I've heard of wandering away from the tour group, but this is ridiculous!
SIL: (Grabs Emal by the back of the collar) Wait!
SIL: Hold on a minute. (Sillene looks from Emal and Amlah and back) Do you mean that you don't know whom you've been traveling with?
EMAL: Well explain on the way; let's go!
SIL: (Even without her cloak, she has an uncanny gliding gait.) The child you call Soot is no ordinary boy!
EMAL: Yeah; I know.
SIL: Great! Let's hurry. I think he--
EMAL: I've been suspecting that he had ADHD since day one. That kid can never keep his mind on (looks down) -- hey! Shiny!
And now, the really cool continuation:
(Sillene is hurrying to keep up with Emal as they zip down the tunnel. Amlah, now slightly glowing, is their only light source other than the dim flickerings of the cata-tours left behind)
EMAL: Does it seem to be getting hotter down here to you?
SIL: (Huffing) Slow down. You need to know!
EMAL: We're not making any sort of time like this!
AMLAH: You are right, Master Emal. Why don't you try (whispers in his ear).
EMAL: I can do that? Okay...
SIL: Wait; what are you--
EMAL: (Pressing his palms together. An unseen and impossible wind begins to blow.) Pantheon of the Most-High; your Messenger entreats: Speed my journey! (Emal's hair and clothes are blown about in a way that would probably make a female messenger look really hot).
SIL: What the--?!
(All three of them are swept down the tunnel at an improbable speed until--)
AMLAH: A magnificent ride!
EMAL: Okay. Now why exactly didn't you tell me about that one when I was trying to cross Mount Lorel?
AMLAH: The journey is the truest part of the messenger's task!
EMAL: I got blisters on my blisters on my freakin--
SIL: Look! (Points)
AMLAH: Is it the little master Soot?
SIL: Well that and the river of magma.
EMAL: Oh; as long as it's not just me... (takes off coat)
(A river of molten earth flows red through the tunnel; we are long past the archaological section. Beyond its far banks we see a round and glowing rock set on a pedastal marked with the language of the Beast. On its near shore...)
SOOT: What the--?! Oh. Hi.
(Somewhere in the tunnels)
JEDD: Yes I'm sure: the kid's aura reappeared and it hasn't faded -- it's this way!
HATRI: This is taking forever! You know what would really make this trip go faster? (Sings) Under the bo-o-oard-walk!
JEDD: (Punches Hatri in the stomach)
JEDD: No, but it was very satisfying. Come on; this is our chance to save our skins!
HATRI: (Gaspy voice) Yeah! What he said!
JEDD: I'm a what?!
HATRI: An /idiot/, Jedd! The worst the boss would do is kick us out of the brigandage, beat us pulply, break a few bones and leave us for the obra wolves covered in barbecue sauce.
JEDD: Yes, Hatri. She would. That's /bad/.
ORANFH: (Shakes head) (mumbles)
HATRI: Yeah. For a guy who got accepted to college, you're not that bright.
JEDD: What do you mean?
HATRI: You only joined up what, a year ago? Do you have any idea what things were like under Big Evil Baron Guy? Working for him was a nightmare! We all thought that the boss was a gift from the gods!
HATRI: Yeah! Aside from the unspeakable acts of torture and demonic rites, he made us read poetry about his girlfriend! Even had me seranade her once (shudders). With the boss we get treated like quasi-human beings and have a great pension plan!
JEDD: Do you guys ever think that your standards might be a little low?
HATRI: (Confused) No...
(Back at the river of magma:)
SIL: Stop him!
EMAL: Sillene, do you really think that even the most eight year-old of boys is going to run right into a river of molten rock? The very fact that we're standing here makes no sense: why wouldn't the flow just fill this chamber? And how are we able to breathe, the heat alone -- DON'T!
AMLAH: (Holding taser) You shouldn't nitpick!
EMAL: Yeah, but can it wait?! Soot, come back here! I've heard of wandering away from the tour group, but this is ridiculous!
SOOT: (Looks across the way at the glowing rock) Um... how 'bout no? (Looks back to Sil) And where have I seen you before? I have; now I'm sure of it!
EMAL: Soot; come on! (Reaches for him)
SOOT: (Jumps backwards into the river of rock)
EMAL: Soot! Nooooooooooooo!!
AMLAH: Little master!
EMAL: He was just a kid!
SOOT: (Surfacing) Oh don't be so melodramatic; I'm fine! (Turns around and starts swimming. The little guy has to fight hard against the current, but manages to make headway.)
EMAL: (Amazed) What the %$&#?
AMLAH: (Amazed) What the %$&# indeed... (Goes "eep!" and slaps herself in the face)
SIL: Stop him before he gets to the other side! He must not gain the jewel!
EMAL: Alright, Sil, what's going on?
SOOT: (Breathing hard) I knew skipping out on swimming lessons was going to cost me!
SIL: That's no ordinary child!
EMAL: Well the swimming through lava thing would sort of suggest that!
SIL: The one you call Soot is some kind of evil fire entity! He has incredible tolerance to heat and flame! In his hands, the Flame Orb could wreak incredible evil!
SOOT: (Gasping) Is that why you think (gasp) I want this thing?
EMAL: (Blinks) Well that would explain why he was terrified of crossing the Cronno -- river gods hate fire demons.
AMLAH: And indeed a strength of aura would satisfy his seeming fears of the ward pillars outside the House of Pyrosk.
EMAL: Not to mention why he chomped right into a burning-hot toastie-cake!
SIL: You had all those clues? ...you don't have to pass a written exam to become a messenger, do you?
EMAL: Wait... If Soot's so much of a threat, why was he being held prisoner by an insane old brigand with a speech impediment?
SIL: (mumbles something like "stupid affirmative action")
SOOT: WHY DO YOU THINK I WANT THE FREAKIN' ORB?!
EMAL: I don't believe it! He doesn't act that much worse than any other eight year-old.
SIL: The perfect disguise for a demon!
SOOT: #$&% you, lady! (still swimming)
SIL: I have some magic, but none that could help us cross this barrier!
EMAL: Amlah, can you fly across?
AMLAH: (Zips toward the edge of the magma, and a huge spurt of vertical flame nearly makes her molt early) Eeep!
EMAL: So if Soot's a demon, what kind of demon are we talking about?
SIL: That's just it...
SOOT: Almost (gasp) ...there!
SIL: The creature's mother was the earth-demoness Lynkadr, of that I'm sure.
AMLAH: But such a child would have no power of fire!
EMAL: Lynkadr! My mom mentioned her once when she was teaching me about this region, but I can't remember--
SOOT: (Climbing onto the far bank, he sits himself down to catch his breath) What do you know?
SIL: (To Emal) It's not too late. With your powers and what magic I have, we must defeat him before he leaves this cave with the Flame Orb!
EMAL: Say that again, but wet your lips first.
AMLAH: Master Emal!
EMAL: (Rolls eyes) He's got a point, though: how do you know so much about Soot?