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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2003 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 4:14 pm
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Here are the last two chapters of my story! All previous chapters are in this forum, but the Prologue & Chapters 1-12 are also on TresCom's Articles page. Anyway, enjoy Chapter 21 and the Epilogue! :D

Chapter 21: Exit

Marquez Santiago stumbled out of the forest, his body aching, especially his left, broken arm. Twenty minutes before, he had crossed a river, which was not too wide, yet not too deep, but now he found himself at the edge of yellowish-green tall grass, which swayed in the darkness.

“Where the hell…am I?”

He pushed into the tall grass, feeling it swipe across his face lightly as he walked. His map was useless for now—there was no way he could see in the darkness—but his instincts told him he was almost where he wanted to go.

There was a boulder up ahead; its peak rising over the grass.

He stopped, hearing something.

“It’s nothing…”

But as he listened, he could hear it again: a distinct hiss, followed by a low series of crunching. Whatever it was, it was coming closer.

And it wasn’t just one set. There seemed to be multiple crunching, coming from all sides. “Oh God… Oh God…”

He turned, running back the way he came. He had only come in twenty or thirty feet, but the end seemed so far away.

The animals behind snarled, hissed. He felt like they were right behind him.

They probably are…

But somehow Marquez came out of the tall grass, dashing back into the forest through which he came, looking back to see that nothing had followed him out.

“What have I done? I’m sorry, Anne…I’m sorry…”

-----

The chopper landed with a thud on the landing pad, only moments before the side door was slid open, a man at the entrance, beckoning her forward.

She smiled, nearly jumping inside, as the door slid closed behind her. She was lifted up, dropped down onto a padded bench. Another man sat across from her, next to the entrance to the cockpit, where a small, sliding door hid the inside. He was wearing a black suit, his hair combed neatly, making him look younger than what he would have appeared to be.

The man smiled, and said, “I’m Gregory Yorkin.”

Anne took several breathes, as the chopper jolted, beginning to lift off. “I’m Anne Jones…I’m glad you guys could make it.”

Yorkin laughed. “When we received your radio call, I sent the chopper to come here. I’m working on protecting people from the island here, so I figured it was my duty to come get you.”

“Thanks.”

“When we get back to Costa Rica, we’ll be dropping you off. You’ll be staying there for a few days, in one of the beachside hotels, paid for by us for you. We know what you’ve had to go through, but you’ll have to be questioned eventually by some of the higher-ups, who are giving you several days to calm down.”

“Why can’t we go back to the States?”

“It’s a bit too crazy there for now. Someone intercepted the signal you sent back somewhere in California and alerted the press to it. They’re all waiting for you to return, so we’re leaving you in Costa Rica until it dies down.”

“Will I ever get to leave?”

“Eventually, yes.”

Anne looked out the window, at the shrinking helicopter pad, and saw that the purplish raptor was gone; the second raptor still lying on top of the small building, unmoving.

Soon the whole pad was growing smaller. The mountain seemed to shrink.

When she looked away, the island was nothing but a black speck on the dark horizon.

-----

Marquez walked through the forest. He had wanted to find the river again, but couldn’t. He had been wandering for what seemed an eternity, until he heard the small splash of water off to his right.

He turned, running, breaking out of the forest and stopping in his tracks.

He was at the river, but not alone.

There was a rex standing at the opposite bank, and as it sensed movement, it snapped it head up, looking straight at him.

Anne said don’t move…Just don’t move and it won’t see me…

The rex seemed to stare into him for several long, piercing moments. To his horror, the rex finally moved, crossing the river with a slight limp.

It came out on his side, standing still, looking down at him.

It doesn’t see me…It doesn’t see me…

He jumped, as the rex roared, clenching his eyes until it finished. When he opened them, he started to scream, as the rex’s jaws wrapped around his torso, lifting him up gently yet forcefully in its jaws.

He continued to scream, as the rex carried him back across the river, into the forest on the other side.

Marquez couldn’t move his limbs, too scared to do so, and the rex didn’t seem to care about the odd sound coming out of its prey.

Eventually Marquez stopped screaming, only for a moment as the rex jerked its head, opening its jaws. He felt himself roll off of its teeth, ripping his clothes, flying several feet as he fell.

He landed with a thud on his left arm, which instantly cracked even more, blazing his entire body with pain. He rolled over, his shrieks turned to wails.

He was in a large clearing in the forest, in a slight crater in the ground lined on the outside by a large mound only a few feet high; the opening facing the rex, which stood there, watching him.

“My arm…My arm…”

He began to sob, unable to control it. He stood up shakily, gripping his left arm, and backed away, toward the mound. He turned, starting to claw up it with his right hand, and surprisingly made it to the top.

He felt something push into his back, and he felt his entire body sink into the mud at the top. He rolled over, which was hard to do, and put his right hand in front of his face, kicking his way up the mound with his heels, trying to get away.

The rex roared, swinging its head low. He felt an immense amount of pressure go away, and took away his right hand from his face to look at the rex.

It had backed away, holding something in its jaws. Marquez quickly realized what it was.

His left arm.

“Oh my God!”

He didn’t bother to look at where his left arm had been. He just kicked, pushing himself over the top of the mound and feeling his legs fly over him as he rolled down.

He landed on his chest, turning away and crawling across the ground to the forest.

Behind him, the rex roared, quickly dashing around the mound. Marquez was almost to the edge of the forest when something massive pinned him to the spot.

He craned his neck, looking back to see that the rex had its foot placed right on his back, pressing down.

He screamed, continually trying to get away, but it was useless.

His lower torso seemed to disappear, as the rex quickly pushed down, and Marquez heard a sickening crunch. The rex lifted its foot, and Marquez screamed, his craned head seeing that his legs seemed to have been flattened. He tried to go on, but couldn’t.

He felt the life racing away from him. He rolled over, losing the will to go on.

Everything seemed to blur, and he rolled over into darkness. He tried to scream, realizing it was the rex’s open jaws bearing down on him, but he couldn’t.

His body was lifted up, and all he saw was darkness.

Darkness.

Nothing.



Epilogue

“Now Mrs. Jones, please tell me what occurred before your plane began to descend.”

Anne raised her head from her hands. She was sitting at a table in the center of a room with a single, large open window allowing sunlight to filter into the room. She had been fed the night before, and then got some rest, waking up to several hours of questioning in a government building. She was several stories up, and in the distance she could see jungle.

She shook her head. “I don’t know… There were banging sounds, and then I just tumbled down the aisle. The last thing I remember was smashing into the front window.”

“You have no idea where those banging sounds came from?” Anne listened as the man spoke. He was dressed in a suit, with a black mustache. He looked native, but she didn’t really care. He had introduced himself as Carl Velasquez.

Gregory Yorkin stood leaning against the wall next to the window, glancing at another man standing behind Velasquez, named Dan Smith. He had been silent all along, and as Anne answered Velasquez’ question it was no different.

“I don’t know what happened!”

“No one said anything?”

“How could they? They were passengers, just like me… No one could of known!”

“Please Mrs. Jones, just calm down.”

“How can you be asking me these questions?”

“We know what you’ve been through, but we need to know what happened.”

“Fine…”

“Now please… From the start. Why were you visiting Costa Rica?”

“Why do you have to know that?”

Smith spoke up. “We need to know…”

“I was visiting ‘cause I needed a bit of time to myself. I came, met Marquez—“

Velasquez asked, “Yes, this Marquez. What was his last name?”

“Santiago.”

“Ok, go on.”

“He offered to take me on a tour of the Cinco Muertes islands. I agreed, and then we ended up on Sorna.”

“Were there any survivors besides you?”

“… No.”

“But you don’t know that?”

“I’m… I’m sure of it.”

“Ok, then… So you found yourself on the island, and made your way to Mt. Watson in the north? How did you know to go there?”

“I…”

“Have you ever done research on the island before you just happened to be visiting Costa Rica?”

“What…?”

“Just tell us, how did you know to get up there?”

“I found a map. It said there was a radio there.”

“Where did you find this map?”

“One of the buildings.”

“What did you see there?”

Anne criss-crossed her fingers over her face, lacing them together in frustration. “It was just a building. I found the map, and I made my way to the mountain.”

“Did you bring anything along back with you?”

Anne slightly shook her head, before Velasquez continued. “Did you find anything there?”

“Like what? Dinosaurs?”

With that, Yorkin smiled, compressing a chortle. Velasquez stared at her intently. “Equipment, computers. Along that line?”

“Of course I saw that stuff. When you’re trying to survive from prehistoric lizards, it would be smart once in awhile to hide in someplace sheltered.”

Velasquez straightened up in his seat across from her. For a while, he seemed to be staring through her, until he stood up, whispering something to Smith. The two men walked away from the table, passing by Yorkin who they talked to for several moments, before leaving.

Yorkin nodded, motioning them out. He walked over, taking Velasquez’ place in the chair. “Sorry you had to go through that.”

“It’s ok.”

“You’ll be going through a bit more, but…”

“I know…”

“It’ll just be awhile. Anyway, you must be ready to go to your new hotel. We’re going to be moving you to a hotel in Puntarenas.”

“That’s fine… Anything away from this building.”

Yorkin laughed. “Well then, let’s get going.”

-----

Anne had been left to a hotel in Puntarenas, a town just up the coast from Jaco. She had kept to her room the rest of the day, exhausted, until she fell asleep.

When she had awoken the next day, the sunlight was filtering through the window of her room, which overlooked the beach.

She had been given some fresh clothes, which she had worn to sleep, and she stretched, yawning. Still in her clothes, she left her room, leaving the building itself to the pool on the north side, which also was near the beach.

It was outside, and fenced in only to the rest of the town, which she could see. There were several people already there, in the pool or lying on the chairs outside of it.

She sat down in one of the chairs, under a large umbrella shading the surrounding area underneath, and closed her eyes.

For several minutes, she listened to the sounds of people talking around the pool, and the occasional splash of children, followed by laughing.

A car pulled up in the parking lot on the opposite side of the fence, and she hears the car door slam. A few moments later, she hears the creak of the fence door open, and she looks, seeing a man in his forties take off a pair of sunglasses, sticking them in a pocket on his flowered shirt.

He’s American, with a beard, dressed in a flowered, button-down shirt and a pair of khaki shorts. He looks around for a moment, and then starts walking over to Anne.

She sits up, as he smiles. “Hello. Ms. Jones?”

“Yeah,” Anne says. “That’s me.”

“Ah! Well, I’m glad to know you’re fine.” He stuck out his hand, and she shook it. “I’m Marty Guitierrez.”

“Hello Mr. Guitierrez.”

“Oh, please. Call me Marty!” He laughed, sitting down in a chair next to her. “I, uh, understand what you’ve been through. I just thought I’d let you know it’ll settle down after awhile. The government’s going to question you, no doubt.”

Anne looked suspiciously at him, before he continued. “I was involved back around 1993 when this all started. I help from time-to-time at clinics here in Costa Rica, and back before the whole Park incident there were sightings of green animals—lizards, they said—that turned out to be Compsognathus. I found a dead one on one of the beaches here, and it was analyzed.”

“I see…”

“So when the survivors got back, the government knew what I had found, so they undoubtedly questioned me as well. They kept us all here for a bit until everything was all smoothed over.”

Anne nodded, looking at the pool as two kids started to splash each other. “How long was everyone kept here?”

“No longer than two weeks… A lot of stuff to clean up that was…”

“Ah…”

“How long have they told you that you were going to be here?”

“A few days…”

Guitierrez laughed, but Anne didn’t ask why. He said, “I found out you were here, and I was visiting a friend of mine in the town, so I wanted to stop by.”

“How did you find out?”

“Connections… I know Yorkin. He was younger back in ’93 though…”

“I see…”

By now, the two kids that had been splashing each other had gotten out, one of them walking by Anne as the second ran over, pushing him in, but fell in as well. Water splashed up from the pool, sprinkling Anne and Guitierrez

Anne had a smile on her face, and Guitierrez laughed. “Always energetic,” he whispered.

After several moments of silence, Guitierrez started to get up, clapping his hands. “Well, if you’re ever back in Puntarenas, I’ll make sure you get a warm welcome.”

He smiled, standing low under the umbrella. She looked up. “Thank you…Marty.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll be here for awhile anyway. Maybe get used to the place.”

“I think I might’ve gotten my fill of Costa Rica already…”

He laughed, before ducking beyond the umbrella, heading for the fence, when Anne asked, “How long do you think I’m actually going to be here?”

He stopped, turning around. “Well Ms. Jones,” he un-pocketed his glasses, folding them open and putting them on as he spoke. “Let’s just say it’ll be longer than you bargained for.”

With that, he nodded and turned away.


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