Maddy aggressively stomped on her assailant’s hand until he let go.
“Give me your hand!” Corbyn yelled.
Maddy looked up. Corbyn was lying flat on his stomach on the catwalk, his right hand dangling down. “Grab on! I’ll pull you up!”
The assailant climbed another rung. He held onto the ladder with his right hand and got a firm hold on Maddy’s left leg with the other. Kicking and screaming, Maddy reached up. She was soon in a tug-of-war between the man below and her best friend above.
“Stomp on his fingers!” Knowing that Aaden was holding firmly onto his legs, Corbyn planned to pull Maddy up the moment the man let go of her.
Maddy stomped on the man’s right hand with all her might. The impact loosened his grip. That was all Corbyn and Aaden needed.
“Now!” Corbyn shouted.
With perfect timing, Aaden pulled back on Corbyn, and Corbyn pulled up on Maddy. With adrenaline coursing through their veins, the twins had no problem yanking her up to the catwalk and out of the pursuer’s grip. The teens knew they were far from being out of harm’s way though. Corbyn knew he had to do something quick.
“Aaden, give me the axe!”
“What? You’re not gonna hit him with—”
“Just give it to me!”
Aaden hurriedly fished out the camping axe and handed it over. Maddy looked at the top of the ladder and fell back in fear. One of the assailant’s hands was now grabbing the catwalk. Without thinking, Corbyn stomped on the man’s hand and lifted the axe high above his head.
“Corbyn! No!” Maddy couldn’t believe what he was about to do.
With perfect aim, Corbyn brought the axe down…right on one of the ropes that attached the ladder to the catwalk. Half the ladder gave way, and the man fell a few feet before grabbing one of the rungs and swinging wildly. Looking down at their attacker, Corbyn spoke with calm ferocity.
“I don’t know who you are or what you want with us but I swear I will cut the other rope if you don’t get out of here now.”
The assailant looked down to see how far he’d fall. He realized he had no choice. With a sneer, he climbed back down.
“You’re mine,” he mouthed to Corbyn.
Corbyn was breathing heavily. “Help me pull the ladder up,” he told Aaden.
The twins pulled the rope ladder up onto the catwalk.
Aaden turned to his brother. “Still believe I’m a liar?”
Corbyn sighed. “I already said I was sorry. You were right, I was wrong. What more do you want?” Though he had difficulty showing it, Corbyn was actually really ashamed of himself.
Crying, Maddy gave Corbyn a hug. “Thank you,” she said.
Corbyn gladly returned the hug. “Don’t forget Aaden helped also.”
Maddy turned to Aaden and placed her hand on his shoulder. “Thank you. I owe both of you my life.”
Aaden was glad Maddy had thanked him, but the lack of a hug somehow made it less meaningful. “You’re welcome,” he replied with a fake smile.
Corbyn wiped sweat from his brow. “So what do we do now?”
Maddy took a deep, calming breath. She wiped the remaining tears from her eyes. “I need to compose myself. And we all need to sit down and eat something still.”
Corbyn nodded. “But we can’t take long. We don’t know where that guy went.”
Sitting on the catwalk, each teen ate an energy bar and discussed what to do next.
“I’m pretty sure we’re in the right attraction now,” Corbyn said. “But where in here do we need to be?”
“Get the clue out so we can go over it again,” Aaden suggested.
Maddy retrieved the clue from her pocket. She reread the second stanza of the poem. “Make your way back…then climb up.” She looked around and paused. “Um, guys? I think we lucked out.”
“Are you serious?” Still hurting inside, Aaden let his frustrations fly. “We just got chased by some guy that wants us dead and you say we lucked out?”
Maddy was taken aback by Aaden’s demeanor, but pawned it off as a consequence of what the team had just gone through. “No, really. I think the guy chased us right where we’re supposed to go.” Maddy’s voice grew excited as she explained her thoughts. “Follow me here…where is the back of this building?”
“Backstage, of course,” Corbyn replied.
“Good. And when you’re backstage, where would you climb up?”
Corbyn smiled. “Up to the catwalk. Of course.”
“Exactly!” Maddy smiled.
“Great,” Aaden replied stoically. “And what are we supposed to look for up here?”
“A wall,” Maddy replied. “Should we get going?”
Corbyn looked around and nodded. “We need to get out of here as fast as we can.”
“Let’s walk the catwalk and see what we can find,” Maddy said.
The team finished their snack and walked to the other end of the catwalk. They were soon face-to-face with a bare concrete wall.
“Really helpful,” Aaden commented. “There’s nothing here but a blank wall.”
Corbyn stared intently at the concrete. “What does the last part of the clue say again, Maddy?”
“It says we need to use an illuminating tool to see the writing on the wall. Here’s the wall. But I don’t see anything on it.”
“An illuminating tool,” Corbyn thought out loud. “Aaden, will you get the flashlight out of the backpack, please?”
Aaden fished out the flashlight. Is that all I’m good for now? To get you supplies?
“Here goes nothing.” Corbyn shined the flashlight on the wall, but nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Aaden smirked. “Nice try.”
“What if you stand closer to the wall and make the light brighter?” Maddy suggested.
Corbyn moved the flashlight closer to the wall. Still, nothing happened.
“Any other bright ideas?” Corbyn ignored his pun.
After a few moments, Aaden said pathetically, “I might…if anybody wants to hear it.”
Corbyn and Maddy waited silently for Aaden to continue.
Aaden reached into the backpack and pulled another object out. “I don’t think you need the regular flashlight. I think you need this one.”
“The UV flashlight.” Corbyn shook his head, disappointed he hadn’t thought of that.
“To make invisible writing visible,” Maddy added excitedly. “Like a black light. Try it.”
Corbyn returned the regular flashlight to the backpack. He turned the UV flashlight on and shined it on the wall. Voila. Writing, created with invisible ink, was now clearly visible on the concrete wall.
“There it is,” Maddy said excitedly. “Aaden, you’re a genius.”
“Thanks.” Aaden’s spirits lifted slightly.
“Corbyn, keep the light on the wall while I write down what it says.” Maddy grabbed a pen and paper from the backpack and wrote down the next clue.
Sit On The Longest Estimated Wavelength Of Your Tool At Hand
“We obviously need to find somewhere to sit down next.” Maddy looked at Corbyn. “The auditorium?”
“That would be my guess. But there’re probably hundreds of seats out there. How’re we going to figure out which one we need before that guy comes back and finds us?”
Maddy’s mind was already thinking of a solution. “I assume the tool at hand is the UV flashlight. That’s what we used to see the writing, so that would make the most sense.”
Maddy continued. “The only problem is that, even though I’m familiar with the electromagnetic spectrum—”
“The what?” Aaden interrupted.
“The electromagnetic spectrum. It shows the frequency and wavelength of waves like radio waves, light, microwaves, X-rays, ultraviolet, those kinds of things. Rule of thumb is the higher a wave’s frequency, the shorter its wavelength.”
“And what’s frequency again?” Corbyn asked. “You know physics isn’t my thing.”
“Frequency is basically the speed of the wave. High frequency, high speed wave. Like if someone ties a string to a doorknob and shakes it up and down really, really fast.”
“And what’s that have to do with the wavelength?”
“Fast waves have a short wavelength because the waves are close together. But if someone takes that same string and shakes it slower, with broader swings, there will be a lot more time between when each wave reaches the doorknob.”
“Slow moving waves that are further apart have a higher wavelength. It’s an inverse relationship.”
Maddy smiled and nodded.
“And this helps us because…,” Aaden said.
“Because,” Maddy replied in an annoyed tone, “we need to figure out what the longest wavelength of UV light is.” She thought out loud as she usually did when she was problem-solving. “I know UV is a high energy wave. This means it’s also a high frequency wave with a short wavelength. Even its longest wavelength must be really small. I just don’t know how small.”
“UV light doesn’t have just one wavelength?” Corbyn asked.
“No wave does. Waves have a range of wavelengths, and it looks like we need to find the longest estimated wavelength within the UV range.”
“Fabulous,” Aaden complained. “How do you suggest we do that up here?”
After a brief moment, Corbyn had an idea. “Let’s look it up online.”
Aaden rolled his eyes. “Right. Let me just whip out my laptop and fire it up.”
Corbyn ignored his brother’s sarcasm and pressed on. “We have a smartphone with us, right? It probably has a web browser on it, and since we’re pretty high up on this catwalk, I bet we’ll get a good enough signal to search for the answer. It’s not cheating to use all available resources, is it?”
Aaden had to concede this wasn’t a bad idea. He got the phone out of the backpack and tossed it to his twin. Corbyn located the browser app.
“What should I type in the search engine?” he asked Maddy.
“Search for wavelength range of UV light.”
Corbyn ran the search. The web browser showed a handful of hits. Corbyn brought up the first result.
“It says here that UV light has a wavelength of approximately 10 to 400 nanometers.” Looking up, Corbyn asked, “How big is a nanometer again?”
“A billionth of a meter,” Maddy responded. “In other words, UV waves are extremely tiny. Just like I predicted.”
“So we need to find seat number 400?”
“If that website is accurate, yes,” Maddy replied. “Let’s go find out.”
Team SoNaR walked back to the rope ladder. Aaden tossed what remained of the ladder back down to the floor.
“Just don’t look down,” Corbyn said to Maddy. “This time you’ll be between us on the way down. Aaden can go first. You’ll follow and I’ll go last.” He looked at the part of the rope ladder that was still attached to the catwalk. “The rope should still be secured enough to support us.”
“Should or will?” Maddy complained under her breath. Her nerves were back on the rise. She closed her eyes and imagined she was safely on the ground floor. “Let’s get this over with.”
Aaden nodded and climbed over the edge of the catwalk. He secured his legs around the rope and began to slowly climb back down. After making it about ten feet, he called for Maddy to follow him.
“You can do it,” Aaden overheard Corbyn saying. “I’ll be right above you. You’ll be fine.”
“Would you just come on?” Aaden demanded. “I’m hanging down here.”
Maddy carefully made her way over the catwalk to the rope and began her descent. Doing her best to ignore the swaying, she carefully followed Aaden down and gave Corbyn enough room to climb on. After a few tense moments, the whole team was safely down. Their assailant was nowhere to be found.
Corbyn smiled at Maddy. “That wasn’t too bad. You did well.”
Maddy wiped sweat from her brow. “As long as I never have to do it again.”
“Let’s just get to the auditorium, find what we need, and get going,” Aaden urged.
Team SoNaR cautiously walked from the backstage area to the auditorium. They made their way to the seating area.
“Let’s split up,” Maddy suggested. “We’ll find the seat we’re looking for quicker that way.”
The teens realized that each of the 60 rows of seats was labeled numerically from the front of the auditorium to the back. Within each row, the seats were numbered from stage left to stage right: 00, 01, 02, 03…50.
“We need to be in row four,” Corbyn said loud enough for Maddy and Aaden to hear. “Meet me at seat double zero.”
The team met at seat 00 in row 4. They looked underneath the seat, behind the seat, and on the sides. They found nothing.
“Are we sure this is the right one?” Aaden asked.
“If what we discussed on the catwalk is right, this should be it,” Maddy replied.
“Wait,” Corbyn interjected, “didn’t the clue say that we need to sit on the seat?”
Maddy nodded. She asked Aaden if he would do the honors. Aaden sat on seat 4-00 and immediately jumped back up. He rubbed his rear end.
“There’s something in the cushion. It poked me in the butt.”
Maddy laughed. “Looks like you found it. Or your butt did, anyway.”
Corbyn located a zipper on the side of the cushion and undid it. Reaching into the cushion, he touched upon another metal canister. He pulled the canister out and looked it over. “Just like the one underneath the roller coaster. Same atomic symbol etched into it and everything.”
“Open it up and see what it says,” Maddy said.
“Quickly,” Aaden added nervously.
Corbyn unscrewed the end of the canister and pulled a piece of paper out. He unfolded it and showed it to the team.
Pat yourselves on the back for a job well-done! One clue down but how many left to go?
Looking forward, one must now travel to a “miniature Earth” for the next clue.
A seeker of the prize should look to the desert for the answer.
Nobody will reach the prize if they don’t begin their search in the “Clairvoyant” city, so
Trust your instincts and
Search for the next clue overlooking the “Ocean in the Desert”!
TBT CENHAII YO ASCAG ELTUHE
“Looks like we’re finally done here,” Maddy said.
“Thankfully,” Aaden replied.
“But,” Corbyn interjected, “weren’t we supposed to get part of the safe’s code before leaving? And what does this stuff underneath the clue mean?”
“Who cares right now?” Aaden said. “Let’s figure it out on the helicopter where that guy can’t get us.”
Maddy seconded Aaden’s opinion. “I feel completely exposed here. If we find out we missed something and have to come back tomorrow, so be it.”
Team SoNaR quickly left the Dancing Waters building. They made their way to Chippewa Park’s entrance and hailed a cab. Their assailant was nowhere to be found. After climbing into the taxi, Corbyn pulled out the team’s cell phone and called TESLA.
“We’re heading back to the airport. We’ll be there in about ten minutes or so.” Corbyn paused, listening to TESLA’s response. “Great, thanks. See ya’.”
Corbyn reported on the conversation. “Weird enough as it was talking to a computer, TESLA says Chef will be waiting for us at the airport’s entrance. When we get to the helicopter, we’ll have to decide where we’re going next and let TELSA know.”
“It’s late already. I say we hang out in the helicopter tomorrow and work on figuring out the next clue,” Maddy suggested. “We can plan to leave for our next stop first thing Saturday morning.”
“Works for me,” Corbyn replied. “Aaden?”
“Fine with me. All I know is that I need sleep right now. I’m exhausted.”
“Ditto,” Corbyn echoed. “But something’s still bothering me.”
“What?” Maddy rested her head on Corbyn’s shoulder. Aaden looked away.
“I don’t get where that guy went after we chased him away. Why didn’t he just wait around for us?”
Maddy was troubled by the thought as well.
“You think he was hurt or something when you kicked him?” Corbyn asked.
Maddy shook her head. “I doubt it. My foot never really made enough contact to do any damage. The ladder was swinging around too much.”
“It just seems odd that he gave up and disappeared so easily.”
“Which is why I’m pretty sure today won’t be the only time we run into him,” Maddy said pessimistically.
An uncomfortable silence hung in the cab for the remainder of the trip. The taxi eventually pulled up to the airport’s entrance. Team SoNaR paid for the ride and got out. They found Chef waiting for them right where TESLA said he’d be.
“Did you guys have fun?” Chef asked.
“If that’s what you want to call it.” Corbyn glanced at Maddy and Aaden. “What’s important now is that we got what we came for. At least we’re pretty sure we did. All we want now is to get some sleep.”
“Interesting,” Chef replied. “If you’ll follow me, I’ll be happy to lead you back to the helicopter.”
Team SoNaR made it back to the helicopter without incident. They soon fell into a deep but fitful sleep.
Not far from the airport, a phone call was placed.
“Good evening. It’s Mr. Zhang.”
“Team SoNaR found the first clue.”
“You saw them do it?”
A sigh of relief. “Perfect. Keep me updated.”
“Absolutely. Good night.”