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Chapter 17


It's been one day since we broke up into two teams. We've found nothing, absolutely nothing. We've basically been wandering the halls and rooms of the 2nd floor, seeing nothing. I wonder how my sister's goody-two shoes and Tom team are doing. Everyone keeps telling me that Ryan is ok, and we'll find him. It's become old, Dad's-notes-I-find-on-the-fridge-every-morning old. Malena says it's a good thing I haven't cried yet, it's a sign that I'm strong. Well, it's also a sign of dehydration! Where I normally finish my water bottle in a few hours I haven't had to refill it since we lost Ryan, so I couldn't cry if I tried.

We walk down the stairs, it's nearly dawn, to go to bed. I walk around a little, to investigate if they might have took him anywhere on this floor. I step on a rug that I don't think any of us have been anywhere near. A few more steps and the floor goes out from under me. I let out a scream, a loud one I might add, or maybe that's just how it sounds in my head. I hit the ground on my right side first; the rest of me soon follows. I stand up to assess my damage. I seem to have no broken bones. I raise my arms over my head (to see if my team could see me at all), it feels like my ribs are on fire, I cringe in pain as I almost immediately lower my arms. Bruised, I think to myself, thank god they're only bruised. "Ana!" Jonathon calls, "Are you all right? 'Cause if you're not your sister will kill me!" I roll my eyes. Yes, my safety only matters because my sister would kill Jonathon. Gee, that's so nice!

That's when I hear Arabella over the communi-cuff, "Ana are you ok?!" I can hear frantic scrambling down the steps. At least someone is worried!

"I think I bruised a couple ribs, but other than that I'm cool," I reply casually

"Bruised ribs? How?" asks Arabella

"Falling," I reply just as casually

"FALLING?!W-wh-what?! Are you sure you aren't dying or something?!" demands a much panicked Arabella. There she goes again, over dramatizing everything. Then again I can't really say much, I'm the one who delayed our landing by hiding in the coach bathroom on the plane.

"Yup," I reply as casual as ever, I try to take a more calming route, "Arabella, I promise I'm fine? Just chill, ok?" I guess I'm over Ryan, because I'm feelin' pretty strong at the moment.

"Ok, I guess. Where are you?" Arabella asks. I don't know, I honestly don't know. What do I say?

Before I get the chance to reply Jonathon steps in for me, "Sunshine,"

"Jonathon, we've been over this. Sunshine is not my code name, it's Waterbug," Arabella insists although she's trying to keep her cool, I can tell she's getting overwhelmed. There's a reason why they call me the strong one, nothing (ok hardly anything) bothers me, except for heights. I could take the pressure if the situation was switched, I let out an annoyed at myself sigh as I listen to my sister and Jonathon's conversation.

"Look, we, as in Team Beta; as in Malena, Damion, Jamal, and myself-" Jonathon starts

"Get to the point, Captain Run on," Arabella sighs

"We're on the first floor, Ana is below us. How far down would you say you fell Ana?" Jonathon shouts down at me

"I don't know, more than 10 feet I'd think," I say, sure I'd like to spit out some snarky remark, but that would just upset Arabella more, she has enough crap on her mind.

"You're in the basement?" a very confused sounding Arabella asks

"No, I don't think so," I say not adding, 'I think I would have notice a big, gaping hole in the ceiling'

"We're on our way to the first floor," Arabella pants; clearly she's running down the stairs now.

It's pretty dark down here, little light peers in from the world above. I feel around for my flashlight, I notice the rug fell along with me, cushioning my fall. Once I reach the end of the rug, I realize that there's only concrete. I also realize I probably would've died had this old rug not fallen with me. I find my flashlight in the near darkness; I flip it on and shine it around. The room that I thought was large and cylindrical is not. It is small near square like room. Old wallpaper peels in random places along the wall. I shine light all around the walls, I notice something odd in the back right corner. The wallpaper has a lump, like it was applied over something. I walk over to investigate. I shine over the suspicious area and notice that there's an odd pattern to the way the wall paper peeled. I grab the lump, and yank it. Sure enough, a door opens. I realize Ryan must be close, because I'm surrounded by traps, and I have just enough time to scream before a poison dart enters my arm and my world goes to total blackness.