Title: What Dreams May Come
Summary: While Roxton, Marguerite and Malone are off hunting they stumble across another group of lost explorers. The three are shocked to learn that the apparent leader of the expedition, Edmund Bakker, is on his third voyage to the Lost World before stumbling across our heroes.
They agree to show the explorers the way off of the Plateau in exchange for a few nights rest in the humble tree abode. Days later, the group begins to pack and Assai, the Zanga princess, offers to throw them a farewell party at her village in honor of Challenger and his friends. A celebration is already in progress as they commemorate the new Shaman to the tribe. Under the tutelage of Jacoba and his priests, the young boy of thirteen has several visions of the explorers future journey; none of them boding well for the travelers. Though he speaks freely of them they are dismissed as a whim from the barely mature young boy.
However, a shadow looms in the future, and our adventurers are heading straight for it.
A/N: This is my first Lost World fic. I stumbled across the show about two months ago and though it can sometimes be corny and what-not couldn't help but fall in love with it, and its characters. Especially Ned with Veronica and Roxton with Marguerite. They're perfect couples in my mind, so that might be how they end up.
The Timeline for this fic is in Season Two: between The Visitor and A Man of Vision.
Disclaimer: I do own the characters in the "Lost" Expedition, save for Edmund Bakker. I based his character off of one of my favorite paleontologists, Dr. Robert Bakker, who is awesome in his own right. Other than that, the rest of the characters are owned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and New Line Television Productions, and so on and so forth. I don't own them, just borrowing them for a bit.
Just one more note and then we can begin. I'm studying to be a paleontologist as a career, so I can and will mention bunches of dinosaurs, species and individuals. At the end I'll put in a bit of a glossary if you aren't familiar with their names, and if you aren't a dork like me.
Chapter 1: Truth Be Told
"I refuse to take another step. We've been all over this damned jungle, and what do we have to show for it? Nothing. Well done Great White Hunter." Marguerite's toned voice was heard through the pathways of twisting trees and tumbling foliage as she tossed her rifle to the leaf encrusted forest floor, sitting with a huff on a large stump.
"Marguerite, you didn't have to come along. There were plenty of things to do back at the Treehouse." Roxton grumbled as he and Malone stopped and shouldered their rifles, looking off through the dense undergrowth as they kept watch while resting.
"One would think you two would be glad to have my company. At least with me around there's someone here to set you straight." She snapped in return and stood, hefting her weapon and tramping off in front of them with heavy and laden footsteps.
"Straight from what? A moment of peace and quiet?" Malone asked with a grin as Roxton chuckled, following the brunette spitfire with a lighthearted step.
Hours later the trio stumbled upon a small Ornithomimid craning his ostrich-like neck into a nook where water had collected from a recent rain. Roxton squatted carefully behind a dense bush and took aim as Malone and Marguerite flanked the beast on each side to ward off a retreat if the hunter missed his target. Marking it, he began to gently squeeze the trigger as gunfire exploded to the west causing the animal to sprint into the forests.
A deafening roar filled the air followed by shouts and more explosions as Roxton shared a worried glance with the others before turning and quickly making a trail through the dense plants and trees before coming to a clearing.
"I can't be..." Marguerite gasped as she watched five or so men defend a deflated balloon from an angry Tyrannosaurus. The trio spotted a nest built up holding three large eggs.
"Unlucky for them." Malone called as Roxton made his way over to the nest and picked up an egg. "Didn't you and Veronica try this once? From the story you told this football game didn't end too well."
"Rugby, Malone. Rugby." He chuckled as he tucked the egg in the crook of his arm before firing a shot at the beast, catching her attention as well as the scant few men defending the downed balloon.
"Bloody hell, that old boy in insane." A breathless English voice drifted over as the hunter bolted, the lumbering beast following with a bellow of rage.
"Definitely. Come on, we can come back for your supplies." Marguerite yelled as the men jogged over, catching up with the two explorers.
"What about your friend?" A tall man with a grey beard and tattered hat questioned as he jogged up between Marguerite and Malone.
"Oh, I wouldn't worry too much about Lord John Roxton. He'll probably try to reason with her, bore it to tears and she'll forget all about her nest to rid herself of his nuisance. Welcome to the Plateau, I'm Marguerite Krux, this is Ned Malone."
"Ah, so this is where you landed. Members of the lost Challenger expedition I presume?"
"You've come looking for us?" Ned asked, an air of excitement in his voice as his eyes scanned the forest for any signs of Roxton.
"Oh, heavens no. My name is Edmund Bakker, and this will have been my third expedition to this marvelous Plateau."
"Well, so are you Mr. Malone."
"Did you hear about the Plateau from Professor George Challenger's lectures in London?" Marguerite asked as she heard Roxton's heavy footfall behind them, his breathing labored.
"Well you could have at least waited for me." He grumbled, shouldering his rifle, glaring at the small smile Marguerite flashed him.
"Professor Challenger? No, I am not acquainted with his lectures, though he always was a man to look up to. England has many well respected scientists, though none have really ever visited some of the many sites we have in the western part of America." He explained, reaching out to shake the winded hunter's hand. "It is a pleasure to meet you Lord Roxton; and thank you for taking care of that unfortunate situation. We've landed in the same spot twice before and have received no such welcome. Regrettably, that fine animal decided to lay her eggs in a different location this time 'round."
"Wait. If this is your third expedition to the Plateau..." Malone began, Marguerite interrupting him with a giggle.
"Then that means you know a way off."
"Well of course. Don't you?" The scientist asked with a wry grin as Marguerite rolled her eyes at the laughing eyes of Bakker and his men.
"If we did do you think we'd be a lost expedition?"
"Touché, Miss. Krux. Well, most of our equipment was scattered about that Tyrannosaur nest when we landed. You wouldn't by chance have a camp big enough for eight extra men?"
"For a way off the Plateau, I'm sure we could arrange something."
"I must say, my dear, this is a fine establishment." Reginald Sanders commented as he sat across from Veronica and Malone. The group filled the small yet open kitchen as extra chairs were brought in from the lab and the common room.
"Thank you; though I have to ask. Where did you find this...way off of the Plateau?" Veronica lightly propped her elbow up on the table, her fork pushing about the assorted fruit on her plate as she made eye contact with the Scientist seated beside Challenger.
"Now, Veronica, let us not be too judgmental. Dr. Edmund Bakker is a well known Paleontologist; a man I have read much about. Though we do not have all of your written works in London, several of your more famous writings have been circulated about the London Zoological Society's monthly meetings." Challenger spoke defensively as he drifted the subject back to Bakker.
"Now, now, Professor, by all accounts we are nothing more than strangers. From the stories you and your friends have spoken of, I do not blame the young lady at all for her suspicions. It just shows how much of a family you all are. Though, Miss. Layton, I do hope that in time you will trust us. I would so love to learn from your knowledge of the surrounding lands." Bakker smiled, his blue-grey eyes sparkling as he settled back in his chair.
"There will be plenty of time for that tomorrow, I'm sure all of you are exhausted." Marguerite chimed, rising and lifting some of the plates into her hands, making her way around the counter to the makeshift sink full of freshly collected water.
"You feeling okay, Marguerite?" Ned asked with a grin as he turned around to fix curious eyes on the heiress.
"Just doing my chores, Malone. It is my night to clean up." She commented as Roxton tried not to laugh in his well deserved glass of port.
"Well, this sudden urge to...clean up... is well appreciated Marguerite. Especially since we didn't need to tie you to the kitchen sink to keep you there; this time." Roxton laughed before a wet towel hit him in the side of the head. Laughter erupted from the large group as they finished clearing the table and they made their way to the many mats and blankets strategically laid out on the floor. Most of the furniture had been moved to either Challenger's lab or Summerlee's empty room to make room for the eight other men and their sleeping arrangements.
Hours had passed since the dinner had ended; those who needed sleep the most drifted off after a glass of wine and settled down into the warm blankets and comfortable surroundings. Challenger and Bakker had talked long into the night about many different subjects, though all related in some way to the Plateau. The two scientists had fallen asleep atop their journals, maps, writings and notes, their loud snoring drowning out most of the night sounds from the adjoining jungle.
Veronica laughed quietly as she covered each with a light blanket, making her way into the kitchen when a voice made her jump.
"Couldn't sleep?" Malone asked lightly from his nearly hidden place at the desk in the corner, an open journal before him as his pencil stopped bobbing long enough for him to turn and toss her an open smile.
"Not really. Though with seven snoring men cluttering the Treehouse I can't imagine why." She grinned, moving to look over his shoulder as he wrote. "So...it seems like you've all found another way to make it back to London."
"Ya, though I've lost track of how many times I've heard that story before..." Ned left off as he set his pencil down in the crease of his journal and leaned back to look up at her.
"You don't think you'll make it off?" She asked, setting her hand against the back of the chair as she placed the other on her hip, eyebrows raised and mouth cocked to one side.
Ned shrugged and stood, making his way between the sleeping mats and into the kitchen, the jungle girl at his heels. "It's not that I don't think we'll make it off... it's just that...well it's hard to believe that it's this simple. I mean, we've searched for nearly three years and found nothing that even remotely looks like a way back down to the Amazon, and yet here comes another expedition saying they've known all along; that we must have just skipped over it."
"Well, I suppose we'll see soon enough tomorrow, Bakker and Sanders have agreed to take us to the area that leads the way off."
"If it was this close to the Treehouse, don't you think we'd have found it before?" Malone asked as he lifted a mango and sliced it open with a knife from the counter.
"Don't you want to go home?"
"It's not that I do or don't, Veronica, it's the fact of the matter; if a way off was so easy to find, then we would have been home years ago. Not that I've minded our extended stay, of course."
She nodded in agreement, folding her arms over her stomach as she leaned back against the counter beside him. "Well...of all the people you have believed when they said they had a way off of the Plateau, this is different. These men are offering you the real thing. Whether or not we've found it before, you're going back to London by the end of the month; maybe sooner."
"Well...I was kind of hoping that since we knew a way on and off that you would come with us." He studied the fruit as he brought a piece up to his lips, finally looking over at the woman he admired so much.
She merely shook her head, snatching the mango from his fingertips and popping it before he could protest. "My home is here. Though, I can say that I will miss you. All of you. Good night, Ned." She smiled, despite the fact that it didn't reach her eyes as she walked from the kitchen, weaving her way between Bakker's men and into her own room.
"I'll miss you too..." he whispered, making his way back over to the desk with a sigh. Flopping down into the chair he ran an aggravated hand through his sandy colored hair, getting back to his writing.
"Well, here it is. This crevice leads about two miles to the east before diving deep through a series of tunnels. We found out that as long as you keep taking the paths to the right you can make it down to the Amazon in around three or four days." Bakker smiled lightly, lifting his canteen to his lips as he watched Veronica and Challenger study the entrance before them.
"Is it open to the sky for the entire two miles?" Challenger asked, his words muddled as he held a pen between his lips while digging around in his pack for his notebook.
"Yes, well...at least until about a hundred feet...maybe fifty before the opening to the caves. Since most of our supplies were lost in the balloon landing, we'll probably have to be back in London within the next two months if we are going to survive."
He heard Roxton's amused chuckle, frowning as the hunter and huntress exchanged a look. "We've lived here for nearly three years, Professor Bakker. I assure you that it's more than possible to lose a few supplies and continue on. This Plateau is more than abundant." John explained as a distant cry of a Pterodactyl drifted on the breeze as Malone and Sanders rejoined the group.
"I hear that you're good friends with a local people?" Sanders questioned as he sat down with a huff, his balding head bare to the intense heat of the sun as he guzzled the colorless liquid from one of his three canteens.
"Been sharing stories again, Malone?" Challenger laughed as he scribbled down the precise location, both longitude and latitude in correlation with the Treehouse as the entire group rested in the shade.
"Well, it was Veronica who befriended the Zanga, and through her we've been able to trade many things with the people." Challenger explained as an eager young man stepped forward.
"I studied Anthropology at Brigham Young University, and we researched several indigenous tribes from South America. Miss. Layton, would we by any chance be able to meet this tribe before we leave for London?" He reminded her of Ned in his first few months on the Plateau, and endless stream of questions never ceasing from his lips, though she was eager enough to answer them all.
"I'm not sure Mr. Carson. I suppose I could talk to Assai before you leave." She spoke up before a screech of a raptor stilled the group; Veronica and Roxton stood to attention, he with his rifle cocked and against his shoulder, and she with her knife unsheathed quickly from her boot, her fingers gripping the handle.
"How many?" Marguerite asked in a quiet voice, her revolver pointing into the dense jungle.
"Three; maybe two." The huntress' short answer was broken as the beasts burst through the ferns, catching one of the men off guard as its killing claw gouged into his upper leg. He screamed, falling to the ground as Roxton fired, hitting the creature in the chest twice before it toppled to the forest floor.
"Everyone move! Find cover!" Roxton shouted as two more raptors jumped from the thick underbrush, snarling at the retreating humans. Malone's rifle fired once as another of the animals crashed to the soil.
Dashing into a small open area they regrouped before heading back to the Treehouse.
"Well, I suppose we were ready to head back in the first place. Now...all we need is to pack then we'll be on our way back to jolly ole' England." Marguerite grinned as Roxton chuckled. They moved quickly through the jungle as they took turns in small groups of three or four at a time in the elevator.
A/N: Okay...it was probably a bad place to end the chapter...but I really didn't have any other information I desperately needed to toss into Chapter 1. So tell me what you guys think, I'd love to hear some feedback.
Okay. So we mentioned a dino in the beginning, Ornithomimid. It basically means bird-like-mimic. Imagine an ostrich with a tail, probably a few feathers, a bunch of scales, and there you go. That's what this dinosaur is based off of. Ornithomimus: a nearly 8 ft. tall, 11 ft. long omnivore, first discovered in Colorado. Lived about 70 million years ago (non-plateau time, lol).