While still at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Buck calls a friend in the New Orleans police department for information on the Riverside Warehouse Company. It’s outside New Orleans, owned by Manuel Ortega, a Mexican businessman, and in fact, all the employees are Mexican.
The group waits for the police to arrive, and answers their questions. Buck also calls Inspector Galloway to let him know we’re headed to New Orleans. The team flies down, and heads to the warehouse.
It is grimy and hard to see in the windows. The doors are locked and one side of the building backs up against the bayou. Buck spots an open window and Pandora hears chanting coming from within, and when Helen peers in a window, she sees a group of men around a large reed mat, decorated with the image of a spider. One has a headdress & is the leader (Ortega). While Buck polishes his badge, Helen runs to the end of the catwalk and slides down the support poles, while Pandora runs to the other end and slides into the control box of the crane, which is currently holding a crate suspended from the ceiling.
Buck twirls his guns and shoots a light fixture on the far side of the warehouse, causing a shower of sparks. All the Aztecs stop chanting and look up at him, while Buck drawls an introduction. Ortega yells in Aztec, “Kill the man in the hat!”
Two men grab their blow guns and shoot at Buck, and Buck returns fire. One flips onto the mat, and one collapses, both dead.
Ortega reaches behind a crate and pulls out a sub-machine gun, and shoots Buck. Helen shoots Ortega, then shoots one of the men starting up the ladder towards Buck. Pandora uses the crane to swing a crate to hit two of the Aztecs in the head. One dodges the crate and races up the ladder towards Buck, while another sneaks around some crates and shoots at Helen. Buck shoots the Aztec that has made it to the catwalk, as Helen shoots the one that shot at her. Buck slides down the ladder and punches the final Aztec. The team realizes Ortega has fled, and see an air boat taking off. They jump into another air boat and follow.
They catch up and Pandora and Buck start shooting, killing Ortega. They return to the warehouse, and start looking around. Pandora starts taking pictures, while Buck walks into the office, where he sees a map with white string marking many points all radiating from a spot in the Mexican jungle (on the Yucatan peninsula). Helen finds a notebook, with sites and names. They take the map and head back to the plane. Buck takes the notebook and sends it with a note to Inspector Galloway.
The team heads to Merida, on the Yucatan Peninsula. They cannot land at the cultist compound, but land in Merida and charter a riverboat. Captain Juan Santiago agrees to take them close, then rent them a motorized launch. The trip is uneventful for the first several days. Then, on the third night, Buck is on watch and a group of Aztecs sneak on board the boat and attack him, knocking over a storm lantern and starting a fire in the process. Capt. Santiago and the crew try to contain the blaze. Meanwhile, Buck yells “Howdy!” and cracks his knuckles, waking the ladies up. They get to the deck, and start shooting. Pandora realizes Buck is shaken by the attack and yells at him to pull himself together. Buck then punches one man and flings one man overboard. Several run over to attack the ladies, but only cut their clothes. Helen shoots one, killing him. Buck punches another, grabbing his neck and tossing him overboard as well. Pandora flashes her camera, startling the remaining Aztec who staggers back into the fire.
The captain yells that the boat is about to blow and everyone jumps into the launches, which the crew has readied for escape.
To Be Continued…