Iris tumbles down the stairs into the hidden basement of the Beacon.
I stand up instantly. "Where is she? What happened?"
She takes several deep gasps before responding. "She went to meet Matt because she wanted to find Em but he tricked her with chess pieces and Emmy showed up and THEY GOT HER and we need to rescue her!!!!!!!!"
I hesitate. Yes, we need to rescue her...but..."Iris, did she tell him what our plan was?"
She nods. "She said we were going to trap him in the Isle with a cave-in. Nothing else."
"Good. This might work for us. All right, people." I raise my voice so everyone still with us can hear. "It's time. Get your gear, and meet me at the rendezvous we talked about. Good luck."
I stop at the entrance to the Isle caves. Here goes nothing. I step in, a cane gripped tightly in my right hand. Okay, guys, hurry up. If they don't get here in time, we're done.
I whirl, aiming my weapon at the empty space where the person should be. But no one is there.
Suddenly, someone grabs my right wrist, twisting my arm behind my back. I shriek in pain.
"You came alone? Really? I guess you thought it would be safer to trigger the cave-in if you were the only one inside. Oh, well. Makes it easier for me." Matt pulls me back into the dead-end tunnel near the entrance. "Using this plan to catch me wasn't your best decision. I mean, it's barely a step above obvious. I didn't think Newheart was telling me the truth, but I came just to make sure. Who could pass up the chance to both outwit you, and capture you?"
I grit my teeth. "Where's Ariella?"
"Just back here. Don't know where you're sister went, but I expect she'll be along."
We reach the end of the short tunnel. Ariella is lying unconscious on the ground. "Good thing I caught you before you triggered the cave-in, huh?" I resist the urge to scream something insulting.
"Now, the only question is what to do next? I have any number of strategies, most of which you know nothing about." Okay, I'm done.
Now, the poor boy couldn't possibly know that my right arm, the bionic one, is almost three times as strong as my left. In fact, I didn't even know until yesterday. There was also no way he could know that we set this up, even up to Ariella dealing with him and getting caught.
I swing around, slamming his back to the fog-dusted wall. Holding my arm to his throat, I smile.
Instantly, Jacoby, Gloria, Nikko, and Iris appear in the tunnel, each wielding weapons. "You, sir, have fallen into a trap. And no amount of strategy is getting you out of it."