Thanks for the reviews.
Tanhay: Thanks for the kind words. I will be getting to their problems very soon and it will probably happen in Petra. I am trying to figure out how to force them to confront their issues.
Off to Petra
Prue and her sisters finished putting on their fighting attire and was just about to head out when the door bell rang.
"Andy," Prue said as she answered the door while her other sisters remained quiet behind her.
"Hay, um is this a bad time?" He asks noticing that they were apparently heading out.
"When isn't it" Piper whispered and Prue smiled uncomfortably.
"Can we get a rain check on our date?" Prue asks.
"Sure I know you guys have a lot on your plate right now," he replied and after giving a gentle smile back, he left.
"Date Prue are you -," Piper began to say as her big sister turned around.
"Piper not now, we need to get this done or none of us will have dates," Prue said as Leo walked up to them.
"I will not be able to hear you once you go into the secret passages," he said.
"Its ok Paige can orb us home if something happens," Piper said and kissed him.
"I don't even know if I can get us there let alone get us out," Paige chimed in as she has never orbed that far before.
"You can and if we end up in the center of Earth, it will be a quick death," Phoebe said but it did not give much comfort.
"Be careful there is very little known about the secret passages and how to obtain the weapons," Leo said.
"We work best that way, ok Paige lets go," Prue said and they all held hands as Leo backed away. He hated not being able to get them if they got hurt but at least they did have a way home. He watched as his love and her sisters dissipated in blue and white lights.
When they re-materialized they were standing on sand as solid rock towered above them. They were in a cavern carved out by thousands of years of natures endless assault. The small passageway was barely lit as the sun could not penetrate the small opening above them.
"Did I mess up?" Paige asks.
"No Paige we are here," Prue replied and could not help but feel a tingle as she is always wanted to see the city carved out of rock. She started walking forward and soon more light penetrated the shadows, until finally her eyes set on Petra. She stepped into a large opening and faced the main building carved right out of the mountain face. "My god it's beautiful," she said as she continued to walk.
"Once a history buff always a history buff," Phoebe said as they followed her.
"I read about this place in high school but trust me there was no mention of secret passages," Paige said.
"There never is and according to Leo we are the only ones who can see them," Piper said as they stepped into the building. It was empty but the ceiling towered above them by at least 30 feet.
"So how are we supposed to see the passage?" Phoebe asks as she started looking at the walls.
"I don't know maybe it will glow or something," Prue replied as they all separated slightly to investigate. After about 30 minutes of rubbing their hands against walls and looking for something, they could all feel a sense of frustration. Phoebe folded her arms and leaned back against the wall near the corner. "Ok this is ridiculous they could have given us some kind of instruction," she said when she felt something move into the wall as she leaned back. They all could hear what sounded like gears turning.
"What the hell is that?" Piper asks as Phoebe turned around and faced the wall she was leaning against as a piece of it was moving inward.
"Oops," Phoebe said as the floor gave way and now they were all sliding down a ramp. It was like a water ride with sand as they speed-ed around corners while tumbling occasionally and had to try to get to their backs to keep from killing each other. After what felt like an eternity they landed at the bottom of the thrill ride. They all stood up checking for injury and dusting themselves off.
"Way to go short round," Prue said as Phoebe was blowing sand off of her arm.
"Your not that much taller than me," Phoebe said as she met up with them.
"Oh I think I'm going to vomit," Piper said while spitting out sand.
"That was a hell of a ride, lets do it again," Paige said while dusting herself off.
"Did we remember to bring water?" Phoebe asks.
"Water," Paige said and turned over her hand but instead of getting a quenching drink she got completely soaked as a bucket of water fell on her.
"You may have wanted to say bottled water," Prue said as she could not help but laugh as her baby sister was so new to the craft.
"Ok guys lets move ahead," Piper said as torches began to light and the passageway could be seen clearly. Prue took lead as usual and she walked cautiously as she was not sure if there were any traps.
"So you and Andy were going on a date?" Piper asks.
"Yes," Prue replied but kept her eyes forward.
"How is he handling being here you know in this world?" Phoebe asks.
"Fine technically his world was identical to ours it was just the zombies that made it different," Prue replied but again kept her eyes forward.
"I can't believe I had sisters all this time," Paige said and then Prue stopped and turned to face them.
"Guys we need to pay attention I have no idea if there are traps down here, so let's keep the chitter chatter to the minimal," Prue said and turned around to start walking forward again while her sisters mocked her.
They came to a dead end and the only way to go was back. "Are we in a labyrinth?" Piper asks.
"The Minotaur," Prue said as the realization that they might be in the legendary labyrinth of the Minotaur.
"I thought that was in Crete?" Piper asks.
"Piper it's a legend I'm sure they got something wrong," Phoebe replied.
"Details," Piper said through her teeth.
"So what we meander around until we find the center?" Paige asks.
"No we blow our way through," Prue replied and looked at Piper who was hesitant as she has not practiced enough with her new power.
"First I don't really want to blow up a mythology place, I think that's bad karma and second I have no idea how deep that wall is," Piper said.
"I know but we need to try," Prue said and put her hands into Piper's. After a few moments she nodded and everyone backed up a little as Piper shook her hand out and try to relax. She flicked her wrist but instead of blowing up the wall in front of them all of the torches stopped flickering.
"Um I think you froze everything," Paige said.
"Yeah I got that," Piper said as she rolled her neck and tried again. This time she succeeded and tapped into her exploding power. Chunks of rock went flying and they all had to take cover from the debris. "Ouch," she grunted as she got up and was hit by some of it that left a few scratches.
"You may what to backup a little," Prue said as they all did while Piper regained her composure and did it again and again until finally there was a large enough hole to get through. She peeked in and could see another passageway as the torches lit up. She turned around with a wide smile as this idea was far better than just trying to find their way through the labyrinth by walking. But the moment of jubilation was short-lived as apparently the ruckus got the attention of the Minotaur. They could hear what sounded like a bull in the distance that made the sand shake beneath their feet and some fall from above.
"Oh god," Paige said.
"Don't worry with all of our powers we should be able to handle him," Prue said as she stepped past Piper and into the new passageway.
"I hope she's right," Phoebe said as she stepped in as well. Piper took a deep breath and follow the rest.
They walked occasionally hearing the Minotaur and hoped he was too far away from them until finally they came to a door that had a shield carved on its front.
"This is the first one we need," Prue said and started looking for a handle or a way to enter. She backed away while looking at the carving.
"Calm before an impending doom," Piper said as she recall the poem about the Shield that she learned a long time ago when she was in college.
"What?" Paige asks.
"Calm before the storm, used to emphasize the brutality of violence during the Trojan War. It could also be read as a reminder to the reader of what will be lost once Troy ultimately falls," Piper replied.
"What was lost?" Phoebe asks.
"Polyxena, daughter of Priam and Astyanax, son of Hector was sacrificed at the tomb of Achilles," Prue replied and looked at the carving. She used her hand to wipe off the sand and dust that has accumulated over the years and could see all the parts could be pressed in.
"Ok you read way to much, " Phoebe said.
"How does that help us open the door?" Piper asks as she too could see areas that can be pressed in.
"I don't know but I have a feeling if we get it wrong, we will pay for it," Prue said as she read the Latin writing on the top. "corpora lente augescent cito extinguuntur," she said.
"translation for the Latin impaired," Piper said.
"Bodies grow slowly and die quickly," Prue replied as she started looking at the carving. There were scenes of Greek life that went around its outer circumferences and around the inter-part with scenes of warfare. The zodiac signs were in the center. Prue tossed her hands up as she had no idea what to push.
"Just let me orb in," Paige suggested.
"Paige we have no idea what is behind that door," Prue said as Phoebe began to look at the picture.
"So its better than just standing here," Paige said as she did what Prue told her not too. She tried to orb past the door and then was tossed out and then landed on her back. She stood up slightly defeated as they could hear stone rubbing together.
"The walls are moving in," Piper said as she noticed the wall behind her was pushing sand towards them.
"Dammit!" Prue said and somewhat pushed Phoebe out-of-the-way to look at the shield again as the wall was moving in. Paige did not tell them she was claustrophobic and started to breathe rapidly while holding her chest. "Come on dammit come on," Prue said as she tried to think of what the combination would be.
"Prue I have an idea," Phoebe said but Prue ignored her. "Prue!"
"What?" Prue asks as Piper was trying to freeze the wall. It worked but only for a short time.
"What was lost life as they knew it," Phoebe said and Prue looked at the carving for war.
"Guys I can't hold this," Piper said as her power was being depleted quickly.
"We could just orb home," Paige said with jagged breaths.
"It was supposed to signify the end of war," Prue said and pushed the carving that had scenes of warfare. They could hear something unlock from the other side but the door open slightly. She pushed on it but it did not move. "There's more," she said.
"Scorpio," Phoebe said and Prue pushed the zodiac for Scorpio and the door opened more but still was not enough.
"Water element," Phoebe said and Prue looked at the outer circle. There was a scene depicting what looked like a river so with a shaking hand she pushed it. The door opened fully just as Piper's power was depleted and the wall was almost upon them. Prue grabbed Paige and pulled her into the next room as Piper followed with Phoebe. The wall behind them sealed their exit as they now faced a large room with a shield at the other end. Piper had her hands on her knees as using that much power was draining.
"Paige are you ok?" Phoebe asks as her baby sister just nodded her head as her ability to speak was very limited at the moment.
"Good job Phoebe," Prue said.
"Thanks," Phoebe said but was still a little hurt that she pushed her out-of-the-way like she was incapable of figuring it out.
"Ok so there's the Shield," Piper said and started to make a step but Prue stopped her.
"Wait it can't be that easy," Prue said.
"Are you kidding me like that door wasn't hard enough," Piper said.
Prue looked at the floor and could see the tiles were slightly different colors and figured they were pressure plates.
"I'm going to try something," Prue said and she astral projected herself to the middle. Once her other self formed she decided to test her theory. She stepped and could feel the tile beneath her pushed down slightly. The sound of the mechanism starting made all of them hold their lungs at a standstill as blades began to fly. Cutting the Astro Prue into tiny, bloody pieces. Prue was back but could actually feel the pain her other self felt for a second. The Astral one faded away as the blades kept flying.
"Who is short round now?" Phoebe asks.
"That was disgusting and awful," Piper said as she helped Prue stay standing.
"Tell me about it," Prue added.
"Paige do you think you can orb it to us?" Piper asks.
"I can try," Paige replied and put her hand out. "Shield!" she said and they all waited for it to orb to her but instead a long spear was heading their way right towards Paige. Piper immediately put her hands up and luckily had just enough power left to freeze it only inches away from her baby sister's face. Piper then knocked it to the ground as she knew her power would not last long.
"This place is already starting to piss me off," Piper said as Paige swallowed hard.
"So we can't walk to it, we can't orb to it and your freezing power won't last long enough," Prue said.
"Not only that but when I froze that spear none of those blades stopped moving," Piper said as apparently this room or those blades were immune to it.
"So how the hell do we get to this thing?" Phoebe asks.
"Water," Paige said as she looked up and could see tubs made out of clay coming down from the top.
"How?" Prue asks.
"The water will stop the blades and we could float over top of the tiles," Paige replied.
"Wait I could have levitated over to it," Phoebe said as she looked hard at Prue.
"Shit," Prue said as she realized that may have worked.
"Well we can't do it now," Paige said.
"That is a long swim and what if the water doesn't go away after we get it, Paige we could drowned," Prue said.
"How do we get the water down here in the first place?" Piper asks.
Phoebe looked around and almost snorted when she saw what looked like a ancient faucet handle on the side of the wall she was standing next to. "We use that," she replied.
"Ok guys I need a minute, I don't think I can swim that far while holding my breath," Piper said as she started to feel panic.
"I don't think we have a choice," Prue said as she too was ready to take the swim.
"Once it gets to the point that we can make it across, we go and hopefully don't have to hold our breath that long," Prue said as she put her hand on the faucet. "Paige if you have to orb home then do it, don't worry about us, if one of us survives there is a chance that person can bring us back," Prue said and turned the handle. Again they get they could hear the sound of gears turning and then cold water came rapidly out of the tubes above them. They stood patiently as the water began to rise to the ankles and they tried to keep their bodies from shivering.
"At least you're not afraid of water anymore" Phoebe said to Prue.
"That's looking at the bright side," Prue said as the cold liquid that thankfully was clear was now at their knees. The blades that were flying across the room towards the bottom, were being slowed down dramatically by the water. Prue smiled a bit as Paige was right on how it would affect the blades. The water was now at their waste and Prue took in a deep breath. She dove under as the water began to rise. Her plan was to get air if she needed it while the room was not full, but had to avoid the blades that were not being affected by the water in order to not get sliced and diced. The others did the same and they started their swim that was the length of an Olympic pool. The water was rising faster than anyone expected and they could see the access to air was no longer available. Their lungs ached and Paige remembered what Prue said, but leaving them to drowned was something she could not bear, so she pushed onward. Prue was first to arrive to the shield and struggled to get it out of its holder as the others helped. She used her feet against the statue but it would not budge. Piper tapped her on the arm to move away and once Prue was clear she flicked her wrist and blew up the arms that were holding the shield. Piper's energy was completely zapped at this point and the need for oxygen was becoming too much. She closed her eyes tight releasing small bubbles of carbon dioxide in attempts to gain more time. Prue and Phoebe grabbed the shield and they could see drainage pipes opening beneath them. All of them made a swim to the top but Prue and Phoebe were holding something that weighed too much and it was sinking them to the bottom. Phoebe pushed Prue away and pointed upwards but Prue shook her head no. Piper emerged first in almost hit her head on the ceiling as she took in a deep breath. Paige was second.
"Piper!" Paige yelled as she could see her.
"Yeah, where is Prue and Phoebe?" Piper asks.
"I don't know," Paige replied and Piper took in as much oxygen as she could and dove back down. She could see them struggling with a heavy object and even somewhat fighting with each other. Piper had a advantage of having lungs full of air and when she got to them, she put her hand on Prue's face and pulled her to her. Prue could fill air come into her mouth as Piper exhaled into hers. Piper did the same to Phoebe and now it was time to figure out how to get to the surface as the water was lowering to slowly. The thought of just letting it go and getting it later crossed their mind, but with no way to communicate it, they were afraid if they did so they would lose the shield. Phoebe tried to use hand gestures but they could not get what she was saying as Paige joined them. She moved her lips and said levitate and everyone shook their head in agreement. Phoebe tapped into her power and was able to levitate with the shield to the surface. She took in a deep breath and try to keep her concentration as the weight was enormous and was doing its best to drag her back down to the bottom. Her sisters joined her at gathering air as the water was now halfway about 20 feet deep.
"Holy crap this water is cold," Piper said while treading.
"Phoebe you ok?" Prue asks.
"Can't talk right now," Phoebe replied as the coldness of the water was causing her body to shiver.
"Why don't you just drop it?" Paige asks.
"We don't know if it will disappear or something," Prue said and then remembered the blades.
"Oh god the blades," she said as she could hear them starting up again. Shooting over their heads.
"Phoebe let it go," Piper said as she could feel a blade touched the top of her hair.
"I can't," Phoebe said.
"Yes you can just let it go," Prue said.
"No I seriously can't, for some reason I can't drop it," Phoebe replied as her levitating power was fading quickly.
They all had to go under the water for a second as the blades were getting too close. Once phoebe emerged to get a breath of air. She knew there was only one option. Paige has already tried to orb but for some reason none of their powers were working except for Phoebe's at the moment.
"Let me drowned and then do CPR to bring me back. You guys need to get back to the entrance. I have a feeling that is the way it has to be," Phoebe said.
"Phoebe are you insane," Piper said as a blade went flying a crossed her forehead and made a small cut.
"No just like the story, sacrifice," she said and then let the shield begin to take her to the bottom.
"No," Prue yelled and went down after her. The others did the same as Phoebe held her breath but knew soon she would see the same fate as her mother or her sisters will save her. They tried to pull her towards the door but she was right, she would not budge and hit the bottom. Piper tried to pry her fingers loose but Phoebe just shook her head. Phoebe then mouthed go and even though it was against everything she wanted to do, she hugged her and began to swim toward the entrance as the others did the same. Once they were clear of the blades and the water was now almost depleted. Phoebe already had her lungs filled with cold liquid and was motionless as the water was now just puddles. The blades stopped and without hesitation they all ran to her. Phoebe's grasp on the shield was released but she was not breathing. Prue turned her over and started the process of CPR as Piper held Phoebe's head.
"Don't you die on me," Prue said and pushed on her chest.
"Come on baby girl, we just need one," Piper said through sobs.
Phoebe began to cough up water and Prue immediately put her to her side to get the rest out. "That's it, that's it, get it out," Prue said while rubbing her back. Piper felt a huge sense of relief as the wall that close their exit earlier was moving backwards and let them out. Paige picked up the shield and was a little astonished at how light it was considering how heavy it was in the water.
"We did it," Paige said.
"She did it," Piper said while Phoebe was just opening her eyes.
"You ok?" Prue asks and Phoebe nodded as she coughed.
"Looks like we can leave this room," Piper said as she looked at the exit.
"We need a break, let's get out there and take one," Prue said and helps Phoebe stand. They were all soaked to the bone and could still feel the chill of the water as well as almost losing a sister.
To be continued.