CHAPTER 5: ARRIVAL

The Ocean is feeling quite wavy, even when the sky is blue. And nearby, a flock of seagulls fly above the ocean waves, searching for fish to eat. Very unusual for them to be out at sea this far from land. But what lies ahead, is awe inspiring.

"Fog! Fog off the port bow!" Jimmy shouts from the crow's nest.

Light clouds fill the air. Only a mile away, is an enormous fog bank covering the rest of the far distance of the ocean, even covering the sun, like a dangerous storm on the horizon.

Sailing towards this ominous fortress like fog is The Venture, passing by the waves gently. The ship is heading straight for the fog. This is the location where in Carl Denham's map, may lay the last blank spot on the map.

Everyone on the Venture stare out at the large wall of fog, wondering what lies behind it.

"Woah! Look at the size of it!" a sailor named Pescott proclaims.

"I can't see a thing!" another sailor named Carahan replies, trying to get a look.

Two of the ship's crew, Wilson, a cocky young lad who sees payday on the horizon, looks in awe with Challenger at the bank.

"You know something," Wilson says. "I always wondered how Christopher Columbus felt, when he first saw the American lands."

"Actually, it wasn't Columbus." Challenger laughs. "It was Bjarni Herjólfsson and he didn't even bother discovering it, he went home and cried with his mommy."

Wilson looks at him with a glaring tone. *Smartass* He says in thought.

Meanwhile, upon the bridge of the ship, Denham and Jack look on at the wondrous fog ahead of them. Jack looks out through a pair of binoculars, while Denham films with one of the movie cameras, which stands in a still shot on a tripod. Even looking through a wide angle lens, it cannot capture the size of the fog bank.

"Amazing, absolutely amazing!" Denham proclaims with a smirk on his face. "I've never seen anything like it!"

Jack continues to look on through his binoculars. "Is this the fog bank on the map, Carl?"

"Yep." Denham nods. "This is the position we've been looking for. Not even an effects team with the biggest fog machines can make something like this."

Jack seems more confidant in the position, even he is quite impressed, but not enough to say that the island is out there. "Well now that we found your little cloud, what do we do?"

Denham turns to Jack, a grin wiping his mouth with excitement. "We go through it." He says. "Once it lifts we lower anchor."

Jack feels a bit concerned. No one ever sails blindly though stormy clouds or blanks of fog. Going through can be quite dangerous. He knows of many ships that have struck rock and iceberg, some even sink to the bottom. But this is different.

"You're crazy." He laughs nervously at the director.

"You think so…well let's find out." Denham smirks. "Stay on course, captain."

With a sigh of worry, Jack nods, heading into the bridge. "Okay Carl, you're the boss."

Driving the ship and steering the helm, is Bob, who seems worried himself about the cloud bank, but keeps his optimism at a high level, allot of risk is being put into this expedition to bring in the so called "Big One"

Jack pokes his head through the door inside the Bridge. He hollers to Bob, who is whistles a happy tune.

"Bob, set course, head directly into the fog." The captain commands.

"Aye Sir." The first mate nods, pushing the throttle to full speed, moving the ship onward. As he does, a radio transmission comes through from the communications room. Inside, Hayes overhears through his headphones.

"Unidentified vessel approaching coordinates '337605' this is UN-A51. You're sailing in restricted waters. Imminently turn to coordinates 1138911 and identify your vessel for imminent identification and report."

With urgency, Hayes runs to Bob on the bridge.

"Sir, orders from UN-A51, we gotta turn back." Hayes says. Bob turns to him, but keeps his eyes focused on the fog ahead.

"Stay on course, Mr. Hayes." Bob says without care.

"Bob, we're sailing in restricted waters." Hayes warns. "The seas here are runned by the US government."

Bob halts, once again turning to Hayes. His eyes glared at him. "And what of it?" Bob hisses. "What is there to fear from them? Treason? Fear of a hidden God? I don't believe in ghost stories. Stay on course."

"How much did he pay you?" Hayes asks with defiance. He seems to be the only calm man here. A man of the military in Iraq, he sides with Jack to keep the prison boys in check. He's strict and to the point, giving orders when needed.

Bob shrugs it off, turning back to the helm. "That's enough, Hayes." He hisses.

"HOW MUCH?" Hayes shouts. "To compromise the safety of the ship and the crew?!"

"Enough to keep Englehorn Corp in business for the next century." Bob replies cold. "There is danger in any job. You should know…lieutenant."

There is a cold silence from the two. Hayes glares down at his boss in a stern notion.

"Cut off all transmissions and communications, Hayes." Bob commands. "We're on our own for the time being." He keeps on course, returning to command the helm.

"Whatever the check was…I hope it was worth it." Hayes hisses. He returns to the communications room, shutting off all the transmitters and the communications relay.

The Venture sails into the fog bank, disappearing in the clouds. It dissipates from sight, all that's heard left from the outside world is the horn of the ship.

Within the Fog, the ships sails forth. The clouds are thick and hard to keep visible of what lies ahead. It glides through the density, the fog getting thicker and thicker.

The tense faces of Denham, Ann and Jack and many in the crew lining the rails, watching for rocks or reef. The prow of the ship pushing slowly through dark, rippling water. Hans takes soundings of the waters below.

"Virty vathoms!" He shouts in his thick German accent.

"Can't see the sun. We sure are in the thick of this fog." Denham proclaims in wonder.

"If we don't see it soon we never will." Jack replies. "We've quartered these parts. The skipper who made the map must have been guessing at the position."

"Well the guy I hired to get it wouldn't let it go." Denham says to the captain. "I paid him all the proceeds from my last two films to get it out of him. He would not hand over that damn map."

Jack laughs. "Must be some really kept secrets for it to be in the depths of the pentagon."

"He was delusional by the time I met him in Singapore." Denham continues. "He went on about archeological digs and X-Rays, talking about things like Skinwalker Ranch. A real conspirator."

"Did you check it further after meeting with him?" Jack turns, concerned at the story.

"Why? And spill the beans to the entire world?" Denham hisses. "This place would have been stolen from me and you, Jack. Shell, Exxon, anybody would have tried to take this place. It was pure luck I got this map at all, and I'm feeling lucky today. I'm going to find Skull Island. Find it, film it and show it to the world. And your all gonna have a piece of it, for the price of an admission ticket and a bag of popcorn."

A half hour goes by, still no sign of land. The fog is thick like cotton candy. A dense, immense mass soaked all around the ship. Some of the crew stand gazed at it. They pass each other on deck like ghosts floating in the air.

"You can't see your hand in front of your face." Mario proclaims.

"Hey Mario, I wish you made your soup as thick as this." A sailor named Zack laughs.

Ann gazes at Denham, who is nervous as a cat, twitching his hands with an impatient level. Jack still stands with Denham, listening for Hans, who keeps tolling the depths of the waters below them.

"Tventy-Vive! Bottom!" Hans shouts.

Jack turns to Denham. "We're shallowing fast." He says. Then shouting to Bob inside. "Bob! Dead slow!"

"Aye sir!"

The ship slows down. It almost drifts through the water. Suddenly, The Venture's hull scrapes against a coral outcore. Straight ahead, a sudden break in the fog appears. Ann gasps!

The Venture sails out of the bank, only to be faced with an enormous piece of land. Jack stares out in disbelief. The Island Denham was looking for does exist.

The spectacular vision of Skull Island is massive, dimly illuminated by the dawn, materializes directly in front of them. It stands against a purple sky, looking like it was painted by Maxfield Parrish. The island appears to be about 18 miles long, surrounded by steep cliffs rising from the sea, and is strangled over its entire surface by dense, fog-shrouded jungle. A jagged ridge of volcanic peaks runs the length of the isle, like the plates on the back of a stegosaurus, and culminates in a sheer, towering MOUNTAIN at the far end.

A closer look at this dominant mountain reveals a disquieting visual phenomenon. With its rounded dome and two shadowy caverns three-quarters of the way up the slope, it creates an abstract, but quite distinct, image of a HUMAN SKULL.

The crew cannot help but be drawn in by the spectacle. All gaze upon the lost island, surrounded in mystery and wonder of the unknown and undiscovered.

"Drop anchor!" Jack shouts. Only seconds later, the anchor drops into the ocean, locking the ship onto the sea line.

Back on the bridge, Herb is rolling the camera. The film at full speed capturing a wide shot of the island's mighty Skull peek mountain as Denham stands next to him and Jack next to Denham. Denham leans over to Herb with awe inspired excitement.

"Are you getting this Herb?" He asks.

"You bet Mr. Denham." Herb replies. He knows he's getting pure gold on camera. Denham then leans toward Jack, who seems laser focused on the islands exterior, unable to process the belief in front of him. But coming closer to reality, only the skulled rock seems like the only thing writing home about.

"Well Jack, do you believe me now?" Denham asks. "There it is. Skull Island, just like it's described on my funny little map. We have found the discovery of a lifetime."

"Sure do Carl." Jack describes. "But apart from the big ass skull sticking outta the mountain, it looks like any other tropical island. What's on this island that's grabbing you attention?"

Denham shakes his head with non-worries, his mind is more focused on the tasks at hand.

"What matters is, we're going ashore. Let's get started." The director commands.

"All right. How many men will you need?" Jack asks.

"Just Herb, and 5 others." Denham replies. "We'll have Bob and the rest of the crew take care of the ship. My guys will carry some film equipment, while your men check for any oil that you can get your hands on."

"Sounds good."

"I think you better come along, Jack. You may be able to talk to whatever birds are on shore."

"I planned out going anyway. You really think they'll be some oil?"

"If it hasn't been found already, I bet my bottom dollar there will be."

Jack now sees some confidence in Denham, he might be able to trust a bit more now. He rushes to the control room to report command to Bob.

Inside, Bob and the ships oiliest, James Hyde along with Hayes, go through the radar to scan the islands landscape. The radar gives a full view of the island, the router spinning clockwise.

"There we go. Looks like solid land." Hayes responds. "You're looking at the islands profile East to West."

Bob smirks with excitement, the wait of approaching land cannot be more impatient.

"Typical formation." Hyde explains, his pipe gripped in his hand. "Mountain sectors on the beach front."

Suddenly, a loud beep from the radar, then a flash of a large red blob on the screen.

"What was that?" Bob asks curiously.

"Probably just a glitch. A flock of birds or something." Hayes replies.

Jack enters the room, curious of what the crew might be seeing on the radar monitor.

"Spot anything unusual?" he asks.

"Not a thing, cap." Hyde replies.

Jack seems relived. The mystery of this Kong seems to be filling his head nonstop.

"Bob, you'll take charge of the ship." The captain commands. "If were not back before sundown, contact us on the radio."

"Aye sir." The first mate replies.

Meanwhile, as the crew prepare the boats for takeoff, Ann comes walking down to the main deck, where Jack, Denham, Herb and a crew of 5 prepare to set sail on one of the small boats. She has just showered, and set her uniform into summer season. It's much more revealing to many of the crew as Hayes is overheard on the ships speakers.

"All those going ashore, report to the main deck"

A wolf whistle is heard from one of the crew members as Ann passes by. She replies with a cute smile, then rushing to Jack and Denham.

"Hey boys!" She shouts to draw attention to the two lead men. "How do you guys like this for beachwear?"

Both seem amused by her fit. Denham is more amazed, her beauty is beyond amazing. "Fantastic!" He shouts. "You've got a pure Beauty and Beast to it!"

"I'll be coming along too, right?" Ann asks, running on deck to Jack. She stares at the Island in awe. She then turns to Denham.

"You bet sweetheart." Denham replies smiling. But Jack disagrees. He did not agree to this.

"Well, I don't think she should go until we find out what's over there." Jack replies with a stern worry. "I'd rather her stay here."

"Oh to Hell I will Jack!" Ann shrugs, her hands on her hips. "You think I'm not gonna honor my father's dying wish? I'm going wither you like it or not."

"Hey Hey Hey, who's running this show?" Denham grunts. "I've found from past experience to always keep my cast and crew right with me. You never know when you need them. She's coming with us, Jack."

Jack shakes his head. "Fine."

"Now run along Jack and get the boat ready for departure. Deal out the rifles and ammunition. And get a couple of men to carry my mags. We cast in 10." Denham replies smiling.

"Sure thing Carl." Jack answers. All are all in a bit of a stretch to make sail onto shore, as the crew begin loading the boat. A few rifles are loaded in, they are simple pump action shotguns. Only on board in case of emergency, but have been carried with an extra supply for this particular voyage. Next, the camera and tripod are loaded up, as Jack takes command.

"Alright boys, let's go. Take it easy with that camera. Get the ammunition with those guns. Stand by to lower away."

A FEW MOMENTS LATER…

The boat casts off, with Denham, Jack, Ann, Herb and the five sailors, as it makes its way upon the sea waves and towards the islands beach. Denham stands upon the front proudly like that of George Washington during the Revolutionary War, Herb films handheld there approach.

"Can you believe this Herb? We got our picture!" The director says, his adrenaline at an all-time rush.

The boat lands on the beach as Jack and the others make their first step on land in over two months.

"Okay, out we go boys! Tie the dock line on shore!" Jack commands.

Ann is the first to step out, she runs out of the boat, and puts her feet on the warm sandy beach.

"Haul that line to shore, boys!" Denham commands. The excitement can't be more expected. The crew begin pulling in the ship. Two of the sailors, Carnahan and Ross, haul it in via rope while two others, Sunfish and Lumpy, push it in. After tying the boat down to shore, they begin to unload.

"Watch those guns and equipment." Ross orders.

Sunfish turns to Carnahan, who grabs the ammunition bag.

"You got the ammunition for those guns?" Sunfish asks.

"Yes sir!" Carnahan replies, loading up an assault rifle in his grip.

"Watch your step with em." Sunfish warns. "There's enough to put a herd of hippos to sleep."

Carnahan nods, he's ready to go.

Ann then stars taking photos of the beach and land. The Cliffside is spectacular. Going about 100 feet or more up, the greenery sticks out with such grace along the rock formation. Jack then calls to her from the boat.

"Hey Ann, get a photo of me and Denham coming ashore."

Ann nods, getting to position to get a good shot.

"Okay. Go."

As Denham and Jack come out of the boat, Ann shoots them. Jack and Denham do a dramatic pose as they get off, looking at the island. They stand proudly, like that of Chirstopher Columbas making his first steps on American shores. They seem to pose like they are claiming the island in the name of their world.

"That was great guys." Ann smiles. She seems happy with the shot. Jack then calls to his men.

"All right men, set up seismic charges around the beach!"

Then he turns to Sunfish. "Get the bug spray out, Sunfish! We don't want to get bitten out here!" Jack commands.

Herb continues to film the events around him. Denham face is filled with excitement.

"This is great stuff." The director shouts. "Herb, let's set up a shot. I've got an idea."

As the crew set up to prepare to explore the island, Denham and Herb set up the camera in a corner. The camera is hooked onto the tripod, as Herb loads another magazine of film. Denham looks at the environment. The shot is perfect. Then, he calls Ann over, who is busy taking photos of the crew setting up seismic charges around the beach.

"Ann, come on over her. I wanna film some shots of you near the canopy." The director calls to her.

"You wanna start filming already?" Ann asks.

"Sure, why not? That's why we're here." Denham smiles.

"Alright." Ann nods, walking over to Denham.

"Keep up the good work fellas." Jack commands as the crew set up the seismic charges. "We can't find oil here until we map the geological structure!"

Jack turns back to Denham's attention. He sees him with Ann, directing a scene for the camera. With him is Lumpy, who is writing down the scene details on a clapperboard.

"Hey, look over there!" Carnahan says, pointing at Jack's direction.

The others turn to Jack's viewing point, only laying eyes on Ann, who's beauty still captivates them. Her skin glosses with the reflection of the sunlight upon the sea waves. She is behind a canopy with a small sea pool, and a small cascading waterfall descends from the top peek of the Cliffside. It's a pretty picture indeed.

"Let's go check it out." Sunfish replies.

As Denham directs Ann on the scene, Jack and the others walk over to watch excitingly and with nerves. Denham sets up Ann into position, as Herb locks in the film magazine into the camera.

"The film is locked and ready to roll Mr. Denham." Herb says.

"Fantastic!" Denham burst with excitement. He sits in the "Directors" chair and picks up the megaphone, ready for action.

"Okay, now Ann, there's no need for you to worry." Denham says proudly.

"I'm a little nervous Mr. Denham." Ann shakes. "Suppose I don't photograph well here."

"If I had known that, I wouldn't have brought you halfway around the world." Denham chuckles. "We'll start with a profile. When Herb starts rolling, you just act and follow my directions, all right?"

"Yep." Ann nods.

Denham smiles, then turning to Herb. "Alright, roll camera!"

Herb starts filming. "Rolling."

Lumpy comes in with the clapperboard, bringing it into shot.

"Scene 601! Take 1!" He shouts.

"Action!" Denham shouts. Production on Skull Island has begun. Ann looks fantastic on camera. The light is genuine and perfect, all natural. Denham seems pleased with the look as he directs though the megaphone.

"All right Ann, your felling a sigh of relief, you smile, and then you hear something. A low sound in the distance. You're feeling uneasy Ann. The feelings growing, it's washing over you. Your trembling Ann, you're overwhelmed…"

Ann's acting is quite good, but something about Denham's words spook Jack, who watches Ann with pleasing results. He can't help but smile at her performance, but something is defiantly a miss.

As Ann acts, she seems in control of her surroundings and emotions as the scene plays out, but then she's distracted. She feels a strange presence in the air, like that of a clouded form, floating through her body. It's haunting, as then, a voice is only herd by her. Its crackling and discomforting. Like that of a dead soul.

"Modoru! Modoru! Ashita sore wa iku koto ga dekimasu! Monsutā ga kite imasu!"

It is an ancient Japanese voice, but she is unable to understand it. Then, Denham breaks her trans.

"ANN!" The director shouts. Ann is back in focus. She seems confused by what the presence was. Everyone seems to stare at her, its rather uncomfortable.

"Sorry Mr. Denham." She says softly. She feels she has ruined the take.

"That's all right Ann. It was a good take." Denham says. He seems fine with the take. No need to do another. "Were still rolling, just keep focus on me."

The clapperboard comes into the framing again.

"Take 2!" Lumpy shouts.

"Action!" Denham shouts, now giving more direction to Ann.

"All right, look up slowly Ann. That's it. You don't see anything. Now look hire. Still hire. Good, good. Now you see it. You're amazed! You can't believe it! Your eyes open wider. It's horrible Ann, but you can't look away! It scares you. You helpless Ann, helpless!"

Ann's acting is haunting and beautiful. She seems genially scared of what she's imagining. Pictured in her head is something foul and large. A dark shadow looms over her, glowing with frightful devilish red eyes. This is something from her childhood that she dreamed as a nightmare. She pretends to hyperventilate, her breathing getting faster and faster.

"There's only one chance," Denham continues directing. "…if you can scream. You try to scream but your throats paralyzed."

Everyone is amazed by her acting abilities, especially Jack. But this feels too real. He leans over to Herb. His concerns rising. "What's he think she's really gonna see?" He asks.

"Shh!" Herb hisses. "You wanna ruin a really good take here?" Herb seems fixated on the frame, making sure the shot is just right.

"Try to scream Ann, try!" Denham continues. Ann tries to get her vocals out, but is struggling. The nightmare is really real to her.

"Perhaps if you couldn't see it, you could scream!" The director proclaims, almost trying to help her. "Throw your arms around your eyes and scream! Scream Ann! SCREAM FOR YOU LIFE!"

Ann breaks and screams like she's never screamed before. It is a chilling vocal o fear. It echoes through the island. It sends goosebumps down everybody's spine. Then, there's silence. All are fixated on Ann, who shakes with relief.

Suddenly, there is a thunderous sound. A huge monstrous loud ROAR echoes back to Ann's scream. The whole crew jump from their feet in fear of the sound. It is a frightening rumble. Even those on board the Venture about a mile away, have heard the roar. Bob looks out, fearful of what he just heard.

Ann trembles. Herb keeps filming. Jack and the crew stare out into the jungle in fear, and Denham stares in awe. Everyone looks like they just saw a ghost. Then, one of the sailors speaks.

"What the hell was that?" Carnahan asks in wonder. The sound did seem very animalistic, but this was bigger, much bigger.

"Was that a bear?" Ross asks, shaking in his boots. His gun loaded and fingers near the trigger.

Denham glares into the canopy. His mood changes from fear to excitement. Is this it? The legendary Kong he's heard so much about from the stories and legends? With no warning, we begins to walk toward a path that enters a small jungle canopy.

"Herb, get the camera." He commands, eyes fixated on where the sound came from. Herb is in no notion of coming. The fear got to him.

"What? Are you crazy?" He questions his boss, shaking behind the camera.

"Crazy enough to put less on you check Herb!" Denham shouts. He's in no time to plan things out. They need to move now. "Now come on!"

Herb nods, following Denham. Jack then speaks.

"Hey! Wait for us!"

Jack looks at Ann. She looks scared. But this isn't acting. She is at a total stand still. Wanting to keep her close and protected, he puts his arm over her shoulders. Both are spooked by the sound. They don't wanna continue. They'd rather head back to the ship. But they can't leave Denham and the others here, so they fallow. All are shooken up, but are curious as everyone else on what it was that called to Ann's scream.

They head out from the beach, into the uncharted unknown world, of Skull Island.