Ralph could tell the savage peering at him from beneath the mat was once a choir boy of Jack's, a hunter, a boy like himself. The savage squinted, puzzled by the large black mass that he was looking at. Ralph quickly leaped out from under the mat and seized the boy, flinging the savage's spear into the mat and in turn himself and the boy. One hand was cupped over the savage's mouth, the other held the sharpened stick to his back. The boy had tried to escape, but now cooperated in fear that he would be the third boy to be lost forever on that living hell of an island. Ralph decided he had no choice. Fear was the reigning king of his current emotions.

"Listen. You're going to help me, got that?"

In distress, the savage stalled but nodded as Ralph stuck the stick farther into his back. Ralph thought a minute, and continued,

"Would you rather help me and ultimately be safe from everyone on this island, or help me get killed and watch as your tribe mates slowly kill each other?"

Ralph released the savage's mouth, making sure that the savage had no way of escaping.

The boy spoke up, "Why… Why do you think they'd kill each other?"

Another ululation sounded from deep in the jungle. The savage Ralph held hostage called out, though not to alarm his tribe of Ralph's whereabouts. The boy wanted answers. He also needed time to think.

Ralph whispered, "Look at what you are all doing; hunting me as if I was one of those pigs you enjoy chasing down. Did it ever occur to you that I'm not an animal? Jack and Roger have forgotten civilization and have no problem killing me off. What makes you think they'd stop at me? For all you know, you could be next."

The savage boy hung his head down. "You're right, you know. Roger keeps torturing everyone and the chief- Jack… He wants you dead real bad. Between the both of them not many of us will be left after they're through."

Ralph glanced around and listened for any more footsteps. He heard the crackling of the fire coming closer.

"I'm going to let you go now, okay? Will you follow through with the plan I'll tell you?"

Ralph looked intently at the savage as he slowly released him. The savage faced him but was still unrecognizable underneath the paint and the slight darkness that enveloped them.

The savage blinked a few times, "So, what's the plan?" he asked.

~*~*~*~*~

The boy let out an ululation to the tribe lost in the jungle, and both he and Ralph ran out, running as far back into the jungle as they could without coughing from the smoke. They were amazed to find certain areas unclouded where they could hide out and rest. The ululations continued until one long ululation held out above all others. Ralph presumed that it was Jack's, and was proven correct when the boy he had converted turned to him.

"Ralph, I have to go meet up with the other's now. I'll carry out my side of the plan and find Samneric. Hopefully everyone will all assume you died in the fire and won't look for you."

Ralph nodded and the boy ran off.

As the rest of the day went on, Ralph heard no more of the hunting party, but grew nervous as time ran its course. Delving deeper into the forest, he found ashes and leaves to cover himself with as well as the bones of small animals unable to out run the fire. Ralph was ready for his part of the plan. As night began to fall, he made his way over to the edge of the island.

~*~*~*~*~

Ralph watched as the pulsing glow of the embers started to sing its lullaby to the tribe members. On one end of the fire lay the boy with Samneric, a few littl'uns who had no choice but become savages, and a few other boys. At the other lay Jack with Roger not too far away and the other savages scattered around. He noticed that there were no watchmen and came to the conclusion that they all believed he was dead. Ralph made his way over to the lagoon a distance away from the tribe and gazed at his reflection. He was less anxious now, for his appearance was unnoticeable and proceeded towards the edge of jungle nearest to Jack and Roger's backs.

Slowly, he kneeled and whispered, "Jack… Jack…"

Ralph stood silent as he watched Jack gaze around him, unsure of who was calling him.

"Jack… Jack… What have you done?"

Jack sat up, indecisive of whether or not he should wake Roger.

"Jack… You have killed… You hypocrite… What happened to your rules?"

Jack gazed around. Ralph noticed him becoming a bit antsy.

Jack whispered, "Who are you? Where are you and what do you want from me?"

"Jack… You know who I am. I was the one who kept all your smallest tribe members away from the jungle."

Jack shook but answered, "But you don't… I didn't think you… What do you want?"

"Jack… I have been watching you since you came here. How you were a natural leader. You believed in rules. And now you have none. What will happen if they kill you? Roger could kill you. I could kill you. Come here."

Ralph swished the branches to lead Jack to where he was hiding. His heart pounded furiously as Jack slowly made his way over, cautious of the thing he thought didn't exist. Jack was unsure as he neared the Jungle's edge. He could hear breath. Jack reached out for the ferns…

Ralph leapt up, eyes widened and maddened in his appearance. With all the bones and leaves tied to his blackened body, he looked inhuman. Jack screamed and ran, waking up the rest of the tribe with a jolt as Ralph himself disappeared.

Jack made an emergency meeting that night, concerning the Beast and the welfare of the tribe. However, every night he lost another member to the Beast. Jack constantly ordered his savages to search for the others, but the savages were too afraid. Roger tortured them into going on the search, but many times savages never came back. Soon, only Jack and Roger were left, the Beast haunting their dreams. They never guessed that on another side of the island, the Beast had allies once again; allies that were free of torture and human bloodlust. And Jack and Roger? Until the day all the boys were found, they lived in fear of who would be next.