Part Seventeen:

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Part 17:

"Are we just gonna like, travel in this bubble the rest of the way?" Alex asked, slumping against the wall of the bubble Zoe had created.

"Of course not!" Zoe replied. "We're miles out at sea; I can't possibly steer this bubble any further than at least another few kilometres."

"Then we'll swim." Alex suggested. She sighed, opening her backpack to double check that her precious cargo was still there.

Her dad had given it to her just before they had left. It was a small briefcase with a golden outside. He had told her that the combination was '7, 5, 3, 2', and that she was only to use it if in an emergency.

It wasn't that the briefcase was heavy (it barely weighed anything) it was just that Alex felt like she had a burden perched on her shoulders. She felt like if something happened to this briefcase, the group wouldn't survive the quest. And she would not let that happen.

But she would admit that the chances of all of them surviving were extremely low. Alex doubted that any of them would make it out of Tartarus alive.

"Hey, I'm sensing a boat." Zoe said, sounding surprised.

"Really?" Sammy asked, curiosity dripping in his voice. "Maybe we should check it out."

"Okay." Zoe squeezed her eyes shut and brought her hands up in the air. In one swift movement, the bubble rose towards the surface and spewed the five of them onto a ship's deck. The boat was small, but not tiny. There was a cabin and what looked like a ladder going somewhere below deck. But the odd thing was that this boat was completely deserted.

The others started to look around. Sammy and Michael headed down the ladder while Zoe and Charlie went off towards the front.

"Guys, maybe this isn't a good--" Alex started to say, but Michael cut her off.

"Oh my gods! There's three cabins - one for each of us! And they all have ensuite bathrooms!" He shouted from somewhere below them.

"What?" Alex demanded, climbing down the ladder. She gazed around the small room they were in and felt her stomach plummet.

There were no separate cabins; only a large room with a kitchen, lounge and dining table squished into one. And tied up on the dining table chairs were Michael and Sammy, both unconscious and the contents of their bags strewn out across the floor.

Five cyclopes were sitting on the couches, one of them mimicking Michael's voice.

Suddenly, something was clamped over Alex's mouth and she had just enough time to widen her eyes before a sack was thrown over her head and ropes were wound around her body.

"Welcome, Alex Valdez." A sinister voice sneered. "Prepare to die."

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