Unleash (final preview)

The third book in Brock Eastman’s “Quest for Truth” series, Unleash continues the thrilling interplanetary adventures of the four Wikk children.

Taken (Quest for Truth #1)   Risk (Quest for Truth #2)   Unleash (Quest for Truth #3)

You can buy Unleash online or at your local Christian bookstore.

For more “Quest for Truth,” check out Taken (Book One) and Risk (Book Two).

Go back to Chapter One or Chapter Two.

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Chapter Three: Encouragement

Tiffany waited for her brother in the library. Midnight had followed her and was curled up on a couch under one of the portholes. White glitter sparkled like diamonds in the pitch black outside the window. There were so many stars out there. How grand and expansive the universe was.

Oliver came into the library, interrupting Tiffany’s thoughts. He handed her a slip of paper and smiled.

“What is this?” she asked.

“It’s the note Dad left in the chess chamber,” Oliver explained. “Read it.”

The crisp paper crinkled in Tiffany’s fingers. Her heartbeat surged as she held the link to her dad. His own handwriting marked the page.

“‘Good job with the mTalk. You’re doing great. Check the entry on the Valley of the Shadows. Keep safe. We’re doing well and will see you soon,’” she read aloud. She looked at Oliver with a smile. “He saw the mTalk. He knew we were there.”

Oliver nodded. “I wonder how they reacted when Vedrik ordered the room destroyed, and then the entire basin?”

“I hope they don’t think we’re dead.”

“Me too,” Oliver said. “But we mustn’t get caught in those thoughts. I didn’t know what the note was going to say, if it’d be a clue. This was better.” Oliver forced a smile, but it quickly disappeared. “It’s been tough, you know. I mean, I believe we can do this, and this note is a huge encouragement to me. But there were . . .” Oliver sighed, and Tiffany knew he was fighting to open himself up. “There were several times when I was ready to give up,” he admitted.

“Me too,” Tiffany said. “Before you found me, I was ready to do just that.”

Tiffany expected Oliver to be frustrated. He’d given her instructions, and she’d not followed them. But he surprised her. He wasn’t mad; he simply gave her a smile.

“Sis, we’re going to do this. Dad and Mom know we’re coming, and Dad thinks we’re doing a good job. That’s all we need to keep pushing ahead,” Oliver said proudly. “But the note isn’t the only reason I wanted to speak to you. It’s Mr. O’Farrell’s message.”

She nodded.

“His last location in the transmission placed him in a tunnel along the maglev rail. I’d intended to contact him before we received the message . . .” Oliver hesitated. “Now, with him in immediate danger, I feel we have no choice. But I’m worried about putting us in danger too. We don’t know who is after him. Attempting to save him puts our mission and our parents’ rescue at risk. Still, I think we need him and the information he has. What do you think?”

Tiffany felt a surge of pride that Oliver would consider her counsel valuable. To her this meant that she had an equal voice in the leadership of their quest. She wasn’t just a passenger: she was an asset.

“If Mr. O’Farrell is truly in danger . . .” Tiffany looked out the window. She had a nagging feeling that she should be cautious when it came to Mr. O’Farrell. “I mean, he was helpful before, and he’s been supporting Dad and Mom’s expeditions. Most of all, like you said, he does know a lot about what our parents were up to, more than we do.”

“What is it?” Oliver asked.

“Didn’t Mr. Krank warn us to be careful of Mr. O’Farrell?”

“Sort of.”

“Why would he say that?”

Oliver shrugged. “Do we know that we can trust anyone?”

“We know we can trust each other,” Tiffany said with a smile.

Oliver grinned. “I’m learning that more and more. So what do you want to do?”

Tiffany thought. She wanted to believe they had friends to rely on, that there were more experienced people whom they could trust. But this had all happened so quickly. Their world had been flipped on its head.

“Let’s just play it close. We’ll be careful of what we reveal to Mr. O’Farrell.” Tiffany ran her hand through her thick brown hair. “We need to have a contingency plan in case things aren’t what we expect.”

“Plan B.” Oliver smirked. “My sister, the special agent.” His eyebrows rose. “Contingency plans.”

“The one thing I’ve learned is that everything can change in the blink of an eye. Nothing is certain,” Tiffany admitted. “I mean . . .” But she didn’t finish her thought. It wasn’t time to discuss philosophy.

The uncertainty of their quest was exactly why they needed to return Obbin to his home. The boy had rescued the twins, but they didn’t know where the quest was taking them. Would they ever have another opportunity to return him? He was so young. Had he truly considered leaving his family forever? She doubted he had. If he were at all like Austin, he lived more in the moment than in the future.

“So we’ll take Obbin back after we rescue Mr. O’Farrell?” Tiffany asked.

“Yes, assuming we can rescue him. Obbin belongs with his family.”

“Good. They’re probably very worried about him,” Tiffany said. “Besides, it’s one thing to have two young boys to keep track of, but a third? The boys have been the most unpredictable variable of the whole quest.”

“That’s something we’ve got to get a hold on,” Oliver said.

Again he’d said “we,” and a sense of honor filled her. “We can do it.”

“Let’s go to the bridge before the boys get suspicious,” Oliver suggested. “Mason should be about done with his project.”

Tiffany folded her dad’s note and started to tuck it into the pocket of her jacket, then hesitated. Her clothes were still damp from the rainstorm on Evad.

“I’m going to change,” she said, looking at the note scrawled in her dad’s handwriting. She would hold on to this scrap of paper for a long time.

What happens next? You’ll have to buy the book to find out!

Copyright © 2013 by Brock Eastman. Illustration by Brandon Dorman.