Dena groaned and pulled herself up. Her head was spinning. She blinked lightly.
Everyone around her lay unconscious, by the blinding light. And everyone had bruises and bloody cuts.
They were coming back to their senses slowly . ‘Nova, are you all right?’ Dena asked her as Nova scrambled up and sat back with a hand on her forehead.
‘Nuh-uh. You see, I have cuts in my arms and scratches on my feet.’ Nova said, moaning.
As everyone slowly stood up, Dena realized something.
‘Guys, the rock’s destroyed.’ she pointed at the place where the rock used to be, which now had pink-purple splinters still glistening on the cave floor.
‘So we’re no longer Animos‘ she whispered.
Cheryl glanced at her hands and tried bringing her wings out. No use.
Ace tried his antics. No use.
Jack couldn’t be brave and roar and Ren couldn’t hover inches above the ground.
Mina’s gills disappeared which she announced loudly to anyone who’d listen. Nova lost her powers too. And so did Dena. She tried running as fierce and fast as she can. But at the speed she ran now, she would surely have lost the race against a turtle.
‘Guys? Where’s Ben?’ Ren asked slowly.
Dena didn’t have to look far for the answer.
‘There’ she replied to where Ben’s twisted body lay crumpled to the floor. ‘Maybe a couple of boulders fell on him from the cave’s ceiling which knocked him out cold.’ she added matter-of-factly.
‘What to do with him?’ Ace asked.
‘Leave him here, I suppose.’ Jack said gravely.
The beautiful orange sun was setting emitting a yellow-ocher gleam across the horizon.
‘Yeah. Leave him here. And pluck those long green weeds lining the cave wall and tie his hands and legs in case he tries to climb down after us and get his revenge.’ Mina agreed.
‘What? Grasses? He’s gonna rip them apart in seconds!’ Nova said.
‘Yeah, Nova. But when he comes back to his sense-‘
‘-which he surely doesn’t have-‘
‘-he’ll be all dizzy and twisty. So firstly he’ll sit back and realize and wait for the world to stop spinning and stop his sight blacking in and out. When he does that, he’ll notice that he’s bound and when he really does rip that grass off, he’ll go and probably cry and moan and groan and mourn that Crystal and the shattering of his dream’ Mina said, her eyes lighting up.
‘And he’ll know he has nothing else to do. He can’t come down, because his dad hates him and I’m sure he’ll imagine that we’ll lodge a police case against him!’ Jack said softly, grinning.
‘Yeah. So you guys plan to make him live here?’ Dena asked.
They all nodded, apparently missing the sarcasm.