Book 6 - Mystery of Shadow Mountain - Chapter 8: Finding a Gameplan is Key

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httyyd's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013

Worked on this last night and stayed up to get it finished.  Wanted to also get sleep, so I waited to post it until now, when I would actually have time to post.


Hope you guys enjoy!


Rest in Peace NarixuZen.  2004-2017

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

Chapter 17 - Back on Track


The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links


Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies


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Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.


The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2


The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!


Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2


On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36


The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46


The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51


Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth


The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

httyyd's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
Drums R Round, Pi's R Squared

Chapter 8

Finding a Gameplan is Key


         I start to think if I should investigate now or wait until morning.  As much as I would like to do it now, I should probably wait so I am not walking into something I know nothing about for no one will know where I went unless I tell someone.  Usually, I would go out there and find it and not tell them because I would have to wake one of them up.  After what has “supposedly” started happening “wrong” to us, I am consciously making the choice not to feed into that.

         Putting the gem back in its container, I go back to bed.  Thinking about the gem caused me to not be able to go to sleep for what is probably a few hours.  But I eventually do go to sleep and wake up the next day.

         Breakfast went off without a hitch and now we decided to go out and do another couple of matches in Dragon Basketball.  Actually, I insisted that we go.  I am playing it off as I want to get another crack at beating Annabeth’s team.  While this is true, I also have another reason for going out here.  I want to investigate that gem and see if it will do the same thing.  We go out to the same spot, we start with the same teams.  Annabeth had clearly marked a two-point line for outside shooting.  Annabeth also told us that both teams should have a chance at getting the ball first, so she asks one of the subs to come in, with their dragon, and toss the ball straight up between two opposing team players while the rest try to box out and get the ball for their team.

         We did so and it did not take long to know what kind of game it is going to be.  After ten minutes it is still more of the same:  Annabeth’s team dominating.  We still had some good plays, but Annabeth’s team would answer right back.

         Calling another timeout, my team huddled.

         Asvord spoke, but kept her voice down as to not be heard from the other team, “We can’t keep losing like this.  If this keeps going, I’m going to ask for a trade.”

         Elsa then suggested, “We need to come up with a play.  Right now, all we are doing is just flying around with no aim in sight.  Annabeth’s team is technically doing the same, but they have ball movement and good shooters.”

         I reply, “Two steps ahead of you already.  Annabeth obviously wants to stop me and beat me.  So, let’s use that to our advantage.  Use me as the decoy.  Keep everything spread to make space.  I’ll bring the ball up,” I then grab a stick and start to draw out a play in the dirt.  “Garth, you inbound the ball to me and go immediately to the left corner.  Asvord, you go to the right corner and stay there for the time being.  You are our best scorer currently, so they will be expecting you to get the ball.  They will be covering me just because I am me.  Meen and Ali, you stay at the wings and be ready for the ball.  Meen, go to the left wing, Ali the right.  When I bring the ball up, I’ll pass it to you Meen.  Then I will go straight to the basket.  Don’t pass it to me, ball fake.  I’ll then come around to Garth, set a back screen, I’ll pop out for a possible jump shot.  Ball fake to me but look for Garth going backdoor.  That’s Option 1.”

         Explod echoed, “Option 1?  There’s more?”

         “Just additions on to it,” I answer.  “Option 2 is the same except for once we do 1 they will be looking for it and we will have to go somewhere else.  When you get the ball Garth, whoever is guarding Asvord will no doubt help down to double team.  Pass it to Asvord for a corner shot.  Option 3, at this point, Ali’s defender will then try to help on Asvord.  Asvord, pass it to Ali for her jump shot.  Option 4, Meen fill my original spot for your own jump shot.  I’ll fill Garth’s spot for Option 5.  At this point, we are in position to just continue to pass it around the horn for ball movement.  As soon as you pass it, cut to the basket.  If you are open, the one that has the ball, throw it to them.  Otherwise, walk or fly over and fill their spot.  At any point, be ready to improvise on the fly, they will quickly learn what we are doing.  Everyone got it?”

         Asvord declares, “No, but let’s do it anyway.”

         I chuckle as Elsa says, “How will we know which option we will run?”

         “Well, out of this timeout we will run Option 1,” I respond.  “After that, it will be whatever number I call out.  Ready?”

         Everyone else exclaims, “Ready.”

         We clap our hands in unison to break our huddle.

         While my team got into position, Annabeth good naturedly trash talked, “Oh, did you guys decide to come back for more?  I thought you were talking about where to plan your escape route after this thrashing you are taking.”

         “Oooo,” Cazi cringed.  “Burn and ouch, that’s got to sting.”

         I did not say a word as Garth in bounded the ball to me.

         “Did I silence the beast?” came Annabeth again.

         I stare down Annabeth, without even blinking, and I no look pass the ball to Meen.

         Hannah took notice, “Oh, getting fancy, are we?”

         Still did not say a word.  I nonchalantly go to the basket, then cut out to the corner, set the screen, and then yell for the ball.

         Annabeth’s team reacts in voice at me calling for the ball, Meen ball fakes to me, Annabeth’s whole team bites… Annabeth, Cazi, Dawn, Hannah, and Abbie… Garth in for an easy lay in.

         “Okay, okay,” Annabeth nods her head in respect.

         Annabeth’s possession consists of her driving on me, I play her straight up with my hands up and Fredrick’s wing up too.  Annabeth tries to shoot over me, but no dice.  The ball rims out and Garth rebounds.  Giving me the ball again, Garth whispers a question to me asking what option.  I reply two and I bring the ball up.

         The play is run exactly the same as last time.  I call for the ball, only Annabeth and Cazi react, Dawn stays on her assignment, that being Garth.  But Hannah helps down off of Asvord.  Garth kicks the ball to Asvord, she shoots… Air ball… but through the basket; barely even touched it.

         Even though Cazi is on the other team, she “Ooo’s,” in awe of the shot.  Their team does come down and score.  My team comes back and runs the same play yet again.  This time only Annabeth comes out after me, but goes around the screen.  Garth is open for a pass, but Dawn cuts off a path to the basket.  Hannah defends Asvord better, but my sister motions to the wing.  Abbie reacts to her motion as Asvord nudges her head to the right to point to where Ali should go.  Ali cuts to the basket as Asvord almost no-look-bounce passes it to Ali who scores on an easy laying drive.

         The chatter from Annabeth’s team ceases.  My team now has the momentum, scoring on three straight possessions.  Everyone on my team now has a hop in their step and is very active on defense… which by the way Asvord gets a steal and flies out on a fast-break.  I fill in the lane parallel to Asvord.  With a two-on-one, that being Annabeth, Asvord alley-oops me the ball for an easy lay in.  If we had not been down, I would have dunked it.  But because I could have dunked it, a lay in is almost more insulting because I chose to get the sure point.

         Annabeth’s team is stone-faced and now actually starting to make mistakes.  Hannah catches the ball on the wing and passes to her little sister, Abbie, the ball.  Only Abbie is not there to catch it.  Abbie faked to stay there, Ali fell for it and Abbie went back door.  Hannah, as a sister will, let her younger sibling have it.  Annabeth, being the leader of the team got her team to refocus.

         Asvord remarked that she has never heard of such a thing, “Calling out your younger sibling for something.  I would never stoop that low.”

         That remark brought things back to be a little lighter and just have good, solid, yet fun competition.

         “Thank you for reminding us, we are out here to have fun,” Annabeth noticed.

         “Yeah,” I grin as I looked off Meen and saw out of my peripheral vision Garth cut back door for an easy pass and point.  “This is fun… when I am finally beating you at something, Annabeth.”

         Annabeth made sure to remind, “The game isn’t over, and you are still down by ten points.  Time’s running out.”

         We decided during breakfast that there should be a time limit on how long each game will last.  While saying, “First to 21 points,” is fine and dandy, the time crunch makes it more prevalent to go all out on every possession and give your best all the time.  Whoever has the most points will have worked for it.  Plus, it gives more time for competition and good plays on both sides of the ball.

         I would say we had about ten minutes remaining.

         Annabeth would then drive, on the next possession, Asvord had to help down, and Annabeth kicked the ball to the corner for an easy jump shot for Dawn.

         Now we are down twelve points with under ten remaining.

         What did my team do?  We kept going to the well.  It has not run dry, yet.

         After setting the screen for Garth, Annabeth did not really fight over the screen to come out on me to help down on Garth.  Meen smartly held the ball and overhead threw me the ball.  Squaring up to the basket I shoot.

         “Bank!” I yell.

         “Why would you-?” Annabeth started to say as the ball hit off a branch behind the basket and went in.  All Annabeth’s shoulders dropped.  All she could do is just inbound the ball and continue playing.

         Annabeth starts to wait to milk the clock down, right up until her five seconds to hold the ball are up.  Uncharacteristically, she lazily passes the ball to Cazi, which Asvord pokes the ball out for a steal.

         Initially, my older sister wants to go out on a fast break, but Annabeth’s team got back, so she slowed up and passed me the ball.

         Running through our options again, we go to the point where Asvord gets kicked the ball, passes to Ali, who drives, and is double teamed.  The second defender is Dawn, so Ali then passes to a wide open Meen who drains a two-pointer.

         Only down eight, we basically need to score every time we have the ball and get stops on defense.  Early on in the game, we had committed a few fouls, so Annabeth’s team’s early lead was half due to making foul shots; but at this stage in the game, my team plays straight up and does not foul.

         After Annabeth calls a timeout after another turnover, each team makes substitutions.  Explod subs in for Garth, Elsa subs in for Meen.  On Annabeth’s team, Hyrith comes in for Hannah and Angie is in for Dawn.  The turnover, by the way, was Abbie passing to her oldest sister Cazi, but Asvord had her hand up, deflected the ball into the side of Hannah, and the ball rolled out of bounds.  They had a nice play set up as Hannah was coming over to set a backscreen for Cazi.  It was a timing play as Abbie passed it before Cazi was technically open.  Had Asvord not gotten her hand up, she would have been stopped and Cazi would have been open.

         Five minutes to go, my team picks up the pace.  Going off script, I call Elsa over for a screen.  She sets one for me, I go around, but Angie hedges the screen to cut me off.  Her doing so allows Elsa to roll to the basket.  Annabeth helps down to defend the drive.  Seeing the lane cut off, Elsa pulls up for a floater, which she just jumps stops and lifts the ball up and over Anora’s tail for the point.

         Annabeth realizes her team has been stagnate and thus pushes the pace.  They get a good shot off, but Explod boxes out his assignment and gets the rebound.

         Even with new players in, my team runs option three with Ali as the benefactor with a nice jumper.  The tension is mounting on both sides as my team is only down five points with under three minutes remaining.

         Annabeth again gets a nice shot off, but to me it was early as their team only passed it twice; her shot rims out.  Explod again with a rebound.  Jogging, but in flight, we go in transition to get a quick bucket.  Asvord stops on the wing and gave me a slight signal; she subtly points to the bucket.  I pass her the ball and cut straight to the basket.  I rise up and Asvord throws the ball up for me.  Annabeth is on my left, Cazi helps from the low block to double team… but I dunk over Cazi, through her arms, and nearly brought the branch down.  It is such an epic move that even Fredrick roars out in sound as even the dragons are getting more vocal about the game.

         Cazi admittingly raises her right arm to signify a foul was committed.  The bucket counts and I get two foul shots.  There are always two foul shots for every foul committed.

         This time Annabeth could not help but, “Ooo,” and add, “I bet even your dad, Ragnar’s great uncle, twice removed felt that.”

         Cazi, “His uncle is only once removed.”

         Annabeth chuckles, “After that monster dunk, I think he is now twice removed.”

         Cazi could only shake her head and roll her eyes.  I sink both foul shots for a somewhat rare three-point play.

         My team is only down two with no more than a minute and a half to play.  It was also agreed, during breakfast, that when it comes down to crunch time in a game, time will be stopped when the ball goes out of bounds, after a made shot, or a foul is committed, to allow for the offense to not be rushed too much to get a good shot up.

         Annabeth brought the ball up and worked the call to all but run it out of time.  Time is being kept by those on the side lines through the use of a sun dial.  Annabeth was swung the ball around on a multi-pass play set.  After five plus passes, the ball movement causes my team to get one pass behind trying to defend.  Annabeth shoots but yet again it rims out.  Explod rebounds and I immediately call timeout.  At this point, I believe fatigue is setting in for all of us.

         “How much time you need?” Annabeth asks.  “I don’t want you to take that long of a timeout every time.  We should probably limit the amount of time each team gets for a timeout.”

         I respond, “We’ve used a couple of timeouts and they were long.  And I will only need about thirty seconds for this.”

         “Sounds good for a short time out,” Annabeth agreed.  “By the way, you’ve got one time out left and do you not think it is another thirty second one?”

         I also agreed.

         Going to the huddle, I regroup my team and have the original five come back in.  I call out to Annabeth to acknowledge we are subbing.  She raises up her right thumb.  Asvord, Garth, Meen, Ali, and I.

         Garth asks, “What do you have in mind?”

         “Same plan of attack,” I answer.  “But we switch rolls.  Asvord you bring the ball up, Garth you stay the same, and I’ll take the wing.  Garth get ready for a dumb down from me and Asvord, you get ready for an outlet pass by me for a corner two.  Everything else stays the same.”

         We clap and break the timeout just as Hyrith calls out, “Time!”

         Annabeth also subbed in her original five: Cazi, Dawn, Hannah, Abbie, and herself.

         Angie comments from the sideline to Annabeth, “They are changing it up.  They are not doing the same play, they are in different spots.”

         “That they are,” says Annabeth.  “What are you up to, Jarl?” she asks me.

         The question might as well had just flown over my head like a Fishlegs explanation of a Snaptrapper to Snotlout; I am totally focused right now.

         We run the play.  Asvord passes me the ball, she sets the screen, and I yell, “Garth!”

         Everyone reacts to the ball, but at the last second Cazi realizes what I planned to do.  I ball fake to Garth and pass to Asvord in the left corner.  Trying to recover, Cazi literally past Asvord to block the shot.  Asvord simply shot fakes, right side steps Spiker to get out of Cazi’s way, and Asvord draws nothing but the bottom of the bucket.

         Hyrith yells again, “Time!”

         Annabeth reluctantly said, “Tied.”

         I then look at Annabeth, “You thinking what I’m thinking?”

         “That there should be an extra period to find a winner to break the tie?  And that ties are no fun, to actually find a winner is more fun than to just play to a draw.  You would rather just have a clear-cut winner or loser?” Annabeth wondered.

         I answer, “Took the words right out of my mouth.”

         “If only was the ball on a few of your designed plays,” Annabeth declared.

         “Oh,” I smile.  “So, you know what we did?”

         “Oh sure, we do,” Annabeth replies.

         “Ah huh,” I nod and ask, “And that is code for, ‘We still don’t know what you are doing, but we are close.’?”

         Annabeth just grins with her eyes closed at me, “Smart-Alec.”

         As we decide to start the Overtime Period, as Asvord suggested just now, we jump for the ball for like we did for the tip off of the game.  Annabeth and I square off against each other; Annabeth out jumps me.

         I remark, “Can I help that Thunderdrums have short legs.”

         Annabeth holds the ball and then asks, “Brief timeout… Can we end this quick?  I am getting pretty tried.  Well, I can see that we all are.  Dragons, not so much, but we haven’t had this much exercise in a while, especially doing the amount of games we did yesterday and with the real game today.  Next shot wins?”

         I look at my team and they say, “Yes.”

         Point my hands out to Annabeth, I say, “Have at it.  Go and make my day.”

         Annabeth called a brief timeout as her five seconds of holding the ball would have been long used up had she not done so.  For certain cases as we are still fine-tuning Dragon Basketball, each team is allowed to call a brief timeout just to ask or suggest something about the game to be improved upon.

         Annabeth call out, “Banana Skrill.”

         At the mention of, “Skrill,” my gut told me something is a foot.

         Cazi flies over to set a screen on my right.  Asvord follows Cazi, but then I declare, “Switch!  Stay on her!”

         It took Asvord but a moment to react and do just what I said, but in the same moment, Annabeth passes it back up to Cazi who popped out to shoot.  Cazi does shoot the ball, only to have me high point and block the shot after faking to fight over the screen, but staying home.  It almost looked like Cazi handed me the ball over, but I reach up as high as I can with my right arm and the ball meets the palm of my hand.  I bring my left hand up to grab the ball out of the air.

         I let everyone go down to get set up, yet tell Asvord to stay behind for a second.

         I then quip, “Regretting saying, next shot wins?”

         Annabeth then retorts, “Only if you make the next shot.”

         I hand the ball to Asvord and then call for it back.  I did this to reset my five seconds of holding the ball.  I wanted to stall to quip at Annabeth but really to allow time for the others on my team to get set up.

         Bring the ball up, I pass to Meen, cut quickly to the basket, fake like I am going to Asvord’s side but maneuver Fredrick in such a way that he instinctively pivots on his left, rear foot, -all the while Annabeth is keeping up with me stride for stride.  I think everyone on this court knows who wants the ball.- and I come off of Garth’s screen.  Meen passes me the ball as Annabeth fights over the screen; Garth clears out to the other side, Asvord moves upward, and everyone shifts over one spot.  In that split second, she got around the screen good enough to not let me take the jumper.  So, I continue around the screen to curl and start to the basket.  Annabeth cuts me off, but I never had any intention of driving to the basket. I stopped.  In a desperate attempt to block my shot Annabeth tries to stretch out only to slip…

         Step back jumper with a slight fade backward… the ball rattles home.

         Annabeth’s slip was enough for Annabeth to slide off her dragon and watch my shot go in as she laid helplessly on the ground.  Annabeth just sprawls out in exhaustion and frustration.  I dismount Fredrick and walk over to Annabeth and offer my right hand.  She had her eyes closed and took in deep breaths of air.  A couple of seconds later she opens them and sees me standing next to her.  Annabeth grabs my hand with both of hers and I pull her up to her feet.

         Once standing she lets out a large sigh, “Good… No… Awesome game.  I just got out played.”

         “You guys made it tough for our team,” I countered.  “You guys kept fighting.”

         Annabeth smiled and sarcastically retorted, “Is that code for, ‘You just got out smarted with a designed play and thus out coached?’?”

         I laugh and answer with a nod.

         Dawn let’s out a short breath and says, “That was exciting, execrating… and tiring.  Do you guys have anything at little less tension involved for us to cool down after all that?”

         “Actually,” I state.  “I do.”

         “Oh really?” Annabeth responds in such a way to put two and two together to know what I also wanted to do.

         “What you do, plan to beat me and my team and drop a bomb of a mystery clue?” she asked.

         “Something like that,” I grin.  “The only part I was unsure about was beating you guys.  Then it finally came to me.  Instead of just running and flying around like headless chickens, we could make it even more difficult for the other team if we sometimes ran designed plays with more than one or two components to them.  This would help build the strategy in the game and make it a better and a puzzle for the other team to solve.  What better place to practice solving puzzles than when it involves a competition?”

         Annabeth responds, “Can’t argue with that.”

         Everyone else agrees.

         As a sister would when their brother just did something awesome, with a hint of sarcasm, truth, and just annoyance, “So, MVP, what else do you have up your sleeve?”

         Walking to the side line, I reach into my saddlebag and bring out the gem.

         “That thing?” Cazi noticed.  “That isn’t a new clue.”

         “No, but this is,” I state as I flip the gem so that everyone could view the top.

         Again, part of the gem is glowing and no matter how I manipulated what angle or position of the gem, the glowing part of it would always return to its position of pointing to something.

         “What in a yak’s bladder does that mean?” quipped Hannah, and folded her arms.

         “That’s why I brought you guys out here,” I said.  “So, we could figure this out.”

         Annabeth jabs me in the left side with a right fist, “Also, giving it your all to beat me in a game of Dragon Basketball.”

         “That too,” I smile.

         “Well,” Dawn declares.  “Why are we standing around for.  Let’s go follow this… arrow thing… to whatever dangers it might hold!”