The Last Bus Ride - Swamp Hill (Part 3)
By Steve West
September 6, 2016 4:47pm CST
Dinner was fairly uneventful. There was a lot of anxiety from the children about the separation into groups tomorrow at Swamp Hill. There was genuine fear that things could go wrong. The children went to bed after 10 o'clock. Fortunately, inside the building, it was fairly cool and the bedding was alright. The only problem was the high pitch sounds of the Juzzi bees. They buzzed around the building all night long. In the morning, the children had a strange but delicious breakfast. The best part of the breakfast was the ola fruit. The fruit had a sweet taste and a calming affect on the brain. "Okay," said Flavoid. "Time for our morning walk. Remember you shall go into separate groups that I have prepared in advance. I will know where your movements are at all times. Be careful and remember not to take off the goggles." Sarah, James, Max, and Lucy formed the first group. Ron, Peter, Cindy and Wally formed the second group. Chuck, Al, Beth, and Connie formed the third group. Jack, Emily and Paul formed the fourth group. Rachel, Tim, and Steven formed the fifth group. George was still on the bus in the form of a hairy newt. "The first group shall walk down the path marked O7. The second group shall walk down the path marked 15. The third group shall walk down the path marked 24. The fourth group shall walk down the path marked 33. Finally, the fifth group shall walk down the path marked XXX. Off you go now. Oh yes, here is a bottle of Jega Water for each of you. Drink it on your walk. I estimate that you will be gone for over two hours. All paths lead back to Base 1. This is Base 1. Now go!" The first group walked along a narrow path of crushed leaves and winding vines. "We must stay clear of the vines," said James. "Remember, they are much worse than poison ivy." The group kept close together. At about half way through their walk, Max stumbled. He fell to the ground. His goggles fell off his face. Sensing a victim, Commine swarmed over Max. They immediately sent messages into Max's head. "I'm home," said Max. "I feel so free." "Max," said James. "You are hallucinating. We are not home." "I feel like dancing." Max grabbed a vine. Instantly, Max was in total agony. "What's happening to me? I feel like daggers are striking me from all sides." "Where is Flavoid?" asked Sarah. "We need help!" "Yes," said Lucy. "This is terrible. Flavoid, where are you?" Flavoid heard the cries. He sensed the trouble. Instantly, he whisked the four of them out of Swamp Hill and sent them back to Base 1. "Max is in a bad way. I shall have Boleen look after Max. She'll heal his wounds and clear his mind. The rest of you should return inside the building and await further instructions." The second group walked across a wide, open path. "This hardly seems like a swamp at all," said Ron. "Your right," added Wally. "This isn't so bad." Just then a swarm of Roppas came out of the sky. "What is that?" asked an anxious Cindy. "We weren't told about this," said Peter. The Roppas looked like huge dragonflies. They spit out acid which struck the ground. "Run," yelled Ron. "We've got to get out of here. That's acid." Cindy yelled, "Flavoid, you didn't warn us about this. Help!" Flavoid sensed the distress from the second group. He used his telepathic mind and sent the Roppas far, far away. The rest of the walk was relatively safe. Only a few Tangled Plants made walking a little more difficult. the Tangled Plants would wrap around the children's shoes. It took awhile to untangle, but no harm was done. The third group walked into part of the dark zone of Swamp Hill. Chuck and Beth led the way. They found that the goggles also allowed a light to shine the way into this darkened area. It was a good thing too. Al and Connie stayed closely with the leaders. At first, everything was alright. Then suddenly, Connie felt something tugging at her foot. She was being pulled into the ground by a Plaxoid. "Help," screamed Connie. "What's happening to me?" Flavoid heard the scream. He could feel Connie's distress. If Connie wasn't rescued immediately, she would be sucked into the ground below. Flavoid raised both hands into the air. He waved them around five times. Connie was immediately freed from the Plaxoid. "Thank you," said Connie. "I don't know where you are, but thank you for saving my life." The third group completed their walk without any further disturbance. The fourth group's path was bumpy. "What a strange swamp area this is," said Jack. Emily and Paul agreed. It didn't take them long before they noticed some flying Warbots in the sky. They didn't seem to be interested in the humans. "Let's move swiftly along," said Emily. All went well for the next hour. As they came close to the end of their walk, a giant Bodo appeared. "What's that?" cried Paul. It looks like a porcupine. the Bodo unleashed spears from its body. One of the spears almost struck Emily. "Flavoid, we need your help. We are being attacked by a strange creature." Flavoid sensed the danger facing the fourth group. He sent out the Aura of Protection that surrounded the children. No spears could penetrate the Aura. The children finished their walk safely. The last group suffered the worst fate. They walked into the most swampy area of Swamp Hill. A Gingi Plant sprayed a mist that struck Rachel right in the nose. She fell faint. Tim tried to help her get up. Unfortunately, the Gingi Plant then sprayed a mist at Tim too. He also fell to the ground. Only Steven was left standing. "Help!" yelled Steven. Some plant has knocked out my two companions. I don't know if they are alright." Flavoid was very concerned. The Gingi Plant was deadly. The spray could cause permanent damage if left untreated. Flavoid mind controlled the children out of Swamp Hill. Rachel and Tim were immediately attended by Boleen. Tim recovered after a short while. It took Rachel a longer time to recover. For the next few hours, Rachel suffered the affects of Chattering Teeth Syndrome. Flavoid spoke to all the children. "You have completed your walk. I know that for many of you it was unpleasant. We will leave here tomorrow. We are going to Void 5. This is an unusual Void. It is called the Void of Abstraction. More of this tomorrow. I want you to eat and rest. You have a long journey ahead of you." Thus complete another chapter into the lives of 19 children from Bus 32. No one perished, but the dangers were ever present. The next void should prove to be most fascinating.
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