Dieguito leaned against the boat's rail, staring out at the jungle. It had been several hours since Senor Dodgeson's jeeps had disappeared into the surrounding trees, with still no sigh of their return. Today's heat was much augmented by the humidity of the jungle, and Dieguito was perspiring heavily. More then anything, he was growing impatient for something, any sign of the men.
He looked over his shoulder to see the other fishermen. All of them local riffraff, men he'd called at the last second from the surrounding docks. But he'd needed a crew badly, especially after Dodgeson had been so generous… He wiped his brow with the back of his hand as he leaned away from the rail. Taking an exaggerated sigh, he shook his head in frustration.
He didn't like being out here, on the five deaths. Dieguito was no fool; he'd heard what the locals had said about those islands for years, that they were a place to be avoided. And yet… he looked out in the jungle, and saw and heard nothing. Diego had said there were only birds here…. but really it was an almost eerie silence around the landing spot.
Something was just off about this whole place, and he didn't want to stay here any longer then he had too. The fishermen were getting nervous too, barely even coming out of the cabin. Superstitious idiots, those gringos would never have given Dieguito all the dinero if this place had been the least bit dangerous would they?
He smiled a bit, at this momentary thought of the money. The others didn't know, and they would never know. This was one hell of a windfall, and damned if he let a near perfect opportunity like this go to waste. No way in hell was right. If he played this right, his whole life would change in an instant.
It was probably already afternoon, by the way the heat was going. The sun
was already starting to sink in the sky, and he knew soon there would be a cold chill. It was getting dangerously close to the deadline the Senors had detailed, and Dieguito didn't have a good explanation for that. He didn't have any idea of what would happen should they hypothetically not show up.
There was a murmur over in the cabin, and he looked up. One of the fishermen had approached him suddenly, a concerned look on his face. "Four O' clock, four o' clock", the man was saying. Ah, so it was quite obvious, and Dieguito should have seen it coming sooner, but the others in the cabin were starting to worry about time too.
Dieguito could sympathize; he didn't want to be on this damned Island when it got dark. Would the silence continue? He had no idea, but didn't really want to stick around to find out. He was concerned though, since if Dodgeson didn't come back, no grande payday for Dieguito.
"Hold up," he muttered. "Just give them another half hour, they'll be here soon I think." He didn't want to let his worry show on his face, though he wondered how obvious it was. "Just wait…" he said trying to think of a stalling tactic. "I have to take a leak out in the bush, give me a half hour okay?"
He took the man's dismissive wave as an okay. "Five o' clock is final." Sure, sure, it's got to be Five O' clock somewhere he could do that.
Dieguito turned around and unlocked the ramp off the boat. As he walked off and into the ground of Isla Sorna for the first time, he looked around for someplace inconspicuous. Okay so maybe he didn't have to take a leak. He just wanted to get one look around before they left. He knew the government didn't like people visiting the islands, so this might be his only chance. Something interesting to tell the grandkids at least.
He took one last look at the boat before ducking into the brush. Immediately it was apparent that this jungle was denser then he'd imagined. He continuously had to swipe away branches from his face and step over roots that threatened to trip him up. Also he was soaking wet from the minute he stepped inside the foliage.
Dieguito hadn't thought to have so much trouble here; after all he'd considered himself a sturdy man all his life. He was thirty-two years old, right in his prime and he'd taken damn good care of himself to remain that way. Still, this climate seemed to be attempting to push him. He already had a layer of stubble across his face, as he hadn't shaved in three days. Truth was he was just too damned tired those days to even care.
More to the point, it was only so far that this damned jungle he could go he realized. As he went on, it seemed to be getting thicker and thicker. Just no end to this stuff. It seemed that the deeper one went in, the harder it got to pass. He wondered vaguely how his cousin Diego was faring in this mess.
That's right… Diego was supposed to be on this island too, but he'd left the other day. Not a single peep from him since. Ungrateful bastard, if he'd just been able to contact him somehow then Dieguito might actually have talked him out of going to in this damned jungle. It was a hellhole of a mess that was what it was.
He swatted away another branch that viscously had slapped his face, and suddenly blinked as he stepped out into the daylight. He had to readjust his eyes to the brightness of it all, and he had to shield them. Grasping blindly he felt his hands grab something soft.
A red rag of, just hanging from the branches of the nearby brush. Dieguito didn't
Question this at all, but took it to wipe his face and hands with. By this point Dieguito was bleeding a bit from the many cuts he had sustained in the underbrush. He thought vaguely that now would probably be as good a time as any to turn back.
He checked his watch, about four thirty. No way in hell did he want to get stuck here. Dieguito absentmindedly held on to the dirty scrap as he took a few more paces in the clearing. And then he looked up.
What he saw took his breath away. There was no other way to describe it. Right there in the middle of the clearing were four trees, almost forming a box formation. In the center of these was a huge dugout in the shape of an oval, with what seemed to be underbrush lining every side.
His interest piqued, Dieguito cautiously walked forward, until he could see inside. Three ovoid white objects…reminding him for the entire world like… He blinked again in surprise. No it could not be… that was impossible!
He quickly looked to his right and left, trying to detect any traces of movement. The silence of the jungle seemed to have been placed as if it were a stifling blanket. Nothing moved in the brush, not even a birdcall…
He looked in his hands, let the clothing scrap fall slightly. Biting his lower lip, he leaned down and wrapped the cloth around one of the eggs. Lifting it, he was surprised to find how heavy it was.
Nothing the locals had said resembled anything like this scene, which greatly disquieted Dieguito. He should have heard of something like this. Softball sized eggs don't just appear in the middle of the jungle on a deserted Island.
Backing slowly away from the nest, Dieguito realized that he was sweating. His watch read twenty minutes, and he didn't know…
He glanced back down at the egg. Damn, he decided. If Dodgeson really wasn't coming back, there was going to be no payment. This might be the next best thing after all. He swallowed hard, knowing he was probably going to have to run.
One to make the boat, two to beat whatever had laid this thing. He dove back into the jungle with an alarming speed, fear giving him legs.
This time the brushes whipped him even harder, but he kept on going. The silence was deafening him now, pressuring him on all sides. Still, he clutched the egg close to him as he ran. He could hear something in the near distance… a break in this deathly silence.
The roar of the boat motor as the captain started the engine. It seemed to pierce the jungle in such a terrible way, being everywhere at once. More sweat broke out on Diego's face, as he increased his speed.
Finally he broke through again, seeing the boat. Lucky…it seemed they were just about pulling the anchor up as he did so. Son of a bitch…talk about timing. He yelled at them to lower the ramp, even as he quickly ran up to it.
He felt so much relief getting up that ramp and falling against the railing. He nearly dropped the egg in his stupor, but he caught himself in time. He glanced at the other fishermen, all staring at him.
One two three… "Hey where did the other guy go" He asked to nobody in particular. They only pointed out into the jungle, saying something about going to look for him in the jungle.
Dammit… Dieguito thought that would delay things even more. "Just wait…" he said, seeing the last of the anchor go up. "Give it another ten minutes for him." He hadn't needed one of those incompetents to try and fetch him, especially when he was
quite capable of taking care of themselves. Five O'clock Dodgeson… he hoped that the man would be here in time.
While the boat idled he went back to the galley, and grabbed his pack. Taking the egg, he unwrapped it from the cloth and put it in. He made sure to grab as many napkins and extra clothing he could find to cushion it as much as possible.
Then he walked back out to the rail, cursing under his breath. Damn them, he was perfectly fine on his own. Ten minutes were up it seemed… he looked out for any sign of Dodgeson…
Then the silence broke once more, sending chills down his spine. The engine had started and the boat was moving now, but that was not the disturbing part…
The forest seemed somehow alive…in a way that it hadn't before. He felt his mouth suddenly go dry as he tried to comprehend this. Every bone in his body was telling him that…
The boat had already reached the bend when he heard it properly. What would stay with him forever, whenever he thought about Isla Sorna.
A roar burst through the jungle something both bloodcurdling and primeval, like it belonged to another age. Dieguito was so shocked that he dropped the rag in surprise.
Maybe just as well, for he walked backwards into the cabin he didn't notice the scrap fluttering in the breeze before being lost in the river.
Diego's torn shirt.