Disclaimer- If I owned the rights to show... we all know I would have just killed Abby.
(A/N: Why am I a teenage boy who likes this show? Damn. Anyways, whatever. I got this idea last night and you know... carpe diem.)
The look in the pilot's eyes was foreign and distant. It seemed as though his mind was on another planet, at the same time- was was furious. Centering all of his thoughts, all of that fury on his fellow castaways.
The light of a flame danced on the torch in Captain Russel's hand. Jackson leapt at him without hesitation- holding the man's wrists in his hands, attempting to pin him against the plane. The rest of the kids kept their distance, none of them as willing to jump into the action.
Sometimes they would do things without thinking, everyone had done it. Leaping before you look was something usually frowned upon in their carefully cultivated society. Or at least it had been. It always led to trouble. Losing the matches. Falling from coconut trees. Getting lost. Jackson though, he was the rational one. He never made mistakes, always kept his cool, never letting his stone mask falter.
There was that time he became ill after consuming unsafe water, yes. The teenager had protested that he had simply made a rash decision in the absence of a fire- yet it remained common myth among the six others who had stayed on the beach, that it was done to save them. Even if it was a mistake, it felt easier to believe he'd been trying to save his comrades from the same fate. The myth was usually better than reality anyways.
It was surprising, but not in a bad way, when Jackson made his first uncalculated move. Facing down a man with a torch and a warped mind without any sort of plan. Of course, when he made a rash choice, it would be the one that would save the plane. Save their everything. That was just so.. Jackson.
After a moment of paralyzing fear and uncertainty, Eric dove into the battle as well. The other teenager had the captain pretty much immobilized- but that twisting orange glow was dangerously close to the wall of the plane. He grinned, snatching it from the captain's hand. It took nothing but a hard tug. As he pulled it out of the madman's reach, Eric's ears picked up the strangest noise. He slowly banged the torch against the sand- the flame dying as he paused in wonderment.
Everyone on the beach seemed to freeze in place. Forgetting the terror of the past moments. Eyes wandered around, glancing towards the surf- wondering what could make the low buzzing noise.
Nathan was the first to glance into the sky. His voice caught, gasping in disbelief. "P-p-plane..." managed to escape his lips. In that instant, every eye was focused on the sky, and for just a second- silence. The pure shock. Not only was there a plane, it seemed to be there for them. Close enough that you could count the bolts on the belly if you wished.
Of course, that wasn't what they were thinking about. All but forgetting the captain, they turned heel and ran towards the beach. Screams of joy and excitement filling the air. The loudest this place had ever been. Cheers echoed off the volcanic rock of a nearby mountain as the plane circled back over the island. Rescue.
It couldn't land right now, but it would surely come back in moments. They were saved. The band on the beach hugged one-other they cried and high-fived and smiled until their cheeks ached.
And for what seemed like forever- no one looked back at the place that had been their home for the last month. At the people still standing in the little clearing.
Like anyone, shocked by the noise of the incoming plane, Jackson couldn't help but look up at the sky. A smile crept onto his lips, his grip on the other man's wrists began to loosen unconsciously. As the others raced towards the beach, he too turned and began to jog towards rescue. To the shouts of delight erupting from the people he now considered his family.
Which made it all the more unexpected, all the more painful, when something hit him so hard on the right side of his head, that he fell to the ground. Gripping his skull in pain, the boy rolled onto his back. The deranged man in the hawaiian shirt was standing behind him, grinning just as hard as anyone on the beach. In his callused hands he gripped what had moments ago been the lit torch. The fabric was charred from the fire- sand mixed in with that. The white, pristine sand.
Not white. Red. Red sand. Jackson pulled his hand from the wound on his head, sure enough it was stained with a crimson paint of his own blood.
"We're saved. They're coming to get us. You don't have to be mad about the boat. We're saved." Jackson repeated his words, though he struggled to form them. Whether from the loss of blood, or the force of the blow- he suddenly wanted to fall into a deep sleep.
The bearded man knelt over Jackson, a leg on either side of his torso. Breath smelling like rotting fish, like death, he began to mumble. "Don't trust 'em. Don't trust 'em. Out to get me! Out to get ME!"
Taking a deep breath, running on fumes, Jackson began to pull himself up off the ground. He tried to ignore the way it all seemed to spin around him. Unfortunately, he wasn't exactly speedy in his current state. Another blow of the wooden club, this time on his side, knocked him easily back to the ground.
Kicking him aggressively a few more times, Captain Russel decided it was now time to make his move. One more kick, right to the temple, and Jackson finally succumbed to the darkness.
Melissa Wu was pretty sure she'd never felt happier. Ever. Not christmas. Not her birthday. Not anything. This was the kind of exhilaration that made you jump up and down. The kind that made you leap onto and hug Eric McGorrill without hesitation.
As she hugged him though, he looked around. She hadn't heard a certain someone whooping it up with the rest of them. Looking around her, past the smiling and hugging images of her friends, past the sea of colour, she didn't see someone dressed in gray. "Where's Jackson?" she called out to the rest of the group.
No one but Eric could hear her question over the noise. He pulled away from her, suddenly wondering the same thing. He too had a glance around the picturesque beach, and he too couldn't spot him. "HEY! HEY! GUYS!" he had to shout in order to be heard. Eventually though, people calmed enough to hear his inquiry. " Has anyone seen the Chief?"
Heads spun curiously. People didn't seem particularly concerned, still overcome with the exuberance of rescue. Melissa though, was getting worried.
It came to her, the image of Jackson dramatically pinning the pilot against the shell of what had once been an aircraft. The realization that she hadn't seen the end of that feud. She was sure Jackson had handled it. He was good at handling things no one else could.
Still, she ran towards the campsite, just to make sure. She expected to see the tall boy casually packing his gear or putting out the fire or something. At the very least she expected he'd still have the pilot under his guard.
She didn't expect to find what she did. An empty campsite. The fire crackled like usual, nothing seemed out of place. "Jackson... Jackson..." she called out towards the expanse of rainforest around them.
What worried her most was the lack of anyone, including the deranged pilot.
Melissa dropped to her knees when she saw it. "GUYS!" she screamed, helplessly starring into the distance. The group was slower than usual when it came to running towards a cry for help. She forgave them- they were still so happy.
Nathan looked flustered." What are you screaming about Melissa? Is this still about Jackson? 'Cause I'm sure he'll turn up any-" He stopped instantly, seeing what the girl's shaking hand was pointing at.
A puddle of blood, quickly soaking into the pure white sand, staining it an ugly shade of burgundy. The track in the sand that lead away from it, like something heavy. Something like a person, had been dragged roughly through the sand.
The trail stopped between two trees, where the sand became rough soil. Someone had hurt the other, and dragged them away from the hope of their old life. Nathan continued to gaze at the trail- much too thin to have been formed by the body of the adult man,
Everyone stood there, a sickening feeling in the pit of their stomachs that told them rescue would have to wait... and that the danger, at least for their quiet comrade, had quite possibly just begun.