Meanwhile, back at Pantanos De Centla, Mexico
I had been assigned to go on a quest with Ariel Tweeto. Ariel is a really valuable ally if you get to know her closely. Other than the ability to manipulate water, she also had the skills to craft weapons, especially a powerful one.
Zeus teleported me from Olympus straight to our base, and into Ariel's living room. Ariel told me that she is going to wash her hands, and she went to the bathroom.
I sat down in Ariel's living room, thinking of the odds of what will happen if we actually encounters a Siren directly. Millions of possibilities came to my mind. Would we succeed with our new earmuffs that we're going to make? Even if the earmuff had been made, what will it do? Would it reflect the sound that the Sirens made? Not a chance. It appears that the Sirens had evolved into singing that could penetrate all barriers such as ear waxes.
But not if I have anything to say about it. I was totally clueless, but it seems that Ariel knew something about the earmuffs that she is about to create.
Ariel came back with her hands clean. She patted me in the shoulder. "Come on, Josh! We have work to do!" Ariel told me.
So, I obediently followed Ariel. She led me to this entirely new passage, and towards the entrance of the base. I saw the same handrail made of metal, and she pulled the lever which appears to be the end of the handrail. Just then, a secret passage opened itself, and Ariel grabbed my wrist and hurried me to the other side.
"Sorry." Ariel said. I understood what had happened. The door closed itself after about 4-5 seconds it opened. Wow, Ariel must have been a very paranoid person.
"So, is this the base where the pirates had not got through?" I asked.
"Yep." Ariel replied.
As we walked, long passage of tunnel began, and as we walked closer and closer to the forge, I can sense the heat coming out from the molten iron.
"So, here we are." Ariel announced. "The Forge! My own personal forge."
The forge is amazing! There's a couple of steel rods crackling with electricity which heats up the metal upon contact. There are 6 chambers in the forge, and each of them is forging different kinds of material/metals. One is bronze. The second is silver. The third is divided in half, which is copper and aluminum.. The fourth is Iron. The fifth is Tungsten and the last one is not really a forge chamber since it's not heated up like the rest, but rather kept airtight, and it's full of Magnesium.
"So, now we get to work." Ariel said.
I followed Ariel to the Iron forge, and molten blocks of metal came to view as soon as I peeked at the red molten iron.
Ariel wore a thick fireproof glove, while I try to use my own hands to pick up the molten iron, which was stupid of me since I got my right hand almost burned as soon as I touched the molten iron. I quickly flinched and finally used a glove, but they don't fit my hands since my hand is too small. Ariel pulls out a glove from her pocket and told me to wear it. I wear it, and surprisingly it fits me.
I then scooped up some of the molten iron and place it into the mould and wait until it dries. As soon as the Iron reached its solid state, I grabbed the mould and bash it so that the iron would come out of the mould. Drats! It's very hard for me to handle this molten Iron!
Ariel glanced at me and she dropped her metal creation and come to help me. I handed her the mould and she grabbed a hammer beside her and started hammering the metal until it took shape of a staff.
"Cool!" I said.
"Well, these are just models." Ariel said, while showing me her model, which is a trident. "Come! This is where you mae your real weapons."
Ariel then showed me one other chamber for making the weapons. This one looks a little shallow, with just a very hot rim on the outside, forming a cylindrical shape.
Ariel walked towards the magnesium chamber and picked up a handful of magnesium. She rubbed it with a steel wool to get rid of the oxide particles and threw it in the empty hot chamber. The magnesium ribbon started to burn like a flare, and I can feel my powers increasing very fast as I looked at the flare, and as soon as the magnesium ribbon was extinguished, the whole chamber lit up with red light as the metals gets hot. Ariel told me to gather a mixture of gold, silver and iron to bring it into the mixing chamber, and I did so. As soon as I brought the materials in, I throw the materials down into the very hot chamber and as I watched, the materials began to glow red and the heat made the metals melt and as I watched, the gold, silver and Iron began to fuse together. Ariel pulled a lever, and it brought the floor of the chamber closer, and Ariel and I mixed the molten metals and scooped it with the shovel we found beside us. I scooped a portion of it and place it in the weapons mold.
My weapon mold turned out to be a staff. Wait a minute.... Our quest! Why are we procrastinating on our quest? Why are we building these weapons instead of focusing on our main objective?
I tapped Ariel's shoulder. "Hey Ariel, shouldn't we focus on our quest instead of building weapons?" I asked.
Ariel gave me a smile. "Trust me! Once our weapons are ready, we will gather this special ore that will be very useful against the Sirens."
I nodded, and went back to my work.
As soon as I finished with my weapon, which is a mix of gold, silver and iron. Ariel has done hers also, which is a trident. We both exited the chambers and walked out until the entrance to the base is visible. I took a deep breath, and I dived into the swamp. Ariel's trident glowed, as she steers our direction. She points the trident upward, and we soared upward, and I took quite a large gasp of breath. Ariel surfaced next to me.
"Now, our task is the most difficult one, a journey where no man has ever went, the center of the earth."
"Wow, that must be very deep indeed." I muttered.
Ariel nodded. "The only way to get there, is through an extinct volcano named Snaevell, which is an extinct volcano in Iceland."
"Huh?" I asked, clutching my head, not quite getting what she said.
"I take it you have never watched 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'." Ariel said.
My mind reeled. I tried to think about past movies that I have watched, and I haven't watched Journey to the Center of the Earth yet.
"Not yet." I said.
"Well, it's about these three people that fell into one of the volcanic vents and they accidentally landed on another world located in the center of the earth." Ariel said. "And that's exactly what we're going to do now."
"Taking a trip to the center of the earth??" I asked with my eyes wide.
Ariel nodded. "Yes, the ore is called 'Crystal Reflector Ore'. It's a special ore that absorbs all kinds of vibrations, able to resist impacts from 20 railguns fully powered."
"Then how are we going to mine them if we can't break them?" I asked.
"Oh, that's easy." Ariel said, as she pointed to my hands and held them. "You can weild lasers, Joshy. The crystal reflector ores might have high melting point, but use the lasers with your fingers, and you can cut the ores easily."
"Okay then." I said, while looking around.
Ariel is looking around as well. Apparently, transport hasn't been kind to us since there's no transport around Pantanos De Centla, Mexico, except for some boats that can be rowed.
"Let's ride the small boat." Ariel suggested. "I can control the waves to speed us there."
So, we both ride on the small rowing boat, but it turns out that I didn't have to row the boat because Ariel had controlled the waves to go to Snaevell, the extinct volcano in Iceland.
Ariel told me to channel my light powers through the staff that I had made, and I found the staff easy to use, with only performing gestures, the staff already knew what to do.
But the staff don't have a power of its own. It has to be powered by the wearer (me). As you can see, when I touched the staff, it draws my power and the staff stores the charge, and when used, it amplifies the power by 500%. This is especially useful for me if I was low on power and had to recharge. This time, I am using it to shine a light around us since it's already very dark outside. I checked on the clock display on my staff. It says 20:00, which explains why it is very late at night. But apparently Ariel and me is still fresh.
I keep the skies in check, making sure that no aerial threats are coming to get us. Ariel is taking care of the threat on the seas so we pretty much work together to cover each others backs.
I saw a dragon swooping down towards my direction, and I raised my staff and a concentrated laser fires from the staff and into the dragon. The dragon had one of its wings burned and came down plummeting into the ocean hard, creating a mini tsunami. The dragon then disintegrated.
We used the mini tsunami to propel us forward, and Ariel kept using her water powers to propel us forward.
As time passed, I thought about my school trip. It's been 1 year since I am abandoned in Pantanos De Centla, Mexico by my friends, who tricked me into playing a game of hide and seek. Here's what happened.
I walked with my friends, who are actually disgusted with me being very short.
"Hey, Joshy!" Matt said. "Want to play a game?"
"Yeah, sure!" I said happily. "What is it called?"
"Well, you'll see." Matt said, who grinned at the others. "Now, first you stand right here." Benny said, pointing towards a bush. I stood right there.
"Now, close your eyes for 1 minute."
I did what they told me. I closed my eyes for 1 mnute, and when I opened them, my friends are gone.
I looked around for my friends, but I don't know where they went, so I just went into a random direction where I thought my friends were, but they're not there either.
I ran with tears streaming down my cheeks to where I think my friends went, but he's not found there, and I continued down the path between the trees.
The trees are not really tall, just the standard trees found in gardens. I climbed the tallest tree and looked for my friends. I am starting to lose hope of where they are now.
I wiped the tears from my cheeks, and jumped down from the tree. I skidded with my hands, grabbing onto the trees to slow my fall, but that made my hands red since the friction made my hands hot. I pressed my palms onto my cheeks and it felt very warm.
In my last desperate attempt to find my friends, I shouted, "Help!!!" Funny, why didn't I think of that before? I thought to myself. "Please! Somebody!!"
I am now officially stranded in this so called swamp in Mexico, with no one to help me. I went towards the nearby creek with tears streaming down my cheeks and collapsed.
End of Flashback
I didn't notice it until I felt my eyes tearing up, remembering to past tragic event, leading up to my present situation in here.
The flashback made me cry, but I don't want to cry in front of Ariel. Ariel knew me as a different person now, not as a crybaby.
I tried to hide my crying by covering my face with my hands, and I let the tears dripped in my hands. When my hands are full of tears, I throw them into the ocean and started crying again.
This apparently triggers Ariel's attention as she tapped on my shoulder as soon as I throw them into the open ocean. "Josh, what's wrong?" Ariel asked.
It was obvious that Josh had been crying. I had sensed that a huge amount of tears had been dumped on the rear side of the boat, which can only meant that Josh had been collecting his tears in his hand and dumped them in the ocean.
I approached him and tapped on his shoulder. "Josh, what's wrong?" I asked.
"It's just that..." Josh cried. "That I remembered my past... how I got to Pantanos De Centla, Mexico."
"Tell me what happened." I said to him.
Josh started to shift uncomfortably, and more tears streaming down his cheeks, which indicates that he is very troubled about this subject. But I have to know more about his past so I could offer him solution.
I put my arms around his shoulder and hugged him. "Josh, I know this is a hard subject for you. But if you keep hiding secrets, people are going to get more curious about you, so please, tell me."
Josh glared at me with his eyes wide, and tears continued to pour from his eyes. I stroked his cheeks with my right index finger and he held my hand tightly as he is shaking.
Josh then proceeded to hug me, and he sobbed into my shirt. I rubbed his back and told him that everything is going to be okay in this quest, and kept rubbing him as he continued crying.
"It all started with one field trip." Josh said. "Our class were on an expedition to Pantanos De Centla, Mexico. It's a biology class expedition, where we have to find and pick out samples of different types of plants in Mexico."
"Then, Matt and his friends told me and his friends to play a little game since we were bored. I was told to close my eyes for 1 minute and when I opened them, they are nowhere to be found." Josh told me while tears streaming down his cheeks.
"I looked everywhere for my friends, but apparently they have abandoned me in the wilderness of Pantanos De Centla, Mexico. My friends are cruel, they want me to die." Josh looked at me with very sad eyes, tears pooling in his eyes and it came out streaming down his cheeks. However, that's not all the sadness he is showing. I looked deeper inside his eyes, and I can sense that there's something else, but I don't know what it is, so I have to ask him that.
I hugged him and held him to face me. "Josh, you are going to be okay." I told him. This journey will be one of the hardest journeys for us since we will be descending at terminal velocity directly into the magma chute, and once we are on the center of the earth, all we have to do is find the crystal reflector ore, and since we don't know what it looks like, I will have to ask some questions.
I got a friend of mine who is working near Snaevell, an extinct volcano in Iceland. He is obsessed with studying the contents of the mountain and the types of rocks. I figure that I can convince him to let us go into the center of the earth with him. His name is Vince Peterson.
Josh sat there in the back of the raft, he already stopped crying but his eyes are still red. He approached me. "So, are we there yet?" Josh asked.
I tapped my fingers into my head. We are at the Gulf of Mexico, and we have to pass a couple of states until we reach Gulf of St. Lawrence, which is where we meet this guy named Vince Peterson, and then we are on our way to Snaevell, Iceland.
I spotted a nearby oil rig and decided it would be a good time to stop there for supplies, but there's two things that I'm concerned about. Is the oil rig safe? Is it inhabited by monsters?
I walked towards there and decided that it's safe for us to go there. I told Josh to stay there unless something happens, and I jumped into the ocean water.
I willed the current to carry me underwater and into the oil rig, as stealthy as possible so I wouldn't get detected. I surfaced near the oil rig and found many supplies such as burgers and snacks. I heard people are going downstairs and they are probably going to check the supply if it has arrived or not, so I snatched a small basket full of snacks and swam away.
I submerged underwater when the workers spot me, and I saw a bullet fired and it missed just inches from my neck. This is where the fun starts. I thought.
I willed the water to form into a whirlpool, and from that whirlpool I willed a giant bubble to rise and hurl it towards the workers, who had turned out to be assassins. The huge ball is actually a dummy. Its contents is actually empty.
As the huge ball of water came hurtling down the assassins, they jumped for their lives, and as the huge ball striked one of the foundations of the oil rig, the ball of water disperses into droplets of water, leaving the oil rig intact.
I dived under, and willed the water pressure to build up under me, and when I let the pressure go, I was propelled upward in a 45 degree angle and plummeted next to our raft.
I climbed up, and Josh helped me climbing the raft.
"What happened?" Josh asked me.
I showed him some snacks. "There's assassins in that oil rig." I told him. "Probably mafias."
"Now let's go." Josh suggested. "The mafias might be after us."
So, we left the oil rig, and as we get about 2 kilometers away from it, I saw a delivery helicopter landing on top of the oil rig helicopter landing pad. It's probably their boss, and he's going to wonder where his crews are.
I decided to pay attention in front of us as we drove into the gulf of St. Lawrence, the place where I will be meeting Vince Peterson. I can send him a message, but I am afraid that he will interpret it as a danger coming so I decided to do this the hard way, which is travelling there ourselves.
I checked the clock display in my trident. It says 23:55, which is 5 minutes before midnight, and Josh checked his.
"I will be sleeping." Josh said.
Then, Josh passed out on the boat.
I had decided to stay awake until about 2 hours time, then I will wake Josh up and we're going to switch turns looking after the boat.
I enjoyed the beautiful view of the ocean, and the quietness of the surroundings at night. The only noise I hear is the slooshing of the waves back and forth.
I bent over and touched the water with my right hand and closed my eyes to sense something. I felt every presence around me, sharks, underwater volcanoes, minnows, cape fur seals, dolphins, whales, and so on and so forth. I also sense a speeding boat coming towards our position, and I decided to toy with them. I placed both of my hands on the water, and I created ripples of waves that oscillates towards their position.
The waves seemed to get bigger, and the amplitude of the wave rose to about 20 centimeters after it travelled 50 meters. I kept sensing the speeding boat kept coming, and I looked at where I sensed the speed boat, and the wave is just about to strike them. I watches as the boat took a violent turn to the right, trying desperately to avoid the incoming wave, but it's too late. The wave is too fast for them, and the wave came crashing down towards them, and the boat and the people came crashing down into the water.
I stared into the night sky, and into Josh. Josh is glowing slightly, literally. I hugged him, and I felt warm surged through me. I haven't even noticed that the night air is cold.
But the cold doesn't bother me very much because all I can do is just hug the sleeping Joshy and I will be alright again.
I was ready to sleep while I realized that my shift isn't over yet. I really wished that I had sent Josh to provide the watch for 2 hours and then I will substitute for him. I am so very tired.
I watched the night sky at the beautiful stars. The stars are not really that bright compared to the view of the stars thousands of years ago. How do I know that? Let's just say that I have a friend that's a sea nymph that told me all about the stars and constellations. I hoped that when I woke Josh up, I can tell him all about the stars and constellations prior to me sleeping.
I looked at the clock in my trident. It says 00:25, which is 30 minutes after Josh slept. I fiddled with my thumbs while watching the surrounding ocean with my perfect bearing sense, which only occurs when I am in the middle of the ocean.
Right now, we're in the middle of the gulf of mexico, and after we saw the land of Cuba, we head to the north past the bahamas island.
I looked at the clock, and it's now says 02:00, which means it is time for Josh to wake up and for me to sleep, so I shook Josh gently.
"Joooosh... It's time for you to wake up..." I whispered in his ear. Josh squirmed from his sleep and he wakes.
"What???" Josh asked, annoyed.
"It's your turn to do the shift." I told him.
"Ohh... alright." Josh said.
Then, I fell asleep.