The triangle was shrinking, growing smaller and smaller. Courtney didn't want to leave without them, but she had all of Kinetic, California, to save. She had to think of her family, her teachers, all her other friends.

She just hoped that Morgan and Collin were safe wherever they were.

Running the last length of the hall, she jumped into the triangle. In less than a heartbeat, she was again standing in the middle of the void.

But this time, the void was different! Thunder still rumbled and roared, and lightning still slashed. But the light that was normally so very, very bright was faded and dim.

She heard terrified screams. She twisted to look behind her.

Morgan and Collin were standing, half covered by the dark. As the two struggled, slithering snakes of darkness that had wrapped them completely from toe to waist rapidly inched their way upward.

"Courtney! You're alive!", yelled Morgan.

"What's happening to you?" Courtney cried, stepping toward them.

"Don't come any closer," Collin yelled. "I don't want this thing to get you, too."

"I have to help you!" Courtney cried out.

"The riddle!" Morgan shouted over the bellowing thunder. "We never heard it! Do you know what the riddle is?"

A finger of dark slid around Courtney's ankle and she screamed.

"The riddle, Court!" Collin hollered. "Hurry! Did you hear the riddle?"

Courtney closed her eyes and concentrated. "It undergoes no chemical reaction, yet it's reduced by just a fraction."

The dark slithered higher up her calf and she shuddered. Then she shouted her answer into the dimly lit void. "The answer's radium. Radioactivity."

 
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