Chapter 1: Vanished
The members were searching for a way off the plateau. Malone and Veronica went to the north side, while Challenger, Marguerite and Roxton were going to the south. Summerlee had offered to take care of Aimée, so Marguerite was able to breathe some fresh air again. They had arranged that they would be back at the treehouse at noon. When all of them were back, all of a sudden it started storming. A flash of lightening struck the tree behind the explorers. All of them could duck away just in time. A few minutes later they saw something flying in the sky.
"What the hell is that?" Marguerite asked.
"It looks like a plane," Challenger said, "but it also looks like it's going to crash."
"You're right. Come on, we have to help the people who are sitting in that thing." Veronica replied.
"O no, I'm not leaving this place, except for taking a bathe in the river with Aimée."
"You are also going to help. Your bath with Aimée can wait. She is in good hands. Summerlee loves to take care of her. Besides helping people won't kill you! And if you don't hurry up, those people might be dead!" Marguerite's behavior was annoying Roxton. Marguerite, on the other hand, saw Roxton's face and she knew immediately there was nothing else she could do but giving in and help those people. She sighed.
"OK. I will give them a hand." She snapped.
"Thanks." Roxton started to follow the plane. The others quickly followed Roxton. After walking through the jungle for an hour there was still no sign of the plane. Everyone could see the look on Marguerite's face and it predicted nothing good.
"Where is that damned plane! I knew I should have stayed at the treehouse!"
Roxton suddenly turned to face Marguerite. The expression on his face told enough. He was really angry. "If you don't stop this instant ... !"
"Then what! I get no dinner?"
"O, do the two of you always have to bicker? There are people out there who need our help." Malone said annoyed by the bickering of Marguerite and Roxton.
"Well, tell that to Miss Krux, since she is the one who always complains about everything."
"Take that back, Roxton!"
"Well, it's the truth, isn't it? And the truth hurts, doesn't it Marguerite?" Marguerite turned away, hiding her tear-filled face for the others. Then she ran into the jungle. The only thing she was thinking of was getting away from everyone, so they wouldn't see how much Roxton's sneering remarks had hurt her. Roxton wanted to go after her but Veronica stopped him and said that it would be a good idea to leave Marguerite alone for a while. Roxton didn't like the thought of Marguerite being alone in the jungle, but they weren't far away from the treehouse and she would be probably going right back to Aimée.
The four members remained continuing their search for the airplane. Finally, after another two hours they found it. Next to the plane stood a young man and a young woman. The young man screamed out a woman's name. The four explorers came closer. The young woman was the first one, who noticed them.
"Please, help us. Alexia, she's still inside. We can't get her out."
Roxton immediately ran into the plane to see how bad things were. Not long after he came out. With another young woman in his arms. Roxton laid her on the ground and Veronica took a look at her. The young woman was unconscious, but still alive and breathing. Veronica couldn't do much for the woman so the members took the three people with them back to the treehouse.
Marguerite was walking through the jungle. She didn't want to go back to the treehouse; afraid she had to face the others. It hurt her more than she wanted to admit that Roxton said those things about her. Said those things to her. Since the day she found out she was pregnant, Roxton never let her out of his sight. He was always there for her and when the others were not pleased by her behavior, he stood up for her. Marguerite sat down on a rock and covered her face in her hands. She started to cry.
Meanwhile Summerlee was enjoying Aimée's presence. He loved the little girl and considered her as his granddaughter. While he laid Aimée in her cradle he wondered if the group would be able to find those people. Malone had told him what had happened when he got himself more ammunition. Wondering around, Summerlee didn't notice the young native woman who was observing him. Or mainly observing Aimée.
The woman made the sound of a bird to inform the soldiers of her tribe. When the soldiers arrived, the native woman quickly told them what to do. Summerlee, still unaware of all that was going on, took a look on Aimée before he settled himself in a relaxed chair to read his favorite book. When he was just settled all of a sudden warriors came out of nowhere. The warriors headed for Aimée. Summerlee tried to stop them but one of the warriors pushed him away. Summerlee felt down. He remained laying on the floor unconsciously. The warriors took of with Aimée.
Not long after this incident, the others came back. Roxton carried the unconscious woman, while the others walked behind him. When they had entered the living room, Veronica was the first who saw Summerlee lying on the ground. She ran towards him to see if he was all right. When she kneeled down Summerlee awakened.
"What happened?" he asked with a groan.
"I wanted to ask you the same thing. Are you all right?" Veronica responded.
Roxton had laid the woman on Veronica's bed. The other two had followed him and they stayed with their friend. Roxton returned with a concerned face.
"Arthur, are you all right?"
"Yes, thanks for your concern John, but I'm fine."
"Where are Marguerite and Aimée? Taking a bath?"
"Aimée's supposed to be in her cradle. But I have no idea where Marguerite is. I thought she went with you guys."
"Yes, she was. But Roxton and she had a little argument and then she ran into the jungle. We all
thought it was for the best to leave her alone for a while for she probably would have gone back to the treehouse right away." Malone said.
"She hasn't returned."
In the meanwhile Roxton went to his and Marguerite's bedroom to take a look at Aimée. When he looked, Aimée's cradle was empty. Roxton came as pale as he had ever been back in the living room. The other members stared at him with great anxiety on their faces.
"Aimée ... Gone ... " This were the only words Roxton could speak. His face looked astonished.
Summerlee started to remember what had happened. "Oh my God. No!"
"What?" Malone remarked.
"They took Aimée."
"Who took Aimée. Arthur?" Challenger asked the man.
"Some warriors. I have no idea which tribe they were from. I have never seen them here."
Roxton had listened to all this and all of a sudden he stood up, walked out of the room to his own and slapped the door behind him. By the hard sound of the slapping door the young woman awakened. The young man came to the living room.
"Alexia ... She is awake."
"Well, I will take a look at her." Summerlee said. Both walked back to Veronica's room. "What's your name?"
"I'm Joseph, Phoebe is the one sitting in the chair and this is Alexia."
Joseph answered Summerlee's question. He told the man that the pilot got a heart attack and had died. The three of them weren't able to land the plane and they asked over the radio for help. All of a sudden it had started raining and then there was a this flash of lightening and the next moment the plane crashed down.
Meanwhile Summerlee had examined Alexia and he stated that everything was all right with her. The only thing she needed was a good night's rest. Phoebe yawned and curled herself comfortable in the chair she was sitting in and closed her eyes.
"Maybe it's a good idea to get some rest my boy." Summerlee said paternal en he left the room. The young man laid himself down on the floor. Soon the three of them were asleep.
When Summerlee entered the living room, Challenger, Malone and Veronica were talking about Aimée's disappearance. Summerlee blamed himself for not being able to stop those warriors but the others quickly told him there was nothing he could do. Roxton had left his room, walked into the living room to get his rifle and took the elevator downstairs. Challenger asked him what he thought he was doing, but Roxton didn't give any response.
Marguerite stopped crying. «Who is that?» Marguerite hit herself behind some bushes. When the warriors came closer she also saw a native woman with a baby in her arms, HER baby. Marguerite wanted to stand up to get Aimée but a strong hand hold her back. Furious she turned around and looked at the face of Lord John Roxton. Immediately her anger fainted away.
"She ... she has Aimée." Marguerite whispered.
"I saw. Come on. We have to leave this place. I have found their village and they doesn't seem that friendly."
"But Aimée ... "
"We will get her back, my darling. We will get her back."
Roxton took Marguerite's hand in his and they headed back for the treehouse. Telling the others what they had seen. After a mile Marguerite pulled her hand out of Roxton's, still remembering the words he had said to her. Roxton turned around. He saw tears on her face. He walked towards her and wanted to take her in his arms but Marguerite flinched away.
"We better go back and tell the others we have found Aimée."