A/N: Rewrite of Ark Rangers.
Survival of the Fittest – Book 1: Survival Quotient to be Determined
Part 1 – Beginnings
Chapter 1: Washed Up
I woke up, my eyes being blinded by intense sunlight. I tried to block the intense rays with my hand before feeling a searing sensation in my left forearm near my wrist. I scratched at it before looking around. I didn't know where I was or how I got here, but there was this innate instinct to survive. I looked around my surroundings to see that I was on the beach of some kind of landmass I was entirely unfamiliar with. It was all very strange. I looked at the wild life. These plants looked different, more primitive. I noticed that it was rather chilly. I looked down to see that I had no clothes on and was bare naked. But I heard the sounds of primal nature. There were bellows from some kind of large animal crashing through the trees, a flock of large reptilians flew above head. I watched as they flew inland from the ocean, towards the forests. Where was I? How did I get here? I scratched at the object embedded in my wrist only for it to vibrate briefly.
After my initial shock of being in unfamiliar territory, my inner survivalist kicked in. Before this, hobbies of mine were being a Prepper, Survivalist, a Bushcraft lover, Hunting, and Fishing. Incidentally, I grew up on a farm. As a result, I developed and practiced a wide variety of a set of skills. I would spend hours on Youtube or reading books and try and recreate ideas or learn how to survive. There were many fields and skills that could aid in survival. I could make crude textiles, clothing, weapons, tools, furniture, shelters, and other things to make my life easier. My profession as engineering.
I calmed down for most of the part deciding to take everything in once more. The sand between my toes, the feel of a slightly chilly breeze, the freshwater spray of waves crashing to the shore, and the sounds of distant unnamed animals. They were all part of several sensations I needed to be in tune with in order to keep my senses sharp. I looked around for anything I could use to help me. There were four basic needs that I'd focus on. Food, Water, Shelter, and fire. To do that, I needed to gather materials. It seemed that I would take a chance on making tools over finding the four basic needs. That could be a costly gamble.
The first thing I needed, was to make a tool or two, such as an axe or pick. The reason being, is that I using my hands for everything that required a tool. For example, I knew I couldn't break apart one of the large boulders or chop down a tree with my bare hands if I ever needed stone. No, I'd need a scratch-made axe or even a pick. Luckily, I knew how to make one. I had done this before just for recreational purposes. First however, I got a good look at my surroundings. Another survival skill I had learned, was to map out the wilderness. I knew I was on a peninsula of some sort. A peninsula was a body of land surrounded on three sides by water. I could see that there was more beach and jungle on both sides of the peninsula that was separated from me by the ocean's water. From where I stood, which was on the tip of the peninsula I could see three large structures that were definitely not natural. They were manmade, maybe not even manmade. Someone, somewhere knew how to craft advanced technological structures. These were such structures. They were giant floating towers, each with a glowing diamond symbol engraved on it similar to whatever it was that was implanted on my arm. But each tower's glow was different. The closest one to my left was Red, while the next closest one to my right was Green. The furthest one away was blue. I could tell, that neither one of them weren't that close to me. They were a lot further away than they appeared to be. Towards the blue tower, I could see that there were tall trees that looked like Redwood trees in the United States. This forest was pretty far away as well. On either side of the peninsula the forests were more of a combination of those you'd see in South America and pine forests in North America.
To the left, the forest set atop a cliff that separated the beach and forest itself. There was also a lone oak tree atop a series of cliffs and slopes on the other side of the water towards the blue tower. To the right, it looked like the land on the other side of the water was more sloped than cliffs everywhere. But the jungle could easily hide any. There were no cliffs separating the forests from the beach. Between the green and blue towers, I could see more cliffs with forest atop them and then the redwood forests in the distance. The cliffs helped shape the bay between on the left side of the peninsula. The view would be breathtaking and probably a good vacation spot if I wasn't out here on my own.
I wondered if there was civilization here. At the moment, I would continue as if there wasn't. I was about to see about gathering some stone when something caught my eye. A part time hobby of mine was animals and prehistoric animals. It was a well-known fact that extinct animals were that as they were, extinct. But what I was seeing now put every little tidbit on that particular theory in the garbage.
Walking down the beach was a large stocky reptilian. It walked on stocky hind legs, had a duckbill-like mouth, a curved crest with slight webbing, and a slight hunch in its back. Its feet were slightly webbed as well. The coloration of the said animal was dark along its back, green on its midsection, and its underbelly was almost pale. It was a dinosaur. It walked along the beach that was towards the red tower. Two more came from behind a large boulder, each trumpeting with each other before they made their way towards a break in the cliffs to climb the slope. I had seen this dinosaurs in pictures before. It was a Parasaurolophus. I stood there captivated. The only thing that broke me from that trance was the sound of something screeching above me. Three or four more winged reptiles flew over me in a flock. They weren't dinosaurs, they were pterosaurs. If I wasn't mistaken, I believe they are Pteranodon's. The Pteranodons flew towards the Redwoods.
"Holy crap." I spoke breathlessly as I fell back, "Am I in Jurassic Park?" I had read the books and seen the movies all the way up to Jurassic World. I was a huge fan. But seeing something like this in real life? Unimaginable. I sat there for the longest time, watching for any other dinosaurs around me. All I saw were fat, chicken-like birds with a large round beak. If I hadn't been mistaken, I'd say these were Dodo's. There were several of them. In fact, there were a lot of them. Now that I thought about it, they spotted the beaches all around me in small flocks. Jurassic Park didn't have any of those as far as I knew. This revelation gave me one conclusion. Dinosaurs. Extinct animals. Plant eaters. That told me one thing. If there were herbivores on this landmass, then there were carnivores. What kind of carnivores, that had remained to be seen. One word came to mind. "Fuck."
I warm sun and the realization that I was on a dangerous island is what got me off my butt. I'd make a hatchet and pick before anything else. Being naked however, I knew I'd eventually have to figure out what to do with clothing. But for what I was doing right now, I was doing good. I found two rocks nearby and started to beat them together. It took around fifteen minutes, but I had shaped one into an oval shape. I grabbed another stone and started chipping away again, this time to make a wedge-like piece. I then used another rock to sharpen both stones, and then used the wedge piece as a spike to dig into the bark of the branch. I used another stone to hit the said wedge and it took a good thirty minutes to break the branch off. Afterwards, I proceeded to chip away at the branch until there was a hole that could fit the end of the sharpened oval shaped stone in it. I shoved it in there and started to wedge it in the hole. I tore off strips of long leaves from a palm bush to make thatch before wrapping it around where the stone hatchet head and hole met. It would give it a little bit more compression to keep the stone in. I could have made it slightly different, but I was sort of on a time limit. I didn't want to be caught out here on this beach in case there were any predators here.
My next tool that I made was a pick. It was slightly easier to make, mostly because I had already made the pick-head. I chiseled it down, chopped another branch off cut it down to the shape I wanted before making a hole for the pick. I then wrapped a lot of thatching around it to keep it stabilized. It wasn't the best pick, but it was stable. That's what I wanted at the moment. I tested the two new tools out before deciding it was time to move on with preparing myself. I used various plant materials from the nearby plants to make makeshift fiber-like ropes which was then tied as slings for the tools. I did so by intertwining the fibers and twisting them to make them stronger. It made carrying the said tools easier. With two basic tools crafted, I decided to figure out my next step from here. I knew what I would need. Four immediate things required my attention. I needed to make some kind of spear, just in case I needed to distance myself from a dinosaur or something when it came to life or death. I would also need fire for warmth. I didn't know how cold it was going to get when night time came. I would need to figure out what to do with getting some clothes. It wouldn't do good to run around naked all the time. Last but not least, I was going to have to find food.
There was a roar in the distance. I looked around towards the blue tower to discover that there were others out here. Other humans I meant. I saw someone running down the beach at a fast pace with some kind of theropod dinosaur nipping at his legs. The theropod didn't come up to his waist, in fact, it was barely thigh high. It had two tiny crests on its head and spike-like ridges along its back. I couldn't really get a close look at it as the small predator and fleeing dark skinned naked man ran towards the inner portion of the bay. I immediately knew that this little creature wasn't responsible for that large roar. It just wasn't possible. He left the smaller dinosaur in the dust, easily outrunning it. From what I could tell, the man was dark skinned, tall and muscular. And he was fast; a born runner. The little theropod lost interest and decided to walk towards the water for a drink. It wasn't until I saw the little theropod drinking did I see a very faint line in the water. It was like a barrier between waters.
Curiosity got the best of me. I walked over and got a sip of the water on one side, and it was fresh. But on the ocean side, it was salty. There was no brackish water, at least not to the point of being That was more than perplexing. I hadn't thought it would be possible for a barrier of opposing salinity types of water to be so thin. It literally made no sense. Then again, there were three large towers that had moving pieces on them on this landmass. And then there was the fact that extinct animals were roaming it. There was something in the ocean that caught my eye. Something broke the surface. There were sounds of an unknown species whale out there. Then I saw an actual prehistoric whale leap out the water and several other sea animals behind it doing the same. They looked like some kind of Manta ray.
I decided to get moving and see if I can find that guy that ran along the other side of the bay. If he was naked, then maybe he washed up on shore too? The only way I was going to find out was to question him. So, I started to walk along the beach up the peninsula towards the mainland. I noted the variety of plants and trees that were along the peninsula's inner land. There were so many different types of plants, none in which I recognized. The trees were a little more recognizable. There were Oak trees, palm trees, and some kind of pine tree. But the many palm trees dominated the peninsula. Of course, there were trees similar to palm trees only dwarf sized. They could either be a different species of the said tree or just saplings. The many different species of plants dotted the greenery too. It looked like there were primitive banana leaf plants, ferns, and long-leafed plants everywhere. The grass was untamed, being no higher than a foot long. To compliment the wild greenery, there were boulders and rocks that were all kinds of shapes and sizes. I kept moving on, occasionally stepping over a washed up or fallen log. After several minutes of walking up the beach towards the cove, I spotted the man who was outrunning the small theropod earlier, sitting on a boulder, looking as if he was exhausted. He was this side of the bay near the end sitting on a downed palm tree, resting.
I cautiously walked up towards him. He noticed me immediately. "Stay back!" He said getting up and preparing to bolt.
"Whoa calm down there," I said holding my hands up, "I ain't gonna hurt ya. I saw ya runnin' from that dinosaur back there."
Our conversation was cut short as another roar bellowed from directly behind the said man. Another man came rolling down the slope from he jungle and landing haphazardly behind the dark-skinned man. For a second, he was dazed, but he got his bearings and crawled towards the now vacant log where the first guy was looking at him. "Help!" As soon as he got to the log to get up some kind of carnivorous dinosaur crashed out the jungle charging like a bull, its head lowered forward. The first survivor who was sitting on the log, dove to the side out the way.
It was bipedal theropod, with stubby arms and its body was awkwardly long. Its head was oval shaped with beady eyes and two horns on its head. Its body was gray, though I didn't have time to think about what the species was because it was on the downed survivor before he could get up. The Dinosaur smashed its horns into the back of the survivor knocking him against the log, sprawling over it, belly first. The survivor was done for, one of the horns had severed his spine. The man's screams died as the wind was knocked out of him. The dinosaur proceeded to finish its prey off by clamping down on the survivor's neck and ripping his head clean off. It let out a familiar roar before eating the remains, sinking its teeth into the torso of the unnamed survivor. If things couldn't get any worse, another of the same species crashed out of the jungle. It was about to take a bite out of the fallen survivor, but the first dinosaur let out a hiss and headbutted it away. The second of the species of dinosaur yelped before hissing at the first survivor who used the log as a resting area before. The man turned to run, the newly arrived carnivore charged after him. I made my way deeper to the inland of the peninsula into a thicker brush of the jungle. I kept my head down as I hid behind a boulder, watching between the two carnivores. The first kept enjoying its meal while the second was charging for the remaining survivor on the other side of the bay.
"Dear God….." I spoke praying for forgiveness. Is this hell or punishment for all the sins I committed? I watched the scene unfold. The first carnivore had all but finished its meal. It looked across the bay at its brethren before walking towards that direction. Its brethren had nailed a tree that it couldn't turn in time to avoid as it chased the fleeing survivor. The fleeing survivor got up the slopes and I could see him running towards the deeper jungle. I sighed in relief and contemplation as I turned and leaned back against the boulder looking out the opposite direction. I could barely see through the jungle brush to the other side of the inlet. I saw land of course, but it was blocked by the bushes, ferns, and trees on this peninsula.
I wiped my brow, looking around at my surroundings once more. My stomach growled. I haven't had anything to eat since I woke up, and I can't remember how long ago it was before that. In fact, I can't even remember how I got here. It was like I went to sleep one moment back on the farm, then poof. I woke up here. I heard chirping next to me, a couple feet away. It was a Dodo sitting on a nest. It just stared at me as I stared back at it. My stomach growled again. I grabbed it by the neck and it squirmed against me as I lifted it up. The nest was empty. "No egg. Sorry about this." I snapped its neck. I started to gather some wood, dried up fallen leaves, and stone only to place them between three large boulders that were nestled atop a higher hilled area of the peninsula. I started to grab a piece of flint and a piece of stone to strike together creating sparks. The sparks however, weren't going to be enough. The stone was just too unrefined and not smoothed. Nevertheless, I persisted for a good fifteen to twenty minutes before I finally got a flame to go. I quickly got on my hands, ear to the ground and started blowing on the leaves that were under all the tinder I made. Eventually the flames grew, and I fed them more leaves and dried plant materials so the fire would grow. Finally, I had a fire. I grabbed about quarter sized sticks, chopped them to length, sharpened one end on each, then made a split on the other end of each, before digging them into the ground. I made sure they were opposite sides of the fire. After that, I cut another stick to size with a sharpened end on it. This would hold meat over the fire. I quickly began to start cleaning the Dodo the best I could by first plucking it, tearing out the innards that I wouldn't want to eat, which was tossed on the beach in a pile, including the head of the dodo. It didn't take long for scavengers in the form of prehistoric seagull/pelican hybrid look-alikes. I remember them being called an Icthy….something. Noris? Nornis? I let it go. I just watched them as I skewered the meat of the dodo like you would a Cornish hen getting ready to put it in a rotisserie. I set it over the fire and let it cook, occasionally rotating the stick to cook the poultry evenly. In between time, I carved wood into a spear base, and made sure it was sturdy. I sharpened the end of the stick to become a full on wooden spear.
The wooden spear wouldn't do much to thicker hided animals, but dodos and smaller creature's, it'd be perfect against. I doubted that it would do much against those theropods that ambushed those survivors earlier. Speaking of which, now that my mind had gotten off of survival mode and I could process information more clearly due to how my life wasn't any immediate danger, I tried to figure out the species name of the theropods. It had horns, an awkward stance in it's body, and a short oval shaped snout. The name was part of a Zodiac sign. It was on the tip of my tongue. I had seen pictures of what paleontologists claimed it looked like. Carnotaurus? Yeah, Carnotaurus. I'll call it Carno for short though.
Drawing my attention back to my cooked meal, I started to eat it, first breaking off the drumstick and chowing down. Dodo tasted like chicken and Quail put together. Still hungry, I ate much of the rest of the dodo before leaning the remaining skewered dodo and the stick against one of the boulders. I kept my wooden spear handy. I felt a draft come across, the wind tickling my skin and the breeze between the knees made me remember that I needed to figure out what to do for clothing. I knew how to weave cloth and silk. Sewing being an important skill, especially if you need to stitch up a wound, would undoubtedly come in handy. For now though, I'd have to settle for using the leaves of some of the brush around. The leaves would be good to make crude ghillie suits as well. I would just need to find a preservative to keep the leaves their natural color. Making a Ghillie Suit for different area's would be worth….hold on. I had to focus on immediate needs. Warmth and shelter were among them right behind getting some clean water. Purifying water was going to be a major issue, mostly because I'm going to have to boil it. Making something suitable for boiling was going to be challenging and time consuming. I'd have to risk the health hazards of unpurified water. The thirst was starting to get to me. I walked down to the water, doing a test on the water for salt or fresh.
Eventually, I found the line. I drank the unpurified water, noting its freshness and seemingly cleanliness before heading back to my measly camp. When I returned, I saw something small and reptilian dart away into the brush away from the fire. Whatever it was couldn't have been more than knee height. I readied my spear before continuing on with my next plans. I began construction of a lean-to shelter. I used mainly thick branches to act as the frame of the shelter while adding smaller branches for supporting the thatch and plant material. It took around thirty minutes to fasten the frame together then an hour to layer the frame with large leaves and thatch. Late afternoon started to set by the time I had fixed a bedding made up of leaves and feathers as well as two very crude blankets of leaves strung together. One would be to be for sleeping under and the other as a windbreaker. I ate the rest of the Dodo for my last meal before bed and got a drink of water before retiring for the night. The campfire was put out to prevent anyone or anything from finding my camp tonight. I may be friendly until pushed to the breaking point, but that didn't mean others were. I just prayed that no Carnivore came around here. I would work on trying to sleep in one of those large Oak trees next time I decided to call it a night.
Sleep did not take well that night. The fear of being eaten while I slept was something that plagued my mind. Every little night sound got to me. The ocean and waves lapping the shore nearby was the peaceful part. It was the random sounds of prehistoric beasts that frightened me. The night went without incident however. I survived a night in this land. Score one for me. I sighed as light began to shine through the screen I made. I pulled it up and got out checking my surroundings. The first thing I noticed was the dew of the morning and the dampness of the grass under my bare feet. I took in my surroundings. At first, I could have sworn I was on a tropical island in the Caribbean. Then I saw a group of the extinct Dodo's walking on the beach several feet away.
It was day two in this strange land. Mentally, I went through what I had accomplished the day before. I made two tools, a fire, a few spears, a makeshift shelter, and found food. Considering my predicament and the fact that there are dinosaurs running around, I'd say I was doing pretty good. I heard something. I readied my spear defensively. I walked over to the origin of the noise to see a dodo sitting on the nest I had killed the first off before. I picked it up off its nest and it pecked me. There were two eggs.
"Today's your lucky day," I spoke to her, "You keep doing that, and you'll earn your keep." I removed the eggs from under the female dodo, cracked them open, and let the cool raw egg slide down my throat. The taste of raw egg was different from different eggs that I had tasted before. Chickens, ducks, quail, pheasant, turtle, or even an alligator; I've had all of them raw. Some of them were just me being put in a situation where they were my only food and some of them were just because I wanted to taste the difference.
But now, it didn't matter what they tasted like now. I needed food, and eggs are chocked full of protein. Protein was essential to keeping my strength up. With a belly full of egg, I decided to get my second day going. My camp wasn't fortified and it certainly couldn't keep out a Carno if one decided to come at me. Maybe I could sleep in a tree? I could tie plant fiber rope to keep me from falling off. I looked for any trees I could use. The only suitable one I saw was one up on the cliff watching over the bay. There were others deeper in the jungle at the base of the peninsula I was on from what I could tell from where I was. I walked down to the water and got me a drink before moving up the peninsula coast on the eastern side. I ran through a mental checklist and options thinking about how I could improve my survivability here.
Mapping out whatever I could on this land was up there. The more I knew the terrain, the better I could find resources and whatnot. At the moment, all I would ever need is stone, wood, thatch, flint, dirt, water, and plant fibers. Eventually, I was planning on making some crude survival tools other than a wooden spear, hatchet, or pick. A ruck-sack was at the top of the list along with ways to make clay pottery for cooking or storage. That was the plan at least. There was also that last little tidbit. How was I going get out of this place?
I kept moving up the peninsula realizing that I was at the point where the peninsula beach was turning rocky and molding into a natural cliff with tall geographical landscape that made an inlet. I decided, albeit dumbly, to follow the cliff as I entered the jungle. The jungle got thick. As long as I stayed on the edge, I could easily find my way back to my camp. I probably spent an hour walking it. The jungle got thicker, but I could see the variation in the foliage as I got deeper. The trees and the boulders changed the further North I went, which I believed was north. As I looked over the cliff to see the water below, I could see Herbivores such as Parasaurolophus and even Triceratops going for a drink. They moved in herds. In the water however, I noticed a familiar sight. I had seen alligators move under water fluently and stealthily as they hunt their prey. But the thing was, this wasn't a normal alligator. No, this was much bigger. I had seen some big alligators and crocodiles, but this dwarfed them. I remember in my state of South Carolina there was a captive crocodile at Alligator Adventure in Myrtle Beach, called Yutan that was 18 feet long and weighed a ton. This reptile made Yutan look like an infant. This thing was at least 39 feet in length which was more than double the size of Yutan. I sat down on the grass with one knee upright with my arm resting on it watching it all unfold.
One of the many Parasaurolophus drank from the inlet without a care in the world, unaware of something lurking just feet below. And suddenly, the large crocodilian exploded out the water snapping its large slender snout around the neck of the Parasaurolophus and snatching it towards the water. The remaining herd bellowed and began to flee. The few Triceratops kept their heads looking at the water but backed away from the water. I continued to watch the crocodilian drag the Parasaurolophus under water and start to do a death roll. I remembered there being a few large prehistoric crocodilians that could reach such size. The Deinosuchus and the Sarcosuchus. With that long slender snout, it was easy to tell that that crocodilian was a Sarchosuchus. I watched as the Sarcosuchus consumed the Parasaurolophus in awe. "So this is prehistoric nature," I spoke softly. I got up and continued on my expedition mulling over my options.
There was so much to learn about this place and how things worked. The technology of the Red, Green, and Blue towers that looked like they were in a Triangular formation, were obviously more advanced than anything I have ever seen before. I couldn't be sure though as those things were huge, and I was a little gnat compared to them. Eventually, as I followed the cliff I came across a large inland body of water that turned into marsh, then swampland. There was a little island with large boulders and some light foliage. The fauna on the island was what surprised me more. Sarcosuchus' basked on the sand and there was a large snake that dwarfed an Anaconda wrapped up on a boulder. That thing was huge. There was one thing that I feared above all. Poisonous snakes. I didn't have a problem with an Anaconda, Boa Constrictor, or a garden snake, but a Diamondback Rattlesnake or King Cobra. Nope. I hated them. Judging from its size, I would guess that this was either a Titanoboa or a Boavus. Judging by the size of it, it was the former. Below the cliff, where the water was, were fish swimming down below. The Water was unnaturally blue and clear from above, like the Caribbean Sea. For river water, that wasn't very natural. But there were fish down there, some of them looking like large Salmon others like some kind of large Bass. Then there were the ones that swam in large schools. Those were giant piranha. My theory on this was proven because I had seen Piranha swim in schools before. They broke water the same way, and they were all the same shape, only larger.
"Note to self," I spoke, "No swimming in these rivers and lakes. It ain't like the rivers back at home." Back in South Carolina, when you grew up in a small town, every Saturday it was a must to go to the river to either go boating or swimming in the local river. In my case there were a few rivers nearby. Red Bluff, Little Pee Dee, the ICW, or Waccamaw River. But here? No, there wouldn't be a leisurely swim or skinny dipping with a pretty girl. Skinny dipping here would end in an early death. With my little excursion finally leading me North West to West, I decided to turn back around and backtracked the way I had come. Along the way, I picked some berries from plants, hoping none of them were poisonous. They each had their own flavor.
The red berries tasted almost like a mixture of cherry and strawberry. The Blue ones tasted like blueberries and kiwi. The Yellow Ones were like the berry form of banana and coconut. The purple berries easily tasted like concord grape and blackberries put together. Then there was the other two kinds of berries. One of them was bitter, like a cucumber that had been sitting out too long. That was the white berries. It dried my mouth out but it gave me a bit more vigor in my step. The other one however tasted plain, like avocado. It was the black colored berry. That one made me drowsy and my mouth and tongue numb. Note to self, stay away from both the black and white colored berries. They were like an energy drink and like a morphine tranquilizer.
By the time I got back to the rock formation that cut the mouth of the river near the peninsula. If I was desperate enough to have to cross the river, I would do it from there. I'd have to swim like hell, but I was positive I could get away if I had to. That cliff side might be the best location for a hidden shelter. My only concern was what happens if a predator decided to come at me. A shelter made of thatch and wooded supports wouldn't hold back a puppy let alone a raptor or something. That thought made me wonder if there were Raptors in this strange land as well. The thought of intelligent pack hunters running around made my blood run cold.
Getting back to my little camp was uneventful. I heard the distant roars of animals, but other than that, there really wasn't much opposition. I killed a random wandering dodo, cleaned it, then stuck it over the fire rotating it to a lesser cooked side occasionally. This would be a process I'd redo multiple times it seems like. I didn't know if I'd get tired of eating Dodo, but I was sure glad I had food at the moment. I sighed. The day was already three quarters of the way over with. My little excursion took longer than I thought it would. It could've proven costly as well. But risks are necessary in order to come to a better understanding of my surroundings. For instance, me journeying across to find out that there are giant snakes, piranha, and Sarcosuchus'. I could've guessed there were triceratops. But the other three species? Their existence would have blind-sighted me if I came face to face to them without seeing them firsthand before. Other than a few stray thoughts and memories of life before I washed up on this land, my concentration was on proceeding further. I had a few ideas as how to expand my little camp, which would take a lot of energy and resource gathering. But for today, my second day, I was content with just not getting eaten.