With a change of clothes and the supplies they would require, Zach and Emma stepped carefully down the stone stairway, moving deeper underground to the transfer point. "Do you want to turn it this time?" Zach asked. "Yes, I think its my turn anyway," Emma replied. "Okay, lets do it," Zach said, "remember what Mother told us. We have only 108 minutes to make our contacts. Do our corrections. Recruit and get back to the return points. Okay?" "Alright," Emma said, as she took a hold of the vertical donkey wheel and slightly turned it counter clockwise. The smaller vertical wheel, unlike the larger horizontal wheel that was used for moving the entire island, was used for temporary jaunts off island to anywhere within the world. But one had only 108 minutes. After that, the island's force would "snap" you back like some quantum rubber band, to the original transfer point. So, as Emma slowly turned the wheel, a hum started to grow louder. The darkness began to fade, as a blue light began to grow brighter and brighter. Zach smiled and nodded to Emma, as they both suddenly disappeared in a bright flash. Meanwhile, on the beach, Cindy Chandler covered her ears and looked up at the sky just in time to see the purple flash. She knew Zach and Emma were on their way. She also knew the darkness was on its way as well. It was now a race to see who would get back to the island first. Cindy prayed Zach and Emma would be successful and if they were, then destiny would be set in motion. She walked along the beach, then up the small hill that had served as the island's graveyard. There she read the grave markers of the names from her past. Some she remembered. Some she did not. Some were the island guardians of the past. The ashes of Jacob was spread here. The markers reading 'Shephard' and 'Reyes' and 'Linus' were now faded and weather worn. That was all so long ago. They had defended the island and the light and had made the ultimate sacrifice. Cindy wondered if she would be able to make the ultimate sacrifice herself if needed. She prayed she would be able to. She didn't want to be the one. The one who gave up the light. Permitted it to be extinguished. To be used for evil. The light was the last hope for humankind. It contained the balance. Between good and evil. A yin and yang for survival. Any who entered it brought out their true essence, good or bad. But the light could absorb it. Because the inherent goodness in the light could always outweigh the natural evil. But if one entered who was truly evil, truly "infected", then the balance could be shifted and the light would turn permanently dark. And all that was good in life would be wiped out. Life itself would be wiped out. Replaced by an evil almost unknowable. But one can only know when one actually faces that evil. Cindy Chandler knew soon she would be facing that evil. Facing the ultimate test of will and determination. Suddenly, there was a voice behind her. "It sometimes sucks to be the one in charge. Doesn't it, Cindy?" She immediately turns around and sees a familiar ghostly image. Fading in and out was the image of a rotund man with long curly hair, scruffy beard, kind eyes, and a mischievous smile. He didn't startle Cindy. In fact, he made her smile. She knew him. Someone from her former life and a former guardian. His appearance made her comfortable. She nodded. "Yes, sometimes it does," she replied. "Well, you've got to believe in yourself. Believe in your decisions. You can stop what is coming. I know you can. I want you to know I believe in you." Cindy just smiled. The image began to fade away. "By the way, Gary says he still loves you. Bye, dudette! Take care!" Then the image disappeared. Cindy laughed then started to cry. But it was as much tears of joy as it was sadness. She thought of Zach and Emma. They had to be successful. If not, Cindy wouldn't have to face any ultimate test. For then she would have already failed. To be continued: Next Chap. 6 "Assignment"

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