Disclaimer: Everything you recognize belongs to Michael Crichton/Jeff Maguire

Chapter One: And Then There Were Four

"Where is Francois?" asked the young French woman as her clean-shaven professor and his traveling companions approached the ruins of CastleLa Roque. The professor's face contorted into a pained expression at the young woman's question.

"And Marek?Where is he?"the girl asked.A girl- that all she is- a young girl, thought Professor E.A. Johnston as he strode toward her. She dosen't deserve the heartache of what I have to tell her.

"Margaux, my dear, we need to speak privately." The solemn tone in the Professor's voice and the foreboding looks on the faces of his students, Kate andJosh, and his son, Christoff, caused Margaux's heartbeat to quicken.

"What? Professor?"

"Come to mycabin. We'll talk there." Margaux could feel tears brimming in her eyes as the men continued past her tothe Professor's lodging area. Kate stopped next to her, gave her a look of encouragement (or was that condolence?)as she grabbedonto Margaux's hand and pulled her toward the cabin.

"Margaux,I think you should sit down."The Professor motioned to a chair in the small cabin across from the front door- the only entrance- which he had just locked. Kate seated herselfnext to Margaux as Josh and Chris made sure all the cabin's windows were shut tightly. The Professor walkedto Margaux and dropped to his knees, takingher hands in his.

"What I'm about totell you will be a bit hard to comprehend, but you need to hear it. As you know, Kate, Chris, Marek, Josh, Francois,and I went on a...trip. What you don't know is how dangerousa trip it would be." Margaux's hands squeezed theProfessor's hands tightly, and a look ofconfusion settled on her pretty face. "Marek survived, but he's not comming back. Francois..." theProfessor paused, searching for the correct way to phrase his next sentance. By now, tears were streaming donw Margaux's face, adnd the Professor realized he didn't need to say anything- she already knew.

"NO!" she screamed as she stoodup from her chair. "Non...non...Porquoi? Por quoi?" she screamed, asshe began to colapse- emotion coursing at full speed through her body. Josh was quick and caught her before she fell onto the kneelingProfessor.

"Non...non..." she continued to murmer, her faceburried in Josh's neck, her fists weakly beating against Josh's chest.

"She deserves to know how it happend. You've got to tell her Professor!"

"Honestly, Kate? How can I tell her? How can we do that? So many risks, so many dangers. How will she even comprehend...You can't be serious."

"Dad, if you don't tell her, I will. She's got a right to know how her fiance died."

The voices roused Margaux from a fitful sleep, and the dim cabin slowly came into view as she slowly opend her eyes. She was leaning on someone- Josh- she could see the others standign across the cabin.

"Hey," Margaux spoke to Josh, and he looked down at her face.

"Hey," he repiled."Professor, guys, she's up."

"Dad, are you going to tell her?"

"Please, please, Professor, tell me... Tell my how Francois died."