The Forgotten Child - By LionQueen
Chapter 1 - Captured
A light spray of misty rain showered down on the soft earth and dripped from the leaves of dense trees, as a sliver of sun poked it's way through an overcast sky.
It was a dreary day.
Nearly Two weeks ago she had woken up alone in the jungle. She lie on her stomach over a patch of leaves, dizzy and weak, head pounding intensely. It was the pitch of night, and rolling on her back, she could see nothing but the tall frightening shadows of the trees and the spray of stars, which were so vast above that it was difficult to make out even one in itself. The moon was full and orange.
An orange, yes ... that would be better than nothing right now - honestly. The only food she had managed to scout were some scattered patches of berries here and there. There was the coconut, but she beat it on a rock until her hands were raw. She had not seen a mango in a couple of days.
Her bare feet stepped gently over small limbs and rocks. Pale legged, mud streaked and covered in marks left by the underbrush and thorns of small plants, she crossed a nothing trickle of a stream - if even that - and scooped a few handfuls of water to slurp out of her palms. Splashed a bit on her face. The cool fresh feeling soothed her eyes, since she had not slept much. She took a piece of torn sleeve to dampen and place on the back of her head. Now she was headed… well… she didn't know where she was headed. Walking was better than staying in one place and becoming prey to some creature or something else - whatever that may be.
She scanned the trees to her left and right, in front and behind constantly, unsure of what she was looking for - or whom. As she looked, she kept moving, stopping only to get a drink of water if she ran across a stream, or to pick a berry if she found one or two. She was certain of one thing - that she was deep in the jungle.
She could not go far at once, but traveled as long as she could before needing to rest. The last few days had left her weaker than she had already been. As she trekked onward, a feeling came over her that sent a chill through her body. She halted, with cautious eyes wide open and limbs tensing, she heard a deep guttural sound. Suddenly the trees began to sway back and forth as if something were running through them. As it neared, a sound like steel grinding upon itself filled the air.
The slight breeze had stilled and the thing was almost on her, when a surge of adrenaline took her bolting fearfully through bushes and branches. The slippery ground beneath her seemed to hold her back the harder she tried to run. Her breathing grew heavier and her heart pounded. She dare not look back, though it seemed it was gaining ground on her.
"Wait!" a man's voice yelled out from behind.
"Stop!" he yelled even louder and more forcefully.
She froze, her chest heaving in and out, and sweating hard from her run. The ground spinning below her. Though she wanted, she could not bring herself to turn and face him.
She heard the crackling of his footsteps as he approached.
"Don't move." The voice was deep and the tone unlike any she recognized. Yet, she did as he said, and stood still.
He came around her, and she could see thick, curly black hair over dark olive-brown shoulders, which glistened from the drops of rain rolling from them. He wore a white tank, snugly over a pair of bleached jeans. His back was to her, as he bent forward.
"Now back away." He said in a lower tone now. Though it was softer, it was just as stern and she obeyed.
Once she was far enough away, he also took a few steps back. Then as he shot a quick glance at her, she saw a flash of dark eyes set under thick eyebrows. A mustache and a black strip of beard tracing his tanned jaw. He brushed the leaves away with his foot and carefully avoided the tripwire stretched tightly across the ground, then looked up, and with a finger pointed for her to look as well. A net filled with small boulders hung over the place her foot would have stepped - had he not stopped her.
"It would have killed you before you knew it was there," he said studying her.
She started to thank him, but he continued in a not so welcoming manner.
"Now, who are you?"
She met his eyes awkwardly blinking as she swallowed.
"I ..." She said. "I ..." Her mind raced.
"Do you not remember? Or are you trying to get your story straight? "He prodded." Where are they? "
"Where are who? " She answered, now fearful of what she had been saved from to be threatened by.
" The others. Where are they? They can't be far behind. "
He studied her hard and then sighed.
"Never mind. You will tell me what I want to know. But for now, you will come with me. "
She instinctually stepped back a bit when he approached her. "Wh … What are you doing? "
He stopped just short of a few inches from her face, staring down on her. "I'm going to bind your hands. We are going back to my camp, and then you will answer my questions. "
He placed his hands across her shoulders, and then turned her around. Trembling with fear, she remained still as he bound her hands and then blindfolded her. While wrapping a handkerchief around her eyes, he noticed that she was bleeding on the back of her head. There was a deep wound that looked infected.
"What happened to your head?" He asked, tightening the handkerchief.
She winced a little under the sharpness of the pain. On the first night she found herself abandoned in the jungle, she began to sit up and felt cool and wetness on the back of her neck. She placed her hand there and when she drew it back again, she smelled it and recognized the scent of fresh blood. As she examined from the base of her neck to the back of her head, she discovered a very deep and excruciatingly painful gash.
"Forget it.," he said. "It's getting dark."
He turned her around and pointed her in the direction he wanted her to walk and then prodded her forwards. She stumbled around, guided by his firm hand wrapped around her arm, until she began to hear the sound of waves crashing and people talking and laughing. Her pace became slower now, as she felt dizzier. She stumbled once or twice but he held her up and kept her moving.
She sensed another presence moving in towards them and heard a second voice speaking in another strange accent. She could understand the words, but it was different.
"Sayid…" he said." What's going on? "
"Go get Jack" Sayid answered.
He kept her moving until soon, she heard the sound of metal creaking and then detected the hardness of a cold, smooth floor, underneath her naked feet. . A steel door shut behind them. Music floated in from a short distance, but she didn't recognize it. And she found that the words were becoming distant and hard to understand.
He led her to a chair and directed her to sit. She sat there, hands still roughly bound and now burning. She heard someone enter, and then another man's voice.
"Sayid, what's up?"
"She's one of them. I found her in the jungle almost tripping another one of Danielle's wires. "
" Ok. " He answered. " Well, let's see."
His feet scuffed the floor as he moved towards her. She could hear his breath as he reached around her head to remove the handkerchief. With the pressure released, the numbness subsided and a surge of pain coursed through her head. She opened her eyes, but could barely see in the white light, a man with short buzzed hair was looking in her face, studying her. His arms were bare under a checkered sleeveless shirt.
"Are you alright?" he asked, staring intently at her with soft, amber eyes. She was dirty, and her hair stringy, mangled with dirt and dried blood. He reached up and touched her eye, opening it with his finger and looking closer. Drawing his eyebrows downward with concern, his cool palm brushed across her face and forehead.
"You're burning up." He said with more urgency. He continued talking, but his words became jumbled together, and his lips seemed to move slower and more deliberately. She felt cold and light.
She needed sleep. If she could only sleep, maybe she would wake up and find that she had only dreamt a nightmare and she would really be slumbering in a warm comfortable bed, safe and protected. The white light grew dim and Jack's face began to fade away until she could no longer make out the details. She didn't hear him talking to her anymore. She didn't feel him catch her in his arms, when she sank into unconsciousness and slumped over, slipping out of the chair.
Everything dissolved into a piercing, blurry, white light. She heard murmuring and whispering all around her. What were they saying? What was this light? A dark figure hovered above her. There was the high-pitched ting of metal instruments hitting each other. What was that?
The murmuring, it was creepy.
Images flashed before her that terrified her, though she could not focus enough to see them. Then, a dark, cold room, without windows and icy, damp earth as a floor.
Suddenly, she was running in the jungle and throwing back large branches as she went. There were sounds that she couldn't make out. She heard popping noises. Everything began to spin as terror swept over her. Swiftly it came to a halt when she heard a loud pop and felt a searing pain.
She all but bolted up as she cried out.
"Hey, it's alright." Jack assured her.
Her eyes flicked here and there. As reality set in, she settled back down into the cot that she was lying on. It had been a dream. She shivered; her clothes were soaked with sweat.
"You've just broken a fever." He said again. "Do you want something to drink? Some water? "
She nodded slowly as her breathing became normal again. Thankful for the cool swallow of liquid that he gave to her, she took small sips.
"How do you feel?" He asked setting the cup down.
"Sore. Cold. "She managed.
In the background, she could see Sayid staring into the room. His eyes were intense.
"I'm Jack. What's your name? "
She glanced timidly at Sayid." It's.… it's Sarah. "
"Sarah?" He echoed in an uncomfortable tone. Did he want another name? What one could she give him? It would not matter because she had already given him this one and a second would only complicate things further.
After an unnerving silence, he spoke again. "Well ... Sarah… you were shot in the back of the head. You have a bullet graze back there. Can you tell me how that happened? "
Fear returning, she tried to speak. " I was… running. I was running and... "
"Jack." Sayid called him.
He looked back, lowered his head and sighed. Regretfully, he went to him.
"Let me." Sayid insisted.
"Look, I just don't …" Jack argued, one hand on his hip as he swiped a palm over his mouth.
Sayid stood with arms folded and a stern look on his face as he stuck his bottom jaw out. "These people ... these others, they would not have cared if you and I died. They would not put us in a soft bed or give us water. If you want the truth, let me. "
He raised an eyebrow." You know that I'm right."
Jack shot her a quick glance then turned back to Sayid.
" Listen " he said quieter. " I agree with you, I think she's one of them. But we're not animals, Sayid. And so far she's been cooperating. "
He saw the look of dissatisfaction on Sayid's face.
" She's recovering from a bullet wound infection. She's not goin anywhere. "
Sayid snorted as he turned and walked away.