Fan-Fic Fridays: The Secret Symbol - Chapter 36: The Water Chamber

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httyyd
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Between a very bad case of writer's block and suddenly a rush of ideas flooding my mind of what to write, I try to get this posted by Thursday.  Well, it is Thursday somewhere still.

 

I have some projects I need to get done tomorrow, but finally in the mood to write, so I will work on it after I get my projects ready for a state fair I am taking them to Saturday.

 

I feel like I've been struggling to stay afloat in the depths of waters of Writer's Block, but I finally found the idea I had been searching for to finish this chapter.  I had the rough idea of what I wanted for this chapter and the next few, but how to write to get to the ideas I wanted to write, slowed me down quite a bit, like an under tow of an ocean at a beach.  (I haven't been to the beach yet, but I know what an under tow can do.)

 

I hope you guys enjoy this chapter.

 

I am working hard to get chapters posted on time, but at the same time I want to do the best job I can do for these chapters.  So, that does involve delaying several days when I don't think I have what I want with the story.  Sometimes writing is like fishing in the middle of a lake with no bait.  Suddenly when you figure out you had a net all along, is what I feel like now that the chapter is done.  The delays are not wasted, but used to think on my chapter and what I want to do.  Thank you for putting up with the delays.

 

The delays to me have been like a salmon trying to swim up a giant waterfall.

 

Hope you enjoy the chapter!

 

---

 

PS - Do any of you guys sense a theme with the title and my metaphors I have been using?  You'll see why when you finish reading the chapter.

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Links to my chapters are below along with links to my other five fan-fics.

 

The Mystery of Shadow Mountain

Finally posted links to all chapters to all books in my signature.

Chapter 48 - Four's Company, Six's a Crowd

The Mystery of Shadow Mountain, my sixth fan-fic in three years!  Updates every Friday Night!

 

Proud Leader and fellow member of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic, 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

 

Here are links to my sequel fan-fic:

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!

 

Here are links to my Tri-quel fan-fic:

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

 

 

 

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httyyd
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And all the crabbie-crabs have gone night-night. - Cars 3

         The climb up the sides of the chamber proved to be tiring, so the importance of being careful kept coming back.  At least for the beginning, all we had to do was just grab above us to climb onto the next ledge or jump to ledge that is in close proximity to the one higher, but was lower enough it acted as a step to the next.  The higher we got, the more ledges started showing from the column in the middle.  However, the higher we got the more difficult going higher got.  Ledges started to be further apart or to the point where we had to climb on a vertical ledge and then jump to the next.  A few times the vertical ledge was not attached to the ledge I stood on.  So, I had to run and jump onto the ledge and either vault over or push of and turn back towards another ledge.  All the rest of the girls had little to no trouble.

         One might have been feared falling, though the thought crossed all of our minds no doubt, but the fact remains that the ledges were placed in such a way all the way up and down the shaft that you could barely if at all see the bottom floor.  If you had the misfortune of falling off of a ledge, there would be several opportunities to catch yourself on the way down, because where there was a space on one level the next level right above had a ledge covering it.

         Thinking we would have to go all the way to the top, we all climbed on top of the center column and found that the door is in fact just ahead to the north.

         “That was intense,” Cazi replied.

         We all had to catch our breath, but I replied, “We’re inside, but we are in a cave, not in-tents.”

         Cazi just dropped her head as she stifled a laugh at my bad-good joke, “Even after a rather death defying climb, or at least the danger of death, you still crack a joke.”

         Lilah brought down the mood a little, “Hopefully that will be the only thing that will crack.  Look at the walls, floor, and those ledges and those stairs even.  Let’s not get took comfortable yet.”

         Moving on, we took out our torches and relit them in an open fire in the center of the column to continue on.  Next thing we came to is an open ravine about forty feet across to the other side, of which is another tunnel.

         “Well now,” Dawn declared.  “I think someone already burned our bridge even after we hatched our chickens.’
         I rolled my eyes and muffled under my breath and half thought to myself, “One of the downsides of having girls along.  Then again it was Dawn and Asvord doesn’t count.  Though if Annabeth did it, would I treat the
sameway.  Probably not.”

         Annabeth replied, “There has to be a way to cross.”

         Asvord asked, “Yeah, but how?”

         Lilah suggested, “What about your grappling hook?”

         “Yes and no,” I answered.  “Yes, that would be a way to get across, but one wrong misplaced hand grip and down you go.  There has to be something we are not seeing.”

         Annabeth then said after a few minutes of silence, “There is something odd.”

         “What?” wondered Cazi.

         “The shadows are off in this cavern-slash-ravine,” Annabeth responded.  “Look at our torches and then our shadows across the way.”

         We looked and Dawn said, “So what?  They’re just shadows.”

         “I know,” Annabeth countered.  “But if there is no way to cross, shouldn’t our shadows be non-existent because there is nothing for are shadow to cast on?”

         “Okay, you’re losing me,” Dawn said waving her hands a couple times and shaking her head.

         “Alright,” Annabeth backed up her thought process.  “If there is nothing in front of us to get across, our shadows would appear on straight down the side of the ravine face.  But if you look at our shadows, they long and extended, even if it is hard to pick them out in this dim light.  It just doesn’t add up.”

         I got what she is trying to say, “But it would add up if there is something actually there like a bridge to allow the shadows to be cast.”

         Then reaching around to the left side of my belt, in a pouch, I pulled out a small round canister.

         “What is that?” asked Dawn.

         “That is a smoke bomb,” I said.  “Or in this case a flour bomb.”

         Asvord interjected, “Did you use some of -my- flour?”

         “Ah-,” I hesitated and froze for a second.  “Anyway… the idea and make is similar to Garth’s Zippleback gas bombs, but the flour ones will break on contact with anything, given enough force behind the throw.  And when they break, they will spew flour in every direction like a splatter.”

         “Well,” Asvord stated.  “You are going to have to find something other than flour next time.”

         I smiled, “Technically I did ask for the flour, I just never made the thing I was going to make with it.”

         She folded her arms and squinted her eyes at me, “I need to ask more questions the next time you ask for something.”

         Taking two flour bombs, both of which could fit in the palm of my right hand, I then threw both of them directly in front of us.  Both bombs shatter and marked some sort of bridge for us to cross; or at least ground in two places.  Using all of our torches along with the guide of the flour spots, we are able to find the edge of the bridge and start walking across it.  Halfway across it, I felt the bridge jerk downward.

         “Run,” I said.

         Lilah asked, “What?”

         CRACK!

         “Just run!”

         The bridge start breaking a part underneath our feet.  Cracks in the bridge opened up in front of us and between our feet.

         “Jump!” I yelled.

         We came within five feet of the other side and just jumped.  Looking back, we see for a moment the rock bridge plunging down below but then can only hear it falling.  We could still hear rocks cracking as the bridge fell for several minutes while waited to catch our breath.

         “Man,” I stated.  “That ravine has to be extremely deep.”

         “Let’s not find out just how deep,” Asvord said.  “Come on.”

         In our jump to get to safety, Lilah’s torch and Dawn’s torches were dropped, so we only have four left.

         We entered another tunnel which led into a smaller chamber with a low ceiling.  Not too low, just low enough that if one of us boosted the other up with their hands, the other could touch the ceiling.  There are several big and small columns of stone and rock; each were probably once stalactites and stalagmites at one time.  I noticed one column that had split its foundation separate from the ground floor and the ceiling; it is about five feet in diameter.

         Annabeth asked, “What’s this room for?”

         “I’m not sure,” I responded.

         Just then there came out of nowhere a loud creaking behind us.  Looking back, a door is closing behind us, trapping us in here!

         “No, no,” began Asvord.

         It was too late.  By the time we had noticed the door, only by the sound it made, it was nearly shut anyway.

         “Well,” Annabeth slapped her hips with her hands.  “It isn’t like we could have double back anyway; still haven’t found that second route out of here.”

         Going back to the task at hand, I thought back to how we were able to start down this road in the first place, I pulled out the Dragon Eye and used the torch behind it yet again to reveal more golden designs around the room.  I began to step into the center of a thirty-foot by twenty-foot chamber and then heard something crack under my foot.  Immediately taking my right foot back, I looked down at the floor to inspect it.

         “Hmm,” I thought out loud.

         Asvord asked, “What’s the matter?”

         “This floor is very thin and made of shale and sandstone,” I said.

         Dawn looked at me as if she could see right through me, “And that means?”

         “In other words,” I rephrased.  “This floor is very brittle and won’t take much weight.”

         Annabeth added, “But that also means that the floor itself is not solid all the way through.  There might be another shaft under this floor as well.”

         “Exactly,” I answered.

         Cazi joined in, “And with no support under the floor, who knows how far we could drop.”

         I then quickly scanned the room with the Dragon Eye and found something else, “And by the looks of it, there is no other way but down.  There are no more tunnel entrances.”

         “So,” Cazi simply said.  “Let’s just poke a hole in the floor and see what’s down there.”

         “First,” I held up my left hand.  “I want to check this room for any more clues.”

         Asvord declared, “We may have a new problem.”

         She pointed at her torch which started to constantly flicker.  Asvord the pointed directly up to draw our attention to a very dark and jagged ceiling with stalagmites galore; along with a drop of water dripping from the ceiling on her torch.

         “How do you mean?” questioned Lilah.

         I sighed, because I know exactly what that means, “There is an underground waterway that goes directly over this chamber.  And by the looks of the ceiling, there is very little rock and stone between the water and us.”

         Annabeth added, “So, it would not take much for there to become a leak and it fill the room.”

         I nodded as Dawn spoke, “Well, look at this way.  That would be one way to force the ground beneath us give way.”

         I chuckled at her sarcasm, but she is right, “We have already committed and the bridge is out, so there is literally no turning back at this point regardless of what we want to do; not to mention the door closed on us anyway.”

         At this point, I continue to scan the surrounding walls with the Dragon Eye.  When I finish a complete circuit of the room, I see in the designs a few familiar symbols from the other lenses we now have notes of.

         “What’d you find?” wondered Cazi.

         “Bad news or good news first?” I said.

         “Give us the honey n’ hatchet,” Cazi stated, folding her arms.

         “Well,” I began.  “The good news is that we are almost done and only have the final chamber to go.”

         “What’s the bad news?” asked Asvord.

         I replied, “We still have one more chamber to go and guess what is the only way to get there?”

         Dawn answered, “Through the stinkin’ floor and who knows how far down.”

         Annabeth asked again, “Is there anything else in this room that would prove of value?”

         “I don’t know,” I said.

         “What about that?” questioned Cazi.

         Cazi had walked around to the right and is pointing behind a very large column that I had not noticed until just now.  Above on a platform was…

         “Man, oh man,” declared Asvord.  “We find these things faster than Hiccup can train a dragon.”

         Yet another Dragon Eye lens set up on what looks like a gold pedestal on the platform.

         “Now how in the world are we supposed to get that?” declared Dawn.   “Everything around it to try and reach it is that shale stuff you talked about.  None of us could use any of it without breaking it and putting us in an even worse spot than we already are.”

         “Oh!” announced Annabeth.

         She reached into her shoulder bag she has been carrying and pulled out…

         “Titan?!” I called out.  “You’ve been carrying him this whole time?”

         “Yeah,” Annabeth said.  “Kind of half forgot he was there.  He is sometimes too quiet I don’t even know he is there.  Often times, he scares me when he comes around a corner.”

         “Well, with the experiences with Pearls,” stated Asvord.  “That sounds just like a cat.  They will sometimes knock things off and break them even when you tell them not to.  I bet cats just do that to mock you.  Pearls has tried to knock things off while not even looking at it but staring one of us down.  Although, Titan looks different because of his ears and more noticeably his size.  Titan looks and acts like a cat, but there must be something more in him to be the size he is especially because of his ears.”

         I asked Annabeth, “Can Titan climb up there and get the Dragon Eye lens for us?”

         “He should be able to,” she replied.  “Haven’t actually tested him to this degree to fetch things.

         Annabeth talked to her cat some in her arms, gave some commands with additional signals, pointed Titan towards the goal, and lowered him down.  He jumped out of Annabeth’s arms and started on his way.  He is able to jump on the ledges just fine, without breaking them.  As he neared the last ledge, he stopped to lick his hair some.

         “Yep,” Asvord sarcastically said while she pointed her right hand, at Titan, in a slapping motion from right to left.  “He’s a cat alright.  So close to the goal… Nope… I have to look good before I grab it.”

         Titan did even more than that.  For what felt like a few minutes was only a few seconds, Titan just sat on the ledge, swishing his tail.  He finally looked at us and saw Annabeth.  Remembering why he was up there, he turned back towards his goal and retrieved the Dragon Eye lens.  Suddenly, we heard a very dull but very noticeable rumbling noise.  When the rumbling noise became louder, the chamber we are standing in shook violently.  So much so that a few stalactites broke loose and crashed through the floor.  Titan tried to jump for Annabeth’s arms but miss stepped and fell straight down.

         Annabeth screamed, “Titan!”

         Whether than hear a screaming cat down a shaft, we heard…

         SPLOOSH!

         “What?” said Annabeth confused.

         From the solid ground, we all peered over the side to see Titan only a couple of feet down below… in a pool of water.  The whole of the underneath of the room is hollow.

         “Well,” I said, helping Annabeth pull her cat out of the water.  “That was fortunate.”  I pocketed the lens.

         “But not for long,” Cazi said pointing at the water now seeping into the chamber.  “The water is rising!”

         The water is indeed coming from somewhere.  But where?

         I said, “So, that is what it meant by that.”

         “By what?” Cazi asked.  “Come on, spill the beans.”

         “While I looked around the room with the Dragon Eye,” I began.  “I saw several letter symbols which made up a word every so often on the walls; together making a sentence, a warning sentence.”

         “Well,” Dawn said.  “What is it?”

         I relayed the message, “When the belly of the beast is full, your escape will be brought forth.”

         “Okay,” Dawn slowly replied.  “And that means?”

         “I believe it means that we have to wait until this chamber fills up with water before we are able escape out of here,” I declared.

         With a “Oh really?” tone, Dawn questioned, “We just sit here and wait.”

         I nodded my head, “I mean you could sit if you want.  I think I’ll just stand.”

         Dawn could only roll her eyes and throw her arms up in the air.  But giving what Dawn was trying to get at some thought, I agreed with the fact that we should not just do nothing.  If there is a way to speed up the process, hopefully without messing things up, then we should do so.

         I started out by knocking quite a bit of the shale off and then using the torches to see where the bottom of the solid floor is that is holding up the water.  The light from the torch did reveal the bottom to only be a few feet down from where I am standing.  Therefore, I could safely just jump down.  The water came up past my waist and beneath my neck is at the same level as the floor.  The others held the torch over me so I could see.  I could not see anything worth looking at on the rock, but I noticed something about the water.  The flow.  The flow of which it is going is away from the face of the right wall from the entrance of the cave.

         Bending down to walk under the shale floor over to the wall, I found several jets of water under the water level shooting water into the room.  Getting back up to the solid floor, I told them where the water is coming from.

         “All we can do is just wait for the water to take over this room and see what happens,” I simply stated.

         What seemed so simple to say, is anything but.  While in this chamber, you are literally waiting for possible drowning.  Waiting for the water to rise is the most stressful and frustrating thing I have experienced in a while.  You want to hurry it along, but you feel like you never want it to come because you know what might happen.

         It felt like an eternity until the water just came up to waists on the solid ground.  Annabeth took her cat and but Titan on her shoulders to keep him dry.  The water started to rise faster and faster and soon it is up to our necks.  All of us are noticeably getting nervous, especially Dawn.  This is the first time I have seen her this nervous, almost like she is starting to freak out.  By the time we had to start treading water, I started to as well.  Annabeth had to keep Titan on her shoulders to keep him up.

         Cazi finally said, “We can’t just do nothing.  Do we really trust the words in this cave?”

         “I’m starting to doubt them as well,” I spoke.  “Even if it does do what it says it is supposed to do, what if something fails and doesn’t go as it was designed to?  We must do something.  Stay here for a second.”

         Cazi gave a dry chuckle, “Sure, I was going to go get a nice cold jug of water, because I am awfully thirty right about now.”

         I did one more reinspection of all the surrounding walls.

         “We’ve already checked them,” Dawn said nervously.  “What do you hope to gain?”

         I sighed, “I don’t know.”

         “The water is rapidly rising now,” declared Annabeth.

         Dawn began to breathe quickly and deeply and cried out, “We’ve got to get out of here, people!”  She started swinging her arms in the air around her.  “We need to make an escape, instead of waiting for our deaths!”

         Lilah demanded, “What do you want us to do?”

         Dawn in a fit of frustration, voiced how much she was and started to punch the left wall.

         “Dawn,” Annabeth said, swimming over.  “That’s not going to do-.”

         Just then Dawn had wound up a right swing as a final blow, but her whole arm plowed directly through the wall and her head slapped the wall.

         Annabeth slowly finished, “Any… good?”

         “Hey,” Dawn’s tone instantly changed to a light of hope.  “These walls, especially this one is made out of the same stuff that the weak floor is made out of.  Could we possibly break out this way?”

         Dawn started beating on the wall, yet quickly realized that the part of the wall she happened to hit is the only thinnest part of the wall.

         “Dawn,” I said, pulling back her left shoulder.  “If we are going to do that, I think we are going to need something bigger.”  Now with a plan of action, I turned to the rest of the group, “Now, if we are going to need something bigger, this five-foot column should do it.  Noticing it when I came in, the column sits on another part of solid ground, but that is all it is doing there.  It is just sitting.  Something happened to the top and bottom of the column which caused it to separate and sit more like a tall boulder than a column of rock.  If we push it over and make it crash into the wall, it should make a big enough hole for us to swim through.”

         “Or get sucked through,” Cazi added. “To keep this much water contained and then for there to be a giant leak, this water is going to rush out, taking us all with it.”

         “That’s the idea,” I said.  “But you have a point.  Be ready for anything.”

         The stalactites are already blocking of certain areas of the room on the edges as the water continues to rise.  Going around to the right side of the boulder column, we used a nearby column only about a foot away to leverage our backs on to push the boulder column with our feet.  There is only three more feet of space left before we cannot tread water.  The stalactites are very close.

         A few seconds with all of us pushing, the boulder began to budge.

         Annabeth almost shove Titan on my shoulders as she said, “I’ll go down below to use my sword as a leverage stick to upright the boulder.  You guys stay so we have the most force pushing.”

         “Annabeth!” I called out, but she had already dived below.

         “Come on guys,” I said to the rest.  “We can do this.”

         With the water gushing in from below the water is nearly ready to overcome us.  Titan is able to fit in between a couple of stalactites, but all of us will need to take a deep breath very soon.  Annabeth just came up for a breath before she went back down.

         Straining our backs to push the boulder while arching our backs at the same time to stay above the water, we could feel the boulder slowly slide away from our feet.  Then the column jerked forward and fell for the wall.  At the same time, we had to take one more breath of air because we no longer had something to prop ourselves up.  Annabeth popped her head up for a half a second as the boulder column just destroyed the wall.

         The water immediately rushed out and took us with the under tow.  Because the boulder is already down, we hit it as we got shot out chamber.  The water wanted to take us under, but the boulder kept us from doing so which helped us stay on top of the water.

         With a tight hold on Titan, I protected him as much as I could.

         Being shot out of a chamber with rushing water is like be launched out of a catapult or the black sheep launcher for racing.  Since we are shooting out, little time is available to see where we are now.  Between the rushing water over my head, going under, and coming back up for quick gasps of air, it looks like we are raging down an underground rapid river.  But from our starting point the river turned into a steep decline.  Not quite a waterfall, but steep enough.

         We are flying down the river bottom which is surprisingly very smooth, as if we are on a water slide.  At any moment we could put our feet down to propel us over any obstacles.

         There is an omnificent glow about the cave and water as if there is light coming in from somewhere making the sides of the river and water illuminate a creepy dark blue.

         A minute later I saw the water just stop in mid-air.

         Fearing a waterfall is coming, I yelled as loud as I could, “WATERFALL!  Jump to the ledge on the other side!!”

         The ledge looks to be ten feet from the drop of the water.  Our trajectory would not allow for us to just let the water throw us.  We had to slow ourselves down enough with our feet and arms to jump at the last second.

         Because I have Titan in my grip, I am going to throw him over onto the ledge.

         Just as I am about to slow myself down and throw Titan, I look over to my right and see Annabeth just get hit by a large boulder in the middle of the river… and see her get pulled under the water.

         In desperation, I do not slow myself down, I heave the cat over onto the ledge as I start to go down with the water fall, but then launch my grappling hook up beneath the ledge.  Letting out all of the available line, I am able to get further down than Annabeth is.  The boulder slowed her down, so as I felt my grappling hook catch the bottom of the ledge, I saw Annabeth fly off the edge.

         “Jarl!” Annabeth yelled.

         “Grab my hand!” I called back.

         Even though her fall disoriented her, she is only so for a brief moment as she saw me below her.  Reaching out with her right hand, I reached out her to grab her as she flies past me.

         I grab her hand and part of her wrist.

         CLICK!

         My grappling hook is out of line and automatically stops any more from feeding out and locks the line into place…

         The jerk stops my body from falling… but made me lose my grip on Annabeth’s right hand.

         “Jarl,” Annabeth said worried.

         With my left arm extended upwards for my grappling hook, my right arm is pointed downwards.  In an attempt to grab my hand again, Annabeth swings her left hand up to grab my right hand…

         But because of the water, both of her hands slipped through my grasp.

         “ANNABETH!” I yelled in horror.

         “JARL!” she screamed as she fell into the deep blackness of nothing!

         I heard her screams of my name a few more times as well as the echo…

         And then nothing!