THE BURNT OUT CITY
Holly and Chandler made their way through Volcano World with only a few interruptions by hot springs. Tor kept chattering about Magma and how he was so dangerous.
“He once destroyed an entire city when he was enraged! He was very, very dangerous.” He kept saying.
“We have to worry about where we are going next”, Chandler, said. “I wonder why we haven’t seen any signs of an exit yet?” Tor wondered aloud. “I’ve never been to Volcano world, but I know that there are exit doors connecting each world."
Chandler was recovering from the burns that Magma had given him. “Maybe we’ve hit a dead end”, he said.
As the three travelers trekked along, they noticed the grass on the ground and asked themselves how grass could grow in such a baron wasteland. Suddenly, they came across a huge, brown dome planted on the ground.
“That has to be thousands of feet tall!” Chandler said. “How did that get here?”
Tor suddenly dropped to the ground.
“Tor?” Holly said. ”What’s the matter?”
“Something is not right” Tor muttered. “I feel as if I’ve had the life taken out of me”
“We’ll have to find help!” Holly shouted.
“No, Holly, I just can’t go into this area. It seems that something inside the dome is giving off some kind of radiation. It’s harmless to you humans, but the residents of Puffy Town can’t take it. Don’t worry. I can warp to the next world.” Tor said.
“You mean that you can jump from world to world?” Chandler asked.
“Of course!” Tor said. “Why do you think I know the worlds so well? I’ll see you in Aqua World!” Tor began to shimmer and stretched into the sky. Like a rubber band, He zoomed into the sky.
“Great”, Chandler muttered, and they began to walk towards the dome.
Chandler and Holly climbed through the opening in the dome. It was dark inside, but there was a neon sign that was flashing eerily in the darkness. It was not the only light, though. Almost the entire dome was lit up with signs. Chandler walked through the city, at least it seemed like one, but nobody was there.
Chandler thought about how strange it was when Tor talked about radioactivity. He had learned about it in school, and that it was extremely dangerous to people. But what could give off radiation here? The entire city was empty except for the skeleton Chandler had come across earlier when he entered the dome. Were the people forced out…because of a war, maybe? Chandler's mind was racing…but there were no signs of life anywhere. Maybe an epidemic, a sickness…No, he would have found mold or bodies. And were there people to begin with? There was no use going here if there was nothing to accomplish. But then, why had Tor sent them off? It was a mystery. But there was also the possibility that there was something on the other side of the city.
"Of course!" Chandler said suddenly.
"What? Did you find something? Holly asked.
"That's it! Holly, do you remember how Tor said Magma destroyed a city?"
"Of course, Chandler, that's all Tor talked about."
"This is the city!!"
"What? Holly said, stunned.
"This is the city that Magma destroyed!"
"But if you of all people could get rid of him then there must be some kind of survivors! Think, Chandler, maybe this place was always a ghost town!" Holly questioned.
"That is the point, Holly, anything can happen in this place!"
"That is right, child, anything can happen here" a voice said.
"What did you say, Holly?" asked Chandler.
"I didn't say a thing" she replied, annoyed.
"Then who was that?" Chandler asked.
"ME!" boomed a huge mechanical robot. It lumbered out from a crumbled building.
A beam of light shot out of the robot's torso, and a part of the building began to shimmer and disappeared. A tiny red cube was fixed in the robot's torso and as the robot fired it flickered.
"That's it! That's our way out!" Chandler said, startled. That was why they had to make it through the city. That was why Tor had sent them her to the Burnt Out city! The robot possessed the means of travel to the next world!
Chandler threw the tiny marbles at it, hoping the smoke would affect the robot as much as it did Magma. The smokescreen appeared and the robot stopped, confused. It solved the smoke problem by veering around in circles and shooting wildly. The beams of light ricocheted off neon signs and dumpsters, slicing through the air and barely missing Chandler and Holly.
Holly was hiding behind a dumpster that was upturned by the blasts of light. Chandler realized suddenly that this creature had to be intelligent, unlike a machine. Chandler swung his rope around the robot and wrapped it in circles. He tied the rope in a knot and tied it to the back of an old pick-up truck.
"Please work," Chandler prayed as he turned the key to the right in the truck. The truck sputtered, coughed out fumes and began to slowly move forward. As it ran longer, it began to speed up and after a good 15 seconds, the truck shot forward. Wrapped up like a caterpillar in a cocoon the robot was unable to move or turn to shoot. It fell hard to the ground dislodging the red cube from the robot's body. It rolled along until it shot out a small red beam at Holly. She was engulfed in the light and teleported from the scene. Chandler leaped from the truck in time for the cube to shoot the beam at him as well. As he was pulled from the scene, he saw a flash of light and the robot was engulfed in flames. Chandler closed his eyes and allowed himself to be transported to the next world.