Memories Of Ice

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Escape

Atlas led the way through the winding labyrinth, it must have been hours, if not days since the group had first stumbled upon the entrance. Now and then, there would be sounds of movement in the distance, as if something was nearing them.

"We've been here before... I think" Seb sighed.

"How can you tell, these corridors all look the same" Syl shrugged.

"The layout seems familiar" Seb pointed out crossroads that they had just passed. "I'm sure we've passed this crossroads before" He added.

"How can you tell? They all look the same" Syl shrugged.

"Keep it down you two" Atlas turned and scowled at them both. Syl and Seb nodded and kept quiet.

The corridor began sloping down, at first it was barely noticeable, then moments later it turned into a sheer drop, sending the group sliding down below. They finally hit the floor with a thud.

"Ow! My ass!" Seb said as he rubbed his behind, which he had landed on.

Syl stood up and looked around, they seemed to have fallen into a chamber, but it was unlike the one before, it was in near darkness. As soon as Syl stood up, a giant scorpion flew out of the shaft behind him and pinned him to the ground.

"Stay back!" Amanda shouted. She summoned her Celestial Hand Cannons and powered them up, the scorpion began raising its tail ready to strike, but before it could, Amanda blew it's tail off.

The creature screeched in pain, in the distance the sound of thousands of tiny squeals could be heard. Syl took the opportunity to escape from the scorpions clutches, he rolled out from beneath it and summoned his Celestial Warhammer, with a quick strike he sent the creature flying across the room into the ancient stone walls.

The sound of the thousand of tiny squeals got louder and louder. Atlas looked behind him to see thousands of regularly sized scorpions dropping from the shaft.

"RUN!" Atlas yelled, as he ran toward the far side of the room where a door way sat. As he ran through it, he stepped into a misty jungle, the others followed and caught their breath. The sound of the scorpions died out as soon as they stepped through the threshold.

"Are we free?" Seb asked.

"I don't think we're that lucky" Amanda shrugged as she looked around.

"Oh... thank you, Amanda" Syl said, turning to Amanda.

"Huh?" Amanda was taken aback.

"I nearly died back there, thank you for saving my life..." Syl sighed and nodded.

"It's the least I owe you" Amanda bowed her head.

"What sort of place is this then, if we're not free, it looks just like the jungle... except its grey and misty" Seb asked as he looked around.

"Probably just another layer to this labyrinth we're in" Amanda said, as she ripped a leaf from one of the trees. "Don't forget, we are not on Crystalla any more, the laws of our world don't apply here" She said as the leaf turned to dust.

"Hmm" Syl scratched his head as he looked back through the threshold at the trapped Scorpion. "Was that what was stalking us? The thing this Tree-lever guy mentioned in his message?" Syl pondered.

"I doubt we're that lucky" Atlas said as he shook his head. "In fact, we'd be best to keep moving" He added. The other agreed and walked on ahead. The jungle felt lifeless, there was no bird calls, or insects. The air was still humid though and was made worse by the thick mist.

"This almost reminds me of the spider forest..." Seb shivered.

"Spider forest?" Atlas asked, as he scratched his head.

"Yeah... we were going take a shortcut to Southan, via Skarlit Skies..." Syl sighed. Amanda burst into laughter. "Something funny?" Syl growled.

"You didn't know there were giant spiders in Skarlit Skies?" She asked.

"Well, yeah, but I didn't know HOW big" Syl explained. "But yeah, we went in there for like five minutes before we came running out" Syl shrugged.

Footsteps could be heard faintly in the distance behind the group. Syl span around but was greeted by an unexpected sight. The creature that had been stalking them revealed itself.
The writhing monstrosity, known as a Judge was stood gazing at the group. Seb almost fainted at the sight of the Judge, it screeched. It needed a life to take, to pay for Treleva's escape. It gazed deep into the minds of the petrified group.
It saw the burning city of Avadey. It saw Atlas taking the life of Rory, and it saw Amanda killing her husband for power. It locked it's gaze on Amanda and charged toward her, but before it could attack her, Syl summoned his Celestial Warhammer and sent it rolling into the distance. Amanda looked at Syl in disbelief.
"Go!" Syl shouted to the others, Amanda stood frozen in shock, but Syl grabbed her hand and followed Atlas' lead, the creature got back to its fear and let out a blood-curdling scream. The group ran through the jungle at breakneck speed.
Then, as they were running, the ground gave way, and they fell into an old stone room. The screeching suddenly stopped and a blinding light shone down through the hole above.
"What's happening?!" Seb yelled as he backed away from the light. Atlas walked toward it and looked up, his vision slowly adjusted, and he saw the green jungle above, with the sunlight shining through.
"I think we're free" Atlas sighed with relief. "In fact... this is where we fell into" He said as he looked around the room, noticing one major difference. "But the door we went through is no longer here" He pondered to himself.
Amanda looked at Syl, still in shock.
"You saved me from that thing, why?!" She asked, in disbelief. Syl sighed and looked up to the sun, the looked back at her.
"Because I'm not like you" He shrugged, and then climbed out from the hole in the jungle floor.

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