Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chapter 23


Chapter 23


I took a deep breath and walked into the temple, into some type of courtyard - before the actual building. My heart was racing because I knew I was close, but something was bothering me.

When I walked into the Courtyard I saw Professor Rhinehart waiting for me. My only thought at that moment was 'It's time to get to the bottom of this, I am going to confront Rhinehart.'

Before I could speak, he did, "You're here! Did you get the staff?" He seemed a little over excited to me, which was odd.

"Yes, and I also found a guy named 'Pittman', he said some very disturbing things about you!" I started at him for a moment while he processed the information.

"That doesn't change the theory that the temple carries the cure! Now hand over the staff!"
I realized that he didn't even care about the Pittman guy, and wrecking our ship, he was guiltless. What's more is that he said the theory about the cure.

"You mean you don't KNOW? You knew about the staff, and where it was hidden!"

Rhinehart took a deep breath, and I could tell he was about to go into a long - prepared - speech.

"I've been trying to get into this temple since the Illamanati were here years ago." He admitted. "After we crashed the volcano festival and witnessed the power of the House of Tuzu; the race to steal the staff was on. You don't know what it's like - all the pressures that come with belonging to a secret society of evil genii. It is all about the next big idea for world domination. All the good ones are taken. Idea theft runs rampant and there is always some on younger, but never smarter, lurking in the wings to challenge me. I stole the staff and hid it, but the natives drove us from the island before I had a chance to use it- to gain edge. It has taken me all this time to get it back. Now, with your help, the temple and the treasures within are in my reach."

"Now, hand over the staff if you want to survive!"

I had found my attention ebbing away as he continued his speech, but his last sentence brought me back.

"No." I said, very firmly. "You tell me how to use it, and I will open the temple."

Professor Rhinehart sighed and studied me for a moment as if he was looking for something. I guess he found whatever it was because half a smile lit his face and he said, "Very well. It's simple really, just point the staff at the door and will it to open."

I thought about this for a moment. 'Is he joking? I'll never agian put all my eggs into one basket case again!' Then voiced my thoughts, well most of them at least. " ... are you kidding me?"

He just shook his head. So I did as he said, I pointed the staff at the door. Nothing happened at first. I started to feel silly, then tried harder to will the door open. After just a few seconds my thoughts strayed slightly to Akolo. I felt my love for him inside, and it started to overwhelm me. Then my attention was brought back to the door - it had begun to open. When it did I heard the professor make a strange sound and glanced at him. Really it looked like he was about to jump up and down like a little kid.

Slowly I walked inside.

I looked around and took in my surroundings, there was treasure all over. Gold and jewels. The middle of the room, clearly the centerpoint was a tall vase - or maybe goblet is the better terminology.

Before I could think anything else, or say anything, Professor Rhinehart blew past me - grabbed the goblet and drank what was inside.

I started to protest and demand to know what he was doing, but seeing what was happening distracted me.

The professor's body started to tremble and shake. It looked like he was having a seisure. Then it was over, but he wasn't the old professor any more.

"Hahahaha!" Was all he said.

I gaped at him as I realized the only reason he wanted in here. There was an anti aging potion in that goblet, and more treasure than anyone would know what to do with.

"There is no cure is there?!" I shouted at him, but I never got an answer from the professor.

I was tapped on the shoulder and when I turned I was surprised to see Amanaki Tama, the Shaman.

"So this is the thief who sealed the temple from us long ago." he said.

I glanced at the professor. He was running around like a crazy person trying to scoop up treasure. "He is a liar... and a maniac!"

The Shaman looked at me, "You have the power to judge him Citryne. Point the staff at him and choose."

So I did just that. I pulled the staff off of the ground, where I had dropped it and pointed it at him.

He turned and looked at me, "You wouldn't. You don't even know what your doing."

"Whatever I will." I said.

I wasn't sure what I really expected to happen, but I was surprised when he started to convulse and scream "NOOOOO!!" It didn't take more than two minutes for the staff to do it's work. When he hit the floor in a crumpled unmoving heap, I raised my hands to my mouth.

"Oh my!" I gasped. "I didn't know it would be like that, I was hoping he would just... well I don't know really."

"Are you sorry that it happened?" The Shaman asked me, very calm.

I didn't think about it long. "No, because I know what could have happend, and what he would become, had he continued to be."

The Shaman nodded and looked as if he were pleased with my answer. "The volcano is wise." He said.

When he said that, he made me think he was talking about more then the volcano that they prayed to, but I couldn't be sure. I looked at him., and almost shouted "Akolo!"

He nodded and we quickly left for the harbor. We arrived together still.

When we got there, I saw Akolo lying on the ground and something caught in my throat. I couldn't breath anymore, I was too late.

The Shaman stopped me just as I was going to run to Akolo's side. He looked me in the eyes and said, "Look within yourself Citryne. You also have the power to heal Akolo."

At first I didn't understand what he meant. Then I realized that I still carried the staff. I looked at the Shaman and he nodded once. If the staff had the power to take away life, shouldn't it have the power to return it?

I had to try.

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