across the surface of the table, open
pages turning in the light wind that swept across the desert plain.

A part of her was beginning to doubt she would even find the Temple
here. She'd managed to convince the important political figureheads that
she had a solid lead. She'd been so firm in her belief that it had won her
the funding to make it a reality. But now the smudge of doubt was
beginning to fall across her, smearing a trail of darkness over her heart
as it overshadowed her. She'd promised them a reasonable turnaround time,
and she imagined their patience, not to mention her budget, were both
rapidly diminishing.

She'd chosen three likely sites where the Temple could be in the area
depending on the interpretation of several different letters, journals, and
hints she'd found in her years of research. Three long weeks had passed
and by now the novelty of the dig had worn off on most of the camp. The
dig had now become an eternal drudgery of unrewarding sweat and toil.

Dusk was nearly approaching and she found the heavy weariness that had
settled over the camp was beginning to overwhelm her at last. Her hope had
burned the brightest hope amongst all in the camp and now there seemed to
be little left of the wick. She stared at the old parchment again that was
firmly in her hand, that same fateful letter which had led her here. She
twisted her lips in thought. For what had seemed the ten-thousandth time
she re-read it, as if believing she might suddenly discover something new
hidden within the ancient and faded brushes of ink.

Off in the distance, the rhythmic movement of a hydraulic lifter began
to slow and end its toil, while the other two still pumped and whined, hard
at work. Only a few scattered clangs now resounded around the area as
shovels hit the rock face they'd been digging into all morning.

It took Yin-Feng a long moment to realize that the constant hum that
she'd grown accustom to had quieted. Eager blue eyes turned towards the
machine that was sputtering on its way to sleep. With a trembling hand she
felt for the small pair of binoculars that hung in a loose fashion around
her neck. The other sites were still working hard, but the third dig's
site had ceased and the workers there seemed quite excited. The chill that
ran up her spine seemed to stop her heart before her own adrenaline caused
it to leap into her throat.

She closed her eyes, took several meditative breaths, and eased herself
into relaxation. She knew it was foolish to get her hopes up. They could
have just reached a rock surface beneath where they had been digging, or
perhaps found the remains of some dead animal that they assumed was
important. She didn't dare get her aspirations up that high.

She took a few more breaths to cleanse her mind of all worry. With
concentrated effort, she stilled the childish desire that her dreams had
finally come to fruition. She found that peace, and using it as strength,
stood up and began walking towards the site.

She moved towards the ragged rocks that seemed to pool together in the
middle of an otherwise barren landscape and noticed a figure in the
distance moving towards her at a rapid run. Yin-Feng paused in her gait
and reached into her pocket. With a smile on her lips she removed her
sunglasses from her pocket, put them on, and adjusted her hat before
continuing down the slope. A man covered in sand that clung to his
sweat-soaked arms and chest met her halfway down the hill. He paused just
long enough to brush the irritating grains off his body. He then grabbed
the knees of his dirty jeans as he doubled over in an attempt to catch his

After a few breaths, he gasped a single word. "Ruins." His eyes were
glazed with excitement, and he seemed to find a new energy as he looked at
her. He was a man eager to share his discovery. He grabbed her hand and
yanked her with him as he ran excitedly back down from where he had come.
Feng found herself tugged hard, and she felt her legs propelling her along
after the man. She was too busy fighting thoughts of fantasy and
possibilities in her head that she didn't dare get her hopes up for.

As they neared the camp, the run turned into a slow jog, then a careful
walk as they neared the edge of the pit the men had been working on all
day. The man pointed to a grouping of rocks where the diggers were toiling,
breathing hard. "There."

Yin-Feng was glad she had the mind to put her glasses on. Her mouth
opened, her jaw worked, but she found no words. Her ears buzzed. She felt
dizzy. She closed her eyes and took another calming breath.

Cut into the very fabric of the rock with careful precision stood the
very symbol that was etched onto Yin-Feng's parchment. Dimly, she was
suddenly aware that the same parchment was still in her hand and that she'd
brought it all the way here with her. "The Temple of the Rising Phoenix.
Resting place of the Golden Monkey of Xiao, and place of healing for all,"
she heard herself say, almost as if it were someone else speaking. The
voice was distant, her mind too focused on the fulfillment of her dreams.

And in that dream, Yin-Feng found sudden clarity and strength. She
pointed towards the symbol, and determination filled her voice. "Get some
lights out here. Put teams one and two on break. Now. I want the
entrance of this temple. We're working around the clock as of now,
people." Her tone was forceful, laced with stewing excitement.

She glanced to two men who were seated nearby, and seemed to be resting
from hard labor. She immediately recognized both of them. "You two," she
said, nodding towards Dylan and Tyler. "Head back to camp and get the rest
of the research team. Bring Nadia up here as well - and some flashlights.
We're going to be ready. I want to be in there when we find the doors to
this place."

Dylan sneered at her, his posture indicating a 'Do it yourself, bitch'
attitude, but Tyler stepped in front. "Sure, Professor. We'll get right
on it." Dylan gave him a questioning look, but at Tyler's hard nudge, Dylan
thought it was better to concede than to make a scene.

Yin-Feng's thoughts were too rushed to notice the men snickering to
themselves as they climbed into one of the jeeps nearby, and headed back
towards camp.

She constantly strode up and down near the edge of the pit where they
were busy hauling sand away to a dump a few hundred yards away. She
absently watched as the workers carefully moved the sand away from the rock
face and another team built supports with cautious diligence to assure the
sand above them would not spill over, filling what they had already

With vivid imagination she played out every possible scenario that could
unfold itself, pacing the grounds with nervous anticipation. What if the
Golden Monkey had been stolen from the site long ago? What would she do
then? What if the Golden Monkey was there? She had a thousand artifacts
she wanted to search for, and with such a find, she'd be most certain to
get the financial backing for anything she wanted.

It took the roar of the incoming jeep before her thoughts refocused, and
she realized how much time had passed and that the day was close to now

Yin-Feng noticed two jeeps coming into view as they barreled down the
dune, leaving spiraling tails of dust in their wake. She took a deep
breath, again trying to clear her thoughts. She had to be able to think,
act, and direct in soundness of mind - not with the anxiousness of a

She walked the small distance from the pit to the few tents where the
supplies were stored to greet them as they parked the jeeps. Nadia hopped
out of Dylan and Tyler's jeep with a wide grin and she looked quite pleased
to see Yin-Feng again. The silver-haired British man who lately had been
taking up much of Yin-Feng's time stepped out of the other jeep with a
smaller and much younger man.

"Jonathan," she said, nodding to the older man. "It looks like you owe
me dinner." She tipped her sunglasses down to wink at him. "Greg," she
greeted, and pushed her glasses back onto the bridge of her nose. She gave
the younger man a smile as well, and told both of them, "Go see for
yourselves." She gestured calmly towards the rock where the constant work
was being done. Other vehicles had arrived already. The staff worked
around the outskirts of the digging area, putting up large lights whose
cords coiled and snaked through the sand to the large generator that would
power them.

"There was a crate of flashlights, but most of the lenses seem to be
cracked in the initial shipping," Tyler informed Yin-Feng.

She spat something in Chinese. Everything had been going so well. A
stray thought struck her, and for a moment she looked at both of them in
suspicion. She let that thought slip away and shook her head. "What do we
have, then?"

"Nothing," Dylan muttered. He shrugged. "Unless you want to carry
lanterns from the main camp in there," he said, and then chuckled.

"Find me a torch and an oily rag, if you have to," Yin-Feng instructed
them. Her mouth turned down a fraction of an inch in disapproval. The
determination in her voice suggested that someone had better come up with a
solution soon. It was clear she wouldn't take 'no' for an answer.

"I know a vendor in town. He deals in bulk," Tyler offered
spontaneously. "Me and Dylan here will run in, grab the stuff and come
back. You can just reimburse us after we get back."

Yin-Feng pulled down her sunglasses at last to look at them with a
curious, and suspicious expression. Her eyes roamed over the jeans and
t-shirts the rugged men were wearing in the manner of a worried security
guard and then shook her head. She made a useless gesture with her hand.
"Fine. Go. I just want them."

Dylan nodded, "You got it, boss lady." Giving her a cheerful grin he
half-saluted her before hopping into the jeep.

"We'll be back before you need 'em," Tyler promised. He grabbed the
roll bar and pulled himself into the seat next to his partner.

"You'd better," Yin-Feng warned. She paused, "Thanks," she added,
sincerely. "You'll have to forgive me, I've been looking forward to this
moment for a long time."

Tyler winked. "No problem, Professor."

"Yin-Feng," she corrected, with a smile.

"Right." Tyler winked at her and then nudged his buddy. "Let's go."

The tires sent a spray of sand behind them as Dylan pushed the gas pedal
down to the floor. The jeep quickly disappeared over the horizon in a
cloud of hazy dust that seemed somehow to be stained with the blood of the
sun as it began its daily death and finished sinking behind the endless
rolling sea of dunes.

"They're not so bad," Nadia said to Yin-Feng, seeming to emerge out of
nowhere all of a sudden. She'd not had anything to contribute to the
conversation, but now with the two men gone found herself at ease again in
the quiet company of the woman she felt such a close kinship to.

Feng turned to her and smiled. She nodded her agreement. "I know.
They've had a history, though, of taking things that didn't belong to them,
among other things. I had to ensure that they knew I wouldn't allow it. I
think they'll work out just fine. They are dedicated to their work. And
it seems to this dig."

Nadia felt the unease of the topic of conversation dwindle. Nervous,
she found herself fidgeting, and blurting out, "So. Um. What - was it you
wanted me for?"

Yin-Feng settled into a patch of shaded sand, under the rocks. "One
must be prepared for all eventualities, Nadia," she said. She patted the
space beside her.

Almost too eagerly, Nadia took the invitation. She had longed for some
'quality-time' between her and Yin-Feng ever since their first encounter,
but rarely even had the chance to say 'Hello' to her these past few weeks.
"Like what?" Her attention was rapt on her idol.

"For one thing, I don't know how sturdy the inside of the Temple is
going to be. It's stood here for over a millennium. There's also probably
a good chance of scorpions and snakes once we get inside the cooler area. I
may need some immediate first aid. I thought you'd like to come along."
Yin-Feng put her sunglasses back on in a causal manner and leaned back.
From behind the safety of her sunglasses she watched Nadia's features
against the scarlet-orange-purple sky.

Nadia found herself caught off guard. "Me?" She asked in disbelief.
"Go in there? With you?" She was quite certain that Feng had the wrong
person. Shaking her head, she began to fidget again. "No. I really don't
think it's a good idea."

Disappointed, a small frown crossed Feng's lips. "Why?"

"I've never been inside of one of those things before, for one," she
offered. "And I'd only slow you up. I wouldn't want to ruin your day for
you." Her eyes drifted away from Yin-Feng to her fingers that were
nervously drawing nonsensical patterns in the sand.

Feng's hand clasped over Nadia's own, firmly. "You won't," she said in
a firm voice. Her other hand lifted the girl's chin, and Nadia's eyes
slowly moved back to Feng's smiling face. "I would not have asked you
along if I thought otherwise. You are coming. And that is that."

Nadia bit her lip. She didn't dare argue. For the first time that she
could remember, she was absolutely sure she had found a true friend.

Yin-Feng's smile never left her face. She squeezed Nadia's hand again,
"Then it's settled," she said, closing the argument. hidden behind the
safety of dark glasses her eyes stared into Nadia's own, finding a peaceful
distraction from worries.


The dusty jeep began to slow as Tyler steered his way into the small
village. Newer rickety huts made of wood, plaster, and straw contrasted
with the much older buildings made from the smooth stone. Most of the
buildings in the center of town served as a bazaar of sorts, each merchant
eager to sell their goods to anyone that might walk past. Still lost in
older days, there were very few modern luxuries to be found. The town
instead relied on its ancient charm instead, with the comfort of simplicity
to get it by.

As the jeep slowed to a stop at the end of the sand-covered 'road', the
children of the bazaar flocked towards the vehicle, their tiny arms raised
as they offered hand-made wares and food to the two new arrivals. With
wide smiles of missing teeth each child tried to convince the men to buy
their wares, the voices of the children intermixing into a single
indistinguishable sound.

To Dylan, they were no more than objects in his way. They were nothing
more important than tall grass in a field he might be plowing through and
with his rough hands and strong arms, he pushed them to the side as he
strode over to the other side of the jeep.

Tyler took a different approach. He looked at the excited children
conglomerated around the jeep and spoke in slow, cautious English. "I need
a flashlight," he said, glancing around to all the children. "A lot of

The mob of children didn't seem to understand; instead their frail arms
still emphatically shook the many beaded necklaces, the animal carvings,
the figs and breads that they and their parents so diligently made. He
held up one of the flashlights that he and Dylan had managed to break only
a few hours earlier. "A flashlight," he repeated. This time, in addition
to showing them the flashlight, he pulled out a five-dollar bill from his

Apparently, money talked. A tall child in the front slid next to Tyler,
even as the rest of the children seemed to be 'shooed' away by an unruly
Dylan. "I get them. You give me money?" Wild dark brown eyes watched the
green paper as if it were the most beautiful, and mystical thing that the
boy had ever seen. "I take you."

Tyler nodded. "You take me. I give you money," he answered, making
sure to slow his speech so that the kid could keep up with him.

"I thought you knew somebody," Dylan muttered. "That's what you said
back at camp."

Tyler just sighed. "Go get your 'friend', okay? Do whatever you have
to do, to 'convince' him that he's going to help us out. Can you handle

Dylan eyed Tyler with a bit of hostility at the way he'd been treated.
But, the thought of getting to work alone, and push that hostility out onto
someone else in a way that would benefit him seemed a better idea. He
nodded, "Right. I won't be too long."

Tyler headed off with the child, who was dancing, and saying over and
over again, "Come! Come!"

"I'll be back in a few hours. I have some other supplies to gather,"
Tyler called to Dylan, before disappearing around a corner.

Dylan gave a smirk to himself. "That bastard," he said, under his
breath. He shoved his large, calloused hands into his pockets and began
walking towards a group of buildings carved from stone. "Thinks he knows
everything." He grinned to himself. "Well, I'll show him. I'll show him
*real* good." He licked his lips at the dark thoughts that fluttered about
in his brain.

It wasn't hard to tell which of the stone huts was the one Dylan was
looking for. A brand new white HumVee was parked in front of it, and it
was the only hut that had a solid wooden door with a stained-glass window
built into it. Dylan took a step back, and kicked hard at the door,
shattering the locking mechanism and sending the door crashing to the floor
off its hinges.

He stepped through the debris, and peered around the room.
"Knock-Knock!" His eyes narrowed, and he slowly moved forward to the
archway that led into the next room.

He felt the sudden sting at his neck a moment too late.

The stocky man that had been standing to the side of the entrance moved
forward and pushed Dylan back through the archway even as Dylan's
fingertips felt at his neck. Dylan's feet slipped on a shard of what had
once been the door, and he fell backwards.

The look on Dylan's face turned from one of confident hired muscle to
one of twisted rage. He hated being shown up, especially by a fat man in
glasses. He blinked away the forming tears as his eyes started to water.
His neck throbbed, his head was starting to do the same and he reached for
whatever it was that had prickled him. Fumbling fingertips pulled out a
feather-tipped dart, and he could feel the small trickle of blood running
down his skin from where it had pierced him.

"You, my friend, are an idiot," the man informed him in a brisk voice.
He kept the gun leveled on Dylan. "I watched you approach from the window.
I didn't need to be a psychologist to see that you had ill intentions in
coming here. Smashing the door in only confirmed my suspicions. You
could've at least knocked. That would have earned you at the very least
partial doubt on my behalf." The man settled into a comfortable chair at
the back of the room, a pleased smile creasing his lips.

Dylan tried to get up, but found the room spinning. His legs didn't
work quite right. He felt exhausted, and his limbs didn't seem to have any
strength left in them. Again, the anger swept over his features as he made
to lunge towards his target, but his body didn't seem to know how to
respond to what he wanted to do. Instead, he fell forwards on his face,
the dizzy feelings engulfing his mind.

"A special brew of my own," the man calmly told Dylan. "Originally, it
was designed to stimulate certain chemicals in the human brain in order to
reaffirm brainpower. The power of placebos, and what effect and to what
degree the human mind could heal the body. The power, if you will, of
belief." The doctor smiled, coldly at Dylan as he leaned back in the wooden
chair and wrapped his hand around the glass of brandy that had been sitting

Dylan felt sick. He watched the ceiling twist, and turn in front of
him. He was too tired to move. It seemed all he had energy enough to do
was blink. He managed a pitiful moan, as if realizing what had actually
happened to him.

"What came about, however, was a drug that essentially 'numbed' a
certain portion of the brain. Higher thinking, logical thinking; these
areas of the brain produced minimal activity under the influence of this
drug." The doctor laughed and took a sip of his brandy. "The result was a
blood-induced drug that would, in effect, act as what one of my nurses
affectionately called it ... 'hypno-juice'."

Dylan moaned again. He could feel himself slipping away. And there was
nothing he could do about it, now.

The doctor leaned forward in his chair. "So, my friend. What is your

Dylan found it hard to see. His eyes were unfocused, but his mouth
seemed to work despite the haze of his mind. "Dylan," he spoke, almost

The doctor nodded. "Dylan? What were you planning to do to me?"

Dylan's lips quivered, but his mind was already gone. "Get ... your
hypno-juice," he answered. "Use it."

This peaked the doctor's curiosity. "On whom?"

Dylan was silent for a long moment, as if his brain was trying to catch
up with the quick questioning of the doctor. "The ... bitch. Steal the

The doctor watched the inert body before him with considerable interest.
He'd expected a thug interested in stealing his own money. Or he thought
one of his 'friends' might have hired someone to pay him a visit. This,
now... This was interesting. "Steal what monkey?"

"... Xiao," came the answer from far, far away. "Gold."

The doctor blinked. He set down his brandy with a trembling hand and
got up. He walked around Dylan and moved to the small library of books on
the other side of the room. Quickly, his pudgy fingers pulled out the book
he was looking for. He found the reference in a matter of seconds.

"The Golden Monkey of Xiao?" The doctor asked. "You are going to get


The doctor smiled. "You are going to get it. And bring it, to me."

Dylan paused again. "... Bring it to you," he echoed in robotic

"Yes," the doctor confirmed. "You are going to bring the Golden Monkey
of Xiao to me."

With the tear-streaks from watery and unblinking eyes covering his face
Dylan echoed his programmer again. "Bring Golden Monkey to you," he said,
more firm this time.

"And who is this bitch?"

Tired already from the long conversation, mind exhausted from the
effort, Dylan still answered. "Yin ... Feng. Going to ... make her
think curse ... is real. Put her in her ... place."

The doctor gave a frown at that, "I'd hate to do that to someone," he
muttered to himself, as his eyes scanned over exactly what the curse was
supposed to have been in his book. "But, on the other hand, ... if I
turned in that Golden Monkey ... I'd have fame. And fortune. And this
would no longer be just a hobby."

He turned his attention back to Dylan. "You were going to use my
'hypno-juice' to make her think the curse was real?" He guessed.

Dylan replied, his voice weaker. "Yes."

"Good. When you awake, you will forget everything we have talked about.
You will think you have successfully attacked me, and scared me into giving
you what you want. But, when you find the Golden Monkey, you will bring it
back to me. You will give it to me. Then, Dylan, you will forget all
about it."

Nothing more than a mindless drone, Dylan echoed his orders again. "
... Forget everything. Bring back to you. Monkey. Forget all about it."

The doctor smiled, "Yes. Very good." He set the book down on the table,
and moved to take another drink from his glass of warmed brandy. "Now,
Dylan, since you've been such a wonderful subject, you can -"

He was cut off, by the sound of a trigger cocking back.

The doctor turned his head to find himself staring down the end of a gun
barrel. Tyler stepped forward, his hand steady and unwavering, "Hello,
Doc." The cold grin Tyler gave the man was not the least bit friendly.

Caught off-guard, the doctor looked for his gun in desperation. And saw
it - lying on the table he'd just walked away from. He'd set it down when
he had gotten the reference book. He wondered if he could make a dash for

"Trying to subvert my partner, Doc? Not very nice. Not very nice at
all." Tyler moved the gun up, to point at the doctor's head. "Don't move."

There was still a shred of confidence left in the stocky man, still high
from his triumph over Dylan and the revelation of him getting the Golden
Monkey. For a single second, that confidence surged in him. He chose that
moment to make a mad dash for his gun to put Tyler to the same fate as

The sound of gunfire echoed off of the walls of stone, followed by a
pain-laden and ear piercing scream as the doctor collapsed, clutching at
his bloodied knee.

Tyler's tone was sardonic. "My father was a champion marksmen.
Finished fourth in the biathlon tournament at the '88 Olympics." He pulled
the trigger again. "I learned a lot from my father."

The doctor only screamed in pain, rocking back and forth as he clutched
at his knee. Tyler moved in a casual manner over to the table, and picked
up the air gun. "Where is the rest of the ammunition?" He asked.

"Fuck you!" Came the pained retort. The doctor spit in Tyler's

The gun lowered again towards the doctor. "Let me explain something to
you, Doc. You see... you just tried to turn my best friend against me.
You hurt him. I really don't like that. See, he used to protect me. Only
fair I return the favor, now. I really don't want to kill you. But, it's
not a very large house. And I can search it pretty quickly. Trying to
save us both some grief." He allowed himself a casual smile. "Honor among
thieves, and all that, you know."

Again, the hollow point of the gun pointed at the doctor's head. "One
more time," Tyler said quietly, his voice full of controlled anger. "Where
is the rest of the shit?"

The doctor thought better of his instinctive reply, and instead said,
"Top dresser drawer. Now get the fuck out."

Tyler ignored him, and pulled open the drawer. Inside, he found what he
was looking for - a small black plastic case with a bottle of fluid, and
several feathered air-darts within.

"Fix Dylan," he said, his voice cool. "Then, we'll leave."

The doctor snarled at Tyler, "You fix him."

Tyler shook his head, "You're about as daft as Dylan, Doc." The hard
underside of Tyler's work boot landed on the doctor's bullet-shattered

"Okay!" The boot lifted, and the doctor spat through the bloodied lip
he'd bit down in the intense shot of pain he'd been doled.

"Dylan. Listen to me. Listen to my voice. You fell asleep. You will
remember nothing. You will obey nothing. You will follow your plans with
your friends. You are Dylan. You fell asleep."

Dylan's mouth yawned, as if it were indeed tired. "... Obey nothing,"
he said through the yawn. "Just fell asleep."

Tyler smiled. "Thanks." And raised the air gun to the doctor, firing
one of the darts into the doctor's legs. He winked, watching the doctor's
face of fear. "Don't worry, Doc. We're just going to make sure you
forget. And don't tell anybody about us."


It had been a little more than a full cycle of the sun when they had
found the entrance to the temple.

Yin-Feng stood at the edge of the deep pit, breathless. Her palms were
sweating. The path she had been walking her entire life was now at last
revealed to her, and she was nearing the last mile. Her knee sunk into the
sand as she bent down, making a final check of all the necessary gear in
her backpack.

Jonathan and Greg stood next to Feng, silent in their reverence for the
sacred moment. "Well, my friends," Jonathan flashed a smile to Feng and
then nodded to Greg. "What are we waiting for?"

Yin-Feng chuckled trying not to let on as to how nervous she was, and
glanced to Nadia. "Ready?"

Nadia nodded, relieved to see that she wasn't the only one who looked
utterly terrified to be entering into the vast pit of darkness that lay
before them. "I - guess so," she managed. She focused on Yin-Feng for
strength, knowing in her heart that Yin-Feng's nerves were stronger than
hers. The butterflies in her stomach were having a civil war, it seemed,
and she felt nauseous.

Nadia's hands twisted the end of her loose white t-shirt. It was better
than biting her nails, and she looked to Yin-Feng for direction. She was a
nervous wreck. But, she also had complete confidence in her friend. She
knew that Yin-Feng wouldn't lead her someplace without thinking that Nadia
was ready. And that helped to ease the tensions that knotted her stomach.

Yin-Feng nodded, gesturing to those gathered. "Alright, then." She took
a deep breath, speaking with caution in her voice. She didn't want to get
their hopes up, even though hers were already causing her heart to race.
"We're going to start out as a single team, but I want plans in case we
need to split up. I will be the head of the first team, Jonathan will head
up the second." She slipped her hands into her pockets to hide her own

"Each team will consist of a few men to provide light, and to provide
some muscle in case other digging may be needed." She pulled off the
sunglasses from her face, and looked at them all for a moment. As she did
the first day she'd met them, she looked in each of their eyes. "This is
not a race. These ruins have been here for more than a thousand years.
They aren't going anywhere. Let's show some caution, and respect, people.
Don't let your excitement of the discovery end up ruining the find of the

She glanced at Dylan, Tyler, and a few of the other men who were
standing by, ready to go in with the group. "Nadia will be with me. If
something happens, keep in touch with your walkie-talkies. She's bringing
down medical supplies with her."

She brushed her long pants off as she stood up out of the sand, "Keep in
mind it's going to be cool, and damp there. Expect the unexpected, bugs,
spiders, snakes, and scorpions lurking beneath objects, and crawling about.
Keep your head, and you'll do just find. Remember, we don't have to find
and catalog everything in there tonight. Beijing is pleased with our
progress, and has advanced a few more dollars our way - enough for a few
more weeks. So take it easy."

Grabbing the rope that would guide her down to the bottom of the pit she
asked, "Any questions?"

There were a few grins in answer, but no questions. Yin-Feng was glad
to see her own excitement reflected back at her in most of their eyes.
With a glad heart, she jumped off the edge of the pit and made her way down
to the dark opening.

The men watched her make her way down and then Jonathan grabbed the rope
and descended. Greg followed next. And, with a few promptings from the
diggers, Nadia managed a shaky grin and slower than the rest, started to
make her way to join everyone else at the bottom.

Dylan and Tyler looked at the other men who'd been picked to tag along.
Dylan asked, "So, you guys are going with the old fart, right?"

A man with dark hair gave Dylan a sardonic smirk. "Not if we can help
it. I'd follow that sweet ass of that woman anywhere. And we got dibs."

The man's partner grabbed the rope, ready to descend next. "Sorry,
boys. You'll have to follow the Brit and his little faggot buddy."

Tyler shook his head, "How about we make it worth your while?" He asked,
voice holding a sort of intrigue to it that the men couldn't quite pass up.

The one holding onto the rope paused just before jumping off of the
edge. "Like what?"

Feng's voice came from below, and every man could sense the impatience
in it. "We are waiting."

Dylan folded his arms. Larger than the other two men, he knew how to
use his physical prowess to his advantage. He smiled, just a little,
showing his teeth just as he and Tyler had done so many times before.

"Two hundred a head," Tyler mused. "That, or you might not go at all.
My buddy here was rather counting on getting to follow 'that sweet ass',
you see. He gets disappointed real easily."

The dark-haired man frowned, then glanced at his partner. The one on
the rope nodded. "Deal," he said. He looked at Dylan, then Tyler with
vague suspicion in his features.

Tyler shrugged, pulling out the money from a small billfold on the
inside of his jacket. Handing each of them their money, the rest of the
men met up with the group that was already getting ready to explore the
inner temple.


Nadia noticed that as she approached the dark entryway, the air inside
was stale. Old. She wrinkled her small nose, and heard a soft feminine
laugh behind her.

Yin-Feng gave her a grin, "It gets worse," she told Nadia. She walked
over to the younger, thinner redhead and hugged her impulsively. "Don't be
nervous. Just stay by my side, and everything will be just fine. Okay?"

Nadia nodded. She smiled back to Feng, as the feelings of doubt started
to wash away from her. "Okay," she agreed, her voice quiet and awed. She
found herself wishing that she had half the power of persuasion and
personality that Feng had instead of worrying about what was to come in
that dark, unseen tunnel ahead.

Soft lips kissed Nadia's forehead. "For good luck." Feng smiled to her,
then without saying another word, looked straight up the rope.

Nadia felt that sudden warmth in her cheeks again, and sighed in bliss.
*Maybe, after this is all over, we can go on a vacation together. Just her
and me. Friends, on a cruise. Pick up some guys. She can show me how to
be as strong as she is.* Nadia felt a sudden rush of exhilaration at that
thought, remembering her fantasy and thinking of how exciting it would be
if only it could some day be real. To be as beautiful as Feng. As loved.
As adored. She closed her eyes, as if to play it over in her mind all over

The slight nudge at her shoulder woke her. "Let's go," Yin-Feng said,
heading into the dark recesses of the Temple.

The first chamber was large and vast. The floor filled with sand, and
the walls plain and unadorned except for the tattered fragments of rope and
rotting strips of cloth that had probably once held up immaculate

Yin-Feng made a small gesture to one of the men, "Set up one of the
lights here."

The man nodded, pulling a small retractable tripod from the heavy
satchel and expanded it. The light had it's own power source, a set of
small batteries at the bottom of the tripod, and it gave off a powerful
light that chased away the darkness into the corridors beyond.

Feng smiled, as she took a heavy breath of the stale air. "Three
different passages." She glanced to Jonathan, "I'll take the center route.
You try the left-hand way. Keep your radios on. Alert me if you find

Jonathan gave her a small nod, "As you wish, Ma'am." He flashed her a
grin, then headed off into the left-hand corridor. The flashlights bounced
against the walls, tiny circles of light dancing ahead of them as the small
group disappeared.

Feng looked to the others with her, "Well." She smiled to Nadia, who in
turn took a step closer to Yin-Feng, and gave Dylan and Tyler a faint look
of half-amusement. "Sticking with me? Very well. Keep up, and don't
touch anything. Understand?"

They both nodded, and she gestured towards Dylan, who was carrying a
satchel similar to the other mans, heavy, and filled with lights and other
gear. "Lay one down every hundred feet or so. Unless I tell you
otherwise. We probably aren't going to get too far tonight."

Yin-Feng closed her eyes, and said a silent prayer for herself, then
moved forwards taking slow, careful steps. She turned on her flashlight.
Nadia did likewise as soon as Feng did, taking her cue from her idol.

Dylan nudged Tyler as the two men walked behind the women. The look in
Tyler's face was all Dylan needed to confirm that they were thinking the
same thing. Tottering as close as she could to Feng, both men were humored
by the puppyish fashion that Nadia clung to Yin-Feng with.

The bright circles of light flashed against plain walls, and
sand-covered floors. Occasionally, a broken shard of pottery, or wood
would be seen sticking out of the sand.

"It's never how you picture it," Yin-Feng said to herself. But, in the
empty corridor, her voice echoed and carried.

"It's a dump, if you ask me," Dylan said. He chuckled, lightly, "Seems
like tomb raiders got here before we did."

Feng scowled at the thought, pausing in her stride, "We've come this
far. We'll find something." Her eyes narrowed. "Got it?" She had no desire
for the sinking feeling in her gut to be hastened by brutish thinking.

"Yeah," Dylan said, bending down to the ground, and starting to set up
one of the lights. "Got it." He shrugged, indifferent to her tone and her

Yin-Feng's eyes stayed narrowed, as she glanced at the walls. Her
fingertip touched the cold stone lightly as she moved along, her pace slow.
The faint sound of footsteps in her ear were the only reminders that Nadia
was close to her, and that Dylan and Tyler were a few steps behind.

"What's wrong?" Nadia asked. It had taken her awhile, but now she had
found the strength to summon up enough courage to ask. She knew Feng
wouldn't rebuke her for the stupid question.

Yin-Feng sighed, her features relaxed. "All the stories that are told
about the Temple are of it being ornately adorned. It was a respected, and
sacred place for my people to go to, in Ancient times, and learn many
hidden arts. It was a place of glory, a place of beauty. Our friend back
there may very well be right. It could have been plundered, long ago."

From the back, Dylan could be heard gloating. "Damn right, I'm right."

Tyler chuckled, "Dylan. You're never right," he joked, poking fun at
his friend. "That's why I've got to stick with you."

Ahead of them, Yin-Feng smiled at the levity of the men, and glanced
back to Nadia as they made their way forward into another large chamber
that opened from the corridor they had been traversing.

Like the rest of the Temple, this room too seemed dull and dreary. The
drab colors seemed to continue to dampen the mood of the group.

"Still, plunderers only took what would be valuable. Things like books,
manuscripts, and scrolls they would not find of much value then. These are
things that I still would expect to find." She shook her head in dismay.
"Perhaps the Temple was moved a third time. Or perhaps it was destroyed by
the Mongols at a later date."

Nadia's heart wrenched at seeing her friend in such a poor mood on what
was supposed to be the day of Feng' life. Nadia wrapped her hand around
Yin-Feng's shoulder and gave it an assuring squeeze. She and smiled at
Feng. "You told me everything would be okay," she stated. "Now I'm
telling you." The confidence in her eyes shone through, reflecting
everything Nadia saw in Yin-Feng back to the other woman.

Yin-Feng smiled back, and nodded as the hand slipped from her shoulder.
"You're right. I'm right. We'll find something." Her own confidence
surged again as she looked at the reflection in Nadia's eyes.

The expanse that opened up before them was vast. Yin-Feng guided the
bright light of the flashlight towards the sandstone walls, searching every
inch of it up and down. The intensity with which she searched seemed to
spark something in Nadia, and she began searching the other half of the

The beam from her flashlight found an old statue of a warrior that
seemed to be half-dragon and half-man that stood a little bit taller than
Dylan. Its arms were broken off and in the sand, jutting out of it as if
it were a man buried beneath and grasping for the earth above.

"At least we finally have some proof I'm in the right place," Yin-Feng
muttered to herself. She began to head over to the statue.

After a moment, it was Nadia's voice that broke the silence. "Um.
Yin-Feng?" Nadia pointed at a section of the wall. "What's that?"

Yin-Feng whirled around, and shone her light where Nadia's own circular
beam was pointed. She snapped her fingers, "Get the rest of the lights
out. I want this room lit up. We've found it."

Both Tyler and Dylan put the remaining three tripod lights up, but it
was enough to give the room a light that flourished and was strong enough
to see the faint etchings of paint in those walls.

Yin-Feng took a step closer. Not just decorative, either. There were

"Yin -," Nadia began to ask, but she bit her lip as Yin-Feng held up her
hand in a quick silence gesture.

As old as it was, a lot of the markings had dulled and faded. Yin-Feng
was attempting to put the puzzle back together in her mind.

"Earth to Yin-Feng," Dylan called, stepping towards her. "Yo. What did
you find?"

She licked her lips. She was too centered to allow the rude disturbance
to affect her. "The Golden Monkey."

Nadia's eyes widened as she turned to stare at Yin-Feng, understanding
the implication of the discovery. A discovery that she'd made. Sort of.

Dylan and Tyler exchanged glances. "Where is it?" Tyler asked, his
voice low.

Yin-Feng turned a quick eye to the men. "That's what I'm trying to
figure out. It says the Golden Monkey is with beauty." She frowned, "The
question is, what did these people call beauty?" She slowly sat down into
the sand. "And where would it be in a place like this?"

Nadia slid down beside her, turning her flashlight off. The bright
lights from the tripods gave her no need for it. She gave Yin-Feng a
small, quick hug. "If anyone can figure it out, you can." She gave Feng
another small smile. "I have faith in you."

Dylan rolled his eyes, but said nothing.

Tyler gave Dylan a grin, and made a 'fairy' gesture with his hand,
masking it so the girls couldn't see as he headed over towards the
dragon-man statue. It had piqued his curiosity, and he might as well get a
good look at it. He winked at Dylan, rubbing his index and forefinger
together, suggesting that if it was worth something, there would be some
extra money to be made here as well.

"Probably what happened was the place got raided for the Golden Monkey,"
Yin-Feng now guessed. "And when they couldn't find it, they destroyed
everything in it."

Tyler stepped up to the statue, and tried to imitate the fearsome grin
of teeth it was flashing at him. Dylan snickered at Tyler's antics as he
secured the last tripod to its position and closed up the satchel.

Both Nadia and Yin-Feng turned to look at Tyler. "Cute," Nadia said,
wrinkling her nose. "Can't you ever be serious?" She grabbed a handful of
sand, and tossed it uselessly towards Tyler.

Tyler grinned, and put his arm around the armless statue. "C'mon,
Nadia. Take my picture. The two most handsome men on the planet." He
winked at her. "Heck, he's almost as beautiful as you, Nadia."

Nadia blinked, once. She snapped her fingers. "Feng?" She asked,
nudging the other woman. She remembered something she had come across
while putting away some of Feng's papers back at the camp. Bits of chinese legends transcribed and translated, with notes handwritten in the margins.

"Feng?" She asked, nudging the other woman. "Is this a statue of Lotus

Yin-Feng eyes snapped up in surprise. She grasped Nadia by the
shoulders, and startled the young woman as a smile of understanding lit up
her face. "The Chan-Sung legend! The Dragon who walked the Earth and
lived under the guise of a ravishing Princess! The folk tale originates
form this area... only local priests would understand the riddle!"

She leapt to her feet and strode forth. With every step, she grew more
convinced. Nadia was right on her heels, sharing in the excitement.

Tyler blinked. "What? This statue?" He frowned. "Where would it be?"
Tyler's fingertips pressed the statue's eyes, obviously expecting some
stone to start rolling and reveal an entrance or some similar reaction.
Nothing happened.

Yin-Feng shook her head at his efforts, and Nadia stifled a chuckle.

Dylan suggested, "Behind it, maybe?"

Yin-Feng nodded. "Or in it. Nadia." She hugged the woman, "Thank you.
Now, let's see what we can do."

The walkie-talkie on Feng's belt hissed, "Jonathan here. Feng? We've
got a small problem here. One of our diggers got his leg trapped by a
stone. We got him out, but it looks like he's going to need some medical
attention. We think it's broken."

Nadia sighed, and stomped her foot in frustration. "Dammit!"

Yin-Feng allowed herself a small smile. "Nadia will be right over." She
gave Nadia another hug, "Don't worry. You'll get to see it. And I'm
giving you part of the credit. You helped me. Tremendously. Thank you."

Nadia almost seemed to blossom under the praise of her idol, and nodded.
"Alright." After all, it was her duty to help the injured. She dashed off
down the blackness, taking her flashlight and a spare walkie-talkie with
her to find the other team.

Yin-Feng looked back to the statue. "Let's try moving it, first?
Gentlemen, care to assist me?"

Dylan moved over to the statue as well, and all three dug their boots
into the sand, pushing with all their might. The statue seemed to quiver.
Legs and arms straining, the three put all their strength into it. The
statue began to lift on its edge, the combined effort and lust for glory in
each of them giving them added fuel for success and strength. In another
second, the statue had toppled over, crashing to the floor.

It's head snapped in a fierce cracking sound, and rolled into the
distance. Behind where the statue stood and sitting on a shelf, a golden
monkey sat. Its arms were in front of it, as if it were begging for food.

Roughly hewn, the gold gleamed in the light. The red gemstone eyes of
the monkey flashed and flickered at them.

Yin-Feng found herself out of breath as she stared at it. Her ears were
buzzing, and she could only hear her heart pounding.

The sting at her neck brought her out of the reverie.

Her hands snapped back to grab the feather-tipped dart, and pull it from
her neck. In a mixed expression of anger and confusion she looked at the
two men who were grinning madly at her.

"You're going down, bitch," Dylan said, rubbing his throat. "We're
going to make you pay for what you did to us."

She found her thoughts getting hazy. Whatever it was, she knew she'd
been poisoned, or drugged by the dart. Her only chance was to take these
two out, and get to Nadia before whatever it was took effect.

She sunk into the horse stance, one that would give her good, solid
balance. Her eyes were watering, and she tried to blink away the blurred
visions of Dylan and Tyler standing in front of her.

Realizing that they weren't going to come to her, she slowly moved
towards them. Her feet slipped, but her mental prowess was strong. Her
breathing allowed her more control of her body than most people could

"Hell, I don't think I lasted this long. Maybe we should shoot her
again?" Dylan asked.

Tyler shook his head, "No. Don't want to overdose her. We'll wait, and
see. It's affecting her."

She lunged at Tyler, using a quick thrust to try and take him down. But
her inebriated mind misjudged the distance, and she flew past him. He
slapped her on the ass as she passed him, and stumbling, fell facedown into
a pile of sand.

Her mind was whirling. Her arms and legs were getting heavier. She
tried to push herself back up to her feet with all her strength, but the
effort was useless.

Tired and heavy arms gave out under her. She was dimly aware through
the foggy haze of the lights and the fogged images in front of her that she
wasn't quite dead. She just felt like she was.

Tyler put his finger to his lips, looking at Dylan and shook his head to
indicate Dylan shouldn't say a word. Tyler had planned this out to the
letter. Dylan nodded.

"Hello, Yin-Feng." He knelt down beside her. "I know you can hear me.
Can't you? Tell me you can hear me."

Her lips parted, and in a relaxed exhale, the words came. "I can hear
you," she spoke in a quiet murmur.

"Good," Tyler continued. "Yin-Feng. You are the daughter of a Shaolin
Priest. The Shaolin's believe in magic. Yin-Feng, your father believed in
magic. Your father wouldn't have lied to you, would he, Yin-Feng?"

There was a long moment's pause as the effort to think of the answer
seemed to crease across Yin-Feng's otherwise serene features. "No. father didn't lie," she agreed.

"Then, Yin-Feng," Tyler pointed out, "Magic must be real. Say it.
Magic is real."

The dots of Tyler's logic began to connect in the haze of her mind.
"Magic is real," Yin-Feng agreed, her voice was uncertain as if the last
shred of her will still resisted.

"Magic is real," Tyler reiterated. "Very real."

Yin-Feng let out a soft sigh. "It is real," she agreed again.

Tyler nodded, "Good. Your father believed in magic. So do you. It is

Yin-Feng's tongue slipped out of her mouth, as if tired from all the
talking. "Magic is real," she slurred. " ... father said so."

Tyler paused to glance at Dylan, who was grinning from ear to ear.
Obviously his partner liked where this was headed. Tyler couldn't have
asked for a better success rate himself. "And if magic is real, Yin-Feng,
then the Curse is also real. The Curse of the Golden Monkey of Xiao is

Yin-Feng's brow furrowed ever so slightly. "Curse ...," she spoke,
voice barely audible, "Is real. Curse of ... monkey. Is real."

Tyler nodded. "Yes, Yin-Feng. The Curse of the Golden Monkey is real.
And you moved it from its resting place. The curse is magic. And magic is
real. And it will overcome you. You will become the monster of your
darkest fears."

Yin-Feng's features twisted more, as if her inner being knew this was
wrong. But she no longer had the ability to fight the insistence of the
words being burned into her head. "I ... will become monster. Darkest
fears," she echoed. "It is real."

Tyler nodded, and signaled to Dylan to get on with rest of their plan.
Dylan dragged her towards the statue, resting her just under the crook of
where the statue lay and used the satchel and his feet to wipe out the drag
marks. Then Dylan grabbed the Golden Monkey, and tucked it under
Yin-Feng's arms.

"Repeat what you have heard ten times." Tyler's voice was insistent in
her ears as he lifted himself up. "It will burn into your mind more and
more each time you hear yourself say it. Then, you will fall asleep. Your
last memory will be of the statue falling on you."

He pointed to Dylan, and began to head back down the corridor to finish
their plans. It was time to grab Nadia and call for help.

Dylan snickered. "God, you are *so* fucked." He kicked her limp body
with his boot, and followed Tyler out.

As lights and laughter disappeared down the corridor, Yin-Feng was left
alone in the blurred lights. The only sound in the chamber was the soft
whisper of her lips, which her mind forced her to move upon the command it
had been given. "So ... fucked. God. So ... fucked. God... so fucked
..." --------------------------------------------------------------

It had only taken about a half an hour for the rigging to be set up to
haul the unconscious body of Yin-Feng out of the Temple.

Once Dylan and Tyler had alerted Nadia and the other team what had
happened, Jonathan had set things into motion while Nadia attended Feng's
body through a flurry of tears that she tried to hide from the others.

Nadia hadn't found any broken bones on Yin-Feng, but didn't take any
chances. Nadia secured Feng's head with a neck brace and strapped her down
tightly to the makeshift hammock and sticks that they'd meshed together in
order to carry her out on.

Once on the surface, they'd taken Feng's prone body to the medical tent.
There, Nadia had shooed everyone else out, claiming that Yin-Feng needed
her space, and her rest in order to recuperate.

She just didn't want them to see how afraid, and how worried she was for
the woman. The only person who'd ever shown her what the true friendship
meant was lying lifeless on the table in front of her. She had no clue
what was wrong, no idea how to make anything better.

Guilt gnawed at her. *If it were only you, in Yin-Feng's place,* she
scolded herself, *She could find a way to make things right. She'd know
what to do. She expected you did, as well. She wanted to believe in you.
Now she needs you, Nadia. And you don't know a damn thing.*

She laid her arms over the chest of Yin-Feng that rose and settled with
each peaceful breath that Feng took, and Nadia began to weep, miserable in
her own despair. She was tired, she was worried, and she was alone again,
and afraid.

Her sobs became a choking lullaby as she cried herself to sleep. Dark
dreams haunted her nightmares, as her all her failures that had littered
her life rose up from their graves, and haunted her mind and spirit.

She felt the cool chill of their touches in her dream as she ran away
from them. She could hear them clawing at her back, and then suddenly she
was falling. Falling, into a fathomless void.

Her neck felt warm, and she sunk into the sensation as she felt the
ghosts being chased away. Dimly, she was aware the sensation wasn't just
in her dreams. With blurred vision, she lifted her head to feel Yin-Feng's
hand on the back of her neck.

"Yin-Feng?" Nadia asked. Her voice was sharp, edged with hope.

"Mmm?" Yin-Feng muttered, sleepily.

"It's me, Nadia. Wake up!" She spoke loudly now, and lightly Yin-Feng's
bangs from her forehead. "We've been worried about you."

Amber eyelids blinked, and the asian woman stretched. She moaned, her
whole body aching. Her mind was throbbing. Her eyes opened, as she
focused on Nadia, trying to remember.

Even as her eyes opened, the floodgates opened. Her thoughts rushed
over her, the tidal wave reaching it's crescent and collapsing onto her
mind all in the matter of a split second. Everything was revealed to her.

"It's done," she spoke at last. Her voice was weak, yet there was the
same old strength behind it.

Yin-Feng pushed Nadia from her, as she moved to sit up. "Everything has
become as it should be," she said, her voice quiet and calm.

Nadia didn't know what to do, much less what to think. She shook her
head, trying to fathom what Yin-Feng was doing, and what the other woman's
line of thinking was. "You should rest, Feng. What are you talking

Yin-Feng smiled, her eyelids fluttering closed as she turned her head
towards Nadia. "The Curse of the Golden Monkey of Xiao is real, my dear,
dear, Nadia," she said softly. "Very, very real. As real as you or me."

Nadia blinked. "Are you serious?" She asked. Had it been anyone else,
Nadia probably would have scoffed. But she knew, or thought she knew,
Yin-Feng too well to believe anything other than Feng knew what she was
talking about.

Ying-Feng nodded, her eyelids still closed, and a smile on her face
suggesting she was in full rapture of the moment. "Very serious, my child.
Very serious, indeed."

The warm hands of Yin-Feng enclosed over Nadia's, as the calm, soothing
voice of the woman seemed to still Nadia's fears. "It has made me a
monster of my darkest fears. And yet, not all is, as it would seem."

Her voice was a murmur, comforting, and serene. "I used to despise sex.
The very essence of it. I watched my peers use it to get where they wanted
in life, and I hated it for it kept women in my country under the feet of
men. I turned against it. I rejected it."

Yin-Feng leaned forward, her lips moving an inch away from Nadia's ear.
"But now, my child, that is all over. My mind is clear at last." Nadia
found her breath warm, pleasing. Her own eyes closed in relaxation.

"Do you know what my name means, in my native land, Nadia?"

Nadia shook her head. Her earlobe brushed against Yin-Feng's lips, even
as the other told her. "I am called Silver Phoenix," she said. "And so it
is. Today, I was left broken by a falling statue, and my mind was left to
burn away by the curse. The Curse of the Golden Monkey struck me, even as
I attained glory."

Nadia found herself feeling strange at the sensation of the lips, which
kissed her neck this time. She was certain she didn't want to be here.
Yet, the voice of Yin-Feng was so relaxing. Feng's touch was so
compelling. And Nadia wanted to hear more.

"And I rose, Nadia. I rose up from those ashes by your hand." A smile
slid over her lips, as she pulled her head back, and her eyes fluttered
open to look into Nadia's own.

The dark orbs that stared into Nadia's eyes were even more compelling
than before. Nadia found herself being swallowed by them. She was a deer,
and the glistening eyes of Yin-Feng, the Silver Phoenix, were the brightest
of all headlights.

"There was another part, beyond the Curse, Nadia. Something that
remained hidden. It was the reason why so many sought the Golden Monkey.
Now I see."

Yin-Feng had known that the girl would be so ensnared by her eyes. For
such was destiny. Yet, she continued speaking, knowing that Nadia was
still listening with her full attention. "For I am a *God*, Nadia. Not
just any God, Nadia. Rather, I am the first of the new. For all the old Gods killed each other, long, long ago in bloody duels and in desperation,
vying for the attention of the mortals and power amongst themselves. I am
the Goddess of Sex, the Fuck Goddess. So it was revealed to me, by the
Golden Monkey's Curse. I have been given that power that was left to be
found by the chosen one. Nadia, it is my place to bring back the Gods. I
am to be the mother of the Gods. And all will worship me, for I am great,
and beautiful, and terrible."

Nadia made a trembling whimper. She found herself hard-pressed to think
straight. Staring deep into Yin-Feng's eyes, she began to lose herself.
Her will was quickly slipping away, and being overshadowed by Yin-Feng's

Nadia shook her head, "B-but how can this be?"

"In the darkness that swallowed me, Nadia, I found truth," she answered,
her voice quiet, crooning. "I saw the Golden Monkey in a dream, bestowing
his curse upon me. He would have turned me into a madwoman, thirsty for
the pleasures of the flesh. But my father taught me well. And the Golden
Monkey had not counted on that. I learned many disciplines to clean, and
purify my mind." She leaned closer, into the other woman. "And he saw that
I was fighting him, and he became enraged, and attacked me."

Nadia's eyes widened as she listened to the story. Lost in the words of
the story and the eyes of Yin-Feng, she was unaware of anything else around

"So it was that upon the spirit realm I fought the Golden Monkey. I
fought my darkest fear. And though I was almost beaten into the rubble and
destroyed, I heard my father's voice, speaking to me from far away. It
gave me strength, even as my father reminded me of what plane we were
fighting upon. With my last effort, I defeated the Golden Monkey. I lured
him into my own mind and crushed him with the raw power of my Chi."

Her eyes closed, in remembrance of the event. "And with that defeat, my
sleeping mind awoke to all it's ancient powers that mortal man has long
forgotten and can no longer touch. The curse was not lifted, but it was
forever changed." With a gentle touch, her hand slid down Nadia's bare arm.
"So it is that I was born again, purged by the fire, burnt to ashes, and
reborn a Goddess."

"You, Nadia, will be my first Priestess. My High Priestess. You are my
Chosen, before all others. As it always will be. You will serve me, and
please me, and all will envy you for your greatness and your holiness to

Nadia whimpered again. Yin-Feng was so sure of herself, so sure of
everything. Nadia felt the almost palatable pressure of Yin-Feng's will
engulfing her own. Feng had harnessed the untapped potential of the human
mind, and now bent it to work the twisted will of the life that had been
thrust upon her.

Yin-Feng's fingertips brushed the younger girls hair back. Her deep
eyes still staring into Nadia's own, as if pushing herself into Nadia's
mind through it.

A mere sapling to a full storm, Nadia's will was forced to bend, but it
did not break.

The words were slow. "A Priestess, to you." She became everything she
had ever admired in the dead Yin-Feng. She was a Phoenix, too. Born
again, in love, and kindness. Burned away were the inadequate feelings of
despair, and worthlessness. She had a purpose, now. A skill. She lived
to guide others to her Goddess. She lived to show them the proper way.
She lived to love. And she loved to live.

Yin-Feng smiled. Her fingers glided over Nadia's small breasts. Nadia
shivered, casting her eyes down. Warmth churned in her body, a smile on
her lips.

She knew what it was like to be Yin-Feng.

The trembling in Nadia's loins at that sudden enlightenment was unlike
anything she'd experienced before - the wake of a small orgasm? She wasn't
sure, but what she was certain of was that she wanted to feel it over, and
over again.

The soft fingertips glided down her shirt, to lift it from her body.
The hand of Yin-Feng slipped under it, and for the first time in her life,
another hand. The hand of that fantasy lover she so often pleasured
herself thinking about glided over her stomach. Just as she imagined it
would be, if she had been Yin-Feng.

Nadia shivered in pleasure. She leaned close. "Oh, Goddess." She
mewled. "Teach me your ways. Your wisdom."

The voice was soft in her ear. "Gladly, my High Priestess. But first,
we need a name for you. Nadia is dead. And so, young child of the Silver
Phoenix, your name shall become Mei-Yong. For now, born in me, child, you
are Eternal Beauty."

Mei-Yong, who had once - it seemed a lifetime ago - been Nadia, blushed.
*Nadia.* The thought was fleeting, as she realized how rough, how awkward
that name sounded, now. It wasn't her. Not anymore.

She was Mei-Yong. *Yes. Mei-Yong. For Her. Anything, for Her.
Mei-Yong is perfect and eternal in her Goddess. I will serve her well.
Forever.* The girl felt herself smile. She felt beautiful. For the first
time in her life, she felt beautiful. The Goddess had chosen her ...
*her* ... out of everyone in the entire world. She leaned her body into
her Goddess in supplicant submission, eager to learn her new role. She was
zealous to find her new place, and to discover the joy of her worth to her

Yin-Feng's other hand joined the first underneath Mei-Yong's shirt.
Light fingertips traces over her sides. Mei-Yong trembled at the
feather-light touches as Feng's hands drew the shirt up, over Mei-Yong's
head, and cast it away.

The young girl wore no bra. Mei-Yong's breasts were small, nipples a
bright pink and hardened in the anticipation of what was to come. Her
pulse was racing, her skin warmer, her breath ragged.

And Yin-Feng hadn't even touched her yet.

She felt the gentle touch of her Goddess slide, in an electric caress
that caused her mind to buzz, her body to tremble again. A soft sigh of
pleasure passed her lips as Yin-Feng's hand wrapped around her, tickling
the tiny hairs on the back of her neck. It sent shivers of ecstasy down
her spine.

She felt herself being pulled, closer to her Goddess. Full of wanton
desire, eager to please and fulfill her role, the young Priestess yielded.
She bent, to Feng's will again.

The moist lips of her Goddess were barely an inch away from her own.
She could feel the warm breath of Yin-Feng against her face. Soft eyes,
filled with want stared back into the confident eyes of Yin-Feng.

The voice was soft, and it seemed to melt Mei-Yong into a soft puddle of
quivering flesh. "You've never been taken, by anyone - mortal man, or
woman? Have you, my Eternal Beauty?"

Mei-Yong almost dared not to breath, she was so caught in the moment.
"No." Was all she could muster, lost in the serenity and eroticism of her
new Goddess.

Her body went limp as Yin-Feng's lips enclosed over hers. One hand
pressed against the back of her neck, causing her to whimper in pleasure.
Those whimpers only increased as Mei-Yong felt the delicate touch of her
Goddess' other hand against her own small, hardened breast.

Her jaw went lax, as Feng's warm velvety tongue intertwined with hers.
Slow and guiding, Feng turned her body about, and with care lowered
Mei-Yong's body down onto the bed she'd been resting on. As Mei-Yong's
head hit the pillow, their lips parted, and Yin-Feng smiled with tenderness
towards her newfound love.

Before Mei-Yong could speak, Yin-Feng's fingers were at her mouth,
hushing her. With gentle reverence, fingertips danced down Mei-Yong's
smooth belly, and played at the buttons of her pants. Soft was her voice,
caring, and spurning Mei-Yong's desire for her Goddess. "You must be shown
the path of light, before you can walk it, Mei-Yong. Then, you can show

The girl smiled at that, her head sinking into the pillow as she allowed
the sensations to wash over her, welcoming them like warm water, lapping at
her skin.

Her body quivered as Feng's fingertips danced intricate patterns over
her stomach, her breasts. Soft lips would pause, and kiss a spot of warmed
flesh, and a hot tongue would follow, licking at her skin.

Mei-Yong's loins burned with arousal, and she could smell a familiar
scent in the air - her own heat, mixed with that of her Goddess'. That
thought made her smile; that she was so beautiful, she could arouse a

Proud of herself, she arched her back into her Goddess, to show Her how
much pleasure that her Goddess had given her. Yin-Feng smiled to herself
and even as her fingertips threatened to slide beneath the waistband of her
pants her lips wrapped around Mei-Yong's breasts.

Mei-Yong let out a shuddering gasp, and arched her back more into the
pleasuring mouth. She felt her nipple being pulled and pinched by Feng's
teeth, her eyelids fluttering open to watch as she lay still, a helpless
quivering mass of pleasured flesh for her Goddess.

Her hips rose of their own accord, pressing firmly into Yin-Feng's.
Again, hard, Yin-Feng bit at the pert nipple sending another moan out from
Mei-Yong's lips. She batted it against her tongue, and suckled on it with
all the strength her mouth could muster.

Red-faced, her skin starting to sweat, Mei-Yong's mind whirled and
buzzed, bombarded by the pleasures of the flesh. Pleasures she had only
known through herself - now intensified tenfold by her role. By her
Goddess. She squeezed her thighs together again, well aware of her need
and heat.

Yet, while Yin-Feng was aware of the young girl's need, it was necessary
to show her what was expected of her in the future. Not until each nipple
was sorely bruised, and colored a wonderful shade of purple, did she lift
her lips from Mei-Yong's tiny breasts, smiling in her decadence.

Yin-Feng's lips pursed, and she blew lightly on the wet, tortured skin.

Mei-Yong mewled like a happy kitten, wet eyes floating shut.

As if she were taking off a royal garb, Yin-Feng's hands ever so slowly
slid Mei-Yong's pants off her. Caressing the bare skin of newly shaven
legs. Kissing thighs, and kneecaps, licking thighs.

Time was lost.

Toes curled, and soft pubic hairs wet with the dew of arousal that were
cooled by the shaded air of the tent, Mei-Yong realized at last, she was
utterly naked before her Goddess.

Naked, physically. Just as she always would be mentally. Her Goddess
was always, would always be, in control. Yin-Feng would always guide her
Eternal Beauty, to perfection.

The sudden touch at her outer lips gave way to a louder mewl, and a soft
shudder of flesh. In desperate desire Mei-Yong's legs parted, ready to
experience the next sensation with zeal.

The pressure stirred her, as she felt two strong fingertips spreading
her lips. She was utterly vulnerable, now. She was utterly lost. She was
utterly in heaven.

The cool breath of Feng's lips blowing on her moistened lips caused her
to inhale sharply, and she tossed her head. Soft laughter filled the room
as her Goddess was pleased at her reactions.

She felt the kiss just above her labia, and trembled again, opening her
eyes just in time to see her Goddess take a long, deep drink of her.

The velvety tongue slid against the insides of her walls, pushing into
her pussy. It curled, it twisted, it dove and rose inside her, driving her
into a mad, glorious sexual frenzy.

Her body could take no more, and she felt the onslaught of the orgasm
slam into her. It was an earthquake. It rumbled through her bones, her
skin. It ravaged her from dripping forehead to straining toes as she felt
her heated sex convulse and spasm inside her.

The tongue withdrew, even as the aftermath begin to slowly rumble
through her again, these quakes not as great, but casting gentle wakes of
satisfying pleasure in their own way. Her skin was left raw, and sensitive
to the slightest of touches in a manner she loved as her Goddess kissed her
way up to Mei-Yong's lips.

"You have the knowledge, now, my Eternal Beauty. Use it wisely."

The twist of her nipple was the last thread her mind could withstand.
Her mind could take no more, and it finally snapped. Mei-Yong fell
unconscious and into a blissful, satisfying sleep.


As they neared the camp, Dylan and Tyler each bore a wide grin on their
faces. They could feel their energy surging, their heart racing. They
exchanged glances with wild eyes, full of expectations, of dreams, and
fantasies come true.

It had been three long weeks since Yin-Feng's 'accident', and if reports
they'd managed to scavenge up were correct, everything had been shut down
weeks ago, and the site had been left abandoned. Both men had agreed that
now was the proper time to retrieve the golden statue from where they had
directed Nadia to hide it.

Tyler smiled at the memory of drugging Nadia as she lay unconscious over
Yin-Feng. He'd woken her just enough to shoot her with the needle gun and
was quite satisfied how easily she had accepted her 'orders'.

And now they feverishly contemplated a future filled sandy beaches, and
lustful women, begging for their attentions. Life was going to be good.

Tyler slowed the jeep down about a half a mile from the camp to be and
cut the headlights. The moon almost gave them enough light to see by, but
Tyler flicked on the flashlight anyways.

"We get in, and we get out," Tyler said stiffly to Dylan. "Don't make a
sound. If we get attention drawn our way, I'll kick your fucking brains

Dylan scrunched up his eyes, not sure if Tyler was joking or not. He
nodded, "Don't worry," he said, holding up his hands. "I want the money as
much as you do." He gave his friend a smile, "Besides, it's my contacts
that got us a buyer for the piece."

Tyler twisted his lips into a wry smile. "It was at that," he agreed.
He crept across the sand, towards camp, quiet now. Following in his
stealthy shadow, Dylan brought up the rear. Muscles poised, they were
ready for anything.

They were ready to take out a few workers, if that's what it took. But
Tyler had taken precautions to make sure the statue would be in a remote
spot far away from the camp.

He moved to the small pile of rocks, and with Dylan's help began to push
aside the large rock under which the Golden Monkey had been buried.

Even in the silver light of the moon, it glistened and gleamed brightly,
as if boasting of its' wealth to them.

"Holy fucking shit," Dylan swore, shaking his head in disbelief as Tyler
picked up the statue, dumping it into a plain burlap sack. Tyler nodded in
agreement with his friend.

"Easiest job we ever did, Dylan." He turned, flashing a grin to his
friend, which turned sour in the blink of an eye.

"Ty?" Dylan asked, but it was too late.

"Infidels!" Came the loud cry.

The deserted dunes seemed to teem with life as hundreds of men and women
rushed towards the rock where both of them stood, gaping in bewilderment
and horror.

They had no way out.

Tyler clutched the bag tightly to his chest, and made a desperate run
for the jeep. Dylan turned around, dazed and uncertain. He saw Tyler
running in fear out of the corner of his eye.

His legs picked up, and followed his friend almost on their own.

The surging crowd came upon them, and drove them down into the ground.

Fists and blunt objects pummeled them. Pain exploded in their bodies.

They sank into unconsciousness.


"They are awake, my Lady," came the quiet voice of a man.

Tyler moaned, and put his hands to his ears to stop the horrid ringing.

He opened his eyes, and found himself to be inside the same dark cavern
of the temple that he and Dylan had attacked Yin-Feng in.

Dylan rolled over, and screamed as the decapitated head of the
Lotus-Dragon fearsomely grinned at him.

"They are indeed. Go. Tell Her Worshipfulness that the infidels are
prepared to meet her." The voice was self-assured, commanding. It allowed
for no disobedience.

Tyler's mind swam, as he recognized the voice. "Nadia? What the fuck
is going on?" He muttered. He spat the sand out of his mouth, and turned
to look at her. His face twisted into an ugly mask of rage.

Dylan turned to look at Tyler, then, to the half-naked woman standing in
front of them.

Clad in immaculate white robes, Nadia stood before them. The plunging
neckline exposed her pert breasts, the edge of the 'V' ending just above
her smoothly shaven sex. The bottom was cut like a loincloth and edged
with gold. Her tanned, toned legs exposed for all to see, and it was clear
she was not wearing anything underneath the simple, erotic garment.

"Who is Nadia?" She asked, her voice curious.

Out of all the answers he could have gotten, Tyler was not prepared for
that one.

"You, you stupid bitch," Dylan offered in retort. He snarled at her,
and tried to stand up, but his arms were tied tightly to his sides. He
looked at Tyler, and noticed his friend caught in the very same

"I am Mei-Yong," came the lilting answer. "High Priestess to the Silver
Phoenix. You are accused of trying to destroy her power, by calling forth
the Golden Monkey to defeat her glory."

Dylan licked his lips, "What the *hell* are you talking about, you
deluded psycho? Fuck. Let us go, you loopy bitch, before I get really
mad, and hurt somebody."

She shook her head, and laughed. "You do not know your peril. But, you
are misled. Have no fear. The Goddess comes, now. She will show you the

Two muscled men came into view from the dark corridor, naked save for
the sandals upon their feet. Their chests and limbs were well oiled.
Hands behind them, they held up two long rods.

Upon the simple seat that was supported by those rods, was Yin-Feng.
Her ponytail was unbound, the dark raven hair cascaded down her back like a
billowing cape.

Both the men saw the look in her eyes. They remembered what she had
done to them before. Fear clutched at their hearts with an icy hand, and
their eyes widened at the sight.

She was glorious. Her body was oiled and scented, her amber skin glowed
against the bright hue of the lights that shone forth. Dark nipples, fat
and wide were erect - they seemed to greet them with shameless passion.
She was dressed as 'Nadia' was, save her garb was of black.

The two men at the front, and at the back, lowered her with great
reverence to the floor of the cavern.

Her leg arched out, and touched the sand.

Dylan squirmed back, his body twisting and squirming like a frightened

Tyler remained where he was, frozen with fear.

Only they dared to look at her. All other eyes were cast down, showing
the Goddess her proper respect.

A sudden chill came from the corridor, causing her hair to rise up from
behind her and the wind whipped her hair about. She seemed yet more
terrible, and yet more beautiful with each step she took towards them.

Yin-Feng only spoke one word, her voice cool. Calm. Confident.

The young girl bent a knee to the word, and moved to her Goddess,
standing to the side of her beloved. Yin-Feng's hand swept over her bare
midriff, up to encircle the girl's breasts. A long nail, cold and edged,
ran across the underside of the small mounds and then moved to encircle
each nipple in a lazy figure eight pattern. Her eyes never wavered from
the two men.

Mei-Yong shivered with delight. The girl moved one foot a few inches
further, spreading her desire for her Goddess, should her Goddess wish it.

"Why," she coldly asked, "Did you wish to destroy this?" Dark eyes
flickered to the young trembling girl. Yin-Feng had become the most fluent
of artists, and now she played Mei-Yong's body with the ease of a master

"Harmony. Love. Perfection," Yin-Feng continued. The toying hand slid
down, now over Mei-Yong's stomach. Fingertips slipped beneath the
loincloth. "Remove."

Mei-Yong's heart fluttered, and with a quick, practiced movement. The
ornate garb fell off of her shoulders, cloth pooling about her feet.

Tyler looked with wonder at Yin-Feng. He glanced around to the others,
even as he began to join Dylan in attempting to distance himself from the
insanity of the situation.

Dylan glanced around, "What the fuck is happening, Ty?" He swallowed.
His arms bulged and pressed hard against his bonds and the hard cords only
responded by pressing further into his skin, rubbing it raw and sore.

Tyler was too busy watching the scene play out in front of him. Nadia
was no longer the little mouse he'd so often taken advantage of - now she
was - beautiful? And erotic, as her hips swayed to the tantalizing fingers
that played at her cunt.

The stoic men that stood near the entrance of the corridor remained
still, their heads down, their cocks erect; a salute to the power that they
now served.

Mei-Yong was in heaven. She concentrated on keeping her legs from
trembling at the sensations that were flooding her body. The deft fingers
of Yin-Feng slid inside her cunt, and she clenched her walls around them to
show her Goddess how well trained she was. How much she had learned about
being a High Priestess. Agile fingers curled about her inside her, and
tickled her most sensitive spots - spots until only a few weeks ago she'd
never even knew existed.

She kept her arms behind her, chest thrust outwards for her Goddess to
return to, if Yin-Feng so chose. Warm eyes, soft and wet, looked with
utter adoration and love at the Goddess. She opened her mouth to sing her

Sexual moans of lust echoed within the hallowed chambers and corridors.

Yin-Feng's index finger moved to strum Mei-Yong's clit, as she spoke
again. The music of the lustful heat that she was playing seemed to add to
the power of her voice. "Answer, unbelievers. Why did you seek to take
this? To use it against me?"

Tyler didn't understand, but he at least had enough wits about him to
finally find his voice. "Look. I don't know what the fuck is going on
here," he said. Desperation was seeped deep in his voice. "But just let
us go. We'll leave the damn Monkey. Just let us go."

Mei-Yong's hips wriggled against the finger, and she could take it no
longer. Her legs buckled, and she slipped onto her knees, unable to stand
at such an assault.

Yin-Feng touched her head and nodded, and Mei-Yong gasped a smile of
surprise, and delight. Her hips shimmied up, and her thighs wrapped around
Yin-Feng's feet. With lust-filled thrusts, she humped the bare foot with
childlike glee. Her back arched, her tongue pushed past her lips and her
head disappeared underneath the silk loincloth around Yin-Feng's hips.

The Goddess's thighs shuddered.

"You will leave the Monkey?" She asked, her voice calm, and quiet. Her
eyes closed, to revel in the sensations her Priestess was giving her.

Dylan saw the light down the tunnel. "We'll leave the Monkey," he
agreed. "And we'll never tell anyone about this. Just give us our
freedom, and we're gone."

The Goddess shivered, and she opened her dark eyes to stare at them.
"You fear me. That is well, children. But, unfortunately, I do know what
is going on here. I can see your dark thoughts." Her stare hardened, even
as Mei-Yong's body convulsed against her in the throes of heated orgasm.

red tresses still shimmered in the light as her head turned this way and
that behind the white cloth. Yin-Feng's toes sunk deep into the sand.

Her voice took on a new power, as if fueled by the erotic sensations
that overwhelmed her. The air seemed to buzz with it. "You seek to
contact the mortal authorities. To destroy all that I have built. You
seek to sell the Golden Monkey for human greed, and you do not know that
you will release its curse. You seek to destroy the future." She paused,
even as they shivered at her voice. It vibrated in their ears.

"You seek freedom? Then freedom you shall have." She gestured to the

Four naked, oiled men moved to them and cut their bonds. That was all
Dylan needed. He swung at the first man to his left with all his might,
sending the worshiper down to the ground and clutching at his gut.


The voice resonated through Dylan's skull.

Yin-Feng's eyes darkened, swirling into a storm of rage. "You seek your
freedom. I give it to you, gladly. And for your disobedience, and your
crimes against me, that freedom shall be lain upon you."

Dylan tried to move, but found he could not.

Tyler could only move his eyes, and glanced fleetingly at Dylan. His
pupils shrank in terror.

"You see? Nothing more than frightened children. Yet, so kind am I
that I give you all you ask. Your fate is sealed. As this Temple will be.
Buried, and lost with time, so shall you be. Free - from the mortal chains
that bind you. Punished, to forever guard the Golden Monkey from being
free. And in eternity, you can reflect upon your grievous ways."

Her body rocked, with the onslaught of orgasm, as her High Priestess
licked with loving diligence. Power ebbed from her, and Dylan and Tyler
fell unconscious.


Mei-Yong knelt before the throne of her Goddess in the remote temple.
Her nipples rubbed against the holy amber legs of Yin-Feng, as the Goddess
sat and sipped wine. The young priestess lapped at the flowing juices with
pure devotion, and reverence. Between those laps, she would often pause to
look upon in wonder and awe at the presence before her.

A stray thought came to her. "Goddess?" She asked, moving to kiss
Feng's nipple.

"Yes, little one?" Came the voice from far away. The Goddess did not
bother to open her eyes.

"I - I think I remember who those infidels were. Or maybe I do not. It
is - odd, Goddess." Mei-Yong seemed puzzled at this, but she knew that
surely, her Goddess would hold the answers. Her Goddess was - a Goddess,
after all.

A light fingertip from Feng touched Mei-Yong on the forehead. "Do not
worry, little one. Child of the Silver Phoenix. My Eternal Beauty. It
was another lifetime ago. Monkey is safe. And they will never try to harm
us again."

Mei-Yong felt the buzz of pleasure, and easily found herself forgetting
the two strange men in lieu of other pleasures to behold. She lifted
herself up to kiss Feng on the lips.

Intimate tongues intertwined, and Mei-Yong shivered in the pale
moonlight, at peace in the lithe arms of the one true Goddess in the world.


The throbbing in Tyler's head wouldn't go away. He struggled, and
managed to open his eyes. Only one of the small tripod lights still
burned, but it gave him enough light to see by.

His eyes looked forward, to stare into the face of the very same
dragon-warrior they'd once knocked down. It was standing again, in the
same spot. Somehow, it looked familiar. Taller, than before and now
seeming more fearsome.

*It's clothes.*

Tyler tried to gasp, but no voice came from his throat.


Tyler felt nothing, but the cold chill of air. His eyes moved up the
body, to look at the stone-warrior's eyes.

*Dead. Stone.*

Reflected in them was another warrior. Sealed in stone. Unmoving.

For all eternity.


*If you liked this story (or even if you didn't) please take a moment of
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By the way... if you *have* seen this story (or any of my other
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