T is for Thunder Gate Arcade – #AtoZChallenge

T is for Thunder Gate Arcade – #AtoZChallenge

“So what are we looking at?” Vicky peered over the edge of the platform. Far down below, she thought she saw lava.

“It appears, to be lava,” Kyle said as he leaned out over the edge of the platform as well. There was no safety railing here.

“You need to get to the next platform. Like this!” Avera backed up a couple of steps as the other two turned to face her. After shifting her footing a few times, she ran towards the edge of the platform and leapt out into the empty air.

Vicky’s jaw dropped as Avera rolled the landing on the next platform. After a moment she sat up and waved back at them. “You’re kidding right?! There’s no way that’s happening!” She turned to leave.

“The moving spike wall say otherwise, Vicky.” Kyle said as he took a running leapt over the abyss and landed in his typical pose next to Avera. They hi-fived.

“Argh! I hate this place!”

BUT YOU KEEP COMING BACK.

“Shut it! I will end you!”

BEFORE OR AFTER YOU’VE BEEN PUSHED INTO THE LAVA?

Vicky ran off the edge of the platform, arms flailing wildly as she screamed the whole trip through the air. She landed hard on her legs and pitched forward and bounced off the rubber matting, knocking the wind out of her.

“Are you alright?” Avera helped her up.

“Peachy,” Vicky wheezed. She held up her hand as she inhaled deeply before exhaling a faint wisp of Thread. “Okay, I’m good.” It took her a moment to stand up without wobbling. “It will be after,” she shouted.

THIS WILL BE FUN.

This ledge began to rise and then fall. The next four ledges also rose and fell. It became apparent after a few minutes that they needed to move across them and time their jumps to get to the next one. Kyle took the first leap to the next platform.

“You should go next.” Avera said.

“Why?”

“So he can catch you, you aren’t very good at falling.”

“Jumping over a pit of open lava was not in the job description when I applied.” Vicky ran off the ledge, screaming. Kyle swung her onto the platform just before missing it.

Avera came across in one fluid motion, landing in another roll.

They repeated the process twice more before making it to the next solid non-moving platform.

IT WASN’T LAVA, JUST ORANGE COLORED PILLOWS. LAVA THE KEPT ESCAPING THE CONTAINMENT VESSELS ON THE TRIP UP.

“See! We would have been fine,” Kyle laughed as he patted Vicky on the shoulder.

Vicky sighed. “Wouldn’t that be the best if that was all there was.”

“That’s not how that works.” Avera moved ahead, “Look, spinny things!”

Ahead the platform narrowed into a foot bridge about a foot wide. There were large forked beams that spun lazily around, just off of the bridge Avera dove head long through the first tine, landed, jumped and twisted over the next tine as it spun past her. She landed on her hands, did a cartwheel, missing the next spinning set of beams, and slide towards the other side. “Easy!”

“Yeah, that’s not happening, Avera.” Kyle stepped up to the first spinning obstacle and put he hands out. With effort, he got it to stop spinning. He walked across, transferring from one tine to the next and then stood in the middle of the two, holding each in place. “Go ahead, Vick.”

Vicky hurried through the paused metal forks, looking over the edge of the narrow bridge. She couldn’t see what was below them and really did not want to find out. Once she was across, Kyle finished his stop and go walk until he was on the other and safe again.

“That was easy,” Kyle grinned at the two.

I AM MAKING A NOTE HERE.

Now they heard the smashing of heavy metal together. They all looked at each other, worry in their eyes and pressed forward.

Ahead of them were large flat pistons that smashed together at regular intervals.  Between them, gouts of fire spat. Their path went through them.
“Who designed this place?” Avera wondered aloud.

ME.

“That explains a lot,” Kyle said.

“That’s too much, look you broke Vicky.” Avera waved her hand in front of the other girl. “See.”

The pistons all slowed to a stop, leaving the path open. Fire still spat from the floor.

“I think we could do the flames,” Kyle said as he examined the intervals.

“I think so, but you’re gonna have to carry her.”

Kyle picked up Vicky and draped her around his shoulders. “Ready.”

Avera took off, skidding to a stop as a fireball spat up, then dashing forward again. Kyle mimicked her movements one section behind.

“Don’t ever make one of these things again,” Avera said after they had made it across. “No one will like it.”

I AM MAKING ANOTHER NOTE HERE.

Vicky roused. “What happened.”

“You saw an impossible possibility, and it looked back at you,” Avera knelt down and fixed Vicky’s hair.

“Oh. I hate it when that happens. What now.”

Ahead, the path split into two tunnels. On the left a sign above the tunnel said ‘Polybius’, the right side said ‘Dance of Doom.’

“Dance of Doom it is then,” Kyle announced.

WHY.

“We all know Polybius doesn’t exist. At least Dance of Doom is real.”

They headed down the right tunnel which opened into a field of large flat stones with arrows carved into them. Each arrow pointed in one of the eight cardinal directions.

“This looks harder then I remember,” Avera surveyed the field.

“I don’t think there is normally this many places to step.”

Music boomed from massive speakers and then the floor lite up in an array of colors.

“Let me guess,” Vicky stared out across the field, “The wall behind us has turned into spikes and is slowly advancing on us.”

“Yep.”

“Bring it.”

Vicky leapt out onto one of the large tiles. She waved her arms around as she found her balance. The tile turned green. She jumped to the next tile as its color peaked. It turned green as she landed. She turned back to Avera who was still standing on the increasingly narrow ledge. “Hurry up!”

“I don’t get it! I never played!” Avera hopped back and forth.

Kyle had moved a quarter of the way across.

“Jump on the that is the brightest,” Kyle yelled back.

Avera jumped, she landed on one as it faded in color. It turned red. And then dropped out from behind her. “Agh!” It was her turn to scream as she fell through the opening. She caught herself on several surrounding tiles, though most of them turned red and dropped away as well. One turned green. Avera held onto it and flipped back up. “That’s crazy!”

“You have to jump before it starts lighting up so you can land on it as its at the brightest.”

“Or, I just jump on the ones you guys are leaving green.” Avera jumped to Vicky’s trail of green arrows. They turned yellow, and then red before dropping away. “I don’t like this one!” She chased after Vicky’s green arrows as they dropped away behind her.

Vicky picked up her pace so Avera wouldn’t catch up with her and send them both down to who knows where.

A minute later, the song ended as they made it to the last platform, all of the tiles turned red and dropped away. Far below they heard what sounded like shattering stone.

A ball descended from the ceiling and burst open with confetti.

YOU HAVE COMPLETED STAGE ONE.

“How about we end here for today. Our shifts are over.” Kyle said.

WE CAN RESUME TOMORROW.

“How about… later, a lot later. Next year? Maybe?” Vicky added.

AGREED, THAT IS PLENTY OF TIME FOR IMPROVEMENTS.

All three groaned.

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