|"The Burning Shield"|
|Season One, Episode 29|
"The Forest of Statues"
"The Burning Shield" is the twenty-ninth episode from the first season of The Mysterious Cities of Gold.
After more travelling, the party find the Burning Shield, a mountain. From its summit shines a strange light, which causes Tao's jar to glow. Eager to investigate the mountain, they find a cave where a stream emerges. The cave turns out to be a dead end, the water emerging from a small hole. More water gushes through, threatening to flood the cave. They seek refuge climbing rocks, and find a passage which the follow. A stairway leads to a massive chamber in the heart of the mountain, centred by a massive crystal spire. Strange-looking people, the Olmecs, are operating machinery beneath the crystal - some kind of reactor supplying power. The crystal glows, Tao's jar glowing with it. The Olmecs shutdown the system due to a malfunction. A security device signals a disturbance, and they commence a search. The party hide in a room filled with what we would recognise as electrical generators. The children wait there while the sailors scout around. One of the Olmecs, Commander Kalmec, finds soil from the spillage cave. When the generator room is searched, the children run to a room with a huge carved face on the wall. A voice welcomes them, claiming to be the god and soul of the Olmecs. When the children try to leave, a strange beam of light from the face's eyes knocks them out. They awake to find themselves undergoing medical examination by the Olmecs, who plan to transplant cells from the children's bodies to their own, to slow down their aging process. The Olmec chief, Menator, introduces himself. Zia notices dozens of dead bodies behind glass panels, but is told that they are merely Olmecs in a deep sleep. The children are taken elsewhere, but rescued by Mendoza en route. They run, emerging near the top of the mountain with no way down. Mendoza realises from the lay of the land that the three ruined cities are all nearby, within a day's walk, and concludes that the Cities of Gold must also be nearby. However, the Cities of Gold will have to wait - the party are cornered and forced to surrender to the Olmecs.
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|"The Forest of Statues"||"The Escape"|