A Mountain Adventure

Chapter Five: Catastrophe!

Copper's Narrative
Oh God.
Oh God this cannot be happening.
I can't take it in, can't believe this is real.
It all began like any other day. We were out on the slopes like we'd arranged and I was falling on my backside once more, in a very ungainly fashion. It was so much fun, out there in the sun with the light glittering off the snow. Nancy seemed more relaxed than she'd been since we arrived, generally laughing at me slipping and sliding and falling over, but I was glad to see her smile. She was tossing and turning a little the first night we were here, but last night she slept okay and she looks like the mountain air is agreeing with her. Sometimes she works herself too hard, anyway. She's only twenty and yet she wants to be able to do everything now.
Darren is a good instructor, and he was really helping Sirena to learn to ski. She seems better at it than I am, though not as good at Nancy is getting, and she seemed to be enjoying herself, too. In fact, the only one who was rather more quiet than usual was Syl.
But then, if I'd've guessed what was to come, I wouldn't have been fussing about my balance on skis. I'dve been grabbing that jeep and everyone in sight and hightailing it out of there.
But you can't predict the future.
Perhaps that's a pity.
Though then again, I wouldn't've wanted to see this coming.
It all began to go wrong when Sirena headed back to the chalet to get an aspirin, after slipping over and banging her knee rather badly against a hidden stone. It wasn't anything serious, and she didn't let anyone fuss, she just shrugged and muttered and headed back down to the chalet. And really, that's when it all began...

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"Sirena! Are you all right?"
Darren reached out a hand to pull his pupil to her feet and she accepted his grip with a grimace, allowing him to help her right herself, then reaching down to rub her knee.
"I bashed it on something, it hurts. Perhaps I twisted it slightly." She said, taking a tentative step on her ski. "It's throbbing, that's all. I'll be all right, I'm not a crybaby."
"Well, if you're sure. Do you want me to look at it?" Darren sounded concerned.
"No, it's fine." Sirena shrugged. "Really, Darren, it's just a knock. It's not gonna kill me."
Darren smiled.
"Well, all right then." He agreed amiably. "You're a tough cookie, you know."
"Why, because I didn't fuss over a little knock?" Sirena snorted, then winced. "Ooh..."
"Are you sure you don't need me to look at it?"
"It'll be fine." Sirena shrugged him off. "I'll go back to the chalet and get an aspirin, then I'll come back up here."
"Do you want someone to go with you?" Darren looked anxious. Sirena grinned.
"I'm a big girl." She said dryly. "I can manage."
"If you're hurt though, you probably shouldn't put weight on it." Topaz ski'ed over to join the pair, concern in her own eyes as she assessed the situation. "You don't want to make it worse."
"It's not like I broke it or something, Topaz. I'll be fine, I swear." Sirena protested. "Hell, I'm twenty two years old, do you think I can't take care of myself yet?"
"Let her go, Topaz. She doesn't need our help, she's made that clear." Sylva put in snidely from a short way off. Sirena shot her a dark look, then turned back to Darren.
"I'll see you back here in about half an hour." She said, carefully removing the skis from her feet and handing them to him with her ski poles. "Maybe less. Depends how long it takes me to find my way back."
"Okay." Darren nodded. "Take care, huh?"
"Where's Emily off to?" Nancy asked, as Topaz returned to her pupil.
"She fell and hurt her leg, she's gone to get an aspirin or something." Topaz replied. "She insisted on going on her own...I hope she's not just acting all brave to spite Syl."
"No, Em doesn't tend to make a fuss about anything." Nancy said with a dry smile. "Not in that sense, I mean. Probably because she's not used to being fussed over...doesn't come natural to her."
"Guess I can see that." Topaz nodded. "She didn't take me on the level when I asked to be friends yesterday, she reacted like I was trying to dupe her over...I didn't expect it at all. But we chatted at the chalet a lot once we got back from the shopping and I guess I'm understanding it better." She frowned, sending Sylva a sidelong look. "I'm kinda worried about how Syl might take it, but I must admit I like Emily."
"She's nice enough, once you get past the neuroses." Nancy grinned. Topaz laughed.
"Could say the same about you." She teased. Nancy blushed.
"Touche." She acknowledged. "Syl doesn't like either of us...praps she needs to look more than surface deep now and again."
"You're not as hostile together as all that." Topaz reproached. "It's only because we've been thrust together with Sirena and it's been tense that you've been sniping more than usual. You know you'd rather Jewel had Syl than not."
"Mm. Maybe." Nancy shrugged. "Anyhow, this isn't helping me ski...show me that again, will you? I'm not gonna wobble this time."
Across the snow, Copper was picking herself up from the snow once more, a rueful look on her face.
"Guess it's just not in me to be a skier." She said with a sheepish smile. "I oughta give up before I do myself a mischief."
"Mmm?" Sylva's response was distracted, and Copper frowned.
"Syl, what's up?" She asked gently. Sylva scowled.
"Sirena. Smarming up to Darren." She replied darkly. "She's been over him all morning."
"Well, he's teaching her to ski. That's his job and why she's here." Copper said sensibly. Sylva sighed.
"It's not that." She replied. "She was flirting with him last night and she's been at it again this morning, whenever she thinks I'm looking her way. And more, he's falling for it. He's gonna fall mad in love with her now and that's gonna be that!"
"Syl, do you seriously like Darren? I mean, as in more than a passing attraction?" Copper asked gently. Sylva shook her head.
"Of course not! He's a cute guy but that's all, Copper."
"So what's the problem?"
"I guess there isn't a problem." Sylva grimaced. "Or there wouldn't be one if it wasn't her doing the flirting. He's cute...and too good for Sirena."
"Listen, Syl, she's a human being too." Copper chided. "Let it go."
"Human and Sirena do not go in the same sentence." Sylva snapped. "You have no clue, do you? She's no friend of ours and never has been!"
"Look, she's Phyllis' daughter, and Phyllis wouldn't let her mess us over now things are good between them." Copper pointed out. "In any case, she has Michael to see to. Blade isn't here to answer for his son's needs."
"Blade wouldn't care anyhow." Sylva snorted. "He was slime and she's scum, they belonged together. It's the kid I feel sorry for, growing up with her as a mother. The poor thing doesn't stand a chance of growing up even halfway decent!"
Copper sighed.
"I don't want to bitch." She said quietly. "So that's enough on this topic, okay? This isn't high school, we're not in homeroom and Sirena isn't the girl who just got the hottest date for the prom. All right? It's not important. You said yourself Darren wasn't the love of your life...so enough. You're meant to be teaching me to ski, anyhow."
"Hang skiing." Sylva scowled. "I'm done with this. I'm gonna go settle with that witch once and for all! She's turning all my friends on me now!"
And before Copper could stop her, she was off down the hill, skiing smoothly into the distance till she was no longer visible.
"What was that about? Where's she going?" Topaz came to join Copper, a clumsy and tentative Nancy in tow.
"To 'settle things' with Sirena." The drummer replied, looking troubled. "I told her to leave things alone and she went kinda mad, said Sirena was taking her friends away from her or something, then skied off in a temper. You know how impulsive she is when she's upset...I'm afraid there'll be a fight."
"Then we should get back to the chalet and stop it happening." Topaz said. "Syl can be a spitfire."
"I think Emily will wipe the floor with her." Nancy said, biting her lip. "Syl can cry war and raise her fists but Emily is tough, Topaz. In the real sense of the word."
"Yeah, I got that impression." Topaz owned. "And I still think we should get back and intercept things."
"I second that." Copper nodded. "What do we tell Darren?"
"Um, just something...anything...say Syl's ill or something, and we're going back." Nancy shrugged helplessly. "I can't ski fast, though."
"He's coming over." Copper observed. "Think quickly!"
"Girls, we gotta quit skiing for the morning." Darren reached them at that moment, his own face troubled. "The sky's getting dark and I don't like the looks of it. It's going to snow, and I wouldn't be surprised if we had a storm." He glanced around him. "Where's Sylva?"
"She...went back. We were going to head back too anyway." Copper said quietly. "A storm? A bad one?"
"Looks like it." Darren frowned. "I hope she and Sirena got back to the chalet all right. I think we'd do better if we headed back to my jeep and I'll drive you up to the lodge. We can't afford to hang around when the sky looks like this and the lodge is sheltered from stormy weather."
"We're not going to go look for them?" Topaz looked startled.
"It's too risky, once the snow starts falling heavily and the winds pick the slightest movement of jeep on snow could cause an avalanche." Darren responded, as the first flakes of snow began to swirl down around them. "I've seen these storms before, they come up out of nowhere and it's not good to be out in them. Come on. You can call your friends from the lodge and find out where they are. I'm sure they did get back. Sirena had a head start, and Sylva is a good skier."
"Darren's right." Nancy nodded, though her expression belied her words. "We can't risk starting an avalanche."
"Then I guess we have to go back to the lodge." Copper sighed. "All right. Someone call Syl from there, okay?"
"I have my phone." Topaz nodded. "Let's go."

The ride back to the lodge was an uncomfortable one, with the winds buffetting around them and the snow whirling down, obscuring Darren's vision behind the wheel. Noone spoke, but all were glad when the jeep finally pulled into the car park and they could shelter from the storm within the confines of the sturdy lodge. It had been built in a location that kept it out of the range of the worst of the weather, and the girls soon found most of the day's skiers were huddled inside, drinking hot chocolate and talking.
Except, of course, Sylva and Sirena.
Topaz pulled her phone from her pocket, dialling the number of her friend's mobile and waiting with some impatience for the girl to pick up. Sylva did so on the third ring, and with some relief Topaz realised the worst of the storm had not hit the lower ledge yet.
"She's just at the chalet. I told her to go in and stay in till the storm is done...and to play nice with Emily." She said, switching her phone off. "She said there were tracks up to the door, so I guess Emily is there too. I'm glad they're safe and not out in it...it's getting vicious out there."
"You're telling me." Nancy gazed out of the window at the darkening sky and the white sheets of snow that obscured her vision. "It's horrible...I'm glad Darren knew what the signs were and got us back here. Imagine being out in that!"
"You'd get lost in an instant." Topaz nodded. "Hey, you guys want hot chocolate? I'll go grab some for us."
"Sure." Copper agreed, and Nancy nodded her agreement as Darren wandered over to join them.
"Spoken to Sylva and Sirena?" He asked. Topaz smiled.
"Safe at the chalet, just as you said." She responded. "I'm going to go get chocolate...would you like some?"
"Sure." Darren returned the smile, sitting down. "Thanks."
No sooner had Topaz rejoined the group, a tray of drinks in her hands, than there was a strange judder and the lights in the lodge flickered. Darren's brow creased in alarm and the three Jewels exchanged looks.
"What is it?" Copper asked, her expression fearful. "What was that? It felt like an earthquake!"
"No earthquake." Darren said grimly. "No...I was afraid when I saw how the storm was going and how many people were heading down the mountain that this would happen."
"What would happen?" Nancy demanded. Darren frowned.
"That," he said, "was the sound of an avalanche."

Chapter One: War Cries
Chapter Two: The Tension Mounts
Chapter Three: A Shopping Trip
Chapter Four: On The Slopes
Chapter Five: Catastrophe!
Chapter Six: Buried
Chapter Seven: Back At The Lodge
Chapter Eight: A Surprising Conversation
Chapter Nine: Rescue Mission
Chapter Ten: A Glimmer Of Hope
Chapter Eleven:  LAX

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita Madeleine, Marissa, Luca, Stefana, Clay, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!
The concept of RayzaBlade is copyrighted to my sister Elena...^_^ (Yeah, blame her!)