Andre - Page 226


You escape the chamber of the succubi and delve deeper into Hell. The next room is not what you expected.

You stand atop a rocky ledge with a waterfall of molten lava flowing noisily past you. It feels like a scene from Journey to the Center of the Earth. The metal door slams shut behind you and a series of sharp clicks tell you that it is locked.

Scanning the small outcropping, you spot a tiny metal fishing boat resting not far from your feet. The stream of bright lava looks hot and intimidating, but the air around you isn't superheated like you would expect. Actually, the atmosphere is rather comfortable.

You reach the boat and slide it gently into the lava stream, testing to see if it melts into liquid before your eyes. Surprisingly, it doesn't. You still don't want to risk touching the lava, but at least you have a boat.

With one foot over the bow, you push the boat off from the rocks and sit down on the only seat. Your weight nearly capsizes the small craft, but you quickly balance it out. There are no paddles or oars and you're at the mercy of the swift current.

The rushing melody of falling lava reaches your ears and you realize your mistake. I forgot about the waterfall.... you think, cursing your recklessness. The small metal boat cruises steadily toward the drop and there's nothing you can do about it. For a moment, you consider dipping your golden axe into the lava flow to try and turn the boat around, but where would you go? The lava stream originates from a seam in the rocky wall less than a foot high and the metal door behind you is surely locked.

Saying a quick prayer, you grab the sides of the tiny boat and hold on for dear life. The bow crests over the edge of the waterfall and dips, churning your gut like a roller coaster.

"Shiiiiiiit!" you scream all the way down. The small boat crashes into the watery lava at the bottom of the waterfall and the bow momentarily submerges. Liquid lava crashes over the gunnel in thick globs, steaming and sizzling in the air. The boat pops back up and balances itself, sending a small rivulet of lava down the inside of the craft. You pick your feet up to avoid the orange runoff as the boat continues down the stream. 

Everything looks like the inside of a giant cavern. Images of Mammoth Cave creep up from memories of a school trip but this is something entirely different - and much, much larger. Ahead of you, a dark tunnel looms like the mouth of an evil monster waiting to swallow you whole.

To your right and left, nothing but rock presents itself. "Might as well keep going," you mutter, struggling to find a second option. The little boat continues down the river of lava and picks up speed, entering the tunnel without any of the trepidation that roils your stomach.


Turn to page 502.