“You’ve sold me,” blurted Spot. “LetsmoveletsmoveletsmoveIdontwannaminenoway.”
“Uh, me too,” Adam agreed. He wasn’t sure what magma mining was but he knew it was the opposite of finding a Turtle.
Ramata took their agreement as a cue to get back to swimming. Ramata swam even faster than before. Adam and Spot fought to keep up. Any doubts in Adam’s mind about his decision were erased after Ramata’s explanation of the situation. He was more intent than ever on finding a way to land, to home. Funny enough, he didn’t mind being in Ocean. As lonely and scared as he was, he was having a fantastic adventure.
He just couldn’t bring himself to stay with the Tiskaloons, perpetually confined to that prison of a city. Neither could he live in an Ocean overrun by the Urchin Army and their King. Admiral Pinch was creepy enough. Adam shuddered to think about Pinch’s boss.
Adam’s intent to find answers remained strong and this helped keep his legs kicking. He felt completely at ease in his suit and he’d gotten so used to breathing underwater that he’d forgotten that he didn’t really breathe underwater. But wait – he was breathing underwater…
“How much further?” he called ahead to Ramata.
“We have to go through the Big Ruins first. Then I can get my bearings. We’re on track though. Look down below.”
Adam looked down and saw lined out beneath him, here and there exposed through the silt, a layer of dark rock dotted with faded, yellow spots of rock. As they followed the line of rock below, a strange feeling of familiarity began to grow within Adam. They were swimming above what used to be a highway.
His eyes stayed focused downward for some time while he swam forward. Adam soon grew bored and confused by the highway. None of this felt real. Below him used to be a road upon which millions of cars traveled everyday. Now all that remained was a skeleton. Nothing but the highway. He didn’t see any cars, houses, or other signs of humans.
“Where are the houses, the city?” he called to Ramata.
“You mean the Big Ruins?” Ramata stopped swimming and waited for the other two to catch up.
“No, I mean the other stuff. I see a highway down there, or what used to be a highway. But there’s no houses, no gas stations – nothing.”