Pinky the Brave: Part Four
Emakoke hit the sandy ground with a thump, followed by a
few clumps of sand that rained down on her. She lay there groaning for a few minutes,
trying to compose herself. Eventually she gathered the energy to pick herself
up, and slowly got to her feet, rubbing her aching head. Cicadasan was lying a
few feet away, sprawled across the floor face down.
"This is too much..." her companion whined, her
voice echoing through the cave. Ema helped her up, and then they stood and looked
around them. They were in a dark cave, the only light being a shaft of pale
moonlight shining down the hole they had just fallen through. Both girls heaved
their rucksacks off their backs and began to rummage through, until they found
their torches. Turning them on, they got a big shock.
The cave was huge. The walls seemed to stretch
up for miles until they finally met the beautifully elaborate gold ceiling.
Where they had fallen through, a trapdoor had been unlatched. There was some
kind of writing embossed on the trapdoor, but neither of them could make out
what it said from the sandy bottom of the cave. Instead they turned their attention
to the walls around them. Every one was covered with hundreds of colourful tiles,
each with a symbol carved on them. Ema came closer to one of the walls and shone
her torch over the surface. There were palm trees, orange suns, black beetles
and some kind of dog resembling an anubis. Looking further up the wall Ema observed
some gebs. It was a spectacular display of colour and pattern--absolutely breathtaking.
Nothing Ema had ever seen could compare to this, not even the majestic Gebmid
they had been gazing over only minutes ago.
"What does it all mean?" Cicadasan stammered,
coming up behind Ema.
"I don't know... " Ema replied distractedly,
swinging her torch in front of her and shining it in a circle around the room.
The beam of dusty light fell over a small, sealed door at the very end.
"A door!" both of them cried simultaneously,
rushing towards it enthusiastically. Cicadasan, being the faster of the two,
reached it first and pushed her paws against it. When Ema came up behind her,
she was still pushing it with all her might. It wouldn't budge.
"Maybe it's a code," said Ema, pointing up to
nine small symbols embossed at the top of the door. Cicadasan stopped pushing
and looked up, panting.
"How do we work it out?" she asked.
Ema stood and pondered, wondering how, if she
had made the code, she would want people to solve it. But her hard thoughts
were to no avail; she had never been the brightest of Neopets, nor the strongest,
fastest--anything. Inquisitively, she reached out a paw and pressed down on
one of the symbols. It fell out in her hand, a slab of stone. Brow furrowed
in concentration, she began to pull more of the blocks out, pushing them back
into different positions so that the pictures made different patterns. She kept
on arranging them until three palm trees lay in a vertical row. Suddenly, there
was a click, and with a grinding noise the door slowly began to slide open,
sending dust billowing out from behind it. Both Aishas began to cough and wave
their paws in front of their faces as they pushed their way through the clouds
of dust, astounded that the door had opened so easily. When they got to the
other side Ema doubled over in a coughing fit, hoping the dust would clear.
When it finally did, she got the shock of her life.
"Cic..." she gasped, grabbing her friend's paw
and pulling her to her feet. "Look!" Cicadasan looked up. Her eyes widened,
her knees buckled and she fell back down to the floor, bowled over.
Gold coins. Millions of them. They were standing
on a small, crumbling ledge, overlooking mountains of glittering coins, piled
high to the ceiling. They reflected the torch beam and sent out beautiful patterns
of golden light that adorned the walls around them. Standing in alcoves around
the walls were golden statues of Gebs, standing proudly and glimmering as if
they were about to spring to life. It had to be at least a million Neopoints.
The girls looked at each other, expressions of amazement set into their faces,
then scrabbled and stumbled down the slope, whooping and cheering. Ema lost
her footing and went sliding down, plunging into the sea of shimmering gold.
She picked up a handful of coins and threw them above her, laughing gleefully,
then fell onto her back and rolled around in the massive pile of riches.
"We're rich!" she screamed, looking over at Cicadasan.
Her face was much more serious. "What?"
"I think I know where we are..." Cicadasan gaped.
"I read about this in one of the old books they
keep at the pound. Long ago there was a legendary Geb--stronger and braver than
all the rest..."
"Sutek!" Ema finished her sentence excitedly.
"Yes..." Cicadasan replied with a slight frown,
picking up one of the coins and running her paw over it. She looked worried.
"What's wrong?" Ema asked, dropping the coins
she was stuffing into her jacket pocket. "This is great! We're the first ever
Neopians to find Sutek's riches!"
"It is great. It's just... I don't understand
how we got to them so easily. This place was supposed to have been rigged so
no one could ever find them," she replied before picking up a coin and holding
it closer to her face, studying it attentively.
"Who cares? We found them!" Ema shrieked, dancing
around madly. Cicadasan ignored her and began to tap on the coin with her claw.
It made a dull, synthetic noise. A look of horror washed over her face as the
realisation hit her.
"This is fake!" she cried, looking around her.
"This is all a trap!"
The happiness drained out of Ema's face, and
the coins she had been holding clattered back down onto the pile beneath her
"What?" she gasped.
"We have to get out of here!"
Cicadasan grabbed Ema's paw and they tried to
scramble back up the slope, but it was too late. There was a snapping sound,
a trap door swung open high above them and the sand began to pour through in
"Oh no!" Ema screamed, as the sand flooded through
the room like a river, burying the piles of fake coins. "What are we going to
"I don't know!" Cicadasan screamed as the hot
sand rushed past her feet, already up to her ankles. Grabbing each other's paws,
they tried again to clamber up the slope, but the dirt crumbled away under their
paws. Cicadsan stumbled and fell back into the sand, coughing; the air had become
murky with clouds of sand. Ema looked left and right, desperately. She had always
been the weak, useless one--if she could just think of a way to get them out,
maybe people would respect her--they would see she could do something brave
too. But she wasn't brave. The best she could do was wade through the sand towards
her friend and pull her out back onto her feet. She saw Cicadasan was crying,
leaving streaks down her grubby face.
"We're doomed!" she wailed over the rushing sound
of the sand. Ema suddenly saw a glimmer in the corner of her eye, which sparked
an idea in her head. She gasped.
"Maybe not. Wait there!" she called, breaking
away from Cicadasan and striding through the sand, which had now come up to
her knees and was making walking extremely demanding. Eventually she reached
an alcove and grabbed the statue from its stand. Just as she thought, it wasn't
gold; it was fake like everything else. Coughing, she struggled back towards
her friend, who was standing anxiously at the slope. Ema took a gasp of air
and rammed the statue into the soft dirt of the slope, where it stuck.
"Use it as a foothold to get up the slope!" she
exclaimed in a raspy voice. Her throat was raw from shouting.
"You go first!" Cicadasan replied.
"No, you go! I got you into this mess, I'm getting
you out!" Ema snapped. Cicadasan couldn't argue; Ema had grabbed her by the
boots and with much strain hoisted her up until she grabbed the statue and used
it to scrabble up the bank. It wobbled in its base but held strongly enough
for Cicadasan to get her feet onto it and grab the crumbling edge of the ledge.
By this time the sand had come up to Ema's waist and she could hardly move.
Sweat poured down her face and she began to feel claustrophobic. She couldn't
move her legs.
"Emakoke! I'm up!"
Ema looked up to see a head peering over the
far above ledge.
"Get me out of here!" she screamed in response.
Cicadasan looked about her, then down at the statue as it came loose and rolled
down the slope, then at Ema submerged in the sand from her shoulders down. The
whole room began to rumble and shake all over, as if it was about to collapse,
and loose bricks rained down from the ceiling.
"I... I don't know how!"
Well, at least I saved my friend, Ema
thought gloomily as the statue rolled down to her side and the sand piled up
around her. She laid her head against the slope. This is the end. Well, I'd
rather go out with a bang.
She looked up, startled, as a rope came tumbling
down towards her. Without a second thought she grabbed it.
"Pull!" Cicadasan screamed. Ema heard groaning
from above as she pulled as hard as she could. Ema felt a huge feeling of relief
overcome her as the sand loosened from around her body and she was able to release
her arms and grab onto the side of the slope, scraping at it with her claws
and trying to get a hold. "Keep pulling! Don't give up! You can do it!" Cicadasan
called up, even though she couldn't see her friend through the dust. She encouraged
her, even though it was Ema who needed the encouragement. She could barely see
her own paws clasping the rope, and breathing was getting harder and harder.
She began to wheeze and feel dizzy, and eventually her words broke off.
"Emakoke, I'm pulling! Emakoke?"
Cicadasan tugged with all her might. Her paws
were sore and scraped with rope burn but she kept on hauling the rope upwards.
Seeing it wasn't working, she tied the rope around her waist and stood up. Her
friend's weight pulled her towards the edge. She gritted her teeth, turned around
and began to walk slowly forward, firmly planting each boot onto the floor.
She could feel it working. She closed her eyes and pushed on, despite the rope
pressing into her and the weight trying to drag her back. Suddenly two bright
pink paws appeared over the edge, and Emakoke hauled herself over, choking and
"Cicadasan!" Ema cried in between coughs. Her
friend rushed over to her, took her by the paw and together they stumbled towards
the door. The Aishas heard a grinding noise, and realised the door was slowly
closing on them.
"Quickly!" Cicadasan hollered, pushing her disorientated
friend through the small gap remaining. She then squeezed through herself, and
they both collapsed in the room beyond. The door slammed shut behind them, and
the roaring of the sand was reduced to a muffle. All was still; they were safe.
To be continued...