Chapter 26

John, Jack, Trisha, and Karen were all very angry. They used this anger to propel themselves to the end. The final challenge was waiting. They were too impatient to wait. The fourth challenge proved to be an ordeal, but they made it through.

“The last challenge features a box. Open it, and you will succeed,” said the voice from the loudspeaker.”

The door opened. There were keys everywhere.

“How are we supposed to guess all the keys?”

“Worse, look at the board! It says we only have forty minutes.”

“But there’s a clue! It has a star; look at the hole!”

The hole was shaped like a five pointed star.”

After ten minutes, there were fifty keys left. The only problem was, the keys were hard to put in. So, they looked for another clue.

“Look at the outer areas of the box! It’s a shade of purple!”

“Then the key must be purple!”

After ten minutes passed by, there were five keys left. The keys were tried.

Trisha pushed the first key. It didn’t fit. Nor did the second or third. But the fourth fit just right. It took effort to turn the key. In the end, it fit perfectly.

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Chapter 26

Chapter 25

In the secret room, John found two keys. They unlocked the two other countertops, and found the two other texts. The first one said, “Harry.” The next one said “Smith.”

Horrified, John trembled. He typed the code in, H-A-R-R-Y-_-S-M-I-T-H. The door opened, and Karen gasped. Trisha held her hand around her mouth. Jack put his hand on his head. His body language told the reinforcements he was very shocked. They walked, still shocked. Karen shed a tear while walking. Then the loudspeaker came on.

Icarus said, “Like I said from the beginning: I have risen from the ashes, like a phoenix.”

John screamed, “You BETTER get over here! NOW!”

Icarus replied, “I have reached a better form of my self. Even if it means betraying my children.”

John gave out a scream of agony.

Jack interrupted, “Wait. You noticed this guy speaks in such a monotone, right?”

Karen stopped crying, “Then, that means, someone’s probably controlling him! We have to get him back.

Then a different voice came up: “Wow! We never expected this much of a discovery from you young adults! We thought that your immaturity would overpower knowledge! Yes, we did get into his brain. He is a different person, that Icarus. And you’ll be next if you can’t defeat the trials after this!

John vowed to the voice, yelling, “We will get there, I know we will! WE WILL GET THERE, NO MATTER WHAT THE CHALLENGE!”

The voice replied, “Well, I’d love to see you try! By the way, the name’s Heracles. I may not have the strongest body, but I do have the strongest mind. So don’t try to demoralize me with your petty threats! HERACLES OUT!”

 

Chapter 25

Chapter 24

Icarus spoke in a monotone, “You are trapped in a room by a evil terrorist. The exit door is locked and the code to get out is my name. Use the clues around you to find out who I really am. You have an hour to get out of the room before the terrorist comes and kills one of your reinforcements.”

In front of them was a kitchen with a bunch of countertops. The counters were locked with three keyholes for each countertop. There was a plier with a lock that was pliable.

To the right was a dining table. There was a chest there with a number code. There were letters encrypted in there, saying Jansen. This was the last name of Jack and Trisha, as John and Karen knew.

To the left was a locked door. There was no lock to crack to open it though. But there was something strange that John noticed. The kitchen counter tops connected to it.

John went towards the pliers and broke the pliable lock. A door opened. He called over, “I broke this lock and it leads to a secret room. How about half of you come in and check it out?”

John found a computer and opened the mail feature. He found a cheat sheet that said:

J:9 A:3 N:1 S:5 E:2 N:0

Karen called to Trisha, “The code for the treasure chest is 931520! The cheat sheet says so!”

She typed the code in: 9-3-1-5-2-0

Click!

The treasure chest opened and there was a key. Jack rushed towards the countertops and unlocked a paper that had a number chain: 213546879

John called out, “I have a 9-number lock here. I don’t know the-”

Jack interrupted, “2-1-3-5-4-6-8-7-9.”

John typed the numbers. A door opened. And they were in the locked room and they opened the door from the inside.

Chapter 24

Chapter 23

Icarus said, “You have five challenge floors filled with secrets. You passed the first one quickly. If you cannot succeed the challenge, one reinforcement dies. If you try to call for more reinforcements, one reinforcement dies. If all your reinforcements are dead, then we will start killing you four leaders. There is no way that you are going to get here. I swear-”

The loudspeaker turned off. Everyone rode the elevator to the next floor.

Icarus spoke over the loudspeaker, “This challenge you must answer five riddles from the five guards. You are able to ask each guard one hint. These guards are heavily armed, so if you fail to solve the riddle, we can kill off your crew one at a time. Also, don’t even try to beat the guards up.”

The group were stopped by a wall. The room was bright. The guard walked in. The guard in front had a mask. It looked like a red bird, like a phoenix. He asked, “How can you throw a ball so that it comes back to you without the ball hitting anything, like a wall?” The guard gave John a ball. “You have twenty minutes to think,” he added.

Everyone gathered up in a huddle. Trisha started the ideas by saying, “This is a common sense question. It should be easy yet hard.” Everyone started thinking hard. Ten minutes passed by, but then suddenly, an idea popped into Karen’s head.

“Guys, I think it’s just throwing the ball in the air, like this!” she exclaimed. She threw the ball towards the ceiling, and fell back into her soft hands.

“We have the answer,” John said to the guard.

The guard replied, “Show me how.”

John threw the ball towards the ceiling, and fell back into his hands softly.

“Correct,” the guard said in a monotone. He flipped a switch and the wall swung open like a door.

The next four riddles were far too easy, as they solved the riddles within thirty minutes.

Icarus came through the speaker and said in a monotone, “Well done. The next room when solved will reveal my true identity. But you have to escape the room for the third floor.”

Chapter 23

Chapter 22

As the boats maneuvered itself towards a cave, Trisha gave everyone their preferable weapons, as did John in the other boat. They were ready to invade.

The boats opened their hoods. Everyone got off the boat, as they followed each other towards a metal door.

“Ready to open the door?” asked Jack.

A creepy silence came over the room. Then the others said, “Ready!”

Jack slammed open the door. Everyone looked around. It was a dark room, with not much lighting, but the lighting was enough to see the door ahead. But, the silence was getting creepy. The group was tensing up.

Clang!

A metal dagger luckily clashed with the metal armor and not the skin that a reinforcement was wearing. Split-second reactions took over, as Jack used his sling and Trisha swung her whip right at the spot it happened.

Whoosh!

They both missed. Then they realized that the person doing it was throwing daggers. The group was now red-alert, knowing that a hit in the right place could knock out a person.

Jack turned on his flashlight. He saw a man in a blue suit, as they both jumped. He called out, “He’s right here!”

John swiftly ran and used his momentum to throw a major punch. The man was knocked out cold. John took his dagger and passed it to Karen for her to throw it if needed.

“Well, looks like you passed the first test. But there are many more you must pass to even make it close to uncovering our plan,” a voice said in a loudspeaker.

“Who are you?”

“I am Icarus, a reincarnation from the ashes. Just like a phoenix.”

Chapter 22

Chapter 21

The next day, reinforcements came to the boats. The thing was that only 5 people could fit in each bat, so reinforcements were not going to be in full effect. So, John, Jack, Karen, and Trisha and the six reinforcements boarded the boats and started the engines.

The boats were on auto-pilot to a place, but stopped suddenly near the door of an underwater facility, throwing the passengers forward.

“Apparently we need to type a passcode,” said Karen through the walkie-talkie.

“I have a clue here. There is a red dot and a blue dot, but the code is five color characters,” replied Jack.

“The clue here is a purple dot, a green dot, and a yellow dot. I also see a picture of both of our boats, but an arrow starting from our boat to yours. I don’t know what that means though,” Trisha responded.

Then John froze. He realized that the line meant the left clue was first, then the right clue. He typed the code: purple, green, yellow, red, blue.

Ding!

“How did you know the passcode, John?” asked Karen.

“The magic of logic, Karen. The magic of logic.”

Jack intervened in, saying, “But let’s keep moving. We have to keep moving to get to the base quickly.”

 

Chapter 21

Chapter 20

“So, we have some data on where the base might be, so we think the base is somewhere near the coast of San Francisco,” John said. “We all have our certificates and credentials, so we’ll be able to go in. And, more exciting news: we have reinforcements coming with us!”

Trisha let out a sigh of relief. Karen and Jack whooped.

“But there is one problem: the base could be anywhere along the coast of San Francisco. That’s why we’re letting about two days go by for searching. Also, we have extra helpers for that too. That’s why the mission is so valuable. But enough talk, let’s get searching.”

So, the crew maneuvered down. They brought the walkie-talkies to help communicate with each other. Karen, Trisha, John, and Jack split into two groups. The four helpers branched off with one of the two groups.

“This is North group, coming in.”

“We got your message, North. Call us South group.”

Karen and Trisha searched the South side, searching for anything suspicious. Then they discovered a sci-fi-ish boat half-submerged in the sand.

“Wait, what is this? South group here, we found a weird, high-tech boat!” yelled Karen.

“We found one too,” replied Jack.

They glanced at each other from about a few hundred feet away. Jack and Karen could both see the boat clearly.

“South, should we go inside the boats?” asked John.

“Hold this up. Let’s call the police department, then see what we can do,” replied Karen.

The helpers were a wee bit confused, but they called the police department saying to cover the boat up with the yellow tape so they could go in the boats and see what was the secret in them.

Chapter 20