October 24, 2011
The ride with Hank and his lady Fiona had been pleasant enough. I found it strangely relaxing to just be a passenger for a change and watch the thick forest roll past the windows.
Hank appeared to be good natured enough and yapped about this and that as we finished the short drive. During the drive down the last incline before we reached the small ski town ofTelluride, Hank chatter continued. “So if you don’t mind me saying, you three might not fit in to well down there. These folks tend to be on the richer side of the fence and well you guys look a little…ratty.”
“I guess we’ll just try to make do,” I grumbled. “I have money in the bank…I might have, um, lost my bank card, but perhaps I can figure something out.”
“It would be nice to get some new clothes,” Hannah voice had a wistful quality to it. “And ooo, maybe we could take a shower.”
“I’ll happily book us a hotel room, if I can get a new card,” I said. “Even I feel like I could probably veg for a day or two without feeling too guilty.”
“A day or two,” Ethan laughed. “Try five weeks, buddy.”
“Now, you might think twice about paying the hotel rates here. You would probably be…” And then he just stopped talking. Seconds later, the car sped up. Speed signs were ignored, as Hank turned onto the road that lead to Telluride.
“Hank, maybe you should slow down,” I began. “The sign said thirty and it feels like you are doing sixty.”
There was no response.
“I assume I’m not the only one disliking this,” Ethan said, while grasped the door handle with white knuckles.
“Should we try to jump out?” Hannah asked.
“We could, but if we’re about to enter some huge battle, I’d rather not start it all bruised and bleeding. Besides at least there’re no other cars on the road and I’m also curious where they’re taking us.”
“I was afraid you were going to say that,” Ethan complained.
“On a lark, I had Detected Darkening on Hank and Fiona before we entered the vehicle and they were both fine, but now there’re threads of darkness lancing through them,” I said. “These two aren’t evil, they’re being controlled. We owe it to them and probably everyone else around here to take care of whatever’s doing this to them.”
“I was afraid you were going to say that too,” Ethan mumbled. “No down time in this crew.”
The small shows of the ski town whipped by them in a blur as the vehicle continued to build up speed.
“This is crazy,” I said more to myself than the others. “Wherever we’re being brought it isn’t part of the town, in fact, I haven’t seen a single soul here.”
“I think I know where we’re headed, Jack,” Hannah said without making eye contact. “We’re being taken to the mines.”