ErgoFlux - Chapter 5
Published Sep 18, 2012

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:D Charlie had been trapped in an underground burial system with Chase Donavon all evening. The two had found themselves trapped in a room, unable to get out without a key. Charlie had no idea long they had both been stuck down there. She lost all track of time.

After what seemed like an hour since the realization of their situation, Charlie and Chase had stopped pacing around the room and finally sat down to rest. Each had their back against a face of one of the stone walls within the chamber. The two they stayed in their sitting positions, silent, for what felt like a life time.
Chase had not moved one single muscle on his body for the last few hours as he sat quietly in the room. Although it did not show on the outside, Chase was concentrating deeply. His mind was no longer with his body. Meanwhile, Charlie was too mentally exhausted to notice any of this. Her head was laid back resting against the stone wall. She hadn't eaten in quite a while but she was more thirsty than hungry, and she felt filthy, covered in all the old dust and dirt that floated around the chamber.

Her mind was so far gone with thoughts of misery she hardly noticed the sound Chase's shoe made against the stone floor as he got up from the ground.
Chase's mind was suddenly clear, and he finally realized what to do next. He stood up instantly from his seated position and faced the wall that his back had been against. Quickly and carefully, Chase's fingers felt over every stone. Charlie was so out of it she hadn't noticed any of this until a loud, craking noise echoed through the room, sending Charlie back to reality in an instant. She jumped to her feet, startled. She glanced in the direction of the noise and noticed Chase standing in front of the wall. He was looking rather accomplished. Next she noticed a giant split straight down the middle of the wall. "Oh my god, you found another hidden door, didn't you?!" Charlie exclaimed excitedly when she realized what had just happened. She had never felt so relieved. Finally, they could keep going and hopefully find a way out of this place.
Meanwhile, Chase had busted the door open and then he just stood there, looking through it. "Wait, Charlie." He said with seriousness in his voice. "Don't come in here. I'm not sure you'd wanna see this." Charlie didn't really listen to Chase at all. Instead she came up right behind him and had a peek over his shoulder beyond the door. What she saw was a shocking sight. The room was tiny and it contained a few things. Aside from the old broken pottery in the corner, there was a complete skeleton laying on the floor, holding some huge diamonds close to it's self. Surrounding the skeleton was piles of more large diamonds.

Charlie wondered for a moment who that skeleton was at one time and why it was clinging so desperately to the diamonds as it died. She wondered how it wound up in such a small room. It freaked her out a little.
After the initial shock of seeing her first real-life skeleton had passed, Charlie realized that this new room was nothing more than just a room. It was clearly not a way out as she had hoped it would be. Disappointment filled her heart, and her chest suddenly felt weighted down with a horrible heaviness. "There really is no way out, is there?" Charlie sighed. "It's not time to give up yet." Chase said. His voice had suddenly changed it's tone. He began to walk away, leaving Charlie standing against the stone door. Something suddenly snapped inside the man, changing his demeanor instantly. He strode swiftly back out into the chasm, beckoning Charlie to come with him. "They've come for us." He said quickly. "Follow me." Chase lead Charlie back through all the rooms of the underground burial system, re-tracing their steps. Charlie was confused as to why they were going back, but she was too exhausted to protest. So all she could do was follow Chase back through the rooms. Then, the two finally made their way back into the first room they had started out in. It was there that Charlie's despair left and her energy returned at the sight that which met her eyes. The stone steps which had been covered in debris hours earlier were now cleared up. And at the bottom of the steps stood Eddy Slick and the other two members of the agency.

Charlie had no words to describe her relief at this sight. She, herself, could hardly sort out the feelings that welled up within her. All her emotions rolled up together and buried themselves deep in her chest to the point that she felt like she might explode! Alexis Bell was the first to respond. She leaped forward the very instant she set her eyes on Chase. She ran straight toward him and practically jumped on him in her excitement. She tackled him, wrapping her arms around him affectionately and squealing with delight. "Chase! Oh, Chase! I was so worried!"

"We were all worried." The nerd, Leeland Fargo, put in. He seemed calm but excitement was written all over his face.
"I'm sorry we didn't get to you sooner, boss." Fargo continued. He sounded genuinely apologetic. "I really tried my best to track you down. It's just... Your signal was really hard to detect this time." "Yeah, I know," Chase replied, still being clung to tightly by a certain red-head. "I could hardly pick up on anything down here myself. Something had my signals all screwed up. I couldn't figure it out." "I'm just so happy you're okay!" Alexis said again, finally loosening her arms and letting go of Chase. She gave him the sweetest smile as she stepped back, and then she shot Charlie a very different expression that seemed to say 'Back off or I'll claw your face off'. Charlie didn't know what to do with any of this. She had felt so uncomfortable during the reunion because she knew none of it was for her. Especially after the way she had treated these people before she left the hotel. That fact had only made this all the more awkward for her. And Alexis wasn't helping matters much either with her attitude. Charlie wondered what she had done to make the redhead suddenly act so hostile. All Charlie wanted to do was get out of there, and get away from these people. Eddy Slick seemed to sense this bit of social awkwardness radiating off of poor Charlie, as was in his nature. So he went about trying to remedy the situation. "We're happy you are both okay." He pointed out, looking directly at Charlie. "The boss and our new potential member, Charlie Murphy, are both alive. That's great news! But we should all get back to the hotel and get these two some food and water before they keel over!" And so Charlie and "The Boss" were lead out of the burial chambers by the rest of the group. Bright sunlight streamed down upon them once they were out in the open, momentarily blinding the two who had been in the dark for so long. Charlie judged by the position of the sun that it was easily past noon at this point. This meant the both of them had been underground for at least ten hours. By the time the group reached the hotel, Charlie was ready to drink a whole lake full of water. And as soon as they were inside, Charlie was able to drink as much water as she needed. She then went up to her room, peeled off her dusty, dirt-covered clothes and exchanged them for a clean, comfortable set. And it seemed that Chase had done the same. After each of the two were cleaned up, they both joined the rest of the agency down in the little hotel kitchen for some much needed nutrition. The agency members all took a seat around Chase's table while he gulped down a bowl of warm chowder. Meanwhile, Charlie ate her soup at a separate table, feeling oddly awkward and a bit excluded. What she couldn't understand was why this bothered her to the degree that it did. She didn't care about these people, nor did she trust them. Just the last day she had exploded on them, accusing them of terrible things. She had believed they were out to prey on her. However, they did just save her life... didn't they? For some reason, Charlie decided to stay at that hotel with the agency for the remainder of the day. She told herself that she was going to rest up and then leave early the next morning, just as soon as the sun came up. But to her surprise, when evening came, Charlie found that despite her long adventure, she was unable to sleep. So she wandered outside to the hotel's courtyard to sort out her thoughts. She hadn't been sitting there for long before she heard the sound of footsteps in the grass just behind the stone bench she was sitting on. She ignored it. She knew it was probably Eddy taking advantage of the situation, catching her alone to talk her into staying and joining the group.

Charlie's assumptions were not far off.
Eddy took a seat next to Charlie but said nothing for a while. Instead, the two sat there, quietly staring into the decorative water fountain in the center of the courtyard. The sound of it's trickling water soothed the painful silence somewhat. Then Eddy finally spoke, breaking the silence. "So, after everything we've done for you, you still plan on leaving?" He questioned.

Charlie nodded in the affirmative. "There's nothing you could say that will change my mind."
"What have we done to make you so against us, Ms.Murphy?" Eddy asked honestly. "We haven't conned you or done anything else of the sort. We've paid for your flight to france and for your room. The boss rescued you from an Ergo Flux, and the rest of us saved you from the burial mound. We even fed you afterwards. Do you need any more proof that we're on your side?" "It's because, despite all the kind things you've done for me, you are still dishonest people." Charlie answered directly. "You went behind me and stole valuable information about me... About my father. You obtained personal knowledge regarding me without my permission... Without me even knowing anything about it. For the life of me I can't imagine why you did it, or why you went through so much trouble to get me here. But, whatever you want from me you are not going to get it. For my father's sake, I won't let you." "Oh, is that what you think?" Eddy said in surprise. "Didn't believe the Oracle bit, did ya?" He chuckled. "It really does sound completely improbable. Trust me, I of all people know. When The Boss offered to help me find my family he said he knew things." Eddy stared down at the ground, smiling in remembrance as he continued speaking. "He told me that he knew all about me and my determination to find my family, and that he believed he knew where my wife and girls were. When he tried to tell me these things, I was ready to pin him as a fraud myself. It sounded so crazy!" "But ya know, when you get to know the guy more and more, things slowly begin to add up. He's pretty eccentric, but there's definitely something very special about him.

"I can't tell you where The Boss gets his information from, and I can't tell you how he gets it, but it's all in his head. I can assure you, Ms.Murphy, that the information about your father came directly from his mind. It was not stolen, nor was it obtained by any illegal means."
Charlie was not wholly convinced of anything, but even still, she could feel something change inside of her as she sat there, listening to Eddy's words. Her heart had shifted a little in favor of Chase Donavon and the rest of the agency. Yet this sudden shift scared her. So in response to it, she automatically became defensive.

"How are you going to get me to believe any of that?" she demanded.
"Ah. That," Eddy replied simply, "is something I cannot do for you. It's something you'll have to do for yourself.' Charlie was taken aback at Eddy's very straightforward reply. She honestly didn't expect him to say anything like that. It genuinely surprised her. "Wh-what do you mean?" she stuttered. "What I mean, is don't leave yet. Stay with us for a little while longer. Follow us around to the disappearance sites and explore our finds with us. You don't have to officially join the agency yet until you're ready. No strings attached. That's a promise! Just stick it out with us for a little while and find out what we're all about. Then make up your mind on your own whether or not you'll join us. Simple as that. So what do you say?" Eddy really had a silver tongue after all. He made everything sound so tempting to Charlie. She was ready to try anything once he was finished influencing her mind. Without even realizing it, Charlie nodded in agreement to Eddy's terms. And with that the decision was made. Whether she liked it or not, Charlie was "in" now. What did this mean for her? She didn't know, but she was about to find out.

---Chapter 5: End

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3 Comment(s) so far

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#1lish300Sep 19, 2012

I. FREAKING. LOVE. THIS. STORY. keep writing you are amazing at it!

#2kikialexaSep 19, 2012

Great chapter! Sorry for a "late" comment but the school almost killed me. I just made time to read stories, and i'm just on my way for homeworks (again). Again, AMAZING CHAPTER, like the writer's writing skill! can't wait for the enxt chapter too!

#3c h i i s a i * n e z u m iSep 20, 2012

I can't wait for mooorreee~

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