At around 7:45 A.M. the next morning, Elias got out of bed and quietly crept down the stairs, trying not to wake anybody else up.
His efforts failed. As he sneaked past Tiff's room, she woke up with a start. Noticing that Elias was already awake, she decided to follow him.
"Psst! Elias!" Tiff whispered as she quickly exited her room. "What's going on?"
"Oh! Hi there, Tiff!" Elias replied in a soft voice. "I'm going to the library to finish that book that I started reading last night."
"The library?!! Is that where you were all day yesterday??!"
"Yep. I'm trying to find all sorts of information about Carrotus' history! You would not believe some of the secrets about this planet! Secrets that not even King Jazz knows about!"
"Coolness! Can I come too?"
"Sure! I could use the company!"
"WOW!! This place is HUGE!!!" Tiff said as she looked around the library.
"Isn't it, though?... Huh?!"
"What is it, Elias?"
"I don't know-- I'm getting this cold feeling that we're being watched."
"It must be your imagination. I don't see any cameras around here."
"Tiff... this is a castle! There are NO security cameras anywhere!"
"Oh... right.... So, about this book--"
"It's right over there!" Elias stated, pointing to the table where he sat the previous night.
The duo sat down. Elias opened the book and turned to the exact page where he had stopped at the other night.
"Hey... what's this for a story?" Tiff asked. "The Legend of the Diamondus Blaster...sounds corny."
"I know... but I was just about to start in on this story when Eva came up to me and told me that I needed to get to bed, seeing how late it was."
Elias turned the page and read for a little bit. "Hmm... INTERESTING!!!"
"What? What is it?" Tiff wondered, trying to read over Elias' shoulder.
"It says here that the legendary Diamondus Blaster was made of magical diamonds found inside one of the planet's temples! The diamonds enabled scientists to create a powerful blaster, enabling whoever possesses it to..."
"Well? Keep going!!!"
"I can't! Some of the pages have been ripped out! Now who would do a thing like that?"
"Probably someone who wanted to keep it a secret." Tiff replied.
Elias turned the page and noticed a old, brown, and tattered piece of paper. "Hello... what's this?"
"Careful! That thing looks old!!"
"No problem! I can easily make it look like new!"
"Simple!" Elias said, taking out his blaster.
"Oh no-- you're not gonna do what I think you're gonna do, are you?"
"You bet I am!"
Elias turned the setting on his blaster to something that had never been seen before on any other... an option to turn back the clock on whatever he shot at. He then fired a strange, blue ray onto the paper.
Like magic, the paper started to look as if it had just been made.
Within seconds, Elias could make out certain details of the paper.
"Let's see... there's a bunch of trees, a desert, a strange-looking building, and an X."
"Yep... oh, my gosh!" Elias said, realizing what the paper was. "This is some sort of map!"
"Cool! Let's show it to the gang!"
Elias and Tiff looked behind them and saw Jazz standing right behind them.
Despite his best wishes, Jazz and Tiff finally managed to convince Elias to go back to bed. They then closed the door behind them as they left. Tiff began to speak to Jazz.
"I wonder... you don't suppose that the Diamondus Blaster is real, do you, Jazz?"
"I don't know, Tiff... but that doesn't give Elias a good enough reason to start shouting.... To tell you the truth, I think the death of his parents is getting to him royally."
"Yeah... to lose your only living relatives at such a young age-- I guess no one can ever forget that."
"I know I wouldn't, but death is just part of life. We have to learn to accept it."
"You should talk. You faced it every day when you fought Devan's minions."
"I still face it.... I mean, just because I'm a king now, that doesn't mean I can't help the realm like I did when I was a prince!"
"I see... well, I sure hope Elias gets over it soon enough."
What neither of them realized was that Elias was in a very deep sleep. It was as if his soul was taken to another world-- and as a matter of fact, it was....
"Um... excuse me!" Elias said in a low voice.
"Yes? May I help you?"
"I'm looking for a book... it's called Precious Gems: Legends of Diamondus. You wouldn't happen to know where it's at, do you?"
"I need to see your library card first."
Elias pulled it out and showed it to the receptionist, who in turn scanned it. "Oh! Night Fire told me to expect you! Welcome to our library, Elias!" she said, giving the card back to him.
"Thanks... now, about that book--"
"We have a floor for every type of book ever made: Mysteries, Action, Drama, Suspense, Legends..."
"I think I get the idea... could you tell me what floor it's on?"
"The Legends are on the 25th Floor. You should ask the man at the counter to help you find what you're looking for once you get there."
"Thanks!" Elias said as he rushed toward the elevator.
"Hmm-- this is interesting."
"What is?" Qui-Gon asked.
"Well, the Diamondus Blaster was made out of magical diamonds that were hidden deep within one of the planet's temples. Scientists used the mystic properties of the diamonds to create a powerful blaster, enabling whoever possesses it to... oh, my gosh!"
"What? What is it?!!"
"It says that whoever possesses the Diamondus Blaster has the power to become practically invulnerable... as well as grant immortality!!"
"No way... that kind of power is forbidden!"
"I know... it makes me wonder-- what if Devan managed to get a hold of it?!!"
"Kid, before you get too engrossed in that, you might want to read the rest of the legend."
"Yeah. I think I'd--"
Suddenly, a bell chimed, and everybody started to leave.
"I think you'd better wait until this afternoon. The library is closed until 1:30 P.M."
With that, Elias and Qui-Gon left... too bad they didn't know that they were being watched....
(No offense to you Star Wars fans out there, but in my opinion, Episode 1 has gotten WAY too much hype! I apologize to those who I may have offended.)
"Why did you act so surprised, then?"
"Well," Elias started, "it's just that I've never actually seen one before...."
"I see. Do you want to hold it?"
"Um-- thanks for offering, but no thanks! I don't wanna accidentally cut someone's hand off."
Both Night Fire and Qui-Gon chuckled.
"I understand... after all, a lightsaber can be a dangerous weapon if it's in inexperienced hands."
"Thanks-- I think."
That's when Elias turned his head to one side. "WHOA!!! WHAT'S THAT?!!" he shouted, pointing to a huge building.
"That's our Spirit Temple." Night Fire stated.
"We use it to worship the Spirit spirits.... (Geez... what a play on words!)"
"Is that all?!!"
"Of course. After all, that's what keeps us from disappearing from the face of the earth. If it was ever torn down or destroyed, we would no longer exist, and neither would this place."
"I guess that's true...."
"In fact, the Spirit Temple and the Diamondus Blaster are connected to each other... but I think you should find out how." Qui-Gon explained.
"Why don't we find out now?" Elias asked, looking at his watch. "It's 1:30. The library should be open again."
"Great! Let's go!" Night Fire stated.
With that, our heroes left the cafe and headed back to the library.
Meanwhile, in the fiery depths of Hell, a hooded stranger watched on. Not Devan Shell, but somebody much worse!
"Yes... yes... go on, Elias! Find out how the Spirit Temple and the Diamondus Blaster are related. After all, whatever you discover will also be kept in my memory!"
The stranger lifted his hood....
"The quest for the Blaster
Will never be done....
It sits in the Diamondus Temple
Waiting for the Chosen One.
The strength of the Blaster
Is equal to that of the heart.
And when the Chosen One obtains it,
They will never grow apart.
The key to the Blaster
Is in a temple where no mortal has been...
But the Chosen One shall fight for it,
And she will eventually win.
The bond between the Blaster
And the Chosen One will grow strong.
Soon, they will become unstoppable...
For she can never do anything wrong!"
Elias looked up toward Qui-Gon and Night Fire. "The Chosen One is a girl? Hmm! That's never happened in a story before!"
"That's right... but we've never seen her before... all we have is a picture of the dame... look on page 433." Night Fire replied.
Elias turned to the page instructed... and nearly flipped out of his seat! "OH, MY GOSH!!!" he quietly shouted.
"Do you know this girl?" Qui-Gon asked.
"You bet I do! That hot pink color... that purple star on her forehead... this has GOT to be Tiff!!"
"Hmm... interesting! Do you know where she is?"
"Yeah... she's somewhere inside Castle Carrotus. The only way to know for sure, though, is if I went back to the Mortal World."
"Well, then... you'd better take this with you." Night Fire replied, handing Elias a gold bracelet.
"Why do I need this?"
"If she is to receive the Diamondus Blaster, she has to come to the Spirit World. This bracelet will allow you to bring up to 5 other people into the Spirit World in their mortal form."
"Ok... well, I'm outta here!" Elias said as he started to dissapear.
"Good luck, Elias!"
"So... this Tiff character is the Chosen One, eh? Well, this will give me plenty of time to get to the Spirit Temple and swipe the Diamondus Blaster before she can get it!"
The stranger turned around as if he was facing a camera.... He was a black rabbit with grey stars on the palms of his hands. He had a jet black medallion around his neck with an etching of a jaguar on it-- you could say that he was a dark version of none other than...
(I hope you don't mind if I give you a nickname, Falcon....)
"Uh-huh... man! What a dream! It almost seemed real."
"What almost seemed real?" Lori questioned.
Elias looked at Lori. "I don't think even YOU would believe... me--"
That's when Elias noticed the gold bracelet was still around his wrist. "Um-- could you all leave, please? That is, except for Tiff."
Everyone respected Elias' request and exited the room. Tiff then went to Elias and sat down on the bed next to him.
After a long silence, Elias finally spoke up. "I'll bet you're wondering why I asked you to stay here with me."
"Yeah-- I am." Tiff replied.
"Well, this dream that I'm talking about... it actually WAS real-- this bracelet proves it!"
"You didn't have that before you went back to sleep, did you?"
"Who gave that to you?"
"Some rabbit by the name of Night Fire. He's the Guardian of the Spirit World."
"The Spirit World?!! I thought that place was just a legend!! Is that where people go when they die?"
"Yeah.... The odd thing is, I'm not dead. But I do know this... I found out the rest of the legend behind the Diamondus Blaster."
"It says that whoever possesses the Blaster will be granted the power to become invulnerable... as well as immortal!"
Tiff's eyes widened. "Oh, my gosh! That makes me think... what if Devan got a hold of it?!!"
"I don't even wanna know! But I also know this... the only one capable of possessing the Diamondus Blaster is known as the Chosen One... guess who that Chosen One is?"
"How many guesses do I have?"
"Three... and the first two don't count!"
"OK... is it one of the Jackrabbit Brothers?"
Elias shook his head.
Tiff got the same response.
"Not even close! Think! It's the only other person in this room besides me!"
"You mean... I'M the Chosen One?... GET OUTTA TOWN!!!" Tiff yelled, laughing.
"It's true though," Elias replied, his voice unchanged.
Tiff immediately stopped laughing. "You're serious, aren't you?"
"If I'm not, then may a bolt of lightning come down and stike me!"
"You ARE serious! OK, then... how do I get this blaster?"
"Well, I'm gonna need you, the Jackrabbit Clan, and Falco to meet me in the castle gardens at midnight tonight! I expect all of you to be there!"
"OK... I'll tell the others."
"Go... do it now!"
"OK, OK, OK! I'm going!" Tiff said, leaving the room.
Elias gulped. "I sure hope this works!" he thought to himself.
"Man! Where could she and the others possibly be at? I told her to meet me here at precisely midnight!"
Elias was pacing around the gardens, checking his watch every few seconds... he was VERY impatient, something that he'd never been before....
Elias checked his watch again. "C'mon, Tiff! You shoulda been here by now!"
Suddenly, Elias heard a slight rustling in the bushes. Turning toward the noise, he saw none other than Tiff rushing towards him, with the others quickly following her.
"Is everyone here with you?"
"Yes... but I brought a couple extra people, just in case."
"Who are they?"
"Baeauman and Charge! Who else?
"Charge? That name sounds familiar.... Isn't he that rabbit who carries a sword around-- the same sword that can deflect ANYTHING?!!"
"The very same," Tiff replied.
"Well, to tell you the truth, it's nice that you want to bring them along, but this bracelet will only allow me to take five others with me to the Spirit World...."
Tiff looked at Elias with a stern look on his face. "You mean, they can't come with us?"
"I'm afraid not...."
"No way! Either they come with us or I stay here!" she told him.
Elias sighed. "All right, I'll try. I'm not sure if Night Fire's gonna be happy about this, though."
"C'mon, kid! We didn't get up in the middle of the night just to look at the stars, you know!" Spaz complained, kicking a rock.
"All right! Everyone... sit down around the fire...."
"What fire?" Lori asked.
"That one!" Elias replied, pointing to a campfire.
"That wasn't there a few seconds ago, Elias! Where did it come from?"
"Never mind that. Just do as I tell you and sit down around it!"
Elias closed his eyes and concentrated. Soon, Night Fire came up from the flames of the fire.
"Are you ready?" Night Fire asked.
"We are... I sure hope you can accommodate for a couple of extra rabbits, though."
"Elias, I told you that you can only bring five others with you...."
"It was either this or Tiff stayed here...."
Night Fire rolled his eyes. "Girls... always wanting their own way! It's a good thing I never got married!... All right, but I'm not sure if my bracelet can handle this!"
Time: 12:07 A.M.
Place: Spirit World
"Wow! It worked!" Night fire exclaimed.
"Of course it worked! I'm the Chosen One, remember?" Tiff asked.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah... whatever! So, Night Fire-- how do we reach the Spirit Temple?" Baeauman asked.
"Just head west across the desert. It'll take a couple of nights to cross it.... Or, if you want to get there ASAP, it's a one-day trip! Be careful of quicksand, though-- especially YOU, Tiff!" Night Fire warned.
"Thanks, Night Fire!" Elias said. He then turned to the rest of the group. "So, should we reach it in a day, or should we only trek at night?"
"Doesn't matter to me..." Charge replied. "Maybe you should ask Tiff."
"All right then, Tiff... how soon do you want to get there?"
"I knew we'd have to travel across a desert, so I brought plenty of fresh water... not to mention a bunch of SANDwiches!"
Everybody groaned at the joke. "That was horrible, Tiff!" Spaz said. "I liked it!"
Jazz and Lori rolled their eyes.
"So, I guess this means we travel during the day, right Tiff?" Elias asked.
"Right... now let's go!"
With that, the eight brave souls headed out for the desert, with Tiff leading the way.
At that very same moment in the Spirit Temple, Dark Elias had just made it inside the central chamber.
"It's mine at last! The Diamondus Gem (no relation to the one on Eva's ring...) the key to the Diamondus Blaster-- is mine at last!!!"
He put the Diamondus Gem into his backpack. "Let those fools come here! I'll destroy them all-- and once I do, then no one will be able to stop me! MWA-HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!"
First Attempt: Miss
Second Attempt: Miss
Third Attempt: Miss
"So much for the third time being the charm!" Elias grumbled.
Fourth Attempt: Miss
Fifth Attempt: Miss
Sixth Attempt: SUCCESS!
"All right everybody... if possible, grab the rope! If you can't, move nice and slow until your hands are free!"
It felt like an eternity as Tiff, Elias, and the rest of the group pulled themselves out of the quicksand. As soon as Lori was out, they all breathed a sigh of relief.
"Am I glad that's over!" Tiff said, exhausted. "Who wants some water?"
"ME!!!" everyone shouted at once.
"OK, then... drink up!"
"Ahh... now THAT was refreshing!" Jazz said. "Now, are we going to continue on to the Spirit Temple?"
"May as well." Tiff replied.
Everyone followed Tiff as she led the way. It's as if by gut instinct, she knew exactly where the Spirit Temple was.
Suddenly, Elias, who was at the back of the pack, cried out in pain. "OW!!! WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT?!!"
"What's wrong, Elias? Did you stub your toe on something?" Lori questioned.
"You bet I did! It seems like some sort of chest!"
"Chest?!! As in TREASURE CHEST?!!"
"I don't know... but I'm gonna find out!!"
Elias reached into the chest. Inside of it was indeed a treasure, but not the type everyone expected.
"What are those?!! Some fancy-looking gloves or something?!" Jazz questioned.
"Whatever they are, they sure have a nice silver color to them!" Elias replied, holding the open-fingered gloves in his hand.
"Some treasure! As far as I'm concerned... get rid of them!" Charge said angrily.
"No way!" Elias started, putting the gloves on. "They look kinda cool to me!"
"Well then, you can keep them, for all I care! I was hoping it would be gold or precious gems... not this!"
Just then, Lori, who hadn't been paying attention because of the book she was reading, gasped.
Everyone turned toward Lori. "What's up, sis?" Jazz asked.
"Oh, Night Fire gave me this book shortly before we left. It has all sorts of interesting info on legendary stuff... guess what Elias is wearing right now?!!"
"Um-- silver gloves... what else?" Spaz answered.
"These aren't just ordinary silver gloves, Spaz... those are the Silver Gauntlets!"
"Silver Gauntlets?" everyone asked at once.
"It says here that the Silver Gauntlets will allow the one who wears them to lift heavy objects like they were feathers!!"
(Oh, brother! Now I know I've been playing too much of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time!)
"Whatever... I'll believe it when I see it!" Falco stated.
"Enough of this stuff about legends and that!" Tiff suddenly yelled out. "I've got a blaster to claim, and I don't want to be late for my date with destiny!"
"All right, then! Let's go!" Elias answered.
With that, everyone continued toward the Spirit Temple, which was now just barely in sight.
"WOW!! Is this place huge or WHAT?!!" Falco yelled, impressed at the size of the temple.
"I'll say! It must be at least 300 feet high!" Jazz replied.
"Actually, it's 547 feet!" a mysterious voice answered.
Everyone turned toward the direction of the voice and saw a grey rabbit with dark blue equipment.
"Who are you?" Elias asked.
"Me? I am Wizard. I've been searching for the Diamondus Blaster for 10 years."
"Oh, you've heard about it too, eh?"
"Yes... but I can't even get past the first room of the Spirit Temple, even with my incredible strength!"
"That's probably because you aren't the Chosen One." Tiff said, stepping forward.
"Oh, and I suppose you are?"
"Actually, she is!" Elias replied.
"Prove it, then! If you can successfully get the Diamondus Gem (no relation to the one on Eva's ring,) you can HAVE the Diamondus Blaster for all I care!"
"Would you like to join us?" Tiff asked.
Wizard thought for a few moments, then spoke again. "All right... but I sure hope you ARE the Chosen One!"
That having been said, all nine of our heroes slowly stepped into the Spirit Temple, not knowing of the dangers ahead....
Around two hours had passed, and our heroes had made it past rolling rocks, dangerous enemies, perilous puzzles, and other hazards, all while finding keys that allowed them to advance even further into the temple. Soon, they had arrived at the door that would take them to the Central Chamber.
"Wow! Look at the size of that lock!" Spaz exclaimed.
"Yeah! It must be what this big key is for!" Elias replied as he put it into the lock.
"Finally, we're gonna be able to get the Diamondus Gem, which is the key to obtaining the Diamondus Blaster!" Tiff said with some excitement in her voice.
The door slowly opened. Our heroes walked inside.
"HEY!! WHERE IS IT?!!" Tiff shouted, now getting frustrated. "We came all this way, only to discover that the Diamondus Gem is gone! Who could've possibly gotten here before us?!!"
Just then, the sound of a sword being pulled out of its sheath was heard across the room. Everyone turned toward the noise and saw a dark stranger. "Maybe I can answer that for you-- TIFF!!"
"Who are you? How do you know my name?!!"
"You might say that Elias told me...."
Everyone looked at Elias with a look of death.
"Hey, don't look at me like that! I have no idea what he's talking about!" Elias stated, trying to defend himself.
"Oh, come on, Elias! Of course you do... after all, whatever you learn in real life, I learn as well in the darkest depths of Hell!"
"DEVAN!!" everyone shouted at once.
"Not even close!" the stranger replied, lifting his hood.
That's when Elias noticed the jet-black medallion hanging around the stranger's neck. "That medallion-- it looks exactly like..."
"Yes... who are you, anyway?!" Elias questioned, pulling his sword out.
"I am your worst nightmare, Elias...."
"...And this is because?"
"I know all of your darkest secrets, from the day your parents were killed, to when you first set first foot on Carrotus, to when you first met Lori, etc."
"WHAT?!! All right bub... who exactly are you, and what do you want?"
"I want your friend... after all, she's the only one capable of obtaining the Diamondus Blaster... and you, Elias-- you can call me..."
"I can call you what? Who are you, already?!!"
"I... am the being known as-- DARK ELIAS!!!"
With that, almost as if a switch had been thrown, both Elias and Dark Elias leapt toward each other, content on destroying their twin self!
"Sun's mighty... rays, I-- summon thee...
Do as I ask... and-- answer my plea!
Bring... your soothing rays down-- upon me...
And allow me to fight-- for justice and peace!"
(Anyone recognize where THAT came from?)
Rays of sunlight suddenly came down upon Elias, healing him instantly.
Dark Elias watched in awe as his lighter self slowly got up off of the floor. "I don't believe it... even I didn't know that!"
Elias got up and put his blaster away. He then reached into his backpack and grabbed his bow and arrows. He slipped the quiver over his shoulder and took an arrow out.
Dark Elias, knowing what was about to happen, immediately grabbed his medallion. At the exact same moment, Elias grabbed his medallion and started transforming. Within seconds, both combatants had morphed into jaguars, and both were intent on slashing each other to ribbons!
However, Dark Elias had not noticed what had happened while he was transforming. His eyes had been closed so tightly that it allowed Elias to sneak over to him, reach for his cloak, and snatch the Diamondus Gem right out from under his nose!
"Hey, Dark Elias!" Elias shouted upon finishing his transformation. "Look what I've got!"
Dark Elias looked at his lighter self, shocked at what had happened. "How did you get that?!!" he yelled.
"That's for ME to know and for YOU to find out!" Elias replied, tossing the Diamondus Gem to Tiff.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah... save it for later!" Elias shouted, running back to our heroes. "Quick! Get on my back and we are outta here!"
Everyone did so. Within minutes, our heroes were out of the temple and on their way back to the city.
(Methinks Elias is being protective of Lori... good thing he's not NORMALLY like that!)
"Whoa... what's up with that?!!" Night Fire asked Elias.
"Nothing, except for the fact that..."
"Oh, Elias! We may be in love with each other, but that-- OOPS!!" Lori shouted, covering her mouth with her hands.
Jazz and Spaz looked at Lori, then at Elias, then at Lori again. "So THAT'S why I caught the two of you kissing after Elias saved you!" Jazz said, a sinister tone dominating his voice.
"Well, um... er, ah-- I mean..." Lori stuttered.
"HEY!!!" Tiff shouted in a deafening tone. "I've got a blaster to find, and I'm not gonna let Dark Elias, or love, for that matter, stop me from getting it!!"
"Sheesh, Tiff! What a voice!" Elias replied, covering his ears with his paws.
"Well, then, I suggest we get going!" Baeauman said. "But, how do we get out of here?"
"Simple!" Night Fire answered.
Just then, Night Fire lifted his arms up and started to utter one of his mystical incantations... but nobody could hear it because of the fact that he was doing it psychically. (Yes, that is a real word!)
Before any of our heroes knew it... everything went black....
By the time Elias returned, everybody had regained their consciousness. "Falco... please don't get into such gruesome detail again, OK?"
"I got sick to my stomach, that's why! I can stand the blood... but when it comes to total mutilation, just thinking about it makes me wanna--"
"All right, already!! I get the picture!" Falco interrupted.
"Man... where are we?" Lori questioned. "I've never seen THIS part of Diamondus before! It's so... depressing...."
That's when Elias FINALLY felt the rain pouring down onto his fur. "Oh, great!" he grumbled....
"What?" Baeauman asked.
"NICE GOING, NIGHT FIRE! YOU'VE TELEPORTED US TO THE WRONG PLANET!!!" Elias suddenly shouted in his loudest voice.
"What are you talking about?!!" Wizard questioned.
"Can't you feel the rain? Can't you see the castle in the distance?! Can't you see that there's no PLANT LIFE on this planet?!!"
Jazz suddenly noticed all of these things the moment Elias mentioned them. "Your friend needs some work on his teleportation skills! He's sent us to Medivo!!"
"...And for good reason!"
Everybody turned toward the voice just in time to see Night Fire appear before them.
"All right, Night Fire... what's the deal here?! Why are we on Medivo?!!" Elias shouted.
"Simple... you need to raid the castle over there!" Night Fire answered.
"The Diamondus Gem is only one of three keys to the Diamondus Blaster... you'll also need the Medivo and Tubelectric Gems if you wish to obtain it."
"Why didn't you tell us this before?" Spaz asked, confusion in his voice.
"If I told you, then this wouldn't be much of a story, right?"
Elias sighed. "So, what you're saying is that 3 GEMS are required to obtain the Diamondus Blaster!"
"Yep! However... this time, I'll be helping you along the way."
"Ok, then... you can help us now by teleporting all of us to the castle gates!" Elias ordered.
In less than a minute, all ten heroes were silently walking into the castle... only Night Fire knew of the traps and hazards that haunted it, so he led the group.
"Follow me..." he whispered.
(Hey, I'm TRYING to remember to put all of you in so I won't forget who exactly is in it... I'll tell you this... it ain't easy!)
"Well... I'll tell you this much. You've got to figure out which combination will open that door over there." Night Fire replied, pointing to a door at the far side of the room.
"Combination meaning which ones stay up and which ones go down, right?" Tiff asked.
"Nine switches and too many combinations! We may never get out of here!" Falco complained.
"Well, we certainly won't unless we start trying!" Lori answered.
"Right! Let's get to it!" Elias ordered.
(That's the most I've heard Spaz TALK in this story... I'm impressed at him!)
"We've tried every possibility... including putting all of the switches down. What are we doing wrong?!!" Elias questioned.
Suddenly, Tiff was struck with an idea. "Move it, people!" she ordered as she stepped up to the puzzle.
Almost by instinct, Tiff started randomly flipping switches. By the time she was done, it looked something like this:
Up, Up, Down, Down, Down, Up, Up, Down, Up.
The door suddenly opened, allowing our heroes to continue onward into the castle.
"What th--?!! We tried that combination, but it didn't open for us!! How did you do it?!" Wizard asked.
"Don't forget, Wizard... I AM the Chosen One... which just might mean that I possess a special touch that allows us to get out of the most hopeless of situations!" Tiff explained.
"OK... sorta!" Elias mumbled.
Suddenly, Night Fire interrupted the conversation. "HOLD IT!!!" he ordered in his loudest voice.
Everyone covered their ears. "Geez, Night Fire!" Falco shouted. "What are you trying to do? Blast our eardrums to bits?!!"
"No... I just wanted you all to notice the floor." Night Fire replied, pointing to it.
"Hmm... it seems that there are all sorts of different colors on this floor. Green, purple, pink, yellow, red, orange, blue..." Elias commented.
(Anyone notice the connection between the colors and our heroes? I sure hope so!!!)
"Only ONE of those colors is safe to step on." Night Fire explained. "Any other color will cause a poison dart to zip out of the wall, leaving no time for the unfortunate victim to react."
"I've got a BETTER idea!" Elias said, reaching into his backpack.
"Don't bother... it can tell what color you're over and activate the trap anyway."
"Drat!" Elias replied, kicking a stone.
"So, how are we gonna tell which color is safe to step on?" Lori asked.
"Trial-and-error... what else?" Tiff replied.
"Well, then, I suggest we get to work!" Elias stated, heading for the multicolored floor.
After crossing the lethal floor, our heroes soon came to a small room with two glowing gems.
"Wow! Which one do we grab?!!" Elias questioned, sctatching his head. "Both of them look exactly alike...."
"I know..." Night Fire started. "However, one of them is a fake! If you choose that one, the entire castle will explode."
"EXPLODE?!! COOL!" Spaz yelled out.
"It is if you wanna be splattered all over the surface of Medivo, Spaz..." Wizard and Baeauman replied.
"Double cool!" Spaz answered.
Everyone rolled their eyes at once.
"So, which one is it?" Elias asked.
"Neither of them are!" a voice answered.
Elias turned around and saw his dark self once again... this time, with a few friends!
"YOU AGAIN!!! What do you mean neither of them are real?!!"
"Simple... I took the actual item!" Dark Elias told his lighter self, holding the Medivo Gem in his hand.
"Give that back!" Tiff yelled, running toward Dark Elias.
"Not so fast, Tiff!" another voice said, swatting Tiff in the side of the face.
"OW!!! Who are you?!!
"Try... DARK TIFF!!!"
"Another fight?!!" Elias mumbled to himself.
Sure enough, Tiff and her dark self started fighting... only one of them would reamin standing....
(Note: No, Tiff... you're not suffering from the "Damsel in Distress" syndrome! It's just that sometimes, even I don't know what's going to happen! That's my brain at work!"
Elias ran toward Tiff, intent on rescuing her, no matter how many times he shocked himself! He lunged toward the web, but it was too late. Dark Elias had disappeared, taking Tiff with him!
(Note: This is gonna require some strong language.... Viewer discretion is advised!)
"Why that no-good-for-nothing BASTARD of a dark self! Now he's got Tiff as his prisoner!! What's worse, he's also got the Medivo Gem!"
"I wouldn't say that," Night Fire replied, holding up the gem.
"How did you--"
"Never mind that... we now have to locate your dark side and rescue Tiff! If she's killed, the Diamondus Blaster is free for the taking!!!"
"Oh, shoot!" Elias yelled.
Sure enough, Night Fire had managed to transport everyone to Tubelectric.
Elias was shocked at the sight before him. "I've been to Tubelectric before, but I've never seen this part of the planet!"
"It's the Tubelectric Temple... one of the most heavily guarded of all temples in the Jazz universe!" Night Fire declared.
"Uh... right. Anyway... forget about that fact... let's just get Tiff while we still can!"
With that, everyone advanced into the brightly-lit temple....
"So... now what?" Falco asked.
"We find our way through this place...." Elias answered.
"How?!! The only light we have is coming from that torch! Unless the power comes back on, we're victims of anything and everything!" Spaz declared.
"Um... people? Did you hear that?" Night Fire asked, fear dominating his voice.
"Unfortunately... yes!" Falco replied.
Suddenly, the floor beneath our heroes gave way, causing them to fall down a deep pit.
"WHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" everyone shouted as they fell.
It was only a few seconds before our heroes hit the ground, but it felt like an eternity!
"OUCH!!" Lori shouted as she came into contact with the hard, stone floor. "That's gonna hurt for a while...."
"Hah! That's nothing! How are we gonna get outta this place?!!" Falco shouted.
"Elias... what about that rope?"
"We fell about fifty feet down-- my rope isn't that long...."
"Hmm... I've always wanted to try one of these..." Night Fire mumbled.
"Try one of what?" Falco questioned.
"In addition to the Flame Bolts, I've also been working on some Signal Flares... you know, like the kind they use whenever a ship is sinking?"
Night Fire aimed up and fired one of his Flares toward the top of the pit. It zoomed up and eventually burst into flames.
"Now... let's hope that someone saw that."
"Night Fire... I don't mean to be rude or anything, but we're in a temple! No one hardly enteres these places! How on Tubelectric do you expect to--"
"Did someone here send up a distress signal?"
Everyone looked up and saw a rabbit shrouded in a dark cloak... not Dark Elias, but someone else....
After everyone was out of the pit, Elias turned to Sabin. "You say that you're the Guardian of this temple, right?"
"Um-- what are you doing?"
"You know, you look a lot like another rabbit that rushed in here. The only thing different about him was that he was jet black in color... and he had a black medallion. He also had a girl with him--"
"Say no more..." Elias interrupted. "That HAD to be my dark self that you saw! He has one of my friends, and he's using her to get to the legendary Diamondus Blaster..."
"I kinda suspected that... she DID have a frightened looked on her face. She was as scared as a rabbit! (No pun intended....)"
"We've got to stop him, no matter what the cost! I'll even get myself killed trying to save her!"
"I see... well, go on ahead. I'll be around in case you need me again."
"How will we contact you?" Lori asked.
"Simple... just have Night Fire send up one of those signal flares! Better yet, use one of those Lightning Rods.... Since you cut the power to this place, I'm having a little bit of trouble seeing. After all, I'm a rabbit, not a cat!"
Elias chuckled upon hearing this remark.
"Huh? What's so funny?" Sabin asked.
"I happen to be both!" Elias answered.
"Don't worry. You'll see it soon enough!"
"Oh... OK. Well, good luck!"
With that, Sabin disappeared, allowing our heroes to venture deeper into the temple.
"Hang on, Tiff... we're coming!" Elias thought to himself.