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Robert Junghans
Cloud Warriors
Rob Jung, author
Anthropology professor TERRY CASTRO makes the discovery of a lifetime: a pale-skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed tribe, secluded in the Peruvian rain forest since the time of the Incas, but the discovery puts Castro in a coma caused by curare, a primitive poison. He learns, however, that curare comas are different. He can still feel and hear even though his body is in a catatonic state. \tCastro is transported to a San Francisco hospital at the insistence of LEON DAY, sponsor of Castro's annual rain forest treks, and owner of Day Pharmaceuticals. Day’s billion-dollar business is run by VIKTER GLASS, his trusted chief financial officer, who is secretly using the drugs the company manufactures to destroy Day's health, as he conspires to take over the company. As part of his scheme, Glass introduces Day to his niece, CARRIE WATERS, who purports to be a medium. At Day’s request, Waters attempts to communicate with Castro, triggering an unusual romance as Waters seeks to free Castro from the physical constraints of his coma. \tNo longer tethered to his inert physical body, Castro projects himself back to the rain forest to seek the tribe and an antidote for his poisoning. He watches Amaru, shaman of the Chilco tribe, explain how the tribe’s unique curare will kill if it enters the blood stream but will extend life if it is swallowed. Castro reports what he has learned to Waters. \tHopeful of an antidote to save her lover, Waters tells Glass of the curare's life extending nature in the hope that he will have Day Pharmaceutical scientists find a cure for Castro. With the revelation of the life-extending qualities of curare, and with it the promise of billions of dollars for "his" company, Glass sees a unique opportunity to complete his takeover. He encourages Day to finance an expedition to locate the tribe and acquire the curare. He then launches his own expedition to steal the curare, with instructions to leave no survivors. \tThe Day expedition locates the tribe, but Glass's henchmen attack the peaceful gathering as Castro, from his astral perch, helplessly watches the slaughter. The attackers successfully steal the curare, but not without cost, as heroism comes from unexpected sources to save the tribe and Day’s expedition from annihilation. Glass takes possession of the stolen curare, and amidst dreams of immortality and immeasurable wealth, he drinks a sip. He is found dead several days later, having failed to understand the nuances of the life-extending poison. After learning of Glass's death and treachery, Day recovers his company and, finds himself weighing the vast wealth that could be gained from the life-extending potion against the danger that increased life spans might destroy civilization as we know it.