Trials: Part Twenty Nine

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Vanessa climbed onto a large pink disc, and carefully floated upwards. She had to move around some to avoid trees, but before long she was above the treeline. She looked out and saw green trees as far as she could see. She had hoped there would be some kind of civilization, or that they’d at least be able to see the prison, but there was nothing. Not too far from her was a hole in the trees. She couldn’t quite make out what it was, but hoped it would be water or someone’s house. She took note of what direction it was in, and floated back down.

She saw Darryl and Ashley, waiting patiently on the ground.

“So, what did you see?” Darryl asked.

“There’s no cities or anything nearby, I can’t even see the prison from here.” She shook her head. “There’s something not too far from here. It might be water, or something.” She pointed in the direction of the clearing.

“Alright. Let’s go, then.” Darryl began to walk, but stopped in his tracks. “Can I have one of my knives? I want to mark a tree, so we can find the pit if we need to.”

Vanessa shook her head. “We’ll leave a trail, like we did throughout the cave.”

“I’m not sure about that, someone could follow us.” Darryl replied.

“I’m not sure about giving you a weapon, so this is our best bet. Nobody will follow us.” Vanessa led on to the clearing.

They walked for about thirty minutes, until they reached the clearing. The forest was overgrown here, and it was difficult for them to make their way through the brush. They finally arrived at a river. It was about twenty feet wide here, but seemed to narrow about a hundred feet upstream and downstream.

Darryl approached the water’s edge, and stared into it. After a moment, he dipped his finger in, and tasted it. After a moment he nodded, and smiled. “Fresh water, this is good. I will get a fire going.” He started to move, but paused, and turned to Vanessa. “Actually, before that, I want to know why you do not trust me. You read my mind, and saw my story was true. What do you want?”

“I don’t know…” Vanessa looked to Ashley. “What do you think?”

“He’s always been nice, but you’re the one who read his mind. Was he telling the truth?”

Vanessa looked off to the side. He was telling the truth, but she couldn’t stop thinking of all of the ways he could betray them. Especially if they let him have his stuff back. It was possible that this was all a trap set by Takeo. On the other hand, it sounded like he had some amount of survival skills, which she certainly didn’t have. They probably couldn’t make it without him.

“Alright, fine. You’re right. I trust you.” She nodded. She had to, or else they didn’t stand a chance.

“Alright. Good.” Darryl nodded. “I am going to get a fire going. Can you make anything besides a disc out of the pink stuff?”

“No…” She shook her head. She’d tried before, back in training with Jude, but they were never able to make any other shapes.

“When you break it, it turns to glass though, yes?”

“Well, I don’t know that it’s actually glass, but something like it, yeah.”

“Good. While I’m getting a fire going, I want you to see if water passes through it when it isn’t broken.”

“Okay?” Vanessa went up to the river, and made a disc. She dipped it in, and saw the water go around it. “Nope, water doesn’t pass through.” She called back to him.

“Great. Give me a few minutes.”

Darryl cleared off the dirt, and made a pile of dead pine needles, with a triangle of wood around it. He also made a decently large pile of sticks off to the side.

“Alright, give me a disc.” Darryl held out his hand, and Vanessa gave him one.

Darryl looked up into the sky, and held the disk over the pine needles. After a few moments, the pine needles began to smoke. Soon enough, he had a small fire going. He looked to Vanessa, “Alright, I need you to go cut some firewood using your powers. Pick any of the smaller trees and cut it so they won’t fall on you. Do it over there so they don’t fall on me either, I will call if I need you.” He turned to Ashley. “You help her, and bring me wood as she cuts it.”

After about an hour of work, Vanessa had cut a good stack of firewood. She was about to start on another tree, when she heard Darryl.

“Vanessa, come here! I need your help.”

“Coming!” She made her way back to camp, and saw that Darryl had a good sized fire going. It had been a bit since they came out of the cave, and she was starting to get really thirsty. “I appreciate the fire, but could we maybe get some water?”

“Well, first we have to purify it, since just drinking that,” he pointed to the river, “could kill you from dysentery.”

“Alright, how do we do that?”

“First make a disc that’s about two feet wide. Then I want you to hover it over the fire. I want to see if we can get it to melt into being a bowl.” Darryl stepped back from the fire.

Vanessa complied with his request, and hovered the disc over the fire. After a while, the center started to droop.

“Alright, now move it off of the fire…” Darryl moved out of the way. “Towards the river, but don’t put it in.”

A few minutes passed, and the disc drooped a little more, then stopped.

“Alright, now gently lower it in…”

Vanessa gently lowered it into the river. The water sizzled as it made contact, and eventually it was fully submerged. After a few moments, Vanessa levitated the disc out of the water, and back to shore.

“Great! We have a bowl!” Darryl smiled. “Now, we need to fill it up about halfway with water, and bring it to a boil.”

Vanessa groaned. She was so thirsty, but if this would get her water, she would do it. The sun was starting to get lower now, and by the time she had the water boiled and cooled, it was almost dark. They all drank up, and sat around the fire.

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(Art credit: WordPress Free Photo Library)

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