The Ship Solaris Story Detail
Mendoza and the others cross to Tao's island on their raft. While showing Esteban and Zia around, Tao explains that he has lived there alone since his father died. But before dying, his father had told him of a prophecy which predicted the children's arrival. Tao shows them a collection of relics of the lost Hiva empire. Hiva was an immense continent in the Pacific, home to an advanced civilization which long ago vanished beneath the waves. The King of Hiva had foreseen this catastrophe, and ordered the construction of seven Cities of Gold in distant lands to preserve their technology. Tao is descended from that King. The prophecy also states that one of the Cities of Gold would be destroyed by white men- Tao suspects Mendoza and the others. When he accidentally discovers the pistol's purpose ("Loaded? What does that mean?"), he believes his suspicions confirmed. Fearful of Esteban and the sailors, Tao runs off with Zia, taking her into a complex of man-made tunnels, leading to a huge room with a massive picture of Viracocha on the wall. Meanwhile Tao's accidental firing of the pistol has attracted Mendoza, Sancho & Pedro, who join Esteban in pursuit. Tao shows Zia a mysterious jar which legend says can only be opened by the High Priest of the Cities of Gold, and a quipu, a string holding an encoded message in the pattern of its knots, which he needs Zia to decode. She translates the message, which reads: "Solaris the sailing ship, of the Kingdom of Hiva, sleeps inside the mountain. When thunder rumbles in the depths of the earth, the seals will break and the Solaris of Hiva will be born again in the sea." Esteban and the others catch up, and Tao pulls a lever releasing a giant lizard to ward them off. Mendoza shoots at the lizard, the pistol shot echoes and reverberates round the room. A thunderous roar fills the chamber, and the wall collapses, revealing the Solaris. An entire section of the island sinks into the sea, and the mighty ship emerges onto the water.
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