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THE ASTRAL LEGACIES

Condors’Quest THE SOUTH AMERICAN LEGACY

GO ONLINE AND JOIN THE QUEST! www.astrallegacies.com


This edition published in Great Britain in 2011 by Quest, an imprint of Top That! Publishing plc, Marine House, Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AP, UK www.quest-books.co.uk 0246897531 Editorial Director – Daniel Graham Creative Director – Simon Couchman Art Editor – Matt Denny Website Design – Paul Strandoo Commissioning Editor - Lorna Thomson Junior Editor – Eleanor Rose Written by Gordon Volke All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Neither this book nor any part or any of the illustrations, photographs or reproductions contained in it shall be sold or disposed of otherwise than as a complete book, and any unauthorised sale of such part illustration, photograph or reproduction shall be deemed to be a breach of the publisher’s copyright. ISBN 978-1-84956-104-4 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Printed and bound in China

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, incidents and dialogues are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.


The Astral Legacies Condors’ Quest Written by Gordon Volke

Published by Quest. Quest is an imprint of Top That! Publishing plc, Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AP, UK www.quest-books.co.uk Copyright © 2011 Top That! Publishing plc. All rights reserved


The Astral Legacies

How the book works … Join Angelina in her quest to find the fifth Astral Legacy by searching for the hidden locations online. At key points in the book, the condors provide Angelina with precise information relating to the destinations that she must visit in order to complete her quest. Each GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinate that is transmitted by the condors represents a precise location in South America. By entering the GPS coordinates into the GeoLocator function on www.astrallegacies.com, you will be able to travel with Angelina on her quest. Click the condor icon on the revolving carousel, then select the ‘GeoLocator’ link to begin. For example, try these coordinates – they will take you to Easter Island in Chile.

27°07' S, 109°22' W

4


Condors’ Quest

When you ‘arrive’ at each new destination online, you will discover the famous landmark that Angelina is seeking.

Select compass direction here

Enter GPS code here

Use this slider to zoom in and see the location in more detail

Explore the area in more detail by clicking here

Click on the red arrow to reveal the location

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The Astral Legacies

As the adventure unfolds, keep a note of the locations that you find. When you have identified all ten key locations that Angelina visits on her quest, enter the words that make up each location into the ‘snake’ grid at the back of this book. If you have inserted the correct answers, letters which form the location of the fifth Astral Legacy will be revealed, highlighted in the grey numbered boxes. Transfer these numbered letters into the corresponding spaces in the solution boxes at the bottom of the page to reveal the full location name. Log-on to www.astrallegacies.com to report the location of the fifth Astral Legacy. If you successfully enter this final landmark, the quest is complete and you will be able to read the thrilling climax to Condors’ Quest online. GPS 4

1

2

?

?

Once you have completed the snake grid, the letters, highlighted

3

GPS 3

?

in grey, spell out part of the location of the fifth Astral Legacy.

4

GPS 5

? 5

?

GPS 1

Transfer these letters into the

6

GPS 2

?

corresponding, numbered spaces in the solutions grid below.

Solution 1.

6

2.

3.

OF THE

4.

5.

6.

3.


Condors’ Quest

Important Hints & Tips • Enter the GPS coordinates accurately, including the compass direction. • Use the ‘Notes’ section at the back of this book to record the locations that you identify as you progress through the quest. You will then have everything at hand to complete the ‘snake’ puzzle at the end of the book and finish the quest with Angelina. • The condors have provided additional clues to help you fill in the snake puzzle correctly at the back of this book. • If you are still unable to work out the locations that Angelina visits, log on to www.astrallegacies.com. The names of the locations are revealed on the photo carousel on the Condors’ Quest section of the website.

7


Chapter 1

The Angel Of The Streets The alien spaceships appeared at one minute past midnight on New Year’s Day. They flew in Vshaped formations, methodically passing up and down every land mass in the world, like a farmer ploughing a field. There was no stopping them. The spaceships were moving at a steady Mach 10 and the human fighter jets sent to intercept them simply could not keep up. One moment the aliens were in range; the next, they had disappeared from the radar. Humankind was completely defenceless against this mighty onslaught. It had no idea what was coming and had no means whatsoever of dealing with it. Had anyone been able to get near the fleets of the sleek silver spaceships, they would have seen that they were all emitting a strange vibrating light directed down towards the ground. It was a weapon 8


Condors’ Quest

of awesome and unimaginable power, seeking out and destroying human DNA. Any person who came near it simply vaporised in a matter of seconds, leaving the clothes they were wearing in little heaps on the ground. There was no escape from this horrific death-ray; the aliens made sure of that. Not only were the teams of spaceships combing the ground and emitting the ray at all possible angles, they had follow-up units that swooped in at even higher speeds with extra-powerful beams to eradicate any stragglers who might have escaped by working in high-rise buildings or underground mines. Meanwhile, specialist units patrolled the oceans, emitting a marine variant of the ray that oscillated from horizon to horizon, penetrating both steel and water to reach people on ships or in submarines. The effect on the world was catastrophic! Without their drivers, millions of cars careered off the road and crashed. Without their pilots, aeroplanes dropped from the sky like stones, 9


The Astral Legacies

flattening buildings and setting them on fire. Empty trains hurtled off the rails and jack-knifed into piles of twisted metal. Untended machines went out of control and factories exploded. Chaos and destruction reigned on every continent of the world! The screams of billions of people echoed to the skies and then gradually turned into silence. As the day wore on and this mass extinction began to near completion, the planet became a quiet place with nothing but the crackling of fires burning out of control and the crash of falling buildings to replace the many different sounds of human activity. All of the other living things in the world, however, remained completely untouched. The death-ray only targeted humans, passing over pets, livestock and wild animals without harming a hair, feather or fin on their bodies. Similarly, flowers and trees remained unharmed, as did all reptiles and insects, right down the evolutionary chain as far as bacteria and micro-organisms. In the space of just a few hours, humankind, who had ruled Earth so 10


Condors’ Quest

carelessly for the last 50,000 years had become a thing of the past; people no longer existed. Homo sapiens were extinct … With a gasp of horror, Angelina Romero sat bolt upright in bed, her eyes wide open with terror. Sweat poured down her face, even though it was a cold night in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia in South America. ‘You okay?’ asked a young voice in the darkness. ‘Just a nightmare, Juan,’ whispered Angelina. ‘Go back to sleep.’ ‘As long as you’re okay,’ insisted the boy. ‘Nothing must ever happen to you!’ ‘I’m fine,’ urged the fifteen-year-old girl. ‘I’m just going to get myself a drink.’ Still shaking from the intensity of her dream, Angelina crept through the dormitory where her charges, the ‘gamines’ or street children of Bogotá’s slums, lay sleeping in the warmth and safety of the rescue centre. Angelina had been a street child herself once. 11


The Astral Legacies

Born into extreme poverty in the mid-nineties and left to fend for herself, almost as soon as she could walk and talk, she had avoided the many dangers of the streets by a combination of luck, extreme fitness and an iron will to survive. The greatest danger had been the death squads, hired by wealthy businessmen, who regarded the street children as vermin or ‘throwaway children’. Thousands of desperate, starving youngsters had been taken away and murdered so they would no longer spoil the appearance of Bogotá’s shops and offices. Angelina had avoided the killers by remaining one step ahead of them all the time. She never slept in the same place twice, always listened to the talk on the streets, learning the identity of the members of the squads and disappearing as soon as one of them was sighted, and she trusted no one, not even her fellow gamines who could easily be bribed into an act of treachery by the offer of food or money. Two years ago, just after her thirteenth birthday, Angelina had been picked up, close to death, by one 12


Condors’ Quest

of the small privately-run charities that were eventually set up to help the street children of Bogotá. Starving, Angelina had barely eaten for a month; any food she had managed to get was given to the small gaggle of starving children, who had started following her in the hope of finding protection. One rainy night, soaked to the skin and desperate, she had collapsed on a dirty street corner and had been abandoned by her young followers, who realised she would no longer be of any use to them. Only one boy, Juan, remained loyal, begging passers-by for assistance. Eventually, an elderly lady helped him drag Angelina’s almost lifeless body to the San Cristobal Mission, where she’d been taken in and nursed back to health by the team of dedicated social workers. Instead of returning to the streets, Angelina had become the eyes and ears of the care team, using her extensive experience of life on the street to rescue further children from a life of depravation and crime. She was loved and respected by everyone, 13


The Astral Legacies

living up to her name, which means ‘angel’ in Spanish. Clutching a cup of hot chocolate and a couple of sweet biscuits to sooth her jangling nerves, Angelina tiptoed past the now quietly snoring Juan, and slipped back into bed. Tomorrow, she was due to take a group of excited youngsters to Bogotá’s main pleasure park, the Parque Jaime Duque, so she needed some more sleep. But, it was not to be. No sooner had she closed her eyes, the horrifying dream returned! More alien spaceships, vaporised humans and ruined cities crowded in on her mind, making her sit up again in absolute terror. What was going on? Never in her life had she experienced the same dream twice! Where had it come from? She’d seen many terrible, upsetting sights during her dramatic young life, but none of them came close to the horror and finality of this act of alien obliteration. Fearing a return to the nightmare for a third time, Angelina lay awake until it started to get light and then went for a 14


Condors’ Quest

shower. Maybe the hot water would wash away the images of so much death and destruction. Having lived rough for many years, Angelina always kept herself spotlessly clean. Despite this, she didn’t care what she looked like, usually wearing cast-off clothes given to the mission by various charities. Today, however, she put on her best jeans and a new tee shirt with a big letter ‘A’ on the front, given to her by one of the social workers. She needed to look smart to visit the upmarket pleasure park with her young charges. Gazing at herself in the full-length bathroom mirror, Angelina felt a glow of satisfaction as she took in her slim athletic figure. For most of her life she had been painfully thin. Now she was lithe and strong with powerful muscles that gave her the appearance of a longdistance runner. Her large and luminously green eyes stared back at her in the reflection. Although her mouth smiled nearly all the time, her mesmerising eyes never did. They darted everywhere, taking in everything at a glance, 15


The Astral Legacies

constantly looking for danger. It was a throwback to her days on the street; old survival habits die hard. Giving herself one last look in the mirror, Angelina pulled her long, dark hair up into a ponytail and headed downstairs. Wandering into the deserted lounge to wait for breakfast, she turned on the TV in the hope of finding some football. All sport interested her, but football was her great passion. She was a keen supporter of her local team, the Millonarios, and a regular visitor to their El CampĂ­n Stadium when time and funds allowed. She was also a very talented player with excellent ball control and a breathtaking turn of speed down the wing. Unfortunately, there was no game being shown at such an early hour of the day, so she made do with some cartoons until the rest of the house began to stir. Later that morning, Angelina led four boys and two girls to the Parque Jaime Duque. They were all streetwise teenagers, perfectly capable of looking 16


Condors’ Quest

after themselves, so their young leader had been told to show them around the park, give them some money, mention a time and a place to meet back, and then let them go. This suited Angelina. Trying to contain their excitement at such a thrilling visit, her charges had already started to give her a headache, so she carried out her orders and soon made her way to the zoo area for a little peace and quiet. Even though it was still only mid-morning, Angelina sat on a bench beside the aviary and ate all of her packed lunch. Then, closing her eyes and putting her hands behind her head, she sat back to enjoy the feel of the sun on her face. ‘It’s all true, you know,’ said a strange voice. ‘What happened in your dream will soon happen for real unless you can prevent it.’ Opening her eyes, Angelina looked around, but failed to see anyone remotely near her. ‘Over here!’ ordered an abrupt voice. Looking up, Angelina saw a pair of enormous Andean 17


The Astral Legacies

condors staring down at her from the cage beside her seat. She realised with a jolt that a condor was talking to her! ‘Yes, we are talking to you,’ confirmed the first condor. ‘Now, listen very carefully to what we’re about tell you. Your life, those of the youngsters you work so hard to protect, and everyone else in the world, depends upon it. You cannot afford to get anything wrong, Angelina!’ *

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

The condors told Angelina a story so incredible that she felt like laughing and walking away. However, what they were saying fitted perfectly with her disturbing nightmare. There was something seriously weird going on here and she needed to find out what it was before dismissing it. So, Angelina listened intently to everything the birds had to say. Then, she methodically recapped on it all to make sure she’d got it right. 18


Condors’ Quest

‘Let’s get this straight,’ she stammered. ‘You’re telling me … ‘One, aliens colonised Earth thousands of years ago and were destroyed by a meteor that shattered their spaceship and blew away the seven elements that propelled it at the speed of light. ‘Two, the aliens have now returned to reclaim these elements, which are known as the Astral Legacies. The task of finding these legacies falls to seven human teenagers, who have to complete the whole task within a year. So far, four have been recovered and three remain hidden. I am one of the chosen teenagers and my task is to find the fifth legacy, which is hidden somewhere on the continent of South America. You, the condors, are my chosen mentors. ‘Three, if all the legacies are not found in that time, the aliens will destroy all human life in the manner depicted in my dream. This is because they’re furious about the greedy and destructive way humankind has treated the Earth. The fate of 19


The Astral Legacies

humanity rests squarely on my shoulders. If I do not succeed, the human race will be obliterated. ‘Four, in order to test my strength and resourcefulness, I will be given ten global positioning coordinates via mental telepathy, and must visit the places. Each successful visit will trigger the next set of coordinates. In order to test me and confirm that the younger generation will be fit to lead the world if it survives, the aliens have stipulated that an extra dimension should be added to my task. In the same way that you, the condors, soar above the world, every place that I visit needs to be looked down on from above. Ten successful visits will enable me to solve a puzzle that will reveal the whereabouts of the fifth legacy. ‘Five, the money I shall need for this epic journey around South America will be provided in an unexpected and highly dangerous way. If I do not grasp the opportunity when it is offered to me, I will not get a second chance and no further funds will be forthcoming. And, finally, I must tell no one 20


Condors’ Quest

about my quest.’ The condors looked at each other like a pair of approving teachers in old-fashioned black gowns. ‘That is a concise and accurate summary of the situation,’ commented the first condor. ‘You have a sharp intelligence. We have chosen well.’ ‘Do you have any questions?’ asked the other bird. ‘We will not speak to you again until we direct you as to where to find the final puzzle – provided you get that far, of course. So, anything you want to know needs to be settled now.’ ‘When do I start?’ asked Angelina, already firedup and ready to tackle the greatest challenge of her life. ‘Soon,’ replied the first condor. ‘You’ll know when the time comes,’ added the second. Then, the aviary-keeper arrived with some carrion for the huge birds and the conversation came to an end. Looking at her watch, Angelina realised that it was almost time to meet up with her 21


The Astral Legacies

What happens next? When you have identified the ten key locations that Angelina visits on her quest, use the condors’ clues on pages 136–137 to help you place them into the snake grid on pages 134–135. Be careful to insert the place names correctly in the order labelled in the grid, for example, the first location that you will need to insert is GPS 4. If you insert the correct answers, letters which form the location of the fifth Astral Legacy will be revealed, highlighted in the grey numbered boxes. Transfer these numbered letters into the corresponding spaces in the solution boxes at the bottom of the page to reveal the full location name.

132


Condors’ Quest

When you have filled in all of the boxes, log-on to www.astrallegacies.com to report the location of the fifth legacy. If you successfully enter this final landmark into the website, the adventure is complete, and you will be able to read the thrilling climax to Condors’ Quest online. Read the book … find the hidden locations … solve the puzzle … save the world! www.astrallegacies.com

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The Astral Legacies

GPS 4

1

2

3

GPS 3

4

GPS 5

5

GPS 1

6

GPS 2

Solution 1.

2.

3.

OF THE 134

4.

5.

6.

3.


Condors’ Quest

GPS 7

1

5

2

7

4

GPS 9

GPS 10

3

6

10

GPS 6

GPS 8

8

9

Solution 1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

135

OF

7.

8.

9.

10.


The Astral Legacies

GPS CODE 1 - An old building right in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest that holds concerts and is a centre for arts. THE AMAZONIAN

GPS CODE 2 - A beautifully preserved Inca city situated in the mountains of Peru.

GPS CODE 3 - A park in Ecuador with a monument marking the equator.

GPS CODE 4 - A white tower in Caracas where the ashes of Sim贸n Bol铆var are buried. THE NATIONAL

GPS CODE 5 - A waterfall in Guyana, bigger than both Niagara and Victoria Falls.

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Condors’ Quest

GPS CODE 6 - You need a bucket and spade (and a football) to visit this holiday destination in Rio de Janeiro.

GPS CODE 7 - A tall, iconic tower right in the centre of Argentina’s capital city. THE

GPS CODE 8 - The largest producer of wine in Argentina.

GPS CODE 9 - The highest mountain in the Andes.

GPS CODE 10 - A strange moon-like valley in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile.

137


The Astral Legacies

About the Author Gordon Volke’s commercial writing career began in 1972 when he was responsible for inventing the comic antics of Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx and The Bash Street Kids in the UK’s bestselling comic, The Beano. Since this auspicious start to his writing career, Gordon has gained plaudits by originating material for Snoopy (Peanuts), Tom and Jerry, Popeye and Garfield, and has been the principal contributor for numerous comics and magazines, including Twinkle, Thomas the Tank Engine, The James Bond Experience and Jurassic Park. In 1998, Gordon began writing for The Tweenies, the Bafta award-winning pre-school series, scripting 44 of the 365 episodes. Over the years Gordon has originated children’s books covering most genres and age categories. He lives near Brighton on the south coast of England.

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Condors' Quest  

Angelina is an orphaned street child. Guided by condors, she must risk everything to retrieve the aliens' fifth Astral Legacy in South Ameri...

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