All That Glitters is Not Gold

Disclaimer: I do not own Off the Map – all characters belong to ABC and their respective creators.

Author's note: The storyline is mine, though. Since we don't know anything specific yet, I decided to take the show to Colombia. Furthermore, Lily has two brothers.

Excuse the fact that I am not an English-native speaker. Thanks to samcamstargate1, goldeneyegirl and this hopefully won't be such a problem, though. They are my official Betas now, for both Spanish and English. Thank you so much for being willing to keep an eye on my spelling, grammar, setting and characters!


Chapter 1: The Bad Week

You all know it. You know those days when you just feel like you shouldn't even have left the bed in the first place, knowing fully well that this day would start out wrong. In my case, this whole week had started out wrong. With Tommy blocking my shower yet again; with Mina feeding 'Dinner' almost all of my cereal – again – and with me being moody, restless, and unsatisfied.

I have hated my life recently – asking myself all the time what it was that had made me come here? The exotic scenery? The people? The good I could do here? My fear? The fear of losing myself, if I would have stayed in the U.S. any longer, being reminded of my past and of what could have been? And what would no longer be? Right now, all of these reasons suck; this week sucks, and I wish I were someplace else.

Lily Brenner swallowed hard as she felt her mind jumping back to what had happened before she'd gotten here. The voice of her mother reverberating in her ears, "Can't you just move to the West Coast, dear? Don't you think the Colombian jungle is a bit too … extreme?" And how right mumhad been …

Right now, Lily wanted to be anywhere but Colombia, although it seemed to have been the right choice back then. Now, she wanted to be anywhere but where she was: being chased; anywhere but having to run at full speed, breathing to the top of her lungs, and ripping through the jungle. How the hell did I get into this mess again? She screamed at herself, as leaves and twigs cut her face and pulled at her hair. It was a good thing she was so used to being surrounded by trees and bushes. She found her way effortlessly, while flying over roots and timber during her mad dash. The lovely flowers and sounds of a tropical rainforest long forgotten, madly running through the bushes makes you forget about stuff, like how you even got here. What really matters now, are basic facts, Lily thought while she felt her lungs burning inside her chest, My wrist hurts, my lungs hurt, my head hurts, my feet hurt … I won't be able to keep this speed up much longer.

Lily could see Tommy and Charlie in front of her, trying their best to run at full speed, although Charlie had his difficulties. Suddenly, a wave of guilt washed over Lily, seeing Charlie being mostly dragged by Tommy through the jungle. I had been the one to insist on accompanying the others, and not to be left behind. Charlie could have been safe by now … if it wasn't for me.

The angry yells in Spanish came closer. Lily tried to glance over her shoulder but the speed and the thickness of the foliage made it nearly impossible to see further than 15 metres. Run! She screamed at herself, "Run faster, Tommy!" she screamed at her friend, and smoothly jumped over a large log, "They are coming closer!"

That was the moment when the explosion went off. Lily heard and felt the wave; heard people screaming, trees being ripped apart. Yes! She screamed triumphantly, and was glad she had paid enough attention during chemistry class. The explosion would give them more time to run and escape, get further away from the camp, and maybe get to safety. But, too happy, too soon – with her foot getting jammed against a tree root, Lily lost her balance and crashed down hard with an, "Ugh!" that knocked all of theair out of heralreadystrained lungs. And that was when I knew that I was about to loose this run, and how awful this week really was. Lily desperately struggled to her feet only to be screamed at from behind. With a quick look, she took in her captor. He was a young man, not older than 20 years, with olive skin and dark hair, and he hada gun drawn.

"¡Alto ahí!"

Lily didn't have to be fluent in Spanish to understand what that man wanted from her – to stop, right there and then. But she couldn't do it, she wouldn't. She needed to get to her friends. Her blue eyes bore into his black ones, sensing his fear and insecurity. Maybe I have a chance, if I take it right now! And with that thought, Lily turned on her heel and tore forward, following the invisible path Tommy and the others must have taken.

But then, a shot rang through the air, being muffled by the leaves and trees of the thick jungle almost immediately.

Didn't I say that I knew this was a bad week?

Thanks for reading this, if you like, you can leave a comment and tell me, if it's worth continuing. I have the story planned, yet not written ... too bad I always start writing stuff when I'm in the middle of exams - that's a bad habit.


Due to requests, which are totally justified, I decided to give a translation for the Spanish phrases I use.

* Spanish translations and additional info in Chapter 1:

"¡Alto ahí!" Spanish man to Lily: - He's telling her to "stop right there!"