(The story begins here.)
(The last recap is here.)
Darren had no proper sense of time, but he was beginning to get tired of holding the bar and listening to Shafer’s whoops and singing well before he saw something ahead that he took to be their destination. Sure enough, the cart was headed for a large subterranean vault with a kind of pool or well that seemed to go down for miles. But as they drew closer, the most important point was a familiar figure sitting on some steps reading.
Shafer reached over and took control of the bar, much to Darren’s relief, and the cart soon slid gently to a stop. The group got out and without thinking passed through a wall and entered the cavern.
Dr. Fleming got up and ran to them. “You all came?”
Darren smiled happily. “Of course, Victor. We’re all your friends, more or less, so we all—”
“No, I mean you all left that infernal vehicle! That means you’re stuck here, too, as I understand it.”
Clio was in the rear, and she turned and touched what was now clearly a solid wall. “Mr. Shafer,” she began, and Darren thought her face might crack with the smile she forced on it, “you can get us back through, can’t you?”
“Mostly?” Her tone was flat, and so was her smile. “What does that mean?”
“Well, the Shiny One can block us a bit. The Dehros guys can really mess up Tehros; that’s why the Tehros players dislike them. The Shiny One will keep at least one of us from going back unless we destroy it or something, and it’ll eat whoever stays behind.”
“When?” asked Darren.
“At the rising of the full moon,” Dr. Fleming muttered. “Does anyone know where we are so I can try to estimate when that is likely to be?”
“Shafer said you were on the other side of the world,” Darren replied, “so I guess we’re in the neighborhood of New Guinea.”
Shafer nodded, and Dr. Fleming checked his watch and scowled as he performed some rapid mental calculations. “If this is the southern hemisphere, it’s springtime, and the days are getting longer. Still, it’s already afternoon. If that thing is punctual, we have a little more than a day to prepare; otherwise it might show up in six hours or so.”
“What is it?” Darren asked, and though he was staring at Shafer, it was the doctor who answered.
“Apparently it’s some kind of energy creature that rises out of that pool. The delightful savages who brought me here left a journal from one of the thing’s previous meals as a guidebook. It’s been here for a while—I guess you could say it’s more of a guest book—and each person or group to try its luck signs in. At least they’ve told me what to expect.”
Next: Expecting the Worst
1 year ago