Fragment from "Aquatika", first draft
Purple Sundown part 3
"Tomorrow we're going to be in deep trouble," mumbled Lila.
“Don’t worry about tomorrow,” said Rongo. “Let’s first stay alive today.”
Without wasting time, the group took their personal possessions, jumped in the boats and rowed back towards the Iron Rock. Only the cars and the bicycles were left on the shore. Kolin looked for a moment at the beautiful light-green disc of Sen, still touching the fuzzy horizon of Zephiria. Everything felt like a dream. A chancy discovery and an innocent contest had just transformed into a deadly game.
The Iron Rock was an exposed area. While taking care of a few thugs was possible, they would never survive a siege with armored troops and laser guns. Unless some of the legends were true, and they could hide INSIDE it…
The boats reached the stone steps, and the group climbed back the rock.
“It’s quite exposed to an attack,” remarked Anh.
“This will delay them by an hour or so, but not much longer,” responded Rongo.
“You know, the legends say this island is hollow inside,” continued the older master.
“Even so, it doesn’t help us with anything, as there is no door to get access to its interior.”
“What if we use the artifact to find out?”
Everybody’s looks turned towards Ahn, displaying stunned expressions.
“How?” said Rongo.
“I’ll show you in a couple of minutes.”
The supreme master set his feet shoulder width, bent his knees slightly and held his arms in front as if he was hugging a tree, with the palms turned inside. He was now doing the standard Three Circles Meditation. The Two Waves master threw a look towards the shore. A few pale lights were moving there already.
“They’re coming,” he whispered. “We might still have ten or fifteen minutes of quiet, but not much longer.”
“Maybe we should swim to the north, away from the coast,” suggested Lila.
“It will never work. Look there!” countered Rongo, pointing with his hand towards the ocean. Three dark shapes were slowly approaching the Iron Rock.
“We’re done,” lamented Solis. “They’ll reach the platform in less than five minutes!”
The teenagers could sense the fear growing inside their chest and pouring down their spine. It was spreading slowly, like a layer of molten rock, over the whole platform. Even Rongo had now a preoccupied expression. He looked like a panther, ready to spring into action at any moment. The only one apparently oblivious to the situation was Anh, who continued to meditate with his eyes half-closed, facing east.
The silvery rays coming from Sen seemed to get entangled between his hands. When the teenagers took a closer look, they could see a blue sphere taking shape there. A sphere perhaps twenty centimeters in size, made entirely of light.
The coast towards south had about twenty lights now, moving back and forth along its dark outline. In the north, the three large boats were perhaps only fifty meters away from the platform’s edge. They were waiting for a signal. Time was running short.
The sphere between Anh’s hands was becoming brighter. Without moving, the master said:
“Rongo, please take the artifact and set it about one meter in front of me.”
The Two Waves master obeyed quickly. Anh bent his knees a little more and sent the energy sphere towards the artifact. The sphere went in. Almost instantly, the box switched on. A halo of blue light emerged from it, expanding slowly. Less than one minute later, it had reached a diameter of almost one meter.
The people on the coast and those from the boats must have seen it, too. The lights from the shore, perhaps more than thirty now, were concentrated in five groups, moving across the waves towards the tiny island. Their boats will reach it in less than two minutes. The three vessels approaching from the open sea were also getting closer. In one minute or less, they will reach the northern side of the platform. Time was running out.
“Jump in!” said Anh.
“Jump where?” asked Solis.
“Into the sphere surrounding the artifact!” retorted the Aquatika supreme master.
Lila understood first what he meant and jumped towards the halo that now had a diameter of almost one meter and a half. As soon as she reached its boundary, her image flickered, and she was gone. Solis, then Kolin, followed in short succession. Rongo turned towards Anh and asked:
“What about you?”
“I’ll be the last one to go through.”
“And the artifact?”
“We’ll take it with us, of course.”
With a sigh of relief, Rongo went through, followed by Anh. One moment later, the halo switched off, and the artifact vanished. The besiegers were stepping now on the Iron Rock’s cylindrical platform.
(to be continued...)
This novel is now being written as part of the National Novel Writing Month at https://nanowrimo.org
Please let me know your thhoughts about it in the comment section!
Image source: pixabay.com
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