Lila found herself whisked into a large cavern where people walked through her and around her like wraiths. Only she had the feeling that she was actually the visiting ghost.
She felt herself drawn to the back of the tunnel and appeared in front of a group of similar looking people to those she had seen in the area beneath Griffith Park before they began this journey.
“Welcome,” a multi-tone voice seemed to come from all areas of the cave.
“Uh, Thanks,” Lila answered hesitantly.
“You have been successful so far in following the traces we have set for you, but there is still one more challenge.”
“Really?” Lila asked curiously. “Don’t you think that saving the world was big enough?”
“Your task is not done yet,” the voice said in serious accents. “There is grave danger still to come from another source in this area.”
“Oh, great,” Lila said flippantly.
“This is a very serious issue!” the voice said scoldingly.
“Um, sorry.” Lila grimaced. “Not so good with the serious thing.”
“You’re doing fine,” the voice said reassuringly.
“What’s your name?” Lila asked.
“It is not important. The only meaningful thing for you to know is that your task is to identify this vehicle.” A photo was holographically displayed for Lila of what appeared to be a much-updated mobile nuclear power plant. It looked more like an RV, but Lila could see through the vehicle’s outline to the equipment inside.”
“Holy shit!” Lila exclaimed. “I mean that’s awful. Where is it?”
“We believe it is 20 kilometers west of your current location. As we are not corporeal we cannot do anything to stop its current movements.”
“But you brought me here—” Lila started to say before being interrupted.
“It is not the same thing. You have a high vibration of light energy with which we find easy to interact.”
“Ha,” Lila joked, “here I am always thinking I need to lose weight.”
It was dead silent.
“So, not really jokers,” Lila responded awkwardly. “I get the point. I’m supposed to get Ian and Joe– ”
“No, just you.”
“Oh, hell no! I am no way gonna be the only one on the quest for the holy mobile grail,” Lila retorted.
The voice relented. “Very well, if you think it will be expedient to have your friends along, then they may accompany you.”
“How generous,” Lila replied mockingly.
“It is. Now go back to where you were.” A being near the front of the group waved his arm and again Lila felt herself drawn backward to where she was before.
As she came to, she felt Ian patting her cheeks gently and his worried voice in her ear.
“Lila come back to us. You all right?”
Lila’s eyes fluttered open and she stared directly into Ian’s concerned expression.
Clearing her throat, she slowly sat upright and looked out the window. They hadn’t moved an inch from the parking lot where they were during her last conscious moment.
Joe’s left hand tapped the steering wheel impatiently or nervously, she couldn’t tell which, but thankfully he had the heat cranked on and it felt glorious on her chilled skin.
“I… I saw the people again.” Lila nearly stumbled over the words, feeling foolish.
“What people?” Ian looked as though he might doubt her sanity.
“The same people we saw in Griffith Park.”
Ian’s eyes widened. “Them?”
“Yes, them.” Lila’s eyes twinkled. “If you knew how funny you look saying that.” She smirked a bit.
“Glad that you’re feeling better,” Ian said in annoyed tones as he pulled his arm from around her and leaned back into the opposite corner of the back seat.
“I’ve received a mission,” Lila announced grandiosely.
“Oh, really,” Joe said deprecatingly.
“Yes,” Lila said importantly. “We’re to find the mobile nuclear power plant that is at this very moment moving 20 kilometers west of us. By the way,” she asked Joe, “what’s located 20 km west of here?”
Joe looked confused. “Nothing, at least… Wait, there’s a working gold mine over there.”
“That’s it!” Lila said triumphantly. “A gold mine! That would explain all the people running around, and moving to the back, and, and, everything!” She stuttered to a halt.
Ian looked bewildered by her incoherent outburst. “Okay,” he said soothingly, “I’m sure it was emotional seeing those people again.”
“No, really.” Lila put out her hand in a stop gesture. “I was pulled into what looked like a mine and I’m sure, well, I think I’m sure that it was that! You know, the gold mine.”
“Why wouldn’t they just tell you that?” Ian asked critically. “Seems like a lot of work to send you back here only to have you drive back again.”
“I said I wanted you two to help.” Lila’s voice thinned out as they both turned to look at her with equally stormy visages.
“I thought you’d want to help me,” she said in a small voice.
“Yes, but it would have been nice to be asked before being sent on a quest for the Holy Grail.”
“That’s exactly what I said!” Lila said excitedly. “It’s like a quest. Well, isn’t it?” she demanded.
“Okay,” Ian gave in somewhat gracefully. “Let’s head out.” He turned to Joe. “You said this vehicle could go through some serious stuff. Guess you’re going to get a chance to test her.”
Joe’s eyes sparkled. “I’ve no doubt she’ll make it.” He gunned the car engine and fishtailed his way out of the parking lot.
“Tally-ho!” cried Lila.
Ian gave her a disgusted look. “That should be ‘I hate snakes.’”
Lila grinned. “Indiana Jones! Perfect.” She began humming the theme song and hitting the back of Joe’s headrest in time to the music.
“Knock it off,” Joe grumbled.
“I’m trying,” Lila smirked.
”Off to see the wizard.” Joe mumbled.
Lila laughed, and then quickly sobered. “Let’s just hope the Wicked Witch of the West isn’t there to greet us when we get there.”