Don't laugh. Don't cry. Don't smile. Don't relate. Don't agree. Don't deny. Don't ask.
Don't disobey, for you will pay.
Chris woke up from his strange dream, not sure what it meant but it didn't matter. Remembering what the day was, he rushed out of his shared room and prepared himself for the creature Adventure he was about to have with his brother. Not caring that he was leaving Martin behind, the leader of the team rushed out and went off into the Amazon jungle.
"Ah, the Amazon. The largest rainforest of the world, containing many types of ecosystems and vegetation. There are so many trees that if you were to try and search for something by an aerial view, you couldn't even have seen it by how dense it is!" Chris told himself matter-of-factly. He watched as some lizards scurry past the rigid floor and frogs bounce from tree to tree. He sighed in content, nothing could ruin the moment.
*Vrmm! Vrmm!* His creature pod vibrated.
He guessed that could ruin the moment, but he didn't cloud his mind so he answered.
"Hey, bro!" It was Martin, his voice filled with happiness. Chris smiled at his brother but then it turned to a frown. Don't smile. Don't disobey, for you will pay. His dream replayed automatically.
"Hey, Martin," he forced a smile. Strange. He never had to do that anymore, especially with his brother.
"I can't believe you left me! I thought we were supposed to check out the Jaguars together," he pouted.
"Sorry, bro, but I couldn't wait. But you know me, I usually like taking early morning walks anyway. Where do you want to meet up?"
"Oh! It's the Amazon, it'll be hard to find you anyway. I'll just use one of my creature powers to find you," the brother in blue waves off. They hung the call and continued their own separate things. The brother in green sighed and continued his walk until he could see something useful that might lead him to any Jaguars.
"Look! These are paw prints," he analyzed by himself. "Jaguar footprints are around 4 inches long and 4 ½ inches wide. And this one here seems to be around that size. Then that means that the Jaguar went this way!" The man stood up from the ground and headed out to follow the marks.
Martin activated his creature power suit, it's blue glow engulfed the man and started morphing his body. He shrunk in size and grew a tail. Once he was finished, he was an average spider monkey but with a blue color. He bid farewell to the crew and started swinging along the trees, the same direction his brother went through earlier that day.
As he swings, his mind couldn't help but drift off to his brother. Sure, the conversation he had with Chris was normal but he always had his older brother instincts to the max so even when he called Chris, Martin had red flags popping up in his mind. The more he talked to his brother, the more could tell that his expression seemed strained and his eyes seemed slightly distant, as if he was switching off between focus, like a camera lens. Martin would like to question his brother in green but he knows that Chris could be unbelievably stubborn, especially when someone asks him if he was fine.
"Oh, Chris, what am I going to do with you," Martin mumbled. Maybe he was overreacting. Yeah, that's it. Maybe his older brother instincts were a false alarm. With that new thought in mind, he followed the same paw prints as Chris and eventually saw a moving green lump in a distance. Grinning wildly, he deactivated his suit and crept up on his brother. When he was right behind him, he pounced on the person to the ground.
"AH!" Chris cried as he was hit to the ground. The man started struggling under the grasp of his captor.
"Easy, Chris! You almost gave me a black eye with your elbow!" Martin chuckled. Once the younger brother heard it was the older, he stopped struggling.
"'Et 'ff 'm!" Chris ordered, face to the ground so he sounded muffled.
"What did you say, bro?" He asked, leaning closer. Chris struggled to move his face but he managed to dig a small gap for his mouth.
"Get off me!" He strained as he glared at his brother. Martin sheepishly smiled and slowly got off.
"Sorry," he apologized as he watched his younger brother stand up and dust himself off, a frown still clear on his face. "Did you find any Jaguars?"
Chris' face lit up when he remembered. He motioned his brother to come closer, so they hid right next to a large boulder that blocked the view of a small cave. "I followed some tracks that lead me to this cave," he whispered.
Martin pulled out the miniaturizure. "Then let's get a better look."
…Don't disobey, for you will pay. A mysterious figure typed into her small phone-like device. She sighed, hoping that this could work. She heard footsteps walking near her cell, so she put the make-shift device away and acted like she was still knocked out. If only he could help.
Don't listen. Don't be the same. Don't follow the rest. Don't tell your brother. Don't tell your friends.
Don't disobey, for you will pay.
Chris woke up to a high pitched scream coming from his dream. He looked around and saw that it was still night and he was covered in sweat. He sighed and rubbed his head. Why were his dreams acting up? And what did it mean if he disobeys? With that scream, he thinks he experienced it when he heard that scream.
'I should just get up now. Not like I could go back to sleep after that' he thought bitterly. With a small groan, he stood up and stretched, his back cracking. He walked out of the room quietly, knowing that Martin was still sleeping, and made himself a cup of coffee and drank it in the main control room.
Nevermore, he heard the voice again. Nevermore. Don't disobey me, you know the consequences.
What are they? Who are you? He spoke in his head.
Someone to change your life. But you mustn't tell, for if you will disobey, then you will pay, forevermore.
And why should I believe you? Maybe I'm just tired, he taunted.
Oh really? Then why don't I take control, and show you my power? Chris rolled his eyes but immediately felt very off. He stood up… but he didn't. He didn't actually do it himself, but it was as if something was controlling him. Then everything turned black, then he could see again. Chris tried to talk, to move, to do anything but he couldn't. He could see himself walking toward the electronic door and exit the Tortuga.
Are you doing this? How are you doing this? Why are you doing this? He asked his annoying questions.
Aren't you curious? I want to show you something… the voice said, now that he could hear it better, it sounded like a woman. Chris walked out in the dead of night, some nocturnal creatures making way through the trees, scurrying away from the man. The cold air brushed against his skin, sending shivers against his body.
You could have let me get a sweater or a flashlight, I could barely see three feet in front of me, the cold doesn't help either, Chris complained. He trudged through the leaves and stepped over tree trunks. After a while of nothing but the sound of crunching leaves and the small whistle of the winds, they stopped at a large lake. The moon reflected it's light on the water, the wind rippling the water as well as some pashing fish. The man in the white t-shirt and sweat pants could feel his body again, so he stretched his hand out to test it.
Don't think of me as any harm, she came up again. Rather at the beauty in front of you, as every passing second will matter. You have to trust me, like I do you.
Who are you? Was all he wanted to ask.
Abigail- they're coming! You can't tell anyone about me, but you need to find me before it's too late, please, she rushed,
I promise. Chris waited for her to start talking again but she never came in. As he watched the water sway, he thought about what she said. She wasn't any harm, she trusts him (even though he doesn't know her), who were coming at her? Was she okay? What did she mean he had to find her before it's too late?
All he did know was that Abigail was a beautiful name.
Martin woke up and got ready for the day, aware that his brother's bed is empty. The man in blue whistled himself into the main control room, seeing that everyone was awake and working on their separate things, all except for his brother. "Morning."
"Morning, Martin," the crew greeted, sharing a quick glance at him.
"Do any of you know where Chris is? We haven't had anything planned for today," Martin asked, scratching his head.
"I haven't seen him," Aviva answered, stopping her work completely to look at him better. "I did find a cup of coffee on the table when I woke up, maybe it was Chris'. It was really cold though, so it must have been hours since it was touched."
"Huh," was all he said. Martin was a little worried, he had to admit. He couldn't ignore his old brother instincts blaring an alarm in his head saying 'Something's wrong! Alert! Alert! Can't you tell, you idiot?!'
"I'm sure he's okay, Martin," Koki reassured, as if his 'alarms' are actually vocalizing out of his mind.
"Yeah, I bet he will walk through that door any second," Jimmy smiled, pointing to the entrance door. Not even two seconds later, the mentioned man walked through the door, head down. "Told ya."
"Bro! Where have you been? I was just about to call out a search party!" Martin chuckled, hiding the fact that he was relieved, and patted his brother's back when he passed. Though Chris flinched when he was touched, which worried his older brother, and looked around the Tortuga. He then slightly narrowed his and opened his mouth.
"Why...are you guys up?" Chris slowly asked. His brother was now able to tell that the brother in green had bags under his eyes, which were bloodshot.
"Um, we've been up," Martin answered. "Are you okay? You look like you haven't slept for days."
"...Yeah, I'm fine," he said with a nod. He paused in the beginning because he needed a second to register what he said, then he remembered what Abigail said. Don't tell anyone.
"Who's Abigail?" Aviva asked. Chris' eyes went wide. He didn't know he said her name out loud, he was really tired for being out for so long. He tried to contact the mysterious girl multiple times but still no response. "Uh, earth to Chris? Who's Abigail?" She waved her hand, catching his attention since he didn't answer her question.
"No one!" He rushed, very suspiciously in their case. "I don't know who you're talking about. Who's Abigail? Because I don't know! You know what? I should check and organize the garage since you are all busy," he said, walking out of the room.
"But you already organized the garage!" Jimmy called.
"I'll do it again!" They heard Chris in a distance.
"Okay, something is obviously wrong with him," Martin pointed out. "I mean, who the heck is Abigail? And does he look like he hasn't slept at all last night?"
"What if this 'Abigail' character is his secret girlfriend that he met out in the forest?" Jimmy guessed with a smile as he continued to play on his monitor. "And that's why he was out and not sleeping because he had to be with her and stuff."
"No way, I know my little bro. The last time he had a girlfriend, he was spilling the beans all over me. Plus, he's a shy person, he wouldn't hook up some random girl," he shook his head.
"We can watch the security cameras from last night if you want," Koki suggested pulling up the footage anyway. They watched as Chris come out of his room, make coffee, and just sit down at one of the chairs. A moment after he put the cup down, he was still as a statue, then his body went limp. They watched with bizarre looks as Chris' head popped back up, shot out of his chair, and walk out of the room. He didn't return after that.
"How strange," Aviva commented. "What do you think happened to him?"
"I don't know, but tonight, if he comes out again, I'll follow him," Martin decided with a determined expression. "If my little bro is in trouble, I'll be there to help."
Hey. Can I talk to you?
Can you go back to the lake? I have better connection there.
Connection? Chris got out of bed and dressed, in warmer clothes so he doesn't make the same mistake as the previous night. Unknown to him, he was secretly watched and followed when he left the base.
I'm using a powerful signal to send these messages with the micro bug in your head. By the way, don't get mad, I put a bug in your head, she sheepishly added.
You are so lucky I can't see you… So, why don't you tell me where you are?
*sigh* I can't. I don't know where I am, but based on the signal so I could talk to you, I'm not far from where you are. Where are you?
Well, if you are near me then we are both in the Amazon forest, in Brazil, he informed her. Based on what you are telling me, you got captured by someone.
No shit sherlock.
Hey, no need to be rude, I'm the one helping you remember. Anyway, do you remember how you got captured? Chris questioned as he followed the same route he went on before. Not too far behind him, his brother was secretly watching him with jaguar powers he got the other day, so he was silent.
It's pretty fuzzy but I recall walking back to my apartment and I saw something… Oh yeah! I saw so big guy mugging someone. I was about to call the police but then something hit me in the back of the head. Then I woke in a cell and these guys told me that I'm 'up for sale' then… then they started beating me' she admitted in a pained voice.
"What?!" Chris accidentally shouted. He was getting extremely worried for this girl, so he decided to pull up a map of the area on his creature pod. You said that you were contacting me by a bug transmitting a signal, right?
I think I am able to find the end of the signal and track you down! Chris did a search, analyzing the frequency that they are communicating with, after a while, he started giving up because nothing showed up. But then a very faint dot showed up, other than Chris', and it was around 20 miles from where he was. I found you!
Really?! Oh, thank god! Chris recorded the location and turned off the map. Chris, I really want to thank you. You've been such a great guy, I could just kiss you!
Uh, what? He really was thankful that she couldn't see him blush, even in the middle of the night.
Um… so when are you going to pick me up? Abigal changed the subject not so smoothly.
I could go now if you'd like.
Wait, these guys are armed and dangerous. Don't you have any weapons?
Well, we do have an emergency gun and I have my knife with me. I could pick you up tomorrow evening, that way I could convince the crew to take off early if we need to escape that way, he suggested, deciding to walk back to the Tortuga, not even noticing that he arrived at the lake.
Are you sure that's a good idea? I don't think your crew will approve you getting into danger for some stranger…
You're not a stranger. You are more than that, you are my friend. We may help creatures but we help people too.
They're coming again. I'll see you tomorrow then?
It's a rescue. He smiled as they ended the conversation. As Chris walked back inside the Tortuga and to his room, not noticing that the bed next to his was empty, Martin deactivated his suit and made his way inside. Not understanding what he saw. The brother in blue literally saw his brother a forest, shout, sit on a rock near a lake, and then walk back. Martin sighed in stress, maybe his brother might enlighten him tomorrow.
Chris woke up the next day immediately and hopped out of his bed, running off to the garage since he already had his clothes on from the previous day. He went in and opened the emergency compartment, where a pistol lay. Jimmy was supposed to buy a tranquilizer gun but bought that instead. So, the man in green grabbed the gun, bullets, and his knife that he left in another place. He put the weapons on his belt, being concealed by his jacket, and rushed up to the main room, where he projected his destination on his creature pod. Not caring that no one was awake, he snuck off to the secret area where Abigail was captured.
Abigail? Can you hear me? He spoke, via mind.
"Shit," he whispered. Immensely worried that his friend was hurt (or worse), he sprinted even harder. Remembering something, he stopped to catch his breath and looked at his green vest. "Totally forgot I had creature powers," he gasped for air. He put in the jaguar disk and revealed a tooth from the animal.
"Activate creature powers!" Chris exclaimed. He pressed his button on his vest, letting the green glow engulf him and transform his human body to a jaguar with a dark green color scheme. He started running, which was way faster than his normal legs could carry him. "Jaguars can run 50 miles per hour, much more than an average 15 from a human," he said matter-of-factly. Not ten minutes later, he reached his destination which looked like a camp. He thanked that the jaguar had camouflage type of powers, his spots blending in with the natural green. He saw that there were two guards guarding the entrance and screams coming from the inside. Unbelievable rage came over him, so with everything, he jumped up out of the bushes and pounced at the men, knocking them out instantly. Chris deactivated the suit and walked inside, pulling out his gun in the process. The camp was pretty big, had many storage ways and other areas but he just followed the screams.
Eventually, he stopped at an open door, so he hid to the side.
"You shouldn't have disobeyed, girl!" He heard a man shout, then another scream, causing Chris' blood to boil. "Why did you have this thing with you? Were you trying to call for help?!"
"Bite me," he heard a familiar voice speak, but it was very weak. He heard a slap then another blood-curdling scream. Deciding enough was enough, the man in green entered the room and pointed the gun at the man.
"Let her go," he demanded, now seeing that Abigail was tied to a chair and one very large man that was next to her, holding a knife. When Chris came in, they were both shocked to see him.
"Who the hell are you?!" The man growled. The rescuer took off the safety of the pistol.
"I said let her go," he repeated, his glare not leaving the man. The torturer just raised his hands slowly, but then he flicked his hand, sending the knife that he had flying to Chris' shoulder and used it to his advantage and knocked the younger and shorter man down. Although in clear pain, Chris managed to scoot away from an oncoming kick and shot the gun, a bullet making contact with the man's chest, killing him instantly. "Oh shit," he gasped. He never intended on killing anyone. He turned and remembered that he was on a rescue mission, so he stood up and faced the woman. He could now see that Abigail had brown hair, slightly tan skin, and brown eyes, seemed to be around 22 years old. He forced himself to stop staring and untied her hands. "You must be Abigail."
"Yup, sorry I didn't dress for the occasion," she joked as she pointed to her rags.
"Here, use my jacket, you need to more than I do," Chris insisted as he wrapped his green jacket around the girl. She was weak and scrawny, he could only guess how long she has been there. "Can you walk?"
"Hold on," she said. She tried to stand up once she was free but fell down, luckily the man was able to catch her. "I guess not. Thanks."
"I'll carry you instead," Chris decided. In one swoop, he held her in bridal style, slightly groaning in pain because of his hurt shoulder.
"Hey, you don't have to, I can try to walk again-"
"No. You barely can stand up much less run around. Just let me do this," he hissed. He wasn't necessarily angry at her, but the fact that his shoulder was on fire and it still had a knife in it. As they left the room, an alarm started going off so Chris booked it to the entrance. "Do you have a security bug on you or something?!"
"No! Probably they heard your gunshot!" Abigail retorted. Up ahead, the saw a few men blocking their entrance.
"Abigail, I need you to dig into my pocket and take out a tooth that's in there, then give it to my hand and press the big button that's on my vest," Chris instructed as he continued to run. With a confused look, the woman took out the said item and put it in his hand. Then, even more confused, she pushed the large button and watched in shock as her carrier/savior morph into a jaguar with green light. Chris smirked when he saw her face still frozen in shock. He let out a loud animalistic growl and ran even faster toward the men, who were nervously standing there and rammed them to the ground.
"Woah! I didn't know you could do that, you wizard!" She laughed as she was carried deep within the forest. They heard gunshots coming behind them and heavy footsteps.
"Uh oh," they said. They continued to shoot and managed to hit a little bit of Chris' leg.
"AH!" He cried, his speed going down to 35 miles per hour. "Oh my god! Now my leg hurts!" He groaned. "Hey, get my creature pod from my pocket. It sort of looks like a phone."
"Okay." Abigail did as she was told.
"Now press the button twice, it should speed dial my team," he directed, clenching his teeth. She did what he wanted and waited. It picked up in two rings, showing a very worried team.
"Who are you? Why do you have Chris' creature pod?" Martin questioned, not liking that he didn't see his brother.
"I'm Abigail. And here's Chris," she lamely said and turned the phone to face the very sweaty man. They heard the team gasp.
"Hey guys," he chuckled. "Um, I don't have much time to talk but I need you to start the Tortuga, got it, Jimmy?"
"You got it," the young adult nodded and ran off-screen.
"Okay, I need Koki and Aviva to set up the med-bay," he instructed.
"We're on it, CK," the girls saluted and ran off.
"Martin, I need you to close the door when we get there."
"Okay, what's your ETA?" His brother asked, getting by the door.
"ETA?...Um, now." All of a sudden, Chris burst through the door, where Martin closed it. "Jimmy, we gotta go! NOW!" He yelled from the floor, being helped up by his brother. They felt the ship move and the gunshots fade in a distance. He turned to the girl that was now on the table. "Are you okay?"
"Yes, are you? You still have a knife in your shoulder, remember? And you got shot," she asked back.
"Wait, you got shot!" Martin exclaimed, frantically handing the man in green with his wound.
"It's fine, just help her. She's been through a lot more than me," Chris moved away from his brother. While Martin helped Abigail, the man in green managed to remove the knife (very painfully) and bandage both his wounds. As he did, he looked out the window, watching the tent get smaller and smaller. He sighed knowing that more people are going to become just like his friend.
A few months later, Chris walked up to his room, wanting to get some rest after a tuff creature rescue. As he laid down, his mind drifted off to the girl he saved a couple months back. After she was fully healed, she resumed her life at a city, like nothing even happened. But he knew that she remembered them and their conversations. She got married as well, which he was proud of and was invited to. Later, Abigail gave birth to her first child and Chris was named as the godfather. He was very honored. He smiled when they first met. Sure, it was through his mind and the messages she sent were a little creepy but still… Abigail spoke to him. She trusted Chris with her life, to which he is thankful for. He didn't get her phone number so they haven't talked in months. He closed his eyes in pain, he really missed her. He was about to fall asleep when he heard a familiar voice ring in his mind.
Hey. Chris smiled.