*milestone chapter + 1
Theo told me to run like the wind, so I did. I ran down the secret passage in Theo's closet and kept on running. It was a very nice feeling to run like so, and in near darkness too; I felt like a mole, or James Bond, either sounds like a pretty good comparison.
When there's a diverging path in the passageway, I ran on the spot while I picked which way to go. It was a while before I remembered that Theo told me about bringing the piece of paper and the bound notebook we took from the safe to Dennis, who was supposed to be at the helipad, where I was supposed to be heading.
By then I had gone by five or six splits in the passageway and up and down some narrow stairs, and I stopped in my tracks to think about where I was going. I arrived at the conclusion that I was lost.
I decided to head back the way I came, but by then I had lost track of which was I was facing when I stopped, and the tunnel was especially dark at this place, and I bumped into the wall when I turned around thinking it was the way back to where I came from.
I stood there for some time and decided to keep going forward, whichever way that may be, and just go out of the nearest exit I could find and then go to the helipad. It was a good plan, the best I got; I mean, how big was Theo's house that I'll never find a way out of the secret passages?
The first door in the passageway I came to, I tried the handle but found me handle; it must be sealed on the other side. Then there was a flight of stair and another, and ridiculously another! I thought I must be very deep underground already, but then came the biggest surprise, I stopped where I was in the dim and narrow passage I was running in, because there was a dark and winding staircase in front of me. It was steep and old and quite creaky when I put a foot on it. It went into the gloom, deeper down.
This is impossible! I said to myself, is there a dungeon in Theo's house? Because no room but a dungeon could be this deep underground. In the end, I decided to go on anyways because I already came this far.
I hummed a whistle tune as I jogged down the creaky steps, feeling the air getting cooler around me and also staler. At some stretches of the passageway I had heard voices and sounds of people. Those parts were probably very close to rooms and hallways in the house. This passage, however, was completely silent, and I thought it was getting even quieter as I kept jogging down the stairs. The stairs seem never-ending.
Splash! I stopped, I had stepped into something wet. I bend down and scooped liquid into my hands. It's water. There were puddles of water in the tunnel, but I could barely see, there was so little light in this stretch of the passageway.
I realized the staircase had ended and I was on flat ground again. The floor was concrete and as I've mentioned, wet with groundwater. As I continued, the tunnel widened and the air currents were stronger. I was very underground indeed and exactly where I didn't want to be; the helipad was definitely not here. I could smell an empowering stench of earth. I wondered what is this place?
Then I saw a brightness up ahead, I picked up speed and ran towards it. There was a door and the light was coming through a small glazed window. I felt the doorknob but found it locked. I turned to my pocket for a paperclip.
When I emerged from what turned out to be the end of the tunnel, what I found was so unbelievable, it came straight out of a comic book.
It was like the Bat Cave from Batman!
An enormous cavern lay before me, it was probably the size of a football field from one end to the other. It was lit by a row of large ceiling dishpan lights hung from the high ceiling. A series of catwalks and platforms crisscross above the ground floor, where huge machines, screens and some awesome looking cars I've never seen before were situated.
On the granite wall to my left, a crest and giant block letters were embedded into the rock surface. The letters say, 'JUSTICE LEAGUE', and above it was the circular crest, ten stars surrounding arm-crossed fists. It was a dream come true, I was in the lair of the Justice League!
'Wow.' I said to myself.
I took a flight of metal stairs down to the ground floor, totally bewildered. I passed the vehicles and the computers, which just by looking I could tell were supercomputers, all look like the ones in superhero comics. I rubbed my eyes and pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming, and I sure wasn't.
I found five shelves extending to the ceiling of the cavern stocked with knives, guns and I-don't-know-what! It was all too much to describe. I had not been this lost for words since entering that five star hotel for the first time where I met Heathcliff.
I toured to the far end of the cavern, where the coolest thing I could ever hope to see sat, just beckoning for me to get in. It was a hovercraft, quadruple turbine engines, it looked like a cross between a giant F-16 and a more giant harvester, it was painted black with the Justice League crest, and a ladder was propped for direct entrance to the cockpit.
I soon found myself inside the amazing hovercraft, my heart pumping a mile a minute, and I set about figuring out the controls. It turned out, the controls were very simple, just like a harvester back home. Once that was accomplished and the engine was ignited, I noticed a beeping sound emitting from outside, followed by a piercing grind of metal. I looked above and found that the a part of the ceiling of the cavern, so far above, was opening up, revealing the bright sky outside.
As if on cue, the humming of the hovercraft got louder and I found myself being lifted from the ground (I fastened the seat belt), and the lifting continued as the craft made its vertical ascend up towards the circular opening in the high ceiling, and to outside.
So in the end, I found a way to the helipad after all.