We rode in the cab for a while, and personally I was surprised we all fit inside the cab. Even with Dan up front, there were five of us in a back seat meant for three people. Jared and Joe were pressed up against the window while April and El were pretty much sitting on my lap. We didn’t even get a mile down the road before we started having problems.
“Man it sure is getting hot in here,” the cab driver said as he wiped his forehead with his arm and reached down to turn on the AC some more, but the fans were already at full blast at the lowest temperature. The heat was starting to get to the rest of us as well, except for El who was most likely protected from the heat thanks to her dad being Poseidon. Thinking of that, it reminded me of somewhere I had been before. Just then, the engine made a horrible choking sound and the cab driver pulled over to the side of the road.
“This darn thing, third time this month it has done this,” the man complained. He got out of the car and lifted the hood, causing steam to pour from the engine and the guy had to jump back to most likely avoid being burned. He took off his baseball cap and started swatting at the steam to try and clear it up. “Wow, haven’t seen an engine overheat this bad since my cousin Jerry drove nonstop through Death Valley in America.”
“Here, let me take a look. My father is a mechanic so I know my stuff,” Dan said as he slowly got out of the car, while the rest of us took the chance to stretch our legs. Dan walked over to the engine and rolled up his sleeves. I watched as he started looking over the engine and started messing with some stuff that I couldn’t even begin to understand. While I may have been a son of the god of travelers, I knew absolutely nothing when it came to cars. I could drive them no problem, but tell me to find the transmission and I’ll start looking in the trunk. As he worked, I saw a few small marks on his arm and I wondered if he had gotten them from one of the many fights we had been in. However, they didn’t look like the kind of mark you would get from a sword or automated dragons, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
“Hey, earth to Swift,” April said as she snapped her fingers in front of my face. “Sorry, I guess I just kind of spaced out for a moment,” I said as I turned to face her. “What’s up?”
“Well, I really am starting to worry about Dan. He looks like he is getting worse and if anything happens to him, who will be left to disarm the bombs. However, we don’t really have the time to take him to see a doctor. I once had to wait for over an hour just to see a doctor once, it was so annoying,” she said as she started to recount a story about how she had a stubborn cold that wouldn’t go away, before getting back on track. “Anyway, what should we do?”
“I think I know a place that could help, and thankfully it is nearby,” I said and this seemed to make April happy. Just then the hood of the cab slammed shut and Dan rolled his sleeves back down his arm.
“Dude, some of the wires are completely melted away and your engine is on the verge of overheating. I managed to fix a few things, but the cab won't be able to carry us all without running the risk of breaking down. You should head back to your company to get it fixed and we’ll hail another cab,” Dan explained and shook the guys hand. The driver jumped back in his car and started driving away, waving to us as he stuck his arm out the window. Dan raised his hand back and slowly waved, before I watched him completely collapse to the ground in one quick motion.
“Oh crap,” Joe said as he shot to his feet. El was already running over to check on him while I did the same. As I got closer, I slid on the dirt road and lifted his head up to make sure he didn’t hit his skull on the hard ground, which from the looks of it he didn’t. El leaned down and placed her hand on his head, but pulled it back so fast that I wondered if she had burned her hand or something. “Ok, I think Dan is on fire or something. It is hard to tell if he has a fever or not because he is a son of Hephaestus. I mean there is fire in him for crying out loud,” El complained.
“Swift, where is this spot you were talking about. We may need it now more than ever,” April said and I nodded in agreement, but I looked at the ocean to check the tide. Thankfully, it was low tide right now, but it wouldn’t stay like that for long.
“Alright, we don’t have much time. Joe and Jared, carry Dan down toward the water. April and El, go down toward the cliff side over there and look for a small cave. El, you’ll know which one I’m talking about most likely. We don’t have a lot of time, so if the tide starts coming in, I’ll need you to push it back as long as possible. If the tide floods into the cave, then we won’t be able to leave until it goes back out to sea, meaning we may not make it to the next bomb in time,” I told them. El and April headed down the path toward the beach while Jared and Joe carried the unconscious Dan with them. I started moving things out of the way to give them a clear path and lead them to the cave. When we got to the entrance, April and El were waiting for us.
“I’ll wait outside and keep the tide at bay,” El volunteered and the rest of us went inside the cave. It was dark for a long while, but Joe took out his spear and created a small ball of lightning at the tip that acted as a flashlight. Pretty soon the cave opened up into a large room that glittered a beautiful blue and green color that reflected off the walls.
“It’s beautiful,” April said as she looked at how the colors seemed to swirl around the room, thanks to a small pool of water in the center that reflected an unknown light source.
“What is it?” Joe asked, looking at the center piece of the pool of water. “Hey, the Olive Tree wasn’t the only gift given to the city of Athens. Poseidon gave them a gift too, and even if they liked the tree better, Poseidon allowed them to keep his present to them anyway. Unfortunately, Athena didn’t like the idea and didn’t want the people to know about the spring’s true powers, so she buried it under a pile of rocks and the people thought Poseidon had taken his gift away,” I explained, but everyone seemed amazed that I knew so much about it. “At least that is what Megan told me when we came here last time.”
“You’ve been here before?” Jared asked me.
“Dude, I’m a child of Hermes. Traveling is what I do,” I said, half joking but half telling the truth as well. Staying in one place for too long wasn’t really my style, and my ADHD made it even worse most of the time. However, I remembered we were on a time limit and I looked over at Dan. “Ok, toss him in the water. It has healing properties and it should get him back on his feet.”
The two lowered Dan into the water, causing some steam to rise up from his body as the water seemed to evaporate on touch, but it slowed after a few seconds, and eventually stopped all together. It was proof that at least his fever was going down, thankfully the color was returning to his face, and the cut to his shoulder looked a bit better, but he still looked a bit sick. I’m sure an hour in the pool would get him back to a hundred percent, but after only fifteen minutes, April came running back after going to check on El.
“Guys, we have problems,” April said, trying to catch her breath. “Is the tide coming in?” I asked. I knew that with El holding the water back, we should have at least another hour if not more, but then again I had never tried to stop the tide before so I didn’t know how hard it would be.
“Not only is the tide coming in, but we have some old friends coming up the shore line as well. El is holding the tide back, but that means she can’t attack without losing her grip on the tide.
Before I could even think about what to do, Dan rose out from the water and started walking toward the cave entrance.
“Come on, we can’t let them find this sacred place, or they might find some way to destroy it or use it for their own gains. We’re leaving now,” he said as he started walking toward the door.
“You should rest some more, we can handle it for now,” I protested, trying to give him even a few more minutes.
“I’m fine, now let’s go,” he shot back and I knew the conversation was over.