by Mama Dee
Disclaimer: Love 'em and leave 'em 'cause they don't belong to me. That honour belongs to the WB.
Summary: The kids take off for Mexico to continue their adventure.
Category: After Hours
Authors Note: This is the final installment of the trilogy.......please see Fantasies (part 1) and Realities ( part 2). I had to move the geological location of some sites for literary purposes.
Michael stirred, coughing and spitting dust out of his mouth as he sat up painfully from his sprawled position on the uneven cave floor. It was pitch black, so he reached around and pulled off his pack, groping for the zipper. He searched inside until he felt the hard case of his flashlight and pulled it from the bag. He switched it on and the beam shot out, highlighting the dust motes still spiralling around inside the cave.
He spun the light around searching for his friends. He reached out beside him as he felt a limb touching his left leg. He shone the light down.
"Maria," he choked out, as he bent down to check her pulse. He forced in a shaky breath, tears welling up in his eyes, when he detected a light flutter under his outstretched fingers. "Thank God," he muttered. He checked her body over. She had many abrasions and a laceration on her forehead. She lay on her right side and he could tell that her breathing was shallow but not forced. She didn't appear to be suffering from any broken bones, but it was hard to tell in the dark.
He felt a body pressing into him on his right side. He turned his beam in that direction and shone it towards the pulverized body that presented itself. It was Alex and he was in pretty bad shape. It appeared as though he had taken the brunt of the impact, helping to break Michael's fall, which had saved him from serious injury. His face was badly cut and bruised and his collarbone shot up from his shoulder. His right leg was sticking out at an awkward angle.
Michael checked him for signs of life. He had difficulty detecting a pulse and searched frantically until he felt a slight beat in his carotid. He was alive but just barely. He leaned back against the rock wall as his mind took all this in. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard a cough coming across from him, aways off.
He shone the beam in that direction and Kyle held up his arm to shield himself from the glare.
"Kyle," Michael called out. "Are you alright?" Michael asked anxiously.
"Yeah, I think so. NO.....wait, I think my ankles broken," he indicated as he reached for his left foot. "Yeah, I think it's smashed up pretty bad," he coughed, as he winced in pain.
"Kyle, get you flashlight out of your bag and see if you can find anybody near you."
Kyle did as he was told and with difficulty he managed to find his bag and pull out the flashlight. He shone it around him, checking to his right. He saw some blond hair and panicked as he scanned the outstretched arm. He shone the light further along the body and realized it was Isabel. He leaned across painfully to check her for signs of life and he found a solid steady beat. She lay on her back her arms sprawled to the side. She had a multitude of scrapes and the early signs of some severe bruising, but other than that, she appeared to be alright.
Then he scanned the floor near him for any other bodies. He gasped when his beam caught a foot. He let the light travel up the leg and recognized the clothes immediately. It was Tess.
"Omigod Tess," he spluttered having a fit of coughing. Her right elbow bore a deep gash and her right leg was sticking out in an unnatural position. She had a small gash over her left eye and her lower lip was split open. He stretched out his shaky fingers but he was trembling so much he couldn't hold his hand steady enough to check her pulse. He began to sob as he tried in vain to check her vital signs.
Michael heard this and mistook it for something more fatal. He leaned his head back and cried out, "Oh, no!" as tears ran down his cheeks.
Kyle didn't give up and concentrated hard until he was able to contol his shaking. He tried again and this time he was successful.
"It's okay, Michael," he choked in relief. "She's alive, man.....she's alive," he sobbed.
Michael shuddered from the tension and rested his face in his hands.
"Michael," he heard a weak voice call way over to his right. He recognized the voice as Max's and he spun his light in that general direction., until he located him sitting up against the wall. He shielded his face until Michael moved the beam down.
"How are you Max?" Michael called out to him.
"Not good," he rasped.
"Kyle," Michael said. "Shine your light down on Max while I try to make it over there, okay?"
Kyle brought his light to shoulder level while Michael shuffled along the rough floor, avoiding clumps of earth that had fallen down from above before the entrance had been sealed off. He made it to Max's side and shone his light over his body. Like his friends, he was badly scratched and bloodied. He held his clawed left hand in his right, against his chest.
The hand looked broken. He winced as Michael touched it gingerly.
"That looks pretty bad, Maxwell."
"Yeah, he managed to cough out. "I'm pretty sure its busted. I think I banged up my ankle, too," he admitted. He indicated his right ankle which already looked very swollen.
They heard a tiny breathless voice come from Max's right side. It was Liz, and Max looked towards it with relief.
"I can't move my legs, Max," she whispered.
Max panicked as he heard her pronouncement. He groped for her frantically and Michael called out to Kyle to keep shining his beam around. Finally between the two of them , they located her body. She lay on her stomach, a large tree trunk pinning her thighs down.
"Kyle, come over here!" Michael ordered.
Kyle shuffled over to their position as he coughed long and hard. When he finally reached them, Michael shone his light in his face. Kyle was deathly pale and sweating and he had droplets of blood on his blued lips. It looked like he might have punctured a lung and he held his left side painfully. He would be of no use in removing the trunk from Liz's small frame.
Michael looked to Max. "We'll have to roll it off," Max suggested. Michael crawled over to Liz's left side and stood by while Max positioned himself more comfortably. Then they both grabbed an end and strained with all their might. Liz screamed in pain as the huge chunk of wood rolled down her tiny limbs. They finished the job as quickly as they could, to avoid any further injury.
She sobbed in relief as she lay there on the unforgiving cold surface of the cave floor. Max was unable to help her. He was in so much pain himself that he sat there in a fog of agony. He heard her cries and he cried in return.
"Maxwell, do you think you can heal her?" Michael whispered.
"I'll try," Max said valiently, but before he even laid his hand on her legs, he knew he would be incapable of making her whole again. He slumped back against the wall in defeat, nursing his broken hand. He reached out with his right hand to touch Liz. If he could do nothing else, he could offer her some comfort. Maybe his presence would at least make her feel better.
She gathered strength from his touch, and cried less ardently, until all that was heard were weak sobs.
By this time, Kyle had managed to crawl back to where Tess lay, and sat propped up against the wall, his breath rasping in his chest. Michael had also made his way back to Maria and Alex, and lay down between them, while he waited for Maria to awaken. He didn't have to wait long. Soon, he felt her stirring beside him and he reached out his hand to tell her of his presence. She jumped at his touch and he reassured her that it was him.
"Michael where are we?" she gasped, as the air was becoming stale and difficult to breathe.
"As far as I can tell, we fell into some kind of cave," he told her as he turned on his flashlight again. He shone it on his face so that she could see him and she smiled with relief.
"Is there any way out of here?" she asked helplessly.
"I don't know, " he admitted. "I haven't had a good look around yet."
"Is everybody okay?"
He told her of their friends injuries as far as he was certain and she nodded, relieved that they were all still alive at least.
"Can you sit up," he asked as he pulled himself up into a sitting position.
"Yeah, I think so," she moaned as she moved her bruised body off the cave floor.
They heard a soft moan come from Kyle's location. Michael shone his light over that way and saw Isabel rising slowly from the floor. She put her hands over her eyes until Michael moved the flashlight away from her face.
"Iz, are you alright?" he called over to her.
"Michael. Is that you?" she called back.
"Yeah, Maria and I are over here. Wait a sec, and I'll come get you," he groaned, as he forced his weary body up again. He brought Isabel back with him.
"Where's everybody else,?" she wondered.
Michael told her about all the others, leaving Alex until last.
"Omigod," she squealed. "Is he alright? Where is he Michael?" she demanded.
Michael turned aside and Isabel gasped in horror at his injuries.
"What're we gonna do?" she cried helplessly. "Oh, Alex," she sobbed.
"Will you two please keep it down," Alex groaned aloud. "I'm trying to get some rest here," he complained.
"Alex!" Isabel exclaimed. "You're awake! Thank God!" she sighed.
"Well, it's pretty hard to sleep, Iz with all the racket you guys are making," he croaked as he tried to lighten the mood. Leave it to Alex, to find some humour in any situation.
Isabel lay down next to him, because she could do nothing else. She had brought her backpack over with her and had managed to find her water bottle. She held it up for him to take a drink which he accepted gratefully.
Michael had also had the good sense to retrieve his and Maria's bottles and they both drank greedily. Then he crawled back down to Max to give him and Liz some. Max struggled to keep conscious and took the proffered water. Liz had dropped off to sleep. Michael heard a scream and raced over as fast as he could towards Tess.
She had finally woken up and she was flailing her arms around in the dark. Michael shone his light so she could see him and she sobbed as she recognized his worried frown. He calmed her down and assessed her injuries. Her leg was broken and he tried to make her as comfortable as possible. She asked for Kyle and the others and when she heard of Kyle's condition she immediately wanted to help him.
Michael shone his light on the fading form and Tess moaned loudly at his weakened position. Bubbly froths of blood clung to his lips and he was barely breathing. Unfortunately, with her own debilitated state, she was unable to improve his circumstances. She fell back in a hopeless mass.
Several hours passed. Maria, Isabel and Michael made the rounds of the more severely injured at regularly intervals. Isabel sat quietly with her brother for some time, just holding him for comfort.
"Max, someone will find us," she tried to reassure him.
"Yeah," he returned, trying to sound optomistic, but not being very convincing. She told him she loved him and that no matter what happened she would never regret coming here. He kissed the top of her head in acknowledgement, as tears sprang to his weary eyes.
Maria and Michael had decided it was time to explore their prison. Maybe they could find an alternate route out of here. Michael had considered blasting their way out, but he was afraid that what was blocking their escape, might come tumbling in on top of them and crush them. He and Maria crawled further along the passage to try and find a crack in the surface.
They scanned the walls and ceiling for any signs of light or water that would indicate seepage from somewhere, but they were unsuccessful. They were buried under tons of debris and there was nothing they could do about it, except pray that someone had already begun a search for them and would find some clue to their whereabouts.
They slowly stumbled back to where their friends lay. Michael paused by Kyle. If they weren't found soon, Kyle would surely die. He looked terrible and sounded worse. Tess sat beside him, feeling like she had betrayed him. With all their special powers, they were unable to help each other out of this mess.
Every now and then she would try to heal his ribs and lung but her own injuries hampered her efforts. And the more she tried to help Kyle, the weaker she got, until she finally passed out from trying.
Max had given up a long time ago. He just sat propped against the cave wall, still holding onto Liz's hand. She had not regained consciousness and he was past caring about his own pain anymore. He was numb with grief at what had happened. It wasn't his fault but he shouldered all the blame, as usual. Before he slipped into unconsciouness, he thought how strange it was that they, who were supposed to save the world, would be brought down by something as simple as a rainstorm.
Daylight was approaching. Brody scanned the surface they had been working on for so many hours, and it barely looked like they had made a dent in the path of destruction.The volunteers still worked on, as more replacements were brought in, but it looked hopeless. The mists rose from the jungle floor,, shrouding the men like living corpses. They stood in the piles of mud, their figures barely discernable from the mire they toiled in.
Brody knew he could no longer delay the phone calls he dreaded to make. He left his station and crawled back up the hill and trudged along the path towards the staff quarters. He went inside and collapsed in a chair as he dialed the first number.
Jim Valenti picked up the phone, unsuspecting as he answered the call. Brody explained what had happened and he immediately agreed to meet him down there. He told Brody he'd call Amy Deluca to give her the bad news.
Brody then called the Evans. Diane answered and after Brody spoke with her, there was a pause and then he heard Philip's voice. Philip said he'd be down, too and he said he'd call the Parker's and the Whitman's.
Only Philip and Jim held valid, up-to-date passports, so the others were unable to make the trip. They quickly threw some things in a bag and were on the next flight to Merida where a helicopter awaited their arrival to fly them to Palenque.
|Part 17 | Index | Part 19
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