Goonies Never Say Die

OFF: This is my challenge post. Around fifteen years ago the Linnik twins set out with their friends on a daring adventure that would shape the course of their lives. Avakhon has no memories of this episode as he was suffering from a head injury at the time.

ON: "The map says its down there!" whispered Balok. The group of teenagers had crept into the cellar of the Ladys Grace in search of treasure. It was Bolak who had found the map but true to form his twin brother Balok had taken over the quest.

"Hush." Whispered Bolak, looking back towards the stairs they had climbed down. A shaft of light still peaked through the hatch and the sounds of merriment could be heard from the bar above.

"I dont know, it looks dark down there." complained Tulde as he peered into the open drain leading into the city sewers. He was younger than the rest and more nervous by nature.

"Who said you could come anyway." Balok snapped as he eyed the rotund boy.

"Aw come on please." Tulde begged not wanting to be left out.

"First you do the truffle shuffle." Balok demanded.

"Leave him alone Balok." Aji argued from beneath the shade of her cloak.

"Stay out of it fur ball." Balok growled, "Do it!"

"Aw come on," Tulde whined.

"Do it!" Balok urged.

Resigned to his fate Tulde pulled up his shirt and began to wriggled up and down making his fat body jiggle like a bowl of jelly. Balok roared with laughter and the others tried not to show their amusement at such a cruel joke.

"Fine Balok" said after a moment or two. "You first." and with that he gave Tulde a boot that knocked him into the hole. There came a splash from below and a groan before Tulde called back,

"Im alright!"

"That was not nice." Bolak hissed as he jumped down, followed by Aji and then Balok. They landed in a heap in a cold dark room that stank of rotten timber and old wine. The floor was about an inch deep in water.

"I can't see a thing." Bolak groaned as he lifted himself to his feet.

"Who has a light?" Balok asked.

"A light oh yes!" Aji announced, "Back up, back up!"

She opened her cloak and two bright lamps attached to her belt blazed into sudden light, "Bully Blinders!" she announced in delight as the others all fell back suddenly caught of guard by the bright light.

"Sorry, sorry!" Aji apologised as she dipped the shutters on the lamps to lower the light but the sudden flash had done more than shock her companions. Behind them there came a loud roar as a huge beast of a man rose up from where he had been lying on the floor.

"Roooooarr!" Cried the man and the teens screamed and clambered back over one another leaving Tulde cowering on his knees before the thing.

"Please dont eat me, please dont eat me!" Tulde begged as the huge creature loomed over him.

"Noooooo eeeeeat!" said the beast of a man.

"He's so ugly." Balok whispered and indeed he was. His face was distorted and ridged and his eyes burned red.

"He has some kind of head injury." Aji noted and indeed the man had a large wound atop his head. The man thing looked down on the teens and then at Tulde and he crouched causing the fat boy to whimper louder.

"Nooooooo Cryyyy." he said patting Tulde on the head. "Avakhoooon" he said patting himself on the chest.

"Im.. I'm Tulde." said the boy.

"Tuuuulde Friiiend?" slurred the giant.

Tulde looked back at the others and they all nodded.

"Yes.. er yes alright." Tulde agreed and with that Avakhon lifted the child up into the air and hugged him.

"I think the head injury must have made him simple?" Aji whispered in Bolaks ear and he nodded, having an idea. He stepped forward.

"Mr Avakhon, we are searching for treasure." he said.

"Hush." hissed his brother but he ignored him and continued. "Mr Avakhon would you like to help us?"

"Help friieeends?" he asked dropping Tulde into the water.

"Yes." Aji said stepping to Bolaks side. "First do you know the way out of here?" She snatched the map from Balok.

"We need to go here!" She said pointing and the X on the map.

"Yeeees!" Avakhon said, "Fooollow." and with that they were moving. Avakhon pushed against what looked like a nearby torch sconce and with a groan the wall gave way to reveal and opening. They all ran through following their new companion through a network of dark caverns.

Bolak could feel the brush of cold air as they passed openings to either side and more than once his feet stumbled upon holes in the stone that dropped away into some unknown depth. The beast man Avakhon was moving with an inhuman speed and the teens were having trouble keeping up. Especially the twins who by their nature were shorter of limb than most.

At last the caverns opened up into a wider chamber and the group paused to catch their breath. Aji lifted the shutters on her lamps to give them some more light and they spread out throughout the chamber. It was Aji that found the body, or at least what was left of it.

Crushed beneath a great boulder in the centre of the room lay a skeleton its arm outstretched and jaws open in a final scream. They gathered around it and looked down at the pale bones and strange uniform it wore. Black trousers and a gold top with three gold pips on the collar.

"Here." gasped Balok as he snatched a golden object from the mans hand. It was a skull shaped amulet and holding it next to the map they saw that its image had been sketched on the paper with the word key next to it.

"We should take a look around." Bolak suggested but Aji grabbed his arm and gasped,

"Wait! everyone be careful where you tread." Bolak looked down and saw what she did. All around the floor were thumb sized stones raised above the surface. He glanced up and froze. High above them, great boulders like the one that crushed this man were suspended by ropes from the ceiling.

It was at that moment that Tulde tripped over the skeletons outstretched arm and landed his foot squarely on top of one of the stones. There came a rumble from above and Bolak screamed, "Ruuuun!"

They raced from the chamber through a far passage as stones crashed down behind them. Bolak stared in amazement as the addled Avakhon caught one of the boulders in one hand while carrying a squeaking Tulda under his other arm. With a grunt he threw the boulder aside and ran on.

Stone after stone fell from above and they ran blindly on. Such was their panic that they did not see the ground falling away before them until it was too late. They all clamoured to a halt on the very edge of what turned out to be a deep pit with viscous spikes reaching up towards them.

Unperturbed Avakhon leapt the gap still carrying Tulde and turned to face the group who stood frozen on the edge of death with boulders still descending behind them.

"Do something!" Balok screamed as he glanced behind and below.

"Like what." Bolak screamed back as he counted the seconds that remained before their imminent death.

"I have it! I have it!" Aji cried, and with that she pointed her arm at the ceiling releasing a grappling claw held to her by a thin metal cord. "Pinchers of Peril." she announced as the claw fastened onto a stalactite. "Hold on to me!"

The Linnik twins grabbed on to Aji as she leapt out across the chasm. Stones fell behind them and spikes loomed up from beneath as they flew through the air and landed roughly on the far side at Tuldes feet.

"Which way now?" Bolak asked as the group picked themselves up.

Avakhon gave a grunt and pointed off to the right where a cave fell away downwards at a gentle slope. They moved a little slower now, wary of more traps and exhausted from their frantic running and their brush with death.

At last they came to a dead end. The tunnel simply stopped and built into the wall sat a vast pipe organ. As strange as it was to see the instrument down here in the dark beneath the city, it was more strange to see that it was made entirely from human bones. The keys themselves appeared to be finger bones and skulls were lined up atop its casing.

"What the hell is this?" Balok cursed.

"On the back of the map." Bolak said grabbing the parchment and turning it. Under the light of Ajis lamp they could barley make out the scratching of musical notes.

"We need to play this." Aji agreed as she glanced from the parchment to the organ. "Who reads music?" she asked.

"My.. my grandmother made me take lessons." Tulde admitted and he was pushed forward to the front and given the map. "B..but Im not very good." he added.

"You'll do fine." Bolak assured him.

Tulde pushed his sweaty fingers down on a key and the organ made a sound like a wet fart. In the distance there came a rumbling sound and nearby part of the ceiling collapsed cutting off their escape.

"If we die here, I'll kill you!" Balok growled as the dust settled.

"Just breathe and concentrate." Aji whispered.

The next three notes went well with notes sounding clearly from the pipes above. The fourth was off and the ground began to rumble. More of the ceiling collapsed. Tulde whimpered as he played five more notes correctly leaving only one more to go.

"You can do it!" Aji encouraged him.

"Just concentrate." Bolak urged and then with a final gasp Tulde pressed the note. It rang true and for a moment they all cried out in delight. Then the ground fell away and they dropped into darkness. Down, down they went. Sliding more than falling. Their various screams blending into one until finally they shot out of the darkness into a vast cavern filled with water.

Bolak gasped and took in salt water as he plunged beneath the surface. He was limp with shock for a moment as he sank downwards and then his survival instincts kicked in. He kicked and thrashed then finding his way back upwards towards the dim light of the surface. Bursting clear he choked and spat water from his lungs as he fought to stay afloat.

They had emerged into a hidden sea cave it would seem and to his amazement a vast two mast ship sat anchored at its centre. The word Fessarius emblazoned on its hull. This was it! They had found the ship and the treasure and... the sounds of frantic splashing caused him to turn away from the ship.

"Hey you guys!" came the panicked call of Avakhon who for all his physical prowess appeared not to be able to swim. The ship forgotten Bolak swam towards their companion and saw that Tulde and Aji did the same. Reaching him they used what strength they had to bring him to the shore where that all clambered onto the rocks weary and panting. It was only then Balok realised his brother was missing.

His first thought was for Baloks safety and he looked around in panic. Then the grating of chains being lifted drew his attention back to the Fessarius and he snarled in sudden realisation. Balok stood on the deck of the ship grinning down at them.

"Help us aboard." Aji called up not yet realising the dwarfs treachery.

"The Fessarius is mine!" Balok called down pulling a flint lock pistol from his coat and pointing at the others. Stepping back he pulled sharply on a rope that caused the mainsail to unfurl and another that set off a system of pullys that began the ships movement out towards the cave entrance. He held the skull key in his hand and he pressed it into the top of a cannon which hissed and fired into the far wall. The rocks began to fall away and sunlight streamed in through a rapidly widening portal that led to the open sea.

"You fool!" cried Bolak, "You can not hope to sail her alone."

"You are the fool brother." he replied, "I will not be alone. The East India Company awaits my signal. I have signed a contract to serve with them and this ship will ensure my rank amongst their elite. I thank you for your assistance in retrieving it."

"You scoundrel." Aji raged.

"Baaaalok Baaaad!" Avakhon roared tears rolling down his cheeks as Tulde tried to comfort him.

"I will never trust you again." Hissed Bolak as he watched his brother depart. He never did.

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