Time comes in an adventure when all of the fun drains out of it. That's where Omega, Petey, John-John, and all the other kids were just trudging, one foot in front of the other. In the early, early morning hours, the only energy you have is either caffienated or made-up. It doesn't last.
That where everybody was, after the real energy was gone, after the caffienated energy was gone, all they had left is will and determination, based on Larry's wondering foot prints, backtracks, miswhacks, and full trips round the bend. Even that was on low and slow. They were deep into the no-sleep, no-food funk.
"Oh! My! Gosh!" Julie sputtered. "Did you see that?!"
"What?" John-John was instantly on alert.
"The oasis just blinked out. The light is gone."
"Did we round any bends? Or slip past a building in the night? Is there anything that could block t he light?' Omega wanted to know.
"Don't think so. Do you see any dark shapes?" Rick said.
"Oh, so very, very weird" Julie said. "Means somebody is controlling things. And that can't be good."
"Let's just keep going. I don't think distance away from the oasis is a bad thing. Do you think we can find out way back?" Omega asked.
"We got our phones," Suzie said. Every single teen held up a phone."
"Oh. Got it." Omega said. "I forget about that stuff. Are we still following Larry's footsteps?"
"Yep," said Petey. "I think there's an old ghost town out here, and we might be close."
"Are there actual ghosts?" Tim asked.
"Might be." Omega said. "Petey, John-John and I are from . . . well, out of town. There could be other out-of-towners."
"Yikes," said Julie.
"Yeah," said Petey.