Chapter Nine: Rescue Mission
These have been some of the most difficult days of my life. As soon as we were given the all clear to leave the ski lodge, Copper, Nancy and me joined in the search party for people trapped on the mountain ledges below. The whole landscape looked so totally different, as if someone had taken a great can of white paint and airbrushed over the whole landscape. Where there had been trees and rocks and mountain animals there was just snow. Layers of packed, frozen snow, too, by this point.
The search did turn up a few people who had been unfortunate to become trapped in the snowfall. Two were airlifted to hospital in critical shape, the third by fluke evaded serious harm somehow by taking cover in a niche in the rock.
But with the landscape altered so much, it's hard as heck to work out your bearings and finding the Gabor chalet was no mean feat, especially since the rescue party as a whole was looking for any stranded people, not just Emily and Sylva. Of course, they were our specific priority, but noone wants people's loved ones missing in a disaster like this one.
By the close of the second day we were still no nearer to finding them and as darkness set in we retired to our temporary accomodation, all of us downhearted and anxious about the safety of our friends. It kept preying on my mind that we could find the chalet flattened...or empty, and I didn't get much sleep, all told. I don't know about Copper or Nancy, we've tried to keep things light between us, but it's no secret now how frightened we all are.
The next morning we set out again in search of the rest of the missing skiers. No matter what, we were not about to give up hope...
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"This is crazy. I feel like we're going in circles." Nancy sighed, glancing
briefly at the map in her hand, then pausing to survey the unfamiliar landscape
before her with a helpless shrug. "Where in hell are we anyway? Everything's
just so totally different since the avalanche...how in hell are we meant
to find anything?"
"God knows." Topaz sighed. "Here, either of you two know how to use a compass? Darren gave it me before we split up in groups to search, but I haven't a clue how to use the thing."
"Let me see." Copper held out her hand and the singer handed the instrument over. "Luis and I used to go camping round lake Michigan with Papa when I was ten or eleven and he was nine...Papa showed us how to find coordinates and stuff on a map and plot a course with a compass. I'm kinda hazy about how to do it now, it's been ten years at least, but I can give it a go."
"Be my guest." Topaz shrugged. "I don't have a clue."
Copper eyed the compass thoughtfully, turning it then glancing between her two friends.
"In which direction is the chalet from the lodge?" She asked.
"North west." Nancy replied, studying the map carefully. "Which means...?"
"I think it's that way." Copper paused, then pointed. "Don't promise to be right, but I think it is."
"Didn't we look that way already once?" Topaz wondered. Nancy shrugged.
"Well, it's something to go on." She said sensibly. "What else can we do? Remember the chalet...and let's pray it's as strong as Darren and Harvey Gabor think it is...is probably buried quite deep in the snow. We could be standing at roof level, even on top of it, to be totally honest."
"Ooh, creepy thought." Copper shivered. "I hope we're not."
"Me neither." Topaz agreed. "Okay, I vote we take Copper's word and go that way. It's the best idea we have to go on, anyhow."
"Got your phone in case we need to call the paramedics?" Nancy asked. Topaz nodded.
"Definitely. I'm hoping Syl might still get through to me, or I might put through to her."
"Good." Nancy looked relieved. "You could try calling her as we go...maybe if we get closer we'll get through to her somehow."
"I dunno..." Topaz looked doubtful. "Guess I could try, but I don't want to blitz the battery. My charger is in the chalet, remember, with the rest of my stuff."
"And, hopefully, Emily and Syl." Nancy murmured. "Good point."
"I'm sure that is where they are." Copper said at length as they passed the skeleton of a mangled tree.
"Well, if they're not, it doesn't bear thinking about." Topaz groaned. "Someone change the subject, huh? We're getting morose."
"What else is there to say?" Nancy asked. Topaz shrugged.
"Anything." She implored. "But the idea that they might not be in that chalet. Remember, if nothing else, there's an eight month old baby boy waiting for his Mom to come home...let's not think of things in the negative, okay?"
"Mike." Nancy frowned. "For his sake we have to find Emily. And for Jewel's, we have to find Syl."
"Well, I think we're going the right way." Copper consulted the compass once more, then nodded. "In fact, I'm almost certain now. If we keep going down here...Nance, can I see the map a minute?"
"For sure." Nancy handed the map across, and the redhead studied it.
"If I'm not totally out of wack, I think the chalet should be over there somewhere." She said finally, handing it back. "There was a clump of trees, if you remember, and we've passed a lot of tree bits anyhow, walking this way."
"Trees everywhere. Rocks too." Nancy pointed out.
"Yes, but if the snow would've gone this way..." Copper indicated. "Like Darren said it did, then the trees would've been dragged up and in this direction. I can't help feeling we are on the right track. Topaz, try Syl's phone again now, see if you get anything!"
"Okay." Topaz shrugged, keying in her friend's number, then hitting the call button. Initially there was nothing, but then, much to the Canadian's joy, there was the sound of a bitty, grainy dial tone.
"It's ringing! Something's ringing!" She exclaimed, only just remembering to keep her voice down for fear of further antagonising the temperamental snow.
"Is anyone picking up?" Nancy demanded.
"No...oh wait!" Topaz fell silent a moment, then, "Syl? Can you hear me? Syl?"
There was another pause, then the singer sighed.
"Cut off." She said resignedly. "But I heard her voice...she said my name, then it went dead. I swear it was her and I didn't imagine it."
"So Syl's okay, then?" Copper's brown eyes lit up.
"Well, she's okay enough to answer her phone." Topaz nodded. "Which is a weight off my mind. And since Syl and Emily were together when last I got to speak to her properly, I'd bet they still are and both girls are probably fine."
"Well, that just leaves us to find them." Copper shrugged. "Come on!"
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
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
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!