Chapter 10: The Dome of Doom

“You see, Google, you can't win,” said Prince Mykur with an evil grin. “Why, even with all the luck in the world, you couldn't manage a draw. The cards were stacked against you, and all you ever had was a losing hand,” he continued, before angrily tossing a piece of paper across the room – throne room #21.
“What's the matter, my lord?” asked Tonkins.
“Weren't you listening!? My victory monologue is awful! I don't want to bore him to death before I kill him.”
“But we've had some of our best poets and wordsmiths working on it, your majesty. They've followed your notes. Johanson wrote the latest draft himself.”
“Johanson – I've seen him on the entertainment shows; he always seems so happy, not a care in the world. Great writers aren't meant to be happy – they're meant to be brooding, depressed alcoholics! Have his wife murdered – let's see if that can't spark some progress. Now tell me, what is the latest news on Google?”


“It's freezing in here,” Liberty said, rubbing her arms to keep warm as she walked inside the dome, which covered an area roughly the size of a football field.
“What is this place?” asked Google, as he looked across the snow-filled enclosure. “It's like some sort of winter wonderland.”
“I guess it's an indoor ski centre – perhaps there isn't any natural snow on this world so they came here to ski,” Justice suggested.
“Echo!” shouted Google, enjoying the sound of their voices being reflected back off the dome's walls.
Jupiter nervously looked up at the roof – a good 150 metres above their heads.
“I've got a bad feeling about this,” he said.
“Oh come on, what's not to love?” asked Google.
At that moment, everything started to shake.
“Gravity storm! Run for the cabin,” Justice screamed over the noise.

The four run as fast as they could through the slush towards a single cabin that stood in the middle of the dome – closing the door just as the first flakes of snow shot off into the air. A second or two later they, too, went shooting upwards, smashing into the cabin's ceiling.
“I knew it!”
Jupiter tapped Liberty on the arm and pointed at something outside the window.

She looked out and saw a sign, proudly proclaiming: Welcome to the Largest Snow Dome in the Galaxy!
“You've got to be shitting me.”
“Look!” Google yelled, just as the rumbling stopped and he went smashing down onto a couch below. The group picked themselves up off the floor, Justice making sure Google was okay. Google waved away his concerns.
“I saw a trap door in the ground – I think it was meant to be hidden under the snow. Let's check it out," he said opening the cabin door.
They all steped outside, then paused in wonder to silently watch as the snow fell gently to the ground around them.

When the moment passed, Google led them to the area he thought he'd seen the door and directed them where to dig.
“Come on, we need to hurry – who knows when the next gravity storm will hit,” he said, as he jumped to the ground and started pushing the snow away frantically.
“It's ok. I think we've got just under 29 minutes,” replied Jupiter, pointing to a clock on the dome wall, counting down to the next 'Snow Show'.
“Here it is!” Liberty yelled as she dusted some snow away from a small trap door, no larger than ten centimetres. Lifting the lid, she discovered a red button.
“Press it!” said Google.
“Ah, what if it turns the gravity off?” Justice asked.
“Follow me, I've got an idea,” said Jupiter.
The four headed back into the cabin, standing at the doorway.
“So, what's your genius plan?” Liberty asked.
“This,” said Jupiter as he rolled up a snowball and threw it as hard as he could at the red button in the distance – eventually landing about 5 feet short.
“Ok – so it might take a little while,” he added, seconds before Liberty unleashed her own snow ball and hit it dead centre.
“Or not.”

“This is exciting!” yelled Google.
Liberty shot him a look.
“Well it is,” he said, sounding more subdued. “Look!”

From the far corner of the snow-filled dome, a man in a burgundy monk-like robe appeared and began to walk towards them. As he approached closer, Jupiter noticed the tall, thin, mystery man was occasionally flickering, like static on a tv screen.
“It's a hologram,” Justice noted before Jupiter could get a word out.
“Right you are, my friend,” responded the hologram. “Allow me to introduce myself – I am a computer representation of Alexander Vogel, programmed to think and respond as he most likely would.”
“I never knew the world's smartest man was a monk!” said Google. “I guess it makes sense – all the meditation and stuff.”
“A monk? Oh, you mean this?” said the hologram laughing, pointing to his robe. “This is merely my Snuggie – it's so comfortable. Really, it's just like wearing a blanket with sleeves.”
“World's smartest man?” Liberty muttered to Jupiter, who choked back a small laugh.
“We've come here for The Trinity Key, Mr Vogel,” Google said, ignoring them both.
“Very good. Congratulations on making it this far, my child. However, I must warn you, The Trinity Key posses a power that even someone with my vast intelligence cannot and could not fathom. When I hid my section of the key here, I had no conception that its innate power would magnify the force of the gravity suppressor in this snow dome. You've not doubt seen the horror and devastation that miscalculation caused. So, I ask you now, to consider very carefully – to really ponder and think: Are you sure you wish to pursue the Trinity Key?”
“Of course.”
“Let's do it.”

“In that case...,” the hologram clicked its fingers and the ground started to shake.
“It's another gravity storm, run!” yelled Google.
“Wait!” replied Justice, pointing into the distance as some objects rose up out of the white expanse. Finally the snow shifted away, revealing what appeared to be the set of a TV game show.
“It's time for: Who wants a piece of The Trinity Key?” said the hologram as game show music blasted from speakers scattered around the dome.
“The rules are simple – answer five questions correctly and a piece of the Trinity Key is yours. Answer one wrong and one of you dies. So, shall we play?” asked the hologram.
“Ah... just fill us in on that whole, one of us dies part. That seems a bit... extreme,” said Jupiter.
“Well, this is a test of your intelligence, is it not? You need to prove how smart you are under pressure. After all, possessing The Trinity Key could put your very lives in danger. I need to know it'll be in the hands of people up to the challenge,” said Alexander's hologram before smiling.

“Plus, I do think it makes the whole thing a lot more exciting, don't you?”

6 Response to Chapter 10: The Dome of Doom

  1. Luke says:

    James - I'm not sure if the wonder of the Snuggie has made it to Canada yet. If it hasn't I suggest checking this out:
    It's true genius...

  2. Dale says:

    Luke I have one word for that Snuggie joke - Snuggierific. :P No it really was incredibly funny. Mum asked me what I was chuckling about and she soon ended up chuckling too.

    Snow Show was tre creatif!

    Can't wait for the deadly game show. Hope the questions don't cause you too many headaches!

    And sorry James if I stole what you were gonna say again. Maybe one day you'll beat me to the punch. But I must tell you... I'm a man who likes his punch. :P

    I think I'll leave the jokes to you now Luke lol. I fail!

  3. Luke says:

    Thanks for the kind words on the Snuggie joke, although I can't take all the credit - some must surely go to Mr Snuggie for his wonderful invention.

  4. Luke says:

    Breaking news: Into the black (the first chapter masquerading as a short story) has been short-listed in a short story comp. Woot! First prize is only $250 so let's not get too excited! Creepy Lamingtons missed out - which makes me doubt Into the black has much hope, as I think Creepy works better as a short story. Plus the email said 'You're short story has...' which doesn't fill me with confidence in the competition, but shush! :)

  5. Dale says:

    Oh no... How could they make a missteak like that?

    Well congratulations are in order anyway, well done! :)

  6. Jimzip says:

    Hahaha. Yes indeed the snuggie has been something of a phenomenon over here. I hear it's got an open-back like a hospital gown though, no? That'd make it kinda... less snuggish no?

    Love the snow dome in any case.

    Jimzip :D