"Renewal": "Challengers", Clay Brody's reality show of celebrity wits and endurance, has returned for a third season. The show is on rocky ground, but as they fly to the shoot, which is in the Himalayas, producer June Robbins and her pilot boyfriend Ace are hopeful. Clay seems to know that somet
- Okay, I think I've got it all figured out. It's all a setup. It's like Punk'd meets Lost meets Amazing Race. Which is pretty awesome, since I didn't think this show had much of a budget.
- -- Red
Appearing in "Renewal"
Synopsis for "Renewal"
"Challengers", Clay Brody's reality show of celebrity wits and endurance, has returned for a third season. The show is on rocky ground, but as they fly to the shoot, which is in the Himalayas, producer June Robbins and her pilot boyfriend Ace are hopeful. Clay seems to know that something is about to happen. Meanwhile, contestant Kenn Kawa is flashing a camera about. When he goes into the cabin, he distracts the pilots. A mysterious face appears at the window, precipitating a crash...
June comes to in some kind of torture chamber, where a scarred and insane version of Ace tells her that everyone on the plane was supposed to be there and die in the crash - except him. He has been chosen to make sure the others stay dead. He stabs her in the chest...
... and she wakes up in a bed. It seems they have been rescued by a city known as Nanda Parbat, lost in the mountains. Everyone is present except Ace. The leader of the city explains that all the survivors are present, and the one body was left outside the city in the Well of Souls. June sees Clay and demands answers. He shows a spiral pendant which he found early in his career as an archaeologist and which recently activated in some way. It chose the people in the plane, except Ace, and led him here. It is the symbol of Nanda Parbat.
The survivors sit down to a meal prepared by the city. They demand answers, but the high priest reveals that the wine is drugged. As they drift off, he exhorts them to be wary of the unknown, but also to challenge it, because "The fate of worlds rest in your hands."
Waking up at the site of the crash, it seems they just had a hallucination... except that the plane is covered in ice, as though there for weeks. Ace is nowhere to be seen. In desperation, Clay holds the spiral talisman aloft and begs to be taken back, but everyone else decides to make a trek to meet a helicopter they see in the distance.
Climbing up the mountain, they escape death and get to the helicopter, only to be attacked by a giant lizard with a prehensile tongue. It grabs June, but Clay fights it off with the talisman, sacrificing his life over his guilt at Ace's death. His last act is to throw June the talisman as everyone else gets away. As they do, June says that they're living on borrowed time, so they might as well make the most of it.
At a darker version of the Well of Souls, meanwhile, Ace climbs out, exactly as he was in June's dream: scarred and murderous...
- This book was first published on February 15, 2012.
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