"Ninety Days exactly."
I can't believe its been three months since that night, ninety days and not once did I ever feel the need to say it was worth all my troubles. I sat there on the compounds slowly degrading walls, sitting on the roof with my feet hanging over the side as I enjoyed the remaining sun. My ankle didn't bother me that much, a slightly swelling remained of all what had happened on that night hunt. I just felt the need to enjoy a higher vantage point, to soak in my surroundings. My eyes shut feeling my heart beat, smooth and quite easily much to my passive fears. My fears had only grown since that night, I have trouble sleeping at night sometimes. Every time I closed my lids, those sounds haunted my dreams as I desperately would try to stop myself from crying: feeling that agony of my flesh being stripped from bone.
Oh I felt it, as much as I tried to hide myself into the depths of rationalization. My nightmares continued, the adrenaline sometimes kicking in as I slept without a fire hovering near my body would ward off that need to cringe. My god, did I feel so powerless that I tried numerous times to tell myself that the night was over. I had survived, using my mind to outwit the very environment that nearly got my life to become another endless death within the jungles. Sometimes when the nightmares came, I felt my wrists shake and become unresponsive to my brains commands to stop. Hell, I had to grip the said limb to stem the shaking in order to mentally calm myself down.
So I inhaled deeply to then slowly exhale at a pace of a five second count.
My only salvation came in the form of my ability to stay up long nights when my body refused to rest. Only the solution came in the form of Jean, who would sometimes visit the Camp site when I truly didn't expect it. She would curl near my body, as I often rubbed her neck to make the Raptor gently hum in an eerie manner of one who enjoyed the sensation. Danger being masked with danger, a predator whose capability to naturally kill me was used as a shield the nightmares that I had to escape from. So I often allowed Jean to literally, sleep next to me when the nights came as the fire-pit near my own little bed roll would run through out the night. I just wanted to feel safe, to feel at east with myself.
Yet I didn't feel safe, not once.
Despite that evening hunt where I nearly died, my body healed at its own pace. My ribs were somewhat fine, it hurt to occasionally breath in deep but the doctors over the computer on the mainland reassured me that it'd take another month or so to get back into a more capable form. At least I could walk under my own power, it took till two weeks ago to really understand what my body allowed to occur. My hunting rifle lay to the side of me, my M4A1 that I lost in the jungle would stay there and if I ever did find it again in the future. It wasn't going to used due to the fact it was exposed to the elements over the course of the three months.
Strangely enough, the feeling of seeing the sun day after day made my spirits rise higher than they had ever been. Just enjoying a nice day outside the trailer without the world trying to kill me or even making my life a living hell, finally came to a subtle stand still. So I always came up the roof of the old compound everyday for the past week or so to see the sun itself, along with the blue skies that were open as an endless ocean above me. Inhaling through my nose, I winced from my lungs pinching the side of my ribs, apparently the bones would re-knit themselves to get back into place. I had to let a smile form on my face, it just amazed me to see how you took things for granted or even didn't consider the value of everyday things.
Seeing the sun rise, became precious to me as a new day meant new life.
Looking down towards the ground, where my feet hung idly in the air I couldn't help but reflect on what I actually worked up the courage to do lately. Several days after I had awoken from my deep state of subdued agonies, I actually asked Isabella if she wanted to become my...
My head shook left to right, my girlfriend or whatever the flying hell. Long story short, she said yes but to take it slow in her own words and I left it at that. I honestly felt that need to be with someone, doing this job had its moments but alas, what more could I strive for? I didn't know truthfully, but hey I said to myself, "One step at a time, try to take it slow and do not rush into in things. If I take my time, then the answers will slowly come forth, just ease yourself across the path." Personally, entering a relationship had its awkward moments when the day after I asked her, she wanted to sleep beside me in my own bed or even outside in the camp. That was a hurdle immediately due to the fact I've been sleeping alone for ages.
So trying to alert with someone curled up next to you was a new one on me.
And Chomper started to bite Isabella if she got too close to me, the little Tyrannosaur had gotten fiercely defensive about my well being. I knew he seemingly wanted to warn and protect his parent, to an extent that any dangers he wanted to confront made me smile. It took some time, but eventually my hatchling had calmed down when I comforted him when he growled at Isabella or even Jean, for that matter when I rested against either one of the two. It felt great for a better lack of a word to see and feel another person next to you, I honestly could say I liked it.
But I knew, eventually that'd it wear off once I got used to it.
Speaking of Jean, the pack of raptors that I had been with previously kept coming around the compound with their own new generations of younger ones. I had lost track of them at over a dozen strong when they were out with the older adults hunting smaller animals, I kept Chomper very close to me once a small pack of youngsters tried to ambush my own kid. It took me a near good hour to kick them off because of my immobile form, Isabella got a kick of out it to see swatting at the quick little bastards. I knew on more than one occasion she had filmed the troubles, but my smile didn't make it out to appear to be trouble at all. I viewed them as more of a family than anything, I couldn't understand why.
And stopped trying to figure it out: I accepted the fact I might be a little crazy.
Trying to appear threatening while having a brace, mind the fact my ribs were all wrapped up created quite the unappealing feeling of me being a free meal. The younger raptors eventually got the hint when Jean had cowled them all with a soft set of growls and snarls, I just the impression they were taunting me when Chomper tried to snap at them violently. Again my mind just didn't mind the new challenges, it took time to understand what became of them and for that fact: seeing the new days just brought me more hope to the future. The future, what could become of that? I really didn't understand the idea of me having something past this island to live for.
What did it all mean?
What could I strive for now? Having a family or trying to become a person again? I just didn't understand this confusion and utter refusal to go back to the Main land sometimes. I felt at ease here, despite all the horrors the island put me through. Why did I accept it? Just why in the living hell was I so utterly apathetic to civilization that I tried to force myself in a way to become a person? The thought caused a rather sickened smile appear on my face, why even bother to consider a life beyond what I could already do? I did what I could, I did what I had to in order to be a Ranger of Isla Sorna. Nothing could come close to what I had that edge, so why even consider in trying to change?
Or did I wish to change because of the fact I had no one to consider an equal to me. I hated being alone, day after day and hour after hour. Just that silence knowing I was the only human on an island that tore apart my species. Perhaps the year of silence, took apart of my mind and inevitably caused me to go insane in the sense that I had nothing live for. Insanity, awaiting a process that a person wishes to have a different outcome too. I was alone, alone in the sense that no person in my knowledge and faith could hold a candle too, understanding what I was going through. However within all that confusion, I felt a sense of determination to prove a theory wrong.
Could an insane man, change himself in order to find that different outcome of an action?
"Maybe I can, what more could I have to do? Watching time fly, crying into a corner was never my style. If I have to adapt to fight insanity, why not try to understand what in the fuck I'd do right. Sounds more like a mid-life crisis if I had guess." Beginning to laugh, I let loose a good loud set of laughs from my mouth. I even put a hand through my hair, ideally knocking my hat over to the side of me. With my rifle near me, practically on me I felt the need to let loose my pent up amusement that happened to coincide my frustrations. What in the hell was wrong with me? Did a man cooperate with his inner-most fears, the worst part of him in order to become self-aware of his intentions? All these questions, just made me ask myself a simple one. At least I prayed it'd be a simple thing, after all this bull I went through.
Something very simple: Was I lonely?
If I had to answer myself, while having my legs dangle over the side of the main building whose rooftop I sat up on. Before meeting the Raptors, Jean I felt only fear and utter complacency in order to stay alive to see another day. In those days, I just witnessed blurs of time flying by me. Psychological effect of a jungle whose sole existence had been created artificially by man. Only for the said creation to kill them, I felt so alone in the world it just sucked trying to justifiy my actions towards other people that I had encountered over my time. I just wanted something to make me understand that crying myself to sleep would not do me any good on the world that I had live with. Smiling a twisted person, that utter delight in seeing myself suffer just screamed stupidity. Oh did I wish for my life to take a turn for the better, hope could do that to a man.
In short: I wanted to share my life with someone in order to understand, myself even more.
Being together with Isabella beyond the worker relationship seemed more difficult then I'd been privy too, especially when I was younger. I knew was into women to the point where I had outlets, I liked them yes but going into an extreme of those grounds. No, I wasn't the slightest clue in where to approach a person to honestly be with. Sighing to myself, I took it one day at a time and trying to heal also took precedence over my own self-doubts on women. Scoffing to myself in a scolding manner, what would Robert say to me in this situation. I knew what John would say, and Alexis forget that piece of advice. Both of those people were sarcastic gleaming leeches that loved my inexperience with a romantic relationship.
Inexperience, that term really didn't settle well me but I only myself to blame. Before I even became lost out here, I had ever considered a relationship that some of my mentors held in their lives. Past or present, they had connections to people I never had the need to develop since my life was my job. I lived to do a job that no child of any age could attempt too, so why did I take up that mantle within a Park that was doomed to fail in the long run? I worked for a corporate company that lost its creditability, its reputation and its very power that gained to make Jurassic Park a reality. A reality destroyed by the greed of mankind, an emotion I barely felt since I considered it a liability within this jungle.
Liabilities often lead to fatal consequences out in the jungle, of this place especially.
"So fuck them, I have to do this on my own. Again."
Any unknown territories really made me squirm, doing new things even more so.
All of my experiences with doing new things, new actions, new strategies and taking chances have been one of the worst feats of my life. I truly had nothing to exploit as a Ranger, it just felt like: nothing.
Honestly, if I could admit to John about his dream of building Jurassic Park as a load of crock. Then my purpose would be non-existent, a life that would be nothing but an average person's work. Sometimes I had regrets, even when these fucked up nightmares of mine came back to haunt my mind. I felt peace at the expense of a good nights sleep, so it sucked. Royally and quite literally, surviving traumatic experiences were never at all great. Phantom pains, feeling like I had experienced the situation over and over again: all the while screaming as in my dreams I had died violently. Feeling flesh, muscle and bone splinter in the jaws of a furious predator who I didn't expect to my prioritized threat. Not even the Spinosaurus, nor the Tyrannosaurus came that close to killing me, in my opinion. Snorting, I just left my arms on my thighs and just sitting there.
Not before getting my one source of comfort into a more firm position.
Placing my rifle on my lap, I wanted to figure out if I'd ever leave this island. Leaving the one place I considered my life, leaving In-Gen, John Hammond and so many others. Would it worth the effort to have a normal life? Questions that still plagued my mind had come back with a vengeance, some would call this a life crisis, but to me: just another day in paradise. The wind picked up to get a good warming breeze on my elevated position making my skin tingle, in a good way if possible. Cracking my neck to ward off the stiffness from the lack of moving around didn't help my cause either. I looked towards the trailer, the door was open again with Chomper running around the clearing.
Either he wanted me, or was searching for a food source.
Wouldn't have been the first time.
What more did I have to do in order to tell myself, that my life would eventually end when this job would be too much for me. The future scared the living hell out of me, the true future in which this island would be either isolated forever or exploited once more to the outside world. I felt uneasy, uneasy in the sense that all I had to go on: was my gut instincts. Honed within these jungles, honed to be a step ahead of the dangers that lurked within every bend of clearing on this piece of paradise masked as hell. A hell that was my home, in which I had gotten better at adapting too and for the better lack of word I felt: content...
Content on the island that killed many, killed those who either wished to use the creatures that ended their lives in order to solve a corporate problem. John Hamond's initial dream would only just be a dream in my eyes, not one animal would leave this island to be caged in an enclosure since the risks were too great. These animals had been extinct for millions of years, yet the hubris of mankind just pissed on the laws of nature itself. I smirked, I'd denied those laws from claiming my own life plenty times over which made me a rebel. My lips curved upward, "A rebel who can survive and do his job right, Mother Nature must hate my guys because I keep on living. Perhaps trudging through the way into the future is my punishment, to witness things that no person can often understand so its in this thought I think: the island will never be at peace..."
Did I believe that this island was safe from the world?
No I knew that in my heart, the world wouldn't stand by to see this place in peace.
So in other words, my heart believed "No."
And my brain utterly said, "Hell No."
Sighing deeply I watched the horizon, wishing that my path in life could be answered for me. I'd believed myself a good person, I tried to save others from staying on this island for so long. I knew that it changed people, others wouldn't admit it or if they did: this island made a person realize that in the long run of things were nothing more than prey. Prey to the food chain that the planet we had come to dominate existed more so here than any other continent. Dangers were overwhelming man's own ability to control his environment, I just felt numb after all this time. A numbing sensation that my mind used to ignore people, my own needs to be among civilization and all I could feel was a slight disgust for the world beyond this island's shores.
Civilization, meeting other people for the first time in what? Two years if not longer, I lost track of time since I remembered my own experiences living as a child within the Continental United States. An orphan who enrolled into a profession that would separate me away from the common folk that ran the blocks of every day life. I couldn't relate to other people, this Island and Job made any person understand that no one other than themselves could do it. I believe no one other than my own could do this job without utterly cracking into the storm called insanity. I had lost friends, had no family and could only gain something to make me utterly human.
"So few, that it matters barely..."
Both of those subjects were so narrowed, I could list my friends on one hand and my family was dead. Both parents gone. Gone into the very pits of the mountains that had killed them in a cold, uncaring and brutally fatal way. Avalanche, that made my life into the soulless solitude of a Ranger of Isla Sorna. Perhaps I had become jaded, twisted to become apathetic to the fundamentals of being a person. I cared for little, became sarcastically gleeful when I hated things and when people annoyed me: I wanted to use a bullet to solve the issue. My god, did I feel warped and completely disgusted at what I was even thinking about?
Friends and family were to normal people who had such things quite close within their times on the mainland. Out here, I had as close to a family as one did to have a claim to be a King. I had nothing, really I had nothing that in my memory could point that I had a family. I was young, I never remembered the feeling of having parents that cared for me, nor did I have a life they saved for a future that had me as their legacy. Life sucked, it wasn't fair nor would it be easy to those already given an edge over the common person. I'd like to believe I was special, but I wasn't: I'd survived through luck and some skills. Skills that took me years to learn, as a child and it only improved over my last birthday that other year ago.
So long, why did it feel like an eternity?
Did a year have that much of a consequence and what not?
Laughing into the very breeze that made my skin crawl, I just then leaned myself back against the roof watching the sky. I witnessed a few birds flying, which made me just close my eyes enjoying the peaceful silence that entered my hearing. Why did I enjoy an island that wanted me dead, in some shape or form it was of my own will to remain here. Why did I like it? Did this challenge of surviving and maintain a world beyond a man's imagination have that much of a thrill to get my heart pumping that I'd risk my own life? A life that had really no future, if I continued stay here in the long run it'd kill me. How long did I have left? Why did I have to say here when others would clearly want to jump in on this life? Did all this danger clearly be irrelevant in order to have the success of a person who studied ancient animals such as the dinosaurs?
Maybe the fame and the wonder of these animals were what would drive the outside world to here. No matter the warnings, no matter the facts and no matter what I did it seemed that in my heart: the outside world would invade this Lost World as a means to an end. The prospect of people actually risking all of their lives in order to exploit this world scared the living hell out of me. I wasn't invincible, I wasn't an army and I certainly could not have the power to protect these animals despite my itchy trigger finger to take one or two species back into extinction. Oh my mind, it started to hurt as possibilities were forming if I truly believed that the future was bleak as sin. Staring at the distant horizon, my eyes felt heavy as my body ached from the pain it had been through for the past months of my recovery.
Recovery, could I even come back from this? I just felt like a piece of me went into hell, or something of that metaphor. My mind didn't consider myself the same man from three months ago, physically demanding I felt my ribs shift slightly as I tried to move. It'd take time, time that often plagued my ability to understand my own limits sometimes. Did I have time to improve again? Time to become stronger as a man, both physically and mentally? Would it be too late for me to mingle with people beyond the shores of this isle? The truth didn't settle well with me, but I did have one emotion to cling too. Desptie the fact it was lower on my list of humane emotions within this skull of mine.
I had the hope to be stronger.
Finding a way to heal meant that I had to be strong. I had to adapt in order to do that, so what did I have to do in order to realize this problem? Well, I really couldn't say this was a problem. I meant I had to chuckle, who actually could walk away from this and pull the crap I did off in a similar manner without sustaining fatal injuries? In the back of my mind, I did it because I got lucky and I pulled through by the skin of my own teeth. Barely, but when did that line blur into territory that would get me killed? Did it matter? As long as my job was done, I could walk away and even enjoy the answers that would come to me eventually. Where did that answer lay? Just where did all of this entirely lead me too as a person? Could I even find a damned answer? An answer to the question: "Why was I still here?"
But maybe I did have an answer.
Well, as close to one as I got.
It was an answer that made me smile, in a way that warped my own will. Again I had to playfully consider in being an insane person, repeating the same mantra over and over again in order to justifiy what I felt. Why did I do this career, why did I continue to endure a path that many wanted but none realized the danger to it over the long run? This just screamed stupidity to do something because I felt obligated too. No soul on this good Earth could handle Jean any better than I could, no soul on this earth could understand the lines on this island. So no person on this planet could make my life away from me, but inadvertently did that make me something less or a man? Or a more better person? Again with the fucking questions to myself, what an odd way for a person to consider himself.
But, what if I didn't believe in any of that?
So an answer became clear to me, for now.
Ideally my eyes looked up the clouds, "Perhaps the reason why I'm able to do this job well is that I don't consider myself a person anymore..."
A temporary answer.
And in time that would be put to the test.
If I only knew what the future offered to me.
I just closed my eyes, enjoying the warmth as the sun rise came over the horizon enveloping me into a sea of comfort. Yes I did feel content here, a place that was a paradise masked as a hell and it was my home whether I accepted it or not. Only in time would I be able to understand why I'm able to do a good job that everyone believed in me to be doing good. I sighed, as the sun hit my face once more. Such a good feeling, watching and waiting for the warmth of the new day in order to be a better person: what more could I do? I just wished, I knew.
But in the end.
I just lied there, enjoying a sensation of peace that had developed within me ever since I nearly died.
And that was worth fighting for...
Author's Note: It's not a long epilogue granted. All this, it's just an end to the first part of this story. I apologize for this delay, I've been busy as of late. So I have to catch up and end this story officially. I must say I wrote this perspective of Luke with an intriguing aspect: What does he honestly think about? This question and aspect of a humane mind, has its flaws. Which in turn makes him more human that I intended to do, I don't expect this to received well since the man is acting depressed or paranoid.
But after all he's been through: Is Luke unscathed after it all?
No. He's been hit with pent-up emotions long since overdue to be exposed, along with the walls that come crumbling down.
Be aware, I have Ranger of Isla Sorna II written. Well some of it, despite this I haven't been slacking. I have the Prologue of that story and the first Chapter already written out. When I reach Chapter Three, I will post the Prologue so I can stay ahead of the releases so I can't be rushed. Chapter two I have a quarter done, possibly less due to the fact I'm introducing a variety of Characters. If you thought making one character was hard within a story, to have an Arc and overall growth then try making more. Making more in the sense, they all interact with your initial character.
So little minor spoiler: "More 'people' are coming to Isla Sorna."
Just take a moment and understand that.
This whole epilogue is just a quick Peak as to what happened, its nothing too praise worthy to be. Its not meant too be a large ending. This is just a small prelude and just a little closure as to what this man is thinking. Overall it's just a quick recap of what Luke is becoming in contrast to what I try to portray him as. His inner monologue is just of a man copping with his recent tangle in dying. So he's accepting the fact, that his life is meant to be tied to this island.
Its warped and possibly out of hand, but in this case: He's just a man whose getting on with his life.
So with that, this is the end of the Ranger of Isla Sorna.
Until the next sequel, then the real 'Walk in the Park' begins.