Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dark World: Choice of Tehros

(The story begins here.)
(The last recap is here.)

Shafer led the group to a multilingual display with pictograms next to writing in more languages than Darren could even recognize. Clio, who knew ancient as well as modern languages, peered at the display.

“Wait—Atlantis? The real Atlantis?”

“Wet place,” Shafer said. “Hardly worth the bother.”

“This one with the lion looks fairly recent,” Darren said. “Huh. ‘Narnia.’ Never heard of it, but somehow I’d like to go there.”

“Winter all the time,” Shafer remarked. “And a really grouchy witch. I didn’t mean to hit her with that snowball; I was aiming at her stupid dwarf.”

“Well, we’ve had enough of witches anyhow,” Darren muttered, “and we need to find Victor. Where’s that symbol?”

“Over here,” Shafer replied. “It’s the Shiny One.” He paused. “Of course, we could go somewhere else instead.”

“No. The Shiny One it is. Do you press something, or…”

Shafer sighed and passed his hand over the symbol, not touching it, then circled it. A strange object like a metal cart without wheels drew up beside them, and Shafer motioned for them to get in.

“The one up front has to hold that bar. You don’t have to steer; you just control the speed.”

“You don’t want to do that?”

“No, it’s more fun sitting next to the guy who does it. That way I’m up front with my hands free.”

Darren suddenly noticed that Lassiter and Clio had taken seats in the back, so he resigned himself to holding the bar.

“Why is it important to sit up front with your hands free?” he asked as he got in.

Shafer just gave him a troubling grin and motioned for him to push the bar forward. He did, and the car lurched forward. After the initial surprise, however, Darren was able to hold the bar steady, and they began accelerating smoothly right through the wall as though it didn’t exist.

Darren glanced back. “Imagine all that being so close to Victor’s place.”

“It isn’t,” Shafer said. “I don’t know where it is. But you can reach it from any cave if you know what you’re doing. But don’t talk; this is time for whee.”

“For what?”

But they were now passing through what should have been solid rock, and for no reason Darren could imagine, he could see it rushing toward him and around him and even through him, all at incredible speed. And Shafer called to the others, “You have to hold your arms straight up! Whee!”

Next: Lair of the Shiny One

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