Clue reached the heart of the complex. Along the way, she’d had to incapacitate several more of the Queen’s soldiers. When she’d been too close for lightning or flash-freezing to work, she’d temporarily blinded some with bursts of light. In the back of her mind, she knew that Mr. Mouse wouldn’t approve of the more forceful methods she’d taken to using, but she told herself that she’d have that debate with him on the journey home.
She turned the last corner and arrived in the treasure chamber. There was only one piece. A golden, jeweled crown was set on a pillar in the middle of the room. A moat of lava separated the small island from the door where Clue was standing. Clue could see the empty settings on the crown where the two diamonds had come from.
But she wasn’t interested in the priceless metals or gems. Around the band of the crown was an inscription. The tiny words twisted their way through the elaborate decorations, and anybody who didn’t already know that they were there would easily miss them. Although the writing wasn’t in English, Clue knew that it was the location of the sunken continent of Atlantis.
Clue lowered the temperature of the air, and a solid crust of rock formed at the top of the lava as it cooled. Once it was thick enough, she simply walked ahead and picked up the crown. She clutched it close as she crept back up the passageway. She had very little time to rescue her friend.
She didn’t get far.
Suddenly, two thick slabs of rock fell from the ceiling, one in front and one behind, trapping Clue in the narrow hall.
She heard the Queens voice, carried through some trick of the acoustics.
“Outsider, do not think that you will escape with our secrets. We have noted your powers, but they will not help you, now.”
The roof began to lower. Clue could feel the vibration of some massive mechanism working behind the walls. She ducked as she was squeezed down toward the floor.
For once, she couldn’t think of a way to get free.