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  1. #1
    The Search for Paititi

    The Search for Paititi

    Charles Vanderbilt, III



    January 17, 1924

    New York City, New York

    New York City was the home of Charles Benjamin Vanderbilt, III. He was one of the richest and most powerful businessmen in the city. His family was proof of the American Dream. His grandfather had immigrated to the United States from England and opened up a textile factory. In just a few generations the Vanderbilts dominated the business world. Success has always come to a Vanderbilt in business. The family had interests in many different types of businesses now and even owned a rail line.

    Charles had more money than he could dream of spending. Not that he believed money would buy him happiness. But it could buy him many other things. Sometimes it would but him things he could not just pick up at the local stores either. His guests would be arriving soon.

    "Albert? Is everything ready for tonight?"

    He called out to his butler. Albert had worked for him for many years. Not only as a loyal employee, but also a trusted friend. Something that was hard to find in the world. Albert had entered the room when he heard his employer's voice. He nodded his head.

    "Yes, sir, everything is ready. Dinner will be served at seven o'clock sharp."

    "Excellent."

    Charles replied, he was a very punctual person. He had stated in the invitations for his guests to arrive by six thirty to make sure dinner would start on time.

    "Do make sure Ben is presentable. I do not want him embarrassing me."

    Ben was Charles' grandson. While he, of course, loved him, Charles was also disappointed in him. Ben liked to spend money but had no work ethic to actually make any. That was something that would have to be fixed.

    "Of course, Mister Vanderbilt. Would you like to see him before dinner?"

    "Yes, make sure he comes to my office."

    "Of course."

    Albert replied and once dismissed, he went to Ben's room.

  2. #2
    Ben Vanderbilt



    Charles Benjamin 'Ben' Vanderbilt, V was trying to sleep when the phone in his bedroom rang. It was late in the afternoon but that didn't matter much to Ben. He was the type of young man that tended to party all night and sleep all day. And he was rich. Rich people could do whatever they wanted. At least, that's what Ben thought. He wasn't the one who had created the Vanderbilt fortune, he just lived off it. And he was going to be in for a rude awakening from his grandfather.


    "Shut up."

    Ben grumbled at the phone, covering his head with his blanket, but it didn't help. The phone would not stop ringing. Finally, accepting defeat, Ben sat up and answered the phone.

    "What?!"

    He growled into the receiver. The female on the other end, swallowed hard and replied.

    "Ummm...Ben? Is that you?"

    "Yeah...Who is this?"

    Ben replied, not sure who the girl was. He knew so many, after all.

    "Ummm....Olivia....Olivia Conner."

    "Olivia.....Oh, yeah. I remember you. Why are you calling?"

    Ben asked, after a moment of thinking who Olivia was. She was the cute blonde with the green eyes. She had been one of his favorites the last month or so.

    "I....I'm late."

    "'Late?' Late for what? An appointment? If you're late, why are you calling me?"

    Ben asked, very confused. He had no idea what the hell Olivia was talking about. Nor did he realize what a woman meant by saying she was late. He never very little about how the female body worked or even how their minds worked. Olivia sighed and whispered into the phone.

    "No, I mean....I might have a condition."

    "'Condition'?"

    Her terms were not helping Ben at all.

    "If you're sick, then go to a damn doctor. And stop whispering, I can barely hear you."

    Ben said and Olivia started to get annoyed talking to him. She did speak up, though.

    "That's why I'm calling you. I need to go to a doctor and find out."

    "Then do it, you don't need my damn permission."

    Ben replied, equally annoyed. If she needed to see a doctor, why the hell was she calling him? Women made no sense to him. Olivia sighed.

    "Because I might be with child and it would be yours."

    "What? Wait...."

    Ben said, growing pale. No, he did not want to be a father. Now it made sense. She thought she was pregnant and she was going to trap him with the little bastard. She wanted a piece of the Vanderbilt fortune. He already had to share the fortune with his sister, Lauren. He wasn't going to share the money with anyone else. Especially with some bimbo that had been fun but he didn't care about.

    "Yeah, that's what-"

    He cut Olivia off.

    "I know a doctor who can take care of that problem for you. I'll write you a check for him."

    Ben said and Olivia was shocked.

    "No, if I am....I don't want the baby to go away. I want you to-"

    "I'll do else nothing for you. You can't even prove it is mine."

    Ben replied, pissed off now. She wasn't going to trap him with a kid. She was just a fling, like the rest. He wasn't going to her baby's father. She wanted that baby, she was on her own. Ben Vanderbilt didn't get trapped by any woman.

    "What?! But you and I-You're the only man I've been with. You're my first."

    "Doesn't mean I'm your last. Who knows how many others you've been with."

    Ben replied and Olivia sounded like she was starting to cry. Thankfully Albert came to his door and knocked on it.

    "I told you what I was willing to do for you, Olivia. If you don't take me up on it, good luck being a single mother."

    With that Ben, hung up the phone on her. He got out of bed and opened his door. Albert looked at Ben in surprise. He expected to see him napping away. Normally, Ben would have been. Ben was actually so happy that Albert had showed up at the door, he could have kissed him.

    "I am surprised to see you awake, Mister Vanderbilt."

    "Sometimes I'm full of surprises, Albert. What do you need?"

    "Your grandfather wants to see you before his guests arrive."

    "Oh."

    Ben replied with a frown. He had feeling he would not like that. But who was he to refuse his grandfather's wishes? Especially since he let him live here rent free?

    "All right, I'll be there in a few minutes."

    Ben said, he was sure his grandfather would want him to be properly dressed. Albert nodded his head.

    "Very good, sir."

    Albert said and headed downstairs to wait for guests. Ben got dressed and headed to his grandfather's office. He knocked on the door.

    "Hey, Grandpa. Albert said you wanted to see me?"


  3. #3
    Paula Ribeiro Hernández



    Paula was a bit nervous about going to dinner at the Vanderbilt house. She had known she was supposed to do some sort of work for the family, but had yet to know of the details. While curiosity was killing her, Paula knew it was important to be patient. She thought it was probably some kind of translation job, maybe accompanying someone to Brazil or some Spanish-speaking country in South America to act as an interpreter.

    While money had been offered, Paula hadn't said yes for financial reasons. She had taken up the offer for curiosity, and the possibility of publishing a new book with whatever adventures she would have this time around.

    Finishing making a series of notes on her journal - she planned on keeping detailed notes to make sure she wouldn't forget about anything, Paula called the front desk and asked for a taxi. It was about time she got on her way. While she waited for the call telling her the taxi was waiting, Paula checked herself in the mirror, happy with how her white dress fit. She had to look perfect, as tonight was important.

  4. #4
    Jim Harrison



    Unlike Paula, Jim Harrison hadn't chosen a decent hotel. He didn't really have a lot of money, and not much else to do other than fly planes for people who wanted to go where other pilots wouldn't take them.

    This new job seemed to be lucrative, and it might take him to areas he already knew. Just some rich guy wanting an adventure, Jim was sure. Whatever. As long as they paid him, it didn't matter much.

    Despite the fact that he had been drinking, Jim was almost sober when he left the cheap hotel he had been staying in and took the bus - taxis were too expensive for him, and included making small talk, something he really didn't want to do. Sitting on the bus, he took a look at the time. Hopefully, traffic would be good enough for him not to get too late for dinner.
    Last edited by Shades; 10-16-2017 at 04:56 AM.

  5. #5
    Charles Vanderbilt, III



    Charles was counting money that he was placing into envelopes. Each envelope was marked with the name of one of his guests. He also had another envelope that would be sent out. For a young lady that could not make the trip, but would be given a payment if his guests took him up on his offer. After all, that young lady would be their tour guide. Regardless of their gender, everyone would all get the same amount of money. He was his guests tonight would find his offer very reasonable. Especially since if they were successful in the mission he was giving them, he would give them the same amount of money when they returned to New York.

    He looked up when Ben entered. He nodded his head to his grandson.

    "That I did. Take a seat, my boy."

    He waited for Ben to take a seat in front on his desk and told him.

    "Ben, as you know, I'm not getting any younger. It is time for me to seriously consider what will happen to all the vast things I have accumulated in my life. Of course, your father will inherit all the businesses. He already runs the day to day operations as it is now."

    While Charles served on the boards of his businesses, his son had taken over the businesses years ago. He leaned back in his chair.

    "Although there is the matter of my personal wealth. With your father inheriting the businesses, I feel my personal wealth and belongings should be divided between you and your sister, Lauren. Although..."

    He trailed off a moment. Ideally he would divide things fifty fifty between his grandchildren, but the problem was Ben had been disappointing him for the last few years. His son had given both children trust funds, that they could access when they turned twenty one. Lauren had been responsible with her fund. Ben, however, had spent almost all of it in the last four years.

    "In four years you almost spent all the money your parents set up for you in that trust fund. If you had spent it on businesses ventures and failed, that would be one thing. But no, you blew it on women and parties. I will not have you doing the same thing to everything I have worked for."

    How Charles wished that Ben had his own work ethic. Did the apple fall that far from the tree? Ben's father had never acted like that, nor had Lauren.

    "Honestly, I'm ashamed of it and very tempted to leave everything to Lauren."

    He gave Ben a moment to react before he continued.

    "But you are my namesake and I don't want to leave you out on the streets. Which will happen to you before long. You'd already be there if I hadn't let you move in after your father kicked you out. So, instead, I'm going to let you get a chance to get in the will. As you know, I have invited a group of people to go on an adventure. You can join them. Make sure they don't screw me out of what is mine. I don't want a repeat of Constantinople."

    Thinking of that made the older man angry. He had sent a group of people to search for an ancient treasure from the Byzantine Empire. The group had found it but had kept it for themselves. Charles didn't like when people screwed him over.

    "If you go with them, help them find what I want and make sure the proof is brought back to me, then I will divide everything equally between you and Lauren in the will. If not...Well, that's your choice, grandson. However, Lauren will get everything. Which I'm sure she will like, especially once she starts having children of her own with Oliver."

    Charles would accept it if Ben did not go. However, he would not be happy with it either. It was time his grandson grew up. Be a man and make his own way in the world. Going on this adventure would help prove himself to Charles.

  6. #6
    Ben Vanderbilt



    Ben found his grandfather in his office, counting money. Lots of money. Ben's eyes got a little wide looking at it. He was hurting for money. And he had no motivation to get an actual job to get money. Sadly, the trust fund his parents had created on the day of his birth was almost empty. Ben nodded his head and took a seat. When his grandfather mentioned his age, Ben nodded again and said.

    "That's true, Grandpa. But you're as strong as an ox."

    He had no doubt that although Charles Vanderbilt was getting up there in age, he'd be alive a long time. He certainly had enough money to do so. When his grandfather spoke, Ben tended to keep quiet. It worked better that way. He nodded his head that his own father would inherit the actual businesses, that made sense to Ben. His father already ran then and Ben had no interest in learning about them. Although to hear what his grandfather wanted to do with his personal wealth...Ben couldn't deny he had wasted his money. He had been given more money then most people saw in lifetime. Money that would set most people up for life. It hadn't been enough. Ben was a young man who liked to have a good time. An very expensive good time. But to hear his grandfather say Lauren might get it all, it made him angry.

    "What?!"

    He exclaimed in shock.

    "She won't need it all. Oliver's family is loaded. Those future kids will be fine."

    Lauren had married into a rich family. She didn't need anymore money. She didn't deserve anymore money! But Ben wouldn't be fine. In another year he wouldn't be able to live any where close to the way he was now. Then what would he do? He certainly didn't want to work. He also knew what kind of 'adventures' his grandfather sent people on. Dangerous little missions. That didn't appeal to Ben either. It would be hard work and hard work and Ben Vanderbilt did not go well together.

    "You aren't leaving me much of a choice."

    Ben grumbled. Go or have no money. Yeah, such a choice, Ben scoffed quietly to himself. Waiting for his grandfather to dismiss him.

    While Charles talked to Ben, his butler, Albert, headed to the mansion's foyer to greet the guests that would be coming.

  7. #7
    Paula Ribeiro Hernández



    Paula was happy to see that she was just on time. Getting late was something she had learned to be very rude, and she did her best not to keep anyone waiting for her. That was the reason she was going to give herself, at least.

    If she were to be honest with herself, Paula was incredibly curious about what would happen. She was sure whatever it was would be exciting, and probably big, as she knew the family name behind the deal. Whether or not it would work out, she wasn't sure. It seemed like rich men were now learning of South America and had all of those crazy ideas about Eldorado and things of the sort.

    Who was she to disagree with the man who was footing the bill, though? She would do her job and hope a good story would come out of it.

    Stepping off and paying the cab at the address she had been given, Paula looked for the intercom button and pressed it, waiting patiently for someone to pick up.

    "Good evening", she said when whoever it was did. "It's Miss Paula Hernández, I was asked to come".

  8. #8
    Charles Vanderbilt, III



    "You're right, I'm not."

    Charles told Ben with a smile. His grandson should have learned years ago that people had to work to get what they wanted in life.

    "A little hard work has never killed anyone, Ben."

    And he thought it would do Ben some good. Not that he could force him to go. It had to be Ben's choice. Charles would accept it if Ben did not go. However, he would not be happy with it either. It was time his grandson grew up. Be a man and make his own way in the world. Going on this adventure would help prove himself to Charles.

    "If you decide to go, join us for dinner. If not, well, I suggest working on a resume. Because once your trust fund runs out, you'll be broke."

    Charles said, dismissing Ben to finish up his paperwork for the adventure. His guests would be arriving soon.

  9. #9
    Jordan Wilder



    Jordan Wilder was thrilled that she was here, in New York City, at the request of one of the richest and most powerful men in the country. This was the only the second time she had been to the city. The first time was because she had been hired to write an article on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City when they had a new historical exhibit from the Inca Empire. And it was only because her brother, the newspaper's owner, had to send someone. The male reporter who was supposed to go, had gotten sick with the flu. The tickets had been nonrefundable and since she was single woman, who just wrote the advice column, it wasn't hard to have Jordan go instead. She had loved the trip. New York was an exciting city, much different then Ohio.

    Jordan had thought her brother was joking when he told her she had return a call from Charles Vanderbilt, III. Apparently he had read an article she had written in the newspaper about the Inca Empire. Mister Vanderbilt it seemed enjoyed history as a hobby and had liked her article very much. He wanted to give her a special assignment. Offering Harrison a great deal of money to borrow her from the newspaper. Harrison told her she'd be a fool to not accept an invitation to Mister Vanderbilt's home.

    It was all very exciting for Jordan. She normally had to write the advice column for her brother's paper. After all, she was a woman and that was woman's work in journalism. Men did the real stories. To be here, in one of the grandest cities of the world, was amazing. And the fact that this very important man had taken notice of her writing was even more incredible. Perhaps, she was going to be taken seriously as a real journalist. This could be the start of more great things. Maybe she wouldn't just have to give housewives advice anymore.

    Jordan had stayed at nice, but not overly expensive, hotel. At her request, they got a taxi for her to be dropped off at Vanderbilt mansion. She arrived just as Paula was being greeted by Albert, Mister Vanderbilt's butler. He was a kind old man. Very friendly and he gave Paula a smile.

    "Ah, yes, Miss Hernández, Mister Vanderbilt is expecting you. Please, come in."

    Albert moved back to let Paula in and then saw Jordan coming up the pathway.

    "And you are, miss?"

    "I'm Jordan Wilder. I was asked to come too."

    She told Albert, who gave her a smile as well. He might an old man but he had a good memory. Mister Vanderbilt had told him all the names of the people he was supposed to be having here tonight. Once everyone arrived, then Mister Vanderbilt would join them.

    "Yes, of course. Mister Vanderbilt is expecting you as well. Welcome. Please, follow me ladies."

    Albert said, leading both women to the parlor room for the guests to mingle in and wait for dinner.

    "Would either of you like a drink?"

    Albert asked, waving his hand to show the impressive selection of spirits that Mister Vanderbilt had on a hand. Jordan shook her head.

    "No, thank you. I'm okay for now."

  10. #10
    Dara Thomas



    "Oh, bloody hell!"

    Dara Thomas yelled as she almost cut her finger on broken glass. She was going to be late now and she was flustered. Dara hated to be late but now she had mess to clean up. Normally she didn't fuss much over her appearance but she wanted to make a good impression. After all, she had been invited to Mister Charles Vanderbilt's mansion. He was a very important man. To be requested to his home was a big deal. Even if she didn't know much of the details about why he had invited her. His letter of invitation was a little vague. It had said he knew she was an archaeologist, which she was. She had a degree in archaeology. Although she didn't go in the field. Her work was done at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She studied and cataloged artifacts and she was a tour guide. It was fun work and she loved it. Although she had colleagues at the museum who would be far better suited for any type of archaeological expedition. But he hadn't requested them he had requested her. And that was exciting. But also nerve wracking.

    Dara could handle a group of rowdy school children but the idea of meeting one of the most powerful men in the country was very scary to her. And in her nervous and wanting to make a good impression, she had dropped the perfume bottle all over the bathroom floor. It had shattered before her in slow motion.

    "Dara! What happened?"

    Her boyfriend, Miguel, asked her. Concerned she was hurt. Instead, he found his girlfriend of six months in the bathroom. With a broke bottle of perfume all over the floor.

    "I dropped it!"

    She exclaimed and bent down to pick up the glass. Miguel took her hand and got her back to her feet.

    "Don't worry about it, I'll clean it up."

    "But I made the mess and-"

    "And the taxi you hailed will be here soon. I can handle it, cariña. You should finish getting ready."

    "But-"

    Dara wasn't one who liked to leave messes behind. Miguel gave her a kiss and said.

    "I got it. Now the bathroom will not smell for a few days."

    He told her with a smile and grabbed the broom to clean up the glass.

    "That's a small miracle."

    She told him with a smile, although she was very nervous. She wished Miguel could go with her but he wasn't invited and one did not bring uninvited guests with them to the Vanderbilt mansion. It would be so nice if he could go. Dara didn't like to be out of her element and going to the Vanderbilt mansion was definitely going outside of her elements. She wasn't a woman who hung out with the powerful people of New York. She worked at a museum and spent her free time with Miguel. She had no idea why Mister Vanderbilt wanted her to go but she was very nervous that he did.

    "You will be fine."

    Miguel told her and Dara nodded her head.

    "Yeah...How do I look?"

    "Hermosa."

    Beautiful, he said. Miguel was originally from Peru. He had immigrated to the United States about six months ago. He and Dara had bonded because she had immigrated to America as well. She had come here from England to take the job at the museum. They were two foreigners learning about a new country together. And they had fallen in love. America was a new start for many things for them.

    "You always say that."

    "Because it is true."

    Miguel told her with a reply and she heard the taxi's horn.

    "Oh, bugger."

    She said and Miguel gave her another kiss.

    "Go, Dara. You cannot keep a man like Mister Vanderbilt waiting long."

    "You're right."

    She said taking a deep breath and said.

    "Wish me luck."

    "No, you do not it. But good luck none the less. Te amo."

    I love you he said. Dara smiled and gave him one last kiss as he saw her out the door.

    "Te amo."

    She replied back and took a deep breath as she headed out the door and was driven to the Vanderbilt Mansion.

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