Senior Kamryn Schultz finishes up her serialized book titled Redemption. Chapters will be revealed every two weeks. Make sure to check back twice a month and leave comments on what you think about it. If you missed the sixteenth chapter, read Deep waters. For chapter 1 read Confronting weaknesses.
The bottom of the lake was actually quite clear. I slowly navigated my way across the ground, trying to find the gem. This is impossible, I thought. How was I supposed to find a tiny gem in this vast expanse of water? Suddenly, I felt a pull from the side, as if someone were tugging at me with tremendous strength. I whirled around in the water, searching for the invisible force.
Again, it pulled me to the left, a lot stronger this time. I didn’t resist, and allowed it to take me farther across the lake. I was worried the rope would run out and eventually tug Indi and everything we owned into the lake, but it was surprisingly stable. I glided through the water, not entirely sure of where I was going, but still determined to find what I was looking for.
I came to a sudden holt, jolting my body forward and causing me to lose what little oxygen I had left. I had stopped in front of a ship wreckage, and a very old one at that. Obviously the ship had seen finer days; it was split in half, separated by a huge broken gap that could have been made by another war ship.
The whole wreckage was covered in algae and brightly colored coral. Usually you’d find these types of ships in movies, expecting to see the faint lights flicker on and off, and those innocent souls still stuck inside desperately crying to be freed. But this ship was hardly noticeable; another century and it wouldn’t even be a memory.
I searched the ship to find the gem, around the twisted ladders and rails, alongside the anchor winches and above the blasted roof. I swam around several times, each search giving me nothing. Just then, I spotted something. On the very bottom of the ship, beneath molded furniture and rusted weapons, a small but just noticeable green spark caught my attention.
As I grew closer to it, the emerald color started to glow, getting brighter and brighter in my presence. I slowly reached for the gem and grasped it in my hands. By now it was almost blinding, but I kept it secure in my palms. The gem seemed to pull me in, mesmerizing me.
I felt a surge of energy, similar to the kind with the first gem, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the emerald. I was too distracted to notice another diver swimming straight towards me. Suddenly, I was hit with tremendous force, and the gem was knocked out of my hands. It sunk to a deeper part of the lake, out of reach.
I turned around to see a male diver, wearing similar gear to my own, chasing after the gem. I started to go after him, but I realized the rope attached to me wasn’t quite long enough to go deeper into the lake. Without thinking of the consequences, I grabbed a pocket knife I kept in my suit and cut myself free, and swam after the thief.
Just as he grabbed the gem, I was ready to attack. I kicked him in the stomach, but zero gravity did me zero favors. The kick didn’t affect him at all, as he slowly turned towards me and punched me in the gut. I lurched forward, grabbing my stomach and wincing in pain.
Ok, that was a low blow.
I glared at my opponent and shook off the hit. He turned and started to swim away, up to the surface, but I was faster. I grabbed his foot, causing his to sink with my weight. He tried to kick himself free, struggling and thrashing around underwater, but to no prevail. I pulled him further down, and quickly grabbed the gem, now glowing brightly in my hands.
As soon as the thief realized he’d been thwarted, he lunged towards me, trying to grasp the gem from me. He reached for my arm and grabbed it, tightening his grip every second. I squeezed my eyes shut, preparing for pain to shoot up my right arm. But I felt nothing. I opened my eyes and found my whole body glowing a bright green aura. The thief’s grip was strong, but I had become stronger.
With a quick swipe, I ripped his hand off of me and used my own fist to swing at him. Granted, the blow was slow, but surprisingly effective with my newly acquired powers. I barely took a punch, and I sent the thief flying out of the water onto the shore. Not wanting him to escape, I swam to the surface and onto land.
I quickly ditched my gear as I stumbled over to where the man was sprawled on the ground. He had removed his mask and was coughing up the lake water, gasping for air. He rolled over and clutched his side from the impact. I grabbed him by his diver suit and held him high in the air. My anger boiled over as I stared into his fearful eyes.
“Who are you?” I shouted, one hand wrapped around his neck and the other gripped tightly to the gem. Suddenly, I froze. Those eyes looked so familiar. I swear I’d seen them before.
He remained silent, afraid to answer my question. His eyes widened, and then it hit me.
The man from Emiline’s accident. The severely injured one with the boney finger.
I set him down and he cowered on the ground in a ball.
“Please, don’t hurt me,” he whimpered.
“Tell me who you are and we’ll see where we stand.”
He looked up at me with guilt and shame, as he tried to hide the fact he’d been crying from the actions of a teenage girl.
“My name is Evan,” he cautiously replied.
“You were in that car crash with my friend a couple months weeks ago,” I stated. “What are you doing here? What were you doing trying to steal the gem? How do you even know about the gem?”
“Alright, alright, take it easy,” Evan put his hands up in defense. “I’ll tell you what I know, if you promise to give me the gem.”
I looked at him as if he were crazy. “Absolutely not! This gem has too much power, you just saw what I’m capable of with it in my hands. And even if I did give it to you, it’s powers would have no affect on you. I’m the only one who can activate it.”
“That’s where you’re wrong!” Evan exclaimed, standing up to meet me face to face. “There’s someone else.”
“Someone else?” I asked.
He nodded, fear still encapsulated on his face. He sighed as he realized he wouldn’t make it back alive without giving me some information.
“I gave my word I would never speak the name, but she goes by The Undetected. The Undetected has been searching for the three gems for years, gathering information and gaining access to resources that would help her retrieve them. But no one knows what she wants to do with them.”
“Um, for the power? The wealth? Inhuman strength maybe?” I asked confused.
“Surprisingly no,” Evan assured me. “She doesn’t want the power, that I know for sure. But she wants all three gems at the same time. That’s why I’m here.” He eyed the gem in my hand.
I gripped it tighter, reading his mind.
“I guess we’re both thieves then,” I told Evan. “This gem isn’t for me. My friends and family are in danger, and if I don’t give the gems to this guy I used to call a father then they could get hurt. Or worse.
“But I’m still confused. How were you involved in the car crash?”
“That answer I’m a bit ashamed of,” Evan sheepishly lowered his head. “The Undetected knows all about you. She knew your father would ask you to retrieve the gems even before you arrived in Ireland. She knew that you would be a threat to her project. She even knew you sometimes drove home in that white van, and what street you took home. So she tasked me with one objective: to kill you.”
Before I could throw a punch or give Evan a good slap, someone else did it for me. Evan fell to the ground hard and held the side of his face in excruciating pain. Indiana stood behind me, fists balled with an angry expression on her face. I gasped as I turned to face her.
“Indi! What are you doing?”
“You didn’t come back to the boat for a while. I was wondering where you went when I realized you’d cut your rope, which I specifically told you NOT to do, and you were holding up this guy with your bare hands, which I must say is very impressive, you’ll have to teach me how to do that someday, and it looked like you were in trouble, so I decided to give you a little help.”
“I can handle this on my own, thank you,” I assured Indi as I turned back to Evan, whose face had begun to form a large bluish-purple bump.
“What was that for?” Evan exclaimed, still holding his face from the blow. “Who are you?”
“The name’s Indiana, and if you ever try to hurt Paige again, I’ll do more than give you a pretty scratch on that face of yours.”
Evan gulped, still whimpering on the ground. I rolled my eyes as I held out a hand to help him up. He grabbed my hand but avoided eye contact, for fear that Indi would hurt him if he looked at me the wrong way.
“Indiana’s not going to hurt you. Right?” I glared at her for trying to once again “help” the situation. She shrugged.
Evan finally shifted his gaze towards me.
“Anyways, as I was saying,” he managed to speak despite the pain, “I was the one that caused the accident. She wanted me to severely hurt you so that your father wouldn’t be able to use you to find the gems. Obviously I attacked someone else, and here you are, carrying out the task I tried to prevent you from doing.”
Evan was lucky we’d just formed a truce because I was ready to beat him up right here on the spot. He hurt by best friend, almost killing her. And now he thought I was just going to give up the gems like that?
“Well, my father already has one gem in his possession, and Indiana and I just got the other two. Now I’m not too good at math but I think that means we have all of them.”
“Oh no. You have all three now?” Evan asked, the fear returning to his face and voice.
“Yeah, we’re going back to give them to him so my friend and my mom will be safe. I can’t take any chances.”
“Oh no. Oh no, oh no…” Evan paced back and forth while holding his head in worry. “It’s already starting. And I bet she knows too. Oh no, she can’t be happy. It’s starting.”
He stopped his pacing and faced both of us.
“We need to leave right now. Take the gems, and come with me.”
“No way!” I exclaimed. “I’m not taking these gems to The Undetected. Who knows what she’s capable of with them in her hands.”
“We’re not going to The Undetected.” Evan walked past us towards the town. Indi looked at me confused, but shrugged and followed after him, not knowing what else to do. I was right behind them.
“Well, then we’re going back to my father,” I yelled towards Evan.
“We can’t go there either.” Evan pace quickened as Indi and I tried to keep up.
“Where are we going then?” Indi asked.
“You’re just going to have to trust me.”
A lot of this trip had been riding on trust, and by now I was afraid to lose faith. We’d come this far, and we’d gotten too close to back out now.
For chapter 1 read Confronting weaknesses. For more articles read Profile: Schultz strives for excellence on and off court.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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