by Alekto


Something is awoken on the Plateau that should have been left sleeping; something that takes a dangerous interest in the presence of the explorers, particularly Marguerite.


Alas, the characters of "The Lost World" are not mine. I'm just borrowing, and I promise to give them back (more or less intact) when I'm done.

Time line:

The Prologue is set towards the end of Season One, the remainder takes place in Season Two.


A big "Thank you" is due as always to my wonderful beta readers - Julia and Mary. Any errors that do slip through are all mine.

Rating: PG-13

Keserves es boldog nevezetes dolgok, Az vilag kint haddal tele, De nem abba halunk bele, Urak, asszonysagok.

Nezzuk egymast, nezzuk, regenket regeljuk. Ki tudhatja honnan hozzuk? Hallgatjuk es csodalkozunk, Urak, asszonysagok.

-Bela Balazs, from "A Kekszakallu herceg vara."


The hunter was young, untested, alone, but for all his youth he moved through the jungle with confidence, his senses ever alert for the danger that was never too far away.

At the shrill creel of a raptor he froze in his tracks and paused awhile, as unmoving as the surrounding tree trunks. A hint of calculation flickered across his face: an acknowledgement of the distance between himself and the dinosaur, before he finally continued on his way, carefully shifting his path so it leads him away from the cry. A spear against a raptor was good odds, but raptors travelled in packs. To return to his tribe with a raptor tooth would have been sufficient proof of his worth as a warrior, he knew, but killing only one was futile if it just left you open to die under the claws and teeth of another.

Besides, there was always more than one way for a warrior to prove his worth. A prize taken from a hunt or from battle was only the most obvious of the available options.

Ahead of him the ground dropped away into a broad, deep hollow. The trees of the canopy high overhead arched across the hollow: a gothic cathedral splendour crafted of wood and leaf. Massive dark grey boulders were stuck out from the walls of the hollow, starkly visible amidst the deep green of the surrounding vegetation.

The hunter halted abruptly and surveyed the hollow. Without ever having seen it before, he recognised it. Throughout his youth he had heard of this place: the stories the People told in the quiet of evening spoke of it as a place of evil. A place that had to be avoided, at all costs. The stories said that there was an entrance to a cave at the base of the hollow: a cave full of untold wonders and untold horrors.

The stories spoke but little of the terrible demon that was said to live there. It was as if long ago the mere mention of such a being had been held as tempting fate.

The hunter crouched down at the edge of the hollow, leaning against his spear as he considered what to do. He aimed high, this hunter, some of the People would have said too high. He aimed to take the youngest of the chief's daughters as his wife. For that he knew he would need to make a great name for himself, a name that the People would honour and remember.

He knew as he crouched there that he had no real option if his dreams were to be realised but to go into the forbidden cave; to find and return with some of its untold wonders as proof of his courage and daring.

His mind made up, he stood and with casual skill slipped like a pale wraith between the trees and boulders. It was cooler in the hollow than in the outside jungle, he noted automatically, almost uncomfortably so. The shiver that ran down his back had to be due to that, he decided as he descended further.

An almost preternatural stillness had descended on the forest, relieved only by the faint, slowly rhythmic drip of water on stone. The hunter paused, unnerved by the quiet. Quietness, he knew, always foretold danger in a world where the raucous din of a teeming jungle was the norm. He steadied himself, took a couple of deep breaths, readjusted his grip on his spear and prepared to continue.

He had taken no more than a few steps when he stopped again. Half hidden behind a towering fern he could just make out what looked like cut stone. He moved closer, inch by careful inch. He might have put little faith in many of the old stories, but he was wise enough to know that somewhere at their basis was fact, and whatever had spawned the stories of the demon surely betokened a measure of caution. As he moved, two plain stone uprights and a similarly plain lintel became clear, marking out a simple doorway. There was no door there, nor any drape or matting blocking off the doorway that he could see, just a passage leading off into the darkness.

He gazed into the darkness for a time, trying to make out any features. At the limit of his vision from the dim light filtering through the canopy he could see what looked like a half spent torch lying on the tunnel floor. He padded in quickly and grabbed it. Expert eyes looked it over. It was old and the wood was somewhat damp, but a careful sniff suggested that there might be enough fuel left on it that it might burn, at least for a short time.

It took some time, but eventually he coaxed a small spitting, guttering flame from the torch. Thus prepared he raised the torch before him and cautiously entered the tunnel.

No one heard the anguished shriek that for an instant shattered the stillness within the hollow.

Days passed, and the chief's youngest daughter decided to choose another for her husband.


Deep in the forest, the incongruous tang of incense wafted through the dark trees. A band of hunters from the People following the tracks of their comrade caught a hint of it drifting on the wind. The oldest of the group considered the matter for a while before pronouncing it as a bad omen and a sign of death. The wind, he had worked out, had carried the smell from the hollow where evil was known to live. All quickly agreed that it would be best to return to the village and let the elders decide what should be done.


In a cavern below the hollow the fragrant smoke hang heavy in the air. Thick plumes of it rose from three ornate braziers wrought of bronze. The dull red glow of their coals gave scant relief to the oppressive dark. From out of the surrounding darkness a figure emerged, walked towards the braziers and threw a handful of powder onto the coals. They flared into a flickering purple-violet flame and for an instant around the cavern could be seen the outlines of rich furnishings: polished woods, gilt and heavy brocades.

The light faded and the opulence of the room was swallowed once more by the pervasive blackness. The figure remained by the central brazier and threw another handful of powder into its flames. The heat shimmer over the coals rippled and the thick smoke swirled into the face of a woman, young, imperious and dark haired.

The figure nodded, as if satisfied with the image. "Zene szol, a lang eg, kezdodjon a jatek. Gyere Marguerite Krux."

To be continued...