Saturday, August 01, 2015

Death Merchant #51: The Inca File

In the deepest heart of the Andes mountains, surrounded by the thick dark jungles of Peru lie the ancient medical secrets of the Incas. The Soviets send in a mission to get their thieving hands on this priceless information, new drugs with the capacity to increase Soviet world power one hundred percent.

The CIA hears of the Russian expedition and sends out its own team to investigate, a team that vanishes without a trace. It becomes frighteningly clear this is no ordinary crisis - it's time for the Death Merchant to go into action, the kind of unparalleled destruction no one is ever prepared for.


The Inca File has Richard Camellion once again working with Mad Mike Quinlan and his Thunderbolt Unit: Omega kill-specialists. (Omega has been called in to assist the Death Merchant in a few recent end-of-book battles, but here they are doing some wet work right as the book opens.)

The Incan "ancient medical secrets" mentioned on the back cover are located at Pachu Ittu, an ancient site in Peru meant to be a stand-in for Machu Pichhu. Rosenberger lays out the plot. Hundreds of years ago, Incan priests made use of certain drugs that could reputedly cure cancer, insanity, and "nervous disorders" like Parkinson's disease. (How the Incans knew about Parkinson's disease is not explained.)
What intrigued the CIA was the technique that was used to cure all forms of cancer: the Inca priests would "manipulate" a human being's qupa capac hu-tiqu, an individual's "earth spirit of light." ...

[The CIA had learned that the KGB] was sending an expedition into the Andes in an effort to learn these secrets. How? By searching for a treasure trove of quipus that, mathematically, would reveal exact scientific formulas. Although the Incas had not had a written language, they had had a system called quipus—knotted strings, often of different colors and lengths.
CIA scientists were convinced that the "earth spirit of light" was actually the "human aura, the electromagnetic charge generated by the M-Field that is part and parcel of every living thing, animal and vegetable". Rosenberger fills the next two pages with mumbo jumbo that explains the M-Field.
The M-field could also explain many paranormal events. Past-life experiences (as well as deja vu) might be just a thin layer of an individual's M-field. ... [T]he theory could explain many things that had puzzled scientists for hundreds of years. It could explain such discrepancies as inequitably distributed knowledge and cultural patterns among human beings. ...

Thinking about it, sitting there on the couch, the Death Merchant knew it would be a long time before scientists in general would accept the concept of the M-field. Their specialist mentalities were too small, taking a form of mental and spiritual eclecticism, whether in philosophy or electronics. What was actually needed: that which could expand scientific concepts beyond the capacity of the universities; to endow people with the necessary capacity. Yet there weren't the instructional or pedagogical resources to change and expand scientific thought in the proper way—Man is an eternal intelligence walking around, for the moment, in a body. Try telling that to establishment scientists!
Anyway ... so it's up to Camellion and his team to trek to Pachu Ittu, get rid of the Russian "pig farmers" who are already searching the ancient site, and secure the valuable quipus for themselves.

On the journey to the temple, however, Rosenberger offers too much description of minor events, like setting up a radio transmitter one evening. Nothing happens while the men set it up - and the equipment works when they turn it on. Episodes like this seem written simply to fill pages.

Camellion's force gets near the Inca city well before the end of the book, and they engage in at least two big battles with the Russians before taking over the site. Camellion and the others have absolutely no problem blowing the holy hell out of this ancient site with all manner of grenades, explosives, and gunfire. I was hoping Rosenberger would tell us a little more about the quipus, but the book ends with the CIA preparing to continue digging under the Temple of the Sun.

One interesting moment: After some small squabble before the team sets out on its journey, Camellion demands that the men cease any and all racist comments. "Just remember that I'll slap silly the first man who starts trouble with any racist bullshit!" Quinlan backs him up, saying, "There isn't going to be any trouble due to racism on this damned plateau. If Canyon* doesn't break the back of the man who starts it, I can—and will." They must mean canning racist comments directed at each other, because even after Camellion's stern warning, various members of the team refer to "spics", "chili-peppers", "Jose-boys", etc., and the Death Merchant doesn't do shit. [*: Camellion's alias is "Dean Canyon".]

In one footnote, Rosenberger makes reference to an upcoming Death Merchant book: #53, The Vatican Assignment. At the end of the next book, The Vatican Assignment is also mentioned. However, DM #53 was actually titled The Judas Scrolls.

According to one of the few interviews with author Joseph Rosenberger, the man behind the Death Merchant did not like to travel. That makes his extensive research for these books even more remarkable. Apparently, he used old issues of National Geographic as part of his research. (If he ever simply made things up, he did a good job of hiding it.)
They made camp that night in a grove of coigüe trees, beautiful, graceful formed trees native to Chile. The Chilenas porters made a fire and heated water for Yerba maté tea; they would eat humitas, a mass of corn and husks boiled, and charqui, a good-tasting meat, sun-dried flesh of the llama. The scientists unpacked their sleeping bags and prepared to make a meal of powdered milk and Compo-Rations.10 For desert [sic] they would have coffee and hi-energy survival candy. ...

Footnote 10: Composition Combat meals—packed exactly like C-rations. There are 12 meals with 6 menus: brunswick stew, beans with chicken franks, turkey and dumplings spaghetti with beef, chicken hash, turkey loaf plus accessory packet.

The Chileans sat as quietly as statues, huddled around their fire, one of them occasionally tossing a piece of wood into the low flames. Unlike the other members of the expedition, the ten bearers wore their own "native" costumes—heavy woolen chamantos (pull-over shawls), under which was a short poncho, a short-cut jacket; a fajas, or sash; leather pants and high leather boots; and a toctos, or floppy brimmed hat. ...

There was more than the "Sun Mountain" to the haunted panorama. There was the valley, Our Lady of the Pains, covered with mist as thick as whipped cream. Below the mist would be the forest. But not a rain forest. There would be abundant araucaria pine, rauli beech (both well known for their wood) and the unusual quillay tree (whose bark could be used as soap). There would be numerous birds, such as the garza and the queltehue. The jilguero would still wail in the darkness and parrots would hatter in the daytime. There wouldn't be any insects. the dirt wouldn't wiggle. Creepy, crawly things could not exist at this altitude. ...

In the dim past, hundreds of years earlier, the Indians had cultivated potatoes on these terraces, and quinua, the heavily-seeded stalk that could grow well above the timberline and tolerate frost and drought and turned every color of the rainbow as it ripened. The Incas used the quinua as cereal for making flour and thickening soups. This along with sara (corn), and Chuno (dehydrated potatoes) had fed the Inca people and their armies.
Towards the end of the book, Rosenberger gives us his usual highly-detailed descriptions of hand-to-hand combat:
As fast and deadly as Mad Mike was Ali Bassam Safadi, who had killed three MIRs with lightening-fast Nukite, Shuto and other hand strikes, not to mention a variety of front or rear spin, thrust, and snap kicks. Safadi gave Arnaldo Lacosti a Kakato Geri heel kick that sent the Fracción Roja yokel crashing back into Bull Wohlwebber who instantly snapped Lacosti's neck with a Commando Break—left palm heel to the chin, a right palm heel to the right side of the head and a quick, powerful twist. Snap! Crackle! Pop! That's all there was to it. The dead Lacosti hadn't even decorated the ground with his dirty corpse when Wohlwebber used a Sokuto Geri sword-foot-kick aimed at a fat, ugly slob who had a bandanna tied around his black greasy hair. Fat Boy jumped back. Wohlwebber's kick missed. But Fat Boy's backward movement put him within striking range of the deadly knife expert, José Jesus Santino who had a Colt AR-15 bayonet in each hand and had just sliced the left side of a terrorist's neck and was pulling back on the bloody blade. Twice as fast as a striking cobra irritated during the mating season, Santino used the left bayonet to stab Fat Boy in the right armpit while he used the left AR-15 to stab the joker in the back of the neck, the sharp blade going all the way through and tickling the top of Fat Boy's Adam's apple. When Santino stopped pushing on the bayonet, three inches of the steel was sticking out the front of the man's thick throat, the blade dripping blood. Santino lowered his arm as the dumb-bell fell and let the weight of the corpse slide the 200 pounds of dead meat from the blade. . A fine kill.

Not far from Santino, "Iron Glove" Hyde was a whirlwind of pure destruction, although he was not wearing on his right hand the Middle Ages gauntlet, made of chain mail over leather, for which he was famous. Instead he was swinging not only an octagon rosewood Nunchaku, but also using a thirty-six inch long Japanese Manrikigusari chain to attack, block, defend, throw, lock, and disarm. Whenever one of the "bolts" made contact, an enemy howled in pain and bones were broken. Or a man died instantly, such as Captain Paul Radam Chorfniff, one of the Soviet GRU advisers. One of the end bolts slammed into his left temple and smashed through the temporal bones as though they were toilet paper. The pig farmer blinked his eyes and dropped dead.
Rosenberger also mentions that Quinlan was "a man few others could match in hand-to-hand combat. Camellion was one of those few—but only because of his iron-clad agreement with the Cosmic Lord of Death".

At the very end of the book, his mission completed, Camellion acts drunk and stumbles around, falling onto two military officials (who he had vowed to kill earlier in the book). Several days later, the two men die within hours of each other, apparently from heart attacks. CIA chief Cortland Grojean demands that Camellion tell him what really happened, but the Death Merchant feigns innocence and says nothing. Only Rosenberger's lengthy footnote clues us in:
The Death Merchant used DIM-MAK—Chinese-sometimes called "The Poison Hand of Death" or the delayed death touch. On the human body there are 308 nerve points, which will adversely affect the body; 72 of these points are considered extremely harmful, comprising what are known as the "running nerves"—not that they go anywhere, but they are the time-related ones. Typically, they are associated with a major nerve of the peripheral nervous system or of a blood vessel. Attacking the DIM-MAK points causes a "damning" of the Ch'I energy, and there are various methods of attacking the points.

When the Death Merchant fell against Barella and Prado, used the Bye-Mak technique—and it takes an expert. This method is the pinching off of a vessel that results in a blocked blood flow and blod clots, which, in time, travel to the most unfortunate places—for the victim.

The Death Merchant used the Bye-Mak method because Barella and Prado were heavy eaters of meat and lots of food high in cholesterol. Knowing also that the victim is one of those super-ordered people who goes to bed and rises on schedule also helps: his meridian clock-time will be "dead-on."

A Bye-Mak strike at the proper time, on a vessel near the Fee Ti Hsueh point will break off a chunk of cholesterol, which lines the veins, and this piece will lodge in the heart days or weeks later depending on how the Bye-Mak strike is delivered. In later books, we will inform the reader how this deadly strike is accomplished.
So stay tuned!

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